My iPod #14: Mystery Jets – Alas Agnes

Evening everyone.

I went to Coventry today, not for a fun day out or anything, but for an open day at its university. This time of year is very busy for me. I’ve got my A-Levels in the summer, two months and a bit to be more precise, and those exams basically decide whether my life is over or if it has only just begun. Coventry was alright. The weather was a bit shitty, but the place was nice and nothing was extremely bad about it.

Coventry is in England, which is also where London is. South West of London is the ‘large suburban town’ of Twickenham, where Mystery Jets come from.

Mystery Jets were much more popular during the mid-noughties. They’ve faded out quite a bit in the past few years, but it was in 2006 (2006 again… see?) when they burst onto the scene.

‘Alas Agnes’ is the penultimate track from their album ‘Making Dens’. It’s got a very pantomimey, showtime kind of vibe to it, like the last number in a musical; that was probably due to its music video and the subject matter.

The narrator thought he fell in love with a girl, but he can’t tell whether it is a girl or actually a boy. His mind was in such a swirl, his mother shivered with fright.

The narrator eventually got dumped. He harms himself with cigarette burns. Although, he still can’t help but reminisce about that sweet transvestite butt.

Oh, Mystery Jets. Surely there must be a musical about that. I would see it.

If you are American and like British music or are British and don’t know Mystery Jets, Try these out for size.

It seems I only have American and British viewers on this blog, and some from Germany too.

Until next time.

Jamie.

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My iPod #13: They Might Be Giants – AKA Driver

Another song by They Might Be Giants.

I mentioned this already in a previous post, but I’ll just remind you again.

Years ago, Yahoo! owned this website/company called LAUNCHcast which was a radio/video music site where you could mark your favourite bands and listen to radio stations based on your preferences.

If it wasn’t for that site, I don’t think I would have any interest in They Might Be Giants as I do now. It doesn’t exist anymore, but I shall thank it for eternity. This is what it looked like for anyone who cares.

AKA Driver was one of the three songs from ‘John Henry’ that I remember playing on a radio station that I would listen to, with the others being ‘Destination Moon’ and ‘The End of the Tour’.

Does anyone remember MSN Spaces? For anyone who doesn’t Windows Live Messenger, formerly MSN, had this blogging network too, similar to this, where you could post anything you wanted and type in the music you liked in these huge lists that you could give names to. I remember putting ‘AKA Driver’ into a list, bearing in mind that I had only listened to it once and never listened to it again until 2010.

MSN Spaces died too. Just like LAUNCHcast. Why does every cool internet thing I encounter die 😦

I digress.

Autumn 2010 was They Might Be Giants season for me. I downloaded almost every album by them during that time. Apparently ‘John Henry’ isn’t a favourite for some TMBG fans because that is when they were considered to have sold out, because before then the band had only performed as a duo comprising of the two Johns.

But I don’t understand that. Yes they did incorporate a full band, but that only added to their sound. The two main guys were still there, but the (then new) real rhythm section just added an extra depth and a fuller sound.

I remember listening to ‘AKA Driver’ in 2010, five years after first finding it, thinking, ‘So this is what it sounded like!’ John Flansburgh sings this one, don’t worry I do like Linnell’s songs too, and it comes right after the song ‘Unrelated Thing’, a much slower song on the album.

‘Driver’ is quite fast paced. It’s got a driving, no pun intended, beat which gets your head bobbing.

And it’s only a song about driving whilst on drugs/intoxicated. I mean, how cool is that!

It is not. I will say that. Don’t do it. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t do drugs either.

It’s only got two verses, a bitchin’ solo and a lot of repeated choruses and motifs: “It’s just a full day’s drive away”, “Heeeeeeeey Nyquil Driver’. But it is still a highlight from the album. Look out for the change in mood of the song near the end, where the electric guitars are replaced by acoustic guitars and a theremin-type instrument whilst still keeping the momentum that the song has already set.

John Henry is a great album. Give it a chance guys.

Until next time.

Jamie.

My iPod #12: Radiohead – Airbag

The opening track to, according to besteveralbums.com, the best ever album… ever.

I got OK Computer as a present for my fifteenth birthday, along with Hail to the Thief, and I think The Bends too.

OK Computer is an excellent album, I can say that. When I generally listen to any album for the first time, I never think anything special of it. Especially if it’s one that is always talked about, like this, or ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, ‘Sgt. Pepper’ or whatever. But after a few listens, I always get why people talk. ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘Karma Police’ and ‘No Surprises’ were those that I’d seen and listened to and liked – the videos for those singles are something else too. But they only made the songs better for me.

‘Airbag’ isn’t my favourite song from the album. However it’s a great way to start things off, look at the opening lyrics:

‘In the next world war
In a jack knifed juggernaut,
I am born again.

That’s pretty awesome considering how before 1997, when the album was released, ‘The Bends’ was their last album. Putting in ‘OK’, hearing the first notes of ‘Airbag’… I could only imagine that it would have been a slap in the face for many a Radiohead fan. Radiohead certainly had been born again. I was only two, so I can’t really speak for anyone.

The chopped up drums, the semi-complete bassline, the spaced out guitar sounds by Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien, Thom Yorke’s vocals. Yeah. It can’t get much better.

“In an interstellar buuuuuuuuurrrrrst.
I’m back to save the uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuniveeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrse.”

Until next time.

Jamie.

P.S. This may have seemed like a really lazy blog. I apologise if it did. Many Radiohead fans may be disappointed. But there are many more Radiohead songs to come.

My iPod #11: Daft Punk – Aerodynamic

Hi everybody, I just finished listening to ‘The Battle of Los Angeles’ and I completely forgot that it was blogging time.

So, Daft Punk…… where can I begin?

I haven’t really come to this blog with any ideas. I’m not an avid follower of their music but from what I sense from reviewers their albums ‘Homework’ and ‘Discovery’ are their best ones, and ‘Human After All’… not so much.

For me, Discovery is the absolute shit. Somehow it just brings out a huge gigantic hand, grabs you by the balls and squeezes until you just can’t take it no more. I only really listened to it in 2010. That was nine years too late.

‘Aerodynamic’ is the second song on the album, between album opener ‘One More Time’ and ‘Digital Love’ and it all segues together seamlessly. After the epic party starter of ‘OMT’, a huge bell brings everything to a stand still, a sense of doom and foreboding. All of a sudden the beat starts like a punch in the face, and you find yourself Spongebobbing and pop-lock ‘n’ droppin’ all over.

That part lasts for 30 seconds or so.

And then……. the solo. THE SOLO. The most unexpected bloody awesome guitar solo that you could come across in a ‘house, techno’ whatever the hell album.  If you listen to the song for the first time, it’s just a total surprise. Where the fuck does it come from?

I thought it was a copy of some classical music composer’s work, but Daft Punk don’t acknowledge them. So I can only assume they made it up. Which is even more crazy.

I’m not a very good music analyser or anything. I’m not a music reviewer guy at all. I’m just giving my opinions on the songs I have on my iPod. But that is just one of many highlights on the album.

The aforementioned bell brings an end to the middle section. Then everything cools down, synthesisers start playing the melody of the solo and it’s very relaxing. It’s a major comedown after the solo, and the doom bell rings again and ‘Digital Love’ begins. But you will all have to experience it for yourselves.

Now… when I was younger I saw the video for ‘One More Time’, it didn’t make very much sense to me. Why were there cartoon people playing the songs? Why were they blue? Why was everyone blue?

I then found out that it was all part of a movie. ‘Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem’ is its name. For those who don’t know, the movie has no dialogue, only ‘Discovery’ playing over it. I’ll tell you…. it gave me a totally different understanding of the album. It is actually great.
 
 
Until next time.
 
Jamie.

My iPod #10: be your own PET – Adventure

I miss be your own PET.

2006 was the year. That’s it. It was the best year. Ever. For me.

I was eleven. Last year of primary school. Arctic Monkeys released their first album, The Strokes had released First Impressions of Earth, Billy Talent released Billy Talent II, The Fratellis, The Killers…….. Muse….. my god. I practically watched MTV2 everyday, there was so much good music at the time.

The first song I heard by be your own PET was ‘Damn Damn Leash’, but that’s for a blog much later in time. But it was ‘Adventure’ that actually managed to get into the UK charts at a place of #36. That’s pretty sick. Barely anything credible would be able to get a spot like that nowadays.

be your own PET was the newest band around. Yeah Yeah Yeahs comparisons were slippin’ n’ slidin’ all over the media. And why not? They both have female lead singers, and they make rockin’ music.

‘Adventure’ was the first single of the band’s debut album, which was very well received by critics. The album itself is not one filled with solos, or intricate guitar playing, (you wouldn’t really expect that from a punk/indie band), but it is definitely one that should be blasted at full volume out of your speakers. Or at least into your ears. All of the songs are able to fit into that category. Screw your neighbours. Just do it.

The video for Adventure is quite weird. That’s what I thought of it when I saw it for the first time. But that is when I decided that Jemina Pearl was fit. So all in all it was fine.

be your own PET split up in 2008 after two albums 😦

But I will remember the band for the good songs that those albums provided, especially in 2006.

Until next time.

Jamie.

 

My iPod #9: Kanye West – Addiction

You may not have thought that this would happen due to the types of songs that I have blogged about already…. and because of the fact that he can be quite the douchebag.

But you have to admit, that douchebag can make some good hits. Mhm mhm.

‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ may be the people’s favourite of his work; for me ‘Late Registration’ and ‘The College Dropout’ remind me of those good times when he wasn’t that egotistical, and when I liked music that played on the radio and Top of the Pops.

That was only 5 or 6 years ago, so what the fuck happened?! I barely like anything that’s in the charts now.

My sister got Late Registration around the time that it had been recently released. She really liked ‘Gold Digger’, so she went to Woolworths and got it one day.

I didn’t like hip hop so much when I was ten. All of my albums that I actually owned were mostly indie stuff, and Green Day was the band that I was really into then. American Idiot was the shit, man. Especially when I was ten.

We Major‘ andDrive Slow aren‘t on my iPod, but my sister would blast those songs out of the computer speakers endlessly. The singles, Diamonds from Sierra Leone‘, ‘Gold Digger’, ‘Touch the Sky‘ and ‘Heard ‘em Say’, I had obviously already seen or heard.

It was when I started my YouTube channel that I really paid to all of the songs on Late Registration. Hardly any of the songs by Kanye West were on the site, (this was back in 2008), so I took it upon myself to upload the album onto the site.

‘Addiction’ is about well…….. what do you think?

Why everything that’s s’pose to be bad, make me feel so gooood?
Everything they told me not to is exactly what I woooould.
I tried to stop, man, I tried the best I could but yoooooou (make me smiiiiiiiiiiile)”

That‘s another thing too. It‘s got a great sample. Kanye is known for a lot of sampling. A lot. And this is one out of a million that works really well. And sampling can go baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

Until next time.

Jamie. 

P.S. Don’t be afraid to share with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network. I will love you if you do. Need more recognition for no money whatsoever.

My iPod #8: Blink-182 – Adam’s Song

Hey everybody, everybody hey.

The year was 2005. My mum was driving me to my 11+ tutors house. And the news came up on the radio….. that Blink-182 had just split up.

How did I feel? I don’t think I cared, I was only ten at the time. In fact, I wasn’t even listening at the time. I only heard something about Blink-182, and then ‘I Miss You’ started to play. It was only later that I realised, when the video for ‘Not Now’ started showing on MTV.

I had probably first heard Blink-182 when I was about four due to ‘All the Small Things’, but at the time I would have had no idea who it was by. And I think I liked ‘The Rock Show’ too…. but really I can’t remember. Let’s just say I had a vague idea of who they were.

I think the first video I ever sat down and watched on the TV was the one for ‘Always’. I liked that song, and the girl in it was hot too, so it was a win-win situation. I was probably nine.

But anyway, back to ‘Adam’s Song’.

The video for ‘Not Now’, as you may or may not know, is basically clips of all of their past music videos from ‘Dammit’ to ‘Always’ and miscellaneous footage of antics on tour.

Clips from the video for ‘Adam’s Song’ appear in the video, and I had never really watched Blink videos before. I knew they had a thing for being naked, but I wondered what else they had.

Back then, YouTube didn’t exist. I watched videos on this site Yahoo owned called ‘Launchcast’ or ‘UK Launch’ where you could customise your own radio based on your favourite bands and watch music videos for free. It was good shit. It’s gone now, but at the time I had never been on any other site like it.

‘Adam’s Song’ gives you a strong dose of mood whiplash if you’re listening to ‘Enema of the State’, the album the song is on.

Blink are known for really fast, and poppy punk rock songs with bass chords, brilliant drumming, and tag-team vocals between Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus. Especially by Tom DeLonge.

But here….. you basically have a song about suicide. Which isn’t cool. The song is cool. But suicide is not.

The video is pretty tame compared to other Blink videos too. There are no midgets playing instruments and there’s not an arse in sight. It’s a performance video with a few still-photo flashbacks, but it is a much more serious video.

Maybe that’s what made me like it. It’s not my favourite song of theirs, but it was quite different to anything that I had heard from them.

It’s all fine though, on the album it’s followed by ‘All the Small Things’, and in video chronology terms the video for ‘Man Overboard’ was released after this one. And that video is funny as shit!

Until next time.

Jamie.