Monday, September 08, 2008

The Weekly Playlist....

So, to re-invigorate this baby, here's a top 10 list of tunes I've been listening to, enjoy.

1) Gil Scott Heron - Home Is Where The Hatred Is - Legendary jazz poet/ proto rap dude muses about his real-life scag addiction and family breakdown, and you can hear the pain. Amazing.

2) Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire - new single by Deep South sons of a preacher man. Their best yet.
3) The Beach Boys - Sail On, Sailor - One of their great "lost" classics from the 70s, with lyrics by Van Dyk Parks.

4) Glasvegas - Geraldine - Glasgae flavours of the month with a heart aching song about a social worker. Not something you hear every day.

5) CSS - Cannonball - Brazilian minx Lovefoxx sounds as lovely as ever on this cover of The Breeders grunge anthem.

6) Playground - Make It Happen - phat bass from the GTA4 Soundtrack.

7) The Futureheads - This Is Not The World - angular Clash-style punk from the North East band sadly best known for covering Kate Bush.

8) The Verve - Appalacian Springs - final, blissed out track from the new album Forth.

9) The Specials - Too Much Too Young - The Coventry ska legends re-formed this weekend for Bestival, and peformed this gem, amongst others.

10) Twisted Wheel - You Stole The Sun - much-touted Oldham trio with a riotous Fall-meets Libertines banger.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Is Noel Racist?

So, Noel Gallagher, one my favourite living musicians and songwriters, has posted his Top 10 of Rock N Roll bands on the Oasis website at

It's not worth a butchers, as sadly you have to sign up to register for, but to save you the hassle, he tells on the blog

"In the dressing room the traditional debate has started about 'The Top 10'. This means the top 10 bands of all time. No solo artists allowed. No female artists allowed. No collectives allowed (Public Enemy etc.) This is the 1,000th time we’ve been here with this. It never gets any less interesting for me. For the record, THE DEFINITIVE top 10 is..

1: The Beatles
2: The Rolling Stones
3: The Who
4: Sex Pistols
5: The Kinks
6: The La's
7: Pink Floyd
8: The Bee Gees
9: The Specials
10: (Peter Green's) Fleetwood Mac"

Looking at the list, I've got to say I quite like most of what's in it. I love the Stones (though I am sick of hearing how great the Beatles are, and their music doesn't do much for me these days, for some reason). The La's only released one album, and there are only a handful of good tunes on that. Where are The Smiths? and the Stone Roses? Where are American bands like The Beach Boys, The Byrds and CSNY?

More importantly, there are no black musicians in the list, besides half of the Specials, but that then puts Jerry Dammers in front of Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, James Brown, and a lot of other dudes. There isn't much of a black influence beyond their ska, and the cod-funk/soul of the Bee Gees in their 70s era. Well, I suppose the whole thing is a list of artists influenced by black blues musicians, but it's so....damn white.

I remember the late John Peel talking about his music taste, and saying how it would be a shame if, though you might like, say, vanilla ice cream, that was the only kind of ice cream you ever ate. What about strawberry? What about Magmums, and Cornettos? You get the point.

Since much of black music is about collectives (like most of the great acts in hip hop, like NWA, Public Enemy, Wu Tang Clan, etc), especially my beloved Massive Attack, that's a huge chunk of black music out.

And then there's no female artists? What the fxxx? Gallagher and his fellow rockers may have loved the 60s and 70s, so what about Aretha Franklin, surely one of the greatest singers of all time? Janis Joplin, Carole King, Karen Carpenter, hell, do Blondie count if Debbie Harry promises wear a strap-on?

Given that a few months ago, Gallagher made some questionable comments about how Jay-Z shouldn't play Glastonbury because the festival "has a tradition of guitar music....I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong", one has to wonder if the grandad of today's music scene (he has a lot to do with the Kaiser Chiefs and the Arctic Monkeys) is a bit of a racist, sexist old git on the sly. Your thoughts?

For the record, here's my list, which will no doubt change tomorrow on reflection. And bollocks to the aforementioned restrictions. In no particular order:

1. The Rolling Stones.
2. The Clash.
3. Bob Marley.
4. Jimi Hendrix (in all his various guises).
5. Stevie Wonder.
6. The Verve.
7. U2.
8. Neil Young.
9. Led Zeppelin.
10. Massive Attack.
11. Fuck the Beatles, they're over-rated.