An Alternative History of "Pop" Music: Part 3, 2004 -

Started by jamiefairlie, October 25, 2021, 04:39:14 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Welcome to the continuing thread....we're still on 2004


M Craft - Dragonfly

Martin Craft is an Australian songwriter, producer, and composer and this is the lead track from his debut EP "I Can See It All Tonight"


Jem ‎– Come On Closer

Featured on the album 'Finally Woken' - released in March 2004

QuoteJemma Griffiths was born in Penarth, Wales. During her early school years she explored her musical interests with the family piano, penning her first song at the age of thirteen. In 1993, Jem moved to Brighton to study Law at the University of Sussex. Both during her studies and after graduating in 1996, Jem spent time as a club and festival promoter and also began working as a DJ in Brighton's lively club scene.

In November 1999 she returned to Wales, where she assembled a mobile recording studio and focused on developing her own individual songwriting and music production skills, completing a collection of four demos that acted as the basis of her break into the music industry. In 2000, Jem moved to London where she met Sugababes manager Sarah Stennett, who introduced her to other writers and producers.

In March 2002, during a trip to Los Angeles to visit friends, Jem stopped by independent radio station KCRW to leave a demo of her song "Finally Woken" in Nic Harcourt's mailbox. The track quickly became one of the most listener-requested songs at the station.One of those listening was Bruce Flohr, a top-level A&R rep for RCA Records and newly established ATO Records. She was subsequently signed to the label. On 13 October 2003, in preparation for the release of the full-length album, ATO released an EP entitled 'It All Starts Here...', consisting of five adapted demos that Jem had initially recorded.

Her debut album 'Finally Woken' was released in the United States on 24 March 2004. "They" became the UK lead single, released on 13 March 2005. Followed by "Just a Ride" in June and finally "Wish I" in September, which at that time was being used as the theme tune to popular UK reality television programme Celebrity Love Island.

Trashcan Sinatras - Weightlifting

Formed on the West Coast (of Scotland) in 1986, this is the title track from their first studio album in 8 years.

It's about the lifting of a burden off the mind/shoulders, and not the activity favoured by sweaty, musclebound individuals. I suppose you could pretend it's about pumping iron, if you prefer.

Nick Drake - Tow the Line

When Time of No Reply was released in 1986 it was advertised as containing seven new songs and the four 'last session' tracks. Subsequently, John Wood found a fifth 'last session' track that he had forgotten about at the end of the tape. It was included on the Made to Love Magic compilation, thirty years after it had been recorded in July 1974. It's believed to have been the last Nick Drake recording and it's been interpreted in a few ways, one interpretation being that he was addressing his muse, another being that he was prepared to make comprimises for a musical career. A note was found including the song name, presumably with this spelling. The picture is of his room at Far Leys.


Quote from: jamiefairlie on October 25, 2021, 04:45:40 AM
M Craft - Dragonfly

Martin Craft is an Australian songwriter, producer, and composer and this is the lead track from his debut EP "I Can See It All Tonight"

M.Craft is great.


You Only Live Once - End. Released on Ipecac in 2004.

Post-Big Beat?

End AKA Charles Peirce is from New York City. Over the years, End's sound has evolved to be a noisy mix of dirty synths, garage rock, and old-time swing, all achieved through a mish-mash of live instruments, programmed electronics, and stolen sounds.

Animal Collective - Who Could Win a Rabbit?

The single and my favourite song from Sung Tongs. It's about the stresses of life and work, 'hungry bread and butter hustle', and always looking to the next thing, 'you could win a rabbit or a habit'.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

The Boy Least Likely To - Hugging My Grudge


The Boy Least Likely To are an indie-pop duo from the village of Wendover in Buckinghamshire.


They Might Be Giants - Towson (Recher Theatre)

[They Might Be Giants] {Idlewild}
(Website Download)

In what was probably the most 'They Might Be Giants' project they could ever do, They Might Be Giants decided to write a song to accompany every date on their 2004 tour. Not the town or city they were in though, the actual venue itself. The building.
Admittedly the 46 track album isn't their best work. Some of the Venue Songs are very short, some are throwaway comedy songs, some are artsy and experimental, and some are just plain bizarre.
However, a handful are actually bloody good  - including this country pastiche - and, given the (self-imposed) circumstances and constraints they were working under, it's very impressive that anything decent emerged at all.
All of the songs were only ever played live once, at the given venue, except for a special one-off show in Brooklyn in 2005 to celebrate the release of (some of) the songs on CD/DVD where every song was performed.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Johnny Boy - You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve

QuoteJohnny Boy were an indie-pop band from Liverpool, which consisted of two members; Lolly Hayes and Davo (aka Andrew Davitt, a keyboard tech for the Manic Street Preachers). Both of them, when asked about their roles in the duo, commonly specified them by giving the generic answer of "Vocals, loops and guitars."

You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve was produced by James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers and achieved critical acclaim. It reached #50 in the UK Singles Chart in August 2004. It also appeared on the soundtrack of Adam Curtis' 2021 series for the BBC, Can't Get You Out of My Head.

Gregory Torso

Rex The Dog - Frequency

Ridiculous party music that used to take the lid off the basement during my monthly secular DJ picnics (with the pause button trainers and the pissed on speakers).


"Rex The Dog [aka Jake Williams] makes and performs music with analogue electronics and a self-built Modular Synthesizer. He carries this precious machinery around the world, bringing his idiosyncratic sounds to packed crowds at the best clubs, festivals and parties."

Gregory Torso

Jealous Lovers - Fight For Survival


A mystery. Can't tell you anything about this band or song, just that it's been with me through three hard-drives and two laptops since I downloaded it from Fluxblog in January 2005 (according to the archives, so guessing this was released 2004). There are a couple of other Jealous Lovers floating around in the waves but not this flotsam. Just a dead link from an old blog page.


This band, on this song anyway, sound like the Moldy Peaches if they'd decided to pick apart soul funk instead of acoustic folk. It's got that authentic basement cheap organ vibe with a horn section that stabs at the choruses early on in the song before settling out into a droning haze of trumpet bliss.
I think it's really great and I wish I could find out more. Maybe it's another band that changed their name? Can anyone solve this 16 year puzzle?

The fluxblog page is still there:

The band's website is down now but one page on the waybackmachine updated in 2005 says: 'If you want to contact us, or be added to the e-mail list,' before broken images with two email addresses. If you go to the page and hover over the images it shows the addresses:

I wonder if they were fans of "House of Jealous Lovers" by The Rapture.

Gregory Torso

Yeah that's all I could find, those dead x's. Maybe it's better as a mystery. Thanks anyway!

There's a later band with the same names:

QuoteSparkwood Bandits, the alt-country duo of Anna Ehl and Josh Loar, has just released their debut album Two-Step Tempest, via indie label Electric Lights Music.

Sparkwood Bandits are telling stories of the audacious and the forlorn, the joyful and the fallen, to a rollicking music heavy on backbeat and soul.  With a wide musical palette drawing on American roots in country, blues, rock, and folk, the Bandits' debut record is an exhibition of the band's wry, world-weary narratives.   

Formed in 2011, Sparkwood Bandits are based out of Michigan's untamed Upper Peninsula, where they recorded Two-Step Tempest in an attic studio on an island in Lake Superior.  They are a duo in studio, with a flexible lineup when they perform live.


Nightsong - Piney Gir feat. Simple Kid Released on Truck in 2004

A swinging but bittersweet synthpop lounge duet.

Piney Gir (pronounced "gear"), often shortened to Piney, is an American musician and singer, born in Kansas but based in London, England since 1998. She has released seven studio albums. Piney's musical style is very eclectic. She has been described both as a musical "chameleon" and as "the indie Dolly Parton"and "Transatlantic Pop Guru".

Simple Kid, real-name Ciarán McFeely, is an Irish-born solo musical artist. Another pop experimentalist who draws his influences include: Country, psychedelia, folk, big band, jazz, hip hop. He's Cork's answer to Beck, basically.


Mice Parade - Focus On The Rollercoaster

An American indie/shoegaze/folktronica band from New York City, led by percussionist Adam Pierce. This is from their fifth album "Obrigado Saudade".


The Soft Hearted Scientists ‎– Brother Sister

Lead track on 'The Bethesda EP' - Released in 2004

QuoteSoft Hearted Scientists started out as a garden shed experiment on a low budget involving Nathan Hall, Dylan Line, acoustic guitars, antique synthesizers and pots and pans in the year 2001 AD.  Some 4 track cassette demos were produced which caught the attention of BBC Wales DJ Adam Walton, and John Rostron who set up My Kung Fu shortly after and offered to release some music.

They released 'The Wendigo EP' in 2004, followed by 'The Bethesda EP', and 'The Midnight Mutinies EP' in 2005.


Nação Zumbi - Propaganda

[Nação Zumbi] {Trama}
(from the album Propagando)

Formerly the backing band of Chico Science, who died in a car accident in 1997, Nação Zumbi continued without him and began releasing new music at the turn of the century.
Propagando was their 4th official release, combining new material with reworkings of earlier songs (including some from the Chico Science era).
Propaganda is a terrific example of the band's sound, blending rock, funk, hip hop and soul, with a heavy use of percussion.


Morrissey - I'm not sorry

Old Enoch is back! His first appearance around these them parts since the immediate post-Smiths era. It's from his umpteenth (honestly who can tell with all the messing around he's done with albums and compilations) album "You Are The Quarry".


Animal Hop - Listen With Sarah. Released on Womb in 2004.

This track used to drive our old German Shepherd pet dog completely bananas!

Listen With Sarah AKA Sarah Nelson is a Sussex based composer/ proper has been working (with co-producer, Peter Nelson) to produce tracks under the name Listen With Sarah, since 2002. She's described her output as everything from avant-garde, computer music, cut and paste, dada, dance music, downtempo, drum n bass, eclectic, electronica, experimental, leftfield, mash-up, music concrete, plunderphonics, sound collage and techno, not to mention all the made up names she's come up with.

This track got her into a bit of hot water with Oliver Postgate. Bagpuss threatens lawsuit.

Silkworm - Shitty Little Yacht

Did we have Silkworm before? If not I regret leaving it to their last album, It'll be cool. They started in Missoula in 1987 and stopped in 2005 when their drummer, Michael Dahlquist, died. Often compared favourably or unfavourably with Pavement, they made one album with Stephen Malkmus in 1998 as The Crust Brothers. Sometimes they sound similar in singing style (depending on who's singing) but with harder drums, crunchier guitar and more discord. Andy Cohen and Tim Midyett went on to form Bottomless Pit and Silkworm have became a bigger cult band since the 2013 documentary, Couldn't You wait: The Story of Silkworm. They were the favourite band of two people I met through a friend who wanted to make similar rock music in their own band. In the West, Libertine, Firewater and Lifestyle are better places to start but this one is a catchy song.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Ron Sexsmith - Tomorrow In Her Eyes

A beautiful piece of music that's difficult for me to listen to for personal reasons; none of which I'll bore or discomfit you with. That's not the ticket at all. But it's just one of those songs I have a deep personal attachment to. Y'know.

Ron Sexsmith is a Canadian singer-songwriter. This year he celebrated his 30th anniversary as a recording artist.


KT Tunstall ‎– False Alarm

Lead track on the 'False Alarm' EP - released in October 2004

QuoteTunstall was born to a half-Chinese, half-Scottish mother, Carol Ann, who was from Hong Kong, and an Irish father. She was adopted by David Tunstall, a physics lecturer at the University of St Andrews, and Rosemary Tunstall, was a primary school teacher. Throughout Tunstall's twenties, she played in indie music bands including Elia Drew and Tomoko. She focused on songwriting, as well as performing with members of the fledgling Fence Collective. She released her first album, 'Eye To The Telescope' in December 2004.

Tunstall's first appearance of note was a solo performance of her folk blues song "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" on Later... with Jools Holland. She had only 24 hours to prepare after scheduled performer Nas cancelled. She performed as a one-person band using a guitar, a tambourine, and a loop pedal.


Zeus - Jonny Trunk. Released on Trunk Records in 2004.

A hidden national treasure. Over the past quarter of a century, Jonny Trunk's passion for long forgotten music and nostalgic joy has brought me unparalleled pleasure. His label is a never ending source of delight and his own sounds are not too shabby either. Zeus is taken from his debut album, The Inside Outside.

Jonny Trunk AKA Jonathan Benton-Hughes is the man behind Trunk Records, a label founded 1995, focused on releasing interesting music from obscure sources. he is also an obsessive record collector, and an occasionally (brilliant) bed-time composer.


Jonathan Coulton - Skullcrusher Mountain

[Coulton] {Not On Label}
(from the EP Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow)

The greatest love song ever!*

*to be written from the perspective of a Bond villain

HAL - Worry About the Wind

Breezy, hook-filled single from Dublin trio's self-titled debut album. Reached no. 53 in the UK singles chart in April 2004.


Neulander - Flying

We've already been introduced to this New York based duo before. This is taken from their only album "Smoke+Fire"