Nov 29, 2011

Hinnom, TX-Bon Iver

From the deluxe edition of Bon Iver!

Nov 28, 2011

Cast A Net-Akron/Family

"Cast A Net" by Akron/Family from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

One of my favourite songs of 2011!

Nov 24, 2011

New Music From Sharon Van Etten

Jagjaguwar and Sharon Van Etten. Now that's a perfect match! Thankfully we can hear the results right now. Please listen to "Serpents" below, the first track released from her upcoming new album. "Tramp" will see the light of day on February 7 and features help from both Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National, The Walkmen’s Matt Barrick, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, and Doveman’s Thomas Bartlett.

Tramp Track Listing
1 Warsaw
2 Give Out
3 Serpents
4 Kevin's
5 Leonard
6 In Line
7 All I Can
8 We Are Fine
9 Magic Chords
10 Ask
11 I'm Wrong
12 Joke or a Lie

MP3: Serpents

Nov 22, 2011

The Shrine/An Argument-Fleet Foxes

Nov 20, 2011

The Last Living Rose-PJ Harvey

I have always had an enormous amount of respect for PJ Harvey. But for whatever reason I haven't always been attentive to collecting her music. Even this year I missed the boat on "Let England Shake". Well I am well and truly aboard the boat now. It's a really great album and this song is perhaps my favourite. Very excited to see her perform in January!   

Nov 17, 2011

News From Damien Jurado

I have long been a fan of American singer Damien Jurado. So I am quite excited to reveal that he will be releasing a new album on Secretly Canadian on February 21. "Maraqopa" was produced by Richard Swift and contains 10 tracks in total. Can't wait!

Maraqopa Track Listing
1 Nothing Is The News
2 Life Away From The Garden
3 Maraqopa
4 This Time Next Year
5 Reel To Reel
6 Working Titles
7 Everyone A Star
8 So On, Nevada
9 Museum Of Flight
10 Mountains Still Asleep

MP3: Nothing Is The News

Nov 14, 2011

Harvest Festival (Sydney)

Year One of Harvest. A raging success. A great day. An amazing experience. This 'civilised' gathering' was supposed to be a different creature. Relaxed, eclectic, superb music. It truly delivered. On a hot, but not unbearable day, we ventured to Western Sydney to the environs of Parramatta Park. Capped at just under 10,000, the crowd gathered surely had to leave with smiles and hearts aflame. I certainly did. A day of great music in a great setting. Of course with a lineup like the one assembled I had to miss out on some acts I would have liked to see. Such as Mercury Rev, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Mogwai. Plus I only witnessed half of Bright Eye. I did however catch the remarkable "Landlocked Blues", so all was not lost. I do know though that by the end of the night, as Portishead played in the distance, I had enjoyed a superb and rewarding day. Full reviews follow below.

First up were the remarkable The Walkmen. Stuck unfairly in a mid afternoon slot, they still managed to deliver a blistering, robust set. Their aching melodies and overpowering rhythms make for a potent mix. Drumming and guitar work is exemplary and quite unique. Hamilton Leithauser is an imposing front man, his vocals reaching far and wide. Highlights were the wonderful "In The New Year" and the unforgettable "All Hands and the Cook". They even played two new songs!

Set List
While I Shovel The Snow
Woe Is Me
On The Water
In the New Year
I'm Not Your Heartbreaker
New Song?
Blue As Your Blood
The Rat
All Hands and the Cook

Despite a poor mix, TV On The Radio still managed to put in a blistering and ferocious set. They have become a force to be reckoned with on stage. Tunde and Kyp offer the full range of vocals, inciting us all to dance and feel with equal effect. In particular "Blues Down Here" was a hulking beast and "Wolf Like Me" nearly tore our heads off. Incendiary.

Set List
Halfway Home
Wrong Way
Caffeinated Consciousness
Second Song
Golden Age
Will Do
Blues Down Here
Young Liars
Red Dress
Staring At The Sun
Wolf Like Me

If was any doubt beforehand, there was certainly none afterwards. The National were the stars of the day. After a slightly flat start, they burst into life on the superb "Bloodbuzz Ohio" and then consistently had the enthusiastic crowd eating out of their hands. Oh yes, there was much hand clapping and singing. Highlights were "Fake Empire", "Conversation 16", "Apartment Story" and the storming closer "Terrible Love", where smouldering lead singer Matt Berninger climbed into a frenzied crowd. This is truly a great band, a band you must see at least once in your life.

Set List
Anyone's Ghost
Mistaken For Strangers
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Slow Show
Squalor Victoria
Afraid Of Everyone
Conversation 16
Apartment Story
Fake Empire
Mr November
Terrible Love

I was really keen to see Phosphorescent today and I was glad I did. The project of Matthew Houck has grown into a fully formed, swinging country band. But with a twist. Unfortunately only a small audience was on hand to witness the band play, but they sure received a great show. Their blend of off kilter, sombre country is deeply powerful and moving. The show really hit the heights with the back to back punch of "Wolves" and Los Angeles". Wonderful stuff!

Set List
Wish I Was In England?
It's Hard To Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)
Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)
We'll Be Here Soon
The Mermaid Parade
It's Not Supposed To Be That Way
Los Angeles
At Death, A Proclamation

Last, but not least were the one and only The Flaming Lips. We actually we would miss the first part of their set after a clash with The National. But some sort of technical/equipment delay meant that we caught the whole set. Impossible to describe, I will somehow try. Band entrance through a projected vagina, singer in a bubble, confetti, balloons, confetti, balloons, dancers, giant hands, lasers. Well, you get the picture. A show like this is actually impossible to jam into a festival set. There is too much, too little time. Perhaps they should cut a little of the pyrotechnics and add a few more songs. But we got "Yoshimi", we sang, we cried. Everyone should have a little Lips in their life.

Set List
Sweet Leaf
She Don't Use Jelly
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
Is David Bowie Dying? 
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1
See The Leaves
Do You Realize??

Nov 12, 2011

The Gate

For a while now the suburbs of Northern Sydney have been treated to small and intimate shows showcasing some of the best musical talent that Australia has to offer. The Gate is a not-for-profit initiative that started with a backyard show in Ryde in July 2010 and has been going strong since. Started by all round good guy Joe Hardy, the venture debuted in a new space Friday night in a warehouse in Artarmon. The new space provides for an environment that can sustain bands regularly without bothering neighbours with that pesky noise problem. The space holds about 120 people and they sure received value for money on Friday night.

First there was singer/songwriter N. Martin who charmed with his melodic tunes on an acoustic guitar. His original tunes were great, but he also threw in some covers by Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles. Second up were local heroes Valar, a five piece that were eclectic and varied in musical styles and influences. Armed with interesting times signatures and disarming melodies, they thoroughly impressed. It was possible to hear anything from Coltrane to Radiohead in their music. Next up were the truly great Charge Group. This was my third time seeing them this year and they seem to get better and better. Whether it is great older tunes like "Lunar Module" or new stormers like "Run" they take charge of the stage and own it. They are truly an incredible band who hopefully are destined for bigger times. Can't wait for album number two in early 2012.

Unfortunately we didn't stay for headliner Aleks & the Ramps. A combination of a big week, travel home and a big weekend coming up meant that we decided to make an early exit. From past experience I know this band is great though and I eagerly await their soon to be released second album. So, it was a great night. There is something truly rewarding witnessing a DIY, hand made night. A night about the music and not the pyrotechnics. A night run on passion, dedication and energy. And I must say despite the homegrown surroundings, the set up was very professional. The sound was a perfect mix with clarity and definition. Would definitely put some bigger venues to shame.
So, if in the future you are looking for a night of cutting edge music without paying a lot of money check out a night with The Gate.

Nov 8, 2011

Craig Finn Goes Solo

January 24 will see the debut solo release from Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn. Vagrant Records will have the honours of releasing the 11 track opus.

Some words from the man himself-
"In July 2011, I went to Austin, Texas to make a record. The Hold Steady was on a four month break, and I wanted to try something a little different. Earlier in the year, I had written a bunch of songs that were outside of the norm for The Hold Steady, a little quieter and perhaps more narrative. I also wanted to gain some experience and insight into the process of making a record by working with new people." "I'm calling this record “Clear Heart Full Eyes”. It's a juxtaposed reference to Friday Night Lights, a TV show that excited and moved me and also happened in Texas. Further, “Clear Heart” signifies honesty and transparency, and “Full Eyes” suggests experience. Thus, it's about being optimistic and open without succumbing to the weariness or doubt that comes with age and experience. To me, that is what it's all about."

Clear Heart Full Eyes Track Listing
1 Apollo Bay
2 When No One’s Watching
3 No Future
4 New Friend Jesus
5 Jackson
6 Terrified Eyes
7 Western Pier
8 Honolulu Blues
9 Rented Room
10 Balcony
11 Not Much Left Of Us

Nov 5, 2011

It's Real-Real Estate

Undeniably catchy and pretty damn cute. From the wonderful new album from Real Estate.