Well the countdown to the festive season is well and truly underway and we seem to be marking it here Down Under with a steady stream of seriously humid days, flash flooding and an evergrowing plague of locusts. Merry fucking Christmas.
Some tunes for your troubles?
Where to start, where to start!
Okkervil River are offering all stock at 15% off until the end of December. I bought the Black Sheep Boy Definitive Edition CD (vinyl also available) the other day, and it only cost me 21 Aussie dollars including postage! Bargain.
Loch Lomond paid a visit to Daytrotter recently and recorded 4 tracks, including two from their latest EP Night Bats. Check out their Daytrotter session here and read what I wrote about their split 12” release with The Builders and The Butchers here.
The Temper Trap paid a visit to The Guest Apartment recently and performed a few songs, including a lovely stripped down acoustic version of ‘Sweet Disposition’. Looking forward to catching them at Big Day Out! Check out the session here.
Thanks to Chris over at Local Vertical, I was made aware of Manchester Orchestra’s 12 Days Of Christmas project. From what I can tell, they’re streaming a new song each day until Christmas Day. Make sure you also check out Local Vertical’s Totally Unscientific 25 New Songs We Really Liked From 2009.
The world has just got a wee bit brighter with the discovery of another covers blog! The Cover Lovers features a new cover each day and there certainly are some intriguing songs ripe and ready for the picking.
Into literature based websites? Check out Australian author Nigel Featherstone’s website Open To Public and pay a visit to his blog which quite often features a music related post. Go here to check out Part 1 of his Top 10 Albums of 2009 and here to check out Part 2. He also likes Okkervil River, The National, The Antlers and admits to being ‘a complete and utter Sigur Ros obsessive’ so he’s obviously good people!
And so that concludes this epic linkage post (any post with more than two links is epic in my book). I leave you with some stellar tuneage…enjoy!
A missive from Tim over at the Contrast Podcast:
November is upon us again, so it’s time to think about the Contrast Podcast Festive 50. This year it will be on episodes 194, 195 & 196 from the 15th to the 29th of December. So here is what I need you, your friends, the readers of your blog, your milkman and anyone else you know to do:
1. Choose up to 50 (yes fifty) songs that were released in 2009 that you like. If you can only think of 10 .. don’t worry .. I’d still like to know what they are.
2. Send the list to me at firstname.lastname@example.org starting with your favourite track at number 1.
3. Do this by Sunday 15th November at the latest .. and try to get other people to vote too .. please!!
4. I will compile a short list of the top 100 songs which we will vote on to be in the top 50 and then start inviting people to record introductions.
5. Any questions? …. good … get thinking!
Last year’s Festive 50 was a ton of fun to participate in, and it’s not limited to bloggers – anyone can contribute. Today I started to compile my 2009 list, though it will require some serious re-listening in order to complete the agonising process of actually ranking each track.
Here are the top 5 tracks from last year:
What will the Festive 50 look like this year? It’s up to you!
They say one is the loneliest number, but they sure have written a ton of songs about it (including that classic tune of the same name, that you won’t find here, because I don’t like it). The best one has to be Okkervil River’s ‘Plus Ones’, in which Will Sheff cleverly references a bunch of well known songs, adding ‘one’ each time to create his own version.
No one wants to hear about your 97th tear…
And no one wants a tune about the 100th luftballoon…
Eight Chinese brothers…
51st way to leave your lover…
I told you I can’t listen, baby, ’bout the 4th time you were a lady…
Kitten, not everyone’s keen on lighting candle 17…
Some more tunes that reference numero uno can be found below.
Though Okkervil River only released The Stage Names in August last year, these busy boys have another album lined up for release on the 9th of September. The Stand Ins will consist of songs that didn’t make it onto The Stage Names. Am loving the correlation between the two albums – the songs that were good enough to make the first cut, and those that weren’t quite up to scratch. I’m treating them as two separate albums though – everything I’ve heard from these Austin rockers is a sublime blend of heartbreak and knockout rock and there’s not a single song that hasn’t found a place to nestle under my skin. Okkervil River are currently touring all over – check their website for shows in your area, and make sure you get your butt there to at least one of them. I saw them earlier this year. They’re wonderful.
Track listing – am highly intrigued by the last one. Definitely a contender for the quirkiest song title.
01 The Stand Ins, One
02 Lost Coastlines
03 Singer Songwriter
04 Starry Stairs
05 Blue Tulip
06 The Stand Ins, Two
07 Pop Lie
08 On Tour With Zykos
09 Calling and Not Calling My Ex
10 The Stand Ins, Three
11 Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979
Apologies for the lack of music included in this post too. If you read my earlier rant, you would understand why.
Colin Blunstone, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Kelley Stolz, Missy Higgins, mp3, Music, Neutral Milk Hotel, Okkervil River, sugar and spice, The National, The Waifs, Throw Me The Statue, Travis, Van Morrison
Pippi Longstocking is probably not the quintessential example of sugar and spice, but she’s definitely full of spirit and pluck. Hopefully these songs cover all of those elements, and then some. I’m definitely not the first person to do a girl’s names mix, and there are a couple of old faves here, but hopefully there’s one or two that you haven’t come across before.
Angela – Missy Higgins She’s a danger you’re addicted to
April Anne – Okkervil River A cover, but naturally they make it their own
Gillian – The Waifs Gillian if you weren’t my mother I’d make you my wife… slightly creepy incestuous lyrics aside, this is a beautiful song
Karen – The National Doing what they do best
Lolita – Throw Me The Statue Things could multiply at appalling rates
Mary Won’t You Warm My Bed – Colin Blunstone Clear and to the point
Mean Marianne – Kelley Stolz Marianne is a popular girl
Naomi – Neutral Milk Hotel These guys can definitely pen a good tune
Natalia – Van Morrison Removed by request Another from the veteran Irishman
Selfish Jean – Travis Telling it like it is
Image courtesy of Sarah’s Sketches. Sarah is a graphic artist and her designs are gorgeous.
Chosen Ones: Some of my favourite bands/artists. I’m only covering some of them in this post, however most of them have been discussed at some stage here at It All Started, and I find myself adding more as I continue to explore the wonderful world of the music blog. I’m not going to go on about how awesome they all are – if you already know them, then you are aware of their brilliance. If you don’t know them already, take a punt, download their tunes and maybe one day they’ll become your Chosen Ones as well. Enjoy!
I’m on a big Okkervil River kick at the moment. After seeing them live a few weeks ago, I find myself frequently reliving the experience via my trusty Ipod. In my car, in my room, in my head.
During some random surfing yesterday I came across two separate discussions of Okkervil River’s excellent track ‘Plus Ones’, which does a lyrical dance through several eras of music.
The first one I read hails from September last year, on the amusingly named Merry Swankster blog. It’s a verse by verse breakdown of the song, detailing the number-related songs that Will Sheff cheekily refers to, adding 1 to every number he references eg. No one wants a tune about the 100th luftballoon. It’s a fantastic in-depth analysis.
Merry Swankster then led me to another discussion of the tune on Blogs Are For Dogs, in which the lyrics are laid out, signposted along the way with mp3s of the tracks that Will Sheff has borrowed from. Very cool post.
I absolutely love this song, for its lyrical cleverness, its cheekiness and its gradual build. Here’s my favourite bit:
I told you, I can’t listen, baby, ’bout the 4th time you were a lady and how your forthrightness betrayed a secret shyness
Stripped away by days of being hailed as “your highness”
And what’s new, pussycat, is you were once a lionness
They cut your claws out
Kitten, not everyone’s keen on lighting candle 17, the party’s done, the cake’s all gone, the plates are clean
And here’s a (re)post of the track in question: