The Sunday Shuffle #22

Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes (2011, Sub Pop Records)

For today’s randomly shuffled track I took myself and the iPod into the garden. I decided that the herb patch at the back of the garden needed tidying up. It had become a massive jumble of weeds, young stinging nettles, old mint plants and deep underneath all that some fresh strawberry plants which need air free space to prosper. I looked at my old gardening gloves, they were not going to protect me from the stinging nettles – so for laughs I decided that the song playing at the time that I received my first nettle sting would be todays randomly chosen track.

The gloves did rather well as it happens, it was eight songs in, when I uttered a word more suitable for tomorrow’s series followed by a more refined exclaim of ‘bastard’. The song that was playing was the title track from the second album from Seattle alt country indie folksters Fleet Foxes. Its a record that I know very little about and additionally its a record that I have barely played in the ten or so years that I have owned it. It sounds a lot like in parts the works of Crosby, Stills and Nash according to the reviews. The NME hated it and called it ‘Canoe Music’, which is actually rather witty for the NME. The BBC on the other hand loved it, calling it a thing of beauty. So there we go.

Oh two tracks that survived the stinging nettle test

Welcome to the Cheap Seats – The Wonderstuff (1991, Polydor Records)

Compute – Soulwax (2004, PIAS Records)

A Linked Series #4

Yeah (Crass Mix) – LCD Soundsystem (2004, DFA Records)

The fourth instalment of our linked series sees us stay in New York City but it sees us move across the city from the trendy art studio warehouse parties of say, Williamsburg, to the more gritty and urbane area of Brooklyn.  Here we find James Murphy and his merry band of cowbell bashing, keyboard mangling, guitar swinging heroes, LCD Soundsystem hosting the greatest party you have been to.

The Crass Mix of ‘Yeah’ was the second LCD Soundsystem track that I ever heard, the first was obviously ‘Losing My Edge’ and by the time I’d heard that I was already hooked.  The Crass Mix of ‘Yeah’ just hammered home the fact that LCD Soundsystem were about to become as important to me as Primal Scream, Spiritualized, and the Jesus and Mary Chain already were. 

‘Yeah’ is marvellous, it’s the sound of several songs banging on the same door whilst James Murphy and occasionally Nancy Whang repeat the words “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” over and over again (and you see why this song simply had to follow anything by the actual Yeah Yeah Yeahs).  Its starts off as a disco song, well sort of.  A cowbell bashing, acid inspired mash up of a disco song perhaps and by the end of it some nine and a half minutes later it’s smacking Josh Winks ‘Higher State of Consciousness’ round the chops with a knackered synthesizer.

It bleeps, it crashes, it bangs, strops, swoops, speeds up, slows down, man, It even contains bloody bongos and its still close to being the greatest fun you can have in nine minutes with your clothes on.

Frankly, I don’t want to leave this party, but we have to, our next destination is calling us,

Do we want to go and visit some other bands that Nancy Whang has sung with

E Talking – Soulwax (Nite Version feat Nancy Whang) (2004, PIAS Records)

Or perhaps we could check out some of the other bands hanging around the DFA label – and why on earth wouldn’t you – it’s one of the greatest labels in the world.

Happy House – The Juan McLean (feat Nancy Whang) (2008, DFA Records)

Actually, I’d forgotten that Nancy Whang is also in the Juan McLean from time to time as it happens – so this would be a double link…..then again she is in most of the bands on the DFA roster from time to time. 

But if we want to turn our back on hip New York labels and try something a little bit closer to home we can head to Glasgow and explore a different sort of soundsystem (and you should explore this because its incredible)

Back In the Dayz – Mungos Hifi feat Catching Cairo and Gardna (2021, Scotch Bonnet Records)