Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Q#80 - October/November 2011

Q#80 - October/November 2010


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Q’s Compilations – Vol 80 – October to November 2011.

Ok if I’m not in New York by the time the next compilation comes out then keep an eye on the news as there will probably be reports of an ugly, big-nosed freak on the rampage. We’re still here but should be in the US by the end of the year, in one state or another. Took me a while to get going with this mix what with everything else going on, but I think it’s turned out pretty damn well! Notes are going to be rushed somewhat, sorry.

01) Cymbals Eat Guitars - Rifle Eyesight: August saw the release of the band’s second album, Lenses Alien, which is a fine continuation of what they were doing with 2009s Why There Are Mountains. This track opens the record and I thought made for an interesting opener to the mix as well, with those Sonic-Youth-esque guitar thrashes and cymbal crashes. “guts for abduction, well my friend that’s another thing”

02) Wild Flag – Romance: Wild Flag include Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss of Sleater Kinney fame, along with Mary Timony and Rebecca Cole. The music is certainly Sleater Kinney-esque which is a fine thing indeed. “Hey, you've got me crawling, You've got me spinning, Shake, shimmy shake, First you wreck me, then resurrect me, it's too much”

03) Nada Surf - The Moon is Calling (demo): I was in local independent record store called Truck a couple of weeks ago and was happy to see a copy of Nada Surf’s “Record Store Day” 7” single which also came with a code to download the songs on the vinyl, a fine idea. They also have a new record coming out in January called The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy. “It’s hard to believe but I hear voices and I cannot keep this secret”

04) Real Estate - Out of Tune: Felix gave me a headsup about this band, who have just released their second album, Days. Bright and shiny guitars rule supreme on this tune. “You’re entering this town, yourself a weeping clown, you play along to songs written for you”.

05) Richmond Fontaine - The Chainsaw Sea: One of those bands I’d always heard about without really exploring, this alt-country four-piece played in Oxford recently and some friends were going that I hadn’t seen in a while so I decided to go. They played new album The High Country in its entirety which I’ve since acquired, it’s a fine album indeed. It’s a concept album in some ways but I think it’s more comfortable to call it a story album. I certainly came into the gig being ignorant about their music, but came out a fan. Looking forward to getting their other stuff. “Below the concrete is buried the fat man from Mississippi and a hooker he met in Clatskanie”

06) Desire - Under Your Spell: Went to see new film Drive a little while back (there are probably loads of films with this kind of title, it’s the new one starring Ryan Gosling) which was a very good movie, aided by a great soundtrack. This dreamy synth-soaked anthem sounds like a winner to me. “I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I do nothing but think of you”

07) The Hundred in the Hands – Sleepwalkers: I thought this would go nicely after Desire, this is taken from their 2010 EP This Desert. “You said, I might be dead, But I've been off for years”

08) Puscifer - The Weaver: The latest side-project from Tool’s Maynard James Keenan, Puscifer also includes personal favourite Carina Round in the band. I thought that Conditions of My Parole was the band’s first album but it’s actually their second so I have some catching up to do. This certainly sounds more like A Perfect Circle than it does Tool but regardless of the comparisons it’s a very interesting album. “I am therefore I do, Explore. I am the weaver, I do therefore become, A seer and believer.”

09) Linton Kwesi Johnson - Dread Beat An Blood: This is the title track of his debut album, I don’t really know all that much about the man but read a glowing review of this album recently which made me want to check it out (he was also quite prominent on the Reggae Britannia documentary I saw a while ago).

10) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes: Soul Time is a UK-released compilation album of non-album tracks, which seems a strange way to first get acquainted with a band but if these are tracks not deemed good enough for release then I will have a fine time diving into the back catalogue.

11) French – Marla: I used a track from the band Versus a while back, who formed after the band Flower broke up in the early 90s, another band to form from that split was French. Fans of power-pop should dig this tune. All their music can be downloaded for free on the website -

12) Nada Surf - You're Going to Miss the Wood (demo): This is the b-side to the record-store day vinyl I purchased so you get a double-whammy of rare Nada Surf tunes.

13) The Boys - Brickfield Nights: The wife and I went to Blackpool a couple of months ago for the Rebellion Festival, basically 3 days of old-school punk bands (and a few newer ones), not so much my idea of fun but she had a really great time which was the main thing. There were a few highlights, however, and surprise package of the weekend were The Boys, who put on a great power-pop performance. “Every night we`d meet at the same place same time”

14) Jeffrey Lewis - Mosquito Rap: Jeffrey has just released his latest solo album A Turn in the Dream Songs and it’s up to his usual high standards. This song is a hidden track at the end of the album and is chock full of his usual humour and witty lyrics. “but if I see a spider then I know it’s alright ‘cause I can use it as a partner killing tonight”

15) Bon Iver – Holocene: Their 2011 self-titled had passed me by until recently, it’s not as good as For Emma, Forever Ago but it does have some very good moments. Might be a grower, rather uncreative of my I’ve plumped for one of the songs that would probably fit quite snugly onto the last album. “And at once I knew, I was not magnificent”

16) Glass Candy - Digital Versicolor: Another of Johnny Jewel’s bands, I picked up the album B/E/A/T/B/O/X on ebay recently for a good deal, this is the standout track for me though there are others that are equally strong. I mentioned to my wife that this sounds like it could be used as a theme-tune for an 80s TV show like Knight Rider, to which her response was that this is much cooler than Knight Rider… pfffft, what does SHE know?!

17) Steven Wilson - Fluid Tap: Steven has just released his second “solo” album, Grace for Drowning, once again a version has been released in lavish coffee-book packaging with bonus material, so being the sucker that I am, I paid a lot of money for it. It is, thankfully a good album, better than the last couple of Porcupine Tree records and the 5.1 mix in particular is pretty spectacular (though I no longer have a 5.1 setup).

18) A Winged Victory for the Sullen - We Played Some Open Chords and Rejoiced, for the Earth Had Circled the Sun Yet Another Year: A bit of a mouthful but the music is anything but, Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran have created something very beautiful with this (self-titled) release. The whole record is sure to be a treat for anyone who likes ambient/neo-classical music, there’s little else I could say so just sit back and treat yourself to these 6 minutes of bliss.

The next comp should (I’m hoping the impending move leaves me with time to throw it together on schedule) be the usual “best of the year” mix. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a good time over the festive period.

Peace and Love
Until Next Time