Not as much fun as the C’s in A to Z of Japanese Music..
but here’s a game to illustrate either:
How wildly eclectic your taste is… or,
How perfectly streamlined it is.
A game to illustrate either:
How wildly eclectic your taste is… or,
How perfectly streamlined it is.
With a rebel yell she cried
Best of 2013 by ME:
10 dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip – I’m contracted to add Pip every year.. this is one of the best protest tracks of the year – again missed by Dorian.
Stiff Upper Lip dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip feat. Itch Repent Replenish Repeat
9 Orties – French elctro making you dance like a robot from 1984 – here you go – accented songs about orgasms and goths – sold.
Ghetto Goth Orties Sextape
8 The Indelicates – Arcade Fire’s extremely intense love of their own dangly bits getting on your nerves? – then try this – yet another brilliant story telling album played with passion and anger but without the egoistic self love of the brilliant ideas involved – they ARE brilliant ideas and wonderfully imaginative musically and lyrically too.
Bitterness Is the Appropriate Response The Indelicates Diseases of England
7 Zola Jesus – with strings, lush and cool reedits of her ‘famous hits’.
Collapse Zola Jesus Versions
6 Manix – the Daft Punk album retro theft left you cold with it stealing from all the crap eras (when they used to at least try and be pioneers) and only having one track of any merit – yep – skip that and play this; it recreats 1992 with all the fun of a prodigy album off their tits with spiral tribe… no pretense at originality – no media hype – this it 24 hour rave and it’s boz.
Your Love Is Over Manix Living In The Past
5 The Lovely Bad Things – the pixie aping nuggets loving bad things.
Darth Lauren The Lovely Bad Things The Late Great Whatever
4 Savages – there’s is no better indie this year – full stop.
No Face Savages Silence Yourself
3 Tricot – jagged jittery brilliance from Japan – a masterpiece of alternative buzz rock playing and performance. ACE.
Artsick Tricot The
2 Sleaford Mods – ranting, swearing infested, bile, spewed forth with aggressive venom and stream of consciousness – brilliant – is number one album of the year when I’m not in polite company – (**this track from Jobseeker 3 track single not austerity dogs album).
Black Monday Sleaford Mods Jobseeker album is Austerity Dogs
1 Juana Molina – crazy mixed up groovetastic joy.
Eras Juana Molina Wed 21
A new album from Juana Molina starts off with a fine, moody, and angular composition in 7/4. Juana is an Argentine multi-instrumentalist with a long career as a musician, comedian and TV star; her latest solo album Wed 21. is a wonderfully offbeat discursion into electronic folk music. More info from her label.
This music is quite distinctive and it’s hard to find a good matching track; so to pair it I’ve fallen back on my favourite 7/4 composition, Joe Zawinul’s 74 miles away, performed by the Cannonball Adderley sextet.
Okay – so it’s Luke’s birthday
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PANTHERSAN
I picked up my record player in a suitcase and headed to the wilds of Japan’s countryside (via China so they could make my record player) and I grabbed a few slabs of vinyl for a party game.
What connects the songs?
DON”T TYPE IN THE ANSWER – just say YEAH, I GOT IT – when you work it out.
and we’ll wait until the birthday boy knows what the link is.
happy happy joy joy – pin the tail on the panther GO:
Kool Thing Sonic Youth
Get It On Grinderman
Rebel Without A Pause Public Enemy
Miss Lucifer (Bone to Bone Alec Empire Remix) Primal Scream
Blondes With Lobotomy Eyes My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
TV All Greasy (feat. Anti-Pop Consortium) TOBACCO
Apollo Throwdown (Star Slinger Remix) The Go! Team
So I hope everyone has seen this site before – it’s why the internet was invented according to barbryn and I:
I have nine days left to finish a massive bit of artwork for a major (the major) exhibition of the year around these parts – so what better use of my time – than knuckling down and … and .. and
….faffing about with comic strips.
Question is, what would you merge?
Does Eeyore pick up the mic and sing Cohen?
Does Andy Capp sing AC/DC?
Give us your wish list
if it’s a bit more obscure show me some links -
‘spill pints for creativity.
Tank Girl has got to work with Kenickie lyrics, right?
Dear Webcore, to wish you a very Happy 60th Birthday, here’s a long short story written to a secret formula by a team of your fellow Recommenders. We hope you don’t mind making an exception to your non-fiction habit, seeing as it’s such a special occasion. The RR writers’ workshop takes strange delight in presenting:
V Valentino, propelled by a whirl of thoughts, turned and beckoned to his legs, urging them to please keep up. Two steady elements – his non-beckoning hand holding the flat bottle in his pocket, a little more firmly as he crossed the bridge with its view of the drop between the iron railings; and directions committed to memory as he turned right at the bridge end and the river’s murmur emerged from the receding traffic noise. The river reflected muscovado in the last drops of sunset and the early fizz of street lamps. There was a party of special things to do. Continue reading
My 11 most played albums of ’12 in ’13.
My end of year round up is now turned into the ‘spill game:
you know the score DUMP one (or all of them – see if I care)
It’s pop and it’s fun – don’t take it too seriously.
Remember, they are my most played – I’m not claiming they will change the world – I just liked them.
Band names in BOLD – for those who believe I make stuff up:
1 Stroke My Curls The Dodoz Forever I Can Purr 2012
2 Cuka (feat. Ikonoklasta) Batida Batida (feat. Mck, Circuito Feixado, Ikonoklasta, Beat Laden 2012
3 The Empty Man Whitey Lost Summer 2012
4 Genevieve Stealing Sheep Into The Diamond Sun 2012
5 Horn For The Whole Damn World Lazarus and the Plane Crash Horseplay
6 Passenger Emily Wells Mama 2012
7 Kevlar Sweethearts Diablo Swing Orchestra Pandora’s Pinata 2012
8 Be Strong (Blakkat Remix) The 2 Bears Be Strong (Deluxe Edition) 2012
9 Rat-at-at The Skints Part & Parcel 2012
10 Clap Hooded Fang Tosta Mista 2012
11 Circus Sunday Driver The Mutiny 2012
Wearing Influences On Our Sleeve-Less T-shirts – Electric President
I’ll be at Chatsworth Road Market, Hackney – I believe that’s in London (in the Rushmore Primary School playground) on Sunday between 11 and 4 o’clock if anyone wants to come along and say Hi – I’ll be the one with bright orange t-shirts and Brainasaurus books to sell.
Hopefully, Sunday night I’ll be back to add some phone songs – until then, have fun everyone.
Yes, that’s right ‘Spillers, an all-new PODCAST! Long overdue, I know….but, better late than never, right? Well, don’t agree until you’ve listened to it !
It’s a very random and eclectic mix based on whatever was in my box of records at the time….and there were so many I didn’t get to that I wanted to include. They’ll have to wait until next time, I suppose.
Listen until the end for some exciting news ! Well, exciting for me, not perhaps for anyone else !
Whose better – Whose best?
I may have mentioned that this was the sort of stuff i have been listening to these days. Set off thanks to Mnemonic, Shoey, Sakura, Panther, etc. It’s part of a project i’m working on, but the added benefit is that as i’m smacked in the work mode lately and in the forseeable future, i can also listen to it while i’m working. This is huge.
This stuff is obviously pretty new to me. Another nice thing about this sort of music is that when you leave out the lyrics, it’s generally a pretty international genre. Artists on this list hail from Mexico, the US, Russia, Poland, Greece, France, Italy, Germany, Iceland, and Japan. But genre pedants can have at it. Seen artists on here called post rock, post classical, indie, ambient, electronica, and maybe someone in Japan can explain to me what Math Rock is, as the Japanese artists on here are also tagged as such.
Bit of a saminess to the songs on this list, sort of by design. No lyrics (save one song). Tried to avoid crescendos (for project purposes). A bit pretty. Open to any info from those who know much more than i do.
1. The Polar Dream – Endless Tales
2. When The Clouds – November Song
3. A Winged Victory For the Sullen – A Symphony Pathetique
4. Dustin O’Halloran – Snow + Light
5. Sleep Dealer – Muted
6. So Quiet – Tonight
7. Air – Alone in Kyoto
8. Parachutes – Where Were You?
9. Euphoria – Fairytale Landscape
10.Organic Stereo – Alive
11.Aesthesys – Dreams Are Only Real As Long As They Last
12.Explosions In The Sky – Your Hand In Mine
I know some of us have talked about getting out of musical ruts this year. Pairubu had taken an Asian detour, and posted a thread awhile ago about what surprised us musically last year. Fintan has taken a sabbatical to listen to new stuff. I’m listening to ambient / electronica for a project, way out of my genre of preference / comfort zone. Still trying to figure out how to separate wheat from chaff on that one. Try to check in with Indie blogs when i can, but never really seem to have the time.
Sidebar surfing on youtube is where i seem to find new stuff. Ratio is probably 1:20. But still some neat stuff. Painkiller above is apparently a jazz /grindcore type outfit with saxophonist John Zorn (sounds familiar). Anyway Panther might like it, i kind of do. Stumbled on a clutch of some kind of weird stoner doom metal with names like Alabama Thunderpussy, Stoner Train, Atomic Bitchwax, Stoned Jesus, Belzebong, Purple Overdose, Weedeater…no, don’t bother. But wait – yes ! ! ! Spliff Riff ! ! ! Dedication folks, takes dedication, and your patience will be rewarded.
So, anyone found anything interesting sidebar surfing? Or on the likes of Amazon recommends? Clue us in.
come over here and kiss me kiss me.
I’ve not posted anything much on The ‘Spill for ages, apart from a few comments here and there, work has been taking up lots of time and I am conscious that although I am listening to lots of music, I am not really writing about it. So, I thought that I’d better do something about that state of affairs.
Anyway, this piece is all about how sometimes a band can surprise you and make you go back and re-evaluate their back catalogue.
I made a comment on The ‘Spill ages ago about changing my mind about being someone who liked Radiohead to realising that I was someone who actually just liked The Bends and OK Computer.
That was based on the fact that I didn’t like Kid A, an album I’d bought, listened to once or twice and then just dismissed as electronic doodling.
I’d basically not bothered to keep up with what the band were doing, yes, I heard stuff on the radio but most of it I didn’t really get involved with and then King of Limbs came out. I heard “Lotus Flower” on the radio and thought it sublime and “Little By Little” also sounded like a good song to me, one that crept up and grew on me, in a way that Radiohead hadn’t moved me for a long time. So I bought the album and yes, I really liked it a lot. I liked the shifting, elusive quality of the music, the skittering electronic drum patterns, the layered sound and the enigmatic vocals. The music had a maturity that demanded attention. It reminded me of something else.
It engaged me in a way that I thought Radiohead weren’t able to do any more. Even more interestingly, the blend of sounds; electronica, guitars, brass, treated vocals and other instruments sent me back to Kid A. I thought that it finally deserved a re-evaluation. There were things that I thought needed placing in a context.
However, I didn’t go straight at it. I had a whole afternoon of Radiohead. I played King of Limbs, then went back and played The Bends and OK Computer. I had a bit of a think, realising that what I’d previously loved about the two earlier albums didn’t necessarily move me in the same way. I still liked the anthemic rock tracks and the dislocated ballads but the two albums sounded, how can I put it, a bit too straightforward and lacking in subtlety, compared with the slippery, jittery, layered music on the newest album.
So, then I approached Kid A again. Right from the off, the opener “Everything in Its Right Place” clicked. The dissonances, the samples, the avant garde string arrangements, the punchy, discordant brass (that sort of reminded me of some of the brass used on some of King Crimson’s albums) and the electronic treatments finally made sense. I listened to the album and then I listened to it a second time. It still sounded right and, weirdly, because everyone always says how much of a departure it is from what came before, I could hear elements of continuity with OK Computer. Not large elements, but subtle ones, things to search out. Now, listening to Kid A, I don’t hear wilfully difficult experimentation, I hear musical maturity, I hear musicians stretching themselves, re-inventing their band into something beyond the anthems, something mysterious, something deep.
The band has always shunned, rightly I think, the tag of being a “prog” band. I can see that, because they haven’t done anything that I’d call prog. There was always that hype about OK Computer being a Dark Side Of The Moon for the nineties, which was really just hot air. I am not sure that the nineties needed a DSOTM, any more than any other decade ever did, the original doing a perfectly good job by itself. However, there is something in the experimentation, the use of the avant garde and the way the music on Kid A is structured that is really progressive in a real sense. It is progressive because it marked genuine musical progress for Radiohead. It took them away from the stadium rock that would have been a straight-jacket. Plenty of bands would have probably been happy to carry on cashing in on “Creep”, “The Bends” and “Paranoid Android” for a couple of decades, but Kid A gave Radiohead a whole new language and landscape to explore. In a way, I am kind of glad that it took me this long to make the connection. It is nice to be surprised occasionally and it is always good to have a prejudice overturned.
So, can I call myself a Radiohead fan again? Well, I think the answer has to be “Yes” to that one.
The only problem now, is what do I think of the guitar-based albums now, as opposed to the electronic ones? I am currently thinking that the electronica is what I want to hear most.
So, back to the basic premise again. Can recent music by bands and artists make you reassess their back catalogue and see their output in a different way? We are used to seeing music come out in a linear way. Is there real worth in approaching a body of work in reverse? What can it tell us about the artists to look at their past music through the filter of their present work?
I don’t have an answer necessarily, but maybe there are other views here?
Les Rallizes Dénudés were a legendary Japanese experimental noise-rock band, lead (controlled megalomaniacally might be more accurate) by visionary guitarist Takeshi Mizutani that were active between 1969 and 1996 (there is no evidence that they are officially no more) but only ever put out a few official releases, which were live albums anyway.
Their commitment to staying impenetrably underground and in the shadows (well, the wilds of Northern Japan) and refusal to play the game, marks them as a true cult phenomenon for me (and a few other lonely, socially inept men in their thirties and forties around the globe). That, and the fact that they released some awe-inspiring, way-ahead of their time, truly experimental and amazing music.
I’m sure that all of ‘Spilldom knows that King Creosote is one of my utter favourite singers, so I’m exceedingly pleased he’s been nominated for this year’s Mercury Music prize for his “Diamond Mine” album, a collaboration with Jon Hopkins. The last time I saw Kenny he was singing by the creels at Crail harbour, a fishing village just down the coast from where I live, and the album that’s been nominated is a concept record in the form of a postcard from a Fife coastal village – so well done to KC, and big up the East Neuk of Fife, Fence Records, and all that sail in her!
I know there’s more than a few ‘Spillers who love a bit of Sun Araw, so incase you haven’t already heard these, here’s the two sides of a 7″ they’ve got out - including a Teenage Fanclub cover, no less!
There isn’t really a theme to this particular playlist, except perhaps that all the tracks I’ve chosen have a certain quality that reflects my state of mind at the moment.
There is a kind of otherworldliness about many of these, tinged with maybe a dash of melancholy, distance or maybe detachment from the day-to-day dullness of grey, dismal February.
I’ve tried to make the playlist a kind of voyage, starting out with a dash of experimentation that flows into Jerry Garcia’s achingly beautiful “The Wheel”, via some old and new psychedelia, a dash of a Fripp and Travis soundscape, a leavening of classically lovely female singing and finally coming home again, via post-rock, to a place of aching beauty again.
The photograph that heads up this playlist is one of my own. It is the Château de Sercy in the southern part of Burgundy, just north of Cluny. I have no particular reason to post it, except that it is a lovely place and the sky is blue in the picture.
We all need a bit of blue in our skies at this time of year. I think that February is the worst month of the year, but hopefully this playlist ends on an fairly uplifting and optimistic note and leads the way to a happy 2011 for all of us ‘Spillers and our loved ones.
Anyway, now for the music;
1. Jerry Garcia – The Wheel
2. Moby Grape – Looper
3. Mazzy Star – Look Down From The Bridge
4. Warpaint – Warpaint
5. Robert Fripp and Theo Travis – Moonchild
6. It’s A Beautiful Day – Bombay Calling
7. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Black Mountain
8. Sandy Denny – I’m A Dreamer
9. Mogwai – Like Herod
10. Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun
Francesco Tristano is a classically trained pianist whose recent collaborations with Murcof and Carl Craig create fascinating soundscapes. His latest release, Idiosynkrasia, is an intriguing blend of the melodic and the rhythmic, far more sophisticated than the usual accompanist-meets-beats production. Tristano understands how to integrate the sound of his acoustic piano into an electronic environment, and yet still retains enough pure harmonic sense to keep the music compositionally compelling.
Here’s the title track from Tristano’s Soundcloud site.
Hope you all had a restful and enjoyable christmas, and best wishes for the New Year!
More eagle eyed ‘Spillers will be familiar with Meursault (pron. Murr-So) what with their first LP being an album of the month on the ‘Spill, and that they occupy the M slot on the Scots A-Z ‘Spill series.
However, only a wee bit has been said about their second record, which came out five months ago on the excellent Song, By Toad label. To be honest with you, I was so struck with the first album (it was number six on my top ten LPs of 2009 list, described by me as “A true original new voice, and cracking circuit-bent messed up folk tunes.”) that when the new LP didn’t have songs as immediate as “The Furnace” or “A Small Stretch Of Land” I had to give it more time and more listens.
“All Creatures Will Make Merry” is epic lo-fi, a massive amount of thought has gone into the recording of the songs giving them a vehicle that suits the mixture of traditional folk instruments (banjo, violin) and the ten quid drum machine that gets a good hammering on some of the songs. Neil Pennycook has a unique voice, one that sings beautiful words of loss, hope, and all the abstracts inbetween – in a way that can soar and elevate the spirits on the more focussed songs on the record.
“One Day This’ll All Be Fields” (above) is the stand out tune from the album, delicate yet terrifying, strummed on a ukelele down a phone line from a doomed planet – the last broadcast from a dead world, drifting in from space, makes me think of David Bowie’s “Five Years” in a way.
“Crank Resolutions” (above) is a good example of the Meursault sound, telling a tale of walking the streets alone on New Year’s Day, trying to make sense of everything – the music echoes the internal dialogue, moving from pensive to melancholic, to trying to gee oneself up and get on with things. The song has space in it, a rare thing these days, and scope too -as well as a great mix of electronics and things that are a bit more stringed.
The mandolin on “New Ruin” reminds me of mid-period REM, which is a comparison that I’ve drawn with Meursault from their first LP – I think the next LP may well be their ”Green” era and surprise the mainstream with it. Let’s hope they don’t lose the messed up noise along the way.
Two contrasting tracks I’m listening to a lot at the moment.. Andreya has gathered her belongings on a train, Thom is recommending you take the same route.. lyrically, each of these songs convey a feeling of helplessness, dispair, regret.. but the music in each case has, for me, the burnished feel of autumn leaves and the acknowledgement that decay brings on new cycles of life.
✓ Wayward Song The Earlies
✓ Who Will Guard The Door Over The Rhine
Well, this is it (as i’m sure I recall someone else saying not too long ago…), after 6 albums, 2 split LP’s, 4 7′”s and split 7″s and even a 3″CD (and that’s just my own collection, there are many more cassettes and CD’s I don’t have!), it seems that my beloved Pocahaunted have finally called it a day. They had a brief hiatus when one of them temporarily moved to New York, but with the stratospheric success of Bethany’s Best Coast and various other goings on, Pocahaunted are officially no more.
This 7″ single is their final swansong and apparently the first and only time they made it into a “proper” recording studio. Both cuts are great (in my opinion) but seem some way removed from the hypnotic peyote-trance-inducing psychedelia of old. And both tracks definitely point the way for the more lyricised dream pop of Best Coast.
Anyway, at least it will shut me up talking about them now! I’m very aware that they are an acquired taste and won’t be the least put out by no comments at all, but I felt I at least owed them a send off after the many many hours of pleasure they have given me over the last 5 years.
So long ladies..and thanks for the memories!