• Top 25 Albums of 2014

    1 Jan 2015, 22:37 by DJH30

    1) Owen Pallett In Conflict
    This is my favourite album of the year by a clear margin - love every single minute of it and it gets better with every listen. ‘The Riverbed’ is probably the most intense song of the year leaving you breathless by the end. ‘The Sky behind the Flag’ is a highlight - I love the way he sings ‘we need to lose control...’ in such a controlled way as the heart monitor-like bleeps grow. ‘Song for Five and Six’ is amazing whilst the elegiac ‘The Passions’ is beautiful. The two alternative piano versions on the Japanese version of the album are equally strong. ‘With Us Instead’ – Owen’s collaboration with Marram is superb as well.

    2)St Vincent St Vincent
    Probably the most immediate and catchy of her albums to date but still retaining the quirky edges, this well deserves the praise it’s received. Quirky indie pop in an Owen Pallet vein but with guitars taking the place of violins. ‘Prince Johnny’ is fantastic…
  • Top 25 Gigs of 2014

    21 Dec 2014, 22:26 by DJH30

    Another good year for gigs. Seemed to be a trend this year of music film showings at various cinemas across the country with some live element (Q&A or even gig) – all of them were good and I’d happily watch them all again but I think The National’s film was the best one. I haven’t ranked any of them as they aren’t really gigs but thought I’d list them here as they are music related - the Belle and Sebastian live performance after Stuart Murdoch’s film was disappointingly brief - looking forward to a real gig next year. As ever if I’ve seen an artist more than once in a year I’ve only ranked my favourite show. Rankings 1 to 25 are on the right hand side.

    3 Feb Tracey Thorn (Interview) Kings Place
    15 Feb Mikey Georgeson Paper Dress Vintage 19
    20 Feb St Vincent Shepherds Bush Empire
    2 Mar Marc Almond/John Earle Barbican 23
    9 Mar John Grant Roundhouse 13
    30 Mar Suede Royal Albert Hall 1
    1 Apr Wild Beasts/East India Youth Brixton Academy 15
    3 Apr Alison Moyet Royal Albert Hall 9
  • Mix of the Month - September 2013

    3 Oct 2013, 01:04 by jurlacher

    Apologies for the lateness, but I've been busy with internship and dissertation and that's about it really. About the same sort of mix as usual this month; some folk, some rock, some electronic stuff, and one really great hip hop track right there in the middle. Long-awaited releases from CHVRCHES, Haim, and London Grammar, plus a slightly less long awaited but no less appreciated new album from Basia Bulat.

    Anyway, enjoy!

    1. Kalle Mattson - An American Dream
    2. Basia Bulat - Tall Tall Shadow
    3. Turin Brakes - Time and Money
    4. Said the Whale - Mother
    5. HAIM - The Wire
    6. CHVRCHES - We Sink
    7. Out Cold - Murder Black Corvette
    8. Fields - The Death
    9. No Bird Sing - Don't Think
    10. London Grammar - Nightcall
    11. Bill Callahan - The Sing
    12. The Deep Dark Woods - 18th Of December
    13. Frightened Rabbit - Candlelit
    14. Luke Haines - Rock'n'Roll Animals
  • The North Sea Scrolls "The North Sea Scrolls" (Fantastic Plastic 2012)

    22 Nov 2012, 10:32 by nigeyb

    The North Sea Scrolls is a concept album and academic lecture by Luke Haines (The Auteurs, Baader Meinhof, Black Box Recorder, and fine solo albums) and Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney, and The Fatima Mansions), and with narrations by Andrew Mueller, that presents an alternate history of England in song and spoken word.

    The version I bought has two versions of the album in one lovely double CD package. CD1 is just the songs (15 tracks), whilst CD2 is the same songs with excerpts from each of the North Sea Scrolls between each track (27 tracks). The album's narrative makes more sense on CD2 but realistically most listeners will probably not want to hear the full version after getting a handle on the story.

    It's a bit of schizophrenic listen. Pretty much 50% of the songs are sung by Cathal Coughlan, and 50% sung by Luke Haines. Now I like both artists but on balance much prefer Luke Haines. …
  • Tuesday Ten: 152: Repackage, remaster, reissue

    27 Mar 2012, 22:09 by amodelofcontrol

    I’ve looked at band reunions before (Tuesday Ten 144), but I’ve not looked at the glut of album reissues, remasters and other ways that record labels have found to help bolster their physical sales numbers that little bit more, as digital sales continue to increase. And while I have a bit of a distrust of this kind of re-sale, almost – many people are paying again for a product that they have bought in some form before – I will admit I’ve bought a few of late. Particularly as I have lost, had stolen or in some cases pretty much worn out some of the originals.

    What got me thinking about this? The news that the long awaited My Bloody Valentine reissue/remasters finally get released on 07-May – honest – after four fucking years since they were first mooted. Nice to see Kevin Shields still works to a different sense of time to everyone else, eh?

    And ironically enough, Storming The Base, who have great editorial pieces in their newsletter each week…
  • Top 25 Albums of 2011

    15 Jan 2012, 21:21 by DJH30

    1)Patrick Wolf Lupercalia
    Very well polished new one from Patrick with some of his most commercial sounding songs but still retaining his quirkiness. ‘Time of My Life’ is a fantastic track – lovely strings and really infectious. ‘The City’ is also a great little pop song. He had a little rant at the Roundhouse gig that people keep referring to the sax contributions as being an 80s throwback – whether it is or not I like it. The album has at least five really strong pop songs which you can envisage as being long standing classics in his future sets.
    2)Wild Beasts Smother
    I think on balance this is even better than Two Dancers. Love ‘Lion’s Share’, ‘Reach A Bit Further’ and ‘Bed Of Nails’ with the former two really striking a great balance between the two vocalists. Grows with every listen.
    3)St Vincent Strange Mercy
    Takes a while to sink in but this is really great. Lots of unexpected twists and turns and good use of pauses. …
  • 50 albums pour boucler 2011

    27 Dec 2011, 23:31 by BobbyO2000

  • 50 albums pour boucler 2011

    27 Dec 2011, 23:31 by BobbyO2000

  • Top 20 Gigs of 2011

    23 Dec 2011, 19:15 by DJH30

    Much shorter gig list this year than previous years and nothing to do with lack of gigs I’ve fancied going to – all to do with other commitments –mostly work. There are even 3 gig tickets on my fridge for things I’d bought tickets to but couldn’t make on the day. Amazed I’ve not seen Jonny Cola & The A-Grades this year. Here’s the list with the top 20 ranked in bold on the right and, as before, if I’ve seen an artist more than once I’ve only flagged up my favourite performance of the year.Also excluded festivals from the rankings although this year I only managed to get to Apple Cart which had a good little line up.

    19 Jan Luke Haines Hoxton Pony
    8 Feb David McAlmont Leicester Square Theatre 11
    10 Feb White Lies Shepherds Bush Empire 19
    15 Feb The Blow Monkeys 93 Feet East 9
    12 March Marc Almond Wiltons Music Hall 12
    29 March Patrick Wolf Koko
    19 April The Dears Borderline 10
    26 April Tindersticks QEH 20
  • Mix of the Month - October 2011

    28 Oct 2011, 23:07 by jurlacher

    Music! For October!

    There's lots of good stuff to share this month, starting with a cut from an album about British professional wrestling in the 70s and 80s which is delightfully bizarre and also rather catchy. There's a killer new single from the Black Keys, tracks from forthcoming albums by Alberta Cross and the Twilight Sad, three songs that featured prominently in the Breaking Bad season finale, and a strange little cover by the National about living with cats. Also featured is a selection from the new Rob Crow album, which is rather enjoyable in spite of being made up of Pinback rejects, and raises my expectations for their next recording...whenever they get around to it. Finishing the mix this month is a live track from Magnolia Electric Co. from a bootleg that I got in exchange for donating money to Jason Molina's medical bills. If you happen to enjoy the guy's musical projects, feel free to help him out too.