Friday, 31 July 2009

End Of A (Not Particularly Significant) Era

So, after several months of silence I'm closing down TFSS for good. It's been fun, or something.

The good news is that my writing efforts have now found outlets elsewhere. Newly started is We Write Lists, which I'll be writing with my good friend Natalie. Also, I'll be contributing from time to time over at For Folk's Sake, an excellent folk website. So goodbye from me over here, but hello from the me over at those two sites. Track me down (metaphorically) and follow!

Monday, 9 February 2009

A First Love That's Been A Long Time Coming...

Some two or three years ago I stumbled across a track online by Emmy the Great called 'Canopies & Grapes'. Ever since, I've been waiting desperately for a debut album, devouring every track I could find, taking every chance to see her live that I could, until I had a physical album release in my hands. Today, thirty tracks and six gigs later, I held just that.

It's interesting how you can spend so long engulfed in someone's music only to have them take you completely and utterly by surprise. Many of my favourite tracks from Emmy's live shows and that I scraped together from the internet aren't on the album. 'Gabriel' was a particularly surprising choice not to include, as was Hold On. Canopies and Grapes, which I've never seen her perform, or even mention, was less of a surprise.

Still, of thirteen tracks, seven are ones I've never even heard before, and the six that I had are so fresh, so much fuller in their production, that it's like the first time all over again. There, I suppose, is an irony. For many of those who buy 'First Love', it will in fact be a second, or perhaps even a third time that they have heard and loved some of the best tracks.

It doesn't really matter, though, when the music is so full of life and emotions. I'm not afraid to say that Easter Parade, my favourite Emmy demo, has developed so much it literally took my breath away. I'm not going to post any tracks from the album, so desperate am I for Emmy to get every damn penny you own. Instead, enjoy my First Love from Emmy's minimal back catologue, and my Second.

First Love: 'Canopies and Grapes' - Emmy The Great
Second Love: 'Easter Parade (Demo)' - Emmy The Great

Sunday, 1 February 2009

I wish...

...The Cardinals had won. I've always been an underdog's man, and I always will be. I've only ever watched two games of American Football - this year's, and last's. Still, I'm a Cardinals Man now.

And as such, I'm devastated.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A New Day Dawning

Norman Cook seems, by now, to have had more musical modes and eras than Madonna. He started in The Housemartins, spent a fair portion of his life as Fatboy Slim, and has played around with Beats International and Freak Power in between. Now he's started up a little project by the name of The BPA (which is short for The Brighton Port Authority, so yer knows). Personally, this looks to be his best project yet - signing up names from Iggy Pop to Dizzee Rascal for singing duties on finely-tuned pop songs. The best so far features TFSS favourite Emmy the Great. 'Seattle' is a cheerful pop song that can't help but get stuck in my head every ruddy time I give it a listen. The chorus is infectious - 'There's a new day dawning/every single morning in America'. It was, once again, ringing through my head as I watched Obama get inaugurated this afternoon. It does seem suitable, and so I'll drop it here for you all to enjoy.

Incidentally, the woman above is neither Emmy the Great nor Norman Cook. She is, I am fairly sure, also not Barack Obama. Still, the picture seems to be one of the only promo pics available for The BPA. And that's reason enough for Stephen...

mp3: 'Seattle (feat. Emmy the Great)' - The BPA

Much apologies for recent lack of posting - My laptop has been hit by a virus I just can't seem to shake. Such is life...

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


How dare the premier ignore my invitations.
He'll have to go.
So, too, the bunch he luncheons with.
It's second on my list of things to do.

At the top I'm stopping by
Your place of work and acting like
I haven't dreamed of you and I
And marriage in an orange grove.
You are the only thing in any room you're ever in.
I'm stubborn, selfish and too old.

I sat you down and told you how
the truest love that's ever found
Is for oneself.
You pulled apart my theory
With a weary and disinterested sigh.

So yes I guess I'm asking you
To back a horse that's good for glue
And nothing else
But find a man that's truer than,
Find a man that needs you more than I.

Sit with me a while
And let me listen to you talk about
your dreams and your obsessions.
I'll be quiet and confessional.
The violets explode inside me
when I meet your eyes.
Then I'm spinning and I'm diving
Like a cloud of starlings.

Darling is this love?

mp3: 'Starlings' by Elbow.

Lyric of the year, 2008.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Possibly the worst thing you could say to a cancer sufferer...

"...Well, there's no use losing your hair over it!"

I would advise against using that piece of comfort talk...

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Desert Island, All-Time, Top 3 Reasons 2008 Should Be Remembered Twenty Years From Now

1. Let's get the obvious, important, ridiculously brilliant one out of the way first, shall we? Obama. Let's not forget, this time last year we didn't even know who the candidate would be, let alone the president. And now we have Obama. Excellent. That said, I still reckon too much is made of the man's race. Is America ready for a black president? Well, no, clearly not all of them are. But who cares about those folk? Race doesn't have a thing to do with leading a country. Obama's win was important for showing the world America aren't rascists, yes. But for me, more important is the new voice America has here - the youth are involved, and the old ways are getting a right royal screwing up the... well, yes. Though I'm still a little suspicious of a politician who seems to be an all round nice person. It's just not right.

2. The world didn't end. Far more interesting than the Large Hadron Collider itself was the apocolyptic furore surrounding its big switch on. Genuine concern in workplaces worldwide, hour-long documentries telling us we're not buggered, and Stephen Hawkings allegedly betting $100 that the Higgs Boson won't be found. The end of days are far more enjoyable taken with a pinch of salt.

3. Elbow finally got the recognition they deserved. Seven years since their first album, and about fourteen since they formed, and Elbow finally get some public recognition. Let's hope now that it doesn't take long for the new fans to realise that The Seldom Seen Kid isn't even their best album. I'm waiting for Asleep At The Back to get a special ten-year reissue two years early, or Leaders Of The Free World to jump up the iTunes charts. Cast Of Thousands played in full on BBC Radio 6? Here's hoping.

Happy New Year, guys. 2009's the Year Of Stephen (and regular updates). I swear.