Posts Tagged ‘cds’


The previous edition of Lowdown on the New was the last. Hurrah you say. Hurrah I damn bloody well say too. Writing these columns has become onerous and unenjoyable. They served a purpose for a long time, to bring in interest to the site and to allow me to flex my music journalist brain muscles.

But they also served a more self-centred side. Let’s rewind back to the mid-90s when I was producing a series of fanzines that was hard work with little reward, and also writing reviews for my student newspaper. Back then, with a massive proliferation of small labels with owners willing to spend time until the wee hours packing CDs in padded envelopes, zine and student rag editors would annoy the hell out of their posties with the weight of packages to poke through the mailbox. When I became a reporter on a weekly rag I penned a popular music column which meant going into Aberdeen to see bands, interview the odd semi-famous or fading pop star and review albums. And by fuck did they come through the door, singles, EPs, albums, some with gimmicks such as matchboxes or button badges. It was the musical equivalent of endless blow jobs from leggy redheads.

While the majority of stuff sent in on-spec reeked of one-chord indie plagiarism, this was a window to bands I’d never come across otherwise and there’s an attic in my homeland weighted down with some of the ones worth saving. What I didn’t like (about 90%) I’d flog to a shop in Dundee – one massive load netting me three quarters of the price of a flight to New Zealand – or would provide handy birthday and Christmas presents. Like every other music hack, I was a champion bludger, a gold medal-winning blagger,

Needless to say those days are long gone, there’s few goodies to gain, and those that do come through the door are delivered only by shedding blood, and kissing arse. It’s a digital world, baby, and that’s good for both writers who can get the music without delay and for the labels who can dispense with interns spending the whole shift stuffing envelopes with Grade D indie bands.

That’s the history, but as I said earlier, it’s too time-consuming whatever I would be receiving with a full-time job, partner, baby and a new-found love of knitting.

That said I will continue to review certain new albums if they are deserving of a fuller review that I can afford under the limitations of the column at the moment.

Porky Prime Cuts will have more band features, and more personal diatribes. The stuff we feel we do best at.


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Who? Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band

Title: The Mountain

Label: New West

Tell me more: His name is Earle and he’s an American legend, who once wanted to get it on with Condi Rice, but put the revolution first. The McCoury Band ….. man, you need to look up Wikipedia for that.

Why the fek should I listen to this? Earle takes a punt on bluegrass, and surprisingly comes up smelling up of dew instead of a dead croc. The man is a genius, end of story.

Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? Bluegrass is still bluegrass. Dolly Parton once did it and ended up with the worst review in the Nairnshire Telegraph in the history of that weekly’s music column.



Who? Oumou Sangare

Title: Seya

Label: World Circuit

Tell me more: Mali’s most female singer, from a country whose obscurity is due to a lack of its football team having never made the World Cup finals. It’s also produced Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabete. Sangare is a UN ambassador, campaigning against world hunger.

Why the fek should I listen to this? I’m gonna give my stereo a break from all that indie, punk and reggae I constantly subject it to for the day. It’s telling me it loves Wassoulou music, the music of an area of Mali.

Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? You can take a horse to water ….

You may not know: Wassoulou music, traditionally played on a six-strong harp, is believed to possess magical powers that can protect hunters and tame the most dangerous of animals.




Who? Lay Low

Title: Farewell Good Night’s Sleep

Label: Nettwerk

Tell me more: London-born country music-influenced singer with an Icelandic mother and Sri Lankan father who grew up in Reykjavik. Real name Lovisa Elisabet Sigrunardottir. Best she be called Lay Low.

Why the fek should I listen to this? Doesn’t sound a bit like Bjork nor for that matter outlandishly country. I can imagine this on the soundtrack to a Jim Jarmusch movie.

Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? You really need to be in the mood for 11 tracks of beautifully engaging, yet morose tracks.

Some history: Debut album Please Hate Me, released in Iceland in 2006. Recorded music for an Icelandic play, that included eight Dolly Parton covers.




Who? Angie Palmer

Title: Meanwhile, as night falls …

Label: Akrasia records

Tell me more: As close as to an English take on Americana that could be possible.

Why the fek should I listen to this? Rough, but beautifully sounding voice.

Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? Erm, there’s not a thing I haven’t heard before in a million and twelve female troubadours before.

Best line: Too bland for anything out of the ordinary.


Attic dweller


Who? Only An Excuse?

Title: The Real History of Scottish Football

Label: BBC (1988)

Tell me more: I found this cassette in a box and it’s about the most obscure thing I could find to review. I wouldn’t even try looking at eBay for this one.

Are you on drugs Craig? Only the contraceptive pill. I’m putting this in because it made me laugh so hard I brought up a hairball when I listened to it for the first time since Aberdeen FC won a trophy. On-the-button piss-takes of everyone involved in Scottish football … two decades ago.

Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? No-one’s ever gonna buy it anyway so there’s no point being negative. Or postive for that matter. But, hell, I’ll do that anyway.

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