Posts Tagged ‘Metronomy’
If I shelve my hormones for a moment I have always been suspicious of Ryan Gosling’s level of perfection. I think he’s been genetically modified to brain wash us into what perfection should look and behave like. Recently I went to see the utterly breathtaking Place Beyond The Pines and left with my mind made up that the only men I’ll date from this moment will wear their t-shirts inside out for no reason, bleach their hair and have a dagger tattoo on their face. Such is the power of Gosling.
My suspicions were cemented for me at the weekend when I got a text from my friend Jo (who I am now in eternal debt to) asking me if I’d heard of Dead Man’s Bones.
Turns out, and we may be the last people on the planet to know about this but it’s my new obsession so I’m blogging anyway, Ryan Gosling along with Zach Shields wrote an album of love songs for ghosts, zombies, monsters and werewolves . With a children’s choir. With no experience of playing any instruments. Best concept album that’s come into my life since Metronomy’s The English Riviera.
The videos below are worth watching.
Be still my fluttering ovaries.
I will never get over how glamorous Metronomy make Torquay appear in their video to The Bay. The most realistic thing about the video is the girls spreading their legs behind the bushes outside the leisure centre on Torre Abbey. I grew up there, I can speak with authority. This is a town where bronzing balls are used on your cleavage and not on your cheekbones. Joseph Mount’s concept album The English Riviera is so unbelievably close to my heart for the very reason I was born and raised there.
Anyway. I am tired and grumpy. I have a couple of bruised and battered toes taped together and I thought I nearly swam into a poo at Tooting Bec Lido earlier this week. Then I done a mini cry over the beauty that is Mercury Rev’s The Dark is Rising. I completely forgot how emotionally woeful that track is. So if you are on a Friday high perhaps skip the final track of my M mixtape.
- The Maccabees – Love You Better
- The Mighty Wah! – The Story Of The Blues
- Metronomy – The Bay
- McAlmont & Butler – Yes
- Mint Royale (feat. Lauren Laverne) – Don’t Falter
- Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – You’re All I Need To Get By
- Mary Epworth – Black Doe
- Marc Almond – If You Go Away
- The Middle East – Blood
- Mercury Rev – The Dark Is Rising
Before any clever clogs point out to me that there’s no way I can see all the bands on this list due to those painful festival clashes we all suffer at times I am fully aware. That’s what getting drunk is for, those flippant decisions that you can regret the morning after. Still, they’re the bands and artists I am most giddy about for Field Day this Saturday. You can play the mixtape on Spotify or YouTube. ♥
We had one place to buy records in little old seaside town Brixham. It was also the only option if you needed a washing machine. Terry R Darts on Fore Street. Once you squeezed past the white goods you could climb up the creaky staircase to see Paul who looked after the music selection, he would order in anything you wanted that he didn’t have in stock.
My first album, Hits 5 would more than likely have been purchased from there. It was on tape and lost to the world of Charity Shops decades ago but last year in Oxfam I found the exact album on vinyl. Oh the sweet smell of nostalgia, karma bringing back what was once rightfully mine but in a different format. That luscious black grooved pancake that has come back in fashion.
This weekend sees the return of Record Store Day where people will get up at seemingly impossible hours and commit to the queues. It’s a fantastic event for the genuine music lovers (if only there were a way of filtering out those that are there for ebay profit, maybe cashiers should challenge those buying to sing 5 songs from the artist they’re purchasing) and I doff my cap to all behind it and the artists who have produced limited releases and remixes for us lovely geeks.
For me, bliss is an afternoon spent lurking in Rough Trade, Asahi in one hand, records in the other. So every time I step through their doors it’s Record Store Day to me. Metronomy gig for the price of the album that I’d of rushed to buy anyway, Jarvis Cocker reading from his book Brother, Mother, Lover just for buying his book? Two reasons to keep going back and willingly offering my custom, not just limiting it to one day, like a musical bank holiday. These special stores that bring a smile to our ears deserve our paper round money all year round.
I put Hits 5 on while I typed this post and decided to add a mixtape. Here’s some of the tracks that made me smile and probably shaped my taste in music and by Jove a lot of them stand up to the test of time. You can play it on Spotify or YouTube. ♥
- The Psychedelic Furs – Heartbreak Beat
- Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
- Prince – Anotherloverholenyohead
- Rod Stewart – Every Beat Of My Heart
- The Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong
- Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
- Eurythmics – Thorn In My Side
- Haywoode - Roses
- The Stranglers – Always The Sun
- Cyndi Lauper – True Colours
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Had someone told the 11-year-old me that as an adult I would not have to spend ninety minutes putting together a mixtape, that I could drag MP3 files onto a tiny machine in mere seconds and not be restrained by the length of a TDK90 I would have, quite frankly, thought someone was spinning me a sci-fi yarn. I would have paused a moment to look at just how deranged their eyes were and then gone back to puzzling if I could fit one more track on to Side A, hand hovering over play + record. Gone back to cutting out a new inlay for the cassette box to write the tracklist on, tearing pages from an exercise book. Gone back to sneaking around the house, borrowing from my families music collection.
I have a first generation iPod, I have been plugged into it and in love with it since I purchased it in 2001. It has never broken or ran out of battery half way through a long train journey. I still marvel that I am carrying the majority of my music collection around with me. Steve Jobs, you helped make a little girls sci-fi dreams come true.
As for music, those first records I used to listen to. All those artists were inspired by Bert Jansch. Johnny Marr, Neil Young, Jimmy Page, Graham Coxon and Paul Simon all sit on my iPod. These talented men looked to quiet, unassuming Bert, wanted to emanate him, be at his level. He not only led the British folk revival in the 60′s with Pentangle, he was an inspiration to ground-breaking guitarists.
Both men will be sadly missed in this world.
My choices this week as usual reflect what I’ve been listening to most. The songs I’ve discovered, songs that have come on shuffle at just the right moment, songs that have been brought to me by friends, songs that came on the jukebox and made me sing a long in pubs, songs I think everyone should listen to.
The tracks have not been chosen as a tribute as such, my words above hopefully serve that purpose.
If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape. ♥
1. Foals - This Orient (This album was hands down my album of 2010 and it remains close to my heart this year. I was dragging my feet walking along this week when I unexpectedly found myself suddenly on a canal path, this came on shuffle. I smiled to myself the whole way through).
2. Theme Park – A Mountain We Love (I like the messiness of this track, so many noises happening behind the vocals “tell me nothings wrong, tell me nothings right”. It’s like a bloody great headache. Play it loud, roll up your sleeves and pretend you’re on a dance floor).
3. Zulu Winter – Let’s Move Back To Front (I am lucky enough to have a very cool friend who is equally obsessed with music as I am. She is called Priyam, I miss her as she’s buggered off to Australia. Across oceans she gave me this song this week. Cowbells unite us across the miles).
4. Metronomy – Corinne (Regular readers of this blog are probably shouting “we get it, you love Metronomy”. Yet I still persist on adding their tracks every few weeks. The sped up live version is an epically brilliant challenge for your feet. Ten months in to 2011 and this is still firmly my favourite album this year).
5. Yeasayer – O.N.E (Love how such an upbeat song can have such sad lyrics. Yeasayer are, in my eyes, the indie girls version of a boy band).
6. Lucy Rose – Scar (Talented, pretty Lucy Rose. I think she’ll be one to keep an eye out for. This song is really close to my heart at the moment, the lovely Lolita sent it to me. It makes me well up every time I hear it, but in a lovely sad way.. yes, there’s such a thing).
7. Lanterns on the Lake – If I’ve been unkind (This album came to me thanks to Rough Trade alerting me to it. I played it three times in a row as soon as I heard it and booked tickets to see them immediately. Sometimes an album just grabs you, sends shivers and sighs through your body. I lay on my bed with headphones on, I felt like it was my soundtrack. It’s just stunning).
8. Joni Mitchell – This Flight Tonight (With this weeks passing of Bert Jansch its no surprise I’ve been revisiting a lot of folk albums I loved as a teenager. Blue is such a stunning piece of work, it stirs up the teenage poet in me).
9. Bert Jansch – October Song (For a great man who inspired so many people. When Lauren Laverne played this on 6 Music this week I cried at my desk and let the tears plop onto my keyboard).
10. Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind (This is one of the most heart breaking songs ever penned, I can’t listen to it without welling up. It’s just beautifully sad. It felt fitting to end on this).
This weeks mixtape is being brought to you courtesy of Thom Vincent. I’m having a week off, and it’s come at a much-needed time seeing as I’ve not actually managed to get out of bed yet after a picnic that turned into dancing in The Stag until the early hours & me trying to smoke an acorn as it was shaped like a pipe.
Here’s the thing about Thom. I met him through mutual friends and was instantly at ease in his company. He is nerdy, intelligent, funny and kind. Now he is living down under I can’t help but feel I did not spend enough time taking advantage of his company. Blighty will surely miss him.
He’s chosen one song from each of the ten albums he’s managed to squeeze onto his iPod shuffle while he wanders around Sydney. Enjoy his choices, I am quite in awe of his mixtape & the fact someone I know out there still has a iPod shuffle. However I have to dispute his comments on Foo Fighters, it is always cool to listen to them rock out. All tracks he’s chosen have a few words about them from the clever man himself ♥
Friday night after drinks with a friend I found myself wandering around London with my camera. I was cold, a bit drunk, feeling run down, a bit bloody scared of the future as I’ve recently been made redundant, also slightly relieved as I was miserable at my last placement. Above all these emotions I felt a massive need to fall in love with London again.
All week I’d reminded myself how much I love it here, a drink alone in The Endurance, a walk around streets where the old buildings are allowed to co-exist with the new, inspiring drinks with my dearest friend, geeking out in Gosh! and surprise lunches from Lolita.
Unemployment scares the shit out of me frankly, I’ve never been out of work. This week the following panics have gone through my mind. What if I have to move to Milton Keynes? What if I start going loopy and try to grow my armpit hair? What if I have to work in Chicken Cottage? I don’t know why any of these thoughts have haunted me, but they have.
Where I’m lucky is that I’m really self-motivated and haven’t let this crush me (entirely) so I’ve been overly proactive on the job hunt. Where I’m even luckier is I have a lot of people who really believe in me, unconditionally and without question. They have kept me buoyed.
Music has played a massive part in keeping me positive as well. The songs that came on the jukebox at just the right time when I was sat alone and feeling down. Songs that have made me think anything is possible. Songs that keep me connected to all the things I adore in my life. You can listen to them by clicking anywhere on this post that says mixtape.
Last weeks mixtape was dedicated to strangers that inspired me. This weeks mixtape is for those that have been pretty awesome to me this week, putting up with the phone calls, the moodiness around the flat, the pints purchased and especially Lolita who has talked me out of my moments of Milton Keynes madness. ♥
- Moloko – Familiar Feelings
- Metronomy – The Look
- Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
- CSS – Music Is My Hot Sex
- John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett – Really Free
- Billy Bragg – A New England
- The Kinks – This Time Tomorrow
- Band Of Horses – Factory
- My Morning Jacket – The Day Is Coming
- Bon Iver – Holocene
This weeks mixtape turned into a challenge set by Marc via twitter. I have two standard responses to challenges. The first is to approach it with an energy & ferocity equal to Keith Moon’s drumming. The second it to approach with a slow pod, calmly confident I will get there in the end much like listening to Guy Garvey. I’ve approached this somewhere in between. I started off whizzing through it but then trying to whittle it down was a plodder.
I was to list my top 25 tracks of 2011 (so far) and although it sounds easy enough to do Marc had put his in order too. Well, painfully I’ve managed to get the list down to 25 after spending 5 days on it. As for showing favouritism, I just couldn’t do it. Every time I tried I felt guilty about placing Anna Calvi before PJ Harvey, or Black Lips over Bon Iver. So, although my list is no way near as cool as Marc’s here are the tracks that have stood out for me this year. Hope you enjoy, click on spotify to listen, the final three tracks are via YouTube.
If you have a playlist challenge for me email me at email@example.com. ♥
- Beirut – East Harlem
- Metronomy – She Wants
- PJ Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder
- Emmy The Great – Iris
- Bon Iver – Calgary
- Lykke Li- Sadness Is A Blessing
- Wild Beasts – Bed Of Nails
- The Black Lips – Family Tree
- Friendly Fires – Hawaiian Air
- Anna Calvi – Blackout
- R.E.M. – Uberlin
- Sleigh Bells – Riot Rhythm
- Cold War Kids – Louder Than Ever
- Sparrow & The Workshop – Snakes In The Grass
- The Joy Formidable – A Heavy Abacus
- Wye Oak – Civilian
- Fleet Foxes – Someone You’d Admire
- Patrick Wolf – The City
- The Strokes – Undercover Of Darkness
- Foo Fighters – Rope
- Wu Lyf – Lyf
- The Go! Team – Buy Nothing Day
- Little Dragon – Ritual Union
- The Horrors – Still Life
- Bjork – Cosmogony
I alternate between a weary sigh and laughter when I see people launch themselves through half closed tube doors in London, shoulders being thrown out of joint and laptop bags been trapped as they’ve flailed behind. I laugh because those people who do look silly. I sigh because if you’re that late already waiting for the next [insert tube line here] train arriving in 1 minute is not going to make any difference. I don’t, won’t and never will run for public transport. I have a country pace of life instilled in me, it’s my heritage and after 7 years of living in London I don’t think I’m likely to change.
I recently took the boy down to where I’m from, The English Riviera (title of Metronomy’s 3rd & now Mercury nominated album). On a walk along a beach in Brixham I asked him if he thought the place where I grew up represented my personality. In a split second he said “Yes, you’re so patient and on a level”.
That was the moment I realised that place, that little bay, has actually had an impact on who I am, even though I never really felt like I fitted in. I grew up in a wonderful, intelligent and caring family but my school years were difficult. I was in top sets but my teenage years were tormented by terrible, crippling acne and the bullying that comes with it (as Morrissey says “I can smile about it now, but at the time it was terrible”). After school you fall into three categories in that area. You’re either pregnant as you’re sitting your GCSE’s so your life is mapped out (notoriously high levels of teen pregnancies in Torbay). Alternatively you go to University or you find a job. I took the job route and still felt like I wasn’t fitting in. My Mum once described living with me was like “living with a ghost”. It was only when I moved to London that I felt the ground beneath my feet was Mecca, home, my pilgrimage complete.
Like anywhere you reminisce over I have an appreciation for it now I don’t live there. Joe Mount paints a pretty picture of The English Riviera, sending up the area in the video to The Bay making it look like you’re in Cannes with scantily clad girls spreading their legs. It’s not far from the truth even though it’s tongue in cheek. It really is a beautiful, breathtaking area (where women use bronzing balls to enhance their cleavage), “Those endless beaches that go on and on….” sings Mount.
Hearing the sea gulls eerily echo as it opens, the picture painted of domestic violence in Corinne by someone in the forces is a picture I can sadly say is true of practically every friend I had in Torquay (yes, listen closely to the upbeat song & you’ll hear it has a dark undertone), the fairground organ used in The Look conjuring up images of shabby Paignton pier. I remember when Muse revealed they were from Teignmouth and I was ranting to my Dad how I couldn’t believe they were from sleepy Devon, he didn’t look up from his paper as he said “Everyone has to come from somewhere”. So yes, why not from Torbay, The English Riviera. Where my parents met, where they eventually wed & raised four children. Where I lost my virginity, got caught shoplifting as a teen, wanted to escape from, learned to swim, whistle, took ballet classes… you get the picture.
Hearing a whole album based on an area you know so intimately tugs at my heart strings, I feel a connection to it. It’s my album, it makes me think of home and makes me think of everything I am now. I even have a nod to lyrics from She Wants permanently etched onto my foot. It get’s my vote for the Mercury Album prize, and I’m not sure anything will rival it for my personal album of the year. In love. ♥
Listen to Metronomy – The English Riviera on Spotify
I wanted to write this the moment I bundled through the flat door, it had priority over showering and changing the knickers I’d been wearing for days. However if I had followed through on this I fear it would have been the ramblings of a woman embarking on a self-inflicted, sleep deprived breakdown, ending with my tears plopping over my Macbook.
I’ve been thinking about what I would write about Glastonbury. How do you avoid sounding annoying to those who missed out or a bore to people who just don’t care? How do you sum up a festival that is going to be so uniquely different to each person who was there. Glastonbury, when embraced, becomes quite a personal experience.
I could tell you how seeing Metronomy on the Pyramid Stage on the Friday was emotional, hearing an album based on an area where I grew up on that historic stage was spine tingling for me. I could tell you I laughed until I cried at my friend’s behaviour (we decided it isn’t twitter safe so it’s definitely not blog safe to reveal details either). That Darwin Deez danced to Enya, The Spice Girls & Willow Smith (but you wouldn’t believe me right?). That despite my hesitations U2 were a festival highlight, that when I didn’t think I could dance anymore The Go! Team got me back up on my feet. That a pizza, lemonade and boy saved me from a bad hangover. That I had my wallet stolen but didn’t care as I was having such an amazing time. That in choosing to see Beyoncé I feel like I witnessed one of those historic musical performances. I could tell you that although the memories are drunkenly hazy I know I smiled like there was no tomorrow, no time constraints, no real life.
None of this really matters except to me, and those who were at my side… 170,000 of you.
We were there. ♥
NB: I was recently criticised for tweeting during a gig, but that led to contributing to The Guardian’s Glastonbury coverage. Tweeting didn’t detract from my experience at all & I just want to say thanks to the staff who gave me the opportunity to do so. Great fun!