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Siouxsie and the Banshees Halloween

Saturday October 31, 2015 in halloween | music

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Spellbound

The classic John McGeogh guitar. From the 1981 album Ju Ju.

Siouxsie Sioux and Brian Reitzell – Love Crime

From Hannibal season 3, 2015.

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Albums of the Year 2014

Wednesday December 31, 2014 in music |

My favourite albums of 2014.

  1. Broken Bells: After the Disco

    Broken Bells: After the Disco


  2. Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems

    Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems


  3. Neil Young: Storytone

    Neil Young: Storytone


  4. Robert Plant: Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar

    Robert Plant: Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar


  5. Morrissey: World Peace is None of Your Business

    Morrissey: World Peace is None of Your Business


  6. The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream

    The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream


  7. Johnny Marr: Playland


  8. Ed Sheeran: X

    Ed Sheeran: X


  9. Jack White: Lazaretto

    Jack White: Lazaretto


  10. Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey: Going Back Home

    Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltry: Going back Home

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Up the Hill Backwards*

Thursday November 20, 2014 in david bowie | music

David Bowie - Nothing has ChangedDavid Bowie is no stranger to the compilation album. His collections have grown, over the years, into a large number of tucked away vinyl, CDs and cassettes in most people’s ownership. Tonight I counted 47 Bowie compilations listed on Wikipedia. 6 feature the word “best” in the title, always an indication of a lazy collection. Number 47 is Nothing Has Changed with only 18 tracks out of 59 that I didn’t already own. Was I going to buy it?

Yes I was. As I’ve recently bought back into Bowie from his return last year I’ve been interested in his every release now. But two things: the new single Sue that’s been cruelly labelled as jazz, and the format of the new “best of” that is assembled in reverse chronological order. So we get Sue all the way back to Liza Jane. And I like Sue – it’s Bowie not really giving a fuck. He’s even wearing glasses in the video.

The structure of Nothing Has Changed works very well. The very recent work from The Next Day has been rightly celebrated and Where are we Now?, Love is Lost and The Stars are out Tonight kick things off. But as things proceed there’s a reminder that Bowie’s 1990s and early 2000s work is also refreshingly good – Everyone Says ‘Hi” or Slow Burn for example. Little Wonder and Hello Spaceboy (with the Pet Shop Boys) stand up well too.

Foe a Bowie compilation that’s had the most thought put into it there are a few odd choices. The mid to late 80s period is painful, particularly Blue Jean and Dancing in the Street with Mick Jagger. Why? Loving the Alien and This is not America are also best forgotten. Also and sadly, the reworked Let me Sleep Beside you also explains why thy Toy album was left unreleased.

There are countless gems though. All the Young Dudes has never sounded so excellent, nor Fame or Heroes which are both 2014 remasters. The remaster magic also applies to Changes and The Man who Sold the World. And I’ve never been a fan of Wild is the Wind until now, but suddenly put into context after (or before?) Golden Years it sounds marvellous. Also benefitting from being part of a compilation by being taken out its original environment is Moonage Daydream from the Ziggy Stardust album.

Nothing Has Changed works particularly well on a long car journey because, well, it’s rather long. The unreleased tracks aside, the fact that I didn’t already own many of the songs included reveals my dismissal of Bowie’s work past 1990 – which turns out to be foolish as there’s much to be said for his “later” work. All in all good stuff – although perhaps it best to stop at number 47.

And surprisingly, overall, my stand out track on first listening is In the Heat of the Morning from 1967’s David Bowie. The strange surprises are the best.

* track not included in this compilation.

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Albums of the Year 2013

Friday December 27, 2013 in music |

My favourite albums of 2013.

  1. Prefab Sprout

    Prefab Sprout: Crimson/Red

    Listen to: The Best Jewel Thief in the World


  2. Arcade Fire

    Arcade Fire: Reflektor

    Listen to: Reflektor


  3. The National

    The National: Trouble Will Find Me

    Listen to: This is the last time


  4. Vampire Weekend

    Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires in the City

    Listen to: Ya Hey


  5. Daft Punk

    Daft Punk: Randon Access Memories

    Listen to: Instant Crush


  6. Queens of the Stone Age

    Queens of the Stone Age: …Like Clockwork

    Listen to: …LIke Clockwork


  7. Tired Pony

    Tired Pony: The Ghost of the Mountain

    Listen to: All Things all at Once


  8. Arctic Monkeys

    Arctic Monkeys: AM

    Listen to: Snap out of it


  9. Nick Cave

    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Push the Sky Away

    Listen to: Mermaids


  10. David Bowie

    David Bowie: The Next Day

    Listen to: Where are we now?

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Albums of the Year 2012

Friday December 28, 2012 in music |

My favourite albums of 2012.

  1. Norah Jones: Little Broken Hearts

    Listen to: Miriam


  2. Tracey Thorn: Tinsel and LightsTracey Thorn: Tinsel and Lights

    Listen to: Sister Winter


  3. The Cribs: In the Belly of the Brazen BeastThe Cribs: In the Belly of the Brazen Beast

    Listen to: Anna


  4. Bat for Lashes: The Haunted ManBat for Lashes: The Haunted Man

    Listen to: Laura


  5. alt-J: An Awesome Wavealt-J: An Awesome Wave

    Listen to: Matilda


  6. Sufjan Stevens: Silver and GoldSufjan Stevens: Silver and Gold

    Listen to: Coventry Carol


  7. The Shins: Port of MorrowThe Shins: Port of Morrow

    Listen to: Simple Song


  8. Dexys: One Day I'm Going to SoarDexys: One Day I’m Going to Soar

    Listen to: Nowhere is Home


  9. Neil Young: Psychedelic PillNeil Young: Psychedelic Pill

    Listen to: She’s Always Dancing


  10. Bob Dylan: TempestBob Dylan: Tempest

    Listen to: Pay in Blood

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