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Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Top 10

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Top 10

Posted on 16 December 2015 by Dorian

This week sees the much-anticipated release of the latest instalment in the world’s most popular space opera series, Star Wars: The Force awakens. It is impossible to avoid such a big release and media saturation is reaching fever pitch as the premier approaches.

When we see a bandwagon of this magnitude the only realistic option is to jump aboard. Luckily space is just as rich a source of inspiration for songs as it is for films. So here, for your listening pleasure, is the top 10 songs about space.

10. The Byrds – Mr.Spaceman

Early Byrds records were dominated by Gene Clark songs and cover versions, until Clark quit after two albums. This left Jim/Roger McGuinn to write the bulk of the songs, including this novelty from their 3rd album in 1966.

9. Pere Ubu – I Hear They Smoke The Barbecue

For a short period in the early 90s Pere Ubu decided to try to be a pop band, with mixed results. This track, about aliens among us, is one of their more successful attempts at being radio friendly.

8. Ash – Angel Interceptor

Ash’s first album, 1977, is very appropriate here as it is named after the year when Star wars first hit cinema screens in the US. ‘Angel Interceptor’ is named after the aircraft in the TV show Captain Scarlet. ‘Girl From Mars’ may have been a more appropriate choice for this list, but this is a better song.

7. Rotifer – The Cosmonaut Who Never Flew

This track is taken from the Vostok 5 EP that was part of an art show about people and animals in space. I could have picked any of the tracks from that EP (they are all pretty great) but this contribution from Robert Rotifer is a wonderful reflection on the Soviet space programme.

6. Sun Kil Moon – Space Travel Is Boring

I’m not a huge fan of Sun Kil Moon, whereas I’ve always loved the work of Modest Mouse. This cover of ‘Space Travel Is Boring’ is great though, and eclipses the original.

5. Robert Pollard – Love Your Spaceman

Superman Was A Rocker was one of Pollard’s least successful solo releases, an overtly lo-fi collection of forgotten songs that should have mostly remained unreleased. However, this is a Robert Pollard album, dig in the dirt and you’ll normally find a diamond. “When Fred says Rock ‘n’ Roll!” indeed.

4. The Beastie Boys – Intergalactic

When the Beastie Boys first hit the scene in the mid-80s it seemed unlikely that they would be releasing critically acclaimed chart topping albums 15 years later, but they were and this track is one of their best.

3. The Star Wars Rap

15 years ago I had no idea what a viral video was, or what a meme was or even what social media was, but I did know that this video was funny. Luke’s whiny delivery, and the slightly odd gin and tonic reference, have stuck with me that whole time. Classic.

2. Hefner – Alan Bean

This was the lead single from Hefner’s “difficult” final album and is one of the band’s most evocative tracks. It tells the story of the 4th man on the moon, who devoted his post-astronaut years to painting pictures of the lunar landscape.

1. Neon Neon – I Told Her On Alderaan

Super Furry Animal Gruf Rhys and Boom Bip collaborating on a song named after Princess Leia’s home planet, on a concept album about the inventor of the DeLorean. Near perfect pop.

Compiled by Dorian Rogers

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Eyelids – Bound To Let You Down

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Eyelids – Bound To Let You Down

Posted on 14 October 2015 by Dorian

In this new video from Eyelids (Eyelids OR in the UK) the band show their more gruesome side as animated characters. The song is taken from their self-titled EP, produced by former REM guitarist Peter Buck.

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Tigercats – Sleeping In The Back Seat

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Tigercats – Sleeping In The Back Seat

Posted on 05 February 2015 by Dorian

Tigercats have just released a video for the song ‘Sleeping In The Back Seat’ from their excellent new album Mysteries. Watch the video below:

The band are on tour with Fever Dream in March and April, including a date in Brighton (promoted by Neon Filler) on the 27th March.

See the tour poster below for full dates:

Tigercats tour poster

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Clowwns – Shame On You

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Clowwns – Shame On You

Posted on 27 October 2014 by Joe

We are delighted to premier Shame On You, the excellent Dylan Thomas inspired track from Clowwns’s forthcoming debut album.

Based on this two minute psychedelic rock gem the album, The Artful Execution of Macho Bimbo, looks like one to check out when it is released in January next year by one of our favourite labels Bleeding Heart Recordings.

C L O W W N S – Shame On You from Horn Blower on Vimeo.

The Brighton based band’s  own description of their live shows sounds promising too, with them joyfully telling us in their press release that they perform with “celebrations of gleeful, bloody-minded fury.”

For the literary types among you Shame On You is influenced by Dylan Thomas’s poem Do Not Go Gentle In That Good Night. For the illiterary types among you just enjoy the great music instead.

Clowwns are Andrew Claridge (guitar), Miles Heathfield (vocals), Damo Waters (drummer) and Etienne Rodes (fuzz bass).

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 15.24

For more information visit their Facebook page or Bleeding Heart Recording’s homepage.

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Eyelids – Psych #1

Posted on 13 October 2014 by Dorian

This is the Alice In Wonderland influenced video for ‘Psych #1’, from the forthcoming album 854. 854 is the debut album from Eyelids, a band fronted by Chris Slusarenko and John Moen from Neon Filler favourites Boston Spaceships (amongst many other bands). The album is out on October 14th on Jealous Butcher and we’ll post our review next weekend.

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The New Pornographers – War on the East Coast

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The New Pornographers – War on the East Coast

Posted on 16 July 2014 by Dorian

On August 25th The New Pornographers release their new album Brill Bruisers on Matador records.

Brill Bruisers

To promote the release the band have made a video available for the song ‘War On The East Coast’ available on YouTube and you can watch the clip below.

The song is sung by Dan Bejar, also of Destroyer, and described by A.C Newman as being influenced by “mid-nineties second-tier Britpop attitude”.

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Glastonbury Festival ETC 2014 winners M+A

Posted on 08 April 2014 by Joe

London based Italian act M+A were the deserved winners of this year’s Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition. Here’s a clip of one of two tracks they performed at the competition’s finals at Pilton on April 5. This one is particularly reminiscent of Euro-popsters Yello. Great performance.

by Joe Lepper

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Guided By Voices – Motivational Jumpsuit

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Guided By Voices – Motivational Jumpsuit

Posted on 04 March 2014 by Dorian

Motivational Jumpsuit is the first Guided By Voices album since “drumgate” and as such slightly less of a classic line-up album than their previous post-reunion releases. Changes on the drum stool aside this is an album that continues the general style of the last four releases and may well be the strongest of the bunch.

Motivational Jumpsuit

At first I struggled with the album, it seemed very straight and focused but lacking in anything to really grab my attention. Coming back to it a few weeks later my response couldn’t have been more different. To start with the album opens with ‘The Littlest League Possible’ a perfect 80 seconds of psyche-punk-pop reflecting on being a cult musical concern. It is followed by ‘Until Next Time’ which proves to be one of those proper lo-fi low off-key gems that could be on pretty much any GBV album since the band started.

Importantly, because it indicates a confidence in Pollard’s writing, this album has a couple of bona fide classic singles. ‘Vote For Me Dummy’ may be the albums key track and sounds like a lost recording from the ‘Earthquake Glue’ album. (It is the common wisdom that the original “classic line-up” albums are where to go when listening to GBV and that things went downhill after that line-up split. I tend to disagree. Sure Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes are brilliant but I love Mag Earwig, Isolation Drills and Earthquake Glue almost as much. I’d take them over the last classic line-up album, Under The Bushes Under the Stars, any day of the week.)

The other great pop single on the album is ‘Planet Score and even has a video starring Breaking Bad’s Matt L. Jones. This song is one of those alternative reality chart hits that makes me wish I had control of the Radio 1 playlist.

Tobin Sprout also has a lot to offer, he has fully settled back into his role on these albums, playing Colin Moulding to Pollard’s Andy Partridge. The wistful 60s influenced ‘Jupiter Spin’ alone makes his contribution worthwhile. His songs add a balance to Pollard’s tracks and that is one good reason why this line-up of the band works so well.

Even as a committed fan I sometimes struggle to keep up with, and process, Pollard’s frenetic output.  There are likely to be more GBV albums coming this year and keeping up is my problem and not theirs. If the next album is as engaging and fresh as this one then bring it on.

9/10

By Dorian Rogers

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Free Swim – Transatlantic Tumnus

Posted on 27 January 2014 by Dorian

We are delighted to see the return of globe-trotter Paul Coltofeanu, last seen in his Android Angel guise, as the panda-pop genius that is Free Swim. The new video, below, for the song Transatlantic Tumnus is the first taste of their new EP due out later this year.

By Dorian Rogers

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Rotifer – Black Bag

Posted on 17 January 2014 by Joe

Another year, another video from emerging label Gare Du Nord. After showcasing the video for Ink Run II  from Papernut Cambridge we are now pleased to introduce BlackBag, the latest video from Rotifer.

This is being released ahead of a double A-side single, featuring the track along with a new song Queen’s Drive.

Black Bag, which is on Rotifer’s Top 20 Album of 2013 The Cavalry Never Showed Up, has proved a crowd favourite at gigs, especially when they  headlined our Oxjam gig in 2012.

The track really is about a Black Bag, being filled by Robert Rotifer during a clear out, and features Paul Rains from Allo Darlin’ on lapsteel.

Queen’s Drive, about a Finsbury Park hotel, features Will Glanfield in saxophone. We are informed via their press release that this track is set to herald a danceable, “dare we say funky” new direction on Rotifer’s next album.

Black Bag is released on January 27 and can be preordered from i-Tunes here.

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