Song, by Toad

Archive for October, 2011


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 31st October 2011

So, this week ends with a massive extravaganza of Toadliness, but it does look like it’ll be relatively quiet along the way as there doesn’t seem to be that much else around until the weekend.  Which is actually alright, sort of, because it gives me a chance to get my shit together in advance of a very busy weekend indeed.

Quite how we’re going to sort the logistics of getting half the bands in Edinburgh to and from Anstruther on Sunday I don’t know, but I am sure we’ll manage somehow.

Anyhow, in the meantime there are obviously good gigs on the weekend of course, but I reckon the dark horse is tonight at Henry’s, where Boston band hearts!attack are playing.

[Edit: fucking hell, what a tool, I managed to miss Kid Canaveral and King Creosote tomorrow at the Liquid Room, and Born to Be Wide Radio Seminar on Thursday at the Electric Circus.  And no-one pulled me up on it – do none of you fuckers read this at all?]

Monday 31st October 2011: Hearts!Attack, The Lovely Eggs & Viennetta at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

Some variations on guitar pop going on here, with rough-around-the-edges hearts!attack coming over from Boston, faux-naif you’ve-got-to-be-fucking-having-me-on indie pop from Manchester in the form of the Lovely Eggs, and new(ish – I think!) Edinburgh/Glasgow band Viennetta, who have apparently emerged from some sort of fragments of The Ray Summers and The Damn Shames. Intriguing.

Hearts!attack – If You Were Dead

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Saturday 5th November 2011: The Last Battle, Dad Rocks! & Shoes and Socks Off play the Ides of Toad at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

Our next Ides of Toad night features the ever-changing lineup of Edinburgh band The Last Battle, along with touring Icelander Dad Rocks! and touring partner Shoes and Socks Off.  Dad Rocks! have a new album out around about now as well, so this’ll be your chance to get hold of a copy.

Dad Rocks! – Aroused By Hair

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Saturday 5th November 2011: PET single launch, with Conquering Animal Sound and Pumajaw at the Voodoo Rooms.

I was fully intending to pretend this gig wasn’t happening, what with it clashing with the Ides of Toad and all, but it’s too good a lineup.  So if any of you are misguided enough not to be at Henry’s for our gig, then this is where you should be. But you’ll all be at ours right.  Right?

PET – What You Building?

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Sunday 6th November 2011: Flamin’ Hott Toadzzz! in the Hew Scott Hall, Anstruther.

Alright, maybe this is in Anstruther rather than Edinburgh, but Fence asked me to put together the lineup for this all-dayer, so it is full half with Toad favourites and half with Fence crowd-pleasers. There will be bangers and mash being served upstairs at the AIA Hall as well, apparently, just to add to the splendidness.

Sunday 6th November 2011: King Charles at Sneaky Pete’s.

King Charles is a bit of a weird one, part acoustic smart-arsery, part spiky, lively pop. I don’t know that much about him, but he was a big favourite of a friend of mine called Chris Imlach who used to do an excellent new music show on Fresh Air when I first started, so it’s nice to see him playing here again – and more excellent booking from Sneaky Pete’s.

King Charles – Love/Lust

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New Toad: Ian Greenhill

I have to confess I wasn’t exactly planning this, but it looks like we have a new member of the team here at Song, by Toad Records.

Ian Greenhill used to write Have Fun at Dinner, as well as reviews for plenty of respectable publications too.

On a personal level, despite the fact he was clearly as mad as a sack of spanners, I always thought Ian was one of the best writers knocking around the Scottish blogosphere, and when he started writing features where he took local musicians shopping for secondhand records, and then discussed their purchases afterwards, I became downright envious that I had never thought to do something like that myself.

Anyhow, given his skills are being exploited by no-one more worthy than high street retail at the moment, a short pub conversation has resulted in him coming on board here at Song, by Toad Records.  The idea is that he will start writing for the site as and when he feels inclined, as well as helping us with radio plugging, PR work, and distribution.

I’m also hoping he can get involved in improving the blog, allowing us to do more interviews, writing about a slightly different kind of music, and stuff like that.  Basically I am at the limit of what I personally can do at the moment, but for all I have always been very wary of taking someone on, Ian is someone I genuinely trust to write well, to approach people the right way, to dig up interesting music, and basically to represent the label and the blog the way I personally feel it should be represented.

I also think he’ll be able to perform that incredibly tricky balancing act of bringing his own personality to what we’re doing here, whilst not making anything feel all that different, which is a bit of a challenge. So yes, please make the lad welcome and so on and so forth, because I am delighted to have him on board.


Toadcast #198 – The Revivalcast

This particular podcast was somewhat railroaded by two different things, and hence has very little of the new music/inbox harvesting stuff you may have come to expect from Song, by Toad.

Firstly, I went to see Jeffrey Lewis on Wednesday.  He was supported by Seth Faergolzia from Dufus and covered 2+2=? by the Bob Seger System, which explains two of the songs.

Secondly, I went out to visit a couple of pals on Thursday night.  That resulted in an epic Pearl Jam-a-thon, so I was looking for some Pearl Jam to play today, only to happen across an old compilation with Pearl Jam, Luna, The Magnetic Fields, Yo La Tengo, Beck and others on it, which explains a couple more songs.  As for the rest, well, there’s just no excuse really, is there.

Direct download: Toadcast #198 – The Revivalcast
Subscribe to the Toadcasts on iTunes

01. Soulsavers – Revival (00.16)
02. Pearl Jam – Bu$hleaguer (08.47)
03. Seth Faergolzia – Weird Old Toad (16.40)
04. Bob Seger System – 2+2=? (19.53)
05. Lords of Bastard – Chant (25.24)
06. The Blue Runes – Stream Fog (31.59)
07. Beck – Golden Age (37.54)
08. Luna – Black Champagne (42.24)
09. The Eagles – Outlaw Man (52.25)
10. Honey Train – Yo Toad/Deepness (Demo) (58.37)


Friday is on Fresh Air in a Bit

 There will be a bit of a change to the format of the Friday Fives for the next few weeks, as I combine it with my radio show on Fresh Air, which is the student radio station here in Edinburgh.

I will be joined by Brian Pokora, who plays guitar for The Last Battle, Loch Awe and Trapped Mice (and probably three or four others), and was selected for this role by virtue of having been stood next to me in the pub when I decided that Friday afternoons would be the best time for the show.

To reduce the middle-class white boy/tedious blokey pub banter factor just a little we are looking for someone else to join the team.  Specifically, someone who is not a nice, polite middle-class white boy. You’d need to be available from 3-5pm on Fridays, and have a rough, but please not exact, agreement with the kind of music we are likely to play.  Get in touch if you’re interested.

Live from 3:30pm – listen here.

As for the rest of the Friday Fives, well they will hopefully proceed very much as per usual I would think.  Five stupid questions, an afternoon to waste by answering them and then talking pish with everyone afterwards, and only one rule: fives first, pish-talking after.

So, for starters, this week’s Friday Five:
1. Which muppet best represents you (Fraggles and Sesame Street ones count too – Yoda does not).
2. What one thing best represents the really early days of the internet to you?
3. Technology you could happily do without.
4. Do you cross the road at the lights or absolutely wherever the fuck it occurs to you?
5. Say you were in a coffee shop trying to get some work done.  Say a sprawling infestations of yummy mummies and copious living evidence of their inability to keep their legs clamped shut came spilling into the place and proceeded to turn the whole fucking cafe into a writhing, squealing, cavorting cacophony of horror.  How many of the little fuckers do you think you could cheerfully batter to death with a fucking cricket bat before it stopped being fun?
Sneaky bonus research question: did Song, by Toad or Fresh Air bring you to these parts?

The playlist will appear live below from 3:30pm:

1. Bon Iver – Bloodbank
2. Rob St. John – Sargasso Sea
3. Tom Lehrer – Bright College Days
4. Randolph’s Leap – Cassie O’Tone (Fresh Air Session)
5. Cub Scouts – Evie
6. eagleowl – Sleep the Winter
7. Bob Seger System – 2+2=?
8. PAWS – Winners Don’t Bleed (Toad Session)
9. The Ukrainians – Polityka
10. The Moth & the Mirror – Fire
11. Evan Dando – $1000 Wedding (Gram Parsons Cover)
12. Yoofs – Sidewalk
13. We Were Promised Jetpacks – Medicine


Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard, Seth Faergolzia & Viking Moses – Live at the Third Door, Edinburgh, 26th October 2011

 Well well well, this was really rather excellent.  I went along to an absolutely rammed Third Door last night (you know, that place which used to be Medina, but now has a brand spanking new soundsystem, which is excellent news for Edinburgh gig-goers) for an absolutely cracking three-band bill, and a forceful reminder that I have been rather neglecting Jeffrey Lewis for the last couple of years.

Viking Moses – I am really pleased Viking Moses rather randomly turned up on this bill, because he was absolutely excellent at Rob St. John’s album launch last Saturday, but I felt a bit weird reviewing one of my own gigs, so it’s nice to have the chance to put that right here.

Once again, Brendon was brilliant.  His songs have that old fire-and-brimstone gothic folk feel to them, and the wild mood swings of his delivery, from a tender croon to a distressed wail, keep you in a suitably ambiguous sense of uncertainty.  He doesn’t seem to sing songs so much as he seems to simply think in music, and when he lets it spill out, this is what we get. It was another performance which was both intense and whimsical, and full of charm.

Seth Faergolzia – I know almost nothing of Faergolzia’s previous band, Dufus, beyond the reverence in which they are held by certain friends of mine. I am definitely going to be putting an end to that ignorance though, because this was fantastic.  A little like Viking Moses and Jeffrey Lewis, the personal charisma of the man himself was absolutely central to the performance.

He varied from the sentimental to the outright bizarre, at times reminding me more than a little of Fife-based Fence hero Gummi Bako.  There were acoustic guitar songs, supplemented with a thumping kick-drum when real emphasis was needed, and a couple of absolutely masterful monologues, delivered over a pre-recorded track of wonky electronica.  The best way I can think to describe these tracks is to try and conjure a slightly woozy chip-tuner after a few too many beers, slurring a half-remembered version of Tom Waits’ Diamonds on My Windshield.

It’s not unusual for people from bands to be kind of cringeworthy when they dip their toes in this kind of territory, but this was absolutely inspired, and by some miracle seemed to fit perfectly with the rest of the acoustic stuff.  And when he ended the set duetting with Jeffrey Lewis on a song called Weird Old Toad… well, it was like I was being personally serenaded!

Jeffrey Lewis – As for the man himself, well I left with something of a guilty conscience actually.  I thought Lewis’ previous album Em Are I was pretty good, but not really much better than that, so I ended up taking my eye of the ball a little as far as his recent stuff goes.

Well he has a new album out now, and although I don’t know it yet, and although he played a considerable number of old songs last night, I realise I have allowed myself to become a little lazy about a fantastic artist.

Having seen Withered Hand put in a truly excellent performance at the Queen’s Hall on Monday, the comparisons are pretty clear: a talent to be gulp-inducingly touching and laugh-out-loud funny in the same song, and to base their lyrics so heavily on pathos without ever seeming self-indulgent or self-pitying clearly applies to both artists.

The band switched seamlessly from a wistful sway, to frantic lunacy, to playful larking, and in general they neatly reflected the way that Lewis himself seems to have perfected that way of dropping all sorts of thoughts into his music, whilst always maintaining an odd unity of feeling, from the random spoken word histories of Marco Polo set to a cartoon slideshow, to exhortations not to waste your life as time ticks away from you, to a joyous (and recurring) cover of the Bob Seger System’s 2+2=?

And somehow the tangents on which they embarked never seemed incoherent or messy, it just all fit well together, presumably because deep down the entire project is based pretty honestly on the character of Lewis himself, and however much this kind of honesty in music is rarely ever entirely unguarded, his work seems to have a kind of frank integrity and gentle humour which lets him pull off things other artists could never get away with without seeming just a little too intense or self-regarding.

Being one of the best lyricists around and having the ability to write a seemingly endless supply of hummable tunes presumably helps too.

Jeffrey Lewis – You Don’t Have to Be a Scientist to Do Experiments on Your Own Heart

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Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard – Roll Bus Roll

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STV’s Flair for Satire Continues

 STV have come in for some massively unfair stick in the past, but they have come back fighting this week with one of the funniest pieces I’ve seen in ages.  This week they published a list of nominations for the best Scottish songs of the noughties, to be voted for by viewers, with the intention of eventually whittling the numbers down to select ‘Scotland’s Greatest Ever Album’.

And it is hilarious.

The list of nominated songs for the last ten years or so is absolutely brilliant.  I can’t tell if it’s the best satire I’ve seen since I moved back up here, or if it’s a secret plot to destroy Creative Scotland.

They seem to be cataloguing some of the most embarrassing moments in the history of Scottish music and presumably in doing so hoping to imply that if that’s the best Scottish culture can manage then we might as well just fold Creative Scotland right now, on the grounds that they’re fighting a hopeless battle against the unstoppable forces of banal, vacuous garbage, and a population which genuinely laps this rubbish up, despite it clearly constituting cultural nourishment equivalent to no more than chewing on a cardboard box. While someone beats you with a stick. A big stick.  With nails in it.

Despite these potentially sinister possibilities, the list itself is a work of comic genius.  They even cleverly slipped a couple of good songs in there to kid us into thinking it was serious, but one look at the final nominations is enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are just having a big old laugh at our expense.

And if you don’t believe me, here’s the clincher: they decided Country Girl by Primal Scream was the best Scottish song released between 2000 and 2009.  I think it’s a shame they did that, actually.  As hoaxes go, it was almost believable, until that point right at the very end where they fell foul of the satirist’s equivalent of the comedian who laughs at their own joke, and in doing so ruins the moment for everyone.

The Red Herrings:
Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
The Delgados – All You Need Is Hate
Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken

The Ones With Caveats:
Eddie Reader – Ae Fond Kiss – I don’t know this, but Eddi Reader sang a lovely version of this song when she was with Fairground Attraction, so it might well be really rather nice.
Glasvegas – Daddy’s Gone – I know I disagree with almost everyone who reads this site on this one, but I quite liked Glasvegas’ debut album. It wasn’t awe-inspiring, and it may not have stood up all that well in retrospect, but I rather enjoyed it at the time. ‘Rather enjoyed’ does not a Greatest list make, of course.
Snow Patrol – Run – Possibly another controversial one to defend, particular to this readership, but I honestly enjoyed a lot of Final Straw. What the band have turned into since is kind of sad, but they have some decent material in there somewhere.

The Indisputably Comedy Picks:
Biffy Clyro – Mountains – Just because they’ve been around for ages and have now signed for a major label doesn’t mean they are, or ever were, any good. I have been told their very, very early stuff was okay, but I am deeply sceptical.
Paolo Nutini – Candy – Awesome!  Magic!  You can’t take this one with a straight face, really, can you.  I am not sure it is actually possible for music to be more lightweight and trivial without actually causing a quantum singularity and ceasing to exist.
The View – Same Jeans The same jeans for three fucking days?  You fucking pussies, I haven’t changed my underpants in two weeks, where’s my fucking nomination?
Calvin Harris – Acceptable in the 80s – We couldn’t afford LCD Soundsystem, will this do instead?
The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger The worst song on an album which in all honesty wasn’t all that bad in parts*.  But this track just proves that Scotland can do yob-rock every bit as embarrassingly as London or Manchester.
Primal Scream – Country Girl – Seriously? Who’s getting nominated next year, the fucking Stone Roses?
Amy MacDonald – This Is The Life – Umm, is this a band?  I thought she was the girl who worked in the chip shop near Waverley Station. If you like this song or this music then you are an idiot.  It is really that simple.
KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See This is rotten. She actually came across well in that Channel 4 series about all the bands in Edinburgh being from Glasgow, she is close friends with good friends of mine, although I have never met her, and she is by all accounts a Great Bunch of Lads**.   But with the best of all intentions I have never thought her music was anything other than woeful, sorry.
Mull Historical Society – Xanadu – Looked like it might be interesting at the very beginning.  And then wasn’t.

So you see what I mean.  I know it was dressed up to look serious, but when you actually look at the nominations it quickly becomes clear that this is actually an awesome joke.  Because there is no way anyone serious could possibly have done anything other than burst out laughing at most of that list.

In the comments, feel free to nominate your comedy winner.  Which song on the list is the inclusion which makes you laugh (or cry) the most?


*Yes, you heard me, despite them being awful live, and the band themselves coming across badly, there were a couple of perfectly hummable tunes on that album.  Suck it up, indie-snobs.
**A Great Bunch of Lads is what I have a bad habit of saying when I like the band in question but really can’t find anything nice to say about the music.  “Do you like KT Tunstall?” “Oh yeah, I heard she was a really nice girl, and she talked a lot of sense on the TV programme the other day.”  Perfect evasion of the actual question.


John Peel – King of the Anoraks

 I know this is filed under ‘rambling’, but believe me, this will be far more rambling than the usual shit I write under this tag, so umm… well, you’ve been warned.

It’s John Peel Day today, so first things first: I will be taking part in a special broadcast on Fresh Air Radio between 8pm and 11pm tonight, hosted by the wonderful H.P. Neilson, in tribute to the great man (John Peel, that is not, HP – not yet anyway).

There is a John Peel Day every year though, and I’ve never written about it before, so why now?  I’m not really sure, but I think perhaps because I pretty much ignored the death of Steve Jobs too, and the two of them have enough in common, that this feels like the chance to say a little bit about both characters.

The reason I never eulogised Mr. Jobs is because I am neither a drooling Apple fanboy, nor a determined naysayer, and it seems those were the only people writing about him when he died.  Personally, I use Apple products all the time, and as much as I admire certain aspects of their design, I find their clamped-tight-shut approach to UI design particularly frustrating, so I am a fan, but not one without a caveat or two.

A little like Peel, Jobs was a genius not because he got everything right, but because of the courage of his convictions.  I was a design engineer for ten years before I gave it up to run a record label*, and having worked in that industry for a good while, it is not particularly Jobs’ (or Jonathan Ive’s) design skills in particular that I admire.

The genius of Jobs and his team at Apple was not that they had the ability to design great products.  Lots of designers have that.  It is that they had the courage to actually make great products.

Almost every design process I have ever been involved with has failed at this, because people are cowards.  They are afraid of making something too expensive, so they compromise on the quality of the materials.  They are afraid of not addressing as much of their potential market as possible, so they try and make a single device to suit all users, and end up delighting none.  They are afraid to compromise battery life to make an incredible user interface, so they compromise both and end up excelling at neither.

That clarity of vision and purpose at Apple, and the courage to follow through with it, was their great genius and, despite my ambivalence to a lot of their products, it is the one thing at which I still believe they stand head and shoulders above everyone else.

And to get back to John Peel, I think something similar applies.  Like Jobs and Apple, I greatly admire John Peel, but I would never claim to love everything he did. In fact, I will go further, and confess that I rarely ever listened to his show. The reason for that is really quite simple: his taste in music was actually too broad for me, and I would end up listening to far too much stuff I didn’t like.

Still, he had that clarity of purpose which means that more than anyone else I can think of in radio, I admire his work hugely.  If you question this, just listen to anything else on the BBC at the moment.  6Music is supposed to be the eclectic music fans’ channel, but if you listen to it you will almost never hear anything as challenging as the stuff Peel would play.  In fact, 6Music is basically just safe music for the musically-inclined middle classes, if you ask me.  Being a member of the musically-inclined middle classes myself this suits me perfectly of course, and they are the only station likely to ever consistently play anything we release, but the programming is hardly challenging, particularly during the day.

The reason for this is highly unlikely to be the tastes of the producers and presenters who pick the music, as you can bet your life some of them listen to some fucking weird shit behind closed doors.  No, it is more likely to be an organisational failure of courage, and too many people with fear of failure.  You can’t play really weird stuff all the time or you’ll probably lose your listeners, and in the current climate of axe-happy BBC bigwigs running scared of the Tories you wouldn’t want to be the producer who took a chance and failed to connect with an immediate audience.

That said, though, Peel himself clearly was not hamstrung by this kind of fear.  He seemed to have cast-iron belief in what he was doing, to the point of being shunted around the schedule all the bloody time because successive management teams, although they recognised his value, really weren’t sure what to do with him.  It also says something for the man that despite being as awkward as that he still managed to hold on long enough to actually get to the stage where his legend protected him.  Would anyone be allowed to be that willfully idiosyncratic for that long nowadays, in the world of data mining, stats, the constant need to justify yourself. Maybe, but I have my doubts.

If anything, the most obvious proof that Peel did something special is hiding in plain sight.  Have you heard anyone try and describe themselves as the new John Peel or even, despite being happy saying how much they admire him, ever say that they are trying to actually emulate him?  It hardly ever happens.

It even took John Peel something like thirty or forty years to become ‘John Peel’, so it would take a spectacular feat of hubris for a current DJ to declare that as their ambition these days.  Even the most arrogant Radio careerist is a little leery of trying to compare themselves to him, despite him being pretty much everyone’s hero – it would seem cocky, distasteful and deluded.

You can’t try and become the next John Peel, not least because even the man himself didn’t seem to aspire to anything in particular.  He just seemed to stick around for ages doing a job no-one else, however much they admired him, quite had the courage, charisma or luck to really pull off.  And as much as his actual show, I think it is that integrity of purpose which really marked him out more than anything else.

So for a tune, and to explain the title of this post, we turn to Aberfeldy, who years ago wrote a lovely tribute to Tom Weir.  If you substitute Tom Weir for John Peel in these lyrics you kind of get something which still almost sort of slightly works – “John Peel, king of the anoraks, anoraks, anoraks!”

Aberfeldy – Tom Weir

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*Yes, with a steady wage and everything.  Please don’t ask.


What Happens When You Submit Music to a Blog?

I don’t know why I knocked together this little graphic. I think, like a lot of these ‘how the industry works’ posts I’ve been writing, it’s partly as a pep talk to myself.

It can get frustrating, running a record label, and I often find myself in the midst of a battle between my usual persona, which is pretty phlegmatic about more or less everything, and the tiny, evil core of simmering rage which bubbles up every single time someone fails to be utterly enraptured by every last thing we ever send out.

So I remind myself how my own inbox works when I am wearing my music blogger hat, and just how little time I have to listen to everything and the fact that, if I am being honest with myself, most of the stuff which comes my way gets pretty brutally short shrift. I do listen to almost everything – apart from the stuff which the email itself makes obvious is going to be fucking awful – but I don’t listen to much of it for very long.  It’s impossible, really – I just don’t have the time to do otherwise, and nor does anyone else I or you might send your music to.

So I knocked together that wee graphic, just for shits and giggles really.  Of course it will be subtly different for everyone.  Some people ignore way, way more of their emails than I do.  Some freelance writers don’t get as much stuff sent through because they successfully keep themselves off the radar as much as they can.  And some places, like BBC Introducing, have a certain obligation to represent all emerging Scottish music, even stuff which starts with annoying ‘electro-synth’ sounds, which I would instantly delete. Also, whether the music is submitted by email or snail mail will slightly change some of these percentages, but I think they’re not a bad set of ballpark figures to start with.

So yes, here’s a quick list of what happens to your email, and hence why it’s so impossibly hard to actually get people to pay you any real attention.

Before it Even Gets Opened – 0-2 seconds in, 20% of emails deleted by now.
Is there anything obviously dumb in the subject line, like all-caps or excessive hyperbole?  A lot of band names tell you already that you aren’t going to like them.  Is it even about a band?

Quick Scan of Contents – 2-7 secs, 50% deleted.
An extended scan for more of the same stuff as in the subject line.  Dodgy tones of voice – condescension or obvious attempts to manipulate – lead to instant deletion, as do genre no-nos.  Also, any use of annoying, cliched terms will do the same.  Oh, and if your picture makes you look a bit of a twat – bye bye.

Usability of the Actual Email – 7-11 secs, 70% deleted.
Excessive ‘design’ of the email increases its chance of being deleted, but most important is that ‘one-click=music’ link, which must be there somewhere. No-one will bother Googling your band if you don’t provide a link.

First Listen of the Music – 11-16 secs, 85% deleted.
Skip to roughly the middle of the song to get a good idea of the main sound.  Specific drum or guitar or synth styles can almost always be detected in a 5 second snippet of the overall sound, and can instantly flag the song as not worth pursuing.

First Vocal Moment – 16-17 secs, 95% deleted.
Everyone has their own absolute vocal no-nos, and the very second someone starts singing instantly puts their music into either the trash or persist categories.

Quick Listen to an Actual Chunk of Song – 17-30 secs, 99% deleted.
If you get this far you have a listen to a chunk of a song which you’ve established is probably in your ballpark, and if something decent happens during this listen, then it will probably get a full listen at some point in the future.  Unless it gets lost in the pile of other stuff waiting to be listened to.

So that’s roughly what happens.  And before you get too optimistic ( <– this is a joke), even stuff which makes it this far only wins the enormous privilege of genuinely having at least a few minutes of entire songs, possibly even giving the whole song, or even and entire EP or album one whole listen.  Gosh, lucky you.

So, after explaining at length why you shouldn’t give a fuck if someone gives you a bad review, this is a little addendum which explains why you shouldn’t really worry too much if they ignore you altogether either.  Just another one in a long list of reasons that persistence, endurance and determination are at least as important as talent in the music industry.



Live in Edinburgh This Week – 24th October 2011

 If you get this in time, then turn off the internet and scarper down to the Queen’s Hall right now, as they will be screening the Sigur Ros movie INNI tonight, starting at 19:30, with live performances by Meursault and Withered Hand immediately afterwards.

And as for the rest of the week’s gig round-up, it’s actually quite an eclectic one this week, with noise, classical and antifolk on the calendar, all within a few days of one another.

But enough chit-chat, I need to shower and get out the door quick-smart or I shall miss the start of the movie.

Monday 24th October 2011: Sigur Ros ‘INNI‘ screening at the Queen’s Hall, followed by Meursault & Withered Hand.

Umm, I think I already covered this one, didn’t I.

Tuesday 25th October 2011: ASTRO, Okishima Island Tourist Association, Muscletusk at Sneaky Pete’s.

I don’t know too much about this one I have to confess, and I actually am not even entirely sure I myself would enjoy it because I’m a bit of a pop kid at heart, all told, no matter how much distortion and reverb I tend to like it slathered in.  But Braw Gigs have been doing an amazing job putting on noise and experimental shows around Edinburgh in the last year or so, and this is their latest.  Follow the Sneaky’s link to read the promoter’s description of the night, which will tell you more than I ever could.

Wednesday 26th October 2011: Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard with Seth Faergolzia (of Dufus) at The Third Door (formerly Medina).

Jeffrey Lewis is a bit of a hero, basically.  He is one of the sharpest wits around, whose songs can be by turns bleak as hell, or drenched in pathos. The Third Door have installed a brand spanking new sound system in the old Medina, and suddenly we might have a new and decent venue on our hands, because the actual space down there has always been good.

Saturday 29th October 2011: The Rose Street Quartet RSE CONCERT – Music for Strings, Voices, Organ & Percussion at St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral.

This particular listing, I have to confess, is pure nepotism.  I happen to be pals with a couple of members of the Rose Street Quartet but, as Pete said when he suggested I list this particular event, people might fancy a bit of a change and it will be a pretty varied programme, so if you don’t like any particular part they’ll be moving on pretty sharpish. So if you fancy a change from the drearie indie pish (copyright Mrs. Toad 2006) I tend to recommend here, then get along to this instead.


Toadcast #197 – The Changecast

 This is called the Changecast because, in an absolutely stunning turn of events, it is not packed full of lo-fi garage rock for a bloody change.  Considering the racket you’ve had to put up with for the last year or so, it seems I have kindly granted you the respite of three songs you’d probably vaguely describe as Americana and a couple which are most unmistakably pop!  I know! Get me!

Tonight is of course the Rob St. John album launch down at Pilrig St. Paul’s in Leith.  He will be joined on the bill by Viking Moses, Meursault and eagleowl, the latter of whom just happen to be recording their debut album at the moment, which is rather exciting.

So, I will post this, attempt to get some nice lunch somewhere and then commence that uncomfortable ‘no-one’s coming no-one’s coming no-one’s coming… oh thank fuck’ dance I inevitably end up doing whenever I am promoting a gig.  Why I put myself through this all the time I just don’t know.

Direct download: Toadcast #197 – The Changecast
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01. Cub Scouts – Evie (00.20)
02. Horsecollar – The Thrill of Never Being Satisfied (06.53)
03. Yoofs – John Actor is Monkfish (14.39)
04. Youthfall – Guard it Like a Fortress (18.01)
05. Rollor – Jekyll Island (22.37)
06. The Lovely Sparrows – National Monuments (33.07)
07. Ohbijou – Niagra (39.42)
08. Milk & Biscuits – Rivers (44.10)
09. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar (50.45)
10. The Twilight Sad – Sick (58.25)