Scoville Units Unite

01 Jan

2023 In Music

Time for the annual and definitely prepared on time and rushed out end of the year look back at music after 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Here was where I was gonna post about barely getting through my music backlog and only managing a handful of gigs. I got through a small number of re-releases and then a few new releases.

Then I spent the last week in bed for Covid for the second time this year, and third time overall. Which sums up 2023, which can just fuck off frankly.

31 Dec

2022 In Music

Time for the annual and definitely prepared on time and rushed out end of the year look back at music after 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.


We were pretty much back into gigs being around again, woo. Everything is normal, no don’t ask any more questions or look behind the curtain.

Book Yer Ane Fest was back and it’s the final year for Derrick running it. Cheers to him from me and no doubt abody else for all the hard work he’s put in over the years to make this happen time and time again. He’s handed over the reigns to a new younger generation of people, woo. Good luck to them and hope it all goes well :). Guess we are all now officially OGs and can now moan about kids today and all that.

Also managed a smattering of shows in the basement but not much further than that. Tours being cancelled due to illness or the incompetent racist Brexit policies made it very difficult for most bands to tour here too. Thanks Tories. I bet you proved your ability to not shoot yourself in the foot this year though right. Right?

Music Shops

No major changes to Dundee but thankfully Thirteen, Assai and Le Freak are all still here.

New Releases

I had a season ticket for Specialist Subject again but as expected last year the release schedule was a trickle compared to previous ones. It’s fine though, RSD supplied us with for example 10,000 copies of Madonna – Everybody (discogs has 400+ of various versions starting at less than 2 bucks). Then prices, delays and, again, fucking Brexit all shat on getting stuff imported. Yay.

Seems like a perfect time to work through that music backlog and keep on top of it right? Ah fuck, I barely listened to much music at all this year never mind new music.


All Away Lou – Things Will Change – Pretty cool solo record, from Specialist. You know what to expect by now. Indie-ish, punk-ish, sparkly-ish.
Alldeepends – Throwing A Pit To Nothing – Sorry to all the losers and haters. Album of the year. Stop the lists now. Chaotic punk nonsense from the friendliest folks you can be in a pit with.
Alzo – Discoveries – Alan 2 finally released a second album in two years having been making music for 25 or so years and not releasing one before 2021. Atmospheric Ambient. Perfect to chill or read a book to.
Bob Vylan – The Price Of Life – When a band you’ve been raving about self-release an album and it gets into the top 20. Absolutely incredible scenes by the band giving 2 big middle fingers to genres. lets go dig up Maggies grave and ask here where the milk went
Cake – Fashion Nugget – Cake have started re-releasing stuff on vinyl! This is not a drill. Prolonging the Magic also coming out soon. This band I first heard through shitty mp3 rips and copied CDs. Justifiably given the only way to get CDs was imported copies at £25-£30 in the late 90s (Taking 1999 thats £43.92-£52.71 today!). But sure, copying killed the music industry and not some robbing distributor arseholes.
Don’t Worry – Remorseless Swing – Shame it’s a pretty missable album. They had a strong start but haven’t really been into their last couple of releases.
Eels – Extreme Witchcraft (See My Engine Gleam) – No particular stand outs from an album I spotted in a shop having not known it was coming out. If you like Eels it’s good, not missing out if you have the rest.
Fresh – Raise Hell – not content with a live EP they also brought out album number 3. Doesn’t reach the hits of their masterpiece debut but still worth getting nonetheless.
Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse – The re-release finally made it possible to complete the LPs without spending stupid amounts of money. Sadly missed always.
Guru – Jazzmatazz (Volume 1) – re-release of a classic. Always missed, never forgotten. Not my favourite of the series, but given the high quality of the series that is in no way criticism.
Malcolm Middleton – A Brighter Beat – 15th Anniversary Edition. Trying to pick up some random albums by him as I had one for years that I loved.
Pillow Queens – Leave The Light On – How can this band be so consistently good. This is great but you can’t go wrong with literally anything they have put out.
The Last Mile – Respect The Frequency – Pretty cool punk record getting a re-release from a bunch of labels around the world on CD including MTAT after previously coming out on vinyl.
The Sewer Cats – Cute Aggression – Great live, even better recorded. Go buy it, shitebag if ye dinnae.
Wrest – End All The Days – Second album by them came out and was great again. Most music I own by artist who lives this close who I haven’t seen live yet. Looks like they played here March and I hadn’t known :(.
Yndi Halda – Enjoy Eternal Bliss – 15th Anniversary remaster. I rarely buy a second copy of something in the same media. The record sleeve has interchangable art and is pretty cool, love when bands do something more interesting than a plain sleeve. This album is incredible and the remaster brings out some stuff I had never noticed before. One of my favourite records of all time. Cannot recommend highly enough. Get the physical version if you like fiddling with stuff, or digital if you don’t care. Either way – get it.

Various – 00’s Cover Comp – Lonely Ghosts compilation of 68 covers of songs from the 00’s. Some absolute crackers on it, the opener by Britney Spears is a pretty banging start.

EPs and other stuff

Bartees Strange – Heavy Heart – Got as a freebie in Assai I think. Thought would be fine cos on 4AD but wasn’t fussed by it. Still free is free. And a reminder there’s tons of music on bandcamp by people for free. Go hunting and find something you do like :).
Broken Stories – Forgotten Songs – After a delay we finally got more music from my favoured folk-punk duo. Misery In Happiness is exceptional.
David Delinquent & The I.O.U’S – Animal (Demo) – Demo track by Dave and “Arthur” from Warped.
David Delinquent & The I.O.U’S – Homegrown Singles Series II – They recorded and released a bunch of stuff this year. Two tracks on a new MTAT series.
David Delinquent & The I.O.U’S – Time Of My Life (Demo) – Still not caught them yet and they are chucking out songs faster than I can listen to them.
Fractal – Homegrown Singles Series III – Cool new psych rock band from Dundee with their first release.
David Delinquent & The I.O.U’S – Today’s A Drag – Single track with the best cover-image of anything in a while.
Fresh – Fresh Comes Alive! – Live tracks from the band I skipped on the weekend before the first lockdown due to *waves at 2020/2021* and still haven’t seen live yet.
Frightened Rabbit – A Frightened Rabbit EP – yes you heard that right. The holy grail of Frabbit vinyl had a long overdue re-release for RSD. Still some available in Assai at time of writing.
Frightened Rabbit – State Hospital – I already had this but picked up from RSD in this new format/colour as it’s so good.
Gossiper – Volume One – Great little emo EP from the band whos name is pronounced with a soft G, i.e. a J, it’s definitely Jossiper. 100%
Live, Do Nothing – Oso Jugoso – pretty cool trinkly indie pop from Specialist.
Lounar – Keemtak – MTAT with an occasional hip hop release. Free Palestine. Fuck Apartheid States.
Order Of The Wolf – A Plague On Conservative Houses – After a wee delay we got some more black metal from my favourite local anti-fash music project. Cool t-shirt also available. No gods! No masters! No Conservative wankers!
Portable Heads – Guck – Pretty cool post-rock stuff I stumbled across this year.
Portable Heads – Onme – Another release from the post-rock newbies.
Portable Heads – Venus – At less than 5minuts does this count as post-rock?
Tragical History Tour – Dead Sketches – Derrick hadn’t released anything for a while. Last track is definitely a departure from previous work. No spoilers, go listen.
Truth Ruiner – Demo – Demo by Dundees latest scene queens bringing a hardcore ruckus to the basement every chance they get.

Other stuff

Starting this year was a great zine called Juty City Hard Core or JCHC. Three zines so far and some record releases. A facebook group to try and get people to dig out old photos, gig tickets and memories etc. Get supporting it!

I also finally dusted off a domain-name I got and haven’t done anything yet. Aimed to have a music related project to supplement discogs for shit I care about. I.e. Discogs only cares about published music. So a band you saw play 4 gigs and then split gets completely ignored by it. So far I’ve made some tentative steps to try and work out the type of data I want on it and then work on templates etc. Current status: a github project with some preliminary info from a couple of artists on MTAT. Next steps are to figure out the templates and types of data, point a real domain or subdomain at it and then fill out more info. Might get to the point where others want to contribute too. But probly no.

If nothing else, the huffy billionaire trying to kill twitter shows us all the need to go branch out and not centralise info on in the internet right? Go Start a blog or anything just get away from your entire online existence being on centralised social media sites that want you to stay doomscrolling on them all day and night long.

06 Nov

Test Mastadon auto-post

Testing if you can auto-post to Mastadon.

06 Nov

Mastodon verification

Verifying my Mastodon account.

31 Dec

2021 In Music

Time for the almost annual and almost end of the year look back at music after 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.


I managed to get to 2 gigs! Not only that it was Kaddish and Book Yer Ane Fest so a pretty solid 2/2. Maybe next year our wholly incompetent governments will fix the fuck ups caused by Brexit and their handling of a global health crisis. Probably not eh?

Music Shops

Thirteen Records survived its first year and both Assai and Le Freak are still here so that’s a pretty good going given how the year has went.

New Releases

I had the season tickets for Make That a Take and Specialist Subject again, but obviously due to inability for many bands to get into recording studios not as much came out as recent years. (see last year).

Given the rumours I’m hearing of plants being fully booked for next year, then we might be a bit more fucked for that too. The transportation and shipping costs and delays, again caused by you guessed it – completely incompetent governments hasn’t helped.
Some hardcore bands are concerned their sole 7″ EP will be released long after they have broken up instead of the usual timing for their final show. This is a crisis :/.


2Pac – Until The End Of Time – You know you are old when it’s time for the 20/25/30 anniversary of albums you remember coming out…
Alzo (Alan 2) – Explorers – Alzo spent lockdown churning out music at a rapid pace with the highlight being this ambient album.
Ani DiFranco – Ani DiFranco – Not much at RSD this time but what there was was cool.
Asian Dub Foundation – Access Denied – RSD release of one of the most overlooked UK hip hop groups.
Caithlin De Marrais – My Magic City – Caithlin released all 3 of her solo records on vinyl <3.
Caithlin De Marrais – Red Coats – Caithlin released all 3 of her solo records on vinyl <3.
Caithlin De Marrais – What Will You Do Then? – Caithlin released all 3 of her solo records on vinyl <3.
Czarface, MF Doom – Super What? – MF DOOM delivering for maybe the last time :(.
Death Rosenstock – Ska Dream – Ska Remix of the No Dreams album. Delayed forever in plants and eventually got here.
Deftones – White Pony – See also Avalanches. Two versions of the album – original and remixed. The remixes are breathtaking. They hit you like this album originally did.
Flinch. – Enough Is Enough – solo project by Beth from Slowlight. It’s enjoyable, go listen.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Come Find Yourself – I finally got a vinyl copy with the original album within it, but then Huey went and left. The last I had checked he still hadn’t publicly commented on leaving either :(.
Green Day – BBC Sessions – Not sure how many of these would have been released as B-sides etc, but it’s quite enjoyable.
Idlewild – Warnings / Promises – A long awaited pressing of this on vinyl for the first time. Pre-ordered it and waited, then about 2 weeks later Assai announced an indie exclusive version…
Lande Hekt – Going to Hell – Really enjoyable solo record by Lande from Muncie Girls.
Miles Davis – Champions (Rare Miles From The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions) – Session tracks which I don’t think previously came out.
Nina Simone And Her Friends – An Intimate Variety Of Vocal Charm – Containing 3 previously unreleased Nina Simone tracks so I had to get it.
Queequeg’s Coffin – Cú Beag – incredibly cool release package by the local geniuses.
Roddy Woomble – Lo! Soul – Roddy continued to release his solo work. This is good but I think I preferred his folk stuff more.
Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band – Egypt Strut – From RSD but I picked it up after that. Interesting Egyptian Jazz record.
Steve Reid Ensemble – Spirit Walk – Another cool jazz release from SJR.
Stonethrower – Legacies – In a pattern which is repeating here, delayed forever. Every second of this record is worth the wait.
Supermilk – Four By Three – There’s always a release I don’t enjoy from SSR every year, and sadly this gets to wear the crown this year.
The Avalanches – Since I Left You – Normally I avoid getting albums twice but a deluxe edition with the album and the album remixed was too much quality to pass up.

Various – Cuba: Music And Revolution (Culture Clash In Havana Cuba: Experiments In Latin Music 1973-85 Vol. 2) – Really cool compilation by the ever great Soul Jazz Records.
Various – Hidden Gems 2 – Colin continues collating some new bands together to introduce to folk.
Various – Silence Is A Dangerous Sound: A Tribute To Fugazi – Weird to hear lots of covers of an artist by a variety of bands you also like. Seas Starry are on it, so it’s good.
Various – TNSRecords Volume 4: Cheap Cans Broken Vans + Basement Bar Bands – Cool punk compilation featuring a bunch of bands I enjoy.

EPs and other stuff

Concept Car – Concept Car – One of the coolest looking releases I got all year. Tin with an embossed cassette and some other goodies. Go have a looksie.
Dog Eared – Our Boring Lives – One of the few MTAT releases of the year was this wee pop punk EP debut.
Dr Pish – Hings That Probably Happened But Maybe Didnae. – Music that probably was released but mibbe wisnae.
Fresh – The Summer I Got Good At Guitar – This band continues its run of consistently good releases. Long may it continue.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Scooby Snacks – Remixes record for RSD.
Platitudes – Further Meaningless – Experimental electronic record put out during lockdown.
Seas, Starry – Anatomy – The Aberdonian quartet have their EP finally out and it’s worth the delay.
Soot Sprite – Poltergeists – Another great EP by this band. Hoping they can tour at some point so I can see them.
The Bum-Clocks – Tree O’ Liberty – Tam Dean Burns group finally released something they recorded, in time for Burns Night.
Tragical History Tour – Live At Kesbri Studios – featuring some previously unreleased tracks.

Other stuff

25 Years of Idlewild Book: In The Beginning There Were Answers came out and was very good. Also gave some info on unreleased early Idlewild tracks which never came out. Some amazing photos and stories although it did lean towards the first couple of years and have sparse content past that.

CPRW Vinyl Challenge January 2021 was how I started the year and I think it burned out some enthusiasm for listening to new music daily. It was fun, but sorting everything out and planning it. Some days I kind of forced myself to listen to something after a hectic day etc. I definitely saw a tailing off of my music listening in the weeks afterwards.

31 Jan

CPRW Vinyl Challenge January 2021

I tend to avoid these thing a day events as I usually am not motivated by them. I’m conscious though that I spam pictures of records but generally before I’ve heard them so can’t really say much yet. Something to motivate me to look back at some music and write about it is probably good, as I normally just do 1 line at the end of the year if it fits. So, here’s a rundown of what I picked for the #cprwvinylchallenge2021 organised by Colin on Instagram who runs a great blog as well as other online stuff.

So I tried to set some groundrules for myself:
1. Try to stick to the letter of the rules as much as possible
2. Try to stick to the spirit of the rules as much as possible
3. Each artist once only
4. Well actually real punk is
5. Vinyl Only
6. Try to avoid records I have gushed about a lot (I break this once I think)

Ok, number 4 is a joke, based on gate-keeping arseholes. I would argue my pick for day 2 is very punk. I’m sure others would insist it has to be a band of musicians who conveniently look like them and play music they like. And music they dislike is what makes the not-punk list. But no-one cares about those losers opinions.

I listen to lot’s of types of music, it just so happens it’s mainly punk acts who I go to see live, and the challenge is run by a punk blog so that’s what’s gonna dominate but not be exclusive in the list.

The method of picking artists was steered by my discogs catalogue though, which forced me in some picks. I am trying to go through and re-listen to everything I own and grade it so I can then decide what to keep etc. They store an integer 1-5 rating so I use these as:
5: could listen to this any time
4: really good
3: ok and listenable
2: poor, unlikely to re-listen
1: garbage

So when a day asks for “best album of x year” I sort by rating and look for 5-star in that year etc. There are some complications though. I have a huge chunk of music on CD and not Vinyl including things I would have picked in this list. As I am re-listening there are things I haven’t got to yet. And worst of all, I have a bunch of re-issues and discogs is poor at showing you “your record is from 2020 but the original was 1991” etc. As my backlog is so large I also have music which came out last year which I haven’t listened to yet which then skips the yearly round-up post etc too.

Jan 1: Debut Album

Luniz – Operation Stackola.

So I decided to just completely break the rules on day 1. First the justification, and then the explanation.
The alternatives I had were chosen for days 8, 9 and one I posted about a lot very recently. I include I think 4 rap records and this is the first of them.

As a kid I didn’t really listen to music. The first stuff we listened to I think were a Best of Rap compilation, Snoop Dogg Doggystyle and then this. Next up was Method Man – Tical which was mind-blowing and if I had on vinyl would have immediately grabbed this spot. So I have always had a soft spot for this album.

On a re-listen there are parts which definitely have not aged well. Particularly Pimps, Playas & Hustlas, She’s Just A Freak etc. But when you listen to 900 Blame A N**** about harassment for racist cops in league with white supremicist. Fuck sake. After the 2020 we just had and this was 1995 and it could have just been written last year.

Jan 2: Concept/Themed Album

Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald And Friends ‎– Return To Y’Hup The World Of Ivor Cutler.

I struggled with this one as I don’t think I have many concept albums except Deltron3030 which I had re-posted a few days before the challenge began. Then I remembered this, and struggled to find where I had filed it. I mentioned in my 2020 In Music round-up that this was one of the first releases of last year coming out in January.

I had found Ivor Cutler through a workmate who was obsessed with the bizarre and surreal lyrics of the genius.

This is a collection of most of the big indie artists in Scotland covering or re-interpreting his work. It’s really really good, especially the cover of Women Of The World Take Over

Jan 3: Three Colour Vinyl

De La Soul ‎– 3 Feet High And Rising.

Another I really struggled with. There’s categories for splatter vinyl coming up etc, but it’s the closest I could get with 3 colours. This is the Vinyl Me Please remastered reissue.

In the rap world at the end of the 90s there were 2 important movements. One towards the gangsta rap of NWA etc, and one towards the more conscious rap. This album was instrumental in birthing that era. Mostly written and recorded when the group were teenagers at school, it contains so many samples that it very rarely gets repressed due to the issues trying to clear them all. So as well as the beginning of an era it also really marked the end of that era of hip hop which took music from everywhere and reforged it into new art freely.

Jan 4: Favourite Album Of 2020

Charmpit – Cause A Stir.

Probably no surprise to anyone who has heard me talk about this record. I don’t think it was even close and never even considered another candidate. I have a kind of weird interaction with new music/live acts. I try not to listen to music by a new band before I see them live due to a couple of poor experiences (one of which will come up later) where the recorded music was excellent but the live show poor. Similarly if I am sent a download code for a purchased record I don’t listen to it before the physical one arrives, which gets the first listen.

I had known there was a record coming out due to receiving the download code but hadn’t listened to it yet. Due to lockdown, Specialist Subject started a series of live-streaming events. I turned in just in time to catch the start of Charmpit. I quickly checked, yeah that’s the act I hadn’t heard anything by yet.
They then started doing covers of pop songs with costume changes during and between the songs just full of infectious energy. That carries over into their own music which was a breath of fresh air when it arrived.

Seriously, I can’t wait to get to a gig again. And I cannot wait to see this band live.

Step 1: Find a friend, JUST ONE, and they’ll have a friend
now that’s 3 of you, in a band
of course you can!

Part B: Pick a name, CUZ THAT’S FUN
have a vision and run with it
to open arms and ears.

First Time ya step on the stage
the right time, to make loads of mistakes
cuz that’s being a punk, and BEING A PUNK IS tons of FUN!

We couldn’t do it ourselves so we’re doing it together!

Dreams you’ve been holding onto forever and ever..

We couldn’t do it ourselves so we’re doing it together!

Oooooo if your first song smells it’ll just get better…

We couldn’t do it ourselves so we’re doing it together! (x2)

Jan 5: 12th Album On Your Shelf

Paris ‎– The Devil Made Me Do It.

Another hip hop act in the list, and here due to the spirit and letter of the law. “shelf” implies one. I currently have 5 shelves of records plus the boxes of 7s etc. When I checked 12 in on each shelf, there was an artist who I had to include later due to the few choices I had (although the pick for them would have been preferred). The other candidates were records I had very recently posted about or just singles which were meh.

Another conscious act, with political lyrics influenced by the Black Panthers and Nation of Islam.

The first single was banned from MTV, because of course it was.

Jan 6: No Members Identify As Men

Cayetana ‎– Nervous Like Me.

I later realised this sadly counts for Hiatus too :(.

This category I struggled with for a bunch of reasons, I’m not gonna excuse that but will try to contextualise/explain it.
Firstly punk-rock is a total sausage-fest. I mean there’s no denying that, and it means most groups are 3 men. So yay for this category to try and promote others.
But the biggest is that I’m pretty ignorant of who is involved in music I listen to. One of the reasons I spend time on Discogs catalogueing stuff is to try and learn some info. But I have albums I love and I couldn’t tell you the names of the artists involved, or what they looked like. For this (and another later) I had to scour through albums I loved and then look at the names/photos and make a judgement over if they counted. For many there were no photos, or website links, or more importantly – statements from the band saying what their pronouns were etc. There are some albums I considered but when checking I saw that although it was a woman singer and guitarist it was a guy on drums etc, and I didn’t know beforehand. Other groups had large lists of members and some groupshots showed all women, but others had men, and I had no idea the line up on the record I had as it didn’t credit the performers.

If you also struggled with this category please go watch So, which band is your boyfriend in?. I’ll be honest that I started with some acts from it, but the ones I had music of had men involved.

Jan 7: Stunning 7″

The Bombpops – Dear Beer

I very briefly said at the time, but I was pretty underwhelmed when I saw the band live. I hinted at it earlier, partially because I saw some videos and heard the album first. And Fear Of Missing Out was very good, I considered for debuts. But the live show I saw them at really soured me on them a bit. It was about 50% music and 50% stage banter/talking about drinking. I know nothing about the band though so could be they were just super excited to be on a European tour and were thrilled at being able to drink under the US age or something? I would definitely go see them again to see if it was a one-off.

Jan 8: Pretty Vinyl When Spinning

Save Ends ‎– Warm Hearts, Cold Hands.

One of the few albums I have briefly taken the time to write about. This album is incredibly good. But top tip: buy their music direct from the band, there were reports of the label they released some stuff on not paying artists properly.

Jan 9: All-Time Classic

Jurassic 5 ‎– Jurassic 5.

Another consideration for best debut. When this was released I had started to lose interest in hip hop. There were a few artists I still followed but others I later loved I hadn’t found yet (The Roots etc) and some I had loved had started releasing really poor records (thanks No Limit Records), and others were now dead (rip 2Pac).

Then this album came out and sounded like a fusion of conscious and old school hip hop opening with In The Flesh

Cause it’s the J-U-R-A
Capital S another S-I-C
5 MC’s in the flesh

And the absolutely genius Concrete Schoolyard

I live in America but fuck this Government

I have so many memories tied to this album, from constantly playing it in college and uni to tracks from it being played at Coalesce.

Jan 10: Album That Turns 10 in 2021

Juffage ‎– Semicircle.

I really struggled for a pick here with only this category, only other candidates were 2 Miles Davis and a Deftones covers album making the grade.

I saw him live around the time the album came out with Esperi and was blown away by how great he was.

Earlier this year I re-listened to this, having forgotten how good it was and checked out the rest of his catalogue. The Juffage bandcamp had a bunch of stuff including some physical releases. I ordered everything and received a wee note from him thanking me and including a bonus copy of his earlier bands work. Shows the real human interactions you can have with musicians and how much they appreciate you supporting them.

Jan 11: Splatter Vinyl

Shit Present ‎– Shit Present.

Opens with amazing vocals from Iona who appears on some Great Cynics releases too. Some contenders had been Rungs – Rungs EP, Stöj Snak – ScreamerSongwriter, Milk Teeth – Vile Child and The Offspring – Self Esteem

Jan 12: Live Album

Miles Davis ‎– Live-Evil.

Another category I struggled with, I ended up searching for albums with Live in the title which may have missed some with live tracks. I think most of the Live music I have is digital or CD only. Miles Davis has long been a favourite, and I’ve given out a fair few copies of Kind of Blue over the years to curious folks.

Jan 13: On Hiatus/Split-Up Band

Fugazi ‎– 3 Songs. I think the 13 Songs compilation is my favourite of their releases but without it on vinyl, I’ll go for their next EP.

Again, I struggled to pick a band on hiatus, some haven’t released music for ages (including one later which I originally had here til I checked) but finding info about their status is hard.

Jan 14: 10″

Broken Stories ‎– It’ll Be Alright.

Kevin and Gillian are geniuses and this EP is incredible. I still can’t believe they have only released 2 EPs, some of it being a rework of Kevins solo record. Incredible folk punk music. This record contains probably their 4 best songs. Hearing Playing On Repeat in a packed room, a week after the death of his friend it was written about and more of his friends in the room was heart-breaking. Track 1 Cabin Fever sums up the lockdown energy we’re all experiencing.

Isolated from the world,
Sitting here at home,
Vegging out all day

Jan 15: Split Record

Calvinball / ONSIND / Apologies, I Have None ‎– Calvinball / ONSIND / Apologies, I Have None.

I have so many split records, but this had to win just because three artists were all covering each others music, not sure if that sneaks into the concept category too. What made it weird for me was I only knew 2 of the bands so the tracks were a band I don’t know covering two tracks I know, then 2 bands I know covering a track of each other and of the new to me bands. Great way to hear music by a new artist and appreciate some tracks by bands you like.

Jan 16: Favourite Album Artwork

Flying Lotus ‎– Flamagra.

This had to win, no question. Pop up artwork – you don’t get that with your MP3 downloads. As much as I rave about how great vinyl is as a format, when it comes to art saying “it’s bigger” sounds a bit trite, so it’s amazing to see someone make full use of the format.

The Kamasi Washington ‎– The Epic boxset might have been a contender if one of the LPs in it wasn’t sealed behind perforated cardboard and cutting it out hadn’t splattered the record and everything else with shards of cardboard. Still furious.

Jan 17: Collection From One Band

3 Colours Red.

This was a difficult choice, as there are a bunch of artists I try to collect the catalogue of. For some of them the vast majority of the stuff I have is CD, or is not available on vinyl. I also considered picking them for the “3 Colours” challenge, cos puns are good and clever.

Although they have 4 albums, only 2 are on vinyl and I have them both so that definitely counts enough, especially as the later 2 aren’t anywhere near as good as the first 2. I have all their singles bar one which was CD only.

I’m sure I’ve shared this story before, but when seeing them at T in the Park it was absolutely sweltering. Starting to dehydrate a bit levels of hot. Then as soon as they started the first notes of Beautiful Day a rain shower started. Ending just as the song did. It’s probably the closest I’ve ever come to understand when people talk about spiritual moments.

Age Of Madness is an incredible song, and I love it. But just due to the story above:

Jan 18: Blue Vinyl

Muncie Girls ‎– From Caplan To Belsize.

Another contender for debut. I have a massive pile of blue vinyl (it seems a common choice), but this album is really really good punk. Being colour blind, blue is one of the few colours I can identify many shades of, so I appreciate nice blue vinyl in a way those of you with good eyes probably view most other colour variants. It’s also why I like splatter, because it’s easy for me to tell what’s happening apart, even if what I think is a red bit is a green bit :).

Jan 19: Signed Album

The A Forest / Mercury Tilt Switch ‎– Dialogue 4.

Ok, I admit this one is a bit of a stretch. It’s in the spirit but not letter of the rules. It’s not an album, and is a split where I have it signed by one band. But look how many of them there are – I have three copies. And I could tag some members of the band and make them laugh. 500 were made, no idea how many are signed, but I have 0.6% of the total pressings.

Jan 20: Album That Turns 20 In 2021

Roots Manuva ‎– Run Come Save Me. To be honest I think I prefer the Dub remix album (but only have it on CD), and posted recently so felt bad but wow. Unless discogs data is lacking, 2001 was a poor one for music. I had some CDs which would count, some re-issues and some compilations but this one kind of stood alone in my collection. Musicians 20 years ago – get your fingers our and make better music I like please.

Jan 21: Record Received As Gift

Dunderfunk ‎– Brick Cat EP.

Another category I struggle with. I’ve swapped tons of records. I’ve received tons of CDs as gifts. I’ve given away loads of records. But I couldn’t think of many I had received as gifts.

Jan 22: Hidden Gem

Kaddish ‎– Thick Letters To Friends.

What else could it be other than the best record ever to come out of Dundee, and limited to 300 pressings. They released a self-titled before this otherwise it would have been a snap inclusion for debut.

Jan 23: Band With POC Member(s)

Bullyrag ‎– Jump Up In A Fashion.

Another difficult one, I ended up scouring a bunch of artists profiles trying to see what they looked like. Another couple of contenders I queried friends as from photos it looked like they may count, but I wasn’t sure. Didn’t want to take the easy route and pick a hip hop group etc.

Jan 24: Picture Disc

Fun Lovin’ Criminals ‎– Scooby Snacks

I really, really don’t like picture discs. So only had a couple of candidates. Given the choice of inclusion the band which bridged me from hip hop to rock it was a no-brainer.

100% Columbian (their best album) was 12 in on my shelf, but had to be dropped to include this here. I’ve seen this band 20+ times live and every time their show has been great. Probably embedded from the first time I saw them live – on my 18th birthday. From Dundee to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth I’ve followed them round seeing them on almost every tour.

Does their live show always contain this song, their one hit wonder? Yes. Is it their best song? Not by a mile that would be Southside. They always had bizarre, amazing and original warm-up acts. The best of which was a busker from New York they brought on their European tour.

Jan 25: Your Favourite Lyricist

Rainer Maria ‎– A Better Version Of Me.

I thought they were a contender for hiatus (they reformed and then released nothing since, so not sure on status), and their Look Now, Look Again album is probably my favourite but the lyrics in Artificial Light, this albums opener, and the delivery are incredible.

No one defies artificial light. Simultaneous sitting ‘til you atrophy. Maybe you try to be pretty instead of kind. Why is this technology an anathema to me? If I could just breathe it out… I could always breathe back in. I’ll cut all your wires. I never cared. Cut all your wires. What can be there? It’s dead. And all the invisible arcs are caught in my head.

Why is this technology an anathema to me?. Are you kidding me? Beautiful.

Whilst chatting about music at work, we had the topic of favourite live set. I chose this Rainer Maria one as it was what I found after they had been on hiatus and let me know they were back. Someone replied that they would be watching it because they had been at the gig! The lucky sod.

Jan 26: Favourite Colour Vinyl

Franz Nicolay ‎– To Us The Beautiful.

Seeing Franz solo is always amazing. His recorded music is the opposite of the issue I mentioned above. I never find it enraptures me as much, maybe it’s the random skits, or full band or something. I don’t know. This was the first splatter vinyl I ever got so it feels right to give it pride of place here.

Jan 27: Future Classic (Last 3 Years)

Please, Believe! ‎– .​.​.​In Potential.

Live or recorded, this band are just amazing. This is an album I will be playing for years to come.

Some contenders – Muncie Girls – Future Ideals (above), Kaddish – What World Was Still? (above), Poverty Bar ‎– Vive La Bagatelle, Charmpit – Cause A Stir (above), Misfortune Cookie – Heavy Seas

Jan 28: Soundtrack

The Last Poets ‎– Right On! (Original Soundtrack)

Again, a bit barren, and many of the soundtracks I have I bought recently so didn’t want to post again (Dune etc).

But given the inclusion of a bunch of hip hop and jazz it felt fine to include a group who were a huge influence on many rappers.

Jan 29: Most Recent Purchase

Lande Hekt – Going To Hell.

This skirts the rules a wee bit. She appears in another act picked – Muncie Girls, and also another parcel arrived today with 2 records. But this came out this month, the other 2 were a 20 year old repress of People Under The Stairs and the much delayed vinyl release of Eminems latest. And unlike Lande, Eminem didn’t write a note thanking me for the purchase, not even as his Stan alter ego.

It’s something I mentioned in the entry about Juffage before too, but I love the connection that loads of the artists I enjoy have with their fans. Sometimes it’s some stickers chucked in, or a note, or like Deeker of MTAT sometimes scribbled messages checking you’re doing well on the record stiffeners etc.

Other records in the new pile, waiting to see which arrived last were Hamburger, some Michael Marra 7s and a big pile of Senser singles.

Jan 30: Album That Turns 30 in 2021

Green Day ‎– Kerplunk!.

Unlike some later years picks, this one was tough! This edged out over NWA – Efil4zaggin, Ice Cube – Death Certificate and The Jam – Greatest Hits. An amazing album, and is probably their second best. Behind Dookie. Obviously behind Insomniac

Jan 31: Band You’re Looking Forward To Releasing Music In 2021


I struggled with this just because I have no idea who is planning to or will release music this year. The first purchase of the year was Queequeg’s Coffin – Cú Beag about a minute after it went on sale but is not on vinyl.

But, I really anticipate another release by Alldeepends and hope one happens. Their Hello My Name Is is so so good, and if it wasn’t for the album part of the criteria on the 4th it might have slipped in. A 4 track EP they made videos for each track on. What the fuck. Cannae wait to be at one of their shows.

This is like how they make Star Wars now

This is Dundee

This is a park in Dundee (it’s a good park, go there)

This is the back of every show you’ve ever been to “we have merch thanks for coming, this is our last song”

Wait, how could you miss?

Due to the people who invented our terrible calendar that left me 31 artists to choose from (ok I broke that with the menagerie on the Cutler record) which meant a bunch are missing. Some I wanted to include, some people might expect me to include so I’ll mention a few here.


So out of collection I considered 2Pac obviously. But at the time I collected most vinyl was disappearing from shops, and hip hop vinyl was even harder to find in the UK. So the massive collection I have is mainly CD, and I don’t have anywhere near as much on vinyl with some huge gaps. A physical collection doesn’t really do justice either given the various editions of the unreleased tracks, and the later re-edited tracks which came out etc.

His exclusion is one of the reason I included Paris though, to cover the same sort of genre of hip hop.

Jesus & His Judgemental Father

I really wanted to include these in the hiatus band, but Fugazi just won out due to the massive influence they had, and the impact their return would have.

Billie Holiday

If there was a category for best singer she would be a snap inclusion, I have maintained for almost 30 years that she’s the greatest singer to have ever lived. Even now, listening to Strange Fruit still sends shivers down my spine.

24 Dec

2020 In Music

Time for the almost annual and almost end of the year look back at music after 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.


So I probably went to some gigs but it was last about 9 months ago and I can’t even remember. Fuck 2020. Fuck our governments at every level. Watching some musicians play in their living room wasn’t the same. I just want to go to a gig. And after a year of music venues being left to die Brexit’s gonna fuck over most bands I would give a shit about seeing from touring. Fuck 2020. Fuck our governments.

Music Shops

Grouchos closed. Fuck 2020. Thankfully the former staff went ahead and opened up a great new shop, Thirteen Records, in the now pedestrianised Union Street.

New Releases

I had the season tickets for Make That a Take and Specialist Subject again, but obviously due to inability for many bands to get into recording studios not as much came out as recent years.


2Pac ‎– Me Against The World – Finally got his best album on vinyl when the 25th anniversary rolled round.
AJJ ‎– Good Luck Everybody – Good folk punk album, the UK release caused some confusion for their archivist as their promo images didn’t reflect the release.
Alhaji (Chief) Prof. Kollington Ayinla And His Fuji ’78 Organisation ‎– Blessing – really cool afro-funk release. Yet again Soul Jazz with the obscure quality.
The Avalanches ‎– We Will Always Love You – way more laid back than their first album, and didn’t hear any stand out songs like Frontier Psychiatrist etc.
BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah ‎– Sour Soul – Repress of hip hop collaboration. Well worth checking out.
Matt Berry ‎– Phantom Birds – Pretty disappointing. I’d heard some music so had high hopes but it’s a bit meh. Can’t see me having the urge to listen again to be honest.
Bob Vylan ‎– We Live Here – Fuck yeah, Bob Vylan was one of the great finds of this year. Cool fusion of hip hop and punk.
Broken Social Scene – Live At Third Man Records – Great live album. I miss seeing them live. They were great live. Being in a room with musicians entertaining you is good. And important. Fuck 2020.
Charmpit ‎– Cause A Stir – The first time I heard anything by this band was the week before this was released as part of a livestreamed houseshow where they performed pop covers with costume changes. Simply amazing.
Cherbourg Harps Assembly ‎– Covered​-​19 (A Benefit Compilation for Willows Animal Sanctuary) – Seas, Starry subset released to make money for an animal sanctuary.
Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald And Friends ‎– Return To Y’Hup The World Of Ivor Cutler – Absolutely massive collection of artists covering some songs by the oft-overlooked Ivor Cutler. Man 2020 started with a bang and was looking great for music.
Deftones ‎– Ohms – Surprisingly good recent album by band I’d skipped the past few of.
Dr Pish ‎– Popular Songs – If nothing else you should listen to Hings Vegans Might Eat. Best reaction I heard was “Is this Limmy having a mental breakdown?”.
The Duke Of Portland ‎– The Duke Of Portland – Pretty cool find of a previously unheard album. Some of the lyrics haven’t aged well but an important release.
Miles Davis ‎– Double Image // Rare Miles From The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions – rarities compilation for RSD by one of the most important jazz musicians.
Erica Freas ‎– Young – wonderful punk album by someone who takes part in the great Flick Through Podcast.
Frightened Rabbit ‎– The Winter Of Mixed Drinks – awesome repress with a live single.
Idlewild ‎– Captain – finally a vinyl release for the bands second best album. Waited a long time and it delivers.
Illuminati Hotties ‎– Free I.H: This Is Not The One You’ve Been Waiting For – pretty great indie release, found them via ppl-plzr.
June Of 44 ‎– Engine Takes To The Water – Another post-rock release for RSD.
June Of 44 ‎– Tropics And Meridians – One of the Record Store Day releases, class math rock.
Kaddish ‎– Two Demos – Kaddish got some physical copies made of their first demos on cassette. They, and everyone else noticed the stupid prices their first two LPs are selling for online too. Kaddish records, ecossemo pension funds.
Kerbdog ‎– Kerbdog – Repressed at last. Hopefully no more 3 figure ebay auctions for the originals now.
Kerbdog ‎– On The Turn – Finally a repress. Yes. 100%. Class, go buy it.
The Kimberly Steaks ‎– Confessions of a Justified Cynic – Weegievilles greatest Kerplunk-era Green Day tribute act.
The Lovely Eggs ‎– I Am Moron – pretty cool garage rock I found out through the Flick Through podcast.
The Menzingers ‎– Chamberlain Waits – a good punk release. On THIS RSD. Etc.
Muncie Girls ‎– B​-​Sides The Point – B-sides by one of SSR’s best bands.
Paper Rifles ‎– Traitor’s Hill – Second album by the band, pretty damn good, and been making some big lists for best albums of the year.
Paper Rifles ‎– Lockdown Covers – Not content dropping a studio album they also released a covers album. The Mel C and Bryan Adams song is a banger (featuring the awesome Beth from Slowlight). The Idlewild one is just perfect.
Pillow Queens ‎– In Waiting – Brilliant Irish band whose State of the State is definitely worth a look too.
Raised Fist ‎– Sound Of The Republic – Weird to spot some Hardcore record as part of Record Store Day. Pretty gid.
Refused ‎– Not Fit For Broadcast (Live At The BBC) – Live set released as part of Record Store Day. I love Refused.
Enrique Rodríguez & The Negra Chiway Band ‎– Fase Liminal – Chilean spiritual jazz. Really really good.
Jeff Rosenstock ‎– No Dream – anti-folk hero back with another banger after 2019s surprise day 1 release.
Scotland in the 80s ‎– The Dreary Heather Club – absolutely class folk album released by a geographically dispersed group of artists.
Gil Scott-Heron, Makaya McCraven ‎– We’re New Again (A Reimagining By Makaya McCraven) – really enjoyable jazz album.
Stöj Snak ‎– Life, Death And Everything In Between – Great follow up to the phenomenal debut album. It’s not as good, but most second albums aren’t.
Stonethrower ‎– Legacies – great ecossemo release with proceeds going to Rad Apples and a racial justice charity.
The Strangers Almanac ‎– Daisies of the Galaxy – Mr E “Mark Everett” Eels gets called out by local artist who clearly got ripped off by him and releases completely original album Mr Eels covered and made huge.
Wrest ‎– Coward Of Us All – great find of new Edinburgh band who are FRabbit-esque.

Various ‎– A Compilation Vol​.​2 – Another venue fundraiser. Fucking 2020. Fuck.
Various ‎– Blue Note Re:imagined 2020 – absolutely brilliant re-interpretation of Blue Note tracks.
Various ‎– Brazil Funk Power – Soul Jazz with a Brazilian Funk collection for RSD.
Stereo Verlag ‎– Die Stereo Hörtest-Edition Vol. IV Visions Of Jazz – really cool jazz compilation which came with a CD and download code, which I hadn’t seen before.
Various ‎– Dune (Original Soundtrack Recording) – RSD release of the Toto-centred classic. Picked up in eager anticipation of the 2020 release of the Dune part 1 film. Fuck 2020.
Various ‎– Furlough Your Dreams – SSR rarities available for 24hours, the cover of which was later released as a shirt.
Various ‎– Hidden Gems – Colin released a whole bunch of massive compilations this year, and I haven’t got them all but this was some great punk stuff.
Various ‎– Hope In The Face Of Fear – quality compilation of black metal artists.
Various ‎– Kaleidoscope (New Spirits Known & Unknown) – Soul Jazz Records history of releases is so good I blind-purchase every jazz release I see from them. Compilation of a bunch of contemporary jazz artists.
Various ‎– Lockdown Unplugged – another compilation for a mental health charity. See the theme this year :(.
Various ‎– Music Venue Trust – fundraiser compilation for venues abandoned for months by the clusterfuck government.

EPs and other stuff

Alldeepends ‎– Hello My Name Is – If you have this you know how amazing it is. If you don’t have this, you are wrong and should rectify it immediately. Short run of the physical release but digital purchases are infinite.
Biffy Clyro ‎– Moderns – Wasn’t please by price but got these covers of Frightened Rabbit on Record Store Day as it was funding for the great Tiny Changes charity.
Cherym ‎– Weird Ones – Cherym are great and I missed not seeing them at BYAF this year :(.
Concept Car ‎– Luxury Interior – Cool electronic EP after some tracks dropped one by one.
Gone Wishing ‎– Hidden Not Hiding – One of the first releases of the year.
Goodbye Blue Monday ‎– Self​-​Indulgent One​-​Take Woefuls – Acoustic versions of some of their great songs.
Lipsick! ‎– Sicksongs – One of the best bands Dundee produced had a bunch of their work put online by a bored member on lockdown.
The Marx ‎– Musk Family Emerald Mine – localish punk outfit with snazzy suits.
Min Diesel ‎– Mints – another hidden gem of the Scottish music scene. Get on it.
Order Of The Wolf ‎– Split With Pessimista – Another split by the great local black metal artist.
Seas, Starry ‎– Larsson Dreams of Germans / Hey Koala – Aberdeens finest with a couple of new tracks.
Spectral Child ‎– Moribund Kingdom – quality dark ambient release.
Spectral Child ‎– Isolationism – second release by them. Check them out.
Toodles & The Hectic Pity ‎– Ghosts, Guilt & Grandparents – pretty cool punk release from SSR.
Tragical History Tour / Order Of The Wolf ‎– To The Chaos – great split with a punk and black metal interpretation of the same track.
Woolen ‎– Wrap Up Warm, It’s Cold Out There – randomly found Fife emo. Fifemo.
Wrest ‎– A World That Has Left You Unspoken – lockdown ep by the Edinburgh based band.
Yndi Halda ‎– Acoustic – acoustic versions of some of the post-rock bands releases.

Music still in the ‘to listen’ pile/Other Music I discovered

My to listen pile is far far too big to even dig into. I finally managed to sort out my digital media library and am slowly working through listening to it. I still have a ridiculous pile of CDs to rip, and a massive pile of records to listen to and file. I also caught up with some of the backlog and listened to a bunch of stuff, but maintaining that list is just ridiculous so can’t be faffed. Near the heat death of the universe when I have listened to all the music I own I’ll do some “best music” type post to document stuff I love. Pinky promise.


I submitted a massive amount of digital music to discogs over the year and was in the top 10 for the month for some months. This was a precursor to a project I kicked off but stalled with. It may become public next year but #effort.

Music goals for 2020

Started ripping more of collection as FLAC. Once I get through I will re-rip things I have as MP3. Also need to then sort and try to sell off the stuff I don’t like. That required actually listening to the music I own though…
Still have a massive pile of 12s to get through but the vast majority are sorted and I’ve made some passes through and sold off some stuff I disliked or had duplicates of.
Made some progress in my 7s. The awkwardness of listening to a track and flipping makes it difficult to do when reading a book etc so will probably get nowhere near completed until I’ve sorted through the 12s.

12 Sep

Goodbye Grouchos

After around 44 years, we heard the news yesterday which had seemed inevitable that Grouchos was closing for good.

Grouchos closed

Sadly, last year Breeks – the owner died. The year before the shop had also been at risk when it was thought the building it is in was being sold.

So when lockdown ended and it became one of the few shops to not re-open or post updates on social media it was pretty obvious that it looked to be in trouble.

As may be obvious from the main content of this blog now, Grouchos was a regular haunt of mine going back to the mid 90s.

I was too young to have been in the older Perth Rd stores, but had been in the cramped one under the Angus Hotel a couple of times. This was just when I was just getting into music though so I don’t remember buying anything from there. When they moved into the Overgate though I was in around 3 times a week. This shop seemed massive and was a total treasure trove for a teenager digging into tons of different genres at the time.

Later they moved to the final location on the end of the Perth Rd which again seemed like a big increase in floor space.

The vast majority of what I bought from Grouchos was probably CDs, closely followed by Records. I went through a period of raiding their DVDs for cheapo horror flicks and probably some old cassettes way back too.

Tickets for the occasional gig or festival were bought from there too, although most gigs I go to are pay on the door.

And then of course I bought a stereo from there at one point and recently a stereo.

They covered other things too though, posters, t-shirts, badges and local fanzines and magazines. It’s pretty fair to say they were a Dundee institution and most people in Dundee have stepped through their door at one point or another.

The one good piece of news from it though is that some of the staff are opening a new record store soon. Given it was their knowledge and expertise that made Grouchos work it seems fair to say the spirit of it will live on under a different name.

So for people in Dundee looking for music, what options are there?

Assai opened a few years back in the Ferry and have now moved into the city centre and expanded into Edinburgh too. Only selling new records, they have a handful of local-ish releaases, run a label to release some music, put on some local gigs and also sell some decent turntables etc too. They have a loyalty scheme which takes a little burn out of the premium you pay for some of their releases.

Le Freak Records opened a few years ago in a small unit on the Perth Rd near the Hawkhill junction. Almost all second hand with a small selection of new releases, they also support a bunch of local releases too and have a decent selection of Hip Hop and Jazz on occasion too. Definitely worth keeping an eye on their social media where they frequently post new acquisitions so you can call dibs on them.

Thirteen Records are still being renovated so not sure what they will stock yet, but quite hopeful given it’s the former Grouchos staff opening it. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

HMV are the last major standing in the city. Virgin dying after putting all their eggs in the Woolworths distribution basket. Pretty large selection but definitely over-priced. Definitely one for impulse buys rather than bargains.

Oxfam is probably the best of the charity shops for music, also having a large selection of books. Definitely requires multiple visits to find the gems but sometimes you find some amazing stuff in there. The rest of the charity shops have a tiny selection, generally poor condition and you assume is what other second hand stores wouldn’t buy.

Record Fairs it’s unclear what’s going to happen with these, they have understandably been off for the past few months but it looks like one is scheduled for November. Some of the punters may need some education on social distancing though, as I grumble about the rude guy trying to dig into the same box I was already going through last time. Some stallholders only occassionally turn up, others have been regulars for decades. Definitely miss the pair from Aberdeen who used to have tons of imported hip hop, but recommend visiting Rob at 5050 who always has a great selection of Soul Jazz, alternative and Scottish releases.

01 Jan

2019 In Music

Time for the almost annual and almost end of the year look back at music after 2018, 2017 and 2016.


Book Yer Ane Fest 2019 happened in a much smaller venue due to Abertay Union continuing to be a joke. Can’t organise a student pub. There were a ton of local gigs, with far fewer I was able to attend than I hoped. Savage Mansion were pretty cool. Tim Loud was awesome as ever. Get It Together had their LP launch gig. Poverty Bar and Min Diesel played an amazing gig. Kaddish played at least 3 times in Dundee, somehow. Queequeg’s Coffin launched their EP alongside Rag n Bone Man. Missed Fresh play, again, which was a bit gutting.

New Releases

Photo of top Instagram posts of 2019

I had the season tickets for Make That a Take and Specialist Subject again, and would heartily encourage anyone else to do so too.

This Way Up in Dundee were a source of a lot of new releases but they sadly closed the same month that Assai moved into the city centre. With a great range of weird and experimental music they are fast becoming a necessary visit when in the area. Grouchos is still the best second hand store in town although sadly Breeks died this year. Le Freak Records have been going through a massive collection from a DJ too which includes a huge amount of hip hop I’m working my way through.


Adult Magic – Adult Magic – great wee punk album via SSR.
American Football – American Football – LP3 from the most original album namers in history.
Asian Dub Foundation – Rafi’s Revenge – Great re-release of one of the best UK hip hop albums.
Bad Sleep – Self Titled – Every year there’s one release on Specialist I’m not sold on and this was it. Not for me.
Billy Bragg – Best Of Billy Bragg At The BBC 1983 – 2019 – pretty good compilation of live sessions.
British Sea Power – Disco Elysium OST – the atmospheric soundtrack to the surprisingly good game of the year.
Broken Social Scene – Let’s Try The After Vol 1&2 – Annoying way to collect these via Record Store Day but brilliant as ever.
Common – Let Love – Never a step wrong from Common. Well worth a listen.
De La Soul – 3 Feet High And Rising – VMP repress of the classic debut.
De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead – VMP pressing of the great album by hip hop legends.
DJ Shadow – Our Pathetic Age – Fantastic new release from artist who always releases gems.
DOOM – Born Like This – Still can’t believe I ignored this artist for so long.
Experience Unlimited – Free Yourself – Another funk album which often came up in ‘crazy cover’ type lists which VMP repressed.
Flying Lotus – Flamagra – Jazzy hip hop release in a bizarre special edition release
Fresh – Withdraw – probably one of my favourite albums of the year – punk/emo on Specialist Subject Records.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Another Mimosa – Not bad for band going 25 years on from their one wonder hit.
Gang Starr – Step In The Arena – when an absolute classic gets re-released after almost 30 years and still sounds as fresh as ever.
Garden Centre – A Moon For Digging – pretty great weird pop indie from SSR.
Get It Together – Live Free – the best kind of hardcore that central Scotland can produce. Pure braw.
The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike – Fifteen year anniversary release of the classic album. Strange how time has dilated and so many albums this year had 15/20/25 year anniversaries. Especially when some just came out a decade ago in the 90s…
Hovvdy – Heavy LIfter – Another great indie release from Specialist Subject.
Idlewild – Interview Music – After the last couple I was surprised just how good this album is. Obviously no Hope Is Important but far surpasses the other recent releases.
The Jam – Snap! – rerelease of the compilation that comes with the original 7″ which shipped too.
Jimmy Eat World – Surviving – pretty good 10th album, although nothing majorly stands out.
Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage – Bad Wiring – Always been a fan of his live shows and this latest LP is a good effort for Mr AntiFolk.
Billy Liar – Some Legacy – Pretty strange hearing all these tracks together after hearing most of them live over the past few years.
Misfortune Cookie – Heavy Seas – Hadn’t seen these awesome folks til they headlined one of the days stages at BYAF. I had however seen most of them in other bands. All of which were as awesome as them. Pick up the album, it’s gorgeous and you won’t regret it.
The Murderburgers – What A Mess – turned out to be the final release from Fraser and his interchangeable ensemble of pals. RIP Murderburgers :(. Their final set was at Book Yer Ane Fest though so at least I saw them one last time before they called it a day.
Nat Turner Rebellion – Laugh To Keep From Crying – amazing release with an incredible story behind it. A total disappointment the direction Vinyl Me Please took not long afterwards.
Pixies – Beneath The Eyrie – Another surprisingly good release from a band that’s been going forever.
Please, Believe! – .​.​.​In Potential – They finally released a physical version early this year. Ecossemo. Get on it.
Queens Of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf – A much needed repress finally appeared of this impossible to find album on vinyl.
Thee Rag N Bone Man* – The Buckfast Holocaust – noisy one Man punk band.
The Roots – Things Fall Apart – 20th anniversary release of one of the best hip hop albums of all time.
The Roots ‎– The Tipping Point – 15th Anniversary re-release of their sixth album too.
Pharoah Sanders / John Hicks / Curtis Lundy / Idris Muhammed – Africa – another cracking jazz release from This Way Up.
Savage Mansion – Revision Ballads – pretty good alt-rock release on Lost Map.
Shhe – Shhe – Beautiful experimental album by localish Shhe.
Slingshot Dakota – Heavy Banding – And again, quit it SSR, you’re shaming fowk now.
The Specials – Encore – I was more impressed by this than I thought I would be.
Mark Stewart + Maffia – Learning To Cope With Cowardice / The Lost Tapes – Pretty weird industrial noise.
Scott Wainwright – Sentimental Debris – pretty great blues album by someone I had never seen until he played with Tim Loud.
Witching Waves – Persistence – It was disappointing to have a second meh-ish Specialist album but hey ho.
Woahnows – Young And Cool – pretty good noisy indie

Various – Congo Revolution (Revolutionary And Evolutionary Sounds From The Two Congos 1955-62) – another obscure collection of mid-century jazz which doubtless few people here heard at the time.
Various – Dae Yer Ane Sampler III – Everything that’s came out on MTAT in the last wee while.
Various – The Daisy Age – pretty great compilation of some early conscious hip hop.
Various – If You’re Not Part Of The Solution… (Soul, Politics And Spirituality In Jazz 1967 To 1975) – Pretty great Jazz release from Soul Jazz Records. Amazing how few of their releases have been misses.
Various – Space Funk (Afro Futurist Electro Funk In Space 1976-84) – Got a lot fewer Soul Jazz records this year with This Way Up closing. This was a strange release. Not sure if I’d recommend it but it’s certainly different.
Various – Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ – Originally planned for the tenth anniversary of the albums release, it was delayed after Scott died. Some great interpretations of the tracks on it.

EPs and other stuff

The Cairngorms Young Team – Straight To Video – time for an electronic/chip tunes styl affair then.
The Cairngorms Young Team – Car Wash Variations 1 – Love Dies Here – trying his hand at experimental electronic goodness this time.
The Cairngorms Young Team – Black Market Organs – Minimalist versions of some of the work released by him.
Fresh – Cinema Woes – Fresh should stop being this awesome it’s not fair on other bands 🙂
Poverty Bar – Girl Everything / Hungarian Blues – another small limited run split from Poverty Bar.
Queequeg’s Coffin – Daddy – genre busting duo of roasters bringing more noise than your normal four piece.
Seas, Starry – Spooky Witch – Spooooooky Halloween tunes from the Aberdonian post-rock crew.
Shhe – Eyes Shut – first release I heard by Shhe.
Soot Sprite – Sharp Tongue – Another fine indie/punk release from Specialist Subject.
The Specials – 10 Commandments / You’re Wondering Now – 7″ from RSD featuring Saffiyah Khan.
Stöj Snak / Speed Dinosaurs – The Mass Extinction Split – new split 7″ which follows on in style from Screamer Songwriter
Spoke Too Soon – Your Own Creation – pretty cool emo record from a band I found at BYAF.
Too Slow / Min Diesel – Split 7″ – small release indie/punk split 7s are a classic of the genre. Worth getting if you can find it.

Various – Boombox 45 (Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro And Disco Rap 1979-82) – Soul Jazz knocking it out the park again with this collection of early hip hop singles.

Music still in the ‘to listen’ pile

It’s been tough keeping up with what I’ve got this year and tons still hasn’t been listened to yet.
Gang Starr – One Of The Best Yet – gave this a quick listen when it was first online and it was great. On my second physical copy, neither of which plays right on my set up but do on others. Guess I need to spend some time figuring out what is wrong.
Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert – Cut To Black

Other Music I discovered

I normally do a list of older stuff I found, but I got a wee bit more than usual including massive amounts of hip hop from Le Freak and a huge emo/hardcore collection from Grouchos. So lets skip that…


Carried on submitting and editing tons on Discogs. I got copies of Great Scots Musicography and Rip It Up to help with sourcing info too.

Music goals for 2019

Sort out my CD singles. I need to rip as MP3, sort them out and then clear out the unwanted/duplicates. – barely scratched the surface.
Sort through CD Album collection. This is all ripped now but a large part is unsorted. I need to sort, sell off and pack up the bulk of it. – most packed up, but not sorted.
Finish listening to and sorting my 7″s. – made a slight dent in before I bought more 12s…
In 2018 I finished off a couple of artists collections so I will probably identify a couple more and try to find the missing pieces of their catalogue over the course of the year. – tried to finish off Motormark but one was hard to find, and one got lost in the French postal system for months.

13 Jan

2018 In Music

Time for the almost annual and almost end of the year look back at music after 2017 and 2016.


Gig wise the only large one I attended was Broken Social Scene in Glasgow. The show was phenomenal, and it was a great to see a band I never thought I would ever see. This tour was for Hug of Thunder, but they played some tracks from You Forgot It In People which is an absolute masterpiece and was my favourite album for a decent period of time.

Book Yer Ane Fest 2018 happened too but I haven’t had a chance to write about it yet. There were local gigs, with far fewer I was able to attend than I hoped.

New Releases

Photo of top Instagram posts of 2018

I had the season tickets for Make That a Take and Specialist Subject, which is the origin of a substantial chunk of these.

This Way Up in Dundee were also a source of a lot of new releases. With a great range of weird and experimental music they are fast becoming a necessary visit when in the area. The Soul Jazz Records compilations they stock are great. I’ve not had a bad one yet, although I don’t buy all of them, obviously, so may be missing stuff I would dislike. Grouchos are still the go-to place for second hand music though, as well as Discogs. I also managed to buy someones hip hop/rnb collection which was mainly 12″s. Still working my way through it but there were some gems in it.


Art Ensemble Of Chicago ‎– Les Stances À Sophie – Soul Jazz Records brought out a repress of this phenomenal jazz-funk album
awakebutstillinbed ‎– What People Call Low Self​-Esteem Is Really Just Seeing Yourself The Way That Other People See You. Getting this was a total trek. Unfortunately in a foreshadowing of the Brexit shitheap we are heading headlong towards, postage from the US for vinyl is an absolute killer now, as well as import taxes etc. Eventually managed to get via Proper Music, just before SSJ got it in their distro.
The Bombpops ‎– Throw It Back great album by a band who make great music but were slightly underwhelming live with a stage presence which I would be kind in hoping it to be inauthentic.
Capitalist Kids ‎– Brand Damage – great political pop punk – go listen to Brute Farce if you haven’t already. And obviously Socialist Nightmare too.
A Certain Ratio ‎– acr:set great funk/pop influenced records.
Digable Planets ‎– Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space) – I hesitated on this for a few months as I had a feint recollection of the band but not enough to pick it up. Then I remembered about it and searched for it, and very quickly had a flash of hearing it years ago and loving it We be reading Marx where I’m from
Don’t Worry ‎– Who Cares Anyway? – Great punk/emo album from SSJ.
MF Doom ‎– MM..Food I remember seeing this back when it and the previous album were out and dismissing them as some comic related rubbish. I was an idiot. When Vinyl Me Please started their Hip Hop line I hoped for some gems to appear and I got this. It looks like it’s still available so I’d recommend grabbing it whilst you can.
Eels ‎– The Deconstruction Pretty weird release being on two 10″ Yellow records but standard fare you will expect. If you like Eels you will like it. If you don’t you won’t, but then, your opinion on music would be objectively wrong so whatever.
ESG ‎– Come Away With ESG another repress, this time of some disco/new wave. I got a couple of their releases this year and all had gubbed download codes. I believe it was some kind of contractual screw up about the digital rights etc, which sucks as end consumer going I’ll buy awkward bulky analogue format because I can get the benefits of digital at the same time.
Frightened Rabbit ‎– The Midnight Organ Fight – repress for the 10th Anniversary which makes even more painful listening now than the period before where I couldn’t listen to it.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals ‎– 100% Colombian repress on white vinyl of the best album by one of the best live bands on the planet. Southside is probably my favourite track on it.
Guru ‎– Jazzmatazz Volume II (The New Reality) – another VMP pressing, the first one I got though, due to the album being utterly amazing. The first Jazzmatazz was good, and Streetsoul had probably the most crossover appeal but in the second one Guru knocked it out the park.
Billie Holiday ‎– At Jazz At The Philharmonic – can’t resist a super rare repress by the greatest singer to ever live.
Kaddish ‎– What World Was Still?. Long awaited album which defines the term long awaited. Third banger from the best band in Dundee. Probably my album of the year if I sat and worked it out.
Lords Of The Underground ‎– Here Come The Lords – another repress of a hard to find 90s debut album by hip hop trio.
Lost Avenue ‎– Fears The band name seemed totally familiar and it’s because I had missed them the year before at BYAF. Brilliant young band from Northern Ireland.
Mastersystem ‎– Dance Music – the final album Scott Hutchison worked on and was released.
Muncie Girls ‎– Fixed Ideals great punk album by a band with a fantastic singer
Neurotic Fiction ‎– Pulp Music – I don’t like publicly saying I don’t like someones music, and have missed some music from this list to avoid doing so. But I’m only doing so for context here to say it’s the only release from Specialist Subject that I have bought over the past 2+ years that I haven’t liked. Which shows the quality of the output they generally release.
The Pharcyde ‎– Labcabincalifornia – repress of one of the classic conscious hip hop albums.
Please, Believe! ‎– .​.​.​In Potential – pseudo placeholder as the vinyl release came out on Hogmanay, but the CD release much earlier in the year. I didn’t make it out to the show and haven’t received my vinyl copy yet. From the CD/mp3 release though it’s pretty great ecossemo as to be expected from anyone who has seen them live. Except with 100% music and 0% banter/tuning.
Poverty Bar ‎– Vive La Bagatelle, this got a physical release due to Western Freeway
Rainer Maria ‎– Past Worn Searching/Look Now Look Again/Long Knives Drawn/Catastrophe Keeps Us Together/A Better Version Of Me. When one of your favourite bands represses almost their entire catalogue in vinyl you must do two things – 1. Buy the ones you are missing and 2. Complain bitterly about US postage charges.
Jeff Rosenstock ‎– POST- – released out of nowhere on January 1st this blew people away immediately as to how good it is. Some people rate it very highly indeed.
Slowlight ‎– The Only Thing I Want Is To Know What I Want– fantastic album which I wrote about earlier.

Spare Snare ‎– ‘Sounds’ – they are the Snare (and Steve Albini).
Tragical History Tour ‎– Aphorisms – outstanding debut album which I previously reviewed.

EPs and other stuff

The Bombpops ‎– Dear Beer – to stress again how good their music is, this is 4 fantastic tracks on a gorgeous gold splatter 7″. I rated it 5/5 on the discogs I’ve listened to this now tracking I’ve been doing. Would highly recommend getting a copy.
Carson Wells ‎– No Relic – great ecossemo as expected from the Aberdonians before they called a hiatus 🙁
Dogeyed ‎– Throw The Bones really weird lofi and sludgy rock

El Morgan And The Divers was blown away by this band playing and look forward to their hopefully delayed and not cancelled album.
Forever Unclean ‎– Woof – great EP from the young Danish band I got to see at BYAF.
Goodbye Blue Monday ‎– Misery​-​Punk Ruined My Life great follow up to their Sickness/Shame EP, hope they aren’t under too much pressure to develop a full length from these.
The Murderburgers ‎– Shitty People And Toothache – Fraser is so lucky to encounter so many fucking areseholes to write songs about.
Nana / Tragical History Tour – Split EP great split including both artists covering each others music.
Pillow Queens ‎– State Of The State great Irish pop punk EP and I look forward to an album by them coming out.
Snow Patrol ‎– Soon – limited pressing only available to readers of The Big Issue
Yndi Halda ‎– A Sun-Coloured Shaker an EP to follow up the surprise release from 2016. I can never tire of this great post-rock band. Their Enjoy Eternal Bliss record is still a hard one to improve upon for me though. By anyone, never mind the band themselves.


Batteries ‎– Last Shop Standing – The Rise, Fall And Rebirth Of The Independent Record Shop – not really my cup of tea, but was bought for the documentary of a great book about record shops.
Various ‎– Boombox 3 (Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro And Disco Rap 1979-83) – third volume exploring early underground hip hop which is well worth a listen but probably has a pretty niche audience of, well, me.
Various ‎– Soul Of A Nation 2 – fantastic compilation containing influences for early hip hop.

Other Music I discovered

3 Colours Red ‎– Revolt – not really discovered, more missed when walking round a record fair and had a friend message asking if I wanted a copy on vinyl. Of the album with Paralyse on it? Hell yes.
Anna’s Anchor ‎– Nautical Miles – great Irish emo album
The Avalanches ‎– Since I Left You – anyone who ever had the joy of attending Coalesce should have developed a healthy love for this band, so was delighted to spot a vinyl copy in This Way Up.
Black Sheep ‎– A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing – this being in the hip hop collection was one of the reasons I bought it. It’s a conscious album although you won’t expect it from the intro, but let it play through, it will all make sense.
Broken Social Scene ‎– Forgiveness Rock Record/Broken Social Scene/You Forgot It In People/Feel Good Lost – when I saw them they had their latest album with them but also their entire catalogue on vinyl too. I am trying to resist replacing most of my CD albums with vinyl but am making exceptions for the bands and albums I absolutely love.
Deftones ‎– Covers – I wasn’t expecting much from this but was pleasantly surprised. Definitely worth a spin.
Delos – Delos – emo and post-hardcore belters. Well worth a listen.
Charles Earland ‎– Coming To You Live – I was confused why Grouchos had two copies of an album at over £10 so checked it out online, snagged a copy and was glad I did. Really good jazz/funk album which is almost 40 years old.
Green Day ‎– Kerplunk! – at a record fair I stumbled across a first pressing of Green Days second album. Underrated and really good. Mostly by people who are wrong about which albums of the band are the best (Insomniac is best as if you don’t know already).
Guru ‎– Jazzmatazz Volume: 1 – I mentioned preferring Volume 2, but when Volume 1 was in a massive sale I had to get it too.
Zach Hill ‎– Astrological Straits Experimental from someone in Death Grips? Sign me up.
Jesus & His Judgemental Father ‎– It Might Get Better – picked up for a criminally cheap price after the band split. I think if I had listened to it last year it may have made it in contention for album of the year.
Jurassic 5 ‎– Quality Control – althought their debut is quite rightly seen as a classic, their follow up is sadly underrated.
Mannequin Pussy ‎– Romantic – Great punk/noise album on TinyEngines.
Milk Teeth ‎– Vile Child – really good mix of emo and grunge
Mountain Men Anonymous/Teflon Monkey ‎– As The Duck Bit Back.. Part One – took the opportunity to complete the small discography from the excellent post-rock band who are sadly missed.
Klaus Weiss ‎– Time Signals – really good experimental album from the 70s which recently had a repress for the first time in 30 years.
Les 2 Minutes De La Haine ‎– Somnolences – really good French punk album which appears to be black ink printed on black paper etc. No idea what the fuck they were thinking, cos it hides a real gem.
Spike Milligan With Jeremy Taylor ‎– An Adult Entertainment Spike Milligan With Jeremy Taylor Live At Cambridge University – I really enjoyed his diaries when a kid so picked up this album. Although some is still great, some has not aged well. At all.
Seas, Starry ‎– Tyto Alba – I bought this from a distro at BYAF, listened to it and thought it was great. Then realised the band were playing the next day! Great post-rock album.
A Tribe Called Quest ‎– People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm – a stole cold classic which was one of the highlights of that collection I acquired.
Luther Vandross ‎– The Best Of Luther Vandross – The Best Of Love – I expected this to go from the bought collection very quickly into the sell pile. But I’m keeping it. It’s really surprisingly good.
Various ‎– Black Fire! New Spirits! Radical And Revolutionary Jazz In The U.S.A. 1957 – 1982 – amazing compilation of interesting jazz styles.
Boombox 1 & 2 (Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro And Disco Rap 1979-82/1979-83) – after hearing the third volume I got the first 2 of this early underground hip hop compilation. All really good if you like that sort of thing.
Various ‎– Time As A Color – X – found when adding more records into a discogs order as there was a chunk of postage could be covered. Emo and post-rock compilation which is exceptionally good.
No Artist ‎– The Investigator – really good 1950s radio play about McCarthyism, I mean totally not about McCarthyism at all.


Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting by Brett Milano – interesting book interviewing record collectors about how and why they collect. I think I read it around the same time I watched this sad journey.
Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops? by Graham Jones – really good book interviewing music shop owners about the changes in the music retail industry over the past few decades and their predictions for its future. Although it does start to get a bit stylistically repetitive and forced towards the end. Currently making its way round various others who worked in music retail.


I continued to submit and edit on discogs, reaching the status where I could vote on submissions too. Having my collection catalogued has helped when browsing to avoid duplicates. I also as part of working through that hip hop collection made a pile of items to sell off. I then ran through vinyl finding everything I had rated poorly or had no intention of listening to again. I worked my way though listening to all my 12″s, and was starting on the 7″s before getting that huge pile of singles and so now have a 12″ backlog again.

Music goals for 2019

Sort out my CD singles. I need to rip as MP3, sort them out and then clear out the unwanted/duplicates.
Sort through CD Album collection. This is all ripped now but a large part is unsorted. I need to sort, sell off and pack up the bulk of it.
Finish listening to and sorting my 7″s.
In 2018 I finished off a couple of artists collections so I will probably identify a couple more and try to find the missing pieces of their catalogue over the course of the year.

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