Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Q#130 - February to March 2020

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Now with added Spotify playlist at end of notes.

Q's Compilations
Vol #130 – February to March 2020

Blimey. It has been quite the eventful start to the year, and almost entirely bad! I don’t have any particular words of wisdom during the corona pandemic other than listen to the science, stay inside and be rational. I finished this mix up before things started going particularly crazy!

01) Rush - The Spirit of Radio: Just one of the other terrible events that started the year off, Rush drummer/lyricist Neil Peart died in January after suffering from brain cancer for three years. A deeply private person, the news came as a shock and remains hard to process. This live version of Spirit of Radio was released on the 40th anniversary of Permanent Waves.

02) Eyelids - The Accidental Falls: Members of Eyelids have worked with Decemberists, Elliott Smith, Stephen Malkmus and were also Robert Pollard‘s backing band as Boston Spaceships. This is the title-track to their most recent album, and like their previous EP, was produced by Peter Buck of REM-fame, the record itself is excellent and I made sure to buy it during Bandcamp’s recent waving of their fee so that musicians got more money.

03) Nada Surf - So Much Love: I recently saw Nada Surf for the 21st time, promoting their new album Never Not Together. There is a dedication to Ric Ocasek of The Cars, who produced their debut album (1996’s Let Go) and died in 2019, and as well as the written dedication there’s certainly a big influence in many tracks on the album itself (they also covered Just What I Needed at recent shows).

04) Seratones – Power: I had the pleasure of catching Seratones play a show at Rough Trade in January, the groups second album, Power is more of a classic soul record with, as the title suggests, plenty of punch to it. In classic soul style, a tight and highly skilled band drives the songs but are ultimately a platform for front-woman AJ Haynes to steal the show, she should be a star.

05) Caroline Rose - Feel the Way I Want: Superstar is Caroline Rose’s fourth album, and her slickest to date. This tune is the lead single from the record and has the kind of effortless swagger and pop-sensibility that everyone could use right now.

06) The Wants – Container: Guitarist/producer Madison Velding-VanDam has been busy the last few years, playing guitar in Bodega and now fronting The Wants. This is the title track from their debut album and the post-punk-white-boy rhythm on this tune stood out for me. The record is pretty strong in general and jumps through a few styles, recommended if you like any of those classic post-punk sounds of the early 80s.

07) Fat Tony - Get Out of My Way: Two years after the excellent 10,000 Hours, Houston rapper Fat Tony has just released Wake Up. The record is full of collaboration but it’s the tracks he takes the lead on that stand out the most for me.

08) Destroyer - It Just Doesn't Happen: We’re probably at the point where we shouldn’t call Destroyer “Dan Bejar of The New Pornographers’ band”, the discography at this point. Dan’s been on a bit of a roll for a while now and Have We Met is the twelfth Destroyer album and has an overt 80s influence that works wonderfully. 

09) Gladie - A Place for Different: Philly punks Cayetana called it a day last year and Gladie is the latest band from frontwoman Augusta Koch. Following up an EP from 2018, the band just released debut full-length Safe Sins. There’s a greater emphasis on melody and a little electronic percussion but Koch’s lyrics are as personable as ever.

10) Deeper - Lake Song: Chicago quartet Deeper first featured on Q#121 back in 2018, and the band are set to release their second album Auto-Pain on the 27th of March (I’ve pre-ordered it). Based on the strength of the songs they’ve released so far, and that I heard them play live, it could end up being one of my favourite releases of the year.

11) Drab Majesty – Elipsis: I was looking through some old bookmarks trying to find some final inspiration to round off this mix and stumbled upon Drab Majesty (I have no idea when I bookmarked the bandcamp page) and the 80s pop sound seemed to fit well. This track is taken from Modern Mirror which was released last July.

12) Video Nasties - Drone Eagle: My good friend Andrew Field has been putting out records with foundation-shaking riffs for a couple of years now (https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/) and the latest release on APF Records is Video Nasties’ new record Dominion. It’s a cracker, with the odd horror-synth influence to go with the in-your-face guitars and drums.

13) Soul Asylum - Spinnin': I probably hadn’t listened to Soul Asylum in over a decade but saw they were playing a show at Bowery Ballroom in February and thought… why not, I’d never seen them before. I always had a soft-spot for them growing up and while it was a bit of a nostalgia check-box, I’m glad I went and reconnected with a band that I hadn’t given much thought of for a while. This song opens the band’s fifth album, 1990’s And the Horse They Rode In On.

14) Virginia Trace - Hello Lou Reed: This tune is the lead single from Vincent's Playlist, which isn’t due out until May and the obvious influence for the lyrics and the music is in the title. Anyone or anything related to Chile’s Blow Your Mind Records will always prick my ears.

15) Aaron Lee Tasjan - Heart Slows Down: I hadn’t heard of Aaron Lee Tasjan until I saw him opening solo for Nada Surf at the start of the year, his demeanour and songs were an instant hit and diving into his back catalogue was a treat.

16) Anna Calvi (ft Courtney Barnett) - Don't Beat the Girl Out of My Boy: Anyone that lets me talk long enough at any point since July 2009 will have heard me rave about Anna Calvi. She’s not the most prolific artist but everything she releases is solid gold. Following 2018’s Hunter, Calvi went back and revisited some rough versions of those songs and opened them up for some collaboration with the likes of Courtney Barnett on this song.

17) Fog Lake - New York: Aaron Powell just has a knack of concocting lo-fi melancholia that always leaves you wanting more. You may remember I’ll Be Around from Q#126 and this is just as gorgeous. Sadly the corona virus has led to the cancelation of his show at Rough Trade in April (and I’m shocked that’s the first time I’ve written that sentence in these notes as it also applies to at least four other acts on this mix I had plans to see).

18) A Winged Victory for the Sullen – The Slow Descent Has Begun: The Undivided Five is A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s third full studio album and was released last November. It’s hard to say anything new about the ambient/neo-classical duo, they simply excel in the genre.

19) Shell of a Shell - Don't Expect: Nashville act Shell of a Shell just put out their debut album Away Team on Exploding in Sound Records (which happens to the be label’s 100th release) and it is a complete triumph. Led by Chappy Hull, who has been playing guitar in the band Pile since 2018, it’s certainly in the same ballpark as Pile and highly recommended for fans of the band. This track has a little bit of everything that you get on the album rolled into one epic song.

As always, Peace and Love - Q

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Q#129 - December 2019 to January 2020

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Now with added Spotify playlist at end of notes.

Q's Compilations
Vol #129 – December 2019 to January 2020

Hello 2020. A new decade… unfortunately it hasn’t started very well! Regardless, the first comp of the year is, as always, a recap of my favourite things from the previous year.

01) White Reaper - Real Long Time: If there’s one thing I look for every year it’s an unadulterated, no holds barred fun pop-rock record and the best of those this year is White Reaper’s You Deserve Love. Two years on from The World’s Best American Band, the band are now on a major label (Elektra) but there’s no sign of any pitfalls that sometimes come with a major-debut, the band have always been pop. You Deserve Love is a triumph of harmonised guitars and anthemic choruses, if there’s any change then it’s a little more Thin Lizzy as opposed to Cheap Trick, so turn the volume up and have a good time. If you’re equally at home in the mosh-pit or a two-step sway, this is the record for you. Might Be Right featured on Q#126.

02) Sheer Mag - Hardly to Blame: I used The Killer on the previous mix and this is another excellent track from A Distant Call, their strongest record to date and an excellent live band to boot. The Killer featured in Q#128.

03) Young Guv - Luv Always: Young Guv released 2 albums in 2019 (Guv I & Guv II), this is taken from Guv 2 and flies the Teenage Fanclub influences pretty high, and that can never be a bad thing. Patterns Prevail from the same album featured in Q#127.

04) Corridor – Domino: I saw Montreal band Corridor in 2018 and was pretty mesmerised by their sound, they’ve since signed to Sub Pop and released this album, Junior, with this track being the lead single from the album (their third full length release).

05) Halfsour - All Gone: Boston trio Halfsour released their charming debut, Tuesday Night Live in 2016, it was a rocking but thin-sounding affair. Three years later and with a new drummer, Sticky is a few steps up on every level, from songwriting chops to some much needed lower-end on the production. If “college rock radio” still exists as a sub-genre that worships REM then Halfsour should be filling those airwaves. Blurred Camera featured in Q#125.

06) Jeffrey Lewis and the Voltage - Depression Despair: Prolific cult-NY-hero Jeffrey Lewis put out Bad Wiring this year, produced by Roger Moutenot, whose credits include Yo La Tengo, Lou Reed and Sleater Kinney. It’s possibly his strongest record since 2009’s ‘Em Are I.

07) Vivian Girls - Something to Do: NYC DIY icons Vivian Girls broke up in 2014 but thankfully got back together in 2019 to release what might be their best album, Memory. I also used Sick in Q127

08) Mikal Cronin – Fire: Mikal Cronin released three near-perfect garage-rock albums every two years between 2011 and 2015, so 2017 seemed like a cruel joke when the run didn’t continue. That’s not to say the four years since III were unproductive, Cronin is one of the busiest artists around and must have played on a dozen albums in the last four years. Thankfully, 2019 has given the world a little more balance with another of his solo albums, and this time he’s leaned into his inner-Neil Young (if you had to pick a record this is closest to, it would be Neil’s best – On the Beach). Trying to get over a bout of writer’s block, he turned to the tried-and-true approach of retreating to a cabin in the woods to write, unfortunately that only lasted a month due to forest fires, and the record does come ablaze more than most, but there’s certainly an earthy quality to it. Indeed the only song that screams cabin-in-the-woods is the solo-acoustic closer On the Shelf. Show Me featured on Q#128.

09) Julia Jacklin - Head Alone: I used Don't Know How to Keep Loving You on Q#128 and Crushing might be my favourite album of the year that I listened to the least (if that makes sense). I can’t wait to hear what she’ll come up with next as she seems on a real roll.

10) Jenny Lewis - Heads Gonna Roll: On the Line is Jenny Lewis’ fourth solo album, and probably her best. I used Red Bull and Hennessy on Q#126 and this track features Ringo Starr on drums (maybe you’ve heard of another band he was in).

11) Josh Ritter - I Still Love You (Now and Then): Fever Breaks came out in April, it’s his tenth studio album and it might just be my favourite. I used Old Black Magic on Q#127, this is a bit more of a standard-Ritter tune but he does have a knack of nailing a singer-songwriter chorus.

12) Laura Stevenson – Perfect: 2019 was a productive one for Laura Stevenson, she released The Big Freeze (her first album in 4 years), a Neil Young covers EP with Jeff Rosenstock and a split single with Adult Mom. This is from The Big Freeze which has a big cabin-in-the-woods vibe to it (also see Living Room NY from Q#126).

13) Wand – Wonder: California rockers Wand have been shifting towards full on psychedelia for a while now and the cycle seems complete on Laughing Matter. I used Thin Air on Q#126.

14) Oso Oso – Dig: Basking in the Glow was probably the best 90s-wannabe record I heard this year (the title track is on Q#127).

15) Have a Nice Life - Sea of Worry: I used Defenestration Song on Q#127 from their 2014 record, Unnatural World without having any idea they were set to release new music in 2019. This is the title track from their latest record and it’s a little more… normal, for want of a better word, and this one has some pretty strong post-punk vibes as opposed to the noise of previous efforts.

16) Blessed - Purpose and Conviction: While this year’s Canadian indie-darlings are Montreal’s Corridor (who we heard earlier, Junior is certainly a fine album) it’s British Columbia’s Blessed, that should walk away with the crown. The quintet quietly self-released debut album Salt in April, and it’s a record that demands to be listened to with a keen ear. The production is immaculate, whether the band’s focus is on sparse atmosphere or technically layering each player pummeling their respective instrument, something pops out each time. It’s an icey record that seemingly changes with air temperature, a masterclass in mixing pace and style from short and punchy numbers like Thought and Pill, to the proggy polyrhythms in album closer Caribou. Landing somewhere that’s in the middle of a venn diagram featuring all the best rock bands that have come out of the great white North over the decade.

17) Clipping - Nothing is Safe: Another Sub Pop to appear on this mix, There Existed an Addiction to Blood is Clipping’s third album and this song in particular sounds like a John Carpenter sound track, which is to say it is excellent.

18) Girl Band – Shoulderblades: Irish quartet Girl Band have always sounded abrasive, but The Talkies is like being on a construction site. Whether you consider this noise-rock, industrial, or whatever, it’s a monumental achievement to make a cacophony of noise so coherent. Four years after Holding Hands With Jamie, the group took a hiatus due to mental health problems, and The Talkies could well be the soundtrack to a psychological breakdown, it throbs and crashes all over the place with sawing guitar effects ringing in your ears. This description will no doubt put many off, but rest assured, this is one of the most accomplished and cathartic records you could listen to.

19) Horse Jumper of Love - Ur Real Life: Slowcore as a genre has been fairly stagnant for a while, seemingly unable to move on from the greats such as Codeine, Red House Painters, Bedhead who are long gone, and while the odd band has gotten back together (Duster), there have been precious few acts worth whispering about. Boston quartet, Horse Jumper of Love, are bastions of hope for those of us who particularly lament that Mark Kozelek has forgotten how to sing and write a melody. So Divine knows when to sparkle and when to collapse and it might be the prettiest sounding album of 2019; if you’re the kind of music fan who hears beauty in the saddest music, then the album will live up to its title. This was probably my favourite album of 2019.

As always, Peace and Love - Q

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Q#128 - October to November 2019

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Now with added Spotify playlist at end of notes.

Q's Compilations
Vol #128 – October to November 2019

Well here we are again, pretty much three weeks late. October and November were pretty busy, I got my show count up to a more respectable number (though I don’t think I’ll quite hit the 50-mark I had modestly set) and had a holiday in Oxford/London/Paris. Not shabby.

01) Superchunk - Driveway to Driveway (acoustic): To celebrate the 25th anniversary of their best album, Superchunk decided to re-record the entire record acoustically, and it’s unsurprisingly good! I managed to catch them on tour in this setup and though I’d have preferred seeing it performed in its original state, it was a treat nonetheless.

02) Lux Prima - Turn the Light: Danger Mouse and Karen O put out a collaboration as Lux Prima back in March, which I didn’t really listen to at the time but they played a show at Kings Theatre just around the corner from my apartment so it was rude not to go. It’s an effortlessly slick record.

03) Torres - Good Scare: It has been a while since Torres released anything (record company woes I think) but she recently signed to Merge records and will have a new album out next year. She opened for Superchunk at the show I mentioned above, albeit solo-acoustic so it was hard to get a feel for the new songs like this one.

04) Tool – Pneuma: Thirteen years after 10,000 Days was released, you’d have been forgiven for thinking Tool might not release another record, but here we are. I have to admit, Fear Inoculum can sound a little boring at times and I haven’t been wowed by it yet, but I did catch them live (for the first time in twelve years) and the record did come to life in an arena.

05) Maneka - Never Nowhere: You might recognise Devin McKnight as the guitarist in Grass is Green and formerly of Speedy Ortiz, his latest project is Maneka, who just released debut album Devin on Exploding in Sound Records and it’s a genre-bending record that deserves to get some traction.

06) Sheer Mag - The Killer: Philly quartet Sheer Mag put out their excellent new album, A Distant Call in August and those with a hankering for Thin Lizzy-esque rock should listen to it at your nearest convenience (or inconvenience, even). Produced by Arthur Rizk, the record nails a classic sound and captures the band at their most accomplished to date, while their previous efforts were somewhat endearingly lo-fi in places, A Distant Call captures the band at their peak that .

07) Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - Hymn for a Droid: You might form a decent idea about what Psychedelic Porn Crumpets sound like just by the name. The Australian (Perth) quartet’s brand of psych is heavier on the BPM than most with plenty of riffs and a bit more treble in the mix, and they nail it. Their latest album, And Now For The Whatchamacallit, was released back in May.

08) Follakzoid – II: My love for Chilean psychedelic rock will hopefully never end, and one of the heavyweights, Follakzoid, put out their latest record I in August. The previous record went off in more of a trance direction and the live tour went further that way, and I takes it to the extreme. A double-record with one song per side, the songs were stitched together from a series of single takes, by a producer who was not present during the recording. It ends up having a remix-album type of feel, and it’s good, though I wonder how much further the band can stretch the direction.

09) Michael Stipe - Your Capricious Soul: REM nerds were treated to a Michael Stipe solo track recently which feels a bit like an UP b-side, but I’ll take anything I can get these days and it does leave you wanting more.

10) Julia Jacklin - Don't Know How to Keep Loving You: February was so long ago now it’s easy to forget that Julia Jacklin released the quite superb Crushing, she seems so effortlessly at the top of her game. Steering away from the more traditional folk of her debut album, Crushing reminds me a little of Sharon Van Etten circa Tramp/Are We There with a few more BPM.

11) Mikal Cronin - Show Me: Mikal Cronin released three near-perfect garage-rock albums every two years between 2011 and 2015, so 2017 seemed like a cruel joke when the run didn't continue. That's not to say the four years since III were unproductive, Cronin is one of the busiest artists around and must have played on a dozen albums in the last four years. Thankfully, 2019 has given the world a little more balance with another of his solo albums, and this time he's leaned into his inner-Neil Young (if you had to pick a record this is closest to, it would be Neil's best - On the Beach). Trying to get over a bout of writer's block, he turned to the tried-and-true approach of retreating to a cabin in the woods to write, unfortunately that only lasted a month due to forest fires, and the record does come ablaze more than most, but there's certainly an earthy quality to it. Indeed the only song that screams cabin-in-the-woods is the solo-acoustic closer On the Shelf.

12) Big Thief – Not: The rise of Big Thief seems incredibly satisfying and it’s hard to think of a band who have made their ascent so seamless. A second record of 2019, Two Hands, was released on the 11th via 4AD, it’s a more rock/band-orientated album than U.F.O.F‘s more traditional folk. While most people don’t seem to think so, I think Two Hands is the stronger of the two.

13) Remember Sports - Tiny Planets: Philly act Remember Sports celebrated the 5th anniversary of debut album Sunchokes (back when the band were just called Sports) with an expanded re-issue, and this is just one of the no-frills fun indie-pop tunes from it.

14) Dude York – Falling: Seattle trio Dude York put out their second album, Falling, back in July on Hardly Art records, and it is smack in the middle of the Hardly Art venn diagram with pop harmonies and fuzzy guitars aplenty.

15) Screaming Females - No More I Love Yous: Screaming Females recently put out a compilation of non-album tracks, which I managed to snag on vinyl, the download and CD versions came with a few extra covers tacked onto the end, one of which is this Annie Lennox classic.

16) Michael Nau - On Ice: Sometimes you just want a smooth, perfectly executed set of melodic singer-songwriter tunes and Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread‘s 2018 album self-titled album is the middle of that venn diagram; like cruising in the middle lane of a deserted highway, there’s something deeply satisfying about how easy it is.

Phew, done, see you in 2020!

As always, Peace and Love - Q

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Monday, 21 October 2019

Q#127 - August to September 2019

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Now with added Spotify playlist at end of notes.

Q's Compilations
Vol #127 – August to September 2019

Well this one is significantly late and I have some gall to call this mix August/September but here we are, three weeks late so these notes will be rushed.

01) Amyl and the Sniffers - Some Mutts (Can't Be Muzzled):Aussie rock band released their self-titled debut album in May, this track closes the record but it sounded like a compilation opener to me.

02) Vivian Girls – Sick: Five years after their “final” shows, I always held out hope that the trio would return and they duly did in September with new album Memory, which might just be their best record to date. I saw them play at Warsaw recently and it was like they’d never been away.

03) Katie Ellen – Lighthouse: I saw Katie Ellen open for Cayetana (more on them later) and enjoyed her set enough to check out her recorded material. This song jumped out.

04) Oso Oso - Basking in the Glow: Long Beach’s Oso Oso released Basking in the Glow in August (this is the title track) and as far as the current trend of 90s-influenced alt-rock goes, this is one of the best examples.

05) Young Guv - Patterns Prevail: I’ve been a big fan of Young Guv since debut album Ripe 4 Luv (first featured in Q#103), and new album Guv II takes him in more straight-up power-pop territory, at times bordering on a Teenage Fanclub tribute, which is no bad thing from my point of view.

06) Jay Som – Superbike: Another 90s-tinged tune here, Melina Duterte has released her second album Anak Ko in August and it’s a dreampop delight.

07) Pronoun – Run: I’ll Show You Stronger is a treble-heavy bedroom pop record of which this is probably the highlight.

08) Long Beard - Getting By: Pretty music and downbeat lyrics is the middle of the venn diagram for me so when this song turned up in a PR email I was pretty captivated instantly. I haven’t listened to the album this comes from yet, Means to Me was released on the 13th of September.

09) Lower Dens – Galapagos: Another new album I haven’t had the chance to listen to, The Competition was also released in September, but this is a nice tune.

10) HAIM – Forever: I managed to get some free tickets to see HAIM in August, I hadn’t really listened to them prior but came out a convert, they put on one of the best shows I’ll see this year.

11)  Girl Band - Going Nowhere: Irish quartet Girl Band have been releasing intensely genre-busting records for seven years (I first heard them in 2014), and I recently described new album The Talkies as like being on a chaotic construction site, and I mean that as a huge compliment.

12) Cursive - Pick Up the Pieces: I saw Cursive band in May and I’m writing these notes having just seem them two times in a weekend opening for Against Me! at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey.

13) Cayetana - Bus Ticket: Philly trio Cayetana called it a day in August with a tour that included a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. I first saw the band in 2015 and four times in total, their second album in particular, New Kind of Normal is very good and it’s a shame they’ve called it quits.

14) Dehd – Lucky: Chicago psyche trio Dehd released Water in May on Fire Talk Records (who are celebrating a ten year anniversary). The new album is a bit more, dare I saw pop-oriented than previous efforts but does not suffer for it at all.

15) Future Teens - Emotional Bachelor: I saw Future Teens open for Oso Oso and they reminded me of the kind of band I’d see at Glasslands (RIP). Emotional Bachelor was released on the 30th of August via Take This to Heart Records.

16) Josh Ritter - Old Black Magic: Perpetual smiler Josh Ritter released his tenth album, Fever Breaks, in April, and it’s perhaps my favourite in his discography. It’s definitely a more band-focused record and keeps a fairly steady path, sometimes it’s ok to own the middle of the road.

17) Slaughter Beach, Dog - Heart Attack: While Modern Baseball remain on hiatus, we’ve been treated to some solo/side-projects. Guitarist/vocalist Jake Ewald’s Slaughter Beach, Dog just released a delightful and breezy new album, Safe and Also No Fear on Lame-O Records.

18) The Mountain Goats - No Children: I saw the Mountain Goats play a free show at East River State Park and they played a much better set than the last time I saw them at Brooklyn Steel two years earlier. Their latest album, In League with Dragons, is a Dungeons and Dragons-influenced album, which is pretty good but I haven’t given it a whole lot of time. This is an old song though, from 2002’s Tallahassee but they played it at the show and it’s one of my favourites.

19) Withered Hand – California: I was thinking of putting together a California-based playlist for a recent trip to the state for a wedding, and I got about as far as this song and the next one…

20) The Magnetic Fields - Come Back From San Francisco: Another track from the two-minutes I spent thinking about a California playlist…

21) Built to Spill - Broken Chairs: Cult indie legends Built to Spill are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their best album, Keep It Like a Secret (if you put a gun to my head I might say that 2006’s You in Reverse is slightly better). They played the album in full at Webster Hall recently and it was an amazing show, I don’t always love the play-an-album-in-full idea but it seemed to work great this time.

And there we go, only three weeks late. One more time before the end of the year!

As always, Peace and Love - Q

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Monday, 5 August 2019

Q#126 - June to July 2019

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Now with added Spotify playlist at end of notes.

Q's Compilations
Vol #126 – June to July 2019

Here we are, at least a couple of heatwaves into summer already. I had a nice but lowkey trip back home for a week and am looking forward to heading back again in November. The concert going has been a lot slower so far this year (we’re in August and I haven’t hit half of what I was aiming for), but that probably shows that I’m happier in general!

01) Top Nachos – Vegan Donuts: When trawling through show listings I felt like I couldn’t not check out a band called Top Nachos… that they’re super fun rockers should not be a surprise.

02) Jawbox – Savory: You can’t hear every band but it does seem surprising that I had never heard of Jawbox until they recently got back together to tour for the first time in 20 years. As far as alternate-rock bands of the 90s go, I felt like I was pretty knowledgeable, and Jawbox would have landed fairly squarely in the middle of my venn diagram at the time. I was out of town when they played a Brooklyn show recently so hopefully they’ll stick around.

03) Purling Hiss – Useful Information: Compared to previous efforts, this tune is fairly hippy-like, though there’s still room for a killer guitar solo. This is from a new digital-only EP called Interstellar Blue which you can listen to on their bandcamp page.

04) The Minus Five – My Collection: I saw The Minus Five recently, who are touring off the back of the just-released album, Stroke Manor. Both of those things are remarkable because Scott McCaughey suffered a stroke in 2017 and was told he may never be able to play music again. Thankfully, McCaughey has fully recovered, looked and sounded amazing, and the album is a corker too. The live band was rounded out by Peter Buck and Mike Mills of REM (they even performed Texarkana which will be hard to top as a gig-moment of the year).

05) Sacred Paws – Almost It: Two-piece Sacred Paws (guitarist Rachel Aggs and drummer Eilidh Rodgers) have crafted one of the most upbeat and catchy records of the summer, Run Around the Sun, which dancey beats, bright guitars and a smattering of horns.

06) Twen – Damsel: Nashville duo Twen are set to release their debut album, Awestruck, next month and this lead single is a delightfully shimmering rocker.

07) White Reaper – Might Be Right: Another catchy and anthemic rocker for you, White Reaper have excelled at Thin Lizzy-esque twin lead guitar parts and shredding solos with pop sensibilities, and this new single might be the most “pop” they’ve ever been.

08) Liz Phair – Why Can’t I?: Emily comments “an extremely horny song”, which is accurate and to the point. Liz Phair caught some flack for her self-titled 2003 album for being too pop and polished, but what people seemed to miss is that the songs are great! She recently played a free show in Prospect Park which was superb.

09) Jenny Lewis – Red Bull and Hennessy: Former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis has probably just released the best Fleetwood Mac album with On the Line (her first solo album in five years, though there was a Nice As Fuck record in 2016). This was the lead single for the album.

10) Max Pain and the Groovies – Checkin’ Out Late: This Brooklyn-via-Salt Lake City quartet have nailed a psych-rock-n-roll mix over the course of 2 Eps and one LP so far in their discography. This one is from their latest EP, 2018’s Sounds From the Hole.

11) Wand – Thin Air: California’s Wand have been shifting from a Ty-Segall-esque garage rock band to a psychedelic act for a couple of records at least now, possibly reaching their zenith with new album Laughing Matter (released again on Drag City Records). This song is about as close to Radiohead as you can get without actually being Radiohead.

12) The Appleseed Cast – Chaotic Waves: I’ve seen The Appleseed Cast live three times (including May 2019) and have thoroughly enjoyed each one, but have never listened to any of their records. Having said that, The Fleeting Light of Impermanence is the band’s first record in six years and this is an excellent song.

13) Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl: Seminal riot grrrl band Bikini Kill just got back together this year to play some shows, which included one at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn that I went to.

14) Uranium Club – Man is the Loneliest Animal: If jagged, wirey post-punk is your thing then Minneapolis act Uranium Club should be up your alley. This song has more than a whiff of Unwound about it at times but sometimes I want all bands to sound like Unwound.

15) Ellis – The Drain: I went to Central Park Summerstage in May to see Alvvays, who were excellent, but Ellis opened up the show and while it was at times hard to hear over the natter of the disrespectful crowd, I was still won over. Similar to what I said about wanting all bands to sound like Unwound, sometimes I also feel that way about Kitchens of Distinction…

16) Laura Stevenson – Living Room NY: The Big Freeze is Laura Stevenson’s fifth album, and fourth on Don Giovanni. The record has a bit of a cabin-in-the-woods vibe for the most part, which is harder to do well than people give credit for.

17) Sarah Bethe Nelson – Weird Glow: San Francisco artist Sarah Bethe Nelson just released hir third album on Burger Records, of which this is the title track. If you were to think about what a jangle-infused, West Coast indie-country song would sound like, you’d probably conjure up something like this.

18) REM – Texarkana: I mentioned this song earlier so I had to put it on the mix. Hearing Mike Mills and Peter Buck play this live recently really hammered home how much I miss the band since last seeing them in 2008. Anyway, what a great song this is (as are all Mike Mills-led REM songs?).

19) The Sidekicks – Don’t Feel Like Dancing: This song has missed out on being on a mix at least two prior times, so it would be cruel to leave it off again. Happiness was released in May 2018 and this is just one of those bright and catchy pop-rock songs that end up being hard to get out of your head.

20) The Glow – Weight of the Sun: LVL UP broke up not long ago but their members have been releasing some excellent music since. The Glow is the new project of Mike Caridi and he just released the record Am I.

21) Wreckless Eric – Father to the Man: Wreckless Eric may be best-known for his classic Whole Wide World (which in itself is probably more well known for being covered numerous times), he has been churning out perhaps his best albums more recently and in particular, Transcience, which came out in May (this song opens the record).

22) Fog Lake – I’ll Be Around: Montreal-based musician Aaron Powell makes absolutely gorgeous, soulful lo-fi doo-wop as Fog Lake. If the Numero Group put out his Carousel EP and said it was from 1962 then you’d probably believe them.

Fairly short notes again, apologies for that, but hopefully there were plenty of things to enjoy!

As always, Peace and Love - Q

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Q#125 - April to May 2019

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Download mix from  https://www.mediafire.com/file/cwfr1srlchp4q7n/Q125.zip/file

Now with added Spotify playlist at end of notes.

Q's Compilations
Vol #125 – April to May 2019

Greetings, summer is about to hit its stride, I had a nice holiday in Greece and this is a hastily put together set of notes.

01) Ex Hex - Rainbow Shiner: Power trio Ex Hex returned this year with their second album, It’s Real, five years after their fantastic debut Rips. They haven’t strayed from the tried and tested formula that make them so good, with all the classic rock riffs and guitar solos you could wish for.

02) Mattiel - Keep the Change: Atlanta, Georgia’s Mattiel are set to release second record, Satis Factory on the 14th of June and this is one of the catchiest singles I’ve heard in some time (a self-titled debut was released by Burger Records in 2017).

03) Mal Blum - I Don't Want To: Speaking of catchy, Mal Blum has come up with a near-perfect dose of 90s-tinged pop-rock with this one. New album Pity Boy will be released in July.

04) Halfsour - Blurred Camera: Even more 90s alt-rock influences on this track from Massachusetts trio Halfsour. Sticky was released in March via Fire Talk Records.

05) JJUUJJUU – Camo: This act from LA is about as psych are you can get. I remember buying their debut EP on vinyl about five years ago and getting hooked, but the debut full length, Zionic Mud takes things up a notch, with plenty of grooves and guitars that sound like they need a fire truck to put them out.

06) Nots - Woman Alone: I remember seeing Nots at Death By Audio’s penultimate night and I’ve enjoyed everything they’ve done since. The band’s third album, imaginatively titled 3, came out in May on Goner Records.

07) Mikal Cronin – Undertow: It has been four years since Mikal Cronin’s last album, but he just put out a new 7” record and is touring later in the year, he also has a new email list/fanclub you can sign up for. While there hasn’t been any news of a new full length album yet, this track in particular is something to savour.

08) Night Shop - The One I Love: Emily recommended Night Shop to me and his record, In the Break is a fantastic folk/indie/rock mix. It’s possible you may remember Justin Sullivan as the drummer in The Babies, and subsequent Kevin Morby solo albums. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone to learn that you can buy this on Woodsist.

09) Kishi Bashi - Summer of 42: Kishi Bashi’s latest album, Omoiyari, is out on the 31st of May via Joyful Noise Recordings and I’m looking forward to seeing him for the first time in June. The playing and arrangement on this tune in particular are pretty inspiring.

10) Anna Altman – Catcher: While going through gig listings I noticed that Anna Altman is opening for Halfsour in an upcoming show, so I gave their debut album, 2018’s Freghtliner a listen and really dug it. This song is a little slow-core-y which I’m always on the lookout for.

11) Horse Jumper of Love - Airport Security: Speaking of slowcore… Boston trio Horse Jumper of Love are about to release their second album, So Divine in June, and the couple of tracks released so far might go some way to satisfying my pining for Red House Painters.

12) Meat Puppets – Warranty: The big news in the land of Meat Puppets is that original drummer Derrick Bostrom is back in the band for the first time in about 24 years, and they just released a new record to boot, Dusty Notes is a fairly low-key, country-psych record, and that reflected their mood when I saw them live recently too. Meat Puppets just do whatever the hell they like, which makes them one of the most reliable and satisfying bands around.

13) Chromatics - Time Rider: It’s so good to have Chromatics back, the band recently played their first shows in five years and while this new single doesn’t tread any new ground, that’s just fine with me.

14) Grapetooth – Violent: This track from Chicago duo Grapetooth got under my skin after a few listens and I didn’t realise that one half of the band is Clay Frankel of Twin Peaks.

15) Pile - Bruxist Grin: I was surprised when it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen Pile live before this month, since I’ve been a fan for years and they’ve played so many shows in New York. Alas, I fixed that, and the band have just released another excellent record, Green and Gray, once again on Exploding in Sound.

16) Sinmara - Mephitic Haze: I saw Sinmara at Saint Vitus recently and was so impressed by them that I assumed they were the headliners and almost left the venue early. Hailing from  Reykjavik, Iceland, the band released their second album back in March.

17) Blessed – Caribou: Vancouver’s Blessed are a little hard to describe, with punchy post-punk tracks mixed in with slow psychedelic tunes and plenty of other styles in between, this appears on their album Salt that was released in April.

Probably my briefest set of notes, but I’m not sure anyone reads these anyway!

As always, Peace and Love - Q

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT  

Download mix from  https://www.mediafire.com/file/cwfr1srlchp4q7n/Q125.zip/file