Monday, 28 March 2016

Q#106 February – March 2016

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #106 February – March 2016

A slow start to the year is starting to pick up a little bit now, spring is here officially! This mix is a combination of songs I couldn’t fit onto the “best of 2015” mix, new songs and older material that I wanted to use for some reason or another. A bit of a mish mash as usual, hopefully there is something for you to enjoy.

01) Dimnas III - I Won't Love You Again: Kicking things off with a soul number, courtesy of Numero’s Royal Jesters release. I love the grit in the vocals but have to confess to knowing nothing about the group. Just enjoy it!

02) Boogarins - 6000 Dias: Brazilian band Boogarins followed up 2013’s As Plantas Que Curam last year with the rather excellent Manual on Other Music. They seem more focused and confident with their songwriting and is one of my favourite albums of the year so far. Having not seen them since 2014 I’m hoping to catch their show at Baby’s All Right on the 14th of April.

03) Pete Astor - Really Something: Pete Astor formed The Loft in 1983 and was one of the earliest signings on Creation Records, fast forward many years and Astor’s sporadic discography is a treasure. This particular album, Spilt Milk, was record by James Hoare of Veronica Falls, The Proper Ornaments and Ultimate Painting (all 3 of which have featured on these compilations).

04) Nada Surf - Believe You're Mine: I really can’t say anything new about Nada Surf, they might just be the most important band to me. 4 years after the release of The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy, the band have just released their 8th album, You Know Who You Are. Lyrically it certainly seems like Matthew has gone through a bit of a hard time in the last few years, with many lyrics in particular hitting close to home, I think he’s one of the best songwriters of all time and should get more credit. The album is filled with all their signature power pop, they just do what they do better than anyone else.

05) Crow Bait – 83: Long Island Trio Crow Bait produce the kind of unadulterated songwriters indie-rock the likes of Buffalo Tom were knocking out in the 90s. Signed to Don Giovanni records, they have one album to date, 2014’s Sliding Through The Halls Of Fate.

06) Robyn Hitchcock - I'm Only You: Deserving of “National Treasure” status, I hadn’t seen Robyn Hitchcock since 2010 in Oxford, and due to the genrousity of a friend, managed to put that right last November when he played at City Winery. He played this song (from 1985’s Fegmania! Album) and while I could have chosen from a few dozen tracks, I was reminded just how much I liked it. “Said I'm a pattern on a china bowl, I'm a memory engraved upon your soul, I'm a prison cell without a door, I'm a finger drawing, On a frosty window pane”

07) Advaeta - Church Cult: I saw Brooklyn-trio Advaeta just over a year ago supporting Moon Duo and while I was deeply impressed with their set, I just didn’t get round to seeing them again and they flew off my radar for a little bit. Thankfully that changed when I saw their record for sale at Other Music, and it’s as varied and intricate as I remember.

08) Big Ups - National Parks: Second albums are notoriously difficult, but Big Ups have gone up at least a couple of levels with the release of Before a Million Universes, which sees them slow things down a little from their hardcore origins and adopt a more Slint-like approach.

09) PINKWASH - Longer Now: Philadelphia duo PINKWASH released the incredible Your Cure Your Soul EP in 2014 and are set to unleash their debut full length in May called Collective Sigh. This is the first song to be released from it and doesn’t stray from the sound of their debut EP, all the better for it.

10) Jesu & Sun Kil Moon - Good Morning My Love: Just when you think Kozelek simply can’t possibly write any more lyrics, he takes his stream-of-consciousness style to yet another level on a collaborative album with Jesu. Musically the record is pretty diverse, with crunching slowcore electric guitars on some songs and electronic drums and keyboards on others.

11) Vaadat Charigim - Imperia Achrona: Israeli band Vaadat Charigim, whose name roughly translates as committee of the abnormal, released their second album, Sinking As A Stone, on Burger Records last year. They sing in Hebrew but to see these it gives the songs an otherworldly quality that befits the genre. I caught the band on their first tour of the US in 2014 but missed their last New York show (though I did see them in Austin last year), I’ll be putting that right when they play at Palisades on the 30th of March.

12) Hilly Eye - Jersey City: Brooklyn two-piece Hilly Eye consist of guitarist/vocalist Amy Klein and drummer/vocalist Catherine Tung, they formed in 2009 and have one album to date, 2013’s Reasons to Live. I hadn’t heard of the band before but received it in a random assortment of vinyl I purchased from Don Giovanni’s moving sale and was won over instantly with their slowcore quiet/loud anthems.

13) Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Melt Your Heart: Rabbit Fur Coat is 10 years old this year and Jenny Lewis played a few special shows in celebration of the landmark. I caught one of the shows at the Beacon Theatre and despite being almost the farthest from the stage that you can get there, she made the setting still seem intimate. “Are we killing time? Are we killing each other?”

14) La Sera - Take My Heart: Katy Goodman’s once side-project La Sera is now very much a full time gig, and a duo at that, with now husband Todd Wisenbaker an official member. Music for Listening to Music to just came out via Polyvinyl Records and was produced by Ryan Adams. The album is a perfect continuation of the discography, with some country influences coming to the fore, but it’s the confidence in Goodman’s voice that is the star of the show. “Pick up the pieces, they've flown away, Lift them up gently in your arms and say, Do you believe in me? Do you believe in me?“

15) Sheer Agony – Debonaires: I featured I Have a Dream on the last mix but mostly due to time constraints as it is a short but sweet song. If I had more time I’d have used this track, which is probably my favourite on Masterpiece, there is a real Television-esque guitar wigout that more people deserve to hear!

16) Dead Tenants - Dead Tenants: The rare trinity of band/album/song name come to the fore with this offering as Queens-based trio. There’s more than a little hint of Fugazi on this track, and I caught the end of the band’s set a couple of months ago after going bowling, and those are two things I’d like to repeat!

17) Protomartyr - Why Does It Shake?: Protomartyr might just be everyone’s favourite post-punk band these days, and The Agent Intellect deservedly made many end-of-year-lists and having seen them a few times live now, they might just be hitting the top of their game in all aspects. Some aren’t taken with Joe Casey’s sometimes mumbling delivery but it works for me.

18) Slint - Good Morning, Captain: After using a Big Ups song earlier, I couldn’t help but put something from Slint’s influential 1991 release, Spiderland. That might not have been a great idea though because it just made me sad that I didn’t get to see their last set of reunion shows in 2014.

I’m feeling a little burned out already but have a few days holiday in DC to look forward to, no particular reason, I just wanted to see somewhere new. Hopefully you’ve all heard something new on this mix.

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

Please note that the zip file has a password: Q106
Download mix from:

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