Saturday, 31 March 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: The Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong

"Don't Get Me Wrong" is a song released by The Pretenders. It was the first single taken from the group's 1986 album 'Get Close'...


PREVIEW: Nick Burbridge And Tim Cotterell - Gathered


'Gathered' is the brilliant new album from Nick Burbridge and Tim Cotterell, and is available to listen to in full by scrolling to the bottom of this page. This excellent record will be reviewed on this blog very soon but in the meantime read and listen...


Singer-songwriter Nick Burbridge is an Anglo-Irish writer and musician based in Brighton, England and married with three children. He has been active for over twenty-five years as a poet, playwright, novelist, documentary, short story and song writer. His writing is characterised by a commitment to the dispossessed, undertaken without profit, and in relative obscurity.
In 1986, as singer-songwriter, he co-founded McDermott's Two Hours and earned a reputation as one of the best live acts of its genre. Their album 'The Enemy Within' has become a folk-rock classic. One track, 'Dirty Davey' was covered by The Levellers on their eponymous album. 
Later collaborations between the two bands produced four albums of Nick's songs: 'World Turned Upside Down', 'Claws And Wings', 'Disorder' and 'Goodbye To The Madhouse'; also a unique recording of poetry, music and effects, 'All Kinds Of Disorder'.



After six McDermott's Two Hours albums (versus The Levellers or in their own right) - and with another to come, produced by the award-winning Al Scott - Nick  has joined forces with multi-instrumentalist and producer Tim Cotterell, to release 'Gathered', an unplugged album of articulate contemporary songs rooted in the traditional Celtic idiom which many have awaited for so long. 'Gathered' is a lyricist's delight, as would be expected from a writer fluent in many forms: a profound and coherent expression of all kinds of implacable commitment, personal or political, related with a tender and unflinching hand. Here, Burbridge's dark-humoured, melodic pieces, his genuinely weathered voice and singular guitar-playing, are augmented only by the subtle shade and impetus of Cotterell's sensitive interpretation on a range of instruments. It is an album to sit down with late into the night and listen to repeatedly, which nonetheless abounds with fragments of jigs, reels and other tunes. Once heard, it isn't easily forgotten.


Signed CD's are available direct from Nick, priced at £10 (including P&P), via Paypal (payment to nickburb@yahoo.com) or contact through http://www.burbridgearts.org/ for other options. When ordering, please ensure your correct postal address is included. 


Copies are also available from www.levellers.co.uk - www.spiralearth.co.uk - and selected retail outlets.

PREVIEW: Cult With No Name - Above As Below

Cult With No Name have released their new album 'Above As Below', and you can listen to the whole thing by scrolling to the bottom of the page.


"After a year which saw them being nominated for the prestigious Exposure Music Awards, London’s acclaimed post-punk electronic balladeers Cult With No Name return with their fifth and undoubtedly strongest album to date.
'Above as Below' showcases the duo at their lightest, darkest, most melodic, sardonic, nonchalant, bon vivant, serious and humorous. 14 tracks that span everything from pure synth-pop (‘What’s Certain’), to sweeping piano-led chanson (‘Maitre D-Day’), swirling trip-hop (‘Hope is Existence’), Black-American spirituals (‘Shake Hands with the Devil’), and stark spoken word (‘Losing my Elan’). Lyrical perspectives include everything from the frustration of life as a P.A. to an African dictator (‘Idi’s Admin’), to attacking holocaust revisionism (‘Numbers’).
'Above as Below'’s musical dexterity provides the backdrop to an illustrious supporting cast, including extensive contributions from Kelli Ali (Sneaker Pimps), Luc van Lieshout and Bruce Geduldig (Tuxedomoon), John Ellis (Stranglers, Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill), and Meg Maryatt (17 Pygmies). Packaged in a deluxe fold-out letter-pressed sleeve, designed by world-renowned graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook (David Bowie and Damien Hirst), 'Above as Below' not only represents the pinnacle of CWNN’s achievements, but stands alone as an innovative, addictive and enduring song-cycle."


The East London duo comprise of Erik Stein and Jon Boux. Having been the first international signing to LA label Trakwerx in 2007 (founded by Jackson Del Rey of Californian punk legends Savage Republic), CWNN’s first two studio albums - ‘Paper Wraps Rock’ and ‘Careful What You Wish For’ - have been met with considerable critical acclaim. 

PREVIEW: Nudybronque - Bottled Blonde EP

"Nudybronque are an Indie Pop band based in the heart of Wiltshire. The band blends Indie music with elements of 70's Punk, Post-Punk and Britpop delivering a strange, yet fascinating live performance.

Given that the band only formed in April 2011, it’s no minor achievement that they have had lots of radio airplay, including BBC Introducing Wiltshire. They have also played several legendary venues including The Cavern Club in Liverpool and supported great acts such as The Specials.

With their second EP entitled "Bottled Blonde" due for release, and a tour of the same name starting in late February visiting several cities in England. There’s no doubt that this crazy, interesting, and somewhat bizarre quartet is going to spiral out into the music scene with the energy it takes to make an impression on the world...."



Their new 'Bottled Blonde' EP is available to listen to in its entirity for FREE in the layer below, while the CD release date is yet to be announced...


http://www.nudybronque.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/nudybronquefans
http://twitter.com/#!/nudybronque
http://soundcloud.com/nudybronque/
http://www.youtube.com/nudybronque

Friday, 30 March 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: Elvis Presley - 'If I Can Dream (1968 Comeback Special)'

Hard to believe that this is The King's very first appearance as 'Song For Today'. 

www.elvis.com/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley‎

Of course I had to select something from the astounding '68 Comeback Special... 

I've always been an admirer of Elvis, but watching the comeback special was what made me realise his sheer power as a performer...



LISTEN TO: Orbital - Wonky





ALBUM REVIEW HERE.

Orbital's new album 'Wonky' hits the shops next week.


The dance duo will release the album, which is their first since 2004's 'Blue Album' and their first release since they returned from an indefinite hiatus, on April 1. The album was recorded in Brighton and mixed by Depeche Mode/U2 knob twiddler Flood. 


'Wonky' is the duo's eighth studio album features collaborations with Zola Jesus and UK MC Lady Leshurr. 



Tracklisting

  1. "One Big Moment" 6:16
  2. "Straight Sun" 5:28
  3. "Never" 4:43
  4. "New France" (featuring Zola Jesus) 4:47
  5. "Distractions" 7:04
  6. "Stringy Acid" 5:19
  7. "Beelzedub" 4:54
  8. "Wonky" (featuring Lady Leshurr) 6:13
  9. "Where Is it Going?" 5:50

Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc
  1. "Lush" (Live In Australia)
  2. "Impact" (Live In Australia)
  3. "Satan" (Live In Australia)
  4. "Belfast" (Live In Australia)
  5. "Chime/Crime" (Live In Australia)



Orbital will tour the UK in support of the album in early April and play six shows. The trek begins at Manchester's Academy on April 5 and runs until April 10, when the duo headline London's Royal Albert Hall. 








Thursday, 29 March 2012

COMPILATIONS: 100,000 Page Views! - LISTEN


So today marks another landmark moment in the history of the Mr Scott:Music blog... The site has now had over 100,000 page views since it first went online and continues to attract new readers from all over the world every day. I first set up the site in early 2010 as an information point for the old '2 Hours With Mr Scott' radio shows I used to host for UK HD Radio (now defunct), and soon began posting short reviews of albums that featured on the shows. When the show ended I left the site alone for a while. Then in November 2010 I relaunched the site as a music blog, at first only posting occasionally but then as the readers started to come I began adding more content. Soon I began posting full album reviews, launched 'Song For Today' and Mr Scott:Music started to take shape. 

Over the last month the site has achieved at least a third more monthly page views than the previous monthly record total, proving that this wonderful music blog is starting to become very hot property in cyberspace. I'd like to thank the bands and artists who 
I have interviewed for this blog, and I'd especially like to thank my friends DODGY, FRENZY and NORTHERN UPROAR for their continued support and encouragement. I want to say cheers to NME editor Luke Lewis for his welcome feedback, and to all the other music blogs who have helped direct readers to this site. And of course I want to say a BIG thank you to each and every one of you readers for making this site the success it has become, and hope that you can all contribute to the NEXT 100,000 page views... which I don't think will take quite as long next time! 

So to celebrate this special day there is a new page background (consisting of part of my CD collection) and there's also a competition.... There IS a prize but I won't tell you what it is yet. 
So to win this prize all you have to do is correctly name as many of the CDs featured in this photo as you can, and whoever guesses the most wins the mystery prize! The best thing to do is click on the image below so you can view it in full size. Send an email to mrscottmusic@live.co.uk with all your answers and with "COMPETITION" in the subject line. The competition is going to be running for two weeks and the deadline for entries is April 12th. 



Also I have uploaded a new compilation/mixtape for you all to enjoy. This one is appropriately entitled '100,000 Views' and features some of the many band and artists who have featured on Mr Scott:Music. It includes people who have become friends of the blog, such as Dodgy, Northern Uproar, Doyle And The Fourfathers, Frenzy, Ultrasound and David McAlmont. It also includes artists who have attracted large numbers of readers to the site such as Radiohead, Paul Weller and Michael Kiwanuka... Enjoy.

SONG FOR TODAY: Portishead - 'Sour Times'

'Sour Times' is an elegantly unsettling treasure by Portishead, released as their second-ever single in August 1994. It was also the first ever Portishead record I ever bought. Well I say record, I picked it up on cassette for 29p in the Woolworths bargain bin. Great days. Wouldn't this have made a great Bond theme?

Written by all three members of the band, 'Sour Times' features on Portishead's classic debut album 'Dummy'...



REVIEW: Merrymouth - 'Simon Fowler's Merrymouth'

It's been an interesting few time for former Britpop stars over recent times. There's been Damon Albarn and his many projects, we've enjoyed the two groups that Oasis split into, we've finally had Dodgy's recent and excellent comeback album, and now another legendary figure from the mid 90s is returning in a slightly different guise. This is the debut solo album from Ocean Colour Scene's Simon Fowler, although it isn't quite a solo album since Fowler is accompanied by his band Merrymouth. I suppose it's a bit like what the High Flying Birds are to Noel Gallagher, except the band occasionally do step into the spotlight. 

The opening 'Holy Day' sets the tone nicely against a calming backdrop of acoustic guitar and reverberating harmonies and although 'The Trees They Do Grow High' is based on an ancient folk song, there is no mistaking the unique inprint Fowler's voice and style brings to the track. And although there isn't an electric guitar in sight, the vitality of the melodies make up for the lack of the usual full band instrumention. The wonderfully tender 'Sweetest Words' is a classic Fowler ballad that stands as one of the finest moments he's ever put to record, topped off with a simple and instantly memorable chorus. The stunning waltz of 'Last Train But One' is another highlight, bearing the same sort of stripped back mystery that characterised a lot of the classic OCS B sides of the 'Moseley Shoals' era. It's also at this point that we're reminded what an incredible vocalist Mr Fowler is. 

With its piano and banjo stylings, the Bert Jansch cover 'Courting Blues' is very spacious indeed, and could perhaps take a few listens for it to become as memorable as the first four tracks. As the lyrics in the final verse suggest, it's like the soundtrack to waking up from a deep slumber. 'Midst Of Summertime' is recognisably more upbeat and sees band member Dan Sealey (also the current bassist in OCS) provide the vocals but the melody seems to have Fowler's characteristics all over it, despite being penned by Sealey. The brooding 'Prometheus' is another textbook example of quality songwriting, and like much of the record comes complete with a fantastic arrangement. It's one of those moments here that sound like Ocean Colour Scene songs with an acoustic folk dressing rather than folk songs written by their singer. But that's where 'The Stolen Child' is different, since it could easily have been written many years ago as a traditional folk song. 

'The Shadow Knows' and 'Over My Head' are also some of his best works yet, so delicately beautiful that you wonder if Fowler's been saving up his best songs for this solo outing rather than using them on OCS albums. 'Mr Marshall' arrives with an utterly charming flute and guitar arrangement as Fowler and Sealey share vocal duties, while the closing 'First Rites Of Spring' ends the album in an alluringly subtle fashion, delivering a short, heartfelt parting gesture that closes this lovely album, and despite it's brief length makes it sound satisfyingly complete. 

While bandmate Steve Cradock's solo work sticks to retro rock with psychedelic hints, Ocean Colour Scene's vocalist has found himself an excellent alternative. Of course it's never going to be a million miles from OCS, but when the songs reach the same heights as their best work, that can only be a good thing. If you're looking for 'Hundred Mile High City' or 'Riverboat Song'-style riff-o-rama then you may wish to look elsewhere than this album, but there is no doubting the quality and sincerity that characterise many songs from Fowler's new offering. 8.

REVIEW: AM And Shawn Lee - Celestial Electric

'Celestial Electric' is the debut from Los Angeles musician AM and London based producer/multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee, and it certainly makes for an interesting and eclectic musical partnership. They enthusiastically dig through the crates to mine out diverse influences while stamping both their musical imprints across this cool-as-fuck release. 


Opening 'City Boy' eases you in to the record nicely via dreamy vocals and chilled funk guitar before 'Lonely Life' enters with a marching beat and watery synths that soon make way for a short, simple chorus packed with superb keyboard noises. The mysterious funk of 'Can't Figure It Out' displays the duo's carefully constructed percussive elements, as does the excellent trip hop of 'Dark Before Light' which at times recalls latter day Radiohead and delights with the chorus's sweet rippling guitars. 'Different Forces' is built on an attractive combination of acoustic guitars and dusty drum samples that glide into another fluid chorus, while 'Jackie Blue' resurrects a lost vintage classic and gives it a modern kick up the arse with the superb arrangement. The funk infused swagger of 'Somebody Like You' is ridiculously catchy, slightly reminiscent of The Black Keys, and if we existed in a world where people had taste, this would've be a massive hit. 


The slow-grooving slinky disco of 'Promises Are Never Far From Lies' is a bit like a very laid back LCD Soundsystem while 'Down The Line' carries strong hints of French soundtrack music. Another highlight arrives in the form of the exciting yet relaxed disco funk of 'The Signal', bursting with instant melodies and more excellent percussion. The album's most tender moment comes courtesy of 'Winter Sun''s blissful acoustic chords, dusty snares and underlying melancholy before 'Callahan' signals slightly darker elements and wraps up the album with an instrumental that could have been a from the soundtrack of a 70s blaxploitation film, but with synths that suggest sci-fi. 


'Celestial Electric' is probably one of the most diverse records you'll hear this year, while still carrying many great melodic hooks and accessible tunes. Casting its net wide, it takes in psychedelica, funk, soul, trip hop, disco, krautrock, electronica, shoegazing, french soundtrack music and lots more. Yet despite all these different styles inprinted into the record, it never once sounds messy, perhaps its consistently relaxed grooves give the songs a common thread that make the album more cohesive as a whole. A couple tracks could do with going further tune wise and in terms of structure, but mostly 'Celestial Electric' succeeds in its genre splicing ambitions, and serves up some great moments in the process. 7.5

LISTEN: Mr Scott:Music - Show #14 - 29/03/2012

This week's show features brand new stuff from Michael Kiwanuka, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Levellers, Dodgy, Tom Williams And The Boat, Paul Weller, and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. 

There's plenty more new tunage from the likes of Mark Morriss, The Dandy Warhols, Sennen, AM And Shawn Lee and The Heart Strings. Plus a classic track from Bill Withers. So if you have an hour spare, use it wisely and give this week's show a listen. It'll definitely be worth it...


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: The Police - Message In A Bottle

'Message in a Bottle' is a 1979 song by The Police, from their second album 'Reggatta de Blanc'....

PREVIEW: Maximo Park - The National Health


Maximo Park have revealed that their new album will be called 'The National Health' and will be released on June 11 - scroll down and click below to hear its title track.  Speaking about the record, the Newcastle band's fourth studio effort, frontman Paul Smith said: "We're in a global recession and everyone is being bombarded with bouncy, happy music. The nation is out of control and the record is about taking back control, and being a force for change in your own life. It can't speak for everybody but it has its eyes and ears all around us… that's always been a Maximo Park thing: look at yourself."
He continued: "see how you relate to yourself and hopefully someone else will have something in common with it. Our songs are built on empathy. I would hope it's as vital a music as people would want to hear."
Previously, Smith told NME that it had been important for the band to take a hiatus before working on the album, which is the follow-up to their 2009 effort 'Quicken The Heart' and was recorded with Pixies and Foo Fighters cohort Gil Norton. 
"I think we found that we were at a point where we needed to have a break," he said. "The more you do the same thing over and over again, it's going to get repetitive and boring for somebody, whether it's the people listening to you or the band themselves."
The tracklisting for the album is as follows:
'When I Was Wild'
'The National Health'
'Hips And Lips'
'The Undercurrents'
'Write This Down'
'Reluctant Love'
'Until The Earth Would Open'
'Banlieue'
'This Is What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted'
'Wolf Among Men'
'Take Me Home'
'Unfamiliar Places'
'Waves of Fear'
Maximo Park will preview songs from 'The National Health' before the album's release when they play two intimate shows at Stoke Sugarmill on May 8 and York's The Duchess on May 9. The gigs lead up to their appearance at The Great Escape festival in Brighton on May 10, and the band are set embark on more UK shows later this year, with dates to be announced. They'll also play at Newcastle's Revolution festival and Kendal Calling, along with a handful of European dates.


Monday, 26 March 2012

PREVIEW: The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceana

The Smashing Pumpkins have confirmed that they will release their new album 'Oceania' on June 18. 

The LP, which will be the band's seventh studio record, has been produced by singer Billy Corgan and has been described as an "album within an album" as it is part of their 44-song cycle for 'Teargarden By Kaleidyscope'. 

It has also been announced that the album will be put out by EMI, after they inked a deal to release the record with Corgan's label Martha's Music. Speaking about the agreement, EMI Label Services's Mike Harris said: "We are thrilled to extend the long-term partnership between The Smashing Pumpkins and EMI with the release of 'Oceania'. Everybody at EMI is looking forward to working closely with Billy and the band to help them deliver their vision and their music to fans around the world."

In December last year, Corgan insisted that 'Oceania' was the band's best album in over 15 years and their strongest offering since 1995's 'Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness'. 

The singer is set to have a busy 2012 – in addition to releasing 'Oceania', he also has plans to open a Chicago teahouse and continue work with his own professional wrestling company.

The tracklisting for 'Oceania' is as follows:

'Quasar'
'Stella P And The People Mover'
'Panopticon'
'The Celestials'
'Violet Rays'
'My Love Is Winter'
'One Diamond, One Heart'
'Pinwheels'
'Oceania'
'Pale Horse'
'The Chimera'
'Glissandra'
'Inkless'
'Wildflower'


The band's frontman Billy Corgan announce the album's final running order on his Twitter account Twitter.com/billy and wrote of the album: "I'm really, really proud of the work we've done. Our hearts are on the line for sure. No cuts. 13 songs it will be."


The Smashing Pumpkins, who now consist of Corgan, Jeff Schroeder on guitar, Nicola Fiorentino on bass and Mike Byrne on drums, will tour the UK later this year.







VIDEO: Levellers - Truth Is

'Truth Is', the first single from the forthcoming studio album, 'Static On The Airwaves' (out in June), will be released on Saturday 21st April. A Limited Edition Red Vinyl 7" version will be available exclusively as part of Record Store Day, with the digital download being available from online music stores the following day. 


Read more about Record Store Day HERE.
...and more about the Levellers new album HERE.

www.levellers.co.uk
www.facebook.com/levellersofficial