because it's gone 1am and i thought, why the hell not, right?

"Surely all the shops are closed by now?"
"No, I'm just, just getting this one thing, wait, I'll call you back, just a minute-"
"You might not be able to get through. Shopping centres are black holes."
"Wait for me outside, it's busy, I've had a long day, my early shift-"
"Ran late, I know, I know. We're on the guestlist for the gig tonight but we don't have to go-"
"I don't have any money and there's no such thing as a free night out."
"Are you hungry now? I could meet you in the foodcourt-"
"We've got our friends in the city, will they feed us?"
"We can seat in cheap plastic seats and watch fights break out-"
"I was tripping over bottles at the club last night-"
"I bet the barstaff see it every night-"
"They all wear misfits t-shirts and big gold rings-"
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"I can't talk about it. You can't talk about it."
"I have enough money for a veggie burger to share, are you-"
"Are you hungry now? Are you hungry now?"
"Am I breaking up? Are you hungry now?"
"Just wait for me outside the shopping centre-"
"I'm biting my lip, it's cold outside, the buses are all leaving and we'll have to get a taxi-"
"My lunchbreak lasted for ever, I was lighting cigarettes just to wait time and I just need to buy one more thing. I will wait for you outside carparks, busy shopping centres, clubs and bars and after free nights out. There's just one thing I need to do. See you in a minute."



I haven't updated this that much over the past week or so, partly because I've been caught up with other things - I left school on Friday, then spent the weekend in London - but partly because I've been listening to music that probably doesn't fit here. Like, the Spanish entry to Eurovision (I can't help it, it's so catchy!) or my latest obsession, John Barrowman singing 'Sunset Boulevard'. Doesn't really fit with Johnny Foreigner.

But then I decided that I'd make a post mentioning both of those. Not entirely sure why.

Anyway, my other obsession at the moment is Lykke Li, oh goodness. I saw her perform Little Bit on Jolls Holland a while ago, and thoguh I'd listened to her before I had never really got it. When I saw her doing it on Jools Holland, I got it. I'm so so obsessed with this song, it's a bit stupid... also like I'm Good, I'm Gone a lot and pretty much everything i've heard by her, but I love this one song so much. She has a fanatstic voice, too, which helps.

I watched Eurovision with some friends on Saturday night, which was the reason that I was in London for the whole weekend (as opposed to just Saturday) and Sweden's entry was so shit and I was well outraged. No country does pop better than Sweden, I cried!

Then again, seriously, pretty much no country enters their best or most credible pop stars, do they? There was Sebastian Tellier doing something that no one quite understood, I suppose, but awesome as he was he didn't do very well when it came to voting. Israel's was a reality TV star (I quite liked him, actually) and Spain's was a joke entry by a comedian chosen through Myspace.

The thing is, I guess I don't really expect Eurovision to be anything other than ridiculous, both when it comes to the music, the presenters, and even the voting. I think the outcry about 'bloc voting' is bullshit; political voting has always been part of Eurovision, and this year Western European coutnries were voting for Eastern European just as much as anyone else, so it's stupid to complain about it. Russia sucked and shouldn't have won, yeah, but Armenia and Greece both had amazing, fun entries and deserved to be in the top 3.

So, Terry Wogan, shut up and stop moaning and if you really hate it that much then let someone else do your job. You're not as funny as everyone seems to think, anyway. Yeah, I said it.


Misc #2

because I haven't had much to say on any extended topic recently, here are some misc music thoughts


The new Hold Steady single, Sequestered in Memphis, is a lot of fun. I was listening to Chillout Tent earlier and all of Separation Sunday and they're just generally pretty awesome. I'm very excited about their new album, I think it's out this summer and hopefully it'll soundtrack some good times.


White Lies are hilarious. I saw them on Jools Holland earlier and I guess they sort of have their Interpol/The National thing and they're not awful but they're so intense that it's just really, really funny. They should also lay off the Interpol.


How is Xiu Xiu pronounced? I've heard it said about 3/4 different ways now and it's really confusing. Zyoo Zyoo, Shoo Shoo, Joo Joo, or some sort of weird thing that's unbeaten?


Xiu Xiu are pretty incredible whichever, anyway. I was listening to Fabulous Muscles earlier and... wow. They're so sort of... I want to say atmospheric, but it's more like they throttle you with a soundscape and the vocals are amazing and the words and so is everything else. I haven't properly listened to their new album yet, I should.


I actually really like 'I Don't Want To Grow Old' as covered by Scarlett Johansson. I quite like the whole album actually. Then again, I'm not familiar with Tom Waits at all, shamefully. He's one of those people with a back catalogue that scares me. I should give him a try though.


Bearsuit and Okkervil River are now playing Latitude. Awesome. This is going to be a a major highlight of my summer, the lineup so far is properly killer. Less than two months to go now!


My MP3 player is STILL dead and I think it will remain that way. It's TRAGIC. I also broke my headphones the other day. I'm shit.


I'm hopefully going to get a radio show when I'm at university, probably with Richard if we end up at the same place. I have various name ideas but more importantly, oh my god, how hard will it be to choose what to play? Hard, but so much fun. A good mix of old and new, I think. Los Campesinos!, choice cuts from Tigermilk, Jonathan Richman maybe, Orange Juice, Johnny Foreigner, The Moldy Peaches...


The book by John Darnielle based on Black Sabbath is out here next month, I think. I'm really excited, despite knowing very little about Black Sabbath. It's John Darnielle! And it's in the 33 1/2 series! My favourite book about music ever is quite possibly Carl Wilson's book about Celine Dion, and though the other book I have from the series isn't as good I'm sure this one will be. It's basically a Young Adult novella by one of the great songwriters ever, right? I don't think there is any way that this can be anything other than awesome, especially since I've only heard good things from reliable places. I'm really, really excited.


The use of music on film soundtracks can be very effective when done right. If you make both me and my best friend cry out "NOOOOOO!!" by playing Hard-Fi's Cash Machine in your otherwise enjoyably ridiculous/rubbish werewolf romance film, then you're not doing it right. We want enjoyable rubbish, not something that makes us want to actually die. Take note, makers of Blood & Chocolate.


I seriously don't get No Age. I mean, they're not bad, but I don't see why people seem to be obsessing about them so much? Anyone care to enlighten me? It's like Arcade Fire all over again (not musically, just my reaction).


I still like that Leona Lewis song.


Saturday Looks Good To Me? Amazing. I never realised this before, but they're amazing. Really amazing. They're like the band I often seem to wish existed, like various parts of my favourite bands were throw into a blender with ice cream and lightly mixed. I can see them also being a large part of the soundtrack to my summer.


music to read to

I think I've mentioned in here before how my other main interest, beyond music, is poetry. I really like visual art too, actually (I'm really upset about Rauschenberg dying) but poetry's the other thing I know a lot about and I spend most of my time either reading, writing or thinking about it.

Actually though, at the moment I'm reading a lot of fiction - the other day I discovered B.S. Johnson's amazing novel, Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, and so now I'm suddenly reading as much modernist/post-modernist fiction as I can get hold of. I love the Suffolk Libraries' online catalogue and reservations, even if a lot of the books that I want have to be taken from the 'County Reserve'.

Anyway since this is being posted in my music blog and not my poetry blog (which is sort of abandoned since I never have enough to say about poetry to say in an intelligent enough way) I'm going to get to the point: what do you read to? My favourite band, Los Campesinos!, aren't much use here - I can't listen to something as catchy and pop and filled with vocals as that when I'm reading, it distracts me, especially when reading poetry or prose that's hard to follow. A lot of my other favourites are out, especially if I know them really well. Yesterday I read Brighton Rock to Slow Down Tallahassee, which was a bit odd really, since their delightful take on pop didn't really fit with all the damnation and razors and pale-faced girls and heaving bosoms in Greene's cold hard 1930s classic. Today I'm reading David Markson's novel, The Last Novel (I currently have a thing about reading a novel a day, not sure how long it'll last) and I've been alternating between High Places, who I seem to have discovered the beauty of much later than everyone else who reads Pitchfork every day (I'm not even ashamed, I hardly take their word as gospel) and A Sunny Day In Glasgow, whose 5:15 Train has been a favourite for ages but their album, not so much.

What do these have in common? Well, all three are bands that I already liked (with the exception of High Places, who I didn't remember from my attempt to listen to them a few months ago) but not bands that I had really fallen for, religiously. I knew none of the songs by heart, except 5:15 Train (which would be hard to sing along to) and so I wasn't tempted to sit there and listen to my very favourite bits as the albums played. But they're all very good, and apart from Tallahassee, quite layered with sounds, very textured. There were no lyrics jumping out at me noisily to distract me from reading.

I think this is generally the best approach. It can be fun to make themed playlists to read books to (I have a couple of Neil Gaiman playlists in iTunes) but ultimately there's little point; I want something that won't distract me; not something I can ignore, exactly, but something that won't impose if I don't want it to. Why listen to music at all? Oddly, I find without music (or the TV happily burbling away to itself) on then it can also be hard to read, I find myself being distracted by everyone else in my house talking or making noise or whatever. Music is a far more attractive option.

So, if anyone reads this: what about you? Do you have to have silence, or can you listen to anything while you read? Also, if you feel like recommending me a book, feel free to add that in too.



This weekend I found myself trying to explain what it is about Belle & Sebastian that I just don't get. I couldn't. Generally, I just find a lot of their songs hard to connect with. I don't know if it's the songs, the production or just Stuart Murdoch's voice being too much. I can't pin it down to one thing.

Having said that, for a few months now I've really liked 'The State I Am In' and also 'Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying'. Just as I'm not sure what put me off their other songs, I don't know why these two seemed so great, especially since I guess they're supposed to be pretty typical Stuart Murdoch songs, as far as he does typical (even with my limited B&S knowledge I'm aware that they've progressed a bit in recent years).

Anyway, this weekend I found Tigermilk on vinyl in Out Of Time Records, and had to buy it (1999 version, of course). Partly this is just because I'm really shit with money, but it's also because I love 'The State I Am In' and I love the story behind Tigermilk and I really wanted to like the album. Also, have you seen the liner notes? They're way cute.

Anyway, I carried it home with a lot of other things that I'm wasting my life's savings on (I can't actually remember what else I bought... OH YEAH, some shitty werewolf romcom, some chocolates and Animal Farm for a friend's birthday, a Christopher Marlowe book from Oxfam...) and... I'm going to confess here that I didn't listen to it on my record player. I don't just want to own it, I will listen to it on my record player... but for now I just found myself suddenly listening to it in itunes after telling people that I thought that Camera Obscura were the far superior band (to be honest I actually think there's little point in comparing the two, but that's a less fun discussion for a different time).

There's something about Tigermilk. I don't know exactly what - I think it might be rhythm, it might be production, it's something to do with the songs. They stick with me like precious few others by the band do. Essentially, the horrible truth is that most B&S songs are unmemorable for me, I can't hum them or even remember a single lyric of snatch of melody once they're done. I'm not even compelled to listen again. Tigermilk is different.

There's something about the album, in the lyrics that move from "you've got permission, but you've got to make the bastard think he's right" to "the first cup of coffee tastes like washing up" and "I've never done this kind of thing / but if I kill him now, who's going to miss him?", in the melodies and then even in Stuart Murdoch's voice that just really hits me in a way that only a handful of their other songs do.

This isn't me trying to be like "I ONLY LIKE THEIR EARLY STUFF", although I guess it probably seems like that. Part of what attracted to me to Tigermilk in the first place was, as I've said, the story behind it, but if it didn't have the songs to back it up I wouldn't be writing this. I tried listening to Sinister all the way through earlier and nothing really jumped out at me as much. Dear Catastrophe Waitress is the other one that I find myself liking multiple songs from, actually, but even that is largely unmemorable for me in places.

Anyone want to recommend me the catchiest or most memorable non-Tigermilk songs by B&S then? I feel like I'm missing out.

Then again, maybe I just don't like B&S as much as other people do and that won't change. I'm cool with that, I guess. There are some people that don't love Los Campesinos! as much as I do. I may think they're crazy, but...

Anyway, all of this is sort of detracting from the main point of this post. TIGERMILK IS AMAZING.


weekend miscellany

I wanted to post something to keep this regular, because I'm tired of starting blogs and abandoning them. I don't want to do another track by track, though, since it's so late, so have some thoughts about music instead.


Why are Los Campesinos! not currently one of the biggest indie bands in the country? I am genuinely curious. I was at a friend's 19th and was attempting to spread the word earlier tonight. They're just so much fun, and I want more people to understand! I think their new single, My Year In Lists, is finally out on Monday, but I'm not sure. I think everyone should buy it.


Today I discovered Hefner's song A Hymn For The Postal Service. It's an amazing song, but I love the idea. I love the line 'every night I pray for mail in the morning' because I SO know that feeling. I spent a couple of frustrating weeks recently waiting for various things in the post, and I finally got them yesterday and it was magic. I'm currently reading one of them now, it's a massive poetry anthology, and it's so worth it. I'm so often waiting for things in the post though, it;s like magic, but a really frustrating kind of magic. Apparently, though, they may be stopping Saturday post altogether. Say it isn't so! I rarely get anything on a Saturday, but don't take away the hope! I love getting post. I seriously love it.


Are there many songs out there that are better than 'Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same' by The Research? I never hear about them anymore, I have no idea where they're from or who they are, even, but that one song has to be one of the greatest songs of the last few years. It's like an even more desolate, lo-fi Magnetic Fields. Or Casiotone for the Painfully Alone after listening to Camera Obscura. Or just something goregous and lovely and sad.


I'm going to come clean; I don't understand Belle and Sebastian. I understand the appeal I guess, but the music? I can never remember what it sounds like after listening. Only two songs jump out at me as favourites. I find it hard to connect with. Anyone want to tell me where I'm going wrong or which to listen to to try and get it? I like Lord Anthony, The State I Am In and Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying the best I think.


Is it wrong to believe that Let's Get Out Of This Country and I Need All The Friends I Can Get by Camera Obscura are possibly better pop songs than pretty much any B&S song that I've heard? Then again, B&S are way above Camera Obscura in my last.fm charts, so...


I did buy Tigermilk today. Vinyl. 1999, though, gutted. Obviously not going to find an original sitting around in Ipswich though, let's get real. Considering my attitude towards B&S I'd hardly deserve it if I did find it.


I decided that I sort of like 'Bleeding Love' today. Huh.


If I keep buying music on a whim then I will have no money for anything this summer. Or later, when I'm at university. Fail.


I'm kind of excited about the new album from Annie, even thoguh I only really know two songs by her. You know, the ones everyone knows - Chewing Gum and the one about heartbeats. A lot of my favourite songs are about heartbeats, it's such a meme/cliche. Other ones I can think of on the spot: Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats, With Every Heartbeat, Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same...


Lipgloss by Pulp must surely be one of their greatest? I really need to properly assess pulp, there are a few songs by them that I love but then a lot that... again, I just don't find memorable.


My MP3 player is broken. This is not fun. I'm currently making myself a lot of mix CDs to try and make up for it. It's not really working, but the mix CDs are fun.


I should go to bed. These thought trains are becoming smaller. I love The Wave Pictures. Good night.




I'm not actually sure what a Mansard Roof is (answers on a postcard, or alternatively I'll just wikipedia it after posting this). This song is a lot more interesting rhythmically than I remember, actually - especially in the second half. Maybe that's part of why I like this band, good percussion. I love percussion.


Currently enjoying a prominent place on the Radio 1 playlist, I don't think this song will ever die. It's possibly the catchiest, or at least most immediate of their songs. It was the first one I latched onto, anyway, because I'm a geek and enjoy grammar references. I kept listening because... well, you've heard it, surely? What's not to like? It's so ridiculous and cute and this time it's the instruments other than the drums that are doing the work, although the drums are hardly slacking. I love how he wonders "why would you lie about anything at all?" because, really, what a question! Anyway, this is probably my second favourite on the album. Although things may change as I progress...


This might be catchier than Oxford Comma, actually. There's something about Ezra's voice that I really like. I keep seeing them getting compared to The Strokes, but to be honest I don't really see it. I think Ezra's voice might be a large reason why. It's just so different to Julian Casablanca's voice that the comparison just seems really, really stupid as far as I'm concerned. Also, Vampire Weekend seem much cleaner than The Strokes, like they wash regularly and drink lots of Orange Juice. This is a good song, I like the ending.


How silly is that title? But this is a great song, I love the Peter Gabriel references even though I barely know who he is (I just like my music filled with references, is that wrong?) and it feels kind of... louche. Like they could be playing this faster if they wanted to but it's kind of hot and sweaty and they're enjoying this pace at the moment, thank you very much. There's some lovely vocal stuff towards the end, before it moves back to the main song. Is your bed made? Are you ready?


I wasn't able to place the title of this one with a song, but now it's playing I've realised that I do know it. Not the most memorable title though, especially after the previous song. Not that I'm judging this album on the song titles. When Ezra's singing I think this song is all about him, but then there are some pretty gorgeous (if brief) backing vocals and the strings (are they strings? I'm TERRIBLE at recognising any instrument that isn't a drum) are pretty gorgeous too, flitting away in the background. There are the backing vocals again. Ezra's telling me not to be callous, how to dress myself, to sail away, sail away. If Johnny Foreigner made me want to stay on a crazy sinking ship then Vampire Weekend make me want to sit on a perfectly healthy boat and make it go a bit faster than perhaps it should, get away from here and go somewhere nicer with a group of cleanly dressed and well-meaning friends. Lovely.


"I see you, you're walking 'cross the campus" he sings, and he can't pretend he never wants to see her again because even when he's in class he's aware of how much he wants to. He's unable to proceed like he's meant to, he's young, in love and it's too hard. It's just such a lovely song, and filled with university references, which I'm enjoying at the moment because I'm currently looking forward to going to university this autumn. This isn't about campus really, though, or if it is it's just about a campus romance, sleeping outside in the summer, falling for someone and ending up in an awkward situation. The music, as ever, is pretty shimmery.


I know someone called Bryn. It's a nice Welsh name. There are some ridiculous lyrics here, fireflies sleeping in his heart, eyes like a seagull (really? Seriously, did I mishear or did he actually use this image?) but the general feeling is quite slow and passive. The lyrics seems to be about passivity, too, waiting for someone to come back to you. I guess that's sometimes the only option. Not one of the best on the album, but it's still nice.


Aw, listen to those backing vocals, they're even higher than Ezra's voice! Nice. This one is really cute, there are hints and percussion that almost sound like handclaps but are electronic I think, lyrics that seem slightly nonsensical on one close listen, a lovely drum part that gets repeated after the chorus lines, and I'm just made to think about how Vampire Weekend are largely good because they know how to use restraint. Ezra never overdoes it, there aren't too many backing vocals, he's not breathlessly singing for the whole of the track, all of the instruments are not piled on at any one time. It's very effective. Airy or something. Summery and happy andbright but never cramped or sweaty, they're like an open-top bus instead of a crammed Circle Line train.


I can never remember this one, but it's pleasant enough. There's an amazing percussion bit while he sings "one last time..." and he uses words like 'protocol' and he just wanted to take her hand and then the percussion gets even more awesome and he was wrong once but now he knows the truth, he's been corrected and it sounds a bit like he's running to something.


For ages I thought this was about Derek Walcott, which kinda excited me because... well I haven't actually read anything by him, but I've been meaning to and I really like songs about poets, generally. I'm pretty sure I've read it's about someone else though, gutted. I really love this one, anyway, even now that my delusions have been shattered - just listen to those strings! How his voice gets quieter and sinks into the mix a bit and the the drums kick back in and so does the voice and oh it's just so subtle and then when it gets louder it really connects. This is really well produced, I think. And the songs are great, I love the swearing here, love the geography, love the repetitive questions, and yes if I was Walcott I'd want to be out of Cape Cod, I'd want to be wherever Vampire Weekend were, to find them and dance gloriously along.


I wondered if this would be usurped as my favourite song by Vampire Weekend. It hasn't. It's just too awesome. I tend to be a sucker for anything with a title like this anyway, and then it's paced just right, there's a lovely catchy guitar part and the instruments are all just so great. Ezra's voice sounds a bit rougher than usual, although not really rough at all, and when it gets really high with the driving beat beneath it you're just like well if the kids don't stand a chance then I'm still going to cheer them on, because why not? I may not be making much sense by now but it's true, I think. They let you think about it over the music, which isn't too fast but never slow enough to be annoying, just pretty and fading slightly and saying good luck, be warm and happy even if you're out of luck.

It's a very strong album. Again, not my favourite of the year, I'm too partial to my LC! and Johnny Foreigner's slightly manic shouting for that, but it's probably going to be one of my favourite albums of the summer. That's what it sounds like it's made for



but this is my blog and I'll rave about whoever I want to, as often as I want to. No, I'll let up on the Johnny Foreigner now (although I just read a bad review of the album and that upset me a bit, frankly) but I'd just like a second of sheer, unadulterated GLEE about the fact that they're apparently playing Latitude Festival. I didn't go to any festivals last summer, so this summer I'm camping out at Latitude for the whole weekend. This is a big deal for me, I've never actually camped at a festival before. Exciting. AND JOHNNY FOREIGNER WILL BE THERE.


Sometimes I feel like the only person who doesn't give a shit about The Apprentice. It sounds so BORING. Why the fuck do I care who gets a horrible boring job doing horrible boring things? Business? Whatever. STOP TALKING ABOUT THE APPRENTICE. I know this is a blog about music, but I feel it needs to be said.


Now, the reason I've been watching Jonathan Ross: Vampire Weekend! Vampire Weekend have managed to somehow become really popular without becoming annoying or shit. I'm not quite sure how they managed it, since Pitchfork readers seem to still like them while Radio 1 Listeners (not necessarily mutually exclusive, I know) get to join in the fun.

I'm not sure why Vampire Weekend are so appealing. I read something about how they're just so charming that it's hard not to like them. I think that's partly it. Reminds me a bit of Frank O'Hara I guess, there's something about the personality that just makes you want to like them. They seem like nice boys. That isn't really enough though, but the music manages to endure...

I haven't given the album enough of a listen yet. What I do know is that Oxford Comma, A-Punk, Walcott and ESPECIALLY The Kids Don't Stand A Chance manage to be catchy, a bit different but also totally pop. I'm not tired of them. I don't know Graceland, I don't know afrobeat at all, I'm sorry, but they manage to make slightly leftfield pop like it's completely natural, like it's summer and they're happy and they're drinking lemonade and ice and just want to let you in on the fun. They don't make music to sit in your room and think about the universe to. But then, their music's not dumb, their music's smart and yes, a bit different (not wildly, but enough) but it manages to reconcile this with having a good time. It's a bit like this B. S. Johnson book I read the other day, which was innovative and intelligent but also really easy to read and a lot of fun (unlike that book, though, Vampire Weekend don't have extreme anger and violence that their core, as far as I can tell).

Then there's the name. Vampire Weekend, I've heard a lot of people complaining, is a shit name. And it doesn't really fit. I quite like it, simply because it is so incongruous. I'd quite like to see the film that Ezra was making under the title, too. He's cute, in a very wide eyed way. Vampire Weekend are quite a cute band in general, music and look, but they manage not to ever become really annoying about it. I guess they might not stay so fresh for long, as the inevitable copycats are probably about to start, but for now I'm hoping that they endure and that we see more of their silly cute faces on television instead of those fuckers from Scouting For Girls.


waited up 'til it was light

Since I went on about it in my introduction, I think I'll make my first proper post be a track-by-track review of Johnny Foreigner's debut LP. I'm not just a JF fan, honest, but I've largely been preoccupied with them since I, er, got hold of the album a few days ago.


Any song, basically, can be made awesome with handclaps. That's a lie, obviously, but if a song's good anyway then it can help it get better. This isn't the best song on the album, but it's a hard choice and it's a great opener; it's fast, fun and pretty catchy. I like the lyrics a lot, from what I can hear, and I love the repeated lines "GET OFF BEFORE THE SHIP GOES DOWN / GET OFF BEFORE THE SHIP SINKS". If the band playing on the titanic had sounded like this and I'd been all standing around like a more awkward and teenage version of Kate Winslet that didn't look like her in any way then there's no way I'd have got off before the ship went down.


This was a single a while ago, but somehow I managed to miss it largely. It was a good choice for a single, though; it starts off slow, mentions ninja, girl vocals (always nice to hear) and then it changes and the drums properly kick in and it turns into another awesome stomp, where Alexei just wants "someone to DIE for". Huh. I kind of know the feeling, Alexei, but let's finish listening to the album for now. Towards the end it changes again and gets even faster and the girl/boy vocals are some of my favourite things ever and the drums just get more awesome. And then it ends after 3 minutes and 19 seconds because Johnny Foreigner do not outstay their welcome.


(Ah, there's that title again, I hear you cry!)

I didn't choose this as a title because I liked the song more than the rest on the album, just because I thought it was an amazing title. I love internal rhyme. Sorry, in my other life I attempt to write poetry. Johnny Foreigner are not a lyrics band, in that they don't sing every line so that you can make it out and transcribe it on pretty much one listen (hi, The Wave Pictures!) but the lyrics that you can make out are pretty incredible throughout. Here they're telling me that my life is a song (a pretty boring one, if it is) but not this one. I think that's kind of obvious, to be honest, but let's not quibble with them this early on. It's a good slogan though, ready to be written on pencil cases across the country. They nail the slow/fast thing pretty well here, anyway. And oh, the title. The title.


This song starts with a couple of seconds of a cappella "ba ba ba", and I'm wondering what a totally a cappella song by this lot would sound like? They have a lot of vocals, and they don't bury them in the mix like some other bands I'm currently championing (hi, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart) but there's a lot of drumming and guitars and general furious... well, not jangle, but rattle. I don't think a totally a cappella song would work, but it's a nice intro. This isn't one of the album's more memorable songs.


This is one of the songs that made me like Johnny Foreigner in the first place. Sometimes re-recorded versions of songs for albums really annoy me, I'm afraid I have been known to condemn a song for not being as good as the demo version... but not here. I can't even remember what the demo sounded like after hearing this, which shows how great it is. The bits where the instruments drop out are brilliant, it's catchy again, and it's furious and the guitar is pretty incredible. And I tend not to ever talk about guitar parts, I'm all about the drumming and the vocals. But even I can tell that the guitar here rules.


The lyrics that I can make out from this one are pretty great, although I think it might be a song about music. I quite like songs about music though. It's like meta-fiction, when it's done right then it's awesome. Again, not one of the most memorable songs for me so far, but maybe it'll grow on me.


This is another title with an internal rhyme! Incredible! The problem with doing a track-by-track is that I'm obviously not in the band and there's only so many ways I can say "oh there was a slow bit that I liked and then it got fast and was awesome!" but I'll try. I LOVE the opening of this song, it's a bit slower and has a great drum beat and fun lyrics such as "stop shaking your hips at me" and it's quite driving and great and then after she keeps asking "are you hungry now?" and I'm thinking just a bit actually, the drumming gets stepped up a bit and the 'do-do-do-do-do-do's etc. start and there's some spoken word in the mix (I LOVE SPOKEN WORD) and then finally everything kicks in and it gets heavy and you know this just became one of my favourite songs on the album and I hadn't even paid it much attention before. DO-DO-DO-DO-DO-DO-DO etc.


A friend of mine doesn't like superfluous exclamation marks. I think he'd be okay with this one though, since it's so needed. This song is well manic, as you'd imagine, and it has a great first couple of seconds and continues being great (although maybe not quite as much) and I love the backing vocals a lot. "Oh, oh, you'll never". I'm never really sure what I make of Alexei's voice. I think in the wrong context it could become annoying. This is the right context though. Johnny Foreigner always are, and I like his voice.


This is pretty gorgeous. It's a lot slower than the rest of their songs, more understated, and the vocal harmonies over "these little white lies" are just lovely. They slow down even more and then come back with a jangle, champagne girls and the boy/girl vocals are just completely amazing. They're not shouting, they're lamenting, there's no such thing as a free night out, lies hurt you, we knew that already but they tear through you like a Christmas cracker. This is a bit of a breather, but it's not filler, it's just brilliant.


Johnny Foreigner, of course, are from Birmingham. I believe that the name of this references somewhere in Birmingham. This is one of the catchiest songs they've done, and it references car-parks and shopping centres and casio keyboards. It's like the end of the world and this is all that's left, but they're singing about being drunk and waiting for someone in the city, waiting although they're impatient, you can hear it. TRACEY, TRACEY. I'm becoming less coherent as I progress, sorry. I love the screaming near the end. I MAY BE DRUNK BUT AT LEAST I'M STANDING UP.


For the record, I like the 'yr' thing. Not because I take it to be a Sonic Youth reference, but because of, er, the Black Mountain Poets. Sorry. Anyway, I just think it's quite a cute abbreviation. Especially when you sign emails with it, like, yrs, Charly. This one starts fast and pretty much stays like that. I love the bit at the end with the two vocal parts.


At 5:00 exactly, this is the longest track on the album. I sometimes even manage to get bored with songs that are less than two minutes long (hi, I have a short attention span - actually writing this whole post in one go is a pretty big deal for me) but this song isn't boring. It's a bit slower than some of their others, and mixes some pretty great girl backing vocals with the drumming and guitar parts. This song is pretty much about the drumming for me, though, awesome.


Let's take a minute to reflect on how awesome this song title is. The lyrics, again, from what I can tell, are pretty great, about being sick in the mornings and putting up with what you've got and there's some call and response vocals, sort of, and yelping and imperatives, great a cappella moments, and everything is coming in time, even as this album runs out of it. And it does run out of it. But that was a pretty awesome 43:20 minutes, thank you for accompanying me.

Seriously, when this comes out, buy it! It's not my favourite album of the year (I'm sorry, but Los Campesinos! took that position months ago and are clutching it with their xylophone-mastering hands) but it's one of them and it's just too much to miss out on. It sounds like a summer where everything's a bit confusing, where maybe it's too hot or you've forgotten to eat. You need that sometimes. Go for it.


So this'll serve as my introduction. I'm Charly, I'm 18, I wrote a post once for Sugar & Noise, failed at writing any more and also failed at properly updating my poetry & book blog, (Write It!) (maybe because of the stupid name, I hear you cry!)

I feel it's best to introduce yourself to new people by admitting your failures. Actually that's a lie but I thought I'd inject some pretentiousness nice and early into this blog. Anyway, I hope I have a better track record with this. Eyes Wide Terrified, by the way, is a pretty awesome song from the new Johnny Foreigner album, Waited Up Til It Was Light. Which isn't out yet, but as soon as it is I expect you all to rush off to yr nearest (I was going to say 'independent record store', but that would make me a massive hypocrite. To be fair, Ipswich doesn't have any independent shops that get new releases, but still) shop that'll stock it and buy a copy and carry it home and rock out or something. It's fight-pop, apparently.

Anyway, that's my introduction over with. Now I'll get down to the actual music blogging. I'm sure you're DEADLY excited.