Mojave 3 – spoon and rafter 2003

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Mojave 3 is a firm all time favourite here and a little bit of me always hopes that they return with more amazing music . Spoon and Rafter was released on 22 September 2003 in the UK, and a day later in the US. After the break up of Slowdive in 95 Neil Halstead formed the birth of Mojave 3 and released 5 amazing albums

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The Schramms – One Hundred Questions 2000

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Shaped from former members of Yo La Tengo, The Human Switchboard and Peter Stanfel’s Bottlecaps, The Schramms have been a Hoboken and New York fixture since 1985.

Finding a place in the sun both in the U.S. and in Europe, they have become one of rock’s most respected and talented bands.

Dave Schramm can also be heard as a featured guitarist on current works by Richard Buckner, Freedy Johnston, Soul Asylum, The Replacements and Whiskeytown.

This Album establishes the depth and sophistication of these veteran song crafters. This time, they’ve enlisted J.D. Foster to produce. This release is tight, and precise. The songs belong together and make for a flowing, detailed and intriguing work – like a book you cannot put down.

The band is joined by such luminaries as Richard Buckner, Syd Straw and Jeb Loy Nichols who all share in the vocals and the atmosphere.

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Lambchop – Awcmon 2003

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link will be deleted on monday –  download link removed 

Well before i head off for another weekend off grid i thought i would share this album with you all . So i have uploaded a heap of Lambchop up to the ipod so you know ill be listening to the complete discography .

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Touted as “Nashville’s most fucked-up country band” by their label Merge Records, Lambchop was arguably the most consistently brilliant and unique American group to emerge during the 1990s. Their unclassifiable hybrid of country, soul, jazz, and avant-garde noise seemed at one time or another to drink from every conceivable tributary of contemporary music, its Baroque beauty all held together by the surreal lyrical wit and droll vocal presence of frontman Kurt Wagner. Although Lambchop’s ever-rotating roster would later expand to over a dozen members, the group formed in 1986 as a simple three-piece teaming Wagner, guitarist Jim Watkins, and bassist Marc Trovillion, former high school classmates already ten years removed from the educational system. Originally dubbed Posterchild, the trio made its earliest recordings in Trovillion’s bedroom, self-releasing a series of cassettes with titles like I’m Fucking Your Daughter. In time, the lineup began to grow and the band regularly performed live in and around the Nashville area, often at the area record shop, Lucy’s (not coincidentally owned by Wagner’s wife, Mary).

I Hope You’re Sitting Down (aka Jack’s Tulips) In 1992, Posterchild — now consisting of Wagner, Trovillion, guitarist Bill Killbrew, clarinetist Jonathan Marx, multi-instrumentalist Scott C. Chase, drummer Steve Goodhue, and percussionist Allen Lowery — released An Open Fresca + A Moist Towlette, a split single with friends Crop Circle Hoax. The 7″ brought the group to the attention of entertainment lawyer George Regis, who issued cease-and-desist orders on behalf of his clients, the noise pop band Poster Children. After rejecting the names REN, Pinnacles of Cream, and Turd Goes Back, the band settled on Lambchop, added vocalist/saxophonist Deanna Varagona, steel guitarist Paul Niehaus, and organist John Delworth, and signed to Merge to release the 1993 single “Nine.” Their debut LP, I Hope You’re Sitting Down (aka Jack’s Tulips), followed a year later. In many ways, this album would be the most conventional Lambchop record. Its Nashville origins and torch-and-twang ambience would saddle the band with the increasingly erroneous alt-country tag, although Wagner’s Lou Reed-like vocals and bizarre narrative conceits — in particular the fan-favorite “Soaky in the Pooper,” a vivid recounting of a bad LSD trip — immediately signaled their obvious distance from the likes of Uncle Tupelo or the Jayhawks.
How I Quit Smoking The lovely How I Quit Smoking appeared in 1996 (although on the subsequent “Cigaretiquette” single, Wagner would proudly announce, “I’m smoking again”). Recorded live the previous Independence Day, the Hank EP followed later in 1996. Marking the debut of drummer Paul Burch, the disc represented the apotheosis of Lambchop’s Billy Sherrill-inspired phase, its lush production evoking the Nashville sound so popular three decades earlier, but by then completely passé among Music City’s chart superstars. 1997’s Thriller proved a major turning point; highlighted by the Muscle Shoals soul of “Your Fucking Sunny Day” and including no fewer than three songs penned by East River Pipe’s F.M. Cornog, this sprawling, difficult album introduced the uncompromising eclecticism that would dominate Lambchop’s work from here on out. The follow-up, 1998’s What Another Man Spills, upped the ante further. On remarkably soulful covers of Curtis Mayfield’s “Love Song (Give Me Your Love)” and Frederick Knight’s “I’ve Been Lonely for So Long,” Wagner’s baritone drawl even gives way to a Prince-like falsetto. That same year, the group also backed Vic Chesnutt on his album The Salesman and Bernadette.
NixonLambchop’s fifth full-length, Nixon, appeared in the spring of 2000. Supposedly a concept album exploring the presidency of the infamous Tricky Dick, Wagner even included a bibliography in the liner notes — a direct connection to the Watergate scandal remains unidentified. Though still criminally unknown at home, Lambchop enjoyed a much more substantial following overseas, and on May 13, 2000 they appeared at the London Royal Festival Hall. The gig was recorded and made available at U.K. appearances that fall as the Queens Royal Trimma limited-edition EP. (A 2001 European tour yielded the Treasure Chest of the Enemy EP.) The 2001 collection Tools in the Dryer assembled many of Lambchop’s scattered singles, compilation tracks, and remixes.
Is a Woman After recording the purposefully spare Is a Woman in 2002, Wagner and company moved on to their most ambitious project yet — two simultaneously released albums, Aw C’Mon and No, You C’Mon, in which Lambchop returned to full power and joined by a lush string section. The next year, the musically experimental EP CoLAB came out, followed in the spring of 2006 by The Decline of Country & Western Civilization, Pt. 2: The Woodwind Years, an eclectic collection of tracks that had never appeared before on Lambchop records, including one new song, “Gettysburg Address,” and a record of all-new material called Damaged later that summer. 2008 saw the release of the typically graceful and elegant OH (Ohio), followed in early 2012 by the group’s 11th full-length outing, the austere Mr. M., which offered up 11 lush, string-laden meditations on love and loss, all of which were dedicated to the late Vic Chesnutt. In 2015, Kurt Wagner introduced his electronic side project HeCTA, and elements of HeCTA’s eclectic musical approach informed Lambchop’s next project. FLOTUS (which Wagner says stands for “For Love Often Turns Us Still”) was released in October 2016.

 

British Sea Power – Let The Dancers Inherit The Party 2017

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Much loved indie group British sea power have returned with a collection of songs that showcase the strongest elements of their music, giving listeners space for contemplation while also bringing a healthy dose of high-energy rock.
Exquisitely crafted, the album’s introductory instrumental track is an extension of closer, “Alone Piano,” providing seamless repeated listens, but there’s plenty in the middle to love, too. Lead single “Bad Bohemian” is upbeat, with an ’80s influenced bass line, and Yan Wilkinson’s melancholic lyrics: “It’s sad now how the glass looks rather empty / The formulation of the elements makes you yearn.” Third track “What You’re Doing,” led by the softer vocals of Wilkinson’s brother, Hamilton, contrasts sharply, its warm drums and guitars bringing…

 

…wide-open spaces to mind as Hamilton brings a feeling of optimism to the song. It’s complemented by “Keep on Trying (Sechs Freunde),” an invigorating track with brilliant guitar interplay and a strong rhythm section.

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“Electrical Kittens” features Abi Fry’s beautiful violin playing, and feels like a quintessential British Sea Power song with its emotional intensity. “Praise for Whatever,” meanwhile, captures the band’s ability to pry bombast out of melancholy, as the drama grows from Yan’s first lines while the bass and guitars build. The lyrics perfectly express the world of contrasts we live in: “It’s such a convoluted hour / To play amongst the flowers / When we’re counting all the missiles down, from three to one to none.”

On Let the Dancers Inherit the Party, British Sea Power seek to express the confusion and despair — and, most importantly, the hope — felt during these trying times. Their music doesn’t shy away from the contradictions of life, and provides motivation to “keep on trying.”

Lift To Experience – The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads 2017 (remix)

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Well i said to myself that i wasn’t going to purchase this AMAZING album AGAIN , But guess what i ? i did . How could i not purchase this , it is one of the greatest albums ever made by three dudes that make you feel that you just been hit head on by a train of wonderful noise .

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The band set out to create a brand new mix of “The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads” with engineer Matt Pence 15 years after its original release. The album was originally recorded live to tape, and Matt Pence was able to mix from those original recordings and capture the energy of the three musicians playing together in the room.
… If there was ever a case of an album being ‘ahead of its time’ this probably is it. Akin to Slint’s Spiderland in many ways, lift to experience ‘s the texas jerusalem crossroads came seemingly out of nowheresville middle-America (Denton, Texas in this case) and only made a small ripple at the time, the summer of 2001. The band disappeared shortly after, satisfied with their contribution (even if critically and commercially it wasn’t…

…an overwhelming success at the time) but also citing an interest in their solo careers – most notably, lead guitarist/vocalist Josh T. Pearson’s – and a changed world post-9/11. To date, last year’s appearance at Guy Garvey’s Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall remains their only live performance since.

It’s fascinating looking back on critics’ initial response to The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads years later. In general, no one could deny the band’s ambition in taking on such a ‘big concept’ 90-minute record about the biblical end of the world taking place in Texas (rather than Jerusalem’s actual location in Israel), but there’s a resistance to those same religious allegories and questions Pearson mulls over this 90-minute epic, coupled with the band’s own meta-self-referential plot within the tale. For the uninitiated, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads begins with “the Angel of the Lord” appearing in front of the band one dark Texan night, prophesising the end of the world is coming and they must “lead the children of Israel to the Promise Land” which turns out to be in Texas. Across the next 90 minutes, Pearson wrestles with his specifically American-Christian struggles with forming a successful band with “a smash hit” as he negotiates with God himself in ‘Waiting’.

On that summary, it’s perhaps understandable that initial audiences weren’t really sure how seriously to take Lift to Experience’s debut (and only) full-length record. Were they actually speaking from a privileged religious point of view – the album certainly isn’t an outright criticism of Christianity – are they in fact as arrogant as they suggest in ‘These Are the Days’? – “So all you haircut bands, doing headstands/thinking you’ll turn the world upside down/Put your guitars up over your shoulders/A new sort of experience is taking over /’cos we’re simply the best band in the whole damn land/and Texas Is The Reason.” – is this meta-fictional narrative just simply pompous and pretentious?

Similarly, by the summer of 2001, musically, audiences would now be fairly used to the epic “post-rock” record. The beginning of this millennium was a pretty incredible time for music considering what was coming just around the corner. Bands who at the end of the previous century had posited themselves as outsiders prophesying, if not maybe the end of the world, certainly a catastrophic change to it, were already releasing big ‘statement’ albums – Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Lift Yr. Skinny Fists…, Explosions in the Sky’s Those Who Tell the Truth… – while other already gloomy bands changed their established style post Y2K to point to the huge imminent technological changes, both in their music and what it means to us, on its way – Radiohead’s Kid A, Fugazi’s The Argument, Unwound’s Leaves Turn Inside You; however all these bands removed themselves from their art’s focus. While there is no way any of these artists knew exactly what was coming – which fellow Texans Explosions in the Sky found out the particularly hard way – there seemed a general trend in 2000 and 2001 that something was coming.

There are many comparisons to be made between then and now. At the beginning of the millennium, George W. Bush has been sworn in on a wave of right-wing populism after eight years of controversial liberalism, scaring everyone out of their late Nineties stupor into a decade defined by war which would carry on into the next presidency. If in 2001 The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads risked being sanctimonious, 2017’s collective doom-mongering makes this album suddenly very relevant indeed – just when we thought white, American privilege couldn’t surprise us any further they go ahead and elect a fascist.

It also helps that we as an audience are now much more smart to Pearson’s intentions. Given his tremendous solo career in the subsequent time, we are familiar with his wry sense of humour and very real religious and spiritual considerations. Equally, we now live in a very changed world both socially (well, kind of) and musically 15 years on where meta-fictional concept double-albums – such as Fucked Up’s David Comes to Life – is now not such an alien concept in indie music.

Musically, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads speaks for itself. It is a tour-de-force in musicianship and songwriting, especially impressive for a three-piece. For 90 minutes, the world really does sound like its ending as this trio blast through sonic explosions on their respective instruments, move to delicate, reverb-soaked moments of sorrow and back again over the course of this double album. Another big reason for the record’s underrating at the time is the very valid argument of its sketchy production – hence the real reason for the re-mastering. While the original is still impressive, there often lacks a clarity between each member’s input and layering from the Cocteau Twins’ original mix, which thankfully has now been fixed by Matt Pence (Jens Lekman, Yuck, True Widow) so that the guitars shimmer, the bass rumbles and the drums explode.

With that in mind, along with America’s current climate, there is no reason why The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads shouldn’t finally find its place in indie-rock music’s canon. It is a stunning singular work, hugely visual and symbolic like a great film or novel that highlighting individual tracks is kinda empty when it so clearly should be enjoyed as a whole. Let’s just hope the Angel of the Lord’s prophecies doesn’t come true.