Friday, September 08, 2006

Patti Smith

From experience, the most accurate gauge I can find as to whether someone is good girlfriend material is best measured by their love for Patti Smith...really...if she loves Patti, you have yourself a keeper. Try it out.

Anyway, to the point of this post. To coincide with Patti Smith performing The Coral Sea in London next week there is a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition at The Alison Jacques Gallery (also in London) featuring some amazing images of Patti.

Elsewhere Patti Smith has recorded a new song entitled 'Qana'. The solo version of which is below, a full band version, lyrics and the songs back story can be found at

Download: Patti Smith - Qana (Solo Version) (MP3)
Watch: Patti Smith - Summer Cannibals (directed by Robert Frank) (youtube)

Visit: myspace
Buy: Patti Smith records
Buy: Patti Smith books

Elliott Smith

Searching through blog archives I came across Elliott Smith Live: The Definitive Guide on the brilliant The Rawking Refuses To Stop, which reminded me of the fine wealth of resources there are for Elliott Smith online. Besides the lovingly maintained official page Sweet Adeline, there is containing a great list of live bit torrent downloads, Trash Treasury which has videos, live shows, interviews and rarities available for download, the fine image resource that is The Elliott Smith Gallery and my personal favorite which has everything a boy could wish to download including demos from Either/Or, XO, Figure 8 & From A Basement On The Hill, promo tracks and out of print singles, b-sides and songs used on various compilations.

Download: Elliott Smith - Between The Bars (MP3) (courtesy of Kill Rock Stars)
Download: Elliott Smith - Some Song (MP3) (courtesy of Kill Rock Stars)

Buy: Elliott Smith records

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Another Sufjan Christmas

I seem to have a love hate relationship with Sufjan Stevens music. I had little time for 'A Sun Came Up' and 'Enjoy Your Rabbit'... I could not get enough of '..Michigan' and 'Seven Swans', but by the time of '..Illinois' I just didn't get it again and I began to find his music somewhat insipid. So I found myself with mixed feelings when I heard about the forthcoming Sufjan Stevens 5-disc Christmas Box Set.

Released on Asthmatic Kitty at the end of November, the box set (titled “Songs for Christmas”) will be stuffed full of surprises, including the following novelty items:

• Five individually packaged CD EPs!
• Five Christmas stickers!
• Extensive liner notes and short stories by Sufjan Stevens!
• An original Christmas essay by Rick Moody!
• An animated music video and comic strip by Tom Eaton!
• A Christmas Songbook with lyric sheets and chord charts--so you can sing along too!
• An original Christmas Family Portrait painting of Santa Sufjan (with wife and kids!) by Jacques Bredy!

My feelings are best summed up by the following two tracks. I instantly loved Sister Winter, but would not be too upset if i never heard 'That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!' ever again.

Download: Sufjan Stevens - Sister Winter (MP3)

Download: Sufjan Stevens - That Was The Worst Christmas Ever! (MP3)

Buy: Sufjan Stevens records

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Letting Go & Daytrotter Sessions

If you have not seen them already, check out the first two parts of the three part commercial for the forthcoming Bonnie Prince Billy album The Letting Go.

The Letting Go (Part One)

The Letting Go (Part Two)

Daytrotter has posted a recent session for download. For the uninitiated, apart from being a fantastic website, Daytrotter has a new session consisting of four songs available for download everyweek. All of the sessions they make available are analog recordings, only converted to digital format for the purpose of transmission as Daytrotter Sessions.

Download: Bonnie Prince Billy - Daytrotter Sessions (MP3 link)

Watch: Cursed Sleep (Video)
Pre Order: The Letting Go
Listen: Bonnie Prince Billy on The Hype Machine

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And Now That I'm In Your Shadow

Sweetheart of the Radio favorite Damien Jurado's new album 'And Now That I'm In Your Shadow' will be released on October 10th. This will be his seventh album, his third for Secretly Canadian and I really cant wait. From bits and pieces that I have heard already including the demos that were on the 2006 tour EP this album looks like it is going to live up to expectation.

Damien Jurado is a band now, with the help of permanent members Eric Fisher and Jenna Conrad collaborating on lyrics and populating the world of Damien's songs with new sound backdrops. For those of you like me who cannot wait for the album to come out, Damien is streaming a new album track every week between now and release on his myspace page. He has also set up an MP3 blog upon which he promises to submits songs (old, new and rare) that he has recorded down a telephone line. He also promises to update the page with news and pictures.

'And Now That I'm In Your Shadow' track list:

• Hoquiam
• Denton, TX
• I Had No Intentions
• Hotel Hospital
• And Now That I’m In Your Shadow
• What Were The Chances
• Shannon Rhodes
• There Goes Your Man
• I Am Still Here
• Gasoline Drinks
• Survived By Her Husband
• Gas Station
• Montesano

Download: Damien Jurado - What Were The Chances (MP3) (courtesy of secretly canadian)

Buy: Damien Jurado records

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Phosphorescent: My New Favorite Band

I wasn't looking for a new favorite band, I was happy with my fill. But then, out of the blue, along came Phosphorescent, I remember seeing something about them someplace or another and being drawn to investigate what kind of band would write a song with the title 'Joe Tex, These Taming Blue'... The song grabbed me immediately, something about it resonated within me, it spoke to me, held my hand, kissed me and told me everything would be ok. I was immediately a fan, I was on board and before I knew it - here I was with a new favorite band. As is customary when I fall into in such a situation, I find myself doing everything I can to buy everything the band have released... as quickly as possible. I have not been let down.

Phosphorescent is Matthew Houck, a 26 year old southern man with a cracked voice, kind of reminiscent of Will Oldham. His music is rough and loose, but the songs reveal themselves slowly to be dense, restless, yearning and heartworn things of great beauty and sophistication.

Phosphorescent have recorded three frighteningly brilliant works, 2003's 'A Hundred Times or More' and 2004's 'The Weight of Flight EP' both released on the Warm label to quiet but lavish praise and 2005's 'Now, Aw Come Aw Wry' released by Misra, perhaps the bands most fully realized effort so far. A new album is due later this year.

Download: Phosphorescent - Joe Tex, These Taming Blues (MP3)
Download: Phosphorescent - I Am A Full Grown Man (I Will Lay In The Grass All Day) (MP3)


Friday, July 28, 2006

The Tapesmixer

"Look at me mah, i'm Phil Spector!"... This is what you will most probably be saying after playing with the Tapes 'N Tapes Mixer. It is often the simplest ideas that work best and this adage is really true in the case of this great, but simple online tool. You get to fiddle around with the bass, drums, guitars and vocals from the song 'Jennie', hours of fun for geeks like me.

Officially, the tapesmixer is a cutting edge digital hi-fi interactive tonal interface. This technology allows you create your own mix of tapes 'n tapes songs. Which is kinda what i said already.

Fiddle with: The Tapesmixer

Download: Cowbell (MP3)

Official Website:
Buy: The Loon

Tired Of Being Sexy?

So my boss has begun to develop a mighty gambling addiction, which led me to thinking about what it'd be cool to bet on... random bets along the lines of 'I bet the the next person through the door is a woman' or 'I bet i can get this in the bin from here'. Which in turn led me to thinking about betting on which bands would make great albums or simply be successful... Which in tun led me to pondering current band I would gamble on.

Surely a surefire bet this summer will be that CSS (or Cansei de Ser Sexy - Portuguese for 'Tired of being sexy') become huge. If there were books opened on such matters, the odds on them having huge hits this year with the brilliant single 'Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above' and the album Cansei De Ser Sexy would be pretty short. If there is any justice left in the world of pop music they surely cannot fail. With the might of Sub Pop behind them and cooler than cool looks, and attitude here is hoping that we will all be seeing a lot more of CSS!

Download MP3: CSS - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above

Video: CSS - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above

Thursday, July 20, 2006

All I Want To Do Is Turn Around...

With 2006 more than half way gone and eager bloggers all over the world compiling their lists of the 'best albums of the year... so far', I thought, rather than go the full way, I'd post a couple of my favorite songs of the year so far.

My first choice and winner of the prize for the single song that i have listened to most this year according to my iTunes is 'White Daisy Passing' by Rocky Votolato. A Seattle based singer/songwriter, Rocky Votolato moves in similar circles (both musically and literally) to other Sweetheart Of The Radio favorites Damien Jurado and J.Tillman. 'White Daisy Passing' is from the album Makers.

My second selection is 'Funeral' by Band Of Horses, a band born out of the ashes of the much loved Carissa's Weird. A favorite with bloggers at the beginning of the year, 'Funeral' is the stand out track from their debut album Everything All The Time.

Download: Rocky Votolato - White Daisy Passing (MP3)
Watch: Rocky Votolato - White Daisy Passing (Video)

Download: Band Of Horses - Funeral (MP3)
Watch: Band Of Horses - Funeral (Video)
Listen To: Band Of Horses - KEXP Live Session



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Lived In Bars

What could be better than a new Cat Power video? How about a new Cat Power video that features a cameo performance from William Eggleston? It is like all my birthdays and Christmas coming all at once! Well... maybe not quite that good, but good nonetheless.

Cat Power website
William Eggleston website

Buy: Cat Power records
Buy: William Eggleston Books

Monday, July 17, 2006

Noam Chomsky

Now, I'm not an overtly political individual, however with current affairs in the Middle East permeating my thoughts today (hey, it's a Monday... things are slow), I find myself looking around for wider explanations on why things are happening in the way they are. My searches eventually led me to Noam Chomsky. Professor of linguistic at MIT, Chomsky, I guess, is more widely known for his political activism and for his criticism on the foreign policy of the US and other governments... Kind of like Michael Moore, but without the bad dress sense and apparent need to make an ass of himself on video all of the time.

Noam Chomsky: U.S. Doctrinal Constraints On Middle East Peace (MP3)
Noam Chomsky: Why Do They Hate Us ?-Pouring Oil On Troubled Waters -Then And Now (MP3)
Noam Chomsky: The Historical Significance of 911 (MP3)

Noam Chomsky Info
Noam Chomsky @ MIT
Buy Chomsky

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rise Up With Fists!!

I came across this Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins video for the song 'Rise Up With Fists!!' today and it reminded me of what a fantastic album last years 'Rabbit Fur Coat' was. A largely laid-back affair, I always thought of this record as a fantastic companion to/sister of Lucinda Williams' 2001 album 'Essence'.

Official Site:
Myspace: Jenny Lewis
Myspace: The Watson Twins

Buy: Rabbit Fur Coat

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Just Beyond The River

Born and raised in a small Fife village, James Yorkston has been following musical pursuits since the age of 8. He followed a girlfriend out of the village to settle in Edinburgh at the age of 17, inspired to see the world, and write songs, by his love of music like Madagascan guitarist D’Gary and folk singer Anne Briggs.

Six years ago he joined Edinburgh garage-punk band Huckleberry, then, three days later, also landed his first solo gig. “Someone came in to my friend’s record shop asking if they knew anybody who could support Bert Jansch and my mate said, Yeah, James’ll do it. I had a week to knock my songs into some sort of order. I was absolutely terrified.”

He fed the hard-core side of his soul with Huckleberry for a few years until the lure of his acoustic muse – and a fear of deafness – finally won out. He sent off two tapes of a song called ‘Moving Up Country, Roaring The Gospel’, one to John Peel, and one to John Martyn, seeking a support slot at an Edinburgh gig. Peel played the tape on air, which led to the Bad Jazz label releasing a single and Martyn offered James the support slot on his entire 30-date 2001 tour.

After a series of singles on both the Bad Jazz and Domino labels he released his debut album 'Moving Up Country' on Domino in June 2002. Second full length album 'Just Beyond The River' followed in the autumn of 2004.

James Yorkston will release a new studio album 'The Year Of The Leopard' in late September.

Download: James Yorkston - Song To The Siren (Tim Buckley Cover) (MP3)
Download:James Yorkston - I Know My Love (Demo) (MP3)
Download: James Yorkston - Surf Song (Live Planet Claire Session) (MP3)

Official Site:
Buy: James Yorkston Records

Friday, June 30, 2006

Cat Power on Planet Claire (Part 2)

This is the second post featuring Cat Power's sessions recorded for the French radio show Planet Claire Planet Claire.

This session was recorded on March 6th 2000:

Download: Cat Power - Satisfaction (MP3)
Download: Cat Power - Troubled Waters (MP3)
Download: Cat Power - Good Woman (MP3)

Buy: Cat Power records

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Free Strokes for everyone!

Are The Strokes still hip? Do people still use the word hip? Do people still use words? I care not, all I know is that after three albums I am still a sucker for The Strokes.

This is why I was pleased to discover that they have a free download available for a limited time on their Myspace page. The track is 'I'll Try Anything Once', a demo of 'You Only Live Once' from the album First Impressions Of Earth. It is also available on the B-side of their 'Heart In A Cage' single.

Download: The Strokes - I'll Try Anything Once (MP3)

Watch: The Strokes - You Only Live Once (Video)
Watch: The Strokes - Heart In A Cage (Video)

Buy: The Strokes records

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cat Power on Later... with Jools Holland

I just can't seem to get enough Cat Power at the moment! Here she is performing on Later... with Jools Holland last week.

The Greatest

Lived In Bars

Buy: Cat Power - The Greatest

Monday, June 26, 2006

Cat Power on Planet Claire

This is the first of two posts featuring Cat Power radio sessions recorded for the French radio show Planet Claire.

This session was recorded on November 20th 1998:

Download: Cat Power - The Winter Wind (MP3)
Download: Cat Power - Wild Is The Wind (MP3)
Download: Cat Power - Red Apples (MP3)
Download: Cat Power - Great Expectations (MP3)

Buy: Cat Power records

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday is for covers

It is so great when a band that you love covers a song by another band that you love. I guess it is kind of like the musical equivalent of your hot new girlfriend making out with your hot ex-girlfriend just to turn you on.

Here producer, musician and all round good guy Jim O'Rourke along with sticks-man extraordinaire Glenn Kotche cover English singer/songwriter Bill Fay's 'Pictures Of Adolf Again', the original version of which can be found on Fay's excellent 1971 album Time Of The Last Persecution.

MP3: Jim O'Rourke & Glenn Kotche - Pictures Of Adolf Again

Jim O'Rourke Website
Jim O'Rourke Myspace

Glenn Kotche Website
Glenn Kotche Myspace

Bill Fay Website
Bill Fay Myspace

The last bandit

Nikki Sudden's untimely death earlier this year was a real tragedy. A personal tragedy for those who knew him, and a tragedy for rock 'n' roll. The self-styled 'last bandit' died just shy of his fiftieth bithday, after playing a show in New York and just a couple of days before he was due to play in London with his long-term collaborator Dave Kusworth as their on-off joint-venture The Jacobites.

The first time I saw the Jacobites was also the first time I saw Nikki Sudden. It was in the early nineties when Nikki and Dave had recently reconvened after a period persuing various solo projects. And it was during this phase in Nikki's long and prolific career that I discovered them, to all intents and purposes when I bought my first Jasocbites album (which was their second) they'd split up and I didn't imagine I'd ever see them live. So I lived in hope of Nikki doing a solo show, but it never came.

I moved away from home, embracing student life rather fully and hadn't been back to see the folks for many, many months - eventually I gave in and hopped on a train, for my first weekend back 'home' since heading to the bright lights of the big city. Grabbing an NME to read on the way (remember, this was back in the days before it became a picture book) it wasn't until the station before mine that I flicked through the live ads and saw nustled in the listings for Islington's long-gone Powerhaus, Nikki Sudden & Dave Kusworth - Jacobites. This was friday, the show was Saturday. To this day I feel guilty for the lies I spun to get my dear father to put me in the car and drive me back to college on the Saturday morning (something about essays, deadlines and forgotten textbooks...) but I'll never forget that show. Raw rock 'n' roll, exactly the way it should be.

Download: Jacobites - When The Rain Comes (mp3)

Nikki kept alive a true rock spirit that by rights should have died with Johnny Thunders. Sure he was indebtted to his heros, but that's what I loved about Nikki, he wore his influences right there on his chest, right over his heart. He put his (lack of) money where his mouth was and hit the road... a true modern-day troubadour.

Download: Nikki Sudden - Great Pharaoh (mp3)

Of course it's hard to say anything about Nikki without mentioning Swell Maps, the divine noise group he formed with his brother Epic Soundtracks when they were barely out of short trousers. There's not a great deal that can be written about Swell Maps that hasn't already been said elsewhere, but if you're in any doubt as to their importance and the influence they've been on a thousand bands since (come to the front of the class Pavement, I'm talking to you...) then look no further than this recently rediscovered live recording from The Maps tour of Italy in 1980. It's close to impossible to listen to this and believe that a) it was recorded over 25 years ago and b) two of the driving forces behind the band are no longer with us.

Download: Swell Maps - Read About Seymour (live in Italy) (mp3)

Check out Swell Maps on MySpace for more superb live tracks.

The day before playing his final show Nikki played an acoustic show at The Cake Shop in New York (a place named after the Swell Maps song) which was captured by the splendid people at Punkcast who, apparently, also recorded Nikki's final show the following day. Hopefully that'll appear online in due course, but in the meantime, there's the video from The Cake Shop show to enjoy, including a surprising performance of the Swell Maps classis 'Read About Semour' and a new song 'Green Shield Stamps' from Nikki's as-yet-unreleased final studio album, which he planned to call 'The Truth Doesn't Matter'. It's classic acoustic Sudden,

Download: Nikki Sudden - Read About Seymour (acoustic) (mp4 video)
Download: Nikki Sudden - Green Shield Stamps (acoustic) (mp4 video)

Nikki Sudden's web site is being maintained as an archive in his memory.

The Big Store, Nikki's online shop selling his records as well as releases from Jacobites, Swell Maps and Epic Soundtracks is back online. Do yourself a favour, and pick up some records.

Dave Kusworth together with Max Decharne of the Flaming Stars has organised a special evening in tribute to Nikki Sudden - just like the one Nikki arranged a few months after Epic's death. The idea is for various friends and people who've played with Nikki to perform his songs during the course of the evening, culminating in a set of Jacobites songs with Dave singing.

The tribute gig will take place on Friday the 21st July 2006 at The Dirty Water Club, Tufnell Park in London - visit the Dirty Water Club website for a map and further details.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Saw Mill Man

Recorded in a shack up on Old Sand Mountain in Alabama, 'Saw Mill Man' by Cast King sounds like a great lost recording from Harry Smith's vault.

Cast King and his former band The Country Drifters recorded with Sam Phillips at Sun Studios in the 50's, however with limited success the band broke up and King left his music career behind him in the early 60's. Virtually disappearing for four decades, he was tracked down by Matt Downer, an Alabama native, who started making field recordings of local Sand Mountain musicians when he realized that a generation of songwriters and performers were dying out without ever being recorded. All the musicians that Downer recorded talked of one particular songwriter with high esteem, Cast King.

Author of approximately 500 songs, Cast King was 79 years old when Downer coaxed him into recording what would end up being his debut album. The result, 'Saw Mill Man', made during a series of 'picking sessions' recorded either to 4-track or onto mini disc sounds like something akin to Johnny Cash drenched in sepia and whiskey.

'Saw Mill Man' is a revelation of a record containing some of the best drinking and heartbreak songs you are ever likely to hear.

MP3: Cast King - Saw Mill Man

MP3: Cast King - Wino

Cast King & Matt Downer - Alabama Arts Radio Series-Interview (MP3)

Buy Saw Mill Man

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Heartworn Highways

Loose Records have just released a companion 'soundtrack' to the cult documentary 'Heartworn Highways'. The CD comes in deluxe 'whiskey bottle style' packaging. It is fantastic.

Filmed in Nashville and Austin in the mid seventies, 'Heartworn Highways' is a snapshot that captures the birth of the alt-country movement. Focusing on a small group of singer/songwriters including Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, David Allan Coe and Guy Clark at the start of their careers, this is a warm, intimate documentary that captures a number of inspired performances sure to instantly convert listeners and viewers into fans.

MP3: Guy Clark - L.A. Freeway
MP3: Steve Earle - The Mercenary Song
Townes Van Zandt - Waiting Around To Die (Video)

Watch the trailer
Buy the album
Buy the DVD

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sweetheart Of The Radio's Favorite Music Videos (Part 1)

Pitchfork are celebrating the genius of youtube by listing their top 100 Awesome Music Videos. Always keen to steal a good idea, here are some of Sweetheart of the Radio's favorite music videos:

Vincent Gallo: "Honey Bunny"
Directed by Vincent Gallo
from: When

A bunch of models (and Paris Hilton) revolving round a huge turntable in their underwear. What else do you people want?


Bob Dylan: "Subterranean Homesick Blues"
Directed by D.A. Pennebaker
from: Don't Look Back

An obvious choice, but what the heck.


Bobby Conn: "Never Get Ahead"
Directed by Bobby Conn
from: Truck Stop

Funny and cool... just like the authors of this blog.


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: "Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow"
Directed by John Hillcoat
from: No More Shall We Part

Before their collaboration on the quite brilliant movie 'The Proposition', Nick Cave and John Hillcoat team up on this little seen, but hugely stylish gem.


Fiona Apple: "Criminal"
Directed by Mark Romanek
from: Mark Romanek: Directors Series DVD

If loving this video makes me a perv and a bit creepy, so be it. Visually based around the aesthetic of snapshot photography this is a perfect example of how a great video can transport a mediocre song to a different level.


R.Kelly: "Trapped In The Closet (Part 1)"
Directed by R. Kelly & Jim Swaffield
from: Trapped In The Closet DVD

The most absurd, surreal, funny and brilliant set of video's I have ever seen, R. Kelly's 'Trapped In The Closet: Chapters 1-12' is a work of unparalleled (and almost certainly unintentional) genius.

Tapes 'n Tapes

I give in. I didn't want to like them, but I do.

When Tapes 'n Tapes were being applauded by shed loads of blogs earlier this year I delibeartely tried to resist the hype. I resisted for as long as I could, but I can resist no more and now I am jumping right on the Tapes 'n Tapes bandwagon.

'The Loon' is already one of my records of 2006 (even though it was originally released in 2005) and I am sure them recently signing to XL is going to do their ever expanding profile no harm at all.

Here are two of the stand out tracks from their outstanding album:

Download: Insistor (MP3)
Download: Omaha (MP3)

Official Website:

Buy "The Loon"

Monday, June 19, 2006

London, London

It is great when a cover version draws your attention to an artist or song that would have otherwise escaped your attention. This has happened most recently to me with Cibelle & Devendra Banhart's playful cover of "London, London". Taken from Cibelle's album 'The Shine Of Dried Electric Leaves', hearing this song (..well, actually it was seeing the video) made me check out the original by Caetano Veloso. And I am mighty glad I did!

Written while he was living in forced political exile in London during the early 70's, the original version of "London, London" would not sound entirely out of place on Love's 'Forever Changes' or perhaps one of Donovan's more hippy albums.

Here is the cover and the original for you to compare and contrast:

MP3: Cibelle & Devendra Banhart - London, London
MP3: Caetano Veloso - London, London

Buy 'The Shine Of Dried Electric Leaves' by Cibelle

Buy 'Caetano Veloso' by Caetano Veloso

Friday, June 16, 2006

Cat Power On Letterman

I love Chan Marshall.

Here she is performing "Living Proof" on The Late Show with David Letterman this week.

Buy Cat Power records

My Most Meaningful Relationships Are With Dead People

The Late Cord are John Mark Lapham and Michah P. Hinson. Apparently. Two dudes from Texas who sound like dudes from Texas. On paper, a strange combination perhaps but with a laid-back fainlty gospel quality that matures well with repeat listening we should just be thankful this record even happened. It's not like either of these guys must have been short of things to do, with entirely respectable careers in their own rights.

The main refrain from 'My Most Meaningful Relationships Are With Dead People' is strangely reminiscent of Nikki Sudden's 'The Bible Belt, which is a million miles away from being a criticism. It's a deceptively simple song based around a truly haunting melody that just lingers in the brain.

Download: My Most Meaningful Relationships Are With Dead People (mp3)

Buy the Wheels From The Lighthouse EP from 4AD

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Coral Sea

It's been (give or take) a year since Patti Smith's Meltdown. It's great that Patti's live re-performance of 'Horses' got officially released and I listen to it now actually far more often than the original recording. It's a real shame though that many other fine performances never get heard ever again... that's why I was really excited to discover this recording of Patti Smith and Kevin Shields performing The Coral Sea.

Download: The Coral Sea (mp3)

Buy My Bloody Valentine records from Rough Trade

Buy Patti Smith records from Rough Trade

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New Bob Dylan Album!

According to a whole bunch of reports on the internet, there will be a new Bob Dylan album released around the end of August. Titled 'Modern Times', this will be the first album of new material since 2001's 'Love & Theft' and is said to conclude the trilogy of albums that begun with 1997's 'Time Out Of Mind'.

A number hand picked journalists were apparently given a playback of the album last week in New York, but made to sign legal papers agreeing not to talk or write to anyone about what they heard.

'Modern Times' will feature 10 new tracks. Song titles include "Workingman's Blues", "When The Deal Goes Down", "Ain't Talkin'", "Spirit On The Water", "Neddy Moore" and "Thunder On The Mountain".

I am sure we can all look forward to plenty of reviews and reports of the new record with the headline 'The Times They Are A-Modern'.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Campo Bravo

So my boss sends me a message saying - "You have to listen to this band" - with a link to the Campo Bravo MySpace page. I check it out and find myself more than pleasantly surprised. So here I am telling you - you have to listen to this band.

Hailing from Tuscon, Arizona, Campo Bravo is the musical vehicle for Mark Matos. Equal parts Neil Young, Giant Sand and Will Oldham, Campo Bravo play americana the way I love it best. Laid back, thoughtful, sad and heartbreakingly beautiful.

MP3: Campo Bravo - Former Mrs. Oklahoma

MP3: Campo Bravo - Ship On The Sea

Buy Campo Bravo records

Monday, June 12, 2006

J. Tillman

Some more tracks have appeared on Damien Jurado's MySpace page, and rather splendid they're sounding too.

But Damien's not the purpose of this post - oh no - rather, I want to write about another songwriter I was turned onto by Damien Jurado. Namely, J. Tillman. He's similar-but-different, if you know what I mean. Lazy, I know. Hell, just give him a listen.

I've been loving the tracks on his MySpace page and urge you to go give them a listen.

If you like those, you may want to check out these excellent tracks:

MP3: My Walking Days

MP3: Seven States Accros

MP3: Lilac Hem

MP3: Cecille, My Love

Buy J. Tillman's music from the Keep Recordings web site

When Serge met Whitney

Below is a clip of god-like genius Serge Gainsbourg meeting Whitney Houston on a French TV chat show in 1986. After his shenanigans here, Gainsbourg would never be asked to appear on live TV again, while Whitney's future behavior would make Serge's comments here pale in comparison.

If you do not own it already, no record collection is complete without Serge Gainsbourg's masterpiece 'Histoire de Melody Nelson'.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Spider - 'The Way To Bitter Lake'

One of the best albums I have come across so far this year is Spider's 'The Way To Bitter Lake'. Described as sounding like '..Sam Beam meets Vashti Bunyan; hushed, comforting and ultimately, beautiful and calming.' by Gorilla Vs. Bear. Spider is Brooklyn based Jane Herships, a smart, pretty lady writing smart, pretty songs. Beautiful!

MP3: Don't Be Afraid, I've Just Come To Say Goodbye, "The Ballad Of Clementine Jones"

MP3:Maggie's Song For Alice

Click here to buy the The Way To Bitter Lake from CDBaby

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

God bless you Swell Maps

Swell Maps - Midget Submarines

Swell Maps - Let's Build A Car

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Damien Jurado

It has been just over a year since the last Damien Jurado released his last album 'On My Way To Absence' and he is very close to having another one in the bag already. On his MySpace blog he reports:

"after months of recording and now mixing... the new album is done. ..we still need to have it mastered but i'm calling it done. the end result is fourteen songs. i'm still trying to come up with a title for the album and two of the songs which are ..well untitled. as for a release date we're looking at october... which is fine by me. i need time this summer to just deal with things and spend time on painting... (and riding mopeds)"

In the meantime for those who cannot wait until the album comes out, Damien has been so kind as to post a new song:

MP3: Carver Street