Friday, March 1, 2024

I Think That One's Mine...

It turns out there is one thing that can get me to stop playing Nightingale after all: a music post. I took a moment after lunch to consider whether I'd rather play some more or put this together and look where we are!

I wasn't going to do one this week, either. I'd been thinking I hadn't found a lot to share since last time but when I checked my notes I found I had plenty. Enough for two posts  - or one post, no duplications, no filler.

In fact, I'm listening to a brand new possibility right now. It just popped on my feeds and it's been on YouTube for all of one minute (Literally.) I'm the 35th person to watch it. Given that it toplines two absolute rock legends, I suspect that number will grow a few orders of magnitude before I publish. (Edit: 6.4k views at publication.)

I don't see any reason why we shouldn't open with it.

I'm Waiting For The Man - Keith Richards (Velvet Underground Cover)

I've heard a lot of covers of Waiting For The Man over the years and most of them have been dull. It's a much, much harder song to do well than anyone imagines. That is one of the best I've heard, for several reasons. 

For a start, Keith's voice really suits it. He's a similar singer to Lou in that he doesn't have a great range and doesn't ever try to push the edge of what he can do. He sits back and lets his timbre and his tone do most of the work, which was what Lou did to huge effect most of his career.

Then there's the lyric. One of the strengths of Lou's songwriting was always that it felt at least partly autobiographical and this is one of the prime examples. It's a story song drawn from an experience most people who cover it clearly don't have. Now, I'm not suggesting Keith went down to Lexington himself to score back in the sixties - he probably already had people to do that for him by the time the Velvets went into the recording studio - but there's no questioning his authority when it comes to the drug life.

Most of all, though, it's the arrangement. It swings! Almost every cover of this goes so four-square it's like driving in fence-posts. Keith feeds back into the kind of R&B he and Reed both grew up with, a sound that, along with Lou's beloved doo-wop, underpins much of his songwriting. 

It's a great cover. I hope the rest of the album it comes from turns out as well.

All The Young Dudes - Pet Shop Boys

While we're in the business of one icon covering another...

I'm not at all sure this works.  Chris really just keeps his head down like usual but Neil is taking some risks. I think he just about gets away with it although if we're talking about singers with limited range... 

Also, what's with all the changes to the lyrics? Weren't Bowie's good enough already? I can get behind what sounds like some ad hoc improvisation but why does he insist on adding "dad" to the end of every chorus? At least, I think he's singing: "You're a dude, dad" , except I keep hearing "You're a doodad", which is extremely distracting.

Still, a nice curio. Worth sharing for the novelty value.

Britpop - A. G. Cook

Enough with the greatest hits. On to the new stuff. A tribute from a leading creator of the sound of ten years ago to the sound of twenty years before that!

A.G. Cook says he's going to retire his PC Music brand this year. Hyperpop is over. I wish I'd come to it sooner but as we all know, no sound, fad or style ever truly goes away. Even if it takes a break for a while, it'll be back soon enough, when the retro train reaches that station.

Von Dutch - Charli XCX

Hyperpop may be on the way out but Charli's on the way up. Never a trend, always a trendsetter.

The song is a banger, as the kids used to say back when hyperpop was new and cool, but I think this is a truly great video, too. How did she persuade the authorities at Charles de Gaulle airport to let her film it? I guess they're French so they're probably in awe of her.

I love that thirty second fade-out where she just rides the luggage return, too, except I was terrified her hair was going to get caught in the mechanism. We've all wanted to do that.  (Ride on the conveyor belt, I mean, not get our hair caught in machinery, although as I always say, if you can think of it, someone, somewhere is doing it, or wants to.)

But anyway, that's why people become pop stars isn't it? So they can indulge their fantasies.

Molecules - Daisy Dreams

About time for someone who's never featured in one of these posts before, I think. I have been doing some actual work on this stuff, not just stealing from music feeds, for once. This came out of a link-hop session that followed on from something Jarret Wolfson posted, to which we'll come in due time. 

I spent the best part of an hour listening to bands and artists with cute/weird/funny names, most of them from the greater New York area and let me tell you, if you think a lot of the stuff I post sounds similar you should hear the stuff I don't post! 

Daisy Dreams stood out by a mile from all that sameness, which may be because they're actually from Munich. Yes, Munich in Germany! Didn't know that until I googled them.

A lot of people have been doing takes on the indie sounds of the 'nineties and 'aughts but very few focus in on this particular strand, which was never that popular, even at the time. It reminds me strongly of The Becketts, all that complex, disciplined interplay between guitars and bass with the vocal soaring over the maelstrom. 

It doesn't hurt that I really like the way she phrases. Those elongated vowels. No-one ever said molecules like that, not in New York.

If Michael Was A Dog - Big Dumb Baby

Best band name of the week although I'm not entirely clear if it belongs to the whole band or just the singer. The aforementioned Jarrett Wolfson posted a clip of them playing live at one of the cellar clubs he seems to live in and while it was too muffled to appreciate on its own merits, it did send me scurrying to YouTube to hear them properly.

That got me to this, which eventually led me to flip through the entire hundred-plus entires for the 2024 NPR Tiny Desk auditions in which I did not find a single thing I liked. I like this, though, from the 2022 set. It reminds me of Moldy Peaches although the rest of Big Dumb Baby I've heard doesn't, much.

I wonder who Michael is and what he thinks of the lyrics?

He Is On His Way Home, We Don't Live Together 

Anastasia Coope

Winner of the prize for longest title of the week. Until I put it into italics, it didn't even all fit on one line.

I'm not sure if this is naive art or just wilfully jarring but either way I love it. Obviously brings to mind Joanna Newsom but since comparisons are invidious I won't mention it.

I suspect there will be more from Anastasia in future posts. I hope so, anyway.

Slight pause while I lisen to the rest of that Joanna Newsom song I just linked...

Doves (ft. Benjamin Booker) - Armand Hammer

And we're back. We're at that part in the middle of the set, when the band wants to cool things down and the audience starts to feel restless. Still, you have to pace yourself, don't you?

Why is it, by the way, that the featured artist credit goes with the title of the song, not alongside the main artist? Always wondered about that. It feels wrong, somehow.

Milky Max - Lip Critic

Not quite out of the woods yet but at least there's a beat to it now. That video's taking no prisoners, either, is it?

Missing Out - Maya Hawke

The nonsensical arguments about industry plants and nepo babies rumble on. Who fucking cares? Is it a tune or is it not a tune is what matters. This is a tune. 

The lyric leans into all of that, though. Feels kinda autobographical. I guess we can't ignore it entirely. 

I was torn between the ultra-twee Fallon performance and the somewhat solider (Is that a word?) official video but in the end I'm all about the twee and always have been.

Ball Gag Ki$$ - Angelic Milk

Then again...

Originally from St Petersburg, now re-located to Berlin, no doubt for reasons. 

There's a new single out, called Diana Ross. It does not sound like the old stuff. Instead of channeling Transvision Vamp, Sarah, who pretty much is the band, seems to have gone back a few decades for inspiration. It's working, too, but there's no video for that one so I've gone for one of her classics instead. She has a few of those.

I was going to end with a couple of thick-ear Aussie thumpers but I think that would throw off the balance, such as it is, so I'll save them for an Aussie thick-ear special. It's not like there's a shortage of bands to choose from for one of those. 

Which means I guess we'll have to go with this. Not the strongest of finishes. Wish I'd saved Charli for the end, now.

Coffee - Hinds

I liked Hinds better when they were Deers. Now the bass and drums have quit and it's just the other two again, like it was before. I guess that's progress?

And I think that just about wraps it up for another week. I got everything in that I wanted except for Julia Robyn and Li'l Yachty. Maybe next time.


  1. Pretty sure he's singing "you're a dudette" on All The Young Dudes, and I have to admit that unlike You Were Always on My Mind, this remake does not sound that good.

    But damn, does Keith sound good on that Velvet piece.

    And I really love Big Dumb Baby, but I think that's because I've been signing that song ever since I heard it.

    1. Oh, that makes more sense. Although it's still a weird addition to what was a perfectly crafted lyric. The whole vocal is a bit of a mess, really. The orchestration is nice, though.

      As fpr Keith... the Stones are having a bit of a moment, aren't they? I haven't really paid anything they've done much attention since... well, probably the '80s. Apparently they do still have it after all. I bet Keith's glad he can just stand in one place or even sit down. Poor old Mick, with all that jumping about at his age...

      Big Dumb Baby is definitely on my watchlist now, too. Such a great name as well. Makes me grin every time I see it.

    2. I have the Stones' kind of forgotten 80s album, Dirty Work, and the songs Keith sings there are incredibly forgettable. He just doesn't sound into it on that album. But this... Yeah, he's got some passion there. It's like they finally realized that at the end of things, the music matters so much to people and they'd better embrace it.


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