Bodega – Endless Scroll

The latest record to arrive via the Rough Trade Shops subscription service (I wrote this a while ago, but don’t worry about it) is Bodega with Endless Scroll. This version is limited to 1200 copies on clear vinyl with a bonus CD and download code, which is nice.The band are from New York and the album was recorded and produced by Austin Brown of Parquet Courts and if you like them, you might well like this, although there are a 100 different influences seemingly informing the music, some I can’t quite identify, while others are easier to spot, such as The Fall or Wire. It’s an amalgamation of post punk, contemporary pop, hip-hop, krautrock, and folk-derived narrative songwriting which congeal into a rather pleasant mess, of sorts.

Guitarist/Vocalist Ben Hozier gave a track by track run through of the albums 14 tracks to DIY Mag, so rather than trying to interpret the songs myself and erring on the side of total laziness, here is that dissection:

How Did This Happen?!

This one is about the guilt of the cultural consumer.Said connoisseur is taking a stroll w/ curated streaming playlist past a demonstration of Hillary Clinton supporters (the day after the 2016 election).Instead of wagging his finger at the bad guys, he looks in the mirror and doesn’t like what he sees. I wrote this one two weeks before the recording session —-> I felt the album was missing both a high-energy opener and a track directly relating the ENDLESS SCROLL thematics to the ‘politics’ of the now (in the capitol hill sense of the term).

Bodega Birth

The record’s theme song. The start of a new relationship and a new band. Conversely, the end of a band (Bodega Bay) and other friendships. Born into by what consumes: 1. Musical Influences(destroying the past by stealing from it)…hence the classic rock citations(London Calling / Dark Side of the Moon), 2. The purchasing of a lifestyle(cultural consuming) and 3. Personal destruction that sparks when you play with the flame of life.

Name Escape

Observations from a night at Palisades (the now defunct Bushwick venue). The Smiths blare out of the P.A. as I chat with people I’ve seen hundreds of times but will never really know. The hard drive of the brain malfunctions (or maybe just needs more memory). Nikki in particular wanted to express the alienation she was feeling at rock shows. We were aiming for something both mechanical and spontaneous, like hip hop.

Boxes For The Move

This is me telling my old best friend through song what I could not in person. This one started out as a country-strummer barroom ballad that was later sculpted to become the stoned rainy night meditation it is. I believe it was this song that made Austin Brown want to record us.

I Am Not A Cinephile

Musically written in the style of Parquet Courts——> it started with me making up my own lyrics to their ‘Sunbathing Animal.’A bit of sacrilege from someone who is deeply committed to the dream of the modern cinema (using the camera and microphone to express thought). I love the world of Alfred Hitchcock but not the systems that allowed that world to be filmed (imperialism, racism, misogyny, capitalism).

Can’t Knock The Hustle

A Socratic debate I had with a co-worker at Chloes (the soft serve shop) several years ago. Deductive logic without context (in this case, Jay-Z’s) lead to disastrous results. Musically I wanted to do an arena rock anthem like how Wire would have it on Pink Flag.

Gyrate

Nikki’s ode to female pleasure and self-sustainability. She wrote the lyrics and melody a-capella over a primal drum beat and the band added riffs later. Live it tends to be either jovial/playful or violent and fierce, depending on the room.

Jack in Titanic

Learned male behavior from the movies and LP’s. My childhood idols: James Bond, Jackie Chan, and Jack (in Titanic). I later realised that my conception of what it is to ‘be a man’ derives from many aspects of these ‘heroes.’ As Godard once said: ‘At the movies we don’t think,we are thought.’ The song is a bit of a shapeshifter —-> depending on my mood it can be performed as satire, critique, romance, nostalgia, or all of the above.

Margot

Erotic idealism and what it’s up against. In my opinion the first track of the LP B-side is the most important position. That’s why I wanted Nikki’s ‘Margot’ there – as it best articulates the minimalism(guitar harmonics plus tom and bass) of the ENDLESS SCROLL palette. When she asks ‘What do you believe in? I have no idea what you still believe in’ I always wrack my brain.

Bookmarks

I got a tiny tattoo on my wrist several years ago to wake me up whenever stuck in the muck of repetition. The tattoo lost some of its power over time so I wrote this song. This is the oldest melody on the record ——> I remember writing the first verse and the hook in the fall of 2013. The ‘Stare at Computer’ sections were copied and pasted (not literally)from another song that got cut from this record. For a while the working title for the LP was STARE AT COMPUTER.

Warhol

A diss track to the Philosophy of Andy Warhol. A syllogism following his logic to its natural conclusion. All you have to do is take a look at the cesspool of Web 2.0 to see that he is the most influential artist of the 20th century.

Charlie

On New Year’s Eve in 2007 my best friend Charlie drowned in the Charleston River. We had spent every day of that fall semester together; playing records and scheming plans for our great unformed rock and roll band at the University of South Carolina. I’ve been trying to write him a worthy song since then and only recently found the melody that felt like him.My favorite song to play.

Williamsburg Bridge

EXT. WBURG BRIDGE. SUNSET. Themes: vertigo, memory,lust, regret, longing, clarity.

Truth is Not Punishment

A protest song. A reminder to be open-wide. This one started as a Dylan-esque visual poem (with many more verses) but Madison and Montana urged me to make it more concrete. We were struggling to get the feel right during the recording until we ‘deleted’ our heady arrangement and played it as a speedy not-quite-hardcore train going off the rails. Live this one serves as a placeholder for spontaneous electric improvisation.

Tracklist

Endless Scroll

A1           ?!        

A2           Bodega Birth     

A3           Name Escape    

A4           Boxes For The Move     

A5           I Am Not a Cinephile      

A6           Can’t Knock The Hustle 

A7           Gyrate 

A8           Jack In Titanic    

B1           Margot

B2           Bookmarks        

B3           Warhol

B4           Charlie 

B5           Williamsburg Bridge       

B6           Truth Is Not Punishment             

Witness Scroll

1              Endlessly Scrolling           

2              Name Escape    

3              Bookmarks        

4              Can’t Knock The Hustle 

5              Mo Vanguard Revival    

6              Margot

7              Stain Glaze         

8              Gyrate 

9              Jack In Titanic    

10           Truth Is Not Punishment

My copy is a Rough Trade exclusive version limited to 1200 Copies on clear vinyl. Copies bought from Rough Trade come with a bonus live CDr packaged in a card sleeve. Includes a 28 page booklet and a download code for a digital copy of the LP. Track A1 printed on sleeve and label as ‘?!’ but also known as “How Did This Happen?!”

I read somewhere recently that Bodega are categorised as Art Rock, which is a category that doesn’t make much sense to me really. There are plenty of other categories available other than that one. Anyway, the album, I really rather like it. It’s one of those that has some quick hooks and some that build over time giving it some longevity. An example being ‘Jack in Titanic’ which I wasn’t keen on at first but it does get under the skin after a few listens and I found my self singing along during the commute home one evening. 

Where they will go from here I don’t know. There have been a lot of bands that have appeared from a cloud of industry acclaim and disappeared after one album, so there needs to be more of the same, but different, from Bodega or this may be all they do that’s of any listening worth. Hopefully they will succeed.

Rating: 8.6

The Rise and Decline and Rise of Compact Discs

Like many people I made the switch from Vinyl to CD’s when I was told that vinyl was dead, this was a mistake, however, as I played CD’s less and less and used MP3’s and eventually streaming music services as a replacement for those CD’s, I put them all away in boxes, or gave them away because I didn’t need them anymore. I hadn’t played a CD in years until a few months ago.

Like many people I made the switch from Vinyl to CD’s when I was told that vinyl was dead, this was a mistake, however, as I played CD’s less and less and used MP3’s and eventually streaming music services as a replacement for those CD’s, I put them all away in boxes, or gave them away because I didn’t need them anymore. I hadn’t played a CD in years until a few months ago.

I have a long commute to work and playing music via Bluetooth from my phone was becoming tiresome, mostly because I needed to pick my phone up while driving to do anything like select an album or skip a track, but also because Apple music hates me. The main point for me of Apple Music was not just the wide selection of music available, and there is a lot, but that I could download it for the journey and did not have to stream it and use up all my data plan. For some reason Apple Music chooses to randomly un-download albums and tracks and I have no idea why. If I download an album it will be there, but the next time I go to it, whether it is the next day or the next month, there is only a 50% chance of it still being downloaded. I’ve googled it and been to Apple support and there doesn’t seem to be a solution. As a result I opened one of those boxes of CD’s and took them with me in the car. The results surprised me.

For some reason when listening to a CD I am much more likely to listen to the whole thing without needing to skip tracks or change albums. In fact, I may very well just let it go around again, more than once. I have no idea why this is and can only offer up the possibility that this is how I used to listen to Records and CD’s and am, well, sort of trained to do it that way. 

Now I only had a moderate CD collection left, a couple of hundred or so, and soon ran out of having something I wanted to listen to which, via a circuitous route, led me to wander into a charity shop. I walked out with 30 CD’s. They were 3 for £1! That’s £10 for 30 CD’s, how could I not? At those prices I am not a very discerning buyer, if something looks even moderately interesting there’s a good chance I’ll buy it and get £0.30 of entertainment out of it. 

For the past couple of months I have been making weekly visits to charity shops near work and have been spending an average of £0.38 per CD. I made a list of some, not all of them, but some. Not all of them were for me (Buble’s Christmas Album, for example, is not mine, honestly, it’s not). So the following list of CD’s cost about £53. 

ArtistTitle
Michael BubleChristmas
Ray LamontagneTrouble
The StreetsA Grand Don’t Come For Free
Plan B (4)The Defamation Of Strickland Banks
SupertrampRetrospectacle (The Supertramp Anthology)
DuffyRockferry
Sheryl CrowThe Very Best Of Sheryl Crow
EminemThe Eminem Show
EminemThe Slim Shady LP 
Usher8701
OutKastSpeakerboxxx / The Love Below
Whitney HoustonThe Greatest Hits
The KooksKonk
Paolo NutiniThese Streets: Festival Edition
Billy TalentBilly Talent
Phil CollinsThe Singles
OasisHeathen Chemistry
Norah JonesNot Too Late
St GermainTourist
DidoLife For Rent
Jack JohnsonTo The Sea
Jack JohnsonIn Between Dreams
Dean MartinThe Very Best Of Dean Martin (The Capitol & Reprise Years)
Red Hot Chili PeppersMother’s Milk
Fun Lovin’ CriminalsCome Find Yourself
The Ting TingsWe Started Nothing
Kula ShakerK
Primal ScreamDirty Hits
FugeesThe Score
Johnny CashThe Essential Johnny Cash
RihannaGood Girl Gone Bad
The ZutonsTired Of Hanging Around
The CoralThe Coral
Gerry RaffertyBaker Street
Franz FerdinandFranz Ferdinand
Elliott SmithXO
Charles BradleyChanges
David GrayWhite Ladder
FeederEcho Park
FeederComfort In Sound
Jet (2)Get Born
Fun Lovin’ Criminals100% Colombian
The Beach BoysThe Very Best Of The Beach Boys
BlurThe Best Of
AthleteTourist
Jack JohnsonBrushfire Fairytales
Manic Street PreachersEverything Must Go
Finley QuayeMaverick A Strike
MewFrengers
Paloma FaithDo You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?
ElbowThe Take Off And Landing Of Everything
Jesus JonesDoubt
The Chemical BrothersPush The Button
The Chemical BrothersBrotherhood
Rufus WainwrightRelease The Stars
GabrielleRise
GabrielleGabrielle
The Beautiful SouthCarry On Up The Charts
Kings Of LeonYouth & Young Manhood
LeftfieldLeftism
The Magic NumbersThe Magic Numbers
Damien Rice9
Jill ScottBeautifully Human: Words And Sounds Vol. 2
The VerveUrban Hymns
The VerveUrban Hymns (yeah, I bought it twice by mistake)
David GrayA New Day At Midnight
No DoubtThe Singles 1992 – 2003
WolfmotherWolfmother
Mumford & SonsSigh No More
KeaneHopes And Fears
U2All That You Can’t Leave Behind
New OrderLow-life
MadonnaSomething To Remember
Alanis MorissetteJagged Little Pill
MadonnaRebel Heart
MadonnaRay Of Light
MadonnaGHV2 (Greatest Hits Volume 2)
Blink-182Enema Of The State
Lynyrd SkynyrdThe Essential Lynyrd Skynyrd
J.J. CaleNaturally
Judge Jules & Tall PaulThe Annual 1999 – Millennium Edition
Depeche ModeThe Singles 86>98
SuedeSuede
SuedeComing Up
BeyonceBeyonce
AthleteVehicles & Animals
SupergrassI Should Coco
Norah JonesCome Away With Me
Jose GonzalezVeneer
Scissor SistersTa-Dah
James Morrison (2)Songs For You, Truths For Me
Ms. DynamiteA Little Deeper
Scissor SistersScissor Sisters
James Morrison (2)Undiscovered
Eagle-Eye CherryDesireless
Crash Test DummiesGod Shuffled His Feet
KasabianKasabian
Foo FightersWasting Light
Lily AllenIt’s Not Me, It’s You
KT TunstallEye To The Telescope
Barenaked LadiesStunt
Ani DiFrancoReprieve
Kanye WestGraduation
Kanye WestThe College Dropout
Foo FightersThere Is Nothing Left To Lose
Foo FightersEchoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
The Long BlondesSomeone To Drive You Home
The StrokesIs This It
Bright EyesI’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
Fatboy SlimYou’ve Come A Long Way, Baby
JamiroquaiDynamite
JamiroquaiTravelling Without Moving
AIRMoon Safari
Jack JohnsonOn And On
GabrielleAlways
Graham CoxonHappiness In Magazines
Zero 7Simple Things
StereophonicsJust Enough Education To Perform
StereophonicsBest Of Stereophonics (Decade In The Sun)
George MichaelOlder
RoyksoppMelody A.M.
AIREverybody Hertz.
Professor GreenAlive Till I’m Dead
The ThrillsSo Much For The City
Soul II SoulVolume IV The Classic Singles 88-93
Manu ChaoClandestino
The KooksInside In / Inside Out
Professor GreenAt Your Inconvenience
Red Hot Chili PeppersBlood Sugar Sex Magik
Red Hot Chili PeppersOne Hot Minute
Red Hot Chili PeppersGreatest Hits
a-haGreatest Hits (Headlines And Deadlines – The Hits Of a-ha)
Red Hot Chili PeppersBy The Way + Bonus
Red Hot Chili PeppersCalifornication
Bloc PartySilent Alarm
Bloc PartyA Weekend In The City
Craig DavidSlicker Than Your Average
The White StripesGet Behind Me Satan
Basement JaxxRooty
Lemon JellyLemonjelly.ky

No need to count them, there are 140 there, many of which I would never bother with but many I’m glad I did. One example would be Suede, I’ve really never bothered with them much but these are two fabulous albums, £0.60 well invested. Also Jose Gonzalez, I really enjoyed that. So if we take an average new price of £9 that would have been a total spend of £1260.00. When I look at it that way it’s crazy. I have about another 150 charity shop purchases that aren’t in the above list so that would have been £2610.00 and I haven’t spent as much as £100.00. To be fair there are a load of albums that I just wouldn’t have bought at full price, but still, it seems like such a bargain. 

I haven’t played them all yet but the ones in Bold are the ones I have and really liked. 

I include the above by Wolfmother because I really liked it. 

The Sony Vaio is the worst laptop ever created

I’ve been away a while due to my lovely macbook being used by my son, who broke his and, as he is now attending University, had to have one. The one he had to have was mine apparently and I have had to resort to using an old Sony Vaio laptop that I replaced with the macbook due to the Vaio being appalling.  The last time I wrote anything here was back in July, not because I had nothing to write but because it take that long for the Vaio to boot up. There is much frustrated swearing occurring in my household and it is entirely Vaio related.

Anyway, I was listening to a CD in the car the other day that I’d picked up in a charity shop for 30p and remembered the first time I’d heard a track for it. I had the TV on a music channel, in the background really as I was doing something else, and a piece of music caught my attention. I won’t keep you in suspense, it was this:

I knew nothing of Kasabian at all, certainly not that they were from Leicester, I thought they were from some Eastern Block country to be truthful, which I think is fair enough, based on the video. I still really like this track, and the whole first album actually, but nothing after the debut. I’ve tried listening to the other albums and there are a few bits and pieces that are OK but it’s mostly a disappointment.

So I appear to be able too post again, subject to the Vaio not being a complete imbecile. I have much to talk about.

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