I thought it must be a new ‘thing’, but I’ve done a bit of googling and people have been saying “Happy Easter’ for a number of years I’m sure I’ve never come across it before but I had an email from the BBC the other day that said it and a relative came to see us yesterday and it was the first thing they said. I feel uncomfortable enough when I get wished a merry Xmas and I’ve grown up with that. I’m not religious (more anti religion if anything!) and I’m not a child about to go on an egg hunt so what is the point in the greeting unless the intention was to make me feel uncomfortable? Just a simple hello would have been far better. Please don’t let it spread.
What does it sound like?:
As I write this, I still know nothing about Stella Donnelly that I haven’t gleaned from the album. I saw it listed on a ‘try these albums’ page (on Paste I think) and didn’t read any further partly to see if I could listen with almost no preconceptions which is something I very rarely do. Well I like it. I hope that some of the tales she alludes to in the songs haven’t all happened to her if they have then she’s had a very tough life. That said, the tunes are often quite joyous ‘Leave It Alone’ being one example. I’ve become quite a fan of this type of music. To give some context, recent examples are Anna Burch, Caroline Rose and, even more recently, Julia Jacklin. All suggestions of similar stuff gratefully recieved! She will inevitably draw comparisons with Courtney Barnett but that’s largely due to the accent she sings in. Stella has a bit of vibratto in her voice which has the odd effect of lightening the serious nature of some of her songs. This is thoroughly recommended. Right….. now I’ve written that, I’m off to find out more about her!
I know I’m not the only one round these parts to appreciate the work of David Mead (The US popwerpoppy one). I think Dudes must be my most played album over the last ten years but that was released back in 2011. This week (starting today) he’s giving away his new album (Cobra Pumps) track by track. Sometimes there’ll be bonus demo tracks as well (there is today). If you want to join the fun sign up here: https://www.davidmead.com/
The Garage, Highbury
It’s a while since I’ve seen such an exciting band as Flatworms. There pretty much nothing original about them at all (although I can’t recall seeing a band that that sets the drum kit up in line with the bass and guitar so all members are at the front of the stage) but they combine all their influences and make them their own. I quite liked, during aural onslaught, to spot the people they seem to have nicked stuff from.. Sonic Youth, The Residents, MC5, Buzzcocks, Nirvana… it’s a long list which is probably why they end up sounding vital and fresh. It was quite short show, I think they went through the whole of the album (but that’s only about half an hour long) and a few others that I wasn’t familiar with and they were done in an hour.
A pretty wide age range, there were teenagers there and people older than me… so probably in their 60s – the crowd surfing was exclusively done by the teenagers though! A fairly good mix of male and female as well.
It made me think..
All is not lost and not » Continue Reading.
Once they’d paved paradise and put up a parking lot, it was always going to be a stretch (at least in the UK) before Talking Heads singing “This was a Pizza Hut, Now it’s all covered in Daisies” sounded like a documentary (although parts of Detroit have been moving in that direction).
I just heard the X-Ray Spex song, Warrior In Woolworths on the radio and got to thinking how many song titles mention shops that are no longer with us. In fact I couldn’t think of one that is still with us! I came up with three songs that mention ex shops directly then I carried on and came up with a few more that probably didn’t have the shops in mind! Any more?
Man at C&A – The Specials I’m In Love With The Girl On The Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk – The Freshies Warrior In Woolworths – X-Ray Spex ….and now the more dodgy connections… Sweet Dreams – Elvis Costello Halley’s Comet – Ezra Furman Tempo House – The Fall World Without Borders – Martha and the Muffins
Venue 229, London
Despite being a fan, I was at college when they last played the UK and less able to get around the country for a gig so I’d never seen them before. So here they are and we’re all a little older – it’s 37 years since they last graced these shores. There have been line-up changes over the years but this is almost the ‘classic’ line-up. After the rather good Surfing Lungs got the place warmed up (on a dark, damp January Monday evening), The Rubinoos stormed the stage… or rather ambled on one by one to set up their equipment, Jon light heartedly mumbling that he was sure that last time they had people to do that for them! The opening song was an A Cappella ‘Sandman’ which then powered into something altogether more guitar driven. They did new songs and many of the classic oldies such as the fabulous ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ and ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’. As ever, it was a mix of originals and covers, a cover of ‘Shake Some Action’ went down particularly well. For the encore all four of them gathered round the microphone » Continue Reading.
If, like me, your local library gives you 5 free MP3 downloads a week through Freegal, you may be pleased to see that the Brucie Book companion compilation is available from today and the 5 previously unreleased tracks match the weekly entitlement exactly. Result! If only they did audiobooks as well….
I was surprised by the lack of responses in the Amazon Echo thread the other day and was wondering about other people’s general attitude to home automation. Most of us take for granted the heating coming on at the programed time and I suspect many of us also have timers on a light or two. But has anyone gone any further? If so, is it because of (perceived) security, convenience or maybe even a disability. I’m currently investigating skirting round the edges and putting together rather Heath Robinson solutions as anything all encompassing is going to be very expensive. Ideally, I’d like to be able to draw the curtains in the living room and switch a few lights on when I out or on holiday but, unless I go for something like the Belkin or Philips lights, I’m either stuck in the past with X10 or I have to get the lighting circuit rewired (you really need a neutral at the switch and most UK homes don’t have it). Any solutions, experiences? My current task is seeing up a raspberry pi based system that will check if there’s a connected wifi signal available in the house and automatically reboot the » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
I don’t know anything at all about Margaret Glaspy. The track “You & I” on the latest free ATO records summer sampler leapt out at me so I downloaded the whole album from Emusic. It’s really rather marvelous and I’m already fairly sure that it’s going to be in my best of the year list. What’s it like then? Well, there are so many influences in there that it’s hard to pinpoint anything but if you like such artists as Mary Margaret O’Hara (there’s not a lot of rock by people called Margaret so I guess they all end up sounding the same!), Belly (and of course Tanya Donelly), The Cure, Aimee Mann then I would suggest you try to hear this. There’s tunes and guitars and more tunes. If you want to get that sampler first then sign up at the website for a free download – I’m also looking forward to the release of the “Joseph” album after hearing their track on the sampler.
What does it all *mean*?
Samplers still sell records in 2016
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
The lead track “You & I”. If you like » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Well, this is the first “solo” album by Chris Collingwood so, very unsurprisingly, it sounds like Fountains Of Wayne! I’ve only listened to it all the way through once (with a few odd tracks heard here and there) but that’s enough to hear the obvious quality. I thought I’d post this really to alert other FoW fans to it’s release. I’ve not spotted a stand out track yet but that’s probably no bad thing as I find songs such as Richie & Rueben from “Sky Full of Holes” is so strong (and not actually representative of the type of songs on the rest of the album) it kind of overshadows the rest of the work. These are pretty much all like more recent, slower FoW songs. While FoW quite rightly fall into the PowerPop category, this would be probably be better described as pure pop, in fact I ‘heard’ echoes of Nick Lowe in there too so it’s probably for ‘Now People’!
What does it all *mean*?
I think solo releases are fascinating to understand what the individual members presumably bring to a band. We’ve now had solo albums from Chris Collingwood and Jody » Continue Reading.
I’ve now lost count of the number of times I’ve watched this today. It’s amazing. For some reason, today, the BBC has decided that the lineage of a jumped up vicar is more newsworthy. They are wrong. You can have pots of money but you also need some properly clever people to do this sort of thing.
We’re on our hols in the US and In the past couple of days I’ve been to two very odd sporting events. The first was a football match. It was my very first MLS match and, due to a combination of the ticket prices, number they’d sold and snippets of MLS matches I’ve seen on television, I was expecting the standard to sit somewhere in between the bottom of the Premiership and the top of the Championship. In the end, over 60,000 people turned up to watch two fairly poor (approximately equivalent to the bottom of the Championship) teams have an occasional shot. The really weird thing was that, among those 60,000 there was no (apparent) away support. Some of the loudest booing came when a clearly offside goal was disallowed. The cheering for a ‘goal’ went on for a while when the ball had been blasted into the side netting. I always think it sounds horribly patronising when commentators say the crowd is “knowledgeable” but I’d never sat among so many people people cheering for decisions when so many of them (I should make it clear though that I don’t mean all of them) had very little idea what » Continue Reading.
I’m sure you had a really good time at your party in Bristol last weekend. Lots of great live music that you’d like to hear again to relive the experiences. I know some listeners came along to some of the gigs too but the size of the venues meant that the numbers were limited. The trouble is that what seemed like a great live performance when you were there, doesn’t necessarily translate into a great listening experience a few days later for the vast majority of your listeners who weren’t there. I’m more than happy to listen to live recordings on the radio (and there’s little doubt the BBC library contains some wonderful live performances) but please consider whether or not the performance lends itself to a radio audience rather than merely being a souvenir for the small coterie of attendees.
So, Charles Clarke, who was Education Secretary from 2002 to 2004 has now said that there should not be a christian assembly each day in schools. Why didn’t he say this when he had some power to try to do something about it? Have times changed that much in the intervening years? By the time I left school in 1976 it was already seen as an anachronism by many teachers and pupils and our school payed the minimum lip service it thought it could get away with.
I know it’s short notice but I’ve got two tickets for Alex Horne in Tring tonight and we can’t go. I can email the PDF when I get home at about six. Free to a good home. PM me (we can still do that can’t we?). We saw a preview of this show last year and it was already brilliant.
Sadly one of the stalwarts in Nick Lowe’s bands over the past 30 odd years has died aged just 62. Nick has developed into a showman that can hold a show together on charisma alone but back in the early 80’s it often seemed that Bobby Irwin was the glue holding it all together.
A few days ago I paid a deposit for a brand new car. It’s very stressful and something I’ve only ever done once before. I’m sure there are folks here that do it regularly. I’ve already entrusted quite a bit of personal information to them and they only need a small amount more for some convincing identity theft and I know the sales people there can’t really be trusted as they’ve lied to us on more than one occasion. So, my question is, what part of the process does the salesman need to know my date of birth for?
I’m sure the presenters on a festival jolly are having a whale of a time. I’m sure the punters that saw Mogwai last night really did enjoy themselves but ironically it seems to me that as soon as the 6Music Festival started, there seems to be far far more talk on the station. There’s normally far more talk for a station with Music in their name than I would like but it’s gone a bit overboard this weekend. Of course it may be that it’s just particularly boring talk and there’s not actually any more of it at all! If that’s the case, then I apologise!