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