When I was at my folks’ house for Christmas, my Dad spent a morning playing some of his vinyl. I have that effect on people.
One of the records which had survived the great cull that three house moves in the space of 15 years inevitably brings, was this one, which I had completely forgotten about, and really enjoyed listening to again for the first time in…God knows how many years.
As we head towards 2018, times when the President of the United States can say things as idiotic as this:
…there’s an important message in this morning’s song.
And that message is not that Johnny Cash was really good at impersonating various musical instruments, though this is made all the finer for his efforts:
The Carter Family – The World Needs A Melody
Today’s nonsense backing vocals come courtesy of, to my mind, one of the most unique and most under-rated bands ever: Stereolab.
This track first appeared back in 1994 as one of the extra tracks on the Ping Pong EP, and later resurfaced on Oscillons from the Anti-Sun, a 2005 three-CD, one-DVD box set.
Coining a phrase that adequately describes Stereolab’s sound is no mean feat: I’ve seen terms such as post-rock, avant-pop, Marxist pop (one which the band objected to) used. I’m not great at identifying a genre or generating a pigeonhole into which a band can be shoved, but if I have to I’d plump for saying they’re sound is Euro-Space-Pop, and even then I’m only including the term Euro because more often than not, their lyrics were at least partly in French.
As is the case here. But don’t let that put you off; if you’ve never heard Stereolab before, here’s three good reasons why you should give this a listen:
- Because it’s chuffing well ace
- Because you’re life will be greatly enriched by having Stereolab in it
- Because I will be asking questions as you leave the auditorium to see what you’ve learned today.
Stereolab – Pain Et Spectacles
I’ve had this one lined up for….oh I don’t know how long.
Credit where credit’s due, I picked this up from the Godfather of Music Blogs, Jim over at The Vinyl Villain a few years ago; it’s just gorgeous, and, as we stumble into New Year’s Eve, appropriate:
Cousteau – The Last Good Day Of The Year