heard on the wire

A love that lasts all time

Today I went into a record shop and scanned the rack of leftovers from Record Store Day. Therein I briefly considered spending £27.99 on a remastered version of a record I already own in its original version.

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The world is filled with silly love songs

Cranes

Mooted themes for this post included, places I have lived, the reasons we like the music we do (and don’t like the rest), the nature of change and the futility of staring at a blank document and hoping for inspiration.

Whereas the theme should really be, here are some records I’ve listened to over the past few months that I’ve liked a lot. Plus none that I haven’t. Which, in the light of the nature of this blog, is about as relevant as it’s possible to be.

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You can’t beat a boy who loves New Order

DeeDee

There are some bands who get a free pass, whose new records will be bought without a second thought, who even manage to survive the occasional indiscretion.

The Fall, Half Man Half Biscuit, Nick Cave, Helen Love, the Wedding Present and Cinerama are definitely on that list, but top of it are New Order. That they’re top is odd in some ways, since of them all they have perhaps committed the worse indiscretion — the mediocrity that was their last full LP, Waiting for the Sirens’ Call whose low points, the title track and the Scissor Sister-accompanied Jetstream, are such an execrably bad records that I stopped buying every version I could find, something I’d been doing since I bought Temptation on seven- and 12-inch.

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Don’t feel guilty, don’t go crazy

SPC eCurveO

The recent launch of Apple Music has got me thinking about the nature of music discovery. Just a few weeks ago I’d have said that the days of human curation, of finding music via primarily the radio, were numbered. The digital age had brought digital curation, machines telling us what we might like, algorithms interpreting our collective buying habits to suggest our next purchase.

Apple has decided that’s not enough. Human DJs are back, which is fine if those DJs are in tune with you. For me that hasn’t been the case since, first, the immense John Peel died, 11 years ago now, and his spiritual successor in many ways, Rob da Bank, was ghettoised by Radio One’s emphasis on genre programming. It’s not going to change with the names on Apple’s Beats payroll.

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This is confusion, am I confusing you?

Britpop

We were a bit more transatlantic than the Fred Perry and Adidas brigade. We never asked to become part of the Britpop club, all that Cool Britannia shit: Noel Gallagher shaking hands with Tony Blair. I thought: “It’s not meant to be cosy!”

I was going to write a long post about Britpop, but the musical equivalent of Blair really isn’t that interesting. So, in a nutshell, Britpop was either wonderful or dreadful; take your pick.

Will Hodgkinson in The Times recalls a time when he listened to “songs that rejected the alienation of alternative rock for a celebration of the everyday”.

“Britpop, with its songs about getting nicked for smoking a joint and dressing in ill-fitting clothes was for and about people like me,” he says. “Kitsch, irony, disco dancing, kitchen-sink observation and beery hedonism.”

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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.