In case you’ve been hiding under a glam rock for the last few months you can’t have helped but notice that music journalists and highly-successful BCB disc jockeys with up to 3 listeners alike have been getting into something of a froth with regards to the new album by a young man from South London. The Next Day, David Bowie’s first album since Reality in 2003 was released this week following something of a biscuit game by the great and the good among musos, among whom The Independent‘s Andy Gill referred to the new Jones long-player as “The greatest comeback ever.” Clearly the likes of Greg LeMond, Bobby Ewing, and, this week, FC Barcelona have something of a claim themselves to this title, but to argue whose was the best is a pointless task partly because it is a largely meaningless phrase and partly because I’m not entirely sure what a “comeback”, in musical terms, actually is. To comeback to something you surely have to have indicated that you were, by choice or by default, stopping doing whatever it was that you were doing in the first place. I recall no such suggestion from The Thin White Pensioner. Admittedly, 10 years between albums is something of a significant gap – particularly for someone who not only released 14 albums in 13 years between 1967 and 1980, but some of those albums were the most influential records of all time. A couple of the records after were a right load of old pelt as well, but we’ll skirt over that. However, for whatever reason our pop idols are more pop idle than they used to be – whereas releasing two albums in a year was not uncommon in the 1960s and 1970s, we think little now of artists taking 3 or 4 years between releases, which really begs the question as to why they aren’t generally a good deal better than they were 30 years ago. Continue reading
Last Wednesday was a good evening for Kris Drever. Â At virtually the same moment he was stood on stage, towering over his Lau bandmates Martin Green and Aidan O’Rourke as they picked up the Radio 2 Folk Award for Band of the Year, he was also treated to an even more thrilling achievement in that his solo recording of Harvest Gypsies, from the album Blackwater, was the opening track to Selection Box. Â I dare say that life will never quite be so exciting for him again.
I did suffix the track by saying that it was one of my favourite records of the last five years, then suggested that it may well be older than that. In doing so I have made myself right and wrong simultaneously as it is in fact an astonishing 7 years since said offering was released. Â No matter, though, because I’ll just readjust my hypothetical lists and declare that it is one of the best records of the last seven years.
Because it is.
Selection Box Show 249 (Listen Again here)
1. Kris Drever – Harvest Gypsies
2. John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts
from: Pale Green Ghosts
3. Unknown artist – Oun Rognea Dul Chung Knong
from: Aquarium Drunkard Presents Dengue Fever (various artists)
4. Besnard Lakes – People Of The Sticks
from: Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO
5. Julia Holter – Boy In The Moon
6. Wave Machines – I Hold Loneliness
7. Freddy Slack & His Orchestra – Mr Freddie’s Boogie
from: Bands That Can Boogie Woogie (various artists)
8. Pulp – After You
from: single release
9. Mary Love – Baby I’ll Come
from: Soul ‘n’ Moody, Black & Bluesy (various artists)
10. Beryl Bryden’s Backroom Skiffle – Rock Me
from: Heroes of Skiffle (various artists)
11. Rachael Zeffira – Here On In
from: The Deserters
12. Nick Cave – Jubilee Street
from: Push The Sky Away
Patrick Thornton presents Selection Box every Wednesday at 9pm.
The third episode of The Mirrored Hammer: Art, Culture and Social Change airs on Saturday at 5pm on BCB 106.6FM. This episode is a â€˜music specialâ€™ prompted by the â€˜It Came Out of Nowhereâ€™ event in September that focused on DIY and self-organised music. The programme contains live recordings from a.P.p.A.T.t, Dolphins, The Bismarck, Poil, Dean McPhee and The Horse Loom. There are also conversations with Chris Jury and The Bismarck about the DIY punk scene in the American Upper Midwest and Gary Cavannagh about Bradfordâ€™s music history.
To get you in the mood you can listen to last month’s episode here:
I’ve been surprised recently by how sophisticated computer game music has become. I used to love the Sonic The Hedgehog music, but it seems rather crude by current standards. The HEALTH soundtrack to Max Payne 3 for instance, is extremely cinematic. But then, I suppose the games themselves have become rather cinematic. I started tonight’s show with another new tune from a game soundtrack. This was is by DVA, and is from the game Botanicula.
The rest of the show, which you can hear again, went like this:
DVA – “Level 3” (LP – “Botanicular Soundtrack”) (Amanita Design / Bumbumsatori)
Spiritualized – “Little Girl” (single and LP – “Sweet Heart Sweet Light”) (Double Six)
Jim Coleman – “Another Place” (LP – “Trees”) (Wax & Wane)
Correatown – “Valparaiso” (LP – “Pleiades”) (Highline)
Animal Collective – “Today’s Supernatural” (single and LP – “Centipede Hz”) (Domino)
Kiko C. Esseiva – “Epigraphe Et Ouverture” (LP – “DrÃ´les D’Oiseaux”) (Hinterzimmer)
Frank Turner – “If I Ever Stray” (single and LP – “England Keep My Bones”) (Xtra Mile)
How To Dress Well – “Cold Nites” (single and LP – “Total Loss”) (Weird World)
Cate Le Bon – “January” (EP – “CYRK II”) (OVNI/Turnstile)
White Rabbits – “I’m Not Me” (single and LP – “Milk Famous”) (Mute)
Falty DL – “Our House Stab” (b-side to “Hardcourage” single) (Nina Tune)
Dinosaur Jr. – “Watch The Corners” (single and LP – “I Bet On Sky”) (PIAS)
Gary War – “Thousand Yard Stare” (LP – “Jared’s Lot”) (Spectrum Spools)
Finally, the review is complete.Â And so to bed…
That wind has got up again. Â In fact, there would appear to be a tornado whipping up around my tent. Â I’m going to take off like Dorothy in the wizard of Oz. Â I wonder if I will land on a witch. Â It really is causing a racket and there’s no way that I’ll be able to get back off to sleep now with that tent flapping about. Â Oh, it’s raining now. Â Goodness, it really is raining rather hard. Â Perhaps the rhythm of the rain will lull me back to sleep…
No, that didn’t work. Â And anyway I need a wee. Â The weather has been very kind to us these last few days, but I suspect that I may finally have to bite the bullet and don the wellies today. Â I struggle into these and hope against hope that on this occasion I won’t be wearing them for long enough for them to stink like they did when I wore them at Glastonbury last year. Â On that occasion the smell was an odd mix of styles – imagine if you would that someone decided to make a speciality cheese out of cow poo. Â It would smell exactly the same as that.
Speaking of cleanliness, I notice on the way to the urine trough that the queue for the showers is not very long. Â I know – showers at festival. Â We get all the home comforts in the Guest Area you know. Â Sadly, there’s all of four showers serving around 400 people, so thus far I’ve not bothered because I didn’t want to miss the entire festival whilst standing in a line to have a wash. Â Hmmm, that line hasn’t moved at all. Â What to do?Â I decide to give it a whirl and see how far the queue moves in ten minutes or so. Â After the ten minutes have elapsed I’m no nearer the shower, but I’m too stubborn to give up now I’ve started. Continue reading
(Yes, I know, I’m shoving this up on the blog somewhat after the event, but I’m a busy man y’know.Â Better late than never…)
Bloody hell, it’s windy.Â Either that or someone has got hold of the outside of my tent and is flapping it about like a Killer Whale with a half dead seal.Â Maybe it’s them Spam bastards paying me back for nicking their tent pegs.Â One thing is certain – the noise it is making has rendered any further sleep impossible without tranquilisers.Â I dare say there’s a fair bit of Ketamine washing around the festival site, but personally I’ll give that a miss if it’s all the same to you.
I am a parent now and hurtling towards middle-age, so 8am is considered an indulgent lie-in anyway, so I get up and go for breakfast – the details of which started the first blog, so we’ll skip over that.Â However, before I can go to eat I am refused entry to the festival main area as no one is allowed in until 9am.Â Eh, do what?Â The festival closes at night?Â I thought this was supposed to be a playground of non-stop revelry and no sleep ’til Brooklyn.Â Now I find that everyone went to bed before me, tucked up with a cup of Horlicks (other revolting bedtime drinks are available).
It occurs to me that I’ve not really had a proper look around the whole site, so I rectify this.Â There’s not a great deal around other than food stands and stalls selling t-shirts with wanky slogans, although I do spot a place which sells ale as opposed to the rather flimsy Tuborg which is the only other beer available onsite.Â Sadly, further investigation later in the day reveals the ale to be rather horrid as well. Continue reading
A couple of months ago I had a chat with half-Bradford, half-Leeds bred indie rockers Scars On 45 before they went off to Texas to play SXSW with their new Chop Shop Records label-mates Fanfarlo and Marina and the Diamonds. Vocalists Danny Bemrose and Aimee Driver had a lot to say about their upcoming album, living the dream and… where to get a good curry in Bradford.
“People always get it wrong… they go to places like Aagrah and Akbar’s and nice places, but you’ve got to go to some proper dives to get a good curry. There’s Sweet Centre… there’s Karachi. Karachi was in The Guardian, it’s been going since 1965! And it’s either chicken and spinach, or chicken and potato… but it’s got to be masala.”
And his bandmate? “Spicy Cottage! Chicken tikka every time!”
Only a wazzock would begin a blog entry about what he played on his radio show this week by discussing a band whose wares he failed to commit to the airwaves.Â I am that aforementioned hitherto hypothetical wazzock.Â I had all good intentions of playing Salsa Celtica on this week’s programme, and then when the weekly task of packing the record bag full of goodies in preparation for the programme came along, I just plain forgot.Â If you see me on the street, feel free to point and boo me for my continued enslavement to lacksadaisy.
The timing of the proposed play was imperative, as it was meant to serve as a “heads up” – as I believe trendy people say – to the fact that Salsa Celtica, who released their new live album En Vivo En El Norte on 19 April, are set to play at Victoria Hall this coming weekend as a part of this 2010’s Saltaire Live.
The slot of co-host on The Show has been an interchangeable position for the last month. We have had everything from physiologists to arts organisations (all united with distaste for old Adam’s ego). What a diverse box of frogs the show has become.
In keeping with that theme I had a particularly special co-host this week in the form of Amy Turnnidge (I have admired her work for quite some time now), stage name Theoretical Girl, who graced the studio with her presence. We talked about the recent album, influences, her time in the studio and party rings. Below is a little sample to whet the appetite. The show will probably broadcast on the 26th of this month. But watch this space, as this may change due to requirements of next week’s co-host (fingers crossed Jeremy Dyson with a interview from Will Self).
For every action in this world there is a equal and opposite re-action. So when I found that 50 pence on friday I should have known something was lurking just around the corner. PHONE STOLEN! I am no longer a single unit media machine I am afraid to say. I should have known better than to have gone to the Prodigy; where I was pickpocketed. Anyhow, a quick trip home and a call to the police, insurance and O2 and there is nothing more I could do but continue to report in a slightly more old school manner (sat at a PC). So if anyone sees anybody using an iPhone ask them where they got it, then do the slitty eye thing at them.
OK onto the actual music. Continue reading