Friday, 29 March 2013

Playlist from Drunken Werewolf

This month, the Bristol-based music magazine Drunken Werewolf sought and achieved £3,000 of funding to give the publication an invested future, and which will hopefully see the re-instigation of their print edition.

I chipped in a fiver (I'll admit a vested interest - the magazine and its editor, Tiffany Daniels, have long been major champions of the band I manage. The longer and louder they're able to shout, the better, as far as I'm concerned...)

My pledge was for a personalised playlist to a theme of my choosing, and after a few moments thought, I plumped for one themed around the title of this blog. So this is the 'Heartbeat of a Rabbit' playlist by Drunken Werewolf, and anything connected with heartbeats and rabbits was fair game.

I asked Tiffany to say a few words about each of the songs, which will appear directly after your musical video slideshow...

Drunken Werewolf editor Tiffany Daniels on her Heartbeat of a Rabbit playlist:

Tori Amos – Mr Zebra
Taken from her Boys for Pele album – the same one that features Tori suckling a pig on the back cover – “Mr Zebra” is like a backward Alice in Wonderland, with Tori singing as the white rabbit lost in a Russian landscape. It deals cryptically with her miscarriage of the same year.

Florence and the Machine – Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)
This song doesn’t signify my tastes at all, but it’s so obvious I found my fingers writing down its name despite myself. I don’t know what it’s got to do with rabbits, but the video is pretty debaucherous in a Madhatters tea party kind of way.

Annie – Heartbeat
I was absolutely addicted to this song when it came out. It’s fifty times better than her breakthrough single “Bubblegum” and it puts Robyn to shame.

You Say Party! We Say Die! – Monster (RAC Remix)
You Say Party! We Say Die! are great in their rowdier moments, but I find their synth based songs need an added kick, which is why I’ve listed the RAC Remix of “Monster” rather than the original. See also the Los Campesinos! version of “Laura Palmer’s Prom” for heartbeat inspired lyrics set to an infectious tune.

Warpaint – Lissie’s Heart Murmur
Warpaint are one of those bands who are simultaneously amazing and frustrating. I don’t know what it is that compels me to listen to their debut album; at times I find it lacks something crucial but other times I’m completely captivated by it.

Ill Ease – What Makes Your Heart Go Boom (Napoleon IIIrd Remix)
Another song in need of a remix, though in fairness Napoleon IIIrd has dared to tread where no others will go. Most of Ill Ease’s music is stripped back no-age, but here the Leeds producer makes her sound almost twee.

Bright Eyes – Down a Rabbit Hole
The first Bright Eyes album I ever bought was Digital Ash in a Digital Urn. I soon realised I was shouting his praises under false pretences, and though I’ve grown to appreciate his acoustic based material, I really wish he’d continued this creative highway.

Emmy the Great – Two Steps Forward
One of the few artists whose lyrics I know well enough to sing every song aloud, Emmy the Great likes falling down rabbit holes. My sister did that once and she got her foot stuck, it wasn’t funny.

Find out more about Drunken Werewolf here.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition 2013: Who I'd Have Picked

I don't think music blogs, in general, are the kind of publications that seek or require any kind of external or pre-existing justification for their existence - but if I ever did feel I needed one for this site, it'd be my close involvement in the set up and first four years of Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition [or 'ETC'].

That's where I came to realise what a huge amount of amazing music there is being made constantly in this country and beyond, that I feel a lot of people don't really have a chance of hearing unless they actively go looking for it (but, if you do, there it is... it's not hard). Happily Glastonbury now post their whole ETC longlist of 120 acts, chosen from thousands of applicants by a select band of music bloggers (which is a great way to do it), on their website.

This also means obsessives like me can spend days trawling through all those songs, in the name of seeking out who they'd have put in the finals if it had been up to them. And my own picks are below.

I was careful to avoid learning who had made the actual finals before drawing up my own list, because I didn't want that to influence it either way. As it happens, the official list is of eight entirely different acts, which doesn't surprise me at all - but there could easily have been a lot more crossover.

Some disclaimers:

- This is not in any way intended as a diss to any of the Festival's picks or the finalists themselves (or the bloggers who longlisted them).
- This doesn't mean that these artists 'would have got through' when I was working for the competition. I was one of a panel of listeners who drew up the longlist - some things I loved didn't get through, some things I wasn't personally over the moon about did. Also, most years, the selection of finalists *from* that longlist was done by the main festival bookers.
- If you're one of the bands I've listed here, no, I'm very sorry, I can't get you a Glastonbury slot. Also, don't get too excited, nobody reads my blog ; )
- There was some really great stuff on the longlist that would easily have made the list in place of some of these on a different day. I kept it to eight because that's how many acts are in the actual finals. I think there should be a lot more!

Without further ado, and in no particular order... Who the Heartbeat of a Rabbit blog Would Have Picked from the Glasto Emerging Talent Competition Longlist, 2013:

1. Super Squarecloud
(longlisted by Neon Filler)

2. Nadine Shah
(longlisted by Neon Filler)

3. Katie Cruel
(longlisted by Oliver of

4. We/Are/Animal
(longlisted by the405)

5. Croupier
(longlisted by Faded Glamour)

6. Sandunes
(longlisted by White Noise)

7. The Gorgeous Colours
(longlisted by Crack in the Road)

8. Packt
(longlisted by Song, By Toad)

Hope you found something there you liked. Please leave a comment.

Here's the whole longlist, and here's who actually made the finals. Who would you have picked?

Free Download of the Day - 28th March 2013 - 'The Man Who Sold the World' by Great Pagans

Who could cover a David Bowie song, already covered by Kurt Cobain, and still give you something worth hearing?

Alex Painter, that's who. (That's the other thin white Duke).

Today's free Download of the Day is 'The Man Who Sold the World' by Painter's Great Pagans.

The track features as part of a huge Bowie tribute project by God is in the TV - go here for dozens of Bowie covers specially made by their favourite current artists.

You can download 'The Man Who Sold the World' from Great Pagans' Soundcloud, and buy their original music on their Bandcamp.

If you've never heard them before, this is Bowie's original, and this is the famous Nirvana cover.

Don't miss a free Download of the Day! Get updates on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or by email.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Free Download of the Day: 20th March 2013 - 'What Happen'd (live at Maps)' by SJ Esau

In the last Heartbeat of a Rabbit post, I mentioned Cajita's avowed 'mean live loop skills'. (It was Annie Hysterical who avowed them, by the way - to be precise, she said, 'he knows what he's doing').

The meanest live loop skills I have ever seen belong to yet another Bristol musician, SJ Esau. His live set in general is a great collision of talent and self-deprecation, as he alternates between astonishing you with his ability to build a song in front of your very eyes with his bare hands - and then, invariably, apologising for doing so.

An interview on the radio show 'Maps' which goes out on Bologna-based Radio Città del Capo is online including 3 tracks for free download. 'What Happen'd' is my Download of the Day.

Click here for the interview and download links and here to follow SJ Esau on Facebook.

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Friday, 15 March 2013

She Makes War - Never Was (Cajita remix)

So, apparently, checking how long it is since anything was last posted here... this was the first piece of music I cared enough about to blog about since New Year. Making it easily frontrunner for the Heartbeat of a Rabbit Tracks of the Year 2013, right? [Disclaimer: I will probably never get round to making one of those. Because I usually get to the end of the year and can think of about 2 and a half tracks I liked enough for such a list. This will be one of them].


She Makes War is Laura Kidd, she and Tom and Annie Hysterical make music together sometimes, an example of which is the live recording of 'In This Boat' which appears as this track's b-side and which was actually recorded in a boat - appropriate. She doesn't really make war, that's just a name. She makes music instead. If she did make war it would be beautiful, moody, catchy war, and she would Do It Herself.

Cajita is a Bristol musician I've clearly not paid enough attention to previously. I'm told he has mean live loop pedal skills.

I liked this track so much I paid more than she asked for it. You should too.