Thursday, December 19, 2013

The National - City Middle YouTube Cover Versions

I stumbled across this lovely acoustic cover The National song City Middle on YouTube looking for live versions of the song. I love this version and how it is so much more vulnerable and open than the band version. A little gem of a cover version.

The National = Mr November (Live Video)

The National are one of my favourite bands of all time and I would think they are the band I have listened to most in the last 6 of 7 years. I think my profile on Last FM shows this to be the case. Mr November is one the tracks I really love by the band at this is an amazing live version of the song from back in 2010.

"I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders..."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Frontier Ruckus - A Band in Buildings

My favorite record of the year as listed here is Frontier Ruckus' Eternity of Dimming. The record is the perfect blend of wordy musing on the everyday trials of adolescence.

The band filmed Episode 4 of A Band in Building in Lancing.

The video is one of series from Elm Street Studio. The idea is to record sessions with bands in acoustically interesting empty building in the local area.

There is great page with our Lancing based artists here.

Deaf Havana - Boston Square Acoustic

I really love Deaf Havana. They are not the sort of band I normally get but there is something so strong, aching and real in the song writing and in James Veck-Gilodi vocals they have some real soul. The band do one thing I have always loved, making magic out of the mundane. Are they the Tindersticks of post hardcore?

This gem is the lead track off the new LP Old Souls.

Official Website -

Friday, December 06, 2013

My Top 25 LPs of 2013

  1. Frontier Ruckus – Eternity of Dimming
  2. Courtney Barnett – The Double EP/A Sea of Split Peas
  3. Kisses – Kids in La
  4. John Murry - The Graceless Age
  5. Karl Hyde - Edgeland
  6. Ghostpoet - Some Say I So I Say Light
  7. Young Echo - Nexus
  8. Heirlooms of August – Down at The Five Star
  9. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
  10. MBV – MBV
  11. Deaf Havana – Old Souls
  12. These New Puritans – Field of Reeds
  13. Pet Shop Boys – Electric
  14. Prefab Sprout – Crimson Red
  15. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
  16. King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
  17. Tricky – False Idols
  18. Zomby – With Love
  19. Jessy Lanza – Pull Back My Hair
  20. Laurel Halo – Chance of Rain
  21. Deerhunter - Monomania
  22.  Bill Bragg - Tooth & Nail
  23. Kanye West – Yeezus
  24. Livity Sound – Livity Sound
  25. Aluna George – Body Music

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rare Smiths Pictures from Moles Club Bath 1983

Some unseen photos of The Smiths playing at Moles Club in Bath back on 16th September 1983. The photos have been published over at the great A Scene Inbetween website.

The photos are across two blog posts and Moles is almost completely empty. I have been to Moles on many occasions and its rare to see it quite that empty. The whole crowd amounted to about 30 people in total!

Morrissey is dressed in a flowery t-shirt (shades of Ian Brown in the Stone Roses), beads and well worn jeans with that famous quiff already in place. In the interview photo's he has a long sleeved polo shirt with the band in  jumpers, jeans and jackets.

It quite interesting to see the clothes that the sparse audience are wearing as well. A mixture of goths, leather jacketed indie fans and waistcoat wearing youths.

The band were gigging hard at the time with them playing 27 gigs in August, September and October 1983. As a big Smith's fan is great to see some new photos of the band and ones that have a very loose personal link as I lived in Bath for 20 years and spent many an evening in club.

The two sets of photos are here:

Set One -
Set Two -

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Musical Map of London Boroughs

Musical Map of London Boroughs - An infographic by the team at Musical Map of London Boroughs

Embed Musical Map of London Boroughs on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

Friday, August 09, 2013

Adrian Utley from Portishead records Terry Riley's in C

Adrian Utley the Bristol jazz guitar player and member of Trip Hop trail blazers Portishead has recorded a version of Terry Riley's in C with Guitar Orchestra.

“Utley’s impressive Guitar Orchestra is augmented by percussion and organs making for a vintage and mesmeric sound occasion. The effect is an organic musical experience very much created in front of the audience both fragile and thunderingly uplifting…”

This is from the Wire Article about the piece

“…Utley's version is slower than the original, more austere, and texturally it's very different due to the reduced palette of instruments, recorded in just five mics. "I wanted ours to be more linear, with all the same instruments," he says, audibly excited…”

In C by Adrian Utley's Guitar Orchestra is released on Geoff Barrow's Invada Records on 30 September.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Smiths - Glastonbury 1984 Full Audio

Below is a video of the audio of The Smiths performance at Glastonbury 1984. I don't know if it was filmed at all (these were the days before Glastonbury was the massive event it is today.) In 1984 the licence was for only 35,000 people compared the the 150,000 who now attend.

The Smiths were a controversial addition to the bill as they were deemed to be too popular by the hardcore new age travelers who were the core audience at this time. I think The Smiths managed only two top ten singles in their lifetime so it wasn't like putting on Duran Duran!

The gatefold photo from Hatful of Hollow was taken backstage at Glastonbury before the gig.

These are Johnny Marr thoughts on the performance:

"...When the Smiths played Glastonbury in 1984, we were slightly out of our element. Previously, we'd always played to manic, devoted audiences who were more like supporters at a cup final, but at Glastonbury we were playing to people who largely hadn't seen us before. It wasn't like when Jay-Z played, but we were very "urban" compared to the other acts. Our songs were so fast that we got through our first four in about the time it took for the other bands to finish their intro. Eventually, I did manage to instigate a stage invasion, which raised a few eyebrows. One fan was trying to climb on stage, I helped pull him up, and then a few more people followed, and all of a sudden we'd managed to turn it into a Smiths gig.

What people don't realise is how mellow and low-key Glastonbury used to be. It wasn't televised, and it wasn't a career-defining moment back then. You'd turn up to find just three fields – and they would be by no means full. You had a choice between the shit field, the field no one cares about, or the muddy one. Today's video screens would have seemed like an utter abomination.
Glastonbury's rise in popularity has a lot to do with rave culture. People were getting together in warehouses at the end of motorways just to avoid the police, and then they realised Glastonbury offered thousands of people a chance to get together legally. Suddenly, Glastonbury no longer seemed an outdated idea, whereas in the 80s, it had been caught between the ideals of the 70s and something which had yet to be defined.
Worst Glastonbury moment The first 10 minutes of the Smiths' performance in 84, because the sound got screwed up on stage. My guitar was coming out of the bass amp, and the vocals were, too. They pulled things together . . . by the time of the last song...."

Set List

  • Nowhere Fast
  • Girl Afraid
  • Handsome Devil
  • This Charming Man
  • William, It Was Really Nothing
  • Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
  • Still Ill
  • Jeane
  • Barbarism Begins At Home
  • Hand in Glove

{FULL BOOTLEG CONCERT}-{The David Jones Tape}
CND Festival, Worthy Farm, Glastonbury, Somerset, England 23rd June 1984.

Kosmischer Laufer Krautrock Hoax?

From the first time I saw mention of the Kosmischer Laufer tapes something struck me as odd. Before I had even heard the tapes or read any of the interviews it all seemed a little lucky that someone had unearthed these tapes of training music for East German athletes and that they hadn't surfaced before now.

It has turned out to be a hoax but a highly entertaining, well presented and planned one. From the fake biography to the music itself the whole ruse is amusing. It great to see someone spend sometime exploiting the wholes in history and the internet to come up with something as "complete" as the fiction created around the music they had recorded.

Surely all artist and bands are to some degree a work of fiction and at least this showed a degree of imagination and elan sadly lacking from much of today's music scene.

Although not official confirmed as a hoax (why would you break the spell) it does appear to have been recorded by two electronic musicians in Scotland.  They run the label (well the Bandcamp Page) that contains the recording.

They also went to the trouble of creating a website, Twitter Feed, YouTube channel and Facebook Page for the "artist".

This is from the biography page on the main Kosmischer Laufer website:

"...In East Germany in the early 1970’s Martin Zeichnete worked as a sound editor for DEFA, (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft), the state-owned film studio. Like many young East Germans of the time he would listen furtively to West German radio at night and became infatuated with the Kosmische Musik or ‘Krautrock’ epitomised by the likes of Kraftwerk, Neu! and Cluster emerging from his neighbouring country. Martin, a keen runner, hit upon the idea of using the repetitive, motorik beats of this new music as a training aid for athletes.

After sharing his concept with colleagues Martin was taken from his studio to East Berlin, quizzed by the authorities about his ideas and, fearing the worst, was surprised to find himself put to work by the Nationales Olympisches Komitee immediately. Installed in a cold Berlin studio with the few electronic instruments the state could supply, (Martin asked for a Moog but was refused), he began one of the strangest journeys in music. Know to the government as State Plan 14.84L, Martin and his fellow musicians informally called it ‘Projekt Kosmischer Läufer’ (Cosmic Runner).

For the next 11 years Martin would be spirited to Berlin to work on tracks with little notice. He created hours of music fusing traditional rock instruments with synthesizers, early drum computers, tape slicing and looping techniques he and his engineer formulated themselves. His output included tracks for running at various paces, warm up pieces, ‘ambient’ music to play in gyms during training...."

You can discover the weird and wonderful world of Kosmischer Laufer  via the following links

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Order Melbourne 27th November 1982 Full Show

A great video of an early New Order perform in Melbourne Australia from the 27th November 1982.Although the quality of video isn't great the performance itself is a joy. Early versions of songs, some great backing vocals for Gillian and a performance of the never official recorded or released Chosen Time.

It includes the first ever live outing of Blue Monday with full vocals.

Full track listing is as follows:

  • Ceremony
  • Ultraviolence
  • Chosen Time
  • Dreams Never End
  • We All Stand
  • Truth
  • Your Silent Face
  • Temptation
  • Denial
  • Blue Monday

Thanks to whoever uploaded this to youtube.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Aquarium Drunkard Dub Mixtape Download

A great set of dub reggae mixtapes over at Aquarium Drunkard. They started this series of mixtapes back in the summer of 2010 and are about to release the new one in the next couple of weeks but its worth going back and downloading the old versions as well.

The weather in England this weekend looks like the typical summer mix of sunshine and showers so there is no better way to bring some sunshine into your life that with some old school dub.

Below is the track listing for the first in the series

Big Youth :: Some Like It Dread
I-Roy :: Musical Pleasure
Hopeton Lewis :: Sound and Pressure
B.B. Seaton :: Summertime
The Heptones & Lee Perry :: Why Must I
Sly & Robbie :: Asian Roots Dub
King Iwah :: Give Me Power (Version 2)
Lloydie & The Lowbites :: Birth Control
Soul Directions :: Su, Su, Su
Max Romeo :: Sexy Natty
Burning Spear :: She’s Mine
Lee Perry :: Nuh fe run down
Bim Sherman :: Lightening & Thunder 12″
Wailing Souls :: Divided and Rule
Count Sticky & The Upsetters :: Dry Acid
Jackie Mittoo :: Stereo Freeze
Dennis Brown :: Whip Them Jah Jah
Dr. Alimantado :: I Killed The Barber
Lee Perry :: Soul Fire
The Flaming Arrows :: Weary Head
Black Uhuru :: Sorry for the Man
The Congos :: Feast Of The Passover
Ranking Joe :: Slave Driver

The page with all three current files is here -

Bring the sunshine :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mark Eitzel Talks About Songwriting to Northampton Students

Mark Eitzel of American Music Club came to the University of Northampton and spoke to music students about song writing and many other things. Also contains some amazing performances by Mark.

Mark talks about songwriting in general, his songwriting process or lack of it,working with Peter Buck of R.E.M., why he uses real live in his songs and songwriting as art v songwriting as commerce, working in American Music Club (with special mention of Vudi's guitar playing). He also talks about the difference between songwriting with electronics and writing song's with guitars. He also talks about his favorite lyric writers name checking Nick Drake and Iggy Pop.

The crowd look a little confused by it all but then his back catalogue is confusing. 

Live songs are:

  • Mission Rock Resort 
  • I Love You But Your Dead 
  • Firefly
  • I've Been a Mess

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The National Tiny Desk Concert - NPR

I am not sure if I have posted before about the wonderful series of Tiny Desk Concerts over at NPR (National Public Radio). A very simple idea, get a band or artist to turn up in their offices and perform a short gig behind a desk! It's like MTV Unplugged without the staging and rehearsals.

In the promo blitz that The National are currently undertaking they have recorded a session which is now live on the NPR website.

The band played a short four song set of tunes from the new LP:

  • This Is The Last Time
  • I Need My Girl
  • Pink Rabbits
  • Sea of Love 

They are great stripped down acoustic version with the band in fine form.

You can watch the whole thing here:

You can download the audio directly here:

Saturday, June 01, 2013

21 Cover Songs by The Decemberists

I am sure I have posted before about how much I love the Largeheared Boy and  A Radio Blog. It's mixture of music resources and those amazing Book Notes posts always make it a blog worth reading.

This last week they posted a link to 21 cover songs by The Decemberists. The list of cover versions includes some cracking stuff including Ask by The Smiths, Begin the Begin by R.E.M., Up The Junction by Squeeze and Bring on The Dancing Horse by Echo and The Bunnymen.

The complete list of cover versions is here:

Advance Base Tour Dates and Demo

One of my favorite LP of last year was Advance Base - A Shut-In's Prayer. It's great that he is touring in the summer and these dates include Europe include a date in Bristol at the wonderful Cube on Sunday 7th of July.

The list below has the European Dates:

Thu 04.07.13 Berlin (Germany), Haus der Berliner Festspiele (Foreign Affairs Festival)
Sat 06.07.13 Cambridge (UK), Portland Arms -- 4pm set
Sat 06.07.13 Reading (UK), Double Dot Bash -- 9pm set
Sun 07.07.13 Bristol (UK), Cube Cinema
Mon 08.07.13 Brighton (UK), The Hope
Tue 09.07.13 Edinburgh (UK),Sneaky Pete's
Wed 10.07.13 Glasgow (UK), Nice N Sleazy
Thu 11.07.13 Manchester (UK), Night & Day Café
Fri 12.07.13 London (UK), The Lexington
Sun 14.07.13 Kutna Hora (CZ), Creepy Teepee Festival

Owen Ashworth for he is Advance base has also uploaded my favorite track from the LP in its Garage Band Demo version to Soundcloud.

Disco Disco Disco

A have always loved disco and I am not ashamed of it. When I used to DJ the set would always include some disco or as it now termed Boogie. It seems as if Disco is making a renewed assualt on the musical mainstream. With Nile Rodgers adding his disco stardust to the new Daft Punk LP and Skream on the verge of releasing a big disco single this summer it looks like disco is back with a glitter ball bang.

There is a great piece in this weeks Guardian

Below is Skreams Disco Mix from last summer.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The National - Demons Video

The National Demon's video for the lead track from Trouble Will Find Me that is released at the end of May 2013.

Video has already had 700,000+ views on youtube. Enjoy :

Return of The National - Trouble Will Find Me

The National
Cover of The National

Great to hear that The National are returning with a new LP in May 2013. Trouble Will Find Me comes in a great vinyl package that you can pre order from 4AD.

Details of the LP below

Trouble Will Find Me, The National’s highly anticipated sixth album will be released on May 21 on 4AD. Formed in 1999, the Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band consists of vocalist Matt Berninger fronting two pairs of brothers: Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).


1). I Should Live In Salt
2). Demons
3). Don't Swallow The Cap
4). Fireproof
5). Sea Of Love 
6). Heavenfaced
7). This Is The Last Time
8). Graceless
9). Slipped
10). I Need My Girl
11). Humiliation
12). Pink Rabbits
13). Hard To Find
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Smiths - Rare May 1983 Tape Recording

Cover of "The Smiths"
Cover of The Smiths

Just when you think that all the possible live tapes of The Smiths had been unearthed and shared this long lost gem appears.

The band recorded a full set of songs on a cassette recorder with a single mike as a reference for Tory Tate before the ill fated sessions for the bands debut LP.

The quality of the recording is not the best but considering both its age and production values (or rather lack off) its still a great listen.

As the tape was recorded live there are not the multiple guitar parts that surface on the official studio recordings.

The version of Accept Yourself is slower longer with different phrasing and is a really interesting find. Real Around the Fountain is once again slower than the official released versions with Morrissey's vocal full of ache and longing. You also get a "Fifteen minutes with you, I could just never say no..." which switches the emphasis from unrequited lust to something else completely.

Musically These Things Take Time opens which a barrage of frantic drumming far removed from any of the official releases and Morrissey sings in the first verse:

"Slipped into blinding fire and wrestled with serpent sand, oh I am saved, oh I am saved, you took my hand"

There is a cool blog post about it here at Slicing Up Eyeballs:

The owner of tape explained "....In May 1983 (exact date unknown), while preparing to record their debut album, The band ran through & recorded a selection of songs at a rehearsal in band manager Joe Moss’ jeans warehouse (Crazy Face). The cassette tape was recorded for Troy Tate in order to give him something to work with before going into the studio. It’s pretty rough, but considering it was recorded on cassette with a stereo Mic pointing into the room, the quality isn’t too bad. Morrissey’s vocals are a bit distorted – maybe singing too close to the mic or maybe the cassette Mic was too close to the PA but everything else is surprisingly clear. There is some tape flutter at various points. I was lent the master cassette by a source close to the band who made the recording, let’s call him Pablo Cuckoo, in 1997 with a view of trying to put it out as a semi-official release. As it was recorded before the band had signed to Rough Trade, technically he had the rights to the recording. But a combination of poor sound quality & threats from Warner Bros. meant that the idea was shelved..."

Track Listing:

1. “You’ve Got Everything Now”

2. “Accept Yourself”

3. “What Difference Does It Make”

4. “Reel Around The Fountain”

5. “These Things Take Time”

6. “I Don’t Owe You Anything”

7. “Hand In Glove”

8. “Handsome Devil”

9. “Miserable Lie”
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Kingsgate Chorus - New Order Temptation (cover version)

One of the great things about YouTube is searching for cover versions. There is a whole world of enjoyment from the professional covers to the home recordings.This one is a gem - The Kingsgate Chorus give that Langley School Music Project Vibe to New Order's Temptation. "oh you've got green eyes oh you've got blue eyes oh you've got grey eyes...."

This is there Facebook Page -

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weatherall Mix - Asphodells General 320

Great Andy Weatherall (with his Asphoodells hat on)  mix over at Soundcloud. A great slice of moody dub, electronica and wired up weirdness.

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The XX Tiny Desk Concert - NPR

The ever amazing NPR Music site has a wonder Tiny Desk Concert from The XX.

"...Throughout their characteristically compact seven-minute performance, Croft and Sim avoid eye contact, as they visibly try to ignore the huge throng and cameras positioned maybe 10 feet away from them.

What comes out of their performance is not just beauty, but humanity — the sense that, in all of The xx's songs, all the calm chilliness in the world can't quite contain an exposed heart..."

Set list

  • Angels
  • Sunset

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Number 5 2012 - The XX Coexist

Another record from a London based band in my top ten and I guess another release that could be classed as post dub-step or at least post rave.

The XX followed up their beautiful debut with a collection of songs that have refined their hollowed out sound even further. Music for the early hours all 3am shivers and half heard drum beats. Its Sunday morning coming down.

The video below is of The XX performing Reunion and Sunset live on KCRW

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Number 6 2012 - Raime - Quarter Turns Over a Living Line

The London duo of Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead who are Raime have released a number of brilliant, dark, twisted, post dub-step EPs on Blackest Ever Black. They finally dropped their debut LP in late 2012.

The link below is to a soundcloud preview of the LP

The video is for Soils and Coils

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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

LPs of 2012 - Paul Buchanan Mid Air - Number 7

Number seven in my LP's of 2012 is the muted beauty of Blue Nile lead singer Paul Buchanan and his debut solo LP Mid Air. The record is one of understated grace, 3am revelations all set to fractured piano tunes.

The video is of the haunting debut track

This video is from a session for the Guardian a performance of Buy A Motor Car

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Thursday, January 03, 2013

The XX - Last Christmas Wham Cover Video

Somehow I managed to miss this over Christmas! This is a great take on Wham's Last Christmas by The XX. Its really shouldn't work but somehow it does. The tinsel, tack and terrible mullets of the original replaced with something of a darker nature.

It's like Joy Division covering Winter Wonderland ! Enjoy

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PARALLEL_°41 Number 8 LP 2012

The beautiful and beguling Parallel 41 is a record pieced together by Julia Kent (cello), Barbara De Dominicis voice, field recordings and electronics and Davide Lonardi film making, images, artwork

"...PARALLEL_°41 _Over the past months, Julia Kent, Barbara De Dominicis and Davide Lonardi have been making a musical/visual/improvisatory record as Parallel 41 _the imaginary parallel that ties Naples and New York on the same latitude line. The tracks evolved from a series of extemporary and improvised recording sessions made outdoors and held between September 2009 and august 2010. These sessions are now an album and a little story in images..."

The video below showcase the sound and vision of the band in live setting

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Simone Felice - Number Nine 2012

Simone Felice was a real find for me this year thanks to one of the guys that I work with. I fell in love with the story telling, playing and production on the LP.

My favorite track was the amazing - New York Times

There are some cool videos over at the official website -

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Top 10 2012 - Number 10 Jens Lekman

Number ten in my LPs of 2012 is the wonderful Jens Lekman and his release I Know What Love Isn't. I have been a big fan of Jen's since back in 2004. The guy has a really strong gift for melody and an arch knowing lyrics. Pop music from the clever and literary end.

The two tracks I really love are the title track

I Know What Love Isn't

The World Moves On

There are also some great free tracks over on his website -
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My Top 10 LPs of 2012

Craig Finn
Craig Finn (Photo credit: sidmuchrock)

1 Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
2 Grasscut – Unearth
3 Ixtab- Spindle and the Bregnut Tree
4 Mark Eitzel – Don’t Be a Stranger 
5 The XX – Coexist 
6 Raime - Quarter Turns Over a Living Line
7 Paul Buchanan – Mid Air
8 Parallel 41 - Parallel 41
9 Simone Felice - Simone Felice
10 Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn't

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