Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter Warmer 2 - Pumpkin Soup with Honey and Cloves + Peanut Butter Wolf

Errrr.....ok. Here's the belated second winter warmer (yes Mish, I owe around 8 recipes now!). Why belated? Well, I haven't been blogging very much this year due to new work, being out and about Lahndahn town more often, and not being tied to a computer in my free moments. Anyhoo, here be the recipe kids and the tasty beats to go with it. Yum.

Pumpkin Soup with Honey and Cloves
(courtesy of Epicurious)


2 tablespoon (1/4 stick) butter
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 2-pound pumpkin peeled, seeded, chopped (about 6 cups)
6 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
5 whole cloves
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey

Melt butter in sauce pan/pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion; sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add pumpkin, 6 cups stock and cloves. Cover and simmer until pumpkin is very tender, about 25 minutes.

Discard cloves. Purée soup in batches in blender. Return to sauce pan/pot. Stir in cream and honey. Bring to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Bring to simmer before serving, thinning with more stock, if desired.)

That's pretty much it. I've tried it twice now and it's not a bad lil' soup at all. As for the beats to go with it, try Peanut Butter Wolf's Bass Your Car Streets and Party Fresh Beats. From De La to Nas, Silver Apples to Prince, it's another fine selection from the Stones Throw head honcho. Peep it here, or if you want it on one of those shiny disc things known as a 'CD' (wha?) then head over to Heavy Crates (my new favourite UK HH mail order site) or Hip Hop Vinyl.

Right. Back in a day or two (honest!) with my favourite gigs of the year. Until then, how's about some new Hot Chip?

Hot Chip
- Ready for the Floor

And for the dancefloor, the Soulwax re-rub to boot. Do those Dewale brothers ever flunk out when it comes to remixes?

Hot Chip - Ready for the Floor

Monday, October 22, 2007

Winter Warmer 1 - Mushroom Soup and Fabric Live 36

In honour of the days getting shorter, the nights getting longer, and the cold...well, getting colder, I decided that last week it was time to make the first soup of the season. After visiting the hustle and bustle of Dalston market to pick up provisions, I got started on making what turned out to be quite a nice mushroom soup. As much fun as getting culinary on the weekend is (and believe me, chopping up shallots and blending mushrooms is much more fun than anything the Primrose hill set get up to), what really helps while slicing and dicing is what's on the stereo, because sometimes you need some musical motivation to make sure you spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying what you've just whipped up. So, in what may become a weekly feature on this blog (well, we'll see about that) here's a simple soup recipe to warm up your body, and a fine audio selection to nod your head to whilst straining and stirring.

Right, this one's easy (as it says below). I used around 500g of button mushrooms, 250g of chestnut mushrooms, and around 250g of porcini, shitake and oyster mushrooms, although I guess you can vary the ratio of each according to what type of mushrooms you can get your hands on. I found that the only laborious part of the process came when straining the rough soup (it took an aaaaaaaaaaaaagggggge before I had at least a litre of smooth soup) so make sure you blend it as smoothly as possible to speed up the process. Oh, and while truffle oil is easier to find than it was when I started my attempts at cooking several years ago, you still have to search for it as it's not exactly something that your local Sainsbury's would probably have (mine stopped stocking it a few months ago). I eventually found some at Fresh and Wild, with a small bottle costing around 8 quid a pop. It's well worth having some in the cupboard, as it's a great finishing touch. Don't worry about the cost either as a little oil goes a long way.

Ahem. Now, about those beats.

Punkin' Machine - I Need You Tonight
(from Fabric Live 36 mixed by James Murphy and Pat Mahoney)

Surely the best Fabric compilation since last year's Cut Copy helmed Fabric Live 29, the LCD Soundsyem/DFA boffins get down to the D.I.S.C.O with a bag of classic NYC 70s and 80s cuts, alongside their own exclusive track Hippie Priest Bum-Out. My favourite though has to be the slick choice of Punkin' Machine, which brought a tear of joy to my eye. Of course, those tears came while I was chopping shallots so maybe it wasn't exactly joy induced eye-leakage, but it's still a cracking choice. Oh, and head down to Fabric on Thursday 25th October to catch the lads spin a record or two. Tix here, space disco guaranteed.

Creamy Mushroom soup (recipe by Thomasina Miers via UKTV Food)

* Servings: makes about 2 litres
* Level of difficulty: Easy
* Preparation Time: 15 minutes
* Cooking Time: 30 minutes


* 750g field mushrooms
* 250g assorted wild mushrooms
* 2 tsp butter
* 2 large Shallots, chopped
* 1 garlic clove, sliced
* 1 litre chicken stock
* 500ml Milk
* 100ml double cream
* Truffle oil, to taste
* salt and pepper

1. Roughly chop the mushrooms.

2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan, tip in the shallots and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened, but not coloured.

3. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened - about 5-7 minutes.

4. Cover with the chicken stock and milk and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

5. Using an electric hand blender, whiz the soup until smooth. Pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan to remove any mushroom pieces.

6. Stir in the cream and season with truffle oil, salt and pepper. Reheat the soup before serving.

Errrr......fin! Now dish that dish and dig in. More soup and beats same time next week.

* In other DFA/Cutters related news, head over to Modular People to hear So Haunted, another indication that Cut Copy and Tim Goldsworthy are indeed a match made in heaven. Australian readers - go out and see the boys (plus hot to trot countrymen and fine fellows Damn Arms) as they run around Australia next month.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

New Diplo mix / Check the Technique

New music anyone?

* First up, head over to FiftyOne:FiftyOne for a cracking mix from Diplo which he whipped up for Radio 1's Essential Mix show. Plenty of tunes crammed into two hours with everything from M.I.A. (natch) to Bart Simpson (remember this?) with Joakim, A Tribe Called Quest and Nirvana in between. Quality.

* A tip from my law-talkin' sister led me to Drop It In Their Laps, the latest LP from The Cops. Taking musical cues from Chic, Talking Heads and David Bowie amongst others, Drop It In Their Laps is an certainly an eclectic affair. While not every track works, there are more hits than misses, each bullseye a showcase for the band's pop sensibilities. Hot Weapon is just one example, complete with an ending reminiscent of Bowie's Modern Love. Hey, what's not to like?

The Cops - Hot Weapon

* The Lock Tavern family of 'tarted-up boozers' (their words, not mine) is expanding again with the opening of The Amersham Arms in New Cross. Set to carry on the spirit of the pub's recent offerings before being taken drafted into the Lock family, expect plenty of live nights, comedy, art exhibitions, great DJ nights and damn fine bood and beverages. For their opening night on October 12 they've managed to call in a few friends to help celebrate. Deckwork will be provided by Hot Chip, Sinden, Filthy Dukes, El Plate, Casper C, Nasty McQuaid and Ben UFO. Not bad huh, and it's just 7 quid (a fiver if you're one of those studenty types) to get in. Plus, expect David E Sugar, XX Teens, Kevin Rowland, Don Letts, Fourtet and Findlay Brown to strut their stuff in the following weeks. Splendid stuff, and they serve Glasto cider too!

* Pinback are coming to town. Yes, Armistead and Rob are finally coming back to the UK in November, with a London show on November 22 at 229. Tix here, and given the strength new album Autumn of the Seraphs (one of 2007's best) it's a fair bet that it'll sell out too.

Pinback - From Nothing To Nowhere

Old music anyone?

* Hands up who thinks tomes on hip hop history are few and far between? Considering the movement is only three decades young, it's obvious that it'll take some time before more books like the essential Can't Stop Won't Stop hit the shelves to satisfy readers hungry to learn more about the four elements.

In particular, hip hop writing suffers from a lack of documentation of the movement's classic records and the people behind them. Maybe it's because of the early focus on the single (especially in regards to deejaying) than the album that there aren't any essential books dealing with the minutiae behind albums such as Raising Hell, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Criminal Minded, or Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em (kidding). Until now that is.

Check the Technique makes up for lost time by focusing on 36 classic albums and the people behind them. Pieced together from countless interviews with the artists themselves, producers, DJs, label men and managers, Brian Coleman's book is a thorough look at how some of the best albums in hip hop history were made. It's perfect to dip in and out of, and provides new information on records that you've heard hundreds of times, or not at all, straight from the people that made them. One for the Christmas list, and the library too.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Nope, we're not shutting up shop, k?

Time flies when you're....

* in a new job
* entertaining visitors from overseas
* busy running errands
* playing records
* errr....

But hopefully normal service will resume this weekend. Scouts honour!

Meanwhile, I'll be playing records all weekend.....yes yes. Come down to Catch on Friday where I'll be coming off the subs bench to play alongside sioux-elin at Vinyl Glamour from 9.30pm (get well soon Lazy L!)

Saturday? After a kip and some quality time spent in the kitchen, it's off to the always lovely Defectors Weld (8.30pm till 1am). It's a bit of a warm up set for Sunday - the closing party of this year's Raindance Film Festival at Sound nightclub in Leicester Square. Hanging out with the next bunch of Spielbergs , Fords, Scotts, No matter, it'll be pretty fun.

Until this weekend's proper bumper comeback post, I'll leave y'all with this clip (gold!), and this much would you pay?*

* I went the whole hog and got the discbox. And apparantly, I'm not the only one it seems.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Midnight Juggernauts / Cobra Dukes

A message to all Australian readers - Pop down to your local rekkid store this weekend. Grab a couple of those plastic notes from your wallet (a red 20 and perhaps a pink 5 should do the trick), lay them down on the counter and ask politely for the brand-spanking new Midnight Juggernauts album, Dystopia. Smile at the guy/gal behind the counter, then thank them. Take it home. Play it. Load it onto your new-fangled MPFree player. Tell your friends. Spread the word. Yup, this album is just a lil' bit special.

Oh, and if you don't live in Australia then you can order it from Inertia, Chaos or Red Eye.

Midnight Juggernauts - Into The Galaxy

* Speaking of Australian niceness that comes in the form of music, Cobra Dukes released their debut single last Monday, and it's also just a wee bit special. The first release on new label Prestel as of last Monday, Leave The Light On has the right blend of dark, off-kilter pop and early Factory style vocals (yes, the names 'Ian' and 'Curtis' spring to mind, but with a touch of 'David' and 'Byrne'). They're playing tonight at The Luminaire in Kilburn, and for 5 of your English pounds you too can see what all the fuss is about.

Grab Leave The Light On at Beatport and Phonica.

* It's the Red Pandas up against reigning champs Otters In Love for the title of 'Darned cutest You Tube animal'. No contest - Red pandas all the way (like Stephanie Kaye).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just for one day

Seriously kids, if you haven't seen Heroes yet (either on Sci-Fi channel or through nefarious tinterweb-assisted means) then this Wednesday on BBC2 at 9pm is your chance. Normal peeps suddenly discovering they have super powers which enable them to fly, read minds, heal, walk through walls and time travel. Plus, it's got Conor Oberst in the lead role! Well, maybe not.....

Who's your favourite cast member?

* This week I have mostly been listening to.....Black Sheep. A throwback from 1991, Dres and Mista Lawnge's easy, laidback rhymes are recommended for anybody bored of the current state of hip-hop (I mean really, have there been any must have longplayers this year? Jeez, I though last year was bad...)

Black Sheep - The Choice Is Yours

Friday, July 13, 2007

Got my Simpsons Vans on and they look like sneakers

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. - That's the way you spell a good day's shopping, or summin' like that. (Imagine hearing the JUSTICE kiddies singing that...)

Following on from yesterday's hint, Codename Sparrow and myself hit the new Oxfam in Dalston, and found quite a nice addition to the strip of chicken shops, fabric warehouses, pound shops and warehouses that is Kingsland Rd. There was a poor CD selection, which was beside the point really, as it meant we could get down to business and start combing through the 49p and 99p rekkids. Near misses? Well, Leather and Lace: Volume Two was the end I plumped for two albums - Prince's 1999 and Duran Duran's Rio. Sure, obvious choices you might say, and I'd have to agree with you. However, if there's ever a need to play at a wedding in the next few years then these would both make the shortlist for the appropriate record bag.

The catch of the day came near the end of the search, just as we hit the 7's. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the 1985 power ballad from four sharply dressed lads, Mr Mister. Pure. Solid. Gold.

Mr Mister - Broken Wings

To this day, I can still remember hearing this for the first time on a car trip in country Australia when I was young nipper whilst listening to Barry Bissell's Take 40 Australia chart countdown (the Australian version of Rick Dees Weekly Top 40, or Top Of The Pops). The synths, the electronic drums, the soft wailing guitar, and the pleading of singer Richard Page, knowing that 'the look of love will open up for us and let us in' (yeah yeah!). Some people may tarnish songs such as Broken Wings with the lazy (and opportunist) 'Guilty Pleasure' tag, but it still raises a smile every time I hear it, whether in the background while eating a hangover special at the local caff, or whilst playing GTA. Class.

And the clip - I swear, wife beaters and jackets are a winning sartorial one-two.

Later on in the day, I headed over to Brick Lane to check out the mighty fine Super Deluxe, where instead of picking up a pair of the new Marc Jacobs Vans (tasty), I grabbed the last pair of the nice nice Nike Court Force High's designed by Jeff Staple. Merino wool on a sneaker? You betcha.

But now I've found the next target on my shopping list. Feast your peepers on these.

Yup. Limited edition Vans designed by Kaws to commemorate The Simpsons Movie opening later this month. Head over to Freshness Mag for the rest of them (the Futura and Todd James pairs are also nifty too).

Speaking of all things Simpsonic, I followed the lead of Mish from I Used To Dance With My Daddy and pimped my yellow ass right up, avatar stylee.

Only problem is, I haven't been clean shaven in five years! It looks like some Photoshop hijinks might be the only way to get a true Major Leaguer likeness, although right now I've got other things to do with my time, such as packing my trunk for the land of Swedes.....

Sonic Youth - Theme from The Simpsons

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Animal Collective / Fill your boots with Phil!

* Shhhhh....I really shouldn't be saying this, but what the hey. One of my favourite not-so-secret second hand stores, the Oxfam store on Kingsland Rd in Dalston, has just been split into two. The old store continues to sell clothes, toys, furniture and what not, while the new fangled store (situated just a few doors down) is solely devoted to records and books. Myself and Codename Sparrow are going to visit it tomorrow to look for bargains (unlike the wonderful sitemaster of Dalston Oxfam Shop whose discoveries are of a different nature, though no less important!). Still, if you ever need twelve copies of No Jacket Required, you know where to go.

* I'm off to the land of moose and trolls on Friday, but if I wasn't then you'd probably find me at these two pardees this weekend. The lads from West London's finest hip-hop night, Yo Yo at Notting Hill Arts Club, are headlining this Friday's Modular party at Ditch. Joining Seb Chew and Leo Greenslade will be the peeps from the mighty fine FACT magazine, Faggotronix, the Modular DJs themselves, and some special guests (nope, don't have the foggiest who they be....don't ask me, I won't be here!). Anyway, here's the fwyer.

If the hip to the hop ain't your bag of kittens, then why not have a night off (pfft), and rest up for Saturday's Vive La France secret warhouse party. Starts off at The Horse & Groom before heading to ...well, you guessed it, a secret warehouse. But the line-up is aceness indeed. David K, Muriel Moreno, the Girlcore ladiez, and more. Details below.

* The delightful Animal Collective are playing tonight at the Coronet in Elephant & Castle, playing songs old and new, the new being tracks from their upcoming Strawberry Jam album, out September 10. If they play this then I'll probably giggle like a school girl. Check the gorgeous clip below as well.

Animal Collective - Fireworks

* Finally, I didn't get to go see one of Trousersnake's shows at the White Eleph...sorrry, Millenium Do...sorry, 'behemoth phone company' Arena, but my man Beez from 16 33 45 78 did, and his review hits the nail right on the head. If you ever want to blow money on a pop concert with the works, checking out the Snake is highly recommended. More on the moro.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hiding? / Pinback

Has it been this long? Have I been this busy? Well, yes and no. Life certainly hasn't been ordinary recently, and while the parties have been proper (this weekend was a blast), it hasn't all been rosy either. Made some ace new friends, and lost a dear one. Saw some great gigs (Interpol, JMC, Daft Punk). Finally escaping the smoggy town to soak up the summer sun in Sweden, providing a much needed battery charge (thanks UK Passport service! About time....)

So anyway, to recapitulate, I had a break. And now.... time for normal service to resume.....

Who likes new music? Come on down kids.

Picture courtesy of baonguyen

* Here's one that's not out until September, but too tasty not to preview. Pinback's last album, 2004's Summer in Abaddon was one of the most refreshing indie records for many a year. Simple, stripped back harmonies, on-point drumming, and Rob Crow's off-kilter vocals made for something more than the sum of its parts, and certainly scored props from the indie mafia (Pitchfork, The OC etc.)

The follow up, Autumn Of The Seraphs, seems a much more contemplative affair. While Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV continue to mine the same territory that made Summer a staple on the Urban Outfitters stereo, the melancholy that surrounds Autumn makes for a more satisfying listen. Tracks such as Subbing For Eden and Walters don't hit home until the third or fourth spin, giving them time to burrow deep and plant their seeds. The metronomic Devil You Know is one of the many nautically-based songs on Autumn ('We crash into the rocks below') alongside Good To Sea and How We Breathe, conjuring images of sunken treasure, sand between toes, and rising tides. Those wanting something more substantial will be served well by the bookend tracks From Nothing To Nowhere and Off By 50; indeed it's almost as if both tracks came from splitting Summer's closing bruiser AFK with an axe. More of a side-step than a distillation of Pinback's 'commercial' efforts, Autumn shows Crow and Smith continue to perplex and beguile in equal measures.

Pinback - Subbing For Eden

* Let's go shopping. I'll take these kicks please.

And this tee.

Oh, and I'm sure I could find a new cap here.

And some rekkids? Sure, I'll just head over to Brick Lane. Well, in a week or so (July 20 to be exact).


* More tomorrow. Until then, why not become addicted to the strange world of cat lolz? I could browse I Can Has Cheezburger for days....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Two turntables and no microphone

Shameless plug...shameless plug...shameless plug....but if you come down tomorrow night I'm sure you'll hear this! Playing three times in four days meant that I played a heck of a lot of records of all types of genres (even Toto!), but this track seemed to fit into every set. Just lovely.

- I Get Around (Midnight Juggernauts mix)

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shellac @ Koko

All photos courtesy of Jonathan Dadds

Last Thursday saw Steve Albini and his Shellac roadshow come to town with one of the most impressive concerts I've seen in years. Highlights? 'Prayer To God' and 'Squirrel Song' from 1000 Hurts were greeted with cheers (well, as many cheers as the audience, the majority being mostly male music geeks like myself, could muster). New tracks 'The End Of Radio' and 'Steady As She Goes' were also received like old favourites, possibly because they'd been floating around the highways and byways of the web for almost two years, the only evidence of new material from the band.

A hilarious five minute diatribe by drummer Todd Trainer was another memorable moment, especially as he started by talking about AC/DC and ended with a shout out to the Costa coffee shop across from the venue, where the fuel which gave power to his bizarre rant originated.

Bassist Bob Weston was also on fine form, leading the now traditional 'Q and A' sessions with the audience between songs. Subject matter included his beloved Chicago baseball team ('How's the Cubs doing? The Cubs? They lost 6 and 5 to the Mets last night') to rejecting song requests (Audience member: 'Play Crow!', to which Weston responded 'If you shout it out, I guarantee we won't play it').

Most importantly though, the one question which everybody wanted an answer to ensured that the long seven year wait between Shellac albums would soon be over.

'When's the album coming out? June 5'

So to celebrate, head over to the very fine Something I Learned Today for a taster from Excellent Italian Greyhound (the post might be eighteen months old, but that's how long these tracks have been around for).

And here's my highlight of the night.

Shellac - Squirrel Song

* Do you care about the future of internet radio? Don't let the US House of representatives assist Clear Channel and other corporate behemoths water down the choice of music on the airwaves. Sign the petition at Save Net Radio and help keep internet radio alive.

* The new Nine Inch Nails album is certainly a vast improvement on With Teeth, and it looks like Trent has continued his knack for finding the right folks to re-work his vignettes on machines, modern life & 'merica. Come on down Dave 'Switch' Taylor - your leather pants await!

Grab the Switch remix at I Heart Comix.

Here's the fine Bush-baiting original.

Nine Inch Nails
- Capital G

Monday, May 14, 2007

Farewell Blades (and God too)

Poor Sheffield United. I can't say I'm one of Neil Warnock's biggest fans, but he does give good soundbites, making a comedic alternative to most of the cliche-laden managers in the Premiership (apart from the 'special one' - everything that comes from his mouth is a joke, especially his post Champions League semi-final comments). Who would have thought a decade ago that relegation from the top-flight would cost 30 million quid?

In other action, God bowed out without a goal.

Luckily, Harry saved the day and may have landed a seat on the plane to Athens in the process. Now, if he could just nick one in the final....

Enjoy Bolton's retirement home Robbie. We'll always have the memories, right?

Bob Dylan
- You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
Mick Harvey - I Have Come To Tell You That I'm Going (Serge Gainsbourg cover)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Elliott Smith - New Moon

This week sees the release of Elliott Smith's New Moon, a collection of demos and rare tracks from 1995-97, and unlike posthumous releases from other artists the tracks featured on the two disc set have been left in the state Smith recorded them in (apart from the odd digital polish and shine). Hearing these songs, many for the first time, makes me realise just how gifted Smith was, a musician with a knack for lacing his songs with simple melodies while his confessional and often bittersweet lyrics floated on top, waiting patiently for the nearest passerby to come along and extend a hand. With New Moon, it's safe to say that Smith's passion and talent won't ever be left to drown because he touched far too many of us to ever let such a thing happen.

Elliott Smith
- Miss Misery (early version)

Elliott Smith - New Disaster

Buy New Moon from Amazon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Architecture in Helsinki / Meltdown 2007

* New Architecture In Helsinki? Now that's something to get excited about. 'Heart It Races' is the first single from the band's new album, Places Like This and it's a calypso-tinged tune that strolls up to you in a charity store college b-ball tee, skinny black jeans, and Chuck Taylors before pulling back your hair and whispering in your ear, 'Hey man, let's get some cider, grab a frisbee and head to the park'. Summer all over.

Hear it at AIH's MySpace page.

As a special treat, I've been sent the DJ/Rupture remix of 'Heart It Races' featuring Lee G, and it's even toastier. Buss it.

Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races (DJ/Rupture's Ital Hymn remix feat Mr. Lee G)

Pre-order 'Heart It Races' from Polyvinyl.

Jarvis (taken by Phil Sharp)

* Motorhead, Melanie or Gonzales? Jarvis, don't make me choose! This year's Meltdown festival, at the refurbished Southbank centre in June, is being curated by Mr Cocker himself and it's certainly an eclectic collection of artists who've been invited by the ex-Pulp singer to perform. The first evening features Lemmy and the gang, a folk icon, and the quirky pianist/MC/singer. Three wonderful acts, but in three venues and all on the same night! And on June 18 there's another difficult decision - Sunn O))) or ex-13th Floor Elevators singer Roky Erickson? Thankfully, JMC will be performing solely on Friday June 23rd (well if you reform you've got to have a MySpace, let alone a website...).

Then there's Devo, John Barry, Don Letts, Clinic......oh Jarvis, you do spoil us. Tickets on sale from Thursday May 3rd (click here).

Jarvis Cocker - Black Magic

The 13th Floor Elevators
- You're Gonna Miss Me (available on The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators)

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Reverence (Live in New York, 1992)

* What's the time? It's time....for another Beastie Boys record.

Instrumental too, as The Mix-Up is sans vocal if you know what I mean. Here's the tracklist.

1. B For My Name
2. 14th St. Break
3. Suco De Tangerina
4. The Gala Event
5. Electric Worm
6. Freaky Hijiki
7. Off The Grid
8. The Rat Cage
9. The Melee
10. Dramastically Different
11. The Cousin Of Death
12. The Kangaroo Rat

What's with the rat fascination anyway? The Mix-Up drops on June 18.

* And it's bye bye to the Special One and the Blues.

Number six in Athens?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Hip Hop Sgt Peppers?!?!

Although I've always been in the Revolver camp instead of the Peppers camp, I've got to give props to this. Solid gold. Well done DK.

Not sure about Speakerboxx/The Love Below being one of the top 20 hip hop albums, and indeed some of the other choices that made DK's list (Blue Lines hip hop?) but you can't argue with The Low End Theory's place (and yes, it's better than Midnight Marauders, no questions asked. Read this blog's motto, listen, and learn)

A Tribe Called Quest
- Check The Rhime

It's Jack Daniel's time: T-Model Ford / Saint Etienne

Two enduring images of the legendary Mississippi bluesman T-Model Ford's concert at The Spitz on Saturday night, the final performance of this year's 'Spitz Festival of Blues'.

* The instructions which greeted us upon our arrival at the venue:

Apologies for the blurred image. It says 'Management requests that you do not buy alcohol for T-Model Ford. Thank you for your co-operation'.

Considering Ford is 86 years old, I guess the promoters and venue owners would like to make sure he didn't have one bourbon too many, although considering between every song Ford would utter eagerly to the rapturous crowd - 'It's Jack Daniel's time', I have a funny feeling he can probably handle his drink (his other catchphrase of the night - 'And that's for God damn sure', seemed to be the tag line to every story he told whilst on stage e.g. 'If you have a lady with you tonight, make sure she's got a stamp on her. If your lady doesn't have a stamp on her, she's mine. 'Cause I'm a ladies man....and that's for God damn sure!').

Seeing Ford play for over two-and-a-half hours with very few breaks between songs certainly was a super-human feat, as I don't think I've ever been to a gig where at the end of the night the audience was more exhausted than the artist in front of them. The man's enthusiasm for playing was so infectious that despite constant calls from his drummer (and support act) Lightnin' Malcolm to end the set, Ford's charm and enthusiasm for playing 'The Tail Dragon', which was a replacement for his previously stolen guitar which he called 'Black Nanny', made sure there was always one more encore to come. Eventually at 12.30am the performance was finally curtailed to ensure Ford and Malcolm had ample chance to rest before their flight out of London only 5-and-a-half hours later, but not before Ford shook every audience members hand, most aware that they may never get to witness such a sight again.

T-Model Ford: A Blues Legend? That's for God damn sure.

* Tonight sees Saint Etienne preview some new material (in secret!) ahead of their 'This Is Tomorrow' performance at the Royal Festival Hall in June. I'm looking forward to seeing how they've come up with a soundtrack to what was one of London culture's most quirky and ambitious events, The Festival of Britain, staged at the south bank of the Thames in 1951, in an area which funnily enough became known as...wait for it....the South Bank. I've very much enjoyed the events which the group have put on as part of their role as artists in residence this year at the South Bank Centre, which have consisted of the various Turntable Cafe club nights (themes included The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Welsh Pop and of course, The Festival of Britain) and culminating in June's premiere work from the fine purveyors of pop themselves. Tickets on sale from the Southbank box office (click here).

Saint Etienne - The Way We Live Now (from Finisterre - available at Amazon)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Blonde Redhead

A couple of years ago my good friend Codename Sparrow urged me to check out a band from New York by the name of Blonde Redhead. I had a listen to their album at the time, Misery Is A Butterfly, but for some strange reason it just didn't do anything for me, despite the added attraction of Fugazi's Guy Piccotto helming the boards. Then two years later I came across a copy of the album in a charity shop for 50p, and since picking it up it's become one of my favourite albums in recent memory. The gorgeous, lilting vocals of Kazu Makino, Simone Pace's on-point drumming, and twin brother Amedeo Pace's knack for creating melodies which wouldn't seem out of place whilst walking through a haunted fairground combine to produce songs which remain with you long after you've heard them, digging deeper into your soul. They're one of the few bands around who can illicit feelings of euphoria and despair in the space of four and a half minutes.

The band's latest album 23 has just been released in the UK on 4AD, and with Alan Moulder helping out on the final stages of production this time around it appears they've gone for a heavier and more focused sound considering Moulder's previous work (well, just a few small bands such as The Killers, U2 and Nine Inch Nails. No biggies really). Opener and title track '23' is a sign that the band have found a perfect marriage between the dreamy soundscapes of previous albums, and a pop sensibility that occasionally snuck through on their last album as Makino's vocals fly against a dirge of MBV style guitars and percussion. One of the first hidden treasures of 2007? You betcha.

Blonde Redhead - 23


Blonde Redhead - Melody (from Misery Is A Butterfly)

Blonde Redhead play Koko on May 30. Tickets available from TicketWeb.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Never mess with the purple one (that includes you Justin)

What was Sir Trouser of Snake thinking when he dissed Prince on 'Give It To Me'? He should have just came out guns blazing and picked on Purp's bad marriages, height, and clear lack of musical direction for the last decade, instead of a verse full of half-arsed taunts that don't hold up to further scrutiny. Now, Flairs on the other hand simply says he can do anything under the sun better than Ol' Squiggly Symbol, and states his claims on top of some sly funk bass, woozy fizzes and handclaps galore, instead of petulantly whining over a glitch pop track. Maybe the three of them should just duke it out in a cage, Ryan Atwood style. Whilst wearing wife-beaters. Natch.

Sigh, I'm having OC withdrawal symptoms already. At least there's Heroes to fill the void, although Wendy Melvoin's no Ben Gibbard - now I'm sure she could think of a million ways to get Prince riled (How's that for a cyclical post?)

Flairs - Better Than Prince (instrumental)
(hear the full version here, or buy it from Rough Trade and Phonica)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A bonafide House Party selection

Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of playing at Harley Moon's very fine house party, while this Saturday I'm at home blogging, and possibly still recovering from said party (yeah, it was a tad messy). After a frenetic tag team set between the pair of us, Mr Moon dazzled the kids with a fine set of his own. Listening to his latest podcast reminds me that sometimes you don't always have to whip out what every blogger or indie/electro DJ is playing, when a well crafted selection of well known tracks and forgotten treats will do the job too.

Mr Moon - Podcast 6

Catch the curly haired lad at Mindie's 1st birthday bash on May 11 at 93 Feet East.

* Spoon have a new record coming out(hurrah!).
It's called Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (wha?).
And Jon Brion's produced a track on it (hurrah!).
But you'll have to wait until July 10 to buy it (hurrah! Hang on, that's not right...)

So maybe if you play both of these together you'll get an idea of what it sounds like. Or maybe not.

Spoon - Jonathon Fisk (from Kill The Moonlight)
Jon Brion - I Believe She's Lying (from Meaningless)

*Bonus Brion cut? Oh, why the hell not.

Aimee Mann - Superball (from I'm With Stupid, produced by Brion)

Another day, another petition....

Apparently it seems you just can't break into spontaneous song in a pub anymore without making sure the landlord has paid their £21 live licence fee. The Times Online explains the ludicrous reasons behind the law.

If you agree that the Licensing Act is daft, head over to Number 10's official petition page (la-di-da!) to add your name to the growing list of level-headed people who like a good sing-a-long. Sheesh.....

* In a related note to yesterday's post, Modular and Scruffy Bird just so happen to be putting on a show at The Spitz this coming Tuesday the 24th, so if ever there was a way to show your support for the venue then this is it. C'mon, have a gander at the line-up.

Bonde Do Role
The Foals
The SoftLightes

What?!? That's unsane! Ridonkulous! Entry's only £4 (wha?!?) and the whole she-bang kicks off at 8pm with first band on at 8.30pm.

Bonde Do Role - Gasolina (Radioclit remix)
Bonde Do Role - Solta O Frango

Pre-order BDR's debut on Domino at Amazon.

You can also chip in to the Save The Spitz kitty here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Save The Spitz!

Word has come through this week that one of London's finest music venues, The Spitz at Spitalfields Market, is facing closure after September this year following action from the venue's estate agent. Not only is The Spitz a fantastic venue for performances from countless underground and marginal artists, not to mention more intimate shows from better known acts too, but it's also home to a fine gallery and restaurant, making it one of the more unique venues in London.

So how can you help? The easiest way is to get down to The Spitz and see a gig (like one of the number of performances in the current Festival of Blues, such as Seasick Steve, Heavy Trash, Holly Golightly and T-Model Ford), have a meal at the bistro, or grab a drink and check out the fine exhibitions showing in the gallery. Get acquainted with one of London's best kept secrets and help keep The Spitz open.

Sign the petition to keep The Spitz open here.

These are two of the artists that I've seen grace The Spitz's stage in the last eighteen months, and both gave performances which were enhanced in my eyes by the intimate setting they took place in.

Nada Surf - What Is Your Secret?
Of Montreal - Disconnect The Dots

It's all a Blur really...

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

* While the quest to fill all 30 GB of my newly acquired Pod of Joy continues, I began uploading Blur's 1999 10th anniversary Singles box set. Yup, all 22 CDs of it. What has surprised me while listening to many of the odd's and sods that accompanied the band's CD1's and CD2's are the hidden gems that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Modern Life Is Rubbish or Parklife. For every hodge-podge instrumental or Kinks rip-off, there are genuine moments of quirky brilliance or thrilling live cuts that make you realise that Blur may have been a tad under-rated, especially on the commercially slept on 13. Here's some of the best cuts.

Blur - Mr Briggs (from the There's No Other Way single)
Blur - Bonebag (from the For Tomorrow single)
Blur - My Ark (from the Chemical World single)
Blur - Young & Lovely (from the Chemical World single)
Blur - Magpie (from the Girls And Boys single)
Blur - To The End (French version) (from the Parklife single)
Blur - The Man Who Left Himself (from the Stereotypes single)
Blur - Popscene (live at Peel Acres) (from the On Your Own single)
Blur - Tender (Cornelius remix) (from the No Distance Left To Run single)

* Simian Mobile Disco are playing in your house, your house....that is if you enter the competition on their website. You can also check out the mighty fine 'Sleep Deprivation' (the opening track to the duo's debut album Attack Decay Sustain Release) on the site's media player.

* Carl Newman, Neko Case and the rest of the insanely talented gang of skilled musicians known as The New Pornographers are back with another smattering of dynamite power pop, with confirmation this week of an August 20 release date for the band's fourth album Challengers. Newman has already hinted to Billboard that the new album will contain six minute songs (gasp!) and, in a longer interview over at Pitchfork, different instruments (string quartets! flutes! trumpets!).

The NP's are playing Glastonbury in June, plus three sold-out club dates in London as a warm-up to Micheal Eavis's country hoedown. The fact that they've managed to reach album number four is quite surprising given the number of projects each band member is involved with outside of NP duties, so those who haven't seen them live before should obtain a ticket by any means possible before the inevitable end (Oh, and peep the Pitchfork interview, if only for the Newman's pull quote suggestion!).

* There goes the last shred of Ben Lee's credibility.

* Wynton Marsalis - is there anything he doesn't hate? If it's not modern jazz (yes, that's you Mr Davis!) it's hip-hop today. Oh dear.

* Shout out to Mr Moon and crew for the ridiculous house party last Saturday night. I've never played in such a small room before to such an up for it crowd. Tune of the night? Well, I'd have to say Ol' Love Symbol's classic was a nice way to end the night.

Prince - Raspberry Beret (12" version)

Now, I'm off to the Tate Modern to look at the Kinshasa 'Populist Party' art exhibition again. Stunning.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!

There's a big post on the way to compensate for the lack of blogging this week, so in the meantime here's something from me to you to make up for the absence. Check the lil' lass at the front too. Gold.

Regular service resumes on Thursday. Till then, head to Stones Throw's podcast page for Madlib's 'all killer, no filler' Motown mix for something to nod your head to.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I heart milk...

Got milk?

Milkbar Nick's
The Bugaboo Nixperience mix

1. Klaxons - Atlantis to Interzone
2. Miami Horror - Sweaty Wet Dirty Damp
3. Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake - Give It To Me (Sta mix)
4. Gossip - Listen Up (ATOC Extended Mix)
5. Calvin Harris - Acceptable in the 80's
6. Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow (Soulwax mix)
7. All Saints - Chick Fit (Kissy Sell Outs Excellent Adventure)
8. Larry Tee feat. Princess Superstar - Licky (Herve Goes Low mix)
9. Simian Mobile Disco - It's The Beat (Luke Vibert mix)
10. Mark Ronson feat. Daniel Merriweather - Stop Me

Download here.

And a bacon sandwich to go with it?