Archive for March, 2009

March 29, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 32

I’ve spent most of this week re-cutting Tarantino’s two ‘Kill Bill’ films back into a single movie.  It was a huge amount of fun… until I got to the painfully slow business of adding the subtitles back in.  It’ll all be worth it, when I can sit back and bask in all it’s nearly-four-hour glory.  The rest of the week was spent searching out another ten tracks for your delectation:

‘Tongana’ is the fantastic B-side to AfroZen Orchestra’s new single.  The Afrobeat rhythms are enhanced by some awesome twangin’ Slap-Bass, heavenly vocals and a generally sun-drenched carnival sound.

‘Slingshot Boogie’ is so retro it’s hard to believe it’s not a genuine slice of Eighties Hip-Hop.  All Good Funk Alliance lay down some Funky Bass, some glittering Synthesisers and of course some vintage rhymes to start the party like it was 1989.

‘Don’t Send Your Child To War’ is a wonderful Banjo-pickin’ Country-Blues song.  You’d swear this had been unearthed on an old Civil-War era Wax-Cylinder instead of recorded last year by Charlie Parr.

‘Death & Taxes 2’ is from Johnny Walker’s (Of the dearly missed Soledad Brothers) new LP under the name Cut In The Hill Gang.  Naturally, it’s a rough and ready cut with nothing whatsoever to do with modernity and everything to do with the raw power of the Blues.

The original of Fort Knox Five’s ‘Funk 4 Peace’ was very close to being included in a past TEN4SE7EN.  This week I heard Nick Thayer’s superior Remix and knew it was the time to recommend it’s crunching Electronics and (Political) party starting rhythms.

‘Idle Forest Of Chit Chat’ is yet another incredible track on possibly the finest Record-Label out there, Tru-Thoughts.  Kinny delivers a gorgeous uplifting Soul song with the help of producer duo Souldrop.

The music of Patrick Pleau’s superb ‘Hype-Moi’ LP is the sound of a (More) French-Canadian Rufus Wainwright covering Paul McCartney.  Gorgeous album closer ‘Dispute Entre Âmes Soeurs Et Frères’ (Rough translation: Dispute Between Soulmates & Brothers) combines shimmering Piano, warm Brass and dreamy “La la la la la” vocals.

‘Can’t Pay The Bill’ is insistent Bluegrass-Blues from a three-piece with the brilliant name of The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.  It’s a foot-stompin’, washboard-scraping, credit-crunching delight.

The Rumble Strips have kindly made newly recorded track ‘London’ (It was previously only heard on 2007’s NME Live Tour EP) available for free to wet our appetites for their forthcoming LP.  It’s still got the familiar Dexys sound from the boy’s first album with an extra spot of faded seaside-glamour.

‘Working Woman’ is a full on Feminist Soul anthem to make Aretha Franklin proud.  Gizelle Smith’s vocals are powerful and The Mighty Mocambos kick out some strident Funk grooves.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

AfroZen Orchestra MySpace / Purchase
All Good Funk Alliance MySpace / Purchase
Charlie Parr MySpace / Purchase
Cut In The Hill Gang MySpace / Purchase
Fort Knox Five MySpace / Purchase
Gizelle Smith MySpace / Purchase
Kinny MySpace / Purchase
Patrick Pleau MySpace / Purchase
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band MySpace / Purchase
The Rumble Strips MySpace / Purchase

Here’s a video of The Rumble Strips doing an acoustic version of ‘London’:

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March 21, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 31

As I type these words, I can barely contain my excitement as I watch a far-too-slow torrent of the last ever episode of Battlestar Galactica download after it aired on US telly last night.  If you’re in similar agony then here are ten more fantastic tunes to sooth the passing of the next couple of hours:

Bat For Lashes’ ‘Sleep Alone’ has organic Guitars, industrial humming and shiny Synths for a ‘Kate Bush covering The Velvet Underground with the Pet Shop Boys producing’ kinda sound.  It’s from Natasha Khan’s brand new album following on from her last Mercury-Prize nominated LP.

The music to Dan Bull’s ‘Summer’ has the tranquil groove of Robert Wyatt while his chilled rhymes recall the best of Mike Skinner.  Go get his new ‘Safe’ LP for more tracks to delight the ears.

On ‘The Daddy’, Gripper brings some squelching Electro-Funk enhanced with the  sugar-sweet Soul of Niko’s vocals.  Prepare to do some booty shakin’.

‘Bootsy Bootsy’ feels like Magic Arm’s modern drum-heavy computer-music take on Donovan’s brand of English Psychedelia.  Manchester has given birth to one more band to be proud of.

I’ve been following and loving the music of Anti-Folk stars Milk Kan for over four years so it’s exciting that they’ve finally dropped their first eponymous album.  If you’re itching for the new Jamie-T LP then it’ll be right up your street.  The mega singles aside, ’21st Century Love’ is a definite highlight.

Mongrel were first featured on this site in September when I got hold of a killer track called ‘The Menace’.  Since then they’ve recorded their debut album packed with supreme Rap/Rock hybrids.  ‘Lies’ proves that they are by far, the superior Arctic Monkeys related group.

Neal Casal is a guitarist in Ryan Adam’s band The Cardinals but he’s got another trick up his sleeve.  ‘Back To Haunt You’ from his solo album, has the classy velvet-smooth Country-Soul of Chris Isaac’s best work.

‘Vulture’ is the first taste from Patrick Wolf’s two new albums.  If it’s anything to go by he’s jettisoned the celebratory Folk-Pop of his last magnificent LP and gone in for more of an Electroclash direction.  But as always, whatever weird and wonderful sounds Patrick uses he always manages to mould them into appealing shapes.

‘Cherrytree’ has an infectious campfire-sing-along vibe that makes you wanna clap your hands and stamp your feet.  Sam McCarthy’s music makes me want to listen again and again and then possibly dig out that old Cosmic Rough Riders LP.

The Acid-Jazz label have released a brilliant cover of Duffy’s inescapable hit single ‘Mercy’.   The Third Degree imagine if Duffy’s recording was the cover and that their version was the original, little known and raucous Northern-Soul version.  It sounds so very, very believable.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Bat For Lashes MySpace / Purchase
Dan Bull MySpace / Purchase
Gripper MySpace / Purchase
Magic Arm MySpace / Purchase
Milk Kan MySpace / Purchase
Mongrel MySpace / Purchase
Neal Casal MySpace / Purchase
Patrick Wolf MySpace / Invest
Sam McCarthy MySpace / Purchase
Acid Jazz MySpace / Purchase

Here is a video of a charming acoustic performance by Sam McCarthy of ‘Cherrytree’:

March 15, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 30

Perhaps it’s the SXSW effect or maybe just the time of year but ace tracks are coming like running water this week, so I was left with the arduous (In a kinda good way) task of choosing just ten tracks from the 36 amazing tunes I’d shortlisted.  It’s taken me hours to argue the merits of each song with myself, but here it is:

The slinky Marimba sound of ‘The Lion & The Teacup’ reminds me of the music that played when you explored the town after nightfall in that classic early Nineties game The Secret Of Monkey Island (“How appropriate. You fight like a cow!” etc etc).  Bishop Allen have created delightfully odd Pop music worthy of The Kinks.

‘Fot I Hose’ has a bowel loosening Bass sound, and some plucky Surf Guitars for this neck cracking instrumental from Norwegian band Casiokids.  This is the B-side to their new single ‘Verdens Störste Land’ which is similarly awesome but sonically a different beast altogether.

Up next is another B-side, from StopMe’s-2008-Top-100 topping Dan Black.  When a new artist is throwing away majestic cuts like ‘Poet’ on the flip you know he’s gonna be big.  The undulating snakey Bass line matches Dan’s equally twisty rhymes bringing to mind Thom Yorke dropping some science.

‘In Memory Of Anthony’ is from (Ex-Factory label band) The Durutti Column’s new album and it is of course about the late great Factory Record’s boss. It is an at first sad, then euphoric tribute to a friend both in it’s lyrics and by the very existence of every note of the song, created by an artist whose talent Anthony H. Wilson nurtured.

‘Los Cristeros’ is an Avantgarde Piano instrumental overlayed with a Spanish Guitar performance of intense sorrow.  It is the opening track from John Zorn’s Soundtrack for ‘El General’, a recent award winning documentary about controversial Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles.

Panacea’s ‘Vandalism’ is a hazy Hip-Hop cut which I don’t think actually samples, but is definitely influenced by, the velvety smooth soul of Bloodstone’s ‘Natural High’.  Fans of Jurassic 5 (Like myself) will lap it up.

Peter Doherty is back with a new solo album and like his last couple, it mines tracks from the series of bootlegs that flooded the net in 2004.  But unlike those previous two albums his new one improves on those beautiful demos (Instead of utterly ruining them!).  The opening song ‘Arcady’ is one of his best compositions, which is treated to a gentle and sympathetic semi-acoustic production.  Hopefully the new ‘Grace / Wastelands’ LP will begin to restore his reputation as a musician and poet, not as a tabloid fuck up… welcome back Pete.

‘The Howling’ is a claustrophobic cut from The Phantom Band’s excellent new album ‘Checkmate Savage’.  The Scottish accent of the vocal and Punk-Funk-Disco sound can’t help but remind me of Talking Heads (Not a bad thing at all!).

The Voluntary Butler Scheme’s ‘Multiplayer’ is a wonderfully shiny little Pop song.  I love the chorus and the bit where it goes all Resident-Sesame-Street-Funk-Band towards the end.

The words to The Decemberists’ ‘The Rake’s Song’ take you on a lyrical journey.  This is backed by a brooding Drum-heavy Blues sound.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Bishop Allen MySpace / Purchase
Casiokids MySpace / Purchase
Dan Black MySpace / Purchase
John Zorn MySpace / Purchase
Panacea MySpace / Purchase
Peter Doherty MySpace / Purchase
The Decemberists MySpace / Purchase
The Durutti Column MySpace / Purchase
The Phantom Band MySpace / Purchase
The Voluntary Butler Scheme MySpace / Purchase

Here is the innovative animated/but-cleverly-not-actually-animated video for The Voluntary Butler Scheme’s ‘Multiplayer’:

March 9, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 29

I’m still listening to that N.A.S.A album, except now every track is sounding like a classic I’ve known for years!  So once again, click here to get yourself a copy (With an artwork sanitising sticker plastered over the top, if it’s like mine).  Here are the ten best non-N.A.S.A related tracks from this week:

Adam Lipman’s ‘Her Life Under Our Roof’ is a sparsely arranged delicate flower of lo-fi acoustic sorrow.  Your lip will be wobbling within seconds of putting it on.

The Bahama Soul Club’s ‘Sugar Cane’ is a muscular Soul cut predictably enhanced by Lack Of Afro’s Funk-tastic Remix (They can do no wrong).  Witness vocalist Pat Appleton’s sexy voice, as she purrs like a kitten and roars like a lioness.

Exploding out of your speakers with a blast of soulboy Horns, ‘Wandering By’ has the honed songwriting pedigree of latter day Echo & The Bunnymen.  And like the Bunnymen, The Bishops pay tribute to classic Sixties Pop.

‘Tattoo Mission’ is from the follow up LP to Boston Spaceships’ uniformly wonderful ‘Brown Submarine’.  It’s got the same sort of vibe as when Led Zeppelin go all mystical.

Handsome Furs’ ‘Talking Hotel Arbat Blues’ reminds me of early Elvis Costello, which is a good recommendation in my book.  The mewling fuzzed up Guitar cuts through the catchy Pop sound to create something exciting.

Hey Hey My My’s ‘Too Much Space’ subtlely winds itself into your consciousness.  The mournful Harmonica solos that break the song up are a delight.

‘Major Blitzkrieg’ has the relentless unforgiving attack on your ears that it’s name suggests.  This thrilling bit of beefed up instrumental Dance deliciousness is by Depth Charge signings Higamos Hogamos.

The new album by Julie’s Haircut is an ambitious double LP that needs to be heard in it’s entirety.  That said, as a taster here’s my favourite track, the pulsating Electronic Indie-Dance of ‘The Shadow, Our Home’.

Justin Townes Earle reminds me more than a little of the Alt-Country of Ryan Adams.  ‘Midnight At The Movies’ has the slightly sozzled charm of his best work and speaks of the same world of lonely nights, backwater towns and lost loves.

‘The New Royal Family Rules OK’ is a proper bit of sneering Indie-Punk with flashes of Joey Santiago style Guitar.  It’s The New Royal Family’s “Triple B-Side” follow up single to StopMe favourite ‘Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive’.  It’s available as a free download and limited CD very soon (Click here to get it!).

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP OF THE TEN TRACKS

Adam Lipman MySpace / Purchase
Boston Spaceships MySpace / Purchase
Handsome Furs MySpace / Purchase
Hey Hey My My MySpace / Purchase
Higamos Hogamos MySpace / Purchase
Julie’s Haircut MySpace / Purchase
Justin Townes Earle MySpace / Purchase
The Bahama Soul Club MySpace / Purchase
The Bishops MySpace / Purchase
The New Royal Family MySpace / Purchase

Here’s The New Royal Family’s brilliant and potential libelous video for their song ‘I.W.I.S.H.I.W.A.S.GAY’:

Update! Here is the hot-off-the-press new Video for The New Royal Family’s ‘The New Royal Family Rules OK’:

March 2, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 28

I’ve spent a good chunk of time this week listening to N.A.S.A’s amazing album (Featured last week) so I urge you to get a copy too.  Choosing this weeks ten tracks was particularly agonising, leaving me tempted to do a bonus mid-week list (Not promising anything though!):

On ‘Against All Odds’ Kano delivers a guest rhyme to match Chase & Status’ flavoursome Funk and Soul Breaks.  The mix of Tabla-Drums and vibrant Horns are totally irresistible.

‘Heartbroken, In Disrepair’ is a crunching Fuzz-Box-Blues solo track from The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.  It was a wrench just choosing one song from his new Album but definitely check out it’s opener ‘Trouble Weighs A Ton’ too.

Fever Ray’s ‘Keep The Streets Empty For Me’ is the sound of Kate Bush getting Gilmore back in for some ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ style atmospherics.  I highly recommend wallowing in the waves upon waves of darkly humming oppression generated by their new self-titled LP.

‘Frankie’s Party Life’ is one of six essential Mash-Ups Umatic has crafted of  Lefties Soul Connection and Jay-Z’s ‘American Gangster’ Album (Under the moniker Jay’s Soul Connection).  By the way, I suggest getting a copy of the superb Ridley Scott film (Of the same name) that inspired the album.

You can’t go wrong with Kenneth Bager in my opinion but this version of ‘Fragment One (…And I Kept Hearing)’ could well be the best thing he’s done so far.  The gorgeous gliding Strings and sweet whistles of the original are enhanced by a chilled guest Rap from Gisli.

When I see that Diesler’s involved with a track I have to check it out.  Once again I find that his Remix of KidKanevil and Testament’s ‘Kranium Rock’ is wonderful.  It reminds me more than a little of Ty, which has to be a good thing.

‘Kandi’ is a fantasy duet between One Eskimo’s singer Kristian Leontiou and the vocal from Candi Staton’s 1970 single ‘He Called Me Babe’.  The ‘Eat More Cake Mix’ ups the gorgeous drifting Balaeric vibe.

‘I Don’t Care If It’s True (Demo)’ is a taster for Simon Indelicate’s (Of multi-talented and misanthropic Indie heroes The Indelicates) proposed Musical ‘David Koresh Superstar’.  If the whole thing is as good as this song, then The West End beware!

DJ Shepdog’s ‘Limb By Limb (Militia Mix)’ is taken from his & JStar’s essential new compilation of the cream of their Mash-Ups called ‘Cut Ups, Bruck Ups & Muck Ups’.  I’m not 100% what’s being mashed, but I can say that it’s a raucous booty-shakin’ Dancehall cut.

Go grab the latest copy of NME to get a free CD featuring an hour of covers of The Cure.  It opens with a lovely three minute “Ramble on the subject” of the philosophy of covers, by the man himself Robert Smith (It’s ripe for sampling).  The highlight is Mystery Jets & Esser’s version of the classic ‘In Between Days’ which wisely retains that unforgettable Synth line.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP OF THE TEN TRACKS

Chase & Status MySpace / Purchase
Dan Auerbach MySpace / Purchase
DJ Shepdog MySpace / Purchase
Fever Ray MySpace / Purchase
Umatic MySpace / Purchase
Kenneth Bager MySpace / Purchase
Kid Kanevil MySpace / Purchase
Mystery Jets MySpace / NME Website
One Eskimo MySpace / Purchase
David Koresh Superstar MySpace / Lovely Indelicates Merchandise

Here’s the Beastie Boys rivalling video for ‘Chase & Status’ ‘Against All Odds (Feat. Kano)’ on YouTube: