Tag: XTC

My favorite music: 1983

My favorite music: 1983

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1983. (Spotify users, check out the accompanying playlist and subscribe!) Robert Plant, The Principle of Moments -- While I would in no way claim that Robert Plant's solo output bests Led Zeppelin's music, a lot of times I simply prefer to listen to Plant. In fact I'd say that Plant has enjoyed one of the most artistically rewarding solo careers of any artist who was part of a popular band that I can think of. The Principle of Moments is probably my favorite Plant solo effort (next to Fate of Nations) -- he sounds freed from the constraints of creating larger-than-life rock and the music just crackles with energy. "In the...
Album review: Field Music – Field Music (Measure)

Album review: Field Music – Field Music (Measure)

Music
For fans of Sunderland's indie pop masters Field Music, the two-plus years since their announced hiatus felt like anything but.  Scarcely a year after the January 2007 release of Tones of Town, co-founder David Brewis released an album under the School of Language banner.   That was followed up in August '08 by the self-titled debut of brother Peter's project, The Week That Was.  To confuse matters even further both albums were only nominally solo efforts, as each brother contributed to the other one's disc. So while I greeted the news of Field Music's official resurrection as a musical concern with enthusiasm, it was hardly a shock.  I'll just chalk the whole hiatus thing up to artists needing to be artists, and leave it at that. All of which brings us to the first proper Field Musi
Listening Booth – XTC, “Making Plans for Nigel”

Listening Booth – XTC, “Making Plans for Nigel”

Listening Booth, Music
If any song is the epitome of New Wave it's XTC's brilliant "Making Plans for Nigel", from 1979's Drums and Wires.  Bassist Colin Moulding delivers this piece of musical bliss, rather than driving force Andy Partridge (seen with the striped guitar).  It should be pretty obvious that this is not a "live" performance, but that was standard for ToTP.  It's better than a still image. Here's XTC on the legendary musical showcase Top of the Pops, miming "Making Plans for Nigel":
Album cover of the week: Go 2

Album cover of the week: Go 2

Album Cover of the Week
Our friends at Hipgnosis return with another memorable entry.  But whereas their last appearance here was all about a striking and surreal image, this week is just the opposite - no image at all.  It is the second album from New Wave/post-punk legends XTC, 1978's Go 2: That's a lot of words, innit?!  Here's what it says: This is a [place album format here in all capitals] COVER. This writing is the DESIGN upon the [place album format here] cover. The DESIGN is to help SELL the [place album format here]. We hope to draw your attention to it and encourage you to pick it up. When you have done that maybe you'll be persuaded to listen to the music - in this case XTC's Go 2 album. Then we want you to BUY it. The idea being that the more of you that buy this [place album format here] the
The best (at least in terms of my iPod)

The best (at least in terms of my iPod)

Music
Creating and maintaining an iPod playlist with my favorite songs has been an interesting experience for me. I call the playlist "The Best" not because I really think these are the best songs ever, but because they are the ones that resonate the most with me. As the playlist has grown (it's now at 46 songs) some items of note have emerged. The first is that two of my all-time favorite bands, Kiss and Rush, are not represented once on the list. The second is that although I'm a pretty upbeat guy most of the time, I seem to respond the most to songs that are more subdued or melancholy. The third is that if a song has strong vocal harmonies it automatically wins points with me.So with that, here is the current list of The Best, with some commentary. As a side note, at least a few of these c...
Gray Flannel Mixtape – 10 Classic B-sides

Gray Flannel Mixtape – 10 Classic B-sides

Music
Looking back, mixtapes sure were a pain in the ass to put together. But man, were they fun. So for just a minute, let's imagine iPods don't exist (I know, scary) and we are putting together a new one. The ground rules for the songs on this mixtape are: Each song was released as the B-side of a commercially available single. The songs did not appear on a regular album (at least not at first). No more than one song per band. I must like the song (the critical part). "Total Eclipse" (Iron Maiden) - Over the years Iron Maiden has compiled what is probably the strongest collection of B-sides in heavy metal history. This one nearly made it onto the group's seminal 1982 album, The Number of the Beast, but was left off and instead included on the "Run to the Hills" single. Th...