Priests – The Seduction of Kansas

priests

I thought I did their first album on here but I’m confusing that with something else vaguely similar I discovered around the same time.

I just went down to make a cuppa before doing this post and I had the opening line, but I’m now back up and I’ve forgotten it. Blame it on my current headache. I have headaches as hangers on at the moment. They think it’s cool to be seen with me for some reason. Something about the The Times they are a-Raging.

The good thing about rage is you can make music with it that is your standard rage music, and heaven knows we’ve all done that sometimes and how much fun it can be, but you can also channel it into more subtle forms and make people think you’re just trying to write pop songs or something, delivering the rage to the listener via the medium of the earworm. You can put sugar on snarls, you know.

Funny thing about getting older, and it’s only really the last year or so I’ve noticed this – whatever was the last thing I listened to goes round my head until I listen to something else, no matter if it’s the first time I listened to it or the million and first. I listened to ‘Jesus Son’  for the first time on a Dusted review last thing before getting in the bath a couple of Sundays ago and it was still going round my head when I got to work the next Monday morning.

It’s not all bad though. It’s an ace song, and there are other ace songs on here too.

Mixpost 5 – Nostalgia, Flipdog style

When I was doing my degree in psychology, one of the ‘facts’ I was spoon-fed was that the music taste that someone has when they’re twenty defines their taste in music going forward, like that moment is frozen in time and and people don’t deviate from it because. The same bloke who ‘taught’ me that went on to say that he was certain that there would be a scientific explanation of creativity, a statement of faith if ever I heard one. I’m still waiting, Dr North…

Of course, that’s bollocks, like an awfully high percentage of stuff that gets giddily reported from the social sciences. I can think of at least two different interpretations of those observations although they tangle up in the following sentences to seem like one, but there are probably many more.  Twenty is the time of many people’s ‘golden age’ before they get trapped into the drudgery of working for a living day in and day out, possibly with extra domestic responsibilities too, and unless music is some kind of huge passion, they’ll just stick to what they know. Those of us who are consumed by music don’t ever stop listening to the new stuff, but it actually takes an effort because if you stick to the mainstream gatekeepers of taste then you will come to the conclusion very quickly that you’ve checked out all the possibilities, so shallow is the pool from which they select; a pool that is only getting shallower in these times of fear and insecurity where people want comfort blankets in every aspect of their lives.

But anyway, here’s a selection of tunes that I liked when I was around that age. My taste has proper moved on now – if you’d have told me then that an older version of me would like some jazz, for example, that version of me would have told you to fack right off – but I still love these. Very little commentary is necessary, except to say there is no order to this list.

Can you believe someone wrote a pop song in the 80s that only had 1 chord? Maybe my love of minimalism and repetition stems from this:

and finally…

Peaking Lights – 936

This, my friends, is spaced out psychedelic dub pop at its very finest. Upon discovery, this sat undisturbed on my playlist for several months. There has been a gap, and now I have re-discovered it again, and it is spending quality time in my brain providing much needed inoculation against some of the more virulent sonic memes that I have unfortunately been repeatedly exposed to by my otherwise wonderful children.

I may have mentioned the marvellous Matchess, who inhabits sonic landscapes not too dissimilar to those found here, albeit with less emphasis on the beats, and is a bit less new-agey.

I believe this borders onto the lands of the not-quite-so-obscure as my usual taste in music, meaning y’ain’t gonna find no easy Bandcamp embed here; regardless, my best method of portraying my love for this music is simply to seek out web links from whence you can hear it, as I have been wont to do of late. So here:

Opener Synthy doesn’t seem to have a video, but All the Sun That Shines does:

Amazing and Wonderful:

Birds of Paradise dub version:

Key Sparrow:

Tiger Eyes (Laid Back):

Marshmellow Yellow:

and finally, Summertime:

You may notice a theme with the visuals…

It will probably not come as too much of a surprise if I tell you that this is positive music, generally upbeat – where there are no beats it is very hypnagogic, all giving it a proper feelgood effect. I’ve engaged most often with it in a late-evening/early nighttime period, in various states of consciousness, and can assure you that I can find no instance in which this album isn’t fantastic. One of my true favourites from this millennium.

Gram Rabbit

My favourite thing about time passing is when an artist you liked a while back but haven’t kept track of turns out not to have stopped just because I stopped paying attention. Item: on the mix cd in my car came on ‘Devil’s Playground’ by the wonderfully fun Gram Rabbit,  a piece of very high quality songwriting from a seriously good album, Music to Start a Cult to.  ‘Damn, I love that tune,’ I said to myself, and not for the first time, so off I trotted to the internets to find out what Jesika von Rabbit and Todd Rutherford have been up to since I last paid them attention.

gramrabbitThey have not been idle, and the good news is, they’re still bloody good.

I should first warn you that this is fun, first and foremost. Why do I have to warn people when music is fun? THAT is screwed up. Anywho, it is shit-eating grin levels of fun to my ears. Mixtures of Electro-rock, alt-country, psych-pop, western-music, and a bloody large sense of humour. Their version of ‘Song 2’ is outrageously good. But so is their own songwriting, and this is why they get to smear a sense of humour all over their music and still have you want to listen to more, and to listen to it again. Just because someone has a smile on their face is no reason to believe they don’t take what they do seriously.

So I bought the digital download of Braised & Confused (embedded below) and am going to check out their other post 2007ish output in good order, although it looks like I’ll have to order the CDs of some of it if I like it as much as I like that, as I really don’t like itunes.