I’m always amazed at my ability to miss songs, especially when it’s been years after they’ve come out. Logically, I should have heard the next one before, since the album it’s from was out in 2005 and it’s gotten quite the views on Youtube, but I haven’t – until yesterday, that is. One Self (not to be confused with Oneself) are signed on Ninja Tune, a label that never ceases to surprise me, and I actually had heard DJ Vadim before, one of the guys behind the band. Anyway, here’s a… classic, I guess? that you also might have missed:
I found the track thanks to Boycom (I wrote something about him over there) and his All Of These People Are Awesome Mix, which I highly recommend. The rest of Children of Possibility (the album where you can find Bluebird) is decent, but I’d rather listen to this song for an hour instead of the album, so I can’t say I really recommend it. One Self have a Soundcloud if you want to explore their sound further, though.
Damn it 2007, what happened to you? You used to exist! Anyway, The Great American Smokeout happens to be the second track on Cotton Teeth, an awesome album by The Snake The Cross The Crown:
If you’re wondering about their name, it is apparently “a reference to the logo of Italian car company, Alfa Romeo, where Kevin Jones’ [leader of the band] father owned a repair shop that burnt to the ground”, according to Wikipedia. I guess there are worse reasons to name your band than fire, so I’ll allow it. If you’re looking for more, might I suggest – from the same album – Gypsy Melodies, a great jam that ends up exploding all over your ears, and you won’t even be mad; moreover, the choruses on Electronic Dream Plant should make you happy, given you’re a reasonable person.
I think there’s a lot to learn from bands that don’t fit into any easy category. Not because they are necessarily better than bands that do, but because they push the boundaries of what music is and can be. It’s when musicians make the effort to pursue something strange and unheard of, whilst still being able to play pleasant stuff, that you get some of the most rewarding albums I know. Norwegian duo Xploding Plastix are that kind of crazy people, and I’ve had a blast listening to Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents again, their first album, which I hadn’t heard in years. The first track on the album should give you an idea of what it’s about:
One of their first songs, Treat Me Mean, I Need The Reputation is another favorite of mine on the same album. Is this electronic music, downtempo, jazz or maybe nu jazz, a vast category where you can put pretty much anything that sounds unusual? Who cares; but if you like it, the flash player on their website is a good place to continue this musical journey.
Buy the album Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents on Amazon!
Here’s a song I love: Let Them Ring The Bells by The Little Ones. It’s getting fairly old now (about 7 years old in fact), and the video on Youtube doesn’t have that much views. But I don’t forget. I never forget a good song. NEVER.
This track is so gay, marrying it with another gay song is illegal (well, in most countries at least). If there’s a better reason to be pro gay marriage, I don’t wanna know about it. On that note (hah!), the rest of the Sing Song EP where this tune comes from is perhaps as fabulous as it is good; check out Face The Facts for instance, or maybe High on a Hill if you wanna get better acquainted with The Little Ones. No penis joke.
Can’t help listening to this cover (can you really call it a cover if one of the musicians was in the band who wrote the song?) of Going to California (from Led Zeppelin obviously) by John Paul Jones (bassist, keyboard player, mandolin player, etc. of Led Zep) and Paul Gilbert (who for once in his life plays a guitar slowly):
I’m not sure if I actually prefer this version to the original; this one is less melancholic, the mandolin occupies most of the space and reinforces the bluegrass (and I’m not just saying that, JPJ has been playing and producing with bluegrass bands lately) feel to the song. And if you’re looking for something heavier, might I suggest this cover of Nobody’s Fault But Mine, another Zeppelin classic? Ah, and I noticed that the whole concert is up on youtube, and it’s definitely worth it. I just discovered Gettin’ Betta by Pat Travers which has one of the best riffs I had never heard of.
I don’t expect you to buy it, but here’s a link to the album on Amazon anyway!
2009 minus 1991, that’s… 18, right? Which means that Sarah Jarosz was 18 when she released Song Up In Her Head, her debut album. Who said there’s no more talent in kids these days? Ignorants, that’s who. Sarah plays the mandolin quite beautifully, not surprising since she’s been playing for almost ten years at the time the album was recorded, according to her bio. I really dig this title track, and it has grown on me even more after quite a few plays. It sounds more like bluegrass than anything else, although I guess you could call it folk or something extremely general, like “song” or even “music”. The album version wasn’t on YouTube (at least I could’t find it), so I took the liberty to put it on there:
If you like that (and you should if you’re human), definitely check out the acoustic (well, more acoustic, let’s call it sort of live) version she played for Music Fog, where it’s just her and her mandolin. Yes, the instrument she plays is bigger than you might think, but that’s because it’s actually an octave mandolin, which are therefore larger. For instance, you could also say that a pornstar has an octave penis. I don’t recommend it though.
What I recommend however is the rest of the album, and if you’re bored right now (or highly invested in this topic), go and listen to her cover of Shankill Butchers, a song originally by the brilliant Decemberists (listen to the original over here). I can’t tell which version I like best, which is weird because I usually have an opinion on that sort of stuff. They’re both amazing and horribly sad, considering the topic (yay murder!). And now I’m confused, because the Decemberists‘ version is spelled with two Hs (ShankHill) (on Amazon as well as on Youtube and the version I have myself) which is wrong, according to Wikipedia… It’s spelled correctly on Sarah Jarosz‘ album, so what happened there? Did she realize this and decide to correct the spelling for herself? Did she not notice and somehow got it right? Did something else happen? Does any of this matter at all? I guess not, so I’ll just stop writing now.
Be awesome and buy the album (Sarah Jarosz – Song Up In Her Head) on: iTunes or Amazon !
Who’s Hugo Vincent ? According to his Soundcloud, it could be the pseudonym of Theo Fernandez, half of Keadz, two French producers. Their soundcloud is filled with weird music that doesn’t have the same effect as this next song has on my ears though, so let’s just stick to that for now:
If you can’t understand French, the samples are some dude explaining things about philosophy, biology, maths, all that at what appears to be high school level. Part of the appeal of the song if you ask me!
So Daft Punk released 15 seconds of what one might guess is a new song on Saturday Night Live the other day, and of course someone had to go and loop it for ten hours. Some even smarter human used a famous gif of a drunk Ron Swanson (the awesome character from the brilliant tv show Parks and Recreation) on top of that, intitled Daft Swanson:
If you’re feeling frustrated by the obviously too short fifteen seconds, might I suggest you listen to this Röyksopp song, which they released under the pseudonym of Emmanuel Splice (on their Back to Mine compilation) and sounds sort of similar to the new Daft Punk in its repetitive grooveness:
Listen to those brilliant lyrics. The Back To Mine compilation concept is awesome by the way, since the tracks are chosen by artists you like, the songs on them tend to be in your range of interest. Quite sneaky from Röyksopp to include one of their own tracks under a pseudonym, but hey, since it’s so good, we forgive them.
Buy the Back To Mine compilation by Röyksopp on Amazon and feel like a nice person !
If I talked to you about Knightlife, you might be confused, thinking I meant something else, presumably the word nightlife. When it’s written down however, you might mistake it for an Arthurian fantasy novel by Peter David from 1987, perhaps. But no, I would definitely be talking about Knightlife (in one word), the Australian producer from Melbourne. I’ve listened to as much of his material as I could find, but the greatest track by far (or at least my favorite) remains Crusader. It’s just awesome, and definitly deserves the the space music tag on noisnoise.
Find more of Knightlife‘s music on his Soundcloud, if you dare.
If you’re familiar with Jimi Hendrix, you might know that every few years a new album comes out with previously unreleased songs; however, most of it is simply unheard or remastered versions of tunes that many fans already heard on bootleg or live albums. Hence why so many people will tell you that Hendrix’ survivors are just milking all they can out of the name of one of the greatest guitarists ever, and why you shouldn’t buy such albums.
That being said, whether you disagree or just don’t care about such a practice (or even think it’s a brilliant commercial technique and are all for that sort of stuff), it’s always interesting to listen to new versions of old songs, especially when we’re talking about a guy who improvised so much in his playing. Compare the new version of Hear My Train A Comin’ that you can hear on Rolling Stone’s website, which will be featured on the soon to be released People, Hell and Angels on March 5th, to the acoustic version that’s been around Youtube for a while now:
And to the much more similar (but way longer) version from another posthumous compilation, Blues:
If you’re interested in learning more about the new album, I strongly advise you to read this article which talks about the supposedly new tracks, and where you might have heard them before. And if you like to be frustrated, read about the holy grail of unreleased Jimi Hendrix music, Black Gold, on Wikipedia.