THE MIDNIGHT BLUE
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

 

Los Campesinos! - "You! Me! Dancing!". Cardiff's Los Campesinos! have an exclamation mark in their name, like the Go Team!, are signed to Wichita, like the Go Team!, and blaze fucking technicolour, like the Go Team!. But while the punctuation, the label and the razzle-dazzle are familiar, they don't particularly sound anything like the Go Team!: instead it's the glockenspiel indiepop of The Delgados, The Winks and Ballboy. Boys sing with girls, nonsense is bellowed, calm gives way to dancebeat rock'n'roll. It starts all coy, playin' with atmospherics and anticipation, but come 1:38 you'll know what the song is about - a cycle of guitar, drums and glock that'll wear you ragged. They're a group that makes me wish I was in a band; it's a song that makes me wish I was a piece of vinyl.

[MySpace]


Kim Doo Soo - "Wild Flower". This is from a compilation called International Sad Hits, Vol. 1: Altaic Language Group. It's a record compiled by Damon & Naomi, with contributions by four Asian singer-songwriters who are veterans in their scenes - compared in the press notes to the likes of Tim Buckley, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake. This is by far my favourite cut on the record, something soft and a little broken by Korea's Kim Doo Soo. It opens with a clip from Badly Drawn Boy's "Stone on the Water" (thanks aleska!), violin trembling under disjointed organ phrases. When Kim Doo Soo's voice appears it is balanced delicate on the line between melancholy and maudlin. As the song rises around him - harmonica, plucked fiddle, - and returns to the opening melody, the maudlin aspect's totally gone. It's just plainly sad.

[buy / read Damon's StG guestpost from April 2005]

---

Shake Your Fist shares Robin Allender's version of The Snowman's "Walking in the Air". Allender used to record as The Inconsolable. The Snowman was one of my most cherished childhood films: a spinning musicbox version still sits by the bed in my old room at my parents'. Allender's rendition is not quite slow enough, but as Amy says it is a "sugar-dusted murmur" - quiet as my whisper at the first sight of snow.

For something very strange, see IRN BRU's version of The Snowman (and "Walking In The Air"), featuring a fly-over of the Forth Bridge, Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, George Square, and other suitably Scottish landmarks. IRN BRU is of course a Scottish soft drink, made of girders.

Scots should join me at Damien Jurado in Glasgow tonight. (Turns out this was last night - dammit!)

(Best of Year contest winner(s) will be announced next week when StG presents its favourite music of 2006.)

Posted by Sean at December 7, 2006 3:00 AM
Comments

IRN BRU´s version of The Snowman is absolutely gorgeous and really phenomenal:)tx a lot
btw planning to come ´Dùn Èideann´ somewhere at the end March, possible tips or more or so...
Peter

Posted by Petr at December 7, 2006 3:38 AM

The Go! Team are on Memphis Industries, not Wichita. But you're very right about Los Campesinos!

Posted by Simon at December 7, 2006 12:07 PM

The opening is from Badly Drawn Boy's "Stone on the Water".

Posted by aleska at December 7, 2006 12:29 PM

thank you both!

Posted by Sean at December 7, 2006 1:34 PM

Damn, and I was just going to send you Los Campesinos for the Best of Year contest...that song really is addicting.

Posted by UtB at December 8, 2006 3:10 PM

just because of the emphasis on punctuation - isn't it the Go! Team?

Posted by elliott at December 9, 2006 11:51 PM

damn! i missed that best song of 2006 contest! been busy with college for awhile.

anyway i just want to named the song, i hope you haven't heard it yet.

let see... OH! IT'S SO HARD!

try this... Jamie Lidell's "Game for Fools (Mara Carlyle ukulady mix)" from his Multiply Additions album

Posted by dh at December 10, 2006 6:26 AM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

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PAST AUTHORS
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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