Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Show 17/01/2010

For our second show of the new year, some new stuff! Also some old stuff.


Cats & Cats & Cats - Brilliant the Brilli Ant
Titus Andronicus - Theme From Cheers
Lilys - Periscope
Blonde Redhead - Hated Because of Great Qualities
Thurston Moore - Fri/End
Bob Dylan - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Sophia - When You're Sad
Silver Mt Zion - Kollapz Tradixional (Thee Olde Dirty Flag)
Jay Reatard - Always Wanting More
Mirza - Last Clouds

RIP Jay.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Show 10/01/2010

"Don't look back", said Teenage Fanclub.
"But how else am I going to highlight some great records from 2009 and the 2000s as a whole, some which people will have heard and some which they might not?" I said.
There was no answer.


Dananananaykroyd - Watch This (Hey Everyone, 2009)
Grandaddy - Jed's Other Poem (The Sophtware Slump, 2000)
Wake the President - Professor (You Can't Change that Boy, 2009)
Enablers - The Destruction Most of All (Tundra, 2008)
Pink Mountaintops - Axis: Thrones of love (Outside Love, 2009)
Manhattan love Suicides - Extra Medication (Burnt Out Landscapes, 2008)
Simon Scott - Flood Inn (Navigare, 2009)
Life Without Buildings - Envoys (Any Other City, 2001)
Jay Reatard - There is No Sun (Watch Me Fall, 2009)
And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Another Morning Stoner (Source Tags & Codes, 2001)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Everything With You (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, 2009)
Okkervil River - The War Criminal Rises and Speaks (Down the River of Golden Dreams, 2003)
Deerhunter - Circuation (Rainwater Cassette Exchange, 2009)
Drones - I'm Here Now (Gala Mill, 2005)
Tartufi - System Folds (Nests of Waves & Wire, 2009)
The USA is a Monster - Somehow (Tasheyana Compost, 2003)
Dirty Projectors - Cannibal Resource (Bitte Orca, 2009)
Radiohead - Idioteque (Kid A, 2001)
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Wind Phoenix (Proper Name) (Why There Are Mountains, 2009)
Wilco - Ashes of American Flags (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2001)

P.S. Sorry for the even worse than usual sound quality this week.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Mp3 of the day #8 - I'll Keep It With Mine by Richard & Linda Thompson

Today's track is an absolutely stunning live cover of a Bob Dylan song by Richard & Linda Thompson from 1982. It's from the bootleg Hard Luck Stories; the whole show is really good and showcases RT's absolutely mind-blowing guitar playing. He really is on a whole different level from almost anyone else I've ever heard harmonically, on electric or acoustic. If you don't know his stuff then watch this and then go and listen to all of the albums he did with Linda.

This song is the best thing on the bootleg, and it beats the Dylan and Nico versions easily. Just stunning, especially Linda's voice and the harmonies on the chorus. Sorry about the slightly bad sound quality.

Richard & Linda Thompson - I'll Keep It With Mine

Monday, 4 January 2010

Mp3 of the day #7 - Snowstorm by Galaxie 500

Here's today's mp3, from the second Galaxie 500 record, On Fire. All day today I've been in a mood for this band. I think it's the combination of the greyness outside and the coldness inside (our hot water and heating aren't working) but they seem to work really well in winter. Their stripped-back production lends itself to this kind of day I think.
Anyway this particular one is a really nice song in a suitably wintry mood. Give it a listen!

Galaxie 500 - Snowstorm

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Album Feature: Lift to Experience - The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads (2001)

Christian Rock. Two words which might as well be deliberately calculated to induce fear in even the most broad-minded of music fans. BUT WAIT. This record is definitely "rock" in approach, but it deals with the apocalyptic revelations of Josh T. Pearson; basically, that Texas is the Promised Land, and that in the forthcoming apocalypse only Texas is safe.

Right. So far, so strange. But as a concept for an album, it turns out to be a winner: the apocalypse has been used forever in noise/metal/shoegaze as a lyrical and musical idea, and taking it further into the realms of the sermon gives the guitar noise some context. Also it's a suprisingly broad theme, allowing the band to explore quieter moments spread among the eye-of-the-storm freakouts across the two CDs. The first disc introduces the concept, and the second brings the proverbial noise, the final climax of "Into the Storm" representing Judgement Day and the final retreat to the Lone Star State. Yeah, this isn't your standard Christian Rock.

Musically, this record is sort of what you'd expect given the space/drone-rock scene of Denton (the band's home town). The guitars drone and feed back, although it's not a noisy record, and there are moments of instrumental chaos among the really fairly conventional song structures. One interesting feature is that the whole album has very little overdubbing on it, and as there's only one guitar the sound is less filled-out that a lot of similar stuff. It's an interesting change from the walls of sound you'd find elsewhere and means the guitars depend more on delay and drones than simple heaviness. But only a few songs on the record go for such all-out heaviness. The band incorporates sections of what can only be described as narration with minimal guitar skeletons ("Down Came the Angels"), hymn tunes ("To Guard and to Guide You") and even a capella gospel sections ("The Ground So Soft").

Each disc is really a continuous piece, the songs segueing into each other, but it's possible to pick out highlights. "Falling From Cloud 9" updates dedicatory hymns to the band's modern aesthetic: "I've come this far and I said I'd go all the way but these fevered winds sway stronger each day. / Yeah I'm fool's gold, and my heart's not right but I'd still sell what's left in my soul just to pay the tithe", backed by air-rushing guitar parts and heavy percussion.

It's not all humourless sermon though; there are some great moments of self-mythologising humour in the lyrics, as in "These are the Days":

"These are the days that must happen to you
the stars are aligned for all God's chosen few.
So all you haircut bands, doing headstands,
thinking you'll turn the world upside down.
Put your guitars up over your shoulders. A new sort of experience is taking over
'cos we're simply the best band in the whole damn land.
and 'Texas Is The Reason'."

There are criticisms to be made: the consistency of instrumentation can mean there's little variety in the heavier songs, and the second disc is undoubtedly weaker. The noisier sections can feel unfocussed. But overall, this is a fantastic record, with heartfelt vocals and fantastic songwriting and arrangement. Even if it does have genuinely the worst cover art I've ever seen.

Mp3 of the day: Lift to Experience - The Ground So Soft

Friday, 1 January 2010

Mp3 of the day #5 - Will You Please Spend New Year's Eve With Me by Allo, Darlin'

Happy New Year! I really should have posted this yesterday, when it would have been appropriate and timely, but I forgot. Sorry.
Anyway this is the B-side of the new Allo, Darlin' single, The Polaroid Song. It's on Fortuna Pop!, go and buy it. This song is also on their Christmas EP, which I've been playing quite a lot recently for obvious reasons.
Anyway, this is among the softest of the new school of UK indiepop, a nice outing for Elizabeth Darling's lovely voice. There's something about her songwriting too which I'm not sure how to describe, it's just utterly free of pretension and double meanings and it's just completely pure. You can call it twee if you want, although I wouldn't.

Allo, Darlin' - Will You Please Spend New Year's Eve With Me?