December 27, 2006

Guest blogger redux: Chris from England

Around this time last year, I featured a “guest blogger” post by my pal/faithful reader Chris in England, who regularly takes the time to make me fabulous and varied mix CDs which arrive in the mail at random intervals and never fail to brighten my day. I am a firm believer in the power of good music in your mailbox when you least expect it to make any day immeasurably better.

Chris and I have remarkably similar musical tastes (meaning his are also superb, obviously). In addition to the old-goodies he throws in, his mixes also serve as a much-appreciated barometer of what is new and interesting over in the UK and the Manchester area (often before it fully hits over here). It’s really one of the best things going in my mailbox.

Chris always sends along commentary with his mixes; he is a closet music blogger dying to get out. It would be criminal not to share all this goodness with you folks, so enjoy.

his comments in italics

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis
I am in love with the glorious stick-in-your-head nature of this song. I’d listened to The Fratellis before and wanted to write something, but nothing sums them up better than what Chris writes: “Watch out for the track from The Fratellis – a bit like Supergrass playing ’70s glam rock.” That is exactly spot-on what I hear when I listen to this -the most apt description I’ve heard yet for these boys from Glasgow- but could never articulate it so perfectly. So I’m just gonna let him introduce you to this infectiously fab tune.

No Matter What – Badfinger
A very old song (one of the first songs I bought as a very very young child), Badfinger was signed by Paul McCartney to Apple and responsible for one of the saddest stories in rock history (two members of the group killed themselves in later life, etc). Anyway I think the song was ‘power pop’ well ahead of its time. You can feel the Beatles influence in the production.”

Silent Sigh – Badly Drawn Boy
Part of the three-song sequence of Manchester artists, Chris calls this “a wonderful singalong — the best Badly Drawn Boy song ever.” I find it surprisingly Prince-like (not a bad thing).

Emily – Stephen Fretwell
Scarborough-born Fretwell: name-checked by Ryan Adams and a bit like Damien Rice.” Lovely and wistful and wonderful.

Dear readers, Chris and his services are available for rental if you need a great long-distance musical correspondent. Oh wait, actually he’s not — but I’ll pass along the goodness if he keeps sending me the goods.


  • Thanks

    I’ve had a bad day having lost a work colleague and mentor to cancer today.

    You’re a love. This cheered me up.


    Anonymous — December 27, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

  • Chris –
    Glad to do my tiny part to bring a smile to your face after you’ve done the same for me many times. Prayers to the family of your friend -

    heather — December 27, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

  • the fratelli’s were absolutely stale live and Edinburgh unsigned band the Rushes (their support) completely upstaged them.

    I saw them last April. Their songs are good the first few times, but you tire quickly of them. The tabs for chelsea dagger take 5 mins to master.

    As a Scot, I see a great many popular Scottish artists out there and am proud. But they are a hopeless bunch of guys in their mid twenties playing schoolboy songs.

    D. A. Shaw — December 27, 2006 @ 6:24 pm

  • Is it just me or the “Emily – Stephen Fretwell” link is bad? It seem to point to Badly Drawn Boy song.

    Anonymous — December 27, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

  • It’s bad.

    Anonymous — December 27, 2006 @ 8:12 pm

  • It’s fixed now! Thanks for pointing that out.

    heather — December 27, 2006 @ 8:43 pm

  • “No Matter What” … great to hear as always, but “a very old song?” Oh, man, that’s cold. Especially for those of us who remember hearing it when it first came out. The early ’70s were just yesterday, weren’t they?

    Jeff — December 27, 2006 @ 9:05 pm

  • i completely agree The Rushes rock….how good is Venom?

    My band actually also supported the Fratellis back in September after winning the under 18 Battle of the Bands. Great night…

    The Fratellis just don’t look like they’re enjoyiong playing live.

    Fintin — December 28, 2006 @ 7:53 am

  • The Fratellis backlash starts here. It really does piss me off when people are negative.

    They probably don’t like your band but I bet they were polite.

    Anonymous — December 28, 2006 @ 9:52 am

  • What exactly was the three artist sequence from Manchester? Stephen Fretwell – Scarborough in Yorkshire, Fratellis – Glasgow in Scotland, Badfinger – Swansea in Wales.

    Anonymous — December 29, 2006 @ 11:56 am

  • Anon, sorry if that part was unclear – On the CD itself, which contained 20-plus songs, Badly Drawn boy was followed by The Smiths and Nine Black Alps. It was Manchester set on the CD, not in the post.

    heather — December 29, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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