The baubles in question would be twofold:
Firstly, the Song, by Toad readers are awarding their own baubles for the year’s musical endeavours, both in terms of anointing their song and their album of the year.
And secondly, the very second I post this I am heading up into town to Kid Canaveral’s Christmas Baubles, their second of what I assume will become an annual Christmas knees-up, this time hosted at Edinburgh’s rather amazing Summerhall.
This week on Song, by Toad I will be publishing my own top twenty albums of the year, and then moving on to the Festive Fifty – basically your average predictable blogger’s December rituals. If you don’t like it I guess you’re a bit stuck until the new year I’m afraid.
01. Mongrels – Massive Cunt (00.25)
02. Tom Waits – Face to the Highway (06.14)
03. Waiters – Tomorrowland (14.27)
04. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats in the Attic (Unravelled) (24.03)
05. Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – The Copper Top (27.33)
06. Hookworms – Medicine Cabinet (34.56)
07. Grant Lee Phillips – Josephine of the Swamps (45.21)
08. The Dears – Lost in the Plot (50.49)
09. Warpaint – Billie Holiday (60.27)
This is not so much the holiday podcast as the pre-holiday podcast because, for all we are away now, I recorded this on Thursday night before going away, as we prepared ourselves for the unspeakable burden of doing absolutely fuck all for two weeks.
I am taking a pile of books and a pile of new music and we are going to do pretty much nothing at all. My parents used to do really adventurous travelling when we were young, but honestly I don’t have the energy. I am so incredibly fucking exhausted from constant Toadery that actually, despite having a holiday inferiority complex, pretty much all I can cope with at the moment is a couple of weeks of fuck all.
Even last year when we went to Portland for a couple of weeks, we took all the technology and recorded interviews and all sorts at Pickathon. It was relaxing and nice, but I still got a hell of a lot of work done. This time I will take along some tunes which I have been meaning to catch up with, perhaps record a podcast or two, and basically spend the rest of the time lying in the sun by the pool. My folks might not be all that impressed, but the recharging of the batteries is the sole purpose of this trip and I think we might manage just that.
Toadcast #73 – The Holiday Podcast
01. MJ Hibbett & the Validators – Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid (04.17)
02. Midnight Oil – Bushfire (10.06)
03. Headless Heroes – Hey, Who Really Cares? (Jon Hopkins Remix) (16.56)
04. Alela Diane – Pieces of String (21.05)
05. Inspector Tapehead – A Fillet of Bozo (25.42)
06. Maxwell Panther – Shiver on a Twist of Fate (33.19)
07. Jack Richold – Lady of the Calico (37.00)
08. Grant-Lee Phillips – Calamity Jane (41.16)
09. Billy Bragg – Bread & Circuses (50.20)
10. The Divine Comedy – Les Jours Tristes (57.45)
Following the demise of Grant Lee Buffalo, the nearly eponymous Grant-Lee Phillips’ solo work showed a marked departure from the sounds we knew him for up to that point. Mobilize was a fuzzy, atmospheric album with all sorts of moody electronica, and Virginia Creeper was a nostalgic American folk gem.
Strangelet, his latest, has been released to pretty much no fanfare at all and I have barely come across any write-ups anywhere. Am I the only one to love his solo work? Do the rest of you really not care? Well, if you don’t already, I doubt this is the best place to start. Of all his solo work this is the most Buffaloid, and perhaps as a consequence the one I like the least. It actually seems to me to be a little devoid of direction. It’s not energetic enough to be rock, nor chilled enough to be melancholy. There’s none of the traditional or electronic influences he has been dabbling in thus far, and I can’t really see what the driving force behind the album really is.
That said, Mr. Phillips can still write a decent tune, so there are some good tracks, but if you are looking to get into his work I would really recommend starting elsewhere – Mobilize or Virginia Creeper, probably. Try some of the songs below to choose your poison:
Grant-Lee Phillips – Hidden Hand From Strangelet
Grant Lee Phillips – Killing a Dead Man From Strangelet
Grant-Lee Phillips – I Wish I Knew From Virginia Creeper
Grant-Lee Phillips – Sadness Soot From Mobilize
Grant Lee Buffalo – Come to Mama, She Say From Jubilee
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