Major League Music #3 -St Louis Cardinals

The Spirit of St Louis – Sea Power (2004, Toys Factory Records)

I’ve never been to St Louis, so I can’t personally vouch for this but, apparently the first thing that you do when you arrive there is look up and say, “that is a bloody big arch”.  A reference of course, to the Gateway Arch, the largest arch anywhere in the world and as it happens the largest man-made structure in the Northern Hemisphere.  It has fast become the number one reason to visit St Louis.    Saying that you would need a very good reason to go there as St Louis also has the highest murder rate in all of the USA.  Which is saying something.

One reason to go there would be to see the St Louis Cardinals, the city’s baseball team.  Which is the second most successful team in the history of Major League Baseball with 11 World Series Titles.   They are also one of the fiercest rivals of my beloved Kansas City Royals and each year they play each other six times split across the two cities in what is called the ‘Show Me Series’.  The rivalry stems from the 1985 World Series (which Kansas won in the seventh and final match).  So obviously The Cardinals are rubbish.

Last week the first of the six games took place and St Louis won 6-5.  Meaning that, as I type, the Royals have now lost four in a row.  Like I said, its going to be a long season. 

Musically speaking there is only really one place to start and that would be with St Louis’ most famous son, Chuck Berry.  If only because it makes me think of his cousin, Marvin, in the film Back to the Future, shouting down the telephone about a new sound as Marty McFly rips it up on the stage in front of his future parents.  Face facts Bill and Ted fans, that is cinemas greatest ever guitar solo.

Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry (1958, Chess Records)

For me the best artist to have come out of St Louis in recent years is Angel Olsen.  Her third album ‘No Woman’ is a thing of absolute beauty and is something that you should all listen to at least once a week.

Shut Up Kiss Me – Angel Olsen (2016, Jagjaguwar Records)

But easily, one of the most success acts to have come out of St Louis, in, well ever really, is Akon.  His 2006 track ‘Smack That’ reached number one in ten countries including the UK where it went platinum.

Smack That – Akon featuring Eminem (2006, Konvict Records)

And here is this weeks randomly picked local band.  I’ve gone for Beau Diamond, who for the second week in a row, are a band that claim to make a kind of indie garage rock sound.   Let’s be the judge of that shall we….

Masquerade – Beau Diamond (2021, Self Released)

Next week: Detroit…

The Sunday Shuffle #7

Apologies To Insect Life – Sea Power (2003, Rough Trade Records, Taken from ‘The Decline of British Sea Power’)

The first Sunday Shuffle of 2022 is a real belter.

There are not many songs written about Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but the best of them is this punky and slightly sinister sounding single by the band we most now call Sea Power. I admit it maybe in limited company but it matters not because its terrific track.

When the band first emerged their sound was somewhere in between the pop sentiments of The Psychedelic Furs and the claustrophobically edgy rock of early Joy Division and this track is a sort of testament to that sound. ‘Apologies to Insect Life’ is full of really crunchy guitars, clever words (“Oh Fyodor you really are a most attractive man”) which are delivered in a breathlessly painful yelp and collide with the military drum roll which wraps the song up.

‘Apologies to Insect Life’ was released back in 2003 as a double A side – heres the other side.

Carrion – Sea Power (2003, Rough Trade Records, Taken from ‘The Decline of British Sea Power’)

And here is an old demo of ‘Apologies’

Post Number One

Not Phil Collins.

Hello. This is a blog about music and not, badgers. If you are looking for a blog about the removal of badgers, you are in the wrong place. You are also a bastard because badgers are brilliant. Apart from when they jump out of hedges and growl at you for waking them up, then they are vicious snarling beasties from the bowels of Hell itself. Possibly. They are still cooler than you and I though.

Anyway, welcome. Feel free to say hi in the comments below.

The plan is to try and post at least one song a day. Sometimes those songs will be part of a series, like this one for instance…

Cheer It On – Tokyo Police Club

Which is the first entry in the series called “Bands who have a city in their name”.

Sometimes the song won’t form part of any series, its just been posted because it came up randomly on my iPod. For the next week at least, until I work out how to do this properly, all posted songs will be courtesy of a random shuffle. Sometimes, they will be great, like the one below, in fact and its possible that on occasion they might be rubbish, and possibly even the actual band, Garbage.

True Adventures – Sea Power

A little word about the music. It will be available for a week or so and then the links will be removed. If you like what you hear, download the artists music, or stream it on one of those streaming services that we all use so the band get paid. Thank You.