Aural Delights Radio Show – 30th May 2012

On this weeks show (which you can listen to here):

1 The Happy Fallen What Good Is Your Rock?  Demo
2 Zap Zap Zap Brick Windows  Demo
3 Stalagmites Zulu  Single
4 Saturday Morning Cartoons The Ditch  Single
5 Ruby Tuesday Spirit and Soul  Single
6 AAAK Regenerate Totalitarian Tip-Toe
7 Chastity Brown House Been Burning  Back-Road Highways
8 Bruce Bherman Big Sized Untagged EP
9 The Membranes Everything’s Brilliant If you enter the arena….
10 Dope Body Alpha Punk Natural History
11 Charlie Barnes This Boy Blind  Living Room EP
12 E-mute Flying (Turning Point)  Too Proud to say loud
13 Moff Skellington Bring it home to me Thorny Conduits
14 Fossil Collective Let It Go  Single
15 Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Tropical Hot Dog Night Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)

Notes in respect of….

1 -6 Featuring bands from this Sundays event at the Kings Arms – https://www.facebook.com/events/399012156788771/ – good local talent from Salford and the surrounding boroughs

7 – Excellent roots artist from the States – check her out! She’ll put a spell on you. Sweet as molasses and woodsmoke, clear and burning as summer sun, Chastity Brown casts magic. Her voice brings you to the crossroads with every turn, warms, comforts and challenges you. She is the inheritor of Leadbelly, Nina Simone, Bonnie Raitt and Roberta Flack. She is past, present and future. She is fire, earth, air and water. She’s a natural. http://www.chastitybrownmusic.com

8. Bruce Bherman is a singer-songwriter, fequent Europe-NY-Nashville flyer and a guitarafficionado deluxe. His backcatalogue consists already of 6 CD’s, some vinyl (12’ & 10’) and a load of singles – http://www.brucebherman.com

9. From the recent AAA single…..

10. From the excellent new album ….. http://www.dopebody.info

11. A recent EP of live stuff from the big voice of Charlie Barnes ….my favourite track from his album

12. As featured as last week – E-MUTE is a new band ready to shake the foundations of the rock scene! Some of the top musicians in London, who between them, have collaborated with artists such as Moby, TheDrifters, Scott James (Stereophonics), ChakaKhan, Vanessa Mae, Pip Williams and more, unite to deliver a new fresh sound under the banner of E-MUTE. E-MUTE is also the main singer and songwriter of the band. Great melodies, dark edgy rock, electronica and philosophical lyrics are the recipe of the band.  www.emutemusic.com

13. From the latest album “Thorny Conduits” – http://www.moffskellington.org.uk/

14. Playing Night and Day tomorrow night – Fossil Collective, a two-piece from Leeds, consists of multi instrumentalists David Fendick and Jonny Hooker. Their first recordings saw them taking inspiration from classic albums by Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Simon and Garfunkel and suggested comparisons with more contemporary artists such as Fleet Foxes, Midlake and Bon Iver. But in truth their exquisitely structured songs and glorious, rich harmonies owe as much, if not more, to a solid English song tradition, and their material holds that distinct English quality that many North American artists hanker after. http://www.FossilCollective.com

15. And a piece of magic from Don to conclude with….


album of the year 2010……

Always a difficult choice, made even more so difficult this year by the veritable cavalcade of excellent albums released in the general locality of where I reside so in order to fit it all into a 60 minute radio show I opted for concentration on the local stuff, with a couple of notable exceptions.  I make no apologies for focusing on Salford and Greater Mancunia artists as I honestly believe there is some excellent music being made around these parts at the moment.

This is the first of five shows over the Christmas period which will select best albums, single/ep/demo, gigs, session and finally band/artist of the year

So what got left out? – well I thought I’d compile a sort of list of the top 50 ones that have either made it onto shows, or have proved pleasurable listening. What’s been somewhat difficult has been a rush of excellent releases towards the latter end of the year and there are still four weeks of 2010 to go so perhaps I should have done this in January – never mind, what’s done is done. So this is the best of rest. The order and the numbering is pretty arbritrary and I’m pretty sure i’ve left out something which I really like but hey-ho it’s just a bit of fun. More importantly I think is the anticipated arrival of the new Amplifier album which sounds very promising indeed.

I have to thank my partners in radio Mr Montgomery, Mr Doyle, Mr Thornborough, Mr Coupe and Ms Zenner for sharing some excellent music with me throughout 2010 and a special “oi up me duck” to the Great Gibbo without whose diligent exploration of new music I would be less knowledgeable than I am.

Disappointments were the new Elvis Costello – which I thought was a little predictible and frankly lazy….and Darker My Love who I think lost the plot somewhat. There were a lot more vying to get on this list but I decided to go for a healthy mix of styles of genres which best reflected my listening. I’ve deliberately left out the more mainstream artists as they get enough column inches already – with the notable inclusion however of some of my particular passions in Mr Springsteen and Ms Newsom.

So in some sort of order here’s my favourites of the year 50 down to 14.

50. Bullets in Madison – We Became Your Family When You Died

49. Conductive Alliance – Water Glyphs

48. Amurekimuri – Amurekimuri

47. Deerhunter – Halycon Digest

46. Eleh – Location Momentum

45. Eluvium – Similes

44. Ty Segall – Melted

43. The Sadies – Cut Corners

42. The Unwinding Hours – The Unwinding Hours

41. The Spacious Mind – The Mind of a Brother

40. Midlake – The Courage of Others

39. Archie Bronson Outfit – Coconut

38. Amiina – Puzzle

37. Invisible Elephant – The Lights Go Out

36. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me

35. Stars Make Shapes – These Mountains are Safe

34. Robin Hitchcock and the Venus Three – Propeller Time

33. Red Sparowes – The Fear is Excruciating but Therein Lies the Answer

32. Silver Mount Zion – Kollaps Tradioxionales

31. PVT – Church With No Magic

30. Killing Joke – Absolute Dissent

29. Bruce Springsteen – The Promise

28. Fang Island – Fang Island

27. AMM – Sounding Music

26. Martha Tilston – Lucy and the Wolves

25. Salem – King Night

24. Maserati – Pyramid of the Sun

23. Gazpacho – Missa Atropos

22. Hammock – Chasin’ After Shadows…Living With Ghosts

21. God is an Astronaut – Age of the Fifth Sun

20. Forest Swords – Dagger Paths

19. First Aid Kit – The Big Black and the Blue

18. ZX+ – +

17. The Strange Boys – Be Brave

16. Sakert! – Facit

15. 65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway

14. Chrome Hoof – Chrush Depth

So i’m down to the top 13 (this is the number of tracks that fits best in the show length – no other arcane reason than this…..)

13. Rob Jungklas – Mapping the Wreckage

I was blown away by the dirtier sound that Jungklas has continued to use since his return from a sabbatical away from the industry. This years album was full of down and dirty blues with some exceptional slide playing.

12. Day for Airstrikes – Into the Comet

Manchester’s post-rock heroes have been away for far too long and this release – which was extremely long in its gestation – finally emerged at various points in 2010 in various forms – they are stunning live and this album effectively captures their work in 2010.

11. Charlie Barnes – Geekk

I first saw Charlie at a Kin gig in late 2009 and was mightily impressed with his song-writing talents and great voice. He did a great session for me in 2010 and released his debut album which is packed with excellent songs.

10. Moff Skellington – Sperm Jingle Harvest

For a man who released four albums in 2010 its difficult to pick one out as a highlight so i’ve done it at random. The other three are equally as good. He is a true iconoclast and a really nice chap. He deserves a much wider audience.

9. Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Mind Carved Canoe

Another unique and compelling artists. Someone whose music I have been listening to for a few years now and with this his first album delivered a fascinating set of tunes – diverse and challenging music.

8. AAAK – The Collection

After a long lay-off Ding and Paul brought back their pulsating E.B.M. Building Scape Beats back with great danceable tunes with a great industrial feel. A fantastic double CD which remakes their old tunes on disc one, and provides a great history of the early work of the band on disc two.

7. Dave Graney and the Lurid Yellow Mist – Supermodified

The high priest of cool remaking some older tunes in a new setting. Excellent and memorable song-writing and performing of the highest quality.

6. The Blue Orchids – Slum Cavern Jest

The re-release of the last Blue Orchids album which contains some memorable performances from Martin Bramah – in the absence of studio recordings from Factory Star this is an ample substitute. Martin’s reading of Fred Neil’s “Green Rocky Road” is a particular favourite.

5. The Jannocks – The Jannocks

An exceptional debut from a great band somewhat spoiled by their dissolution in the Autumn when singer Tom Warden emigrated to the Antipodes. Some amazing guitar work and a treatise on the use of feedback in rock!

4. Spencer Cloud and The Range Brothers – Spencer Cloud and The Range Brothers

Another great debut from a band which prides itself on great song-writing and strong vocal performances. Mostly recorded in a garage in Marple and a front room in Romiley this is a class album.

3. The Black Knights – Sickle Sell Saturday Night

A blistering first album from the Irlam duo – voodoo trash blues of the highest order with enough chutzpah to blow a hole in anyone’s ozone layer.

2. The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter

Another great album from the Bard of Prestwich who seems to be turning into a heavy metal fan – a wonderful collection of Fall riffs and repetition.

1. The Inflictors – The Inflictors

A stunning collection of fantastic songs from a band that are so tight they make the bottoms of aquatic fowls look like a wide expanse. One of the best debut albums i’ve ever heard. Stunning song-writing, three great guitarists and fantastic rhythm section. The most read review on this blog and album that demands your attention!

 

 

Band of the year 2010?

When I started the radio show (Reformation as it was then) back in 2009 I decided I would try and select one band each year which had caught my attention and I felt needed some exposure . At the time I had other things to fill my day so there was not the chance to absorb newer music – this year has proved different with a lot more material coming my way. With over 300 albums to take in, plus lots of gigs attended, it’s proved difficult to narrow things down to the 14 bands that made it on to the show for “Band of the Year”. Picking the top band was difficult, I sort of had in mind around October time who was going to get the “title” as it were, but there were one or two others who were making it difficult to settle the final order, the hard bit was  leaving out some of the great acts that were runners-up (for want of a better phrase). The solace is, I suppose, that some of them got played during the year, and I’ll be making a conscious effort in the first few shows of 2011 to catch up with some of the great albums which didn’t get anyairing, however that’s proving difficult, as there is already a pile of new demos which have been sent in which deserve some airplay.

What I found particularly puzzling during the year was the large amount of dross which purports to be “indie” music which seemed to captivate a lot of people. What I find irritating is that this material gets airplay to the detriment of genuinely talented artists out there. I was pondering on this the other day and I thought back to the early 1970s when I first started to listen to music properly, and it struck me that there is a definite parallel to those days where “safe” music is the stuff that is selling rather than more challenging and “interesting” music. What is clear is that there a lot more music available so the need for some sort of critical barometer is needed. The return of some sort of DIY Punk ethic which allows wider sharing of  good music is needed. The key problem is there is not a John Peel on the national stations who can act as a champion for these artists. The Nine O’Clock Alliance and Aural Delights at Salford City Radio will do it’s best to fill the great man’s shoes and bring you bands and artists which will challenge the existing moribund status quo.

I’ve posted a list of 50 albums that I liked the most during the year elsewhere on this blog a few weeks ago – that’s now horribly out of date as a number of other bands have been brought to my attention. Was it ever so, and I guess I will always be playing some sort of catch-up. I think, however, the music which has dominated this year has been the return of good garage rock, exciting new electronica, a surge of new psychedelia, and the maturing of post-rock into something more interesting.

Over the five weeks of Christmas Shows I’ve tried to play bands which I wouldn’t have time to get into the final best bands show and I have to give a special mention to Borland who I would have definately played had not their tracks have an average length exceeding 8 minutes which would eat far too much into at 60 minute show – in any event they got a good ten minute airing at the end of last weeks show. Rob and Ian constantly amaze me with the variety of sounds and textures they tease out of Fruity Loops 9 and I look forward to new material from them in 2011.

It was disappointing to see the break up of The Jannocks and the Planets – two great local bands – but other bands have emerged from the remains of those two great bands and you can expect to hear music from them on my show in the new year.

The top 14 sort of picked itself in the end as it was those bands who I found it impossible to leave out. So in the order of being played on the show my artists of the year for 2010 were

Charlie Barnes – Charlie did a great session for me, released his album, and guested on the new Amplifier album (more of which elsewhere). I hope he gets the recognition he deserves in the coming year. His album is called Geekk and is highly recommend.

Craig Scanlon – When Moet of Sicknurse told me he was going into the studio with Craig (the legendary guitarist from The Fall) I nearly fell over – many Fall fans were convinced Craig would never return to the music business and it was great to see him back again. I understand more material is being recorded but we were lucky to get three early rough demos of the material is compiling.

Trevor Sensitive and the Locals – at long last Trevor has started to produce material which he has long promised and his askance look at indie rock (with it’s smatterings of black country metal) and gentle irony provides a welcome respite. An album is due soon and I think he has promised to do a session for me.

Pearl Divers – last years best band had a turbulent year with a number of line-up changes and a strong change in direction. A fledgling EP is slowly making its way through the ether to us. This is a band that I saw a lot of last year and I hope to see more of them during 2011.

The Fall – remain the most important band ever for me and they had a great year, with a fantastic new album. With their most stable line-up ever the group goes from strength to strength.

The Black Knights – one of the most exciting live bands I have ever seen – Gary and Tom’s particular interpretation of the blues is both refreshing and compelling.

Mr. Heart – an exciting trio with a great sound – and the bass player also features later on….

Kristin Hersh – like The Fall I class Kristin as an essential artist. She has dominated my listening this year with her great songs. Check out the new Throwing Muses album.

AAAK – gig of the year, reunion of the year, and another duo which defies logic by making a hell of a noise.

Spencer Cloud and The Range Brothers – an exceptional debut album and great song-writing make this band a must listen.

Monster Island – a fantastic new EP called the Green Room and an approach to music which defies the conventional. Lyrically brilliant and unique.

Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – a great year for Dave and Ian with a fantastic debut album, and then a marvellous EP. Also a great couple of session tracks for the show.

The Inflictors – without doubt album of the year, and pretty damn close to live act, and band of the year. A fantastic band.

and Band of the Year

 

Kin – fantastic live, great musicians who are locked into a mesmerising groove, brilliant song-writing and a totally modern approach to music. Probably the best rhythm section round these parts in Howard and Ding, great sounds emerging from Jonn’s tangle of wires and machines, and a front woman who has a simply amazing voice and plays a mean guitar.  Saw them twice last year and they are simply amazing. Album due soon and if the demo tracks are any sort of indication of the content then it will be incredible.

Click on the link below to listen to the music…….

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