Thursday, 4 December 2014

Guards! Guards! - That Spring

Definitely one of my POP songs of the year. Guards! Guards! first single 'That Spring' has got all the right ingredients - lovely female vocals, big melodic synths, joy and sadness in equal measure - for the type of Pop song I love. Guards! Guards! is Bobby Barry (The Pipettes, Monster Bobby) and Lisa Bouvier (who has a ton of projects I'll now have to check out). 

They started out with this gorgeous melancholy slice of synthpop, 'Go Nowhere', on the Eardrums Pop compilation 'Between Two Waves: The Second Wave' (free download, grab it!).

Robert Pollard with Doug Gillard - Tight Globes

If you're looking for a dose of pure ROCK N ROLL, here you go:

'Tight Globes' from Robert Pollard & Doug Gillard's 'Speak Kindly Of Your Volunteer Fire Department'. Glad to see GBV has played this live a lot too. Killer track. When that lead line kicks in, it just takes off skyward on a full-on Rock N Roll trip. Making me think once again that all you need is a I - IV chord progression.

Darren Hayman once said on Twitter something like - 'If aliens came to Earth and demanded to know what Rock N Roll is, Guided By Voices are what you'd play them'.  How true.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

My Top 10 Songs from The First Half of 2014

1.  Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene - I See What You Did There

There's no convenient way to embed a way to hear this tune but just buy the album, it's Amazing. Spotify link.

2.  Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene - Blackberries

3.  St. Vincent - Digital Witness

4. The Lovely Wars -  Brân i Frân

5. Kylie Minogue - Into The Blue

6. Rob Britton - Long Enough

7. St. Vincent - Psychopath

8. Steve Kilbey - The Panthalassic Sea

9. Florrie - Seashells

10. Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene - Till It's Over

Friday, 14 March 2014

Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene

Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene's Blood & Brambles came out earlier this week on pop-Z and is my Pop Album Of The Year So Far. My Quietus review is here. 'I See What You Did There' is an astoundingly good tune.

And here's the excellent video for the first single, 'My Heroine' (previously known as 'One More Dose' on Mikey's Demonstration Songs . You can grab those for free if you want, I highly recommend them.)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Top Ten Songs of 2013...

After much, much thought, my favourite songs from this year. I write this with the disclaimer that I've only just had a chance to listen to Lady Gaga's 'Artpop' and while I think it's fantastic and is definitely making my Albums of the Year list, I haven't had enough time to let the songs fully soak through (though I absolutely love Dope and Gypsy). I also have not heard the Beyoncé album yet.

1 - The Lovely Wars - Young Love

I've listened to this so much this year. An excellent pop song. I think Ani has one of the best voices in Pop. We did an interview for godisinthetv earlier this year.

2  - Marcus Reeves - Radio Head

Nothing to do with the band. Another great pop song, perfect really, reminding me of a cross between Lifestyle and The Elevator Drops. The Soft Close-Ups did a gig with Marcus in his Quicksilver persona at the end of September and everybody loved his camp macabre cabaret.

3 - Teeth Of The Sea - Responder

This track is just KILLER. Their 'Master' is my Album of the Year. At one point during the listening party, everyone in the room looked up at the same time, nodding their heads to THE AWESOMENESS.

4 - Rodion G.A. - Alpha Centauri

Wonderful. So glad to have discovered this man's music. My Quietus review says "Chirping space birds herald opener ‘Alpha Centauri’ and it is impossible to deny just how HUGE this is that’s moving into being. A galactic synthesis of opposites, as enchanting twilight and glorious dawn merge into one. Harmonious unity between man and machine, looseness and precision, huge wobbly waves wandering over its robotic pulse, flowing aswirl in a celebratory cosmic dance. The eternal moment mystics speak of. And then, just as smoothly, letting go of even this." 

5 - Violet Hours - Your Ghost

Forget what I said in the intro about needing time to digest new music. This song is wonderful, truly beautiful, and I haven't been able to stop listening to it since I heard it last week. A free download so do grab it. Singer Jo Bevan also fronts Desperate Journalist.

6 - Keith TOTP & His Minor UK Celebrity All-Star Backing Band - Lonely This Christmas

Another new one, released last week (free download EP), though I had heard Keith do this live before. Truly the definitive version of the Mud classic. Guest spoken bit by Eddie Argos.

7 - Suede - Barriers

A great song from one of my favourite bands of all-time. This is the one that has stayed with me all year since the release of the new record.

8 - Keith & Aug - This Is The Song (That Would Have Made You A Star)

Another free download from Keith TOTP and myself this time. It might be bad form to put one of your own songs on such a list but I truly love this one. It ROCKS. And that's mostly down to Keith who did the words and made my music into a song (by demanding E be the only chord in it) and the awesomeness of the rhythm section of Eric Donohue and Patrick Ahern. We recorded this during the sessions for The Soft Close-Ups album (out February 2014) and it was a blast to play with those guys.

9 - OMD - Night Café

I just love this song. It's classic OMD and pop perfection.

10 - The Lovely Wars - Let's Blow The Whole Thing Up

The Lovely Wars again. There were a lot of other songs I was considering for this list. But this deserves it.  I've listened to LBTWTU a ton this past year and have put it on a few mix cds. I love it. Great energetic pop.

Honourable mentions:

Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene - Candyfloss

Great song and cover art from Mr. Georgeson. Having heard the new album I can safely say it will be one of the best of 2014.

The Secret History - Eleanor (The City & Sea)

Fantastic pop song from an excellent pop record.

OMD - Helen Of Troy

More new classic OMD.

Rihanna - Stay

I hardly ever listen to the radio when I'm on my own but whenever I was driving around with my sister Meg this year and this would often be on. I think it's lovely.

Makthaverskan - Asleep

Gorgeous pop from these Swedes. The album is very good too.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Psychic TV & PTV3 - Papal Breakdance/Redscroll Records

Last night I finally made it to Redscroll Records in Wallingford, CT. Never thought I'd ever be impressed by a record store again but this place is ASTOUNDINGLY GOOD. Tons (3 rooms) of vinyl, cool zine/books section (with 'The City Is Ablaze! - The Story of a Post-Punk Popzine 1984-1994' book that I'm gonna buy as soon as I get some money. Nice Throwing Muses interview as well as The Stone Roses, Pale Saints, Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, and loads more!). Staff were nice and helpful, they've got everything, all thousands upon thousands of records, in a database to look up for you. And I was looking for any of Alex Fergusson of Alternative and Psychic TV's solo recordings.

So it was a nice coincidence that the Psychick Videos were playing when I walked in the store. I hadn't heard their Mr. Alien Brain Vs. The Skinwalkers album and I immediately fell in love with 'Papal Breakdance':

so much so that when I got back in the car, I shut off the stereo so I could keep singing it to myself.

Further coincidence being the I had Thee Psychick Bible along with me to read at dinner. Interesting stuff.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

What I Played At Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT 14 August 2013

Had a lovely time DJ'ing with one Jim Psarras at Firehouse 12 last night. First time DJ'ing in the States, first time DJ'ing with vinyl (awesome to go through all my old records again), and first time DJ'ing with an ipod. As it was me and Jim, we decided to have the last half hour be all Van Halen and Iron Maiden as a tribute to our youth, growing up together with a shared love of music.

Set 1:

Curve - Horror Head (12" Remix)
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Song From The Edge Of The World (Columbus Mix)
Saint Etienne - Like A Motorway (album version)
Always - W.C. Fields
OMD - Electricity (album version)
New Order - Face Up
Action Biker - Smash Hit Producer

Set 2:

May Roosevelt - The One With The List
Jah Wobble & Julie Campbell - Feel (my favourite song of the new Millennium)
The Long Blondes - Giddy Stratospheres
Johnny Boy - You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve
Medicine - The Pink
The Kid - Transient Dance
Deaf School - What A Way To End It All
Mr. Solo - All Will Be Revealed
Dracula's Daughter - Candy
Roxy Music - Pyjamarama
Funkadelic - Good To Your Earhole
David Bowie - Speed Of Life
Matt Berry - Take My Hand
Subliminal Girls - Self Obsession Is An Art Form
Help Stamp Out Loneliness - Record Shop
Pris - Blu Tack Baby
The Indelicates - Ill

Set 3:

Van Halen - Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Van Halen - D.O.A. 
Van Halen - Light Up The Sky