Category Archives: gig

Ceilidh dance. Grove, Oxon.

Best ofs for 2008

Okkervil River

I’m way too busy/lazy/apathetic to do any type of comprehensive, ordered list with links to sounds,  such as Mason does over at…

So I’m just going to generally reprise the format from my Best albums and gig of 2007 list…although I have done a better job of identifying the albums I got in 2008 that I enjoyed. The truth is, I didn’t buy that many albums from 2008, preferring to listen to the music I have, listening to stuff on or pinching Kate’s music…as well as restocking my collection with stuff I have on cassette and vinyl (currently in boxes in Melbourne). Anyway, in no particular order (I’m also aware that I might include a couple of 2007 albums in my list)…

  • Robert Forster – The Evangelist
  • Nick Cave ATBS – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
  • Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
  • Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
  • Sigur Rós – Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
  • Destroyer – Trouble in Dreams
  • Eileen Rose – At Our Tables
  • Juliana Hatfield – How Walk Away
  • Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
  • Immaculate Machine – Fables
  • Sons and Daughters – This Gift
  • Even – Even
  • Wintersleep – Welcome to the Night Sky
  • Land of Talk – Applause Cheer Boo Hiss
  • Stornoway – On the Rocks EP
  • Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
  • Ross McLennan – Sympathy for the New World
  • Glasvegas – Glasvegas

Here are some artists that I enjoyed seeing live during 2008:

  • Stornoway
  • Liddington
  • Laura Veirs
  • The Epstein
  • Ben Walker
  • Jont
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Little Fish
  • Okkervil River
  • The Lemonheads
  • Sons and Daughters
  • Juliana Hatfield
  • Even
  • The Canadian banjo bloke that Mason took me to see in Toronto
  • Family Machine
  • Wintersleep
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Calexico
  • Woodpigeon (briefly)
  • Camera Obscura
  • Ian McLagan
  • Neil Halstead
  • The Minnikins
  • The Marmadukes
  • Jali Fili Cisshoko
  • Luke Smith
  • Robert Forster
  • Nitin Sawhney
  • Romeo Stodart
  • Russ Henderson

The gigs I enjoyed the most (for different reasons). Broken Social Scene at Carling Academy Oxford, Robert Forster upstairs at the Cardiac at the Academy, Even at the 12 Bar in London and Juliana Hatfield at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.


Edit (17/5/-09) – I just returned from Wood Festival, where I saw Blind Pilot and purchased their CD 3 Rounds and a Sound, which was released in 2008. It’s absolutely sensational.


Best albums and gigs of 2007

Music Room

Music Room sign at the Jericho Tavern

When I was in Vancouver in 2001, I found a kindred spirit in the form of Mason. He’s almost singlehandedly responsible for about 95% of the Canadian music that I have in my collection…introducing me to the New Pornographers, Mass Romantic.

His recommendations and the CBC Radio 3 Podcast have informed and developed my Canuck-o-phile instincts, to the point that I shamefully know more about independent Canadian music than Australian stuff.

Anyhow, we’ve kept in touch, although we haven’t actually spoken or met in person since Vancouver. Since I’m too lazy to compile my own best albums of 2007 list, I’ll point you towards Mason’s most recent blog post concerning the best albums of 2007. There’s a podcast in mp4 format where you can listen to an example track and hear Mason and Jehan’s opinions about some of the tracks, amongst others. It’s entitled “Hiptarded Podcast #1” which hints at the prospect of more in 2008. I wait with bated breath.

As for the selection, I’m not au fait with a majority of the albums, although I was familiar with more of the albums on his shortlist. I must say, from the Jamie T tunes I have heard, I have built up a natural aversion to him though. His reputation as the male Lily Allen reinforces that; I dont share Mason’s enthusiasm for her either.

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to discovering new music…I’m pretty “anti” the music press, so you’re less likely to find many bands championed by the NME or similar publications in a Ed generated favourites list. The same goes for BBC Radio 1. I tend to think that taking a bit more time to dig deeper and not just accept the artiste du jour as decided by the payola-esque music industry is a better idea…YMMV. I’ve been like that for years, just replace Radio 1 with Triple J (Australia) and the NME with…well the NME to see what I mean.

By the way, a couple of albums that I would have thrown into the mix that Mason didn’t mention are Hvarf-Heim by Sigur Rós (which I guess isn’t technically a new album) and Last of the Chanranguitas by The Epstein (Oxford’s answer to Calexico).

Perhaps as significant as a best albums list is gig attended and enjoyed list. Here’s mine:

  • numerous Stornoway gigs
  • The New Pornographers at Koko, London
  • Metric at The Zodiac, Oxford
  • Howling Bells at The Fez, Reading
  • The Epstein + Ox at The Holywell Music Room, Oxford
  • Sol Samba at The Zodiac
  • The Piney Gir Country Roadshow at The Jericho Tavern, Oxford
  • Sky Larkin, The Round Heels, The Epstein, Stornoway, Fonda 500, Goldrush at Truck Festival
  • You Say Party, We Say Die at The Zodiac
  • Sons and Daughters at The Zodiac

Cancelled gigs that I was looking forward to:

  • Rilo Kiley
  • The Decemberists

Gig of the Year:

  • Arcade Fire at Brixton Academy, London

Arcade Fire – Wake Up

Here’s a bit of Arcade Fire’s performance of Wake Up, another track from Funeral. Sorry it cuts out but I wanted to enjoy some of the song without having to hold the camera still. It captures the flavour of how much they had the audience in the palm of their hands. You weren’t supposed to stand up at all in the circle but there was nothing the bouncers could do about it 🙂

Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

Here’s a flavour of Saturday’s show at Brixton Academy, as mentioned in the last post. It’s a song called Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) from Arcade Fire’s album Funeral.

The other photos are here.

More later.

Arcade Fire!!!

Arcade Fire. Uploaded to Flickr by Platform 3

In another display of my Canuckophilia, I went and saw Montréal based, Arcade Fire perform at the Brixton Academy, last night…and it was frieking great! A great end to a great day.

From Oxford Fire to Arcade Fire in the space of 24 hours…what a convenient segue!

More later…

In anticipation of…Neko Case and “Jaffle Pies”(?)

Here’s my ticket for Neko Case on Wednesday at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London. I’m looking forward to seeing the sometime New Pornographers singer perform solo. Have a listen to her here. You’ll need the Flash plug-in…if your browser doesn’t auto load it.

Supports are Montreal’s The High Dials and Americana/Alt-Country lady, Catherine Irwin.

The High Dials, quite 8 Miles High-esque. This link has MP3 downloads.

Catherine Irwin. Rootsy “songs about death and dying and dying and death”…also in the band Freakwater, apparently. Listen here. Click the song titles on the right hand side. Needs Flash plugin too.

I am thinking of sampling the wares of Jumbucks on Shepherds Bush Green too. As you may know, I quite like a meat pie in the Australian tradition…however, what the hell is a “jaffle pie”?

“we offer the widest range of gourmet Australian Jaffle pies this side of Jacob’s Creek” …dingo, strewth, galah, crikey, swagman, barbie. Groan.

I’ll report back here about my jaffle pie adventures..I don’t anticipate they will be as good as Boscastle pies.

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