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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Wailers June 27, 2015

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Went to The Script last Weekend in Croke Park… The Script were good , that Pharrell Williams was woeful and the highlight of the day were The Wailers. I hadn’t realised that they were playing!
I suppose they are almost a tribute act at this stage but what a repertoire they have to choose from. Yes no Bob Marley but still a brilliant sound and great songs.
Was amused in the intro to “Get Up, Stand Up” the leader singer Dwayne “Danglin” Anglin was talking about Revolution with his arm up in the air clenched fist in a Black Power style salute…. a lot of the crowd seemed bemused at the gesture.
It’s very hard not to enjoy songs like ‘One Love’ , ‘No Woman No Cry’ and so on. They really are classics. It also left me wondering how much better it would have been to see Bob Marley and The Wailers in their prime.

The Top 30 Australian Songs 1926-2001 June 20, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture.
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Stumbled across this online recently and not a lot to complain about here, some great groups represented in this list from 2001 of the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Top 30 Australian songs released between 1926 and 2001 – though the earliest track appears to be from 1957. The Go-Betweens – natch! The Triffids, Midnight Oil, AC/DC, A certain N. Cave, the Saints and so on. But… nothing by The Church? And call me mad, Crowded House, fair enough, but nothing from their precursor Split Enz who were a likeable crew. Though watching this perhaps they took that Bowie 1980 style just a bit too seriously…

Mind you, in fairness check this out and see what names might have cropped up on that list.

This here is a better overview, I think, stretching to all of 100 Best Australian Albums, as determined by:

Toby Creswell, Craig Mathieson and John O’Donnell each have long and respected careers in the music industry.

Creswell is a journalist and music critic whose 2005 book 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them is regularly used as a reference for the RocKwiz tv show.

Mathieson is also a journalist, known for his work with Rolling Stone, Juice magazine, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, as well as for his book Hi Fi Days, a biography of Silverchair, Spiderbait and You Am I.

O’Donnell started out as a freelance writer, worked as Music Editor at Rolling Stone, then went to work with record labels where he signed and developed acts including Silverchair, Something For Kate, Jebediah, Missy Higgins and Empire of the Sun.

Ah, Icehouse, I remember you well, and from the pre-Hey Little Girl days too. Got to admit to a strange liking for this track of theirs from 1982 – a bit of Bowie, bit of Roxy, something of the Stranglers mid-80s excursions, perhaps even a hint of Goth.

The Scientists, Hoodoo Guru’s…

…and more… yes, even the Models. All there…

This Weekend I’ll Mostly be Listening to… the Go-Go’s, Beauty and the Beat June 20, 2015

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It had been a while since I listened to Beauty and the Beat by the Go-Go’s. At least three or four years. And before that probably a decade or so. I bought this first in Macs in the Georges Street Arcade in or around 1984 and never regretted it. But what struck me was just how good it remained.

There was, for all that it was new wave pop, a punky snarl in amongst the 1950s girl group stylings and the surf guitars – that curious mixture of looking simultaneously forward and back is very 1982, isn’t it? It’s in the metronomic beats behind some of the songs, the sheer power of the drums (most un-1950s on the backing to the chorus on How Much More), the restrained but not muted guitars, the ever so slightly off kilter and sometimes melancholic approach to the vocals and the angular arrangements.

Read any of the accounts of west coast punk and it can be surprising just how high profile and well-regarded the Go-Go’s were by the most unlikely of peers. They were part of the scene and though there was a sense amongst some that they were shifting from it there was surprisingly little rancour directed at them. Half a year in the UK in 1980 clearly altered their trajectory yet further – not least due to the success of ‘We Got the Beat’ which even in demo version became a hit there. A deal with IRS followed and with that their first album, the aforementioned Beauty and the Beat.

Allmusic suggests that this album was one of a number that brought new wave in the US to a wider audience. it’s very possible for it is quite simply full of really well arranged and composed songs. Our Lips Are Sealed is rightly a classic – and co-composed with Terry Hall – all chugging guitars, as is Tonite, This Town and We Got the Beat but there is real pleasure in the other less well known tracks.

I’ve read some note that early REM sounds not unlike this, and you know, it’s not that much of a stretch. There’s a jangling quality to the guitars and the arrangements. Both groups were expanding the space that post-punk operated in, both in an odd way reaching back to pop albeit in unexpected directions.

I remember buying Vacation, its successor, at more or less the same time and being a little disappointed. There the formula had been smoothed out, the melodies a little less distinct, and a sense that while the textural aspects were all there somehow it was a bit lacking. And yet that album too has its moments. Later there were breakups, solo careers, sort of kind of bids for stardom and so on, and a sense that they had become even more commercial. They have however reformed numerous times and are still gigging.

And this, this is a great album and its familiarity – perhaps over familiarity at certain points – is no reason to ignore that fact. Brilliantly ironic post-punk cover too.

Our Lips Are Sealed

We’ve Got the Beat

How Much More

Tonight

This Town

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening… Slowdive June 13, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Was out for a pint recently with a friend who was telling me he had been to see Ride in London a few weeks ago. Ride were reportedly amazing…. we got talking about shoegazing bands from that era….. Slowdive came up and it turns out that after almost 20 years they had reformed last year.
They are a band that I’ve listened to since the early nineties, lovely guitar, Rachel Goswells beautiful voice. Some beautiful slow tunes and atmospheric ones too.A host of EPs and three albums followed. They broke up in 1995 and some members reformed as the wonderful Mojave 3 and reformed last year.
As an aside I bought The Drays album yesterday. The Drays being the band that ex Star of Heaven Stephen Ryan is with now. From the couple of listens I’ve had it’s excellent. It’s funny but I think its the first album in 20 years that I’ve been so eager to get that I’ve bought it on the day of release.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly be Listening to… music for early Summer June 6, 2015

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Is June early Summer or late Spring? Given how cool the weather has been it’s easy to make a case for the latter. But anyhow, here’s some tracks I’ve been listening to recently that I really like.

Starting with a genuine feel good Summer track from French outfit the Penelope[s]. I always liked their first album from the 2000s which straddled a sort of new wave/post punk/electronic/pop area that was a lot harder edged, for the most part, than their last album from a few years back from which this track is taken. Kind of like both approaches.

The Penelope[s] – Summer Life

Keeping that mood what of this from 1960s and early 70s US group Blue Cheer – not a very well known name this side of the Atlantic, but on their first two albums responsible for something very like proto-metal.

Blue Cheer – Summer Time Blues

Was never much of a fan of Babes in Toyland back in the day, but grown to quite like their raucous punk/metal/near grunge clatter as time has passed. So here’s a blast from their earliest years, Dust Cake Boy – 1989 and for those who appreciate this good news in that they reformed earlier in the year (as by the way have the indomitable L7).

Babes in Toyland – Dust Cake Boy

And speaking of things metallic. Good to see US boogie revivalists Endless Boogie (dealt with in this slot all those years back) just keep on keeping on.

Endless Boogie – On Cryology

While we’re on the subject of the late 1960s been listening to this crew too quite a bit recently. Here’s all ten minutes of part of their contribution to Woodstock and what is something of a classic.

Canned Heat – On the Road Again (Woodstock)

Here’s Blue in Heaven’s Across My Heart which for my sins I only heard for the first time this last month. I’d been listening to All the Gods Men and Explicit Material plus some of the Fanning Sessions and an RTÉ live broadcast that myself and Alastair – once of this parish – were at in 1986 or so. And then I went looking for their successor group, Blue Angels material online, with no success, but then realised that there was still some material I hadn’t heard including the above single. I’m still convinced that they were one of the few really good Irish groups of that mid to late 1980s period. Across My Heart is just such a great immediate song that I’m amazed it doesn’t have a wider recognition. This by the by was produced by one Martin Hannett.

Across My Heart – Blue in Heaven

Meanwhile from Wire, a track from their album released a little earlier this year, which is oddly appropriate. I’m hearing mixed reports of the Fall’s latest album which deals with much the same subject matter but Wire manage to have a light touch in relation to all things tech. Though they would with that name they’ve got, wouldn’t they?

Wire – Blogging

There’s been an odd little Nordic krautrock/pop/electronic scene, though perhaps that’s too grand a word for what is a few bands making music with some commonalities, across the last decade or so. Silverbullitt, 121 Days and here is Audionom. I like them all but this is particularly good I think.

Audionom – Kristell

And here some electronica. Straight from the Warp label and an EP track. Mighty fine.

Clark – Silver Sun

And here’s something a bit popper from a former member of Mind.In.A.Box, the not exactly brilliantly named Thyx… and Robots Don’t Lie.

Thyx Robots Don’t Lie

This is amazing. It reminds me of early to mid-period Black Dog, Palmbomen II and a track drawn from the latest album – an album which has a fairly entertaining concept at its core. No prizes for those who can suss it out without going looking for what it is. Think I might do a longer This Weekend on this one.

Palmbomen II Lorraine Kelleher

I’ve no excuse of this, I’m a real sucker for European synthpop/futurepop and EBM, and this hits all those categories in turn. Oddly enough I’m no fan of Depeche Mode, and the vocals are reminiscent of same, but clearly not too much so.

Code 64 S.O.L.

Loved the song Vine by Cardiacs spin-off, Spratley Japs, and here’s Heavy Lamb containing some of the members of the SJs at a benefit for Tim Smith from a few weeks ago playing just that.

Heavy Lamb play Spratley Japs ‘Vine’.

I tuned in to John Kelly for the first time in probably years in the last week or so and heard a track by this crew and got to admit I really like it – sufficiently so to go exploring. Here’s another piece by them which is mighty good.

Marcin Wasilewski Trio & Joakim Milder – Sudovian Dance

And to leave with another sunny track, always quite liked Best Coast, not least for their fetishism of…er… the west coast. And this from their latest album California Nights will do just fine.

California Nights – Best Coast

Swastika Laundry and Tel El Kebir Receipts June 2, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Culture.
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TEKSwast

TEK1

Was going through a box of old receipts from the 1960’s with my Mother recently and among the items that turned up were these two (actually loads of them) and I though they might be of interest.
The Swastika Laundry was the subject of a popular and timeless post here in 2007 and its chimneys and vans were sights in Dublin for many years.
Tel El Kebir dairies were based in Monkstown and later became the Premier Dairies depot there, more famously they gave their name to TEK United who play in Rockford Park , a stones throw from where the old dairy used to be.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Denis May 30, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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For the times that are in it……

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Clannad, Dúlamán May 23, 2015

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Once upon a time long long before they became the go to outfit for Celtic mystic atmospherics and had all the big name collaborations and special appearances Clannad produced albums like this – Dúlamán, their third album, released in 1976. They might not be the Ramones or the Pistols, but mighty fine they were in their own way: albums filled with spare traditional standards, beautifully produced and performed. And yet with an odd undercurrent. Cumha Eoghain Rua Uí Néill (Lament For Owen Roe) typifies this strand, albeit the guitars are perhaps that bit more emphatic than might be expected.

And therein lies the fascination of this album for me, the way the title track- surely one of their finest moments – has something of their future in its vocals and arrangements, particularly the central part and the end which nod to (then) contemporary folk and rock. It reminds me of what Robert Christgau once observed about the second Boston album, that there was some hint of corruption of the form that pushed it beyond the purely formalistic. To me that’s a strength rather than a weakness and the proof seems to me to be the effortless way they blend the styles together. I won’t overstate it. Such excursions were far from unknown in groups then and now.

But the approach is replicated to a greater or lesser extent on track after track. Two Sisters, with lilting vocals that are just about crystal clear and which within a minute or so pushes in a more muscular direction. Or what of the multi tracked wordless vocals that open Éirigh Suas A Stóirín (Rise Up My Love) and the genuinely lovely instrumental arrangement of the song – is it too much of a stretch to suggest someone had been listening closely to CSN and those of that ilk?

The Galtee Hunt also moves from traditional music in a more folk direction fairly sharpish. This pattern is evident in many of the tracks, Éirigh is Cuir Ort Do Chuid Eadaigh (Dress Yourself) where semi-instrumental passages arrive about half-way through. It’s as if a subtly different aesthetic is smuggled into the music. The rhythm guitar on Mo Mháire is yet another example.

A lot to like here.

Dúlamán

Éirigh Suas A Stóirín (Rise Up My Love)

Éirigh is Cuir Ort Do Chuid Eadaigh (Dress Yourself)

Two Sisters

Cumha Eoghain Rua Uí Néill (Lament For Owen Roe)

Bigger than the Beatles? May 17, 2015

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This from the Guardian recently…

Research by a group of London academics focuses on musical patterns in the US pop charts from 1960 to 2010, using data analysis to pinpoint the year in which trends appeared in the charts and measure their duration.
The study’s findings may come as a shock to fans of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, as its authors believe there is no musical evidence to suggest that the “British invasion” of the early 60s caused a revolution in the US charts at all. Rather, the music style those bands displayed – measured by properties such as chord changes and tone – was already established in the US charts before they arrived.

I remember the first time I went to the US in the late 1980s I was surprised by how big a part of a certain demographic’s musical imagination it remained – the term British Invasion even then had a currency. I’ve always felt it was a bit of a construct – commercial, media, etc, but, that said it’s hard to believe it was inconsequential either. I’m not hugely surprised by the lack of change in musical style, but perhaps it speaks of something more ephemeral, concepts of youth, other and so on, that led to the British Invasion have such a prominence.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Myself again ! May 16, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Three Years ago I popped up some songs from my days in a band.. . Well I have some more and it’s weird because I hadn’t listened to them at all in the past year but was prompted during the week to give them a listen again…. and sure if you lot wont listen to me nobody will :)
Some of it is shite but funnily enough the ones I think are shite, other people have thought that they were less shite.

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