heard on the wire

And the Salvation Army band plays

My favourite song of the season. Happy Holidays!

Helen Love and Richard Autobahn :: And the Salvation Army Band Plays

We’ll have fun, fun, fun, wherever we run


Gutted. No sooner had I googled¹ the first band in this latest selection of top tunes from 2012 than I discovered that the wonderful Two Wounded Birds had died from their injuries.

Still, in two and a half years they made one very fine LP, which is more than most bands manage in two and a half decades. Certainly few manage to accomplish such a wonderfully eclectic rock ’n’ roll smorgasbord, with a delicious side order of surf guitar.

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Eight reasons why I’m starting to hate iTunes 11

Oh Apple, what have you done? iTunes 11, in its current state, is a mess. You’ve broken my heart.

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And the ass saw the angel

Nick Cave

Author, screenwriter, soundtrack composer, essayist, former heroin addict and one of the finest songwriters of his or any other generation—Nick Cave is the post modern renaissance man.

And while some of his more recent musical offerings may not have lived up to the incredibly high standards he has set over more than three decades, this, the first single from a new LP to be released next year, hints at a magnificent return to form.

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He couldn’t believe that everyone in the world liked their songs


Apologies for the absence of posts recently, it’s been rather busy at SmithSockTowers. In lieu of some hot contemporary tunes, here are some videos I like.

First up, the ever-wonderful Helen Love and a five-star single from 1997.

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At the mountains, at the birds, at the ocean, at the trees

Looking to Pilatus

I don’t know when it happened, or began to happen, but there has been a sea-change in my music accumulation of late. Where once probably 90% or more of the music I bought was male-voiced, women now dominate. In the 30-ish–strong list from which I’ll pick my record of the year the number of male singers can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

So, four records from this year, each fronted by a beautiful female voice, each equally fantastic.

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In comic type letters the voices are saying clap, clap

Ah, the Fall, comic type letters a-plenty amid some of the worst record covers of all time.

And some of the best records.

Like this one, prompted by recent posts extolling the remix.

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Get away, run away, far away

While writing a recent post for this blog, it struck me that it’s now 30 years since the first remixes began to appear in European record shops, on the new 12-inch single format.

I was just too young to have witnessed punk first hand—and neither did I live in London or Manchester—so remixing is the first music revolution I remember.

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And the cellos kick in and the lights start to flash

The Rosie Taylor Project were born in the small living room of a redbrick Victorian house in Leeds. There is no word of Rosie, but Jonny, Sophie, Nick, Jon, Sam and Shakey have a couple of LPs to their names, including this year’s Twin Beds.

The preceding single will be familiar to regular readers, but the record’s universal excellence justifies further mention for either of its standout tracks.

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And then I shot myself, so drink, drink, drink

Hospitality are and indie pop trio from Brooklyn, that formed in 2007 but, like fine wines and the best beef, took some time to mature.

Belying an appearance that suggests just another bunch of “quirky” wannabe-indie kids, Hospitality make proper pop records that deserve a much wider audience than bands with their talent usually garner. This track comes from the band’s self-titled debut LP.

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.


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