Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Playlist: Blood on the Front Row

I'm off to fabulous Barcelona today for the Primavera Sound festival, so this month's musical digest is going up slightly earlier than usual. There will be no new blog posts while I'm away, although I may fire off the odd update from Spain over on Twitter (I'm @TheAlbumWall).

Anyhow, here to tide you over in my absence are ten of the songs that have run barges through my ear canals over the past few weeks:

1. From Nails to Thumbtacks - The Baseball Project
(from 3rd)
My first blog post of May 2015 compared wrestling with baseball, and 3rd with The Mountain Goats' more recent album about professional wrestling. Wrestling emerged victorious from that comparison, at least in the grit stakes, but this true story of superstar-turned-carjacker Lenny Dykstra demonstrates that America's pastime does have some fairly gritty stories of its own.

2. Foreign Object - The Mountain Goats
(from Beat the Champ)
"I personally will stab you in the eye with a foreign object!"
But why, John Darnielle!
"For an object!"
Oh, you mean the championship belt?
"For an object!"
I see.

3. Wish Upon a Bar - Frog
(from Kind of Blah)
It's hazy and it's understated, but this Pinocchio-referencing gem may well be my favourite track from Frog's excellent Kind of Blah.

4. She's a Lady - Pulp
(from His 'n' Hers)
If His 'n' Hers is the adolescent equivalent of the more grown-up Different Class, then She's a Lady is the former's I Spy: a sprawling, strutting song (with a bit of spoken word thrown in for good measure) that pits two potential lovers against each other.

5. Until the Next Life - Mansun
(from Little Kix)
When I revisited Little Kix earlier this month, I was rebuked by many Mansun fans who wondered why I hadn't mentioned Until the Next Life on my list of tracks from that album that are actually worth salvaging. I still don't think it's as good as I Can Only Disappoint U or Butterfly (A New Beginning), but it's okay, I guess.

6. Adrian's Wall - Inc.A
(from Inc.A)
I saw Inc.A live this month for the first time in ages. I can't quite remember whether or not they played this one (I *think* they did) but either way, it's a spectacular centrepiece for their EP.

7. To Be Remembered - ESKA
(from ESKA)
I read a review of ESKA recently (I think it was from The Observer) and it singled To Be Remembered out as a particularly forgettable moment on an otherwise stellar album. For my part, To Be Remembered is actually one of my favourites. My own review of ESKA can be found here.

8. Through a Long & Sleepless Night - The Divine Comedy
(from Casanova)
This song is the dramatic climax of The Divine Comedy's Casanova, which I picked up from a local charity shop earlier this month. Like most Divine Comedy songs, Through a Long & Sleepless Night contains a line about a horse.

9. Through the Knowledge of Those Who Observe Us - Errors
(from Lease of Life)
Long, unhurried, and gorgeous, this is the grand finale of Errors' new album and, unlike most >10min closing tracks, it's not mostly silence.

10. Theme - Cars Can Be Blue
(from All the Stuff We Do)
Cars Can Be Blue bounced back into my rotation in a big way this month, and their triumphant, crashing theme song seems like the perfect way to close this month's playlist.

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