The Monthly Hitlist:
November 2002
30 ALBUMS
(in alphabetical order)
BARRY ADAMSON – THE KING OF NOTHING HILL (Mute)
Another of his imaginary movie soundtracks - though surprisingly hard to follow as such – 'Nothing Hill' is sophisticated fun, combining spy movie music noir with the occasional 'singalong' ('Cinematic Soul') and Barry White pastiche ('Black Amour').

BADLY DRAWN BOY – HAVE YOU FED THE FISH? (Artist Direct)
Hot on the heels of his impressive soundtrack for About A Boy comes the 'real' second album, in which Damon Gough writes like he married off Ray Davies with Harry Nilsson while, appropriately enough, wondering aloud how to balance his new-found fame with his status as a young father and husband. On 'You Were Right', and 'Tickets To What You Need' (essentially the same song separated by twenty minutes) he turns Madonna down for the (real-life) woman he already loves, and says "I'm calling it my best move." True love: and it shows.

BIKERIDE – MORNING MACUMBA (Parasol)
Cult Californians head down to Brazil and infest their Beach Boys pop/Three O'Clock rock with some samba. Still, the strongest songs remain the most overtly conventional: 'Fakin' Amnesia' and 'The Americans In Rome' (with some Moon-like drumming from Chris Petrozzi) are firmly rooted in the eternal Paisley underground.

DAVID BOWIE – HEATHEN (Columbia)
Now that Bowie's stopped chasing trends and realized he's at his best when he copies only himself, he's making good albums again. He's clearly having fun doing so. His best in a decade? Probably.

CANU - CORRIENTE DE AIRE (Estatus)
Relaxed, though not always down tempo, house music from an Argentinean producer that's as effortlessly enjoyable as it is forward thinking. And a nice opportunity to drink Argentinean wine.

CASSIUS – AU REVE (Astralwerks)
The 'other' Parisian house music duo opts for a more varied, song-based format on their second album. And it works. 'The Sound of Violence' is in fact that of the sensual male (vocalist Steve Edwards intoning "feel like I wanna be inside you when the sun goes down"), while the Jocelyn Brown-fronted 'I'm A Woman' is less open to lyrical interpretation. The use of Ghostface Killah on 'Thrilla' indicates a willingness to embrace different styles, while any number of funky instrumental cuts inbetween suggest that Cassius should be here for the long haul - and that French dance music may yet find a way out of Daft Punk's filtered disco cul-de-sac. By the way, cool Parisians like to drink chilled Chinon from the Loire. Check out the Sourdais Chinon 2000 Les Cornuelles.

CARL COX - MIXED 2 (Moonshine) Read full review

THE DONNAS – SPEND THE NIGHT (Atlantic)
I've soured a little on the notion of all-girl bands desperately trying to prove themselves harder than the boys since seeing the Sahara Hotnights. But let's not let that take away from Californian's present-day Runaways who, now that they're young women, throw the clichés back at the boys ('Take It Off'), pronounce their independence ('Who Invited You') and generally play at being Ratt-like sluts ('Take Me To The Backseat'), all with tongues (their own or someone else's, I'm not sure) presumably in cheek. Or at least in check.

EPICYCLE – SWIRL (Cirkle)
Chicago-based brothers Ellis and Tom Clark have a day-job as producers with the likes of Kevin Tihista and Nikki Sudden. In-between sessions, they record warped psychedelia as Epicycle, and on their second album Swirl, though sometimes annoyingly so, they offer smart arrangements (the brassy 'Sunday Girl') and even smarter lyrics ('I'm So Cool'). They even take on David Bowie's obscure 'Rubberband.'

FC KAHUNA – MACHINE SAYS YES (Nettwerk)
The former hosts of the pioneering Big [Beat] Kahuna Burger club night go further back in time for their debut long-player. Early acid house, minimal techno and the ghosts of LFO and 808 State populate an album that purposefully mixes clinical instrumental sounds with emotionally driven human voices: check former Gus Gus singer Hafdis Huld's contributions to 'Hayling' and the title track.

THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS – SAVE ROCK'N'ROLL (Jetset) Read live review

GABIN – GABIN (Astralwerks)
Italian production duo recruit French-sounding singers (my wife insists their accents are all wrong) for house tracks with unimaginative titles like 'La Maison'. (Um, "the house.") With the rather crass single 'Doo Uap, Doo Uap, Doo Uap' set against more credible cuts like 'Mille et Une Nuit des Desires,' Gabin offers its share of good music if something of an identity crisis. I don't think quite highly enough of Gabin to give the album its own review, but I can certainly think of an appropriate wine: one of those modern, well-priced, international style Umbrian wines that blends in enormous amounts of (traditionally French) cabernet sauvignon and merlot to the all-Italian base (bass?) of Sangiovese. The Vitiano Falesco offers this precise blend at a value-packed $10 or less.

PETER GABRIEL – UP (Geffen)
Meticulously produced, musically dense, and far from easy listening, expect Up to reveal more with every play. Just have patience.

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT - CAMMELL BAIRD SOCIAL CLUB (Probe)
My new favourite band of old continue to deliver the goods on their first album of the new century. While the band gets marginally better musically, Nigel Blackwell's lyrics (what I called "social satirism" when writing about the 1990s back catalogue) seem to improve by leaps and bounds. "I'm off to see the Bootleg Beatles - as the Bootleg Mark Chapman," he sings sinisterly on 'When The Evening Sun Goes Down,' though his sharpest lyrics are spoken. On 'The Referee's Alphabet' he takes the perspective of the much maligned man in black ("K is for the kissing of the badge: how ridiculous that looks six months later when they're at another club"); on 'Breaking News' he recites a list of "public offenders" - like the "man from the record company who says that George Michael continues to challenge social taboos through his music" - that's worthy of publication in every local paper in the (British) land.

INTERPOL – TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS (Matador)
What a relief when one of the new hypes turns out to be a genuine hope. I bought this album on the strength of the single 'NYC' and while nothing else quite matches the restrained majesty of that song, there's plenty here of Substance. Talking of which, for all that Interpol have been compared to Joy Division, I hear more overt influences. Most notable is the Smiths circa 1983 on 'PDA' and the subsequent 'Say Hello To The Angels.' Elsewhere, Turn On The Bright Lights is a refreshing (if inconsistent) amalgam of classic post-punk sounds; Comsat Angels, Echo & The Bunnymen, the Psychedelic Furs, and indeed, the Sound. Proof that imitation, delivered with enough distance and dedication, can sound innovative.

JURASSIC 5 – POWER IN NUMBERS (Interscope)
I stopped following hip-hop after gangster rap hijacked and, as far as I'm concerned, murdered the entire movement. (Though those who got rich off of pimping misogyny and violence hardly give a damn.) But there are still acts around to remind us of hip-hop's positive roots, its musical ingenuity, and its lyrical flow. This is one of them.

MARK KNOPFLER – THE RAGPICKER'S DREAM (Warner Brothers)
Though never a big Dire Straits fan, I've enjoyed Mark Knopfler's soundtrack and solo work. The Ragpicker's Dream is a pleasingly proud return to roots – his own Geordie ones, as well as the musical traditions of country, folk, and blues. Whether it be 'Fare Thee Well Northumberland' or 'Daddy's Gone To Knoxville,' Knopfler makes the provincial sound international.

LEMON JELLY – LOST HORIZONS (XL)
Suitably for such a silly name, Lemon Jelly's music falls only just the right sight of childishness. But it’s that sense of frivolity that makes Lost Horizons so remarkably pressure-free – especially on the rather dumb but definitely fun 'Nice Weather For Ducks.' The spoken list of exotic locations on 'Ramblin' Man' strikes a better balance between ambience, dance, wit and wisdom: a nice companion piece to 'At The River' by Groove Armada, an act with which Lemon Jelly share much in common.

LUNA – CLOSE COVER BEFORE STRIKING (Jetset)
Who says there's no second acts in American biography? A fully revived, totally energized and absolutely 'on a roll' Luna follow this year's superb Romantica album with a seven-song EP for the sheer creative hell of it. Every track, including a cover of the Stones' 'Waiting For A Friend', finds the New York band sounding as good as at any point in the last decade.

MIDIVAL PUNDITZ
– MIDIVAL PUNDITZ (Six Degrees) Read full review

MIGUEL MIGGS – COLORFUL YOU (Naked)
San Franciscan deep house guru finally puts his name to an album. It's as restrained, relaxed and soulful as you'd expect, with the dub reggae grooves that Miggs' perfected in earlier bands lending an extra timbre onto the sometimes predictable west coast house format.

NEW ORDER - Back To Mine (DMC). Read full review.

PARKER AND LILY
- HERE COMES WINTER (Manifesto)
Strip the Velvet Underground, Tindersticks, Low, and Young Marble Giants to one or two instruments between them, lower the volume a little, and you've got an idea how desperately dark and fragile ex-Valentine Six duo Parker (noon) and Lily (Wolf) sound. Especially given that they're singing about each other.

TOM PETTY/HEARTBREAKERS - THE LAST DJ (Warner Brothers). Read full review.

RöYKSOPP – MELODY A.M. (Astralwerks)
The Norwegian duo's futurist soft porn soundtracks have been on trend-setters' playlists for a year now. 2 Many DJs famously used 'Eple' to back Dolly Parton, while Boy George has 'So Easy' on his new A Night In With… compilation. But don't despair if you're only just climbing on board. For its overdue US release, Melody A.M comes with four bonus mixes and three videos. Sounds like a bargain.

SIMIAM – WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS (Astralwerks)
Don't you love rock albums you can't categorize? You don't? Then We Are Your Friends isn't for you. For the rest of us, the mixture of bleepy electronica, Monkees pop, glam rock and northern English indie is highly satisfactory.

SHIMMER KIDS UNDER POP ASSOCIATION – THE NATURAL RIOT (Hidden Agenda)
Lo-fi Bay Area psychedelia, but this one has a charm that too much of the 'twee' variety lacks, especially on the candescent 'Finest Soldiers.'

THE STREETS - ORIGINAL PIRATE MATERAL (Vice). Read live review.

STROKE 9 – RIP IT OFF (Universal)
I restrict myself to one big loud (and hopefully melodic) American rock album a month. This is November's. Anybody want to kick some a**?

SUICIDE – AMERICAN SUPREME (Mute)
Long-awaited new album from ultra-influential, uber-credible and historically unknown pioneering New York industrial/avant-garde/electro(Clash-supporting) duo. Apparently Martin Rev and Alan Vega were in a New York studio making this album prior to September 11, after which Vega rewrote the lyrics. But while I love this as an edgy, experimental album, I don't hear 9-11 put into any context here. By which I mean that tracks like 'American Mean' and 'Death Machine' sound like they could as easily have been written before September 11 as afterwards. And while 'Damn Rain Damn Train' throws in the words 'sulphur sky', and 'Swearin' To The Flag' talks of how "the sky's on fire...tanks coming round the corner," they don't elaborate on these images the way say, Bruce Springsteen did on The Rising. To be fair, Vega recognizes the difficulties of looking for solutions where there don't seem to be any. Singing to his own son on 'Child It's A New World,' he becries how "Life won't ever be the same. . .Still, got to go on child." Which is exactly what Suicide have done. The music has stayed the same, the darkness remains, and Suicide's musical apocalyptica proves itself to have been two decades ahead of the real thing.

VARIOUS ARTISTS – RED HOT AND RIOT (MCA)
The Red Hot Organization's latest release aimed at raising awareness and funds to fight AIDS, is a boldly successful effort: an all-star collaborative tribute to the great Fela Kuti. A useful primer for those who couldn't make it through the 40-odd Fela albums re-released last year.
10 SONGS
Five to revive (as unearthed at my recent DJ gigs)
HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? – JAMES
PLANET LOVE – THE DYLANS
DON'T LOOK NOW – CHAPTERHOUSE
HALCYONANDON – ORBITAL
KILLER – ADAMSKI

Five to inspire (albums mainly to follow)
BLUE MONDAY – FLUNK (yes, that Blue Monday, this is an acoustic version)
THE LINK – ESTHER
21st CENTURY – WEEKEND PLAYERS (
POSITIVE VIBES/FlOAT AWAY – KOTTONMOUTH KINGS (If only the album Rollin' Stoned was all this good.)
DESIRE - GUS GUS
To receive occasional updates on new iJamming! content, send a blank e-mail to listserve@ijamming.net

This site is best viewed in Netscape Navigator 4.6 up; it works well in Internet Explorer 5.0; it hasn't been tested on AOL. Please report bugs or bad links to the webmaster

iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2002.
 SEARCH iJAMMING!

Enfer search words here
 


COMMENTS ON THIS PAGE OR ANYTHING ELSE IN iJAMMING!? POST THEM ON THE FORUM


What's new in iJamming!...
(Last updated
Mon, Nov 24, 2003 3:36 pm)

The November Hitlist
30 Albums 10 Songs
IT'S MY FIRST TIME: HOW MUCH WILL IT HURT?:
Ten tips for the marathon virgin from someone who's now done it. Or...How to enjoy an exercise in maoschism.
FEATURED ALBUM:
TOM PETTY/HEARTBREAKERS
The Last DJ
FEATURED WINE:
Cartlidge & Browne California Chardonnay 2000
Featured Mix CD:
Back To Mine by New Order
NEW! From the Jamming! Archives: The Jam
Interviewed in 1979
NEW: The iJamming! Interview: UNDERWORLD
"I got it in my head that I was going to die in a cheesy hotel room covered in cat's piss." NOW WITH LIVE PHOTOS
New! Coming and Going
Chapter 3: The Palace
NEW: The iJamming! Interview
RICHARD BUTLER Part 2
NEW! From the Jamming! Archives: Adam Ant
Interviewed in 1978

REMARKS REMADE :
Available Now!
The introduction to the new edition of my R.E.M. biography is here.

A Decade In Dance
BT & BANCO DE GAIA
10 Years (Apiece)
The October Hitlist
30 Albums 10 Songs
HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT
The whole Bloody 1990s cataloge
Last of The Summer Rosês:
Goats Do Roam, Vin Gris de Cigare and Rose of Virginia.
DID BIN LADEN WIN?
10 Reasons To Fear The Worst
From the Jamming! Archives:
PAUL WELLER
interviewed in 1978
"A number one single would be a bit scary."
LEVI'S STROKES EARS
New York's rock'n'roll rescuers play Lowlife - loudly
LUNA at SOUTHPAW
Local legends and international influence come home to party
THE AUGUST HITLIST:
28 Albums Rocking Our World
THE TWO ARE ALRIGHT:
The Who at Madison Square Garden
AREA 2:
A wash-out
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
The Movie
The Party
THE HOOTENANNY REVUE REVIEW:
Cedell Davis, Tuatara, and The Minus 5 atthe Knitting Factory
WILSON PICKETT:
Still 'A Man And A Half'
THE JULY HITLIST
30 Albums, 5 Songs, 5 books and a handful of movies
TIMOTHY WHITE
An obituary by Chris Charlesworth
The REZILLOS:
Back On The (Flying Saucer) Attack
THE JUNE HITLIST
30 Albums, 10 Songs, 5 books and a handful of movies.
MAY MUSINGS
Eight Days in A Week's Music:
Ed Harcourt, Vines, Candy Butchers, Timo Maas, Ashley Casselle & Adam Freeland, Aerial Love Feed, and enough little club nights to shake several sticks at.
LONDON MUSING
Tony's (lengthy) trip down nostalgia lane from his visit home at the end of April. Stop-offs include Death Disco, old Jamming! Magazines, life-long friendships, road trips to Brighton, Damilola Taylor and political frustration, Morrissey-Marr, Zeitgeist, Oasis, Dexys, Primal Scream, the current British music scene and more.
The iJamming! interview:
CARL COX
"'Acid Trax' by Phuture came out and I was just 'Okay, forget all hip hop and all old school rare groove right here, this is it.'"
GOLDEN SHOT
hostess 'Lee Patrick' recalls her time as Keith Moon's amour
HEDONISM:
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online
From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.
"It's not U2 that's creating this great art. . .There's something that works through us to create in this way."
iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
The iJAMMING! interview:
DAVID SYLVIAN
"I don't think people realize that life can become so exciting and interesting that it can draw you away for long periods of time from creating music - & why not?"
From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .
The iJAMMING! chat:
MARK PERRY

"If I was asked why Sniffin' Glue was so important, it was the way we conducted ourselves, the style of it, just the attitude. It had attitude in abundance didn't it?"
Forgotten Classics:
THE CHILLS: Brave Words
From the JAMMING! archives: PAUL WELLER ON POP
Featured wine region 2:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
TRAVIS.
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song." (And why Liam Gallagher "is going to turn into a really great songwriter.")
Featured Artist Web Site:
LLOYD COLE
From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation
The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.
"Once you've had your go, what-ever it may be, they want you to piss off, and they can't bear it if you come back, they can't bear it."
The full iJamming! Contents