Posts Tagged ‘Dubious Ranger’

MM's Top Songs Of 2012: Polly Pocket

As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year posts over the past five days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. Kicking us off is Polly Pocket

This has been the hardest year ever to pick the best of – it has been a cracking year for top tunes but here goes…..

30. Sinead O’Connor – The Wolf Is Getting Married

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29. Two Gallants – Broken Eyes

28. Tame Impala – Elephant

27. Sera Cahoone – Deer Creek Canyon

Download Sera Cahoone – Deer Creek Canyon mp3

26. Sun Kil Moon – The Bird Has A Broken Wing

Download Sun Kil Moon – That Bird Has A Broken Wing mp3

25. The Dandy Warhols – Sad Vacation

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24. Rachel Sermanni – The Fog

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23. Matthew Perryman Jones – Land of the Living

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22. Fort Atlantic – No One Will Know

Download Fort Atlantic – No One Will Know mp3

21. Dubious Ranger – 1999

Download Dubious Ranger – 1999 mp3

20. The Wilderness of Manitoba – The Ark

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19. Zachary Cale, Mighty Moon and Ethan Schmid – Love In Vain

Download Zachary Cale, Mighty Moon and Ethan Schmid – Love In Vain mp3

18. Shovels & Rope – Birmingham

17. Strand Of Oaks – Little Wishes

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16. Ben Howard – Oats In The Water

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15. Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait

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14. Magic Arm – Put Your Colour Up

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13. Trampled By Turtles – Keys To Paradise

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12. Field Report – I Am Not Waiting Anymore

11. Grassfight – Nassau

10. Wild Nothing – Paradise
Well, this is way more retro electro pop than I was anticipating having in my top ten, but damn it, I just like it. Whenever I hear it I feel I have gone back about 20 years, sitting round the edge of a village hall hoping not to dance. I never thought it would end up at number ten, but I admire it for doing so.

9. Houndmouth – Penitentiary
Just when I thought I might have found a tune before MM I was of course put right, but I was happy to share my love of Penitentiary nonetheless. Its an old fashioned, whiskey drinking, tobacco chewing kind of a song, and its a song sung well.

8. Angel Snow – Lie Awake
This was a late arrival into my top ten and I am thrilled to have it here. Those beautiful haunting vocals stay with you long after listening – its a sad story perfectly told and I love it. Not the happiest song in my top ten but certainly one of the most beautiful.

7. Tom Williams and The Boat – Too Young
For me, this tune has all the energy of being young with the class of being a little older! I have loved it for months and it does what a good song should – makes you smile, makes you get up and dance or certainly tap a foot. Lovely guitars and violins, with nice gentle vocals – great stuff.

6. The Tallest Man On Earth – Wind And Walls
Why this song? I guess it just makes me happy. When Kristian Matsson starts to sing, its hard not to smile, such a powerful voice. There is no place to hide with this tune – just a guitar, some words and a man telling a story. Nothing wrong with that combination in my mind.

5. First Aid Kit – The Lions Roar
This has been in with the best since the beginning of the year, and rightfully so. Brilliant vocals – all pure and clean and I still marvel at the number of words you can get into one sentence and still sound melodic. Certainly one of the best of the year.

4. Shearwater – You As You Were
I only found Shearwater this year, and what a lovely band to find. Animal Joy is a very fine album and to me, You As You Were is the stand out track. It a massive song, full of energy from start to finish. I kind of wish I’d had this song with me a decade or so ago, it would have suited me down to the ground.

3. Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes
A very elegant tune, a quiet beginning and then the dark and brooding piano arrives slowly building before the lyrics kick in. It feels like it should be the soundtrack to a very brilliant film (is it?) Any how, it’s worth several listens, especially with a glass of wine or a cocktail or two.

2. Alt-J – Taro
It was a hard to know which track to pick from (in my humble opinion) the album of the year, An Awesome Wave. In any given situation this song always sounds perfect. I understand none of it but love all of it, particularly the instrumental twiddly middle which always takes me to far away lands, even when stuck on the M4. This song, like much of the album creates something brilliant.

1. We Are Augustines – Chapel Song
This song certainly stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it earlier in the year and continues to do so – always something new to ponder over in those heartbreaking lyrics. Thankfully I am normally left feeling more upbeat than melancholy but its a close call. This has held the no.1 spot for many months now, and rightly so. A song of genius

You can find downloads, streams, or videos for all the other tracks above by checking out MM’s Top 100 tunes here: 100 – 81, 80 – 61, 60 – 41, 40 – 21 and 20 – 1.

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Mad Mackerel's Best Of The Month: May 2012.

Another crackerjack month of new tunes on MM, all lovingly compiled and packaged up for you in one sweet playlist ready to download.

Here are 33 of our favourite tracks from our May postings and 6 new songs too. No need to thank us.

Download Virals – Gloria mp3 (from Coming Up With The Sun EP)
Shines bright with an insanely hooky vocal and charged guitar riffs, taking cues from the sunny California coast yet retaining a suitably English feel.

Download Blasted Canyons – Holy Geometry mp3 (from 2nd Place 12″)
Infectiously driven by a brilliant needling guitar refrain that is guaranteed to stick with you long after the song has finished.

Download Michael J Epstein Memorial Library – Faith In Free Part 1 mp3 (from Faith In Free EP)
Military stomp that comes across like a brilliantly vicious hybrid of Siouxsie & The Banshees and Sparks.

Download Sun Kil Moon – That Bird Has A Broken Wing mp3 (from Among The Leaves)
More starkly beautiful folk.

The Wind-Up Birds – Cross Country

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Skilfully blends influences from folk to punk to create a restless, hybrid sound that has feet in many camps, but a home in none.

Beast make Bomb – Coney Island

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Shimmering slice of indie rock played out against a backdrop of old-school punk attitude.

Dog Moon Howl – Blues Like A Hammer

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Full on sleazy blues and desert rock – imagine if you will Mark Lanegan duelling with Howling Wolf

Download The Ruminaters – Timmy mp3 (from Timmy Digital Single)
Beatnik, barnyard, hillbilly swamp rock.

Download GravelRoad – Devil’s Eyes mp3 (from Psychedelta)
Sinewy, swamp inspired grooves with a rough and raw blues groan.

Download Marissa Nadler – The Wrecking Ball Company mp3 (from The Sister)
Haunting and ethereal folk that mixes melancholy with yearning in a wonderfully unique way.

Download Hunx – Let Me In mp3 (from Hairdresser Blues)
Flamboyant 60s inspired doo-wop garage-pop.

Download Lord Buffalo – Cold Bones mp3 (from Lord Buffalo EP)
Unsettling and haunting, a blend of darkly shrouded Americana as fiddles moan and guitars ominously brood and slash.

Download Old Bricks – Waves mp3 (from City Lights)
A night’s ride through a dark, sparkling desert.

Download The Doc Marshalls – Here They Come mp3 (from Look Out, Compadre)
Crooked, shimmering folk; evocative and nostalgic.

Download The Tallest Man On Earth – 1904 mp3 (from There’s No Leaving Now)
Characterised by his trademark strum and those wonderful Dylanesqe pipes, but there is a darker twist and turn to the lyrics than we’ve been used to.

Download Hallelujah The Hills – Hungry Ghost Extraordinaire mp3 (from No One Knows What Happens Next)
Wholly absorbing and lyrically scalpel sharp track.

Download Duquette Johnston & The Rebel Kings – Roll Baby Roll mp3 (from Communicating Vessels 7″ Series)
Driving boogie and infectious holler-along refrain.

Download Spacin’ – Sunshine No Shoes mp3 (from New Directions Home- Uncut 2012 07)
Mangled graft of Velvets chug and Stones insouciance.

Download The Agnostic-Phibes Rhythm & Blood Conspiracy – Neckin’ Party mp3 (from Campfire Tales)
Hypnotic swamp rock tale of teenage lust and voyeurism gone horribly awry.

Download The Crocodiles – Endless Flowers mp3 (from Endless Flowers)
Snaking, noise pop.

Download Purling Hiss – Lolita mp3 (from Shaking Through Volume 3)
Huge slab of fuzzed-up riffage.

Download Holograms – Chasing My Mind mp3 (from The Holograms)
Clattering, garage-punk.

Download Hurray For The Riff Raff – Ode To John And Yoko mp3 (from Look Out Mama)
Gorgeous bluesy folk with a slightly retro-feel.

Download Dubious Ranger – 1999 mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)
Gloriously mournful and hypnotic Americana.

Two Wounded Birds – To Be Young

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Exquisitely crafted pop gem full of their trademark surf-twang and velvet vocals – it drips with vacation nostalgia.

Download The Broken Needles – Saltflat Baby mp3 (from Terra Nullius)
Mix of country balladry and spit ‘n’ snarl punk rock that is a little like Tom Waits fronting the Mekons.

Download Jaill –  Waste A Lot Of Things mp3 (from Traps)
Their signature slack yet tightly wound musical style and self-deprecating humor retains all its charm.

Download The Virgins – Venus In Chains mp3 (from Venus In Chains single)
Charmingly nonchalant slab of garage inspired rock oozing with glam undertones.

Download Stagnant Pools – Dead Sailor mp3 (from Temporary Room)
Heavy, distorted, squally and reverb heavy, pierced with shafts of melody; would probably be prime candidates to soundtrack the end of the world.

Download The Shrouded Strangers – Drinking The Spider Silk mp3 (from Lost Forever)
Masterclass in whiskey-soaked hillbilly stompers, fuzzed-up psych freak outs, and white-noise wigouts.

Download Rainer & Calexico – Be Prepared mp3 (from The Inner Flame: A Tribute To Rainer Ptacek)
Achingly gorgeous dusty Arizona blues and moanas elegant and moving as anything you’ll hear for a long, long time.

Red Cosmos – England’s Glory

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Tale of a mother visited in the middle of the night by the pale spectre of her son dying alone, somewhere far away on a battlefield.

Download Grave Babies – Nightmare mp3 (from Gothdammit EP)
Gloomy, drone-filled Goth that manages to keep its tongue firmly in its cheek.

And here are a few new ones to round off your day and set you up for the weekend nicely. First is another taste from the forthcoming Sonny & The Sunsets album, Longtime Companion in the shape of Be The Void. We also have two tracks from our new favourite band, Broken Water: Underground and Drown are good enough to strip the paint from the walls and come from just released new album Tempest.

We have the melodic indie pop dusted with notes of surf rock from Scotland’s The Imagineers and their track The Legend Of John The Terror (Notorious) and Home Groan, a new taste from Dent May’s much anticipated new album. Finally, we have a welcome reissue of some early Silver Jews recordings by Drag City Records to celebrate, from it comes this track Secret Knowledge of Back Roads. 

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Download Broken Water – Drown mp3 (from Tempest)

Download Broken Water – Underground mp3 (from Tempest)

Download Dent May – Home Groan mp3 (from Do Things)

Download The Imagineers – The Legend Of John The Terror (Notorious) mp3 (from The Legend Of John The Terror (Notorious))

Download The Silver Jews – Secret Knowledge Of Back Roads mp3 (from Early Times)

Don’t forget to check all our previous monthly Best Of mixes in the sidebar too.

Dubious Ranger Release New Album.

We’ve already posted about Dubious Ranger’s new album Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931, and the record was officially released earlier this week. It is a wonderfully diverse and eclectic mix of tunes and influences that never once crowds out or overwhelms the top-notch songwriting that sits proudly at the heart of this album.

To celebrate, here is a third track from it, the gloriously mournful and hypnotic 1999, together with a new video for our favourite track from the album, Sarsaparilla.

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Download Dubious Ranger – 1999 mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)

Download Dubious Ranger – The Mayor mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)

Download Dubious Ranger – The New Eve mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)

Purchase from Bandcamp here.

Mad Mackerel's Best of April 2012 - Free Mix. So we exit April, which true to form turned out to be wetter than a Mackerel’s handshake. No matter, banish the blues with this scorching mix of some of the best downloads we offered in the month, plus a few new ones to get to know and love too.

Download Alexander TuckerWindow Sill mp3 (from Third Mouth)
Minimalist string arrangements with electronic manipulations and drones to produce a doom chamber-pop song.

Download Amanda Jo WilliamsThe Bear Eats Me mp3 (from The Bear Eats Me)
Dusty jukebox rock that will wake the kids in the middle of the night for a boot-stomping, moon-invoking dance party on the back porch.

Download Kyle AdemBrother Follow mp3 (from Armour)
A tireless storyteller with a whole lot of questions who marries his own blend of orchestral and reflective folk, with a punk edginess.

Download Johnny Bertram & The Golden BicyclesMistake mp3 (from Neon City)
Robust, but still melodic indie rock with some folky undertones.

Download Dubious RangerThe New Eve mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)
Sounding like a blend of Tom Waits and Beck, this is a peculiar brand of art-rock that defies definition.

Download Mathew Sawyer – Children In The City
One of the very best singer-songwriters around. Wonderfully skewed view of the world, obstinate refusal to conform, and exceptional wordplay.

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Download The Flaming LipsGod Only Knows mp3 (from Pet Sounds Revisited)
Indie rock surrealists take on the Beach Boys.

Download Black CreekNot For The Faint Of Heart mp3 (from Not For The Faint Of Heart digital single)
Another muscular example of their ragged, raw take on Americana, a sound they describe as “riffs and revelations”.

Download Coke Weed – Jimmy
Chugs gently along, all woozy charm and gentle folky psychedelia behind which the occasional acerbic lyric hides in wait.

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Download Hiss Golden MessengerJesus Shot Me In The Head mp3 (from Poor Moon)
Classic back-porch folk and country with echoes of gospel and blues, which is often accompanied by warm organic sound effects such as cicadas or the patter of rain.

Download Old BricksAnthem mp3 (from City Lights)
Earnest and pensive folk.

Download Wooden WandWither Away (demo version) mp3 (from Briarwood Deluxe Edition)
Gorgeous demo version of Briarwood album standout.

Download Diamond RugsCountry Mile mp3 (from Diamond Rugs)
Loose countrified rock from new indie ‘supergroup’.

Download Tiger HighDon’t Want To See You Till You Go mp3 (from Myth Is This)
Excellent garage-psych.

Download Damon Moon & The Whispering DriftersRestless Roads End mp3 (from Lungs, Dirt & Dreams)
Muscular Americana, a song that slowly stretches, flexes and simmers over five minutes while the band keep expertly keep a lid on the instrumentation and don’t allow it to escape its restraints completely.

Download MV & EEToo Far To See mp3 (from Space Homestead)
Off-kilter Americana. Plaintive, almost elegiac and builds up to some guitar histrionics than recall Neil Young in a most pleasing way.

Download The Fresh & OnlysDo What I Came To Do mp3 (from Stash Rituals)
High octane garage punk, thump and clatter.

Download The Plastic Pals – Leave It Til Tomorrow (from Leave it ‘Til Tomorrow Digital Single)
This is heroin disco chic in the style of the Velvet Underground and Berlin-era Bowie.

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Download Young HinesCan’t Explode mp3 (from Give Me My Change)
Confrontational and trigger-happy punkish blues.

And no fewer than five new tracks to try out. We have the raw, early 70s punk vibe of The Dirty Fences, a brilliant track of chugging psych-rock from The Lead Stones (another discovery via Rollo & Grady), the uniquely catchy indie rock of The Wave Pictures, a visceral slab of slowed down garage rock from the Ty Segall Band and to finish a sweetly charming slice of Americana from Cowgill with its quiet, upbeat guitar and gorgeous violin.

Download The Dirty Fences – Sid mp3 (from Dirty Fences)

Download The Lead Stones – Heaven mp3 (from Heaven Digital Single)

Download The Wave Pictures –Stay Here And Take Care Of The Chickens mp3 (from Long Black Cars)

Download Ty Segall Band – Wave Goodbye mp3 (from Slaughterhouse)

Download Cowgill – Extra Gravity mp3 (from Side One Of Planted)

Introducing...Dubious Ranger.

Dubious Ranger began as a band name concocted by classical pianist Alexander Eccles. As a band name warrants a band, he took the plunge and formed a peculiar brand of art-rock based in his hometown of San Francisco.

Dubious Rangerʼs newest album, Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931, sounds like a blend of Tom Waits and Beck and is a creative collaboration between Alexander and percussionist/ceramicist Gabe Turow.

Set in an imaginary mining town, this completely homemade album was made with a tea kettle, rusty pipes, a $10 amp, African bells, a broken old piano, an upright bass, and a host of various things being thrown against the wall. It doesn’t sound too promising we know, but one listen and we were hooked. From the call and response repetition of the stomping opening track Sarsaparilla to the closing bars of The New Eve the whole album is as gripping and as engaging as anything we’ve heard recently. An unexpected gem that is destined for many repeat listens on the MM stereo.

Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931 will be released on May 22nd.

Download Dubious Ranger – The Mayor mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)

Download Dubious Ranger – The New Eve mp3 (from Found Recordings From The Panda Valley Mining Company c.1931)