I’ve written before about my favourite film on here, Withnail and I.

So today, I thought (in an attempt not to focus on the disappointing match result at home), I would post about my second favourite film ever, If…

Directed by Lindsay Anderson and introducing Malcolm MacDowell to the world (who would go on to star in A Clockwork Orange, perhaps the ultimate in cult films), the film came out in 1968. I didn’t see it until I was sixteen, in 1993. Let’s just say the idea of public school boys turning on the authorities kinda appealed. The film also cut between black and white and colour, not because of any stylistic reasons like The Wizard Of Oz or In Bed With Madonna, but more to do with Anderson’s problems in managing the budget.

MacDowell would reprise his role as Mick Travis in two subsequent films by Lindsay Anderson, O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital.

This piece of music, from the Belgian Congo* was recorded in 1958. This was an LP my Mum found and bought to me (I think in the same haul that also produced vinyl copies of The Wall and the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey
). It features throughout If…

This recording is scratchy but nothing can diminish its’ simplicity and power.

Les Troubadours du Roi Bedouin -‘Sanctus.’ mp3

And in case you missed this before, this plays over the opening credits of Withnail and I:

King Curtis -‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale.’ mp3

* As it was then, this is not a condoning of colonial policy of any country

Some covers for Friday


It’s been a while since I posted any cover versions on a Friday…so why not?

No theme…just some great songs, done well.

The Breeders -‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun (Beatles cover).’ mp3

Delgados ‘California Uber Alles (Dead Kennedys cover).’ mp3

Franz Ferdinand -‘Womanizer (Britney Spears cover).’ mp3

Kathryn Williams -‘All Apologies (Nirvana cover).’ mp3

Voxtrot -‘Love Vigilantes (New Order cover).’ mp3

Cat Power -‘We Dance (Pavement cover).’ mp3

Teenage Fanclub -‘Nothing To Be Done (Pastels cover).’ mp3

Kate Nash -‘Men’s Needs (Cribs cover).’ mp3

Honeyroot -‘Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover).’ mp3

Jimi Hendrix Experience -‘All Along The watchtower (Bob Dylan cover).’ mp3

Presenting…The Very Best


I can occasionally be a wee bit shallow with the stuff that I get sent here on 17 Seconds.

because i get deluged with stuff to listen to, sometimes some of it gets put in a file for weeks on end. However, given that one email contained the word ‘M.I.A.’ I had to open it, and I’m glad I did.

Accoridng to their press release, back in 2007, a meeting at a second-hand furniture store led Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya to team up with underground European DJ/producer duo Radioclit to form The Very Best. having prodiced a highly rated mixtape, they are now going on to release their debut album on violently cool London label Moshi Moshi entitled warm Heart Of Africa. As well as the aforementioned collaboration with M.I.A., the album also features Ezra Keonig from Vampire Weekend.

M.I.A. is currently best known for the hit ‘Paper Planes’ from her sophomore LP Kala, but both it and her debut, Arular showed that she was giving a new definition to terms like ‘Urban’ and ‘Hip-Hop’ and Global* music. Give these two tracks a listen and prepare to be impressed.

The Very Best -‘Yalira.’ mp3

The Very Best -‘Rain Dance (featuring M.I.A.).’ mp3

* World music is perhaps the silliest label for music ever, and borders on patronising.

This links here may also shed more light…

Their myspace is here

Does there have to be a reason?


I’ve enjoyed the stuff I have heard by Death Cab For Cutie, yet the best thing I have ever heard by Ben Gibberd remains this track of indie-electronica.

It’s a song that reminds me of travelling…It reminds of of being in the US in 2004, having finally made it there at the age of 27, and takes me back to a sunny Manhattan in May. And trying to convince two German friends of the parent album – Give Up that it really was great and should stay in the car stereo beyond track 4. It didn’t. Never mind. The album soundtracked the long train journey to Oban and back later that year for my first ever Stag night (cheers, Rob!)

And the cover by Iron & Wine, as heard on the garden State soundtrack was good too, even if I nearly got annoyed wth two American kids talking about it as a cover that Postal Service had done on a tube late one night in London in 2005.

The Postal Service -‘Such Great Heights.’ mp3

Why reinvent the wheel?


It would be rare that I would spend time on 17 Seconds to write about music that I’m not sure about (scathing reviews for recent albums by Chris Cornell and the Boy Least Likely To aside).

Howver, I was quite pleased to get an mp3 of a re-recording of ‘Glass’ by Gang Of Four, which originally appeared on their seminal (and i don’t use that word lightly) LP Entertainment! A debut so strong that there are very few which beat it, although possibly You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever or Blue Lines might just do it. Then I listened to it.

Somehow, this version just leaves me cold. If they had never recorded an original version I would think it was okay, yet somehow…where’s the sparkle? No, they’re not going through the motions whilst worrying about depleted pensions, but this is so lukewarm.

Gang Of Four -‘Glass (2009).’ mp3

Thoughts, please?

(and if you haven’t heard the original, go here)

The return of Boris


One day I will do a post on the leading lights of the Japanese music scene…

…but for now, check out this track by Boris. Boris have collaborated with Merzbow and Sunn o))), amongst others, and now they are about to unleash a remix album, as part of a series by Scion, which I know next to nothing about but follow this link here. Buzz in is from last year’s rather excellent Smile album, for fans of the likes of the Melvins, Sunno ))), Earth, OM etc.., and is remixed by Glasgow’s Optimo.

Boris -‘Buzz In.’ mp3

…and just in case you haven’t heard the original (tut, tut) here it is:

Boris -‘Buzz In.’ mp3

As ever, I would like to know what you think.

Presenting…Cold Cave


How do Matador do it?

Yet again, they have signed another totally awesome-sounding band, who have managed to sweep me off my feet, aurally speaking, anyway, with a couple of mp3s.

Cold Cave actually issued their debut album, Love Comes Close, last month on their own label Heartworm Press. Matador not being a label to let the grass grow beneath their feet have snapped them up and will be re-issuing the album in the first week of November.

This is gorgeous electro, which is perfectly now, and leaves La Roux and Little Boots standing, in my opinion. According to the Matador website :’Cold Cave is led by musical journeyman Wesley Eisold and is joined by an orbiting line-up that includes fellow allies Caralee McElroy (formerly of Xiu Xiu), Dominick Fernow (contemporary noise icon Prurient) and Max G. Morton (celebrated author).’

So, yet again, Matador have their fingers well and truly on the pulse so well it’s almost painful. I love ’em.

These two mp3s have been made available…see what you think!

Cold Cave -‘Laurels of erotomania.’ mp3

Cold Cave -‘life magazine.’ mp3

Cold cave website/Cold Cave Myspace

New Radiohead song


Yes indeed, not a week after they issued a new track in memory of Harry Patch (see their Myspace), a new Radiohead track is circulating.

‘These Are My Twisted Words’ is being billed as a new track, though it would fit in with In Rainbows, the album where they seemed to come to terms with all their conflicting urges.

I cannot seem to find out whether this is the precursor to a new album or EP, or a one-off but whatever…I think it’s rather fantastic…but what do you think?

Radiohead -‘These are My Twisted Words.’ mp3

Radiohead’s Myspace

The return of the Cinematics


The Cinematics are back and will release their new album Love and Terror next month. The Glasgow band (Ross Bonney on drums, Adam Goemans on bass, Scott Rinning on lead vocals and guitar and new guitarist Larry Reid) have upped their game and the indications are definitely that they have made a massive leap forward with this release on from their 20007 debut A Strange Education. Another single will be out before the release of the album entitled ‘New Mexico.’

The title track is out now as a download, and I have been sent an mp3 of the radio edit which I am welcome to share with you.

The Cinematics -‘Love and Terror.’ mp3

The Cinematics website/The Cinematics myspace

Let me know what you think…