What might’ve been lost…

God bless people who write comments! I’m not a great interacter (but that’s all going to change), but I am pathetically grateful when someone takes the trouble to add a comment on this Blog.

Bon Iver

A feller who calls himself ArthManual, who runs this rather cool site has posted a comment asking about the Bon Iver, Green Man set that I’ve rashly promised to make available a couple of times.

I’m glad he contacted me actually because it made me listen to the tracks again, and they’re decent recordings of what was one of the best sets of Green Man ’09. I can see why I may not have posted them in the first place in that I’d managed to stand next to a couple of guys who inexplicably got bored about two songs in and talked loudly through the rest of the set (I ask you…).

Listening again, I’m perhaps a bit more forgiving of this (if you are…) and I’ve enjoyed hearing them again. Only six tracks survive, I’m afraid, and one of my lasting regrets of the evenings was that, conscious of my batteries, I’d already switched the recorder off by the time he got to a hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck version of Wolves to finish the set.

The songs are:

Flume

Skinny Love

Creature Fear

Re: Stacks

Babies

For Emma

Ah well, the versions of Skinny Love and For Emma stand up particularly well, I feel. You can download these songs in one .RAR file, here

Skimming through Youtube, I found this video taken a lot further back than I was standing, so you can’t see the performers but it does manage to capture something of that wonderful finale…

Heady days…

Is anybody more than eighteen?

You’d be forgiven if it had passed you by, but there’s a bit of a forest fire sweeping through the tinder dry corners of the Internet. It’s a sort of a fuzzy teenage forest fire (if that’s not stretching an already ill-advised metaphor beyond breaking point…), but the fact is that across the ether Gentleman Who Blog are getting a little hot under the collar about a group of teenagers from Ohio who are kicking up a bit of a fuss.

Cloud Nothings

It’s four teenagers from Cleveland to be precise and they call themselves Cloud Nothings, although the name does little to prepare you for the fuzzed up, distortion-heavy sound that fronts up to you from the off. It’s spirited stuff, to be sure; lots of trebly guitars, lumbering bass-lines and wilfully muffled vocals, that have got Bloggers (GWB) reaching for the volume and tossing around words like “lo-fi”, “snotty” and “surf-pop”.

I love it too I should say, and certainly first impressions are of a pretty punchy, basic sound,  but there’s actually a fair bit more to 18-year-old band leader, Dylan Baldi’s songwriting. For every hearty thrasher like “Can’t Stay Awake” there’s a slower, more thoughtful one like “Turning On” that has a bashful charm of its own.

In contrast to the wilful obscurity of H Hawkline, Cloud Nothings are all over the Internet, Youtube vids and freeby mp3s all over the place. Good lads.

Here are the two sides of Cloud Nothings. First at their brash, callow best, playing out in the street:

And secondly, in lighter, catchier mood inside:

There’s also a rather fine session available for free from Daytrotter, which I recommend but to be honest there’s quite a few downloads you can pick up around the Internet, I’ll let you do the googling…

If you want to buy anything by Cloud Nothings, Wichita Recordings have just released a collection of singles and EPs which is terrific, and will tide you through to until there’s a proper LP release next year.

Great Acts I Have Missed (pt3) – H Hawkline

This is more a told-you-so, getting-in-on-the-ground-floor sort of a post than anything of real substance. Fact is I haven’t found an awful lot available on the net by this feller…

H Hawkline

Sometimes, I wonder what I was actually doing at Green Man this year. Yeah, I caught some great sets, did some videoing and recording and indulged in a modest amount of drinking, but Green Man ’10 is increasingly being characterised for me by the acts I missed…

Already spoken about Megafaun and Sweet Baboo, both of whom played, both of whom I missed and both of whom I’ve subsequently spent a lot of time listening to. Turns out, I missed another gem in H Hawkline.

H Hawkline are a loose bunch of musicians grouped around guitarist Huw Evans. Sometimes he is joined by Sweet Baboo, as he did at Green Man. Sometimes he works solo.

He plays a mesmerising series of acoustic guitar pieces, sometimes augmented electronically, sometimes lyrically. Throughout, he tends to work a pattern of notes and chords, which has tended to mean that the phrase Kraut-rock seems to follow him around. As a guitarist I think he sounds something like the late Davey Graham and as an arranger he reminds me of David Thomas Broughton, with a si ilar amount of obsessive pops, whistles and samples.

Amazingly I can’t find any YouTube of H Hawkline (wilfully perverse, I calls it…), and the only video I can find is here at Wales Online (won’t let me embed it here, I’m afraid), performing From Her Eyes as a session. There are four tracks to listen to on the MySpace page and NME posted the following track too, which is pretty interesting…

Gelly – H Hawkline

He’s actually supporting Gruff Rhys for a few dates this month, and is due a release out on Shape Records soon. Both of which suggest to me that we should be hearing more of him in the coming weeks.

(Told you so…)

Busy making merries, and picking wild mountain berries

Didn’t realise I’d how much been missing Lambchop, until I heard Kurt’s resigned tones on this. Good to know he’s been keeping himself busy.

This is a great sounding record, songs of sadness, regret and cheating, all classic country covers, and most of them duets with Cortnay Tisdale. Fantastic stuff.

And while we’re at it, here’s the original, “Picking Wild Mountain Berries by Conwat Twitty and Loretta Lynn.

[Watch out for the pedal steel guitarist, complete with cast on his arm,”Hee Haw” jauntily stenciled into it]

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