Friday, May 28, 2010

Episode 298

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 298

Boa Morte

This episode featured an interview with Boa Morte's Cormac Gahan (second left above). The band have just released The Dial Waltz, their second album and Cormac came on the show to chat about the band's history, the long gestation period between their debut record and The Dial Waltz and working with producer Daniel Presley. Cormac played tracks by Joanna Newsom, Adrian Crowley, Bowerbirds and others. The interview will be podcasted next week.

Prolapse live at Abbey Park Festival

This show also featured two tracks from Prolapse's 1994 debut album Pointless Walks to Dismal Places. The band were from Leicester and featured co-vocalists Mick Derrick and Linda Steelyard. Mick really only shouted abuse at Linda in a Scottish accent. The band released four albums in total and even had a crossover chance when Donald Ross Skinner (Julian Cope's guitarist for years) produced their third album, The Italian Flag in 1997. Alas it was not to be. The Youtube clip above shows how great the band were live and the clip below is for Doorstop Rhythmic Bloc, a single off the first album. 

Prolapse - Doorstop Rhythmic Bloc from 1994`

This episode also featured three tracks from The Memory Band's 2006 album Apron Strings. The folk group's second album is a masterpiece and the below Youtube clip is another track off the album.

The Memory Band - I Wish I Wish

Episode 298 - 27/05/2010

Part 1 - Interview with Boa Morte's Cormac Gahan
Boa Morte - All This We Must Consider
Joanna Newsom - Does Not Suffice (Cormac's choice)
Adrian Crowley - the Wishing Seat (Cormac's Choice)
Hildur Guðnadóttir - Ascent (Cormac's Choice)
Jóhann Jóhannsson - Odi Et Amo (Cormac's Choice)
Bowerbirds - Chimes (Cormac's Choice)
The Unthanks - Nobody Knew She Was There (Cormac's Choice)
Boa Morte - Priceles Prize

Part 2
The National - Anyone's Ghost
Male Bonding - Year's Not Long
Male Bonding - Franklin
Lone Wolf - Keep Your Eyes On the Road
Local Natives - World News
The Memory Band - Green Grows the Laurel
The Memory Band - Come Write Me Down
The Memory Band - The Light
Junkboy - Friends (Part 2)
Prolapse - Doorstop Rhythmic Bloc
Prolapse - Serpico
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Tiny Holes In This World

Saturday, May 22, 2010

From the Archives - Adrian Crowley Interview

Songs To Learn And Sing - Adrian Crowley Interview

Adrian came up to the studio in Dublin City FM last year, upon the release of his fifth album Season of the Sparks, to chat and play some records. Since then he's won the Choice Music Award for Irish Album of the Year 2009, rereleased the album on Chemical Underground Records and played some great gigs all over the place, most recently to a packed out Whelan's in April.

Adrian Crowley - Season of the Sparks
(Chemical Underground Records, 2009)

We chatted about his career to date, his first gigs, James Yorkston, the Fence Collective, and the recording process. Adrian talked about touring and the how the 23 hours of the day leading up to your performance can be incredibly boring: "The things that you notice, the things that you start talking about with others or even to yourself. It's unbelievable, it's kind of like stir crazy in motion, you can really bond with people in that situation and it's very surreal. I've made some amazing friends touring, some of them I've never seen again, some of them I see all the time and we all think it's a strange existence and no one's really sure whether or not they want to get used to it. If you get used to it then maybe there's something a bit wrong with you."

Adrian played tracks by Boa Morte, Jeremy Enick, Smog and Gareth Dickson. Youtube videos for some of the tracks chosen by Adrian are below.

Gareth Dickson - Two Trains
(from Gareth's 2005 debut album Spruce Goose, he also tours with Vashti Bunyan as her guitarist)

Jeremy Enick - Shade and the Black Hat
(live version of the track from Jeremy's 1996 debut solo record, Return of the Frog Queen) 

Smog - Bathysphere
(taken from Smog's fourth album Wild Love released on Drag City back in 1995)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Episode 297

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 297

Boa Morte (Maurice Hallissey, Paul Ruxton, Bill Twomey and
Cormac Gahan)

This show featured a few tracks from Boa Morte's newly released second album, The Dial Waltz. It's been nearly eight years since the band's debut album, Soon It Will Come Time to Face the World Outside, but to be almost clichéd about it - it was worth the wait! The band have delivered another sparse, downbeat masterpiece. Another familiar with the first album will know exactly what to expect here - the template thankfully hasn't changed. Newcomers can expect delicate, slow songs, subtlely arranged and augmented by cello, violin, trumpet and trombone with Paul and Cormac sharing lead vocals and close harmonies. This album is not to be jumped in and out of  - it deserves to be played from start to finish and then unbeknownst to yourself you've just hit play again. The Dial Waltz is a great record.   

Boa Morte - The Dial Waltz (Kicking A Can Records 2010)

Boa Morte - Wooden Floor (taken from The Dial Waltz)

This episode also featured Sonnenrad by Michael Rother. The track is the opening song on Rother's second solo album, Sterntaler from 1978. It's a great record which often gets overlooked. I suppose if you'd been a member of Kraftwerk, a founding member of both Neu! and Harmonia it's is easy to see why some of your solo albums might be overlooked. Rother is joined by Jaki Leibezeit of Can on drums and the album was produced by Conny Plank (Kraftwerk, Cluster, Guru Guru, Ash Ra Tempel). Sterntaler is a classic.

Michael Rother - Sonnenrad

Episode 297 - 20/05/2010

Teenage Fanclub - Baby Lee (playling The Academy, May 30)
Field Music - Let's Write A Book
Midlake - Children of the Grounds (playing Harmonic with Grizzly Bear,
Camera Obscura and Villagers, June 25)
Extra Life - Black Hoodie
Quack Quack - Phonehenge
Dum Dum Girls - Pay For Me
Dum Dum Girls - Bhang Bhang, I'm A Burnout
Dum Dum Girls - Catholicked
Stereolab - French Disco
Comet Gain - I Close My Eyes To Think Of God
Boa Morte - Quarter to Ten (playing Bewley's Theatre, May 23)
Boa Morte - Rail Song
Boa Morte - Luminous Plackton
Ann Scott - All Eternity (playing Whelans, June 9)
Ann Scott - Love is in Him
The National - Lemonworld
Snowpony - 3 Can Keep a Secret
Herm - Rearrange (playing Whelans, May 22)
Herm - Heads
Shearwater - Rooks
The House of Love - Marble
Rachel's - The Last Night
Active Child - She Was a Vision
The Holy Roman Army - Elegy (playing with Herm, Whelans, May 22)
Miracle Bell - Fit For Love
Arc of Doves - Word of Mouth
Michael Rother - Sonnenrad
Adrian Crowley - The Beekeeper's Wife
Alexander Tucker - Phanton Rings (Slight Return)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

From the Archives - John Roderick of The Long Winters

Songs To Learn And Sing - John Roderick of The Long Winters  

When I interviewed Ken Stringfellow we chatted about Ken's work with John Roderick and The Long Winters on  their second album When I Pretend to Fall (2003, Munich Records). Ken told me all about producing one of my favourite tracks off that album, Cinnamon.

When I interviewed John Roderick I asked him to explain what his song Cinnamon was all about. His reply made me love the song even more: "A lovestory set in a Red Brigade, Badder Meinhof Gang era Europe, where the two protagonists of the story are revolutionary anarchists whose gang hideout is being closed in upon by Interpol. There's an explosion and the girl gets away. The guy is captured and they're pressing him for information about her, but he won't give her up all he'll say is that her skin is like cinnamon."  

John was in Dublin to promote Putting the Days to Bed the 2006 album by his band The Long Winters. The band hail from Seattle and John chatted about the influence that living in that city has had on him as a musician: "Looking out from the stage when you're starting out and there'll be only thirty people at your show but twenty of them will be other musicians, I remember playing a show to an empty room but the audience contained Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey, and that's a real shot-in-the-arm for any band starting out. I credit the city of Seattle with making me want to be a musician."

John also talked about growing up in Alaska and the possibility of touring Europe with a huge British band. The band turned out to be Keane.

From the Archives - Damien Jurado Interview

Songs To Learn And Sing - Damien Jurado

Photo: Damien Jurado at Primavera Sound 2009

Damien Jurado has a great new album out called Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian). A few years ago I interviewed him when he was in Dublin in support of his sixth album, On My Way To Absence. He was a really gracious interviewee and happily revealed how he got into music: "I stole my first bass at 13 from school and taught myself how to play an entire Black Flag record, that's pretty much how it all started, I then started writing my own songs."  

Damien Jurado's classic 2005 album On My Way To Absence

Damien started getting into folk and country music in the early 90s when Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirt was crossing over. "I felt a little bit betrayed - because when your enemies at school start wearing Nirvana t-shirts, dying their hair and wearing boots, you look for another alternative and for me I discovered Simon & Garfunkel records and Phil Ochs and people like that."

Damien is a great storyteller and draws huge inspiration from the idea of people escaping the humdrum everyday existence in Middle America: "The bored teenager, the bored adult who has nothing going on for them, they'll pretty much work themselves to death until they're about seventy, not much happens so they have to make things happen."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

From the Archives - Patrick Kelleher Interview

Songs To Learn And Sing - Patrick Kelleher

Patrick Kelleher came up to the studio a few weeks ago to chat about his new remix album, You Look Colder and to play some records on the show. We chatted about the recording of You Look Cold and the different remixes for You Look Colder. Patrick played some Echo & the Bunnymen, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, The Durutti Column, Harmonia and more: a good cross section of music which he's currently listening to. You Look Colder is out now on Osaka Records and features Thread Pulls, Jape, Hulk, Hunter Gatherer, David Kitt and others remixing tracks from last year's brilliant You Look Cold album. The Youtube clips below feature some of the selection that Patrick played and chatted about on the programme. Patrick also has a new 7'' out now on Skinny Wolves.

Patrick Kelleher - Contact Sports 7'' (Skinny Wolves)

Patrick Kelleher - You Look Colder (Osaka Records)

Holgar Czukay - The Photo Song (from 1984's Der Osten ist Rot)

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - This Night Has Opened My Eyes (cover of The Smiths classic taken from the 2006 my Molly EP)

Harmonia - Arabesque (taken from Live 1974)

Echo & the Bunnymen - Angels and Devils (originally released as the B-side to the 1984 single Silver, this live version is from the Live in Liverpool DVD)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Episode 296

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 296

Photo: Ann Scott- Flo (Raghouse Records 2010)

This show featured Killerman and Flo, two tracks from the third album by Ann Scott. Flo is released by Raghouse Records on June 4 and Ann plays live at Whelans in Dublin on June 9. Flo, the follow up to 2006's We're Smiling, is described as Scott's "most personal work to date" and was recorded "at home in Dublin," at Electrical Audio in Chicago and at Black Box Studio in France.

This episode also featured Haunted Hymns from Tim Cohen's The Two Sides of Tim Cohen. Cohen's (The Fresh & Onlys) album is released by Endless Nest on vinyl only.

Tim Cohen - Haunted Hymes

Episode 296 - 13/05/2010

Grovesnor – Nitemoves
Patrick Kelleher – Finds You (Thread Pulls remix)
Quack Quack – Perpetual Spinach
The Fall – Mexico Wax Solvent
Galaxie 500 – When Will You Come Home
Broken Social Scene – Texico Bitches
Wildbirds & Peacedrums – Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood
Suicide – Cheree
The Honeycombs – Have I the Right
Tanlines – Real Life
Dum Dum Girls – Pay For Me (Playing Whelans, May 18)
Ann Scott – Killerman (Playing Whelans, June 9)
Ann Scott – Flo
Children Under Hoof – The Dole
Arthur Russell – This Is How We Walk On the Moon
Beach House – 10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix)
Beach House – Zebra
The Delgados – No Danger (Kid’s Choir)
Male Bonding – Franklin
Junkboy – On the Shore
The Cult – Edie Ciao Baby (Acoustic)
The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
The Kingsmen – Louie Louie
Tim Cohen – Haunted Hymes
The Durutti Column – Tomorrow
The Splinters – Dark Shades
Julian Cope – Soul Desert

Episode 295

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 295

Photo: Hellwood - Chainsaw of Life (Munich Records 2006)

This show featured a few tracks from Hellwood's 2006 album Chainsaw of Life. Hellwood is Johnny Dowd, Jim White and Willie B. Chainsaw of Life is a must for fans of the three gentlemen or for anyone who has ever seen White's road movie Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus.

Hellwood - Murder
(live at the Take Root Festival 2006)

Johnny Dowd with Maggie Brown - First There Was
(from Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus)

Episode 295 - 06/05/2010

The Fall – Bury PTS 1 & 3
Hunter Gatherer – I Dreamed I Was A Footstep in the Trail of A Murderer
Tim Cohen – We Never Go In
Grovesnor – Taxi From the Airport
Love is All - Seasick
Patrick Kelleher – Wonder (Jape Remix)
Pearly gate Music – Navy Blues
Broken Social Scene – Art House Director
Unbunny – Loose Wires
Hellwood – Thank You, Lord
Hellwood – Alien Tongue
Hellwood – Chicken Shack
Christy & Emily – Idle Hands
Wildbirds & Peacedrums – Fight For Me
Extra Life – Made Flesh
Lone Wolf – Dead River
Tracey Thorn - Hormones
The Fall – Hot Cake
Quack Quack – Big Sounds
Trembling Bells – When I Was Young
John Grant – Queen of Denmark
Dan Sartain – Atheist Funeral
Sarah Blasko – Sleeper Awake
Oh No Ono - Swim
Angus & Julia Stone – Walk It Off
Mark Beazely – Two Fifty Seven
Lee Hazelwood – Some Velvet Morning
Male Bonding – Before It’s Gone
Dexys Midnight Runners – Seven Days Too Long

Episode 294

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 294

Photo: Seachange - Lay of the Land (Matador Records 2004)

This episode featured a couple of tracks from Seachange's debut album Lay of the Land. Seachange were amazing live when I saw them supporting Mission of Burma in Cork in 2004 and Lay of the Land still sounds totally energetic and fresh. Their second album On Fire, With Love was released on Glitterhouse Records in 2006. Their last gig was played in Bonn on March 24, 2007 and was filmed for German TV and released as a live album on Glitterhouse entitled Disband in Bonn 2007.

Seachange - News From Nowhere (Live in Bonn 2007)

Flyer: Seachange flyer from UK and Irish tour in 2004 supporting Mission of Burma

Episode 294 - 29/042010


The Jesus & Mary Chain – Head On
John Grant – Outer Space
Broken Social Scene – Romance To The Grave
Extra Life – Black Hoodie
Christy & Emily – Cave
Lone Wolf – Russian Winter
The Long Winters – Cinnamon
Wovenhand – Dirty Blue
The Shortwave Set – Figures of ‘62
The Vaselines – Son of a Gun
The Vaselines – Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
The Vaselines – Rory Rides Me Raw
Sarah Blasko – Hold On My Heart
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - 103
Dolorean – Hannibal, Mo
Damien Jurado – Rachel & Cali
Vowels – Drums Gone Awry
Tim Cohen – I Swear to God
Brendan Benson – Misery
Sone Institute – French Woods
The Loves – Sweet Sister Delia
The Splinters – Motorcycle
Tracey Thorn (feat. Jens Lekman) – Come On Home to Me
Emily Loizeau – Sister
Wildbirds & Peacedrums – Under Land and Over Sea
Oh No Ono – Icicles
Seachange – News From Nowhere
Seachange – Carousel