Song, by Toad

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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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Live in Edinburgh This Week – 2nd April 2012

Sometimes I take the wrong message from advertising.

You know those adverts where they hysterically proclaim that there are many more bacteria on your chopping board than there are on your toilet seat?  Well I assume the message they are intending to put across is something like this:

“Aaaagh, ohmyfuckinggod, what have I done, I’ve poisoned my child, I’m a SUCH A BAD MOTHER I MUST BUY MORE OF YOUR CHEMICAL SHITE!”

I, on the other hand, take the message to be this, pretty much:

“Ah well, no need to worry about the toilet seat then.”

But then I don’t think I’m entirely in their target audience, although I could be wrong.

Anyhow, for all there isn’t really all that much going on this week, it does rather annoyingly all seem to be taking place on the same two days at the end of the week.  And once again, I happen to have accidentally ended up putting on a gig at Henry’s at the same time as Pendulum Man puts on a Song, by Toad Records band at the Banshee Labyrinth.  Balls.

Friday 6th April: Edinburgh School For the Deaf, Chris Devotion and the Expectations & Blank Canvas play Limbo at the Voodoo Rooms.

I haven’t seen Edinburgh School For the Deaf since noise-merchant Kieran Naughton moved down South and the band had to rejig their lineup slightly, so this looks really good.  The whole lineup is strong actually, because CD/EX were fantastic at the Ides of Toad earlier in the year, with an awesome set of boisterous rock ‘n’ roll.  And Blank Canvas I have yet to see at all, despite their generating a good bit of buzz around these parts recently.

Edinburgh School For the Deaf – Love is Terminal

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Friday 6th April: Indie Funday Friday with Cancel the Astronauts, The Cosmonauts, Fishing for Seagulls & Astronaut Head and at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

All the proceeds from this night of pure bouncy indie-pop fun go to Capability Scotland, so as well as fun, you can also reassure yourself that you are making a positive contribution to the world, rather than just going out and getting pished like you normally might on a Friday night.

Cancel the Astronauts – I am the President of Your Fanclub (and Last Night I Followed You Home)

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Saturday 7th April: North American War, Plastic Animals & Palms at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

I’ve been trying to get these two bands through to Edinburgh for a while, and it is finally happening this weekend.  Palms still only have a single song on their Soundcloud page, so I honestly don’t know all that much about them, but North American War’s five song Me and My G.I. Joes EP is really good, and Plastic Animals have been recording recently, so they should be ready to release EP4 into the world relatively soon.  All in all this should be an excellent evening of guitar music which is pretty constantly on the verge of falling to pieces.

Palms – Wolf

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Saturday 7th April: The Japanese War Effort, Ten & Convex Mancave at the Banshee Labyrinth.

For those of you not so very much interested in guitars, across the city on Saturday there will be something altogether more layered and experimental, with Song, by Toad’s favourite buckie-fuelled smart-arse The Japanese War Effort on a bill with Ten and Convex Mancave.  Tickets can be bought here, and come with a free download of a couple of tracks from the bands on the bill.

The Japanese War Effort – Summer Sun Skateboard

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Toadcast #220 – The Foolcast

April Fool’s Day really does bore me to tears.  The jokes are so weak and obvious most of the time that they really are pointless, although Avalanche’s Withered Hand futon did make me laugh.

It’s the forced bonhomie which I find the most tedious, I have to confess. ‘Oh yes, ha ha, very funny, well done you, gosh how everso fucking hilarious’.

And then just occasionally you hear news, like Viva Brother splitting up which, whilst it is painfully obviously an April Fool, is just too close to real, actual good news we’d actually all want to hear to cause any real merriment.

And then there’s the Republican candidates for the presidency of the United States.  Tragic, frightening, comical, and depressing. And sadly not an April Fool’s joke either.

Direct download: Toadcast #220 – The Foolcast

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01. Two Tears – Heisse Hexe (00.22)
02. Magic Eye – Flamin’ Teenage (06.49)
03. North American War – Me & My G.I. Joes (14.02)
04. Palms  – Wolf (18.57)
05. Habibi Band – Sunsets (25.39)
06. Woodsman – Supernal Radionics (30.55)
07. Sex Hands – The Moist Maker (39.25)
08. The Leg – Bake Yourself Silly (43.30)
09. Father Sculptor – Ember (48.39)
10. Kurt Vile – Freak Train (57.09)

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Song, by Toad – Festive Fifty 2011 11-30

11.David Thomas Broughton – Ain’t Got No Sole The first song we heard from DTB’s fantastic album, and perhaps the poppiest of the lot.  Catchy, unusual and immensely hummable.

12.Kurt Vile – Baby’s Arms Another album from which it is tricky to extricate just one song as a highlight, but for some reason I’m giving this the nod above Jesus Fever or Puppet to the Man. I think it’s the most late night and glass of red winey song on the album, but it’s close.

13.The Sandwitches – Lightfoot Are you still allowed to describe songs as joyous romps these days?  Because that’s what this feels like, an idiosyncratic, gleeful romp of a song.

14.Josh T Pearson – Country Dumb It’s hard to pick out just one song from this record, but this one seems to stand out for some reason.  Maybe it’s related to the number of times I’ve heard it and the circumstances, but there’s an unsettling fatalism to this which lifts it above the autobiographical confessional of the rest of the album.

15.John Knox Sex Club – Above Us the Waves This kind of sincere, epic grandiosity is really difficult to pull off without coming across as a bit po-faced or joyless, but this is just spell-binding.

16.Jonnie Common – Summer Is For Going Places There are so many incredible songs on this Jonnie Common album I could easily have picked four or five for the Festive Fifty, but I didn’t want the whole thing to be dominated by one or two artists.  Summer is For Going Places is as laid back and infectious as the rest of Master of None.

17.Crystal Swells – Mellow Californian Another masterpiece of feral, overloaded lo-fi brilliance.  And no matter how messy they make this stuff, Crystal Swells always make sure the pop song isn’t lost, so it may not sound like it, but I reckon they know exactly what they’re doing.

18.Yoofs – John Actor is Monkfish I love the chorus on this, the vocal refrain, how well-controlled the momentum of the song is – and once again we have an unknown DIY band with two songs in my Festive Fifty.  Keep an eye on Art is Hard Records in the new year.

19.Hookworms – Teen Dreams For unheard of DIY bands to produce stuff with this much oomph is unusual.  This is from a self-titled 12″ now out on Faux Discx, and it’s, well, epic, I suppose is the best way to describe it.

20.Easter – Damp Patch For a band with three songs on a Soundcloud page and nothing else, I am a bit wary of over-stating my own enthusiasm for this band.  They have a sort of slow-burn to them, but then that spills over into raucous endings, a bit proggy, a bit krauty and all messy.  This track isn’t their most aggressive, but it’s bloody great.

21.Edinburgh School for the Deaf – Of Scottish Blood And Sympathies Epic, post-rocky, shoegazey awesomeness from a band who threw their biggest beast of a track down right at the very beginning of their debut album.

22.Earth Girl Helen Brown – Girls of My Dreams The weird sense of otherworldly fuzz on this record made it absolutely compelling from the first listen.  It’s like listening to a lost gem from the sixties with a brain so addled you can barely make out the stereo.

23.Jarad Miles – Miles Away Rocketship is a lovely record, and there are some gorgeous, touching songs on it, but perhaps the quietest, most low-key one of the lot caught my attention the most – touching and full of pathos.

24.Pillars and Tongues – Thank you Oaky Grandiose and beautiful, rich and enveloping – if one song sums up why you should own and love this album then I reckon it might be this one.

25.The Sandwitches – Heaviest Head In The West As much as the jaunty, carefree pop songs on this album caught my attention, one of the best songs on the album is this one, which is both far darker and contains one of the most arresting, enigmatic squeals in pop history.

26.Elbow – Lippy Kids I am not all that into the new Elbow album, but this track is an absolute blinder.  It’s gorgeous, and contains some of Guy Garvey’s most poignant lyrics.

27.Crystal Stilts – Shake The Shackles It wasn’t all that consistent an album, but there are some cracking songs – sort of like the Ringo Deathstarr album in that sense – and this is the best of them.  The crooned delivery almost has a New Romantic edge to it, but the rest of the song is shoegazey, garagey goodness.

28.FOUND – Machine Age Dancing The wonky breakdown in this had me sending text messages to the band the first time I heard it.  Songs like Vincent Gallo and Anti-Climb Paint may have been well familiar to FOUND fans by the time Factorycraft came out, but they kept plenty of gems to themselves, and this is one of them.

29.Tom Waits – Hell Broke Luce This is far from a vintage album, but the deranged crashing about of this song is probably as close as Bad as Me gets to vintage Tom Waits.

30.Palms – Wolf Despite the really, really rough recording (those cymbal crescendoes actually quite hurt my ears) this is still clearly a brilliant song.  It’s a more brooding approach to garage rock (and I use that term, as with all genre terms, extremely loosely) than some of the more frantic stuff I’ve heard this year, and is a song I played something like ten times consecutively the first time I heard it.

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1-10 | 11-30 | 31-50

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Palms

 I assume someone in Glasgow can enlighten me as to exactly who this band might be, but I am really struggling to find any information about them at all.

So far, all I’ve managed to find has been a Manchester promoter describing them as ‘ex-DIVORCE’ and Golden Grrrls, with whom they have been touring, calling them ‘new-ish’.  They’ve played Milk (a relatively new Glasgow night) as well, so I am guessing the answer is out there, even if it resides on the streets of Glasgow instead of the internet.

Anyway, I have heard some rough recordings in my time but this, the single, solitary song on Palms’ SoundCloud page, is rougher than most.  The cymbals in particular get just a little bit painful to listen to when they reach their crescendos, so I am guessing that rather than just a deliberately lo-fi recording , this really is actually just a rough sketch of a song.  Not that it actually needs to be much more polished, but a little tidying up might be helpful.

Either way, there’s not much I can say about this with so little information, apart from pointing out that the one song they do have out in the open is really very good indeed. It’s a cross between the lo-fi garage of 2011, mixed with just a little of the early Britpop female-fronted indie bands and actually, of all things, just a little gothic Americana.  That latter impression might come more from the lyrics themselves, as well as the verse structure, which does remind me of dark, foreboding frontier US country rock, or it might come from the fact that the lead female vocal reminds me more than a little of the awesome Jill O’Sullivan from Sparrow & the Workshop.

In any case, if anyone from Glasgow is reading this and can fill me in a little, this lot sound really promising and I am very much looking forward to finding out more.

Wolf by Palms

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Toadcast #192 – The Winecast

 Winecast because after soberly recording these on a Saturday afternoon for the last couple of years, I’m recording this after a bottle of wine on a Sunday evening for a change.  So don’t expect coherence, but it honestly isn’t all that bad.

Mrs. Toad and I were down looking at the Port O’ Leith  Motor Boat Club today, wondering if we might buy the place, move in and try and turn it into the kind of recording space and performance space we already try and use our house as.  It’s a great building, but I am not entirely certain how popular a place in Newhaven might prove to be to Edinburgh people reluctant to go more than a block or two for their musicfunz.

Anyhewww, here we have another ten songs of unbelievable brilliance, for which you will no doubt be enormously grateful and umm *cough cough* well, you’re more than welcome.

Direct download: Toadcast #192 – The Winecast

01. Prize Pets – It Takes Time (00.09)
02. Ian Humberstone – House on the Hill (07.34)
03. Waiters – Tomorrowland (15.05)
04. Former Bullies – Golden Chains (20.21.)
05. Talvihorros – Beta (26.39)
06. Palms – Wolf (37.23)
07. Burning Yellows – Chopsticks (42.32)
08. Debutant – Yeah! Currahee! (51.00)
09. The Japanese War Effort – Dreaming of a New Labour (54.49)
10. King Creosote & John Hopkins – Bats in the Attic (Unravelled) (62.52)