heard on the wire

We are history and I’ve heard it all before


My teenage self would be horrified, but it’s occurred to me that a lot of the music I listen to these days is made by old rockers. Just this week I’ve been entertained by Costello, New Order, the Jam, Modern Lovers and David Bowie. It’s as if the 20th century never ended.

Such listening certainly puts paid to the notion that rock ’n’ roll, or pop music, or whatever you want to call it, is somehow ephemeral, a notion occasionally put forward in counterposition to the “timelessness” of classical forms. That just seems vainglorious now. It’s nearly 70 years since Fats Domino kicked off the rock ’n’ roll era and popular music; old rockers are now just another part of its rich history.

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Slam dance the cosmopolis


Some bands go on and on, churning out record after record, selling millions, flying the world in private jets, filling stadiums. Others go quietly about their business, putting smiles on the faces of the few lucky enough to hear their music. These aren’t the bands you’ll hear on daytime radio—you’re lucky to hear them on nighttime radio these days—and who’ll never to get to join Jools for the jam sketch.

They may leave a substantial legacy, like the recently retired Ace Bushy Striptease, or they may just leave a handful of songs that can only leave us thinking what might have been.

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I’m waiting for the winter, hoping for the rain


We’ve had snow on the ground for a fortnight now and but with the freezing weather due to abate this weekend, this may be a last chance to post some seasonal tunes on the theme of brass monkeys.

Snow has already been done, so we’ll stick to the kind of songs that conjure up thoughts of two pairs of socks, firewood and glühwein, starting with a one-man band from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Put away visions of banjos, harmonicas and foot-pedalled bass drums. Brian Hancheck, aka The Arctic Flow, is an altogether more sophisticated blend of dreamy shoegaze and indie pop. This track is from a new EP, which is only available on CD—what is this, 1998?—though it can be streamed from his Bandcamp page.

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I never want to see you again

Like Wikipedia, I know next to nothing about The Popguns, save that they made several lovely, jangly records of the kind that went out of fashion in the late 80s only to make a resurgence in recent years.

I do know that they didn’t make my favourite record of 1989. That would be The Stone Roses’s Made of Stone, but monstrously good as that is it doesn’t quite have the charm of my pick for a song-from-each-year-of-my-life.

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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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