Tuesday, 31 March 2009

What's Wrong With The Mainstream Playlist March '09

Another month and more great tunes to fill your ears with. This month's playlist is different in the fact that I've put a couple of songs in that I've already posted before. Both are from great new bands that I'm worried you might have overlooked or missed the first post I did of them. So check out The Jones and Humanizer.

The Menace - Mongrel

John McClure from Reverend & The Makers has become part of a supergroup called Mongrel. This supergroup has past and present members of Arctic Monkeys in it. How did all this pass me by? Even more importantly how did the fact that they gave their album away free with The Independant pass me by?

I found all this out when I was looking at Reverend & The Makers forum, not only that but John pointed readers to look up the video The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. I suggest you abandon your plans to do anything and watch it now. This is the most compelling thing I have seen on the internet, forget your fat kids with lightsabres, this is what the internet should be used for:


I have managed to get a few tracks by the band and this is my favourite, I believe the whole album is politically charged (the purpose of the band), this track is no exception. The best way I can describe them is if you took Damon Albarn out of Gorillaz and put John McClure in instead.

MP3: The Menace - Mongrel

Just This Ashtray - Lemonwilde

This is probably the best track I've received in the 3WTM mailbox this month. I found this track quite instant and while their web site is all style and no content that's not the case with the song. At times a bit Soundgarden and a bit Radiohead you could class it depressing but that would do it a disservice. Besides "say goodbye to this romance because I no longer need you" is a strong, confident stance to take. So I advice everyone to go out and dump their other halves, I'll stick with mine just so I know my advice was right...

Oh and check out the rest of their EP on iTunes, not as instant as this track, it took me longer to get in to it but it's quality.

MP3: Just This Ashtray - Lemonwilde

Airplanes - Local Natives

Staying with the contents of my inbox we've got Local Natives, having recently played SXSW I'm sure they will be on the radar of a lot more people now. A quality song down the lines of Arcade Fire / Sigur Ros / Port O'Brien with a great drum beat running through it. Calling out "I want you back", it's always nice to get back with loved ones, if you've split up with yours recently why not sing this song out to them and get them back.

Having just listened to this song three times in a row I'm questioning whether this was the best song to land in my inbox this month. Anyway enjoy.

MP3: Airplanes - Local Natives

Dust and Bones - Audrye Sessions

The blog I got this from (The World Forgot) compared them to Coldplay and Muse. I would go with the Muse comparison and maybe a bit of the Manic Street Preachers? This is the closing track off their album, I'm sure you'll agree it's perfect for that.

MP3: Dust and Bones - Audrye Sessions

Water and Headphones - The Ropes

Thanks to Natalie Valenzuela from the bands street team for getting in touch about The Ropes. I guess with all the good advice I've been giving you about relationships you don't need any more. Probably a good job as this two piece male/female band from USA have been thinking about killing you, well maybe not YOU but whoever the song is for. Oh and when I say male/female band I don't mean their shemales. In fact reading some of the comments on YouTube I think quite a few people have got the hots for the lead singer / bassist Sharon Shy.

MP3: Water and Headphones - The Ropes

Harbour City - humanizer

"Your omelette's in my hand", that's all my wife said to me when we were listening to this song and now I can't get it out of my head. Try not to think of that when you listen to this. It may only be a demo but it's quality. They've got quite a few gigs coming up in May and what's best is that they are free. Sadly they're mainly up north in the UK, I've already started hassling them to come to Bristol.

MP3: Harbour City - humanizer

Mowgli's Road - Marina and The Diamonds

I know most of you will have already got this as it was the b-side of the Obsessions single in February, no? Well I have to admit I didn't get it either but if this is the quality they are putting out as a b-side I'm definitely going to get the album. I'd be surprised if they didn't put this on the album.

MP3: Mowgli's Road - Marina & The Diamonds

Fot I Hose - Casio Kids

I should have caught on to this track a lot earlier, it was featured in a Steve Lemacq podcast that had been sat unlistened to on my iTunes for some time. Anyway don't look back in anger I say (might have stolen that from somewhere) on with the show - Oasis to Queen in one move, damn I'm getting cheesy. This is a bit like a MGMT track without any words in, try that on for size...

MP3: Fot I Hose - Casio Kids

In My Head - The Jones

I originally wrote about this band here back in January, I was lucky enough to bring you a new track from them earlier this month but here is In My Head in case you missed it first time around.

MP3: In My Head - The Jones zShare Link

Space Kidz - The Clips

What a track, they remind me a bit of The Boxing Lesson who I posted about a while back (remember the track that went "she's such a whore..."). Guitar and synths put together really well. Their debut album's out now in the US and Canada.

MP3: Space Kidz - The Clips

Wandering By - The Bishops

I think the lead singer of The Bishops sounds a bit like Morrissey which interested me in them to start off with. The songs probably a bit more upbeat than he would normally associate himself with. Quite a summery song, it seemed quite apt at the start of the month, I'm not so sure now.

MP3: Wandering By - The Bishops

Back Gold - Southeast Engine

I can imagine listening to this when on a road trip down the coast, probably because of the lyrics "I take the freeway in the morning" - I'm not very imaginative...

Anyway they sound a bit like The Thrills and a bit like The Beach Boys, maybe.

Mp3: Back Gold - Southeast Engine

It's Not Too Late To Wait - Small Crew

Small Crew are from Armenia according to their MySpace site, I'm not sure that's true, I hope it is but judging by the singer's accent when singing I'd guess their from the UK. They site their influences as "New York, Manchester, Stockholm, Dusseldorf, London, Los Angeles, Oxford, Glastonbury, Montreal, Glasgow, Melbourne, Boston, Sheffield, Dresden, Liverpool, Philadelphia, Tupelo, Hull." I wonder if they are describing the home towns of their influences? I'd guess that Sheffield would be Pulp and Hull would be The Beautiful South? In fact you could describe this track as Paul Heaton turning up to sing with his band but forgetting to tell the drummer...

The band are giving this and another song away free on their MySpace site.

MP3: It's Not Too Late To Wait - Small Crew

Bullets - Tunng

Sometimes you just pass a song by or should I say it just passes you by. Maybe it's not an instant track, maybe the intro is long and doesn't kick in for a while, maybe you'll discover it nearly two years down the line lurking in your iTunes, maybe it's Bullets by Tunng. Well worth a second chance.

MP3: Bullets - Tunng

Stay, Son - A Classic Education

Now I know a lot of web sites have been reviewing the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival but some have been going further than others. Over at The Morning News Paul Ford (once again!) listened to every promo song from the bands performing at SXSW. That's nearly one thousand bands, double last year's amount and not only that but he has reviewed every last one of them. Thankfully he kept it down to six word reviews. I think he used some hyphenated-rule-bending tricks but apart from that he was true to the cause. Thanks to his work I discovered some quality tunes including this quality track.

Paul described it as "Burning the Arcade at both ends", just so you know.

MP3: Stay, Son - A Classic Education

Talk To Me - Peaches

There's certainly a lot of excitement about Peaches upcoming album, mainly for the company being kept in the recording studio. This is the first time I've come across Peaches (Merrill Beth Nisker) but it will actually be her fourth album. It seems fame is just around the corner with a helping hand from Soul Wax and Simian Mobile Disco to name just a couple.

MP3: Talk To Me - Peaches

The Sun Ain't Shining No More - The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Well judging by this track The Asteroids Galaxy Tour will soon be riding a Duffy wave to mainstreamdom (it's a word, shut up already). If you've secretly liked Mercy but none of the other pap Duffy has put out this may be the track for you. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are from Copenhagen and describe themselves as "dedicated to turning pop technicolour, making funk get down with folk and mixing old soul with psychedelia and spaced-out beats."

MP3: The Sun Ain't Shining No More - The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Porn Star - Celebrity Chimp

I awoke this morning with "you're gonna be a porn star, you're gonna be a porn star, you're gonna be a porn star the rest of your life" going around my head. I'd like to think it's a sign from god as to what I should do with my career and nothing to do with my viewing last night. Of course it was none of these, it was Celebrity Chimp's pop song ringing around my head. This Larrikin Love sounding track certainly gets in your head, listen to the voice children, no one wants to be a train driver these days.

MP3: Porn Star - Celebrity Chimp

Supermarket - Action Painters

Think of Brian from Spaced and how he paints. That, according to snickerpedia, is what action painting is. According to 32ftpersecond.com this track was the "bounciest" song of 2008, I think that describes it quite well. They must have got a good grade in English at school...

MP3: Supermarket - Action Painters

The Doctor Will See You Now - Wax Fang

The band that springs to my mind when listening to Wax Fang is Tiny Dancers. The jangly pop, the fun nature, the way you can write the music off as pop but there's more to it than that. The blurb on iTunes describes Wax Fang's creator Scott Carney being at his best moments when he lets his guitar do the talking. It's certainly the instrumental section at the end that gets your attention, I bet that's great to see live.

MP3: The Doctor Will See You Now - Wax Fang

No cover version at the end this month's playlist, I had to trim down my list of songs that I posted and I'm sorry but the cover version got chopped.

Friday, 27 March 2009

What a bunch of bankers

Here in the UK there's certainly a backlash against the banks at the moment and "Fred The Shred" seems to be baring the brunt of it. Well what did he expect after leading RBS in to meltdown and then still taking his very fat pension. I'm sure there were many of us law abiding citizens smiling to ourselves as we heard his (or one of his) homes had been vandalised.

Yet there must be some very relieved people not to be in the spotlight. While the banks certainly gave us a hefty push towards recession aren't the oil companies also to blame? Just when the world economies were teetering they decided to force the price of oil up, destabilising the economy and causing already struggling companies to increase their prices or swallow costs that they couldn't afford. What annoys me is that these greedy companies/people are dodging all the blame, whether this is because they are too powerful or because they slipped the bankers a fiver I don't know.

Anyway, this track is from an advert used in the UK to promote a large savings company ING Direct. Funnily enough I've not seen many of their adverts recently, maybe it's because they're in trouble or more likely they don't see the point in advertising their high interest accounts when interest rates are pretty much 0%.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Skins - Music

Is it just me or is Skins the best thing on TV at the moment? For those of you haven't seen it I'll give you a quick guide. It's a show about kids at college in Bristol (16-18) and the first two series followed a group through their two years at college. It's all about the cool (and uncool) things they do eg. sex, drugs and relationships. When the present, third series came around it was over to the risk of an all new cast apart from one or two bit part characters from the first series. It was risky times but I'm happy to say they have pulled it off amazingly. Each episode they follow one character which gives the show a real variety while still keeping themes going. If you haven't watched it get yourself over to the E4/Skins web site and watch it online here.

I think Skins goes out of its way to be cool and one way it achieves this is through the its soundtrack. Alex Hancock, Skins' Music Supervisor, does a great job selecting all kinds of genre as well as new and old tracks to give the right feel as well as keeping the tracks fresh. If you want to know what song was used where just head over to the Skins web site and they have full track listings. My favourite three tracks used so far are:

MP3: When You Leave - Maps

MP3: Dog Days Are Over - Florence and the Machine

Mp3: Satisfied - Esser

They all happened to come from episode 8.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Remixes - White Lies and Doves

I don't normally post remixes of tracks as I like to bring you something new or draw your attention to something. I guess the reason I'm posting these is that they're drawing your attention to two album. First of all is the White Lies album, To Lose My Life, which is surely the first must have album of 2009.

MP3: Fairwell To The Fairground (Yuksek remix) - White Lies

Get it here instead:

Second up are Doves, returning after a four year hiatus. I can't wait for the album but I think it will be interesting to see how people react to the new album. Doves have always produced albums that need to be listened to in their entirety and it will be interesting to see how it goes down in the new digital / singles era.

MP3: Kingdom of Rust (still going remix) - Doves

Get it here instead:

STOP PRESS: Reverend and the Makers have remixed Glasvegas' Go Square Go get it here http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Glasvegas/track/Go_Square_Go_Reverend__the_Makers_Remix

Monday, 16 March 2009

New track from The Jones

I've finally got my hands on another track by up and coming band The Jones but rather than me tell you about them I asked my friend Q Shoes (who introduced me to them) to give you the low-down:

"A great new band from Leeds (and Doncaster), The Jones combine the best bits of both new and old skool Indie / Britpop. With their strong melodies and vocals the band doff their caps in the direction of the likes of Kasabian, James, The Killers, The Wonder Stuff and The Music to create a right rollicking good listen."

The band are currently touring, sadly I didn't get chance to tell you about their gig in the Hud' but here are the rest of their West Yorkshire dates:

27 Mar 2009 20:00 at The Primrose, Leeds

3 Apr 2009 20:00 The Elbow Rooms, Leeds

24 Apr 2009 20:00 The Elbow Rooms, Leeds

25 Apr 2009 20:00 Bradford Uni, Bradford

MP3: Killer Killer - The Jones (2nd Link)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Comic Relief Last Night - Elbow

Comic Relief last night was disappointing and amazing at the same time. It was great that they raised so much money £50+ million but the comedy was a bit lacking. I thought the sketch by Smithy with the England Team was great but other than that I hardly laughed. I'm glad i donated at the start of the night otherwise I might have changed my mind.

Elbow performed a track that not everyone is familiar with, it's the last track of their previous album, Leaders of the Free World. I thought it was quite fitting rather than singing One Day Like This. If you've only just got in to Elbow it is definitely worth exploring their back catalogue, I recommend Cast of Thousands...

MP3: Puncture Repair - Elbow (2nd Link)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Quick Hot Tip - Humanizer

I've just received a great track from an up and coming band in Manchester. I've been pestering their manager for what seems like months to send me an mp3. Despite having not played a gig yet they have been courting interest from an independent Manchester label. Humanizer have a bit of a syth / rock thing going on, a bit Sunshine Underground, a bit Bloc Party?

There a six piece who have been rehearsing for the last year to get tight and they are playing their first gig at Kehoes in Manchester on the 25th April. If you live anywhere near I recommend you go a long, any band that spends that kind of time practising before having a gig are taking things seriously. I think there's real talent in the band, listen to the track and let me know what you think, good or bad.

Go to their MySpace site for more songs.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Having Your Music In An Advert Isn't Always A Good Thing

Back in 1998 Hurricane #1 released what I thought was going to be their "make it big" single, Only The Strongest Will Survive. They'd already had quite some success with their first self-titled album and even a top twenty single but now they were going to hit the big time. So did their record label as Andy Bell, songwriter for the band, explains:

"Meanwhile, Creation's reaction to the success of the first single was to go into marketing overdrive, a bewildering and unsettling experience for any band, especially when you end up a year later owing the label so much money that they can force you to do an advert for The Sun just so they can get some back. The big budget videos and everything else just turned the presses noses up even more, and in the end, the whole experience did take it's toll on the band. I ended up leaving the country to try and get some peace, and to write the bands third album. I hit a huge writers' block, and ended up, to all intents and purposes, retired from music. After a few months of that, Oasis called me up." *

What Andy explains there is that they were offered a lot of money for their song to be used in an advert for the right wing paper The Sun. I seem to remember talk at the time put the sum in the region of £250,000. That's a lot of papers! The problem was that there was a back lash from the fans, well that's the way the media covered it. Maybe it was just a backlash by them, the NME wrote:

"They signed their own death warrants the minute they inked their names in Rupert Murdoch's Bumper Book Of Satan's Soldiers."

"they were exposed as the ultimate in cretinous sell-outs"

Harsh words indeed, I'm sure the writer for the NME at the time was just about to release their album knowing that they'd never make any money out of it.

I think to try and win back the fans and the media Hurricane #1 dropped the single version from the album and instead replaced it with a remix by U.N.K.L.E.. I think that was the final nail in the coffin, the fans gained from the advert were disappointed by the album and the original fans had already left. What a shame that was too, the first album is great and while you wouldn't describe the second one as great it's certainly a solid, quality album.

Below are the three versions I have of Only The Strongest Will Survive, in fact the U.N.K.L.E. remix inspired me and my wife to have it played by a string quartet as she walked down the aisle. It was to signify that long distance relationships do work, let's hope it's not as ironic for us as it was the band.

MP3: Only The Strongest Will Survive (U.N.K.L.E remix/album version) - hurricane #1 (2nd Link)
MP3: Only The Strongest Will Survive - hurricane #1 (2nd Link)
MP3: Only The Strongest Will Survive (Radio Edit) - hurricane #1 (2nd Link)

Monday, 9 March 2009

What the World was waiting for

So, the Rakes release the first single from their eagerly-awaited (well, awaited) third album ‘Klang’ next week, and that single has been chosen to be the rather excellent ‘1989’. I’ve listened to the lyrics, and as far as I can gather (but be sure to put me right if I’m wrong) the song sums up the hedonistic post-communism atmosphere in Eastern European capitals after Glasnost and the fall of the USSR. You can imagine the song being set in Wenceslas Square in Prague, or somewhere in Bratislava or Budapest. Come to think of it, it's probably set in Berlin when the wall came down. That would make sense, with the song being called '1989' and all. Anyway, the title got me thinking back to what I was doing 20 years ago, hence this rather nostalgic mini-playlist. If you were there, let me have your memories and comments. If you weren’t, then let me know how the ‘indie’ music of the time compares with today’s. Happy listening – Schönberg.

The Stone Roses – What The World Is Waiting For

1989 sees the 20th anniversary of the eponymous debut release by The Stone Roses, widely regarded as the album that spawned a new era in indie music and launched the Madchester scene of the late 80s and early 90s, allowing other influential bands such as the Charlatans and James to take the world by storm. The Roses were never allowed to realise their full potential, but this track, released as a single following the album, set out their manifesto. Interestingly, the b-side to this song, Fool’s Gold, was the track that made it big, largely due to it’s club-friendly swirling psychedelic guitars and beat.

MP3: What The World Is Waiting For - The Stone Roses

Inspiral Carpets – Find Out Why

Also part of the soon-to-be-massive Madchester or Baggy scene were Inspiral Carpets, their debut album was still a year away, but this single and others such as Joe were released hot on the heels of some pretty amazing but hard to come by EPs. This track was finally released as part of the ‘Cool as Fuck’ mini-album in 1990, and also featured as the theme tune to the Saturday morning Children’s TV show ‘8:15 from Manchester' (albeit with some lyric changes).

MP3: Find Out Why - Inspiral Carpets

The Wedding Present – Kennedy

The Wedding Present were original members of the C86 movement, and were serious contenders to The Smith’s crown when Morrissey and Co split up, their fatalistic brand of love song is a real favourite of mine. This song, however, is not really to do with love, rather a commentary on JFK and the CIA (too much apple pie being a reference to the small quantities of cyanide found in apple pips). The overriding memory I get from this song is a journey over the Pennines in October 1989 to see Manchester City play Aston Villa. It was a horrible, wet day and the reception on my archaic car stereo was playing up so all we had to listen to was a cassette single version of this song (with a cover of It’s Not Unusual on the b-side) over and over again. Happy days!

MP3: Kennedy - The Wedding Present

The Beautiful South – Song For Whoever

Another band tipped to take over The Smith’s mantle was The Housemartins. They released two great albums in the mid to late Eighties before meeting their own demise, and out of the ashes came The Beautiful South. The debut album ‘Welcome to The Beautiful South’ was a particular favourite of mine in 1989, Paul Heaton’s barbed wit on this debut was superb (although it somehow got diluted after the millionth album release, transforming Beautiful South into just another ‘churn ‘em out band’. This particular song is a great example, written like a love song, but taking a cynical swipe at all love song writers.

MP3: Song For Whoever - The Beautiful South

R.E.M. – World Leader Pretend

Speaking of great albums of 1989, ‘Green’ was probably seen as the UK breakthrough album for R.E.M. Released in late ’88, the album went silver and then gold in 89, with it’s mix of Americana, rock and accessible college indie. An ongoing memory of the time is seeing the dancefloor at my local indie disco fill up with floppy-fringed girls in cardigans and doc marten boots, bouncing up and down to ‘Stand’. Anyway, my favourite song from the album is ‘World Leader Pretend’, Stipe at his best, using military words to describe the war raging inside himself.

MP3: World Leader Pretend - R.E.M.

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Sheriff Fatman

Speaking of indie discos, my local disco was held on a Thursday night in a run-down pub-cum-club in Rotherham called ‘Shipmates’. It was the only night available to alternative music in Rotherham, all the other clubs would cater for chart music every night, and access to these clubs was only allowed with shiny black shoes and a shirt with a collar (oh, how I remember the black shirts with dragon emblems, and the black shoes and white socks brigade!!) Anyway, DJ Liam and DJ Oaksey were our saviours on those Thursday nights. The only other indie ‘slot’ was a five or ten minute slot in another sleeze pit called ‘Capones’. Every week, the DJ would play hours of Stock, Aitken and Waterman (or something as equally banal) and then say something like ‘here’s a few tracks for our indie kids, this one’s by a man called Carter…’ and we’d get Sheriff Fatman.

MP3: Sherriff Fatman - Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine

Jesus Jones – Info Freako

Another staple of Thursday nights in Shipmates was ‘Info Freako’ by Jesus Jones. Jesus Jones were among the first to combine indie rock with dance elements such as techno or house, and along with people like The Shamen and Pop Will Eat Itself, forged a new sound of rock guitars with samples.

MP3: Info Freako - Jesus Jones

Pop Will Eat Itself – Def Con One

Pop Will Eat Itself were the kings of sampling. Taking influences from early Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, the Poppies released their first album ‘Box Frenzy’ in 1987 before unleashing ‘This is the Day, This is the Hour, This is This!’– a collection of songs signalling the end of the world. Def Con One was one such song released as a single, sampling artists as diverse as Iggy Pop and the Stooges and Lipps Inc. as well as a bit of The Twilight Zone for good measure. If you were wondering, their name is taken from an NME article on a band called Jamie Wednesday (who later became Carter USM).

MP3: Def Con One - Pop Will Eat Itself (PWEI)

The Wonder Stuff – Don’t Let Me Down (Gently)

Pop Will Eat Itself hailed from Stourbridge in the West Midlands, and early line-ups included Miles Hunt and Malcolm Treece, before they formed The Wonder Stuff. The Wonder Stuff’s first album ‘The Eight Legged Groove Machine’ was released in 1988 to massive acclaim in indie circles, especially for Miles Hunt’s cynical, snarly, witty lyrics and delivery. The second album ‘Hup’, released in 1989, picked up where the first left off, however the band had developed a folkier approach. Don’t Let Me Down was the first single and was immediately a massive hit, reaching the top 20 of the UK charts.

MP3: Don't Let Me Down (Gently) - The Wonder Stuff

The Darling Buds – Shame on You

The Darling Buds never seemed to make it into the mainstream. They came along at the same time as more successful ‘Indie Cindy’ fronted bands such as The Primitives or Transvision Vamp (Wendy James, hmmmm), however their own version of poppy punk was quite appealing. The band took their name from the book by H. E. Bates (The Darling Buds of May) long before the TV series starring David Jason as Pop Larkin and Catherine Zeta-Jones as his daughter Mariette. The album this track is taken from (Pop Said) is a reference to this book also.

MP3: Shame on You - The Darling Buds

The rest...

So, I hope you enjoyed my 10-song dive into nostalgia. As the post was a mini-playlist there are another 10 songs to make up the full playlist, so if you're interested in which songs didn't make the final cut, here they are:

Morrissey - Last of the Famous International Playboys
The Cure - Fascination Street
The Lightning Seeds - Pure
Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus
Electronic - Getting Away With It
Soul II Soul - Back to Life
Pixies - Here Comes Your Man
De La Soul - Eye Know
New Order - Round and Round
Jesus and Mary Chain - Blues from a Gun

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Airborne Toxic Event - Album Review

I know I'm a bit slow with this review but I've been mulling over what to say for a while. As some of you might have read what I had to say about Sometime Around Midnight in January's playlist I wanted to say something that added to that. I pointed to the similarities with U2 yet actually the rest of the songs are (thankfully) quite far from that. With a voice a bit reminiscent of The National, Get Well Soon and Absentee the album is stronger than I expected.

I think they've achieved an indie-rock sound that the above bands have shown in flashes but not carried all the way through an album before. I know, occasional contributor to this blog, Schonberg was worried it was going to have a Nickelback feel to it but thankfully that's not the case. The songs are upbeat and anthemic (is that a word?) at times without boiling over in to Kid Rock / Nickelback territory.

When I was searching to see what songs people were posting from the band I came across this interesting post on a blog:

What I found interesting was that despite giving the band a slating this blog was still posting their tour dates. Why bother? Are they trying to make amends with the band?

Anyway back to the album review, I have listened to this album many times already and am yet to find a song a skip. A rare thing in today's playlist, not album, culture.

Enjoy this, the opening track from the album, which the band are giving away free to promote themselves through the SXSW web site.

MP3: Wishing Well - The Airborne Toxic Event

Post taken down, go here http://2008.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/1419.html where the band are giving the exact same song away for free...

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Doves - What keeps Jez going

I got an email from Doves basically promoting their tour but at the bottom there was this:

Here's a quick list of some of the things that kept me going while we were making the record. Jez x

Gram Parsons
Animal Collective
Vampire Weekend
Casio Kids
Anything by James Blackshaw particularly Litany Of Echoes and O True Believers
Eagles Of Death Metal
Gravity's Rainbow
Catch 22
Cloud Atlas
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
The Man Who Was Thursday
Step Brothers
Jean De Florette
Man On Wire
The Lives Of Others
Down By Law
Sunset Boulevard
Bagdad Cafe
Le Diner De Cons
Bombon El Perro

A random list but I thought it would give me an excuse to post the theme from Jean De Florette.

MP3: Main Theme from Jean De Florette

Anyone fancy a Stella?

Friday, 6 March 2009

Call The Doctor - Louisiana

My first chance to see Call The Doctor arrived on Wednesday as I caught them at Louisiana. Arriving early we managed to sit down with lead singer Patti (AKA Rachel) and guitarist Rob. Both looked nervous as they got set to take the stage for only their third gig. Arriving early certainly had its perks as the band dished out free CDs and badges, other bands take note, free stuff is the quick way to any Yorkshireman's heart. I guess I should expect no less from the man who was involved with the "Best Promoted Radio Show" at university.

There was certainly a large crowd there for CTD and they will certainly have been impressed by Patti's stage presence. Sounding like a cross between Yeah Yeah Yeahs and PJ Harvey they have a strong sound that is sure to win them plenty of followers. They are next appearing in Bluecat in Machester on 7th March, The Shed, Leicester on the 8th March and Sheffield at Harley on the 9th March.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Starsailor - All The Plans : Album Review

I've followed Starsailor since they burst on to the scene in 2002. I'm not saying I was the first in to them or anything like that but I have bought all their albums so far. I guess what we tend to forget is that they did burst on to the scene in 2002. With their second single Good Souls really making a name for themselves and Alcoholic being their first top ten hit.

This, their fourth album, sees them return three years after their last release On The Outside. Despite the time that has passed not much has changed, they're still making nice albums. That's right, nice albums. I guess that was enough for me in 2002 but now I want something with a bit more balls. James Walsh has got such a good voice why not use it more, I remember reading rave reviews of how good his voice was live, why not add more gusto in to their songs. Songs you want to sing/shout along with. I just don't feel there are enough of them on this album.

The album is out in the UK this Monday (9th March).

Why you should already own a Starsailor album:

MP3: This Time - Starsailor (from On The Outside)
MP3: Four To The Floor - Starsailor (from Silence Is Easy)
MP3: Good Souls - Starsailor (from Love Is Here)