Q Magazine’s Free Amy Winehouse Tribute

Q Magazine's Free Amy Winehouse Tribute Cover Disk.

It seems de rigueur at the moment to reinterpret classic albums wholesale, especially for the UK music monthlies as their free cover disk mounts.

Following Mojo and Uncut both offering recent tribute discs to Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and George Harrison, Q magazine have joined the party with Back to Back to Black, an anniversary re-recording of Amy Winehouse’s album featuring amongst others Manic Street Preachers, Hollie Cook, Dry The River, The View and The Temper Trap.

Here are a couple of tasters from it: an ultra-heavy version of the title track from The Cribs and the always lovely Saint Etienne taking on Just Friends. You can buy Q from any decent newsagents.

Download The Cribs – Back To Black mp3 (from Q Presents Back To Back To Black – A Tribute To Amy Winehouse) Removed by order of someone or other – apparently giving it away free to thousands of folks on a cover disc is OK, just not on the internet. 

Download Saint Etienne – Just Friends mp3 (from Q Presents Back To Back To Black – A Tribute To Amy Winehouse)

Try Time & Space Machine’s version of Rehab instead!

Download Time & Space Machine – Rehab mp3 (from Q Presents Back To Back To Black – A Tribute To Amy Winehouse)

MM Shorts 184: Michael Glader

MM Shorts 184: Michael Glader.

Based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, Michael Glader captures a rich array of psychedelic soul and folk rock into a consistent vibe with ever changing moods. Grooves reminiscent of Broken Social Scene, vocal melodies inspired by Chet Baker, and the indelible pop approach of The Kinks.

His sophomore release, When on High, is released on 6th August via Wet Lettuce. For now check out the hypnotic pulse of Corporate Corruption.

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Mrs Mackerel’s TFI Friday (29th June)

Mrs Mackerel's TFI Friday (29th June).

Sometimes, it’s the small, spontaneous moments that make life special. The youngest sprat had over-footballed himself earlier this week – both watching and playing. He woke late on Tuesday morning and walked into the kitchen in a trance, looking downcast, school looming large on the horizon…

…just as Radio 6 fired up what can only be termed a classic tune: More Than a Feeling by Boston. So I picked him up (newly developed biceps coming in more than a little handy) and we danced. Halfway through the song – the guitar solo bit, you may recall – I used him as my air guitar. The dog was really confused and the cats fled. The song ended and I stood him down. He beamed the biggest smile ever, very gently high-fived me and then still without uttering a word, headed for the cereal cupboard.

This week’s life lesson?  A little bit of Boston does the business on those difficult mornings.

I closed my eyes and I slipped away…!

Mrs M x

Well…  just because your Monday morning might be a bit of a pisser. Go on, you know you want to…

Download Boston – More Than A Feeling mp3 (from Boston)

And well, if you’ve lost that Boston feeling, how about

Download The Dutchess & The Duke – I Don’t Feel Anything mp3 (from Sunset / Sunrise)

Mad Mackerel’s Best of the Year (so far)

Mad Mackerel's Best of the Year...so far!

So then, half way through the year already. Time to take stock and see what the first six months have delivered up in terms of new tunes and bands. We asked some of the regular MM contributors to pick three songs that have particularly struck a chord (sorry) with them in the first part of 2012.

Kyle Adem – Brother Follow 
Unlike Brains by Lower Dens this was an instant hit.  A real earthy campfire ditty with a grotesque sentiment I fully approve of. I make no apology for repeating the line MM brought to our attention in late April. ‘So our sisters became whores, and our brothers savage carnivores, devouring the bodies of our fathers’. Well that got my attention… and I’m pleased to report the quality of musicianship effortlessly matches the lyrics. Building in to a stomping climax sung with a equal parts desperation and aggression it may well be my song of the year so far. Kyle Adem I salute you sir.  (CP) 

Download Kyle Adem – Brother Follow mp3 (from Armour)

Aesop Rock – Zero Dark Thirty
What a start. What a tune, The bassline holds you down, whilst the drums jump on your chest. Lyrically Aesop Rock is head and shoulders above most of his competitors in this genre. His delivery, subject matter and phraseology is so unique and fresh it’s no wonder he has won such plaudits from his peers. The lyric “Spinning in the shadows of immoral magnets / are we supporting the artist or enabling the addict” shows great skill. This kind of poetry is sadly lacking in most of the so called Hip Hop that is touted round the charts, like music in a gimp suit. However it is the music that backs up all the wordplay that had me all over this track like White on rice.  (Dr R)

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The Alabama Shakes – Hang Loose
A great summer song with a real laid back feel to it The line “Hang loose / let the ocean worry about being blue” sums up the vibe of this track perfectly. I love the guitar intro that meanders along through the song providing a nice country accent to it. The drums are hard edged and drive the song along beautifully. There are also elements of soul to both the track and definitely to Brittany Howard’s vocals that seem to drape around this song effortlessly. To be honest on a sunny day, with a cold beer and this track, you can drift off to anywhere in the world.  (Dr R)

Download The Alabama Shakes – Hang Loose (Hear Ya Session) mp3 (from Hear Ya Session) Grab whole session from Hear Ya here.

Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny – Liliputt
In what should be Liz’s year, I say all hail the coronation of Queen B. From the sweeping string arrangements, to her falsetto harmonies, to the thrumming hooves of percussion that build the momentum, here is a tune that marks the musical originality – and arrival – of the one and only BJH. “I might die without these words having left my mouth” – OK then, I’ll say it: genius. (Mrs M)

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Richard Buckner – Willow
Ballad is sometimes a bit of a bastardised term, but don’t let Bonnie Tyler et al put you off. This is the real deal. “I can still remember…” so much melancholy and longing hinted at, both lyrically and musically. The simple arrangement dips and sways, well, like a willow tree actually, and is broken by a lovely twangy guitar bit, two verses in. I have always been a sucker for a man with a sad song and a guitar. Tick, tick. (Mrs M)

Download Richard Buckner – Willow mp3 (from Willow EP)

Father John Misty – Writing A Novel
Father John Misty’s album Fear Fun has been one of our most played of the year. It is lewd, bawdy, irreverent, frank and honest. Picking just one track is near nigh impossible, but in the end I went for Writing A Novel, carried along on a jaunty, rolling rhythm and spewing forth a lyrical stream of consciousness that borders on genius, and contains one of the years simplest and best lines, “I”m writing a novel, because its never been done before“. (MM)

Download Father John Misty – Writing A Novel mp3 (from Fear Fun) via R&G

Simone Felice – Hey Bobby Ray
Simone Felice is brother to the wonderful but ‘dark’ Felice Brothers. While his brothers sing about tragic lives and deaths, murders and gun-toting alcoholics, Simone … well Simone does the same. Just on his own. Hey Bobby Ray is the story of a sex attacker who is going to get what is coming to him. It starts slowly with Mr Felice’s slightly tortured vocals and builds to a point where a gospel choir chips in. It’s brilliant!  (B-SF)

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Field Report – I Am Not Waiting Any More
I nearly chose Fergus Falls by Field Report for a place in my top three, but this tune just has the edge. There are some songs that stop you in your tracks and some that creep up slowly – this one is definitely a track stopper. A beautiful tune – understated, haunting and melancholy – a perfect combination I reckon!  (PP)

Download Field Report – I Am Not Waiting Anymore mp3 (from Field Report)

First Aid Kit – The Lions Roar
What is not to love about this tune? For me its the stunning vocals and those harmonies that get me every time, and lyrics that deserve to be listen to several times over but still leave you wondering just how do you get so many words into one sentence? Overall its a cracker and I am sure it will remain a favourite throughout the year.  (PP)

Download First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar mp3 (from The Lion’s Roar) Taken down under DMCA notice due to some retarded fuckwit not knowing the song was given away as a free download everywhere. Contact us first you muppet and we’ll show you the authorisation we have to post. Anyway, you can get it via Soundcloud instead.

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Gravenhurst – The Foundry
A record of almost otherworldly, ambient folk, the world view of Gravenhurst is a deeply unsettling one. The Foundry is played out over a backdrop of acoustics so profoundly beautiful that the sourness of the lyrics pack an even greater punch. “And you won’t know when evil comes, evil looks just like anyone, and I blame, I blame, I blame anyone but me“. Like having your first French kiss and finding your tongue’s been bitten off.  (MM)

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Last American Buffalo – Baby I’m Alive
Just for a change, a love song has captured my imagination. It’s not one of those cheerful or smoochy love songs though. I don’t think this will ever end the night at the Stonesfield Disco. No, this song celebrates love but is sung in such a way that it relays the pain that even the most loving relationships can bring. And the guitar backing is just beautiful. (B-SF)

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Lower Dens – Brains
This one was definitely a grower, passing undetected until that magic eureka moment when you start glowing with the realisation you just love this damn song. Hypnotic and insistent – it keeps metaphorically pulling at your sleeve like a child who’s seen the ice cream van. It will not be denied. Lovingly textured with synth, drums while sung with a laid back approach that matches the music perfectly it doesn’t slip in to any particular category easily. I like that. There is something indefinable about what appeals and why I like it – which makes it fabulous in my book.  (CP)

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Lumineers – Ho Hey
I think the beauty of this song is its simplicity… From its rhythmic opening bars, steady beat and chanted ‘Ho Hey’ over a picked guitar you then realise it’s anything but simple. The composition is wonderfully subtle, far more thoughtful and precise than you first realise. It’s also a joyful record, the momentum sweeps you along until you find yourself yelping out the chorus far too loud and usually in public. Be careful if you go the gym and have it blasting out of your ipod – funny looks are certain to follow…(CP)

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Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive
With rumbling percussion, echoing guitars and an almost reggae-like rhythm, Willy Mason announced his return after a five year hiatus with Restless Fugitive, a dusty, world-weary hymn to moving on, and in doing so might have just provided us with the song of the year so far.  (MM)

Download Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive (Daytrotter Session) mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Monument Valley – The Very First Alarm
A gorgeous, melancholy tune, that describes the moment you properly understand that you’re not going to get your lover back, and the torrent of memories and emotions that comes with that realisation. This could have been a bit soppy, but it  is lifted by a haunting guitar sound and some dark lyrics, that make you smile. “You never minded too much being see through / Until you worked out who was behind you”. Don’t, however, play this to your little brother who has just split up with his girlfriend of six years, because the look in his eyes will make a bit of your soul die. Fact!  (Dr R)

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Rachel Sermanni – The Fog
Rachel Sermanni has such a beautiful voice with the most incredible vocal range. I love the violins throughout which help to give it such a rich, polished sound. To me, there is something really enchanting about this song, but not in a light hearted, frivolous way, it has a mischievous heart and carries with it an air of darkness (which to my mind should be encouraged!)  (PP)

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Tunng – Jenny Again
I’m a sucker for a story song. The more grim the story, the better I like it. Usually those songs are played out to menacing guitar riffs or slowly plucked blues strings. Not this one. This is a jaunty little number that trips along whilst the ‘narrator’ tells about how his life was ended by ‘the other man’ who then runs off and has a pretty nice life with his Jenny. You’ve really got to listen to it.  (B-SF)

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The Walkmen – Heartbreaker
The Walkmen might have been around for over a decade but this is a fresh cut for the men from NYC. It’s not the singer, it’s the song, sings Hamilton Leithauser – actually it’s both. Cue a deft guitar riff to start, bring in your pedal drum and I’m already out of my seat. Slight retro ambience, this tune just oozes style and cool. It really is the perfect tempo dance number for my ageing fins. How can you not? It would be rude. Love it, love it, love it. (Mrs M)

Download The Walkmen – Heartbreaker mp3 (from Heaven)

Thanks to Mrs Mackerel (Mrs M), Christy-Popper (CP), Polly Pocket (PP), Barry-Sean (BS-F) and Dr. Roddy (Dr R) for their selections. Why not tell us whose choices you like best?

Town Hall’s Free Covers EP

Town Hall's Free Covers EP.

Must be a day for folky covers of other genres! Hot on the heels of our earlier post of the Smoke Fairies covering The Cult, we have Town Hall Plays The Classics Vol 1, a free EP of five covers by the NY folksters.

Each member of the band  picked a favourite song and each was then given the Town Hall treatment. It comes hot on the heels of their excellent debut album, Roots and Bells (purchase here) and videos for each of the covers can be seen on YouTube here.

Try their take on Ja Rule + Ashanti’s Always On Time, or just head here to download the whole thing including covers of R Kelly and Jimmy Eat World!

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The Smoke Fairies Cover The Cult

The Smoke Fairies Cover The Cult. She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult surely has one of the most recognisable guitar intros ever and is still a staple of any self-respecting indie disco night.

The Smoke Fairies, on the back of their really rather good new album Blood Speaks (which foregoes some of the whimsy for a darker, altogether more purposeful feel to it) have put together an EP of covers called This Is A Reflection.

The EP is available on CD as a bonus disc from all good UK indie stores when you buy the new album. It is also now available on vinyl exclusively from Rough Trade Shops.

In the meantime, listen to She Sells Sanctuary.

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And for old times sake: Download The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary mp3 (from Love).

Check out our nostalgic World Goth Day free mixtape here.