Monday, December 29, 2008

Bruce Springsteen - Life Itself

This is the fourth song off Springsteen's new album that's been released so far. It's obviously a strategy to combat the impact of the inevitable leak of the whole album. It's a good song too, with a darker sound than the pop of Working On A Dream and My Lucky Day. Shaping up to be a great album.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Albums of 2008

30. The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia

29. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!

28. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins

27. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark

26. Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew

25. Bloc Party - Intiimacy

24. Teddy Thompson - A Piece Of What You Need

23. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

22. Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim

21. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Flight

20. Willard Grant Conspiracy - Pilgrim Road

19. Black Mountain - In The Future

18. DeVotchKa - A Mad And Faithful Telling

17. Fleet Foxes - self-titled

16. Little Joy - self-titled

15. R.E.M - Accelerate

14. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

13. Conor Oberst - self-titled

12. Aimee Mann - Smilers

11. Dr. Dog - Fate

10. She & Him - Volume One

09. Blitzen Trapper - Furr

08. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer

07. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cardinology

06. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Lie Down In The Light

05. The Gaslight Anthem - The 59 Sound

04. TV On The Radio - Dear Science

03. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive

02. The Raconteurs - Consolers Of The Lonely

01. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dr. Dog Live

One of my favourite shows this year was Dr. Dog in Whelans. This is a recording of their show in the Paradiso in Holland. Well worth watching.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Broken Social Scene - Churches Under The Stairs

Great album

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Death Cab For Cutie - Cath

Bon Iver - Skinny Love

Haven't really got Bon Iver yet but I really like some of his stuff. This is definitely one of the best songs of the year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ryan Adams Videos

Ryan's got a new YouTube channel and is uploading loads of rough songs and videos. Including this gem.

Have a look at the videos here

The Gaslight Anthem - The 59 Sound - Live On Conan O'Brien

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Little Joy - No One's Better Sake

One of my favourite albums of the year, here's the new video for No One's Better Sake

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Welcome Wagon - Sold! To The Nice Rich Man

Gospel music wouldn't be one of my favourites but when I saw Sufjan Stevens produced the record, I decided to have a listen. And it's good. Mainly to do with Sufjan as his mark is all over the album. The husband and wife duo, the Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique, both have good voices and allied to Sufjan's production it makes for an excellent listen.

Here's one of the standouts from the album:

The Welcome Wagon - Sold! To The Nice Rich Man

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Raconteurs (feat. Ricky Skaggs & Ashley Monroe) - Old Enough

A new version of one of the best songs on Consolers Of The Lonely

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bruce Springsteen - My Lucky Day

New video for Bruce's newest song.

And the video for 'Working on A Dream'

Wolf Parade - Vicar Street 29th November 2008

Incredible performance by Wolf Parade on Saturday, thought they were absolutely superb. I've always preferred Dan's songs to Spencers's and it was the same in concert with Language City an early highlight. A great 'This Heart's On Fire' which Dan dedicated to his late mother was really well received. The highlight for many was 'I'll Believe In Anything' which is amazing on record but on a different level live. Hopefully the three year gap since their previous gig won't be repeated.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jay Bennett: Whatever Happened I Apologise

Former Wilco member Jay Bennett has released his new album for free on It's a strong album from a really good songwriter. I always thought it was a pity he left Wilco because he added a lot to the group. I haven't really kept up with much of his solo work but seeing as this one is free, it's a pretty good place to start. Here's what Jay had to say about the release.

It is stark, stripped down, and acoustic based—more so than any other record I have made. I really wanted to capture the simpler and more emotional nature of the songwriting, and I knew that the only way I could do this was to put it together quickly, with no second-guessing, and no heavy deliberating about minor details. Consequently I would have to learn to embrace the resultant imperfections—and I have. All of the vocals are done live to my own acoustic guitar accompaniment, so it has some "warts," but, in my effort to not forsake integrity for technical perfection, the album ended up feeling more honest, immediate, naked, and cohesive to me. I am very proud of presenting myself without my typical voluminous bells and whistles. I am left wondering why I haven't done this more often in the past.

As I've really wanted to help out my studio partner, Matt DeWine, and his partner Casey Meehan, with their new "download record label," rockproper, that's just where you can find this new album: Again, it's called "Whatever Happened I Apologize," and did I mention it's free? I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mr. David Viner - Among The Rumour and the Rye

I've been listening to this album a lot recently. Probably closest to folk music but elements of blues and country in the mix as well for sure. He's a great musician and a fantastic songwriter. His voice is unique and it all adds up to a great atmospheric album. Here's a video of him performing one of the stand out tracks from the album called Lavender.

He has a couple of mp3s up on his website including this unreleased track.

Mr. David Viner - Easier To Cry

Monday, November 17, 2008

Little Joy

There hasn't been too much new music that's interested me in the last while, but recently there's been a couple of good releases. This is definitely one of them. Little Joy is Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti's side project who along with Rodrigo Amarante and Binki Shapiro has created a really great mellow (in the best sense of the word) short record. It's 11 songs clocking in at 30mins and it doesn't waste a second. There's definitely an old school influence to the record and it ranges from 60s radio pop to reggae. A really good debut album. Who needs the Strokes when Fabrizio and Albert Hammond Jr. are making such good music on their own.

Little Joy - Next Time Around

Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream

Bruce Springsteen's new album is set for January 27 release on Columbia Records. Working on a Dream was recorded with the E Street Band and features twelve new Springsteen compositions plus two bonus tracks. It is the fourth collaboration between Springsteen and Brendan O'Brien, who produced and mixed the album.

Track list:
1. Outlaw Pete
2. My Lucky Day
3. Working On a Dream
4. Queen of the Supermarket
5. What Love Can Do
6. This Life
7. Good Eye
8. Tomorrow Never Knows
9. Life Itself
10. Kingdom of Days
11. Surprise, Surprise
12. The Last Carnival

Bonus tracks:
The Wrestler
A Night with the Jersey Devil

Springsteen said, "Towards the end of recording Magic, excited by the return to pop production sounds, I continued writing. When my friend producer Brendan O'Brien heard the new songs, he said, 'Let's keep going.' Over the course of the next year, that's just what we did, recording with the E Street Band during the breaks on last year's tour. I hope Working on a Dream has caught the energy of the band fresh off the road from some of the most exciting shows we've ever done. All the songs were written quickly, we usually used one of our first few takes, and we all had a blast making this one from beginning to end."

Working on a Dream is Bruce Springsteen's twenty-fourth album and was recorded and mixed at Southern Tracks in Atlanta, GA with additional recording in New York City, Los Angeles, and New Jersey. [press release from]

The album drops just five days before Bruce and the E Street Band play the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII. A preview of the album's title track came last night on NBC's Sunday Night Football, a 90-second edit of the song over halftime highlights:

TV On The Radio Tripod Saturday 15 November

Excellent performance by TVOTR on Saturday night.A great mix from their three albums with far more older stuff played than I expected. Disappointed not to hear 'Halfway Home' and a couple of others but overall the setlist was good even though it was very short (about 70mins, definitely could have done with a couple of more songs.) The sound wasn't the best, with the vocals too low and everything else very muddy. Still enjoyed it though and while it wasn't as good as perhaps I was expecting, it was still a performance far beyond the reaches of most bands.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Gaslight Anthem Acoustic

The excellent blog I Am Fuel, You Are Friends posted some great acoustic Gaslight Anthem tracks recently. Download them here. They're really good, and the lyrics are easily good enough to stand the extra focus put on them by the acoustic versions. 'The 59 Sound' is excellent and 'The Backseat' is probably better than on the record. They're playing here in March next year. Going to be a great gig.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Cardinals - The Ambassador 8 November 2008

Fantastic. Will definitely be on many a gig of the year list. Starting just after quarter past 8, The Cardinals unleashed a two hour set of near perfection. Straight from the opener 'Cobwebs' it was clear Ryan was in great voice and the band was in great form. The excellent sound in the Ambassador allowed them to really express themselves. There wasn't much interaction with the crowd, past a couple of muffled "thanks" from Ryan but I didn't mind it too much. The music was more than enough.

Nearly every song was a highlight, but I still had a few favourites. 'Fix It' was incredible, his voice was particularly great on that one I thought. 'I Taught Myself How To Grow Old', 'Come Pick Me Up', 'Crossed Out Name', 'La Cienega Just Smiled' were all fantastic. Special mention has to go to a stunning version of 'Wonderwall' and also to 'Stop' which had the entire audience in wowed silence. They finished with an explosive version of 'I See Monsters' which wrapped up the show perfectly. He could have played for another two hours and I wouldn't have had many complaints. The band is easily one of the best bands around today and the two songs Neal Casal sang were really good as well. Not many bands or artists could reach the level The Cardinals managed last night.


On stage - 8:20PM GMT
1. Cobwebs
2. Everybody Knows
3. Born into a Light
4. Please do not Let Me Go
5. Fix It
6. Natural Ghost
7. Goodnight Rose
8. Off Broadway
9. Wonderwall
10. I Taught Myself how to Grow Old
11. Sun Also Sets
12. Come Pick Me Up
13. Grand Island (Neal Casal)
14. Go Easy
15. Sink Ships
16. Crossed Out Name
17. Stars Go Blue
Band Intro
18. Let it Ride
19. Desire
20. Evergreen
21. Cold Roses

Off 22:00

On 22:05

22. Freeway to the Canyon (Neal Casal)
23. Like Yesterday
24. La Cienega
25. Stop
26. Two
27. I See Monsters

Off at 22:33

Okkervil River - The Academy 7 November 2008

A very good gig that could have been great was the feeling I had leaving. First off, the show itself was very strong, I'm not a fan of everything they do but there were moments of real brilliance. Lost Coastlines followed by Our Life Is Not A Movie, Or Maybe was a particular highlight for me. The band were in good form and played for a more than respectable 80mins or so. They're a great live band, with a really good energy.

Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, this wasn't easily transmitted on Friday night. The venue was woeful, the Green Room in the Academy. It really seems that they had a spare room in the building and decided "Hey let's make this into a music venue". Bad idea, with it's low ceiling, poor sightlines and ridiculously low stage, it made for a pretty uncomfortable night and left most of the audience not able to see a thing. Possibly because of this, there was an audible chatter through nearly all of the gig, particularly noticeable during the couple of acoustic songs. I'd definitely go see them again and would recommend their albums but I couldn't help feeling it was a bit of a missed opportunity for a really great gig.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Coffee and Cardinals

Really looking forward to this Saturday in the Ambassador. Here's an acoustic session with performances of 'Born Into The Light', 'Evergreen', 'Fix It', 'Magick' and 'Natural Ghost'

The Killers - Spaceman

Loved this song from the first time I heard it in The Academy a couple of months back. Here's the performance from Jools last night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Jenny Lewis & Elvis Costello - Carpetbaggers

One of the best songs on her newest album, here's Jenny and Elvis recreating the song live on Letterman.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bruce Springsteen - Workin' On A Dream

Another new Bruce song, premiered at an Obama rally on Sunday, called Workin' On A Dream. Quoting the always reliable

"The song has been recorded for the follow-up to Magic, which Springsteen has been working on this fall, an album expected to see release around the time of the Presidential Inauguration in January 2009. "

Great time to be a Bruce fan.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wilco - The Wilco Song

Cool interview with Jeff Tweedy and a once off performance on the Colbert Report.

Bruce Springsteen - A Night With The Jersey Devil

A Halloween gift from the Boss. Great to see him release music in new ways. Lot of work gone into the video, looks great. Definitely his best video since Brilliant Disguise and probably ever. Be interesting to see if this is a hint of what the next album will be like. The bullet mic sounds great too. A great addition to the Springsteen catalogue.

Download the song at

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Fix It

Brilliant performance

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Aimee Mann

Went to see Aimee Mann last night in Tripod. A great show (although I had to leave early to make the last bus, curfews in Tripod were abandoned last night). Sharon Shannon was supporting and she was very good but she played for well over an hour so Aimee was always going to be finishing late. When she finally got on stage about 10.15, she started off well and only got better. A particular highlight for me was the sequence of 'Freeway', 'Save Me' and 'Wise Up'.

Her new record is really great and the songs she played from it last night all sounded great. She even took a couple of requests and deftly handled a couple of drunks near the front. Her stories were frequently funny (anybody know she had been asked to write a song for Shrek 3, although it was later rejected?) A very entertaining show and a very decent-sized crowd. Wasn't full though so the move from the Royal Hospital made sense. Hopefully next time she'll get on a bit earlier so I can see the full show.

She did a Daytrotter session not so long ago, performing songs from her new album. They're well worth downloading, which you can do here

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Band Of Annuals - Blood On My Shirt

One of the most impressive alt-country bands I've heard in recent times are Band Of Annuals, hailing from Utah in the US. Front and centre to their appeal is the vocal interplay between frontman Jay Henderson and keyboardist Jeremi Hanson. Comparisons to Whiskeytown can be made and I'd recommend their album 'Let Me Live' which you can get here. Their debut album has also been re-released and can be bought here.

Band Of Annuals - Blood On My Shirt

Band of Annuals - "Blood on My Shirt" Live

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Free Eels Manchester 2005 Live EP

Eels are to give away a free download of four tracks recorded live in Manchester for one week only from today (October 21).

The four track EP giveaway is to celebrate the release of a deluxe limited edition four vinyl version of their acclaimed Blinking Lights and Other Revelations album which is available now, signed by frontman E and numbered 0001-2500.

The four track EP is taken from the exclusive Manchester 2005 album which has previously only been available as part of the three vinyl version of Blinking Lights.

The EP tracklisting is:
'Fresh Feeling'
'Packing Blankets'
'Jeannie's Diary'
'Climbing To The Moon'

You can get your free Eels download by clicking here until October 28.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sweet Jane - You're Making This Hard

I think there's been a distinct lack of real quality Irish bands breaking through in the last while. I don't think the music scene in this country is as strong as it could be, due to a number of factors, not least the lack of support for bands at live venues. When there's so much established international quality bands playing gigs here, it's difficult to get people out to a gig by a band they may have only heard a couple of songs from. Without real support at the live venues, it's hard for bands to gain real foothold. Of course, there's also the fact that if an Irish band were absolutely amazing, word would spread. And for me, I haven't heard too many Irish bands that really excite me (there's been a few, who I'll write about in the next while.)

In this context I bought the new limited edition Sweet Jane EP 'Black Boots + Black Hearts' from Tower Records at the weekend. I'd heard a couple of songs from them before and had been impressed. The EP however is fantastic. There's five songs and I think it's one of the best Irish releases in a long time. Sometimes it's hard to describe exactly why music is good, most of the time it just is. This is one of those times and I'd highly recommend picking up the ep while it's still available (it's only physically on sale in Tower in Dublin and through their website, with only a limited number available. It's available through iTunes etc as well). It's always impossible to predict what the future holds for bands and how people will react to the music. I'd get right behind this band though.

Sweet Jane - You're Making This Hard

Those Dancing Days - Run Run

Been listening to the debut album by Those Dancing Days, 'In Our Space Hero Suits' a fair amount in the last few days. It was an album I had been looking forward to for a while and it certainly hasn't disappointed me. The songs are short, sharp and catchy, evoking the best of 60s girl group pop with Linnea J├Ânsson's brilliant vocals at the forefront. There are more than a few rough edges and a few of the songs would have to be considered filler but there's enough good songs to make it a worthwhile listen and a promising debut album.

Those Dancing Days - Run Run

Those Dancing Days - Hitten

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #30

I've a number of songs that I haven't got around to writing about so I've included all of them in the latest playlist. There's some great cover versions in there and some excellent new music as well. You can download each of the songs individually or download them all together as one file as usual here.

01. Passion Pit - Sleepyhead from Chunk Of Change EP

02. Cut Off Your Hands - Happy As Can Be from Happy As Can Be EP

03. The Decemberists - Valerie Plame from Always The Bridesmaid - A Single Series

04. The Donkeys - Walk Through A Cloud from Living On The Other Side

05. John Mellencamp - Longest Days from Life, Death, Love And Freedom

06. Mumford & Sons - White Blank Page from their debut ep

07. Kathleen Edwards - Unknown Legend Live

08. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Magick Live

09. Sam Beeton - What You Look For from What You Look For single

10. Arcade Fire - Maps Live

11. Mates Of State - California Live

12. Joshua Radin - I'd Rather Be With You from Simple Times

13. Pete Yorn - American Blues, Vol. 1

14. Superdrag - Filthy And Afraid from their upcoming new album

15. The Rosebuds - Lifelike from Life Like

16. Yarn - Can't Slow Down from Empty Pockets

17. Todd Snider - Fortunate Son from Peace Queer

18. Woodpigeon - Home As A Romanticized Concept Where Everyone Loves You Always And Forever from Songbook

19. The Killers - Spaceman Live on SNL

Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

Video for their breakthrough single off their debut Chunk Of Change EP. Already looking forward to the album next year.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Horse Feathers - Curs In The Weeds

Really like this song from the Horse Feathers album 'House With No Home' and the album is very good as well but there isn't much variety over the course of it to really grab my attention. Certainly fans of this kind of sparse Americana should definitely seek out the album.

Horse Feathers - Curs In The Weeds

Monday, October 13, 2008

Broken Records - Wolves

One of the few bands who are worthy of all the hype surrounding them, Scotland's Broken Records are a band to watch. So far they've only released an ep and an assortment of singles but all have been uniformly excellent and bode extremely well for their debut album. Using a range of instruments including guitars, bass, violin, cello, accordion, mandolin, piano, trumpet, glockenspiel and drums, they create a sound combining traditional European folk with modern Scottish alternative music (so their MySpace says anyway). It's an interesting mix and they put it all together brilliantly. They're supporting the excellent Okkervil River in the Academy on November 7 so it should be a great night of music. Credit to the Song By Toad blog for the mp3. The video for their new single 'Lies' is also below.

Wolves (BBC 6Music Session)

Friday, October 10, 2008

The New Year - X Off Days & The Company I Can Get

These two songs are off the latest self-titled album by The New Year. I haven't heard the whole thing but it's got some good write ups and I've enjoyed their past work so looking forward to getting it. The album is out now.

X Off Days

The Company I Can Get

Official Site

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

American Bang - The Stones

Fans of Kings Of Leon (especially the first two albums) should take note of this band. With the same kind of southern garage rock sound, American Bang will probably be stuck with the comparisons for a while but they're a very good band who write some great rock songs so soon enough they'll be able to stand on their own. They've got an ep coming out this month with their debut album due out next year. There's a few more tracks on their MySpace and on their official site so check them out. Very impressive.

American Bang - The Stones

Move To The Music

Official Site


Monday, October 6, 2008

The Gaslight Anthem

Mentioned these guys a couple of times before but I finally got their album and had a listen so felt they were worth another post. Listening to the album, the immediate point of reference would be The Killers. In fact, at times this sounds like Sam's Town II. Which is no bad thing in my eyes anyway. Coming from New Jersey, Springsteen will always be mentioned in connection with them and they pay homage to the main man a number of times on the record such as on 'Meet Me By The River's Edge' with the line "No surrender my Bobby Jean."

I think this is a great album and it's great to hear a young ambitious band not afraid to write big rock songs. Their energy and enthusiasm seeps through every note. They aim high and for me, they achieve it. There's some great songs on the record and they sound made for the live setting. They're doing a small tour in the UK in December so hopefully some promoter will bring them over here for a show. Would be one hell of a gig.

The Gaslight Anthem - Old White Lincoln

The Gaslight Anthem - Miles Davis And The Cool

Video for The 59 Sound

The Killers - Spaceman on SNL

Great song, much better than the first single 'Human'. Just announced a date in the 02 next February. Tickets on sale this Friday. You can now download the mp3 of this performance here


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rocky Votolato - White Daisy Passing

The excellent Rocky Votolato is playing Upstairs at Whelans tonight and is well worth going to see. He's a real talent and his last two albums have been absolutely fantastic, with last year's The Brag And Cuss having a more expansive band sound than 2006's more stipped down Makers. He's an Italian-American singer-songwriter and his style would probably be best termed as alt-country, folk. Tickets are only €15 so if you're free I would recommend going along. Check out the song and the video for the fantastic 'White Daisy passing' from his 2006 album Makers

Rocky Votolato - White Daisy Passing

Official Site

Friday, October 3, 2008

Review : Blitzen Trapper Whelans 2nd October 2008

Blitzen Trapper are quickly becoming one of my favourite bands and they put on a brilliant show last night in Whelans. Sure, it was sparsely attended but they didn't put any less effort into it and played a great hour long set, with the majority of the material coming from their newest album Furr, which is fantastic. They're well versed in classic American music, and much like Dr. Dog, adapt all these different styles into their own mix. The album jumps from folk to country to hard rock and the live show is much the same. They have a great energy which comes across really well both live and on record. I really couldn't recommend Furr enough and whenever they swing by Ireland again, hopefully they'll be packing out venues.

Notable mention also to the support band Absentee who put on a very good show as well. They're a good band and lead singer Dan Michaelson has a strong voice, sort of a cross between The National's Matt Berninger and Richard Hawley. It works best on the more uptempo songs which came across really well. The only major fault I found was his vocals were impossible to make out but certainly a band to keep an eye on. Initial impressions of their new album I got last night are very favourable.

Blitzen Trapper - Furr

Absentee - Bitchstealer

Land Lovers - Dark Secret

One of the most promising Irish bands around at the moment, Land Lovers have recently released their debut album Romance Romance. Falling into the synth-pop-rock genre, the Land Lovers have written some brilliantly catchy pop songs with some great guitar hooks. It's essentially a home recording but sounds great. They're definitely an Irish band to get behind.

They're playing Whelans in November and the album is available in Tower Records and Road Records in Dublin. It's also available online through their MySpace for only €7 so it's well worth picking up. A highly recommended debut.

Land Lovers - Dark Secret

Official Site

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Buriedfed

Brooklyn's Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's mix of alt-country, blues and garage rock produced an excellent self-titled debut album which has recently been released. The album is brilliantly loose with songs going in all sorts of different directions with Miles' voice brilliantly suited to the ramshackle nature of the record. His songs deal with homelessness, drugs, isolation and this dark nature to his songs can draw comparisons with some of Ryan Adams' work, alongside songs by Tweedy and Townes Van Zandt.

Somebody to keep an eye on in the near future, he's only in his mid 20s and if he can keep on making music it'll be interesting to see where he journeys to.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Buriedfed


Buy the CD here

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sheltered In Sound - Falling Stars

One of the new artists that I'm listening to at the moment is Sheltered In Sound which is the musical guise of Toronto's Sean Nilsson. He's released his debut album Field Recordings From The City and it's a great album. The music is very intimate and sparse. The songs stand on their own which is quite rare in new artists which alongside his voice makes him stand out from the hundreds of other singer-songwriters. There's an atmosphere in the record that's hard to come by. Download a couple of tracks from the album below and you can order the album here.

Sheltered In Sound - Falling Stars

Sheltered In Sound - Requiem In A Flat Minor

Official Site


Sheltered In Sound - Dancing In The Dark

Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

I'm a big fan of Rilo Kiley and of Jenny's first solo record so I had high expectations for this one. And it lives up to those expectations, but only in parts. There's some great songs on the record but there's also a few that bring down the overall quality. It's worth getting for the 5 or 6 great tracks and even the lesser tracks are still far above the reaches of many female songwriters due to Jenny's great voice. Not as well rounded as her solo debut but she's definitely testing herself with the different genres and that's a very good thing.

She's playing The Button Factory on October 19th and tickets are still on sale. I saw her on the last tour and she was fantastic and I would expect the very same this time. She's a natural performer.

Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

Carpetbaggers (from LA 12/9/08)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tom Morello The Nightwatchman - Saint Isabelle

I loved the first Nightwatchman record and this is a definite progression from that album. It's a lot more musically diverse than the last record while keeping the same political angle on some of the songs. Morello shows he can write strong personal stories and some fantastic hooks as well. The album is out now and is highly recommended. Saint Isabelle is one of the catchier songs on the album. You'll be singing the chorus for days.

Tom Morello The Nightwatchman - Saint Isabelle

Official Site


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Teddy Thompson - Whelans 27 September 2008

I've always liked Teddy Thompson, enjoyed his albums and was interested to see him live, if not amazingly excited about it. But he really impressed me, putting on a fantastic show for 90mins or so. His songs can range from folk to country to pop to rock and his voice adapts fantastically to each genre. His voice is his greatest asset but he's written some great songs and had a good band behind him.

Despite a fair few technical difficulties, Teddy kept his good humour all the way through and was all round very entertaining. Highlights would have to include I Should Get Up, In My Arms (which he played twice for some reason lost on me) and a stunning version of Leonard Cohen's 'Tonight Will Be Fine'. In my opinion, his songs can sometimes sound a bit flat on record but live they really come alive. All round a great set from a very talented songwriter.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Morning Jacket - Across 110th Street

One of my favourite bands covering one of my favourite songs of all time at Bonnaroo this summer. Great show, you can download the whole concert over at The Steam Engine.

My Morning Jacket - Across 110th Street

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Charlie Pickett - All Love All Gone

Bloodshot Records are releasing a retrospective double cd of this forgotten 80s rock and roll band. It's out on the 7th October.

"Situating themselves at the crossroads where Johnny Thunders and Son House intersect, Charlie whipped up a bad voodoo vibe of heroin rock and midnight blues. These guys were one of the undiscovered giants of the late eighties." --Peter Buck, R.E.M.

Charlie Pickett - All Love All Gone


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fight Like Apes - Jake Summers

The current darlings of the Irish indie music scene, this is their new video for 'Jake Summers'.

Lambchop - National Talk Like A Pirate Day

A track has been made available from Lamchop's upcoming album called OH (Ohio) and it's very good. Always been a fan of the band but some of their albums have passed me by. Looking forward to hearing this one though. It's out sometime around the start of October and they're playing Tripod on the 1 November.

Lambchop - National Talk Like A Pirate Day

Official Site


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kings Of Leon - Use Somebody on Later with Jools Holland

Monday, September 22, 2008

elsinore - The General

One of my favourite discoveries are this band from Illinois in America. Led by lead singer Ryan Groff, they have their roots in Americana/folk but are now making a move in the indie rock scene. I got their album Nothing For Design last week and I've been mightily impressed with it.

They've got a great knack for writing a catchy pop song (listen to 'Vampire In My Town' below) alongside more serious, acoustic driven songs like 'Cannonball' which is a really great song. I also got The General EP showcasing one of the songs from their album due out this year. Again, it's one of my favourite tracks of the year so far. I'm looking forward to the album and hopefully it'll be a big enough success for them to make it across the Atlantic.

elsinore - The General

elsinore - Cannonballs

elsinore - Vampire In My Town

You can buy Nothing For Design and The General EP at CDBaby. Learn more about the band through their MySpace

Friday, September 19, 2008

Land Of Talk - Some Are Lakes

This excellent track is taken from their soon to be released album of the same name. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Elizabeth Powell has a really strong voice, reminding me of Kathleen Edwards, and the album should be worth a look when it arrives on the Saddle Creek record label in early October. Involvement on the album from Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) should also encourage a few people to check them out.

Land Of Talk - Some Are Lakes

Official Site


Brian Wilson - Black Cab Session

Surely the biggest coup for the Black Cab Sessions so far is this just released performance by the legendary Brian Wilson. He sings That Lucky Old Sun and California Girls with his band who managed to squeeze into the cab as well.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lisa Hannigan - I Don't Know

I saw Lisa perform today in the fantastic Road Records store where she played about 5 songs with her band. Her voice really is something special and if you can get to any of her many gigs coming up you really should go. Out of the songs she played, this was the one that struck me the most. Been listening to the album since I bought it this afternoon and it's really good, some fantastic songs.

Lisa Hannigan - I Don't Know

Official Site


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Black Mountain - Tyrants

Saw this band when I was in Paris and it was a great gig with this song being the definite highlight. Their album In The Future is also one of the best records of the year. Check out the song below.

Black Mountain - Tyrants

Official Site


Also, I've decided to discontinue the playlists that I've been putting together since January. I've enjoyed doing them and I have a few that I'm really pleased with (and a few which are a bit more questionable now). I'm going to post an mp3 every day of a different band instead and every now and again I'll put together another playlist when I think I have enough good songs to put on it. Thanks to everyone who has been downloading them and I hope you found a few new worthwhile bands. I'll continue to be posting what I think are the best new groups alongside some of my favourite albums of the year and as always I'm open to suggestions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blitzen Trapper - Furr

New album coming out from Blitzen Trapper later this month entitled Furr. Their last album Wild Mountain Nation was very good so I'm hoping they can build on that. This is the title track off the album. Also they're playing Whelan's on the 2nd of October. Tickets are still on sale last time I checked.

Blitzen Trapper - Furr

Official Site


Monday, September 15, 2008

Crooked Fingers - Phony Revolutions

Crooked Fingers have always been a band on my radar that I've never really got into but have always meant to. They have a new album (Forfeit/Fortune) coming out next month so hopefully that'll be the spark I need. Download a track off the album below

Crooked Fingers - Phony Revolutions

Official Site


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two Cow Garage - Your Humble Narrator

One of the albums I'm most looking forward to hearing is Speaking In Cursive from Ohio's Two Car Garage. It's out at the end of October and is shaping up to be a great album. Best comparisons are probably Drive-By-Truckers and Lucero but there's a whole host of other influences in there. Download 'Your Humble Narrator' from the upcoming album and 'Should've California' from 2007's III.

Two Car Garage - Your Humble Narrator

Bonus: Two Car Garage - Should've California

Official Site


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - You Want That Picture

Will Oldham is one of the most prolific songwriters around but, at times, can be very inconsistent. When he gets it right though, he writes songs that can be matched by few. The album where this track comes from, 'Lie Down In The Light' is one of his best releases in a number of years and one of the best albums of the year.

Bonnie Prince' Billy - You Want That Picture

Official Site


Friday, September 12, 2008

The Gentle Guest - Down At The Still

The Gentle Guest is essentially Eric Rykal and friends and they make music that would be loosely classed as Americana. Very good at it they are too. This is a track from their debut album, out at the end of the month, called 'We Are Bound To Save Some Souls Tonight'.

The Gentle Guest - Down At The Still

Bonus: The Gentle Guest - Longfellow from the 'Our Little Ruckus EP'

Official Site


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dr. Dog - The Old Days

Dr. Dog's album Fate gets better every time I listen to it and is going to be high in my end of year list of great albums. Yes, they've been accused of being too in debt to The Beatles and The Beach Boys etc but I think they've got just the right amount of appreciation for these bands while coming up with something original themselves.

I'll be honest and say this album was my first introduction to the band (this being their fifth album) so I can't claim to have been there from the start but I'm glad I'm there now. Songs like 'Hang On', 'The Rabbit, The Bat and The Reindeer' and 'The Ark' really make the band stand out from a lot of the bands around today.

They're playing Whelans at the start of November and with tickets only costing €13.50 it's sure to be a good night. Download the track below and take a look at the video from Letterman.

Dr. Dog - The Old Days

My Old Ways from 2007

Official Site


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hard Working Class Heroes

The Hard Working Class Heroes Festival is taking place this weekend all around Temple Bar with a huge variety of bands playing in various venues. There's some real talent on the Irish scene at the moment and this festival will showcase some of them along with an 'invasion' of Scottish bands which will add further to the festival. are running a download chart of songs by the artists featured so that's well worth a look to find a few more bands and also more info on the artists I've featured below. Here are some of my potential highlights for the weekend. Find the full festival schedule here.

The Dagger Lees - Stagger Stomp

Fiona Melady - Rush

Fiach - So I

Frightened Rabbit - Modern Leper (Scottish Invasion)

Heathers - Margie

Carly Sings - Apple Tree

Fred - Skyscrapers

Sweet Jane - Heartbreak

The Spook of The Thirteen Lock - The Hare

Also check out Sons & Daughters who are closing the festival on Sunday night. Considering you can see as many shows as you want (or at least what time will allow) over the three nights for only €45 euro, it's well worth looking into. Day tickets are only €20.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Calexico : Red Blooms

Their new album 'Carried to Dust' can be hard going at times but overall is a good album. There's a few really strong tracks balanced out by a few duds. They're playing Tripod tomorrow night and tickets are still on sale for €28. They've got some really good albums already under their belt so it should be a good show. This is one of my favourite tracks off the new album

MP3: Calexico - Red Blooms

Official Site

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Baseball Project : Jackie's Lament

One of the best albums of the year is The Baseball Project Vol.1 and this track shows the group at their power pop best. Highly recommended album.

MP3 The Baseball Project - Jackie's Lament

Official Site

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Gaslight Anthem : Old White Lincoln

MP3 - The Gaslight Anthem - Old White Lincoln

Official Site


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #29

Bumper edition this week. 17 songs, so a slightly larger file size of 85mb this week. (Any issues with any of the songs, please email me and I'll take the song down immediately.)

Download it here

1. Murder By Death - Comin' Home
2. Fiona Melady - Rush
3. The Gaslight Anthem - Old White Lincoln
4. Motel Motel - Harlem
5. The Felice Brothers - Frankie's Gun!!
6. Giant Sand - Increment Of Love
7. Ribbonpigeon - Signal Fire
8. Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris - Love Hurts
9. The Submarines - You, Me And The Bourgeoisie
10. The Gentle Guest - Down At The Still
11. James Hunter - Jacqueline
12. Jessica Lea Mayfield - Kiss Me Again
13. Land Of Talk - Some Are Lakes
14. Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons - Home In The Woods
15. Jason Isbell - Chicago Promenade
16. Jeff Hanson - If Only I Knew
17. Slim Cessna's Auto Club - This Is How We Do Things In The Country

Monday, September 1, 2008

Why He's The Boss - Magic Tour Highlights

Springsteen has wrapped up his nearly year long 'Magic' tour and has performed some of the best shows of his career during the course of the tour. I've been lucky enough to have seen 7 shows on the tour and each one was fantastic. I've put together a small live mp3 album of some of the songs that I feel best sum up the tour and others that were just great performances. The tracklisting is:

1. Then She Kissed Me
2. Radio Nowhere
3. Trapped
4. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
5. Something In The Night
6. Reason To Believe
7. Because The Night
8. Livin' In The Future
9. Incident On 57th Street
10. Long Walk Home
11. Detroit Medley
12. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
13. Dancing In The Dark
14. American Land

You can download it from here

Thanks to all the tapers and uploaders for these great bootlegs. Much appreciated. Most of these performances are taken from the fantastic bootleg of the show in San Jose in April 2008 and also the radio broadcast of the 4th July show from Gothenburg. These shows along with nearly every other Springsteen concert ever, can be downloaded at the amazing BTX MP3 Index.

Also here are a few of my favourite videos from the tour

So Young And In Love

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

Incident 0n 57th Street

Thunder Road

Born To Run

Born In The USA

Reason To Believe

Then She Kissed Me

Crush On You

I'm Goin Down

I'm On Fire


For You

For You , Paris from Willem2 on Vimeo.

I'm A Rocker

i,m a Rocker , Antwerp from Willem on Vimeo.

Point Blank

Point Blank , Antwerpen from Willem on Vimeo.


ThunderCrack from Willem on Vimeo.