heard on the wire

A preoccupation with originality destroys originality itself…

Ted Moult

This blog’s been on a bit of a nostalgia trip lately so it’s about time we returned to the present, or thereabouts, with some music from this century.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been late to an indie party, but I like to think I’m fashionably late. Public Service Broadcasting are a London-based duo who snip up public information and other recordings of yesteryear and lay them over a rich musical mixture of pop electronica.

Their debut LP, Inform Educate Entertain, was released in May 2013 and includes this track, which samples The Conquest of Everest, a 1953 film charting the first recorded ascent of the mountain, by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

Public Service Broadcasting :: Everest

Nikolay Chernyshevsky was a Russian revolutionary who had a considerable influence on a young Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. While the latter’s more familiar moniker, Lenin, assures lasting fame, Chernyshevsky is destined to remain in obscurity.

Now Chernyshevsky had little to say about popular music. As far as we know he neither kept a journal of Russian folk tunes nor sold bootlegged copies of the latest Tchaikovsky works. But he did say something on the nature of originality, that most overrated of virtues.

A preoccupation with originality destroys originality itself, and true independence is given only to those who do not stop to think of the possibility of not being independent. … A man who has any real content will not worry unduly about originality.

Which thought takes us from the Himalayas to Los Angeles and a four-piece known as Blonde Summer, who make music which while scoring nothing for originality scores lots for being good. Hardly overworked, they’ve produced two mini-LPs in four years, the second about a year ago (I know, there’s fashionably late and down-right rude). The first tracks seems apt.

Blonde Summer :: Slow Days Fast Company

Also scoring highly on the not-giving-a-fuck-about-originality scale, henceforth known as the Chernshevsky Index, are Bleached. LA neighbours of Blonde Summer, sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin make music with guitars and we can’t have too much of that.

Bleached :: Dead in Your Head

Bleached share a record label, Dead Oceans, with another US band, A Place to Bury Strangers, whom I have unforgivably neglected to date. Time to put that right with a track from their latest LP, Worship, who bear more than a passing resemblance to Jesus and the Mary Chain. And that, as I’m sure Chernyshevsky would have agreed, is a good thing.

A Place to Bury Strangers :: And I’m Up


Photo: Ted Moult: “Fit the best, fit Everest.”

Related posts: Twitter: Public Service Broadcasting; Blonde Summer; Bleached; A Place to Bury Strangers

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