Wednesday, August 16, 2017

40 From 40: 2001

We haven't read Meet Me In The Bathroom yet apart from some bookshop flickage, but we're delighted that it gives over a chapter to Jonathan Fire*Eater. Their apparent spiritual bretheren got people all het up from 2001 on, but beyond those 2001 was a year of flux and wane. Nu-metal attempted to build and grow with System Of A Down's breakthrough, but Limp Bizkit's hubris led to its eventual collapse. 9/11 brought Clear Channel into a brighter light with its all-encompassing ban list. Aaliyah was killed. Mariah Carey broke down. Pop Idol debuted as Hear'Say embarked on their firework career. S Club 7 piled in, followed from another direction by So Solid Crew and everything/everyone they brought with them (no, their inclusion below is not ironic - consider it a make-good for forgetting Pow in 2004) Kylie had her big Paul Morley-inspiring moment. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot became a cause celebre. Napster closed, briefly, six months after iTunes debuted, not that anybody quite knew what that was. The charts were assailed by Lady Marmalade, It Wasn't Me and Hey Baby. Meanwhile... just 37 in the Spotify list here as Felix da Housecat disappeared right before we put this up, Jay-Z isn't on due to commerce, nor Mo-Ho-Bish-O-Pi pretty much for the exact opposite reason.

Lift To Experience - These Are The Days
Radiohead - I Might Be Wrong
Death Cab For Cutie - A Movie Script Ending
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - As I Sat Sadly By Her Side
Pulp - Sunrise
Super Furry Animals - Receptacle For The Respectable
Eels - Souljacker Part 1
Fugazi - Furniture
Jarcrew - Paris And The New Math
Muse - New Born
The Dandy Warhols - Godless (Massive Attack Mix)
Ikara Colt - Sink Venice
Mo-Ho-Bish-O-Pi - Hear The Air
The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl
The Strokes - Hard To Explain
Life Without Buildings - PS Exclusive
Jetplane Landing - This Is Not Revolution Rock
Liars - Mr You're On Fire Mr (no, apparently this isn't on YouTube at all)
So Solid Crew - 21 Seconds
Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope)
Jay-Z - Izzo (H.O.V.A.) (yeah, that's not much like a workable version, but what can you do)
Gorillaz - Rock The House
Michael Franti & Spearhead - Rock The Nation
Stereolab - Captain Easychord
Electrelane - Film Music
Ladytron - Playgirl
Felix Da Housecat - Silver Screen Shower Scene
Dub Pistols feat. Terry Hall - Problem Is
Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
Melys - Chinese Whispers
Stephen Malkmus - Jenny & The Ess-Dog
Belle & Sebastian - I'm Waking Up To Us
Mull Historical Society - Mull Historical Society
Murry The Hump - Cracking Up
Comet Gain - You Can Hide Your Love Forever
Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan
J.Xaverre - Saturday
Elbow - Red
Turin Brakes - The Door
Sparklehorse - Gold Day

Previously on 40 From 40: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Monday, August 14, 2017

STN recommends... July 2017

Obviously nobody's given a shit but we've pulled the new track posts because, well, it's 2017, who cares about meaningless fluff any more. Everyone loves an interactive playlist, though!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

40 From 40: 1985

The year of Live Aid, of course, and with it and We Are The World came the birth of the superstar, so much so that by September Michael Jackson could outbid Paul McCartney for the Beatles' publishing. Wham! went to China, Brothers In Arms popularised this strange and bijou 'compact disc' format, 19 made Vietnam into a cut-up pop groundbreaker. Also, all this. (We should also mention a mistake in an earlier 40, where we put 1985 release Take The Skinheads Bowling by Camper Van Beethoven in the 1986 mix. And we were doing so well up til we realised that too late)

Dexys Midnight Runners - This Is What She's Like
The Pogues - Sally MacLennane
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Tupelo
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - The Man With The Lightbulb Head
Prefab Sprout - Faron Young
The Long Ryders - Looking For Lewis And Clark
The Smiths - Rusholme Ruffians
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions - Lost Weekend
R.E.M. - Driver 8
The Loft - Up The Hill And Down The Slope
New Order - Love Vigilantes
Microdisney - Birthday Girl
Hüsker Dü - Makes No Sense At All
Time Zone - World Destruction
Big Audio Dynamite - E=MC²
Schoolly D - Put Your Filas On
LL Cool J - Rock The Bells
Wayne Smith - Under Me Sleng Teng
Scritti Politti - The Word Girl
Talking Heads - Road To Nowhere
Yello - Oh Yeah
The Fall - Couldn't Get Ahead
The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
The Cure - Close To Me
Prince - Paisley Park
Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm
Cameo - Single Life
Mathilde Santing - Too Much
The Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town
Suzanne Vega - Marlene On The Wall
Double - The Captain Of Her Heart
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)
Cocteau Twins - Aikea-Guinea
The Jesus & Mary Chain - Just Like Honey
Felt - Primitive Painters
Madness - Yesterday's Men
Propaganda - Duel
The Style Council - Walls Come Tumbling Down!
Pigbros - Hedonist Hat

Previously on 40 From 40: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Friday, August 04, 2017

40 From 40: 2000

The first year of the millennium! Nu-metal! Metallica vs Napster! Coldplay! Stan! Um, here's what else went on in a fertile year, new century anxiety likely contributing to much boundary pushing, intensity and inventiveness.

Shellac - Prayer To God
At The Drive-In - One Armed Scissor
The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist
Outkast - B.O.B.
Wu-Tang Clan - Gravel Pit
M.O.P. - Ante Up (remix)
Dilated Peoples – The Platform
Deltron 3030 - Things You Can Do
Primal Scream - MBV Arkestra (If They Move Kill 'Em)
Doves - The Cedar Room
The Delgados - American Trilogy
Clearlake - Winterlight
Boards Of Canada - In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country
Piano Magic - No Closure
The Fall - Dr Buck's Letter
Low - Dinosaur Act
Broadcast - Come On Let's Go
Grandaddy - He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot
Six By Seven - Ten Places To Die
Radiohead - Optimistic
Life Without Buildings - New Town
Sleater-Kinney - You're No Rock N' Roll Fun
Queens Of The Stone Age - The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret
The (International) Noise Conspiracy - The Reproduction Of Death
The Hives - Die, All Right!
The New Pornographers - Letter From An Occupant
Clinic - Internal Wrangler
Super Furry Animals - Ysbeidiau Heulog
King Biscuit Time - I Walk The Earth
Black Box Recorder - The Facts Of Life
Sugababes - Overload
Spiller - Groovejet
Mint Royale feat. Lauren Laverne - Don't Falter
Calexico - Crystal Frontier
Hefner - The Greater London Radio
Elliott Smith - Son Of Sam
Mull Historical Society - Barcode Bypass
I Am Kloot - Twist
Lambchop - Up With People
Eels - Mr E's Beautiful Blues

Previously amongst the 40: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

40 From 40: 1981

Our survey of four decades of alt-pop (like alt-right, but even more white and middle-class) lands on one of the big years - indeed, to Lord Bob Stanley it's the best pop year of them all. Synthpop, paranoia, post-punk and pop weirdness lead the way, MTV, Kerrang! and Stars On 45 begin their varying career parabolas, Bucks Fizz take Eurovision, home taping starts killing music and Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a dove - to a PR woman as sole audience before a Columbia Records executive meeting, which is surely stretching too far. Good times, these, for a year we could easily have made a second playlist for, but rules are rules so...

Laurie Anderson - O Superman (For Massenet)
Dinosaur L - Go Bang
ESG - Moody
Heaven 17 - (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
D.A.F. - Der Mussolini
Our Daughter's Wedding - Lawnchairs
Depeche Mode - New Life
The Human League - Love Action (I Believe in Love)
Soft Cell - Bedsitter
Pete Shelley - Homosapien
Squeeze - Is That Love?
R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe (original Hib-Tone single)
Minor Threat - Minor Threat
Black Flag - Rise Above
The Birthday Party - Release The Bats
Department S - Is Vic There?
Josef K - Sorry For Laughing
Au Pairs - Come Again
Gang Of Four - To Hell With Poverty
The Higsons - I Don't Want To Live With Monkeys
Pigbag - Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag
The Specials - Ghost Town
Madness - Grey Day
Black Uhuru - Youth Of Eglington
Grace Jones - Feel Up
Freeez - Southern Freeez
Linx - Intuition
ABC - Tears Are Not Enough
Brian Eno & David Byrne - The Jezebel Spirit
Prince - Controversy
Lovebug Starski - Positive Life
Gil Scott-Heron - 'B' Movie (Intro, Poem, Song)
ABBA - The Day Before You Came
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Souvenir
Fun Boy Three - The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Spellbound
The Fall - Leave The Capitol
The Undertones - Julie Ocean
Scritti Politti - The “Sweetest Girl”
Japan - Ghosts

Previously amongst the 40: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

40 From 40: 1993

Reading back contemporary overviews of music from the end of 1993 it's striking how US rock was grouped together as one intransigent whole, which means that Nirvana, in the year of In Utero and the recording of Unplugged In New York, are usually mentioned in the same (usually negative) list and tone as the Spin Doctors and Counting Crows, because they're all American guitar bands coming over here selling their records with their hair and moaning, aren't they? Of course this had long since essayed its own music press backlash, put into true being by April's Select magazine Yanks Go Home! cover, as Stuart Maconie coining the term Lion Pop first in a Cud album review a year earlier - having already put in his notice at the NME, the final straw being Superchunk appearing on the cover - lit the touchpaper for much to follow. We didn't know it yet, but a band signed by Alan McGee that May would come to lead that line. 1993 was a curious year all round, the charts full of second gear reggae revival and one hit wonders - 4 Non Blondes, Snow, Culture Beat - while a lot of big names ended up in litigation of various kinds, whether Michael Jackson and Jordy Chandler, George Michael and Sony or what was now The Artist Formerly Known As Prince and Warner Brothers. Meanwhile all this happened... (no Huggy Bear on Spotify, which you'd likely have expected were it not for how another of their albums is on there)

The Breeders - Cannonball
PJ Harvey - 50ft Queenie
Unrest - Make Out Club
The Fall - Why Are People Grudgeful
The Boo Radleys - Lazarus
The Afghan Whigs - Debonair
Sugar - Tilted
Elastica - Stutter
Nirvana - Scentless Apprentice
Huggy Bear - Her Jazz
Bikini Kill - Rebel Girl
Leftfield feat. John Lydon - Open Up
Sub Sub feat. Melanie Williams - Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)
Saint Etienne - You're In A Bad Way
Stereolab - French Disko
Seefeel - Plainsong
Björk - Human Behaviour
KRS-One - Sound Of Da Police
Wu-Tang Clan - Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'
Pet Shop Boys - Can You Forgive Her?
Frank Black - I Heard Ramona Sing
Squeeze - Some Fantastic Place
The Lemonheads - It's About Time
Madder Rose - Swim
The Auteurs - American Guitars
Eggs - The Government Administrator
Animals That Swim - Roy
James - Laid
Gigolo Aunts - Where I Find My Heaven
Pulp - Lipgloss
Blur - Coping
Suede - Animal Lover
David Bowie - Jump They Say
New Order - Regret
The Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
Radiohead - Anyone Can Play Guitar
Tindersticks - City Sickness
Liz Phair - Stratford-On-Guy
Red House Painters - Katy Song
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You

Previously amongst the 40: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Friday, July 14, 2017

40 From 40: 1973

Clearing up another pre-Year Zero year as we continue through four decades of pop, one which features a lot of big important albums and international starmaking turns. Ziggy retired, Led Zeppelin got their private plane, CBGBs opens, we lost Gram Parsons, we nearly lost Stevie Wonder right at the peak of his powers - he spent four days in a coma as a result of a car accident - and the oil crisis meant a shortage of vinyl manufacturing ability to levels not seen again until Record Store Day began. The last track here is there because it felt right.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Next
Tony Christie - Avenues And Alleyways
Wings - Jet
Mott The Hoople - All The Way From Memphis
John Cale - Child's Christmas In Wales
Lou Reed - How Do You Think It Feels
David Bowie - Cracked Actor
Pink Floyd - Money
Steely Dan - Show Biz Kids
War - Me And Baby Brother
The Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin'
The Chi-Lites - Stoned Out Of My Mind
Stevie Wonder - Higher Ground
Ike & Tina Turner - Nutbush City Limits
James Brown - The Payback
Kool & The Gang - Jungle Boogie
Incredible Bongo Band - Apache
Can - Spray
Funkadelic - Nappy Dugout
The Isley Brothers - Summer Breeze
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
The Wailers - Stir It Up
I-Roy - Black Man Time
Dennis Alcapone - Cassius Clay
The Maytals - Loving Spirit
Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - African Dub
10cc - Rubber Bullets
Golden Earring - Radar Love
Hawkwind - Born To Go
The Stooges - Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell
New York Dolls - Trash
Roxy Music - Do The Strand
NEU! - Fuer Immer (forever)
Faust - Krautrock
David Essex - Rock On
John Martyn - Solid Air
Gram Parsons - A Song For You
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Tom Waits - I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
Mike Oldfield - Sailor's Hornpipe

Previously amongst the 40: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Monday, July 10, 2017

STN recommends: 10/7/17

As every year, the Indietracks Festival compilation features plenty of pop thrills, and at £4 for 45 tracks and all proceeds to the Midland Railway Trust you'd be a fool not to take on its delights. For one, there's The Office Worker from the new Mammoth Penguins album John Doe, a concept record featuring Sophie from Haiku Salut, presumably on the electronics. We know little about the record thus far but more should be revealed when they play our night at Leicester Firebug on Wednesday 26th July supporting Chorusgirl, with awkward noisepoppers Jesuscarfish opening. Also sneaking back with their swooning jangle present and correct, if slightly beefier and feedback-y, come fellow STN Presents alumni The Understudies with the lovelorn Is There Gonna Be Dancing? Oh, while we're on Emma Kupa, her immediate release concern is The Heyman Kupa Band's long promised album out on the 21st, Over's Now Overdue bittersweet summer pop finding its meter in this weather.

It's six years since we've heard from Emil Svanängen's awkward pop noir as Loney Dear, his self-titled seventh album released via Peter Gabriel's Real World Records on 22nd September and previewed by Sum, built on bruised confessionals and apreggiating synths like a low budget Bon Iver. Similarly melancholic in an expansive field of modernity is Lost Horizons, newly signed to Bella Union for album Ojalá out November 3rd, which is reasonable given it's Simon Raymonde's own project with Cocteaus-associated 4AD band Dif Juz's Richie Thomas and a selection of guest singers, here the Innocence Mission's Karen Peris swooning in widescreen and making the album a fascinating prospect. The unexpected about-face of Wolf Alice continues - breathy, hazy, built on layers of synths and shoegaze dynamics that devolve into open road dreaminess and sounding nothing like Yuk Foo, it bodes fascinatingly for Visions Of A Life, out 29th September. Ghostpoet's Dark Days & Canapés... well, it has a terrible title, but the album out August 18th promises to be uneasily brooding in an adjacent way to his previous work, very reminiscent of Massive Attack's incoporation of darkly menacing post-punk into their dynamic on Mezzanine.

Hey, time for white indie boy to write about grime, and Dizzee Rascal's back amongst us! No superstar producer, no big name guest slots and definitely no shouting James Corden, Wot U Gonna Do? is self-critical dark drama, Boy In Da Corner grown up and paranoid for what he did with all those years. Skepta, two years Dizzee's senior but who took the long way round to a comparable level of fame, goes in - and not just on the traditional HATERZ - on surprise new track Hypocrisy.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

40 From 40: 1982

Does anyone read these spiels? Maybe we should just save them for the book version that'll never happen. Here's forty top songs (39 of which are on Spotify) from the magnificent pop year of 1982, and no, Dollar's inclusion is not a mistake. Trevor Horn, good man. By the way, yes, we know Shipbuilding came out in 1982 but was included in our 1983 list. It happens. At least it's represented.

The Passage - XOYO
New Order - Temptation
Yazoo - Don't Go
Visage - Night Train
The Human League - Mirror Man
Prefab Sprout - Lions In My Own Garden (Exit Someone)
The Associates - Party Fears Two
Scritti Politti - Jacques Derrida
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message
Kurtis Blow - Tough
Soft Cell - Torch
Bucks Fizz - My Camera Never Lies
Dollar - Videotheque
Weekend - Drumbeat For Baby
Dexys Midnight Runners - Let's Make This Precious
Orange Juice - I Can't Help Myself
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
Blancmange - Living On The Ceiling
Nick Nicely - Hilly Fields (1892)
Kate Bush - Suspended In Gaffa
XTC - Senses Working Overtime
The Jam - A Town Called Malice
Echo & The Bunnymen - The Back Of Love
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Fireworks
The Pretenders - Back On The Chain Gang
R.E.M. - Carnival Of Sorts (Boxcars)
The Monochrome Set - Jet Set Junta
Mission Of Burma - That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate
Descendents - Myage
The Fall - The Classical
Cocteau Twins - Wax And Wane
Joe Jackson - Steppin' Out
ESG - Dance
Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Stool Pigeon
Gang Of Four - We Live As We Dream, Alone
Fun Boy Three - The Telephone Always Rings
The Clash - Straight To Hell
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Beyond Belief
Bruce Springsteen - Highway Patrolman

Previously amongst the 40: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Monday, July 03, 2017

The story so far: STN's top 40 albums of the first half of 2017

So now we've covered the best tracks of the year so far on a month by month basis, let's move on to the longform stuff. Feel free to remind us of these come the end of the year when something else from these six months overtakes the lot.

Algiers - The Underside Of Power
At The Drive-In - in•ter a•li•a
Big Thief - Capacity
Celebration - Wounded Healer
Christian Fitness - slap bass hunks
Cloud Nothings - Life Without Sound
Craig Finn - We All Want The Same
Fazerdaze - Morningside
Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up
Gallops - Bronze Mystic
Grandaddy - Last Place
H. Grimace - Self-Architect
H Hawkline - I Romanticize
Hurray For The Riff Raff - The Navigator
Idles - Brutalism
Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology
Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now
Laura Marling - Semper Femina
Los Campesinos! - Sick Scenes
Meursault - I Will Kill Again
Milo's Planes - Individual Development Plan
The Mountain Goats - Goths
Napoleon IIIrd - The Great Lake
Novella - Change Of State
Perfume Genius - No Shape
Piano Magic - Closure
Post War Glamour Girls - Swan Songs
Priests - Nothing Feels Natural
Ralegh Long - Upwards Of Summer
Rose Elinor Dougall - Stellular
Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 3
Saint Etienne - Home Counties
Sean Rowe - In Darkened Rooms
Spiral Stairs - Doris and the Daggers
Spoon - Hot Thoughts
Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, James McAlister - Planetarium
Storm The Palace - Snow, Stars And Public Transport
Sweet Baboo - Wild Imagination
Why? - Moh Lhean
Wire - Silver/Lead