in the running

Almost ‘Best of The Year’ time. In the running are:

A Hawk and a Hacksaw – The Way the Wind Blows
A.C. Newman – Souvenir of Canada – EP
Beck – The Information
Calexico – Garden Ruin
Casper & the Cookies – The Optimist’s Club
Colin Meloy – Colin Meloy Sings Shirley Collins
Eels with Strings – Live At Town Hall
Elf Power – Back To The Web
Erynn Marshall – Calico
Faun Fables – The Transit Rider
Grandaddy – Just Like The Fambly Cat
Grant-Lee Phillips – nineteeneighties
Hidden Cameras – Awoo
Joanna Newsom – Ys
Jolie Holland – Springtime Can Kill You
King Biscuit Time – Black Gold
Mayor McCa – Cue Are Es Tea You
Peter Stampfel – The Jig Is Up
Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 – Olé! Tarantula
Sufjan Stevens – Songs For Christmas – Volume V: Peace
Sufjan Stevens – The Avalanche – Outtakes And Extras From The Illinois Album
The Be Good Tanyas – Hello Love
The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
The Essex Green – Cannibal Sea
The Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
The Handsome Family – Last Days of Wonder
The Instruments – Cast A Half Shadow
The Sadies – In Concert Vol. 1
The Wailin’ Jennys – Firecracker
Thom Yorke – The Eraser
Thomas Dolby – The Sole Inhabitant
Wendy Arrowsmith – Crying Out
Yo La Tengo – I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

Miraculously, all of them fit on my iPod Nano, so they’ll be in heavy rotation over the next week or so while I decide.

all the stars came crashing down

Saw the Decemberists at the awful barn that is the Kool Haus last night. The place was fairly busy, but not full. A scalper offered me a derisory price for a spare ticket, so I don’t think they sold out.
They were pretty good; great in parts, kind of tired and meh in others. Naughty Chris Funk lit up on stage; that’ll mean a fine for the venue. That’ll teach him not to play banjo on stage.
Sensitive wee Scottish folkie Alasdair Roberts supported. He was good enough for me to buy the CD.

We’re the Decemberists. No *we’re* the Decemberists!

Seems that the Decemberists (current indie band, of Portland) are a bit concerned to hear about the Decemberists (indie band out of Liverpool in the 1980s, now mostly known as the Hellfire Sermons).

The strange thing is, bassist for the (original, Liverpool) Decemberists is none other than my mate Andy Ford, who co-moderates liontower with me.

music of 2005

It’s getting towards the end of the year, so I’m thinking about what albums I enjoyed most. These are the 2005 albums I have in my collection:

  • A Hawk And A Hacksaw — Darkness At Noon
  • Aimee Mann — The Forgotten Arm
  • Animal Collective — Feels
  • Beck — Guero
  • Bettye Lavette — I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise
  • Bright Eyes — Digital Ash In a Digital Urn
  • Bright Eyes — I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
  • Calexico / Iron & Wine — In the Reins
  • Caribou — Marino Audio
  • Dan Jones — Get Sounds Now
  • The Decemberists — Picaresque
  • Deerhoof — The Runners Four
  • Devendra Banhart — Cripple Crow
  • Dressy Bessy — Electrified
  • The Duhks — The Duhks
  • Eels — Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
  • Fiona Apple — Extraordinary Machine
  • Gorillaz — Demon Days
  • Grandaddy — Excerpts From The Diary Of Todd Zilla
  • Jennifer Gentle — Valende
  • John Parish — Once Upon a Little Time
  • Kate Bush — Aerial
  • Kate Rusby — The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly
  • Kimberley Rew — Essex Hideaway
  • Lazerlove5 — Flicker Mask
  • Lemon Jelly — ‘64–‘95
  • The Lollipop People — We Need a New F-Word
  • Malcolm Middleton — Into The Woods
  • Marbles — Expo
  • The Mountain Goats — The Sunset Tree
  • My Morning Jacket — Z
  • Of Montreal — The Sunlandic Twins
  • Sigur Rós — Takk …
  • Sleater-Kinney — The Woods
  • Sufjan Stevens — Illinois
  • The Vanity Project
  • Wolf Parade — Apologies to the Queen Mary

I know there are some that won’t make my list (Aerial, for one) but the rest of them all have their moments.

decemberists

The Decemberists were as great as ever last night. We snagged comfy sofas up on the balcony at The Phoenix, so it made up for the usually dire venue.

I’m definitely showing my age, though. When they played a demento-rock version of ELO’s Mr Blue Sky, I was about the only person who could sing along.

Hope that Derek got his laguiole back; it was confiscated at the door …

and very decemberist they were, too

By ‘eck, that was a fun show. I don’t usually like The Phoenix, but we didn’t have to hang around too long until the show started.

I didn’t record, before you ask.

concrete Picaresque

I just scored a used copy of The DecemberistsPicaresque. And it’s not even due out for a couple of weeks.

You’ll like the photos. They’re very silly. Chris Funk looks good as a tree.

Colin Meloy – Café du Nord, San Francisco, CA – 16 January 02005

Following on from my Decemberists theme, here’s Colin Meloy – Café du Nord, San Francisco, CA – 16 January 02005 as MP3.

The torrent of the original files is on easytree.

Thanks to Allen/gilbert for getting these to me.

bad, naughty Zach!

Zach Shoup at UMN should feel suitably chastised for leaking Picaresque, The Decemberists‘ album due to be released next year. What’s strange about the MP3s (which I’m not linking to) is that their encoded from several sources, at various bitrates. Looks like friend Shoup got these from several places …

freecache doesn’t

You might have heard about freecache, a method of cooperatively cacheing web content so it doesn’t eat your bandwidth. I thought this would be just the thing for the MP3s of a show by The Decemberists, ‘cos I’ve only got 5GB/month.

Imagine my dismay when I get a note from my service provider saying that I’ve used 90% of my allocation in a couple of days. The freecache proxy doesn’t do a thing, just redirects back to the original links. Bah.

I’ve had to take the files down for now. Maybe they’ll be back later.