Aural Delights – 16th February 2011

On this weeks show a preview of Helmets for Men 2011 Episode 1 and lots of new stuff, plus a couple of classics……..

Bâton Rouge – Fragments D’eux Mêmes – a french Emo band made up of most of the members of “Daitro” and one from”12xu”. Slightly less “Screamo” than what “Daitro” deliver and therefore a little more melodic.

Fall Fan Dave & The Lap Top Dancers – Yelling Boil – as yet unreleased promo version of said artefact came my way last week – see a review elsewhere on this blog.

Danny Short – Darkened Corridors of Winter – from a limited edition private only release cassette. Danny is in full experimental mode here, more akin to his DDS work than his more melodic tunes……lots of psychedelic references……

The Happy Fallen – EP  – the first of three tunes from bands playing the “Helmets for Men” gig at Islington Mill on the Friday of the week this show was broadcast. Neil James (aka Tickle) has out together a fine band to deliver his particular band of pysche-garage rock.

Warm Widow – Widower – amazing trio from Manchester who are second up at the Helmets Gig. Their particular amalgam of post-punk tropes evokes a mutant offspring of Thurston Moore, Mark Edward Smith, and, Nick Cave…….

The Black Knights – Sickle Sell Saturday Night – the band that do not need a bass player – so bass players get over it! Voodoo trash from the darkest heart of “margarine town” with more attitude than a crazed werewolf out on a bender with bigfoot. Vampiric intensity and soul they are the third act on at Helmets.

Kayo Dot – Blue Lambency Dot – a real treat for Mancunians is the appearance of New York’s post jazz masters of incomprehensible rhythms and maniacally complex arrangements at Islington Mill the night before the Helmets gig.

Bill Davro – as featured before on the show – another fresh new talent from Warrington that came to me through our unsigned page, as did Salford’s very own….

Skankadelia – infectious ska pop of the highest order……. as did

Andy Hay – great singer songwriter who does all his recording at home….

Corinna Jane – I have been waiting for a while to play the last of three songs this Bristol artist sent my way….a great writer and a fine voice…check her out on I Tunes….

David Bowie – Hunky Dory – a bit a guilty pleasure – a classic bit of riffing from the time when Bowie had a little more chutzpah in his mojo…..I was making venetian blinds in a factory in darkest Northamptonshire when this came out…..

Bare in the Woods – Manchester four piece with a good raw sound……they will be playing in Manchester on Friday 25th of February @ Gullivers, and, Saturday 12th of March @ Manchester Academy. Band members are: David Cross – Vox & Rhythm Guitar, Adam Logan – Lead Guitar, Griff Tilley – Bass, Adam King – Drums.

Blue Orchids – went to see Martin Bramah’s Factory Star a couple of weeks ago and they were marvellous – in anticipation of their new album i’ve delved right back to Martin’s first release with Blue Orchids  when they signed to Rough Trade Records, and in November 1980  released their debut single, a double A side, “The Flood / Disney Boys” the latter of which gets an airing.

and finally

The Christophers – another Manchester band with a new single which has a great psyche sound….highly recommended……

To listen to the show click below

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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!