Come And Have Tea In My Woodpile House

Frightened Rabbit are a band who do all the modern things very well. The band emails and diaries are funny, endearing, informational, and generally make them come across as a nice bunch of lads genuinely bemused by the success they have stumbled upon. They do small gigs in small London venues for their fans, then sell out the big venues too. They use Soundcloud well, they’ve got good PR people, and even though they have signed to a major label they don’t seem to be doing the whole heavy-handed lawyer Mugabe blog shutdown behaviour that’s so plagued US counterparts Band Of Horses.

Which is all very nice. But of course, the main thing is the music, and again they’ve come up trumps with most recent album Pedestrian Verse1, and now EP “The Woodpile”, from which new track “Radio Silence” stems:

The EP can be pre-ordered here. Which is nice. And there’s a rapidly selling out tour too, which is nice, too.

MP3: Swim Until You Can’t See Land by Frightened Rabbit (any excuse to post this)

1 Ok, so it’s no Midnight Organ Fight, but you can’t imagine that lightning would have struck twice there.

Archers Tangoing

So, Midlake are back, back, back!

Sort of.

Start again.

Some of Midlake are back, back, back! Back without lyricist and vocalist and all-round lead man Tim Smith, who has legged it to form a band called Harp. New track “Antiphon” certainly isn’t the doomy-gloomy cobblers that infested their last album “The Courage Of Others”, which is right up there near the top of the “Whatever the hell were they thinking?” pile. Some years ago I summed it up as “Minor key, we’re all doomed, here’s a flute solo1. Which was obviously a shame as “Van Occupanther” was, just, you know, fucking ace.

And a fucking ace record which I still listen to today, and as “Roscoe” is the third most-listened to track in my iTunes4, so I have a vested interest in wanting “Antiphon” to be good.

Which, after a few listens, it seems to be. Good, not great, maybe, but certainly good. With new vocalist Eric Pulido (previous backing vocalist) being a better singer than many frontmen, and assuming that Tim Smith was responsible for much of the moany eco-catastrophe nonsense of “The Courage Of Others”, I’m quietly hopeful that on November 8th, I might be in for a pleasant surprise. More news here, from those marvellous people at Bella Union.

Oh, and a quick tip to the band – when you’re offering the first track from your long-awaited new LP on your website, best tell your web host first, eh?

1 Yes, yes, yes, quoting yourself is the first sign of uparsedness2, but you know what? Go and write your own blog and keep doing it (sporadically) for four years, whilst working and raising kids and all that. Go on, do it.

2 The second being making words up, of course3

3 The third being copying David Foster Wallace1

Best. Gif. Ever. (even if I've missed the meme by 5 years)

4 In case you’re interested, joint #3 is “Ready, Able” by Grizzly Bear, #2 is “Marquee Moon” by Television and #1 is “Sun Is King” by Laura Veirs, which was something of a surprise, albeit a pleasant one.

MP3: Van Occupanther (Live) by Midlake

Roll Up, Roll Up, For Midlake’s Amazon Store

There’s Such A Lot Of The World To See

Things I wasn’t expecting, relating to Bill Callahan:

1. That he’d release a press photo of him smiling
2. That a photo of Bill Callahan smiling wouldn’t look like a serial killer just released from prison early, even though he did all them murders, and yes, sirree, there’s sure going to be a-killin’ happnin’ again soon
3. That he’d release a dub version of the first single from his new album.

Sweet Jebus

That’s 1 and 2 screwed then

So, Billy Boy has a new album out, named “Dream River“, on 17th September. Call me happy, as “Apocalypse” featured a couple of his finest ever songs (“Riding For The Feeling” still being a regular play round here). The non-dub version of the track “Javelin Unlanding” is below, and is frankly, a tad odd:

I guess he’s been listening to that Jamie XX/Gil Scott-Heron “I’m New Here” cover.

Still, when you’ve written songs like “Teenage Spaceship”, you can do what the hell you like. Your place amongst the immortals of music is assured.

Oh, wait, not "Moon"

Oh, wait, not “Moon”

MP3: Riding For The Feeling by Bill Callahan

MP3: I’m New Here by Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX

Buy Bill Callahan Music Here (Now)