Friday, 30 December 2011

Albums Of The Year 2011

Spotify playlist:
2011 Albums of the Year - tracks by
My favourite albums released in the last 12 months. In no particular order.

BattlesGloss Drop (Warp)

Related - Can, Neu, Bastro, Boredoms, Gary Numan, Blonde Redhead.

Sundome (Featuring Yamantaka Eye from Boredoms)

Shield Your EyesVolume IV (Function Records)

Related - Pneu, Nitkowski, Guns or Knives, Charlotefield.

Clare Oh Clare previous album but worth it

John MausWe Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves (Ribbon Music/Upset the Rhythm)

Related - Ariel Pink, Panda Bear, Paw Tracks, Upset The Rhythm

Quantum Leap

Cloud Nothingss/t (Wichita)

Related - Superchunk, Guided By Voices, Weezer, Green Day.


Gang Gang DanceEye Contact (4AD)

Related - Animal Collective, Fever Ray, The Knife.

Romance Layers

PJ HarveyLet England Shake  (Universal)

Related - John Parish, Portishead, Nick Cave.

Bitter Branches

Hype WilliamsOne Nation  (Hippos In Tanks)

Related - Boards Of Canada, Tangerine Dream, Tricky, Actress, Zomby.

William Shotgun Sprayer

Fair OhsEverything Is Dancing  (Honey High Records)

Related - Abe Vigoda, Male Bonding, Paul Simon, Upset The Rhythm.

Almost Island

Josh T Pearson - Last of the Country Gentlemen (Rough Trade)

Related - Lift To Experience, Bonnie Prince Billy, Simon & Garfunkel.

Country Dumb

Wild Flags/t (Wichita Recordings)

Related - Sleater-Kinney, Helium, Shangri-La, Ramones.

Future Crimes

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

These are a few of my 2011 favourite things

Having recorded our usual end of year albums podcast I have decided to do a list of my favourite 2011 phenomenons. It was an extremely busy year, hence only the second post.

It was in loose chronological order until A K Zincke expressed surprise at cricket and economics taking the first two places.

Shield Your Eyes Live
Saw them twice in a month at Old Blue Last and in my neighbourhood at Ryan's bar. For great mathy Neil Young emo-voiced jams. And the drumming. Don't forget the drumming.

Watched this neo-noir classic at the local Rio cinema.

India win the Cricket World Cup
My dormant interest in cricket was re-awakened by host nation and this blogger's motherland India winning the world cup and saving the entire country from imploding. See video below for captain Dhoni scoring the winning runs with an audacious six.

John Maynard Keynes
One of my recent interests is trying to understand economics as my master's degree covers a lot of general themes from manufacturing, investment, inflation and interest rates.

It is indeed all about the money.

Keynes was an extremely influentuial economist during the first half of the 20th century with great foresight about Germany post-WW1. He was then instrumental in re-structuring the global economy during and after the 30s Depression and his fiscal stimulus doctrine helped many nations recover.

Such ideas are being considered today as we experience the largest global downturn since this era. There's a good book by Robert Skidelsky positing a Return of the Master. FOLLOW THE MONEY.

Playing Drums
I developed a new technique while playing along to my favourite tracks in my basement (only one recorded neighbour complaint so far), a much more relaxed and enjoyable grip but with the downside of dropping my sticks more often. Some videos that inspired:

Skip to 7 minutes in

Or should I say the exposure of systematic corruption within the elites who run (into the ground?) this country. This guy is righteous internet gold.

During the summer when the Guardian exposed that the News of the World had hacked mudered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone Newsnight had many entertaining debates. Here's a particular favourite.

The Killing
I just caught up with this detective thriller from Denmark 2007. It was repeated on the always brilliant BBC4 but I chose to buy the boxset; often mainlining 3 episodes in a row when I was between jobs and studies in the late summer.

To say its a 'whodunnit' doesn't do it justice. It keeps you gripped with every cliffhanger of its 20 episode run. The acting, writing and directing are beautifully understated with great pacing, atmosphere.

Most importantly its thankfully nothing like the US remake!

Currently watching The Killing II. JUST HOOK IT UP TO MY VEINS.

Outdoor swimming in late September London
Rather smugly I made sure to tell everyone via that internet when I visited London Fields Lido on a weekday off. It nearly hit 30 degrees (approx. 85 degrees for metric friends). It wasn't all roses though, in line with pool etiquette I got told off the next day for taking more photos.

Bardo Pond Live
Last saw these noise rock stalwarts play 11 years ago and was blown away. They played this live at the surprisingly decent venue XOYO near London's trendy silicone roundabout. It was immense. Must try not to make it over a decade before the next time.


Following neatly on from the last entry I had been to Berlin about 11 years ago. Y'know when the Eurozone worked.

I remember there being a lot of cranes lit up at night and those toilets with those 'orrid inspection trays. This time I stayed with a friend of a friend who I mostly meet abroad. We and his crew went drinking every night in trendy (that word again) Kreuzberg with its many bars. Also went to party in Prenzlauer Berg and got lost trying to find another further west. Sehr Gut! (ahem)

Watch out for cyclists though!

East Side Gallery at the Berlin Wall.

See you in 2012!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Come Dine With Me Trailer Park

Been busy studyin'-and-a-workin' - here's something:

Come Dine With Tom - 1st Night Trailer

 Come Dine With Lauren- 2nd Night Trailer

 Come Dine With Kelly - 3rd Night Trailer

 Come Dine With Andrew - 4th Night Trailer

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

My Albums of the Year 2010

Spotify playlist:
2010 Albums of the Year - tracks by
My best 15 albums released in the last 12 months were those I feel I will be listening to in years to come; as well as having been on heavy rotation already. In no particular order.

Titus AndronicusThe Monitor (XL)

Related - The Replacements, Bruce Springsteen, The Pogues, New Jersey.

Titus Andronicus – Theme from "Cheers"

Thee Oh SeesWarm Slime (In The Red)

Related - Ty Segal, Coachwhips, San Francisco.

Track - Mega-Fest

YeasayerODD BLOOD (Secretly Canadian)

Related - Talking Heads, El Guincho, Brooklyn.

Yeasayer – Ambling Alp

El GuinchoPop Negro (Young Turks)

Related - Japan (band), Ryuchi Sakamoto, Manu Chao, Barcelona.

El Guincho – Bombay

Archie Bronson OutfitCoconut (Domino)

Related - Led Zepplin, Talking Heads, the West Country.

Archie Bronson Outfit – Chunk

HEALTHDISCO2  (Lovepump)

Related - Boards of Canada, Crystal Castles, Andrew Weatherall, LA.

Health – USA Boys

Best CoastCrazy For You  (Mexican Summer)

Related - Drugstore, Thee Headcoatees.

Best Coast – Crazy For You

SlugabedUltra Heat Treated EP  (Planet Mu)

Related - Rustie, Warp, Aquacrunk, Brighton.

Slugabed – Quantum Leap

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles ( II ) (Fiction Records)

Related - HEALTH, Warp, 8-bit.

Crystal Castles – Birds

Wild NothingGemini (Captured Tracks)

Related - My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths.

Wild Nothing – Summer Holiday

Related - Foot Village, Fugazi, King Tubby.

Islet – Ringerz

Abe VigodaCrush (Bella Union)

Related - Depeche Mode, Interpol.

Abe Vigoda – Crush

Prince - 20ten (The Daily Mirror?)

Related - Rick James, Funkadelic, Alicia Keys

Track - Beginning Endlessly

Marnie Sterns/t (Kill Rock Stars)

Related - Kate Bush, Sleater-Kinney, Zach Hill.

Marnie Stern – Gimme

Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise (Rough Trade)

Related - Burial, Warp, Alice Coltrane.

Pantha Du Prince – Abglanz

Bubbling Under

Japandroids - No SinglesLiarsSisterworld,  WarpaintThe FoolLes Savy FavRoot for Ruin

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Vinyl shopping in Brighton and other assorted things

I visit Brighton regularly for the fresh air and and company. Even though I was pretty skint I justified a mini record shop spending spree because I was out of town and by the sea and other dubious reasons. Strap yourself in for this ... after the traditional stroll on the seafront.

Somehow I can't ever recall going to Rounder Records, so I went here first.

There was a busy Saturday atmosphere. I only managed to locate the hip hop section and bought this little gem, mainly because it was £3 and had a great album cover. Obviously the Public Enemy connection helped. The Professor is a bit nuts though as fans will know.

Then we went to Borderline which seems to have changed much focusing more on cds then vinyl bargains so we didn't hang around. Next to Resident which is bit more up my street featuring a good, yet pricey, selection of vinyl from medium profile artists.

Having then decided that Rounder was the best place for my needs we went back for it's cheap mix of mainstream and underground artists. This time there was much more room and I located the indie section immediately finding a £7 Action Beat album in blue vinyl. That's what happens when you start browsing alphabetically. After this discovery I didn't look as hard because there was just too much and we needed a sit down by this point.

With this purchase in the bag we made our way to the nearest cafe. It was then I realised I was bleeding. I had fallen victim to "vinyl browser finger death"!

A small price to pay for a satisfying record hunt. We also stopped in Wax Factor below and another second hand place that I forget, just so we could call ourselves completists.

Here are some other Brighton retail highlights, no purchases just aesthetic curio:

Brighton is an arty expressive place. Here's the evidence.