Sunday, 26 December 2010

Readers' Poll Results

The polls have closed, the votes have been counted, and the winners according to the Aye Tunes readers have been worked out.
Not much chatter from me on the results, my head is still bursting from counting everything.
An elaborate points system was used to judge things, with 5 points for #1, 3 for #2 and 1 for #3, no ballot stuffing took place, hardly anyone voted for themselves and I didn't give myself a vote.
A surprising number of people took part, so I'd just like to quickly thank all of you that took a bit of time to join in.

Drum roll please, your winners are...

Best Band:
1. The Phantom Band
2. Kid Canaveral
3. Frightened Rabbit
=3. The National
5. Meursault

Best Solo Artist:
1. King Creosote
2. Emma Pollock
3. I Build Collapsible Mountains
4. RM Hubbert
5. Edwyn Collins

Best New Band/Solo Artist:
1. Admiral Fallow
2. The Last Battle
3. Kid Canaveral
4. Mitchell Museum
5. The Scottish Enlightenment
=5. The Burns Unit

Best Live Band:
1. The Phantom Band
2. Meursault
3. Frightened Rabbit
4. Kid Canaveral
5. The National
=5. Mogwai

Best Album:
1. The Phantom Band - The Wants
=1. Kid Canaveral - Shouting At Wildlife
3. Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry
4. The Scottish Enlightenment - St Thomas
5. The National - High Violet
6. Mitchell Museum - The Peters Port Memorial Service
7. Admiral Fallow - Boots Met My Face
8. Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
9. Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks

Best Single/EP:
1. Randolph's Leap - Battleships & Kettle Chips EP
=1. The Scottish Enlightenment - Little Sleep EP
3. Miaoux Miaoux - Blooms EP
4. eagleowl - Into The Fold EP
5. Trapped in Kansas/Yahweh - Split 7"

Best Music Blog/Website:
1. Song, by Toad
2. The Pop Cop
Despite me saying Aye Tunes wasn't eligible enough people ignored me that I'd have been in third place here. Woo.
3. Peenko
4. The Vinyl Villain
5. Glasgow Podcart

Best Music Radio Show/Podcast:
1. Vic Galloway (Radio 1/Radio Scotland votes were all counted together)
2. Glasgow PodcART
3. The Toadcast (Votes for The Toadcast & Song, by Toad on Fresh Air were counted together too)
4. Mark Riley
5. Jim Gellatly

Best Venue:
1. Glasgow Barrowlands
2. The Roxy, Edinburgh (Now dearly departed)
=2. King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
4. The Captain's Rest, Glasgow
=4. Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh
=4. Stereo, Glasgow

Despite fewer and fewer bands choosing to play there, we still love The Barras apparently. Even the Weegies loved The Roxy too.

Best Gig:
1. The National. O2 Academy, Glasgow, November.
2. Frightened Rabbit, Glasgow Barrowlands, 3rd December.
3. French Wives, The Seventeenth Century, Washington Irving, Rachel Sermanni. King Tut's, July.
=3. Aye Tunes Vs Peenko: Kid Canaveral, Mitchell Museum, Campfires in Winter. The Captain's Rest, April.

The hardest one to count, since practically every vote was for something different. Beyond the three above Homegame and Awaygame were the most popular, if they'd been counted together they would have made the top three.

I'm wishing I'd included the Smash Hits style Sexiest Male and Female questions, but I worried that if I had the blogging community would disown me. They still might.

Thanks again to everyone who voted, it was popular enough that we'll be doing it again next year.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Twenty Four - The Phantom Band

Since Christmas is so nearly upon us, here's a wee bonus song.
Strictly speaking it isn't a Christmas song, but it is really good, and a couple of folk asked me about it, so that's enough for me.

For Vic Galloway's final Radio 1 show the other night he had a few guests in. One of the guests were The Phantom Band, who performed The Howling from their debut album Checkmate Savage in a very special style.

The Phantom Band: Website

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Twenty Four - Christmas Wrapping

Here we are, 24 days later on Christmas Eve.
You've had a bit more than 24 songs to listen to and hopefully through December you've found something here to tickle your fancy. If not, well bah humbug to you.

Got all your shopping done? For those that haven't here's something fitting. For those that have, here's one of my favourite Christmas songs.

Christmas Wrapping was released first by The Waitresses in 1981. Since then there's been many cover versions, some ok, some good, and one by the Spice Girls.
Version one comes from The Upbeat Beatdown.

Version two comes from the ever wonderful Miss The Occupier, who recorded it for a Vic Galloway session.

Miss The Occupier - Christmas Wrapping

And finally, with somewhat dodgy sound, here's Aye Tunes favourites French Wives performing the song live at the Oran Mor.

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Twenty Three - Call To Mind

For a horrible moment I didn't think I could find anything new for today, thankfully the day was saved when I remembered I haven't used Call To Mind yet.

So here they are, our favourite Highland Glacial Pop group with a free download. If you haven't already heard the EP Call To Mind released earlier in the year please try to do so, it is one of our favourite things of 2010. You can buy it on iTunes here. (Or, as I've just discovered, download it free from Bandcamp.)

Call To Mind: MySpace - Facebook

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Twenty Two - How To Swim

How To Swim already featured in the Advent Calendar way back on day four, but the festive little blighters have only gone and made more new Christmas songs, so they get in again today.

New Beginnings comes from How To Swim's new free download Christmas EP. You can get that EP, Santa's Got All The Best Tunes, here.

How To Swim: MySpace - Facebook - Bandcamp

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Twenty One - Alistair Crosbie

Only a few more days to go of the Christmas songs. A few scheduling hiccups aside I'm quite chuffed that I've gotten a song up every day so far. Hopefully I haven't now jinxed myself for the remaining days.

We've got a handful of songs today from Alistair Crosbie, listen/download below.

Alistair Crosbie: Blog - Bandcamp

Monday, 20 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Twenty - Aspen Tide

I'm a little bit hungover after last night's Seventeenth Century/Mitchell Museum gig, and need to go to work in a few minutes, so today's Christmas post will be a quick one.

Today's song comes from Aspen Tide. Their festive freebie is titled Frost Forms in the Sky and can be downloaded in exchange for your email address here. We like these boys round here, and will talk about them more when we have a little more time. Enjoy until then!

Aspen Tide: MySpace - Facebook

Sunday, 19 December 2010

This Week's Gigs: 20th - 26th December

There isn't all that much on this week and to be honest I haven't looked all that hard for things for the gig guide. I'm also writing this in a grumpy mood having missed Kid Canaveral's Christmas Baubles yesterday and the constant falling of snow outside my window right now making my plans to go to Glasgow for Mitchell Museum & The Seventeenth Century tonight decidedly shaky...

Before we get on to the gigs just a quick reminder that Jer Reid's Winter Cycle is still running every day at mid day in Stereo.

Ginger is, along with E of Eels and Nick Cave, high on my list of the best songwriters in the past twenty odd years, and we never miss a Ginger gig in Glasgow. This time round Ginger and friends will be playing a set made up mostly of Wildhearts songs. Support comes from Sluts of Trust and the specially reformed Baby Chaos.
Dirty Keys, The Hate 80s, Danger Danger. The Captain's Rest
Dirty Keys gave us a Christmas song the other day and The Hate 80s are an alterego of El Dog, who provided us with one today. Entry is only £1, so if you have nothing else to do on Monday night this is worth a go.

Olive Grove Records Christmas Party. The 13th Note, free entry.
Our wee Olive Grove pals are throwing a Christmas bash, with music from Esperi, Randolph's Leap and RM Hubbert.

Lou Hickey, Baby Taylor, Acutones. King Tut's (Tickets)
We like Lou round here.

Probably no gig guide next week, I'll be busy stuffing myself with food, playing with presents, writing up Readers' Poll results and attempting to pick some of my favourite songs of the year instead, but if there's anything good happening I'll get something done about it.

Last Chance To Vote!

One last remind, voting in the Readers' Poll closes tonight, so if you haven't taken part yet and want to, get a move on! You can find all the details here.
Some of the categories are still too close to call, so your vote is important*
I'm aiming to have the results up on Boxing Day, wish me luck.

*Not in the grand scheme of things, obviously, but for the poll it is important.

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Nineteen - Mitchell Museum

Tonight is the Electra French Records Christmas Party, so it seems only right that we go to one of the bands playing for our next Christmas song. All being well we'll be there, drinking much more booze than someone working on Monday should.

It would be quite fair to say we love Mitchell Museum round here. From having them play the first Aye Tunes Vs Peenko gig to sharing first place in our favourite albums of the year we aren't shy about letting people know how much we love them either. This is because they are magic.

Anyway, here's their Christmas contribution from last year, their own take on Jona Lewie's Stop The Cavalry.

Mitchell Museum - Stop The Calvary

Mitchell Museum: Website

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Nineteen - Bob Dogboy Rafferty/El Dog

Two posts again today, and the first one is another two for one deal. Who says I half arse this stuff? Oh yeah, I do, regularly.

First up we have Bob Dogboy Rafferty with a tender ode to a Transformer.

Secondly one repeated from last year, as Bob's band El Dog rip through Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow. Bloody snow, I missed the Kid Canaveral gig yesterday because of it. It better not mess with the rest of my plans.

And a video too!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Eighteen - Cancel The Astronauts

Time for our second Christmas song of the day.

All being well as this is posted I'll be getting myself ready to head off to that scary Edinburgh place to see this band playing at Kid Canaveral's Christmas Baubles gig. In a few hours I'll probably be really quite drunk and attempt to hug at least one member of each band. Apologies in advance then folks.

We had this song last year, but I like it and I like Cancel The Astronauts, so here it is again.

Also, I caught up with the band a few weeks ago when they recorded a session for Pop Goes The Revolution and am happy to report that the fame of having Funny For a Girl used as the theme tune for woodenly acted drama series Being Victor hasn't changed them, and Matthew's Christian Slater anecdote is still a winner.
You can hear that session in full, along with ones from Endor, White Heath and Tango In the Attic here and download a few tracks here.

Cancel The Astronauts: Blog - MySpace - Facebook - Bandcamp

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Eighteen - Dirty Keys

Only a week to go till Christmas! Hope everyone is still enjoying the tunes and has bought all their presents and stuff. No, no, don't tell me what you got for me, make it a surprise.

It is Saturday and I've just about got myself organised in advance again, so two posts today, this one then another at lunchtime.

Our first Christmas offering of the day comes from Dirty Keys. As far as I can remember I was introduced to this band with a line something like "are you ready for some piano led pop/rock?" a question to which my Ben Folds album replied "we most certainly are". Since reviews pretty much fell by the wayside in recent months this is the first time I've managed to squeeze them in on the blog. What can I say? I'm generally a bit rubbish.

As a wee bonus you can also here a demo version of the song and download that too, thanks to Kowalskiy and his monthly free EPs.

Dirty Keys play at The Captain's Rest on Monday, December 20th.

Dirty Keys: Facebook - MySpace - Soundcloud

Friday, 17 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Seventeen - Mark McCabe

I'm desperately trying to catch up with myself and my emails today, as well as getting a few posts prepared for next week to cover me through this weekend of many gigs and probably many pints, so I'll keep the chatter to a minimum today.

Two songs today, an original and a cover, from Aberdeen born and Paris residing Mark McCabe.
Both very nice too.

You can find more from Mark McCabe over on Bandcamp.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Sixteen - Otherpeople

Yes, I know, today's Christmas song is very late indeed.
This can be blamed on a number of things: I've ran out of pre-written & scheduled posts, I was out at a gig last night and got home too pished to prepare a post and I was at work all day today. Quite yer grumping and just enjoy the music.

Since the post is late I'm picking something at random. Since it is fresh and new, just put online today, the random selection is otherpeople's festive offering 2 Zero Double 1. Listen & download before.

Otherpeople play Bloc in Glasgow tomorrow (Friday) night, along with Hey Enemy and United Fruit.

Otherpeople: Facebook

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Fifteen - Aidan Moffat & Malcolm Middleton

Day fifteen, doesn't time fly? Only nine more days to go after this - duh - so if you have a Christmas song up your sleeve that you are longing to have included you'd better get a move on.

Today is another three for the price of one day. Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton should need no introductions by now, either individually or as Arab Strap.
One song from each then and one from Arab Strap.

I wrote a bit about this particular song the other day when we had Now Wakes The Sea performing it, so if you want to read me over analyse a cover version you can find that here. This version was recorded for a radio session and features the lovely Lauren Laverne on backing vocals.

From Malcolm we have a live version of Burst Noel, taken from the Long, Dark Night half of his rather excellent double live album that came out recently.

Rounding things off we have Aidan Moffat & The Best-Ofs.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Fourteen - Esperi

Today's song is just lovely.

Snowman comes from the new Esperi single which came out on Monday. It is, basically, three and a bit minutes of pure, sweet bliss.

The other song on the double A side single, Made For Life, is also pretty darn ace, so the whole package is worth a little bit of your money.
You can get the single from all good downloady places, or buy a very limited CD - in a swanky homemade Snowman sleeve no less - over here.

If you like your music with moving pictures you are in luck too, there's a video for the track.

Esperi plays at Petite Noël in Dundee on December 15th, and at the Olive Grove Records Christmas Party at The 13th Note on December 22nd.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Our Favourite Albums of 2010: The Final Three

Numbers 10 to 4 were published yesterday here, along with a few albums that flirted with being in the Top Ten but were eventually left out before I drove myself crazy. The Top Three were notable by their absence. There's a reason for that, other than me wanting to drag things out an extra day.

That reason? I can't decide. Three albums have stood out for me since each of them were released as favourites of the year and it has gotten to the point where I can't put them in order of 1-2-3, so I'm cheating. Or copping out, if you prefer.
It is a three way draw for favourite album. In joint first place, sharing the trophy (there isn't really a trophy, not yet anyway) are...

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Thirteen - Lovers Turn To Monsters

Sometimes good things happen when I'm half joking.
The other week Kyle from Lovers Turns To Monsters mentioned he was recording a Christmassy EP and asked for suggestions for something to cover. I suggested East 17's Stay Another Day, partly because I'd heard it several times at work that day, partly expecting to be told to shove it, but mostly seriously because I thought it could actually work well.
Much to my surprise I wasn't told where I could put my suggestion. I was right, it does work well.
Stay Another Day is below to listen to and download, but please go and get the whole Attack of the Deranged Killer Mutant Snow Goons from Bandcamp here. It has a Calvin & Hobbes title and is a free download, two more fine reasons to check it out.

Lovers Turn To Monsters: MySpace - Bandcamp

Kyle of Lovers Turns To Monsters also plays in Boygirlanimalcolour. I've mentioned they have a gig with me coming up in January, yes?

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Our Favourite Albums of 2010: #10 - 4

Five million drafts of lists later I'm forcing myself to publish this before I can change my mind again.
Favourite albums doesn't have the same ring to it as best I know, but makes me feel a bit more comfortable.
The Top Three will follow tomorrow. There's a reason why they are straggling which you'll find out then. In the meantime feel free to guess what they are based on what is missing.
Come back later in the week for a run down of some of my favourite singles and EPs, and another of my favourite songs.

#10: The Unwinding Hours - The Unwinding Hours (Review)

#9: Lamplighter - All Is Vanity (Review)

#8: Admiral Fallow - Boots Met My Face (Listen)

#7: Over The Wall - Treacherous

#6: The Phantom Band - The Wants

#5: Mammoeth - Nascent (Review)

#4: RM Hubbert - First & Last

All fine, fine albums.
Bubbling Under:
As the five million drafts suggest the list could, and has, change at any given time, so in addition to the top ten here's a few that are well worth investigating too, but didn't quite make the cut. I could have extended the list to twenty, but I don't know the difference between my 13th favourite and my 20th favourite, so in no particular order, with handy links to listen to most of them...
Woodenbox With A Fistful of Fivers - Home and the Wild Hunt

These two came just a little too late in the year. Both excellent albums that if I'd had a chance to spend a little more time with would certainly have fought their way into the top ten.

This Week's Gigs: 13th - 19th December

Oh God, it's the week from Hell.
Between bad weather and general poorness I've had a couple of weeks off from going to gigs, looking at everything that is on this week it is probably just as well. I can feel the onset of liver failure just writing this up.
Fun fact: 5 of the 9 bands who have played an AVP gig have a gig this week. Well I thought it was interesting...

Bronto Skylift, Lady North, LightGuides & Departures. Glasgow School of Art. Free entry.
Well, that's a Hell of a way to kick off the week.

There's a VERY tasty gig on in Bloc on Tuesday, but I think it is technically meant to be a secret, so to avoid getting a kicking from anyone I won't list it, you'll just have to go on word of mouth. If you like girls named Rachel, warm coats and scared animals it'll be a good one for you.
Another good looking line up this one, carrying on the theme of "a million and one gigs I want to go to" this week.

Launch event for "The Outsider-Short Stories 2005-2010" by Mark Buckland. The night kicks off at 7pm with free entry and features readings from Allan Wilson, Anneliese Mackintosh, Craig Lamont and Cameron Steel, plus music from Burnt Island. The Outsider is limited to 150 signed and numbered copies, which will be on sale on the night.
The Yummy Fur, Nico's Bike, Astral Planes. Stereo. (Tickets)
Apparently one of The Yummy Fur's last ever gigs. How much you believe that depends on your cynicism levels.
A threesome of bands we love.

Another cracking looking gig - with another Aye Tunes Vs Peenko band - made even more tempting by Night Noise Team playing downstairs in the bar from 7pm.
Jocasta Sleeps. Bloc, free entry.
I think is is possibly meant to be secret too, but they put it on Facebook, so I'm listing it. Jocasta Sleeps reform for one night only for a special gig.
Song, by Toad Christmas Party. Queen Charlotte Rooms, Leith. (Tickets)
If I could, I would. If you are planning on going you'll probably want to buy a ticket in advance.

Shambles Miller. The Liquid Ship, free entry.
Happy Particles, RM Hubbert, No Comet. The Captain's Rest.

Ten Tracks Presents... Stereo.
More details, including a two for one ticket offer, here.
So Many Animal Calls. BOX, free entry.
Stars In Their Eyes Christmas Special. Pilrig St Pauls, Edinburgh. (Tickets)
Another Edinburgh Christmas party, this time masterminded by eagleowl. Again, you'll want to buy a ticket if you plan on going.

Kid Canaveral's Christmas Baubles. The Lot, Edinburgh.
Rounding off the Christmas parties in Edinburgh are Kid Canaveral, with an all day extravaganza. Kicking off at 2pm - oh my this is going to get messy - the day will have sets from Kid Canaveral (obviously), ballboy, a solo set from King Creosote, The Last Battle, Gummi Bako, Cancel The Astronauts and Come on Gang! which all adds up to a superb sounding day. If you don't have a ticket nae luck, it is sold out.
This will be only the second time I've ventured through to Edinburgh for a gig this year, both times for Kid Canaveral. They had their album launch at The Roxy which then closed. This is at The Lot which has announced it will be closing soon. Maybe I should avoid Edinburgh, the venues don't seem to like me.

So after all that can we have a nice quiet, relaxing Sunday? No, no we cannot.
Luz Da Lua, Aviators, Mano Neto. The Forest Cafe, Edinburgh.
Likely to be brilliant.
Almost certain to be brilliant. Live sets from the wonderful Mitchell Museum and The Seventeenth Century, plus superstar DJs.
Anyone fancy buying me a ticket for this? I think I'm skint...

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Twelve - Paul Vickers Special

Today we have a triple threat of the weird and, hopefully, wonderful. We also have a real rarity - a song that I genuinely hate, but enjoy in this form.

All three songs today feature in one way or another Paul Vickers, as should have been obvious from the title.

Paul Vickers is best known to me as one of Dawn of the Replicants. I was really into them about ten years ago, before losing track of them somewhat. They were a great band, impossible to categorise, and we'll have them down at the end.

Recording The Impossible describe them self as being "inspired by the likes of Ivor Cutler, the Jerky Boys, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Chris Morris and Tom Waits", so you should probably be able to tell you won't be in for something dull and mundane really. Today's Christmas song of choice is there, well, unique, take on good old Silent Night.

Paul Vickers and The Leg are as difficult to describe as Dawn of the Replicants, so I'll cop out by not even trying.
I was sure I'd never heard this song in my life until a couple of years ago, when an American friend included it on a mixtape for me. It's been around for way over 50 years, originally performed by Gayla Peevey. Apparently my brother used to sing it to me when I was young, a memory I'd clearly suppressed.

Finally, Dawn of the Replicants. Round about the time of their debut album One Head, Two Arms, Two Legs. Also, fun fact, I used to talk a bit with co-founder Roger Simian in, of all places, a 2000AD newsgroup, many years ago.
As for the song... Well, this is a song which actually had the ability to make me violent. Years of working in retail, and therefore years of hearing it about a dozen times a day for all of November and December, will do that to you. Oddly enough, all other Christmas songs I'm fine with, even though I've similarly heard them a million times, it's just this one that makes me want to punch people in the throat. Sorry Macca fans, but the song makes The Frog Chorus sound like a work of genius.
Fortunately, the Dawn of the Replicants version doesn't make me want to punch folk. Though it can't quite redeem the song entirely it does make it enjoyable, or at least tolerable.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Eleven - Macabre Scene

The second Saturday day is also a repeat from last year, but it is another one I liked a lot, so shoosh.

And video too!

Macabre Scene: MySpace - Facebook

Some twit couldn't tell the difference between "draft" and "scheduled" today so the Christmas posts are late, sorry...

Readers' Poll Reminder

Just a reminder that if you want to take part in the 2010 Aye Tunes Readers' Poll you have a little over a week to get your entries in.
Voting closes on Sunday, December 19th, you can find all the details and voting form here.

So far the best band and album categories are particularly close, so get your votes made or you can't complain about the results!

If all goes well the results will be announced on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day, depending on how much counting I have to do.

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Eleven - The Morgue Party Candidate

Today's song is a home demo that Ross from The Morgue Party Candidate sent over last year.
It makes a change from the downbeat songs we've had recently, so it is getting a repeat this year!

The Morgue Party Candidate: MySpace - Bandcamp

Some twit couldn't tell the difference between "draft" and "scheduled" today so the Christmas posts are late, sorry...

Friday, 10 December 2010

Free Music Friday

I normally leave this kind of thing to my friend/occasional promoting partner/arch nemesis Peenko for his Friday Freebies series, but he occasionally misses stuff I think is worthy of a plug.
I could tell him of course, but hey, why let him have all the traffic from the freeloaders? He gets enough from me tweeting stuff I've found on Bandcamp anyway ;)
Anyway, here's a few things I like that are available as free downloads, or in some cases name your price with no minimum, so you can decide for yourself if you want to pay for it.

There can never be enough side projects from members of Dananananaykroyd, can there? This one comes from Duncan Robertson, with a little added drums from Paul Carlin. The description on Bandcamp reads "I was trying to teach myself to use a new bit of software, but the only lesson learnt was how bad I can be at letting songs just go. Listen quick, before I change my mind and gather them all back up."
Do be sure to get in there quick then, because the songs are pretty good.

Peenko did cover this one, but as it follows nicely from Duncan and the Ex-Teens I'm including it too. In case you don't know, the reason it follows nicely is that Ghost Pants is, mainly, Dananananaykroyd's Paul Carlin. This single is described as a thank you to everyone who has paid attention to Ghost Pants over the last seven months. If you haven't paid attention so far now would be a good time to start. The single is available for free, along side the three already released Ghost Pants EPs which are on a name your price basis.

Laeto mostly grabbed attention this week by surprising everyone with the release of their third album, which you can find here. To celebrate the release of that Too Many Fireworks have made the second Laeto album, Zwoa, available on a name your price basis for a limited time.

We love The Japanese War Effort round these parts. This is, as the name suggests, a protest song touching on a regular Japanese War Effort theme of football, and why giving the World Cup to Qatar isn't great. Really, really good.

An extra free track from The Japanese War Effort, this time remixed by dems. When I eventually get round to a post with my favourite songs both The Japanese War Effort and dems will both be making appearances. You can find the original version of Ribbit on the new Gerry Loves Records Split 12", which is well worth a purchase.

Posted a bit about this yesterday, but if I'm rounding up free downloads I may as well include it again. Short version - this is a 16 track compilation released by Electropapknit Records, featuring loads of good music.

As mentioned in the gig guide this week Gargleblast Records have a Christmas party happening tomorrow night. Nice timing then that they've put this release up for free download. Two songs each from Foxface, Pan and De Rosa, originally given away as a free CD-R at the 2007 Gargleblast Christmas party. Someone once tried to sell me one of the CDs for £25, I'm glad I resisted and waited two years instead. Incidentally, whatever happened to Foxface? They seemed to quietly vanish a year or so ago and I miss them a bit.

Released before I'd even had a chance to plug Batch 1, so go grab both free from Soundcloud.

Fence Collective members Viva Stereo are preparing to release their fourth album early next year and have released this teaser for it. Since I first looked at the Bandcamp page they've also added a second track to the download, a little Christmas song. That's either sneaky of them, or punishment for me spending too much time lurking around Bandcamp and downloading things too early. The single is only up for a limited time, so get in quick. You can find out more about Viva Stereo at their website. Oh, fun fact, Viva Stereo share a member the The Vitamin Sees, who I interviewed here a wee while back.

Hailing from Aberdeen but now based in Paris - which is a far more sensible move than going to Aberdeen from Motherwell - Mark McCabe will be making an appearance in the advent calendar in the coming days. Before then though he has an EP available on name your price which is worth a listen. He ploughs the same folky acoustic pop furrow that so many do, but does it well. There's even a little Xcerts cover version in there.

Quite simply one of my favourite songs released this year. Originally on the Blooms EP Miaoux Miaoux has now released Snow as a free download single, backed with a remix featuring real, actual snow. Just a beautiful song, basically.

There's also a variety of Christmas themed freebies kicking around, but I'm saving those for the advent calendar!
Now to sit back and wait to get sued/battered.

Ten Tracks Presents: A Website is For Life, Not Just For Christmas + Special Offer

To celebrate the season, as well as the launch of their brand new website, Ten Tracks are hosting a marathon 8 hour party at Glasgow's Stereo Cafe Bar next week.

The party takes place on December 17th, with tickets available here.
However there's a special offer for Aye Tunes readers, simply email info(at) with "ayetunes" in the subject line and you can snag yourself two tickets for the price of one.
Tickets cost £10 and include a FREE year long subscription to the Ten Tracks download site which itself is worth £10.

The party features:

The Blessings
Frog Pocket
Not Squares
Logik Party
Enfant Bastard
Fur Hood
Blood Blood

You can find more details on the event and those appearing over on Facebook.

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Ten - Now Wakes the Sea

Hey, guess what? That's right, today's song isn't an upbeat romp either!
I probably should have planned this better, but I've already burned through my pre-written posts and am now in the "making this up as I go along" phase.

Anyway, today's Christmas song comes from Now Wakes the Sea who offers up a cover of a classic in the shape of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).
As I'm the kind of person who gives such matters too much though I've decided there are two ways you can go with covering this song. You can either really go for it and belt it out, which works best if you are a female singer - dig up Slow Club's version for an idea, although Rebecca always sounds a bit too tentative on their version for my liking - or slow it down and make it moody. Last year I posted a version by Arab Strap which did the latter to great effect. If you don't go down one of those two roads you are doing it wrong.

Now Wakes the Sea takes a similar approach. In their (well, his, we at Aye Tunes get confused about these things) own words "There aren't any saxophones and exploding drums, but subdued horns and drum machine instead, mixed with mellotron flutes and distorted bass", the results are pretty swell. You can stream the song below and it is available to download on a name your price basis at Bandcamp. I won't spoil the surprise but if you download you'll get a little something extra too.

Now Wakes The Sea has an EP set for release through Wiseblood Industries at the start of next year, keep an eye out for it. In the meantime there's a few more songs available on Bandcamp.

Now Wakes The Sea: Bandcamp - Facebook

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Electopapknit Vol. 1

Wee bit later than planned with this, since the launch night kicks off in just a few short hours. I did mention it in the gig guide though...

Today sees Electropapknit Records put out their second release. They are following up the debut EP by Deathpodal earlier in the year (which I liked a lot) with a compilation and a splendid compilation it is too.

Featuring music by Eagleowl, Douglas Firs, Deathpodal, PVH, Noma, Wounded Knee, Detail, Eternal Fags, Citizens, Iliop, Vom, Conquering Animal Sound, Public Spaces, Battery Face, Foundling Wheel and Jesus H Foxx - a very impressive selection - the compilation is available as a free download from Soundcloud and should be on Bandcamp soon too. At a price poit of zero you'd be daft not to check it out.

A small number of physical copies are also available. 50 hand screen-printed CD-Rs, along with cakes and other goodies, will be on sale at the launch gig. That gig takes place tonight at The Winchester Club in Glasgow where your £4 entry fee will let you see Galoshins, Min Diesel, Battery Face (who may be sporting actual battered faces after being jumped a few nights ago) and Public Spaces.

Electopapknit: Website - Bandcamp - Soundcloud

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Nine - We See Lights

Today's song is another downbeat one. Anyone would think I secretly hate Christmas and am out to make it miserable for all while torturing myself by posting something daily. I'm not, it just happens that there's a wee run of more mellow songs. There'll be more happy, bouncy and downright weird songs before advent is over.

We See Lights provide today's song. They are a multi member musical collective, based in Edinburgh who have been kicking around for a while and released their debut album, Ghosts & Monsters, earlier this year. As has become a trend in the second half of this year the album never quite made it from my "to be reviewed" pile to my "actually reviewed" one because I'm, y'know, rubbish. The album is good though, you can find it in the usual download shops (like Amazon and iTunes as well as streaming it on Spotify and Bandcamp.

I actually know very little about this song, I ripped it from a session We See Lights did for Vic Galloway back in 2008. Digging around suggests it was released under the name We See Christmas Lights but beyond that MySpace page I can't find any more details. If anyone knows where I can get my hands on Cold Noses and the other songs recorded let me know!
The song is, as mentioned, quite a downbeat one but also quite a lovely one.

The only other thing I could find on the song was a video of it being performed live at one of The Mill gigs, so you can have that too.

We See Lights: MySpace - Facebook - Bandcamp

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Eight - Trapped Mice

Behind door number eight on the calendar are Trapped Mice, with what I think is an Aye Tunes exclusive.
Oh, and we are back to the not so cheery songs again with this one!
If you missed it on Monday Trapped Mice are one of the bands playing at the first Aye Tunes Presents gig, so you can be fairly sure you'll hear a good bit more about them on here between now and that gig in January.

Until then enjoy God is Here, their Christmas song, and visit the link to Bandcamp down to below to hear more from Trapped Mice.

Trapped Mice: MySpace - Facebook - Bandcamp

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Seven - The Belle Hops

Oh look, one week down already. Everyone enjoying their musical treats?

Today's Christmas song comes from The Belle Hops. Titled A Belle Hops Christmas Song it fulfils everything it promises in the name.
They do a sort of 50s-60s girl group thing, with Scottish accents. Something nice and poppy for your Tuesday morning.
Now, let's see if I'm still snowed in, or if I need to go to work today...

The Belle Hops: MySpace - Facebook - Bandcamp

Monday, 6 December 2010

Aye Tunes Presents...

Hello again! I'm still snowed in, so you are getting a variety of unplanned blog posts this afternoon.
This is one I've been desperate to make for a few weeks, but tinkering with a few details held it off a bit.

After the fun of putting on the AvsP trilogy with Peenko I've gotten a bit of a taste for putting on gigs. The Aye Tunes Vs Peenko gigs are on hiatus for now, so... I'm doing the next one, at least, by myself.

Some kind of weird OCD type affliction made me decide that for the first Aye Tunes Presents gig I wanted a theme. After a bit of humming and hawing I picked one - animals! This worked out well for me, since there are TONS of bands named after or related to animals around that I like.

It is with great pleasure then that I can now announce the line-up, especially since details have already popped up on Stereo's website, and in an interview on of all places Peenko Blog.

Joining me for an evening of animal themed fun and frolics are Boygirlanimalcolour, Kochka and Trapped Mice.
The gig takes place on the 21st of January next year in Stereo in Glasgow, so you have plenty of time to save up some pennies to come along.

If you are into that kind of thing here's a Facebook event page for the gig.

Please come x

Frightened Rabbit's Snow Show

I'm snowed in, apparently. I tried to get to work this morning but after waiting for a while on a bus I was told they've been cancelled for the day, so back off home I trotted. How awful.

Chances are some of you are in the same boat. Even worse, some of you may have seen your plans to go to tonight's, or the one that was on on Friday for that matter, Frightened Rabbit gig in Glasgow vanish into heaps of white fluffy stuff.

If so, worry not. The Skinny reported on Twitter that the band will be streaming a special live acoustic "snow show" at 6:30pm to go some way to cheering up the folks that can't make it.
You'll be able to watch the show here or if the embed thing works, down below.

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Six - The Last Battle

the Last Battle have a new single out today. The A-side is Nature's Glorious Rage, taken from their debut album Heart of the Land Soul of the Sea. You can download the single here.
Since one of the b-sides is a Christmas song that gives me an excuse to plug the single and some upcoming tour dates. Listen to and download Once Upon a Boxing Day below, visit Bandcamp for the rest.

The Last Battle head off on a wee tour this week, kicking off with a free gig at Bloc in Glasgow on Tuesday night. Here's all the dates:
7 Dec 2010 Bloc Glasgow
9 Dec 20101 Old Bridge Inn Aviemore
10 Dec 2010 Musa Aberdeen
12 Dec 2010 The Adelphi w/The Book Club Hull
13 Dec 2010 The Well w/The Book Club Leeds
15 Dec 2010 The Garage w/The Book Club London

The Last Battle: Website - MySpace - Facebook

Sunday, 5 December 2010

This Week's Gigs: 6th - 12th December

Is everyone enjoying the Christmas songs so far?
Last week's gig guide was a bit of a nightmare, let's see if I can get through it in one go this time.

The second of Frightened Rabbit's sold out Barrowlands gigs, this time with added John Knox Sex Club.

The Last Battle. Bloc, free entry.


Electopapknit Compilation Launch. The Winchester.
Bit more on this coming during the week, but the basis are Electropapknit are releasing an excellent, and free, compilation on Thursday, which this is a launch gig for. Playing on the night will be Galoshins, Min Diesel, Battery Face and Public Spaces.
The Last Battle. Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore.
Cracker. King Tut's. (Tickets)
David Lowery and Johnny Hickman do the songs of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven

Launch gig for the new Six Storeys High single, My Last Favour.

Christmas Picante. The Flying Duck.
Christmas party from the club night side of El Rancho Records. Playing live are Schnapps, PAWS, recent Spotlight stars/victims Male Pattern Band, Blood of the Bull, North American War and Organs of Love.
Gargleblast Records Christmas Party. Gargleblast Studio, Hamilton.
Bring your own booze, £4 in. The Clyde and Escape Act playing live, with special guest DJs.
Pretty Ugly Christmas Party. The Hold (The Admiral), Glasgow.