Tuesday 11 September 2012

Kid In The Front Row Radio: SEPTEMBER 2012


There are about twenty 'Flanagan & Allen' songs I'd rather share with you than this one, but I can't find them on YouTube.

Most of their recordings were from during the war, back in the 1940's, and you can hear it in the music. Some of the tracks are directly about the war -- others are about regular things, like love, but you feel the weight of the times in the recordings. Every song feels like it's being sung without knowing if the woman it's about will ever hear it, or if the character in the song will ever make it home to share his feelings.

Modern music can't compete, the stakes are too low. What's interesting about privileged people who's biggest dilemma is whether some girl will text back or not? 'Call Me Maybe'? Don't be ridiculous. We don't care.

Most music these days is a flash in the pan, but Flanagan & Allen's recordings carry history in them. Listen to a few of their tracks and I guarantee you'll be deeply moved, emotionally and physically-- you'll literally feel yourself being transported back to wartime Britain. Magical.


It's a cover of Billy Joel's 'New York State of Mind', which is risky, I know. Some songs should be left alone. But her voice resonates. And just wait until the harmonica comes in. It feels obtrusive and over the top; yet, it totally works! It gets inside of you. Adds a new dimension to the song.


We all know how great 'The Who' are. But like all great bands, it's the lesser known tracks that are gold. 'You Stand By Me' was an album track on 2006's 'Endless Wire'. And much like 'Something Good Coming' from Tom Petty's recent 'MOJO' album; this track resonates because it has WISDOM! It's written and sung by someone who's been in and out of the ring his whole life. You feel it in the song.

The relationship he's singing about, you know it's earned it. You know it means something. The lyrics are so simple, and the performance deceptively so. But then all the best things are. A newer band would turn this track into a ballad, but with Pete Townshend it's practically an afterthought, a throwaway. I guess that's what makes it feel so real.


How did Motown nail it so consistently? Nobody knows. There must have been something in the water. They'd just get in the studio and start playing. So much magic. Of course, we remember the Marvin Gaye hits and the Stevie Wonder classics; but it's gems like 'Walk Away From Love' by David Ruffin which must never be forgotten!

The great thing about Motown music is how open and honest it was. It was soul music of the highest order; because it actually reached us on a gut level. It sinks into you when you listen in a way that modern music rarely does. The modern acts are too busy being cool, trying to be marketable. Motown will always have a place in my heart, there's nothing like it.


Sara Bareilles is awesome. 'Love Song' was the hit, but that hardly sees important now. She's an artist who quietly records and tours and just gets on with it. I first became a fan by connecting to her amazing cover versions of tracks like 'Sitting on the Dock of the Bay' (Otis Redding) and 'Sullivan Street' (Counting Crows). Now I'm getting round to her original stuff. And wow! Give it a chance. Take the time to stop what you're doing, close your eyes, and listen. Fantastic.


In a different era, maybe Tyler Lyle would be a huge star, but now he's practically unknown. But don't let that stop you: his music is something special.

Albums don't matter anymore. The only people who think they do are the oldies who still wish the world was Vinyl, and 15 year old hipsters who are bitter they missed out on the days when music mattered.

Yet... Tyler Lyle's album is magical! 'The Golden Age & The Silver Girl' is an album all about ONE GIRL! All the feelings he felt; all the stages he went through. Every track is beautiful.

'Anyhow' is a song about loving someone who doesn't love you back; but you're going to stay the course and love them anyhow until they do. "And you don't see me like I see you, but I'm gonna be here till you do".


Only just discovered this band: Tea Leaf Green. Loving what I'm hearing. I dig this song, 'I've Been Seeking'. I love it today and I'll love it when I wake up tomorrow, but will it last the course? That's the beautiful thing about music, you never know which tracks will stick. I hope I love this song as much in the future as much as I do right now, but there's no way of knowing for sure.

Care to share?

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