Thursday, 27 November 2008

Festive Fifty

Those of us that mourned the passing of John Peel have also been missing out on Peel's annual roundup of excellence, the Festive 50... but have no fear, dear reader, for it is back back back.

Those excellent folk at Dandelion Radio, the online radio station dedicated to keeping the spirit of St. Peel alive, are compiling a list for this year, to be broadcast for a month from Christmas Day. The reason for telling you this is that you too can have your say: vote for your top three tunes of 2008 here and peruse Dandelion-generated Festive 50s from the last few years.

The reason for the urgency is that polling closes on 30 November, so that gives you over the weekend to mull these choices over...

Get clicking.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Matthew Houck's latest offering is entitled 'To Willie' and its fantastic. He is better known to the music world (or at least some of it) as Phosphorescent, a charming and bewildering musician who delights on singing songs dealing with loneliness, depression, alcohol abuse and ex-girlfriends. Not the best album to release after Christmas and during these hard times, but I've fond solace and hope in this album. If you're a new comer to Phosphorescent I would recommend his previous release PRIDE as it comes with many different styles, one of which is experimentation, whereas this album concentrates more on honesty and lack of honesty to those the songwriter loves. Mr Houck has something to hide outside of his Phosphescent shell and here its clear that he knows he needs to come to terms with a few things. A few people will compare his new album to Kris Kristofferson's 70's stuff or any of the Outlaw Country stuff and you would be right to, as this album is actually all songs written by the fantastic Willie Nelson, but its still a Phosphorescent album to me. If these songs didn't mean a hell of a lot to Matthew he wouldn't have covered them and taken the trouble to do them justice so you can accept this album as a covers album or a Phosphorescent album, either way you'll be fully stoked on it.

Phosphorescent - A Picture of our torn up praise MP3 (Courtesy of Dead Oceans)

Phosphorescent Myspace

Dead Oceans Site

Some great recent footage from They Shoot Music

Shit Happens

We shouldn't laugh... Even Diddy gets shit on his shoes sometimes.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


Something of a curiosity here; recently my eye was caught by this new release from former Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer, inexplicably* called "Leeds United". A few minutes Googling away reveals that this is the lead single from her debut solo album, 'Who Killed Amanda Palmer?', produced by uber-nerd and Elton wannabe Ben Folds, which would explain the stomping piano riff on the record. Anyway, it would appear that both Amanda and the song have fuck all to do with the fair city of Leeds, so what prompted this tribute to its football team? As far as I am aware, polysexual Brechtian punk-cabaret isn't that big on the terraces of Elland Road...

I have no idea, but like with so many other things, I am holding Kaiser Chiefs responsible.

*reports in from our spies reveal that this song is (allegedly) about Ricky...

Here's the video:

And an MP3 of the song can be found here, courtesy of those good folks at Nevver.

Monday, 17 November 2008

The Archive

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

One for you vinyl junkies: a short documentary by Sean Dunne about a bearded gentleman from Pittsburgh named Paul Mawhinney, who apparently has the world's largest vinyl collection... or did have, anyway. Circumstances have forced to him to sell his beloved records... rather him than me.

Quicktime here.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Lost Art...

Oh yes indeed... it's blog time once again.

Regular readers of the rubbish that we knock out will probably be aware of our nerdish interest in the worlds of art & design, and in particular the now-sadly-dying art of album cover design. We could wax lyrical about how the 12" sleeve, particularly the gatefold version, gave designers and artists a large canvas to construct beautiful and imaginative artwork blah blah blah, but we figure it's been said rather a lot as it is.

Instead we would like to draw your attention to Sleevage, an album-sleeve blog basically devoted to showcasing the best designs daily. It's all searchable, but it is in beta at the mo so there's not a right lot on there at the minute... but this should change.

Before you lament the absence of, say, The Toy Dolls' "Nellie The Elephant", don't despair; they are looking for people to contribute to the blog with suggestions of their own, so why not get involved? Then you won't be able to leave smartarse comments to the effect that the seminal work for the Poppies by The Designer's Republic has been overlooked...

Oh - while we're on the subject, Sleeveface is always good for a laugh.

But then you probably knew that already.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

JAKE THACKRAY "This song is offensive"

Jake Thackray was a singer and a songwriter born in Leeds in 1938 and sadly passed in 2002, the anniversary of his death is Christmas Eve next month, so here's a little tribute to the rarely blogged about master of cool and innuendo.

Jake Thackray - Brother Gorilla

Jake Thackray - On Again

Jake on

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell

Arthur Russell was a composer, cellist, singer, Disco producer. Unfortunately he died of AIDS in 1992 leaving behind him a wealth of undiscovered classics, underground hits and a legacy of pure genius production. He was the man behind New York white disco punk funk acts Dinosaur L and Loose Joints. Thankfully Matt Wolf has put together a film documenting as much interesting and relevant information about Arthur as is possible in such a short space of time.

The film is availble to purchase now from the below link and is also showing at Leeds Film Festival.

Arthur Russell - This Is How We Walk On The Moon

Official Movie Site

Arthur Russell - That's Us/Wild Combination (MP3) - Courtesy of

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Simply Everyone's Taking Cocaine

LDN scenester and professional mockney Lily Allen is back, apparently. The video for new tune "Everyone's At It", featuring a load of coke-related celebrity shenanigans, was leaked onto YouTube a day or two before she added it to her oh-so-popular MySpace page. We did post it, but unsurprisingly record company bigwigs must have freaked hard and had it pulled from YouTube pretty swiftly. Instead, why not listen to the whole tune accompanied by a lovely picture of Miss Allen:

The same point was articulated in verse over a decade ago by posh performance poet Murray Lachlan Young with "Simply Everyone's Taking Cocaine" on his 1997 album 'Vice & Verse'. There are white labels out there with loads of drug-themed remixes, but the album version is pretty damn good if you ask me. However, here is a video of Mr Lachlan Young performing the composition a capella...