The Death Set

Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 17:18 | Category : Uncategorized
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Here’s the second post of the day, carefully yet pathetically designed to boost my cool ratings. Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you one of the hottest bands of the moment - The Death Set!

I first came across this Baltimore (by way of Australia) band on an obscure compilation over a year ago called 50 minutes. [...]

Acting my age

Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 17:12 | Category : Uncategorized
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Given that my clubbing days are quite far behind me, and even my regular gig-going habit has been slowed to a trickle by the responsibilities of fatherhood, I’m probably not the best person to be commenting on the new Kitsune Maison compilation. The uber-cool French label (and now shop) is up to its fifth genre-defining [...]

Dawn Landes – Fireproof

Tuesday, 12 February 2008, 16:50 | Category : Uncategorized
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I’m returning to Dawn Landes and this album, mainly because I don’t feel that I gave them enough space last time (it was a gig review really), and also because since then she was a guest on John Kennedy’s Xfm show where she played a couple of tracks from Fireproof (along with a backing band [...]

In the Mood for Love

Monday, 11 February 2008, 14:11 | Category : Uncategorized
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Regular readers of this blog may also be readers of Song by Toad. If not, you really should check out Matthew’s excellent blog. This is general advice, but especially just now as he’s just finished a great series on soundtracks. My motives for mentioning this are partisan, because I contributed an piece to the series [...]

Laura Marling – Alas, I Cannot Swim

Monday, 11 February 2008, 14:07 | Category : Uncategorized
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In all the hype and clamour around Adele and Duffy at the start of the year, it was easy to miss another young blond singer-songwriter, even although she did sneak in at number 14 on that BBC poll. It’s possible that Laura Marling doesn’t have the ‘natural’ star appeal of the big two, and she [...]

Whatever happened to the Mystery Jets?

Friday, 8 February 2008, 17:20 | Category : Uncategorized
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Not ‘whatever happened’ as in ‘where are they now?’ but more, when did they suddenly become good?
I’ve never really been a big fan of Mystery Jets, ever since the summer of 2005 when I was trapped in the old Rough Trade Covent Garden shop by the sheer weight of their young fans crowding the staircase [...]

The Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride

Friday, 8 February 2008, 12:26 | Category : Uncategorized
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I must admit to feeling a bit out of my depth here, mainly because I feel like a bit of a Johnny-come-lately. I am, in fact when it comes to The Mountain Goats, a band with a long history and an intimidating number of albums and other recordings. So here I am, hearing a full [...]

Purple Strain

Thursday, 7 February 2008, 17:19 | Category : Uncategorized
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This is a very odd compilation. It’s probably trying to capitalise on Prince’s massive profile last year, but there are a couple of obvious problems right from the start. First, have a look at the tracklisting. Rather than being a specially commissioned album of Prince covers, it’s clearly been an exercise in searching around by [...]

The Cave Singers - Invitation Songs

Thursday, 7 February 2008, 13:42 | Category : Uncategorized
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How important is a good album cover? It’s not essential obviously – some of my favourite records of last year had terrible covers (see SFA, MIA, Animal Collective) – but sometimes a decent cover can enhance an album, or your expectations of it at least. I’m not even sure what exactly it is about the [...]

Greetings, Saluations, Goodbye

Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 17:26 | Category : Uncategorized
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Here’s a song that put a spring in my step on my way to work this morning. I was fiddling around with my iPod, wondering what to listen to when the blue line fell once again on Hold Yer Horses, the second album by Kansas-bred, London-dwelling songstress Piney Gir. It’s an album that went un-lauded [...]