Wednesday 27 September 2023

New to NA: English Teacher

The World's Biggest Paving Slab is getting a lot of airplay on the inestimable 6 Music at the moment. Me, I know nothing about the band, English Teacher, other than I don't think that's an especially good name in these days of "what happens if you Google them?" But what do I know? Well, what I do know is that I really rather like this song. And also, check out the excellent lyrics - lots of fun to be had for the indie spotter here, I think, with some of these references.

I am the world’s biggest paving slab
But no one can walk over me
I am the Pendle Witches, John Simm
And I am Lee Ingleby
I am the Bank of Dave, Golden Postbox
And the festival of R&B
I’m not the terrorist of Talbot Street
But I have apocalyptic dreams

You should see my armoury
I am the world’s biggest paving slab
So watch your fucking feet

I am the world’s biggest paving slab
But I sit here quietly
No one ever looks down at the ground
Yeah, no one ever notices me
I wish I were born a stone
And made Wycoller my home
Haunting with Charlotte Bronte
I’m not the terrorist of Talbot street
But I think that ruins have beauty

You should see my armoury
You should walk all over me
I am the world’s biggest paving slab
And the world’s smallest celebrity

Great video too, isn't it?Tip the author

Thursday 21 September 2023

Under the influence

I love REM, and have a special fondness for the IRS years when you couldn't always make out what Michael was singing about and Peter's Rickenbacker jangle was at its jangliest.

Of course, that is a finite resource. Even in the unlikely event that REM were to reconvene, that 1980s sound is gone forever. It is a relic of a different age. Murmur is over 40 years old, lest we forget.

So how to scratch the itch? Well, a bit of Googling led me to this forum discussion about bands with a similar sound to early REM. It makes for an interesting read, not least because it showcases how many wildly different opinions there must be on what early REM sounded like, given some of the suggestions. Anyway, one band name that kept popping up was The Decemberists, and particularly their album The King Is Dead. So I had a listen, and you know what? On occasion, they do sound a bit like Athens' finest. Turns out that one Peter Buck guests on three of the album tracks, and you can tell which. For me, this is the most REMarkable track:

You see, I hear this and can't help but think of a slightly faster version of this, and not just because of the intro either:

I don't know what my point is. We're all a product of our influences, aren't we, so... what? I guess the key is to be a product of them without being in their thrall. The Decemberists manage this, I think. Good on them.Tip the author

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Now what?

For those of you that expressed an interest last time, here are some more gems from The Connor Brothers that suit my current mood just fine...

Tip the author

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Not from where I'm standing

I got to see some art by The Connor Brothers recently. Their impressive back-story involving an escape by twin brothers from a particularly luddite American cult is sadly a work of fiction; rather, they are former art dealers turned print makers Mike Snelle and James Golding, and are perhaps best known for adding subversive or post-modern captions to pulp fiction book covers - you know, this kind of thing:

I loved every print I saw like this, and took loads of pictures, going back to some prints time and again. And I got to thinking - where had I seen this before? Not just something like it, but a piece of art in this exact style, and by The Connor Brothers? And then it came to me.

Not From Where I'm Standing is a compilation of 20 Bond film themes covered by current and former members of Cinerama and The Wedding Present. I wrote more about it back in 2020, when it was released. Anyway, here's a song from it; I need no other excuse for a bit of Such Small Hands.

Tip the author

Saturday 9 September 2023

Meldrew Point

To reach Meldrew Point is to be the same age Richard Wilson was when episode 1 of One Foot In The Grave first aired. I don't believe it, et cetera...

This little clip is from the fourth series, but encapsulates Victor's rage against the dying of the light very well.