Current Plays

I’m still on a bit of a Bruce break before delving into the Top 5* next week so here’s a little of what I’m playing at the moment.

Jets To Brazil – Wishlist

After the demise of the punk-leaning Jawbreaker, Blake Schwarzenbach went indie-rock with the more melodic Jets To Brazil. I love the line “If ever I should seem to take for granted, this lovely life that I have been handed, darling don’t just stand there, come knock me around.”

JJ Grey & Mofro – King Hummingbird

A band I found via House of Cards and have explored a little more since. A real earthy, blues/rock jam band feel with plenty to enjoy. This is from their fifth album Georgia Warhouse and is the kind of ballad that Chris Robinson would have given his right arm to write / sing.

Chamberlain – Lovely and Alone

On the subject of bluesier sounds…. I got into Chamberlain thanks to one of those long-since departed record shops that had notes / guides from the staff: “for fans of…” “..latest project from…” sort of thing. Formed by members of hardcore band Split Lip, Chamberlain saw them move into a more mature sound and focused on the vocals, never really cut through despite getting a pretty solid fan following. I got hold of Exit 263 while they were still around and later found out that it’s actually a collection of demos they compiled for release after it was rejected by their label. Shame…

Talking Heads – And She Was

Because nothing beats a classic.

One more?

Prince – Sometimes It Snows In April

Because his music is now up on Spotify I’ve been building my own Purple play list. Sat at the piano saying goodbye to his alter-ego from the Under The Cherry Moon film…

 

 

*Tricky as, definitely for the Top 4, the order from this point could change daily.

**They’re like buses: you wait years and then two Black Crowes references in as many posts. Maybe I’ll dust off The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

Tracks: Let’s Go Crazy

Undoubtedly a song that’s all over the airwaves and social media today but…. this post was in the works already and it seems fitting enough to push it through now.

Heading home yesterday evening I flipped open twitter and caught the rumours of Prince’s death before confirmation from his publicist changed it into a breaking news story. Shocking doesn’t do it justice.

It’s hard to recall the first Prince song I heard / knew. He was everywhere in music in the 80’s and into the 90’s. Nobody had such a prolific period of constant hits and a career-long streak of strong music.

I do know, though, that Purple Rain remains an ice-cold slab of perfection. There’s not a track on the album I skip. From the hit singles it generated to the breathlessness of Take Me With U, the brilliance of Darling Nikki and the pure Prince audacity-fuck censorship of its lyrics there’s just so many moments of genius on it you could lose count. No wonder it’s shifted upwards of 20 million copies.

For me though, the album, and Prince’s highlight is it’s opening track – Let’s Go Crazy.

It encapsulates everything that the album holds all contained in one four-and-a-half minte track – there’s the exultant chorus, the near-gospel backing vocals, urgent synths, and, of course, Prince’s startling guitar chops (for further evidence watch the little guy in the hat break this cover out of mundaity). This has been a go-to song for me for a long time, those times when the day has been a pile of cack, it’s time for Let’s Go Crazy. It’s impossible to not be uplifted by it, with the sermonising intro with it’s “Dearly beloved…” (boy have I seen that a lot on twitter today) and it’s rousing “and if the elevator tries to bring you down… go crazy; punch a higher floor”. Yeah… Prince is probably trying to evangelisize us with this one but, fuck me, it’s as catchy and brilliant as they come. It’s a pure rush of excitement listening to it especially when – in album format – it breaks into the start of Take Me With U and its opening drum solo.

Thanks to the Purple One’s very tight hold on his copyrights and sharing etc it’s hard to find a video to put here (or one that will stay active for longer than a fart) but let’s try: