Monday, 28 May 2012

Q#83 - April - May 2012

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #83 – April – May 2012

The last couple of months have been beyond hectic. Came to the end of our sublet in Ditmas Park, we liked the area and are comfortable here so decided to stick around! We now have our own proper lease on an apartment in the same area (about a block from where we were), we did move from a furnished apartment to an unfurnished one so have had to do all the fun stuff of picking out new furniture... If that process hasn’t been stressful enough the company I work for is also moving to a new office and I’ve been tasked with most of the move. I’ll manage a few seconds for a sigh at some point when this is done. As a result, I’ve really thrown this together very quickly, but there is a lot of new music on here so hopefully it sounds fresh.

For your pleasure (hopefully), on this mix…

01) La Sera - Love That's Gone: La Sera is the side-project of Vivian Girls’ bassist Katie Goodman (swoon…), who manages the rare feat of having a side-project that is even better than her “main” band. The band just released their second record, Sees the Light, and we managed to catch their only NYC show a few days ago. Both records are fantastic and I would highly recommend them, chockfull of hooks and a good variety of songs. They were also great live. “I love my life without you, You can't say a thing, I feel that I should tell you, Can't do anything”

02) Lee Ranaldo - Off the Wall: The often overlooked Sonic Youth legend has just released a lovely solo record, Between the Times and Tides, and we were lucky to be present at the record release party at Other Music, where Lee’s band played an acoustic set and signed copies of the record either. Lee seems like one of the nicest people you could meet and seemed genuinely interested in anyone who talked to him. “Explosions in the city, explosions deep in me,
Someone in the crowd has me falling at her feet, These days are so uncommon flashing lights and siren’s calls, These days I’m trying hard to keep from falling off the wall”

03) The Men - Open Your Heart: I heard about this album in Other Music and tracked down a few free promo MP3s, of which this is one (from Urban Outfitters Music Mondays that Carrie gets). I’ll probably grab the album at some point as I like what I’ve heard. The beginning of the song sounds a bit like Ever Fallen In Love… by The Buzzcocks.

04) Guided By Voices - We Won't Apologise for the Human Race: It’s great to see GBV back and making music, and while Let’s Go Eat the Factory isn’t the best album they have ever released, it’s a worthy addition to the GBV canon. And to just make matters even better, they are headlining a free show in Central Park this summer, which also includes other fine bands, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and The War on Drugs. Just need to make sure we turn up early enough to get in!

05) Violens - Every Melting Degree: The band have upped their game with 2nd album, True, a more nuanced and melody-driven record than their promising debut. Carrie won tickets to their record release show at La Poisson Rouge, it was a late show however and the band didn’t come on until midnight!

06) Veronica Falls - My Heart Beats: A recommendation from a friend, they’re playing a free show over here this summer. The band have just the one album to date (self-titled) released last year, this is a fun head nodder.

07) Lotus Plaza – Strangers: Lockett Pundt is the guitarist in Deerhunter and has released 2 albums as Lotus Plaza, 2009’s The Floodlight Collective and 2012’s Spooky Action at a Distance (on which this track appears), it’s not much of a departure from his day job, it has to be said, but that’s not a bad thing.

08) Afghan Whigs - Blame, etc: I’m very excited to have tickets to see Afghan Whigs in October (although annoyingly just after I bought tickets they announced a show for the end of this month at the Bowery Ballroom which was also cheaper!). I’ve seen Gutter Twins a couple of times I think it’ll be quite special to see Dulli and co cranking out songs like this, which is on my favourite record, Black Love. “my skin catches fire at the mention of your name”

09) The Magnetic Fields - Your Girlfriend's Face: Stephin Merritt and company return to their synth-based roots with Love at the Bottom of the Sea, which may seem a regression of sorts but just sounds like another fine Magnetic Fields album! This song is the highlight of the record for me, with Merritt’s dark humour to the fore in the lyrics. “So I've taken a contract out on y'all, For make me feel infinitely small, In the evenings I devise your death, Being buried alive on crystal meth”

10) Light Asylum - A Certain Person: I heard this song on youtube months ago after the LCD Soundsystem facebook page recommended it, their self-titled debut has just been released and it’s a fine synth-pop record, which seems to be the in thing these days.

11) Carina Round - Set Fire: Tigermending is Carina’s first full length album since 2007’s Slow Motion Addict, and is another fine collection of songs. As with a lot of independent artists these days, she depends on pre-orders and kickstarter donations, so please do check her out if you like the material - you find the truth cut it out with a razor blade, when you distribute choose your voice like a hand grenade”

12) BLK JKS – Mololtladi: I’ve been a fan of these guys for a few years without buying the album (just never got round to it), but picked it up for $2 in Other Music finally. I first heard of them because they were on TV On the Radio’s top friends on myspace! The band are from Johannesburg, South Africa, and there is a healthy African influence as you can imagine, with a bit of rock and even some proggy moments thrown in for good measure.

13) Sun Kil Moon - King Fish: Kozelek has just released his latest Sun Kil Moon record, Among the Leaves, which for the most part comes across as a slightly low-key and often humourous affair (in his finger-picked acoustic style of his recent output). I must admit to doing a bit of a disservice to the record by using this track, which is the only electric “band”-like track on the album, but I like it, so there.

14) Exlovers - Moth Eaten Memories: Whilst renewing Carrie’s subscription to the Big Takeover magazine, editor Jack Rabid emailed me about Exlovers, who he had seen in Oxford on a recent holiday to the UK. He also sent me his review, which was glowing, this track shows great promise and I’ll have to find the album to see how it stacks up.

15) Life Size Maps - Weird Luck: These guys were the support band for La Sera and they had a good zip and energy to them, whilst obviously hugely influenced by My Bloody Valentine! They were handing out free EPs so it was rude not to take one. They sounded better live, and they played better songs that aren’t on the EP, but they’ve certainly got potential.

16) An Horse - Airport Death: Another support band! This time it was the Nada Surf concert at Webster Hall (they were utterly fabulous as always, and the addition of former GBV guitarist Doug Gillard has given them an extra dimension), a 2-piece from Australia, you could certainly hear why they were supporting a band like Nada Surf. Their style got a bit samey over the course of a set and the same is true for the album, but they work well for a compilation track or two.

17) Darker My Love - Dear Author: Yet another band I found as a result of the La Sera concert, Katie’s band includes members of Darker My Love, so I did some digging and found a couple of free MP3s, they sound up my street and I’ll have to find out more. Anyone know much about them?

18) MV & EE - Too Far to See: This was another tune from one of the urban outfitters music Monday, I liked the vibe and the guitar solo reminded me a bit of Maggot Brain (though not as good) so I thought I’d throw it on. I don’t really know anything about the band.

19) Amiina – Sicsak: A recommendation on BCB, Icelandic band, and when you hear this you won’t be surprised to know that they have recorded parts for Sigur Ros albums. It felt like a nice way to close the compilation.

So there you go, another deadline just hit in time, hopefully I’ll have a bit more time to spare for the next one. The next few months should be interesting, once our office move is done, the summer arriving (hopefully not causing me to completely melt) and a wealth of free concerts with some great bands, you just don’t get that kind of thing back home. Oh yeah, it’s my 7th wedding anniversary on the 28th and I’m also turning 30 on the 13th of June…

Until next time
Peace and love

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