Monday, 24 January 2011

Q#75 - December 2010 to January 2011

Q’s Compilations – Volume # 75 – December 2010 – January 2011

Please note that the zip file has a password: Q75
Download files here -

Hello! I trust you all had an enjoyable break over the winter period, there seems to be a lot of illness going round at the moment so I hope by now you’re feeling better if you have been under the weather. If not, then with a bit of luck there’s something on this compilation that will raise your spirits a little! As usual the first compilation of the year is my “best-of” that it had to offer, as is often the case after I finished the mix I found a few other artists that I hadn’t heard before that really should have made the cut. Apologies to The Hundred in the Hands in particular.

01) Superchunk - Digging for Something: Majesty Shredding is the band’s first full-length album in 9 years and is certainly more frantic than 2001’s low-key (but still good) Here’s to Shutting Up. This song kicks off the album and makes for a fine compilation opener. “I don’t know how to dance this slow but I can try”

02) The Soft Pack - Answer to Yourself: It’s easy to forget albums released at the very start of the year and the band’s self-titled debut was released back in February. They had previously released a couple of excellent EPs whilst known as The Muslims. I used C’mon on an earlier mix in the year which is probably the stand-out song on the record but it’s full of driving indie-rock songs. “You got a rabbit in your hat, You got a few tricks up your sleeve, Don't get stuck in a rut, Or stuck in the same, You got exactly what you need”

03) Best Coast - Crazy For You: The best album of the year was Crazy For You by Best Coast, I already used the best song, Boyfriend, but the whole album is a joyous wash of sunny pop. “I want to hit you, but then I kiss you, want to kill you, but then I'd miss you”

04) Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill: This song isn’t particularly representative of the Brooklyn duo’s excellent Treats album, which for the main part is a brash onslaught of noise-pop, but the other song I used didn’t go down too well anyway. “Have a heart, have a heart, have a heart, sixteen six six six like the pentagon, we are the river flow, and you can never know, you're just a weatherman, we make the wind blow”

05) Maximum Balloon - Groove Me: Dave Sitek’s solo album is certainly a strong contender for album of the year and nicely fills the void left while the members of TV On the Radio take a break. This song features the vocal talents of Theophilus London, whom Sitek is working with on his own record. “Dont give it up dear you're so sincere the light lit up the room, In a deep space there's no return, I guess I'll see you in June,
Land of the queens land of the kings, Lets rejoice and lets all sing, Take a vow or take this ring, Funky love that's my thing”

06) Holy Fuck - Latin America: I have waxed lyrical about Holy Fuck’s music before so there’s not a lot I can say here, Latin was released in May. Check out the video for Red Lights on youtube if you get the chance, and if you like cats, it’s a great video.

07) Massive Attack - Girl I Love You: Heligoland (I always want to call it Hi Lego Land) was another early release (February) and I was eagerly anticipating it not just for being a Massive Attack album but TV On the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe would be contributing vocals to Pray for Rain (which has already featured on a Q-comp), this song of course features the vocal talents of Horace Andy as many Massive Attack tunes do. “Girl I'm back in Spanish town, ain't no trouble coming around“

08) Jenny and Johnny - Big Wave: If you’re anything like me then you’ll get this song stuck in your head, apologies in advance. “And we save our money in good faith, And we work hard for our living wage, But still the banks gotta break“

09) Quasi - Rockabilly Party: Another of the very finest records of the year was Quasi’s American Gong, my first exposure to the band and thankfully I managed to buy a copy of the album that came with a bonus “best-of” disc which is also excellent. This song sounds like Neal Young rocking out. “If you stir up the hornets nest, both of us must get stung”

10) Gogol Bordello - My Companjera: Surprise of the year was Gogol Bordello and their live set supporting Rage Against the Machine in Finsbury Park in the summer (an outstanding gig). “We stepped together in the river, We traded fever on turmoil, Last time I saw you was in the middle, I wonder if you hit the soil“

11) They Might Be Giants - Science is Real: TMBG return with Here Comes Science, which sees the band make their third “educational” album, as it happens I bought it for my brother for Christmas! I fear I may have made a mistake here though because further research leads me to find out that this was actually released in 2009, doh! Oh well, too late to change now! “A scientific theory, Isn't just a hunch or guess, It's more like a question, That's been put through a lot of tests, And when a theory emerges, Consistent with the facts, The proof is with science, The truth is with science“

12) Nada Surf - You Were So Warm: Waiting for a Nada Surf album is like not seeing your friends for years, there’s something exciting and comforting about this band for me and while If I had a Hi-Fi is merely a covers album it’s still great to see the band putting something out. This song is originally by Dwight Twilley. “Any way I told you before that night, that I didn’t want to go, ‘cause you were so warm.”

13) Shearwater - Black Eyes: The Golden Archipelago is the band’s sixth studio album and was released in February, Jonathan Meiburg has described the album as being the third in a trilogy and a new album set for 2011 may well “rock” a bit more! As far as Americana goes, Shearwater are one of the most consistently good acts in the last few years. “and what the body allows, is a flash in the heart, until the memory dies”

14) Justin Currie - The Fight to be Human: Justin returned this year with The Great War, while not as good as his first solo album What Is Love For? the record is overall more upbeat although I have picked a track which does not back up that statement! Clocking in at 8-minutes slowly builds up and is no doubt one of the songs Currie refers to when he says the album still has a few songs about “middle-aged angst-ridden misogyny”. “I'm not a master of what I survey, To death and disaster I am a slave, But I am the author of the words that I say, But why do I bother; it's all trash anyway.”

15) Deerhunter - Desire Lines: Halcyon Digest hasn’t had the immediate effect on me that Microcastle (which in itself is not the end of the world, Microcastle is an incredible record) did but it does have that “it’ll be a grower” feel to it, this song, however, did jump out at me straight away. “well every day do what you can, if you let them turn you round, whatever goes up, must come down”

16) Super Chron Flight Brothers - Double Jeopardy: I think this is the first time I’ve used Super Chron Flight Brothers although tells me they are my 3rd most-listened to act of the last 6 months (they are indeed, excellent), this probably won’t be for a lot of you but they are one of the more modern hip-hop acts that have kept my interested.

17) Max Richter - Infra 5: Max returned this year with Infra, which is a wonderful blend of his usual classical/minimalism/electronica and to me this is his strongest individual piece since On the Nature of Daylight.

18) Beach House – Norway: I’ve been a fan of Beach House for a while although I wasn’t completely won over by their live show when seeing them support Grizzly Bear at the start of the year (who did put on one of the best performances I have ever seen) they have crafted their best work to date on Teen Dream.

19) Sun Kil Moon - Australian Winter: Mark Kozelek’s latest offering is under his Sun Kil Moon moniker, Admiral Fell Promises features Mark with a classical guitar.

It may not have been the best year ever for new music but it has certainly been one of the best years for gigs (for me, anyway) and special mention has to go to 3 concerts I went to that will take some topping. Grizzly Bear at the Roundhouse in February, Rage Against the Machine at Finsbury Park in June and Paul McCartney at Hammersmith in December. Looking forward to seeing what 2011 has in store both musically and personally.

Peace and love
Until next time - Q