Posts Tagged ‘Alternative Rock’


The Joe Strummer Foundation gives opportunities to aspiring musicians and support to projects around the world that create social mobility through music.  A terrific compilation going to a great cause. Some terrific artists here and the 001 promises more good stuff to come.

Strummerville A Go-Go #001 is a fundraising album for The Joe Strummer Foundation. You’ll be able to download all 17 tracks for just £1, or you can pay any amount you want. Each download is a donation that will go directly to the Foundation and will allow us to continue our work.
We are truly thankful to all the artists who have kindly donated their music for use on this fundraising album & your donation is truly appreciated. Now, let’s turn it up, support the bands by checking out their links, buy their music & go see ’em live! .As Joe says: “without people, you’re nothing”

For more information on the bands and the Strummerville A Go-Go campaign please visit:
released 17 August 2015

Photo: Press/Marie Lin
Like a more lo-fi Strokes playing T Rex covers, Sheer Mag’s recent self-titled EP was one of last year’s most thrilling listens. Frenetic guitars merge perfectly with singer Christina Halladay’s OTT personality, and she has perhaps the best voice in rock since Beth Ditto stepped up to the mic.
Philly’s Sheer Mag makes scruffy power-pop accessible enough to transcend the record collector set. They hit that sweet spot between low-frills classic rock a la Thin Lizzy and AC/DC and the energetic insolence of early punk, and make it sound as vital and exciting as ever through great songwriting.



Swiftly moving on from the release of their second album ‘The Hum’, Hookworms have announced plans to bring out ‘Retreat’ as a single.

Out on the 4th May, the new single arrives prior to the group’s run of summer festivals. Prior to that, they’re playing headline dates at London Oval Space (21st March) and Nottingham Rescue Rooms (22nd March), before heading off on a USA tour. Hookworms also play Live at Leeds (1st-4th May),

Official music video for the single ‘The Otherside’ from The Jackobins debut E.P,

Regarded as one of best upcoming bands on the unsigned scene, the Liverpool 5 piece, barely a year old has wasted no time in generating a massive buzz about themselves. Substantial live and social media following has established the band as of the several acts considered to break out big in 2015.
The Jackobins have appeared on BBC,XFM,Amazing Radio alongside a wide variety of other FM and online radio stations across the U.K .  The Jackobins have managed to secure several festivals slots for 2015 and have so far played along side The Rifles, Dexters, Flagship to name a few. 2014 saw the band play more than 50 shows across the U.K in total.
http://The Jackobins first official release came in on the 13th of Dec 2014 in the format of a four track E.P titled “Ghosts”.The E.P was recorded in The Motor Museum (Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Jake Bugg, 1975), mastered by Robin Scmitdt (owner of several Grammy awards) and has been received with much critical acclaim. The release has pushed the band into several different charts and propelled them on the road towards much deserved national and international recognition
With another release on the cards, plans for a second tour in motion and so many upcoming festivals, The Jackobins and their fans sure have a lot to look forward to in 2015.


On this day in 1991, R.E.M. released its seventh album, ‘Out of Time,’ featuring the singles “Losing My Religion,” “Shiny Happy People,” “Near Wild Heaven” and “Radio Song”

“Out of Time” was the seventh studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on Warner Bros. Records in 1991. R.E.M.’s status grew from that of a cult band to a massive international act. The record topped the album sales charts in both the U.S. and the UK, spending 109 weeks on American album charts and enjoying two separate spells at the summit, and 183 weeks on the British charts, and spending a single week at the top. The album has sold over four and a half million copies in the US and over 18 million copies worldwide. The album won three Grammy Awards in 1992: one as Best Alternative Music Album, and two for the first single, Losing My Religion.”

Recorded between September to October 1990 at,Bearsville Studios, Woodstock,New York, United States; John Keane Studios, Athens, Georgia, United States (recording); Soundscape Studios, Atlanta, Georgia, United States (strings);Prince’s Paisley Park Studios,Chanhassen, Minnesota, United States (mixing), produced by Scott Litt and R.E.M.

“Out of Time” combines elements of pop, folk and classical music  as heard on their previous album “Green, with a new concentration on country elements that would continue on 1992’s “Automatic for the People“.

Preceded by the release ofLosing My Religion“, which became R.E.M.’s biggest U.S. hit, Out of Time gave them their first U.S. and UK #1 album. The band did not tour to support the release. In Germany, it is the band’s best-selling album, selling more than 1,250,000 copies, it was also the first R.E.M. album to have an alternative expanded release on compact disc, including expanded liner notes and postcards. Check out this different demo for the song ” Near Wild Heaven

The third single from 1991’s Out Of Time chronicles a relationship at loose ends: “Whenever we hold each other, we hold each other/ There’s a feeling that’s gone/ Something has gone wrong.” Despite the gloomy outlook, “Near Wild Heaven” sounds surprisingly upbeat. (Consider it the musical equivalent of winter’s chilly sunshine.) Chiming guitars, daybreak piano and lead vocals from Mike Mills provide graceful levity, while the chorus boasts Beach Boys-caliber harmonies dotted with longing falsetto and gorgeous counter-melodies. “Near Wild Heaven” both exemplifies Out Of Time’s plush instrumental palette and illuminates R.E.M.’s inventive perspective.

The supporting tour for Green had exhausted R.E.M., and they spent nearly a year recuperating before reconvening for the recording session for Out of Time. Where previous R.E.M. records captured a stripped-down, live sound, Out of Time was lush with sonic detail, featuring string sections, keyboards, mandolins, and cameos from everyone from rapper KRS-One to the B-52’sKate Pierson. The scope of R.E.M.‘s ambitions is impressive, and the record sounds impeccable, its sunny array of pop and folk songs as refreshing as Michael Stipe‘s decision to abandon explicitly political lyrics for the personal. Several R.E.M. classics — including Mike Mills Byrds-y Near Wild Heaven,” the haunting “Country Feedback,” and the masterpiece “Losing My Religion” — are present, but the album is more notable for its production than its songwriting.

In the hands of many bands, “Half a World Away” — a song about the persistent ache of distance, in both the romantic and traveling sense — would sound far too busy. R.E.M.’s lush arrangements, however, have the perfect balance of texture and velocity. “Half a World Away” is dominated by harpsichord and mandolin, which are braided together to create an ornate melodic foundation, and Michael Stipe’s conspiratorial vocal tone. Swaying organ provides oceanic swells underneath. And, near the end of the song, proud strings jump into the fray to underscore the music’s sweet melancholy.

When it came time to record Delta Spirit’s third album, the band members knew one thing: It was time to shake off the stylistic labels that have shadowed them since they formed in San Diego, CA, in 2005. Though lyricists Matt Vasquez and Kelly Winrich were grateful for the warm reviews that their previous albums “Ode To Sunshine” (2008) and “History From Below” (2010) received, they were perplexed at being called “rootsy Americana” or “twangy folk.” In their eyes, Delta Spirit has always been a thoroughly modern rock band, and, with their self-titled new album, they set out to prove it.

We found the sound that we’ve been looking for, that we’ve been growing into, and as soon as we hit on it, we ran with it,” Vasquez says. “That’s why it’s a self-titled record, so we could connect our identity with the album, because this album is what we think Delta Spirit is. People make records for their time and we wanted to make one for our time. Just like novelists want to write the Great American Novel, we wanted to make a Great American Record. Not one about yesterday, but one about right now.”

To help them realize their vision, Delta Spirit recruited producer Chris Coady, not only for his indie-rock credentials (he’s worked with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Beach House, and Smith Westerns, among others), but also because, with five strongly opinionated band members, Delta Spirit needed a producer who wouldn’t be pushed around easily. “We also wanted a great engineer and someone who knew how to make sounds that didn’t sound stock and average,” Vasquez says of Coady, who brought in a home-built synthesizer, which was used on the song “Home.”

The band also experimented sonically, creating layers of texture by using previously verboten instruments like MPC samples and drum machines. They also empowered their new guitarist, Will McLaren, to create stand-alone parts, and to go to town on electric instruments. The experimentation can be heard throughout the album, which opens with the rollicking opening number “Empty House,” and serves as a transition between Delta Spirit’s previous sound and its new one. “The intention was to introduce the album with something that hints at what we used to sound like,” Winrich says. “We wanted to ease people into it.” The band, who recorded the album at Dreamland — a converted church built in 1896 in Woodstock, New York — also upended traditional song structures, playing around with writing songs with no choruses (“California”) and generally throwing off simple verse-chorus-bridge conventions, making sure each verse felt different from the one that preceded it.

Several (though not all) of Vasquez’s songs tend to make their points through the perspective of others, a style favored by some of his favorite songwriters, including Tom Waits and Nick Cave. On “Empty House,” he takes on the persona of a construction worker who is seeing the Dharma in his work. “This guy is mixing concrete and suddenly notices the tiny glinting specks in it,” Vasquez explains. “He begins to wonder ‘What got me here? Where am I headed?’ and relating that little speck to his life.” “Tellin’ The Mind” is about Colton Harris Moore, the teenager known as the Barefoot Bandit who became an internet sensation after committing several burglaries, and stealing and crashing a plane. “I loved him,” Vasquez says. “I thought he deserved an anthem.” “Tear It Up” was originally inspired by the events in Egypt during the Arab spring, but morphed into a more universal song about what can happen with people get together with a common goal. Vasquez’s most personal song is “Yamaha,” which he wrote for his wife when she grew upset about his being away on tour for long stretches of time. “I felt like shit but I couldn’t do anything. A guy’s first instinct is to fix it, but you can’t when you’re three time zones away, so I wrote this song for her.”

The album’s raucous energy and no-holds barred performances will appeal to Delta Spirit’s fanbase, which has grown consistently thanks to their explosive live shows. The Band are looking forward to hitting the road and playing the new songs. “There’s no other experience on earth like playing music with people and feeling that kinetic energy,” Vasquez says. “I want to do it even when I’m old and it’s ridiculous to see me on stage. If I can hold on to even a tenth of the feeling we have when we’re playing, I’ll be happy.”

Delta Spirit plunged headlong into the emotional arena rock area they teased on their self-titled debuted album. As tacky as that may sound, the album is their most organic outing since the band’s debut, almost counter-intuitive to the idea of arena rock. Swelling anthems are a dime a dozen here, and almost all are worthy of doing 100 mph, top-down on Route 1 “From Now On”. There are other styles here unheard elsewhere in the band’s catalogue, like the earthen ballad that the album takes its name (which may or may not tease Tenacious D’s “Wonderboy”). If you’ve never heard the band before, start with this and work your way back. Then see them live as soon as possible they are quite wonderful.


The Districts should be your new favourite band if you like ragged US rock, country-tinged Americana with elements of blues and folk. If you like music made by young men who appear to have just stumbled out of bed. with loads of energy and a passion for their music. There are tracks on their debut EP that tap into traditional American musics and amp it up, giving it some contemporary welly, which suggests they are going to remain a cult concern. others where they evince a penchant for rocking out that hints they could be Kings Of Leon big.



Another Video taken from the new REM TV box set, filmed in 2005 recorded live from the Nuremburg Festival on a very wet day



REM have always put a few covers in their set and its interesting to see some of them recently appearing on their webpages, from Beat Happenings “Indian Summer” to Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic” certain songs make sense like Mission Of Burma “Academy Fight Song” and the jangly guitars of Television “See No Evil” .
On the autumn tour of 1987 the band became fond of playing the ex Foreigner singer Lou Gramm song “Midnight Blue” also contained in the song are lines of the Psychedelic Furs “Heartbreak Beat” lots of jangly guitars and Micheal’s great vocals. Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t Fear The Reaper” a tune they played in 1983 then again in 1995 on the Monster tour with the familiar chords from Peter Buck,the same venue the band played Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” . Fan club member used to get a 7″ single along with other goodies one such was Jay and the Americans “Only In America” with a most surprising B-side of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” sombre and stripped down with just reed organ and acoustic guitars.Fan club members also got the track “Sex Bomb” by the San Francisco punk band Flipper raucous and abstract sound. Another strange punk cover was the “Where’s Captain Kirk” by the band Spizzenergi.
The band have always had a country flavour and covers like “Wichita Linesman, Galveston and the cover of Charlie Rich hit “Behind Closed Doors” which the band performed on a 1985 appearance on the German Concert Series “Rockpalast” on the end of “We Walk”. In 1983 the band did an all covers set at Halloween the band ripped through a collection of songs and influences like T.Rex, The Byrds and of course The Velvet Underground,Micheal is a fan of 60’s pop and a rare cover of Donovan’s “Atlantis” covered in the Halloween set in 1995. REM are huge Iggy and the Stooges fans covering “I Wanna Be Your Dog” but with the David Bowie produced and co written album “The Idiot” they picked off “Funtime”

CRAZY originally by “Pylon” released on “Dead Letter Office”

JESUS CHRIST originally by “Big Star” issued as a fan club only single released in 2002

GHOST RIDER originally “Suicide” on the B-Side of the “Orange Crush”

STRANGE Originally by “Wire” on “Document”

DARK GLOBE originally by “Syd Barrett” on the single “Everybody Hurts”

INDIAN SUMMER originally by “Beat Happenings” from the single “Hollow Man” in 2008

WALL OF DEATH originally by “Richard Thompson” on “E-Bow The letter” single in 1996

FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTEN originally by “Leonard Cohen” from the single “Drive”

SUPERMAN originally by “Clique” from “Lifes Rich Pageant” in 1996

PALE BLUE EYES originally by “Velvet Underground” from “Dead Letter Office” from 1987