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