Survival 101: Life without iTunes

As some of you may have gathered through my repeated complaints about ‘tinny netbook speakers’ I am currently without my hipster standard issue Macbook which gave up the ghost a few weeks back (sadface).  Fear not little one, for it is being repaired and will return shortly.

For the past few posts I’ve relied on a cocktail of borrowed netbooks (thanks Ed if you even read this) and Spotify to satisfy my music addiction.  This past week however I have truly entered the wilderness with only a 4 gig (gasp!) Ipod- Bear Grylls eat your heart out.

I bet even Bear needs at least 16gb on his adventures. Wimp.

The Victorian English Gentlemens Club is a band I have mentioned in passing, namely for their brilliant debut album- however it is their second album, Love On An Oil Rig which i have been listening to intensely this past week.

Look at these fucking circus freaks.

The songs are refreshingly simple and raw, in some senses recalling In Utero era Nirvana, especially in terms of production.  However instead of dwelling upon the mundane and monotonous as much of grunge did there is more than a hint of the surreal both in terms of topic and musicality

‘Parrot’ echoes the sound of The Fall (who also have a brilliant new album out..) and focuses upon a melodramatic relationship between a dead parrot and it’s owner at least that’s what it seems to be about, with perhaps a nod to the ever-famous Python sketch. I won’t post a link to this sketch as personally I find it overplayed, however if you do want to see it go use some initiative, you peon.

Second single ‘Bored in Belgium’ showcases what VEGC do best- vocals.  All members of the band sing, and this is used routinely to great effect, often chanting and providing as much rhythm as any of the other instruments.  Lead singer Adam has a particularly interesting voice- often bordering on the insane, injecting character into each and every lyric.

My favourite track of the album would have to be ‘Watching the Burglars’ which would have suited Jake’s post yesterday as this too is a track that whilst a little sinister and creepy (as is much of the album in retrospect) is ultimately beautiful the moment when the delay drenched guitar lifts the song into euphoria in the final chorus is one I find myself revisiting over and over. I was hoping to embed this track via soundcloud which would have been beautiful, but apparently this feature isn’t working, so here is the ugly, clunky but functional link *shakes fist*

Also high up on my playlist this week is a version of Four Tet’s ‘A Joy’ feat. Percee P

Now first of all I am a HUGE fan of everything Kieren Hebden has done (with Steve Reid, Four Tet, Fridge and Burial) but i have found that some songs could do with a little boost- Percee P does just that for ‘A Joy’, the opening track of Everything Ecstatic. Instrumentally the song is brilliant but after hearing this version (which can be found on disc 2 of ‘remixes’ compilation) it sounds a little lacklustre by comparison.   Also on this compilation is a remix of ‘As Serious As Your Life’ one of my favourite tracks from Rounds, and of all time really.

The remix is by Phil favourite J Dilla (though credited as Jay Dee) and features Guilty Simpson- I am in two minds about this song; the simplicity and modestness of the original is counteracted by the swagger and bravado of the Hip Hop styling though strangely I keep finding myself coming back to this track. Perhaps it is my knowledge of the original  which affects my enjoyment of the remix, but after all maybe that is part of the point!

A last nugget for you all: As I donned my marigolds, ready to clean the mould and general grime that adorns my student house bathroom- I stopped, just for a second and imagined the bathroom fresh, and clean- and so I began to sing to myself…

Oh how I laughed (to myself).

Well as they say in Looney Tunes (which is sometimes what I feel my life has become)




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