Song of the Day #37.

LCD Soundsystem – Get Innocuous!

Oh LCD, how I love thee. How I wish I’d seen you more before you so meanly split and didn’t let anyone see you ever again (bastards). Even snazzier, I managed to catch them in Berlin, the line up also included Boys Noize AND Hot Chip. Even with just those three acts, thinking about it, the line up was brilliant. So do enjoy this tasty piece of the Soundsystem, hit yourself for not having seen them when you could, and then get involved in their back catalogue. If you happen to have a further ten spare minutes, may I recommend the Soulwax (who were on the same bill again) remix, can be found just below. Soulwax, too, are immense by the way.

A Study Of A Pilton Field.

In a dilemma about what to see at Glasto? Clashfinder confused you even further? There’s plenty you WANT to see, but it’s physically impossible to see EVERYTHING? (A great shame).

Well worry no further, for here are my recommendations for Glastonbury 2010, including the big and the small, what to avoid, the unmissable, and the “go and see if you have bugger all else to do”. The latter being a dismal prospect as there should always be something to do on Worthy Farm.

(Dear lord, I am so excited)

Since the music starts (sort of) on Thursday, let us, too, start there. Having said that, there are minimal acts, therefore a very small proportion are actually good, so I give you Beardyman.

A beatboxer with a wicked sense of humour, how could you not want to see him? Hopefully he’ll come in full kitchen regalia, including wig. He’s performing on the WOW! stage at around the 8 o’clock. Miss him and you’ll have to watch Boy George afterwards. Unlucky. Also on Thursday, Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs are starting things off, at 1pm on the Pyramid Stage. Yes really. Not hugely known for their variance from song to song, they categorise themselves as “skunk” – a fusion of punk and skiffle. They are, however, a lot of fun, and a good way to start your Thursday at Glastonbury off. Try after an incredible breakfast from Veggie Heaven, just next to the Other Stage.

Friday – This is where it starts to get really interesting. And messy. We are all, of course, ecstatic that U2 are no longer performing – I thought they pulled out because they suck (therefore no one would go to see them), but apparently it’s to do with Bono’s health or something else that no one cares about. As a replacement, we have the wonderful Gorillaz, who I thought were just a small side project. But no, they are EPIC. This will be an epic performance, including many guests and potentially Damon Albarn crying again, although the latter is probably unlikely. Have a peek at their performance on Jools Holland, and if you’re poor, their latest album (+backcatalogue) resides on Spotify.

Also on Friday, may I recommend Hot Chip (their new album is WINNING), Seth Lakeman (I LOVE HIM, on at Croissant Neuf), Simian Mobile Disco and Boys Noize. This last chap is a German electro DJ, and awesome. He’s on last thing on Dance West, just after Simian, and definitely worth exploring.

Saturday – Muse suck so no one’s going to see them. It seems it’ll all be happening on what they are this year calling “West Holts”, which is in fact the Jazz World stage. Let’s just call it Jazz World. Everyone KNOWS it as Jazz World. It might not all be jazz, but at least it says “stuff here may be controversial”. Anyway, George Clinton is bringing his two bands, Parliament and Funkadelic, to it that evening, and although they seem to get a groove on and stick to the same melody/rhythm/tune for the next five minutes, it will still be much more fun than “I have to be so bloody epic all the time” Muse.

Also for Saturday… Seasick Steve is on the Pyramid, though I’d rather see him in some ranch in the middle of America I think (should be good though!). Devendra Banhart could be an option if there’s nothing else to see, along with Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra – both on West Holts. Which means pint of strawberry cider at the same time. The Unthanks turn up on the Avalon Stage (very folky, very good), and and and – the band I am most excited about for Saturday – The National! On for a mere hour on t’Other Stage, they should suitably sap all the happiness from you, and leave you with a mellow, realistic look on the world for a few moments after. And then The Cribs take over (I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THESE WAKEFIELD WEIRDOS) and you shall be shaken back to reality, and will run far, far away from the Other Stage.

Sunday – As has previously been said, you can see Stevie, but he will not be seeing you. There’s even been a somewhat impractical suggestion of braille flags so there’s a chance he can get on-board with the waving flag vibe. Though it may be impractical, the suggestion did tickle me somewhat. Anyway, Stevie Wonder is to be the highlight of Sunday (he’s just too cool to miss, surely?), along with Faithless just before him. A few hours in front of the Pyramid Stage means time for wedges and pint, and you can get your groove on some electronica before singing along with everyone else to ‘Isn’t She Lovely?’ with Mr Wonder.

Sunday also includes LCD Soundsystem, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and Grizzly Bear for your enjoyment, although most of them clash (told you it got messy), and you DO have to weigh up which is better to see based on value for money, how regularly they perform, if you will ever see them again, and if it’s worth missing one of the other bands.  A great shame.

Generally speaking, the idea seems to be to avoid the main stages unless there’s something AWESOME on (as they get hideously busy and don’t seem to offer good quality music), look for the smaller things, have a handful of Definites, some Maybes, and use the rest of the time to experience something you’ve never done before.

Later With Jools Holland – 14th May.

This week’s ‘Jools’ had performances from The National, LCD Soundsystem, Kelis, Crowded House, Tracey Thorn and Pete Molinari. Two bands obviously stand out here (the first two), and the others didn’t make much of an impression, but hey! It’s still music…

Now. The National. I do quite like this bad (like A LOT), so this may be something of a biased review, but – whatever! As much as I’d listened to their music, I’d never actually seen them, and for some reason I imagined the lead singer to be a little scruffy, possibly with long hair and wild eyes. I didn’t expect all of them to wear suits… But luckily this doesn’t turn them into wankers, and their music is OUTSTANDING. They played three songs from their new album (‘High Violet’) – Bloodbuzz Ohio, Anyone’s Ghost and Terrible Love, and despite being something of a dismal baritonal type sound, I love the vocals, and the lyrics are incredible, and how they keep coming out with such good songs is unbelievable. I’m not sure if I’ve heard a song of theirs that I don’t like… Their new album is fantastic. Buy it. And I get to see them at Glasto! Lovely 😀

LCD Soundsystem – Like with The National, they didn’t get to play enough songs, but what they did play was very good indeed. This was another band that I didn’t know much about as a band, only musically. And not really much then, but their new album also sounds good – possibly even to buy, not just Spotify. They had some excellent lighting going on too, and for some reason Mr Murphy reminded me of a cross between Gene Hunt and Morrissey (and had a very strange microphone), but it was good stuff and I’d be up for seeing them live. Good thing I am then!

Crowded House – Too 90s, and not in a good way. I mean the name of them just says ‘I know you know I came from the 90s, but I’m going to make a stab at being indie landfill anyway’. It wasn’t wonderfully impressive, but better than previous aged musicians that Jools has previously had (Ian Hunter, for example). Not much else to say… Listenable too but not exactly exciting.

Tracey Thorn was this week’s ‘bird with the piano’ (Jools tends to be a little formulaic sometimes…), and it was better than in recent weeks (better than, say, Kate Nash). Although the best part of it was the string section I feel. It was pretty but, like most singer-songwriters, not that different from everything that came before them. Not bad music but nothing special. Easy on the ear though.

Kelis – Right. Now, what? The singer who, malevolently, gave us ‘Milkshake’ (a song which lends its name so well to other subjects, not least of all ‘My magic brings Voldemort to the yard, and I’m like, that’s hurting my scar’ – a vast improvement you could say) appears to have turned into some strange Grace Jones-esque character, sporting various parts of animal (horns, tails, what-have-you), with exceptionally odd make up and barnacles for jewellery. So the appearance isn’t great. What about the music? 90s-themed electronic-infused weirdness. This was not what I was expecting. There were some small moments of ‘Oh actually that’s quite good’, but I think I was too vexed by the whole thing to appreciate it. Not that I think I could have really anyway – it was too 90s rave! The whole thing was a little controversial I’d say, and not really the sort of thing I’d listen to… Though it seemed a good performance and one can commend her for that. Bloody weird though.

Last but not least, Pete Molinari. Who? I hear you ask. Well, quite. He sort of gave an 1950s twist to his music, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but like nearly every single other musician that has existed ever, it just wasn’t that inspiring! There was nothing new or innovative about it, and it’s not that music HAS to be new or innovative (I suppose that depends on what you really want from your music), but surely there isn’t much point in just churning out music that has already been done before? (Hence, what the hell is the point in tribute acts?) Luckily, he didn’t have much screen time. His music, like the other singer-songwriters, wasn’t offensive to music as such – perfectly fine for background music – but that has the potential to be the biggest insult ever sometimes. Oh dear…

Next week! Alicia Keys (a dubious ‘hmmm’ springs to mind), Yeasayer (unpronounceable – bad start) and Jeff Beck. The Creole Choir of Cuba look the best option here. Not that I know them, but with a name like that, surely they can’t disappoint!