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Decades

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Decades

Posted on 09 September 2020 by Dorian

We’ve been relatively quiet on the site this year, and personally I’ve struggled to find anything to write about since lock-down started. I’ve enjoyed listening to music, but the differences in circumstance definitely changed how I was engaging with it. I certainly didn’t feel much like writing about it.

It isn’t that I wasn’t hearing new music, there have been some great new albums this year from the likes of Rolling Blackouts C.F, The Orielles and great reissues from Guided By Voices, Yo La Tengo and others. In fact my record buying increased as a conscious effort to help my excellent local record shop Resident. Part of the problem was that (for a long while) I was relying on delivery or the rare occasions I could time a trip to town to pick up a pre-ordered record and that added extra effort. The other problem I found was the lack of live music. I much prefer covering gigs to reviewing albums, and seeing all the events I’d planned on attending get cancelled one by one was dispiriting.

In order to get some music, and a social form of music at that, I looked for other ideas. For a few years now myself an a friend have been DJ’ing as The Jangle Brothers. Our aim was to play the music we love, a lot of which we didn’t see being played in our native Brighton. Most of the music we play is what gets classed as indie or alternative, but we wanted to do something a bit different. Moist indie nights are fixated either on the 80s or the Brit-Pop era, occasionally coming as far forwards as The Arctic Monkeys. We wanted to play music from all eras, and also celebrate some of the great bands releasing albums today. We set ourselves very few rules beyond that other than adopting a strict “no lad rock” policy.

In the most part we played in local pubs and at parties and weddings. One of the high-points of last year was being DJs at the Larmer Tree Festival silent disco. Much fun had by all in the woods.

With no ability to play, or even go to, pubs we decided to try something different. We came up with an online night called Decades.

Decades

Decades is an online music night that we put on every Saturday evening between 9pm and midnight at Mixlr.com/Jangle. Originally we very much saw the night as an at-home disco, but it soon became apparent that it was something different from that. It was an opportunity to hear and share great music, and to engage with other music fans.

Why is it called Decades? Well not just because it’s the final track on Closer by Joy Division. For the first two hours, we play 20 minutes worth of top notch indie racket from the 60s, then the 70s and so on, through to the 2010s. Then for the last hour, it’s a free for all and requests from the listeners. We keep things social via the chat window, which has become a lovely thing. Over time, we’ve built up a friendly little community where we chat about the music we’re hearing, along with whatever else people want to talk about or share. Using emojis to describe songs titles has also become something of an art form.

This coming weekend sees our 24th event. Over the weeks we have come up with different themes for the evenings, sometimes the theme is a style or mood of music, sometimes a subject, sometimes music from different parts of the world. Last week and this coming week we decided to make the sets a kind of best-of. Some of our favourite songs and loads of songs that have gone down well in previous weeks. You can hear recordings of most of our previous sets on our show-reel page.

One day we hope to be back out at gigs, and playing music to people face to face. Until then we’ll continue to try and build an online community. Come and join us.

By Dorian Rogers

The next Decades event is on Saturday 12th September and you can take a look at the Facebook event. Decades takes place between 9pm and midnight every Saturday night at Mixlr.com/jangle.

You can follow The jangle Brothers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Top 10 – 1987

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Top 10 – 1987

Posted on 02 December 2017 by Dorian

This year is the 30th anniversary of 1987. This isn’t a year that typically gets identified as being a particularly important one for music, but it was an important one for this young indie fan. Aged 15 I’d just started to develop my own taste and, for the first time, had some income that I could use to buy records with.

One year after NME’s legendary C86 cassette we were starting to see bands from that “scene” bringing out albums and breaking (to some extent) into the mainstream. For me it was a wonderful time to discover music and I still own most of the records I purchased at that age.

This top 10 may not be the definitive best songs of 1987, brilliant records by The Smiths, Prince, Hüsker Dü, Julian Cope, Big Black, Sonic Youth, The Go-Betweens, Dinosaur Jr, New Order, The Pixies and more came out that year, but it is a reflection of my experience of music at the time.

10.  The Soup Dragons – Can’t Take No More

The Soup Dragons aren’t well-remembered, and when they are it is seldom for this song, but I have a great fondness for this record. The mix of British guitar jangle pop, and a fast paced fuzziness, is what defines this era for me and I think this is a bit of a lost classic.

9.  Pailhead – I Will Refuse

The partnership of former Minor Threat Ian MacKaye and Revolting Cock Al Jourgensen seems a bit of an odd one in retrospect, but together they produced a pretty amazing noise for a couple of EPs. This song is the best of the bunch. Play loud.

8.  The Dukes of the Stratosphere – You’re My Drug

I don’t know if it is true or apocryphal but the story goes that XTC were so out of fashion by the late 80s that even their records as a fictional 60s psychedelia band sold better than their “real” records. This song is so authentically produced that you could forgive someone for thinking they were a genuine lost act of the flower-power era.

7.  Age of Chance – Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Noise

A sound they called “sonic metal disco” and a penchant for cycling gear wasn’t enough to give the Age of Chance much of a career. However, their debut album was pretty unique and spawned some genuinely excellent singles. This is one of them.

 6.  Voice of the Beehive – I Say Nothing

This list is a bit of an (unintentional) “where are they now?” and Voice of the Beehive are another forgotten act. I think that this single was brilliant but I admit that them being my first ever gig may be a factor in this choice.

5.  The Sugarcubes – Birthday

I loved the Chart Show. I loved it most when the indie chart was the specialist chart for the week (oh, the disappointment of heavy metal or dance) and seeing this song in that chart was an eye opener. Even now I still have no idea exactly how the song is constructed as a variety of clashing melodies compete for attention behind Bjork’s unmistakable vocal performance.

4.  They Might Be Giants – Don’t Let’s Start

They Might Be Giants are too often dismissed as a comedy or novelty act. This assessment misses just what a creative and unique pop band they are. This is great and kick-started a long time love for the band.

3.  The Wedding Present – My Favourite Dress

The Wedding Present would be number 1 in an album chart for 1987, the album George Best is still a treasured part of my vinyl collection. There are so many great tracks that I could pick, but this single from the album just about takes pride of place.

2.  That Petrol Emotion – Genius Move

That Petrol Emotion are a band that deserve more of a place in musical history. Formed by The Undertones’ O’Neill brothers they released five excellent albums in a seven-year career. This single is among my favourites of their many excellent songs and gets the nod here as it is not available (to my knowledge) in any format. Spotify has a version on the band’s posthumous live album,  but nothing beats the original single which lives on via YouTube.

1. Faith No More – We Care A Lot

This song would have always been in this chart, but the recent sad death of Chuck Mosley and a nostalgia filled revisiting of the video may have pushed it up a place or two. It is a great single, completely unique, and worthy of a number 1 spot. RIP Chuck.

What songs would you pick as your best of 1987? If you are apoplectic that I haven’t selected ‘True Faith’, or have a love for something from Sinitta’s debut album, please post your choices below.

Compiled by Dorian Rogers

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Grant Hart – Top 10

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Grant Hart – Top 10

Posted on 17 September 2017 by Dorian

I’m not a huge fan of eulogising the dead, I think that praise and recognition is something that is much more powerful when someone is still alive. However, I do understand the sadness, and need for catharsis, that people feel when someone important to them passes away. In the case of someone like David Bowie it is in part due to the huge impact their music has had over the decades. In the case of someone like Grant Hart, who died of cancer aged only 56 this week, it is in part due to the lack of perceived impact they had on the musical landscape.

Grant Hart has never been afforded the same level of respect as his Hüsker Du band mate Bob Mould. He didn’t write and sing quite as many songs with that band as Mould did, but many of his contributions stand amongst the bands best. His solo work gets far less attention and even though he formed a new band (Nova Mob) some three years before Mould formed Sugar you won’t see anniversary editions of either of their albums in your record shop.

Here is a selection of ten of my favourite tracks from across his career, a hard job to whittle down to such a short list. I’ve split the songs (presented in chronological order) 50/50 between Hüsker Du and solo work. I urge you to seek out the albums that these songs are taken from. The non-Hüsker Du work is well represented on Spotify although harder to buy in physical form.

Diane

This song, from Metal Circus, is about a real life murder and is perhaps better known as a single that the band Therapy? released 15 years later.

Pink Turns To Blue

Zen Arcade is my favourite album by the band, and an extremely influential record demonstrating much more scope and invention than a hardcore punk band was supposed to display. I’ve decided to only pick one song from any album for this list and it was tough to exclude ‘Never Talking To You Again’, but this is possibly my favourite from the album. Also one of the few songs where I could find really good quality live footage.

Terms Of Psychic Warfare

New Day Rising was always going to suffer following Zen Arcade but it is still a great album. This excellent footage gives you two bonus tracks; ‘Powerline’ and ‘Books About UFOs’.

Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely

It says something about Hart’s growing stature in the band that both singles taken from their first major label release, Candy Apple Gray, are his compositions. This is one of them.

Back From Somewhere

Bob Mould famously told Grant Hart that he would never have as many songs on a Hüsker Du album as him. On their final release, Warehouse Songs And Stories, Hart had nine of the twenty tracks.

The Main

Intolerance is a really fascinating album, with Hart handling all musical and production duties on the record. ‘2541’ almost made this list, but this piano driven song about drug addiction is one of his most powerful recordings.

Admiral Of The Sea

I picked up the 12″ single of this track shortly after it was released. I remember spinning it over and over when I got home.

You Don’t Have To Tell Me Now

This song, from Good News For Modern Man, is another example of hart’s gift for introspective love songs. This version is a live audio recording from what may have been his last live tour.

You’re The Reflection Of The Moon On The Water

In which Grant Hart goes all ‘White Light/White Heat’ for his 2009 album Hot Wax.

For Those Too High Aspiring

His final release, 2013’s The Argument, isn’t the easiest of listens. It is a sprawling concept album based on John Milton’s Paradise Lost and needs a few listens to get into. It is worth the effort though, like Zen Arcade it proves that the best work is ambitious and cerebral and takes a bit of effort to understand. This is the last song from his final album, and seems an appropriate way to end this list.

By Dorian Rogers

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Sixteen of the Best Songs of 2016

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Sixteen of the Best Songs of 2016

Posted on 29 December 2016 by Dorian

We recently published our Top 20 Albums of 2016, but this only reflected a section of the amazing songs that came out this year.  There were great albums we missed, albums that just missed out and songs that came out on single this year. So, as a bit of an end of year bonus, here are the best songs of 2016 that didn’t feature in our end of year album list.

16. ESP Ohio – Royal Cyclopean

It wouldn’t be Neon Filler without a Robert Pollard track, and this horn driven gem from his latest collaboration with Doug Gillard is one of his best this year.

15. The Wedding Present – Rachel

There are rumours that this year’s Wedding Present album may be there last, if that is the case then they are finishing on something of a high.

14. Childish Bambino – Me and Your Mama

Donald Glover is a successful comic actor, the face of the young Lando Calrissian and a Grammy award-winning singer, sickeningly talented.

13. The Shins – Dead Alive

The Shins releasing a song that sounds like they could have recorded 15 years ago may not seem that exciting, unless you think early Shins is about as good as music gets. Which I do.

12. Allo Darlin’ – Hymn on the 45

Allo Darlin’ sadly called in at day in 2016, but just as they played their final shows they released one last single. A final document, if nothing else, of why they’ll be missed.

11. Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

Car Seat Headrest is the work of Will Toledo, this year’s bespectacled indie geek de jour. The album justifies the hype this time around.

10. The Avalanches – Subways

The new Avalanches album may not be much of a step forward given the huge gap between this and their debut recording, but there were enough good songs to make it worth a listen.

9. Parquet Courts – Human Performance

The New York band have been releasing consistently great music since they broke through with Light Up Gold in 2012. The title track from their latest album shows them in almost subdued mode.

8. Angel Olsen – Shut Up and Kiss Me

2016 was a bit of a breakthrough year for Angel Olsen, her 4th LP getting a lot of attention and radio play. This track showcases as much fuzz-pop as folk and is a bit of a break from the softer country vibe she’s associated with.

7. Case/Lang/Veirs – Best Kept Secret

Three of the best vocalists in country-pop come together and, unsurprisingly, the results are great.

6. Okkervil River – Judy on the Street

Every two or three years Will Sheff’s band release an album and they all range from good to excellent. This track from Away is no exception to the rule.

5. Teenage Fanclub – Thin Air

More than a quarter if a century in and Teenage Fanclub can still produce some of the best melodic guitar pop around.

4. Girl Ray – Trouble

One of the best bands that we saw at Indietracks this year and one of the bands to watch out for in 2017.

3. Field Music – Disappointed

Due to its release at a busy time we sadly didn’t get round to reviewing Field Music’s excellent 2016 album Commontime. We still loved it though and can assure you it was a typically excellent release from the Brewis brothers. This was a single and one of the best tracks.

2. Luke Haines – Smash The System

Smash The System saw Haines revisit some of his previous themes, with a number of nods to his Baader Meinhof album. The Monkees references in this song are confusing but welcome.

1. Eyelids – Slow It Goes

Eyelids didn’t have a new album out in 2016, that is coming next year, but they did release this song and showcased what we can look forward to. Excellent video as well.

Compiled by Dorian Rogers

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Top 10 Songs From 1991- One Of Music’s Best Ever Years

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Top 10 Songs From 1991- One Of Music’s Best Ever Years

Posted on 04 December 2016 by Dorian

This year is widely seen, even as it continues, as being one of the worst years in history.

Political upheaval, bloody conflict and ecological collapse are all themes of the year, as is celebrity death. The latter has been particularly true in music with a number of musical legends leaving us this year.

It has also been a year of notable musical anniversaries with loads of excellent albums celebrating their 10th, 15th, 20th, or 25th anniversaries.

Most notable to me has been the number of great albums from 1991 that celebrating a quarter of a century this year. It may be my age (I was a music obsessed 19 year old in 1991) but it is striking just how many amazing records were released in that year.

Among the albums released were debuts by acts as varied Blur, Mercury Rev, The Smashing Pumpkins, Orbital, 2 Pac, Massive Attack, St. Etienne, Pearl Jam and Mr. Bungle. Julian Cope, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur Jr, Uncle Tupelo, Slint, KLF and Talk Talk all released albums that were arguably their career best during the year.

The best of year lists for 1991 read like those “100 albums to hear before you die” books with Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, REM’s Out of Time, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and Nirvana’s Nevermind all hitting the shelves of HMV and Virgin.

It also marked the release of Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque, an album that doesn’t get talked about as much today but beat all of the above to be voted album of the year by Spin magazine, and is one of the albums that I always go back to.

So here, in honour of its 25th anniversary, is a selected Top 10 of 1991.

10. Pixies – Alec Eiffel

9. Talk Talk – Myrrhman

8. Mercury Rev – Car Wash Hair

7.  Slint – Good Morning Captain

6.  Dinosaur Jr – The Wagon

5. Throwing Muses – Counting Backwards

4. REM – Half a World Away

3. Julian Cope – Beautiful Love

2. Uncle Tupelo – Watch Me Fall

1. Teenage Fanclub – Alcoholiday

Compiled by Dorian Rogers

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European Referendum Top 10

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European Referendum Top 10

Posted on 22 June 2016 by Dorian

This week will see the British public voting in a referendum to decide whether to remain part of the European Union or not. We are a music site, not a political one,  so we aren’t here to influence whether you vote in or out and we will remain impartial.

However, if you are voting and not sure which way to jump, perhaps our European Referendum Top 10 will help you to decide.

British Sea Power – Waving Flags

Immigration is a hot topic in the European debate. British Sea Power take a more welcoming stance than many “Oh welcome in” they sing.

Bis – Eurodisco

“The party’s at its end” sing Scottish popsters Bis. Is this an unlikey foreshadowing of the end of our relationship with the EU?

Allo Darlington- Europe

A British band with an Australian singer performing a song about Europe in Vienna. If that isn’t an endorsement of freedom of movement I don’t know what is.

The Divine Comedy- Europop

“It’s taken time but I’ll think you’ll find that everything is alright” sings Neil Hannon. Is he singing about the European project? Probably not.

Guided By Voices- The Littlest League Possible

This song is about independence and being a big fish in a small pond. Will the UK be better off as the only fish in a small pond?

Billy Bragg – There Is Power In A Union

Billy isn’t a European Union enthusiast exactly but he is voting remain, so that seems reason enough to see this as an endorsement of a different kind of union than it was originally intended.

The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Stay of go? That is the big question. And this is the laziest song choice on a fairly lazy list.

Phil Ochs – Love Me I’m A Liberal

Liberals get a lot of bad press from both sides in the debate. Phil Ochs had a similarly disparaging view back in 1966.

Gruff Rhys – I Love EU

Gruf Rhys is pretty clear when he sits in the debate and this is his “official” pro-remain anthem. I’m sure that there are Brexit songs out there, but I suspect they aren’t very good.

Roxy Music – A Song For Europe

I have no idea where Bryan Ferry stands on the Europe question, I suspect he is closely monitoring any potential effect on his share portfolio. Former Roxy Music colleagues Brian Eno and Phil Manazanera have both come out in favour of remaining however. Read into that what you will, this is an excellent song whichever way you look at things.

Compiled by Dorian Rogers

 

 

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent 2016 Competition Launches

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent 2016 Competition Launches

Posted on 14 January 2016 by Joe

Details of this year’s Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent competition, which offers UK and Ireland based acts a chance to play on one of the iconic event’s main stages, have been announced.

As well as a main stage slot, the winner will receive a £5,000 talent development prize from PRS for Music Foundation. There are also £2,500 PRS development prizes for two runners up.

etcjudgebutton2016

We are also delighted to announce that Neonfiller.com’s editor Joe Lepper will once again be among a panel of 40 music writers, who will be helping to compile a long list of 120 acts.

This long list will then be whittled down to an eight-strong shortlist by judges including festival organisers Michael and Emily Eavis. All eight will then compete at a live finals at Pilton Working Men’s Club, near to the festival site, in April, when the winner will be announced.

The competition is free to enter and open to any musical genre. But you need to get a move on as it is only open for entries for one week only, from 9am Monday 18th January until 5pm Monday 25th January 2016 via glastonburyfestivals.co.uk.

When entering acts need to supply an original song on Soundcloud plus a link to a video of themselves performing live.

For the last two years the quality of the eight finalists has been so high that all were offered slots at that year’s festival.

Declan McKenna performing at Glastonbury last year

Declan McKenna performing at Glastonbury last year. Photo by Joe Lepper

The 2015 winner Declan McKenna, who was aged just 16 when he won, has since been signed by management company QPrime, which also handles Metallica, Muse and Foals.

Last year also proved a breakthrough year for Nadine Shah, one of Neonfiller.com’s three long list entrants in 2013. As well as the release of her critically acclaimed album Fast Food, Nadine also featured on two tracks on Ghost Poet’s album Shedding Skin.

Commenting on the launch of this year’s competition Emily Eavis said: “New music has always been a huge part of what we do at Glastonbury, and the Emerging Talent Competition has become an incredible way for us to discover and help draw attention to the very latest talent.”

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Top Five Protest Songs of 2015

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Top Five Protest Songs of 2015

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Joe

From the tragic consequences of US gun laws to the UK’s ongoing debate around inequality and low wages as well as worldwide debate around the plight of refugees fleeing war torn Syria, it’s been another year where political songwriters have had lots of inspiration.

Here we take a look at our five favourite political songs. All can be loosely called protest songs, but also offer more than that, often looking at the real lives of those affected by the political decisions taking place.

Darren Hayman – Down Among the Dead Men

Chants for Socialists is a rare political album from Darren Hayman. As you would expect from the former Hefner frontman it carries none of the bombast of Chumbawumba. Instead he has taken the lyrics from Victorian socialist William Morris, set it to music and given it a modern take with a choir of friends and those living nearby Morris’s former London home.

On this, one of the album’s standout tracks, Hayman successfully conveys a comforting sense of comraderie among the hopelessness of a world of social injustice, all sounding like a mix of The Kinks and a Victorian pub singalong thanks to co-writing duties from frequent Hayman collaborator Robert Rotifer.

Villagers- Little Bigot

A few years it would have been inconceivable that Ireland, with all the atrocities its Catholic society forced on women and gay people would allow same sex marriages. In the year Ireland really came of age Villagers frontman Conor O’Brien penned the album Darling Arithmetic, which is as much about Ireland’s attitude to gay men like himself as it is a wonderful collection of songs about love.

He is keen that this shold be seen as a love album first and a protest album second, but on Little Bigot he rejoices as finally the old way of thinking is cast aside. “So take the blame, little bigot. And throw that hatred on the fire,” he sings.

Belle and Sebastian – Cat with the Cream

Politicians and the banking elite are the smug cats here on Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch’s bitter take on British politics. Written after the Tory led coalition came into power in 2010 it was not released until this year when the Conservatives won an outright victory and looked to lap up even more cream. ‘Tory like a cat with the cream’ sums up many of that party’s politics wonderfully, but Labour and their ‘grubby little red’ MPs and the Lib Dems ‘flapping hopelessly’ also come under fire.

John Howard and the Night Mail – Tip of your Shoe

This is the second mention in this list of protest songs for Robert Rotifer, who in between fronting his own band Rotifer and helping Darren Hayman out, also collaborated this year with 1970s singer songwriter John Howard as part of the Night Mail. Here Rotifer’s lyrics and Howard’s wonderful voice and music take on xenophobia and right wing media commentators, especially ones of the likes of Katie Hopkins, who spout all sorts of vile political rubbish on their “21st century toilet wall” of social media.

Southern Tenant Folk Union – Slaughter in San Francisco


It seems incredulous that the US government still allows gun ownership to go unchecked in yet another year of horrific shootings. The school shootings are particular tragic and provide the sad inspiration for Slaughter in San Francisco, among the best songs on Southern Tenant Folk Union’s album The Chuck Norris Project, which is packed full of protest at a range of issues from bigotry to gun laws.

Here singer Rory Butler provides genuine emotion as he shows the horror of such incidents through the eyes of one of the frightened young victims. It’s one of the year’s most heartbreaking songs that sadly is set to have resonance for years to come until the US legislature finally sees sense on gun crime.

Compiled by Joe Lepper

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We gave an indie band a bad review…the response from one fan shocked us

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We gave an indie band a bad review…the response from one fan shocked us

Posted on 09 November 2015 by Joe

A strange thing happened last week following an album review we posted. For the first time in around six years of reviews and features we got our first piece of Twitter abuse.

We’ve had fans disagree with one of our views before. There have been people telling us our end of year best of lists are wrong to miss out a particular band or album. We’ve had bands respond sometimes with sadness about a review, but mostly with happiness for getting a mention. We’ve even been persuaded to change our minds about a review after strong lobbying from fans.

But we’ve never been sworn at and we’ve never been told to censor a review just because one of their fans disagrees with it

Here’s the particular Twitter response, from @coolguitarboy

swearyone

We were pretty surprised that our negative review for the debut album by London quintet The Leaf Library could garner such a response so we reTweeted it and copied @coolguitarboy in.

Then came something back from him  that was thankfully less sweary-pops, but nevertheless also worrying.

secondone

This response is something that we hear from time to time among indie music fans, in particular, that their beloved artists are somehow sacred because they don’t earn the mega bucks of their major label contemporaries. They believe that music reviewers and blogs should not print anything critical about them. But why not?

These bands and their labels are producing a product that they are asking consumers to buy. They then hire PR people to send them to people like us to review. If that product is not original, not interesting, perhaps just a bit bland surely it is right that reviewers give their honest opinion. Independent bands and labels are not charities. They are producing things to sell and if they sell a lot then perhaps they either run out or end up doing a deal with a major? Its business, but for the most part on a very small scale.

Of course subjectivity is also involved in a review, one fan’s “awesome must buy” is another reviewer’s “unimaginative mess”. But surely differing opinions on an album are allowed?

Surely it would be better for the likes of ‘coolguitarboy’ to tell us why an album that we have given a bad review of is so good.

Sufjan Stevens fans did this to us for our review of his Age of Adz album. They were so good at arguing their case that I went back and relistened and relistened and ended up agreeing with them. I was wrong on that one. Maybe I’m wrong about The Leaf Library.

I’ve yet to meet a label or a band that advocates such censorship and that they should be given protected status. Even Leaf Library shared our review, with a little joke too.

leaflibrary

They did this because a) they still recognise that someone has taken the time to listen to them rather than ignore them b) they are probably really nice people and c) they take reviews from small blogs like us with a pinch of salt.

The final point is the insinuation that blogs like ours are on the gravy train (admittedly a pretty rubbish one involving free CDs and gig tickets) and also don’t buy CDs or support independent music.

We spend vast sums each year on music both live and on disc. We also pay for the upkeep of this blog to promote those that do not often get reviewed. We get no money for it and give up our time to do that.

Just ask artists like John Howard, one of the most fiercely independent and talented artists around, or labels like Gare Du Nord records and their roster that includes the hugely talented Alex Highton, Rotifer, Picture Box, Ralegh Long and Papernut Cambridge. Or ask labels like Fika Recordings, Brighton’s Bleeding Hearts or Wiaiwya, who did release The Leaf Library’s album but have also attracted favourable reviews from us in the past. All will vouch for our credentials as a blog that is extremely keen to promote good music.

But if any of the above produce something that is poor we will also give our honest opinion. We  will not lie about a product that we believe is not up to scratch.

The bands themselves don’t want to be treated like a charity case. That demeans them more than a bad review by someone who has taken time to listen to their music and give an opinion on it.

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Guided By Voices – Closed For Business

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Guided By Voices – Closed For Business

Posted on 22 September 2014 by Dorian

So, Guided By Voices have split again, as announced a couple of days ago via their Facebook page and website. The second time they have formally split, the first being in 2004, and the end of the second edition of the “classic line-up”.

GBV Closed

In this second version they never made it to the UK, an aborted ATP show was the closest they got, and I have my doubts that Bob Pollard will ever return to these shores in any musical guise.

The Guardian responded to the news with an article asking if it was possible to pick the five best songs by the band. I have tried this task and found that there are just too many songs to make that possible. I decided to scale down the task; so here (in no particular order) are my top five from the six “comeback” albums.

Doughnut For A Snowman

Everywhere Is Miles From Everywhere

Planet Score

Bad Love Is Easy To Do

Waving At Airplanes

By Dorian Rogers

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