Monday, 25 March 2013

25 March 2013

Britain resides in winter's icy grip. As such, the studio remains closed today and with good reason, as our John went flying on the ice yesterday and bashed his head quite badly. So for both these reasons, tonight's show is cancelled. And it being Easter next week, we are having the day off in favour of live coverage of Huddersfield Giants against Widnes in Super League.
However, by the power of this blog, here's what we would be playing if we were in the studio tonight.

Bonzo Dog Doodah Band - No Matter Who You Vote For, The Government Always Gets In
Sublime silliness from the genius of Neil Innes and one of Britain's great eccentrics, the late Vivian Stanshall. And with all the major political parties posturing over immigration, the cynicism alluded to in the record seems as apt as ever. Come on, Labour - offer us a proper alternative and stand up for the things you were created to stand up for. Spineless goons. Rant over.
That's from 1992 and got a re-release in 1997. They could do worse than have another go in 2015.

Edwyn Collins - Dilemna
New from the former Orange Juice front man. This is off the forthcoming album 'Understated'. The brain haemorrhage he suffered in 2005 left his speech badly affected, but it seems that singing is a different matter. Apparently, the misspelling of the title was an innocent mistake. I'm told it's quite common, but I've never heard of anyone spelling 'dilemma' with an N before. Odd.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Let The Day Begin
New from these, off the album 'Specter At The Feast' which came out last week. Their misspelling is purely an Americanism.

Cover Version Corner
Pulp/William Shatner - Common People
A classic from Pulp. Can it really be 18 years old? Blimey, it's old enough to drink in pubs. Off their smash hit album 'Different Class'. I tried describing the Bill Shatner version to people and all I could think was 'it's exactly as you'd imagine it to be'. That's off 'Has Been' which came out in 2004.

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete - Medicine To Cure Medicine Sickness
I've been after playing this for a while. They're from Guadalajara in Mexico and this is off the 'Psych For Sore Eyes' EP from Sonic Cathedral which features other favourites of ours like Hookworms.

Sarah Williams White - Close To The Equator
I first came across the vocal stylings of Sarah Williams White on Dan Le Sac's album 'Space Between The Words' which was one of my favourite releases of last year. This is available as a free download.

Foster The People - Helena Beat
Time to get you up and grooving. A couple of years old now, this is off the album 'Torches'.

Suuns - 2020
From Montreal, this is off their second album 'Images du Futur' which came out three weeks ago. It's very different. In a good way.

One Degree of Separation
The The - The Beat(en) Generation
Modest Mouse - I've Got It All (Most)
The first of those is off the 1989 album 'Mind Bomb'. The second closes 2009's 'No-one's First And You're Next'. As well as both having parentheses in the title, ex-Smiths man Johnny Marr played on both of them, two of his many post-Smiths projects. The latest of these has finally seen him release a solo album, 'The Messenger', which we might have a few tracks off in future weeks.

Mazes - Skulking
What's to say here? Fits the style of a few of our favourite recent bands. This is off their second album, 'Ores And Minerals' which came out last month.

Youth Lagoon - Mute
Youth Lagoon is Trevor Powers from Boise, Idaho. I don't know; I quite like the concept of Trevor Powers. An ordinary man, bitten by a radioactive Trevor and now he has Trevor Powers... I digress. I've been trying to fit this in for a while, but at over six minutes it's proven tricky. It's off his second album, 'Wondrous Bughouse', which came out three weeks ago and looks a lot like 'Wondrous Brighouse' when written down. That's a very different album for someone to make.

Soldier's Heart - African Fire
New stuff from Belgium, this debut single came out a couple of weeks ago and is quite a delight.

Bibio - A Tout A L'Heure
Stephen Wilkinson from the West Midlands is Bibio. Not sure how you'd describe that. It's the first release from the forthcoming album - his seventh, titled 'Silver Wilkinson' - which is out in May. Hat tip to friend John for the recommendation.

The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds
A classic. Off the 1991 album 'The Orb's Adventures In The Underworld' which was the first CD I ever bought.

The Fall - Hit The North
We'll finish with another oldie-but-goody from the immortal Fall. This was released in 1987 and if you're after an easy way into their enormous back-catalogue, it's not a bad place to start.

That's your lot. Listen to the whole shebang here on the YouTube. We're back in a fortnight.

Monday, 18 March 2013

18 March 2013

An extra half hour today, you lucky people. Instrumentals, prog and prog instrumentals all on today's agenda.

Future Of The Left - Failed Olympic Bid
John: Great track, great video. From the album 'The Plot Against Common Sense' which came out late in 2011. Obviously railing against the nonsense of some of the companies that sponsored the Olympics and the abandonment of large swathes of the country so that London can prosper.
Carolyn: Yeah, I got the McDonalds bit. Other burger chains are available.

John Grant - Sensitive New Age Guy
John: We played the title track to the album 'Pale Green Ghosts' a few weeks ago and it's still the best thing I've heard this year. This is another track off the album which came out last week. The ex-Czars man from Denver is now based in Reykjavik and the album is quite brilliant.

Neon Neon - Mid-Century Modern Nightmare
John: New one from these, this is off the album 'Praxis Makes Perfect' which is out on April 29. Gloriously 8-bit.
Carolyn: Like the computer games of our youth. Manic Miner... And under two minutes. Very retro.

Cover Version Corner
George Martin/Van Der Graaf Generator - Theme One
John: Originally made as a theme for Radio 1 back in 1967. Manchester prog rockers Van Der Graaf Generator recorded that in 1972 and it's off the album 'Pawn Hearts'. That's just one of a number of covers - I could have gone for Schizo Fun Addict, Cozy Powell...
Carolyn: The instrumental possibly gives you even more freedom to put your own stamp on things. Is there a kazoo version?
John: Something to do over Easter, perhaps.

Phoenix - Entertainment
John: That's jaunty. From Versailles, that's off the album 'Bankrupt!' - with an exclamation point - which is out on April 5.
Carolyn: Very jaunty indeed. I liked that.

Ultraista - Smalltalk
John: That's the new single from these which comes out on the 31st off the album 'Ultraista'. That's Nigel Godrich's - Radiohead's long-time producer - project.
Carolyn: Who is on vocals?
John: I don't know. Good though, ain't it. Works well with the melodies to create something quite beautiful.

Yacht - Second Summer
John: This came out last December. We've played these before; they're based in Portland, Oregon.
Carolyn: That's really good.

Younghusband - Dromes
John: That's how you end a record...
Carolyn: I liked it up to that point.
John: The new single is 'Comets Crossed' from the album of the same name which this also comes from. Worth keeping an eye on these in the future.
Carolyn: As long as they learn to end a track.

The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist
John: One purely for Carolyn.
Carolyn: What happened to Dexter? I got caught up in the narrative. Really like it though.
John: Those samples are from the John Waters film 'Polyester'. The track was The Avalanches' biggest hit and came out in 2000 from the album 'Since I Left You'.

One Degree of Separation
The Stranglers - Waltzinblack
Jean-Jacques Burnel - Waltz In Blue
John: I promised you more instrumentals. And a double link for a bonus. First was The Stranglers from the 1981 album 'The Gospel According To The Men In Black', their fifth. Then you heard Jean-Jacques Burnel - bassist in The Stranglers with a track from the soundtrack to the 2005 film 'Gankutsuou'. And you've got the waltz link there as well. Burnel studied history at what was then Huddersfield Poly back in the day.
Carolyn: Our alma mater. Good to have a local element.
John: Ain't no glory like reflected glory.

Wooden Shjips - Black Smoke Rise
John: I've been after playing these for ages. Wooden Shjips, with a J...
Carolyn: I... Why?
John: That's a couple of years old now. They're from San Francisco and the album is 'West'. We've played a lot of things like Toy and Hookworms over the weeks and months and these came a bit before, maybe a gateway to those early Can and Neu! records for the newer generation.

Wire - Love Bends
John: The 13th studio album from the London post-punk veterans is 'Change Becomes Us' and it's out on March 25.

Royksopp - Happy Up Here
John: And happy down here in our bunker. I like that a lot - very uplifting.
Carolyn: Yes, jolly pleasant indeed.
John: They're from Tromso in Norway and that's off the 2009 album 'Junior'.

Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us
John: I promised you more prog as well, so have some Sparks. From the 1974 album 'Kimono My House'. I don't know.
Carolyn: I guess prog puns were different back then.
John: I realised a few weeks ago that I'm now of an age where I get Sparks. It's worrying.

Woody Guthrie - Worried Man Blues
John: I've been meaning to play some Woody for ages. It's a traditional old song which he recorded in 1940. He's a bit of a hero.
Carolyn: And it's good to play some different things.

Wolf People - All Returns
John: Psych-folk, I think they call it. The new album is 'Fain' and comes out on April 30. They're based in London. And Bedford, and North Yorkshire.

Willy Mason - I Got Gold
John: A modern twist on country, which is good. That's off the album 'Carry On' which came out late last year and I've just not got round to playing. I like that track - the rest of the album... Not so much.

Teenage Fanclub - Baby Lee
John: Purely selfish. I adore that track. From the 2010 album Shadows.
Carolyn: No, it can't be selfish when you share something that nice. That's a beautiful record.

And here's all that in a YouTube playlist.

Monday, 11 March 2013

11 March 2013

The usual mix of new and old, a football theme later on, but we start with an old favourite.

Len - Steal My Sunshine
John: From way back in 1999, that. Their only hit, from the album 'You Can't Stop The Bum Rush'.
Carolyn: Takes us both back a bit, there. And why are we playing that?
John: Well for two days last week, it felt like spring. And then someone nicked the sun and it's freezing now.

British Sea Power - Machineries Of Joy
John: New from these, from the forthcoming album also called 'Machineries Of Joy' which is out on April 1 and I really like that.

B>E>A>K - Night Owls
John: A Sunderland supergroup, that's a paean to a popular nightspot in the town.
Carolyn: Are there enough bands to form a supergroup?
John: There are members of Field Music, Futureheads, Lake Poets, Lorry... That's available as a free download from their bandcamp page.

Cover Version Corner
Lykke Li/Triggerfinger - I Follow Rivers
John: A pan-European cover version corner. Triggerfinger are from Antwerp and that was a non-album single that then cropped up on a 'B-sides/various' compilation last year. It's a bit of a cheat on the first one as it's the Magician Mix of Lykke Li's 2011 single off the album 'Wounded Rhymes'.

High Hazels - French Rue
John: I've been after this for a while. From Sheffield, which might be why I'm drawing parallels with Richard Hawley.
Carolyn: Yeah, it's got a bit of a Sheffield sound.

Public Service Broadcasting - Signal 30
John: Favourites of ours, this is off the forthcoming album 'Educate, Entertain' which I am very much looking forward to.
Carolyn: Yes, very much like these. I think it only works with American and received pronunciation in a 1950s style. I don't think a modern public information film would work.
John: And perhaps Chris Huhne could have done to listen to the original films about 10 years ago.

The Besnard Lakes - People Of The Sticks
John: From Montreal, the driving force behind these is husband and wife Jake Lasek and Olga Goreas. That's off the album 'Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO' which is out on the 2nd of April.
Carolyn: There's something about that I didn't like. Something underneath that made me think about swimming underwater.

One Degree of Separation
Art Brut - St Pauli
The Fall - Theme From Sparta FC #2
John: 26 shows and this is the first time we've played The Fall. That's slacking. That came out in 2004, off the album 'The Real New Fall LP, Formerly Country On The Click'. Art Brut are one of those bands that cling to silly names - Eddie Argos, Freddie Feedback and suchlike - and that was off their second album 'It's A Bit Complicated' from 2007.
Carolyn: And the link?
John: European football clubs. St Pauli are from Hamburg while Sparta FC... Well it could be Rotterdam or Prague, I suppose.
Carolyn: It's a bit tenuous. You just wanted to play those records, didn't you?
John: I wanted to play Art Brut, then went looking for a link elsewhere and, like I say, it's high time we played The Fall.

Toy - My Heart Skips A Beat
John: Another band we've played a few times. That's the new single from the debut album 'Toy' which really is something. Such a variety on there, from poppy tracks like Lose My Way, through this which is just damned pleasant to the 10-minute epic that is Kopter. It really is very good indeed.
Carolyn: Yes, we like those a lot. That's just a lovely track.

Haight Ashbury - Blow Your Mind
John: Another one I've been after for a while. These are from Glasgow, but named after the area of San Francisco, and it's off the album 'Perhaps?', their third, which is out in May. Psych-folk, I think they call it.
Carolyn: Oh, that's a genre is it? I'd have filed it under 'nice'.
John: Well, it's got folk elements and a bit of a '60s/'70s San Francisco hippy vibe, hasn't it?

Lapalux - Guuurl
John: Lapalux is Stuart Howard from Essex and that's 'Guuurl', with three Us.
Carolyn: Another daft spelling... I don't particularly like that, the distortion effects.
John: That's what sets it apart for me. You'll like the album title, I think: 'Nostalchic'.
Carolyn: Yeah, alright. I'll let him off.

Mogwai - Modern
John: To finish, the new one from Glasgow favourites Mogwai. From the forthcoming album 'Les Revenants' which, as you don't need me to tell you, is French for ghosts.
Carolyn: I was just about to...
John: Nothing too much new there. The usual cinematic qualities, which is no bad thing.

And here's all that in a YouTube playlist.

Monday, 4 March 2013

4 March 2013

Lots of short records, records by sibling duos, and a tribute to a Rentaghost actor.

Rodriguez - Sugar Man
John: It was the Oscars last week, but this featured on the 2012 best documentary winner, Searching For Sugar Man, in which two South Africans try to track down their favourite musician. Out originally in 1977, this also got a re-release in 2002.
Carolyn: It's all a bit swooshy.
John: Of it's time, methinks.

Bleached - Next Stop
John: They've got three chords and they're not afraid to use them. Like that a lot - very retro feel. That's Bleached who are Jessica and Jennifer Clavin from LA. That's off the album 'Ride Your Heart Out' which is out on April 2.
Carolyn: Fresh, yet immediately familiar. I like it when we play new stuff.

Django Django - Wor
John: For a record-breaking 10th time, they feature on the show. This is the new single off the acclaimed debut album, 'Django Django'.
Carolyn: I like these so much, they're pretty much on a loop in the car.
John: Bonus points for Klaxon usage.
Carolyn: Yeah, when that comes on, I'm checking around for blue lights in my mirrors.

Cover Version Corner
The Vaselines/Nirvana - Molly's Lips
John: 25 shows in before we play Nirvana. Ludicrous. As is Nirvana covering a Scottish band's tribute to Molly Weir who was Hazel McWitch in Rentaghost.
Carolyn: Was she in Supergran as well?
John: No. Or was she? I'm going to have to find out now... This section can normally take us 10 or 15 minutes, but this is less than five all in. Bosh, done, out. The Vaselines version is from 1988 off the EP 'Dying For It', Nirvana's was four years later and featured on the album 'Incesticide'.

Phenomenal Handclap Band - The Unknown Faces
John: Not much clapping of hands there, but pretty fine nonetheless. That's from the album 'Form and Control' which came out in February last year.

Masters In France - Flexin
John: Very much in the Hot Chip/Dutch Uncles envelope, I heard that the other day and have basically had it on a loop since. Layered. I like that. They're from Bangor in Wales.

Julia Kent - Transportation
John: From Vancouver, but based in New York, Julia Kent is a classical cellist who has put together a pop album.
Carolyn: Well, I wouldn't call it pop. It's a lovely piece of music, but I'm not calling it pop.
John: Well, no perhaps not. Haunting, I'd call it. The album is called 'Character' and is out later this month.

Heavyball - Small Town Hero
John: Hat tip to my chum Chris whose mate is in this band. That's off last year's EP 'Small Town Hero', but recently they've gone from playing back rooms of South London pubs to supporting the Kaiser Chiefs on tour.
Carolyn: That's a big leg up for a young band. Obvious ska influence, and pretty good.

Low - Just Make It Stop
John: From Duluth in Minnesota, that's off the album 'The Invisible Way' which comes out on March 19.

Drenge - Bloodsports
John: We had sisters earlier, and here's a pair of brothers. Eoin and Rory Loveless are from up-country Derbyshire, but very much part of the Sheffield music scene, and there have been a fair few successes from there down the years.
Carolyn: Again, it's all pretty stripped back and raw. Not that that's a bad thing.
John: Reminds me of The White Stripes a bit. That's their debut single which is out today. Drenge means 'boys' in Danish and is the name of an avant-garde 1977 Danish film of which they're big fans, apparently, and is ace to say.

One Degree of Separation
Tricky - Black Steel
Portishead - Glory Box
John: Almost 20 years old that Portishead track - unbelievable. Off their debut album 'Dummy' from 1994 which I've got on vinyl somewhere. Haven't listened to it in ages, but always worth reminding oneself of it. Tricky's anti-war Black Steel is off his 1995 breakthrough album 'Maxinquaye'.
Carolyn: And the link?
John: Both Bristolian, both part of that trip-hop scene down there in the mid-'90s and both excellent records.

Hidden Orchestra - Fourth Wall
John: From Edinburgh, that's off the album 'Archipelago' which came out last October.
Carolyn: Another more orchestral piece.
John: Oh yes. I don't just throw this together, y'know.

The King Blues - Five Bottles Of Shampoo
John: From 'Punk and Poetry' from a couple of years ago.

The Vanity Project - I Fear Nothing
John: End on a happy one, yeah?
Carolyn: Hmm, not exactly uplifting.
John: No, but very worthy. From the EP 'What Really Matters'.

Granville - Polaroid
John: From Caen, that was out last month on the album 'Les Voiles'.

And here's all that packaged up in a YouTube playlist.