the right side of my brain

yesterday an eerily lovely email inboxed from veronica falls telling me about a new song they had recorded “in a somewhat rainy east London” called ‘right side of my brain’. the best kind of email – local references and a link to the mp3.

sign up for foreboding emails on their website to get the mp3.

my thoughts: the guitars and drumming on ‘right side of my brain’ sound (a tiny little bit) like those on ‘beachy head’, which is perhaps not surprising given both songs are written and performed by veronica falls. it’s catchy and echoey and beautifully harmonised and has done nothing to dull my eagerness to hear the impending doom of their long playing record. 60s girl band in a coffin. they are probably still wearing too much black and no doubt just had a nice halloween weekend. more please.

“i hope that you also enjoy the new song which we recorded recently…” they’re so nice.

“…very soon we will be locking ourselves away in another studio to record a full length record…” exciting.

“…but until then, enjoy, and please come and say hello at any of our forthcoming dates with cloud nothings – tour starts on saturday!” will do. totes going to white heat on 16 november. still gutted about missing the ladyfest thing with MEN on 13 november.

exciting veronica falls tour dates:

November
6 – The Hope, Brighton*
7 – Thekla, Bristol*
8 – Harley, Sheffield*
9 – Deaf Institute, Manchester*
10 – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow*
11 – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh*
12 – Brudenell, Leeds (w/ Vessels)
13 – Ladyfest, London (w/ MEN)
16 – White Heat, London
*w/ Cloud Nothings

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two spooky beats to every halloween bar

in my itunes recently added folder right now is harry belafonte‘s greatest hits. it’s ACERS and perfect for halloween because…

i can’t help thinking that there’s something slightly sinister about calypso – whether it’s the lyrics, or it’s origins in the slavetrade. or maybe it has something to do with winona ryder (slightly spooky in a nice way) dancing to calypso/calypso-influenced music in films?

first she floats up the stair-rail to the tune of ‘jump in the line (shake senora)’ in beetlejuice (genius, tim burton). then a couple of years later she plays a slightly creepy teen with an obsession with nuns and does a kitchen dance-off with her mum (cher) and christina ricci in mermaids to ‘if you wanna be happy’. both a pure pleasure to watch, as well as listen to. but still – with a sinister vignette.

creepiness aside this got me thinking how good-for-disco all this syncopated rhythms and call-and-response stuff is. when the creeps played mr belafonte’s ‘jump in the line (shake senora)’ at one of our discos last year, we looked up and saw the dancefloor had turned into a mass conga. surreal, brilliant and a wee bit spooky.

so, in honour of the musical power of calypso and halloween on sunday, here are my favourite ten calypso/afrobeat/sounds like it could be calypso-influenced songs. in no particular order:

  • “if you wanna be happy” jimmy soul/roaring lion
  • “surprise hotel” fool’s gold
  • “feeling hot hot hot” arrow
  • “right by your side” eurythmics
  • “jump in the line (shake senora)” henry belafonte/lord kitchener
  • “white sky” vampire weekend
  • “banana boat song” henry belafonte
  • “on the wings of a dove” – madness
  • “graceland” – paul simon
  • “the lion sleeps tonight” – the tokens/solomon linda

i should add that the last song on this list was covered in 1982 by a band called tight fit, who in doing so somehow managed to bottle everything bad about the 80s in one small youtube clip. well done them:

srsly? leopard skin camel toes, jungle drums and safari helmets?