Loud Places

My first few listens of the Jamie Xx solo album have been very enjoyable- it’s got the tunes, it’s well paced, full of thumping and/or interesting drums and percussion, and moments of bittersweet euphoria. The sleeve’s lovely too. There’s a garage/dubstep influence on the some of the songs which keep it from being too tasteful and give it a rougher edge. The Rest Is Noise already sounds like being the song you’re going to hear out of open windows and on TV festival coverage. Another highlight is Loud Places, sung by bandmate Romy. This recent live performance from French TV has Romy singing and guitaring, a lively percussionist, a choir and Stella from Warpaint on drums.

Sometimes I Don’t Thrill You

In 1988 the world’s most dysfunctional rock group released their definitive song, Freak Scene. The song practically invents slackers and grunge. J Mascis’ guitar sound is brilliant- controlled but chaotic, spinning distorted notes off all over the place. His vocals are resigned, almost bored to tears with the whole thing but it’s a love song of sorts too- ‘when I need a friend it’s still you’. Post-indie punk, pre-grunge, with a pop tune. And swearing too. I’ve got its parent album Bug but never really play anything off it except Freak Scene.

Dinosaur Jr were a nightmare to each other by all accounts; passive aggressive, J controlling Murph’s every drum beat when recording, not communicating. Bassist Lou Barlow wrote the lyrics to the final song on Bug, the only one he sings. Over ear splitting noise, aimed solely at J Mascis, he screams ‘why don’t you like me?’

I don’t know what’s going on with my Boxnet bandwidth but either it’s not reset at the end of May or June is already over the limit. I’ll try to sort something out. In the meantime you can watch the video for Freak Scene, filmed in John Robb’s back garden in bohemian West Didsbury. It looks like it cost less than the price of a pint of lager and a bag of chips.