Friday, June 9, 2023

What I've Been Listening To Lately (Is A Lot)

You know that old cartoon trope, where someone's looking down the end of a hosepipe to see why no water's coming out and round the corner there's someone else, standing on the hose with a big grin on their smug face? Well, get ready for a soaking because you're staring down the barrel of my musical hosepipe and I got tunes backed up in there like you wouldn't believe!

Dear me! What a way to begin! That was unpleasant. And unnecessary. I do apologize. This isn't Norfolk Nights, after all. 

But the point stands. Since the last time I updated everyone on What I've Been Listening To Lately I've racked up another thirty or so possibles. More than twenty different artists. More than a dozen never featured here before. 

It's too many, right? No-one's going to sit still for two-and-a-half dozen tracks... although I seem to remember some posts from a few years back where the count hit three figures - in links, anyway - so I guess there's precedent. No excuse for making the same mistake again, though, is it?

Oh, hell. I guess I'll just gas this thing up and see where it goes.

Lilith (Diablo IV Anthem) - Halsey, SUGA

Hah! Suck on that, hipsters! 5.2m views in three days. Mainstream me, baby!

I fricken love Halsey, ever since I posted that clip of them dancing to Lana del Rey back in 2016, which has to be one of the most joyous, life-affirming things I've ever seen, albeit not something you would expect from the person who called her poetry collection I Would Leave Me If I Could. I can reach out my hand from where I'm sitting and pick up that book up, by the way, something I did only a few days ago and will do again, many times, I'm sure. Halsey can write as well as they can sing and that's almost too much for one human being.

I don't know how good they are at playing Diablo, though, or even if they play at all. I guess they might. Apparently Whoopi Goldberg does so I guess anyone could. Except me. I don't. I never have. And much though I love Halsey's dark vision for the game, I don't think I ever will.

Oh, and SUGA's on the track too. Dunno anything about SUGA. Probably ought to find out something. Bit late now.

Nothing Matters - The Last Dinner Party

Ok, it seems I've unwittingly opened the show with two songs with the word "Fuck" in the chorus. That wouldn't go down too well on Radio Norwich.

A radio-friendly edit of Nothing Matters would fit right in, though. Reminds me a bit of my musical crush from the 'nineties, My Life Story and also of Virginia Astley's first band The Ravishing Beauties, a long-forgotten, all-female chamber-pop outfit, who I saw supporting someone (Can't remember who.) back in the very early 'eighties. There's also - obviously - a goodly portion of Kate Bush in there and that guitar solo is straight out of every Saturday afternoon soft-rock radio hit from about 1974 to whenever Dire Straits went out of fashion. 

Heck of a video, too. Looks like the Umbrella Academy on a choir-school weekender in some other timeline. Someone spent some money. Someone thinks these guys are going to be big. I'm betting someone's wrong but I hope that someone is me.

Loveher - Romy

A gorgeous, rippling, ethereal groove from Romy Madley Croft out of one of Mrs Bhagpuss's favorite bands, the XX. Spookily, my Bagpuss alarm clock started speaking its piece just as I typed Mrs Bhagpuss's name. Freaked me the hell out, I can tell you. It's a risky business, blogging.

5 Easy Steps to Get In the Giant Robot - Horrible Girl and the Hot Mess

Come on! You would have clicked on that, too. I did and it got me this great punk slammer but also just the album cover to look at while I was listening to it, which was fine but I thought I could do better so I had a go. 

Maybe I succeeded. Maybe I didn't. You can be the judge. 

I started out trying to make a visualizer but all the free ones I tried were time-limited for less than the running time of the track so I scrapped that idea and made a slideshow instead. I used NightCafe to give me five sequential images of a giant robot, then I hammered those together in good old Microsoft Movie Maker (Yes, that old thing...) and finally I tarted it up a bit in Veed, who insisted on watermarking it if I wasn't going to pay them, which I wasn't.

It took me about an hour but that included figuring out most of the apps as I went along. I could do it again in half that time. Less. Also, if I was going to do it again, I'd make sure I got a nice jump-cut in there when the track suddenly speeds up about 44 seconds in and I'd stick to the "5 Easy Steps..." motif a bit more closely. Too late now...

Also, just as a FYI, YouTube does a nice, automated copyright check when you upload someone else's work like this, which I didn't know because I've never done it before. It told me I was using copyright material but it was okay because the owner allowed it. I hope that's right. That and the research on copyright vis-a-vis YouTube I did a few weeks ago makes me a lot more interested in making videos for tunes I like that don't already have them. That would be an pretty addictive hobby, I reckon. Like I need another of those.

Nothing To Do - ArfPunk

There was a moment last week when I fell down a bit of a punk hole. Not sure what started it. Looking at the time-stamps on the stuff I saved, one minute I was watching Romy and the next, this. Seems like a leap. It's at times like this I almost wish I allowed YouTube to save my browsing history. At least then I could follow the data trail.

If Horrible Girl... sound like the kind of band that might have come on second on a three-act bill at the Tropic, supporting some slightly more successful band touring off the back of a #8 single in the indie charts, maybe very late 70s, very early 'eighties, ArfPunk sounds like the opening act at The Bear in Hot Wells circa '77/78, on one of those DIY nights where the main band booked the venue themselves and got some of their pals in to make it look like more of an event. 

Too specific?, I guess you had to be there.

This is the one and so far only song on ArfPunk's channel. The only biographical information is "My First Song Ever Released". From the vocals - and the lyrics - she sounds about twelve, if that, but the whole thing's so wonderfully period-accurate I have to believe whoever's at the back of it is probably about my age. If not, it's proof that reincarnation is real.

You Killed A Boy For Me- Henry's Dress

Okay, so if I was programming this post by title, I'd have put "Nothing To Do" after "Nothing Matters" and this one after "5 Easy Steps..." but I'm not so I didn't. It is a great title, though, isn't it? Also a great band name.

I've used the live version because it's good and it gives us something to watch. Mostly the drummer, to be fair, although the drummer in Henry's Dress is really good. The recorded version isn't actually all that much cleaner and if anything the vocals are mixed even further back and the drums even further forward. Maybe it's the drummer's band. Maybe he's Henry. Or they. Or she. 

I said it was a good name for a band. 

Sever The Blight - Hemlocke Springs

Me, talking about Nothing Matters by The Last Dinner Party: "There's also - obviously - a goodly portion of Kate Bush in there". 

Hemlocke Springs: "Hold my beer!

I mean, there's even an arpeggio in there that must have fallen out of the folds of Hounds of Love. (Like I know what an arpeggio is...) A good Kate Bush pastiche is nothing to sniff at but Hemlocke's got a lot more going on than the obvious influences. I went to her back catalog and found nothing but eclecticism and bangers. Try this one 

Stranger Danger - Hemlocke Springs

or this

Girlfriend - Hemlocke Springs

'Course, the problem with being versatile is people can't put you in a handy box and people do like their boxes. Also, I probably could have just kept to links there if I was trying to fit as many songs into the post as possible.

But I like embeds! Not gonna lie!

Red Wine Supernova - Chappell Roan

I'd sure as hell rather have a Red Wine Supernova with Chappell Roan than a Champagne Supernova with Noel Gallagher. The choruses both stick in your head the same way but the lyrics...

"I don't care that you're a stoner/Red Wine Supernova" vs "Slowly walkin' down the hall/Faster than a cannonball"  


"I heard you like magic/I got a wand and a rabbit" vs "How many special people change?/How many lives are livin' strange?"

And they gave Noel the Novello Award?? TANJ!

Silly Little Girl - Goodby Temujin

Is it me or is this turning into a NSFW special? It's not intentional, I assure you. I don't make the videos. Well, okay, I made one but it's like the most innocuous of all of them!

This is the first single from yet another interesting band from Jakarta, a city that positively teems with them. I knew nothing about Goodbye Temujin whatsoever until they put up an interview video on their channel, literally as I was writing this post. I had it on in the background as I was typing and... I still know absolutely nothing about them because it's in... well, it's not in English, that's for sure. Jawa maybe? That's supposedly the most common language spoken in Indonesia but it's only one of seven hundred. Seven! Hundred! 

No wonder most of the bands choose to sing in English.


Pizza or Mac - Summer Whales

The question everyone's asking. 

Pizza. I vote Pizza.

Drift - Purr

Everything just has that summer glow today, doesn't it? This is like summer in Alaska; clear, blue, still cold. 

Okay, you got me. I have no idea what summer in Alaska is like. Full of blackfly and despair, probably.

Reminds me a little of Scary Bear Soundtrack is what I think I mean, which is a very big compliment. I wonder what they're up to nowadays?

Skate With Me - Scary Bear Soundtrack

OMG! I never saw that before and it's been up for a year! I really have to do more follow-ups. I was thinking of putting a "Where Are They Now?" post together, looking at bands I've featured here multiple times but not for ages. I should totally do it!

And since I appear to have started adding new songs on the fly that don't even come from my "To Post" pile, which is still more than half-full, I think it's best I stop before things get totally out of control.

Oh, okay then. If you insist. Just on more. But really this has to be the last. So, let's go out on a high.


I'd italicize the title but I don't know which it is. Google translate thinks it's "That Girl's Smile" by Orthocentrism, which I didn't know was even a word. Anyone speak Japanese?

You don't have to know Japanese to sing along at the end or to have a great, big grin slapped across your face while you do it. Joyous, that's the word.

And Goodbye. That's the other word.

Until next time, by when I'm likely to have even more of this kind of thing than any of us can handle.


  1. I really like Halsey too. There's the time she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and one of her performances was of her singing while actually painting something. The fact she could pull that off with aplomb was amazing to me.

    Halsey - Eastside on SNL

    1. Wow! Thanks for the link. Never seen that peformance before - it's incredible. She's not just painting, she's painting upside-down! Even if she was miming, which I'm pretty sure she's not, because of the way you can hear her getting a little out of breath as she stretches and moves around, it would be a heck of a thing but to do it singing live...

      ... and it's a great self-portrait, too. She is ridiculously talented.


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