52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

but what I really want to know is.....

>>>>>ST's ALPHABETICON - Part xi: K<<<<<

Previously in the Alphabeticon: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J

Right. You know the story by now, I hope: this is not a relentless trawl through my record collection, but is a journey through one particularly dusty set of shelves in one particular room in our house. It contains mainly those CDs that have sunk into back catalogue status, and ignores anything that is in the car, sat by any of the stereos in the house or anything that I only own electronic copies of on the computer. It's a very particular view of my taste, but it's a view nonetheless.....

249. Keane – Hopes & Fears
250. Keane – Under the Iron Sea

It's funny to think that when "Somewhere Only We Know" first came out, Keane were the hot new prospect that were being widely touted as the 'next big thing' by people like the NME. Here's a cool band, they said, they don't have a guitar player you know. Of course, when Keane did find success, they almost immediately became an object of derision. We're not quite in James Blunt territory here, but Keane are a band that it is somehow okay to laugh at. Keane's singer has an addiction problem and is in rehab? hahahahaha! That's ridiculous! They're so wet! Cobblers, of course, and little more than the inversely snobby reaction to their success. There are few people more scornful than music fans who see a band they once loved become loved by people with less taste than they apparently have. The truth is that Keane's first album is really quite good. I don't think that their second album is as good, but it's not bad either by any stretch of the imagination. It's kind of cool to mock them and the people that like them, but bollocks to that. They're earnest and they're perhaps a little po-faced and worthy, but I think they're alright. So there.

251. Kaiser Chiefs – Employment

I quite like some of the songs on this album, but I do find it quite hard to believe how a band who are so obviously in the thrall of Britpop have become quite so successful. The Kaiser Chiefs are not a bad band by any stretch of the imagination, but by the same token, neither are they a particularly good band. Good luck to them, I suppose, but I have to say that I have never for a moment been tempted to either go and watch them live or to buy their second album. At Glastonbury in 2005, this meant that I missed Bob Geldof rambling on about poverty because I chose to watch Athlete and Youssou N'dour ("meeeeellion voices") instead, but I can't say I'm especially sorry about that.

252. Kasabian – Kasabian

They're a bunch of posturing, sub-Oasis gibbons.... but somehow this album still has a certain swaggering genius about it. I couldn't bring myself to go and watch them at Glastonbury this year, mind you.... I preferred Rufus Wainwright and the Arcade Fire. What sane person wouldn't?

253. Kinks – Complete Collection

The greatest British songwriter of his generation and all that. I bought this after seeing the Kinks performing at Glastonbury in 1993. They were plugging a new album at the time ("Phobia", I think it was called), but of course we were all there for the hits, and I think they played them all: Waterloo Sunset, Lola, David Watts, You Really Got Me, All Day and All of the Night.... Superb. A real privilege.

254. Carole King – Tapestry

One of those albums that you find you know way more of than you thought you would: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, You Got A Friend, It's Too Late, I Feel The Earth Move..... It's a classic, innit? Of course, it's a bit weird to find myself sitting in the car singing along to "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman", but there you go.

255. Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak
256. Kings of Leon – Youth & Young Manhood
257. Kings of Leon – Because of the Times

This is a band with a back story you just couldn't make up: 3 brothers and a cousin from the deep south. The brothers the sons of an itinerant preacher who was thrown out of the church for his hard drinking. They've been called the 'Southern Strokes', but to be honest, I think they probably have more in common with bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lynyrd Skynrd. This is good, honest southern boogie-woogie rock n'roll. It's just a shame they ditched that magnificent facial hair. For me it's been diminishing returns since the first album, but they're playing bigger and bigger venues in the UK, so they must be doing something right. They're good live too, but by the looks of the way that he fiddles with his guitar tuning constantly between songs, Caleb may have a pitch perfect ear... which must be a bit of a bummer when you're playing arenas with the worst acoustics in the world. Still, good band. Yee-Haw!

258. The KLF – Chill Out

One of the first ambient-type albums that I ever bought, and it's still definitely one of the best. This plays as one long track of about 45 minutes in length, and takes in all kinds of sounds from birdsong through to Elvis singing "In The Ghetto" in the background. The KLF are a band famous for material rather different to this, but for my money, this is the best thing they ever did (perhaps run close by throwing a dead sheep into the audience at the Brits).

259. Killers – Sam’s Town
260. Killers – Hot Fuss

If the Killers perform until they collect their pensions, they will never record another song as good as "Mr. Brightside", the first song they wrote in their first fifteen minutes of being together as a band. Given that by definition this means that their whole career must be on a downward trajectory, but as songs go, that's one of the very best that there is, and they've probably done okay with their subsequent material too, to be fair. For me, "Hot Fuss" is a collection of great singles with a lot of filler and "Sam's Town" is a bit of a let down, but the rest of the world seems to disagree with me and the Killers are now one of the biggest acts in the world. Other people might be drawn to Brandon Flowers' sparkly jacket and ridiculously whispy moustache, but I chose to watch Rodrigo Y Gabriela on the Jazz Stage at Glastonbury this year instead.

261. Lenny Kravitz – Greatest Hits

Don't ask.

Seriously, don't.

Lost somewhere in iTunes: Kansas, Kanye West, Kelis, Kenickie, Kid Harpoon, Kid Symphony, Kiss, Klaxons, The Knack, Kooks, Kool & the Gang, Kraftwerk, Kubb, Kula Shaker, Kylie...

Next time: The Las, Led Zeppelin, Lush.... and more.

---

Shuffleathon 2007 Update

ShufflerPosted
Received
1. Tinayes
review
2. Sarahyes

3. Cody Bones
yes
yes
4. Mark
yes
review
5. Michael

6. Hen
yes
yes
7. Cat
yes
review
8. bedshaped
yes
posted
9. Pynchonyes
review
10. J
yesreview
11. The Great Grape Ape
yes
review
12. Ian
yes
posted
13. Martin


14. Monogodo
yes
yes
15. Threelightyes
review
16. Paul
yes
review
17. Charlieyes
review
18. LB
yes
19. Katyola
yes
review
20. Lisa
yesreview
21. Graham
yes?

22. Del


23. Spins
yes

24. Ben
yes

25. Dragon
yes
yes
26. Adem
yes
review
27. Mike
yes
review
28. JoeInVegas
yes
yes
29. Wombat
yes

30. Max Bob
yes

31. Stevious
yes
review
32. Asta
yes
review
33. Alan
yes
review
34. Russ L
yes
review
35. E.
yes

36. Mike T-D
yes
yes
37. JamieS
yes

38. Briskate
yes
review
38. Me
yes
review

Big up to YokoSpungeon for the original Shuffleathon concept. How's Ireland treating you Yoko?

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3 Comments:

  • At 10:52 pm, Anonymous j. said…

    Regarding your comments about Keane...I agree that their first cd is quite good, and their second cd not quite as good, but still decent. However, I'm also guilty of being a naysayer of bands I like that suddenly become popular to everyone else. I think it's a preemptive reaction, because so many groups that become popular in the mainstream eventually become sell outs and lose the musical roots and style that drew fans to them in the first place (i.e., No Doubt --> Gwen Stefani's "b-a-n-a-n-a-s" lyrics). I'm not saying this is what has happened to Keane yet...I'm just saying, I think that's part of the rationale behind people's reactions to any band that gains popularity.

     
  • At 7:17 am, Blogger ian said…

    I've always disliked Keane. To me, the second album is better (but still well into the shit spectrum). I've not changed my mind based on success, or the NME liking them.

     
  • At 7:54 pm, Blogger LB said…

    Keane? Who are they?

     

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