Friday 27 November 2009

cleaning, cooking, flower arranging....

Earworms of the Week

> The Prowler - Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden have become so big with Bruce Dickinson as their singer, that it's sometimes hard to remember that they originally sounded quite different (and frankly, what band wouldn't sound a bit different without an air-raid siren voiced vocalist?). Paul Di Anno era Maiden certainly sounded different, but to my ears they actually sounded pretty good too. The sound is much rawer and Di Anno's voice is a rasping snarl, much closer to punk than to metal. As a band, they were still finding their sound and their feet, but even so, the result is occasionally electrifying, as it is here. I can't say much for their lyrical content, mind... I'm not sure you'd be well-advised to write a song about a stalking sexual predator nowadays.... but it sounds great.

> Picky Bugger - Elbow

I've been mulling over my albums of the decade for an end of year list, and I'm pretty sure that I'm going to choose "Leaders of the Free World" above "The Seldom Seen Kid". They're both good albums, sure, but I feel much warmed about the earlier release than their much garlanded last album. When listening to this album, I usually get stuck on songs like the title track, "The Stops" or "Puncture Repair", but this time I got stuck on this song. You can't go wrong with any of them, to be honest.

> Fast Fuse - Kasabian

They're gibbons, obviously, and their desire to be seen as the heirs to Oasis speaks volumes both about their own insecurities and the limits of their artistic horizons....but I do like a few of their songs, so perhaps I'd better not slag them off too much. Their last album was actually a whole lot better than I was expecting it to be too, especially given that shockingly bad front cover. This one trips along quite nicely. I suspect they're actually a lot more inventive a band than Oasis ever were, so perhaps it's time they stopped playing dumb? Tom Meighan has had his hair cut, which is a start, I suppose....

> Them Bones - Alice in Chains

After a while, listening to "Dirt" became a little oppressive in it's relentless gloomy intensity, but it remains a pretty good album and this is an excellent song. Not sure quite why they've reformed with a Lenny Kravitz-alike on vocals though. Good luck to them, I suppose, although I see that the lead guitarist and main man has seized the opportunity presented by the death of his old singer and the recruitment of a new one to adopt a position centre stage, with the new singer relegated to stage right.

> Sarah - Bat For Lashes

Since I put a set of speakers in there and connected them up to iTunes over my wireless network, I think the bedroom has become the place where I listen to the most music. Given that I'm usually either reading or drifting off to sleep, it has meant that I've been listening to a lot of mellower stuff recently. This is a prime example, and that ethereal voice is just perfect for floating off to the land of nod.

> In My Place - Coldplay

Another album that's a candidate for my album of the decade list. This song is simple enough, but remains probably the quintessential Coldplay song. You might not like the band, but surely you can't deny this song?

> Honest Mistake - The Bravery

What happened to the Bravery? They had a brief flirt with stardom around the time of their first album, picked a fight with the infinitely better and more successful Killers, and then pretty much disappeared. A friend gave me a copy of their second album when we were down at football one night, but as far as I know, the CD is still in my football bag, such has been my lack of interest in hearing it. I should probably give it a go, really. I quite liked the first album, and this is a great song... as I was reminded when it drifted onto the PA at the swimming pool as I was having a swim the other day.  Maybe they just timed it wrong: aren't the 80s back now?

> Radio #1 - Air

Air: more perfect late night listening, although "10,000 Hz Legend" does feature a few sound effects that kept snapping me awake as I thought someone was at the door. Good band.

> Dead End Friends - Them Crooked Vultures

I like the Foo Fighters, I like Led Zeppelin and I like Queens of the Stoneage. It doesn't necessarily follow that I will like a band featuring members from all three, but as I happen to like a dose of pretty straightforward rock music, I do quite like this album. Yeah, some of the songs are a bit long, and the album itself is probably too long, but it's a lot of fun. I imagine they would be great live, too. Dave Grohl, incidentally, should drum more often.

> Virginia State Epileptic Colony - Manic Street Preachers

I don't know if this will make my album of the decade list, but it's a pretty firm contender for my album of 2009. The lyrics were all taken from a folder that Richie left behind before he disappeared, and they are so dense and filled with ellipitical references that you'd probably need a code book to interpret them, but it's the best album the band have done in years, and perhaps since "The Holy Bible" itself. It's really that good.


And on that bombshell, I'm going to drive down to my mum and dad's to take enjoy an annual winetasting and to "enjoy" the entertainment provided between wines by my dad's beloved village entertainment's group. I fear there may be carols, including an interactive "Twelve Days of Christmas".

The wine is usually excellent, but wish me luck.

Have a good weekend, y'all.


  1. ROCK ! Love it. you're doing an albums of the decade? fine effort. meanwhile yesterday's post was far more important. We both know how long pharmaceutical advances take but fervently hope this one finds a short cut. I like medical optimism. I would not be here without it. Best wishes for good news.


  2. Mate of mine just lent me a copy of his Flight 666 DVD. Great stuff. Not the best documentary if you ask me but seeing the reaction they got as they did their tour (and in their own frickin plane no less) was pretty amazing considering the decidedly lukewarm reception they get from the mainstream music press.

    Ended up asking my mate for a some of Maiden's back catalogue!