Last night we had the pleasure of spending 45 minutes in the company of The Magic Numbers as part of their tour with Feist and Bright Eyes at the wonderful Loews Theatre in Jersey City. Although I loved the band's album when it was released earlier this year, live they were absolutely wonderful. Stunning harmonies, supercharged songs, and four people looking like they were having the time of their lives playing them to an audience that even extracting themselves from their plush seats to give them a standing ovation when they left the stage. Even Conor Oberst was getting down side stage while they were playing, so if he's a fan surely you know you're missing out.
The songs today are from their recent KCRW radio session, two songs from their album, and a great Beyonce cover.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
One of my eagerly awaited albums for 2006 will definitely be "Rabbit Fur Coat" by Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley. It's released at the end of January, but was apparently leaked earlier this week as a few songs have ended up on some blogs already. From what I've heard there's definitely a country vibe going on with the album and I can see some Neko Case comparisons being thrown out there come review time. I can see it getting the attention of non Rilo Kiley fans and some of them really wanting a new band album. Today's downloads are two of the songs on the album but live versions not the studio versions. If you like these, you'll be counting down the days until the albums out.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
"Me and This Army" is an excellant album by Panzah Zandahz of Radiohead remixes featuring the likes of MF Doom, Kool Keith and De La Soul and ranks up there with the Kleptones mash ups. Grab it while you can from the link below as it won't be around for long......
- Radiohead meet De La Soul - Itsoweezee (PZ I Will remix)
- Radiohead meet The Jungle Brothers - "How Ya Want It - (PZ Punchup remix)
Go here for all the details.
The whole album can also be purchased here although don't use Safari to go there as you end up with a blank screen?
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
The last of the Volume mags/CDs today and we end with No.13. Included on this CD is a demo version of Radiohead's "Nice Dream" but being contrary I've posted four other songs. A demo version of an Animals That Swim song that ended up on their second album. A song from Juliana Hatfield from when she was riding the Lemonheads slipstream to erm nowhere really. A song from Luscious Jackson less funky than some of their other songs but cool nonetheless and finally the highlight of the day Edwyn Collins and Bernard Butler covering the Orange Juice classic "In A Nutshell"
- Animals That Swim - East Street O'Neill
Buy Cds here
- Juliana Hatfield - Waves
- Luscious Jackson - Daddy
Cheap Cds here
- Edwyn Collins & Bernard Butler - In A Nutshell
Edwyn Collins CDs here
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Volume magazine number 11 came out in Autumn 94 and was billed as their Reading festival special. For those not in the know Reading festival held in Berkshire England was for many years a poor mans Glastonbury festival. It consisted of lots of bad heavy metal acts and bikers throwing bottles of piss at each other. At some point new organizers took over and decided alternative music is where its at for attracting a crowd and now it takes place in Leeds as well as Reading with bands playing in both locations over the end of August weekend. The two times I attended the festival was making that difficult transition from hairy bikers to hairy students and the bill reflected this.
The first year I went we took the lightweight option and took a coach for just one day featuring top goths Fields of the Nephilim or "Why won't the Sisters Of Mercy release some new songs!" to give them their full name. Sadly, the coach driver insisted parking away from the festival site and warned us he'd leave without anyone back on the coach at 11.30. So imagine the scene at 11.27 as us and a bunch of drunk goths staggered through a cabbage field in the dark trying to find the coach.
Undeterred we returned the next complete with car (that overheated on the way there, and would start when we tried to leave) and a borrowed "three man" tent that tuned out to be a "three infant" sized tent and when we returned after the first night and turned into a "three infant soggy puddle" that was attracting much laughing from passers by. The music the second year consisted of the likes of The Wonder Stuff and many others I've completely forgotten. Oh The Butthole Surfers and Swans who were both very scary!
Anyway, where was I? The Volume Reading Festival special. Taken from it we have Drugstore, Deus, Kitchens Of Distinction three bands who were great and no longer exist, and The Wedding Present who are still great, and still exist.
Monday, November 21, 2005
During the early 90s in the UK someone came up with the great idea of producing Volume, a CD sized magazine that came complete with a CD featuring the bands interviewed inside, often with rare or exclusive songs, and all featuring a cool fish on the front cover. This apparently sold pretty well and the started doing a trancey/dancey version and then a Nu-metal version and then for whatever reason they stopped. I guess traditional music magazine publishers took notice as now every UK music mag has to have a covermounted CD to sell.
Anyway, I picked up some of the Volume CDs last week and its interesting to see what bands still exist and how many you'd completely forgotten about, often for good reason! So for the next few days I'll post a few songs from each CD, starting today with Volume 6. First up is(c) or Lesley Rankine, who apparently was a model who got a reputation for being "difficult", recorded one album that fitted into the trip-hop times of the early 90s and vanished. Ultra Vivid Scene I think were on 4AD at the time, and has maintained a cult following who will snap up limited edition box sets etc ever since, but is one of those bands I will always hear a song by and think that's good but can't digest a whole album. Gallon Drunk again had some great songs, but seemed to come over as a bit of a poor mans birthday Party of Bad Seeds. Big in Camden and not much else sadly. Fluke were Creation records first foray into dance music but swiftly moved on to Virgin who released their best albums, they were kind of the point where trance music and the ambient Orb type stuff met and went on to make some cool songs that fitted perfectly onto video games.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
If you check the comments on yesterday's post you'll find some more "Love Will Tear Us Apart" cover version suggestions. In a similar vein today here's some New Order covers that don't include the numerous bad versions of "Blue Monday". So here are live versions of "Regret" by The Afghan Whigs and The Get Up Kids, a folky version of "Love Vigilantes" by Poi Dog Pondering and there must be something in the water of Australian indie pop as both Frente! and Even As We Speak covered "Bizarre Love Triangle".
- The Afghan Whigs - Regret (live)
buy the Afghan Whigs here
- Even As We Speak - Bizarre Love Triangle
- Frente! - Bizarre Love Triangle
buy Frente here
- The Get Up Kids - Regret (live)
Buy The Get Up Kids here
- Poi Dog Pondering - Love Vigilantes
get Poi Dog Pondering here
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
This week I picked up a copy of an album called "Sweetheart" which features the likes of Neko Case, Old 97's, M Ward, and many more playing covers of songs that hold special places in their collective hearts. Also on there, and my highlight of the album, are Calexico with their rendition of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" which thankfully doesn't try and copy the original but takes it in a whole new direction.
This inspired me to look through my record collection and discover just how many versions of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" I own. Sadly not the Paul Young version but if anyone has it along with his version of Billy Bragg's "Man With The Iron Mask" please get in touch! So we have the Bossa Nova sound of Nouvelle vague from their great album, two versions by Swans the black and red versions no less, the aforementioned Calexico version and lastly Bis being almost restrained for them with their take on it.
- Calexico - Love Will Tear Us Apart buy it here
- Nouvelle Vague - Love Will Tear Us Apart buy it here
- Swans - Love Will Tear Us Apart (black) buy it here
- Swans - Love Will Tear Us Apart (red)
- Bis - Love Will Tear Us Apart Buy it here
Monday, November 07, 2005
Never has a band's record label been better named than The Groove Farm's Raving Pop Blast. From 1987 to 1990 the band released a whole bunch of EPs and singles full of garage surf pop and amazingly long song titles. My favorite was the "Big Black Plastic Explosion" EP where over the course of the 5 songs everything that made the band great came together perfectly, especially in the two songs you can download today. After the band split, two of the members formed The Beatnik Filmstars, and they released a great compilation of Groove Farm stuff that you can get from the link below.
- The Groove Farm - Nancy Sinatra
- The Groove Farm - Baby Blue Marine
Buy Groove Farm releases here
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Earlier this week Saint Etienne appeared live in the studio on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radio 2 show and performed three songs; a samba stylee version of their current single 'Good Thing', the previous single from 'Tales From Turnpike House', 'Side Streets' and a current B-side and Womack & Womack cover 'Missing Persons Bureau' Never one to miss a Saint Etienne opportunity, and waiting for their alleged US tour early next year, here's the complete session for your listening pleasure.
- Saint Etienne - Good Thing
- Saint Etienne - Missing Persons Bureau
- Saint Etienne - Side Streets
The album isn't out in the US till next year but this is a good import price here
The band's website is here
Friday, November 04, 2005
If you put santa dog into google image search you get a whole heap of dejected looking animals resplendent in Christmas garb but wade your way through the canines and eventually you come to a picture of four people looking slightly less perturbed at their situation, that's the Santa Dog, Bristol based and sure to face the question in EVERY interview they do what does the name mean??
They have recently released their second EP 'Chemical' and on it you will find four lovingly crafted songs that other reviews seem to want to mention in the same breath as Brit-pop which I can't quite get but that might be just me. What they do display is a knack for pop songs that draw you in and then the lyrics have a sense of quiet menace like someone coming up close and whispering something sinister to you. The band are thankfully not trying to sound like the current big things and have produced an EP that I know I'd have enjoyed five years, today or in the future.
You can download the title track of this EP at the link below and a song from there first EP to get a good idea of their progression in a short space of time. The EP can be purchased direct from the band in the UK and from CD baby elsewhere (links below) and if you want to get an idea of their live sound there's two more songs on the indie mp3 blog on the 29th September (my birthday and you all forgot!).