Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Spoilt Bastard Christmas Wishlist

With everything Facebook has got on me I'm always surprised that their 'pages you might like' researchers (in the right hand side column) don't delve a little deeper into the mind of my click finger than pushing adverts for Airwaves chuddy and Italian Weddings. They must know I ain't clicking. But this week they caught my eye with this monstrosity. Yes, it is that flower. Good, God no. What am I doing that makes Zucherberg and co think I would like to buy the 'James ultimate boxset'?

Look at the size of it! Mind you its not as big as some of the 'bundles' I've just spent the past hour Googling.  Whatever happened to asking for ONE CD for Christmas? So in the spirit of everyones favourite Viz character- Spoilt Bastard- I shall give you the run down of what's (not) on my list to Santa.

"Would you like your Gran to get you a CD from that Andy's Records son?"
"Oh ay' Mother. Can you tell her to get me the 'Blur 21: The Box + Parklive: Deluxe 5 Disc Set + T-Shirt + Mug + Tote Bag Bundle'?"
"Fair enough son. how much is it going to cost her?"
"£205. And tell the greedy fuck I want a Mars selection box too..."

Quite frankly if you still haven't got round to picking up a copy of Parklife I wouldn't bother. It was good, but unfortunately you've missed the boat. And if there is a disc somewhere in there amongst all the that tat called 'LIVE AT THE BRIT AWARDS 2012' you're probably better off with the James collection above.

Blur: Blur 21: The Box + Parklive: Deluxe 5 Disc Set + T-Shirt + Mug + Tote Bag Bundle
And what the frig is a tote bag anyway? Pretty sure from my school days they were the PE kit bag of shame. Speaking of shame, I bet when the Manic Street Preachers promised to make one album and then clear off in a blazing ball of rock'n'roll credibility, they never imagined it being re-branded like this? 

Generation Terrorists 'what's in the box'

"But why don't you like your Xmas present son? You said that all you ever wanted for Christmas was a 'Generation Terrorists' dog tag?"
"No you cretin. I wanted a 'Holy Bible bracelet' to wear with my 'Gold Against the Soul nose ring'. GET IT RIGHT MOTHER!"

"OK. Pass that big red tin of Fox's Chocolate biscuits over son. I'm parched for one of those gold foil-wrapped ones." 
"Gettaway Mutha! It's the 'Screamadelica 20th Anniversary Limited Collector's Edition' you daft twat!"
"Oh sorry son! I am a dick."
Screamadelica - 20th Anniversary Limited Collector's Edition
Is there anything more soul destroying than a 'making of' DVD even if it is for an album as great as Screamadelica? Thanks all the same but I don't really want the extra tracks that weren't good enough for the original. 
The T.Rex album The Slider was one of the first records I ever heard (cheers Dad) and it is indeed a fantastic LP. 'A' being the important word. THIRTEEN top tunes on ONE album. Not all this toss.
Aside from a million versions of the album it comes with essays, sheet music, Bolan fan club letters, membership cards, rosettes, concert stubs, posters, stickers, patches, bags, locks of Bolans pubic hair (probably) and its own video trailer, but, "I STILL WANT MORE!"

Hold on Josh. I thought you were a DJ not a hitman dentist, because this is just plain creepy. What is that? Every single tune, mix, scratch and fart from the once great Mr Shadow himself. Complete with essence of DJ Shadows actual shadow reformed into an acrylic kryptonite slipcase.
And finally the 'flogging a dead record' award goes to... as always... THE STONE ROSES! Listening to music used to require an amp and a turntable but you need planing permission to own this beast. IT ONLY HAS ELEVEN TRACKS! (Which are all pretty good I might add) although this no doubt has fifty times that. But you get a bunch of really cool artwork postcards and a presentation box. Great.

So there you have it. Even in the Boxing Day sales your £15 HMV voucher isn't going to go very far. So tell your Gran to stick her vouchers, get out the plastic and order one of these many Pink Floyd box sets.

More of this type of cynical nonsense can be read HERE. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Something For The Weekend #10 REMIX

Hell yeah! Two of the best albums from last year have been remixed in full and they are quite sensational. Firstly MOGWAI have released 'A Wrenched Virile Lore', a compilation of remixes from 2011's 'Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will'.  Their 2001 remix album 'Kicking A Dead Pig' was a blinder but this surpasses it. They are also the best at song names ever. Stream the entire album HERE or if you can't handle an hour of it take in my personal highlight below, an Aphex like rehash of single 'Rano Pano'.

Secondly the Horrors have let some buggers loose on their masterpiece 'Skying'. It's called 'Higher' and you can stream it HERE... AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS. 
If you have a spare £50 you can own thIS amazing super-duper boxset... If you have a spare £100 you can buy one for me too...

Higher Limited Edition Box Set

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Best of 2012 in a Refreshingly, Despondent Nutshell

Years that end in a 2 or a 7 tend to be pretty good music wise and although 2012 will probably not go down as being of the calibre of say, 1997 (or 1962, 1967, 1977, 1982, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007- not sure about 1972 & 1987?!) I feel that on reflection it has produced some interesting stuff. This is the year they played FUCK BUTTONS at the Olympics for Christ sake! However, having read umpteen end of year ‘best of lists’ over the past few days I’m sick of it (minus the VO’s of course). One look back at your own 'best of list' from as recently as 2009, you realise our memories are short, our standards were low and there aren’t many of those coveted 'great albums' that you’re still spinning. So lets get some perspective and celebrate the true 2012. Here is my list of why the past year in music has properly sucked.

Where to begin? I guess the fact that 2012 introduced me to the worst single I’ve EVER heard is as good a place as any. No joke, either. Step forward GREEN DAY. I wasn’t into Green Day when they were supposedly ‘good’ twenty years ago, but could tolerate a few minutes of it. But this new ’un was something special. Christ knows what their TRIP(L)E  album sounds like, but if its like that single I heard (don’t know the name, can’t be bothered to find out. Would rather type ‘Free Animal Porn’ into my browser search engine) then the fans are in for a treat. JUST GROW UP!  
All hail the THE VACCINES who snuck in at number two to claim second worst tune of 2012/my life/human existence.  Remember this is my ALL-TIME list of HATE (previously including the Foo Fighters, B*witched, the Kooks and every post 1998 Oasis song). Quite a feat Mr twenty twelve.

2011 had THE HORRORS. 2012 Had TOY. In the words of Richard IV in Blackadder; ‘as excrement compared to cream’.

Contrary to the VO list (and nearly every other one) I’m not really understanding how TAME IMPALA are getting so much qudos for doing a bit of Lennon karaoke. To be fair I haven’t heard that much of it but whilst my copy of ‘Twist and Shout’ still works I’m not arsed about finding out. And whoever it was who excitedly told me JAKE BUGG sounds like Cast, yes! you were right. Speaking of CAST Wikipedia tells me that they released a chuffing album in 2012, ironically titled ‘Troubled Times’. That HAS to be great, right? (Although my worst album purchase of 2012* goes to MAN FOREVER and ‘Pansophical Cataract’. Thirty five minutes of miserable, rhythmic pain.)

*I realise the above wording makes it sound like I BOUGHT the new Cast album. I didn’t. Nobody did.

I feel a bit mean slagging off ALT-J as I think they are alright and they do have a few decent tunes. I also sort of enjoyed seeing them support Wild Beasts earlier in the year, but I’m getting into this now and, well, it’s just a bit shit isn’t it? For me Wild Beasts pull it off and weather the storm through my Antony and the Johnson-esque this-is-creepy-uh-oh-what-the-fuck-am-I-listening-to doubts and find a beautiful, melodic place of oh-hang-on-this-is-really-great. Alt-J don’t. It’s just so OK its sickening. And ‘An Awesome Wave’ is an album name even David Gray wouldn’t touch.  My predicition for Alt-J is they will either follow the path of other Mercury champs (Speech Debelle, Gomez, Badly Drawn Boy) and quickly disappear OR go the other way and become massive, multi-million selling headlining superstars which will unfortunately mean in order to reach a larger audience they will get wetter and subsequently more irritating (Coldplay, Keane. etc). So I can’t see myself picking up their follow up LP which will no doubt be called ‘A Crescendo of Calm’ or something equally vile. Is that fair enough?

More lies about the twenty year wait for MY BLOODY VALENTINE’s follow up to ‘Loveless’ pissed me right off and also 2012 had the nerve to be a year with no new FALL album. Unacceptable. At least DODGY released some new material…
As for having no desire to “desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group The Stone Roses" the less said on that the better. By my reckoning, in 2014 we will be able to celebrate the reformation of EVERY band from the nineties. Next year we have Rialto, 18 Wheeler and Hurricane#1 to look forward to. And Oasis no doubt. (Where is the Heathen Chemistry ten year re-issue anyway?)
And what in the name of Roll With It were BLUR doing soiling so heavily on their worth at the Brits. Quite embarrassing.  On the subject of confusing comebacks, go and listen to a bit of THE D.O.T, (new project from Mike Skinner from The Streets and Rob Harvey of the Music) I DARE YOU! Sensationally bad…

But enough cynicism and miserablism from me. Let us enjoy this brief period of back-patting and mix tape swapping before the slate is wiped clean for another year.  Twenty twelve, like every year briefly is when we do the annual December look-back, was the best year EVER. Thankfully my desire for finding new exciting music is as alive as it was 15 years ago. Just don’t make me listen to that XX album again. Or ANIMAL COLLECTIVE... 
'2012 is dead! Long live 2013!'

Saturday, 1 December 2012


Following on from the VO Best Albums of the Year list posted last week, here is a link to a mixcloud of 15 or so tunes, making up some of my personal choices for 2012. The mix can be found by clicking on the adjacent flashy, GIFF  image of the album sleeves. 

Its about 55 minutes long and is smoothly(ish) mixed together  in a vague attempt at being 2 Many DJs. Its called BRING ME THE HEAD OF SUSAN BOYLE and quite frankly its the last thing I have to say on what I think has been a pretty impressive year for new music. 

My own definitive list can be found HERE. See you in 2013.