Tag Archives: Primal Scream

Top tracks of 2016 #4 – Primal Scream, The Wytches, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

 

Earlier in the countdown, Roy nominated Primal Scream’s ‘100% Or Nothing’ from the ridiculously named but ludicrously good ‘Chaosmosis’ album. I usually allow myself at least one album track in my Twenty and this is it – the stunning Burning Rope. No video and hardly anything on Youtube, so here for the first time is a soundcloud embed, so you can just focus on the glory of the audio without any distractions.

For me Primal Scream are never better than with gospel choir assistance. I remember seeing this live at the London Palladium and still recall having to duck as Roy flung his arms (very) wide at around 3:14 to sing along, perhaps preparing for the exultation he would feel at the European Championships in the summer.

Scroll down for some interesting choices from Roy & Andy, plus the countdown so far is here.

Top tracks of 2016 #11 – The Kills, Temples & Primal Scream

Are videos still a ‘thing’ now? This year I saw the wonderful film Sing Street – all about a young Irish band in the 80s and their Duran/Cure inspired attempts to shoot mini epics on the streets of Dublin, which left me wondering how many videos nowadays don’t always make much of an effort, tending to be either performance based, or increasingly the artist is not in the video at all,  as it is handed over to a film-maker mate to do a video that echoes the song (or not).

I guess this is because there is no real broadcast place for videos nowadays, no TOTP exclusive – TV is obsessed with live performance now, so promos exist in the hazy non-linear world of YouTube.

With that in mind it is nice to see The Kills making an effort with this one – not least being bothered to turn up and actually be in it as well. I also liked the follow up single, Heart of A Dog, but the video shades it for me, which has a ‘can’t have been cheap’ 80s vibe to it.

Contributions from Andy & Roy below – our best day yet? Also the list so far is here

 

 

The Best of 2016 So Far

As seems to have become traditional – well Andy reminded me last week, here are my favourite tracks of the year so far. Some may make it into my end of year list, some may fall by the wayside.  A strong start I would say, with an interesting mix of returning long distance runners, plus some new (to me) artists.

To kick off, here’s  the first track on Underworld’s ‘Barbara Barbara, We Have A Shining Future’. It’s not a ‘return to form’ as in my view they have never lost form. It’s been quite a career, encompassing ‘Born Slippy’ the rave generation’s Bohemian Rhapsody and providing the music for the Olympic Opening Ceremony, in which visuals and music combined to win over even the most cynical of non-patriotic hearts.  They claim to have had a blast recording this album and this video seems to reflect that.

 

The video for Daughter’s ‘How’ seems to reflect the growing trend for artists not to appear in their own videos, but instead to commission mini indie movies – see also Elbow and a whole album from Suede.  Yet another song on this blog with a Slowdive influence, but I can also hear shades of The Sundays as well.

 

Mogwai’s ‘Ether’ takes the shimmering soundscapes up a notch – this is truly lovely, slowly building from a start that is, well, ethereal, into an anthemic instrumental. That reminds me of something on my ‘to do’ list for this blog – a list of recommended instrumental tracks.  Stay tuned.

 

The Mystery Jet’s latest album, ‘The Curve Of The Earth’ is excellent and they remain very hard to categorise, which I like but I do fear that they are this decade’s Cooper Temple Clause – brilliant but somehow beaming in from a parallel universe and never truly acknowledged. This is the second single.

 

Here is David Bowie’s Lazarus just because it is simply brilliant. Hard to watch in hindsight but captivating nonetheless. Dark Star is an incredible album for an artist to leave as a parting gift.

 

Talking of brilliant, Suede have recorded possibly the greatest rock album of this decade. I saw them perform ‘Night Thoughts’ all the way through behind a cinema screen showing the related film, which packs the emotional punch of the first episode of Broadchurch. This track has a jaunty feel to it, but in the context of the album as a whole takes on a completely different meaning. If you haven’t already, then listen to this album now. Go on, stop reading this blog and do it now.

 

Possibly the best video on this post is Polica’s ‘Wedding’.  It reminds me of a couple of longform Public Enemy Videos I got back in the 90s which mixed the band with agitprop footage and vignettes.   Originally I assumed that the singer uses  another language or a Cocteau Twins made up one, but then an actual word of English floats through. If you don’t believe me here are the lyrics. Great track nonetheless:

 

Also no strangers to the world of agitprop, Primal Scream’s latest album is their most pop-orientated yet, reaching almost Beloved levels of blissed out lyrics and chorus. It’s apparently influenced by Abba, which is no bad thing. The first single is a duet with Sky Ferreira, who in a sign of my advancing years ( or lack of exposure to Radio 1) I have to admit I had to google. A great pop single to add to the dozens already in their back catalogue.

 

However when it comes to pop, when you boil it down to its purest form you are left with the Pet Shop Boys. From the upcoming album ‘Super’, this is ‘Pop Kids’ A lyric video is all we have at the moment, but t’s not a bad one and the lyrics are always interesting anyway. Since Kraftwerk’s residency in the Tate Turbine hall, their influence on their disciples has become even more overt – the first few breathy bars of synthesiser in this are of course Trans Europe Express:

 

I really lost interest in Radiohead a few year’s back, so the excitement around an imminent new album has not really hit this blog yet, but I do really like this – Thom Yorke guesting on a track by Mark Pritchard. On the radio this morning someone described this as a Number One hit from a different planet. It has made me more interested in what Radiohead may have in store this year.

 

I don’t know much about DIIV, but do really like this track called ‘Under The Sun’.  Always a sucker for a driving bass riff. Reminds me a bit of mid period Cure.

 

When I first heard White Denim’s Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah) on the radio a few weeks, I assumed it was some lost gem from 68-72 that I had somehow missed. Perhaps a support act for early Fleetwood Mac? But no, these are a bona fide current band from Austin, Texas.  For some reason this also reminds me of the Jon Spencer’s Blues Explosion. Remember them?

 

..and I think that’s it. No doubt something else will come to mind the minute I publish the ‘publish’ button, but do feel free to add anything you think I have embarrassingly overlooked!

Happy Easter to one and all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Tracks of 2013 – Number 6

PS

 

 

Primal Scream have already featured at number 10 on Andy’s list ( almost as much of a turn up for the books as Roy nominating Prefab Sprout), but this second single from ‘More Light’ edges out the track ‘2013’ for me. A return to the ‘Moving On Up’ territory, I played this to death in the summer.

2013Scroll down for Andy and Roy’s choices or click here for the list so far

Top Tracks of 2013 – Number 9

Metroland

Yes I know it lifts the riff to Europe Endless by Kraftwerk and initially I couldn’t see past that, but Metroland by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark has grown on me all year and – as discussed back at No 20- I am a sucker for videos with stream trains in them.

Their ‘English Electric’ album is worth checking out, reflecting on a future very different from that which they expected in the white heat of musical innovation that was Eric’s Nightclub in Liverpool in the late 1970s.

2013“The future that you anticipated has been cancelled. Please remain seated and wait for further instructions”

..and now over to Roy

“TV on The Radio -‘Mercy’Dave Sitek found time out this year from his producer-du-jour duties to put together a new TVoR album from which, this was the lead-off track. I’ve never been the biggest TVoR fan, dipping in and out, however this is far and away the best thing I’ve heard by them and worth including in the Top10 just for the line ‘ I see tons of people looking lost and lethal'”

Scroll down for Andy’s pick or click here for the story so far…

A ‘farewell to summer’ playlist

Charlie Brown and Snoopy 2

 

 

As we head into the Autumn I thought I would post ten tracks that I have been playing a lot over the summer.  After a crap Spring in the UK it was a pretty decent attempt at a summer and these songs, although not particularly ‘summery’ in some cases ,were what I was playing whilst out and about.

In December I’ll be exchanging 2013 top 20 lists with friends (see last year), and some of these may be contenders. I am resisting the obvious songs of the summer ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Blurred Lines’ in favour of some songs that don’t feature Pharrell on guest vocals..

 

Firstly Dumb Disco Ideas by Holy Ghost. The track builds gradually and reminds me a lot of LCD Soundsystem, which is of course no bad thing. The video puts a new spin on the term ‘stage presence’:

 

Also a longish song, the title track from the Manic Street Preachers, ‘Rewind The Film’. A wistful and nostalgic yearning for a return to the innocence of childhood. At least that is how I read it. Nicky Wire is one of the most under-rated lyricists of the last two decades:

 

This track from Public Enemy rightly got a lot of airplay on 6 Music over the summer.  Released this year It bears comparison with classic PE, and could have been recorded twenty years ago.  In a way that’s the point, as the issues it addresses really haven’t gone away, in much the same way as you can dig out a Bill Hicks political rant and still find it relevant. Most of their heroes still don’t appear on no stamps…

 

From PE to PS and a classic summery anthem from Primal Scream, ‘It’s Alright, It’s OK’:

 

Gaz Coombes Presents ( not sure what the ‘..presents’ is about) released ‘One Of These Days’ a one off single that is one of the best things he  –  or indeed Supergrass – has ever done. A sublime timeless track:

 

Run Boy Run by Woodkid wasn’t actually released in the summer, but at the start of the year. However it has built momentum all year. I doubt it has bothered the charts, but is absolutely everywhere on TV soundtracks, culminating in it joining the ’emotionally manipulative’ soundtrack music used by the X-Factor, in this case signifying ‘this is going to be a dramatic show.’ The first few chimes of this will probably outlive the whole song which is a shame as it packs a lot into its 3:36. Woodkid is a Yoann Lemoine, a French video producer who has done stuff for Katy Perry and Lana Del Rey, so his own video is of course breathtaking. If you don’t think you have heard it, I guarantee you are about to say ‘Oh yes that one…”

 

Summer 2013 belonged partly to Disclosure.  ‘F For You’ was my favourite single from ‘Settle’. It is a close sibling of Hot Chip:

 

When I heard the following track on the Johnny Marr album in the Spring I thought it was bound to be a single and so eventually it was. The greatest single that Electronic never released…

 

Last year’s  Pet Shop Boys album, Elysium, was OK, but more downbeat than usual. It seems that was because they decide to split the album in two parts with all the disco stuff on this summer’s release Electric.  As a result it’s a cracking album, including this cover version of Springsteen’s The Last To Die:

(you can compare it to the original here)

 

Finally, Charlie Brown by Scienze is a more obvious summer groove from Brooklyn. De La Soul meets Charlie Brown and Lucy…