Tag Archives: manic street preachers

My Eleven Favorite Albums of 2010

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – III/IV


Belle & Sebastian – Belle & Sebastian Write About Love


Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles


Gorillaz – Plastic Beach


Interpol – Interpol


Manic Street Preachers – Postcards From A Young Man


Massive Attack – Heligoland


Spoon – Transference


The Walkmen – Lisbon


Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation


Yeasayer – Odd Blood


Honorable Mentions

The Fall – Your Future, Our Clutter

Gorillaz – The Fall

LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

Robyn – Body Talk

Weezer – Hurley/Death To False Metal

Wolf Parade – Expo 86

Albums That Are Supposed To Be Really Good, But That I Didn’t Listen To But Would Like To At Some Point In The Future:

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Beach House – Teen Dream

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

2011 promises new albums from The Strokes, British Sea Power, Asobi Seksu, Beady Eye, R.E.M., The Fall, Death Cab For Cutie, Aphex Twin, U2 and Beastie Boys, among many many many many more. C U then!!!!!!!!!

– Greg

Noising Machine Videos: 1

Right, new feature!

Noising Machine Videos will be a series I’ll periodically post featuring recent videos (and some classics) and brief write-ups on them from me. To meet the criteria for appearing as part of Noising Machine Videos, a video must

1. Be a good video

2. Be a good song

Sometimes I might think a video is great, but not the song. Or vice versa. So I have to like both. That’s it! So here we go…

GORILLAZ – “ON MELANCHOLY HILL”

Dir: Jamie Hewlett

Gorillaz’ co-founder Jamie Hewlett directs this nautically-inclined clip for the second single from the band’s excellent Plastic Beach record. Features animated appearances from Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys, Snoop Dogg and others.

YEASAYER – “MADDER RED”

Dir: Andreas Nilsson

Yeasayer’s videos for their sophomore album Odd Blood have thus far been great, and the latest is no exception. Starring the lovely Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) as an aspiring actress with an unconventional pet, “Madder Rose” deftly mixes surreality and sentimentality.

MANIC STREET PREACHERS – “(IT’S NOT WAR) JUST THE END OF LOVE”

Dir: Alex Smith

The video for the first single from the Manics’ new album Postcards From A Young Man features actors Michael Sheen (The Queen, 30 Rock) and Anna Friel (Land Of The Lost, Pushing Daisies)  as rival chess champions in this one-take wonder. The band cameo as the judging panel.

– Greg

TOP ELEVEN SINGLES OF 2009

Leave it to me to wait until the very last day of the year to upload my top ten of 2009 list to the blog….and for it not to even be a top ten. Here are my eleven favorite singles released over the course of the last 364 days; this list could easily be very different if it had been written last week or next week, but here’s where I stand as of today, December 31st, 2009:

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – “MY GIRLS”

This one is sure to be on many indie-ish lists this year, but I feel like I have to include it here, because I like it. It starts off  with Phillip Glass-esque arpeggios, includes massive handclaps and one of the best singalong choruses of the year. And it’s even emotionally resonant to boot. I remember hearing this shortly after it came out at a small basement show BP played in Boone, Iowa. It sounded really great then, and for me it confirmed this song as an instant classic.

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DEPECHE MODE – “WRONG”

I’m a huge Depeche fan, so there was almost no chance that I wouldn’t include a single by them on this list. But favoritism aside, I think “Wrong” is easily one of the band’s strongest songs of the last 15 years. It’s a bit of a grower, lacking an immediate hook like past DM hits, but its repetition, rhythm and forward momentum add up to a great, dark groove. With one of the year’s darkest videos, to boot.

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THE FLAMING LIPS – “WATCHING THE PLANETS”

THE FLAMING LIPS – “WATCHING THE PLANETS”

“Watching The Planets” closes the Lips’ newest record in bombastic fashion; after journeying through Embryonic‘s weird experiments and strange interludes, the listener is greeted by this song, arguably the album’s most straighforward song. An insistent, pounding rhythm underpins Wayne’s chant-like vocals, while twinkly keys add a melancholy touch to the proceedings.

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GIRLS – “HELLHOLE RATRACE”

Girls are my favorite new band of the year, and “Hellhole Ratrace” is my favorite song from their debut album Album. A slow build song a la Spiritualized, “Hellhole” grows from its modest beginnings into a “Hey Jude” for the Noughties. The best chorus of the year, in my opinion:    “And I don’t want to cry my whole life through/I wanna do some laughing, too/So come on, come on, come on, come on and laugh with me/And I don’t want to die/Without shaking up a leg or two/Yeah, I wanna do some dancing too/So come on, come on, come on, come on and dance with me”. Simple, resonant and relateable, these lines become a mantra as wave after wave of sound is added, creating a cathartic effect that once experienced, is hard to forget.

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THE HORRORS – “SEA WITHIN A SEA”

When I first heard of The Horrors a few years ago, I grouped them in with all the other garage-rock bands NME was championing at the time. It wasn’t until Manic Street Preachers said the band’s new album Primary Colours was their favorite of the year that I actually listened. And I glad I did. Behind the haircuts and moody stares is actual musical talent and ambition, as evidenced in “Sea Within A Sea”. Starting as a dark motorik groove, “Sea” takes its time establishing a mood, gradually changing from its initial foreboding to a synth-strewn climax. 2009’s most pleasant surprise for me.

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IAN BROWN – “STELLIFY”

What I really like about “Stellify” is its minimalism. Based mainly around the same simple piano riff and a stomping beat, Ian Brown and his collaborators still manage to create and sustain interest in the song throughout its duration. Brown’s love of hip-hop is fully evident here, and the mid-song horn break adds an ebullient touch to an already uplifting song. When the two elements come together, it creates one of the greatest moments in the man’s solo catalog.

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LADY GAGA – “BAD ROMANCE

Yes, Lady Gaga. I love this song and I love this video. I like some of the singles from her first album, but I feel she’s kicked it up several notches on this one. It’s melodramatic, has a great melody and a big chorus. It almost reminds me of Erasure. I don’t care about the crazy costumes or any of that other crap; as long as she releases singles like this, that’s what really matters.

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MAJOR LAZER ft. RICKY BLAZE & NINA SKY – “KEEP IT GOIN’ LOUDER”

I discovered this song through the brilliant, deranged video directed by Tim and Eric’s Eric Wareheim. And though that was my initial reason for listening to it, I’ve come to love “Keep It Goin’ Louder” based on it on merits. It has a lot of elements that have turned me off of other songs: auto-tune, lyrics about clubbin’…but the way these elements are put together on this track work for me totally. I think it’s the sense of euphoria that underlines the entire song…it makes a line like “Girl I wanna party with you” seem almost life-affirming.

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MORRISSEY – “SOMETHING IS SQUEEZING MY SKULL”

Morrissey’s return to prominence after seven years in the wilderness was one of my favorite music-related stories of the 2000s. “Something Is Squeezing My Skull” was the final single of this decade of renewed activity, and it’s a doozy. A thrashy rocker, “Skull” becomes a classic when Moz’s lyrics of mental instability are thrown into the mix. He manages to make it sound exhilarating and hopeless at the same time.

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OASIS – “FALLING DOWN”

Upon its release in March, I had no idea that “Falling Down” was destined to be Oasis’ final single (at least for now). But if it is to be the band’s last release, it’s an appropriate one. Instead of a rousing anthem or a sing-along ballad, “Falling Down” is instead an uncertain, world-weary slice of psychedelia sung by Noel instead of Liam. I like the idea of the Oasis story ending on a note of doubt and ambiguity; and if this is, indeed, the end, it’s a fitting conclusion.

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YEASAYER – “AMBLING ALP”

Yeasayer is doing what I’d like to do musically – mixing experimental tendencies with pop sensibilities. Their debut album was quite good but I’m really excited for 2010’s Odd Blood if “Ambling Alp” is any indication.


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HONORABLE MENTIONS


– Asobi Seksu – “Familiar Light”

– Bad Lieutentant – “Sink Or Swim”

– Echo & The Bunnymen – “Think I Need It Too”

– eels – “Fresh Blood”

– Franz Ferdinand – “No You Girls”

– Julian Casablancas – “11th Dimension”

– Phoenix – “1901”

– The Prodigy – “Warriors Dance”

– Weezer – “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”

– Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Zero”

On to 2010…

G.

Noising Machine Singles Club: 10

33637

SUEDE

“WE ARE THE PIGS”

b/w “Killing Of A Flashboy”/”Whipsnade”

Released 9/12/94

(Anderson/Butler)

“We Are The Pigs” was the first single from Suede‘s second album, 1994’s Dog Man Star.  Prior to the release of “Pigs”, the band’s guitarist and co-songwriter Bernard Butler departed due to various inter-band tensions, leaving the remaining three members (vocalist and other co-writer Brett Anderson, bassist Mat Osman and drummer Simon Gilbert) to finish the record and to find a replacement. By the time promotional duties for DMS commenced Suede had found their new axe-man through a demo tape submitted to them through an ad placed in the New Musical Express. Richard Oakes could peel off Butler’s glammest riffs or deftly play his predecessor’s most delicately finger-picked melodies, and could do so at the ripe old age of 17, which was how old he was when offered the spot in Suede. Pretty crazy.

Oakes’ first duty upon joining the band was to appear in the promotional video for “We Are The Pigs”, miming along to Bernard Butler’s playing. The video does an excellent job of dramatizing Anderson’s description of paranoid urban wasteland set to Butler’s ominous yet rollicking musical bed. As you can perhaps ascertain from the lyrics…

Well the church bells are calling
Police cars on fire
And as they call you to the eye of the storm
All the people say “Stay at home tonight”
I say we are the pigs we are the swine
We are the stars of the firing line

And as the smack cracks at your window
You wake up with a gun in your mouth
Oh let the nuclear wind blow away my sins
And I’ll stay at home in my house

I say we are the pigs
we are the swine
we are the stars of the firing line

But deceit can’t save you so

We will watch them burn

“We Are The Pigs” was a single unlikely to have much chart success. But as a statement of intent, and as a taster of the dark, foreboding Dog Man Star, it worked brilliantly. To hear a group of children happily chanting “We’ll all watch them burn” over the sound of a crackling fire in what turned out to be a top 20 single is a wonderfully subversive moment, and it helped align Suede with the darker undercurrent than much of what Britain was listening to in the fall of 1994. It makes perfect sense that the band would tour Europe that year alongside Manic Street Preachers, who had just released their own pitch-black opus in the form of The Holy Bible. The next albums by both bands would find surprising mainstream favor, but at the time they were exiles from the land of Britpop.

Richard Oakes would remain with Suede until their breakup in 2003; Anderson and Butler briefly reunited as The Tears and released one album entitled Here Come The Tears in 2005. More on those later…

The great video:

…a live performance from ’95:

…and a video for one of the single’s great b-sides, “Killing Of A Flash Boy”:

CANON SONIQUE: a mixtape (5)

continuing the online mixtape.
[(1).(2).(3).(4)]

song (5):

Manic Street Preachers“Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit’sworldwouldfallapart”

this is track two on The Holy Bible, which you can buy on their website.

the manic street preachers are some silly socialists from wales. they’ve been around since the late 80’s and have a new album coming out in 2009 (produced by Steve Albini). “the holy bible” was released in 1994, and is the last album to include lyricist/guitarist richey james edwards, who disappeared in ’95. (like true socialists, the remaining members continue to put 25% of all the earned royalties into an account in richey’s name)

some videos:

covering rihanna’s “umbrella”

scott

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