The Line Of Best Fit Radio

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Line Of Best Fit: 2006 Playlist

A Christmas present to you all. As this will be the last post of the year I thought i'd treat you all...

The Line Of Best Fit: 2006 Playlist is a 17 track compilation of my choice picks of the year. There is something for everyone here so feel free to grab it. I hope you enjoy! Merry Christmas!


01.Consolation Prizes - Phoenix
02.Black & Blue - Tim O'Reagan
03.Fire In The Sky - The Hazey Janes
04.Where Are You Go Go Going To? - Loney, Dear
05.7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene
06.Be Good Or Be Gone - Fionn Regan
07.The Crane Wife 3 - The Decemberists
08.Low Happening - The Howling Bells
09.Eyes on the Prize - M. Ward
10.Waiting for the Time to Be Right - The Brother Kite
11.Black Swan - Thom Yorke
12.The Jeopardy of Contentment - What Made Milwaukee Famous
13.Let's Get Out Of This Country - Camera Obscura
14.There Goes My Outfit - The Dears
15.The Hope Edition - My Latest Novel
16. ABC - The Pipettes
17.Head Home - Midlake

Download it by clicking here.

A look towards next year

Theres lots to look forward to though - 2007 is already shaping upto being a great year for music with new releases from:

Arcade Fire
Architecture In Helsinki
Art Brut
Andrew Bird
Bloc Party
Bright Eyes
British Sea Power
Built To Spill
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Explosions In The Sky
Field Music
The Go! Team
Jose Gonzalez
PJ Harvey
Norah Jones
LCD Soundsystem
Ted Leo
Massive Attack
Maximo Park
Modest Mouse
New Pornographers
Of Montreal
Polyphonic Spree
The Postal Service
Gruff Rhys
Rilo Kiley
The Shins
Son Volt
Lucinda Williams

I've heard a few of the above already and havent been dissapointed as of yet. Roll on 2007!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Yep. Its End Of Year List Time.

Its that time of year again when the best of lists come out. Bloggers and critics from around the globe spend far too much time contemplating what should go in the top spot. Does it really matter? Probably not. But I care and to start things off here is my top 25 of the year.

The Line Of Best Fit Top 25 from 2006

25. Loose Fur - Born Again In The USA
24. The Rapture - Pieces Of The People We Love
23. What Made Milwaukee Famous - Trying To Never Catch Up
22. Stars Of Track And Field - Centuries Before Love And War
21. Mystery Jets - Making Dens

20. The Dears - Gang Of Losers
19. My Morning Jacket - Okonokos
18. The Futureheads - News & Tributes
17. DFA - The DFA Remixes: Chapter Two
16. CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy

15. Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
14. Fionn Regan - End Of History
13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
12. My Latest Novel - Wolves
11. Brakes - The Beatific Visions

10. Loney, Dear - Sologne
9. Howling Bells - Howling Bells
8. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
7. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country
6. M Ward - Post War

5. Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
4. Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
3. The Brother Kite - Waiting For The Time To Be Right
2. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
1. Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther

Other albums id like to give an honourable mention to are:
The Early Years - The Early Years
TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
I'm From Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends
Tim O'Reagan - Tim O'Reagan
Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun
Calexico - Garden Ruin
Sound Team - Movie Monster
Portastatic - Be Still Please
My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse
Tapes n' Tapes - The Loon
Dirty On Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens
The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes
Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery
The Kooks - Inside In/Inside Out
Beck - The Information
Metric - Live it Out
Forward Russia - Give Me a Wall
Lilly Allen - Alright, Still
Amy Millan - Honey From The Tombs
Cat Power - The Greatest
The Spinto Band - Nice and Nicely Done
Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis
The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Drive By Truckers - A Blessing And A Curse
The Velvet Teen - Cum Laude
Amy Millan - Honey From The Tombs
Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
Be Your Own PET - Be Your Own PET
Fields - 7 From The Village
Golden Smog - Another Fine Day
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad Of The Broken Seas
Johnny Cash - American V
The Hazey Janes - Hotel Radio
Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Peter Bjorn And John - Writer's Block
The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
The Charlatans - Simpatico
Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP
Wolfmother - Wolfmother
Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And Will Beat Your Ass
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
The Magic Numbers - Those The Brokes
The Album Leaf - Into The Blue Again

Phew!, what a year. Really any of the albums between 1 and 6 could have been my favourite. All six of them are very very special records that, if you havent already checked out you must do so and quickly!

Some other year end lists from around the globe.....
[I will edit this as more lists are released]

To start things off here is the link for Pitchforks top 25 music videos of 2006. Some pretty great ones are included such as Lilly Allen, CSS, Emily Haines and ofcourse the video that im sure will scoop lots of awards next year Ok, Go.

Watch them here

Some other year end lists worthy of posting: top 100 of the year
NME top 50 albums
NME top 50 singles
More Cowbell Top 20
Bridgets' Blog Top 50
Richard Hughes of CD Times top albums of the year
Muzzle Of Bees Favourites of the year

Monday, December 11, 2006

Review: The Charlatans - Brixton Academy, London. 8th December 2006.

Its typical of The Charlatans to end the year on top of their game. Its what they've spent their entire career doing. Damning anyone and everyone who has ever stood in their way. They're survivors after all.
2006 has been a funny old year for the band. Appearing in the first half of the year with the poorly recieved 9th studio album Simpatico, its Reggae and Dub influences confused both fans and critics alike. But credit to them, they tried something new and with most experiments sometimes they work sometimes they don't. But they've always had spirit and when the new musical directions work they really work; take 2001's Wonderland for example - a pure slice of glorious Californian soul or the Dylanesque country of Us & Us Only for examples of their bloody mindedness and talent.

Who would have thought they would be ending this year in such a celebrated way? November saw the band release their second retrospective of their career, Forever contained a selection of the bands favourite and most successful singles to date and with this came a full UK tour. What a tour its been too - playing all their favourite haunts its clear the band have been enjoying it as much as their ever loyal fans. Just listen to the daily podcasts to hear Burgess and co gushing after every show. Brixton Academy has always been an important venue for the band, some legendary shows have taken place here, most recently from the 2004 show where the bands only live DVD was filmed.

As LCD Soundsystems' Disco Infiltrator booms from the PA and the curtain falls to reveal a huge Charlatans logo backdrop the atmosphere becomes purely electric and its not long until the band appear and kick in with career high Forever. Tim Burgess looking revitalised after kicking drink and drugs earlier this year, he skulks the stage in the way that only Tim Burgess can, its certainly clear he and the rest of the guys are on a mission, yet the audience didn't react in such the manic way that I was expecting and it wasn't until Cant Get Out Of Bed until the atmosphere clicked into place and the band shifted it up a notch. Love Is The Key blew the roof off, one of the many highlights of the evening Up At The Lake sounded fresher than ever and The Only One I Know, as it always does, sent the audience into a complete frenzy.

A Man Needs To Be Told calms things down slightly with Burgess introducing it as his "War Song" its plods along quite nicely but I cant help but feel they should have canned it for a more lesser heard live track. With no studio album to tour and a classic song cannon, surely this is the time to do it? But apart from the encore the set is all pretty safe, or maybe its just what the crowd want to hear. This is only a very minor complaint though, The Charlatans are still one of the only bands that can make me feel the way they do live. Everytime i've ever had the opportunity to see them there has always been a oneness between band and audience, a Charlatans army if you like. They are a band of the people, and not in a yobbish Kasabian way either. You can live your life through this band and you can tell from the audience that many people do. Every member of the crowd I look at are singing the words right back at TIm with such conviction you'd think they were the songs authors.

A sterling rendition of How High concludes and the band leave the stage. What follows is an encore that should blow the roof off Brixton once and for all but, never really takes off. Kicking off with NYC from Simpatico Tim announces that he's just figured out "We've got another half an hour left yet" they break into a classic rendition of debut single Indian Rope with Tony Rogers ressurecting the ghost of Rob Collins in a hammond solo that completely blows my mind. I cant help but think that the majority of the audience haven't even heard the song before though. Up next comes Then which is a late addition to the set and like Indian Rope just doesn't get the audience reaction i'd expect. A lackluster run through of Impossible follows and its not until classic set closer Sproston Green that the encore finally picks up pace. The crowd literally go mental as the self styled King of the Mods Martin Blunt kicks into the pulsating bass line and the rest of the band follow. Tim Burgess still skulking around zapping the audience with his imaginary gun. At this point i've nearly lost not only my glasses but my jeans and my right shoe. Tim leaves the stage and the guys wrap things up in their own time - Jon Brookes pounding the drums, as always as if his life depended on it. Mark Collins and Martin Blunt knowingly cool as fuck and Tony Rogers tearing his Hammond to pieces. A completely exhilarating 2 hour set is over, and as always the band won hands down. They always do.

The Charlatans - Sproston Green

Friday, December 08, 2006

Manchester Charity Event. Line-Up Revealed.

John Lennon ‘Imagine’ Charity Event at RNCM Manchester.
Friday 22nd December.

This event is to raise funds for the John Lennon ‘Imagine’ Trust which treats and cares for over 200,000 patients each year at The Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

This is a one off event in which the celebrated singer songwriters of Manchester have come together to help raise funds and give the trust an amazing Christmas present. The artists who have kindly offered to perform at the event and support the charity are;

Badly Drawn Boy
Stephen Fretwell
Guy Garvey and Craig Potter (of Elbow)
Lazy Bones
Nomad Jones

All are here to participate in an incredible acknowledgement to the trust and play to support and publicise the charity. All the artists will be offering their services for free and all proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to the charity.

For further information on the charity

Tickets are £17.50 available at
RNCM Box office. 0161 907 5555
Piccadilly Box Office.0161 832 1111 (No booking fee applies).
or online at /

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Signing In....

Wow - has been a month already since my last post? Time flies when youre having fun I guess. Lots of exciting stuff happening at the moment... Tomorrow sees The Charlatans play at Brixton Academy in London which I am very much looking forward to. The setlist is looking great with the band throwing in all sorts of old goodies - expect a full review at the start of next week. In the meantime though why not subscribe to the bands daily podcast - so far it been highly entertaining. Click here for more info...

Also on Friday check out the Album Chart show on Channel 4 as a band called Brinkman are making their TV debut. A few years ago under a different name - The Vessels - the band made a tiny splash with their excellent countrified debut. After losing their guitarist and bass player though, the band regrouped and changed their name, and their sound. Check out their myspace page here.

Much to many an artists frustration there have been a fair few leaks of 2007 releases in the past few weeks. Most notably LCD Soundsystems new album "Sound Of Silver" - now, im not posting any links on here but it is outthere and its bloody good. In fact, its raised the bar pretty high for new music next year - its a huge leap forward from the debut album. James Murphy isnt too pleased about it though, he spoke of the news on his forum "the leak makes me sad. I mean, I knew it was ineveitable to some degree, but I barely finished the record, and I just wanted to get through the new year without this. It sucks - I didn't leak it. It wasn't intentional. Please don't share it if you have it. please."
Now, as much as I can simpify with Mr LCD unfortuantely this is how things work nowadays - everything leaks at some point, but as ive come to realise, people will generally still buy the album anyway. Its normally the big fans who can't wait for the new material.

Other leaks available are The Shins third album "Wincing The Night Away" which contrary to what most people are saying is fucking brilliant, Super Furries head boy Gruff Rhys's second solo outing entitled "Candylion" and notably the new Field Music album "Tones Of Town".
2007 is shaping up to be a great year already!

Speaking of great music in 2007 - Wilco have finished touring for the year to finish off their new as yet untitled album due for release on Nonesuch records sometime in May. The band have been roadtesting new material for some time now, whether or not all the tracks will appear on the new album or not is to be debated but song titles include; "Let's Not Get Carried Away", "Side With the Seeds", "What Light", "Shake It Off", "Impossible Germany", "Lullaby for Rafter and Beams", "Patient With Me", "Let's Fight", "Is That the Thanks I Get?", "Maybe the Sun Will Shine" "On and On and On" and "Walken". Whats more you lucky people can sample these new tracks by wandering over to Jesse Jarnow's Frank and Earthy blog where you can download a selection of currently available songs taped at recent shows. Know one knows how long these links will be up for so go and fill yer boots quickly. Major kudos for Wilco as they have always been really cool about having their shows taped and shared on the internet.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Review: The Karabal Nightlife - The Other Shore

Murder ballads, Pixies-esque quite / loud melodies, and Jazz-fusion - and thats just in the first two minutes, The Karabal Nightlife sure know how to kick start an album. What follows is an intense, but often enjoyable 45 minutes of thought provoking indie rock.

The nice thing about this band which sets them apart from their peers is that they obviously are strongly influenced by classic rock n roll but arent afraid of putting their own unique stamp on it - rather than doing the easy thing of conforming into todays current trends. Most of the songs here could be garage rock stompers, but the band choose to challenge the listener instead - and it pays off. Though, its not for the occasional music listener - apart from the straight-ahead rockers "I Know Too Much" & "Short Years" you really have to work at this record to get the most out of it. Its full of rich harmonies and musical tapestries that only reveal themself to the listener after repeated plays. Album highlights "I Need A Girl (Who's Light On Her Feet" is a tender love song that puts frontman Jesse Davis' cracked vulnerable vocal to use beautifully, while "Sea Of Sleep" explores the bands obsession with Beatle-esque harmonies perfectly.

All in all its a strong debut, but I do have one small critiscm, though not to do with the music, and arguably it shouldnt matter, but to me it does... Its the very amatuer front cover design - looking like it was knocked up in Microsoft Word inbetween song takes. Album artwork is very important, and can often put people off the music before they've even put the disc in the player. Luckily, the inlay makes up for it and suits the style of the band perfectly - acting like a postcard from another era.

I urge you to investigate these guys futher. Visit the bands official website here, where you can purchase a copy of the album. Or preview tracks on their myspace page here.

Tim Burgess: "My girlfriend buys me underwear, it makes me feel special"

He's been around the block, up the charts and over to California. But now, with the release of a singles collection, the Charlatans' Tim Burgess is kicking back and reflecting on those important matters: like pomegranates, Christmas and underpants.

Brought to you by the nice people @ Guardian Unlimited Music.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

LCD Soundsystem new album & tour

As well as releasing a 45 minute workout song for Nike, James Murphy has been busy putting the finishing touches to his second, as yet untitled album. Due out in March 2007 he will also take his band on tour in the UK and Europe next year.

Dates as follows:

March 2007
07 Birmingham, England - Academy
08 Leeds, England - Metropolitan University
09 Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowlands
10 Manchester, England - Academy
11 Norwich, England - UEA
13 Bristol, England - Academy
14 London, England - Astoria
15 London, England - Astoria
16 Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
17 Amsterdam, Holland - Melkweg MAX
19 Cologne, Germany - Stollwerck
20 Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof
21 Munich, Germany - Kleine Elserhalle
22 Milan, Italy - Rolling Stone
24 Toulouse, France - Salle de Tourefeuille
26 Barcelona, Spain - Razzamatazz
27 Paris, France - Bataclan

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stream entire Sufjan Stevens Christmas Boxset

[from Ashmatic Kitty website]

Celebrate Christmas on Halloween!? Who ever heard of such a thing? Of course we haven't forgotten Halloween either.

In the same way that brisk, Northern wind whipped by you last week with its chilly reminder that the holiday season is closer than you think, here it is: Sufjan's 5 CD Songs for Christmas in all its free, streamy goodness, available for enjoyment right now. These computer bytes of joy broadcast over the Internet feature albums recorded by Sufjan over the course of 5 yuletides (from 2001 to 2006), each employing different friends, instruments, and moods to tease and swizzle the Christmas spirit in all of us, even as early as October. Say, maybe it is time to cook a little shortbread and toss a little tinsel.

Of course, you can't gift-wrap an internet stream. For those who prefer their Christmas with lovingly reused golden bows and Santa-in-pajama wrapping paper, we will be taking preorders for Songs for Christmas on October 31st, the Christmas of October to ship November 14th. This wonderful set weighs at least 15 pieces of coal, with 5 individually wrapped CDs, stickers, short stories, an essay, a video, a comic strip, songbooks, and an Official Original Christmas Family Portrait of Santa Sufjan! Check those off your list! If we could have placed the CDs in snowman adorned cookie tins and delivered them to you by hand at your Christmas office party, we would have. But we just don’t have enough helper elves.

Stream the tracks right here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

There's so much music on myspace. From bands with 60,000 friends and great reviews in the mainstream media to kids with songs they recorded yesterday and 17 views on their profiles - everything is there. It's a mess.

But it's a good mess, you know. A good problem. No such thing as too-much-information when this information is music. This is where bestmyspaceband steps in. is a community site solely devoted to the art of finding good shit on myspace. Launched only a few months ago, it means to be a place to explore and vote on new stuff that music addicts came across, and where anyone can promote their favourite acts they find on their own myspace journeys.

You can think of it as a human filter that plucks out the good stuff from this huge universe of almost unlimited music. And as it'll attract the music-obsessed to post the gems they discover (and vote on what others had promoted), it could eventually help us in getting deeper into the groove.

Some good unsigned acts on BMB in the last week:

The Morning Benders
It won't take too long for this band from Berkeley, California to get signed. Their songs sound like a mix of the Shins and the Strokes, and it works like magic.

One Trick Pony
The guy who promoted them on BMB wrote: "Music, stolen from around the world and mashed together in the Fens. Designed to get you dancing around your kitchen". It does sound organic, lively and healthy.

Jd Allbass
Described as "Stanley Kubrick and Bruce Lee driving Miss Daisy", this eclectic instrument-backed cut&paste effort by Madrid based Taylor Holidays (who also leads a Spanish band called Holidays in the Sun) is a real cutie.

Laila's Lounge
This group of psychedelic indie-rockers from Malaysia has some good sounds and the right attitude.

Submitted to BMB when it had only 25 profile views, this band of New Zealand teenagers uses exactly the right amount of stupidity to make their music brilliant.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Oohlas - Best Stop Pop

Three minute blasts of power pop with more hooks than you can shake a stick at and great shared vocals from all three band members; ex-Everclear drummer (don't let that put you off) Greg Eklund, his brother Mark and Olivia (Ollie) Stone. Whats not to like?

First and foremost, lets get this straight. By no means is this debut album perfect, in fact part of me feels it would be better as an EP or mini-album. You see, the twelve tracks here offer the listener nothing new in terms of orginality, in fact it helps that the tracks alternate between Eklund and Olivia as the whole thing otherwise would end up being quite samey. From the leading single "TV Dinner" and onwards through "Cahuenga Shuffle" and "Octopus," you start to feel that the formula has reached a point where Stone's breathy drone (a cross between Metrics' Emily Haines and a punkier Jenny Lewis) begins to sink under the weight of samey-ness and the songs start to sound quite forgettable.

But underneath it all there are moments of real greatness here, in particular "Small Parts" which on the surface sounds like a summery-pop gem but underneath tells the tale of a relationship breaking down, with the lyrics "The decay of a former stone heart / Distributed into small parts / Now I cease to glow I cannot function anymore" isn't as happy go lucky as the rhythm section would suggest. You can't help but hum the chorus either with its "ahhhhh ahhhhh Dont go out the backdoor / ahhhhh ahhhh Thats what the fronts for / Chew me up & spit me out / I can't take anymore - Hardly what you'd expect from a summer anthem but it works perfectly. Other highlights include the opening tracks "Gone" & "Tripped", the latter featuring a melody again sung by the real star of the record Ollie, with her instantly likable vocal that wouldnt sound out of place on a Rilo Kiley record.

All in all this is an impressive debut which (with no fault to the band) really should have been released several months ago, to cash in on the heat of the summer.

Visit the bands myspace page here.

Second Coming Rehearsal Sessions (1993/1994)

Download this fascinating insight of The Stone Roses' rehearsal sessions for The Second Coming. All the tracks here are completely unmixed and are direct from the studio tapes.

1. Ian & Reni Recording Water For Breaking Into Heaven Intro
2. Producer Giving Instructions/John In Background
3. Alternate Ten Storey Love Song Intro
4. John/Reni: The Tribal Jam 1
5. Good Times
6. Love Spreads
7. Love Spreads 2
8. Begging You
9. John/Reni: Jam 2
10. Daybreak (JB Groove)
11. Reni Solo 1
12. Tightrope
13. John/Reni: The Funky Jam
14. Breaking Into Heaven
15. Driving South
16. John/Reni: The Crazy Jam
17. How Do You Sleep
18. Reni Solo 2

Download [click here]

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tracklisting for new Charlatans Best-Of

As reported a couple of months ago, The Charlatans are releasing a greatest hits package - Forever. The Singles - Is set for release on 6th November as a 2 x CD deluxe set, with a DVD following a week later on the 13th. The tracklisting is as follows:


Indian Rope
The Only One I Know
Can't Get Out Of Bed
Just When You're Thinkin' Things Over
One To Another
North Country Boy
How High
Tellin' Stories
My Beautiful Friend
Love Is The Key
A Man Needs To Be Told
Up At The Lake
Try Again Today
Blackened Blue Eyes
You're So Pretty, We're So Pretty (Version '06)

The Charlatans Live at the BBC
Always In Mind - John Peel Show 20.3.90
Polar Bear - John Peel Show 20.3.90
Between 10th & 11th - John Peel Show 22.1.91
(No One) Not Even The Rain - Mark Goodier Show 5.10.91
Autograph - Mark Radcliffe Show 7.7.94
Up To Our Hips - Steve LaMacq show 14.3.94
Another Rider Up In Flames - Steve Lamacq Show 14.3.94
Crashin' In - Mark Radcliffe Show - 31.7.95
A Man Needs To Be Told - Live Lounge, Jo Whiley 18.11.01

Up At The Lake Demos
Feel The Pressure
Wave The World Goodbye
See How Clear It Is
Try Again Today

Im pretty dissapointed with the tracklisting for the main disc to be honest, I can't believe they have only included one track each off Up To Our Hips & The Charlatans. Surely their best period? Looking forward to the second disc though - lets hope the Demo's for Up At The Lake are better than the actual album. Maybe thats why they've included them?

Review: Wondernaut - The Youth Is Wasted

Currently signed on the up and coming indie label American Laundromat Records is Billy Gro, or Wondernaut as he's most commonly known hails from Oklahoma City. He's been making a splash on American college radio stations for some time, and, after limited copies of his debut self-titled EP sold out he's back with a 12 track debut album "The Youth Is Wasted". Recorded over a period of 10 months by Billy and an 8 track, the album certainly has some moments of lo-fi beauty.

Kicking off with a 3 minute waltz of layered fuzzed out guitars and an infectious melody "Chemical Attraction Ecstasy" its obvious that Billy wears his influences on his sleeve. Not thats neccesarily a bad thing. The vocals on the opening track especially remind me of fellow Oklahoma resident Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

"U Think Yer Cool" is a stab at the uber cool underground scene with its playground-ish jibes of "U think yer cool and I am not, u think yer cool but your'e not" - its not going to win any awards for lyrical genius - but maybe thats the point. It does get your foot tapping though.

One of the oldest songs here, "Whisper" has a simple heart wrenching melody, the only downside to it, as with a lot of these songs is the over use of effects on the tracks, especially the vocals. I'd love to hear this song in particular broken down with just an acoustic guitar and vocals. The continuous flanging effects on the instruments and vocals are ultimately a distraction to what could be one of the strongest songs here.

Things pick up though with the buzz saw pop of "Valerie", "Such Sweet Melancholy" and "Out Of Friction", if you close your eyes for long enough you almost feel like you're listening to a band from the C86 era or maybe even Teengage Fanclub'isms circa Bandwagonesque / Thirteen - particulary the bands main songwriter Norman Blake, I think it might be the vocal delivery, I don't know.

What I do know is that if lo-fi college indie pop is youre thing you should certainly check this guy out.

myspace links:

Record Label -
Artists Page -

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ryan Adams tells all about new Punk direction

Tuned into Ryan Adams' website recently? Well, if you have you will have found Mr Adams brand new punk rock album streaming on his "Cardinals Radio" section.

Ryan has been streaming an album titled “You Are The Audience”. Adams has said today that these recordings will only ever be available streamed through Cardinal Radio online, they will never be commercially released.

Adams says of the material “Its just stuff I do in my spare time, under the name “The Shit,” it’s been an ongoing project since I can remember to record some punk stuff when I get bored, ‘cause I like to play music when I’m not busy playing music.”

He also revealed details of another metal side project. He says, “My other metal project is called “Werewolph” but it’s too scary to release as it is so metal and scary that people actually turn to ice when I play it for them. Those few unlucky souls now haunt the offices of the NME instructed by my witchmaster.”

Explaining the history of "The Shit" - He said the band is “me on everything except drums which is sometimes Brad sometimes JT.” He says they have made five albums, named as follows “Is This Shit", “Hits The Fans,” "General Ulysses S Hospitol," "HillybillyJoel" (with The Cardinals and called “CardinalShits” and "slef-protrait."

Adams says he is also working on a whole other new project, he calls it the ‘garageband wars’. He concludes “I have an alternative death metal country band called “Wilcoven”. Its pretty sick.”

Stay tuned to Cardinals Radio at

Dunedin To Nashvillle

A new alt-country documentary has screened at the Raindance Film Festival.

“Far Off Town - Dunedin to Nashville” documents underground rock legend David Kilgour’s journey from his small New Zealand town of Dunedin to Nashville, Tennessee to record his album “Frozen Orange” with his friends who just happen to be kings Lambchop.

The film features unique footage of Lambchop’s world as Kilgour travels from Kurt Wagner’s basement, to the recording studio of maverick producer Mark Nevers, via the underworld haunts of the Nashville music scene.

Culminating with a journey through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the home of Kilgour’s indie label - Merge Records in Chapel Hill - Kilgour is joined by Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley as well as members of Lambchop for a concert at the historic Carolina Theatre, celebrating Merge’s 15 years as an independent label.

Others appearing among the stellar musical cast include Will ‘Bonnie Prince Billy’ Oldham, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Silver Jews’ David Berman, Jason and the Scorchers, Billy Joe Shaver, Allison Moorer, and Sebadoh’s Jason Loewenstein.

The release date of “Far Off Town – Dunedin To Nashvillle” is likely to be in early 2007.

Lambchop play London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire next Monday (October 23).

Jeff Tweedy Hits Fan

From Pitchfork:

Still in disbelief that the kind, mild-mannered Jeff Tweedy could have punched a dude in the face at last Monday's Springfield, MO Wilco show? We were too...until a Pitchfork reader sent links to YouTube videos of both the incident and Tweedy's apology.

At roughly a minute into the Woody Guthrie-penned favorite "Airline to Heaven," a crazed fan flies out of the audience and onto the stage, raising his arms above his head and, you know, rocking out. Tweedy plays it cool until said fan goes in for a smooch. Tweedy is rightfully taken aback and swats the dude's face before going in for the choke (a light one, admittedly). Totally justified, in our humble opinion.

He then gives a short speech, and Wilco picks up "Airline to Heaven" from where they left off earlier.

In the second clip, Tweedy apologizes to the crowd, saying, "I feel terrible. I don't like to fuckin' punch somebody in the face. Why would I? It sucks. It sucks, man." At this point, someone from the audience calls out ("The Thanks I Get" lyric) "we can make it better." Tweedy responds, "We can make it better than that!"

"I was having a really good time, but now I feel like going and sitting down somewhere. But I know we can't do that. We're not going to do that. We're not going to let the bastards win!"

On their official website, Wilco have issued a statement about the incident. It reads, "It was clear fairly early on that security was a bit lax at the Shrine Mosque. We had decided in advance to not have a barricade in front of the stage (a mistake?) so the band and crowd could be as close together as possible. The band prefer it that way...

"During the first encore a young man jumped onto the stage and did the requisite salute to his pals. While we certainly do not encourage that kind of behavior, we were prepared to let it go, as he was, it seemed, heading back into the crowd. Just when it appeared he was walking off the stage he turned around and moved towards Tweedy from behind. Jeff did not see him approaching, but felt the guy's hands on his head. To this, Jeff reacted. As Jeff put it... 'I really regret what happened last night. I wish it had gone another way... and i suspect had i felt safer on that stage, had security been doing a better job all night long, well things would have gone differently. He approached me from behind... and I reacted in defense to get him away. I didn't know what his intentions were... and I had to get him off of me. I'm sad that it happened at all.'"

We Are Scientists set to release rarities CD & DVD

We Are Scientists, fresh from their With Love And Squalor debut, are to release Crap Attack, a compilation of videos, rarities, remixes and b-sides to be released on november 6th.

The CD features, amongst other things, covers of Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros and Art Brut's Bang Bang Rock & Roll. The DVD included in Crap Attack, features videos for all 12 album tracks and the full version of their gig earlier this year at Shepherds Bush with band commentary.

The track listings are:

1. Ram It Home
2. Surprise
3. The Great Escape (The Silence Remix)
4. Mucho Mas
5. Call Backs Under The Sea
6. Hoppipolla
7. Bang Bang Rock & Roll
8. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt Under The Sea
9. Sie Hat Was Vermisst
10. Be My Baby
11. This Scene Is Dead (Pete Predictable Remix)
12. History Repeats

1. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt
2. This Scene Is Dead
3. Inaction
4. Can’t Lose
5. Call Backs
6. Cash Cow
7. It’s A Hit
8. The Great Escape
10. Lousy Reputation
11. Worth The Wait
12. What’s the Word
13. Live at Shepherds Bush Empire
14. Commentary from the band

The release will be supported by the band's sold out UK tour, which sees them play 2 nights in Brixton.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Download Complete Jenny Lewis Show

The Jenny Lewis show mentioned yesterday was so so good I decided to split up the mp3 in seperate tracks, and, as i'm the nice i've uploaded it here.

The setlist is:

Long Black Dress
The Big Guns
You are What You Love
Melt Your Heart
The Charging Sky
Rise Up With Fists!!
Carpet Baggers
When Jack Killed Mom
Born Secular
Rabbit Fur Coat
Acid Tongue
Handle Me With Care

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In Anticipation of the new Jeff Tweedy DVD....

Here are two clips from Sunken Treasure the live DVD of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. Released through Nonesuch on October 24th. Its available to pre-order from all good stockists.

Jeff Tweedy "Sunken Treasure" Trailer

Jeff Tweedy - Is That The Thanks I Get

Stream and Download Exclusive Live Shows

The US public radio station NPR is currently streaming a handful of live shows including a full set by Jenny Lewis.

Also its worth noting that on 19th October they will be streaming Wilco at the famous 9:30 club in Washington DC. The show will be archived for a year after the transmission date. Hopefully it will be available as a download like the Jenny Lewis show.

Visit the archive here.

The Shins new album tracklisting revealed.

The Shins have revealed the tracklisting for their hugely anticipated third album Wincing The Night Away set for release on January 23rd of next year. The lead single from the album, Phantom Limb will be available as a download exclusively through itunes on November 14th and gets its CD release a week later on the 21st. The single will contain two unreleased tracks from the albums sessions, one being an alernate version of album track Split Needles.

Tracklisting as follows....
Phantom Limb
01 Phantom Limb (album version)
02 Nothing at All
03 Spilt Needles (alternate version)

Wincing the Night Away
01 Sleeping Lessons
02 Australia
03 Pam Berry
04 Phantom Limb
05 Sea Legs
06 Red Rabbits
07 Turn on Me
08 Black Wave
09 Spilt Needles
10 Girl Sailor
11 A Comet Appears

Friday, October 06, 2006

Death Cab's Chris Walla Goes Solo

Death Cab cutie and philandering producer Chris Walla, having planted his infamous seeds of production pretty much everywhere by now, is about to get busy in the studio with, um, himself. Walla has announced on his website that former DCFC home Barsuk Records will release his latest solo offering, tentatively titled It's Unsustainable, in March 2007. First critic to dismiss Walla's efforts as "masturbatory" gets a hearty smack on the wrist.

Walla's yet to decide on a moniker, but after flinging with the idea of billing himself "The Convincer", he's now close to settling on his given name. Smart move, Chris. It also seems this won't be a Martin Youth Auxiliary thang, the solo tag under which Walla released a self-titled cassette way back in 1999.

Walla, who's presently putting together a brand new studio called the Alberta Court, has already written the songs that will appear on It's Unsustainable, which he says bear a "pretty dark political stripe." Neocons, watch your backs!! He's also posted a Clinic cover on his website, revealed plans to tour, and beseeched his fans to help him make some damn decisions already.


Brakes Are Back!

Brakes return next month with a brand new 11-track studio album entitled Beatific Visions. The follow up to last years Give Blood will be released on November 8th through Rough Trade. I've just heard a copy of it and have to say it doesnt dissapoint. Its certainly a step up from their debut - with more focused, rounded songs. A highlight for me is Spring Chicken. Great stuff.

A statement from the band follows....

Brakes are the rollin', bowlin', tumblin', toilin', boilin', wheelin', bleedin', blood givin' buddies that have been throwing eyes into the valleys of the blind and sending mp3s to the moon or further for over three years now YEAH!!! Roll over cold dog' cause a hot dog's movin' in!! HELL YEAH!!!

So far this year, Brakes backed Belle and Sebastian and Editors in the UK & Europe before seeing in the spring with trips to warmer climbs; March saw the band head to Texas for a string of successful shows at the South by South West festival in Austin, a return to NYC and a debut tour of Italy.

Come April and Brakes' super-duper smash hit 'All Night Disco Party' received a repeat release disguised in Graham Sutton, Matthew Herbert and FC Kahuna remix formats. The band then toured from Aberdeen all the way down to the city of London where they did a good job of filling the popular Mean Fiddler venue.

It was high time for Brakes II by now, so, on an invitation from Seth Riddle (husband of Cerys Mathews) they flew to Nashville, Tennessee to record with Stuart Sikes (Cat Power: The Greatest, White Stripes: Red Blood Cells...) After a few days acclimatisation; catching fireflys; drinking 45 ounce margheritas; swapping guitar licks and rocking on rocking chairs on various porches, they got to work at The House of David studio, where records have been made by the likes of JJ Cale, Yo La Tengo and Elvis Presley.

The band stuck to their old habits by recording fast and live to tape. They recruited a few extra pairs of hands in the shape of local axe hombre Kevin Teel (lapsteel) and the man of 'The House' himself, Mr David Briggs (piano) David was an original Muscle Shoals band member and went on to play piano with Elvis between '68 and '77. Brakes asked him to lay down some 'ragtime' piano on 'If I Should Die Tonight' offering him $10. "Well, that was worth 50c." he said. They squeezed in gigs at the legendary record shop 'Grimeys' and its sister venue The Basement in between sessions, and were greeted by Nashville with hollers, whoops and screams.

Between festivals around the UK and Europe, Brakes mixed their new album 'Beatific Visions' at Radiohead's studio, Courtyard, in Oxfordshire. They paid their dues at the grave of Eric Blair (George Orwell), drank too much at the local mind bending pub 'The Plough', recorded a string section and mixed a fine record, which was later mastered by Neil Young's mastering engineer in Nashville.

The band played festivals until the end of the summer, and will be out on tour somewhere near you soon.

'The Beatific Visions' Tracklisting:

Hold Me In The River
If I Should Die Tonight
Mobile Communication
Spring Chicken
Beatific Vision
Porcupine or Pineapple
Cease and Desist
On Your Side
No Return

The band are touring the album in December with the following dates. Tickets are available at usual outlets.

Oct 16 White Heat @ Luminaire - more info
Oct 23 Trash @ The End (10pm-3am)
Oct 26 Adventures In The Beetroot Field @ Fabric
Nov 9 Another Music = Another Kitchen @ Proud Galleries
Nov 28 The Point
Nov 29 Crawdaddy
Nov 30 Radar Club @ Speakeasy
Dec 1 King Tuts
Dec 2 Cockpit
Dec 3 Roadhouse
Dec 4 Bar Academy
Dec 5 Kings College
Dec 8 Pavilion Theatre

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cambridge Corn Exchange 27/09/2006

Sometimes you go to a gig and come away knowing that you've seen something really special....

Last night was the first time i'd seen Ryan Adams, after two cancellations on two previous tours, to say I was looking forward to it would be an understatement. We got to the venue in good time so were able to push our way down to the front fairly easily, and pretty much as soon as we got there Neal Casal came on and did a solid 40 minute set with just himself and his drummer "Reggie" (aka Ryan Adams). I never thought that the first time I ever saw Ryan would be behind a drum kit but there you go... Neal played highlights from his current album, including my personal favourites You Dont See Me Crying & Grand Island. His set really translated well into the acoustic environment and, if anything sounded better than the full band versions on record. Mesmerising stuff.

Twenty minutes later and The Cardinals are kicking off with Magnolia Mountain and following with five more songs from Cold Roses including a barnstorming Beatiful Sorta. The sound in the venue was awesome, with Neal Casel commenting its a really beautiful sounding room. A new song Party Clown followed which was a feel good Stones-esque rocker.

It occured to me during Peacful Valley what an incredible lead guitarist Ryan actually is, and the tone he got out of his guitar was jaw dropping. With Neal Casal and Jon Graboff adding guitar and pedal steel to the mix, the overall sound made my face nearly melt off.

In between numbers a background tape was played with random traffic and nature noises with Ryan mumbling to himself and with his bandmates. Hecklers started shouting "speak up" with Ryan retorting "Sorry cant hear you". I think this tape was being played in response to the constant audience banter that goes on in his shows. He was probably playing it just to piss the audience off - and it seemed to work.

Funniest moment of the night came when the band kicked into an improvised hip-hop jam, with the Cardinals all taking turns to freestyle. It was a "you had to be there moment" but very funny.

Highlight of the night for me was probably Dear John, which is fast becoming one of my favourite songs in the Ryan Adams cannon. The harmonies were faultless and sent shivers down my spine.

After a rocking Please Do Not Let Me Go the band kicked into a 13 song non-stop attack playing a couple of new songs, a Grateful Dead cover and even dropping in some Billy Ocean! Shakedown on 9th Street got the pretty much static audience moving with Ryan and Neal each taking it in turns to thrash out a solo.

They ended with I See Monsters from Love Is Hell and left the stage. No encore. No bullshit - Just two hours of incredible rock n roll.

The setlist in full:

Magnolia Montain
Let It Ride
Tears Of Gold
Easy Plateau
Cold Roses
Beautiful Sorta
Party Clown(new)
A Kiss Before I Go
Arkham Asylum
Peaceful Valley
The End
Dear John
Please Don't Let Me Go
Mockingbird Song >
Dear Chicago >
Blue Hotel >
Bartering Lines >
Games >
21st Century Wars (new)
Shakedown on 9th St >
Franklin's Tower >
Stella Blue >
Bruce Wayne >
Caribean Queen >
I See Monsters

You can view some more of the photos I took here