The Best of the noughties


I struggled to do this I have to confess. It was a real killer to get it down to size.  So much to leave out.  My long list was 71 songs.  Anyway, here it is (if you can read it)…

But I persevered and ended up with this.  My absolute favourite songs of the noughties.  Again, I will send you a copy if you want it.

What surprised me when I finally got it down to size was how few female singer songwriters made it to the final list.

The Nightfly – Stop Press


Loud and live

Loud and live

They’re doing a Johnnie Walker on me and moving my slot about a bit, but I can confirm I will be on Jubilee FM, online, from 7 till 9 tomorrow, Thursday, night. Because I’m on a lot earlier than my usual Round Midnight slot I may crank the volume up a bit…

I’ve got a cracking playlist that includes; The Imagined Village, Sigur Ros, The Hold Steady, Portishead, Stephanie Dosen, Katrine Polwart, Paul Weller, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Nck Cave and the Bad Seeds, Calexico, Danny and the Champions of the World, Chemical Brothers,Led Zep, Aimee Mann, The Clash, Belle and Sebastian, Martha Wainwright, The Fleet Foxes and more.

Oh so many more

The Hold steady – stay positive


In Barlight she looked alright.

In daylight she looked desperate.

That’s alright, I was desperate too.

I’m getting pretty sick of this interview.

Subpoenad in Texas.

Sequestered in Memphis.

Hookers, low lifes, townies, druggies, murderers, junkies, drop outs, boozers, brawlers and losers.

Such is the canvas that Craig Finn writes about in this jaw dropping record. A record that, for me, might just define Rock and Roll. I know, it’s an outrageous claim, but have you heard it? It’s on a level with the way that, for me at least, London Calling defines punk, Reproduction defines electronica, and G.P./Grevious Angel defines country.

I’ve been hanging onto this one for a while because I know I can go over the top about great stuff that melts like spring snow as soon as the initial rush of enthusiasm dies down. But that’s not the case here. For a start, on first listening I was mildly disappointed. It didn’t seem to have quite the same shock value of hearing a band like this for the first time that its predecessor, the sublime ‘Boys and Girls in America’ did.

But take it from me that this is on a different level. The aforementioned lyrics (they are poems unfolding as bleak, heartfelt stories of subcool America) are at times heartbreaking. The choruses are shriek out loud singalong. I cannot wait to see them live agian. It will be a very hoarse experience

But they are beautiful, haunting and I can’t actually sleep at night for singing them in my head.

And there’s a harpsichord on track three – the blood and guts, did she didn’t she murder him, morality tale that is One for the Cutters.

I will state here and now though that this in no way dilutes my total and utter admiration for Dig Lazarus Dig by Nick Cave.

What a year for rock and roll.

Thank you Hold Steady.

Here’s a snatch of the above truly wonderful song.