Hullo. Missed me? Thought not. Either way here I am, back again with Issue 57 of Nobody’s Listening. I trust you all had a pleasant winter break and are now settled in to 2017 like it’s always been thus.
Exciting news for all readers inside! Don’t worry, we’re not about to amalgamate with Buster like all your favourite childhood comics seemed to do..
As it’s becoming a bit of a stretch to juggle work and family commitments along with sourcing twenty tracks and writing 2000 words about them, I’ve made the decision to reduce the playlist by fifty percent. Welcome to your new improved, super streamlined ten track Nobody’s Listening! I suspect many of you found twenty tracks a week a bit much to stomach anyway.
Fret not! The boy wonder Paul D’Cruz is still here. This week my very good friend, bandmate and proud owner of the worlds oldest chinchilla has plumped for a seventeen minute epic which nudges our truncated playlist towards the hour mark meaning you’re still getting plenty of bang for your buck…
So, without any further ado, let’s make this precious..
Track 1. Be So Glad by Jaimeo Brown Transcendence.
We begin our first supersonic soaraway slimmed down selection with a track released last year by Jazz artist Jaimeo Brown. This piece is built around a sample of a 1959 recording of inmates at Mississippi’s Parchman Farm Prison juxtaposed with drum and bass progressive jazz. Special mention must go to Saxophonist JD Allen whose tenor kicks in at 2m 25s and provides some of the transcendence alluded to in the collectives moniker.
Track 2. Good Moon by Michael Nau.
Gentle acoustic gorgeousness is the order of the day here. Former frontman of bands Page France and Cotton Jones (who’ve featured previously on NL), Marylands Michael Nau decided to go it alone and released his solo debut LP last year which includes this beautifully warm song. I’ve provided a live performance which features just Nau and his guitar below but if you can, please take the time to listen to the full recorded version which has some wonderful electric noodling and understated strings. Not that the live vid isn’t special, cos it is. Just get them both in yer lugs, alright?
Track 3. Soothing by Laura Marling.
This weeks cover star has received quite heavy airplay on six music with the next track over the past few weeks and it hasn’t suffered the usual over exposure fatigue. It suits this time of year perfectly and has soundtracked quite a few drives with the low winter sun streaming through stripped branches. I must say, the below video (directed by Marling herself) was a bit of an eye opener and not how I interpreted the song at all. Still, it’s her vision and I’m not going to argue with it.
Track 4. Lam San Disco by The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band.
DJ team Maft Sai and Chris Menist are best known for reviving the pop music of Thailand from the 60s and 70s, compiling two excellent sets for NL favourite the Soundway label. The second ‘Sound Of Siam’ release concentrated on the pulsating molam music from the north-east of the country which prompted the duo to update the style with a brand new band. Chris Menist takes on percussion, along with two impressive instrumentalists, Kammao Perdtanon playing the traditional phin lute and the veteran Sawai Kaewsombat on the khaen, a large harmonica type instrument constructed from bamboo pipe. Add some seventies disco bass and you’ve got Thai party time.
Track 5. Old Love (Let’s Try It Again) by Mary Wells.
Our first four tracks this week have all been released in the past twelve months. Let’s make our first foray into oldies territory with this 1962 Motown b-side from Mary Wells. The song also showed up on Martha And The Vandellas debut LP and made a further appearance in the late sixties for The Four Tops, but for me this is the best take, Wells’ voice more suited to the subject matter of rekindling an extinguished flame.
Track 6. Intervals by Bitchin Bajas.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
Paul’s choice this week is Chicago drone band Bitchin Bajas and a track from their 2013 ‘Krausened EP’. As I mentioned up the top there this is a seventeen minute game of two halves, the first part consisting of a looped series of notes before the beats kick in around the seven and a half minute mark. We’re then treated to some superb Max Tundra-esque knob twiddling which sees us through until the abrupt denouement.
Track 7. Golden Gaze by Ian Brown.
Taken from his second solo LP ‘Golden Greats’ which was released shortly after his infamous incarceration for ‘air rage’ in 1999, here we find King Monkey in fine form. From the fabulously wonky guitar which bookends the track to the brutal synth stabs that underpin the bulk of the song, this is probably my favourite thing he’s ever done outside of the roses. In fact, most of his solo output is very strong indeed. Should he decide to stop milking the reunion cash cow I’m quite certain he’ll continue to pack out live shows with his own back catalogue. For now though, I’m happy to continue enjoying a couple of gloriously nostalgic hours in the summer with him and his three mates and me and my best mate.
Track 8. Steady State by Teenage Fanclub.
Speaking of a couple of glorious hours in the summer, I was delighted to hear that the Deer Shed Festival have finally secured the Fannies as Friday night headliners for this years bash in Baldersby park. I shall be front and centre with a bellyfull of ale when they take to the stage in July. Here they are with a lovely cut from their eleventh and latest LP, last years ‘Here’ which is tailor made for a balmy summer evening but is equally apt for a cold January night.
Track 9. Mirage (Part One) by Digitalism.
The German electronic duo released their third LP last May and this is part one of two tracks which take the albums title. A brooding synth piece which has elements of Daft Punk who the band cite as a major influence. As I’ve mentioned many times before, this type of music lends itself to nighttime driving incredibly well. Hit your nearest autobahn and crank it up!
Track 10. Someday (You’ll Want Me) by Smiley Lewis.
Despite the decision to halve the amount of tracks featured, you’ll be pleased to know our regular soul slowie closer slot remains as a weekly fixture. This week I’ve gone for Overton Amos Lemons aka Smiley Lewis with his slow rocking version of Jimmie Rodgers’ 1944 standard which has been covered by countless acts from Gene Autry to Sonny And Cher to Ken Dodd and beyond.
Alright then. It’s nice to be back, albeit in a shortened format. I hope this new direction doesn’t disappoint anyone, but it really was becoming difficult to find the time to compile and collate twenty tracks every week. I’m sure you’ll agree something is better than nothing!
Don’t forget, you still get a daily dose courtesy of yours truly at the Nobody’s Listening facebook page Here, so you’re never going to be short changed music wise.
I’ll be back next week with another ten quality selections.
Until then, float, float on.