Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #24

Dr. Dog, Shearwater and Jeffrey Lewis are all playing in Dublin in the near future so check for tickets for those. The Dutchess and The Duke are a particular favourite of mine this week. (Any record companies want a track removed, just send me an email and I'll remove it immediately.)

01. The Dutchess and The Duke - Reservoir Park

02. The Walkmen - In The New Year

03. Dr. Dog - The Old Days

04. Shearwater - Leviathan Bound

05. The Replacements - If Only You Were Lonely

06. Jeffrey Lewis - I Ain't Thick

07. Kathleen Coffee - Justice?

08. Patchwork - Spaceships

09. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Live)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bob Dylan - 'Dreamin Of You'

You can download an unreleased Bob Dylan track from the upcoming 'Tell Tale Signs: Bootleg Series 8' for free from his website. 'Dreamin Of You' is an outtake from the 'Time Out Of Mind' sessions of 1997 and well worth the download, excellent song.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kings Of Leon - Crawl : Free Download

Kings of Leon have a track from their forthcoming album 'Only By The Night' available to download for free on their website. You can download it below through this widget, also check out the home movie for another short preview of the new album.

Banner 2 Banner 1 go!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Paul Westerberg - 49:00

Downloaded Paul Westerberg's new album this morning for the princely sum of $0.49 (about €0.30). It's in no way a typical release but is definitely one of the best things I've heard in a while. It's only available as a single mp3 file lasting 43.55mins. There are no song titles, no smooth transitions, some songs last seconds, others are fully formed. It's a fascinating listen as songs play on top of one another before breaking into something completely different.

Westerberg played all the instruments himself and obviously felt liberated by the process. The music harks right back to the Replacements era and it all comes together brilliantly. It's a truly unique listen and for this price everybody should give it a listen. All the information you need is available on his website. It's available to download on Amazon but for us Europeans the only place you can get it is here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kick Out The Jams - NTV

Got this email recently and felt it was worth a post. Some good sessions by some really good Irish bands. Well worth subscribing to on iTunes.

NvTv is offering free video podcast subscriptions to its weekly music show 'Kick out the Jams'. The show regularly features bands from Northern Ireland but has recently recorded sessions with some of the best bands from the rest of Ireland, which are available for free download at the links below. Artists include The Flaws, David Geraghty and those sleazy mother funksters Republic of Loose.
The most recent episode features a live acoustic session from Frank Turner.

Other Free Episodes available include...

And So I Watch You From Afar
The Rumble Strips
Two Door Cinema Club
Cat Malojian + more


Every fortnight or so will see the release of the latest programme (which usually lasts 20-30mins) to the World Wide Web, plus an occasional episode from the archives. You can subscribe for free to the podcast in various ways. If you have iTUNES, simply click on the link below, or simply go to the iTunes store and search for 'Kick out the Jams NvTv'. You will then be able to watch the episode on iTunes or transfer it to your ipod etc


Alternatively you can use the RSS feed.


For more info on the show itself - go to
or for info on NvTv - go to

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #23

Download #23 from the link below

01. Beck - Vampire Voltage No.6

02. Ra Ra Riot - Dying Is Fine

03. R.E.M - Ignoreland (Live at Oxegen 2008)

04. The Nightwatchman - The Road I Must Travel

05. Calexico - Two Silver Trees

06. Conor Oberst - Danny Callahan

07. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Don't Stop The Bus

08. John Henry & The Engine - Lightning City Blues

09. Mean Tambourines - A Flight A Crash

10. The Avett Brothers - Murder In The City

11. The Smittens - Gumdrops

12. The Pretenders - Boots Of Chinese Plastic

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mark Pickerel

I put Mark on one of the playlists not too long ago but felt he was worthy of a post all on it's own. He was the drummer in The Screaming Trees and this year's album Cody's Dream is his second solo release. Well worth picking up, here's a few mp3s.

Cody's Dream from Cody's Dream

Forest Fire from Snake In The Radio

Graffiti Girl from Snake In The Radio

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #22

#22 this week. 11 songs totaling 52mb. Download it from here

1. For Against - Underestimate

This postpunk band have been around for a long time, with the recent album 'Shade Side Sunny Side' being their first studio offering since 2002. This track is taken from that album.

2. The Breakers -Don't Send Me No Flowers

Don't know anything about this band apart from they're from the 60s and that they play garage rock. This is a great song and one of their best known songs.

3. Kings Of Leon - Manhattan (Live)

New song from the Kings taken from a radio broadcast of their recent headlining slot at Glastonbury.

4. Southside Johnny & Little Steven - The Fever (Live)

This is taken from a radio show where these two as well as other musicians such as Soozie Tyrell and Bobby Bandiera played a whole bunch of covers (including 'Like A Virgin') and originals. Here's Southside singing the song with Springsteen.

5. Nils Lofgren - Long May You Run (Live)

Nils did a couple of songs on BBC Radio not too long ago and this is one of them. Apart from currently being on tour with Springsteen, Nils has a Neil Young covers album out at the moment which is well worth getting. Here's one of my favourite Nils songs

6. Mallory Graham - Queen Bee

I'll be honest, I know nothing about this song or the artist. I know it appeared on a Barbra Streisand album but that's about it. Great song though. Anybody with any info is welcome to let me know.

7. Albert Hammond Jr. - In My Room

New album from the Strokes guitarist is out now and this is off that album. Not going to win any awards for originality but he's excellent at what he does.

8. The Ettes - Marathon

From Los Angeles, they describe themselves as a punk/garage band. 'Marathon' is taken off their second full length release called 'Look At Life Again Soon'.

9. Sufjan Stevens - The One I Love (Live)

Cover of the classic REM song by Sufjan.

10. Ryan Auffenberg - Alright, Okay

Americana artist from San Francisco, this track is taken from his debut album 'Marigolds'.

11. Ben Kyle w/ Ryan Adams - The Dark (Live)

Featured Ben and his band Romantica last week and here's a live version of his song 'The Dark' from his support tour of Ryan Adams. Ryan guests on this track.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons

Cory's got a new ep out today on iTunes and other digital stores called 'Cabin Ghosts'. He's got a great soulful voice and is backed by a very tight band. Definitely one worth checking out. Here's an mp3 and a video to get you going.

Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons - Home In The Woods

Paint It Down

Monday, July 14, 2008

Star Little Thing - Fishface

New single from the Dublin band and an excellent song it is too. Taken off their album 'It's Easy To Be Alive You Just Are' which you can get through their MySpace. Haven't heard it so can't comment on the quality but I do like this song. Here's the video.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Review: Oxegen Day 2 - 12 July 2008

A brilliant day at Oxegen with some great performances and luckily for me, none of the bands I really wanted to see clashed with each other so there were no difficult decisions in who to go to see.

The day started off pretty slow, with no real standouts on the early bill. Caught a bit of Powderfinger who were ok, Camille O'Sullivan who put on a decent show for something a bit different and the end of The Music, who I wouldn't be a fan of but who attracted a decent crowd to the Pet Sounds tent.

My Morning Jacket

Things got going after that with My Morning Jacket, one of the main reasons I decided to go to Oxegen for the day. Wasn't a very big crowd in the tent which I was slightly surprised at but it didn't seem to affect the band. The sound wasn't great (a common trait of all the concerts) but that's to be expected at a festival. I really enjoyed the show, with opener One Big Holiday a particular favourite of mine. Touch Me I'm Going To Scream (Part II) was a brilliant finale of a set light on new tracks (only Touch Me and Evil Urges from the new album, if my memory is right) but a set that never relented with intensity. Lasted approx 45mins, which seeing as how their usual show length is close to 3 hours, I think they did a good job of condensing a typical concert into that timeframe. I'm just hoping they return on their own for a full show soon.

(Download a live acoustic version of Librarian here)

British Sea Power

From there, I traveled down to see British Sea Power in the Green Room. I got their highly acclaimed last album 'Do You Like Rock Music' but never really gave it a fair listen. After this show though, I think I'll be returning to it as they put on a strong set high on energy and good songs. Very enjoyable.


Then another of the big bands for me, Yeasayer in the 2FM New Band Stage. I thought this was brilliant and that the set was perfectly paced and performed. Ending with the double shot of 2080 and Sunrise was a fantastic end to the show. Not a particularly packed tent again but an enthusiastic crowd and the band seemed to enjoy it.

(Download a live version of 2080 here)

There was a bit of a lull then which I used to take in a couple of Vampire Weekend songs (don't understand the hype but they definitely got the crowd going and everyone seemed to love it.) Also had a quick glance at the Main Stage for Amy Winehouse just to see if she would get through it which she seemed to do as well as possible for her these days.

Seasick Steve

I then headed back to the Pet Sounds tent for Seasick Steve. This for me, was the surprise of the day. I was expecting a small crowd as he's not exactly the biggest name. But the place was absolutely jammed and his every move was greeted with mass hysteria, it was great. He's a great performer and he really got the crowd going, even taking up one girl to sit on the stage in front of him as he sang her a song. The crowd absolutely loved every second of it, with repeated 'Seasick Steve' chants, even as people left the tent afterwards. Definitely one of the big performances of the weekend I'd imagine for anyone who was there.

Richard Hawley

Caught a bit of the Stereophonics, who always seem to be on the line-up somewhere. They were grand, they're a good festival band but after a couple of songs I'd had enough and wandered to see Richard Hawley put on a stunning set in the Pet Sounds tent. It was a fantastic performance and a revisit to his albums is definitely in order. His voice is really spectacular and the small crowd seemed to really enjoy it.


Then on to the big hitters of the day for me, REM. Having met Peter Buck earlier in the day walking out of My Morning Jacket (lovely guy) I was really looking forward to this one and they didn't let anyone down. I couldn't imagine a better festival setlist for the band than the one they performed last night. Sure, there were a couple of songs I would have loved to have heard (Pretty Persuasion mainly) but to get songs like 'Ignoreland' and 'Fall On Me' was fantastic. There were the big hits of 'Losing My Religion', 'The One I Love', 'Man On The Moon', 'Imitation Of Life', 'It's The End Of The World..' which went down fantastically well with Stipe mentioning at the end of 'Losing My Religion' that it was the first time an audience had actually sung the mandolin part. The newer stuff fitted in perfectly with the songs having come a long way from some of the rehearsals this time last year which was mentioned a couple of times as well. Couldn't have asked for a better performance.

(Download a live REM compilation here)

The National

Finally, I went to see The National which was the first time I've been in a position to see them despite their numerous appearances here. They had some stiff competition with The Verve, The Prodigy, The Manic Street Preachers and Justice playing at the same time but they still attracted a sizable crowd. I've been a fan of the band for a long time and it was a real thrill to see them live and it more than lived up to my expectations. It was a very powerful set with some real standout tracks. 'Start A War' was great, as was 'Mr. November.' My favourite was 'Mistaken For Strangers' which was stunning. A great end to the day.

(Download a live version of Slow Show here)

Overall, it'd be hard to beat that day of music. Today would be great as well I'm sure with The Hold Steady, Band Of Horses and The Raconteurs but unfortunately I'm not in attendance. I'll be interested to hear how those shows in particular go, if anyone attends. and if anyone saw some other great performance during the weekend that I missed. (Must mention Blood Red Shoes, who were playing the same time as REM. I caught the last song of their set and it was brilliant. Luckily I saw them a few months ago in Paris and they put on great show and I'm sure last night was something similar.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Hold Steady 'Stay Positive' Interface Session

The Hold Steady recently did a session featured on which you can download through iTunes as part of their excellent Interface series, which has featured dozens of brilliant bands. You can also download it direct from here. The setlist for the session is

Constructive Summer

Sequestered In Memphis

Navy Sheets

Stay Positive

Jokes About Jamaica


Matthew Ryan

A great singer songwriter who's released some excellent albums, my favourite being 'Concussion'. He released a new album this year called 'Matthew Ryan Vs. The Silver State' and an excellent record it is too. All of his back catalogue are available to buy through his website, I would also recommend the ep 'May Day' which has some great stuff on it. This is the radio edit of the first track on the new album called Dulce Et Decorum Est.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Slim Cessna's Auto Club

One of my favourite discoveries of recent times, Slim Cessna's Auto Club are from Colorado in the States. Certainly coming under the huge Americana genre, these guys take influences ranging from bluegrass to punk to create their sound. They've been together with various members revolving around Slim Cessna himself and a couple of other core members. They have a new album out this year called 'Cipher' which you can pick up through their website or their label. No Depression magazine have hailed them in the past as the best live band in America, here's a few mp3s to get you started.

This Land Is Our Land redux from Cipher

This Is How We Do Things In The Country
from Jesus Let Me Down

Hold My Head
from Always Say Please And Thank You

Video for Americado

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #21

#21 this week. Download it here

1. Drag The River - Caleb's Grave

An often overlooked alt-country band from Colorado, these guys have put out some good records over the years. This is one of my favourite tracks of theirs from their new album 'You Can't Live This Way'. Video is 'Me and Joe Drove Out To California' from 'It's Crazy'.

2. Bowerbirds - In Our Talons

These guys are coming to Ireland in September for three shows so I'll write about them again before that. For now, here is one of their tracks from their debut record 'Hymns For A Dark Horse'.

3. J Roddy Walston & The Business - Stop Rip and Roll

Pure rock n roll band this track is off their album 'Hail Mega Boys'. Sound on the video isn't great but it'll give you an idea of what they're like.

4. The Postelles - 123 Stop

Harking back to the 60s for some of their rock/pop influences this New York quartet should make a big impact this year. Production by Albert Hammond Jr. will get them attention but their songs will make sure that attention is justified. A number of songs available to download on their MySpace.

5. Romantica - On My Mind

Singer/songwriter Ben Kyle has described Romantica as 'Irish Americana Pop', although not sure if there's much competition in that genre. He was born in Belfast before moving to Minneapolis in his teens. Has opened for Ryan Adams in the past and I'll feature a duet between the two next week.

6. Eddie Vedder - Society

Probably my favourite song of last year and one of my favourite albums. A really great artist and as much as I like Pearl Jam, this is my favourite Eddie Vedder record. Video is another track 'Guaranteed'

7. The Explorers Club - Do You Love Me

Another band looking back to the 60s for inspiration, these guys are from South Carolina and this track can be found on their album 'Freedom Wind' which Uncut gave five stars to.

8. The Bittersweets - Wreck

Alt-country trio with a new album coming out this year called 'Goodnight San Francisco'. Video is a live performance of 'When The World Ends' from last year.

9. Titus Andronicus - Titus Andronicus

No, not the Shakespeare play, this is a five piece rock n roll band from New Jersey. Their debut record 'The Airing Of Grievances' was released earlier this year to a lot of favourable reviews. I wasn't mad about all of the album but they have some good songs, with this one being my favourite.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #20

Not too many videos this week, some of the artists don't have anything decent up. Don't let that stop you though, there's some real quality this week. Download it from here

1. Elsinore - The General

I've featured Elsinore before but wanted to highlight a different type of song to 'Cannonball' which was on #3. This is a far more up tempo track and a great one at that. They've got an album coming out this year and I think it's going to be a big one. Keep checking their website for updates.

2. Hell On Heels - I'll Come Runnin'

Featured on Little Steven's Underground Garage a while ago and got a great write up from him. Really good track from this American group. Very catchy.

3. The Primordials - She's A Girl

Keeping up the fast pace, these guys reach back into musical history to find their sound. Garage pop would be the best description. They have a bunch of songs available to download on their MySpace too.

4. Alan Wilkis - I Wanna Know

Taken from his solo debut 'Babies Dream Big' Alan is a Brooklyn based multi-instrumentalist. Very eclectic album, have a listen on his MySpace.

5. Abbie Gardner & Anthony da Costa - Someday

Just got this album and I've been very impressed. Beautiful duets by these two artists with some great songs to go along with it. Recommended.

6. Adam Masterson - Isolation

First heard of Adam a number of years ago when he released his strong debut 'One Tale Too Many'. After that I didn't hear a thing from him. Turns out he's over in America trying to make a name for himself there. This is one of the tracks he's got on his MySpace. Here's hoping he makes another album.

7. Crosby, Stills & Nash - Southern Cross

One of my all time favourite songs.

8. The Gorgeous Colours - Holy Moley

One of the standout Irish bands at the moment, this is the new single from The Gorgeous Colours. Video is their debut single - Burning.

9. Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - Tears, Tears and More Tears

Really enjoyed this collaboration when it was released a couple of years ago. Video is River In Reverse

10. Hayden - Lonely Security Guard

Great song from this Canadian artist, it's off his recent album 'In Field And Town'.

11. Michelle Shocked - Fogtown

A truly innovative artist, this is one of my favourite songs by her and has led to some great cover versions, most notably this one from Glen Hansard & Mic Christopher.

Review: Laura Marling Whelans 1 July 2008

Really enjoyed her debut album and was looking forward to last night and she didn't disappoint. She's got a great voice and she's a very talented songwriter and it showed in her performance last night. Of course, there were a few issues as you'd expect with any new artist on stage but overall I thought she put on a very strong performance. It was just her and her guitar and for a few songs she was accompanied by Marcus Mumford (he opened the gig and put on a good show too. His band are called Mumford and Sons and are well worth checking out. Robotnik was the other support and again was very good especially on the folky songs he did at the start).

Personally, I was hoping to hear Night Terror but hopefully next time I see her she'll bring a fiddle so she can play it. She played a good number of new songs which is a good sign that she's not happy to rest on the success of the first album. The crowd was very respectful and the place was jammed, with Laura mentioning a couple of times that she wasn't expecting so many people. She's obviously developing a following and hopefully she'll be back soon to build on it.

Night Terror