Great cover versions

Felt like posting some cover versions – but decided that would I would post the videos!

The first time I ever saw The Futureheads was April 2004. They were playing in edinburgh at the Venue (now gone, no doubt to be turned into executive flats that no-one I know can possibly affprd. Grrr). I went with my brother, and the gig was pretty poorly attended. Shame, because they played an absolute blinder, as far as we were concerned. I remember watching a grin break over my brother’s face as it started to dawn on him what the song was. A year later, it was a top ten hit. Apparently Kate Bush loves it, and rang to tell the band this. Stop being so goddamn precious.

The Futureheads – Hounds of Love

Buy The Futureheads

I first heard this next song in 1996, on a homemade compilation tape I had borrowed. I loved the Cocteau Twins and this is one of Liz Fraser’s best ever vocal performances. A while later, at Kensington Market in London (another place that has gine! Is nothing sacred?) I found the album this comes from, This Mortal Coil’s It’ll End In Tears. On vinyl, natch. The Gods were smiling. Tim Buckley’s original version should also be tracked down. (yes, he was Jeff’s Dad. Come on, keep up).

Song to the Siren

Buy It’ll End In Tears

Finally, a discussion about great cover versions when I worked in a record shop led to me hearing about this track. This cover, which I did post as an mp3 in an earlier, er, post truly defines why great covers are great covers. It reinvents the song, and remains just as heartbreaking as the original. One day in Germany I spent an entire afternoon trying to find this without success, and ended up getting the Rough Trade Shops Electronic 01 compilation instead which has it. I have no idea what Morrissey makes of this, but if you don’t have The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths’ third and greatest album, you are letting yourself and the whole class down.

Schneider TM – The Light 3000

Buy the 6 Peace EP

Know Your Onions

[There should be a post of The Shins here. Due to some _________ ineptitude (not mine, there isn't. Grrr)]

Very excited by the news that The Shins will have a new album out in January 2007, according to NME. Click here to find out more.

Just in case this news doesn’t have you salivating with excitement, here a wee reminder why you should care

From their last album Chutes Too Narrow here are two fab tracks:

The Shins -’Kissing The Lipless.’ mp3

The Shins -’So Says I.’ mp3

And from their debut, Oh, Inverted World the rather fab ‘Know your Onion!’

The Shins -’Know Your Onion!’mp3

Buy The Shins on Amazon

Cure for sanity

This has been a somewhat trying week to say the least! Sorry for a lack of posts.

As I was asked when I was going to do something on the Cure, here are some videos, which I hope you’ll enjoy (assuming they ‘paste’!)

First up, 1987′s sublime ‘Just Like Heaven.’

And From 1992, ‘Friday I’m In Love.’

Buy Galore

And to remember how good gothic can be, my favourite Cure song ever, 1981′s Charlotte sometimes.’ I have actually used this video in teaching before now!

Buy Staring At The Sea: The Singles

Panic! Don’t Panic…it’s my call

Some mornings…it’s just too much. Metal Urbain (click here to find out more about them) were one of France’s first punk groups and the very first band to release a record on the mighty Rough Trade, the seminal label that would go on to release the likes of Scritti Politti, The Smiths, The Fall (one of their many labels), Belle and Sebastian, Aberfeldy and the Long Blondes over the following thrity years. This somes things up well.

Metal Urbain -’Panik.’ mp3

Buy Anarchy in Paris

On the other hand…I am also trying to calm down with Death Cab for Cutie. Go to their website and also to the insound site where you can download Death Cab For Cutie stuff.

Buy Death Cab For Cutie at Amazon

Duke Spirit-soon to be a familiar name

Sorry. It’s been a long day – I’ve had two interviews and my brain is just MUSH. Too mush to type an exciting heading. Anyway, whilst I type distractedly, two lovely playful kittens demonstrate not only how wonderful they are but how good they are at gettinng into small nooks and crannies…

There are some bands that are on the radar, make great albums, and you buy said albums, enjoy them, see the bands’ gigs and/or support slots, and are pleased when they make the end of year polls. I’m a bit embarassed to admit I have only started listening to The Duke Spirit again in the last week or so, but I have started listening to them in the last week, and I remember why I fell for them in the first place. Guess I’m sometimes a bit fickle with my music loves. Leila Moss certainly packs a punch live and on record with the band. They seemed to be a support band of choice at a certain time last year (in a six week period I saw them twice supporting in Glasgow; the first gig was Mercury Rev, the second Kasabian). If you enjoyed the Sons and Daughters post earlier, give this a try.

The Duke Spirit -’Cuts Across the Land.’ mp3
Buy Cuts Across The Land

Don;t forgte to check their myspace site too, which has more downloads and streams.

CSS or Canseidesersexy…you decide!

Hello again. Haven’t posted for a few days due to a lot going on. On the positive side, my girlfriend and I are now proud to be owned by two very lovely, lively naughty kittens. However, other hassles, shall we say, have had to be addressed.

Anyway…

The picture at the top of the page is of CSS (as it says on their record label subpop‘s site (and indeed their own site. However, their myspace page is www.myspace.com/canseidesersexy. Given the sheer problems I have had trying to tyoe that url in, maybe CSS is best.

They come from Sau Paulo, Brazil. I know no more than I like very much what I hear (and can glean from the aforementioned websites). You will too, especially if you like electro or dance or indie-pop (as distinct to indie). If you enjoyed the Postal Service stuff last week (see earlier post) or even like stuff like Felix Da Housecat go check it out. The album Can Sei Der Ser Sexy is out now. Sau Paulo seems to have quite an underground music scene, and the eighties version was documented on the rather fab ‘Sexual Life Of The Savages‘ LP that came out on Soul Jazz last year. This track is brilliant!

CSS -’Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above.’ mp3

If you like that, head to their myspace page where there is the just as amazing ‘Meeting Paris Hilton’.

As always, if you like what you hear: GO AND BUY IT!

A Talent for causing things pain!

Actually, my dentist seems like a very nice guy, but my mouth is still numb, and for someone who frequently can’t keep quiet, it’s painful in more ways than one…

As a result, I’m listening to music to try and take my mind off the pain and get on with something. As you may have noticed, if you are a regular visitor to this blog, I have expanded the links to other blogs here at the right hand side. Please take a look.

I had toyed with the idea at one point of doing a post on my favourite tracks of the decade so far, but I suppose that may be a little premature at the moment. I wonder at what point monthly and weekly rock magazines have to start making their decisions about this? (And at what point to record companies start issuing, uh, inducements to persuade people to nominate certain albums.

But if you can’t sing along with favourite tracks, then you may as well listen to stuff that feels great.

Here are two for starters:

I had read about The Stills in NME, back in the days when I was a pretty regular reader of the magazine, regardless of who was on the cover (these days: Pete Doherty? Maybe. Syd Barrett? Definitely. Oasis? It’s 2006, not 1995, people. Kate Bush or Robert Smith or Aretha Franklin? I wish…) I bought the Rememberese 7″ and was not disappointed by the lead track:

The Stills -’Still In Love Song.’mp3

Buy Rememberese (US version) or UK version

Another band I fell for pretty early on this decade, and am genuinely delighted that they have done well are Bloc Party. They may fit in with a lot of the new wave of post-punk or whatever you want to call it (Franz Ferdinand, the Rapture, the Futureheads et al) but there’s just something so vital about this track. I remember having to order this from my local indie store when it came out, but a year later it was a HIT. The world needs Bloc Party. Some bands do justify the hype, and this is one of them. The quitar interplay on this track is like Television on 78 rpm (note: if you don’t know what this means, ask your Mum. Vinyl rules!) I’m on Fire!

Bloc Party -’Banquet.’ mp3

Buy Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm

…Scuse me, what’s that? Speak up, I’m an old man, can’t hear you (selective deafness is almost as necessary as eyes in the back of your head for a teacher). I’ve whetted your appetite. Good, good.

The Stills – ‘Retour a Vega.’ mp3

The Stills – ‘In The Beginning.’ mp3

Buy Logic Will Break Your Heart and Without Feathers

Bloc Party -’Helicopter (Whitey remix).’ mp3

Buy Silent Alarm Remixed