Some music listened to in 2012 December 29, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Uncategorized.
No This Weekend this weekened because EamonnCork’s piece on musicals from a few days ago fits the bill. But, quite a lot of bands I listened to this year in a way which I hadn’t for a while. I often wonder if as you get older you get a bit jaded in relation to new sounds, but this year I found myself not just liking but genuinely enjoying a large number of groups.
Toy: Colours Running Out
First up, the ones I liked best of all, UK political industrial/post punk outfit miserylab, Australian psychedelic revivalists the quite genius Pond and Tame Impala (who are so closely related they are practically but not quite the same group) and UK based new wave/psychedelic/post punk crew TOY (and I enjoyed their peers S.C.U.M. too – though that apparently is a minority opinion). What interested me a lot was that I was back listening to primarily guitar based music. Other groups that were on the radar were NYC by way of Boston (I think) outfit Minks and a real oddity for me, I genuinely liked Graham Coxon’s A+E. Not sure why, because I’m generally immune to all things Blur, but it had sticking power. Another crowd worth listening to are fascinating and experimental post-hardcore crowd Fucked Up. Even if the vocals get a bit much after a while there were times when they reached Husker Du levels of excellence. Soft Moon are great though there it’s a case of the guitars getting a bit much over an entire album. Admiral Radley, again from a couple of years back, comprising one part of Grandaddy, were pretty great.
Fucked Up: A Slanted Tone
Interestingly the Jesus and Mary Chain reappeared briefly releasing a single to no fanfare whatsoever on iTunes over the Summer. It’s a song they played on their last tour some years back and there’s hints – no more than that – that an album may be in the works.
Soft Moon: Circles
Dance and electronica? At first sight, or listen, I thought this was a weak year for same. But looking back in a bit more detail and there was some great moments.
RxRy produced perhaps his best work (and to judge from his website perhaps his last work) in the form of c.STRS. There’s no youtube video of it, but it is absolutely brilliant, based on stars, as in the lights in the sky, and much of the time eschewing entirely the ambient excursions that might imply. Nope. For him there’s rushing sounds, roars, calm areas and then more clicks, rushes and so on. There were the Errors who did something, as best as I can describe it, anthemic and sparkly. And VMCG, Vince Clarke and Martin Gore working together for the first time in three or four decades on a reprise of mid-1990s electronic/techno. It’s great, doing exactly what it says on the tin. Ulrich Schnauss popped up with German techno outfit Beroshima and produced a great great album which stuck with me throughout the year- but then again Schnauss appeared in numerous places with other collaborations, most more guitar based but all of them good. Minotaur Shock’s Orchard was pretty good. mind.in.a.box released yet another high quality futurepop album, the concluding part of a series they’ve now been working on for a decade or so.
John Talabot: El Oeste
John Talabot, Barcelona based House DJ, on the album Fin, did some amazing stuff. Burial’s Loner was superb, and Blackbird Blackbird’s All and Tear were the missing links between electronica and…er…what sometimes sounded like surf-rock (though I suspect he’d say it was post-punk).
I got around to listening to older names such as Orbital’s comeback album… which was good in places and the last Underworld album, two years old now but still pretty good – particularly ‘Between Stars’.
Quarkspace: Translight Limited
Other stuff that I enjoyed, Quarkspace – US based space rock outfit whose Drop album from the beginning of the 2000s is available for free on their website and is well worth a listen if you like Hawkwind etc… Rush’s latest album which has a particularly good track entitled The Anarchist on it. Turbonegro’s return with a new singer which was far better than it had any right to be. But I’ve drifted away from metal in recent years and see no need to return, at least at present.
Stuff I didn’t enjoy? The Cult’s latest album – the riff store called them to say it was empty for the moment. AraabMuzik – at first I thought it was clever. But then I didn’t. Jon Hopkin’s third album, released some years back but only getting to it now, replete with pointless additional crackles and effects. Noctorum, Marty Willson Piper’s current incarnation outside of the Church. I should like it, Lord knows I should, but I don’t. And Grimes. On paper Grimes should be just about perfect, but in practice, not so much. Peaking Lights… bits of their stuff I liked, but I never seem to find them when I go back to listen again. The Hundred in The Hands. Too polished. Peter Hook and the Light and their pedestrian run through of a hitherto ‘unknown’ Joy Division track which really wasn’t necessary. VNV Nation released a new album earlier in the year that saw them tip towards the formulaic – never good in a genre (futurepop/EBM) which is already formulaic in the extreme.
Old new stuff? IELB got me listening to the Police, something I hadn’t done since a kid and worse again got me liking it. I finally got the F.S.K. compilation from Anarchaeologist and it was well well worth the wait – filled with curious and unlikely earworms. Kudos to rockroots for digging up Irish prog outfit Supply & Demand Curve. Listened to a lot of Momus this year. And the Manics as well.
George Gershwin and also musical soundtracks, in part the fault of EamonnCork for inadvertently enabling my listening and prompting me to get more. Singing in the Rain, Easter Parade and an host of others. I was worried that these songs may be fading out of the culture, but let me assure anyone who by pointing to a small straw in the wind. In East Wall I happen to know that there’s a dance class for young kids where along with One Direction, Michael Jackson and so on and so forth Singing in the Rain figures highly on the list of songs that are used to dance to (by the way, the sheer number of Irish related actors in Singing in the Rain is something to behold. Not sure what that tells us, if anything).
Singing in the Rain
Somehow I find that comforting.
Anyhow, over to you, what was good, bad and – as interesting – terrible?