Thursday, January 29, 2009

- Old Grey Whistle Test Archives: U2 1981

Having won friends and influenced people with my first two selections from the OGWT vaults, I now present you with a bunch of young Irish scruffians who completely disappeared from the music scene after this brief three and a half minutes of fame:

For fans of my 'download and keep' policy...

Download the file

- Album Review: Exogamy by Wedlock

You may remember that earlier this month I added my latest addition to my very occasional ‘give ‘em a listen’ section. Those of you who reside in Chapel Hill, NC, as I know so many of you who visit the blog do, may have been lucky enough to see this band in action. Their latest album, Exogamy, was actually released in April of last year, and has so far had three singles released from it, ‘Discopharma’, ‘Still Unsatisfied,’ and most recently the Jonestown-inspired ‘Reverend Charisma’, which I previously praised.

While by no means being trashed, Exogamy has received mixed reviews, but I tend to agree with a comment left by a certain individual identified only as ‘Beatstalker’ to the review on the Music Emissions website, who suggests:

Whoever wrote the last review on Wedlock must have been on crack and I am willing to pay for rehab. Wedlock is an amazing new band that should be on every Ipod in the world.’

The tracks from the album Exogamy, Wedlock's full length debut, are an eclectic bunch of electronica gems. The album was released on Kounterfeit Records last April, 2008. To date, three digital singles have been culled from it, with the band receiving numerous reviews across the web. Wedlock consist of Paul Allgood, Jay Bowden, Ana Mitchell and Baxter Smith and are perhaps best described as a combination of techno pop and digital funk. For me the thing that stands out the most about this album is the diversity of the lyrics and range of song styles. On Exogamy there is a wonderful mix of banging dance tunes (such as ‘Asseswaving’ and ‘Discopharma’), politically charged anthems (see ‘Reverend Charisma’ and ‘Allegiance… WTF’) and even love songs thrown into the mix (‘Black Sundress’).

With their lyrical depth and electronic beats, Wedlock could slowly but surely carve out a niche in the dance scene. Not living on groove alone, Wedlock tries to shake things up with strong personal and sometimes politically charged lyrics. Despite this intensity, Exogamy is often fun, energetic and makes you want to get up and move.

Exogamy is OUT NOW On

Monday, January 26, 2009

- Old Grey Whistle Test Archives: The Specials 1979

How good is this?

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Friday, January 23, 2009

- Podcast 12 in all its glory

Typical, isn’t it? Even though you hadn’t been waiting for me to do a podcast, two of them show up almost at the same time. Believe it or not, I rarely use these as an opportunity to indulge in, er, self indulgence, although I’m perhaps a little guilty this time around, particularly with my first selection, Hole’s 'Celebrity skin'. I did manage to get a reference to ‘Margrave of the Marshes’ in there to throw you off the scent though, plus I have to remember that there are those among you who aren’t quite as approaching middle age as I am and may never have heard it before.

The main reason I had to cobble this podcast together so quickly after the last one is that, by hook or crook, I’ve managed to get hold of a copy of Franz Ferdinand’s new release and have shared 3 tracks from Tonight’ with you today: ‘Ulysses’, ‘Turn it on’ and ‘No you girls’. Another newly released long player I’ve stumbled ass-backwards into owning is John Frusciante’s ‘The Empyrean’, from which you can enjoy the opportunity to listen to his interpretation of ‘Song to the siren’ (including some probably woefully incorrect discussion of the song’s place in Festive 50 lore).

There’s another live selection for you all, this time from The Police. The concert, recorded in Melbourne, Australia in early 1981, is a real curio, as it contains some incredible backstage chatter from the band members and their manager, Miles Copeland (brother of drummer Stewart). Songs you can enjoy are: Voices inside my head / Don’t stand so close to me / Walking on the Moon / De do do do, de da da da / backstage interview / When the World is running down, you make the best of what’s still around / Message in a bottle / Roxanne / backstage interview / Can’t stand losing you / Reggatta de blanc / Be my girl / So lonely.

Peel session lovers can also get their fix with what is, for me at least, a classic from Adam and the Ants, originally broadcast on 30th October, 1978. The session tracks are: Deutscher girls / Lou / It doesn't matter / Puerto Rican. Keeping with the Peel theme, I play one of my favourite Festive 50 tracks from the ‘80s, 19 Blancmange’s 'Living on the ceiling', which I think is the first 45rpm that I bought with my own pocket money.

Other tracks featured include Cocteau Twins’ ‘Pitch the baby’, Polly Paulusma’s ‘Back to the start’, Nightjar’s ‘Poor man's son’, ‘Bad before good’ by Day One, Kalli’s ‘It's over’, ‘Lord, Ive been on fire’ by BC Camplight, Soundgarden’s ‘Like suicide’, ‘N.T. parts 1 & 2 [original full length album version]’ by Kool & the gang and Jesse Malin’s ‘Broken radio’.

Click here or scroll down a bit for download / listen now options.

- Franz Ferdinand's new album: PODCAST 12

As is the norm these days, I'll post the download and listen now links here and give details of the tracks in a separate post, to appear later today. The post title should give you a hint as to the content.

Download the file

Download: 125mb for more than 2 hours of smashing tunes. Alternatively, listen now:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

- Old Grey Whistle Test Archives: Tubeway Army 1979

If the ever wonderful Davy can write one word and get a gazillion comments, I reckon I can get away with a single sentence.

Also available for download...

Download the file

Thursday, January 15, 2009

- Podcast 7 in all its glory

So, here's the highlights of the mega podcast. First up from Hamilton, Ontario, we have Vatican Chainsaw Massacre and their track 'The Not So Hidden Agenda' from their 2008 album 'Hazy Skies Over Martha's Vineyard'. to continue my antitdote to my 1976 blues, I've chosen 'Fight the Power', the 1989 classic by Public Enemy. I've also included an old favourite from Sneaker Pimps.

Three tracks from the new Morrissey album 'Years of Refusal' feature, 'Something Is Squeezing My Skull', 'Mama Lay Softly on the Riverbed' and 'Black Cloud'. There are also a couple of funk classics; Curtis Mayfield's awesome 'Pusherman' and James Brown's epic 'Stone to the Bone'.

There are two full Peel sessions; Hagar the womb's one and only session from 1984 and the classic 1983 session from Culture. The podcast also includes tracks from Levy (Glorious), Asobi Seksu (Thursday), BC Camplight (Lord, I've been on Fire), Land of Talk (Young Bridge) and Stalkers (Let's Get it Together). I really think there's a bit of something for everyone on this podcast, so please give it a listen.

Click here or scroll down a bit for download / listen now options.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

- Morrissey's new album: PODCAST 7

Chronologically this is nowhere near being my seventh podcast, but I recently noticed a cockup in my numbering system, i.e. I hadn't named one of the podcasts #7. Why am I even bothering telling you this? The title of the post might give you a clue as to some of the content. I'll be back with a fully informative post about the tracks I've played tomorrow, laziness and procrastination permitting. For those of you who can't wait...

Download the file

130ish mb for an incredible two and a quarter hours of entertainment, by far my most ambitious effort yet. Alternatively, listen now...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

- Post Festive Season Chillout #14: 1996

Work has been a real bugger recently and I apologise for not finishing this lot off earlier. This is just a short one with the links, I'm afraid. Hopefully, normal service will be resumed shortly.

The 1996 Festive 50:

21st December: here, here, here and here.

22nd: here, here and here.

28th: here, here, here and here.

29th: here, here, here and here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

- Give em a Listen: Wedlock

Wedlock-Reverend Charisma,Kounterfeit

Wedlock - Reverend Charisma (Kounterfeit Records) is available NOW on iTunes

The ‘Peoples Temple Agricultural Project’, more infamously known as Jonestown, was an intentional community in northwestern Guyana formed by the ‘Peoples Temple’, a cult from California, United States, led by Jim Jones. It was to become internationally notorious due to the events of November, 1978, when more than 900 people died in the commune as well as in a nearby airstrip and in Georgetown, Guyana's capital. All but two of those who died did so from apparent cyanide poisoning in an event Jones named 'revolutionary suicide'. It is the largest known mass suicide in modern history and resulted in the largest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the events of September 11th, 2001.

These events have inspired the notion that ‘religiosity leads to insanity’ which serves as the basic concept for the latest single from North Carolina band Wedlock. The electro pop outfit is made up of Paul Allgood, Baxter Smith, and Lee Whitsel. Their full length debut album, ‘Exogamy’, was released in spring 2008 on Kounterfeit Records and ‘Reverend Charisma’ is their latest digital single currently released to iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, and other digital download sites. The track is also available for streaming on their myspace page, and direct downloads are available there as well.

Wedlock-P.Allgood,B Smith,L.Whitsel

Gigging regularly in their local neck of the woods, you can keep up with what the band are doing on their blog ( I like the new single, the third from the album, a lot and recommend you give it a listen. There’s a definite edge to the lyrics, as you’d expect given the subject matter, and the electronic beats remind me of jittery mid-era Depeche Mode, although I’m sure you’ll disagree.

Wedlock - Reverend Charisma (Kounterfeit Records) is available NOW on iTunes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

- Post Festive Season Chillout #13: 1998

I'm starting to regret committing to getting all the fifties out there, but there you go! On to 1998 then, a time when I was living in the United States and generally gaining lots of weight. Speaking of America, this was the year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which basically centered around how scandallous it was for any woman to not wash a dress covered with semen for several months. Elsewhere, the world was intrduced to the iMac:

The IMac

In football, England were undone at the world cup by those dastardly Argentinians:

Why David, why?

The 1998 Festive 50 was broadcast over several nights, and you can listen to all shows by clicking here, here, here (22nd Dec), here, here, here (23rd), here, here, here (29th), here, here and here (30th).

Friday, January 2, 2009

- Post Festive Season Chillout #12: 2002

2002: it feels like yesterday, doesn't it? Well, it does when you're my age and have been in the same job since then. The slow but steady collapse of capitalism began when the United States Department of Justice announced it was going to pursue a criminal investigation of those bastards at Enron. HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother of the United Kingdom popped her clogs at the spritely age of 156, Russia started beating the shit out of Chechnya and in Bali, terrorists detonated bombs in two nightclubs in Kuta, killing 202 and wounding over 300. Worst of all though was that the Eurovision Song Contest still hadn't been outlawed, Latvia trouncing allcomers with this effort...

Marija Naumova's 'I wanna'

For those other than I who are starting to feel their age, draw inspiration from Michael Jordan's almost last stand, as in this year he became the oldest man, at 38, to score more than 50 points in a game:

That man really could bounce a ball

I think I'm right in thinking that the whole fifty was broadcast on Boxing Day (although I wait for you tell me otherwise). This wasn't one of my favourite fifties although it did contain this track from one of my favourite bands:

A phenomenal video for this year's joint #27

To listen to this festive extravaganza, you can do so by clicking here. I'll try and complete all the 50s in the next few days, I promise.

Who was John Peel?

The philosophy of this blog is a celebration of music in the spirit of the late John Peel. For those of you who want to learn more, click here.

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