Strikingly beautiful

No! [chuckles] No, not me!

Not this time, at least.

I stream BBC 6 Music into the office and the lab. As the guy in charge around here, I get to make these sort of choices: it’s good to be king.

But 6 Music is what happens in the background: in the foreground there’s TB, lab work, specimens, spreadsheets and databases. And listen (no pun intended), that’s a perfect scenario, because the background music makes the foreground work go more smoothly.

Silence isn’t golden. Silence is anything but golden.
Silence is awkward.

But then there was this song. And even though it is supposed to be in the background, it pushes its way through right to the front of everything, amongst the TB and the spreadsheets, and this happens every time they play it, because it’s so strikingly beautiful.
I recognised the voice, but not the song. And that’s because I had somehow missed the fact that Suede have just released something new. This is it:

Orchestral, theatrical, stunning. I love it.

The scene for the video is a bit galling, mind:

It’s set in a rural landscape, on the hard shoulder of the motorway, among the B-roads and among the rubbish that’s been fly-tipped. It’s set by a chain link fence with a dead badger lying rotting in the ground.

Right, but there’s a new album out soon too, yes?

It’s quite dank and troubling. A lot of this is about the terrors of childhood, so it’s quite unpleasant in lots of ways.

Which sounds… er… lovely.

I can’t wait.

Muse

“My goodness,” he thought, the realisation having suddenly dawned upon him. “I haven’t listened to any Muse in ages.”

And this is a bit weird really, because they’re one of those bands nearly all of whose songs I nearly always enjoy. And thus, with wanting to share something from them, the only problem was which one to choose. I had a good time listening through several (or more) of their efforts before plumping for Mercy.

And then I changed my mind and went old-school with Bliss. In which the lead singer takes a bit of a tumble.

We’ll save Mercy for another day. Soon.

Just enough electronica to keep the electronica people happy.
Just enough rock’n’roll to keep the rock’n’roll people happy.
And just enough wind resistance in deep space to irritate the astrophysicists.

All set to the backdrop of Matt Bellamy’s soaring vocals.

Popping a Muse playlist onto my Spotify before heading off to Europe now seems like a very sensible idea.

Unleash heaven? Unleash heaven!

Indeed, with the90sbuttondotcom.

The 90s were definitely my favourite decade. And – quite by chance – they remain my favourite bath temperature. But that’s not important right now.

What is important is that you use the link above, position your cursor on the tab with the words:

UNLEASH HEAVEN? 

and David Hasselhoff’s face on it, at which point the question mark will change to an exclamation mark, and left click.

At this point you will be served a music video from the 1990s.

Glorious.

I got some 2Unlimited, some Prodigy, some Take That, some Aqua (no, not that one), some Chemical Brothers and a bit of Mr Oizo. And loads, loads more.

And while you’re enduring enjoying the tunes, you can watch three animated gifs of MC Hammer dancing in unison at the bottom of your screen. And no matter the tune, they’re always in time with it. Incredible.

You can’t. Touch. This.

I’m wholly expecting the same team to make versions of this for the 2000s, the 1980s and the 1960s. There’s obviously nothing worth playing from the 1970s, so they can save time and money by simply not bothering with that decade at all. #Efficiency

The Club

I don’t do clubs anymore.
I don’t miss that lifestyle.

Tenuously (at best) linked to those facts, here’s a song which is on the BBC 6 Music playlist (and on my free-to-follow inspired by 6 Spotify playlist) at the moment, from all-female Madrid four-piece band Hinds which is called The Club.

I dunno. I fully recognise that I’m not the target demographic (just like with most nightclubs, ironically), but I quite like this. It’s fun, tuneful and it has that Black Hotels muted electric guitar sound that I don’t know the proper name for.

The video is all a bit millennial instagram though.

 

Can’t have everything.

“I’ll be Bok”

Or… “He’ll be Bok”? Or… “Bok’ll be back”?

Ag, I just don’t know, but this is one of the weirdest emails I’ve received recently.

I’m sharing this no because I hold any feelings for the man or his music, but merely because… well… this is one of the weirdest emails I’ve received recently.

Why did they send it to me?

The email consisted solely of this image:

This is basically an advert for Afrikaans singer Bok van Blerk, who sprang to the nation’s attention back in 2007 with his rendition of the potentially divisive Afrikaans anthem De La Rey [youtube], described by The Grauniad thus:

Some see its popularity as the beginnings of a reassertion of Afrikaner identity from the ashes of apartheid. Others view it as an attempt to rebrand Afrikaners from oppressors to victims by casting back to their suffering at the hands of the British as an analogy for the perceived injustices of life under black rule. South Africa’s arts minister, Pallo Jordan, has even warned that the song risks being hijacked by extreme right-wingers as a “call to arms”. One rugby ground tried to ban it but backed down in the face of public outrage.

For reference, here’s Koos de la Rey’s wikipedia page

I’m not diving into the politics and nationalist sentiment stirred up by the song. I just got an advert emailed to me, offering Bok’s attendance at my festival, function or fundraising event. Not, it appears, to sing (thank the heavens), but to describe his life(?) since that song:

Van De La Rey Tot Nou

translates as “From De La Rey to Now”.

Could it be that Louis Andreas Pepler (for that are his real name) has just hit 40 (he has) and has decided to re-evaluate and re-invent himself?

I don’t know and I really don’t care.

And even if I’m right, it still doesn’t explain why I was included on the mailing list.

If you want to book Bok (the Steve Hofmeyr Lite of Afrikaans Politics and the Kurt Darren Lite of Afrikaans Music):

Kontak Lindé: linde@mozi.co.za of 082 569 3502.

And if you do, please ask her why she sent me this.