Monday, 12 June 2017

Q#113 April - May 2017

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Q's Compilations
Vol #113 - April to May 2017

Greetings once again. This is the first time I have ever missed a deadline which would have been the 31st of May (my own fault as I didn't bring the files with me on holiday so couldn't package it all together until I got back). Having spent just shy of three weeks back home (with a short jaunt in Lisbon), I'd like to say I'm pretty refreshed, but I spent a fair chunk of time wishing I was in New York still. This collection was thrown together pretty quickly just before I did go away but it has mostly new stuff on it and I'm very happy with how it turned out, aside from not paying attention to the levels in any of the songs, there are some fairly unforgivable moments in that regard.

01) Wyatt Blair - Pop Your Heart Out: Wyatt Blair is one of those people you think should be playing to 1000s of people, writer of infectious sugary pop hits, this tune is particularly reminiscent of the best bubble-gum 80s rock.

02) Rips -Break: You could probably be forgiven for thinking this was Parquet Courts if you just heard it without any context. Indeed, the record was actually recorded by Austin Brown of Parquet Courts.

03) Guided By Voices - Overloaded: The ever prolific Robert Pollard just released his 100th album, which is pretty staggering. Another milestone is Guided By Voices first double-album, August By Cake, the current line-up includes "Mark II" GBV legend Doug Gillard. “The situation has me I’ve gotta grab it”

04) Priests - Nothing Feels Natural: Priests' debut full length (this is the title track) departs from their punkier eps and has more of a post-punk sheen to it, it's a great fit and change of direction although on ocassion one does miss Katie Alice Greer's snarl.

05) Matt Kivel - Velveteen: I somehow snoozed on knowing Matt Kivel released two records last year, I'd acted just in time to pick up the vinyl for Fires in the Plain, but missed out on XXXX. This track is from Fires in the Plain, and while double albums are generally hard to digest initially, the record seems an instant winner.

06) Terry Malts - Gentle Eyes:  There's something about this song that reminds me of Modern English, and that's clearly not a bad thing. Terry Malts have gone for a shinier sound on their latest album although when I saw them at the Mercury Lounge in April they still play with the same garage rock fervor of the first album. “I hate to see you cry, it broke my heart to find pain in those gentle eyes. What can I do? All my thoughts and my dreams I see gentle eyes”

07) Ryan Adams - Prisoner: Ryan Adams is one of those people I've known about for many years and just never gotten round to listening to. He was playing a show at the Beacon Theatre and so I got day-of Stubhub tickets to go with a friend, he was fantastic and this has, became somewhat of an anthem for me recently. The title track of his latest record, I've also since purchased Gold and Heartbreaker. “Free my heart, Somebody locked it up, Still waiting on parole, I can taste the freedom just outside that door, Same grey walls, Same grey clothes, I know my friends all know, Can't keep it under control. I know our love is wrong, I am a criminal, Mmm, I am a prisoner, Mmm, I am a prisoner, For your love”

08) Snail Mail - Slug: I hadn't heard of Snail Mail until it was announced that they are supporting Waxahatchee in Brooklyn in July so I went through their bandcamp releases and they are obviously a very appropriate fit. “And oh is it easiest to hide? Under covered rocks, Or would you rather cut it all down? Just to keep it from dragging you around”

09) Aimee Mann - Goose Snow Cone: Aimee's latest record, Mental Illness, seems like a response to everyone thinking all she does is write slow, sad, acoustic songs, as if she has double-downed on what people expect, it's arguably her slowest and saddest record to date. I just saw her play at the Town Hall and hadn't realised it was 12 years since I had last seen her, I certainly hope it isn't another 12. “Gotta keep it together when your friends come by, Always checking the weather but they wanna know why, Even birds of a feather find it hard to fly”

10) Justin Currie - This Is My Kingdom Now: Del Amitri will always be my first love and Justin Currie has just released his fourth solo record (this is the title track), though this is his first self-release. It took me a couple of listens for it to gel but as usual it is filled with unmatched prose and is closer to his first solo release, What Is Love For. I was lucky enough to catch him live on the 3rd of June during my recent trip home. Still the greatest. “I was sure that I could hear applause, And that I should take a bow, But no-one seems to care in here, That this is my kingdom now”

11) Digable Planets - Where I'm From: 90s hip hop greats Digable Planets got back together last year, and I’m excited to hopefully see them at a free show in Red Hook in June. Their two records (1993’s Reachin’ and 1994’s Blowout Comb, this song is from the former) aren’t really talked about with such heady frequency as say, De La Soul or A Tribe Called Quest, but they’re definitely in the same league, perhaps this reunion will call for further evaluation.

12) Main Source - Just a Friendly Game of Baseball: Speaking of great 90s hip hop, Main Source released Breaking Atoms in 1991 which was reissued this year and is also of note for containing Nas’ first recorded delivery (on Live at the BBQ), the group have played a couple of reunion shows this year (including opening for George Clinton, which sadly I missed), “Instead of innings, we have endings, What a fine way to win things, And hot-dog vendors have fun, Sellin you the cat rat and dog on a bun, And when you ask what is all of this called? It's just a friendly game of baseball”

13) Follakzoid feat. J Spaceman - Electric: After spending some time in London, Chilean psych/kraut masters Follakzoid collaborated with J Spacemen for a 2-song remix of tracks from the third album (strangely enough, called III). The trance-like nature of the tracks from that record were ripe for a remix treatment and the results are not disappointing.

14) The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions: I saw The New Pornographers recently at Terminal 5, and this was the first time I'd seen them with Neko Case. They started off on fire, playing my favourites songs within a 5-song opening, but the new material sounded like long-term favourites too.

15) Future Islands - Aladdin:  New album, The Far Field, certainly isn't breaking any ground for the Baltimore band, and that's ok, for a band that's on the cusp of being majorly succesful, they just need to keep doing what they're doing.

16) Laura Stevenson - Life is Long: I saw Laura supporting Juliana Hatfield in April and her solo set really blew me away (I had drank many, many margaritas before the show), her recorded output is a little more punky and she is on the wonderful Don Giovanni label.

17) Cayetana - Mesa: I saw Cayetana at the Northside Festival a year or two ago and despite enjoying their set a lot didn’t give the band a whole lot of thought until hearing their new album, New Kind of Normal, which came out in May via Plum Records. Like Snail Mail, the trio are supporting Waxahatchee on upcoming dates. “we can only hurt ourselves for so long”

18) Anna Calvi - Love Won't Be Leaving (live): A "record store day" release, supposedly (I'm sure all these end up with regular distribution), Anna Calvi played the Meltdown Festival backed by a choir and the results are stunning. She doesn't rush things when it comes to new material so this document is an excellent stop gap. “I hope this letter finds you well, Been in the desert for so long, Sometimes I see faces, Comin' out of the dark”

Apologies once again for the hastily put together notes, but as I said earlier, I’m really happy with the selection and I hope you find something to enjoy too.
As always, Peace and Love


Please note that the zip file has a password: QCOMPS.BLOGSPOT
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