Posts Tagged ‘Local Natives’

best of the week

After a week away, we’re back with eight tracks selected from the past week and covering everything from hardcore to goth-pop by way of some shoegaze and a classic cover.

Enjoy.

  1. Hooded Fang – Dead Battery
  2. M. Ward – Time Won’t Wait
  3. Bonnie Prince Billy & Friends – Rubin & Cherise (Grateful Dead cover)
  4. Joana Serrat featuring Neil Halstead – Cloudy Heart
  5. The Don Darlings – Speed Of Light
  6. Local Natives – Past Lives
  7. Cat’s Eyes – Be Careful Where You Park Your Car
  8. Haybaby – What It Is

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gathering - A Playlist

This weekend sees the annual Gathering festival in Oxford – a brilliant event that takes in seven venues around the city and runs from the afternoon into the wee small hours.

This year the line up includes such MM luminaries as Local Natives, Drenge, Waxahatchee, Temples, Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs, Pyyramids, Port Isla, Wolf Alice, To Kill A King, Cheatahs and a whole host more.

For a very reasonable £25 you get a wristband that gives you entry into all the events and venues and you just pick and choose whatever takes your fancy. Tickets are almost all gone, but you may be able to snap up one of the last few by clicking here.

If not, console yourself with this rather good playlist of tunes…

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.

a

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.

Time for our fourth instalment, the meandering mind of Barry-Sean…

Hmmmmmm! A few weeks ago I said to Mr MM that although I’ve enjoyed my music this year more than last, I thought I had heard fewer decent tracks this year (I choose my words carefully here seeing as just because I hadn’t heard them doesn’t mean they didn’t exist). At time of saying it, I meant it. My musical highlight of this year was the End of the Road festival but I just wasn’t feeling it for much of 2010 music generally.

The good news is that upon doing my 2010 top ten, I realised just how much great music did come out this year. Here’s my pick of them …

10. The Hold Steady – Rock Problems

I love The Hold Steady and although this is no Your Little Hoodrat Friend, it’s still brilliant. A great riff and Craig Finn’s distinctive vocal has brought on bouts of dad dancing in my kitchen on a number of occasions throughout the year. That’s why Rock Problems creeps into my top ten of 2010 at number 10.

a

9. Two Wounded Birds – My Lonesome

I’m not a sleazy kind of chap but I do like a sleazy beat. My admiration of War Crimes’ brilliant Treatise is testament to that. This is another one with a laid back vibe that for some reason makes me want to go and listen to it whilst playing pool in a smoky bar (fat bloody chance nowadays). It’s a latecomer to my top 2010 ten which just goes to show how instantly likeable it is. Am I right Mrs Mackerel?

a

8. Scott Fant – 8lb Sledge (Download here)

This might come as a bit of a surprise to the Mackerels because I’ve not made a song and dance about it. But it is a great track and worthy of its place in my top ten at the cost of other great songs such as I Don’t Care if There’s Cursing by Phosphorescent and VCR by The XX. Nice one Mr Fant … I hope there’s many more where this came from.

7. Lykke Li – Get Some  (Download here)

Is this wrong? Does it seem wrong to you that a forty-something bloke should like such an anti-pop, gritty but very listenable track. I’ve no aspirations to be ‘down with the kids’ but I love this track even if it does make me the ‘oldest swinger in town’ … and I do mean ‘oldest swinger’ in the Fred Wedlock sense.

6. Chapel Club – All the Eastern Girls

It’s no secret at Mackerel Towers that I love Chapel Club. Most of us here do. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of seeing them at The Jericho Tavern in Oxford which only served to increase my respect for the lads. Okay, so All the Eastern Girls doesn’t feature as highly in my top ten as Surfacing did last year but this is still a great track. I still think Chapel Club will go onto great things and really, really hope the do. At least they’re proof that someone in this country is doing something original … bloody X Factor!

a

5. The Vaccines – Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra)

Short, aggressive and like a 21st century Ramones track. Grab yourself a snakebite, put on your dockers and put this on full blast. You’ll be back in the late seventies in no time.

a

4. Local Natives – Airplanes  (Download here – Daytrotter Session)

Now we’re really getting serious. I fell in love with this track on first time of hearing back in the spring and still listen to it frequently. A total contrast to the Vaccines at no. 5, a great harmony and truly lovely song.

3. Mumford & Sons – Unfinished Business  (Download here)

Ahhhhhh! It’s a cover. It’s a White Lies cover. Nobody cares. This is a great ghost-story song. You’ve really got to listen to it. That shouldn’t be hard because everyone’s listening to Mumford & Sons at the moment aren’t they? Proof once again that original musicians with integrity can still make it in these days of Cowell-dominated, manufactured pop.

2.The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

Deciding between the year’s number 1 and number 2 is always difficult and 2010 was no different. This is The National, I think, at their best. It dominated Radio 6 early in the year and I’ve not stopped playing it since. No bloody idea what the message of the song is but it is brilliant. Sad, atmospheric and uplifting at the same time. So close to being my number one … but beaten by the beautiful tones of a young American girl.

a

1. Caitlin Rose –  For the Rabbits

That girl would be the massively talented Caitlin Rose. She of the beautiful, enchanting and addictive voice is the first woman to ever take the number one spot of my annual top ten. Okay, so the song reminds me of a happy time of year; standing in a chilly, Dorset field late at night at End of the Road and swaying along to it with hundreds of other festival-goers. Sitting by open French doors on a warm Sunday evening in Ventnor breathing in the fresh sea air. But that’s what music is about isn’t it? To me, For the Rabbits is my sound of 2010, my memory of 2010 and the best tune to come out of 2010.

a

Darn, I missed these …

Ones that I heard for the first time in 2010 but wish I’d heard in the years they were released:

Wolf Parade – You are the Runner, I Am My Father’s Son

Makes me wish I’d become a lead guitarist … just to play this and pose really.

Jessica Lea Mayfield – Kiss Me Again

Beautiful song, beautiful voice and a great mentor in the form of the brilliant Dan Auerbach of Black Keys fame. I love this song.

Mountain GoatsDance Music

I reckon the Goats are probably one of the Marmite bands of the music world. Me? I love them. They sing songs about life … not my life but life all the same … in a quirky, original way that usually brings a smile to my face. And any music that brings a smile to someone’s face can’t be that bad, can it?

The Low AnthemThis God Damn House

This is one of my most played songs of the year. I heard the Low Anthem sing this at EOTR and I’ve loved it since. Beautiful, sad and the story is still up for discussion at Mackerel Towers.

Forest FireFortune Teller

Simply a great song. I mean, who couldn’t love a song with the lyrics ‘Tonight I’m gonna melt some faces with Gatling gun social skills’. These guys are just cool personified in an oddball sort of way. A bit like me really … not.

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.

Following Polly Pocket’s submission yesterday, today is Starbar’s debut top ten. Enjoy!

10 Young Rebel Set – Measure Of Man

a

9 Erland & The Carnival – Trouble In Mind  (Download Here)

8 Lykke Li – Get Some (Download here)

7 Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Get Better

a

6 Mystery Jets – Show Me The Light

a

5 Kings Of Leon – Pyro

a

4 Biffy Clyro – Many Of Horror

a

3 Local Natives – Airplanes  (Download Here, Daytrotter Session)

2 The XX – VCR

a

1. Stornaway – Zorbing

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.

This year, to start the ball rolling we have, the already much missed Polly Pocket’s entry. At least she’ll remain a MM contributor if nothing else.

10. Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – Snob

Words from the wise.  Lyrical genius.

a

9. Kurran and the Wolfnotes – Your Four Limbs (download here)

Everytime I listen to this I hear something different. Brilliant tune, love the words.

a

8. Brandon Flowers – Crossfire

Pop song of the year.  Does exactly what it should – belting tune, sounding best turned up loud whilst singing along.

a

7. Warpaint – Undertow

Reminds me of being 15 and somewhat disappointed with the world.  Fab. Listen here:

a

6. The XX – VCR

If I was in a band I would want to sound just like this!

a

5. Blitzen Trapper – The Man Who Would Speak True

A late entry for me, but my top ten is all the richer for it. Listen here.

a

4. Josh Ritter – The Curse

Haunting piano, all nostalgic and laid back. (Watch the brilliant puppeteering video)

a

3. Local Natives – Airplanes (download here)

Brilliant song. Heartbreaking lyrics.  Listen here:

a

2. Bear Bones – Oil and Lacquer (Download here)

Perfect winter song.  I shut my eyes and am sitting in a comfy chair in a country pub with an open fire, good friends and a cracking pint of ale.  “If I’m getting old then I hope that you’re coming with me” and I really do.

a

1. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

This hit the number one spot months ago and has stayed there ever since.  A truly great tune.

Here is our regular monthly round up of 25 of the best tracks posted on Mad Mackerel in the past month, and three new gems too. That’s a more than decent mixtape sorted even if we were crap in the World Cup!

The FuturebirdsBattle For Rome mp3

Glorious, up-tempo alt-country gem that recalls Neil Young at his finest

Puro InstinctCalifornia Shakedown mp3

Dreamily seductive slice of icy pop

Burnt OnesBury Me In Smoke mp3

Sleazy, dirty, hook-laden surf rock and heavy doses of 7os glam

Mississippi ManMountain mp3

Superb blend of Americana and country-folk

The Vitamin Sees Illumanati Mind Control mp3

Mesmerising and hypnotic, with repetitive guitar riff and laconic vocals. Our discovery of the month!

Black Mountain – Old Fangs mp3

Scorched, driving, desert blues

HollowbellyLong Road mp3

Raw, stomping, hellfire and brimstone blues

Sharon Van EttenI Couldn’t Save You mp3

Languid, lonely and desolate. As stark and as stunning a heartbreaker as you could imagine

Ferocious FewKathleen mp3

Joyous raiding of the rock’n’roll cupboard to produce a two-minute classic

Elf PowerStranger In The Window mp3

Gentle, pensive, country-tinged, psych-pop. Gorgeous

Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts – Mynah Birds Call mp3

Fragile, Syd Barrett influenced unorthodox folk whimsy

All Saints DayYou Can’t Be Alone mp3

Pop overdosing on distortion and reverb

Lail AradEveryone Is Moving To Berlin mp3

Wonderful blend of sharp-tongued pop and lovely folk overtones

The WhigsDying mp3

Visceral, slow burn of a track, builds into crescendo of guitars, drums and feedback

Tame ImpalaSolitude Is Bliss mp3

Bold, fuzzed up blues standout from recent album Innerspeaker

Karen ElsonThe Ghost Who Walks mp3

Gothic-tinged, country murder ballad

TennisMarathon mp3

Sweet and catchy pop gem

Tweak BirdA Sun Ahh Ahh mp3

Brilliant mix of full-on old-school metal riffing and psychedelic overtones

The MinksFuneral Song mp3

Vintage Cure bassline, icy synths and shadowy, sombre lyrics

The Black LipsBefore You Judge Me mp3

Typically swaggering boozy cut of garage rock

We Are Country MiceFestival mp3

Garage goodness, awash with reverb, duelling guitars and a tinge of psychedelia

The Local NativesCareful mp3

Chiming cover of Television album track

SalemKing Night mp3

Ghostly leanings and haunting, desolate beats

CrocodilesSleep Forever mp3

Full on indie rocker in the spirit of the Bunnymen

Emily ReoWitch Mtn Pt. 2 mp3

Dreamily seductive and captivating fuzzy Beach House style pop

And  three new ones for you to finish off:

The Vitamin SeesEvil Eye mp3

More tripped out, pulsing krautrock from our new band discovery of the month

Port O’BrienMy Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg) mp3

From the wonderful Buffetlibre/Amnesty Peace project (180 tracks for $5 minimum) comes this brilliant Ramones cover by MM faves Port O’Brien. Buy this compilation here now!

Wild NothingYour Rabbit Feet mp3

Latest chilled (and chilly) dream pop from new indie-wunderkind

The Local Natives have made a what seems to be a pretty big breakthrough with their debut album Gorilla Manor, deservedly picking up universal acclaim from critics (and fans) on both sides of the Atlantic.

Now as part of what looks like a most promising Aquarium Drunkard digital compilation titled L’Aventure (which is a tribute to the 1978 Television album Adventure), they have covered the track Careful.

As you might expect, the trademark harmonies are all present and correct and the song has been given considered and considerate treatment. All in all it is rather lovely. The compilation will also feature such bands as The Growlers, The Henry Clay People and Foreign Born.

Visit their MySpace here. Buy Gorilla Manor from Amazon here.

Download The Local Natives – Careful mp3 (from L’Aventure)

As usual, here is our round-up of some of the best songs we’ve posted during April plus a couple of new ones. Thirty great songs all ready to go on one cracking playlist and impress your family and friends.

Without further ado…

Shabby Rogue – My Life As A Secret Agent mp3 (High octane, paranoia induced rock ‘n’ roll riffage)

Kurt Vile – Invisibility Nonexistent mp3 (Ramshackle bluesy psychedelia)

Woodpigeon – Empty-Hall-Sing-Along mp3 (Folk foot-stomper from outstanding new album)

Red Clay River – Rattlesnake Mountain mp3 (Sparse, shadowy, southern Gothic folk)

Sparrow & The Workshop – Devil Song mp3 (Morricone inspired galloping, cowboy blues)

Band Of Horses – Compliments mp3 (First track from much anticipated new album – signs are good)

Local Natives – World News mp3 ((Yet another) catchy, harmony filled gem from the wonderful Gorilla Manor album)

The Ooks Of Hazzard – Kids mp3 (Cover of the year so far? MGMT given a ukulele led, rough country makeover)

Phosphorescent – Mermaid Parade mp3 (Classic Phosphorescent. Classic modern country)

Jason Ward – Bless You mp3 (Lyrically brilliant folk ditty reminiscent of Blitzen Trapper)

Avi Buffalo – What’s In It For mp3 (New Sub-Pop darlings show what the fuss is about)

Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles – At The Wake mp3 (Perfect blend of Americana and indie rock)

The National – Afraid Of Everyone mp3 (Standout centrepiece from brilliant new album)

Peggy Sue – Watchman mp3 (Folk duo spit lyrical venom)

Chapel Club – O Maybe I mp3 (Top notch, classic British indie rock from much tipped newcomers)

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – Forget It mp3 (Perfect backwoods porch Americana)

The War Crimes – Enamour Me And Roll mp3 (Sinister, unsettling and lyrically brilliant)

Meursault – Crank Resolutions mp3 (Scottish miserablist folksters deliver in spades)

Howling Owls – Family Tree mp3 (Another insistently compelling, down-tempo and black-hearted folk tale)

Grass House – A Cockroach mp3 (Unsettling excursion on a dark, sonically captivating journey)

Emily Reo – Witch Mtn mp3 (Experimental, ethereal, excellent)

Alessi’s Ark – Shovelling mp3 (Fragile and spooky folk)

Wind Up Birds – There Won’t Always Be An England mp3 (Particularly English tale of bigotry – topical enough!)

Tallest Man On Earth – Burden Of Tomorrow mp3 (Another gem from rasping folk troubadour. Dylan comparisons obligatory)

Unnatural Helpers – Sunshine / Pretty Girls mp3 (Snotty, brash homage to classic punk with added bonus of chorus of the month)

Morningbell – Hello Dali mp3 (Melodic, shimmering psych rock from Florida)

Colours – Desert Dessert mp3 (Three minutes of buzzsaw guitars and a shout along chorus. Awarded instant classic status)

Brother Dege – The Girl Who Wept Stones mp3 (Authentic stomping swamp blues. Like Seasick Steve’s nastier brother)

And lastly here are a couple of new ones

Memoryhouse – Gian Lorenzo Bernini mp3 (More gorgeous, chilled out, dream to immerse yourself in)

Delaney Davidson – Dirty Dozen mp3 (Classic voodoo rockabilly and filthy, x rated lyrics. What’s not to like?)