Sunday, 30 November 2014

Q#98 - October - November 2014

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #98 October – November 2014

My favourite concert space and DIY venue, Death By Audio, closed on the 22nd of November. My words on that can be found here ( This mix consists of bands I saw at the venue and may go some way of showing why it was the best damn music venue, that booked the best bands, had the best sound, the best staff, and will be missed greatly.

01) Pop Zeus - Dead in the Water: Mikey Hodges produces perfect power-pop and this song is probably his best. New York’s music scene is certainly weaker since he moved to the West Coast. Pick up debut album and the Tell Me So EP on his bandcamp page:  

02) Hector's Pets - New Job: I’m not sure if there’s a band I saw more times at DBA than Hector’s Pets (two of the band were also in Pop Zeus’ band), so it wouldn’t be appropriate at all to leave them out. The band’s debut, Pet-O-Feelia is a garage-rock triumph.

03) Bennio Qwerty - Pipe Dreams: One of the joys of going to DBA was not needing to do your homework and trust that Edan had put together a good bill, the openers were just as likely to be as good as the headliners. The band are one of my favourites in Brooklyn and I have DBA to thank for that.

04) Brick Mower - Never Said Easy: I’ve used Brick Mower a bunch of times and they were another band I’d never heard of until they rocked up to the stage at DBA (opening for California X and Nuclear Santa Claust). This track is from their latest release, 2014’s Teenage Graceland.

05) Meatbodies – Tremmors: It should be no surprise that Meatbodies’ Chad Ubovich has spent time in both Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin’s bands. That should really be all I need to say! They delivered possibly the set of this year’s CMJ (save possibly Slowdive’s unlikely reunion).

06) Pinkwash - So Long: Philadelphia’s Pinkwash consist of Ashley Arnwine (current drummer in Bleeding Rainbow) and Joey Doubek formerly of Hume, together they make an almighty racket and while two-piece bands seem to be in right now, I can’t think of anyone who does it better.

07) Metz – Rats: Canada’s Metz played their first ever New York Show at DBA (as did so many others) and also appear on the 2012 Live at DBA Flexi Book, so it was fitting that they would play one of the last ever shows at the venue, which also ended up being one of the best I ever saw. The band’s debut album was one of the best records of 2012 (Headache appears on Q#87).

08) Roomrunner - Super Vague: Possibly the hottest, stickiest show I have ever been to was Roomrunner and Speedy Ortiz at DBA, it was another one of those nights the power went out, but technical difficulties aside, Roomrunner are one of the best live bands around and they powered through their set.

09) Thee Oh Sees - Carrion Crawler (live at DBA): This was recorded by NYC Taper in June (, a show that I attended featuring their new-look three piece setup. I could have used a studio track but I think this live recording captures their live sound pretty well, warts and all.

10) Ty Segall – Manipulator: I think if you asked most people to name one act synonymous with DBA then Ty Segall would be the one most would say (who didn’t live or work there, at least). This is the title-track from his latest studio album (at the time of writing, he’ll probably release another 3 albums in the next hour). I took the picture on the cover for this mix at his last appearance at the venue.

11) JEFF the Brotherhood - U Got the Look: JEFF are another band that instantly rolls off the tongue when thinking about DBA along with Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, and they played the final night (as well as the previous month). I want to say they played this song but their set was such a blur I can’t remember! This track appears on Heavy Days.

12) Screaming Females - A New Kid: I saw Screaming Females 5 times in 2014 and was glad to finally see them at DBA before it closed, Marissa also did my favourite DBA mural (the one with the freaky sausage dogs). This track appears on Castle Talk and is always a live favourite, but then again, Screamales are probably the best live band around right now so they’re all favourites!

13) Tweens – Forever: I was surprised to see I had only used Be Mean from the band’s demos CD, I guess I had been saving tracks up for the best-of-the-year mix because their debut is one of my absolute favourites.

14) Parquet Courts - Stoned and Starving: Before I saw Parquet Courts play at DBA they said “we learned how to be a band here”, and they played a blinding set of favourites, as if it were a show that they wanted to remember for the rest of their lives, let alone the audience. This is of course from their flagship LP, Light Up Gold.

15) Vaadat Charigim – Odisea: Another great thing about DBA was its philosophy of giving touring bands a platform. Israeli band Vaadat Charagim (which a friend tells me means Committee of the Nonbelievers in Hebrew, what a great name) wear their shoegazing influences firmly on their sleeve, but execute it with incredible panache.

16) Dick Diver - Calendar Days: Australian band Dick Diver’s 2013 album Calendar Days is a wonderful jangle-indie-pop record. The band’s name was taken from a character in the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel Tender Is the Night. The group say “On one level it’s pretentious, but it’s also pretty gross,” says Edwards. “So it’s a pretty honest representation of the band.”

17) Woods - Shining (live at DBA): This is another recording courtesy of NYC Taper (, the track originally appears on the band’s latest record, With Light and With Love.

18) Vivian Girls - I Head You Say: As well as saying goodbye to DBA this year, we also said goodbye to Vivian Girls, who played two farewell shows in Brooklyn this January, with their penultimate show being at DBA, where they had played so many times. This appears on 2011’s Share the Joy, which turned out to be their final record.

19) Priests – Doctor: Washington DC’s Priests signed to Don Giovanni this year and released the fantastic EP Bodies and Control and Money and Power having previously released a couple of tapes on the Sister Polygon label.

20) Numerators - Finally Sees: A staple of the New York DIY scene and somewhat of a DBA houseband, Numerators include drummer Burgers Rana, who worked the door at DBA. The band’s bio states “we believe in pizza, the log lady, & rock n roll.”, and that’s maybe all the description you need! For more, see

21) Protomartyr - Scum, Rise!: Detroit’s finest get compared to The Fall quite a lot, but I think that is doing them a huge disservice, despite often being just as intoxicated, the band manage to keep their shit together for a start! Protomartyr probably played DBA more than any other out-of-town band and were clearly a favourite. Under Color of Official Right is sure to make many a best-of-2014 list.

22) L.A. Witch - Get Lost: Sludgey guitars? Reverb-soaked vocals? The tried and tested formula rarely fails to excite and L.A. Witch are no exception. They recently played during the CMJ Music Marathon (and while more of an anti-CMJ venue, it’s still going to be hard to swallow to think that the venue won’t be there for next year).

23) A Place to Bury Strangers - I Lost You: No other band is so entrenched into the Death By Audio dynamic than A Place to Bury Strangers, Oliver Ackerman is co-founder of the venue and also builder of the effects pedals of the same name. They played numerous times at the venue, including the final night, which was also Oliver’s birthday. This track appears on Onwards to the Wall.

24) Diarrhea Planet – Separations: While their studio output doesn’t come close to the sheer spectacle of their live show, there was something about this song that just made me want to put it on, sometimes you don’t need a reason. From their second album, I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams.

26) Mac DeMarco - Only You: I’m closing this mix with the first headliner I ever saw at DBA, I had wondered just what I had let myself in for as they played to a packed crowd dripping with sweat, the power cut out and everything seemed to go wrong. This masked what was generally a perfectly ran space, and in spite of the mishaps, something made me want to go back, and then I kept going back. While Mac’s star continues to rise, I can’t help but feel his schtick is becoming a little more hit-and-miss with his ubiquitousness. However, every time I hear a song like this I’m reminded of his talents.

Obviously this mix is brilliant, and in many mays it isn’t my mix, if you ever went to DBA in any capacity, it’s yours.

Until next time

Peace and love - Q

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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Q#97 - August to September 2014

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #97 August – September 2014

Well hello, everybody. Summer is coming to an end, although September seems hotter than most of the summer combined… anyway, enough about the weather. It’s a case of good news / bad news at the moment. The bad news, and it is rather terrible, is that my favourite music venue, Death By Audio, is closing at the end of November, I can’t even accurately portray how much I like that place… as for the good news, well, I did get to interview my favourite musician of all time and someone whose music changed my life, Del Amitri singer Justin Currie ( So that was cool… anyway, this mix is the usual mishmash of things I’ve been listening to and seeing live lately.

01) Tsunamis – Homework: Cast your minds back to Q#89 and my fantastic Chilean mix (if I do say so myself) and you may remember Tsunami’s incredible song, Rosita Queen. Well, the good news is that after a few years absence, the band are getting back together! This is basically just an intro song that I’ve edited because it’s the next track that I wanted to include…

02) Tsunamis - Eterno Retorno: These two tracks appear on 2012’s EP Crac!, which is a bit more polished than their other records, but the songs are still wonderful. This popped up on a shuffle the other day (not a feature I usually use but it’s nice to mix things up from time to time) and it always jumps out at me when I listen to the band.

03) Black Wine – Komrades: This track opens the band’s latest record, Yell Boss, which was released in August. I went to the record release show at Death By Audio which also included labelmates, Brick Mower. The new record (released on Don Giovanni records) hits a little harder than their previous record.

04) Hectors Pets - School Days: I was surprised that I hadn’t used anything from Pets’ debut album, Pet-o-feelia, which was released at the end of May. I’ve been watching the Pets live with some regularity over the last couple of years and was wondering if they’d be able to capture the essence of their live shows on record, thankfully they have.

05) Monotonix - Late Night: I saw guitarist Yonantan Gat play at Death By Audio a while ago and after some digging around found he was in an Israeli band called Monotonix. During the last few days of Kim’s Record Store (RIP) I picked up a stack of vinyl and CDs, including a couple by Monotonix. This track appears on their record, Not Yet, and has a really chunky guitar sound, like Swervedriver in overdrive. 

06) Peace Creep - Interstellar Alimony: San Francisco’s Peace Creep put out a self-titled EP this year on Alternative Tentacles and it is an unashamed in-your-face SST-influenced rocker.

07) Beverly - All the Things: You may remember the fantastic Honey Do demo from a couple of mixes ago, well now the band have released their first album proper (Careers), another purchase from Kim’s (RIP, yes I will say that each time). This tune has a lovely uplifting arpeggio and now I’m typing this I realise I probably don’t use enough of those…

08) Anna Calvi - I'm the Man That Will Find You: Covers albums and EPs are nice enough but one always hopes they’re just stepping stones before new original material. Having said that, Calvi’s covers EP, Strange Weather, features a nice mix of modern and classic material. This particular tune is originally by madcap Kiwi, Conan Mockasin. “Listen to your heart,When feels right from the start.
Your empty kind of strange, Yours is for the past. Listen to your head, When you're drowning every day”

09) Gemma Ray - Shake Baby Shake: I can’t remember how I heard this song… I think I was just browsing through show listings and finding tunes by unfamiliar names, but I could be wrong. Anyway, on first listen this tune seemed a bit standard but then I found it was in my head with some regularity, so I’m putting it on the mix. I saw Gemma live a few weeks ago and she didn’t play this, which was a shame and the other material didn’t seem as interesting, but I like how this builds and the strings rising to a crescendo.

10) Matt Kivel – Underwater: Ok so Matt Kivel has now appeared on the last three mixes, call me unoriginal, but they are three different releases. This tune appears on his just-released 2nd full-length album, Days of Being Wild.

11) Tim Woulfe - Naked Waves: Speaking of Matt Kivel, you may remember the last mix featured a song by him called Palomar, that featured on a split EP with this man, Tim Woulfe. The lo-fi production is endearing rather than distracting and Woulfe has one of those voices that on first listen sounds basic but further listens reveal an earnest depth. “And I want my songs to remind me of how I felt.”

12) R.E.M. - Get Up (acoustic): This is an oldie but this year REM officially released both of the VH1 unplugged sessions. It’s quite amazing to think that this song was released as a single in September 1989… twenty-five years ago. As Stipe sings in this song, Where Does Time Go?!

13) Tom Clark - New Toothbrush on Your Sink: Tom Clark hosts The Treehouse at 2A on Sundays (25 Avenue A, corner of East 2nd), I went a few weeks and enjoyed his set of Byrds-esque originals. And you never know who is going to turn up at the sessions, Lenny Kaye got up and played a short set when I went. Sorry for the abrupt start, it’s how the song came down. “You had something else in mind, I guess you thought was better”

14) T.V. Smith – Lies: I picked up the hard-to-find album Channel 5 from Kim’s (RIP) recently, it had been on my radar for a while after watching a documentary about him and how it seemed like the underappreciated ugly-duckling in his discography. It’s a lovely little album with some real pop sensibility that I guess fans just weren’t into at the time. Just listen to that guitar at 3:20, gorgeous.

15) St. Vincent - Birth in Reverse: I bought the St Vincent album with a Best Buy voucher a few months ago and have to say, I wasn’t buying into the hype at all, it seemed very disappointing. However, I went to see her in Prospect Park last month and she really won me over, a great performer, singer and guitarist. I certainly enjoy the album a lot more, just goes to show the power of live music.

16) Total Slacker – Satisfied: NYC’s Total Slacker had been playing most of the songs on Slip Away for the last couple of years (it was released in February) and again there was a question of whether or not the band’s fiery live performances could be captured on record, and again the answer was yes! The band have since parted ways with guitarist David Tassy which was a shame as I thought he was fairly integral to their live appeal.

17) David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights – Dropper: I recently saw The Clean live in Brooklyn (review: and also managed to score a copy of David Kilhour’s latest solo album End Times Undone, which is a fine mix of jangle-pop and Neil Young-esque guitar wigouts, of which this is a fine example.

18) Elephant Stone - Wayward Stone: I saw Elephant Stone recently at the Mercury Lounge, having missed out on seeing them last year due to conflicts in schedule. This track is more of a nod to their previous records with that lovely jangley sound, but most of the Three Poisons taps into a sound a bit more like 90s Britpop (but is, thankfully, a bit better than most of that turgid movement (save a few highlights)). Always looking back on tomorrow but never thinking of you.

19) Wand - Flying Golem: I missed Ty Segal this time around in NYC (actually for the second time around…) but I did manage to catch Wand (who are one of his openers on this tour) at Death By Audio and you can immediately hear why he has taken them on tour with him.

20) Dinner – Girl: Anders Rhedin is from Denmark but currently lives in LA and has just signed to NYC-based record label, Capture Tracks. This has a wonderful, lo-fi electro-goth sound to it. Fans of John Maus will no doubt get into this. They played at Baby’s All Right this month but I didn’t end up going, hopefully there will be another chance in the future.

21) Del Amitri – Hadrian’s Wall: It’s been quite the year for Del Amitri fans, Justin Currie has released his third solo album and Del Amitri played some reunion shows (their first in 12 years), to cap things off, they just put up a couple of new tracks on their soundcloud page. This song has some great orchestration with sweeping strings, not something the band used too often.

22) Patter Matthew Bauer - You Are the Chapel: A former member of The Walkmen (who broke up), Peter Matthew Bauer has produced a rather spiffing solo record called Liberation! It almost seems like a shame to take a song out of context with the record which has a great flow to it.

And there we have it, I hope you enjoy something on this, as always. I have some ideas for the next one (I might do a Death By Audio – RIP mix) but it could just end up being the standard mix of whatever I’ve seen live or listened to lately. The two pictures are animals that look like me. On the front a Harpy Eagle and flipside is the red-lipped batfish

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Q#96 - June - July 2014

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #96 June – July 2014

Busy times, it was my birthday on the 13th of June (for the second year running the only thing I got was a card in the post from my grandparents, I’m just too popular!) and I managed to go back home for a couple of weeks. I also went to Berlin for a few days for a change of scenery and of course, the world cup has been on (well done Germany!). I’d made this mix before I went away but am only just getting to the notes now. Hope everyone is enjoying summer.

01) Flower - Beauty Pt II: NYC band Flower have always rather criminally flown under the radar and were only active between 1986 to 1990. However, they played for only the second time since then (I think) at Cake Shop (on my birthday no less). You can download Concrete Sky from their bandcamp page and pay what you want (or nothing):

02) Moss Icon - What They Lack: Another slight blast from the past, I saw Moss Icon two years ago with Bitch Magnet (another very rare live experience) and they played a fine set. The reason for their inclusion here is that I found their complete discography on triple vinyl for $10 at a record fair. Quite the bargain.

03) Marriage + Cancer - Shut Eye: Here we are in the present, formerly known as Nucular Animals (I hope the spelling mistake was deliberate!). The band are from Portland, Oregon, but don’t seem to fit in with the typically sunnier or bubblegum garage rock that comes from the west coast and all the better for it. This is from their debut release, the Demonstrations Tour Tape, which they had unfortunately ran out of when I saw them in New York.

04) Exocomet - Mercy Tongue: Another band who have changed their name (though for the life of me I can’t remember or find what they used to be called), I saw them play at Death By Audio in March and really enjoyed their dark, surf-like rhythms. You can listen to their self-titled record here:

05) VBA - Time to be Nowhere: VBA are another relatively new band, I caught them at Cake Shop in April along with Protomartyr and Spray Paint. They’re certainly a striking live band, with drummer/vocalist Vince Nudo (who is also in Priestess) driving everything forward with some force.

06) Geronimo - Aging Sound: Chicago band Geronimo have just released new album Cheap Trick on Exploding in Sound records. I caught them at Shea Stadium recently supporting Purling Hiss and was impressed enough to pick up the record. “Rock is a young man’s game, and an old man’s curse”

07) It Hugs Back - Sa Sa Sa Sails: I used a track from this Kent-based band on a mix probably about 5 years ago or more but then they fell off my radar (the song was from a 4ad sampler I seem to recall). I saw their last album, Recommended Record at a record fair for $3 so picked it up and was impressed with the blend of pop sensibilities but also some kraut and prog influence. The band are currently recording their fourth album.

08) Wyatt Blair - Ba Ba Ba (Life's a Bitch): Wyatt Blair seems to be one of the nice guys, and just as importantly, seems to be one of those people who can’t write a bad song. Whether it comes to solo recordings such as this, or drumming for Mr Elevator and the Brain Hotel or filling in various roles in other bands (as well as running his own record label), there’s definitely a hallmark of quality throughout. This bubblegum pop tune is from his Banana Cream Dream record (

09) Marvin Berry & the New Soun - Waitin': Yes, spot the great Back to the Future reference. Another band on Don Giovanni records, I saw the band at Brooklyn Night Bazaar and immediately picked up the record, Bootleg, which is a complete and unashamed jangle-fest.

10) Twin Peaks – Flavour: I caught Twin Peaks last year in November at Baby’s All Right but they are about to release their second album, Wild Onion, in August. Flavour (I just can’t bear to type the American spelling) is possibly the band’s best song I’ve heard yet.

11) Guided By Voices - Cool Planet: I simply can’t write anything about GBV that hasn’t been said before. This is the title track from their latest album and I managed to catch a full-on, 50-song set at the Bowery Ballroom recently.

12) Screaming Females - It All Means Nothing (Live): Screaming Females are quite possibly the best live band around right now and I have seen them three times this year, so it’s a great thing that their latest release is Live at the Hideout. Recorded by Steve Albini, it does a pretty good job of capturing their live sound.

13) The Men - Get What You Give: Some things seem to be guaranteed in recent years, global population rises, I still look like a mangled harpy eagle and The Men release a great album. Tomorrow’s Hits sees the band tread into commercial rock territory, but they do it so well.

14) Doug Gillard - Ready for Death: Gillard’s CV is littered with a who’s who of indie rock credibility and is currently a member of one of my favourite bands, Nada Surf. The recently released Parade On sees Gillard take centre stage with a collection of pop gems that deserve to a wide audience. “I’ve seen enough of this world to know there probably is no god, no place for souls to go, but I’m ready for death”

15) Sharon Van Etten - Every Time the Sun Comes Up: Fellow Ditmas Park resident Sharon Van Etten has just released Are We There, which sees her carry on the excellent work of 2012’s breakthrough record, Tramp. Early reviews suggested that the record was a happy one, but I certainly wouldn’t call it an upbeat record! It is however, another delightfully rounded record and should make many an end of year list. “I washed your dishses but I shit in your bathroom”

16) Springtime Carnivore - Two Scars: I recently went to La Sera’s record release show in Brooklyn for new album, Hour of the Dawn. Greta Morgan plays in La Sera but her own project, Springtime Carnivore, opened the show and I was wowed by her songs and souful, yet delicate vocal. Two Scars has a beautiful, wistful, timeless quality. “Who's gonna love you the best?
Who will meet you in the wild? Tell you apart from the rest Let you be, let you be as you are

17) Beck – Unforgiven: My favourite Beck album is 2002’s Sea Change, so I was particularly excited to hear that latest album, Blue Moon, would be in that vein. I saw him play a pretty intimate acoustic set at Le Poisson Rouge earlier in the year as well and he is always a great live performer. “Down on the street, Just let the engine run, 'Til there's nothing left, Except the damage done”

18) Matt Kivel – Palomar: You know you’re onto something when you use the same artist on consecutive compilations. I saw Matt Kivel in April and pre-ordered his split-vinyl with Tim Woulfe, the record arrived last month and it’s another lovely addition to his discography, which has actually just grown again with Days of Being Wild, which was released on the 8th of July on Woodsist.

19) Wee - Try Me (45 Version): Numero struck gold again when they released Wee’s You Can Fly On My Aeroplane, which is a delightful, synth-washed soul extravaganza. There are moments where it doesn’t quite come together but when everything clicks, like this song, it’s hard to find better.

20) La Hell Gang - Sweet Dear: Chilean band La Hell Gang were featured on my Chilean mix (Q#89) but I’m excited that they have signed to Brooklyn based label Mexican Summer (here’s a little thing I wrote: I’m hoping that means there are plans to bring them over here for a few shows.

21) +/- - There Goes My Love: +/- played the same show as Flower at Cake Shop on my birthday, both bands feature James Baluyut. Jumping the Tracks is the band’s first album in 6 years and this tune jumped out at me during the show, I’m a sucker for odd time signatures and this 7/4 rhythm is one of those that is great to pay attention to.

22) Trementina - Makes Me Think: To close the mix we’re heading back to Chile, I can’t actually remember how I stumbled on this band, I was probably just trying to find yet more Chilean bands on various search engines. The My Bloody Valentine influence is pretty obvious here. The band are due to release their debut album in August so stay tuned.

And there you have it, plenty of recent releases again which I hope people appreciate. I don’t know what’s coming up really, now that the World Cup has finished I have to go weeks without watching any football!

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

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Monday, 19 May 2014

Q#95 - April - May 2014

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #95 April – May 2014

Greetings! I hope everyone is well, especially now that we’re starting to get the odd nice day of weather. This compilation features quite a few different nationalities and I hope there is something for everyone to like.

01) The Rollers - Knockin' at the Wrong Door: I just picked up a stash of releases from the Numero label after they put up a pop-up shop a few weekends ago. This song opens the Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City compilation, which as usual has some incredible material.

02) Curtis Harding - Keep on Shining: Finally a contemporary artist who gets old school soul without necessarily sounding derivative. Curtis has just released his debut album, Soul Power, on the ubiquitous Burger Records. He’s playing a couple of shows in NYC in June and I am looking forward to catching at least one of them.

03) King Khan & the Shrines - Bite My Tongue: I had earmarked this song for the last couple of compilations but couldn’t quite squeeze it on, which isn’t a bad thing because it slots perfectly into this mix. I saw King Khan & the Shrines back at the end of October and it was one of those gigs where I didn’t know much of the material but was blown away. If you get the chance to see them live then do so. A great combination of soul, big band, R&B and rock.

04) Screaming Females - Rotten Apples: Screaming Females are another excellent band from the DIY scene in New Brunswick, New Jersey and are signed to Don Giovanni records. Marissa Paternoster is a brilliant guitarist, not to mention refreshing in a time where guitar solos seem to be unfashionable. There are many bands that are fantastic live, and then there are a small handful of bands at the very top of the game, Screaming Females are one of those.

05) Beverly - Honey Do (demo): A record-store-day purchase was the Non-Violent Femmes­ compilation on Kanine Records. I saw Beverly play recently opening for Fear of Men and enjoyed their sludgey sound, the band includes Frankie Rose although she was not present in the live lineup.

06) Withered Hand - Black Tambournine: Dan Wilson’s New Gods is sure to end up on many a best-of 2014 list, the record flirts between catchy pop songs like this one and more sombre folk moments.

07) Nueva Costa – Amanece: Yet another wonderful artist from Chile, El Gran EspĂ­ritu is the first full-length from Nueva Costa and is on the utterly incredible Blow Your Mind record label. This song has a hypnotic bassline.

08) Boogarins – Erre: Another South American band, this time we look to Brazil and Boogarins’ 60s inspired psyche rock. Signed to Other Music in the US, I saw an instore performance at the record shop of the same name and duly bought the album, As Plantas Que Curam.  

09) Goat - Let it Bleed (live): I was really disappointed to miss Goat when they played in New York last year, but can thankfully make up for it as they are playing again next month. I’ve taken from their live album (recorded at London’s Electric Ballroom) which sees the Swedish band in utterly inspired form.

10) Miss Garrison - Whisky Boy: Let’s head back to Chile again now, and not surprisingly, Santiago, Miss Garrison formed in 2008 and have two records to their name. This track is taken from their latest, deAaB. I saw them at the Paperbox this month and they are superb, and there’s something even more impressive with drummers who can sing, as Francisca Straube does in Miss Garrison. This song, and the album, certainly has a Radiohead influence to it.

11) Nothing – Dig: There’s a lot to talk that doesn’t involve the music when it comes to Nothing, frontman Domenic Palermo spent time in prison for a stabbing incident while in previous band Horror Show among other things. But it’s really the music that matters and Nothing’s album Guilty of Everything is an impressive and intense dose of dark shoegazing rock. Dig is probably the standout track but definitely check out the record if you like what you hear.

12) His Electro Blue Voice - Sea Bug: It’s time to head to Italy now (Como, to be precise) for His Electro Blue Voice, whose debut album, Ruthless Sperm was released on Sub Pop last year and is a wind tunnel of a time. Singer/guitarist Francisca Straube makes Bob Mould sound like a teddy bear.

13) Solids - Off White: I wrote about Solids here ( and caught their set at Mercury Lounge in March. For a two-piece they make an impressive racket. Hailing from Montreal (who have quietly been churning out some great bands in the last few years), Solids should appeal to those who like their guitars scuzzy and grungy.

14) Unwound - Stuck in the Middle of Nowhere Again: Sometimes you hear a band from years gone by and wonder how you never heard them first time around, Unwound are one of those bands. Part of a major re-issue project courtesy of Numero, the Olympia (Washington) 90s band have barely been off my record player this month. This track appears on the first Unwound boxset, Kid is Gone.

15) Adam Franklin & Bolts of Melody - I Used to Live for Music: Time to go home to Oxford. Adam Franklin is of course best known for Swervedriver, but he seems to be one of those people who will release good music no matter what the project. Black Horses was released last year and I managed to pick the vinyl up for a bargain $5 recently. Musically this project is much more melodic than Swervedriver.

16) HOUNDSds - Conduct1: HOUNDSds is essentially a solo venture of Patrick McIntyre, who writes and records all the music himself. This track really reminds me of The Church (no bad thing at all). You can download the music at a “name your price” on bandcamp:

17) Fear of Men - Green Sea: Loom will be another album sure to threaten the end of year lists, I’ve used the band previously, of course, but Loom is their debut full length and really fulfils the promise they’ve had up to now. I saw the band three times last month and they always put on a great show as well, they come from Brighton, England.

18) Matt Kivel – Tetro: I saw LA-based singer/songwriter Matt Kivel at Glasslands last month and he really impressed, this track opens his last album Double Exposure which I bought at the show. He already has a new album out soon on Woodsist called Days of Being Wild.

19) The Besnard Lakes - People of the Sticks: The second band from Montreal on this mix, I loved 2010’s The Roaring Lakes but then the band went off my radar a little bit until I noticed latest album (released in 2013) Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO in a $5 bargain bin, it maybe doesn’t have the depth of the previous album but it is a nice addition and definitely rewards multiple listens.

20) Josefus - Crazy Man: Yet another Numero purchase, and another departure from their usual soul re-issues, I bought this on a whim based on the sticker which promised a lost masterpiece of 70s hard rock, it isn’t quite that good but it certainly deserves more than obscurity.

21) Beach Day - Am I the Only One: I saw Beach Day last month and instantly fell for their sunny 60s girl group pop, this is my favourite track on Trip Trap Attack and probably would have been a huge hit if they’d have arrived before Best Coast. Listen really carefully to those harsh My Bloody Valentine-ish sounds that live just below the surface of the song.

22) Lou Ragland - What Should I Do: Lou Ragland has lived quite the life, far too much to detail here, I’ll just copy and paste the first  sentence from Numero’s website: O’Jays road manager, Don King prison chauffeur, window washer, house painter, Ink Spot, Domino, engineer, label owner, guitorgan technician, and one-time steward of a coveted Jet Magazine delivery route, Lou Ragland is Cleveland’s Eastside success story. Ragland possesses a classic deep soul voice and this song is pretty poignant.

I’m hoping to fit in a visit back home towards the end of June, and it’s also the World Cup and the start of the summer concerts, busy times!

Until next time
Peace and love - Q 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Q#94 - February - March 2014

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #94 February – March 2014

It’s the middle of March and it’s still freezing, this winter is getting everyone down. Anyway, let’s move on, it’ll be spring soon or maybe we’ll just skip straight to summer… February was still cool, I went home to the UK for a couple of weeks to see Del Amitri’s first shows in over a decade, also hit Barcelona for a few days for a change of scenery. This is the first “proper” compilation of the year and features the usual mix of things that probably should have been on the previous mix, new stuff and old stuff that I’d wanted to use for a while. Hope everyone likes what they hear!

01) La Sera - Losing to the Dark: Vivian Girls recently played their last ever shows (my review), but bassist Katy Goodman rolls on with her third La Sera album, Hour of the Dawn, which will be out on the 13th of May. This is the first track from the album and certainly bodes well! “How about you write another song, About how fun you are to drink with at the bar”

02) Tweens - Be Mean (demo): Tweens’ debut album is out on the 8th of April and promises to be a cracker! I saw the band last year and loved their set so promptly ordered their demos CD-R, also really looking forward to their set at Death By Audio on the 3rd of April. This demo is a bit more ragged than the final result but there is a lot of charm. “Loving you is such a bore, there must be something wrong with me”

03) Slonk Donkerson - The Edifice: I’d seen the name around a bit last year but finally got to see Slonk Donkerson in January and loved what I heard. A classic power trio with shades of Husker Du and even a bit of Moving Pictures/Signals-era Rush in some of their songs. This track is from their second album, imaginatively titled II.

04) Arlis - I Can't Take It: I’m not quite sure why it took me so long to buy Numero’s It’s Pop compilation (especially after loving their later released Buttons mix of a similar theme), but a gift card for Bullmose record shop around Christmas time sorted that out. When there are so many good tracks on another comp it’s hard to pick one or two for my own mix but this one wormed itself into my brain and here we are. “I’ve seen your picture somewhere and it’s bugging me to no end”

05) Imaginary Boys – Gift: Quite often I’ll browse the calendar on My Social List and check out a bunch of bands I haven’t heard of before, one of those bands was Imaginary Boys who had just released their debut EP, Limerence, which I ordered pretty swiftly.

06) Minor Alps - I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands: Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) and Julianna Hatfield should need little introduction and they combined for what must be one of the most natural sounding side-projects of all time in Minor Alps. The album sounds exactly as you would expect, expertly crafted indie-pop tunes. “The couch is an island, a desert oasis, the room is a spaceship, and you're an undiscovered planet”

07) Girls Names - Hypnotic Regression: I saw Belfast’s Girls Names’ first ever US show at the Cameo Gallery in March last year and really enjoyed their set, so it was rude not to buy their album, The New Life, when Slumberland Records had a major sale a couple of months ago. Upon further listens, it may just be the most under-appreciated record of 2013.

08) Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band - The Blast Room: A new band from TV On the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe. I picked up their self-titled EP recently from Other Music and to be fair if someone told you it was TVotR they’d probably believe you. That’s hardly a bad thing though, since they are probably the best band since the turn of the millennium.

09) Mr Dream - Work Faster: There’s a bit of a Talking Heads vibe here in places but otherwise Mr Dream offer a slightly twisted post-punk romp here. I first heard Mr Dream on a compilation from GODMODE records (they issued Yvette’s stunning album, see next track…). They’re in the process of putting together a record so I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

10) Yvette - Tempered Glass: I liked Yvette’s 2013 album, Process, last year, but then I saw them live and in particular, bought the album on vinyl, it blew my mind (recorded at Silent Barn, Brooklyn). What a revelation! If you can get it, stump up the cash. It’s hard to describe their music; dark, intense, lots of effects and layers… just listen!

11) Warpaint - Love is to Die: The band took their time releasing their second album (self-titled) with almost four years passing since The Fool. It’s definitely a continuation of what they had previously put together, dreamy vocals and a tight rhythm section, they could put out 10 records like this and I’d be quite happy. The first listen to the album was a little disappointing, but the melodies started seeping in after a couple of goes.

12) Bennio Qwerty - Smooth Operator: I recently profiled Bennio Qwerty in a recent Artist to Watch post, and am really looking forward to seeing them live supporting Tweens in April. This one is definitely for fans of Dischord Records. The band have two EPs to their name so far, and this track is from Picture Of.

13) Mogwai - Heard About You Last Night: Mogwai do what they do, and they always do it excellently! Latest album, Rave Tapes, has a few quirks with the addition of synth bass and some more keyboards than normal.

14) Weekend - The One You Want: I didn’t really want to use Weekend again so soon but I bought their Red EP recently and it’s great and I felt like this track fit the vibe of the compilation at this stage. You can’t really fight such things!

15) Cheatahs - Cut the Grass: Their self-titled debut album came out in February and delivers on the promise of the two EPs. It’s unashamedly Swervedriver-esque, which is cool by me. I recently saw them at Baby’s All Right and they have even more oomph in on stage.

16) Kitchens of Distinction - I Wish It Would Snow: Certainly one surprise comeback (albeit only in the studio, no live dates planned) was Kitchens of Distinction, one of the most underrated bands of the last few decades. Folly was released last year and I made sure to pick up a copy when I was back in the UK last month, the record is a bit more subdued than their past endeavours and at times misses that beautiful guitar sound that made them so great, but it’s a lovely little album, and as I said, unexpected! I hope they continue.

17) The Summits – Sleepwalking: Time for a brief soul and funk interlude (courtesy of Numero), something that has been a bit lacking on the mixes recently. This one is from the Eccentric Soul: A RBG Production, on which 4 tracks by The Summits appear. Great bass, vocal harmonies, they should have been huge.

18) Flyte Tyme - It's the Things That You Do: One of the best compilations released in a long time is Numero’s 2-CD Purple Snow, which is an incredible collection of soul/sunk from Minneapolis. As well as an infectious bass and keyboard line, you’re treated to a ripping guitar solo. Enjoy. If you don’t, I’m not sure blood pumps around your heart.

19) Walter Lewis & The Blue Stars - I Have Love At Home: Here’s another track from Purple Snow, a chilled out jam which manages to blend smoother soul with grit and heartache.

20) Sun Kil Moon - Ben's My Friend: New album, Benji, has been rightly gobbling up a lot of media praise, which is a little odd for longtime fans because it isn’t exactly different from what Mark Kozelek has been doing up to this point. The songs on Benji are strong, though. The album itself is a bit of a massacre, I’ve never heard so many people dying in the lyrics to songs before, must be a record! No deaths on this song though, which brings the album, and compilation, to a close. I’m not sure anyone else can sing about buying $350 lampshades and eating crabcakes and make it sound so compelling, however. “She said I seemed distracted and asked what was going on with me, I said I can't explain it it's a middle age thing, She said okay and ate her eggs Benedict, And I looked at the walls cluttered with sports bar shit”

And there you have it. Please let me know if you enjoyed anything on the mix!!!

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Q#93 – December 2013 - January 2014

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #93 December 2013 / January 2014

Happy new year! As usual, this mix is a roundup of my favourite music of the previous year (unless I already used a track or couldn’t fit on due to time constraints blah blah, etc, etc). 2013 was a really great year for music, both recorded and live (I went to 154 shows in 2013!), and I started writing for My Social List which is definitely a highlight!

01) Purling Hiss – Lolita: A latecomer to the mix (though this album, Water on Mars, was released in March), I saw Purling Hiss at Brooklyn Bazaar in December and their fuzzed up Crazy-Horse-esque guitar wigouts blew my mind.

02) Roomrunner – Weird: Ideal Cities is my favourite album of 2013, I shouldn’t really need to say any more than that (I also used Bait Car on Q#91).

03) Crocodiles – I Like it in the Dark: One of the surprises of the year for me, Crocodiles have upped their game with recent release Crimes of Passion, and this song is a wonderful atheist-call-to-arms anthem. “there’s no shining heaven, there are no fires of hell but those of our creation. When I’m crawling away from hell, storm the gates of heaven and be your own god”

04) Anna Calvi – Eliza: Clearly Anna was not going to suffer second album syndrome with the release of One Breath, which is a great follow-up to her exquisite debut album. “So priceless and godless I wait, To leave this soul behind, Untangle the jangle of bells, They ring my fear through the night”

05) Deerhunter – Back to the Middle: I finally got to see Deerhunter this year (which was my favourite show of the year - They played an incredible setlist but didn’t skimp on the new stuff either, Monomania is their attempt at a glam rock record. “Back in the middle, Everyone knows your name now, It's all accidental, Your love is such a sick, sick game”

06) Sisu – Electronic: Another act I can’t really say anything new about, having featured in Q#92, #90 and #88. Light Eyes made my albums of 2013 and it’s no surprise to see them on this mix. Electronic is a moody, slower track than some of the other ones I’ve used previously.

07) bEEdEEgEE – Like Rain Man: Brian DeGraw is a member of Gang Gang Dance, and released his first solo album under the moniker of bEEdEEgEE, I saw him do a set at Union Pool in the summer and it was mesmerising.

08) Follakzoid – Trees: The best thing of 2013 in a music sense was my discovery of Chilean psychedelic bands (see Q#89), and Follakzoid’s album, II, was my second favourite release of the year.

09) The Holydrug Couple – Follow Your Way: Where Follakzoid are, The Holydrug Couple are not often far behind, I saw the two bands at the Mercury Lounge in February for one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. They come from different sides of the psyche spectrum and complement each other perfectly.

10) Blood Orange – You’re Not Good Enough: Dev Hynes has had a topsy turvy year, his second Blood Orange album, Cupid Deluxe won rave reviews though sadly his apartment building just burned down with all his possessions. Tough break!

11) John Grant – GMF: Although this record was released earlier in the year I didn’t get round to appreciating it until almost the very end. I saw him play an incredible show at the Music Hall Williamsburg in December and he gave one of the best vocal performances I’ve ever heard. The album, Pale Green Ghosts, is a lyrical masterpiece, bitingly sarcastic yet open and vulnerable. GMF is a sort-of counterpoint to all those moments of self-doubt and hatred. “You could probably say I'm difficult, I probably talk too much. I over analyze and overthink things.
Yes, it's a nasty crutch. I'm usually only waiting for you to stop talking, So that I can.”

12) Justin Currie – Every Song’s the Same: Hero worship is something I try to shy away from, but Del Amitri’s influence on my formative years is substantial, Justin released his third solo album, Lower Reaches this year, recorded in Nashville it has a slightly more country flavour than his previous work and it took a few listens for things to seep in. However, his sense of melody and songwriting prowess meant it didn’t take all that long.

13) The Men – I Saw Her Face: Another record that made my best of 2013 list, New Moon is a fantastic record and this is probably the most obvious example of the Neil Young influence on it, you could plonk this record onto Zuma and I doubt anyone would notice!

14) Wymond Miles – Anniversary Song: A man who seemingly can’t write a bad song, Wymo is best known for his work as the guitarist in Fresh and Onlys, but his solo work is even better IMO. Cut Yourself Free is his second album, following on from the resplendent Under the Pale Moon.

15) Weekend – Scream Queen: You should be familiar with, Jinx as I used Oubliette on the last mix, but it really is one of the best records of the year so it had to feature again. “You fell in love with a fragrance in a magazine. A scream queen, pleading at the door to a dream”

16) Veronica Falls – Teenage: Another band that said “fuck you” to the idea of second album syndrome, Waiting for Something to Happen is a massive step up from their charming self-titled debut, with a punchier sound and more confident performance, it was hard to pick a track to use. “Driving late at night I’ll let you listen to the music you like. Then I’ll drop you home”

17) Mikal Cronin – Shout it Out: Another double whammy in that Mikal Cronin made both my lists for best albums and shows of 2013 with his Bowery show that also featured Roomrunner and Shannon and the Clams. It is hard to pick a highlight from II because it is consistently strong. “I'm pretty good of making things out of the scene, and turning problems back to me

18) Liquor Store – Midnight Walker: I saw Liquor Store live 4 times in 2013 and their second album, In the Garden is a fun romp of unashamed classic rock, this tune features some ripping guitar work to boot.

19) Fuck Buttons – Brain Freeze: I featured Stalker on Q#91 and Slow Focus sees Fuck Buttons in fine form after a few years of little activity. After seeing them live I noted that “when our robot overlords take over they will march to this”, and I can’t think of a better way to describe this song.

I have of course missed many great bands/songs/albums in this “best of” mix, many will crop up in the next volume. Brain mush dictates that these notes can’t be any longer…

Until next time

Peace and love - Q