Posts Tagged ‘Fist Fam’

Videos of the Day

Videos today from Sheffield’s Dead Sons (a stormer), NC based psychotic rappers Fist Fam (download their album here), and Australian chain gang balladeers Graveyard Train featuring life-sized zombie puppets no less.

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Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.

Fifth in line is the indomitable lion of Hixet Wood…Mr Christy-Popper.

10. Local Natives – Airplanes  (Download here, Daytrotter Session)

The first big tune of the year for me, I sort of rediscovered this while compiling my top ten. A classic sing-a-long chorus shouldn’t, and doesn’t thankfully, overshadow the rest of the song, which is arranged perfectly.  All of it fits in so seamlessly – as comfy as an old pair of slippers (and responds very well to be playing loud after a night out). Is there any greater praise?

9. Sheepdogs – I Don’t Know (Download here)

As infectious as Rabies it bumbles along with a great hook and a kind of 70s’ feel. I imagine the lead singer looking like a young Lemmy without the warts. This is of course no bad thing. I can vaguely remember (through the smoke and wine) the sudden realization I loved this song. A real foot stamper, get me to that barn dance and put the Sheepdogs on!

8. Vanish Valley – Become The Night  (Download here)

This song seems to have an indefinable quality to it, not that I’ll let that stop me…I could mention the honey-laden chorus, Andrew McAllistair’s perfect vocal or the understated but utterly brilliant guitar. It just instinctively hits the spot like music does sometimes. Truly a sum of its parts.

There, I tried.

7. Wooden Wand – Ragtop Ruby

Ahhh, Wooden Wand. At nearly 6 minutes this is a rare ‘long’ song (my attention span isn’t great) but it still makes number 8. You have to adapt for a genius… From the start we know we’re in Wooden Wand territory. Lonesome guitar and his familiar drawl, along with the line of the year – “with just enough rope in his trunk to make you uneasy”. We’ve all been there I think, although my own personal memory is a man with a lump hammer on his dashboard when hitching a ride at 15 years old. But hey that’s another story.

6. Strayfolk – What Wouldn’t I Do  (Download here)

True, it’s simple country… basic some would say (shame on them). And I say, so what. It’s a magical song, with all the right ingredients for a country classic. Strayfolk let the song do all the work, while I sit with drunken tears streaking my puffy face, asking where it all went so wrong. Don’t you just love songs that have no happy ending? If Kenneth Williams was here today he’s commit suicide all over again after hearing this… what’s the bloody point!

5. Tallest Man On Earth – King of Spain  (Download here)

Throughout 2010 I have never tired of listening to this song. Manic strummed guitar like a cracked out flamenco dancer it spins and twists whilst TMOE sings in ‘that’ voice. Despite my best efforts it never annoyed me, unlike so many others. The combination of the voice and guitar gives it a unique quality, the most distinctive sound of the year for me and well deserving of a top 5 place.

4. Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill  (Download here)

Mr Wand’s second entry is an absolute beauty. I am an Uncle. I think I may be a bit like Uncle Bill. I certainly hope so. I can remember as a small person sneaking in to my brother’s record collection, although I never picked ‘Heroin’ or ‘Cocaine’. That came later. I am genuinely in awe of WW, he is without doubt my man of the year (bollocks to Mr Facebook). It’s all so effortless, with lyrics that are poignant yet laced with the darkest humour. I make no apologies for picking out another of his brilliant lines (which always makes me wince/smile in silent acknowledgement) “I seen you when you think I ain’t looking son, you don’t need no help doing bad…”

3. What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge  (Download here, live version)

On first listen I loudly declared this would be my number 1 so it is with a heavy heart I place it third. And it’s a belter. I love the back and forth insults with that brutal guitar riff, frankly the best I’ve heard all year (at least it won something). A twisted Islands In The Stream for people like me. That’s cynical and sarcastic and exactly how I like it. Also what would Jesus drive..? My guess is a Hillman Avenger.

2. Common Prayer – Us Vs Them  (Download here)

This is my song okay. No one else is allowed to like it as much as I do. The change of key just before the first chorus… That’s just for me alright. I can only suggest Common Prayer got together and discussed how to get in my head before writing this masterpiece. I know that word is banded around lightly and I freely admit to doing it now. Who knows I’ll probably read this in June and think what the hell was I saying. But right now… well it’s a masterpiece with a tinkly piano and a snare drum to die for. Just remember it’s mine, all mine.

1. Avett Brothers – January Wedding

This is indisputably the best song of the year. I wouldn’t be so short sighted as to accuse my fellow Mackerel scribes of being wrong, but… you know, they are. I got married in June, what a clutz! If I had my time again I would obviously have gone for January, then I would have made 18 months instead of the frankly disappointing 14. By the end of the song I find myself genuinely hoping they live happily ever after. This is the complete opposite to how I usually feel, so just for that it’s unique. A beguiling song, complete with Audrey Hepburn name check and the laid back tempo of a country classic. Perfect.

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Bubbling Under – 5 that just didn’t make it…

5. Elf PowerStranger In The Window

4. Fist FamSF Bay

3. Nathaniel Rateliff – Brakeman

2. Vitamin SeesIlluminati Mind Control

1. Tapes ‘n’ TapesFreak Out

Best Songs first heard this year, but not 2010

3. Wilco – Handshake Drugs

2. Felice Brothers – Whiskey In My Whiskey

1. Knife In The Water – Young Blood In The River

Guilty Pleasure

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Lets Go Fucking Mental

Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.

Now is the time to reveal all…

Our third contribution this year comes from the mighty Dr Roddy, house-mate, chef, Leeds fan, and occasional soiler of his own trousers.

10. Strayfolk – What Wouldn’t I Do (Download here)

A peach of a song to start me off with, a sparse and beautiful track. Maybe not the most uplifting of tales that is to be told in this song, but that only seems to compliment the voice of Swedish vocalist Henrik Thoren, who has, for my money, the sound of a man who has been smoking cornpipes and drinking ‘shine on porches in the south of America, for many a moon.

9. Murder By Death – Foxglove  (Download here)

This song sets its stall out right from the start. I was smitten immediately with the haunting sound of the cello and the military/marching band drum’s are like a heart beat running through the song. The music and sound of Adam turlas voice,  may lead you to think that this fevered hunt for a lover is doomed for bad times and worse, but knowing that “It was always You” puts a smile on my face.

8. Pancake Breakfast – The Ballad Of Maynard Noe  (Download here)

From the first sound you have an idea that this tune could have a real groove to it and you’re not to be disappointed. The guitar plays a funky rhythm, whilst Mike Midlo leads us into a tale of a hard, uncompromising, thug of a man who eventually gets his comeuppance. The lyric “And he’d cruise up every night, like a dog in a bin looking for a fight” paints a great image of Maynard Noe. When the song breaks it does so with gusto, it also has a fantastic guitar and trumpet solo.

7. Yeasayer – Ambling Alp

There is a great bassline to this song and the chorus is contagious, once heard you can’t shift it (in a good way, not a pop ear rot way). The drums are simple, but resounding and there is some great work on the keyboards that create a kind of electro feel, but with a real modern twist. There are some gems of lyrics in this song too concerning “old man Schmelling”. And Ambling Alp. All in all a ripsnorter of a tune.

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6. Fist Fam – S. F. Bay  (Download here)

This song is a real piece of feel good hip hop. From its first listening, it put a smile on my face, I just couldn’t stop my head from nodding. For 3 minutes and 52 seconds  I felt “street”, then, remembering I was a 30 something year old British male, that all came crashing down around my ears. But I thank Fist Fam for those fleeting moments. The harmonica has a real summery, Stevie Wonder type sound and the bassline is something that Rick James would have been proud of. The lyrics set the scene  of a carefree summer city. As I write this there is about two feet of snow outside, so that is a welcome thought.

5. Nathaniel  Rateliffe – Brakeman.

I find this song has an almost lullaby quality to it. The lyrics just seem to drip with regret and despair. The piano seems to frame that perfectly as Nathaniel Rateliffe sings a tale of a man who seems to be at the shit end of work, love and life. The song itself seems simple and uncomplicated by heavy production, which is by no means a bad thing. A definite case of less is more. And at 2 minutes 25 seconds that makes it perfect.

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4. Street Sweeper Social Club – The New Fuck You.

Great name for a band, great tune. There is nothing wrong with a power chord riff that is more infectious than MRSA. This also has some of the greatest lyrics I have heard in one song, ever! I could repeat some of them here, but that would just mean writing the song pretty much verbatim. The only thing I can say is get yourself some understanding neighbours, beers and turn this one up!!

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3. The Tallest Man On Earth – King of Spain  (Download here)

What a song. It couldn’t be any simpler, just a man and a guitar. Filling the speakers with such a rich sound you almost think there is a whole band there. This track was a instant hit in my house, you could listen to it in any frame of mind and take something from it. Because of this it has become the sound track to many a refined night of co-co and slippers obviously?  The pace of this track is excellent it gallops along like a giddy mare. While the lyrics leave you pining for rioja and siesta in warmer climes. A great winter warmer.

2. Wooden Wand – Ragtop Ruby

This song has the lyric of the year of the year for me “Mr Kyle from Saint Charlies, I guess you met a man there, He’d just enough rope in his trunk to make you uneasy”. A work of genius.  Although this is the opening line the rest of the song doesn’t disappoint with more inspired lyrics, while the guitar creeps along at a nice rhythm to accompany Wooden Wand’s drawling delivery. It was hard to choose between the WW songs I’ve heard this year but there could only real be one winner. Ragtop Ruby.

1. What Would Jesus Drive – The Girls Are In Charge  (Download here, live version)

Here it is: without question song of the year. As soon as heard this on a CD of Mr Mackerel’s latest offerings I knew it was going to be my number one. It has everything I love – thumping drum beat, power chords and a good bit of wit. Listening to Amy Casey and Tim Box banter the lyrics back and forth at one another  is a nice touch. But it’s the guitar riff that makes this song a sure fire winner. The bass and drums are the backbone but it’s that riff. Oh and I don’t know if I mentioned the killer riff?

Bubbling Under (Songs That Came So Close)

5. Overmountain MenLooking For Dr. Caligari

4. Gaoler’s DaughterNine Pieces Of Silk

3. UnclesSettler’s Song

2. Sheepdogs – I Don’t Know

1. Wooden Wand – Uncle Bill

Best Songs First Heard this Year, But Not 2010

5. Frank Turner – Try This At Home

4. Willard Grant Conspiracy – Drunkard’s Prayer

3. Get Busy Committee – My Little Razor Blade

2. Wooden Wand – Son Of Wand (Hard Luck Prince)

1. Wilco – Handshake drugs

Guilty pleasure (I’m in no way repentent)

Lena Meyer – Satellite