Tag Archives: youtube

Pagan Wanderer Lu – Fight My Battles For Me

fightmybattlesWere you to try and create a musician for me to admire, I’d think it hard for anyone to come up with anything more suitable than Pagan Wanderer Lu. A keen social commentator, multi instrumentalist and lover of melding the the slight and heartfelt sounds that sometimes typify bedroom indie to the louder electronica sounds that are so often in fashion he’s right up my street.

As part of his own publicity push for his new album (available in some good shops) he’s been making a series of videos for the songs on it. Here’s Anger Management which leads off the album.

The album is a mix of old and new, with the old receiving a lot of interesting tweaks. Of the songs that are fresh to me my favourite is (You & Me And) Winston Churchill which kicks off with a seemingly un PWL-like piano and real drums but has some of his nicely awkward lyrics

You and me and Winston Churchill
went to a rave on ecstacy
He said “these brightly coloured lights and bangin’ tunes do not one thing for me”

and leads nicely into the most awesome core of the album, as the, well, bangin’ tunes start to kick in.

The awesome Tree Of Knowledge follows, without any changes from the successful single mix and is a profusely profane ponder on er, education and stuff with many mentions of engorged phalluses. And he says vagina in it too, titter.

Startup chimes, cross the Rio de Palazzo
Boats go by, but I’m looking through the wrong window
Sentenced to life, I can stop anytime I want to
But I’ll press F5 just one more time…

2.0///The Bridge of Sighs laments the dangers of web2.0 culture and was originally featured on the limited (and damn fine) Omega Point EP, about which more when I’ll round up 2008.

Stop Traveller! Stop and Read! reminds me of the days I used to work back in a bookstore and the aimless feel you can get in your first work out of university.

The Memorial Hall pops up next in (shock!) yet another new version. At first I was slightly resistant to the new version, as for me the slow intro is fun, but it’s when the song reaches full tempo later on that it really reaches greatness. There is, alas, no video for it yet, but I’ll post it when it pops up and I’ve even sketched a bit of a storyboard for making my own video, which PWL himself appears to be encouraging.

This may well be my favourite PWL verse by some distance

Now we remember the disco
They’re holding tonight at the Memorial Hall
I hope to meet eyes with your sister
As she stands like a flower by the plaque, by the wall
But the alcohol kicks in and somehow instead
the words on the plaque just take over my head
I think I shouldn’t be dancing with so many dead
But I’m wrong

The album doesn’t end with the next track, Simple Life/Repetition but I’ll stop my track by track here as I feel these are the core tracks that really make the album work.

And if we’re all just machines
For replicating genes
Then what the hell can any of this mean?

Do go and listen to PWL’s music via the videos on his site, and if you like a bit buy the album.

Just call me swampy

facebooknew

Facebook have updated their site design again, in what many say is an attempt to counter the growing popularity of twitter. I’m in two minds about the update. On the one hand it’s facebook’s site and theirs to do what they want with. If I want control of content, delivery and style then that’s what this blog is for (and long term readers can attest to the issues in that model). Alternatively, though, I now look like the most spamming user in the world. This is because I feed facebook from a number of sources, so all my status updates are just shipped in from twitter, links come from my delicious bookmarks and google reader shared items, images are all uploaded to flickr with a notification to facebook and my likes on youtube and last.fm are moved over as well. Also, of course my blog comes through from it’s RSS feed.

And I can see that to a point that works rather well, I have no desire to use Facebook to do all my activity on, as I’m already happily using those sites to perform the functions they’re good at. However, I also gain because by linking back to facebook I can still update my friends on what I’m doing.

Until recently these updates were much less prominent, in large part because facebook was in the habit of only showing the latest status updates or activity of each person in the news feed. Now, however, it seems happy to show multiple events from a single user on the main page, and also to show updates from a feed instantly.

This makes a user like me who feeds in a lot of content swamp their friends news feeds. I don’t like the idea of that so I hope facebook either introduce options for throttling your own activity updates back a bit. Alternatively you can hide me, but then you get nothing, which seems to defeat the point rather.

Music to hold onto whilst the sky is falling

At last, the start of posts about my favourite music I came across last year.

Watch this video on YouTube.

I’ve been listening to Kelley Polar since his first album Love Songs Of The Hanging Gardens was reccomended to me by emusic. It was nice, but didn’t really hook me but his second album I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling is quite simply fantastic and this song, Chrysanthemum is perfect.

Hushed breathing over his by now standard ethereal synth and drum machine sounds leads into a lovely intro

One white skull used to be a friend of mine
Two atoms kiss and what a funny valentine
Three more years before you’ll ever see the sun shine
I held your hand but now you’re just a fuzzy outline

followed by the chilling and evocative chorus

Make a chrysanthemum of every human head
Make a chrysanthemum and kill them in their bed

And if you haven’t quite got it, I think the video makes it nice and clear. The album is well worth a try, with a brilliant mix of modern clear production values against a sumptuous 80s sound.