April 29, 2010

Just as I was starting to bitch and moan to myself that I had nothing to write about I remembered a couple of bands I checked out at the start of the year and boom! they are great so let’s crack straight on and enjoy some new music.

There has been MP3s from oOoOO knocking around for a while now. I got reminded of the band this week when Pitchfork and Fader both featured a tune called Hearts. Download it from here. The San Francisco duo with the annoying to type name are producing tunes that are like Boards Of Canada crossed with The xx. Pretty fucking good.

Next up is something completely different but equally good. Again, I’ve been aware of Oberhofer for a while so felt it was about time they got a bit of nod. I mean, at least 12 people are reading this blog so I could make or break their career. Here’s a tune to download – it’s called Awy Frm U. It’s a Port O’Brien, Avi Buffalo, Shins type thing that will be perfect for the rainy bank holiday we have ahead. Get on it.

Talking of the Bank Holiday ahead (though in my current state of employment EVERYDAY IS A BANK HOLIDAY!) the good people of Manchester should all be heading to the Sounds From The Other City festival in Salford on Sunday. For those not in the know, a bunch of ace promoters take over a load of pubs in Salford for heaps of good music and beer drinking. As ever, there is shit loads of stuff on but it turns out I’m going to be pretty boring and inevitably just stay in The Old Pint Pot all day.

Downstairs, ‘Postcards From Manchester’ have booked the line up and I really want to see these:
11.15pm – The Rural Alberta Advantage – I have been desperate to see these since WOXY played ‘The Dethbridge In Lethbridge’ a long time ago. The whole Hometowns album is a winner and got endless plays for a large chunk of last year. Finally in the UK and I’m hyped.
10.00pm – Islet – At In The City last year they were great, on the recent Los Campesinos! tour they were even better and with a mini album on the horizon I am really pleased to get to see Islet play some more.
7.00pm – Just Handshakes (We’re British) Heading over from Leeds are this band who manage to stay just the right side of twee with some Sky Larkin/Los Campesinos! influences.

Upstairs at the Old Pint Pot there are the following awesome bands:
9.30pm – Egyptian Hip Hop
7.45pm – MAY68
5.30pm – Wu Lyf
4.30pm – Dutch Uncles

This is basically a list of bands from Manchester that you really should have all seen/heard by now. It pretty much represents just how great the city is at the moment as none of these bands sound the same yet they are all doing something really interesting. Expect queues for all the bands I reckon, though quite why Dutch Uncles are on so early is beyond me. (EDIT: The mighty amazing Dutch Uncles are on so early as they are playing a gig with The Futureheads in Manchester the same night)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are also playing this gig (at 6.30pm) and are also well worth your time. A nice way to break up the Manchester dominance in the rest of the line up.

Other notables: Tim and Sam, Thomas White and At Swim Two Birds (SWN vs. Hey Manchester at St Phil’s Church), Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra (Mind On Fire vs. Wotgodforgot at The Kings Arms), Bo Ningen (Lamb and Wolf at Islington Mill) Alexander Tucker (Room Tones at Islington Mill), Hotpants Romance (Comfortable On A Tightrope at The Angel Centre).

Full line up is here!


You’ve all seen the new MIA video already I bet
The Official World Cup song is rubbish
New Hurts video.


The best sorts of albums are the ones you really don’t expect and suddenly they have taken over your iPod/Stereo/Life. Nobody tips them before the start of the year, nobody really notices the release of the thing but after a few kind words here and there you give the album a listen and it’s amazing. It’s special because you have found it and you love it even more. Alligator by The National is a good example of this sort of album. This also happened to me with the Bon Iver debut after Jagjaguwar released it.  Well the guys at Jagjaguwar have done it again with The Besnard Lakes and their album ‘…Are The Roaring Night’

It’s fair to say I took to the album as soon as I hit play. Husband-wife duo Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek who are the central driving force of the band have managed to make something that is completely original yet at various points hints at a ton of amazing bands. Broken Social Scene/Bon Iver/Grandaddy on ‘Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent’, then there’s the Joy Zipper/Slowdive sounding ‘Albatross’. Not that all reference points are current, Love and ELO clearly also feature in the mix. How they have managed to do it without it turning into a steaming pile of turd is beyond me. There’s an honesty and a heart to these songs that make it undeniably the best thing I have heard this year.

Now listen to Albatross from the album here. It’s awesome.

Want more? Each Note Secure have got the band’s WOXY (RIP) session up for download here and the band played live on Jimmy Fallon’s show here. Both well worth your time.

I usually put some links here to other
Click here to listen to the new Hold Steady and the new Broken Social Scene albums. OMG.
The New York Times are streaming the new album from The National on Friday.
The new HEALTH video is nuts but y’know good nuts.

This post has been a bit delayed largely down to me being ill in bed for two days. I passed the time by watching the following on YouTube (all highly recommended) GOALS! CLASSIC WWF! SIMPSONS CLIPS! HURTS VIDEOS!

Anyway, back to the point of the post. Those who regularly go to gigs in Manchester should already by aware of Young British Artists. The local four piece have been playing their brand of intense hook addled tunes around town for a year or so now. However, recently they seem to have honed their sound and get loads more confident in what they do. Firstly the live show has seen a lead man Leo now actually singing through a microphone rather than a bastardised megaphone . It’s a wise move because these are clearly a band with something you want to hear rather than totally lost in a sea of fuzz and feedback. I caught them at the High Voltage all dayer recently and they were superb. The new tune they played last sounds like one of their best yet. Definitely excited to see them again soon.

Secondly the good and great guys at Red Deer Club are releasing a new single and both sides of this limited vinyl are total winners. Lived In Skin is one my favourites from the live set and Tom Knott has helped guide the band into their best recordings yet. There is a fresh clarity to the band’s Longcut/Twin Tigers esque urgent abrasive songs whilst retaining everything that is interesting and good about them. B-side Million Miles is another memorable moment from the band’s live set and Red Deer Club have let me offer it up as a download. (I told you they were good and great). So head to my dropbox and give it a download. The wise thing now would be to buy the super limited vinyl from here. If it’s as beautifully packaged as the band’s debut release it’s well worth owning.

In other news:
Thom Yorke covers Love Will Tear Us Apart
School kids cover Phoenix (this is freakin awesome)
New LCD Soundsystem album is streaming here and is pretty pretty pretty good.
Andrew WK’s teenage obsession saga continues.
New video from Airship to go with their new ace single.

Proposals Wanted!!

April 11, 2010

This popped into my Facebook Inbox last week….interesting.

Night and Day are looking for EXCITING NEW PROMOTERS of CLUB NIGHTS and GIGS for brand new events at the venue.

We want driven promoters new, existing or old for monthly/fortnightly events from MAY onwards

Please get in touch with your proposals to *email address* or alternatively come in to the venue and see us.

Get Involved!!


A few years back a bunch of people wanted to close the Night and Day Cafe venue in Manchester. They didn’t realise that moving into a busy city centre would actually be a bit noisy. Anyway, people spoke out and helped save the venue. I get the feeling that if the same thing happened now, people wouldn’t be so bothered. You see, Manchester’s music venues moved on. Night and Day didn’t. Content now to run covert pay to play gigs and book band’s based on the fact bigger acts used to play there every night.

Here’s a list of proposals for the Night and Day:

1. A new sound system is essential really to revitalise the place.

2. No beer on tap? Srsly? Turn that big downstairs ‘dressing room’ into a basement with pumps in and get rid of the overpriced cans upstairs

3. Ok Ok, it will cost a lot to put in the taps for beer – at least don’t try and charge £3.50 for a can of Red Stripe. Or if you do have to charge us a little extra, let the barmaids see some of that money so they smile a little.

4. Oh yeah you put in air conditioning after everyone moaned? Why not, you know, turn it on every now and then?

5.  Build a time machine back to the late 90s when you were top dog and invest the money you made then into the venue.

A petty and pointless post I admit but when The Ruby Lounge and The Deaf Institute are so far ahead, it seems odd that the Night and Day think a couple of new nights will save it.

N.B In the interest of fairness. The Night and Day do the best breakfasts in the Northern Quarter that this reporter has sampled.

Erase Erase Betamax

April 9, 2010

I have spent the last year or so helping release some excellent records with Heist Or Hit Records. Now this has come to an end for a bit here’s three of my favourite tunes I helped work on. All excellent bands can be found here. Check them out.

Firstly The Crookes hail from Sheffield and are lovely young men who should be doing very well for themselves this year.

Secondly is Obviously Cold from The Answering Machine. Great video, great tune.

Finally let’s listen to William by LoveLikeFire – some marvelous work as ever.

Oh and you must must must check out Pomegranates! BYE!!

Jumping in Backwards

April 7, 2010

It was during the Friends Of Manchester festival that a mate of mine came up to me and gushed about a band he had just watched by accident. The band were called Paper Boats he thought and initial searches brought back few results. I tried again recently and finally found the band in question and my friend was totally spot on….they sound very promising indeed. Undoubtedly Paper Boats best track on their MySpace in Jumping in Backwards. Starting off quietly like Lonely Galaxy, before growing into an Elbow esq love lorne ballad. The ‘my sweet love’ line is so simple yet sounds perfect as the sound grows into the beautiful end section of the song. It’s clearly early days for Paper Boats but with their’s clear signs that they could develop into something wonderful. Plenty of Manchester/Leeds gigs coming up in April/May too so hit up their MySpace and go see them live.

The chaps in the band have been kind enough to let me host the track here so give it a download from this link.

In other news:
New NME design!
Andrew WK going NUTS (aged 17)
The totes awesome Said The Gramophone have compiled lots of Wu-Lyf tunes/info here.
Stream the Male Bonding LP here – they slept on my floor once. NAME DROP.
Brilliant new interview with The National.
Lenny Henry and Dawn French to divorce.