Best of 2012, 40-31

I’d forgotten how much time these things took to write!  Obviously these are a bit wordier than the usual posts, but there’s the added fun of sitting down and listening to each of these again in turn whilst trying to come up with something  different to whatever I wrote the first time around.  Thankfully, the only problem I have with this is that it’s all rather time-consuming when I get re-lost in ten albums’ worth of stuff and forget to type anything, followed by doing it all over again.  Which is kind of the point in me doing any of this in the first place.

I’ve also got a couple of new things on the way over the course of the next few weeks to break up the “oh bloody hell, another ten already?” typey marathons, including another jaunt down to London to catch up with friends and take in a gig which should hopefully also bring forth a rather unexpected CD.  Ooh, and a couple of milestones for this silly little site which I’m surprised, happy and humbled to be passing.


Oh, Go On Then – Alternative Mercury Prize Not Quite Shortlist

I have to say that the real Mercury Prize shortlist this year is a bit of a disappointment this year in the respect that it’s a bit on the vanilla side.  Thankfully this means that everyone can get all in a strop about *their* faves not getting a mention, and this is the real spirit of the competition.  Frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way from an award named after a telecommunications company that went bust in 1999.

So, to join in with the doings, here’s an almost shortlist of my favourites that weren’t nominated keeping to a couple of mild criteria:

  • Released within the real prize’s qualification period (July 12 2011 – September 10 2012)
  • Artists involved are at least partly from the UK
  • Artists not actually shortlisted (although for the purposes of this list, only Richard Hawley – see below for comedy gold in 2006 – is omitted from this thingy)
  • Something from qualifying album is on Spotify, just to make it easy for me.  BTW, if you like something here or elsewhere on the various playlists, please buy it – no artist will ever make a living from the tiny streaming royalties they receive.


Hope there’s something you like, or violently disagree with.



Moulettes – The Bear’s Revenge

There’s a famous stage direction used by William Shakespeare in The Winter’s Tale, where the Sicilian Lord Antigonus meets his unfortunate offstage end with the sentence “Exit, pursued by a Bear.  It’s a strange end for a nobleman, and one that would have had the stalls and cheap seats in the Globe in raptures, provided of course that the bear in question (there’s a good chance that real ones may have been employed, thanks to Londoners’ appetites of the time being somewhat demanding of the creatures either fighting or dancing  – more chance a bear than a woman at the time, for certain) was very well-behaved and not inclined to attack the audience.  I mention this not only because of the ursine link between this album’s title and a note in one of Shakespeare’s more complex plays, but also for a general Jacobean theme and a shared delight in comedie, tragedie, romance and the joy of playing to the galleries.


Sunday Whatever

Lots to do and no time to do any of it seems to be the order of the day here. It’s not helped by the constant helpings of European Football (which is on as I type, so please forgive occasional losing of track or bouts of unexplained swearing, although the latter is mostly to drown out Jim Beglin), although I have helped things along a bit by accidentally deleting my comment/spam queue without checking to see if anything was actually from a person. Whoops.
Right, now I’m starting to receive more and more things from artist, bands and those in the employ of the aforementioned, I’m going to have to make a proper job of this. So once a month (the 1st seems as good a date as any) I’ll devote a page to this sort of thing. Thanks so far for all I’ve been sent, apologies for not getting round to most of it so far…


Sunday Whatever

It’s time to dig out the commemorative teatowels and give the posh spoons a bit of a buffing, as Sunday Whatever’s Silver Jubilee is upon us! Or upon me, at least. Anyway, hooray for a series that I just do to keep my typing fingers occupied at times when I generally can’t be bothered typing, and that has managed to crawl unconvincingly to 25 posts, all of which take me about five times as long to do as a normal one…

It’s been another strange week here, there’s been a couple of interesting bits and bobs that have appeared recently and the impending arrival of a month that promises to be very exciting indeed for me, with a couple of oddities out tomorrow, a couple of nicely-anticipated things the week after and then two of my most looked-forward to albums of the year out on the 21st. And to put the tin hat on everything, I’m going to be a bit rude and blow my own trumpet again and link you to this, where – after I said that I didn’t like doing book reviews! – a snippet of my review of this book is used as proper promotional blurb.  Considering this is just a hobbyist blog talking to itself for the most part, it will never not be a source of a constant mix of bemusement and pride when this happens.


End of Year Doings, Part 3

Yes, quite.

Just realised that in doing a top 35 (which isn’t exactly 35 anyway), splitting it into chunks of ten will eventually offend some law of mathematics or other.  Whoops.

Undeterred by this, the last five(ish!) will be individually added daily next week from Monday – although as I’m attempting a jaunt off down to the South Coast on Wednesday for three days this might get delayed a bit depending on internet connection and whether or not I stuff the car into a snowdrift on the way down there.  Will be brilliant when/if I arrive (not least because of a gig I’ve been looking forward to for months), must admit to being a bit twitchy about the journey although I’m sure it’s nothing that a shovel, spare socks and a flask of Bovril can’t sort out…  Will certainly be finished by next Sunday anyway, as I’m getting to the point where I just want it done and out of the bloody way!


Halloween Whatever

Ah, the most wonderful time of the year, when I buy a whole bunch of sweets for the assorted young imps, miscreants and ne’erdowells who come trick or treating, followed by switching off all the lights and pretending to be out while I stuff my face and hope that my car tyres aren’t being slashed in the meantime.  Happy Samhain one and all, may all your swans turn into young maidens.  Or something.


Moulettes – Moulettes

No doubt as a result of hammering out this blog a couple of times a week (or, as mood dictates, every other week or so.  Or whenever.  I should really plan these things), I’ve found myself hankering for the good old days of buying records blind.  This isn’t as easy as it used to be, as the temptation is there to just pop over to youtube or elsewhere to check something out to see if I like it or not.  While this approach can potentially saves money, it’s no fun.

So what I have taken to doing of late is skimming through Mojo’s review section and picking something out – usually on the basis of the picture of the album cover looking interesting or an intriguing description in the review text as opposed to just looking at star ratings or whatever, and it’s been a very successful venture – I bought this band’s Horses For Hearses EP the other week via this method, and absolutely loved it.  And now their self-titled full-lengther is out, so I snapped it up immediately. (more…)

Sunday Whatever

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster of a week, which makes it all the more important to enjoy what little downtime I’ve been afforded of late. Which reminds me, I’ve completely forgotten to book my travel to and from the Capital for the week after next…
The brain has almost completely capitulated for the week now, so I’d better get a shift on and finish this before I blink and it’s Monday morning again. (more…)