Tagged: the pains of being pure at heart

having a bit of a drought…

The title says it all really, or maybe it doesn’t actually. If you scroll your mouse down you will see that the last time we posted,

it was still the month of March, and there was over a week left of that month. It’s not the case that we’ve been up to nothing mind you, life gets busy and sadly the things you love get pushed to the side a little bit. After all, it’s more important to be able to put sneakers on your kids’ feet right?!

When I say drought we’re talking strictly in a writing sense, getting the words into my keyboard so that they appear in wordpress and end up on the Elba blog. You see, this is a time issue, pure and simple. It’s not because there is a lack of things to write about, if I could pay myself a lovely salary I’d do it all day but needs must and off to work I go each day.

So here I am, finding time in my complete lack of time, to moan about not having the time to write. Kind of ironic, maybe I’ve just wasted a precious 200 words that could have been better spent giving a lot more attention to some of the things I’m sure I’ll go on to mention.

As I have said, there’s no lack at all of good things to write about. I’ve found an abundance of new things to listen to recently and I’ve also filled in a few gaps with old albums I’ve not ever had the chance or even inclination to listen to at the time. I found that I’m really liking the lo-fi/west coast (USA) type bands at the moment, y’know some of the bands who sounded like the kind of band my brother listened to in the early to mid nineties. Smith Westerns, Ringo Deathstarr, Girls (okay so this ones not just out but I’ve been listening to it for the last year), Lower Dens and have I rekindled my interest with Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Best Coast in anticipation of the former’s new album and latter’s gig at The Arches on the 27th of this month.

Talking of things I’m liking at the moment, I’ve received a couple of really great records in my emails recently that I really must mention.

The first EP in question here is The Whittling EP from Andrew Lindsay and The Coat Hooks. Chock full of jangly guitars and sing-a-long melodies it’s been the perfect listen for me on my way to the office in the morning. The Coat Hooks include, amongst others, Shambles Miller and Matthew of Elba favourites Loch Awe. If you fancy giving it a go, you can head over to their bandcamp where you can purchase either a digital copy of the album for £3 or a nicer wee package including badges, a note and some demos for a couple of quid more.

Knowing of my slight penchant for their music, Johnny Reb have sent me over their first album, or ‘debut exertions’ as they have put it. It was recorded in Portugal with Boz Boorer, him being Morrisey’s guitarist and that, and it will be released through their Bandcamp on April 18th. It really is rather excellent.

Also, if you’ve not yet picked up the Song, By Toad label sampler yet, you really should. It can be downloaded for free over here. My personal favourite is the Lach track. I’m looking forward to hearing that album when it comes out in July.

I’ve not just been hiding away listening to records though, I’ve been to a couple of cracking gigs by Deerhunter and Josh T.Pearson (Skinny Review Here) in the last couple of weeks and rather looking forward to seeing Marina Celeste and Best Coast over the next weeks.

Also coming up on the 21st this month, three days after the official release date, is the Le Reno Amps album launch at The Captain’s Rest. Not only are LRA playing, obviously, it’s a monstrous line-up completed by The Douglas Firs, Super Adventure Club and Galoshins. It will be awesomes!!!! You can stream or buy the album over here!

Anyways, we’ll be back again shortly with more stuff, hopefully in a more timeous manner giving a bit more focus to stuff.

x

Elba Annual 2009 – Phil Elba

My turn, let’s keep it snappy…

Album of The Year – Loads to choose from! Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances probably tops the list though. Honourable mentions to Brakes, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Le Reno Amps, Cuddly Shark and The Cinematics, oh, and The Phantom Band! (I could go on…)

Favourite New Band – Again, several! I’ve heard loads of new stuff from doing the blog and going out to gigs. Top 3 in no order at all would have to be Maple Leaves, Julia and The Doogans and The Scottish Enlightenment.

Best Gig (Elba) – All of the gigs we’ve put on so far have been pretty memorable for various reasons. The first night at The Liquid Ship with Le Reno, Calum MacDonald, Paul McLinden and Only Living Boys was a total treat and I think we all felt a sense of achievement at the end of the night. However, all of the gigs have been great fun and we’ve had some very talented people at each night.

Best Gig – It would probably have to be Springsteen at Hampden. It was a great day all round and it was fantastic to finally see him live. Also really enjoyed Brakes at King Tuts early in the year and seeing Chris T-T as Sleazies was pretty sweet as well!

Best Memories of 2009 – Apart from getting married and going on honeymoon (photo above), probably getting involved with Elba and setting up the blog. It’s opened my eyes to loads more music and I’ve had a lot of fun putting on the gigs and meeting people as well as starting to just pop along to gigs as well with my Elba cohorts to listen to a new band. As a musical memory, I’ll not forget Le Reno Amps playing ‘Body’ at Tuts with Marc from Brakes playing pedal steel. It’s a beatiful song and was a nice moment.

Hopes for 2010/Things You’re Looking Forward To – Putting on more gigs, writing more for the blog (and getting better at it), seeing and hearing loads of new music, working with Armellodie records and seeing it evolve, Pavement at the Barrowlands (!!!!!!!) and putting some faces to email addresses!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL OF US HERE AT ELBA!

SEE YOU IN 2010!

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!