On “Chart Show TV”, an obscure satellite music channel, I’ve come across a programme called “2 Minute Trax!”, where they show 2 minutes of various music videos.

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I’m sorry – what? Have people’s attention spans really gotten to that stage? In a world of ever-decreasing song (and music video) lengths, have a number of suits sat around a boardroom and thought, “You know what? These 3 minute music videos are too long – we’re losing market share. Has anyone any ideas? What about….what about….2 minutes of each music video! That’s it – that’s the winner!”

Sad.

I’ve put off putting up this particular song on the site since I first began. Why? I hear you scream (Well, I don’t, but you get the idea).

I adore Matthew Good. Ever since I got my hands on “White Light Rock & Roll Review” (still one of my favourite albums of all time – maybe even my favourite….), I’ve passionately got my hands on nearly everything he’s released – either as part of the Matthew Good Band, or on his own.

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One thing I noticed very quickly on playing any of his music to others was their immediate reaction of discomfort. After this happened a number of times, I finally challenged someone on it, who admitted, “Well, it’s just that it’s…a bit too heavy. It’s really intense. And long.”

Well, I can’t argue with the intense part. Or the long – Matthew doesn’t really “do” many songs under 6 minutes.

From that day, I adored Matthew a little more.

And I know from my friends faces that this particular track, “While We Were Hunting Rabbits”, holds two awards – being my favourite MG song of all time, and being the song that makes most of my friends the most uncomfortable.

Buy in, it’ll shut you up. Try it, it should shut you up. We’ve brought someone in to shut you up. It’s a life’s work

And I dance. And I sing. And I am a monkey in a long line of kings. We dance. We sing. And we’re all monkeys in a long line, long line. I’m just a boat on the ocean, I’m just a ship lost at sea.

7 minutes 59 seconds of guitars, strange lyrics, and big bells (listen carefully – I do love that bit).

7 minutes 59 seconds of one of the most unsettling videos ever created. (Well, 6 minutes 12 seconds, but it ruins my cool riff here), found here.

7 minutes 59 seconds of my personal music perfection.

Matthew Good – While We Were Hunting Rabbits

www: Matthew Good

With her thick Australian accent regularly shining through her songs, Missy Higgins manages to overcome the wonderful beach scenes and “shrimps on the barbie” thoughts that run through my head every time I hear an Aussie accent by creating songs of depth and feeling where her accent only serves to increase the impact of such lines as

I’ve hardly been outside my room in days, ’cause I don’t feel that I deserve the sunshine’s rays. The darkness helped until the whiskey wore away. And it was then I realise the conscience never fades.

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And when her gorgeous Aussie inflection shines through on happier (but no less impactful) lines such as

And we will only need each other, we’ll bleed together. Our hands will not be taught to hold another’s, when we’re the special two.

…it leaves you not giving a Fosters XXXX about anything else.

A 25-year-old who has released two albums to date – both propelling her to ARIA awards (the Australian Grammy) as “Best Female Artist” in 2005 and 2007, and both being the highest-selling albums in Australia in their respective years – Missy…

Ah screw it – you didn’t come for her bio. Just listen to the songs. They’re gorgeous.

Missy Higgins – All For Believing

Missy Higgins – The Special Two

www: Missy Higgins

From the Sheltered in Sound website:

The overall theme of the record is one of loss.  This is not a light-hearted record with mass appeal.  Says Nilsson, “I have no plans to quit my day job.  This is music best listened to in solitude”.  Although not a threat to challenge on the charts, it may be an album for those that appreciate delicate songwriting in the vein of Hayden, Nick Drake or Nebraska-era Springsteen.

shelteredinsound

My own words:

While my tastes range wide and far, and my liking for an artist can depend on so many factors, including my mood when I first encounter them, who they are most similar to, and the waning and waxing of the moon, every so often I come across a song that completely stops me in my tracks; that pushes the world around me away for a few minutes; leaving me in my own world, just myself and whoever is singing that song.

Sean Nilsson, a.k.a Sheltered in Sound, is the first artist to do this to me in over four months, since I first discovered William Fitzsimmons. I’ve included two of his songs here – the Ryan-Adams-circa-Suicide-Handbook-esque “Falling Stars” and the Tom-McRae-meets-Matthew-Ryan sparsity of “Held Hostage By A Restless Heart”.

Sheltered in Sound has a number of reference points – Matthew Ryan’s more accessible work and an artist I adored on MP3.com many years ago named Jon Kahn (latterly of the band The Color Green, even more latterly back as a solo artist, and even more latterly back with The Color Green again (yes, I know using latterly like that doesn’t make sense. Shut up.)) immediately spring to mind. However, Sheltered in Sound takes familiar ground and treads it in his own way: ground covered in frost, where only his, and ours, footsteps can be seen, and where deeply affecting music can be heard.

Just amazing.

Support Sheltered in Sound – Visit his site, and buy his album.

Sheltered in Sound – Falling Stars

Sheltered in Sound – Held Hostage By A Restless Heart

I know, from the occasional email, that I have a fair-sized audience out there, and also some very loyal fans.

This is the second in my series of apologies for the delay in my posting. There are a number of reasons – moving jobs recently, outfitting my apartment, and a few other things happening at the same time – but this isn’t an excuse. Well, it is.

So, I promise to post more over the coming weeks and months. But…I made a promise previously that I would not sacrifice quality for quantity, and it is taking more and more time to find music that I feel fits with the site.

I do want to thank all the artists who have sent me music to put on the site – quite a few to date. I’m sorry if I don’t feature many of you – it’s not that I don’t like your music (I do), it’s just that my mood when posting usually determines the music I write about. However, please keep submitting to me!

For my loyal followers (hahahahaha I do amuse myself) there is a good one coming. I promise.

Every so often you come across something so dumb, so ridiculous, that you wonder if it’s actually real, or if someone is playing a very big joke on you.

Iglu & Hartly are one of those times. I first caught the video for their single “In This City” a few weeks ago, and watched it, dumbfounded, thinking “How on Earth did a bunch of San Fran jocks get their hands on an audience and a camera?” Of course, I also noticed my foot was tapping.

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Then, last week, I read a review with the band, where they talked about when they had finished writing “In This City”, and realised that they might have written the greatest song of all time.

Uhm, sorry guys, no. I’m afraid you’ve written a very catchy tune, soon to disappear into the big box marked “Andrew WK – Party Hard”, and never be heard of again. Enjoy your 5 minutes (uhm, sorry, 4 minutes 11 seconds) of fame, boys. It was fun. For about the length of the song.

Iglu & Hartly – In This City