Saturday, 4 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Four - How To Swim

Since today's Christmas choice was a repeat and since it is the weekend, here's a bonus song.
That's right, I'm feeling generous, so today and tomorrow you get to open an extra door on the musical advent calendar.

This song was one of the reccomendations I got when I asked for Christmas songs the other week. I'd just about given up on finding it too, when How To Swim handily made it available again.
So, thanks to them, you can listen to How To Swim's Christmas song from a few years ago - Sleighbells (Christmas Makes me Blue) - and download it for free below. It is pretty Spector-esque, and a barrel of fun.

You can listen to and buy loads more of How To Swim's stuff over at their Bandcamp page. Their debut album Retina (or More Fun Than a Vat of Love) came out a couple of months back and is quite splendid.

How To Swim: MySpace - Facebook - Bandcamp

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Four - Dan Lyth

Day four of the Christmas songs brings the first repeat, of sorts, from last year.
A track from Dan Lyth's The Fat Man and Baby Boy EP appeared last year, but since the EP has been rereleased for this Christmas and is well worth your fiver I'm using it again today.
Thanks to the wonders of Bandcamp I don't have to pick a song, you can listen to the whole thing down below.
Stuck for Christmas gifts for your loved ones? Well, if you buy four copies of the EP you'll get a fifth free, so there's always that. Buy the EP here.
Check back again at lunchtime today for a bonus Christmas song!

Dan Lyth: Website - Bandcamp

Friday, 3 December 2010

Eclectic Peel

Somehow managed to miss this off the gig guide this week. Exhibition runs from the 4th - 11th of December, with a special launch night of the 4th. On with the details...

December 4th sees Glasgow Podcart launch their biggest exhibition/event to date. The newly regenerated Barras Courtyard will house something extremely special for 1 week only

Glasgow Podcart have selected over 20 artists of all disciplines. This includes musicians, photographers, animators, illustrators, a sculptor, dancers and we even have a fashion designer! We have then paired these different artists up and asked them to create an original piece of work. The theme we have chosen is the late, great inspirational DJ: John Peel.

The exhibition will run from December 4th – December 11th; however we will be kicking things off with a fantastic live launch on the evening of December 4th. This will include special live music performances and refreshments not to mention the abundance of artwork that will be on show!

The aforementioned Barras Courtyard is beginning to establish itself as something vitally important in Glasgow and to prove this it houses two notable vintage retailers. Made In The Shade and Che Camille have both opened up shops in this breathtaking space. We will be transforming the courtyard into something visually stunning at night for Eclectic Peel and we hope you can come and be part of this!

The artists confirmed for the event are:

Abi Lewis
Alan Moore
Christine Jones
Douglas King
Roddy MacNeil
Robbie Porter
Ingrid Mur
Jamie Ross
Joan Beattie
Lindsay Docherty
Louise McVey
Mal Young
Michael Corr
Neil Warrack
Myriam Ceglarek
Paolo Caravello
Stephen Bloe
Ben Rowe
Neil Thomas Douglas
Lisa-Marie Ferla

There will be special musical performances from Blochestra and Esperi. Blochestra has a 22 member plus strong collective that boasts members from some of the most influential grass roots bands and also individual artists. They will be performing a very special set to pay homage to the legendary John Peel and his memory. If you have yet to experience Blochestra then you are in for something heart lifting.

Esperi will be performing a very eclectic set with some special surprises and will have the aid of Mal Young and RM * 3D visuals to round off the evening.

Oh, and be nice to the guy on the door please.

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Three - Frightened Rabbit

Day three of the Christmas songs brings us our first cover version so far.
Recorded for Vic Galloway last year, this is Frightened Rabbit taking on Aled Jones and Snowmen at their own game.
Frightened Rabbit play The Barrowlands in Glasgow tonight, and again on Monday. Both gigs are sold out, and I don't have a ticket for either. Arse.

There's video of this too, probably only available for people in the UK, the few people that I get from elsewhere will probably just have an ugly black box below.

Frightened Rabbit: Website

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day Two - The Porch Song Anthology

For the second day of the Aye Tunes Advent Calendar we are staying a bit downbeat and moody.
Don't worry, cheery Christmas tunes are on the way later.

The Porch Song Anthology contain former Telstar Ponies members Rachel Devine, Gavin Laird and Raymond Prior, with JC Devine completing the line-up. They released their debut album in 2006, with their second due next year. Not ones to be rushed then...

Before the album comes this though, Christmas Is Cold, their new Christmassy single.
It is a bit of a bittersweet, folk tinged Americana number, and really gorgeous. It might not be happy and sparkly, but it's got a good heart. We at Aye Tunes are suckers for a good harmony too, and Christmas Is Cold delivers beautifully.

The single was released on Monday and can be bought from Amazon and iTunes.
The Porch Song Anthology play Brel in Glasgow tonight (Thursday 2nd) to launch the single.

Don't have a stream of the song available, so here's the video.

The Porch Song Anthology: Website

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Bronto Skylift December Tour & Single

The loudest duo around, Bronto Skylift, are chasing off the Winter blues with a series of dates around Scotland in the coming weeks. All the details are on the poster above, but in case you can't see that I'll handily list them all here too.

Bronto Skylift December Tour
:9th - Inverness - Madhatters (with He Slept On 57 and Detour DJs)
10th - Stornoway - J├Ąger Room
11th - Aviemore - Old Bridge Inn
12th - Edinburgh – Sneaky Pete’s (with Lady North) (There's a small number of cheap tickets for this one HERE)
13th – Glasgow – The Art School (with Lady North, LightGuides & Departures)
16th - Leslie - The Greenside (with The Fire & I)
17th - Dundee – Doghouse (with Pensioner)

Coinciding with the tour is a new single, Gameboy, lifted from the band's debut album The White Crow. Gameboy is a bit like what I imagine would happen if you combined a pop song with a wrecking ball, which is of course a good thing.
Backing Gameboy on the single is the previously unreleased rarity Cross Dressing Thumbwar Championship, which I think you'll agree is a top class title.
The single is limited to 70 hand numbered copies with new artwork designed by the band.

Bronto Skylift: MySpace - Bandcamp - Shop

Advent Calendar 2010 - Day One - Chris Flew

It is December now and like it or not I'm going to spend the next 24 days ramming Christmas spirit down your throat.
I'm going to start off on a downbeat note with Chris Flew's Christmas on Ward #7.
This is a gorgeous song, which I kept meaning to include last year, but kept forgetting about, much like I've meant to feature Chris himself more prominently here over the time I've been writing Aye Tunes. He is an excellent songwriter, who should really be more well known.
The song is a bit of a look at the other side of Christmas, away from the tinsel and happy, smiley faces.
You can listen below and if you follow the links to Bandcamp you can snag a free download of the whole Kingston Bridge album the song comes from.

Also, video!

Chris Flew: Website - Facebook - Bandcamp

T in the Park 2011 Tickets Presale

Want to buy a ticket for next year's T in the Park, but don't want to wait till they go on sale on Friday? Well then, don't wait. So long as I've scheduled this post properly there's a presale starting in about an hour (it starts at 9am) which you can find here, with tickets on sale at 2010 prices.

Early bird tickets go on general sale at 9am on Friday, you'll be able to find those here.

In the interests of full disclosure, I'm posting this because if you buy tickets from that link, I get a tiny wee bit of commission. I know, I know, I'm a sell out, but a guy's gotta eat, and no one ever clicks the adverts over on the sidebar.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Spotlight: Mondegreen

Time for another interview.
Having stalked Mondegreen online ever since they were The Covergirls and seen them more than a few times I figured it was finally time to sneak out from the bushes outside their homes and ask them a few questions. Sadly none of them answered "Can I come out, it is freezing in that bush" in the affirmative. Singer & guitarist Matthew was good enough to answer other questions too though, with Allan lending a hand.

Who are Mondegreen?
A three-headed beast with Allan on bass
Fraser on drums
and me (Matthew) on guitar.

What do you sound like?
The short answer is: three guys trying to make the most of a cowbell, a root note and a fuzz pedal.
The longer answer is: Stephen Malkmus trying to cover Pet Sounds with John Densmore on drums and Kim Deal on bass.

How did you all get together, and what made you stay together?
We're a test-tube band, cobbled together from wanted ad respondees. Fraser and I were in a band called The Covergirls and we had an opportunity to record at Chem19 with the Scottish Arts Council. We were short of a bass player and Allan fitted in real fast. By this point I was the only original member of The Covergirls left, and some folk suggested we change the name. I suggested Mondegreen and I think it's finally grown on us a bit.

A mondegreen is, usually at least, a misheard song lyric, do you have a favourite one?
"Even the greatest arse/Live their lives in the looking glass". That's Kraftwerk of course. One of my friends pointed out a mondegreen in one of our songs: "You draw paintings on smelly faeces". It's actually "You draw paintings and smiley faces".
Allan: Myself and Matt went to see Blue Sky Archives in Bloc the other night and I thought their last song had the lyrics "we're right wing to the core" repeated as the outro. I'm guessing that was a mondegreen at least!

The Headless EP was recorded at Chem19, how did that come about, and how was it recording there?
I emailed Chemikal Underground to ask if they'd record and release our concept album about a guy with no head, not expecting a reply. I think they admired my boldness, and they fitted us in on their Arts Council demo fund.
We had two days there with Jamie Savage and the result was an abbreviated version of the initial Headless album idea, so we had a friend draw up some artwork, and we punt it around as an EP. (Jim: which you can download here, and listen to down the bottom)

Chemikal Underground's Stewart Henderson recently said he has "a real soft spot" for the band, so presumably you behaved yourself while in Chem19 at least.
I know, we saw that, and it was very nice of him. We have a lot of fun in this band but we also work very hard, so it's cool to hear people saying nice things about what we're doing. I'll always remember our visit there because it was right at the beginning of that freezing snowy winter, and I thought we were going to get snowed in at Chem19.

Since we are getting alarmingly close to the end of the year let's go all "year in review" style and ask what, if anything, have been highlights for the band this year?
I think the highlight for us was the road trip to Aberdeen in the summer. It was our first and only gig outside Glasgow, and we played at Cellar 35 with Min Diesel and Pensioner. Fraser's car clapped out somewhere near Brechin, and we got a flat tyre not long after. We had a great night and a great show, and some of us had to sleep in the car outside the venue, but it was definitely the highlight of the year.
Allan: Not forgetting that Fraser actually used his cowbell to bash the tire iron when changing the wheel!

Any moments you'd rather forget about?
Really racking my brains here but I can't think of anything that's gone monstrously wrong. The year is not out yet though...

What other bands around at the moment would you recommend?
Allan: Quite partial to Fat Goth from Dundee and Min Diesel from Aberdeen. And Ultimate Thrush obviously.

What bands would you avoid like the plague?
We saw this one guy playing 13th Note one night. He had a guitar and a couple of loop pedals and he just made noise for half an hour. I don't have a problem with that but I have tinnitus and I didnae have my ear plugs so I had to be rude and leave.
Allan: I saw a band do an entire 20 minute set where all the did was constantly attempt to tune their guitars. There were no songs, no banter, just tuning for 20 solid minutes. I'm not sure if they did it on purpose or not.

What do you have planned for the next few months?
We're recording our album with Ross McGowan at Chime Studio, so maybe with another couple of visits we could have it all done, and there's a gig at Tut's to look forward to on December 15th. We're planning to host our own nights starting January 13th in Stereo, if that goes well we'll attempt it more often. Apart from that, I think we'll be buttoning up our coats and keeping warm.

Finally, quirky interview questions, fun and harmless, or generally a bit of a waste of time?
Fun and harmless. “It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information” - Oscar Wilde.

Mondegreen: MySpace - Facebook

Aye Tunes Readers' Poll 2010

We've come to that time of the year where a bunch of people obsess over lists of our favourite things of the year, while other people mock us for our obsessing over said lists.

In addition to putting together my own "Best of" lists I thought it might be fun (it may well not be fun, but let's see) to ask the people that read my blethering what they think too. That would be you, dear reader.

Quickie rules & regulations type things:
  • Answer or skip whatever questions you want, but if a bunch of people answer one question with the same answer it'll be pretty obvious ballot stuffing.
  • No ballot stuffing! If it isn't obvious I probably won't notice it though.
  • You can choose up to three answers for each question, try and put them in order, 1 being best, 2 second best, blah blah blah.
  • You can vote for bands, albums etc from anywhere, they don't have to be Scottish.
  • Polls close on December 19th, after that I'll count up the results.
  • This is meant to be a wee bit of fun, so don't moan about the results when posted!
  • I won't keep your name/email address or any other info once the poll is done, unless you tell me to.
My attempt at putting together a fancy voting form failed miserably, so I'm afraid you'll have to do a wee bit of work. Copy/paste the stuff below and stick it in an email to and I'll do the rest.

Aye Tunes Readers' Poll 2010

Best Band:

Best Solo Artist:

Best New Band/Solo Artist: (New is very subjective, if you first heard of them this year, that'll do)

Best Live Band:

Best Album:

Best Single/EP: (Basically anything that isn't an album)

Best Music Blog/Website: (Aye Tunes isn't eligible for this. Partly to avoid accusations, partly to stop me seeing how few would have said it anyway)

Best Music Radio Show/Podcast:

Best Venue:

Best Gig: (as in, best one you've been at this year, just in case you were confused)

Your Name:
Where You Are From:

That'll do I think. Feel free to tell your pals about the poll!

Monday, 29 November 2010

This Week's Gigs: 29th November - 5th December (Take Two)

This week's gig guide was a bloody disaster area, so I've junked it and done it again. I think I've just about fixed everything that was on the wrong day now, or had an incorrect line-up. If anything is still knackered only tell me if you want to make me weep.
Incidentally, why do some gig venues make it flipping impossible for you to find out what gigs are happening there?
You might have noticed, but there's been some snow. Best check gigs are going ahead before you head off to them.


Songs For Autism. St Andrew's In The Square.
Special event with Duglas Stewart, The BMX Bandits, AJ Roach and The Porch Song Anthology.
(UPDATE: A victim of the weather, this has been cancelled and will be rescheduled)

Windlestray, We See Lights, Craig Joe Davidson, The Last Battle. The Lot, Edinburgh.
Fun fact, I spent a good five minutes there stuck on Disney websites till I figured out what the Last Battle's website address is.
Lorraine McCauley And The Borderlands. Coda Music, Edinburgh. 6pm
This is a wee launch night for Lorraine McCauley And The Borderlands debut EP, Haunt Me. If I wasn't months behind on my reviews I'd have told you already that the EP is very good indeed, but since I am that's as best as I can do right now. Note the early start, get along for some songs, mince pies and mulled wine.
Aspen Tide, Mechanical Smile, Reykjavik. The 13th Note.
Aspen Tide show off an impressive work ethic by cramming in two gigs in one night, as they are also playing Frankenstein's in Glasgow. Not sure where they'll be on first, so keep an eye on the band's Facebook for details and cheap tickets for the two gigs.
Aspen Tide, The Darien Venture, Ghost Ride The Whip, Kid Fire. Frankenstein Glasgow.
That'll be the other gig I mentioned above. The Darien Venture are ace too.
(UPDATE: Another one hit by the weather, as The Darien Venture have been forced to pull out)
Supermarionation, Otaku, Lee Patterson. Electric Circus, Edinburgh

Probably the gig I'm most eager to get to this week. Super Adventure Club and PAWS are both consistently entertaining, but I've yet to see Hagana or Rollor.
Porch Song Anthology and Special Guests. Brel.
The Porch Song Anthology play a launch gig for their new single, Christmas Is Cold. You might be able to guess what Thursday's Christmas song here is then.
Aspen Tide, Carnivores, Kid Fire, Your First Mistake. Frankenstein's Edinburgh.
Aspen Tide get around again, this time joined by Carnivores, who we like lots.
Cancel The Astronauts, The OK Social Club, The Nature Boys, Underclass and Maydays. the Caves, Edinburgh.
Yahweh, Emily Scott, Union Canal. Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh.

The first of two sold out Barras shows for Frightened Rabbit. Guess who waiting too long to buy tickets for either? Bah, humbug. Get down early for Admiral Fallow, I insist.
Launch gig for Edinburgh youngsters Three Long Words new single.
Gerry Loves Xmas. The Banshee Labrynth, Edinburgh. (Tickets)
Gerry Loves Records are having a Christmas party, with the rather bloody good line-up of The Japanese War Effort, Fox Gut Daata, Miaoux Miaoux, Wounded Knee, Conquering Animal Sound and Yahweh.
Glasgow Popfest: Day One. SWG3.
Click the poster to make it bigger, more details and ticket info here.

Limbo Christmas Party. The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh.
There's a very tasty line-up for this once. The night promises shorter, unique sets and collaborations from FOUND, Night Noise Team, Inspector Tapehead, Yusuf Azak, Les Enfant Bastard and Andy Brown's Victorian Karaoke.
You Say Party, Skibunny. Captain's Rest (Tickets)
More details on ye olde Facebook.
Glasgow Popfest: Day Two. SWG3.
See Friday, just a couple of lines above.

Glasgow Popfest: Day Three. Stereo.
Again, see above. The most tempting day for me since it is the day with the most bands I know, and like. All three look pretty decent though.