Monthly Archives: January 2012


Martha Reeves and the Vandellas – Jimmy Mack

I spent a really fun evening shooting the breeze with two very old friends last night, one of whom has been know to give me some ‘constructive criticism’ over the years. He pointed to a lack of soul music in my 30 favourite songs of 2011, given my affection for the genre so I thought I thought I would post some today for him.

This is CLASSIC motown. I am not sure it gets much better than this, right down to the Beehive haricuts. Martha and The Vandellas, along with The Supremes are right at the top of my list of favourite motown artists. 



The Knife* – Heartbeats

I heard this song over and over when I was at university and came to really like it. It has a slightly quirky sound that grew on me.

The Knife are a Swedish band and came into my mind tangentially after I went to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo last week. I enjoyed the movie but was a little taken aback at it’s jarring darkness. I had never read the books or seen the Swedish language version so was totally unprepared. Story of my life. The scenery kind of made me want to take a train to northern Sweden though. 


*Artist #368


Aretha Franklin – (Sweet sweet baby) Since you’ve been gone

Aretha annouced this week that is she to get married again in the summer at the ripe old age of 70. She is a complete hero. Her voice is probably the greatest ever and is certainly the most powerful I have ever heard.



Oddisee – The Carter Barron

 I wanted to post something mellow for a Sunday night as I prepare myself for the jarring prospect of my first Monday morning at work of 2012.

This is taken from Oddisee’s Rock Creek Park album which was one of my favourites from last year and is very relaxed and easy on the ear.



The Antlers – Hounds

I first heard this track when I was home over Christmas while having dinner a good friend’s house. His wife had just wowed me with her cooking and this was playing in the background while we were shooting the breeze talking about times old and new. A happy night.  

I hadn’t thought about The Antlers in ages, since posting them at the beginning of last year. This, taken from their latest record Burst Apart, is typical of what I have heard of them, ethereal, beautiful and a little haunting.



R.Kelly* – Bump n’ grind

As I mentioned yesterday my intention is to make Thursdays about bands that are new to the blog. On Fridays I will be posting some guilty pleasures. Now that I have spent a year meticulously gaining credibility by steadfastly posting esoteric bands I feel that I can afford to lighten up a little. The songs will be party tunes that I decided not to post last year because they are too naff, profane or shameful but that I actually quite like.

Bump n’ Grind, much to my surprise, turned out to be something of an anthem during a year I spent in California. I mostly heard and enjoyed it ironically, but not wholly. R.Kelly by all accounts is a douche bag but he knows how to put together a pop song. Also, this may have the most hilarious intro ever!

My mind’s tellin’ me nnnooo but my body, my body’s telling me yeeahusss. Baby. I don’t want to hurt nobody, but there is something that I must confess………..


*Artist #367

5th January 2012

Jay Electronica* – Mind detect heart 

As I mentioned earlier in the week finding a new artist every day was becoming too demanding, so after completing my year of new artists I began 2012 by revisting some of my old favourites. However, as I move forward I want to keep the spirit of new and varied music alive. To do this my plan is to post an artist that is new to the blog each Thursday. I may do this on other days also but I intend do it without fail on New Artist Thursdays.

I have been listening to this guy, a rapper from New Orleans quite a bit this week. He first grabbed my attention when this tune began with a sample of an impassioned preacher thundering the following:

You got a hell of a nerve! If my rhetoric is too strident, who better to correct me than my brothers and my sisters?…

My only response to that was wow! His rhymes are strong too, clever and nuanced. Overall it is just refreshing to hear something a bit different from a hip hop song. 


*Artist #366

7 Big (re)discoveries of 2011

1) Radio – Rediscovered the simple joy of listening to the radio, predominately over the interned. Particularly WFMU, thanks to a good tip from my buddy. In particular Mudd Up! and Downtown Soulville. Also 6music and Tom Ravenscroft and the 6mix. Both are a treasure trove of good music.

2) World Music fascinates me – This was a big surprise. It started when I revisited Rhythm of the saints and was staggered by it and continued through the rest of the year. I would never have imagined how much pleasure I would find in Malian music.

3) I like Electronica a lot more than I realised – For a good portion of the year I had posted more Electronica than soul, which was a big surprise.

4) Blogs and blogging – This blog obviously. It was a good cultural outlet for me and I liked the discipline of posting once a day. But I also enjoyed reading other blogs like The sartorialist, Awesome tapes from Africa. Also, I finally “got” Twitter.

5) I feel fatigued reading about the “crisis in the eurozone” – One more article about the Greek economy and I might throw up (boke).

6) Blueberries – The fact that they are utterly delicious had somehow escaped my notice before last year.

7) Mad Men – Don Draper? What a beast.RjK


Grouper – Alien Observer

I was introduced to this lady by my buddy Matty, who guest posted about her a few months ago. She makes music that is a little quieter than the normal type which moves me but there is something about it that grabbed me. We subsequently went to see her at St.Giles in the field, a church in Soho. She was very enjoyable (the supports acts? Not so much) and the setting was perfect.

This track is taken off her latest album, AIA, and is gentle and hypnotic. It has been soothing me this week as I deal with the jarring effects of being back to work after a blissful week at home.



Talking Heads – This must be the place (Naive Melody)

Sometimes you can’t fight the cosmos. I was speaking to a buddy about the music that he had been listening to over the Christmas break and he highlighted this. Seperately, I had also been listening to Talking Heads and made a note to post them early in January.

This is such a simple, warm song. Classic David Byrne vocals and a very fitting video here. Both great. I particularly like the Chief with the portable keyboard.