Category Archives: the agitator

I Love London

In preparation for the Royal Wedding, I am currently drinking London-imported tea from my Union Jack teapot while wearing a Union Jack t-shirt and a Cambridge sweatshirt. I tried to find crumpets today, but Safeway didn’t seem to have them, so I’m stuck with English muffins. And did you know England’s favorite dish is actually chicken tikka masala? Guess what I had for dinner.

If this all sounds crazy and/or pathetic, you’re entirely right. I haven’t gone far enough into wedding insanity for it to be legit and slightly impressive, but I’ve probably thought about it more than the average Californian. As my Facebook news feed gets filled with other study abroad “I miss London” statuses, though, I feel a bit validated: for this one day, we’re all allowed to feel like pseudo British expats.

As such, I’d like to honor the couple (and my own fond memories) by compiling a short England playlist. These songs may not have an iota of meaning for Will and Kate, but they do for me.

“Goodbye England, Covered In Snow”–Laura Marling
“Eyeless In Holloway”, Johnny Flynn
“Say No!”, The Agitator
“Oh England”, King Charles
“Mistress England”, Emmy the Great (duh)
“I Love London”, Crystal Fighters
“Monsters Under the Bed”, Eugene McGuinness
“A Foggy Day (In London Town)”, Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass
“Mornington Crescent”, Belle & Sebastian
“London Town”, Laura Marling
“Memory of a Free Festival”, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (David Bowie cover)
“A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square”, Vera Lynn
“Bad Things Coming, We Are Safe”, Emmy the Great
“Queen of the 21st Century”, Golden Silvers
“Wayne Rooney”, Johnny Flynn
“London”, Ben Howard
“We Are Free”, Jay Jay Pistolet
“Bonkers”, Dizzee Rascal (this will not make ANY sense unless I studied abroad with you)
“Winter Winds”, Mumford & Sons

And finally…“London Calling”, The Clash

Enjoy the festivities!

Stream the Agitator EP Now

Photo courtesy of Don’t Panic.

There are some big things coming up for The Agitator this week. Tuesday brings the first performance on the UK’s “Later with Jools Holland”, as well as the release of The Money, Jobs, Religion, and Sex EP. You can stream the EP here, now, and buy it on iTunes (at least iTunes UK–we’ll see about the US version) on the 19th.

Now Is the Time To Agitate

The riotous duo known as the Agitator (Derek Meins, vocals, and Robert Dylan Thomas, percussion) have just released their second single, “Give Me All That You Got”. In keeping with the spirit of their name and their first release, the rabble-rousing “Get Ready”, this second work is not so much a single as a call to arms. Meins advocates what he calls ‘NO!-ism’–a strategy that, if implemented, could send politicians running for the hills and away from swarms of pissed off citizens. The video features these selfsame masses rioting, dancing, singing, and striking all over London, led by an angry, megaphone-wielding Meins.

And while I’m not certain about their all-purpose political philosophy, I am sure that the Agitator will be creating some musical waves. The powerful combination of voice and drums (according to their Myspace, “guitars are for decadent capitalist sissies”) creates something appropriately loud and primal; Meins’s emphatic cries are backed by a cacophonous flurry of breaks and beats.

Both Meins and Thomas have been around the London scene for a while. Originally part of the band Eastern Lane, Meins later released a solo album called The Famous Poet Derek Meins. He participated in the acclaimed River Rat Pack Tour alongside such new-folk mainstays as Mumford & Sons, Jay Jay Pistolet, and Beans on Toast. “The Big Beat” to Meins’s “Big Mouth”, Robert Dylan Thomas played the drums for the Maccabees on their first album, Colour It In. Together, these two musicians have created something unique. This is protest music in a new way, in a new era of unrest and socioeconomic crisis. Do I think the Agitator is onto something politically? Not necessarily. But especially after these U.S. midterm elections, I sure don’t mind some angry music.