Thursday, 31 December 2009
In a shonky car, driven
By a bunch of clowns
There is a first ever honour for a circus ringmaster, with 73-year-old
Norman Barrett of Zippo's Circus becoming an MBE.
"This is a real boost for circus and in my view gives the art form the
recognition it truly deserves and, sadly in modern times, so rarely
gets," he said.
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Monday, 28 December 2009
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Friday, 25 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Monday, 21 December 2009
weekend with my religious father. I lost count of the amount of times
I stopped myself from saying "Jesus Christ!" by changing it to "Jeeez-".
Then again, he just did a massive fart in the bathroom, so he's no
A photograph from Brazil;
Too many cheeses.
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Saturday, 19 December 2009
2 Smog - A River Ain't Too Much To Love
3 Joanna Newsom - Ys
4 The Kingsbury Manx - The Fast Rise and Fall of the South
5 Panda Bear - Person Pitch
6 Radiohead - Kid A
7 Delgados - Hate
8 King Creosote - Rocket DIY
9 Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan
10 Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
11 James Yorkston - Just Beyond the River
12 Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - How I Long To Feel That Summer In My Heart
13 White Stripes - White Blood Cells
14 Alasdair Roberts - Spoils
15 Stephen Malkmus - Real Emotional Trash
16 Mogwai - the Hawk is Howling
17 Mount Eerie - Lost Wisdom
18 Spiritualized - Let it Come Down
19 Super Furry Animals - Mwng
20 Low - Things We Lost in the Fire
21 Beck - Sea Change
22 Bonnie Prince Billy - Master and Everyone
23 Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
24 PG Six - The Well of Memory
25 PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
26 Air - 10000Hz Legend
27 Stereolab - Sound Dust
28 Arcade Fire - Funeral
29 Spoon - Kill The Moonlight
30 Edan - Beauty and the Beat
31 Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
32 Telepathe - Dance Mother
Friday, 18 December 2009
8. King Creosote - Rocket DIY
Though I can't for this, as youtube seems sadly devoid of songs from this wonderful album. King Creosote is amazing, he can take you through every emotion in the space of one song. And that voice! Plus he's a lovely fella to boot. The song to look for most from this is The Someone Else. It's simply stunning.
7. Delgados - Hate
6. Radiohead - Kid A
5. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
4. The Kingsbury Manx - The Fast Rise and Fall of the South
3. Joanna Newsom - Ys
2. Smog - A River Ain't Too Much To Love
1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part
So there you have it. I wasn't necessarily expecting that to be number one (I thought it'd be Smog or Joanna Newsom) but as soon as I thought about it and listened to it again it was unmoveable.
16. Mogwai - The Hawk is Howling
While other Mogwai albums this decade contained the odd song that was an absolute belter, I think this is their most coherent album since 'Young Team'. The highs are breathtaking and exhilarating, and there aren't any lows.
15. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash
Much as I love Pavement, I'm a little bit disappointed that they're reforming now, given that this is pretty much my favourite album as a whole that Stephen Malkmus has done. There's so much power to it, so many hooks, and his guitar playing is better than ever. It's full of moments that make you want to punch the air. Also, recruiting Janet Weiss on drums was a masterstroke.
14. Alasdair Roberts - Spoils
There were a number of Ali Roberts albums that could have made it on to this list, but I thought I'd go with his most recent, simply because it's his most complete album to date. I really can't wait to see how his future albums develop.
13. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
Not much you can say about this that hasn't been said, but it still sounds fucking amazing today.
12. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - How I Long To Feel That Summer in My Heart
A beautiful, beautiful album. Gorkys' songwriting had been maturing for a few albums prior to this (not that that's always a good thing), but this saw a real peak, and Euros Childs' voice never sounded so sweet.
How I Long
11. James Yorkston & The Athletes - Just Beyond The River
James Yorkston is one of my favourite songwriters in the world. If I were any good at writing songs (and I do try), I'd want them to sound like his.
10. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Earlier in the year I thought that the latest AC album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, might usurp this as my favourite, but I kept coming back to Strawberry Jam. Like the Malkmus album, it's just full of hooks and punch the air moments, yet still with that sense of wonder you always get with them. It's their best album.
9. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan...
Ah, lovely Sufjan. While the 50 States idea was probably an ill advised project to embark on, this is worth all the trouble. He's an incredible songwriter and musician, with a voice that just makes you want to cry. If he doesn't make any more albums (which he has hinted at) he has left us with some works of absolute beauty. Such as...
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
How can you watch this and not hear that discordant kind of toy jazz music, the like of which soundtracked 1970's Belgian kids shows.
Plinky Plonky Wizz
Honk honk PARP fumbo loola
Goes the octopus
Not the best known, this one, but it's one of the most affecting records I've ever heard. British folk revival-influenced US mountain music, with a strong drone-psych thread...but better than that probably sounds. P.G. Six (aka Pat Gubler) also provided one of my gigs of the decade too, that this clip was taken from:
23. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
Sure, it's fairly straightforward American indie music, but it's rarely done quite as perfectly as this
22. Bonnie Prince Billy - Master and Everyone
Will Oldham is The Don, and this is one of the greatest albums in the entire American songbook. That's three albums in a row where I've mention America.
21. Beck - Sea Change
While subsequent albums have been pretty good I'd say that this was Beck's last great album. Full of pathos and beauty, and ideal for wallowing to.
20. Low - Things We Lost in the Fire
Even though it would be quite easy to regard Low as making miserable music, I find it strangely spiritual, and therefore uplifting. I'm not religious, so music and nature are the closest I get to spirituality. That looks less profound written down.
19. Super Furry Animals - Mwng
There were other contenders (Phantom Power particularly), but SFA have never sounded so carefree as they do on this album. The melodies are among their most beautiful. Sometimes I wish I could understand what they were singing about on it, but in a way I'm kind of glad I can't.
18. Spiritualized - Let it Come Down
While Ladies and Gentlemen... will no doubt go down as Jason Pierce's magnum opus, I regard Let It Come Down as having his strongest collection of songs, bar none.
17. Mt Eerie - Lost Wisdom
An album born of pain and solitude, as delicate and ephemeral as ash in the wind
More to follow tomorrow!
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Ok, here we go...
32. Telepathe - Dance Mother
A contender straight in from this year, one of the most interesting, vital albums I've heard all year. They're cool and they know it, but I kind of like that about them...
31. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
Still sounds absolutely beautiful. I don't know if he'll ever do anything better.
30. Edan - Beauty and the Beat
How this guy isn't a superstar I don't know. It's a rap album, yet so much more than just that. It's psychedelic, it's heavy, it's funky, with rhymes as sharp as a tack. A massive album.
Rock & Roll (feat. MC Dagha)
29. Spoon - Kill The Moonlight
In terms of consistency Spoon are one of the bands of the decade - any of their albums could have made this list, but it's difficult to top this one.
28. The Arcade Fire - Funeral
I wasn't going to include this, as you couldn't move for the Arcade Fire a few years ago and I got a bit tired of them...but then I listened to it again. It is a masterpiece.
27. Stereolab - Sound Dust
Their last album with poor lovely Mary Hanson and, in my opinion, their best.
26. Air - 10,000Hz Legend
After the massive success of Moon Safari this was their response: proggy, difficult in parts, but the more you listened to it the more it rewards you. Still sounds exciting today.
25. PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
The album where everything came together. It's breathtaking.
Will I scupper my
Chances by calling them, or
By not calling them?
Monday, 14 December 2009
The passing trains don't
Know who's on which one, or which
Way they're both heading
Please don't bite my feet,
And do you want a biscuit
From the buffet car?
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Jazz fans, eh. ""The gentleman said this was not jazz and that he wanted his money back," said the festival director, Ricardo Checa." But just look at the name of the group in question!
Larry Ochs Sax and
Drumming Core: if that ain't jazz
I don't know what is
I love this poster:
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
It would be nice to
See some remorse, but I'm not
Holding my breath. Twats.
If in doubt (or a syllable short), add a swear word.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
The prospect of commercial space flight is all very exciting really, and the craft itself looks fantastic. I would like to have a go on it myself, if I had a spare £121,000 knocking about. I don't know if the done thing is to knock Richard Branson, but I don't mind him at all. He's worked really hard, and now he's spending his money on the kind of things that lots of people would in his position, given the chance. However...
Branson: decent guy,
But that ginger goatee has
Really got to go
Disclaimer: if I grow a beard it invariably goes all ginger too, so I FEEL HIS PAIN.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Not my most sophisticated effort today, but this story made me laugh (not literally). It reminded me of a nature programme I saw once where there was an extended tortoise sex scene. It proved quite uncomfortable viewing; the male tortoise (let's call him Victor Meldrew) walked around the female, headbutting her shell, then spent an age trying to get on top of her, then when he did made this strange throat-clearing sound while the female looked completely bored. It's funny how life often imitates life.
I once saw a show
About tortoises shagging.
It was disgusting
Sunday, 6 December 2009
The created is
Destroying its creator.
Just like in the films
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Which is all very good, but Bob Dylan's voice reinvention over his last few albums is reminiscent of something else...
I love Bob Dylan,
But he sounds like a muppet
Or yoda these days
Speaking of these days:
Friday, 4 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Which made me think about this:
Which made me write this:
Hey Doc, would you like
To check my pulse? It's beating
Nice and hard for you
Not all of my posts will be frivolous. But sometimes frivolity is better than fake sincerity.
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Don't buy eggs from those
Foreign folk. They smell and we
Distrust them deeply
Classic Daily Express idiocy: http://enemiesofreason.blogspot.com/2009/12/bloody-eggs-coming-over-here-stealing.html