30 April 2012

saint saviour - 'i call this home'

Saint Saviour has been one of those artists bubbling under for so long now that when her name is mentioned I kind of assume that everyone knows who I'm talking about. To be frank, people should be talking about her as her talent deserves for her to be mentioned in the same sentence as Martina Topley-Bird, Goldfrapp et al. Her oeuvre of late has been power pop; that 80s tinged electro that a lot of female artists have championed recently but this, her first official single sees her with a slower, more understated tune. I really hope she hits the big time with this as there's so much dross out there getting way more than their allotted 15 minutes fame yet we have right here someone with genuine talent who deserves a calendar's worth. I suspect that it's because she's way too nice in real life. 

dusty springfield - 'spooky'

You know, it doesn't get much better than this.

dengue fever - 'cement slippers (eskimo twins remix)'

Please forgive the rash of posts here on my blog. A very tedious train ride to Bristol from Brighton via a replacement bus service has meant that I've had a lot of time to catch up on some Soundcloud surfing. I came across this remix of a favourite Dengue Fever track. I think I've already put the original on here some time ago but this is well worth a listen for a version that is well and truly a dozen dance floors away from the Cambodian psychedelia that you expect from the band.

And as a little bonus, here's a more orthodox song from them. 'Sister in the Radio' is from Cannibal Courtship.

under an iron sky

I'm quite looking forward to listening to Laibach's soundtrack to the wonderfully nonsensical film, Iron Sky. I'm not giving too much away of the story line when I tell you that another more literal film title would have been "Nazis on the Moon", it really does do what it says on the tin. I'm firmly of the opinion that the soundtrack genre is a much under-rated source of great music but when done well can stand on its own as a great album as well as lifting a film. In fact, some soundtracks possibly upstage the film. I'm thinking Saturday Night Fever, Get Carter or possibly Dead Presidents. This remix by Gabriel Shinoda has the teutonic doom turned up to 11 and is brand new to me although it appears to have been out for some time.

morcheeba - 'mandala'

29 April 2012

sail away (rae & christian remix)

maxinquaye - live at the indigo o2

I went with my brother to see Tricky play Maxinquaye, in full, in London on Friday. I really wish I hadn't gone as so many illusions were shattered. Tricky was shambolic and kept disappearing offstage every 5 minutes, in fact he was on stage possibly 20% of the time. Martina Topley-Bird was fantastic...when she was onstage. She also seemed to need quite a few loo breaks, leaving the house band basically to jam on their own. We also had a completely inexplicable deviation from the album with his little brother and chum rapping for 15 minutes. Now, we all want to see our brethren do well but surely there's a time and place. A Maxinquaye retrospective is definitely neither. 

The coup de grace was delivered at the end with an invitation for the crowd to join him on stage for a guitar dirge-led sing-song. It was awful to think we'd paid £35 plus the travel costs to see a p*ss-poor Maxinquaye finish with a bunch of trustafarians filming themselves for Youtube's benefit and the ever-dwindling audience who had voted with their feet and left. I kid you not, at one point there was a heavy metaller head-banging centre-stage. It really is not how I want to remember this most seminal of albums and an essential part of the Bristol trip-hop holy trinity of Massive Attack / Tricky / Portishead. Apparently the entire tour has been like this and the rumours seem to be that he's struggling with some sort of problem. Maybe an explanation from someone associated with this debacle might go some way to rebuilding the love for him that I and others have lost with this tour.

Here he is in better times.

god is in the house

Outside, however, it appears that Poseidon is the main man. Can we declare this drought officially over yet?  (This video shows footage of Nick Cave recording the album 'No More Shall We Part'. It's a fascinating little insight into his world).

rainy sunday blues

Big Mama Thornton - 'Sweet Little Angel'

Mississippi John Hurt - 'My Creole Belle'

Sugar Pie Desanto - 'Baby, What You Want Me To Do/Rock Me Baby'

26 April 2012

on my ipod

This came up today. I hope you like them

A Tribe Called Quest - 'Mr Incognito'

Claude Von Stroke - 'Beat That Bird'

Muddy Waters - 'I Just Want to Make Love to You'

Janelle Monae - '57821 (ft Deep Cotton)'

planningtorock - 'living it out'

some of my best friends are trains

I've been listening to the classic 'A Pagan Place' by the Waterboys this morning. I picked up a re-mastered copy of the early 80s album and this was added to it. It's brand new to me and has shades of a certain Bowie riff to it. You know what? The Waterboys should have been massive. The music they were making back then blew U2's output pre-Eno out of the water (excuse the pun).

25 April 2012

kitty, daisy and lewis - 'mean son of a gun'

Last one of the night from me. This needs little introduction other than to say that these precocious talents get better with every album and every song.

zoon van snook- 'lomograph (fujiya and miyagi remix)'

I like this.

wave pictures - 'come home tessa buckman'

I bought their album, Long Black Cars, the other day and I've not been disappointed with it so far. It has all the hallmarks of classic Wave Pictures by which the lyrics are incredibly witty, well-crafted and beautifully metred and the music itself is incredibly powerful with some genuine rock and roll guitar work. At times it reminds me of early James and has inspired me to dig those albums out.

This is one of the quieter tunes from the album, I've tried to find out what the story is behind the song but so far to no avail. If you know, please do let me know.

Come Home Tessa Buckman by The Wave Pictures on Grooveshark

Actually, let me edit this post to add this beauty I came across which is also from the album. It's called 'Stay Here and Take Care of the Chicken'.

23 April 2012

leonard cohen - 'amen'

This is from his 2012 album, Old Ideas. Please don't go just yet, Leonard.

22 April 2012

dub be good to me

The premise for this post is simple: 4 killer dub tracks.

Joe Gibbs and the Professionals - 'Jubilation Dub'

Scientist - 'Dance of the Vampires'

Prince Far I - 'Hello Love Brother (DJ Kentaro Mix)'

Mad Professor - 'Bumper Ball Dub'

saint etienne - 'sylvie'

Talking of indie pop....here's a tune that I never ever get tired of.

the campaign for real jangly guitar pop

If you're a fan of classic English jangly pop then you will love this song by London band, Lizzie and the Yes-Men.

sunday mix

Brand new from Solo.

20 April 2012

emily wells - 'passenger'

This is very new to me, I discovered it randomly on the web but it's grown on me very quickly.

david lynch - 'noah's ark (moby remix)'

Apparently only available as an exclusive record day vinyl, David Lynch has released this remix of the track from last year's album par excellence Crazy Clown Time. It is very Moby-esque.

witness the dubness

Roots Manuva's seminal classic given the dub remix makeover. One hope, one quest.

grimes - 'oblivion'

Excellent work here both with the video and the song.

19 April 2012

family funktunes live this friday

Two of my bestest buddies make up the talented Family Funktunes and if you're in the Brighton area tomorrow and looking for music and smiles then get yourself down to the Latest Bar for a very special charity night. Not only is there great music but I hope I won't get into too much trouble when I reveal there will also be cool as you like videos back-dropped at the venue that will compliment the music so well. All proceeds go to the Rockinghorse Appeal which aims to help very sick children and their families in the Sussex area. I've been to a few of them now so you can take it from me that the music is authentic funk, soul, groove and all good. More details can be found here.

In the meantime, here's them presenting their radio show with very special guest, Norman Cook.

beth orton - 'i wish i never saw the sunshine'

I heart Beth Orton.

ab-soul feat. danny brown & jhene aiko - terrorist threats

If you're going to cover a subject like this then you really ought to have lyrics that have gravitas and a killer (sic) bassline. Both boxes are ticked with this monster.

beck - 'i only have eyes for you'

I think I'm going to have to say a "no" to this one. I was never a big fan of the original and this is quite a faithful rendition. Even someone as uber-cool as Beck can't rescue it from being a bit all too ironic and, frankly, dull. Sorry Beck.

18 April 2012

tricky - 'past mistakes'

I can't wait to see Tricky next week with my brother. I've a feeling it's going to be very special. This is one of my favourite Tricky songs ever. It features his then girlfriend, Lubna, on backing vocals and has so much depth and passion. It's the kind of song I put on loop for a whole afternoon.

17 April 2012

shlohmo - rained the whole time (nicolas jaar remix)

Anyone who has followed this blog for any appreciable time will know about my weakness for moody left-field dance music. There's something that strikes a chord with me and it has the ability to conjure up so many mental images. Nicolas Jaar has hit the spot right here with a wonderfully trippy remix that lingers in your psyche long after the song has finished. It reminds me in part of the Nick Cave novel "And  The Ass Saw The Angel" in which the oppressive rain is a permanent fixture. 


Danish duo Mattisogjonas have created this beautiful tune 'And There You Were' that asks lots of big questions about life. I think it's for living in the present especially with tunes like this around.

tuesday's child

...might like to listen to these songs.

I Am Kloot - 'Avenue of Hope'

Eugene McGuinness - 'Wendy Wonders'

Aim - 'A Twilight Zone'

16 April 2012

daniel johnston in concert tonight

He played at St Bartholomew's Church tonight in Brighton and neither the venue nor Daniel disappointed. The church itself is massive, built to the biblical dimensions of the Ark and is reportedly the biggest church in Britain and consequently it provided a dramatic stage and wonderful natural acoustics. Daniel Johnston was supported by British Sea Power (BSP) who played a short, low-key set as support. Never ones to take the conventional route, all but the drummer sat whilst he stood. I particularly liked the bass drum with the Boy's Brigade emblem on it. I'm an ex-BBer myself (5th Worthing Brigade) and they taught me the only musical instrument that I could play albeit terribly. The bugle is an instrument of torture in my hands.

Daniel came on shortly afterwards and played 3 songs solo. The venue was rammed and there was a lot of love for the most idiosyncratic singer I've ever seen. He started somewhat nervously, which we all expected but his voice was much better than I'd heard previously both on tape/cd and also live. After his solo set, he almost ran off the stage before returning with BSP, reincarnated for this tour as Texan Sea Power. I'd never heard Johnston sing before with such a full sound behind him and it gave a whole new dimension to his songs. 

At this point, I must add that, apart from being alongside some very knowledgeable and lovely friends, my 12 year old son was at his first ever live gig. I'm a little wary of foisting on him the kind of music that I think he ought to like but I felt that this kind of venue with this kind of performer would be an interesting introduction. I needn't have worried as he absolutely loved the gig and Daniel Johnston. We discussed at length in the cab home, the history behind his music and it was a pleasure to see my son so animated about musicians that I adore.

Back to the gig. The second part of the gig saw Daniel J in top form with a few jokes and some black humour that belied the myth that Daniel is a perennially fragile person. In that large frame is a wonderfully funny and engaging man. My night was made complete when he played my favourite song "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Your Grievances". There was also the obligatory Beatles cover and for the first time ever, I saw the man rock the stage. (If you've ever seen him live then you will know I mean metaphorically, not just physically.) I think there might be some merit in getting hold of any master tapes of his earlier stuff (if they exist) and re-mastering them. Perhaps not. In my enthusiasm, I think I might be gilding this beautiful lily.

Part of Daniel Johnston's charm is his brutal honesty about himself tied with his unswerving faith in the goodness of others. That, and the fact that I genuinely don't think he realises how great he really is. Tonight was very special and I'm glad to have been a part of it.

He also played this song 'Love Enchanted' from his finest album 'Fear Yourself'. 

tu fawning - 'anchor'

Thanks to Moni for pointing me in the direction of this band and tune. 

15 April 2012

johnny cash - 'big river'

This was the final song on the very excellent Sky Arts 1 Johnny Cash Anthology that my sons and I have been watching.

it's funk o'clock

Luther Harris - 'Black Feeling'

12 April 2012

laura marling - 'once'

Here she is performing her new song at the Southbank. This woman is already a national treasure. A priceless one at that.

in the mix

Dengue Fever - 'Tap Water'

Shackelton - 'Come Up'

Depeche Mode - 'Useless (K&D mix)'

10 April 2012

rosemary - 'sleep alone'

Gothic-look videos never seem to date. Here's a fine example by half-Iranian, half-Danish duo, Rosemary with a new song, Sleep Alone. I can't quite get Abba's 'Lay All Your Love On Me' out of my brain when I hear this song. It's not a bad thing, it's definitely one of Abba's better songs.

elastic band - a little bit of lovin'

Not sure about this one. It's cool but not sure I'd want to give it too many repeated listens. See what you think.

sea of bees - 'broke'

This seems quite apt today. It's the new video from the excellent Sea of Bees who I am seeing next week. I'm very much looking forward to it too.

09 April 2012

tashaki miyaki - 'all i have to dream'

I'm quite fond of the Everly Brothers original but I think I prefer this dreamy (sic) version by Tishaki Miyaki. It's slowed down slightly and uses distorted guitars throughout with the bare minimum of drumming. 

cynthia dall 1971 - 2012

I just read that long-time collaborator with Bill Callahan, Cynthia Dall passed away last week. She had a signature lo-fi sound which even with a melancholic tinge to it was strangely uplifting.  She was also a very accomplished photographer with an eye for retro-style pictures long before Instagram cornered the market. Cause of death is, as yet, unknown although we do know she was working on material for a new album at the time. Here she is with Bill Callahan on guitar.

08 April 2012

scsi-9 - 'nostalgia'

Once again a really beautiful track and the perfect end to a great day. 

clark - 'black stone'

Make of this what you will. It's as beautiful as it is disturbing.

box office - clar ( fd acoustic session)

This is mindblowingly good. 


Danny Coughlan is going to be massive. Of this there is no doubt. His voice comes straight from Orbison, Morrissey, Hawley and is just so crystal clear that it makes you weep that you can't sing like this.

iz and diz love vibe


aztec camera - 'oblivious'

This is, in my mind, still one of the greatest 3 minute pop songs ever.

07 April 2012

jungle brothers - 'how you want it we got it'

This is from my 12 year old's favourite Jungle Brothers album, Raw Deluxe.

05 April 2012


Not just them but a band name like that deserves top billing.

Splodgenessabounds - 'Simon Templar'

Beck - 'Youthless'

Dreadzone - 'Iron Shirt'

Glasser - 'Glad (De Lorean Mix)'

04 April 2012

c'est magnifique

Francois and the Atlas Mountains playing an acoustic versions of 'Les Plus Beaux' for Faits Divers.


I have become so disillusioned with politics in general that I have gone past the point of cynicism and probably past the point of caring any more. I used to worry that this wasn't a particularly healthy place to be but when I hear songs like this from profoundly wise people such as Gil Scott-Heron I don't fret so much. GSH pretty much nails it all for me here. What was true 31 years ago is still true today and that is so depressing. Thank the Lord for music.

jj - beautiful life

It's been far, far too long but finally my favourite Swedish dream-poppers return with a single from their imminent new album, No 4. I love this tune already.

03 April 2012

sad songs say so much

I've dug out a few remixes/reimagines of my favourite 80s pop classics. 

Yazoo - 'Only You (Matt Pop's Broken Toy Mix)'

OMD - 'Souvenir (10" extended single)'KKK

Nouvelle Vague - 'In a Manner of Speaking'

the mary onettes - 'explosions'

Bork! Bork! Bork! I'm feeling in the mood for some Swedish music.

help me make it through the night

Christian Carpentieri in the mix.

02 April 2012

racoon bandit - 'katie cruel'

Blues-y deep Southern soul with a dark edge to it. This is Racoon Bandit.

black cab sessions with our broken garden

I adore the concept of the Black Cab Sessions and have featured Daniel Johnston before on this blog. This time it's the band that had, for me, the album of 2010. It is of course Our Broken Garden with 'La Sagittaire'.

You can see more Black Cab Sessions by clicking here.

e.m.a.k. - 'tanz in den himmel (crazy tape's urban tripe)'

art2tonic - 'makassar bisa tonji'

I don't know an awful lot about this band; I think they are Indonesian, they sing in their native tongue and it's quite a catchy tune. I came across it quite randomly on Youtube last night and if this is the quality of Indonesian music I'm going to do some more exploring. See what you think.

01 April 2012

bonobo - black sands reminimixed

This came as a bonus mini CD with Bonobo's Black Sands remix album. It's a 20 minute mix of the tracks and just oozes class from every pore. They are well known for their lush orchestration but even by this Brighton band's standards this is so warm and sensual. If you are after that perfect 20 minute chilled mix then this is the one. I think I will leave this blog tonight with this as my swansong. Sleep well. 

the heart and the hand

This falls straight into that genre I can't quite describe with Damian Jurado / Daniel Lefkowitz / Low Anthem / Bon Iver / Fleet Foxes et al. How would you describe it? Lo-fi indie folk? It seems almost that you are dealing with minutae of differences with a tag like that but it is definitely its own sound. The Heart and the Hand are a Seattle band with a fantastic back catalogue already and I confidently expect their name to be mentioned when, in years to come, we talk about the great lo-fi indie folk bands or however we choose to describe them. Let's hope it's someone better qualified to define the genre who gives it a proper name!

like father, like son

Between them, Jeff and Tim Buckley were on this planet for a total of 52 years. How very sad to consider. 

I find Smiths covers very hit and miss. The Jeff Buckley version is almost up there with the live Smiths version from Rank although I believe Jeff Buckley could have sung the football league final scores and it would have sounded beautiful. The Tim Buckley in session on the Old Grey Whistle Test is perfect with Whispering Bob Harris almost reverential in talking about Tim Buckley. 

Jeff Buckley - 'I Know it's Over'

Tim Buckley - 'Dolphins'

new music

Here's some new music I bought recently. 

I'm particularly looking forward to giving the Grinderman remix album a good listen but the one that I chose to play first is the EP from Daniel Rossen (frontman with Grizzly Bear). His voice reminds me of Paul McCartney or specifically the kind of music that McCartney should have been making all these years. There's some Neil Young thrown in that voice too. It's a very good little album.