Saturday, 5 July 2008

Some live videos for a change

Tunes of the Week 08 - #27

I think the last time I heard of David Byrne (out of off of Talking Heads) on a song was when he was being particularly Lazy with X-Press 2 back in 2002. He has been around since, with a few bits of solo work and a collaboration with Fat Boy Slim in the theatre - but they're definitely of a different niche. Anyway, perhaps something similar is now back, along with Dizzee Rascal (sadly), with Byrne providing the vocals on Toe Jam by BPA (Brighton Port Authority) - the work of (yes, you guessed it) Norman Cook aka. Fat Boy Slim with Simon Thornton. It's a very impressive lineup of musical talents for a first single, out on 7th July, with a funny and innovative video - and it's a great song. Catchy, bouncy, and summery. With the reputation, it shouldn't do so badly in the charts either.

Talking about people making returns in alternative vogues - son of Neil and Betchadupa man Liam Finn released Second Chance on the 30th. It's the usual good writing we've come to expect from the Antipodean family, personally it's not the sort of music I'd rush to go out and buy - where it builds up to doesn't seem as climatic as I like - but musically it's very difficult to fault.

You can download it from the 14th July, but it's only going to be released on August 11th - Meccano by Red Light Company has been Shaun Keaveny's Single of the Week. It reminds me of something (and I'm not sure what), but it isn't just a tune for young engineers.

It would be wrong after watching Love is Noise conclude Glastonbury 2008 not to mention the latest single by the Verve. It's so different to some of their other singles - that persistent wailing in the backing singers marking the first single to be released (on 3rd August) after 10 years 'in the dark'.

Tom Fleming from Wild Beasts is worthy of mention twice this week. Firstly, he's taken over from usual lead singer Hayden Thorpe for The Devil's Crayon (out from last Monday), and the change really does suit the song. It's great when people in bands are able to swap around - it's shows versality, that they are actually musicians - and not, say, Girls Aloud. Secondly, he took part in Kenbrucemaster last Saturday and managed to mantain a sense of dignity when asked if the controversy at Wimbleon was caused by "Mo Dutta's excessive grunting on his Love Serve", someone misunderstanding the call "Come on Ken", or "Terry Wogan trying to get Lynn Bowels to deuce, but his balls were judged to be out of play". Perhaps you had to be there. Moving on then...

That was White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. It's extremely unseasonal (although, I'm writing this a few days in advance of publication, so it might be more appropriate for the current conditions that Here comes the Summer), but we can ignore that. The Seattle based quintet describe their own sound as "baroque harmonic pop jams" - and I think it's an ideal way of describing this single. It's dreary - yet dreamy. You feel as if you could float away with it. Which makes it great. It's out on 21st July.

Final TOTW - one I mentioned last week - My Morning Jacket with Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part II. I think the opening lyrics (which is the opening on the shorter radio edit) remind me of Duran Duran - I'm sure I can't be the only one. But after that, it does move into a category of its own. The American Rock band are well known for their reverb heavy music and eclectic mix of styles (I think this is nearer indie electronica than anything else?) - but haven't had much success in the UK, their recent album "Evil Urges" as only made a slight dent in the genre specific indie albums chart. Perhaps this track getting more airplay will get it more attention. Perhaps it's eccentric appeal will limit things. Still, the charts are getting very eclectic - so who knows?

Last chance - June

A quick read through June's TOTW posts, and two songs particularly came to my attention. I very very nearly selected Black Kids; but in the end Cage the Elephant was just different and memorable enough to get the nod.

Housekeeping note:As it's Summer, it's the time when everyone vanishes for some periods of time for holidays, and I'll obviously be no exception. On a few occasions over the next few months, I won't be around to keep make posts myself. However, it is important to keep the features running, without 104 Tunes of the Week it'll make it unfair to chose a Tune of the Year for instance. So, I'm pleased to announce that over the next few weeks (after much consideration - but I think I'm safe that he won't select James Blunt) regular contributor Hazard will be lining up the Tunes of the Week. There'll also be a few guest "Unsung" contributions; alphabetising has been done in advance so they're scheduled to appear in my absence; and there's the occasional features (including some of mine that I've prepared) to look forward. So, the blog will continue to run with very little change - except that I can safely exclude liability for any poor choice of music that may appear.

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