Last week I had a research paper/book chapter thing to write, so I took the week off work, set up a desk by the window in the warmest room in the house overlooking the garden, and settled down to work. For someone like me who spends most of the day out of the house, has a young family and a partner not terribly au fait with the concept of compromise (not to mention taste in music on the slightly noisy side) this opportunity to be by myself and listen to whatever the hell I wanted to all day for a week was a very rare and precious thing indeed.
Over the course of the week I listened to about 50 of my own records and despite the mental taxations of the task in hand had one of the most enjoyable weeks in a long long time.
Finding even more time to myself to put it all together to make a podcast was pretty impossible, so I enlisted Panthercub as my official selector and made a fun game of it on a rainy afternoon. It ended up completely different to what I had in mind (I was thinking more noise and less electronica), but there you go, it was out of my hands!
End of year lists for a music geek like me are the equivalent of the “hurts in good way” duality of S&M, right ‘Spillers? Right? No, come back! Um…anyway my list goes up to 11, mainly because of the first choice.
11.“Everything Will Be Alright In The End” – Weezer
My secret weapons at “work” over the last year or so have been coffee and perky helpings of Weezer’s dumbest big rockest tunes, and their latest album was a return to form with some ridiculously huge unapologetic bangers on it and a three part rock ‘suite” to finish the LP.
10.“Burn Your FIre For No Witness” – Angel Olsen
Angel turned out a record that stylistically was all over the place but held together by a distinct voice.
9.“God’s Dream” – Ringo Deathstarr
This was an EP really, unless you count the extra tracks that Japan got, but acted as a good signpost towards the LP I hope they make next of big-thinking-stadium-shoegaze-1992-pumpkins-rock. The dude from Swervedriver popped up, and a non-classic Pumpkin too.
8.“From Scotland With Love” – King Creosote
Specially written to soundtrack a lovely film made from archive footage of Scotland, this was prime Kenny through & through.
Sorry. I’m a bit late with this. The gig was last Friday evening, and I was supposed to write it up and post within 24hrs. But first of all I had a bit of a cider hangover (thanks Bruv, Gordon & Ali), which took out Saturday. Then I ended up working all the way up on the Cumbrian coast on Sunday (took me so long to get back I missed the World Cup Final). And finally I got an email from Michael Hann on Monday morning saying that The Graun wouldn’t be using the review even if I sent it! So that kinda took away any sense of urgency I might have had.
Some of you may know that I help put on gigs in our village’s community centre, so I thought I would share some of the homegrown talents of Newport-on-Tay.
First of all is Sonny Carntyne who are an echo-rock 4/5 piece who make great songs in the vein of The National or Interpol with a deep musical intensity & evocative lyrics.
Their “Retreat” EP is up on band camp for a pay-what-you-like arrangement here
Then there is St Kilda Mailboat, who have been wowing crowds with post apocalyptic skiffle songs about David Niven, Heebie-geebies, cats called Michael Stipe, and a tune called Mini Wham Bar Rampage where they pelt the unsuspecting audience with mini Wham Bars.
And thirdly we have Seven Sons who play americana tinged folk with lovely harmonies & are very engaging live to boot!
So, open up your village hall, be merry & please share in the comments what’s going on in your neck o’ the woods!