Saturday, 26 December 2009

Bon voyage

That's right kids, I will be in Canada for a year as of less than 48 hours time (or something, I don't get time zones but we arrive 17:30 local time on Monday) so this blog is going on a bit of a break. I will post as much as I can whenever I can, but in the meantime me and my travel buddies have put together another blog, called Four Play In Canada in which we will post our thoughts on that mighty nation. Enjoy, keep safe, word. xx

The Alternative Top Ten of 2009

I'm not going to wish you a Merry Christmas, because I am in a Scroogish mode currently. You see, as one of the contributors to The Click of a Light I was asked for my opinions on the top ten albums of 2009 - opinions which were then cruelly cast out in favour of those deemed more acceptable. Because this is alternative, it doesn't include download links and isn't in reverse order (ooooh ALTERNATIVE!!~!). So consider this the Ahmadinejad to Pip Copley's Queen, in the spirit of Christmas...

1. Katy Perry – One for the Boys
FUCK YOU. This wasn’t released in 2009 but I do not care because 2009 was the year of Perry for me. Even the taint of Russell Brand can’t sour my thoughts on the Perry – she produces perfectly amazing pop music and anyone that disagrees has been lobotomised by their own cool Converse.

I spent a lot of the summer driving around with a friend of mine called Fraz and we listened to the Wu-tang Clan and this, and until you’ve paced it down Osborne Road with the windows down and Hot N’ Cold blaring out the stereo, you’ve not lived. There’s even a car-dance move that goes with it, which is the manly fist pump. You do it to the thumping drumbeat as you sing along to the ridiculously high “someone call a doctor/got a case of love bi-polar” line” and you feel like the sun won’t ever set and the summer won’t ever end. Of course it does, but that’s what you’ve got the slower songs for. Shut up. It’s the best album of the year.

2. Katy Perry – MTV Unplugged
I haven’t listened to this but I’m sure it’s good because it’s Katy Perry, and I’m not entirely convinced Pip won’t disqualify One for the Boys because of his stupid rules that the year begins in January. What if I want to live my life by the Julian Calendar instead of the Gregorian one? No Papal Decree can make me. FUCK YOU.

3. Jamie T – Kings & Queens
Pip doesn’t like this. Pip is stupid. I dislike the chipmunk voice on 368 because it reminds me of that stupid ‘I’m So Lonely’ song and something done by D12 (which in my mind only brings up images of Eminem on Top of the Pops dancing around a bottle of salsa), but Sticks N’ Stones, The Man’s Machine and British Intelligence are what people seem to call “banging”. My disinterested-in-music girlfriend likes Jamie T which is good because it’s acceptable rap as opposed to…

4. Wu-tang Clan – Enter the Wu-tang (36 Chambers)
Summer of Wu-tang. I was sitting on some grass listening to ‘Protect Ya Neck’ next to Fraz and was this close to making a move, so perfect is this album. Apparently girls don’t like it when you slap on some Wu-tang in the car. Who knew.

5. Pure Reason Revolution – Amor Vincit Omnia
I haven’t listened to this album, but I looked at the list of albums released in 2009 on Wikipedia and this stood out because I wrote a short story in year 11 with the same title that was about a couple breaking up in a New York townhouse. I cribbed the setting of it from Home Alone, where Macaulay Culkin is avoiding the criminals in Central Park and goes to his uncle’s house but it’s abandoned because they went on holiday because it’s Christmas and no-one should be alone over the holidays. I love Home Alone; it’s such a seminal Christmas film.

6. Shakira – She Wolf
You’re all wrong – this rules. The title track is amazing (and not just for the video – it has HOWLS in it) and the album track ‘Gypsy’ is like some sort of Romany party in musical form. “I’m a gypsy/are you coming with me?/I’ll take your clothes and wear them if they fit me/I never make agreements/because I’m a gypsy”. Truer words have never been spoken.

7. Dear Landlord – Our Wings Are Fluttering in the Nest
Dear Landlord is my friend, but it’s okay because Pip’s heard him and says he’s really good. This got us onto a conversation about how my school is better than his and his Latin school motto was stolen from Nike. In all seriousness though, Dear Landlord’s songs are ridiculously impressive, charming and deserve a listen, even if you disagree with everything I’ve said up to now. He’s at

8. Brian Wilson – Smile
I like Brian Wilson a lot. This is the best album that’s ever been released, and as such deserves to be put on every list of the best albums, regardless of the year.

9. The Hold Steady – A Positive Rage
I’m bringing the Perry Rule back into action for this. Pip’s already ridden the ego of the Hold Steady into sweet sweet oblivion in an earlier post but I’m an even bigger fan and this is a live album of some of their best songs but is really just an excuse to tell you to listen to them. Listen to them!

10. The Time of My Life – Patrick Swayze & Lisa Niemi
Audiobooks can be classed as albums right? People forget Patrick Swayze because 2009 was the year of Michael Jackson dying. I haven’t read or listened to this, but with a title like that and the fact that Dirty Dancing is committed to celluloid for eternity you can’t help but win.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Top Ten of 2009

Merry fucking Christmas! Yep, time to jump on the end-of-year-best-albums-of-the-year bandwagon. I've got some of the contributors to the blog, as well as some other mates, to vote, and using a complicated points system - so complex it'd make Stephen Hawkin piss himself in fear - I have come up with a final ten. One album, a chairty record, isn't getting posted - I do have some morals!:

10) Fever Ray – Fever Ray
A solo album from The Knife's frontwoman that somehow manages to live up to expectations and match anything that Sweden's favourite electropoppers have produced so far in their career. – Pip

Fever Ray – Fever Ray

9) Dark Was The Night
Has there ever been a release as 'indie' as this compilation? This is free-market economics trading unfettered in the biggest, hippest names around; 31 tracks of pure bloggers' delight. And as we have seen to devastating effect in the real world this year, there is absolutely no fucking way this model can regulate itself.
So yes, it's a sprawling edifice of odd covers, runaway B-sides and wanton self-indulgence, but before you turn away in disgust and proclaim your little brother hitting a pot with a stick as purer music than this bunch of jumped-up posers, it's worth bearing one thing in mind. These artists became the biggest, the hippest names on the back of some serious songs. The royal bank of alt. rock's main currency may well be names, but it would still collapse without tunes, and this 2xLP set is awash with them.
Undeniable highlights include "Knotty Pine", the result, I can only assume, of David Byrne telling Dirty Projectors to man up and write a proper pop song and Sufjan Steven's grandiose cover of Castanet's "You Are The Blood", which is a bit embarrassing to play aloud, but lots of fun to pump through headphones at max volume. – Dave

8) The Horrors – Primary Colours
When the Horrors first burst onto the scene back in 2006/2007, I wrote them off as a bunch of southern posh-boy scenesters who found a Sonics LP in a Southend charity shop and bought it because it looked "alternative"; and thought they should form a band to get girls to talk to them, even though they looked like freaks. I still think this, but thanks to this fantastic second album, I know realise that they actually have talent and musical knowledge and all the rest of it. – Pip

The Horrors – Primary Colours

7) The xx – xx
This album just came out of nowhere; it sounds like nothing else around at the moment, and by golly is that a good thing! These kids (I can call them that, they're younger than me - and how depressing is that?!), who went to the same school as Hot Chip, Burial and Four Tet, have made a breathtaking debut album, that was self-produced and recorded at night, hence the whispery nature of the record. – Pip

The xx – xx

6) The Field – Yesterday & Today
When I have cheese dreams where I am running through the Arctic tundra for no reason this album is the soundtrack. – Chev

The Field – Yesterday & Today

5) The Thermals – Now We Can See
OK, so when I first heard The Blood, The Body, The Machine by this band - an album which I posted a few weeks ago, if you remember - I thought the band had reached their musical peak, and could never better it, which bummed me out a bit, and left me with low expectations for this record. However, the band have produced an album that is more complete, more whole, than any of their previous offerings. I think The Blood... is still my favourite, but this is a close second. – Pip

The Thermals – Now We Can See

4) Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II
Still keeping the coke nice and fluffy and basically dicking on anything done by any other members of Wu-Tang in the last 10 years. – Chev

Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II

3) Wild Beasts – Two Dancers
To be honest, this is the only surprise addition to the list. I don't particularly like this album, but some of my mates clearly do. I mean, it's not bad or anything, but it's just not the third best album of the year. Yes, they've done well to produce a second decent album so soon after the first, but so what - for truly talented musicians, that shouldn't be a problem! – Pip

Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

2) Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
Animal Collective lend themselves perfectly to a certain branch of obsessive musical geekery. As such, the propensity of many musical publications has been to over-analyse this record to a degree where it almost feels like less than the sum of its parts.
We're not going to fall into that, mainly because we're far too lazy. This is a fucking boss psychedelic pop album, the culmination of a career of eccentricities and Brian Wilson worship. That they preserved themselves and still broke the Billboard Top 20 is so totally not a reason to get all snobby and say that you preferred it when they couldn’t write anything memorable. – Dave

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion

1) Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Many said it was rubbish and no Yellow House but what the hell does the fickle general indie population know? It thinks La Roux is actually music. A couple of months later those same people were all over this like a pigeon on a chip lapping up that humble pie. I am glad this band is finally getting the mainstream recognition they deserve. – Chev

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Monday, 21 December 2009

Monday Mixtape #8

The last Monday Mixtape for a looooong time, sob sob, so I hope you enjoy it. With events coming up this week we could only have one theme:

Week 8: Christmas

Yes, 30 of the best alternative Christmas-and-winter-themed songs, as well as a couple of cheesy ones that are hilarious. Over the net couple of days I'm going to produce the Click's official end-of-year Top Ten; I'm sure you're creaming yourselves in anticipation. Enjoy.

Monday Mixtape #8

1. Captain Elmo McKenzie & The Roosters – Home On Christmas Day
2. The Raveonettes – The Christmas Song
3. The Sonics – Don’t Believe In Christmas
4. Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – Cold White Christmas
5. The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York
6. Eels – Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
7. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Skating
8. De La Soul – Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa
9. The Polyphonic Spree – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
10. Band Of Horses – The First Song
11. James Brown – Go Power At Christmas Time
12. A.R. Kane – Snow Joke
13. Blockhead – The First Snowfall
14. Brendan Canning – Snowballs & Icicles
15. Mice Parade – Snows
16. Woody Guthrie – Snow Deer
17. The Sonics – Santa Claus
18. Fucked Up – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
19. Frank Zappa – Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow
20. Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Let's Boogey To The Elf Dance!
21. Electric Jungle – Funky Funky Christmas
22. Badly Drawn Boy – Donna & Blitzen
23. Snoop Dogg – A Pimp's Christmas Song
24. Elliott Smith – Angel In The Snow
25. Weezer – O Come All Ye Faithful
26. The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)
27. The Fall – No Xmas For John Quays
28. Akim & The Teddy Vann Production Company – Santa Claus Is A Black Man
29. Eric Cartman – O Holy Night
30. Mogwai – Christmassteps

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Toe – The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety (2005)

I just LOVE Japanese bands who try and write English - what the hell does 'The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety' even mean?! Regardless of the ridiculous title, this is actually a phenomenal album - primo Japanese post-rock at its very best. Enjoy.

Toe – The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety (2005)

The Mountain Goats – Satanic Messiah EP (2008)

John Darnielle at his very best. This is a tasty little four-track EP that is the perfect starting place for anyone wanting to explore the discography of the Mountain Goats, who have been kickining around for nearly twenty years. Enjoy.

The Mountain Goats – Satanic Messiah EP (2008)

Mice Parade – Mice Parade (2007)

Wow, 2007 was actually such a boss year for music. I'm getting tired and bored of posting now, and I don't really know how to describe this album other than laid-back, drum heavy goodness. This album just reminds me of sitting in my back garden in the summer with a beer. Enjoy.

Mice Parade – Mice Parade (2007)

Future Of The Left – Curses! (2007)

If you enjoyed the Les Savy Fav album I posted a few weeks back then you'll absolutely love this. Rising from the ashes of mclusky and Jarcrew like some kind of kick-ass Welsh phoenix, this album is just outstanding. Not a single dud track to be found. If you get the opportunity to catch FOTL live then do - the banter is just as good as the musicm if not better, and they normally chuck sweets into the audience. Enjoy.

Future Of The Left – Curses! (2007)

Film School – Hideout (2007)

This is the shite I wrote about this album for my Uni paper when it first came out back in September 2007:

The third album from San Francisco-based Film School is a great mix of early 90s alt-rock (think Sonic Youth and Pavement) and 21st Century indie, most notably Interpol, whose influence can be seen throughout standout track 'Two Kinds'. Written after a year of loss and heartbreak, which included the entirety of the band's equipment being stolen and 3/5s of the band leaving, this album is actually strangely uplifting: songwriter Greg Bertens concerns himself with overcoming his problems, not drowning in them. Overall, this is a great antidote to all that is wrong with music nowadays.

LOLZ. Enjoy.

Film School – Hideout (2007)

Fionn Regan – The End Of History (2006)

So I did some very bad things on Friday night after a helluvalot of home-made vodka - to summarise, I ended up with a broken toe, a black eye, no shoes and some shit-stained pants - and spent all day yesterday in bed recovering. So today as a treat to myself and you guys I am going to do a superpost of albums that I had already zipped but not yet found time to post. I begin with Fionn Regan's exceptional 2006 debut, which somehow lost the Mercury Prize to the fucking Klaxons. This album is just the most beautiful example of modern folk songwriting, and is an absolute essential. Enjoy.

Fionn Regan – The End Of History (2006)

Friday, 18 December 2009

Holy Fuck – LP (2007)

So there's these two blokes, right, who make lo-fi electronica - all improvised - using equipment such as toys and a film synchronizer. Sounds mental and it is, but it's also phenomenal. I saw them live maybe two years ago now - when they performed with a kick-ass drummer and some kind of guitar man - and they just blew me away. So I bought their 'Lovely Allen' 12" single and it was immense, and I bought this album which was even better. Between then and now think I have managed to get everything these guys have produced, and it's been a wise investment. Enjoy.

Holy Fuck – LP (2007)

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (2004)

An album I did get when it first came out, +10000 indie points for me thankyouverymuch. This is just so boss. Me and my mate Dave (not Dave of this blog fame, a different one. My Dave is Scottish and has a chode) used to drive around country roads with this album on full blast. It reminds me of being 17 and driving to parties, then driving back at 9 the next morning still over the limit. One time we were stuck behind a police car, and I took great fun in faux-screaming at Dave that he was going to get arrested and sodomised. Enjoy.

Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (2004)

The Organ – Grab That Gun (2004)

I got into The Organ long after the Vancouver-based band had self-imploded; I was going through a phase of listening to an English band called Electrelane who sound pretty much identical when The Organ released a posthumous EP las year. I got it, loved it, and bought their 2004 album, which I loved even more. It opens with an absolute blinder - 'Brother' appears on a playlist me and Dave made for a pub called The Trent in Newcastle, which was one of our favourite places until the owner had to sell it. Enjoy.

The Organ – Grab That Gun (2004)

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Arcade Fire – Arcade Fire EP (2003)

Apparently this is an EP, but it's seven songs and over half -an-hour long, so it kinda falls in between being an EP and an LP. Anyways, regardless of its classification, this great little album is an essential for any Arcade Fire fan. Recorded in a barn in August 2002 and released the next year, it contains a demo version of 'No Cars Go', which was re-recorded for eternally disappointing second album Neon Bible in 2007, and is, if you pay attention to the lyrics, the inspration for the title of this little blog of mine. Enjoy.

Arcade Fire – Arcade Fire EP (2003)

Monday, 14 December 2009

Monday Mixtape #7

So two weeks today I shall be flying into Montreal to spend a year eating maple syrup, chasing bears, and saying "eh?" a lot, so it is only fitting that this week's theme is:


Don't worry, there's no Godspeed You! Black Emperor or A Silver Mt. Zion in sight; as great as those bands are, somehow twenty minute apocalyptic post-rock songs don't seem to fit into the whole 'mixtape' vibe. If you think I've missed a band out, it'll for a couple of reasons - I've not heard of them; I don't particularly like them (such as Besnard Lakes or Les Breastfeeders); or the band is set to feature at some point later this week. I once played 'Dundas, Ontario' by Manitoba (before he became Caribou) to my Dad while we were driving, and he pulled over because he though the noises were the sound of the car breaking down; hopefully you'll have a similar reaction. Enjoy.

Monday Mixtape #7

1) Metric – Empty
2) Hot Hot Heat – Bandages
3) Manitoba – Dundas, Ontario
4) We’re Marching On – 1800s
5) Pink Mountaintops – While We Were Dreaming
6) Arcade Fire – Maps
7) Bell Orchestre – The Gaze
8) Great Lake Swimmers – Everything Is Moving So Fast
9) Wintersleep – Jaws Of Life
10) You Say Party! We Say Die! – He!She!You!Me!They!We!Us!OK!
11) Do Make Say Think – The Universe
12) Malajube – Montreal -40°C
13) The Super Friendz – Green Hand
14) Buck 65 – Blood, Pt2
15) Handsome Furs – (White City)
16) Tokyo Police Club – Box
17) The Rural Alberta Advantage – The Deathbridge In Leathbridge
18) King Khan & The Shrines – Land Of The Freak
19) KC Accidental – Residential Love Song
20) Imaad Wasif – Widow Wing
21) Martha & The Muffins – Echo Beach
22) Broken Social Scene – Superconnected
23) Born Ruffians – Coldness Hot
24) The New Pornographers – Hey, Snow White
25) Fucked Up – Son The Father

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Have A Nice Life - Deathconsciousness (2008)

This evening I had it on excellent authority (yahoo news, where I get all of my current affairs information) that there would be one of the best meteor showers of the year happening right outside my house. A 'dramatic' meteor shower in fact. In the 15 minutes I stood outside for, in which time I have developed severe neck strain and frostbite on 12 of my 10 fingers, I saw, or think I saw, 3 shooting stars. Dramatic my ass crack. Fortunately I had this album and a bottle of Beck's to get me through that tough quarter of an hour.

I'm in a big shoegaze mood this December, and this could just be the pick of the contemporary bunch. Ambient, woozy, considered shoegaze. No massive speaker-exploding noises. If you felt so inclined, you could apply the term 'post-shoegaze' to them to be pretentious. Up to you.


Saturday, 12 December 2009

Nas – Illmatic (1994)

I was meant to post this album but didn't. I was visiting friends all day and when I got home I fell asleep, oh well. Not only is this one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time, I also think it is one of the most important albums of the past fifteen years, regardless of genre. It marked a transition in the popular perception of hip hop in the early 90s, from the West coast gangsta rap to the East coast's more artistic style, that also saw acts like the Wu-Tang Clan (who else?!) and Gang Starr emerge as well. Enjoy.

Nas – Illmatic (1994)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Babu The Dilated Junkie - Duck Season Vol. 2 (2003) and Duck Season Vol. 3 (2008)

'Yes y'all, the real hip hop.' Fantastic mix tapes these are, and they adhere to this week's theme so it's all 'good in the hood'. Wow, what a cracker! No really, I'm actually quite cool, I've watched The Wire and everything...

Fantastic production on both and great rapping from the likes of Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep, Guilty Simpson, Mf Doom, Percee P, Strong Arm Steady... You get the picture.


GZA – Liquid Swords (1995)

Another Wu-Tang solo offering today, and one that is even better than Raekwon. Again it's produced by RZA, and again it features guest appearances from other Wu-Tang members, as well as the traditional Wu-Tang themes of kung-fu, crime, and even chess. I'd go so far as to say that this is my favourite album out of the ENTIRE Wu-Tang back catologue, Clan or solo. It's seriously that good. Enjoy.

GZA – Liquid Swords (1995)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Celer - Brittle (2009)

Drone comes in all shapes and disguises: you got your ambient drone, your metal drone, your folk drone, your jazz drone, your country and western drone, and your bog standard funk disco galactic drone. It's a word bandied round more often than the village strumpet. Cus Pip is trying to make me put up hip hop as it's hip hop week, I'm saying this track is hip hop drone. It's not, but sometimes if you lie, he doesn't notice.

This is one track, 75 minutes or so long, with 8 different 'pieces' melded together. Give it a few listens and you can sort of discern where one ends and another begins, but don't raise your expectations too high. I don't think Celer ever heard that variety is the spice of life... Also, if you squint your ears, you can also hear traditional hip hop beats and MCing *wink wink*

I'm not saying that this is 'good' or 'great', or that it's complex, unique, jaw-dropping or anything like that, because it's not. For a listen or two it's a bit like wading through hip-high mud, or trying to actually like Jane Austen, but you gotta stop fighting it. Accept it for what it is, and it actually becomes pretty sweet.


Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...(1995)

Raekwon's debut solo album, and the third of the many brilliant Wu-Tang solo offerings which began to emerge in the mid 1990s. But like many of the Wu-Tang solo albums, it isn't truly a solo album, as it features Ghostface Killah prominently, and was entirely produced by Wu-Tang puppet master RZA, who, after reading his Wu-Tang Manual, has convinced me that he is some kind of utterly mad genius who has a twenty year plan to take over the world or something. However, Raekwon is still able to step out of the Wu-Tang limelight and craft an individual album that focuses on the mafia rather than kung-fu, and one which is simply astounding. Enjoy.

Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...(1995)

If Only I Could Remember My Name

1. David Crosby - Music Is Love
2. Bonnie Dobson - Winter's Going
3. Barbara & Ernie - Somebody To Love
4. Joe Walsh - County Fair
5. Terry Callier - You Goin' Miss Your Candyman
6. Linda Perhacs - Paper Mountain Man
7. A Mountain of One - Ride
8. John Martyn - 1984 (Lovefingers Mix)
9. Bermuda Triangle - Right Track
10. David Crosby - I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here
11. Area Code 615 - Stone Fox Chase
12. Studio - 2 Hearts
13. Gilberto Gil - Todo Menina Baiana
14. Gong - Percolations Pt. 1
15. Buckingham Nicks - Frozen Love
16. Soft Rocks - Black Magic
17. Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
18. Dolly Parton - Jolene (Ilya Santana Version)
19. Barclay James Harvest - Love On The Line
20. Gary Pacific Orchestra - Soft Wind

If Only I Could Remember My Name Mix Exclusive For AOR DISCO by glisteningpelt

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Johann Johannsson - Fordlandia (2008)

Stretch your mind back to last week, when we were in Scandinavia, wearing that cool chunky knitwear they have, and drinking those damned expensive pints they sell... (in Iceland I payed £7 for a pint of larger in a Viking themed restaurant, served to me by a real-life fake Viking). Oh, and we were also metaphorically swilling their musical produce in the glass, sniffing it a bit to get an idea of the flavours, then glugging it back as you should do with all booze. Well this album is one I meant to post on Friday, but was busy living the dream at ATP.

On my mix tape I posted a Johann Johannsson track, concocted of weird noises generated when an old IBM computer was programmed in certain ways, and accompanied by lush string comps. Modern composition with a twist of lime. In my humble, this is even better, Johannsson's best in fact. I just found out that it's about some rubber factory in some far off country, but I didn't know that, and I enjoyed the music just fine. So maybe this knowledge will enhance you're listening even further. Great compositions, a lush theme that keeps on popping up as lush themes oughta, and, er, a story about rubber?

ps. I saw Icelandic band Mum on Sunday, and they are fantastic live. One of the female singers is so unbelievably hot, and has become the main reason I give when I express the desire to go live over there later in life.

pps. this aint my up, I link stole it off megaupload. If you don't wanna trust it, tell me and I'll up my own copy.

ppps. The above link is password protected apparently - here's another link Fordlandia If this doesn't work I'll get off my lazy arse and upload it myself.


Yo! Majesty – Futuristically Speaking...Never Be Afraid (2008)

The rappers on this album are two big black Southern Christian lesbians. Their live shows are manic - sharing three microphones for the two of them, they sometimes rap topless - and their after-shows are even better; me and my mate Jez crashed the backstage, and were rewarded with some beer and a litre of vodka. Nice. So, which bad-asses have they got to produce their fantastic debut album? Yep, two nerdy middle-aged English white guys. A stroke of utter brilliance. So download this and have the most fun you've had in a long time; but don't do it for me, do it for their brother Charles. Enjoy.

Yo! Majesty – Futuristically Speaking...Never Be Afraid (2008)

Monday, 7 December 2009

J-Zone – Ign’ant Ass Rap Mix (2005)

I've just returned home following a three-day bender visiting friends - hence why there were no posts Friday-Sunday - and haven't had time to do a Monday Mixtape for this week's theme. This mixtape will more than suffice, but be warned, it is extremely offensive - J-Zone has collected and expertly mixed the very best examples of the very worst type of rap - this is anti-women and pro-violence, littered with naughty words and tales of sexual antics; see past that and you'll find this a very enjoyable album. Enjoy.

J-Zone – Ign’ant Ass Rap Mix (2005)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Múm – Finally We Are No One (2002)

I'm quickly running our of time (again!) as I have a train to catch so I'll keep it short but sweet. This is Icelandic, and if that isn't enough to prick your ears up, it's also bloody fantastic. This is the album I listen to whenever I go for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales on my own (yes Dave, I do walk occasionally!), and every time I listen to it, I find some new part of a song that I absolutely love. Enjoy.

Múm – Finally We Are No One (2002)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Tallest Man On Earth – Shallow Grave (2008)

Another Swedish artist today; not through choice necessarily (although it is a damn good album), but because Scandinavian indie music is restricted really to Iceland and Sweden - Denmark has the Raveonettes and that's about it, Norway and Finland LOVE their death metal, and the Faroe Island is just generally a big old piece of wank. This guy has been compared to Bon Iver, purely because it is just him and a guitar, but that's rather lazy, as this album is actually, shock horror, better than Bon Iver's effort in my opinion, precisely because it is, in fact, the polar opposite to For Emma, Forever Ago - this is just a really fun, really great folk music. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Ekca Liena - Sleep Paralysis (2009)

First off, this aint scandinavian. Neither, as a matter of fact, are The Album Leaf, who I included on the mix tape. The reason I'm allowed to include that track, for those Eagle Eye Cherried enough to spot this questionable content, is that Sigur Ros sing on that track. Or so I once heard.

This Ekca Liena is sublime, one of my favourite albums of the year. It's ambient drone for most of the lp, with a cracking climax in killer final track 'Paralysis'. Musicians like this are so totally underrated by the ignorant masses - I would give my left bollock to make something half as powerful as this. I probably wouldn't give both of my bollocks to double up and make something on par with this though...

Random Jens Lekman

I was undecided which Jens Lekman album to post, as they're all ace, so I'm posting a collection of random Jens Lekman songs; some songs appear on studio albums, some from compilations he's released; I've also got EPs, singles & B-sides, live tracks, covers etc. etc. There's about 50 tunes which I've split into a couple of files, based on year of release - they run from 2002 to 2009. Nothing from 2006 though, he must have had a quiet year that year. Enjoy.

Random Jens Lekman (2002-2004)
Random Jens Lekman (2005 #1)
Random Jens Lekman (2005 #2)
Random Jens Lekman (2007-2009)

Monday, 30 November 2009

Monday Mix Tape Numero 6

Week 6 : The Scandinavian Mix Tape
by the aptly named Blizzard

Yo. I have the authority to do a mix on this subject because I went to Iceland 6 years ago and nearly died after a strenuous walk through the mountains in the pissing down rain. I passed out, but managed to wake up by the time the burgers and hot dogs had been cooked by the angelic Iceland girl with the rosy cheeks and ample bosom. Hurra for ample bosoms.

I'm going for something different with this one - not so many songs, and hardly a guitar in sight. Whack on a decent pair of cans, as the tension is in the detail. As the Finnish say.

1. Giuoco Piano - P. Jorgensen
2. Killshot - Ben Frost
3. Part 1/ IBM 1401 Processing Unit - Johann Johannsonn
4. Here Before (feat. Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid) - Fever Ray
5. TwentyTwoFourteen - The Album Leaf
6. If You Ever Need A Stranger (To Sing At Your Wedding) - Jens Lekman
7. Pollon Pentu - Kuupuu
8. Track 6 (There is probably an actual name for this track, but it aint on my scruffy itunes...) - Olafu Arnalds
9. Pversogn - Sigur Ros
10. I Was Her Horse - Mum
11. Wrong Gods - Troels Abrahamsen

Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Nichols Family Gospel Hour – Polemic EP (2008)

It's my sister's 18th birthday tomorrow and because it's a weekend and my dad works away, we're going for a family meal today - how tenuous a link can you get? Anyways, this is very good, as it said on a blog I read about the album, it pretty much sounds like like Godspeed You! Black Emperor making country music. If you've ever read Nick Cave's brilliant novel And The Ass Saw The Angel, this is the perfect soundtrack for it; it has the same dark atmosphere. Enjoy.

The Nichols Family Gospel Hour – Polemic EP (2008)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Monkey – Journey To The West (2008)

Continuing our animal theme...this is a bit of a weird album, so bear with me, and please don't be afraid to give it a listen. This is an electronic opera written & produced by Damon Albarn, and performed by the UK Chinese Ensemble, a Chinese orchestra, as a soundtrack to a stage show also written by Albarn. It's based on a sixteenth-century Chinese novel about a a monkey, a pig, a water monster and a Buddhist monk who travel on a pilgrimage from China to India having all kinds of adventures. The book is probably a bit boring, so watch the 70s Japanese TV show Monkey instead, it's fucking sweet; just like this album. Enjoy.

Monkey – Journey To The West (2008)

Three things

A few things. Well, three things:

1) Top Ten of 2009 - we are going to do a Top Ten of 2009 sometime over the next few weeks. We are a democratic blog we are, so please feel free to sumbit your Top Ten by e-mail or Facebook or even MySpace; we'll use a complicated points system to choose a Top Ten. Any album released between 1 January and 31 December is eligible - studio, EP live, best of, various artists compilation etc. etc. 2010 albums that have leaked are NOT allowed - naughty children!
2) Facebook - join our Facebook group by clicking here.
3) We also have a rarely used MySpace - click to see how shit it is!

Jet Black Berries

I got a nice e-mail from the drummer of this band and said I'd do a little thing for him, so here it is. Jet Black Berries were first making music back in the mid-to-late 80s, and appeared on the Return of the Living Dead soundtrack alongside the Cramps and the Damned; and anything zombie-themed is always welcome cos zombies are great. They reformed this year with a new singer, and have started making new music, with an album slated for release next year. Enjoy.


Friday, 27 November 2009

Grizzly Bear – Horn Of Plenty (2004)

Grizzly Bear's debut album Horn Of Plenty is basically a solo effort from main man Edward Droste; the rest of the band didn't join for another year, and in some respects the band is still primarily a front for Droste, who still remains the sole songrwiter five years later. Consequently, because there is no backing band, the album has a stripped-down sound, and Droste has been forced to use his voice as an instrument; he multilayers his vocals to create an almost-spectral sound. All in all, Droste has managed to craft a rather beautiful lo-fi album. Enjoy.

Grizzly Bear – Horn Of Plenty (2004)

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Bear vs. Shark – Terrorhawk (2005)

Another gem from Chev's collection, and one which, when I first heard it, I couldn't stop listening to for weeks. This is just utterly brilliant post-hardcore - if you liked the Les Savy Fav I posted a few weeks back, then this is for you, and even if you didn't, this is a highly accessible album - and I can't really say anymore than that other than:


Bear vs. Shark – Terrorhawk (2005)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Minus The Bear – Planet Of Ice (2007)

Indie rock that's just the right side of emo, Minus The Bear are from that great musical city of Seattle. They use a tapping technique which, to my non-musician ears (when I was 10 I was given a music scholorship at school, until my parents said they'd made a mistake, FML), sounds pretty much exactly the same as normal playing. But ho-hum, I'm sure some music geek will tell me the intricate differences in sound. This is one of a great number of bands introduced to me by my dear friend Chev whose music collection would make even John Peel weep. Enjoy.


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Panda Bear – Panda Bear (1998)

Noah Lennox, AKA Panda Bear, is the lead singer of everyone's favourite psych-weirdos Animal Collective. This record, his debut album as a solo artist, was written and recorded when he was just twenty, and taking that into consideration, it just makes it seem all the greater. I much prefer this album over 2004's Young Prayer, which is a rather lo-fi affair written following the death of his father, and 2007's Person Pitch, which, despite the fact that music journalists the world over seem to be crawling over one another to lavish it with superlatives in a big circle jerk, it just sounds like everything else Animal Collective have produced; this self-titled album is definitely a solo affair, and is all the better for it. Enjoy.

Panda Bear – Panda Bear (1998)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Monday Mixtape #5

Dave's chosen this week's theme, yet hasn't bothered to do a mixtape for it. Go figure.

Week 5: Bears!

Yes children, you heard correctly - bears. The clue was in the song 'Eisbär' by Swiss disco legends Grauzone in yesterday's post. Dave wanted a kakapo-themed week but seeing as no-one actually likes the stupid birds other than him, let alone any bands, and consequently that was a dead-end. So instead, please feel free to sample 25 of the finest songs ever written that have 'bear' in the title or 'bear' in the band name; admittedly one or two are a bit 'meh' and a couple are just weird, but most are good. Enjoy.

Monday Mixtape #5

1. Acres & Acres – Polar Bear Song
2. Rose Melberg – Bear In A Cave
3. Edward Bear – Fly Across The Sea
4. Bipolar Bear – Manbase
5. Bearsuit – Foxy Boxer
6. Volcano The Bear – Burnt Seer
7. The Bear Quartet – Millions
8. Bear Hands – Bad Blood
9. Bird & Bear – Practical Imagination
10. Javelins – I Was Raised As A Polar Bear
11. Alan Price – Simon Smith & His Amazing Dancing Bear
12. Bear On Bear – Magpies
13. Boy & Bear – Mexican Mavis
14. Tiger Bear Wolf – Input, Output
15. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Honeybear
16. Benjamin Bear – This Rusty Truck
17. Poler Bear – Parachute
18. Hello Electric – The Bear King
19. Motorama – Bear
20. Huggy Bear – Her Jazz
21. Holiday Shores – Bradley Bear (Live)
22. The Damned – Edward The Bear
23. Bombadil – Otto The Bear
24. Bear In Heaven – Lovesick Teenagers
25. Black Bear – Australia, Olympia, Poughkeepsie

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Cut Copy – FabricLive.29 (2006)

So last night I went to my friend's house party to celebrate his 22 years of achievement on Earth, and there were three gnarly Aussies there. They had spent 24 hours on various planes, were forced to wait for 6 hours in Stansted Airport, and then had to endure the pleasures of a five-hour MegaBus ride up to Leeds. They hadn't slept for 2 days, hadn't properly washed in 4, and yet they still managed to outparty everyone there. I think they went through 2 crates of beer or something; then they started a fire (after I had drunkenly demanded they "put some shrimp on the barbie"), broke a chair, started a moshpit etc. etc. So this album is in their honour; it's a great mixtape from the marvellous Cut Copy. Oh, and one of the tracks is a clue to next week's theme...enjoy.

Cut Copy – FabricLive.29 (2006)

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Penpal – Penpal (2009)

This band takes all the good elements from indie, math-rock and emo, and fuses them into this nicely chilled-out and rather enjoyable album. Basically, if I was slightly hungover on a Californian beach, early in the morning, and the sun was rising, and this album was playing, it would just seem so apt and so perfect. I know that's incredibly wanky and pretentious of me - I've never even been to California for fuck's sake! - but that's just the imagery that the album immediately - and I mean immediately - conjured up in my mind. Hope you have a similar experience! Enjoy.

Penpal – Penpal (2009)