Thu, 18 September 2014
This podcast is not really all that referendumy, I thin... actually, I suppose it is kind of. I'm sorry to do this to you, but it's more or less unavoidable at this stage because if you're in Scotland it's impossible to think of anything else. I started off trying to make it apolitical and just play some tenuously connected songs, but fuck it, in the end it inevitably seeped in.
In the words of the utterly obscure (but excellent) MC Quake: "It feels good to be in Scotland; it feels like home."
I have no idea how it's all going to go of course, and I am not the sort of ideological idiot who thinks it will be fucking amazing or fucking disastrous either way. I am looking for a marginal improvement, and that will be good enough for me. It's become my home, Scotland, almost by accident. I ended up studying here and then entirely coincidentally fell in love with a Scottish girl and found myself back, some five years after graduating.
And now I'm here. Possibly permanently. Which is a strange thought, given I had no reason to end up here.
01. The Sound of Music - So Long, Farewell (00.22)
Thu, 28 August 2014
So, here we are on August 28th and I have neeeeearly made it through another Pale Imitation Festival. Nearly. We still have tonight's awesome show with eagleowl, Ian Humberstone and Smackvan, and then the closing party on Saturday with PAWS, Halfrican and Et Tu Brute! and then I will sleep for a week, and lock the doors and the shutters to the house so I don't have to speak to people until I am good and ready.
That sounds like a moan, and it is I suppose, but it doesn't mean that I don't love the festival we've put on. I've loved every gig so far, and I'm incredibly proud of how well it has all gone and how well it has all been received, it's just that it's kind of exhausting and rather gets in the way of all the other things I have to be doing at the moment. Anyone who does this kind of shit knows, I guess, it's amazing but exhausting, and at the moment I am knackered.
Anyhow, I recently received a most excellent package from Norman Records of about five or so new albums, and a lot of them get a spin here. Oddly enough I had to go an buy the Wytches song on iTunes again because for all Heavenly sent me a download card with the album, there was no sign anywhere of where to actually redeem it, and I couldn't find one on their site anywhere either. Weird. And of course the PR folk never sent me the album for review either so I've ended up buying an album I was asked to review, and then having to buy a song again just to play it on the damn podcast.
Still, they're ten times more established and successful than we are, so I suppose in a way it's sort of reassuring to see that they can still be just as hapless. Music would be pretty shit if it was all ruthlessly efficient people in charge.
01. Temple Songs - Sunspot Dandyline (00.20)
Tue, 19 August 2014
So, a little over halfway through the Pale Imitation Festival, and here we are. There are still four gigs to go, with Rick Redbeard, LAW, eagleowl and PAWS headlining (tickets and full details here), and the gigs are only a fiver to get into, which in Edinburgh in August represents a monumental fucking bargain.
We also have a new single out on Song, by Toad Records, from David Thomas Broughton and Juice Vocal Ensemble's new collaborative album Sliding the Same Way which is now available for pre-order so I've popped that on the playlist as well, along with a Passion Pusher song from our first cassette release which is due in October or November or something like that.
Other than that, there are a couple of new Scottish singles, some live gig plugs and a couple of Song, by Toad recording alumni with some bits and pieces, so it's all quite local music for local people this week. Phew. I am finding the Festival heavy going, I have to confess. Not that I'm not enjoying it, just that it does kind of wear you out, not least with all the drinking. Still, my Mum turns up on Sunday, so that should at least put the dampers on some of the worst carrying-on. Hopefully.
01. Neon Waltz - Bare Wood Aisles (00.17)
Tue, 29 July 2014
Well as you can probably tell from the graphics and indeed also the title, this is going to just be one long plug for our August antics at the Pale Imitation Festival this year.
But, as you will hear me rattling on about, I suppose the label and the gigs are essentially the same as the blog really aren't they, in that it's basically just me having a massive tantrum that the entire world doesn't completely agree with me about music. So in that sense plugging label releases and our live shows on here isn't me compromising the integrity of the site, is it, it's just an extension of the original purpose of the site in the first place isn't it? ISN'T IT?
I hope so, anyway.
In any case, for those of you outside Edinburgh you can't actually attend this festival but that won't really matter because basically this is just a podcast full of absolutely fantastic Scottish bands, so for a change I am being Mr. Scotland tonight, although as you will hear, I'm not all that gracious about it!
01. Adam Stafford - Vanishing Tanks (00.22)
Wed, 16 July 2014
As you should well know by now, this is not the Bett-cast, it is the Bettycast, as our ridiculous car is named after Bette Davis, who spelled it Bett but pronounced it Betty. So there.
Once again this is a bit of a Rust2Rome retrospective, with ruminations on brake fade in the Alps, grown men sporting mohicans, driving far too fast and complaining about things not being entirely predictable when on holiday in a car which cost lest than £500. There may also be a little teeny-tiny bit of ranting about stupid people, but y'know, there usually is on these things isn't there.
Also, I think some of my Rust2Rome pals might end up listening to this, which is going to be weird, because they'll get to realise what depressing taste in music I have. Generally when you tell someone you work in music they think 'oh, that's interesting' and you can pretend to be cool for a bit. Then they hear the kind of music you're into and the illusion is shattered. Ah well, they had to find out sooner or later.
01. The Wedding Present - Drive (00.24)
Fri, 20 June 2014
Wow, our 300th podcast! But honestly, I celebrated the 200th and the 250th I think, so celebrating again, a mere fifty podcasts later, seems a bit hollow. So Yay Me! for sticking at it, and Yay You! for continuing to listen to this pish, but I guess I should really keep quiet now until number 500.
Also, OH WOW TEH WURLD CUPZ! Except for the fact that England are effectively out, by this stage, and so I suppose I should just appreciate the fact that now I get to pull for whoever plays the best football. So far I guess that might be Germany, Holland and Chile - at least they're the only teams who have really convinced so far, in my opinion.
And finally, Woo Hoo, the first free-play podcast in ages. The last few have been strongly themed, so this is the first time in a while that I've been free to just sit down at the computer and pick whatever the fuck I want to play, which is fun. Enjoy!
01. The Victorian English Gentleman's Club - Ban the Gin (00.56)
Fri, 13 June 2014
I first found Clem Snide back in around 2000 or 2001 when they released Ghost of Fashion, and have followed both the band's releases and Eef Barzelay's solo work ever since. I certainly never though back then that he'd end up staying in our house and that I'd interview him and record his songs in the living room one day.
For someone really quite shy in person Eef because incredibly chatty as soon as we turned the mics on, and the interview itself is probably one of the longest and most interesting of any of the Toad Sessions we've published yet. Fiona, who both filmed and photographed the session also made the most amazing cookies (see the front panel of the video above), and we fed them pheasant, of all things, before the Edinburgh show. Not your usual tour food, I have to confess, and I felt just a little embarrassed, but it was tasty, and at least better than the usual service station sandwiches.
As per usual we have the interview podcast below, freely downloadable mp3s of the session tracks from the Soundcloud player, and four individual song videos as well at http://toadsessions.com . As well as Fiona, I was also helped out with filming and recording by Neil from Meursault.
01. Eef Barzelay - In the Service of... (Toad Session) (00.22)
Tue, 3 June 2014
A follow-on from (unsurprisingly) The Routecast Pt.1, this week I am playing songs which namechecks towns Mrs. Toad and I drove through on our way back from upstate New York to Phoenix to return the van, after the Meursault tour.
Due to not wanting to just barrel down the motorway we tried to stay off the main roads as much as possible, and that did two things: firstly, it meant we went through some amazing countryside and down some unfeasibly small, picturesque roads in an unfeasibly large, ridiculous RV; and secondly it meant that we ended up having to spend more or less ten hours per day on the road to make up for the extra miles and rather lower speeds this particular plan entailed.
It meant that there were some pretty epic drives, but I don't mind driving, in all honesty. The scenery alone made it worthwhile, and I find sitting in a car chattering away to Mrs. Toad whilst listening to awesome music to be a very nice way to spend a day. Especially if you have the Radio Alan app for your iPhone. Seriously, it's awful, but amazing. "Did that man kill the Muppets?"
01. Bruce Springsteen - Johnny 99 (00.11)
Thu, 22 May 2014
This podcast is composed of songs which namecheck towns I drove through on my rather epic 7500 mile drive across American in March and April of this year.
Part 1 is places I drove through between collecting the van in Phoenix, collecting Meursault in Texas and then driving up to New York on their East Coast Tour. Part 2, which is coming next week, will be songs about places I drove through with Mrs. Toad on our way back to drop the van in Phoenix again.
Most of the connections are a little tenuous, honestly, tending to concentrate more on the fact that the song name-checks the town in the title rather than provides a touching insight into real life in that town, but you know, superficial is kind of what we do best here.
01. Bob Dylan - Romance in Durango (Live) (00.22)
Wed, 14 May 2014
Video – Vimeo – YouTube Photos – Flickr Session tracks - Soundcloud – zip download (right click – save as) Interview podcast – mp3 – iTunes – Mixcloud (playlist at bottom of page) Well if we can handle the racket of PAWS and the sheer numbers of Broken Records then fuck it, we can do Brown Brogues. In the two or three years since Mrs. Toad and I first saw these lads playing at an Irish pub in Austin at SXSW a couple of years ago they have become good pals, as well as DIY inspirations. Although totally fucking incapable of taking an interview seriously. For this one I handled the audio a little differently. Instead of mixing everything in Logic I actually mixed it on the live recording desk and then played it back through our reel-to-reel tape machine, overloading both channels slightly, and then recording the results into my laptop. It's the first time I've used the reel-to-reel, so I am still finding my way, and the results may be nasty as fuck but I really like them. One thing which doesn't sound so great, unfortunately, is the interview audio. The band used effects pedals on their vocal mics, which interfered rather badly with the recording of the interview, so I've ended up having to do the best I can with the tiny mics on the film cameras, which aren't the best. It's alright though - just not as nice as I would have liked it. The crew for this one was just Nic and Rory and myself, but Mrs. Toad made the most fantastic roast lamb for us all, so I should really be crediting her as well. It really was fucking tasty! Full interview podcast:
Session tracks: Session track videos Podcast playlist: 01. Brown Brogues - Baby, it's Alright (Toad Session) (00.21) 02. Elvis Presley - If I Can Dream (08.24) 03. Harlem - Gay Human Bones (11.52) 04. Brown Brogues - Split Disc (Toad Session) (21.43) 05. Black Lips - Feeling Gay (32.15) 06. The Growlers - Gay Thoughts (36.03) 07. Brown Brogues - Shake It (Toad Session) (44.39) 08. Liars - Overachievers (52.57) 09. Oingo Boingo - Private Life (56.35) 10. Brown Brogues - AG From the Cradle (Toad Session) (1.05.36)