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Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Decemberists - The Kings Is Dead Preview

The Band are playing Glasgow and across the UK in March.

Here is a teaser for the forthcoming lp

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Heroes murdered


Springsteen Tour 2011 / 2012

Update! 18/03/2011

the word is now a springsteen Solo album this summer, toured, then a E Street tour and possible album.

In the meantime April 16th record store day is next up!

I hear a strong rumour of a stripped down band (Darkness Era) and Arenas only commencing in March 2011 Australia, moving to Europe and then the States.

Watch many spaces......

First updated information:

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will perform tracks from the Promise live in Asbusry Park on 7th December. Not a gig as (for a future webcast) such but it is of note they are rehearsing material and that this will also be in front of a small live audience....

Second Update:

A very small audience was invited inside to watch the loive performnace of songs from the Promise.  They were mostly contest winners who entered a drawing through the Springsteen fanzine "Backstreets." David Lindley and Charlie Giordano joined the E Street Band 78 line up (no Suzie, Nils or Patti)

Songs played in front of the audience for the taping:

1. Racing In the Street (1978 version)

2. Gotta Get That Feeling

3. Outside Looking In

4. One Way Street

5. Come On (Let's Go Tonight).

6. Save My Love

7. The Brokenhearted

8. Ain't Good Enough for You

9. The Promise

10. Talk To Me

11. Blue Christmas

also rehearsed Candys Boy.

Update 2: January 14, 2011

The legendary icon of American rock music Bruce Springsteen could be coming to Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium this year. The Croatian news website Dalje lists the singer’s still unconfirmed arrival as one of the main events to look forward to this year.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Forgotten Album Friday #18 - The Go-Betweens, 16 Lovers Lane

By way of background The Go-Betweens were an indie rock band formed in Brisbane, Australia in 1977 by singer-songwriters and guitarists, Robert Forster and Grant McLennan. I think they were in Gl;asgow for a while and maybe recorded there, hopefully someone will let me know. They were later joined by Lindy Morrison on drums, Robert Vickers on bass guitar and Amanda Brown on violin, oboe, guitar, and backing vocals, before disbanding in late 1989.

Forster and McLennan reformed the band in 2000 with a new line-up, but sadly McLennan died on 6 May 2006 of a heart attack and The Go-Betweens disbanded again.

Robert Foster has several excellent solo albums but I think his work with the Go-Betweens was where he was at his peak.

16 Lovers Lane is one of the finest alternative pop albums of the mid 80's and as good a set of ten songs put on disc by any group in the late 80's/early 90's. The two songwriters, McLennan and Forster, are in absolute top form, balancing guardedly optimistic upbeat numbers with poetic, soul-searching ballads and duets. The central theme throughout the record deals with the unspoken complexities of growing older with love and friendship, and the sometimes poignant contradictions between melancholic regret and hopefulness for the future.

What also makes this album different from its predecessors is the ease with which it all seems to come together. On the surface, the songs all seem simple and effortless, but there is a more complex sound once you get into the album. Like Cosmic Rough Riders,  Lloyd Cole, Aztec Camera they  take simple elements of acoustic guitars and major chords and weave them into something so rich.

An under-appreciated band.

A great pop album.

Key tracks

Love Goes On
Love Is A Sign
Streets Of Your Town
Dive for your memory
Was There Anything I Could Do

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Promise

I prefer the solo Bruce piano version from 18 tracks.....there. I've said it!


Friday, 12 November 2010

Forgotten Album Friday #17 - Roddy Frame The North Star

Ropddy Frame was of course more or less Aztec Camera however in 1998 for some reason he decided to drop the Aztec Camera band name probably because of the poor showing of the Frestonia lp, and this was his first solo album.  You will probably have heard the lead track / single Reason for Living which is one of my favouritre Roddy / Aztec camera tracks.

The production on the album is fairly familiar if you like the sound of Aztec Camera with a clean sound typical of his work. The album kicks off with a great track "Back To The One" which sets the tone for an album full of great songs . The North Star, Hymn To Grace, River of Brightness and Bigger, Brighter, Better are all just great Roddy Frame songs.

 "Bigger, Brighter, Better" shines with its irresistible hook vand positive lyrics. "Autumn Flower" begins with a piano then carries on with a hypnotic bass line. "Reason For Living" lifts off with the opening bars of Springsteen's "Born To Run" before driving towards a climatic chorus and, finally, "Hymn To Grace" closes the album with the now familiar acoustic farewell. Roddy Frame is in superb form through this album and if you were an aztec Camera fan and this sneaked bye you I would thoroughly recommend this lp.

Key tracks

Reason For Living
North Star
Bigger, Brighter, Better
Back To The One
Hymn To Grace

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Promise Box Set - Has arrived! First thoughts

What a stunning set! I cannot believe the quality of this and certainly well worth the £80 or so you can expect to pay.

I have only done a quick skim through the 21 unreleased tracks and don't really plan to do a big break down track by track as they are pretty much what you would expect - some sound like they would be ideal on a Roy Orbison lp and others would have made great additions to Southside or Gary US Bonds lp's that some of this (and the tracks material) surfaced on. There are some absolute gems over the two cd's and as you can imagine there is the odd track or two that makes you double take being almost familiar but not quite (as an example the opening line in Spanish Eyes being later reworked in I'm On Fire, and the initial write of Factory which is C'mon Let's Go Tonight, the line The Man on The Radio Says Elvis Presley dies which turned up much later in a b side).

Certainly well worthy of release but there is no doubt that the original Darkness lp got the track listing spot on.

Like most people the bits I am looking most forward to are the DVD sections and in particular the live 1978 set. I will write a note on these when I get the chance.

Essential listening:

Racing In the Street ('78)
The Brokenhearted
Save my Love
Wrong side Of The Street
Spanish Eyes
Cmon (Lets Go Tonight)
The Promise
City Of Night

and the hidden track

The Way

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

New Decemberists lp - The king is Dead

As a follow up to the excellent Hazards of Love, The Decemberists release a new album in January and here is the tracklisting.

1. Don't Carry It All
2. Calamity Song
3. Rise to Me
4. Rox in the Box
5. January Hymn
6. Down by the Water
7. All Arise!
8. June Hymn
9. This is Why We Fight
10. Dear Avery

A free download of Down By The water is now available, follow this link:

Monday, 8 November 2010

Springsteen Stunning Version of Candys room

If this does not whet you appetite for the forthcoming DVD portions of the Promise box set, I dont know what will. Bruce and the band are in absolutely searing form here and it is a timely reminder that no matter how good the out-takes prove to be, the original darkness On the Edge Of Town album is his best work.

Great New Manics Video

Monday, 1 November 2010

Springsteen The Promise First Listen

NPR are streaming 15 of the new tracks from the Promise Box Set.

You can enjoy them here: