Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #11

Thundercrack playlist #11. Size is 63mb. Enjoy. Download it from here

1. CSS - Rat Is Dead (Rage)

First off this week, a new song from CSS from their next album due out this summer. Took me a while to get into the last album, I like this track so looking forward to the album.

2. Filligar - All The Same

Young, highly prolific guys from Chicago, they've already released a few albums which are worth checking out. Still playing in around Chicago at the moment, these guys are good.

3. My Morning Jacket - Thank You Too (Live)

Not going to post the official track off the new album (it'll be out soon) so here's the band performing one of the songs at SXSW this year. Great song.

4. Blood Meridian - Let It Come Down (Live)

One of my favourite bands, this is a track off their album 'Kick Up The Dust'. They've got four great releases already, all available to order off their website.

5. Sonics Rendezvous Band - City Slang

Band from the 60s/70s led by Fred Sonic Smith, formerly of MC5 and Scott Morgan. Lot of controversy over the recent release of a 6-disc set of the band, check out the sites yourself and see if you can figure it out because I haven't got a clue. The music is fantastic though so who cares.

6. Venus Infers - In This City

These guys are going to be big. Very big. They've got some great songs which you can stream on their MySpace and they've got some cds available through their site and iTunes. Keep an eye on this band, I think you'll start to hear more about them soon.

7. Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers - 4th Of July

One of the hardest working bands around, these guys are building up a fan base in the best way: by playing concerts non-stop. Stephen's released a few solo albums as well as his excellent work with The Sixers. Great song.

8. Tegan and Sara - The Con (Live)

One of the best songs of last year, this is taken from their performance at Coachella just a few days ago.

9. Coldplay - Violet Hill

Made available by the band yesterday, Violet Hill is the first thing to be heard from their new album. Not sure if it's going to change people's minds about Coldplay if they don't like them, but I think it's a good song and I'll be very interested in hearing the album when it comes out.

10. No Kids - The Beaches Are Closed

Released an album 'Come Into My House' a couple of months back, all I've heard is this song which I think is good. I'm going to see them in a couple of weeks so will have more to say about them after that.

11. Micah P. Hinson - Patience

Saw him live this week (review here) so here's a song 'patience' by Micah. I've heard this is a killer live and listening to the studio version it's easy to hear why. Very talented, check out his records on his site.

12. Lo Fine - #37

Just released 'Not For Us Two' which #37 is on. One of my favourite songs this week, Kevin O'Rourke has a really great voice. Couple of others album dating back a few years available on the site too.

13. The Raconteurs - Many Shades Of Black (Live)

The first song to strike me off 'Consolers Of The Lonely' this is taken from their Coachella performance a few days ago. Great live band.

14. A House - I'll Always Be Grateful

A great Irish band of the 80s/90s they broke up in 1997 although singer Dave Couse continues to perform solo and with his band Dave Couse & The Impossible.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Micah P. Hinson : La Fleche D'Or, Paris. 28 April 2008

I went to Micah's performance at La Fleche D'or last night. It's a free concert venue here in Paris and has 3 or 4 bands on most nights. Micah had never played Paris before and he mentioned that his records have been almost impossible to find here so that explains his appearance here. It's a great start for bands and musicians who haven't come to Paris before because you always get a decent crowd and it's usually the dedicated music fans who are there and who will go out and buy your cds and spread the word.

I've been a big fan of Micah ever since I heard 'And The Gospel Of Progress' back in 2004. It's a really fantastic album and I still listen to it today. I'd never seen him live so I was delighted to get to go see him and the fact that it was free made it even better.
And he was fantastic. He played on his own for about 35/40 mins and put on a really powerful performance. Set closer 'The Dreams You Left Behind' was amazing. Songs were drawn from his past releases as well as some new songs that are on his next album which is due out soon. He even threw in a cover of The Carter Family's 'Lover's Lane' for his wife who was front and centre. A really good show, I'd love to hear him with a band though because from bootlegs that I've heard, he really takes things to another level. Met him and his lovely wife after the show and he said he's coming to Ireland in the summer with the band so I'll be back home by then and definitely going to see that. And he gave me a beer after the show.

On a side note, following Micah were a French band 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' who were surprisingly excellent. I've seen a fair amount of French pop/rock bands to know that to see a good one is rare so I was delighted to find one last night. They have a great presence and although I could barely understand what the singer was saying (french people singing in English isn't always easy to understand) I really enjoyed it and am going to go out today and get their cd (if they have one). I'll hopefully be featuring both Micah and Kiss Kiss in the playlist tomorrow. Check out the websites for more info, here's a cool performance from Micah.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hallelujah The Hills - Prepare To Qualify EP

Hallelujah The Hills have released a 7 song ep available on their website to download for free. It's really good, they're a great pop band and I'd highly recommend downloading the ep. Not like there's any risk to it. They've also got a live show to download so check that out too.

Download the ep from here

We Are Scientists : Le Nouveau Casino, Paris 27 April 2008

I got a ticket for this gig because I remembered liking the first album and seeing them briefly at the Oxegen festival a couple of years ago and thinking they were a good live band. It was only after buying my ticket that I went and listened to 'Brain Thrust Mastery' the follow up album to 'With Love and Squalor', and an album that I had forgotten to listen to for a long time. For me, the album isn't great, there's no great progression from the last one, which is forgivable but the fact that the songs aren't as good makes the whole thing redundant. So I went along to the gig with a fair amount of trepidation, hoping that the songs would burst into life on stage.

And they did, a bit. First off, We Are Scientists are a great live band. They have fantastic energy, they're funny, entertaining and when they played Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt and Inaction it was impossible not to enjoy it. And the new songs that they played were definitely better live than on record.
The problems were there as well though. They played for 80mins, a decent length but to be honest, it felt too long. Of course, it's difficult when you've only released two albums to play at a high standard for that long and indeed, while most bands would barely pass the hour mark, We Are Scientists should be applauded for playing 80mins. If you were a big fan, you'd probably have loved it. But for me, there were too many sections of little interest where the songs sounded the same and the whole show dragged.

That being said, their energy was fantastic and their between song banter was hilarious at times. If you like the studio albums then you'd love the live shows as they're a step up from the albums. For me, though, there wasn't enough variety over the 80mins to make it a great concert and as I've said, it dragged a lot. I'm hopeful that they'll get back into the studio after this tour and really push on because they need some more good songs to make sure that their strengths don't go to waste.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jenny Lewis Live Video

Head over to Lullabyes where you can download a brilliant 25 min video of a Jenny Lewis performance from 2004. The file is just under 200mb. It was posted over two years ago but for those who, like me, missed it, check it out now. Well worth the download if you're a fan of Jenny. I really enjoyed it and there's a lot of great recordings on the site too so look back through the posts.

The Last Shadow Puppets Live On Jools Holland

One of the best albums of the year so far, here's the videos of their performances on Jools Holland from last week and the accompanying mp3s.

The Age Of The Understatement mp3

In My Room mp3

My Mistakes Were Made For You mp3

Check out for other mp3s from Later with Jools Holland

Coachella Festival Videos

The 3-day Coachella festival is happening this weekend in California with a fantastic line-up. Here's some videos of performances so far, I'll post more over the next couple of days

The Raconteurs - Attention

Tegan and Sara - The Con

The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

Not great quality but a cool cover by Glen & Marketa

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Concert Live

Found Concert Live today, it's still quite a small site but has some excellent music on it. The company is based in the UK where they record concerts in high quality and then sell a limited amount of cds, vinyl, downloads of the shows. The Raconteurs, Jimmy Eat World, We Are Scientists are some of the artists featured.

The idea is worthy because it's giving high quality recordings rather than bootleg recordings which can be of quite low quality sometimes. The cds are not too expensive and it's a good source of revenue for the bands with very little extra effort on their part. Everything seems to be very well packaged and designed so I'll be keeping an eye on the site to see what other artists are featured. Hopefully more quality bands will embrace the idea.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bonnie Prince Billy & Matt Swenney - I Gave You

Been on a big Bonnie Prince Billy listening binge the last few days and came across this video on YouTube. One of the best songs to come out of Superwolf It's called 'I Gave You'.

Bonnie Prince Billy has also announced he's releasing a new album next month called 'Lie Down In The Light'. A rough demo can be heard of one of the songs here

Bill Callahan - Pitchfork TV

I've been really enjoying Pitchfork TV since it's launch. They've got some really cool special performances and an excellent archive of music videos. This is one of my favourites at the moment: Bill Callahan (aka Smog). There's three songs up there: here's the first entitled 'Cold Blooded Old Times'.

Thundercrack: Best Of Irish #3 - FRED

A five piece from Cork they've already released two excellent albums and are currently working on their third. They got a great reception when they traveled to the States last year and with the new album are looking to really push on. Below is the video for the excellent song 'Damn You Hollywood'. Check out their MySpace and their official site . They've posted some mp3's on their official site, links are below.

Four Chords and The Truth
Summer Is Coming
Colour Of Numbers

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #10

Download the 10th playlist from here. The file size is 46.67mb. Enjoy

1. The Solution - You Gotta Come Down

Led by Scott Morgan (formerly of the excellent Sonic's Rendezvous Band) this is a band harking right back to the soul sounds of the 60s. This track is taken off their most recent album 'Will Not Be Televised'. I really like the album, having just come across it in a record store here in Paris. Love Sonic's Rendezvous Band so when I heard Scott was in this band, I bought it straight away. Very happy with it. Don't hear too many bands around today with this kind of sound and Scott has a tremendous voice.

2. Basia Bulat - In The Night (Live)

Taken from a radio session she recorded not too long ago, this track is off her debut lp 'Oh My Darling' which has just in the past couple of months got a release in America. She's Canadian and has an excellent voice. A really talented musician as well. Album is well worth checking out if you like what you hear.

3. Yeasayer - Sunrise (Live)

Already featured Yeasayer a couple of times on the blog so obviously I'm a big fan. This is taken from an excellent Daytrotter session they recorded a while back.

4. Alibi Tom - Fire

Hailing from Sweden, Alibi Tom have just released their debut album in the UK this week. Haven't heard it yet, really like this song though so hopes are high.

5. Tokyo Police Club - Juno

A fantastic band for 2-3 minute pop songs, I've been really impressed with their most recent album 'Elephant Shell'. Another Canadian band, these guys sound like they could do the same thing for years and it's never going to get old.

6. Blood Red Shoes - Say Something Say Anything

A two-piece from Brighton in England, Steven Ansell & Laura- Mary Carter specialise in punk/grunge and have honed their sound by working incredibly hard on the live circuit (according to their bio, they've played over 300 shows, a phenomenal amount for a band only formed in 2005). All the work has paid off with their fantastic debut record 'Box Of Secrets'. Check their site for tour dates, there's plenty there.

7. The Gutter Twins - Idle Hands

The collaboration of two iconic frontmen, Greg Dulli (The Afghan Whigs, The Twilight Singers) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age) The Gutter Twins released their album 'Saturnalia' last month to widespread acclaim. Excellent album it is too, it'll be prominent on many best albums of the year lists.

8. Sleepercar - Fences Down

Sleepercar is the sideproject of Jim Ward, (lead singer of Sparta, former member of At The Drive-In) and they play alt-country or Americana. Very well they do it too. The album has been in the making for quite a while as Jim was busy with Sparta. Now they've finally put out an album: West Texas which I'm currently enjoying. Touring as well, check site for details.

9. Aimee Mann - Little Tornado

Here's a track from the wonderful Aimee Mann's new album, due out on June 3rd. the same as most people, I heard of Aimee through the film Magnolia and have followed her career since. I've heard a couple of tracks from the upcoming album '@%&! Smilers' (which will undoubtedly be shortened to Smilers when people are talking about it) and I've been very impressed. Really looking forward to that one.

10. Bonnie Prince Billy - New Partner (Live)

One of my favourite songwriters of all time (Master And Everyone is one of my favourite albums by any artist) this is a track from another Daytrotter session. All of his stuff under all his guises are essential.

11. Patti Smith - Gloria (Live)

A legendary artist performing a legendary song. Not much more to be said.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On Tour: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals Vol. 1

A new feature I'm going to be doing is the On Tour series. Basically, I'll be putting together live albums from bootleg recordings of different artists. First off, here's Ryan Adams & The Cardinals Vol. 1. It's Vol. 1 because I could easily make 5 albums full of Ryan songs so we'll see how this one goes, I'll probably do a couple more.

All of these tracks are freely available here. Big thanks to all the tapers, Ryan's sound guys for their help and of course to Ryan for allowing the taping of his shows. It's rare for such a big name artist to allow fans to record shows from the soundboard so he should be applauded for that. He is very aware of his fanbase and keeps us in mind. For more information on all Ryan related info head over to the Ryan Adams Archive, a fantastic site for Ryan fans.

In terms of the music, every track is fantastic. I didn't do too much editing of the tracks so there won't be smooth transitions between the tracks but nothing too noticeable. Track-listing is below along with the dates and venues of the concerts. I'll be continuing this series soon with another artist but I will be returning to Ryan & The Cardinals as well as Ryan solo in the near future.

Hope you enjoy it. Download it from here

On Tour: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals Vol. 1

01. Beautiful Sorta
02. Anybody Wanna Take Me Home?
03. Halloweenhead
04. Blue Sky Blues
05. Firecracker
06. Bartering Lines
07. She Wants To Play Hearts
08. How Do You Keep Love Alive?
09. Peaceful Valley
10. Shakedown on 9th Street
11. This House Is Not For Sale
12. Everybody Knows
13. I Taught Myself How To Grow Old
14. Let It Ride
15. Easy Plateau

01. The Paramount Theater, Seattle, WA 26/01/2008
02. The Norva, Norfolk, VA 22/07/2006
03. Arlington Theater, Santa Barbara, CA 21/01/2008
04. Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR 26/07/2007
05. Das Haus, Ludwigshafen, Germany 17/10/2006
06. The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA 29/01/2008
07. Das Haus, Ludwigshafen, Germany 17/10/2006
08. Paramount Theater, Charlottesville, VA 14/09/2007
09. Bridges Auditorium, Claremont, CA 22/01/2008
10. Bridges Auditorium, Claremont, CA 22/01/2008
11. Bridges Auditorium, Claremont, CA 22/01/2008
12. The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA 29/01/2008
13. Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway 19/11/2007
14. Falconer Center, Copenhagen, Denmark 22/11/2007
15. Bridges Auditorium, Claremont, CA 22/01/2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thundercrack : Best Of Irish #2 - Dark Room Notes

One of the big current hopes of the Irish music scene are Dark Room Notes. Possibly best described as electro-rock, they've got a great sound that stands out from many other Irish bands around at the moment. Check out their site where you can pick up a couple of ep's. Again being away from Ireland I've missed seeing them live but they're getting some great reviews so hopefully when I'm back they'll be playing somewhere. For now, check out the video, visit their MySpace and buy their ep from their official site

Jeffrey Lewis &The Jitters : Fondation Cartier 19 April 2008

Jeffrey was playing as part of the Patti Smith exhibition here in Paris which also features Tom Verlaine who's playing next week. This was my first time seeing Jeffrey live and I was very curious to see whether his lyrics would work in front of a Paris crowd. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic concert. There were a couple of songs at the start where I was contemplating how bad this review was going to be. He's not an artist that is to everybody's tastes and I think it took a while for me to get used to it. It was unlike any other concert I'd ever been to but once I 'got it', it was absolutely amazing.

His band were fantastic and some of the Crass songs they played (off Jeffrey's last album) were excellent. Jeffrey used his comic books for a couple of songs with a screen projecting the images of stories such as Creeping Brain As you can see from the video(although it's difficult to see the images, was much better with the projector that they had last night) it's not for everybody but I think it's fantastic. They played more traditional punk rock songs as well which I thought were highlights. Other notable songs was a hilarious history of The Fall as well as the unbelievable Complete History of Punk Rock
(fantastic as this video is, it really is on another level with a band).
One of the most original and enjoyable concerts I've been to in a long time. Here's a few mp3s so check them out. If you like the sound I would highly recommend seeing them live.


Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror

Anxiety Attack

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Irish Music Industry : Challenges & Opportunities

Ireland now attracts every major international music act and is regarded as a major market for bands. This is obviously fantastic for music fans as there's a massive range of high quality concerts happening every week. For instance, if I was in Ireland in May I'd be going to see Iron & Wine on the 11th, Dinosaur Jr. on the 12th, The Hold Steady on the 13th and The National on the 14th. Also playing on the 13th are Yeasayer and Black Mountain. The following week you've got Broken Social Scene and then it's the weekend of Springsteen with him playing three nights in the RDS. That's a hell of a line-up and would be difficult to match anywhere in the world.

So that would add up to 8 concerts in 14 days. That's a lot of music and not much else for two weeks. Granted, not every week is quite so loaded but it's clear from looking through Ticketmaster it wouldn't be too difficult to find a good concert to go to during the week if you wanted. What is key from the list of concerts I've listed is the lack of any Irish acts. I'm not saying that they're not playing but that it is very difficult for new Irish bands to find a venue for a gig and attract people to it.

Especially if one of the major markets that they need to be attracting (me, the typical music obsessive) are already going to see 8 bands in 14 days. I'd like to think I have some semblance of a social life that would prohibit me from extending that run of concerts any further so the idea of going to another concert of a band I don't really know is not going to be very tempting. Especially if I have to pay because those concerts are going to hit the wallet pretty hard.

So ignoring the music obsessives for now, look at the rest of the concert-goers. If they were fans of all the bands listed, they might pick out the ones they really want to see and go to maybe 2 or 3. If they're going to turn down a band that they know and like because it would be too many concerts, again how are new Irish bands going to attract them. At the moment, they're not.

The reason for this is that at the moment there is no organised Irish independent music scene. The focus is so international now that people are probably more likely to hear of a band from Ohio than Kilkenny. But the independent/underground scene is the most important scene worldwide. By independent/underground I mean not the mainstream so it includes all of the bands that I listed above, probably excluding Springsteen. So it's clear that these are the concerts that will sell out and that attract the regular concert goer. The mainstream is becoming such a negative place for most music fans who are sick of the manufactured acts that inhabit it. If you look at it, nowadays most bands get known by their live shows and online buzz. It's clearly not beyond the reach of the Irish music industry to do this when there is such talent in the country. There are some amazing bands and musicians in the country who I will continue to feature on this blog. The people are there, they're going to all these international concerts which is brilliant but they'd be just as willing to go to see Irish bands if they were given a push in the right direction.

For me, there is a clear gap for a record label or another organisation to come along and position themselves as the leaders of the Irish independent music scene. People say that record companies are dead and in a lot of cases they are. But I think that people want to be part of a scene, they want to be part of a community of music fans. In my opinion, the key word for the music industry in the future is 'community'. If a record label can create a community around it's bands and come up with some new and innovative ways of getting music to the people then they will be successful. Ireland isn't that big and word of mouth is king. It's probably this more than anything that is bringing any new bands to the attention of the general Irish public. This should be harnessed and centred around one organisation or label and allow people to say that that is the place to go to hear the best of Irish music. Play free concerts in colleges but get them to sign up to the website for tickets beforehand so they are linked in, have an exciting website, give away music in some of the record shops around the country. If a label is doing this for all it's bands and the bands are talented enough and willing to work hard enough, I think that people will go to the concerts and buy the cds. The international and the local music scenes can co-exist in a far more balanced manner than is currently the case.

New My Morning Jacket song - Evil Urges

My Morning Jacket have made a new song available and it's brilliant. Really looking forward to their new album. The band have written a note here about the release of this song here And here's the song to download. It's called 'Evil Urges' - mp3

Friday, April 18, 2008

R.I.P Phantom Dan

Danny and I worked together for 40 years - he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much...we grew up together."
—Bruce Springsteen

Danny Federici, for 40 years the E Street Band's organist and keyboard player, died this afternoon, April 17, 2008 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City after a three year battle with melanoma.

The Federici family and the E Street family request that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund. A web site for the Fund is being established and we'll post its link when it is on line.

Bruce Springsteen's concerts scheduled for Friday in Ft. Lauderdale and Saturday in Orlando performance are being postponed. Replacement dates will be announced shortly.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thundercrack: Best of Irish #1 - The Chapters

Starting a new feature, where I'll highlight some of the great bands and musicians in Ireland today. First off here's The Chapters. Featured them in the second playlist so if you like this song you can download the song from there. They're currently working on their debut album and have released a 4 song ep which is really good. They also have a number of songs available to download on their MySpace so check them out. Excellent songs and a very exciting band for the future.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #9

9th one. Enjoy. Check out the bonus track thrown in too. 50mb
(I switched to mediafire because of the long waiting times associated with Rapidshare. Hopefully it'll be quicker now. If anybody has a preference for either of these sites, let me know)

1. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Diablo Rojo

One of the best live acts I've seen, these two make an absolutely amazing sound with just two guitars. To really appreciate them, you've got to see them live. They're known for their covers of songs like Stairway To Heaven and Wish You Were Here . A truly fantastic duo, if you get the chance to see them, make sure you get there and also pick up their album. Really good.

2. The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy! (Live)

Already featured on the first playlist, here's a cool live track they recorded back in 2007. They have a new album due out soon, and a tour is underway. I've seen them twice live and both times they've been fantastic. Highly recommended again.

3. Matthew Ryan - American Dirt

Just brought out a new album, Matthew is someone I heard about a few years ago when he brought out 'Concussion' which is a great album. Haven't heard all the new album but the stuff I've heard (including this track) sounds really good. He's released a number of albums and is getting some well deserved acclaim at the moment. Tour in America begins soon so check the site for details. More dates to be announced soon, here's hoping for Europe.

4. White Lies - Death

Very new British band, their debut single 'Unfinished Business' is due out next week. They have a number of tour dates in the UK coming up but there isn't much info around about them. i really like this track so I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for them in the future.

5. Jordan Zevon - The Joke's On Me

To mention it first, Jordan is the son of the great Warren Zevon. His music however, should be judged on it's own merits and I think it holds up really well. He's obviously inherited some of his dad's sense of melody, with this track being a really great pop song. It's on his new album 'Inside's Out' which is out this week. Certainly worth checking out.

6. Josh Rouse - Hollywood Bass Player (Live)

I was a big fan of Josh Rouse until I saw him live a couple of years ago and it was absolutely atrocious. To be fair, it was a combination of a poor venue, a bad crowd and just no connection. That put me off him for a while, but I've started listening to him again recently and remembered just how good he is. This was probably the song that got me interested again. I've read good reviews of his live shows since so I'm writing it off as one of those nights and if he ever comes back again, I'll definitely be in attendance.

7. Joe Crookston - Mostly

From Ohio in the States, Joe has released an excellent second album this year entitled 'Able Baker Charlie And Dog' which this track is taken from. He brought out his first album back in 2004 which I haven't heard yet but got a good deal of praise from NPR. He has a lot of gigs coming up in America so check his site for the details.

8. The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement

Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (The Rascals) have come together as The Last Shadow Puppets with their debut album due out next week. Really like this single, high hopes for the album next week. Some cool videos up on their website worth checking out.

9. Jesse Malin - You Can Make Him Like You

Taken from his new covers record, here's Jesse singing a Hold Steady song. While I prefer the original, it's an interesting take on it and he puts his stamp on it. An excellent artist, Jesse has released some really great albums and is another excellent live performer. I've seen him 2 or 3 times and he always puts 110% into it. This album is probably for fans, if you don't know him get one of his solo albums, can't go wrong with any of them. If you're already a fan, this is well worth picking up for the rarity of the songs played.

10. Lex Land - Could've Had Me

Very talented young musician, Lex has just released her debut album 'Orange Days On Lemon Street' in the last few weeks. Been listening to it on her site and it's really good, this track being of my favourites. She's got a really fantastic voice. Check out a couple of more tracks on her site and then order the album. One to keep an eye on in the future.

11. Radiohead - Lucky (Live)

Taken from one of their recent BBC shows, this is one of my favourite Radiohead tracks. Not much more to be said about this band. Touring extensively this summer, most shows are sold out though. Going to be epic concerts no doubt.

12. Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous (Live)

Love this band (and Jenny Lewis in particular). Never seen them live (missed them by a day last year) but I'm praying they come to Ireland after their US tour is finished in the summer. Their last album was brilliant, it showed a band willing to push the boundaries of their sound and with such talent, it was always going to be a success. An essential band.

13. Bonus track - Absolute genius. Album out soon.

Greg Brown & Bo Ramsey Paris 15 April 2008

Went along to see Greg Brown & Bo Ramsey last night in a tiny venue here in Paris, there was probably about 100 people or so there. Fantastic show, these are two great musicians and songwriters. Ramsey did a short opening set and I thought that was brilliant. I didn't know any of his stuff beforehand but was very impressed. The two of them then came on stage for Greg's set which lasted nearly two hours. Again, I only have a couple of Greg Brown's albums but it didn't matter, he has a very strong stage presence and put on a great set. I've heard that Greg Brown plays some big venues in America so to see him in such an intimate venue was great. For those who don't know these artists, here's a video and I'll also be featuring both artists in the playlist in either today's or next week's edition.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Yeasayer on Jools Holand

Fantastic performance from one of the best bands around at the moment. Also of interest today, I noticed Fleet Foxes are coming to Europe in June. Very excited about that.

Attention Irish music fans! has been set up to give Irish music fans an opportunity to buy and sell concert tickets at face value. It's a good idea and hopefully it will really take off and help put an end to the touts.

Update on Springsteen and Morello

For those unaware, have been posting official videos of performances from the concerts. Sometimes it's just a snippet but thankfully they've posted the entire performance of Springsteen and Morello singing 'The Ghost Of Tom Joad' which I talked about last week. So here it is and check here for all the other videos.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Devotchka - Cafe De La Danse 13 April

Saw Devotchka last night and was mightily impressed. I've already featured them in the playlist and written about how good the last album is. I thought it took a little while for the gig to get going, at the start there wasn't much momentum built up. However, once they got going they were fantastic. They played a good amount off their most recent album which I was very pleased with and got a very good reaction from the crowd. The venue itself was small, tickets were available at the door but it was packed once they started. At times, they can reach levels beyond the capabilities of most bands as on 'Along The Way' and 'Undone', in particular. They played for an hour and a half and it flew by. They're not a band that's to everyone's taste and don't conform to usual standards with only one guitar in the band alongside a violin taking centre stage. I got the impression that as good as the show was, they're a band that are going to continue to grow and evolve their live show. I'm looking forward to watching these guys progress. Check out Playlist #7 for one of their songs.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I've never been too keen on U2. Some of their stuff is fantastic and some of it I can easily ignore. I went along to see this film out of curiosity more than anything else and ended up really enjoying it. There are some absolutely amazing shots in the film and some great performances. Love and Peace (Or Else) for me scored the best in both these regards. A fantastic performance and also some amazing shots of Bono and Larry Mullen Jr. The 3D really adds to the experience and it is also not overdone, it is used to great effect at times and is the more powerful for being used relatively sparingly. It's an extremely politically charged set that's shown and the band's message of the need for unity is very clear and powerful. Well worth seeing if there's a cinema nearby showing it.

One interesting thing I found is that the majority of footage is from Latin America in some spectacularly packed stadiums. U2 are the quintessential stadium rock band and their music obviously passes through language barriers. For four guys from Dublin it's a hell of an achievement. As I've said I've never been a big U2 fan and I wouldn't be Bono's biggest fan either but I have a deep respect for their ability to reach such a global audience, a feat unparalleled in Irish music history.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #8

8th playlist. As always please support all these fantastic artists by buying their cds and checking out the links posted. Enjoy

1. Fleet Foxes - Mykonos

One of the big buzz bands of the moment, for once it's entirely justified. Their 'Sun Giant' EP is absolutely fantastic and deserves all the rave reviews that it's been getting elsewhere. They're from Seattle and their debut album will be out in June. Until then, I'd highly recommend the ep. They have tour dates in America, here's hoping they make the trip across to Europe soon.

2. Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation

Another member of the fantastic Sub Pop roster, Blitzen Trapper have been around for a long time and have released three albums, the most recent of which is 'Wild Mountain Nation', released last year to critical acclaim. I missed this band for a while, heard of them through this song. Great song it is too. All their albums and some really cool ep's are all available on their website. Well worth checking out.

3. Colin Meloy - We Both Go Down Together (Live)

Taken from his recent solo album release, 'Colin Meloy Sings Live!' this track sees the Decemberists frontman take one of the band's song's and make it work in a solo context. Loved the last Decemberists record, not the biggest fan of their earlier work though and while I like this record, I couldn't say it's great. He does cover a large variety of songs and it's definitely worth a listen. If you like this track, you'll like the album.

4. My Morning Jacket - Bermuda Highway (Live)

One of my favourite bands, this track is taken from a KCRW session feat. Jim James and Carl Broemel. Great session, the whole thing is available on the fantastic Live Music Archive site along with a lot of their other shows. New album is due soon, said to be one of the best live bands around. I've never seen them so here's hoping they'll tour extensively for this album.

5. Scout Niblett & Will Oldham - Kiss

Scout is an English singer-songwriter who's released a number of records. This track came out last year as far as I can remember and is really powerful. I'm a huge Will Oldham fan and I think this is a great song. Don't know much about Scout Niblett but she sure sounds like she's worth a further listen. Check out her MySpace for a few more songs and her tour dates as she has a pretty extensive tour planned.

6. Drive-By Truckers - Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife (Live)

An extraordinary band, they recently released their 8th album 'Brighter Than Creation's Dark' which is fantastic. Famed for their live shows, they've just announced a tour in America and Europe as well. An excellent back catalogue, you should also check out the album they were involved in as Betty LaVette's backing band, released last year. Another excellent album.

7. David Bowie - Dead Man Walking (Acoustic & Live)

This is a fantastic recording of Bowie playing 'Dead Man Walking' acoustic. Obviously not much needs to be said about the genius of Bowie so just enjoy the song.

8. Amos The Transparent feat. Amy Millan - After All That, It's Come To This

Another in the seemingly endless line of good Canadian bands, Amos released their debut album last year 'Everything I've Forgotten To Forget'. This track is taken from that album and features the fantastic Amy Millan, who also brought a very good album back in 2006.

9. Elliott Smith - Between The Bars (Live)

One of my favourite musicians and one of my favourite songs, everybody should own some of Elliott's records. A truly gifted artist, he's created some of the best music of the last 15 years.

10. Camphor - The Sweetest Tooth

Just released their debut album 'Drawn To Dust', I've only heard a few tracks and it sounds great. They're based in New York, with Max Avery Lichtenstein being the chief songwriter. Have the potential to pick up a large following by the sound of them. Definitely one to keep an eye on and I think well worth picking up the album.

11. Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper

Cool band from Glasgow, they've got an album coming out next week called 'The Midnight Organ Fight'. Couple of great songs that I've heard off it already so very excited about this album. Tour dates on both sides of the Atlantic so check them out and see if they're coming to a town near you.

12. Band Of Horses - Funeral (Live)

Already featured Band Of Horses on the first playlist so not much more to be said. One of the best bands in the world today, this is an amazing track and one of my favourite songs. Fantastic performance, one day I'll get to see them live.