Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Radcliffe Revisited

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

Tastemaker Approval

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

Roy Orbison Singing For The Lonely

"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

Better Bow Legged Than No Legged

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

Hugging My Grudge

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

I Took A Long Hard Look

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

Daddy's Little Earthling

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

History As Planned

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

We Are The Sleepyheads

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

Revolutionary Spirit

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

Warm Panda Cola

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

Lorra Lorra Laffs

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"

- The Monochrome Set - Jacob's Ladder

- The Monochrome Set - Letter From Viola

- The Monochrome Set - Cilla Black

Buy the album here

The Monochrome Set's website lives here