Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Q#107 April – May 2016

Please note that the zip file has a password: Q107
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/download/k3d0o3abkx30tx7/Q107.zip

Q’s Compilations
Volume #107 April - May 2016

It seemed like summer was never going to arrive, but as I sit here suffering the worst sunburn I’ve ever had trying to get this out before the end of the month, I’m thinking it could have stayed away! Other things got the better of me for a while but I’m starting and finishing this off in about a week, so forgive me if it seems a little rushed, there are some great things on here though!

01) Ought - Men for Miles: If I could revise the “best of 2015” mix I made, Ought would be on it. I’d go so far as to say that Sun Coming Down may now be my single favourite album of 2015. I saw the band last year and thought they were great, but for some reason never listened to the album as much as I should have, but with some time and catching another show, I was just blown away. The band don’t do a whole lot on stage and most of the songs are mid-paced but it’s somehow incredibly intense and engaging. If you have a chance to see them, don’t pass it up, and in the meantime be sure to get Sun Coming Down.

02) Pants Exploder – Nerve: Sometimes you just want no-frills riffs and sludgy, down-tuned guitars. In a particularly susceptible mood, I saw Pants Exploder at The Acheron and they ticked every box and the band’s self-titled debut is a true delight for fans of the genre.

03) Music Band - Green Lights: I saw Music Band supporting Diarrhea Planet last year and they threatened to steal the show, which is no mean feat given that Diarrhea Planet are one of the best live bands on earth right now. I’m not sure the band’s record collection contains anything after 1976, and that’s no bad thing when you’re in the mood for some classic rock. Their debut album, Wake Up Laughing, will appeal to anyone looking for more of the same here.

04) Arrogance - Peace of Mind: Part of the Numero 12 series, Arrogance’s Knights of Dreams is a lost classic rock gem if ever there was one. Formed in North Carolina, the band cut this record before turning in a more acoustic direction. “Life’s a joke I’ve come to find”

05) Ryley Walker - Primrose Green: I saw Ryley Walker at Austin Psych Fest last year and was impressed without being wowed (my overriding feeling was that if I wanted to listen to Tim Buckley I would listen to Tim Buckley), but after multiple recommendations from a work colleague and other friends I decided to buy Primrose Green and it really is a lovely folk record. While his influences are worn firmly on his sleeve, there is more than enough spirit pushing through and the playing is exemplary.

06) Radiohead - Decks Dark: Usually when a hugely important band in your life releases a new record there is an uncontrollable excitement when you can’t wait to listen to it, but after 2011’s rather limp King of Limbs, I was fairly nervous about what they would come up with. I was prepared for a 6/10 album and probably would have been happy with that, but A Moon Shaped Pool gets an 8/10 in my book and while perhaps a bit one-paced, is a fine addition to the discography of Oxford’s greatest export.

07) Gaz Coombes – Detroit: Speaking of Oxford, Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes released his second solo album, Matador, in January 2015, and it’s an understated delight. I caught one of his shows at Rockwood Music Hall recently and maintain that Supergrass were always loved yet always underappreciated.

08) Holy Fuck - Xed Eyes: Toronto’s Holy Fuck just released Congrats, their first album in 5 years (Q#75 was their last inclusion!), and their fourth in total. The album is a fine addition to their real-drums-and-bass blend of dance-elecronica, and I’m hoping to catch one of their shows in July.

09) Wimps – Dump: This Seattle trio make incredibly catchy, endearing tunes, and their album, Suitcase, is a no-brainer if you want some lo-fo-ish indie. I write this as my apartment is looking particularly like a dump right now…

10) Field Music – Disappointed: There probably hasn’t been a whole lot of good music (or anything) from Sunderland, but Field Music are an exception. While the XTC and Talking Heads influences seem pretty obvious, if anything it just makes you miss those bands and thankful that a band this can pull it off so well. I saw the band at Rough Trade recently and it was one of the more enjoyable shows of the year, with brothers David and Peter Brewis swapping between guitars/vocals and drums. “This has been going on, So long I can't believe it, I made mistakes at the start, And it seems you can't forgive them”

11) Wall - Cuban Cigars: This Brooklyn quartet veer more to the wire-y guitar sound that seems to have been underused in the last few years, I was impressed with their set opening for Fear of Men recently and the band’s debut EP is well worth a listen for anyone else that misses this kind of guitar tone.

12) Summer Twins – Demons: There is no shortage of sunny sounding garage rock bands from the west coast and sisters Chelsea and Justine Brown aren’t rocking the boat in that sense, and it won’t be surprising to hear that they’re signed to Burger Records either. With that information alone you can probably tell if you’ll like it or not before listening. Obviously I’m all in favour.

13) Dick Diver - Hammock Days: Australia’s Dick Diver just had their first two albums re-issued in the US, and this is taken from their debut, 2011’s New Start Again. Australia has a good reputation for producing jangly indie-pop bands and Dick Diver may just be the best.

14) The Posies - We R Power!: The Posies are one of my favourite bands of all time, and it seemed surprising to realise that it had been six years since Blood/Candy was released. Unfortunately the band have suffered some hardships recently, including the sudden death of drummer Darius Minwalla (who once called me out at a Posies show for wearing a Rush shirt, his favourite band) and former bassist Joe Skyward. Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer ventured forth, however, and have just released Solid States, and if you know the Posies at all then you know they are one of the best songwriting duos of all time. I managed to catch the band play a show in someone’s apartment recently, which was a surreal, yet great experience.

15) Bambara - An Ill Son: Brooklyn based trio Bambara have been together since 2009 and bludgeoned their way through almost impenetrable Birthday Party-esque tunes all the while. However, the band’s latest album, Swarm, managed to rein things in just enough to let the songs and vocals shine through.

16) Texas is the Reason - A Jack with One Eye: Having never previously heard of the band, I felt a little guilty to end up at one of their shows recently (which is a rarity, the show sold out in no time). They only had one album, Do You Know Who You Are? from 1996, and while it seemed like I was gate-crashing a private fan club, I came out with a new-found appreciation.  

17) The Montgomery Express – Who: This Florida-based funk band only cut one record in 1974 called The Montgomery Movement. The effortlessly cool shuffle of this tune can make you get lost and suddenly 3 minutes have sailed by. Singers Paul Montgomery and Charles Atkins were both blind and self-taught musicians.

18) Britta Phillips - Luck or Magic: Perhaps best known as the bassist in Luna, Britta has just released her debut album of which this is the title track. It’s a lovely album with 5 originals and 5 covers (of which, The Cars’ Drive is the best-known tune), with analog synths ruling the day for the most part, but everything serves as a platform for Britta’s vocals, which just have enough (unjustified) lack of confidence to really draw you in. “There is no other feeling like the one in the beginning

19) Jimmy Carter and Dallas County Green - A Night of Love: A lost 70s country rock classic, Summer Brings the Sunshine is a true delight. We’ve all lost count the number of times one thinks “this should have been huge” and you could probably slot this record alongside a bunch of Neil Young’s efforts.

20) Robbie Fulks - Try Leaving: You can know nothing about Robbie Fulks, or even country and folk music, and have a great time at one of his concerts. He played this tune the last time I saw him which actually comes from a collection of throwaway recordings, but the song hits home a bit too hard not to include it. I picked up a couple of his albums so expect further inclusion at some point. “There’s only one thing that you haven’t done. Try leaving, try not to come back this evening, try to stay gone”.

21) David Kauffman - Kiss Another Day Goodbye: I’m closing out this mix, as I often do, on a bit of a downer. I maintain that the saddest songs are often the most beautiful, and this is definitely one of the saddest songs I have ever heard! Details on Kauffman are a little scarce, but his struggles of life and creativity are pretty vivid in this offering, and thankfully though his collaborative album with Eric Caboor is titled Songs from Suicide Bridge, neither succumbed to taking their own lives. “I went out to grab a cup of coffee and left my dreams behind. The California sun was all I had for breakfast, and it burns.”
Well there you go!

Until next time

Peace and love - Q 

Please note that the zip file has a password: Q107
Download mix from: http://www.mediafire.com/download/k3d0o3abkx30tx7/Q107.zip