heard on the wire

Pretending that I’ve got a clue

Lucky Soul

And so it was that in response to a Facebook meme I posted a list of the 12 LPs that have had the most influence on me, both personally and musically. And it was like looking in a mirror, for all was male and white.

So, I thought, what if the list weren’t male and white (for I like to use the subjunctive). And so I sat down with my MacBook Pro and my text editor of choice (iA Writer, since you didn’t ask) and…. Well the first few records came easily. The rest not so. This puzzled me till I realised that most of the black, female music I like is soul music, a “genre” that has always leant itself to the single rather than the long player.

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I miss the bees, I miss the honey

The  Beehive of Rungis

There isn’t enough apiculture in rock ’n’ roll. Sure, there’s plenty of metaphorical honey and in some parts records are still referred to as wax, despite that material not having been used to record music since the days of Edison’s wax cylinder, but the art of beekeeping has rarely been celebrated.

Bad Beekeeping’s list of famous beekeepers doesn’t mention any musicians, not even Sting, while finding space for quite a few people who just liked honey — and Winnie the Pooh.

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I’ve seen a million things

Moon

There are some artists who appear to genetically incapable of making a bad record, whose LPs are bought without so much as a 30-second preview. Laura Cantrell is one of them, a member of an elite club that includes New Order, Nick Cave, the Fall, Ballboy, Belle and Sebastian and Helen Love.

So it’s frustrating that No Way There From Here is Cantrell’s first original material since 2005’s Humming By The Flowered Vine. The wait has been long, but well worth it.

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You just can’t believe the joy I did receive

A “covers album” comes in one of two forms, neither of which has made much of an impression on the listening public. The first is the generally dreadful and impeccably misnamed “tribute”, which generally comprises 20-or-so bands of which you’ve never heard performing terrible versions of much-loved songs. The Smiths, the Clash and Joy Division, among others, have all suffered this disrespectful fate.

The second form, however, can excite and delight. For some, the covers LP, is an entertaining diversion, for others it’s a raison d’être, but given a good artist armed with a decent record collection the result can be terrific, though I took some convincing.

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You’re a big, fat, bigoted arsehole

I discovered Ballboy when I bought All the Records on the Radio are Shite because I liked the title. It wasn’t long before I scoured record shops for as much of their music as I could find.

The result: Ballboy lie second in my list of all-time favourite scottish bands of all-time, just behind Belle and Sebastian and marginally ahead of fellow country-tinged songsmiths, Camera Obscura.

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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.