storms and stars

When I started this blog a couple of years ago I made a decision to leave the personal stuff to a minimum, I’ve got my secret diary for that, so I’ll just say sometimes you just need to escape into a bit of punk emo sonic distraction.

qbAt least I do. So I ordered the new Quarterbacks album,  who call themselves a “twee punk band” who have released some rad cassettes, sadly they’re all sold out but their first proper album is out tomorrow (10 Feb) on Conor Oberst’s Team Love records. If you want to download it for a few bucks you can do so here.  It’s impulsive and slow with a toxic mix of sweet and clever lovesick lyrics  “When you said you loved me, did you just mean you missed me?”

It reminds me of my time at university in South Carolina at 19,  being drunk and silly just to make the pretty girls talk to me. It reminds me of being 24, married, and  living above a supermarket in Germany daydreaming about tomorrow.  It reminds me of today, at 37, and watching the stars explode trying to make words come alive.

EP of the year

We’ve gone into the woods today and I cut down a beautiful Christmas tree, it might not survive until Christmas but it’s only  4 weeks until we fly away for a week from Southend Airport (I don’t get along with big airports much), and only 4 weeks until 2015.

So it’s time for my little musical review of the year. Suffice to say there won’t be any lameness like war on drugs (“I hate that beer commercial shit”) who for some reason seem to be everybody’s number one this year. Yawn. If you prefer something a little more sublime, something that will give you goosebumps and give you a little bit of hope then you’re in the right place! Every week I’ll be choosing my favorite EP, video, single, and album of 2014 and writing a short paragraph about why, and far more importantly, give you a chance to listen (or watch!) and indulge yourself in radical sounds.

So, first up – EP of 2014. This year it actually could be contender for album of the year, if not best EP I’ve heard since Belle and Sebastian “Dog on Wheels”. It’s Sarah Winchester “Northeast Kingdom” which came out this year on Team Love/Mt Home Arts and I think it’s the most played piece of music I’ve bought. Six songs, each one a masterpiece. This doesn’t happen very often, believe me. Sarah use to be in a weather (who, probably not surprisingly, released my favorite album of 2009) and these tender songs just capture the essence of human fragility and the need for emotional warmth and loneliness in a way not that dissimilar to Mark Kozelek. I think there’s some a few cassettes left, if not you can download it, and just let her sweet voice and melodies take you far far away to a place where the herons fly free. More info here.

https://soundcloud.com/mthomearts/sets/sarah-winchester-northeast

next week – video of the year.