Song, by Toad

Posts tagged twilight sad


Toadcast #287 – The Hibercast

tagYep I feel a bit like I’m emerging from hibernation at the moment. Something about the way Christmas and New Year fell this year completely obliterated two weeks, and this week has been spent mostly trying to slow the levels of alcohol intake from Oliver Reed levels down to about George Best ones.

I’ve also been trying to force my sleep patterns to return to something vaguely resembling normality as well. I have been an absolutely appalling weakling in the face of that ‘oh just one more episode’ syndrome you develop when you have access to entire series of TV shows at once, so I’ve been staying up until five and six in the morning watching one absolutely terrible TV show after another.

I can’t even claim it was something decent like The Wire or Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, it’s all been absolutely dismally shallow and repetitive crime and supernatural series. Fucking dreadful. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY BRAIN? Anyhow, you can see how I am having a little bit of trouble getting back into gear for the new year, can’t you.  Fucking hell, WAKE UP, BOY!

Toadcast #287 – The Hibercast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

Direct download: Toadcast #287 – The Hibercast

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01. Clem Snide – Delight (00.22)
02. The Left Outsides – The Third Light (04.47)
03. Brown Brogues – Split Disc (Toad Session) (11.17)
04. Samantha Crain – Paint (14.39)
05. Water of Life – Sources and Springs/Abercrombie, 1949 (21.57)
06. Falling Stacks – White Wild Hare (27.37)
07. Waylon Thornton – Mustache (33.42)
08. Deathcats – Cowabunga Surf Jam (35.32)
09. The Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car (Live with the RSNO) (41.50)
10. Clem Snide – The Ballad of St. Paull (51.24)
11. Mothersday – Motion Sickness (59.25)


SAY Award 2013 Longlist

SAYaward The Scottish Album of the Year Award longlist has been announced, and there happens to be a little Song, by Toad Records interest this year, as Meursault have been nominated for Something For the Weakened. Now, of course, from my point of view they are the one and only justifiable winner of this award and if it goes to anyone else it will be a fix/swizz/further evidence of the Glasgow-centric, incestuous cliqueyness of the Scottish music industry (delete as appropriate).

I would also like to make it clear now that if it goes to someone who sold more records then the process is clearly just about rewarding commercial pop shite, rather than art, and if they just understood real music they would never have made such a terrible decision.  However, if it happens to be awarded to someone who has sold fewer records then it will simply prove that the panel only ever wanted to award it to their mates, are trying to be obscure just because they’re a bunch of sneering hipsters, and are snobbishly refusing to take notice of how many people loved this album.

Right, excuses all in? Good, we may proceed.

As well as Meursault there are a few albums on there I think would also thoroughly merit this award. Most notable amongst them would be PAWS and R.M. Hubbert, whose respective albums in 2012 are both huge favourites in Toad Hall. The Twilight Sad and Django Django also both made excellent records, so if it goes to any of those guys I will be delighted.

There are definitely a few on there I know nothing about, of course, and a good few I simply haven’t heard a note of yet, and I think this is a good thing. The relative diversity of last year’s list compared to most other Best Of lists out there suggested to me that it was relatively unbiased list, which was pleasingly broad in scope, and I’d say the same this year. It may make us less likely to win, but the breadth of the initial selection panel is a good decision, and although it risks excessive populism (Emeli Sandé and Calvin fucking Harris? You’re having a fucking laugh, surely) I do think it’s the best way to strike a sensible balance between respecting knowledge and expertise on one hand and simple, broad brush appeal on the other.

So good luck to everyone. The full longlist is at the bottom of the page, after four songs by the bands (other than Meursault of course) I would personally prefer to win.

Full list below:

Admiral Fallow – Tree Bursts In Snow
Auntie Flo – Future Rhythm Machine
Calvin Harris – 18 Months
Dam Mantle – Brothers Fowl
Django Django – Django Django
Duncan Chisholm – Affric
Emeli Sandé – Our Version of Events
Errors – Have Some Faith In Magic
Human Don’t Be Angry – Human Don’t Be Angry
Karine Polwart – Traces
Konrad Wiszniewski & Euan Stevenson – New Focus
Lau – Race The Loser
Meursault – Something For The Weakened
Miaoux Miaoux – Light of the North
Paul Buchanan – Mid Air
PAWS – Cokefloat!
RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found
Stanley Odd – Reject
The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
The Unwinding Hours – Afterlives


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 20th February 2013

stockbridge So, after a couple of awesome gigs (Randolph’s Leap and Paws) last week, I started to feel the live music bug again after a surprisingly long period without seeing any gigs but my own BAD FUN ones at Henry’s.

Nevertheless, a good run of stuff and the kind of weekend which felt like a little island of Spring in the middle of February seems to have cheered shit up around here and there are some fine things taking place this week to keep that particular bandwagon trundling along.

Things kick off with the Pictish Trail and eagleowl show at the Caves tomorrow night.  Apparently there’s a special secret opening act as a temptation to draw people down early, so take that as you will. Both the headline bands seem to have taken folk pop and spent the last couple of years torturing it into massive krauty wig-out endings so umm… well, you’ve been warned.  It will be brilliant.

As well as that, the Electric Circus has the awesomely-named ear-beasters Wet Nuns on Friday, as well as habitual ear-beasters the Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks on Saturday, although the Saturday gig will be all stripped back and acoustic. I’ve seen the Twilight Sad acoustic before and it was really, really good.  You know, just in case you were wondering.

And finally, there is also an interesting-looking wee show at the Banshee Labyrinth on Saturday with The Pheromoans, Shareholder and Ace Elementary bringing some very retro-sounding indie rock indeed.  Retro maybe, but they all sound really rather good, if you like your guitar music just a little bit slack, discordant and what the fuck did you expect anyway. Which of course I do, as you know.


Toadcast #243 – The Recoverycast

The recovery in the title of this podcast is down to the fact that I actually managed to spend a full, undisrupted week in the office last week.  Whilst that is a ludicrously banal thing to be celebrating, getting things back on the rails, or at least moderately close to being back on the rails, does feel like something of a relief at this stage.

The accounts desperately need doing as well, which is another little rock ‘n’ roll tidbit for you.  I can keep this up all day – there’s loads more fascinating little insights where this came from. Did I tell you the one about how I need to move a pile of our stock from the downstairs hall to the new shelving I’ve assembled in the office?  Fuck me it’s going to be thrilling.

Actually, after all this I really do feel the need to go out and inject heroin into my eyeballs or punch a tiger in the face or something, just to resurrect some pretence of excitement for anyone (myself included) who might expect the coal face of new music production to be a slightly more exciting place.

Direct download: Toadcast #243 – The Recoverycast

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01. Cold Pumas – Fog Cutter (00.26)
02. The Lemonheads – Malo Cup (08.11)
03. Pillars & Tongues – Dogs (10.25)
04. Shelter Point – Braille (19.29)
05. Nadine Shah – Aching Bones (27.25)
06. R. Ring – Fallout & Fire (32.35)
07. Playlounge – Sweet Tooth (36.14)
08. Fear of Men – Mosaic (38.33)
09. Blur – Strange News From Another Star (45.10)
10. Hiva Oa – These Hands (51.36)
11. The Twilight Sad – Nil (Liars Remix) (57.17)


Toadcast #234 – Away Game

Wow.  I am just – only just, mind you – about back in my right mind after the Fence Collective‘s awesome Away Game Festival on the Isle of Eigg.  After spending three days in the Inner Hebrides, embracing Scotland’s talent for wildly variable weather to its absolute fullest, we journeyed back yesterday, stopping off to record a Vic Galloway session for BBC Radio Scotland.

That meant we got back in around one in the morning, and after eight hours’ kip and a very long, very hot shower, I now feel just about ready to face the world again.  Not to take in on in a carpe diem, up and attem boy sort of a way, just ready, just about, to handle real life once more.

This podcast is, as I assume you will have noticed by now, going to be all about Away Game, with all but a couple of the songs by bands I saw play at the Festival.  And what a fucking awesome festival it was.  Well played Eigg, and well played Fence.

Direct download: Toadcast #234 – Away Game

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01. Water World – Catch Yrself (00.26)
02. King Creosote – Not One Bit Ashamed (07.09)
03. OLO Worms – Strays (17.55)
04. Y Niwl – Undegnaw (22.09)
05. Rob St. John – The Whites of Our Eyes (29.15)
06. Scott Rudd – Bullshit Love (38.01)
07. Jo Schornikow – Bird’s Nest (39.47)
08. The Twilight Sad – I Became a Prostitute (Acoustic) (46.26)
09. Sparrow & the Workshop – Faded Glory (50.17)
10. Luna – Malibu Love Nest (55.49)
11. eagleowl – No Conjunction (1.04.52)


Song, by Toad at SXSW, Please Come to My Party or I’ll Look Like a Right Cunt

Well, it’s a vulgar headline, but you know I will.  No-one wants to be that stupid prick at the world’s busiest music festival with not a fucking soul at his fucking picnic. So honestly, please come!

In all honesty, I think you’ll struggle to find a finer lineup for an afternoon’s entertainment.  Blitzen Trapper are headlining. Mute’s Big Deal are playing too, who I discovered courtesy of the brilliant PAWS covering one of their songs for our June split 12″.  Jonathan Meiburg from Shearwater will be playing a stripped back set with an electric guitar and a backing vocalist, we have the phenomenal Micah P. Hinson, the Twilight Sad and Brown Brogues.

This is all taking place at the Hype Hotel, which I think used to be the Pure Groove House, but I’m not sure. To get in and find out all the details and all that pish, just go here and fill in some forms and so on and they’ll be sure to let you in.

Actually, from my experience of SXSW you’ll get in whatever happens, but it might cost you $15 or so if you don’t register in advance or get a badge thingy. Anyway, see you there if you happen to around.  Otherwise, well, I’ll be sure to swear at you on the internet about something soon enough.  Happy March, hipsters!


The Twilight Sad – No-one Can Ever Know

The Twilight Sad were one of the first under the radar Scottish bands I ever  really ‘discovered’ for myself, although oddly enough it was actually American blogs where I first started to hear about them, despite their being from just down the road, relatively speaking.

This is their third album, and despite a subtle shift evident in their second, represents by far the most decisive move yet away from the walls of squalling guitars which played such a part in the making of their name.

They have adjusted from a devastating combination of heart-rending vocal and relentless crescendoes of giddying racket, to something which you might perhaps describe as being more closely related to the hypnotic thrum of someone like Lower Dens, not that I’d directly compare the two, exactly. With the synths they’ve added to their sound there are actually moments which border on Depeche Mode as well, although I am sure that if I knew more about that kind of music I could make a more appropriate comparison.

Despite the change of pace, if one thing remains the same, it’s the quasi-spiritual feel to the Twilight Sad’s music.  The very first time I ever saw them, back at Bannerman’s of all places, years ago, I remember thinking that singer James Graham seemed to be twitching and howling his way through a particularly disturbing religious vision.  A similar feeling permeates No-one Can Ever Know, but it is more trance-like and a little less like a demonic possession.

Pre-release songs like Kill it in the Morning and the phenomenal Sick still stand out, but the rest of it is still strong, with perhaps my favourite beyond these two being Another Bed, which I chose for this week’s podcast. The fact that this song comes late in the album shows once again that these lads, for all they do write pop songs, still clearly put together whole albums rather than front-loading a couple of crowd-pleasers and making up the rest with whatever else they had lying around, as has been happening a lot recently.

Having seen them recently at the Bongo Club, I must confess that I still find a lot of their most thrilling material comes from their first album.  Since then they’ve released two more records, including this one, and both have contained songs I have loved, and a few to which I have never really warmed, I have to confess.

Again in this case, there are a couple of songs here and there which, whilst they are by no means bad, don’t quite thrill me as much as they might.  But then, some of this is just fucking great, and if I recall it was the lure of a handful of favourites which pulled me slowly into their debut album as well, so I will be sure and give this record the time it needs to sink in properly.

The Twilight Sad – Sick

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The Twilight Sad – Another Bed

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Website | More mp3s | Buy direct from the band


Toadcast #212 – The Tartan Shortcast

Ah, Tartan Shortbread, that most wonderful of sardonic Scottish put-downs.

For those unfamiliar with the term, this is the offhand dismissal used to describe the sort of mawkish, clichéd tourist tat which masquerades as Scottish heritage and culture for those with woefully little imagination.  Alternatively, I suppose you could say that Tartan Shortbread is a blanket term for Scottish heritage as a sort of motorway service station take on national identity.

Anyhow, given I work very much at the coalface of the DIY music world in Scotland, I find that I have been oddly unsupportive of a large number of Scottish bands who have emerged in the last couple of years to considerable enthusiasm from the Scottish music press, both professional and amateur.

For some reason, the recent bands who have shown some likelihood of cracking an audience wider than the relatively narrow confines of the five million or so people in Scotland itself just haven’t appealed to me, with a few notable exceptions.  However, sitting down to assemble the playlist for this week I noticed that there were something like seven of the ten songs which happened to be by Scottish bands.  Oh, I thought to myself, I appear to be Scottish again.  How nice.

Direct download: Toadcast #212 – The Tartan Shortcast

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01. Django Django – Default (00.17)
02. Andrew Bird – Eyeoneye (08.41)
03. Lower Dens – Brains (12.47)
04. Randolph’s Leap – Bile (26.17)
05. Clean George IV – XP Avenue (32.51)
06. Dumb Instrument – Reverse the Hearse (35.57)
07. The Occasional Flickers – When the Sky Looks so Grey (41.11)
08. R.M. Hubbert – Sunbeam Melt the Hour (with Marion Kenny & Hanna Tuulikki) (50.20)
09. The Twilight Sad – Don’t Move (55.49)
10. Brown Brogues – Anyone But You (62.04)


Song, by Toad Readers’ Top Five Songs 2011

Well here we are again, with lists this time generated by yourselves rather than me.  With one exception none of these songs would have been anywhere near my personal Festive Fifty, and the one which would have made it is forbidden due to an obvious clash of interests.

It’s weird, but it does at the very least go to show that the idea of the blogosphere being just a great big mutual back-slapping exercise, with everyone telling everyone else just how awesome they are most of the time, isn’t entirely accurate.  Still, just because I am an opinionated fucker doesn’t mean I don’t want to be disagreed with – just the opposite in fact, because it’s generally much more fun.

Honorable mentions must also go to FOUND and Adam Stafford, who managed an awful lot of votes as bands, but not consistently for the same song, resulting in them missing out on the top five, despite having a lot of votes in total.

So, without further ado, I hereby present the Song, by Toad Readers’ Top Five Songs of 2011:

=3: King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats in the Attic Despite being one of my favourite artists, and previous remix work by Jon Hopkins being some of my favourite KC stuff, this album didn’t personally grab me as much as it seems to have everyone else, but this is most certainly my favourite song on it.  I included votes for the ‘Unravelled’ version from their EP as well, partly because it only seemed fair, and partly because I too preferred it.

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats in the Attic

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=3: P.J. Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder Alright, I’ll admit, I just don’t get P.J. Harvey.  She won the Mercury Prize though, she’s on every damn end of year list I’ve read, and some of my best friends and favourite musicians think she’s awesome.  So I guess I just have to shrug and let this one pass, and confess that I must just be missing something.

P.J. Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder

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=3: The Twilight Sad – Sick This is a very good song, but I’ll admit it ain’t in my personal Festive Fifty.  They were fantastic at the Bongo Club a couple of months ago though, and I have really high hopes for the album.

The Twilight Sad – Sick

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2: Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – The Copper Top The only song which came even close to giving the winner a run for its money. This is from another album which hasn’t really captured my imagination anything like as much as it seems to have with everyone else.  Nevertheless, of all the songs I heard on it I will agree that this was my favourite as well.

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – The Copper Top

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1: Rob St. John – Sargasso Sea Part of me thinks that this poll would look more genuine if one of our own acts hadn’t finished at the top, and part of me knows full well that if no-one had voted for any of our bands then I would have had a gigantic sulk to myself, so I guess there’s no winning, really.  And oddly enough, I might have picked Domino, Stainforth Force or maybe Vanishing Points ahead of this, if I were picking favourite songs from Weald. Nevertheless, this is a stunning record, and I am glad you voted for it, because I obviously can’t do so myself and it clearly deserves some sort of bloody recognition!

Rob St. John – Sargasso Sea

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Friday Fives and Fresh Air Funtimes

 Having been sick all week it is a bloody miracle there’s been anything written on this blog at all, never mind the fountain of insightful commentary we have seen since Monday.  Pulitzers, here we come!

“And the Nobel Prize for Gin and Swearing goes to…”

Anyhow, I am having one of those ‘what the fuck kind of a world do we fucking live in?’ weeks, which I generally dismiss as the indulgence of old people who forget how shit things actually were in their youth.

But this week we have seen the forcible suppression of peaceful protesters in the States, the criminalisation of the equally peaceful Fortnum & Mason’s protesters in the UK, the classification of pizza as ‘a portion of vegetables’ in the guidelines for providing balanced meals in US schools, Sepp Blatter suggesting that racist abuse can be laughed off with a handshake (to howls of outrage from the English press, whose own national football captain was caught on film recently calling someone a ‘fucking black cunt’) and our government subsidising the private sector by sending them slave labour in the form of the jobless, whose benefits will be withheld if they don’t obey.

My taxes may well be spent on some dubious projects, but damned if they should be spent paying the wages of fucking Tesco employees, thank you very fucking much.

So, swearing over with.  As I will be on the radio later I needed to get that out of my system now, lest I sully the ears of Edinburgh’s sensitive student population with naughty words.  I will be joined, of course, by El Parks and Brian Pokora on Fresh Air radio at 3:30pm, and for those of you who are out and about on Saturdays when our pals from Live From the Latin Quarter are broadcasting, then you can always listen to them again on Mixcloud here.

On air from 3:30pm UK time – listen live here.

And in the meantime, here are five silly questions for those of you with an afternoon to waste.  Friday is of course de-lurking amnesty on Song, by Toad, so if you’ve been reading for a while but never quite been arsed to chip in and say hello, why not do it today.  Let’s face it, nothing you say can possibly be as inane as what the rest of us will be coming out with for most of the afternoon.

1. What would you set the jobless to do, if you had them at your disposal?
2. Most spurious ‘portion of fruit or veg’ claim you can imagine.
3. Most hateful athlete.
4. Worst old people moan.
5. Worst old people moan you find yourself letting slip occasionally.

And the playlist for the radio show will appear live below from half three.

1. Yo La Tengo – Tom Courtenay
2. Adam Stafford – Shot Down You Summer Wannabes
3. P.S. I Love You – Facelove
4. The Twilight Sad – That Summer at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy
5. Jonnie Common – Hand-Hand
6. Phoenix – Fences (Friendly Fires Remix)
7. Weird Era – Garage Honeymoon
8. The Pixies – Where is My Mind (Bass Nectar Remix)
9. Wounded Knee – Hares on the Mountain
10. Sugar Baby – Dock Boggs
11. Clarence Ashley – Cuckoo Bird
12. The Black Keys – The Only One