Sunday, 28 July 2013

Cloud Nothings - KEXP, 6 March 2012 and Seattle, 22 July 2012

I've put up my recording of Cloud Nothings at the Ding Dong Lounge (I'm still a bit bitter about the DJ). Unfortunately, it wasn't a great recording and the singer's voice took a few songs to warm up. This short radio set has none of those problems, although it's still clear that this is a loud band. I'm not really a fan of their first album, but their most recent album - Attack on Memory (which is where all these songs are from) is a stunner. Hopefully they'll make it back for one of the early '14 festivals.

Stay Useless
Fall In
Cut You

This is a short live set broadcast a few months later. There's obviously a bit of overlap between the two, but I'd still recommend getting both, and obviously it's a no brainer if you're already a fan of the band.

Fall In
Wasted Days!8d8GnS6R!WdY6dBpabydANzjjGHmjpA

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Josh Ritter - New York, 6 March 2013

At Josh Ritter's co-headlining show with Simone Felice he promised to return next year (i.e. this year) with his full band. Any promise like that made on stage (including 'we'll see you again soon') is effectively a legally enforcable contract, so I'm becoming increasingly worried that Ritter might be in a bit of trouble, because his current touring schedule isn't leaving him a hell of a lot of time to fulfill that promise.

Until he does finally make it down here again, here's a set he did for NPR radio just a few months ago. The set focuses on his newest album The Beast in Its Tracks. While it isn't as immediatley accessible as say The Animal Years, it really rewards repeat listens.!9RVVyQDb!Eu_BAEr_uGJvkfcVfrbjxQ

Friday, 19 July 2013

Wavves - Corner Hotel, 9 May 2012

This was a great show, that I recorded but it turned out really badly. Fortunately, while I was looking for something to put up in advance of Wavves return visit in a couple of weeks, I found that this was broadcast on the radio. They've cut two songs and the between songs banter, but it still sounds great. They're playing with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, which is a pretty great double header (sold out now though I think). Obviously, this doesn't feature anything off of their new album Afraid of Heights, but its still well worth a listen.!0EMG2bwS!U64WGjexyhJrv6hmMMwvKA

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Ben Ottewell - Worker's Club, 30 June 2013

Gomez are one of those bands that I wasn't a big fan of but figured I should see once. Having gone to their show last year, I now know that they're fantastic live, and have lots more songs that I know than I'd thought. So when Ben Ottewell (the one with the amazing voice) announcned a show I figured I'd go along.

Shows at the Worker's Club seem to attract some weird people who I don't normally see at shows. They seem more keen on talking and being seen than actually paying attention to the show. The recording picks up a bit of this, but I managed to move close to the front, where there seemed to be more fans and things were a bit quieter.

The show itself has got some mixed reviews, but I was impressed. The songs he played from his solo album (including one from the album he's working on) fitted in well, and didn't seem like Gomez rejects. The set was padded out with a few judiciously chosen covers that worked well. He made the mistake of mentioning at the start of the first encore that because there isn't any backstage he didn't really have anywhere to go at the end of the set. The crowd realised that this meant he couldn't leave without walking through everyone, so most people just stood there clapping at the end of the show, figuring he wouldn't have a choice but to play another encore. Sure enough, he came out and played a Steve Earle cover.

The sound of this is really good, like a mentioned, there's a bit of talking, plus the sound at the venue wasn't great (although he explains at one point that the sound guy is a ringin because the normal guy fell of a fence). Nonetheless, this is one I've listened to quite a few times, whereas most shows I record only get one or two listens.!wYsSEBCK!JhRzGEuwO4MwGmj3aMFcDg

Friday, 12 July 2013

Atlas Sound - Bedroom Databank Vols 1 - 4

Time for some mid-month free album madness! Or something. This time, rather than a full album or a couple of EPs, you get four full length albums. Atlas Sound is the name used by Deerhunter's Bradford Cox for his solo releases. These are various recordings that Cox made in his bedroom in 2010. He's stated that Atlas Sound is an outlet for his work that doesn't fit with Deerhunter, so don't expect this to sound anything like their work.

The albums all contain a mix of gems and diversions. The volumes don't seem to have any thematic link, so it's hard to recommend one over any of the others. If I had to I'd say that Volume 1 is the one I listen to most, but if you only want one albums worth, I'd suggest downloading them all and then deleting the material you don't like.

[Update: now with added links!]

Bedroom Databank Volune 1
Bedroom Databank Volune 2
Bedroom Databank Volune 3
Bedroom Databank Volune 4

Monday, 8 July 2013

The War on Drugs - Various Radio Broadcasts

Anyone that was around in November will already have heard (many times) about how much I love the War on Drugs. Their set at Harvest was pretty good, although an early set is always tough and the audience wasn't particularly enthusiastic. Their show at the Northcote Social Club, on the other hand, was phenomenal. It's probably the only show I've been to where I've felt desperate to hear them keep playing. Since then they don't seem to have played any shows, so hopefully they've taken a breather and are back in the studio. To keep me going I've been listening to some radio sessions as well as some live shows (more on that in another post).

The first radio session is particularly interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there aren't many recordings from the band's early days, so even a short festival set broadcast over the radio is exciting. Secondly, to the best of my knowledge, this is the only recorded performance of Pushing Corn off their EP Barrel of Batteries. That's kind of exciting for fans, but more importantly, the song is actually really good, so getting to hear it has more than just rarity value. It's also interesting to hear how the sound has changed - in particular, how much more prominent the organ is (perhaps partly through a change of personnel).

Second up, another very early set, including a few songs that don't feature in the other sets. In particular, there's a great version of A Needle in Your Eye #16. They usually play a very long version of this to end their shows, the version they played in Melbourne was phenomenal, but I've heard others that aren't as interesting. This version is absolutely phenomenal. Around halfway through the song they break into a woozy ambient section, but then bring it back up again for the ending.

The World Cafe set is only three songs, two from Slave Ambient and one from Wagonwheel Blues (the magnificent Arms Like Boulders).

Finally, another KEXP in studio performance. This one includes the one-two of The Animator and Come to the City. In other good news, they recently posted an update suggesting a new album might not be too far away, I'm looking forward to it.

Philadelphia - 11 July 2008

Arms Like Boulders
Buenos Aires Beach
Pushing Corn
Show Me the Coast
Taking the Farm

KEXP - 18 April 2009

Buenos Aires Beach
Arms Like Boulders
Your Love is Calling My Name
Show Me the Coast
A Needle in Your Eye #16

World Cafe - 21 September 2011

Best Night
Baby Missiles
Arms Like Boulders

KEXP - 26 October 2011

Best Night
The Animator
Come to the City

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Manic Street Preachers - Festival Hall, 28 June 2013

I've got to kick this off by admitting I'm not a huge fan of the Manics - I know their most famous songs, but not much more. I went along because my girlfriend is a massive fan and has never seen them before. Going in I was a bit unsure about this show, it had been organised so the band could go to a couple of the Lions rugby games. On one hand that meant it was going to be a greatest hits set, which suited me as a casual fan. But on the other it might mean the performance wouldn't be too great - they haven't played for quite a while and don't have much else scheduled for the year. In the end the band was impressively tight, and played a greatest hits set with a couple of rarities thrown in for the hardcore.

The crowd was packed with Lions fans (particularly Welsh ones), which explains the fairly frequent chanting. The sound for this is only OK - Festivall Hall is a pretty mediocre venue for sound and there is a bit of distortion at a couple of points. That said, the recording is very listenable.

Motorcycle Emptiness
Your Love Alone is Not Enough
You Stole the Sun From My Heart
Ocean Spray
Suicide is Painless (Theme from MASH)
(It's Not War) Just the End of Love
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
Everything Must Go
Send Away the Tigers
A Design for Live
The Everlasting
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You
You Love Us
Little Baby Nothing
Motown Junk
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next!0JkWwDDC!TqydQEfTwCw4hbY_WWEL1Q

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Milk Carton Kids - St Kilda MeMo, 8 June 2013

A friend recommended this band to me a while back as someone to see this tour, because they're a band on the rise. Having seen them at the tiny (but very civilised) St Kilda MeMo I can't imagine I'll have the chance to see them at a similarly intimate venue again - these guys are incredibly good. Their music is very reminiscent of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, right down to Kenneth Pattengale being an acoustic guitar virtuoso to match the great Rawlings. Vocally, they are often compared to early Simon and Garfunkel, although I tend to like them more the less that comparison is valid. To add to all that, the two have an incredibly funny banter that they keep up throughout the show.

Recording these quiet shows is always a challenge, this one ends up being pretty good, but I still needed to remove some static from the songs, which effects the quality of them. For anyone that isn't familiar with them, it might be better off to start with their first two albums which are available for free from their website (I put up a link a while back, just click on the Milk Carton Kids label to this post to find it).

Hope of a Lifetime
The Ash & Clay
Honey, Honey
Years Gone By
Maybe It's Time
Girls Gather Round
Snake Eyes
I Still Want a Little More