The 7 Best Albums of 2014 That You May Not Have Heard

Everywhere’s doing their end of year lists. This is important, because how else will we know what the best album of 2014 was?

I used to do this myself, but I stopped when I realised a few things:

1. Nobody was reading my lists.

2. My lists were essentially identical to everyone else’s, just with the albums in a slightly different order.

3. My lists took weeks to compile and write, but they didn’t make the slightest bit of difference to anyone – apart from that time my girlfriend said that I should have rated Oceansize higher.

Though I no longer compile lists of my own, I still find it useful when others do. I’m finding it increasingly exhausting to seek out new music. Brand new, that is. Whilst it’s always an absolute pleasure to delve into the past, when it comes to new music, I no longer have the energy to listen to as much as I can, in the vague hope of finding something that works for me.

The likes of Spotify have certainly made things cheaper, but by no means have they made things any easier. Being able to stream every album that’s ever released, instantly, at the touch of a button, only serves to highlight just how much new music is released every single week of every single year.

End of year lists make me aware of things that I would otherwise have missed. When they’re compiled by sites like The Quietus and Tiny Mix Tapes, they invariably contain the sort of strange noises that I wouldn’t have heard even if it were still possible to stay up til 5AM every single night, tirelessly trawling the blogs. They champion the unchampioned, and their end of year lists have pointed me towards some truly incredible sounds:

But it’s not just the obscure stuff. Merchandise’s After The End has featured prominently in several year end lists. I simply would not have given it a go otherwise. This afternoon I did, and it was wonderful. I mean, really wonderful, as in, “full of wonder”; as in, it’s a genuine wonder that it’s still possible to make fresh sounds from such basic instruments.

It’s for this reason I thought I’d compile a very short list of my own. These aren’t the best albums of 2014. Rather, they’re albums I’ve really enjoyed in 2014, but which I’ve not seen featured in many other year end lists. Maybe you’ve heard them, maybe you haven’t. In any case, perhaps you’ll discover something new.

Oh. If you have heard these albums, don’t scream at me for having the audacity to suggest that you haven’t. Instead, let’s be friends.

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5 Songs That Were Stunning Right from the First Listen

I have a lot of favourite songs. Some songs are my favourite because they remind me of certain times, places, and people. Others are my favourites because, over time, they’ve sunk under my skin and revealed themselves to be glittering caverns of unfathomable wonder.

Some songs, though, are my favourite songs because, the first time I heard them, I was stunned. Jaw hitting the floor, shaking my head in awe, stunned. Floored, like Brian Wilson, who claims that the first time he heard Be My Baby by The Ronettes, he fell over.

Some songs tend to lose their lustre after a few thousand listens. Not these. For me, they were incredible on the first listen, and they remain favourites because they have never lost their power to stun.

Read on.

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Psyche Up Your Life!

A few months ago, a friend of mine remarked that space rock is credible again.

Immediately, I had to correct him: Space rock has never been credible. It’s always been incredible.

But the point is, he only used the term “space rock” because he didn’t want to use the term “psychedelic rock”. I asked him why, and his reply was straight out of Sean of the Dead:

“Because it’s ridiculous”.

Why ridiculous? Perhaps because, now that all genres have been bent and shattered by net-born eclecticism, the term is essentially meaningless.

Nonetheless, those that must pigeonhole everything continue to strive for a solid definition.

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You Won’t Believe What’s On This Mysterious Video I Found At Glastonbury

Babaji

Actually, you won’t have the slightest bit of trouble believing what’s on this mysterious video I found at Glastonbury.

The problem is, nothing gets read these days that doesn’t have a shameless click-baity title. I fully acknowledge that I’m part of the problem. By way of recompense, let me take this opportunity to make you aware of a wonderful Twitter account entitled Saved You A Click. Everyday, they work tirelessly in the war against clickbait, and they deserve every ounce of your love, your support, and your fear.

I found the above three hour TDK VHS at Glastonbury.

Did I mention I went to Glastonbury? I’m not sure I did.

It was in a basket full of free stuff in the beatific depths of The Green Fields. Handwritten on the box, and repeated on the cassette itself, was the word “Babaji”. At the time, I was told that this was an affectionate Indian term for a grandfather.

I’ve finally had a chance to watch the video.

What was on it? The answer will SHOCK YOU.

Except it won’t. Why would it? You’re not so easily shocked.

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The Oldest Pub In England, And Other Stories

Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Behold Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem!

It’s the oldest pub in Nottingham, and it also lays claim to being the oldest pub in England.

The oldest “inn”, in any case. I referred to it as a “pub” because I didn’t like the look of the sentence “the oldest inn in England”.

Notice it has a longsword attached to its front.

I’d like to pretend that the figures in the foreground, all of whom are strangers to me, were not there at the time the photo was taken. The problem is, they look a little too glamorous to be ghosts.

Except, perhaps, the young man to the bottom right. He looks like a teenager who was hit by a car whilst running across the road to see the girl in the middle. Now his spirit will follow her forever more. The twist to the tragic tale is that he remains as invisible to her in death as he was in life.

No, these guys aren’t ghosts, but the place is full of them. Full of ghosts, and all manner of interesting things.

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New! Music Section!

Oh look! There’s a new tab at the top of this website!

Let’s see, what is it…music. It’s music!

Yes, I make music. And now I have a place to archive it!

There you’ll find my entire discography to date, plus links to my Bandcamp page, where you can download things.

Actually, that’s not my entire discography. Missing is an album I put out last year as The Filing Cabinets. It was the same note repeated endlessly over the course of a five disc boxset.

I’m proud of it, because it’s the first album in history that takes longer to listen to than it did to record. It’s not much fun, though. But if anyone really wants to hear it, just let me know, and I’ll send it to you.

Maybe it will one day be reissued as a lavish vinyl package, complete with unreleased tracks and remixes from such big names as Robin Tertuttle, Pernice Chyce, Pulse Wrist, Dirk Brick and Cassandra “Seismic” Lifestone.

A New Pink Floyd Album Is Without Question A Good Thing

In October, Pink Floyd are releasing their first new material in 20 years.

I have been aware of the music of Pink Floyd for as long as I can remember. It’s no exaggeration to say that they soundtrack some of my earliest memories.

I have never not liked their music. It’s always held something of a mythical quality for me, beautifully evocative of higher planes and blissful, otherworldly states of being. Sometimes the mere mention of their name is all that’s needed to transport me a little.

Since this news was announced, I’ve made a point of avoiding any and all online discussion concerning the new Pink Floyd album (which will be called The Endless River).

I’ve done this because I know how much people love to moan, and I know exactly what they’re going to be moaning about in this case. Beyond all those hopelessly tedious types who’ll wade into a discussion in the mistaken belief that people are interested in just how much they dislike a band, I anticipate that much of the discussion concerning The Endless River will centre around the idea that this isn’t a “real” Pink Floyd album.

Roger Waters isn’t involved. They’re not actually writing new songs. It’s just off-cuts from The Division Bell sessions.

Yeah yeah. The thing is, as far as I’m concerned, a new Pink Floyd album is, without question, a very good thing.

Why? Read on to find out. If you can be bothered.

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The Glastonbury Rik Mayall Memorials

UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!!

Yesterday, I posted a list of my five favourite things at Glastonbury 2014.

Item number five in that list was a moving tribute triptych of Rik Mayall.

I was brazen enough to talk about this tribute without including a single photo. That’s how little I respect my readership.

But UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!!

Now I have a photo! Along with a bonus photo of a bonus Glastonbury Rik Mayall Tribute Mural!

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The 5 Best Things At Glastonbury 2014

Earlier this week I got back from my sixth Glastonbury Festival.

The annual Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is a big deal for me. As I explain over on FCK LDN, I love the darn thing so much that I’ve started to feel strangely Christmassy about the whole ruddy ordeal.

Now, I’ve already done the emotional gushing over there, so I’ll use this space to list the five best things I saw at Glastonbury 2014.

With the benefit of hindsight, I should perhaps have used my own personal blog to share the above personal ruminations, instead writing this here “review” for FCK LDN. But this gloomy place has been dormant for months now, and it could do with a bit of cheering up.

So here we go. Live on Lord Gloom, a list of the five best things at Glastonbury 2014. They’re in ascending order! I think.

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