Grasshouse; The Dangers Of Folk and Folk-Related Materials

All this folk music that’s been on ANBAD recently is making me feel decidedly uneasy.

Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with folk, I hasten to add, it’s just that – well… that’s the music my dad listens to, isn’t it? Am I, in the words of Joe Strummer, ‘growing up and calming down’?

Maybe. I do, after all work for Clampdown Industries, Inc. these days. Still, it doesn’t seem too long ago when, for me, a folk song might send me rushing to dig out old Mr. Oizo records.

So maybe it’s that Grasshouse‘s Bottom Of The Sea isn’t a folk record at all – it’s just a nice ‘n’ uneasy rockin’ stroll that just sounds like a folk song.

Grasshouse // Bottom Of The Sea

Actually it’s more blues, isn’t it? Or folk-blues? Or gothic-folk-blues? Whatever – Bottom of The Sea is a minor delight, retaining a strange sense of humanity despite the ludicrous premise.

As the song builds, it explores increasingly weird and uncomfortable cubbyholes, and as the song passed, so did any anxiety I had about listening to it. Blackest of black beauty.

NB: It’s a bank holiday for the next few days here in the UK, so normal service will resume on Tuesday – starting with the exciting Best Of March Radio Show Round-Up! Set knees to ‘tremble’.

>The Election (Inevitably), Intercontinental Travel and Today’s New Band – Collapsing Cities

>Apparently there’s some election taking place at the moment. You’d think the news services would have made more of a fuss about it. I wasn’t sure if thrusting young Turk Obama or wrinkled old veteran McCain would have got my vote if I were eligible, but then i saw this video and my mind was made up instantly. Such is the power of an inspirational, heartfelt piece of music.

Here at A New Band A Day, our political experiences extend as about as far as occasionally listening to Rage Against The Machine for ten minutes, until the never-ending slap-bass causes objects to be hopefully thrown towards the ‘off’ button. The only vote for change we’d really like to endorse is the start of a new world where our old buddies Scouting For Girls would be locked into a room with a hungry tiger as a matter of course.

In this brave new world, Top of The Pops would be back on TV, every night; Jarvis Cocker would be Prime Minister and any band that didn’t meet the criteria of ‘just don’t sound anything like The Kooks would join Scouting For Girls in the Tiger den. This means that Today’s New Band would, thankfully, be saved, and deservedly flourish.

Collapsing Cities are the band that probably hold the record for ‘Most mind-numbing trip in a Transit van just to get to rehersals’, as they, apparently, live in both London and Aukland. Perhaps they meet in Dubai to discuss which whether to buy some new cymbals or not.

Whatever their travel arrangements, their music doesn’t show any signs of weariness – Fear Of Opening My Mouth is a tinny, droning suicide/love song that pauses to declare “If I’m still a telemarketer next year, I think I’ll end my life” before zipping off again, all hi-hats and lovely, simple guitar noise. It’s a song which feels like it should be accompanied by colour-leeched videos from the early 1980’s of children playing in the shadow of horrible high-rise flats. Hope and despair, see?

I could identify the moment I realised that Collapsing Cities were an actually very good band, and it was the point in Or So I Said, just when I was hoping a guitar break would begin and wrench the song off to new exciting places, it did just that – and did it perfectly, too.

So, vote, if you can, or want to, but only vote for something you really believe in. I believe in good music. I voted for Collapsing Cities. Cast your vote here.