Thursday, 27 November 2008

Feeling listless?

Me too to be honest. Talking of lists, they've been a bit scarce recently considering this is a music list blog, but don't fear as various end of year 'best of' lists are being put together as we speak. I'm also working on a second Hang the DJ playlist, which i hope to post next week, along with a link to Last FM so you can listen to it there (if i can figure that out). In the meantime, here's the original Hang the DJ playlist, and rather fine it is too...

My Sharona – The Knack
Denis – Blondie
Take Me I’m Yours – Squeeze
There is a Light that Never Goes Out – The Smiths
Don’t You Ever Get Tired (of Hurting Me) – Bettye Swann
The Outdoor Type – the Lemonheads
Mushaboom – Feist
Fancy – Bobby Gentry
Funny How Time Slips Away – Willie Nelson
Where do you go to (My Lovely) – Peter Sarstedt
Suicide is Painless (Theme from M.A.S.H.) – Johnny Mandel
All the World is Green – Tom Waits
Into My Arms – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


if you live in London and want to see some fine pictures of His Bob-ness then get down to the Proud Gallery Central, just off the Strand, for the exhibition of Jerry Schatzberg pictures from prime era mid-60s DYLAN
I doubt you'll be able to afford any of these lovely prints, but the exhibition at least is free.


Monday, 24 November 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good - delighted to report that Hang the DJ will be coming out in Italy, having been taken on by Elliot edizione, bello!

The Bad - the guardian review this weekend 'Sniffy' but i guess you've got to be in it to win it (or something).

The Ugly? I'm off to buy Chinese Democracy on the way home tonight, we'll see...

Friday, 21 November 2008

A Jockey's Christmas

Novelist, Richmond Fontaine frontman, Hang the DJ contributor (and dodgy horse-rider) Willy Vlautin has a great spoken word Xmas story just out - with backing music from Paul Brainard and others. I highly recommend it, and great cover art from Nate Beaty too

A Jockey's Christmas

for more info. and details on how to buy click here Richmond Fontaine site

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Flightless Bird

lovely version here of my favourite track from last year's Iron & Wine album, The Shepherd's Dog

Turns out the original version is going to feature prominently in the movie version of Stephenie Meyer's novel, Twilight (out in the UK in Dec), it's the song playing when Edward and Bella dance together at the prom, no less (i've always had a soft spot for teen dramas and Vampire movies, maybe it's my inner goth)
See here for trailer etc. Twilight

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Well hello there...

Time for some music: the Willie Nelson penned 'Funny How Time Slips Away' tops Jeb Loy Nichols' masterful list Country Goes Large: Ten Songs that Crossed the Border, but i'm pretty fond of this (unusually restrained) version by The King as well...

Monday, 17 November 2008

Always good to knock some bias'...

a fantastic review just in from the idolator website, with some nice shouts for Jonathan Lethem, Jack Murphy, Hari Kunzru and Tom McCrae among others. And it finishes by opening up something of a discussion about John Kelly's (terrific list) The Pecking Order - Ten Songs About Chickens
Project X review

Friday, 14 November 2008

The Sunday Herald

review, part of their Simply Read column, has just made its way to me, and while I have to admit it describes the book as 'indulgent as hell' (what's your point?!?) it does conclude nicely: 'sure to find a place in the toilet of the music lover in your life, it is also the only book this year in which you'll encounter the sentence: "It's not often that a singer writes a song threatening Santa Claus's life"' which is a nice nod to Peter Patnaik's great list on female murder ballads. For more of that click here, Pre-war Blues

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Drive by Robbery?

So the result is in for the Uncut Music Award '08, and the winner is... Fleet Foxes Uncut
Now i like the album, don't get me wrong, but... (the fact that it's a debut i suspect had something to do with it) well, i just think The Drive-By Truckers album is a far greater work and, judging by the reaction to the shortlist , may well have been a more popular winner with other readers. Anyway, i've been meaning to do a longer piece on their album here for a while, so that will be following shortly.
In the meantime back to Fleet Foxes, and congratulations, it is a lovely album with some exceptional songs (Ragged Wood, Quiet Houses, He Doesn't know Why) but for me it was just a little disappointing, cumulatively, and didn't quite deliver on the promise of their earlier Sun Giant EP. I like the album though as i've said, and having missed the recent Shepherd's Bush shows have a ticket for their Roundhouse show in February. And if you're a fan and don't already have the EP above, i heartily recommend it.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

But is it any good...

Guns N' Roses crop up more than once in the pages of Hang the DJ, i'm pleased to say, and to many of us who grew up in the late '80s early '90s they remain a serious touch stone band (however ridiculous they, or Axl may be). Now 'Chinese Democaracy' is going to come in for some mighty flak when it's finally released next week, how could it not, but i for one will be buying it. I wish Slash, Izzy and Duff were on it, but you can't have everything i guess. Unlike the ridiculous micro review in OMM at the w'end (which failed to mention a single track - what is the point?) this review, below, from Rolling Stone even hints that it might be pretty good... here's hoping...


Monday, 10 November 2008

In Booktrust we trust

A lovely review from their fine website:

'It’s going to be hard in a short review to do justice to the sheer joy that this book stirs in the soul of the music lover; let’s say straight off that it’s quirky (dread word), funny, nerdy, inspirational, addictive and at times just plain weird. In fact, I defy you to read it through in anything less than one sitting...'

Click here for full review including a Duran Duran confession from James Smith, the reviewer...

Thursday, 6 November 2008

More Harcourt...

Here, for me, is Ed's strongest album. I'd also recommend his debut, the mini album Maplewood, stunning, or as a starting point his 2007 best of 'Until Tomorrow Then'. which is that rare thing, a best of that is actually well thought out and put together. All are available on Amazon, or any decent record shop, and put out by Heavenly records.


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Visit to the Burnt Pub

All in all last week was a good one for live music, as I also caught Ed Harcourt at The Hawley Arms on Wednesday night playing a short set ahead of the pub’s official re-opening on Friday. Now the Hawley sometimes gets stick for being a celeb hangout, or celeb-spotting hangout, but never mind all that, it’s a great music loving pub, and it was a pleasure to walk through their doors again. Alongside its ever fine jukebox, the phoenix like pub now boasts a great vinyl lined staircase and a vintage 1960s jukebox in the private/function room upstairs. Loaded with old 7 inches it’s a thing after my own heart (my first play, seeing as though you asked, was Bill Withers’ ‘Use Me’).

Anyway, back to the under-appreciated Ed Harcourt, I’ve been looking for an excuse to post a track of his for a while, so here, complete with some lovely animation, is ‘Visit from the Dead Dog’ (recorded at London's ToeRag Studio no less)

Monday, 3 November 2008

And here they are

with a little psychedelic garage rock... The First Inquisition pt. iv

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Sexy Sadies

I was lucky enought to see the Sadies at my favourite London venue last night, the Borderline. The brothers Good, Travis and Dallas (i shit you not!), were on fine form. Playing for nearly two hours they brilliantly channelled their influences of Dick Dale, Love, Calexico, the Byrds, the Kinks, Bo Diddley and a touch of Bluegrass. With Dallas looking so cadaverous he could have been a skeleton in a suit, these fellas were the real deal, a genius band who totally know what they're all about. Nevermind overhyped bands like the Hold Steady and The White Stripes, check out the Sadies' most recent album, 'New Seasons' (largely ignored on its release here in the UK), if you want to hear some serious rock'n'roll.