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Outsideleft Week in Music: So this is what 100 looks like.... we're hearing from De La Soul, Hania Rani, Young Fathers, U2, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Eloise, Nick Cave, Valerie June, Holy Moly and The Crackers, Rich Brian, Wilco, Jethro Tull, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Say Lou Lou, Jesus Piece and The Telescopes

Outsideleft Week in Music: So this is what 100 looks like....

we're hearing from De La Soul, Hania Rani, Young Fathers, U2, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Eloise, Nick Cave, Valerie June, Holy Moly and The Crackers, Rich Brian, Wilco, Jethro Tull, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Say Lou Lou, Jesus Piece and The Telescopes

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: January, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

OUTSIDELEFT Week in Music: 100 episodes of this, 1469 reviews...

"Greetings Pop Pickers!" This is Alan Freeman here, raving back from the grave to tell you that when I say when OUTSIDELEFT says this is what 100 looks like, they are talking about the AI entity that is the self-perpetuating OUTSIDELEFT Week in Music, which this week, is officially 100 episodes old. In 100 Weeks in Music, 1469 recordings or thereabouts have been reviewed, a tiny fraction of the global musical output in that time. A rounding number, but it's OUTSIDELEFT's rounding number and that makes it better. It's a millstone to be celebrated somehow for sure. See you down The Dog for a swift half later? 

SINGLES

JESUS PIECE - Gates Of A Horn (Century Music)
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by Tim London

Hahahahahaha! The guitarist mistakes his rifle for a guitar and shoots the singer who wears white socks. The other guitarist and bass player throw knives at the singer (the white socks?). The drummer wears a red beret. There should be a Twitter meme site called ‘Metal Bands With Confusing Auras’. But the music is as gut wrenchingly hilarious as any metally metal ever was. Ten metal points! Three cosy old dad-rock Outsideleft trying not to offend points.


PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS - Ultimate Hammer (Rocket Recordings)
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by Tim London

Prefer Hawkwind to be fair.


THE TELESCOPES - The Turns (Wiesskalt)
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by Toon Traveller

Well, it's first coffee, first review, this gets you thinking, 'are they for real', they are, and the simplistic sorta 70's German experimental rock meets UK 80's synth rockers all sounds good, theoretically. The Turns comes from teh Telescopes 14th LP, Experimental Health. Folk music made with broken toys and cheap synths - mostly Pocket Operators and miniature synths.  There are no guitars present on the album, most of the instrumentation cost £50 or less. Thisd sounds like something everyone else at Outsideleft would rave about. That's something. The music and ideas here though are not for me, a soundtrack for the stuck in traffic. As an aural accompaniment to Ancient Champion's Six Storiesd About Motoring Nowhere, maybe, it might work then. This release is 45 years too late even for a pensionista like me.


U2 - Pride (In The Name of Love) (Island)
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by Katherine Pargeter

OK, here's the opinion that's going to make anyone treat whatever I say from now on about music with huge suspicion.

But what exactly is the problem with U2? Yes, I understand that no one wanted that below par album dumped onto their hard drive like an ill-thought-out Christmas present and I also know that their disgraceful tax affairs are indefensible.  But the general distaste for U2's earnestness, religiosity, politicking and especially the gobshite asshaterry of the lead singer existed for decades before all of that. But trust me, when you get over all that there's a fine collection of songs for waiting for you.

This stripped back version of 'Pride' (from a forthcoming album of reworkings of older numbers) shows what a jewel of a song it actually is. 'Pride' is part tribute, part protest, part folksy lament, it dazzles with this more reflective, contemplative approach. And Bono is always better when he's not bellowing at you.  Lyrically,  it amends the one historical error (MLK was shot in the evening not the morning!) and that other altered lyric with a contemporary twist? I hope that it shames whoever it was meant to shame.


HANIA RANI - Dreamy (Gondwana)
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by Jay Lewis

The clue is in the title. The second single from Rani's forthcoming 'On Giacometti' album is serene, nocturnal and rather 'dreamy'.

Polish piano player and keyboardist Rani can fuse modern classical with jazz, ambient and electric music with fabulous ease. Just watch her live performance at Invalides in Paris (available on YouTube) to see her move seamlessly from instrument to instrument, style to style. And she's been known to sing (think early Hannah Peel if you want a comparison), too.

But 'Dreamy' is a quiet, solitary moment. It evokes that meditative intimacy that Nils Frahm managed on such albums as 'Screws' (she has also contributed to his annual 'Piano Day' celebration) a solo performance that is delicate and deceptively simple. Like Max Richter's mesmerising 'Sleep' - this is music that will resonate deeply within you.


KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD - Astroturf (Indie)
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by Toon Traveller

Never quite sure what to make of this lot, the fact The Wall Street Journal highlights them, is NOT their fault people can't choose their families, bands can't choose their fans. Love the opening, late 60's early 70s supa cool jazz, easy grove, and vocals out of the CBS style soul jazz. An easy groove with just enough edge to keep you listening. The instruments swap leads, there's a lot going on. Punchy horns tight as  pvc shrink fit pants, and  fat sloppy funky bass line. This is not wacky jazz, there's a structure, a plan, a plot. I've heard the ideas before, like Democratic Socialism, it's only when you hear it espoused, you realise why we all need it.


DE LA SOUL - 3 Is a Magic Number (Chrysalis)
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by Lee Paul

I think the story here is De La Soul have regained control of their back catalogue, and the LP, CD, Cassette reissues will begin in March. For a lot of people struggling to understand hip hop in the 80s, De La Soul's album Three Feet High and Rising was where they came in. It's a radical and hugely influential album though by any standards, evidenced by the pseudo psychedelic cover design by the pre BritArt collective the Grey Organisation that greets you before you even begin to get into the grooves. But get into the groove you will. Still seems so lovely after all this time.


SAY LOU LOU - Waiting For A Boy (Cosmos)
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by Tim London

In a video apparently made by a Russian pornographer feeling the increasing effects of an LSD mickey finn that becomes an audition tape for a part in an LA-based TV series, twins Anna and Elektra seem to be tapping into some kind of ever so slightly kooky aesthetic that matches the tidy, cutesy sounds they make. It’s sort of, almost, not quite.


ELOISE - Drunk On A Flight (Harbour Artists & Music)
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by Tim London

Is it possible to be middle of the road when you’re flying? is there a ‘middle of the sky’? If it is, Eloise is firmly being flown on that route, apparently with a bit of a head cold, which might be because she is just singing very closely and quietly to the mic - you know, intimate - but I hear bunged up, a bit, which is typical of me.


YOUNG FATHERS - Rice (Ninja Tune)
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by Lee Paul

This is a great song. Begins in the 60s and ends up in the future. Multilayered with depths that only fully release all of the songs secrets at the very end. Propulsively beautiful, frenetic and thrilling. Give it a whole lot of volume you'll not be sorry.


JETHRO TULL - Ginnungagap (InsideOutMusic)
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by Tim London

He’s a very good flautist, is Ian Anderson, to all extents and purposes the Jethro in Jethro Tull. They have always been a bit outside, the original no-one understands sixth formers. Here he/they just sound like always (at least since their stodgy blues first album), even if Anderson’s voice sounds a little delicate, as if he doesn’t want to wake the grand kids, although that might just be his age. Finally entering the years he dressed to resemble when he was only twenty-five. Some fiddly flute and fiddly guitar and stops and starts and lyrics about, probably, a landlady who is also a secret highwayperson-robber in league with the devil.


RICH BRIAN - Sundance Freestyle (WMG)
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by Tim London

Rinsing his moment, squeezing it, every last tiny crumb, with this well rehearsed rap (‘freestyle’ hah!) that seems to be about his appearance in an Indonesian film in which he plays… an up and coming rapper. The empire builders of the USA must be very happy to hear and see this absolutely American-made apparition, from the upper lip sneer to the Crip legs shuffle to the indefinable generic accent. Who needs armies and navies when you’ve got KKKulture. Of course, armies and navies help, too.


HOLY MOLY AND THE CRACKERS - Skyline Drive (Pink Lane Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Wow love the funky intro, the great drums and a great incessant guitar riff, that leads to a wonderful cacophonous bridge. Holy Moly! This is that great mix of rock and pop. Not anthemic, but a great fist pumping, feet dancing, phone waving floor shaker, the drumming and guitar are sheer class, and you can sing-a-long as well. Wot's not to like  


LPs

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO - 12 (KAB America)
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by Jay Lewis

Last year Ryuichi Sakamoto started to publish a series of articles in the Japanese Literary Magazine 'Schincho' called “How Many More Times Will I See the Full Moon?” Having just been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, the iconic (and I don't use that word lightly), pianist, composer, and producer was in a very reflective mood. In the articles, he discussed openly his thoughts on life and death and music.

'12' feels like it could be the soundtrack to Sakamoto's thoughts, his contemplations on existence, even his feelings when he looks at a full moon. The pieces here feel like a sonic diary (they are dated chronologically), sketches for piano and synthesizer, that seem to move through feelings of grief and pain with disquieting ambient drones towards tender and exquisite piano pieces towards the end of the record. As with Bowie's 'Blackstar' or Leonard Cohen's 'You Want it Darker' there is a sense of Sakamoto making the best possible record whilst he still can. Also, as with those aforementioned records, '12' is a profound work, you may want to hope for a full moon when you listen to it. 


Other Materials

This is where we encourage requests... Great music we've missed? Let's add it in with these other materials...

VALERIE JUNE - Working Woman Blues (Youtube)
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by LamontPaul

Working Woman Blues is Valerie June's Horny, replanted delta blues recorded at the mojo club in Hungary. As always Valerie June just does everything so right. This song seems so long ago now. Check out her arresting NPR Tiny Desk performance from 2014 too, just Valerie June and her banjo, oh wow⇒


NICK CAVE - People Ain't No Good (Youtube)
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by Lee Paul

For Nadhim, this week's person who just ain't no good.


WILCO - Jesus, etc. (live in Belgium) (Youtube)
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by LamontPaul

Often takes Jesus, Etc to smooth our traffic anxiety through Smethwick on the way to Handsworth, if we don't get the frost off the car until after 8. This is a lovely live version of that song.


Essential Info
Main Image. It's a cake

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

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