In early 2008, Gilles Peterson released a podcast devoted to the rapper Jay Electronica. For a time there, he was MC royalty, “like some sort of hip-hop Jack Kerouac”. Born in New Orleans, his break came when he moved to Detroit, where he met J. Dilla. Electronica’s 2004 EP Style Wars was set to J. Dilla beats, including the opening track ‘Renaissance Man’.
Now for some garage-rock from Fagersta, Sweden. The Hives 2004 release Tyrannosaurus Hives, was their tricky third album. But no confidence had dissipated with the unstoppable single ‘Walk Idiot Walk’ leading the charge. Ever since they hit the UK scene with their immense call to arms ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’ in 2000, The Hives helped write the book on how to deliver rock ‘n’ roll in the noughties. If you like your sounds fast, loud and thrilling…
The Charlatans have been touring. ‘Loving You Is Easy’ is off their eighth album Up At The Lake. It was the band’s only album to have never received a US release. Tim Burgess gives us his soul on this piano ballad, helped by keyboard player Tony Rodgers who shares the vocals.
Where do I start? Well let’s immediately state that I love this tune. The original ‘La Ritournelle’ was released on Sébastien Tellier’s 2004 album, Politics. It surfaced in the UK a year later on all the right dance floors. Some people spoke of it as Unfinished Symphony part two. Others just recast it as their own (listen to Radiohead’s ‘Reckoner’). For me, the genius is the combination of Tony Allen’s mesmerising drums and Tellier’s own reworking of Glenn Medeiros’s wise words. Nothing’s gonna change my love for this song. Have a great weekend.
“Hold me now, don’t stop chicken.” The Polyphonic Spree reminds me of my kids and makes me smile. Disney’s Hollywood Records released the Texan troupe’s.sophomore album Together We’re Heavy in 2004. ‘Section 12’ is the second track on the album. Have a great weekend.
It’s a bank holiday weekend in Blighty. Let’s play some music. I write herewith my favourite songs of 2004 and in no particular order:
Honourable mentions also go to: Beastie Boys for ‘Ch-Check It Out‘; MF Doom for ‘Accordion‘; Outkast for ‘Roses‘; Adem for ‘Everything You Need‘; Will Johnson for ‘Just To Know What You’ve Been Dreaming‘; The Killers for ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll‘; David Byrne for ‘Glass, Concrete & Stone‘; and Jens Lekman for ‘Psychogirl‘.
I read that Wilco have confirmed a new album, Schmilco, to be released in September. So while I’m on a 2004 run, it would be rude not to feature something off the long player A Ghost Is Born, the band’s follow-up to the classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Guitarist/co-producer Jay Bennett had now left the group and Jeff Tweedy was attempting to overcome painkiller addiction. ‘Muzzle Of Bees’ is intricate, folky, psychedelic and well produced. Jim O’Rourke had filled the gap created by Bennett and, with this song, had also created something as good as what preceded it.
Before he joined Monsters of Folk in 2010, Will Johnson was already prolific as a solo artist, as the leader of Centro-matic and of its side project South San Gabriel. ‘Just To Know What You’ve Been Dreaming’ features on his 2004 solo album Vultures Await; it carries welcome echoes of The Beatles, Neil Young and Uncle Tupelo/early Wilco.
In 2001, a new wave of post-punk sounds cemented itself with the releases of the Strokes’ debut album Is This It and the White Stripes release White Blood Cells. These “saviours of rock ‘n’ roll” prompted others to pick up the garage rock mantle. The following year, Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy, Bob Hardy and Paul Thomson formed their band Franz Ferdinand. In January 2004, the band released the anthem ‘Take Me Out’, the lead single off their self-title debut. Have a great week.
Although it wast one of the biggest club tracks of last year, Fatima Yamaha originally released ‘What’s a Girl Got to Do’ in 2004 on the B-side of his A Girl Between Two Worlds EP. This slow burner has that Atari chiptune thing going on that was so prevalent in early noughties electroclash. Have a great weekend.
Danger Mouse’s rise to fame started with his work on The Grey Album – an unlikely and clever blend between The Beatles’ White Album and Jay-Z’s Black Album. The opening track is a version of ‘Public Service Announcement’ mixed with George Harrison’s ‘Long Long Long’. I have to say that the track only benefits from the introduction McCartney organ riff. Who would have foreseen that?! Have a great weekend.