Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sabbatical

Cinnamon Songs is going on a month's sabbatical. Unfortunately I've got too much to deal with in real life at the moment, and as much as I love doing this blog, I just won't be able to manage it for a while.

I will be back a month from today. Promise!

Have a great Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chapterhouse - Something More

Have I really not posted any Chapterhouse yet? Wow. Actually, I was never really that big a fan of theirs. But at that time, you had to listen to them anyway.

This is from their second EP, Sunburst, from 1990. Worth watching for the very shoegazey hair alone.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Dø - On My Shoulders

The first Finnish band to make an appearance on this blog (well, French-Finnish anyway). The singer, whose name I'm not going to even attempt to spell, has an interestingly screechy voice that would probably be hard to listen to if my hangover was any worse. Some of their folkier songs are quite lovely.

This was a 2007 single, and also appeared the next year on their debut album A Shoulder.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Depeche Mode - See You

One of my absolute favourite early DM songs, from their second album A Broken Frame. They're so young and innocent looking in this video! In perfect keeping with the lyrics, which Martin Gore probably wrote when he was 15 or something.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Colourfield - Frosty Morning

Here's a fantastic track from my beloved Terry Hall, off the b-side to the 1985 single "Things Could Be Beautiful". It's much better than the a-side, actually.

I always loved the line with the help of god and a few marines, and was really disappointed when I learned he didn't write it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lulu - To Sir With Love

Classic 1960s girlpop. This is one of those songs that makes me wish I wasn't such a hopeless singer, because I'd love to belt this out the next time I get roped into karaoke. It's really one hell of a chorus, isn't it?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Black Watch - Williamsburg

Another vaguely shoegazey LA band (from the Swervedriver school of shoegaze, but a bit more mainstream), the Black Watch have been putting out albums forever without anybody really seeming to notice - even though some of them are really quite good. Start with Tatterdemalion, from 2006.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anything After - Mistake

Anything After's 2007 debut There's Something Wrong has a lot going for it: Mary Chain guitars, C86 melodies, Sarah vocals. Often all in the same song.

The songwriting's inconsistent, unfortunately, and some of the tracks just wind up being, well, shouty. But at their best, they're not far from amazing.

Check 'em out.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

AC Marias - One of Our Girls Has Gone Missing

Angela Conway has done most of her music business work behind a video camera, but in the 1980s she released a few singles - and one fabulous album - under the name AC Marias, a collaboration with Bruce Gilbert from Wire. The music was catchy, often kind of spacey pop, Conway's ethereal vocals being the highlight.

This was the title track.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blur - You're So Great

Blur's self-titled fifth album, from 1997, isn't their best but I absolutely love this track, which was written and sung entirely by Graham Coxon. Funnily enough I also like it better than any of his solo recordings, although some of those are pretty good too.

"City's alive, and surprise, so am I." That line always get me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Orchids - Peaches

One of the more dance-oriented tracks from the Orchids' 1991 album Unholy Soul. I generally prefer their tweer stuff, but this is a real foot-tapper.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kate Bush - Delius

I think Kate Bush is generally a love-or-hate kind of artist. I fall into the first category, so I'm probably a bit biased in saying this, but I do actually think that this song is one that might even win over some of her critics. It's quite understated, at least by Kate Bush standards, and really very beautiful. It was the b-side to the 1980 single "Army Dreamers", from her third album Never for Ever.

In saying it's "understated" I should make clear I'm only talking about the song - the video is typically OTT.

And, even if you hate her, watch the opening two seconds just for the hilarious '70s tache.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bill Nelson - Flaming Desire

Bill Nelson allegedly hates being compared to David Bowie, but his career has spanned the same length and has taken as many twists and turns - though I don't think Bill ever died his hair orange and claimed to be from Mars.

He started off in the prog-rock mould and was famed for his guitar skills, but in the late '70s his music (then with Be-Bop Deluxe) became very keyboard-oriented and by the early '80s it was pretty much synth-pop heaven. And a lot of it really was heavenly, even for someone like me who was only ever mildly into synth-pop.

This was from his 1982 album The Love That Whirls.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Mob - The Mirror Breaks

Anarcho-punk bands were always famous for their willingness to experiment musically, which is one of the things I admired about them. This is a really good example. Musically it's practically jangle-pop; Marc's vocals are obviously a bit harsher than what you'd usually expect from that genre, and lyrically of course it's typical apocalyptic gloom. Still, not a million miles from what McCarthy would be doing in a couple years' time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kickstand - My Reputation

Here's another wonderful piece of super-lo fi DIY twee pop from Kickstand - Hoboken, New Jersey's tragically underrated answer to Beat Happening. Only much better.

Their compilation LP, self-titled and issued on the short-lived Queenie Records from New York, really is essential.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Honeybunch - Hey Blue Sky

Yet another gem from Providence, Rhode Island's incestuous indie scene. Honeybunch were active in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and nearly perfected the folky-twee sound that most of their related bands (Velvet Crush, Springfields etc) were famous for.

This was their absolutely exhilarating debut single. For more, check out the compilation Time Trials 1987-1995.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pete and the Pirates - Come On Feet

Here's something a little more recent. Pete and the Pirates are from Reading and have put out one album so far, 2008's Little Death, a great collection of indiepop tunes with all the right influences (C86, Flying Nun etc). More recently they've put out an equally promising single, "Jennifer", which I thought about posting but I decided not to because its video really isn't something I want to think about right now, while I'm eating my breakfast.

Anyway, here's a track from Little Death.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Throwing Muses - Green

The first Throwing Muses album was a stunning piece of work, ten amazingly well-crafted songs showing diverse influences, clever wordplay and total unpredictability. It's particularly impressive when you consider they were only teenagers when these songs were written.

"Green" was Tanya Donelly's sole contribution, and my personal favourite on the album. It's probably always a bad sign when your favourite song on an album is the one not written by the main songwriter - and sure enough, I think it was all downhill for the Muses after this, but Tanya's songs would continue to stand out for me.

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