FROM THE SOUTH-WEST CORRESPONDENT…NOTHING BUT A ‘G’ THANG

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Yesterday I bought the little one a new toy. It’s a puzzle thing based around the alphabet. The idea is you put the pictures with the letter that they begin with, so the monkey sits in the space next to M etc. It’s really difficult as you can imagine. However, me being me, decided to add an element of fun in it for me. So this morning I said to myself which ever picture she pulls out first, I will write about three songs by bands beginning with the same letter. So after the cornflakes were wiped off the floor and the spilt milk had been cried over (must stop doing that) we tried it out.

Please don’t pull out the Xylophone I thought to myself, having not really thought this idea through.

She looked at the box, she picked up her toy dog and then….She picked up the picture of the grapes. So, if you haven’t already guessed by the title, three songs by bands beginning with G. I should add, I set a couple of rules, they are the song or the band can’t have been written about by me recently, that’s it simple. I have songs by 29 bands or artists who begin with G and luckily none of them are by Guns and Roses.

Before I start, one of the little ones favourite songs in the world (right now) is Pure Imagination by Gene Wilder (she’s also massively into Fuck Buttons). I’m going to post that, its not one of the three, but I like to think that she is a genius and that she understood exactly what I was asking her to do, and Gene begins with a G. And if you don’t absolutely love this song then you have a no soul and a heart made of concrete. Anyway…I digress, as usual.

mp3 : Gene Wilder – Pure Imagination

For a song about the rape and murder of a girl, Diane by Gravenhurst is pretty lovely. It is of course a cover version of song first recorded by Husker Du, it was also covered by Therapy? as well in the 90s but you should if you value your ears ignore the Therapy? version as much as you would if Richard Madeley offered to buy you a pint.

Gravenhurst is essentially a vehicle for the singer songwriter and multi-talented musician Nick Talbot who originates from Bristol. He started out as a solo artist but expanded the band for live shows and then started recording as a band. Their first album The Flashlight Sessions (which is remarkable people by the way) sounded quite folky and sat somewhere between Simon and Garfunkel and Bright Eyes (see what I did there, completely unintentionally?). When Talbot beefed the band up for the next couple of albums, they come across a bit psychedelic with a perhaps a sly nod to the shoegazing scene. They are quite a dark band, the lyrics are atmospheric and a bit moody. ‘Diane’ comes from the second album Black Holes in Sand which was released in 2004 on Warp records. The fact they signed to Warp records, home of ear shredding techno, still makes me chuckle.

As I said earlier, the song is about the abduction and killing of a child, but Gravenhurst and its quite a sinister song. The fourth line goes ‘I think I’ll just rape you and kill you instead’, but it the way that its sung, you are not supposed to like it, its not supposed to be lovely but it kind of is. I’ve said before that a cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart was my favourite cover version. In the last eight minutes I’ve changed my mind to this song. It is all about the voice. It sounds friendly not viscious and nasty and that is what makes it so brilliant.

mp3 : Gravenhurst – Diane

Staying on the cover version theme, I will move briefly onto to Glasvegas. I have avoided the big songs we all know (and love?) by Glasvegas and I’m not going to go on about them because we all know enough about them by now. I downloaded a single of theirs a few months back called If which was taken from their excellent third album – the album is a return to form by the way and you should check it out. The third track on this single was a cover version of the PJ Harvey single The Words That Maketh Murder. At first I was sceptical, I mean the song was only a few years old at the time and I’m pretty sure that the ninth rule of music states ‘Thou must not cover PJ’ had Glasvegas stepped over the line, again? I’d be intrigued to hear what people have to say about it. Me, I think they just about pull it off. They should probably never do it again though.

mp3 : Glasvegas – The Words That Maketh Murder

Finally not a cover version, but my favourite song by a band beginning with G and a band who are sadly no longer making records. A few years back, a band called Girls emerged out of San Francisco, the singer Christopher Owens claimed to have been raised into the fundamentalist cult Children of God but absconded at the age of 16 and discovered punk rock and nihilism. At 25 he formed a band with Aerial Pink called Holy Shit, who were probably not as good as their name. Their first album called Album was released in 2009 to a hail of deserved critical acclaim. It is a wonderful mix of lofi, surf rock, pop and punk.

In July 2011 the band returned with Vomit the first track from second album Father Son and Holy Ghost they gave it away as a free download. They should have released it as a single because its wonderful. It is a completely amazing record which to me showed signs that Girls were on the verge of being something incredible. To me it is a very honest song, very open. Owens sounds like he is speaking directly to you in it, and the varied styles of music continue in it to devastating effect, there is a little bit of gospel, some jittery new wave stuff, the hushed vocal, the acid rock guitar solo and then the bloody organ kicks in, when you hear the chorus going ‘Come into my heart, my love’ you understand why it has so many styles. In clocks in at six and bit minutes but all of it is wonderful.

mp3 : Girls – Vomit

Then after the release of the album (which you should buy the minute you stop reading my waffling on) Owens split the band up to go solo. His first solo album Lysandre was a folksy ballad kind of affair and was pretty rubbish. The bastard.

So that is G done. I’m going to be brave here and say – please someone suggest the next letter. But let’s not make it X or Z my library is thin where they are concerned.

S-WC

 

 

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Parts 51-55)

Back on 8 October 2011, I started a series called ‘Saturday’s Scottish Single’.  The aim was to feature one 45 or CD single by a Scottish singer or band with the proviso that the 45 or CD single was in the collection. I had got to Part 60-something and as far as Kid Canaveral when the rug was pulled out from under TVV.

I’ll catch up soon enough by featuring 5 or more at a time from the archives..

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(51) Friends Again – Honey At The Core b/w Lucky Star : Moonboot Records 7″ single (1983)

Read more about Friends Again here

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(52) Frightened Rabbit  – Fast Blood b/w Soon Go  : Fast Cat Records : 7″ single (2008)

Read more about Frightened Rabbit here 

NB : Part 52 was actually Be Less Rude/Sing The Greys but I featured this on T(n)VV a few weeks back.

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(53) Geneva – No One Speaks b/w Closer To The Stars b/w Keep The Light On :  Nude Records CD single (1996)

Read more about Geneva here

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(54) The Gentle Waves – Falling From Grace b/w Going Home b/w October’s Sky b/w Hold Back A Thousand Hours : Jeepster Records CD single (2000)

The first solo recordings released by Isobel Campbell who at the time was still part of Belle & Sebastian. Also worth mentioning that Falling From Grace has been one of the most downloaded tracks I’ve ever made available….

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(55) Glasvegas – Geraldine b/w The Prettiest Thing On Saltcoats Beach b/w Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime : Mercury Records 2 x & 7″ singles (2008)

Read more about Glasvegas here

Parts  61 -65 next Saturday…..