Quite spacious at the moment

Ok, so it’s very 2005, but I spent longer than I meant to setting up a Myspace page for the blog yesterday. I mention lots of different bands on this blog and increasingly it tends to be things that aren’t perhaps as well known as they deserve to be. To make it easy for the loyal readers of this blog to have a listen to the stuff I’m talking about, the Myspace page will try to link to as many of these bands in the ‘friends’ section, thus allowing you to listen to whatever they’ve got on their Myspace player. Simple, eh? Anyway, don’t expect it to look particularly special – that’s not the point. (Plus, I’m not entirely sure how to do that anyway) It’s there for the tunes. Little, clickable link on the top right of the site.

A few things to talk about today. First up, a single that was released, seemingly via download only (I know, the site is called Vinyl Junkies, but give me a break) today by Ryan Mullin. The track is called ‘The Splint’, on Grooveland Records. I’ve seen it described on the interweb as tech-house, whatsoever the flying fuck that means, but to me it’s just very, very good. I have a soft spot for imaginative electronic music of whatever kind. That Glow album is still wonderful, by the way. Anyhoo, ‘The Splint’ can be heard in full over the Ryan’s Myspace and there are many links to allow you to buy the track for varying prices and in varying qualities, from 192kbps MP3 up to WAV. Treat yourself.

Secondly, Robin Allender and The Allender Band. Technically two different acts, although you can probably guess what the common factor is. I defy anyone to listen to the start of ‘Green Wound’ and feel nothing. It’s not possible. That noodly little guitar thing (so, so technical, as always) is just beautiful and the way the band gradually seem to arrive in the background sets you up for a rather splendid piece of music. It’s one of the best tracks I’ve heard all year. Thankfully, it’s not a one-off. The accompanying ‘In The Grip Of Light’ EP is all of the same standard. You can also pick up Robin’s solo album from last year. There is some overlap with the material, but it’s a worthy purchase. Both CDs come in exceptionally fun card boxes with fold-down flaps and black CDs. You can order straight from the Dreamboat Records site. The less said about the name of Robin’s previous band, the better.

Here’s the original, stripped down version of ‘Green Wound’ by Robin. Full version, oddly enough, can be heard on his Myspace.

Finally, as the whole point of setting up the Myspace page is to tie together recommended tunes and to hunt out other good stuff, I should give a mention to the first act to request friendship from the mighty bastion of musical mutterings that is Vinyl Junkies. The honour goes to Derby band, Leon. Nope, I’d never heard of them either. Now, they’re not doing anything particularly original and I don’t imagine anyone’s ever heard one of their records and thought, “Christ! The future of music is here,” but they do melodic indie-rock rather well and considerably better than plenty of bands that are selling records these days. ‘Hope‘ sounds like contemplative Feeder and ‘Be There’ sounds immediately familiar – a bit like a tidied up and polished Super Furries singalong in the chorus.

Oh, and while I think of it, here’s the album cover for the quite magnificent Glow album, ‘I, Yeah!

No reason, other than the fact that it gives me another chance to point out how wonderful it is. I promise you, I’m not being bribed to mention it. Like this blog will ever be that important, anyway! Still, like I said yesterday, it’s only a fiver!

I’m hoping to tell you a little bit about Man Without Country tomorrow, but I’m waiting on some demo tracks from them. Worth the wait, I assure you.

Taking all the credit

Having been banging on about physical media and the demise of the record shop only yesterday, I found myself purchasing a download-only album mere hours after publishing said blog entry. My main excuses are that a) it was only a fiver b) it isn’t available by any other means. I’m not especially fond of downloads, mainly because I rarely form an attachment with music I acquire in that manner, but on this occasion I’ll make an exception. The album I download was ‘I, Yeah!‘ by up-and-coming (get me!) Bristol band, Glow.

Regular readers may remember me droning on about the sheer majesty of Northampton’s finest, Maps, last year. The album, ‘We Can Create’, just edged ‘The Good, The Bad & The Queen’ as my album of 2007. It’s slightly squelchy, delightfully indie, intelligently-crafted electronic music. And that, my music-loving-internet-browsing chums, is also how I would describe ‘I, Yeah!‘ Seriously, it’s that good. It hasn’t been with me long enough for me to make insanely hyperbolic statements about how it’s as good as the Maps album, but I can forsee a long and beautiful relationship. It won’t be quite as beautiful as could be though, because it’s a CD-R. Still, mustn’t grumble. This appears to be a clear argument for the increasing reliance on digital releases. My guess would be that this album would have been a financial nightmare to get off the ground if it had to be pressed up and packaged as a full CD release, but as a download that you can pay for with Paypal, it’s a (relative) piece of piss.

I should just confess at this point that I shambled upon this rather wonderful album as a result of the tireless work of one Adam Walton. I’ve mentioned him before for one reason or another, but for those not up to speed he’s the host of a late-night new music show on BBC Radio Wales. I became hooked on the show in an earlier format during my later teenage years living in South Wales and I’ve kept listening from time to time ever since. A few months back he played the Glow album in its entirety. As it happens, I missed that show, but while following the time-extinguishing Google/Wiki trail of Adam Walton I happened upon a post on their site about him doing that. So, I had a listen and the rest, as they say, is history. For those counting cliches in this post, I think that’s four.

Adam’s great, by the way, and sadly not as revered as he should be. There are two remaining, essential new music shows for me these days – one is, as you may be aware by now, Gideon Coe on 6music and the other is Adam’s. He plays some truly bizarre stuff from time to time, but his show is essentially a latter-day John Peel show with the emphasis on Welsh music. Last night I heard a hip-hop group called Mudmowth – great, although the Myspace page appears to have been written by an Alan Partridge version of Westwood – a delightful female artist by the name of Georgia Ruth Williams, the folksy delights of The Toy Band and a truly brilliant indie band called Man Without Country. Click on the respective names to find out more and/or have a listen to last night’s show via the BBC iPlayer. He’s on every Sunday from 10pm.

Oh, and if you didn’t click on the link above, go and buy the Glow album here.