Saturday, April 24, 2010

Episode 293

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 293

Photo: Deutsche Elektronische Musik (Soul Jazz Records 2010)

This episode featured a couple of tracks from the latest Soul Jazz compilation, Deutsche Elektronische Musik: Experimental German Rock And Electronic Musik 1972-83. It's a fantastic compilation which as well as featuring a couple of well known tracks from Can, Neu!, Faust, Popol Vuh and Harmonia also features a load of bands that were new to me: Between, Gila, Ibliss, Kollectiv and Deuter. As ever with Soul Jazz this is worth it for the lavish booklet alone. A beautiful package with some stunning, timeless music.

Popol Vuh - Aguirre I
(From the soundtrack to Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God)

La Düsseldorf — Rheinita
(Formed by Neu! multi-instrumentalist Klaus Dinger after Neu! disbanded in 1976. Rheinita is taken from their 1978 album Viva.) 

This episode also featured two tracks from Denim's classic 1992 Back in Denim. After releasing 10 albums and 10 singles with Felt in the 1980s, Lawrence moved to New York and wrote Back in Denim. It's a masterpiece that was out of print for years.  Back in Denim is an ode to all things 70s and Glam rock, in fact the Glitter Band's Pete Phills drums a number of tracks.

 Denim - Back in Denim (Boy's Own 1992, West Midlands 2006)

Episode 293 22/04/10

Lone Wolf - The Devil and I (Part 2)
Tender Trap - Girls With Guns
Patrick Kelleher - Finds You (Thread Pulls)
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood
Hunter Gatherer - I Dreamed I Was a Footstep in the Trail of a Murderer
John Grant - I Wanna Go To Marz
Angus & Julia - Big Jet Plane
Midlake - Children of the Grounds
Christy & Emily - Kings & Monsters
Sarah Blasko - All I Want
Harmonia & Eno - Luneburg Heath (The Field Remix)
Popol Vuh - Aguirre 1
Mark Beazley - Four Fourteen
Between - Devotion
Cathy Davey - LittleRed
Miracle Bell - Fit For Love
Extra Life - Made Flesh
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Time of the Assassins (Outlines Remix)
Phoenix - Lasso
Miracle Bell - Love Sounds
Sone Institute - Hobbyhorse
Denim - Back in Denim
Denim - The Osmonds
La Dusseldorf - Rheinita
Gonjasufi - Kobwebz

Sunday, April 18, 2010

From the Archives - Colin Blunstone of The Zombies

Songs To Learn And Sing - Colin Blunstone of The Zombies

This interview is from January 2009. Colin Blunstone chats about his career with The Zombies and his solo records. We talked about his Neil MacArthur recordings and his trio of early 70s solo records: One Year, Ennismore and Journey. Colin was a great interviewee and I must admit that I was absolutely thrilled to be talking to him about his records because I'm such a huge fan. He was really gracious with his time and was happy to chat about the recording of Odessey and Oracle, working with arranger Chris Dunning, his working relationship with Rod Argent and his latest record The Ghost of You And Me.  

Episode 292

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 292

Photo: Gramercy Arms - Gramercy Arms (Reveal Records 2008)

This episode featured three tracks from 2008's self-titled debut album from Gramercy Arms. The New York band were dubbed a "supergroup" because of its members previous musical incarnations. The band features Rainy Orteca (Dead Air and Joan As Police Woman), Sean Eden (Luna),  Dave Derby (The Dambusters), Kevin March (Guided By Voices) and Hilken Mancini (Fuzzy). The band is named after the the Art Deco, 10 storey apartment building at 102 East 22nd Street. The album was described as being "a slice of West coast pop with East coast sensibilities" and that pretty much sums it up. Fans of The Byrds, Big Star, the Modern Lovers, the Velvets and Simon and Garfunkel will love this. It also features contributions from Sarah Silverman, Chris Brokaw, Lloyd Cole, Joan Wasser and various members of the Pernice Brothers, Nada Surf and Shudder to Think. It's quite simply a gem.

Gramercy Arms - Shining Bright (Dead Air remix)

This episide finished with two tracks from One Year, Colin Blunstone's debut solo album from 1972. Colin was the lead singer with The Zombies and after they split up he released three singles under the pseudonym Neil MacArthur in 1969. He teamed up again with his old Zombies bandmates Rod Argent and Chris White for his solo debut album. Argent and White co-produced and contributed three songs to One Year. The album features three tracks with a rock band backing and the other seven are backed with a beautiful Chamber-pop strings, arranged by Chris Gunning. We played the two singles from the album on the show, Caroline Goodbye is about the break-up of Colin and actress Caroline Munro's relationship and Say You Don't Mind was written by Denny Laine.

Colin Blunstone - Caroline, Goodbye

Episode 292 15/04/10

Miracle Bell – Fit For Love
Pearly Gate Music – I Woke Up
Malachai – Snowflake
Dum Dum Girls – Bhang Bhang, I’m A Burnout
Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader
The Splinters – Dark Shades
Tanlines – Three Trees
Extra Life – Head Shrinker
Seeland – Captured
John Grant – Outer Space
Tracey Thorn feat. Jens Lekman – Long White Dress
Angus & Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane
Active Child – She Was a Vision
Tim Cohen – Haunted Hymns
Low & Springheel Jack – Bombscare
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Time of the Assassins
Gramercy Arms – Looking at the Sun
Gramercy Arms – Fakin’
Gramercy Arms – Shining Bright
Stornoway – I Saw You Blink
Cathy Davey – Little Red
Arch Garrison – Stone on the Pound
Wild Nothing – Cloudbustling
Liquid Liquid – Scraper
Explode Into Colors – Sharpen the Knife
Luke Haines – 21st Century Man
Lone Wolf – Russian Winter
Mark Beazely – Three Twenty Five
Colin Blunstone – Say You Don’t Mind
Colin Blunstone – Caroline Goodbye

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Episode 291

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 291

Photo: Patrick Kelleher - You Look Colder Remixes (2010 Osaka Records)

On this episode we were joined by Patrick Kelleher for a chat. Patrick picked some great tunes to play on the programme: The Durutti Column, Holgar Czukay, Harmonia and more. We also played a few tracks from Patricks 's remix album You Look Colder.  The album is out next week on Osaka Records and there's a launch gig Upstairs in Whelan's on April 16. The interview will be podcasted at a later date.

  Patrick Kelleher - Wonder (Jape remix)

Photo: Clancy - Road to the Heart (Catchy Go Go Records 2009)

This episode also featured three tracks from Road to the Heart the album recorded by Paul Clancy before his tragic death earlier this year. Paul was the drummer in National Prayer Breakfast (NPB), whose Sadder Day Blues has always been a firm favourite of mine. Road to the Heart sounds nothing like NPB, its a stripped down affair of absolutely beautiful ballads. The standout track for me is Sweet Sunshine - to paraphrase the press release "a simple, unpretenious ballad." His friends will launch the album on Saturday night, April 10 at Moxie Studios, Pembroke Row. Check out the video for Hope in Your Heart below.

Clancy - Hope in Your Heart

Episode 291 08/04/10

Part 1 - Patrick Kelleher Interview
Patrick Kelleher - I Am Eustace (Hulk remix)
Patrick Kelleher - Finds You (Thread Pulls remix)
Echo & the Bunnymen - Angels and Devils (Patrick's choice)
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - This Night Has Opened My Eyes (Patrick's choice)
Harmonia - Arabesque (Patrick's choice)
Holger Czukay - The Photo Song (Patrick's choice)
Patrick Kelleher - Not Leaving Town (David Kitt remix)
The Durutti Column - Danny (Patrick's choice)
Patrick Kelleher - Boy Named Suzie Q (The Booklovers remix)

Part 2
Miracle Bell - Thank You Computer Man
Club 8 - The Boy Who Wouldn't Stop Dreaming
Wild Palms - Deep Dive
Royal Bangs - War Bells
On No Ono - Icicles
The Pains of being Pure At Heart - Higher Than The Stars (St Eteinne Remix)
Clancy - Hope In Your Heart (Launch gig/tribute night Moxie Studios, Pembroke Row Apr 10)
Clancy - Road To Your Heart
Clancy - Sweet Sunshine
Lone Wolf - Keep Your Eyes On The Road
Grovesnor - Taxi From the Airport
Sarah Blasko - Bird On A Wire
Christy & Emily - Little World
Vowels - Two Wires

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fly Pan Am and Sigur Rós - Dublin 2000

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fly Pan Am and Sigur Rós - Dublin 2000 

Another post with old flyer artwork. This time artwork from two Irish gigs played by Godspeed You! Black Emperor in 2000.

Flyer (front): GYBE's first Dublin show in April 2000

It's ten years since this gig, it was an amazing line up. The gig was originally scheduled to take place in HQ on Abbey Street (now The Academy) but for some reason was moved to Temple Bar Music Centre. Godspeed You! Black Emperor were fantastic but Sigur Rós left me speechless. When I reviewed the gig for Zeitgeist, I didn't even mention Godspeed:

"Sigur Rós are the Icelandic four-piece who up-staged Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the Temple Bar Music Centre. The band who formed in 1994, have released three albums in their native Iceland, the latest Agætis Byrjun spent eight weeks at the top of the domestic charts. Their records have yet to be released outside of Iceland but they have recently released a 12” single on Fat Cat in the UK.

Sigur Rós are one of the only support bands I have ever seen that completed astonished an audience. Their unique blend of orchestrated, atmospheric music was layered with the angelic voice of Jon Por Birgisson. The performance was completely hypnotic and the backdrop of three projector screens beaming out landscape images of Iceland only heightened the intensity of the experience. Birgisson’s vocal technique has in the past been compared to Liz Fraser and Björk. The likeness however is only in the way that Birgisson uses his own simulated language to convey emotions. Sigur Rós have claimed that they will “change music forever.” Watch out, the evidence of their debut Irish show suggests that their pretentious declaration could  actually be realised. Absolutely Stunning!"

 Flyer (back): GYBE's first Dublin show in April 2000

Flyer: GYBE's Cork show the night before the Dublin gig, Fly Pan Am were on the bill but Sigur Rós weren't. 

The Cork gig was in The Annex, which was a venue directly behind the stage of Sir Henry's. It had previously been called The Forum and was a horrible venue. It was an L-shaped room with a very deep stage and sound always seeped in from Henry's. The Godspeed gig was a late show and when the band came back on to do an encore the bouncers went mental and tried to stop the gig. Trouble ensued with the crowd sitting on the floor in protest.   

From the Archives - Stereo Total Interview

Songs To Learn And Sing - Stereo Total Interview

Photo: Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring (photo by Simgil)

"Underground pop - punk music, French chanson, 80s German electronic music and disco music sung in French, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Turkish," was how Françoise Cactus described the sound of her band when I interviewed her in 2005. Stereo Total played in Whelan's Dublin on 23 April 2005 as part of the Berlin Anticonformiste Festival with Jeans Team and Cobra Killer. This has to be one of the best gigs I've ever attended in the city. An amazing night and three amazing bands. I spoke to Françoise earlier in the day about Stereo Total's then latest album Do the Bambi. The band had previously played Dublin supporting The Strokes in the Olympia and had received a great reaction but were really looking forward to this their own headlining show. Françoise chatted about moving to Berlin in the 80s and forming a garage band Les Loitas. She also recalled that a Dubliner called Valerie McClean was the original bass player with Les Lolitas. 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Episode 290

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 290

Photo: Life Without Buildings - Any Other City (Tugboat 2000)

This episode featured three tracks from one of my favourite records of the noughties. Life Without Buildings was a Scottish band from Glasgow who released three singles and one album for Rough Trade affiliate Tugboat Records before disbanding. Released in early 2001, Any Other City was recorded at CHEM 19 in Hamilton by Andy Miller. It's a blisteringly fantastic record. Life Without Buildings created a truely original sound helped in no small part by the unique vocal style of Sue Tomkins. She talks, sings and stutters her way through the songs. She repeats words, syllables and phrases and often sounds like she is actually fighting against the music created by her bandmates rather then singing along with them. Comparisons with Patti Smith and PIL were inevitably made but Life Without Buildings were a one off and Any Other City remains a cult classic. Find it!

Life Without Buildings - The Leanover

This episode also featured two tracks from Catriona Irving. I've recently fallen for the Julien Plaisir De France remix of Irving's third single, Sitting On the Shelf Without Shelly. It's a beautiful remix that simply layers the vocals and adds some synths and a beat. This track led me to investigate Catriona's previous releases. The two songs featured on this episode can be found at Need No Water Records. Running On Empathy was her first single and I Nearly Died For Your Art is taken from her second release the Stitch EP. The label produces beautiful handmade sleeves for its limited run 7'' singles.

Catriona Irving - Sitting on the Shelf Without Shelly

Episode 290 01/04/10
Angus & Julia Stone - Big Jet Plane
Christy & Emily - Kings & Monsters
Lone Wolf - We Could use Your Blood
Oh No Ono - Internet Warrior
Extra Life - Head Shrinker
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Ship Song
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Straight To You
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Deanna
Extra Life - The Refrain
Allo Darlin' - Dreaming
Holy Roman Army - Elegy
Stornoway - I Saw You Blink
Tender Trap - Fireworks
John Grant - Sigourney Weaver
Wild Nothing - Cloudbusting
Active Child - She Was A Vision
Tanlines - Real Life
Vessels - An Idle Brain and the Devil's Workshop (Errors remix)
Catriona Irving - I Nearly Died For Your Art
Catriona Irving - Running On Empathy
Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed
tUne-YarDs - Sunlight
Julian Cope - Preaching Revolution
Dum Dum Girls - Oh Mein Me
The Splinters - Mysterious
Life Without Buildings - The Leanover
Life Without Buildings - Lean On Me
Life Without Buildings - Young Offenders