Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Mp3 of the day #4 - Egg by Pele

Something that's really struck me this year (as I have mentioned on the show) is the use a few current bands are making of that late nineties, trebly, sounds-like-it's-in-a-funny-time-signature-but-probably-isn't guitar sound. So today's mp3 is by a band who used that kind of sound as a focus for some really nice instrumental albums a few years ago, Pele. This song is from Elephant, their third record, and it's a good summation of their kind of jazz-inflected instrumentals. Some great guitar playing and drumming too here.

Pele - Egg

Monday, 28 December 2009

Mp3 of the day #3 - So Damn Pure by Cass McCombs

Today's track is So Damn Pure from Cass McCombs' debut EP. It's fairly typical of that record, sleepy strumming plus a vocal that evokes Dean Wareham at his more narcotic. Not a particularly original sound, granted, but it's a very pretty record when you're in the right frame of mind.
Since the release of the EP (it's called Not The Way) he's changed quite a lot: I haven't heard that much of the newer stuff, but this has a certain charm of its own.

Cass McCombs - So Damn Pure

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Mp3 of the day #2 - A Leaf by Okkervil River

Here's today's mp3. It's from Okkervil River's split EP with Julie Doiron (which I finally managed to find on CD the other day, one of the reasons I'm posting it). It's a classic OR take on the murder ballad with one of their typical twists, bits of it reminiscent of The President's Dead and bits of it more like their earlier stuff.
Actually the whole Okkervil River side of the EP is pretty fixated with death; there's a good cover of the the traditional song Omie Wise and the slightly more upbeat He Passes Number Thirty-Three but it's all fairly bleak. But then you kind of expect that from this band anyway.
The Julie Doiron (ex-Eric's Trip) side is really nice too so pick this up if you see it.

Okkervil River - A Leaf

It occurs to me that this mp3 of the day thing is going to cover a lot of the kind of thing I might play on the show, so there might be some overlap. I'll try to cover different things on here; it'll probably end up being stuff I've known for longer on here as opposed to newer stuff on the show in future.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Mp3 of the day #1 - Tremens by Sonic Youth

Firstly, I hope you all had a nice Christmas. I did!

I'm going to start doing an mp3 of the the day as often as I can while the show takes a break (hopefully daily). Here's the first. Not topical at all. Sorry.

Our first mp3 is by one of my favourite bands, Sonic Youth. It comes from the first in their SYR series of records, an outlet for their even-more-out-there-than-normal tendencies. I think it's the stand-out track on the EP, three minutes of brooding guitars, spacey echo and Steve Shelley playing some of the funkiest drums I've ever heard on a Sonic Youth record. It doesn't have a catchy tune or clever lyrics (or indeed any lyrics at all) but what I like most about this one is the whole aura of subdued dread, like the feeling I get from Spiderland or something like that. When the guitars do go noisy they don't overwhelm the song, brutal but restrained.
This is the sound of walking through the dark parts of a city at night - a feeling that a lot of Sonic Youth stuff evokes, but in a different way. Very nice.

Sonic Youth - Tremens

The first two tracks of the EP are well worth listening to if you like fairly minimalist and atmospheric improvisations. The last track is an anomaly, 6 minutes of very Merzbow-y noise. You probably need to be a big fan of both Sonic Youth and the Merzbow type of sound in order to get too much out of it. An interesting departure from almost anything else the band has done though.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers.
Watch out for some end-of-year/end-of-decade type stuff in the next couple of weeks.

Until then, here's some (topical) Big Star:

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Show 13/12/2009


Firstly, sorry for the long absence. Technical problems, plus last week when I was at ATP, have meant that it's over a month since the last proper show.
Hopefully this new one willmake up for it!


I played:
Fergus & Geronimo - Blind Muslim Girl
Tubelord - Night of the Pencils
Josh T Pearson - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Joanna Newsom - Sprout and the Bean
Trailer Trash Traceys - You Wish You Were Red
Atlas Sound - Quick Canal
Life Without Buildings - The Leanover
Pissed Jeans - Dream Smotherer
Allo Darlin' - Heart Beat Chilli
Hangedup - Powered By Steam
Titus Andronicus - Titus Andronicus Forever!

One more show before Christmas, so get your requests in! Also if you have any thoughts on the year in music as a whole send them in and I might read some out.

Another thing: I did the sound design for a play a while ago (The Pillowman in the Garage Theatre) and as part of it I recorded some stuff on guitar. I found the files while I was putting the new show up and thought I might as well put them on the blog, so here's the house music I did in case anyone's interested (recorded in one take the afternoon of the show).

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Most People are Tin Trains ATP Special


This weekend I went to All Tomorrow's Parties Nightmare Before Christmas curated by My Bloody Valentine. The Tin Trains crew was there too. We also had a dictaphone. So we recorded a special podcast from the festival for your listening pleasure!

Here's the mp3.

De La Soul - Me, Myself and I
Yo La Tengo - Little Honda
Television Personalities - This Angry Silence
The Pastels - Nothing To Be Done
J Mascis and the Fog - Ammaring
The Horrors - New Ice Age
Sonic Youth - Death Valley '69
No Age - Brain Burner
A Place To Bury Strangers - In Your Heart
Swervedriver - Sci-Flyer
Dirty Three - Everything's Fucked
My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise

Have fun. Show as per usual (first for a month!) on Sunday. Be there.