Thursday, December 31, 2009

Birdmen, Tomatoes, Drums, Brass and Serpents

A new mix for your delight - more or less a distillation of what I played last time I DJ'd.
I'll bung up a playlist later if anyone wants it.

Birdmen, tomatoes, brass, drums and serpents.mp3

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

end of year stuff ...

... well I'm not going to contribute to the ubiquitous end of year lists, partly because they are ubiquitous but mostly because I can't be arsed.
And I actually don't really believe that you care what I think.
I can't resist reading them though. Mainly so I can shout "you must be joking - there is NO WAY that is the best album this year!", or "why the fuck haven't they included ...".
It's also a way for me to catch up on stuff I've missed. Although at least half of it I realise that the reason I've missed it is that it's just not very good.

Talking of catching up on stuff, for some reason I missed Marianne Faithfull's Easy Come Easy Go album last year. The stand out track on that is a duet with Nick Cave of a Decemberist's song - you can't go wrong with a combination like that can you?
Here's a recording of her doing it live (sadly with out Cave buts it's a great performance) -

Some good tracks I've missed this year and discovered on end of year lists include Hard Times by Patrick Wolf -

Animal by Miike Snow (there's a nice dubby remix by Mark Ronson too) -

... and Day Light by Matt & Kim -

Along with loads of list compilers Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion is one of the year's high lights - the new EP "Fall Be Kind" sounds pretty good too -

01 What Would I Want Sky - BBC session.mp3

Same goes for Fuck Button's Tarot Sport -

I'm surprised Mumford and Sons aren't in more lists - I love their album -

I'm equally surprised that the Bat For Lashes album features high up in a load of run-downs. It just didn't do it for me - but I'm going to give it another go to see if they're right and I'm wrong.

Another oft' listed album that I was also disappointed in was Bill Callahan's "Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle" - and I love Bill like a brother - but the production on this album, the drum sound in particular, I find really distracting.

Cue more surprise that We Gave It All Away... And Now We Are Taking It Back by Mungolian Jetset didn't appear outside dance oriented lists - it deserves a wider listening -

All that and I haven't mentioned Grizzly Bear or Fever Ray yet ...

... and a tip for 2010 - banjos are the new ukuleles ...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

McDonald & Giles

I noticed Robots In Heat had included "Flight of the Ibis" by McDonald & Giles in one of their podcasts.

It reminded me how much I used to listen to and love the McDonald & Giles album back in my teens. It's one of a few albums from that era that I still have in my possession so I dug it out. I know that there's a real danger digging out old stuff and that, once you've got over the nostalgia and remembered you were probably stoned last time you listened to it, it turns out to be a bit rubbish. Specially true of prog-rock. Surpisingly this has stood the test of time really well. The drumming is out standing throughout, there's little in the way of prog self indulgence. Pete Sinfield's lyrics do get slightly hippy at times although at their best they are reminiscent of Ray Davis or Pink Floyd era Syd Barret. It's quite funky in places and I reckon Tomorrow People would make a good edit - if only I could get my head round how to do that stuff.
The Birdman Suite (taking up all of side 2 on the vinyl) is the real stand out for me - the Birdman Flies builds beautifully and still has the wow effect I remember from my youth.

Am I just a sad old hippy or am I right that this is an over looked minor masterpiece?

You can judge for yourself from this Youtube upload

Or you can come and hear me DJ at Nelson's Wine Bar in Hebden Bridge on Christmas Eve where I plan to open my set with The Birdman Flies!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Record player ....

An old Bush valve record player from the late 50s or early 60s.

A couple of additions if you look closely.

.. open it up ...