Listen to new tracks by Cymbals Eat Guitars and Allah-Lahs

One of our favourite band-names is Cymbals Eat Guitars, and ‘Lose’ is their third album that is due via Barsuk in US/Tough Love in Ireland and UK at the end of August. From it the band have shared the rollicking and riff-tastic punk-popper single ‘Warning’. ‘Lose’ is the first new material since 2011’s ‘Lenses Alien’ album.


The Allah-Lahs are another band who’ve been away a little while, whose self-titled unashamedly sixties-feel psyche-flower of a pop record we enjoyed back in 2012. Glad to tell you that they’re back with the surf-tinged instrumental track ‘No Werewolf, and it can be found as a bonus cut on forthcoming album ‘Worship The Sun’, which is available on September 16 via the Innovative Leisure label.


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Listen to new Martin Mackie single ‘Drunk For Fifteen years’

Featuring vocal help from Wexford’s Waterford’s Katie Kim ‘Drunk For Fifteen Years’ is the new single from Martin Mackie, and lifted from the new ‘Temperance Songs’ EP. Mackie released an album as The Popgun Plot back in 2012. Read our review here.

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Shabazz Palaces — ‘Lese Majesty’ / Clipping — ‘Clipping’

333Two hip-hop albums out on the famous grunge-rock Seattle label, Sub Pop, to tell you about.

First up intergalactic act fronted by Seattle’s Ishmael Butler, Shabazz Palaces, who follow-up 2011’s ‘Black Up’ with this 18 track, positively ‘filler-filled’ new longplayer ‘Lese Majesty’.

It’s an experimental, half-idea themed record that recalls the likes of CloudDead; not short on partially covered signposts, snags, and half dreams. It doesn’t always get going– ride the full-on hip-hop killer wave– but it is not that sort of record in some ways. ‘Lese Majesty’ is a generally enjoyable listen, that features enough tracks to pull out from the admittedly not always perfectly executed seguing.

artworks-000077946218-a3qch5-t500x500Also out on Sub Pop the new and self-titled record from California-based Clipping (MC Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes). This crew are an altogether heavier and hammering affair, and ‘Clipping’ is a more close-to-the-knuckle, positively unpleasant listening affair.

This means that the tunes have a tendency to get inside your head quite quickly, leaving you almost powerless to stop it. Everything here is more to the fore; beats, pneumatic drills, feedback, bad language.

Of the two records the latter just about wins out. But both are recommended.

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The Indie Sport and Leisure Top 10

Summer’s here! The time is right for dancing in the street. I’ve never actually seen anyone dance in the street except in films, although I did once see a drunkard trying to waltz with a lamppost in Bolton Town Centre. However there can be no denying the summer is here and with the extended holidays schoolchildren are entitled to enjoy there needs to be something to occupy time. Step forward SPORT. And in the event of rain – and let’s face it this is always more probability than possibility in the UK – step forward indoor pursuits, also known as LEISURE. And here to celebrate these two time-fillers is the Indie Sport and Leisure Top 10. For regular readers this Top 10 provides another cause for celebration…

There’s always plenty of football going on in the summer holidays; this year we’ve had the World Cup, other years it will be the European Championships or other national team tours and it is bizarre to think that there are pre-season friendlies being played before the school summer term has even ended. It makes perfect sense then for the council to take down all the goalposts in the local parks just as the kids find themselves with more time on their hands than they know what to do with. But children are resourceful, just like Sultans of Ping FC:

Perhaps football isn’t your thing though, and what you really need is the opportunity to get rid of your energy in more athletic fashion. This is best done by getting up off the settee walking to the kitchen and lifting the kettle to the tap in preparation for a nice cup of tea whilst you watch the Olympics, the Commonwealth games or the World Championships. For here is sport that anyone can get involved in: the sprints for those of us who get up too late in the morning and live in danger of missing the bus to work, the long distance runs for those of country folk who live miles away from the nearest shop, the long jump for those of us who live on flood plains and the hammer for those of us who eat and drink too much. Here’s Belle and Sebastian’s take:

Maybe such sporting activities are too strenuous for you, though. In which case cricket might be a good bet. Here is a sport in which you can spend one half of your afternoon sitting outside a pavilion eating sandwiches and watching the swallows skirt the surface of a large field, then the other half strolling casually around this field, pausing in one place for a while in the hope that someone hits a leather sphere at great velocity in your direction and only moving on when a man in a white coat shouts out the name of a b-side by The La’s.

Being such a long game, cricket is invariably halted by rain. If you are going to get wet there are easier ways of doing it than standing in a field dressed in white for several hours waiting for a downpour. And if you do choose to stand in a field dressed in white for several hours you might find yourself getting too hot, in which case the perfect solution is to go swimming. This is the perfect solution for only a certain proportion of the population though; others find themselves like a fish out of water when they find themselves in the water, as Catatonia described:

So the non-swimming cricketer is still faced with the dilemma of what to do should there be a drop of rain or even just a cloud (known in the business as ‘bad light’). In this case there’s no option other than to head indoors. This can lead to tedium breaking out unless you have an alternative time filler. A quick and easy solution which takes up hardly any space at all in the great big kit bag cricketers carry is a simple game of matching numbered dots on blocks of wood. The Beautiful South wrote a song about one such contestant in this game:

In fact cricket is not the longest game you could end up playing, especially if the weather turns out to be less than clement for an extended period. Some people like nothing better than to sit down to a nice game of strategy, of logic, of initiative: chess. This is a game that can be played anywhere technically, although once you’ve set things up you can’t really move the game about between locations. Not until the advent of the internet that is, which enabled players to change location even internationally whilst the game board remained static. Take heed from Half Man Half Biscuit however and be careful who you choose to play against:

If things do take a turn for the worse then it may be advisable to get yourself prepared. This doesn’t necessarily involve arming yourself with offensive weapons of course, for that would surely be an exaggerated response. No, we’re just talking about a little self-defence. Regular readers can start to get excited now, for here is a leisure activity advocated by a band I have been failing to include for many a Top 10. Yes, here they finally are: the best band to come out of Northern Ireland (apart from The Divine Comedy), it’s Ash!

Maybe resorting to martial arts may be a bit excessive, I suppose. If the weather is getting overly humid too this level of exercise will only end up rendering the participant hot and sweaty. How about a nice game of murder instead. Not real murder: that would be downright illegal (unless you are in France however where apparently if it is a crime of passion you’re ok). No, we’re talking of Cluedo, as wonderfully described by David Devant and his Spirit Wife:

Perhaps a simpler, less drastic option as you sit and watch the rain dribble down the living room window whilst dreaming about all the outdoor sports you could be doing (but let’s face it probably wouldn’t be because it would be too hot if the sun was shining) would be a nice easy game, one that requires no thought, no effort, just the opportunity to rant and rage against fate loading probability against you in the form of a dice inside a pop-up sphere whilst you try and move four coloured counters around a circle Let’s play Frustration with James.

Anyway, that’s five of the six weeks of summer holidays sorted. There’s still one more week to fill though. Any ideas?

John Hartley

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Watch the video for new Aborist single ‘Border Blood’

Fresh from supporting solo the enigmatic and talented Cat Power in Belfast recently local artist Aborist (a.k.a. Mark McCambridge) has shared the video for new single ‘Border Blood’, lifted from the album ‘Home Burial’. This time– in comparison to the aforementioned live show– the song includes full band on piano and violin. The video was set in the city’s Black Box venue.

[via The Thin Air]

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Five things to look forward to in the coming football season

New coach, new set of initials

The Premier League may have lost that gravel-voiced and overly tactical– but ultimately unsuccessful– AVB bloke, but it has gained another manager whose name gives players, managers, fans and media alike another excuse to refer to the individual by initials only in that increasingly mildly annoying manner– LvG.

Usual names in the frame for Champions League

This bulldozer of a competition will not have Man Utd in it this year for the first time in eons but the usual suspects that still are in it will be expected to be in contention. Can Real Madrid be the first team to win it twice on the trot since the old European Cup was rebranded at the beginning of the nineties? If not, it is sure to be between Bayern Munich (following on from the German national team success at the World Cup?), Barcelona (who have kind of underachieved in the competition despite two successes in recent years), and Chelsea. Maybe Man City will finally get their act together? Or could PSG or Juventus cause a little shock?

Position open for new PL bad boy

Luis Suarez has now gone to Barcelona, furthering his career in a nice and steady climbing of the ladder: Ajax>>Liverpool>>Barcelona. Good for him. Anyhoo, what this all means is that the media, fans– and to an extent some jealous fellow pros– have to find a new hate figure. It’s usually full of hypocrisy and overreaction x 375. While certain golden boys can make similar mistakes– on and off the field– this is often seen as “out of character” and forgotten almost immediately, but not the hate figure, this player must NEVER PLAY THE GAME AGAIN! Who’s your money on?

Notebook out, Jose

Jose Mourinho has a new challenger in Luis van Gaal (or LvG). Last year there was no Ferguson, so Jose had more or less free rein to make and dictate the headlines (Wenger and Pellegrini are not really cut out for winding up and stirring it up). The media ate out of Jose’s hands last season in a “we’re not worthy” sorta fashion. But now with a personality and history of success to rival that of a certain Scot who he has succeeded at Man Utd– ignoring David Moyes’s botched ‘filler’ role– van Gaal is sure to give Mourinho a run for his money. It’s the notebook vs the clipboard.

Changes at Liverpool

After the surprising success of Liverpool last season this one begins with the club unsure of what is in store. Yes they have spent much money, but right now it looks from here to be a touch Spurs of last year. Can these decent on paper players all slot in at once? Who will get the goals that Suarez got last year? Not much an exaggeration to say that he single-handedly got the club to second place and a Champions League spot– indeed almost winning the league until a very late in the season slip up. Liverpool will tell you that they’ve always replaced star players and continued being successful but losing Suarez is going to leave an almighty gap. Playing twice in a week (something they were not burdened with last year) could also take its toll. A big test– and much new territory– for the up to now impressive Brendan Rodgers awaits.

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Five of the best away kits for the 2014/15 football season

A.S. Roma

Plain and professional Nike design, simple white with the Roma colours in a left to right diagonal. Top marks.


The badge seems quite high up on the chest, almost touching collar-bone, in fact. But it’s a neat item that looks like it means business, and with a combination of colours the club has used before.

Nottingham Forest

Something of the Gary Birtles-era pin stripe retro to this one. You could say less portentous than the two above it, more a proper looking footie shirt.

Real Madrid

Sticking with Adidas and the mighty Real Madrid have taken a supreme left turn and gone for all bright pink. Come on, blokes, admit that you quite like it. Considering the famous all white has driven teams down the years to copy, one woonders how many clubs will follow suit on this occasion?

AC Milan

This nifty number is Milan’s third kit for the season ahead. A new era for the club with hero Filippo Inzaghi installed as head coach and, who knows, this garment might also invigorate the players to make sure they don’t perform as poorly as last season. It should, and they shouldn’t.

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Download Objekt ‘s 90-minute set for Freerotation

Recorded without edits, or “straight off the desk” for the Freerotation Festival, Berlin techno/dubstep producer Objekt has kindly uploaded his 90-minute set for you to download. Objekt has previously put out music via Hessle Audio, Bleep, and his own Objekt imprint.

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