Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Favourite Songs Under Two Minutes in Length

I found this page, Ten Best Indie Songs Under Two Minutes via a friend ‘s Facebook page and its started me thinking. What are my favourite songs that clock in at under two minutes. I found myself drifting back through my record collection looking for songs that I love that a short. The vast number although very brief clocked in at over two minutes. Below is my list of ten songs that last under two minutes. I have gone on the length of the official released studio versions of the songs.

Broken Harp – PJ Harvey (1.59)

Big Black – La Dopa (1.41)

Vic Chesnutt – Super Tuesday (1.26)

Pixies – Something Against You (1.47)

Billy Bragg – Lovers Town Revisited (1.19)

The Smiths – Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (1.50)

Jesus and Mary Chain – Taste of Cindy (1.39)

Tom Waits - Johnsburg, Illinois (1.34)

American Music Club – Bad Liquor (1.59)

Scott Walker – 30th Century Man (1.29)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Remembering September 11th - Wordless Music Orchestra (Free Download)

Go and download this amazing free concert by the Wordless Music Orchestra at the great NPR. I have listened to it three times already this week and its gets more amazing each time I listen."...Led by the dynamic conductor Ryan McAdams, New York's Wordless Music Orchestra performed four works centered on the idea of loss and remembrance. The program featured the world premiere of Maxim Moston's orchestration of an arresting work by William Basinski, The Disintegration Loops.

The concert also included three pieces for string quartet: Ingram Marshall's Fog Tropes II, Osvaldo Golijov's Tenebrae and Alfred Schnittke's Collected Songs Where Every Verse Is Filled With Grief, passionately and movingly performed by violinists Keats Dieffenbach and Caroline Shaw, violist Nadia Sirota and cellist Clarice Jensen...."

It free for a week from here:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jamie XX Mix - Fact Magazine

Jamie XX wonderful new mix for FACT magazine. Mix 282 is the blissful mix of dusk bound garage. The FACT magazine ends with a great closing paragraph.

"...Jamie’s FACT mix, a dusk-lit garage and house session featuring Elgato, Dark Sky and a bunch of stuff we’ve never heard before, though alternate versions of a couple of well-known Jamie xx remixes appear to be present. Naturally, there’s no tracklist supplied...."

The link to the article is here -

The mix can be downloaded from Soundcloud.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Billy Bragg - Never By The Sun

The wonderful Billy Bragg tune Never By The Sun has been released as a free download via the Billy Bragg website.

This is the official press release:

"Billy Bragg’s brand new song ‘Never Buy The Sun’ takes aim at the whole sorry story of News International’s systemic failure to understand that there are limits to legitimate news gathering. Billy concludes that neither press, police nor politicians come out of this scandal looking good. Only the people of Liverpool can hold their heads high.

Their refusal to buy The Sun in the wake of that paper’s unfounded accusation that Liverpool FC supporters robbed the dead victims of the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989 shows that not only do the scousers have principles, but they are also determined to hold onto them in an often cynical world.

Written last Friday, first performed on Saturday, a video clip posted on Sunday, recorded on Monday, mixed on Tuesday and made available as a free download today, Wednesday, Billy Bragg’s new song ‘Never Buy The Sun’ could hardly be more urgent.

In the wake of the announcement that Rupert Murdoch had decided to close the News of the World, Bragg put pen to paper after spending the day driving north listening all the way to discussions about the ramifications of the phone hacking revelations.

After writing the song in his hotel room, Bragg polished the song enough to debut it during his set at Garforth Festival. The rapturous response that he got convinced him to post a video of himself performing the song in the dressing room of the festival, which, after 48 hours, had notched up over 20,000 views.

Back home in Dorset on Monday, as the allegations against News International spread to include The Sun and The Sunday Times, Bragg gathered some musician friends together in a Weymouth studio to record the song for immediate download from his site. Mixed on Tuesday afternoon, the track is available now as a free download from billybragg.co.uk.

Commenting on the speed of the process, from creation to release, Bragg said ‘ During the Miner’s Strike in 1984, I wrote a song about the struggle called ‘Between the Wars’. By the time I got into the studio to record the song, the strike was eight months old and, when the record finally got into the shops in February, the strike was over.”

Although the digitisation of music has had negative effects on the music industry, it has made the process of recording and distributing material much simpler and faster. If like Billy, you’re the writer of songs that try to offer a different perspective on the big issues of the day, the turnaround time helps add to the topicality.

Bragg, who is appearing at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Trade Union Festival in Dorset next Sunday 17th July, said “Over the past few years, any expression of social solidarity has been scorned – from the new activism of the climate camps and UK Uncut to the more traditional campaigns of the unions – but by sticking to their guns, the people of Liverpool have been vindicated in their principled stand against News International.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE office@braggcentral.com"

You can download it from direct from here

You can also join the Get Billy Bragg to Number one group on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Second Hand Culture - My New Site

Hello all have launched a new site that attempts to cover all the stuff I buy second hand. Its called Secondhand Culture and I have done the first two post on Kate Bush's The Kick Inside and Alexander Pope's Selected Poetry.

I have always loved buying stuff second hand and so many of my music discoveries are via second hand records. I can clearly remember buying a my vinyl copy of Closer by Joy Division from a secondhand record shop in Deptford Southeast London. From the market in Deptford were my Dad had a stall selling collectibles I bought a four tapes by The Cure.

I used to buy old jukebox 7" singles from the local News Agents in Herbert Road. I can remember being thrilled when I found a copy of Louise by The Human League.

I have never really stopped buying stuff secondhand and the blog is a homage to that.

Never Buy the Sun - Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg proving once again that Folk Music isn't something that is just exists in dusty text books and crackling old vinyl records. This is Billy's response to the current issue with News Corp, The News of The World and The Sun. This as written and performed before the news about The Sun hacking Gordon Brown's son's medical records.

If you wonder why Scousers Never By the Sun - Visit Here

Friday, May 06, 2011

Belong - Common Era Review

Belong – Common Era (Kranky)

Back in 2006 the duo of Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones otherwise known as Belong released the beautiful drifting October Language. It was a dark heavy maze of gauzy guitar static and throbbing base tones. It was an ambient guitar suite of the highest order. Between October Language and Common Era they issued the Colorloss EP in 2008 since then things have been silent. The Colorloss EP can be seen as the bridge between the swirling noise of the first record and warped shoegaze of Common Era. It’s cracked cover versions pointing towards a broader interpretation of the notion of the song.

Common Era takes the fractured elements of October Language whirlpool of guitar haze and expands upon it with the use of drums and vocals. This shift in the bands sonic template has provoked something of a backlash in the blogosphere. Reading some of the reaction you would think that they have released a pure pop record in the vein of Lady Ga Ga or heaven forbid The Killers. The reality is somewhat different.

Opener Come See is anchored by a snare drum and guitar buzz that is equal part The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine. The vocals are mixed so low that they become another element in the soundscape rather than the focus of the track. A Walk sounds like The Cure circa 17 Seconds heard through an underwater dream. Dark pop hues, muddy, smudged by reverb and dislocated guitars. The dry bassline on Prefect Life locks in with the insidious drum pattern and floating vocal lines as they float over the washes of guitar noise and blissed out hum. Keep Still is close to the sound world that Belong so brilliantly realised on Music Language. The heavily treated guitars provide waves of sound that melt into each other like hot lava meeting water. They crackle, drizzle, spilit apart and reform in different shapes.

The music on Common Era seems to slip through the gaps, spin in the spaces, collapse back into itself. The broken rhythms of the closing Very Careful, the cheap drum machine low in the mix, sounds like 80’s synth pop decaying in endless space. Attempting to capture the essence of Common Era is like trying to engrave smoke. Just clasp the headphones on and listen to the bliss.

belong 'perfect life' by kranky

Tony Heywood ©

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spotify London Playlist

London via Spotify

I have pulled together a collection of my favorite songs about London in a Spotify play list. Its covers London from many different view points and musical styles. I was born and raised in Plumstead, Southeast London and lived in London until I was 19 and went to University.

Powis Square is the Market Square in Woolwich were I spent my teenage years buying vinyl records so its a good place to start.

This is the track listing.

Powis Square - Ry Cooder

London - Third Eye Blind

I Love London - Crystal Fighters

South London Boroughs - Burial

Duke of Earlsfield - The Sabres Of Paradise

The Battle Of All Saints Road - Big Audio Dynamite

Upper Clapton Dance - Professor Green

Bow E3 - Wiley

Imagine - Dissie Rascal

Bidc-In-Hamm Palace (12’) - Peter Tosh

Cockney Translation - Smiley Culture

London Town - Light Of The World

South Of The River - Mica Paris

London Belongs To Me - Saint Etienne

Stagger - Underworld

West End Girls (7” Mix) - Pet Shop Boys

Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks

London Calling - The Clash

The Only Uving Boy In New Cross - Carter The USM

For Tomorrow - Blur

Towers Of London (Edit) - XTC

West One (Shine On Me) - The Ruts

London, Can You Wait - Gene

London - The Smiths

Tower Of London - ABC

Sights And Sounds Of London Town - Richard Thompson

Missing You - Christy Moore

We Are London - Madness

The Greater London Radio - Heftner

A Rainy Night In Soho - The Pogues

It covers songs about London, about living in London and those with geographical locations in the titles and lyrics.

This is the link to the playlist - London

Thursday, April 14, 2011

International Record Story Day 2011

It is that wonderful time of year again to get down to your local Indie record store and splash some cash on limited editions and lovely rare vinyl records.

Here a list of the UK stores taking part.

Rhino Records are releasing some nice New Order, Joy Division and The Smiths vinyl in limited editions and on vinyl as well.

The full list is here:

There is a number of stores putting live performances including Billy Bragg playing at his local store Bridport Music.

Rough Trade East in London will have Wild Beasts and The Soundtrack Of Our Lives playing acoustic sets, Piccadilly Records in Manchester has DJs providing a soundtrack to purchasing all afternoon and Jumbo Records in Leeds features bands like Erland & The Carnival and Ellen & The Escapades throughout the day.

There are also a wonderful limited Art of Noise LP and Into Battle EP, Big Star's Third on vinyl, Rolling Stones, Hendrix and Lady Gaga are all releasing product as well. Get involved and spend some cash.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kode 9 and Spaceape - Black Sun (Hyperdub)

Great news from Hyperdub that Kode9 and Spaceape are teaming up again to release a new LP titled Black Sun on the 18th April in the UK. It got a great review in this months Wire and I can't wait for the release.

Nice review here as well on Spoon Feed - Kode 9 and Space Ape Black Sun Review

This is the full track listing. The cover art is beautiful, its one of the things that Hyperdub always seem to get right.

Nice interview with them at Big Shot - Kode 9 and Spaceape Interview

In the interview Spaceape outlines the way he approached writing the material for the LP.

"...During the recording of the album I had some serious health problems and this is reflected in some of the tracks. As a writer you take inspiration from many places with your own life being one of the main sources. But I wanted to turn my experiences into something less personal and more oblique, more open. We decided to write a fictional story about life under a black sun using elements of my experience to create this imagined world, a place that breathed a different atmosphere; had different rules; politics; desires; religions; a different light to our own. This was a way of linking all the tracks and shows how the many different characters and stories could inhabit the same space...."

This is the full track listing. The cover art is beautiful, its one of the things that Hyperdub always seem to get right.

1. "Black Smoke" [ft. Cha Cha]
2. "Promises"
3. "Bullet Against Bone"
4. "Green Sun"
5. "The Cure" [ft. Cha Cha]
6. "Hole in the Sky"
7. "Otherman"
8. "Love Is the Drug" [ft. Cha Cha]
9. "Black Sun (Partial Eclipse Mix)"
10. "Neon Red Sign" [ft. Cha Cha]
11. "Am I"
12. "Kryon" [ft. Flying Lotus]

You can here the single version of Black Sun via Spotify - Kode9 – Black Sun/2 Far Gone

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mark Eitzel The Thorn in My Side is Gone Live SXSW

Brilliant version of the American Music Club track - The Thorn in My Side is Gone from the San Francisco LP. Mark Eiztel is is wonderful voice, the piano playing by Marc Capelle is great. Its good to see him have use of a grand piano and not the piano synth he played in Bristol last year. Getting Mark to give up the guitar and just sing has proved to be inspired. The man has a golden voice full of red wine hurt and experience. He is a soul singer if I have ever heard one!

Thanks to Ben Londa of Exit Productions for filming and uploading this.

Headphone Commute - Pleq Podcast

Pleq has recorded an amazing mix for the great Headphone Commute. The mix is complied from a selection of his own tracks and remixes and is a beautifully beguiling way to spend 50 minutes.

The tracks are fully of fragile piano notes, warm electronic fuzz and a lovely sense of space and time. You feel like you are inside the electronic dreams of Erik Satie. Do composers dream of electronic bleeps?

This is the full track listing:

1. Pleq – Good Night (offthesky Remix)
2. Pleq – Good Night (Go-qualia Lucid Dreamin Non Rem Sleep Mix)
3. Pleq – Swell Bliss (Downtempo Edition)
4. Pleq – Black Dog (feat. hiiro-tent)
5. Pleq – Good Night (Lauki Remix)
6. Pleq + Nebulo – Code Inconnu
7. Pleq – The Ribbon (Nebulo Remix)
8. Pleq – Dark Bullet From The Abyss
9. Pleq – Metamorphosis Pt. 1
10. Pleq – Raindrop (Spyweirdos Remix)
11. Segue – Blue Wind I [Pleq RMX]
12. Pleq & Anna Rose Carter – A Mirror Sitting

The mix can be downloaded or streamed directly from the headphone commute website.

They also have an interview with him about his new LP which I am now off to purchase on the basis of the podcast.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Burial, Four Tet and Tom Yorke Track

Tom Yorke, Burial and Four Tet have teamed up for a one off 12" Vinyl Single the tracks are called "Ego" and "Mirror" and will be released on Four Tet's own record label Text.

The tracks are embedded to a player on the Pitchfolk website.

Burial and Four Tet Track - Moth/Wolf Club

Video for Burial and Four Tet Track Moth/Wolf Club.

This is what Stereogum said about the track

"Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, is all about collaboration, so it’s not a surprise that he teamed with shadowy English dubstep crossover Burial, aka William Bevan. The results, “Moth” and “Wolf Cub,” arrive in a black sleeve and pressed onto a slab of 12″ vinyl with a black label. The lack of information’s a nice touch in this day and age of over-information,...."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mark Eitzel & American Music Club South by South West 2011

The great Mark Eitzel is playing a number of shows at South by South West in 2011 as solo and American Music Club.

The details can be found on his blog here - Mark Eitzel South by South West

He is playing as part of the Merge Records show case and a number of other public/free events.

Friday night Merge showcase and Saturday night showcase are both wristband/badge-only, as they are official SXSW events. All others below are free to the public. Most of the shows are Mark Eitzel, Marc Capelle and Vudi.

Weds 3/16
AnSo Party @ Spiderhouse - Mark plays 1-1:30pm

Weds 3/16
Noise Pop @ Red Eyed Fly - Mark plays 5:15-6pm

Thurs 3/17
Joe Raaen Party @ Cheers Shot Bar Deck - Mark plays 3:45

Thurs 3/17
Music By The Slice @ Home Slice - Mark/AMC plays 5:50-6:20pm

Fri 3/18
Merge Showcase @ The Parish - AMC plays at 10pm

Sat 3/19
Yard Dog Party @ Yard Dog Gallery - Mark plays 1:30-2pm

Sat 3/19
Showcase @ St. David's Bethel Hall - Mark plays at 10pm

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hype Williams Hounds of Hate Mix Tape

Another source of free Hype Williams music. This mix tape can be downloaded from Archive.org which is amazing resource for all kinds of free music from various sources and genres.

The tape is made up of two tracks

Hype Williams - II III B feat Hounds of Hate
(0:00 - 10:42)

Hounds of Hate - II III Eye feat Hype Williams
(10:43 - 20:40)

It can be downloaded directly here - Hype Williams - Hounds of Hate Mix Tape

The tracks blend the spoken word, heavy basslines and sweetly distorted vocals that form the central core of the bands sounds. Its likely Tricky's Maxinquaye heard through a broken radio at the bottom of an abandoned swimming pool. Lovely stuff in other words!

Hype Williams - FACT Mix 216

The ever wonderful FACT magazine have a great Hype Williams mix currently available for download via their website.

The mix combines the various strains of music that feed into the groups own odd mix of 70s soft rock, 90s jungle, 80's synth pop and various strains of dub and reggae. They have also included a some of their own tracks.

The Berlin based duo are surrounded in mystery and may not even be a group in the conventional sense but some kind of long running art project. Either way is an interest mix of sources.

The full track listing is:

buju banton-shiloh
fleetwood mac-dragonfly
steely dan-only a fool would say that
augustus pablo-satta dub
beat happening-red head walking
blue jam-suicide with an escape clause
steely dan-razor boy
hype williams-farthing wood dub
steely dan-haitian divorce
so solid crew-intro
the fall-C.D Win Fall 2088 Ad
ryuichi sakamoto-ice
ruff sqwad-swish
bardeux-when we kiss
lenny bruce-”to” is a preposition,”come” is a verb
burzum-I heimr heljar
eddie okwedy-happy survival
steely dan-babylon sisters
jaheim-jahs seed
hype wiliams-businessline

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lambchop's Kurt Wagner Plays A Tiny Desk Concert

This is a wonderful little video of the peerless Kurt Wagner of Lampchop playing a desktop concert in Nashville. The gig was for the great NPR. There are a whole series of these videos covering artist from the likes of Vic Chesnutt and Great Lake Swimmers.

The set list is as follows:

"You're a Big Girl Now"

"National Talk Like a Pirate Day"

"I Believe in You"

Well worth spending the time to watch, listen and swoon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hype Williams Gentile Dub Free Stream

Free stream of mysterious Hype Williams track Gentile Dub from the Wire website.
The band seem to disappear behind a fuzzy hazy of half truth, disinformation and obscure releases.

Having taken part in the Wire Invisible Jukebox in February 2011 their profile seems to be on the rise.

"Opening theme to season 2 of The Animals Of Farthing Wood from the Bootleg Rescore DVD series by Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland.."

Remix R.E.M. Collapse Into Now

You can download the files in either AIFF or Garage Band format. This is producer Jake Knife Lee on the project.

"Right from the early stages of recording this song in New Orleans Michael wanted to share the files with people to hear their different ideas and versions. So here they are. I have bounced some tracks together to make it easier to download and use. We ended up with over a hundred tracks with all the percussion, brass, three pianos, celeste, glockenspiels, vibraphone, eight acoustic guitars, two drum kits, bass synths, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, electric guitars, bass and all the voices. Enjoy, and be bold. Looking forward to hearing what you come up with..."

The remixes have been uploaded to this soundcloud page