As is the way at this time of year, lists, polls and Best Of countdowns prevail. Happily stuck in the past, the truth of it is I’m not a listener of much in the way of new music. Idles seem to dominate many of the lists I’ve seen, and I want to like them, but I can’t get past the singer’s ‘angry ranting man in a bus shelter’ voice. I’ve liked much of the new stuff I’ve heard via 6 Music and some of the more switched-on blogs I visit, but not so much that I’ve gone out to buy the album on the back of it.
If you held a knife to my throat though, I might admit to a liking for albums by Parquet Courts and Arctic Monkeys, both acts who are neither new nor up and coming. I listened a lot to the Gwenno album when it was released and I should’ve taken a chance on the Gulp album when I saw it at half price last week, but as far as new music goes, I think that’s about it. Under his Radiophonic Tuckshop moniker, Glasgow’s Joe Kane made a brilliant psyche-infused album from the spare room in his Dennistoun flat – released on the excellent Last Night From Glasgow label – so if I were to suggest anything you might like, it’d be Joe’s lo-fi McCartney by way of Asda-priced synth pop that I’d direct you to. Contentiously, it’s currently a tenner on Amazon which, should you buy it via them, is surely another nail in the HMV coffin.
2018 saw the readership of Plain Or Pan continue to grow slowly but steadily in a niche market kinda style, so if I may, I’d like to point you and any new readers to the most-read posts of the year. You may have read these at the time or you may have missed them. Either way, here they are again;
- An article on the wonder of The Specials‘ b-sides.
- Songs about snow and inclement weather.
- Some words on the punk Beatles. Pete Shelley was very much still alive at the time of writing and retweeted the article.
- A look at how the best reggae musicians steal the best soul tunes and make them their own.
- Lush’s Miki Berenyi talks us through some of her favourite music. The most-read thing wot I wrote this year.
- Stephen Sondheim , Leonard Bernstein, Tom Waits and Pet Shop Boys. Here.
- First thoughts on Arctic Monkeys‘ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.
- Why Eno‘s Here Come The Warm Jets should be in everyone’s record collection. Here.
- Skids’ Richard Jobson waxes lyrical about Bowie. Here.
- Some words on the quiet majesty of Radiohead‘s How To Disappear Completely.
- Brendan O’Hare, loon drummer and all-round public entertainer in Teenage Fanclub chooses his favourite Teenage Fanclub tracks. Here.
- The punk poetry and free scatting jazz of Patti Smith. Here.
- A first-timer’s guide to Rome.
- Johnny Marr live at the Barrowlands.
Feel free to re-read, Retweet, share etc.
See you next year.