Monday, October 06, 2014

What I have been listening to recently 2013/14

  1. Forrest Swords - Engravings  (2013) - Highly atmospheric work that somehow manages to channel the moody soundscapes of say Burial with traditional instrumentation (perhaps zithers, dulcimers, chimes and the like) conjuring up a dark, contemporary urban landscape with a flavour of a 1970's kung fu movie or cold war spy flick. Eerie yet strangely uplifting at the same time 
  2. Goat - World Music (2012) - A deceptive title, but with a slight Afrobeat groove to it in part, and a guitarist using a few exotic scales usually located in the work of Tinariwen. World music in any recognisable form this isn't. This is deep Swedish voodoo psych drawing on (perhaps) Amon Duul II's Yeti or Phallus Dei combined with plenty of brain-melting funky wah wah, throw some Sabbath riffage into the pot - and "set the controls" as they say. Probably my most played CD in 2013.
  3. Julia Holter - Loud City Song (2013) - Beautiful and diverse album of music, overheard conversation and alienation. 
  4. Darkside - Psychic (2013)
  5. Pharoah Sanders - Live (1982)
  6. Ijahman - Haile I Hymn (1978)
  7. Poet and the Roots - Dread Beat an' Dub (1977)
  8. Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg (1963)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On my radar at the moment

  1. Handsworth Revolution - Steel Pulse
  2. Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts - The Adverts
  3. St Etienne Presents Songs For A Central Park Picnic - Compilation
  4. Givin it Back - The Isley Brothers
  5. World Music - Goat
  6. A New Chapter in Dub - Aswad
  7. Heart of the Congos - The Congos
Also checking out Major Lazer (although I think I may be a bit too old for this kind of stuff now) and have been listening to a fair bit of Ijahman and other spiritual reggae from the 70's recently. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Currently on my radar

It has been a while since I last posted - moved house, moved jobs, excuses, excuses. Anyway, since my last post I have been listening to a lot of 1970's reggae, the usual indie and post punk poop, krautrock and early electronic and "ambient" records - I have also been investigating the true spirit of rock and roll. This is what I have been listening to (in no particular order).

  1. Various - Movement:  John Peel Sessions 1977-79
  2. Culture - Anthology
  3. Keith Hudson - Torch of Freedom
  4. Steve Mason - Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time
  5. Slade - Alive
  6. Mighty Baby - Jug of Love
  7. The Ruts DC - Rhythm Collision Vol 1 
  8. Can - Soundtracks
  9. Manuel Gottsching - E2-E4
  10. Terry Riley - In C

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Current Buns 7th June 2012

1. Jim Sullivan – UFO
2. Father’s Children - Who's Gonna Save the World
3. Michael Chapman – Fully Qualified Survivor
4. Lee Perry and Friends – Sipple Out Deh: Best Of The Black Ark
5. The Monochrome Set – Platinum Coils
6. My Bloody Valentine – EPs 1988 -1991
7. Jim Ford – Harlan County
8. Larry Young – Unity
9. The Pop Group – Y
10. Gang of Four – A Brief History of the 20th Century
11. King Creosote Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine
12. Dr John - Locked Down

Monday, November 21, 2011

Art College Disco circa 1983 - 1987

 I have been reminiscing recently about the old Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art disco, and even made myself a Spotify playlist in honour of  Dunc and the great times had there. I'm sure in addition to the list there was a liberal smattering of Public Enemy, James Brown, Rip Rig and Panic, The Higsons, The Pop Group, PIL and many others. I wasn't sure if I captured all the key tracks but Dunc recons "I pretty much nailed it". So lets party like its 1983 ...
  1. The Clash - Brand New Cadilac
  2. Shriekback - My Spine is the Bassline       
  3. Fire Engines - Candyskin           
  4. Associates - Club Country           
  5. The Fall - Couldn't Get Ahead       
  6. DAF - Der Mussolini           
  7. George Kranz - Din Daa Daa           
  8. New Order - Everythings Gone Green       
  9. Orange Juice - Falling and Laughing       
  10. The Meteors - Go Buddy Go           
  11. The Smiths - Hand in Glove            
  12. The Cramps - Human Fly           
  13. Can - I Want More            
  14. Bohannon - Lets Start the Dance       
  15. Caberet Voltaire - Nag, Nag, Nag           
  16. Jesus and Mary Chain - Never Understand       
  17. Pigbag - Papas Got a Brand New Pigbag   
  18. Associates - Party Fears Two           
  19. The Birthday Party - Release The Bats       
  20. The Fall - Rollin Dany           
  21. New Order - Temptation           
  22. Kurtis Blow - The Breaks            
  23. The Smiths - This Charming Man       
  24. The Loft - Up the Hill and Down the Slope   

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

EXR Radio Show - 31st October 2011

 Here is the set list from last night's show thrill-seekers!

1. Acoustic Ladyland - Sport Mode
2. The Mahavishnu Orchestra - Meeting of the Spirits
3. Flying Lotus - Clock Catcher
4. Arild Anderson - Straight
5. Beats and Pieces Big Band - Sisterhood
6. Archie Shepp - Blue for Brother George Jackson
7. Dave Stapleton Quintet - October Sky 
8. Gwilym Simcock - Plain Song
9. Les Chisnall - Improvisations on Chopin's Bercusi in Db Major
10. Matt Halsall - The Journey Home
11. The Animated Egg - Sock it my way
12. Nino Nardini - Frantique
13. The Pentangle - Bells
14. HAQ - Lament
15. Claire James Trio - Lines
16. Aquarium - Evensong
17. Phronesis - Eight Hours 
18. Stuart McCallum - Dr Doctor
19. Murcof - Memoria
20. The Impossible Gentlemen - Laugh Lines
21. Googie Rene Combo - Smokey Joes La La 
22. Buddy Rich - The Beat Goes On
23. Jean Jacques Perrey - EVA

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Current Buns

This is what I am listening to at the moment, mainly thanks to my very generous familiy for all the birthday swag.

  1.  Flying Lotus -  Cosmogramma
  2. Teenage Fanclub - Shadows
  3. Eels - Meet The Eels : Essential Eels Vol. 1 1996-2006
  4. Phronesis - Alive
  5. Aquarium - Aquarium
  6. EST - Retrospective - The Very Best of E.S.T.
  7. Andwella's Dream - Love and Poetry
  8. Various Artists - The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
  9. Gwilym Simcock - Good Days at Schloss Elmau

Monday, July 18, 2011

Great Indie Guitarists

The music media always cites the influence of Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler, John Squire and Jonny Greenwood of indie guitar playing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the playing of all four dearly, and you can’t really underestimate the contribution and influence that their playing has exerted over the last two decades. This list (regular readers will know that I love them) catalogues some of the lesser known* indie guitarists that I admire, and gives a few examples of where their playing rises above the usual indie jangle. Its time these guys got the credit they deserve.

1.       Lester Square (The Monochrome Set) – Real name Tom Hardy. Check out the intro to Set classic Love Zombies to hear Square doing his best spooky carnival sounds or The Puerto Rican Fence Climber from Strange Boutique for a master class in indie axe versatility.
2.       Maurice Deebank (Felt) - Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow and Evergreen Dazed shows Deebank practically writing every indie guitar cliché. Lots of lesser guitarists have made a mint emulating this sound.
3.       Steve Mason (Gene) - We Could Be Kings really showcases Mason's understated playing - nothing to complicated here however less is sometimes more. Beautiful, with a great solo at the end
4.       David Pajo (Slint, M, Papa M, Aerial M) - By rights Pajo shouldn't really be in this list as his contribution is fairly well recognised in indie guitar circles, but hey its my list. Pretty much invented the whole quiet/loud thing check out Breadcrumb Trail by the seminal Slint to get the idea. 
5.       John Perry (The Only Ones) - A great player more from a traditional rock background (the notion of indie didn't really exist back in 1978) check out the The Big Sleep and obviously Another Girl Another Planet.
6.       Paul Research (Scars) – Real name Paul Mackie, I bought a second hand copy of Horrorshow / Adult ery  in 1984 and it still sends shivers up my spine every time I hear it - they should have been massive.

*Hence no Vini Reilly, Kevin Shields, J. Mascis, Graham Coxon, Thurston Moore (add your favourite one that I have missed in here)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

EXR Radio Show 16th May 2011

  1. Kurt Rosenwinkel - The Next Step
  2. Kenny Burrell - Chitlins con Carne
  3. Charlie Christian - Solo Flight
  4. Marcos Valle - Os Grlos
  5. George Duke - Au-right
  6. Wes Montgomery - Four on Six
  7. John schofield - Chicken Dog
  8. The Impossible Gentlemen - When You Hold Her
  9. Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd - Gaze
  10. Brian Eno - Signals
  11. Floratone - Swamped
  12. The Crusaders - That's How I feel
  13. Jeff Beck - So we ended as Lovers
  14. Mike Nock - Space Bugaloo
  15. Amancio D'Silva - A Street in Bombay
  16. Philip Bimstein - EatDrinkGambleSex
  17. Miles Davis - Moja pt2
  18. John Coltrane - Crescent

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Favourite albums of 2010

Here is a roundup of the stuff that I have been listening to and enjoying this year. Even though this is presented as a numbered list it is not really a chart as such (although the GSH album is an absolute cracker). As ever not all this stuff is new but there you go.
  1. Gil Scott Herron – I’m New here (2010) GSH’s first album in a very long time and what a belter it is. For those of you thinking about the jazz-soul of “The Bottle”, think again. The album is a mix of spoken word and sung material with instrumentation that owes more to the more sparse grooves on Massive Attack’s  later work or perhaps even Burial’s Hyperdub than past glories. 
  2. Frank Zappa – Hot Rats (1969) Zappa albums have come and gone in my music collection over the years and have been loved (Apostrophe, Joe’s Garage, Sheik Yerbouti) and loathed (We’re only in it for the Money) in equal measure. This is mainly instrumental album released in 1969 somehow passed me –other than Peaches En Regalia which seems to find its way onto every Zappa comp. This is probably one of the most truly groundbreaking albums ever made, a real eye opener, it really doesn’t sound like much else except perhaps other Zappa records. 
  3. The Duke and the King – Nothing Gold Can Stay (2009) Imagine a slightly funky/soulful take on Buffalo Springfield’s “For What it is Worth” and you will kind of get the idea.  Great harmonies and a very stripped down sound … nice 
  4. Fourtet – There is Love in You (2010)
  5. The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter (2010) What can I say another year, another Fall record.  Perhaps not quite up to the level of 2008’s Imperial wax Solvent but it come pretty close. As ever Smith’s lyrics are cryptic and acute once unpicked, as one commentator put it “an arrogant northern swine, who never fails to entertain” 
  6.   Max Romeo and the Upsetters – War Ina Babylon (1976) 
  7. Toots and the Maytals – Funky Kingston (1973) 
  8. Dangermouse and Sparklehorse - Dark Night of the Soul (2010)
  9.  Broken Bells - Broken Bells (2010) 
  10. David Sylvian – Everything and Nothing (2000)
I have also been listening to the version of “You’ve Got To Have Freedom” from Pharaoh Saunders’ 2003 Live album with amazement just incredible playing by all involved including drum legend Idris Mohammed. This version is so powerful it tops the original 70’s cut by some margin how these guys can play with this level intensity in their late 60’s early 70’s is anyone’s guess – but I want some of it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Quiet Storm

Call me an old softie, but even I sometimes tire of the many pleasures afforded by Mastadon's prog-metal facemelter 'Bladecatcher', occasionally I want a heartfelt soul-fix not available listening to The Prats' "Disco Pope"  and need to recharge my batteries. I particularly like some of the Philly and Chicago vocal groups of the 70's.
  1. The Delfonics – Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind this Time)
  2. Stylistics - Betcha By Golly Wow
  3. The Delfonics – La La Means I Love You
  4. Teddy Pendergrass – Love T.K.O
  5. The Chi-Lites – Oh Girl
  6. Jerry Butler – Never Gonna Give You Up
  7. The Dramatics – In The Rain
  8. Bloodstone -  Who has the Last Laugh Now
  9. Bobby Womack – If You Think You’re Lonely Now
  10. The Originals – Baby I’m for Real

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer Sundae

This is a rather belated post about Summer Sundae. I really enjoyed the relaxed and family-oriented vibe of this weekend festival in Leicester 13th, 14th and 15th August - centred around the De Montford Hall and grounds. I was really looking forward to two of my perennial favourites the Teenage Fanclub and The Fall. Neither Disappointed.

Teenage Fanclub - Friday evening

The Fanclub played a nostalgic set of mainly classic material from Bandwagonesque, Grand Prix, Songs from Norther Britain with a few newer songs thrown in including "Baby Lee" the first single off their new album "Shadows" . Even though this was a festival and the Fanclub were in the outside stage, the gig was exceptionally intimate, I was right down the front only a matter of a few yards from the band with plenty of room to breathe, maybe this is a sign that their popularity is on the wane or perhaps they just down enjoy the same reverence that they command in certain parts of the west coast of Scotland where they are idolised as power pop demi-gods. I felt that the crowd although supportive were not fully "on message" as I heard one audience member say to her friend "they are a bit ... old", I felt like tapping her on the shoulder and saying "that bloke may look like a geography teacher but he happens to be on of the finest songwriters this country has produced in the last 20 years (Gerry Love) and the others are no slouches either!", however I figured it would be wasted effort as they were waiting for Tinchy Stryder to headline.

Anyway suffice to say they were excellent - probably one of the best times I have seen them. They ended their set Everything Flows their first single, and incidentally, the record after which this blog is named. As far as I am concerned they can keep playing until they really are old ... I will certainly keep buying my ticket.

The Fall - Saturday Night

The Fall were almost the antithesis of the Fanclub in outlook. While the Fannies tugged at the heartstrings on a pure/very wonderful nostalgia trip, as ever with the Fall it was year zero. Playing virtually all new material from "Your Future, Our Clutter", with a pretty new line up (as ever) - but playing as if their lives depended on it with a kind of power that most new bands could not dream of. This wasn't like the shambolic performances of the late 90's early 00's, oh no, this was more like a band in its prime. Much thanks to the tightest rhythm section that they have had for a long time. M.E.S was totally coherent and commanded the stage - he still did the re-positioning of all the mics on stage and randomly adjusted the amplification.

For those that have lost the Fall trail a little over the last few years - their last two albums have been two of their strongest releases in a decade or so, and while other grumpy old men of a certain age and rock pedigree seem content selling us butter and car insurance Smith admirably follows his own muse - refusing to sell out.

Current Buns - September '10

This is what I am listening to at home at the moment:
  1. Squarepusher - Ultravisitor
  2. Field Music - Field Music (Measure)
  3. Dangermouse and Sparklehorse - Dark Night of the Soul
  4. Broken Bells - Broken Bells
  5. Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Collosus
  6. Lee Morgan - Sidewinder
  7. Todd Rungren - A Wizard, a True Star

Sunday, September 26, 2010


It is amazing what you can find in your local charity shop. I recently picked up a promo copy of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti new CD 'Before Today' for £2.00, and very good it is too. Thank you Cancer Research shop!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

EXR Radio Show 9th August

My first solo flight as an AllFM DJ and I think I just about got away with it (a couple of technical cock ups ... it always helps if you put the CD in the player the right way up!). Anyway this is what I played as far as I can remember.
  1. Fela Ransome Kuti and Africa '70 - Expensive Shit
  2. Bill Wells & Maher Shalal Hash Baz - Tipsy Cat
  3. Portico Quartet - Paper Scissors Stone
  4. Eric Dolphy - Gazzeloni
  5. Alice Coltrane - Journey in Satchidanada
  6. Fridge - Cut-up Piano and Xylophone
  7. Fourtet - Love Cry
  8. Jimi Tenor - Caravan
  9. Roni Size Reprazent - Brown Paper Bag
  10. Bora Rokovic - JBW
  11. Dave Holland - See-saw
  12. Led Bib - Yes Again
  13. Roy Montgomery - The Soul Quietens
  14. JeanClaude Vannier – Je m'appelle Geraldine
  15. Tony Allen - Kindness
  16. Mulatu Astatqé - Yèkèrmo sèw (A man of experience and wisdom)
  17. Danny Gatton - Dolly's Ditty
  18. Gastr Del Sol - Black Horse
  19. Moondog - Why Spend The Dark Night With You?
  20. Roland Rashan Kirk - Haunted Feelings
  21. Moondog - Lament 1 'Bird's Lament'

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Clubbing c. 1988

UFO Club, Pure and Tequila Twist tunes I was listening to 1988-1990 ish

The Future Sound of London — Papua New Guinea
A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray
Humanoid-Stakker - Humanoid
808 State - Cubik
Depth Charge - Depth Charge
Black Riot - A Day in the Life (todd terry)
KLF - What Time Is Love
Inner City - Good Life
Inner City - Big Fun
Lords Of Acid - I Sit On Acid
Tyree - Acid Over
Frankie Knuckles - Baby Wants To Ride
Jungle Brothers - I'll House You
Orbital – Chime
Ten City - That's The Way Love Is (Acieed Mix)
The Todd Terry Project - Bango (To The Batmobile)
Sterling Void - It's All Right

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My first LP

Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing? Armed with very little information I've managed to track down the first LP** I ever owned*. I can't remember if I went into shop and bought it or asked for it as a birthday present.

** I had bought my first 45rpm single the year before in September 1973, using my birthday money to purchace Eye Level by The Simon Park Orchestra (The theme tune to the Van der Valk TV show) from Boots in Aberdeen.

* I had owned other kids classics albums (Rolf Harris, Disney, Tommy Steele) and EPs but these had been bought for me. This was the first one that I actively sought out.

Various - Listen To The Music - 20 Smash Hits was released in 1974 on the the budget Arcade Records and was played to death by me over the next 3-4 years until the grooves flattened. I think I initially wanted the record for the Gary Glitter, The Glitter Band, Paper Lace and Slade tracks, but as time wore on Roxy Music, Family and David Bowie became my tracks of choice.

Track Listing
Doobie Brothers - Listen To The Music
Glitter Band, The - Angel Face
Medicine Head - Slip & Slide
The Drifters - Like Sister And Brother
The New Seekers - I Get A Little Sentimental Over You
Barry Blue - Dancin' (On A Saturday Night)
Alice Cooper - Teenage Lament
First Choice - Smarty Pants
Love Unlimited Orchestra - Love's Theme
Bryan Ferry - A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall
The Hollies - The Air That I Breathe
Linda Lewis - Rock A Doodle Doo
Slade - My Friend Stan
Bay City Rollers - Remember
David Bowie - Rock & Roll Suicide
Paper Lace - Billy Don't Be A Hero
Roxy Music - Street Life
Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando - Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree
Family - Burlesque
Gary Glitter - I'm The Leader Of The Gang

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

EXR Radio Show 14th June

1. Fast and Bulbous: The Captain Beefheart Project - Suction Prints
2. Acoustic Ladyland - Gratitude
3. Richard Illes - Novot
4. John Taylor and John Surman - Ambleside Days
5. Sam Rapley Adam Chatterton Quintete - Witchunt
6. Simcock Walker Swallow Nussbaum - Laughlines (live in Vienna)
7. Neil Yates - Past Forward / The Gold Ring
8. Phil Bancroft Quartet - Golden Section
9. Cait Mayall and Ben Newton - Misty
10. Beats and Pieces Big Band - Bake
11. Trio of Doom - Dark Prince
12. David Torn - AK
13. Faust - So Far

Monday, April 26, 2010

EXR Radio Show 19th April

Another enjoyable radio show fades into the crackling ether of broadcast history. The dust has now settled on another Ade and Pete EXR Jazz show - flying by the seat of our pants as usual. This was my first show after a seven month break (becoming a dad, changing jobs - that kind of thing) and my first since receiving my training from Jason at AllFM on how to drive the DJ desk. Anyway this is the kind of thing that Ade and I played – in no particular order – with lots of stuff missed out. The show on the 19th had an underlying funk theme …

Frank Zappa – Peaches En Regalia
The Beginning of the End - Funky Nassau
JBs - Pass the Peas
Traffic - Glad
Pigbag – Sunny Day
Blackbyrds – Rock Creek Park
Arthur Russell – Make 1, 2
The New Mastersounds - Return To Gijón
Konono #1 – Paradiso
Jimmy Gray Hall – Be That Way
Gary Atkinson – Wanderin’ Soul
Weather Report – Birdland (I think!)
The Shadows - Scotch On The Socks
Nik Bartsch – Modul 46 (I think!)
James Clarke - Blow Up A-Go-Go!
Balinha – Binario
Jean Jacques Perry - EVA

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Favourite Albums of 2009

Okay, rather belatedly as ever here are my album choices for last year. As ever, not all the albums were actually released last year (the original release date is in brackets). All these albums (some old some new) were new to me and made a lasting impact on my iPod.

I will try and get round to writing a potted review of each sometime some in the meantime … here is the list.
  1. Bill Wells and Maher Shalal Hash Baz – Gok (2009)
  2. Various Artists - New Thing! Deep Jazz in the USA - Soul Jazz (2005)
  3. Lee Fields - My World (2009)
  4. The Fall – Imperial Wax Solvent (2008)
  5. Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle (2009)
  6. Various Artists - The New Dictionary Of Blues And Soul (comp Mojo magazine) (2009)
  7. Various Artists - Take Me to the River: a Southern Soul Story 1961-1977 (2008)
  8. Fela Kuti – Expensive Shit/He Miss Road (1975)
  9. Laura Nyro - Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best Of Laura Nyro (1997)
  10. Whitest Boy Alive – Dreams (2006)
  11. Portico Quartet – Isla (2009)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Forgotten Albums of the 80's

Point 1: Okay remember this is my list of forgotten albums from the 80’s. These are albums that I think don’t get their fair share of credit these days or perhaps they have just fallen a bit below the critical radar.

Point 2: Don’t darken my door with comments about why isn’t The Queen is Dead or Psychocandy on the list or why isn’t your favourite Talking Heads, Public Enemy, Joy Division , Elvis Costello album on the list – these are neither forgotten or below the critical radar (see above).

Point 3: I can put in as many Monochrome Set albums as I see fit (this has been wittled down from 5)

  1. Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth (1980)
  2. The Monochrome Set – Strange Boutique (1980)
  3. Peter Gabriel - Gabriel 3 (1980)
  4. Nic Jones - Penguins Eggs (1980)
  5. Teardrop Explodes – Wilder (1981)
  6. King Crimson – Discipline (1981)
  7. Josef K - The Only Fun in Town (1981)
  8. The Scars - Author! Author! (1981)
  9. Bad Brains - Bad Brains (1982)
  10. The Monochrome Set – Volume Contrast Brilliance (1983)
  11. The Rain Parade - Emergency Third Rail Power Trip (1983)
  12. Ben Watt - North Marine Drive (1983)
  13. Brian Eno – Apollo Atmospheres and Soundtracks (1983)
  14. The Pale Fountains – Pacific Street (1984)
  15. David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees (1984)
  16. The Meat Puppets - The Meat Puppets II (1984)
  17. The Minutemen - Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)
  18. The Go-Betweens - Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express (1986)
  19. It’s Immaterial - Life's Hard and Then You Die (1986)
  20. The Jungle Brothers - Done by the forces of Nature 1989)

* Note a few of these albums do suffer from rather nasty 80’s production values (strange Phil Collins style echo drums and digital keyboards with odd voicings) but they all have some great stuff on them and deserve another listen.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Current Buns - August 2009

Have been enjoying these albums recently ... with a little help from my friends

  1. The Whitest Boy Alive - Dreams (thanks Keith!)
  2. Led Bib - Sensible Shoes
  3. TV on the Radio - Dear Science (thanks Brian!)
  4. Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle
  5. Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Current Buns July 2009

  1. Lee Fields - My World
  2. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
  3. Acoustic Ladyland - Living With A Tiger
  4. Tortoise -Beacons of Ancestorship
  5. Bert Jansch - LA Turnaround

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Radio Show

I have really been enjoying my recent life as a DJ on ALL FM (a community radio station broadcasting to south, east and central Manchester). Thanks to my mate Ade, who's show it is really, I seem to have landed a bi-monthly gig as his hapless DJ sidekick. Ade and and I get to chat late into the night (occaisonal Mondays 23.00 - 1am, as part of about obscure Jazz and improvised music, with a bit of Latin, Electronica, Prog and Post Rock thrown in for good measure, plus a little bit of promoting gigs and unsigned artists from the Manchester area.

My bits of a typical set list may include; John Martyn, Alice Coltrane, Trio of Doom, Return to Forever, The Crusaders, Murcof, Do Make Say Think, King Crimson, Tim Buckley, Art Blakey, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Fourtet ...

Ariel Pink / Marnie Stern / Times New Viking / Crystal Antlers - Urbis Manchester 16th May

This post has been sitting in my drafts box for some time now so is a bit old hat, however if I don't publish it I will forget about this top night out at Urbis back in May.

Part of the top-notch Futuresonic festival. I really went along to see Ariel Pink as I have been picking up his albums over the last few years and enjoying their lo-fi charm greatly, plus my mate Brian had told me that the Crystal Antlers were worth checking out, but to be honest I had few expectations.

Times New Viking
The night kicked of a treat with TNV, a shambolic three-piece from Columbus, Ohio - reminiscent of Sonic Youth or maybe Pavement by way of the US hardcore scene. Melodic, scrappy and loud ... what's not to like?

Crystal Antlers
Hotly tipped underground faves didn't disappoint with their individual mix of US slacker/hardcore and psych - maybe bringing to mind the Butthole Surfers with the pop sensibility of Yo La Tengo. A visual treat too with the percussionist's Bez-like idiosyncratic dance moves.

Marnie Stern
3 piece girl fronted hardcore unit with technical metal flourishes courtesy of Marnie's finger tapped arpeggios, really enjoyed their prog meets Fugazi by way of Bikini Kill take take on the power trio format.

Ariel Pink
The main event as far as I was concerned. For those of you that haven't heard Ariel Pink, let me describe ... imagine if you will, a combination of the song writing chops of Todd Rungren and Brian Wilson - with one big difference, while Runt and Wilson strove for sonic perfection, labouring hard over each splash of reverb and touch delay, polishing each pop nugget to perfection. Pink knocks gems out in double quick time on his eight-track portastudio with little regard aural fidelity, being in tune or indeed actually completing the song. This low-fi aesthetic has won Pink at least a couple of admirers on this side of the Atlantic, myself included.

Jóhann Jóhannsson and Murcof - May 14th RNCM Manchester

Jóhann Jóhannsson
Icelandic composer Jóhannsson and the Iskra quartet play minimalist chamber music, the string section laying down a "groove" with JJ adding sparse piano and occasionally triggering ambient samples. This was very restrained, haunting stuff that never really reached the crescendos that you might associate with GSYBE or A Silver Mount Zion, who, to my ears at least seem to inhabit similar sonic territory. Enjoyable stuff nevertheless

This was the main event as far as I was concerned. I had been pretty excited about seeing Murcof as I have been a fan of his music since hearing his mesmerising Martes album of 2002, definitely one of my favourites of that year. Murcof is the stage name of Mexican ambient master Fernando Corona. Tonight he had teamed up with AntiVJay, I thought it might be something a bit special, and I wasn't mistaken.

The incredible visuals mesmerised the audience of Futuresonic delegates and paying punters. The music shifted from the spacescapes of his 2007 CD Cosmos to the more ambient orchestral sounds of his masterpiece Martes. The visuals added a stunning dimension to the sound , shifting from what can only be described as a malevolent pulsating ball of wool (you really had to be there) through beautiful starfields, gliding round a wireframe future world that melted into a forest of bamboo (well n my interpretation anyway) all done with a minimal simplicity. The audience was silent throughout the hour and 20 minute set, not bad for a bit of ambient!

"Murcof and AntiVJ are collaborating on a new site-specific audiovisual installation in which live music, projected imagery, and a huge layered, semi-transparent installation will create immersion in a broken, multifaceted cosmos of a million stars and abstract shapes". - Futuresonic

Current Buns - June 2009

  1. Bill Wells and Maher Shalal Hash Baz - Gok
  2. Metallica - Death Magnetic
  3. Max Tundra - Parallax Error Beheads You
  4. Matt Schofield - Sifting through the Ashes
  5. New Thing! Deep Jazz in the USA - Soul Jazz (comp)
  6. Peter, Bjorn and John - Writer's Block

Friday, March 13, 2009

Magazine - Feb 14th Manchester Academy 1

I went along to see Manchester legends Magazine with my mate Brian at Academy 1. With its capacity of just over 2000 we were wondering if these reunion/comeback shows were the biggest that the band had ever played as a headliner - I remember them being popular and influential but not particularly big.

Anyway the band of Devoto, Adamson, Formula, Doyle and Noko (standing in for the late great John McGeogh) seemed to be on good form (certainly well rehearsed) and played what you would expect them to - Shot By Both Sides, Motorcade and The Light Pours Out Of Me and few that you wouldn't expect including a spoken word reading of B-side "The Book".

The evening was a sucess with most punters leaving happy and the Magazine pension-plan back on track.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Very poor yearly round up

I have been a very bad blogger this year, especially towards the tail end of it. Anyway, here are some of the records that I particularly enjoyed this year, in no particular order. Some old some new.
  1. Portishead - 3
  2. Cut/Copy - In Ghost Colours
  3. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
  4. Erikah Badu - New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
  5. Mississippi John Hurt - Avalon Blues : The Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings
  6. Black Mountain - In the Future
  7. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
  8. Matt Schofield Trio - Ear to the Ground
Also very sad to hear that Davey (Davy) Graham passed away just before Christmas, he will be sadly missed. To hear him at his best in a relaxed, informal setting check out the album After Hours (Live At Hull University 1967). Graham mixes Eastern & African themes,jazz ,blues and folk motifs together in a virtual masterclass in acoustic guitar playing - it is easy to see why many of the great players of the era were in awe of his abilities.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mozart meets the moshers

I first read this article in the METRO on the bus last week but have subsequently seen an article about it on the BBC site an feel that I need to add my ill-informed tupenceworth.

Esentially the article is about research carried out by Professor Adrian North from my old employer - Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, his research suggests that...
Musical tastes and personality type are closely related, according to a study of more than 36,000 people from around the world.
Now, I haven't read the research in any detail but it seems from the BBC's potted version of the research that music fans of all genres (with the exception of Rap and Country!) are "creative". I'm sure there must be a bit more to it all than that...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Current Buns

Trying to reduce the number of CDs that I buy - with a view to listening to the ones I already own a little bit more. But here are a few that I just had to have.
  1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
  2. Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue (remastered)
  3. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
  4. Al Wilson - Searching For The Dolphins
  5. Solomon Burke - Proud Mary
  6. Andy Votel - Presents Brazilika (comp)

Friday, July 25, 2008

List of other people's lists

As you may have guessed I'm pretty keen on lists, so here is a list of other peoples lists of "cool" and less well known music.

"The 100 Coolest Albums in the World Right Now!" . Well according to British GQ Magazine in their August 2005 issue anyway

MOJO Buried Treasure

SPIN Magazine's 100 Greatest Albums 1985-2005

NME 's 100 Best Albums Of All Time by New Music Express (2003)

NME albums of the year since 1974