Mad Mackerel’s Favourite Songs Of 2014: 60-41

MM's Best Of 2014 60-41

Day three of our countdown – tracks 60 through to 41 of our favourite songs of the year.

60 Cate Le Bon – He’s Leaving

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59 Jamie T – The Prophet

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58 Mark Lanegan Band – Sad Lover

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57 The Districts – Funeral Beds

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56 The Amazing Snakeheads – Here It Comes Again

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55 Sleaford Mods – Routine Dean

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54 Simone Felice – Running Through My Head

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53 Sam Doores – Drifter’s Life

52 The Wytches – Burn Out The Bruise

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51 Sun Kil Moon – Jim Wise

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50 Early Winters – A Thing For You

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49 Smashing Pumpkins – Being Beige

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48 Matt Kivel – Insignificance

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47 Hamilton Leithauser – 11 O’Clock Friday Night

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46 Together PANGEA – River

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45 The Dune Rats – Dalai Lama, Big Banana, Marijuana

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44 Chimes – Total Sunflower

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43 Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

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42 Shovels & Rope – Evil

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41 First Aid Kit – Heaven Knows

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Check out numbers 100 – 81 here, and 80 – 61 here.

New Videos: Hurray For The Riff Raff || Fat White Family || Cheatahs || Dr. Dog || Mini Mansions

Taking a break from the countdown of our favourite 100 songs of the year to bring you five new excellent videos from some MM faves – Hurray For The Riff Raff (who will be featuring in the top 100 shortly), Fat White Family, Cheatahs, Mini Mansions and an excellent live video from Dr. Dog.

Enjoy.

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Mad Mackerel’s Favourite Songs Of 2014: 100 – 81

MM's Best Of The Year 2014

Today the countdown begins of Mad Mackerel’s favourite 100 songs of 2014. From Monday to Friday check back to see what tickled the earbuds of MM’s contributors, followed by our Albums of the Year at the weekend and then our individual contributors’ choices.

So without further ado….

100 Micah P Hinson – The Same Old Shit

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99 Wooden Wand – Dambuilding

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98 Juan Wauters – Water

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97 Shellac – Dude Incredible

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96 Broncho – What

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95 Shunkan – Wash You Away

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94 Martyr Privates – Someone’s Head

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93 Slaves – Hey

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92 Tense Men – RNRFON

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91 Dead Fingers – Big Black Dog

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90 Jamie T – Peter

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89 Avers – Girl’s With Headaches

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88 Mazes – Astigmatism

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87 New Bums – Black Bough

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86 Thurston Moore – Detonation

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85 Spray Paint – Cussin

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84 White Sands – The Wait

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83 Eagulls – Possessed

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82 Happyness – Naked Patients

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81 Steve Gunn – Milly’s Garden

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Check back tomorrow for numbers 80 – 61.

Five Songs You Should Have Heard This Week

Here are our selections of new tunes from this week that you really ought to have heard by now.

1. Sleater-Kinney – Surface Envy
2. The Soft Moon – Black
3. Elephant Micah – Slow Time Vultures
4. Strand of Oaks – Alex Chilton (Replacements cover)
5. The Dodos – Goodbyes And Endings

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Festive Post No 1: The Courtesans Cover Frankie…

For a little while now our in-box has started to fill up with festive tunes, Christmas covers and other seasonally themed songs, and given that we are in December and WordPress have turned on the snowflakes again it seems appropriate to start posting some of the better ones.

So let us begin with all-girl doom-pop rockers The Courtesans and their cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s cheese-ridden classic The Power Of Love.

It is a corker!

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RIP Nick Talbot AKA Gravenhurst

RIP Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst

Tragically it has been announced that Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst has passed away aged just 37.

His record label Warp said, “We are shocked and saddened to share the news that Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst has passed away aged 37. An immensely talented singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and journalist, he will be hugely missed. Nick’s family and friends request privacy at this difficult time.

Chris T Popper and I were lucky to see Gravenhurst play a sublime set at the Jericho Tavern a few years ago (a show also memorable for the support act, the spectacularly crap Pivot) and his most recent album The Ghost In Daylight was one of our favourites of 2012, featuring in our best of lists at the end of the year.

Put simply, Gravenhurst was one of those bands that made us want to start Mad Mackerel in the first place – an artist we wanted to be able to write about and to share – an artist that was crying out to be heard far more widely.

Criminally underrated, Nick Talbot was one of our favourite British songwriters – evocative, provocative, sinister and intelligent in equal measure. Like Jason Molina or Hiss Golden Messenger, Talbot had a way of conveying the most beautiful and the most profound with breathtaking economy – no waste, no filler, nothing that didn’t mean something. The haunting The Foundry remains one of our favourite songs, like a modern-day story from The Brothers Grimm played out over a backdrop of acoustics so startlingly beautiful that the sourness of the lyrics pack an even greater punch.

Most recently Warp had released a compilation of Gravenhurst tracks called Offerings: Lost Songs 2000-2004. An album that we were immensely looking forward to getting to know, but one that now comes tinged with great sadness that we have lost such a talent so young.

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Download Gravenhurst – Only A Northern Song mp3 (from Yellow Submarine Resurfaces)

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Live Review: The Sleaford Mods (Melkwig, Amsterdam)

Sleaford Mods 1MM’s very own Chris T Popper packed his rucksack and his slightly worse for wear sleeping bag to head off to Amsterdam last weekend to catch his new favourite band The Sleaford Mods

When I saw that The Sleaford Mods were playing a gig in Amsterdam it was a done deal. I booked the flight and landed at Schiphol airport with time to spare. Luckily as it turned out. Boarding the wrong train I blissfully sped out of the airport in completely the wrong direction. Cue walking around Den Haag for 5 minutes thinking how much Amsterdam had changed before realising that I wasn’t in Amsterdam. Sheepishly I managed to board the right train (I asked this time) and an hour later I’d made it to the Melkwig in the lively Leidseplein part of town.

The Sleaford Mods were due on at 8.30pm so I was just on to my third beer by the time they appeared around 9pm. The perfect alcohol/seeing a live performance mix. Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn make up the duo whose albums Divide and Exit, Austerity Dogs and Chubbed Up/Singles have been my soundtrack of 2014. They are without doubt the most toxic, fetid breath of fresh air around. I can’t help but connect with the fact Williamson has worked for the Council (as is my day job) is around my age with a penchant for brilliant, scalpel sharp wordplay and good music. I sort of want to be him.

They kick off with a storming Middle Men. Williamson doesn’t do pissing around, he just launches in to each song with the same ferocity as the last. Occasionally he circles the mic before flying back in to deliver more brutal invective. Throughout Fearn stands to the side swaying to the music, swigging a bottle of beer and grinning – or mouthing along to the lyrics. He looks like how I feel, immersed in the bloody good time everyone is having.

They tear through all the crackers – Jolly Fucker, Jobseekers, Fizzy as well as favourites Tied Up In Nottz and Tiswas. They also throw in Routine Dean which is one of my personal favourites. At no point does the momentum slow, it’s full bore all the way.

I’m tempted to quote some of Williamson’s much admired lyrics here but I can’t start as I wouldn’t stop. He does inform us that ‘this one is about cunts’ before the song Pubic Hair Ltd which raised a smile. As did the suitably mocking line warning us not to ‘believe the fucking papers’. The Sleaford Mods have certainly had their fair share of media attention recently, with Divide & Exit riding high in annual album of the year charts – including a no 3 in Mojo. ‘Not bad, I can sniff a backlash coming. Where’s me acoustic guitar?’ to quote the wry response they posted to a review of Chubbed Up/The Singles by the Guardian’s Alex Petridis.

Sleaford Mods 2Almost everything Williamson is singing about tonight I can relate to in some form – and pretty much everything comes under his withering gaze. Social media, old rockers and punks, nostalgia, ignorance, xenophobia – its austerity Britain as sicked up by your pet cat; which ensures Cameron and New Labour get a quite satisfyingly pummelling too. No one delivers a ‘fuck off’ quite like Williamson in full flow, which you may think is not that important, in which case you can fuck off.

The crowd are in appreciative mood and I honestly can’t remember enjoying myself so much at a gig in years. I was in the perfect spot (at the front) with the perfect measure of alcohol dovetailing perfectly with the adrenalin buzzing through my veins – basically I was at optimum level.

As an encore we get treated to £5.60, Corgis and Tweet Tweet Tweet and then they’re done and I’m off outside for some fresh air. The Sleaford Mods’ energy has hit me like a double decker bus… or perhaps more fittingly a great big fucking tram. At the end of it all I need something to calm the nerves and decide to head for a coffee at one of those quiet shops I’ve seen in town.

A couple of hours later I am stumbling around the city trying to read an upside down map and feeling really hungry. Still humming Middle Men though, whole bloody fucking shop’s on it.

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New Video: Ruby Fray – Barbara

Ruby Fray is the moniker of Austin-via-Olympia songwriter Emily Beanblossom, who released her sophomore album Grackle this fall on K Records. Dubbed “psychedelic witch wave,” her sound is dark & dissonant, with haunting vocals that have been likened to Nancy Sinatra, Lana Del Rey, Hope Sandoval and PJ Harvey.

Watch the chilling video for Barbara

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