Making your summer playlists? Don’t forget the explosive, electric, eclectic bundle of sassy soul that is The Honorable South

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This 3-track playlist – All I Know, Summertime & Beast – are my picks from their 2012 debut, I Love My Tribe. Their follow up, Faithful, Brave, and Honest, is due out anytime.



Paper Lace: And they were ‘this close’, too

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“In the heat of a summer night/In the land of the dollar bill…A man named Al Capone/Tried to make that town his own….The night Chicago died/And they talk about it still.”

No, it wasn’t that night, and they don’t talk about it still. Mrs O’Leary’s cow didn’t kick over the lantern that started the Great Chicago Fire either.

 [Ken Burns documentary available on NetFlix in a country near you: Al Capone didn’t swoop into Chicago from New York with muskets bursting one night and die in a heroic hail of gunfire with rival gangs. It was indeed a bloody era and Pacino, oops, Capone was once arrested in the heat of a summer night, but that was years before the infamous St Valentines Day Massacre (in frigid February), Chicago was a minor mob market and it was syphilis, in Florida that finally shot Capone down. He did go to prison for tax evasion, in a plea bargain.]

Paper Lace wasn’t the first band to mince and mingle history and topical styles and think “we can get in on this”, but kids, stay in school. Go home and listen to records, dance and play along with them badly. You’ll get ideas, but if they are marketing think of the military, the Jesuits or your Dad 

Hear thee this: Old sounds and words begeteth a reprise


Doublemono – Sonnets 8 /10

Did Shakespeare really wear an earring?

IN THE MP3 AGE, when sounds are compressed and limited, hearing something sonically wonderful is unusual. Enter Cara Dillon and Doublemono, who decided to put Shakespeare’s sonnets to music using period instruments.

She borrowed priceless harpsichords, virginals, lutes, harps and theorbos from museums and found hand-made replicas for those too fragile to use. The result is a surprisingly modern-sounding folk album with sounds you have never heard before.

You’d probably have to play with the Watson Twins to feel where they can take a song

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TRIV QUESTION for you: What musical act was on late night US TV – Letterman, Leno, etc – the most times last year? Whatever you answered you were wrong. The right answer is a pair of sisters called the Watson Twins.

Leigh and Chandra have never been on TV as headliners and their albums haven’t sold real well, hence their unsigned status. But they’ll take a song places no one knew it could go, so people ask them to sing along. It’s unheard of for backup singers to lead a song, but they get a soulful, somewhat sultry thing going and have a knack for finding a quite magical dialogue between instruments. People, famous or not, find themselves nodding their heads in appreciation and getting carried along.

Oh, and they are also very good songwriters. *sighs*

If you see Megan Huddleston, run as fast as you can if you are guilty of anything

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I don’t date, but if I did the last person on my list would be the unsigned, Virginian, murderous singer-songwriter Megan Huddleston.

Yes, murderous. She has this thing about boyfriends who cheat, dump her or otherwise don’t do as she pleases. So she stabs them, buries them or otherwise rids herself of the problem.

Hard to find fault with that because men are cochons and get what they deserve. But why is she unsigned?

D.O.A. has never been for the faint of heart. It’s really best to stop reading now

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D.O.A. from Vancouver suburb Burnaby, like Black Fag in LA, were almost too good for punk. They could play their instruments (mostly), they thought about solutions and they could write a tune.

Now D.O.A. have a new album out for the first time in decades. It is hard to understand why; punk is long dead and lead Joe Keithley, aka Joey Shithead, is a family guy who volunteers at his kids’ school, works on environmental campaigns and nods hello to you on the sidewalk.

But no matter how growed up you become, sometimes you still just got to – excuse the language – be a cunt.

We Are Augustines: Personal tragedy begets an indie album that’s just about too painful to hear

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We Are Augustines – Rise Ye Sunken Ships       9/10

IMAGINE growing up, mostly in care, with “a drunk for a mother and a saint for a brother”, James, who killed himself in a mental facility. That’s Billy McCarthy’s backstory.

tried the Bible/tried the bottle/tried the needle/I’ve tried it all

We Are Augustines ticks all the boxes of a young, indie band. Staccato drums. Lots of guitar. Angst. But the material is way too mature, too probing and too disturbing for the young uns, which may be why it took two bands and five years to bring it to life.

Lord I see red/it’s storming in my head/I’ve got cathedrals in my ears/and I think my daddy’s dead

Top marks to producer Dave Newfield [Broken Social Scene] for holding it back from maudlin, and to McCarthy for – Fallon like – hiding brilliant lines in melodies.

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