Sunday, July 18, 2004


Reasons to be cheerful

After the musings about the death of rock ‘n’ roll, and the deciding that I'm just an old git, I posed myself the question: 'What makes life living?' Worth living from a strictly musical perspective that is. My answer is very much a snapshot of what is getting me juiced up right here right now …. David Holmes and his wonderful compilations; Primal Scream and their refusal to stop trying to reinvigorate the twitching corpse of rock ‘n’ roll; budget price Beach Boys reissues; ‘Smile’ finally being released; Masters At Work (esp. the 10th anniversary box sets) – today’s Gamble and Huff; the plethora of excellent Northern Soul compilations; Super Furry Animals; Domino Records; Mojo’s Garage compilation and the 2 Nuggets CD box sets; Fela on CD; the Funk Brothers & ‘Standing in the shadows of Motown’; the Rough Guide series; Four Tet; Beta Band; the return of the Pixies; the White Stripes; ‘Satellite of Love’ remixed and on the airwaves again; Goldfrapp; the Flaming Lips; Orchestra Baobab; Boards of Canada; belatedly discovering US punk; Spark’s ‘Lil Beethoven’ (I think neo-masterpiece sums up this jaw dropping release); the Sparks 70s output; Beastie Boys ‘To the 5 Boroughs’; the return of Dexys; Essential Asian Flavas comps; DJ Yodda mixes; the return of Morrissey; Soul Jazz records (esp the reggae, dub, studio one and punk funk comps); Arthur Russell compiled; Wire still doing it; the Fall – fit and working again; Country Got Soul comps; Beyond Nashville comps; Tom ‘The Jedi’ Middleton’s ‘the Trip’ comp; BBC 4 music docs (‘Wrong Eyed Jesus’ – another good ‘un); Trojan reissues; Don Letts’s comps; Subway Sect ‘Sandsend’; and above all, the plethora of stuff I’ve yet to discover! Hell, that little lot going on who’s got time to be depressed about the death of rock ‘n’ roll? What about your reasons to be cheerful? What’s making your musical life a thing of wonder and beauty?

Masses of stuff:

reasons to be cheerful - the debut album by the Futureheads; new records by Sonic Youth, Morrissey and The Cure (all, to various degrees of success, sounding fresh); three new albums by Luke Vibert so far this year; PJ Harvey; still listening to New Order, ESG and Can; arguing about music after that rock-centric Observer '100 greatest british albums' list; awesome grime and ukg, Wiley, Shystie and the Dizzee album still unbested; new !!! album; ace new Fall single; Oom, blogging turning the world of music journalism upside down; Modest Mouse; the Terry Hall and Mushtaq album; decentish live music scene in Brighton; the London Sinfonietta interacting with warp records, British hip hop more inventive and consistent than US stuff since Roots Manuva and Infinite Lifez; Rounder Records, Brian Eno, John Cale and David Byrne - geniuses all; new Blur album in the works; Arthur Russell comp; British Sea Power; Fennesz album (absolutely stunning; Loveless 2); Goldfrapp's 'Strict Machine' and Rachel Stevens' 'Some Girls', Girlinky, being in a pop group, listening to Radio 4 (the band) and Radio 4 (the radio station, since the advent of Moyles), that excellent Miss Kitten LP, Bedsit Bomber, beautiful repackaging and reissuing programme of A Certain Ratio stuff; Tiga, people finally realising how shit Oasis are; revamping of Audio; Josef K reissues; Wire magazine; XTC still the greatest band ever; 'Toxic' by Britney Spears; G2 and the Guardian on friday; that single by The Killers; not listening to american garage rock (snore); Kraftwerk apparently remastering and remixing their entire back catalogue; Basic Channel comps; La Momo; re-discovering the first Happy Mondays album; David Sylvian; the Scissor Sisters remix of the last PSB single; the writing of Paul Morley; 'Dread Meets B-Boys Downtown'; blissblog; more synthesisers in pop music; Franz Ferdinand being intelligent; 6music and 1xtra; >>Forward and Plasticman; Arvo Part, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, early Nyman, Harry Partch, Terry Riley and Gavin Bryer's still peerless 'Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet'; Honest Jon's Records, K-Punk; Sublime Frequencies, local accents in pop music (see The Futureheads, above), Miss Pain; All Tomorrow's Parties; new Mouse on Mars album; Danger Mouse splicing The White Album with Jay-Z; someone else splicing Slanted and Enchanted with Jay-Z...

A whole raft of pop music opening up which isn't detrimentally reductivist, masculine and backward looking. Sheer Good Will.
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