This week I’m living a bandcamp renaissance. Forgot how much you can discover in a very short time, and how easy it to flick through their catalogue. If you haven’t been on for a while check it out here, the handful of discoveries below might get you started.
They remind me of ever-loved Neutral Milk Hotel, that’s just a general win.
Wolf Cottage – ‘Glow’
Describing themselves as a cross between National and Youth Lagoon is certainly an attention grabber. I know I listened to this song and liked it, but I can’t for the life of me find the link. On the plus side while searching I also came across a three year old Chelsea Wolf album, ‘The Grime and The Glow’
I discovered this amaaaaaazing blog which posts recipes inspired by great music. As someone who likes baking and records it’s a total winner, check out this amazing Savoury Apple Bread, inspired by Fiona Apple, and a recipe for home made pop tarts.
I scooted over Matthew E White’s album when it was released, it never really stuck with me. This song has won me over, it’s literally on repeat as I draft this. Also very good summer music, for whenever the sun may come our way!
A few cool things I wanted to share with you this week
The Joy Of A House Concert
I went to an amazing house concert in Edinburgh last week and it occurred to me how valuable it is to have that type of small, informal space for musicians to play in. It felt just like a really friendly community of people who love music and get to witness nicely intimate performances. I wish the council system here was more supportive, my understanding is they’re trying to shut down shows on the grounds that’s it’s ‘a venue’. The organisers don’t make any money, sell any drinks (you take your own) or receive complaints from the neighbours and they clearly invest a huge amount of their own time in creating events and giving musicians exposure. We’re supposed to be the ‘cultural capital’ of the world, it’s so sad seeing grassroots arts events disappear all the time. From a music fan’s perspective I think house concerts often happen organically for musicians and without knowing where to go it becomes an experience we can be locked out off.
Read more on the Soundhouse website, here’s a clip from one of their upcoming acts.
Almost at the same time I was mailed with the news Damien Jurado is doing a series of house concerts in America. I suppose these are different shows in the sense of being outwardly publicised and ticketed but I’m pleased it’s becoming a trend artists of his calibre are supporting.
Fleetwood Mac’s New Song
Aaaaw ain’t it catchy? Skip the chat and Sad Angel is the first track to be shared from Fleetwood Mac’s upcoming EP. They’re also playing Glasgow in October – points for not skipping Scotland off the map.
A band called Mice Parade
I discovered Mice Parade on my weekly reading of the excellent Said the Gramophone blog. So far I know only that their album Candela came out on Fatcat in March and I like their music, in particular the live tracks below. Take the journey with me…
I’m a fan of American Singer-Songwriter Sam Beam, aka Iron & Wine and have kept an ear into his albums over the last decade. Around the Well is a collection of ‘B Sides and Rarities’ released on Sub Pop, marketed the right way for me as I’m fundamentally against ‘Best Of’ collections (if you like a band you should listen to all their material). I listened to this again in the supermarket yesterday, a disorientated activity which left me with a random shop!
The first CD offers softer, more pensive tracks including previous single ‘Call Your Boys’, the beautiful, echoing ‘Morning’ and ‘Friends Are Jewels’. On the second I love the guitar on ‘No Moon’ and piano keys on ‘Carried Home’.
2010, a time when I used to spend all my lunch hours in Fopp. The 2CD collection comes in a pretty fold out box.
More like this
A show for La Blogotheque
A KEXP interview from 2009. The guy has an insanely good beard.
I still love this song as much as I did ten years ago.
Prog-rock from Singapore: Anechois
When I’m in study mode I listen to only instrumental music, I exhausted Mogwai and Godspeed pretty quickly so I tweeted asking for suggestions. A kind sir passed on Anechois whose EP, A Shadow of a Sound, has been nice to listen to, there’s a little bit of funk in it to. Check it out for yourself…
I have an insane love for both New York and art galleries, although I don’t go to either often enough. Once I took a week off work to go to Edinburgh Art College and study pastels on a large scale. My teacher tended to sigh at me and ask me why I always made things so difficult for myself, sitting at a really weird angle, trying to paint through glass or holding my pastels funny. I liked massive abstract things, so he told me to look up Richard Dieberkorn, an American artist influenced by German Expressionism. I still have the piece of sugar paper he wrote the suggestion down on in 2B pencil.
This week I ended up on the MOMA blog, which has a whole exhibition on German Expressionism. Random but I’ve very much enjoyed flicking through the works and thought you might like it too.
I’ve been on a ban from buying CDs. I know it shouldn’t really matter. You can get pretty much anything through Spotify (though increasingly considered the devil’s work by many) and the plastic little cases AREN’T VINYL but I’ve never had a record player. I really miss picking my way through random albums in a shop. Therefore I’ve decided to revisit the music I have, thinking maybe you’ll still discover something you’ve never heard of, or might want to revisit.
First up is an album from one of the most incredible Scottish guitarists of all time, the late Bert Jansch. His album Black Swan was released in 2006 and features Beth Orton on three tracks. Personally I’d forgotten about this really lovely CD, a contemplative and accomplished collection which easily rubs shoulders with more famous contemporaries like Neil Young. Listen to the hazy and pretty ‘A Woman Like You’ instrumental ‘Magdalina’s Dance’ and duet ‘Watch the Stars’.
In 2008 from FOPP on Rose Street Edinburgh. The album cost £3 which is why I bought it, an absolute bargain. It comes inside a paper sleeve, a satisfying addition. I wholeheartedly miss FOPP, f there was something I wanted I’d never leave that shop with fewer than four CDs at a time – plus a two buck novel for good measure.
More Like This
An article from The New Yorker published atfter Jansch’s death in 2011
A performance of four live numbers for the telly, 1975
A beautiful song. Full Stop.
Unlike his solo material Pentangle, Jansch’s band, verges on too traditionally Scottish for my personal taste but if you’re not from here you might feel differently. In any case this is worth listening to for the guitar alone.
A couple of tracks from The River Sessions, a most excellent album recorded in the seventies at City Hall, Glasgow.
This week I rediscovered some slightly cumbersome Sennheiser headphones I bought about ten years ago and was too self conscious to wear on the street plugged in to my ‘portable CD player’. The quality, perhaps therefore due to restricted use, is still great and the first thing I listened to on them was the new Low album, The Invisible Way.
You need to know
It’s the tenth album in twenty years from the Sub Pop signed Low, who hail from a place called Duluth Minnesota. An emotional, often poignant journey based on writing and recording strong, beautiful songs I’d possibly say it trumps all of the others. We’ll see how it stands the test of time.
‘So Blue’ is absolutely beautiful – listen!
The previously released ‘Just Make it Stop’ and closer ‘On Our Knees’ are more of my favourites.
You have time, as soon as you have time in fact.
For a sporadic history read an interview from 1996 here, a site which has lots more random press on the band.
It was also the year that Low’s SXSW performance was overpowered by a neighbouring hardcore band, Ramones fans rioted in Argentina after queueing overnight for free tickets falsely promised by Coke a Cola and David Bowie’s ‘Telling Lies’ was the first song to be released as a digital single.
As I only feature music I generally like I’ve decided rating releases is pointless. It has a mighty Play a Song For Me seal of approval!