This One’s For The Humans

I like this, yet another new thing for autumn. Steve Mason and Martin Duffy (Primal Scream’s keyboard man) have joined together as Alien Stadium and have a four track e.p. out in December called Livin’ In Elizabethan Times (including a song remixed by Brendan Lynch, who always hands in interesting work). Steve Mason has one of the most recognisable voices in modern music, married here to a memorable riff and a general sense of expansion and wonder.

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I’d Like To Write A Letter To You All

Maybe we’re about to enter a new age of the protest song. I’ve seen people say there aren’t any good protest songs from recent years but I think there have been a fair few that rank alongside the protest songs of the past.

I’ve posted this one before but it’s worth repeating. Steve Mason’s loose limbed indie plus righteous anger makes Fight Them Back pretty irresistible. I think he’s withdrawn a bit in interviews from the threat of the chorus, ‘get up and fight them back, a fist, a boot and a baseball bat’ but the intent was there when recorded- and we’ve all seen the ‘debate’ about punching Nazis I’m sure (conclusion? They’re Nazis, punch them). The vocal samples at the end are David Icke and Tony Blair respectively, neither of whom are men I’d particularly want to spend much time with. But no mistake this is a tune to march to.

Fight Them Back

The Universe Makes Me Cry

Steve Mason is back with a new album and this achingly good new song- Planet Sizes. He knows his way round a tune and those signature multi-tracked, melancholic vocals are in full effect. What’s it all about? I don’t know… love and loss and redemption, the search for meaning in a random world…. It’s very good.

Steve has made music under several names since the Beta Band split up. His last solo album (Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time, 2013) had two songs that were absolute brilliance- Fight Them Back and Come To Me- that I still play regularly. A few years before, 2008 I think, he made an album inspired by 80s electro using the name Black Affair. This was the standout track for me.

Sweet

Get Up And Fight Them Back

Well that was utterly depressing and dismal. Five more years of ideological austerity. English voters opting in increasing numbers for antisocial, narrow minded, throwback politics. Seeing Nigel Farage miss out was the only bright spot of the whole thing really, although I can’t say I was sorry to see George Galloway lose his seat- he’s a shit stirring, self serving, opportunist. Labour need to re-evaluate their policies, message and position entirely. Trying to occupy the same ground as the Tories has led to defeat and the loss of many of their own supporters. We’re all going to pay for this for many years to come.

Steve Mason, ex-Beta Band, one of recent times most political song writers.

Fight Them Back

Packing

We had friends round for tea and a couple of glasses of wine each and we’re now trying to pack to go on holiday tomorrow. And I’m mucking about on the internet.

I missed this absolute gem of a song and only discovered it by accident earlier today- from last year, Emiliana Torrini and Steve Mason, noisy and way up there. The noise, I’ve just discovered, is provided by Toy.

I Go Out

And this, a remix of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games by Dreadzone’s Greg Dread. Lovely.

Lana Dub Rey

Right. How many pairs of shorts do I need?

This Is About The Rest Of Us, The Ones You Left Behind

‘When you come to me in the dead of night and I convince myself it’ll be alright’

The closing song off Steve Mason’s latest lp is a thing of beauty, the singing and playing are superb, and if it catches you at the wrong moment will put a lump in your throat and make your eyes well up. One very good reason to get yourself down a record shop and buy the album.

‘And when you hold me close as the night unfolds and I convince myself that I will grow old ‘

Come To Me

B Is For Black Affair

Steve Mason’s 2009 side project Black Affair was an 80s electro inspired project, which was great in small doses but wore a bit over the course of an entire lp. Still, in a field of his own is Steve Mason- most people wouldn’t record let alone release an album like this, so far removed from what he’s known for. This was one of the highlights.

Sweet

In a slightly belated tribute to United’s 20th league title our picture shows Bobby Charlton, presumably in the aftermath of the Munich air disaster or an early anniversary of, with a cracking quiff. Bobby was present as a player for United’s 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th league titles and he’s still there, although he doesn’t make the netting bulge anymore. The Premier League is a million miles from this picture. Yesterday’s post-Beta Band group The Aliens had a song called Bobby’s Song which I should’ve posted instead really.