Broadcast : 1st September 2010
After wearing myself out somewhat with the “high pressure – lots of guests” show “Reformation” I decided to have a break from a radio show that was non-jazz, newer music. However after a lot of comments from friends about the abrupt ending of the old show, I reconsidered and I asked the station if I could slip into a new later night slot where the emphasis would be more on music with less chat and no session guests – working on the assumption I could put together a show like that with less effort and stress. Fortunately a slot came available at 11pm on Wednesday so a new show called “Aural Delights” emerged. The emphasis, to kick off with, will be catching up on new releases or things I have come across via my nocturnal scouring of the ‘net. Eventually I will want to focus on unsigned bands from the Salford and Greater Manchester area, and this will tie in with a feature Tony Thornborough (Mondays at 9pm) and I will be doing on the station’s website.
So to kick the balance is towards a variety of material from across what might loosely be called the “rock” spectrum. I came across the first band “Meanwhile, Back in Communist Russia” on a progressive rock blog. They are best described as post-rock, they played between 1999-2004 before splitting into several directions. Their album “My Elixir, My Poison” takes the post-rock mores into a different area with Emily Gray’s monologues which make for interesting listening. The track played is “Chinese Lantern”.
Australian band “All India Radio” follow with “Four Three” from the 2006 album “Echo Other” – the music of the group described elsewhere as a mix of Portishead, Boards of Canada, Brian Eno, Massive Attack and Cinematic Orchestra. Frankly those comparisons are a tad weak and the band has a great fresh feel of its own. I was taken with the arrangement of the songs and the atmospheric quality of the production.
“Johnny Dowd” is a not so guilty pleasure. Not necessarily a big Country and Western fan it’s of interest to me to find an artist who can de-construct the medium and make it a little more edgy and less glossy/glitzy than is the norm. There is a sense of the gothic with a rich undercurrent of black humour in his work as typified by “Rose Tattoo” from “The Pawnbrokers Wife” album. I’ve whittered on about the new “Dave Graney” album on these pages in a separate blog so I won’t over-egg the mix – suffice to say he is one of our greatest songwriters and the arrangements on the album “Supermodified” are stunning especially “All our friends were stars”.
In the same ilk as Johnny Dowd, “Those Poor Bastards” are “gothic” country and western and definately not for the faint hearted – with “My Last Dollar” from the aptly entitled “Songs of Desperation”. Californian band “The Plimsouls” have been around since 1978 and after a split in the mid 80s have re-united sporadically since then. The track “Shaky City” is from this years “Live, Beg, Borrow and Steal!” album which is a recording of a gig in 1981.
A touch of jamming psychedelia up next with “Major Stars” and “No Higher Meaning” from “Distant Effect” who go at it full tilt in retro rock fashion calling to mind late 60s Cream and Hendrix albums … which reminds me I must track down their new album. After that a bit of a career shift from the “I’m having a gap year” work of “Ryan Adams” with the metal influenced “Disappyramid” from the “Orion” album, which is definate move. away from his most recent work with The Cardinals.
After all that loud rock music a bit of progressive ambient music with Boston-based indie electronic artist “Helios” (who is Keith Kenniff) and the track “The Toy Garden” from the “Eingya” album demonstrates his mastery of the post-rock world. Continuing in a similar vein “Hammock”, who effortlessly mix beats with guitar drones to create a lush sound – the track played is “Kenotic” which is also the title of the 2005 album from which it came; and then “God Is An Astronaut” who make a strong claim to being the best Irish indie export of the 2000s (maybe neck and neck with “And So I Watch You From Afar” , thanks to epic melodic of post-rock and a smidgen of Kraut and Space rock. To conclude the prog section of the show a dip in the archives to one of the earlier “Yes” albums and “Sweet Dreams” from “Time and A Word” with the signature Hammond Sound from Tony Kaye and the pre-Howe stylings of Peter Banks.
The show concludes with a couple of local bands “Suzuki/Method” with “Purple Aki” from their forthcoming EP on Factory Foundation (the band is appearing on Shell Zenner’s show at 9pm Thursday 2nd September on Salford City Radio) and Irlam’s finest “The Black Knights” from with “Vampire Rave” from the great album “Sickle Sell Saturday Night”.
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