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: 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: 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:

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

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
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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 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 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
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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  “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: 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: 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
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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 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:

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.

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.

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

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: 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!): 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: 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:

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 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 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

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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:

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!!

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.

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 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Q#87 - December 2012 - January 2013

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #87 – December 2012 – January 2012

Greetings! Well it’s the usual time to look back on my favourite releases of the previous 12 months. I haven’t spent a great deal of time thinking or researching this mix, I just picked what initially came to mind, it has been a pretty good year for music, I think.

01) Mrs Magician – Nightlife: Keen listeners may remember the outstanding There Is No God from Q#84. Strange Heaven is one of the most endearing records of the year and this punchy opens the record and makes for a fine tune to begin this compilation with. “Shot out like an arrow I’m as crooked as a question-mark”

02) La Sera - I Can't Keep You In My Mind: I would say that La Sera’s Sees the Light is my favourite album of the year, it’s understated and uncomplicated and unpretentious, but the songs are gorgeous and there is something about it that keeps me coming back for more. “I know you must feel lost these days, broken lovers tend to go their ways. Haunting ghosts that I can not evade until I turn grey.”

03) Nada Surf - Jules and Jim: I like a hundreds of bands, but Nada Surf has always felt like my band like no other, it was a genuine pleasure to see them three times in their hometown (even if they don’t live here anymore) this year. I love them dearly. Isn’t that last chord one of the most beautiful sounds you’ve ever heard? “Never felt such a pull before I'm hypnotized I'm destabilized”

04) Sharon Van Etten – Warsaw: A fellow Ditmas Park resident, Van Etten has seen much acclaim come her way with Tramp, and those who were a bit late to the party can now pick up a 2-CD version including demos (from which I was very close to using Magic Chords). “here, sing to yourself, tell me you want to be shown or, you only listen to an endless sea you want to be over”

05) The Men - Turn It Around: I used the title track, Open Your Heart back in April, released on Sacred Bones, the Brooklyn band are set to follow-up their good work with another record, New Moon, in March. “I wanna see you when you jump dive, I wanna see you go down, I wanna see you when you look so fine, I wanna see you when you turn it around“

06) JEFF the Brotherhood - Staring at the Wall: Brothers Jake and Jamin Orral are Jeff the Brotherhood, Hypnotic Nights is their seventh album and was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. “One girl said to me, Would you turn around and die”

07) King Tuff - Bad Thing: When you listen to a lot of music it’s easy for things to slip through the net unnoticed when you first hear them, maybe you weren’t in the right mood, or maybe there was a distraction, but it happens. This song was featured on a free sub-pop compilation on record store day back in April, which I listened to a few times. Fast forward a few months and King Tuff releases one of the best albums of the year. “Now I’m going rotten, I’m turnin’ green, ‘cause I’m a bad bad thing”

08) METZ – Headache: I saw Metz cram into a tiny record store (Generation Records) and deliver one of the most pummelling sets I have ever witnessed, their self-titled record is just as relenting. “That even can't see breathe like for me, I can't move, I can't stand, I got gotta gotta gotta, I gotta get, I gotta get away, I get away”

09) Guided By Voices - Hangover Child: 2012 was quite the year for GBV fans, with three albums (their first for 8 years) and a string of shows, while Robert Pollard also released two solo albums. This song appears on The Bears for Lunch and was debuted when I saw them in Central Park on an absolutely sweltering day in the summer. “Hangover child, save your breath, In the way that you’re starring to the face of despairing, You care.”

10) Rush - The Wreckers: Clockwork Angels saw Rush reinvigorated after 2007’s lacklustre Snakes and Arrows (see my review here: “All I know is that sometimes you have to be wary of a miracle too good to be true, All I know is that sometimes the truth is contrary everything in life you thought you knew, All I know is that sometimes you have to be wary, 'cause sometimes the target is you”

11) Bob Mould - Silver Age: Another artist who rolled back the years was Bob Mould with Silver Age, inspired by the 20th anniversary of Sugar’s Copper Blue, Silver Age taps into that power-trio style that has served him so well over the years. “This is how I'm gonna spend my days, Gonna fight, gonna fuck, gonna feed, Gonna walk away “

12) Chromatics - The Page: I used The River back on Q#84, this is another standout track from Kill For Love, which can be purchased for a bargain $5 on the Italians Do It Better website. “like the pages of the book i'd never get to write, on the eastside of the city, where the ink is running dry, and if you love me like you say, take this book and burn the page, the rain will wash away the ashes, On the eastside of my heart”

13) Mark Lanegan - Harborview Hopsital: I’ve waxed lyrical about Lanegan’s whisky-drenched voice many times over the course of these mixes, Harborview Hospital manages to contain it in a soaring dreamscape of electronica. “Are they supposed to be as sick as you and me?”

14) Amanda Palmer - Grown Man Cry: Palmer gained a lot of attention this year with the enormous success of her kickstarter campaign, which raised over a million dollars to fund the recording and tour for Theatre Is Evil (I paid for the deluxe version of the album). After all the hype it would have been a bit of a letdown if the music wasn’t actually any good, and thankfully it is, the songs are varied and have depth. “We are standing on the threshold, Of a decent conversation, When I can hear the door slam, I know the face you're making”

15) Animal Collective – Moonjock: It was an almost impossible task to follow up Merriweather Post Pavilion but 10,000Hz is a fine album and it was great to see them live at the end of the year. “And there's no way to remind me of pacific plates or what the text was, No better way to remind me of sun heated seats then "love me do" was”

16) Goat – Goathead: They don’t sound like it, but Goat are from Sweden and produce a fantastic afrobeat fuzz freakout. There aren’t many things better than a screaming guitar solo, turn the volume UP on this one.

17) Carina Round - Girl and the Ghost: I used Set Fire on Q#83 and this is other standout track for me on Tigermending. “Shards of broken dreams, Stuck in your hands, Pick the pieces out put them back, together as best you can”

18) Ken Stringfellow - 110 or 220v: Danzig in the Moonlight may seem like a somewhat throwaway pun-tastic album title but make no mistake about it, the record is filled with Ken’s usual deep and sincere songs pulled from the depth of his being. There are probably better songs on the record, but I love the vocal and lyrics. “Reality is subject to cancellation”

19) Sun Kil Moon - Among the Leaves: This is the title track to Mark Kozelek’s latest release (though he has a new covers album out soon) and was billed as a slightly low-key and at times humorous, which it often is, but there are also some of his trademarks such as this number. “On afternoons I walk the graves, The rusted cars, the mine shaft caves, See a girl sadly unkempt, a child of neglect Under moons I pass the tombs, Cross the highways, smell the fumes, See a girl frighteningly gaunt, somebody didn't want, How do I tell her I don't care, if she sleeps downstairs?“

20) Grizzly Bear - Yet Again: Following up Veckatimest must have felt like a near impossible task, the band haven’t changed formula much with Shields but there was certainly no need to! “Keep score, even playing fields this game, I know when all’s said we’re the same, If I could I would leave it all be, No chance to move backwards and see“

21) Dum Dum Girls - Season in Hell: I saw Dum Dum Girls twice in 2012, first at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in February and then at an in-store performance at Other Music, promoting their EP, End of Daze, which this song closes. “Anything we should know about your change?
From shots, broken hearts, tears from desert eyes, Something new is dreamed, A confession's not a cure, There's always darkness to endure, On the path to be redeemed “

22) Ty Segall Band - Wave Goodbye: I think the easiest way to write about this song is to quote how it ends. FUCK YEAH!

Until next time
Peace and love - Q