This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

Music Monthlies: February 2006

27th February 2006

Not a classic Music Monthly this month, folks. I’ve managed to slice a deep cut into my finger whilst making one of my trademark winter stews, so I’m feeling feint after much blood-loss, and typing is less than easy right now.

Anyway, the show must go on. Unfortunately, I’ve had my head down with something called work through February, so I’ve made few discoveries on the music front.

The New Pornographers

Last month, Matthew and Anthony tipped me off about Canada’s The New Pornographers, and I have to say that I’m hooked. Their latest album Twin Cinema is a classic blend of many great influences, shifting from jerky bounce-pop (the title track) through to sublime joyousness of These Are The Fables - the latter easily my favourite track with it’s warm female vocal and gentle fuzziness. Easily, peasily, the track of the month in my house.

Dirty Pretty Things

There’s already a big buzz surrounding Dirty Pretty Things (hmm, nice website, by the way - more about that in another post). Ex-Libertine Carl Barat has assembled a bunch of rogues (including ex-Cooper Temple Clause chap Didz Hammond). I always loved The Cooper Temple Clause, so I hope the move works out for Mr. Didz. Anyway, Dirty Pretty Things aren’t actually releasing a single until 24th April (probably Bang Bang, You’re Dead), but they’ve just headed off on a sold-out tour, and caused a stir with their first TV appearance at this year’s NME Awards. It’s all a bit ramshackle, much like the Libertines, but I’m full of anticipation for what’s to come. Did I mention that they have a fantastic website? Ahem.

Awards

Tis the season for self-congratulation. February saw both The Brits and The NME Awards filling a few hours on our British telly screens. As usual, there was little to savour, and lots to get fucked-off about.

Firstly, The Brits. I always watch it, but I always hate it. I won’t link to some of the following artists, as I do not wish to be responsible for any hits to their websites. Naturally, the inanely dull, despearate and dreadful James Blunt (ripe for rhyming slang if anyone is) won gongs despite being absolutely fucking awful. Somehow, he’s sold a trillion copies of his pitifully soppy album though, so someone likes him.

I was most pissed-off to see that arch enemies of all things good and proper U2 received a Best Album nomination for their last album for the second year in a row! How incredibly wrong is that? I fucking hate U2. They made four good records in twenty-odd years, and Bonio is the most pompous wanker in the world. I respect his attempts to save the world, but just wish he’d do it in someone else’s living room. For the record, I do my bit to save the world, so point your anger somewhere else, short-arse.

At least the Arctic Monkeys (I’m contractually obliged to mention them every month) won a Brit for Best Breakthrough Act. They also won Best Track, Best Newcomer and Best Band at the NME Awards, and were thoroughly Northern and funny with their beer-fuelled acceptance speeches. Good work, young fellas. The lead singer needs a haircut though.

The NME Awards were interesting, if only for Bob Geldof calling the presenter a “cunt”, the aforementioned Arctic Monkeys scooping up everything, and ex Stone Rose Ian Brown getting his Godlike Genius award. I basically thought Brown was a God in 1990, but now he looks like some kind of ape-zombie chimera. He still deserves my respect though, so he can have it.

A bloody conclusion

This has not been a classic Music Monthly, of that I am aware. Still, with blood all over the keyboard, and my life flashing before my eyes, I don’t really care to be honest. You can ease my pain by offering the usual recommendations to help me through my current musical famine. Uh-oh, I’m feeling woozy…

Responses

# paul haine responded on 27th February 2006 with...

Typed in your own blood. That’s proper hardcore.

# Ben Ward responded on 27th February 2006 with...

Slow month for me as well, musically. No money at all to buy anything so I’ve been surviving on hand-me-downs from housemates.

That said, hand-me-downs such as The National’s ‘Alligator’ have been great. I know nothing at all about them, but there’s a bit of Arcade Fire in the sound. Certainly recommended.

Radiohead suddenly got back on my playlist with a vengeance. I’ve not played any of their albums in full for a good few months, but suddenly they’ve clicked with me again and the new album can’t come soon enough.

I only had half an eye on the awards shows, but whereas at the age of 16 I would have passionate and irrational arguments with my friends about how anything rock should win by default, I’m so passive towards them now I can barely muster an opinion. Heck, I didn’t even consider blogging it, which in retrospect is odd ‘cause I fancy a rant.

Quite liked Arctic Monkey’s soundbite from the NMEs (‘who else was going to win it?’) and respect to them for playing a gig rather than attend the Brits.

Depressingly, the award I noticed most was the ever self-congratulatory NME receiving ‘Best Website’ for the second year in a row. Twats.

# Richard Rutter responded on 27th February 2006 with...

Silly boy. If you didn’t have your head down in work, and instead watch what you’re doing, maybe you wouldn’t slice your fingers instead of your carrots. Hope it wasn’t supposed to be a vegetarian stew.

Last.fm says I’ve been listening to Curve and the Doors.

# Simon Clayson responded on 27th February 2006 with...

There’s some proper spitting fundamentalism in this post. I like it. All awards are corrupt by default surely? James Blunt is one of those completely bizarre things in life that you should’nt think about too much. There are people in our society walking the streets who have actually purchased his record.

# Anthony responded on 27th February 2006 with...

Hmm yeah it’s been a funny few weeks too.

I’ve tried my hand at weird psychadelic 60’s brazillian rock with the Troplicalia compliation.

That’s quite cool actually, and it showed me the source of the Bees’ A Minha Menina.

It’s certainly a bit different, and doesn’t really show it’s age.

Also I acquainted myself with the Jack Johnson back catalogue.

Is it wrong to like Jack Johnson?

Never thought I’d like that sort of strummy, guitary, whimsy sort of thing… but I find it impossible to resist the guy.

I think he uses special surfer magic or something.

# Robin Parker responded on 28th February 2006 with...

One album that seems to have landed in the shops without any fanfare whatsoever is Statues, by The Open. Possibly the most ambitious album released by a Liverpudlian guitar band since…what were they called again?

# Simon Collison responded on 1st March 2006 with...

Ben: Someone in the office mentioned it’d be nice to get another web nomination for the NME Awards for 2007, and then we remembered that the NME’s own website will of course win it. Still bitter about that.

Robin: We had the Open’s first album last year or the year before. I’d seen them in a tent at Glasto in 95 and they were great, but the album left me cold. I’ll try the new one though.

Anthony: I don’t reckon it’s wrong to like Jack Johnson. He seems like a nice “dude”, and the music doesn’t feel too corporate, even though it’s backed with big bucks. Like what you like, that’s what I say. But don’t like James Blunt or I’ll ban your Ip address.

Richard: Curve!!! Toni halliday!!! Drooool. I had all their EPs - they were ace - bit dark though. Totty for indie boys, but great music too. Loved “Frozen”.

Paul: Me finger’s healing nicely now. Time for some salt ‘n vinegar crisps.

# James Ford responded on 1st March 2006 with...

Bromhead’s Jacket are a great new band - in the mould of arctic monkeys/rolling stones/the streets. Big article in the radar section of NME this week.

# Syed Huda responded on 2nd March 2006 with...

You should check out Tapes ‘n Tapes and The Spinto Band. Both very Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-ish. With Tapes ‘n Tapes being predicted for big things by a little record store near me.

# JamesM responded on 4th March 2006 with...

In an attempt help prevent a future month of musical famine, “this week I have been mostly listening to…”
Wolf Parade
?Forward, Russia!
The Young Knives
Broken Social Scene
The Harrisons
The Infadels
Gang of Four
Ta-ra!

# Colly responded on 4th March 2006 with...

JamesM: Yeah! Gang Of Four were tremendous. I say were, but I think they’re still at it. Didn’t they just re-record Entertainment? A class act anyway.

My colleague Max went to see Broken Social Scene in Brum the other week, and he’s brought the album in. I’ll check it out.

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