Here is the music I am listening to this week #5
More music. That I'm listening to. This week
Up for a bit?
Sometimes I hear a song and I think, ‘cor, that’s smashing!’ - because my internal monologue is that of a 1950’s schoolboy - and so I tell my friends about the song I’ve heard and got into, and they say, ‘yeah, I was into that song a few years back’, and then I realise that the song is from a period of my life when I was convinced I had HIV and was burning all of my clothes at 4am in a field in an attempt to be cured (or at least free of the OCD rumination that ate greedily and relentlessly into the time I could have been listening to new music/generally doing something other than worrying). This, by New Zealand’s Faderdaze, is one such song, though my theme at the time was the terror that I was going to be murdered, but I think it’s fitting that it’s come into my life at the dawn of summer. Because there are moments - sometimes days, even weeks - where I’m really excited about tomorrow, and then the subsequent days after. It’s a lovely song. A lovely, lovely song. Like having your ears goo-ed up with Flumps.
I won’t be talking any further about OCD today, because when the sun shines, you’ve got to get out in it and soak it up. There have been too many days in my life where I haven’t been able to see the sun for endless clouds. Still, you might enjoy this conversation I just had for The OCD Chronicles podcast with author, advocate, and my friend, Lily Bailey. She has a new book out this week. You should buy it.
My principal punk rock claim to fame is that the two albums that the band I was in twenty odd years ago, were recorded by Frankie Stubbs from Leatherface, who - give or take a Pete Shelley or a Sheena Ozzella - is the best songwriter to ever exist within the genre that you might call punk. This is the best song within a catalogue of better than all other punk songs in existence, that Frankie has written. We’re out of season now, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with Leatherface’s seminal 1991 release Mush lately and I just wanted to share this song with anyone who might not have heard it. If there’s a song that better captures the wistful remembrance of youth - warts and all - then I’ve never heard it, and the album is genuinely perfect in every way.
Maybe you’d like to read something I wrote about Leatherface for The Guardian back in the days when they would reply to my emails.
I’m going out to drink beer with my friend Peter tomorrow, so this one is for him.
For me, Fontaines D.C. still haven’t done anything better than the first song on their first album, which remains as violent and funny and sad - which is a threesome you’d think would roll out of the bed and hurt themselves if they went home together - as it was the first time I heard it. But this comes close. If I was 14 I think I’d be absolutely obsessed with this band. I texted my ex-editor of NME the other week and said, ‘don’t you wish the magazine still existed, because how much fun would we have with Wet Leg?’ But I feel like that about this lot too. Five covers a year, at minimum. I think what I’m trying to say is that this band remind me that indie bands can still matter.
I love this song. DANG KILL ROCK STARS ARE PUTTING OUT SOME GOOD RECORDS AT THE MOMENT. Also, the video has The Wicker Man vibes and I’m always here for The Wicker Man vibes. I think adults wearing animal masks is just fundamentally very unsettling. I’m trying to think of a celebrity that everyone likes, that everyone thinks is fundamentally a good and kind person, which is difficult because 2022. Okay, Dolly Parton. Everyone likes Dolly Parton. Now imagine Dolly Parton wearing an animal mask. AGGGGGGGGGGGH.
I’m just putting this out there, but… this generations ‘Fade Into You’?
So after I wrote that silly thing about The Queen the other day, I went down a rabbit hole of Marceline the Vampire Queen jams. They’re all brilliant. I am 41.
Actually, let me tell you about a dumb thing I did the other day. I set up a new Facebook page recently. I just needed less noise. But I set it up incorrectly and so it listed my birthday as a month earlier than it actually is. So I spent all day having nice people wish me a happy birthday and me having to apologise for being stupid. But get this, right. My brother - the second oldest one, because there are a few - wished me a happy birthday too. My brother, who was an adult when I was born. I’m not into public shaming - it’s my thing - but I can make an exception now and again. If you’re reading this Peter, I promise you, I will never ever forget this slight.
Weirdly, I’m not that into the album. Maybe it’ll grow on me. It’ll probably grow on me. It’d be weird if this was suddenly the first Michael Head/Shack album I didn’t like. Like getting mumps as an adult or something. But this is a tune.
I read an amazing quote the other day by Jon Shecter, co-founder of The Source, about the first time he and the rest of The Source staff heard Illmatic by Nas, IMAO, the best hip-hop album ever made, certainly the best debut. The quote goes as follows…
“I get to the office and I gather all the heads in the conference room. I remember who was there: [Matty C], [Chris Wilder], [Schott 'Free' Jacobs]. Everyone is nodding their heads, eyes wide, mouths open, it's hip-hop paradise. We had a pretty shitty system in there but it didn't matter, I pop in the tape and the powerful musical magic emits from the speakers. When those funky/eerie/powerful xylophone notes from 'One Love' come on, I remember [Jacobs] is literally lying on the floor… He can't comprehend how good it is. None of us can. It's the best shit we've heard in our lives… Internally, we start debating how we're gonna handle this. I say right away that it's gotta get a "5".
Maybe it’s just a thing that someone who has worked for music magazines would feel, but I read that quote and I shiver with excitement.
I had no idea how Sweden’s best ever named band would continue after the fairly fucking tragic passing of Benjamin Vallé. By sounding even more disgusting apparently. Also, the search for the years best lyric has concluded with, “I showed up to the party in my favourite coat / On the back was an image of a shrimp on a boat”.
Hey. You know know me. James McMahon. James Jam. Jimmy Jams. Jam. Jimmy Tooombs. Emperor Sausage. Slug Boy. The Light Goblin. A Ghost. Spoook. I’m having a nightmare trying to find work at the moment. Why not take out a paid subscription to my Substack and help me keep the lights on?