heard on the wire

Let’s hear it for that beautiful note

Helen Love Atomic

Teenagers today prefer to watch their music, The Guardian reported last year, after a survey revealed that American teens preferred to listen to music on YouTube than on any other media.

It’s difficult for anyone raised in the pre-Internet age—when having a tactile, palpable relationship to music personalised it—to understand. Even now, when “owning” a record can amount to nothing more than propriety over a string of ones and zeroes, there is still that sense of having something. By contrast watching a song on YouTube seems so ephemeral, so disposable, soulless.

Still, as a couple of fellow bloggers have pointed out, YouTube is a very convenient resource for sites such as this who’s aim is to share a little love for a tune or two. As you many have noticed, I prefer to post the music as I prefer to listen to it, unadulterated, but I do occasionally encounter a video that’s worth a second viewing.

Like this clip from BBC 2’s Later, where The Fall are so immaculate that host Jools Holland appears determined to bring it down a notch or seven at the end, just to make it fair on the other bands. Yes it’s a beautiful note but really, there’s nothing worse than a radio or TV presenter joining in. I’d have forgiven him if he’d tried to do something about that awful happy-clappy muso nonsense at the end of the previous number, but he left Mark E Smith et al to provide the perfect antidote.

The Fall :: Blindness

I’ve recently featured a track from the debut LP by Dog Party. This video accompanies the title song from Lost Control, and confirms Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles as quite the coolest pair of teenagers on the planet. I love the looks of apparent indifference on their faces, before drummer Lucy breaks into a smile at the end—as do I.

Dog Party :: Lost Control

Helen Love’s record label, Elefant, has set her latest single to film not in her native South Wales but in their native Spain. The result is a unique take on the song’s lyric and a heart-stopping denouement. A wonderful video for my favourite song of this year.

Helen Love :: Atomic

And for my favourite of 2011—a video that would give Daily Mail readers apoplexy.

Decibelles :: Bloody Bloody Whiffy Scuzzy

Related posts: He couldn’t believe that everyone in the world liked their songs; Sheena is a punk rocker.

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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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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.