Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's Christmas, innit?

So it's finally coming up to Christams and I'm starting to feel a tiny bit festive. It's the album of the year time around here and I know that my favourites won't appear anywhere in the mainstream round ups. The best release this year by far was the Manu Chao produced album from Amadou & Maraim, Dimancha à Bamako. This is probably the most wonderful and rounded album I have heard in a long time. It doesn't matter what kind of mood you're in this album will brighten up your day. The problem is most English speakers have an issue with either lyrics in a language they don't understand or what has been termed "World" music. The production, playing and mixture of influences on this album just leave you breathless.

On another tip I discovered The Subways through my fabulous daughter. They remind me a little of the Undertones, in their choice of subject matter. Other great releases this year were from the likes of Electrelane, Moussu T e lei Jovens, Wilco, Neil Young, The White Stripes and the very wonderful Psapp.

Do yourself a favour this Christams, though, and go out and buy the Amadou & Mariam album. Spread a little peace and love and remember, children make Christmas so try and make some children this Christmas.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I guess sometimes I get a little negative. My daughter has accused me of ranting and sounding "very angry" all the time. Well I guess I am sometimes. One way or another I've been kicking around the music industry for almost thirty years and in all that time I've seen so little change in favour of the people who actually make the music.

It so often seems that those people who do make it big pull the ladder up behind them; neither arguing for a better universal deal or attempting to make any changes to the practices of the major labels. On top f that I have to agree with Alan McGee about the current crop of stars, particularly the king of the bedwetters Chris Martin. I mean how ineffectual is that simpering twat with his "I want everyone to be nice" attitude. I heard him on the radio the other morning whining on about how punk was always so angry and confrontational and never achieved anything so he was being all understanding and compromising and, guess what..........he's achieved squat. Yeah, that's right, him and that big self-aggrandising idiot Geldof have done absolutely nothing for the world's poor after Live8 except make several more million people see them on TV.

More power to Albarn and Chao.