Thursday, September 23, 2010

Episode 314

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 314

Shellac - The Bird is the Most Popular Finger 7'' (Drag City, 1994)

This show featured The Admiral, a track by Shellac, taken from their 1994 Drag City 7'', The Bird is the Most Popular Finger. This is an instrumental version of the track which appears on the band's first album, At Action Park. The b-side is XVI, which is early working of the At Action Park track Pull the Cup. This is a really beautiful 7'' sleeve, the back features a line drawing of the band's loft rehersal space with a number allocated to each item. A black and white photograph of the same loft space then slots in over the line drawing. The 7'' came accompanied by an insert with a number key.  


Episode 314 - 16/09/2010

The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
The Dirty Three - Last Horse On the Sand
James Murphy - People
The Black Heart Procession - It's A Crime I Never Told You About The Diamonds In Your Eyes
Blitzen Trapper - Below the Hurricane
Laetitia Sadier - One Million Year Trip
Jaill - Demon
Girls Names - Don't Let Me In
The Godfathers - She Gives Me Love
Dum Dum Girls - Stiff Little FIngers
The xx - Shelter (Tiga Remix)
Zola Jesus - Stridulum
Active Child - She Was A Vision
Ladytron - Seventeen
Michael Rother - Sonnenrad
Arc of Doves - Arabesque
Man or Astro-man - The Miracle of Genuine Pyrex
It Hugs Back - Other Cars Go
Ane Brun - The Fall
Shearwater - Black Eyes
La Dusseldorf - Rheinita
Black Box Recorder - Uptown Top Ranking
South San Gabriel - All Night Long
Shellac - The Admiral
Daniel Johnston and Beam Orchestra - True Love Will Find You In the End

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Episode 313

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 313

Dark Star - Twenty Twenty Sound (Harvest/EMI Records, 1999)

This episode featured three tracks from Dark Star's 1999 debut album, Twenty Twenty Sound. Dark Star were formed by Christian Hayes, David Francolini and Laurence O'Keefe after their previous band Levitation had disbanded. Terry Bickers had formed Levitation with the lads after leaving the House of Love. Gracedelica and I Am the Sun were both released as singles in 1998 and 1999 respectively and eventually charted upon rerelease in 2000.

Twenty Twenty Sound was produced by Steve Lillywhite and its effects laden guitars, manic drumming and heavily distorted vocals still sound great today, especially on the standout, I Am the Sun. The NME's review of the record got it spot on: "A fine excursion into the murkier reaches of obsession crawling from the wreckage, then. It's not always pretty and seldom comprehensible, but you have to admire a band who can yell lyrics like I am centrifugal as if they were the meaning of life. Although what it all means is anyone's guess. And they said Bickers was the mad one."

Tom Phillips designed Twenty Twenty Sound's beautiful package. The artist and collagist had previously designed album covers for King Crimson (Starless and Bible Black, 1974) and Brian Eno (Another Green World, 1975). His design for Twenty Twenty Sound is similiar to the technique he utilised in his work A HUMUMENT, but using Dark Star's lyrics as his source material.

A HUMUMENT is a treated book based on the Victorian novel 'A Human Document' by W.H. Mallock. (A Human Document. A Hum(an) (Doc)ument. A Humument.)

Inspired by William Burroughs's "cut-up" writing technique, Tom Phillips bought an obscure Victorian novel for three pence - W. H. Mallock's 1892 novel, A Human Document. Phillips drew, painted, and collaged over the pages of Mallock's original text, leaving some of the original text to show through. A Humument was first published in 1970.

Describing his technique Phillips said: "I plundered, mined, and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems, erotic incidents, and surrealist catastrophes which seemed to lurk within its wall of words. As I worked on it, I replaced the text I'd stripped away with visual images of all kinds. It began to tell and depict, among other memories, dreams, and reflections, the sad story of Bill Toge, one of love's casualties."

Revised editions appeared in 1986, 1998 and 2004. Each edition revises and replaces various pages. Phillips's stated goal is to eventually replace every page from the 1970 edition. A few of the pages from the 1970 edition can be viewed below and the whole book can be seen here.

Dark Star would record one more album for EMI, the unreleased Zurich and would eventually split up in 2001. Twenty Twenty Sound is definately worth tracking down and the Later performance below is still pretty breathtaking.

Dark Star - I Am the Sun (Later with Jools Holland, 1999)

Episode 313 - 09/09/2010

Peter Broderick - Robbie's Song
Peter Broderick - Human Eyeballs On Toast
Andrew Bird - A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
Eels - Spectacular Girl
Nancy Elizabeth - Please, Please, Please Let Me get What I Want
Seeland - Black Dot, White Spider (Kelpe Remix)
Women - Eyesore
James Blackshaw - Part 3 (playing with Swans, The Button Factory, 22 Oct)
Dark Star - I Am The Sun
Dark Star - Graceadelica (Black Star Liner Remix)
Dark Star - Verigo
Levitation - Nadine
Maps & Atlases - Pigeon (playing Whelan's, 23 Oct)
Kelley Stoltz - Ventriloquist
Kelley Stoltz - The Birmingham Eccentric
Madder Rose - The Love You Save
Madder Rose - Beautiful John
Sky Larkin - Anjelica Huston
Sky Larkin - ATM
The Vaselines - Overweight But Over You
Olaf Arnalds - Jonathan (playing Fringe Festival, 24 Sept)
Junip - Always
Tweak Bird - A Sun / Ahh Ahh
The xx - Night Time
The xx - Fantasy
Mice Parade - Couches & Carpets (playing Whelan's, 10 Oct)
Jefferson Airplane - Wooden Ships
Jefferson Airplane - Somebody to Love

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Episode 312

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 312

This episode features Overweight But Over You, one of the standout tracks from Sex With An X the brilliant new album by The Vaselines. The album is out on Sub Pop Records and below is the video for the title track. I saw the band live in 2009 in Barcelona at Primavera Sound and they played a fantastic set of old and new tracks. Sex With An X was "produced by Jamie Watson who produced that first album Dum Dum" back in 1990. Eugene and Frances were accompanied by guest musicians Stevie Jackson and Bob Kildea from Belle & Sebastian on guitar and bass, and Michael McGaughrin from the 1990s on drums. 

Before that Primavera Sound show the band had played a short tour of the US in support of Sub Pop's compilation Enter The Vaselines. While in Seattle they recorded a brilliant live session for local station KEXP 90.3 FM, two of the tracks are below. The band tour the UK in September and the US in October (including six shows with Dum Dum Girls). Unfortunately there's no news yet of a Dublin show.

The Vaselines - Molly's Lips
(Live Session from Seattle's KEXP 90.3 FM, May 13 2009)

The Vaselines - Son of a Gun
(Live Session from Seattle's KEXP 90.3 FM, May 13 2009)

This episode also featured three tracks from three different soundtracks composed by Clint Mansell. Below is the brilliant Welcome to Lunar Industries from the Duncan Jones directed Moon.

Episode 312 - 02/09/2010

Seeland - Black Dot, White Spider
Eyebrow - Built In A Day
The Blue Aeroplanes - Built In A Day
Hunter Gatherer - Pere Lachaise
Damien Jurado - Wallingford (Playing Whelan's, 24 Sept)
Damien Jurado - I Am the Mountain
Damien Jurado - Gillian Was A Horse
Billy Fury - Turn My Back On You
Link Wray - Jack the Ripper
The Cramps - Surfin' Bird
The Fresh & Onlys - Endless Love
The Vaselines - Overweight But Over You
Yeh Deadlies - Magazine
Wavves - Green Eyes
XTC - Senses Working Overtime
Autolux - Kissproof
Soreng Santi - Iron Man
The Smithereens - Blue Period
Richard Swift - The Songs of National Freedom (Playing Whelan's with Damien Jurado, 24 Sept)
Clint Mansell - πr² (from Pi)
Clint Mansell with The Kronas Quartet - Summer: Party (from Requiem for a Dream)
Clint Mansell - Welcome to Lunar Industries (from Moon)
Scheer - Wish You Were Dead
Black Mountain - The Hair Song
Yeasayer - Madder Red (playing Olympia, 18 Oct)
Swans - You Fucking People Make Me Sick (Playing The Button Factory, 22 Oct)
James Blackshaw - Part 7 (Playing The Button Factory with Swans, 22 Oct)
The Go Go's - Our Lips Are Sealed
Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed
Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
Robert Forster - Let Your Light In Babe