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Jul 02

This seems reasonable

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This seems reasonable but I wonder how much I actually agree with Douglas Wolk’s Village Voice analysis of what we might have called, if someone hadn’t thought of this a few years ago, the new wave of new wave. Wolk says that he ‘can’t help noticing that I like some of these bands less on their own merits than because they remind me of music I already liked’: which seems fair enough. But: a) this stuff, reissues and new material is all new(s) to me; b) there is no such thing as repetition. Rather than approach events in terms of what they remind us of, shouldn’t we assess them in terms of what seems new about them?

Jul 02


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diskant – “a network of websites by independent fanzines, bands and record labels”, based in Glasgow and included here because it’s doing a good thing and because I want to make more effort with my links sidebar and this serves as a handy reminder. (Also they emailed me!)

Jul 02

Why I Don’t Want Free Records

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Why I Don’t Want Free Records

A while ago on an ILM thread I talked about there being two kinds of writing about music. The first is basically consumer-guide writing. You write a review of a record, grade it if you have to, and try to make the writing clear and useful for an interested consumer. Most music writing – certainly most paid-for music writing – is like this.


THE CORAL — ‘Shadows Fall’

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British indie music saved (again)! That’s the idea, anyway — the papers (here’s one typical review) have been going mad for The Coral. They didn’t sound too bad from the write-ups, either. I like to be told what to like, sometimes — it’s very rare for a hyped new band to have nothing interesting about them. So what’s interesting about The Coral? They fit into a lazy, have-a-go Brit-psych tradition that I enjoy, with throaty beat-boom vocals on the faster tracks. ‘Shadows Fall’ breaks its own flow with a bit of vaudeville shuffle which — let’s be honest — sounds a bit like Space, and that’s a mistake, but a short one. The tunes are good; the energy is there; the swagger isn’t excessive. Ian Broudie produces and makes the band sound a little too bright, not quite hazy enough — I’m reminded of a what a cleaned-up Beta Band would sound like, or a Beta Band who cared about cleaning up.

So, yeah, I like it. I like them. Is it depressing that British guitar pop has backslid so much that even these half-steps towards an individual voice are hailed as leaps and bounds? A little bit, yes — but minor pleasures are pleasures nonetheless.

Clearly we deplore lists and polls

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Clearly we deplore lists and polls here at NYLPM but let’s face it most of these singles here are bloody good. Yes there’s a nostalgist bias but the records are generally the kind of records you approach for nostalgic reasons and leave with renewed and humble respect.

Attention Jess! (And interested other parties)

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Attention Jess! (And interested other parties) – the Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar track I wrote about here is now up on the GrokePile. As usual, you have to have a FilePile account (or have access ot one), to download. I am thinking of doing a sort-of MP3-of-the-week deal, but I’m slightly nervous of the bandwidth hassles that might ensue.

Daniel Beddingfield (aka Bedroomeyes) has finally got a new single coming out.

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Daniel Beddingfield (aka Bedroomeyes) has finally got a new single coming out. And unsurprisingly it sounds a bit like Gotta Get Thru This, with its jerky garage production – this time dripped in all sorts of whizzy-banging effects noises. Its this kitchen sink approach which makes it half decent. Certainly Beddingfield’s chorus is a back of a fag packet job, his pop culture references are obvious at best and what is that voice he is singing in. I’m sure it isn’t a comedy Jamaican accent – not in 2002 – but if it isn’t then what on earth is it? The sound of a man who really, really needs a shit?

In at number nine with a bullet.


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Flaskaland: this looks excellent.

THE BUGGLES – “Video Killed The Radio Star”

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THE BUGGLES – “Video Killed The Radio Star”

Cheap Eighties Nostalgia right? You listen this to remind yourself of high school.

But it is deeper then that, it is about the relentless push forward modernism. He listens to the wireless and then those songs are rewritten “by machine on new technology.” This music was listened to by the young, but the children grow old and by the second verse he is talking to the children of those children. The wireless is played back in an abandoned studio. This new technology got the kids excited, but led to the destruction of everything they held sacred (the authenticity of the artist.)

This is the start of the “abandoned studio”.

This is the start of A Life in Plastic.

Although like most people blessed with prescience, the details make it sound a bit out of date. The chorus has the nostalgic sadness of 1950s popular mechanics. When the future was sexy and there was something dangerous about it. We cannot rewind to an age of guitars. Welcome to the wondrous world of the synthesizer.

Jul 02

Coming back yesterday

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Coming back yesterday from Elk Island with my friend from Victoria, we sang “Blake’s Jerusalem” and “Should I Put My Sail to Rest” in the Kingsfold Tune and other hymns. She has a lovely crystalline alto, and it is a pleasure to hear her sing.

In Toronto, the most complaints lodged against pilgrims using the trains coming home after World Youth Day was the singing. Whole trains would shake heavily from the Youth’s joyful noise.

I have to cross in front of Saint Joseph’s at noon to get to work. St Joes is the Catholic College, at noon the mass is conducted . The last thing I hear before work is Kyrie Eleison.

20 percent of the English population go to Church , Temple or Mosque. That’s about 7.2 Million people who sing along and know the words. 40 percent of Alberta goes to church, which is a little over a million people who listen to hymns once a week. What does all this mean? This blog is about pop music – or popular music. There is an implication that this is the only thing people listen to. There are, however, large streams of the vernacular that keep only to their own occasions.