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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Belle & Sebastian – Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying

Day 7 (G) and we’re going with some delightfully twee, melancholy pop music. Belle & Sebastian’s Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying is an ode to feeling constrained by your environment. About the overwhelming desire to break free from the monotony of everyday life.

Taken from their second album, If You’re Feeling Sinister, this is one of my favourite Belle & Sebastian songs. I hope you’ll agree.

As there is no official video fro Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying, I have found this fan made video which which utilises edited footage from the film IL POSTO. It seems to work very well, in my opinion.

Ooh! Get me away from here I’m dying
Play me a song to set me free
Nobody writes them like they used to
So it may as well be me
Here on my own now after hours
Here on my own now on a bus
Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us
With our winning smiles, and us
With our catchy tunes, and us
Now we’re photogenic
You know, we don’t stand a chance

Oh, I’ll settle down with some old story
About a boy who’s just like me
Thought there was love in everything and everyone
You’re so naive!
After a while they always get it
They always reach a sorry end
Still it was worth it as I turned the pages solemnly, and then
With a winning smile, the boy
With naivety succeeds
At the final moment, I cried
I always cry at endings

Oh, that wasn’t what I meant to say at all
From where I’m sitting, rain
Washing against the lonely tenement
Has set my mind to wander
Into the windows of my lovers
They never know unless I write
“This is no declaration, I just thought I’d let you know goodbye”
Said the hero in the story
“It is mightier than swords
I could kill you sure
But I could only make you cry with these words”

Oh, get me away, I’m dying…

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Indie Rock Music

Song of the Day (A-Z): Dinosaur Jr – Feel The Pain

Day 6 (F). Feel The Pain is an essential indie anthem. The urban golf video is just wonderful too. I generally prefer the classic Dinosaur Jr lineup of J. Mascis, Lou Barlow & Murph, but there’s still plenty of good stuff to be found in the ‘90’s lineup.

I feel the pain of everyone 
Then I feel nothing 
I feel the pain of everyone 
Then I feel nothing 

I feel the pain of everyone 
Then I feel nothing 
I feel the pain of everyone 
Then I feel nothing 

Is it up to me? 
You won’t wait to see 
Screwed us both again 
About as close as you dare 
I feel the pain of everyone 
Then I feel nothing 
I feel the pain of everyone 
Then I feel nothing 

Is it up to me? 
You won’t wait to see 
Screwed us yet again 
About as close as you dare 

Hey now, take it back 
Get off me, you’re sad 
Trailin’ on your scene 
Just try and keep it clean

And because I want to share it and we could all use some wholesome content right now, here’s a pic of J holding a koala:

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Indie Rock Music Poetry Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): The Cribs – Be Safe (feat. Lee Ranaldo)

Day 2 (B) of the Song of the Day challenge.

Be Safe is a bit of a weird one. It’s a collaboration between Wakefield indie rockers The Cribs & Sonic Youth guitar maestro Lee Ranaldo. Only Ranaldo isn’t playing guitar. He’s giving a spoken word performance of one of his excellent poems.

There isn’t an official video for Be Safe, and rather than just link to the official audio I found this excellent fan made video. It’s perfect to me.

One of those fucking, awful black days
When nothing is pleasing and everything that happens
Is an excuse for anger
An outlet for emotions stockpiled, an arsenal, an armor

These are the days when I hate the world
Hate the rich, hate the happy
Hate the complacent, the TV watchers
Beer drinkers, the satisfied ones

Because I know I can be all of those little hateful things
And then I hate myself for realizing that
There’s no preventative, directive or safe approach for living
We each know our own fate

We know from our youth, how to be treated
How we’ll be received, how we shall end
These things don’t change

You can change your clothes
Change your hairstyle, your friends, cities, continents
But sooner or later your own self will always catch up
Always it waits in the wingsIdeas swirl but don’t stick
They appear but then run off like the rain on the windshield

One of those rainy day car rides, my head implodes
The atmosphere in this car, a mirror of my skull
Wet, damp, windows dripping and misted with cold
Walls of grey, nothing good on the radio, not a thought in my head

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

Lets take life and slow it down incredibly slow
Frame by frame
With two minutes that take ten years to live out
Yeah, let’s do that

Telephone poles like praying mantis against the sky
Metal arms outstretched
So much land traveled, so little sense made of it
It doesn’t mean a thing, all this land laid out behind us

I’d like to take off into these woods and get good and lost for a while
I’m disgusted with petty concerns
Parking tickets, breakfast specials
Does someone just have to carry this weight?

Abstract typography, methane covenant
Linear gospel, Nashville sales lady, stocky emissary
Torturous lice, mad Elizabeth

Chemotherapy bullshit

I know a place we can go and I’m falling

The light within you shines like a diamond mine
Like an unarmed walrus, like a dead man face down on the highway
Like a skunk, eating it’s own tail
Steam turbine, frog farm

Two full closets burst open in disarray, soap bubbles in the sun
Hospital death bed, red convertible, shopping list, blow job
Deaths head, devils dancing, bleached white buildings, memories 
Movements, the movie, unfeeling, unreeling, about to begin

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

I’ve seen your hallway, you’re a darn call away
I’ve hear your stairs creak, I can fix my mind on your yes
And your no, I’ll film your face today in the sparkling canals
All red, yellow, blue, green brilliance and silver Dutch reflection

Racing thoughts, racing thoughts, all too real
You’re moving so fast now, I can’t hold your image
This image I have of your face by the window
Me standing beside you, arm on your shoulder
A catalog of images, flashing glimpses then gone again

Untethered to the posters soak in me, every clear afternoon now
I’ll think of you, up in the air, twisting your heel
Your knees up around me, my face in your hair
You scream so well, your smile so loud, it still rings in my ears

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

Imitation, distant, tired of longing, clean my teeth
Stay the course, hold the wheel, steer on to freedom
Open all the boxes, open all the boxes
Open all the boxes, open all the boxes

Times Square Midday, newspaper buildings
News headlines going around, you watch as they go
And hope there’s some good ones, those tree shadows in the park
They’re all whispering, shake some leaves

Around six p.m., shadows across the cobblestones
Girl in front of bathroom mirror, she slow and careful
Paints her face green and mask like
Like my cheese, portrait with green stripe

Long shot through apartment window
A monologue on top but no girl in shot
The light within me shines like a diamond mine

Like an unarmed walrus
Like a dead man face down on the highway
Like a snake eating its own tail
A steam turbine, frog pond

Two full closets burst open in disarray, soap bubbles in the sun
Hospital death bed, red convertible, shopping list, blow job
Deaths head, devils dancing, bleached white buildings, memories 
Movements, the movie, unreeling, about to begin

Oh, great by me
Yeah? Mine were alright, wasn’t my best one but who cares?
That’s the spirit

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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Idlewild – Actually It’s Darkness

As a way to ease the boredom of lockdown I have decided to participate in the Song of the Day challenge proposed by fellow blogger William. I will be choosing a song a day for each letter of the alphabet. Also inspired by William, I will reproduce the lyrics to the song where possible (ie. unless it’s an instrumental song).

For day 1 (or day A) I have chosen Actually It’s Darkness by Idlewild. This was the second single to be released from their excellent second album, 100 Broken Windows. As far as I know it’s the only single to chart in the UK top 40 with the word ‘actually’ in it’s title, reaching #23 in March 2000. It’s a melodic slice of post-R.E.M. indie pop with typically clever lyrics, catchy hooks and a chorus which is anthemic in an understated way.

You thought the fire could protect you from it
But why have you been so, why have you been ill informed?
I felt that fire could protect me from everything
You’re just too gullible

Actually it’s darkness, I don’t know what I’m scared of
It’s darkness, I must be scared of something
You must be scared of something, quite quite special

You shed a shade of shyness
You shed a shade of shyness
You shed a shade of shyness
Why can’t you be more cynical?

I knew the winter could protect me from it
One box if film won’t make it all go cold
I thought that winter could hide me from everything
I’m just too gullible, for words

Actually it’s darkness, I don’t know what I’m scared of
It’s darkness, I must be scared of something
You must be scared of something, quite quite special

You shed a shade of shyness
You shed a shade of shyness
You shed a shade of shyness
Why can’t you be more cynical?

I don’t look the same in the photograph
I need to look the way I did in the photograph
By mentioning places it will all become clear
If we speak the same language, you’re a deeper darker reason…

You shed a shade of shyness
You shed a shade of shyness
You shed a shade of shyness
Why can’t you be more cynical?

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Indie Rock Post Punk Punk

Wire – The Art of Persistence

I was surprised, pleasantly, by the release of a new Wire single today. A reworked version of The Art of Persistence from their forthcoming compilation of reworks and stray (I’m guessing they mean unreleased) tunes, 10:20.

10:20 was initially conceived as a Record Store Day exclusive but after the organisers pushed the event back due to the pandemic, Wire decided to release the album on 19th June, reading it today with The Art of Persistence. Originally intended as a vinyl only release, 10:20 will be released on all platforms in the absence of Record Store Day. 

The Art of Persistence is a hauntingly atmospheric slice of almost elegiac New Wave. The lyrics seem to detail failed attempts to communicate, saddened by the anxiety of failure. “Persistence, survival, a test of the wills”, sings Colin Newman, giving this Communicative impasse an almost competitive element which is helped along by the quick pace of the songs galloping rhythms. 

Wire previously released Small Black Reptile in March, which also appears on 10:20. Both singles are available now from digital outlets & streaming services.

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Indie Rock Music

Pavement, live at the Khyber Pass, 30th July 1992

As a massive Pavement fan, I was extremely pleased when YouTube user Pete Sounds uploaded this amateur camcorder footage of an early ‘90’s Pavement gig as a gift for indie rock fans in quarantine.

It’s a delightfully noisy set full of classic tunes from their first album, Slanted and Enchanted and earlier. It also contains a couple of tunes from the Watery Domestic EP – Frontwards & Shoot The Singer (One Sick Verse) – as well as older tunes like Home & Debris Slide.

Its good to see original drummer, Gary Young, and his crazed energetic stage presence. Especially on the incendiary version of personal highlight, In The Mouth A Desert where he stands on his drum stool for the intro, before dropping down onto it in time to play the opening drum fill with anxious precision.

Here’s the excellent track list

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Indie Rock Music Punk

Underground Rockers Vol.2

I came across this interesting 1992 compilation album while searching for Suicide Alley by Manic Street Preachers, as research for a piece I’m writing about Lo-Fi music. Not only does this compilation include Suicide Alley, but it also includes the B-side, Tennessee (I Get Low). This was later rerecorded for their debut album proper, Generation Terrorists, but this lower fidelity version was just what I was looking for for my Lo-Fi piece.

The original sleeve for Suicide Alley/Tennessee (I Get Low), 1988. Not at all inspired by the first Clash LP. image courtesy of Discogs.

Underground Rockers Vol.2 contains two songs each from several bands: H.D.Q., Senseless Things, The Abs, The Price, Manic Street Preachers, Identity and Suspect Device. It’s pretty much a punk album. It ranges from shout along ’70’s style, ’80’s hardcore and even ’90’s pop punk. I had personally never heard many of these bands before but I enjoyed the album and thought it deserved some publicity. It is an excellent time capsule for the British punk scene in the early ’90’s.

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Indie Rock Music Punk

Thurston Moore – Various Pandemic Bandcamp Releases

Since the start of the lockdown, Sonic Youth guitarist & singer Thurston Moore has been steadily releasing unreleased archive material on his Bandcamp page. Since Moore has been kind enough to publish the lyrics to each track, and because he’s one of my favourite lyricists, I’ll reprint them here.

It started on 23rd March with TELEGRAPH which was written while touring with his former band Chelsea Light Moving in 2014. This track was originally performed on KEXP-FM under the title The Exstasie but later remixed in London.

Here’s where the mantra begins 
Where the wildfires reach for the wind 
Blue days break for yr pleasure 
And the gold rays color yr skin 
Here’s where we make our commotion 
Where the amplifiers all cry 
Raise yr guitar to sky devotion 
Let the high priests sing out the night 
And where do all the evil crazies go 
The drunken dripping demons down below 
This is where the messages rise above 
Shooting stars and candles lit for love 
Here’s where we fall into light dreams 
Where the flowers sweetly incite bees 
Yr guitar is a honey suck angel 
Drumsticks play in the free breeze 
And why do all the oceans erupt 
And all the mountains crumble to dust 
Destruction with no hope and no prayer 
Telegraph yr soul into the clear 

Next came a track called SUNDAY STAGE on 29th March. This was recorded circa-2013 by Chelsea Light Moving.

Sunday stage 
The ripped up page 
We’ll stay up late 
Til sunday babe 

Hush Arbors 
The dripping slurs 
The crushing verbs 
The smashing thirst 

NO GO, released on 4th April is a straightforward punk thrasher. Another Chelsea Light Moving recording from 2013.

SAY WHAT YOU WILL 
STAY WHERE YOU ARE 
SAY WHAT YOU WILL 
STAY WHERE YOU ARE 
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO 
NO GO 
NO GO 
NO GO 
NO GO 

INSTANT TRANSCENDENT CONJECTURE followed on 15th April. This was recorded by TMG (Thurston Moore Group) in 2016 during sessions for their Rock n Roll Consciousness album. According to Moore, it is a “cryptic suggestion into the realization of the poem as a springing into nature.”

WILD CRY STREAKING HEART REACTION 
ELEKTRO SOUL MAGNETIC ATTRACTION 

SOUNDING ROOM TELEVISON 
FREEDOM FLOWERS LIVE EXPLOSION 

INSTANT TRANSCENDENT CONJECTURE 
FEROCIOUS COHERENT REFLECTOR 

WILD CRY STREAKING HEART REACTION 
ELEKTRO SOUL MAGNETIC ATTRACTION 
REALIZATION COMPELLED TO RAPTURE 
COMPELLS A POEM TO IT’S CAPTURE 

MAY DAZE, released on 1st May is another Thurston Moore group recording. In the words of Thurston it is “a soundtrack for our usa sisters + brothers to register as voters today, if you still need to – we can change the world – free all political prisoners – insurrection for common decency – rock n roll consciousness – more to come”.

You must be on some kind of revolution kick 
Modernity is on the line and says you’re making them sick 
Wars and borders, prisons and swords we don’t understand how 
Let’s already overthrow overthrowing now 

I’m not the type of guy 
Who wants to change the world 
She’s not the type of guy 
He’s a new century girl 

Transparency especially in your soldier’s dress 
Screw policy if you’re in prison then we’re the one’s under arrest 
Star children have taken over they’re broadcasting peace 
Time and space have no place for a sister who needs to be free 

I’m not the type of guy 
Who wants to change the world 
She’s not the type of guy 
He’s just a new century girl 

You took me by surprise 
When you dared me to 
Glitter everything with change 
And i’ll break the rules with you

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Indie Rock Music

Rosie Tucker – Arrow (Jeffrey Lewis Cover)

Singer/songwriter Rosie Tucker’s new single is a cover version of the Jeffrey Lewis track Arrow, from his 2003 album It’s The Ones Who’ve Cracked That The Light Shines Through.

“We were having a really hard time arranging it because it’s an unusually structured song,” Tucker told American Songwriter . “It’s just kind of a deluge of words and then it ends.” The first half of the cover follows the original fairly faithfully, with Tucker’s trancelike vocals floating over a sea of effect pedal guitar noise and subdued cymbals. This psychedelic guitar soundscape is courtesy of Tucker’s guitarist, Jess Kallen’s pedalboard. It’s the second half of the song, however when the bass and drumming begin, that Arrow really starts to differ from Lewis version. It morphs from an anti-folk anthem into a more straight forward indie rocker, albeit while retaining the psychedelic feel. Tucker practically screams the lyrics in places, giving it a raw edge which I imagine makes live performances of this particularly exciting. This is in stark contrast to Lewis’ original, which consists exclusively of fingerpicked acoustic guitar, voice and tape hiss. It has a much more subdued feel.

As well as the single, available from all good streaming services and digital music distributors, Tucker has put together a lyric video for Arrow. The video consists of footage of their native Los Angeles which they has taken whilst walking around during the quarantine. I particularly like the glitch-art aesthetic.

For those unfamiliar with Lewis, here is the original:

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Kurt Cobain, starstruck with heroes

Starstruck Kurt Cobain standing with Eugene Kelly (Vaselines) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub). Both bands are well known to have been among Kurt’s favourites. Nirvana even covered Vaselines tunes Mollys Lips, Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam and Son of a Gun. Photo by Stephen Sweet.

As a bonus, because I feel bad sharing a single picture and little other content here’s some music by the men in the photograph.

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