Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Fear Of Pop - In Love

I really don't know what to make of William Shatner. At times he's brilliant, at times he's idiotic.A lot of his popularity seems to depend on a certain amount of kitsch value but he is occasionally genuinely great. Most of the people who worked with him in Star Trek seem to think he's a bit of a nutter: he'd argue they're all nutters. All I can say is that I think this track, from Fear Of Pop Volume 1 (1998), is pretty damn near perfect. Of course, a lot of that is to do with who wrote the track, but Shatner's delivery is spot-on.

Monday, 27 October 2008

David Bowie - Let's Dance

If by some bizarre freak of statistics and coincidence you've somehow avoided this track all your life, listen to it, welcome it into your heart and dance your ass off. If you know it then you've probably already done all of the above. 

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The Kindness Kind - Beautiful Souls

The Kindness Kind may rival the Spolkestra in the ol' worst band name in the world competition. Either that or I just don't get it (this may also be true of the Spolkestra). If I am not getting it can someone please tell me what it is I'm missing. Still, like the Spolkestra, the Kindness Kind are pretty damned good once you get beyond their moniker. Here's the opening track off their latest self-titled release, Beautiful Souls. I chose "Beautiful Souls" cuz thats wot u av, dear reader, and don't you forget it.

The Kindness Kind - Beautiful Souls

PS: What an awesome promo poster:

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Los Campesinos - Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats

I saw Los Campesinos! in Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff about a week ago and heard a fair amount of the new record, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, which will be released on October 27th. Only 5000 copies will be released. If I don't get one and you do, dear dear reader, I'm warning you, I shall be just the tiniest bit pissed off. It's sounding pretty goddang sweet and I'm feeling pretty goddang excited. Given that I'm over-using the phrase "pretty goddang", I'm gonna make the most of it and point out that Gareth from Los Campesinos is pretty goddang fit. I hadn't noticed it before (I'm tend to be off my face at their gigs - which may explain why - but I was comparatively restrained at this one). Well done to you, Mr Gareth Campesinos! You now have a gay following. Though I may be the only one in the following. And I'm not planning to take the whole "following" thing too seriously, just to reassure you.


Los Campesinos! - Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Spolkestra - Soil

"The Spolkestra" may just be the worst band name I've ever heard (I'm sorry but it's true!): The Spolkestra's music on the other hand is awesome with a capital A and the prefix "fucking". It's exciting, complex, challenging, bizarre, fascinating. There's more going on in the music on this 40 minute record than there is on any other record I've heard in a hell of a long time. This is indie music with classical ambition: the epic fourth track, "Trio Together", is as long and as complex as an opening movement from a symphony. Put it this way, I don't normally use the analysis techniques I learned studying music at uni when I'm listening to music for this blog but I'm thinking I may need to for this track. It's mental. I'm not posting it because it's 14 minutes long - if you wanna hear it you'd better buy the EP. You can get it at CDBaby or on iTunes ("Trio Together" is an album only track on iTunes). "Soil" is a little bit more manageable as an introduction so I'm posting that for you. If you like it, I really recommend you buy the EP. It's an epic and exhilerating ride.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Travis - Something Anything

Travis have a new album out and it sounds pretty sweet (you can preview the whole thing on their space that is mine). I feel bad for saying it but after the first love I felt for The Man Who, I've been fairly indifferent to their recent efforts, but this track is a CHOON with a capital CH. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Turner Cody - Slippery Slope

I've been listening to too much complicated music that it's completely refreshing to hear Turner Cody's EP, Crying in my Whiskey. It's just a guy with a guitar, playing a couple of chords and singing some rhymey lyrics. Me likey. Turner Cody was - rather wonderfully - born Turner Van Pelt Kniffin, which may be the best name I've heard this year. Since he left Boston aged 18, Mr Cody has recorded 8 full length LPs, and a new one comes out this year called First Light. This particular track is taken from his EP Crying in my Whiskey, wot I got from the lovely Boy Scout Recordings just for signing up to their mailing list, so I recommend you take yourselves over there and get on and sign yourselves up. Go on, off you toddle.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Joe Richardson - Laggard's Warble

I just stumbled across a copy of the sampler put out by the excellent Boy Scout Recordings about a year ago, which features this excellent bit of random from Joe Richardson. Stick it on and do something else and I'll be surprised if you don't come back to your speakers with wide ears and an open brain. The whole sampler can be downloaded for a measly £1.99 here - recommended by me.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Eugene Francis Jr - Hobo Occupation

Supporting Coldplay when they tour this November/December is Eugene Francis Jr, aka Kris Williams, Welsh singer-songwriter. His new single is the country influenced "Hobo Occupation", a ranty wisdom filled monologue, which you can hear here. I have a really random remix by Jennifer Gunscare to share with you, which takes what's a relatively simple accompaniment and rearranges it to the point where it sounds like it's on the verge of falling apart. It's weird and fascinating - I'm not sure I like it exactly but I can't deny that it is interesting. 

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Max Justus - Seven

Haven't posted any electronic without vocals for a really long time and this track off Max Justus' new album, Five Leaping Leopards, is pretty sweet. Instrumentals aren't restricted by repetition in the same way as songs tend to be, and it's refreshing to hear someone who's aware of this and wants his music to go somewhere, not just to repeat endlessly. Yey for Mr Justus. Yey and yey again. 

Friday, 10 October 2008

Frank Bango - Summerdress

This is my favourite song off possibly the best album I've heard this year. Frank Bango, one doth love thee.

Frank Bango - Summerdress

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

We'll Write

Sometimes all you can do is laugh. Tom and Pete (above) from We'll Write are apparently convinced that the end of the world is nigh and have decided that they will go down laughing. Good for them. Describing themselves as "the only post-apocalyptic quasi-acoustic indie-folk duo you'll ever need", We'll Write create, as they put it, "amusing ditties about the End Times as a kind of nervous distraction". Moreover, they're giving their album away for free. Presumably this is because money is fairly worthless when everyone and everything that exists is soon to cease. It's called Songs For The End Of The World and there's a new track each month. I like Tom and Pete. Initially I was utterly bemused (I think "what the fuck?" were my exact words on hearing "Demon") but their stuff is good fun and pretty damned awesome to boot. Here's a couple of tracks: "Demon" is from SFTEOTW (it turns out that does NOT make a nice acronym), while "Lying For The Song" is from an earlier EP, which seems to have been written before the whole post-apocalyptic direction took hold. I'm posting the latter just to show that they're perfectly capable of writing seriously - they just choose not to. Go to their space which is mine for a listen to more or to their website if you want to download some.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Ben Folds - The Frown Song

I know I only posted a Ben Folds track a few days ago but this is such a good track it makes me slightly giddy. 

Ben Folds - The Frown Song

I've read a few blogs where people are saying that Way To Normal is good but not as good as previous albums. While that's a perfectly valid thing to say if it's true, I'm not convinced that it is true in this case. I've noticed that people always say this about artists who've been going for a while and I reckon it's often less about the music that's released, and more about the people who are listening. Nostalgia is a problem. It's the whole rose-tinted lenses thing. When they're thinking about old albums they now love, people tend to forget the things they didn't like when they first listened to it. It's very, very rare that you instantly love everything about an album. Rather, you get very excited about the bits that grab you instantly, and you just like the rest of it. And as you listen more and more, you start to love the bits you didn't quite get to begin with. Pretty soon you'll be loving the whole thing. 

What I'm saying to you people is that it's important to give yourselves time to fall in love with new music. And to be aware that the more you listen to an album, the more you get to know it, and the more you're gonna like it. If you expect something to be brilliant, it almost inevitably doesn't live up to your expectations (this happened to me with Silence of the Lambs, which left me totally underwhelmed when I first watched it as I was expecting the scariest experience of my life). And that is the end of my sermon and I will shut up now. Here's the lyrics to "The Frown Song".
Tread slowly from the car to the spa
Like a weary war-torn refugee
Crossing the border with your starving child
It's a struggle just to get to shiatsu

Present the waitress with your allergy card
And tell her all your problems
And leave no tip at all
Down to the shoe store with your friends
Speculate who might be fucking the guru

Rock on, rock on, with your fashionable frown
Rock on, rock on, spread the love around
Rock on, rock on, with your fashionable frown
Spread the love around

Do you remember how we managed before
We could afford real nervous breakdowns
Or before the Anthropologie store
Was erected on Indian burial grounds

So really don't you see a little of yourself
In the bathroom attendant that you just scowled at
Or the child who's hiding inside
As you wipe the smile off the teenage barista


All right

You're gonna be all right, baby
You're gonna be all right, baby

Floating back from the spa to the car
A state of bliss, and it wasn't the steam room
Sometimes life's not so bad
Now we know who's been fucking the guru


Monday, 6 October 2008

Beirut - My Night With The Prostitute From Marseille

I'll be honest, I was seriously considering posting this track even before I heard it, just cause I like the title. Luckily it's pretty fucking awesome, hey? Can't be posting crap. It's just not on. 

And on the subject of crap, I am reliably informed by a textbook that I'm reading that when cows poo, the ideal consistency of their poo should be such that when it falls to the ground from their bum, "it should sound like one person clapping slowly, not a round of applause". So there you go. I hope that has enriched your life as much as it has mine.

Beirut is Zach Condon from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have no idea from whence this track hails, as I got it from a friend but his album Gulag Orkestar is the demented mental offspring of our Zachary's drunken trip around Europe and features horns, violins, cello, ukuleles, mandolins, glockenspiels, drums, tambourines, congas, organs, pianos, clarinets and accordions BUT NO GUITARS. Though I guess a ukelele is a kind of guitar. Anyway. Well done Zachary.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Audrey - Big Ships (remix)

There's something really evocative about this track and I don't want to ruin it for myself by thinking too much about it; so, here it is, Big Ships by Audrey remixed by someone or other. You can hear the original on their space that is mine. It's taken off their 2008 album, The Fierce and the Longing.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Astronautalis - The Wondersmith and his sons

This tense narrative is the opening track to Astronautalis' third album, Pomegranate, released earlier this year. I don't really know what to say about it, other than I'm fascinated, just riveted, by it and feel a pressing need to hear more. 

EDIT: Just read this post again (and the Beatles one, oh god) - how pretentious do I sound? I've been reading Moby Dick - I'm gonna blame it on the language I've picked up from that - but actually I suspect that my inner pretentious wanker was attempting to burst free. Time to kill him with swearing.