A-Z: Lavender Diamond – Magnet

My plan today was to try and get up early-ish (anything pre-10am is early on a weekend!) so that I could spend as much time as possible trying to get the flat looking nice. Amazingly I woke up at about half 7, so after just lying in bed for half an hour and trying to relive a pleasant dream, I got up about 8:00. However it’s now nearly midday and I haven’t even started doing house type things. Rubbish. It’s taken me hours to do my first online grocery shop here, mostly because I want to try and be a bit more economical with money, but also because I want to actual do more cooking and less heating up frozen crap. One of my desires for my new place in Cardiff was that it would ideally have a bigger kitchen. Sadly I’ve failed on that account – in terms of workspace it’s managed to be even smaller than my Worcester kitchen – however, it’s soooooooo much nicer! I actually like being in there, which counts for more than worktop space. So yes, will try and actually use it! Infact I’ve just unpacked my George Foreman and am eating a bacon sandwich. Mmmmmmm 🙂

Anyway, now I’ve food-ordered and eaten, I can actually get on with the unpacking and stuff! Tis my aim to take photos before the day is out. Ok, cue up musical accompaniment…

Lavender Diamond – Open Your Heart (promo single)
I discovered Lavender Diamond when Becky Stark supported at Cerys’ London Scala gig last year. She was hilarious and the songs she did were good too. This single’s pretty damn cool it has to be said – track 1’s ‘Open Your Heart’, a Lavender Diamond song performed by Lavender Diamond. You might think that’s stating the obvious, but the b-sides go into interesting-covers territory. The first b-side is a Lavender Diamond song, ‘Oh No’, but not performed by Lavender Diamond, instead performed by Colin Meloy from The Decemberists. Very cool. Then track 3 is Lavender Diamond’s cover of Abba’s Chiquitita! With additional vocals from Zooey Deschanel. That’s a lot of cool crammed into a single!

Tom Lehrer – Tom Lehrer in Concert (live album)
Tom Lehrer’s probably best known for his song ‘The Elements’, which is basically all the elements from the Periodic Table set to music! You’re bound to have heard it in a Science lesson at some point!! Very funny. I was aware of that song but couldn’t actually have told you who it was by and hadn’t even thought of it in years when I randomly downloaded a Tom Lehrer song a couple of years ago. Someone had posted it in an LJ community amongst a load of other songs by different artists and something about the explanation of it made me want to listen to it. The song was the live version of ‘The Masochism Tango’, as featured on this CD, and I just loved it!!! So so funny and disturbingly catchy. I looked into Tom Lehrer then and realised he’d sung The Elements, so downloaded that, plus a few other random songs. I found that I much preferred the live versions though, as his chat and the reaction of the audience really helps to make the songs. So a little while later I got my hands on this CD 🙂 I just love his sense of humour – how can you not be impressed by someone who sings songs about poisoning pigeons in the park and Oedipus Rex?! 😀

Neil Leyton – Blacklight Skies (album)
I’m not sure how I discovered Neil Leyton now. I’m pretty sure he’s another one I randomly downloaded some MP3s by and really liked them. I’m trying to think how best to describe his music now. Like some kinda strange amalgam of Suede, Radiohead and Nick Cave! Kinda. I wonder if he’s on MySpace – that would make it much easier as you can hear him for yourself! Ah yes, ta da! Hey, he lists Suede and Nick Cave amongst his influences! I always think I’m bad at making musical comparisons, but maybe I’m not as bad as I think. I’d need to start using more poncey nonsensical similes and metaphors though if I wanted to foray into the music journalism camp.

Livingstone – So Tough (single)
I’ve never actually listened to this. I got it as part of a ‘luck dip’ bag in MVE in Camden one time, where you got about 10 singles for 50p or something crazy. Lots of the singles in there I got rid of as they were just crap, but a few looked vaguely interesting so I held on to them, but haven’t actually listened to them! This is one of them. Lets see what it’s like…
‘So Tough’ – Ooh, surprisingly enjoyable! Nothing especially original, but upbeat, catchy indie-rock. Yeah it’s alright.
‘Flirt’ – Hmm, ok I’m getting a bit bored of this single now. It’s fairly generic rock really. This song’s a bit like they wish they could be Mansun and write something like ‘Drastic Sturgeon’, but er they can’t.
‘You Asked For’ – Final track. And ah a more acousticy track to show they have range! 😉 It’s alright – again like a poor man’s Mansun, without their level of ingenuity.

Llwybr Llaethog v Y Cyrff – Llanrwst (single)
A couple of Llwybr Llaethog remixes of Y Cyrff’s classic ‘Cymru, Lloegr a Llanrwst’. I was well impressed to find it in Jumbo Records in Leeds. Especially as it was only 75p! I’m often not that keen on remixes but I actually really like both of these. I especially like the bits of Mark talking that are mixed in – taken from one of the Radio 1 Catatonia documentaries I think.

Longpigs – The Sun Is Often Out (album)
I think I first checked out the Longpigs when a few people were praising them on the Suede forum. They’re not up there amongst my absolute favourite bands, but I do like them a lot. One song inparticular I just really love…
‘She Said’ – Yes, this is the one. I can’t even explain why, it just really grabs me. A lot of it’s the lyrics I guess, but it’s just so catchy too and great to dance to. I listen to it a lot. I wonder if it’s on MySpace anywhere actually, I’d like to add it as my profile song for a while… damn it’s not there! That surprises me actually. Oh well. Will keep The Schema for now, I’m loving that song at the moment.

Longpigs – Lost Myself (single)
‘When You’re Alone’ – I really like this song. I see it’s one that was written by Richard Hawley. I often forget he was in the Longpigs!

The Magic Numbers – Forever Lost (single)
The Magic Numbers make me want to skip through a field or something. Make of that what you will!

The Magic Numbers – Love Me Like You (single)

Magnet – The Tourniquet (album)
I first heard of Magnet when he released a cover of ‘Lay Lady Lay’ with Gemma Hayes. I was already a fan of Gemma’s, so bought it because of that, but was then also interested in Magnet. I bought this album not long ago actually, so this is only my 2nd time of listening to it. I didn’t find it a very instant album, so I’m enjoying it more this time than I did last time. It floats in some kind of territory between folk, indie and pop, which isn’t a bad thing.
‘Blow By Blow’ – Hmm, I think these songs really work best listened to individually, interspersed between other songs. They’re all good and enjoyable as individual tracks, but as an album it doesn’t really hold my attention – I started to get quite bored with it by about track 6 or 7 and am just wanting it to get to the end now really. There’s not enough variety or enough of a ‘wow’ factor for me really.

Magnet & Gemma Hayes – Lay Lady Lay (single)
Great song and great version.

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