Saturday, May 20, 2006

This Month I Will Mostly Be Listening To….

Vol. 5, May 2006

1 Akira the Don - Boom
2 The Automatic - Monster
3 Editors - Orange Crush - best REM cover ever?
4 Lily Allen - LDN
5 The Kooks - Naive
6 Princess Superstar - My Machine
7 Life Without Buildings - Young Offenders - from forgotten 2000 masterpiece album Any Other City
8 Katzenjammers - Cars - from Rough Trade compilation Counter Culture 05
9 Fratellis - Creeping Up the Backstairs
10 Muse - Supermassive Black Hole - first single off long-awaited new album
11 Hope of the States - Sing it Out
12 The Black Keys - Work Me - from the awesome Chulahoma mini album
13 TV On the Radio - Dry Drunk Emperor - about a certain president's 'response' to Hurricane Katrina
14 The Feeling - Fill My Little World
15 Hot Chip - Boy From School
16 Archie Bronson Outfit - Cherry Lips
17 Akira the Don - Bankers - put your fingers in the corner of your mouth, say…
18 Howling Bells - Blessed Night
19 The Longcut - Vitamin C - from A Call and Response, my album of the month
20 Paul Simon - How Can You Live in the Northeast - Brian Eno has done for Simon what his former acolyte Daniel Lanois did for Dylan

Friday, May 05, 2006

Capo di tutti capi

Partly thanks to his lablemates Kid Casanova (see below) I have been encountering the music of Akira the Don a lot recently. He is not unfamiliar to the world of blog - not least because he himself is a fervent blogger and vocal supporter of filesharing, who makes huge chunks of his output freely available to the world.

His mixtapes are legendary - ATD12 has just been released - and most of my exposure has been to these free downloads up to now, so I was very pleasantly surprised to hear more original tracks by him on the recent Something in Construction sampler and the Camden Crawl compilation.

And what stands out is the contrast between his genial rapping style and the brutal, intelligent to-the-pointness of his lyrics, most of which are wry dagger blows aimed at the heart of the global economic system and the political status quo that goes hand in hand with it. Unsurprisingly, the record business does not get off lightly.

So I was pleased to see Something in Construction have put the entire sampler online to download here, including two fabulous Akira tracks:
Bankers (mp3)
"Put your fingers in the corners of your mouth, say Bankers"
Jerusalem (mp3) (with Bravecaptain)

Don't miss the rest of the sampler though, it's class from start to finish.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Like a kid with a new toy

John Peel famously received 400 demo tapes / CDs a week on average, and struggled with feelings of guilt when he was physically unable to listen to all of them. These days bloggers and podcasters are taking over the role of new music promoters from radio DJs to a certain extent, but the format of the demo has also changed - more often than not we are sent links to MP3 downloads (mostly at a measly 128 kbps, as well....). So imagine my childlike pleasure at receiving my first ever real promo CDs in the mail this week ;-)

From Kid Casanova, to be precise, a four-piece from New York who play catchy indie pop songs which reward repeated listenings. Sparkly jangle on the surface but with a darker, Bowie-tinged undertow. Their debut album is due out in July on Something In Construction (in the UK). But, I hear you ask, are they any good, or are you simply plugging them out of a pathetic gratitude for your meaningless freebies? Well to be honest they didn't grab me straight away, but I'm glad I persevered - the songs definitely reveal additional layers after the 3rd or 4th listen.

So head on over to Kid Casanova's website at, and download these four tracks in glorious MP3:

Hey Johnny
Like We Did Last Year
By & By
Rec Center (the Kids in This Town)

I'm not sure how I'd cope with Peel-like levels of demos, but I'm happy for now.