Thursday, 23 December 2010

Certain General - Stolen Car

This, of course, should also have been in the Top Ten but now it gets a post all to itself:

"Along with the Band Of Outsiders Certain General were scions of early 80s downtown New York, holding on to the torch of Television and Patti Smith, twisting their vision further through dark, intense Village back-ways, while forcing wide the doors for Sonic Youth.Based around an axis of Parker Dulany, Phil Gammage, and Kevin Tooley, they have reappeared periodically but now come up with a record of skill and invention, of instrumental virtuosity that renews our belief that music as a savage art can empower."

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Robyn Hitchcock covers streaming inside The Museum

Robyn and Scott

For Xmas Robyn Hitchcock has a set of twelve recently recorded, unreleased covers available to listen to.  The new tracks are streaming from his Audio Bus at the bottom right of The Museum Of Robyn Hitchcock.  

There's the Dead's 'Candyman' with Peter Buck, John Paul Jones, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, three Bowie tracks from The Feghorn in October, plus three guest vocalists in Scott McCaughey on 'I Still Miss Someone',  Mike Heron with 'Very Cellular Song', and Nick Lowe on 'Blue Moon Of Kentucky'.

Below is a track listing:
1 Be Here Now 3:40
2 Blue Moon Of Kentucky 5:02 
3 Candyman 7:16 
4 Changes 3:42 
5 Copper Kettle 4:44 
6 I Still Miss Someone 3:48 
7 Life On Mars 4:49
8 Pink Moon in C 3:40 
9 Quicksand 5:50
10 Song For Bob Dylan 4:29 
11Very Cellular Song 12:38 
12 Wang Dang Doodle 7:07

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

WINTERLUDE - the flyer

Top Ten of 2010 plus


RECORDS OF THE YEAR: what a palaver. I started off with about three and it's just grown, with three sub-sections. So you're not going to hear that much about any of them. If I was to be so picky as to have a favourite of the year it would be Trembling Bells. More often than not they haven't quite done it live, though they were right there at Cecil Sharp and for much of the End of The Road set, but there is nothing even slightly off about the album.

Never the biggest Czars fan, but John Grant's Queen Of Denmark is opulent and gorgeous and its lustre doesn't fade. 'Where Dreams Go To Die' is to die for.

It's been a five year wait for a new Miracle 3 album, though Steve Wynn has been busy in the interim. This and the shows bought it all back home. 'Resolution' nestles in quite nicely next to 'Amphetamine' and 'John Coltrane Stereo Blues'.

Wilderness Heart from Black Mountain. A highlight and a discovery at End Of The Road. Like Deep Purple were they on SST and a lot more besides. A band to make you jump in the air.

A psychedelic delight and aural kaleidoscope from the ubiquitous Carwen Ellis' Colorama. 

Okkervil River provided the setting for what turned out as fascinating a mining of Roky’s cultural milieu and personal odyssey as Time Out Of Mind was of Dylan’s. 

An album that celebrates a personal history that’s also a shared history. A deeply romantic set of songs that good-naturedly hymn the rock'n'roll archetypes, with the same joy in the best of England that infused Nikki Sudden and Ronnie Lane.

Two wilfully eccentric performers providing quite beautiful readings of their and our favourite songs.

The patently close-knit group, now definitely a group rather than a collision of talented individuals, bought us this new exploratory, celebratory collection, drenched in soul, recorded in the sympathetic air of Bearsville.

Richard Warren's Laments is a record imbued with a Memphis feeling, with a vibe similar to that aspired to by Primal Scream on Give Out But Don't Give Up but here perhaps bettered. While there was an immediate recognition of some of the influences , and touchstones being worked from, it took a few listens to latch on to how good it really is.

The Wolf People's Steeple is their first album proper. A tour de force of intelligent, ebullient, progressive music

A 2009 album in all but UK release date. Rowland was dead before the year began but Pop Crimes, the work of a questing, living artist, enhanced our lives in 2010.

Quite simply the purest country singer practising his art on these islands, and the finest.

Utterly reliable in his unreliability, teasing and questing, never far from that Tucson dryness, Howe Gelb wanders free through cities of Europe and a plethora of musical side-roads.

REISSUES & EXCAVATIONS: It seems that seldom a year passes without a new version of Buffalo Bill surfacing. This double vinyl set from Munster in Spain is the definitive version. With Rowland Howard’s death four of the participants are now gone but as the years go by this 1986 recording gains the respect it deserves. Among many things it should be considered the record.

A five CD set of the legendary show celebrating the 5th birthday of the UK's greatest ever music magazine. Lovingly restored by Tony Poole. A beautiful package with sleevenotes from John Tobler, Pete Frame, Andy Childs, Tom Sheehan, Deke Leonard, and Nigel Cross (without whom).

A remarkable piece of archeology from Mark Linn. Recorded at Bradleys Barn in 1970. Riley Watkins and Gary Stewart as a rootsy Moby Grape.

We've been waiting for this on CD for a long time. The classic second Dream Syndicate album featuring 'Merrittville', 'Bullet With My Name On It', 'Daddy's Girl', and 'John Coltrane Stereo Blues'. Which cheeky sod asked Steve if there was going to be a vinyl version?

Los Saicos created a monstrous concatenation of trash, surf and beat music in Peru between 1965 and 1966 cutting twelve tracks before disbanding. They're all here and remarkable.

Iggy and James playing together again. Alive doing the needful. We can perhaps retire our Radar copies now.

TRIBUTE ALBUMS: The best tribute album since Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST. I'll leave the plaudits on this to someone else:
“A great world-weariness in the vein of Jackson C Frank and Tim Hardin...if it was the 60s he would undoubtedly be on Elektra” - Nigel Cross (Founding Editor – Bucketfull Of Brains)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

New REM album: COLLAPSE INTO NOW out in March

COLLAPSE INTO NOW, R.E.M.'s new studio record, is set for a Tuesday, March 8th release in the USA on Warner Bros. Records. The album, the band's 15th, will be released internationally on March 7th. COLLAPSE INTO NOW was produced by R.E.M. and Jacknife Lee and features guest appearances from Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Joel Gibb, Peaches, and Eddie Vedder. Stay tuned for more details!

1. Discoverer
2. All The Best
3. Überlin
4. Oh My Heart
5. It Happened Today
6. Every Day Is Yours To Win
7. Mine Smell Like Honey
8. Walk It Back
9. Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter
10. That Someone Is You
11. Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I
12. Blue

Download 'Discoverer' now from here

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Palace Guards - Camper Van Beethoven's David Lowery releases solo album

After years of helping steer the lauded and eclectic careers of both of his bands, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, co-founder and frontman David Lowery has seen fit to present a collection of songs recorded apart from those iconic indie & alternative rock entities. Stopping short of calling it a solo record, Lowery has collaborated with a handful of trusted musical cohorts associated with his Richmond, VA-based studio, Sound of Music - an inner circle that Lowery has relied on for over 17 years and who’ve been instrumental in helping create the sounds heard on this album as well as past projects. David recorded and produced The Palace Guards in conjunction with John Morand and Alan Weatherhead. Key players include Miguel Urbiztondo on drums, David Immergluck on guitars and bass, Craig Harmon played organs and Ferd Moyse on upright bass and fiddle. Special guest appearances include Cracker mates Sal Maida and Johnny Hickman, as well as the late Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) who played keyboards on “Big Life.” The Palace Guards will be available everywhere February 1st, 2011 through 429 Records.

The Palace Guards took David several years to complete. Lowery felt it liberating to write the songs without the constrictions of how they might fit in with the Cracker or Camper canon of songs and performances. The easy rapport and powerful creative chemistry that Lowery shared with his studio pals allowed his introverted musical inclinations to shine through.  Apparent in this collection of nine songs is a willingness to push the envelope stylistically—from the Appalachian-woven folk of the album’s first single “Raise ‘em Up on Honey” to the swirling, languid psychedelia of “Deep Oblivion” and eclectic Syd Barrett-inspired title track, to the rocked-out “Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing to Me,” Lowery enjoys the freedom to write and record just about anything that pleases him at that moment.

“One of the reasons the album sounds the way it does is that I have pretty strong personalities playing with me,” says Lowery, “guys who I’ve worked with for years, who have done engineering or playing on Camper and Cracker albums. There’s that instant easy rapport that shines through. Working with them brought out the more extreme edges in these songs and amplified them. It was also liberating to start with no preconceived notions of what they would end up sounding like or worrying about how they might sound in a live setting, as I have to do when I write songs for Cracker."

Title track available here for download:

1. Raise 'em up on Honey
2. The Palace Guards
3. Deep Oblivion
4. Ah, You Left Me
5. Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing To Me
6. I Sold the Arabs the Moon
7. Marigold
8. Big Life
9. Submarine

 This is all in advance of what will certainly be a very busy year for Lowery in 2011. In addition to promoting The Palace Guards, he'll also be doing a string of East Coast this January with both Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker as part of their Key Lime & Kerosene Tour, where both bands will be performing their signature albums (CVB's Key Lime Pie and Cracker's Kerosene Hat) in their entireties.  David has also currently been writing new music with Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven for upcoming albums from both bands (this will mark the first new material from CVB since their lauded 2004 New Roman Times release). In addition, David also plans to continue working on his popular 300 Songs project - a blog chronicling all of the songs he's written and recorded with both Cracker & CVB. Plans are also in the works to turn these wry, humorous and informative musings on his songs, bands and, ultimately, the music business in general, into his first published book later in the year.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Rockingbirds and The Arlenes- together again

Saturday night was like being back at Rosie O'Gradys. So many faces from the first days of Come Down And Meet The Folks and Alan Tyler and Big Steve on the same stage. Here are a few shots from the evening and the set lists:

L -R Big Steve, Chris Clarke, Alan Tyler

Chris Clarke



All photos by Amy Djarf

Friday, 10 December 2010

WINTERLUDE: this dude thinks you're fine - Sat Feb 19th 2011

Our pals at The Betsey have now announced their much-anticipated second Winterlude at Conway Hall on Saturday 19th February.

The line-up includes:

Danny and the Champions of the World
The Rockingbirds
John Otway Big Band
Treetop Flyers
Benjamin Folke Thomas Band 
The Cedars

Tickets available here now

Thursday, 9 December 2010

T-MODEL FORD - New Album in January


Recorded during a 14 show US tour this year, the groove on this new studio album is pure T-Model Ford. Backed by his regular touring band GravelRoad, and with stellar guest appearances by Brian Olive and Matthew Smith, Taledragger is a perfect party album with the feel and honesty of a night at the juke joint.

Despite a mild stroke in April 2010, T-Model still plays with an intensity and consistency that belies his age. Now 90-years old, the self proclaimed 'Boss of the Blues' continues to show his strengths. Playing the blues is his life, he knows no other way. The well-documented Bad Man can be noted to, at times, simply have it bad, man.

T-Model Ford's new Taledragger album will be released on January 11, 2011 through Alive Records on color vinyl (limited to 900 copies), 180 gram vinyl (limited to 100 copies and available exclusively by mailorder through Alive Records), as well as CD and digital formats.

"More eccentric than innovative, Ford revisits riffs and motifs well-known in both Delta and Chicago blues. But he has an advantage over ’30s performers, who were limited by the three-minute running time of 78-rpm records. The guitarist slips, lurches and churns until the groove becomes hypnotic. T-Model Ford may not be an originator, but when he bends a song like taffy, he twists it into a shape that is his alone." – Mark Jenkins / WASHINGTON POST

“This is no music for the precious and wanky-fedora-headed-claptonite-bloozers who whine about sh*t being out of tune and wring their hands over a guitar being japanese-made. This is primal jankety-ass rattlin’ and buzzin’ raw music.” - DEEP BLUES BLOG

1. Same Old Train
2. Comin' Back Home
3. How Many More Years
4. Someone's Knocking On My Door
5. Big Legged Woman
6. I Worn My Body For So Long
7. Red Dress
8. Little Red Rooster

Listen to 'COMIN' BACK HOME'

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Another Arlenes appearance with a cast of 1000s

A fiver in. Tickets here.

The Rockingbirds and The Arlenes together - Sat 11th December

Two North London country legends perform together again on Saturday night. The Rockingbirds and The Arlenes are at the Borderline. The two co-founders of Come Down And Meet The Folks are re-united and it looks like being a party night for the Camden diaspora.

Big Steve and Stephanie have been living in Nashville for some years now. The Rockingbirds have only recently begun playing together again after well over a decade apart (read Alan Tyler's take on their story on BoB #65). This is a night to be savoured.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Joe Hurley at Joe's Pub - Tues 7th Dec

Joe Hurley & The Gents will play their annual December concert at Joe's Pub, Dec. 7th, 7:00-8:30pm!

Joe Hurley & The Gents are a sublime cast of NYC players featuring Tony Shanahan (Patti Smith), Kenny Margolis (Cracker), Jon Spurney (Passing Strange), James Mastro (Ian Hunter) and Denny McDermott (Rosanne Cash), w/ a few guests at this annual Mastro-Hurley birthday splash of Xmas show.

Legendary soul-singer Tami Lynn (Stones' Exile On Main Street, Dr John ) is a divinely appropriate star guest this year, burning up a little 'Exile' and more! Tami recently sang on Hurley/McCann's CD The House That Horse Built (Let The Great World Spin).

Also guesting are NYC's beloved singing sisters Tish & Snooky, (Blondie, Ramones, Manic Panic, Hurley's Irish Rock Revue) and devilboy JF, guitarist extraordinaire (Hurley's old comrade/ partner in Rogue's March). The surprise guests could be anyone... they're surprises.

This is the last JH &The Gents show for some time, so we hope to see you there! Performing old and new tunes, a little 'salt of the earth, and a stroll to the corner of Cash & Clash. Also 'Irish Breakfast in a Greek Diner' (single in March) and Hurley's Christmas classic 'Amsterdam Mistress'.

If I was in New York I'd be there.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

7" Singles - Florence Joelle's Kiss Of Fire

One of the things that disappeared at the last moment was our little singles column. We haven't really covered singles recently; mainly because we don't see many. But as with books we'd love to have them as a regular spot again. This year my affection for vinyl revitalised in a big way and I have been kicking around and discussing ideas for BoB to put out the odd 45.

The single that I have played most in the last few weeks is by Florence Joelle's Kiss Of Fire. I first saw Florence a few times last year when she and Sterling Roswell were playing together. Sterling's no longer working with her but she's got a cool little band with Arthur Lager on drums, Chris Campion on bass, and Huck Whitney on guitar. They conjure an atmosphere of sultry exoticism on this mix of standards and originals that combine early R'n'B stylings with French chanson and create something very special. Listening to these settings and her delightful voice the real world fades from view and you're suddenly decades away in a Left Bank cellar or a Manhattan cabaret. Addictive and compulsive.

Check out a recent performance of my current favourite of the four cuts, Chick Webb's 'When I Get Low I Get High':

The single's out on Butterfly Records of Barcelona (you do have to search the site to find it).

Do you still remember December's foggy freeze?

Well despite the temptation to stay in bed and wish the world away we've got on with the important tasks around a new issue and subscribers will be pleased to hear that all their copies (along all single issues purchased) are in the mail. I wouldn't be surprised if it all takes a little longer to arrive. The weather in the UK, even in London, is cold and snowy, and it'll probably affect the passage of the post by the odd day but everyone should be seeing a mag drop through their letterbox pretty soon.

It's now on sale in Housmans at the Kings Cross end of Caledonian Road so folk just passing through the city can pick one up. And it's a good read for the train, or indeed the tour bus.

As I say in the editorial this year I feel we've failed better. You have to go back to 2002 or 2003 to find a year when we got three issues out though this year we really did want to do four and that must be the aim for next year.

We should get off to a cracking start in 2011. We have a lot of good material already. We also have a fair bit of stuff that should have been in this one but for one reason or another didn't get in - or got in and then got thrown out in what's starting to feel like the compulsory last minute revamp, when yet another piece of advertising copy fails to materialise.

But I have to say that all features in this issue are super and all-in-all I'm very pleased with it. I just hope other people continue to be so too. There'll be copies available at the Stephanie Finch show tomorrow at The Borderline, and at the John Miller show at Honky Tonkin' Sunday (assuming the fella can get down from Glasgow).

Meanwhile I'm going to be recapping 2010 here over the next month. One or two people have already asked me for Top 10s etc for the year, and it'll also be an opportunity to flag up a number of things that need remark but haven't had it. So keep a watchful eye.