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Old 12-20-2010, 07:17 PM   #21 (permalink)
And then there was music
 
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Na, not in this thread mate.

EDIT: There may be a Shins appearance soon though.
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My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 12-21-2010 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:31 AM   #22 (permalink)
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39
The Beta Band - Gone
Hot Shots II
2001



Edinburgh Scotland's much missed Beta Band were a eccentric hippy folk collective of scruffy beards. Like many other groups brimming with invention, their record sales suffered, mainly because they were always ten steps ahead of everyone else, and, well, maybe because they were to to happy in their stinky clouds of super skunk to care. Their music is an effortless mash of stoner folk, Krautrock, hip hop, trip hop, funk, acid house and electronica. Yet, despite all this delicious diversity, I chose the song that sounds like bloody Pink Floyd. 'Gone' is a dark brooding thing, made up of just a Roger Waters bass line, dread inducing guitar chords and some subtly haunting backing vocals . Frontman Steve Mason sounds like he's been struck with swine flu rather than his usual cold, and he mourns, "Won't you think of me, when I'm gone" as a simple piano figure that's full of hopelessness washes him astray. It's bleak, depressing and is more suspicious of fun then any other Beta Band track, and it could have been the best track that was never on Floyd's Meddle, thanks to its intensity and emotional conviction.

A few years later The Beta's would split, frustrated that their critical adulation didn't translate into commercial success. They inspired many inferior bands like Gomez, Oasis, The Mystery Jets and Arcade Fire, who inevitably were hugely successful. Such is the renegade rock cliché.

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https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:56 PM   #23 (permalink)
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38
Menomena - Muscle N' Flo
Friend And Foe
2007

Portland's multi instrumentalist trio Menomena used a unique method to record Friend And Foe - with a home made computer program they each recorded individual improvised takes that are looped, copied, pasted, regarded and then disregarded, seemingly at random. Yet some how, it all fits together like a jigsaw and makes a great art rock LP. It's a rare beast, in that there isn't a skippaple track on it, yet I struggle to find a stand-out track. I went with 'Muscle N' Flo', the opening song and a fine example of what the album is all about. It opens with some stumbling drums which instantly crash to a halt as the vocals come in with the memorable line, 'Oh in the morning I stumble my way towards the mirror and my makeup' (sung by a male. Stumble is an apt word here) over a bass rumble. After the drums have come and gone again, a twangy guitar slides into a lovely piano riff which briefly settles things (writing this list has made me realise how many twinkles of piano I adore, and how many are important to a song.) before the vocal harmonies of the chorus come in and guitars itch and scratch all about the place. The Moment is at 1:45 when, as the percussion drops out again, that piano returns with a riff that seems to defy gravity while some organs discreetly moan and drone, all accompanied by the lyric, 'Now here I stand a broken man'. Some of the most bewitching songs peak with the quietest, most intimate of moments, and this is one of them. The line 'There's so much more left to do, when I'm not young but I'm not through', is one of the many examples of what I like about this album; beyond the trickery and experimentalism lies a cutting reminder of them old fashioned human attributes, like hope.

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My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:41 AM   #24 (permalink)
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epic thread eagerly awaiting more numbers!
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:48 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:55 AM   #26 (permalink)
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37
Robyn Hitchcock - Star Of Venus
Propeller Time
2010

Maybe I'm just over excited having just discovered this. And I fear that what sounds so scarred and profound will end up sounding like a boring folk dirge down the line. But screw it. This just sounds so scarred and profound. Hitchcock was a member of influential jangle pop geeks The Soft Boys. In the 80s he went solo and made a number of irreverent oddball gems. In recent years he's ditched some of the surrealism and gone back to his folk roots. 'Star Of Venus' is unspectacular musically (despite Peter Bucks presence on mandolin) and it doesn't really have a chorus, but I adore it for one reason:the voice. Too old now to get away with forced/false quirkiness, Hitchcock plays it straight and sounds better then ever as a result. He exerts wisdom with every line with a fag damaged (fag as in cigarette you saucy Americans!) rasp reminiscent of John Lennon. The way his voice almost cracks at the end of the opening line ("You must have seen it coming a long time ago. The ship of all your feelings, shipwrecked in one goooo.") is especially devastating. You can almost picture a swooning Robyn, dewy eyed at a misty harbour, watching his life sail on by. And with the line when he asks, "Does it make you cry?", I answer "Well yes it does sir. You sound so scarred and erm . . . . profound."

Not on youtube but found:
Star Of venus
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https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:46 AM   #27 (permalink)
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36
Charlotte Hatherley - Summer
Grey Will Fade
2004

That bird who played guitar in Ash does a sun kissed scruffy pop curiosity. This hope-post-break-up song will be far to cheesy and saccharine for most, but I'm listening to it now, looking out the window at the rain pissing down. I've a feeling that if this was early June then this would sound like the greatest thing that's ever happened.
"Open the windows. Serotonin and the vitamins C D and E. Oh let it all sink in to your skin, close your eyes. And you can feel the release.", she sings gleefully, and I call my calender a lazy slob bastard for only being at February.
What brings me back to this song is its slight oddness, from the complex and quirky vocal melodies in the verses and Charlotte's impatience with the typical four-beats-a-bar structure, to the lyrics of the great chorus (with handclaps!):
I confused myself with somebody else
I didn’t know what to do, cos I was somebody new
Oh now I know that
I confused myself with somebody else
I didn’t know what to do, know what to do
.
It's the sound of someone coming back from mental collapse, rediscovering their identity and hoping that the temperamental English summer will make things better so that she can "leave my room, my cocoon, find the door and walk out to the sun." The song almost ruins itself by going on over a minute longer than it should do (on the album version), but at least it leaves us on an emotional cliff hanger as your left unsure as to whether Hatherly's really recovered or not, with her final line, "Took my time to come around. Breathing in and breathing out, won’t you see what I can do.
When I leave my room"

__________________
'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 02-01-2011 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:08 PM   #28 (permalink)
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This is a fantastic thread. Really enjoying your analysis and insight. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:45 AM   #29 (permalink)
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35
The Shins - Gone For Good
Chutes To Narrow
2003

I'm not a big Shins fan but this lovely country rock number has a place in my heart. A soundtrack to the Bad Times of wondering drunk around London "floating around", going nowhere. Like me, front man John Mercer is a lousy lover, but it doesn't stop him from passing the blame elsewhere as he sings, "I find a fatal flaw in the logic of love and go out of my head". The chorus descends into A minor with heart melting effect and the words, "Girl, you must atone some. Don't leave me no phone number thereeeeeeee la di la", is sung in lovelorn harmony and reaches a sense of melancholy inside me that only a handful of artists have reached. But the next chorus is the knockout blow as Mercer sings, "You want to jump and dance, but you sat on your hands and lost your only chance", a simple but effective line, and my mind is istantly filled with chances I missed and lips I should have kissed.

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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:51 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I will confess that most of the songs in this thread do nothing for me at all but I do appreciate well written posts from members who are passionate and knowledgeable about the music they like and there has been a dearth of threads like this on MB recently.

Keep it up!
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