Musical Monkey is Dead

posted on October 27th, 2006 by Anthony

ipod bugger

My little shiny white machine has succumbed to a severe case of IBS (Incredibly Buggered Sectors).

He tried to fight on valiantly. He went through a painful week of skipping through tracks like a schizophrenic Jeff Mills before eventually having to go into surgery (admittedly free home NHS style surgery since his Apple Care health plan has long ran out).

Sadly he never regained consciousness.

Bugger.

So, for the foreseeable future, I am stuck in the dark ages of shiny plastic discs. (Though a Nano is a very tempting solution to tide me over until the release of the 6G iPods… but still pricey…)

But life must go on. I am coming to terms with my loss, and I feel I can once again start to talk about music.

The Fratellis – Costello Music

The Fratellis

These guys have been bubbling under for months now, I’d heard very promising little snippets but not the whole thing.

I had high hopes for Costello Music.

I was not disappointed.

From the opening stabs of ‘Henrietta’ to the closing strains of ‘Ole Black ‘n’ Blue Eyes’ what we have here is a 13 track masterpiece in full on dirty bordello brilliance.

It hits all the right spots for me – it’s happy, danceable, pumping, raw, filthy, poppy awesomeness. There’s not a bad song on the whole disc.

Even the 50’s cheesecake pinup artwork theme running through all their releases is the kind of stuff I find hard to resist. Especially the lovely girlie shaped 8” vinyl for the Chelsea Dagger single featuring the lady below.

The lovley Fratellis pinup lady

Because I’m back in CD Land this album has been getting hammered in the car, and it’s not getting old. If it doesn’t win bag fulls of Mecuries, and other glittering baubles, I will eat my old Apple earphones.

My only fear is that the guys will be crapped on in the coming months for being popular. A la Kaisers, Franz and the Arctics… I’m as bad as anyone for losing interest when the mainstream catches on, but at the moment I’m enjoying things while they last.

We’re off to see them in Manchester on Saturday and I’ve heard great things about their live performances. We can’t wait. (Though The Raconteurs have set the bar high for best gig of the week!)

The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love

I like ‘House of Jealous Lovers’ – even if it did get a bit over exposed – but never really got into any of their other stuff.

I heard ‘Got to Get Myself in to it’ on Xfm a few times while doing the daily morning iron, and it piqued my interest. A snappy little number, with raw choppy sounds and a funky edge… like their old stuff, but with a bit less… well… bollocks, really.

Less of the noises for noises sake, and more of the straight up funky punk.

The rest of the album confirms what the the single suggested ‘Pieces…‘ is a wholly more rounded and listenable affair. They have achieved a much more balanced sound to their music, there is less of mechanic feel to most of the tracks, and quite a bit more soul.

The Rapture

It’s also more firmly focused on the dance floor. ‘Whoo Alright Yah Uh Huh’, for example, is packed with more energy than a Duracell factory. I like dance tracks I can’t help it, and when it’s mixed so well with live instruments I’m powerless to resist.

I was ready to disappointed by this album, but after playing it around the Highlands for a week I can whole heartedly recommend that you check it out.

CSS – Cansei De Ser Sexy

How could I not try out a band with a name as alluring as everybody’s favourite web tech?

Especially when said band are a group of sassy young Brazilian ladies (and a mustachioed bloke for bonus points) who, with an endearing impish innocence, deliver genius lyrics like this…

Lick Lick Lick My Art Tit,
Lick Lick Lick My Art Tit,
Suck Suck Suck My Art Hole,
Suck Suck Suck My Art Hole

…over a truck load of dirty discopunkfunk beats, synths and guitars.

Cansei Der Ser Sexy

As you can probably tell from that short burst of lyrics, it’s not just the music that’s dirty here – these girls are just dirty in general. But in a lovable, nice, cutesy, bubblegum way.

‘Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above’, ‘Artbitch’, ‘Music Is My Hot Hot Sex’ and, of course,’Fuckoff Is Not the Only Thing You Have to Show’ (an anthem for Mr Oxton?) – these are but a mere hint of the wonderfully grimy contents of the album.

CSS are one of growing number of bands to be ‘discovered’ via the internet. They first got attention on ‘the Brazillian MySpace’ called Trama Virtual. The tracks from set the blogs yapping worldwide and the rest, as they say, is history.

They are now touring all over the place supporting the likes of Diplo, Ladytron, and Basement Jaxx. They are also one of the bands deemed cool enough to be preloaded on Microsoft forthcoming Zune player.

It has to be noted that one or two of the songs sail a little too close to Shakira territory for my liking, but overall if you are partial to a bit of bubblegum-dirt this is essential listening.

The Holloways

The Holloways – So this is Great Britain?

Generator‘ (which I mentioned a while back) is a nugget of gleeful genius. It just makes you smile, with it’s infectious lyrics, happy message and bouncy bassline.

While the rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to its high standards it is, none the less, a solid little collection tracks.

It manages to walk a fine, and quite strange, line between angst ridden punk and the kind of tweely happy rock music that only the British have ever managed to pull off properly.

Actually they sound a bit like Adam and Joe… if they ever formed a band…

Anyway… ‘Tis well worth checking out.

New Rave

AKA F**k off and Die NME!!!!!

New Rave. I ask you!

Any way this unfortunate tag has been attached to a growing new movement in (mainly British) music at the moment. You could argue that the Rapture were the pioneers – or at least the door openers – for this guitar music with dance sensibilities.

Anyway I’m quite excited about it all.

What’s not to like? Danceable beats, bottom strirring basslines, squelchy acidicness, shouty vocals and even smatterings of hands in the air piano.

hmmmm piano.

I’ve heard some promising tracks. Klaxons seem to be the big hopes, but there is also Neon Plastix, Shit Disco (who seem to have been around for years waiting for a scene to call their own) and even Hot Chip seem to be getting dragged in.

Klaxons

I’ll be reporting my findings soon. I just hope that Godawful name dies a horrible, horrible death… hopefully involving the NME staffer that coined it.

In the mean time if you’ve got a spare fiver hanging around I would suggest using it to purchase Digital Penetration Vol. 1 which is a nice showcase of some of the key proponents of the genre.