Wednesday, 30 December 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2014 - Sharon Van Etten "Are We There"

Wrapping up my 50 years of tunes with my stand out album of 2014. I absolutely adore Sharon Van Etten and her most recent album is packed with outstanding songs.

Heartbreaking, spellbinding and simply wonderful.

2014 - Sharon Van Etten "Are We There"

Released: May 2014
Label: Jagjaguwar
Producer: Sharon Van Etten

Track List:

1. "Afraid of Nothing" 4:05
2. "Taking Chances" 3:50
3. "Your Love Is Killing Me" 6:18
4. "Our Love" 3:53
5. "Tarifa" 4:51
6. "I Love You But I’m Lost" 4:19
7. "You Know Me Well" 4:32
8. "Break Me" 4:01
9. "Nothing Will Change" 3:16
10. "I Know" 3:36
11. "Every Time the Sun Comes Up" 4:23


Friday, 25 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 25: Meilyr Jones - Refugees

Happy Christmas everyone! Whatever you do I hope you have a lovely day.

This is my song of the year. It was the first of three tunes release by Meilyr Jones this year and really blew my socks off. Meilyr was formerly singer in a band called Race Horses (who were previously known as Radio Luxembourg) who were pretty great but he's taken things to a whole new level if this song is anything to go by. One of my tips for the top in 2016.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 24: Sauna Youth - Transmitters

For those of you who've been with me from day 1 this is the final part of the Lindsay Corstorphine trilogy. Sauna Youth were the first of the three bands I heard and this single is probably the best thing they've done so far. A band I hope to see live next year and one I think could be a favourite for a long time to come.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 23: LoneLady - Hinterland

I'm writing these a few days in advance so I'm not sure if I've published my Top 5 Albums of 2015 yet but I can certainly say the LoneLady LP did pretty well. Another case of an album so good I struggled to pick my favourite song, Hinterland is the title track and I think the tune that really won me over to LoneLady's sound. It's sparse and spiky and magnificent.

50 Years of Tunes - 2013 - Low "The Invisible Way"

Low have been working their way into my affections since I heard Just Like Christmas from their 1999 Christmas E.P.

I have only recently begun working my way through their back catalogue so I have plenty to discover but all the albums I've heard so far have been consistently marvelous.

The Invisible Way was the catalyst for me finally seeing them live. I had to drive all the way to Cambridge to do so but it was totally worth it.

2013 - Low "The Invisible Way"

Released: March 2013
Label: Sub Pop
Producer: Jeff Tweedy

Track List:

1. "Plastic Cup" 3:01
2. "Amethyst" 5:20
3. "So Blue (So Young)" 4:23
4. "Holy Ghost" 3:06
5. "Waiting" 2:37
6. "Clarence White" 3:47
7. "Four Score" 2:56
8. "Just Make It Stop" 4:08
9. "Mother" 2:52
10. "On My Own" 5:43
11. "To Our Knees" 3:08


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 22: The Leisure Society - Tall Black Cabins

Most of the tunes in my Top 25 are from albums that I've also enjoyed but this is a song that caught my attention in isolation. The tall black cabins mentioned are the net drying huts used by local fisherman on The Stade in Hastings, an area I know quite well. It's a beautiful song but the link with a place I know made it resonate all the more.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 21: The Wave Pictures - Pea Green Coat

Into my top 5 songs of the year now.

The Wave Pictures have been pushing out great tunes at a rate of knots for some time now but this years collaboration with Wild Billy Childish was a real high water mark. Pea Green Coat wasn't on the album but it's the tune with the most obvious Childish influence and a firm favourite round these parts.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 20: Sleater-Kinney - No Cities To Love

I got into Sleater-Kinney just after they went on hiatus, the best part of 10 years ago, so was particularly excited by their return to recorded & live music. This is the title track from their latest album and pretty much picks up exactly where they left off. They can do no wrong in my book and this is a corker of a tune.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 19: Joanna Newsom - Sapokanikan

This came a little out of the blue, after a gap of some five years since triple album Have One on Me. It almost sounded too good to be true but the more I heard it the more I liked it.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Top 25 Albums of 2015 - No.5 to No.1

The final part of my Top 25 Albums of 2015 neatly provides my first Top 5 summary of 2015. All five of these albums were contenders for the number one spot at some point in the year. The fact that Sleater-Kinney, one of my very favourite bands returning after a ten year hiatus, only come fifth underlines this.

5. Sleater-Kinney "No Cities To Love" - Pitchfork review - No Cities to Love is a disarming, liberationist force befitting the Sleater-Kinney canon. Fervent political leftism has been implicit to this Olympia-born trio since they first inverted Boston's "More Than a Feeling" on a 1994 comp and that goes on here as well; we desperately need it. It is astonishing that a radical DIY punk band could grow up and keep going with this much dignity and this many impossibly chiseled choruses. No Pistol, Ramone, or unfortunate mutation of Black Flag could have done this.

4. Thee Oh Sees "Mutilator Defeated At Last" - Pitchfork review - Thee Oh Sees have one type of song that is consistently great. It’s the fast and heavy track that combines the creepy and ugly sensibility of the Cramps with krautrock's streamlined sense of repetition. Mutilator delivers plenty of these songs. "Withered Hand", "Lupine Ossuary", and "Rogue Planet" each strikes that perfect balance of druggy alienation and soothing forward motion, of sublime rhythmic focus and freaked-out guitar violence.

3. Ezra Furman "Perpetual Motion People" - Guardian review - It rages along at a cathartic intensity that perfectly matches the lyrics. Haunted Head evokes the tumult of a bipolar mind in manic mode, the opening Restless Year and Lousy Connection are part painful self-examination, part triumphant Rebel Rebelish rallying cries.

2. B.C. Camplight "How To Die In The North" - The 405 review - This will be a lot of people's first encounter with BC, so let's get one important thing out of the way: he sounds a lot like Brian Wilson. Not just in voice, but in tone, delivery and arrangement too. It's a little disconcerting at first, but go with it: there is treasure in abundance on this record. The theatrical influence is undeniable, from the torch-song opening of 'Good Morning Headache' to the deliciously overwrought chorus of closer 'Why Doesn't Anybody Fall In Love'. It is light years ahead of his previous two albums.

1. LoneLady "Hinterland" - The Quietus review - Hinterland is playful – a vibrant and urgent combination of genealogy and vision – and it is this that truly makes it a masterpiece. Not only does Julie Campbell have the creative chops to create such richly evocative music, but she does it with a wink and a smile. Hinterland feels like a thesis on Manchester and its musical lore. By simply adding the rhythm of her shoes hitting the pavement, she's transformed a nostalgic archive into tightly executed, profoundly new, dance music.


Musical Advent Day 18: Ezra Furman - Ordinary Life

Ezra Furman has had an amazing year, playing bigger & bigger venues and releasing an album, Perpetual Motion People, that seems to have taken a step up from the excellent Day Of The Dog. After much consideration I think this is my favourite track from the new album.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Top 25 Albums of 2015 - No.10 to No.6

Into the top ten now and proof that 2015 really was an exceptional year for music. This batch of records would stand up pretty well to previous years top fives and I've played all of them a lot.

10. Sauna Youth "Distractions" - The Quietus review - If you're coming to London-based post-punk four-piece Sauna Youth as a new listener, then the first thing to point out is that their name is something of a misnomer. Although definitely too young to remember first-hand the DC hardcore scene that occasionally perforates their sound they're probably old enough to recognise that Loud & Quiet's recent comparison of them to Parklife-era Blur might be more than just a music journo shorthand.

9. The Wave Pictures "Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon" - Pitchfork review - Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon is roughly their 16th album, their gnarliest yet, and it’s another collaboration, this one produced and co-written by beret-wearing punk artiste Billy Childish. The garage-rock primitivism marks the first time they’ve really glamourized their limitations. The slight redirection is likely thanks to Childish, who was expelled from art school for having "an attitude of total rejection" and has since devoted his life to demystifying the pompous institutions of modern art and music.

8. Courtney Barnett "Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit" - Pitchfork review - Sit is Barnett's first album, the follow-up to two EPs collected on The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas. Its music is descended from 1990s grunge, descended in turn from '60s garage and psychedelia—the rocks to the balloons of Barnett's thoughts, which blow back and forth above the distorted guitars buoyed by gas we can't actually see. Without her words, the music would sit there; without the music, Barnett would drift away. Half the time, she doesn't even sing, but talks, slipping into melody mid-line as though she just remembered she was playing music.

7. Joanna Newsom "Divers" - Guardian review - A lean, compact summary of the joys of Newsom, still an acquired taste to some, but to others, one of the undisputed greats working in our lifetime. Here are 11 tracks, none of them outstaying their welcome, in which glee and sorrow and erudite lyrical puzzles worthy of Araucaria come wrapped in music of breathtaking agility, conjoining eras and textures without a care.

6. Low "Sixes & Ones" - Guardian review - Ones and Sixes is an ear-pricking listen, particularly on headphones. It’s not just the death watch beetle tick of the programmed drums on Congregation, either. The discrete potato-chip crunch of Parker’s drum beats, and the space around each instrument on first single No Comprende, are two more ways in which producer BJ Burton has brought Low’s music into crisp resolution.


Musical Advent Day 17: Courtney Barnett - Depreston

Things have gone stratospheric for Courtney Barnett this year, seems crazy to think she was playing pub sized venues less than 18 months ago. So many great tunes on the latest album but Depreston struck a particular chord with me. The version in the video is a really nice stripped down recording too.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Top 25 Albums of 2015 - No.15 to No.11

The next batch of five includes a band releasing they're first album for almost 50 years and a band who include a member who's main on-stage involvement is drinking cans of Red Stripe.

15. The Sonics "This Is The Sonics" - Pitchfork review - If garage rock was conceived in the ’60s as the primal sound of teenage boredom, frustration, and angst, what does it mean when men in their seventies attempt to play it? There’s probably a deep and worthy discussion to be had somewhere in there, but the Sonics don’t give a shit about that, nor should they. The Tacoma band’s new release This Is the Sonics is their first studio album of all-new material in 49 years, and that fact alone is staggering. What’s even more remarkable, though, is how one of garage rock’s most legendary bands has dared to test their legend by making a record that spits, snarls, drools, honks, wails, and screams as if it were 1966 all over again.

14. Godspeed You! Black Emperor "Asunder Sweet & Other Distress" - Quietus review - 'Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress' is exceptional in the GY!BE canon in a whole heap of ways. Firstly, it's a mere 40 minutes long - which is short by anybody's modern standards, let alone for the band which popularised the 20-minute plus track time for a whole generation. What's more the four tracks that make up the album play through as one single suite, resulting in a potent statement that it's tough to argue against always sitting through in its entirety.

13. Primitive Parts "Parts Primitive" - Short punky blast that wears its influences on its sleeves but leaves you smiling and wanting more. Featuring Lyndsay from Sauna Youth and Kevin & Robin from Male Bonding this is an album full of catchy hooks and no nonsense tunes that wouldn't sound out of place on a Stiff Records compilation.

12. Sleaford Mods "Key Markets" - Clash Music review - One-dimensional. Exhilarating. Crude. Hilarious. Gritty. Perplexing. These are just some of the words that have probably been used to describe Sleaford Mods in the last 12 months. All of them may be true, but 'Key Markets' is some of the most invigorating, honest and vital music you will hear this year.

11. Samantha Crain "Under Branch & Thorn & Tree" - Guardian review - Samantha Crain has been championed and invited on tour by folk sisters First Aid Kit, though where their music supplies ringing harmonies and dappled sunlight, something more solemn broods within hers. Crain’s songs are often peopled by outsiders struggling against bitter circumstances; Elk City imagines a woman eking out a life in a crumbling town, You or the Mystery addresses a reclusive neighbour found dead in his kitchen. But though many of these songs are racked with sadness, their effect is strangely uplifting. The richness of Crain’s voice and the elegant simplicity of the musical arrangements bring drama to these stories. And the striking imagery of her lyrics finds beauty and pathos in the details of downtrodden lives.


Musical Advent Day 16: Monotony - Monotony

Part 2 of the Lindsay Corstorphine trilogy. Monotony are Sauna Youth playing different instruments. I forget now which band I heard first but I know it was Monotony that really grabbed my attention. Disappointingly I couldn't find a version of this song on YouTube so here's a Spotify link for those of you who have it and the video below is Monotony playing the next best thing, Back To The Castle.

50 Years of Tunes - 2012 - Swans "The Seer"

A vast behemoth of a record and my introduction to Swans having previously been a little bit scared to explore.

The Seer did very well in the 2012 end of year polls and was stupidly cheap via eMusic so I figured I'd give it a go. It took me a while to get to grips with. There are two hours of music over two CDs, including a massively epic title track that clocks in at 33 minutes on it's own.

There were moments when I thought it was too much but slowly, track by track, I got my head around it.

Then I went to see them live and everything really fell into place. They are an amazing band and this is a truly stunning piece of work.

2012 - Swans "The Seer"

Released: May 2001
Label: Young God
Producer: Michael Gira

Track List:

Disc one -
1. "Lunacy" featuring Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker (Michael Gira) 6:09
2. "Mother of the World" (Gira) 9:57
3. "The Wolf" (Gira, Christoph Hahn, Thor Harris, Christopher Pravdica, Phil Puleo, Norman Westberg) 1:35
4. "The Seer" (Gira) 32:14
5. "The Seer Returns" featuring Jarboe (Gira, Hahn, Harris, Pravdica, Puleo, Westberg) 6:17
6. "93 Ave. B Blues" (Gira) 5:21
7. "The Daughter Brings the Water" (Gira) 2:40
Total length:

Disc two -
1. "Song for a Warrior" featuring Karen O (Gira) 3:58
2. "Avatar" (Gira, Hahn, Harris, Pravdica, Puleo, Westberg) 8:51
3. "A Piece of the Sky" featuring Jarboe and Akron/Family (Gira) 19:10
4. "The Apostate" (Gira, Hahn, Harris, Pravdica, Puleo, Westberg) 23:01
Total length:


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Top 25 Albums of 2015 - No.20 to No.16

Continuing the countdown from 20 to 16, this section provides a nice mix of Folk, Pysch and Garage Rock. Time is getting the better of me so rather than struggle over the words I'm quoting from online reviews.

20. Föllakzoid "III" - Drowned in Sound review - It’s the band’s stated aim with this record to show what can be done with a minimalist techo approach to their craft, and as the lead guitar swirls in and out during this track’s sixth minute it is impossible to say anything other than that Föllakzoid have scored a resounding success.

19. Dead Rat Orchestra "Tyburnia" - The Dead Rat's have been on a run of fascinating projects recently and show no signs of slowing down. Tyburnia is the soundtrack to James Holcome's film of the same name, charting the history of public execution and the echoes of those events on contemporary times.

18. Trembling Bells "The Sovereign Self" - Line of Best Fit review - A glorious collage of musical artistry, drawing from darker regions than did any of its predecessors, it’s a work of extraordinary ambition, integrating aspects of Classical Greek tragedy, unorthodox religious imagery and some of the more jagged, acid-tinged pastoralism of drummer-vocalist Alex Neilson’s late 1960s psych-folk heroes the Incredible String Band.

17. Barrence Whitfield & The Savages "Under A Savage Sky" - Allmusic review - The production captures the raucous sound of the Savages' live show with good and greasy accuracy, and when Barrence sings "It's no sin to lose control," he's neatly summed up what's great about this band -- and this album. Those who still believe that rock & roll can and should make you move ought to put Under the Savage Sky on their playlists pronto; it's the raw real thing

16. Moon Duo "Shadow of the Sun" - Pitchfork review - Although Shadow of the Sun is rooted in psychedelia, there are elements of proto-punk all over it, darkening the songs and making them more human. "Wilding", the album's standout opening track, resembles one of Jonathan Richman’s more uptempo songs, tinged with a tinny Haight-Ashbury tambourine and some wigged-out synths. Johnson’s solos, which can occasionally wander, are concise and focused here, setting an energetic stage for what’s to come.


Musical Advent Day 15: Ultimate Painting - Break The Chain

Something a little more melodic after Sleaford Mods. This is considerably more easy going than my normal fair but I absolutely love it. One of those tunes that sounds like a lost classic from the very first time you here it.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Top 25 Albums of 2015 - No.25 to No.21

2015 was a fantastic year for music. I don't know if there was something special in the water or I just managed to hear a lot of good stuff but I don't remember a year in which I discovered so many new albums that I loved. For the first time since I started this blog I've got enough for a Top 25 (and plenty more beyond that).

25. Speedy Ortiz "Foil Deer" - Punk infused Indie rock that never fails to put a smile on my face. Their second proper album (third if you count Sadie Dupuis' self recorded debut) is the perfect combination of spiky guitar and well crafted lyrics.

24. La Luz "Weird Shrine" - An album of Garage Rock influenced tunes with Sixties Girl Group harmonies was always going to lure me into it's charms and seeing them live at the back end of October removed any doubts I had.

23. Beirut "No No No" - Zach Condon's full band version of Beirut continues where the excellent Rip Tide left off in 2011 with another wonderful album. It didn't fair so well critically anyone who counts a rotary valve flugelhorn and a ukulele as his main instruments is going to get a lot of slack from me.

22. Fuzz "II" - Few bands could be quite so well named. Fuzz are yet another string in Ty Segall's many bows. There's more than a hint of Sabbath here and, though I don't actually own a copy yet, this was too good to leave out of my top 25.

21. Deerhunter "Fading Frontier" - Bradford Cox's first release since recovering from being hit by a car. It's a beautifully fragile release that reveals more each time I listen. They played a session for Marc Riley which really opened my ears to their music, Bradford was particularly erudite that night and I was drawn in as much by his enthusiasm as anything else.

Musical Advent Day 14: Sleaford Mods - No One's Bothered

It took me a while to give Sleaford Mods a proper listen despite the fact I almost saw them live in 2009 (before Andrew Fearns joined). The moment it all clicked for me was watching them live via the BBC coverage of Glastonbury, a real highlight in a generally disappointing line-up. I picked up the album soon after and was surprised by how listenable it is. Not everyone's cup of tea, I realise, but it could well be this generation's punk rock.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 13: Samantha Crain - Kathleen

I really liked the previous tunes I'd heard by Samantha Crain, she's played regularly by Marc Riley, but I absolutely loved the 6music session she did in July and decided to try out her latest album. Under Branch & Thorn & Tree is full of magical songs and I struggled to choose the one I liked the best but I think Kathleen is my favourite and it's the perfect introduction for anyone new to her music.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 12: Low - What Part of Me

Low have become one of my very favourite bands over the last few years. Their latest album, Ones and Sixes, continued a fantastic run of albums and this is my favourite tune from it.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 11: Thee Oh Sees - Web

I got to see Thee Oh Sees live less than a fortnight ago and they blew my mind. A band I'd been meaning to get into for a while but hadn't quite gotten around to, Web was the first track I heard off their latest album and it proved to be the catalyst for me getting to grips with the band.

I struggled to pin down which track from the new LP I liked the most but in the end I felt Web distilled the essence of the band the best. The video is a decent version but they've since switch to a two drummer line up and sound even better.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 10: Wreckless Eric - Several Shades of Green

Wreckless Eric is best known for his time on Stiff Records, and his 1977 single (I'd Go The) Whole Wide World. He's been a regular fixture on 6music the last few years, recording three albums with his wife, Amy Rigby but this year he released another solo album, AmERICa, from which this tune is taken.

The lyrics are great, reflecting on past success and the opportunity to live that live again. Eric has a real way with words and there's some lovely touches of humour but that never detracts from what I think sounds like a genuine classic song.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 9: Speedy Ortiz - Raising The Skate

Another band that originated as a solo project. Sadie Dupuis began recording her own material while teaching songwriting at a summer camp. They became a full band in 2011 and released their third full length album, Foil Deer, this year.

50 Years of Tunes - 2011 - Mogwai "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will"

Not sure how I've got all the way to 2011 without mentioning Mogwai.

I first got into them in 1999 with the Come On Die Young Album but somehow, having seen them live on the Rock Action tour in 2001, I lost track of their output. I thought I had enough Mogwai but as I eventually heard their later albums I realised they seemed to be breaking the traditional rock'n'roll paradigm by getting better with age.

Hardcore Will Never Die ... still took me by surprise quickly becoming my favourite Mogwai album so far. I hesitate to say it is also their most commercial (I suspect my ability to spot commercial appeal is now eternally broken) but it is a fabulous album that I love from start to finish. It has an utterly epic finish too, if you have the extended version of the album, closing with the magnificent 23 minute "Music for a Forgotten Future".

2011 - Mogwai "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will"

Released: February 2011
Label: Rock Action
Producer: Mogwai, Paul Savage

Track List:

1. "White Noise" – 5:04
2. "Mexican Grand Prix" (Mogwai, Luke Sutherland) – 5:18
3. "Rano Pano" – 5:15
4. "Death Rays" – 6:01
5. "San Pedro" – 3:27
6. "Letters to the Metro" – 4:41
7. "George Square Thatcher Death Party" – 4:00
8. "How to Be a Werewolf" – 6:23
9. "Too Raging to Cheers" – 4:30
10. "You're Lionel Richie" – 8:29

Limited edition including bonus CD featuring the 23:23 minute long "Music for a Forgotten Future (The Singing Mountain)" recorded for an art installation by Douglas Gordon and Olaf Nicolai in Essen, Germany.

(All songs by Mogwai except where noted)


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 8: Kathryn Joseph - The Bird

This is simply astonishing. A lovely sparse arrangement with Kathryn's piano to the fore. Vocally reminiscent of Joanna Newsom but this song is truly magnificent.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 7: Primitive Parts - Miracle Skin

The first of three entries for bands featuring Lindsay Corstorphine, a musician who seems to be so prolific he's almost formed his own genre. Both Primitive Parts and Sauna Youth have released albums in my top 25 of the year. Monotony are the third band, just as good as the other two, though they're actually Sauna Youth playing different instruments.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 6: Girl Band - Pears For Lunch

Chalk & cheese. This couldn't be further in style from yesterday's pop pick. I'm still getting to grips with the album but Pears For Lunch is great and enough to suggest I will eventually like this band a lot.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 5: Charli XCX & Rita Ora - Doing It

I can't have a top 25 without a bit of solid gold pop in it. Thin pickings this year, or maybe I just wasn't listening to those sort of channels, but I can't stop Dad dancing to this in the kitchen.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 4: Trembling Bells - Killing Time in London Fields

Change of tack today. Trembling Bells come from a folk background but with the latest album, The Sovereign Self, they've added a level of Seventies Rock sheen to their sound. The video below is from a gig I went to at Café Oto, on my birthday as it turned out, the sound is a bit echoey but it's more interesting than the official sound only video.

Chop's Gigs - October/November

The latest batch of gig reports, missing the mini festival of mates bands for a work function (unless I've knocked that out before this post goes live on Friday).

Barrence Whitfield & The Savages at Boileroom, Guildford on Thursday 8th October 2015 - After a relentless few weeks at work and a busy time at home I was feeling a bit frazzled on my way to Guildford for this gig but Barrence and the boys blew all that away with another blistering set of top notch pre-decimal R&B.

La Luz at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on Thursday 22nd October 2015 - I was introduced to La Luz via a random tweet on Twitter. I've forgotten who mentioned them now but the description of their style, sixties girl group meets surf rock, suggested they'd be right up my street and so it proved.

Courtney Barnett at The Forum on Wednesday 25th Nov 2015 - Tonight wasn't the best gig I've been to this year. I'm not sure why as I love Courtney's songs and her latest album is in my top 10 of the year. Maybe it was the venue (a bit bigger than my normal), or the crowd (a bit static) or maybe it was just me. Whatever the reason I didn't fully engage which was a shame as I was really looking forward to it.


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 3: This Is The Kit - Bashed Out

Ostensibly the alias for singer/songwriter Kate Stables, This Is The Kit tour in varying numbers though usually including Jesse Vernon on bass and violin & Jamie Whitby-Coles on drums. Most recently another Top 5 Towers favourite Rozi Plain has been part of the touring band. Bashed Out was the lead single from the album of the same name.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 2: Nadine Shah - Fool

I'd been meaning to give Nadine Shah a listen for some time when Fool came on the radio and stopped me in my tracks. Nadine's vocal is the big draw for me, deep and haunting with a hint of Nina Simone.

50 Years of Tunes - 2010 - Thee Silver Mt Zion "Kollaps Tradixionales"

Thee Silver Mt Zion, the side project of Efrim from Godspeed You Black Emperor, may just about have eclipsed my love for that original band.

Initially entirely instrumental, the ever changing named Silver Mt Zion, got better with each release. By the time I saw them live mass vocals, sung by all the band facing each other on stage, had become a key component of the band's sound.

They also took the approach of playing live shows featuring mainly new songs and these would form the core of the next album they released. Despite the lack of familiarity I found I enjoyed them live more and more every time I went. Kollaps Tradixionales isn't my favourite ASMZ album but it is up with their best and a pretty decent starting point for someone new to the band.

2010 - Thee Silver Mt Zion "Kollaps Tradixionales"

Released: February 2010
Label: Constellation
Producer: Howard Bilerman

Track List:

1. "There Is a Light" – 15:19
2. "I Built Myself a Metal Bird" – 6:17
3. "I Fed My Metal Bird the Wings of Other Metal Birds" – 6:18
4. "Kollapz Tradixional (Thee Olde Dirty Flag)" – 6:09
5. "Collapse Traditional (For Darling)" – 1:29
6. "Kollaps Tradicional (Bury 3 Dynamos)" – 6:48
7. "'Piphany Rambler" – 14:19


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Musical Advent Day 1: Moon Duo - Slow Down Low

Last year I did a musical advent on Twitter, this year I've made life a little harder for myself my doubling it up with a run down of my top 25 songs of the year. More or less, I decided to keep things interesting I'd only allow one song per artist. 25 corking tunes though, that have helped make 2015 one of the best years for new music I can remember. First up it's Moon Duo, a duo (appropriately) from San Francisco featuring Wooden Shijps' guitarist Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2009 - Bill Callahan "Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle"

Having discovered Bill Callahan when he was still recording as Smog (in particular the excellent Knock Knock) I wasn't expecting him to turn up with his best album so far into his career. Callahan, like Will Oldham, seems to be an incredibly prolific songwriter who can't produce a bad tune.

Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, despite it's confusing title is an immaculate album. Special mention for Eid Ma Clack Shaw, a song about Bill dreaming the perfect song but finding the lyrics are nonsense when he wakes up. Ironically this may actually be the perfect song, it's certainly one of my favourite.

2009 - Bill Callahan "Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle"

Released: April 2009
Label: Drag City
Producer: Raven

Track List:

1. "Jim Cain" – 4:39
2. "Eid Ma Clack Shaw" – 4:19
3. "The Wind and the Dove" – 4:34
4. "Rococo Zephyr" – 5:42
5. "Too Many Birds" – 5:27
6. "My Friend" – 5:12
7. "All Thoughts Are Prey to Some Beast" – 5:52
8. "Invocation of Ratiocination" – 2:41
9. "Faith/Void" – 9:44


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2008 - Youthmovies "Good Nature"

I first saw Youthmovies, supporting Hope Of The States in 2003, when they were called Youth Movie Soundtrack Strategies and had something of a Red Hot Chilli Peppers vibe. That was probably more to do with the bare chests than their music and whilst I wasn't entirely convinced by the music they certainly made an impression.

They were the sort of band I doubt I'd have even heard about before the growth of the Internet and it was thrilling to find a band that seemed so perfect playing tiny venues. I didn't see them live again until the year this album (their only full length release) came out and by then they're musical style had changed significantly. I became a huge fan and was disappointed when less than two years later they played their last gig.

A really great band who I was sad to see fall by the wayside so soon.

2008 - Youthmovies "Good Nature"

Released: March 2008
Label: Drowned In Sound

Track List:

1. "Magdalen Bridge"
2. "The Naughtiest Girl is a Monitor"
3. "Soandso and Soandso"
4. "the Last Night of the Proms"
5. "Cannulae"
6. "If You'd Seen a Battlefield"
7. "Shh! You'll Wake it!"
8. "Something for the Ghosts"
9. "Archive it Everywhere"
10. "Surtsey"


Friday, 13 November 2015

Top 5 One Hit Wonders - Chop's Picks

As I mentioned with last week's collaborative vote result, I was surprised by the variety of songs people voted for in this category. I realise now that has a lot to do with what people consider a one hit wonder and, true to form, I've pushed the definition a bit for some of my selections.

1. "Rescue Me" Fontella Bass - I've seen this described as the best song Aretha Franklin didn't sing. Fontella's vocal is very similar in range to Aretha's but this is a marvelous song. She had a number of minor hits in the US but Rescue Me was her only UK Top 30 single.

Some interesting tidbits from Wikipedia - Minnie Riperton provided background vocals, and Maurice White and Louis Satterfield, later of Earth, Wind & Fire, were on drums and bass respectively. Also, discussing the call-and-response sections with The New York Times, she said, "When we were recording that, I forgot some of the words... Back then, you didn’t stop while the tape was running, and I remembered from the church what to do if you forget the words. I sang, 'Ummm, ummm, ummm' and it worked out just fine".

2. "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" Urge Overkill - A cover of the Neil Diamond song that featured on the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction, it peaked at 37 in the UK charts but gave the band their only UK Top 40 single. So, possibly scraping my definition of a "hit" (especially as Fontella Bass' reached 32 with Recovery the follow up to Rescue Me) but I'm going to include it as it's appearance in Tarantino's excellent second movie (see the 2nd video below) made a huge impression - Uma Thurman dancing round the room while John Travolta convinces himself not to do anything silly with Marsellus Wallace's Wife before walking back downstairs to find that she's just overdosed on bad coke.

3. Echo Beach Martha & The Muffins - A proper hit, reaching number 10 in the UK in 1980. This was one of my favourite songs included on a New Wave compilation called The Sound Of The Suburbs. I always associated it with Chesil Beach in Dorset which might have something to do with the barrier style beach that featured on the cover of the seven inch release.

4. 96 Tears Question Mark & The Mysterians - I first heard this thanks to a cover by the Inspiral Carpets that featured on their first, self-released, album Dung 4. The original was a US number one and in the band's homeland they scored other hits but in the UK this was their only charting single (making 37 in 1966). The Stranglers also covered the song and got to 17 with it in 1990 making their version the best known for UK listeners.

5. Pipeline The Chantays - An instrumental surf rock standard that gave the US band their only UK Top 75 in 1963 when it peaked at number 16. I know this best thanks to the cover that Johnny Thunders included on his magnificent debut LP, So Alone.


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2007 - Les Savy Fav "Let's Stay Friends"

In the words of Jetplane Landing Why do they never play Les Savy Fav on the radio? The only Punk band left in America. I'm guessing if you don't know who Les Savy Fav are you've even less chance of knowing Jetplane Landing but the sentiment is still valid.

It might be a little harsh on the current American Punk scene but Les Savy Fav are a special band, amazing live and remarkably consistent on record. Let's Stay Friends was the first album of theirs I heard and it's an absolute corker.

2007 - Les Savy Fav "Let's Stay Friends"

Released: September 2007
Label: Frenchkiss Records

Track List:

1. "Pots & Pans" – 2:38
2. "The Equestrian" – 3:27
3. "The Year Before the Year 2000" – 2:26
4. "Patty Lee" – 3:51
5. "What Would Wolves Do?" – 2:56
6. "Brace Yourself" – 4:13
7. "Raging in the Plague Age" – 2:43
8. "Slugs in the Shrubs" – 2:40
9. "Kiss Kiss Is Getting Old" – 3:18
10. "Comes & Goes" – 3:01
11. "Scotchgard the Credit Card" – 3:06
12. "The Lowest Bitter" – 4:20


Friday, 6 November 2015

Collaborative Top 5 One Hit Wonders - RESULT

I thought this was a topic that would have fewer options and therefore make it easier to find a clear top five. Turns out I didn't take into account the broad gamut of tastes of those who contributed.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote, this really wouldn't work without you. There's a list of the tunes that received two or more votes at the bottom - if you voted for a song and it's not mentioned, you were on your own with your appreciation.

1. "99 Luftballons/99 Red Balloons" Nena - It's 1984 and floppy fringes, headless basses and key-tars are the height of fashion. It was only during the voting for this top five that I discovered the German language original which was also a hit in the USA. This made number 1 in the UK and I remember it being a massive hit at the time, a tune that I initially dismissed for being too poppy but worked it's way into my brain so that I ended up really liking it. It's an anti-war song and I suspect loses a bit of impact in translation though watching them sing it in German it's still sounds remarkably perky.

2. "Uptown Top Ranking" Althea & Donna - This came out in 1977 and was a little bit before my time, or at least passed me by. According to Wikipedia the song was played by accident by BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel leading to the single becoming a surprise hit in the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 1 in February 1978. Althea & Donna were 17 & 18 when it was recorded and became the youngest female duo to claim a UK number 1.

3. "Jilted John" Jilted John - I went to school with a kid called Simon Gordon and inevitably he took a bit of stick after this hit the charts due to the "Gordon is a moron" refrain. Actually I think I probably knew this song more from hearing kids sing it at school than from the actual song. It was a hit in September 1978 and I reckon I only started watching Top Of The Pops regularly in 1979. Back then of course TOTP was the ONLY way of finding out about bands.

4. "Echo Beach" Martha and the Muffins - I've clearly got readers of a certain age as this bit of New Wave Pop was a hit in 1980. I'll be revealing my personal top five next week but without wanting to spoil the suspense you'll be seeing this tune mentioned again. In fact it's the only one of my choices to make the collaborative list.

5. "I Won't Let You Down" Ph.D - Jim Diamond died only a few weeks ago and that might have contributed to this song's late surge into the top five. Ph.D were a British group comprised of Diamond on guitar & vocal, keyboardist Tony Hymas and drummer Simon Phillips. This was the band's only hit in April 1982, though Diamond later launched a solo career and scored a number one single with I Should Have Known Better.

Here's the full list of tunes that received two or more votes;

1 Nena 99 Red Balloons/99 Luft Balloons
2 Althia & Donna Uptown Top Ranking
3 Jilted John Jilted John
4 Martha & The Muffins Echo Beach
5 PhD I Won't Let You Down
6 The Passions I'm In Love with a German Film Star
7 Thunderclap Newman Something In The Air
7 Norman Greenbaum Spirit In The Sky
9 Trio Da Da Da
9 Fontella Bass Rescue Me
11 Tubeway Army Are Friends Electric?
11 Wild Cherry Play That Funky Music
13 Len Steal My Sunshine
13 The Las There She Goes
13 Chesney Hawkes The One & Only
13 M/A/R/R/S Pump Up The Volume
13 Lilys Nanny In Manhattan
18 Modern English Melt With You
18 Zager & Evans In The Year 2525
18 Brian Protheroe Pinball
21 The Knack My Sharona
22 White Town Your Woman
22 New Radicals You Get What You Give


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2006 - Cat Power "The Greatest"

Cat Power backed by some of the best session musicians Memphis has to offer and sounding more confident than she had ever done up til this point.

The Greatest is an album I loved from the first time I heard it and has yet to fade in my affections with subsequent plays.

2006 also saw the remarkable Ys by Joanna Newsome & the excellent Fox Confessor Brings The Flood by Neko Case but Cat Power steals the limelight for me.

2006 - Cat Power "The Greatest"

Released: May 2005
Label: Matador
Producer: Stuart Sikes

Track List:

1. "The Greatest" 3:22
2. "Living Proof" 3:11
3. "Lived in Bars" 3:44
4. "Could We" 2:21
5. "Empty Shell" 3:04
6. "Willie" 5:57
7. "Where Is My Love" 2:53
8. "The Moon" 3:45
9. "Islands" 1:44
10. "After It All" 3:31
11. "Hate" 3:38
12. "Love & Communication" 4:34

All tracks written by Chan Marshall


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2005 - Sleater-Kinney "The Woods"

It is indicative of my sense of timing that I should get into a band just as their releasing their final album before going on an indefinite hiatus.

The Woods is an astonishingly powerful record that often shows me how cheap my various speakers & headphones actually are by pushing them well beyond their natural limits.

Speaker buzz aside, The Woods is a phenomenal album and the record that made me fall head over heals for the majesty of Sleater-Kinney.

I finally got to see them live this year and it was brilliant, probably my gig of the year. Hooray for hiatuses.

2005 - Sleater-Kinney "The Woods"

Released: May 2005
Label: Sub Pop
Producer: Dave Fridmann

Track List:

1. "The Fox" 3:25
2. "Wilderness" 3:40
3. "What's Mine Is Yours" 4:58
4. "Jumpers" 4:24
5. "Modern Girl" 3:01
6. "Entertain" 4:55
7. "Rollercoaster" 4:55
8. "Steep Air" 4:04
9. "Let's Call It Love" 11:01
10. "Night Light" 3:40

All music composed by Sleater-Kinney (Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss)


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2004 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus"

I had a few aborted attempts to get into Nick Cave but for some reason this epic double album was the one where it all finally clicked for me.

It might have something to do with Breathless, the song in the video link below, which is utterly gorgeous and a definite contender for my all time favourite song list.

Both albums are superb and, you'll be pleased to hear, I'm now making good progress with the rest of the Cave canon.

2004 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus"

Released: September 2004
Label: Mute
Producer: Nick Launay

Track List:

Disc one: Abattoir Blues
1. "Get Ready for Love" (Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Martyn P. Casey, Jim Sclavunos) 5:05
2. "Cannibal's Hymn" 4:54
3. "Hiding All Away" 6:31
4. "Messiah Ward" 5:14
5. "There She Goes, My Beautiful World" 5:17
6. "Nature Boy" (Cave, Ellis, Casey, Sclavunos) 4:54
7. "Abattoir Blues" (Cave, Ellis) 3:58
8. "Let the Bells Ring" (Cave, Ellis) 4:26
9. "Fable of the Brown Ape" 2:45

Disc two: The Lyre of Orpheus
1. "The Lyre of Orpheus" (Cave, Ellis, Casey, Sclavunos) 5:36
2. "Breathless" 3:13
3. "Babe, You Turn Me On" 4:21
4. "Easy Money" 6:43
5. "Supernaturally" 4:37
6. "Spell" (Cave, Ellis, Casey, Sclavunos) 4:25
7. "Carry Me" 3:37
8. "O Children" 6:51

All songs written and composed by Nick Cave unless otherwise noted.


Friday, 16 October 2015

Chop's Gigs - August/September

Bit of a backlog of these again, 2015 is turning out to be an amazing year for live music which isn't helping my bank balance any.

The Phantoms at The Royal Oak, Hampton on Friday 7th Aug 2015 - I've seen The Phantoms a lot, they're rapidly heading towards the top of my list of bands I've seen the most. They're pals and, despite inevitable line up changes, have been going for over 15 years now. Having previously played regularly at The Grey Horse in Kingston this was their second time at the Royal Oak and I think the new environs suited them.

Mark Lanegan Band at the Concorde 2, Brighton on Wednesday 2nd September 2015 - Mark Lanegan is a relentlessly consistent songwriter and his live band are just as consistent. I'm not sure how steady the line-up is, the last two albums have featured a rolling cast of contributors, but they sound well drilled and very loud.

Brakes at The Lexington on Monday 7th September 2015 - Brakes are a joy to see live. They cram as much fun into an hour as any band I've ever seen. Flying pineapples, false starts, broken drum sticks & audience participation all play a part in the band's return to the London stage and make this a night to remember.

Torres / Du Blonde / Harkin at The Scala on Wednesday 23rd September 2015 - Three singer songwriters all at the top of their game made for a brilliant night of music at one of my favourite venues in London.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2003 - The Necks "Drive By"

An improvisational Jazz trio would not be my usual fare at all but a pal of mine told me a bit about The Necks and the more I heard the more intrigued I got.

Their albums tend to be hour long one track affairs and Drive By may be their most well known piece of work, it's certainly my favourite Neck's album so far.

Live they take a genuinely improvisational approach, I got to saw them at the impossibly hip Cafe Oto last year and was utterly blown away.

2003 - The Necks "Drive By"

Released: 2003
Label: Fish Of Milk

Track List:

"Drive By" (The Necks) - 60:16


Friday, 9 October 2015

Collaborative Top 5 - One Hit Wonders - VOTE

Are you all ready for another group top 5? I thought I'd pick a more restrictive subject this time round. I'm not going to get too stuffy on the definition of a one-hit wonder but Wikipedia (see links below) will help you if you're struggling to remember any that you actually liked (it's not all Mr Blobby and Joe Dolce out there).

One-hit wonder definition

List of UK one-hit wonders

List of US one-hit wonders

To vote give me five one-hit wonders by 30th October - if you order them 1 to 5 you'll earn more points for your favourite tunes, if you just give me five they'll score equally - vote via the usual mechanisms (blog comment, Facebook, Twitter or Pub) and I'll compile the list for an early November reveal.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

50 Years of Tunes - 2002 - Desaparecidos "Read Music / Speak Spanish"

Another album I discovered by chance. Like 99's dEUS album also down to a review that caught my attention and intrigued me. This is Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame doing Emo with his friends and doing it really well.

They pretty much disappeared off the planet having released this LP. I guess Conor was back doing Bright Eyes & solo stuff and didn't have time to do any thing more. But then, in 2013, SongKick Detour helped crowd fund a short tour and I got to see them play most of this album (bar the opening track which only featured on the International release - oddly as it's one of my favourite tracks) and some new stuff live at the Electric Ballroom. Awesome gig.

2002 - Desaparecidos "Read Music / Speak Spanish"

Released: February 2002
Label: Saddle Creek

Track List:

1. "What's New for Fall" 3:46
2. "Man and Wife, The Former (Financial Planning)" 3:16
3. "Manana" 3:24
4. "Greater Omaha" 4:14
5. "Man and Wife, The Latter (Damaged Goods)" 3:39
6. "Mall of America" 2:41
7. "The Happiest Place on Earth" 3:02
8. "Survival of the Fittest/It's a Jungle Out There" 2:56
9. "$$$$" 5:10
10. "Hole in One" 3:08


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

50 years of Tunes - 2001 - The Dirtbombs "Ultraglide In Black"

2001 was a straight shoot out between the band that really got me into Garage Rock (The White Stripes) and the Garage Rock band - though they might deny that tag - I love the most. The Dirtbombs win out as they're brilliant and this was the album that I first discovered them with. It's actually a collection of Soul, R&B and Motown covers with Your Love Belongs Under a Rock the only original Dirtbombs composition.

The Dirtbombs were originally a side project for Mick Collins, of Garage Rock Legends The Gories, and only planned to release singles. Ultraglide is their second full length LP and began a pattern of LPs that would represent different genres. It's a policy that has kept their music fresh and seen the band produce collections of Punk, Detroit Techno and Bubblegum Pop.

They're bloody ace live and if they ever get back over here you absolutely HAVE to see them.

2001 - The Dirtbombs "Ultraglide In Black"

Released: May 2001
Label: In The Red

Track List:

1. "Chains of Love" J.J. Barnes, M. Davis, D. Davis (J.J. Barnes) 2:21
2. "If You Can Want" Smokey Robinson (The Miracles) 2:57
3. "Underdog" Sly Stone (Sly & the Family Stone) 3:35
4. "Your Love Belongs Under a Rock" Mick Collins (The Dirtbombs) 2:20
5. "I'll Wait" George Clinton (The Parliaments) 3:00
6. "Living For the City" Stevie Wonder (Stevie Wonder) 3:07
7. "The Thing" Larry Bright (Larry Bright) 2:02
8. "Kung-Fu" Curtis Mayfield (Curtis Mayfield) 5:42
9. "Ode to a Black Man" Phil Lynott (Phil Lynott) 3:38
10. "Got to Give It Up" Marvin Gaye (Marvin Gaye) 4:03
11. "Livin' For the Weekend" Kenny Gamble, Cary Gilbert, Leon Huff (The O'Jays) 3:29
12. "I'm Qualified to Satisfy You" Barry White (Barry White) 3:53
13. "Do You See My Love (For You Growing)" R. Beavers, Johnny Bristol (Junior Walker & the All-Stars) 4:20


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

50 years of Tunes - 2000 - Godspeed You! Black Emperor "Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Atennas To Heaven"

Post Rock royalty. This album sprawls over four sides and is the moment Godspeed changed from intriguingly different to absolute must hears. It's an epic LP that builds to huge crescendos but never loses your attention. Probably my favourite GYBE album though they're incredibly consistent.

2000 - Godspeed You! Black Emperor "Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Atennas To Heaven"

Released: October 2000
Label: Constellation, Kranky
Producer: Daryl Smith

Track List:

Disc one

1.1 / Side 1: Storm
No. Title Length
1. "Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas to Heaven..." 6:15
2. "Gathering Storm/Il Pleut à Mourir [+Clatters Like Worry]" 11:10
3. "'Welcome to Barco AM/PM...' [ L.A.X.; 5/14/00]" 1:15
4. "Cancer Towers on Holy Road Hi-Way" 3:52
Total length: 22:32

1.2 / Side 2: Static
No. Title Length
1. "Terrible Canyons of Static" 3:34
2. "Atomic Clock" 1:09
3. "Chart #3" 2:39
4. "World Police and Friendly Fire" 9:48
5. "[...+The Buildings They Are Sleeping Now]" 5:25
Total length: 22:35

Disc two

2.1 / Side 3: Sleep
No. Title Length
1. "Murray Ostril: '...They Don't Sleep Anymore on the Beach...'" 1:10
2. "Monheim" 12:14
3. "Broken Windows, Locks of Love Pt. III." 9:53
Total length: 23:17

2.2 / Side 4: Antennas to Heaven
No. Title Length
1. "Moya Sings 'Baby-O'..." 1:00
2. "Edgyswingsetacid" 0:58
3. "[Glockenspiel Duet Recorded on a Campsite In Rhinebeck, N.Y.]" 0:47
4. "'Attention...Mon Ami...Fa-Lala-Lala-La-La...' [55-St. Laurent]" 1:18
5. "She Dreamt She Was a Bulldozer, She Dreamt She Was Alone in an Empty Field" 9:43
6. "Deathkamp Drone" 3:09
7. "[Antennas to Heaven...]" 2:02
Total length: 18:57


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

50 years of Tunes - 1999 - dEUS "The Ideal Crash"

One of those chance discoveries. I read a very brief but positive review of The Ideal Crash but I really, REALLY, liked the cover so bought a copy without knowing much about the band or hearing any of their music. This seems odd in an era of online streaming and instant downloads but back then it's the sort of thing I did quite a lot.

Initial plays didn't blow me away, it was alright but not amazing, but over time - without any deliberate effort - I noticed that it became one of my most played albums. I think shuffle mode on my iPod had a lot to do with this. I began to pick up odd songs and like them individually so that when I went back and played the album I found I liked every song.

I've only recently started to explore the rest of dEUS' catalogue and though I'm making progress I don't think they've come close to this before or since (though maybe a bit more shuffle play will sort that out too).

I still really like the cover too.

1999 - dEUS "The Ideal Crash"

Released: March 1999
Label: Island
Producer: David Bottrill

Track List:

1. "Put the Freaks Up Front" (dEUS) – 5:14
2. "Sister Dew" (Tom Barman, Craig Ward) – 5:35
3. "One Advice, Space" (Barman, Ward, Kelvin Smits) – 5:46
4. "The Magic Hour" (Barman, Ward) – 5:23
5. "The Ideal Crash" (Barman, Ward, Danny Mommens) – 5:00
6. "Instant Street" (Barman, Ward, Mommens) – 6:15
7. "Magdalena" (Barman, Ward, Mommens) – 4:58
8. "Everybody's Weird" (Barman, Ward) – 4:51
9. "Let's See Who Goes Down First" (Klaas Janzoons, Ward) – 6:23
10. "Dream Sequence #1" (Barman, Ward) – 6:31