Saturday, May 31, 2008

To love but never to be in Love

I'd received an email earlier today asking if I could re-post 'Geek Love' the 1992 Festive Fifty no.1, and I thought, why not post the entire EP? Especially seeing as the Evesham four-piece's back catalogue seems to be unavailable.

This track is utterly sublime, and if you have never heard it before, I hope you like it. There are one or two crackles in the vinyl, but I think the sound quality is pretty good on the whole.

I will also soon post the remixes sent to me by my reader Max, when I have converted them into mp3s. Thanks for them, Max, never seen them anywhere else!

Speaking of posting unavailable stuff, I will be putting up a couple of albums by artists which I think are great but are unavailable in the UK on any format. Watch this space...

Bang Bang Machine -'Geek Love.' mp3

Bang Bang Machine -'Flower Horse.' mp3

Bang Bang Machine -'The Fuck Machine.' mp3

An unofficial Bang Bang Machine website

Album Review: The Lodger

Lodger -'Life Is Sweet.' (Bad Sneakers Records)

The second album sees the three piece turn in a gorgeous, just-right -for summer set. I'd be willing to bet these guys treasure their copies of the NME c81 and NMEC86 as much as I do, but that shouldn't make it sound as if they are purely indie-retro. There's a freshness here just right for sunny days (and hell we've even got them here in Scotland right now!). This evokes reasons of what proper indie is, and the Leeds three piece have delivered an excellent sophomore set.

Whilst it's a reasonable comment that this album does not re-write the rule book -and do we really realise those records are here when we do, or only in, uh,retrospect, it works well as an album, rather than just as a collection of songs strewen together. The only track which lets the album down in 'Honey' which feels a little dull, rather than being as lovely as it its name might suggest. Granted a title like first single 'The Good Old Days' might sound like Daily Mail-esque whinging, but put your ears to this album, and give it a listen.


The Lodger -'The Good Old Days.' mp3

The Lodger mySpace

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Sigur Ros

A bit in your face? Yup, everyone's favourite Icelandic band since the Sugarcubes and a band who have their own slant on ethereal return with a new track and a new album entitled með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust. According to their website this translates as With A Buzz In Our Ears We Play Endlessly. I think the title reminds me of Liars

The track, available for free, is called 'Gobbledigook.' Unkind folks might point out the irony of Sigur Ros' first title to be comprehensible to many being called Gobbledigook, but given that very few 17 Seconds readers have so far demonstarted an ability to speak Icelandic, maybe they should keep quiet. It's not particularly ethereal by their standards, and sounds like there's a bit of thigh-slapping going on, but if I'm being honest, I'd always want to hear the latest thing from Sigur Ros. They are that good.

See what you think...

Sigur Ros -'Gobbledigook.' mp3

Check their website for the rather erotic video (if you're over 18, obviously) and for more news etc..
Websites include and

here for more Sigur Ros mp3s

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Album Review: Wedding Present

Wedding Present -'El Vey.' (Scopitones)

Inevitable about to be over-reported bit of information 1: This album was produced (or no doubt 'recorded') by the legendary Steve Albini, who was responsible for the Weddoes career highpoint Seamonsters back in 1991.

Inevitable about to be over-reported bit of information 2: David Gedge has moved to West Hollywood.

So, now into his forties and making the second Wedding present album since he resurrected the band in 2004, after a seven year rest, what does the new Wedding Present album sound like?

To these ears, dark and atmospheric. I can't play the drums, but Albini has soaked up the drums and they make the atmosphere on this record absolutely wonderfully. It's still unmistakeably Wedding Present; like The Fall, who were also stalwarts of the late John Peel's show : always the same, always different.

Living in West Hollywood seems to have impacted on Gedge's songwriting too. Not that this is a re-write of Rumours, Pet Sounds or (God forbid) Hotel California, but it's noticeable. A few years back, many Morrissey fans, including this humble blogger, expressed surprise that Morrissey was living in L.A. It seems even odder that David gedge has moved there; the man sings and writes in such an English way. Not in an annoying little Englander kind of way, or a nostalgic for Arcadia of Pete Doherty or Ray Davies, but English none the less. There's a sort of David Lynch sheen to the lyrics with the darkness that's within. Gedge forever seemd to be not getting the girl; now it's not someone he's been abandoned by to go travelling or feels he can;t trust, as on 'The trouble With men' he tells of developing a crush on a woman who's the dinner date of the man at the next table; who he wouldn't mind being his girlfriend even though he's married.

What hits the mark for me about this album is that not only is it another great addition to the Wedding Present/Cinerama cannon, but it's Gedge and co. continuing to evolve as they progress into their third decade of making music. Last year he toured their debut George Best, marking twenty years since its' release. This year, it's a new album, an evolved sound, and one of the tracks of the year in 'The Trouble With Men,' a Weddoes song I think I'm going to love as much as 'My Favourite Dress' 'Montreal' or 'Sticky.'


The Wedding Present -'The Trouble With Men.' mp3

The Wedding Present -'Boo Boo.' mp3

The Wedding Present website/The Wedding Present myspace

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Presenting...Escape Act..and Tom McShane

Escape Act are a hot new act from Northern Ireland. They are set to release their new single 'God Says' as a split single with fellow Northern Ireland act Tom McShane on June 23. Lat year they released an EP called Hot Air, and then went to the legendary Chem 19 studios (the legendary Chemikal Underground studios) to work with Andy Millar, who has worked with Fratellis and Sons & Daughters. This is a quality indie-rock tune for the summer. Get this on your stereo now (and obviously, go and buy the single when it comes out).

Escape Act -'God Says.' mp3

Escape Act -'Green.' mp3 (live, acoustic)

Here is the video as well:

Escape act website/ Escape Act myspace

Meanwhile, fellow Northern Irelander Tom McShane has the other side of the single with a fantastic song called 'Fighter.' In the press release it's described as 'the story of a man on the run from his ghosts and his own shadows.' It's a quality song, and I love the whole concept of split 7"s - there is little more 'indie' in the true, old sense of the word.

Tom McShane -'Fighter.' mp3

And here are a couple of bonus mp3s for Tom McShane as well:

Tom McShane -'That's All There Is (Nina Nastasia cover).' mp3

Tom McShane -'Promise me.' mp3

Tom McShane website / Tom McShane mySpace

And as always, let me know what you think...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Album Review: Mogwai

Mogwai - 'Mogwai Young Team (re-issue).' (Chemikal Underground)

I had a dream the other night. No, this is true: I was talking to some of the younger students I teach and they were raving about Mogwai. It was a dream: I know, because I woke up then, and realised that a: it was absurd that kids who were born after Kurt Cobain died would know who Mogwai are, even here in Scotland, and b) I was dead excited about the tenth anniversary re-issue of this album.

I can't remember the first time I heard about Mogwai, but I remember that there were two things that clinched me having to buy the original issue of this album (obviously, on vinyl) in 1998. I'd heard them on a free CD with NME, and been blown away by a track called 'Ex-Cowboy' which would appear on the following year's Come On Die Young LP, and knew I had to get the album. Secondly, Andy Cairns from Therapy? had said that his definition of heaven was scuba diving listening to this album and Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation LP on waterproof headphones. Did such things exist? And who were this scottish band?

Well, there's been many wonderful Mogwai moments since then. The twenty minute long workout? epic? post-epic song that is 'My Father My King.' That gorgeous collaboration with the Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys 'Dial:Revenge' on the Rock Music LP. the thrill of seeing them get a top 40 single...and of course, finally getting to see them live in 2003 at Edinburgh's Queen's Hall. When they played 'Like Herod' at ...that moment, I thought I'd lose my hearing.

But you know, I'd rather lose my hearing and say it was down to 'Like Herod' than say 'My Heart Will Go On' or 'Money For Nothing.' And it's one of the standout tracks on this album. It was just so...other. I wasn't aware of the concept of post-rock then, but the songs on this album blew me away. I was just discovering label-mates Arab Strap at the same time, and was pleased to see Aidan Moffat was on the record too. What was with those titles? New Order's titles seemed random, but these titles were something else again. The record was instrumental, and yet there were voices, but where did this fit in?

So many surprises within the album. The opening 'Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home' the aforementioned '...Herod.' And then the finale on side 4 of the vinyl: 'Mogwai Fear Satan.' Just three notes or so it seems, but it takes the whole concept of repetition beyond anything that even The Fall had done with it. Is it like film music, music to lose yourself/find yourself in (this is not about polar opposites, indeed I think they are increasingly one and the same thing) or a manifesto?

And now, the album comes re-mastered (apparently the older version was difficult to hear in places), with bonus tracks. It's beautifully packaged, especially if you get the vinyl, and includes unreleased, live and rare as anything tracks. Their cover of 'Honey' by Spaceman 3 is gorgeous, though the only thing that let's the second disc down is what seems like a sloppy version of 'Summer (Priority Version).'

But, small quibbles. Is this the best album Mogwai have ever made? I'm not sure that I have a favourite, but I've fallen head over heels for this again.

And if I ever get to scuba dive, then I'm taking this, Daydream Nation and Therapy?'s Troublegum on underwater headphones. It would only be polite.

Mogwai website/Mogwai myspace

Mogwai -'Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home.' mp3

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Album Review: Nozzle

Nozzle -'Empires' (Flowermountain Records)

The third album for Dave Blomberg sees this three-piece on fine form. Ten songs and forty minutes long, the album is solid and a joy to listen to. while many bands still persist in trying to fit as many songs onto the CD as will fit, often at the expense of any quality control, Nozzle show how it should be done.

The guitar-playing of Dave Blomberg is a particular joy. At the risk of sounding like some pre-punk hi-fi enthusiast (I am neither); for the real subtleties that make up this album make sure you give it a listen on headphones. Lyrically it's strong too. Blomberg played with New Model Army for a long time, and fans of that band will find much to enjoy here. His voice bears no relation to Justin Sullivan's, and it should be made clear that Nozzle do very much plough their own furrow. Their roots are in the DIY ethic and they have kept to that.

When so many rock bands become lost in over-production, over-instrumentation and sometimes just in being over the top, it's great to report that here is a band who do not feel the need to go down that route. There's heartfelt sincerity here, without ever becoming painfully earnest. Highlights of this album would include the title track, 'Complicated' and also the closer 'The End' the final chord of which lingers, like a pleasant audio after taste.


Nozzle -'Complicated.' mp3

Nozzle website/Nozzle MySpace

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Album Review: Dom Deluca

Dom Deluca -'Birds Of worry.' (Independent)

Canadian Dom Deluca's first album is a joy from start to finish. A twelve song collection of self-penned songs, I've enjoyed the several listens I have had of this album.

If less is more, then the sheer simplicity of much of this album makes for something of pretty high stauture. Often just himself and an acoustic guitar, this is a quietly very effective listen. Driving around town in a mood that could be described as very black, the lightness of touch of the musicianship, the songs and his voice, couldn't fail to lift my spirits. He clearly wrotes from the heart, and his affection for Toronto and Canada comes through on this album, without any petty nationalistic concerns, which is particularly admirable.

The album doesn't re-wrote the rock hand book, and I'm even less sure what 'folk' means with every year that passes. As Morrissey once sang 'and I thought that if you had an acoustic guitar/that it meant that you were/a protest singer.' Dom Deluca is not a protest singer, I don't want to pigeonhole him, other than to say: File under damn fine singer-songwriter.


Dom Deluca -'Birds of Worry.' mp3

Dom Deluca -'Toronto.' mp3

Friday, May 23, 2008

Presenting...Lousy Robot

Yet another band who have been sitting in my inbox for quite a while. Apparently their second album Smile Like You Are Somewhere Else came out in 2006, but these tracks are still pretty amazing.

The band hail from Albuqueque, and to these ears sound like a post-punk version of Husker Du and early REM (yes, I know both these bands were post punk) and have a certain amount of catchiness. They're very American, and sound very cool. They also sound like the ideal soundtrack to warm afternoons at festivals. We here in Scotland can but hope...

Apologies it's taken me a while to feature you guys, but i hope the 17 Seconds readers will like what they hear.

Lousy Robot -'Welome To My weird Awakening.' mp3

Lousy Robot -'It's Getting To Me.' mp3

Album Review: The Dawn Chorus

The Dawn Chorus -'The Big Adventure.' (Jellymaid Music)

Sigh. I feel a little bad about what I'm about to write, but I feel it's best to be honest.

I was really looking forward to hearing this album. I think 'The Hope Will Kill Us' is a great track and it's been on a best of 2008 playlist on my iPod for several months. However, several plays of the album later, and I'm forced to conceed that I feel this album is rather uneven, particularly in the first part. It reminds me of the Electric Soft Parade, a band from the early part of the decade, who promised much but ultimately delivered little.

Having been sent this album because I requested it, I feel bad that I'm not focusing enough on the positives of it. I like the trumpet playing, and I feel the album picks up about track six of twelve. But the two openers 'The Big Adventure Part 1' and, uh 'The Big Adventure Part 2' seem to mislay the pace a bit. Yes, of course albums should be rich and diverse tapestries. But somehow despite some very good songs, it doesn't seem to hang together to these ears.

I know, this is the product of a lot of people's work and that blood, sweat and tears will have gone into this. I still haven't forgotten how much I liked -and still like - 'The Hope Will Kill Us.' So, sorry guys, close but no cigar. THe album doesn't cut it for me. But I hope i get to hear your second album, and I hope that I 'get' it better.


The Dawn Chorus -'The Hope Will Kill Us.' mp3

Presenting...Eugene Francis Jr

The man above is one Eugene Francis Jr, who has just released his debut album The Golden Beatle in the UK. He's touring England (surely he couldn't have forgotten those of us in the Celtic fringe!) and for those of you lucky enough to be able to go and see him, on the evidence of this track alone, it might well be worth checking him out.

Eugene Francis Jr -'Beginners.' mp3

Jun 20 2008 21:00
ESQUIRES Bedford, South

Jun 21 2008 21:00
Forum Tunbridge Wells

Jun 22 2008 21:00
Rescue Room Nottingham

Jun 23 2008 21:00
10 Feet Tall Cardiff

Jun 24 2008 21:00
Fibbers York

Jun 25 2008 21:00
Bar Academy Oxford

Jun 26 2008 21:00
Club 85 Hertfordshire

Jun 27 2008 21:00
Bar Academy London

Jun 28 2008 21:00
Cockpit III Leeds

Feedback, as ever, is always welcome...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's a lovely spring here in Scotland, and so it's time to make cliches while the sun shines.

What better than this, while even my hayfever hasn't yet kicked in to annoy me?

Rockers Delight -'Walking On Sunshine (Extended 12").' mp3

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Garage Rock 'n' Roll revisited

Back in 2002, as NME readers wore badges proclaiming that they were 'heroes of the new rock revolution' it briefly seemed that a garage rock revivial was going to change the world. Franz Ferdinand were still fermenting their plans, The Futureheads were a hip secret, and the tabloids had yet to wake up to Pete Doherty.

These three tracks are great ones, and deservedly made the Festive Fifty of that year. I'm not sure that subsequent records matched up to these; the Datsuns got caught up in making sub-Led Zeppelin tributes, the Von Bondies became more famous for a spat with the White Stripes' Jack White and EMB-LD just went off.

So, no, I don't know what they're up to, but these tracks are still capable of putting a smile on my face.

Von Bondies - 'It Came From Japan.' mp3 (2002 Festive Fifty no.30=)

The Datsuns - 'In Love.' mp3 (2002 Festive Fifty no.21)

Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster -'Celebrate your Mother.' mp3 (2002 Festive Fifty no.46)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shameful Confession #2

For anyone who doesn't understand how some bands go unheard, never mind the issues of mainstream and media was so much harder before the internet.

Thus, while yesterday I 'fessed up to the fact that I hadn't got dance music for many years, today it is time to admit that Spacemen 3, those masters of Gospel-drone-psychedelia (or whatever) were a band I hadn't heard 'til pretty recently.

Sure, I knew the name, I have quite a bit of Spiritualized's stuff, and kept meaning to. But it didn't happen until...uh, last week I could finally say I had heard more than one or two tracks. Jason Pierce (now of Spiritualized) and Sonic Boom clearly paved the way for some amazing stuff, as well as being damn important themselves.

So, in order that you don't make the same mistake, here are two excellent tracks:

Spacemen 3 -'Lord Can You Hear Me.' mp3

Spacemen 3 -'Hypnotised.' mp3

There is a really great fan site here

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why was I so obstinate about dance music?

The older I get, the more I'm proud that I have stuck true to many of the values I held in my teens (thirty one and counting, since you ask). I'm still veggie, would rather buy vinyl than CD, am still left-wing, and proud that I teach in a comprehensive not a private school.

So why the heck was I so damn conservative about dance music for so many years? Why was I so rockist?

The reality is that dance music, rather like indie, is such a broad church that the label increasingly means less and less with every year that passes.

As time went by, acts like Portishead, Massive Attack (who were responsible for my favourite song of the last twenty years 'Unfinished Sympathy'), Leftfield, Orbital, the Orb, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers...and many others told me not to be so foolish. And when I discovered the DFA label, it bought a new understanding to me, finally enabling me to understand that ghettoisation was not necessary.

And finally, I have been led, my interest piqued by the famous Simon Reynolds, to check out Joey Beltram. These two tracks are regarded as classics. Nearly twenty years after they came out, I think I finally understand why.

Joey Beltram - 'Energy Flash.' mp3

Joey Beltram - 'Mentasm.' mp3

Joey Beltram's MySpace

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Nozzle is the band led by Dave Blomberg, some time guitarist with New Model Army. On this track, 'Complicated' they remind me of that strand of rock that never seemed to quite have a name per se, and got lumped in with goth in the eighties. It's not jangly, it's simple without being folky, and epic without being overblown. Good, melodic rock.

Oh Sod the labels, this is a great track, and one I think you should hear. For fans of the aforementioned Army, The Church, The Mission, and the Levellers. It stands on it's own, and I can't wait to hear more.

Whet your appetite here:

Nozzle -'Complicated.' mp3

Nozzle's website/Myspace

Presenting...Rose Kemp

What would you expect Rose kemp to sound like, if I told you that she was the daughter of Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp from Steeleye Span, the legendary British folk band? Well, once you would have been right, and she did once make an album of accapella folk singing with her mother. But she's signed to One Little Indian, and kicking a serious amount of behind.

One Little Indian, bless their hearts, tipped me off about her...and on the evidence of this track, I'm glad they did. One for those who like their rock loud, angry and sounding intelligent, without self-indulgent.

Give this track a listen. And as ever, let me know what you think!

Rose Kemp -'Nanny's World.' mp3

Rose Kemp's MySpace

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The 500th post

The Cure in 1980, circa Seventeen Seconds, their sophomore album which gave this blog its' name.

Well, here we are, twenty-two months later, the five hundreth post.

Quite a few interviews done (and several still to be written up), a lot of music reviewed, a bit of ranting, and some nice words in the Guardian. It's been a labour of love at times, but I'm grateful to the support I've had from readers, friends and family (not that these are necessarily mutually exclusive), and particularly the wonderful Mrs. 17 Seconds. She has waited patiently whilst I grappled with technology, for that five minute post that has turned into an hour, shared the frustration, and been as supportive as anyone could wish. When we met the Vinyl Villain in Glasgow a couple of months back, he quipped: 'So what's it like being married to an obsessive, then?' to which she replied: 'Well, everyone's obssessive about something, aren't they?.' When I started this blog, we had yet to get cats...or even get married. Life, eh?

Some of my friends have asked if the blog's raison d'etre is to publicise new scottish music. This is only part of it, but it's definitely a part of it:

Bricolage -'Our Fire's Electric.' mp3

I've also enjoyed posting weird and wonderful, well-known and painfully obscure covers, and this is probably unlikely to stop. Hell, I've heard a lot of stuff since I started this. But it's also enabled me to focus on stuff I loved before, too:

The Slits -'I Heard I Through The Grapevine.' mp3

This seems to be the most-downloaded track from the blog:

Primal Scream - 'Velocity Girl.' mp3

Many thanks is due to fellow bloggers who have put in links to this site, mentioned me, left feedback and got me in the position that I seem to get several people reading this blog per day. Whilst I would love this to increase, it's nice to know that just because only a handful of people leave responses, people are still reading it. There's too many people to thank, but heck, you know who are you, and may you have a nice glow inside for the rest of the weekend.

Should I focus on just one type of music? Well, no, my record collection doesn't and I don't see why the blog should. I'm actually rather proud that the blog has featured stuff including classical, jazz, hip-hop, disco, death metal...oh, and a fair bit of scottish indie, too. I've done a lot of posts relating to stuff that John Peel championed, and by way of very humble tribute, I've tried to keep alive in my own small way a highlighting of new music, and unsigned acts. But I despise snobbery, and I don't see why I shouldn't mention bands that are established and successful.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. I've posted this before, but as it's the song that gave this blog its' name, it's only fitting I should post it again. It's lasted longer than the club night I ran of the same name.

The Cure -'Seventeen Seconds.' mp3

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Album Review: Times New Viking

Times New Viking – 'Rip It Off.' (Matador)

Calling Times New Viking noisy is rather like saying bands on Sarah records are twee or that thrash metal bands are too loud and too damn fast. It suggests an aesthetic equivalent of not being able to see the wood for the trees, to coin a cliché.

Because Rip It Off is a very noisy album. Quite honestly, I haven't got a clue what they're going on about on a lot of the tracks. But you know what? It doesn't matter. Not. One. Iota. Over the course of sixteen tracks in about thirty minutes (you DID read that right) this is a sheer joy to listen to from start to finish.

The press release mentions Robert Pollard, Stephen Malkmus and Richard Hell. To me, it reminds me of Yo La Tengo jamming with early Sonic Youth playing the Moldy Peaches LP. And like that Moldy Peaches LP, will some of the songs might appear like little sketches, they do seem fully formed (unlike the way, say many Hip-Hop albums seem to be making up the space with skits or Damon Albarn's rather half-baked Democrazy LP.

I've played this album several times since it arrived. I know that some folks won't get it. But it's here, taking no prisoners and having an excellent time of itself.

Why pussyfoot around? Get stuck in!

Rip It Off is out now on Matador

Times New Viking -'Drop Out.' mp3

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


still here. been off school for two days fighting the 'flu and trying to write reports. There are only so many variations on 'Your child is doing fine' i can come up with' and only so many polite ways I can rephrase 'your child brings out right-wing tendencies I didn't know I had...they are most likely to end up in jail.'

...I haven't abandoned the music either, but check out any of the ones in the right hand link. Don't forget me, there will be more music soon. Especially with the 500th post imminent!

Do yourself a favour, though. Get Santogold's album. It is amazing.

Love and hugs,

Ed Seconds XX

Monday, May 12, 2008

Should you go and see reformed bands?

Well a couple of years back (already six, apparently) Television played Edinburgh and they were fantastic. A couple of years later they played the Arches in Glasgow and were still pretty damn good. In fact that year, I also saw The Dead Kennedys, Blondie, The Pixies and Morrissey (twice, in the case of the last act). I never saw Echo and the Bunnymen in their heyday, but I have seen them three times since they reformed and they were still amazing, as far as I was concerned.

Television - 'Marquee Moon.' mp3 (the full ten minutes version)

And The Police have also reformed. Given the ticket prices, I wasn't even going to bother, but whilst it's easy to slag off most of Sting's solo career (and Dune, a David Lynch film I find very hard to watch, in fact I find it easier to watch Eraserhead) they did have some redeeming features. Like this debut single: 'Fall Out'/'Landlord.'

The Police -'Fall Out.' mp3

The Police -'Landlord.' mp3

As to which band I'd most like to see reform and play live dates, in Scotland? Oh Lord. Heresy as it might be, The Smiths (yeah, well, I didn't see them the first time round, did I?) Kate Bush, if she'd like to play live again. And while I'm having my final rant of the day, given that Ash are playing their debut LP 1977 in London and Echo and the Bunnymen are playing their Ocean Rain LP in New York. Which is great -but what about the rest of us?

And yeah, of course I want to see new up and coming bands -but the two are not mutually exclusive to regular gig goers. Sigh...

Anyway the three tracks above are a birthday present to two friends of mine. You know how you are!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

From the sofa of my lethargy

Eeew...feeling, tired, lethargic and with far too much to do. And I seem to have got the 'flu in May. Hell.

Anyway, inbetween my lethargy, have ofund seven new (to me) sites that I think you should check out:

7"s from the Underground

Dirk Wears White Sox

Fruitier Than Thou

Madchester Rave On

Rare Indie Classics

Systems Of Romance

Take Two Pills

And for lethargy like this

The Pastels -'Nothing To Be Done.' mp3

Teenage Fanclub -'Nothing To Be Done (Pastels cover).'

See you later...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A whole lot of Hole

So, a focus on Courtney Love's music today...

This was Hole's first single from 1990. It comprised three tracks: 'Retard Girl' 'Phonebill Song' and 'Johnnies In The Bathroom.'
The lineup for this single and the follow-up was:
Courtney Love - Vocals, guitar
Eric Erlandson - Guitar
Jill Emery - Bass
Caroline Rue -Drums

Hole -'Retard Girl.' mp3

Hole -'Phonebill Song.' mp3

Hole -'Johnnies In the Bathroom.' mp3

The single was released on Sympathy For The Record Industry.

This single, with the same lineup as above, came out in 1991. Though it was the b-side 'Burn Black' was the track that entered the Festive Fifty in 1991 (or Phantom FIfty, as John Peel named it, because he felt the chart was too predictable, and didn't broadcast anything from it until 1993). It came out on the mighty Sub Pop.

Hole -'Dicknail.' mp3

Hole -'Burn Black.' mp3

This single was the only one to feature bassist Lesley Hardy. Jill Emery had left the band in 1992, while that same year drummer Patti Schemel replaced Caroline Rue. Schemel would be replaced by Samantha Maloney in 1998. This song was the last one released before Hole signed to Geffen for the albums Live Through This and Celebrity Skin.

Hole -'Beautiful Son.' mp3

Hole -'20 Years In the Dakota.' mp3

Finally, as a bonus because the debut album Pretty On The Inside is not available in the UK, seemingly, here is the opening track from it:

Hole - ' Teenage Whore.' mp3

A few more peel-related tracks...and a bit more of a scrounge...

1986 was the year I got into music. However, being nine years old at the time, the records I loved then (with the exception of The Housemartins and Madonna) was not stuff I love now. Like a lot of nine and ten year olds I tended to be influenced by chart fodder -and that's probably true of most kids today (for any smug so-and-so's reading going 'Oh my kid got straight into The Velvet Underground and Yo La Tengo and never listened to chart crap!' you are the exception. And do you really think this helps them fit in?)

Anyway, one band I did hear a brief clip on Top Of The Pops of was The Mission. I had no conception of goth or indie culture, and I only knew Peel as a TOTP presenter. But the song 'Stay With Me' did do that and when I hit my teens I sought out more of The Mission's stuff.

Wayne Hussey's band had formed when he'd left The Sisters Of Mercy; the only Peel Festive Fifty entry they had was 1986's 'Serpent's Kiss.'

The Mission -'Serpent's Kiss.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.49)

I first encountered Peel's favourite band The Fall on a programme called the Roxy which ran in 1987-8 on ITV. (It was clearly meant to be ITV's answer to TOTP). The track in question was 'Hit The North Part 1.' Since Brix Smith had joined the band a few years earlier, the band had a poppier element and were starting to edge into the lower reaches of the charts. I've posted Hit The North part 1 why not post two tracks from the then-most recent Fall album, 1986's Bend Sinister:

The Fall - 'Bournemouth Runner.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.20)

The Fall -'Dktr. Faustus.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.48)

I'm now just four tracks from completing the 1986 Festive Fifty and I wondered if any of my readers can help with the following:

Age Of Chance -'Bible Of the Beats.'
The Fall -'Lucifer Over Lancashire (Theology mix)
FSK -'I Wish I Could Sprechen Sie Deutsch.'
Mighty Mighty -'Is There Anyone Out There?'

And if anyone can help with Bogshed or Big Flame stuff, please get in luck on eMusic or iTunes...

Thanks in advance...

Friday, May 09, 2008


Hooray...after a lot of help, from my own record collection, 17 Seconds' readers, eMusic, iTunes and the USB turntable, I have finally managed to complete one year of Festive Fifty for the iPod. And these final tracks were what completed it:

Much as I like 1984's The Wonderful and Frightening World Of The Fall, I wasn't always convinced by this track. But get past the first few seconds, and it's bloody amazing.

The Fall -'Lay Of The Land.' mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.9).

The most famous track from This Mortal Coil 'Song To The Siren' had already made the Festive Fifty the previous year. But covers of Big Star and Roy Harper deservedly made it the following year:

This Mortal Coil -'Kangaroo.' mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.21)

This Mortal Coil -'Another Day.' mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.33)

Finally, a great early Pogues track from their debut Red Roses For Me:

The Pogues -'The Dark Streets Of London.' mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.45)

Keep it tuned, as it were, to 17 Seconds, there'll be more music to come this weekend...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I feel like this

Just come back from the dentist an hour ago. One filling...but I feel woozy as anything.

The Wedding Present have a new single out. This is one of the mixes. Go and buy it (download only) and see if you can give them another Top 40 hit...

Wedding Present -'The Thing I Like Most About Him Is His Girlfriend (Jet Age mix).' mp3

Must go and sleep. Hadn't forgotten about you all though...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

More Festive Fifty delights from the vinyl

As I said, some more vinyl goodness, from John Peel's Festive Fifty.

In 1984, New Order released their seventh single 'Thieves Like Us.' There were two 12" singles for this, one backed with 'Murder' and the other with 'Lonesome Tonight.' Both singles had very cool, Dali-esque sleeves. 'Lonesome Tonight' reached no. 12 in that year's Festive Fifty, while 'Murder' (which was the b-side of the 'Instrumental' version of 'Thieves Like Us') reached no.20. 'Thieves Like Us' reached no.7 in the Festive Fifty.

New Order -'Lonesome Tonight.' mp3

New Order -'Murder.' mp3

Now, while on the subject, there are various 'wants' that I have:

Firstly, if anyone has an mp3 of 'Brutal' by New Order that they could send me that would be great (not available on iTunes)
As well as:

Berntholer -'My Suitor'
Unknown Cases -'Masimbabele'
Hard Corps - 'Dirty'
Working Week - 'Venceramos'
Flesh For Lulu -'Subterraneans.'

Thanks in advance...


The majors have obviously woken up to free music.

This track was 'released' by the Offspring a few days ago. Now, I kinda preferred them in about 1995 (circa Smash) to what they went on to do, though it was great to see them break the Top 10 in the UK. This track is from their forthcoming album entitled Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace.

The Offspring -'Hammerhead.' mp3

Meanwhile, free music has seen an interesting development here in the UK. I don't know how it's working out in the rest of the world, but 7" vinyl singles have become progressively more popular once again over the last four years (the NME voiced the theory that it was to do with the 'impersonal' nature of mp3s). Whatever the reason, it's great. Even more impressive is the fact that the NME have over the last year or so started giving away free 7"s. Last year there was The White Stripes and Babyshambles; this very day it's Coldplay. The 'A-side' is the 'Violet Hill' track I posted a couple of days ago, and the b-side 'unavailable elsewhere' is this:

Coldplay -'A Spell A Rebel Yell.' mp3

More vinyl goodness to follow...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy Birthday Mrs. 17 Seconds!

It's Mrs. 17 Seconds' birthday today, so a song or two to wish my darling bride happy birthday.

and another song that reminds me of her:

Aberfeldy -'Love Is An Arrow.' mp3

Happy Birthday, love

Album Review: Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails -'The Slip.' (from

Following on from Radiohead, The Charlatans, and Pennywise, Nine Inch Nails have made their album available for free via the internet. Increasingly, this seems to be the way forward. But, once this very twenty-first century method of distribution (which makes cottage industries seem almost conservative by comparison) is out of the way, is the album any good?

I've got to be honest, I had sort of tuned out on Nine Inch Nails a while back. Don't get me wrong; as a sixteen year old I thought Pretty Hate Machine a work of genius, and couldn't wait to hear The Downward Spiral, having lapped up the Broken and Fixed EPs in the meantime. The soundtrack he assembled for Natural Born Killers is one of the finest ever, leaving Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs standing. Then sometime in the late nineties I'd got onto and into other things, and lost interest a bit. Last summer they supported The Foo Fighters in Edinburgh, and it was a reminder of why I'd been so impressed by Trent Reznor and his not-very-merry men in the first place.

The fact is that, into his forties, Reznor does Angst and Atmosphere extremely well. Lest we forget, he produced Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar LP, thus turning Manson into a bigger star than him in the first place, but he still has an edge. Whereas Manson took Alice Cooper's template and ran with it, Reznor is the more thoughful, watchful older brother. There is still an element of nosie and industrial influences on here, as shown on opener '999,999' but Reznor has not forgotten tunes, and these are here in abundance, particularly '1,000,000' and 'Discipline.'

If you didn't like Nine Inch Nails before this may not change your mind, but if you ever felt that there was something else there, that you wanted to peer closer into the abyss you will find this a rewarding listen.


Nine Inch Nails -'1,000,000.' mp3

Nine Inch Nails -'Discipline.' mp3

The album can be downloaded for free at the Nine Inch Nails website. A physical release will follow shortly.

Album Review: Parka

Parka -'Attack Of the Hundred Yard Hardman.' (Jeepster)

Many years ago, Jeepster signed and released albums by two acts based north of the border, one of whom did well under Jeepster (Belle and Sebastian), the other who left to a major label before they started to sell huge quantities of records and changed their main influence from Sebadoh to Coldplay (Snow Patrol). So where do Parka stand?

Musically speaking, Parka would appear to have more in common with the likes of the View or the Fratellis than either Belle and Sebastian or Snow Patrol. This is jolly, knees up vaguely 'indie' rather than groundbreakingly radical indie. Yet, I'm not sure how much that matters. Parka don't seem to make any claims towards being radical, what they are is fun, and that they succeed at brilliantly.

Including the three singles released so far: 'If You Wanna?', 'Disco Dancer' and 'Better Anyway' Parka's debut is worth checking out. The fun starts with opener 'Bosses and Bastards' and continues right through. It won't change your life, but it could be the soundtrack to your summer. And that's gotta be worth something.


Parka -'Bosses and Bastards.' mp3

Parks -'Better Anyway.' mp3

Parka's website/Parka's MySpace

[P.S. If you want new music and like Nine Inch Nails, their album is out today and it's free. A review will appear here shortly...See their website for a free legal download of the entire album

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New CSS and Coldplay which two hotly anticipated albums of 2008 make tracks available for free via their website. Glad to see record companies are finally waking up to this.

Firstly, CSS' new LP Donkey is due out soon, and this track is entitled 'Rat is Dead (Rage).' mp3

CSS -'Rat Is Dead (Rage).' mp3

Meanwhile, Coldplay's Viva La Vida is due out in June. I stand by liking Coldplay. Sure there are loads of godawful bands who have missed the subtleties of Coldplay (I'm perfectly serious; if you can't hear them, then that kind of proves the point, doesn't it?) and attempted to cash-in. I first got into them in 1999 when they released the Blue Room EP and have enjoyed them ever since. Remember: Nirvana shouldn't be blamed for Nickleback, nor should Green Day be blamed for Sum 41and Blink 182.

Coldplay - 'Violet Hill.' mp3

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The legendary c81 tape

This cassette (and yes, I mean cassette) was utterly, utterly seminal, perhaps even more so than its sister release, the c86 cassette, also compiled by NME, in summing up the music and mood of an era. In his book Rip It Up And Start Again, Simon Reynolds calles it 'Post-Punk's Swan Song.' Over the course of the next twelve months, the post-punk landscape continued to shift, change and develop into what became known as 'New Pop'. On the one hand New Pop gave us the Human League, ABC, Depeche Mode, and incorporated a few of the acts on this tape (Scritti Politti, Wah!), but it also gave us acts that ruined classic songs, had big haircuts and egos, and still inspire people to go on about how much the eighties was good for cheese. Lord save us from those who buy into the 'so rubbish it's good' myth.

Anyway, for more on this tape check out these entries at Indie-mp3 and at Wikipedia. In fact, if you like great music make sure you check out indie mp3 anyway for proper indie music.

Side One

1. The "Sweetest Girl"" – Scritti Politti
2. "Twist and Crawl Dub" – The Beat
3. "Misery Goats" – Pere Ubu
4. "7,000 Names of Wah!" – Wah! Heat
5. "Blue Boy" – Orange Juice
6. "Raising the Count" – Cabaret Voltaire
7. "Kebab Traume Live" – D.A.F
8. "Bare Pork" – Furious Pig
9. "Raquel" – The Specials
10. "I Look Alone" – Buzzcocks
11. "Fanfare in the Garden" – Essential Logic
12. "Born Again Cretin" – Robert Wyatt

Side Two

1. "Shouting Out Loud" – The Raincoats
2. "Endless Soul" – Josef K
3. "Low Profile" – Blue Orchids
4. "Red Nettle" – Virgin Prunes
5. "We Could Send Letters" – Aztec Camera
6. "Milkmaid" – Red Crayola
7. "Don't Get in My Way" – Linx
8. "The Day My Pad Went Mad" – The Massed Carnaby St John Cooper Clarkes
9. "Jazz Is the Teacher, Funk Is the Preacher" – James Blood Ulmer
10. "Close to Home" – Ian Dury
11. "Greener Grass" – Gist
12. "Parallel Lines" – Subway Sect
13. "81 Minutes" - John Cooper Clarke

Enjoy folks!

Some Covers For Saturday Part VII

The following covers came on a free CD given away by the NME a few months ago. Time to share with the 17 Seconds readers:

Manic Street Preachers - 'Umbrella.' mp3 (Rihanna cover)

The Futureheads -'A Picture Of Dorian Gray.' mp3 (Television personalities cover)

Lightspeed Champion -'Back To Black.' mp3 (Amy Winehouse cover)

CSS -'Knife.' mp3 (Grizzly Bear cover)

The Cribs -'Modern Way.' mp3 (Kaiser Chiefs cover)

Kaiser Chiefs -'Golden Skans.' mp3 (Klaxons cover)

The Kooks -'Young Folks.' mp3 (Peter Bjorn and John cover)

Does It Offend You, Yeah? -'Whip It (live).' mp3 (Devo cover)

Kate Nash -'Men's Needs.' mp3 (Cribs cover)

My Chemical Romance -'Song 2.' mp3 (Blur cover)

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly -'D.A.N.C.E.' mp3 (Justice cover)

The Wombats -'Bleeding Love.' mp3 (Leona Lewis cover)

Bloc Party -'Say It Right.' mp3 (Nelly Furtado cover)

And as a couple of bonuses:

The Streets -'Your Song.' mp3 (Elton John cover) (from a Radio 1 compilation)

Biffy Clyro -'Umbrella.' mp3 (from the same Radio 1 compilation)

More posts to come this weekend, including (hopefully) the long-searched for NME C81 tape...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Five festive Fifty Favourites for Friday, nice alliteration, I guess!

First up, one of those genuinely life-changing bands, Sonic Youth. The first album of theirs I heard was Goo, and while this may be indie heresy, I even prefer it to Daydream Nation (a few years ago, I played in a band with the working name of Daydream Nation. Our bassist hated it, and it transpired there is already a band of that name. Oh well). Never understood how 'Dirty Boots' from Goo didn;t make that year's Festive Fifty, though...

Sonic Youth -'Kool Thing.' mp3

Sonic Youth -'Tunic (Song For Karen).' mp3

Does anyone else think this is a bit similar to 'Kiss Them For Me' by Siouxsie and the Banshees, which came out about the same time? Either way, cool record.

Chapterhouse -'Pearl.' mp3

'I wanna die...I wanna die...' Nowadays, a fifteen year old would embrace/shun this track for being 'emo' with that lyric. But when it came out, I was fifteen, had never heard the word emo, and just thought it was drop dead cool. more than cood be said for me at the time.

Jesus and Mary Chain -'Reverence.' mp3

Fast forward to 1998, Britpop has gone down the plughole, and Norman Cook has yet another rebirth. This still makes me dance, really badly, mind...

Fatboy Slim -'Rockafeller Skank.' mp3

As I near to my 500th post, there will be more weird and wonderful music here. Watch this space...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

It's May already

...the days are getting longer in every sense, and Spring seems to be here in Scotland too.

Along with the rain, but even then it doesn't seem so bleak.

So how about a track from Australia's second-greatest ever band?

Go-Betweens -'Spring Rain.' mp3

And there's a bank holiday coming up too. Great time of year for four day weeks...