Archive for the 'lists' Category
Well, if Dr Proffitt is going to come out of retirement, I guess I should too. Especially since I had nothing better to do on Boxing Day after eating my breakfast pie.
Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will / Earth Division EP
Being one of those annoying people who always prefer the early stuff, Mogwai continue to be my favourite band for consistently releasing albums that are better than the last one. And 12″ EPs without filler.
Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes
Always the Girl Aloud most likely to do something interesting, I was thrilled she went down the bonkers Scandinavian pop route, one of my favourite genres.
Annie – Don’t Stop
Slightly less bonker,s but actually Scandinavian, pop.
Wild Flag – Wild Flag
So hyped I was almost put off checking them out, but yeah, they are great.
A year with a Ghibli movie is always a good year, and this was almost up to Miyazaki levels.
So full of JJ Abrams cliches it’s hilarious, but the train crash scene is one the greatest things I saw on screen all year.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
I was sure this would be terrible but it stands up well and somehow managed to be even more ponderous in a couple of hours than the miniseries.
Upside Down – Creation Records thing
Nostalgia ahoy – so good!
Tintin was a Big Thing in our house as children so I was never going to be happy with all the bizarre story changes/additions but it was at least fun.
A Dance With Dragons – George RR Martin
A bit flawed, but after a 5 year wait, I’m just happy to have more story. The TV show (Game of Thrones) was awesome though – at least that will keep us going for the next five.
The Celestial Cafe – Stuart Murdoch
A cross between a memoir and a Belle and Sebastian tour diary (and a love letter to Glasgow). I’d have liked this anyway, but it kept me entertained while sitting in A&E for 2 hours after slicing my hand open so extra props for that.
Nothing To See Here – Anne Ward
A guidebook to the unexpectedly interesting places of Scotland – if you’ve ever considered taking a detour on your journey after spotting a bizarre road sign then this is the book for you. Buy it here.
100 Tiny Moments From My Past, Present and Future – Edward Ross
Fantastic little book of comics, drawn every day for 100 days and documenting tiny everyday moments. Even greater are the little peeks into his past and his imagined future. Buy it here.
Burn Collector #15 – Al Burian
One of my favourite ever zinesters, always managing to mix hilarity and melancholy in equal parts. The personal articles are my favourite but also includes some interesting stuff about Berlin, where he’s now based. Buy it here.
How To Be A Ghost – Neil Slorance & Campbell Miller
A cute little illustrated zine about what to do when you’re a ghost. It’s a great read and one of 5 zines inspired by my zine workshop last year – so cool. Buy it here.
The Various Things I Eat by Deth P Sun
Deth drew everything he ate every day for six months. Surprisingly interesting to look through, especially if you’re not American. What is all this stuff? Buy it here.
Packed full of interviews with people doing things the DIY way, whether that’s printing t-shirts, making tables or running Supersonic. Probably my favourite zine discovery this year. Buy it here.
Fire & Knives
Still the only magazine I spend £10 on and consider that a bargain. Great food writing and even better design and illustration. Buy it here.
Mogwai at the Grand Ole Opry, Glasgow
I hadn’t seen Mogwai for a couple of years so this was equal parts nostalgia and jaw dropping amazement at their new stuff. Plus the fun of watching Mogwai while sitting in the balcony of a tiny line dancing venue can’t really be overstated.
Errors at the Barras, Glasgow
It’s been even longer since I saw Errors and I kind of hate myself now. So so good. Their next album is going to be killer. They even upstaged Mogwai who they were supporting as Mogwai were (dare I say it?) TOO LOUD, to the point of distortion.
The Most Incredible Thing at Sadlers Wells, London
I have been getting into ballet lately, like the old person/teenage girl I am, so imagine my delight when the Pet Shop Boys staged a ballet. Possibly the only ballet to successfully combine Communist Russia, paper cutting, the X Factor and pop music, and do it perfectly seriously.
Eska at Stereo, Glasgow
What can I say? Like being transported back to 1998 for the evening, not to mention the minor diskant meet-up. Good times.
Hi. To celebrate the fact that you haven’t had to deal with me or my nonsense for about 17 years on diskant, I thought I’d come back and do something vaguely generous (even though no-one knows who I am any more), all inspired by Marceline’s excellent post about everyone’s favourite kind of music, Other.
Some genres are uselessly broad, but well-meaningly applied. Remember trips to Our Price back in the early 90s? They split the whole world into the opposing forces of Rock/Pop and Dance, and if you were lucky and got a larger branch you could probably find a small Classical section (theoretically everything from 14th century secular music to Varèse, Xennakis, Pärt, Gregorian Chant, Vanessa Mae and allsorts in between, realistically only containing Vanessa Mae and a Classic FM compilation of Hovis adverts), Soundtracks (likely only containing 2 CDs, Buster and The Lost Boys) and Jazz (a handful of dreadfully recorded budget CDs of Charlie Mingus’ worst gigs).
At the other extreme, some genres, especially in the world of electronic music, are so convoluted and narrow as to seemingly only apply to one actual track. Others still, in this day of mp3s, are intentionally inaccurate, just for the lulz. Who hasn’t giggled mischievously while changing the ID3 tags on a Purulent Spermcanal album to ‘Children’s Music’? But if you’re the kind of person who does actually label mp3s with genres, it takes a special kind of slack-jawed vacuousness to resort to something as unimaginative as ‘unknown’. I can understand my Granddad not knowing about recent developments in the Abuja power-electronics scene, but how does someone who doesn’t know how to classify Heavy Winged acquire it in the first place? It’s most likely, I suppose, that they’re ripping the CDs with something like Windows Media Player, and since the tracks don’t correspond to anything in the Gracenotes database, it’s deciding on your behalf that the music is too weird to sound like anything currently out there. But that can’t be true of all cases.
So then, I’ve been through my iTunes library and identified that I have quite a lot of ‘Other’. And there’s a really interesting range there – everything from lengthy spoken word stuff like Douglas Adams’ The Salmon of Doubt, the Hammond organ easy funk of Alan Hawkshaw, Ruins’ gonzo prog-metal, The Conet Project, all the way to stuff as shockingly mainstream as Scott Walker, TV on the Radio and – gasp – U2. In some cases, obviously only one or two tracks from an album have been ‘Othered’, the rest presumably being labelled correctly. I wanted, therefore, to put together a Best of Other compilation – to see whether it turned out that it was all garbage, or whether it would make a credible self-contained listening experience.
As it turns out, narrowing down 733 tracks (a total of 3.2 days of non-stop listening) down to the 10 or so necessary to fit on a CD is not possible. So I’ve lovingly and painstakingly sequenced and hand-crafted 3 discs’ worth of wonderful music, all of which has been categorised by somebody (not me!) as ‘Other’. All of which has baffled somebody enough for them to not be able to classify it adequately. I’ve deliberately avoided stuff much over 10 minutes in length, even though it might be awesome, just to fit as much on there as possible. This means, sadly, no Orthrelm (Ov is 45min), no Keiji Haino (Affection is 58min), Radu Malfatti (Rain Speak Soft Tree Listens: 61min) or Jonathan Coleclough (Casino/Tree Frogs/Beach: 58min), all of which I love as much as anything non-Other.
I now proudly present The Ultimate Very Best Other Album in the World Ever, Volumes 1-3 for you to download and enjoy. These will all conveniently fit exactly onto one CD each, so you can burn them and give them to your family for Christmas. I’ve even spent some time suggesting the correct genre for each track – because after all, there is only one right answer.
Volume 1: Rock/Pop
Deerhoof Dummy Discards A Heart – correct genre: Hipstercore
Bellini Marranzano – correct genre: Albini-ism / Maff(ia) Rock
Scratch Acid She Said – correct genre: Sleazepunk
Boris Feedbacker Part 3 – correct genre: Japanic-Attack
Alan Parker Maximum thrust 1 – correct genre: Easy listening
The Velvet Underground White Light/ White Heat – correct genre: 60s AOR / Classic Rock
Radiohead These Are My Twisted Words – correct genre: Rock / Pop
Starfuckers Saturazione – correct genre: Neo-agit-eurowave
Avarus Taivaalla tapahtuu – correct genre: Beards / Rural communism (instrumental)
Cocteau Twins Feet-like Fins – correct genre: Dreamgaze / Shoecore / New Age (Vocal)
Gastr Del Sol Crappie Tactics – correct genre: PoMo Arch-folk
John Jacob Niles The Two Sisters – correct genre: Traditional American Androgyny
Brainbombs The Whore – correct genre: Filth / Serial Killer
Heavy Winged Death Instinct – correct genre: Jam
Part Chimp Hello Bastards – correct genre: Cranial trauma
Man Is The Bastard She Boar – correct genre: Skate-cock shout-core
Vialka You Knew… – correct genre: Francospazz
Pale Saints Baby Maker – correct genre: Shoepop
Julie Doiron And The Wooden Stars Gone Gone – correct genre: Sadpop
Slowdive So Tired – correct genre: Sadgaze
U2 Drowning Man – correct genre: Bloated, self-righteous, epic stadium rock
Misora Hibari ???? – correct genre: Enka
Get it here: mediafire.com/?mydrw3yzyjz2flh
Volume 2: Ambient
Stilluppsteypa On The Right There – correct genre: Electronic
Assumed Possibilities Starwyte – correct genre: Electro-acoustic Improv
Harry Partch Time Of Fun Together – correct genre: Other
Jonny Greenwood Tehellet – correct genre: Modern classical
Birchville Cat Motel Invisible – correct genre: Drone
Drona Parva Hollow Breath, Pt.2 – correct genre: Drugfolk
Hugh Davies Shozyg I & II (Duo With Richard Orton) (1969) – correct genre: DIY / Bric-a-brac
Eric Dolphy Iron Man – correct genre: Jazz (bearded)
Thomas Bloch Redolfi, Michel – Mare Teno – correct genre: New Age / Space / Mystical
David Kirby The Gospel According to Dave Quam – correct genre: New drone
Jeph Jerman Chicken wire in rain – correct genre: Field recordings
Oren Ambarchi Triste Part 2 – Remodel – correct genre: Nu drone
Thuja Suns 1 – correct genre: Forestry / Spiritual free-folk
John Fahey Joy to the World – correct genre: Holiday / Religious
Get it here: mediafire.com/?mznomyjytftoioy
Volume 3: Dance/Urban
Scorn Doors – correct genre: Dark Bass Fuck-hop
Various Artists 6 – correct genre: Berlin Heroin House
Gas Zauberberg 4 – correct genre: Kompakt
Tricky Overcome – correct genre: Coffee-table Trip Hop / Dance (urban)
Mulatu Astatke Yèkatit (February) – correct genre: Ethiojazz / Africafunk
Gus Gus Monument – correct genre: Nordic Electro-Gothpop
Autechre Medrey – correct genre: Glitchtronica
Quinoline Yellow Arnica – correct genre: Glitchtronica
The Conet Project tcp d3 4 english lady jammed irdial – correct genre: Spyware
The Tuss fredugolon 6 – correct genre: Acid Disco
Salvatore Not Chello! – correct genre: Dance post-dance rock
Bernard Parmegiani Accidents / Harmoniques – correct genre: Electro-acoustic / musique concréte
Satanicpornocultshop 99.2142 feat. frosen pine – correct genre: Sampladelic Mentalism / Plunderphonics / Turntablism / Rap
Aethenor I – correct genre: Black Ambient Doomgaze / Isolationism
BJ Nilsen Impossibilidad – correct genre: Psychoambient
Mika Vainio Further, higher! – correct genre: Ambient / Electronic
Get it here: mediafire.com/?zieorqzmtvo3jm4
You were a lot better than 2007!
I wrote up a stupidly epic post about pretty much everything I did last year on my other blog but here are some LISTS.
New records that I both liked and purchased
– Mogwai album. Apparently everyone thinks this sucks. They’re so wrong.
– Errors album, finally.
– Blood Red Shoes album, also finally
– Girls Aloud album – AMAZING
– Findo Gask 7″ that I really must review argh
– The Lords and James Orr Complex albums I got just before Christmas and am still getting into
What I actually listened to, according to Last.Fm
– Girls Aloud
– Scout Niblett
– Blood Red Shoes
– Kylie Minogue
– Pet Shop Boys
Good bands I saw live
– Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element & Findo Gask – bringing the party to 08/08/08
– Blood Red Shoes and Copy Haho at ABC2, Glasgow
– Errors album launch thing – still good
– The debut of Stage Blood – I didn’t hear much since they rendered me deaf after 30 seconds but I definitely saw them
Games I enjoyed playing on my DS
– Picross – I can’t stop playing this!
– Cooking Mama 2
– Mario Kart
– Wario Ware Touched
– Zelda Phantom Hourglass, until I couldn’t face going back to the Temple of the Ocean King for the billionth time. Why not just give us the option of stabbing forks in our eyes for an hour instead?
Good books I read
Wil Forbis book of awesome
Bill Drummond – 17
Bridge of the Brocade Sash
Al Burian – Natural Disasters
Mark Steel’s new one
The little Philip Pullman book about Iorek
Lots of zines I must blog about
A bunch of free stuff off Bookmooch
Good things I watched
– The Wire, of course
– LOST, duh
– Kung Fu Panda! So good I watched it twice in 2 days
– Cloverfield – hilarious
– Stick It – gymnastics and Black Flag oh yes
– Prince Caspian – much better than the first one.
– Juno, I guess.
– 24 – utterly ridiculous.
– Tales From Earthsea
Things I missed
– My Bloody Valentine reunion. I booked my flight to Bangkok without thinking the dates through. IDIOT.
– Tons of bands including Shellac. I am punching myself in the face right now. Stupid lack of money.
– the diskant albums/films of the year articles. New plan required for 2009.
– Doctor Who. I couldn’t deal with Catherine Tate AT ALL but I will have to give it another go. Hurrah for constant repeats on BBC3.
Looking forward to
– New LOST, aaaaaaaah!
– New Ghibli movie
– New Pet Shop Boys Xenomania album, for my birthday, thanks!
– The great unknown that comes with not having a tedious job to go to
– Making some money, hopefully.
After 2005’s stunning debut album, a two-year break and another spectacular album (review here) Chicago’s finest trio, Volcano!, land upon the shores of Old Blighty exhausted but enthusing about the general British friendliness. Hurrah.
Volcano! play loose, twitchy alternative rock which provides the pastry base for the spicy mincemeat that are their other meanderings: glorious and ecstatic chaos, improvised gibberish and half-minute noise-ridden catastrophes. Volcano!’s vast musical blending and genre-bending just shouldn’t work. This is one thing many listeners emphasize but miraculously it does and it takes a bunch of very switched-on, very talented songwriters to achieve this. Tonight’s bands are respectively connected with Volcano! in ways of ‘wacky’ spelling and a shared hometown, thus fulfilling a fantastically tenuous line-of-thought to run through my review.
You’ve got to be pretty mental to have an exclamation mark in your name – step aside:
Godspeed You! Black Wussies,
Panic! at the Disco,
The Go! Team,
Capeman! (this is just getting silly)
¡Forward, Russia! etc.
but pointless lists aside, the Leeds hardcore outfit Tigers! are tomfoolery-loving jokers and funnily enough the music’s good enough to stand for itself. Melt Banana and all the other grimecore lot have a HEAVY influence (pun central!) but Tigers! are infinitely more listenable than the bands mentioned. Like The Locust for the family, akin to listening a mad cartoon. Definitely worth seeing if just for the comedy wrestling costumes, the horseplay, the banter and ‘strong man’ muscle-pumping displayed at the triumphant finish of songs.
Cass McCombs has appeared on a variety of very impressive labels: 4AD, Moniter and Domini can’t be argued with. He and his Chicago-based band start off with a nice, lazy instrumental on the surf-guitar side of ‘50s rock and roll. Laid-back and bare, each song shuffles along with slight changes to the general theme; a gradual development progresses in its own sweet time (i.e. very bloody slowly!). This is well-executed and straightforward rock, Cass’ guitar playing comparable to the delicacy of Buddy Holly – soft and unobtrusive, a gratifying listen.
They may be at the end of a mammoth European tour, but never mind how physically-drained they appear before playing, Volcano! are just as explosive live as on record. Things get so loose and free that it’s best to simply stop trying to follow the (wonderfully frayed and ragged) thread of the music and instead lose yourself in its amazing disarray. The number of gadgets on bassist/electronics dude Mark Cartwright’s desk is phenomenal. He blows a wind piano, draws on a squishy electronic pad-thing while tapping a laptop and a couple of keyboards moments later. Pretty impressive as he doesn’t budge his multifarious sounds into too prominent a part of the mix. Sam Scranton is a magnificent jazz/rock drummer to watch – the collective channelling between beats and all-out improv is captivating. Stellar performance. Shame we’ll have to look forward to seeing them in a couple of years I expect.
It’s that time of the year again…
www.honeyisfunny.com has all the ordering detail and some thoughtful considerations on the Credit Crunch.
By way of offsetting this, here’s a playlist:
Red Eyed Legends – Monsters (from forthcoming LP)
Obits – tracks from immediately sold-out 7″ on Sub Pop that I don’t own
Zomes – S/T LP
Pifco – Live
Long Lonesome Go – Live
Charlottefield – awesome live bootleg from Nottingham that I keep promising to send them and then finding I’ve lost it because I never write on my blank CDRs. I found it again though.
Pissed Jeans – Hope For Men
Notorious Hi-Fi Killers – new stuff played live
Pearls & Brass – The Indian Tower LP
Enablers – Tundra LP
Hot Snakes – This Mystic Decade (from Audit In Progress LP)
Harvey MIlk – Live Pleaser LP
The Ex w/ Getatchu Mekurya LP
The Beatles – White Album
The New Year – Live
Qisa – new studio recordings
Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold As Love LP
The Night Marchers – Fisting The Fanbase (from 7″)
Tanner – Ill Gotten Gains LP
If you’re in Glasgow on December 12th, first head to see The Vaselines at ABC then hotfoot it down to Stereo to see Roads To Siam, the ex-Sourtooth folks of the awesomely-named Divorce and then last (and maybe least) the first show from Stage Blood, a rock and roll band with members of Eska, Mogwai and me on slightly-quieter guitar than Colin. The above playlist could perhaps indicate some of the sonic direction. www.myspace.com/stagebloodtheband is the obligatory Myspace page, devoid of any actual music so you’ll just have to imagine it.
There you go, couldn’t rename the tracks as it keeps telling me there’s an error so here’s the tracklisting:
Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl
Jimi Hendrix Experience – Killing Floor (live)
The Sonics – Have Love, Will Travel
Oneida – Doin Business In Japan
MC5 – Looking At You
Ike & Tina Turner – Untitled
Yardbirds – Stroll On
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Diddy wah diddy
Sebadoh – Flame
The Elastik Band – Spazz
The Buffalo Springfield – Mr. Soul
Howlin’ Wolf – Wang Dang Doodle
- skinny trousers
- massive asymmetrical hair. (We didn’t ban CFCs because of the ozone layer…)
- banks collapsing
- house prices falling
- stock market crises
- Chinese government crushes citizens with tanks
- Your pal sells 10 copies of Class War‘s magazine in under two hours.
- Rambo in the cinema
First record you bought and do you still own it?
“Hits 6”, part of a short-lived compilation series that rivalled the “Now That’s What I Call Music” behemoth. Purchased on cassette from John Menzies in Paisley and played through my tinny little tape recorder that was normally used for loading Spectrum games. Side 1 Track 1 was Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, making it the very first song I purchased with my own money. I think I still have it in a cardboard box somewhere.
Last record you bought
Three at once out of Fopp:
1. “Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain” by Sparklehorse. Disappointing.
2. “Remixes” by Four Tet. Patchy but good in places.
3. “I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Kick Your Ass” by Yo La Tengo. It’s ace.
Last song you downloaded
I don’t tend to download much music. The only downloaded music I’ve ever paid for is the iTunes-only “Bam Thwok” by the Pixies. The concept of paying for a piece of music with DRM embedded to tell me what I can and can’t do with it makes me blind with rage. If only all online music stores were like Warp’s Bleep. I still prefer to buy CDs, however, even if the first thing I do is rip them to MP3.
Last song/record you went to enormous lengths to find
Sadly I am too lazy to go to enormous lengths for anything much.
Most elaborately packaged record you own
Probably something on Constellation records. It takes me about ten minutes to extract one of their CDs from the packaging.
Last song you listened to
“Savage Composition” by Don Caballero.
Favourite mixtape someone made you that you still listen to
I no longer have any cassette-playing apparatus, and nobody’s made me a CD in ages.
What records are you going to buy next?
I heard a bit of “Expert Knob Twiddlers” by Mike and Rich (aka Mike “µ-ziq” Paradinas and Richard D. “Aphex Twin” James) the other day, and it sounded very good indeed, so it’s on the list.
What are your top 10 most listened to songs on iTunes/last.fm/whatever
10. Xylin Room – Autechre
9. Hallo – Astrobotnia
8. Lightworks – Astrobotnia
7. Pin – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
6. Dahlem – To Rococo Rot
5. Blown – LFO
4. Thomas the Muthafuckin Tank Engine – Datashat
3. Tascel_7 – Arovane
2. Nonlin.R – Arovane
1. City Girl – Kevin Shields
Things I like
Not enough sleep
The evil robots from that really tricky level in Ouendan.
Ten worst/most unlistenable songs in your collection?
Ten? Since I don’t have all day, I’ll do you five.
Du Du Du – Du Du Du by Half Japanese
I love Half Japanese. Even the really early stuff, recorded in Jad and David Fair’s parent’s basement. They knew they wanted to be the best rock’n’roll band in the world, and they weren’t going to let a complete lack of technical ability get in the way of achieving that goal. Most of that first album, “Half Gentlemen, Not Beasts” is hard to listen to, but the spirit of it shines through. However, not even the staunchest advocate of outsider music can deny that much of it, such as this 7-minute long recording of a single bass note played over and over again, is pretty mince.
Stutter Rap (No Sleep ‘Til Bedtime) by Morris Minor and the Majors.
It crept onto my iTunes somehow.
Ventolin – Aphex Twin
That high-pitched whine is allegedly the sound Richard D. James heard when having an asthma attack as a child, and it’s about as pleasurable to listen to.
Scooby Doo – The Pubs.
Me and a friend covering the theme to Scooby Doo in my parent’s garage, when we were both old enough to know better. An embaressment that comes out with alarming regularity when I have drank to excess.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
Some bands just come out of nowhere with something incredible, new and fully formed – like as if you’re walking down the street and then someone suddenly steps out of a shop doorway and clubs you over the head with a frozen trout. Other great acts creep up slowly and grow on you as they grow themselves. Lots of awesome and well-known bands have obscure and mysterious origins with potentially embarrassing limited edition/low budget/simply not very good debuts. Others simply churn out so many records that it’s easy to lose track of which was released when. It struck me just now while listening to Swervedriver what an awesome debut album Raise is, and how they never really did anything to match it. And then by comparison I thought about Oval, a band I love with all my heart, and how their debut, Wohnton, is pretty lame. And then how Spiderland is so superior to Tweeze.
So here, for no good reason, is a list of 30 of the greatest debut albums of all time (in my biased, not particularly knowledgable opinion, and as far as I can remember). In the interests of discussion, who have I missed?
Swervedriver – Raise
Panasonic – Vakio
Fushitsusha – I
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced?
The Fall – Live at the Witch Trials
Can – Monster Movie (or Delay, whichever you want to class as their debut)
Moonshake – Eva Luna
Mogwai – Young Team
The Pop Group – Y
AMP – Sirenes
Cocteau Twins – Garlands
AMM – AMMusic
Erase Errata – Other Animals
Napalm Death – Scum
Nirvana – Bleach
Part Chimp – Chart Pimp
Polvo – Cor-crane Secret
Laddio Bolocko – The Strange Warmings Of
Rollerskate Skinny – Shoulder Voices
Scott Walker – Scott
Lemon Kittens – We Buy A Hammer For Daddy
Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
LFO – Frequencies
Einstürzende Neubauten – Kollaps
Happy Flowers – My Skin Covers My Body