Archive for 2011
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
The calendar flips over from 2011 to 2012 this weekend and, given that Scotland is the world’s self-anointed Hogmanay party hotspot, expectation levels tend to be high.
There’s little danger of the occasion not being risen to, though, with an abundance of top-quality live musicians and DJs out ‘n’ about the country who have the unenviable task of leading sozzled punters into a countdown to oblivion.
If, like most people, you don’t intend to figure out how you’ll be bringing in the Bells until December 31, this guide to Scotland’s musical treats on New Year’s Eve might come in handy:
Concert in the Gardens
Primal Scream + Bombay Bicycle Club + Sons & Daughters + Matt Norris & The Moon (info/sold out)
Waverley Stage: The Vaccines + Kassidy + William Douglas + James Brown Is Annie
West End Stage: Friendly Fires + Wild Beasts + Discopolis
East End DJ Stage: Mark Ronson + Jaymo & Andy George + Stu Todd + VJ Bryony
Scott Monument Stage: Peatbog Faeries + Capercaillie + Rura
The Mound Party Stage: Frisky & Mannish + The Cuban Brothers + Jade Richards
The Third Door
Ten Tracks: Broken Records + Withered Hand + Hidden Orchestra + Asthmatic Astronaut (info/tickets)
Song, by Toad house gig
Neil Pennycook (Meursault) + River Of Slime (info/tickets)
The Old Bridge Inn
Kitty The Lion + Stanley Odd + Soutra + Detour DJ set (info)
Saturday, December 24th, 2011
Merry Christmas, you!
If you’re sick of hearing the same old, tiresome tunes for the umpteenth time and Michael Bublé’s Christmas album isn’t quite putting you in the festive mood then fear not, salvation is here in the form of the best songs of 2011, which really ought to be combined with the tracks singled out in the best albums of 2011 post if you want the comprehensive guide to what’s been rocking The Pop Cop world this year.
You’ll find a smattering of Music Alliance Pact favourites, some ace album tracks, a tune that first turned up on this blog’s Jukebox and two from Make Sparks (a single and its B-side) because they’re both that good. Enjoy!
Ben Howard – Old Pine
Ed Sheeran – Lego House
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
When I was compiling this list of the 10 albums I most enjoyed in 2011, I found myself at complete odds with what the vast majority of critics and media types have been frothing over. Acclaimed releases by muso darlings PJ Harvey and Bon Iver did little for me, and even closer to home, I still struggle to see what all the fuss is about with Scottish bloggers’ favourite Everything’s Getting Older by Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat.
There was one album I continually revisited this year (actually, there were two but the Endor record came out in 2010) and given that it was released way back in January, it’s fair to say its songs have made my entire 2011 a total joy.
Cold War Kids’ third album deserves to be hailed as a work of indie-rock perfection. The Californian band have always been blessed with Nathan Willett’s soul-searing voice, but Mine Is Yours backs it up with a barrage of songs fit for stadiums. The album sounds absolutely colossal at times, so much so that I was grudgingly likening it to Kings of Leon before I realised they’d shared the same producer (Jacquire King).
It took a bit of transatlantic sweet-talking but, in keeping with Pop Cop tradition, I managed to get a member of Cold War Kids to accept the Best Album of the Year award in person and follow in the footsteps of previous recipients The National (2007), Sigur Rós (2008), The Sounds (2009) and Admiral Fallow (2010). As you can see from the photo above, he struggled to contain his delight.
Here’s the top 10, each described in Twitter-friendly 140 characters…
6. WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS – IN THE PIT OF THE STOMACH
A relentless, ferocious album. The songs aren’t as strong as the ones on their debut but at least the recordings did them justice this time.
9. EMMY THE GREAT – VIRTUE
I didn’t obsess over this record anywhere near as much as predecessor First Love but there’s no doubting this is songwriting par excellence.
Paper Forest (In The Afterglow Of Rapture)