Saturday, 25 August 2012


Goodbye Alligator Skin : FRENCH QUARTER : From the album Desert Wasn't Welcome

French Quarter (aka Stephen Steinbrink) are / is from Arizona.  His previous albums were released under his own name but on this occasion he got a couple of mates around and they recorded this in three days.  Definite Death Cab for Cutie / Modest Mouse influences ...

Who Are You? : KATHRYN CALDER : From the album Bright And Vivid

Canadian singer/songwriter Kathryn Calder already had two EPs and four albums under her belt with Victoria-based indie rockers Immaculate Machine before expanding her public persona as a New Pornographer, one of Canada's best bands. When she was a teenager, Calder discovered that New Pornographers frontman Carl Newman was her long-lost uncle when her mother, who was adopted, discovered that her birth mother was also Newman's mother. Called into the fold on a whim to fill in for co-vocalist Neko Case, who was in the midst of an increasingly explosive solo career, Calder began touring with the group as a vocalist and keyboard player. this is from her second solo album

Street Fighting Sun : BLITZEN TRAPPER : From the album American Goldwing

Time for some heavy rock ... well, what were you expecting from a band called Blitzen Trapper

On this, their sixth studio album, the Portland band dives headfirst into the record collections of its members' teenage years and delivers classic-sounding songs that are part Southern rock, part Southern funk, and part indie rock

Friday, 17 August 2012


Making Promises : INDIGO GIRLS : From the album Beauty Queen Sister

Not a new band by any stretch of the imagination, but so few people have heard of them. Even fewer realise they are still around - this is from their 14th album! Two women, two guitars, both sing but have very different singing styles.  This is American pop music at its finest

New Armor : ANR : From the album Stay Kids

Formerly known as Awesome New Republic, and formerly a synth-pop due, this album sees them branching out and adopting a much wider palette of influences. Starts with a simple acoustic guitar and turns into an anthem

The Lighthouse Will Lead You Out : CASHIER NO. 9 : From the album To The Death Of Fun

Is there a Belfast sound..? Van Morrison… Stiff Little Fingers… Divine Comedy… Cashier No. 9 sound nothing like any of these, but they’re as innovative and different as anything that’s come from the city. They could be from California, or Manchester, or any number of places, having been variously compared with The Byrds, Beach Boys, Stone Roses, Pavement, CSN, The Flaming Lips and many others. Yet with their rich vocal harmonies, bold guitar textures and supremely catchy melodies, they’ve created a sound that’s indeterminably none of these yet equally vibrant.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Volume 41

Here's Looking At You : PINEY GIR : From the album Geronimo!

After tackling electronica with her mid-2000s debut and the sounds of Nashville with her Country Roadshow project, Kansas-born, London-based singer/songwriter Piney Gir (pronounced as in "girl") continues to develop her chameleon-like career with her fifth studio album, Geronimo!,

This is a collection of songs seemingly inspired by the jukebox joints of the '60s. With an impressive array of guest musicians on board, including members of Brian Wilson's band and the Beatles' regular brass section, its 13 tracks certainly come equipped with the right credentials, but luckily Gir's obvious fondness for the era ensures that the material does justice to the esteemed behind-the-scenes team.

No More : THE DOVETAIL JOINTS : From the album Etched Into The Wood

Can tell you nothing about this band except that the album is excellent, and so is this track

I'm His Girl : FRIENDS : From the album Manifest!

I can here you all thinking "The genius of the man! Choosing three tracks that have a similar groove with female vocals AND two of the album titles have an exclamation mark at the end of their name" 
Unfortunately, both the track listing and the album titles are a mere fluke.
Anyway, Friends are a 5 piece band who adopt a pick'n'mix approach to New York's musical history – some girl group here, some early hip-hop there, some punk-funk round the corner. All rather jolly fun

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The big 4-Oh

Happy Horses Always : ROBBERS ON HIGH STREET : From the album Hey There Golden Hair

Sometimes described as the indie scene's most versatile band, because of their ability to switch from blues to pure pop to jazz, this is from their most accomplished album to date. Very reminiscent of an earlier very versatile band ... ok, yea ... The Beatles, this album is full of sparkling, upbeat songs and not one track hits a bum note

My Barbara Closed The Door : DARK OCEAN COLORS : From the album Dark Ocean Colors

If pop groups like the Beatles, Beach Boys, Zombies, Left Banke had continued to mature and flourish past 1969, this is what pop could of / should of sounded like in 1977! It still sounded great in 2011. An album of great tunes, great production values, and a pop masterpiece with a palette consisting of dark ocean colors.

Here Be Lions : APES IN THE ORANGE GROVE : From the album We Got Time

Continuing the theme of Beatle-esque pop, this three-piece Dutch band take their name from a painting by Henri Rousseau. Not only that, but this track is named after Helen Brain's book - a memoir of child abuse. It is, however, a jaunty little number and fits nicely into this collection of classic pop songs