All this talk of death has really brightened up the week

One of my periodic resolutions of how I’m going to improve this site, is to try to keep in touch with some of the bands I’ve gone on about at different times. There are a number of bands I’ve waxed lyrical about on these pages and then barely given a second thought to afterwards. Seems a shame. I’m afraid this is a bit of a feature of my record buying in general – I get one record but often go no further – hardly a completist…

So, anyway.

We Were Promised Jetpacks

Saw this lot in Cheltenham in November ’09, and really enjoyed a very powerful and intense performance, particularly by wild-eyed, “you looking at ma girlfriend?” vocalist, Adam Thompson. Wrote about it here.

Well, the Jetpacks have a new record coming out in October, an album called “In the Pit of the Stomach” on Fat Cat records, and in exchange for your email address, you can get yourself one of the tracks from it. The track is called Act on Impulse and dwells on familiar Jetpack territory of claustrophobia and disappointment, with a full compliment of Wild Beast-ish guitar and powerful rhythms.

You can pick it up here. Looking forward to the album…

All that I know is I’m falling…

I find myself in the wholly unfamiliar (and slightly uncomfortable)  position of stumbling upon something the actual day it happens. Bloody hell!

The James Blake album is out in the UK today!  Not sure when it’ll turn up on Emusic (if at all), but I’m finally warming to Spotify, and it’s there. Sounds like a beautiful record.

Here’s the official video for The Wilhelm Scream

Remixes: Can be quite good. Who knew?

I’ve tended to classify the whole idea of the remix as one of those things that we don’t really need, usually put together by people with too much time on their hands, inflicting their “art” on an innocent public (cf Blogging, an indispensable part of today’s culture, produced by hard-pressed, right-thinking folk, that you’d willing buy a drink were you to meet them in your local hostelry…)

Anyway, once again one of the tenets I’ve clung fondly to for a number of years has been undermined by a fairly new remix that has been released this month. A remix of one of the highlights of the Tame Impala record, InnerSpeaker, “Lucidity” has appeared. It’s been given some sort of grooved treatment by French producer Pilooski, which is quite listenable really. Have a listen:

Now, I’m not going to pretend I have the faintest idea who Pilooski is, or even if the picture here is actually him (I kinda hope it is, but then, if you put it on your MySpace page…). I’m also not going to pretend that Mr Pilooski’s chosen penname isn’t anything other than daft, and of course the original is a real stonker, which I’ve written about before, but the remix isn’t bad at all.

In the interests of setting my world view back onto its axis, here’s a great track that just didn’t need to be remixed and re-released:

And here’s the Nike-sponsored 2010 version, released to coincide with the 2010 World Cup. OK, I suppose, but worth doing? Really?:

I feel a Jorge Ben post coming on…

Sleepwalking through the Mekong

Here’s something that slipped under my wildly ineffective Heath Robinson-esque radar a couple of months ago…

Dengue Fever

I came over all funny about this time last year with …. I’ll go on… with a case of Dengue Fever. Read about it here.

A visit to IODA informs me that those strange Cambodian-obsessed fellers are at it again, featuring in a documentary film about the band and the country, called Sleepwalking through the Mekong which looks well worth seeing (or buying).

Here’s a really enchanting clip from the film.

The soundtrack is now out, and worth a listen, and the good folk at IODA have made this track available.

Dengue Fever Presents: Sleepwalking Through the MekongDengue Fever
“March of the Balloon Animals” (mp3)
from “Dengue Fever Presents: Sleepwalking Through the Mekong”

Stream from Rhapsody

Nothing in hand do I bring

A great time was had Sunday night and Monday morning in Bristol with Josie. Met up with some old friends before going onto Colston Hall to see a quite remarkable Antony & the Johnsons performance.

I’ll save my gushing praise for a couple of days, however, firstly because my nemesis has already posted his articulate and well thought out review of the evening (no doubt while I lay abed, soaking up all the luxury Premier Inns could toss my way). But also because, although I managed to make some rather fine recordings of the evenings, I’m currently having some problems wrestling said bootlegs from my battered old iRiver. I’ll sort it.

Anyway, in the meantime…

Christian Kiefer and Tom Carter

Have been enjoying immensely a new recording from Christian Kiefer. I originally wrote about Christian about 18 months ago here, going all gooey about the album he had released with Jefferson Pitcher. He got in touch with me after that and sent me some tracks from an album he’d done with Tom Carter of Charalambides. To be honest, it was a bit of a tough listen at times, and it gradually faded from my radar. But anyway, he’s now released another record with Carter, and it’s a bit of a belter, I’ll tell you.

It’s called From the American Songbook and is a series of… er… reinterpretations of classic American bluegrass songs such as “Will the Circle be Unbroken”, “Pretty Polly” and “Coo Coo Bird”. In many cases the originals are pretty much unrecognisable but still manage to retain their original spirit. The best tracks actually sound old

No free downloads that I can find, however, so you’re just gonna have to go with me on this one. Get it here. C’mon, it’s me, have I ever?

There is this, by Christian Kiefer, however, in the same sort of spirit:

Rock of Ages – Christian Kiefer

This track comes from a collection called which is available from Splice Today, a rather fine website which gathers together all sorts of titbits for the modern surfer. Actually the collection is pretty good and features one or two other artists I shall try to further acquaint myself with.

Oh and while, I’m at it, there’s this intriguing clip from YouTube about a film Kiefer seems to have taken part in which involved a group of men growing beards for six months.

I perhaps could have phrased that better, it doesn’t exactly sound like must-see TV, does it?

More later (including, I hope, that Colston Hall recording).

Well, your persistence is useless and your timing’s slack…

Last Harbour

I’ve written about Last Harbour a couple of times, once way back in the day when Partly Porpoise was a young fresh-faced thing, earnest and barely shaving (Feb 06, here) and then again in August of last year in a rather harsh post full of self-recrimination about having missed a release date of their last EP.

Well, never let it be said that I don’t learn from my mistakes, because here I am plugging Last Harbour again, but this time actually doing it rather more effectively, in that they are appearing on Marc Riley’s BBC6 program, tomorrow.

Oh yes.

More by luck than design, it has to be said, but I happened to be gazing thoughtfully at my emails this afternoon (I should really have been preparing for school tomorrow), when I noticed that the session had not passed yet and but actually pertinent. Who’d have thought eh?

The show will be broadcast between 7 and 9 tomorrow evening and I shall give it a listen (not least because as a born again Fall devotee, I’m suspecting there may be a little more to Mr Riley than previously thought).

I believe this is also supposed to tie in with a new Last Harbour EP “Saint Luminous Bride”, due to be released on May 25th on Little Red Rabbit Records.

Actually a visit to the band’s own site, will reveal a number of free downloads, including a previous EP, called “Embers”, plus artwork. I’ll put up my favourite track from that EP, and then when you’ve been impressed by their rather fine dark swagger, you can go to their site and download the rest plus artwork.

Out Back – Last Harbour

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