Something We Heard Before

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I did prognosticate that Ms. Bulley would feature again sometime on either/or. Turns out, I was right. Totally called it. Never mind that I write all the content!

So, why did I make such a bold assertion? Because Ms. Bulley’s music is accessible and deeply charming, and such qualities deserve equally nice things written about them. Here is a new song from Katie that continues to evoke these fine qualities, but does so with an extra, blues-flavoured, peppy twist tossed in. Guaranteed to get your feet a’shufflin’!

Should you find yourself digging the tune, you could do worse than to chip in a buck or two in Katie’s direction to get her album released. I would consider it quite rad, and we all know that I am a certified beacon for what is cool and what is not.

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Ok, it’s time to get to some stuff you probably haven’t heard of before. Because I am a hipster, and that is the kind of thing that hipsters say!

Sometimes, I would like to adequately communicate exactly how I feel when listening to certain songs, using all manner of intelligent and descriptive words. It mostly doesn’t work. So while I’d like to explain exactly why I love this track, you will just have to settle with “it’s so pretty!”. And it truly is. It’s gentle and sweet and wonderfully peaceful and I just want to hug it to bits. Aww heck, man up, dude!

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Man, McCartney sure can belt them out, can he? I mean, he’s 71 and still as energetic and enthusiastic as he ever was. I can’t even match it at 26! God knows what kind of vegetative zombie I’ll be when I’m 71.

But enough of that mildly depressing talk: let’s listen to another tune off McCartney’s new album, er, New. This one doesn’t sound Beatle-y, but it is certainly a corking tune: a sort of manic bit of rock with its roots in the 80s. Top work, sir.

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Many moons again, I briefly mentioned the Brit punk stylings that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club exuded, despite their American origins. Well, here is a song that upends that trend by sounding more like ZZ Top! Yeah! Go America!

Fortunately, it seems that whatever style the Club dabbles in, something pretty danged amazing will materialise: it is another bit of crunchy rock/roots that I’ve been quite digging lately.

Oh, and best be careful with the embed below: it’s a tad bit not safe for work, for numerous reasons.

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What a delightful collection of tunes I’ve enjoyed this evening! Thanks to my real-life work colleagues and their birthday gift to me, I was able to treat myself to Camera Obscura’s Desire Lines and Nick Drake’s Pink Moon on vinyl. Both albums are chock full of wonderful tunes, which made it quite difficult to choose which one to post about. But I’ve gone for Place to Be, as it is one of my favourite Nick Drake tunes.

It’s the kind of song that eases you away from difficult situations, as, like all of Drake’s songs, it is just effortlessly, and hauntingly, beautiful. It’s nothing but his voice and his guitar, but is saturated with the kind of style and warmth that studio engineering just can’t match. Time to go wile away the rest of the evening with this!

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There’s a scene in Back to the Future Part III in which, during the Hill Valley festival, the band starts up a great bit of old-timey country-western music, prompting a dance. I’ve always loved this tune. Years later, I found out that the tune is actually a cover version of Doubleback, a song ZZ Top wrote for the film. As well as that, ZZ Top play the part of the band performing the song! So they covered their own song. Songception!

I love both versions of this song. It’s wild and rollocking and chock full of ZZ Top goodness, which everyone needs as part of a healthy music diet.

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Sometimes, you need a bit of romance in your musical life. And not just songs about whatever dude Taylor Swift can’t seem to get over these days. No, sometimes you need perennially sweet and lovely, genre defining songs. So you should be pretty gosh-danged glad that you came to either/or to satisfy your needs, because we totally got your back.

This song has been covered to death, but nothing beats this original duet between two Motown greats. Ain’t nothing pretentious, overly sappy or overwrought here, folks: just pure delight!

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Bruce Foxton! With his former bandmate, Paul Weller! Whoa nelly, that can only be a good thing! Yes indeed. While this isn’t something that can be called The Jam 2: The Jammening, it has the same kind of bounding energy that their earlier group had. Quite pleasing, and will no doubt spur on a bout of rigorous toe-tapping.

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Michael Franti from Spearhead has featured on either/or before, but it’s safe to say that it was a little different to what I’m bringing you today. From a classic soul tune to something that, while inspired by soul, feels totally different. And in a good way! Would it be weird to call this lusciously smooth? It is, you say? Well dang, I’m going to go with it anyway, because that’s what it is!

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Ok yes, I will admit that my interest was piqued about this group due to Dhani Harrison’s involvement (son of my favourite Beatle, George), but I will also admit that nothing that Dhani has been involved with has been particularly pleasant to listen to. For me, at least. So, I was coloured with a nice shade of scepticism before hearing what his latest efforts have borne, which are substantially more entertaining.

Harrison made comparisons to the Traveling Wilburys, and I can see why: with Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur as founding members, and a style rooted in bluesy folk, they’ve got the makings of quite a fine super group. The music feels a bit peppier and more unique than what the Wilburys released back in the day, so bring on more!

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