Saturday, December 23, 2006


Well made it to a second Follycast. 30 minutes of songs from The Broken Family Band, The Velvet Underground, James Yorkston and others - timely without being festive. Have a safe holiday whatever faith you have, if any. Tracklisting in comments.

Follycast #2: Jesus Songs

The Archivist

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Well everyone else is doing it so let's join in. With some mp3s for evaluation purposes.

Firstly honourable mentions to Yo La Tengo, Camera Obscura, Willard Grant Conspiracy, The Mountain Goats, Beirut, James Yorkston and Darren Hayman.

And for the first time I've tried to put my Top Ten in (reverse) order:

10. Keith John Adams 'Pip' [buy]

Listen: 'Inconsequential Thought'

9. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan ' Ballad of the Broken Seas' [buy]

8. Stuart A Staples ' Leaving Songs' [buy]

7. Current 93 'Black Ships in the Sky' [buy]

The texts for this album were started following an intense dream I had that Black Ships had entered our skys in preparation for the arising of the final C├Žsar and for the Second Coming of Christ. In subsequent dreams I saw geometric faces , colours, words and shapes falling into my head. They appeared as a multitude of images; they were dreamlike yet vital, manifesting as processions of characters and scenesand dialogues that shifted between being utterly lacking in conventional perspectiveto that of being hyper-dimensional. I commenced writing furiously, and the words of Black Ships Ate The Sky are the recording of this period in my life.

Listen: 'Black Ships Ate The Sky'

6. Cat Power 'The Greatest' [buy]

Listen: 'Could We'

5. Neil Diamond '12 Songs' [buy]

Listen: 'Hell Yeah'

4. Clinic ' Visitations' [buy]

Listen: 'Family' and 'Tusk'

3. Pere Ubu ' Why I Hate Women' [buy]

2. Howe Gelb 'Sno Angel Like You' [buy]

Listen: 'Paradise Here Abouts' and 'Howlin' A Gale'

1. The Broken Family Band 'Balls' [buy]

Listen: 'I See How You Are' and 'Diamonds in the Mine'

The Archivist

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Grant McLennan 1958 - 2006

In 1990 someone I worked with returned from a trip to the States with a huge bag of cassettes, mainly American bands but one tape I borrowed was The Go-Betweens 1978-1990. Fell for it from the first listen. Despite the re-union tours however never saw the band live.

And then in May this year heard (almost instantly) the news about Grant's sudden death and was like many shocked and upset by the unfairness of it. Read this great article about meeting him which although a great tribute seemed to make his loss all the more sad.

The Go-Betweens 'Cattle and Cane'from "Before Hollywood" [buy]
The Go-Betweens 'Poison in the Walls'from 'Bright Yellow Bright Orange' [buy]
Grant McLennan 'Lighting Fires' from "Fireboy" [buy]
Grant McLennan 'When Word Gets Around' from"Watershed" [buy]
The Go-Betweens 'Unfinished Business' from 'Bright Yellow Bright Orange' [buy]

The Archivist


The Delgados called it a day in April this year with this announcement. Having seen them play Manchester only a few weeks before, with the band in high spirits despite hangovers, it came as a bit of a surprise.

Saw The Delgados three times in all. The first at Union Chapel was the best. Supported by Six By Seven, the church setting plus the intensity of the band was startling.

Their biggest gig? Live orchestral accompaniment at the Royal Festival Hall with blinding light show. With a venue that big it was unlikely to match Union Chapel but was still pretty impressive. However I was so drunk I don't even rememeber ISB being part of the bill (Or just stuck in the bar?).

I don't think anything they recorded matched "The Great Eastern". With all their recordings, but this one in particular, they deserve to be remembered as more than simply "Peel favourites".

"Blackwell" from 'The Complete BBC Sessions'

"Russian Orthodox" from 'Peloton'

"American Trilogy" from 'The Great Eastern'

"Knowing When To Run" from 'The Great Eastern'


Saturday, December 09, 2006


First in her new column 'Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll' in The Guardian, Laura Barton writes how she spurned a suitor with the line "I'm sorry, I have to go and dance to the Breeders". Sigh.

Now she waxes lyrical about making compilation tapes and how CD compilations that can be made in minutes "are as romantic as a microwave lasagne... once upon a time, making a compilation tape was akin to writing a poem". Double Sigh.

Three weeks in and I'm in love. Is Ms Barton single?

The Breeders "Cannonball" [Buy]
Laura "Tu Loca Juventud" [Buy]

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Two excellent gigs to choose from tomorrow in Manchester:

Weird and folky with DANIELSON at the Klondyke in Levenshulme.

or weird and noisy with BARDO POND and JACKIE-O-MOTHERFUCKER at the Music Box.

Both presented in part by the excellent Pop Art vs Industry. Sign up for their mailing list and check out other gigs here. Booking details for both gigs at the same site.


The Archivist

Tuesday, November 21, 2006



After 14 months of preparation/procrastination, here we go. Will be posting here to create an archive of some of the past, present and future songs, artists and gigs that mean something to me. With no order, logic, plan or vision but lots of ticket stubs and signed stuff.

And what better way to start than with the first 30 minute podcast in a planned monthly series? There's nothing like setting yourself up for failure.

'Follycast #1: Welcome to My World' contains songs of welcome, greeting and ... about masturbation, featuring Clinic, The Beach Boys, Giant Sand, Alma Cogan, Bettye Swann and others. Here's to the wasted hours and more to come.

Download here

The Archivist