Caught by the River

Autumn Songs

8th November 2010

Couple of quick musical pointers from Robin for this month…

There are at least two things that are entirely predictable about me. First – if you propose a drink, I’ll enthusiastically take you up on that offer. Second – it’s guaranteed that I’m going to adore pretty much any music connected with Welsh group Super Furry Animals. News that their singer – Gruff Rhys – is readying his third solo album for release at the start of 2011 is almost fuel enough to propel me through these dark, pinched nights of winter. Rhys’ music is alternately brooding and elemental and ecstatically quixotic. Songs come seeped in a Welsh melody that seems to be written on an entirely different musical scale to the one everyone else in rock’n’roll is using. To this day I still spend time wondering why the Super Furries aren’t the biggest band in the country (note – this usually happens about 45 minutes after the first predictable point I listed above). There’s a track to download that’s currently available for free on Gruff’s website. If you’re not already converted, it’s a suitably brilliant place to start.

Worth keeping an eye on is music writer Dorian Lynskey’s blog 33 Revolutions Per Minute. The site is an outrider for Dorian’s forthcoming book of the same name. Subtitled “a history of protest songs”, the book promises to track ‘the turbulent relationship between pop and politics’. Dorian’s latest blog on the recently reelected Democrat governor Jerry Brown (of “California Uber Alles” infamy) manages to debunk a couple of myths about the bloke at the helm of the ‘suede denim secret police’. Really looking forward to the book.

In other Dead Kennedy’s news (always wanted to type that on Caught By The River), the band features on Friend of the River Jon Savage’s peerless collection of Californian punk rock from 1977 to 1980. Oft overlooked in favour of the East Coast and UK scenes, California threw up some truly great records, a whole bunch of which Jon has put together here on the suitably named, punk as fuck “Black Hole” compilation (out this month on Domino). Any excuse to hear Black Randy, the man who gave the world the greatest album title ever.

(thanks to Ben & Stacey for each sending the Gruff video link)