I am not that guy who listens to pop music anymore. I did hear 30 seconds of the Korean dance phenom once, 15 seconds of that I was searching for my radio remote. Mr & Mrs Jepson and their sweet daughter Carly Rae could live down the street for all I know, with Beyonce’s little sister, Solange, hanging out and having slumber parties. It’s getting to the end of the year & time to look back over 2012 and wonder if any of this new shit that has come to light has made an impression.
I do have a tendency to stick with the tried and tested. New music needs a little time to make its mark. That way you don’t have too many MGMT albums on your shelf (and one is too many). I was looking at Uncut magazine’s list of the best LPs of 2012 and 3 of the top 4 are by men in their 70s ! So, these first three are by artists who know their way around and don’t need help to get there.
The Original and the Best. The King of roaring, melodic guitar music reclaims his crown. Bob Mould’s “Silver Age” LP takes the classic “Copper Blue” noise as its starting point but this is no retrospect revival. It is Mould re-stating his primacy in a field where he has been much imitated but never bettered. He sings of his descent over ringing ascending chords and I give thanks to Jah that music can still affect me like this does.This is music for bouncing off the walls to. Single of the Year.
“Come On You Lot” is a football anthem of a song, Chicory Tip meets Mario Kart 64. It is from “On The Hot Dog Streets” the first LP by Go-Kart Mozart for 8 years. G-K M are Lawrence, off of 80s indie-rockers Felt and then the brilliantly caustic Denim, along with probably the few people he still talks to. Lawrence has never been shy of voicing his distaste for the many things he finds irksome. He has had some trying times, he’s over 50 now and there is not a great deal in 21st century Britain he finds positive. I love his sardonic take on our world and have plenty of time for his music, “novelty rock” or not. This song, remembering the England World Cup win of 1966 and casting a more than jaundiced eye on 2012 is the Xmas #1 round here.
For more than I want to say about “On The Hot Dog Streets” click this. http://thequietus.com/articles/09403-go-kart-mozart-on-the-hot-dog-streets-review. There will be more here on Denim soon.
The Drive-By Truckers lost bassist Shona Tucker at the end of last year and this will make the band less easy on the eye. No matter, the D-B Ts, along with Wilco are the best bands in the US of A. And don’t be giving me any old flannel about any of those college graduates growing beards and pretending to live in log cabins while channeling the parents’ Crosby, Stills & Nash records (there I’ve said it). Patterson Hood, as befitting a scion of fine southern music, has always respected its legacy and reflected it in his songs.
From his solo LP “Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance”, “Come Back Little Star” is a beautiful tribute to his friend Vic Chesnutt. Vic, partially paralyzed and wheelchair bound at 18 made some wonderful and challenging music before he died in 2009. I once sat at the front of the stage and saw Vic just pour it all out until we were all wrung out. This song is a fitting remembrance. I like the Truckers, especially when they have that touch of Warren Zevon nihilism. I like it too when Patterson Hood just sits and plays his songs.