Archive for September, 2007

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Office space

September 27, 2007

cubicle land

This last week, I’ve been confronted with how unstable the private sector world really is – where your job can be at the whim of shareholders on the other side of the world. Or how office politics can make things more difficult than they need to be.

A song that captures that tension beautifully is the jerky and raucous “Middle Management” by the otherwise sedate Bishop Allen.

Reasons it’s perfect:

1. Amazing punky guitar riff.

2. Call and response bridge.

3. “Alright!” shouted repeatedly.

Oh, don’t take my word. Listen to it yourself.

Bishop Allen – “Middle Management”

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Elder stateswomen

September 24, 2007

When I went through a major trip-hop kick around the turn of the century, Everything But The Girl’s “Temperamental” and “Walking Wounded” albums were regular listening. They still stand up pretty well as examples of late-90s electro-pop and the jungly beats haven’t dated badly. But it’s been a long time and music has moved on a lot.

So what do we make of Tracey Thorn’s solo album circa 2007? This from a woman who already reinvented herself in the mid-90s as an indie dance icon after a decade and a half of soft jazz-pop?

Well, “Out of the Woods” has been playing at my place for a while and it’s definitely grown on me. The evolution from late EBTG is smaller than may be expected given the time elapsed, but it’s no retro throwback. And there are a couple of tracks at the end of the album that make me very happy indeed, including a mellow piano ballad and a dancey showstopper.

Have motherhood and middle-age finished Tracey Thorn? I strongly doubt it.

Tracey Thorn – By Piccadilly Station I Sat Down And Wept

Tracey Thorn – Raise The Roof

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Lazy daze

September 23, 2007

Pinback

It’s a sunny Sunday here in Sydney, Australia – the kind of lazy afternoon when you make yourself a gigantic sandwich with steak and caramelised onions and avocado and baby spinach that dissolves in your mouth. It’s an immensely satisfying experience and is only enhanced by just the right musical soundtrack.

Lucky for me, I’ve recently got hold of Californian band Pinback’s newie “Autumn of the Seraphs”. If you’re familiar with their last three albums of idiosyncratic, laidback indie rock, this one is no big surprise. It still sounds to me like Fugazi in an especially genial mood or a less demented Modest Mouse. This one continues on from 2004’s “Summer in Abbadon” by introducing a slightly harder edge, but it’s not as if they’ve gone punk rock. It’s still ideal for a hipster BBQ.

A pretty little standout from the album is “Good to Sea” – I hope it suits your mood too.

Pinback – “Good to Sea”

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TGIF

September 21, 2007

Yes, it’s been one of those weeks. Busy, busy, busy. So hopefully you’ve got something good planned for the weekend and this song by Def Jux Records artiste El-P will be appropriate – if not in sound, then at least title.

“Up All Night” has got that Def Jux dystopian hip-hop sound perfectly encapsulated in a lean under-three-minute track. Producto spits his rhymes with barely controlled agression and the beats are propulsive and mean.

My favourite bit: the hook-line, “We might have been born yesterday, but we stayed up all night”. So get that end of week frustration out of your system with this track – it’ll be therapeutic.

El-P – “Up All Night”

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Remix heaven

September 20, 2007

sugababes.jpg

It’s not a new track, but it’s just been included on a new compilation of remixes from German electro duo M.A.N.D.Y. The song is “Round Round” by the Sugababes and Philipp and Patrick (with some help from Booka Shade) turned it into a electro-house anthem back in 2002.

Electro is a bit of a new passion for me and this is easily the most delicious and dance-floor ready track on 12 Great Remixes for 11 Great Artists. Given that I’m not even averse to the original track (the Sugas have always been a few notches better than their girl-group peers), it’s something that I am keen to share with the world.

For maximum listening pleasure, I recommend you turn all your lights off bar one and wave your hand back and forth. Just like a real strobe light! Amazing!

Sugababes – Round Round (M.A.N.D.Y. Remix)

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Bingo nite

September 18, 2007

My friend Emma is always talking about taking us along to a bingo night, probably down at some church hall in the suburbs full of old biddies. When it happens it will be fun. And when it does, I want Jens Lekman to be playing.

The Swedish twee-pop powerhouse has released his excellent new full-length Night Falls on Kortedala and it is jam-packed with goodness. Especially the closing track, which is precisely about going to bingo. And you try naming another good song on the same theme…

Jens Lekman – Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo

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Brave new world

September 13, 2007

This isn’t my first experience of mp3 blogging – I wrote for the Stypod for over a year – but it is my first dedicated mp3 blog.  I hope that I can offer a semi-regular dose of music: new, old, edgy, mainstream, whatever.  Songs are likely to run the gamut of indie rock, electro pop, death metal, alt country, classic soul, neo-soul, backpack rap, gangsta, hardcore, emo and any other genre – so be prepared.