And Banjo was his name-o..

Just a quick aside, if anyone, like me loves hearing the banjo you could do a lot worse than going here and downloading the streaming link to banjo man radio, it's a constant stream of random tunes that all feature the banjo, all played through your own chosen media player.

The Wilderness of Manitoba

So, who likes Fleet Foxes then?

For those of you who said yes, then I can't stress how important it is for you to go and listen to The Wilderness Of Manitoba right now! And those of you that don't like fleet foxes, well have a listen anyway, you may find that whatever crazy reason you dislike them is not present here.

The Wilderness of Manitoba are a four piece folk band who's music relies on little more than the amazing four part harmonies to create some gorgeously chilled out songs, the sit back, close your eyes and drift away kind.

The guitar and Banjo that accompany the vocals are played to a minimal perfection too, with rare appearances by a cello here or a glockenspiel there, like a really stripped back Sufjan Stevens.

I mentioned Fleet Foxes earlier and on listening I'm sure you'll see why the comparison is often made but, in all honesty, I think that these guys are just that little bit better.

There's not more I can say about them that you going to listen to them won't say a thousand times better, so I'm going to shuffle of and put the kettle on, sit down with a nice earl grey and rock in my chair, The Wilderness of Manitoba washing over me and a content smile on my face.

Top o' the Mornin to ya

Hi There, sorry It's been a while since I last updated but I've not really had a lot say. There is more to come I promise, but right now this will be quick as it's 7.30 in the morning already and I REALLY should have left for work about 5 minutes ago!!

But I just had to share this with you, a track called 'Waltze of the tennis players' by Meg Baird. Meg Baird is one of Espers, and as many of you will know, I love Espers, So when I discovered Meg's Solo Album 'Dear Companion' I was massively excited. I was not let down either, this offering really showcases the massive talent the resides within her.

Anyway, as I said, more later but now must dash!

The Hidden Messages

I'm sitting here at the computer, with The Hidden Messages Myspace playing away in the background and the sun is shining in through the window like it's the middle of the summer, it's a truly lovely moment but there's two questions hanging heavy on my mind.

The first is "Isn't it nearly October? shouldn't it be raining?" and the second is "Why am I having to listen to The Hidden Messages on myspace when they should be all over the radio?"

Mysteries I doubt I will ever have satisfactory answers to, and so I try my best to push them from my mind and just enjoy the fact that I am here anyway and able to pass at least one of these day brightening things on to you.

So who are the Hidden Messages then? Initially forming the band back in 2003 while at university, Matt and Edd, who share guitar and vocal duties (as well as playing Theramins and euphoniums, amongst other instruments.) recruited various other people over the next couple of years, settling on Kenny on drums and Justin on bass by 2005. A bit further down the line they recruited Matt's Girlfriend, Claire, to play violin and do a bit of singing too.

2007 saw them release their only releases to date in the two 4 track e.p.s, Animal Actors 1 & 2. Both of which can be heard in full on their website . The first track, 'Such a disgrace', really encapsulates everything there is to love about The Hidden Messages. A Beautiful, lovingly crafted pop song, with lush orchestration and brilliant harmonies reminiscent of a stripped down Divine Comedy or Cheerful Lambchop but with an exuberance all of it's own.

Back at the beginning of this year a new chapter in their history began when Justin left the band. Now a four piece, Kenny came off the drums and took up guitar and piano, the group choosing to use electronic sequenced drums and more synths (who isn't, these days?). Newer songs can be heard on their Myspace, "Animation Isolation" shows the ease with which they've adjusted to the new direction, whilst not losing any of their grin-inducing pop sensibilities. Sounding like Hot-Chip at their best, they are surely headed for bigger things soon.

You can see The Hidden Messages live at Spitalfields' Gramaphone on the 1st October.

Maybe all is not lost.

After posting the terrible news yesterday that all my favorite bands had now split up, I have since been unable to get away from various post across the internet claiming that it has been confirmed from highly regarded sources that one of those bands, Pavement, are in fact reforming!

Now, There have been continuous rumours since they split up about them getting back together so I've been reluctant to believe this. But it would appear that both Malkmus and Kannberg have told reliable sources independently that it is going to happen.
Perhaps what is more convincing is the fact that a lot of sites are saying that the band have been booked to play New York's Central Park SummerStage in September of next year.

So I'm remaining hopefully optimistic about this one, will I have to go to New York to see them? Maybe. but there is also a rumour about that one of the possible gigs they might have lined up is to curate an ATP. Should I need an excuse to actually finally get round to going to an ATP? no. But if I did, this would be one. I have everything crossed that it comes to pass.

A bit of a downer..

So I heard a rumour but I checked it out this morning and it is true, The Broken Family Band have announced that they are to split.

Read their official statement here

So that's ALL my favorite bands now split up then.

Here's 'Give & Take' from their Hello Love Album, a perfect example of what to expect from the Cambridge based four piece.

Sigh, oh well, off to work, if you happen to pop in to Megacity comics today, expect to hear a lot of BFB.

Some music then..

Let's see if I've figured this out then..

You should now be able to hear 'Blue Mountain' By Espers.
whilst doing so I recommend that you close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on the bank of this lake.

There, isn't that better?

From tiny Acorns...

So I've been told this is quite easy, and seeing as I have recently been reunited with the internet, I figured I'd give it a shot.

"Why?" I hear you ask "what do you hope to offer us?"

Well, a safe haven, of sorts, a quiet corner of the internet to come and be free from the stresses of modern society, away from the traffic and crowds, where you can hear birdsong not car alarms, a place where everything else just melts away into the distant background and nature takes over. This is that place I go to in my head, opened up to you so you can share the serenity. Please take all your litter home with you and remember to shut the gate.

I'll be back soon to bring you some music and stuff, you would like that, yes?