Tag Archive | "Late Night Tales"

Late Night Tales – After Dark Nightshift

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Late Night Tales – After Dark Nightshift

Posted on 03 July 2014 by Joe

There’s something not quite right about this second After Dark addition to the usually excellent Late Night Tales series, in which well known acts dazzle us with 20 or so laid back obscurities from across the decades.

AfterDark2_Cover_500px

Among the very best are those that help us to understand their influences, are eclectic and bring some new tracks to our attention. For example, Bonobo’s recent curation of the series did this well with the inclusion of Nina Simone’s Baltimore and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble’s Flipside.

But here we have merely a bland collection of laid back dance music, collected once again by the first After Dark release’s curator Bill Brewster.

To be fair to Late Night Tales they have tagged this After Dark collection as a “tangent” to the series, and offering a “DJ led club focused” sound.

Brewster goes further though and has confidently said of After Dark that it is “dance music for people who know how to make love.”

Sadly though on this evidence it’s an offshoot to the Late Night Tales brand that is perhaps more suited to people who know how to make bland, uneventful sex that is best forgotten. I can’t see too many genuine super studs rushing out to buy this.

The Salsoul Invention’s Soul Machine is about as interesting and sexy as this collection gets. While the  Neurotic Drum Band’s supposedly sexy Neurotic Erotic Adventure is surely some kind of joke song so bad is its wooing ability.

I always imagine Late Night Tales best played as the title suggests, late at night and among a group of friends, chatting and enjoying the music. By attempting some kind of crude sexual “do you want to come back to my place while I play something boring” angle it sadly soils the good name of Late Night Tales.

Too often the tracks here sound like sad background music for people with nothing to say. If it is to lead to sex it’s likely to be reluctant and in a bid to avoid the tedium of most of this collection. Take Mugwump’s  Boutade (Miseri Dub). The beat and riff go on, on and them on some more. It just wills you to press fast forward, fall asleep, have forgetful sex or at the very least search out a non-misery version.

Despite this stain on the brand’s name we remain firm fans of the Late Night Tales series and the usual love of music it conveys. Roll on the next better release.

2/10

By Joe Lepper

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Django Django – Late Night Tales

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Django Django – Late Night Tales

Posted on 30 April 2014 by Joe

Anyone who has been following Django Django  on Facebook for the last four years will know the act are tailor made to curate the Late Night Tales series. From funk and soul oddities to indie obscurities their links have brightened up our  fix of Zuckerberg action on a daily basis.

Django

It must have been a tough gig for Django Django, the band that formed in art college and blends indie pop with Bo Diddley and electronica like no other, to narrow down their selection to the required 19 songs and one cover version as the latest Late Night Tales curator.

For the cover  version they have excelled with a modern shuffling, almost trip-hoppy take on The Monkees psychedelic pop gem Porpoise Song. This comes towards the end of their collection, just before the traditional spoken word track that always concludes each release.

They start proceedings well too, with Leo Kottke’s acoustic guitar track The Tennessee Toad creating a nice laid back atmosphere.

In the middle though there are peaks and troughs. Among the highlights are Game Love by Gulp, the little known Welsh act formed by Super Furry Animal’s Guto Pryce with Scottish singer Lindsey Leven. It’s a great choice and gives deserved publicity to this interesting band.

Another fine track to be unearthed is Bone by Map of Africa, the genre hopping project of Thomas Bullock and DJ Harvey. More well know stellar offerings are Surf’s Up by The Beach Boys and Massive Attack’s Man Next Door.

But what counts against the Djangos spell at the helm is a weaker final third, with OutKast’s Slum Beautiful and a Live Garage Mix of Roy Davis Jnr’s Garage falling a little flat.

Harry Nilsson’s Coconut provides some humour and Canned Heat’s Poor Moon some class thankfully  in what is otherwise a disappointing segment of the collection.

Albeit with some misses they’ve done a fairly decent good job narrowing down what must have been a long list of hundreds for this project. For raising the profile of Gulp and covering The Monkees they also get extra brownie points from us.

7.5/10

by Joe Lepper

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Friendly Fires – Late Night Tales

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Friendly Fires – Late Night Tales

Posted on 21 November 2012 by Joe

Here’s a quick guide to being a successful curator of a Late Night Tales album. Make sure you present a collection of laid back music that has a general coherence, showcases your influences, offers a couple of surprisingly good off the wall choices, a cover version, a story at the end and you’re all done.

Sounds simple enough but not everyone can make it a success. Belle and Sebastian, with their look at laid back pop over the decades and Midlake’s focus on folk rock were superb examples of a curator getting it right. But the series’ most recent effort by Metronomy failed miserably, darting all over genres and offering few tracks of interest.

After that disaster the pressure was firmly on Friendly Fires to prove that Late Night Tales is still one of the finest series of compilations around.

Fans of Friendly Fires  and the series should be pleased to hear they pass with flying colours. It’s not a collection as good as say Belle and Sebastian’s but they still tick all of the aforementioned boxes, focusing on their key influences of 70s and 80s electronica and merging the genre well with the shoegaze of the Cocteau Twins and Slowdive and remarkably Olivia Newton John.

It’s John’s 1971 b-side Love Song that shines brightest here, a wonderful, forgotten slow pop track, full of the kind of guitar arrangements that are sure to have influenced a host of alternative acts, not just Friendly Fires.

Friendly Fires cover of Eberhard Schoener and Sting’s 1978 Why Don’t You Answer is another interesting moment that sticks to the Late Night Tales template well and breathes some new life into the song.

Other highlights include Bibio’s Don’t Summarise My Summer Eyes and Slowdive’s Shine, which is wonderful to hear and shows how similar the late 1980s shoegaze indie sound was to the pop electronica that preceded and followed it. The collection ends with the first part of the short story, Flat of Angles read by Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

8/10

by Joe Lepper

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September Preview

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September Preview

Posted on 04 September 2012 by Dorian

This is the first of a new monthly feature where we preview the best music releases and events in the coming month. Items marked with an * are currently scheduled for review on the site.

Albums

Album of the month: Cat Power – Sun*

Chan Marshal returns with her first album of new material for six years. The sound has moved away from the soul-pop of The Greatest and has more in common with her 2003 release You Are Free. The album has a modern feel with a focus on studio production techniques and features guest appearances from  Iggy Pop and Judah Bauer. Out now.

Cat Power - Sun

Cat Power – Sun

3rd September

Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

Deerhoof – Breakup Song*

Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t

Various – Metronomy: Late Night Tales (Read our review)

10th September

The XX – Coexist

David Byrne & St.Vincent – Love This Giant

Calexico – Algiers*

Racehorses – Furniture*

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – Throw It To The Universe

17th September

Grizzly Bear – Shields*

Jim Noir – Jimmy’s Show*

Dinosaur Jr – I Bet On Sky

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Meat & Bone*

Menomena – Moms

24th September

Efterklang – Piramidia*

Mark Eitzel – Don’t Be A Stranger*

Yoko One with Thurston moore and Kim Gordon – Yokokimthurston

Tim Burgess – Oh No I Love You

Gigs and tours

Tour of the month: Allo Darlin’

Allo Darlin’ play a string of dates this month with a set drawing strongly from their excellent recent album Europe:

  • 4 Sep Fleece, Bristol*
  • 5 Sep Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle
  • 6 Sep Queens Social Club, Sheffield
  • 7 Sep Deaf Institute, Manchester
  • 8 Sep Kazimier, Liverpool
  • 9 Sep Blackburn Art College, Blackburn  1.45PM SHOW / ALL AGES
  • 10 Sep Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
  • 12 Sep The Haunt, Brighton
  • 13 Sep King’s College, London
Allo Darlin'

Allo Darlin’

Former American Music Club singer Mark Eitzel plays just two gigs in the UK:

Sat 8th Sep – The Palmeira, Hove*

Sun 9th Sep – SXSC Festival 2012, the Railway Inn/The Attic, Winchester.

El-P – The ATP promoted hip-hop act plays a short UK tour:

  • London Scala on Wednesday 12th September
  • Brighton The Haunt on Thursday 13th September
  • Birmingham The Rainbow Warehouse on Saturday 15th September
  • Bristol The Fleece on Sunday 16th September
  • Manchester Academy 3 on Monday 17th September

Grandaddy – Tuesday 4th September, Sheperds Bush Empire London

Deer Tick – Wednesday 5th September, Scala London

Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard – Thursday 6th September, The Haunt Brighton

The XX – Monday 10th September, Sheperds Bush Empire London

Jens Lekman – Wednesday 19th September, The Ruby Lounge Manchester

Dexys – Saturday 22nd September, Colston Hall Bristol

Festivals

The festival season is almost over, and with cancellations, abandonment’s and wash-outs it has not been a vintage year. However, there are still a couple of interesting festivals left that could prove the perfect end to the Summer.

Playgroup Festival, 213ts to 23rd September, Eridge Park – This festival has already moved once this year due to flooding on the beautiful Eridge Park site, so some late September sun would be welcome for the rescheduled dates. Expect fancy dress, games and an eclectic range of music – the theme this year is ‘Lost Toys’. http://www.playgroupfestival.com/

Playgroup Festival

Playgroup Festival

Festival No.6, 14th to 16th September, Portmeirion – A new face on the festival scene, Festival No.6 promises a interesting mix of live music, DJs, comedy and arts at the unique Welsh venue. Acts include Gruff Rhys, Field Music, King Creosote and the Wave Pictures, with New order, Primal Scream and Spiritualized headlining. http://www.festivalnumber6.com

Other stuff

Last Shop Standing, 10th September – Last Shop Standing is a film, released on DVD, that looks at the rise and fall of the record shop in the UK since 1960. Billy Bragg, Johnny Marr and Nerina Pallot contribute to a fascinating film that explores the role of the record shop and considers whether they will survive in the modern music climate. http://lastshopstanding.com/

Last Shop Standing

Last Shop Standing

To get your album/gig/tour/film/book/festival/t-shirt included in our monthly preview please send details to dorian@neonfiller.com.

By Dorian Rogers

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Late Night Tales  – Metronomy

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Late Night Tales – Metronomy

Posted on 03 September 2012 by Joe

Next up to curate the Late Night Tales series, where an artist picks around 20 tracks they like to listen to in the wee small hours, is Metronomy. But surprisingly the selection by the act, who delivered one of 2011’s best pop albums English Riviera, is laced with less pop influences and far too many diversions.

There’s an experimental edge to the collection with the hip hop jazz of Sun Ra Creative Partner’s Cosmic Ball and Chick Corea’s El Bozo (Part One) also included. There’s also a loose 1970s and 1980s influence, with Japan bassist Mick Karn’s Weather in the Windmill among the most poignant highpoints, as he lost his battle with cancer last year. This era and the music of the likes Karn are clearly key influences for Metronomy’s driving force Joseph Mount and it’s no wonder that they picked Jean Michael Jarre’s Hypnose to cover, as part of Late Night Tales requirement for each curator to cover a track.

But with genres flying all over the shop, with Peter Drake’s 1964 pedal steel track Forever and  Cat Power’s haunting track Werewolf also included, the combination of tracks presents an uneasy listen.

Herman Dune’s Winners Lose mixed with experimental jazz, hip-hop and R’n’B it ends up sounding like a mess and far from relaxing, which is one of the aims of the series.

Compared to the well researched folk of Midlake’s Late Night Tales or the 1960s and 1970s pop sensibility of Belle and Sebastian’s two collections this is a poor collection that would have benefited from a firmer focus on Metronomy’s key influence of 1970s and early 1980s pop, funk and jazz and less flights of fancy.

6/10

by Joe Lepper

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Trentemøller – Late Night Tales

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Trentemøller – Late Night Tales

Posted on 18 May 2011 by Joe

Danish electro-goth producer Anders Trentemøller is the latest artist to take over the curator’s decks for the late Night Tales series.

If you are unaware of this excellent series it features 20 or so songs of the curator’s choice to snuggle up to at night, including at least one cover by the curator and one spoken word piece.

With a background in doom and gloom gothic electronic music, it take Anders a good few songs to approach anything near a snuggle, but when he does it turns out he’s a fairly  huggable chap underneath his  love of thudding bass and atmospheric bleeps.

Given his sombre tastes the opening few tracks, including ‘Waves Become Wings’ by This Mortal Coil and ‘Science Killer’ by The Black Angels, were to be expected and  left me a little too scared to sleep or relax.

But by track seven, with The Velvet Underground’s scary but marvellous ‘Venus in Furs’ Trentemøller gets into his stride and so starts a fine, even upbeat segment that includes 1960s French singer Jacqueline Taieb’s cheeky ‘7Heures Du Matin’ and M. Ward’s jaunty ‘Poor Boy, Minor Key’. The Papercuts’ ‘Unavailable’ and The Shangri-La’s ‘(Remember) Walking in the Sand’ are other highlights in this middle section.

The cover Trentemøller has chosen is one of my secret favourite tracks Chris Isaac’s ‘Blue Hotel’. However, this version sung by Marie Fisker and Steen Jørgensen, is only creditable rather than amazing. The inclusion of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s ‘The Proposition #1’ gives the  collection a movie soundtrack feel and things draw to a close with Paul Morley taking the spoken word slot reading from his short story ‘Lost For Words.’

As with all these Late Night compilations if you like the curator chances are you will enjoy their laid back look through their favourite tracks. Even though Trentemøller’s work doesn’t appeal to me, some of his influences, particularly from the 1960s certainly do.

7/10

by Joe Lepper

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