Showing posts from March, 2012

Playlist 214 - Mar 27 2012

The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 214 Tues Mar 27 2012 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *listen back to this show here Playlist Tanlines - All of me Electric Guest - This head I hold ( playing Deaf Institute, Manchester, May 15 ) Matthew Bourne - Juliet Peter Broderick - It starts hear Neil Cowley Trio - Rooster was a witness ( playing Triskel Christchurch, Cork, Apr 15 ) Andrew Bird - Eyeoneye ( playing Forbidden Fruit Festival, Dublin, June 4 ) AU - OJ ( playing Shacklewell Arms, London, Apr 25 ) Grimes - Oblivion ( playing Forbidden Fruit Festival, Dublin, June 3 ) Junior Electronics - Mike McCOnnell Halves - Haunt me when I'm drowsy (live) (Live at Unitarian Church) Mairi Morrison &

Sophia Knapp – Into the waves (Drag City)

Just got this album today – belatedly, it came out at the beginning of March – and I’ve immediately fallen in love with it. Short and very sweet, with a beautiful breathy voice at the centre, it’s just a joy from start to finish. Bill Callahan crops up twice for vocal support but it’s the beautiful balance of the production that catches the ear most – a US west coast folk sound with a twist of RnB. It’s basically brilliant. For example, the utterly captviating Close to me , which starts like a Led Zep outtake with Stevie Nicks guesting, but soon morphs into something approaching Olivia Newton John’s disco period, only so much better than that might make you think.

British Expeditionary Force – Chapter Two: Konstellation Neu (Erased Tapes)

Another gem on Erased Tapes , which seems like it's a bottomless pit of treasures in fairness. Here's an album of carefully shifting but still affecting electronica. From the swirling, beat-driven Cogs and chemicals ; to the sublime drift of the title track with its chopped up piano pattern and layered harmonies; to the euphoric, shoegazey uplift of Where you go I will follow and something like pastoral drum machine music on Crack in the clouds . Also the glorious machine drone of Irons in fires is a great way to end the album. Thoroughly recommended. The British Expeditionary Force – Commotion (Official Music Video) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo .

Hooded Fang – Tosta Mista (Full Time Hobby)

Light and airy, but full of an irresistible pop sweetness. Garage pop gems like ESP, Brahma and the title track don’t come along every day and should be cherished when they do. The first psychedelic wave may be a major musical influence but the presence of Daniel Lee’s smooth croon adds extra depth and intrigue. Make it your soundtrack for the summer.

Playlist 213 - Mar 20 2012

The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 213 Tues Mar 20 2012 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *listen back to this show here Playlist Lightships - Sweetness in her spark The Salim Nourallah Treefort 5 - Everybody knows Mairi Morrison & Alisdair Roberts - Mile marbhphaisg air a' Ghaol Yann Tiersen - The trial Hooded Fang - Brahma The Agency - Not singular Chairlift - I belong in your arms It's a Musical - For years and years Shearwater - Breaking the yearlings Yawning Chasm - Life is elsewhere Julia Holter - In the same room ( playing Forbidden Fruit Festival, Dublin, June 4 ) Milagres - Doubted ( playing Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Aug 31-Sept 2 ) Salli Lunn - The first cause F

The Flaming Lips - The soft bulletin

Remember when The Flaming Lips released one of the great pop records of the 1990's (any decade?), The soft bulletin . That was the album that introduced the name of Dave Fridmann to the world, for it was he who recorded it at the then new Tarbox Road Studio . That wild drum sound rocked my world that year. But also the melodies and keyboards used as knock-off orchestras. Backing vocals taking the place of guitar parts. It was a monumental sound and it was all over the radio. Seeing the band play at The Olympia Theatre in Dublin later that year, on tour with Cornelius , was something like a religious experience for me. That was the time when Wayne Coyne used the puppet nun and fake blood as stage props. You can relive the whole thing now courtesy of a Pitchfork documentary, featuring all the principals speaking about the background to and recording of the album. Have a listen to Part 2 here, soundtracked by the majestic What is the light .

AU new single

An album we've had on heavy rotation lately is AU's Both lights on Leaf . The second single Get alive has just been released from it. It's got another great rumbling rhythm - a kind of mutant two-step, with invigorating brass punctuation - and more soaring vocals from Luke Wyland with guest Holland Andrews (she also sang on first single Solid gold ). It kinda reminds me of the best gospel music in that it's just effortlessly uplifting.

It’s a Musical – For years and years (Morr Music)

Irresistible indie pop from the Berlin-based boy-girl duo Robert Kretzschmar and Ella Blixt , with dual lead vocals, infectious drumbeats and swirling organ riffs. If that description makes you think of Quasi, there is something of their aesthetic going on, although this pair operate at a less frenetic pace. This (their second album) is full of perfect pop songs like Point Back, Team that never wins (an Eleventh Hour cover), Pictures, The dream and the title track, one of the sweetest, most defiant putdowns in the pop canon. They also have one ear firmly on the dancefloor. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to get enough of this. Highly recommended. *Extra kudos for the name, to my mind answering the ageless question, “ What kind of music do you play ?”. For Years And Years by It's A Musical

Playlist 212 - Mar 13 2012

The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 212 Tues Mar 13 2012 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *listen back to this show here Playlist The Go-Betweens - Karen Grand Pocket Orchestra - Andy has the power of a million men ( playing The Pavilion, Cork, Apr 12th, w/ Saint Yorda ) Papa M - Arundel ( playing Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, May 26 ) It's a Musical - Point Back AU - Epic ( playing Shacklewell Arms, London, Apr 25 ) British Expeditionary Force - When all of this is done FS Blumm & Lucrecia Dalt - quizas perhaps quizas Dustin O'Halloran - Opus 7 ( playing Cork Opera House, May 19, w/ Johann Johannsson & Hauschka ) Naim Amor - Le revenant Cian Nugent - Sixes & sevens (Excerpt

Lightships – Sweetness in her spark (Geographic, single)

New band fronted by Gerard Love, ex-Teenage Fanclub . It’s beautiful, jangly, summer-soaked pop, adorned with shimmering organ, glistening guitars and blissed-out harmonies. I know I’m a sucker for fuzzy Byrdsian nostalgia anyway, but still, some tunes are way too gorgeous.

Grand Pocket Orchestra - Ronald & Sylma (Popical Island)

This review first appeared in Cork webzine Noise . I missed Grand Pocket Orchestra’s first album, The Ice Cream , so this is my first sustained exposure to a band I’ve heard good things about. Therefore, in this review I’ll be confining myself to talking about their second album. So what we have here is… …A set of sublime teenage symphonies, sounding like they were put together in a garage, mixed with a barrage of pleasing no wave elements (you would think Daniel Johnston is a strong influence) and bursting at the seams with pop hooks. The songs deal with everyday, mundane topics, basically the important things in life – the joys of coffee ( Coffee cup ), weekends away under the stars ( Camping ) and a desire to try new sexual positions ( Pinkywolf ). On first listen, I couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous Sulphurous stain , which counterpoints a low electric guitar growl with light and carefree glockenspiel. And the way that Five pairs of fingers superbly marshals a series o

Playlist 211 - Mar 6 2012

The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 211 Tues Mar 6 2012 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *listen back to this show here Playlist AU - Get alive ( playing Shacklewell Arms, London, Apr 25 ) Peter Broderick - I am piano Memoryhouse - This will be our year ( playing Whelan's, Dublin, Mar 24 ) The Zombies - She's not there Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot - Bonnie & Clyde Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin - 69 Année Erotique ( Serge Gainsbourg: Mort 21, Gulpd, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork, Mar 11 ) Django Django - Firewater Frankie Rose - Had we had it Field Music - From hide and seek to heartache ( playing Forbidden Fruit Festival, Dublin, June 4 ) Soap&Skin - Wonder Corma

Peter Broderick, new album

Peter Broderick has a track record of speaking directly to his fans, literally - in the past he has recorded his answers to fan questions and uploaded the audio to his website, a particularly lovely personal touch. You get a gist of this kind of personal attention too in this interview I did with him when he played at the Crane Lane Theatre in Cork in 2009. His new "vocal" album is just out on Bella Union (as opposed to his many soundtrack and instrumental/collaborative projects). It's called . That's right, it's a web address. Why? Rather than me explaining, let me hand you over to the man himself. How do you feel about music downloading? It is a common question addressed to musicians and one that I have been asked several times in interviews. My response has always been that it doesn't bother me. It is unavoidable. And in the best case s