Anthems for an 18 year old in Zagreb

Today’s post has been written by a good friend of mine, Sam. Sam’s John Zorn like diversity of musical projects has led him to do gameboy based 8 bit music, a manic jazz band called Papa Mango’s Fruit Salad and he has even been on tour to Denmark! Sam wrote this post a while ago but it’s so long that it won’t fit in one day’s post so we’ve been waiting for an oppurtunity to have two days free. This week this opportunity has arisen. Both Johan and Jake are having internet problems so without further ado, I give you the first instalment of Sam’s mammoth post.

So, the weekend has rolled around and I guess that normally Johan and Jake would be busy preparing posts for the blog. Alas, they are having internet problems; and so it is with great pride (and a tear in my) that I have written this post. The following tracks are a selection of songs from albums that got me around Eastern Europe a few weeks ago. Why these tracks? Well, partly because Bon Iver has already been covered in some depth across the blog so I felt I need not elaborate on him in detail as I intended and partly because I feel these tracks span enough genres to make the post interesting to anyone who casts their eyes over it. If I am wrong and the post is highly uninteresting – please think over the repercussions of if you were to tell me.

First up we have the wonderful Broken Social Scene with their track ‘Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old’

Broken Social Scene are a Canadian group whose size varies from six to nineteen members. I think they’re brilliant and this track from their second album You forgot it in people always makes me happy. I never fail to find myself smiling and tapping my foot to this track and (I think) unsurprisingly the album won various awards post its release including Alternative album of the year in 2003. The track to some, I am aware appears to be a sprawling and inconsistent mess. However, this is because there is so much going on and thus it takes a few listens to absorb everything. In fact, there is so much going on within this track that it’s not surprising to hear something new on the fifth, sixth or twentieth listen. While the large range of sounds used by BSS can be irritating at first, I find them and this track in particular extremely rewarding for ‘patient listeners.’ You Forgot It In People, while large and at times overwhelming is an excellent album for those who are prepared to put in the effort and ‘Anthems for a seventeen year old’ sums up the album really.

Next up Bon Iver (yet again Justin makes it into a post)

This live version of ‘Wolves (act i and ii)’ is in my view brilliant. It lacks the delicate nature of the album version but seems to have an added energy and the sing along from the crowd just tops it all off beautifully. I’d put the Bon Iver album For Emma, Forever Ago in my top ten albums of all time list and it seems many others would too as it rocked into NPR’s 50 most important albums of the decade. The man is brilliant and if you haven’t already…check out his latest venture ‘Volcano Choir’

Track 3, De La Soul proclaimed 3 to be “the magic number” I’m not sure Rock the Casbah is magic but it is damn catchy!

It’s the keys really, lets not kid ourselves. They are SOOOOOOOOOO CATCHY and coupled with lyrics that give a fabulist narration of a ban on rock music by the Sharif before he (the Sharif) is defied by the populus, who proceed to “rock the Casbah” which leads the Sharif to order his pilots to bomb any people in violation of the ban…BUT even his pilots ignore the orders, and instead play rock music on their cockpit radios. It’s punk rock, it’s catchy and it makes me want to dance like a loon for 3:39 of my life every time I hear it. As Mr Strummer himself once said. “If Sharif don’t like it…he can suck it” Like the track that statement is far from eloquent, but it’s brilliant all the same.

Next up we have Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

I’m quite new to them and don’t know a great deal about them but this track ‘Home’ was a favourite as I trekked around Belgrade in the early hours.  I love everything about it, the whistling, the deep south accents and most of all…the Sax midway through the track! Their album Up From Below is something of a revival…A revival of the late 1960’s and its communal music and ‘Home’ with its addictive sing-a-long chorus epitomizes the album as a whole. It’s well worth a listen.

The next track is a live version of ‘Vintage Red’ by the now defunct Jay Jay Pistolet

I love acoustic songs of almost any shape and size, when it comes to this particular track I love the laid back, almost Hawaiian chord sequence and the really corny chorus. Corny chorus aside I think this song is really good when you just want to ‘crash’, sit back and watch the world go by for 2minutes and 7seconds. It doesn’t last long, it isn’t cool and it isn’t great a great song, but it’s a fairly nice song and I like the rhyme scheme it contains so what the heck, I’ll include it.

More on this tommorow…

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