Tuesday, 23 January 2018

That Was 2017

Over the next couple of days, I bid a belated farewell to 2017. Today it's an overview of what we heard throughout the year.. It's not artist specific that comes tomorrow Having read most of the Best Of Lists, my own thoughts of it being a great year for Pop And Rock, away from the mainstream of course, have been challenged. John Borack's musing hasn't appeared yet and that's what I nod at most, so I may change my thoughts again.

However, this years lists have concurred on quite a few albums and those are certainly the cream of the crop, it's been on the edges that it's been disappointing. Normally you look at these lists to see what you've missed and get quite a few delights, this year there has been less of that. most of the things that I hadn't heard, I'm not sorry I missed.

The year itself has been punctuated by the untimely deaths of artists that we love. Some of that of course comes with age and a realisation that something that is called New Wave was 40 years ago. The most relevant to me was the shocking news of the passing of Tommy Keene. A Beacon Of Power Pop, a lover of music and one of the nicest guys ever. It's still hard to believe. I was shocked by Will Owsley at the time, more so by Tommy's passing.

Genre wise, thankfully there's been an easing of the wave of Tame Impala and Nada Surf wannabes. There was so much bad Psych Pop around, that hopefully it will now be left to the likes of Luck Of Eden Hall who can do it properly. Sadly the waving of goodbye to this irritation as coincided with the revival of shoegazing, it was boring first time round.

Prog has had some revival and it's refreshing for an old man to see. What once was derided, is now celebrated. The reforming of the old with at least some original members included and the Steven Wilson reworking of the past has brought Nostalgia to a peak. But it's the new that perks my interest most. Big Big Train hitting the mainstream and the likes of Dave Kerzner have made Prog melodic again. The Billy Sherwood over produced Modern Prog seems to be in decline which is a good thing. Also Prog is a constant beacon of keeping the art of listening to a full album relevant in this 99p a track world.

Indie wise, C86 seems to be back in the spotlight. Pale Lights in particular, shine through, I can imagine a much younger me in Glasgow, not having to sit down every five minutes. Having derided Psych Pop a bit, mainly because so many jumped on the bandwagon, Medway continues to provide glorious 60's themed Psych that is a joy to listen to.

The spirit of Deaf School is still around with the Theatrical Rock of Felix Hagan And The Family, V Sparks and Ward XVI. Three bands that are incredibly inventive, yet can still cut it Live. The return of Sparks and Nick Heyward with stunning albums is also to be celebrated. Both show that you don't have to rely on Back Catalogue, both have produced albums as good as anything from their past.

The Live scene is infuriating. People will pay silly prices to watch names they know at enormodomes, yet would rather have a four pack of Carlsberg and a Pizza than take a chance on someone playing in their town for a tenner. First it was Pubs that closed, now it's the venues.

The UK scene is really hard at the moment. There are some artists breaking through such as The Ragamuffins, but these are less and less. IDHAS is incredibly popular, probably because so few in the UK cover the stuff it does.

My beloved Power Pop and Pop Rock is so underrated in the UK and the dominant scene at the moment seems to be Scandinavia, although Australia is undergoing a resurgence. The likes of Caper Clowns sound more British than the Brits.

IPO Liverpool was good as ever, although it is a little long these days, meaning it can run out of steam or you out of energy. It was great to see the Big Stir guys there and on the subsequent tour. Plasticsoul have released one of the finest albums this year and with a new album by The Armoires and a Spygenius release on the way, all is exciting in the camp. Seeing those guys over here was special.

There's some cracking Record Labels around, but special mention must go to three. Futureman Records as a digital label comes up with some fantastic pop. Sugarbush is a superb Vinyl label, constantly surprising me with it's individual and somewhat unique choices.

Omnivore is inspired, true it's a bit Big Star fixated, but isn't everyone, but the releases from Cait Brennan and Chris Price this year are exceptional and it's mixture of old and new is exemplary. I should also mention Cherry Red who have discovered New Wave and are bringinging albums to CD that I never thought would make it. Nest Up Yachts!

So that's my shoes and sweet thoughts on 2017. Tomorrow it will become artist specific as I celebrate my Best Of The Year. 2017 was a pretty dim year for me personally, but music wise it was ok and shows that great pop and rock is still there to delight far more than it manages to.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 4

I haven't taken a vow of silence. In one of those situations when you are told things are so easy, we changed ISP and you can guess the rest. 10 days later we finally have broadband again, by going back to the previous supplier.

So I've tons to catch up on and in a new year new broom, I went for a space saving keyboard that means I am spending most of my review time correcting Fat Fingered typing. So there's been no chance of recording a new Radio Show this week.

Therefore I've gone back to the past and plumped for a great show line up that wasn't promoted on here originally. Show 4 was broadcast in June 2017 and it's a cracker. This will be broadcast on KOR Radio this week.

I will also upload last week's 30th show on Mixcloud later.

The show is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first twenty nine shows and two Xmas Specials here. Episode 30 will be up on Mixcloud, as stated, later.

Here's this week's playlist :

01 Ian McNabb - Loveless Age (Waifs And Strays Version)
02 Berwanger - Exorcism Rock
03 Huxley Rittman And The Rusty Hitmen - Stay With Me
04 Captain Wilberforce - The Johnny Depp Memorial Cafe
05 The Pot Beach - Bloody School
06 Daniel Wylie's Cosmic Rough Riders - I Hear You Call My Name
07 Suzy And Los Quattro - Radio! Stereo!
08 Hornal - She Doesn't Have Anyone
09 Greg Ieronimo - Roller Coaster Ride
10 Dot Dash - The Infinite
11 Justin Levinson - Together Forever
12 The Sugarplastic - Polly Brown
13 Michael Carpenter - I've Got No More To Say
14 Terrorvision - Perseverance
15 Daisy House - Night Of The Hunter
16 Rob Clarke And The Wooltones - Jump In My Igloo
17 Bongley Dead - Set It On Fire

Thursday, 11 January 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 30

IDHAS Radio hits 30 and this week's show sounds as great as ever. I pondered about the Archive Tracks this week and finally settled on just one. It closes the show and is nine minutes long, but probably one of the best nine minutes you'll spend this year. It's accompanied by 16 poptastic new songs.

The show is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first twenty nine shows and two Xmas Specials here.

Here's this week's playlist :

01 The Mylars - What Do You Got To Lose
02 Mo Troper - Your Brand
03 The Menzingers - Tellin' Lies
04 Freezing Hands - Comeback Kid
05 Timothy Monger - Plough King
06 Matt Hectorne - It Don't Matter At All
07 Pep - Pep In My Step
08 The Riptides - Couldn't Care Less
09 Jules Shear - A Color That Barely Exists
10 The Orange Constant - Something We Can Use
11 Burgess Meredith - Summers End
12 Kelley Ryan - The Darkest Stars
13 Balduin - Leave To Seek The Light
14 Steve Thompson - Rose Tinted Glasses
15 Goodman - Modern Girl
16 The Rallies - Whatever You Thought
17 Wizzard - Wear A Fast Gun

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Nick's Albums Of The Year

I'm always slow to kick of January. This is largely because the first half of the month is always awash with Best Of The Previous Year lists and so ends up with people searching backward rather than the forward I prefer.

I can tell you that 2017 was one of the better years for the music that we like and knowing what's coming, 2018 promises to be exceptional. So as I don't feel out of kilter, here's Nick's Best 15 albums of 2017. It's also heartening to look at other writer's lists and see that we haven't missed much.

I've mentioned previously that Nick Fletcher is essential to what has become a surprisingly popular Blog. We talk about the new a lot and get excited when we hear something that we haven't heard before.

For every gem that I come up with, Nick responds with another. Our tastes sort of meet in the middle. He's into Country, Americana and AOR and I'm Psych and Prog, but the Pop and Rock middle ground is where we collide and you see the benefit's here.

Nick now lives in Sweden and so whilst I am left battling with the frustrations of shouting loudly in an empty UK room, he's busy chasing Elks. So here you have Nick's 15 Best Albums of 2017. The list is alphabetical, not position related. So any of these albums is the winner.

Captain Wilberforce – Black Sky Thinking

Cheap Trick - We're All Alright!

Daisy House - Crossroads

Dream Machine – The Illusion

Fastball – Step Into Light

Per Gessle – En Vacker Natt

Boo Hewerdine – Swimming In Mercury

Ian McNabb – Star Smile Strong

The Mono LPs – States Of Decay

The Popguns – Sugar Kisses

Chris Price – Stop Talking

John Southworth – Small Town Watertower

Sparks - Hippopotamus

The Sunset Spirit – From The Top

Pete Wylie – Pete Sounds

Thursday, 4 January 2018

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 29

Continued Microphone problems at this end mean that the Album Of The Year Awards and accompanying Broadcast are on hold. Hopefully, they will be broadcast next week, so tomorrow night's Radio Show will be a normal edition.

I'll give it until the weekend and if the Mic problems continue, we may just go to a non talking End Of Year Awards Show next week, with the explanations of choices on the Blog here. The spoof awards will be released ahead after the weekend, allowing further time to sort the channel problems here.

I remarked on Facebook, about the quality of Guitar releases that continues. There's not been the usual quiet period from the middle of December. Except for the majors of course whose Marketing has started in earnest today.

There are so many great offerings around that this week's show has no Archive songs. 18 Songs from new albums are here to delight your ears.

The show is broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first twenty eight shows and two Xmas Specials here.

Here is this week's show playlist :

01 The Green Pajamas - Kill The Power
02 Odd Robot - A Late Night Panic
03 Green Buzzard - Tear My Heart Away
04 Anny Celsi Nelson Bragg And Duncan Maitland - Heavenly Day
05 Almost Charlie - Ambivalent
06 The Dream Rebel - Hurt Me Bad
07 Daisy - Little Love
08 Terry Anderson - Punchline
09 Fernando Perdomo - Burned Out Heart
10 First Base - Eastchester Avenue
11 Calexico - End of the World With You
12 Watts - Sunlight Alleys
13 Davie Allan And The Arrows - Heartache (Feat. Lisa Mychols)
14 Bret Bingham - On Your Own
15 Simon Felton - Lost And Found
16 The Glad Machine - 18 Days
17 Heggarty - I Only Dream
18 Henry Priestman And Les Glover - Sing It Like You Mean It