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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

Caught by the Hook

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

At the moment I'm working at a school for foreign kids learning English and I'm intrigued by their taste in music. There's this one track that I'm told was a big hit across Europe (always a bad sign) that has got me thinking...

On the face of it it's just another dodgy dance tune, but it has this hook which gets stuck in your head. It's very annoying. Needless to say they love it and play it on their phones constantly.

Nice euro-pop venue

There's a lot of other tunes with the same basic sound or tone colour, if you will, but this one knocks 'em bandy and it's all because of that simple hook.

It seems they are all so easily pleased, well, sonically anyway. Anything with a basic song structure and one little bit different from the rest, repeated every so often , is exciting.

I'm not saying we all have to listen to music that is ridiculously complex and subscribe to some Rick Wakeman ideal that the time and key signatures of a song have to be ever-changing and songs must be long and played by seriously skilled musicians, far from it, but I just think that it is a bit moronic to go wild about such simple sonic pleasures.

Looking good Rick

I mean, take a simple punk tune, for instance, or a great hip-hop tune. The music itself will be basic but there will be some form of intellectual pleasure in there such as a great lyric or a crashing drum pattern. Something stimulating.

This bloody awful euro-pop is just drivel. There is nothing. Richard Hell thought his generation was blank, on the evidence I've seen and heard: this generation of European kids is far blanker.

5 of the Best - Law and Order

Monday, 26 July 2010

The theme today is Law and Order... enjoy.

Bob Dylan - Hurricane: An absolute masterpiece based on the injustice of the conviction of boxer Ruben 'Hurricane' Carter.8 minutes slip by so quickly as one is immersed in the sheer power of this great song.

The Clash - Police and Thieves: Hard to choose between this and Junior Murvin's original. I chose this version just because of the superb rasped vocal Joe Strummer applies to it. Gives it an edge.

Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues: Has to be in here. "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die". Great!

N.W.A. - Fuck the Police: Is this the most controversial song ever or just a great protest song? That, my dears, is for you to decide!

Prince Buster - It's Burke's Law: "Wob way dob way dob, way dob way dob". Feeling down? Listen to this!

Kate Nash - Kiss That Grrrl: Reviewed

Monday, 19 July 2010

Fucking awful. Kate Nash is terrible. The mockney accent, the really bad lyrics, the unfunny self deprecation, all of it is terrible.

Kate Nash

This song follows on where every other song she's made has left off. Using a pseudo-motown rhythm and an annoying drum pattern already used on the whole last Amy Winehouse album this song manages to grate on me more than anything I've heard this year.

It is utter tosh and I do not wish to write any more about it.


5 of the Best - First Names

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

We all have one in some form or other, in Brazil they have, like, 3 and use one as a nickname. Here's 5otB to do with first names...

Rod Stewart - Maggie May: Easily one of the most famous songs ever made and a bloody good one at that. Classic! A great example of a bad break-up.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Suzie Q: John Fogerty was a much maligned character at the peak of the hippie counter-culture period, but this Bad Moon Rising and the Creedence version of I Put a Spell on You really make me wonder why?

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Suzie Q

The Kinks - Walter: A great song about that kid you thought was cool at school who's actually turned out to be a bit of a dick-head. I bloody love The Kinks.

Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights: Am I cheating? Probably, but the line that sticks in everybody's head is when Kate goes into her fantastic high register "Heathcliff...", definitely a first name! One of the greatest songs ever made.

The Red Dress One, she definitely had it!

The Libertines - What Katie Did: Great riff, cool literature based title and that "shoop shoop, shoop du-lang-u-lang" bit. Can't wait to see there gig at Reading, on the TV of course, there's no way I'm getting my trainers dirty and I do not wear wellies, I'm not a National Trust member.

Florence Releases Another New Single?

Monday, 12 July 2010

This is getting ridiculous! That bloody Lungs album is the new Thriller. Every song from it is being released as a single. How much money can one band make from one album?

Cosmic Love, the latest track to be released from the album sounds no different really from the others to be released.

Piss off!!!!!

I quite liked this album when it first came out. I mean, I felt there was something annoying about Flo herself and I thought it was a bit chorus heavy, but I could see it was pretty good. Now, I hate this bloody album. I hate Flo herself - uncharismatic, annoying voice - and the choruses play in every shop/pub/restaurant I happen to wander into!

I am sick of this album and sick of whoever is in charge of operations at Flo HQ squeezing every last penny out of it!

The Coral - 1000 Years: Reviewed

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The Coral, according to the NME (not the greatest source), are "one of the most consistently brilliant bands of the last ten years". Maybe true, they're a pretty good band.

1000 Years is, thus, a pretty good tune. A typically '60s approach is taken and the vocal harmonies match nicely within the choral vocal. It's a melodic little track this one, obviously, it's The Coral, and it flows pretty nicely.

The Coral

The approach lyrically is simple and a tad repetitive but at just 2:52 minutes it doesn't drag on.

Whilst it's not as good as some of their earlier records like Jacqueline or Dreaming of You, it's still a good enough song.

5 of the Best - Water

Monday, 5 July 2010

Today's 5 of the Best is on something we all need... water! So wet your whistle on this little lot.

The Stone Roses - Waterfall: Dream-like harmonies, infectious riff, great middle 8, this song has it all.

The Stone Roses - Waterfall

Max Romeo - Wet Dream: "Every night, me have wet dream, me think of her." Brilliant! The least poetic song ever, possibly. Straight in with what he thinks.

TLC - Waterfalls: Classic bit of dodgy '90s R&B. I really like it though.

Billy Joel - The River of Dreams: One of the New Yorker's most famous tracks and a great melody on the vocal. Sing it with me "In the middle of the ni-i-ight..."

Billy Joel - The River of Dreams

The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset: Technically I'm cheating, but he does mention a dirty old river, so I think technically I'm not! Fantastic song this, just beautiful. Ray Davies at his storytelling best.

Let the Track Run... and Shut Up

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Right, BBC Radio 1 pisses me off for many reasons. There's the shit music it plays, the annoying DJs (more of which in a minute) and constant news bulletins.

But the most annoying thing about Radio 1 is its breakfast show with Chris Moyles. The guy's a dick. He thinks he's hilarious, he's not. He talks way too much. Literally, you're lucky to hear two songs an hour on his show. Moyles truly believes that his popularity must mean his formula is brilliant. It's not.


Seriously, the British public will eat up anything served to them (metaphorically). You serve them JLS or N-Dubz, they'll eat it up. In the 90s when they were fed Blur, Pulp and Oasis, they ate it up - difference being what they were served was nearer to Lobster than the microwaveable Pizza they're served these days.

When the station has shows that get down to playing some actual music, it's shit music anyway. Scott Mills in the afternoon plays some of the worst crap I've ever heard.

Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music are way better, listen to them, not Radio 1.

5 of the Best - Tears

Friday, 2 July 2010

Here's 5 of the best to do with your eyeballs leaking...

Aerosmith - Cryin': I love this track, Tyler's vocal is superb. Great 90s video as well.

Aerosmith - Cryin'

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Tears of a Clown: Fantastic soul classic. Smokey's high register voice on the refrain line makes it all the more potent.

Justin Timberlake - Cry Me a River: "You don't have to say, what you did", one of the most iconic stars and one of the best pop songs of the 21st Century.

Johnny Cash - Cry, Cry, Cry: The American hero lets loose on one of his greatest songs. Superb!

Johhny Cash - Cry, Cry, Cry

The Beatles - Cry, Baby, Cry: Doing these '5otB' thingys makes me realise how many great tracks the fabs have recorded. Not that I didn't know already. This one, from The White Album, is a gem!