Monthly Archives: October 2008

Half Handed Cloud – We Haven’t Just Been Told, We Have Been Loved (Sounds Familyre / Asthmatic Kitty 2002)








Nick: This is the other end of the scale isn’t it? I’m always giving out about people being boring and repetitive, this does so much in so little time that it loses all sense of structure and becomes immediately boring, it’s too bloody interesting.

‘ping pong barp squee’

see the music just did what I said! hahahaha, I knew it.

oooooh now for something completely different, flutes!, I think they’ve used all the instruments under the sun by now.

this puts paid to the proverb ‘you can’t have too much of a good thing’ because it IS good, just too much all at once.

every time you think they’ll do a full song they just run off with more interesting ideas.

This is ADD music, can’t stand still, can’t concentrate. and like lots of people with ADD it’s intelligent, clever and pleasant but tends to drive you up the wall.

it’s like as if each song was written by 24 people, taking a bar each.

but again, what I find lacking in it, and this may be a fault in me, is that I still believe that listening to music should be a pleasure, even if its sad. all you can do with this is listen with interest. 

This is pretty much the same way I felt about this album the first few times I listened to it, in fact it took close to a year of casual listening for the pop songs under and around all the random plinks and parps to make themselves clear. These days it’s close to perfect and if any of those supposedly random sounds were taken away it just wouldn’t make sense anymore.


Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs (Merge 1999)








(disc 1 track 1 – Absolutely Cuckoo)

Nick: I liked that.

but these are just ditties aren’t they? well the two I’ve heard so far.

(disc 1 track 4 – A Chicken With It’s Head Cut Off) – Nick is making funny faces.

easy silly sentimental rhymes set to easy simple melodies, I’ve nothing against it but it’s just…..ditties. I doubt it’ll be recorded in the annals of music history.

well it’s 10 years old next year.

and is anyone still listening to it?

we are.


(disc 1 track 9 – Lets Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits)

sounds very west-coasty this one.

you imagine its almost a reaction to something, not sure what. it’s like ‘the world is a hard place these days so were only going to write nice sentimental ditties about love’ lots of butterflies and squirrels dancing in the park etc. but as well as that they’re only doing it for fun, they’re not taking it seriously. 

it falls in between two stools, like its not funny enough for you to find it automatically funny. you’d have to be told.

(disc 1 track 21 – Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing)

Daniel O’Donnell eat your heart out!

(disc 2 track 2 – Love Is Like Jazz)

Is this the same guys?


god, what are they on?

we’re about half way through it now.

well the longer I listen to it the more it pisses me off, it’s quite phony. but I guess that happens if you purposely set out to sound like someone else, it can’t sound genuine.

its like a movie with a great cast but a crap script and crap director, and you can’t help but ask: why was all this talent wasted on something so lightweight?

(disc 3 track 1 – Underwear)

This isn’t the same guys still is it?

uh-huh it’s three hours long, we’ve just got an hour left.

it honestly phases me how anyone could spend this much time and energy on something so….irrelevant. if you listen to one or two tracks it can be quite relaxing but any more than that it just gets on your nerves. then again if you only hear one or two tracks the project doesn’t make any sense.

(after watching a Stephen Merritt interview on you tube)

that’s not a real person.

Phew! think thats the first time I’ve ever sat through the full 3 hours of that. Yes it is sappy, soppy and silly at times but it’s also got more great songs within its three discs then most bands manage in a lifetime. Since it’s release Stephen Merritt and his band of men and women have put out ‘I’: all song titles start with the eponymous letter and ‘Distortion’ which is very eh……. well I’m sure you get it by now. Ok, time for some Fucked Up.

Gone Fishin’














back monday!

x r&n

Max Tundra – Parallax Error Beheads You (Domino 2008)








this will be the first album ever released as a can of soup, along with the usual CD, LP and MP3 formats…

Nick: The ultimate gimmick!

(track 2: Will Get Fooled Again)

I remember this album now and I stick with what I originally said.

(a few weeks ago Nick called this soulless computer music, much to my horror)

when was this made?

over the last six years, released this year.

it sounds very dated, someone used to make music like this, who was it? someone I hated. ok can’t remember but it was someone just playing around with computers and drum machines and all that crap, it’s so computery, it was made my a very computer literate monkey. 

it’s actually made on a very basic and very old computer, with pretty much all of the instruments played by hand and by Mr Tundra himself.

that may be so but it still sounds like it was made by a computer, so now it’s just a guy saying ”look how clever I am, I can sound like a fast computer”

It’s like a painting, if you use all the colours of the rainbow you get grey, and this uses so many sounds it becomes mud.

Max Tundra’s last album ‘Mastered By Guy At The Exchange’ is never far from my top 5 albums of all time ever and this one is shaping up to be just as good. Complex, joyous pop music for dancing, walking, brushing your teeth and arguing with your dad. It’ll be released by Domino Records on the 20th of this month.

Jay Reatard – All 6 Matador Singles ’08 (Matador 2008)

Nick: Its nice to hear music that sounds like the people making it are enjoying themselves, I can’t make out the lyrics but I assume they’re quite positive.

actually they’re mostly about death, killing and child abuse so far.

oh, well at least the music sounds positive.

(Always Wanting More)

oh I know this one, you play this a lot. most people sound so bored these days, not these guys, this is good stuff. 

so this is Deerhunter covering Jay Reatard…

it has all the good stuff, energy, melody, vitality, hooks. I like it.

and here’s our last one.

this is my least favorite actually, all the energy is gone. 

so stick to the fast stuff?

yeah he’s starting to sound like all the other bands: bored. ‘oh do I have to do this?’ kinda stuff.

if he sticks to the fast stuff I’d say he’s here to stay.

With over 60 releases since 1998, in bands like The Reatards, The Lost Sounds, The Final Solutions, Angry Angles and solo, Jay (Lyndsey) Reatard is one busy 28 year old. Makes you sick doesn’t it? This year alone we’ve had 7 singles and 2 compilations with the quality never dropping below FUCKINGAMAZING!!! He’ll be bringing his ultra-violent pop to Whelans on the 16th of November and I for one, can’t wait. 

Adrian Orange and Her Band – S/T (K 2007)








Nick: Get another singer! if they had another singer they could be brilliant, the music is great, they just need someone who can sing.

(track 3 – Fire Dream)

another thing is maybe lower the key of the songs, he’s alright when he songs low but he has a very small register, as soon as he goes high he goes out.

also, his voice is just WRONG for the music.

well, he’s a skinny white guy, barely out of his teens. not the first person you’d imagine to be fronting a Reggae / Afrobeat-type band.

and rightly so.

the music is really really good tho, just gotta lose that voice.

well, as far as I now he writes the songs, leads the band etc…

so they can’t get rim of him, Ha! every time he starts singing I start to cringe, they should be brave, get a selection of singers, two males two females two undetermineds, whatever.

(track 6 – Give To Love What’s Love’s {intro section})

I could listen to this forever, this is great, he’ll start singing soon though. I always wonder about people like this does he know how bad is voice is or is he blissfully unaware?

I’d imagine he knows his limitations and just doesn’t care, and rightly so.

I wouldn’t be so sure, think about ‘self-image’, no one on earth looks to people on the outside the same as they look in their heads, yeah?

(track 7 – A Flower’s Is Mine {skronky screeechy sax solo})

see, that saxophone part is not well played nor professional but it sounds right in the music, that’s where his voice goes wrong. you have to be good at being bad.

Adrian Orange is 22 years old, has released over 10 records under the name Thanksgiving, had a hand in founding the awesome Marriage Records and this is his latest endevour, one which he hopes will become ”some leaderless, formless, psychedelic, general liberation project.” So maybe Nick will get his wish.

No Age – Weirdo Rippers (Fat Cat 2007) & Nouns (Sub Pop 2008)








Nick: this is kind of strange, after the first atmospheric part led into a pounding song you expect all the atmospheric bits to lead into songs but they don’t, which can be disappointing. when was this made?


oh, sounds much older, its an amalgam of lots of things I’ve heard before but still, it’s nice. I can’t quite say what their influences are but it sounds like a grab-bag of things I recognize.

(at this point things are interrupted by Nick having a argument with a telesales guy from Talk Talk, unfortunately not the band but the phone company)

I wouldn’t buy it. I’ll say that much. it’s certainly not ‘OH WOW!’

and now…their most recent album ‘Nouns’, lets see if you like this one any more.







I think the tracks, individually, here are more interesting but as a whole their scope seems to have gotten narrower, like, a guy writes a series of books, and all the books are very different from each other but quite shallow, then he writes a new series of books and these books all very similar but better then his old books, you know what I mean? 

I always find it hard to appreciate ‘in between’ music

what’s it in between?

everything, you could take a small part of it and pass it off as modern classical, another bit as good old rock n roll, punk, everything.

and is that not a good thing?

not when it doesn’t add up to anything new.

As previously mentioned, No Age will play Whelans this coming Friday with Times New Viking and Los Campesinos as part of the Shred Yr Face tour. Yay!