So…

How long before panic-buying sets in? If there’s one thing we British love to do, it’s queue for hours at a petrol station…

currently playing: 52nd Street – I Can’t Afford To Let You Go

I Love 2005: Day 10: Rusted Nails And Wasted Kisses

It’s Christmas, and I didn’t post yesterday, so this entry has a few MP3 links, loosely based around the “thrift-shop Motown/Spector” sound currently doing the rounds in Britain.

Saturday Looks Good To Me — Lift Me Up

My favourite concert of 2005 (did I really only go to four?)? Almost certainly. Stars were great, but not as intimate as SLGTM’s concert at The Windmill in Brixton. The Super Furries were fun (and not on my own! Woo!), and The Go! Team were infectious, but hearing Lift Me Up live made my year. You can read all about the adventure here (and obviously, I’m linking to that review because Betty Barnes (the singer) left a comment, and well, I like shouting about things like that), and listen by clicking above. Go on!

Kicker — Since You Left

And now! The British contingent! From the EP More Soul Than Wigan Casino on FortunaPop, this is a cover of an old Inticers record. Obviously. And it’s ace!

The Pipettes — ABC

By now, you’re probably resigned to thinking that all these records are going to have female vocals. And you’re right. Sorry. Anyway, The Pipettes, current indie darlings and all-round good eggs (or so I’m told). Their mission statement includes a dismissal of pop developed through the lineage of The Beatles; instead, they’re drawing on Phil Spector and The Shangri-Las. Indeed, they’re the current Leaders of The Pack (you’re fired — Ed.).

The Revelations — You’re The Loser

Included solely for the bit that goes “You gave me up” keyboard goes whooooosh. I do feel that the break at 1:08 should be a little longer and finger-snappy though.

Lucky Soul — Lips Are Unhappy

Tambourines! Strings! Lyrics that go “Shake. Shake. Shimmy!” Glitter and running mascara. More whooooshing sounds, “ooooooh” backing harmonies, sounding like a lost classic from a parallel 1969. “You won’t tell any one, will you?”

Kenickie — Letter To Memphis

Because Lauren blew on a melodica this morning. Or perhaps because they came first, if not actually first, then the first to make “she’s filling up with amino” dance to Be My Baby. Because their favourite MP was Dennis Skinner, and they had songs about robots, spiders, drag races, and wanting to slash other girls. Because they never complained, but annoyed Kelly Jones by having the grace to give his band a support slot. Because their mates couldn’t come out to play, but they had fun anyway. And, to wrap up for now, because they listened to The Pixies and thought Doo-Wop.

Today’s entry is sponsored by One Kiss Can Lead To Another, and It’s So Fine (Pye Girls Are Go).

currently playing: Kenickie – Stay In The Sun

I Love 2005: Day 9: Because You Can't See The Hearts

Saint Etienne — Tales From Turnpike House

Yes, I know, I’m cheating. But I couldn’t pick one song from this album (although, it’s easy to pick which song should be taken away and burnt in a rubbish bin - teaming up with David Essex sounded like a fabulous idea, but Relocate is abysmal). The neo-Bauhaus desires of Finisterre and the wishful escape of Tiger Bay have passed; Saint Etienne is finally at peace with the reality of London. The highlight is probably either Side Streets, a lush song celebrating the fact that you might get assaulted on the streets of the city, or the wonderful Stars Above Us, which contains echoes of former Etienne hits mixed in with Xenomania goodness.

Plus, if you can get hold of the 2CD version, Let’s Build A Zoo is the best children’s song of the new millennium - altogether now: “And a gnu at the end of the queue!”

currently playing: The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping

21st Century Torture

We don’t do it ourselves, we outsource.

currently playing: The Cardigans — Carnival

I ♥ 2005: Day 8: Summer-summer-time

Will Smith — Switch

The best thing he’s done since Summertime. I would write more, but I’m exhausted. Just take my word for it…

currently playing: M.I.A. – 10 Dollar

I ♥ 2005: Day 7: I Used To Be Carried By The Arms of Cheerleaders

The National — Mr. November

A perennial favourite of Teletext’s Planet Sound, you know. I’m not entirely sure why this song has found its way on to my Best of 2005 list, after all, it’s an American rock band with guitars, and this year I’ve been in a more pop frame of mind. This song is here for the admirable bombast and sheer bloody-mindedness, but mostly for this line:

The English are coming and I don’t know what to do

Oh yes, we are.

currently playing: Stars – soft revolution

Throwing Myself At Your Mercies

Okay, as I’ve said (and have said rather excitedly over the past couple of days), I have a new job that starts tomorrow. Now, one of the things I’m fairly sure I’ll need is a mobile phone. Which I don’t have, at least not one that works in this country.

So! Advice! Pay as you go? Monthly? Which of the 5,000 or so available phones to choose from? (Bear in mind that I have an iPod and a camera, so I don’t really need my phone to duplicate those functions)

I quite like this one (I’m a sucker for being able to flip open the phone and pretend I’m in Star Trek. It’s a sad affliction, I know).

currently playing: Kenickie — Rough Boys & Modern Girls

PMQs

Well, that was a blistering disappointment, wasn’t it? The hardest questions came from Charles Kennedy…

currently playing: Frente — Bizarre Love Triangle

I ♥ 2005: Day 6: Well, Shall We Begin, Children?

Hilary Duff — Wake Up

You. Yes, you at the back. Less of it.

Just listen to how it sounds; that little bubbly synth at the beginning; Debbie Gibson by way of Kim Wilde’s Kids In America fed through ProTools and coming out blindingly shiny. That rainbow effect that slides through the bridge. The way that even despite the use of Autotuner, The Duff can’t quite reach the notes for “Hollywood and Vine”, giving the chorus a fragile tint. And let’s not forget the Vanilla Sky / Abre Los Ojos-esque whisper of “wake up” running through the song.

The lyric is also smarter than it seems. The first verse is all “woe is me…I’m a fabulous pop star and I HAVE PROBLEMS!” But after the chorus, the singer realises that nobody else is doing much better, and then finally, the song ends with the thought of “well, this is pretty fantastic, actually”. Not Tolstoy, but it’ll do.

Much better than that Kelly Clarkson rubbish anyway.

currently playing: Hilary Duff – Wake Up

Relapse.

Okay, so still not well enough yet. See you tomorrow.

EDIT: And since writing this entry, I now have a job again.

currently playing: The Style Council – My Ever Changing Moods (Long Version)