Arts and Culture

<strong></strong>Josef’s Jukebox: <i>Tearing Up The Album Chart</i> by Go-Kart Mozart

Josef’s Jukebox: Tearing Up The Album Chart by Go-Kart Mozart

“I don’t want to say thank you to God because I think I did this all by myself”. Surprisingly not my words (although I’ve never quite understood how Brandon Flowers can justify the intervention of the divine in an industry described by Hunter S. Thompson as “a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs”), but those given by the mononymous Lawrence upon his acceptance of the Q Maverick Award in October ’18. You’re unlikely to have heard of him but his inspiration runs deep through the dark underbelly of the indie cult. As a devout follower of this sect, it would be heresy for me not to include a Lawrence LP in this writing series, and so, with three Hail Marys (screamed à la Black Francis), here beginneth the lesson. Lawrence has been peddling ...
<strong></strong>Josef’s Jukebox: <i>Otis Blue</i> by Otis Redding

Josef’s Jukebox: Otis Blue by Otis Redding

Eight years ago, Justin Timberlake massacred an Otis Redding song at The White House. I remember well how Mr President sat with such a pained expression as this two-bit popstar desecrated the music of America’s greatest soul singer, with the PBS special broadcast live for all the world to weep in synchrony. For those whose first experience of Redding was JT’s act of heresy, I hope that the following remarks and a rigorous listening of Otis Blue will go some way in altering your perception of one of Planet Earth’s most remarkable musicians. Born in ’41, Redding’s natural musical aptitude was apparent from a young age, singing for the Vineville Baptist Church choir as a child and taking instrument lessons during his pre-pubescence. Familial illness forced Redding into breadwinning an...
<strong></strong>Josef’s Jukebox: <i>Seamonsters</i> by The Wedding Present

Josef’s Jukebox: Seamonsters by The Wedding Present

Summer ’14 and I am perusing my mother’s battered anthology of gig tickets. Flicking through, I observe that circa fifteen stubs have the same name printed on them — The Wedding Present. I ask my mother why anyone would want to see the same band that many times? Surely mild boredom would manifest in the attendee after gig five; abject ennui after gig ten; some form of PTSD developing after gig fifteen and lord knows what else. Stupidly, I ignore my mother’s response that The Wedding Present were unlike any other group and that I should ‘give them a go’, opting instead to retreat into the snug embrace of Blur LPs that frequent my streaming turntable. Little did I know… In ’84, a Leeds-based band called The Lost Pandas folded. The group’s lead vocalist, David Gedge, and bassist Keith...