The Plumbcast is so named because we are currently having an awful time with plumbers. My flat in Leith has a leak into the flat below and we’ve had three different fucking plumbers out to look at the thing and they just can’t find anything wrong. Couple that with a general lack of desire to take on a difficult job – and after all why would you when there are far easier jobs out there for good money – and we are having a godawful fucking time with the plumbers of Edinburgh and the moment.
Anyhow, domestic frustrations aside, this is a fine podcast of, for once, the very best new music. I know I am usually all over the place when it comes to the timely playing of exciting new songs, but I think this week’s playlist is fairly on the ball for a change. I have stuff from the new Pictish Trail and Rick Redbeard albums – both out around now – new tunes by Anna-Anna and The Leisure Society, and a couple of fresh from the vine Toad Session recordings.
01. The Yawns – Butterfleyes (00.20)
02. The Leisure Society – The Sober Scent of Paper (07.03)
03. Woodpecker Wooliams – Crow (Toad Session) (13.20)
04. Samantha Crain – Churchill (Toad Session) (17.56)
05. Anna-Anna – Marianne Will Live Forever (24.37)
06. Meursault – Dearly Distracted (Seb Reynolds Remix) (30.42)
07. Rick Redbeard – Any Way I Can (39.45)
08. The Pictish Trail – I Will Pour it Down (45.06)
09. Roy’s Iron DNA – Under My Skin (51.24)
10. Old Earth – Nonetitled (58.19)
I get in trouble from some of my friends for my dislike of the Edinburgh Festival of Trite Imported Garbage (and Comedy) but over the course of the last week I have decided. It’s fucking shit, the city fills up with unspeakable cunts and you are best advised to stay safely in Leith to ignore the bastard thing.
Trying to get to and from the Record Fair at Summerhall last weekend I honestly needed a fucking snowplough on the front of the fucking van just to get the fuckers out of the way. It’s a RED FUCKING MAN you retards, what the fuck does that tell you? Get the fuck out of the fucking way or I will mow you fucking down.
Mind you, there are positives, I suppose. I am back on Fresh Air on Fridays, for example. And you can tune in! And it will be amazing! Continuing from last week’s label special I will be going through another pile of independent labels I happen to really like, because of course I barely covered half of them last week.
And in the meantime, or during the meanwhilst as Monty Python might say, we have our traditional five stupid questions for you to answer as a means of frittering away what little useful time remains of the working week.
1. What was the last thing which made you really, really laugh.
2. Who is the least funny comedian you can think of?
3. If there was one (living) comedian you might consider seeing, who would it be?
4. Do you like the theatre much?
5. In percentage terms, how shit is it that there will be NO RETREAT FESTIVAL THIS YEAR (curse you, Bart).
The playlist for the radio show will appear live below from 6pm:
1. The Delgados – The Actress
2. Arab Strap – There is No Ending
3. Mother and the Addicts – So Tough
Fat Possum Records
4. R.L. Burnside – Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down
5. The Walkmen – Line By Line
6. Sonny & the Sunsets – Heart of Sadness
Empty Cellar Records
7. Sonny & the Sandwitches – Throw My Ashes From This Pier When I Die
8. The Sandwitches – Summer of Love
9. Pillars and Tongues – Thank You Oaky
Song, by Toad
10. The Leg – Witch at the Speaker
11. Meursault – Lament For a Teenage Millionaire
12. Jesus H. Foxx – Permanent Defeat
Art is Hard
13. The Black Tambourines – Bad Days
14. Gorgeous Bully – Never Cry
15. Gum – Cherryade
Full Time Hobby
16. Micah P. Hinson – Seven Horses Seen
17. The Leisure Society – Last of the Melting Snow
18. Timber Timbre – Woman
36.Wild Beasts – All The King’s Men
The vocals are weird, but there’s something about a large chunk of this record which I find absolutely compelling. I love Ben’s voice, for starters, and this song probably highlights it better than any other.
38.Meursault – William Henry Miller Pt.2 (EP Version)
Meursault releasing their singles so late in the year has really fucked with my lists. I love Nothing Broke, and both of the Williams Henry Miller on it, but the single version just blows this clean out of the water and the poor little acoustic version has ended up exiled to No.38. It’s non-lyrical vocal bits which make this – the sort of deflated sigh of dismal unhappiness in between verses – just brilliant.
39.Withered Hand – Providence
Erm, nothing to say about this actually. It’s just ace. Dan’s slightly peculiar lyrics, the borderline-Hawley guitar strums, the vocal harmonies… who knows what makes this song so good. Like all his music though, it just makes you like the guy.
40.Timber Timbre – Magic Arrow
Spooky and weird. That kind of describes the whole album, but the repeating bassline and the insistent rhythm give this one a sort of sinister purpose of its own. One of the discoveries of the year, as far as my ears are concerned.
41.Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard – To be Ojectified
There are a lot of songs about ageing and mortality on Em Are I, but this is one of the saddest and most resigned. It’s like a cross between a stream of consciousness and the gradual deflation of an airbed, and ends up being both maudlin and comforting. Which is to say that the lyrics are a bit on the horrible side, but the delivery is sympathetic and warm.
42.Broken Records – Wolves
Broken Records (and many of my other friends, like Sparrow & the Workshop and Withered Hand) suffer a bit in this year’s Festive Fifty because many of my favourite songs on their album, like A Good Reason, were actually featured in demo version on previous year’s lists. This song, however, did not, and is one of the highlights of their album for me. By the time everything gets going it’s just a fury of a song, and cannot fail to remind of how brilliant these guys are on stage.
43.Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – Tom Justice, The Choir Boy Robber
It’s an odd subject, and the story is almost as compelling as the music itself. There was a bit more full band stuff on vs. Children, and I’ve heard older fans complain about this, but the drum beat and the repeated, yet unintrusive chime of the piano in the background of this song are both lovely.
44.Alela Diane – White as Diamonds
This is fucking stunning and would have been in the top five had it not been for those goddamned bastard cymbals, which time has done nothing to soften. The acoustic Daytrotter version of this song is one of the loveliest things I’ve ever heard.
45.Broken Records – Out On the Water
Hmm.. am I allowed to include this, given it was out last year? Fuck it, I love it when a band whose live set is mental and reckless suddenly slow it down and play something surprisingly gentle. Here this is performed live at the Bedlam Theatre early last year – bloody great:
46.Wild Beasts – Hooting And Howling
A bit like other songs of theirs on this list, I don’t know whether I love the vocals, the laid back but nevertheless quite danceable beat or that really nice guitar sound they have. Cracking album.
47.The Leisure Society – The Last of the Melting Snow
The Leisure Society made a bit of a rod for their own backs with this song. By virtue of its Ivor Novello Award nomination it shot a tiny band on a tiny label right into the limelight, and infortunately the rest of their material just didn’t cut the mustard. The album was just plain weak, and I found myself forgetting about this song because of it, which is criminal because it is absolutely brilliant. There is a reason it got them so much attention.
48.Jesus H. Foxx – I’m Half the Man You Were
For a band with two drummers and four guitarists to make such nuanced and subtle music is downright weird. This is probably ‘the pop song’ from their fantastic Matter EP, and that head-nodding rhythm and the gorgeous vocal lead out make this one of my favourite songs of the year.
49.Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers – Beating St Louis
Shilpa Ray’s voice plus accordian. Job done. Honestly, for someone with pipes like these to be accompanied by the macabre accordian moaning which dominates this song is simply a cast-iron recipe for Toad-pleasing.
50.The Smiles and Frowns – Mechanical Songs
Another song which sound like it would be drifting around the abandoned site of a funfair which had gone horribly wrong, this song is from the band’s excellent debut, and also available on eminently desirable white vinyl 7″. Buy one, and make your friends slightly nervous by playing it all the time.
Mrs. Toad (malingering old bag) and I are going to be live on Fresh Air at 6.30pm tonight, and I’ll post the playlist here as we go along. This way any foul remarks can go here and not sully Fresh Air’s fine reputation as an upstanding family station.
01. King Creosote – No-one Had it Better
02. The Japanese War Effort – St John
03. Broken Records – Wolves
04. Eels – Fresh Blood
05. Jason Lytle – Flying Through Canyons
06. Jason Lytle – On a Piece of Wood I Go
07. Jesus H. Foxx – I’m Half the Man You Were
08. Yusuf Azak – The Key Underground
09. The Wave Pictures – Canary Wharf
10. Wilco – The Jolly Banker
11. Phil & the Osophers – They Threw a Shoe at You
12. The Leisure Society – The Last of the Melting Snow
13. Alberto Veto – Through Her Teeth
14. Rock Plaza Central – Don’t You Believe the Words of Handsome Men
15. The Limes – Dead Furniture
16. X Lion Tamer – Life Support Machine
Cheers folks, been fun. See you next week 6.30pm-8pm once again.
Another gem from the 2008 mixtape made for me by Colin from And Before the First Kiss. I made some flippant comment about him not really posting much new music, and he promptly handed me a full CD-R’s worth of brand new bands, most of which I had never heard of. So, er, I’ll be more careful in future.
Neither the growling indie, nor the twee indie-pop with which I associate Colin, this is more of lush and lovely persuasion. Reading their press quotes, Last of the Melting Snow is described thus: “delicate, beautiful, ethereal, heavenly, beguiling” and “gorgeous”. And so it is. As you would expect from this site it is, of course, also very sad.
Just the image itself brings a sort of grey melancholy, an image of sitting with a cup of tea, staring listlessly out the window as the rain washes away the last of the grime-blackened drifts from the side of the road. If ever there is an image of purity and hope that has given way to gradual, yet final disappointment then it is the final wet morning of the last of the melting snow. The music embraces this kind of feeling as well, embodying at once the optimism that has been lost as well as its dispirited defeat.