First track from the new album Colorado is up. Neil’s always best with Crazy Horse, so I hope this is going to be the one that breaks a pretty lamentable string of recent albums….
Escot Park, Devon
My third visit to this do in Devon. Spoiler: I seem to have watched lots of folk music.
Friday was dismally wet, probably the worst conditions I’ve ever had at a festival. We had the traditional Levellers acoustic set to raise the curtain, which was, let’s be honest, broadly similar to last year’s traditional Levellers acoustic set. l The only act I saw on the main stage all day was Seth Lakeman. My joke walking over was that the weather would suit his music, ie grey, wet and tuneless but he was actually really good. Seen him before and been bored stiff but I enjoyed him here, probably down to his new band – the new electric guitar added some classic Fairport kind of vibes. Give the weather, I spent most of the time in the tent, where the highlights were This Is The Kit – Kate’s a really engaging frontwoman, and the music was great – and the amazing Songhoy Blues. So energetic and upbeat, uplifting and danceable on a miserable day. The perfect closing act.
The rest of the weekend was mostly hot and sunny, meaning that after Bristol hero Gaz » Continue Reading.
My name’s Griz. My childhood wasn’t like yours. I’ve never had friends, and in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football.
My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you.
Because if we aren’t loyal to the things we love, what’s the point?
That’s the publisher’s blurb, and it sets the book up nicely. Someone takes Griz’ dog, Griz goes after him to get his dog back, and this is what happens when he does. It’s a post apocalyptic story, and a pretty good one, with a different and more interesting take than the other legion of stories in that genre I’ve read. Obviously the grandaddy of the genre is John Wyndham, and fans of his will find familiar ground in the post industrial, post collapse, return to an agrarian idyll here. It’s a bit nastier than Wyndham’s trademark cosy catastrophe » Continue Reading.
I’m seeing reports that Mark Hollis has died. Can’t quite believe it, and a little surprised at how sad this makes me feel. Those last two Talk Talk albums are so incredible. Hopefully it’s false news, but either way I know what I’m listening to tonight.
Possibly a bit niche here, but can anyone help with an iTunes puzzle? The SSD in my MacBook is getting very full (around 90%). When I check the storage, by far the biggest culprit is iTunes at 139GB, of which 135GB is “iTunes Media”. But as far as I am aware, almost all of my music is stored in the cloud, and when I open iTunes and check the ‘downloaded’ tab, it tells me that there’s only 2.3GB worth there, which is a pretty hefty discrepancy. What gives?
I didn’t realise Stella Street was back on
I’ll be honest, most of you are going to hate this, but I was grinning like a loon throughout.
Neil Young has announced a new live acoustic album called ‘Songs For Judy’.
Comprised of recordings from Young’s November 1976 solo acoustic tour, the album also features the previously unreleased track, ‘No One Seems To Know’. Young has regularly played the song live but has never included it on a physical release. The version on ‘Songs For Judy’ was recorded in Boulder, Colorado on November 7th, 1976.
The album marks the debut release from Young’s Reprise Records imprint, Shakey Pictures Records, and features a total of 22 tracks, including ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’, ‘Heart of Gold’, ‘Here We Are in the Years’, ‘The Losing End’ and his Buffalo Springfield cover ‘Mr. Soul’.
It’s set to be released on December 14th, with pre-orders coming with an instant download of ‘Campaigner’ from a November 22nd, 1976 gig in Boston.
You can see the full tracklisting below, as well as the ‘Songs For Judy’ artwork.
01. Songs For Judy Intro (Atlanta, GA, Nov 24 (late show)) 02. Too Far Gone (Boulder, CO, Nov 06) 03. No One Seems To Know (Boulder, CO, Nov 07) 04. Heart Of Gold (Fort Worth, TX, Nov 10) 05. White Line (Fort Worth, TX, Nov » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
This is a taster for the “R.E.M. at the BBC” box set, documenting their various radio sessions, live broadcasts and TV appearances. It’s a little bit of an odd release, in that I’m not really sure who it’s aimed at. The casual punter is more likely to pick up a best of, while R.E.M. fans will surely go for the full box set, which is a nine disc monster with four live concerts (from 1984, 1995, 1999 and 2003), two discs full of recordings for radio sessions, and a DVD compiling their various appearances, including a full episode of Later devoted to the band. Frankly it looks brilliant, and I’m buying it tomorrow.
This two disc abstract is divided into “Sessions” and “Live” discs, and highlights from the relevant areas of the box set is unsurprisingly what you get. Up was a difficult album to love, a departure into fussy experimental flourishes that never quite landed (I know for some people it’s a favourite, but it’ll never be mine) but here it benefits the most, the strength of the songs coming through much more clearly in these stripped down versions. ‘Lotus’ in particular stands » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Ott is a leading light of the electronic psychedelic dub scene. I came across him two or three years ago, late on the last night of a festival. Knew nothing about him, but I wandered into the dance tent and was transfixed. Fairchildren is his most recent album, but still dates back to 2015. He’s not a prolific lad (but he does live on Dartmoor, so he must be alright).
This isn’t a difficult or challenging music, quite the opposite. Paradoxically, that makes it quite hard to write about. Pleasure doesn’t need analysis, and this is a soft warm enveloping cocoon of a record, one that captures the feeling of delicious unawareness in the moment you wake up before reality hits, but is also like laying on the grass and watching the clouds and sky on a summer’s day with no particular place to go. Almost every song features wordless vocals, both treated and au naturel, with lots of live instrumentation all on top of a solid dubby electronic bedrock. That bedrock is the foundation of the album, so intricate, so carefully put together, so wonderfully constructed. It’s lush, unhurried and full of small » Continue Reading.
Alright, we’ve done the survey. But what does that tell us? Numbers and places, that’s all. It doesn’t let us into the chambers of your heart, doesn’t share your hopes and fears, your triumphs and failures, your most secret thoughts, doesn’t tell us you who really are. What we need is a summing up of your life, an accounting, a reckoning with biography.
To that end, pretend you have shuffled off this mortal coil, joined the choir invisible, etc. What will our newspapers of record make of you? What will they spend their word count on? Tell us below.
Escot Park, Devon
Beautiful Days was the brainchild of the Levellers, named after their (not really) hit single. They must be doing something right, as it’s now been going sixteen years and expanded to 17,000 people congregating in a field in Devon. There’s an unashamedly hippy / family atmosphere, with no corporate branding or sponsorships, and with seven stages all told, there’s plenty going on. I did this one en famille, and there was plenty to keep my almost-eleven year old entertained. Not just the bands, but performance art around the site, activities, stalls, all manner of contraptions, and a theatre tent. Throw in plenty of decent food stalls and bars run by local brewery Otter offering some fine beers for a measly £4 a pint, and you’re in for a treat. Plus giant illuminated ambulatory bird skeletons.
Things kick off on Friday with Levellers doing an acoustic set in the Big Top tent. I’ll be honest, at this point I’m a bit Levellered out. Had a lot of fun with them over the years, but I’m increasingly bored of the way that, despite having around a dozen albums in their catalogue now, their live show » Continue Reading.
please ignore, I’m moving this to Nights Out
Setting up this for mix CD reviews now that they are starting to appear on the sign up thread. I’ll do it by groups as per previous. No pressure if you haven’t sent out or properly listened yet as we are still well within the deadline, but I just wanted to stop the other thread getting clogged up and heading off to the margins.
How many ears does Captain Kirk have?
Arctic Monkeys Everything Everything Richard Russell Wolf Alice Florence and the Machine King Krule Lily Allen Sons of Kemet Jorja Smith Nadine Shah Novelist Noel Gallagher
Imagine thinking these were the best British albums of the last twelve months.
Come on, we all do it. I’m always on the lookout for new material, so please share away. Some of my favourites:
Narrating my performance of mundane household tasks via the medium of song
Answering questions that she is asking to other people while on the phone
Deliberately picking stupid cutlery, eg asking “do you want a fork or spoon?” and then putting a massive wooden fork from the salad tossing set next to a normal sized stainless steel knife
Writing ridiculous made up things in the middle of the shopping list
and so on.
As if the advertised two hours plus wasn’t enough.
Anyone else found the hidden third disc for the new album yet?
In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success — but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western – she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry’s meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris’s very soul. This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It’s a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that’s darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine
Grady Hendrix’ My Best Friend’s Exorcism was one of my favourite horror novels of recent years, funny, scary, and touching. For his new book he’s swerved into the world of heavy metal and legends of musicians selling their souls in. there isn’t actually a crossroads here, but there might » Continue Reading.
The first track from their upcoming album was released this evening, and it is predictably exquisite. Starts with four minutes or so of Deafheaven business as usual, ie full on hammering drums, black metal shrieks, and shoegazey metal guitars, then it goes all classic Thin Lizzy for the middle section before winding down to a gorgeous slow, chiming, lengthy cinematic outro. I know most of you are going to hate it, but it’s the best thing I’ve heard in months, horse staggers and all. It’s brutal, shimmering, happy, melancholy, beautiful, and exciting. I’m already past the mandatory six listens, and can’t wait for the album (July 13th! It has a terrible title!).
And the video is just lovely.
Graceland – the dance remixes. I had to check the date to be sure it wasn’t an April Fool, but apparently this is actually a thing.
Year: 2018 Director: Alex Garland
Natalie Portman’s Lena is a college biology professor whose soldier husband Kane (played by Oscar Isaac) disappeared, presumed killed, on his last secret mission. She’s stuck in grief and refuses to move on. And then, one day, he mysteriously returns. But he’s different, with no memory of what’s happened to him. His health rapidly deteriorates, and he is rushed to a military compound where Lena discovers that he was a part of a Special Forces-esque team sent to investigate the location of a meteor crash in the Florida swampland. The region has been enveloped in “Shimmer”, a mysterious effect that is changing the land under it, and one that is slowly expanding outwards. Kane is the only person from several expeditions who has returned from this location, now known as Area X.
Desperate to know what has happened to her husband, Lena volunteers to join up, and is assigned the next mission, heading into the unknown with a team of scientists, whereupon Annihilation reveals itself as the psychedelic Alien. This small group of explorers stumbling into something huge, unknown, and lethal has the same sense of nature and biology frighteningly out of kilter, but » Continue Reading.
Trying to make it sound like a bad horror sequel there.
Anyway, March is upon us, time to start posting reactions to the mixes you have (hopefully) received. I’ll post a comment for each group, and then please reply to that with your thoughts. Please send myself and / or @moseleymoles your tracklistings if you haven’t already, and if you are yet to send your discs get your skates on!
And I think we can all agree, upon looking out of our windows, that MM played a blinder when he picked this theme…
The Old England, Bristol
You know the coda to Julian Cope’s Safesurfer, where the song is eventually overtaken by wave after wave of molten guitars until the whole thing reaches orbit? That’s Chris Forsyth’s starting point I think to myself as, eight minutes or so in, ‘High Castle Rock” reaches yet another explosive climax and momentary wind down only to fire up and away again like an arcing electrical cable.
An hour previously I’d walked into the Old England for the first time. It’s not big. The seventy or so people here fill the room quite comfortably, and you have to get on stage and sidle past the bass player if you want to get to the gents. It has a faded, some might say ragged, glory, the kind of place you didn’t think they made anymore in these days of corporate sponsorship and branded promotions. Forsyth himself looks more professorial than rock star in his suit jacket and owlish glasses, while the Solar Motel rhythm section are unassuming longhairs. They don’t look like the kind of people who are about to kick off the best ninety minutes of my week. On this first exposure to » Continue Reading.