Saturday, 27 December 2008

Breakfasters wraps up

My stint on the Triple R Summer Breakfasters has wrapped up after two enjoyable, but tiring, weeks. Jess McGuire continues on next week with Tony Biggs.

All of our music playlists are online now:

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Yuletide Wind-down

Sleep deprived and run-ragged seems the default option for many at this time of year, myself included. If doing breakfast radio shifts, waking at 4:45am, isn't enough, I'm still dragging myself into work for a normal 8 hour shift, with little time left to prepare for the next days broadcast, let alone buy presents, food, decorations and booze for Xmas. Hmm.

Plus I'm on cooking detail for Jesus' birthday too. Which, actually I'm really looking forward to. Cooking and listening to music are the great pleasures in life, and guess what? You can do them at the same time. Perfect. So fish is on the menu this year, less as a homage to the newly birthed Lord, more as a way to try something new, instead of the underwhelming old faithfuls - ham and turkey. I've got some choice baked fish recipes too, cooking the whole thing Thai style with lots of coriander, chili, thai basil and garlic. Yum! So i'll be off to the fishmongers tomorrow, after the stint at Triple R, and then to the fresh fruit and vegie market for the rest of the shopping. I have the day off work (joy!) and can begin a small Yuletide wind down of my own.

Speaking of Triple R, and if you are keen for some decent Xmas listening, there is a team of special presenters on board for the 25th, with 'sweet' tunes for your listening pleasure. A full list of who's on air is online now. And you can check out the music we've been playing on the Summer Breakfasters page of the Triple R site.

Oh, and peace and love to you and yours over the silly season. And as someone said to me today: "drive safe".

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Triple R - Summer Breakfasters

I am presenting Breakfasters on TRIPLE R for two weeks with the irrepressible Jess McGuire, Defamer blogger and presenter of I'd Rather Jack.

We start tomorrow, Monday morning, 15th of December. We'll also be on-air for Xmas day! Open your presents to our dulcet tones. It will be your pleasure.

We have the usual Breakfasters stuff like whats-in-the-papers, news on the half hour and regular special guests. We're talking film with Cerise Howard, books with Lou Swinn, sport with Jesse Fyfe and 'superlingo' with Georgia Webster.

Plus we'll be covering coolsie events, happenings and gossip in Melbourne leading up to Xmas and an absolute tonne of kickarse music. You can listen in Melbourne from 6-9am on 102.7FM or tap the glorious MP3 stream at

If you are in London, we are on between 7 and 10pm, Sunday to Thursday. Breakfast for dinner, yum!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Best Albums of 2008

Plenty of places are starting to spit out their top album lists for 2008. Some are, obviously, more interesting than others. This thread on Mess And Noise lists quite a few recent lists and Spin, Rolling Stone and NME have theirs online now, with the first two naming TV On The Radio's Dear Science as their number one pick for the year. It comes in at number 4 on the Metacritic list of highest scoring albums, but is nowhere to be seen on the only list worth paying attention to: my own.

This year, for the first time, I used my profile to see which artists I had been listening to the most and kept this in mind when compiling my own top ten for the annual Mess and Noise poll. Here they be:

01 Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes / Sun Giant EP (both this year)
02 Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
03 Blitzen Trapper - Furr
04 Deerhunter - Microcastle/Weird Era cont.
05 Sun Kil Moon - April
06 Tallest Man On Earth - Shallow Grave
07 Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Primary Colours
08 The Drones - Havilah
09 M83 - Saturdays = youth
10 Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

There were plenty more albums that could have gone in - MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Mystery Jets, Grand Salvo, Friendly Fires, Yeasayer, The Ruby Suns, Department of Eagles. It was a tough pick. In terms of Australian music I only managed to slip three in (The Drones, Cut Copy and ECSR), which felt about right considering how much new Australian music i had bought or heard this year.

A Reminder blog have posted a good overview of 2008's Australian and NZ releases and artists. And we should see results from Pitchfork's critics soon, which is always interesting or slightly controversial (in a snobby, hipster way). Their 2008 readers poll is in though and guess what? TV On The Radio tops that too! hmm. Fleet Foxes get quite high up though and i share three of the readers top 5.

Gorilla Vs Bear also weigh in with their Top Albums of 2008 with White Denim taking top spot, and finally NPR's All Songs Considered is reviewing the year this week too. You can listen to the program and their pick of songs online now.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Brighten The Corners

The expanded reissue (Deluxe!) edition of Pavement's super fourth LP Brighten The Corners has at last been released (follow link for full Australian release info). If it is as well packaged, thorough and essential as the previous reissues, i'll be nipping down the local record shop this weekend to have me one of them spiffy 2CD packs, oh yes.

Fader get stuck in with Mitch Easter who may not have played the role of primary producer, in spite of what was reported at the time of its initial release... and Aquarium Drunkard ask "What sort of Pavement fan are you?"

I'm the Wowee Zowee devotee: "Someone who embraces chaos and finds life’s meaning in the constantly shifting nature of existence and human nature."

Pitchfork TV have the excellent doco on Pavement - A Slow Century - up online for free, for just one more day only!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Best Music Videos of 2008

The Best-of lists are kicking off everywhere, and have weighed in with their fave music videos on the year, many of which are completely new to me. Check it. I gotta admit a soft spot for the floorshakin' Jerk It by Thunderheist:

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

War On Drugs

photo by Lauren Eileen.

I'm really getting into this record by Philly band War On Drugs. Its called Wagonwheel Blues and came earlier this year, but I somehow missed it. Fans of the woozy, countrified outings of Dylan, Neil Young, Blitzen Trapper, Beachwood Sparks and Jesus and Mary Chain should check it out.

Take a listen on myspace.

Sellers and the GBV

I'm on a bit of a Guided By Voices bender at the moment. A combination of re-discovering the fan-fave Bee Thousand in the lead up to my DJ set at Death to 1994 last week and reading the book Perfect From Now On by American writer John Sellers. He's a bona-fide GBV nut, compulsive listmaker and card carrying indie-rock fan, much like myself, and his book is a really kick-arse read. Here's a little excerpt:

At 193 listens, the song I had played most often during the previous twelve months was written by a band that most people have never heard of. In fact, the top ten songs—and seventeen of the top twenty (and thirty-five of the top fifty, and sixty-three of the top one hundred)—were all by that same band or its offshoots. The facts told me what I had only just begun admitting to myself: I was obsessed with Guided By Voices.

Ok, maybe your sides aren't yet split asunder... but he also goes on a piss-funny booze-soaked roadtrip to hang with Bob Pollard and writes about his pre-GBV obsessions with New Order, Pavement and Morissey. Perfect From Now On (also the name of the best Built To Spill album) can be found locally or on Amazon. Thanks to BK, who gave me the book for my birthday!

Top Five GBV songs, from their Best Of CD, by opening guitar riff:

05 Cut Out Witch
04 Everywhere with Helicopter
03 Surgical Focus
02 Game of Pricks
01 I am A Tree

Monday, 1 December 2008

Podcast - Episode 6

After another long hiatus, I've finally got a new podcast for you to hear. Its the usual combo of upbeat, scuzzy indie and pastoral folk, with a focus on new, excellent Australian music. Comments welcome!


The details of the tracks are as follows:

Wolf and Cub - Seven Sevens
Jack Ladder - Best Kept Secret
Deerhunter - Saved By Old Times (Session Version)
St Helens - Get Up
Seagull - Dust Storm
J Tillman - Evans and Falls

Please visit the artists' websites and if you dig their tunes maybe give them some of that stuff clogging up yr wallet. Jack Ladder and St Helens both play shows in the coming week too, so check local gig guides for details. I can't recommend them highly enough.