Car Seat Headrest: a dialogue

“This is something you can listen to and know it’s good, and you can sing along with the two lines you know and then wait five minutes while you do something else and sing those two lines again. Like two days ago, I was walking from mum’s house in Brighton to the sea via the station and back again, and I was listening to this song, singing along every five minutes.”

Teaching, I have long since argued that love for a particular piece of music, a song, has little to do with the song itself but the context you hear the song within. The reason you might dislike Car Seat Headrest and love Pavement, say, or Autohaze or one of those glorious independent bands we used to write about on Collapse Board during the early 2000s but whose name escapes me, has little to do with the music or production values. How could it? It’s much more down to the cut of the singer’s suit, his geek glasses. Or your age, say. The build up is the build up remains the same.

“While doing art, I normally leave Car Seat Headrest on quite a long time. I have a playlist of their songs on Spotify that I work my way through. It’s an acrylic painting of two clocks layered over each other which is taking quite a long time to do. Probably the best couple of examples are ‘Cosmic Hero’ and ‘Fill In The Blank’ (I’m going to check that’s right), there are a couple of notable lines – the chorus ‘I won’t go to heaven/You won’t go to heaven’, and “Can you kick his ass for me?’. which is really annoying to get on time when you’re singing along.”

Thing is, part of me is revulsed by my reaction to this: that I am so easy to predict: while another part of me is pleased that I can overcome my repulsion (cue Dinosaur song) and once again enjoy music that I’ve enjoyed for so long. Something to do with the way the guitars are being shaken, and blurred. BUT: I’ve mislaid my friends, the people who made this music mean so much to me. Where have my friends gone? Without my friends, what is the point of this one-sided dialogue. Shorn of context and shared connotations, I am guessing the main reason I like this is because I layer my own associations over the top which may well have nothing to do with either the band or the piece of music in question. Does this matter?

Darling, won’t you cut my hair?

“I was talking to someone on line and music came up, and we both recommended each other some bands we liked – they recommended me a few specific songs from Car Seat Headrest. I don’t think I recommended any bands in particular, just a couple of Nirvana songs I liked at the time – like ‘Dumb’ – and ‘Bisexual’ by GRLwood. I’d recently started listening to music a lot more again, and discovered GRLwood. This is the first music I’ve heard in the individual genre they’re in, indie rock. It’s somehow laidback, but with quite loud guitars as well.”

Do you know anything about the band? Like, where they’re from?

“No. I read something about a band being from Seattle, and it might be about them.”

How NOT to write about music in the time of Coronavirus – 4. ‘The Jerk’

Tonight You Belong To Me; Steve Martin & Bernadette Peters The Jerk 1979

The temptation here is to talk about how the post-The Jerk cover versions – and there are plenty of post-The Jerk cover versions, for this is a well-loved song and performance, from Eddie Vedder & Chan Marshall to Zooey Deschanel & Ben Schwartz, from Fiona Apple & Jon Brion to The Copacetics, to the cutesy four-year-old – get it so wrong. (Well, not the four-year-old.) They go too schmaltzy or too cute, can’t resist the temptation to show off their musicanly chops, over-complicate something that does not need additional layers, throw in the odd knowing wink through a misplaced note or intonation.

That is the temptation here, but fuck. These days are so long and so draining.

I am fatigued, even before I wake.

It takes me five good cups of coffee even to turn my computer on, some days.

I don’t want to be negative here. My only intention with this post is to share something that is near enough my conception of beauty, it is so joyous and direct and life-affirming. A simple (yet complicated) pleasure – but aren’t simple pleasures what we are all seeking right now? (I say complicated too, because my enjoyment of this performance is tied up both in nostalgia for a future that never came, and inability to comprehend love companionship.) Increasingly, I catch myself staring into the patterns of branches in trees, the way they form their own maps: a flower in the weeds by a street sign; my daughter’s face when she discovers something new and illuminating. This is what this performance makes me feel like, and I am wrong to deny the others their joy in covering a song they too love, even if I feel they have it wrong.

The moment when Bernadette brings out the trumpet…

That moment.

How NOT to write about music in the time of Coronavirus – 3. Idles

idles mr motivator

This is brilliant.

I have no words, no energy left to explain this. It takes two hours to type out two sentences of music criticism these days, in between the student trauma and the home schooling and the walks to nowhere and the unforgiving Zoom meetings. I leave my video camera and mic on constantly now, might as well document this decay. I leave  the porchlight shining, the music muted, the intolerance of tolerance at an all-time low.

This is brilliant. It reminds me of way underrated lower-case Welsh band mclusky, and some fucking righteous shit I’d have been sweating out my sexual frustration to during the early 1980s – The Cravats or Membranes, say. I don’t know. Give me your own examples. It makes me wish I wasn’t reduced to this quivering mass of overheated blubber every hot spring evening. It makes me wish I too had grabbed the mic and made the floorboards shake with the sound of stamping feet. I had no idea Idles sounded like this, no idea whatsoever. Do they? Do they really? I mean, WHAT THE FUCK?

This is brilliant. The lyrics are as smart as the video as are smart as the music is as smart as the repetition is as smart as the sardonic vocals is as smart as the call-to-arms. I too want to dance round my suburban blue rinse hours like a twat for hours on end to IDLES to IDLEs to IDLES to IDLES. How d’you like them clichés? Reality is, of course: I can manage about two minutes before I collapse in a blubbered heap of indifference and fatigue, fatigue that begins and ends nowhere. My god, this is brilliant. Please. Don’t even get me started on the video. Too much personal ecstasy to bear. So many moments.

God damn, this is brilliant. This is Tropical Fuck Storm great.

Like Kathleen Hannah with bear claws grabbing Trump by the pussy
Like Delia Smith after ten Chardonnays baking me a nice cookie
How d’you like them clichés?

Let’s seize the day
All hold hands
Chase the pricks away

A tribute to Holger Czukay

Holger Czukay

Once I was blind, now I can see
Once I was blind but now I can see
Now that you’re in love with me
You made a believer out o’ me, babe
You made a believer out o’ me
You Doo Right, 1969

“The bass player’s like a king in chess. He doesn’t move much, but when he does he changes everything.” – Holger Czukay

1. Public Image Ltd – Poptones 

2. The Raincoats – Adventures Close To Home

3. Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot

4. Electrelane – To The East

5. Siouxsie And The Banshees – Happy House

6. Kraftwerk – Autobahn

7. Tricky – Hell Is Round The Corner

8. The Fall – Rowche Rumble

9. Spacemen 3 – Walkin’ With Jesus

10. Joy Division – Atmosphere

11. The Stone Roses – I Am The Resurrection

12. David Bowie – Sound And Vision

13. Primal Scream – Kowalski

14. Hole – The Void

15. Suicide – Frankie Teardrop

16. Oasis – The Shock Of The Lightning

17. Talking Heads – Life After Wartime (live)

18. Roots Manuva – Witness The Fitness

19. Galaxie 500 – Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste

20. Pavement – Home

21. Happy Mondays – Step On

22. Lumerians – Burning Mirrors

23. Bushwalking – No Enter (live)

24. The Deadnotes + The Legend! – Real Bad Man

25. The Black Angels – Black Grease

26. Spoon – Can I Sit Next To You

27. Stereolab – Ping Pong (live)

28. The Jesus And Mary Chain – Mushroom

29. Teen – Better

30. Hookworms – Away/Towards

31. Thee Open Sex – I Do Not Know What

32. Talk Talk – It’s My Life

33. The Mars Volta – Goliath

34. Neu! – Autogallo

35. Blondie – Heroes (live)

36. Law – Hustle

37. Young Fathers – Shame

38. Massive Attack – Teardrop

39. Portishead – Wandering Star

40. The Bastards Of Fate – Huge Magic

41. Life Without Buildings – The Leanover

42. FKA Twigs – Pendulum

43. Goldie – Inner City Life

44. The KLF – 3 am Eternal

45. Radiohead – There There

46. The Flaming Lips – Take Me Ta Mars

47. Moonshake – Capital Letters

48. U.N.K.L.E. – Unreal

49. Rattle – Starting

50. DJ Shadow – Midnight In A Perfect World

51. Effi Briest – Mirror Rim

52. Gang Gang Dance – Princes

53. Malaria! – Kaltes Klares Wasser

54. D.A.F. – Der Mussolini

55. Der Plan – Gummitwist

56. Alternative TV – Life

57. Tunabunny – I Miss You

58. Pylon – Cool

59. Blank Realm – Cleaning Up My Mess

60. John Steel Singers – State Of Unrest

61. Las Kellies – Perro Rompebolas

62. Loop – Mother Sky

63. Pere Ubu – Final Solution

64. Gong – You

65. Pete Shelley – Homosapien

66. Faust – It’s a Rainy Day (Sunshine Girl)

67. The Red Crayola – Born In Flames

68. Suburban Lawns – Janitor

69. Buzzcocks – Moving Away From The Pulsebeat

70. Th’ Faith Healers – Spin 1/2

71. Pram – Sea Shells And Distant Squalls

72. Prolapse – Killing The Bland

73. Clinic – Walking With Thee

74. Swell Maps – Full Moon In My Pocket

75. The Walkabouts – Eveningland

76. Eurythmics — Le Sinistre

77. Moebius-Plank-Neumeier – Pitch Control

78. Vanessa Paradis – Joe Le Taxi

79. David Sylvian – Nostalgia

80. Yoko Ono – Mind Train

81. The Church – Chaos

82. Tony Conrad & Faust – Outside The Dream Syndicate

83. Keith Hudson – Pick a Dub

84. Dr Alimantado – Just The Other Day

85. Nora Dean – Ay Ay Ay

86. Phew – Signal

87. Will Tang – Love Bites (Andy Votel remix)

88. Nista Nije Nista – Kollektives Gedächtnis

89. Muscles Of Joy – (untitled)

90. No Mas Bodas – Carousel

91. The New Sound of Numbers – Complete/Like Children Do

92. Warpaint – Disco//Very – Keep It Healthy

93. Keith Hudson – Pick a Dub

94. Dr Alimantado – Just The Other Day

95. Nora Dean – Ay Ay Ay

96. Tony Conrad & Faust – Outside The Dream Syndicate

There’s an awesome Spotify playlist that in the grand tradition of Can does not contain all the songs above, but several extra and different, which can be found here thanks to Lucy Cage.

Originally published on Collapse Board

Most Played Songs in my iTunes Library


This is taken from the last six years. I have not included any act twice, despite several of them appearing way more than once (e.g. easily the majority of the top 50 most played songs is made up of Dexys and Beyoncé).

The top entry is the song I played when I finally submitted my revised PhD thesis.

1. Sugababes – Push The Button

2. Girls Aloud – Sound Of The Underground

3. Beyoncé – Hold Up

4. Dexys – Now (live at Duke Of York’s Theatre)

5. Estelle – American Boy (Radio Edit w/ Kanye)

6. La Roux – in For The Kill

7. Emiliana Torrini – Jungle Drum

8. Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Murder On The Dancefloor

9. Amy Winehouse – Hey, Little Rich Girl

10. Dandy Livingstone – Rudy, A Message To You

11. Billie Eilish – Bury A Friend

12. Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex

13. Prince Buster – Too Hot

14. Taylor Swift – Lover

15. Mitski – Nobody

16. Tropical Fuck Storm – You Let My Tyres Down

17. Baby Rose – All To Myself

18. Cornershop – One Uncareful Lady Owner

19. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You

20. The Distractions – It Doesn’t Bother Me

How NOT to write about music in the time of Coronavirus – 2. Jim Bob

2020WTF jimbob

One year, two videos.


I wrote 2020 WTF! at the end of 2019. Back then I made an educated guess that the things that seemed so awful and negative – terrorism, war, knife and gun crime, school shootings, toxic masculinity, polarised opinion on social media etc – wouldn’t miraculously disappear with the final bongs, fireworks and boogie-woogie piano notes of the New Year.

So I took a punt and included the song on what will be my new album (out later this year). I’d always planned on releasing 2020 WTF! as a single around about now. Little did I know how lacking of a third verse it might end up sounding. How elephanty in the room it is. But the sentiment in the song remains the same. Uplifting and moving songs at difficult times are great. ‘Imagine’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ do their trick just fine. But sometimes what you need is 26 seconds of punk rock discombobulation and despair to scream at the wall.

Take care.
Jim Bob x


I wrote We’re All Going To Die in the mid of 2015, shortly before we moved back to England. Back then I made an educated guess that despite the celebration of life that goes on continually around us – Eamonn Holmes, Piers Morgan, Donald Trump, #boristhebutcher, Michael Gove, that far right twat who hides his posh double-barrelled name behind a prison sentence – sooner or later it would come to a close, perhaps not at the end of the year though.

So I took a chance and uploaded the song to YouTube, where it lay there festering for several years despite the inclement truth of it. I’d never planned on releasing it as a single, and still don’t. Little did I know how in its erudite composition and subtle key shifts, people might end up claiming it as prescient, timely, set to break the Internet one day (hopefully, before we all die). But the sentiment in the song remains the same. Maudlin and well-meaning songs during these times are crap, ‘Imagine’ triply so. But sometimes what you need is one idea, repeated 30 times – some claim 31 – of upbeat remonstrance to scream at the world.

Bit late to take care now, don’t you think?
Everett True x

With apologies to Jim Bob, whose 26-second thrash I enjoyed very much

How NOT to write about music in the time of Coronavirus – 1. Al Green

Al Green How Can You Mend

The last time I wrote on this blog was 12 March, over a month ago.

I have not given up listening.
I have not given up caring.

When the children are around (Daniel was here for three weeks straight, starting in March) then I shy away from playing music, same reason I have always done – too much competition. As Pete Shelley once sang, “Little girls/Little boys/Have you ever heard your mommy shout/Noise annoys”. There is one main room in this house, and at all times I need to hear the conversation that is going down in case it breaks out. Sometimes I might play a little low level Electric Light Orchestra or Sonic Youth, to give up in despairing frustration 10 or 15 minutes later. Easier to give in to the far more uplifting, cheering sound of children’s voices. No music in the world can match that.

When the children are not around, then I usually wallow in the silence. Let it feed over me, calm this sullen soul. This perennial lockdown is nothing new to me: if I but had a partner (a relationship) I think I could well be as happy as I have ever been. As it is, I have intense periods of work followed by intense periods of isolation followed by intense periods of work. And so on. The loneliness sucks but I draw comfort from the fact I cannot be the only person who knows this now (not like before). I do not watch television (generally) or play music (generally). I do not care. I enjoy the wallow… enjoy is not the correct words. I accept the silence. I live in the spaces, the gaps in between.

I have not given up listening.
I have not given up caring.

It does strike me however that nearly all the people I can see playing out their new roles and ways of being on social media seem more passionately involved with music (or tv or football or quizzes) than me. Sometimes I wonder if I should be bothered, but my life has been stuck in this waiting room for several years now – dating back to Brisbane, easy – and it is so difficult to change habit. I am stuck staring at walls, not even staring. I am stuck lounging on the sofa, not even lounging. I mended the back gate yesterday. It took five minutes but that burst of activity should see me through the next six months.

I thought up the title of my next autobiography earlier: I Coulda Been Jim Reid. It would have been a short book, though: just one line.

But I didn’t want to be.

Stuff that I want to talk about, I have no one to talk about with. God, I wish I had that person to talk with.

Video conference me.

This feels like an Al Green kind of day. Kind of melancholy, kind of blue but also kind of OK with Al singing sweet sympathy into my ear, reassuring, cajoling. Everything feels more achievable when the sweet Reverend is in the room, everything feels like maybe it might just about turn out alright even through all the melancholy and heartbreak. What paralysis of the soul cannot be cured by a few well-placed “la la la’s” from the Reverend, and what distant tremor of loneliness cannot be assuaged by that sweet, sweet electric organ, and what isolation chamber cannot be broken by subtle repetition and reflection and the gentlest, whisper-it percussion?

I may not be able to mend a broken heart but I fixed the back gate yesterday.

How NOT to write about music – 164. The Distractions

The Distractions - Nobody's Perfect

The last six mornings now, I have been listening to the two CDs that make up the reissue of The Distractions near perfect 1980 debut album Nobody’s Perfect.

Comfort music.

Despite the fact the reissue boasts 34 extra tracks, The Distractions didn’t actually have that many songs beyond the album – there are a handful of magical singles (including one of the three greatest singles ever released on Factory Records) and loads of alternative mixes (all worth lingering among) and early stuff (one song sounding wonderfully like Kleenex), a rather sparky attempt to engage with the early 1980s new cool (brass, etc), some needless reggaefied zeitgeist mixes…

Comfort music. I have several other albums currently wrestling for my attention on the morning train to Clapham Junction – most notably these two, and this one – but none fill the peculiar need I have right now for comfort, for reassurance that some stuff remains constant, that life continues unabated no matter what fear is disseminated among us, and you can still draw solace and joy and hope from it. These are strange times, the smell of fear all around is palpable, and we need to draw comfort where we can. Last week, some Course Leaders experienced an unusual spike in attendance in classes at BIMM London – and we suspect it is because students are looking to draw solace from certainties, that stuff remains constant, even that – despite the best efforts of our leaders to prove otherwise – leadership can be a decent thing,  that…

Same reason I enjoy eating my way through a box full of Maltesers at five am, and am binge-watching my way through seasons of Sabrina The Teenage Witch (and also love the new Taylor Swift album), I suspect.

Comfort music.

On the reissue, there is even a new stereo mix of the album included (a labour of love, clearly) that aims to capture the band as intended – and why  not? It is rare indeed that something this pure and magical and unsung comes along, and some of us have been waiting for near four decades for this album to be given the treatment it deserves.

It is hard to pin down highlights when near everything is a highlight, when near everything is supercharged comfort music. There is the Chelmsford-devouring debut 12″ You’re Not Going Out Dressed Like That … a record that I first heard when I was 17 or 18, a record that to this day I cannot listen to without being reminded of a) the radiogram in my parents’ living room, b) leaving the house late morning to sit the first of my ‘A’ Levels, c) hope and awkwardness and an uncomprehending ability to cope on any level of social interaction at all, d) a darkened room staring out into a courtyard waiting for friends to knock on my door but they never do.

They never do.

Chelmsford, 1979
I had a summer job at Cundell’s Corrugated Cardboard factory, a 20-minute bike ride away from my parents’ house in Rothesay Avenue, where I shared a bedroom with my three brothers. I preferred the morning shift, starting at 6am working through to 2pm. I was used to getting up early, due to my paper round of seven years. Mornings were fresher. All you did for the job was stand at the end of a conveyor belt, one other bloke stood opposite. You’d wait until about 43 sheets of cardboard had come down the chute, counting patiently, stack them neatly, and shove them down the belt to another bloke, who’d throw them on a palette. Within days, my hands were a welter of paper cuts. We’d smoke just to keep ourselves awake: frequently only the burning stub of a cigarette between our fingers would remind us of where we were. I’d sing along loudly to The Jam’s ‘When You’re Young’, tears of frustration running down my face. I’d been turned down by eight universities, the new term had already started. I thought I was stuck there for life.

I still loved my punk rock, my pop music. I still dared to dream that romance existed, that there was a future outside the 9 to 5. I had to believe that. I would play my vinyl upstairs on my Dansette when my brothers weren’t around, laying out all the seven-inch coloured vinyl on the floor (I stole to finance my habit). I played my 12-inchers and LPs downstairs on my parents’ 70s radiogram, a monstrous, cheap, ridiculously tinny affair – but at least you could stack them. I devoured the music papers with the zeal of a late-come fanatic. All of them, every week. (I also had a day job at a newsagents.) I bought records on the writers’ say-so, and because I liked the covers.

The Distractions’ ‘You’re Not Going Out Dressed Like That’ 12-inch on TJM was one of my favourites. The four songs had such energy, melody, enthusiasm, awkwardness – it was The Undertones, but somehow more on a level I could relate to, no tongue-in-cheek ironies here. I loved the rough, clearly unfinished production, the way it made the songs seem way more human and personal. The lyrics spoke directly to me.

“Well, I won’t miss you when you’ve gone/And I won’t talk behind your back/The time will come when you look back and see/If the time should come when you have a reason to come back/Well, do what you want, it doesn’t bother me,” Mike Finney sang in his trembling Mancunian accent. (Most of the songwriting, but by no means all, was managed by guitarist Steve Perrin.) Man, I so wanted to say those words to even one person – one girl – that might have some sort of regret because they’re didn’t notice me… trouble was, I couldn’t even find one. So I kept playing the music regardless, imagining myself into situations that were entirely unobtainable. Guitars churned and spun, the drums rattled and thundered in their own intimate way, and throughout those damn melodies soared and hurt and twanged at my heart strings…

“When I saw you last night/I got too close again/Though we stayed apart/I clung to you like glue/And though I tried so hard to prove to you I wasn’t giving in/I forgot to give you time to prove it too,” The Distractions sang on ”Nothing’, before a minimal guitar solo as great as anything even from the Buzzcocks or The Jam – damn, I knew how that felt. There was such jubilation present, too: impossible to hide on the rampant closing song ‘Too Young’ that soared and burnt and scoured and ran wild with the  exhilaration of being young like even anything from way up in Scotland (Restricted Code or The Scars, for example). These, for me, were my pop star gods – it didn’t matter whether they sold 100 or 10 million records. These were my pop star gods.

It was the music alone that kept me going through that long hot, turbulent, deeply troubled summer.

Song of the day – 200: The Distractions

Then there was this – with quite honestly (at 1.52) the single greatest drum part in the history of recorded music.

Bit of detail

The Manchester band were label mates with Joy Division in the late 1970s before they were signed to Island Records by legendary A&R man Nick Stewart (he signed U2). Nick is actually putting out this reissue on his own label which brings the story full circle 40 years on. Nick remembers it well:

“In 1979 I went up to Manchester to meet Tony Wilson of Factory Records, with whom I forged a firm friendship. Joy Division weren’t interested in signing to Island Records, so Tony suggested I check out another local band who’d just recorded a single for Factory called ‘Time Goes by so Slow’… I loved it from the moment I heard it… and quickly struck a deal for The Distractions to join Island. My first signing!”

The band split in 1981, and released a wonderful follow-up a few years later in 2012.

I wrote about that here.

In the months since I was sent an advance promo of End Of The Pier, it’s found its way onto my iTunes playlist several times – shy and unannounced like a former drunkard of a friend – and each time, I stop what I’m doing momentarily and listen, surprised, caught unawares again, wanting more, wistful, wishing that I could stop this relentless chase, this thrill of the new when no one nears me gives a fucking second glance at what I do. The music I make this days, when I make it, is clearly me: this hesitation, this clumsy renewal with the heart of pop music serves The Distractions well, very well.

Comfort music.

How NOT to write about music – 163. Gaye Su Akyol

Gaye Su Akyol

Random shit from the Internet.

Love random shit from the Internet, but as always it is good to have a filter applied. No time to sift through random shit on the Internet? Step right this way! Your very own tried and tested source, the one, the only, the nefarious… Mr Everett True! This day presenting some blissed-out psychedelic trance music from Turkey, full of hidden couplets and teasing rhythmic cadences, subtle and surprising and sensual. The kind of stuff you wish would soundtrack a few more of your dreams, the ones where you luxuriate, revel in a singular sense of being. The illuminated lightness of being. Consistent fantasy can well be a reality. As Pitchfork explain, “Her voice is a mesmerizing thing, deep and plummy enough to shake trees and stir hearts.” Not sure about the misspelling of mesmerising and the random comparison to Björk – yes, they both are female and not English – but there you have it. Her voice can shake trees and stir your heart, if you let it. I know it has stirred mine often enough in the past couple of weeks.

Obsession. Let it never die away.

Gaye Su Akyol: Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir review – Turkish star deserves big things

How NOT to write about music – 162. Slum Of Legs vs Porridge Radio


Two bands have dominated my musical existence (community? taste? listening?) since my return from Brisbane five years ago. Both are from Brighton. Both have/are releasing albums (one their second, the other their debut) right now. One is going slightly above the parapet and is being written about in effusive fashion in a variety of places – Pitchfork, NME, The Quietus, the regulars. One isn’t – or not so much. Both should be everywhere, all the time. I do not love both bands equally because that would be insane, see patronising. Equal but differently.

I want to use this moment to record that my brain is currently imploding from the sheer musical wonderment of it all, especially as I got sent both albums the week I discovered the debut Roxy Music album 45 years on. I simply cannot process all this magik all at once. Give me space! Give me space. It is enough for me to know that others are taking note, others are feeling as enthused and confused and wired and charged as I have been by this splurge of music and awkwardness and humanity and passion over the last five years. This is music that is not just my heartland but that which defines me. I cannot imagine life without either, and it makes no sense to engage with…

When you’re sad, you’re invisible
A flicker at the edge of an eyeball
When you’re sad, you’re invisible
A flicker at the edge of the disco
At least we are not a painted
Macabre French
Benetint & Malevolence 06:49

Collectively, I have written about the two bands on at least 20 occasions… and NONE of those for the mainstream (or even alternative mainstream) press… and yet I am not listening to either album from either band, just revelling in the knowledge they exist and they exist and they exist… this behaviour is similar to the way I way I reacted in the early 1980s when I never actually listened to the first two Birthday Party albums or UT on vinyl because I DID NOT NEED TO, I had the wonderful unpredictable charged unfocused focused live experiences to buoy me, to charge me, even (with Slum of Legs) if it’s been several years now.

My musical memories have never been at fault.
It’s just everything else.


My mum says that I look like a nervous wreck
Because I bite my nails right down to the flesh
And sometimes, I am just a child, writing letters to myself
Wishing out loud you were dead, and then taking it back
And I used to be ashamed until I learned I love the game
And I slowly move away from everything I knew about you
And my mum gave me this pen, she said it lights up when you press it
And you are still so depressed, and I like that you need me
You will like me when you meet me
You will like me when you meet me
You will like me when you meet me
You might even fall in love
Sweet 03:44

Members of both bands have given me support at crucial moments: and I want to thank them now because I know I ain’t always so good at communicating away from my Other Self.


Someone commented recently, “do you know how hard it is to keep the same group of six people together for five years?”


Now, I am cross with myself. How dare I devalue one band by mentioning the other? There are links: some obvious, some not: but that is not the point. Listen to this. Listen to this. I just want to say this to you.

I was thinking of a compromise
When I saw the beauty in your eyes
It heightened something in me so I’ll say so

Now I just want to say this to you
Listen to this, listen to this,
I want to say this to you
You never know, oh oh
(Here we go)
I love you, I love you
I love you, and it’s true and it’s true and it’s true

Listen to This – Dexys Midnight Runners

With its looming ferris wheel and wooden pier, Margolin notes that Coney Island loosely resembles Brighton, the college town on England’s south coast where she met her bandmates and formed Porridge Radio in 2015. What began as Margolin’s lo-fi solo project has evolved into a fierce wrecking crew fueled by unvarnished angst. On the group’s lurching new album, Every Bad—their first release for esteemed indie imprint Secretly Canadian—Margolin is a snarling antisocial who’s constantly at war with her body and mind.

Since emerging with a three-song tape in 2013, Brighton’s Slum Of Legs have maintained the same six-strong lineup, and do you have any idea how hard that is? (In this specific instance, neither do I, but statistically speaking one expects a limb or two to drop off now and then.) Their self-titled debut album, on Nottingham/Bristol label Spurge, is their first release since 2015, but Slum Of Legs’ component parts circa singles ‘Doll Like’ and ‘Begin To Dissolve’ – Krauty/proggy discord, post punk jags, indie pop froth, feminist rhetoric equally exaltatory and condemnatory – remain in place on these ten numbers.
(The Quietus)

Somewhere, I think this fits. Awkwardly. Don’t force it.

They’re loud, they’re smart and they want us to be better people. Porridge Radio are about to conquer the planet with their breakthrough album ‘Every Bad’, a record of art-rock mantras that betrays their towering ambition and cocksure spirit. Matthew Neale talks to singer Dana Margolin about being hailed by Nirvana’s best mate, the dread of being branded a political band and why it’s important to make a difference.