David Byrne and Brian Eno – Strange Overtones
David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) is a hero of mine. It is take off the 2008 album Everything that happens will happen today. To quote no less than Wikipedia the album “explores themes of humanity versus technology and optimism in spite of bleak circumstance through the blending of Electronic and Gospel music”.
It is also a great tune. Somehow Bynre’s slightly off-kilter vocals compliment Eno’s smooth beat perfectly. David Byrne’s description of himself as an “evangelical atheist” as a clever and provocative use of language.
Al Stewart – The year of the cat
This track is another track I was introduced to on long summer drives via mix tapes made by my father. It is classic 70’s: colourful lyrics and a style that suggests a tongue firmly placed in the singer’s cheek.
The reason it came to mind is that I went to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy recently and I can just imagine Smiley putting this on his record player as he unwinds after a long day on the job.
The Ebonys – Do you like the way I love you?
It has been a while since I posted some classic soul and this is CLASSIC Philly soul. Enjoy.
Air France – It feels good to be around you
Air France are a Swedish band and are one of several European bands with a similar upbeat, summery sound that have caught my attention recently, such as Delorean. Wikipedia categorises this sound as Post-rave bliss, beach foam pop or Balearic disco all of which are both pretty funny and pretty pretentious. All I know is that this tune has infected my brain for the past week.
Are you in Air France? Are you in Air France?…
I made it back in one piece from Munich (see below). I enjoyed my week off and am feeling renewed and have restocked my virtual record box for the home stretch of my 365-day odyssey.
I also want to say a massive thanks to the seven guest posters who stepped up and helped out in my absence. I loved all the posts, they were all both witty and erudite. Most of all each the seven songs chosen were strong. I was so pleased that they captured the spirit of the blog in their diversity, spanning several places of origin, genres and decades and covering both the well known and obscure.
The Doors – Riders on the storm (DT guest post)
OK – My name is David. I’ve known Rob-James as a neighbour, friend, taxi driver, quiz partner since he was 3 and have proudly watched him develop into the overweight, badly dressed young man he is today…
Feel I have to go with Rob-James’ initial theme for LiM and choose something old and bluesy even though The Doors are more associated with rock. They were one of the last big groups to emerge from a period of musical change that began with the Beatles and their distinctive sound suited the late 60’s – early 70’s.
Riders on the Storm, from the album LA Woman, still makes me imagine wistfully what it would be like to hear them playing it at a big festival even though it was not one of the iconic Jim Morrison’s favourites – he described it as cocktail jazz.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get the chance to make a video for this before JM’s demise but the above is not a bad effort after the fact.
Ray Bryant – Up above the rock (Rory McDermott guest post)
Forewords annoy me. I have read some of the most meaningless stuff written by some of the most meaningful men. John Peel piddling across the pages of a pop biography, Berry Gordy wasting paper….so I’m gonna keep it short.
RJ has done much of the hard work for us this year; so this is my IOU contribution.
Ray Bryant, who died earlier this year, is fairly well known for his work as a jazz pianist. He pretty much played with all the bigdogs beginning in Philadelphia then New York. However, his jangling piano here is thundering funk, the horns will pop your hernia. And if you blink at the start you may miss the tightest drum intro of all time.
Grouper – Heavy water / I’d rather be sleeping (Matty Graham guest post)
My name is Matt and I know Rob from my extremely productive and relatively short time working for Tesco. Since then we have regularly shared our taste in music, with our recommendations usually falling on deaf ears, with an occasional exception.
This song is one of those rare exceptions and is by a woman called Liz Harris, who releases music under the name Grouper. It comes from one of my favourite albums, with the cheery name Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill which, according to Wikipedia, was described as “devastatingly beautiful” by one enthusiastic reviewer. I don’t know if I concur with that assessment but this track is quiet and simple and one of the most soothing I know.
I was initially sceptical when Rob told me that listening to one track over and over again is a valid way to spend my time, but since discovering this I’ve come round to his way of thinking.
Finally, one of comments on the youtube video leads me to believe that it has been played on a Skins, and to save face I must add that that wasn’t where I heard it first. Unless Skins is cool, in which case I did hear it there.
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Morning of Our Lives (Brian Reddy guest post)
I’m Brian, I live in Sheffield and I’m doing a PhD here. Musically I’ve noticed an increasing bias for the stuff just either side of punk. I have no doubt this intro will haunt me some day. In the meantime it’s a pleasure to meet you.
Jonathan Richman has been the revelation of 2011 to me and by some distance. This doesn’t make huge sense, really on paper it just shouldn’t work – his music is naive to the point of being saccharine, and often so catchy it sounds like children’s TV. But there’s also something so adolescent – just a surging, euphoric melancholia- to his work; something nostalgic and truthful and hysterical that almost makes me want to be a teenager again. [This is despite the fact I was effectively a walking, dripping pritt stick of nervous grease.] I do my best to avoid flowery language and I’m effectively gushing here. For some reason I just get this, on a level that I haven’t with music for quite a while. It’s verging on a mancrush.
So if I’d the chance to effectively spread the message of one act (even regardless of not repeating Rob’s fine choices), it had to be Jonathan. The Modern Lovers are my Wyld Stallyns; I half expect societies of the future to be based around this music. There are any number of songs to choose – this is probably the finest pop song under two minutes I have ever heard, this is the most enthusiastic song I’ve ever seen on TOTP2. But people simply should know about the song above, they should have it their back pockets for the next time they need it. We’re young now, right now’s when we can enjoy it. Make the most of it.
Dr.Carter – Lil’ Wayne (Jimmy T guest post)
Hello out there in cyberspace. I am Jim Tracey; Australian, debonair, late twenties living in London, friend of RJ and lucky guest contributer to “sounds of science” or whatever Robbie likes to call his mental (in a good way) blog. I wouldn’t be as vain to describe my taste in music because as my old school teacher Danny Hasler used to say ‘you should never put anyone in a box’. He was brother of famous rugby player Des Hasler, the first words I ever heard him say were “2 bucks for one of my brothers’ autographs, one for me and one for my brother” and also “where’s my pen?” it was lost in his crazy birds nest of hair, he was truly a “child of time” (from album: Deep Purple in Rock)
I like music that reminds me of a time and a place. Q-tips “Amplified” was one of the first cd’s that I bought, and the first hip-hop album, marking a musical evolution away from bands like Offspring and Presidents of the USA who are far too angry and silly (respectively) for me at the moment. It also takes me back to when I was 17, and had my first taste of independence, back then I looked to the future and thought “anything is possible” and looking back I can certainly say that the possibilities have been realised, but not in any way that I could have then imagined back then.
I like this song for two reasons: the tribute to coffee which is my favorite drink. The following quote beautifully sums up a day in the life of me (if you were wondering).
Doctor: “Where’s my coffee?”
Nurse: “It’s going to be a long day”
Doctor: ”Another one?”.
And I also like the beat, old school, along the lines of Q-tip’s “let’s ride” (you gotta post this song Robbie!) You just can’t go past jazz loops and live jazz drumming (syncopated) to hip-hop rhyming.
Summary: Dr. Carter is a life saver, so you have to tip your coffee mug to him.