Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Moody Blues - nights in white satin bbc live, 1967

“Nights in White Satin” evolved into an emotional tour de force, smoldering with the passion of young love and the excitement of a band on the precipice of new artistic peaks."

Junip - your life your call live, 2013

"Here’s a decidedly juicy piece of indie gossip: After enjoying a successful solo career, Swedish singer/songwriter José González has reunited with his old band Junip, comprised of himself, drummer Elias Araya, and keys player Tobias Winterkorn. They released a five-song EP back in 2005 called Black Refugee, but they’ve gotten back together to release a full-length album coming out “sometime this year,” presumably through their own Teme Shet label."

REM - yellow river cover, 2001

"The actual location of Yellow River in this song is not specified, although the author, Jeff Christie, is on record as saying that it was inspired by the idea of a soldier going home at the end of the American Civil War. As the song was released during the Vietnam War, it has been interpreted as being about a soldier leaving the U.S. Military at the end of his period of conscription."

Ultracrush - bruise, 2022

"Some of our influences are The Radio Dept, Sun Kil Moon, Pinegrove, Beach House, Alex G, DIIV, Snail Mail, and Tigers Jaw. We are attracted to strong songwriting and an authenticity more than any specific sound."

Guided By Voices - sport component national, 2018

"Why was the most prolific man in indie rock suddenly dialing down his workflow? Well, maybe he just wanted to concentrate on making one really good album for a change."

We Are Revolution - saved by animals, 2020

"Dminor and Falcon Chest, the two members of Sweden’s We Are Revolution, have dug into their parents record collections as well as exploring the record stores of their hometown to come up with an eclectic mix of the last 30 years of electronic pop music. Their debut single Saved By Animals speaks with its beautiful melodies and airy production of what to expect of their forthcoming album. Album out on Labrador in the fall of 2020."

The Velvet Underground - sunday morning, 1966

"Andy said, 'Why don't you just make it a song about paranoia?' I thought that was great so I came up with 'Watch out, the world's behind you, there's always someone around you who will call... It's nothing at all' which I feel is the ultimate paranoid statement in that the world cares enough to watch you."

The Feelies - in between, 2017

"If ever there was a band that was born to disappear, it was The Feelies. They are the cult band that, for over forty years, were not a band much more than they were a band. They average an album every five or six years. They retire, reconstitute and play under new names or assumed names, sometimes with the same members and sometimes with a tweak of the line-up. They prefer surprise shows on national holidays to well promoted tours. They write songs about nothing. And having nothing to say. And about waiting for something to happen but knowing that it will never actually happen. They seem completely disinterested in every single thing about being in a band except for the part where the band gets together and plays songs. And, for every single one of those reasons, and countless more, they were my absolute favorite band in the world for the better part of the 1990s."

The Smile - free in the knowledge, 2022

"It’s as if Thom Yorke decided about a decade ago to commit himself to releasing some of the most devastating music of his career — which is kind of like a Carolina Reaper deciding to be spicier, or the Mariana Trench deciding that it’s not quite deep enough. There’s “Dawn Chorus” from his 2019 solo record ANIMA, “Unmade” from the Suspiria soundtrack, and pretty much everything off of Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool. Yorke, three decades into his career, has proven to be no less melancholic, no less moving."

Cemeteries - can you hear them sing, 2015

"the album encapsulates the drowsy echoes of dream pop. Reverberated atmospherics might bring to mind Mazzy Star, and the nocturnal qualities fall right in line with contemporaries like Beach House and Bradford Cox's drearier, spacy output in Deerhunter or Atlas Sound"

Sufjan Stevens - the only thing, 2015

"The Only Thing is undoubtedly the most important song in my life. It’s not the most listened to but its meaning surpasses any other method of quantifying music. All throughout secondary school I had bouts of deep, deep depression. Skipping the details, simply put I couldn’t imagine a better future. Nothing else really gave me hope except for the smaller things. Maybe cliché, but sunsets, a beautiful painting, a mom laughing with her toddler on the bus, an adorable dog by the grocery store, reading in a bookstore, a kind smile exchanged with a stranger — small things would move me to tears but kindle that impossible to describe bittersweet hope and longing somewhere deep inside me. By God the world is beautiful, I would think. We are all so small but so significant to each other. It’s all so temporary and sorrowful, but full of wonder."

Friday, April 19, 2024

Paul McCartney - the man, 1983

"Pipes of Peace is the fourth solo studio album by English singer-songwriter Paul McCartney, released on 31 October 1983. As the follow-up to the popular Tug of War, the album came close to matching the commercial success of its predecessor in Britain but peaked only at number 15 on America's Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart."

The House Of Love - shine on, 1987

"Shine On" has been described as a "classic, full of dark glamour, shimmering, squalling, pre-shoegaze guitars and a massive chorus." It contains heavy use of reverb, with vocals sung by Guy Chadwick. The original version contained background harmonies by Andrea Heukamp, who left the band before the release of The House of Love's self-titled debut album. PopMatters listed "Shine On" as the 66th-best alternative rock single of the 1980s, praising the song for its "cinematic swirl of delicate beauty, with a thunderous rhythm and Terry Bickers' darkly shimmering guitar."

Redd Kross - yesterday once more cover, 1994

"This is a sad day, but at the same time a very special and beautiful day to my family and me. My only regret is that Karen is not physically here to share it with us, but I know that she is very much alive in our minds, and in our hearts"

Sufjan Stevens - drawn to the blood, 2015

"I was recording songs as a means of grieving, making sense of it. But the writing and recording wasn't the salve I expected. I fell deeper and deeper into doubt and misery. It was a year of real darkness. In the past my work had a real reciprocity of resources—I would put something in and get something from it. But not this time."

KLF - justified and ancient, 1991

"The KLF—King Boy D (Bill Drummond) and Rockman Rock (Jimmy Cauty)—began working together in 1987 as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (the JAMs). The song title "Justified & Ancient" refers to this pseudonym. The JAMs took their name from a fictional subversive cult from the 1970s conspiratorial novels The Illuminatus! Trilogy."

Small Forward - human emotion, 2022

"California and New Delhi-based trio Michael Stevenson, Campbell Scott and Rounak Maiti met and formed Small Forward in 2015 while attending college and crafting songs together in their home studios. A few EP's, scattered singles and debut-full length later, Small Forward continue to craft earnest 70's-pop and country inspired music."

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sufjan Stevens - should have known better, 2015

"Jeremy Gordon stated that, " 'Should Have Known Better' takes us back to the beginning he remembers, where Carrie leaves him in a video store at the age of 'three, maybe four.' In a hushed voice, he sings like he's clinging onto a blanket for warmth as he fixates on the black shroud that enveloped him in the wake of her absence, muting his ability to transparently express himself." Gordon continues, "But halfway through, an uplifting electric keyboard line kicks in; a subtle percussive note steadily taps out a reminder to keep going; his voice shakes off the ice and forms a chorus with itself, flowering into something hopeful. Sufjan flips the melody from the black shroud into a tender lyric about shoving aside his fear, discovering an oasis of perspective when he looks to his brother's newborn daughter and sees his mother in her face. When he sings 'nothing can be changed,' he doesn't sound resigned, but ready to look forward. It's the dawn at the end of a long night, a prayer that past traumas might be healed by a beautiful present."

Marillion - forgotten sons, 1983

"An old English nursery rhyme. It is popularly believed to have dated from the time of the Black Death in the 17th century. The rhyme is: Ring-a-ring-o-roses, A pocketful of posies, Atishoo! Atishoo! They all fall down! The rhyme supposedly developed out of the fact that sneezing was the first sign that death by plague was imminent; those who sneezed died! The rhyme is rarely perceived to be as nasty as it really is; it's about death!"

The Radio Dept - a window, 2006

"a perfect summer urban love with everything else with the radio dept., how it sounds is half the story. it inhabits the half-awake driftspace, maybe just idle thoughts one thinks while looking out the window? or maybe just general frustration about not being able to get into the swing of things, which i'm sure everyone feels at one point or another. lovely, lovely."

Portugal The Man - waves, 2013

"To me, the waves are soldiers, and the bottom of the ocean is war. The military just sends more and more soldiers to die for no good reason, they don't care about them. The general public never really sees how horrible war can be up close, like how we haven't explored the bottom of the ocean as much as we should."

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Pet Shop Boys - miracles, 2003

"an intense love song, although its wealth of minor chords gives it a pervasive air of melancholy, as if the narrator were aware, at least subconsciously, of the illusory nature of his current view of the world. It's this tension—the implicit tug-of-war between limerence and reality—that gives this song much of its power."

Damien Jurado - whatever happened to paul sand, 2022

“He is the gun, the purple anteater, the paper wings, the avalanche, the air show disaster, Ohio, the ghost of his best friend’s wife… You might go as far as to call it a religion, and your religion is a character in his religion.”

The National - sea of love, 2013

"It’s a shot of pure dopamine. Inject it straight into my veins. I love the way it explodes out of the blocks with its short intro and Bryan’s drums and just keeps that energy going all the way through. It pauses for breath once during the the “trouble will find me” section and then just doesn’t stop."

The Mary Onettes - century, 2009

"Islands is the second studio album from Swedish dream pop band the Mary Onettes. The album was released on 3 November 2009 in the United States, and a day later in Sweden. The album had to be re-recorded from scratch after lead singer Philip Ekström stated on the band's official website, "...I basically lost every song I've ever recorded with the Mary Onettes. My hard drive with all my music was stolen in my car one fine afternoon in Stockholm, the very same fine afternoon we came home from our US tour, the very same day I was feeling thrilled to come home and start the process of finishing our new album. Of course I had made a backup copy on my computer at home. But for some reason a power failure in the building made that hard drive collapse too. Unbelievable. I was speechless for days." The band played the Primavera Sound Festival in Spain in May 2008, and reconvened in the studio to start the recording process again in September."

Sufjan Stevens - futile devices live, 2011

"“It’s been a long, long time since I’ve memorised your face”, croons Sufjers as piano and acoustic guitar dance with tippy-toed grace on ‘Futile Devices’, the surprisingly low-key opening track. Then things kick off spectacularly with the aptly named ‘Too Much’, a lover’s lament pitted bizarrely against sputtering, pixellated angles, like Autechre with added horn section. When the familiar flutes gust in like wind up God’s own skirt, the results are exhilarating – and more than a little sick-making."

The Limps - someone i can talk to, 1979

"An early punk band from over the Scottish Border in Annan. I had seen them play once in Carlisle possibly at the Bits Park punk gig or Micks…somewhere else! I remember the leather jackets, and in those early days leather was not the fashion of the day."

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

REM - e-bow the letter, 1996

"The song is about Stipe's friend, the actor and musician River Phoenix. The title refers to the EBow, an electromagnetic field-generating device that induces sustained vibration in an electric guitar string (creating a violin-like effect), and to a "letter never sent" by Michael Stipe. This device is present in the track and appears in the music video, and in live performances guitarist Peter Buck often used it. R.E.M. has also played the song live with artists including Thom Yorke singing Patti Smith's vocal part. Phoenix was going through difficult times in 1993 due to his excessive drug use, something that inspired Stipe to compose the lyrics for the song; the actor died on October 31 of that same year due to an overdose of cocaine and heroin."

Simon And Garfunkel - scarborough fair canticle, 1966

"Scarborough Fair" (Roud 12, Child 2) is a traditional English ballad. The song lists a number of impossible tasks given to a former lover who lives in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The "Scarborough/Whittingham Fair" variant was most common in Yorkshire and Northumbria, where it was sung to various melodies, often using Dorian mode, with refrains resembling "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme" and "Then she'll be a true love of mine." It appears in Traditional Tunes by Frank Kidson published in 1891, who claims to have collected it from Whitby. The famous melody was collected from Mark Anderson (1874–1953), a retired lead miner from Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham, England, by Ewan MacColl in 1947. This version was recorded by a number of musicians in the 20th century, including the most iconic version by the 1960s folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, who learned it from Martin Carthy. However, a slightly different version (referred to as "The Cambric Shirt", or "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme") was recorded by John Lomax decades earlier in 1939 in the United States."

Sleep Radio - forms, 2020

"I love your voice and the way its mixed mate, whole track has such a heavy atmosphere"

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - enola gay, 1980

"The lyric to the song reflects on the decision to use the bomb and asks the listener to consider whether the bombings were necessary ("It shouldn't ever have to end this way"). The phrase "Is mother proud of Little Boy today?", is an allusion to both the nickname of the uranium bomb and pilot Paul Tibbets naming the aircraft after his mother. The phrase, "It's 8:15, and that's the time that it's always been", refers to the time of detonation over Hiroshima at 8:15 am JST; as many timepieces were "frozen" by the effects of the blast, it becomes "the time that it's always been". It is identified as an "anti-war" track, although McCluskey stated he "wasn't really politically motivated to write the song", which was informed by a fascination with World War II bombers. He hoped it "conveyed an ambivalence about whether it was the right or the wrong thing to do."

Monday, April 15, 2024

Electronic - disappointed, 1992

"Disappointed" is the fourth single released by English alternative dance group Electronic. Like their first single "Getting Away with It", it features Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys as well as founding members Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner. It was released on 22 June 1992 on Parlophone soon after the demise of Factory Records. The single was assigned the Factory catalogue number FAC 348, and the logo of the label remained on the artwork. Upon the song's release, it reached the top 20 in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and it peaked within the top 10 on three US Billboard charts. In July 1992, the song was featured in the soundtrack of the live-action/animation hybrid mystery movie Cool World; its inclusion both in the film and on its soundtrack album was advertised on the US single release."

Mark Knopfler - wild theme, 1983

"In March 2024, Knopfler re-recorded the theme with fellow guitarists including Bruce Springsteen, Brian May and Jeff Beck (credited as 'Mark Knopfler's Guitar Heroes') in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. The track peaked at #18 on the UK singles chart."

Moby - look back in, 2002

"Moby named the album after the number of tracks that he put on it, and his fondness towards the idea of the title being easily translated and known as something different in other countries. He pointed out that there are some "really esoteric reasons" for the title, but did not mention them. On his website, Moby hinted that those who had visited Israel and are familiar with conspiracy theories regarding extraterrestrials may spot its significance. He said that Play and 18 were structured around the same motivation: "The desire to make compassionate records that meet a need in someone else's life."

Sufjan Stevens - death with dignity, 2015

“Death with Dignity” is directly connected to a law that was passed in Oregon in 1994. This law was called the Death With Dignity Act of 1994. And this is a law which said that terminally ill people, people who have a disease which is sooner or later going to kill them, have some right to choose when and how they die. These terminally ill people would be able to work with their doctor or their physician to end their life. Usually, by taking a lethal medication. In this way, the people can have some dignity to choose how they die. Remember that this song is written about Sufjan’s mother, who died due to stomach cancer."

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Neil Young - hey hey my my into the black, 1979

"Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" is a song written by Canadian-American musician Neil Young. Combined with its acoustic counterpart "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)", it bookends Young's 1979 album Rust Never Sleeps. The song was influenced by the punk rock zeitgeist of the late 1970s, in particular by Young's collaborations with the American art punk band Devo, and what he viewed as his own growing irrelevance."

Efterklang - the colour not of love, 2016

"a song cycle about a cult located beneath the ground while the earth might be experiencing its downfall above ground. It’s about loss - loss of identity, loss of love and loss of life itself. We wanted to create an opera for the mood you’re put in when you on a beautiful autumn day see how a brown leaf falls from a tree in the garden - the beautiful swaying fall signifying that everything will perish.”

Black Pumas - more than a love song, 2023

"Previously teased in some of their live shows, “More Than a Love Song” is built on a jangly groove and fleshed out with some orchestral strings, bold electric guitar riffs, and a gospel choir. It offers some sage advice about widening one’s perspective on life: “This life is more than a dream, more than a fantasy, more than a little bit,” Burton sings. "'More Than a Love Song' is a message I borrowed from my Uncle Steve,” Burton explains in a press release. “As a songwriter and caregiver, he’d listen to me write songs from afar and if I were lucky he’d have a pointer or two for me. ‘Life is more than a love song.’”

Alvvays - archie marry me, 2014

"Archie, Marry Me" is a song by Canadian indie pop band Alvvays. It was released on April 6, 2013, as the lead single from the band's eponymous debut album (2014). "Archie, Marry Me" examines modern romance and traditional marriage, and touches on themes of commitment and financial stability. It was written by vocalist and guitarist Molly Rankin with guitarist Alec O'Hanley as a critique of the standard societal expectation that one is to marry upon entering adulthood. Rankin and O'Hanley were romantically linked, and had been collaborating for some time creatively. Then in their mid-twenties, they observed with derision friends quickly being wed. "Archie" was first developed during a period in which they lived on Prince Edward Island in a remote farmhouse. The song and accompanying album were produced by Chad VanGaalen, and recorded at his studio, Yoko Eno, in Calgary, Alberta. The song's lo-fi music video, filmed on a Super 8 camera, pictures Rankin at a wedding reception and sailing on the sea. "Archie" was the first song the band released; it debuted digitally via the band's website before the band was signed to a label. It was later released on Royal Mountain Records, in their home country. In the U.S. and Europe, it was distributed through Polyvinyl and Transgressive Records, respectively. Though it did not chart, "Archie" was considered the band's breakthrough hit; it grew in popularity in the mid-2010s on streaming services. Critical reviews of the track were very positive, praising its bittersweet tone and lyrical content. It was ranked on several best-of lists in 2014, and has been called a "indie-pop classic."