What’s your ratio?

Musical Revelations Of The Week:

Rilo Kiley – ‘Under The Blacklight‘ – Hello. I’m a cool person. I scour the internet for leaked albums on a minute-by-minute basis. I don’t give a really smug fuck whether it’s supposed to be good or not because I must hear everything so that I can be really cool when I slag it off on some internet message boards. I don’t give a shit about having an informed opinion, as long I’m one of the first and one of the most outrageous. Man, this Rilo Kiley record is a big bag of wank. Jeez, this sucks out loud.
OR. I’ve played this album four times now, and I’m genuinely loving it more and more with each play. It’s a pop/soul record with a hint of country, in all the right ways. There’s an almost camp disco number, a few funkier pop tracks and some truly soulful tunes that demonstrate just how spellbinding Jenny Lewis‘ voice is. The lyrics aren’t always amazing, but it’s not something Rilo Kiley were previously known for. Provided you enjoy quality pop and soul, alongside whatever other genres, ignore the trendy muppets and give this record a shot.
Magnolia Electric Co – ‘Sojourner‘ – As I think I’ve already said, this is a beautifully presented set that gathers together four different recording sessions offering the different faces of Jason Molina‘s musical persona. Excellent value for money and a nice split between bluesy rock and contemplative, eerie solo pieces.
Emitt Rhodes – ‘Emitt Rhodes‘ – It’s his debut that’s doing the business for me right now, after I finally got a decent vinyl copy through in the post. To sample his rather excellent wares you need only go back to this post. Often described as like early solo Macca, I would argue that he’s even less smug. Genuinely beautiful pop songs, recorded at home and delightfully murky records that just bung everything together and ooze melody. Hard to describe him, but I’m starting to think he ranks right up there in terms of ‘perfect pop writers’ with the afore-mentioned Macca, Motown’s H-D-H, the Pet Shop Boys and Neil Finn.

Non-musical Revelations Of The Week:
The X Factor – Definitely in the ‘non’ section this one. Is it me, or is Dermot not especially fond of spending his time standing around outside the main audition room waiting for the contestants to come out? Almost every time one of the utter loonies who go in for this show came out weeping and losing the plot, he was nowhere to be seen. Still, nice to know that there’s no risk of Kate Thornton popping up at any point. The first show seemed to lack some of the zip of previous series. Naturally I’ll waste an hour every week from here on, but I expect better.
House – Mmmmm. What a conclusion to the third season. The final two episodes air this coming Thursday on Five and the penultimate show features a chess-playing teenager with a serious attitude problem. But that’s not really the main issue. Foreman’s leaving and he’s only got a couple of weeks left. Will he stay? Will he go? If you’re a fan of this drama then I’m sure you’re gripped by recent events, and if you’re not, see previous posts about how best to remedy this. Advance warning for the season finale that will air straight after the normal timeslot at 10pm this Thursday. A great episode that has a very neat approach to the necessary end of season cliffhanger. Why Five have felt the need to give away loads of the plot in the advert, I’ll never know.
Harry Thompson – ‘Penguins Stopped Play: Eleven Village Cricketers Take on the World‘ – I don’t feature books often enough on here. The Tom Waits biog by Patrick Humphries is a great read, by the way. Anyway, this is a delightful tale of whimsy and comical endeavour told with wit, charm and humility. Yes, cricket is the central theme, but it’s essentially stories about friends getting into various situations and dealing with the shit that everyday life throws up. If you want something to keep you smirking, without requiring a huge amount of intellectual perspiration then this is for you.

I must have killed puppies in a past life

So there I was, minding my own business, thumbing through the vinyl racks and getting ridiculously excited at finally finding the 4 Men With Beards pressing of Tim Buckley‘s ‘Starsailor‘, when all of a sudden I was assaulted. A rep from one of the big record labels took a sledgehammer to my ears. With the phrase, “King Monkey’s back” the first warning signs had appeared, and next thing I knew the seemingly nice man behind the counter was loading a new CD to play. As if getting back and finding that the Russian (yes, I fucking know that this should be reason enough for leaving well alone, but I’m gullible) pressing of Emitt Rhodes‘ ‘American Dream‘ I bought sounds like it was record via a dictaphone pressed up against a cheap hi-fi speaker wasn’t reason enough to rue going in that particular store, being subjected to Ian Brown‘s new single, ‘Illegal Attacks‘, certainly was.
How the fuck this musical imbecile is still allowed to make solo records is beyond me. Having endured his live show once I realised it was actually possible to dislike him even more than I previously had. During his famously terrible support slots for the Manics in 2002 I witnessed him shouting to the crowd, “what have you got?” in return for a few people pointing out that he sounded like a seal with piles attempting to insert a melon up its own arse, before throwing a full bottle of water at a girl in the front row. A charmer. That he had to be dragged off the stage by security, despite the house lights being put up was the true nadir of a shambolic pisstake of a performance. The first Stone Roses album is a good album. I’m not somebody who puts it in the ‘great’ category, but I can understand why people do. The second Roses album has a few moments, but is an otherwise middling indie record of no consequence. Since then Brown has managed one, half-decent single, ‘F.E.A.R‘ which seems pretty good until you listen to the lyrics.
Truly, he is to music what Amy Winehouse is to mineral water.
Anyway, it would seem that Brown is under the misguided belief that somebody gives a flying fuck about his views on the war. Ah yes, well it is 2003, so it seems relevant. Oh no, wait a cotton-fucking-picking minute. It’s August 2007. I think most people get the point that it was a pretty shitty decision, and it’s safe to assume that members of the public have come to their own conclusions about what has happened. Do we really need chivalrous gent, Ian Brown to offer us his deep and meaningful observations on not-even-all-that-recent events? Do we fuck. As if listening to that dick rattle on for minutes isn’t bad enough, just to really put the wanky icing on the shit-for-brains cake, in comes Sinead O’Connor to wrap the song up. I mean, really? Honestly? Ok, fair enough.
Now, I don’t want you to just take my word for it that this is a really, genuinely horrid piece of, ah go on, I’m in a reasonable mood, music. I’m sure if you look about the internet you could find a way of hearing it. Just click there or click here and I’m sure it’ll be there. Ahem.

Oh, and because it would be mean to end like that, here’s a really good tune that came to my attention again today.
BETH ORTON – CENTRAL RESERVATION (SPIRITUAL IBIDAN REMIX EDIT)
This can be found on the 2CD best of, ‘Pass In Time‘, but really you need all of her albums if you don’t already possess them.
All of the stuff I did want to say, about Tim Buckley, Super Furries and Emitt Rhodes will have to wait till tomorrow.
One last thing. Cool, trendy internet types will be spending the next twelve hours attempting to outdo each other in terms of expressing their dislike of the new Rilo Kiley album. They are tits, every last one of them. No, it doesn’t sound like ‘More Adventurous.’ Yes, it’s much more poppy and with smoother production, but it’s a brilliant pop album. Jenny Lewis‘ voice sounds amazing and the more soulful and occasionally camp moments are wonderful. Make your own mind up on this one, don’t simply listen to those who listen to an album once before dismissing it so that they can get through the other twenty-seven albums they’ve downloaded today.

Not sure if he always puts his thumbs up too

An alternative approach to the YouTube video below. One I rather like, I have to say. This feautres the delightful, is not especially well-known, Emitt Rhodes. More on him when I’ve got my facts straight. Anyhoo, something different for you.

Expect slightly over the top gibbering about any number of records in tomorrow’s post as I’m planning on a trip to my local music emporium.