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The Links Effect #1

July 9, 2010

Before i start i’d like to remind everyone that the new Frank Sidebottom single is out, and it would be great if he got to number one this week. You can read more information regarding buying it on iTunes here.

Well a few days ago i finally got round to putting some links on this blog, and perhaps i should explain what some of them are. Today i’ll talk about some of the music-related ones as i suddenly seem to have a following of foodies thanks to my Masterchef rants and, lovely as that is, i really don’t know much about cooking. i just made myself lunch using thyme from the garden but seem to have mostly put mud in the pan instead – at least it’ll build up my immune system i suppose.

The above photograph is of the gentleman Pagan Wanderer Lu, whose new album European Monsoon is not only out now but held in the highest esteem by us (me) here. The album sees PWL at his most lovestruck, polemic-fuelled and sonically adventurous, the strongest evidence yet that he could be the UK’s foremost exponent of indie-folky-tronica right now. i know that that’s not a genre but whatever it means he’s excellent at it. While still a foray into wonky beats and circuit bending the LP also states clearly that PWL is the best sort of singer-songwriter, and European Monsoon explores lyrically themes such as these: the ridiculousness of xenophobic ideals; pro-creation and questioning whether love is debased when viewed purely as chemical reactions in the brain and not an abstract concept; the existential processes determining that all human endeavour is worthless, and whether you should worry about it or not; rubbish local bands eating crab-cakes.

i did an interview with him a few years ago which still goes some way to describing his tune-creating process, but he’s starting a new column about how to write a good song at For Folk’s Sake. He has a new single ‘Banish Negative Thoughts’ out on 12th July, right, and look at the video bruv:

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Also on the list is Dreamtrak, a production team who have had a go at remixing the likes of Mat Riviere, Radiohead, T3ETH (why not click the little heart next to the song – if you like it – on Hype Machine, eh?) and, yes, Pagan Wanderer Lu…listen to what wonders they’ve done here, it makes me hope they’re working with Kylie or someone before the year is out:

They’re not only remixers though, they’re in A Scholar & A Physician – they’re good ain’t they – and they have a studio that they like to record in and stuff. Oh look, here’s Stairs To Korea doing that ‘vocal pop’ thing he does:

And here’s Internet Forever, doing a bit of arsing around in their studio first:

…before recording their session, like. Somebody once suggested that this was an ironic cover and got the sharp end of their tongue.

Web Frevz, as i think they were briefly affectionately known, are a mega indie-pop trio writing hyper-melodic lo-fi hi-powered supersongs that are as catchy as a nursery rhyme with a cold, or something, and their recent releases on cassette, through Art Fag / Twenty Years of Boredom and in t-shirt form have got them a laughably huge number of comparisons to Slow Club and Los Campesinos! but they’re also the band you might find equidistant between Daydream Nation-era Sonic Youth and Justin Bieber. Squeezed into two minutes, maybe in case they’re not turned down if Motown start re-operating and are looking for something ever so slightly twee. Perhaps. (Do you see why i abandoned a career in music journalism now?)

ANYWAY, this is where they fall on rock’s grand spectrum and i’m very pleased about it:

A huge supporter of all the above is the blog Sweeping The Nation, which also now appears over there –>. Their recent five-year anniversary featured an Internet Forever remix by Pagan Wanderer Lu, for instance. If you’ve never been there before (and if we were talking for them in their own self-depricating voice, you probably haven’t) here are promising signs that they’re an ace site to frequent: their current tagline is straight from a Chap song; they once gave away a 22-track mixtape of songs indebted to the Be My Baby drum beat; they do crowdsourcing journalism that looks for quality not quantity, whether by design or not; it’s named after a Spearmint song. They do a good line in analysing past UK chart rundowns as well, the most recent example being this week in 1981 when Adam Ant was at the top. They have also had connection with another ace and acerbic blog, No Rock And Roll Fun, which largely picks apart the stupidity of tabloid pop gossip, moronic rock-star behaviour and occasionally goes all squiffy about late eighties / early nineties indie. See for instance their report on why Island are surprisingly disappointed by the new Tom Jones album and why anti-BBC Tory stances are pure nasty idiocy.

That should do for now. Oh and my mate and excellent journo Laura Snapes has a new website too. Coo. i’ll add that in as well, why not.

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Hey, you guys are modern, right? Why not follow this little lot on Twitter?

@paganwandererlu @dreamtrak @stairstokorea @internetforever @sweepingnation @norock @laurasnapes

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