Category Archives: rock

H-10

H-10 highlights include Titus Andronicus, the return of Courtney’s Hole : )  and a couple songs about the devil.

H-10

  1. American Slang – The Gaslight Anthem
  2. Blue Blood – The Dead Weather
  3. A More Perfect Union – Titus Andronicus
  4. Beat The Devil’s Tattoo – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
  5. Skinny Little Bitch – Hole
  6. I Was a Teenage Anarchist – Against Me!
  7. The Devil In Stitches – Bad Religion
  8. Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher) – Gogol Bordello
  9. Vampire Money – My Chemical Romance
  10. Yeah Yeah Yeah – New Politics

The 10s for 2010

For me, 2010 was one of the best years of my entire life. So many great events occurred in 2010, but none as important as marrying my love Abby. The music was great too.

Each post will contain a list of 10 songs with somewhat of a theme. Don’t think too hard. I’m not very creative when trying to put together song lists with a specific theme in mind so I just went with genre.  Enjoy!

A-10-1

  1. Floating Vibes – Surfer Blood
  2. Boy – Ra Ra Riot
  3. Friendly Ghost – Harlem
  4. This Too Shall Pass – OK Go
  5. Holiday – Vampire Weekend
  6. Animal – Neon Trees
  7. Heavy In Your Arms – Florence and The Machine
  8. The Ghost Inside – Broken Bells
  9. Post Acid – Wavves
  10. Month of May – Arcade Fire

One for the girls! (mostly)

I didn’t plan to make a compilation with just Swedish women. I just stumbled on all these good tunes, either by Swedish solo artistas or by Swedish bands with a female lead singer.

Here is some very important information : )

  • Little Dragon are currently supporting Gorillaz on tour. The band’s Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano appears on Gorillaz’s album Plastic Beach and has previously worked with Swedish group Koop, José González and Hird.
  • One of the band members in CirKus is Neneh Cherry.
  • Malin Dahlström is the singer of both Niki and the Dove and Disdishdance.
  • Fever Ray is the solo project of Karin Dreijer from the Knife. The new single Mercy Street is a Peter Gabriel cover.
  • Titiyo is Neneh Cherry’s half-sister.

Tracks:

Looking glass – Little Dragon
Bells – CirKus
Like a fading rainbow – Jenny Wilson
DJ ease my mind – Niki and the Dove
Once I was a serene.. – Frida Hyvönen
Play the world – Nina Kinert
Good evening – The Concretes
Runabout – Little Dragon
Seven – Fever Ray
Yours to keep – Teddybears featuring Neneh Cherry
Love to the test – Disdishdance
Johnny Icon – CirKus
Blinking pigs – Little Dragon
Mercy Street – Fever Ray
When I grow up – First Aid Kit
Let me in – El perro del mar
Longing for lullabys – Titiyo
Exotic lovelight – Disdishdance

Best of 2009

you know the year has flown by when you have to check the song to make sure it’s the right year…saying that it’s been a great year for good music not to mention decade (ooh that might mean another compilation to follow!!). SXSW 09 really set the tone for the year so much that we have to go this year as well!

White Feather – Wolfmother
Farewell to the Fairground – White Lies
The Reeling – Passion Pit
Rabbit Heart [Raise It Up] – Florence And The Machine
This Tornado Loves You – Neko Case
1901 – Phoenix
Too Many Dicks [On The Dancefloor] – Flight Of The Conchords
Fast Fuse – Kasabian
Must Be The Ganja – Eminem
Love And Let Love – Gossip
Panic Switch – Silversun Pickups
Lady Don’t Fall Backwards – Peter Doherty
We Are The Hunters – The D’Urbervilles
Ankles – CHRIS T.T.
Daniel – Bat For Lashes
My Girls – Animal Collective
Voices In My Head – K’naan
Concrete Walls – Fever Ray
Further Complications – Jarvis Cocker
Life on Earth – Tiny Vipers

Pop Rocks for 2009

I’m over a week into 2010, but here is my best of 2009.  I have seen about 80% of the groups on this play list, and the hope is to see the rest in 2010.  My highlights would be The XX and Yacht.  Notable omissions for ‘09 would be the Silversun Pickups, Muse, the bay area’s own AFI, and of course the fine ass Lily Allen.  As for 2009 you’ve probably heard a lot of these songs on television commercials and movie soundtracks.

1. Little Boots – New In Town
2. Daylight – Matt & Kim
3. Out of the Blue – Julian Casablancas
4. Lust For Life – Girls
5. All is Love – Karen O and the Kids
6. Heavy Cross – Gossip
7. Little Secrets – Passion Pit
8. Hearing Damage – Thom Yorke
9. Hell – Tegan & Sara
10. Young Adult Friction – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
11. Islands – The XX
12. Kiss With a Fist – Florence and the Machine
13. Psychic City (Voodoo City) – Yacht
14. Gold Guns Girls – Metric
15. Shame and Fortune – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
16. Around the Bend – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
17. Fireflies – Owl City
18. Bourgeois Shangri-La – Miss Li
19. Lions – The Features
20. Can’t Stop Partying – Weezer
21. Sunlight – tUnE-YArdS

The Bear Quartet vs The Fall

I’ve had this compilation in my head for over a year, so I’m really pleased to finally put it somewhere else.

Not sure why these two bands merged in my mind – musically they don’t have a great deal in common, apart from being filed in the ‘indie’ or ‘alternative rock’ section. I suppose what they do have in common is that they’re both relentlessly uncompromising. And ridiculously productive. And, above all, they are both brilliant and deserve a few more listeners.

Tracks:

Free range – The Fall
Class trip – The Bear Quartet
Why are people grudgeful – Fall
Euthanasia – BQ
Ed’s babe – Fall
Puppy hours – BQ
R.O.D. – Fall
What I hate – BQ
Arid Al’s dream – Fall
Tibet – BQ
O brother! (B-side) – Fall
Super confidence – BQ
Slang king (B-side) – Fall
On the map – BQ
A past gone mad – Fall
The lost kid office – BQ
Taurig – Fall
Fairies – BQ
Lost in music – Fall
I know my owner – BQ
Bonkers in Phoenix – Fall
Load it – BQ

Northern Lights freecorded

I recently learnt to record music on the internet with this free (and legal) sound recorder: http://applian.com/sound-recorder/. If you download the toolbar you can simply record any streamed music online and save it as an mp3 file. Thanks for the tip Mr Galvin – very nifty.

So here’s a bunch of bands I’ve been meaning to upload here but didn’t find to download or buy, like Finnish Regina and Danish Moi Caprice. And loads of Miike Snow.

PLUS a brand new song from the Bear Quartet. Life is so exciting.

Tracks:

Animal – Miike Snow
En tiennyt että osaan tanssia – Regina
Love at last sight – Moi Caprice
Song for noone – Miike Snow
Burial – Miike Snow
Tappaa minut aamulla – Regina
A city winter – Moi Caprice
Olistiko sittenkin halunnut palata – Regina
Millions – The Bear Quartet
Triangle walks (Rex the Dog radio edit) – Fever Ray
Animal (Punks Jump Up remix) – Miike Snow
The crowning – A Camp

Favorites from SXSW 2009

Here it is. Thug Wife digs out some seeeerious classics from Austin this spring.

Miss Lucifer – Primal Scream
Voices In My Head – K’naan
Daniel – Bat For Lashes
Ankles – Chris TT
Nyet Spasiba – Handsome Furs
Mad Dogs And Englishmen – Late Of The Pier
It’s Impossible – Daniel Johnston
Country Mile – Camera Obscura
We Are The Hunters – The D’Urbervilles
Stay Alive – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
The Abduction of Margaret – The Decemberists
Farewell to the Fairground – White Lies
Frustration – The Whip
Whachadoin? (feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A) – N.A.S.A.
Black Music Remix – Chris TT
Letter From America – The Proclaimers
Finster Crumley – Golden Arm Trio

Dan Deacon’s dayglo fest @ The Great American Music Hall

After an hour with Dan Deacon it’s easy to forget which way up is normal. This guy just does not follow the rules. Don’t believe me? Just look at this blatant disregard of the way things work on the indie/dance/rock scene:

Rule #1

Let someone else build your stage. Following the support acts, a crowd of groupies descend and start building the stage. And in the midst of it Dan appears nonchalantly. None of the pretentious grand entrance you’d find from many lesser-known stars.

Rule #2

Now in my books, a soundcheck should sound all discordant and experimental. Dan at once starts playing with what I guess you would call his instrument. All knobs and leads secured with varying shades of pastel tape. A green skull on a pole is constructed behind the large bespectacled artist, looking like the ackward uncle at christmas meal. the uncle that spent his formative years glueing bits of technology together with serendipity and randomness as the only guide. The soundcheck is so melodic that at times the throngs in the beautifully baroque Great American Music Hall feel the show is about to start and hands start pumping in the air. It doesn’t and the Mr Deacon announces that he will take his leave to get ‘in the zone’.

Rule #3

And then it begins. Falsely. Since when do you cut your performance just as it’s begun? But about four bars in Dan isn’t happy. This is rubbish, he declares. Actually, on this point I really couldn’t tell whether this was all part of the script. The second start has more gravitas than the original offering. The band march on to a different beat with some force and we all enter the wonderful world of Dan Deacon.

Rule #4

All band members should share a similar aesthetic. If you’re an indie band, you need assymetrical haircuts and tight jeans. Meanwhile, our man Dan is in shorts and T-Shirt and his surrounding ensemble are fresh faced and energetic enough to appear like a mini youth orchestra who hone their skills during recess.

Rule #5

If you look like (uncle) geek, make geek music. Keep your drum patterns 8-bit and heavily syncopated. Once more, here Mr Deacon falls down. The sound is big, tribal and proggy. More African in feel than some of the micro-beats of his early recordings. Just as the sound spazzes out into a huge cacophonous drone – it all shatters into miniature plinks on a zylophone. The firm hand of method underpins the madness and the band can turn on a penny. But none of this helps the music journos know where to place your genre-bending antics, Dan.

Rule #6

Build a sense of awe by distancing yourself from your audience. After about three songs, Dan eschews yet another standard of the rock/indie event and dives into the midst of his adoring crowd and…. splits them in half. In the middle of the dancefloor he orchestrates a dance-off contest. As if this isn’t enough, before you know it he’s building human tunnels and marching the crowd around the Great American Music Hall. Like some big social experiment in moving people around ornate civic spaces.

I rest my case

What can I say. If you like breaking down barriers and challenging the established way we do things, then give Dan Deacon a whirl. Just be prepared for the unexpected. Welcome to the world of the bastard mutant lovechild of Sigur Ros and and some Little Britain character that happens to hail from Baltimore.

Chris T-T live at Hotel Utah in San Francisco

Let’s get the disclosure out of the way first: I’ve been a big fan of Chris T-T for some years having been a fellow Brighton neighbor back in the day (the mighty Rifa did a good job on the promotion front). We were witness to some blinding performances with and without the full Chris T-T band under the variable Oxfordshire skies during the intimate Truck festival.

But that was some time ago.

This time Chris had wrangled a trip to San Francisco on the back of his SXSW tour. He descended on the ageing-but-stately Hotel Utah – the 1908 venue that pre-dates the prohibition.

We kept our vantage point on the mezzanine level as Chris launched headlong into his set: a collection of old and new material straddling the seemingly irreconcilable worlds of trenchant political campaigning (a highlight being a hyperspeed version of ‘Cull’) and absurdist surrealism. Think giraffes raining down across the English countryside. The worlds collide at some subcutaneous level lying tantalizingly just beyond the comprehension of this author. Maybe by the next time Chris reaches these shores I’ll have figured this out 😉

Halfway through the set, the borrowed upside-down guitar is thrust to the side, and for the M1 Song, Chris switches his demeanor to that of a cherubic schoolboy auditioning for a choir. His voice in great condition after years of recording and touring, recounts a mythical conversation between a man awaiting roadside assistance for his broken down 4×4 and a tree who saw his brethren felled for the construction of the motorway. Emotive stuff that’s not lost on the crowd (even though I’m not sure many are familiar with that central English road-artery as it is ‘just south of Leeds’.

I’m not particularly well-versed in the anti-folk movement to which Chris loosely belongs, but I’m guessing domestic violence from the perspective of the perpetrator is not one of the most common themes. However it is a subject Chris has touched on in the past and revisits on Ankles (from the Capital album). Vivid, gory and affrontist, the song’s protagonist explains to his partner why he had to break her ankles to stop her leaving. My takeaway? If you can at least understand the psyche of one of societies’ folk devils, then you can see the seeds of this dysfunction lies in us all, and the distancing of the ‘us vs. them’ often perpetuated by the mainstream media appears little more than thinly-veiled hyprocricy.  Thanks Chris, you’ve reborn the undergrad sociologist that’s laid dormant within me for far too long.

Unfortunately, all too soon Chris has to make way for Seashell Radio (with their impressively-bearded jazz-style drummer), and the rest of the night is lost to whisky, weed and cheap burritos in the Mission.

More on Chris T-T

Obviously being a man of our times, he’s also on Twitter.