Thursday, June 28, 2007

Plans And Apologies

Yup I know that blogging youtube videos is lazy and not MAN'S blogging but sometimes we have to make exceptions.

I'm like everyone else - when you see an embedded clip with someone telling you that you simply MUST see it ROFL LMAO etc, you hesitate, you sigh, you begrudgingly click and 99% of the time it's a cat falling off a handbag and you end up hating yourself.

But my friends - I'm here to tell you that this is different. You may not ROFL, you may not LMAO, you may only vaguely LOL, but it's not idle speculation when I say Plans & Apologies are the best band you will see this week (OK...when I say that, I'm kind of hoping you watched a lot of the shit on at Glastonbury at the weekend and that might stack the odds in P&A's favour..)

They could be and should be MASSIVE - but they're wise beyond their years when it comes to the current state of the "industry" and continue to plough their own, deeply sexy, furrow. To get an idea read the increasingly bizarre bloggings at If you like the songs behind the videos below, then they have quite literally LOADS of mp3's to download from the same website.

Anyway they have employed two amazing young film makers to put together a video for each side of their upcoming single on Exercise 1 Recordings (released jointly on their own Pandaz Pop Records)

MeeToo is directed by Darius Powell. Animation by Darius Powell and Glenn Millington.

And if that animation has left you frustrated to know what these handsome young boys look like then they are revealed in all their butch glory in the next one - probably one of the few political songs that doesn't make me wince & manages to be pure pop at the same time.

Mel Gibson's...Iraq! is directed by
James Sharpe

I promise to get back to old-bloke reminiscing about late 80's indie soon...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Chet Baker

I've been meaning to post about this track since the beginning of time - The Chet Baker Quartet's recording of Tom Adair & Matt Dennis's extraordinarily self-pitying "Everything Happens To Me" from the Legendary Barclay Sessions recorded in Paris November 1955.

A month before this was recorded, Chet's pianist, Dick Twardzik died of a heroin overdose and the rest of the quartet went home traumatised to the US. Chet carried on recording with local musicians and cut some amazing tracks.

One of my favourite ever Jazz vocal recordings - the majority of the Paris recordings were instrumental but Chet didn't even pick up the trumpet for this one. It's quite probable tht he'd sold the instrument for smack, but wait until 2:27 and see if it gets you like it gets me when Chet "sings" the trumpet solo. If that's not musical perfection I don't know what is.

There are other things that I love about this take - the way Chet hits the notes so perfectly on the line "but now I just can't fool this head that thinks for me" around the 1:37 mark - the delicate syncopation at 2:12 where it sounds as if the pianist has stopped to light a cigarette, and of course the line "everytime I play an ace, my partner always trumps..." still makes me giggle like a schoolboy (I know it shouldn't..i'm trying to be a jazz afficionado here.)

Chet Baker Quartet - Everything Happens To Me

Not bad for a smack head eh? I'm still astounded that people with such heavy habits could record music as subtle and beautiful as this - up next on Frankosonic it's the Babyshambles..what?

Chet Baker In Paris (The Legendary Barclay Sessions 1955-1956) - Buy at Amazon