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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Amakudari (look it up)

Sometimes it's hard trying to find decent new music. You stand at countless listening posts, attracted to the albums by a half-remembered article you think you read in a magazine a few months ago, or you're dragged in, magpie-like by the nice shiny covers. These days we have tinternet, iTunes, radio, live 365,, etc etc, and they are supposed to make our lives easier but the honest truth is that you still end up panning through the darkest rivers, occassionally glimpsing tiny slivers of gold that grab your eye but offer only the same sustenance as the skinniest MacDonalds hamburger.

MySpace can be particularly heinous in this respect. Sure, The Arctic Monkeys might have made it big there through nothing more than word of mouth and good songs, but there's a ton of shite out there. One of the most dreaded emails in my inbox is the MySpace Friend Request. Nine times out of ten it's some pouting blonde bint allegedly called Nadine who wants to be my friend. Nadine and her friends say that they will happily gyrate in front of a video camera for me for free, but to guarantee that I'm old enough they need my credit card number. Sometimes though, the planets fall into alignment, Japanese restaurants actually take my credit card, and music from a stunning new source falls into my lap easier than a hostess who's just spied a platinum Amex card. Take Caucus. They wanted to be my friend. I thought, "Shit, it's some freaky politician who is desperately trying to cling to his seat and has decided that the way to garner votes is by snazzy web-based advertising" (rather than by trying not to be a venal, self-aggrandising, power-hungry cunt). Thankfully my cynicism was misplaced and this was no Nadine or Blair. Instead I was transported back to the time when I first started gettting seriously into music and I realised that guitars could be used in ways that Brian May had never even considered (my parents were big Queen fans). Caucus themselves admit that their influences are "80s~ indie guitar pop/rock scene (especially the early creation records... FELT, Weather Propets, and Pastels are the ones to name a few) + Johnathan Richman, Millenium, Judee Sill, The Byrds, Nagisa Ni Te, Flippers Guitar, and so on.." but the verve they bring to their music makes them more than mere copyists. Bits of early Teenage Fanclub, St. Johnny, poppy Sonic Youth, Fluf and lots more fly about in there and it sounds fucking fantastic. Hell, I'm giving this lot my credit card number.