Thursday, December 28, 2006
The Heart Throbs were a band I kept on seeing supporting other acts and they were always a good reason to drag yourself away from the bar and even, shock! horror! stand up! The first time I saw them was on a wonderful triple bill along with The Motorcycle Boy and "Darklands" era Jesus & Mary Chain. Around that time the band released their single "Bang" on Rough Trade, after a couple more singles they signed to One Little Indian. Three albums followed "Cleopatra Grip" in 1992, "Jubilee Twist" in 1992 and finally "Vertical Smile" in 1993. All three had some great songs, some almost hit singles, and more importantly risque (apparently) album titles. A steady stream of band members came and went and sadly the band firmly resides in the coulda been shoulda been pile. Today's downloads include the Bang single and a track a piece from the first two albums.
Download - The Heart Throbs - Bang
Download - The Heart Throbs - Hooligan
Download - The Heart Throbs - Kiss Me When I'm Starving
Buy Heart Throbs albums here
The Heart Throbs on myspace are here
Friday, December 22, 2006
Hi! Remember us. This is Adrian, he's the reason you may have come here and wondered why nothing new has been posted. I'll do my best to update (in)frequently going forward. As a special holiday post here are two new Saint Etienne songs the band gave away to the attendees of thier Christmas show in London this week. The first is apparently a Cliff Richard cover and the second a brand new song by the band. Happy holidays everyone!
Download - Saint Etienne - 21st Century Christmas
Download - Saint Etienne - Through The Winter
The Saint Etienne website and shop can be found here
Saint Etienne - Nothing Can Stop Us Now (live)
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
The Swedish Polarbears list their influences as "Old guys like The Byrds, Neil Young, The Beach Boys, Big Star and so on... And some later bands heavily influenced by them, like Teenage Fanclub, Weezer, The Posies, Redd Kross, Sloan." Without even downloading the songs below or visiting their webpage or myspace page and downloading another two you probably get an idea of what their songs will sound like. They even have a song about Mr. Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub, and any of these songs would not stand out on the Fannies best work. On a windy, rainy day in September when you realize the screws you bought to put up some shelves are too damn small and you need to go out again, play these and put a smile on your face.
- The Swedish Polarbears - Mess Around
- The Swedish Polarbears - Norman Blake
Download more songs here or here
Friday, September 01, 2006
Camera Obscura continued their quest to play a session on every half decent radio show on the globe this yeart by appearing on Mark Radcliffe's show this week. At the same time I continued my quest to record and upload said sessions so here are two songs from the album "Let's Get Out Of This County" and a previously unreleased cover of a song by The Paris Sisters recorded by Phil Spector when his genius to insaneometer wasn't slightly more balanced.
- Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country (Radcliffe session)
- Camera Obscura - Come Back Margaret (Radcliffe session)
- Camera Obscura - I Love How You Love Me (Radcliffe Session)
Buy Camera Obscura here
Bands own website
Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I first heard Damon Gough a/k/a Badly Drawn Boy when he appeared on the much hyped first Unkle album, alongside the likes of Richard Ashcroft, Thom Yorke and of course DJ Shadow, Mr. Gough delivered a great performance that delivered on the great reviews he had for his early blink and you missed them early EPs. Since then over the course of his own albums he has shown a rare talent for classic pastoral pop. If his hero and inspiration Bruce Springsteen had hailed from the North of England, songs about meeting Madonna may have emerged. In fact, Gough's forthcoming album "Born In The Uk" is the story of growing up in 70's Britain as the video for the title track illustrates. The downloads today include that very first Unkle song, a couple of album highlights and a cover of the Dexys classic "Come On Eileen"
- Unkle - Nursery Rhyme Breather
- Badly Drawn Boy - Have You Fed The Fish?
- Badly Drawn Boy - The Year Of The Rat
- Badly Drawn Boy - Come On Eileen
Buy Badly Drawn Boy here
Badly Drawn website here
Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The UK
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
So thanks to those fine people at Domino, it looks like The Triffids will get the legacy they deserve with all of the bands albums getting the deluxe re-release, extra tracks, fancy booklet treatment in the next year or so. First out of the gates is what many regard as the band's finest moment "Born Sandy devotional" The album was the first that many heard from the band and it's success in the indie charts led to their deal with Island Records and what was expected to be their big break. Featuring the classic "Wide Open Road" the other songs today prove it wasn't a one trick pony. Two of the songs were featured on the original release and "Convent Walls" is one of the nine extra songs featured on this release. If you following the link below to the Triffids mini site you can watch a video and get another download all for the price of your email address.
Download - The Triffids - Lonely Stretch
Download - The Triffids - The Seabirds
Download - The Triffids - Convent Walls
Buy the Album here
Mini site is here and webpage here
The Triffids - Wide Open Road
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I always lumped Cud in with the likes of Stump and Bogshed, Peel favorites favoring angular sounds and wacky song titles. Their new compilation though "Rich And Strange" highlight that was just one side of the band who progressed from a shambolic, sound to almost polished quirkiness on their last album. In their career they even dented the UK singles charts a couple of times. The release of the compilation has also prompted the band to get back together for some live shows which have been well received so maybe new recordings will be on the horizon?
- Cud - You Sexy Thing
- Cud - I've Had It With Blondes
- Cud - Sticks And Stones
Buy Cud here
Cud site here
Cud - Through The Roof
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
So we're now in a new house, and I've finally had time to pause after a whole bunch of painting. My soundtrack while I splashed paint in all directions including some on the walls was The Pipettes A giddy mixture of 60's girl group, Strawberry Switchblade (maybe just the polka dots) and some of the pop fun of the B52s mixed together with a grrrl power attitude, and in their recently released album "We Are The Pipettes" you get one of the soundtracks to this summer. Brighton based and sharing a label with The Go-Team from reviews it sounds like their live show is even better than their records so far. Rumors of a US tour at the start of next year abound, I for one will be bringing my paintbrush. The downloads today are from a variety of recent radio sessions and include some acoustic versions of songs from their album.
- The Pipettes - ABC (live from the Blue Room)
- The Pipettes - Dirty Mind (Radcliffe Session)
- The Pipettes - Pull Shapes (radio one session)
Buy the album here
The Pipettes - Pull Shapes
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I don't need much excuse to post about certain bands, yes Camera Obscura, St Etienne and of course Belle & Sebastian I'm talking about you, and The Trashcan Sinatras. I just received the band's first DVD in the mail today, "Live At The Troubadour" features as the name subtly suggests a live show recorded in L.A. at the end of 2004, a KCRW radio session and a further ten songs from an earlier Troubadour show. As the booklet inside says; "These shows were quite an accomplishment for a band many didn't even realize still existed...a band people had nearly given up hope of seeing in concert again during their lifetime" Pretty much sums it up, and like the Go-Betweens DVD a perfect souvenir of that rare occurrence a comeback that is just a bad facsimile of their previous highs. Get the DVD at the link below and check out their huge archive of MP3's and videos. The following songs can be found there and are two Lennon covers and an acoustic version of one of their best songs.
- Trashcan Sinatras - Hayfever
- Trashcan Sinatras - Woman
- Trashcan Sinatras - Free As A Bird
Buy their DVD and download to your heart's delight here
Trashcan Sinatras - All The Dark Horses
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Moose are a fine example of a band who got a whole bunch of positive press when they first appeared. Triumphed as one of the leading lights of the shoegazing movement this got them into the music papers but soon become a noose around their neck that they never really escaped from. Their first three EPs gave the impression they were destined for greatness but as they moved away from their original sound and brought in country and even soul influences they produced their most accomplished music but at the same time were still thought of as last year's big thing. All of their albums are fine purchases from the stunning artwork in but if I were to recommend one it'd probably be "XYZ" from 1992. They also were masters of the cool cover version although sadly they often ended up as freebie 7" singles that came with the vinyl versions of their albums where they covered songs by the likes of Colourbox, Wire and Bobby Gentry. Today's songs are a couple of early greats and a cover of "Everybody's Talking."
- Moose - Jack
- Moose - The River Will Never Run Dry
- Moose - Everybody's Talking
Moose website here and myspace page here
Moose - Suzanne
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Voice Of The Beehive emerged in the late eighties in a burst of dress-up clothes, a sassy image, and a boatload of catchy songs. Mixing powerpop, sixties girl groups, a dash of Blondie, and kind of continuing where Strawberry Switchblade left off they had a handful of hit singles in the UK, mainly due to their label releasing them several times, usually in five formats at a time until the public surrendered. They released three albums, but by the third "Sex & Misery" most people were probably unaware it even came out. For the whole story you can check out the biography at the excellent website below and today's downloads include two singles from their first album "Let It Bee" and a song from their second "Honey Lingers."
- Voice Of The Beehive - Don't Call Me Baby
- Voice Of The Beehive - I Walk The Earth
- Voice Of The Beehive - I'm Shooting Cupid
Buy Voice Of The Beehive here
Band webpage here
Voice Of The Beehive - I Say Nothing
Monday, July 24, 2006
In 1993 a compilation album was released called "Peace Together" which coincided with a series of concerts where, like the album, British and Irish musicians played and presented a united front calling for an end to the troubles in Northern Ireland. The album features many of these bands producing cover versions of songs I guess they thought were pertinent. The album also features the dreaded mass artist singalong, in this case the single "Be Still" that featured the likes of Sinead O'Connor and Feargal Sharkey. Probably the main selling point of the album was U2 featuring laughing Lou Reed on "Satellite Of Love" but my favorites are the songs featured today, Blur covering Elvis Costello's "Oliver's Army", Pop Will Eat Itself making Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers" sound even more menacing than the original, and finally My Bloody Valentine with, I think, one of the only two songs the band recorded once they signed to Island Records (the other being a Wire cover on another compilation).
- Blur - Oliver's Army
- Pop Will Eat Itself - Games Without Frontiers
- My Bloody Valentine - We Have All The Time In The World
Buy Peace Together here
My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise
Friday, July 21, 2006
A quick post today of four totally unconnected songs/video before we head off on a pre-mortgage, pre-baby weekend in PA. Enjoy!
The Family Cat - The Theme From The Family Cat
Strawberry Switchblade - Trees & Flowers
The Wild Swans - Bible Dreams
The Family Cat
The Wild Swans
The June Brides - In The Rain
Thursday, July 20, 2006
The first three things that may come into your head if I mention Sandie Shaw 1. Winning the Eurovision song contest with "puppet On A String", 2. Not wearing shows and 3. Morrissey and The Smiths. Several things you may not realize about Sandie Shaw: She had three number one singles by the age of 21, was the first British recording artist to perform in the former Soviet Union, and the last to appear in Iran, Released albums throughout Europe singing in French, German, and Spanish, was the first British female singer to produce and own the copyright to her own material, and personally produces her own excellent website, complete with exhaustive discography and monthly newsletter at the link below.
It's a tragedy that most people know little of her music beyond "Puppet On A String" as since the 60's she has produced a wealth of songs that should have her held in the same esteem as the likes of Dusty Springfield, but possibly because she never really made in an impact in the US she only received a degree of recognition when she became an icon for Smiths fans. After recording "Jeane," and "Hand In Glove" with them she had a resurgence and released the album "Hello Angel" and singles featuring covers of songs by the likes of Lloyd Cole and The Waterboys alongside some her best compositions. Today's downloads feature two unlikely until you hear them covers from the album "Reviewing The Situation," a single from 1967, and her take on a Lloyd Cole classic.
Sandie Shaw - Tonight In Tokyo
Sandie Shaw - Walkin' The Dog
Sandie Shaw - Sympathy For The Devil
Sandie Shaw - Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?
Buy Sandie Shaw here
Ms. Shaw's website is here
Sandie Shaw with The Smiths - Jeane (absolutely insane!)
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Camera Obscura during their currrent US tour stopped off at KCRW and played an eight song session, the full results of which you can listen to or even watch via the link below. The songs I've posted from it, really highlight how their live sound is a lot tougher than the recorded versions. The studio version of their cover of Sheena Easton's "Modern Girl" can be found on a CD free in the UK with this months Q magazine which should end up in your local Barnes & Noble in a month or so.
Download - Camera Obscura - Come Back Margaret (KCRW session)
Download - Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This County (KCRW session)
Download - Camera Obscura - Modern Girl (KCRW Session)
Download - Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken (KCRW session)
Watch/Listen to the whole session here
Buy Camera Obscura here
Camera Obscura - Your Sound
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Good news! You can now download for free a new song from the not released for far too long Pernice Brothers album along with a video to go with it. Follow the link at the bottom of this. This album reunites Mr. Pernice with the producer of the classic "Overcome By Happiness" and if its half as good as that album I can't wait. Here's what my at the time not my wife said about that album back in the day;
"I loved what I heard. something about the sound of it, the longing in the vocals, the tender arrangements of the violins and guitars and horns, really struck me. the music was simple, but at the same time had a resounding sense of completeness.
Try to recall the last time you listened to an album thatfeatured, among other instruments, a flugelhorn. And that flugelhorn's not all. In addition to the standard guitars, drums, and occasional piano, add three trombones, some violins and violas, and even the languid strummings of a harp.
The title track starts slowly and sparsely, with joe's sandpaper vocals against a backdrop of simple drums and a hushed bass line building into a richly swirling number that melts easily into the next track. The characteristic twang of pernice's earlier work is absent here. the Pernice Brothers take pop sensibilities and flesh them out completely, a la belle and sebastian, to make for an album that's completely satisfying.
I liked the layers. I liked the sound of joe pernice's voice. I liked that it felt like there was a pervading sense of loss or even melancholy in the songs, but that that feeling of absence was what tied everything together to make the sound complete. I thought about that a bit when I was first listening to the album, the idea of a lack of something somehow defining the greater whole. perhaps I am waxing a bit too philosophical here, but when I was listening to this album constantly for the first week or so I owned it, itall made sense to me, given things in my life at that point. the music was whole, filling, like a good meal. a meal complete with appetisers, wine, entree, anddessert. sonically, instead of nutritionally, balanced.
Today's downloads include the title track of that album, my favorite song from the last album "Discover A Lovlier You", the very first Pernice Brothers single which has never appeared on an album, and finally a track of a tour only EP.
The Pernice Brothers - Overcome By Happiness
The Pernice Brothers - Subject Drop
The Pernice Brothers - Square World
The Pernice Brothers - Ballad Of Bjorn Borg
Buy CDs and get your free Pernice Brothers MP3/Video downloads here
The Pernice Brothers - Working Girls
Monday, July 17, 2006
Whistler if mentioned at all were usually brought up as they featured ex EMF songwriter Ian Dench. Sounding nothing at all like his former band Dench, along with singer Kerry Shaw and viola player James Topham, swapped indie dance and shouty pop for gentle pastoral folkiness. They released two albums, "Whistler" in 1999 and "Faith In The Morning" in 2000 with a covers EP "Intermission" inbetween. The band emerged at the same time as Black Box Recorder and the vocal styles of each band always struck me as similar but Whistler were always less menacing. The songs today are from throughout their career and just checking on Amazon both albums are listed for a whole 1C each. How can you refuse?
Whistler - Rare American Shoes
Whistler - If I Give You A Smile
Whistler - All Apologies
Whistler - Happiness
Buy Whistler here
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The Boy Least Likely To appear to be on track to re-release each one of their singles twice, next up is "Hugging My Grudge" which if the re-release of "Be Gentle With Me" is any indication will feature a couple of fine b-sides. Plus you get another cool video featuring the animals on the album cover coming to life so who's gonna complain? Watch the video below and here a couple of songs from their KCRW session which feature whole band versions of a couple of their songs.
The Boy Least Likely To - Monsters kcrw session
The Boy Least Likely To - I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon To You Star kcrw session
Buy The Boy Least Likely To here
The Boy Least Likely To live on the web here
The Boy Least Likely To - Hugging My Grudge
Gorkys Zygotic Mynci can officially lay claim to the UK chart record of the most top 75 singles without reaching the top 40. Between 1996 and 2001 they managed 8 (beating That Petrol Emotion with 7) getting to 41, 42, 43 or less but never inching their way higher and picking up some possible tv/radio exposure. Then at a time when offbeat folk stylings are in vogue they decide to call it quits earlier this year. At some point, there will be reissues of their first three albums, and if you can manage to find one I'd recommend their 1997 album "Barafundle" as a great place to start. Today's downloads are two of the singles from that release.
Gorkys Zygotic Mynci - Sad Girls And Happy Endings
Gorkys Zygotic Mynci - Patio Song
Buy Gorkys here
Their webpage with links to sites by band members can be found here
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
When she's not fronting Saint Etienne, Sarah Cracknell has been a welcome addition to several other peoples songs. So here today are a few of them. Firstly the 6ths, one of the multitude of Stephen Merritt side projects featured this song on the album "Hyacinths and Thistles" which also included contributions from Bob Mould, Gary Numan and Neil Hannon plus a whole bunch more. "Gone" was one of the singles released from the first David Holmes album "This Film's Crap Let's Slash The Seats" and comes in whole host of remixes and versions. Cheapglue released one album (I think) called "Sexy Horses" and was the moniker adopted by one Johnny Glue who has written with Saint Etienne in the past and was apparently a member of Republica. Lastly we have "Miles Apart" which features on the latest Shack album "On The Corner Of Miles And Gil" but not with Ms. Cracknell's vocals - their loss. There were rumors that there was going to be a second Sarah Cracknell solo album, but recently little more has been mentioned. So, here's a video clip of her first album "Lipslide"
The 6ths feat. Sarah Cracknell - Kissing Things
David Holmes feat. Sarah Cracknell - Gone
Cheapglue feat. Sarah Cracknell - You Just Won Me Over
Shack feat. Sarah Cracknell - Miles Apart
The Saint Etienne Website is here
Sarah Cracknell - Anymore
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The Divine Comedy have just released another fine album in the Uk/Europe "Victory For The Comic Muse" which as far as I can make out currently doesn't have a US release date. It's got some good reviews over here already though with Pitchfork singing its praises today. Quite rightly to, throughout his career Neil Hannon has produced a string of wry pop masterpieces but is definitely an artist you either love or loathe I think. To me he is the Irish equivalent of Stephen Merrit, or Jarvis Cocker for that matter, someone who dares place an emphasis of intelligence, and is definitely ploughing his own furrow which every so often converges on the British public to produce a hit single or two. The new album does feature some of his most ambitious songs yet with "A Lady Of A Certain Age" getting a lot of attention. Being contrary though I'm not posting anything new today (I'll include a link to a new song though) but here's a pot pourri of rarer Divine Comedy. So we have two covers, Bowie & Kraftwerk, a treat for Father Ted fans (if you're not see me after class) and one of my favorite singles. Oh, and a video of the most recent single which is kind of disturbing.
The Divine Comedy - Gin Soaked Boy
The Divine Comedy - My Lovely Horse
The Divine Comedy - Life On Mars
The Divine Comedy - The Model
Divine Comedy download at Fluxblog
Buy Divine Comedy here
The Divine Comedy - Diva Lady
Monday, July 10, 2006
The Guillemots along with the recently mentioned Jim Noir are derservedly being touted in the UK as among this year's brightest hopes. Thankfully the band don't sound like an ugly Gang Of Four/XTC hybrid but instead have ignored bratty cynicism for pure emotion and a passion that conjures up prime time Dexys Midnight Runners and the type of Big Music Mike Scott was famous before he went all hey nonny no. In the US you can currently purchase the EP "From The Cliffs" with I presume the album to follow, and it provides a great introduction to the band as it features a couple of the UK singles. For today's downloads I've actually posted a couple of the singles b-sides as the band have such a wealth of songs even the extra tracks on the singles are great.
The Guillemots - Cats Eyes
The Guillemots - The Doormouse & The Meerkat
Buy Guillemots here
The band's webpage is here
The Guillemots - Trains To Brazil
Sunday, July 09, 2006
As I mentioned yesterday The Frank & Walters have been unfairly stereotyped by the slightly wacky image they first appeared with, matching orange jumpsuits, and their brand of jaunty singalong pop on early songs like "Happy Busman", and "Fashion Crisis Hits New York" led to their biggest hit with their top 20 single "After All", but painted the band into a corner which led to the fine songwriting found on subsequent albums like "Beauty Becomes More Than Life" and "The Grand Parade" getting nowhere near the attention they deserved. In the last couple of years the band have got back together and released "souvenirs" a double CD of rare and unreleased songs which comes complete with a code to unlock a whole extra disc of songs to boot. This is going to be followed by a brand new album "Renewed Interest In Happiness" which will hopefully lead to further reassessment of the quality of the band.
The Frank & Walters - Fashion Crisis Hits New York
The Frank & Walters - Funky Cold Medina
The Frank & Walters - Indian Ocean
For information on buying "Souvenirs" and more go to the band's website here
Other website here
Or buy the album online here
The Frank And Walters - After All
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Some bands are forever tainted with an image or perception derived from their first singles or interviews or whatever. No matter what happens afterwards they are always associated with those initial forays into the big bad music industry. Two examples I can think of immediately were The Frank & Walters who produced some fine music throughout their existence but they are just remembered (if at all) as being the happy grinning funsters who covered "Funky Cold Medina." Then you have the Sultans Of Ping (F.C.) who somehow ended up on Rhythm King home of pop dance classics, went on to make a couple of fine Stooges style albums but will forever be known as the "Where's Me Jumper?" band. You want proof, the band have reformed and a clip of them is up on Youtube playing live and they play THAT song and chaos ensues! The band have put their entire back catalogue up on itunes.uk but for those of us who cannot buy stuff from there the website below has a massive amount of MP3 available. Oh and of course today's downloads include "Where's Me Jumper?" and the band's take on two Carter USM songs.
Sultans Of Ping - Bloodsport For All
Sultans Of Ping - Do Re Mi
Sultans Of Ping FC - Where's Me Jumper?
Sultans Of Ping FC - Stupid Kid
Buy the band's song in the UK here
Loads of MP3 can be found here
Sultans Of Ping - Where's Me Jumper? (live)
Thursday, July 06, 2006
If you click on the link to your left you can go to The Hype Machine a great resource for seeing whats hip and happening out there in MP3 blogland. I was sad to notice recently how little Aberfeldy have been featured on blogs, especially as I think that their debut album "Young Forever" was one of my highlights of last year. Hopefully this will be rectified with their new album "Do Whatever Turns You On" which has just been released in the UK and hopefully soon in the US? The best way to describe the album I think is its good old fashioned pop music, no pretence of being the latest in thing, just perfect bursts of three minute songs, singalong choruses and fun. Remember fun? They did a session on Mark Radcliffe's BBC radio 2 show this week which you can download below and a video to watch.
Aberfeldy - Hypnotized radio session
Aberfeldy - I Need You To Know radio session
Aberfeldy - Whatever Turns You On
Aberfeldy albums can be found here
Their website resides here
Aberfeldy - Hypnotized
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Perusing YouTube I was excited to come across an upload of "Gimme Shelter" a videotape that was produced in conjunction with Melody Maker or the NME featuring the cream of the indie crop at the time with proceeds going to the UK homeless charity Shelter. My first thought was I wish I had some of these songs still, "I'm Not An American" by The Dragsters particularly and secondly its about time we had a 14 Iced Bears post. The band, who released relatively little in their lifetime, made one Sarah 7" and a few other singles but those great people at Slumberland have collected everything together and you can get it all on CD at the link below, where you'll also find some more MP3.
Here's a brief history of the band lifted from the Slumberland site:
Formed in 1985 by Rob Sekula, The 14 Iced Bears ably blended shambolic pop with a psychedelic punk edge that set them apart from their C86 contemporaries. Inspired by bands like the Stooges, Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators and Echo & the Bunnymen, Sekula injected the then-nascent indie-pop sound with a twisted dose of noise and experimental menace. While still owing plenty to the Byrds/Ramones influences evident in the output of labels like Creation and Pink, it was this dark 60s flavor that always set the 'Bears apart.
14 Iced Bears - Balloon Song
14 Iced Bears - Come Get Me
14 Iced Bears - Sure To See
You must buy the complete 14 Iced Bears CD here or else!
03 - 14 Iced Bears - Balloon Song (live)
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Ladies and gentleman tonight we have a lightweight contest over two albums, the winner being crowned the bossa nova cover version champions of the world. In the red corner we have Nouvelle Vague from France consisting of Oliver Libaux and Marc Collin along with several usually female vocalists. They have released two albums of cover versions of punk/new wave classics sung by people who allegedly have never heard the original version. Their latest album, "Bande A Part" out almost everywhere apart from the US, where it arrives in August, includes the likes of "Danicing With My Self", "Fade To Grey" and "Blue Monday" there is also a great version of New Order's "Confusion" which only appears to be a bonus track on itunes.
In the blue corner we have Pastel Vespa residing in Australia, born to a Brazlilian mother and Italian father and releasing albums on Siesta in Spain, Ms. Vespa has covered the likes of "White Wedding", "Lets Go To Bed" and "Anarchy In The UK" in French. I picked her version of "Blue Monday" to post as I like the fact it mixes in "Love Will Tear Us Apart."
Nouvelle Vague - A Forest
Nouvelle Vague - The Killing Moon
Pastel Vespa - Blue Monday
Pastel Vespa - Livin' On A Prayer
Buy Nouvelle Vague here and visit their website here
Pastel Vespa's website can be found here
Thursday, June 29, 2006
So this week I got an email from those fine folks at Insound telling me that because I have previously purchased something by The Shins and/or Belle And Sebastian I should check out the album by The Bears and because I'm open to subtle marketing of this ilk (by the way have you clicked on the twix link up there to your left??) I did and discovered that their self titled debut album is a pop gem sitting there in the jewelry shop of mediocrity waiting to be plucked and cherished or something. Working in a similar way to The Boy least Likely To two friends in Cleveland, Craig and Charlie, recorded the album but live are joined by other people for a full band experience. There's a sixties pop influence cruising through the songs and mixed in with the aforementioned Shins, Belle & Sebastian and some happy go lucky folk leanings and you have an album that is going to be on repeat play this summer. As an added bonus you can get a nice 15% off at Insound just follow the link below.
Bears - Everywhere
Bears - Walk Away
The Bears website is here
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
- Irving - The Gentle Preservation Of Children
- Irving - I'll Write The Song, You Sing For Me
The Irving webpage is here
Buy Irving here
Monday, June 26, 2006
Here's another recent Camera Obscura radio session, this one was aired on BBC Radio 2 at the start of June and is interesting as it's not the whole band playing and so the arrangements of the songs are quite different. In case you haven't already done so you can also get three other sessions at the excellant Perfumed Garden blog at the link below.
Camera Obscura - Dermot OLeary radio session
Three other Camera Obscura sessions can be found here
Eighties Fan -Camera Obscura
Sunday, June 25, 2006
As meantioned in the Luna post the soundtrack to the film "I Shot Andy Warhol" is one which far eclipses the average film it was released with. A mixture of classics from the likes of The Lovin' Spoonful, Love, and the MC5 it also features the likes of R.E.M., Luna and Bettie Serveert covering songs of the era. It also features Jewel but you can't have everything I guess. So today here are Wilco covering Buffalo Springfield and Ben Lee with one of the Small Faces' classics. Plus a video bonus of the MC5 showing how sad the new Primal Scream album really is.
Wilco - Burned
Ben Lee - Itchycoo Park
Kick Out the Jams - MC5
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Jim Noir - Eanie Meaney
Jim Noir - My Patch Hot Chip remix
Buy Jim Noir's "Tower Of Love" here
Jim Noir's webpage is here and his mypsace page is here
Friday, June 23, 2006
This week has probably been the busiest week in the history of Luna, kind of ironic seeing the band split some time back. Luna were always one of those bands that I would hear a song by love, but never get round to buying an album by, well if you're like me the release of a Best Of this week, entitled "The Best Of Luna" so as not to confuse you is a great place to start as its a fine overview of the bands albums. The one thing it does illustrate is that the band was consistently good, no peaks or troughs just a constant stream of classic songwriting. The only complaint I would have with the album is that the band throughout their career released some great cover versions, most popular being their take on "Bonnie & Clyde" and there are none of these featured on the album. Well fear not, also out this week is "Lunafied" a download-only album that collects together lots of covers and some of the bands rarer tracks. Available from iTunes in the US and maybe elsewhere you can purchase it as a whole album or cherry pick the songs you want.
Finally, this week also saw the DVD release of "Tell Me Do You Miss Me" a documentary following the bands final US tour and sheds some light on the reasons the band split, what sounds like it could be rather downbeat is actually revealing, at times funny and includes a whole bunch of live performances. To download today are two covers from Lunafied, "Season Of The Witch" which appeared on the excellent "I Shot Andy Warhol" soundtrack and the band's take on "Indian Summer" by Beat Happening. On an unrelated note be sure to click on the link to your left for the twix sweepstakes as we're only too pleased to whore ourselves out for the promise of Twix bars!
Luna - Indian Summer
Luna - The Season Of The Witch
Buy Lunafied here
Luna's webspace and documentary trailer is here
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
Over at the very wonderful Indie MP3 blog today (go there now) you will find a feature and three downloads by The Motorcycle Boy this was the band that Alex Taylor of The Shop Assistants formed with members of Meat Whiplash after the first Shop Assistants album. They released the very well received single "Big Rock Candy Mountain" signed to a major label and after a couple of non-performing but great singles, their one and only album was recorded but never released. Surely there's a market for a release now with the singles added on. Are you listening Cherry Red, Vinyl Japan, anyone? Here's some more of the songs from their singles to enjoy.
- The Motorcycle Boy - Trying To Be Kind
- The Motorcycle Boy - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
- The Motorcycle Boy - His Latest Flame
And in case you forgot more Motorcycle Boy here
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Belle And Sebastian continued their radio session tour of the UK this week, visiting the Mark Radcliffe show. To many people, myself included, Radcliffe's show introduced many people to the band when he adopted "Tigermilk" way back in the day, and unlike the previous sessions to promote their new album the whole band were in the studio. They played four songs from "The Life Pursuit", "Funny Little Frog" and the three below. The album hits stores next week and it will definitely be worth paying that little extra for the deluxe version in a hardback sleeve and extra DVD of live tracks.
- Belle And Sebastian - The Blues Will Still Be Blue (Radio session)
- Belle And Sebastian - To Be Myself Completely (Radio session)
- Belle And Sebastian - Dress Up In You (Radio session)
Buy the album here
Friday, January 27, 2006
I was pleased to see that in Pitchfork's Found Sound feature (view here) a write up for the Rainy Day album, and calling for its release on CD. I was even more pleased when I found out the writer had first heard of the release through this blog. So to commemorate this auspicious occasion here's a repost of what I wrote way back last January along with a extra download, just like one of those "special edition" albums where you're expected to buy that Mariah Carey album again.
During the mid eighties some journalist with an urge to create a new “scene” came up with The Paisley Underground, pretty much defined as US bands who loved the likes of The Byrds ands Buffalo Springfield and played Rickenbacker guitars. This included the likes of The Long Ryders, The Dream Syndicate, and The Rain Parade featuring David Roback who went on to form Opal and had his biggest success with Mazzy Star. Rainy Day both the band and album is described on trouserpress.com thusly:
"“While the Rain Parade was still a going concern, David Roback organized and produced Rainy Day, a heartfelt but uneven paisley underground supersession, with members of the Bangles, Three O'Clock, Dream Syndicate and Rain Parade covering their fave tunes by the Velvets, Bob Dylan, Alex Chilton, Jimi Hendrix, Who, Beach Boys, etc. The simple arrangements and enthusiastic readings are fine-to-sublime, but the casual vocal performances are occasionally one-take second-rate."” Not sure I agree about the vocals especially on today'’s two tracks to download. "I'’ll Keep It With Mine"” sang by Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles is one of my favorite Dylan covers ever, while "“Flying On The Ground Is Wrong"” sang by Kendra Smith who went on to Opal and then some solo releases actually got me to purchase the first Buffalo Springfield album which I think is pretty high praise for a cover version. Sadly, the album is nigh on impossible to find on Cd and vinyl version change hands for around $50 a time, so if anything deserves a reissue this is it.
- Rainy Day - Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
- Rainy Day - I'll Keep It With Mine
- Rainy Day - Holacaust
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
"Thunder Road" by Bruce Springsteen may be in the running for New Jersey's state anthem, at least judging from the amount of the covers that exist of it. Not up to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" but at least there isn't a multitude of bad goth bands covering it. So in alphabetical order we have:
Badly Drawn Boy A well known Springsteen fan, Damon Gough has gone as far as naming one of his kids after Bruce, and in a Springsteen like monologue often tells concert audiences how he stalked him when he played in Manchester.
Cowboy Junkies A band well known for covers, there version of "Sweet Jane" is second to none, this appeared on a bonus EP that Best Buy gave away with one of the band's albums.
Mary Lou Lord From here "Live City Sounds" album Ms. Lord's albums and live shows are always liberally sprinkled with covers, highlighting her busking roots.
Kevin Rowland A proposed track for Rowland's "My Beauty" album, where the ex Dexys Midnight Runners leader appeared resplendent in woman's underwear on the cover, received awful reviews, and consequently sold in its hundreds. Apparently this song was pulled from the album after Broooooooce refused permission for it to be included(?) This only appeared on the pre-release versions of the album.
Tortoise And Bonnie Prince Billy from their new collaboration "The Brave And The Bold" Will and those wacky funsters the Toise take the song in a cool new direction.
- Badly Drawn Boy - Thunder Road
Buy Badly Drawn Boy here
- Cowboy Junkies - Thunder Road
Buy Cowboy Junkies here
- Mary Lou Lord - Thunder Road
Buy "Live City Sounds" here
- Kevin Rowland - Thunder Road
Be the only one on your block to own "My Beauty" here
- Tortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy - Thunder Road
Buy their "The Brave And The Bold" album here
Monday, January 23, 2006
The reason in my humble opinion an MP3 blog is far superior to a regular blog/fanzine is quite simply the fact the blogger can be the worst writer in the world and still get their point across as you, dear listener, get to make your mind up about the band concerned. No need for bad comparisons, or tangential missives telling you little about said band and their wonderful album, but plenty about the writer's skewed psyche. Or something. A case in point with The Light Footwork a male/female duo, the male half was on Beulah's last tour and several Beulahs play on their album "One State, Two State." Most reviews/mentions of the band bring up Beulah which I can see in the fact they both produce pop songs that have lots of great stuff going on beneath their poppy veneer. But see for yourself below.
The album appears to be just available at the moment from the band's website and at Scenic in NYC tomorrow where they are conducting a you buy the album, they'll buy you a beer experiment. Sure beats a free sticker.
- The Light Footwork - Coastlines Are Landmines
- The Light Footwork - The Art Of Everyday Communication Pt 1
- The Light Footwork - Rapture Good Rupture Bad
Buy the album at the band's website here
Sunday, January 22, 2006
You see those little animal guys down there on The Boy Least Likely To post? Well they've now come to life (sort of) in the video to the band's forthcoming single "Be Gentle With Me". You can download it here.
- The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Here's another Belle And Sebastian radio session from BBC Radio 6 where they played two different songs from the previous post below. Nothing like a short, straight to the point post.
Download - Belle And Sebastian - Funny Little Frog radio session
Download - Belle And Sebastian - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying radio session
Friday, January 20, 2006
Alongside the song a week project by Thunderegg the band recently released "Open Book" a bumper package consisting of a CD featuring 213, yes 213 songs (stored on the CD as MP3 files), and a 108 page book featuring lyrics, sleevenotes and artwork. This release collects together eight albums recorded between 1995-2004 most originally released on cassette some of which existed as only 5 copies. Obviously being faced with this many songs by any band is a bit of a daunting proposition and I think the whole thing is best viewed like a big bowl of your favorite candy. You wouldn't want to eat the whole bunch at once but its perfect for grabbing a handful every so often. The whole collection does clearly highlight that the talent on display on last years "A Very Fine Sample Of What's Available At The Mine" CD and the weekly songs project didn't just magically appear last year with every one of these older releases showing a wealth of catchy songs brimming over with clever lyrics, and despite the limited recording facilities there's plenty of imagination in the arrangements to draw you in and hold your interest. Here's some examples of a few of my favorite songs and you can purchase the whole thing for $25 from the link below.
Download - Thunderegg - That All Depends from "Personal Envelo-file" (1997)
Download - Thunderegg - I Died Today (Just For A Minute) from "Thunderegg" (1997)
Download - Thunderegg - The Scheduled Show from "Sweetest One" (2004)
Download - Thunderegg - Penned In from "New England Music" (1996)
Download - Thunderegg - The Envelope Pushes Back from "The Envelope Pushes Back" (2000)
Visit the Thunderegg webpage and buy the album here
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
As mentioned previously the veryt wonderful Thunderegg spent what seems like every free moment of 2005 preparing and posting a song per week on their website to download. After writing about the band they added what may have been my favorite of them all "Say We Did" which also featured the vocal talents of one Kendall Meade, and via a link from the song I found that she has recorded some very fine songs under the name Mascott namely two releases for le grand magistery, an EP "Electric Poems" in 1998 and "Follow The Sound" released in 2000 and produced by Jim O'Rourke. Most recently "Dreamers Book" appeared on her own Red Panda label in 2004. Inbetween these albums she also toured as a member of Sparklehorse and a couple of that band's members appear on this latest album. Soundwise, there's lots going on with folk, classic 60s pop like Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark, and strong reminders of how good the first solo Aimee Mann album is/was. A new EP is due in the spring, and in the meantime you've got three gems to go back and discover with a track off of each here today.
- Thunderegg feat. Kendall Meade - Say We Did
- Mascott - Baby Go Away from the "Electric Poems" EP
- Mascott - I Really Wanted You from "Follow The Sound"
- Mascott - Kite from "Dreamers Book"
Buy your Mascott CDs here
The Mascott webpage is here
Thunderegg are here
Sunday, January 15, 2006
As part of the promotional blitz for the new Belle And Sebastian album and single the band appeared on the BBC Radio One in Scotland show this week and performed two acoustic songs. A version of "Sukie In The Graveyard" from the new album and the previous Byrdsy "Mr. Richard". Enjoy!
- Belle And Sebastian - Sukie In The Graveyard (radio session)
- Belle And Sebastian - Mr. Richard (radio session)
Order the album with limited bonus DVD here
Saturday, January 14, 2006
In a similar fashion to the Monochrome Set album mentioned earlier in the week, the first album by The Wild Swans "Bringing Home The Ashes" has suffered the same fate of being deleted for many years and extremely hard to find on CD. The band had a pretty convoluted history; releasing one single "Revolutionary Spirit" on the Zoo label, split up, two of the band formed The Lotus Eaters, had a hit single "The First Picture Of You" and released one album. In the meantime the Wild Swans vocalist Paul Simpson formed Care with Ian Broudie and had a minor hit in the UK. Both of these bands split and everyone got back together as The Wild Swans releasing two albums, split up again, and then The Lotus Eaters reformed for another album. Got that? Anyway, I could have pretty much posted anything from "Bringing Home The Ashes" as its that good so here's two songs.
- The Wild Swans - Bible Dreams
- The Wild Swans - Young Manhood
If you have a large disposable income buy The Wild Swans albums here
Friday, January 13, 2006
My curiosity in The Boy Least Likely To was piqued by the music press adverts featuring their album artwork as you can see above. Doodled animals always do it for me, and when I eventually heard their album "The Best Party Ever" it kind of fit in with the songs. If you can imagine bits of Badly Drawn Boy, Aberfeldy, and a mandatory school music class where if you were lucky you got the wooden blocks to play, then you've got a bloody good imagination, and may get the gist of the album. Although it came out in the UK in the middle of last year, with several singles accompanying it including the latest with a Field Mice cover on the b-side, it will finally be released in the US on 4th April that will feature an extra disc of the UK b-sides and there is a short US tour to go with it.
To get you a taster of the album today we have a radio session from last July. It's in one big file but the songs are: "Hugging My Grudge", "Paper Cuts", and "My Tiger My Heart." From the great unofficial website below you can also download another session including their cover of George Michael's "Faith"
- The Boy Least Likely To - XFM radio session
The band's website can be found here
An even better unofficial site can be found here
Thursday, January 12, 2006
One of my favorite albums of all time is "Lost Weekend" by The Monochrome Set and for the longest time the only way to get this album on CD was to pay a whole bunch of money for the Japanese release on eBay and the like. Now, it is available for a much more reasonable price from the website listed below. This was mentioned on the band's own website, and as it said on there it appears to be of dubious origin, but the quality is perfect, and any misgivings about ordering it were dispelled when it arrived in less than a week. The CD includes the original album, all the b-sides from the single releases, and a previously unreleased song "Cilla Black"