Sunday, 31 January 2010

Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave (2010)

Seen as I can't wait for this album, I thought I'd post a few previews of some of the songs Cash has covered on the upcoming album. The album is due to be released on 23rd February and was proudced by Rick Rubin.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Beck's Record Club cover Skip Spence's 'Oar'

After covering 'The Velvet Underground & Nico' and 'Songs Of Leonard Cohen', Beck's Record Club's third installment is a cover album of Skip Spence's 'Oar'. If you're new to Beck's Record Club, Beck and some friends basically get together to record a chosen album in a day. In the past guests have included Devendra Banhart, MGMT, Little Joy and Wolfmother. This time round, guests included Wilco, Feist and James Gadson (who's played drums for Bill Withers and on hits like 'I Will Survive' and 'Express Yourself') and was recorded "at Sunset Sound Studios in the room where the Stones did a lot of Exile On Main Street" (Beck). You can listen to the results at Beck's Record Club.

Listen to Skip Spence's 'Oar' on Spotify

VIDEO: The Youngbloods - Ride the Wind Live 1970

This is a great performance of 'Ride the Wind', from their 1969 album 'Elephant Mountain' and I really think they are an underappreciated band. This performance is composed, laid back and it kinda sounds like jazz-folk-rock. They're obviously great musicians and I only wish we could see more performances like this on TV nowadays. Also worth checking out is 'Beautiful! Live in San Francisco 1971', a really great live performance which was originally released as a radio broadcast before being released in 2005 on CD.

New Erykah Badu Coming Soon - New Amerykah Part II (Return of the Ankh) (2010)

 Erykah Badu's follow-up to 2008s funk-inspired 'New Amerykah Part I (4th World War)' is due to be released February 23rd and Erykah posted a little teaser on her website, that features the final version of the web-only song 'Jump In The Air (and Stay There)' which features Lil' Wayne. Also, after seeing the inclusion of Madlib, Dilla and 9th Wonder on production duties, it can't be bad! I can't wait for this album!

The latest tracklisting is:

  1. "20 Feet Tall" (Produced by Erykah Badu and 9th Wonder)
  2. "Window Seat" (Produced by Erykah Badu and James Poyser
  3. "Agitation" (Produced by Erykah Badu and Shafiq Husayn of SA-RA Creative Partners)
  4. "Get Money" (Produced by Erykah Badu and Karieem Riggins (drums), Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner (bass), James Poyser (keys), Tommy Trajlio (guitar), Mike "Chav" Chavarria (mooger fooger) (Contains an interpolation of "Can't Turn Me Away," by Sylvia Striplin)
  5. "Don't Be Long" (Produced by Erykah Badu and Ta'Raach)
  6. "Love" (Produced by Erykah Badu and J Dilla)
  7. "Umm Hmm" (Produced by Erykah Badu and Madlib)
  8. "Fall in Love" (Produced by Erykah Badu and Karieem Riggins) (Contains a sample of "Intimate Friends" by Eddie Kendricks)
  9. "Incense" (Instrumental) (Produced by Erykah Badu and Madlib featuring Kirsten Agnesta (harp))
  10. "Out My Mind Just in Time (Part 1) (Undercover Over-Lover)" (Produced by Erykah Badu featuring James Poyser (keys))
  11. "Out My Mind Just in Time (Part 2)" (Produced by Erykah Badu and Georgia Anne Muldrow)
  12. "Out My Mind Just in Time (Part 3)" 

SAMPLED: Jurassic 5 - Concrete Schoolyard/Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm - Getting Nasty

Friday, 29 January 2010

MWW FAVOURITE: Kool & The Gang - Summer Madness

The first time I heard this song was when I watched 'Rocky I' for the first time. He's in his bedroom and it comes on the radio in the background and sets the scene perfectly. I had no idea what it was and didn't find out until I played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and it came on one of the radio stations. As soon as I found out it was them, I ordered the album, 'Light of Worlds' and fell in love with the song. The album isn't half bad either, but none of the other songs quite create the same atmosphere found on 'Summer Madness'. It's been sampled numerous times and is a perfect late night song. Here's a groovy live performance I found on You Tube from 1974:

Love - Love Lost (2009)

 In 1971 Arthur Lee begun work on what would be a new Love album, 'Dear You', but for reasons unknown the project was abandoned. Sundazed recently unearthed the session tapes and they are presented here as 'Love Lost' (2009). A fair few of these songs will probably be familiar to Arthur Lee fans (12 of the 14 if you're a big fan!), as he revisited and reworked them for his upcoming solo albums, including the brilliant 'Vindicator'. I haven't actually heard the album yet, but have been listening to a few of the tracks included on 'Vindicator' which appear on 'Love Lost' and look forward to hearing these earlier versions. I've included a few of the 'Vindicator' tracks below, which if you haven't heard before, are absolutely essential!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Charlotte Gainsbourg - IRM (2009)

I never really got round to listening to Charlotte's last album, 2006s '5:55', even though it received generally solid reviews (3.46 on Rate Your Music). As with her first album, this one also features help from  another fan of Serge Gainsbourg in Beck. 2002s 'Sea Change' was heavily influenced by Serge's 'Histoire de Melody Nelson', with 'Paper Tiger' sounding almost identical to Serge's 'Melody'. It is still probably my favourite Beck album and I love Serge Gainsbourg, so I thought I had to give 'IRM' a chance. It's finally on Spotify and definitely has hints of both Beck ('Heaven Can Wait') and Serge's (the cover of Jean-Pierre Ferland's 'Le Chat Du Cafe Des Artistes') sound, with Beck co-writing as well as producing throughout the entire album. That's not to say the album isn't diverse, as it covers a mix of styles and there are even hints of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ('Trick Pony') and Marc Bolan ('Dandelion'). I think it'll take a few listens before I can fully make up my mind on it, but at this early stage, it definitely sounds promising.

Listen to 'IRM' on Spotify

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt (2010)

 The Tallest Man On Earth has recently signed to Dead Oceans, where they have just announced the upcoming release of his new album:

"Dead Oceans Signs THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH, Announces The Wild Hunt
When fans lined up to see the sold-out Bon Iver performances at New York City’s Town Hall in late 2008, few of them went with any expectations of the opening act. But the audience that night, and on every other night of Bon Iver’s tour that December, was introduced to something special, something unforgettable: THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH. This was the first of several tours for the Tallest Man on Earth (aka Kristian Matsson), with obsessive crowds growing each step of the way.

Earlier in the year, The Tallest Man on Earth had released one of 2008’s most powerful records, one that Pitchfork praised, calling Matsson “a natural-born folksinger, earnest, clever, and comforting.” Shallow Grave could not have been more simple, just Matsson’s commanding vocals with an acoustic guitar or banjo, recorded at his home in Dalarna, Sweden. Although the album was released on the Swedish label Gravitation without the help of widespread distribution, the story of The Tallest Man on Earth spread far and wide through word of mouth.

It is impossible to discuss The Tallest Man on Earth’s music without acknowledging Bob Dylan. The seemingly effortlessness, the melodic sensibility and the deft lyricism all recall Dylan’s early years. But when you witness the Tallest Man on Earth perform live, you are watching a man possessed. The energy pours out with every word. Full of intensity and raw emotion, he paces the stage, bringing the audience into the palm of his hand, completely lost in his songs.

With unbridled excitement, we bring you The Tallest Man on Earth’s second LP, The Wild Hunt. It is all here: The words. The voice. The melodies. Ten perfect songs. 
The Wild Hunt will be released on April 13th (April 12th in the UK) via Dead Oceans."

 I absolutely loved his first album and I'm sure the new album won't disappoint! The first single is going to be 'King of Spain', which he has been playing live for a year or so and I can't wait to hear the rest of it! There's a video of it below and you can also listen to it on his Myspace page/or below.

Listen to 'King of Spain'

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

FREE stream of Midlake's 'The Courage of Others'

I've been awaiting the release of this album since I first heard 'Roscoe' a couple of years back, but after only 2tracks, I know it's been worth the wait. The first couple of tracks definitely have a strong 70s British folk sound to them and is sure to be a favourite of mine for 2010! I found a free stream of the album at National Public Radio and couldn't wait to hit play! The album is to be released 1st February in the UK and 2nd Feb in the States. ENJOY!

Listen to 'The Courage of Others' at NPR

EDIT: It's up on Spotify now too - 'The Courage of Others'

Free Bullion mix

Bullion recently made a mix for FACT MAGAZINE and it will be available for download for three weeks. It's got some really great tracks on it from artists such as David Crosby, Delaney and Caravan. Check it out!

Caravan – Ride
Brainticket – Places Of Light
David Crosby – Orleans
Delaney – Some Things Coming
Kraan – You’re Right
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Adam
Orchestre Veve Star – Bassala Hot
Syreeta – Move It, Do It
Hudson-Ford – Shy Girl
Cabaret Voltaire – Sensoria
Paul Hart – Strides
Fleetwood Mac – Coming Home
July – I See

Right click and 'Save Link As' to Download

Monday, 25 January 2010

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: The Black Angels - Science Killer

Great great band. This song has it all. The vocals are definitely Morrisoneqsue on this track. It's creepy, dark, hypnotic and seductive all in one. This video isn't anything fancy, but the sound quality is excellent...especially with headphones on. If you've not heard these guys before, do yourself a favour and buy both their albums. You can listen to a few of their tracks on their Myspace page and are currently touring with Wolfmother.

Wu-Tang vs The Beatles - Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers

 The Wu-Tang Clan were probably one of my earliest obsessions in music and the biggest reason I got into hip-hop and I still follow everything Wu related. The Beatles are also one of the first bands I ever heard and some of my earliest memories are of my Dad listening to The Beatles, so when I came across this combination I couldn't help but be just a little excited! What I didn't realise at first was that The Beatles' original recordings aren't really used here (with the exception of 2 or 3 tracks). Instead cover songs of The Beatles' work are used and spliced with elements from the Wu-Tang's discography (including some solo work). For example, ODBs 'Got Your Money' uses The Beatles' 'You Never Give Me Your Money', whilst 'Daytona 500' by Ghostface uses Roy Redmond's 'Good Day Sunshine'. This actually makes the album even better, as I haven't heard half of the cover versions used and it must have allowed the producer a little more creative freedom in achieving the sound he wanted.The skits are also pretty damn clever and there's a hilarious one where ODB sings along with 'Love Me Do'! All this combined leads to a very entertaining listen and is definitely something I'll be coming back to over the coming year!

I downloaded it from, where there are a couple of Rapidshare links down at the bottom of the page.

For those of you who just want a taster, the whole album is up on You Tube too:

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Bruce Springsteen: Wings For Wheels - The Making of Born To Run

I just finished watching 'Wings for Wheels' and was blown away by the level of detail that went into making each of the tracks and how Bruce pretty much told the band members what to play and when, whether it be a drum beat or sax solo. I guess he wasn't called 'The Boss' for nothing! I won't bother going into detail about what was said, as it's available on You Tube (see below for part 1) and is a must for fans or people who have never been sure about Springsteen. There's been a recent influx of Springsteen inspired bands (The Hold Steady, Arcade Fire, The Killers, The Gaslight Anthem) and bands who take their influences from the beach and summer nights (Wavves, Real Estate, Ducktails etc.). After watching the documentary it made me realise just how much I love that album and just how cinematic/epic/atmospheric/influential it actually is/was and that nothing beats the sax solo in 'Jungleland'!

Listen to 'Born To Run' on Spotify!

Kevin Coyne Reissues & New 4CD Anthology

EMI last week released a 4CD Kevin Coyne Anthology and a 2CD remastered version of 1973s 'Majorly Razorblade' and also released remastered, download only versions of 4 other albums. I have only ever heard 'Majorly Razorblade' before and think it is a forgotten gem that deserves more attention. 'I Want My Crown: The Anthology' is full of rarities and unreleased material (b-sides, outtakes, live performances and BBC sessions) and I can't wait to give it a listen! It's on Spotify along with Kevin's other albums (although the remastered 'Majorly Razorblade' isn't on there yet). I came across a really great performance of 'Marlene' on You Tube and it captures Kevin at his weird best!

Kevin Coyne - I Want My Crown: The Anthology 1973-1980 (Spotify link)

Kevin Coyne - Majorly Razorblade (Spotify link) 

Friday, 22 January 2010

Beach House - Teen Dream (2010)

The album is due out next week on Sub Pop and will include a companion DD which features videos for each song. This is a really nice idea and something I wish more artists would do. Anton of The Brian Jonestown Massacre has made videos for most of his songs from the bands last couple of albums, but they never accompanied the CD. I really enjoyed their first and although the new one doesn't seem to have changed the formula too much, it shouldn't disappoint. I just found out that you can listen to the album for free here:

Listen to Teen Dream

Beach House "Silver Soul" from Sub Pop Records on Vimeo.

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (2010)

The new album is out soon and has an impressive array of guests that include Lou Reed, Mos Def, Bobby Womack, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg and Mick Jones! You can listen to their new single, 'Stylo' on their official website. I haven't made my mind up on the track yet, but Mos and Bobby on a track together can't be a bad thing and I'll wait to hear it in the context of the full album.

1. Orchestral Intro (featuring Sinfonia ViVA)
2. Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach (feat. Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
3. White Flag (feat. Kano, Bashy and The National Orchestra For Arabic Music)
4. Rhinestone Eyes
5. Stylo (feat. Bobby Womack and Mos Def)
6. Superfast Jellyfish (feat. Gruff Rhys and De La Soul)
7. Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon)
8. Glitter Freeze (feat. Mark E Smith)
9. Some Kind Of Nature  (feat. Lou Reed)
10. On Melancholy Hill
11. Broken
12. Sweepstakes (feat. Mos Def & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
13. Plastic Beach (feat. Mick Jones & Paul Simonon)
14. To Binge (feat. Little Dragon)

15. Cloud Of Unknowing (feat. Bobby Womack and Sinfonia ViVA)
16. Pirate Jet

1970...A Spotify Playlist

I've got a playlist containing good albums from each year from 1950 through to today and thought I'd start posting some of them up. I've been listening to 1970 today and it really was quite a special year in music. There were just so many different styles starting to explode onto the scene that would pave the way for Heavy Metal, Punk, Hip-Hop and Neo-Soul. The likes of Black Sabbath, The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, The Stooges and Deep Purple were all relativley new acts and bands like The Band, Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beatles and The Doors were still releasing great albums. The era of the singer-songwriter was just beginning with Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake and Van Morrison all releasing classics during 1970. At the same time, there was a lot of great funk and soul music around and artists like The Meters, Gil Scott Heron, Funkadelic, Parliament, Shuggie Otis, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield and The Delfonics all released albums during 1970. What a year!

Spotify doesn't have all the albums I wanted to include (e.g. The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan) and I'm sure I missed some obvious ones, so please let me know of anything you think should've been included! And again, Spotify accounts are really easy to get hold of if you search around and the Premium account is cheap enough and worth every penny!

1970 Spotify Playlist

Rate Your Music - 1970 List

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Tor x Sufjan Stevens = IllinoiZe

This might not be new for some of you, but I just came across it now and as a big Sufjan Stevens fan and a massive hip-hop fan I think this is a pretty nice combination. Tor is a producer from Montreal and as with Danger Mouse's 'Grey Album' and Bullion's 'Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee', he combined a mix of Sufjan Stevens songs with hip-hop songs from the likes of Outkast, Dj Premier and Aesop Rock to nice effect. You can listen to it or download it here:

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Down By The River (live at Big Sur Folk Festival, 1969)

I started listening to the 4 disc Crosby, Stills & Nash box set yesterday and forgot how much I love them. If you've not heard the box set before, it basiscally contains some of the greatest music ever made and includes a mixture of solo work from the 3 of them and group recordings both with and without Neil Young. After listening to it again this morning, I decided to watch a few of my favourite videos of the guys on You Tube and came across one of my all-time favourites, 'Down By The River', live at Big Sur, California, September 14, 1969. The performance was part of the 'Celebration at Big Sur', a film of the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival and is up on You Tube for those interested. The festival was held yearly from 1964 to 1971. You really can't beat seeing these four brilliant musicians playing live together...there's so much energy and they look they're having a great time. it is!

Jay Electronica - Act II: Patents of Nobility (2010)

I have no idea what the official tracklisting is going to be for this upcoming release or exactly when it's going to be released, but from what I've managed to find and listen to, it should be pretty special! The rumoured tracklist is supposed to be:

Exhibit A (Transformations) (Prod. by Just Blaze)
Exhibit A (remix) feat. Mos Def (Prod. by Just Blaze)
Exhibit C (Prod. by Just Blaze)
Dear Moleskine (Prod by Just Blaze)
Untitled (feat. Nas)

Take a listen to the samples below! Dear Moleskine sounds incredible!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Free - Fire and Water (1970)

This really is a great album. It's only 35 minutes long, but I often find myself wishing more artists would take the less is more route and there are certainly few other albums which pack so much soul into every song. Paul Rodger's voice still sounds as powerful as ever and is one of the best in the business. Paul Kossoff's guitar licks are perfect...never overdoing it, but still managing to rock as hard as bands like Deep Purple when called upon. This and 'Tons of Sobs' are probably my favourite two Free albums, although I haven't given their other albums as much time. All their albums are on Spotify, so if you've never really given them much time, take the time to listen to them and you'll find they were so much more than 'All Right Now.'

Fire and Water - Listen on Spotify!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Pop Levi

I never got around to listening to Pop Levi's second album and from what I read, it didn't live up to the high standards set by his first album. His first was a perfect mixture of acid folk and glam rock and one one of the best of 2007. 'The Return to Form Black Magick Party' was released with almost no recoginition and I still can't believe he didn't do better. All of his songs are at their heart, sing-a-long pop songs, each with their own memorable chorus. It's pretty hard to read about Pop Levi without hearing the name Marc Bolan and rightly so. If Marc Bolan was still alive, I'd imagine he wouldn't sound too different. That's not to say this album sounds like its from the 70s, as it definitely sounds like a modern record, but whilst Devendra Banhart sounded like early Bolan, Pop Levi sounds more like the glam Bolan with splashings of  Beatles style psychedelia. Both of his albums are on Spotify, so be sure to give them a listen (See links above) and make your own mind up! If you don't have Spotify, here are a couple of videos off his first album:

The Tallest Man on Earth

After listening to Frank Fairfield's album during the course of this afternoon, his sound reminded me of a Swedish folk guitarist who goes by the name The Tallest Man on Earth. Whilst not quite as traditional as Frank Fairfield, Kristian Matsson is a singer-songwriter in a Dylanesque way. He also kinda reminds me of A.A. Bondy and has toured with Bon Iver (a perfect companion/compliment for his music). What struck me most when I saw him on You Tube was his voice and at first I thought his voice was almost a little too powerful for his acoustic guitar. It was almost like when I first heard Dylan and found it hard to get into him due to his unusual singing voice. Anyway, I got hold of his debut album, 'Shallow Grave', and it became one of my favourites of 2008. And like with Dylan, his voice became one of his strongest qualities and gives the songs extra life. The album is full of great songs and I eagerly anticipate his follow-up! Check out this mini-documentary below:

Secret Garden Video Series: The Tallest Man on Earth from hoovesontheturf on Vimeo.

Frank Fairfield - S/T

I first came across Frank Fairfield when reading the January issue of UNCUT last month, where the album received a 4-star rating. Frank is only 23 years old, but looks like he's come straight from Depression-era America. He's toured with the Fleet Foxes, who are big fans of his and released this, his debut album last year. The album features everything you'd expect from a Depression-era album, with fiddles, banjo playing and stomped front porch-style beats. A few reviews I read gave the album poor reviews, saying that it's just an album full of imitations. That's a pretty idiotic thing to say imho, as even though all the songs are traditional folk songs, they're all performed in his own unique style which give them a new lease of life. Plus, people have been covering many of these traditional songs for years and years and has always been a big part of the folk music scene. Anyway, if you're at all interested in country or folk music, you won't be disappointed with this album.

Listen on Spotify

Friday, 15 January 2010

Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here

 Even though I have only heard one best of album and his two classics albums, 'Pieces of a Man' and 'Winter in America', I can't wait to hear this album! Everytime I put on a record of his, they always transport me back to the 70s and make me wish I was alive back then. He was without a doubt a big influence on the hip-hop and neo-soul scenes and has been sampled and name checked by loads of the biggest names. His first album since 1994s 'Spirits' is to be released next month and from what I've heard and read, the album should sound pretty contemporary (the opening tracks rises from a sample from Flashing Lights by Kanye West), but still very much like a Gil Scott Heron record. How could it not with his voice?

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Quicksilver Messenger Service - Mona (1969)

A great video of the band performing outdoors for Rolling Stone co-founder Ralph J Gleason's 'Go Ride the Music'.  I always love videos that capture a particular time perfectly and this one has it all. Great music, groovy dancing and just a really nice vibe to it all. Enjoy!

'Mona' is off the classic album 'Happy Trails' and was written by Bo Diddley. (Click for Spotify links)

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Real Estate - Reality EP

Following up one of my favourite albums of last year (the band's S/T LP), Real Estate released this EP only a month after their deut album. The reason, according to the band, is that the songs on this EP were tracks they either wrote or recorded too late to be included on their LP. Also of note, is that apparently only one of the EPs tracks features all the band playing together. The rest were all performed by Martin Courtney.

The only real difference in sound between the LP and this EP are maybe that the EP sounds a little more desolate and sadder. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with the almost solo recording of this EP or not, but that's what it sounds like. The standout track after my first listen is probably 'Younger Than Yesterday', which whilst keeping the bands trademark beach vibe could almost be unreleased Elliott Smith song. If you liked their debut as much as I did, you're sure to enjoy this 5 track EP.

"New Jersey’s Real Estate has successfully captured the sound of a late Sunday afternoon, in the dreaded hours before work or school claims your life again. The band’s sweet, loose pop ballads recall a modern-day Everly Brothers, drifting and dreamlike, as their tales of suburban indifference and insecurity mask your own fears. Six new songs, and not a moment too soon."

Real Estate - Basement

Real Estate - Younger Than Yesterday

Real Estate - Basement, 10.18.09 from Duke Chronicle on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

New from The Strange Boys!

The Strange Boys will be releasing their new album on 25th January, after last years '...And Girl's Club' which was one of my favourites of 2009. The album is caleed 'Be Brave' and can can be bought over at Rough Trade Records. The band have put up their new single on their Myspace page and features their newest member Jenna Thornhill. I also recently came across a cover of the Amboy Dukes' 'Baby Please Don't Go' on Buddy Head, which was first recorded by Big Joe Williams in 1935:

The Strange Boys - Baby Please Don't Go

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The Beau Brummel's - Bradley's Barn (1968)

With the arrival of The Byrds' 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo' and The Internationl Submarine Band's 'Safe At Home' (both invloving Gram Parsons) earlier on in the year and Dylan's 'John Wesley Harding' at the tail end of 1967, elements of country were beginning to infiltrate the recent psych-dominated rock scene which had previously taken most of it's inspiration from blues and folk.

This album would be the band's fifth studio release and although not as countrified as The Byrds' release, this album should certainly rank amongst some of the earliest examples of the country-infused rock that would come into favour over the next decade.

All of the band's six albums are on Spotify and well worth a listen.

The Beau Brummel's - Bradley's Barn (Spotify link)

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Steve Miller Band - Children of the Future (1968)

 A massively underrated album in my opinion and often doesn't get the recognition it deserves. The album has a really varied sound and due to the perfect mix of psychedelia and blues, never gets boring. I love the trio of songs that begins with 'Baby's Calling Me Home' and ends with 'Roll With It'.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

 Real Estate's album was one of my favourites of last year and I've recently got into Ducktails' album, 'Landscapes'. All of these guys went to high school together in new Jersey and have played together for years. Now we have Alex Bleeker and the Freaks. Alex plays bass in Real Estate and is joined by Martin Courtney on bass and Matt Mondanile (Ducktails) on drums both also of Real Estate and Julian Lynch. Julian Lynch also released his full-length debut last year ('Orange You Glad'), though I haven't heard it yet.

I haven't heard this album yet, but have listened to several tracks on You Tube/Vimeo and really like what I'm hearing. All these guys seem to have a similar sound, but each has their own take on it. Maybe it's just a perfect way for them all to express themselves. Although these are still early days, they kinda remind of Crosby, Still, Nash & Young in the way all the members had solo projects alongside various group offerings. So here are a couple of nice tracks I found on Vimeo...the first being a cover of Mountain Man's 'Animal Tracks' (also included below) which is kinda like a more Crazy Horse style take on the song. The second song, 'Summer>Epilogue' sounds a little Neil Youngesque, mixed with some almost country-style singing and a little Grateful Dead style haziness.

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks - "Animal Tracks" from Elise Oh on Vimeo.

Alex Bleeker & The Freaks - Summer > Epilogue from Chocolate Bobka on Vimeo.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Sopranos....a Spotify Playlist

Like 'The Sopranos'?? I've just started watching the complete box set I got for Christmas and decided to make a Spotify playlist including as many of the songs from the series as I could possibly find. There are some really great tracks in the list...Enjoy!

The Sopranos

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Peter Grudzien - The Unicorn

I'm not quite sure how I remembered his name, but I was just sat here thinking of what to listen to next and I had a vague memory of a pretty unknown guy who had been described as "a psychedelic Johnny Cash." I just couldn't rememer his name, so did a Google search for "psychedelic Johnny Cash" and lo and behold, I spotted his name on a random blog. I remember first listening to his album, 'The Unicorn', and listening to it on repeat until late at night and being amazed I hadn't heard of him before. I don't really know how to describe the album without sounding like every other reviewer, but the album really does sound like a psychedelic-country album with classical hints here and there and is probably unlike anything you've ever heard before. The album used to be incredily rare, but can be bought on Amazon for a bargain £5.96. Only two of his LPs (“The Unicorn” and “Garden of Love”) are commercially available, but the man himself claims to have written over 900 songs.Grudzien is apparently still active today and sells self-released CDs...

Spotify Link

SAMPLED: Madvillain - Curls/Waldir Calmon - Airport Love Theme

After the previous article I listened to a few of my favourites off 'Madvillainy', including 'Curls'. Anyway, I was wondering what the sample used was and found this video on You Tube with the original track, 'Airport Love Theme' by Waldir Calmon. It also gives me the chance to show you this sweet live clip I found of DOOM performing the song.

DOOM - Gazillion Ear EP

 After releasing one of my favourite hip-hop albums of last year, 'Born Like This', DOOM is back with 'Gazillion Ear EP' on Lex Records. The EP, as you can see from the tracklisting, is basically an EP full of remixes and instrumentals of 'Gazillion Ear' off 'Born Like This' and even includes one from Thom Yorke and TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek. Whilst any new DOOM is always welcomed, all it has really done is get me even more excited about the upcoming Madvillain album! In case you've not heard it, it's a collaboration between DOOM and Madlib that yielded one of my all-time favourite hip-hop albums...'Madvillainy'. See below for a preview the new album!

01 Gazzillion Ear
02 Gazzillion Ear (Thom Yorke Remix)
03 Gazzillion Ear (Dr WHo Dat? Remix)
04 Gazzillion Ear (Jneiro Jarel/SITEK Remix)
05 Gazzillion Ear (Acappella)
06 Gazzillion Ear (Instrumental)
07 Gazzillion Ear (Thom Yorke Remix) (Instrumental)
08 Gazzillion Ear (Dr WHo Dat? Remix) (Instrumental)
09 Gazzillion Ear (Jneiro Jarel/SITEK Remix) (Instrumental)
10 Green Whore Net (bonus beat)
11 Feta (scratch samples)
12 Kat Girl (bonus)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Jacques Dutronc

I discovered Jacques Dutronc thanks to the Black Lips' cover of his song 'Hippie Hippie Hourrah' and fell in love with a best of compilation I came across (Spotify link). Jacques is currently married to singer Francoise Hardy (since 1981) and is a French singer, composer and actor. He began as a guitar player in the group 'El Toro et les Cyclones' and also played backign guitar for a number of French stars. After landing a job as assistant at Vogue Records he produced several songs for a number of lesser known artists. Dutronc got his big break after one of the stars heard a demo of Jacques singing a song he had arranged for him and insisting he perform it. 'Et moi, et moi, et moi' was his first single and turned him into a star in 1966.

His sound has been compared to that of The Kinks, with people often labelling him 'the French Ray Davies'. I won't bore you with a long list of other comparisons, so instead take a listen to these tracks!


Madlib Medicine Show

"Madlib is launching the Madlib Medicine Show, a once-a-month, twelve-CD, six-LP series. The Madlib Medicine Show will be a combination of Madlib's new hip-hop productions, remixes, beat tapes, and jazz, as well as mixtapes of funk, soul, Brazilian, psych, jazz and other undefined forms of music from the Beat Konducta's 4-ton* stack of vinyl."

This sounds pretty insane! I like the idea, as it's kinda like a view into his life. It's not just his creations, but remixes of other people's work, mixtapes of tracks he likes and beat tapes for people to use. The first installment will be 'Madlib Medicine Show No. 1: Before The Verdict' and will include a combination of remixes and new tracks and features Guilty Simpson, who Madlib is due to release an album with this year ('OJ Simpson'). There are only a few samples floating around, but check out the ones posted below...I'm definitely looking forward to listening to them all in full:
 Kill 'em (OJ Simpson Remix)

The Stevenson Ranch Davidians - Life & Death

This is the bands first release since 2006's brilliant 'Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs', which I discovered through the Brian Jonestown Massacre forum. Comparisons in the past have included BJM, The Dandy Warhols, The Verve  and Spritualized. From what I've heard so far, they still haven't changed the formula too much and rightly so. They sound as laid back as ever and are worth checking out for any fans of the aforementioned bands. The band have put up a few of the new tracks on their Myspace page and if you're new to the band you can listen to some of their older songs too:

Monday, 4 January 2010

Broadcast and The Focus Group

I've seen these guys around about over the past few months and they were included in a few end of year lists, but as of yet I hadn't really heard too much of their work. Broadcast started in Birmingham (England) as just Broadcast, releasing their debut back in 1996 and apparently came together due to their shared love of the 60s psych band 'United States of America'. They added their friend and album art designer Julian House (The Focus Group) into the mix  and decided to record this 'mini-album.' Some of the bands influences include hammer horror, British folk, Czech film scores and children's fables. I just came across a couple of videos on You Tube and they immediately had my attention. Reading some of the comments below the videos, a couple really stood out and sum up their sound pretty damn perfectly! If either of them sound appealing to you, be sure to give them a listen!
"Syd Barrett psychedelics meets the bbc radio phonic workshop electronics meets the wickerman folky stylee! cosmic!"

"Sounds like the Incredible String Band calling back from a planet near you in 2057..."

Other notable comparisons I've come across include producers like Madlib or Oh No, with their weaving together of various jazz samples to create a unique tapestry of sound. 

Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin - Reverse Shark Attack

Ty Segall is back already with a joint LP with Mikal Cronin (Okie Dokie, Charlie and the Moonhearts, who I must confess is new to me. The LP is called 'Reverse Shark Attack' and includes a cover of Pink Floyd's 'Take up Thy Stethoscope and Walk'. It has been described by the band's label as "a 10-track delight of psychedelic garage jams" and from what I've heard so far, it shouldn't disappoint!

Read more and purchase here

Ducktails - Landscapes

Matthew Mondanile is guitarist for 'Real Estate' and last year he also released 'Landscapes' under the name Ducktails (his solo project). As with Real Estate's brilliant self-titled album last year, this album is also very much about atmosphere and mood. This one recalls warm, hazy evenings and faint, Ariel Pink style memories of childhood or as with Dam-Funk, you can quite easily imagine yourself driving through L.A. late at night, with a warm breeze and lthe flickering of neon lights. It also kinda reminds me of the Lost In Translation soundtrack. This isn't Ducktails' first release and I'm not entirely sure how many albums he has released, but there are definitely a few floating around. I could only find one You Tube video off this album, but check out the won't be disappointed.

Sunday, 3 January 2010


Check out these two spacey, psycyedelic and instantly infectious songs! I don't know quite how to label them, with people mentioning The Byrds, Daedulus and many others. I get definite Stones Throw vibes (Dam-Funk's spaced out funk) and The Avalanches and other samplers also spring to mind! The tracks can be downloaded on Bullion's website. Bullion has previously released a J Dilla/Beach Boys tribute entitled 'Pet Sounds: In The Key of Dee', which I am yet to hear, but from the tracks available on You Tube, it sounds pretty damn interesting! See the below video for a sample of the album. This guy is ONE TO WATCH for 2010!

<a href="">Say Goodbye To What by Bullion</a>

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Midlake - The Courage of Others

First off, Happy New Year! I've not posted anything for a week or so and hope everybody had a Merry Christmas! Anyway, I thought I'd kick off 2010 with a few tracks from Midlake's new album! I've been waiting for this album for a while and although I haven't heard it yet, there are a few tracks on You Tube that sound very promising indeed! Apparently the band have been listening to a lot of 60s/70s folk music (Fairport Convention, Strawbs, Incrdible String Band etc) and I can't wait to hear it! If you've never heard of them before, be sure to check out their other albums on Spotify:

'The Trials of Van Occupanther'

'Bamnan And Silvercork'

And here's one of my favourite tracks of theirs from 'The Trials of Van Occupanther':

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