Dalliance Review of 2011 More
Written By Michael Wood Monday, January 9th, 2012
- I Am Very Far - Okkervil River
The best live band you will see doing Rock n' Roll shows have put out an album that shows the emotional range of one of their performances. Weaving between melancholia and pumped guitar stylings I Am Very Far is a band hitting the targets that it sets for itself, and very high targets those are. Lyrical, intelligent, excellent.
- Welcome To Condale - Summer Camp
Out of the ethereal and onto record it has taken a long time for Summer Camp to emerge after some curious shows and a few hints towards obscurities. What emerges is an album recollecting a time not lived in a place that probably never existed but with a feel that is universal. Songs of heartache and loss are always played out well to a catchy beat.
- (I Can't Get No) - Stevie Jackson
Or, if you will, the guy out of Belle & Sebastian doing his own thing and doing it so very well. The references are sixties pop of course but the immediacy of the guitar driven pop and the cute smartness of the lyrics are surprisingly effective.
- Nursing Home - Let's Wrestle
It is thrashing guitars and sarcastic lyrics but that has never been something that upset me and Nursing Home manages not only to power through its running time in an indecent haste but also includes some laugh out loud funny moments. Superb.
- Collapse Into Now - R.E.M.
Or if you will the end of an era. The last R.E.M. is another addition to the catalogue that adds breadth but lacks the depth of the earlier work of legend. Still a cracking listen and they will be missed.
- Obscurities - Stephin Merritt
A collection of Merritt's offcuts from projects is always going to be a sketchy affair but the great stuff is really great stuff.
- Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010 - The Radio Dept.
A singles collection, so perhaps it should not count, but unseen by most this Swedish band have been making a cerebral music that aches with a heartbreak unspeakable.
- An Argument with Myself EP - Jens Lekman
An EP is half an album so Lekman only gets half points for this brilliant collection of songs about friends dying, getting lost in Melbourne and looking for movie stars in Sweden.
- Hanging From A Hit - Okkervil River
Will Sheff's lyrical masterpiece in two parts is a rock and roll's sexual predatory instinct hitting hard and cruel into a real life. Searing, dazzling, and darkly beautiful.
- Walked Out On a Line - Okkervil River
A band so good they can leave this story of drug fuelled destruction on the shelf as Will Sheff and Co reference the sound of the Beach Boys while creating something utterly new. Key Lyric: In the storm's scream and swirl's/Where I spotted my girl/I was pinning her straight to my side.
- Waiting for Kirsten - Jens Lekman
Lekman's true story of trying to meet Kirsten Dunst in Gothenberg uses the Swedish singer's favourite trick of lulling the listen in with a dry humour and twisting that humour into a thoughtful depression. Key Lyric: But the VIP lines are not to the clubs/But to healthcare, apartments and jobs./"Hey buddy can I borrow five grand?/'Cause my dad's in chemo/And they wanna take him off his plan."
- In Dreams Part II - Let's Wrestle
Mayhem on a record. Key Lyric: In my dreams there were Pokemon beating me up/I punched Pidgeotto right in the face
Another year another set of albums, gigs and tracks. This year Dalliance bought a pile of CDs, downloaded five whole tracks and got an album comped. Make of that what you will. We have plans for the site next year, but we had them last year and they never happened.
For tracks we had but one winner with Summer Camp drifting from promoter Mark Husak to us and then onto the Dalliance turntable. Read a bit more about that if you will.
The world and its dog loves not to give Arcade Fire's The Suburbs album of the year for fear of being too obvious but our excuse is that we - or I - am just a bit too old and Tracey Thorn's lament on the passing of time spoke to me directly. Read about that if you please.
Gig of the year contenders came late in the year with the visit of Arcade Fire to these shores and Belle and Sebastian's return. Read more about that here.
Thank you, dear reader, for your interest.
The Dalliance Christmas Album 2010 More
Written By Michael Wood Monday, December 20th, 2010
1. Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels) - Arcade Fire
2. The Fox In The Snow - Belle & Sebastian
3. Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas - Okkervil River
4. Mr Mistletoe - The Magnetic Fields
5. A Good Xmas - Animals That Swim
6. Stop The Cavalry - Ormondroyd
1. Christmas Eve - Le Tournoi
2. Sleet and Snow - My First Tooth
3. Christmas Wrapping - Summer Camp
4. Everything is One Big Christmas Tree - The Magnetic Fields
5. Kiss You In The Snow - The School
6. Octopussy - The Wedding Present
Another year in Dalliance More
Written By Michael Wood Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
Another year, another set of records, gigs and downloady things to enjoy. Predictably were lurve the Blue Roses album and give it the title Dalliance Album of 2009 while the combination of Everything But The Marine Girl Tracey Thorne and the brilliance of Jens Lekman on a The Magnetic Fields track proved irresistible for our track of 2009.
There is no gig of the year though. Maxïmo Park stood out in Leeds as did Morrissey but the year of gigging was too often one of disappointment going to "big gigs" and ending the night feeling like cattle.
So gig of the year - such as it is goes to Goldheart Assembly in Blackburn's Live Lounge and to Swimwear Juniors, The Crookes and The Lazy Darlings in Leeds and to Theoretical Girl in Bradford's 1 in 12 club where small groups or people went to see small groups and it did not cost the Earth and the bands did their stuff with pride.
More power to that collective elbow, more of those gigs in 2010.
Enjoy and thank you, kindly thank you, for reading.
Here at Dalliance we like to wait until the end of the year before reviewing it and we like to review it in an ad-hoc set of lists so for you, Dear Reader, we have albums of the year which is a general summary of what we have been listening to, tracks of the year which is more about the sort of thing we have been listening to while hanging around West Yorkshire at local gigs and gigs of the year which take in Bradford, Manchester, New York and Halifax.
Enjoy and thank you, kindly thank you, for reading.