The sobering story of professional footballer Justin Fashanu is one that many football fans will know well – the first million pound black footballer, the first openly gay pro footballer in the UK, and a tragic suicide in May 1998, aged only 37.
Released yesterday, Fashanu is the debut single from South London’s elephants and castles, and it is appropriately described as a gem of bruising, indie-pop.
Canadian folkies, The Barr Brothers have unveiled another new track from their forthcoming album as well as details of a UK tour for the Autumn.
The new track is Half-Crazy, also taken from their new album Sleeping Operator, released on the 6th October through Secret City Records.
The band describe the song as “the tenacious offspring of the North African desert music of Mali/Morocco, and the sweat and electricity of the Chicago and Mississippi Delta blues.”
It sounds mighty fine to us. Have a listen.
30th August – End of the Road Festival
31st August – End of the Road Festival
14th October – The Lexington, London
23rd October – The Castle, Manchester
24th October – Whelan’s, Dublin
25th October – Beach House, Bangor
26th October – Sligo Live Festival, Ireland
28th October – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
29th October – The Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
We are loving this track, Who Killed Smiley Culture? by Emily Capell, a moody acoustic musing over the suspicious death of the pivotal rapper. Delivered with a memorably witty vocal line and matched perfectly with this curiously compelling monochrome video.
The single is out via Blang! tomorrow and can be downloaded via iTunes.
Martyr Privates are another fine example of the murky, outsider psych influenced indie and post punk currently spewing from down under.
Something to Sell takes a heavy base of percussion and ramshackle guitar, heaps a few ladles of fuzzy goodness into the pot, adds a dash of drone and couldn’t-give-a-shit vocals and stirs the whole lot into a throughly enjoyable serving that left us wanting more than mere seconds.
Have a listen, and check out You Can’t Stop Progress while you’re at it.
Signed to the ever reliable Fire Records here, they have a full length in the pipeline.
George “Smoke” Dawson played banjo in MacGrundy’s Old-Timey Wool Thumpers with Peter Stampfel (later of Holy Modal Rounders) in 1960, lived for years at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, and roamed around the US as an itinerant bagpipe and fiddle player for decades. His life is laced with small triumphs, and lots of tragedy. But he’s still with us.
Tompkins Square will reissue his only album, Fiddle, a remarkable 1971 private press LP, on 19th August in all formats.
The excerpt from the sleeve notes tell one of those brilliant musical stories of rediscovery.
“I was doing some research for a box set of music recorded at Caffe Lena, the hallowed folk music venue located in Saratoga Springs, NY, when I came upon a photograph of a musician I didn’t recognise. He looked like a sixth member of The Band – a handsome fiddler with wax moustache, goatee, black Western hat. There was a traditional air to him, a seriousness, but there was also something wild there.
I needed to know who he was, and everything about him. The producers told me his name was Smoke Dawson, and they had tape on him. We listened, and his live version of Devil’s Dream made it onto the box set. Then I started digging. I found a 1996 blog post from someone named Oliver Seeler, who claimed to have recorded a solo album by Dawson in 1971. I called the number on the site, not expecting much from an 18 year old blog post. But he picked up. He gave me background on the record. And, he gave me Smoke Dawson’s phone number . . .“
Listen to Connaughtman’s Rambles / Devil’s Dream / Marche Venerie.
The scorched, warped Americana and post-punk of TheUkiah Drag with its pulsating organs, flattening riffs and creep beats have long found favour here in the Mackerel abode.
Their new LP is titled In the Reaper’s Quarters and can be pre-ordered from Wharf Cat Records. This is Her Royal Grip from it, and a more remorseless and unsettling four and half minutes of music you’ll be hard pressed to find…