Wednesday, 9 May 2007

This Is The End

I don't know if anyone even bothers reading this but as you can see, this is the first post for almost three months, and it's the last one. I've decided that there were other fish to fry (i.e I wanted to listen to whatever I wanted whenever I wanted - isn't that the point of these iPod deely-boppers anyway?) so farewell to the blog. If someone else makes money from this idea - I'll see you in court. Cheers.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Staggering and stumbling through F.

FM - Cornelius
Foods - Group_Inou
For Screening Purposes Only - Test Icicles
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood - Neko Case
Frances the Mute - The Mars Volta
Frankenchrist - Dead Kennedys
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Free the Bees - The Bees
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables - Dead Kennedys
From A Basement on the Hill
- Elliot Smith

A week's worth of music, a fairly wide variety of styles and artists, and I find myself with nothing much to say. This blog is starting to resemble the condemned prisoner that no-one will talk to because everyone knows what's coming soon. Is there likely to be a reprieve?

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Damn Achilles' Heel

Flux Trax - Various Artists

As with almost every plan that I ever come up with there is a substantial flaw in the one I outlined in my last post. Listening to the albums at home is all good and well but what's going to happen to all the random moments of perfect synchronicity and utter incongruity? Listening to the albums at home means that never again will I have Metallica blasting their way through the mental cobwebs as I sit jammed into the corner of a packed morning train. Likewise, it means that never again will I sit through the somnolent strummings of Mazzy Star as I head home on a Friday night, hatching plans for the weekend's bacchanalia.

Flux Trax is a perfect case in point. I'm with the bloke on the discogs website who says this is one of the best compilations ever. Look at the track listing and tell me, how you can possibly go wrong with it? I bought this album twelve years ago and it still sounds remarkable today, even without drugs. It would have been an ideal Monday morning soundtrack - "16 classic techno cuts" (according to the blurb) jack-hammering my skull into submission as I try not to inhale the Satanically rancid breath of the salaryman sitting next to me. Instead I listened to it as I sat whiling away a Sunday afternoon at home. This blog is barely justified in the first place, but that's just taking the piss. It looks like I'm going to have to work out some kind of shift system. Is this what it's like when you have two children? You have to try and balance your time between the older and younger ones? Fuck that for a lark.

Thursday, 1 February 2007


As was pointed out in a comment to my last post (the one that was written when my trip to Vietnam was an impending adventure rather than a distant memory) I haven't done much round these parts recently. The reasons I gave, flimsy as the may seem, are nevertheless true. I don't want this blog to go the way of so many others and I am determined to see it through to the end, mainly because it's probably the only way I'll ever get through every song on the fucking thing and be in a position to honestly know what to keep and what to dump. So, some changes are in the offing. Instead of listening to the albums as I travel to and from work I'm going to listen to them at home and actually give myself time to write about them. This'll probably take more time but I'm sure there's a corny saying out there somewhere about the best things taking a while, so fuck it.

Let's call the last few weeks my winter break - I'm now back, refreshed and ready to go (that may or may not be utter bollocks), so bring it on.

Thursday, 21 December 2006

I'm off

First Impressions of Earth - The Strokes
Five Leaves Left - Nick Drake

This is my final post this year as the iPod Challenge is off on holiday for a couple of weeks. I'm taking my iPod with me but I won't be posting and I'll be listening to whatever the hell I goddamn feel like. I've also been given one of the new iPod Shuffles for Christmas (hence the lack of 'challenge' over the last couple of days) and that's going too. I had my doubts about the Shuffle but I've come to realise it's like listening to the best radio station ever - i.e the one where you're the controller, the playlist compiler, the DJ, and the listener. Nary a duff track in sight, which is more than can be said for The Strokes recent outing. There's still flashes of brilliance but the piss-poor Iggy rip-off of Heart In A Cage is certainly not one of them. I still think there's hope for them yet, but they were always going to struggle after the hype that surrounded them at first, and the level they set themselves with Is This It?

Nick Drake is Nick Drake - what else can I say? Actually, I have a theory about Nick Drake but now is not the time to go into it. I have more of his albums on the iPod so I can expound at a later date (that'll bring you back, won't it?).

OK, to paraphrase, I'm tired and I want to go to bed. Happy Christmas your arse, all the best, I'm offski.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Just a quickie

Final Straw - Snow Patrol
Finally Woken - Jem

A quick update. As I mentioned before, Final Straw and I got acquainted at a particularly messy time of my life and it got to me more than I think it would have done at another time. Now when I listen to it I can here that it's a decent enough album but the lyrics are mostly in the vaguely sensitive vein favoured by Chris Martin et al. Will the first track of this album ever be toppled from the number one spot in my Top 25? It'll take some doing as I think the next song is about twenty plays behind. All these statistics, do you think the iPod was perchance designed by a man?

Finally Woken is a girlfriend choice and I think it may have been a drunken one. For a while, the first track of the album, They was played constantly on Mark Radcliffe's Radio 2 show and it didn't sound too bad. However, a whole album of Jem is a too much. The production is superb - each track sounds completely different as the album swings through genres, grabbing bits from everywhere - Tricky, classical music, The Neptunes - but Jem's voice divests the record of any intrigue it may have held. She is lumbered with the same sort of blandness as Dido, making this album sound mostly like an Ikea advert. It's a pity - with a stronger vocal performance this could have been something special.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Effin' Hell

False Flags (single) - Massive Attack
Family is for Sharing - Brothers in Sound
Fashion Nugget (only one track - I Will Survive) - Cake
Feel Good Lost - Broken Social Scene
Fever to Tell - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Fight Club SE - The Dust Brothers

OK, I promise I will try and stop the horrendously bad puns that have made up the last couple of post titles, but it's Friday, it's been a long week, and 'Effin' Hell' is the best I can come up with. So far, so effin' good (sorry, I have no control over what I write - you may have noticed). False Flags sounded like a decent return to form for Massive Attack. I've got 100th Window but it is the least played Massive Attack album I own. The others are inviolable classics, each of them with the power to take me back to the place I first heard them and recreate an entire period of my life in my head. Sometimes this makes for uneasy listening but it's surely a sign of a great album.

Cake are a band that I always thought I'd hate - one trick pony smart arses who had one decent idea and flogged the fucker to death. My girlfriend lent me some of their albums and I was surprised to hear that they weren't actually that bad. This however, was downloaded when I only wanted to hear this song, hence its solitary nature. I remember reading somewhere that one test of whether a cover version was worthwhile or not was to ask if it added anything new or unique to the original. I think it's fair to say that Cake's reworking of I Will Survive fulfills this criteria as it removes every last ounce of disco glitter and turns the song into a tired but resolute 'fuck you' to the man/woman who's done the dirty on the singer. I like it when bands surprise me - I wonder if there's anything Babyshambles could do to make see a reason for their continued existence?

Two final points - I think Fever to Tell has been the first album that I've listened to in this challenge that has made me wish I hadn't buried it away on my iPod. I borrowed it from a friend because I'd fallen in love with the track Pin the last time I'd been back in the UK. This song made it on to numerous playlists on my iPod but I don't think I gave the album itself much more than a cursory listen. Shows you what I know about music - it's fucking fantastic. It batters along with a verve that most current 'rock' bands can only dream about. Karen O sounds like the re-incarnation of every punky female singer that melted my over-eager teenage heart, and the musicians are tighter than the duck's nether regions. They're definitely not getting punted off the iPod. Not sure I can say the same for the Fight Club soundtrack, though. I loved the film and the novel but certain soundtracks shouldn't be listened to in isolation. In the film it was there in the background, helping create the atmosphere that made the film so successful. On its own it sounds like a lost child clattering noisily around the supermarket trying to find their mother. I'm listening to it as I write this and praying for the moment when Where Is My Mind? kicks in at the end.