Category Archives: Uncategorized

If you listen to one thing this week…Make it Mogwai

I’m usually about more under the radar bands in this wee slot, but having heard that Glaswegian electro rock legends Mogwai are releasing a remix album of tracks from sublime album Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will  I figured a feature could be fully justified.

Check out the first track from the A Wrenched Virile love collection below…

Released on 19th November on Rock Action records, the full tracklist…

George Square Thatcher Death Party – (Justin K Broadrick Reshape)
Rano Pano – Klad Hest (Mogwai is My Dick RMX)
White Noise (EVP Mix by Cylob)
How To Be A Werewolf – (Xander Harris remix)
Letters To The Metro – (Zombi remix)
Mexican Grand Prix – (reworked by RM Hubbert)
Rano Pano (Tim Hecker remix)
San Pedro – (The Soft Moon remix)
Too Raging To Cheers – (Umberto remix)
La Mort Blanche – (Robert Hampson remix)

…the one I’m really excited about is Tim Hecker’s take on the mind blowing Rano Pano…

here’s San Pedro too in its current form…

and an older track I Know You are But What Am I, which has little to do with the new release but if you are new to Mogwai I’m sure you’ll love it…

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Eugene Twist Plays…Mose Allison

A tragedy befell me last week. I woke up, got up and my laptop would not turn on. If you’ve ever been there you might follow my exact train of thought: that is EVERYTHING I own!! And no I don’t have it backed up, idiotic as that might be. So while I have been dreaming of finally buying a Macbook and trying to retrieve all my data it’s been a bit hard to post this up – a sublime discovery from Glasgow solo talent Eugene Twist.

With his stunning eight track album The Boy Who Had Everything notching up a fair amount of acclaim Mr Twist is an artist I was excited to feature, here’s his eloquent take on a little listened to Mose Allison track, minimalist, carefully crafted jazz…

EUGENE TWIST PLAYS…MOSE ALLISON

Thumbs up for Mose pals

Someone once said Mose Allison was cool before Dylan was cool. I first heard him on the documentary ‘Ever Since I Stole The Blues’, which features everyone from Frank Black of the Pixies to Van Morrison confirming his significant and varied influence. He is revered in certain circles, yet it amazes me how many musicians and musos I speak to haven’t heard of him. He’s always operated within jazz and blues – I’m no aficionado but to my ear he’s one of the greatest pianists to straddle these idioms in terms of ideas and technicality. However, this is just a platform for what comes next: a voice, narrative and songwriting approach that feel exclusively his own…

 
The Style: A lazy, prolonged, Mississippi drawl, steeped in the kind of profound blues that makes you want to kick a tin can around a deserted street with your hands in your pockets, somehow feeling OK about the weight of the world being on your shoulders.
 
The Attitude: Mose is very much an existentialist who brings a deadpan (almost Scottish) sense of humour to mortality, poverty and loneliness. His lyrics more than anything take the sentiment of the blues to another level, where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Song titles such as ‘What Do You Do After You Ruin Your Life’ – a case in point.
 

The Legacy: Mose’s journey bridges legendary and cult figure. He’s an extremely humble dude. I saw him play the Fruitmarket in Glasgow a while ago, he came on in jeans and bright white trainers, sat his fleece on top of the piano lid and started playing. I wasn’t surprised to hear that a friend saw him play in Pizza Express a few years ago and there’s videos on youtube of him playing to just a handful of people, amazing considering his influence on everyone from Jools Holland to Bono. Someone’s uploaded to youtube the song of his I’d like to share – it’s had less plays than my own youtube tracks…

 

So I’d like to share ‘Hello There Universe’. Like all great music in its intangible power, this puts me in a place transcendent of time and lets me float through the cosmos whenever I hear it. Without appearing retroist, something about the vocal and delivery still feels aesthetically fresh too. Enjoy.

I did a little rooting around myself and discovered that Mose Allison wrote loads of material which has been covered by other bands, just one being The Clash who featured this jazz led track – Look Here – on their album Sandinista!

Once you are done going through Mose Allison’s back catalogue get Eugene’s album on rotation! With a gravely voice his songs bleed into retro styles, echoing of the likes of The Beatles, Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan. A record which is diverse in delivery it swerves from the jive friendly ‘If There’s Love Where I’m Going’, heart fuelled ‘It’s Down to You’ and melodrama ‘The Boy Who Had Everything’: picture painting lyrics, psychedelic guitar riffs and ska fuelled melodies all to follow.

Watch the brilliantly vintage vibed video for ‘Bohemian Hotline’ here…

Play it Forward…Miss Irenie Rose

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Rachel Sermanni put singer songwriter Miss Irenie Rose in to the Play a Song For Me spotlight, a girl who hails from the Isle of Lewis and has been playing properly since 2010.  Her music is enchantingly woven, bewitching songcraft fronted by a timeless vocal, which belies her young age.

With influences which range from film soundtracks to theories and thoughts the lady herself shares one musical treasure, the sea shanty friendly, pull on your heartstrings Scottish folksters The Sea Atlas.

Miss Irenie Rose Plays…The Sea Atlas

The Sea Atlas are exactly what they sound like. They’re from Uig. When I first saw them I was so amazed by their music. Being surrounded by sea I suppose you should expect a sea sound but I’d say they have captured it more than most other music I’ve ever heard. They look sailor-ish too!  Originally the band was Calum Buchanan and Ian Schouten but it seems to grow every time they play. They have an EP out and there are a few videos on youtube.*
*
[As if by magic…]

I find their enthusiasm for what they do very inspiring. In terms of that – the thing that would sum it up is that Calum, after one of his earlier gigs, said “That was so fun!” … it was a new concept to me!  I’d always concentrated on getting a gig over with. They are talented, friendly and have done/will do wonderfully well. Keep an ear out!

As for Miss Irenie here’s another wee gem of hers for your enjoyment…a Go North session featuring ‘Creek Swinging’ at one of the world’s loveliest festivals, Belladrum.

If you listen to one thing this week make it…AC Newman

This week I’ve been searching for something new and uplifting – mainly because of the changing seasons and I’m missing what had become an almost annual trip to New York. Enter New Pornographers front man and solo artist AC Newman and this new track ‘I’m Not Talking’…

I’m a New Pornographers fan and bought a no frills version of their album ‘Together’ for five dollars at Bleeker Street Records in NY. Amongst half open boxes and haphazard stacks of vinyl, I bonded with the guy in the shop over my terrible CD buying habit (never ever one at a time and I’m fundamentally against all that ‘best of’ rubbish) – straight up he’s like ‘it’s all about the music’, glowing with pride. Simultaneously, I wondered how you could feasibly run a shop in the West Village which sells five dollar CDs.

Budget copy…yes please

AC Newman’s solo material is more of a country folk affair than the full band material – Shins like sound in many places. I absolutely love ‘I’m Not Talking’ – musically and lyrically it comes across all calm and in control, grounded by a hypnotic tune. You can stream and download it for free from his website.

Other earcatching tunes of the same ilk…

AC Newman ‘Prophets’…little more guitar and percussion, feel free to ignore the flowers!

New Pornographers ‘Crash Years’ – an absolute tune

New Pornographers ‘Hey Snow White’ from the wonderful Dark Was the Night Compilation

Enjoy!

Rachel Sermanni Plays…Miss Irenie Rose

Singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni hails, like me, from the Highlands. I’d heard her name on blogs and gig listings for a while before I managed to properly listen to her music, in the form of the beautiful Eggshells and Black Currents EPs. Hers is a beguiling influx of delicate melodies, strummed out acoustic guitar and divine vocal wrapped around fresh, honest lyrics. I lent both CDs to my little sister (see previous post), proof I think her music is pretty special.

Here Rachel talks about her admiration for a musical contemporary – Miss Irenie Rose

Pretty name…Miss Irenie Rose

Rachel Sermanni plays…Miss Irenie Rose

I first met this lady on the Island upon which she lives, Lewis. One of Stornoway’s pubs was hosting an open mic. This is when I first heard her play and since then I have been enchanted. When you listen to her songs you feel like they have been with you always and that you don’t know how you lasted so long not realising. They are beautiful and true. Just like her.

We spoke about wanting to become pirates and, at the same and parallel moment, wanting to become ladies of effortless elegance (we’re both a bit trampish). Then when she started singing she became more woman than every other in the pub… man. Woman.

She has ONE EP just now. On it are the songs Rascal, River, My mamma Says, Blow away…

Miss Irenie Rose also has a quite lovely session in the Wee Studio, featuring another song of hers ‘What You Fancy’…

As f0r Rachel Sermanni’s lovely music watch The Waltz, this song is sublime…

Also I love The Fog. Once ran down the street to the chorus with my eyes closed. I see your dubious face, but this you should try.

Le Thug Play…Tim Hecker, further & Machines in Heaven

Glasgow duo Le Thug are a band I’d definitely say shouldn’t be judged by their name, just if you were thinking about it. Great instrumental can be a tricky thing to crack and judging by the ear-catching track ‘Sport’ they’ve started with a mighty fine crack at it.

Here they share the love with their Play a Song for Me selection of great music!

Le Thug’s Chilling Selection!

Ravedeath 1972 – Tim Hecker

Electronic but in no way artificial, on this album Hecker creates searing soundscapes which naturally mesmerize you with their intensity.  His Glasgow gig in May at St Andrews in the Square was equally captivating.  Sitting in darkness, on temporarily assembled pews in a converted church seemed the perfect environment for hearing his music at tremendous volume.  As religious an experience as I’ve ever had anyway.

She Lives by the Castle 2 – further

further are a 90s lo-fi American indie guitar band.  I think they contained member/s that went on to form Beachwood Sparks but I much prefer the further material to Beachwood Sparks.  This tune is probably one of my favourites of all time and I’d like others to hear it too.  Guitar is sublime. Outro amazing.  

Machines in Heaven

Machines in Heaven are a Glasgow band who make tremendous post-electronica-dreamcore music .  I just made that genre up, so for a better description of how they sound listen to this superb demo track from their forthcoming album.  In fact, listen to the whole Soundcloud, its really rather good.

Listen to Le Thug’s track Sport right here, part of a forthcoming free EP  Ripping, which will be released shortly.

If you listen to one thing this week…Make it Remember Remember

Hello August!

I saw Remember Remember live for the first time at Thistly Fest last Saturday and sat contentedly silent for the whole set…here’s why I love the Graeme Ronald’s instrumental ensemble:

              Because they’re not afraid of the xylophone             

              Because they have a great drummer   

              Because of the spacey samples

              Because of the really pretty video for ‘Scottish Widows’

              Because their album The Quickening was remixed by Phantom Band and Errors

              Because when you start listening to them you forget where you are

              Because their music is downright magical

Phantom Band remix of Unclean Powers taken from the remix record The Mixening (The Quickening Remixed):

The aforementioned pretty video for Scottish Widows:

I’m playing…Amsterdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam!

So the title of this might be misleading, the post is actually about a trip I just took to Spain – not eating gouda, drinking Heineken or riding a bicycle over canals. It’s why I’ve been a little quite as a blogger, led by some of my best pals I instead spent hours and hours sitting by the pool, playing poker, playing snooker and opening our outdoor Mexican themed bar post siesta (true story).

We did need one thing constantly in the background – great music.  Conjure images of sunshine, driving through Spanish mountainsides and proper laughs – here goes a musical journey…

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Here is a picture of Amsterdam, March 2012

Peter Bjorn and John, Amsterdam

I’m not really sure how, but Swedes Peter Bjorn and John completely passed me by. I’d kind of heard their name thrown around but never frequently enough to make me want to look them up, I now believe I’ve been missing out big style.

Amsterdam is a track from the trio’s 2006 album, it’s so summery and catchy I can’t quite believe they didn’t release it as a single (ah the magic of an internet search). It’s also the kind of song that you learn all the words to the first time you listen to it. Cue whistling and head bopping…

Ghostface Killah – Kilo

‘I don’t think Jo will really like Ghostface’ was the consensus when I pulled out this CD. True, I’m not known for my love of gangsta rap. But this is a tune.

Calexico & Iron & Wine – History of Lovers

Calexico are just the perfect band for sunshine countries. The Tucson based collective are masters of a kind of cherished storytelling, Spanish influenced melodies and retro rhythms making up their lovely material. We listened to ‘Carried to the Dust’ and this track, which I discovered was a collaboration with the mighty fine Iron and Wine. 

Deerhunter – Nothing Ever Happened

Some of the best guitar you’ll ever hear. This one’s a keeper.

The Shins – Those to Come

Ever had a moment when you realise everyone around you is singing along to something you never knew they liked with total nostalgia? Yes lovers of indie it’s The Shins and more specifically their album Chutes Too Narrow. This is my all time favourite track from the band, the stunning simple delivery and vivid lyrics lending it a surprising poignancy…

French Wives – Younger

I have listened to this song almost to the point of no return, it’s a proper hit in my book. From the Glasgow band’s debut album ‘Dream of the Inbetween’ it’s jubilant and brilliant if you haven’t heard it listen to it, if you have listen again. 

x

Woodenbox Play…One Day as a Lion

Howdy music fans! If it’s your first time here Play a Song for Me is a place where great musicians suggest great music…

Today it comes from Glasgow/Edinburgh based Woodenbox, a folk/rock collective who are also one of the best live bands around. If you don’t believe me go to a show, the music is loud and infectious and people will be dancing.  Having seen them at a couple of festivals their album Home and The Wild Hunt reminds me of summer, great times kicking back in the sunshine.

So let’s serve up a musical treat, a track from the mighty One Day as a Lion, courtesy of drummer Nick…

Play me…One Day as a Lion 

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I’m a huge fan of Rage Against the Machine, let’s face it they are fucking awesome. But that chapter of history is over now. Whilst Tim Tom and Brad went on to form Audioslave with Chris Cornell, front man Zack appeared to have gone into musical hiding. He collaborated with DJ shadow some years back, and also with Roni Size… both sounded awesome. But I was most excited when I stumbled upon this little cracker. Featuring John Theodore from The Mars Volta, whom I regard as one of the most exciting drummers around these days…its just a great combination. Dirty pounding drums, a fender rhodes plugged into a marshall amp, and Zack’s trademark vocal style… I love it.

It’s better to live one day as a lion than a thousand years as a lamb

Woodenbox release a new six track EP ‘The Vanishing Act’ on 4th June and here’s a taster…

Also check out the single ‘Everyone Has a Price’, a darkly tinged circus flavoured affair.

Check out http://www.wdnbx.com/ for details of where you can catch the band live.