So This Year

With two hours of 2013 to go, here’s my favourite music of this year—and for the first time in quite a while, almost all of it was from this year as well (all releases below are 2013 unless otherwise indicated). Once again in chronological order of my discovering it, because ranking music is exhausting.

Read More · 31 December 2013

So Last Year

So for a few years I’ve been doing these retrospective entries about the previous year in music, and this year I’m so far behind that I now have less than 48 hours to write about 2012, or else I’ll have to call it “So the Year Before Last”, which doesn’t work nearly as well. So here’s the best stuff I listened to in 2012, in chronological order of discovering it. All releases are from 2012 unless otherwise indicated.

Read More · 30 December 2013

You Already Know

I suppose anyone at all interested in Arcade Fire has already heard Reflektor, but after two weeks of listening to little else I thought I’d note a few impressions here anyway. I also thought about gathering up a list of links to all the reviews I’ve read during my obsession with it, but too many are far too dismissive. A year from now they’re going to look as wrong-footed as any number of Robert Christgau’s old C- reviews of now-classic albums.

Read More · 10 November 2013

Popular is ten, and I’m as excited for each new entry as ever. My commenting tailed off for a while when the UK charts deviated strongly from my own 1993-94 listening, but a string of 1995-96 singles is bringing me back into the fold...

Read More · 30 September 2013

Dancing With Myself

Who needs GTA5 when you’ve got the Vader and Emperor Dance-Off?


A dance to the music of time.

Just when you thought “Willow’s Song” couldn’t get any better. Britt Ekland dance not included.

A fantastic Radio 1 promo filmed by the Beeb at great expense in 2009 and then scrapped so as not to look as if they’d spent all that money. Complete with soundtrack by the bestest rock thing of the ’00s. (Via.)

Hang on, isn’t this how “The Star Spangled Banner” is supposed to go? (I had to sing it at the start of every day for a term when I was twelve, so I get to say that.) (Poor kid.)

23 September 2013

And so to the rest of 1995 on Popular, a year that saw Coolio dominate the Australian charts for three months and top the UK’s as well, and a year remembered for a certain Battle of Britpop...

Read More · 18 August 2013

It’s almost eighteen months since I reposted any of my Popular comments here, mainly because there haven’t been many; Tom Ewing’s pace slowed as he slogged through 1993 and 1994, hardly the finest years of UK number ones. My few comments were usually on songs I’d never heard before, which more often than not had been a blessing. (One example: “Now that I’ve voted on it, seeing ‘You say: 1’ feels like words are being put into my mouth, to the tune of 1.”)

But a few entries yielded longer thoughts, most recently as we’ve entered a chart era that promises to get me commenting more again...

Read More · 30 June 2013

Music in 2012