Archive for September, 2010

Her Name Is Calla play music that you need to immerse yourself in. It is dark, and tense, effortlessly evoking an eerie atmospheric and full of gravity and bombast. The instrumentation accumulates with guitar, cello, mighty percussion and violins, lyrics are as much intoned as sung and do not deal with the lighter side of life that’s for sure.

Her Name Is Calla are one of those bands who require some real effort on behalf of the listener, but one where the effort is more than amply rewarded. Draw the curtains, turn out the lights, turn up the volume and let the sheer magnitude of the music overwhelm you.

Forthcoming 80 minute epic album The Quiet Lamb is out in November on Denovali Records.

Visit their MySpace here.

Download My Name Is Calla – Homecoming mp3 (from The Quiet Lamb)

Download My Name Is Calla – Long Grass mp3 (from The Quiet Lamb)

When Seagreen Incorruptible got in touch with us, they simply (and rather brilliantly) described their record 10 Things To Do With 90,000 Sequins as “a party record for people with no friends”.

Citing influences from MBV to Nirvana to Guided By Voices and old time radio shows, the album is as much psychedelic Americana as it is experimental garage rock, and there is much therein to like.

Download The Seagreen Incorruptible – Decorate Your Teeth mp3 (from 10 Things To Do With 90,000 Sequins)

Download The Seagreen Incorruptible – End Your Life mp3 (from 10 Things To Do With 90,000 Sequins)

MM faves Phosphorescent have been confirmed as support for the forthcoming huge National tour throughout Europe. Phosphorescent will join The National for the majority of their shows in both mainland Europe, England, and Ireland starting November 11. Dates are below.

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)

Download Phosphorescent – Reasons To Quit mp3 (from To Willie)

Download Phosphorescent – Wolves mp3 (from Pride)

Download Phosphorescent – Big Red Sun Blues mp3 (Lucinda Williams cover)

Download The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio mp3 (from High Violet) Link removed by label/PR despite the song being freely available everywhere. F**wits.

UK and Ireland dates:

24th Nov Bristol, 02 Academy w/ The National

25th Nov Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre w/ The National

26th Nov Glasgow 02 Academy w/ The National

27th Nov Manchester, 02 Academy w/ The National

30th Nov London, Brixton Academy w/ The National

1st Dec London, Brixton Academy w/ The National

2nd – 4th Dec Dublin, Olympia Theatre w/ The National

Here are a couple of tasty tracks that have caught our ears over the past couple of days.

Blank Dogs have more smothered lo-fi dance fuzz for us on this new track which is from forthcoming album Land And Fixed, meanwhile The Soft Pack have slowed the pace and cranked up the tension over six simmering minutes for Gagdad, a limited edition vinyl single of 500 copies in support of upcoming tour with Kurt Vile.

Download Blank Dogs – Northern Islands mp3 (from Land And Fixed)

Download The Soft Pack – Gagdag mp3 (from Gagdad single)

New from Lower Dens

Posted: September 28, 2010 in Alternative, Folk, Indie, Music, Rock

The Lower Dens album Twin Hand Movement has been one of our discoveries of the year, and a record we’ve come back to time and time again.

Now in support of a major new tour with Bear In Heaven they have made a new track from the album available for free – it is the rather good, velvety folk haze, of Blue & Silver.

Download Lower Dens – Blue & Silver mp3 (from Twin Hand Movement)

Download Lower Dens – Hospice Gates mp3 (from Twin Hand Movement)

Uncut’s Cover CD

Posted: September 28, 2010 in Country, Folk, Music, Rock
Tags: ,

The free cover CD with the always excellent Uncut magazine is a cracker this month, focusing on Southern rock, new country and some fiery folk and featuring amongst others Caitlin Rose, The Drive-By Truckers, Dead Confederate, Surfer Blood and Kurt Wagner & Cortney Tidwell.

We’ve a couple of tasters from it below. Check out Bloodkin’s epic and rather sinister The Viper and Cadillac Sky’s upbeat self-help anthem Ballad of Restored Confidence.

Buy Uncut in the UK from any decent newsagent.

Download Bloodkin – The Viper mp3 (from Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again)

Download Cadillac Sky – Ballad Of Restored Confidence mp3 (from Letters In The Deep)

It was to the very intimate venue of Taylor John’s House in Coventry last night (stupidly without my camera, so the above is nicked for artistic merit and aesthetic pleasure and nothing else) to see Caitlin Rose and MM faves Deer Tick play the latest leg of their short UK tour. Holding barely more than 100 people and feeling more like a front room dropped into a basement than anything else, the setting was perfect for the show.

First up were local boys Shackletons playing a thoroughly enjoyable brand of country rock and folk imbued with a local humour and much ribbing of the drummer.

Having missed Caitlin Rose at the End of the Road Festival (see our review here), I was keen to see if Barry-Sean’s enthusiasm was well founded or not. I needn’t have worried, playing a solo set without fuss or bother, but with plenty of humorous chat and tales of her childhood, she engaged, entranced and soon had a rapt audience hanging on every word and every note of her acoustic guitar. And what a voice, a thing of pure, clear, unadulterated beauty, which gives her a stage presence that belies her diminutive size. Playing songs from her hugely acclaimed album Own Side Now as well as from the Dead Flowers EP, she effortlessly calls to mind the spirit of Hank and the other traditional country greats. Lyrically smart, with bittersweet and occasionally acidic undertones, highlights were recent single Shanghai Cigarettes, Learnin’ To Ride, Shotgun Wedding and the outstanding New York.

By contrast Deer Tick come across as noisy, bar-room fuelled upstarts – delivering their blend of boozy, bluesy country rock with an easy nonchalance and swaggering confidence borne of the knowledge that, three albums in, they have a back catalogue to win over all but the most cynical of observers. Opening with Choir of Angels, the noise levels were up at 11, and the mood was well and truly set. Live Deer Tick ooze passion, belief and power, interspersing everything with laconic good humour between sonic standouts that included Smith Hill, Ashamed, Baltimore Blues, a revved up Spend The Night, and paint-peeling set closer Mange.

Deer Tick will probably never receive the acclaim they and their songwriting deserve in the UK, but without doubt, they are one of the most powerful, absorbing and downright enjoyable live performances we have seen this year.

Buy Caitlin Rose’s Own Side Now from Amazon here. Buy Deer Tick from Amazon here.

Download Caitlin Rose – Shotgun Wedding mp3 (from Dead Flowers EP)

Download Deer Tick – Twenty Miles mp3 (from The Black Dirt Sessions)

Download Deer Tick – Piece By Piece And Frame By Frame mp3 (from The Black Dirt Sessions)

Over the last two or three weeks we’ve probably received more tracks to MM than ever before. Not that we’re complaining, especially when the quality has been really high. It does mean we’re struggling to do everything justice though and while (in a perfect MM world) many of these tracks deserve their own post, we’ve decided to round up a bunch in one go for you. So take a chance, and download something new.

First up are raucous lo-fi electro punk four-piece, What Would Jesus Drive and their new EP The Girls Are In Charge.  The title track is a bratty, indie-pop master-class; Imagine what the Ting Tings would sound like if they grew some balls and cranked up their guitars to 11 – catchy, edgy pop that rocks. We have the brilliant live version from the EP for you to blow those Sunday morning cobwebs away.

Download What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge (live) mp3 (from What Would Jesus Drive EP)

Next we have the soaring, melodic indie-rock of The Sleep-ins who release debut album Songs About Girls & Outer Space next month.

Download The Sleep-ins – Silver State mp3 (from Songs About Girls & Outer Space)

Aaron Wright is a Scottish singer and songwriter, whose studio band comprises of members from Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura and Teenage Fanclub. He doesn’t have a bank account, he frequently gigs so hard that he forgets to go home, and he’s been obsessed with classic pop since running away from to London aged 15…to see a Simon and Garfunkel concert! We’ve got a free download of a track called Go On Yer Self, a rousing, Celtic-Soul stomper.

Download Aaron Wright – Go On Yer Self mp3

Meanwhile legendary post-punk band, Family Fodder, have been away for ten long years and returned with a brand new album, Classical Music. Originally formed in 1979, Family Fodder emerged, bringing with them traits of psychedelic and new wave influences paired with a focus on improvising and experimenting. Having managed to avoid major exposure they have influenced generations of bands all over the world.

Download Family Fodder – The Onliest Thing mp3 (from Classical Music)

Ham1 hail from Athens, Georgia and new album Let’s Go finds the band reveling in sonic expansion a-plenty. It is not unusual for unexpected, angular Fender-snarls to surface to the murk and slap the back of a shaky bit of reverb-o-twang straight outta Link Wray – a dynamic that transfigures the whole into something akin to one of John Cales‘ rootsier affairs, or the work of an earthier Eno. Here are no less than three cracking album tracks for you to sample.

Download Ham1 – Ghost Loop mp3 (from Let’s Go)

Download Ham1 – Lumbee mp3 (from Let’s Go)

Download Ham1 – It’s Only A Dream Unto Itself mp3 (from Let’s Go)

Manchester noise merchants Kong have offered up a free download featuring Matt Cauthran from U.S Punk legends The Bronx. This track is taken from the sold out Leather Penny single and is a previously unreleased track from the bands acclaimed debut album Snake Magnet.

Download Kong – Count To Nine mp3

Since their 2001 debut, Never Stood a Chance, Austin, TX band Masonic has been creating well crafted noise pop along the lines of Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, and The Vaselines and blending them into a seamless mixture of danceable rhythms, heavy guitar riffs, and catchy keyboard melodies. Their fifth LP, Live Like A Millionaire, will be released November.

Download Masonic – Lifetime Of Deception mp3 (from Live Like A Millionaire)

The Sights’ precocious ability to blend frenetic garage rock with ’60s pop and create something equally classic and catchy has garnered consistently rave reviews from both sides of the pond. New release Most of What Follows Is True, has no gimmicks, no studio trickery – just rock and roll from the heart.

Download The Sights – How Do You Sleep mp3 (from Most Of What Follows Is True)

Kashmere Hakim recently released his debut EP The Hillsinger, five tracks of fragile, folk tunes that make you think of laying on your back on a hill somewhere in a valley of Scotland. Pure and simple original arrangements dipped in a warm and intimate sound and wrapped in haunting melodies – songs that take you away and then gently bring you back.

Download Kashmere Hakim – Foreign Worker mp3 (from The Hillsinger EP)

Washington D.C. based “indie pop orchestra” Twins of a Gazelle are a group of 25 roving classically trained musicians, taking their cues from ‘90s alternative rock and drawing influence from newer acts like Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire. The song Constellations features sweet and whispery vocals coupled with stunning arrangements to make a fully fleshed and orchestrated indie pop ballad.

Download Twins Of A Gazelle – Constellations mp3 (from Constellations)

And lastly Eux Autres write compact indie-pop songs with sparse instrumentation. Their music has been unfairly described as “fun.” But while the surface of the songs might seem nonchalant, the lyrics offer skewed observations and fierce barbs. Their third full-length, Broken Bow, will be released Novermber.

Download Eux Autres – Go Dancing mp3 (from Broken Bow)

So as the saying goes, surely something for everyone in that eclectic mix. Or something like that. Enjoy!

Since their formation, Solar Temple Suicides have slowly been perfecting their own brand of drugged out, spacey haze. They preach long and tall effects-laiden, psychedelic lessons culled from unabashed cosmic rock tendencies and hallucinatory walls of sound.

While the obvious influences are all present and correct, Spacemen 3, The Velvet Underground and Hawkwind, the band are good enough and confident enough to plough their own furrow of psych goodness – try the seven minutes plus of the swirling, far out A Rough Road Leads To The Stars and hear for yourself.

Named after the infamous cult who tried to reach the stars by setting themselves on fire, Solar Temple Suicides’ debut full-length album, Sentinels of the Heliosphere, will be released December 14th on Sleepy Records, with an east coast tour to follow in early 2011.

Visit their MySpace here.

Download Solar Temple Suicides – A Rough Road Leads to the Stars mp3 (from Sentinels of the Heliosphere)

After a brief foray in MM’s territory, recommending Kurran & The Wolfnotes’ Your Four Limbs, and enjoying HUGELY the Pancake Breakfast track, The Ballad of Maynard Noe (and let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy a pancake breakfast?), it’s back to Friday business.

For some unfathomable reason, I was thinking about Level 42 this week (in my defence, only once and rather briefly). It could have been to do with the quiz MM and I were putting together for tonight, in downtown Charlbury. Decades ago, when young and foolish, I harboured a schoolgirl crush for possibly most of my teenage years on a young man, whom for this blog’s purpose, I’ll call Sam.

The years past, I ditched my ultra tomboy look, discovered some lippy, and at last he noticed me. In fact, I managed to snog him one NY’s eve. Yippee, I thought. More like bollocks: he referred to Level 42 in hushed tones – even referring to them as “The Level”. And that was it. Killed it. Dead in the water. Sam no more.

Moral of this week’s story? Never date someone who has incompatible music tastes with your own. Better still, find someone who actually has some taste. I’m a lucky fish.

Second question I asked MM when we met? What football team do you support …

Mrs M

No this isn’t leading to a track by Mark King and co, but to a Low Happening by the Howling Bells. Ha ha!

Download Howling Bells – Low Happening mp3 (from Howling Bells)

Download Kurran & The Wolfnotes – Your Four Limbs mp3 (from Your Four Limbs 7″)

Download Pancake Breakfast – The Ballad Of Maynard Noe mp3 (from Pancake Breakfast)