Saturday, January 20, 2024

Never Forget Your Inhaler

You can tell it's the post-Christmas lull by the paucity of interesting new releases this week. I've scarcely heard a song I imagine I'd ever listen to again if I didn't have to write this post. 

Hah! "Have to..." That's rich!

It's a shame because it's Saturday, I'm home alone with Beryl, and I feel like playing some tunes. There must be something worth sharing...

I guess I could do that covers post I've been talking about... I even took the trouble to make a separate folder for covers so I could get to them right away. Let's see... hmm, nearly a dozen in there, plenty for a post. But honestly, while I like them all well enough, they're all pretty faithful to the originals. Which is fine but feels kind of bland.

Covers aside, there are plenty of possibles still in the pot that I haven't used yet, going back into last year but you have to ask yourself, if I didn't share them last time or the time before that, are they really worth sharing now? Maybe I should refresh my memory on a few of those...

Okay! Now we're cooking with gasolene. There's stuff in here far too good to ignore. Better than the new stuff, that's for sure. I think we're good to go.

Fake - Elise Ecklund

I really have to thank Syp once more for introducing me to Elise Ecklund. I subbed her channel and she posts YouTube shorts all the time and something longer about once a week, always something fun. I just wish she'd do more actual songs. She's a really good songwriter. 

Then again, when you have almost four million subscribers and your old posts get tens of thousands of comments, I guess you don't need to write whole songs...

Easy Fun - gglum

Oh boy, that rolling beat sounds familiar. The opening reminds me of My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style although now I actually come to listen to that one again it's absolutely nothing like it so I guess I must be thinking of something else. I bet it's something by De La Soul...

I have no idea who gglum are and I haven't bothered to look them up but they sound extremely 90s to me so they're probably still at college. That seems to be how it works now.

Also, I highly recommend reading the full lyric, which they handily include in the description. It's a slice-of-life masterpiece. I especially admire the chorus:

Underneath the light
(you look so pretty)
And I think the smoke screen might
(have got your asthma)
All kinds of twisted up I hope you brought your blue in-
(-haler to the club)

Really takes you there, doesn't it? And I am not being ironic, just to be clear.

Wish You Were Dead - Lola Young

Way to work those harmonics, Lola! Ringing like a bell! 

Another kitchen sink, cinéma vérité lyric that rewards close study. It's like a three minute Play for Today. Also makes for a great double-header with Olivia's bad idea, right? (cf IFs passim. Ed.)

Backwards - H31R

I really don't like videos where the focal characters move forward while everything else moves backwards but I'll make an exception for this one. I mean, it is actually called "Backwards" and the whole lyric is about "moving backwards" so what else were they going to do?

Funk This Up - Jessica Winter

Now that's a bassline to blow your speakers. Except no-one has speakers any more, do they? It's all headphones and ear-buds. 

Speaking of which, I got some bluetooth headphones for Christmas and I finally got them working last week. Had to buy a bluetooth dongle because my PC doesn't have bluetooth and while my laptop does, it didn't want to talk to the headphones. I have some bluetooth ear-buds somewhere that I've never been able to get to link to anything. I ought to try those with the dongle.

Also, last spring, while I was having the annual move-everything-about-fest that comes with warmer weather, I took one of our three 1990s stereo systems to the recycling center and put both the others away in a cupboard... and now I'm thinking of getting one of them out again because it might be nice to play stuff through some big, fuck-off speakers again, like in the olden days.

Down Bad Bad - Smith Taylor

If you thought that last video was mildly unsettling, let me introduce you to Smith Taylor. Aren't you glad you can't really see what's going on there? I know I was. And he sounds so nice, too...

What's really interesting, though, is that I had to go back to Stereogum, where I originally came across this one, and follow their link back to YouTube to get to the video I remembered watching. When I just searched for the title and artist on YT itself, all I got was this. There's no sign of the video at all. 

I'm curious to know who can see the video I linked and whether it plays for everyone as an embed. I'm wondering if there's some YT settings-related censorship going on...

Swallow - Girlpuppy

Another Jarrett Wolfson tip. He's like my indie rock dealer. I wonder if he ever vanity-searches and finds his name here? Hi, Jarrett! Thanks for all the tunes!

I tink there could be some warped Alice in Wonderland vibes in the video, which might be the third mildly disturbing one in a row. Maybe we need something unequivocally wholesome about now...

Put On Dog - THUS LOVE

Oh, what the hell. One more video with mild S&M/fetish imagery isn't going to kill anyone.

SPORTY Boy - Dead Tooth

Wow! We're really rockin' out today! And, in a way, that's possibly the most disturbing video yet. I mean, it looks horrifyingly like they actually did those stunts with the car and the rope for real, in the actual street...

Also, I really need to stop finishing every section with an ellipsis...

Okay, remember when I said at the start that the songs I'd collected since the last time I did one of these posts weren't all that much? I was talking nonsense. Half of these came from that folder and they're great! I'd just forgotten how good they were. 

Let's have a couple more.

My Producer - Smerz, Alina

From an upcoming concept EP about a fictional pop star, apparently. Smerz are two real Norwegians and Alina is the name of the fictional pop star, hence the credit. 

You don't hear an awful lot of music from Norway, do you? Well, I don't. It's all Sweden, Sweden, Sweden...

Well, contrary to expectations, it turns out I have more great tunes than I can reasonably fit into one post so I'm going to have to roll a couple or three over to next time. Which isn't going to help much, is it, let's be honest. I think I'm going to save The Libertines and The Jesus and Mary Chain for an old crocks special, so let's wrap it up with a colorful finish.

Orange County Punk Rock Legend - The Garden

I only put this one in so I could link back to it later and say I knew what Clowncore was that long ago. Yes, I am that shallow...

Plus it's short, so it has that going for it...

And finally...

(You're going to wear that period key out if you keep on like this...) 

Spinning - Julia Halter

That ought to calm things right down. Six solid minutes of neo-psychedelia. You're welcome.

There's a new Jane Weaver album coming, by the way... 

A Note on the AI used in this post.

Just the image at the head of the post, but I did futz around with it a lot more than usual. I used the whole of that gglum chorus as the prompt, plus the modifiers "cartoon" and "colorful". The model was SDXL 1.0 , runtime Medium, Prompt Weight 75%, Refiner Weight 25%.

Once I'd gotten the image, I took it to and started to play around with it. There was a blue blodge on the main guy's face. I removed that and smoothed the whole of his face a bit. Then I used a bunch of different filters - oil painting, noise, soften and a few more until I got the final version. 

Although you can still see the AI glitches, paricularly in the hands and arms of the people leaning on the bar, I think the overall "feel" of the thing is warmer and less artificial, although I might be imagining it. 

Here's the original for comparison. Judge for yourself.


  1. Can confirm that Jessica Winters' Funk This Up sounds great through speakers. I may not have towers --I have bookshelf speakers that do fairly well for themselves-- but I really like the base line on that song.

    And yes, those old 80s style glasses are back at the forefront of style again; I saw them myself at my optometrist when I was getting my eyes checked out and my prescription updated.

    Girlpuppy's Swallow is damn good, but I can't really categorize it. It's just it's own thing, really.

    Put on Dog didn't kill me either. Got a nice beat to it.

    As for Spinning by Julia Halter... Yeah, the psychedelic vibes are strong. Piper at the Gates of Dawn type of psychedelic vibes (minus the guitar).

    1. I do have speakers hooked up to my PC and they can go quite loud but it's not like the room-shaking boom of a good old-fashioned hifi. Also, if I get one of our old turntable systems out, I can play some of my vinyl again. I am not a fan - at all - of the imaginary "warmth" of vinyl but I do have some stuff in that format that I can't even find online and I've had it in mind for a while to do something with it...


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