heard on the wire

We are the great unwashed

Rotterdam

I’ve just time for a few words before Suzi and I head south for a week in the Netherlands.

It will be our third visit in the last 15 months to a country that seems to get so much right where this country lamentably fails, whether it’s urban architecture, transport policy or producing technically competent footballers. They even like cricket.

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I’m lost in a world of digital sound

Pronit

Metal music, in all its multifarious incarnations, is a strange beast, lurching from the unlistenable to the uninhabitable, from the incoherent to the, well, even more incoherent.

And it’s not something that bothers me too often; there’s only so much a tattoo-free, short-haired, undenimmed 40–something-year-old man can listen to. Then something like this comes along.

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The birds fly a lot better than we do

Dandelions

Since it began broadcasting in 2006, the estimable Dandelion Radio has been the home of the “official” Festive Fifty, the annual listeners’ chart that John Peel started in 1976.

That first chart was compiled from listeners’ favourite records of all time and, with Led Zeppelin at number one, stands as a pre-punk anomaly. Henceforth the top spot would be shared by the Sex Pistols and Joy Division until 1982, when Peel retired the all-time list and introduced an annual chart. The ’82, ’83 and ’84 versions are perhaps the finest end-of-year countdowns ever compiled, reflecting a time when Peel truly was shaping the musical landscape. Later, 90s charts tended more to the dull and predictable, to the extent that Peel threatened to abandon the rundown altogether, not least because he was still totting up the votes by hand. But it survived, the last Peel 50 being chosen and broadcast in the wake of his untimely death in 2004.

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Bring me the head of Justin Bieber

Bring Me the Head of Justin Bieber is the title track of an EP by The Bordellos, who describe their music as alternative indie pop noise from the north of England. Like a great deal of good recorded music these days, the record is available through the increasingly fantastic Bandcamp, guaranteeing that a fair wedge of your purchase price—in this case it’s pay-what-you-want—goes directly to the artist.

Justin Bieber, on the other hand, is a hugely talented Canadian singer and the Bordellos’ song is an expression of envy at the boy-man’s phenomenal contribution to 21st century culture. Or perhaps not.

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You wouldn’t want a holiday in my head

Josephine

It was a spontaneous musing, brought about late one evening, by a discovered mutual appreciation of some noisy rabble or another.

“We should form a punk rock band; totally demented songs, everything under two minutes.”

It’s safe to say that these were not the circumstances that resulted in Snow Patrol.

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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.