Your computer was out of oil

Comedy Album of the Year: Scharpling & Wurster - The Art of the Slap

As a (literally) card-carrying member of the Friends of Tom, I can't be entirely objective about 'Art of the Slap', but suffice to say, it's S&W's most expansive and best compilation yet. Although 'Andy from Newbridge' is a little too gimmicky, the rest of it is genius, including a very angry postal worker/James Blunt fan; extreme cinema's Trent L. Strauss (who you may remember for directing 'You're Soaking in Her'); Horse from Jock Squad, and culminating in an epic, two part installment of "Mother 13: First band to play Mount Everest". Buy it now, youse creeps.

Elsewhere, it was a strong year for comedy albums. I enjoyed Patton Oswalt's 'Werewolves and Lollipops' for his combination of political disgust, pop cultural disgust, nerdiness, and his handling of a heckler during an otherwise sweet story about abortion. Maria Bamford, the only Comedienne of Comedy who came off respectably when I saw the documentary, put out a solid album called 'How to Win!' where her insecurities and different voices came to the fore. Despite his presence on 'Best Week Ever', a show I can't stand, I really liked 'Impersonal' by Paul F. Tomkins. There's no intro or outro, and a great story about goths. What's not to love? Meanwhile, all three of the above, plus others were featured on the compilation, which was ace, particularly Andy Daly's bit where he doesn't really tell any jokes, and Mindy Kaling's story about retarded people. Comedy Death Ray. Finally, Michael Ian Black's album 'I Am A Wonderful Man' was funny, too, although he was involved in the weirdest part of 'The Ten', so he gets a slight scowl from me.

[download Scharpling & Wurster - Philly Boy Roy (excerpt)]
[download Maria Bamford - Alicia Keys]
[download Michael Ian Black - Gay?]

[The Best Show on WFMU myspace / official site]
[Patton Oswalt myspace / official site]
[Maria Bamford myspace / official site]
[Paul F. Tomkins myspace / official site]
[Comedy Death Ray myspace / official site]
[Michael Ian Black myspace / official site]

4play: Bottom of the Barrel

What with the proliferation of streaming video sites, and a summer where I didn't have anything to do after 5pm for three whole months, I managed to see a whole lot of shitty movies this year. Here's a recap of the four worst. They're all blockbusters, which in a way seem like an easy target, but to be honest, I didn't see any truly horrendous indies this year (though Eagle Vs. Shark was a bit pants). Also, if you're looking for more of a laugh, the AV Club did a piece about the year's worst films which is way funnier than mine.

Evan Almighty - I wrote about this one pretty extensively at the time. I guess it wasn't completely abhorrent, unlike some of those below, but it was just a whole lot of not good.

300 - Hoo boy. The non-fighting parts were boring enough, but when you're waiting for the fighting parts to stop because those are boring, something's wrong. Here's what I wrote at the time.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - I didn't hate it as much as the Good Doctor seemed to but that doesn't mean I liked this overwrought, soulless, plotless, senseless waste of my three hours. Why they didn't just call it "Pirates : Fuck you, audience!" is beyond me. (Original review)

Epic Movie - Easily the worst film of the year, possibly the worst film I've ever seen. When I saw it, I couldn't even write the words to convey the hatred, so I opted for an Alan Partridge clip instead. Apparently, watching two episodes of 'Best Week Ever' was enough research for these guys to base a film around. Who needs a joke when there's FOUR musical breakdowns. With 'Meet the Spartans' due to drop soon, I'm gonna have a whole lot more hate where this came from. You know I'm going to watch it. Take it away, Hater.

Acting out your own death

Most unfairly maligned cover version: The Killers - Shadowplay

I mean, I can understand why the Killers are hated on by certain elements. Saying that your upcoming record is the greatest in twenty years, while being named Flowers, and seemingly modelling your look upon that of Manuel Almunia, it's pretty annoying. Especially when, as it turns out, 'Sam's Town' was, at best, a whole heap of okay. What's more, I love Joy Division, and can understand why they're seen as a sacred cow to many. But I still kinda feel like this cover was never given much of a chance. I think it's pretty good - not a simple identical copy of the original, with plenty of the Killers' best elements (big guitars, whoo's), and still keeps the original's sense of detachment and longing. It gets a resolutely uncool yet adamant thumbs up from me.

[download The Killers - Shadowplay]

[The Killers myspace / official site]
[Buy Control soundtrack UK / US]

I won't get in your gang

Best 60s soul themed indie album of the year: Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted

Great songs, good choruses, solid arrangements... it's a shame 'The Great Unwanted' didn't get much more attention this year. I shouted about it wherever I could, and I'm sure I heard 'Get Outta Town!' in a shoe advert, but this album seems to have stayed under radar, and that's a pity. There's a 100% pop sensibility throughout the record, whether on the stompers ('Add Your Light to Mine, Baby', 'Lips are Unhappy', the title) and the very, very sad torch songs like 'Baby It's Yours' or 'It's Yours'. Again, if they had a bigger push, this could've been a smash. Never mind, more for us, right? Also, they're better than Winehouse.

[download Lucky Soul - Ain't Never Been Cool]

[Lucky Soul myspace / official site]
[buy 'The Great Unwanted' UK / US]

This is all we care about

Most Disconcerting Trend: Great bands that are younger than I am

I'll be turning 25 in February, and for the first time this year, I really noticed that there are (a) plenty of bands who are way younger than me, and (b) many of them are actually really great.

From the United States, there are two bands of Kids (Black and Cool), from Jacksonville and Chicago respectively, who are pretty good and show promise for the future. Cool Kids, particularly, have the balls to name a song 'I Rock' and it's entirely accurate. Beirut put out a great second album that sounds like a travelling carnival. I'm sure there's other American whippersnappers that I'm forgetting.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the water, London gave us Cajun Dance Party, whose single 'Amylase' is one of those summer singles that grabs your attention and stamps on your attention and then leaves your attention bleeding on the pavement. Their mate Fryars put out an EP that I talked about here before Stereogum and GWFA (small victories!) and Ben sent me a nice message over myspace, so I've nothing but time for him. Los Campesinos! have received all the attention in the world, and good luck to them with the album due very soon. My birthday party had a facebook event entitled 'You! Me! Dancing!' in fact.

The year's MVPs for me, though, were The Strange Death of Liberal England, a band whose debut album 'Forward March!' brought out the best parts of dearly beloved Hope of the States, plus a bloke whose voice is like Efrim's from A Silver Mt. Zion. For me, at least, it's been a match made in vocal post-rock heaven. Check 'em out.

[download Cajun Dance Party - Amylase]
[download The Strange Death of Liberal England - I Saw Evil]

Bonus: 'I Rock' (live) from the Cool Kids video:

[Black Kids myspace / official site]
[Cool Kids myspace / official site]
[Beirut myspace / official site]
[Cajun Dance Party myspace / official site]
[Fryars myspace / official site]
[Los Campesinos! myspace / official site]
[The Strange Death of Liberal England myspace / official site]

Boom cha-cha, boom-boom cha

Best band to cancel a gig in my town: Bonde do Role

I mean, I know they're not a great band, but 'With Lasers' is a fun album, and sure enough I was totally stoked to see them live. But they cancelled a whole swathe of dates in October, including a show at Common Grounds in Gainesville, Florida, where I live. I was mad as hell, because nothing makes me happier than dancing like a spaz to baille funk with heavy metal guitars and that lyric about gorillas, with a pretty girl singing. So I was truly upset at them cancelling. And then in December, Marina left the band, so the chances are pretty slim that they'll reschedule the date. And even if they do, it'll just be the two blokes. So a humbug upon those kids!

[download Bonde do Role - Gasolina (Buraka Som Sistema remix)]

[Bonde do Role myspace]
[buy 'With Lasers' UK / US]

They've got cars big as bars

Festive cover of the year: Ted Leo - Fairytale of New York

Teddy Rockstar (and his missus) stopped by WFMU last night to keep Tom Scharpling (and his missus) Christmas-night company. They discussed nudity, gifts, and how you shouldn't shop at Kohl's if you're pro-Christmas. Then, at the end of the show, TL busted out the tunes. In addition to 'Feliz Navidad', my least favourite Christmas December Wishes Song, he did an a cappella old Christmas song that was terrifying, and after Tom prohibited him from playing 'Colleen', closed out the show with the best December Wishes song of all, helpfully taking out all the toilet mouth and making it more radio friendly.

Happy Boxing Day!

[download Ted Leo - Fairytale of New York] - new link, should work!

Also, here's a video of the song from '88 with Kirsty, Joe Strummer and David Byrne.

[Ted Leo and the Pharmacists myspace / official site]
[The Best Show on WFMU]

What way is that to live your life?

Best Glasgow song of the year 2: Glasvegas - Daddy's Gone

(Incidentally, Malky probably would have made it into this category, but I already gave him some props, before I thought of this one. So there).

Glasvegas are from Glasgow, not from Las Vegas. You can hear the Glasgow in the man's voice. I tried about another of their songs and failed miserably. 'Go Square Go' could've made the cut, too, but let's stick with 'Daddy's Gone', a song whose title tells you everything you need to know. There's some rumbling bass, harmonies, a big ending, and very sad lyrics. What more do you need?

[download Glasvegas - Daddy's Gone]

[Glasvegas - myspace / official site]

Living out a dream I had

Best Glasgow song of the year 1: Emma Pollock - Paper and Glue

When the delgados broke up a couple of years, I was really sad because I loved them - but I completely understood. You can be critically acclaimed all you want, but that doesn't pay the bills. I saw them play in half-full houses in America a couple of times, and that's no good. Plus, after 'Universal Audio', they had nowhere to go musically, so it was as good a time as any.

So this year, co-lead-vocalist Emma Pollock returned, first with a song on the 'Ballad of the Books' compilation, which featured most of the Glasgow luminaries, and then the debut album 'Watch the Fireworks', which I'm very happy to say, was really good. Singles 'Acid Test' and 'Adrenaline' set the tone nicely, 'If Silence Means That Much to You' is sinister and angry, and 'The Optimist' ends things on a powerful note, but it's 'Paper and Glue' that has the killer-est chorus. She toured the U.S. with the New Pornographers not long ago, and there's a nice tour diary on her site. I really wish that tour had come further south than Atlanta... those jerks. As a bonus, listen to her set in D.C. on NPR as part of their great All Songs Considered live series.

[download Emma Pollock - Paper and Glue]

[Emma Pollock - myspace / official site]
[Buy 'Watch the Fireworks' UK / US]

Then I tell you some more about me

Best Music Video: Maximo Park - Our Velocity

This was a pretty strong selection to pick from. Could've gone with higher profile selections like Zach and Will and some morris dancers, Justice and their t-shirts, Ted Leo's which was written by Tom Scharpling, or Snoop's latest masterpiece. All were great, but all had a lot more attention that 'Our Velocity', which took seemingly simple stop-motion technology, and turned it into a whole room full of Maximos. I really liked the concept, and it was pulled off brilliantly. The song, too, is ace - seven choruses, more hooks than a regulation dressing room, and the word "velocity" in the title. As seems to be this band's way, the album was pretty uneven - a couple of great songs to jump off a chair to ('The Unshockable' is particularly ace) but mostly forgettable. But that 'Velocity' video - top marks.

[Maximo Park myspace / official site]

4play: The future's bright

Best bands that will release albums in early 2008

1. British Sea Power

BSP's third album is called 'Do You Like Rock Music?' and it's a huge leap forward from their also-great older material. As you may expect from the title, it's heavier than they've ever been, the guitars chime like the Bunnymen, there's a nod to the Hitler Youth ('No Lucifer') and plenty more that I haven't yet had time to fully absorb. Having been straight-up blown away when I saw them way back in 2001 at the Dublin Castle (!) in Camden, co-headlining with National Prayer Breakfast (!!). Check out first single, 'Waving Flags' in the embed:

2. A Silver Mt. Zion

They toured for most of the year, and then didn't put out an album! But since I've slowly become fully immersed in the world of all these Constellation bands, and since 'God Bless Our Dead Marines' is one of my new favourite songs, I'm now very eager to check out '13 Blues for Thirteen Moons', which is due in March. Here's a live recording of the first song.

[download A Silver Mt. Zion - One Million Died to Make this Sound (live)]

3. dEUS

It's no secret that I'm kind of in love with the grandaddies of Belgian music (that description makes them sound crap, though). The good news is that unlike the seven years it took them to make 2005's 'Pocket Revolution', this time it was only three years. The new one is coming soon, says Tom Barman on their website and I'm sure I'll love it. Not a lot of details yet, everything that's known is here. And to tide you over, here's a nice live video.

4. The Notwist

Please? It's about time. We still remember.

The beard is still rocking

Best song by, about Les Savy Fav:

Les Savy Fav - Kiss Kiss Is Getting Old; Jetplane Landing - Why Do They Never Play Les Savy Fav On The Radio?

I wonder how many times I can use the words Les, Savy and Fav in this post? I've never really been all that into the Tim Harrington-fronted band, but this year's 'Let's Stay Friends' was a little more accessible than their older stuff. And since I'm obviously a huge square, I really dug it a lot. It's not too abrasive, there are some tunes and melodies, but it still makes a whole wall of noise and is pretty bonkers. Since I'm a sucker for male/female vocals, my favourite song on the record is 'Kiss Kiss Is Getting Old'.

Meanwhile Londonderry's most righteous band of hot-rockin' bastards Jetplane Landing came back this year with an album called 'Backlash Cop', which shouted out Dizzy Gillespie, Sam Cooke and Les Savy Fav. The song in question asks a valid question, and quite possibly has the lyric "I love U2 more than I probably should". Andrew Ferris has never sounded more angry, the band has never sounded more tight (I managed to catch them a few times back in the day, because they're mates with Seafood) and I really wish a few more of you here in the States liked JPL. Check 'em.

[download Les Savy Fav - Kiss Kiss Is Getting Old]
[download Jetplane Landing - Why Do They Never Play Les Savy Fav On The Radio?]

[Les Savy Fav - myspace / official site]
[Jetplane Landing - myspace / official site]

I ain't no abacus but you can count on me

London album of the year 2: Jamie T - Panic Prevention

From the opposite, southern end of the city, the debut album from the real J.T. begins with him shouting "Fucking croissant!"and it goes only uphill from there. 'Panic Prevention' is a big silo full of energy, joy, ideas, hooks, put-downs and choruses. I'd like it a lot more if there weren't about three songs which I ALWAYS skip, but let's forget those. There are few songs I've played this year more times than 'Salvador', 'Calm Down Dearest' and 'Back in the Game'. Few! My housemate and I spent many a happy hour skanking through the house to 'If You Got the Money'. 'Pacemaker' shouts out the 12 Bar Club (Denmark Street, son!). Jamie's not-quite-singing, not-quite-rapping is endearing, the tales are personal and occasionally very dark (that'll be singalong 'Sheila') but always ace. Hopefully he'll make more of an impact in the States next year, but the boy can toast a job well done, because even with the misfires, 'Panic Prevention' is pretty fucking great.

[download Jamie T - Operation]

[Jamie T myspace / official site]
[buy 'Panic Prevention' US / UK]

We make sure we are noticed

London album of the year 1: Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City

I'm kind of like Roy Zielger in the way that I will always give a chance to any band from my home city. Often, they turn out to be balls (not naming any names, Towers) but there have been plenty of success stories to justify my irritatingly stubborn attitude. Two great records out of the capital L this year. The first one disappointed a lot of people because it didn't go hit-hit-hit-hit-hit like their previous album did, but not unlike 'You Could Have It So Much Better', it's well worth coming back to. The first five songs are stonkers, then it lapses a bit, though 'I Still Remember' is a solid single and the last track 'SXRT' is great, check out the live version below, with a choir. Back to the first half, though...

The xylophones on 'Waiting for the 7.18', 'Hunting for Witches' and its 'Daily Mail' bashing, the COLOSSAL bit in 'The Prayer' when the bass kicks in and it sounds like a spaceship is landing on your head, 'Uniform's' transition from gentle to mental to gentle again... all good, good stuff. And that opener... it's good and all, but I really wish they'd made it sound more like the vastly superior demo version. 'Flux' is a bit gash, though, isn't it?

[download Bloc Party - Song for Clay (Demo)]
[download Bloc Party - SXRT (Live, with the Exmoor Singers)]

[Bloc Party myspace / official site]
[buy 'A Weekend in the City' US / UK]

Success! Hoorah!

Most disproportionately elaborate song title: The New Pornographers - All the Things That Go to Make Heaven and Earth

The song is like two minutes long! The title takes three minutes to say! Still, it's a solid song from a pretty stellar album, which boasts some good tracklisting vocabulary - any band would get my respect for using 'Myriad' and 'Mutiny' in titles. There's a little too much going on on 'Challengers', I think that having four different lead vocalists over ten tracks makes it a little disjointed, and there are fewer knockout songs than on their previous records. But 'Go Places' is very pretty, 'All the Old Showstoppers' builds to a mountain of joy, and 'Unguided' was Carl's longest song ever. I wish their U.S. tour had come further south than Atlanta (they're not the only ones), but I still love 'em.

[download The New Pornographers - All the Things That Go to Make Heaven and Earth]

[The New Pornographers myspace also with a Christmas song! - official site]
[buy 'Challengers' UK / US]

Superb in every word

Most misleadingly fantastic album opener: The Go! Team - Grip Like a Vice

I'd never been too hot on the Go! Team. Thought the first record was alright, but didn't go nuts about it the way many did. But then I heard 'Grip Like a Vice' sometime in the spring and thought "Holy Shitballs! This song is amazing, and I was clearly wrong about this band all along". I'm never wrong! 'Grip' does what it promises - old rickety piano into fiesty rap with punch-the-air attitude and bags of sass. The rest of 'Proof of Youth' kind of passed me by, though, in a blur of kind-of-blandness. Even Chuck D showing up can't really help me get into it. It all blends into one not-very-good boring track, to my ears. But 'Grip Like a Vice' is the Megaladon of tunes.

[download The Go! Team - Grip Like a Vice]

[The Go! Team myspace / official site]
[Buy 'Proof of Youth' US / UK]

All that I do turns to be wrong

Best cover of a classic Christmas Number One - Maps: Stay Another Day

This one is sort of cheating, since it just went up today, but since I mentioned the Christmas Number One phenomena recently, I think it's relevant. Northampton's Maps, whose debut album came out this year and was pretty good, has covered 'Stay Another Day', East 17's 1994 honoree. If you've never heard of East 17, you're missing out, read the Wiki. Maps' cover takes out the sleigh bells and the annoying "stay now!"s of the original, but had a lot more feedback. And you, sir, can download it for free from About the song, Maps says:

“This song is my special Xmas gift to you, inspired by taking 12 Es and running myself over in my own car. Only an enormous puffer jacket prevented me from certain death.”
[download Maps - Stay Another Day]

[Maps official site / myspace]

Bonus: Here's the East 17 video, in all its mid-90s glory. The best part is 40s into it:

Try to keep your trousers on

Least Effective Sophomore Slump - Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare

I don't know the exact statistic, but I'm pretty sure that, in Britain, every person bought eight copies of the band's debut last year. That put a lot of pressure on t'Arctics to not screw up this time around. Bringing in producer James Ford from Simian Mobile Disco probably helped, as did jettisoning choruses, rocking harder than they ever did before, playing it slow and not sounding crap ('505' for the win) and generally making an album that didn't lose its appeal after the 15th listen. 'Do Me a Favour' is genuinely emotional, 'Balaclava' is a whole lot of fun, and 'Old Yellow Bricks' and 'Teddy Picker' are killer for bedroom air guitar. Also, great music video for 'Brianstorm' and great live performance of 'Fluorescent Adolescent'. Shame about that latter song title, though, eh?

[download Arctic Monkeys - 505 (live at Glastonbury)]

[Arctic Monkeys - official site / myspace]
[Buy 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' US / UK]

At night when I have nothing else to do

Best singer whose name sounds like slang for diabetes - Candie Payne
Worst joke of the year - the one above

Sorry, that was truly horrendous.

Anyway, Candie Payne's debut album 'I Wish I Could've Loved You More' came out in May and was a great summer record. With Mark Ronson involved behind the scenes, the record recalls classy vocalists of the past, like Dusty Springfield and frankly any time someone evokes Dusty, I'm bound to be hooked. The slower songs are ideal for smoky jazz rooms ('In the Morning' is sexier than Kathleen Turner!), and 'One More Chance' and the title track give the album some nice up tempo balance. You can stream the whole record through her site, and why wouldn't you do that?

[download Candie Payne - I Wish I Could Have Loved You More]

[Candie Payne myspace - also with a Christmas song!]
[Buy 'I Wish...' UK / US]

I'm not good enough for Saturdays

Most charming album title sentiment: Softlightes: 'Say No! To Being Cool, Say Yes! To Being Happy'

I don't know a whole lot about Californian band Softlightes other than that they're Californian. Oh, and they're on Modular Records, home of the Avalanches. Their record this year, with the unwieldy but actually-kinda-cool title, was pretty. Low-key, restrained, but stellar. Sometimes it's a little precious ('If the World had Cookies') but enjoyable all the way through. There's a pretty untitled duet ('Untitled Duet #3'), an all-out summer stormer ('Heart Made of Sound'), one about John Lennon's death ('Leanor and Me') and a song called 'The Robots in my Bedroom were Playing Arena-Rock'. It reminds me a bit of the Postal Service, but with more instrumentation, less computers, and less irritating lyrics. This little album may have passed many people by, but it's well worth looking out for, it'll leave you feeling happy.

[download Softlightes -The Microwave Song]

[Softlightes myspace - hear their Christmas song!]
[buy 'Say No!... US / UK]

The internet is full of mean and evil people

Best Supergroup - The Black Arts

...With all apologies to Velvet Revolver.

Have you heard The Black Arts Christmas single, 'Christmas Number One'? It's pretty ridiculous. There's a lyric about the Devil's dandruff. The concept of Christmas Number One isn't too big a deal here in the States, but in the U.K. some people really care about it. It's usually some terrible, TV talent show single, but this year members of Black Box Recorder and Art Brut got together to write this song. I'm not going to post the song itself - watch the video here (complete with star wipes!) - but here's the b-side, featuring a great Eddie Argos rant and some nice harmonies. Luke Haines is a genius, Eddie Argos is a genius, Sarah Nixey has a sexy voice, what's not to love?

[download The Black Arts - Glam Casual]

A tenner in my pocket and fridge full of beer

It's time for my end-of-year posts, I think. I'm not making a list, because I really have trouble ranking music. So, as I did last year, I'm going to come up with arbitrary awards and accolades to give songs/records that I was especially fond of this year. You'll pick it up as we go along.

Most improved - Malcolm Middleton

Malky's first two albums were dour, dark, depressing and other "D" adjectives. He's got a really soft voice, and over the skeletal songs on those albums, he was very, very sad. In the spring, he put out 'A Brighter Beat', and it's fanfuckingtastic. What happened? More instruments, more pulse, more variation, more happiness... well, maybe not that last one, although 'Fuck It, I Love You' was kind of pretty. Elsewhere, there's some rockin' moments (I've posted 'Death Love Depression Love Death' before), a great candidate for Christmas Number One ('We're All Going to Die') and in 'Superhero Songwriters' a straight-up opus. Oh, and don't forget the XFM session I posted in the summer. As an angel said at the end of his first album, his songs are alright.

[download Malcolm Middleton - A Brighter Beat]

[Malcolm Middleton - official site / myspace]
[buy 'A Brighter Beat' US / UK]

Hey Jarrod, you look like Wolverine

My exams finished yesterday! Brilliant! How did they go? Let's move on... (Although my last sentence in the last essay of the last exam was "For shame!")

So to celebrate yesterday I had a couple of beers with the lads, and then watched the New Zealand indie 'Eagle Vs. Shark', which played at, and won at, this year's Sundance. The trailer pretty much tells what you to expect, and it's hard to watch it and not think about Napoleon Dynamite, what with the characters almost entirely being quirky archetypes. One of the guys from Flight of the Conchords is the main guy and plays the awkward, deadpan Jarrod, who's alienated from his family and is on a mission to avenge being bullied in high school. He's the eagle. Lily is the shark, and she's got a crush on Jarrod. Why? Who knows.

There are plenty of laughs in the first half, mostly at the crazy things that these kooks get up to - like throwing shoes at a guy in a helmet - but there isn't a whole lot of depth to it. The second act, when you learn about Jarrod's family background is a little more profound, but even so I struggled to really care. There is a climactic showdown with the bully at the end, and unfortunately, I could predict what would happen an hour before it did happen. Ultimately, there wasn't too much heart in the film, and without that, you end up just laughing at the characters, and not feeling for them. There's nothing wrong, of course, with shallow films just playing it for the laughs but when there is emotional heaviness brought in - as there is in the second act here - it has to resonate, and there wasn't too much of that with 'Eagle vs. Shark'.

But the Roses did play over the end credits. Nice one.

[download The Stone Roses - This is the One]

Birdsong calling my name

Next week, I'll start doing some end of year malarkey, because I'm sure that you're all just itching to know what my 33rd most favourite record of the year was. In the meantime, though, some good news! There's a brand new track from Get Cape Wear Cape Fly available right now for free. Sam's debut album, 'The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager' was a sleeper hit, and something I've played the proverbial shit out of over the last year. His song 'Once More With Feeling', in particular, makes me swoon every single time.

The new song, 'Waiting for the Monster to Drown' is from his upcoming second album, due in March and co-produced by Nitin Sawhney(!) and sho'nuff you can hear some nice electronic drum loops in there and it sounds like some canned violins too. It's all very plesant, except right at the end he starts screaming, which I could've done without. But as a taster, it's still oh-so-delicious. Second album? Call me Eager.

[download Get Cape Wear Cape Fly - Waiting for the Monster to Drown]

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