Well it wasn't too long before the finest moniker of any artist or musician ever (and this is official; I've checked) and writer of one of my all time favorite songs (Tonight was a Disaster- where the lyric used in this post's title originates) Casiotone for the Painfully Alone is returning to the UK.
I've been kicking myself for the past two and a bit years since CTFPA's Owen Ashworth's lo-fi symphonies graced these shores and I decided I'd rather stay in and watch a poor TV movie than drive to Manchester on my own to see them. This was a poor error of judgment on my part and I've been hoping that I would have a chance to atone for such a heinous fuck up.
Judging from news via his website there's no new material on its way, however there is a free download of the previously unreleased 'New Year's Kiss (4 Track Version)' available...for which the following link will (hopefully) take you to: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - New Year's Kiss
Check the following list of gigs, select a nearby venue, go to the gig, enjoy yourself...maybe get a little drunk if you want.
Please don't be a chump like I was.
CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONESPRING 2008 UK & IRELAND TOUR
05/03/2008 UK London (Bush Hall) 07.03.2008 IRE Galway (Roisin Dubh) 08.03.2008 UK Belfast (Black Box Café) 09.03.2008 IRE Dublin (Whelan's) 10.03.2008 UK Leeds (Brudenell Socia 12.03.2008 UK York (The Crescent)1 3.03.2008 UK Manchester (Charlies) 14.03.2008 UK Bristol (Cube Cinema) 15.03.2008 UK Cardiff (UWIC Howard Gardens) 16.03.2008 UK Nottingham (The Social) 17.03.2008 UK Brighton (Pressure Point)
Ignoring the steady slew of crap bands that the usual sources insist will change my life etc...I've somehow come into possession of some interesting and standout tracks of late. One of which comes from the rather lovely Beach House.Sounding somewhere between Kingsbury Manx, Radar Bros, Beach Boys and Grizzly Bear, the two band members Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand have most sincerely impressed (and soothed) these tired old ears of mine. I note with eagerness and glee that they have an album coming out soon called 'Devotion' which is released Stateside on BellaUnion, so please make sure you investigate. This track in particular is has the rare quality of a splendidly haunting guitar lick and a warm and beautiful organ (insert your own joke there peeps).
I was contemplating my albums of the year choices yesterday, primarily the several albums that I haven’t yet managed to acquire. One of these would be Radiohead’s latest offering ‘In Rainbows’.
As an on-off Radiohead fan I’ve never rushed out to buy any of their albums usually purchasing them several months later, however the two tracks from said album; 'House of Cards' and 'Nude'have left me feeling more excited about ‘In Rainbows’ than any Radiohead release thus far. With the fact that they were literally giving the album away, I don’t know why I never got round to listening to it. I am an idiot(tech). Whilst contemplating this walking home from work, I chanced upon a track at random by MIA called ‘Paper Planes’ on my MP3 player. Having been fairly nonplussed by her debut album and her live act , I automatically bypassed her latest offering, but if ‘Paper Planes’ is anything to go by, it would once again appear that I had ‘missed the boat’ re-itterating the observation that I am an idiot. Coincidentally last night, non other than Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Ed Greenwood were filling in for Zane Lowe on his BBC Radio One show. The track they opened with? Non other than MIA’s ’Paper Planes’. Yay syncronisity! It was a great two hours worth of radio, and amongst other tracks aired, they played a Burial track called 'Ghost Hardware', which was one of the finest sounds I’ve heard for an age, Perhaps the hoards of writers pontificating about this album were onto something? (you've got the picture...I'm an idiot) They also played Sonic Youth’s ‘Youth against Fascism’ which was the very first Sonic Youth song I ever heard way back when a pal taped me a copy of Nirvana’s- Nevermind and filled the remaining 30 minutes with the aforementioned ‘Youth Against Fascism', Sugar’s ‘Changes’ and Ministry's epic 'N.W.O'- all of which I loved as much (if not more) than Nevermind.
Anyway, I decided a.) I was going to buy M.I.A, Radiohead and Burial’s albums and post these 'ere tracks.Enjoy!
So with much pomp and circumstance Liverpool’s second favourite son (who’s still alive) kicked off the European Capital of Culture extravaganza on Friday. Personally I couldn’t be arsed to see ole Ringo (poorly drawn above..apologies) playing with Dave Stewart (how the hell did he get involved?) on St George’s Hall, but kudos Liverpool etc.
At work, the inclusion of Ringo has caused something of a stir, notebaly his merit as a musician, with the common consensus amongst my cohorts being that Ringo was, and I quote: "without any talent as a singer or a drummer".
Have these people listened to a Beatles album?...I mean listen to the drumming on 'Get Back'- it’s fucking great! Sadly his reputation will, or so it appears, be forever be sullied by a John Lennon quip, who when asked in an interview if he thought Ringo was the best rock drummer in the world retorted: "he's not even the best drummer in the Beatles!".
Anyway, I have a genuine love and affinity for Ringo and especially one of his few writing contributions 'Don't Pass Me By' from The Beatles' White Album. It doesn't take the keenest of music aficionados to work out that its not in the same league as most of other songs from the album, but it always makes me chuckle, especially the "I'm sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair/You were in a car crash, And you lost your hair" lyrics. Effing marvelous. It also has further meaning when we did a Radio One interview/session with Huw Stevens several years ago and were asked live on air to chose a track from The White Album for him to play (I difficult task I'm sure you'll agree) and despite the obvious chin scratching mulling over I managed to get them to (reluctantly) agree to play this song, much to the other band members discontent afterwards.
Sir Edmund Hilary (as poorly depicted above...apologies), first man to conquer the dizzy heights of Mt. Everest died toady aged 88. I thought he was dead already, nevertheless he was officially the first man (along with his Sherpa; Tenzing Norgay) to set foot on the Everest's peak in 1953.Despite it being an amazing feat, I always felt that the role of Norgay (and that of all other Sherpas) was overlooked in the history books. Anyway, it's a perfectly reasonable excuse for me to post some Mountain themed toonage:
I discovered this track by total chance. Whilst awaiting a knee operation I perused a implausibly large amount of MP3 blogs, downloading anything and everything I came across for the impending hospital stint. After my operation doped up on delightfully strong pain killers I had these tracks playing randomly on my generic MP3 player, most of which I was nonplussed when, as if a gift from the Gods I heard this, and I loved it from the get-go. I think I must have listened to it back to back for and hour and even now after literally hundreds of listens my adulation hasn’t waned.
There are many reasons why I absolutely adore this song; for its wit and originality, the great drum break where the drum machine almost goes out of time, the almost Malkamus esque cryptic lyrics and ‘ahhhh ahhhhh ahhhhh ahhhhh ahhhhhhhhhhhhh’ sing a long vocals to name but a few. The debut album Moonbeams is due to be released in February, which I hope will be followed up with a tour and equally brilliant follow up releases.
A perfect cross between Pavement and The Fall. Driving Bass and drums with a spoken word ramble. “So sick in the Travel Lodge in Leeds in the rain” perfectly and succinctly epitomises the dreary accommodation during a small scale UK tour. (My own personal Travel Lodge hell would be Exeter during our first ‘proper UK tour’ doing nothing but watching crappy day time TV and eating Mini Baby Bells)
The foundations of this song are built around a towering riff and bass line that will have you punching the air and banging your head like a fool. A drum breakdown towards the end is -without wishing to sound like a complete tool- "off the hook!!"
This song starts off like 'Suicide is Painless- Theme From M*A*S*H' which is a god enough reason as any to adore this.
6) Euros Childs – Henry a Matilda Supermarket Super
If I could sing, I wish I could sing like Euros Childs. I love the fact that I have no idea what this song is about, but love that Black Lace type keyboard sounds and Euros’ voice sounds as soothing and sweet as ever.
Nuff said already… The live versions of this (note the use of the plural…yes I have seen them twice this year) will make your hair stand on end and your body move uncontrollably even for the staunchest non-dancers such as I.
8) Electrelane – To The East
This song starts so well and just builds and builds and builds…The band have gone into hiatus but hopefully they’ll return to continue where they left off.
This track was the first in a collection of 3 songs sent to me in February last year, it ticks all the right boxes as far as influences go and has a fantastic loose feel to it. The opening music to my bawdy imaginary sit-com.
I’ve been re-listening to this album lots recently and this, is a particular highlight. Nina’s stunning voice and soft guitar is perfecting compliments by Jim White’s spacious drums. I would recommend anyone with a soul to acquire this album at your earliest opportunity!
DRAPED IN VELVET ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2008 1. LCD Sound System - Sound of Silver
Quelle Surprise! It’s been overstated on many occasions by finer fellows than I just how good this record is so I I’ll try and keep it simple: It has the Hallmark of a classic album whereby on every listen you discover something new to appreciate and as each track plays you think “this is the best song” until the next track kicks in. It also has the quality so that friends who wouldn’t normally listen to music of this ilk, or don’t necessarily have the best taste enquire as to what album your playing as opposed to the unimpressed “what the fook is this shite you’re listening to?” of which I become accustomed.
2. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Having by-passed their previous recordings, I fell head over heels in love with this record on about the second or third listen. (Knowing I now have their impressive back catalogue to work my way through is a genuinely exciting prospect). Such a refreshing way of producing music has left me elated and depressed at the same time. I unequivocally apologise to my friends who recommended The Animal Collective to me over the past 4 years. You were right.
3. Caribou - Andorra Psych soaked sun drenched west coast retro pop bliss doused with a the right amount of melancholy and bolstered by sublime layers of melodic instrumentation.
4. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
Sophisticated guitar pop that sufficiently and surprisingly outshines their previous offering ‘Chutes Too Narrow’. Songwriter’s James Mercer’s trademark intelligent lyrics and complex melodies ensured thatrepeated listening produced further appreciation.
5. Nina Nistasia and Jim White - You Follow Me Simply put; this is an album of hair raising and fragile beauty.
6. Dinosaur Jr - Beyond Screw Led Zepplin, Take That and all those other cunts who have reformed their waste of fucking time bands - this is THE reformation that all other reformations shall now be judged! Make no mistake this isn't an album for thirty somethings wishing to a take a trip down memory lane, this is the real deal. Fucking Ace!
7. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
This album wasn’t released in the UK until Jan 07, which after reading the Stateside hullabaloo was an awful long time to have to wait. First listens didn't impress me and I put it to one side, however after catching their live act I went back to it and got passed my initial Bruce Springsteen reservations. I drove my neighbours mad with the incessant repetition of 'Chill Out Tent'
8. Euros Childs - Bore Da
As well as being possibly the most underated songwriter of his generation, Euros Childs is extremely prolific in his out put. Unlike his other offering this year, Bore Da is a collection of stripped down piano and guitar led folk tinged pop sung entirely in Child’s native tongue.Brilliantly bonkers and beautiful in equal measure.
9. Thee More Shallows - Book of Bad Beats Despite me mispronouncing the band’s name as ‘Three moreSwallows’ for several months this record was a permanent fixture on my turntable throughout the summer. Blending beats with soft vocals and a plethora of different instruments. Think early Beta Band meets Califone.
10. Wooden Shjips - Eponymous
This came highly recommended by the chaps in my local record shop and it didn’t disappoint. It’s got the heaviest and dirtiest bass I’ve heard for an eon and it doesn’t sound a million miles unlike a Fall 45rpm record being played at 33rpm.
11. Besnard Lakes- The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse
A collection of tender and rawkass songs to sooth the soul.
12. The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters After a mesmerising performance in supporting Micah P Hinson in a strange little Art Gallery in Liverpool I eagerly awaited the release of their debut album. The layers of Kevin Sheild styled guitars accompanied with ferocious drumming set the backdrop for singer James Alexander Graham's heartfelt vocals.
13. The Battles - Mirrors Math rock pioneers bring us a cleverly quirky collection of off beat instrumentals.
14. Menomena - Friend or Foe
Richly textured pop prog- a slightly less wacky Flaming Lips. On tour in the Uk and Europe in 2008!
15. The Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
Tight trousered Southern gentleman rock it like it was 1973 with their finest album yet.
Albums that didn't quite make it for various reasons; however I feel they deserve a round of applause for entertaining me anyhow.
Bill Callaghan - Woke on a Whaleheart (Great album, but sadly not a patch on his last two releases) Buck 65 - Situation (Not as interesting as his last few releases unfortunately) Okkervil River - Stage Names (More listens required) Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation (as above) Super Furry Animals - Hey Venus! (Good but not great) CSS -CSS (I tired of this album quickly...though it was fun whilst it lasted) Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold (Great album with just one too many so-so songs on it) The Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards (Playing it yesterday it didn't sound as good as it did in my head) The White Stripes -Icky Thump (Actually I'm not sure why I didn't put this in the 15...apologies) Jamie T - Panic Stations (I loved this when I got it but with the exception of the singles I got bored too quickly) Panda Bear - Person Pitch (More listens required) The Field - From Here we go Sublime (Much more listens required) Beriut - The Flying Club Cup (I know I'll like this more in about 2 months time)