Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Thursday, December 20, 2012
2. State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974 - Dominic Sandbrook
3. Explorers of the Nile - Tim Jeal
4. The Origins of Our Species - Chris Stringer
5. Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle - Daniel L. Everett
6. Code Talker - Chester Nez
7. The Island of the Colorblind - Oliver Sacks
8. Sweet Track to Glastonbury; Somerset Levels In Prehistory - Bryony Coles
9. On the Gleaming Way: Navajos, Eastern Pueblos, Zunis, Hopis, Apaches and Their Land - John Collier
10. Various books on digital photography / the Sony A200 DSLR :)
Monday, December 03, 2012
1. Soundgarden – King Animal
2. Muse – The 2nd Law
3. Hot Chip – In Our Heads
4. King Tuff – King Tuff
5. Jack White – Blunderbuss
6. Band of Skulls – Sweet Sour
7. The Cult – Choice of Weapon
8. We Are The Physics – Your Friend, The Atom
9. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
10. Public Image Limited – This is PiL
11. Beach House – Bloom
12. Joe Jackson – The Duke
13. Mark Knopfler – Privateering CD1 CD2
14. The Maccabees – Given to the Wild
15. Diiv – Oshin
16. The Cribs – In the Belly of Brazen Bull
17. Blood Red Shoes – In Time to Voices
18. Menomena – Moms
19. Antibalas – Antibalas
20. Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon
21. Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc. - Re-Machined (a Tribute to Machine Head, the Deep Purple album)
22. Motorpsycho – The Death Defying Unicorn
23. Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
24. Slash – Apocalyptic Love
25. Orbital – Wonky
26. Graham Coxon – A+E
27. The Wedding Present – Valentina
28. Patti Smith – Banga
29. Dexys – One Day I’m Going to Soar - only one track I'm afraid
30. Nine Black Alps – Sirens
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Debates, 'Conversations With...' and 'Evenings With...' are great, but I prefer to listen to them on my phone while I'm out walking, cycling or shopping, rather than sitting down to watch the whole thing on YouTube. Especially when there are not many visuals to look at. That is the case for 'Something From Nothing? A Conversation between Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss', a recent 2-hour 'conversation' and Q&A session recently uploaded to YouTube at http://youtu.be/YUe0_4rdj0U
Here are two MP3s of the audio.
Part 1 - the conversation
Part 2 - the Q&A.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Amazon Listmania list, with links to all the books on Amazon, here.
1. Stephen Pinker - The Better Angels of our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes
2. Norman Davies - Europe: A History
3. Brian Switek - Written in Stone: The Hidden Secrets of Fossils and the Story of Life on Earth
4. Ronnie Corbett - And It's Goodnight from Me
5. John le Carré - Our Kind of Traitor
6. Leonard Mlodinow - The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
7. Steve Knopper - Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age
8. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow - The Grand Design
9. Oliver Sacks - The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
10. Michael Shermer - The Believing Brain
11. Jon Ronson - The Psychopath Test
12. Nick Lane - Life Ascending: Ten Great Inventions of Evolution
13. Jared Diamond - Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed
14. Mark E. Smith - Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith
15. Mark Stevenson - An Optimist's Tour of the Future
16. Penn Jillette - God No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales
Saturday, April 09, 2011
If you need the download link, contact me on Facebook / Twitter / by email / in the comments below.
1 Adele – Rolling in the Deep
2 Elbow – Neat Litle Rows
3 The Young Knives – Love My Name
4 The Duke Spirit – Everybody’s Under Your Spell
5 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
6 Chapel Club - Surfacing
7 Radiohead – Morning Mr Magpie
8 The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness
9 David Bowie – Hole in the Ground
10 Anna Calvi – Blackout
11 Smashing Pumpkins – Freak U.S.A.
12 Justice - Civilisation
13 TV On the Radio – Will Do
14 PJ Harvey – This Glorious Land
15 Kings of Leon – Pyro
16 White Lies – Bigger Than Us
17 Radiohead – Lotus Flower
18 British Sea Power – Living is so Easy
19 Elbow – Open Arms
Thursday, January 13, 2011
3. Another Year
4. Animal Kingdom
5. The Town
6. 127 Hours
7. Four Lions
8. Winter's Bone
9. The American
11. Black Swan
12. True Grit
13. The Social Network
14. The Ghost Writer
15. Cemetery Junction
Haven't seen The King's Speech, Made in Dagenham, Machete, Enter the Void, Monsters, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Kick-Ass, Shutter Island, Exit Through the Gift Shop and many others yet.
Best film from 2009 seen first in 2010: The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Worst film: The Expendables - I managed 8 minutes before switching it off.
Friday, December 31, 2010
1. Matt Ridley - The Rational Optimist - persuasive arguments about the history and future of human civilisation
2. Derren Brown - Memoirs of a Conjuror - warm mixture of memoir and assorted anecdotes, shot through with unexpected vulnerability. His explanation of his life philosophy brought a tear to my cynical eye
3. Christopher Hitchens - Hitch-22 - written with his usual panache but with added poignancy given the circumstances
4. Bill Bryson - A Walk in the Woods - the audio book was the perfect accompaniment to many long walks in the spring of 2010
5. Stephen Fry - The Fry Chronicles - eminently readable, but what did we expect?
6. Chris Stringer - Homo Britannicus - a history of the presence of humans on British soil, taking us on a breathless trek around the various sites of prehistoric habitation in Britain
7. Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Nomad - not as fascinating as the first volume of her memoirs, but that was to be expected. Nevertheless some interesting insights into her life, work and philosophy
8. David Aaronovitch - Voodoo Histories - A good summary of major conspiracy theories. The cover blurb promises deep analysis of the phenomenon, which was rather lacking, however.
9. Alan Alda - Things I Overheard Whle Talking To Myself - a very enjoyable audio book read by the author, in which he muses on life's big (and small) questions.
10. Sam Harris - The Moral Landscape - this started out promisingly as a manifesto for a new evidence-based morality, but lost its way a little in the second half
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
2. Dreadzone - Eye on the Horizon
3. Klaxons - Surfing the Void
4. Slash - Slash
5. Kula Shaker - Pilgrim's Progress
6. Gogol Bordello - Trans-Continental Hustle
7. Interpol - Interpol
8. Chemical Brothers - Further
9. Alter Bridge - III
10. Grinderman - Grinderman 2
11. Groove Armada - Black Light
12. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
13. Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - The Logic of Chance
14. Maximum Balloon - Maximum Balloon
15. Baba Brinkman - The Rap Guide to Human Nature
16. Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto
17. Tricky - Mixed Race
18. Nas & Damian Marley - Distant Relatives
19. Menomena - Mines
20. Manic Street Preachers - Postcards from a Young Man
21. Foals - Total Life Forever
22. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
23. UNKLE - Where Did the Night Fall
24. Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown
25. These New Puritans - Hidden
26. The National - High Violet
27. Faithless - The Dance
28. The Black Keys - Brothers
29. Yeasayer - Odd Blood
30. Vampire Weekend - Contra
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Download here (large zipfile). Click on blue Download button then wait for the seconds to count down before clicking on Download File Now.
1 Klaxons – Echoes
2 Interpol - Barricade
3 Arcade Fire – Ready to Start
4 Manic Street Preachers – The Future Has Been Here Forever
5 Tricky – Kingston Logic
6 Gorillaz – Doncamatic (feat. Daley)
7 Biffy Clyro – Mountains
8 Dreadzone – Tomorrow Never Comes
9 Alter Bridge - Isolation
10 Maximum Balloon – Groove Me
11 Underworld – Always Loved a Film
12 Grinderman – Worm Tamer
13 Foals – Blue Blood
14 The Van Jets - Onawa
15 Menomena – Oh Pretty Boy, You’re Such a Big Boy
16 Baba Brinkman – She’s Ovulating
17 Kula Shaker – Winter’s Calling
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Download here (large zipfile). Scroll down to the blue DOWNLOAD button, the download should start automatically after 15 seconds. If not, you may have to click on the 'Download 0610.zip' link on the next page.
1 Gogol Bordello –Pala Tute
2 Blur – Fool’s Day
3 The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing
4 Muse – Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)
5 Chemical Brothers – Swoon
6 Smashing Pumpkins – Astral Planes
7 Faithless – Not Going Home
8 Foals – Miami
9 Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Sick Tonight
10 Karen Elson – The Ghost Who Walks
11 Nas and Damian Marley – Tribes At War (feat. K’naan)
12 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
13 Crystal Castles – Celestica
14 Gogol Bordello – Last One Goes the Hope
15 Chemical Brothers – Horse Power
16 Dreadzone – Gangster
17 Smashing Pumpkins – Song for a Son
18 UNKLE – The Healing
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Vol. 37 April 2010
1 Slash – By the Sword (feat. Wolfmother)
2 Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – Get Better
3 The Radio Dept. – Heaven’s On Fire
4 The Dead Weather – Die By The Drop
5 Gorillaz – To Binge (feat. Little Dragon)
6 Cults – Go Outside
7 Black Keys – Tighten Up
8 Doves - Andalucia
9 David Byrne and Fatboy Slim – Please Don’t (feat. Santigold)
10 The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
11 We Are Scientists – Rules Don’t Stop
12 Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Great Britain
13 Massive Attack – Pray for Rain (feat. Tunde Adebimpe)
14 Them Crooked Vultures – Mind Eraser, No Chaser
15 Stone Temple Pilots – Between the Lines
16 Broken Bells - October
17 LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls
18 Blood Red Shoes – Count Me Out
19 Lightspeed Champion - Marlene
20 Groove Armada – Shameless (feat. Bryan Ferry)
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Download here (large zipfile). Scroll down to the DOWNLOAD link, then on the 'Download 0310.zip' link on the next page.
1 Gorillaz - Stylo
2 Broken Bells – The High Road
3 Crookers - Remedy
4 Jesca Hoop – Feast of the Heart
5 The Besnard Lakes – And This Is What We Call Progress
6 Groove Armada – Paper Romance
7 The Courteeners – You Overdid It Doll
8 New Young Pony Club - Chaos
9 Citadels – The Chemical Song
10 Yeasayer – O.N.E.
11 Gorillaz – Rhinestone Eyes
12 Them Crooked Vultures – New Fang
13 Blood Red Shoes – Light it Up
14 Groove Armada – Look Me in the Eye Sister
15 Vampire Weekend – Giving Up the Gun
16 UNKLE – Natural Selection
17 Bombay Bicycle Club – Evening/Morning
18 Florence and the Machine – You’ve Got The Love
19 Massive Attack – Paradise Circus (feat. Hope Sandoval)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
1 Muse – Undisclosed Desires
2 Yeasayer – Ambling Alp
3 The Rakes – The Light from your Mac
4 Raveonettes – Bang!
5 De Staat – The Fantastic Journey of the Underground Man
6 Wild Beasts – All The King’s Men
7 Peaches – I Feel Cream
8 Wolfmother – California Queen
9 Pearl Jam – Just Breathe
10 Biffy Clyro - Boooom, Blast & Run
11 Editors - Papillon
12 Bad Lieutenant – Sink or Swim
13 Skunk Anansie – Because of You
14 Ian Brown – Just Like You
15 Florence and the Machine – Dog Days are Over
16 Datarock – The Pretender
17 Kasabian - Underdog
18 Vampire Weekend – Horchata
19 Rammstein – Rammlied
20 Carl Sagan – A Glorious Dawn (feat. Stephen Hawking)
Saturday, October 10, 2009
1. War Stories by UNKLE (2007) Underrated stone-cold classic, featuring collaborations with the likes of Josh Homme and Ian Astbury. Dance grooves meet snarling guitars.
2. Kid A by Radiohead (2000) Groundbreaking follow-up to OK Computer
3. Return to Cookie Mountain by TV on the Radio (2006) In which TV On the Radio deliver on the promise of their debut album
4. Turn on the Bright Lights by Interpol (2002) Interpol's stunning debut channels Joy Division, Magazine and the Psychedelic Furs to create something dark, brooding and powerful
5. Blackbird by Alter Bridge (2007) This amazing album, by unreconstructed, devils-horn finger sign flashing heavy rockers Alter Bridge, manages to blend 70s hard rock with 90s grunge stylings, and features 14 classic tracks with no filler. Has been on heavy rotation here since its release
6. Is This It by The Strokes (2001) This album single-handedly kicked off the US hipster rock revival that brought us the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Kings of Leon
7. Attack Decay Sustain Release by Simian Mobile Disco (2007) Best dance album of the decade (although Justice runs it a close second)
8. In Rainbows by Radiohead (2007) The hype surrounding its unorthodox release distracted from the fact that it is a killer album
9. Fever To Tell by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2003) 'Maps' is arguably the anthem of the decade
10. Demon Days by Gorillaz (2005) Damon Albarn's music here transcends the cartoon-character focus of the debut
11. Youth & Young Manhood by Kings of Leon (2003) Outstanding raw bluesy debut
12. Cross by Justice (2007) Squelchy lo-fi dance with massive beats and hooks
13. Kasabian by Kasabian (2004) Britain's answer to the post-punk channelling of Interpol was a reinvention of Madchester, to great effect
14. Global a Go-Go by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros (2001) A slow-burn grower, that I only really grew to appreciate after Joe's early demise
15. The Dream by The Orb (2007) A massive return to form for The Orb, thanks partly to the input of Dreadzone's Tim Bran
16. Dear Science by TV on the Radio (2008) More accessible than 'Cookie Mountain', this is a mesmerising success
17. Myths Of The Near Future by Klaxons (2007) Manic dance-punk meets art-rock
18. Come with Us by The Chemical Brothers (2002) The hipsters had moved on, and the Chems have struggled to get a good album review this decade. This remains a classic dance album, however
19. Reality by David Bowie (2003) Bowie's second 'return to form' album in 2 years. Since then, nothing. Please, sir, can we have some more?
20. Think Tank by Blur (2003) The sound of Blur working through the loss of guitarist Graham Coxon is eclectic yet surprisingly coherent
21. Silent Alarm by Bloc Party (2005) A reinvention of sophisticated guitar pop
22. Gorillaz by Gorillaz (2001) The hype initially distracted from the songs, but these have shone through in the long run
23. Black Ice by AC/DC (2008) Finely crafted hard rock album, packed with hooks and the trademark Young brothers' riffs
24. Oracular Spectacular by MGMT (2008) Hyped to death by the music press, it's a good job this album lived up to expectations, and more
25. Antics by Interpol (2004) Somehow deemed a 'disappointment' on its release, this builds solidly on their debut
26. Church Mouth by Portugal. The Man (2007)
This band came out of nowhere (well, nearly - Alaska) and blew me away with this album 2 years ago
27. Alligator by The National (2005)
Downbeat and eloquent, for me this was the National at their best
28. Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend (2008)
Audacious blend of preppy harmonies with African sounds
29. Push the Button by Chemical Brothers (2005)
It received another critical mauling, but this album starts with 3 classic dance-floor fillers and continues with one corker after another
30. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not by Arctic Monkeys (2006)
For those of us who had been playing their demos on repeat for most of 2005, the quality of this album was no surprise
31. Hail to the Thief by Radiohead (2003)
Another album that suffered a critical backlash at the time - undeservedly, as this is a solid addition to the Radiohead canon
32. Heathen by David Bowie (2002)
Bowie 'return to 70's hey day form' shock horror album
33. The Satanic Satanist by Portugal. The Man (2009)
Highest entry on this list from 2009, PTM reach maturity with this wistful, idyllic album
34. All Hour Cymbals by Yeasayer (2007)
Soaring harmonies that nod to Fleetwood Mac, simple yet complex pop melodies. If you haven't it heard it yet, do so
35. Amnesiac by Radiohead (2001)
A dense, dark album, recorded at the same time as Kid A
36. We Are the Night by The Chemical Brothers (2007)
The knockers continue to knock, but the Chems continue to deliver - this time the dance-floor fillers are leavened with more psychedelic fare
37. Songs For The Deaf by Queens Of The Stone Age (2002)
Acclaimed 3rd album by QOTSA. Features the track 'No One Knows'
38. Our Love to Admire by Interpol (2007)
The critics were sharpening their knives, but Interpol delivered a 3rd album which revealed progression, improved songwriting and heart-on-sleeve lyrics
39. Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy (2009)
The Prodigy are back, motherf***ers
40. The Back Room by Editors (2005)
'The British riposte to Interpol' - sums it up really. Their second album lost it a bit, but this was majestic
41. A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay (2002)
42. We Are the Physics Are OK At Music by We Are the Physics (2008)
43. Nite Versions by Soulwax (2005)
44. Era Vulgaris by Queens Of The Stone Age (2007)
45. Black Sheep by Julian Cope (2008)
46. You Have No Idea What Youre Getting Yourself Into by Does It Offend You Yeah? (2008)
47. Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay (2008)
48. The Age Of Understatement by The Last Shadow Puppets (2008)
49. Only by the Night by Kings of Leon (2008)
50. Censored Colors by Portugal The Man (2008)
51. As Heard on Radio Soulwax Vol.2 by 2 Many DJs (2003)
52. The Eraser by Thom Yorke (2006)
53. Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand (2004)
54. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum by Kasabian (2009)
55. Derdang Derdang by Archie Bronson Outfit (2006)
56. Acres of Dead Space Cadets by Elle Milano (2008)
57. Angles by Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip (2008)
58. Pocket Revolution by dEUS (2005)
59. The Loon by Tapes 'N Tapes (2006)
60. Crystal Castles by Crystal Castles (2008)
61. Colour It In by The Maccabees (2008)
62. LCD Soundsystem by LCD Soundsystem (2005)
63. Made in the Dark by Hot Chip (2008)
64. Hot Fuss by The Killers (2004)
65. Funeral by Arcade Fire (2005)
66. Voices of Animals and Men by The Young Knives (2006)
67. Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever by The Cribs (2007)
68. Favourite Worst Nightmare by Arctic Monkeys (2007)
69. Cuts Across The Land by The Duke Spirit (2005)
70. Guero by Beck (2005)
71. Show Your Bones by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2006)
72. The Warning by Hot Chip (2006)
73. Box of Secrets by Blood Red Shoes (2008)
74. Antidotes by Foals (2008)
75. Idealism by Digitalism
Also available as Amazon Listmania! lists here, here and here:
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Vol. 34 September 2009
1 Reverend and the Makers – Silence is Talking
2 Manic Street Preachers – Peeled Apples
3 Arctic Monkeys – Crying Lightning
4 Florence and the Machine – Drumming
5 Ian Brown – Marathon Man
6 The Dead Weather – Hang Me From the Heavens
7 Cornershop – Who Fingered Rock 'n Roll
8 Wolfmother – New Moon Rising
9 Simian Mobile Disco – Cruel Intentions
10 Pearl Jam – The Fixer
11 Julian Plenti – Only If You Run
12 Portugal. The Man – The Sun
13 Kasabian – Secret Alphabets
14 The XX - Crystalised
15 Biffy Clyro – That Golden Rule
16 Arctic Monkeys – My Propeller
17 Radiohead – These Are My Twisted Words
18 Ian Brown - Stellify
19 Calvin Harris – Dance Wiv Me (feat. Dizzee Rascal)
20 Modest Mouse – Autumn Beds
Monday, June 15, 2009
1. The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die - massive return to form
2. Portugal. The Man - Satanic Satanist - last minute addition to the list, leaked just in time, it's another masterpiece from Alaska's finest
3. Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
5. White Lies - To Lose My Life
6. Franz Ferdinand - Tonight
7. Fever Ray - Fever Ray
8. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Fruit
9. Emiliana Torrini - Me & Armini
10. Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications
11. The Maccabees - Wall of Arms
12. Morrissey - Years of Refusal
13. U2 - No Line on the Horizon
14. Doves - Kingdom of Rust
15. Bat for Lashes - Two Suns
16. Neil Young - Fork in the Road
17. Various - War Child presents Heroes
18. The BPA - I Think We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat
19. The Veils - Sun Gangs
20. PJ Harvey and John Parish - A Woman A Man Walk By
Download here (large zipfile). Scroll down to the blue Download button, which may or may not be sandwiched between two rows of adverts, then on the 'Download 0709.zip' link
1 Placebo - For What It’s Worth
2 Gossip – Heavy Cross
3 Kasabian - Fire
4 Simian Mobile Disco – The Audacity of Huge (feat. Chris Keating)
5 Jarvis Cocker - Angela
6 Doves – The Greatest Denier
7 Little Boots – New in Town
8 The Dead Weather – Treat Me Like Your Mother
9 Hot Chip - Transmission
10 The Maccabees – No Kind Words
11 Franz Ferdinand – Can’t Stop Feeling
12 We Have Band – You Came Out
13 Ladyhawke – Back of the Van
14 White Lies - Death
15 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll
16 Prodigy – Warrior’s Dance
17 Metric – Satellite Mind
18 Bombay Bicycle Club – Dust on the Ground
19 Graham Coxon – Sorrow’s Army
20 TV On the Radio – Heroes
1. AC/DC - Black Ice
2. TV On the Radio - Dear Science
3. We Are the Physics - We Are the Physics Are OK At Music
4. Julian Cope - Black Sheep
5. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
6. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
7. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
8. Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
9. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
10. Does It Offend You Yeah? - You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into
11. The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement
12. Portugal.The Man - Censored Colors
13. Late of the Pier - Fantasy Black Channel
14. Justice - Planisphère (EP but so what?)
15. These New Puritans - Beat Pyramid
16. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
17. The Dandy Warhols - Earth to the Dandy Warhols
18. Tricky - Knowle West Boy
19. Asian Dub Foundation - Punkara
20. The Pretenders - Break Up the Concrete
21. O Fracas - Fits and Starts
22. Foals - Antidotes
23. The Kills - Midnight Boom
24. dEUS - Vantage Point
25. Elle Milano - Acres of Dead Space Cadets
26. Metronomy - Nights Out
27. Duels - The Barbarians Move In
28. Operator Please - Yes Yes Vindictive
29. Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Angles
30. Beck - Modern Guilt
31. Kings of Leon - Only By the Night
32. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
33. Portishead - Third
34. Hercules & Love Affair
35. Various - Fabriclive 41 - Simian Mobile Disco
36. REM - Accelerate
37. The Whip - X Marks Destination
38. Ladytron - Velocifero
39. The Courteeners - St Jude
40. We Are Scientists - Brain Thrust Mastery
41. Soulwax - The Mashup Machine
42. I Am Kloot - Play Moolah Rouge
43. The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia
44. Correcto - Correcto
45. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
46. Fear of Music - Actor/Actress
47. Ghostland Observatory - Robotique Majestique
48. The Cure - 4.13 Dream
49. Was (Not Was) - Boo
50. The Rascals - Rascalize
Thursday, June 04, 2009
- Vinyl is heavy. Schlepping crates around is a pain and can easily result in damage to your back or to the records themselves
- Vinyl is fragile – albums can warp due to heat, due to their own weight or due to pressure during storage, and scratches can mysteriously appear on irreplaceable items.
- Album covers are vulnerable to damp and mould
- Music on vinyl is not exactly portable, you have to play it on specialized equipment in a specific location
- Vinyl offers a maximum of 25 minutes continuous music
Given my nomadic lifestyle at the time, the arrival of Walkmans and ghetto blasters in the early 80s already made me favour cassettes over vinyl for portability. But when CDs exploded in the late 80s, their low size, weight and fragility made them the perfect replacement of vinyl, and I stopped buying vinyl altogether. Then in the mid-90s, affordable PCs with CD-rom burners came along which made it possible to make perfect copies of audio CDs, and a worthy successor to the audio cassette had arrived. Suddenly you could make perfect copies of any CDs you could borrow off your friends or from a library. Finally, around the turn of the millennium, decent quality MP3 formats and software showed up, which allowed you to make your own compilations, and upload and download music.
Thanks to all these post-vinyl innovations, I and millions of people like me now have music collections running into the thousands of albums, rather than hundreds. We have discovered artists we would never have heard of and go to more concerts than ever – I, for example, went to 16 gigs and 2 festivals in the 3-year period 1996 - 1998, compared to 33 gigs and 6 festivals in 2006 - 2008.
Vinyl will never return to the mainstream. Vinyl is for music snobs with deep pockets. Vinyl is a fad. There’s another format for music which is also gaining a lot of popularity at the moment, and for which I foresee a much rosier future - on-demand streaming services such as Spotify. If I were Jack White, I would try to switch bandwagons as quickly and quietly as I could, before the vinyl fad passes and he's left looking rather foolish…
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Download it here. (Scroll down to the blue Download button, which may be sandwiched between two rows of adverts)
1 Depeche Mode - Wrong
2 Bloc Party – One Month Off
3 Royksopp – Happy Up Here
4 The Maccabees – Love You Better
5 Pearl Jam - Brother
6 Fischerspooner – The Best Revenge
7 U2 - Magnificent
8 Maximo Park - Wraithlike
9 Peter, Bjorn & John- Nothing to Worry About
10 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero
11 Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone
12 PJ Harvey & John Parrish – Black Hearted Love
13 Noisettes – Don’t Upset the Rhythm
14 White Lies – Farewell to the Fairground
15 Thermals – When I Died
16 Oasis – Falling Down
17 The Rakes - 1989
18 The Horrors – Sea Within a Sea
19 Doves – Kingdom of Rust
20 Kings of Leon - Revelry
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Download here - scroll down to blue Download button (in between the 2 rows of adverts)
1 Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses
2 The Prodigy - Omen
3 Morrissey – I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
4 Sky Larkin - Beeline
5 M.I.A. – Paper Planes
6 U2 – Get on Your Boots
7 Kaiser Chiefs – Good Days Bad Days
8 White Lies – To Lose My Life
9 The Brighton Port Authority – Toe Jam (feat. David Byrne & Dizzee Rascal)
10 Cut Off Your Hands – Oh Girl
11 Nirvana vs Destiny’s Child – Smells Like Booty (finally a proper release for this classic Soulwax mashup!)
12 CSS - Move
13 Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls
14 James Yuill – No Pins Allowed
15 Brakes – Hey Hey
16 Santogold – Say Aha
17 Morrissey – Something is Squeezing My Skull
18 Justice – The Party
19 Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
20 Pete & The Pirates – Blood Gets Thin
21 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – The Sun Ain’t Shining No More
22 Late of the Pier – Random Firl
23 AC/DC – Big Jack
24 Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill (De La Edit)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
STORM by Tim Minchin, 2008.
In a North London top floor flat,
All white walls, white carpet, white cat.
Rice paper partition, Modern art And Ambition
The host's a physician,
Has his own practice,
His girlfriend's an actress -
An old mate of ours from home,
And they're always great fun,
So to dinner we've come -
The fifth guest is an unknown,
The hosts have just thrown us
together for a favour.
The girl's just arrived from Australia,
And she's moved to North London,
And she's a sister of someone.
Or has - some connection.
As we make introductions,
I'm struck by her beauty,
She's irrefutably fair,
With dark eyes and dark hair.
But as she sits, I admit:
I'm a little bit wary,
As I notice the tip,
Of the wing of a fairy,
Tattooed on that popular area,
Just above the derrière,
And when she says "I'm Sagittarius!"
I confess, a pigeonhole starts to form,
And is immediately filled with pigeon,
When she says her name is *Storm*
Conversation is initially bright and light-hearted,
But it's not long before Storm gets started.
"You can't know anything.
Knowledge is merely opinion."
She opines over her Cabernet Sauvignon
Some unhappily empirical comment made by me.
Not a good start I think,
We're only on pre-dinner drinks,
And across the room my wife widens her eyes,
Silently begging me "Be nice!"
A matrimonial warning,
Not worth ignoring.
I resist the urge to ask Storm,
Whether knowledge is so loose weave,
Of a morning, when deciding whether to leave,
Her apartment by the front door,
Or the window on the second floor.
The food is delicious,
And Storm whilst avoiding all meat,
Happily sits and eats,
As the good doctor slightly pissedly holds court on some anachronistic aspect of medical history.
When Storm suddenly insists:
"But the human body is a mystery
Science just falls in a hole
When it tries to explain the nature of the soul."
My hostess throws me a glance,
She, like my wife, knows there's a chance,
I'll be off on one of my rare, but fun, rants.
But I shan't, My lips are sealed,
I just want to enjoy the meal.
And although Storm is starting to get my goat,
I have no intention of rocking the boat,
Although it's becoming a bit of a wrestle,
Because, like her meteorological namesake,
Storm has no such concerns for our vessel.
Pharmaceutical companies are an enemy,
They promote drug dependency,
At the cost of the natural remedies,
That are all our bodies need,
They're immoral and driven by greed,
Why take drugs when herbs can solve it?
Why do chemicals when
Homeopathic solvents can resolve it?
I think it's time we all return to live,
With natural medical alternatives.
And try as I like,
A small crack appears in my diplomacy dyke.
By definition, (I begin)
Alternative medicine, (I continue)
Has either not been proved to work,
Or been proved, not to work.
Do you know what they call
That's been proved to work?
So you don't believe in any natural remedies?
On the contrary, Storm, actually,
Before we came to tea,
I took a natural remedy,
Derived from the bark of a willow tree.
It's a painkiller, virtually side-effect free.
It's got a, a weird name,
Darling, what was it again?
Baspirin? Oh, yeah -
Which I paid about a buck for,
Down at the local drugstore.
The debate briefly abates,
As my hosts collect plates.
But as they return with dessert,
Storm pertly asserts,
Shakespeare said it first:
There are more things in
Heaven and Earth,
Than exist in your philosophy
Science is just how we're trained, to look at reality,
It doesn't explain, Love or spirituality.
How does Science explain
Psychics, auras, the afterlife,
The power of prayer?
I'm becoming aware,
That I'm staring,
I'm like a rabbit suddenly trapped,
In the blinding headlights of vacuous crap.
Maybe it's the Hamlet,
She just misquothed,
Or the fifth glass of wine I just quaffed.
But my diplomacy dyke groans,
And the arsehole held back by its stones
Could be held back no more.
Look up, Storm, So I don't need to bore ya,
But there's no such thing as an aura,
Reading auras is like reading minds,
Or tea leaves, or star-signs,
Or meridian lines.
These people aren't plying a skill,
They're either lying, or mentally ill.
Same goes for people who claim
To hear God's demands,
Spiritual healers who think
They've got magic hands.
By the way, why do we think it's okay,
For people to pretend they can talk to the dead?
Isn't that totally fucked in the head?
Lying to some crying woman whose child has died,
And telling me you're in touch with the other side?
I think that's fundamentally sick.
Do I need to clarify here,
That there's no such thing as a psychic?
What are we - fucking two?
Do we actually think that
Horton heard a Who?
Do we still believe that Santa brings us gifts,
That Michael Jackson didn't have facelifts?
Or are you still so stunned
by circus tricks,
That we think the dead would
Wanna talk to pricks like John Edward?
Storm, to her credit,
Despite my derision
Keeps firing off cliches
With startling precision
Like a sniper using
Bollocks for ammunition.
You're so sure of your position,
But you're just close-minded,
I think you'll find tat
Your FAITH in science and tests,
Is just as blind as the
faith of any fundamentalists,
Wow, that's a good point,
Let me think for a bit.
Oh wait, my mistake,
That's absolute bullshit.
Science adjusts its views
Based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation,
so that belief can be preserved.
If you show me that, say,
I will change my mind,
I will spin on a fucking dime.
I'll be as embarassed as hell,
Yet I will run through the streets yelling,
It's a MIRACLE!
Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And whilst its memory
Of a long lost drop of onion juice is infinite,
It somehow forgets all the poo it's had in it.
You show me that it works,
And how it works,
and when I've recovered,
from the shock,
I will take a compass and carve
On the side of my cock.
Everyone's just staring now,
But I'm pretty pissed and I've dug this far down.
So I figure.. In for a penny, in for a pound!
Life is full of mystery, yeah,
there are answers out there.
And they won't be found,
By people sitting around,
And saying: Isn't life mysterious,
Let's sit here and hope,
Let's call up the fucking Pope,
Let's go on Oprah,
And Interview Deepak Chopra.
If you must watch telly,
you should watch Scooby-Doo,
That show was so cool!
Because every time
There was a church with a ghoul,
Or a ghost in a school,
They looked beneath the mask.
And what was inside?
The fucking janitor,
or the dude who ran the water slide!
Has turned out to be -
Does the idea that
there might be knowledge frighten you?
Does the idea that
one afternoon on Wiki-fucking-pedia
Might enlighten you,
Does the notion that there might not be a supernatural,
so blow your hippy noodle,
that you'd rather just stand in the fog of your
Inability to google?
Isn't this enough?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
That we have to diminish it
with the invention
of cheap man-made
myths and monsters?
If you're so into your Shakespeare,
Lend me your ear
To gild refined gold,
To paint the lily,
To throw perfume on the violet,
Is just fucking silly
Or something like that.
Or what about Satchmo?
I see trees of green,
Red roses too...
And fine, if you wish to,
Glorify Krishna and Vishnu,
In a post-colonial,
kind of way,
Whatever, That's okay.
But, here's what gives me a hard-on,
I'm a tiny, insignificant
Ignorant bit of carbon.
I have one life,
And it is short and unimportant,
But thanks to recent scientific advances...
I get to live twice as long,
As my great-great-great-great
uncleses and auntses.
Twice as long!
To live this life of mine,
Twice as long,
To love this wife of mine.
Twice as many years,
Of friends, of wine,
Of sharing curries and getting shitty,
At good looking hippies,
With fairies on their spines,
And butterflies on their titties.
And if perchance, I have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
We'd as well be ten minutes back in time
For all the chance you'll change your mind.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Vol. 30 December 2008
…featuring the usual recent favourites plus some hitherto missed gems from 2008
1 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Around the Bend
2 AC/DC – Rock n Roll Train
3 The Ting Tings – Shut Up and Let Me Go
4 The Cure – The Only One
5 MGMT – Electric Feel
6 Chemical Brothers – Keep My Composure
7 Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
8 Santogold – Les Artistes
9 Midnight Juggernauts – Into the Galaxy
10 Kings of Leon - Crawl
11 The Pretenders – Boots of Chinese Plastic
12 Simian Mobile Disco – Sport Music
13 Ida Marie – I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked
14 Cut Off Your Hands – Happy As Can Be
15 TV On the Radio – Golden Age
16 Portugal. The Man – Lay Me Back Down
17 Glasvegas - Geraldine
18 The Fireman – Sing the Changes
19 The Futureheads – The Beginning of the Twist
20 Jeff Scott Soto & friends – We Wish You A Metal Xmas
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
In France and Germany, gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, while
in Holland the children receive presents on December 5, in
celebration of Saint Nicholas Day. It sounded sort of quaint until
I spoke to a man named Oscar, who filled me in on a few of the
details as we walked from my hotel to the Amsterdam train station.
Unlike the jolly, obese American Santa, Saint Nicholas is painfully
thin and dresses not unlike the pope, topping his robes with a tall
hat resembling an embroidered tea cozy. The outfit, I was told, is
a carryover from his former career, when he served as a bishop in
One doesn't want to be too much of a cultural chauvinist, but this
seemed completely wrong to me. For starters, Santa didn't use to
do anything. He's not retired, and, more important, he has
nothing to do with Turkey. The climate's all wrong, and people
wouldn't appreciate him. When asked how he got from Turkey to the
North Pole, Oscar told me with complete conviction that Saint
Nicholas currently resides in Spain, which again is simply not
true. While he could probably live wherever he wanted, Santa chose
the North Pole specifically because it is harsh and isolated. No
one can spy on him, and he doesn't have to worry about people
coming to the door. Anyone can come to the door in Spain, and in
that outfit, he'd most certainly be recognized. On top of that,
aside from a few pleasantries, Santa doesn't speak Spanish. He
knows enough to get by, but he's not fluent, and he certainly
doesn't eat tapas.
While our Santa flies on a sled, Saint Nicholas arrives by boat
and then transfers to a white horse. The event is televised, and
great crowds gather at the waterfront to greet him. I'm not sure
if there's a set date, but he generally docks in late November and
spends a few weeks hanging out and asking people what they want.
"Is it just him alone?" I asked. "Or does he come with backup?"
Oscar's English was close to perfect, but he seemed thrown by a
term normally reserved for police reinforcement.
"Helpers," I said. "Does he have any elves?"
Maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but I couldn't help but feel
personally insulted when Oscar denounced the very idea as grotesque
and unrealistic. "Elves," he said. "They're just so silly."
The words silly and unrealistic were redefined when I learned that
Saint Nicholas travels with what was consistently described as "six
to eight black men." I asked several Dutch people to narrow it
down, but none of them could give me an exact number. It was always
"six to eight," which seems strange, seeing as they've had hundreds
of years to get a decent count.
The six to eight black men were characterized as personal slaves
until the mid-fifties, when the political climate changed and it
was decided that instead of being slaves they were just good
friends. I think history has proven that something usually comes
between slavery and friendship, a period of time marked not by
cookies and quiet times beside the fire but by bloodshed and
mutual hostility. They have such violence in Holland, but rather
than duking it out among themselves, Santa and his former slaves
decided to take it out on the public. In the early years, if a
child was naughty, Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black men
would beat him with what Oscar described as "the small branch of
"Yes," he said. "That's it. They'd kick him and beat him with a
switch. Then, if the youngster was really bad, they'd put him in
a sack and take him back to Spain."
"Saint Nicholas would kick you?"
"Well, not anymore," Oscar said. "Now he just pretends to kick
"And the six to eight black men?"
He considered this to be progressive, but in a way I think it's
almost more perverse than the original punishment. "I'm going to
hurt you, but not really." How many times have we fallen for that
line? The fake slap invariably makes contact, adding the elements
of shock and betrayal to what had previously been plain, old-
fashioned fear. What kind of Santa spends his time pretending to
kick people before stuffing them into a canvas sack? Then, of
course, you've got the six to eight former slaves who could
potentially go off at any moment. This, I think, is the greatest
difference between us and the Dutch. While a certain segment of
our population might be perfectly happy with the arrangement, if
you told the average white American that six to eight nameless
black men would be sneaking into his house in the middle of the
night, he would barricade the doors and arm himself with whatever
he could get his hands on.
"Six to eight, did you say?"
In the years before central heating, Dutch children would leave
their shoes by the fireplace, the promise being that unless they
planned to beat you, kick you, or stuff you into a sack, Saint
Nicholas and the six to eight black men would fill your clogs
with presents. Aside from the threats of violence and kidnapping,
it's not much different from hanging your stockings from the
mantel. Now that so few people have a working fireplace, Dutch
children are instructed to leave their shoes beside the radiator,
furnace, or space heater. Saint Nicholas and the six to eight black
men arrive on horses, which jump from the yard onto the roof. At
this point, I guess, they either jump back down and use the door,
or they stay put and vaporize through the pipes and electrical
wires. Oscar wasn't too clear about the particulars, but, really,
who can blame him? We have the same problem with our Santa. He's
supposed to use the chimney, but if you don't have one, he still
manages to come through. It's best not to think about it too hard.
While eight flying reindeer are a hard pill to swallow, our
Christmas story remains relatively simple. Santa lives with his
wife in a remote polar village and spends one night a year
traveling around the world. If you're bad, he leaves you coal. If
you're good and live in America, he'll give you just about anything
you want. We tell our children to be good and send them off to bed,
where they lie awake, anticipating their great bounty. A Dutch
parent has a decidedly hairier story to relate, telling his
children, "Listen, you might want to pack a few of your things
together before you go to bed. The former bishop from Turkey will
be coming along with six to eight black men. They might put some
candy in your shoes, they might stuff you in a sack and take you
to Spain, or they might just pretend to kick you. We don't know
for sure, but we want you to be prepared."
This is the reward for living in Holland. As a child you get to
hear this story, and as an adult you get to turn around and repeat
it. As an added bonus, the government has thrown in legalized drugs
and prostitution-so what's not to love about being Dutch?
Oscar finished his story just as we arrived at the station. He was
a polite and interesting guy-very good company-but when he offered
to wait until my train arrived, I begged off, saying I had some
calls to make. Sitting alone in the vast terminal, surrounded by
other polite, seemingly interesting Dutch people, I couldn't help
but feel second-rate. Yes, it was a small country, but it had six
to eight black men and a really good bedtime story. Being a fairly
competitive person, I felt jealous, then bitter, and was edging
toward hostile when I remembered the blind hunter tramping off
into the Michigan forest. He might bag a deer, or he might happily
shoot his sighted companion in the stomach. He may find his way
back to the car, or he may wander around for a week or two before
stumbling through your front door. We don't know for sure, but in
pinning that license to his chest, he inspires the sort of
narrative that ultimately makes me proud to be an American.