Music, Rock

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The Space Lady - The Space Lady’s Greatest Hits

14 Nov 20134 stars

Anthology from 70s / 80s US outsider-pop diviner is curious, rare and full of wonder

‘My musician parents lived in Roswell, New Mexico, around the time of the famous flying saucer crash in 1947, and I was born the following January.’ So begins the fascinating, other-worldly biog of Susan Dietrich, a 70s / 80s outsider-pop diviner who…

Sébastien Tellier - Confection

14 Nov 20134 stars

Predominantly instrumental suite is a panoramic pick-and-mix tribute to classic soundtracks

Hirsute synth pop seducer Sébastien Tellier is a playful man of parts. In 2008, he represented his native France in the Eurovision Song Contest, singing bubblegum pop in a bubble car. Last year, he manifested as a New Agey self-help guru on his album My…

Magik Markers - Surrender to the Fantasy

14 Nov 20134 stars

Clarion call from some of underground rock's most adventurous and intelligent practitioners

While the title of the first Magik Markers album in four years might hint at a Spinal Tap-esque revelling in rock's excesses, what it actually displays is some of its most scintillating rehabilitation. Despite being submerged in an ocean of reverb, it's…

Mark Lanegan - The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Mon 4 Nov 2013

11 Nov 20134 stars

The collaboration-friendly singer fuses gravelly vocals with tremulous melodies and eerie lyrics

As surreal musical moments go, watching the characteristically morose Mark Lanegan perform a downbeat version of Sinatra’s ‘Mack The Knife’ is pretty high up there. His unmistakeable voice teases out the track’s darker traits in a noteworthy fashion…

The Leg - Oozing A Crepuscular Light

8 Nov 20134 stars

Whip-cracking gallop through eight oddly melodious tracks

A lot can happen in 23 minutes. It certainly does in the new album by The Leg, mercurial junkyard auteur Dan Mutch's manic spleen-venting songwriting vehicle over four albums and the best part of a decade. With cellist Pete Harvey and drummer Alun…

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Interview: Har Mar Superstar talks Grace Jones, Michael Jackson and ET

8 Nov 2013

The disco-dancing sex icon runs our First & Last questionnaire gauntlet

First record you ever bought The 7” of Tina Turner’s ‘We Don't Need Another Hero’ from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Last extravagant purchase you made We hired two bodyguards in Mexico City on this tour. First film you saw that really moved…

Various artists - Virgin Records: 40 Years Of Disruptions

8 Nov 20134 stars

Like a vast, tattered flag of modern British popular culture unfurling before you

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s record companies, whether EMI or RCA, were monolithic and faceless, vast industrial combines that also manufactured your fridges and television sets, and were answerable slavishly to shareholders. Then, in 1973, came…

Parquet Courts - Mono, Glasgow, Thu 31 Oct 2013

8 Nov 20134 stars

A Hallowe'en set allows the Brooklyn stoner-punks to display flashes of hedonistic onstage improv

Vampires lurk at the periphery of the building, sucking the life out of cigarettes. Zombies swarm the bar, ghouls loom. It’s Hallowe'en, and a costumed crowd lets Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts be the punk-stoner rock launchpads for their night. After a…

Juana Molina - Wed 21

8 Nov 20134 stars

Argentinian singer-songwriter's best album yet is full of weird sonics and complex structures

Making ingenious use of live loops and samples, Juana Molina's electronic folk-pop brightened the mid-00s. Wed 21 is the Argentinian singer-songwriter's first album in five years and it may well be her best to date. It finds her moving into ever more…

Public Service Broadcasting – Picture House, Edinburgh, Wed 6 Nov 2013

7 Nov 20133 stars

The vintage radio sample-based live show is effective, but only when it sticks to the formula

Public Service Broadcasting have done an excellent job of transferring their bowties-and-BBC English aesthetic to the live arena. Their stage set features retro televisions, back-projection screens, inventive lighting and a neon radio antenna, and…

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Barrowland, Glasgow, Thu 31 Oct 2013

6 Nov 20135 stars

Cave and co deliver a combination of gothic majesty and piano-led balladry on All Hallow's Eve

All Hallow's Eve feels like the perfect night to see Nick Cave – the self-styled dark prince of punk – when the veil between this world and the next is purportedly at its thinnest. These days, the Sussex-dwelling Cave is more a reluctant national…

Honeyblood – Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Wed 30 Oct 2013

5 Nov 20134 stars

Confident, American-style garage pop with a Scottish accent

Taking inspiration from the grungy Seattle slacker-pop of the 1990s, there’s something intrinsically American about Honeyblood’s sound. At tonight’s gig – the final date on a short tour to launch their new single, ‘Bud’ – frontwoman Stina’s vocals range…

Tunng and Pinkunoizu - Broadcast, Glasgow, Sun 13 Oct 2013

31 Oct 20134 stars

A magical, heartwarmingly gleeful set of black tales and vivid melodies

The smattering of Danish voices on the street outside imply that Pinkunoizu aren’t a wholly unknown variable tonight but for the majority, the appropriate reception slots in somewhere between pleasant surprise and revelation. Tempering free-floating…

Arcade Fire to play November UK tour dates as The Reflektors

29 Oct 2013

The Canadian indie rockers will come to London, Glasgow and Blackpool

Arcade Fire have announced a string of UK dates the week their latest album is released. Ahead of Reflektor, their first album to follow 2010's Grammy-award winning The Suburbs, the band have adopted a slightly different persona. Playing gigs as…

LISTEN: Mogwai unveil new single 'Remurdered', from forthcoming album Rave Tapes

28 Oct 2013

Rave Tapes will be released January 2014, and promoted on winter UK tour

Glasgow post-rock five-piece Mogwai are back with a brand new album to bring in 2014, as well as added tour dates for their UK fans. Rave Tapes, set for release on Mon 20 Jan 2014, will be Mogwai’s eighth studio album, and the first since 2011’s…

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Muscle Shoals

22 Oct 20134 stars

A music doc about an Alabama town rich in musical history, from Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys

Most music documentaries tend to focus on artists rather than environment, which is what makes Muscle Shoals an interesting prospect. You may not have heard of this small Alabama town that nestles on the banks of the Tennessee River, but the sounds it…

Fleetwood Mac - The Hydro, Glasgow, Thu 3 Oct 2013

15 Oct 20135 stars

Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and co prove that 'the Mac is back' with effortless arena show

Fleetwood Mac version 2K13 look genuinely fresh; revitalised so much in their relative absence that casually jumping into ‘The Chain’ two songs in looks effortless. And they’re just warming up. Though ‘Everywhere’ is among notable absentees in tonight’s…

Best Coast - Fade Away

11 Oct 20134 stars

Snappy 7-song collection of effortless crunching hooks and moreish choruses

Best Coast’s breezy, sun-kissed indie-rock created such a kerfuffle when it emerged into the world three years ago it’s hard to forget it was just that – almost throwaway songs about love, weed and cats presented with an endearing nonchalance and lo-fi…

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds set for UK tour 2013

11 Oct 2013

Gigs in Glasgow, Brighton, London, Manchester and Edinburgh

The Barrowlands and the Usher Hall – how many other artists could play both venues on consecutive nights and look equally at home in each? Dark Lords of both the grubby and the grand, Nick Cave and his cohort of mean-looking backing musicians the Bad…

Monoganon - Family

11 Oct 20134 stars

Second album of introspective and complex psych-folk psalms and alt-pop mantras

‘What’s going on in here?’ asks Monoganon frontman John B McKenna in the opening line of his second album, F A M I L Y, as well he might. This introspective, complex collection of psych-folk psalms and alt-pop mantras dedicated to love, and loss and…

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Interview: Manchester pop-rock quartet PINS

11 Oct 2013

The all-female foursome talk aesthetics, new music and voodoo dolls

The Ray Ban and leather-clad quadruple that make up PINS (Faith Holgate, Lois McDonald, Anna Donigan and Sophie Galpin) hail from Manchester and recently signed to the Cocteau Twins' Bella Union Records. Following this month’s release of their…

Jazzateers - Jazzateers

11 Oct 20134 stars

Re-release of 1983 debut from Glasgow band with rock’n’roll swagger and sass aplenty

When the decidedly non-jazz Jazzateers reformed to play a double bill with Vic Godard reviving his 1980s swing-based set at Glasgow International (yes) Jazz Festival in June this year, it shed some light on one of the great missing links of the original…

Bardo Pond - Peace on Venus

11 Oct 20133 stars

Ninth album from veteran stoner space rockers sounds gloriously messed up

Where a lot of bands coyly beat about the bush as to how much drugs may or may not have influenced their music, since forming in 1991 veteran stoner space rockers Bardo Pond have pretty much written hallucinogenic substances into their raison d’être…

Exposure: Miracle Strip make ambitious electronic lo-fi indie-pop

11 Oct 2013

Singer Fergus Christie Jack on Girl Gangs, influences and bass solos

Eurythmics, Boy George, Simple Minds – they all sang of miracles. Combine the three, chuck in Postcard Records and Jens Lekman, remove your clothes, et voila: Miracle Strip. Formed in an Edinburgh kitchen by singer / instrumentalist Fergus Christie Jack…

Point Close All Quotes: A Quietus Anthology (Ed. Charles Ubaghs)

11 Oct 20135 stars

Essential anthology of passionate opinion and off-the-beaten-track music journalism

The Quietus recently turned five, and anyone with an interest in continuing to treat music as a subject worthy of healthy, (mostly) grown-up discussion knows why that’s a good thing. With a printed music press kept alive by ever-narrower commercial…