Thursday, December 13, 2007

Xmas Compilation CD: Part 1

If you've been good to me this year and I've got your address, you should be getting a copy of Jim's Arrogant Summation of the Music of the Previous Twelvemonth in the post soon, along with a card wishing you a happy Christmas, and probably something positive about the new year. In order to whet your appetite, here's the first part of the tracklisting (more to follow soon):

1) Joan As Policewoman - The Ride
Here's a sentence that might baffle: Joan as Police Woman is one of Anthony and the Johnsons. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Anyway, she's one of the Johnsons. Like Richard Hawley, it's a surpise when people step out of a backing band and are great.

2) The Whitest Boy Alive - Inflation
I'm going to have to cut and paste this guy's name - Erlend Øye - because I don't think I can make my keyboard perform such Norwegian gymnastics. He's a King of Convenience, and this is off one of those albums that all the tracks on it are so similarly produced and instrumented that it's a bit much to listen to the whole album, even if the individual tracks are good. I've gone for this one over the single, Burning, for the simple reason that this track is named after an economic phenomenon, and there aren't enough songs named after econonic phenomena. Except for U2's touching ballad 'House Price Falls More Widespread (Credit Crunch to Blame Blues)'.

3) Decemberists - The Perfect Crime 2
This may have come out in 2006, but I think it was a single in 2007, and anyway, it's my party and I'll put slightly out of date tracks on it if I want to, OK? Unexpectedly funky, in a taught white Talking Heads way. It's the best funky assassination-pop tune since the Baader Meinhof album.

4) Rilo Kiley - The Moneymaker
You could force a point and claim that this was also named after an econonimc phenomenon, but you'd be pushing it, frankly, boyo. Also unexpectedly funky. I like it when funky comes up and surpises me. Just so long as Craig Charles doesn't creep up on me and surpise me. I wouldn't like that one bit. It's unlikely, because you'd probably hear him going 'Awoooga! Awoooga!' from quite some distance away, and then reading out emails where people tell him how great he is: "Craig, love the show, you're a legend! Cheers, Dave in Rotherham".

5) Modest Mouse - Dashboard
Hmm, it's all the usual suspects isn't it? Well, it's either me or popular music which is stagnating, and I DON'T THINK IT'S ME. I'm a fucking fountain of youthful experimentation, me. Anyway, slightly disappointing album considering Good News For People Who Like Bad News was (to use ebay terminology) an 'A+++++++ Top EBAYER!!!!1!' and also that they've got Johnny 'Johnny Marr out of the Smiths' Marr. Still, this is good, and so's some of the other stuff, and I like the imagery.

6) Laura Cantrell - When the Roses Bloom Again
One of the Great Things about 2007 has been Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. I love it when he reads out the lyrics to the song he's just about to play. Also when he reads out a joke in that deadpan drawl of his. Also when he just reads out a list of examples of the theme of the show: 'The theme this week is letters. Here are some examples of letters: Love letters, bank letters, capital letters, letters of recommendation, letters of resignation...' Actually, that's a good theme. I'll write in and suggest it. Anyway, this was a track I heard on the 'Flowers' episode, and it's gorgeous.

7) Herman Düne - I Wish That I Could See You Soon
Also gorgeous is this. In fact, if you take one thing away with you from this CD, let it be this song. I am a huge fan of it. I love the way that singer David-Ivar Herman Düne sings exactly like Leonard Cohen only better, and how the arrangement is exactly like Leonard Cohen, and the bit where he goes 'and the angels go:' and then the backing singers kick in just melts me like butter in a frying pan. Sorry, I'm a bit hungry. It's under 3 minutes, too: perfection. Put it on repeat.

8) Robert Wyatt - A Beautiful Peace
Not really representative of the rest of the album (Comicopera), but its whimsy tickles me. Anyway, it's only short, so SHUT UP.

9) Monkey Swallows The Universe - Martin
If you've seen me recently, you'll have noticed the worried, drawn look to my face. This is because I've had the impossible task of trying to whittle down which Monkey Swallows the Universe track from their album 'The Bright Carvings' is the best. I still don't know. This is just an interim choice. Also complicating matters is the fact that this is a 2006 album and they've also got a new record just out called 'The Casket Letters', but I've not got that yet. And - Arrrk! - they've just split up. Damndamndamn. OK, well, I've just booked tickets for their gig on 11th January at the wonderful Bush Hall, so who wants to go? Really, who wants to go? It'll be great, and I promise I won't cry. Actually, I promise no such thing. Sorry for the running commentary. Anyway, my Google calendar now alarmingly says 'January 11th Monkey Swallows the Universe 7pm' which would terrify my grandparents I expect.

10) G. Love And Special Sauce - Cold Beverage
Not in any way from 2007. Nor is it anything I discovered in 2007 (my normal get-out clause). I just like it. And also cold beverages. I like those too.

11) Billy Bragg - A13 Trunk Road to the Sea
Er, and this isn't from 2007 either. It's great though. Impress me at parties by reciting the chorus word-perfectly. All togehter now: "Starts out in Wapping, it ain't a-stopping..." Ah.

Part 2 a-coming a-soon...


  1. Here is a link for a contender for next years' christmas album, its a little ditty called "i'll kill her"....well you are supposed to be the angriest, but I think may she is!

  2. Ha! That's great! I would not want to get on the wrong side of her - she'd 'keel' me. I'm a sucker for muttered threats in a foreign accent...