Time for a quick breather, and a chance to catch up on some of the previous posts that you might have missed. Remember these?
Unfortunately the webcam wasn’t working this week, leaving us with very little documentary evidence of the show. Artist of the week was my long-time favourite act The Beloved, and other highlights included oddities from White Town and The Postal Service.
Show 33: Wed 23 Feb 2005, from 6:05pm-8:00pm
Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: The Beloved.
- Mylo – Valley of the Dolls
- Robert Miles – Children
- Olive – Miracle (Radio Mix)
- Röyksopp – Poor Leno
- New Order – True Faith
- Enigma – The Eyes of Truth
- The Beloved – Time After Time
- Tony di Bart – The Real Thing (Joy Brothers Remake)
- Sarah Cracknell – Anymore
- The Shamen – Xochipili’s Return
- Deep Forest – Yuki Song
- The Beloved – Sweet Harmony
- White Town – Duplicate
- Fluke – Atom Bomb
- Orbital – The Saint
- The Postal Service – We Will Become Silhouettes
- Dario G – Sunchyme
- Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Electricity
- The Beloved – A Dream within a Dream
- Bent – Sunday 29th
It’s always a pleasure to be able to hide the odd nine-minute gem in the middle of a radio show, such as the brilliant Virus Mix of Everything But The Girl‘s Lullaby of Clubland. Surprisingly, the webcam shows me looking relaxed in the extreme.
Show 31: Wed 9 Feb 2005, from 6:05pm-8:00pm
Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: Massive Attack.
- The Grid – Heartbeat
- Trance Atlantic Air-Waves – Chase
- Sylver – Take Me Back
- The Human League – Love Me Madly?
- Everything But The Girl – Lullaby of Clubland (Virus Mix)
- The Postal Service – We Will Become Silhouettes
- Inspiral Carpets – Saturn 5
- Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
- Camouflage – The Great Commandment
- Visage – Fade to Grey
- Pet Shop Boys – How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously? (Ragga Zone Remix)
- The Orb – Once More
- Massive Attack – Karmacoma
- Mirwais feat. Craig Wedren – Miss You
- Lemon Jelly – The Slow Train
- Moby – Lift Me Up
- Mylo – Destroy Rock and Roll
- Ron Grainer – Doctor Who Theme
- Massive Attack – Butterfly Caught (Paul Daley Remix)
- Kings of Convenience – Know-How
Show 29 was the last before the Christmas break in 2004, and while that may be a little off-season at the time of posting, it inevitably had a bit of a festive theme, with Erasure – also starring as the artist of the week – turning up on the playlist with She Won’t Be Home and other wintry hits from Pet Shop Boys and Saint Etienne.
Show 29: Mon 6 Dec 2004, from 6:05pm-8:00pm
Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: Erasure.
- Bomb the Bass – Darkheart
- The Postal Service – Recycled Air
- Sohodolls – Trash the Rental (Demo)
- Ladytron – Playgirl
- Depeche Mode – Photographic (Rex the Dog Dubb Mix)
- Erasure – Sono Luminus
- Alpinestars – Burning Up
- Pet Shop Boys – It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas
- Lemon Jelly – Stay with You
- Espiritu – You Don’t Get Me
- Jean Michel Jarre – Chronologie (Part 6)
- Andy Pickford – Oblivion
- Erasure – She Won’t Be Home
- Piney Gir – Girl
- Empire State Human – Little Alfie
- Way Out West – Ajare 2
- Jolly Music feat. Erlend Øye – Talco Uno
- Client – In the Back of Your Car
- Delerium – Wisdom
- Peach – Hush
- Erasure – Breathe
- Sparks – The Calm Before the Storm
- Saint Etienne – I Was Born on Christmas Day
A year ago, I presented you with the top twenty old studio albums (for the purposes of this, that’s anything more than a decade old) from my personal iTunes playlists, based on number of plays. Last year’s position here is shown in square brackets – let’s see how they have changed!
- I Monster – Neveroddoreven (2003) [-]
- Camouflage – Sensor (2003) [-]
- The Beloved – X (1996) 
- Kraftwerk – The Mix (1991) 
- Depeche Mode – Violator (1990) 
- The Postal Service – Give Up (2003) [-]
- Espiritu – Another Life (1997) 
- Kraftwerk – Trans Europa Express (1977) 
- Kraftwerk – Die Mensch-Maschine (1978) 
- Röyksopp – Melody AM (2001) 
- Saint Etienne – Tiger Bay (1994) 
- Kraftwerk – Computerwelt (1981) [-]
- Manu Chao – Próxima Estación… Esperanza (2001) 
- Everything But The Girl – Walking Wounded (1996) 
- Massive Attack – Blue Lines (1991) 
- Alabama 3 – Exile on Coldharbour Lane (1997) 
- Delerium – Karma (1997) 
- Alpinestars – Basic (2000) 
- Delerium – Chimera (2003) [-]
- Front Line Assembly – Civilization (2003) [-]
In 2003, three members of different American rock groups worked together on a one-off project as The Postal Service. Unpredictably, the result was far from rock, although it might just about have scraped into the category that Americans call “alternative”. There was a certain charm to the dirty electronic sound which appeared, and it’s definitely an album worth owning.
The first track is the organ-driven The District Sleeps Alone Tonight, which is a strong opener, although it’s perhaps not the best piece on the album. From the beginning, you can hear that the influences are pretty unusual – the drumming and production in particular are quite unlike anything you’ll have come across elsewhere.
Next comes the lead single, the brilliant Such Great Heights. On the new remastered version of the album, it sounds fantastic – I’ve mentioned before that much as I loved this album, I could never quite get the hang of the sound on the original. The new version is totally different – the nasty overloaded grubbiness has gone, and for the first time it seems to be there in all the fidelity it deserves. And with its manic drumming and great melody, this song sounds every bit as fantastic as it should.
The acid nursery rhyme sound (yes, that’s a genre that I just invented) of Sleeping In is pretty compelling too, and while the song itself perhaps isn’t the strongest on the album, as a part of the greater whole, it fulfils its function perfectly. Then the duet Nothing Better is a bit odd too, but all the pieces fit together even so.
This album, Give Up, was relatively successful in the US, but only ever received a cult following elsewhere in the world, and so became a slightly surprising word-of-mouth success. A lot of potential fans seem to have dismissed it outright initially, while many others discovered it entirely by accident, and got a lot out of it.
The first half of the album closes with the lovely Recycled Air, full of soft and gentle charm, and a compelling description of air travel, which ultimately gives way to the less exciting Clark Gable, a slightly odd movie fantasy which takes place on the London Underground.
Then comes my favourite track on the album, the brilliant We Will Become Silhouettes. Quite what’s so good about it I’m not sure – I think there’s something rather special about the chord change in the chorus which just grabs me every time.
The rest of Give Up is less compelling – This Place is a Prison brings some entertaining drum work and some odd lyrics about trying to get a drink in this place. Brand New Colony has a nice 8-bit feel, but not a huge amount else, and Natural Anthem is just a bit noisy really. All very pleasant, but hardly Such Great Heights or We Will Become Silhouettes, and not even really a worthy trio to close the album.
The tenth anniversary special edition of Give Up also gets you a bonus disc, which is a slightly hit-or-miss collection, but includes some great b-sides and remixes, so is definitely worthwhile. Plus, as I mentioned before, the sound quality is infinitely better than the original, so if you’re only discovering The Postal Service for the first time now, this is definitely the version you should be hearing.
You can still find the double disc reissue of Give Up at all major retailers, such as here.
This year, the album charts have continually featured guest appearances from way back when, and this week’s is no exception. Here it is:
- Moby – Innocents
- B.E.F. – Music of Quality & Distinction, Vol. 3 – Dark
- Depeche Mode – Black Celebration
- The Future Sound of London – Dead Cities
- The Postal Service – Give Up
- Deep Forest – Deep Forest
- Enigma – The Screen Behind the Mirror
- Erasure – Wild!
- Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward
- Portishead – Dummy