Friday, 21 October 2011

What I’ve been listening to on the train this week

Oh look, look, look - IT’S FRIDAY (well, at least it is when I’m writing this on the 17:58 from Liverpool Street to Colchester).

Since my post about music listening as a commuter last week I’ve been thinking it might be quite nice to wheel out the old “What I’ve been listening to this week” pieces. But, seeing as my music listening tends to be done hurtling down a railway line these days I’ll change the title to “What I’ve been listening to on the train this week”. Clever, huh? I don’t work in corporate communications for nothing. Well, actually I haven’t been paid yet, so that’s completely up for debate.

So, aye, here goes the first of my weekly columns about train music listening. Can I just say now, there’s no Stone Roses in this. Firstly, because I haven’t listened to them this week (or this decade). But I have listened to a lot of people go on and on and on about how it’s going to be the best thing ever. Forever. And ever. But it’s not . Because Ian Brown can’t sing; Reni looks a little like the unhinged middle-aged dad he is; John Squire is (quite rightly) a bit embarrassed by his own acquiescence with the whole thing; Mani was in a better band; and, anyway, it’s all about the love (not the money and certainly not the music).


Sunset Rubdown
Inspired by a post on the DiS forums, I’ve been tuning into the Sunset Rubdown’s back catalogue all week. Shut up I’m Dreaming was the record I thought Spencer Krug could never top, but then along came Dragonslayer, plastered in medieval rollicks, impenetrable metaphors and massive ball-dropping crescendos, and shoved a big fat sky-crashing rocket into my lugholes. Awesome. Plus I spoke to him a few years back and he was a cantankerous grouchy sod. Which makes him infinitely better in my head. I fucking hate compliant interviewees.

What an immense find. The offshoot of Jackie O’Motherfucker, Tunnels is austere narcoleptic electronica that sounds as if it’s been brewed in the belly of some East Berlin laboratory in the early 70s. Harsh, brooding, pounding; it’s got all the anatomy of archetypal Kraut-tronica, but meshed within are stinking undertones of punk anarchy that kinda goes something like: grr....chk….grr…chk…chk…grr….grrr…crunch

Tunnels - Deux by sweatingtapes

David Byrne
The sound of 70 other people snoring and farting at six in the morning does unseemly things to the equilibrium of a man’s mind. David Byrne’s solo LP was my only sanctuary in the beat up bellows of a London hostel a few weeks back. In such a predicament Byrne’s sweet whispering melodies are the only thing that get you through unscathed. They tell you everything’s going to be okay; this isn’t going to scar you; you’ll be fine; just go to a green, grassy distant land and think pleasant, soothing things. Which is what I did.

Loney, Dear
Normally I don’t care for the whimsical bullcrap that’s all too readily churned out from Scandinavia and salivated over by oh-so twee shitbags, but having been cornered by Loney Dear’s latest LP Hall Music for the purposes of a review I have to admit it’s a record that’s slowly creeping up on me. Which sounds a bit pervy. Maybe it is. Either way, it's definitely not a record for those who hate camomile pop with a teaspoon of fey, but it’s got a bit of stick - sort of like one of those weird, gloopy stretch hand things you used to fling at a window that were fun until they were coated in pocket fluff and turned out absolutely useless and a bit manky. Not that Loney, Dear are, mind. They're just alright.

Dirty Projectors and Bjork
Collaborations are usually R.U.B.B.I.S.H. Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks this? I’m fairly sure there’s probably been a few okayish ones of late that I can’t remember while I’m sitting on this train, yet most of them have been hideous catastrophes (and the jury’s still out on that overbloated bastard of a love-in by Kanye and the Jizza). But, but, but.... Dirty Projetors and Bjork just sound right together, like they were meant to be forever and ever and ever - even if they’re crooning out some conceptual nonsense from the perspective of whales and mother ocean. Or something.

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