In which, even when she is being the world’s most rubbish and lazy music blogger, Lis puts together a selection of songs that have caught her attention through the joys of iTunes shuffle this month.
But, while I’ve gotten your attention: although I don’t think anybody’s had a response from Google/Blogger yet regarding the disappearance of The Pop Cop (see this post for some explanation), the fight still goes on. Jason and some supporters are putting together a campaign video, and are looking for clips to use. If you create a homemade “Save The Pop Cop” banner or poster and send in a video clip or photograph featuring you with it to musicalliancepact [at] gmail [dot] com no later than tomorrow you could feature. And look happy, as the message and the video is going to be a positive one!
Onto the tunes!
Teenage Anthems for the Drunk: last month’s mix, May 2010
1. Dr Dog: “Shadow People”
There was a point, sometime last year, when anyone with any kind of interest in music that could roughly be deemed “twangy” seemed to be going on about these Philadelphia natives – and I just didn’t get it. And it’s true that there’s something grating about those vocals, but this track from new album Shame, Shame sure puts a swing in my step.
2. Red House Painters: “Michigan”
It’s Mark Kozelek’s graceful melancholy that normally attracts me to his music, but this breezy lovesong from his old band just whispers “summer”. I just want to feel your pulse again…
3. Mike Doughty: “(I Want To) Burn You (Down)”
I first came across Doughty back in his Soul Coughing days – there was a little X-Files connection there – but it’s always been his clever, quirky solo stuff that has meant the most. Stripped back acoustic guitar and wry, witty lyrics – she treats me like a parole officer // she checks in from time to time – this is from current release Sad Man Happy Man which I’ll be writing more about soon.
4. Not An Airplane: “As He Moved Away”
I know absolutely nothing about this bittersweet slice of Americana, but it seems to fit well within the overall feel of this month’s mix.
5. Big Star: “Watch The Sunrise”
Still feeling the loss of Alex Chilton’s summery songwriting, particularly with this beautiful song pouring through my headphones on the bus down from Oban after a friend’s wedding a couple of weeks ago.
6. Kid Canaveral: “Stretching The Line”
The first time I went to visit Jay in the Midlands, back when we were doing that whole distance thing we’re not very good at, I had to switch trains at Crewe – and, completely unexpectedly, he was leaning against a pillar on the platform waiting for me. And that’s maybe not what this song from one of the best young bands in Scotland is about, when David sings about how it gets harder to leave for the train each time, but that’s what it reminds me of and that subjectivity is one of the best things about my favourite songs.
7. The Last Battle: “Oh Best Beloved”
Recently signed to Edinburgh’s 17 Seconds Records, The Last Battle are releasing their debut album of heartfelt Americana with an east coast accent later this year and I cannot wait.
8. The National: “Runaway”
Among the many things I haven’t done as a naughty, lazy blogger in recent weeks is review the National’s new album; but suffice to say I love it even if it’s for different reasons than the ones for which I loved their previous. “Runaway” was my favourite of the demos and live tracks which I got my ears on in the run up to High Violet’s release, and remains my favourite of the brooding, introspective album line-up.
9. First Aid Kit: “Hard Believer”
They’re Swedish, I think? They sound like they could be, with their shimmery pop in the Concretes/Camera Obscura vein. This track was on a compilation I picked up on Record Store Day last month, and it’s from a name I’ve seen crop up a fair few places since.
10. RM Hubbert: “TipsyTapsy”
I’m a sucker for guitar music so stripped down you can hear the guitarist’s fingertips start to bleed. And there’s something so incredibly alive about the compositions of this “huge, hairy, tattoo covered instrumental guitarist playing solo flamenco based post rock about his chronic inability to communicate clearly” (his words, not mine) that I would be a sucker for it anyway.
11. Beat Radio: “Teenage Anthem for the Drunken Boat”
Another one of those songs I know nothing about and can’t remember where I got it from: it’s tagged “best genre ever”, and it’s lo-fi and scrabbly and sounds like every hopelessly doomed manic teenage-lite crush I’ve ever had right down to the last one (maybe I should come over // the truth is I’m on my way), so I’m inclined to agree. More like this, please.
12. Mitchell Museum: “Take The Tongue Out”
The other half of the Peenko vs. Ayetunes lineup from the end of last month, along with the also-featured Kid Canaveral (stop saying I told you so, boys), is a slice of manic, mental energy. They’ve got a new single out in a couple of weeks, you know.
13. Hole: “Samantha”
May’s biggest musical event was probably getting to see my teenage heroine, regardless of to what extent my tastes may have changed since. “Everybody thinks this song is about a prostitute, but if you replace Samantha with a guy’s name it becomes a whole different song,” Courtney Love explained from the Academy stage. “Well, apart from the bit about watching her wrap her legs around the world. That bit is about a prostitute.”
14. Scout Niblett: “Duke Of Anxiety”
I never thought I liked Scout Niblett, despite her being the sort of quirky chick singer I’d normally fall all over. I guess I was wrong, because I was playing this song in the kitchen earlier and the ending is so good I actually stopped breathing. I mean, I must have liked it – I’d already put it on the tracklisting for this month, which kinda gives it away – but to have been blown away by a song twice like it’s the first time I’ve heard it is pretty good going.
15. Titus Andronicus: “Four Score and Seven”
And the prize for this month’s “where have you been all my life” band, courtesy of my good friend Paul of the Sunny Govan Switchback. A rambling note to end on, and one that deserves thorough further exploration.
Monthly Most Played is, as ever, after the jump.
Monthly Most Played as of May 2010:
1. Marah, “Walt Whitman Bridge” [=] 2. The Gaslight Anthem, “High Lonesome” [=] 3. The Hold Steady, “Banging Camp”  4. The Gaslight Anthem, “We Came To Dance”  5. The Gaslight Anthem, “The ‘59 Sound” [=] 6. The Hold Steady, “Lord, I’m Discouraged” [=] 7. The Gaslight Anthem, “Old White Lincoln”  8= The Gaslight Anthem, “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” [=] 8= The Hold Steady, “Your Little Hoodrat Friend” [RE] 10. The Hold Steady, “Sequestered In Memphis”