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BBC Podcasts to learn about bakery fresh British popular music
November 5, 2007 7:47 PM   Subscribe

BBC Introducing is an excellent way to keep tabs on what's fresh in the British popular music scene without having to live in a rainsoaked armpit. There are four podcasts for you to download, the flagship Best of Unsigned Podcast, Homegrown Mix with Ras Kwame, Scotland Introducing and BBC Radio Northampton's Weekender. All feature bands that are either unsigned or just recently signed and the music ranges from hip hop to punk rock to what sounds awfully like the soundtrack for a NES game with half-hearted chanting over it. This is an excellent resource whether you're casual searcher for new songs or the kind of anorak who knows which British indie band was first to use an 808.
posted by Kattullus (9 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
As to the rainsoaked armpit thing... I'm from Iceland and I live in Rhode Island, I believe I speak with some authority as to what constitutes a rainsoaked armpit.
posted by Kattullus at 7:53 PM on November 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm from England but I can tell you, Toronto is a rainsoaked cold armpit today.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:22 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah!
posted by rtha at 8:54 PM on November 5, 2007


Less popular (at least in America) British rock bands/performers I enjoy:

Editors
Good Books
The Twilight Sad
The Dykeenies
Electrelane
Forward, Russia!
The Maccabees
Jack Peñate
Maximo Park
Kate Nash


I enjoy the British indie rock scene a lot more than what seems to be coming from the American scene, excluding a few bands like The National. About five years ago I would have said the exact opposite, most of the music coming out of the U.K. was terrible. I really like Editors, I guess they are relatively popular in the UK but I hadn't heard of them until just recently, they really filled the void left by Interpol's disappointing new album, both of their full lengths are quite good, the new one is excellent.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 11:16 PM on November 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is not a snark (or at least it isn't meant to be) but aren't Interpol and Editors competing for the worst Joy Division tribute band in the world title? They both seem to have facsimiled some part of the JD sound but have none of the feeling. I got an email from a mate this morning about the Anton Corbjin film Control, in it he said "Joy Division were all about the frightening glamour of the third division English league". I don't think you could say that about either Interpol or the Editors.

As for great new British music: see Dirty Hospital and Danananakroyd for a look. They are both relatively new bands from Glasgow and are worth a listen.

Thanks for the resource, Katallus.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 3:12 AM on November 6, 2007


A.no.rak noun. a heavy jacket with a hood.

In the UK this form of coat was worn by all children in the 1970s, but worn now only by socially disfunctional adults who still wear the trousers they wore to school.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:11 AM on November 6, 2007


"Joy Division were all about the frightening glamour of the third division English league"

I have no idea what that means, and I'm from England (and a fan of Joy Division). The third division football league?
posted by Summer at 5:30 AM on November 6, 2007



"Joy Division were all about the frightening glamour of the third division English league"

I have no idea what that means, and I'm from England (and a fan of Joy Division). The third division football league?


He was being a bit wanky but I still liked it.

The email was from an English Lit lecturer who just finished a paper on Brian Clough so maybe his head was there.

I think the reference was to the humdrum nature of northern England at that time; monochrome but not in some kind of staged arty way. A very drab place, typified by lower league football grounds and their air of malevolence, of mucky, oil-slicked puddles on ruined paving stones and slate grey skies.

I can see where he is coming from though, Joy Division were like that: working class; monochrome; the threat of violence; uncompromising. None of it posed. Not like the Editors where one can imagine them sitting with a focus group of brand managers advising them on how to 'communicate their message'.

Mark E Smith talks about working in fucking horrible jobs in bleak locations before The Fall took off. For all the nostalgia about punk and 1977 currently doing the rounds, this island really was like Airstrip One for a while. A bleak, horrid place of tense Saturday afternoons and boring Sundays, of nothing on the telly, a former seat of Empire now on its knackered uppers. There was no talk of service economies, £15M flats in Mayfair and the Square Mile lording it over NY then, just factories, coal, civil unrest, the unions and Thatcher.

Smith and Curtis and guys that followed (like Howard Devoto and Morrissey) totally identified with where they came from and were northern, defiant and working class to the core of their beings, but they also saw the beauty in (and limitations of) their environment too and sought to express where they came from with a wider understanding/interpretation of culture and the world beyond the immediate misery . Smith, in particular is an interesting character, a guy who left school early and worked in factories/docks whilst getting into Weimar Republic cabaret and forming a garage band.

So that's my tuppenceworth. I realise that this is a lengthy digression but I figure if I can't put this comment here in a thread that mentions 'rainsoaked armpits' and 'anoraks' I am unlikely to put it anywhere.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 6:10 AM on November 6, 2007 [4 favorites]


This is not a snark (or at least it isn't meant to be) but aren't Interpol and Editors competing for the worst Joy Division tribute band in the world title?


No snark taken. You know I'm not sure I even like Joy Division that much anymore, when I was in high school I certainly thought they were fucking awesome along with all my hipster music friends, but now I don't really listen to them except for Love Will Tear Us Apart Again. I don't really feel like Interpol or Editors are really cribbing from them terribly other than all 3 singers having deeper baritone voices. I certainly feel like both Editors and Interpol reflect a much more middle class reality than JD did, but this doesn't have to be a bad thing for me. If I had to pick a band that Interpol and Editors are probably cribbing from that period it would probably be Echo and the Bunnymen.

These days I don't really research the bands I listen to that much, I just don't want to know that much about them. All I know about Editors is that they are from somewhere in England (or Britain?), that's about it. All I know about Interpol is that they are from New York. When I was younger I needed more info, I wanted to know what the bands stood for, what their story was, etc. For instance when I was younger I probably would have derided The Killers as lame sell-outs who didn't have real music cred. Now I enjoy their poppy tunes just because I like the sound of it. These days I just want to know if it sounds good to me. I suppose I'm well on my way to thinking Michael Bolton is heart-warming genuine music but I really consider that part of the evolution of the listener, and not really a knock against someone. Different music for different times in your life, when you are younger you need something more genuine, as you get older I think most people take music less seriously and are less emotionally connected to it, so how real the band is isn't the top concern.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 12:17 PM on November 6, 2007


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