Friday, April 7, 2023

Here We Go Again

Well, that was annoying. I was halfway through a post and feeling pretty pleased with it and then Blogger decided to delete the entire thing. It's a known issue with no fix because Google doesn't give a rat's arse about Blogger but it's only the second or third time it's ever happened to me in more than a decade so I suppose I should feel grateful for that. Give me a moment.

There are a couple of ways to insure against it. One is to have the Preview open as you write, something I often do, only not this time, of course. I've got it  open now, though, you can bet on that. Or you can write the whole thing in another editor and copy it over, which kind of defeats the point of Blogger having its own editor in the first place.

Nothing for it but to redo the whole thing. Except you know it's never going to be as good the second time around. Then again, maybe it'll be better. The trick is not to try to replicate everything exactly. Just go at it as if it was the first time.

So, what was I posting about, anyway? Music, luckily. I say luckily because even though I'd been at it for a couple of hours, most of that was watching and listening to stuff, not typing. 

I started out by complaining about this year's Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition. I wrote about it last year and had a good time doing it. The long list is nearly a hundred acts and I planned on picking the highlights out of that before going on to discuss the finalists. I've mentioned a couple of times in previous posts that I was working on it but I'm sorry to say it just hasn't come together as I imagined it would.

I skimmed through the full long list a week or so ago, picking out everything that caught me eye, then I went back over it more dilligently. I don't say I listened to every single track all the way through but I caught at least a flavor of most of them. 

And virtually nothing stood out. A lot just wasn't to my taste and what was I didn't find particularly exciting. I made my own shortlist of almost a dozen acts but of the lot of them, there was only one that I'd have included in one of my regular "What I've Been Listening to Lately" posts. And they weren't even new to me or the blog! 

Back Row - Prima Queen

I may still get around to doing a GFECT post, maybe when the winner is announced, but right now I'm just not feeling it, especially when I have a bunch of great tracks saved up to play instead. Stuff I genuinely have been listening to and will be listening to again.

I'll say up front, though, if you're one of the few who enjoys these posts, don't expect to hear anything much you haven't seen here before. These posts split into two types: utterly unfamiliar names I've trawled up on a deep dive down some YouTube rabbit hole or "Friends of the Blog". This is definitely the latter.

Let's start with this one because I need cheering up after Blogger screwed me over.

Wouldn't Let Me In - Alex Lahey

You wouldn't think she was singing about discrimination and prejudice, would you? I think this is what the kids call "a bop". What kind of idiot wouldn't let Alex in to anything, anyway? Do these people just hate fun?

Church Outfit - Poppy 

I can't keep up with Poppy's new directions. There are so many. I prefer this one by a cyberspace mile to Death Metal Poppy. We nearly fell out over that one.

This is, apparently, a return to a previous period of Poppyism, anyway, not a wholly new departure. It's going back to the industrial synth grind of the Choke EP, or so I'm told. I don't actually remember that one. Let's see if it was any good... Oh, wow! It really was! I'd forgotten...

My favorite era of Poppydom is still the stuff she did with Titanic Sinclair. Sorry, Poppy. I was hard enough into the whole thing at one point that I almost signed up for Poppy.Church. I had the forms up and everything. I only didn't because signing up for things online is such a faff. 

I wonder if Poppy.Church is still a thing? Nope. It's not. I'd still wear the lapel pin but I'm not paying twenty quid for one.

Winter is Blue - Clairo

Wow. That was a bit of a bootlegger turn. Sorry if anyone got whiplash. 

I saw this first on Instagram. Not that I have an Insta account. I saw it linked somewhere. Stereogum or Pitchfork, probably. Now it's on YouTube, where everything comes in the end.

I got Clairo's sophomore album, Sling, for my birthday last year and I love it but I wasn't prepared for how sophisticated it would be. There's some of the expected bedroom pop but there's a whole lot of Laurel Canyon and plenty of jazz, too. I can't think of a time when Joni Mitchell's guiding hand has been laid more firmly on the shoulders of contemporary female singer-songwriters. Her influence is everywhere. Good thing, too. 

<Edit> And I completely forgot to mention that this is a cover of a song originally written and recorded by cult psych-folk legend Vashti Bunyan. I had a whole paragraph about that in the original but somehow fogot to include it in the reconstruction.

We The Female - Chai

Let me just quote you a few choice lines from the lyric:

"Full of mistakes but lovable"

"Shut up, follow us!"

"Don't try to be somebody"

"We are mighty, yet feminine"

"We are pretty but masculine"

"Just trust us and listen!"

Reminds me in the best way of early Gerling

John Ashbery Takes A Walk (ft. Charlotte Gainsbourg) - SQÜRL

SQÜRL is Jim Jarmusch's band. The first time I heard them I immediately began trawling YouTube for more bands featuring movie directors so I could put a post together. That post never got written because I didn't find any. Not any good ones, anyway. Only SQÜRL.

This latest of theirs is magnificent but you may need to adjust your aesthetics before listening . The ever-wonderful Charlotte Gainsbourg perfectly enunciates not one but two poems by John Ashbery, "one of the greatest 20th-century American poets", over a stately, clangorous drone. As a seasoned poseur, I can handle this sort of thing, but exposure to levels of pretension this high could prove a danger to the less experienced pseud.

--- Time Out ---

And that's me all caught up! Only took me forty-five minutes to redo two hour's work. Not sure if it's an improvement but I certainly typed it a lot faster. Everything from here on in is original, for what that's worth.

--- Time In Again ---

 Spalarkle (Alys) ft. Caroline Polachek - felicita

I followed the link to this because of Caroline Polachek. felicita was new to me. The two have worked together before, albeit with very different results. felicita is part the PC Music collective, an organisation known for "its surreal or exaggerated take on pop music tropes from the 1990s and 2000s". My kind of thing. I'm sure they'll turn up here again.

steamroller - feeble little horse

I haven't entirely bought into Feeble Little Horse as yet, much-hyped though they've been in certain quarters. This is killer, though. A glorious, disciplined, melodic churn that reminds me of Cranes. I've pulled up this excellent live version so we'll all have something to look at while we listen. It's beautifully recorded for a club gig but you can hear the dynamics much more clearly in the studio recording, which even has a visualiser, although I suspect it could induce motion sickness so maybe don't stare at it too long.

Rachel Veut Danser - Le Pain

And finally, something entirely new. The only track in the post not to feature anyone whose been in one of these things before. As far as I know, anyway.

It's gorgeously French, isn't it? Her voice reminds me of Valerie Leulliot from longtime favorites, Autour de Lucie. See? I still found a way to make this all about something familiar. Maybe I just hate new things.

Yeah, I don't think so. Next time I'll do my best to prove it. Even if it means actually putting some work in for once.


  1. I know I say it periodically, but I feel it bears repeating: thank you for all of your music posts. Because of them I am exposed to music outside of my traditional lanes, and I always find one of the pieces inspiring.

    So thanks, Bhagpuss. Keep on keeping on.

    1. And thanks for taking the trouble to mention it. Much appreciated. The music posts don't get a lot of feedback but what they do get is hearteningly positive. Of course, I enjoy doing them more than enough to keep me at it even if no-one ever commented at all. I'd rather only have to type them out the one time each, though...


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