Category: Radio Elba

I Made You A Mixtape…Nine (The Clarence Clemons Mix)

In keeping with this weeks blog posts I have the joy of doing a mix-tape on what I regard as Clarence Clemons best bits. Now, my aim in these tracks is not to ‘Out Clarence’ anyone & I am certainly no Saxophone expert. All of the tracks I’ve chosen are from Springsteen albums, as that is where we knew & loved him. These are (in my opinion) his greatest 10 moments on Springsteen tracks. (I’d love it if people think I’ve missed any out and want to leave comments below…if you don’t you’ll only make my ego big)

1) Thunder Road (Born To Run, 75)
The opening track to the album that Clarence famously appeared on the cover sleeve of. Quite simply a masterpiece of a track, it opens gently with a soft harmonica and ends closes with Springsteen screaming ‘It’s a town full of losers, and I’m pulling out of here to win’. Then it’s over to Clarence & Bruce with one of there most famous partnerships…love it!

2) Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (Born To Run, 75)
This is Clarence Clemons track… enough said!

When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band
From the coastline to the city all the little pretties raise their hands
I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh when Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half
With the Tenth Avenue freeze-out, Tenth Avenue freeze-out’

3) The Fever (18 Tracks, 99)
Rumour has it that this track lost out to Jungleland for appearance on Born To Run… As a result Springsteen gave this song (like so many others) to good friend Southside Johnny, who’s version is fantastic. On this version, Clarence doesn’t appear on Sax. It’s his voice that get’s the nod. I love his soulful ‘When he’s got The Fever for a girl…’ on this track.

4) Bobby Jean (Born In The USA, 84)
My personal favourite track from Born In The USA. Normally I harp on about Springsteens lyrics in this but on this occasion I’ll let you listen to the track, and the classic ending ‘Good luck…goodbye…Bobby Jean’ (THEN SAX!)

5) Born To Run (Born To Run, 75)
It takes less than 1 second of this track for Clarence to blast his Sax in one of the most iconic ways possible only to top it at the 1:52 mark with a famous Clarence solo! This is Born To Run…do I really need to explain?

6) Prove It All Night (Darkness On The Edge Of Town, 78)
There is a bit in the film The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town where in the studio Clarence realises that there isn’t as much Saxophone in this album and is he required…then there is Prove It All Night to prove yes! I have seen this song live numerous occasions, each time the part of this track where Clarence sax solo is followed by a Bruce solo (which lasts maybe 30 seconds on here) lasts minutes with them going back and forth. This whole song can take up to 15 minutes live as Steve Van Zandt, Nils Lofgren and the rest of the E Street Band get involved. This is a great track that reminds me of seeing the band live.

7) Secret Garden (Greatest Hits, 95)
In a change of pace this is a rare occasion where Clarence plays unbelievably softly throughout the track made famous by Jerry Maguire…but for me steals the show. The Sax makes this track, beautiful.

8) Mary’s Place (The Rising, 02)
I watch the Live in Barcelona DVD a lot. There is a fantastic moment during Mary’s Place where Bruce refers to the show as a ‘House Party’ then to the E Street Band as ‘The Greatest little house band in the land’. And that is what this song reminds me of as when introducing the band piece by piece he leaves Clarence till last (as he always did)… ‘Minister of Soul…You wish you could be like him but you CAN’T! BIG MAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN Clarence Clemons!

9) Spirit In The Night (Greetings From Asbury Park, 73)
I love this track and when I was making this mix tape I didn’t immediately think of it as there are no epic Sax solo’s, etc in it. Then it I was listening to this album and as this track came on I realised that the Sax barely goes away at all on this track, if it wasn’t there the track wouldn’t work the same, it’s subtle, which makes it ace!

10) Jungleland (Born To Run, 75)
I’m sure it’s no surprise I ended on this track, and it’s no surprise there are 4 tracks from Born To Run on this mix tape, it always felt like Bruce & Clarences album. When I posted the first post this week a friend of mine sent me a message reminiscing about when he saw Jungleland live at Emirites Stadium in 2008. That same year I saw Jungleland at Cardiff Millennium Stadium and it was clear we had the exact same experience. ‘HOLY SHIT…I’M SEEING JUNGLELAND!’ Clarence Clemons solo in this song is, like the man himself, epic! When I saw this live the whole stadium was silent as Clarence took centre stage, it was a moment I will never forget and I count myself lucky to have seen it happen.

So there you go. Now tell me I’m wrong and what gems I’ve missed. I know you want to!

They Made Us A Mixtape…Larry (Laurence and the Slab Boys)

At last count, we’ve made eight mixtapes so far which are sitting up there (^^^) in the mixtapes tab for your aural attention. We even add liner notes for each mix. There’s been one thing missing though. We reckon that one of the best things about making mixtapes, is when you get one back in return. That moment where you look at the tracklisting and think, I’m not sure if I’m going to like that and then the slow smile that broadens across your face as you think, “wow, this opening track is brilliant, who is it again? Black Angels? Must check them out.” Then as you delve further in you discover that The Sister Ruby Band song is as beautiful as the ‘mixtaper’ said it was, and what’s not to love about a band who clearly listened to Spiritualized for all of their formative years?

This mix comes to us courtesy of Larry from Laurence and The Slab Boys and we’ve bookended Larry’s mix with a couple of tracks from their forthcoming album, ‘Lo-fi Disgrace’ simply because it’s a rather good album and we think it may be worthy of your attention. Lo-Fi Disgrace is released on Monday 18th June (officially) on Grumpy Records. However, if you hop along to their bandcamp page now, you can order yourself a copy or buy a download. We’ve chosen the album’s penultimate track, ‘Cry Wolf’ to open up the mix and ended it with recent single ‘Mushroom’. The filling in the Slab Boys sandwich is excellent and we really hope you enjoy.

Laurence and the Slab Boys – Cry Wolf

Black Angels – You On the Run

Our bassist, Matt, switched me on to this band. I think he meant to demonstrate that sheer rock and roll adrenaline should make click-tracks obsolete when recording, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that this was still recorded with a click. Everyone’s at it, but this is a good song.

Dum Dum Girls – There is a Light That Never Goes Out

Smiths songs are sacred, and a hairy cow attempt a cover, but this is brilliant. I kinda know the Dum Dum Girls’ manager, and I should really ask about a support tour, but I’m sure he thinks I’m some sort of drunken lout, and there is a chance that I owe him money.

Entrance Band – Lookout!

I heard this for the first time in a bar in Berlin. The singer from my last band and I were taking a break from recording, and things weren’t going well. We were too bogged down with stupid, whimsical nonsense, and hearing this made us feel ridiculous – we broke up soon afterwards.

The Sister Ruby Band – Graceland Smile

I presumed this guy was huge, but seemingly not. The melody sounds like Dylan when he was still distilling Scottish folk. The lyrics are perfectly audible, but I couldn’t tell you what they are. Usually the lyrics are the core of the song for me, but not here – he could be singing the shipping forecast for all I care, with a timeless melody like that.

Boy Friend – Spirit Burner

This song is really good, even if the production is mental. I was pretty keen to remix their record for them, and I’d have done it for free, such is the brilliance of their sound. They seemed up for it, but their manager must have told them that it was a mental idea and it came to nothing. Anyway, use your imagination…

Sister Vanilla – Pastel Blue

This is the side-project that Jim and William Reid did with their sister, Linda. Our drummer is friends with the chap who played bass, Jamie Holman. He’s a good guy and he helped our band out a while back, but I daren’t ask him about this chapter, as he’d think I was just a fan-boy, and he’d be right.

The Scottish Enlightenment – Little Sleep

This might be the most pretentious band name ever, and it reminds me

of sitting listening to lectures at Glasgow University about smarty-panted agitators from bloody Edinburgh. When my pal Al said he was putting out the record on his label, I wanted not to like it, but there is no escaping the fact that it’s first-class and I love it.

Joensuu 1685 – (You Shine) Brighter Than Light

These Finnish boys sound like they grew up with Spiritualized stuck on repeat, which is just aces with me.

Laurence and the Slab Boys – Mushroom

I Made You A Mixtape…Eight

This weeks mixtape liner notes which should really have gone up a week ago, but I couldn’t think what to write!

1. Rick Redbeard – Now We’re Dancing

Every now and again I hear something that I take to straight away. I think I listened to this one about about ten times straight when I heard it. This single is released as a split 7″ on Gerry Loves Records with the other side featuring Adam Stafford, on June 25th.

2. Willy Mason – Hard Hand To Hold

I went along to the Stag & Dagger festival the other week and Willy Mason’s set at the very end of the night was one of my highlights. I really hadn’t expected it to be so good. This track is from his 2004 debut album ‘Where The Humans Eat’

3. Teepee – Time Meant Nothing

This is the latest single from Miami’s Teepee who I first came across on a Turntable Kitchen mix. If you like the track, you can also download it for free on Teepee’s bandcamp page.

4. Meursault – Weather

Meursault’s forthcoming album is one that I’m really looking forward to. There’s an album launch on July 7th at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh with support from Rob St John, Jill O’Sullivan and Jenny Reeve. This track is from the 2009 album ‘All Creatures Will Make Merry’ which is one of my favourite albums from the last few years.

5. The Son(s) – Roaring Round The House

The name of the song sounds quite rowdy I think but the track couldn’t be further from that. Laid-back that it’s almost horizontal, this is the opening track from The Son(s) excellent Leviathan EP which is out now on Olive Grove Records.

6. Best Coast – How They Want Me To


I’ve already proclaimed Best Coast’s sophomore album The Only Place as my favourite album of 2012 so far to several people. It’s the perfect summer album, ideal for hitting the beach when/if the sun comes out!

7. The Lemonheads – The Outdoor Type

It’s festival season and all I seem to hear about are people going off to various festivals. There are so many great small outdoor festivals that you can get to and from in a day from Glasgow or Edinburgh which is great for me because I’m not really the camping sort. I think that pretty much explains this selection…

8. M Ward – I Get Ideas

This is from M Ward’s latest album ‘A Wasteland Companion’ which I think is a return to form after his Hold Time album. I really like his almost airy/wheezy vocals, and he’s always struck me as a bit of a dude.

I Made You A Mixtape…Seven

Father Sculptor – Ember

I was sent this a while back and as seems to be the way with me sometimes, i promised it a listen and then it got lost somewhere along the way. I’m glad i found it again though because there’s a lot to like here. Ember and it’s also excellent b-side ‘Blue’ was released on Monday and is available as a free digital download.

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bubble

Trust me, the theme this week is not forgetting to listen to stuff but I have to offer up a similar comment for this track as to the last. I got this album around the time it came out however, that portion of last year was pretty much made up of worry and daily hospital visits, so remembering to listen to new music was a bit further down on the priority list than usual. As a result my itunes bulges with tracks that haven’t had a single play and my shelves have an odd selection of cd’s pushed into any available nook and cranny just waiting for the cellophane to be ripped off.

This is yet another album I forgot about. I did listen to this once or twice at the time though but I’ll admit, i don’t always get on with KC’s music. However, I cracked it out the other week again and i must say, if i’d remembered it more last year, this album may have been in contention in some of the end of year lists. I like this track ‘Bubble’ a lot. When the banjo kicks in mid-way through, I really like this track.

Yann Tiersen – Summer 78 (Instrumental)

I think Yann Tiersen is one of my favourite film composers and this is i guess one of the ‘theme’s’ from the brilliant film ‘Good bye Lenin!

Yusuf Azak – Swim

Did i mention i was looking forward to Yusuf releasing his new album this year? Probably. This is from his free to download Prizefighter EP released last year. He’s playing at Edinburgh’s Ide’s of Toad Night this evening alongside RM Hubbert and Rory Sutherland.

Beach House – Myth

It’s becoming apparent from these mixtapes that ‘dream pop’ is my thing.

This is the opening track from Beach House’s forthcoming album ‘Bloom’ which is released next month.

NO – Stay With Me

I think there’s some pretty strong comparisons to be made with The National on this track by LA based NO. The vocals and track brood away and build up as the track goes on. This track is on a limited run released by the turntable kitchen blog in San Francisco.

Bam Bam – Hipnodromo

I’ve not featured much any Mexican music on the blog before but when i heard this on an Arts & Crafts sampler, there was no way that it was not going on a mixtape. I have no idea what they are singing about either!

Thirty Pounds of Bone – Uyeasound

This weeks final track is from Thirty Pounds of Bone and is from his first album, ‘The Homesick Children of Migrant Mothers’. I just really like this one and don’t really need to elaborate much further only that I listened to the album this week because of the maritime themes on some of the tracks on the King Creosote & Jon Hopkins album. I like when one persons music brings you onto someone else’s.

I Made You A Mixtape…Six

So far in this mixtape series, I have kind of steered clear of having any sort of theme on the mixtapes. This week however, is somewhat of an exception. The Scottish Album of the Year award was

launched this week and it immediately got me thinking of which Scottish album from 2011 would I want to win the award. I know people sometimes are quite quick to judge awards ceremonies and awards, particularly in Scotland, but this seems to be organised rather well and the prizes on offer are absolutely terrific. We have a huge amount of enthusiasm for the national music scene in Scotland and it’s great to see an award promising inclusion and most importantly, a celebration of Scottish music.

This weeks mixtape contains some tracks from a few of the albums which I really enjoyed in 2011. I say ‘enjoyed’ because I’m fully aware that some may not technically be the best albums but at the end of the day when I want something to listen to, I want it to be an enjoyable experience, and these albums gave me just that.

Also, I’m not 100% on criteria but there’s certainly a Scottish related element to all of the tracks included here. I’ve also tacked 3 or 4 songs on the end which do not fall into the category of Scottish Albums of 2011, but this is a mixtape, and I wanted them here!

Rob St.John – Your Phantom Limb from the album ‘Weald’

Kicking off controversially with one that I’m not sure is eligible, however, this album was released on an Edinburgh label (Song, By Toad) and Rob is a big part of the Edinburgh music scene, despite his roots being firmy south of the border. This album really knocked me for six. A really beautiful album and this track in particular was the first track I heard when released as a split 7″. It’s an album I rate very highly and this week in particular, when the snow fell, really set the scene perfectly.

Mike Nisbet – Not Long from the album ‘Vagrant’

Honestly, I should stop now. I’m pretty sure the percentage of posts we’ve written mentioning Mike Nisbet in the last year is topping the 70% mark. The truth is, a year ago when we got a sneak peak of the album, we were immediately smitten. It was one of the best and most heartfelt albums I’d heard in a long time and I was so pleased that late on in the year, people really started picking up on it. It’s not easy to self-release an album and this album really deserves some recognition. Beautiful is the only word…

Jonny – Waiting Around For You from the album ‘Jonny’

Another possibly contentious one. An album written by a Scotsman and a Welshman but really, it’s no ordinary Scotsman, it’s none other than Norman Blake from my favourite Scottish band of all time, Teenage Fanclub. This is a really good fun and upbeat album, well worth a listen if you’re looking for a smile.

The Hazey Janes – Paper Hearts from the album ‘The Winter That Was’

I just mentioned Teenage Fanclub and I put The Hazey Janes in a similar bracket in that if it’s sunny, and I’m looking for something to put a smile on my face, I’ll reach for The Hazey Janes, and they won’t disappoint. I was delighted to hear last year that they were releasing a record on Armellodie records and when released, it was a welcome return to form for a band who were out of the game for something of an enforced sabattical.

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – The Copper Top from the album ‘Everything’s Getting Older’
This it seemed was a ubiquitous choice amongst Scottish media last year. A beautiful an emotive album of which this, was my stand-out track from the album. The video is also excellent and worth a watch

FOUND – Machine Age Dancing from the album ‘Factorycraft’

This album was released on Chemikal Underground early last year and is an excellently experimental album. They also released a single on Chocolate vinyl, which is always a win.

Le Reno Amps- Cottonmouth Rock from the album ‘Appetite’

Another band that we absolutely adore. Live, they are fairly unbeatable when they are on top of their game and whilst on a ‘break’ at the moment, we have everything crossed that come August, they might make a re-appearance.

This album was described by many as being full of different styles, which it is, but that doesn’t make it less endearing. This track is LRA at their glam inspired, duelling guitar best. As it’s been noticed, they can be a bit like marmite, and yes, we love them.

Strike The Colours – Safety In Numbers

I’ve come to the end of my selection from 2011’s albums and this track is from a band who I believe are due to release new material this year, Strike The Colours. ‘Safety In Numbers’ is from the brilliant ‘The Face That Sunk A Thousand Ships’ EP.

Cancel The Astronauts – The Hardest Thing

CTA are an Edinburgh band who seem to specialise in a ‘really poppy hook’ although, you might not get that from this track. I raved about their ‘Funny For A Girl’ EP a few years ago and they sent me their new single a few years and despite this track being completely different to the first two tracks on the EP, I really love this one! The single is called Intervention and can be found over here.

RM Hubbert – Gus Am Bris An Latha (with John Ferguson)

RM Hubbert’s new album ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ may be in quite a few album of the year polls come the end of 2012 and this track is one of my favourites from said album.

Loch Awe – How It Began

This song was one of my favourites from 2010 and I commented at the time how impressed I was with the EP which was recored in a matter of days. Loch Awe have come a long way since this song and EP, but it’s something I always revisit every now and again.

I Made You A Mixtape… Five

A week ago I found myself in conversation with Phil over his idea for a female playlist for Radio Elba. Somewhere between agreeing that it was a good idea and offering my assistance I ended up being responsible for making you a mixtape. Easy. Only, Phil then featured both of my favourite tracks by Wild Flag and La Sera on Four. Dilemma. Over the proceeding week I have chopped and changed, listened to Romance by Wild Flag on loop anyway, and come up with the below. It’s not who I consider to be the greatest female musicians of all time or the cream of new artists but more what I’ve got playing day to day. I’ve always had an eye for the ladies…

tUnE-yArDs – My Country

I find myself struggling to express how much I adore Merrill Garbus’ second album, W H O K I L L, but I do throw it at people’s ear-holes as often as I can to make up for that. My Country is a nice starting for my first mix as it belongs to an album that sits amongst my top three in 2011. The lyrics scream her questioning of the American dream and even caution about doing so ‘the worst thing about living a lie is just wondering when they’ll find out’ alongside a throbbing and insistent clash of sounds; listening is not optional.

THEESatisfaction – QueenS

I think the sun has been a good influence on Phil and I this last week. We’ve both turned to sunnier music. Hazy pop for Phil and meandering funk for myself. THEESatisfaction made up of Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White released their album awE naturalE on Sub Pop this week, hopefully reaching some ears a little further afar than their handmade CD albums could. An MP3 of QueenS can be found here

Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid

There isn’t much I can tell you that you won’t already know about Sleigh Bells. They are entirely a guilty please of mine. I’m a sucker for a loud guitar and a lady; Karen O and Nick Zinner, Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince/Jack White and now

Alexis Krauss and Derek Edward Miller.

Wild Flag – Something Came Over Me

As I mentioned, a previous mixtape featured Wild Flag’s Romance.  However, their omission from this run of lady-leaden tracks would be insanity. Phil mentioned their supergroup status and I want to add that if I could steal any talent it would be Janet Weiss’. The unfamiliar should watch some Wild Flag and Sleater-Kinney live performances.

My Brightest Diamond – Escape Routes

Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond has been a constant on my playlists for years now. Her most recent album All Things Will Unwind sees her putting down her guitar and limiting herself to the pseudo-classical style she frequently uses to flesh out arrangements. The album title is explanatory and relevant to this point in her life and reflected in her studio content. This slightly more mellow tone could be a reflection of recent motherhood; something that I find nearly almost brings a change in the female musician’s musical texture. The tone may be softened but Shara’s lyrics remain exquisite and as sensual as ever.

Grass Widow – Disappearing Industries


Widow released their second album this week, having built their own label in order to do so. You can find another new track over on Soundcloud or the excellent Shadow from 2010’s Past Time here.

Lydia Loveless – Can’t Change Me

Another highlight of SXSW posted on blog after blog was the cowboy-booted Lydia Loveless. From the tracks I’ve dipped into she is a fresh and needed break to hazy surf and pop that I’m starting to tire of and doze off to.

Laura Marling – Salinas

If Laura Marling’s most recent album passed you by last year I would highly recommend it. This track in particular shows some really nice vocal developments. She seems to be pulling out a Dylan-esque recitative quite frequently. Lyrically, Salinas is all familial, traditional and identity themed. The scoring is lush; a richer Dear Prudence with a unrelenting banjo firmly planted to let you know that this is folk

Gillian Welch – Scarlet Town

The Harrow and The Harvest topped my end of year album list. Gillian Welch is the mistress of unsettling lyrics. I’m talking about women for this blog but this track would be nothing without Dave Rawlings insane guitar playing. Yes, I definitely want to be either Janet Weiss or Dave Rawlings.

Neko Case – Nothing To Remember

My stalking of Neko Case on Twitter alerted me to her involvement with The Hunger Games movie album tie in. I believe that only The Arcade Fire track appears at the end credits of the movie, the remaining songs must be those ‘from District 12 and beyond’ as per the soundtrack’s explanatory title. I am quite grateful for these ‘inspired by…’ numbers. Any new Neko Case material is a blessing. This was penned as Neko worked through writer’s block. This is what she considers to be a weak offering. If that’s not encouragement enough to go and seek out her material then let me try something else: GO AND LISTEN TO FURNACE ROOM LULLABY! Convinced? Good.

I Made You A Mixtape…Four

The lovely weather today kind of affected the mixtape at the last minute. You see, there’s one album I reach for when the sun shines, Grand Prix by Teenage Fanclub. So, not only have included something from that album, there are a couple of other last minute additions.

Next week Kim will be guesting on mixtape duties…

King Post Kitsch – Nocturnal Wandering

An instrumental to start the mixtape from Glasgow/London based King Post Kitsch. This track

featured on the recently released EP of the same name which you can download free on bandcamp. He released a track last year called ‘Don’t You Touch my Fucking Honeytone‘ which you should also look up, I believe my quote was that it was “a bona fide beezer

Teenage Fanclub – About You

My go to sunshine album. It’s probably my favourite album of all time, it also includes one of my favourite songs of all time in ‘Sparky’s Dream’ but I thought I’d go for a slightly less obvious choice here.

Fidlar – Max Can’t Surf

This is the first of two tracks on this mixtape that I know next to nothing about the band. Fidlar are a surf pop band from Los Angeles and I really like this track, pretty lo-fi and garage-y, right up my street.

La Sera – Break My Heart

La Sera is the project of the Vivian Girls’ Katy Goodman. I’ve been listening to this track for a few weeks now and am yet to get my hands on the album but it’s on my wishlist. She seems to be garnering quite the buzz at the moment, and rightly so. You can read an interview with her over at Last Years Girl’s blog.

Wild Flag – Romance

Wild Flag are often described as something of a supergroup. This is the kind of track I really like, an excellent riff, good vocals and a bit of attitude.

Palomar – Infinite Variation

The second band on the mixtape that I know nothing about. I have a habit of hoarding music, downloading mp3’s from blogs or from other compilations and often forgetting all about them. I got my hands on a huge a huge catalogue of music which had something like 500 tracks of artists who were playing at SXSW about a month back with the best intentions of ‘giving it a good listen’. I stuck it on random and this was one track that really stuck out. Again, a pretty lo-fi sounding track. I of course have done some digging and it turns out Palomar are from Brooklyn, another thumbs up from me for that but the most important thing is that this track is just really awesome.

Now Wakes The Sea – Abandon Ship (Fuck Albert Camus)

I’ve been meaning to write about Now Wakes The Sea’s album Fluoxetine Morning which was released earlier this year. We had Now Wakes The Sea down at the ‘old’ Liquid Ship in what I think was his first gig under the NWTS moniker and from a personal point of view, I found it a really interesting show, a lot more

experimental than we usually had at our gigs. The album is also excellent. Very atmospheric and experimental in places but really just one of those albums that has an aura around it that just immerses you. You can have a listen over on the bandcamp page.

Pavement – Silence Kit

I’ve never hid my love for Pavement and like Teenage Fanclub, Pavement’s ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain’ is another sunny day go to album for me.

PAWS – Kitten

Glasgow-based PAWS have just signed to Brighton’s Fat Cat Records and this track is from the EP they released with Gerry Loves Records last year. A prolific live band, this song has featured continually on my iPod for the last 6 months or so.

Rancid – Olympia WA

Now, this might be somewhat of a guilty pleasure. I’m not generally up on my early 90’s punk rock and the only reason I’ve ever heard this song was because one of my faves, Jesse Malin, played it before a gig once. Anyway, I just find it a really catchy song and it rounds up nicely the little theme of songs for the sunshine. I hope you enjoy.

I Made You A Mixtape…Three

Thurston Moore – Benediction

This was one of my favourite tracks of 2011. It’s such a chilled out song and when I first heard that Thurston had a solo album, this was the last thing I expected it to sound like. I guess the reason it’s made the playlist this week is that Thurston Moore announced a series of noise gigs that he would be playing over the coming months and this track probably couldn’t be much further than what those shows will be like either, so I guess we’ve gone full circle!

The Wonder Stuff – Room 512 (All The News That’s Fit To Print)

This song really brings me back to my youth, or earlier than youth, depends how you classify it. I have a brother 8 years my senior and he was always into music. He went through all the phases and I vividly remember all the albums he used to listen to. In the early 90’s he was quite into a lote of British bands, Carter USM, Pop Will Eat Itself and The Wonder Stuff. There were the accompanying VHS offerings from each band at the time and I adored watching The Wonder Stuff’s ‘Never Loved Elvis’ video/documentary on a Friday night. They were the band that captured my attention at the time and I really wanted to go and see them. They were due to play a gig at Aberdeen Music Hall but it was cancelled at the last minute due to illness. To this day I’ve never seen them but I noticed that singer Miles Hunt was touring again this month so I’ve dug out their stuff. This track wasn’t on an album but turned up on a B-Side. It was however featured on the aforementioned documentary, being played acoustic on a New York City street.

The Spinto Band – Japan Is An Island

I’ve managed to get to Track 3 without mentioning the music event most people on my twitter feed, regardless of attendance, are speaking about. Yes, South by Southwest. Whilst I would love to be out there, the sheer buzz and talk in the press about it, I find is a great way of hearing about new music. Now, The Spinto Band aren’t new by any stretch of the imagination but I did notice that they were playing, and I quite miss them. Would be great if they came back and played some shows in the UK.

Tennis – Origins

Tennis are one of my favourite bands at the moment. They have just released their second album, ‘Young and Old’ on Fat Possum records. This is boy/girl dream pop at it’s best.

Real Estate – It’s Real

Undoubtedly, Real Estate’s ‘Days’ album was my pick of 2011’s long players. I just found it the most perfect listen. This is the lead track from the album but in truth I could have picked any one of these tracks. Do try and get your ears round the album if you haven’t already.

Lower Dens – Hospice Gates

I saw Lower Dens support Deerhunter last year at the Oran Mor and they were fantastic. I had kind of forgotten about them until I noticed last week they were playing SXSW and then this track popped on my iPod.

Andrew Bird – Heretics

The Muppets have been everywhere recently and whilst I’ve not yet seen the film, the soundtrack is an absolute treat. There’s a couple of names that appear on it that catch me off guard though, Joanna Newsom’s line in the theme song for one. It was the mention of Andrew Bird though that made me go back and listen to his back catalogue. He has a new album out soon but this track, ‘Heretics’, is from the brilliant Armchair Apocrypha.

Titus Andronicus – Joset Of Nazareth’s Blues

Another band I saw mentioned in connection with SXSW. This is from their outstanding debut album ‘The Airing of Grievances’. The can be an utter shambles of a band when they want but at the same time, essential listening.

The Douglas Firs – A Military Farewell

The Douglas Firs have just released a new album, ‘e.p.1‘ which is a collection of recordings from the past few winters. This track is again from their debut long player ‘Happy as A Windless Flag‘ which was released in 2011.

I Made You A Mixtape…Two


Richmond Fontaine – (Postcard Written With A Broken Hand)

I really like the spoken interludes that Richmond Fontaine do on Post To Wire and if you’ve ever read any of frontman Willy Vlautin’s books this is exactly what they sound like in my head when I read them. The real reason this track is on though is because as you may have seen on the blog the other day that Chris has been away travelling Europe and North America and it just so happened that whilst he was away I received a postcard which marked a certain resemblance to this track and was signed, Walter.

Freelance Whales – Generator (1st Floor)

This week has very much been a week where I keep hearing songs I’ve not heard in a while or I see people get mentioned on Twitter or something and I then head off to listen to them. Freelance Whales are one of those bands. I saw them support The New Pornographers at the Oran Mor a few years ago and immediately got myself the album, this was the track they opened with that night and I was pretty much hooked. Now they’ve turned up on an o2 advert which really should awaken the ‘hip dude’ in me and I should shun them for their commercial sell-out but they’re a bit too good for that and I’m not being shallow…today. Also, do you ever really like a song but wish it would just go on for another chorus or two? Yeah, that as well.

Tandy Hard – There’ll be a lot of Smoke

Again, I just happened across this album the other day by virtue of it being next to something I was looking at in my cd shelves. I don’t know a huge amount about Tandy Hard other than the record that this song is from came out on Drift Records a good few years ago. I do really like the album though so if you like this track, the album will not be a let down.

Field Music – Sorry Again, Mate

I arrived (un)fashionably late to the party with Field Music. I loved their last record ‘Measure’ and the new record ‘Plumb’ is also excellent. I’ve been assured that if I delve further into their back catalogue then I’m in for a treat, so I’m going to do just that.

Laish – She Is Clever

Laish are another band who I am not all that familiar with but I do know that they are part of the brilliant Wilkommen Collective who really are worthy

of your time. I think they are based in Brighton. We always hear about how much talent the music scene in Scotland has but over the past few years, Brighton and the South Coast of England also seem to have something special floating about in the water! Oh, and this track has a clarinet in it which is a pretty under-used instrument in music, well, the music I listen to. However, it did make me go away and listen to Sufjan Stevens’, The BQE.

Yusuf Azak – Lay Me Down

Yusuf Azak returns this year with a second full length album on Edinburgh’s Song, By Toad Records. We were excited about the release of his first album in 2010 and our excitement is building for album two. Incidentally, Song, By Toad have just released their 2012 label sampler which you can download for free on bandcamp. Looks like it will be another excellent year for the Edinburgh-based label.

Bowerbirds – In The Yard

North Carolina’s Bowerbirds were recommended to me by Kim so I’m really just passing on the commendation to you. This is just the kind of thing I like, a bit folksy/Americana with a female vocal and nice instrumentation. Lovely.

Andrea Marini – Windmills

The wind has whipped up again over the last few days and the next two tracks probably represent the change in weather. I always find that some songs really fit what kind of weather you are in and although it probably differs from person to person, this track’s sparseness really fits perfectly with walking about a nearly ice cold city with only music for your thoughts.

Mike Nisbet – Snow Me In

There’s a pretty simple reason for the inclusion of this track. This track really gives you a big warm hug. The snow started falling yesterday afternoon and this was the first track that I reached for, there’s a real warmth in both the piano and vocals which compliments the inclement weather perfectly.

Mitchell Museum – No.3

Mitchell Museum are back seems to be the Scottish music story du jour and I’m really pleased with the news. I really liked their debut album ‘The Peter’s Port Memorial’ and I was looking forward to what their second album would bring, and then they took a hiatus. It seems now that all is well and they’ve come back with a new track which you can hear on soundcloud. This song however, is my favourite track from their debut album.

Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball

How predictable on the week of release to include a Springsteen track I hear you cry but hey, who can blame me, he is the boss after all. I had really been looking forward to hearing how this track sounded recorded for the album, I had heard the live version released as a b-side a couple of years ago and loved the song. The song was written for the run of shows Springsteen did at Giants Stadium, NJ just before it was pulled down and moved next door to a brand new stadium. I’d actually been to the stadium a couple of weeks prior to the Bruce Springsteen shows for a football match so when I heard the descriptions in the song, I felt a bit of an attachment. Oh, and The Big Man shines on this one…

I Made You A Mixtape

I Made You A Mixtape is basically going to be my weekly ‘show’ on Steve from Elba Studios new ‘on-demand’ radio station, Radio Elba.

He’s been testing the waters on there for a few weeks and it will be the permanent home for any sessions he records which we used to run over here on Elba Sessions. This, is where it gets a little confusing, so I’ll keep it simple.

Elba Sessions (The Website) was created as an add on to collections of recordings that Steve over at Elba was recording under the name…Elba Sessions (The Recordings!!). We kept the sessions name when starting up the website but over time, we’ve started up gigs and written about a lot more and the blog has become a home for myself and on occasion Kim and Chris’ thoughts so it’s separated itself quite a bit from the recordings. In essence both things now mainly work independently. The option is always there to collaborate however so yeah, it’s not like we hate each other…long-winded? I could confuse you more. Trust me.

Anyway, in the spirit of keeping things as clear as possible, we’ve decided to keep the Elba Sessions name, both of us. You’ll not notice, honest!

So, back to this Radio Elba thing…it’s run by Steve from the studios and he kindly asked us if we fancied a show. He is looking to add more shows though, so if you fancy putting together a weekly/monthly or occasional podcast to add to the collective, get in touch with him, his address is in our contacts page.

The idea behind I Made You A Mixtape is essentially a selfish idea on my part. I’ve decided that you don’t want to hear my voice in between songs, you just want to listen to some music. It’s being hosted on Mixcloud too so you can stream it through the site or I now believe that there’s an iPhone app.

The show won’t be genre specific, it will basically be whatever i’ve been listening to or something I want to share that will maybe have some sort of meaning. In the absence of ‘chat’ from me, I’ll create some liner notes each week, just like a really good mixtape would have.

In truth, the main reason I am doing it is that I have always loved making tapes for people, letting them hear stuff I think they might like. Stu from the Tidal Wave of Indifference may attest to the tardiness of a Phil mixtape but I’ll try and keep these on time. Also, bear with me, I’m sure they’ll get better!


Conor Mason – Misunderstood

Derry based songwriter Conor Mason is a bit of a familiar face to Elba Sessions, he recorded a session back in 2010 as well as playing one of the Presents…gigs at the Liquid Ship. His previous album was a long-time favourite on my iPod and I was really happy when Al at Armellodie told me he was releasing his new record on his label. Al actually has a knack

of releasing records by bands I really like. It’s fair to say he has decent musical chops. Anyway, this track is the opening track from the forthcoming album (19th March) and it really took me aback after what I had previously heard of his music. There’s a lift in tempo, horns, drums…it just sounds a lot more than just a singer songwriter album. There’s bags of great songs on there, so look him up…

Slow Club – Two Cousins (Acoustic)

I’ve got a proper band crush on Slow Club, they’re just adorable. I came a little late to the party but I love their first record and the track I have included is the ‘acoustic’ version of ‘Two Cousins’ which was on the bonus disc of their second long player, Paradise, which was released in 2011. The banjo brings a totally different dimension to the song.

Dad Rocks! – Battle Hymn of The Fox Father

This is probably my most played song of this year, in fact iTunes stats tell me it is. The best thing is, it’s a free download too, so nobody really has an excuse not to own it, unless it’s not your bag of course, I’m not here to tell you what to like, you’re big enough to choose for yourself.

Randolph’s Leap – Deep Blue Sea

I lavished some praise on this record over at the Elba blog last month and it really is a great wee LP. Released on a Ltd Ed cassette, it is the perfect representation of diy/homemade. This song also has violin on it, which you will learn, is one of my favourite instruments.

Chris T-T – Market Square

Ah, Chris T-T, easily one of my favourite musicians to go out and see live. i’m fortunate that he seems to visit Glasgow a lot and just as I was putting this mix together I heard that Lis from Last Year’s Girl is once again putting a gig on for Chris at The Admiral in Glasgow. This track was on his 2010 album Love Is Not Rescue as well as being part of the AA Milne themed ‘Disobedience’ project which ran at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe and found a release on bandcamp in late autumn. Lovely so it is.

Finn LeMarinel – The Mothers

I had a real urge about a month ago to go back and listen to the ‘I’m Through’ EP by Finn LeMarinel. It’s a really solid EP full of intricate guitar work and nice lyrics. However, live is really when you want to catch him, he’s like one of these guitar wizards, creating a beat at the same time as appearing to do about a gazillion different things involving the neck and strings on the guitar. I was lucky enough to get him along to play at The Liquid Ship for Elba a couple of years back and I noticed the other week that he had been announced on a pretty mega bill for the Daily Dose’s next gig at Stereo (Glasgow) on March 5th. Alongside Carnivores and Cuddly Shark, it’s one I will really do my best not to miss.

Stars – Your Ex Lover is Dead

This track is just really lovely. I’d rather not go on about why actually, I think sometimes when you like something a to a certain degree, pulling it apart ruins it a bit don’t you think?

Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Teenage Tide

I heard this track on a compilation from Turntable Kitchen around July last year and i remembered liking it at the time but the compilation also included Real Estate and The War On Drugs and it was the first time I’d come across either of them so unfortunately I forgot all about this track. Happily, I stumbled across it just the other day on a SXSW playlist so I thought I should include it on here.

Easter – Damp Patch

Another track I heard on a compilation from another blog, this time it was in Song, By Toad’s annual festive fifty compilation. I don’t know a huge amount about Easter other than that they are from Manchester and that you can grab this track on their soundcloud page.

French Wives – Younger

The last track for this week comes from a band that you don’t really want to have to google, especially if in work. It’s a rather epic sounding song and like Dad Rocks! you can also download this one for frees! They’ve just finished recording their debut long player and are heading out on tour over the next month in the UK and US.