Hello Again / Cam’s Mix Tape

5 02 2012

It has been close to two years since I last posted here due to various mitigating circumstances. Y’know, life and the like. Recently though, the pull of having a place all of my very own from which to spout nonsense from has proved too strong and I find myself back here again, spouting nonsense.

Shall we start with a list? Imagine you’re turning nine. You wake up on the morning of your birthday and instead of the professional rollerblades you have been angling for since Christmas, your mother has decided that it’s time you put a bit of distance between yourself and those Pitbull and Lady Gaga singles and opted – not for those black rollerblades with the red flame motifs on the side – but rather for a crappy homemade CD with a crudely-scrawled ‘Happy 9th Birthday!!!’ standing in for cover art, in the hope that it might steer you in ‘the right’ musical direction. What could possibly be on that CD that wouldn’t make you want to emancipate yourself from said mother immediately?

This is my predicament. This is what I’ve come up with:

Cam’s Mix Tape 


AC/DC – Thunderstruck (live)

The Who – My Generation

Outkast – Hey Ya!

Beastie Boys – Sabotage

De La Soul – The Magic Number

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Happy Mondays – Step On

ELO – Mr. Blue Skies

The White Stripes – Hotel Yorba

Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA

Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

House of Pain – Jump Around

Daft Punk – One More Time

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Blur – Song 2

The Ramones – Blitzkreig Bop

The Clash – Rock the Casbah

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart


The Specials – A Message to You Rudy

The Stone Roses – Waterfall

Oasis – Rock ‘n’ Roll Star

Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

The Strokes – Last Night

Groove Armada – Superstylin’
Hot Chip – Over & Over

The Prodigy – Out of Space

The Cure – Lovecats

The Clash – London Calling

The Beatles – Come Together

Kings of Leon – Taper Jean Girl

The Black Keys – Lonely Boy

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Fleetwood Mac – The Chain

Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Jammin’

The Rolling Stones – Gimmie Shelter

The Beach Boys – God Only Knows

*Disclosure: I also bought him a Scalextric set.


Forest Fire

10 01 2009


Look, we all know that Bon Iver is a reclusive genius (although the dodgy vocoder-enhanced tune ‘Woods’ currently adorning his myspace might convince otherwise) and Fleet Foxes harmonies are ‘otherworldly’. However if, like me, you would rather have someone slap you in the face with a wet fish and call you Rita than read another end-of-year best album poll lauding Bon Iver and fawning over Fleet Foxes then perhaps point your mouse in the direction of La Blogotheque’s recommendation for album of 2008 and give Forest Fire a listen.

Their debut album, Survival, was released free exclusively on music site The Catbirdseat, it’s lack of physical presence in record stores resulting in it passing largely under the radar of the hype machine. There were a limited number of CDs available to purchase but they flew out like pvc leggings out of Pennys on O’Connell Street. The album has that really lovely unpolished feel to it owing to multiple vocalists and discordant, misplaced instruments throughout. This could be due to the fact that Forest Fire’s members hail from different American states, New York and Oregon, giving way to an amalgamation of musical influences and a necessity to record when the opportunity presents itself.  Mark Thresher of the band explains,  “Not all the members of Forest Fire live on the same coastline, so when certain friends roll through town, things happen pretty quickly.” 

It could be any of these things, or it could be the fact that they’re a band that have the balls to go against the grain of the standardised format that modern music has largely become. They kind of remind me of the Cold War Kids in that regard, refusing to slot into whatever bullshit genre the NME and co. have come up with to describe anything that sounds in any way ‘out of the ordinary’… is anyone else ready to hunt down the bastard who came up with concept of ‘lo-fi’?Anyway, that’s wandering off course a little. The album is called Survival and it’s FREE so download it (for free) HERE.

Madrugada ~ Look Away Lucifer

26 08 2008

I was recently introduced to Oslo rock outfit, Magrugada . Their single, Look Away Lucifer is a murky and atmospheric rock song a la Nick Cave… In fact lead vocalist Sivert Høyem’s voice bears such an uncanny resemblance to Cave’s that when I heard the song first I thought it must be another side project for the head Bad Seed. Listen to it here and judge for yourself… if you’re a Bad Seeds or Grinderman fan then you’ll love this!

Orphans & Vandals

26 08 2008
This past few weeks I’ve become increasingly enthralled by London based band, Orphans & Vandals. I stumbled across one of their songs – Mysterious Skin – by chance on an oul mixed playlist recently and thought I’d unearthed an old gem from the mid 80’s. But no, Orphans & Vandals are a fairly new outfit, so new in fact that for some reason beyond my comprehension they have yet to be signed and seem to have been largely overlooked by the hype-machine in favour of safe, generic poppets like The Ting Tings and The Coronas. Try as I might, I can find nay a snippet of what I’ve now decided are my ‘new favorite band’ on t’internet bar their myspace page and one dodgy camera phone clip on youtube.

Rather than watching the aforementioned dodgy clip, listen to the lyrically ethereal Mysterious Skin on their myspace page. Lead vocalist Al Joshua’s heartfelt formulaic storytelling is nostalgic of Lou Reed and Whipping Boy and the rising orchestral mix of violins, piano, glockenspiel, toy piano and a host of instrumental oddities laid over a looping bass riff all serve to convey the songs crisp imagery of a story set in Paris. The song has the potential to border on arty pretension but somehow the genuine simplicity in Joshua’s voice powers through and the result is a 10 minute nostalgia trip of love, sex and loss.

Mysterious Skin truly is treat for the senses and one of the most heartfelt and genuine performances to grace my ears in a long time. I can’t stop listening to it.

A rare 10/10.