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The 50 Best Scottish Bands of All Time

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 16, 2014 03:12pm | Post a Comment
Scottish Flag


By now you and I have heard the arguments for and against Scottish independence from the UK but as someone who has naturally bristled like a thistle when diasporic people argue passionately and ill-informedly about another country's political situations (which they are thankfully powerless to effect) I'll keep my political opinions to myself. What I will do instead is far more frivolous purposes -- that is list the best Scottish bands of all time.


*****
 

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of Scotland

Given its small population, Scotland has produced a fairly shocking amount of great music. Sure, there have been occasional English bands of note -- almost always from the north -- but I've always taken Anglophiles' preference for all things (assumed to be) English over English language pop from anywhere else as proof of a terminal subcultural defect. It's not really fair to blame England for Anglophiles any more than it is to blame Nirvana for Puddle of Mudd but I suppose it's because so many of the helmet-haired horde mistakenly think that I am one of them that they so vex me. How could I not be an Anglophile when I drink more tea than the average North African, enjoy curry in all of its Asian forms, and my favorite writer is Irish

Album Picks: AlunaGeorge, Belle & Sebastian, The Dodos, Franz Ferdinand

Posted by Billy Gil, August 27, 2013 09:15am | Post a Comment

AlunaGeorgeBody Music

alunageorgeAlunaGeorge’s combination of The xx’s nighttime vibes with the coolness and precise beatwork of Aaliyah’s collaborations with Missy Elliott and Timbaland might seem like a mess on paper, but Body Music plays out more enjoyably than a thousand breathless, hypey articles could’ve predicted. Early singles “You Know You Like It” and “Your Drums, Your Love” appear here and are as silky smooth as ever, but the rest of Body Music impresses as well — I’m partial to the skittering R&B bounce of “Lost & Found.” Aluna Francis’ vocals are unassuming enough to pull of lines like “your body is like music, baby,” and George Reid’s production is plugged into modern trends — some vocal manipulation here and there, washed out ’80s synths aplenty — but he skillfully calls to mind late ’80s/early ’90s new jack swing in cadence and feel, without ever really appropriating those sounds, something easier said than done. And what’s more, Body Music comes off as pretty effortless and sexy, not cold and calculated. It’s is a rousing success, innovative and intriguing while remaining thoroughly pleasurable.

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New Albums Out Today, New Ones Coming in July/August

Posted by Billy Gil, July 3, 2012 06:36pm | Post a Comment
Today saw the releases of new albums by Belle & Sebastian member Stevie Jackson, comedian Doug Benson and a 7” from Animal Collective, among others. Check out what’s out today and what’s coming down the pipe:
 
Stevie Jackson
Stevie Jackson – (I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson
 
(I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson makes a name for itself quite outside of Belle & Sebastian, coming off like the next in line of a lineage of singer-songwriters who exist on their own terms, from John Cale to Brian Eno to Elvis Costello. Far from just being twee, Jackson rocks out to a new wave beat on “Try Me,” singing “I got pills and I’m lookin’ for thrills/At the same time I want to start a family.” The distinctive, reverb-laden lead guitar he lends Belle & Sebastian is on songs like the lovely display on the Kinks-y “Richie.” And even at his most clearly indebted to Summer of Love-era rock, he creates a varied and thoroughly rewarding listen, notably on the swinging, Mamas & Papas-style “Where Do All the Good Girls Go?”

doug benson
Doug Benson – Smug Life
 
Huge pot fan and hilarious comedian Doug Benson releases two different versions of the same jokes on Smug Life, both performed on April 20 (4/20!) at the same club. It plays like a case study in how varied performances of the same material can yield such different results — in one case, you hear a comment yelled from the audience that gets incorporated into the joke in the later performance.

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out this week 10/12 & 10/19...Belle & Sebastian...Antony & the Johnsons...Sufjan Stevens....Morrissey Bona Drag 20th Anniversary

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 28, 2010 01:16pm | Post a Comment
sufjan stevens
October
is always one of my favorite months. I love when summer starts to go away and it starts to get cold again. We have been having some October rain out here in Los Angeles that has been fabulous! This also means that Halloween is right around the corner! Many labels save their big releases for the end of the year, which also makes this time of year exciting for those of us that love music. October 12th is a big release day -- three of my favorite artists have releases on this date! It's almost too much to handle! Sufjan Stevens, Belle & Sebastian, & Antony & the Johnsons all have new albums -- all in one day! I have been patiently waiting for Sufjan to continue his series on all the 50 States. He gave us the brilliant Illinois and Michigan and then nothing else. I am of course wanting California and New York, but also all the States in between. I am hoping that he has actually been working on them in secret. He just continues to release these other albums to distract us, right? But then in a couple of years he will release a comprehensive 50 state box set. It will have an album for each state and also contain 2 7"s for the commonwealths and it will come with a puzzle. I could even be satisfied with an album of 150 songs with 3 songs for each state -- just give me something, Sufjan! A 7" for each state would also be amazing! His new album is called Age of Adz. I sort of had a strange reaction to it at first. It incorporates some electronics and at times sounds like a Lil Jon album...but it is still Sufjan, and I still love it. I just takes a couple of listens.

Belle & Sebastian
's new album Write About Love also belle & sebastian stuarttook a couple of listens to fall in love with. I was sort of still on my Belle & Sebastian high from seeing them in Vegas. And I do love the contest they ran to get fans to write about love. There are some great songs on Write About Love for sure but I really could have lived without the Norah Jones duet. I know this band is both easy to love and hate. Some people are very proud of their hatred of the band. I am one of the lovers of the band and I always will feel the same.

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belle & sebastian write about love! out 10/12!

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 9, 2010 12:13pm | Post a Comment
new Belle & Sebastian album
Write About Love

out Tuesday, 10/12, on Matador Records!

belle & sebastian write about love

pick up the new album on CD or LP at Amoeba on Tuesday!
(there will be a limited edition free 7"..."suicide girl" b/w "last trip"... with purchase at the store...available while supplies last!)

or buy the CD now at Amoeba.com...





Buy
Belle & Sebastian Write About Love 
CD $10.98




all purchases of the cd or lp include the chance to get meet Stuart and have him write a song about you to be released on 7" next year!....more details here...

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