I Am The Mouth

Shortly after I came up with the idea for what is now a hypothetical Indie night (just to recap: this was to play the songs by Indie acts which got forgotten in favour of more established dance floor fillers; indie music for the discerning palate, if you will) I  met up with my older brother.

We had a few drinks and discussed, first and foremost, music; we’re a long way down the road from when we were kids and we’d rather expose ourselves on the school bus than admit to liking the same music as our sibling.

In fact, for the past twenty five to thirty years or so, we’ve both given each other tips and nudges (and the occasional mp3 or burnt CD, which we later went on to purchase from a reputable dealer) about who we were listening to and who we thought the other would like.

Anyway, in this conversation, we started talking about bands who most people (and I don’t mean you, discerning reader, of course) hadn’t heard of, but who had obviously influenced an artist who was very much “of the moment”.

So I decided to extend the remit of the “I Am The Mouth” night (which has never happened) to include songs which had clearly made an impact on current acts.

And here are the two we were talking about. First, C86 stalwarts, The Shop Assistants:

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The Shop Assistants – Safety Net

and then, The Long Blondes:

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The Long Blondes – Once and Never Again

Hmmm. Now I listen to it again, that chord progression over the chorus reminds me of something else…

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The Smiths – I Want the One I Can’t Have

…which of course was borrowed for this Top Ten’er that I deftly avoided posting recently:

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The Housemartins – Happy Hour

More soon, don’t you know.

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Initial Thoughts

Look at this – not just back, but back with a new thread!

Quite a long time ago, I thought I might start writing what will undoubtedly end up being a very sporadic, intermittent thread, featuring songs by artists with initials in their name, or songs featuring the same, or both. I must confess, this idea was kind of bubbling just below the surface for a while and then was nudged up above water level by whoever it was (The Beard, I think) that suggested “EMF” by EMF a while ago on The Chain (remember that…? Stick around….).

Last night, I realised that I have a picture of today’s artist hanging up in my flat, yet have never posted a single song by her (apart from in The Chain, where she’s featured once, suggested by yours truly). Time to rectify that, I think.

So here we are, with the first record in an occasional series, and I can think of no finer way to kick things off than with a song which was written by Cat Stevens, covered by the likes of Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crow, and which Stevens himself released on his “New Masters” album in 1967 – shortly after today’s version was a hit.

Apparently, Stevens sold this song to today’s artiste for £30, which seems a fricking bargain, if you ask me. Her version was released first, and in my humble opinion, is the version which has never been bettered:

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P. P. Arnold – The First Cut is the Deepest

You know the drill by now: more soon.

Claps, Clicks & Whistles #8

Right then. I’ve been a little quiet of late, sorry about that, but sometimes life catches up with you.

Some of you will recall that a couple of weeks ago I recommended a film on Netflix called “Whiplash”, and I know that at least one of you took that on board, watched it, and agreed with me.

So here’s another recommendation on the same service: “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore”

I’ll be honest, I’d avoided it because of its title, it sounded a bit forlorn, too “It’s better to burn out than fade away”, but something made me give it a go the other night, and I’m happy to report that it was an hour and a half well spent.

Here’s the plot (no spoilers): Ruth (played by Melanie Lynskey – all through the film I was trying to work out where I knew her from. The answer: “Heavenly Creatures”, which she co-starred in with someone called Kate Winslett (I’ve no idea what happened to her) back in 1994), a socially awkward nursing assistant, returns home from a shift to find her house has been burgled. The police don’t seem to be overly interested, so she turns to a neighbour, Tony (Elijah Woods), who she had only previously encountered after his dog had shat on her lawn, for help, and the two set off on a cruise for justice.

I’ll say no more, other than if you enjoy a very dark comedy, you should give it a try.

Elijah Woods is an interesting one. He seems to have decided that he was going to make enough cash out of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy to start playing smaller, more interesting parts in more indie-ish productions. See also “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (one of the greatest films ever, in my book, despite Jim Carrey’s presence. Oh, and somebody called Winslett is in it too…) and he’s also in the Netflix adaptation of the much missed Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker…” follow up “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” (also worth a watch, from what I’ve seen so far).

Anyway, the other thing about “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” is the soundtrack, which veers from Echo & the Bunnymen, to country rock to doom rock (whatever that is) to hand-clap laden 50s doo-wop, like this:

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Judy & The Affections – Dum, Dum, De Dip

More soon.

A Good Friday

So, it’s Easter weekend again, and time for us all to pretend we’re devout Christians honouring a long-standing tradition, when really all we care about is the fact that we all get to stuff our faces with chocolate and, in the UK at least, enjoy a super long, four day weekend:

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The Bluetones – 4-Day Weekend

Yes! A whole four days to think about doing that bit of DIY you’ve been putting off for months, and which you’ll continue to think about until Monday when, suddenly aware that you’ve totally wasted the whole weekend, you’ll skulk off to B&Q and spend the rest of the day trying to construct a flat-pack chest of drawers, armed only with a knife masquerading as the screwdriver which you can’t find, several screws less than your supposed to have, and an instruction manual written in every language except English accompanied by the most confusing diagrams known to mankind.

But we shouldn’t ignore the real reason we get this extended break. So, here’s a little something which references the events which didn’t actually take place at all, let alone on this day (controversial, I know):

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!!! – Even Judas Gave Jesus a Kiss

Regulars will know that, despite not having a single religious bone in my body, I do love to post festive songs at Christmas but, as I pointed out in previous years, there just aren’t that many which can be linked to Easter celebrations, unless you go down the egg route, which I’m not going to.

So, here’s my tradition: posting this every year in all it’s outrageous, glorious campness:

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Army of Lovers – Crucified

More soon.