Monday, 28 January 2013

28 January 2013

Finally, we got back in the studio.

Petula Clark - Cut Copy Me
John: A wonderful record and I had no idea who it was by on first hearing it.
Carolyn: If you'd not told me who it was before we got here, I'd not have known. How old is she now?
John: 80. And sounds as good as ever.
Carolyn: Sounds better than McCartney and he's not that old... My dad was kissed on the cheek by Petula. In Bradford. He was a big fan. He won't know she's got new stuff out.

John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts
John: Six minutes and I make no apology for it. That is quite astonishing. There is a shorter radio edit, but I prefer this - it's stark, bleak and interesting.
Carolyn: Quite like you then.
John: Cheeky. Grant is from Denver, formerly of The Czars, but based in Reykjavik now and if I hear a better record this year, I'm in for a treat. This is out on March 11.

Concrete Knives - Greyhound Racing
Carolyn: I like that one.
John: These are from Caen in northern France and it's off the forthcoming album 'Be Your Own King'.

Cover Version Corner
Etienne Daho - Weekend A Rome
St Etienne - He's On The Phone
John: I'm cheating here - it's not strictly speaking a cover, rather two records that share the same melody, but Etienne Daho did work with St Etienne on their 'version'.
Carolyn: You've undermined the whole concept! Just to get a St Etienne record in there somehow.
John: Daho is from Algeria and that was out in 1984 on the album 'La Notte, La Notte'. The St Etienne one reached number 11 in 1995.

On An On - The Hunter
John: From Chicago, that's out tomorrow, off the album 'Give In'.
Carolyn: Didn't like it.
John: I thought you'd go for those big swoopy late '80s/early '90s bits.
Carolyn: Yeah, that bit was OK. The auto-tuney bits might get a bit annoying on repeat listening though.

Suede - Barriers
John: Their first stuff for ten years, that's the new single off the forthcoming album 'Bloodsports'.
Carolyn: It might be new, but it's instantly familiar. They've not changed much. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Dutch Uncles - Flexxin'
John: From Marple, near Stockport, I reckon these are going to be huge in 2013. That's Flexxin', the new single off the debut album 'Out Of touch In The Wild'. Two Xs, no G.
Carolyn: Bloomin' spelling again! What do they teach these kids?

Virals - Summer Girls
John: From Worcester, that's off an EP called 'Strange Fruit'.
Carolyn: I like that. Sounds like The Vaccines a bit, and I like them.

Jacco Gardner - Clear The Air
John: That's out on February 19 and he's from Zwaag in The Netherlands. It reminds me a bit of the Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased) theme tune.
Carolyn: I see where you're coming from.

One Degree Of Separation
The Specials - Why?
Fun Boy Three - Tunnel Of Love
Carolyn: So have you subverted this format idea as well?
John: You know I haven't. It's a simple one this one. I played some Fun Boy Three as you've previously expressed an interest, and before that it was The Specials with Why? which was the B-side to Ghost Town.
Carolyn: The link being..??
John: Terry Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding formed the latter from the remnants of the former.

Peace - Wraith
John: Bringing it bang up to date, the new one from these. Another band of whom great things are expected.

Jagwar Ma - The Throw
John: A 7-minuter, but again I don't apologise. I really like that.
Carolyn: Yeah, me too. I'm getting a bit of Happy Mondays from it, if you see what I mean.
John: Aye, a bit. And something else I can't put my finger on. Jagwar Ma are Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield from Sydney. In Australia, that is, in case you were thinking of a different Sydney.

Wave Machines - I Hold Loneliness
John: New one from these who are from Liverpool off the album 'Pollen' which is out now.

Sweet Baboo - Let's Go Swimming Wild
John: Sweet Baboo is Stephen Black from north Wales and that came out at the back end of last year.

Here's this weeks YouTube playlist.

Monday, 21 January 2013

14 January/21 January 2013 (postponed)

This is the show we were going to do on the 14th, but was postponed as the studio was closed as a result of the inclement weather. So we put it back a week and what do you know? Yep. It was far worse and the studio was closed again. So we're doing it here as an online-only thing, mainly because we need to clear the playlist down to keep up with all the new releases we want to play. So, you lucky readers, lend us your ears...

Pulp - After You
New stuff! From Pulp! And it flicks all the usual Pulp buttons. "From disco to disco, Safeway to Tesco...". Classic Cocker. This was given away at their christmas gigs, but worked up into something more polished as word got round.

Eels - Peach Blossom
New stuff! From Eels! It's not a complex record, but it's catchy as hell and comes off the album 'Wonderful, Glorious' which is out next month.

Villagers - Nothing Arrived
Subtitled 'A day in the life of Terence Bliss', it's a really nice tune, but quite bleak lyrically. Villagers are from Dun Laoghaire and this is off 'Awayland' which came out on January 11.

Cover Version Corner
France Gall/Oberkampf - Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son
Composed by Serge Gainsbourg, France Gall was Luxembourg's Eurovision representative in 1965. The song, and further Gall/Gainsbourg collaborations, proved controversial - the title translates as 'doll of wax, doll of sawdust' and was seen as Gainsbourg being the puppetmaster of a young and fragile girl. Oberkampf are a Parisian punk outfit and that was recorded in the early '80s.

Everything Everything - Kemosabe
We like these. They dare to be different. This is the new single, out January 14, the same date as the long-awaited album 'Arc'.

Billy Bragg - Thatcherites
Still relevant as more of the family silver gets sold off for nothing more than ideology. This is off 'Bloke On Bloke' from 1997.

Daniel Pearson - Factory Floor
The heir-apparent to the Bard of Barking that we've just heard. What more could they want from us? The album 'Mercury State' is due... soon.

Drowners - Long Hair
Sub-two minutes. Brevity is good. This is out on February 4 and they're from Skellefteham in Sweden.

Mew - Am I Wry? No
Staying in Scandinavia, but across the sound to Denmark. This is from 2000, off the album ' Half The World Is Watching Me'.

Kris Menace feat. Miss Kittin - Hide
Heading further south, into Germany. Kris Menace is Christoph Hoeffel from Landau In-der-Platz and this came out last April.

Leisuregroove - Little Love
From 2007, off a Hed Kandi compilation. Kind of mellow, not too heavy... just nice for a low-tempo Saturday night.

One Degree of Separation
Tomorrow's World - So Long My Love
Air - Cherry Blossom Girl
Air's Jean-Benoit Dunckel's new project is Tomorrow's World and the EP, also called 'So Long My Love' was out last October. As Air, alongside Nicolas Godin, Cherry Blossom Girl came out in 2004 and is off the album 'Talkie Walkie' which is still brilliant.

Beach House - Zebra
This from the Baltimore duo is a couple of years old now, off an EP also called 'Zebra'.

Transformer - Dragonfly
From Brighton, this came out the middle of last month. Not sure how you'd describe it - nouveau disco-funk, possibly?

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - We No Who U R
First track off the Aussie veteran's new album 'Push The Sky Away' which is out on February 18.

Kabbala - Ashewo Ara
Early '80s Ghanaian funk off an album called 'The Shrine'.

Rachel Zeffira - The Deserters
From her debut album of the same name which came out last month, we reckon we'll be hearing a lot about this Canadian singer-songwriter in 2013.

Team Ghost - Dead Film Star
Another ex-member of a French electronica act, this is by Nicolas Fromageau, ex of M83 and came off an EP, also called 'Dead Film Star' out last year.

Tom Odell - Can't Pretend
Another one of these BBC Sound of 2013 doo-dahs. Now we've heard a lot of this type of thing and it's here today, gone tomorrow. We like this and think the boy has got something a little bit extra. We shall see. This is off an EP called 'Songs From Another Love' and came out last October.

Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Fully 19 years old now, from the album 'So Tonight That I Might See'. And it fades out the show for this week and fades out what we've had clogging the box up for a fortnight.

With a bit of luck - well, not luck so much as less snow - we'll actually be in the studio next week. We've certainly plenty of new stuff to tickle your lugholes with.

Meanwhile, here's all the above compiled into a YouTube playlist.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Wilko Johnson

Why are we all saddened by the news about Wilko Johnson? As well as helping bring the delta blues to the Thames Estuary, developing a unique style of playing and writing some of the most important music of the late 20th century, he's been one of the most charismatic front-men around.

I mean, here he is using his guitar like a machine gun:

And in his wild-eyed, hyperactive pomp:

What's most humbling is his determination to complete that album and continue touring until physically unable. Catch him while you can - fingers crossed he'll make it to Holmfirth. If not, try Julien Temple's 2009 film Oil City Confidential.

7 January 2013: Appendix A

After Carolyn had the airwaves last Monday to present her picks of what we played during 2012, here's John with his picks.

I want to concentrate on new music that we played. Also, as I'm not constrained by having to actually broadcast this, it doesn't have to fit an hour-long segment of air-time so I'm cheating a bit (a lot).

Django Django - Life's A Beach
If you've been listening to us at all, you'll know how much we like these guys. New and fresh while echoing the '60s is a tricky thing to pull off, but they do. It's a great album.

Everything Everything - Cough Cough
I like that these are avowedly different and "avoid the clich├ęs expected of white men with guitars from Manchester".  It could be an acquired taste - I get that - but it clicks for me.

St Etienne - I've Got Your Music
I have always and probably will always love St Etienne. This, off Words And Music By St Etienne which came out in the summer, is as good as anything else they've ever done.

My favourite Cover Version Corner that we played:
Edith Piaf - Je Ne Regrette Rien
Half Man Half Biscuit with Margi Clarke - No Regrets
The greatest band in the world cover the Little Sparrow, only in English and with Margi Clarke. It's what this format section is supposed to be about.

Hookworms - Teen Dreams
This and the next few could form a new format section - Krautrock Corner. Hookworms are from Leeds and friends are beginning to tire of me plugging their wares on the Twitter.

Toy - Kopter
Make a cuppa before this one. 10 minutes of glorious brilliance from a band that have really made our ears prick up this last year.

David Holmes - I Heard Wonders
Recorded in 2008, but used during the opening ceremony to the London Olympics - and what a gloriously subversive triumph that turned out to be - without which it would have passed me by and fits the theme of the last couple of records. There was lots from the Olympics that could have made it - Orbital, for instance - but this is my pick of them.

Dan Croll - From Nowhere
Not quite in the Krautrock style of the last few, but there are cues there, I feel sure.

Matthew Dear - Earthforms
Dark, eerie, moody, bassy, brilliant.
After all that German-influenced stuff, a change of pace next.

My favourite One Degree of Separation:
Wedding Present - Don't Take Me Home Until I'm Drunk
The Ukrainians - Cherez Richku, Cherez Hai
Again, it's what we're trying to achieve with this format idea - totally different stuff, but with traceable roots. Back in the day, I was actually aware of The Ukrainians first and got into the Wedding Present on the back of that rather than the other way round.

Rhye - The Fall
Just a delight, yes even with the My Lovely Horse-style sax solo bit 3 minutes in.

Family of the Year - St Croix
And while it's dark and cold out there, here's to a summer in the Caribbean.

Foe - The Black Lodge
Heard this on the radio fairly early in the year and couldn't stop listening to it. Great song-writing, great tunes.

Bloc Party - Octopus
Back with a bang. Some of the tracks on the album have a harder edge than we're used to, but this is very accessible and provides a way in, if you like.

Paco Zambrano y su Combo - Meshkalina
Not new music - it's from 1968 - but had a release from a new label, Tiger's Milk, specialising in Latin American rarities. Right up my street, this.

The Zolas - Knot In My Heart
Hooked by the Doctor Who-esque intro.

Beth Jeans Houghton and The Hooves Of Destiny - Lilliput
What a voice. And what a thunderingly good gallop through the song. Magic.

And a cheeky bonus track to finish
Guitar Wolf - Summertime Blues
Lo-fi goodness. Last year, I both saw Scott Pilgrim vs The World for the first time (loved it from the second I saw the 8-bit Universal logo), the soundtrack of which this features on, and Adam Buxton's Bug which featured this as well. There's not enough Japanese punk on the radio.

So many more I'd like to include, but you've got to cap it somewhere or I'd just go on forever. Here's it all wrapped up in a YouTube playlist.

Enough retrospection. I've got bucketloads of new stuff ready to go for next week's show and there's loads to look forward to in 2013, including new albums by Delphic, Dutch Uncles, Rachel Zeffira, Haim and plenty others besides.

Monday, 7 January 2013

7 January 2013

For the first show of the new year, Carolyn takes the microphone over and presents her highlights from the shows we did in 2012.

The Vaccines - Teenage Icon
Carolyn: Possibly my favourite track of the year. If it's on in the car and I pull up at home, I'll let it play through before getting out.

Django Django - Hail Bop
Carolyn: From their Mercury-nominated debut album that came out last year, these quickly became show favourites. The whole album is great and we'll have another track off it later.

Tame Impala - Elephant
Carolyn: Django Django have a '60s vibe, whereas this is more '70s.
John: I think I said at the time that this is what T-Rex would be doing if they were still around.

Cover Version Corner
Tears For Fears/Gary Jules and Michael Andrews - Mad World
Carolyn: Tears For Fears from 1982 and the christmas number one from 2003 by Gary Jules that also featured on the Donnie Darko soundtrack.

Los Saicos - El Enterrio de los Gatos
Carolyn: A curio John found on the back of a documentary which suggested that punk originated in 1965 in Lima, not ten years later in New York

Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed
Carolyn: I didn't know these at all until John played it. I think the name put me off.
John: Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staples' first post-Specials project.

Peter, Bjorn and John - Young Folks
Carolyn: Probably better known now from an advert for home improvement stores, but good to hear the full thing .

One Degree of Separation
Electronic - Getting Away With It
Robbie Williams - No Regrets
Carolyn: You have to listen well to get the connection, but it's Neil Tennant's vocals. We had played Electronic before, but the link is all my own work.

Django Django - Storm
Carolyn: We did say we'd have another from these. It really is a great album.
John: The test now comes with the second album. We've seen a couple last year that offered nothing above the first - the xx, Mumford and Sons, for two examples - and we hope these lot can keep innovating.

Haim - Don't Save Me
Carolyn: The LA sisters who won the BBC Sound of 2013 recently.
John: We expect an album shortly, but this will keep you ticking over for now.

Friends - Va Fan Gor Du
Carolyn: Don't know why they sing in Swedish, but there aren't enough songs to clap along to.

And here's your YouTube playlist.