The song just keeps on repeatin’, drop the needle again

It seems like every time I post something here I’m apologising for the lack of recent activity, and saying it’s going to be different from this point onwards. And this time is no different – it’s almost two months since I wrote anything of my own (borrowing someone else’s press release doesn’t count, does it?).

Now, it has been a busy couple of months, with birthdays, christenings and anniversaries, not to mention two bouts of chickenpox and numerous sniffles. But with two pre-schoolers in the house pretty much EVERY month is busy, or at least feels like it. Plus, they’re not around when I update the blog (at work), so I can’t really blame them. And all of that stuff should really be fuel for writing, not something that gets in the way. Maybe a catch-up post is in order…

But not today. Today I’m talking music, specifically a few things that have excited me in one way or another recently. So, in no particular order…

The Gaslight Anthem – 45

The first release from The Gaslight Anthem’s upcoming album has been on repeat since I first heard it last night. Gem reckons it sounds exactly like a Gaslight Anthem song, and that’s no bad thing. But it sounds like a progression to me – like Brian Fallon and co. have managed to combine the more grown-up sound of their last album with their earlier punk rock sentiments. Hopefully the rest of the album (due for release on July 24) lives up to the promise of this track.

Eddie Vedder – Skipping

This song is simply beautiful, and the sentiment sums up exactly how I feel about being Daddy to my two girls. Shame the charity album it’s featured on – Every Mother Counts 2012 – will only be available in the US and Canada :(

Listen: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/exclusive-stream-eddie-vedders-mellow-solo-tune-skipping-20120430

She Makes War – Little Battles

She Makes War is Laura Kidd, a London-based “multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and digital polymath” who we saw supporting the wonderful Chris T-T at the weekend. Gem was so impressed she snapped up both SMW albums from the merchandise stall. And since Gem almost never gets into things on first listen, you know this is good. I haven’t heard this enough yet to pick out any favourite tracks, so why not listen for yourself here:

Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made the Radio

I got quite excited last year, when I heard the surviving original Beach Boys were reuniting for a 50th anniversary album and tour. But the tour isn’t coming to the UK, at least not this year. And if this first single is anything to go by, the album will probably be a disappointment too. There’s nothing wrong with it, as such, but I guess I was hoping for more than just a re-working of the surf n’ cars n’ girls stuff the band were recording when they actually were boys. 

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!