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I hit a wall on writing up my Actual Real Serious Business Ten Albums list, so here is an idea stoled from georgieludovic to distract me. A Musical Calendary Thingy Where Months Have Songs And Stuff.


It was cold. Not a lot happened. I listened to The Decemberists most exclusively. It was alright. This song has 'January' in the title so is probably the best choice here, yyyyep.

maybe it will all come back to me


Still cold, bit rainy, went to London, it was Alright. Listened to a good song off the upcoming Mountain Goats record that didn't live up to my expectations. Life? Life.

two young savage things barely worth remembering


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes happened in March. To me. Super hard. In the Old Vic Tunnels beneath Waterloo station, where I experienced the best single show I've ever seen. Much like a mini festival in the catacombs, my only regret is that it doesn't happen every week. Magic.

and i'll love you for ever


It was in April that I started listening to Withered Hand, who definitely made my favourite album of 2009 and it's a bit of a shame I didn't realise it back then because like hell am I going back to edit my old end of year lists. One of my most listened records of the year, all a bit angsty but um yeah whatever.

other people are hell


Towards the end of 2010, I'd run across a wee video that introduced me to The Jezabels, who blew me The Fuck Away. After several months of holding my breath for UK tour dates, they rocked up to Cardiff in the middle of May and proceed to blow me away all over again at a distance of 3 feet.

so we go out onto the town to mess around


My year pretty much peaked in June, though I didn't really see it at the time. Every weekend away seeing great people, numerous great bands, topped off with the Flaming Lips. If I could live my life like any month of 2011, it would be this month. I hope such times come around again soon.

hope against hope


As July rolled away, I'd decided to escape the mists forming in my fool brain by taking a walk along the shores of Tarn Hows in the late evening sun. It was in this setting that I checked Twitter (ah, this is life in the future) to discover that Amy Winehouse had died, and was filled with an incredible sadness. Not so much because I was a fan (I wasn't, not really) but at the futility of it all, of a young and talented life ended far too soon.

and laughed at by the gods


All confidence deserted me in August. Too many doubts about life began to rise and swell, and only served to damage myself and others. Saw Edward Sharpe again: it wasn't as good.

and i knew no words to share with anyone


Purest. Hell. For innumerable reasons that will never be wholly shared. Dark music, in cold places.

bristling and ugly


Marginal recovery. A thankfulness for health, and a resolution to Do Better.

you said you hated my tone it made you feel so alone


I don't handle winter well as a rule, but after autumnal lows and with the assistance of people looking out for me, things turned out quite alright. Not such a musical month, but there was a second coming of Lana Del Rey. Who should by rights be awful, but is actually fantastic.

try to have fun in the meantime


And so the year concluded. With a lack of lists, a continuing uncertainty and oh hey Sharon Van Etten has an album out soon!

serpents in my mind

in the shadows of your song

Here is a post I did for Stephen over at http://www.wewritelists.com that I thought you might like. Also check out the site, for it is pretty cool yes indeedy!

Hello! I'm Jimmy Vark, and I boss the sinister cupboard of technology that allows We Write Lists to project magical things upon your computerbox. Today I'm holding Stephen to ransom by muttering dark words about how my finger slips on delete keys sometimes if I don't get time in the spotlight, and as a result he's let me write a thing. This thing is a list, and it is a list of six great music videos.

I know, I know. "Great music videos" means "oh look a list with Sabotage/All Is Full Of Love/Rabbit In Your Headlights imagine my surprise!" This is understandable (and they're all great videos, so do watch them if you haven't yet), but this is a different video list. This is Six Videos You've Probably Not Heard Of.

Bright Eyes - Easy/Lucky/Free (Dir. Lauri Faggioni & Lily Thorne)
Annoyingly simple but beautifully executed, the video for Easy/Lucky/Free slipped under the radar along with the majority of its parent album Digital Ash in a Digital Urn due to the galumphing behemoth that was the albums twin, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. However, this video is a little gem that harnesses lyrical expression in a unique fashion, all in a single shot. Minus points for Conor not actually writing backwards: the footage was flipped to show the words the correct way around.

Playgroup - Number One (Dir. H5)
This video is my little nod to Chris Cunningham, as I couldn't put any of his videos in because he's so damn good everybody knows about them already. But as we all know, Chris Cunningham does robots very well indeed, so here is a video where a neat little CGI robot burns up the dancefloor, and doesn't it just make you want to dance along too?

Duke Special - Our Love Goes Deeper Than This
This is a silly video. How silly? Well, for a start it has Neil Hannon in it, and he can be a very silly gentleman if he puts his mind to it. And he certainly put his mind to it in this chirpy little offering from Duke Special (who is fully amazing by the way), as he combines top hat, pipe and shades like noone else could possibly pull off.

He is still not the silliest thing in this video.

Massive Attack - Protection (Dir. Michel Gondry)
SQUEE! IT'S MICHEL GONDRY! Ahem. Sorry. Yes, I have a Bit Of A Thing for Michel Gondry, but that is entirely rational on account of the fact that everything he produces is an utter treat for the viewer. Go and watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind right now, it is ace. Like Cunningham, I had a bit of an issue with the Everyone Has Heard Of Him factor, but happily Gondry is much more prolific when it comes to music videos and so I was unable to unearth this from the cupboard under the stairs where it had been sadly forgotten. It is still horribly, horribly good.

Soulsavers - Revival (Dir. Ben Foley)
Mark Lanegan's voice. The rousing sounds of Soulsavers. The flickerboard imagery of Ben Foley. This video more than any brings home to me why it is utterly pointless of me to try to explain why it amazes, so I'm just going to demand you watch it. So: watch it. There. This is an easy job, isn't it?

Sigur Rós - Untitled #1 (Vaka) (Dir. Floria Sigismondi)
I've saved the best for last, you know. I could probably react in a very similar manner to Floria Sigismondi as I do to Gondry, but in her case it is all down to this one video which carries the impact of the heaviest feather in the world. It's not easy to marry a short story to a Sigur Rós track that doesn't even contain any (real) words, but my oh my does Sigismondi pull it off. If a tear is not burrowing its way to freedom by the end then I am afraid I cannot be your friend.

we think the same things at the same time

hand in unlovable hand

sjálfur blindur á, yfir nóg

but you're freaking me out

like they knew it was the last song