heard on the wire

I believe in life and I believe in love


There are three things that people learning English find more difficult than anything else, for which they deserve the utmost sympathy.

The first is knowing when to use the simple past tense — I wrote those words moments ago — and the present perfect — I’ve just written these words, which is a skill even the Americans have yet to master. The second is phrasal verbs, those unique constructions that take two words to make a verb that often has little or no relation to its formative lexicography and often contain confusing, unrelated and sometimes contrary meanings that are impossible to precisely define: for example, stand by, which, roughly speaking, can mean to wait or to support; or take on, to employ someone or to challenge them.

The third is prepositions — which depend on what you think about and what you’re capable of. When practising prepositions it falls to me to ask my students what they believe in. The muslims invariably say “god”; the various agnostics and atheists are usually less certain. (Despite Belgium’s Catholic origins, there appears to be little commitment to that cause).

All of which prompts me to ask myself what I believe in, which pretty much boils down to this: equality, regardless of people’s background, skin colour or “race”, sexuality or gender, religion, luck or “talent”. And good music, which is at least relevant to today’s opening selection.

Beliefs’ Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe met at a party in Toronto and discovered they shared a love of the Jesus and Mary Chain and their shoegaze offspring. You can tell.

Beliefs :: Catch My Breath

Dubmatix is also from Canada, but that’s where the similarity ends. Where Beliefs are all fuzzy guitars, this is a bass assault on the senses that feasts on reggae’s rich heritage, which is as about as mixed as this metaphor. Rebel Massive is the ’matix’s fifth LP; I hope the as-yet-unlistened-to preceding four will reveal treasures just as rich.

Dubmatix :: She’s in Love

From dub to club, specifically The Wednesday Club, a Leeds trio. All the name-your-price proceeds from this record go to a charity of the band’s choosing.

Wednesday Club :: Buckingham Gun

Wednesday Club aren’t from Sheffield and French Club aren’t from Belgium or that other country close by. Rather they’re from Ohio, with a tendency to head east. Their debut LP is called Shit Talk, but isn’t. Nor is this a cover of a U2 song.

French Club :: October

And finally a track from an LP that was released last year on Bandcamp but is sadly no longer available. The artist has promised to rerelease it later this year on vinyl. In the meantime this is a track from one of the loveliest, most blissful bits of electronica you’ll ever hear, even if the name looks very much like a typo.

Splitter :: Bournout Syndrome

Of course, this is what I really believe in, but the world that I live in keeps trying to prove me wrong.

The Jam :: Running on the Spot

Photo: Belief – Neon sculpture by Joe Rees by Steve Rhodes; some rights reserved

Twitter: Beliefs; Dubmatix; Wednesday Club; French Club.

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One Response

  1. John says:

    I’m so very glad I got the Splitter LP before he removed it from Bandcamp. Lovely album.



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