So, here are 11 tracks that you probably wouldn’t really expect from me, knowing my musical tastes a bit as you do. There is no alt-country, Swedish indie pop or sensitive singer-songwriters. There is pop, R&B, hip-hop and dance from the 90s, 00s and even 10s.
You may pick a favourite and a least favourite if you wish. You are very welcome to suggest other tunes that would feel at home on this playlist. You may even find something you like.
If he chooses a track about octopuses . . I will kill him ! ! !
Welcome to the special Cross Cultural Edition of He Said – She Said ! ! ! This time we decided to show what we think is typical of the music from each other’s counties ! ! ! So I will be picking typically English tracks and Mr P will be picking typically Japanese tracks ! ! !
We think it will be fun and hope you like the post ! ! !
This time we have chosen to visit each other’s musical heritage in a fantastic cross cultural exchange type of a thing. I think it’s interesting to see how others see us, through the medium of music. We have chosen one contemporary track, one oldie and one traditional. We hope you enjoy the tracks.
My favourite description of Trwbador’s music is still the one offered by Radio Wales’ Adam Walton about their first EP: “There’s a wide-eared wonder and playfulness to their sound as if they were deserted at birth and raised by the instruments in the school music cupboard.” Their early songs were gorgeous but fragile, a delicate balance of Owain’s guitar and Angharad’s voice with subtle beats underneath, feeling like they needed cosseting from the big bad world – rather like new-born giraffes, matchstick legs sticking out at unusual angles. As their career progressed, the word ‘quirky’ was definitely called for: the mixture of Welsh and English, the juxtaposition of lovely pop/folk melodies and throwaway electronic experiments, the occasional lapses into giggly silliness (Google It) and unusual cover versions, generally featuring glockenspiel (Army Dreamers and Only Trust Your Heart), plus a guest spot on Cornershop’s 2012 Christmas single, Every Year So Different.
Now at last their debut album is here, and they’re all grown up…
Ok, so you’ve all been good sports and suffered through my Stones lists, rock lists, garage noise, rock / punk heavy A-list, axe wank list, etc. So i thought that as you were all probably dreading my week for the Spill Game, i’d put up something a bit different. Some of you may remember that i have a not-so-secret hankering for a pretty pop tune. So in honor of VD (i was supposed to be next week, but i switched off with DsD), i did a list of some pretty ear candy instead of the usual ear-splitting stuff. You know the drill – toss one or all, or keep as you see fit.
Will that do?
(Look, there are going to be guitars. There just are. It comes with the turf. But they’re gorgeous Byrds-y, Las-y, melodic, reverby, distorty, feedbacky, groovy, and even maybe some acoustic-y. Maybe a bit of saminess at the beginning of the list, but how can you complain when it’s this easy on the ears. Huh? I do promise that there’s nothing like Jimmy Page taking a dump on a Telecaster.)
J-pop has been in the news recently and for all the wrong reasons ! ! ! Minami Minegishi one of the founding members of the group was photographed leaving the house of her boyfriend and has made a public apology and as a symbol of her regret she has shaved her head.
So last time I went all crowd-pleasey (or as crowd-pleasey as I can manage) with tasteful eclecticism. And this time… well, this time I’ve probably swung too far in the opposite direction and won’t be pleasing anyone whatsoever. Yes, folks, I’ve gone pop. Mainstream, well-known, pure and simple every time. Forgive me my synths, I know exactly what I do. Sadly…
Track and artist names (and a few short attempts at justification) after the jump…
I never got round to doing a post on my albums of the year last year. I’m sure this was a profound disappointment to everyone, so here are 11 tracks from records I liked which I don’t think featured on the Festive ‘Spill (my own choices apart) or other people’s list.
You know the rules. Pick your favourite, pick your 11th favourite. And please feel free to mention any songs or albums from 2012 to which the Spill’s collective attention should be drawn.
It may be a song much used & abused by karaoke maniacs, bedroom youtubers, & egotistical pop stars but let us not forget what a phenomenal tune it really is. Cat may have sold it to PP for £30 back in the day – but which version of the three do you prefer? Or do you know of a better one (I have looked for a noisy indie rock version, and failed, but would love it if there was one in existence)?
‘Spill points are available, and there are bonus ‘Spill points if you can explain why Tom Waits is holding a bunny. caption the Tom Waits & bunny photo.
As we’ve not had a post for today, I thought I’d sneak one in before bedtime. “The Mother We Share” by Chvrches has snuck up on me, catching it on the radio, then finding out that there’s some ‘Spill Scots indie faves in the band, specifically one former Twilight Sad member, and one from DsD’s besties list, the mighty Aereogramme. There may well be a glut of bad 80s influenced electropop kicking about at the moment, but this is simply a fab song, with a wee hint of the old Scots melancholic beauty to boot.
I placed one of their songs on my festive top three for 2010 and some of you may remember their power-pop piano-based glory. This is songwriter Mike Lord’s first video, to his own song, the opener from their 2nd LP Colour Me Red. Pop sensibility 2013 style.
Former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason’s 2010 album was voted best of the year in the ‘Spill album of the year awards, and now he’s back with a follow up. In revolutionary mode, “Fight Them Back” is primo Mason, with the signature dual vocal melody outro in place and a scathing Tony Blair sample to finish with. I bloody love it, goosebumps time, and yeah it’s about time the corrupt capitalist system got a boot in the face.
My end of year round up is now turned into the ‘spill game:
you know the score DUMP one (or all of them – see if I care)
It’s pop and it’s fun – don’t take it too seriously.
Remember, they are my most played – I’m not claiming they will change the world – I just liked them.
Band names in BOLD – for those who believe I make stuff up:
1 Stroke My Curls The Dodoz Forever I Can Purr 2012
2 Cuka (feat. Ikonoklasta) Batida Batida (feat. Mck, Circuito Feixado, Ikonoklasta, Beat Laden 2012
3 The Empty Man Whitey Lost Summer 2012
4 Genevieve Stealing Sheep Into The Diamond Sun 2012
5 Horn For The Whole Damn World Lazarus and the Plane Crash Horseplay
6 Passenger Emily Wells Mama 2012
7 Kevlar Sweethearts Diablo Swing Orchestra Pandora’s Pinata 2012
8 Be Strong (Blakkat Remix) The 2 Bears Be Strong (Deluxe Edition) 2012
9 Rat-at-at The Skints Part & Parcel 2012
10 Clap Hooded Fang Tosta Mista 2012
11 Circus Sunday Driver The Mutiny 2012
Are Goose House a group or a musicians collective? We do not really know and actually we do not care because Goose House are FUN ! ! ! In this special edition of He Said – She Said we want to share our enthusiasm for this wonderful group of young musicians who have taken a very different path to success and on the way have had a lot of fun and shared the fun with many thousands of people.
A little bit difficult for me to write about this band as I only came across them a few weeks ago in relation to the Yui tribute album ( see Sakura’s previous post). However I’ve been playing their songs and videos and find them very enjoyable. This post, I think, illustrates two things about the Japanese music scene at the moment.
1. There’s still room for “bedroom” musicians.
2. It’s pretty much self contained. Goose House could cover “Teen Spirit” or other Western rock songs but they choose J-pop instead. They don’t need us.
Some of you may be aware that i have a few obsessions – for covers, axe wank, Stones, and i have another one you may or may not be aware of – for swooningly pretty pop tunes. Compiling a personal list here that may end up elsewhere – can you help me out?
Not a challenge, no rules, post as many of the prettiest pop tunes as you see fit. The definition of pop here is pretty loose too. Bonus Spill points for newtomes.
What do we do with the winners Mr P? Exploit them ruthlessly like everyone else Ms S ! ! !
Welcome to the J- factor ! ! ! This post is based on a popular TV series which maybe some of you have seen. Basically we have three categories. Solo, Group and Oldie. I will nominate one track for each category and Mr P will nominate one for each category and then you will have the chance to vote for your favourite. We hope you have fun listening to the tracks and voting for your favourites ! ! !
Call me S*mon C**ell and pass me a pair of high waisted trousers. It’s time for a head to head J-Factor contsest. The rules are clear ( vote for me) and the gloves are off !
Sakura’s Kara Earworm got my mind wandering this morning and I happened to have my laptop in my bag, so here are some random thinkings…….
I have to confess that I’m kind of fascinated by the whole K-pop phenomenon. As you may know, most K-pop stars are required to attend intensive and thorough training and teaching in a wide range of skills – singing, dancing, language skills (usually English, Japanese and Chinese), interview and media training etc alongside regular school studies, for a number of years before they are unleashed on the world as a complete unit. It’s like a combination of university study and job training.
Tokyo all female three-piece TOQUIWA release their hi-energy J-punk in the UK on October the 22nd, 2012. Scopitones announced TOQUIWA’s self-titled debut on digital release and limited edition tour CD.
They begin touring the UK on 26/10 in Bournemouth – I’m going to be there (in a home made bright orange TOQUIWA T-shirt) – I also made a T-shirt using the ticket from a live Wedding Presents Ukrainian Sessions gig. But I can’t wear both.
This is the track listing and below the review are Smash Hits style questions sportingly answered by the band.
(I want to post this today – so I will have to ask Sakura to advise if I’ve got anything in the wrong places)
Photograph of the band used with permission – all designs created by arTEEsane are not for profit – please don’t use.
illustrative track from Music Ripple recorded as Pinky Piglets
The self titled album by Toquiwa on the Wedding Presents Scopitones label, should almost be called go out and get ‘em girl – such is the frantic pace that they erupt with perfect pop rock. The first 13 seconds set up the album (you heard right – 13 seconds sets out their manifesto) – Fantasticly playing the many influences and condensing them into a tight Toquiwa package.
Strangely managing to be extremely talented musicians yet still exuding that punk ethic of innocence and naivety.
The tracks have so many astonishingly catchy segments and hooks, you wonder how the pace can be kept up, but keep up they do, building and building, twisting styles and era’s together as if timelines were squeezed, squashed and smashed into their musical brains. Until in comes out sounding as though these things should always have sat together (superbly) in each 3 minute track.
Not only that, they know how to sequence an album – just as your head might explode keeping up – (ten second bar room blues, into superfly 70′s style, into a quiet millisecond break – roaring back into .. you get the drift – I’m loath to compare because it all sounds so Toquiwa – but as reference you could detect The Animals merging with a Curtis Mayfield track with hints of Kirsty MacColl’s weariness and wonder, while a Status Quo repetitive rock riff underpins a track – and quiteloudquiet indie rock aesthetics jostle in) they take a breather with a ballad – and then we are invited to party hard once again, ending with an enthusiastic Wedding Present adaption to thrill and inspire while closing the album out.
It’s fantastic fun – superbly performed and feverishly played. Total enjoyment.
Would they be happy to answer my frivolous questions linking to each song on the album?:
My friends in The Electric String Orchestra put on a big show in Glasgow a few months back, which I was lucky enough to catch on camera. They do rock n roll & popular covers with a 12 piece orchestra (Bowie, Muse, Lady GaGa, GnR, King Creosote etc) and have guest singers also (Emma Pollock, Twilight Sad still to come, I will post when they’re ready!).
We wanted to make a post to share some of the tracks we are listening to just now. Of course when it is Mr P and I, you know there will some surprises and also some artists you can probably predict. We had a lot of fun writing it and we hope you enjoy the post ! ! !
This week we have chosen some of our favourite “up to the minute” ( more or less) artists to share with you. We hope these give a little taster of what we cool, trendy young folks listen to when drinking our Horlicks. I hope you enjoy them. Continue reading →
Mr P – Are you sure we are cool enough for Shibuya ? ? ?
Tokyo, like all cities has many neighbourhoods and each has it’s own style and character. Of all the neighbourhoods in this vast and crazy city Shibuya is . . . . well Shibuya. It is young, hip, loud, crowded, bright, fun and high energy. There is nowhere else like it and you either love it or hate it. Shibuya is Asia’s capital of cool ! ! ! In the 1990 decade, a style of music particular to this neighbourhood began to develop which took a different and unique direction from the music in the rest of Tokyo and Japan. It used European influences and styles from the 1960 decade rather than the US rock influences. The style became known as Shibuya Kei which just means Shibuya Style. We would like to share some of the wide variety of music that has come from this unique neighbourhood.
To be honest Shibuya sounds like my worst nightmare these days. Busy , noisy full of life and neon lights. I’m more of a “sitting alone in a field” kind of a guy now. When I was younger, though, I frequented the back alleys of Soho and Oxford Circus and I think Shibuya is a bit like that area. Swinging, sophisticated, naughty. A place for the young, the young at heart and , apparently, faithful dogs ! ( eh ? Look, just google “Hackiko” O.K.) . Here then, are some sounds from “Swinging Tokyo”. Hope you like them.
Here is the new single from ‘Spill favourites of 2010 (and of course ex-Pocahaunted member) Best Coast.
The whole album, ‘The Only Place’ is streaming on NPR here too.
The initial reviews look good and it definitely sounds like a step forward to me too. It takes the girl-group Cali-pop stonerisms of the first album and adds a bit more production and lyrical depth. The summer starts here!
I know it is interesting Mr P - But what does it mean ? ? ?
Yes, it’s Hawaii time ! As you may have gathered I am a bit of a fan, having , in the mid 90s, spent more than is entirely sensible or sane on several trips to these lovely tropical islands. Today, children, we are going to concentrate on the music of this blessed ( and cursed a bit too) land. My thesis is that Hawaiians have played a bigger role in the development of our music than most people realise. Several elements that we regard as traditional American things acutally developed way out in the Pacific in the days when Hawaii was still an ( sort of ) independent state. Not least guitar based music, slide guitar, “Slack key” tuning and, by extension, electric guitars ( the first electrics were slide guitars).
So onwards we go , plunging forth like an experienced surfer into the (musical) waves ( doest that work as a metaphor ? I’m not sure it does…)
I really do not know very much about Hawaiian Music but I had a lot of fun discovering things I wanted to share with everyone. The variety of things going on in Hawaii was really surprising, and it I think the mix of US and Pacific and Asian influences with traditional influences also make this a very interesting place to visit on our travels. It is going be a lot of fun ! ! ! Continue reading →
Most people associate Korea with really well produced, totally professional and internationally successful K-pop boy bands and girl groups. But there is a really exciting alternative music scene and in this post we want to share some of the music by our favorite Korean punk and Indie bands.
Yes. In the “man eat dog” world of Korean music it’s the massed ranks of synchronised girlie bands that have garnered most attention, but there is a small but significant “underground” scene too. What strikes me here is the sheer “professionalism” of the tracks. Clearly helped by advances in technology, even the scrattiest of punk bands can now produce a decent sounding ( and looking) recording.