Apologies for the recent forced hiatus. It really does suck being stuck in one of the best cities with little to no internet, I kid you not. Chicago may be fantastically architecturally, but I’m currently stuck outside in the suburbs, in an ever so lovely place called Skokie. So with very little to do recently my life seems to developed into me watching a hell of a lot of TV (hello Tuesday, where I get to watch 3 full hours of The Office US) and rediscovering stuff I’ve put on the back-burner lately, music-wise of course. So I guess you don’t want to hear all about the TV I’ve been watching, so here’s a short round-up of what’s been making me deaf lately.
- Courtney Love – I listen to Hole all the time, possibly because they’re one of the best 90’s bands around (and their last release wasn’t half bad either) but I always completely pass over America’s Sweethearts, the solo effort from Ms Love. It’s not the best album in the world, but also very far from the worst (an accolade preserved for much of the Disney Channel’s output, and of course Beady Eye) but when the opening chords of Mono ring through my headphones, it means business. And okay I might only listen to one or two of the songs on the album, but that doesn’t make it a bad album, surely? I mean have you ever listened to But Julian, I’m A Little Older Than You? It’s fantastic. It has more balls than some of these supposed rock bands floating around at the minute.
- The Maccabees – I kick myself every time I rediscover The Maccabees. Their distinctly sweet, and occasionally overly saccharine songs are the soundtrack to my lost summers (I really don’t want to remember some of those these days). From the debut Colour It In to their equally fantastic Wall Of Arms, they have to be up their in my top ten for their somewhat childlike view of romance. It does always upset me slightly when my sister harps on about how brilliant Toothpaste Kisses is, they’re so much more than that. The last time I saw them was on the main stage at Leeds last summer, and they completely owned that enormous stage. And I must admit Good Old Bill gets me every time.
- The Strokes – This is rather more specific than the others, it’s not The Strokes I’ve been listening to it’s one song. Yes this may be the year that we celebrate 10 years since Is This It, but it Reptilia that is possibly my all time favourite Strokes track, and the earworm I’ve lived with for at least the last week and a half. Its simple, direct and aggressive, and also contains some of the best memories from nights out at my beloved Independent (and now I’ll slip in the fact that I have Tuesdays off next semester at uni so I will be abusing their ridiculous prices every Monday night, but going off topic here!). Room On Fire may not have been the best received album ever, but this quintessentially Strokes track is possibly one of the best in their back catalogue.
- Razorlight – Yes they may be a completely different band these days, and overrun with Borrell’s ego, but their debut album was one of the defining British Naughties Indie Rock releases. Their collection of songs about sex and drugs and rock and roll caught the attention of a generation that had already fallen in love with The Libertines and The Strokes. My personal favourite track here is Don’t Go Back To Dalston, but on this album the band display an aptitude for the gentler approach too with Fall, Fall, Fall. Sadly I never got to see them live when they had this desire to succeed and youthful exuberance ( my parents did and I hear no end of it), I got the old and weathered album 3 band, who admittedly were still rather good.
- P J Harvey – I’m nowhere near as big a P J Harvey fan as my mother. In fact I only own one album, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, but it one that I listen to repeatedly every so often. Good Fortune and Big Exit are songs that when I put on manage to transport me as far away from where I am as possible (that has been pretty handy recently, stuck with a houseful of children 24/7 almost!) but it’s This Is Love that has to be the best track on this album. Whenever it turns up on my iPod, its that song that I bellow out word for word, and it does get played 4 or 5 times on repeat.
- Jay Jay Pistolet – While some prefer not to discuss this element of Vaccines history, I love it. Hooked Up On Us is one of the sweetest love songs ever, and it’s Justin wearing his heart well and truly on his sleeve (and its sits much more nicely than songs about ridiculously beautiful models and sex), it just fills me with resentment at my own abysmal lack of romantic interest at the minute. Title track of his only EP Happy Birthday You is yet another track filled with romantic promises and wishes, but my favourite has to be Emily’s Book, a song full of calls for the return of a lost lover.