Mrs Mackerel’s TFI Friday

Time on me is wasted time. Ah yes: the Kings of Leon.  And if we posted that then we would be in trouble, now that the Followill tribe are big in Japan.  And other places, of course.

The older I get, the more disappointing I find people – in general.  (Obviously there are always a few notable exceptions – yes, you know who you are).  So it’s been a week of disappointments really.  People who should know better; people who like to play games; people who forget the old adage of treat other as how you would like to be treated.  Anybody would think we were in the middle of an election.

Not April showers this month, just sunshine.  But the skies have clouded over and it’s raining blossom.  Hello May.  Been feeling a bit scaly this week, so let’s move into the long weekend and try and shake the gloom. Better ask MM to top up my glass.  Skol.

Welcome in the weekend with some vintage, venomous Mclusky and their “keeping up with the Joneses” classic To Hell With Good Intentions, and for anyone else feeling scaly, here is MM’s favourite live band of all time The Cropdusters and a barnstorming Alligator Come Across.

Have a good weekend.

Download Mclusky – To Hell With Good Intentions mp3 (from Mclusky Do Dallas)

Download The Cropdusters – Alligator Come Across mp3 (from If The Sober Go To Heaven)

Download The Cropdusters from eMusic here, or Mclusky here.

MM’s Best of the Month: April

As usual, here is our round-up of some of the best songs we’ve posted during April plus a couple of new ones. Thirty great songs all ready to go on one cracking playlist and impress your family and friends.

Without further ado…

Shabby Rogue – My Life As A Secret Agent mp3 (High octane, paranoia induced rock ‘n’ roll riffage)

Kurt Vile – Invisibility Nonexistent mp3 (Ramshackle bluesy psychedelia)

Woodpigeon – Empty-Hall-Sing-Along mp3 (Folk foot-stomper from outstanding new album)

Red Clay River – Rattlesnake Mountain mp3 (Sparse, shadowy, southern Gothic folk)

Sparrow & The Workshop – Devil Song mp3 (Morricone inspired galloping, cowboy blues)

Band Of Horses – Compliments mp3 (First track from much anticipated new album – signs are good)

Local Natives – World News mp3 ((Yet another) catchy, harmony filled gem from the wonderful Gorilla Manor album)

The Ooks Of Hazzard – Kids mp3 (Cover of the year so far? MGMT given a ukulele led, rough country makeover)

Phosphorescent – Mermaid Parade mp3 (Classic Phosphorescent. Classic modern country)

Jason Ward – Bless You mp3 (Lyrically brilliant folk ditty reminiscent of Blitzen Trapper)

Avi Buffalo – What’s In It For mp3 (New Sub-Pop darlings show what the fuss is about)

Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles – At The Wake mp3 (Perfect blend of Americana and indie rock)

The National – Afraid Of Everyone mp3 (Standout centrepiece from brilliant new album)

Peggy Sue – Watchman mp3 (Folk duo spit lyrical venom)

Chapel Club – O Maybe I mp3 (Top notch, classic British indie rock from much tipped newcomers)

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – Forget It mp3 (Perfect backwoods porch Americana)

The War Crimes – Enamour Me And Roll mp3 (Sinister, unsettling and lyrically brilliant)

Meursault – Crank Resolutions mp3 (Scottish miserablist folksters deliver in spades)

Howling Owls – Family Tree mp3 (Another insistently compelling, down-tempo and black-hearted folk tale)

Grass House – A Cockroach mp3 (Unsettling excursion on a dark, sonically captivating journey)

Emily Reo – Witch Mtn mp3 (Experimental, ethereal, excellent)

Alessi’s Ark – Shovelling mp3 (Fragile and spooky folk)

Wind Up Birds – There Won’t Always Be An England mp3 (Particularly English tale of bigotry – topical enough!)

Tallest Man On Earth – Burden Of Tomorrow mp3 (Another gem from rasping folk troubadour. Dylan comparisons obligatory)

Unnatural Helpers – Sunshine / Pretty Girls mp3 (Snotty, brash homage to classic punk with added bonus of chorus of the month)

Morningbell – Hello Dali mp3 (Melodic, shimmering psych rock from Florida)

Colours – Desert Dessert mp3 (Three minutes of buzzsaw guitars and a shout along chorus. Awarded instant classic status)

Brother Dege – The Girl Who Wept Stones mp3 (Authentic stomping swamp blues. Like Seasick Steve’s nastier brother)

And lastly here are a couple of new ones

Memoryhouse – Gian Lorenzo Bernini mp3 (More gorgeous, chilled out, dream to immerse yourself in)

Delaney Davidson – Dirty Dozen mp3 (Classic voodoo rockabilly and filthy, x rated lyrics. What’s not to like?)

Introducing…Colours

We were lucky enough to get an e-mail from Sleep All Day Records attaching the latest singles from two bands that were new to us, Fair Ohs and Colours.

Lucky because both were truly excellent. In many ways it is those moments of discovery that make a music blog such good fun.

So in the spirit of sharing all things good, here is the first – Desert Dessert by Colours. Just under three minutes of perfect high voltage indie rock complete with buzzsaw guitars and shout-along chorus. If these four boys from South London can keep this up they are destined for some very good things indeed. Recommended.

Visit their MySpace here. Order the limited run 7″ here.

Download Colours – Desert Dessert mp3 (from Desert Dessert 7″)

More from Thee Oh Sees

Thee Oh Sees mix large helpings of rockabilly and psychedelia into a heady cocktail of reverb drenched garage rock. They look and sound like the sort of band that should be soundtracking 50s sci-fi movies.

They are also prolific having managed ten separate releases last year and are already back with another full length release – the appropriately titled Warm Slime. This taster is a perfect representation of the nugget infused, mind-altering rock that these boys are so good at.

Visit their MySpace here.

Order the album here.

Download Thee Oh Sees – Castiatic Tackle mp3 (from Warm Slime)

New from Phosphorescent

We are looking forward to the new Phosphorescent album more than most – the reviews over here in the UK music press have all been very positive. You can see why with this new track from the album. It’s out here on May 10th – can’t wait…

Pre-order from Amazon here.

Download Phosphorescent – Mermaid Parade mp3 (from Here’s To Taking It Easy)

Download Phosphorescent – It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama) mp3 (from Here’s To Taking It Easy)

Brother Dege’s Album Out Now

Brother Dege delivers authentic, raw dirt, railroad pounding, swamp-fried, Louisiana Mekong Delta blues music.

Like the mad lovechild of Robert Johnson and Jim Morrison, Cajun-born Dege Legg (aka Brother Dege) released his highly anticipated “slide/Dobro record” entitled Folk Songs Of The American Longhair yesterday.

Dripping with atmosphere and backwoods noir. The real deal—death-obsessed, god-fearing, foot stomping, acoustic blues steeped in the devilish myths and haunted ambience that permeates every inch of Louisiana. Factor in some Historic longhaired rock & roll influences – from Sabbath to Black Flag to Scott H Biram – and you’ve got one hell of a combination.

Dege Legg is one of the best-kept secrets in the Deep South: an award-winning writer & musician from Lafayette, Louisiana. In 1994, he founded the underground southern-psych rock band, Santeria, which toured and gigged for 10 years in relative obscurity, pounding out a strange variety of “southern rock” that relied less on chest-thumping and beer guzzling, and more with concentrating their creative energies on expressing the isolation and loneliness of the modern south – at times loud and overbearing and alternately quiet, subdued and withdrawn. Over the years, he’s explored nearly every corner of weirdness imaginable in the Deep South from jails to homeless camps to driving a taxicab to being a staff writer for the alt-weekly The Independent Weekly.

This may well be his finest moment yet and may have involved deals with the devil…

Buy  the album from cdbaby here.

Download Brother Dege – The Girl Who Wept Stones mp3 (from Folk Songs Of The American Longhair)

Download Brother Dege – The Battle Of New Orleans mp3 (from Folk Songs Of The American Longhair)

Covered in glory

Although MM is not usually a great advocate of covers, these two have caught our ears for different reasons over the past few days.

The first is a strange folk band called Ooks Of Hazzard covering MGMT’s Kids. What is strange is there are nine of them (seven playing ukelele’s, one an accordian and one on drums) and they pull of what can only be described as a stunning, rough country version of the song. It is apparently becoming a bit of a Youtube sensation and you can click here to watch it.

The second is, in it’s own way, equally strange. Released earlier this month, it is by an hitherto unknown, quirky artist collective called Koot Hoomi. They are self-proclaimed Hall and Oates mega-fans and so set out with a vision of not only covering some of their beloved favorite songs, but also, as they put it, “re-imaging the catalog as it might exist in an alternate universe.”  Their creation, playfully titled, The Dark Side of Hall and Oates, comfortably lies somewhere between George Harrison and Middle Eastern-infused, dirty, indie folk. The project was largely recorded in living rooms and basements, using cheap instruments and an old-school analogue tape recorder, giving it a entrancing, low-fi allure. In addition to tackling the songs that actually spent some time on the charts (ie: Maneater, Kiss on My List, Out of Touch), Koot Hoomi has also reinterpreted a number of obscure cuts and b-sides, going all the way back to Daryl Hall and John Oates’ earliest Philly demos.

Now, we confess Hall & Oates were up there amongst MM’s most loathed bands of the 80s, so it took some considerable effort to listen to the album, but you know what…it is startlingly good. The Bird & The Bee might have done their own, better known, Hall & Oates tribute album, but they can’t match this cover of Maneater!

Enjoy folks.

Visit Ooks of Hazzard here. Buy the Dark Side of Hall & Oates here.

Download The Ooks Of Hazzard – Kids mp3

Download Koot Hoomi – Maneater mp3 (from The Dark Side Of Hall And Oates)

British Freak-Folk Explosion (maybe)

Rather like London buses these three songs came to our attention all at once. While all are excellent in their own ways, they are also peculiarly British in lyrics and approach.

This is not a negative comment, just an observation that we think it would be extremely unlikely to get anything close to these songs from anywhere else. While addressing different topics they all have a similarity in the use of black humour, the self-deprecation, and the slightly carnivalesque musical stylings which can sometime sound very basic and home-made. The songs all tell a story ranging from not challenging bigotry to sexual performance and all do it in a way that just has a unique, and wonderful, British oddball-ness about it.

So, check out and treasure these three British gems.

First, Filthy Pedro, pioneers of the anti-folk movement and who released their album Filthy Pedro And The Carthaginians a couple of weeks ago.

Second MM faves Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences who follow up the inspired We Are Not Other People with a forthcoming new album titled Apologies To The Enlightenment.

Lastly, newcomers The Wind-Up Birds from Leeds who released their debut 7″ Tyre Fire yesterday. This is the brilliant b-side to that single.

Visit the MySpace/webpages: Filthy Pedro, The Wind-Up Birds, Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences

Download Filthy Pedro – What Goes Up mp3 (from Filthy Pedro And The Carthaginians)

Download Paul Hawkins & The Awkward Silences – Monkey Serum mp3 (from Apologies To The Enlightenment)

Download The Wind-Up Birds – There Won’t Always Be An England mp3 (from Tyre Fire 7″)

Johnny Bertram album released tomorrow

We’ve already posted the quite excellent Private Land, the first track from the new Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles album Days That Passed, which gets its official release tomorrow.

To mark the occasion they have made a second track available titled At The Wake. This track offers a nice contrast to the full on rock and roll of Private Land and shows exactly why this record is deserving of your ears. It is a seamlessly enjoyable blend of Americana, indie rock and acoustics that doesn’t put a foot wrong across the whole 12 tracks.

Visit their MySpace here where you can order the album.

Download Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles – At The Wake mp3 (from Days That Passed)

Download Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles – Private Land mp3 (from Days That Passed)

Grass House Debut EP – MM is impressed!

On May 3rd, Grass House will be releasing their debut EP Plough More Sky.

We have been lucky enough to have had a preview and we’re liking it a lot – an awful lot. Although still in their infancy as a band they have already played gigs with Wet Dog, Dead Kids and MM faves The Sunderbans amongst others.

With influences from Jacques Brel to Captain Beefheart by way of Howlin’ Wolf, they are truly a malevolent and dark-hearted sonic delight. For evidence just listen to the excellent, brooding A Cockroach – it’s ready for iPod repeat!

Visit their MySpace here.

Download Grass House – A Cockroach mp3 (from Plough More Sky EP)