Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Pride

There is little that makes me truly proud - indeed, quite the contrary, as every morning I pass the perfectly-observed graffiti on Moorgate that reads "Obey Conform Consume" and feel a shudder through my M&S suit as I traipse manfully toward the slender joys of my office cocoon - but I feel I have made one worthy contribution in my life, should anyone ever feel like chiselling (or graffittiing) it on to my gravestone even as the pall bearers return to the Kings' Arms for a warming stout and the closing strains of "Going Underground" still echo in the overhang of the cold, misty cemetery air: to have assisted, in some small way, with a tribute to a remarkable and short-lived musical legend.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Fluffy thoughts

Lovely moments of 2005 part one: the first great tune of the year, and it comes from an inevitable source. Yes, Napalm Death. While the next album "The Code is Red... Long Live The Code" doesn't hit shelves until the tail-end of April, taster "The Great and the Good" emerges now, on a tsunami benefit CD single purchased at their excellent Underworld show earlier in the week. (It was a shock to discover that, having seen Nasum so recently, singer Mieszko Talarcyzk is missing presumed worse following that disaster, and the hastily-assembled sleevenotes to this triple-header pay due respect). Still, "The Great and the Good" is a worthy draw - continuing the recent Napalm album trend as they get faster and faster, with even a few nods to hardcore as Jello deals a couple of verses inamidst Barney Greenway's screaming. The new slimline four-piece Napalm Death cheered me up immensely, mostly by powering through "Blind Justice" and "War's No Fairytale", their Agnostic Front and Discharge tributes from the latest covers collection.

Lovely moments of 2005 part two: as ever, we merge seamlessly from Napalm Death to their frequent rivals for my teenage affection, the Field Mice. Buying Snowball + Singles on LTM and listening to obscure closer "That's all this is" for the first few times in my life - a wonderful feeling, even more than rediscovering the naivety of "I can see myself alone forever" and how I identified with that so when it came out and how happily different my own life turned out to be. But still loving the Field Mice. There's rarely been a month since age 16 when I haven't listened to "Sensitive", so that didn't need to be rediscovered, but it's always great to have an excuse to play it and marvel at its exquisitely straightedge sentiment (and syntax): and "Emma's House" and "Fabulous Friend" still roll back the years with timid charm - SARAH 12 being my first ever purchase on the label, having borrowed most of the earlier ones through the school grapevine. Really looking forward to the further reissues too - particularly for an end to the criminal conspiracy which has made us wait until 2005 for the cumbersome but fabulous "Song Six" to get a release on digital format.

I have a strong suspicion, incidentally, that the next lovely moment you will read about here is the whole deluxe swathe of musical Radox that is Hood's "Outside Closer": once I have found the words to express. Laters.

[listening to:
the field mice - that's all this is (gorgeous! simply gorgeous!)
hood - the negatives... (yes, from the new album - gratifyingly available on vinyl)
the fall - 2nd dark age (early classic from "Psykick Dancehall" 3-cd set)
no lay - unorthodox daughter (from "Run the Road" CD - the whole thing may be late but a lot of it is really damn good)
the wedding present - i'm from further north than you (but it's not a breakthrough tune like "interstate 5")
frontline - don't bizness (flip of last year's "poizun penz" 12")]