2020s

Those who know me will probably guess I’m not a big Eurovision fan. I can’t remember the last time I watched it. But the UK entry this time around is a pretty decent song.

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Here is hopefully a final winter warmer, with cuts ranging from the return of Underworld and vintage Aphex Twin to deep cuts by Michael Jackson and Modern English, tributes to lost members of Can and MC5 and some dub reggae to warm the cockles of the ear. 

The Courettes – Shake!

26th February 2024 · 2020s, 2024, Music

Five years ago one of my colleagues at Louder Than War told anyone who was willing to listen that The Courettes would become their new favourite band if they would only listen to them.

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This is such a joyful earworm, exuberantly performed by an all-female African supergroup of six vocalists celebrating self-love and acceptance. Female warriordom has never sounded so fierce, or danceable, or catchy.

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I’m not a big fan of nostalgia but I do have a natural inclination towards the melancholy, and even the maudlin, and this ticks both those boxes.

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I’m a sucker for most things to do with Louisiana – crawfish and alligators, bayous and paddleboats, zydeco and cajun music, gumbo and jambalaya, Dr John and Fats Domino, voodoo and Mardi Gras. So I’m loving this song by Waxahatchee.

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Here’s a winter warmer of new and not-so-new tunes spanning a century of popular music. As ever there’s country and folk, blues and soul and plenty of rock’n’roll, from the debuts of Hendrix and Grace Slick to some minimal techno and brand new Afro-rap but, unusually for me, no reggae.

Underworld – Denver Luna

13th February 2024 · 2020s, 2024, Dance, Music

This tune is fan-fucking-tastic. It took me about ten seconds to realise it’s Underworld, and a few more to realise it wasn’t a new remix of Born Slippy – arguably the greatest dance tune of all time.

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I discovered Can at the age of 16, back when I was at school. Not because I was some sort of cool avant-garde kid but purely because they put out an album for a cut-price 59p. 

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Girl groups are not normally my thing, especially those “idol” groups who dress up, dance and sing. But I can make an exception for Atarashii Gakko! Because while they are girls, and they do dress up and dance and sing, AG! are a kind of anti-girl-group girl group.

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