Monday, 18 March 2013

18 March 2013

An extra half hour today, you lucky people. Instrumentals, prog and prog instrumentals all on today's agenda.

Future Of The Left - Failed Olympic Bid
John: Great track, great video. From the album 'The Plot Against Common Sense' which came out late in 2011. Obviously railing against the nonsense of some of the companies that sponsored the Olympics and the abandonment of large swathes of the country so that London can prosper.
Carolyn: Yeah, I got the McDonalds bit. Other burger chains are available.

John Grant - Sensitive New Age Guy
John: We played the title track to the album 'Pale Green Ghosts' a few weeks ago and it's still the best thing I've heard this year. This is another track off the album which came out last week. The ex-Czars man from Denver is now based in Reykjavik and the album is quite brilliant.

Neon Neon - Mid-Century Modern Nightmare
John: New one from these, this is off the album 'Praxis Makes Perfect' which is out on April 29. Gloriously 8-bit.
Carolyn: Like the computer games of our youth. Manic Miner... And under two minutes. Very retro.

Cover Version Corner
George Martin/Van Der Graaf Generator - Theme One
John: Originally made as a theme for Radio 1 back in 1967. Manchester prog rockers Van Der Graaf Generator recorded that in 1972 and it's off the album 'Pawn Hearts'. That's just one of a number of covers - I could have gone for Schizo Fun Addict, Cozy Powell...
Carolyn: The instrumental possibly gives you even more freedom to put your own stamp on things. Is there a kazoo version?
John: Something to do over Easter, perhaps.

Phoenix - Entertainment
John: That's jaunty. From Versailles, that's off the album 'Bankrupt!' - with an exclamation point - which is out on April 5.
Carolyn: Very jaunty indeed. I liked that.

Ultraista - Smalltalk
John: That's the new single from these which comes out on the 31st off the album 'Ultraista'. That's Nigel Godrich's - Radiohead's long-time producer - project.
Carolyn: Who is on vocals?
John: I don't know. Good though, ain't it. Works well with the melodies to create something quite beautiful.

Yacht - Second Summer
John: This came out last December. We've played these before; they're based in Portland, Oregon.
Carolyn: That's really good.

Younghusband - Dromes
John: That's how you end a record...
Carolyn: I liked it up to that point.
John: The new single is 'Comets Crossed' from the album of the same name which this also comes from. Worth keeping an eye on these in the future.
Carolyn: As long as they learn to end a track.

The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist
John: One purely for Carolyn.
Carolyn: What happened to Dexter? I got caught up in the narrative. Really like it though.
John: Those samples are from the John Waters film 'Polyester'. The track was The Avalanches' biggest hit and came out in 2000 from the album 'Since I Left You'.

One Degree of Separation
The Stranglers - Waltzinblack
Jean-Jacques Burnel - Waltz In Blue
John: I promised you more instrumentals. And a double link for a bonus. First was The Stranglers from the 1981 album 'The Gospel According To The Men In Black', their fifth. Then you heard Jean-Jacques Burnel - bassist in The Stranglers with a track from the soundtrack to the 2005 film 'Gankutsuou'. And you've got the waltz link there as well. Burnel studied history at what was then Huddersfield Poly back in the day.
Carolyn: Our alma mater. Good to have a local element.
John: Ain't no glory like reflected glory.

Wooden Shjips - Black Smoke Rise
John: I've been after playing these for ages. Wooden Shjips, with a J...
Carolyn: I... Why?
John: That's a couple of years old now. They're from San Francisco and the album is 'West'. We've played a lot of things like Toy and Hookworms over the weeks and months and these came a bit before, maybe a gateway to those early Can and Neu! records for the newer generation.

Wire - Love Bends
John: The 13th studio album from the London post-punk veterans is 'Change Becomes Us' and it's out on March 25.

Royksopp - Happy Up Here
John: And happy down here in our bunker. I like that a lot - very uplifting.
Carolyn: Yes, jolly pleasant indeed.
John: They're from Tromso in Norway and that's off the 2009 album 'Junior'.

Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us
John: I promised you more prog as well, so have some Sparks. From the 1974 album 'Kimono My House'. I don't know.
Carolyn: I guess prog puns were different back then.
John: I realised a few weeks ago that I'm now of an age where I get Sparks. It's worrying.

Woody Guthrie - Worried Man Blues
John: I've been meaning to play some Woody for ages. It's a traditional old song which he recorded in 1940. He's a bit of a hero.
Carolyn: And it's good to play some different things.

Wolf People - All Returns
John: Psych-folk, I think they call it. The new album is 'Fain' and comes out on April 30. They're based in London. And Bedford, and North Yorkshire.

Willy Mason - I Got Gold
John: A modern twist on country, which is good. That's off the album 'Carry On' which came out late last year and I've just not got round to playing. I like that track - the rest of the album... Not so much.

Teenage Fanclub - Baby Lee
John: Purely selfish. I adore that track. From the 2010 album Shadows.
Carolyn: No, it can't be selfish when you share something that nice. That's a beautiful record.

And here's all that in a YouTube playlist.

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