Little Dragon – Twice
I first heard of this Swedish band when they collaborated with DJ Shadow on his latest record, The less you know, the better. That track is more up tempo, but this has a quiet charm which is perfect for some mellow Sunday night listening.
The chairman of the board – Give me just a little more time
Perfectly crisp autumnal day in London today. I spent it shooting the breeze and enjoying a few frosty pale ales with some good buddies at Borough Market.
This put me in the mood to post some upbeat soul and I couldn’t think of anything better than this. Also, how good a name is The chairman of the board?
Crowded House – Weather with you
This is another one of the earliest songs I can remember hearing. I loved it before I had any real idea of music as a wider concept, before I began to intellectualise it, idolise it, before I became pretentious.
I am not sure why but it came into my head this week for the first time in years. So I have been listening to it over and over and feeling like I am 11 years old again. I really enjoy feeling a connection with my younger, more naive self. Sometimes it feels as though he never existed.
The lyrics are still an inscrutable mystery to me, but I like to think they are profound and there are some subtle but excellent guitar riffs and vocal harmonies to listen out for.
There’s a small boat made of china going nowhere on the mantelpiece. Do I lie like a lounge room lizard or do I sing like a bird released?
Sorry about the gash video, it was the best I could find.
K-Os – Crucial
This is taken from Canadian rapper K-Os’ album Joyful Rebellion, which was one of my favourite hip hop albums of (relatively) recent times along with The Gift of Gab’s 4th dimensional rocket ships going up and Common’s Be. They are all clever, conscious and funky and this is a perfect example.
I don’t want to change the world, I only wanna stop pretending…
Daughter – Home
It feels like it has been a while since I posted something fresh, that’s hot off the press. I heard this for the first time today on 6music, there is something compelling about the vocal that grabbed me.
D’Angelo – Untitled (how does if feel)
I am aware this is somewhat cheesy (please forgive the rather naff album cover, the music video is even worse). Somehow I really like it though, it is smooth and mellow and the vocal, while at times bordering on the self-indulgent, is pretty great. It hit the spot and soothed me today when I needed something to help me return to an even keel.
I came across D’Angelo while trying to work out if there was any music that had been made since Disco was invented that was worthy of the name soul. I found that, in general, the answer was a resounding no (where did it all go wrong?) but I just about made an exception for this.
I would love to hear other suggestions of some fresh, modern soul? I am always happy to be proved wrong when good music is involved.
Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
Posting Walking in Memphis yesterday made me realise I hadn’t gotten round to Elvis yet. I wouldn’t say I was his biggest fan but I can’t help but admire what he accomplished. Without Elvis no one would ever have heard of Little Richard, or any of those who came after.
Also, as you can see here, Elvis could flat out move.
Marc Cohn – Walking in Memphis
This is one of the earliest songs I can remember hearing, again it must have been on a summer holiday mix tape made by my father.
I really like it’s vivid imagery, and a few years ago I was lucky enough to be able to walk in Memphis and follow in the footsteps of the song. I saw the ghost of Elvis in Graceland, wandered with my feet ten feet off Beale Street and saw the statue of W.C. Handy. Memphis was a great trip, full of history perfect for a music nerd like me. I would really recommend a visit.
Put on my blue suede shoes and I boarded the plane. Touched down in the land of the delta blues in the middle of the pouring rain…
Hot 8 brass band – Sexual Healing
I just got back from a meandering evening in central London. I started out at the southbank centre, where the London Jazz Festival was in full swing. There was an awesome brass band playing in my earshot while I sipped my Kronenburg, watched the Thames roll by and enjoyed the balmy (for November anyway) weather.
This is a clever cover. I first heard it last year in a bar in Islington. The DJ was blowing up, playing some classic soul, Stevie, Aretha and the like. In the middle of his set he dropped this and it took me about 30 seconds to work out what it was but once I got there, I got there.
Hot 8 brass band are from New Orleans, and I would love to see them play live sometime. I imagine it would be a lot of fun.
Paul Weller – Headstart for happiness (live)
After posting The Jam and The Style Council, I thought I would post some of Paul Weller’s solo work to complete the trilogy. I would say I am in a minority of his fans that really likes all three (most people could forget The Style Council). For me, he can do no wrong.
This is taken from a live, acoustic album called Days of speed which I love. There are several other tracks from his solo career that are equally great but the simplicity and energy here makes this the song for me.