Quick points, top tips, random musings

Judging by the recent traffic to this site, it strikes me that there are many, many readers who haven’t yet opted to follow Just Played’s Twitter presence. While I’ll concede that it’s hardly essential, it does feature regular updates, whimsical thoughts and musical tips and will soon be the place to receive the Just Played Song Of The Day link. You can find us by clicking the logo below or by following @justplayed

Feel free to say hello!

twitter_logo

Song Of The Day 40: Lucky Soul – A Coming Of Age

This is the last of these for a little while and, weirdly, Popjustice beat me to it with this one. Thought I’d save this till the end of the week but, oh no, genius pop writer, Peter Robinson, has made me seem like a mere copycat.

lucky soul group

Still, this is a free download of a wonderful, wonderful song so no need to moan, eh? Click here and give them your name and email address and then you can sample the, quite magnificent, title track from their new album, out in April. If you like what you hear, why not revisit the FUTUREMUSIC 2010 feature from earlier this month by clicking here?

Song Of The Day 39: The Czars – My Funny Valentine

Was just doing some research whilst finishing off my review of the debut record by the ex-Czars frontman, John Grant, and found this quite stunning rendition of a fabulous song. I know Grant had a SotD all of his own on Tuesday, but this is something you really should hear. No picture, no video, just a Spotify link right here.

I’ll try and write in a more substantial fashion this weekend, ok?

Song Of The Day 38: Lonelady – Early The Haste Comes

Another one I have the NME to thank for. Read something about her the other day and couldn’t stop myself from seeking out the music forthwith. The album’s just come out and it’s in the post to me as I type. I’m already hooked by this delightfully ramshackle burst of spiky guitar and ever-so-slightly-too-low-in-the-mix-but-just-enough-that-it-actually-sounds-ace vocal.

Here’s a video in which Paul Morley talks with Lonelady about her views on the music world:

Then click here to hear the song.

Song Of The Day 37: John Grant – I Wanna Go To Marz

A beautiful, lilting winsome bit of indie this. Backed by Midlake and featuring some subtle but hugely effective strings, ‘I Wanna Go To Marz’ is an utterly charming first taste of John Grant’s forthcoming solo record, ‘Queen Of Denmark’. Formerly the frontman of indie bit-part-players The Czars, he’s struck out on his own. Well, if recording a record with a bunch of current folk-rock heroes counts as striking out on your own.

johngrant

This particular track also features some charming flute playing from Midlake frontman, Tim Smith, knitting together a beautiful vocal and a marvellously swoonsome music backdrop. The album will appear in April – you’ll be wanting it, I should tell you right now – but this first single is being offered for nowt by those nice folk at Bella Union. You can click through and read about it here or simply download the song by clicking here.

Song Of The Day 36: The Webb Brothers – Intermission

Less a song, more a tune. And, if I’m being brutally honest, I’ve not really picked it based entirely on its own merits. I’ve picked it because it is, as near as damn it, Gideon Coe’s theme tune for his 6music evening show. He returns tonight, after a week’s break, and announced this morning that he’ll be covering 6music Breakfast next week. This is something that Gid used to do quite a lot under the old regime at the station, but it’s been some time since last he did so. It gladdens the heart to find that he will be back on in the ‘am’, however briefly.

Can’t find a tube clip for this, but it doesn’t matter. Listen to the quirky minute and a bit of pop on Spotify by clicking here and then, more importantly, click here to listen to live to 6music right now (assuming you’re reading this between 9pm-midnight, Mon-Thurs) for a bit of Gid, or here for his recent shows. Public service announcement over and out.

Song Of The Day 35: Teenage Fanclub – What You Do To Me

I’ve been reliably informed that the new album should be with us by the end of May and that is reason enough to have a little smirk on your face this weekend. One of the loveliest bands imaginable and criminally underrated, I featured the Fannies in the third ‘A Week With…’ as I rediscovered the charms of ‘Man-Made’, their last outing from fully five years ago. We need more!

Still, while we’re waiting for more, it gives us plenty of time to keep going over the good stuff. This was before my time, but once I’d found it I didn’t want to let go. Pure indie pop jangle aplenty on this one. And look at their hair!

Song Of The Day 34: Mayer Hawthorne – Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out

The sticker on the front of the CD informs me that it includes a bonus 4” vinyl record with two further tracks. I can’t lie. My eyes light up and I’m sold. I’d read about Mayer Hawthorne in a few end of year pieces but my overall knowledge of him was pretty sketchy. Having said that, I’d been meaning to give him a proper listen at some point soon. Browsing the pitifully meagre and woefully overpriced racks of HMV yesterday, I alighted upon Hawthorne’s album, ‘A Strange Arrangement’, with the aforementioned sticker to lure me in. As it is, I’ve ended up very glad indeed that this particular record caught my attention. It’s all about the vintage soul sound that many try and few perfect. Winehouse did it. Sharon Jones can do it with her eyes closed and now, to that list, can be added Mayer Hawthorne. Technically, this post is all about the ‘big’ single release from that album, ‘Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out’, which is the first of the two clips below, but I’ve also included a video of somebody actually playing the charming 4” vinyl that you can simply slide out of the CD sleeve. Should you wish to treat yourself to a listen to the album, click here.

Song Of The Day 33: Tom Waits – Ol’ 55

I have little to say about this one, although one day I really should take some time to try and write something meaningful about this remarkable artist. A return visit to Rebound in York, who I mentioned sometime back in August last year, yielded two Waits titles on immaculate vinyl, including this track’s parent album, ‘Closing Time’. You can hear what he’s singing! It doesn’t sound like your life is in danger! There might still be a few drops left in the bottle! Splendid stuff.

Song Of The Day 32: Pet Shop Boys – BRITs Medley 2009

I do not give a wibbling tit that I have already had a PSB SotD for two excellent reasons. Firstly, they’re great. Secondly, tonight is BRITs night and I spent a chunk of this afternoon watching their really rather splendid ‘Pandemonium’ Tour DVD which came out yesterday. There aren’t really any performers like them and their grasp on pop is truly masterful. This performance livened up an otherwise dreary show last year and with Peter Kay hosting this year, I’m not hoping for any great improvement.