De La Soul, and 3 feet high and rising in particular changed the way I thought about music. It blew my mind. Creative, playful and funky – 16 year-old Rob had never heard anything like it. And I haven’t looked back since.
Posting Steely Dan a few days ago made me feel guilty that I hadn’t posted something by these guys already. The eagle-eared amoungst you will will spot the sample of Peg in this track.
Muddy Waters is a bad ass. Not least because I think Muddy Waters is an all time great name for a blues man.
He wrote the song that gave The Rolling Stones got their name. Check this amazing video. It is great not least for the contrast between Muddy – poised in an immaculate 3-piece and Mick Jagger – hyperactive in a red shell suit.
If you like Soul or Blues I also recommend checking out Cadillac Records. It is the story of Chess Records (Muddy Waters, Etta James, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf…). I thoroughly enjoyed it and Muddy’s character just about steals the show in my opinion.
Caribou – Odessa
Sometimes you can’t escape the cosmos. When I heard from 4 or 5 separate sources that I should check out this guy curiosity got the better of me. And when his Wikipedia page charecterised him as a mathematician first and musician second, I couldn’t help but like him.
This track was particularly recommended by an old friend who often has to suffer me droning on about music, so cheers to him for that. It is mellow but dense with some dark undertones that give it an interesting and complex air.
It took me a while to realise how good Steely Dan were. For a long time I thought they were incredibly naff. It was only when I heard 3 feet high and rising (an album which changed the way I listened to music forever) and placed the sample that I got it.
Family Fodder – Savoir Faire
Solemnity is overrated. No matter how hard I try it is impossible to be serious all the time. This was never more true than when I first heard this song.
It was a perfect track this week as spring arrived to London. There is something irresistible about a perfect pop song and to my ears this comes pretty close.
I was reading an interview with Micheal Stipe today and he described Benny and The Jets as seeming “like it came from another galaxy.” This really resonated with me as a great description, as it does sound otherworldly and kind of beguiling. It’s almost like it should be a David Bowie song rather than one by Elton John. While he has become something of a caricature recently and I don’t have much love for the rest of his music, I never skip track this when it comes on my MP3 player.
Odyssey – Going back to my roots
A DJ played this track a while ago when I was out and about. It is a dance classic, deliciously cheesy and retro. An added bonus is the great video here.
The Smiths – This Charming Man
I thought it was about time I posted something from the 80’s and this came to mind.
Even though Morrisey can be a bit tedious I have always had a soft spot for The Smiths. They had an uncanny knack of making rather bleak subject matter sound somewhat sprightly. Also, Johnny Marr produced some unforgettable guitar riffs (both in the Smiths and subsequently).
A bit of a blast from the past today, with Gideon Coe mentioning on his show that this guy was going to be releasing some new material soon. This happened while I was procrastinating about what to post, so it seemed like a sign and who am I to argue with the cosmos? I really like it anyway. It has a slow burning quality that builds to a compelling finale.
I was taken aback by the strange experience of hearing this track (by a relatively obscure English songwriter) playing in a musty thrift store in Los Angeles a few years ago. Sorry for the somewhat naff video, couldn’t find anything better.