Fascinating Things : Issue 63

Apologies for the lack of posts recently but it has been a rather busy time with all sorts of German Shepherd Records stuff going on in the background and with some exciting gig news coming soon…..so inevitably there is a backlog of things to bring to your attention, better get straight to it…..

Continuing his run of “one single a month” releases in 2016 Dave Graney is back with Clare Moore, of course,  plus guests Will Hindmarsh and Emily Jarrett  of Go Go Sapien on backing vocals. This one is pretty short for a DG tune but manages to pack in enough cool sounds within it’s 2:59 to satisfy any lover of fine music. It’s undoubtedly Dave and Clare with it’s smoky late night vibe but there’s a freshness to this one indicating yet another variation in direction and development. This run of singles from Graney and Moore has been exceptional, can’t wait to hear the next one….

The new EP from 50FOOTWAVE is absolutely stunning. Rob Ahlers, Bernard Georges and Kristin Hersh are in fine muscular form powering through six new tunes. Kristin’s raw emotional vocals are at their very best and the band delivers intelligent, well crafted tunes. It’s called “Bath White” and you really should listen…..plus a crowdfunding drive has kicked off to support the publication of ‘Nerve Endings’, a book featuring selected lyrics from across her career as a musician and songwriter. For more information on the book and available pledge levels, visit the project page at Unbound: https://unbound.co.uk/books/Kristin-Hersh.

Nefarious Industries release the self-titled debut EP from Chicago-based Mine Collapse ton July 22nd. Formed in the autumn of 2015 by two-thirds of now defunct punk/metal band Arbogast, the new band picks things up where the old one left off, with Aaron Roemig and Mike Rataj continuing a nearly decade-long collaboration.  The sound is characterised by  a heavy, jagged, sludge-punk sound featuring reverb-soaked vocals. At twenty-two minutes, the four-song EP includes of frantic noise rock and doom riffage stacked atop Rataj’s unique jazz-infused pummeling drum style. Influences range from contemporary heavy bands like  Torche, Queens Of The Stone Age, Don Caballero, Boris, and The Austerity Program and old-school nineties AmRep bands à la Helmet, Jesus Lizard, and Unsane. Pre-order now here https://minecollapse.bandcamp.com/releases.

The excellent Yob are embarking on a European Tour in September/October with a raft of UK/Eire dates. The support for the six dates is Black Cobra.

Fri 07/10/2016 – Bristol, The Fleece
Sat 08/10/2016  – Glasgow, G2 Garage
Sun 09/10/2016  – Birmingham, The Rainbow Club
Mon 10/10/2016 – Manchester, Ruby Lounge
Tue 11/10/2016  – Dublin, Whelans
Thu 13/10/2016  – London, The Scala

Here’s a reminder of their remarkable album from 2014:

‘Church of Rock n Roll’ is taken from the album We Are The Ones. The debut solo album from Cambridge musician Gavin Chappell-Bates. It features 12 tracks, including previously released songs ‘95’, ‘We Are The Ones’ and ‘Black Holes’. Other tracks include the aforementioned aggressive adolescent punk of ‘Church Of Rock ‘N’ Roll’, the bright upbeat pop of ‘Dead End Disco Streets’, the shining sentimental ballad of ‘Starlight’, and ‘Refugee’ – a Manics-esque epic tinged with loneliness and loss. The album is the culmination of years of playing in bands, writing songs and gigging relentlessly. Friends, family and fans helped pick the final tracks to feature on the album. It was recorded and produced by James Coppolaro at Mix66 (Okiem Warmann, David Botrill, David Ellefson and Loretta Heywood) and features Rob Gibiaqui on drums (Sergey Lazarev, The Pinker Tones), Anna Scott on cello (Imogen Heap), Prue Ward on violin (The Willows) and the choir Full Score conducted by Ralph Woodward. For live purposes Gavin utilises German Shepherd’s very own Bouquet of Dead Crows. It’s a small world!.

Finally, for this issue, the Moss Brothers are back together again creating their left-field alt.pop with “Dark Snow” a dire warning to climate change deniers and self-serving politicians everywhere. With Neil’s wife Gaynor on backing vocals this is a step in a new direction for Ian and Neil. The single is pay what you want and all proceeds will go to Friends of The Earth.

dark snow 1

 

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Music Diary #30 – 1st February & Aural Delights Radio Show

After the recent biblical amount of e-mails of late things have been relatively quiet today……so what have we got?

  • Recommendation of the day is the new Thee Silver Mt Zion release which hangs precariously between an EP and an album. It is called “The West Will Rise Again” (notebooks out Fall fans!!) and has all the usual TSMZ tropes i.e. Menucks angst ridden vocals, layers and layers of guitars and strings, and airy choral stuff in the background – very good indeed
  • The new Noel Gallagher single arrived – ho-hum…….
  • Lydia Loveless is an interesting americana punky country artiste with a good vocal style who nestles comfortably between Springsteen and Earle and has the right sort of attitude. Her “Indestructible Machine” album is worth a punt.
  • Alice Niamh has a new single out and it’s suitably non-Florence enough to get my interest. She is from Torquay, a place I visited many years ago.
  • Mightily impressed by a couple of older releases from Squadra Omega which have come my way. They mix kraut-rock, psyche and out-there jazz in a heady brew of mantra-rock which catches the old ossicles quite by surprise – there’s a touch of early Floyd/A Duul about them.
  • Tony T sent a couple of Leeds bands my way – Hookworks and Nope – both very good indeed, check them out on Bandcamp…….

And so to tonight’s radio offering…..listen in here…..

1 50 Foot Wave Radiant Addict With Love From The Men’s Room
2 The Sexual Objects Merrie England Cucumber
3 The King Blues Does Anyone Care About Us Single
4 The Coke Authority Act a Fool Demo
5 Disappears Fear of Darkness Pre Language
6 Moff Skellington The Perm Doctors Wife Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
7 The Hello Strangers Conococheague Introducing Max Schmidt
8 Hero and Leander One Mississippi Two Collider EP
9 The Go-Betweens Head Full of Steam Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express
10 The Umbilical Chords One Cool Panther Demo CD
11 The Sexual Objects Queen City of the 4th Dimension Cucumber
12 Moff Skellington Twixt the Leg Whispers Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
13 Crippled Black Phoenix Get Down And Live With It (Mankind) The Crafty Ape
14 The Tall Dwarfs Lowlands Let Them Eat Pavlova

Music Diary #25 – 25th January 2012 – Aural Delights Radio Show

To commence a Happy Birthday to Farley my ex-pat chum who resides in Christchurch, New Zealand and provides me with regular scoop fulls of interesting music from the other side of the planet.

Now then – yesterday proved to be very busy with a ton of new stuff coming in – so I will point out:

Stolen Mushrooms – who are from Luton and sound a little like the RHCPs but have their own style and stance, there’s also a slight smattering of Marr guitaring mixed in with a crisp afro-beat feel and the interplay is reminiscent of early Yes to some degree. If you are confused by that confusing description I suggest you give them a gander via Facebook and reach your own conclusions.

The Ascension – Macclesfields’ finest rocking beat combo are still looking for a drummer but have put together a new five track EP  “Blood Upon The Rose” which will be out shortly. Recorded in Salford and then mixed/produced by Mr Archer at 6dB studios I am advised. Doug (bass, vocals, keys) has sent me a couple of tracks over and they are rather marvellous.

– Kit B  – who don’t appear to have a Facebook page yet – have been joined by my chum Mr John Montague on the bass guitar – they are looking for a drummer as well (bit of a trend here) – and the fruits of their early collaboration have emerged with a new tune “Rock-Ola Rocket”. Both Mr Leigh and Mr Montague (ex of the very excellent Pearl Divers) are getting very close to the “three band” magnificence of Mr Dutton – one wonders if Mr Dutton will form another combo in order to maintain a reasonable gap?

– Joy Division – the 10CD/7 vinyl/download compilation “Plus Minus” appears to be excellent value for money as long as you don’t opt for the vinyl option. In terms of rescuing the planet from environmental meltdown I don’t quite see the logic of producing all the plastic and paper but I suppose it’s art. Whether you have all these already and want to splash out your cash is a moot point which I guess reflects the pricing structure. In any event the re-mastering does refresh the sound somewhat and it’s good to have all the stuff in one place on the hard drive I guess.

– Lambchop’s new album – out in three weeks – is dedicated to Vic Chesnutt. It’s called “Mr M” – i’ve always been a fan of Kurt Wagners pained lyricism and this album is packed with it – whether it is just a little bit too lacking in grit I suppose is the key issue. It’s late night music, relaxed, reflective and to some degree a little too laid back for me.

– In a similar vein – The Hello Strangers – play a laid back and utterly melodic form of bluesy Americana. The promo is pretty good on this one – “Texas country-folk, and roots rock, all tied together with lilting harmonies that only sisters can accomplish. Timeless imagery and fables accompany each song, from tales of a boggy creek bottom where a murdered man sleeps, to a Texas roadhouse with bawdy dancers and clinking beer bottles, to more poignant reflections on the loss of winter and a man gone wrong.” I was particularly struck by “Conococheague”  with it’s eerie guitar intro and insistent folky sound. I got six tracks from their “Introducing Max Schmidt” release from a couple of years back. Very impressed.

And on this evenings Aural Delights Radio show you will find the following dear listener:

The Nectarine No: 9 Holes of Corpus Christie D’un Echantillon De Marchandises EP
The Sexual Objects Here Come The Rubber Cops Cucumber
Kill Pretty Stress Demo
Hero and Leander Collider Collider EP
Ronin Benevento Fenice
The Umbilical Chords Evil Idle EP
Future Pilots Assange Future Pilots EP
Vic Godard End of the Surrey People D’un Echantillon De Marchandises EP
Kill Pretty Joey Stefano Demo
Factory Star When Sleep Won’t Come Enter Castle Perilous
50 Foot Wave Rushing With Love From The Men’s Room
The Sexual Objects Outta Place Again Cucumber
Moff Skellington Dashboard Photo Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
Kill Pretty Babes in the Wood Demo
Sandells Girl from Iphegenia Reformation Session (TFAB Remix)

You can listen to the show here

Music Diary #19 – 19th January 2012 & World of Jazz

A new AAAK EP on its way to us shortly – love the moody cover of Paul and Ding and looking forward to hearing the Violent Snog mix of I assume “Sweet Sweet Kiss” – difficult to see as the reflected flash is in the way…..

Those merry funsters Well Wisher  have a new EP out on 25th January 2012 called “Summer Gangs”  – you can stream it on Bandcamp at this moment in time. As usually their breathtaking post-hardcore slacker indie punky pop is a refreshing antidote to the tired playlists wombled out by the so-called “taste-makers” out there. Highly recommended.

Pleased to see 50FOOTWAVE have released a new EP which is called “With Love From The Men’s Room” and it’s free from here – as usual K Hersh is on fine form and it is to be hoped they can make it over to the UK for some gigs in the near future.

Mr MJ Leigh has made four more Kill Pretty tracks available for download  here – suffice to to say they are all rather marvellous…..really looking forward to next weeks gig at the Kings Arms. The lyrics on some of these are NSFW.

And so to this weeks World of Jazz at the hail stones thunder down outside the Half Edge Recording Studios……..

I felt in a fusion-y sort of mood this week so I opted for some Weather Report  to kick of the show. Featuring a track from the eponymous album which saw the last time Pastorius, Erskine, and Thomas Jr would play together as a rhythm section – some would argue they rather lost the plot after this album – not sure I agree there are some highlights in the later work.  I’ve recently been introduced to the work of Dag Arnesen and I was drawn to the album featured on this show through the presence of Palle Mikkelborg on trumpet. Beautiful melodies and great playing.

Always pleased to feature the great James Spaulding on the show and the bluesy cut played on this show demonstrates his ability to adapt. Australian Mike Nock has been around for a while and he always delivers great albums – never gets the attention he deserves I reckon. Marcus Millers re-invention of Miles Davis’s first Warners album “Tutu” is interesting – whilst it’s appreciate he contributed considerably to the original one wonders why he felt it necessary to put together this mammoth slab of work around it. I’m sort of conflicted on the need for it but it’s always good to hear George Duke’s wonderful “Backyard Ritual” and Christian Scott does well fitting into MDD’s shoes.

Sonny Criss working with Horace Tapscott has to be a bonus and the nonet cut from the “Sonny’s Dream” album is rather groovy. Following that with some Stan Getz from an album produced in collaboration with (Big A&M)* Herb Alpert towards the end of the great mans career. Concluding with some ECM ambience from Don Cherry and friends, a great ballad from Dexter Gordon and a mood piece from Manchester based jazzer Matthew Halsall.

(* Gratuitous Fall Fan Reference c.f.  CnC-S Mithering from Grotesque After the Gramme)

Enjoy here.…..

1 Weather Report Volcano for Hire Weather Report
2 Dag Arnesen Astrid Mi Astrid Norwegian Songs 3
3 James Spaulding Gerkin for Perkins Blues Nexus
4 Mike Nock Symbiosis Almanac
5 Marcus Miller Backyard Ritual Tutu Live
6 Sonny Criss The Golden Pearl Sonny’s Dream (The Birth of the New Cool)
7 Stan Getz Amorous Cat Apasionado
8 Don Cherry, Lennart Aberg, Bobo Stenson Prayer Dona Nostra
9 Dexter Gordon I guess I’ll hang my tears out to dry Ballads
10 Matthew Halsall The Journey Home On the go