Radiohead do Portishead’s ‘The Rip’

10 06 2008

I didn’t manage to see Radiohead at the weekend (A moral choice. I refuse to pay for overpriced tickets) and have heard very mixed reports but instead, here’s a great clip of Radiohead covering my favourite track (‘The Rip’) off the excellent new Portishead album (Third). True, it doesn’t have the deadly synth bit that’s on the original but still, well worth checking out.

Tricky – Council Estate

22 05 2008

Tricky’s a funny one. Responsible for one of the great debut albums, he was never able to match it again. Having lost interest in him quite a few albums ago, he went under my radar so I had kind of forgotten about him. But this is pretty good – I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe it but I’m not sure how. It’s his new single, Council Estate, on his new home, Domino Records. It’s already been one hell of a year for Domino. There have been a line of ace albums – Lightspeed Champion, Cass McCombs, Last Shadow Puppets, These New Puritans. It also seems to be the return of the “trip-hop” bands what with the return of Portishead, Martina Topley Bird, Massive Attack curating Meltdown and now this from Mr. Tricky. His new album is due very shortly and will be titled, ‘Knowle West Boy’.

Portishead Webcast

23 04 2008

The new Portishead album (‘Third’) is getting fairly mixed/mediocre reviews and I have only heard it once through via a leak someone played me in America. But I really liked it on that sole listen. And it struck me as the kind of album you probably need to live with to really appreciate. I didn’t like the single, ‘Machine Gun’ on first listen but I think it’s rather deadly now. Below, you’ll see a webcast that the band have done and again, I think the songs sound great. Perhaps reviewers are just giving them a hard time because (a) it took them ten years and (b) it works against the expectations of what a Portishead album ‘should’ be and that’s what I, personally, love seeing bands do – giving people something different than they expected. Unfortunately, that’s a rare occurence these days.

I still have to hear the album properly, I guess. I may come back and admit the critics were right but I hope they’re not…

Playlist for Fri 11/04/08

12 04 2008

Every Friday at midnight, I present Nightlink on and Phantom 105.2 in Dublin (also on Channel 935 on your telly if you have UPC). Here’s the playlist from last night. The ‘Under The Radar’ album was

‘Something Else’ – The Kinks


Tall Firs – Hairdo
The Kills – Alphabet Pony
White Denim – World As A Waiting Room
White Williams – New Violence
Kraftwerk – Numbers [SEE VIDEO BELOW]

The Shortwave Set – No Social
The Owl Service – A Garland of Song
The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of The Understatement
Monade – Regarde
Chequerboard – 20th Century Artillery
The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
Weakling & King – Wichita Lineman
The Jimmy Cake – Jetta’s Palace
Atlas Sound – Ativan
Soda Fountain Rag – Monkey Girl
El Perro Del Mar – How did we forget?
The Kinks – Harry Rag
Awesome Color – Already Down
Michael Knight – Sorry to bother you again, but
Portishead – Machine Gun [SEE VIDEO BELOW]

Born Ruffians – In A Mirror
Spizz Energi – Where’s Captain Kirk?
Tindersticks – The flicker of a little girl  [SEE VIDEO BELOW]

The Kinks – Tin Soldier Man
Deus – The Architect
Clinic – Winged Wheel
Gang of Four – Damaged Goods
Skyphone – Quetzal Cubicle
Midfield General ft. Noel Fielding – Seed Distribution
Eric Cheneaux – Arms, Legs And Moonlight

Back from NYC/Over-priced Records/Le Sac v Pip

24 03 2008

New York - Brooklyn Bridge

It’s all been very quiet around here as I spent the last couple of weeks in New York. Had a wonderful time, as I always do in NYC. Most of the time there involved eating and hanging out in Brooklyn, though I did happen to purchase quite a pile of records. What did strike me (especially considering the currency exchange) is how much we over-pay for music in Ireland. It’s easy to find lots of great second-hand stuff for 3 dollars over there, which works out at about 2 Euro each, for records that would probably be priced at 10 Euro and upwards here. It’s a reminder of how expensive second-hand records are in Ireland. Records like Led Zeppelin vinyl albums which over there can be bought for the equivalent of 5 Euro would cost at least 15 Euro second-hand in Ireland (and that’s a conservative estimate – more likely to be about 25 Euro). But even new CD’s like MGMT’s album and Goldfrapp’s new one were 10 dollars in Virgin (approx €6.50), which is ridiculously cheap, no matter what way you look at it. Somehow, I think it will be a while before we see new releases of fairly large names at anything near that price. Shops here are too greedy to put new biggish releases on sale at even 10 Euro but perhaps I’m wrong and they will have to resort to dropping CD prices in the near future. Virgin also had some great vinyl albums for 12 dollars (less than €8) – I bought the second Portishead album on vinyl for that price and it wasn’t on special offer or anything. Here you’d expect to pay at least 20 Euro.

So, I found a few gems which made me very happy. Vinyl albums by The Neon Philharmonic, Queen Anne’s Lace, Scott Walker, The Miracles, Caetano Veloso and many others which I haven’t got around to listening to yet. I also went to see Dan Le Sac v Scroobius Pip who I keep missing in Dublin. They played The Mercury Lounge with Sway, who was terrible, but Le Sac v Pip really impressed. They have a collection of strong tunes which bodes well for their debut album. Pip is smart and funny and a damn good lyricist while Le Sac’s beats avoid the dull hip-hop norm of recent times. My only concerns for them are that Scroobius Pip’s delivery is very similar on quite a few of the tunes and it’s possible that their ‘tricks’ (some might describe them as gimmicks), which involve stage costume and props, may get tired rather quickly. But that’s a minor disgruntle, and I look forward to seeing them here in May.

While I have not been blogging, I have heard the new Portishead album (only once, but it sounds deadly), saw one of the best films I’ve ever seen (‘Dogville’), become very fond of dumplings, encountered the rudest asshole record store guy ever (in Turntable Labs in Manhattan, even ruder than the Mod bloke who used to work in Comet Records in the early nineties), got frustrated with failing machinery and co-written many limericks. I feel like I’ve missed out on all kinds of bizarre occurences here over the last two weeks (The Village on fire, Anthony Minghella dying, Estelle at No. 1???) but I’m sure I’ll catch up very quickly.

Albums to look forward to in 2008

2 01 2008


My Bloody Valentine – Title TBC  Due Sometime 2008

Apparently, this is mostly done. According to Kevin Shields, it’s a continuation of the record they started in the mid-nineties, which he then described as ‘like drum & bass at 33RPM’ with some new tracks as well. Hopefully, it’ll be out in time for the gigs this summer which is all very exciting. There are some bands you’d hate to see recording together again (The Pixies, The Smiths)  but My Bloody Valentine are one band that just might pull it off.

Portishead – Title TBC (Rumoured Title: ‘Alien’) Due April 2008:

This looks like it could well be a stonker. They played some of the new material at their recent ATP appearance and reports all-round were excellent. You can see one of the tracks, Peaches here which is excellent and other tracks I’ve heard also seemed rather wonderful and very different for Portishead. Everything sounds much more upbeat and it seems like 60’s psychedelia may be a key influence on the record. But we’ll have to wait and see…

Goldfrapp - The Seventh Tree Goldfrapp – ‘Seventh Tree’  Due February 2008:

Having heard much of this, I have to say I’m really looking forward to it. I was a big fan of ‘Felt Mountain’ but have been fairly indifferent to anything since. But the new material is stripped-down and more ethereal with a Beatles/Cocteau Twins influence on the material I’ve heard. A&E is the first single to be released from the album and is already getting regular play on Phantom 105.2.

Los Campesinos – ‘Hold On Now Youngster’  Due February 2008:

It feels like a lifetime since I first heard their demo’s and got very excited by Los Campesinos!, which is unfortunate because a lot of their songs seem old to me now and they seem to be over-doing the twee factor the more I learn about them. But I’m still holding out hope that they’ll pull a great album out of the bag, I’ll forgive them their tweeness-overload and it’ll all be okay again. They play The Village on February 11th 2008

Cap Pas Cap  – Title TBC  Due Sometime 2008

They originally claimed that their album would be released in 2007 along with a split 7″ but neither made an appearance. In fact, their only release of the year was a re-press of their 2006 ‘Not Not Is Fine’ EP. Hopefully, it won’t take too much longer and we’ll be rewarded with releases in the near future. Hurry up, would you?

The Jimmy Cake The Jimmy Cake – ‘Spectre & Crown’  Due February 2008

The Jimmy Cake finally get around to releasing their follow-up to ‘Dublin Gone, Everybody Dead’, which is now six years old. They recently played some of the new tracks on The Indie Hour which sounded more piano-led and almost simpler than The Jimmy Cake you might be used to.

The Breeders: ‘Mountain Battles’  Due April 2008:

Steve Albini is involved and it includes a song in Spanish and a song in German. They play Dublin on April 7th 2008 in The Ambassador.

 Jape – Title TBC  Due: Feb/March 2008

Another one that fells like it’s taken an age to come out but hopefully it will be well worth the wait. Presumably, their current set will make up the bulk of the record which has to be a good sign. Songs like ‘Gimme Some More’, ‘I Was A Man’ and ‘Strike Me Down’ are all absolute stompers so it’s hard to see how this one can fail.

Wild Beasts – Title TBC  Due: Sometime 2008

Wild Beasts are a band that a lot of people are going to despise. Funny high-pitched vocals, bizarre lyrics and a general atmosphere of feyness abounds but I think they’re one of the most exciting new bands around. All three singles to date have been first class so I can’t wait to see what they do with a full-length.

Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Title TBC  Due: Hopefully 2008

Dexy’s are a long-time favourite of mine and ‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels’ is one of my favourite albums ever. I saw a re-formed Dexy’s a few years ago and was sorely disappointed and this is a record I would have been worried about except that the new song Kevin Rowland has up on his Myspace page (‘It’s OK Johanna’) is fantastically deadly so perhaps all is not lost yet.

Foals Foals – Antidotes  Due: March 2008

This is a band that could still go either way for me. I have loved some of their tracks while others have left me cold. I’m glad to see that the tracklisting includes the track that got me excited about them in the first place – ‘The French Open’ and doesn’t include the underwhelming single, ‘Mathlethics’.

Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend  Due: Jan 2008

They certainly stick out like a sore thumb from everything else that’s going on at the moment with their Afro-Beatles sound. You’re going to hear about them constantly for the next few months and endless reviews mentioning Paul Simon’s Graceland album but if their debut is as good as ‘Mansard Roof’ and new single ‘A Punk’, then it could well be worth the hype.

The Smiths – Boxset  Due: Late 2008

Johnny Marr confirmed towards the end of the year that he and Morrissey are compiling a boxset supposedly due for relese in 2008. Marr hoped it would include unreleased versions of tracks including some of the never-officially released Troy Tate demos and alternate versions and unrelesaed session versions of tracks. It won’t feature any new tracks but it may also include a DVD of unreleased live footage of the band.

Messiah J & The Expert – Title TBC  Due: Summer 2008 

I have to declare an interest here as I’m involved with the band  (See here) but I have heard a lot of the album and I think it sounds very exciting.

Other bands/artists that will hopefully release new records this year include Boards of Canada, Stereolab, Joanna Newsom, Broadcast, Edan and Boom Bip (His ‘Sacchrilige’ EP of last year was the best thing he’s ever done but I’m less keen on Neon Neon, his recent collaboration with Gruff Rhys). There’s always a few surprises and I’m sure this time next year I’ll be praising albums from 2008 by artists I don’t even know exist yet. That’s the fun part.

New Portishead Track – Peaches

18 12 2007

Here’s a taster of the new Portishead album. This is a live performance of a new track called ‘Peaches’, taken from their recent performance at ATP: Nightmare Before Christmas in Minehead, which they curated. If this is anything to go by, the new album should see Portishead widening their sound pallette as this is far more up-tempo, bordering on Psych, and there seems to be a Silver Apples/United States of America vibe to this one. It’s also much heavier than anything they’ve done in the past. It’ll be interesting to see if the whole album sounds like this. The album, which may or may not be called ‘Alien’ is due out in April 2008.