(photo by Jeev)
On occasion I have the responsibility, nay, the privilege of venturing out from my safe North London bubble from where springs my work, my play, my habitude, and at times I am required to work on the borders of the City of London, the infamous Square Mile home to as many overweight market traders as can be fit in. It's the East border, which means I work within spitting distance of the lovely Brick Lane, an entire street of curry houses and Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi shops. Awesome Welles, basically, especially around lunchtime.
Indian food, for me, takes on a slightly elegiac, intangible greatness which cannot be matched by any other cuisine. I have yet to experience the full breadth of Carribean cooking, which follows hot on its heels, but I don't think it's possible to discover everything about the subcontinental food in one lifetime. Such a breadth of flavours, such aromas, such sweetness and delight. Mmm, food.
It's only fitting that for my two hundredth post I should take about this wonderful subject, as it's one of the few topics which I am as interested in as music. And yes, I will judge you if you are content to eat ready meals and McDonalds, just like I will judge you if you listen to the Kooks or, say, Panic! At The Disco. In both cases, you are either ignorant of the quality that's available, or you are aware and are apathetic and weak in your choices. In each case, I judge you, I look down on you. It's an art form.
I don't really know where I'm going with this post, though, or what music to supply. I guess an antidote to those who be pertinent, as I really don't have much Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi music I can give you. Or any. So how about I offer you those alternatives? If you are a fan of the Kooks, you are clearly a weak-minded, banal individual unencumbered with matters of taste or class, uninterested in finding out what the preferred alternative might be. In this case, you need a metaphysical slap around the face, delivered via the medium of blog. You need a short, sharp shock in an indie-pop format, you need to be gently reassured that Brighton does not just produced straw-hat-wearing desperate hipsters. Let 20 Jazz Funk Greats inform you far better than I can, or at least take some time to listen to the literate and articulate British Sea Power, a band quiet of late, but who have produced several memorable singles, each containing more imagination and flair in their first bar than the Kooks managed in a whole album. In Remember Me, they epitomised their sound, and a lovely noise it is.
British Sea Power - Remember Me
Emo is a toughie, no? Panic! At The Disco, My Chemical Romance, these are considered emo bands these days, like Blink 182 is considered punk, a musical template followed strictly yielding deeply sanitised and unsatisfactory results. When stripy-t-shirted 12-year-olds form the bulk of your audience, you're doing something wrong. Little Chris should not be your target market. Does this music have the emotion that it's genre title calls for? No, of course not. Emo's history stems from bands like Embrace (if you question Ian MacKaye's commitment and passion for anything you're deluding yourself); Jawbox, or anything with J Robbins; it's emotional hardcore, it's primal scream therapy. I don't listen to emo these days, I feel tainted by it, but when I did, I listened to Jets To Brazil. Or Planes Mistaken For Stars. Or Walt Mink.
Camber - Hollowed Out
Appleseed Cast - Marigold & Patchwork
Artist: British Sea Power/Camber/Appleseed Cast
Recommended: The Decline Of British Sea Power/Deep Elm samplers
Label: Rough Trade/Deep Elm
Buy: Amazon BSP/C/AC
More: Hype Machine BSP/C/AC; elbo.ws BSP/C/AC
If you like this, you might like: Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge Therapy
Tags: Curry; Indian food; London; British Sea Power; The Kooks; Panic! At The Disco; Camber; Appleseed Cast