Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Q#119 - April to May 2018

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT 
Download mix frohttp://www.mediafire.com/file/hbc423usfhwpg78/Q119.zip

Q's Compilations
Vol #119 – April to May 2018

Greetings! Lots of changes recently, a pending divorce, a new apartment, an upcoming trip to see Del Amitri, and all of that is good news, and more! Anyway, enough with the important stuff, I’m pretty with this very hastily put together mix, there is plenty of new stuff, so please enjoy. Shout out to my buddy Felix, who sent me a bunch of stuff just after I’d already put this mix together, I suspect they will make an appearance soon!

01) Guided By Voices – Space Gun: GBV released their 1,384th record (actually only their XXXth), and there’s little that can be said about them anymore. There’s maybe a hint of this being a slower version of I am a Tree to this, but since that is one of GBV’s (and Doug Gillard’s) finest, that’s not a bad thing. I keep missing them lately and will hopefully get to see them in August.

02) Shame – Tasteless: Every once in a while I go on a download spree from my inbox and Shame’s Songs of Praise peaked my interest. The influences here are pretty much worn on their sleeves and it was also no surprise to read that they have toured with Protomartyr lately either.

03) The Royal They – Sludgefucker: Whilst searching showlistings for some influence I stumbled on The Royal They, whose record Foreign Being is one of my favourite records of the year so far. As far as no-frills 90s influenced rock goes, it’s a damn fine album. Somewhat annoyingly, I have yet to see the band live, despite championing their shows multiple times on Free Williamsburg!

04) The Messthetics – Serpent Tongue: This math-rock trio feature drummer Brendan Canty and bassist Joe Lally, who you may recognise as members of Fugazi (indeed, this is the first band they have played in together since Fugazi’s hiatus), the band are completed by guitarist Anthony Pirog and the trio weave a nice balance of technical wizardry and pummeling riffs.

05) Watchout! – Slow Burning Brother: Almost at a monthly rate, I have to stop myself spending a stupid amount of money on Chilean acts on the Blow Your Mind record label… this month was even harder having seen Follakzoid and Goli Gaete (more on him later), but so far I’ve held off. What hasn’t helped is this track from the upcoming Watchout! Album, which is filled with all their signature rhythms and bouncey bass lines.

06) Los Roban – Papel en Blanco: Another Chilean band, although I don’t have many details about this record (Portofino) other than another Chilean band I like, Vuelveteloca, posted the whole record on their youtube page, they do sound similar, so it’s possible that the two bands share some members. Regardless, what’s not to love about this?

07) Preoccupations – Disarray: It doesn’t feel like two years since the band’s last record but the Calgarian quartet seem to do little wrong on record, their latest effort, New Material, continues the more synth-influenced second album, but seems more like a progression than treading old ground.

08) Eternal Summers – Forever Mine: In complete opposition to the previous track, it seems a lot longer than two years since Eternal Summers blessed us with some new music, and Forever Mine is a substantial change from their previous efforts. While the band have always had a strong sense of melody, this tune is pure pop.

09) Monogold – Cinnamon: A band that makes me think of Kitchens of Distinction will always be welcome, especially when they pull off the sound so perfectly. Babyfood was released last September and I’m not entirely sure how I didn’t hear this at the time.

10) Mr Ray – You Can Only Be Yourself: Another Blow Your Mind release, though this is just a 7” and has that perfect, hazy psych guitar sound that BYM excel at.

11) Fujiya & Miyagi – Transparent Things: It’s the tenth anniversary of the Brighton band’s second record, Transparent Things, which is getting a vinyl run for the first time. While they have a history of dorky references in their music and titles, they may well have outdone themselves with a new song

released recently, Subliminal Cuts, which is apparently inspired by an episode of Columbo. Anyway, this is from a decade ago and it’s hard not to bounce along to.

12) Forth Wanderers – Had Me Suckin: This New Jersey act recently signed to Sub Pop, and their self-titled effort certainly smooths out some of the edges from their earlier material. The upgrade in production values seems to have given the group an extra layer of confidence rather than stifling any creativity in the hope of selling a few extra records.

13) Modern Time Machines – Failsafe: It seems like we hit peak-shoegaze a couple of years ago and that suited me fine, so while the influx of bands seems to have slowed down, I still get excited when I hear tracks like this. Based in LA, their self-titled record was released in April and features all the Swervdriver, Ride and Slowdive nods your heart could desire.

14) La ciencia simple - Echos: Another Chilean band (and if you’re late to the party on this, you can search for Q#89 for my Chilean-themed mix), I found this post-rock band by searching for Blow Your Mind on bandcamp, I don’t even know if they’re on BYM records, but

15) Mercury Rev – Holes: I bought tickets to see Mercury Rev play Deserter’s Songs in full in October and while it’s one of my least favourite records by them, I’m still pretty excited to hear them play it, not to mention it’ll only be the second time I’ll have seen them play.

16) Bonny Doon – A Lotta Things: There should be no surprise to read that Bonny Doon are signed to Woodsist, despite the slow pace and utterly downbeat lyrics, I can’t help but find the bright guitars thoroughly uplifting.

17) Hovvdy – In the Sun: Despite the silly double-v instead of a w in the name, which was boring and stupid the first time a band did it, it’s hard not to love this song. If anything, this reminds me a lot like Waxahatchee but with male vocals (indeed, it’s the vocal delivery as much as anything that reminds me of Katie Crutchfield).

18) Goli Gaete – Abajo Abajo Abajo Amor: Goli Gaete is a Chilean singer/songwriter best known for fronting the garage rock band Tsunamis. With one solo record to his name as well, I was delighted to find out that he would be playing a show in Brooklyn, which turned out to be in a small Vietnamese restaurant, with no promotion, I felt like this could be the time I was the only person at a show… indeed, that was the case until minutes before showtime, when there were literally half-dozens of us. It was a fun show, and he played this tune, I hope he comes back to play a proper show at a more traditional venue.

19) Catherine Howe – Let’s Keep It Quiet Now: Numero had a pop-up shop in Brooklyn a few weeks ago and so I spent my customary amount of money… I’m running out of things to buy but always had a curiousity about this record that needed to be quenched. This turned out to be my favourite song which was actually a bonus 7”, but the album itself (What a Beautiful Place) is a breezy Sunday afternoon listen.

20) Willie Wright – Nantucket Island: Another purchase from the Numero pop up that I just hadn’t gotten round to picking up. In true Numero fashion, Telling the Truth is very much the tried and tested story of a decade lost in obscurity for over 30 years and just felt like the perfect way to end this mix.

And there you have it, I hope there have been plenty of new acts for you to enjoy, summer is finally here and it’s time to start looking forward.

As always, Peace and Love

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT 
Download mix frohttp://www.mediafire.com/file/hbc423usfhwpg78/Q119.zip

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Q#118 - February to March 2018

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT 
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/file/2ngercqazuojnnc/Q%23118.zip

Q's Compilations
Vol #118 – February to March 2018

Greetings and welcome to the first real mix of the year, I’ve got mostly brand-new releases for you in what is hopefully a year of being able to celebrate new things.

01) Superchunk – What a Time to be Alive: This is the title track to Superchunk’s first record in four years, and it might even be their first politically-tinged release. Wonder what could have led to that! It’s another triumphant and anthemic record in the vein of their last few records since Majesty Shredding. I can’t wait to see them twice in April. “To see the rot in no disguise, Oh what a time to be alive, The scum, the shame, the fucking lies, Oh what a time to be alive”

02) Jawbreaker – Jinx Removing: Having appreciated their influence but not really paid too much attention to the band over the years, their reformation still seemed like something I shouldn’t miss when they announced a show at Brooklyn Steel in February. The band didn’t disappoint and this tune in particular struck a chord. “I love you more than I ever loved anyone before, or anyone to come, Someone said your name, I thought of you alone, I was just the same twenty blocks away”

03) Hot Snakes – Death Campy Fantasy: Speaking of bands getting back together, I saw Hot Snakes back in November and they just released their first record since 2004’s Audit in Progress with Jericho Sirens via Sub Pop. This was one of the singles off the album (which I have yet to hear at the time of writing) which continues to prove that if you put Rick Froberg and John Reis together then little can go wrong.  

04) Screaming Females – I’ll Make You Sorry: The New Brunswick trio just released their 7th studio album, All At Once, and it’s a double record (I picked up the 3LP set with bonus demos), once again released via Don Giovanni. It’s their poppiest record yet, interspersed with perhaps some of their least commercial work to date, but All at Once is definitely about pop hooks and melody.

05) Jessica Lea Mayfield – Offa My Hands: Whilst scouring show-listings recently for inspiration I enjoyed a bunch of tunes by Jessica Lea Mayfield, her songs seem to have a perfect mix of melody and melancholy. She released her fourth record, Sorry Is Gone, last year. I ended up missing her shows at the Mercury Lounge and Bowery Electric recently but can hopefully catch a future show. “Every single DNA strand, Gotta wash you offa my hands”

06) Ruby Boots – Don’t Talk About It: Ruby Boots is an Aussie currently based in Nashville and this is another new release from February (this is the title track). While Rolling Stone called her one of the ten new country artists you should listen to, there’s plenty of rock and pop on a nicely varied record.

07) Rilo Kiley – Wires & Waves: The first song on the mix that isn’t from this year, and I can’t really tell you why I thought to put it on the mix, it just seemed to flow. Originally released in 2001, Take Offs and Landings captures the band at their most charming. While the band has officially broken up, one still hopes for a reunion.

08) The Men – Rose on Top of the World: Back to new releases, back on Sacred Bones following 2016’s self-released Devil Music, Drift is the group’s seventh album. This song could scarcely sound more like Meat Puppets if they tried, which is a good thing given how much I love them.

09) Anna Burch – Tea-Soaked Letter: Quit the Curse is Anna Burch’s debut record (via Polyvinyl) and I caught a lovely show at Rough Trade back in February in support of its release. There’s no re-inventing the wheel here, just nice jangle-pop.

10) Nada Surf – Stalemate: Celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of Let Go (or the sixteenth if, like me, you are far more used to the European release), New York’s finest band played the record in full at Brooklyn Steel recently. The performance was fantastic, but the second set was even better as they delivered a bunch of songs I had not heard them play in a decade (or more), including Stalemate from the band’s debut album, Let Go. Performed live, they even threw in their short cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart just like they used to do in the old days as well. It was perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had at a concert (they played a 31-song set in total) and try as I might, I feel like I always fail to convey how much the band mean to me.

11) B Boys – Discipline: This song was supposed to go on the last mix (my best-of-2017), I haven’t seen B-Boys play live since Death By Audio closed in 2014 and that seems like a gross oversight. Their debut album (Dada) was released last year on Captured Tracks.

12) Fletcher C Johnson – Summer: Whilst flipping through the discounted vinyl at Rough Trade I picked up Lesson in Tenderness for $5, which is fitting since I also bought his debut record for $5 at Rough Trade too. There’s a little more variety on this record but I seem to have chosen the song that sounds like it could have been on the debut!

13) Squeeze – Pulling Muscles (From the Shell): I’ve had a real Squeeze itch for about six months and I’m not sure where it came from (other than always liking Squeeze), so I picked up one of the numerous greatest hits packages. I’m a little bummed in hindsight that I didn’t catch a recent show at the Beacon theatre, but hopefully there will be future chances. 2017’s The Knowledge was a pretty good record, though this opens the classic ArgyBargy from 1980.

14) Anya Marina – Ordinary Dude: I was introduced to Anya Marina’s music on a trip to New Jersey last year and am catching a show in a few weeks, this tune is from her last record, 2016’s Paper Plane and appeals to the pop-sensibility of this mix. “You’re not some formula that I set out to prove”

15) David Byrne – Everybody’s Coming to My House: Having managed to get tickets to see David Byrne at the magnificent Kings Theatre in September, it probably seemed like a good idea to check out the single for his new record. Thankfully it’s a good one! “We're only tourists in this life, Only tourists but the view is nice”

16) Gaz Coombes – Deep Pockets: Supergrass main-man Gaz Coombes is set to release his third solo record, World’s Strongest Man, in May and he played a couple of shows in March in support of it. While the set was mostly devoid of Supergrass songs, the quality of his solo material meant it didn’t seem missed (though the biggest cheer of the night when I saw him was Moving by some distance!).

17) Ought – Desire: The Montreal quartet just released their third fantastic record, Room Inside the World, and their first on Merge Records. Desire is the second single from the record and shows how the band are growing as songwriters, it has a triumphant feel to it

18) Destroyer – Hey, Snow White: I bought a mystery vinyl bundle from Merge Records around Christmas time which ended up including Destroyer’s 2002 record This Night. He didn’t play this song when I saw him at Brooklyn Steel in January, but I just felt like throwing it on this mix. After the show I felt like I’d had my fill of rock-based saxophone, however (it was a good show)!

19) Cayetana – Easy to Love: Another song that I meant to put on last month’s mix (there are usually more than two, to be fair), New Kind of Normal was released last year via Plum Records and I saw the band twice, once opening for Waxahatchee and once opening for The Hold Steady. Keen listeners will remember Mesa from Q#113.

20) Aimee Mann – Paper Boats: To celebrate Let Go’s 15th anniversary (again… 16th if you’re European…), Nada Surf put out a charity album of bands covering its songs. The biggest name involved is Aimee Mann, who puts her own spin on the albums’ closer. It’s one of those covers that 100% captures the spirit of the original. “Sit on a train, reading a book, Same damn planet every time I look, Try to relax and slow my heartbeat, Only works when I'm dead asleep, Been thinking and drinking all over the town, Must be gearing up for some kind of meltdown”

I’m pretty pleased with this mix, it’s usually the ones with completely new songs that I’m most excited about and I hope you heard something that pricked your ear. Speaking of new, I’ll be living in a new apartment by the time the next mix gets released.

As always, Peace and Love

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT 
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/file/2ngercqazuojnnc/Q%23118.zip

Friday, 19 January 2018

Q#117 - December 2017 to January 2018

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/file/c0ir8pqqdcdw80l/Q117.zip

Q's Compilations
Vol #117 – December 2017 to January 2018

Greetings! If you’re reading this, then congratulations on surviving 2017, it certainly wasn’t without its troubles, but there were some truly wonderful moments too. As is the norm, the first mix of the year is a “best of”, which is more of a “best acts of 2017” since I may already have used songs I preferred already and don’t want to double up, but you get the idea!

01) Metz - Mess of Wires: The Toronto trio will most likely never change, and sometimes that isn’t a bad thing. While their third album, Strange Peace, is probably different enough to stop things getting completely stale, their trademark pummelling approach is unyielding. This track opens the record.

02) Feral Ohms - Living Junkyard: One of the best shows I saw this year was a free Feral Ohms set in Union Pool’s back garden. Another band who are just simply relentless both live and on record, it was a hard task picking a track from their self-titled album from this year, but needless to say, if you enjoy this song, there’s more!

03) Waxahatchee – Silver: I’m just going to be lazy here and re-use what I wrote for FreeWilliamsburg’s top 25 albums of 2017 post! I saw Waxahatchee early in the year as a duo opening for The New Pornographers, and I’ve always preferred Katie Crutchfield’s songs when they’re delivered at their slowest and most bare, so while I enjoyed the first single from the record (Silver), I was hoping the bigger sound wasn’t going to be the norm. However, the sign of a great writer is to take you along with them and turn you around, and Out in the Storm is her best effort yet, with more layers and more guitars than before, turns out their all the better for it!

04) The Courtneys - Silver Velvet: I used Country Song back on Q#112, but this might just be the most me song of 2017. The first non-kiwi band to sign to the legendary Flying Nun label, I’ve conspired to miss them the couple of times they have played in New York and hope to not make it a hat-trick the next time. The Vancouver trio released II in February. “Can't get you out of my head, Even through the miles, I know that it is wrong but you, Just seem to drive me wild. And nothing you say and nothing you do, Can stop me from thinking about you, Doesn't matter if it's right, You're just the one I like”

05) Alex Napping - Temperamental Bed: I used the near-perfect Living Room on Q#112, which is on the band’s second album, Mise En Place which was released in May. The rest of the album doesn’t quite hit the same heights but it’s a delightful record. “How do you talk about a moment?”

06) Ryan Adams – Doomsday: Another of my FreeWilliamsburg contributions (the title track appeard on Q#113) - Sometimes a record comes along that just captures you in the moment. I’d dipped in and out of Ryan Adams’ discography about 15 years ago but I didn’t feel it at the time and never went back. However, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to an album so many times in a single year than I have done Prisoner, since I was a teenager. The title track in particular tackles that well-worn subject of forbidden love perfectly that even great writers can only manage sparingly, if at all. While some may prefer Adams in a more rustic vein, the immaculate production is another triumph here, and though I could understand people saying that it’s perhaps a bit too similar to his self-titled album from 2014, and even though this ends up as #6 on our list, it’s hard for me to see past this being my personal favourite of 2017 by some distance. “Can you stand and face your fears, my love? I will for you. I could stand in just one place, my love, And never move. As the fire burns around us in the dark, One part is the world and one's my heart”

07) Future Islands – Shadows: I used Aladdin on Q#113, and with The Far Field, the band kept the same formula that worked so well for them on Singles. For that reason, it seems to have been forgotten somewhat on most end-of-year lists, which is probably fair. It’s still a good record overall, albeit somewhat safe. A victim of their own success, perhaps.

08) Curtis Harding - Wednesday Morning Atonement: Another Free Williamsburg blurb: Anyone who follows Free Williamsburg won’t be surprised to see Curtis represented in this list, we’ve been huge supporters since the very beginning. His debut album, Soul Power, was so good that the three years it took for Face Your Fear to come out has seemed like an age. It has, however, been worth the wait, and while the debut was laced with horns and guitars, his latest effort is more like a contemporary take on smoother soul, with keyboards coming to the fore. The star of the show, is of course, Harding’s vocal delivery, which is even better than before. Not only is he continuing to be the only modern soul artist I can think of that doesn’t sound derivative of the past, his latest efforts show another great quality, someone who doesn’t want to make the same record twice. “Hello children, Well it's been, Such a very long time, Now I've finally found the mind, To explain, Where I've been living, Now I know I'm here to stay, Waiting on this better day”

09) Big Thief - Shark Smile: Another FW rip! Brooklyn-based quartet Big Thief stepped up their game massively in 2017, and that’s saying something after their 2016 debut, Masterpiece. While the former was a wonderful record, Capacity somehow manages to handle the fragile melodies and delicate finger picked guitar parts with so much more confidence, while also becoming more bare and intimate at the same time; quite the achievement. As long as Adrianne Lenker and co keep putting out records this beautiful, we won’t have to pine for the days when Mark Kozelek could remember what a vocal melody sounded like. “And she said woo, Baby, take me, And I said woo, Baby, take me too”

10) Molly Burch - Please Be Mine: Oops, I thought I was diligent but I just noticed that I did already use this track on Q#114 (and I’d used my favourite track from the record, Please Forgive Me on Q#112!). Probably the most chilled release of 2017.

11) The Magnetic Fields - Have You Seen It In the Snow: Stephin Merrit released 50 Song Memoir this year (he actually turned 50 in 2015 but that’s a minor technicality), with one song for each year of his life. As one can imagine, it’s a bit much to be memorable all the way through, but it still has all the classic vibes of a Magnetic Fields record. “They say this city is dirty and gray, But I think it's pretty on a summer day, And on rainy nights, When the streets smudge the lights, It's beautiful, you know”

12) No Joy – Hellhole: No Joy went shoegaze on their Creep EP from February 2017, and it’s a move they pull off with great aplomb.

13) Dream Wife – Somebody: I have to admit, I was somewhat struggling for inspiration at times with this mix, and while searching for upcoming gigs, realised I hadn’t actually checked out Dream Wife yet amid some hype I’ve heard. The London-based trio (via Icland and Brighton) are releasing their debut record in 2018 but tunes like this (which was released on the Fire EP this year) make for one of the most anticipated for the year.

14) Priests – JJ: My Free Williamsburg blurb again: While DC political-punks Priests have been around since 2012, this year saw the release of their debut full-length album, Nothing Feels Natural, via their own Sister Polygon label. The album has more of a post-punk influence than the earlier Eps and despite the name of the record, it definitely feels like a natural move for the quartet. Priests are perhaps the best current example of a band that are the sum of their parts, with Taylor Mulitz (bass) and Daniele Daniele (drums) forming one of the most interesting rhythm sections around, GL Jaguar’s classic post-punk tone, and Katie Alice Greer’s vocals have found an expanded range and sound from their earlier Eps that go perfectly with the new material.

15) Thundercat - Them Changes: Drunk came out with a lot of acclaim in 2017 but I felt like the praise had died down somewhat by the end of the year, and that might be a fair reflection of the kind of record it is, there’s a lot to love on a couple of listens, but the highlights appear few and far between on closer inspection. It is, however, still an enjoyable record with some fantastic bass work in particular.

16) Destroyer - Cover From the Sun: I didn’t give Ken a whole lot of thought when it was released in October but when it came to cramming in some records for research purposes I found it a very strong record. It seems unfair to say that I find it harder to separate Dan Bejar from New Pornographers than Neko Case or AC Newman, especially given that Destroyer is further removed than their solo work is. Alas, this is one of the more straightforward songs from the album but the sugar rush drew me to it for this mix.

17) Justin Currie - I'll Leave It To You: His fourth solo release, possibly the one person outside and friends and family who has had the most impact on me as a person, This Is My Kingdom Now goes back to more of a What Is Love For vibe (his first solo record after Del Amitri). This is a typically sombre affair as most of his piano-led songs are, but there are some delightful harmonies here too!

18) Pile – Texas: A Hairshirt of Purpose saw Boston’s Pile kick things up a notch, with more intensity and focus, which seemed a hard task considering 2015’s You’re Better Than This seemed hard for them to top.

19) Guided By Voices - Cheap Buttons: What can one say about Guided By Voices, and Robert Pollard in particular, that hasn’t been said before. August By Cake was Pollard’s 100th release of his career. That’s right… one-hundred. And he still managed to get another one out by the end of the year. Augusts By Cake was the band’s first double-record and it flies by with all the hallmarks of a great GBV record.

20) Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires - Save My Life!: My last Free Williamsburg bit: We’ve liked Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires since first stumbling onto a set at CMJ in 2014, and while their record at the time was a blaze of AC/DC-inspired southern rock and roll (released via Sub Pop), I was very excited to hear that they had signed to Don Giovanni Records for what would be their third album, Youth Detention. The rough edges have been sharpened and while the fire is still there in spades, I would say Youth Detention is perhaps the best radio-rock album I have heard in many a year, the songs hit fast and true but are filled with catchy hooks and one can’t help but feel like this is an album that should be in everyone’s car. This is a record that deserves to be paid for, and played loud, with a smile on your face.

21) Steven Wilson – Detonation: Steven Wilson turned 50 this year and released his fifth solo record, To the Bone, though I have to confess I’m rather lukewarm to it. He’s either a victim of his own success for me or more likely, I don’t think his work is challenging or changing enough, which has been the case since Porcupine Tree’s 2002 In Absentia record. Granted, his first couple of solo records seemed an uptick from PT’s end. I threw this on the end because I didn’t know where else to put it, and then since forgot I had omitted songs by B Boys and Cayetana. Alas, it’s not exactly a bad record and I do like this song!

And there we have it, 2017, folks. There’s a lot of hard work ahead for 2018 but I’m hopeful it’s going to be an excellent one despite some turbulence, the future looks bright in many ways.  

As always, Peace and Love

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/file/c0ir8pqqdcdw80l/Q117.zip

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Q#116 - October to November 2017

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT
Download mix from: https://www.mediafire.com/file/rqz2rf2iuwrp585/Q116.zip

Q's Compilations
Vol #116 – October to November 2017

Greetings to the final mix of the year… seems weird to type but here we are. It has been a topsy turvy year but I would not change the highs for anything.

01) Pinkwash - No Real Witness: I went to Princeton recently for hopefully the final time (work-related) and finally managed to time it for a visit to Princeton Record Exchange. Managed a reasonably-restrained $100 supermarket-sweep style run which included Pinkwash’s Collective Sigh album for a bargain $10 on vinyl. This tune opens the record and the pace doesn’t really let up from there.

02) Against Me! - Dead Rats: Took a friend to see Against Me! for their birthday recently at Brooklyn Steel. The only other time I had seen the band was at a surprise show at Saint Vitus and it was a bit of a hardcore-fans-only shitshow (from my perspective of never having heard a note of the band by that point). Anyway, fast forward a few years and I enjoyed this show a lot. This is from the Shape Shift With Me record from September 2016.

03) Bleached – Flipside: One of the opening bands for the Against Me! show was Bleached, who I hadn’t seen since my birthday in 2013, the band have gone a little more in a pop-rock, cleaner direction since then and, if anything, all the better for it. “I’m a basket case with a warm embrace”

04) Worriers - Future Me: Worriers just released their third record, Survival Pop, and it’s another dose of melodic pop-punk to follow-up the Laura Jane Grace-produced second album Imaginary Life (hey, that’s three Against Me things in a row). “When I leave you’ll never notice it. But I relive those years like phantom limbs”

05) Hazel English - Never Going Home: A bit of a change of pace here, Hazel English is an Oakland-based Aussie who makes the kind of treble-heavy, gorgeous synth and guitar music that was all the rage a few years ago but you don’t hear so much anymore. That might not be quite true, it’s just that Glasslands hasn’t existed for four years and that’s where I’d hear this kind of music the most. “Falling in, Inch by inch, I'm not resisting, And I'm addicted tonight”

06) Tim Darcy - Still Waking Up: Tim Darcy is the frontman of the magnificent Montreal band, Ought (who just signed to Merge Records), his debut album, Saturday Night, was released in February via Jagjaguwar. This is one of the more immediate tracks and has somewhat of a lullaby quality to it, I picked it up at Princeton Record Exchange and it’s different enough from Ought to justify the solo release. “Waking up alone, Was always a hard day's night, Oh-Ohh, Cause my head is full of popular songs, Old ones I never sang along to, Along to, Isn't it funny how that happens?”

07) Lee Ranaldo – Circular: Lee Ranaldo is my favourite member of Sonic Youth, and he continues to release interesting and challenging music that simply isn’t harking back to former glories (having said that, I do like Thurston Moore’s solo stuff too!). Electric Trim is Lee’s latest solo record and was released via Mute in September.

08) Josh Ritter - Thunderbolt's Goodnight: I bought a Josh Ritter album (Historical Conquests) when it came out probably ten years ago and liked it but never kept it in rotation and probably didn’t give him another thought until this year. I saw him live last month and he put on a good show, his lyrics really came to the fore. This tune in particular resonated pretty strongly and comes from his latest record, Gathering, which was released in September this year. “I see your face, In the window, I see your face in the reflections of the moon, I feel my own, Ancients shadows disappear when I am near to you, So take this heart, Take this feeling, take my dark and reeling mind, From these poor words, Find a meaning far deeper than these clumsy lines, And all my life, Before I met you, when I was trying hard in love, I thought the sun, Was going down, but the sun was comin' up”

09) Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker - Stretching My Dollar In Piano: I decided to get out of town for a few days so headed to Asheville. As always when I decide to go somewhere I scour for shows to attend and noticed that Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker were doing a show, I’d never heard of the former but admire Ryley’s work. Turns out the two of them have released two records together of instrumental acoustic music and thankfully it was exactly what I was in the mood for (earnest singer-songwriter lyrics would not have been welcome on yet another solo holiday).

10) A. Savage - Indian Style: Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage just released his debut solo record, Thawing Dawn, and it’s a more melodic, often sombre offering than anything they’ve released. In one of those lost-in-translation moments between US and UK vernacular, I didn’t know that “indian style” meant sitting cross-legged until I heard this song.

11) The Beatles - Here, There and Everywhere: I saw Paul McCartney recently at Barclays Centre and he put on another excellent show, I was a little hesitant to see him again after the spectacular show I saw in 2010, but it was more than worthwhile. It got me thinking about underrated Beatles tunes and this might even be my second favourite song by them (after Here Comes the Sun). “Here, making each day of the year, Changing my life with the wave of her hand, Nobody can deny that there's something there, There, running my hands through her hair, Both of us thinking how good it can be”

12) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cheated Hearts: I’ve almost certainly used this song at some point, probably a decade ago so I’m not going to be feel too precious about repeats… anyway, the band played at Kings Theatre a few weeks ago and being the only venue I’ve ever been able to walk to, it was rude not to go. They played a blinder (graciously ignoring their only dud of a record, 2013’s Mosquito, almost entirely) and this has possibly my favourite YYYs song.

13) The Rubinoos - I Want to Be Your Boyfriend: One of the great powerpop songs, I’ve had this in my head a lot for the last couple of months so figured the best way to deal with it was to throw it on the mix. The Berkeley, California quartet played a couple of shows in New York in the summer and I’m pretty bummed I had to miss them. “Late at night when I, when I can't sleep, Picture in my mind, I see you and me, I, I'm telling you what I wanna be, You, you're saying you're in love with me, And oh, it feels so good in a dream, That I know in life it's just got to be, I wanna tell you...”

14) The Final Solution – Brotherman: Brotherman was to be a blaxploitation pic in the mid 70s and Final Solution were all set to do the soundtrack, but unfortunately the film was cancelled even before a single roll of film was shot. Thirty years later, the Numero Group did their thing and pulled the record together and it stands up wonderfully on its own.

15) Jackie Shane - Any Other Way: Another obscure treasure unearthed by Numero, Jackie Shane briefly made some waves in Toronto in the 60s. Born in Nashville in 1940 when being black and transgender alone would have been difficult, Shane identified as a woman in a man’s body by the time she was 13 and emigrated to Canada in 1959. This cover of the William Bell classic was her biggest success, reaching number 2 on the charts in Toronto, but since the early 70s she has been very much a mysterious recluse.

16) Betty Harris - Hook, Line & Sinker: Another Princeton purchase was Soul Jazz records 2-LP set The Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul, I already had one greatest hits package of hers on CD but couldn’t help myself. Both Mean Man and There’s a Break in the Road are two of my favourite songs of all time and this song just jumped out at me when it hadn’t distinguished itself before.

17) The Mountain Goats – Shelved: Despite not being hugely into the band’s latest effort, Goths, in comparison to other records, The Mountain Goats might be my second-most listened to act of the year and I caught them for the first time in a couple of years recently at Brooklyn Steel. This track is probably my favourite from the new record. The Peter Hook-esque bassline in the second half of the song is a pure delight.

18) The Afghan Whigs - Arabian Nights: Afghan Whigs are one of my favourite bands but their latest release, In Spades, was released in May and mostly passed me by. The record is pretty good but sometimes missing a band on tour when they’re supporting their latest efforts means I barely get round to listening to the album itself.

19) Super Static Fever - Areness For Fun: Here’s yet another Numero re-issue of a band that could scarcely have been more obscure. Existing for a couple of years and only playing a handful of shows, unfinished tapes from two recording sessions were mixed by Steve Albini.

20) L.A. Witch - Baby in Blue Jeans: Five years after the band released their demos and after a handful of single releases, the Los Angeles trio finally released a debut full length (self-titled) via Suicide Squeeze. If you like your rock from the reverb-drenched desert, then this should tickle your fancy.

21) Grizzly Bear - Sky Took Hold: Yet another band I like who released a record I’ve been a little underwhelmed by, Grizzly Bear released Painted Ruins, their first effort in five years. This tune is an absolute delight, however, and I probably owe the record a few more passes.

And there you go. I have to admit, this was somewhat hastily put together and I’ve written these notes on a pretty reclusive thanksgiving weekend

As always, Peace and Love. Hope everyone had a good 2017 and here’s to a better 2018 for all - Q

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

Download mix from: https://www.mediafire.com/file/rqz2rf2iuwrp585/Q116.zip

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Q#115 - August to September 2017

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT
Download mix from: https://www.mediafire.com/file/18suak61rcam41s/Q%23115.zip

Q's Compilations
Vol #115 – August to September 2017

Hi! No time to waste on these last-minute notes. I seemed to have very little inspiration before setting down to put this mix together late-on, but it turns out I’m pretty happy with the results once I got down to it. You’ve got the usual mix of brand-new stuff mixed with context-based additions, some of which will be explained!

01) Honey - Dream Come Now: Brooklyn trio Honey released their debut album, Love Is Hard, last year and have already followed it up with New Moody Judy. As this track suggests, it’s a rip-roaring set of psych rockers, much in keeping with their debut, though the songs seem a little more focused this time around (that’s certainly not meant in a bad way).

02) METZ - Drain Lake: It’s sometimes hard to remember that METZ actually record music, such is the justified stature the trio have as a live act. Indeed, I’ll be seeing them on the 4th of October at Music Hall of Williamsburg and cannot wait. They just released their third album, Strange Peace, and it has all the classic METZ characteristics, though it’s different enough from the first two records to stop them hitting an artistic rut.

03) Wand - Bee Karma: One band who never seem in danger of staying in the same place is Wand, who are going in a far more psych direction with an expanded line up than before. There’s somewhat of a classic rock vibe to the main riff in the song and that’s certainly not a bad thing either!

04) Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires - Had to Laugh: A lot of bands struggle with their second records, but Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires probably rank as “most improved” that I can think of in recent years. Youth Detention is perhaps the finest dose of radio-friendly rock and roll that I can think of this year, the songs are sharp, melodic and catchy as hell. Possibly best experienced in a car. “When I told you that I'd never fall in love, I know you had to laugh”

05) Male Gaze - Tell Me How It Is: My buddy Felix sent me a raft of recommendations recently (thanks!) and though I enjoyed most of them, I found it hard to find the right ebb and flow for this mix with any of them, that was until I got to Male Gaze and they immediately hit the spot. Thanks Felix! I’m sure those other tunes will worm their way in sometime.

06) Thurston Moore - Smoke of Dreams: It’s probably not terribly surprising that Thurston Moore is releasing material closest to Sonic Youth, and having realised it had been many years since I saw him play, made a fairly impromptu decision to catch a recent show at Bowery Ballroom.

07) The Pharacyde - Oh Shit: In a recent “hmmm, wonder what classic hip-hop records I haven’t listened to in years” mood I was in, this was one! The South Central fourpiece from LA (though now a duo in present day form) released debut album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde in 1992 and it’s often considered one of the all-time greats.

08) Epmd - You Gots to Chill: In a recent “hmmm, wonder what classic hip-hop records I haven’t listened to in years” mood I was in, this was another one! This is also another debut record, Strictly Business was released in 1988 and is rightly considered a classic.

09) Andrew Hung – Animal: One half of Fuck Buttons, Andrew Hung, is about to release his debut solo record, Realisationship, on the 6th of October. It’s a bit odd hearing him singing, having been pummelled relentlessly (and joyously) with the wall of noise that Fuck Buttons unleash, but after doing a double-take on the vocals initially, I think it works really well.

10) Curtis Harding - On and On: If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that I think Curtis Harding is just about the best new artist of the last few years. Soul Power was a complete triumph and having heard three new tracks from his new album, Face Your Fear, which is out at the end of October, he’s done it yet again. Produced by Sam Cohen, the new songs have more emphasis on keyboards and groove than the guitar and horns of his debut and I think the smoother direction compliments his vocals perfectly. I can’t wait to catch him at Rough Trade on the 2nd of November. “No more wasting time, I gotta get into this groove”

11) Screaming Females - Black Moon: Two years on since last album, Rose Mountain, the New Jersey trio put this track out just a few days before I put this mix together. Screaming Females are never going to change and that is a great comfort.

12) Ryan Adams - Gimme Something Good: Considering that his album from this year, Prisoner, is my most played record of 2017, I had to go back through the discography somewhat. This opens his self-titled album from 2014 and is very similar to his latest effort (which I’m glad I heard first). This track always gets stuck in my head when I ask a friend what we should have for lunch and I’m met with a simple reply of “something good”. “All my life, Been shaking, Wanting something, Holding everything I have like it was broken. Gimme something good”

13) Alvvays - In Undertow: Doesn’t seem like three years since Alvvways self-titled debut album, but it has been fun seeing the band grow in the last few years and new album Antisocialites is definitely a triumph. “There’s no turning back”

14) Kyle Forester - Won't Go Crazy: I recently saw Ken Stringfellow play a rare solo set in Brooklyn and Kyle Forester opened. I’ve seen him in other bands (including Crystal Stilts) but did not know he had his own music too. “So I won't go crazy tonight, Having you here right by my side”

15) Nick Lowe - So it Goes: I’d only previously seen Nick Lowe perform a few songs as part of a benefit show with about a dozen other acts, so it was a treat to see him perform at a free show recently, with Los Straightjackets as his backing band. He played this song, of course, and you forget just how great a pop songwriter he is sometimes.

16) The Jayhawks - I'm Gonna Make You Love Me: Another free show at Lincoln Center recently, I’d heard the name over the years but did not know their music at all. They opened with this track, which I could say a lot about, but it’s a great song. “Your hair's long and black, as it lays 'cross my pillow, when I stare in your eyes, I get lost in your glory”

17) Creeper Lagoon - Under the Tracks: A few weekends ago I was lamenting how slow August was for shows, when NYC Taper mentioned Creeper Lagoon were playing their first show in NYC in many a year. I didn’t know of them but liked the tracks enough to see them since I was gagging to go to a show. This is very much a typical 90s rock track but I’m a sucker for that sometimes.

18) Ultimate Painting - Central Park Blues: I saw Ultimate Painting open for Yo La Tengo in Central Park recently and unsurprisingly they played this tune. It comes over better live since the Velvet Underground influence is maybe to the point of parody here, but what can you do. “I want to be alone with you, I want to do the things you do, You always do”

19) Daniel Johnston - True Love Will Find You in the End: The mercurial Daniel Johnston just announced his final ever tour, which includes a stop at New York’s Town Hall and I’m quite excited to see him since I never thought I would. I hope this track is true. “True love will find you in the end, you'll find out just who was your friend”

20) Julie Byrne – Sleepwalker: When Mark Kozelek can’t seem to write an actual fucking song anymore your ears start to prick up at the sound of any finger-picked folk song. That’s not to downplay the beauty of Julie Byrne’s music, but it’s definitely filling a requirement I need right now. “Before you, had I ever known love? Or had I only known misuse of the power another had over me?”

21) Vagabon - Fear & Force: Another free Lincoln Centre show recently was Vagabon, who I’d been hoping to see for about 6 months and kept missing. A large outdoor show was perhaps not the best format for such intimate material, but her record is well worth checking out.

22) Kevin Morby - Downtown Lights: I was randomly going through some press releases the other day and realised I hadn’t ever listened to a full Kevin Morby solo record. I tend to favour drifting off with a lullaby on mixes and  this track seemed to fit the bill. “You know I've gone to live one thousand lives, and to die one thousand deaths, But lately baby, got me scared, Ain't got too much left. But the ones that I had spent with you, Were the best that I ever had”

And there we have it, another mix down, another couple of months down, hopefully there were things to like on this mix, and I hope there are many things for you all to like in life right now.

As always, Peace and Love


Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT
Download mix from: https://www.mediafire.com/file/18suak61rcam41s/Q%23115.zip

Monday, 31 July 2017

Q#114 - June to July 2017

Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/file/6y261vrdaspmqpx/Q114.zip

Q's Compilations
Vol #114 – June to July 2017

Greetings! I completed another orbit around the sun on the 13th of June and so far 35 is treating me pretty well, let’s hope that continues. This time around you’re getting mostly new releases with a few leftovers from a different mix I made recently.

01) Feral Ohms - Love Damage: Oakland power trio Feral Ohms recently played a couple of shows in New York and it was one of the best no-frills sets I have seen in a long time. I should have just bought the vinyl there and then but ended up buying the bandcamp download. “There’s a love damage in my skull”

02) The Creation - How Does It Feel to Feel: The Numero group did their usual excellent work by putting together a comprehensive 2LP set called Action Painting. If you know any other song by them aside from Making Time then it’s probably this but I just wanted to put it on.

03) Robert Pollard - My Daughter Yes She Knows: The ever prolific Robert Pollard released the 100th album of his career earlier in the year with Guided By Voices’ August By Cake, this track, however, comes from his last “solo” album, Of Course You Are, from 2016.

04) Ride – Cali: Oxford legends Ride got back for some shows a couple of years ago, but just released their first album in 21 years with Weather Diaries, and while most bands fail to recapture the magic after that long apart, the record is much better than their final couple from their original run.

05) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Anymore: Brooklyn’s Paints of Being Pure at Heart released their first album in three years in July with The Echo of Pleasure. I saw them for the first time in five years recently and forgot how much I enjoyed them. “I couldn’t take anymore, anymore, anymore.”

06) Waxahatchee - Sparks Fly: Katie Crutchfield just released Out in the Storm, via Merge Records, Waxahatchee’s fourth record. It’s probably the most guitar-driven to date and I caught a full-band show at Warsaw recently, which I was a bit sceptical if it would work given that her best material is stripped down with just an acoustic guitar (like this track, for the most part!), but it was perfect. “Death grip on some feigned humility, Effort executed beautifully, My pride clenched tight in my shaky hand, Til I let go and buried my head in the sand”

07) Big Thief - Mythological Beauty: The band’s second album, Capacity, via Saddle Creek, and it’s one of the most beautifully delicate records I’ve heard in some time. Given Mark Kozelek’s reluctance to actually write songs at the moment, it’s definitely filling some of my Red House Painters desires. I saw them recently at Prospect Park and while it’s quite hard to play this kind of music in a large outdoor setting, it was still a wonderful set. “You’re all caught up inside, but you know the way”

08) Jeffrey Lewis - Roll Bus Roll: I used a different Jeffrey Lewis track on a mix for a friend recently but this was very close to making the cut instead, and so I felt like I had to throw it on. This is from perhaps his best album, Em Are I, and I just love the vivid imagery. “Old bodegas and old streetlights, Harlem looks so warm tonight”

09) The Mountain Goats - This Year: Being let loose on a friend’s vinyl collection, I made the mistake of playing this great album (The Sunset Tree), forgetting this track was on it. Perhaps not the best vibe for a dinner party. Anyway, The Mountain Goats just released their sixteenth record, Goths, which is their first record without any guitars. It’s pretty good. I’ll be seeing them in November. “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me”

10) John Andrews & the Yawns – Drivers: Going through my press releases recently I was curious to hear this release from Quilt drummer John Andrews, Bad Posture is quite a delightful record, and certainly fitting with the Woodsist label from where it comes. “I don’t know you no more, don’t owe you no more”

11) Jesu & Sun Kil Moon – Bombs: I’ve already made reference to Mark Kozelek’s somewhat failure to write a conventional song these days and this is a good example. From the second collaborative record with Jesu, 30 Seconds to the Decline of Planet Earth, clocking in at 13 minutes, the spoken-word day-in-the-life-of-Mark-Kozelek is getting kinda tiresome but I still can’t help but like it somewhat. One does hope that he is reaching saturation point with this kind of thing, however.

12) Justin Currie - Failing to See: It’s possible you may not remember that Del Amitri are the greatest band of all time, and that’s ok, no-one is perfect. Frontman Justin Currie released his fourth solo record, This is My Kingdom Now, and it’s another obviously great collection of songs. “Do you hurt me just cos you know that I'll live?”

13) Big Star – Thirteen: I was out with a friend trying to keep a few thoughts to myself and this song played in the bar, and not that I needed reminding, but it really is just a fabulous song. I did not deliberately put this as track thirteen. This particular version is a live version from Big Star Story, which was my introduction to the band. “Won't you tell me what you're thinking of? Would you be an outlaw for my love?”

14) Julian Velard - Glad I Wasted All My Time With You: Having successfully completed a kickstarter campaign (of which I contributed), Fancy Words for Failure was just released and it’s a nice mix of ballads and sarcastic pop tunes. This is clearly the former!

15) Molly Burch - Please Be Mine: This is the title track from Molly Burch’s debut album (via Captured Tracks), and it’s an effortlessly smooth record with immaculate vocals (I just remembered I used Please Forgive Me on Q#112 if you’d care to revisit that too).

16) Thundercat - Captain Stupido: I sometimes think that flicking through vinyl and CD racks is the only way I can clear my head, or at least forget what’s bothering me temporarily, and while stress-buying far too many records back in April at Rough Trade, I heard this song playing over the PA. I can’t remember the last time my ears truly pricked up and made me buy something but Drunk feels like the first time that has happened in a while. There are some fairly silly songs on the record, of which this is one, but the bass work in particular over is pretty captivating. “I feel weird, Comb your beard, brush your teeth, Still feel weird, Beat your meat, go to sleep”

17) The Lemonheads - Down About It: This was another leftover from a different mix, The Lemonheads are one of my go-to bands when I’m not sure what I want to listen to, they can always make me feel something. “And out like a light when it's not plugged in, Fading around if it starts again, You just don't get it when, I get so down about it”

18) Superchunk - 100,000 Fireflies: I got the re-issued Distant Plastic Trees by the Magnetic Fields recently from Merge which obviously has this wonderful track on it. Then I remembered that Superchunk covered it and I wanted to use a track by them on a different mix, this didn’t make it, but it’s a great cover. “I went out to the forest and caught, 100,000 fireflies, As they ricochet round the room, They remind me of your starry eyes, Someone else's might not have made me so sad, But this is the worst night I ever had. Cause I'm afraid of the dark without you close to me, I'm afraid of the dark without you close to me, Always was”

19) Slowdive - Sugar for the Pill: Similar to Ride, Slowdive just released their first album in 22 years with a self-titled release, and once again it’s a pretty damn good record. I saw them on my last trip back home in June and it’s probably the best show I’ve seen this year. “Our love has never known the way, Sugar for the pill, You know it's just the way things are, Cannot buy the sun, This jealousy will break the whole”

As always, Peace and Love