Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Q#103 - August - September 2015

Please note that the zip file has a password: Q103
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Q’s Compilations
Volume #103 August – September 2015

As I write these notes, summer is officially OVER, and yet it’s still over 20 degrees C, but Autumn is possibly the best time to be in New York, and I’m looking forward to another change of season.

01) Alex G - After Ur Gone: I’m not entirely sure why Alex G’s catchy lo-fi indie-pop tunes generally fly under the radar where someone like Mac DeMarco has become a superstar (don’t get me wrong, I like him just fine). This track opens his album, DSU, released last year, but he’s also fairly prolific, with a slew of releases to date. His next album, Beach Music, will be released in October.

02) Young Guv - Kelly, I'm Not a Creep: Young Guv is Ben Cook, guitarist in Fucked Up, but his solo project has a much sunnier disposition, with hints of Big Star and Cheap Trick. Sometimes you can look into deeper meanings or messages in music, but I just love the sound and pop sensibility here. The album, Ripe 4 Luv, is out on Slumberland Records. “wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back”

03) Expert Alterations - A Bell: I recently saw this band supporting Literature at Cake Shop and thought they stole the show. Their live sound was a big fuller than this recording, but I picked up their self-titled EP, and wasn’t too surprised to find out that it too, is also a Slumberland Records release…

04) Royal Headache – Carolina: Australian bands always seem to attract a crowd in New York, it must be the ex-pat thing. On the surface, the band sound like a fairly standard garage rock band but frontman Shogun has a raspy, soulful vocal that sets them apart from a lot of acts at the moment. With uncertainty over whether the band will continue, there may not be much more of where this came from. I saw the band recently at Saint Vitus and they put a lot of energy into their performance. “She’s been waiting for the train down by the bus”

05) Nada Surf - Whose Authority (live): There’s little I can say about Nada Surf that I haven’t said before, they are one of the most important bands in my life, in many ways they feel like my band, like I have a personal investment in them. They are set to release a live album via pledgemusic called Live at the Neptune. This song is originally from 2008’s Lucky. I’m excited to be seeing the band again in November. “How do you stay where You most want to be? Where'd you get the patience, Did it come easily?”

06) Tenement - Feral Cat Tribe: Of all the great bands who played Don Giovanni Records’ annual showcase back in February (Priests, Brick Mower, Screaming Females, etc), I was most impressed with Wisconsin band Tenement. The band recently released a double LP called Predatory Headlights, and it’s certainly one of my favourites of the year. “I don’t care for the way it was before, anymore”

07) Vuelveteloca – Sharks: Regular readers/listeners should know of my love for Chilean bands in the last few years, and I’ve got a bunch for you on this mix, starting with the latest offering from Vuelveteloca. Pantera is the groups fourth album and sees the band going back to a rockier sound, after the more Stone-Roses-ish Dias de Calor.

08) The Ganjas - Twisted River: Possibly the first band of the recent wave of Chilean psych bands of the last decade is The Ganjas. After Dark is the their first album since 2011’s The Resistance, and was released on BYM Records (their first on the label).

09) Wand - Self Hypnosis in 3 Days: Due to association and a similar sound, the mention of Ty Segall is rarely far from Wand’s name. However, their album, Golem, may just be better than anything Ty has released himself! I’m looking forward to seeing the band again in November, having seen them at Death By Audio this time last year (RIP), though I did see singer Cory Hanson play a solo acoustic set in June. 

10) Survival Knife - Tropic of Chaos: I’ve become pretty enchanted with the band Unwound, thanks to Numero’s incredible reissue efforts, and two members of the band, singer/guitarist Justin Trosper and original drummer Brandt Sandeno (who left Unwound in 1992, replaced by Sara Lundt), formed Survival Knife in 2012. This song is taken from the band’s EP, Suvrivalized.

11) Trementina - Fall Into Your Bed: I used Trementina back in July last year, and the Chilean band go from strength to strength, this tune keeps with their My Bloody Valentine influence but just sounds so pretty. I think it might be my favourite song on the mix.

12) Evans the Death – Sledgehammer: Another band that has appeared before on this series, I used Telling Lies in September 2013(Q#91) and the band have since released another album, Expect Delays, which isn’t quite as immediate as the self-titled debut but with a little perseverance the songs are starting to seep in. They’re playing at CMJ this year so I’m looking forward to getting a chance to see them.

13) Adelaida – Holograma: Another Chilean band! This group recently recorded in New York at Rubber Tracks, although I’m not aware of any shows they played. The quartet are from Valpara√≠so, to the west of Santiago on the coast.

14) Mark Lanegan Band - Harvest Home: I’m a big fan of Mark Lanegan, but despite Phantom Radio being released last year I only just got round to buying it, but it is certainly of his usual high standard. “Happy that I'm made of stone, To grieve that I cause is my cause to a tone”

15) Miss Garrison – Playas: This is a newer tune from the Chilean trio, who album DeAab, was released in 2012. The band did record a couple of tracks at New York’s Rubber Tracks studio in 2013, which is when I managed to catch them live, and have been following keenly since. Hopefully they make a return soon. This song has a bit of a Radiohead vibe to it.

16) Toy - You Won't Be the Same: I managed to see Brighton-band Toy at Glasslands (RIP) last January, their first NYC show, I think I might have reviewed it for My Social List (RIP), but can’t quite remember, maybe I won tickets. I was impressed with the bands driving krautrock rhythms but only just bought the album, Join the Dots, recently in a sale.

17) Surf Rock is Dead – Anymore: This duo, by way of Melbourne and Chicago make very pretty and shiny indie-rock. There is a little C86 in there, of course, and general pop sensibilities, I saw the band play at some kind of free block party where of course, no-one was paying attention, but they played really well.

18) Sharon Van Etten - I Don't Want to Let You Down: Fellow Ditmas Park resident, Sharon Van Etten (I still haven’t bumped into her, though), released I Don’t Want to Let You Down a few months ago, and this is obviously the title track. It doesn’t stray too far from what she’s known for, and I felt the need to play it whilst feeling bad about myself and eating ice cream. It’s that kind of release. “Decompress, Calm your head, Teach you not to rush, Turn them out to see your words”

19) Wilco - Taste the Ceiling: Wilco surprised everyone in August by releasing their ninth album, Star Wars, for free digitally, with a CD release later in the month (vinyl to come in October). It has all the usual Wilco qualities to it, and this song was co-written with Tweedy and Scott McCaughey, who people should recognise from Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, and of course, an extended member of REM. “I know why you don't really know me, I don't think you can call it home, All alone I couldn't taste another thing”

20) Alfonso Lovo - La Bomba de Neutron: Nicaraguan guitarist Alfonso Lovo got the Numero treatment in 2012 with his record, La Gigantona, to much success. Surviving a plane hijacking, where he was shot in the hand and torso multiple times, Lovo recovered after several surgeries to continue making music.

21) Robbie Fulks - Rock Bottom, Population 1: My friend Brian is a huge fan of Robbie Fulks so I wanted to see what the fuss was about, I’m not usually much of a country guy but Fulks has the knid of inclusive quality that goes beyond a genre. He can mix up sad and funny songs at the drop of a hat which is a rare quality I admire.

22) What Moon Things - Sun, Where's the Fire: New Paltz, upstate New York, is where this trio are from, and I saw them make the trek into the city to open for Viet Cong in January. The groups quiet-loud-quiet template and sound reminded me a little of Cymbals Eat Guitars, and I happily picked up their record after the set.

I’ve rushed the notes a little but that’s par for the course these days, I’m pretty busy at the moment and everything just seems to be hectic beyond control. It’ll be 2016 soon enough I guess! As ever, please do contact me about the mixes, I love to get feedback.

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

Please note that the zip file has a password: Q103
Download mix from:

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