Category Archives: Music

“What is this place / filled with magic and wonder?”

Happy (late) Birthday, Claire Anne Carr!

Guys, guys, guys! Anyone here like “My Little Pony”?* I want to address this to the attentions of any and all bronies, fans of MLP, and/or fans of classic rock covers. Claire Ann Carr has a fantastic deal on at the moment, and as little as I like proselytizing for people to buy shit, if you like the things I mentioned above you’ll enjoy this.

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Christmas Music – not a defence, but a promotion!

I’ve been pretty lax this year about writing for solstice. Or for Christmas. Or, frankly, for any other holiday around this time of year that includes cold weather, presents, alcohol and togetherness.

So, late as I am and late as I can, I’m going tell you about the music I’ve been listening to.

OK, lets start with this – I collect Christmas music. I know, I know; I should probably be talking to a support group about this particular eccentricity rather than you. But music is what I talk about on this site, and dammit, I’m going to.

I collect it, and not because it’s cheesy, or laughable, or glurgy – all of which are fair assessments. No, I collect it because some of it is excellent, and I want to celebrate this holiday with excellent music. If you saw any of my posts last year leading up to Christmas, you’ll see that there’s some odd stuff on there, and not all of it is traditionally Christmassy. But then again, what is? Pretty much anything can be festive with enough bells and trumpets. Just look at Prokofiev.

“The Bells; THE BELLS!!”

So, don’t get put off. And with that in mind, listen to these albums:

  • Jethro Tull, rather than it being a cop-out like I expected, made a fantastic Christmas album in 2003, called the obvious “Jethro Tull Christmas Album”. It is REALLY GOOD
  • This year I’ve discovered what this is. Apparently there ARE Christmas protest songs!
  • Courtesy of Greta, I’ve been listening to The Doubtful Palace’s collection of odd christmas songs. Oh yes, they are good – I’m just not sure what to do with them all. All – including a very clever cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, “Christmas Rhapsody” – can be downloaded for free here.

Honourable Mentions:

  • Kevin Bloody Wilson’s “Kev’s Kristmas” – Look, I have it on good authority that this is good stuff, and it’s comedy rock! From Australia! You know, Minchin-land! I haven’t heard this, but I’m waiting until tomorrow for that. ‘Til then.
  • I keep meaning to buy this, and maybe will in the next few hours, but this compilation by Tiny Lights starts with The Futureheads’ “Christmas Was Better In The 80’s”, a cracking track. If the rest is anywhere near as good, then my future purchase will be worth it!

Happy Solstice, all, I’ll see you in a bit. I have an actual Christmas round-up in the works soon, so I’ll be back then. Til then, here’s to you!


For those who weren’t there, here is last year’s “Twelve Days of Solstice” as chosen by me, and counting up to Christmas day:

The Hang of Music: BATTY!

Good Eeeeeveing; I am ze Maven of ze… WAIT, wrong creepy opening.


“Boys and girls of every age,

Wouldn’t you like to read something strange?

Come with me, and you will find

The creepiest music that comes to mind!”

Yes, as it is Hallowe’en, I’m posting a review a day early, and I like to think I have a treat and a trick for you tonight.

No more spoilers! Listen, learn, and read on!

I made this pumpkin when I was about 13. Best. Pumpkin. EVER!

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The Hang of Music: Invisible Girls not included

Hey guys, just me gearing up for NaNoWriMo here, so gonna be brief here, so I can get back to planning the next review so I can get it in on time.

So yeah, something different this week – John Cooper Clarke, with his debut “Disguise in Love”. So, unlike usual, I get to start with a pun, even if it’s only the orginal album title.

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Announcement for November!

As I indicated at the beginning of the last post, stuff! Stuff that will shake you to your very core!

Starting with this picture:

As a few of you who frequent the internet may know, November is National Novel Writing Month. (The word “National” means nothing here, as it’s online, and the internet is a nation unto itself.) Essentially, the spiel is that aspiring writers pledge to, over the course of a 30 day period, write a novel of 50,000 words or more – averaging at 1667 words per day. This is, obviously, a huge commitment.

And I have decided to give it a go.

I’ve been planning to write a book for a bit now, and I’ve been planning my WriMo-ing for a little less. I’ve been very sporadic recently about updates, and a part of that has been because “reviewing time” has been superceded by “novel planning time”. (It’s also because I’m shit at organising myself – hence why a month of writing every day is both a terrifying prospect and an exciting dream-come-true.)

But obviously, writing a book will cut into my reviewing time a fair bit. So, as of the end of this setlist, and on Halloween night no less, I am suspending “The Hang of Music” for at least a month. I will not be writing any reviews until I’ve hit those 50k words, I warn you now!

I will, perhaps, be putting up some creative writing, as a replacement for this semi-regular feature, but don’t worry, I won’t be subjecting any of you to unwanted beta reading here: only my closest friends will be tormented by serious prose the shade of purple.

FYI, though, if any of you are doing NaNoWriMo this year, please get in contact with me on there – my username is “Hatful_of_Napalm”, and I’d love to see a friendly face on the fora! And the point of NaNo is to give us all a time to write, so we can all pull together, so socialising is always nice!

Anyway, thanks for reading, sorry about the lateness, and see you in a few days – I am off to invent some fictions!

I won’t be doing any of this, though.

The Hang of Music: No Peace for the Wicked

Right, gonna be some changes in a bit, after this set is over. As it is, I know I’ve been pretty unreliable about deadlines. But it will all make sense soon.

Until then, enjoy me talking about The Only Ones’ eponymous first album, and take this opportunity to listen to “Another Girl, Another Planet” again.

Oh, sweet music. Read the rest of this entry

The Hang of Music: The Hang of the Mountain King

Wow, last place again! Well, this is an interesting review at least. I hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed trying to untangle my feelings about cover bands having a life of their own and branching out.

This is Apocalyptica, with their third album, “Cult”.

Get ready for a jarring  Read the rest of this entry

The Hang of Music: Reviewentanz

Good music; you will like

Well, since being one of the coolest people on earth is a pretty awesome feat, I really want to be able to donate money to Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra for their new song. Sadly, I am too poor. The best I can do is tell you, my viewership, about the fact that they are giving away (theoretically) FREE MUSIC FOR YOUR EARS.

Can I embed stuff here? No? Then I’ll have to tell you to go to the link below that has an image attached. Go get stuff!

And if you want an idea as to what this sounds like, I can only say that it’s a bit like this.

I feel it’s kind of sad that this is a sampler which is longer than a number of albums that I can name, and yet it’s for free, and the intention is to use it to promote the actual album. I don’t know what makes it sad – that it’s being “given away” like this, that giving it away is a viable move, or that I actually can’t afford to give the money that I want to – but it seems a wee bit unfair still.

Author filibuster over –  I has music, you should download it, and tip her/them if you can. But above all enjoy Amanda Palmer’s music: jesus-fuck, she sure is!

The Hang of Music: Three Times Over Clutch In August

Hey guys, we’re stepping back into familiar territory with a band I’ve been trying to fathom for most of my time on this blog. I remember sitting in a friends house and writing the review for this band’s first album last summer. Oh good times, days before I became the internet powerhouse I am now…

I am speaking, of course, of Clutch, who are to poets what bin-men are to mathematicians, but they can shred a guitar.

That was a bit harsh, but regardless here’s their third album, inexplicably called “The Elephant Riders”. No mention of the Maharaja anywhere.

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