Tag Archives: boards of canada

THE MONDAY LIST #26: Everything You Do Is A Balloon

I’ve fell off the wagon and deep back into addiction. It was at it’s worst about 3 years ago but i gave it up and my condition steadily improved but recently i’ve found myself plummeting back into the downward spiral and never ending joy of………


Play it here.

So here’s a wee list dedicated to everything Balloony….

MP3s
Everything You Do Is A Balloon
—————————————–
1. Boards Of Canada – Everything You Do Is A Balloon
2. Wavves – Convertible Balloon
3. Pulled Apart By Horses – Meat Balloon
4. MysteryRoar – NYC Balloon
5. The Kills – Black Balloon
6. Foals – Balloons
7. Ghost Mall – Balloon Ideas
8. Twin Shadow – Yellow Balloon
9. Mew – Beautiful Balloon (Acoustic)
10.  Muse – Balloonatic

BONUS BALLOONS!

MP3: Balloonsex – An Amazing Saturday Involving Sea Creatures

MP3: Maximum Balloon (feat Aku) – Tiger

S.I.T Wolf  X

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….And That, Darling, Is What Really Happened

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for the animated dark satirical comedy series Monkey Dust. It aired on the BBC for 2 years and 3 seasons from February 2003 until February 2005. I have the first season on DVD (it’s the only one available to buy) and i downloaded season 2 and 3 a few years back. Sadly, the death of co-creator Harry Thompson in November 2005 meant that no further seasons would be made. But we’ve been left with enough dark and crude comedy to keep us laughing away disturbedly at our screens for many years to come.


Obviously, the main reason i love Monkey Dust is it’s ability to make me laugh at some of the more sinister sides of society but it’s not just the comedy side of things. No, it’s the music too. The songs that feature across all 3 seasons range from a variety of different artists and sounds but they all seem to connect and fit perfectly to the scenes they’re chosen for. The music, at times, can come across as a bit bleak and gelid. I suppose that’s the point though…

The intro track however has that little bit of zest.

MP3: Eels – That’s Not Really Funny

Here’s some of my favourites to feature in the show….

MP3: Sneaker Pimps – Six Underground

MP3: Lambchop – Up With People

MP3: Boards of Canada – Melissa Juice

MP3: Air – Sex Born Poison

MP3: Robin Guthrie – Freefall

MP3: Pulp – Sunrise

One of the catchiest songs and one that features in practically every episode spanning the 3 seasons is…

 

MP3; Goldfrapp – Lovely Head



S.I.T Wolf  X

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Pixel Perfect

Have you ever thought how fucking cool it would be if all your favourite 80’s computer games came alive and invaded New York?

Nah, i didn’t think so. Me neither.



But here it is! French film-maker/musician Patrick Jean has put together a video that has Pac Man, Space Invaders, Tetris and many more all teaming up for a pixelated 8-bit assault on the Big Apple.

MP3: Rival Consoles – 1985

MP3: Phinz – Atari Disco

MP3: Boards Of Canada – Hi Scores

Seeing that video reminded me of a post that i’d had planned for ages ago but never got round to. I was planning on doing a Monday List based on 8-bit tracks and chiptunes. Like i said, i never got round to it. I may one day but until then you can enjoy these select few songs of computer generated madness courtesy of Scotlands very own Firebrand Boy and the young 8 bit genius from Edinburgh that i’ve championed for the last 18 months or so, Unicorn Kid. Also worth a listen is the fabulously named Unicorn Dream Attack. Unicorns seem popular in the chiptune world.

MP3: Firebrand Boy – In The Warm Mad Night

MP3: Firebrand Boy – Such Great Heights (Postal Service cover)

MP3: Unicorn Kid – Dream Catcher

MP3: Unicorn Dream Attack – b34ut1ful 3y3s

MP3: Unicorn Dream Attack – Monkey Gone To Heaven (Pixies cover)

I’ll try and get an 8bit themed Monday List up soon. There are a lot of artists out there worth mentioning. A few have been mentioned on this site before but there’s so much unrecognised talent out there. The first person who got me really into chip music a few years ago was a guy who went under the name of “Radio Waves Goodbye”, sadly he seems to have disappeared now and stop releasing music under that name but it was through listening to him i got into another dude called “Silent Requiem” and then it was just a juggernaut from there…..Huoratron, Breakbeat Heartbeat, SHE, Unicorn Kid, Firebrand Boy, Nordloaf, Amanaguchi and many many more. It really is a genre worth pursuing and exploring. Different, unique and ultimately enjoyable.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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I Feel So Bad, I’ve Got A Worried Mind

This is still the single most disturbing video i have seen on YouTube…

It weirded me out the first time i saw it and it still has that “what the fuck is going on?” factor 2 years later.

What gets to me the most is that i kinda like it, the songs gel well together in a strange way. I feel almost guilty for liking it.

Don’t get me wrong i LOVE BoC….but David Hasselhoff?!

MP3:  Boards of Canada – An Eagle In Your Mind

S.I.T Wolf X

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THE MONDAY LIST #14: Around The World In One List

Music loves the world. And the world loves it back. Some bands have decided to combine the two. Observe….

Around The World In One List
—————————————
MP3’s

1. Boards of Canada – Seven Forty Seven
2. Air France – Collapsing At Your Doorstep
3. Heroes of Switzerland – Soaring
4. Portugal. The Man – Lovers In Love
5. The Strange Death Of Liberal England – A Day Another Day
6. Everything Is Made In China – Automatic
7. Zoo Brazil – Technik
8. USA Is A Monster – All Or Nothing
9. Forward Russia – Breaking Standing
10. Atmosphere Italy – Baltic Fly

Bonus Track: (I had to include these guys simply for not attempting to mix a country into some sort of band name but instead just deciding to call themselves after it. That’s dedication. Oh and they’re Swedish by the way….)

MP3: Liechtenstein – This Must Be Heaven

One thing i’m interested in is the reason behind the names. Some i know about and some i’m having a wild stab at.

My favourite Scottish knob twiddlers (there’s another “that’s what she said” moment for you, Emma) Boards of Canada were inspired by the documentaries made by the National Film Board of Canada.

With the blissful Air France being Swedish i can only assume they liked flying with the French airline company so much that they honoured the name.

Heroes of Switzerland are actually noisey guys from Nottingham, but i’m guessing they probably have a thing for Toblerones. Then again, who doesn’t?

Portugal. The Man, well that’s obvious isn’t it? No, you’re right it isn’t. But this goes some way to explaining it the reason behind the cult indie legends name.

“A country is a group of people,” guitar player and vocalist John Gourley explains. “With Portugal, it just ended up being the first country that came to mind. The band’s name is ‘Portugal’. The period is stating that, and ‘The Man’ states that it’s just one person.”  The name has more personal meaning as well: Portugal. The Man was going to be the name of a book that Gourley had planned to write about his father and his many adventures.

The Strange Death Of Liberal England is easy. The diverse band named themselves after a book of the same title.

Everything Is Made In China. A Russian post-rock band who sing in English but have China in their name. Nice. Covering all the bases then guys? The music is rather good though.

The Scandanavian electro DJ duo Zoo Brazil is one that baffles me. A love of the Amazon Rainforest maybe?

USA Is A Monster doesn’t need much explaining. These loud, bold, noise bringers obviously have a very strong opinion of their own country.

Forward Russia are/were an English indie punk band with a habit (up until 2006) of naming songs simply with numbers. The name? No idea. A battle cry perhaps? I met them once, i probably should’ve asked.

Atmosphere Italy are from Italy and they do…eh….”atmospheric” music? No. That’s only half true. They are Italian but they’re more Balearic Disco House (bordering cheesy at points) than atmospheric.

Swedish indie folk group Liechtenstein just went the whole hog and said “fuck it, we’re stealing that country”

VIDEOS:

There were too many to choose from for Japan. Japandroids, Japan, Japanther, Japanese Popstars, Japanese Motors…

I finally settled on Japanther cos i haven’t listened to them in years and forgot how good this song is.

Japanther – Divorce

Future Kings Of Spain – Face I Know

Maps Of Norway – Traffic

So that was a short musical trip around the globe. I quite liked the subject. I think for the next Monday list i’m going to do a list based on cities. Should be fun.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Recycling?

Musical plagiarism or just influence?

This is a subject i’ve wanted to write about for a long time now but i’ve only just found the time to get down to it tonight. The song that made me decide to finally commit to this post was Owl City’s “Fireflies”. I heard it on the radio at work and although i find myself humming along to its undoubted catchiness i still can’t get the fact that he’s ripped off The Postal Service out my head. First time i heard it i actually thought it was a new Postal Service song. He even makes himself sound like Ben Gibbard through extensive autotuner and compression use. Yet i had to laugh when i read an interview with him in which he stated that he had only ever really heard a few Postal Service songs before and that they hadn’t really “caught his ear”.

Here’s the section:

“I’ve become more of a fan (of The Postal Service)  having started Owl City, actually. I had some friends in high school that would have it playing in their cars and stuff. It was cool, but it never really caught my ear. It’s kind of ironic, looking back at it, because a lot of people do relate the two projects. I can totally see it now, but I didn’t really then, for what it’s worth.”

Hmmm…..sorry Owl City but i get a pungent waft of bullshit when i read that.

VIDEO: Owl City – Fireflies

VIDEO: The Postal Service – Such Great Heights

But i’m not picking on or singling out Adam Young for being influenced by The Postal Service. All i’m saying, all i’m asking is how does it come across? Is it plagiarism or coincidental influence/inspiration?

Some of my favourite bands have been hugely influenced by others to the point of almost sounding like them so i’m not saying it’s a bad thing, don’t get the wrong idea. Interpol clearly listened to Joy Divison. A Place To Bury Strangers obviously owned some My Bloody Valentine records. Josh Homme grew up with Black Sabbath and Black Flag. Boards of Canada have heard Brian Eno. I could go on. Put it this way if there was no Jesus and Mary Chain there’d be no BRMC and if it wasn’t for The Cramps or The Birthday Party i’d imagine Eighties Matchbox would sound a bit different. So it is a GOOD thing to be influenced.

MP3: Jesus and Mary Chain – Degenerate

MP3: Black Rebel Motorcylce Club – Whatever Happened To My Rock N Roll

MP3: The Birthday Party – Release The Bats

MP3: Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Morning Has Broken

Without a shadow of a doubt one of the hardest things to do in music is create a truly original sound. There’s that much music around that it’s nearly impossible to create a song that cannot be compared to another band or another song. Personally i feel that bands are now labelled as “the new insert famous band name here” too much, there’s nothing wrong with comparisons but it get’s a bit boring when every week some new band are being labelled as the new Sex Pistols, the new Oasis, the new Green Day or the new Babylon Zoo. Ok, forget that last one. In fact forget them all, i’m not a fan of any of the bands i mentioned, they’re just the first famous-ish ones that popped up. I have in fact been guilty of labelling bands once or twice myself to be honest. On this very blog actually, i believe i said Japandroids could be the new Death From Above 1979 but i did state that i also don’t like labelling bands.

“….Make no mistake, these guys have the potential to be the new Death From Above 1979. Although to be honest i don’t like comparing bands to each other, it’s not fair on either so instead i’ll just say the Japandroids sound like they might be influenced by DFA and it’s a badge they seem to wear with pride.”

But that’s going slightly off subject. This is about the plagiarism/influence debate not labelling bands. So back to it, here’s a few examples of apparent plagiarism. Some are obvious, some are slightly similar.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs vs Love and Rockets

The Accused: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Gold Lion

The Original: Love and Rockets – No New Tale To Tell

Hockey vs anything by Tom Petty (this was a suggestion by Emma)

The Accused: Hockey – Song Away

The Original: Tom Petty in general

Elastica vs Wire

The Accused: Elastica – Connection

The Original: Wire – Three Girl Rhumba

Green Day vs The Kinks

The Accused: Green Day – Warning

The Original: The Kinks – Picturebook

Nirvana vs Killing Joke vs The Damned

The Accused: Nirvana – Come As You Are

The Other Accused: Killing Joke – Eighties

The Original: The Damned – Life Goes On

Couldn’t find an embeddable (is that a word Kempy?) video for this one so here’s the MP3

MP3: The Damned – Life Goes On

So it can be everything from drum beats to chord progression and rhythms to vocal delivery, it’s more or less all been done before by someone somewhere. That’s not to say there’s nothing original left but it is does make for a good debate on similarity, comparisons and the old age debate of a blatant rip off. And what does it tell us about music today? Has it really all been done? Or is that unknown chord still out there waiting to be found?

I mean, bands take influences on board, of course they do. If you grow up listening to certain music and then you yourself begin to play music, of course you’re going to have taken something from the music you love. The chances are that the band you love and are influenced by have themselves been influenced by someone else. It’s an endless line of influence, a knock on effect, a domino effect, musical dominoes if you like.

I only discovered about three years ago that what i thought was part of one of the best Queens of the Stone Age drum intros ever is in fact copied straight from a Black Flag song. One of the opening drum segments of “Song For The Dead” and the intro to “Slip It In” are pretty much identical. Queens of the Stone Age actually came out and stated that the intro to “Song For The Dead” is in fact an homage to Black Flag. All together now….Awwwww, bless.

MP3: Queens of the Stone Age – A Song for the Dead

MP3: Black Flag – Slip It In

I, myself have questioned what i come up with when writing tracks or making music. I constantly find that i tell myself “oh you can’t have that at the breakdown bit, it sounds too much like QOTSA” or “you can’t use that intro, it sounds like a Mogwai rip off”. Just the other week i wrote a song that i thought sounded too much like something Boards of Canada would compose, i kept it in mind anyway and called it “Bored Of Canada”. It sounds a little bit like this one by the reclusive legends…

MP3: Boards Of Canada – Julie and Candy

So the whole thing i’m getting it here with this post is..

When does influence become plagiarism? Or does it all? Is it mere coincidence?

It’s a subject that is and always will be open to debate.

Opinions welcome.

Also, feel free to leave any other songs you believe to be plagiarised. I’d like to here what others think.

S.I.T Wolf X

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THE MONDAY LIST #10: Family Values

This weeks list is compiled of musical duos that are siblings. I realise it would have been easier to do a post about siblings in music in general but i like the ideas of duos better, the whole “it’s just the two of us” kind of logic.

When brothers/sisters get together and make the choice of recording music together, whether it’s as a duo or as part of a band, there’s no telling what noise might end up being produced. It goes either one of two ways, the absolutely dreadful (The Jonas Brothers) or unbelievably good (Boards of Canada).

There are quite a few factors that come in to play when siblings unite musically. First off, do you get along? Do you get along enough to tour without constantly fighting, to make an album without arguing when the next guitar solo should come in and who should be on the front cover. Secondly, tastes. If one of you likes RnB and the other likes Death Metal then forget it. Thats not to say that for siblings to work well musically they have to like the exact same music but like most people starting up bands it helps to at least have some similar tastes. Thirdly, age difference. With the exception of the Jackson 5, if the age difference between band members is pretty big (say 10 or 15 years maybe) then it’s probably not gonna work. So with that we move onto the list..

Family Values
——————-
MP3’s

1. Boards Of Canada – The Colour Of The Fire
2. Orbital – Chime
3. The Knife – Pass This On
4. Lymbyc Systym – Ghost Clock
5. The Fiery Furnaces – Even In The Rain
6. Tiny Masters Of Today – Stickin’ It To The Man
7. Sparks – Turn Your Back On Mother Earth
8. Tiefschwarz – Yeah
9. Tegan And Sara – Back In Your Head
10. The Veronicas – Untouched

And briefly moving away from the subject of sibling duos i’ll give a nod to two of my favourite bands that just happen to include siblings.

VIDEO: Jesus And Mary Chain – Sidewalking

VIDEO: Radiohead – Reckoner

Also worth a mention in the “Siblings That Work Well Musically” category are The Stooges, Kings Of Leon,  The Breeders, The Carpenters, The Kinks, Psychedelic Furs,  The Misfits, The Black Crowes and sometimes but not all of the time…..Oasis. I have a somewhat love/hate relationship with that band. There are times when i could listen to a full album or two right through and other times when i can’t bear to listen to more than 30 seconds of one of their songs.

Meanwhile there are too many that should be lumped in the “Utter Shit Musical Siblings” category. Way too many to mention but i’ll give dishonourable mentions to The Cheeky Girls, B*Witched, The Darkness, the afore mentioned Jonas Brothers, Spandau Ballet, Bros, The Osmonds, the streak of musical piss that is Hanson and last but not least the latest siblings to jump on the Shit Siblings band wagon….JedFUCKINGWard. Go away please you two annoying quiffed up little bag of bones.

I’ve actually succeeded in bemusing myself as to how i’ve managed to include the names Jedward and Boards of Canada into the same post.

Oh and The Corrs are worth a mention (and a picture) simply because of Andrea Corr. I had a major crush on her in my early teenage years.


S.I.T Wolf  X

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