Listen To This” is back with another chance to snoop into the record boxes of those with far better tastes than you or I.  This time around I’d like to welcome Jez from Horse Latitudes who’ll pick three tracks, and hopefully not develop an allergic reaction to my selections.   Aside from contributing to the excellent Horse Latitudes blog, Jez is co-editor of Finger magazine as well as being responsible for officially the 28th best tune of 2006 (well according to me anyway). With industrial strength brown nosing like that its hardly surprising he agreed to do this feature!

Incidently if youre a lover of lists, top 10’s and records to fall in love to questions check out the latest edition of Finger Magazine. Its got lists galore from dozens of musicians from Richard Hawley to Sven Vath, and Coldplay.

Anyway on with the tunes: First up my selections – 2 brand new and one oldie but goldie. In a slight change of format Jez responds with an opinion piece at the end. It seems my accidental choice of two remorselessly bleak relationship songs has given the poor sod the blues… thank god for the Jackson’s riding in to save the day. 

Pt.2 with three selections from Jez will follow in the next few days.

Camberwell hit factory

MUSIC LIKE DIRT CHOICE 1:

Stuart James“The Food Between Her Teeth (Camberwell Hit Factory mix)” (MP3)

Download: More free Stuart James remixes on Myspace, 3 more MP3’s on Stuart’s own page or a dozen from his last.fm page.

Stuart James – City On A Roll” (MP3)

MLD: Ever wondered what Mike Skinner would sound like if he’d listened to more Bragg & John Cooper Clarke, and less 2-step? Well wonder no more, the answers Stuart James. Hailing from South London he arrives armed only with acoustic guitar, wonderfully inventive lyrics, and a delivery style to leave Daddy Freddy wheezing like a red faced pensioner (Daddy Freddy on Record Breakers).

In fact the lyrics compel you to write them down, but don’t bother its bloody frustrating (actually do bother, then send them to me!)
On a separate Myspace to his original own name recordings Stuart offers up these “Camberwell Hit Factory” versions that meld his slam poetry style delivery to brilliantly basic beats and samples. The simplest keyboard line, a pulse, and a 4:4 beat are all that back an accusatory tale questioning an unknown man’s worthiness to be with his woman, culminating in the accusation that “you’re not worth the food between her teeth”.

Does she make you melt
when you hear her voice
Do you give her time
Do you know she’s cool
Do you play her for a fool
Does she make you blush

All the tracks on the Camberwell Hit Factory page are worthy of your time, as are the original acoustic versions. Definitely one of the ones to watch in 2007 (although Im those with their fingers on the pulse were saying that last year). Thanks go to Dan Le Sac for gently *cough cough*ing in Stuart’s direction.

CocknBull

MUSIC LIKE DIRT CHOICE 2:

The Cock’n’Bull Kid“There’s a Mother In Our Bed” (MP3)

Visit: The Cock’n’Bull Kid’s Myspace / “There’s a Mother” Live on YouTube

MLD: Declaring “Morrissey met Neneh Cherry. They procreated. The end” on your website takes some bravado, but fortunately CocknBull Kid is well on the way to delivering on these rash claims. “There’s A Mother In Our Bed” sounds less like Mozza & Cherry and more like Grace Jones taking Jamelia down a dark alley with a strap on – but maybe that’s just me – either way it’s the ultimate Mother-in-law song, delivering viciously witty rebukes to her mummy’s boy boyfriend:

I understand you want to put your mother first
wouldn’t ask you to choose between me and her
but to be honest id rather see her in a hearse…in a hearse

The music matches up to the razor sharp lyrics, a looped “1.1.1.1.2.1.2” starts it off, while a joyously batty operatic chorus provides the killer “Why Don’t We just face it our relationship is very fucked up” hook. Her listed influences range from Morrissey to East17 and The Spice Girls, showing that while she may operate on the bleedin’ edge she’s not afraid of a good old fashioned pop hook or a healthy dollop of wit.
Check YouTube for a bizarre interpretative dance performance to Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” featuring a horse’s head and a man who’s clearly never kissed a woman in his life 🙂 – odd!

Jackson 5

MUSIC LIKE DIRT – CLASSIC CUT:

The Jackson 5“It’s Great To Be Here” (MP3)

Watch: “Eat More Cereal” say The Jackson 5 on YouTube / “Killing Me Softly” on The Cosby Show (YouTube)

MLD: For anyone old enough to remember the dance Snoopy did when he was happy, this is what he must have been listening to, or at least its the reaction the track has on me. In my overactive imagination its the perfect end of set track, the music’s gone down a storm, the crowd are ecstatic, and it sends everyone home delirious. The beats, euphoric strings, fat bass, and MJ’s beautiful beautiful imploring voice crying out “Its Great to be Here“, hands are in the air, smiles are on faces and life simply doesn’t get any better.

Its difficult to listen to the track when typing as its not something you sit and admire, its a tune that lifts the spirit, warms the soul, and more often than not gets you on the dancefloor.
Released on the Jackson’s fourth album, which with the exception of “Never Can Say Goodbye” actually wasn’t a great success, but has since proved a gold mine for samplers. P’Diddly and Mariah Carey have pilfered from “It’s Great To Be Here” probably due to its inclusion on Volume 10 of the famous “Ultimate Breaks and Beats” bootlegs in the mid to late 80’s (It’s where I first fell in love with the track, and numerous others).

HL (JEZ): …I’d like to first thank the Academy, and my broadband provider for the fact that I’ve been asked here to review music on ‘Listen To This’. The call came and I was off scrabbling around the ‘Net trying to find some new blood to offer up as sacrifice. Drawing in favours and hanging around Hoxton corners, ears pinned back for a URL to be casually dropped…I thought it was hard to pick my own music choices, I find it much harder to review someone else’s…

Having found my own tune reviewed kindly on these glowing pages it would be churlish to commit to anything but the greatest praise for Music Like Dirt’s offering, but then again I may be neglecting my duties over at Horse Latitudes if I did.

I therefore have done my best to keep an open mind – and to steer clear of the whole “there’s no such thing as bad music” non-opinion pole dance…

Listening to the two tracks (‘Mother’ and ‘The Food Between’) side by side I couldn’t help but wonder what the world had come to. Here I was listening to the Kylie & Jason of 2009. The lovers and fighters of the generation below me, and the role models for the generation below them…and I was left thinking like some insipid ‘Peas once said “Where is the Love?”.

Now I know it’s all about the sparse production. Pushin’ the plug-ins. Wrecking that soundcard and setting your PC speakers on fire. That modern yout’ take punk up a notch and it is attitude and t’ing that rocks, not just the words that are strung together.

But this is where I guess I come across as too old, and where the younger generation gleefully dance on my grave. I mean it’s right that I don’t get it isn’t it? There would be something wrong with the music if I loved it, innit? When Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue roamed the airwaves, criticizing the Mother-in-Law was unheard of. When I was a youth, girls wanted fellas who got on with their mums, it showed balance… or something…and they always respected the rule of the house they were visiting. I reckon The Cock n Bull Kid needs her head checking and her mouth rinsing. If she’s clever enough to drop the word “thus” she’s wise enough to know that the Mother-in-Law is better with you than against you. Believe.

And for his part Stuart James too seems to have a very distopian view of relationships. These two should get together a la Jason & Minogue, I think they’d make a stunning collaboration. Possibly with Wyclef on the production…

Which brings me to The Jacksons. Here is the love! Exactly what I’m talking about. Something to shake my rheumatic tailfeather to, and bathe in lyrics of love. Maybe I’m just in turmoil because CnBK & Stuart James seem to have a handle on the truth about Love. That The Jackson’s and Michael with his sweet turns were actually lying to us. Perhaps life and love – real life and real love are not really the subject of pop songs…

Perhaps these “love” songs are showing us what post-millennial post-teenage life and love is really all about. This is what you get in a world of 24 hour news, illegal wars, illegal searches, crumbling education systems and roaming Wi-fi mobiles phones. You don’t learn about love incrementally over 40 years. Like Milla Jovich in the Fifth Element, you get the knowledge of the World over night. In an instant. In a download.

Or maybe this is what the Supremes and the Shirelles would rather have been singing about, if they weren’t being handled by older male producers. Maybe if we always let the kids speak for themselves the truths they know will always shock us. Having not yet learned to curb their lack of enthusiasm…?

The more I think about these songs, the more I warm to the fact that they are unrestrained. That CnBK and Stuart James didn’t feel the need, in the world of digital music and downloads to limit their strong sentiments for a radio play that will never happen. I wish them both luck in finding a real love that they will enjoy, and I hope they can sing as strongly and as purely about that too. In the meantime though, I’ll be listening to The Jacksons with my old lady – while I hope CnBK and Stuart really do get together and make sweet music.