Monday, 16 December 2013

Christmas With... Eddy & the T-Bolts

Time to get some Christmas stuff posted then eh?

Former Aye Tunes gig stars and blog pals Eddy & the T-Bolts promised me a Christmas song. I then decided not to do the advent calendar, but they delivered the song anyway.

They’ve chosen to cover Darlene Love. This pleases me, since the song in question, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is one of my favourite things. It turns up here by various folk every year, so now we have another version to add to the list.

Listen to and download the tune below.

Eddy & the T-Bolts play at The 13th Note in Glasgow on Tuesday, 17th December as part of Bastard’s Xmas, with Ross Gilchrist, The Hate 80s and the wonderfully named Destroyevsky.

You can find more of their music on Bandcamp.

Friday, 6 December 2013

What Happened to the Advent Calendar Anyway?

December 6th and not a single Christmas song posted so far. Why? Well, a couple of reasons. Number one being that my computer took another of its funny turns and didn't work for several days, number two is that there's been very little interest in the series. My blogging motivation has been very low all year already, so there was nothing that made me feel there was a pressing need to post stuff.

Added into number two is that working in retail in the run up to Christmas means that free time is as rare as a unicorn, a bad release by Song, by Toad or Gerry Loves Records, a financially successful Aye Tunes gig, Niall from The Spook School keeping his top on, or a good Fatherson song.

Not much time to do stuff then, and since I've missed a week already it seems a bit late to start an advent calendar now.

There's still Christmas music to be posted though, I just won't be doing it in the usual format.

Since this is getting written on my phone there's nae music to go here, I'll shove some stuff up over the weekend if I get a minute.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Ooh, That Looks Good - Some November Gigs

Look, look, I'm still barely a blog!

There's a lot of people I like doing things for the rest of the month, so I should really pop my head and hands out from under the warmth giving duvet for just long enough to quickly mention them in the hope that someone will read this and be convinced into going to something.

I don't like the chances of anyone reading this, but hey, strange things happen sometimes.

Thursday 7th November
In Wrecks bring their previously digital only debut EP Creation Myths into the physical World, and launch the CD with a free gig at Bloc. Support comes from the heavily Aye Tunes endorsed A Fight You Can't Win AND Black International! Three fab bands for no entry fee, marvelous.

Friday 8th November
I can't go out on Friday, which is annoying, since there's a pair of gigs I fancy, but does save me having to make a choice I suppose.
At The Roxy 171 you've got The New Fabian Society and the wonderful, fabulous, terribly handsome Birdhead.
Down the road at Nice 'n' Sleazy there's more good stuff in the shape of Trapped Mice, Galoshins and Where We Lay Our Heads.
Rubbish night to be otherwise engaged.

Saturday 9th November
When I met Ian from Trapped Mice recently he recommended Saturday's entertainment to me, which is Enablers at Stereo. Despite a load of material being freely available from their Bandcamp I'm ashamed to admit I've still not listened to them ahead of the gig. Normally I wouldn't fork out cash on a gig when I've not heard the band, but since support comes from the dual assault of Adam Stafford and the John Knox Sex Club, both of whom I'd crawl through broken glass to see, and I'm right there, waving my money at someone to let me in.
That does mean that I've had to turn my back on The Second Hand Marching Band though, who are launching their new single at The Glad Cafe at the same time. With support at that one coming from The Just Joans and Ex-Teens it made for a tough call, but until I get a functional clone I can't be in two places at once. One day, one day.

That lot will see you through to the weekend, I'll be back around then to update this here post with more of November's gigs, since typing all those words already was clearly enough work for one night.

Yeah, I forgot to update this last week. Hands up who is remotely surprised? None of you? Thought so. Enablers were great by the way.
Anyway, here's more stuff.

Wednesday 20th November
One of those gigs where the line up is all folk I like, one has played a gig for me, others almost have, and others are on my wishlist if I ever do that kind of thing again is happening at The 13th Note. Algernon Doll made one of my favourite records of the year this year with Citalo-Pop and played an Elliott Smith song for me at a house gig, so are obviously brilliant. Lovers Turn To Monsters shouldn't need an introduction round here, since Kyle Wood is consistently one of my favourite artists in the country and has done stuff for me before. Poor Things are the ones who kept getting away, the stars never quite aligning for me to get them on one of my bills. I've not seen them in ages either, so it'll be nice to get caught up there. Lightnin Papa Tam is the dark horse of the bunch, with just the one song, Got Soul, around to listen to so far. One good song though, and Tam has a fine pedigree from previous projects.

Thursday 21st November
You've got Miaoux Miaoux and Machines In Heaven at Stereo, lush.

Sunday 24th November
Black International again, yay! They'll be headlining this time round at The 13th Note. Support from Pinact - more on them in the next bit - and Frankeneinstein. I might have to risk running for late buses and venture out on a Sunday for a change.

Thursday 28th November
GIG CLASH! At The Old Hairdressers our pals The Yawns are playing, along with a bunch of other bands who use the same practice rooms. More details here.
I'm off elsewhere on the night though, along to The Roxy 171 to witness the magnificent Book Group launch their new single. You can get the single and advance tickets in a cheap bundle deal here.Support comes from the also ace Pinact, and an evening of high quality awaits.

Friday 29th November
Edinburgh dwellers get their chance to partake in Book Group fun, with a single launch gig at Teviot Row House. See just above this bit for tickets and that.

That should keep you entertained for the rest of the month, while also providing a useful guide to stalking me.

The Annual Christmas Song Cattle Call

We're a fair way through November, and I've spent weeks covered in a thin coating of glitter from working in the Christmas section of my employer, so I think I can get away with this now without being too early.

For years now, both here on Aye Tunes and before that on previous blogs, I've ran an advent calendar of sorts on the blog, treating readers to a festive themed song each day of December up until Christmas, because that's how advent calendars work. I'm going to try it again this year.

Last year the Advent Calendar was a bit of a slog, there wasn't very much in the way of new stuff for me to post, so a lot was recycled from previous years. If that's going to happen again this year then it barely seems worth doing. Hence this cattle call.

I turn to any bands and/or artists that might be reading. Are you planning a Christmas song, EP, whatever? Do let me know, I'd like to include it here if you are.
I'm ideally looking for free stuff. I'm not saying I won't plug your special Christmas release if it costs money, but it won't be at the top of my list, so don't bug me if I don't get to it. At the very least make sure I can embed a stream of the song, EP, whatever.
Lastly, I'm mainly after stuff that can be downloaded here. That video of your band drunkenly ruining something is great, yes, but no, I don't want to post it.

A couple of years ago there was an awkward turn of events when a band didn't quite get what I was doing with the advent calendar posts, and completely fell out with me. To avoid that happening again I'll clear one or two things up.
While I'm always happy to plug something a band is giving away for free, that's not really the point of the advent calendar. I'm sure the EP you released in March is great, but unless there's an oddly timed Christmassy song on there that you want me to link to, it isn't going in the advent calendar.

So if you and/or your band have something up your sleeve, be it new, found in a vault, or a cover you've thrown together in rehearsal  get in touch. The sooner the better, as these things start on December 1st and I like to attempt to plan ahead.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Love Letter to The Spook School

As well as being generally fab and one of my favourite bands in YEARS, The Spook School also have a fine line in love letters. Pop by their website to see what I mean.

At the end of last year they even wrote me one, snuck into the envelope containing their 7" double A side single Here We Go/Cameraman. With their debut album out this week, and letters to people seemingly being all the rage at the moment, I thought I should finally write back to them.

This is what happened. Click to make bigger.

Shockingly that is both my actual handwriting, and my very best artistic skills.

The Spook School's debut album Dress Up is out now, you should be able to buy it in record shops and stuff. I've not heard it yet, but I'll be very surprised if it isn't ace. Other things are available to buy and listen to on Bandcamp.
There's a launch gig in Edinburgh at Henry's Cellar Bar. I'll be making one of my "once every four years" trips through to Edinburgh for it and everything. You can buy tickets for that here.
Glasgow folk can see them at The Glad Cafe on Saturday 19th November. You can go to that one without the risk of meeting me, as I'm busy elsewhere.

Here's a video for the first single from their album, I'll Be Honest.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Gig Plugs, Mine and Other People

As you should know, this Saturday is my latest gig venture.

Taking place at The Art School in Glasgow, I've got Cleavers, The Cherry Wave and Mad Nurse playing. It'll be excellent and you should come. Further details, including songs and stuff, here.

There's other cool stuff happening over the next week or so too. A lot of it involves bands that have done gigs for me before, so here's some plugs for their efforts.

Birdhead haven't done anything with me, but are fab anyway, and one day I'll get them to say yes to a gig. They play Bloc on Wednesday night with Electric Gardens and Kill Surrrf

Black International have a new single out, released by Electric Company Music, and are off on tour to launch the thing. On Thursday they are at Edinburgh's Wee Red Bar, joined by the fab Little Anchors and Algernon Doll. Friday has them at Broadcast in Glasgow with Young Philadelphia and Pinact, in a night of entertainment where everyone has played a gig I've been involved in. After that they are off to Sheffield and Nottingham, but I doubt anyone reading this is from there. Until midnight on Tuesday you can get a ticket for the Edinburgh or Glasgow gigs and a copy of the 7" single for just £6, which is a grand deal, here.

King Tut's Summer Nights starts this week. I made a pie chart about the bands playing.

I probably won't bother.

Saturday is all about me, so while other gigs are available, I'm not telling you what.

Sunday has Miaoux Miaoux, now with a new full band, playing at Stereo in Glasgow. Support comes from Jonnie Common and Atom Tree. Cheaper than door price tickets are available in advance here.

Into next week and our best friends forever The Spook School are back in Glasgow, playing at The Glad Cafe on Tuesday the 23rd. They are supporting Tunabunny, who I'd have endorsed on their name alone. Then I heard their album and they are now one of my new favourite things.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Next Gig, Cheap Tickets!

Time waits for no man, so I'd better get on with plugging the next Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes Vs Peenko shindig eh?

I've been left in charge for July, so you get a very loud line up of bands I like, a bit more like my solo efforts than the group ones so far.

Mad Nurse have only made a brief appearance on the blog before in Friday Freebies, ages ago. You can still get hold of a free EP from them here, and I also fully encourage spending a couple of quid on their recently released The Rip EP here. They should be getting things off to a suitably raucous start.

The Cherry Wave have been pleasing my ears for about a year now, since the release of their first self titled EP. Both that and their second EP, Blush, released earlier this year can be yours over here. I asked them to play mostly because I like them lots, but also in part because they've been causing trouble recently, and I always enjoy that kind of thing. Wear your best shoes for them, to enhance your gazing fun.

I asked Cleavers to do a gig for me a full year ago, having decided they were my favourite new band in ages. They couldn't do it then, but this July they can, and although they aren't so new anymore, they are still one of my favourite bands in the country. They also cost me a decent chunk of cash, since they seem to put out something new for me to buy with alarming regularity. Noisy, brash, fast, but packed with melodies, I'm really delighted to finally be putting Cleavers on. If we ask them nicely they may even bring pyrotechnics.
There's loads of stuff available over here, a lot of it can be had for free, but as the band were recently robbed in London I'll urge you to pay for the music if you like it and have a few extra quid, they'd really appreciate the cash.

The gig takes place at The Art School on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow on Saturday July 20th, probably starting about 8. Entry will cost you a mere six pounds.

BUT if you buy a ticket in advance this week, you can get in for just £4. Bargain, eh? Tickets are available here. After Saturday the price goes up again, so act fast for big savings now, as people say in annoying adverts.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Friday Freebies - 10.05.2013

What, no six week gap between freebies? Shocker.

Adam Stafford
There's a new album from long term blog fave Adam Stafford coming up in a couple of months. Smugly I'll now tell you that I've already heard it. It's brilliant. It'll be released by Song, by Toad Records in July, which is good, since it keeps up Adam's recent track record of releasing things with labels I really like, what with his last single having been on Gerry Loves Records and all. You can get a wee taster for yourself now, with the first single from the album, Please, available as a free download here.

Sparrow and the Workshop
Carrying on the "really good bands with albums out from Song, by Toad" theme, here's a new single from the always ace Sparrow and the Workshop. The Faster You Spin is the second single to be taken from their new album Murderopolis, and you can download it for free here. If you like the sound of that - and why wouldn't you? - then you can buy yourself a copy of Murderopilis here.

Cash always tend to be pretty tight around Aye Tunes towers, so it's a compliment and accomplishment that every time Kellar stick out a new album I happily pay money for it at the earliest possible opportunity. Their last album Fulminant was no different. The band have made some stuff available for free now, so I'm off to grab them post haste. Get your paws on four out takes from Fulminant for free here.You can get some free remixes here too.

Cuddly Shark
I love Cuddly Shark. Great band, fab name, swell songs. They've got a new single out this week, which I also, unsurprisingly, really like. Out of Sight, Out of Mind is a pay what you want download, available here.

The Lonely Oatcake
I went to a Lonely Oatcake gig years ago, really enjoyed it, but could never get anything to listen to afterwards. Lots of patience has apparently paid off though, as along comes an EP at last. A free one at that, meaning I get to plug it here. A Portrait of the Oatcake as a Young Man is available as a free download here. I rather enjoyed it.

Book Group
Rounding off this week is one of my favourite new bands. One of your favourite new bands too, if the last set of Readers' Poll results are to be believed, though there's been a name change since then, with The Bad Books moniker being dropped in favour of Book Group. Their debut EP Homeward Sound is out at the end of this month, but the lovely Book Group gentlemen will let you have one song, Year of the Cat, from it right now for absolutely free, over here. Edinburgh dwellers can thank them and buy a copy of the EP at the launch gig on May 18th, tickets for that are available here.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Friday Freebies - 03.05.2013

I knew I'd been lazy recently, but I didn't realise quite how long it had been since the last Friday Freebies.


There's probably millions of things have come out since the last time I wrote one of these, but I'll likely miss out loads of them or else this will go on forever. Here's a handful of things that are either free or name your price to keep you going.

Royal Edinburgh Music
Derek from Evil Hand shared a couple of songs from this band with me a while ago, as they'd been recorded at the EH Studios. The stuff I heard then was great. I was really rather pleased then when a few weeks ago Royal Edinburgh Music offered up a full album of goodies for whatever anyone fancied to pay. Even more pleased when the album was pretty bloody ace, so much so that I even *gasp* paid money for it! Get your paws on a copy of the self titled album here.

Little Anchors
Former Pensioner fella Ross Middlemiss has a new thing going, that being Little Anchors. A Searing Analysis of Pretty Much Everything is a fab five track slice of rock, available for whatever price you fancy here. Any money raised is going to the Scottish Association for Mental Health, so don't be afraid to chuck in some money for it.

Ooh ace, a new GUMS! EP! (Well, it was new a few weeks ago anyway) Antipathy is splendid, go get it for free here.

Thirty Pounds of Bone
New anything from Thirty Pounds of Bone is cause for celebration round here (and probably at Elba Sessions too, I assume), so it's party central at the moment as the fine Mr Lamb has a new album out next week, a long awaited follow up to 2010's brilliant Method. You can pre-order that here, and having had a sneaky advance listen I can assure you that doing so wouldn't be a bad move. A free single from the album, The Truth of the Matter, is available to download here.

Nevada Base
Good news for those of you that prefer to shimmy and shake rather than jump around, Nevada Base have a new single out, and you can certainly wiggle your arse to it. Foresight is available here, name your price.

Baby Godzilla
Baby Godzilla are a band to whom a stage is treated more like a serving suggestion. Their on and mostly offstage carnage could easily, as is the case with many other bands, be used to mask them being not actually very good, but it isn't. Best played at a volume that is likely to cause hearing damage* most recent single A Good Idea Realised can be had in return for your email address here, there's older stuff for free download here.

Eureka Machines
Pretty much my favourite pop band on the planet, after about a four year wait I recently got to see Eureka Machines twice in the space of a few weeks. That was most enjoyable. I also saw the aforementioned Baby Godzilla at both those gigs too, enhancing the enjoyment. With three swell albums now under their belts, Eureka Machines have a sort of Best Of available for free here, go have a listen.

You Already Know
Aye, I still miss them. One from under the floorboards here, as you can download YAK's Test the Pie for free here. It features the best use of the Take the High Road theme tune ever if you ask me. Identifying that theme tune in there took me ages, but helped me win a big bag of swag a few years ago.

*Aye Tunes do not condone causing yourself lasting hearing damage. Listen responsibly kids!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Friday Freebies - 08.03.2013

It's another one of those weeks where I've came across very little I've liked enough to stick in the freebies, believe it or not there is some element of quality control in here.

Edinburgh Man had some good stuff on his podcast this week though, so I've nicked some of that.

Sneaking in late, after I'd already drafter up this post, so missing out on an cough illustrious position on the wee reciept, are the first freely available from Bianca. They are fairly recent additions to the Good Grief family, a family who haven't disappointed me yet. Mellower than their label mates, the two free tracks from Bianca available here are still rather fine.

Joshua Burnside
This being the first of stuff heard on Edinburgh Man. I've only listened to half of the Black Dog Sin EP as I'm writing this, but I've enjoyed that half, and don't expect it to go wildly off the rails from here on. Grab the EP for whatever you want to pay here.

Baffin Island
Our second "you lazy bugger, you swiped that from a podcast" freebie of the week comes from transatlantic collaboration Baffin Island. Idaho and Glasgow combine for some lovely indie pop, free download here.

Mad Nurse
Aaaaand here's the "shocking lack of research" selection. The self titled Mad Nurse EP seems to be pretty old, the release date is listed as 2011, but I've only just found it on Bandcamp today. Look, shut up and stop complaining and just go get it here, right?

Let's Talk About Space
They used to talk about trees, now they've gone off planet, grab the latest song from Let's Talk About Space here, for free!

I'm sure someone from HCBP is in another band I like, and they'd tweeted the link to this album. I now have no idea who it was though, since I'm too dim to keep notes. I can tell you that HCMP's album, Charger, is a fun little rocky bluesy romp though, and you can pay what you want for it here.

That's your lot for this week. Good luck to Neil from Scottish Fiction in finding something in there to stick on his Friday Freebies slot on the radio show.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Friday Freebies - 01.03.2013

It's a small but perfectly formed selection of freebies this week. Dig in and see if anything floats your boat.

Walker Smith Jr.
I really like two piece bands. Joining the list of bands I like who happen to only have two members are Walker Smith Jr. Kyle of Lovers Turn To Monsters was talking about this lot last week over on Scottish Fiction and it seemed like they'd be up my street. I didn't have to wait long, as they've stuck three songs up on Bandcamp to download for whatever you want to pay. I was right though, they are right up my street. They pretty much sound like approximately 14 of my favourite bands crammed in a washing machine. That's a compliment.

Cleavers have only been together a bit over a year, but in that time have been busy wee beavers. A steady stream of gigs have been accompanied by a nice wee bunch of releases, and they've pretty rapidly become one of my favourite new(ish) bands from these shores in ages. At some point I'll trick them into an Aye Tunes gig if I have my way. This week they've flung out a cover version of Joy Division's Transmission, which manages to dodge the usual results of a Joy Division cover by being not shit. You can grab that here. For their own songs just delve into their Bandcamp, where everything is available as name your price downloads. I'd especially suggest giving their most recent single, Life Is Shit, a listen. Good art too.

Like an idiot, I keep forgetting to include this freebie from Flutes. In fact, I geenrally just keep forgetting to say nice things about Flutes on here. Their self titled album from last year was fab, but due to my continued inability to review anything I never got round to saying so. Flutes have a new single, Kilburn, out at the start of next month which you can listen to here. The b-side is a cover of Haddaway's What Is Love? and you can get your paws of that for free right now here.

Great name, ace scuzzy pop songs, shouty girls and references to Josie and the Pussycats, it's like Slutever tapped into my brain for stuff that will make me pine after them. There's lots of stuff to grab for whatever you want to pay for it here.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Friday Freebies - 22.02.2013

Everyone's band name is too long this week.

The Earth has revolved the sun enough times that freebies are due again, so here are some.

Lovers Turn To Monsters
Heaven forbid I miss the chance for a gig plug. Ahead of Saturday's gig, Lovers Turn To Monsters staged a takeover of Scottish Fiction. Included in that was a free EP of Lovers Turn Top Monsters covering songs by Paws, So Many Animal Calls, Honeyblood and Chvrches. Get that here.

Northern Alliance
With an entire discography shoved out for the price of your choice this week Northern Alliance could practically have filled the freebies column on their own. Four Northern Alliance albums, and one under the guise of The Ossians, can be yours here. I'd previously only heard little bits of the band before, so I was particularly happy to get my paws on all this, most of which has been listened to and thoroughly enjoyed this week.

Universal Disappointment Sponge
I had Fashoda Crisis on here a few weeks ago with an EP I really liked. The marvelously names Universal Disappointment Sponge are a side project of one of that band, and it's their turn to come along with a fab EP. Name your price for Time to Surrender Puny Earthlings here.

In Session
Edinburgh radio show In Session have stuck out their selection of - funnily enough - session tracks recorded for the show. Tons of good stuff on this. It's a pay what you want download, with any money raised going to charity, here.

Noisy Edinburgh tykes DanDanDan have a new EP out, available for whatever you want to pay here. Excellent song titles.

Indie-pop types Run/Lucky/Free have decided to split up. They are giving away a free download of a four track EP here as a parting gift.

The Girobabies
I always forget to include The Girobabies in the freebies when they have one, no idea why. My mind usually remembers they had something an hour after posting, then shuts down again if I go to do an edit. The freebie they passed on to me to include this week isn't actually available to download, though you can listen to it here, so instead I'll mention that you can still get Bus Stop Apocalypse album here for whatever price you want.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Gig Plug: Beerjacket, Shambles Miller, Lovers Turn To Monsters - This Saturday!

There's only a few days to go until the next Scottish Fiction/Aye Tunes/Peenko gig, so just in case you've missed me blabbing about it all month, here's a reminder of the details.

Venue wise we're on the move again. The final Aye Tunes solo gig took place at The Roxy 171 at the tail end of last year, and we're taking this gig back there.

We've roped in a trio of my favourite singing men with guitars for this.

Headlining affairs is the magnificent Beerjacket. I've never been short on praise for Beerjacket, having been a fan since before this blog even properly started up. Animosity was an Aye Tunes album of the year, although it was also one of my earliest attempts at reviewing something, the results of which I can't bear to read it was so badly written.
Beerjacket will be playing songs we know and love, but will also be playing some brand new songs that'll be on his next album. This gig will be your first chance to hear some of the new stuff, and a rare chance to see Beerjacket in a teeny tiny venue instead of somewhere much bigger.

Shambles Miller is another well known face round here, having popped up on the blog a ton of times, and having played at a previous Aye Tunes gig too. Shambles is never short of a witty remark, but in between those he'll make you think and perhaps even give the heartstrings a wee yank. Come and see, smile, and marvel at his trusty and long serving flyer introducing himself. I'd say don't start him talking about Mike Tyson and/or Chris Brown, but he's got a song about them now, so that's sorted.

Lovers Turn To Monsters round off both the line up for the night, and my wee list of favourite singer/songwriter types. West Lothian's answer to Robert Pollard, it seems you can barely go a month without Kyle, he of the lengthy stage name, firing out a new batch of songs. The scary thing is that there's almost never a duff one. When not knocking out hit after hit of his own he also has a fine knack for doing other people's songs. I've long wanted to have Lovers Turn To Monsters play at one of my gigs, so I'm happy that's happening at last (although I did have Boygirlanimalcolor play the first Aye Tunes gig). Hmm, I wonder if I can get him to play Batman Forever?

The gig takes place on Saturday 23rd February, at The Roxy 171 on Great Western Road. Things should kick off around 8pm. There's a Facebook event here, if you are into that kind of thing.

Now, when I see people saying things like "buy tickets quick, there's not many left!" I usually picture them sitting amidst a pile of unsold tickets. Not when I say it though. The small size of The Roxy, and me essentially being the box office for the gig, means I can honestly tell you we've got a single figure number of tickets remaining for this one. Should you want to come then, you should probably get one of those remaining tickets quickly, which you can do here.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday Freebies - 15.02.2013

Hi. I like what you've done with your hair today. If you don't have any hair then I like that too.
"What music can I get off the internet at minimal cost to myself this week Jim?" I hear you say. The doctors tell me this is perfectly normal though, and I shouldn't worry about it too much. They are getting me a special jacket to wear so I can cuddle myself while I hear voices asking me things on the internet.

Pinact have a new EP out now. Or they have a zine out, which comes with an EP. Look, Pinact have a thing out, right? You can buy it here. That's not free, but their first EP, the quite splendid Spill Your Guts, Let Out Some Noise can be had for whatever price you want to pay for it here. While I'm plugging, I should mention that they've got a few tasty looking gigs next week in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen. Go on over to their Facebook for all the details on those.

The Big Nowhere
My old mates The Big Nowhere have been promising a second album for about as long as I can remember. It's still not ready. They have put together a wee song for Valentine's Day though, which I bring to you a day late, like a bouquet of petrol station flowers bought in a panic at 5am. I'd never do something like that, my 5am petrol station purchases are far less romantic. Enough about that though, get hold of The Big Nowhere's cover of Gene Clark's Through the Morning, Through the Night over here.

Randolph's Leap
Ahead of their big gig at Edinburgh's Queens Hall on Saturday night, long time blog favourites Randolph's Leap have a new single. News is available here as a name your price download. It's fab.

Hey! Hello!
Somewhat carrying on the day late Valentine theme, we've got Hey! Hello! I'll forgive you if you aren't familiar with the band name, but once I tell you that one half of the band is one of the major Aye Tunes mancrushes I expect you to pay attention. Hey! Hello! is a side project of sorts, set up by Ginger of The Wildhearts fame - because he doesn't have quite enough projects on the go at any one time, with Victoria Liedtke. Together they've put together an excellent punky pop album, the first single from which is Black Valentine. Get yourself a download of the track here, for whatever price you fancy. If you like the single, you can get hold of the alum right now through Pledge Music.

Andrew Pearson and the Riflebirds
Last time I had Andrew on the blog it was Christmas. Goodness, how time flies. Mr Pearson and his Riflebirds have a new album out on Monday, but you can get yourself a single from the album right now! Ribbons comes with a plethora of remixes, and is a free download here.

Did you all have a nice Valentine's Day, or did you all ignore it? I went to see A Good Day To Die Hard with my ladyfriend. It was here idea, honest. I don't advise going to see the film unless you bloody love incoherent direction and plotting or didn't think Die Hard 4 was quite orange and teal coloured enough for your liking.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Friday Freebies - 08.02.2013

After a week off to rest my weary head, and because there was hardly anything to post last week, here's the freebies back again. I fine line-up this week, if you ask me. But then I would say that, since I tend not to post things I think are shite. You may disagree with the quality.

Machines In Heaven
Long term pals of the blog Machines in Heaven have taken their sweet time to finally get round to releasing something, but I can stop badgering them about that for the moment. They have released The Glasgow Jihad EP today, and you can get hold of a copy for whatever you want to pay here. I really quite like it, which means we don't need to have a sad break-up. Good.

The Plimptons
After 13 years, The Plimptons are going away. I'm quite sad about that, as they are still one of the most fun live bands around. As a parting gift, you can pick up their final release, The Plimptons are Dead! for free here. There's more freebies on their Bandcamp page too, if you poke around. They'll be finishing things in style with an all day going away bash on March 30th, split between Stereo and The Old Hairdressers, you can get tickets for that on Bandcamp too. Awkwardly, me Neil and Lloyd have one of our gigs that night, meaning I may need to don a disguise to go see The Plimptons instead...

Song, by Toad
I think in all the time it has been running, Song, by Toad Records has only put out one thing I didn't really like. That's either a pretty good track record, or I'm just easy to please. The 2013 label sampler is out now, and available as a free download here. Doesn't look like there's going to be anything coming from the label I don't like any time soon on this evidence, especially with the additions of Adam Stafford and Sparrow and the Workshop to the roster. Add in the next split 12" with Plastic Animals, Le Thug, Magic Eye and Zed Penguin and you've got a handful of folk who have either done gigs for me, or place very high up the wishlist for future. Excellent work toad people.

Jim Bob
We bloody love Carter USM round here. We also bloody love Jim Bob's solo stuff. So much so that I've had this for ages, since it came as a free download with the latest Jim Bob novel (we also like his books, and should stop saying we). I'm so cool. Though not as cool as Last Year's Girl, who put him on in Glasgow. The Day Job EP is now available to everyone, for whatever you want to pay for it, here. As an added bonus, it has the man behind Thirty Pounds of Bone on it, we like him a lot too.

Zombie Girlfriend
I'd call Zombie Girlfriend my favourite lo-fi band from Hungary, but they are pretty much the only band I know from Hungary, so I won't. I do really like the band though. Nab yourself a free download of Aglaope here, it's quite lovely. Gentler, more restrained and quite different to most of their stuff, all of which is worth investigating here.

Laurence and the Slab Boys
Last year Laurence and the Slab Boys put out their debut album, Lo-Fi Disgrace. It was good. I completely neglected to mention this fact on the blog. The description on Bandcamp for the just released Songs For B-Movies EP says it is a secret, but I'm going to stick it in here and hope Larry doesn't batter me. Name your price for the EP here, and check out the album here.

It Girl
The one thing I did want to post last week, but it had to wait. It Girl's debut album Neon Signs is out now, available to download for whatever price you want here. Particularly worth looking at if you like Interpol.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Gig Tomorrow, Plug Plug Plug

We didn't have time to change the poster

It's time, once again, to remind you that I'm doing stuff. Tomorrow (Saturday Jan 26th, in case you aren't reading this on the day it was written) is the third of the gigs put on by myself, Neil from Scottish Fiction and Lloyd from Peenko, with the witty and creative Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes Vs Peenko title. Suggestions for snappier promotional titles welcome. I suggested SPAFT, since it includes the initials from all our blogs. This suggestion was, correctly, dismissed.

We're moving to The 13th note for this one, with the fun kicking off from around 8pm. It'll only cost you six pounds to get in.

Here's what you'll get for your money.

Black International - stepping in at the last minute for the sadly unable to appear King Post Kitsch, the Edinburgh two piece gathered rave reviews for their recent King Tuts gig, so come catch them before they get huge egos and demand a rider that would bankrupt me! They also happen to be a huge favourite of mine, so I'm happy to have them back.

Plastic Animals - another big favourite round here, and another band who I apparently haven't robbed blind or offended, since this will be their second gig with me involved. This lot make lovely noise.

The Yawns - and a band I've not put on before! Their debut album caught a fair bit of attention when released last year, and this gig is the last on The Yawns's UK tour to promote the launch of the album on lovely, shiny vinyl. You'll be able to hear lots of songs and buy a record if you wish.

Hugs - lurk near Neil, Lloyd or myself and chances are you'll get hugged. Especially later in the night when we've been drinking. Don't let that put you off though.

The Skinny said "go find a new favourite band" about the gig, and who am I to disagree? Well, these bands are already amongst my favourites, but that's not the point.

So that's Saturday the 26th, at The 13th Note, doors open at 8, and six quid in.

Friday Freebies - 25.01.2013

I was rather hoping to get away without writing the freebies this week. There hadn't been much around, and the blog is going to be even more neglected than normal for the next wee while due to personal issues, so I was taking a week off, with a gig plug going up instead. A few things worth mentioning have popped up though, so rather than skip them for now and inevitably forget about them, here's a hastily assembled freebies.

There'll still be a gig plug later too.

Disclaimer: increasingly the freebies are actually name your price downloads, but Friday Pay What You Want is a terrible title for a blog post. If you've got some spare cash I encourage you to pay for the things you like.

Now Wakes the Sea
Once again I get to refer to the Best Albums of 2012 list that I never published. The Now Wakes the Sea album from early last year, Fluoxetine Morning, had a spot in the top five on the list. That's not what the freebie is, but you should go have a listen to that album sometimes, I bloody loved it. New from Now Wakes the Sea is a collection of Burns songs - my, how timely! - called Addressing the Haggis. The album is a name your price download here. I can take or leave Burns in general, but this album is a swell listen.

The Cherry Wave
It barely seems like any time since I was talking about The Cherry Wave's first EP, yet here they come with their second one already. I do enjoy speedy service. I also enjoy The Cherry Wave, so this all works out nicely for me. Blush is available for whatever price you pick here.

Good Grief
Ooh, I like it when things tie together! Good Grief put out the first Cherry Wave EP. They also put out downloadable compilations to go with their Hey Man fanzine. The third compilation is available now, for free, here. It includes songs from Bianca, Sun Dogs, Owls In Antarctica, TIDINGS and Black International. Black International are playing tomorrow night's Scottish Fiction/Aye Tunes/Peenko gig as late substitutes for King Post Kitsch. In your fucking face Kevin Bacon.

Black Books
My favourite Texans ended up rejigging most of their plans last year, but did manage to sneak out a new single at the tail end of 2012. I don't think I've gotten round to mentioning it here before, and it's really good, so go get double A-side Like You Best/Shipwrecked for your choice of price here.

Aloha Tigers
What happens when a band from Illinois team up with a fella in Edinburgh? You end up with the self titled Aloha Tigers album being released by a Scottish tape label. Cracking album this, it came out away back near the start of last year, but all the tapes are sold out, so you can pick up a download for whatever you want here.

Our Smallest Adventures
Rounding things off this week are Fifers Our Smallest Adventures. Their self titled debut EP is available for free here.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday Freebies - 18.01.2013

You can pay for things too.

What delights has the internet thrown at us this week then? Let's have a look and find out.

Fashoda Crisis
Kicking us off this week is something blooming ace, from token English entry Fashoda Crisis. It's always nice to keep the Southerners involved in things. I kid, I kid. Anyway, the new Fashoda Crisis EP, The Jowls of Justic, is available as a pay what you want download here. Somewhere in the art-rock region, packed with dark wit and social commentary, but far far better sounding than what I just wrote, this gets a big thumbs up from me. Go listen and see what you think for yourself, you do have your own ears after all.

From Paris To Prison
A bit alt-rock, a bit grungey, the self titled debut EP from From Paris To Prison is a decent wee listen, and available for whatever you want to pay here.

Secret Motorbikes
Shh. Vroom vroom. I like a bit of scruffy sounding surf pop, therefor I like Secret Motorbikes. You can too, to help you decide if you want to or not you can grab their Demos 2012 collection, which rounds up an EP and a single, for free here. Is it telling tales if I say that Neil keeps asking them to do one of our gigs and they keep saying no? It is? Forget you read that bit then.

Hunt / Gather
Hunt / Gather's debut album False Monuments was one of my favourites from last year. Noisy, angry, abrasive  and right up my street. If you missed it first time round you can snag a copy now with a pay what you want download here. Play loud.

Lawrence Made Me Cry
Another one of those pesky solo artists with a proper band name, Lawrence Made Me Cry is a lass from Wales, and she has a new single out. Between Destinations is available to download for your choice of price here.

The Ramisco Maki Maki Rocking Horse
Making certain that I can't fit all the bands included this week into one tweet sized round up comes everyone's favourite horse with the head of an eagle. I've not suddenly had a mental snap, I swear. At least I don't think I have... Get a free download of Am Twitchin' here (right click and save as if you have to).

Giant Squids
While Friday Freebies was posted absent for most of December I missed a bunch of stuff, like a new EP thingy from Giant Squidz. Catch up now by getting A Shanty free here.

Bottle of Steven
I missed this out in December, and Steven, he of the the "Bottle of" in the name, personally requested pimping, which is always a good way to get included here. Titbits of Turmoil is a wee collection of previously unreleased Bottle of Steven tracks, and you can pay what you want for it here.

The Strangers Almanac
Get your mitts on Ten Feet Tall, taken from the upcoming The Strangers Almanac album, for free here.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Friday Freebies - 10.10.2013

Woo, first Friday Freebies of the year, what a momentous occasion! Or not. First one I've remembered to do in a while, which is probably more momentous.

Let's see what we've got this week then, along with a few things I've missed previously.

The Plimptons
Sadly, The Plimptons have announced their intention to pack it in, with a farewell gig at the end of March being their last outing. Shame that, since they are one of the most fun live bands around, but at least there's one last chance to catch them on stage. Meanwhile, The Plimptons have made their last - in all senses of the word - album The Plimptons are Cynical and Bloated available to download for whatever price you fancy here.

There's at least one Plimpton involved in Gums! and I didn't get round to posting their recent freebie when I came out, so here it is, a bit late. New Year is a free download here.

The Paraffins
Another old favourite round this way, The Paraffins have stuck out a live album, Armed Response, as a pay what you want download here. Recorded on phones and ghettoblasters, the results are somewhat rough. If you'd prefer something more polished then the first album from The Paraffins, Snout to the Grindstone, can be had for your choice of price at the moment too, here.

James Clark Jones
Taking a diversion away from our shores to Canada we have James Clark Jones, although his roots are firmly in Scotland, so don't be afraid of something from elsewhere. James has made his latest album available to download for what you like this week only, so head over here quickly. He'll be paying another visit to Scotland soon, so if you like what you hear keep an eye out for that.

Magnetic Island
While we are going round other countries, it's off to Brooklyn to pay a visit to Magnetic Island. I never did get round to writing up a best albums of 2012 list for the blog, but if I had, and on lists I submitted elsewhere, Magnetic Island's self titled album from last year took a top five place. You can grab a collection of all their singles for whatever you want to pay here.

Monster Island.
Sticking with bands I really like with Island in their name, time for a quick stop in Manchester. I mentioned the then upcoming new album from Monster Island a few times in the freebies before it came out, but never got back to telling you when the album was actually out. Well, the new album from Monster Island. is currently available. It's right good, and you should go and get yourself a copy of The Retaining Wall for free here.

Armellodie Records
Armellodie release some of my favourite records. This year shows no sign of that stopping, with new stuff from Cuddly Shark and Galoshins imminent. For a flavour of the label grab their free 2012 sampler here.

Luminous Monsters / Guanoman
Not many people can release a split single with themselves. Since Luminous Monsters and Guanoman are the same person, they (he?) could, and did, and you can get hold of it here.

The New Fabian Society
If you never got around to getting a copy of the first EP from The New Fabian Society then I've got good news for you, it's currently available to download free here. If you've missed out in the band in geenral up till now then it's not to late to get caught up. Have a listen, they are rather ace.

After something a bit more laid back and poppy? Then you could do worse than check out mylittlebrother's new EP. Hey Stethoscope is a name your price download here.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

2012 Readers' Poll - The "Winners"

If you missed it, the winners of Best album, band, solo artist, single/EP, new band, blog & podcast/radio show are here.

This set of results is for the lucky ones who "won" the new categories added this year. I did consider not posting these to be nice, then remembered that I'm not nice.

This post is sponsored by burning bridges and pissing on chips. I didn't pick the winners though, so don't take it out on me.

Worst Album/Single/EP:
Despite not being released last year, the award goes to Bwani Junction - Fully Cocked.
In second place, it's Mumford & Sons with Babel! They can sob themselves to sleep in their nice bed made of money.

The Sergeant Award for Worst Band/Solo Artist:
We have a tie! The award is shared by Bwani Junction, and Fatherson.

The Peenko Podcast Award for Worst Music Blog/Website/Podcast/Radio Show:
Glasgow Podcart. Second place, The Pop Cop.

That's my arse booted then. Remember, I just count things, I didn't do the voting.


2012 Readers' Poll - The Winners

Sorry, there's no glitzy results show, no D-list celebs presenting an award, or even a logo.

We'll a least try and get through this without Emeli Sandé turning up though.

Votes were cast, I applied the same formula I've always used to them, got a headache, and wondered again why I don't use a formula that requires less counting, but now, here, a wee bit late (now there's a surprise) are the results of the Readers' Poll for 2012.

Voting was anonymous, which led to some hilarious bitchy answers, some of which I'll repeat here, others I won't.

On then to the winners! Later on I'll come back to the losers, in a separate post covering the "worst" categories that were added this year.

Best Album:
1. Meursault - Something For the Weekend (Buy)
Following up their win in the BAMS result, Meersalt prove to be the favourites of my readers too. I'm sure they'll be thrilled.

2. PAWS - Cokefloat! (Listen)
Meursault were way ahead in 1st place votes, while PAWS were most people's second choices. This was good, since it meant I didn't get any weird anomalies of everyone's third favourite album finishing second because of my points system or anything.
3. BMX Bandits - BMX Bandits In Space (Listen/Buy)
I must admit I didn't see this one coming. I'd expected someone like Django Django to swan in to the top three, but no, here comes Duglas T. Stewart and friends with a pleasant surprise. Albeit a surprise that will soon cost me money, as I realise I've not yet bought a copy of the album.

Also, to the people who voted for The Just Joans and Now Wakes the Seas, you are both anonymous, so I don't know who you are, but you are welcome to claim a free kiss from me for being my kind of people.

Best Single/EP:
1. Adam Stafford/Rick Redbeard - Split 7" (Listen/buy)
Hooray! Most votes were for the split single as a whole, but any for Rick or Adam individually were counted in here too, just in case anyone asks. Cracking single, buy one if you haven't already.
2. Frightened Rabbit - State Hospital
3. Withered Hand - Heart Heart
Nestling in at around number five on the chart would have been Withered Hand's Inbetweeners EP, but I don't go down that far. Still, a good innings from Mr Hand, who is always very welcome around here.
Special mention to Randolph's Leap, whose Hermit EP was only just beaten by fellow Fence release Heart Heart.

Best Band:
2. Meursault
3. Kid Canaveral
=3. The Twilight Sad
In a very close category - there was only a few votes between first and third - PAWS gain some measure of revenge for the earlier best album voting, by shoving Meursault into second, while The Twilight Sad and Kid Canaveral were inseparable to claim joint third place. Kid Canaveral won this last year, that'll teach them to dare going into the studio for ages to make a new record. Meanwhile, one person will not be happy when they check the results for worst band, based on who they voted for in this category.

Best Solo Artist:
1. Withered Hand
2. Adam Stafford
3. RM Hubbert
I swear I did actually count up the votes for this one, and not just write down three solo people I like. Withered Hand has jumped up the charts since last year, moving from his 2011 place of third to displace last year's winner, Adam Stafford. Again, this was a close one. So much so that Adam could have snuck a victory if I'd been mean enough to discount the vote for "Withered Han".
To the one person who voted for Randolph's Leap as both best band and best solo artists, although you are technically fine in doing so, that was cheeky.

Best New Band:
1. Chvrches
Well, I saw that coming a mile off. Ch-five-rches won at a canter.
2. The Bad Books
That one I did not see coming. Impressive work from a band with only a fistful, if you have big hands, of gigs behind them. Either that, or it was just all their pals that voted in this category. Either way, good on them, 2013 should see them actually put out some music, I hope.
3. Plastic Animals
=3. The Spook School
=3. Young Philadelphia
Three way tie! The Spook School won this category last year, so hearty pat on the back to them for still being new 12 months later. Young Philadelphia and Plastic Animals both did gigs for me last year, but again, I promise I really did count the votes. Obviously I do approve of their inclusion though.
In fact, The Bad Books, Plastic Animals, The Spook School and Young Philadelphia have all played either an Aye Tunes gig or an Aye Tunes/Scottish Fiction/Peenko one at some point, so I must be a genius or something.

Advert Break
This looks like a good time to mention the next Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes Vs Peenko gig, since Plastic Animals are apparently still on speaking terms with me, and are joining us again, along with King Post Kitsch for their first Glasgow outing, and The Yawns (one of my best new bands of 2012) who will be launching the shiny vinyl release of their self titled album. It'll be dead good. 13th Note, January 26th. Facebook thingy here.
Handsome poster by Bob Rafferty

Best Music Blog/Website:
1. Aye Tunes
Oh for fuck sake, I forgot to tell you not to vote for me this year didn't I? Let's pretend this never happened and start over.
1. Song, by Toad (link)
2. Peenko (link)
3. The Pop Cop (link)
As with last year, all horrible humans. That's every year the poll has been running that Song. by Toad has won. I happen to agree, it's my favorite blog.

Best Music Radio Show/Podcast
1. The Toadcast (link)
=1. Edinburgh Man (link)
2. Vic Galloway (link)
Last year's winner The Toadcast this year has to share the trophy with fellow Edinburgh based podcast man, Edinburgh Man. Vic Galloway bounces back up the chart this year.

That concludes the "best" categories. I'll now take some legal advice before returning later tonight with the votes from the "worst" categories.