Day 20: Boxpops at 11:10am, anyone?

The Go! TeamThe Power Is On

A glorious mess, combining half-remembered Sundays dreading the start of Ski Sunday on BBC2 with the style and sass of a New York playground. I’ve read interviews with the founder member of The Go! Team; he’s apparently unhappy with how American Thunder, Lightning, Strike sounds. To which I say: bobbins. Part of what makes this record so great is the unexpected mix of different sounds. Unlike, say, Lemon Jelly, who are quite content to stay noodling in their little Oliver Postgate world, The Go! Team rise above simple nostalgia, creating something new and exciting from battered old C90 cassettes.

currently playing: Zwan — Baby Let’s Rock

Day 19: Courtesy of Chapel Hill

Epic 45I’m Getting Too Young For This

I fell in love with this record at precisely thirty-eight seconds after it started. The gradual buildup at the start threatens to give way to a traditional rock ballad, but, at the last second, it turns away and instead heads down the path less travelled; walking on a trail already mapped out by Disco Inferno, but worth further exploration.

As I said last time I talked about this song, it’s the way the vocals are hidden beneath the melody that really attracts me to the bulk of the song, how you get snippets of vocals coming through before they get lost in the mix again. The feeling of gazing off into a sunset on a warm evening. Nice thoughts as the temperature goes Arctic.

currently playing: Dubstar — Anywhere

Day 18: What Will The Neighbours Say?

Girls AloudLove Machine / The Show

Shut up. These are the best two pop songs produced by a UK act this year. Infused with a New Pop sensibility (the two tribes reference is obviously between the sexes, but also a Frankie Goes To Hollywood name-check), dripping in metafiction overtones (and yes, I almost always fall for that), and backed with jaunty electropop tunes. How could they fail?

In an attempt to claw back some credibility, I must admit that I have no idea what any member of Girls Aloud looks like, let alone their names. Along with Toxic and a song yet to come, we have proof positive that Pop Is Not Dead. It was only kidding.

Vilify me in the comments.

currently playing: Britney Spears — Toxic

Day 17: Streets Like The Rest Of Them

The DelgadosThe City Consumes Us

There it sits, lurking in the middle of Universal Audio. It starts with a sad piano. Twenty seconds later, a female voice starts to sing “faces familiar full of regret / I hated this place / And all who came from it”. Escape from the city, trying to get away from the scum of Notting Hill, before realising you’re just the same as them. The city-virus has infected you, and no matter how far you run, you will always hear the beckoning call of the traffic and look wistfully at the streetlamps spelling out words in languages yet to be discovered.

This is that song. A random walk through the city, coming to terms with your fate, and yes, even embracing it. You can disappear and reappear in amongst the back streets and the end of days, melting into the night with a smile on your face.

currently playing: Modern English — I’ll Melt With You

Day 16 — Mr. President? Mr. Senator?

EminemMosh

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=718&e=10&u=/ap/20041210/ap_on_re_us/soldier_s_pay

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20041213/ap_on_re_us/soldiers_scrounging

http://www.epic-usa.org/Default.aspx?tabid=440

http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,11697828%255E1702,00.html

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20041215/ap_on_re_us/marine_columbine

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6712828/

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1266247.htm?fp_news_stor

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/16/national/16stress.html?oref=login&oref=login

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/041215/325/f8mqi.html

http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2004/12/15/war_funding_request_may_hit_100_billion/

(I know what I said, but I changed my mind)

currently playing: Young Heart Attack — Mouthful of Love

Day 15: One More Day With You

United State of ElectronicaTakin’ It All The Way

Firstly, a moment of silence for our former Home Secretary.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I’m sorry, I’m just in a very good mood right now. Who says that you don’t get what you want at Christmas? And what a tune to soundtrack this evening of rejoicing; indie geeks channelling Daft Punk and getting their dancing shoes on. Vocoders! Washing-machine effects! It’s about going to a city of stars and having a big party! Awesome!

It can be heard: here. Now, go and listen, and dance.

currently playing: Saint Etienne — Wood Cabin

Listen, can you hear?

In the distance, there is a low rumble. If you strain your ears, you can hear the sounds of tens of thousands of comic fans logging on to the Internet, screaming “YES!”, and then sobbing tears of unbridled joy.

Grant Morrison. Frank Quitely. Superman. Coming next year.

I need a tissue.

currently playing: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Into My Arms

Day 14: Something You Do

The ConcretesSay Something New

Every music poll needs a token Swedish entry. Give a warm welcome to The Concretes, then, an indie-pop band from Sweden (naturally. Because if they were from Finland, it would mess things up some what). Say Something New does the standard trick of stealing the drum beat from Be My Baby (the poor thing — it’s like one of those petrol stations that you hear about; one that gets robbed one day, then the robbers come back the next day, and the next), and combines it with odd, slightly stilted female vocals. Shut up. It’s nice, and indie-sounding, and I realise that this probably isn’t causing you to rush to Kazaa or HMV to check them out, but every once in a while, it’s good to curl up with something that reminds you of five years ago, heading down to Vinyl Exchange and Piccadilly Records on a Thursday morning to get the week’s new singles (yes, while most people’s grant money went on cigarettes and alcohol, mine went on CDs and concert tickets).

currently playing: Beth Orton — Lean On Me

An Apology

Call And Response’s new album got lost behind the back of the huge sofa that is my hard drive. I’m currently listening to Silent Chill, and it’s rather good in a Stereolab-type fashion. Please accept my apologies, o slightly-obscure American band, who provided a song that soundtracked November 2002 for me!

currently playing: Call And Response — Silent Chill

Day 13: Don't Waste Your Time On Me

Blink-182I Miss You

I did warn you it was going to get worse. I feel slightly ashamed that I like this, considering I’ve hated almost everything else that Blink-182 have released, but I do. I am a sucker for the gentle guitar strumming and piano bits at the start, the “we’re a rock band and we’re doing a ballad, so we’re going to need an industrial vat of strings over here!” backing, and I fell for the way the second verse appears to be from a different song entirely; the first was all hopeful, but the next opens with the cry of “Where are you?” and then goes on to talk gibberish about spiders. Like all good pop songs, it knows not to hang around. You get two verses, then it’s straight into the breakdown and fade-out. None of this dallying around, coughing and spluttering while waiting for the string section to pack up and go home (Mr. Gallagher, I’m looking in your direction).

Yikes, admitting to liking a Blink-182 song. 2004 has been an odd year…

currently playing: R.E.M. — Parakeet