New month, new playlist, new time for me to blabber about music.
I will spare you the video version which is on Youtube anyways, and here you get the original written down version. So let’s start!
First band are The Jude.
Who deserve the first spot for several reasons:
1) they are actually the band I listened to the most in the last few weeks
2) they were the only ones able to handle our nervous breakdown at the Gin In Teacups birthday party, and they won the whole audience even if they had to play after Carl Barat
3) I am taking them as an example to remind you how important it is to support the young bands you love. Especially when they only have digital releases, it is crucial for you to actually buy it, because it is the only way they sustain themselves and it is one of the reason labels/managements and such will take interest in new young bands: if they can prove to have faithful followers. So do prove you are there for them, and when you can, go to iTunes, amazon, 7digital, and buy their singles/EP.
In The Jude’s case, they have 3 singles out, and for each one they gave away a b-side for free! Aren’t they terribly gracious? And they do sound terribly good too. I got to know them in late 2009 and they were probably the only band ever I actually noticed and liked a lot, just by seeing them live.
I have issues with live music and discovery, probably because I feel that if I go to a gig of a new band, whether I like them or not, their music is going to get shown down my ears till the end of the gig. With The Jude, it was an enlightenment! They are somewhat reminiscent of the 60s, but where some have gone harsher with overlapping sounds close to butcher-like noise, they are refined surgeons. I hear sometimes the guitar riffs on Les Filles Francaises or Have Mercy and they make me smile because they really sound like “yes, I wrote a song like this because I can play it” .
And I like how their enfant prodige nature has nothing to do with arrogance though, but always genuine enthusiasm.
On the same note of independent new young bands, there’s The Incredible Flight of Birdman. Unfortunately they haven’t done anything in almost a year. They have 2 singles out digitally and a few downloadable demos. My very favourite is actually the b-side from their first single “We Are Made” I got to know them in their very early days and, just as The Jude, they are one of those bands whose sound I miss and I can’t find anywhere else. In their case, to describe their sound I will tell you a folktale that actually happened a few weeks ago:
The infinite playlist is on the dock in the lounge. I am in another room, and this song starts. And my first reaction is “how come there’s a Smiths/Morrissey song in the playlist that I don’t know?” Well, it was The Incredible Flight Of Birdman.
Their fine talent makes me angry at record labels, because I realise in this situation how they are missing on their only duty, which originally was rightfully to unload a lot of advance money over a band, so that music could take their lives over instead of day jobs that have to come in, taking time and opportunities away simply because, everybody has to pay the bills. And I am angry at the thought that we might not get new music from The Incredible Flight Of Birdman because Columbia, Island or Atlantic could not take their role with responsibility and provide the world the chance to hear their music.
Changing the track almost completely, in April we had Record Store Day, which has become the ideal day for vinyl exclusive releases that will most likely sold out the same day, for the appreciation of all hipster vinyl lovers or wannabes. What’s good about RSD are the gigs in the little shops and the attention that they try to drive this way to the importance of physical releases still. So as young upcoming bands cannot afford physical and need digital support, so the little record stores need product lovers not to end up closing. And with the releases of RSD it seems to me like there is a good balance between their interest and us music listeners interests.
My favourite release for record store day this year is a 7” by american folk songstress Caitlin Rose covering 2 songs from the latest Arctic Monkeys album “Piledriver Waltz” and “Love is a Laserquest”. I think Piledriver is my favourite song out of Suck it and see and I loved the stripped down original version Alex Turner wrote for the film Submarine, but this I think it’s a very clever stunt by Domino Records. The Arctic Monkeys label in fact was the one approaching the lovely Caitlin and proposed her the idea of these covers. Why? My 2 cents tell me this is a great way to break into the US market even more than Arctic Monkeys succeeded to do in the last year. But I won’t hold this against anyone as the cover it’s absolutely great. Caitlin does not just do a karaoke rendition of the songs but breathes new life in them, so it was an absolutely worthy project.
Back to the young new bands there’s a couple who are already out and about with albums who I like to define non-skip. First, is General Fiasco. I know I mentioned them already, but they deserve more! I loved them for a couple of years having no idea what they even looked like, because they came from Infectious music, aka, the pretty infallible talent-scouting abilities of Korda Marshall. The same man who went to Devon to have tea with these 3 underage boys to discover… Muse, who was walking the dog with the mum of this teenage boy to convince her to let his son’s band sign to its label and then become… ASH, and same goes for Garbage, The Darkness, James Blunt and more recently Temper Trap and Alt-J. Well General Fiasco were the very first band Mr Marshall signed to Infectious record when he revived it in 2009 after his retirement from Warner lasted less than 6 months. The man is a guru to me and I have always found empathy to his musical tastes, and never got disappointed. There is not one single song by General Fiasco I don’t like, their first album Buildings is a rare jewel. They are not Infectious anymore but have released 2 more EPs for Dirty Hit Records (who also have a very smart eye for talent lately) and irony is, I had them play some sort of private gig when they featured in a Gin In Teacups session, but I haven’t had the pleasure to see them live yet! Anyway, favourite bit of theirs is Sinking Ship at the moment, from their first album. because basically, I am sold with big strings orchestral arrangements…
Last bit of this months are an old acquaintance of Gin In Teacups I discovered again while brushing off old sessions. I see Cashier No 9 as an orchestra rather than a band, because their big numbers (it’s 6 of them) are all purposefully needed to create a masterfully created layered sound. They rightfully gathered a lot of attention last year when their debut album was released and I just hope they will keep on doing so for their second. They’re a Bella Union act, which is one of those few little but so very well established labels which have a great reputation very rightfully earned. Just like Infectious and Korda Marshall, if you find yourself attuned to the musical taste of Simon Raymonde, you can trust pretty much everything he’ll release on Bella. I might be that predictable, but my favourite song of theirs, after a bit of a fight with Flick of the Wrist, has settled on to their first single Goldstar.
And that was it, if I didn’t bore you too much, I will see you with a new playlist in June!