Song, by Toad

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Toadcast #301 – The Bettecast

tag As you should well know by now, this is not the Bett-cast, it is the Bettycast, as our ridiculous car is named after Bette Davis, who spelled it Bett but pronounced it Betty. So there.

Once again this is a bit of a Rust2Rome retrospective, with ruminations on brake fade in the Alps, grown men sporting mohicans, driving far too fast and complaining about things not being entirely predictable when on holiday in a car which cost lest than £500. There may also be a little teeny-tiny bit of ranting about stupid people, but y’know, there usually is on these things isn’t there.

Also, I think some of my Rust2Rome pals might end up listening to this, which is going to be weird, because they’ll get to realise what depressing taste in music I have. Generally when you tell someone you work in music they think ‘oh, that’s interesting’ and you can pretend to be cool for a bit. Then they hear the kind of music you’re into and the illusion is shattered. Ah well, they had to find out sooner or later.

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01. The Wedding Present – Drive (00.24)
02. The Electric Prunes – I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) (06.24)
03. Parts & Labor – Fractured Skies (16.16)
04. My Teenage Stride – The Genie of New Jersey (20.20)
05. R.E.M. – Be Mine (26.43)
06. Jonnie Common – Summer is For Going Places (35.52)
07. David Thomas Broughton – Ain’t Got No Sole (40.47)
08. Steven Malkmus & the Jicks – Baby C’mon (50.23)
09. Eels – Woman Driving, Man Sleeping (54.49)
10. Band of Horses – The Funeral (1.03.25)

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Off on Rust 2 Rome 2014

2014-06-28 13.51.07

Yep, it’s that time of year again, where Mrs. Toad and I clamber into our ludicrous Volvo 940 (above) and venture off with a load of other cars in a quest to drag a car we bought for £350 off eBay all the way from Edinburgh to Rome, via some of the most challenging roads Europe has to offer.

Bette is named after Bette Davis (so it’s pronounced Betty, not Bett) because she is a temperamental, unpredictable fucker, but we did Rust2Rome in her last year and she’s been to and from the South of France and up and down to London plenty of times since, so hopefully she’ll manage the trip again with minimal fuss.

As you can imagine, this means the blog will suffer a bit for the next couple of weeks, but I will be keeping my Tumblr site updated with photos and songs.

The car has a tape player, so I’ve spent the last couple of days making mixtapes for the drive. It’s mostly daytime driving, and some of it is pretty intense going too, so it’s mostly upbeat stuff, but nevertheless when you’ve got a limited supply of music you still find yourself listening to the same thing quite a lot, so I’ll be posting songs from the tapes as well as photos from the driving.

See you in a couple of weeks, for the Split 12″ launch shows.

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Hello Internet, I’m Back, and I Have Been Listening to Eels

ftsotools Phew, the internet can breathe a massive sigh of relief, because after over a week of being entirely off the radar and disconnected during our house move, I am now back. You must all be so relieved.

Actually, never mind not having an internet connection installed, my mobile phone signal is so poor here I couldn’t really check my emails, post nonsense on Facebook, or even send the odd tweet, so those of you who follow me on other social media may also have noticed a fairly sustained period of total radio silence. I don’t know about you, but I quite liked it actually. I am not so sure about the constant, relentless painting which replaced it, but at least there was a tangible sense of achievement there.

By the end of the week I was so in need of a good sleep I didn’t get out of bed all day Sunday. Of course I didn’t sleep either. Because I am an idiot I watched stupid television instead, but hey, at least it wasn’t painting.

Anyhow, while we were painting there was a pretty limited playlist on offer, because I didn’t remember to fill up my phone with all that much music, beyond a hurried, drunken quickie on the night before we left our old house for the last time, so we had a pretty limited diet when we first moved in. Still, that can be a nice thing, because it means you spend some time with the music you’re listening to instead of flicking constantly from one thing to the next and there are a couple of tunes which stood out and which I would quite like to mention.

Eels – The Stars Shine in the Sky Tonight

The turn of the milennium seemed to hammer the final nail into the coffin of ‘indie’, if you ask me. Guitar music descended into weak, lifeless pish like Starsailor and David Gray, and bands like Coldplay and Snow Patrol went from being briefly interesting to stadium-filling porridge almost overnight.  The Libertines, The White Stripes and The Strokes looked briefly like they might kickstart a snarling reaction to this, but then all we really ended up with once the dust had settled was a bunch of painfully imitative acolytes, and a pile of cringe-worthily dismal tripe like the Pigeon Detectives, Hard Fi and the fucking Wombats.

This stuff was so very bad that for the last years of the noughties and the first few years of this decade it seemed obligatory for every fucking publication on the internet to write about ‘the death of guitar music’. And they seemed to do this pretty much once a month until every last, specious drop of desperate click-bait had been wrung out of that clearly stupid premise.

Neverthless, for a good long while ‘indie’ or ‘indie-rock’ seemed to be little more than a fringe enthusiasm, and even now the awesome new bands who are championing it again seem to be harking back to a pretty defined period which tailed off in the middle of the nineties. Very late nineties and early noughties guitar music is still pretty considerably tainted by the slew of dreadful pish I mentioned above and it can perhaps cause people to overlook certain bands who I don’t think really deserve it.

Whilst the world was listening to The Ordinary Boys and the Kooks, Eels snuck out what I think I might probably call their last great album. After the Dinosaur Jr/Sebadoh/Pavement golden era of American indie there were a few bands who ploughed vaguely similar furrows, but who to my mind still feel a little like they are part of the same movement. Perhaps the last of that movement as it tailed off to give way to Matchbox 20 and the Goo Goo Dolls, who seemed to be to American indie what overblown post-Britpop nonsense was to its British counterpart.

In terms of great American guitar bands who were a little overlooked during the final death-spasms of the commercial juggernaut which launched from the success of indie music, Grandaddy are perhaps the most obvious and currently one of the most retrospectively lauded – amongst my peers at least. Looking back at their last album, Goodbye to the Fambly Cat, it was released around the time that The Delays and the Zutons were making people hate music – just about the time that indie in the classic sense finally coughed and spluttered its last.

Sparklehorse and Clem Snide are probably two other bands I would put in a similar bracket to Grandaddy around this time: distinctively American guitar bands who had the feeling of being outsiders, were lyrically captivating, caustic, idiosyncratic, and yet still melodic and mainstream enough to be considered pop bands. And another one would be Eels.

Eels are perhaps the least obvious inclusion, I think, as despite some truly brilliant stuff, they have also produced a lot of fairly schmalzy, sentimentalist radio pop. Their last three or four albums, frankly, haven’t really set my world alight, but that can mask the fact that they have produced some absolutely gorgeous, heart-breaking music.

Blinking Lights and Other Revelations was a massive double album, released a full twenty years after Mark Everett’s 1985 debut and almost ten years after Eels’ breakthrough with Beautiful Freak, and given the history of artists producing such releases, it really should have been sloppy, self-indulgent crap with too few good songs and plenty of pale imitation of past glories. But it was brilliant. Granted, there were weaker songs on there, and granted, it didn’t exactly reinvent the Eels sound, but there are so many glorious moments on this album that I was genuinely shocked to see so much good material emerging at once, when most bands struggle to put out much more than one decent album every two or three years.

And Everett can be sentimental to the point of being schmalzy, I would accept that, but when he captures pathos just right or nails a sad song there are few better lyricists out there anywhere. His life has been so unfortunately full of depression and death that when he sings this stuff you don’t for a second doubt that he knows what he’s talking about.  When he writes lines like “It’s not where you’re coming from, it’s where you’re going to. And I just want to go with you” it’s all too easy to make a connection with some of the loss he has suffered in his past.

Similarly, when the same song moves on to say “The stars shine in the sky tonight, like a path beyond the grave. When you wish upon that star, there’s two of us you need to save” that line sounds very different coming from someone who you know means it in the most heart-rending sense imaginable. I don’t know how I’d feel about any of these lyrics without knowing any back-story. You can’t unlearn this kind of thing of course. But the lines are simple and delivered without forced emoting, and I think that gives them impact whether you know of their provenance or not.

So yes, as indie died a slow, painful death brought on by massive overground success, balloon like over-inflation and subsequent implosion, there were still some great bands and great writers working in what was broadly an increasingly moribund field. And they shouldn’t be ignored just because of fucking Keane.

The Eels website has this to say about this album. There’s more too, and you can read it here.

“Everett’s father, famed quantum physicist Hugh Everett III, author of the Many Worlds Theory, died in 1982. His sister, Elizabeth committed suicide in 1996 and his mother, Nancy, who appears in a childhood photo on the cover of BLINKING LIGHTS, succumbed to cancer in 1998. “I would have ended up like my sister a long time ago except for one thing — music,” says Everett, “I’ve been very lucky to have that to hold onto. I take it very seriously. Maybe too seriously. It’s everything to me.”

“”The family I grew up with was completely gone by 1998. I dealt with it at the time by making ELECTRO-SHOCK BLUES. But it’s something that is never going to change for me and its implications are far-reaching in my life,” he says. And the “curse” didn’t let up after 1998, either: Everett’s cousin Jennifer was a flight attendant on the plane that hit the Pentagon September 11, 2001. “There’s kind of a ghostly sound to a lot of BLINKING LIGHTS,” says Everett, “maybe because I’m living with a bunch of ghosts.”

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Toadcast #273 – The Rustcast

mp3tag The Rustcast is of course dedicated to the Rust2Rome adventure we returned from last week. It’s not really about Rust2Rome per se, just that we went with a bunch of tapes, and all the tunes on this podcast come from those tapes.

In fact, these come from a relatively narrow selection of the tapes, because I took a few fairly downbeat tunes along and we never listened to them. I love listening to quiet music when I drive, but generally only at night, and there was no night driving on the trip, so those tapes tended to stay in the bottom of the box, unlistened.

In fact, you may not believe me, but there was plenty of time when we actually listened to nothing at all. We have no air-conditioning in the car and it was so hot we had to drive large chunks of the way with all the windows rolled down, and when the car picked up any speed at all the noise made it pretty much impossible to hear anything unless it was being played at uncomfortably loud volumes.

Nevertheless, there was plenty of music to be listened to and this is a collection of my favourite bits.

Toadcast #273 – The Rustcast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

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01. Eels – Rags to Rags (00.22)
02. Grandaddy – El Caminos in the West (06.29)
03. Liars – Scarecrows on a Killer Slant (12.33)
04. Grinderman – No Pussy Blues (16.59)
05. R.E.M. – Disturbance at the Heron House (24.59)
06. Majical Cloudz – Silver Rings (30.33)
07. Willie Nelson – I Gotta Get Drunk (40.07)
08. Nirvana – Love Buzz (41.37)
09. Quiet Americans – Summer House (47.17)
10. Bob Seger System – 2+2=? (53.16)

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Friday Fives Are Going to Change

Yup, it’s time for a change around here. Basically, when I started the Friday Fives there wasn’t much around in the way of social media, so it was a good way of fannying about and wasting time on a Friday afternoon when, let’s face it, no-one wants to do any real work.

Since then there are way more effective ways of talking shite with your friends on the internet, and frankly, I think the Friday Fives, whilst still fun, have lost a bit of their liveliness, to be honest. So from now on I am simply going to provide five random bits of fluff from the bowels of the internet.  Links, video, new music, interesting articles… you know, five bits of random shit.

And then, you can either comment on them if you so choose, or bring your own links to the comments thread.  Anything will do – anything which caught your interest during the week and which you would like to share with everyone else.

1. New Star Trek Trailer (above).
This, frankly, looks fucking awesome.  Benedict Cucumberbatch is in fucking everything these days, but he looks like he’s having a right laugh in that trailer up there.  I am reeeeally looking forward to this.

2. Music news of the week: new Eels tune!
I was going to put this in the podcast this week actually, but my laptop won’t rip tunes from Soundcloud and I am still waiting on an mp3 from the PR lot.  The new Eels sounds really good actually – a lot more aggressive and eccentric. This is a big improvement on the relatively safe, gentler stuff on the last few albums.  I hope the new record lives up to it.

3. Article on the death of music blogs.
Well obviously I am never going to agree with all of this, and there are a lot of subtleties about the nature and function of music blogs which the writer seems to miss, but I will write a proper response next week, I think.  The bottom line of his argument is that with the likes of YouTube and that being used so extensively for music discovery, blogs simply ceased to be necessary.

4. Lone Udinese fan in the away end in game vs. Sampdoria.
I love that the Sampdoria fans started out booing him, and then slowly softened, and finally decided to take him out for dinner, despite the fact that their team lost.  Football fans can be awesome sometimes!

5. Song of the week: Flume – Star Eyes.
I put this on the podcast this week, and I really like it: dark, thick and sluggish.  No idea how I’ll take a whole album of this, but this one tune is awesome.  Apparently the album came out at the end of November. Whoops – behind as usual!

Seen anything fun this week? Share it in the comments…

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Toadcast #251 – The Darkcast

Winter has been slow to arrive this year, but it certainly feels like it’s here now. The last few days have been pretty cold, but more importantly when you live this far North, it’s getting fucking dark. It’s not something I dislike, actually.  We may not get much real cold in Edinburgh, nor indeed very much which anyone else would describe as Summer, but Edinburgh is at a surprisingly high latitude and during the Winter months it really is dark around these parts.

So there I was sitting at my desk at four in the afternoon and it was already really rather fucking dingy outside, and in the absence of an obvious theme it seemed about as relevant as anything else I could have come up with.  And let’s face it, without that this is just a mish mash of new stuff which has been piling into my inbox over the last little while, and where’s the fun in that, eh? Well? Where?

Direct download: Toadcast #251 – The Darkcast

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01. Temples – Shelter Song (00.21)
02. Eels – Peach Blossom (06.54)
03. PVT – Shiver (13.01)
04. Milk and Biscuits – White Noise (16.49)
05. Murals – Eyes of Loves (24.32)
06. Lady Lazarus – Lapsarian (31.44)
07. Garden of Elks – This Morning We Are Astronauts (38.47)
08. Palms – Cold (41.07)
09. These Brittle Bones – Anchor Bleed (48.11)
10. Qurious – Gold (55.16)

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Toadcast #242 – The Retrocast

Given how little time I’ve had to do anything recently, I certainly haven’t been able to make time for new music.  So this means that this week’s podcast is a little backward-facing really, looking at some of the 80s and 90s music I was into at the time – not the most famous stuff, just some of the stuff I personally liked the best, of course.

Back when I was at Uni in the 90s, when 80s music was utterly reviled, I remember making a tape of 80s music I thought was good, and really, really enjoying it.  Had I made a similar tape for the 90s a few years back, when they too were taking their turn at the bottom of the pile, then bands like Arnold, The Delgados (although they straddled the 90s and the 00s), Yo La Tengo, Eels and Clem Snide would have been right in there.

I can’t quite bring myself to do the same for the early 2000s just yet, but they too will inevitably be hated in their turn. If you doubt me, just mention The Killers, Razorlight, The Ordinary Boys, Hard-fi or The Libertines to any self-respecting music snob!

Direct download: Toadcast #242 – The Retrocast

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01. Morrissey – You’re Gonna Need Someone On Your Side (00.57)
02. Yo La Tengo – Big Day Coming (10.20)
03. The Delgados – Pull the Wires From the Wall (19.17)
04. LeThug – Lux (25.03)
05. Magic Eye – Holy Male (30.25)
06. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – From the Hip (35.27)
07. Eels – Not Ready Yet (42.04)
08. Clem Snide – 1989 (46.35)
09. Arnold – Fleas Don’t Fly (52.09)
10. Hazy & the J’s – It’s Fantasy Man (57.47)

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Friday Feels the Need to Set Human Beings on Fire

 News International (I do not need to tell you) is one of the most repellent organisations in the world, but this whole business might just end up working out to their advantage, in a twist of supremely Machiavellian achievement.

NI decided to close the News of the World a long time ago, as you can see from this Guardian article detailing the plans being set in place to deal with its disappearance, dating from weeks ago. The sunonsunday.com URL was registered before any of this even kicked off.

As much of a right wing, darkie-hating, shit stain of a wank rag that the NotW has always been, this might turn out to be a masterstroke by the Murdoch empire. They have been caught out in some of the most disgraceful acts of both illegality and moral offence in the history of the press, and they have managed to actually turn it to their advantage.

They close the NotW to show how serious they are about this sort of legal transgression, they reduce their market share of the UK press, and as a result they might just manage to persuade people that they are neither a monopoly concern, nor a dangerous blight on political discourse, and in doing so secure the kind of domination over the UK press and hence UK political debate which could turn us into the next United States – forever having to pander to the latest reactionary retard wheeled out on Fox News to agitate the bigots and the racists.

Because let’s face it, NI are not weakened by this event, they are consolidated. The Sun and the NotW basically catered to the same market: ignorant, unpleasant, narrow-minded racists. Closing one just strengthens the other, but if this PR stunt enables the BSkyB takeover to take place we will still be faced with one of the most conservative, racist, morally repellent organisations in the modern world owning a scarily large chunk of UK media.

Day-to-day journalists have all been fired (although given they work for the NotW in the first place I have no fucking sympathy), but the people who actually engineered and implemented all the craven, corrupt and utterly illegal actions we’ve learned about recently will all continue to work within Murdoch’s empire of sleaze.

In other words, what was potentially one of the greatest PR disasters in corporate history might just end up being turned into the kind of publicity stunt which turns the British media into a shameful mirror of the hatred, bigotry, and outright lies which is Fox News, by consolidating the power of a group of people who treat the world like their own fucking puppet show and care for nothing but insulating their own twisted version of reality to the point where a writer of dystopian science fiction simply couldn’t make this shit up.

Anyway, and breathe…

Here are your five questions for this week.

1. Your number one news media hate figure.
2. Compare someone in the news to a movie or cartoon villain.
3. Whose phone would you hack if you could?
4. Cameron and Murdoch is a predictable terrible twosome.  Pick a less predictable one.
5. What will your lunch be today?

This week’s five songs are from a tape called ‘Cheerful Choons, Innit’ which I found in the van recently.  I was living in Cambridge at the time, which was home to a surprising number of mockneys, hence the title.

Clem Snide – Ice Cube

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Lambchop – Up With People

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Eels – Jungle Telegraph

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The Pernice Brothers – Shaken

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Barry Adamson – Set the Controls for the Heart of the Pelvis (with Jarvis Cocker)

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Eels – Tomorrow Morning

I think it is fair to say that at the moment Eels really, really need editing.  I was reading a piece in Word Magazine this month about how, for all the label system and extremely narrow number of media outlets stifled the ability of a lot of good music to reach the ears of the public (that was very much not the emphasis of the writer, he seemed to have less appreciation of the strong negative aspects of this bottleneck), at least there was a very effective filter between the infinite number of bands in the world and the finite amount of time people chose to commit to music appreciation.

Nowadays, he argued, we have to be the editors ourselves.  Bands record and release anything and everything for no other reason than that they can, and we have to take personal responsibility for picking through it and separating the fragments of wheat from the avalanche of chaff.

Now, given the number of fine blogs and podcasts I myself enjoy I find his argument more than a little shaky, but there is a core of sense to his central point: when everything was more expensive and more complicated to do, people had to be damn sure they knew what they were doing before they went to all the effort of doing it.  This pressed artists to be sure that every note of their work was essential, and it pressed labels and producers to be damn certain that the work they released was as packed to the brim with quality as it possibly could be – it generated the creative conflicts without which it is actually very difficult to produce good art.

As the ‘head of a label’ (yes, that sounds as ridiculous to me as it does to you, but I don’t know the right term for ‘a bloke sat in his spare bedroom with a photocopier and an internet connection’) I never interfere with the artistic choices made by the artists I work with.  I’ve suggested changes to a piece of work no more than three times since I started doing this, twice that suggestion has been acted upon and once it was ignored – the right call on all three occasions, I think.

So I don’t really know how I would go about saying to a band ‘no, I don’t think that song needs to be on the album’ or ‘nah, I think it needs less instrumentation’ or anything like that.  I take the stance that I am not a musician and therefore my capacity to contribute is probably pretty marginal.

Now, imagine you are dealing with someone like Mark Oliver Everett – E, of Eels.  He has written a large number of my favourite songs of all time, and a good few of my favourite albums, and I am not alone there – it’s not like he has any need to prove anything to anyone anymore, and certainly not like he needs to justify his artistic choices to some jumped-up lackey at whatever record label he may chose to work with.

Nevertheless, his last three albums – Hombre Lobo, End Times and this one – were conceived, I believe, as a Triptych.  This is the Return of the Jedi of the three – the triumph over adversity.  The concept is lovely.  Quite a few of the songs are absolutely gorgeous.  But I have a nagging feeling that the whole business really could have been trimmed – and I mean brutally trimmed – and achieved a lot more impact.

There are a lot of songs on these three albums which we have very definitely heard before from Eels.  On this album alone Spectacular Girl and I Like the Way This is Going are the slightest reworkings of songs from Blinking Lights, and tracks like The Look You Give That Guy on End Times seems to be communicating something E has said so many times before that I really do wonder if it needed a whole new song for such an incremental change in sentiment.

I don’t know how you tell someone who has obviously achieved so much and shown time and again that he is one of the best songwriters of his generation that he really needs to be more unforgiving when it comes to deciding what does and does not merit a full commercial release.  These three albums could really easily have been whittled down to three EPs, maybe even all on one CD, and maybe a bonus CD of sketches – the songs which didn’t make the cut recorded in a simple acoustic session perhaps – and you would have had an album of highly concentrated Eels brilliance, along with some enigmatic sketches of songs to give you a glimpse into the thought process which goes into producing an album.

As it is, this feels like a glass of orange cordial which has been diluted with far, far too much water.  To return to the original point made by Word, perhaps if it still cost a shitload of money to record and release an album, some record executive would have forced this glut of material through a very strict funnel and turned it all into one album.

Whilst this would have been a great benefit to this record, I am not prepared to be so fickle as to wish for a return to the days when the making of music was so out of reach of all but the chosen few.  Where I do agree with Word, however, is that now we can record and release everything and there is no reason not to, we need to become just a little bit more savvy about what is an album release and what is a curious extra for the uber-fan.

Eels – That’s Not Her Way

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Eels – The Man

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Website | More mp3s | Buy direct from the band

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Live in Edinburgh This Week – 23rd August 2010

Firstly, the flurry of posts yesterday, from my rather tardy podcast to radio show post, meant that my brother’s Sunday Supplement – a rant about classical music – was buried rather too fast, so please do go back and check it out if you have a little time to waste this afternoon.

Secondly, the Edge Festival goes bloody nuts this week, and if I listed all the gigs then I’d be here all day, and there really is no need for that, so you can have it in paragraph form instead: on Monday 23rd we have Field Music at Sneaky Pete’s and Bear in Heaven at Electric Circus (late).  Tuesday sees The Phantom Band at the Electric Circus, Wednesday Eels at the Picturehouse and Thursday Mark Lanegan at the Liquid Room (who have finally got a website worthy of the name).  Friday is quiet, and then on the weekend we have Harlem at Sneaky Pete’s on Saturday and Modest Mouse at the Picturehouse on Sunday.  All these things you can Google yourselves if you are interested, and there is more info on the Edge site, here.

When it comes to more homegrown things, however, there is still plenty on this week, a good deal at the reassuringly active Bristo Hall – a really nice space which doesn’t get used as often as it might.

Monday 23rd August 2010: Pet, The Leg, The Pineapple Chunks, Sara & the Snakes at the Bristo Hall.

This might well be a late one (11pm-3am) so check it out before you go or you’ll be totally fucking wasted by the time the first band comes on.  I haven’t heard much from the Chunks for a while, as I believe they’ve been recording, so it would be rather cool if there were some new material here to be enjoyed.  There’s quite some distance covered from Sara & the Snakes’ swampy, bluesy garage stuff, the Chunks’ ramshackle whateverthefuckitistheyplay, and the Leg, who are so good they makes themselves sick down themselves (or so I hear anyway, because I have yet to see them live, for shame).

The Pineapple Chunks – Art Storage

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Tuesday 24th August 2010: White Heath, French Wives, Fiction Faction (Formerly Casino Brag,) Sebastian Dangerfield, Washington Irving, and Foxgang at the Bristo Hall.

This is a big lineup selected by Foxgang for their Festival Special.  Given the reluctance of local promoters to do anything at all during the festival (and I have every sympathy – I do the same) it is good to see these guys putting on their own showcase.  Highlights for me would be the indie-pop of Sebastian Dangerfield, and Glaswegian indie pair Washington Irving and French Wives, from Instinctive Raccoon.

Sebastian Dangerfield – The Flood (Pt.1)

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Saturday 28th August 2010: Broken Records and Sparrow & the Workshop at the Liquid Room.

These are two of the original Song, by Toad bands, in a certain sense.  Both now have labels and albums and careers, dammit, and it’s weird.  With debut albums fairly well in the rearview mirror I would imagine that there will be a fair amount of new material on show here, although I know Broken Records don’t want to ruin the surprise for when their second album comes out later in the year.  Their new stuff sounds a lot more layered and guitary and a lot less folky than their earliest material, and I am deeply curious about the new record.

Broken Records – A Leaving Song

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Saturday 28th/Sunday 29th August 2010: Retreat Festival at Pilrig St. Paul’s church.

A free download sampler featuring a large number of the bands playing can be downloaded from here, if you’d like a bit of a preview.  Other than that, take it from me, this is going to be the highlight of the Edinburgh gig calendar, no exceptions – full details here, and I reckon you should probably buy tickets in advance (weekendSaturdaySunday) too as I doubt there will be too many left on the door.