Saturday, 31 March 2012

Q#82 - February - March 2012

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Q’s Compilations – Vol 82 – February - March 2012.
Greetings! The second compilation of the year tends to follow the same pattern, it consists of songs I possibly should have put on the previous one (best of the year) and also older tracks that I’ve wanted to use for a while but couldn’t use on the last one!

01) Wilco – Art of Almost: I would have used this track on the last mix but there wasn’t enough time left, so it’s the opener here. Nice wig out section at the end.

02) Bitch Magnet – Motor: Whilst browsing in Other Music last month I had a great surprise, Bitch Magnet’s entire recorded output has been reissued in a single 3-CD box set, terrific! I’ve been a fan for a few years but it was impossible to find anything to buy. Bitch Magnet lay down some of the best hardcore tracks around and I’m sure this will go down well among a few of you in particular.

03) Sleater Kinney – Dig Me Out: I also picked this up in Other Music, for $2 it was rude not to! I didn’t own this album previously so it was great to rectify that. I keep hearing about how great the recent Wild Flag shows have been, hopefully they’ll be back around here soon and I won’t miss them.

04) Wussy – Pulverised: This band were a tip from a workmate and I found some free downloads on their website (, unfortunately I just missed a show they did with another fine band, Versus at a place called the Cakeshop. Hopefully catch them at some other point.

05) Rebirth Brass Band – Feel Like Funkin’ It Up: We watched the first season of Treme in January and whilst nothing will probably ever be as good as The Wire, it was great to see another show by David Simon (and many actors from The Wire).  

06) Bob Marley & The Wailers – Riding High: I was given a CD of early Bob Marley tunes by a friend at a pub meetup recently. I’m not schooled up enough about reggae in general but I gather this is a different version.

07) Fela Kuti - Gbagada Gbagada Gbogodo Gbogodo: We watched a film called The Visitor recently (it’s not about aliens from outer space, but immigration in the US) which was very well done, I’d recommend it. Anyway, Fela Kuti gets mentioned a bit and is featured on the soundtrack and I liked it a lot.

08) Randy & the Radiants – Peek a Boo: This popped up on a shuffle a little while ago and I loved it. I have the Sun Records 50th anniversary box set, which is huge so it’s easy to forget about hidden gems like this one.

09) Sharon Van Etten – Serpents: Sharon lives in the neighbourhood we are currently in, Ditmas Park, unfortunately we missed the show she did around here but I kept seeing the picture of the album and praise for it, so I checked it out, and it’s good.

10)  The War on Drugs – It’s Your Destiny: Another one that didn’t make the cut for the last mix, but I like the song a lot. Slave Ambient sees the band honing their talents and I have the feeling that their best albums are still ahead of them.

11) Shearwater – Breaking the Yearlings: Whilst browsing Academy Music in Williamsburg (before seeing Dum Dum Girls at the Music Hall) I was surprised to see a copy of Shearwater’s just-released album for $5 (new and sealed), so I snapped it up. The band do what they do and on occasion are still guilty of sounding a bit over earnest, but they always put out a few good tunes.

12) Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid: The second album from this Brooklyn duo (Reign of Terror) is not as good to these ears as Treats was, but it’s a decent record nonetheless. Slightly more polished and less abrasive than previous effort, though this song, which is the lead single from the album is more familiar territory.

13) Mark Lanegan – Ode to Sad Disco: Has it really been 8 years since the release of Bubblegum? While Lanegan has kept himself reasonably busy with other projects, a follow-up album has been long overdue, Blues Funeral thankfully doesn’t attempt to be Bubblegum mkII and is different enough in its own right to avoid unfair comparison. This song in particular features deep synth sounds that sound like they could have been on what was probably the best film of last year, Drive.  

14) Steven Wilson – Remainder the Black Dog: Wilson is a frustrating artist these days, releasing countless versions of each item in his discography and sometimes describing work that has yet to come out as something different than the final product appears (to these ears, anyway). Still, his last solo album (which obviously I bought as a lavish coffee book style with bonus discs), Grace for Drowning is a worthy addition to the canon. I tend to feel he should be taking more risks with his solo output, but it’s a good listen nonetheless.

15) Barry Adamson – Looking to Love Somebody: We caught Barry Adamson (best known as the bassist in Magazine) do an in-store performance at Other Music and I felt  compelled to buy his album as a result (spent a few minutes talking to him, nice guy), the album, I Will Set You Free sees him take on a more commercial sound (quite the contrast compared to his earlier releases) but he has good songwriting chops and I’d recommend the album.

16) Nada Surf – No Snow on the Mountain: I can’t say anything about Nada Surf than I haven’t already, there’s something that genuinely excites me about a new album from this band, and The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy is a rocking affair, certainly more intense than the last couple of albums. Guitarist Doug Gillard (past member of Guided By Voices) has joined the band for this album and adds some nice touches to the songs. I’m seeing the band at Webster Hall in April.

17) Crystal Stilts – Flying Into the Sun: I used another track from In Love With Oblivion last year and kept feeling as though I should use another one at some point, so here it is! Probably not quite challenging the best albums of last year but it’s a fine album and a jump in quality their debut, it’s going to be interesting to see where they go from here.

18) Silver Sun – Dead End: I never understood how this record (Neo Wave) wasn’t a huge success, it’s such a wonderful bubblegum power-pop record, infectious hooks and harmonies all over the place. Anyway, I’ve had this song in my head recently and had to chuck it onto the mix.

And that’s it for this latest instalment! Brief notes yet again, everything is a million-miles-per-hour here and we have another month on our current lease, stressful time of trying to find out next place to live! Hopefully there is plenty on here  to like, please give me any recommendations or comments about the mix, they are appreciated.

Peace and love
Until next time - Q

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