Thursday, 27 March 2014

Q#94 - February - March 2014


Please note that the zip file has a password: Q94
Download mix from: https://www.mediafire.com/?2nncdnpdcbbbfr2

Q’s Compilations
Volume #94 February – March 2014

It’s the middle of March and it’s still freezing, this winter is getting everyone down. Anyway, let’s move on, it’ll be spring soon or maybe we’ll just skip straight to summer… February was still cool, I went home to the UK for a couple of weeks to see Del Amitri’s first shows in over a decade, also hit Barcelona for a few days for a change of scenery. This is the first “proper” compilation of the year and features the usual mix of things that probably should have been on the previous mix, new stuff and old stuff that I’d wanted to use for a while. Hope everyone likes what they hear!

01) La Sera - Losing to the Dark: Vivian Girls recently played their last ever shows (my review), but bassist Katy Goodman rolls on with her third La Sera album, Hour of the Dawn, which will be out on the 13th of May. This is the first track from the album and certainly bodes well! “How about you write another song, About how fun you are to drink with at the bar”

02) Tweens - Be Mean (demo): Tweens’ debut album is out on the 8th of April and promises to be a cracker! I saw the band last year and loved their set so promptly ordered their demos CD-R, also really looking forward to their set at Death By Audio on the 3rd of April. This demo is a bit more ragged than the final result but there is a lot of charm. “Loving you is such a bore, there must be something wrong with me”

03) Slonk Donkerson - The Edifice: I’d seen the name around a bit last year but finally got to see Slonk Donkerson in January and loved what I heard. A classic power trio with shades of Husker Du and even a bit of Moving Pictures/Signals-era Rush in some of their songs. This track is from their second album, imaginatively titled II.

04) Arlis - I Can't Take It: I’m not quite sure why it took me so long to buy Numero’s It’s Pop compilation (especially after loving their later released Buttons mix of a similar theme), but a gift card for Bullmose record shop around Christmas time sorted that out. When there are so many good tracks on another comp it’s hard to pick one or two for my own mix but this one wormed itself into my brain and here we are. “I’ve seen your picture somewhere and it’s bugging me to no end”

05) Imaginary Boys – Gift: Quite often I’ll browse the calendar on My Social List and check out a bunch of bands I haven’t heard of before, one of those bands was Imaginary Boys who had just released their debut EP, Limerence, which I ordered pretty swiftly.

06) Minor Alps - I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands: Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) and Julianna Hatfield should need little introduction and they combined for what must be one of the most natural sounding side-projects of all time in Minor Alps. The album sounds exactly as you would expect, expertly crafted indie-pop tunes. “The couch is an island, a desert oasis, the room is a spaceship, and you're an undiscovered planet”

07) Girls Names - Hypnotic Regression: I saw Belfast’s Girls Names’ first ever US show at the Cameo Gallery in March last year and really enjoyed their set, so it was rude not to buy their album, The New Life, when Slumberland Records had a major sale a couple of months ago. Upon further listens, it may just be the most under-appreciated record of 2013.

08) Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band - The Blast Room: A new band from TV On the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe. I picked up their self-titled EP recently from Other Music and to be fair if someone told you it was TVotR they’d probably believe you. That’s hardly a bad thing though, since they are probably the best band since the turn of the millennium.

09) Mr Dream - Work Faster: There’s a bit of a Talking Heads vibe here in places but otherwise Mr Dream offer a slightly twisted post-punk romp here. I first heard Mr Dream on a compilation from GODMODE records (they issued Yvette’s stunning album, see next track…). They’re in the process of putting together a record so I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

10) Yvette - Tempered Glass: I liked Yvette’s 2013 album, Process, last year, but then I saw them live and in particular, bought the album on vinyl, it blew my mind (recorded at Silent Barn, Brooklyn). What a revelation! If you can get it, stump up the cash. It’s hard to describe their music; dark, intense, lots of effects and layers… just listen!

11) Warpaint - Love is to Die: The band took their time releasing their second album (self-titled) with almost four years passing since The Fool. It’s definitely a continuation of what they had previously put together, dreamy vocals and a tight rhythm section, they could put out 10 records like this and I’d be quite happy. The first listen to the album was a little disappointing, but the melodies started seeping in after a couple of goes.

12) Bennio Qwerty - Smooth Operator: I recently profiled Bennio Qwerty in a recent Artist to Watch post, and am really looking forward to seeing them live supporting Tweens in April. This one is definitely for fans of Dischord Records. The band have two EPs to their name so far, and this track is from Picture Of.

13) Mogwai - Heard About You Last Night: Mogwai do what they do, and they always do it excellently! Latest album, Rave Tapes, has a few quirks with the addition of synth bass and some more keyboards than normal.

14) Weekend - The One You Want: I didn’t really want to use Weekend again so soon but I bought their Red EP recently and it’s great and I felt like this track fit the vibe of the compilation at this stage. You can’t really fight such things!

15) Cheatahs - Cut the Grass: Their self-titled debut album came out in February and delivers on the promise of the two EPs. It’s unashamedly Swervedriver-esque, which is cool by me. I recently saw them at Baby’s All Right and they have even more oomph in on stage.

16) Kitchens of Distinction - I Wish It Would Snow: Certainly one surprise comeback (albeit only in the studio, no live dates planned) was Kitchens of Distinction, one of the most underrated bands of the last few decades. Folly was released last year and I made sure to pick up a copy when I was back in the UK last month, the record is a bit more subdued than their past endeavours and at times misses that beautiful guitar sound that made them so great, but it’s a lovely little album, and as I said, unexpected! I hope they continue.

17) The Summits – Sleepwalking: Time for a brief soul and funk interlude (courtesy of Numero), something that has been a bit lacking on the mixes recently. This one is from the Eccentric Soul: A RBG Production, on which 4 tracks by The Summits appear. Great bass, vocal harmonies, they should have been huge.

18) Flyte Tyme - It's the Things That You Do: One of the best compilations released in a long time is Numero’s 2-CD Purple Snow, which is an incredible collection of soul/sunk from Minneapolis. As well as an infectious bass and keyboard line, you’re treated to a ripping guitar solo. Enjoy. If you don’t, I’m not sure blood pumps around your heart.

19) Walter Lewis & The Blue Stars - I Have Love At Home: Here’s another track from Purple Snow, a chilled out jam which manages to blend smoother soul with grit and heartache.

20) Sun Kil Moon - Ben's My Friend: New album, Benji, has been rightly gobbling up a lot of media praise, which is a little odd for longtime fans because it isn’t exactly different from what Mark Kozelek has been doing up to this point. The songs on Benji are strong, though. The album itself is a bit of a massacre, I’ve never heard so many people dying in the lyrics to songs before, must be a record! No deaths on this song though, which brings the album, and compilation, to a close. I’m not sure anyone else can sing about buying $350 lampshades and eating crabcakes and make it sound so compelling, however. “She said I seemed distracted and asked what was going on with me, I said I can't explain it it's a middle age thing, She said okay and ate her eggs Benedict, And I looked at the walls cluttered with sports bar shit”

And there you have it. Please let me know if you enjoyed anything on the mix!!!

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

Please note that the zip file has a password: Q94
Download mix from: https://www.mediafire.com/?2nncdnpdcbbbfr2

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Q#93 – December 2013 - January 2014


Please note that the zip file has a password: Q93
Download mix from:  https://www.mediafire.com/?11q6w4tn3ub58wo


Q’s Compilations
Volume #93 December 2013 / January 2014

Happy new year! As usual, this mix is a roundup of my favourite music of the previous year (unless I already used a track or couldn’t fit on due to time constraints blah blah, etc, etc). 2013 was a really great year for music, both recorded and live (I went to 154 shows in 2013!), and I started writing for My Social List which is definitely a highlight!

01) Purling Hiss – Lolita: A latecomer to the mix (though this album, Water on Mars, was released in March), I saw Purling Hiss at Brooklyn Bazaar in December and their fuzzed up Crazy-Horse-esque guitar wigouts blew my mind.

02) Roomrunner – Weird: Ideal Cities is my favourite album of 2013, I shouldn’t really need to say any more than that (I also used Bait Car on Q#91).

03) Crocodiles – I Like it in the Dark: One of the surprises of the year for me, Crocodiles have upped their game with recent release Crimes of Passion, and this song is a wonderful atheist-call-to-arms anthem. “there’s no shining heaven, there are no fires of hell but those of our creation. When I’m crawling away from hell, storm the gates of heaven and be your own god”

04) Anna Calvi – Eliza: Clearly Anna was not going to suffer second album syndrome with the release of One Breath, which is a great follow-up to her exquisite debut album. “So priceless and godless I wait, To leave this soul behind, Untangle the jangle of bells, They ring my fear through the night”

05) Deerhunter – Back to the Middle: I finally got to see Deerhunter this year (which was my favourite show of the year - http://someothersuckersparade.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-favourite-shows-of-2013-and-my-list.html). They played an incredible setlist but didn’t skimp on the new stuff either, Monomania is their attempt at a glam rock record. “Back in the middle, Everyone knows your name now, It's all accidental, Your love is such a sick, sick game”

06) Sisu – Electronic: Another act I can’t really say anything new about, having featured in Q#92, #90 and #88. Light Eyes made my albums of 2013 and it’s no surprise to see them on this mix. Electronic is a moody, slower track than some of the other ones I’ve used previously.

07) bEEdEEgEE – Like Rain Man: Brian DeGraw is a member of Gang Gang Dance, and released his first solo album under the moniker of bEEdEEgEE, I saw him do a set at Union Pool in the summer and it was mesmerising.

08) Follakzoid – Trees: The best thing of 2013 in a music sense was my discovery of Chilean psychedelic bands (see Q#89), and Follakzoid’s album, II, was my second favourite release of the year.

09) The Holydrug Couple – Follow Your Way: Where Follakzoid are, The Holydrug Couple are not often far behind, I saw the two bands at the Mercury Lounge in February for one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. They come from different sides of the psyche spectrum and complement each other perfectly.

10) Blood Orange – You’re Not Good Enough: Dev Hynes has had a topsy turvy year, his second Blood Orange album, Cupid Deluxe won rave reviews though sadly his apartment building just burned down with all his possessions. Tough break!

11) John Grant – GMF: Although this record was released earlier in the year I didn’t get round to appreciating it until almost the very end. I saw him play an incredible show at the Music Hall Williamsburg in December and he gave one of the best vocal performances I’ve ever heard. The album, Pale Green Ghosts, is a lyrical masterpiece, bitingly sarcastic yet open and vulnerable. GMF is a sort-of counterpoint to all those moments of self-doubt and hatred. “You could probably say I'm difficult, I probably talk too much. I over analyze and overthink things.
Yes, it's a nasty crutch. I'm usually only waiting for you to stop talking, So that I can.”

12) Justin Currie – Every Song’s the Same: Hero worship is something I try to shy away from, but Del Amitri’s influence on my formative years is substantial, Justin released his third solo album, Lower Reaches this year, recorded in Nashville it has a slightly more country flavour than his previous work and it took a few listens for things to seep in. However, his sense of melody and songwriting prowess meant it didn’t take all that long.

13) The Men – I Saw Her Face: Another record that made my best of 2013 list, New Moon is a fantastic record and this is probably the most obvious example of the Neil Young influence on it, you could plonk this record onto Zuma and I doubt anyone would notice!

14) Wymond Miles – Anniversary Song: A man who seemingly can’t write a bad song, Wymo is best known for his work as the guitarist in Fresh and Onlys, but his solo work is even better IMO. Cut Yourself Free is his second album, following on from the resplendent Under the Pale Moon.

15) Weekend – Scream Queen: You should be familiar with, Jinx as I used Oubliette on the last mix, but it really is one of the best records of the year so it had to feature again. “You fell in love with a fragrance in a magazine. A scream queen, pleading at the door to a dream”

16) Veronica Falls – Teenage: Another band that said “fuck you” to the idea of second album syndrome, Waiting for Something to Happen is a massive step up from their charming self-titled debut, with a punchier sound and more confident performance, it was hard to pick a track to use. “Driving late at night I’ll let you listen to the music you like. Then I’ll drop you home”

17) Mikal Cronin – Shout it Out: Another double whammy in that Mikal Cronin made both my lists for best albums and shows of 2013 with his Bowery show that also featured Roomrunner and Shannon and the Clams. It is hard to pick a highlight from II because it is consistently strong. “I'm pretty good of making things out of the scene, and turning problems back to me

18) Liquor Store – Midnight Walker: I saw Liquor Store live 4 times in 2013 and their second album, In the Garden is a fun romp of unashamed classic rock, this tune features some ripping guitar work to boot.

19) Fuck Buttons – Brain Freeze: I featured Stalker on Q#91 and Slow Focus sees Fuck Buttons in fine form after a few years of little activity. After seeing them live I noted that “when our robot overlords take over they will march to this”, and I can’t think of a better way to describe this song.

I have of course missed many great bands/songs/albums in this “best of” mix, many will crop up in the next volume. Brain mush dictates that these notes can’t be any longer…

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Q#92 – October - November 2013



Please note that the zip file has a password: Q92

Q’s Compilations
Volume #92 – October – November 2013

October and November are odd times in the US, the “fall” (it’s still Autumn…) is beautifu, the sun is out and the skies are blue but there is a chill in the air, my kind of weather. Halloween is a big thing and thanksgiving is too close to christmas to know what to do with either. New York recently had the CMJ Music Marathon and I’ve been enjoying writing content for My Social List, here’s some stuff I’ve been listening to lately:

01) King Tuff – Anthem: King Tuff’s self-titled release was one of the best albums of last year, and his debut album from 2008, Was Dead, was re-issued in the summer. This tune opens his eponymous album and having seen him live twice this year I thought it was time I used another track.

02) Hector's Pets - Station Wagon: Regulars on the New York gig circuit for the last couple of years, Pets are one of the most solid live bands you can see and are an infectious act. They’re currently recording their debut album which should be great, especially if they can capture their live sound, this track is more of a demo but you’ll be humming ohhh la la la ohhh la la la before you know it.

03) Obits - It's Sick: I saw Obits at their record release show at the Bell House (which I reviewed here: http://mysocialist.com/blog/2013/09/24/live-review-obits-at-the-bell-house/) in support of new record Beds & Bugs. It’s a fine record and this is probably my favourite from it.

04) Nu Sensae – Swim: I saw Nu Sensae at the Northside Festival in June and enjoyed their ferocious set at Shea Stadium, but it wasn’t until I picked up their record, Sundowning, that I found a better appreciation for them and managed to tease apart the songs.

05) Joanna Gruesome – Sugarcrush: This Welsh band offers a ray of sunshine for the UK music scene, they were one of the best acts to play the recent CMJ Music Marathon in New York in October and their record, Weird Sister, is sure to make many a best-of list for the year. The album has been released on Slumberland Records in the US.

06) Blouse – Imperium: I was also at Blouse’s record release show in support of new album, Imperium, my review can be found here: http://mysocialist.com/blog/2013/09/03/blouse-live-review-glasslands-08302013/. The new album is more guitar-driven compared to the synth-heavy self-titled debut, but the change of direction sounds natural rather than forced.

07) Best Coast - I Don't Know How: After the fairly disappointing second album, The Only Place, which featured a much cleaner sound, new EP Fade Away is a real return to form. Sure, it’s more of a return to the blueprint of their wonderful first album than anything else, but I still think that Boyfriend is one of the best pop tunes of recent times, so I really want them to do well. Let’s hope the upward trajectory continues.

08) TEEN - Big Talk: This tune is a leftover from the sessions that spawned their last ep, Carolina. I love the big synth sound and eagerly await more!

09) Chromatics – Cherry: I saw Chromatics at Terminal 5 in September, almost exactly a year since I saw them at the New Museum last year (which was in my top 5 shows of the year) and they were once again fantastic. This track appears on the recent label sampler from Italians Do It Better called After Dark 2.

10) Weekend – Oubliette: Jinx is one of the finest albums of the year and while it has been available in the US for a few months, it finally just got a worldwide release. Not exactly the easiest band to find on google (and their debut album was called sports, just try finding Weekend Sports!), as with most things people consider to be dark and eerie, I hear a beautiful record.

11) Okkervil River - Down Down the Deep River: One of the most consistently great bands of the last decade, Okkervil River deliver another rewarding record in the shape of The Silver Gymnasium, which is a concept album based in New Hampshire in 1986. I haven’t dissected the lyrics enough find myself in that world but the music is of their usual high calibre.

12) Justin Currie - I Hate Myself for Loving You: New record, Lower Reaches, took me a little longer to get into than Justin’s two other solo records, it might be the more country influence (it was recorded in Nashville) or it might just be that my expectations for the man who sparked my love of music are just too high. Regardless, I ended up really liking the record in the end anyway. And to make things even better, Del Amitri are touring in the UK for the first time in 10 years starting in January next year. I’ve already booked tickets for a couple of shows, now I just need to figure out getting there!

13) Fly Ashtray - To Sir with Ignelss: Described recently as “one of New York’s best kept secrets of the last 30 years”, this track was co-written with R. Stevie Moore and appears on Reports. I managed to catch a rare set by the band at Cake Shop a couple of weeks ago.

14) Sisu - Cut Me Off: Keen listeners will remember Sandra Vu’s band Sisu from Q#90 and Q#88, since then debut album Blood Tears has dropped and I heartily recommend it. They played my favourite set of the recent CMJ Music Marathon and Vu has really grown into the role of band leader.

15) Journalism – Denim Jesus: A recent discovery, I saw Journalism supporting Guantanamo Baywatch at Cake Shop and was an instant convert. There isn’t a whole lot out there to listen to at the moment so do enjoy this. I love their sound and just wait for the solo… My post about them on My Social List has turned out to be my most popular as well so take a look if you want: http://mysocialist.com/blog/2013/11/05/artist-to-watch-journalism/

16) Young Adults – Decay: Boston-based band Young Adults excel on this noisey/shoegazey/post-punky tune, I wanted to see the band recently but their show conflicted with another so I hope it isn’t too long until their gigging again. For more information see their bandcamp page http://youngadultsma.bandcamp.com/

17) Lil Daggers - After the Flood: One of my favourite recent discoveries, this track opens their superbly titled EP, No Pizza No Peace, and is a perfect dose of atmospheric psych-rock. This track even caused me to miss my subway stop late at night one time as its swirling production  dulled my senses (ok it could have been the beer). I had to fade this song a little earlier than I’d have liked due to time constraints.

18) Mark Kozelek and Desertshore - You Are Not My Blood: Kozelek has been pretty active this year, with a covers album, 3 live albums and 2 collaboration albums. This track is the closest thing to early Red House Painters he has released since even before Red House Painters broke up.

19) Chelsea Wolfe - We Hit a Wall: Latest album, Pain is Beauty, is a real success of different sounds and styles. This brooding piece is my favourite.

20) Zola Jesus - Fall Back: New album, Versions, is a collection of re-arranged song for strings courtesy of JG Thirwell. The new versions are brighter and bring the vocals to the fore, which is a good contrast to the electronic and dense original songs.

This is one of the most gratifying mixes I’ve made in a while so I hope you enjoyed it. The next mix will be a roundup of my favourite releases so I suppose I’d better get my thinking cap on for that. See you in 2014!

Until next time
Peace and love - Q


Friday, 27 September 2013

Q#91 – August - September 2013


Please note that the zip file has a password: Q91
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/?5wheblt4s9j1ysr

Q’s Compilations
Volume #91 – August – September 2013

Summer is finally starting to wind down as October rapidly approaches, I love all the events that happens but the heat and humidity are rapidly making it my least favourite season! Despite having the mix done well in advance I’m struggling to get his out the door by the end of my (self-imposed) deadline, the majority of this mix features bands I’ve seen live recently with a few scattered new discoveries.

01) Roomrunner - Bait Car: If there is a better record released this year than Ideal Cities then I’ll be very happy. The promo sticker on the album simply states Yes we’ve heard Nirvana, try harder. They have of course, featured previously on this series but Ideal Cities is their debut full length and this track also opens the record. If your ears survive the opening exchanges and piercing effects then well done. I’ve seen the band 3 times and something incredible happens every time.

02) California X - Pond Rot: California X have that sludgy desert-rock tone that seems to have been cruelly left behind by many bands. Despite the name, the band hail from Amherst in Massachusetts, and are on the Don Giovanni record label (more from then later).

03) Fuzz - Loose Sutres: Ty Segall is a man of many talents and an output that threatens to surpass Robert Pollard in terms frequency. With Fuzz, Segall takes his seat at the drumkit but it makes him no less a frontman as he is the vocalist. I saw Fuzz play a free outdoor show at Redhook Park in the summer and they were incredible. Catch them if you can, their debut album is out now. Their sound can be perfectly described with their name.

04) Primitive Hearts – Harmony: The west coast seems to be serving up a countless number of garage rock acts right now and Primitive Hearts are a fine compliment to the movement, if this doesn’t get your head nodding then you just don’t like rock and roll.

05) Brick Mower - Back to Haunt Me: I saw Brick Mower at Death By Audio back in February and was wowed by their set, to the point where (admittedly, I was probably drunk) I paid double for their CDs, insisting they didn’t need to break change from my $20, regardless, it was money well spent. Fans of Superchunk (who I seem destined to not see live!) should gobble this up. This track appears on their 2013 album My Hateable Face, via Don Giovanni records, both label and band are from New Jersey.

06) TV On the Radio – Mercy: My love for TVotR runs deep, and it is always a joy to hear a new song by one of your favourite bands (they are, for me, still the best band of this millennium), Mercy is perhaps the most straight forward rock song they have released since Wolf Like Me, and by all accounts came together very quickly. Let’s hope there is more around the corner and who knows, maybe an album!  

07) Bad Cop - Light On: This is the title-track from their recently released EP, which is a more controlled record compared to their debut album, Harvest the Beast, I had convinced myself I had already used a track from that but I guess I haven’t! I’ll rectify that soon I’m sure. Anyway, Light On has a swagger to it that I hope you’ll enjoy.


08) Bass Drum of Death - Shattered Me: I saw BDoD supporting Unknown Mortal Orchestra at the seaport in the summer and while I enjoyed UMO’s set, the night belonged to them. From Oxford (Mississippi, not England), John Barrett writes and records everything, while the touring band is now a 4-piece. They may be set for a sudden burst in popularity as the track, Crawling After You appears on Grand Thest Auto V.

09) Evans the Death - Telling Lies: This song has been my earworm since first hearing it on a free compilation of Slumberland Records acts, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. This appears on their self-titled debut released last year, while they are preparing for a follow-up release.

10) Gos Gos – Vacation: Another free outdoor concert, this time down at Coney Island was headlined by the Go Gos, I had initially went to see Tom Tom Club who were due to support, unfortunately it rained terribly all night and they could not play. I was starting to wonder if the whole night was worth it, but what the hell I was drenched by now anyway, thankfully after opening with this song the mood was transformed and the rain stopped shortly after.

11) Lost Boy? – Chew: I love the DIY venues in New York, one of which is Shea Stadium, who not only put on great acts but also record every artist that play and are free to listen to. I haven’t seen Lost Boy? yet but this was recorded from a set they played there.

12) They Might Be Giants - You're On Fire: This sort of comment may become boring, but I saw They Might be Giants play a free outdoor show at Prospect Park in August. There really are few things more wonderful than seeing a Brooklyn band playing a huge show in their own backyard. This track opens their latest album, Nanobots, which is a fine addition to their discography.  

13) Bad Girlfriend – Feelings: This song is a bit more dreampop than their previous efforts, which had a garage rock feel, but the change feels good. I keep missing them live so I hope I get to rectify that soon.

14) Mikal Cronin – Change: Another of my favourite records released so far this year is II, which is staggeringly consistent. This is one of the more rocking tunes on the album, on which Cronin plays almost every instrument. He played an incredible set at the Bowery Ballroom, his 12-string guitar ended up with about 3 strings by the end of the night. “Faith is just a lover I don’t know, love is just an answer I don’t know”

15) The Holydrug Couple - Long Rain: One of the centrepieces of my Chilean mix, I just felt moved to use another Holydrug Couple track. This particular song has gone through a few iterations in their discography so far, and I don’t have my computer with me to check which version this is as I type these notes at the last second, sorry!

16) Sharon Van Etten - Don't Do It: Sharon Van Etten is the artists I have listened to the most in the last 3 months (according to my last.fm stats at least, but I do not doubt it), her album, Tramp, was one of the finest of 2012 and she played an enchanting set at Googamooga this year in Prospect Park, after which I picked up her debut album, Because I was in Love and Epic, on which this song appears. This song seems fairly obviously about a friend with suicidal intentions, but I think the lyrics reflect a broad scope that leaves the listener with the chance to interpret them as they wish.

17) Future Bible Heroes - Living, Loving, Partygoing: Future Bible Heroes made a somewhat unexpected return this year with their third album, Partygoing. I usually lean towards the Stephin Merrit sang tunes on any of his project, but this Claudia Gonson-led tune is the centrepiece of the album.

18) Daniel Lopatin and Tim Hecker – Vaccination: Two of my favourite ambient/electronic artists collaborating on a record is enough to make one weak at the knees, albeit obviously in a sombre, reflective way. This song has a haunting quality to it, like your trapped in a graveyard waiting for rescue.

19) Fuck Buttons – Stalker: After a period of absence, Fuck Buttons finally return with perhaps their most focused and impressive album to date in Slow Focus, which they self-produced. I had conspired to miss seeing them live a few times whilst back in the UK so I’m looking forward to covering their show at Le Poisson Rouge in October.

I hope that was enjoyable! Also, check out my articles on www.mysociallist.com. October is looking like a hectic month with various gigs lined up.

Until next time
Peace and love - Q


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Q#90 – June – July 2013


Please note that the zip file has a password: Q90
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/?04mam8z8dbhx5fy

Q’s Compilations
Volume #90 – June – July 2013

Greetings! The thing about doing a themed compilation (the Chilean mix of Q#89) is that you get a backlog of tracks from a regular mix, so chopping things down for this release was a bit of a pain! I hope you enjoy what is in store…

01) Books of Love - Space Time: We need more science in music! We also need more Katy Goodman, this song ticks both boxes. I’ll simply copy from the bandcamp page which paints the picture “While hiking past the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, friends Katy Goodman and Greta Morgan were struck with the idea to record a song together: A song about physics and love, science and romance, space and time. Have you ever felt the lovesick pain of falling for someone from a different dimension? We have too.”.

02) Grand Resort - Night is Dark: I saw this band support No Joy at Glasslands and really enjoyed their set, they remind me a little bit of The Sound which can only be good. Songwriter Andres Pichardo grew up in the Dominican Republic before moving to the US and has since released a record called Vanguard Dreams, which I can’t seem to find much about.

03) The Drowners - Long Hair: Uncomplicated catchy indie-pop doesn’t come much more refreshing than this, they have only released a few songs so far so it will be interesting to see what else they put out.

04) Pop Zeus - Devils in the Details: Sorry for the not-so-clear quality on this at times, it’s from a cassette transfer. I’m a big fan of Pop Zeus and think he is putting out the best power-pop around right now. Just listen and then go to the bandcamp page http://popzeus.bandcamp.com/  “I tried my best I really did”

05) Parquet Courts - Borrowed Time: I got off to a weird start with this band because I heard the record last year and thought it was ok, then earlier this year I saw them live supporting The Men at the Bowery Ballroom and really enjoyed them and re-examined the record which is actually really good. I guess that happens sometimes…  “I was up to my neck in motivation neglect when I felt soft waves of purpose crashing onto the surface. “

06) Deerhunter - Dream Captain: It has seemed like an age waiting for Deerhunter to follow up Halcyon Digest (released 3 years ago), but Monomania hit the shelves in May and is a bit of an expected shift into dirty glam-rock which takes you by surprise at first but for me made complete sense after a few listens. I’m excited to be seeing them for the first time in September.  “Could you be, for me, what I see in you, Or would you give me wings so I could fly, fly, or sink and die please!”

07) Kurt Vile - KV Crimes: Wakin On a Pretty Daze sounds like you would think based on the title, it’s a chilled out and hazy record. I love the guitar sound on this song. Have seen Kurt perform twice so far this year, one time just before the album came out and most recently at the 4knots festival. “all right, what now? that's fine, i think i'm ready to claim what's mine,
rightfully, yeah...”

08) The Disciplines – Emily: The Disciplines are a Norwegian rock band than feature Ken Stringfellow of The Posies, who is one of my favourite songwriters. This is taken from the second Disciplines record, Virgins of Menace, released in 2011. I bought this at Ken’s solo show at the Mercury Lounge earlier in the year.

09) The Teen Age - Second Youth: The Teen Age are a new band from Brooklyn, I’ve been following them fairly closely as they drip-feed their songs to the public, this was the second one (out of three so far). I managed to catch the band do a short set at Muchmore’s recently and really like what they’re doing, hopefully they will have a full-blown release soon.

10) The Yellow Dogs - This City: I was pretty blown away by The Yellow Dogs after I saw them play at Glasslands with Sisu, their story is quite amazing, they are from Iran where their music was deemed illegal. This post-punk/dance will get your grooving.

11) Cheatahs - The Swan: Those pining for some Swervedriver-esque shoegaze should look no further. I just picked up Extended Plays which combines the band’s two previous EPs.

12) Meat Puppets - One More Drop: The Pups have released another fine album with Rat Farm. I managed to catch them at the Mercury Lounge earlier in the year (they played two shows, I really should have done both!) and played a great show. Long may they continue. “One more drop then I'm gonna stop it. Climb back on a one-way rocket now ... rocket now”

13) Teen – Electric: I finally got round to seeing Teen live earlier in the year, supporting Memory Tapes (more on them later) at Glasslands in February. This is from their debut EP, Little Doods, they have just recorded another EP called Carolina (which I have yet to hear).

14) Fear of Men – Seer: Hailing from Brighton, I was a bit bummed to find out I had just missed a show in New York in March (just before I heard of them) but thankfully they just returned to play a free show at the South Street Seaport. The band had released a few limited cassettes before compiling the best material onto Early Fragments, they are about to release a full length album this summer.

15) Sisu - Two Thousand Hands: I featured Light Eyes on Q#88, Sisu have since remastered and officially released their EP (now called Light Eyes) and are set to put out an album later in the year.

16) Memory Tapes - Thru the Field: After seeing Memory Tapes live, you have to adjust somewhat to the studio output, which is more of a one-man electronic project whereas the live experience is fleshed out with real drums, bass and guitar. This is taken from the most recent release, Grace/Confusion.

17) Mark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle - You Missed My Heart: I recently reviewed this record for my blog so I suspect it will just be easier to link to that, here you go: http://someothersuckersparade.blogspot.com/2013/05/mark-kozelek-and-jimmy-lavelle-perils.html to summarise, I really like it! “I rattled off a list with everything I missed, Like going to the movies with her, And the way she kissed me. Driving into downtown Wheeling, Showing her off the back yard barbecues, And reunions in the park, I said I missed her skin and she started laughing, And while I clinched down on her wrist, She said thats quite a list, But there is one thing you missed. You missed my heart, you missed my heart”

18) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito: This is the title-track from the band’s latest album, which although solid, does not quite hit the heady heights of their previous three wonderful albums. It does have some highlights, however, including this song. I’ve seen the band twice this year and they are still a great live band. “They can see you but you can't see them, So are you gonna let them in? They're hiding underneath your bed, Crawling between your legs, They're sticking it in your vein, Were you itching when they called your name?”

19) The Flaming Lips - Look... The Sun is Rising: The Terror sees the Flips exploring their more morbid musical side, it is a record that has divided opinion as some claim it to be directionless and droning, personally I do not think that at all, it is a beautiful record with much more structure than people realise. I saw them recently in Prospect Park on a beautiful sunny day, which was a bit at odds with their set but I love them unconditionally. “Love is always something, Something you should fear, When you really listen, Fear is all you hear”

20) The Men – Supermoon: Contender for album of the year (so far at least) is The Men’s New Moon, which I also reviewed on my blog here: http://someothersuckersparade.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-men-new-moon-album-bowery-ballroom.html I thought this was a great closer and I ended up dropping a few tracks (and changing the Kurt Vile tune to a shorter one) to make sure I could fit it on. This is just a riot.

And there you have it, we are fully into summer here and New York is an amazing place to be for all the free summer shows that go on. The heat and humidity may be unbearable at times, however!

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Q#89 – April – May 2013


Please note that the zip file has a password: Q89
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/?avz9cc0yb6b31mc


Q’s Compilations
Volume #89 – April – May 2013

Hola! I have recently become obsessed with music from Chile, and so I had little choice but to put together a mix of Chilean bands (almost exclusively from Santiago), I have found some phenomenal bands so please enjoy!

01) Vuelveteloca – Paramount: I’m kicking off with probably my favourite song (and record) from Chile, Jinete Galáctico , the second album form the band (who are just about to release their third). I just love the driving rhythm and that guitar sound, wow! Please go to http://vuelveteloca.bandcamp.com/ and check them out further.

02) The Ganjas – Motoqueiro: Formed in 1999, The Ganjas have 5 records and a few EPs to their name, this song comes from Loose which was released in 2009. They are equally at home with Swervedriver-esque rock anthems like this, as well as long sprawling psychedelic clocking in at 15 minutes. With regards to singing (almost all) their songs in English, drummer Aldo Benincasa said “Most of us are "English singers." We can read it easily, but speaking and listening is an exercise that needs more practice. I think we speak "music English" or "movie English," because we watch movies with subtitles and listen to music. We chose English because it is the language used in the kind of music we like and have listened to since we were kids”

03) Pontiacs - Slow Motion: I found this band on bandcamp, details are a little sketchy and in slightly broken English (better than my Spanish!), but you can download this album (called Bursting) for free on their bandcamp page: http://pontiacs.bandcamp.com/

04) Watch Out! - Wish You Know: This song is taken from their new album, Flashbacker, which is set for a US release soon on record store day (20th of April) via Permanent Records, this is one of the more straightforward songs on the record. Debut album To Live and Leave is also recommended. http://watchout.bandcamp.com/

05) La Hell Gang - Just What Is Real: This is the title track to the band’s only record to date (though after speaking with the drummer recently, they have many unreleased songs), singer and guitarist Francisco Cabala also formed Chicos de Nazca (and releases Boards of Canada-type electronic music as KB Cabala), hopefully the band will record and release more material soon. https://soundcloud.com/lahellgang

06) Yajaira - Hacia El Sol: A great slice of stoner rock, Yajaira released 6 records between 1998 and 2005, and after a 5-year hiatus, released a further album in 2011. This song is on their 1998 self-titled debut. Hear more at http://www.myspace.com/yajaira666

07) Casino – Cura: This song is taken from the band’s second album, Volcanoes, I also have their third, called Million Days, which is nice but I haven’t quite gotten into yet (the sound is a bit more poppy with English vocals). Singer Paul Giadach is currently in The Ganjas (and produced their record, Loose).

08) Kayros – Maldecidos: Another stoner/desert rock band, you can get the band’s three records at a name-your-own-price download on their bandcamp page: http://kayros1.bandcamp.com/ fans of Kyuss and Monster Magnet should dig this.

09) Föllakzoid – 99: This is the band that started off my obsession, second album, II was recently put out by the Sacred Bones label in New York and when I noticed they also put out an album by The Holydrug Couple (featured next…) I started to wonder if there were any other Chilean bands worth listening to, and here we are. I loved the Föllakzoid album immediately and reviewed it on my blog (so just read it!): http://someothersuckersparade.blogspot.com/2013/02/follakzoid-ii-album-review.html I just saw them play a show at the Mercury Lounge and they were brilliant!

10) The Holydrug Couple - Out of Sight: Also had the pleasure of seeing this band play with Föllakzoid, they have two albums and a smattering of EPs and singles, hear all at their bandcamp page: http://theholydrugcouple.bandcamp.com/ their latest album, Noctuary (on which this song appears) has just been put out by Sacred Bones. Ives Sepulveda is certainly one of the most interesting guitar players out there right now.

11) Chicos de Nazca - Crushing in my Head: This band features members of La Hell Gang and Föllakzoid, I have one of their albums which has a bit more of an electronic influence, but found this song on their soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/chicos-de-nazca

12) Tsunamis - Rosita Queen: Tsunamis have three releases, the debut EP (where I’ve taken this track) is a very raw and passionate rock and roll record with some long jams, highly recommended. The full length album and recent EP, Crac! From 2012 are a bit more polished but feature some excellent songs. I bought all three releases from http://portaldisc.com/ which has almost every Chilean band you can hope to find and has proved invaluable (it’s a legitimate service, and you can get 10 download codes for $42).

13) Aguaturbia – EVOL: The only band that pre-dates Pinochet’s regime, during which he essentially banned or heavily censored rock music, hence the gap in time from the 70s until the 90s. Formed in 1968, the band caused controversy by appearing naked on their album covers, and also featuring the singer being crucified on the second record cover. The band moved to New York in 1970 and returned in 1973, just before Pinochet’s dictatorship began.

I sincerely hope you like this mix and that it will cause you to explore further, and if I have missed any bands out please let me know! I should also mention Blow Your Mind Records http://www.bymrecords.com/home/ which feature many of the bands on this mix on their roster.

Until next time
Peace and love - Q 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Q#88 - February - March 2013


Please note, mediafire zip file has a password: Q88

Download files from: http://www.mediafire.com/?njr3f8pfxtepo0j


Q’s Compilations
Volume #88 – February – March 2013

Greetings again! 2013 seems to have started off as 2012 ended, with a lot of shows. Have racked up almost (or maybe) 30 by the end of March. I’ve had this mixed for a couple of weeks and already have a whole bunch of stuff I’m excited about for the next one, so let’s get cracking!

01) Spanish Moss - Fuzz Puzzle: This is, as people say, the shit. Listen to this, and then when you’re done, read my review: http://someothersuckersparade.blogspot.com/2013/02/spanish-moss-kelp-ep-review.html

02) ExLovers - Starlight, Starlight: I used Moth Eaten Memories on Q#83 and felt an urge to dig out the record again, I think Ex Cops reminded me of them. News on the band seems to be quite thin at the moment. “You say we're going nowhere, But we're already here. And you could make the daylight disappear.”

03) Ex Cops – Ken: True Hallucinations was released on the 22nd of January, unfortunately I was at another gig when they played their record release show. They’re from Brookyln though, so I suspect I’ll get more chances to see them. “Something unusual, that you couldn’t see, Seeking arrangement from another scene”

04) Sisu - Light Eyes: Sisu is Sandra Vu (Dum Dum Girls drummer), I saw them supporting Cat Power recently and loved their set. Light Eyes is a sultry electro-shoegaze masterpiece, I bought their DIY CD (which is now sold out) and am very much looking forward to their debut album which is due in June.

05) Seapony - I Never Would: I used the infectious summer anthem, Dreaming on Q#84 and now that I’ve purchased the album properly it seemed fitting to revisit. They released their second album, Falling last September which I still haven’t heard, must rectify that. “Will you still want me there? When I no longer care. Will you still be around? Follow and falling down”

06) Sleepy Sun - She Rex: I’ve been listening to a fair amount of psychedelic rock lately so a friend recommended Sleepy Sun, I bought their latest record, Spine Hits, just before the end of the year which I think hints at a slightly more commercial direction and also their first since vocalist Rachel Fannan left the group. I like the album however, I suspect I may enjoy the earlier releases more.

07) Kingdom of the Holy Sun - A Go Go: From Seattle, I grabbed this track because Last.FM recommended them to me (sometimes it’s worth having a route through the recommendations…), I’ve grabbed the album (self titled) which is well worth a listen.

08) Haunted Leather - Shapes on the Wall: Another Last.FM recommendations, details about the band are pretty scarce, but who needs details when you can just listening to this ground-shaking juggernaut of a song.

09) Soundgarden - Been Away Too Long: I never thought I’d get to see Soundgarden live, so gobbled up the chance to see them twice recently, and they played drastically different sets each night (which both clocked in at 2.5 hours each). New album, King Animal seemed a bit of a damp squib when I first listened to it, but repeated listens have gotten under my skin and it’s a worthy addition to their fine discography. “This place has a sṗecial kind of falling apart. Like they put the whole thing together in the dark”

10) Buffalo Tooth - Only Son: Carrie was blasting this song from another compilation and my ears pricked, they only have a 7” single at the moment but are currently recording a full record, watch this space!! http://buffalotooth.bandcamp.com/

11) The Soft Pack – Saratoga: I was a big fan of the Soft Pack’s debut album (and was a fan before that, when they were known as The Muslims), I was supposed to see them last summer but a freak storm made them cancel (the show was outside). New album, Strapped, doesn’t quite have the infectious punch that the self-titled release had, but it’s still chock full of fine songs.

12) The Babies – Alligator: The Babies are Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls and Kevin Morby from Woods, I’ll have the pleasure of seeing them play a couple of times this month (both free shows as well!). Their second album, Our House on the Hill, was released in November and is a fun-filled record well worth your time. There's no job to pay the rent. There's no love to make it better. There's no plans, What'chu doin' later? Take my hand, alligator.

13) Day Joy - Bone and Bloody: I found this band because they were supporting at a gig I was thinking of going to (which I didn’t go to in the end), this is a lovely slice of Americana which I hope some of you will enjoy. “When I've been running several days. I can barely find a place where you won't leave me in the gutter - where you won't leave me bone and bloody." 

14) The Mountain Goats - The Diaz Brothers: I went to a podcast recording at Studio X which featured John Darnielle, he didn’t play this song but it was a fun night (the first half was a conversation between him and author Frank Bill) and made me appreciate his work even more. Transcendental Youth was released in October, I’d missed their last couple of albums (the last one I got was Heretic Pride in 2008) so I have some catching up to do. “Keep one step ahead of enemies. Foretell worse things than such frightful nights as these.“

15) Daytona - You're In Beijing: I saw Daytona supporting Bleeding Rainbow in February and I’d been listening to their EP on bandcamp fairly extensively, the band includes bassist Jose Boyer of the now defunct, Harlem. http://daytonapals.bandcamp.com/

16) Ski Lodge - I Would Die to Be: There’s certainly nothing original about Ski Lodge, but how can you not love that guitar sound?! So far the band have just one EP (which was released in 2011), hopefully they’re in the process of getting an album together. “I would die to be, just to be someone, just to be someone that you love. I would die to be, just to be something, just to be something in your dreams “

17) Melody's Echo Chamber - I Follow You: Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker is a big influence on this record, producing and playing various instruments, but the star of the show is of course Melody Prochet. This song can’t help but lift spirits, with that summery instrumentation and Prochet’s whimsical vocal delivery. The self-titled record was released in September. “I was wrong and you were cold, I was hoping you might go. You would never show me how much you cared , what was going on “

18) Ken Stringfellow – Shittalkers: Ken has been one of my favourite musicians for some time, both as one half of The Posies and his ludicrously underrated solo material. I’d never seen him live as solo artist before which was thankfully rectified in February. He played possibly the most intimate show I’ve seen, coming off the stags and playing most of the gig on the floor amongst the audience without a microphone. Stringfellow’s latest offering is Danzig in the Moonlight, which I can’t recommend enough, if you listen casually you will miss out on so much, his music can take some time to really seep in but reward patience greatly. “Kids in the clubs won’t even touch this stuff, it’s a hard sell.

19) Gracie – Habits: I’d had this song stuck in my head for a few weeks and also enjoyed a couple of EPs I paid for on bandcamp, though I have to say I was a little bit disappointed when I saw them live, some of the charm seemed to get lost. I’ll certainly be keeping Gracie on the radar though if they keep on churning songs out like this.

20) Blood Orange - Bad Girls: I had a couple of free credits for MP3s on Amazon, so decided to buy the Bad Girls/Dinner single, I really love the Blood Orange record so felt like I needed to pick up what I didn’t have. And still I try to lure you into my own hurricane, it’s like you spot me trying from a thousand miles away.

As ever, I hope you enjoyed the mix, do send feedback, recommendations, etc, etc. Now I suppose I’d better get my taxes sorted… L

Until next time
Peace and love - Q