Tagged: bob dylan

The Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Award 2009 (The Scottish BAMS)

The Elba Sessions podcast has been running since July this year and we have been blogging since September so we were pretty honoured to be asked by Peenko to throw our tuppence worth into what is now affectionately known as The Scottish BAMS or The Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Award 2009, to give it it’s proper title. The Phantom Band’s Checkmate Savage took the honours and the Top 20 was packed with plenty of good choices, with a large amount of Scottish talent being represented.

The Phantom Band Checkmate Savage

Personally I struggled a bit, not to choose the ten so much, but more to order it from 10 to 1. Looking back at my choices, I’ll stick with my Number 1 and possibly the first few places but to be honest, if any of my top 10 were at number 1, I’d have no complaints at all. Here is how Stephen, Chris and myself voted…

(note: Stephen ducks out slightly by nominating an unreleased album, but we’ll let him off for that and you’ll notice I favoured counting down from 10 to 1, to build suspense and all, wheras my fellow amigos went straight in with a number 1!)

Phil Elba

10. Cuddly Shark – Cuddly Shark
9.Le Reno Amps – Tear It Open
8.Bruce Springsteen – Working On A Dream
7.The Cinematics – Love and Terror
6. Brakes – Touchdown
5. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
4. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
3. Sufjan Stevens – The BQE
2. Phantom Band – Checkmate Savage
1. Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances

Stephen Elba

1. De Rosa – Prevention
2. My Latest Novel – Deaths and Entrances.
3. Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career.
4. Idlewild – Post Electric Blues.
5. Conor Mason – When its Over
6. Le Reno Amps – Tear it Open
7. LAU – Arc Light
8. bat for lashes – two Suns
9. Daniel Wylie – Fake your own death (wont be released until 2010 but i have heard the tracks and they are ace!)
10. Cuddly Shark – Cuddly Shark

Chris Elba

1. Wilco – Wilco (the album)
2. Richmond Fontaine – We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River
3. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
4. Bruce Springsteen – Working on a Dream
5. De Rosa – Prevention
6. Bob Dylan – Together Through Life
7. Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
8. The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
9. Sufjan Stevens – The BQE
10. Le Reno Amps – Tear It Open

I was pretty pleased that 4 of mine were included in the Top 20 and having seen the spreadsheet where the maths was done, a couple just missed out. I think The Phantom Band were worthy winners though, being voted for by predominantly scottish blogs and writers it’s fitting that a Scottish band should win it, who would have doubted that one would!

And here’s how the masses voted!

1. The Phantom Band – Checkmate Savage (61)
2. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion (54)
3. De Rosa – Prevention (53)
4. King Creosote – Flick the V’s (51)
5. Withered Hand – Good News (45)
6. The Twilight Sad – Forget The Night Ahead (43)
7. We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls (40)
8. Beerjacket – Animosity (38)
9. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More (32)
9. Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career (32)
11. My Latest Novel – Deaths and Entrances (28)
11. Malcolm Middleton – Waxing Gibbous (28)
13. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – s/t (25)
14. You Already Know – s/t (24)
14. Broken Records – Until the Earth Begins to Part (24)
16. The XX – s/t (23)
17. The Antlers – Hospice (21)
18. Sufjan Stevens – The BQE (19)
18. And So I Watch You From Afar (19)
20. Wilco – The Album (18)

You can praise/blame/thank the following for their input!

17 Seconds, AyeTunes, Dear Scotland, Earz Mag, Elba Sessions, Glasgow Podcart, Hooligans Lament, Jim Gellatly, JocknRoll, Jockrock, Kowalskiy, Last Years Girl, Love Shack Baby, Manic Pop Thrills, My Portiswasp Says, Off the Beaten Tracks, The Popcop, Products of a Gaseous Brain, Song By Toad, The Daily Growl, The Spill, The Steinberg Principle, The Vinyl Villain and Under the Radar.

And once again, well done to Peenko for organising all of this!

Christmas Album Debate…

Yes I know it’s October but this week Bob Dylan released ‘Christmas In The Heart’ his 47th album… a Christmas album.

Christmas In The Heart
Christmas In The Heart

 When I saw this announced months ago I was extremely excited.  The thought of Dylan lighting up my Christmas intruiged me, then I heard some of the tracks and read a couple of reviews that simply stated ‘a Dylan album which fails because it’s not enough like a Dylan album; and a Christmas album which fails because, confoundingly, it’s sung by Bob Dylan.’

So it got me thinking… are there any good Christmas albums that aren’t compilations of the usual high street shop soundtracks?

Looking through my CD collection I only own two so I don’t exactly qualify as a Christmas album expert.  Sufjan Stevens ‘Songs for Christmas‘ & Amiee Mann ‘One More Drifter In The Snow’.

Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens album is by far the more superior of the two and includes 5 cd’s that Sufjan made over the years for his family & friends before releasing all on a 5cd pack in 2006.  Over the 5 cd’s some songs are repeated and they include Christmas stereotypes like ‘Silent Night’ & ‘We Three Kings’, however what makes this collection unique and very listenable is that there are Sufjan originals in here.  Tracks like ‘Christmas in July’ & ‘Get Behind Me Santa’ are fun and Christmas worthy.  However, what steals the show is a glorious track called ‘Sister Winter’ which is heartbreaking, nostalgic then joyous. It is a track that I find myself returning to throughout the year and urge all to track it down. (P.S. The album also comes with a Comic Strip & Stickers…ACE!!!!)

The Aimee Mann album is less interesting with regards to uniqueness, however always gets a play for one track… ‘You’re A Mean One Mr Grinch’ is excellent, makes me smile everytime.  There are two originals on this CD tucked in there along with Christmas classics one of which is written by Jon Brion, so anyone that is as obsessed with Magnolia like me then will get a kick out of that also.

So like I said, I’m no Christmas album expert so I put it to you… are there any really good Christmas albums?

Leave a comment and come closer to Christmas we will blog about our responses… or lack of!