I’ve been a fan of the UK-based band known as The Bees (UK) or A Band of Bees (US) since their inception in 2002 with Sunshine Hit Me. They’re back after a three year hiatus from Octopus with the release of Every Step’s a Yes. The 6 piece are known to experiment – mixing reggae, funk, and Simon and Garfunkel folk-like harmonies into one groovy, hazy meltdown of 60s and 70s pop. Works for me. What’s even better is they were on the first round up of artists announces for SXSW 2011. Yay!
My friend Erin had this print of an old British poster in her house that struck me. It’s a reproduction of an old slogan used to allay public fear during the outbreak of World War 2. The original poster was held in reserve for use only in times of extreme crisis. Although thousands were produced, only a handful ever saw the light of day. (For a reproduction of the poster, go to Keep Calm Gallery.)
Some 60 years later, I couldn’t help but think how fitting it was in this day and age where fear and uncertainty has reached epidemic proportions. It seems as though the world is on the edge of its seat, waiting for life as we know it to end sometime in 2009. Just how bad will 2009 be? The speculation is endless and the anticipation exhausting. It’s only January 1 and I’m already tired of it. And like a bunch of rubberneckers at the scene of an accident, we seem compelled to slow down and look at the wreckage, clogging up everything behind us. Too scared to do anything else. While I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, I have decided to adopt this as my motto and modus operandi for 2009. I think we can all use a little more of that British ‘stiff upper lip’ right now.
So Happy New Year folks. Let’s all just keep calm and carry on. In honor of our wise British brethren, I’ve composed a mix of some of my favorite UK-based artists and songs. Enjoy. And let’s keep on rockin’ in the free world!
- The Early Years, ‘High Times and Low Lives’
- Glasvegas, ‘Geraldine’
- Elbow, ‘Mirrorball’
- Radiohead, ‘House of Cards’
- School of Language, ‘Keep Your Water’
- The Duke Spirit, ‘Wooden Heart’
- Belle and Sebastian, ‘Stars of Track and Field’
- Jamie T, ‘Back in the Game’
- The Bees, ‘Better Days’
- Jim Noir, ‘Computer Song’
- Paul McCartney, ‘Oh Woman, Oh Why’