Five Musical Talking Points

1). ‘Pretty Beat Up’ by the Stones is the *actual* sound of too much cocaine.  Sums up the 80s.  Remember the helicopter at the start of Oasis’s ‘Be Here Know’ (the song was the seven minute ‘D’You Know What I Mean?’)?  This song is that song, for this band.

2).  Yeasayer’s album isn’t as strong as it could have been, or indeed, as people were expecting it to be.

3). ‘Run My Heart’ is the strongest track from Twin Shadow’s new album.  Part Springsteen, part Erasure, and very good.

4). Erasure’s strongest album is a title up for debate.  ‘Erasure’ is pretty good, but ‘Chorus’ is probably stronger in terms of core songwriting.

5). Whilst we’re on a Vince Clark tip, ‘Speak and Spell’ and ‘Upstairs at Eric’s’ are both great, but the later album (with Moyet, as ‘Yazoo’) is stronger.  ‘Only You’ remains one of the defining synth songs of the 80s and the lyric ‘This is going to take a long time / And I wonder what’s mine‘ is one of most evocative couplets about a break up of the entire decade.

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Unsigned Music – Swede Mason

I got something through from Glasswerk after a special request to Jack Cook to ‘give me something interesting’. Well, do you all love Neighbours? I used to watch it loads. A guy from New Cross has reworked famous Neighbours deaths into ambient and dance tracks. He’s called Swede Mason and he’s reachable at swedemason at hotmail dot com. If you send him your address and mention what you want – ‘Coffee & Croissants’ EP – then he’ll get back to you I’m sure. Mention Glasswerk too.

The Scala, Kings Cross – The Comedy, Soho – Monkey Nuts, Chalk Farm

Scoot, who plays lead guitar in the band that Joe is in, mentioned he’d heard of Cardiff-based The Rebecca Riots.  I think it’s because he goes to Wales to see his girlfriend Tild, but they are very good.  Here’s their website, and I’d recommend ‘Seroxat Babies’, partly I suppose because of the chorus and partly because of my own involvement with Prozac-derivatives.

‘Lost Sunday’ is the name of the collective (Joe Mahon, Scoot, Dan Walsh and someone called Sam) and, unplugged they sounded a bit like Dodgy.  This is no slur, though, because them being plugged in promises much.  Scoot’s a great lead guitarist and Dan needs some noise to cover his voice, way too big for acoustic music.  Also, Sam’s probably better on drums than on bongos, and Joe’s best moment of the gig was when he distorted the f*ck out of his bass amp, a feat I hope he repeats often in the coming ‘Lost Sunday’ gigs.

I hear General Khaki are signed and writing new songs, and the lead musicians are now romantically involved. Let’s hope they can become the new Eurythymics.  We await the album.

Also worth checking out:

The Boxer Rebellion are really pop-friendly indie, signed by Alan McGee, and so you know what to expect.  I’ve also heard good things about The Open and Thirteen Senses, but I was busy doing something else at the gig.   Afterwards I ate the biggest kebab I’ve ever eaten, and it’s scientifically proven that good gigs make you hungry.