EP / Cassette of the Year

Processed with VSCO with c2 presetUber-hip and occasionally annoying Thurston Moore said something silly this year like “I only buy tapes these days”, and of course that’s a ridiculous way to live, but it’s true there are an awful lot of amazing bands that only release things initially or on cassette. A few years ago I’d be scoring tapes at little charity shops getting over excited by a copy a early 7o’s Elton John tape for 25p, whereas I get things now like the new julie ruin album and twin forks on cassette and hardly ever pick up old stuff on tape anymore.

So, it’s no surprise that the best EP of the year is out as a download and on cassette too. It came out in October and by it’s a little New York band called Wild Pink. The title may not be the most exciting (4 songs), but the songs are. Calming, instinctive and soft. It’s reflective beautiful music, and that’s where I am right now, and I think where a lot of people are after all the craziness. “Don’t let the fear of losing me keep you from moving on….I’m the one that goes away”. Poetic daydreaming songs for daydreamers. What more do you want? Not only EP of the year but a close contender for track of the year too, to find out who gets that title come back in a few days.





rocket man

Today – 16th September – is the day Elton John’s latest record “the diving board” comes out, which at first glance may seem to contradict recent blogs here about the irresistable coolness of Kathleen Hanna and Mark Kozelek, but give me Elton John over Paul McCartney solo albums any day.

The first cd’s I ever bought were Elton John’s greatest hits and a best of Elvis Presley. I was 11 years old, and all i listened to before was radio pop music. Back then I had no idea what alternative music was, and going to the record shop was my introduction to rock’n’roll. I admit by the time I was 16 and my wall was covered with pictures of skinny indie stars from NME and Select, and I think I donated my early cd’s to the Oxfam charity shop or secretly threw them in the bin when my Sonic Youth indie girlfriend came around.

Anyway, the cool thing about getting older is all that stuff about trying to look cool is irrelevant, and that’s kind of the point of words and guitars, so driving around in an old citreon with a 1970’s Elton John tape blasting away in the tape deck (alongside the new Sebadoh released, strangely, on tape) is what it’s all about.

I saw the Arctic Monkeys concert on tv and it didn’t make me feel guilty for choosing the strypes cd over “AM” at the record shop last week. Last night I saw Elton John’s concert on tv and it kind of puts things in context. The guy’s kind of crazy, but that’s how rock stars should be, right? Alex Turner is too smooth for me sometimes. I guess old Elton gets an extra point from me too for introducing me to the awesome music of the strypes.

Here’s an old old song, but one of the best songs of the 20th century.


summer songs mixtape

download ashmatic kitty summer mixtape here!

Wait a minute, summer snoozer! Before you jump on that plane/car/boat/scooter and head off to enjoy hazy sunshine beach days and losing games of mini golf and badminton, here is a link to a rather spectacular summer mixtape from the always-cool Sufjan Stevens (and his stepdad!) founded label ashmatic kitty. It’s got new songs from the awesome welcome wagon, shannon stephens, and lilly and madeleine. Later today I’m driving with the fam to, err, Luton. Or at least to Luton airport hotel before flying away from England early tomorrow for a month, but I’ll keep writing music news here.

The first cd’s I ever bought were Elvis Presley’s “Greatest hits” and “The best of Elton John.” Hey, don’t judge me too harshly my musical education had to start somewhere! (my parents stopped listening to music in 1975, the year my older brother was born!). I do still quite like some of the older EJ stuff, back in the day, and maybe he’s new record won’t be so awful? He’s teamed up with the ace t bone burnett for his new record out in September and there’s an intriguing clip of it here.