Banned! “Je t’aime… moi non plus” by Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

Banned! “Je t’aime… moi non plus” by Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

We continue our series looking at banned songs and videos with one of the most famous examples of all and one of the most sexually liberated records of the 1960’s. So when I started this series I knew that there were certain ‘elephants in the room’ so to speak. In other words, when you start digging through the history of songs and videos that have been banned by someone, somewhere, for whatever reason there are some candidates that are too famous, too notorious to ignore. This is one of those. When I was growing up that was what I knew Read more »

The Tuesday Playlist No. 21: Growing old

The Tuesday Playlist No. 21: Growing old

A playlist celebrating the passing of the years, growing up, embracing changes, aging. 15 songs by John Lennon, Paul Simon, The Beatles, Mercedes Sosa, LCD Soundsystem, Travis, Simply Red, Steely Dan and more artist celebrating the passing of time. Since time is passing by for all of us, or at least that is how many of us perceive it at the moment,  I thought we would do our playlist today on that, how the years go by and we are all subject to its effects. And also because it was Paul´s birthday and I want to bug him for getting Read more »

Banned! ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ by The Prodigy

Banned! ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ by The Prodigy

In the second installment of this series we look at a music video that became notorious for its brutally exhilarating hedonism and sampled lyrical hook which caused immediate controversy and turned this Essex dance act in to the bad boys of the 90’s music scene. Even before they released this video The Prodigy had been slowly building a reputation as a dance act with an anarchic punk edge. This was perfectly crystalised on their third lp The Fat Of The Land which saw Keith Flint stop being just a dancer and become the frontman of the band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKLSmHqXhzA The album’s first Read more »

Bloke Name Jams – the playlist!

Bloke Name Jams – the playlist!

The sequel to Chick Name Jams featuring The Smiths, Curtis Mayfield, T-Rex, White Stripes, Chet Baker, Jethro Tull, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rod Stewart and many more! A few weeks ago we bought you 60 tracks that featured girl’s names, a rich theme running through popular music. We thought it was a very cool playlist but we also thought that in the interests of balance and fairness (and because it also sounded like a cool idea) that we would construct a male equivalent. Initially we thought it might be a slightly harder playlist to build but when we started digging around Read more »

Weather – the playlist!

Weather – the playlist!

“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.” – John Keats, English poet. “Music, like rain, drop by drop, seeps in to hearts and enlivens it” – Romain Rolland, French writer and mystic The relationship between music and the weather is an easy one to understand. Both are capable of many shades and varieties and it’s no accident that songwriters throughout the ages have picked up on how useful an analogy can be made between the ever-changing moods of both the weather and people, being that Read more »

New Reels: “Living For Love” – Madonna

New Reels: “Living For Love” – Madonna

We review the latest Madonna single and ask is the Queen of pop getting too old for this kind of thing? Just because she is not “in” right now, and it is actually trendy not to like Madonna and apparently is amusing to talk about her fall, it does not mean that her new single is not one great dance track! Living For Love – Madonna Ok, ok, so this video has grown on me. I cannot say much for the rest of Madonna´s 13th (unlucky 13th?) studio album, I´ve only heard 6 tracks, of which I like this one and Read more »

The 00´s: the decade, the music, the playlist!

The 00´s: the decade, the music, the playlist!

Welcome to the last of our decades playlists which concentrates on the first decade of the 21st century often referred to as ‘the noughties’ or the 00’s. It was a decade of sweeping changes in the world as new technologies bought us new ways of seeing the world, and as global events seemed to make the world a more dangerous place. It was also the decade that bought us endless reality television and the rise of Simon Cowell as a thing in our lives. It wasn’t all post-millennial doom and gloom though, and as we shall see plenty of pretty Read more »

New Reels: ‘Birth In Reverse’ – St. Vincent

New Reels: ‘Birth In Reverse’ – St. Vincent

There aren’t many people in the world of music generating more of a buzz right now than St. Vincent. Her eponymous album released back in February has been one of the critical hits of the year as well as charting high on both sides of the Atlantic. She’s the real deal: a gifted multi-instrumentalist, song-writer, and artist, and 2014 was most definitely her year. I first heard her, as many did, through Love This Giant, her 2012 collaboration with David Byrne. In fact she had played with both the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens before releasing her debut lp Marry Read more »

New Reels: ‘The Party Line’ by Belle & Sebastian

New Reels: ‘The Party Line’ by Belle & Sebastian

It’s been the best part of 20 years since this Scottish outfit released their highly-lauded debut Tigermilk. Since then they have been high on plaudits but fairly low on commercial success. Belle & Sebastian are one of the ever-present bands who seem to toil away in the background releasing interesting records whilst less tuneful yet more ambitious acts grab the limelight. Yet one gets the impression that both the band and their ardent supporters are very comfortable with them being a ‘cult’ band. B&S have something of the outsider about them, kind of like the geeky kid at school who Read more »

New Music: New Reels: Hozier

New Music: New Reels: Hozier

Hozier started showing up everywhere in the last couple of months, and a month ago a friend on Twitter said for him it was the best album of the year. This week it has been popping up all over my This Is My Jam timeline, so no more hiding, it is time to write about him. He came into my radar because of his song Take me to Church and the reviews the album was getting: The Telegraph “Gospel choirs hum and swell tenderly beneath the rougher edges of his riffs. They add mature, universal gravitas and often a holy Read more »

New Reels: ‘Stay A while’ by She & Him

New Reels: ‘Stay A while’ by She & Him

It’s been some seven years since actress and singer/songwriter Zooey Deschanel and fellow singer/songwriter Matthew ‘M’ Ward first met on the set of the film The Go-Getter where they were asked to collaborate on a song for the soundtrack. They clearly hit it off, and since then they have released four acclaimed albums as She & Him, with a fifth Classics due for release on December 2nd. The album is, as the title suggests, not composed of original material but rather covers of thirteen different songs including ‘Oh No, Not My Baby’, ‘Stay Awhile’ and ‘Unchained Melody’. Covers albums can Read more »

New reels: ‘Brando’ by Scott Walker and Sunn O))) (film by Giselle Vienne)

New reels: ‘Brando’ by Scott Walker and Sunn O))) (film by Giselle Vienne)

Is there a more lauded avant-garde figure in the world of music at the moment than Scott Walker? Famous for an uncompromisingly experimental approach to his art, his explorations into what a song can be continue apace with this taken from the recently released album Soused, a collaboration with experimental metal outfit Sunn 0))). To accompany the song there’s this compelling film by the French-Austrian director and visual artist Giselle Vienne. It concerns what we assume to be a mother and son who are involved in a violent and possibly Oedipal episode. That and other things such as the woman’s Read more »

New reels: ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ by OK Go

New reels: ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ by OK Go

They’re clever chaps are OK Go, you have to give them that. Not only for the fiendishly intricate one-take videos they create but also, as I discussed before, because they have adapted to the multi-media age in a very savvy way. By harnessing the power of the viral video to generate publicity they have managed to carve a fairly unique furrow for themselves, generating millions of hits with every new release. However, as I also noted in the previous article this hasn’t translated very well in to actual record or ticket sales. They barely scrape the top 40 in albums Read more »

History of the Pop Video Pt.4: The Thrill of Michael Jackson’s Thriller

History of the Pop Video Pt.4: The Thrill of Michael Jackson’s Thriller

Halloween is upon us once again. Not only that but so is part 4 of this series. On top of that MVD is almost a year old, and so it would seem like a more than appropriate time to discuss a video which was not only the greatest of it’s age, and maybe of all time for that matter, but also one that changed the (white) face of MTV, as well as being in many ways Michael Jackson’s crowning artistic achievement. Actually it’s unfair to couch Thriller in terms of simply Michael Jackson, with the song written by Rod Temperton Read more »

Madness: The Great British pop group

Madness: The Great British pop group

Pop music has for a long time now been a central part of British life, but less often it’s the case that British life is a central part of pop music. By that I mean there have been few pop artists in the last 50 or so years who have really been able to capture something of the true essence of what it is to live a working class life on this colourful, windswept isle of ours. Ray Davies of The Kinks is often correctly cited as the only one of the 60’s generation of songwriters to faithfully capture the Read more »