gsj1977"s Profile Page

Sunday, May 13, 2007

ok city ok and the beauty of secondhand music

Last Fm. has been helpful in making me even more geeky about music - all those charts and numbers are like manna from heaven us poor unfortunate obsessives and our stunted emotional growth. However, part of the marketing blurb was something about Last Fm. being a way to widen your musical horizons - by recording everything you listen to they are able to recommend other artists you'd probably like. Unfortunately, this is utter bollocks. Based on the music I've listened to in the last seven days, Last Fm. was able to recommend such unknown artists as The Beatles, Neil Young, Pink Floyd and Queen. I then noticed the sliding scale that allowed me to change the recommendations from 'popular' to 'obscure'. I duly slid the button over and was pointed in the direction of some singer-songwriter called Paul Simon. Gee, thanks, Last Fm. With all these unusual artists you are really spoiling us.

All is not last, thanks to a message I was sent from another Last Fm. user I was pointed in the direction of ok city ok. They've left a trail all over the internet so I'm not going to list all the various links here - do it yourself, they're worth the effort. Fronted by Kay Grace, an exiled American based in Tokyo, ok city ok will appeal to anyone with an ear for a slightly skewed, crunchy pop song. If you like what you hear they're playing at Kichijoji Silver Elephant this Friday (May 18th), before setting off on a tour of the States (more details on their MySpace page).

Finally, I just want to write a brief note of thanks to the goddess of secondhand record shops for deciding to stick so many of the good ones in Tokyo. In the last two days I've spent about ¥5000 and picked up 10 cds of outrageous quality (and a Deacon Blue album because it reminded me of some painful school discos when I were but a nipper). The best ones so far have to be the two compilations of music released on British independent labels in the 80's/early 90's. They make all the wannabes kicking around these days sound even more pathetic than they already do. I tried to find the albums on the internet so I could put a link in here, but no joy - you'll just need to take my word for how good they are.