Happy Monday, I couldn’t decide on a theme today, so I left today’s mix in the hands of Last.FM. If you haven’t come across it before, Last.FM is a website and app, which sits in the background of your phone and computer, tracking what you’re listening to, a process they call ‘scrobbling’, which is a hideous word.
It then recommends other acts you may like, based on your listening habits. It has pointed me in the way of some great acts over the years, and some terrible ones, but I am happy that my life now contains music by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Mr Muthafuckin’ Exquire, and Jaques Brel, who I may have otherwise overlooked for being respectively too obscure, too hardcore and too Belgian to have been discovered by me independently. It’s worth it for that alone, and I strongly recommend it for anybody who loves music.
So, I’ve been on there for 8 years now, which is scary, and it’s listened in on me listening to over 50,000 songs. And today’s music is from the ten acts who I have listened to more than any other. I assume there must be a reason for this, and that reason must be that they are brilliant! I have put a screengrab of numbers 2-10 here, but the number one will be a secret until you scroll down, for the purposes of creating a false sense of excitement…
10) Kanye West
Far lower than his ego could ever accept, but probably about right to my tastes. For all his flaws, he is one of the most forward thinking, inventive producers of our age. Not a Brian Wilson, but definitely at least a Joe Meek! I’ve gone for Seth Rogen and James Franco’s shot for shot remake of his video for Bound 2.
9) LCD Soundsystem
An act brave enough to call it quits at the height of there fame, James Murphy and his cohorts made three nearly perfect albums, the first of which, the epynonymous LCD Soundsystem is ten this year, and still sounds ahead of the curve. Seeing them at Brixton Academy and in Hyde Park have been two of the best gigs I’ve been to in the last decade.
8) Girl Talk
Do you remember when 2manydjs were the most amazing thing ever, and the ‘mash up’ of two songs seemed like a genius idea? Girl Talk takes this to it’s logical conclusion, taking sometimes just a split second of a record, and creating sets that sound like the music from the greatest house party you never went to. If you thought Tiny Dancer by Elton John and Juicy by the Notorious BIG couldn’t be improved on, prepare to be proved wrong!
7) David Bowie
Lower than I expected, needs no introduction, but anyway, here is Jareth, the Goblin King himself.
6) Manic Street Preachers
15 years ago, I was completely obsessed with the Manic Street Preachers. I wanted to be Nicky Wire. I blame my lefty politics and pretentious demeanour entirely on these guys. I used to hunt out literature quoted on their records, obscure B sides, everything. The Holy Bible remains one of my favourite albums of all time, and they’re still making good, if not life changing, records today.
5) The Beach Boys
Better than The Beatles, despite the fact this is treachery against my home nation. Brian Wilson is one of the greatest minds pop music ever produced, and Mike Love is still a grade A c**twit.
4) Tom Waits
One of the other greatest minds in pop, he has metamorphosed from a funny, jazzy, lounge lizard, into an abrasive, sturm und klang avnt garde-ist, and then on to a mellower but still wonderfully left field musician today. One of the most distinctive voices in all music, and I feel he couldn’t be anything other than what he is, a true one off.
3) Daft Punk
You know already. French. Robots. Disco.
2) Das Racist
The best hip hop act of the last ten years. Sadly, they split shortly after their first studio album, but left about 50 tracks of left field, conscious, and downright funny rap to keep me playing them over and over and over. I was lucky enough to see them on my second attempt (the first time around, they hadn’t sorted out their work permits for England, and got deported!).
1) Half Man Half Biscuit
Definitely one of my favourite bands, and I wrote a long post on why this wonderfully unique band hold a high place in my heart before. You’ll struggle to find a drier wit in music, than Mr Blackwell. Beloved by John Peel and me, and surely there is no higher recommendation.
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