A Month all about Names – #7 – Eleanor

Eleanor – Red Rum Club (2020, Modern Sky Records, Taken from ‘The Hollow of Humdrum’)

Live gigs during lockdown were an incredibly strange beast.  They were streamed live into your room via the medium of Zoom or some other platform and there we all sat watching a band over a computer.  It was a very weird experience. 

I watched one computer streamed gig during lockdown.  That was a charity fundraiser hosted by Frank Turner for the Cavern Club in Exeter, which remains, my most favourite live venue on earth (although I tip my hat to the bar in Los Angeles where I saw this lot in 2007);

Saints – Army & Navy (2008, The Fever Zone Records, Taken from ‘Army Navy’)

And so I was happy to spend the £7 connection fee, knowing that the Cavern were going to make money from it.  To try make it as gig like as possible, I pissed all over my bathroom floor to recreate that authentic toilet venue smell, paid my wife eight pounds to pour me two heavily watered down pints of beer and every now again, I got her to shove me in the back for no reason other than the fact I was standing in front of her. 

Miranda – Frank Turner (2022, Polydor Records, Taken from ‘FTHC’)

Red Rum Club were the first band I saw after lockdown, it was of course at the Cavern Club and they were incredible.  In a strange sort of way it was like being transported back to my teenage years, because I’d sort of forgotten some of the minor aspects of a gig.  That sound a plastic pint glass makes when you step on one in the dark.  That uncomfortable feeling you get in your shoes when you have been standing on a dancefloor saturated in spilt beer for too long and its all sticky.  That bizarre feeling you get when you step out of the gig and retreat to the bar and you sort of hear your ears breathing a sigh of relief (although at the cavern club it depends where you stand) as you order another pint.  That odd smell as beer mixes with sweat on the tshirts of the folks that have been dancing away at the front and they walk back past you. All of it came back and all of it left me grinning like a loon for at least a week afterwards.

There are two other songs in my music library that have Eleanor in the title.  The first one will be pretty well known to everyone who reads these pages.

Eleanor Put Your Boots On – Franz Ferdinand (2005, Domino Records, Taken from ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’) 

The Eleanor referred to in the song title is supposed to be about Eleanor Friedberger, who is the singer in the band The Fiery Furnaces, with whom Ferdinand singer Alex Kapranos was in a relationship with when the song was written. Here is a song by them which has a name in the title.

Ray Bouvier – The Fiery Furnaces (2009, Thrill Jockey Records, Taken from ‘I’m Going Away’)

The other Eleanor song in the library only arrived a few weeks ago.

Eleanor – Hot Chip (2022, Domino Records, Taken from ‘Freakout/Release’)

Tomorrow – ‘Joni’ who will be drinking a case of you.

Retrospective Musical Naval Gazing – #13 (2003)

In 2003, I changed jobs, a sort of sideways promotion if that makes sense.  I walked into my new office on my first morning found my desk in the corner of the room and immediately made it my own space.  I had a relatively big cork board to stick things like wall planners and such like to ,but instead of boring corporate things like that I stuck up a big picture of Jarvis Cocker flicking the V’s at the camera after he was arrested for apparently assaulting Michael Jackson (in reality what happened, is that Jarvis fed up with the hero worshiping and media fawning over Jacko during his ‘overblown and egowanktastic’ performance of ‘Earth Song’ at the Brit Awards that Jarvis got on stage and wiggled his backside at the audience and Jacko’s people took exception to it).  Within a week of it being there I had been asked to take it down as it ‘gave the wrong impression’.

One person had complained apparently, not that it makes a great deal of difference but that person was overtly Christian and had a picture of Jesus on her pinboard and I said that I would remove Jarvis if they removed Jesus as I found that just as offensive.  I may have inflamed the situation by suggesting that Jarvis was far more relevant that Jesus but I held my ground.  An impasse developed alongside evil stares from across the room. 

The poster stayed up until October, and then in January 2004, the space was filled with the NME calendar – more of that tomorrow.

At the end of 2003, the White Stripes topped my tracks of the year for the second time in three years.  This time it was with their guitar slinging anthem ‘7 Nation Army’.  In the office Fantasy Football Championship I even named my team ‘The 7 Nation Army’ as it had players from 7 different countries in it.  I genuinely thought that I was being really clever until some smart arse with a sharp eye and an evener sharper pencil pointed out that there were eight nations in my team and rendered the whole joke meaningless.

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes (2003, XL Recordings, Taken from ‘Elephant’)

Whilst The White Stripes may have made the best track of the year, they didn’t make the best album (as great ‘Elephant’ is). That was a one horse race that featured Dizzee Rascal, he turned up from the ‘estates of Bow’ brought with him a bunch of tunes that were in your face, delivered at 100mph, grime music that referenced Tony Blair, gangs and somehow managed to blend hip hop with theatrical operatic noises and not make it sound awful.  It made it a double first for the geniuses over at XL Recordings. ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’ came second on the track chart as well just beating Franz Ferdinand into third.

Fix Up, Look Sharp – Dizzee Rascal (2003, XL Recordings  Taken from ‘Boy In Da Corner’)

Darts of Pleasure – Franz Ferdinand (2003, Domino Records, Taken from ‘Franz Ferdinand’)

Elsewhere, my top ten contained these two belters at numbers five and six respectively.  The first one, remains one of the greatest indie ballads of all time (and according to the NME, the greatest indie first dance ever).  The second remains one of the few Indian language tracks to chart in the UK, and at the time hinted at a much anticipated bhangra fuelled summer.  Something that sadly never materialised.  It also samples Busta Rhymes and the theme from Knight Rider making it impossible to dislike.

Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2003, Interscope Records, Taken from ‘Fever To Tell’)

Mundian to Bach Ke – Panjabi MC (2003, Nachural Records, Taken from ‘Legalised’) – which if you want or need a translation means ‘Beware of the Boys’.  There is a Jay Z version of this as well, which sold over 10 million copies in the USA.

The Sunday Shuffle – #25

Seagull – Ride (1990, Creation Records)

I dropped my iPod Nano today.

 It hit the wooden floor in my lounge with a clunk, bounced slightly, flipped and then clunked on the wooden floor again.  I was about to go for a run.  I only moved to grab my keys and the stupid thing slipped out of my hand.

I picked it up, these things are hardy little chaps I told myself it will be fine.  The screen is black, but it was switched off before I dropped it.  Was it always that black? I ask myself with a shiver.  I press the little button on the top expecting to see the little apple symbol appear and then it slowly burst back into life. 

But there is nothing. 

I do a reset or try to.  Nothing.

I rub the screen, thinking that it will make a difference, I try the on switch again, I turn the volume up and then down again.  Still nothing.  

I decide to leave it for a bit, its probably just dazed.  I go for my run and when I get back, I do all the above again and then I plug it into a laptop which tells me with an angry sounding beep that “The Device is Not Recognised”. 


The iPod Nano is buggered. 

It’s one of my most precious possessions, we’ve travelled the world together me and that Nano.  We’ve run around the back streets of various towns, villages, cities, fields and tracks together.  We’ve clambered up rocks on Dartmoor together, we’ve walked around the chaotic old town of Tbilisi, we’ve watched street magicians in New Orleans, travelled in a lift to the top of the Calgary tower, we’ve watched the mist roll in across Lyme Bay as I sat on a well positioned bench and nibbled a Chelsea Bun. 

And I dropped you. 

Today’s track is therefore chosen by my phone and it was followed by this

The Dark of the Matinee – Franz Ferdinand (2004, Domino Records)

But frankly I’m not in the mood today.

The Sunday Shuffle #8

Formed A Band – Art Brut (2004, Rough Trade Records)

Todays shuffle comes courtesy of Alexa. This is what came on first, when at around half past ten last night I said “Shuffle my music”.

When Art Brut first arrived on the scene back in 2004, the band were quickly lumped into a scene that the NME had (again) invented. This scene was called ‘Art Wave’ and other members of the scene apparently included The Rakes, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. I have no idea why it was called ‘Art Wave’ possibly because all the bands went to art school and their music had a distinct New Wave feel about it. Who knows?

I only own two songs by Art Brut, this, obviously, and a cover version of a Cure song (‘Catch’) that they did for the aforementioned NME about ten years ago (which Songwhip doesn’t have, sorry). The band have a kind of spiky guitar sound (which is probably best described as ‘post punk’) that fits in with the singing style of their singer, Eddie Argos. Argos kind of half sings and half speaks, something that is very popular in music at the moment.

I hear a lot of what Yard Act and to a lesser extent bands like TV Priest are doing right now in what Art Brut were doing fifteen or so years ago (but Fall fans would have said the same thing in 2004 about Mark E Smith I suppose, curmudgeonly trailblazer that he was).