2008 releases artists music

Coldplay release their new single, Violet Hill, for free download…

Coldplay have just released their new single, Violet Hill
Coldplay have just released their new single, Violet Hill as a free download

This is a very short post… more a heads up really… but if there are any Coldplay fans amongst my readers, the band yesterday released their new single, “Violet Hill”, from their upcoming album “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends“, which is due out June 12.

To download the single, head to their site here, and follow the instructions.

I’m not going to comment to much on the song itself yet, because, frankly, it’s still too early. I will say for now that Chris Martin still has that quality in his voice that can pull a listener in; but it just doesn’t hit me quite where it should.

Still… I’ve been wrong before. Time will tell.


Edit: I’ve just noticed that addictedtovinyl covered this story yesterday, and is offering up the mp3 for those who have trouble connecting to the official site.

2007 Releases artists to watch for in 2008 digital downloads guitar live songs music

A Romantica Vision…


Knowing my passion for Ryan Adams, a post featuring these guys shouldn’t come as a surprise. After Romantica‘s “America” album was featured on Paste Magazine’s “Top 100 Albums of 2007”, comparisons began popping up between Romantica’s singer/songwriter Ben Kyle, and both Ryan Adams and Jeff Tweedy just about everywhere… heady company indeed.

When I first heard those comparisons, I was intrigued to say the least. After all, Adams and Tweedy are two of my favourite artists. But, more interestingly, both were known for playing in the style… and I knew that Ben Kyle was an Irish boy, and I wondered whether he would be able to bring that authenticity to the Americana style.
I shouldn’t have doubted it for a second.

Ben Kyle has said of the band’s style that:

It’s really hard to be objective about your own sound, particularly when you’re trying to sound subjective, but if if I had to label what we do… I’d probably call it “Irish Americana Pop.” Some of the artists I’ve listened to a lot on the American side are Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown, The Jayhawks, Wilco, Springsteen, and Dylan. And on the Irish/Brit side, Van Morrison, The Waterboys, Nick Drake, Belle and Sebastian and a lot of Irish folk. I think you can definitely hear some of these footprints, and we definitely take more of traditionalist approach.

And I can certainly hear pretty much all those influences in there. Although if I had to say what it immediately recalls for me, I’d probably say a delightful mix of Ryan Adams, Wilco, Del Amitri and some Gin Blossoms thrown in there for good measure. In fact, I can even hear some hints of The Damnwells in there, particularly in the opening chords of their tune, “Queen of Hearts”. In other words, it’s simply heaven.

The songs I’ve included below all come from “America” album – except for the bonus goodness of Ben Kyle and Ryan Adams performing together on one of Ben’s songs. Do yourself a favour, and check out the album now.

Listen. Love. Support.

Listen: Romantica – Ixcatan
Listen: Romantica – Queen of Hearts
Listen: Romantica – Drink The Night Away

Bonus Goodness:

Listen: Ben Kyle & Ryan Adams – The Dark (live)

(Aside: I have to pop down to Sydney tomorrow for work requirements, and will be there until next week, so I might not be able to pop onto the blog much. I’ve post-dated a post to appear on Live Music Friday, so hopefully that will appear without a hitch…)


Monkey Swallows The Universe – Sheffield Shanty and Bloodline

Monkey Swallows the Universe
Monkey Swallows The Universe

This will be a micro-blog today, but I just wanted to drop a quick line regarding a band that was just recently brought to my attention (full props for that go to the Makak Man – that’s his stumbleupon page… thanks mate), Monkey Swallows The Universe.

Monkey Swallows The Universe
(henceforth known on this blog as MSTU), are an intriguing five piece acoustic outfit from – where else? – Sheffield. Singer and songwriter for MSTU, Nat Johnson, has this ability to write fantastical, catchy tunes that – more often than not – are slightly disturbing if you pay attention to the lyrics. Take for instance their song, “Jimmy In The Well”; a tune about saving someone’s life and then demanding their eternal allegiance in repayment. In one word, I find her… fascinating.

The two tunes I’ve decided to include below are “Sheffield Shanty“, and “Bloodline“. “Sheffield Shanty” is a jaunty pirate dittyI know, I never thought I would be writing those words here either – that quite apart from it’s haunting beauty, also manages to pilfer (in true pirate fashion) from the Paul Simon song, “You Can Call Me Al”, and gets away with it. It’s a swoonsome lullaby that you’ll need to listen to over and over again.
The second, “Bloodline”, is a beefier, more mainstream tune from them… but nonetheless is a cracking tune, with haunting imagery:

These years of mine run red like a bloodline if I was the last son
Prostrate, I wait, but silence is not for me – I shout til they come

Oh stop leaving my heart on the ground
Oh stop needing my eyes to follow you around
Oh stop leaving me behind
– Monkey Swallows the Universe, “Bloodline”

Listen. Love. Support.

Listen: Monkey Swallows The Universe – Sheffield Shanty
Listen: Monkey Swallows The Universe – Bloodline

(Aside question: which font do you readers prefer? I’ve used arial in this post, whereas the others posts in this theme are Georgia font… which would you prefer that I use? Drop a comment below if you can!)

2008 releases artists covers digital downloads guitar live songs music

Billy Bragg – Live on Fair Game

Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg recently performed a live set on PRI’s “Fair Game”

Billy Bragg
, the “working class hero”, recently performed a set on one of my favourite shows, PRI’s “Fair Game“. And it was stunning.

I truly feel that Bragg has been responsible for some of the best protest songs that we’ve heard in the last 30 years
… just listen to his EP “Between the Wars” to see what I’m talking about. Couple that with the fact that Nora Guthrie – daughter of Woody Guthrie himself – asked Bragg to set some of her father’s unrecorded lyrics to music (side note: can you imagine how intimidating that would have been? Woody Guthrie, a giant in the folk protest song world, “this machine kills fascists” on his guitar Woody Guthrie? Man… that can’t have been an easy act to follow), and it becomes clear why I have such a tremendous amount of respect for the man.
So it was with much excitement that I listened to his latest show on “Fair Game” last week. We were treated to a collection of three songs, which I’ve included below. The first, “Sing Their Souls Back Home“, is a sad, but ultimately hopeful song… in the best tradition of protest. The second, “I Keep Faith“, has been getting a panning from music critics recently, but I’m a huge fan of this Van Morrisonesque sounding tune. There’s just something about the song that recalls “Into the Mystic” for me, and I’m not sure why. But it’s a good thing.
The final tune is a more upbeat number, and is a cover of the Bob Dylan tune, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right“… and what a great way to close a set it is.

Billy Bragg’s new album, “Mr Love & Justice” went on sale last week.

Listen. Love. Support.

Listen: Billy Bragg – Sing Their Souls Back Home (live on Fair Game)
Listen: Billy Bragg – I Keep Faith (live on Fair Game)
Listen: Billy Bragg – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Bob Dylan cover, live on Fair Game)

2005 releases artists digital downloads guitar Live Music Friday live songs music

Live Music Friday – The National Black Sessions

Wow. That week went fast. I can’t believe it’s time for another Live Music Friday. Following on from our Alex & Angela Dezen/Damnwells post here, I thought that today we’d feature a show from The National.

The National Black Sessions

The National Live
The National (image credit: David Greenwald)

Aah, those Frenchmen. I swear, whether it’s my favourite La Blogotheque videos or something else, they seem to get some truly great live music out of international groups. The Black Sessions are a perfect example of thisbroadcast on the French radio station France Inter, and recorded in front of a live audience, the sessions sometimes lack the intimacy that you get when listening to a rough tapers version of a show; but they make up for that in the clarity of the audio. You can learn more about The Black Sessions here, but you better have a firm grasp of French if you want to get anything out of it.

One of my favourite Black Session shows was that of The National, who appeared on the show in 2005, to promote their then upcoming album, Alligator. The National, at that time, were truly blowing up while still remaining somewhat under the radar; and it shows in this set. A blistering set, it features perhaps my favourite rendition of “Cherry Tree” (which featured on their 2004 album of the same name) ever… when you hear Matt Berninger repeating the mantra of “Loose lips sink ships” over and over again, in that manic tone? Man… it sends shivers down my spine.

As a side note, in 2007, The National did another show for the same station, entitled “The National White Sessions”, promoting their album “The Boxer“. But that’s a post for another day…

The National Black Sessions (live 2005)

1.) All The Wine
2.) Secret Meeting
3.) Driver Surprise Me
4.) Lit Up
5.) Cherry Tree
6.) Baby, We’ll Be Fine
7.) Geese
8.) City Middle
9.) Looking For Astronauts
10.) Mr November
11.) Daughters Of The Soho Riots
12.) Abel
13.) Wasp Nest

The National Black Sessions 2005 .zip file

Next time on Live Music Friday? Well, you’ll just have to tune in to find out… but at the moment, the two front-runners are Bob Schneider and Ryan Adams. If there are any preferences, drop a line below and let me know.

tech thanks

A New Look for Burgo’s Blog…

This is just a short note to let everyone know (not that you haven’t noticed already), that Burgo’s Blog now has an all-new look… the snazzy theme you’re looking at right now.

Last night, over the course of a very few frustrating hours, I decided that it was time to shake things up on the blog with a sleek new theme. Really, this blog is starting to take up more and more of my time, and I suppose the new look is a reflection of that, and a reflection of the potential that I feel this blog has. I hope you like it…

I just wanted to drop a quick shout-out to the theme’s creator, Magnus Jepson (see his site here). He’s a freelance web designer who creates some really stunning WordPress themes, and if you’re looking to overhaul your blog, I’d wholeheartedly recommend him. As I said, there were a few frustrating hours there, but Magnus was on hand to help out with anything that I had a problem with. So thanks, Magnus, for your patience.

Anyway, I’m off down the coast for the weekend, so posts will resume again next week. If you’re a regular reader of the blog, I’d really appreciate any thoughts you have on the new theme (like it, don’t like it, ambivalent?), so drop a comment below with your thoughts.

Thanks all, and have a great weekend.

artists Inspirational thoughts

Ryan Adams won’t give up on people…

Read this. Now.

‘Nuff said.


Edit: Well, I see that Ryan has since deleted that post, for whatever reason. So it’s a good thing that – knowing his fickle blogging ways, and his tendency to delete things I reference – that I made a record of it. So read on, for your pleasure below, Ryan’s now-deleted post…

“Never Give Up On People You Love If You Can. Never. And Never Give Up On Yourself If You Can.
That Is The Punkest Shit You Can Do. To Never NEVER Give Up.”

I know that sounds so serious and crazy and weird but I just wanted to say that to you tonight Foggy.

It is a scary weird world, and it get’s so dark sometimes that it seems like it’s safer being unhappy, but you know, when you are happy, when shit is working, sometimes that just means exactly that. Don’t be afraid.

And if you get weirded out because someone or something is making you happy, and that doesn’t seem to you like you are working hard enough for it then, because you spent a life judging happiness by how Little something hurt, instead of How MUCH something made you happy and made you feel whole, just STOP. just stop and think about this, because someone told me this and I just have to say this Foggy.

There is a light and There is a Darkness. And there is a choice.

And every Something in the little universe of yours, of ours, every single something, that is a light. That is another day and a new exchange waiting to happen and a new laugh and a new page and a new chapter.

And even though you may have spent a lot of time very sad, very afraid, There is a Darkness, and it is quiet there and not many if any people are in that darkness, and there might be more days there Foggy, there might be more choices, little choices you can make in the dark, but that is a darkness Foggy. And a darkness can get so dark that it can take you away from the light forever. You might just be squinting sometimes, thinking you are holding on to it but you are moving towards it or away.

SO Foggy, I really really love you and I want to tell you something very important. I am going to go away from that darkness now. Because in that light, I was very afraid, because I was not used to all that growing and all those things happening where you could see, and all the things in me I could see I never saw before, that scared me and I ran from that, I needed to think. I needed to sit on the moon for a second and look at the world and think.

But we have to move Foggy. We have to go now towards where all that love and that light was coming from. Because that is another day.

And we are getting older now Foggy and it is time to start sharing some of the things we learned. Some of those things are things people do not survive or do not walk away from still being able to see what is bright and what is not.

So we have to go now and become a good example and a good friend and good teacher to other people in case they too got lost too in all the quiet darkness.

It is part of the promise we made. To never give up! So we are not going to give up on ourselves or others, and not going to be judging from the dark places, but instead, we are going to listen. and we are not going to judge but instead see. (well maybe we might judge alittle harshly sometimes when we write but that is the style of writing, that font, is call Assholevetica and we helped make that so you know, sometimes it will be a bit saucy,……but still)…..

we are going to pull up the things that kept us in the ground and go over to where that beautiful blinding light is, and not be afraid.

So just stay with me for a minute and close your eyes if it hurts some because it is very bright, but let’s go. Let’s go make another page, Let’s go make another day happen, and Let’s go find out what is in there and when and if we can, maybe we can tell other people about it, so that they can see the choice.

and we must always honor that promise to be good and to be true.

That is how we can help.

So here is to Never Giving Up, and Never Giving Up On Others When They Do Not Give Up On You.

Rest up Foggy, much is about to change and we will need our energy and our strength because letting go for real is about changing that too.

So rest up, and I will wake you when it’s time to go. It is going to bring the best things we have to the people we love and even some people we don’t even know yet.

Thank You Foggy, you are a good listener and a good spirit. I love you very much.

2007 Releases artists artists to watch for in 2009 digital downloads guitar music

Chris Bathgate – The Last Parade on Ann St & Serpentine

Chris Bathgate
Chris Bathgate (image credit: Quite Scientific)

A product of the Ann Arbor folk-scene, Chris Bathgate is enjoying some serious spins on my playlist lately; which really isn’t all that surprising, when you consider that Chris counts Will Oldham and Jeff Tweedy amongst his many admirers… after all, two of my favourite artists can’t be wrong.
Last year, Chris released the amazingly polished album, “A Cork Wake Tale“, although it’s only now that I’m really getting into it. In a scene that perhaps is becoming slightly oversaturated, Chris Bathgate has a certain bleakness that seems to set him apart from the other “Iron & Wine” crowd. Much like Bon Iver, there’s a tenderness and vulnerability there that simply pulls you in.

Earlier this month, Bathgate released a new 6 song EP, “Wait, Skeleton” (learn more at his Myspace page) though the Quite Scientific label.

The first song below, “The Last Parade on Ann Street“, is a hauntingly beautiful song, that doesn’t go anywhere near where that first chord indicates. I know that might sound a strange description, but take a listen and see if you feel the same way. And the middle of the song is dominated by a swirling mass of guitars that – for whatever reason – reminds me of The Pixies in one of their contemplative moments. In other words… it’s sheer brilliance.

The second track, “Serpentine“, is actually the opening track on “A Cork Wake Tale”. Someone once described it to me as, “This song is what I imagine ice skating must be like. Silently gliding…“.
And you know what? I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Put simply, you should be listening to this. So get in on it now.

Listen: Chris Bathgate – The Last Parade on Ann St
Listen: Chris Bathgate – Serpentine