Showing posts from April, 2012

Record Store Day 2012, podcast

You'll be aware that Record Store Day 2012 happened last Saturday, April 21st. To mark the day, I participated in a special outside broadcast with my UCC 98.3FM station colleague Stephen Purcell at Plugd Records in Cork. That's the one independent record retailer in Cork city, one of only a handful in the whole country. And Plugd are also just now celebrating the 1st anniversary of their move to the current premises, at Triskel Arts Centre on Tobin St. Steve and myself were just two of a number of different DJ's playing in the shop throughout the day. Here are a few words I put together about the day in Plugd for We Are Noise - it was a most heartwarming event, I must say. You can also check back on the ob with this podcast - it's mostly made up of music, not too much talking, the likes of The Kinks, Tangerine Dream, Paul McCartney and Bouts from Steve; I had some Peaki

Playlist 218 - Apr 24 2012

The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 218 Tues Apr 24 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 - OJ ( playing Shacklewell Arms, London, Apr 25 ) M Ward - The first time I ran away Todd Tobias - Crystal Palace people Elisa Luu - Se fosse per me Tanlines - All of me Hiss Golden Messenger - Westering ( playing Kilkenny Roots Festival, May 4-7 ) Interview with Albert from Plugd Records Yawning Chasm - Your blue blue blue blue eyes are killing me Alexander Tucker - The glass axe ( playing Triskel Christchurch, Cork, May 12, w/ James Blackshaw ) Dustin O'Halloran - Opus 54 ( playing Cork Opera House, May 20, w/Johann Johannsson & Hauschka ) Las

Two folk albums

Two fine folk albums have been occupying my mind, and ears, a lot in the last month or so. They are The brutal here and now by Dublin band The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock , and Urstan by Scotland's Mairi Morrison & Alidair Roberts . They're actually very different musically, despite sharing the (very broad) folk tag. Here's a link to a review I wrote of The brutal here and now for We Are Noise - The Spook use various rock structures but incorporate many themes and patterns from folk music, and not just Irish folk or traditional music. The outstanding tune on the album, and one I've had trouble getting out of my head for several weeks, is actually sung in Italian - The Tarantella . From that review - The first song, ‘The Tarantella’, is sung in Italian, although its ominous drone opening and building mid-section make me th

AU, new video for OJ

The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I've been playing a lot of AU lately on the show. That's because their new album Both lights (on The Leaf Label ) is inspiring stuff (my review of the album here ). They've just announced an animated video for one of my favourite tracks on the album, OJ (first song on this week's show), made by Japanese film maker Takafumi Tsuhiya . It shows off a pulsing, liquid use of colour, which interacts very successfully with the song's machine funk. Check it out. They've also made the song available for free through their soundcloud page. I recommend you avail yourself right away.

A few shorts - Hooray for Earth, Bring us closer together

Another from this week's playlist. Noel Heroux is the main guy behind Hooray for Earth . Their album True loves is just out over here on Memphis Industries and it's a real grower. This storming tune is hidden near the end of the album but I haven't been able to get past it since I came across it. It's a kind of a throwback, an 80's style synth stomp with a reaching for the sky, back of the room chorus, which would remind you a little bit of Tears for Fears. It's glorious stuff and capable of happily distracting you from shit you should be doing today. *The sound isn't the greatest on this link, but it's good enough to give you the gist.

A few shorts - M Ward, The first time I ran away

A few short bits prompted by this week's playlist. Spent the last week or so captivated by the new M Ward album, A Wasteland Companion , it's on Bella Union this side of the pond. And I've found a lot of my love for it so far funnelled into one song, The first time I ran away . It's like a memory of a David Gates song (brushed acoustic, high tone bass) given a dreamy, psychedelic hue with filtered strings and pedal steel, a choir of background "oohs" and barely there tom tom tattoos by Steve Shelley. To call it beautiful doesn't begin to do it justice. If you're anything like me, you'll find it beautiful like oxygen is beautiful. The animated video by Joel Trussell is also great, giving the nostalgia and surreal undertones full flow.

Playlist 217 - Apr 17 2012

The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 217 Tues Apr 17 2012 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *no podcast this week Playlist Alisdair Roberts & Mairi Morrison - The whole house is singing ( playing The Slaughtered Lamb, London, May 23 ) M Ward - The first time I ran away Julia Stone - Let's forget Katie Kim - Pause ( playing The Unitarian Church, Dublin, Apr 21 ) Hooray for Earth - Bring us closer together It's a Musical - Point back The Chap - Rhythm king Father John Misty - Nancy from now on AU - Old friend ( playing Shacklewell Arms, London, Apr 25 ) Peter Broderick - Colin Kevin Tihista - Taking it to the streets (again) Fenster - Oh canyon Spiritualized - Hey Jane Lightships - Sweetness in her spark *next week's show will feature music from Tanlines, D

Peter Broderick – (Bella Union)

Peter Broderick returns with his follow-up vocal album to debut Home in 2008, and shows the influence of his copious instrumental and soundtrack work in the interim, with (he tells us) no restrictions placed on arrangements or sonic direction this time. Straightaway I am piano has an air of Music for Confluence (one of PB’s dance soundtrack commissions – more here ) about it, in its gentle foundation of swinging violin. That’s followed quickly by A tribute to our letter writing days , the lovely group choral backdrop the perfect setting for its communal nostalgia. At this point, I began to form the impression that the album lacked the immediacy or the arresting beauty of Home . However, he then hits on a fascinating new direction on the title track, creating a backbeat from an insistent picked electric guitar figure and some whipcrack guitar effect decay. Later in the same tune, there’s a gorgeous, ascending violins-with-choir section. The song also contains the line “ maybe you

Playlist 216 - Apr 10 2012

The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 216 Tues Apr 10 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 Spook of the Thirteenth Lock - The Tarentella ( playing Triskel Christchurch, Cork, Apr 12, w/ Barry McCormack ) Grand Pocket Orchestra - Andy has the power of a million men ( playing The Pavilion, Cork, Apr 12, w/ Saint Yorda ) Trumpets of Jericho - PURE LO/E, LIKE ( playing The Pavilion, Cork, Apr 14, w/ Myles Manley ) Alexander Tucker - Third mouth ( playing Triskel Christchurch, Cork, May 12, w/ James Blackshaw ) West Norwood Cassette Library - Collision bump (Collision/Detection v2) Seb Rochford & LV - Sugah sweet (Days & Nights at the Takeaway 3) S

Playlist 215 - Apr 3 2012

The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 215 Tues Apr 3 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 Peaking Lights - Amazing and wonderful ( playing Forbidden Fruit Festival, Dublin, June 3 ) The Flaming Lips - Waitin for a Superman Sophia Knapp - Looking into another day Laura Sheeran - Forever love Neil Cowley Trio - The face of Mount Molehill ( playing Triskel Christchurch, Cork, Apr 15 ) The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock - The brutal here and now (Part I) ( playing Triskel Christchurch, Cork, Apr 12, w/ Barry McCormack ) Cormac O Caoimh - A new season for love ( playing Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, Apr 28 ) Naim Amor - Le revenant Yawning Chasm - Whispered sun ( p

AU - Both lights (The Leaf Label)

Superb album from the Portland duo (with notable help from several friends), swinging between irresistible, freewheeling polyrhythms and massed choral exultations. We've already spoken here about the wonderful first single Solid gold and the euphoric Get alive . They're great but wait until you get a load of the machine funk of OJ (which will be the second single) - a by-product of their work on the Kasai Allstars/Konono No. 1 re-interpretations album Tradi-Mods vs Rockers - a seething mixture of bubbling bass synth and steel drum samples. On the other hand, the sublime Crazy idol is like sacred music, a post-classical leaning also on show in the beguiling piano instrumental The veil (where Luke Wyland's Keith Jarrett influence becomes apparent). And that's just the first half. AU's world is such a broad church that it can accommodate free jazz, punk rock, folk and machine music under a unified banner. In the second half, I particularly loved the segue from

Salim Nourallah Treefort 5 - Hit Parade (Tapete)

Lovely, warm, early 1970's George Harrison-isms on this album, recorded at the legendary Austin studio. The lineup makes it a supergroup of sorts, with John Dufilho from Apples in Stereo, Joe Reyes from Buttercup and Jason Garner from The Polyphonic Spree all on board. My own highlights are the sunburst The Quitter , the harmony-laden 38 Rue de Sévigné , the nostalgic, tremelo-adorned Never felt better and the caustic power pop of Everybody knows. But really, there's no weak links here.

New Dirty Projectors

It's a happy day when new Dirty Projectors music becomes available. Gun has no trigger is from their forthcoming Swing Lo Magellan album on Domino and it takes up where they left off with their sublime Mount Wittenberg Orca collaboration with Bjork (more on that here ). Once again, the so sweet vocals of Angel, Amber and Hayley (not stacked this time, favouring the seeming convention of sustained harmony) will ring in your ears long after the song has ended.