Remember the first music post on We Ball Harder? About T Rex and the birth of glam rock? We come back full circle to some of Marc Bolan’s contemporaries: Roxy Music, one of the pioneers of glam rock, if not the very first – with an artier, more eccentric edge, at least while synthesizer bad boy/future production genius Brian Eno was with them, looking like a feathered, glammed up Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. “Remake/Remodel” is the first song from their first album, and hands down my favorite. It has everything: a driving beat from drummer Paul Thompson and bassist Graham Simpson, scorching guitar from Phil Manzanera, off the wall sax playing by Andy Mackay, Brian Eno’s bizarre synthesized squelches (all of which get solo time), and of course frontman Bryan Ferry’s signature wail and killer opening piano chords. Recorded in 1972, this song is a mashup before mashups existed, and it fuckin’ rocks!
Studio version first, then live version (which is great cos you can see everyone freaking out onstage)
Come on spring, yalla already!
“All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey /
I’ve been for a walk on a winters day /
I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA /
California dreaming on such a winters day.”
Click for a funky preview!
Or 21st if you live in the Unfunky States of America. Daft Punk’s fourth studio album shall be released. And we shall party. That is all.
Time to reveal one of my favorite genres to listen to when deep in writing – Türkü, Turkish folk music, which can come in several forms, but I like them for working as I can sort of ignore the lyrics (since my Turkish isn’t fluent by any means), and let the music drive me and concentrate in a way that more hypnotic and entrancing genres like Qawwali and Persian classical don’t allow. That’s not to say Türkü isn’t great on its own merits though – today’s song of the day is one of my favorites, “Ada Sahilleri,” AKA “Ada Sahillerinde Bekliyorum,” “Adalar Sahilinde,” or several variations (“The shores of the island,” “I’m waiting on the shores of the island,” and “on the shore of the islands,” respectively), referring to the Prince’s Islands, simply known as the “Islands” in the Marmara Sea just off the coast and within sight of Istanbul. This is, then, one of the more famous Istanbul türküs, about waiting on the shores of the island, and among other things, watching over the lover’s travels, and asking to be made happy and later remembered as he passes away.
Being a folk song, there’s no definitive version, so here are a couple of the better ones. İyi çalışmalar! -work well (for the weekend is nigh!)
Paco de Lucia meets 1980s Metallica – two Mexican metalheads gypsyfy their style, with brilliant results. Total roller coaster of a song by one of the more original and captivating acts out there – check out the rest of their stuff ASAP!
Various online leakers have announced that a Sony online registration form now lists a full album’s worth of new songs by Daft Punk for release this year! 13 songs, nearly 75 minutes, recorded 2013. That’s all the info that’s out there, but all I can say is HELL YES! The gods of French house and fathers of modern electro are back!!!
This brings us to the song of the day, “Around the World/Harder Better Faster Stronger”, from Alive 2007 – a recording of their legendary concert at Bercy (near Paris), and one of the highlight tracks from the album. Recorded at the height of their influence (Justice, anyone?), it’s a Daft Punk only mashup, only the mashup was done live with racks of synths, midi controllers, and computers, so it’s really like instant remixing and mashing. Madeon probably wouldn’t be anywhere without this pure unadulterated electronic robot bliss:
It’s nearly spring and yet there’s a winter weather advisory. “Daydream” by Judy and Mary, one of Japan’s finest and quirkiest 90s indie rock bands, sounds like winter from the very first opening, minor key chords, and I love its haunting chord progression, guitar work, driving beat, and even the lyrics that I don’t remotely understand. The live version here is pretty faithful to the studio track, except the guitar solo on the album version is done on a classic guitar, which makes it even more ethereal, and the mostly instrumental jam out at the end is something on all their live footage. Enjoy
As a nod to the great nation of Canada, responsible for one the best breeds of dog in the world* and home to both my favorite city and brewery in North America**, today’s choon is from my favorite band from the Great White North, Death from Above 1979***. The best two-person band in history [eat it, White Stripes] – Jesse F Keeler (later of MSTRKRFT) on the most distorted, aggressive, riffy bass, and Sebastian Grainger on pounding drums and punky vocals. Formed in 2001, broke up in 2006, and only one killer full length album – but what an album – joyful, earsplitting noise in the best possible way. The band has reunited and is working on a new album, and I can’t wait. This one’s one of my favorites from the old days:
live in the pre-breakup days
the MSTRKRFT edition, a brilliant remix from Jesse’s next outfit.
*the Labrador retriever, based upon the St John’s water dog, from Newfoundland. I had a great one before, and just got a puppy today:
**Montreal. Really. Go if you haven’t been, it’s starting to thaw out. Also, Unibroue.
*** Or, just Death from Above, their original name. James Murphy, the overrated fuckwit behind LCD Soundsystem and manager of Death From Above Records engaged them in a legal dispute, and they chose to add “1979”, because, to quote Grainger, “1979 is the year of my birth, 1979 is the year of Off the Wall, 1979 is the year of The Pleasure Principle, 1979 is the last year of the last cool decade, 1979 is scratched into my arm, 1979 is scratched into my arm, 1979 is scratched into my fucking arm.” DFA’s reaction to James Murphy and his label also was the only thing on the band’s website for a while, and here it is, verbatim:
“FUCK DFA RECORDS FUCK JAMES MURPHY WE DECLARE JIHAD ON THEM HOLY WAR ENDING IN THIER [sic] DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT… james murphy is a selfish piece of fuck that will burn in the flames of a specially dedicated rock and roll jihad. if i had the resources i would fly a plane into his skull.”
Rock on brother Jesse and brother Sebastian!
What a song to kickstart the weekend, all oppan party style. Pull back the top of your convertible and blast off, hit the club hard, or just rock out to this catchy , ultra-upbeat French pop, whose title is a pun on the French for the USA, “États [Unis] d’Amérique”, by Leslie (imagine a French Rihanna) and Teki Latex, the most unlikely rapper ever.
PLUS! We have a bonus from Teki himself, featuring Belgian 80s pop legend Lio – for a song to get you going tomorrow morning: “Les Matins de Paris” – “the mornings of Paris”, a huge pop hit from 2007. Get ready for one of the most infectiously catchy songs ever, even if you don’t speak French. Six years on and this song is still in constant rotation.
Like reggaeton? Like horns, congas, and traditional Latin-Caribbean sounding music? Like dancing and oddly catchy songs? Today’s song is “Tradicional a lo Bravo,” a huge choon from that Puerto Rican superstar Tego Calderón. Depending on where you are (in the Northern Hemisphere), spring is either finally here, or winter is in its final assault and you can’t wait for it to start getting nice. In the first case, celebrate with this jam, and in the second, escape to warmer climes, to a land of palm trees, rum, beaches, old forts, and dance halls.
Long time, chaps. Hereby I introduce a new feature to We Ball Harder, the Song of the Day, the Quotidian Choon, or whatever else you’d like to call it. Each day I’ll post a link to a song on Youtube or elsewhere (or otherwise upload an MP3) that I’ve been really feeling. It could be old, brand new, or anything in between. Rock, reggae, electro, Persian classical, rap, whatever. But I guarantee it will be a massive track – so enjoy!
Today we have “Grounation” from Count Ossie & the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari – a half hour masterpiece of Nyabinghi drumming and chanting in an Afro-Caribbean gospel style from the man who brought the genre to the attention of the world and had a huge role in the evolution and explosion of Jamaican music, starting with “Oh Carolina,” a collaboration with Prince Buster and the Folkes Brothers that had a big part in kickstarting ska. Anyway here’s the track. Groove out:
See you tomorrow!