In which, order even when she is being the world’s (second) most rubbish and lazy music blogger (from Paisley), online Lis puts together a selection of songs that have caught her attention through the joys of iTunes shuffle this month.
Given that it’s been months since I last posted one of these (it’s still up!), unhealthy you’d be forgiven for thinking that I had abandoned my commitment to actually making my monthly mix CDs this year following the spectacular failure that was 2012. Not so! At least, I’ve been grouping tracks together into expansive playlists on a monthly basis, for the purposes of whittling them down and mixing later, a second stage that I’ve been struggling to find the time for but promising myself I’d catch up with. Once day.
And then, this weekend, it occurred to me: why am I piling this much pressure upon myself to do things chronologically? Would it not make more sense to get August’s up, and then go back and fill in the blanks once I find the time?
That said, August’s is still late. Whatevs.
But, you know, allow for the usual excuses about work and freelance commitments and life; life getting in the way. Some of that has been good, like my brother’s surprise wedding in Gibraltar and the subsequent family celebration organised at short notice; and some of that has been bad, like news about the health of my little boy-cat (that’s him, on the left of the picture above, with his sister – in case you’re new at this). Biggie has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition rarely seen in kitties so young which has led to the thickening of his heart muscle on the left hand side. Don’t Google it – it sounds horrible, and the important thing is that he’s happy and we would never have known that there was anything wrong if the vet hadn’t heard a heart murmur when we took him and Scooter for their annual check-up and vaccinations. He has recently seen the finest kitty cardiologist – seriously, I’m sure the training and equipment costs are considerable but these guys easily make in a day what I do in a fortnight – and will be taking beta blockers, just like his mammy used to do, for the foreseeable. Among the things I have learned recently is that pet medication can be purchased from your traditional human pharmacy, at least if your kitty has been prescribed people-drugs.
There’s not much I can say other than that: oh, there are all kinds of projections for how this condition could affect older cats, but there’s no point even going down that road because who knows with chronic conditions, and even you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, right? Besides, one of Biggie’s favourite pastimes is mewing in the face of veterinary medicine – for example, staging a dramatic escape attempt from the cat ward while under seventeen tonnes of ketamine and by all accounts capable of nothing more than sleeping for the rest of the day. Stringer says it’s our fault, because we called him after Clarence Clemons and that’s too much heart for a little kitty to handle – but that’s enough heart to keep us all going.
TL:DR; I chose the track “Cat Hair” from Colour Me Wednesday’s fab new album to put on and title this mix, because cats are awesome and my cats are in particular. To the tunes!
Cat Hair (I Shall Go To Heaven, You Will Go To Glasgow): last month’s mix, August 2013)
1. Neko Case: “Night Still Comes”
You guyzzzzz, I cannot afford the new Neko Case album (in either gorgeous, deluxe format) until next payday and while this would not ordinarily be an issue, I only got a stream to review it from. HASHTAG MUSICJOURNOPROBLEMS. I spent about one third of that review waxing lyrical about this track, so you should maybe go read that instead.
2. Jukebox the Ghost & Jenny Owen Youngs: “Ghosts in Empty Houses”
From the collaborative EP that my beloved Jenny recorded with the indie three-piece around the time of a co-headline tour back in 2009; released on iTunes and other digital outlets at the start of the month. Jenny sings two, Jukebox sing two. I know what I prefer, but I’m hideously biased.
3. Lost Ghosts: “Summer Nothings”
Second single from the Glasgow band, released at the start of August (as a free download on Bandcamp). Produced by longtime LYG favourite Roddy Hart, who coincidentally also has new music due imminently.
4. PS Eliot: “Mood Ring”
The Waxahatchee/Swearin’-famed Crutchfield sisters’ old band’s final album, 2011’s Sadie, can currently be downloaded for free and it’s AMAZING.
5. Speedy Ortiz: “Casper (1995)”
Last TYCI podcast, you would have heard me swear on air I was going straight home to buy this Northampton, Mass. indie band’s new album Major Arcana. Well, I did. And so should you.
6. Nyla: “Drugs Not Hugs”
Thank your friends and mine at Pop!South for introducing me to Glasgow’s answer to Kimya Dawson, as she appeared at one of their August shows. This is from her free EP, The Point of This EP is to Make You Smile.
7. The Sweets: “Hard to Tell”
Scuzz-pop from Winston Salem, on the always excellent Bleeding Gold Records. This is from their new Far Out EP.
8. Colour Me Wednesday: “Cat Hair”
Fabulous bubblegum-sarcastic indiepop by way of London. This isn’t the best song on their debut album, I Thought it was Morning, which should tell you all that you need to know.
9. Saint Max & the Fanatics: “Glasgow”
Armellodie’s latest signings are devilish, glamorous and archly funny. Their debut, Saint Max is Missing and the Fanatics Are Dead, isnae out until October so I’m probably in trouble for sharing this – but you can take a listen to last year’s EP and preorder the album in the meantime.
10. The Kissaway Trail: “The Sinking”
From the Danish three-piece’s just-released melodic third album, Breach.
11. Crystal Stilts: “Star Crawl”
Super-dark freak-folk from the appropriately-named third album Nature Noir – out later in September.
12. Lily & Madeleine: “Back to the River”
Teen sisters Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz release their debut album on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty label in October, but in the meantime you can pick up their critically-acclaimed The Weight of the Globe EP and see what all the fuss is about.
13. RM Hubbert: “Dec 11”
Fan of Scottish music? Of course you are. The SAY Award-winning RM Hubbert – as I believe we are now contractually obligated to call him – releases the follow-up in September. Breaks & Bone, his third album, is the first to feature the deep baritone of the man himself – and it will also, fittingly, be Chemikal Underground’s 200th release. Preorder the vinyl.
14. Campfires in Winter: “White Lights”
Or “White Lines”, as a certain Herald journalist with poor research skills once dubbed the Croy boys’ room-shaking, epic single. Summer might be over, but that doesn’t mean I can’t include the best thing I heard at King Tut’s Summer Nights on this mix. My blog, my rules.
15. Kim Deal: “Are You Mine?”
Music fans of a certain age might have mourned when Kim Deal announced her departure from the Pixies, but if it’s a toss-up between their new material and her recent solo single series I know where my money is. This is dream-pop at its finest and was perfect even before I knew it was inspired by her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. The singles can be ordered on 7″ from Kim Deal’s website.
DOWNLOAD: Cat Hair (I Shall Go To Heaven, You Will Go To Glasgow)” [59MB, zipped mp3s]