Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Deaf Metal

I often think our lives revolve around two or three little factors that dictate how we behave, feel and respond. Every week they change and flip and switch around, but they always play a role no matter how small.

An example, I hear you cry? Do you remember that annoying ulcer you had a couple months ago that sat in your inner lip, nagging you to avoid salty or sour foods like a disapproving parent? A tiny patch of sore skin was dominating your diet for a whole week! A damaged epithelium stopped you from indulging in salt and vinegar crisps and citrus fruit!

What about the time you thought you'd change hairdressers because you felt like a change. Remember how you walked away with a bowl haircut and the creeping realisation that you were going to have to wear a hat for the rest of the week? An ill-trained hairdresser changed your life! A complete stranger who you were too polite to offer suggestions to decided that you would spend the rest of the week trying to bring back the nineties in a crumpled beanie!

The past week my big 'Dictating Factor' has been a dying hard drive. My university offers a free 'laptop clinic' and after carrying my ailing computer to their waiting room, and seeing the third-year Computer Sciences student good doctor, was told with genuine sympathy that the problem was fatal.

I didn't quite know how to tell my laptop the news. It was a quiet walk home.

Running my computer in Safe Mode the past week (the technological equivalent of a life support machine) has meant the sound card isn't working, and consequently I've been folkless for a good two-hundred hours or so. This explains my lack of posts lately (it appears failed hard drives that put your internet experience on mute are not conducive to writing a blog about music). Nevertheless, herein lies the crux of my meandering and thus far incomprehensible argument.

One of the things I always try to press on people (when I've had a few more beers than usual and they're smiling politely as they inch towards the toilets) is how important lyrics are to a song. If we call the rhythm the train tracks and the melody the steam engine, then the lyrics have to be the pretty ticket taker who lets you have a student concession when you've forgotten your Young Person's Railcard. In short, (at least I believe) the lyrics are the heart and soul of contemporary folk.

Then why, I asked myself in a silent, folkless room, can I not write a blog post about a song I've never heard before? If I've read the lyrics, and the lyrics are good, then shouldn't the piece follow suit?

It just so happens that Johnny Flynn (ex-beau of Laura Marling and folkist extraordinaire) has released a new album, and it just so happens that a friend of mine saw him live recently, and it just so happens that she recommended to me some of his new songs, and it just so happens that the Internet was invented in the late 20th century and I consequently have access to the lyrics of one of these new songs.

Dear Readers, you have an audio advantage over me here. It seems the student has become the master, and the master has become the blogger clutching at straws. I've never heard this song, have not even researched this album and for all I know Johnny Flynn has decided to take a dubstep-blackmetal-trance twist on his latest release. Let's just say I could regret this.

So Internet, listen to the track that I've managed to embed (yes!) below and be the judge of the Burnsian Lyrics Theory. Since I'll probably be aurally-challenged for a few more weeks, it'll be up to you to tell me what you think of the tune.

Would you look at that, I'm telling you what to listen to!

How 'bout a haircut?

Johnny Flynn // Kentucky Pill (free download) by Stayloose


  1. Kevin26.5.10

    Sounds very different to most Johnny Flynn that I have heard before - though fear not, he has not wandered into death metal territory. The song is significantly more groovy than his previous stuff, the mandolin (or ukelele?) alone has sold me on this song. And, I'll probably buy this album tomorrow. 'nuff said.

  2. Mistah Sistah26.5.10

    What a good idea for a blog post!

    I haven't heard any other Johnny Flynn stuff but this song is cool, I like the finger picking.

  3. I think he played this at the gig - I was impressed with the pizzicato of his violinist and his own trumpet skills, his musical competence never fails to astound me! his new stuff definitely is a progression from his very acoustic past, a richer sound i'd say. thanks for the mention