Saturday, January 15, 2011

Digital Socket Awards: shortlist announced

The shortlist for the Digital Socket Awards (, has been announced. 26 bloggers, including myself, chose from the publicly-nominated longlist in each of the fourteen categories, and the votes have been tallied up. Personally speaking I discovered lots of cool stuff that I hadn't been aware of before the public nominations, and ended up voting for some of it. When you look over the fourteen categories it's clear how much great music has been released domestically in the last year. I think it's great to see musicians/bands like Jogging, Angkorwat, Thread Pulls and Meljoann getting recognition because it's stuff that's relatively out on the fringes, even if it mightn't seem that way to fanatics who devour music 24/7. At the same time, excellent releases by the likes of Nouveaunoise, School Tour, Logikparty, Children Under Hoof, Laura Sheeran, and Strands were unlucky not to make the cut. There was some pretty fierce competition within the categories, in fairness. It's also fantastic to see record labels, photographers, artwork, video-directors and radio shows getting recognition.

1. Best Design (Website, Artwork, Posters)

Adebisi Shank – This is the Second Album
Cathy Davey – The Nameless
Halves – It Goes, It Goes (Forever and Ever)
O Emperor – Hither Thither
Villagers – Becoming a Jackal

2. Best Independent Label

Any Other City
Osaka Records
Out On A Limb
Popical Island
Richter Collective

3. Best Video

Ambience Affair – Devil in detail
BATS – Star Wormwood
Cathy Davey – Little Red
Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands – Contact Sports
Rubberbandits – Horse Outside

4. Best Music Photography

Kieran Frost
Ruth Medjber
Alessio Michelini
Loreana Rushe

5. Best Radio Show

Alison Curtis
Donal Dineen – The Small Hours
I-con Phanotm FM
Paul McLoone
Right Click Radio with Aoife Mc on 2XM

6. Best Pop

Cathy Davey – The Nameless
The Divine Comedy – Bang Goes the Knighthood
Fight Like Apes – The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner
So Cow – Meaningless Friendly
Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History

7. Best Folk

Simon Fagan – Outside Looking In
Halves – It Goes, It Goes (Forever and Ever)
James Vincent McMorrow – Early in the Morning
O Emperor – Hither Thither
Villagers – Becoming a Jackal

8. Best Rock and Alternative

Adebisi Shank – This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called…
Enemies – We’ve Been Talking
Jogging – Minutes
Redneck Manifesto – Friendship
Thread Pulls – New Thoughts

9. Best Electronic & Hip Hop

Meljoann – Squick
Not Squares – Yeah OK
R.S.A.G. – Be It Right or Wrong
Shit Robot – From The Cradle To The Rave
Solar Bears – She Was Coloured In

10. Best Indie

The Cast of Cheers – Chariot
Grand Pocket Orchestra – The Ice Cream
Groom – Marriage
Ham Sandwich – White Fox
Jogging – Minutes

11. Best EP

The Ambience Affair -Patterns
And So I Watch You From Afar – The Letters
Angkorwat- Early..
The Holy Roman Army – Desecrations
Sacred Animals – Welcome Home

12. Best Newcomer.

The Cast Of Cheers
Jennifer Evans
Hipster Youth
James Vincent McMorrow
Solar Bears

13. Song of the Year

Adebisi Shank – Genki Shank
The Cast Of Cheers – I Am Lion
Cathy Davey – Little Red
Squarehead – Fake Blood
Villagers – The Meaning of the Ritual

14. Album of the Year

Adebisi Shank - This is the Second Album
The Cast Of Cheers – Chariot
Cathy Davey – The Nameless
James Vincent McMorrow – Early in the Morning
Villagers – Becoming a Jackal

The live event will take place on February 3rd in The Grand Social, Dublin, where the winners in each category will be announced. Meljoann and Groom will be performing on the night, along with two special guests who are yet to be announced. Comedian/writer Gareth Stack will be overseeing the whole affair,and there'll be 'special DJ sets, delicious food and drinks along with a very special participating partner presenting a surprise award on the night'. A limited amount of tickets are on sale now from for 10 euro (plus 2 euro booking fee) and profits will go to Aware (

The full shortlist complete with links can be seen here:

GROOM - THIS GOLDEN AGE - Radio Edit from Reasonably Shorts on Vimeo.

01 So Academic by meljoann

Thursday, January 6, 2011

playlist/tunes of the week

Great Lakes Mystery - '1/1/11'

1/1/11 by Great Lakes Mystery

Star Slinger - 'Like I Do'

Star Slinger - Like I Do by Star Slinger

Mogwai - 'Rano Pano'

Mogwai - Rano Pano by Hypetrak

Tanlines - 'O Seizing The Day O' (feat. Luke Jenner)

Blondes - 'Virgin Pacific'

Virgin Pacific by BLONDES

LA Vampires - 'How Would U Know'

LA Vampires feat. Matrix Metals - How Would U Know from Not Not Fun on Vimeo.

James Ferraro - 'Leather High School'

James Ferraro "Leather High School" from the album "Night Dolls With Hairspray" by OESB

Big Troubles - 'Georgia'

Geotic - 'Unwind'

Hard Mix - 'Callers'


Millionyoung - 'Replicants'


Screaming Females - 'I Do'

Sun Airway - American West (Solar Bears remix)

Solar Bears have already been on the remix duties with FUR ('Friends' and 'Clears Throat') - now they've turned their attentions to Sun Airway, who released the notable Nocturne Of Exploded Crystal Chandelier last year, a collection of wide-eyed, dreamy psych-pop. Via Pitchfork, this is the duo's take on 'American West', playing down the dream-state vibe and giving it more of an electronic pulse.

get the download over at

Sun Airway were also recently remixed by Lefse-signed duo Houses, who are arguably just as blissed-out in sound but in a more chilled and less expansive sense.

You can get that download over here:

'Waiting On You' is still one of my favourite tunes from last year:

Waiting on You by Sun Airway

Meanwhile, Solar Bears just yesterday tweeted the following links for both of their aforementioned FUR remixes (FUR being the experimental project of Bryce Isbell, who last year collaborated with Coyote Clean Up for the excellent Lackadaisical EP):

...and since I mentioned it:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hefty Horse presents: Sacred Animals/We Are Losers/The Holy Roman Army

This takes place upstairs in Whelan's next Tuesday, January 11th, with three bands/acts who released fantastic EPs last year, and who should all be releasing some more quality stuff in the year ahead. Sacred Animals' Welcome Home was widely acclaimed in the end-of-year lists and summaries, with 'Chosen Seed' already having the air of a classic about it

We Are Losers, a solo project by Gavin Elsted of Super Extra Bonus Party (who's also behind Adultrock and the Adebisi Shank/Jay Z mash-up), released an EP that was two parts lo-fi Wavves-esque fun and one part dreamy shoegaze amazingness ('Windbreaker'):

...while Carlow-based duo The Holy Roman Army were responsible for the Desecrations EP, a collection of covers that brought new life to classics by Rollerskate Skinny and the Pixies. They'll be getting back to releasing their own self-penned material this year, with a follow-up to debut album How The Light Gets In due.

Incidentally, there's also a Holy Roman Army remix of a Sacred Animals tune in the pipeline for the not-too-distant future.

Three great acts then, fiver in, 8pm kick-off.


'See you at the re-scheduled party, Richter!'

The Richter Collective Christmas party fell victim to the weather, but it's been rescheduled (a post-Christmas party now) for January 14th at The Button Factory. It features the stonking bill of BATS, Not Squares, Herv, Enemies, Jogging, Logikparty and The Continuous Battle Of Order. Speaking of Logikparty, they recently made an outtake from the High Risk Narcissist sessions available for free download:

This week sees a couple of big 'uns: Popicalia #5 takes place in Shebeen Chic this Friday night with sets from Pantone247, We Are Losers and Hello Moon.

Really loved the lo-fi Wavves vibes of the We Are Losers EP from last year, especially the closing track which is outstanding.

On the same night, Joker will be bringing his dazzling purple sound to the Twisted Pepper, with assistance from MC Nomad and support from Weapon Of Choice and Cloyment. The producer recently signed to Universal after a string of excellent 12" releases in the last few years. He has been working on a debut LP, with a possible release date early in the year.

He also provided a stunning mix for Mary Anne Hobbs last year, the Ghetto Clang mix, which you can download from here:

On January 15th, And So I Watch You From Afar, Codes, Dark Room Notes and Le Galaxie will join forces for a gig in The Button Factory in support of Amnesty International Ireland and See Change. It's part of First Fortnight, an arts-based mental health awareness project that runs in the first two weeks of every year. Quite a varied line-up; And So I Watch You From Afar were in fine form when i saw them in Roisin Dubh on New Year's Eve-eve. Recent track 'Straight Through The Sun' is a bit of a departure for them too:

And So I Watch You From Afar - Straight Through The Sun by Soundsgoodtometoo

Owensie recently signed to the very excellent label Out On A Limb Records, who will be releasing his debut album Aliens on February 4th. You can stream it right now, however: just head over to Nialler9: The album launch takes place on 21st January in La Catedral Studios, Dublin, with support from Amber Wilson and Eoin Whitfield.