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Random iPod Playlist #1

Okay, so I had the intention of posting my awesome Halloween playlist around that time, but several things got in the way, namely dressing up as Dexter and playing Fallout: New Vegas. So again I havent posted anything in aaaages. Oh well, its not like anyone actually cares.

I might post that Halloween playlist at some point, maybe around christmas just to be unseasonal. Yeah, that sounds good. For now, have the first in a ongoing feature: The iPod Random Playlist! Hold your applause!

  1. AC/DC – Back In Black (Live)
  2. Aereogramme – Barriers
  3. Tool – AEnima
  4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Skeletons
  5. Tom Waits – Innocent When You Dream
  6. Radiohead – India Rubber
  7. Ryan Adams – Let Us Down Easy
  8. Bad Religion – Forbidden Beat
  9. Real Estate – Fake Blues
  10. Cave In – Requiem
  11. Kid Kilowatt – Blue/Green Heart
  12. Earl Sweatshirt – Luper
  13. Slayer – Reborn
  14. Arctic Monkeys – What If You Were Right First Time
  15. Queens Of The Stone Age – I Think I Lost My Headache
  16. Dr Dre – Murder Ink
  17. Metallica – Fade To Black

iPod Playlist #1

“Not only are you kind of smug, but you are amazing as well!”

Travis’ Fran Healy on Belle and Sebastian, via The AV Club:

Stuart [Murdoch] is an old friend of mine from Glasgow. He and I were best friends with two sisters. His friend was called Kiera, and my friend was called Jude. His dad was a really famous Irish writer; it was a big eye-opening moment in my life to get to hang out at their place, because they were so cultured. His dad would listen to classical music in his front room and stand and conduct it. He would have loads of really cool arty-fartsy people over at the house. I was just a kid, like 16 or 17. Stuart was a really nice guy, but slightly annoying. He always pulled his cardigan cuffs over his hands and twiddled with the wool at the corner. He always looked down at his feet, and I was like, “For fuck’s sake!”

I remember I was just starting out in a band, and he wasn’t in a band or anything, one day he wrote a review of our show. It was like our second show, and he absolutely pasted us. He was just so horrible about it. I sat down and confronted him on the stairs at the front of Jude’s house in Glasgow. I was like, “Stuart, what the fuck? Give us a chance, man.” He was like, “Oh, I just thought, um, I just didn’t really enjoy it.” I’m like, “Fuck you, come on! It was our second show.” He totally gave us a pasting, and I never forgave him.

Then one day in Glasgow at the art school—I think Stuart was at university—I think we were in second year, and it was evening. We were at the art-school bar, and there were people setting up musical equipment. I saw Stuart and I said, “Say, man. What are you doing?” He was like, “We are going to play a gig.” I’m thinking, “Oh yes! This is going to be rubbish. Fucking brilliant!” So all of our mates, we all got pints, and we are sitting waiting for this horrible gig to happen, while we sit and gloat in the front row.

They were setting up and we had a few drinks. Then it all goes quiet. Stuart steps up, still playing with the wool at the end of his cardigan, and he’s like, [Whispers.] “Hi. We’re Belle And Sebastian.” “Oh God, this is going to be rubbish. He’s not even projecting.” He went up to the mic, and everyone is so quiet, because we couldn’t bloody hear the guy talk. You could hear a pin drop and he went, [Sings.] “I was surprised / I was happy for a day” and started playing [“The State That I Am In”]. Everyone’s jaws hit the floor. To this day, it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. I was like, “Fuck! Not only are you kind of smug, but you are amazing as well.” I went up to him after and was like, “I so wanted that to be shit.” He was so sweet. He was like, “Thanks. Thanks a lot.” That was the first gig they ever played. It was the Glasgow Arts School at the Vic Bar. They are just amazing.”

Belle and Sebastian – The State I Am In
from Tigermilk

“I played video games in a drunken haze, I was seventeen years young”

What we have here is possibly the best song written about adolescence ever. Written from the point of view of a 17 year old male, on the cusp of adulthood and freedom, who escapes his troubles by drinking and hitting the road. The song reeks of catharsis, fear and anticipation. And the chorus encapsulates the entire song into one line perfectly. John Darnielle is a songwriting god amongst mere mortals.

The Mountain Goats – This Year

Please, buy The Sunset Tree. And then every other one of his albums. I guarantee your life will improve if you do this.

Reasons To Be Cheerful…

They are back. After 10 years of waiting, finally, Glassjaw are fucking back, and sounding as good as ever. Go here to grab new tunes from one of the most infuriating and brilliant bands ever.

Glassjaw – Convectuoso

VAULT: Isis – Panopticon

ISIS broke up this year and I felt it was an apt time to look at my favourite album of theirs, the epic Panopticon. The band were born out of Hydra Head Records head dude Aaron Turner drawing influence from some of the more experimental hardcore/metal acts in the mid to late 90’s (in particular the mighty Neurosis) and aiming to create “thinking man’s metal”. Their early material was steeped in classic metal and hardcore, albeit in a slightly more adventurous manner. Then they released their second album, the groundbreaking Oceanic.

That album had a greater understanding of quiet and loud, and new textures were added to the band’s music, such as ambient and avant-garde elements. They began to move away from being seen as aping Neurosis or Godflesh and began to cave a niche for themselves as a post-metal band. They fully realised their potential with the huge Panopticon.  Even though it is the least heavy of their output, their third album proved to be their most accomplished and emotional yet.

With the shortest song clocking in at almost 7 minutes, (the incredible Wills Dissolve) its clear these songs have been borne from huge jams, and sometimes range from hushed beauty to roaring noise several times during their running time. Here, ISIS managed to create a new, fresh sound while paying homage to their predecessors, most obviously Mogwai. This album is for putting on when you want to listen to emotional, powerful music that doesn’t need to bludgeon the listener all the time to prove its intensity and power. I’m sad to see these boys call it a day. Well, at least we can still enjoy the music.

ISIS – So Did We

ISIS – Wills Dissolve

The Odd Future of Hip Hop

Continuing my exploration of underground hip hop, I really need to talk about the group known as Odd Future. Another group of young kids who create their own music, album covers, videos and post them online, for free. Oh, and most of them are still teenagers too.

The best part about this is that the tunes themselves are really, really good.The group has styled themselves on the dark style that groups like Gravediggaz, Cage and Eminem used to adhere to. Best to start with OF’s defacto leader and main producer, Tyler (or Ace) The Creator. His record, Bastard, deals with his absentee father as well as rape, incest and all the other uplifting topics swirling around his brain. From there, move on to Earl Sweatshirt’s album Earl. Seriously, both of these albums are better than 80% of hip hop within the mainstream and a sign of good shit to come.

Check some tunes and head to Odd Future to grab the records:

Tyler The Creator – Bastard

Earl – epaR (feat Vince Staples)