The musical adventures of 2009 – January!

As the New Year partying finally comes to an end, you find yourself lying, dying in your bed, your body telling you that you’re going to pay for all the alcoholic abuse you’ve put it through, wondering if its worth your breath uttering resolutions that probably wont even make it till the end of the month, never mind the end of the year, and also wondering what craziness this year is going to bring and what music is going to soundtrack it.

  Well my half hearted attempts at any kind of new year resolutions have had varying degrees of success so far. Cutting out smoking got off to a great start, and in the first two weeks of the year there were only two moments when i found myself grabbing for menthol medication. So i know i can take it or leave it, although at the moment im doing more taking than leaving, but its still early days so we’ll see how it goes. As for drinking, ive had a very sober time, with only one night of mild drinking occuring, accompanied with the brutalising of many 80’s power ballads on Sing Star. Im sure theres going to be plenty of drunken stories and adventures on the horizon though.

   So with my quiet and sober january days and nights ive been scouring the sales and charity shop bargain bins as well as looking out for any new releases in the music world to kick off what should be, as always, a colourful, unpredictable and entertaining year in music.

   A journey to Glasgow is always incomplete without a visit to Fopp (or flopp as jodie likes to call it), which is always littered with great bargains, good and bad. After having taken jodie to the Irn Bru festival and managing to fly round most of the rides in just over an hour, including the one which has verified my fear of heights by rising as far up as it could go without hitting the roof, then shooting down and various speeds, all in the name of alledged fun. ‘stick your hands in air’ screamed some crazy kid beside me, while my knuckles were turning white as i held onto the metal bar for dear life. If any word came to mind beginning with the letter F while on this ride, it certainly wasn’t Fun. So after surviving our yearly irn bru funfair frights i felt it only right to treat myself to a couple of cheap price cds.

  So while leaving jodie outside finishing off her steak bake i promised her i would only be a couple of minutes as i popped into fopp. Realising this was a blatant lie she was in right behind me, telling me my time was already up. After informing her that there was, literally, a shop full of shit that i could gladly indulge in buying (they even had a couple of MR. MISTER cds) i bribed her with the promise of hitting poundland to buy her usual shit when i was finished.

  With only £8 to spare i decided to choose wisely. So i got the WE ARE THE PIPETTES cd for £3, which i had previously only had as a copy, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds DIG!!! LAZURUS DIG!!!.  The Pipettes are like a modernised version of all those 60s, phil spectorish all girl bands. Its an excellent cd, which just makes you just want to sing and dance. This did get colin into trouble one time with his ex, when she demanded to know why their daughter had started singing one of her favourite songs from the album, DIRTY MIND. Well i feel that having young children subjected to all the x factor nonsense and pop pish thats masquarading as music these days is far more harmful to their childhood than anything that the Pipettes have to offer.

   DIG!!! LAZURUS DIG!!! is a fine album as well. Nick Cave is a very intelligent and witty songwriter and theres always something that will put a smile on your face while listening to his dark broody music.

    As i no longer work in the Cavern, i feel that my days of casually losing cds on a regular basis are behind me and im always on the look out to replace any of my favourite cds that ive lost along the years with my unique drunken dj-ing style.  I managed to pick up MOON SAFARI by Air over the christmas period and was more than happy to have this excellent album back in my collection.

   Hitting the Valhalla record shop in Kilmarnock i managed to reaquaint myself with a few old friends. For the third, and hopefully last time, i bought Bloc Partys first album THE SILENT ALARM, the Stereophonics debut cd WORD GETS AROUND (yeah i know how much i go on about them, but this was a pretty decent album with some good tunes on it) and DIAMONDS AND PEARLS  by Prince, one of his finest albums of the 90s and could easily sit proudly beside any of his masterpieces of the 80s.

   I also picked up Nicky Wire’s solo album I KILLED THE ZEITGEIST. I was a bit worried that i was repeating a mistake i had made years earlier by thinking it would be a good idea to buy an album which featured JOHN SQUIRE, from the Stone Roses singing, but gladly this album by the Manic Street Preacher bass player is a far more tuneful and enjoyable affair. By no means is he a great singer but his slightly off tune vocals are quite endearing and, as proved many times with the Manics, he does have a way with a good melody. Its a nice little cd that rewards with repeated listening and will do nicely unitl the new Manics album comes out later in the year, which could be very interesting as it features lyrics that had been written and left by Richey when he disappeared 14 years ago.

  The first new release of the year comes from the hottly tipped WHITE LIES, whose debut album of the same name nicely slipped to number one on its first week of release. It doesnt really offer anything new, its a throwback to the cool end of the early 80s as well as trying to fill the gap until the next Editors album comes out. The Editors and Joy Division seem to be the biggest influences on this album and you can also hear a little of the killers here, a touch of the Cure there, the spirit of Echo and the Bunnymen files around and a gorgeous Duran Duran chorus complements early single TO LOSE MY LIFE. As i said to colin when we saw them supporting Glasvegas at the Barrowlands at the end of last year ‘i’d buy it!’. Well i did, and i love it. In fact the cds hardly been off since i bought it and im sure by the time i drunkenly stagger into a tent at this summers T in the Park, i’ll be down the front, jumping about like a maniac, back in my own little 80s heaven.

  I was very excited about the new Antony and the Johnsons cd coming out, and even more so when colin informed me that it was better than their last one IM A BIRD NOW. A bold statement as IM A BIRD NOW is one of my favourite albums of recent years. Very personnal as its helped me through many moments of madness in recent years and a cd i always love returning to, not just when im feeling down or sad or just want to be alone but also because its fills me with calmness and peacefulness. Its simply a  beautiful and sad piece of music from a unique voice in the music world.

  His new album, THE CRYING LIGHT, is another excellent selection of amazing songs that i feel i will never tire of listening to.

   Just before you think that ive left all my dodgy music buying behind me, dont panic. That part of lunacy will never desert me.  After leaving a charity shop in Ayr, i had found the bargain of the month by purchasing Madonna’s LIKE A PRAYER for £1 and the GREATEST HITS of Billy Ocean for 50 pence!

   LIKE A PRAYER is an excellent song, and the first time i heard JOY RIDE on the new Killers album, i swore to god i thought Brandon Flowers was going to break into this song at one point. Give it another listen, hes so close to going there.

  And Billy Ocean (have you seen him recently? bloody hell, he looks more like God than Morgan Freeman did in either Bruce Almighty or Evan Almighty) no matter what you say, theres more than enough songs on this cd for me to get my 50 pence worth. It concentrates more on his big 80s hits, theres no RED LIGHT SPELLS DANGER or LOVE REALLY HURTS WITHOUT YOU. But theres CARIBBEAN QUEEN, LOVERBOY, THERE’LL BE SAD SONGS and the bizzarely titled GET OUTTA MY DREAMS AND INTO MY CAR! where at one point in the song he asks someone to ‘touch his bumper’, wel i think (and hope) its his bumper hes talking about.

    And i still pray for the day that i open the papers to see that hes teamed up with those 90s mod rockers to form the ultimate supergroup, BILLY OCEAN COLOUR SCENE! I think i could die happy after seeing that collaboration.

   I mentioned in my A to Z alphabetising of my cd collection that i was on the look out for a copy of Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylors 1987 solo album THUNDER, and hallelujah to colin who found a copy, searching the web, from Germany. You are indeed, my man, a golden god.

  After leaving Duran Duran in 85, Andy just wanted to do what he thought he did best, and that was to rock out. This is total 80s rock, and some people would say it should have been left there, but who gives a shit what some people say. On this album he teams up with another legendary guitarist, STEVE JONES from the Sex Pistols, who also helped write the songs. These songs sounded refreshingly familiar to me, even after some 20 odd years. I could quite easily jump in a time machine back to the 80s and happily stay there.

  Finally got THE SELDOM SEEN KID by Elbow, the one that won them the Mercury Music Prize last year. Im not a massive fan of this band, although i have now got all their albums, but do like some of their stuff and maybe will sit down at some point and go through them all again to see if i can appreciate them any better.

   Rounding off my music buying for january is the new album from Franz Ferdinand, simply called TONIGHT. Its apparantly a night out with Franz Ferdinand, which takes you out to the disco dancefloor, to after hours partying and raving and finally stumbing home in the early hours of the next morning all bleary eyed and danced out. They havent reinvented the wheel here or anything, its undeniably Franz, but why should they try to change it when it works so well for them. And if you’re quick you can get the limited edition package which comes with an extra cd called BLOOD, which is basically a selection of their new songs, all dubbed up if they dont already feel dancy enough for you.

    Thats us for january, so we’ll just have to wait and see what february has in hold for us. The Brit Awards are just round the corner so im sure i’ll have a few chosen words to say about the winnersand the sinners once its all done and dusted.

   And we’re getting closer to festival season, with the first few names just announced for this years T in the Park, or what is on first glance looking like De Ja Vu in the Park.  With a recession hitting and money worries at an all time high for everyone it looks like festival organisers are playing it safe this year. Connect Festival is having a year off with the promise of returning in 2010, and Kings of Leon and Snow Patrol have just been announced as two headliners for T 2009. It now seems that Kings of Leon are the house band for this event and it was only 2 years ago that Snow Patrol headlined the event. And Kate Perry, whose only had two chart hits singles out is headlining the NME stage on the saturday night.

    Considering we never went near the main stage for the main headliners last year, i dont think theres anything to worry about as theres many great treats to be found at this event on the other smaller stages and tents. Last year alone i had an excellent time discovering great performances from the 1990s, My Morning Jacket, Vampire Weekend, Frightened Rabbit, Alabama 3 as well as some better known established acts.

   I’ll be keeping a watchful eye as the line up unfolds over the next few months and if all else fails i’ll be following the instructions of Rick Witter from SHED SEVEN when he informed everyone in the crowd after their performance to GET PISSED. DESTROY!

Published in: on February 1, 2009 at 11:27 pm  Comments (1)