MV & EE are hitting the road this April with Mick Flower (Vibracatherdral Orchestra) for a tour of the North East. The tour has many highlights along the way that see the duo joined by special guests. While in Boston Mick Flower will also branch out from MV & EE to perform with longtime collaborator and much heralded underground percussionist Chris Corsano. Their Brooklyn show will see recent LSTN favorite Spectre Folk play as well.

LSTN is proud to be presenting 2 of their NY shows, one at SUNY Purchase & Death By Audio (BK) respectively. Check back for more info on these dates in the near future.

In the meantime the Matt & Erika recently started their own blog (sounds familiar to us over here at Last Nights) where you'll be able to get MV & EE related news straight from the source. You can check it out at

Live Dates
April Flower Tour
Mon 4th - Feeding Tube - Northampton, MA (w/ Willie Lane)
Tues 5th - The Arts Center - Saratoga Springs, NY
Wed 6th - The Church - Boston, MA (w/ Flower Corsano Duo & Mmoss)
Thurs 7th - SUNY Purchase - Purchase, NY (w/ Images, Jefferson High, Colour Bük)
Fri 8th - Death By Audio - Brooklyn, NY (w/ Spectre Folk, Images, Jefferson High)
Sat 9th - Brickbat Books - Philadelphia, PA (w/ Willie Lane)
Sun 10th - The Crimson Lion Hookah Lounge - Wilkes-Barre , PA

Mr. Kenny Brown

Thx to Nicolas Jacquet!

Kenny Brown - "You’ve Got to Move" and "France Chance" at Music in the Hall: Episode Thirteen from Daniel Morrow on Vimeo.

And the greatest of these...

Seems the fundies are already up in arms... I thought we were supposed to WANT hell to be empty?! Oh well, seems I must be a post-modern, semi-evangelical, universalist something or other...


THE 1969s

I been diggin' The 1969s lately. Coming straight outta Dallas, the 1969's rock some good stompin' hardass funqued up blues ala a full band Left Lane Cruiser and/or Hillstomp.  Ridin' the party side lyrically and kickin' the door to the party down wearin' ZZ Top's 1981 boots makes for a damn good time. Two free ep downloads via Bandcamp!

The 1969s @ Bandcamp // facebook // interwebs


Jesus is a Rochdale girl...

From Elbow's much heralded new album Build a Rocket Boys! comes this unplugged version of their song about love and care, sentiments described in the video by singer Guy Garvey. I love the lyrical layers, no idea if it's intentional or subliminal, sounds a lot like the passage in Matthew 10 that my buddy James The Artist (and musician!) drew attention to this week...


Metal Mountains are a few shows in NYC this March for the release of their debut LP, Golden Trees. The group counts as its members Helen Rush, P.G. Six, & Samara Lubelski. None of whom are strangers due to their involvement in the infamous Tower Recordings, not to mention their own solo outings and other band involvements. That is all but Rush who has been conspicuously quiet up until now, as the press release informs us that Metal Mountains' songs are primarily penned Rush.

The album is being released by Amish records who have a history of putting out some outstanding LPs by some of the best avant-folk/underground artists working today. This includes Hall of Fame, Oakley Hall & Starving Weirdos to name a few.

Above you'll find a video of Metal Mountains performing "Orange/Yellow" at Monster Island Basement Feb. 4th, 2011. A show that saw them share the stage with Ducktails & Woods. While below you'll find live dates for Metal Mountains & Samara Lubelski/Marcia Bassett.

Live Dates

Metal Mountains
Mar 3 - Secret Project Robot - NYC (w/ Spectre Folk, Roeenney)
Mar 20 - The Stone
NYC (curated by White Out)

Samara Lubelski/Marcia Bassett Duo
Feb 22nd - Zebulon - NYC (w/ Messages, Eleven Twentynine, Gunn/Truscinski Duo)
March 18th- Church of St. Paul - NYC *Samara solo (w/ Godspeed You Black Emporer)
March 29th - A/V Night at LMAK Series - NYC
Duo April 17th - The Stone - NYC (w/ Helen Rush)

If music be the food of love...

Here we go again! A MEME request has arrived from Graham Peacock, author of one of my regular blog reads, diggingalot, which means it would be rude not to respond! Although, I have to say, I was going to leave this particular debate alone for a while, despite having lots to say on the matter and much more than I will be able to here!

However, this does give me an opportunity, as I have been so warmly invited, to spell out a handful of things that seriously bug me! Graham's MEME asks for 'Your best contemporary worship song ever' but let's get some things straight first:
  1. There is NO SUCH THING as Christian Music, CCM or whatever...
  2. There is NO SUCH THING as Worship Music...
  3. There is NO SUCH THING as Sacred Music...
  4. There is NO SUCH THING as Secular Music...
  5. Music itself is NOT Worship - although music can be worshipful...
  6. Music IS often Spiritual - more on this in a future post...
  7. There IS such a thing as a priority to care for the sick, the oppressed, the poor, the downtrodden and the immigrant...
Let's emphasise this with is an important quote in Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis:
Something can be labeled 'Christian' and not be true or good. It is possible for music to be labeled Christian and be terrible music. Just because it is a Christian book by a Christian author and it was purchased in a Christian bookstore doesn't mean it is all true or good or beautiful. A Christian political group puts me in an awkward position: What if I disagree with them? Am I less of a Christian? What if I am convinced the 'Christian' thing to do is to vote the exact opposite?
'Christian' (the word) is a great noun but a poor adjective.
Another issue with using 'Christian' and 'Worship' as adjectives coupled with the word music has meant that both new commercial opportunities and new genres have arisen over the years. These have led to sub-standard product being peddled to churches and Christians in preference to most mainstream music on the grounds the former is more sanctified. It is not! It is simply not as good as the mainstream equivalent, often a poor quality sound-alike!

I recall Francis Schaeffer said something along the lines of 'you can have good art with good message, bad art with a good message, good art with a bad message and finally bad art with a bad message'. My opinion (yes, opinion!) is the stuff described as 'Christian Music' and 'Worship Music' falls into the latter category. Why don't we see the image of the Creator in so much of the mainstream music / art that is there ready made to utilise in church?

In a service of divine worship music needs to enhance, encourage and engage the congregation. It should not be an opportunity to proselytise, pander to personal preferences or perform for performance's sake. Music must be an integrated element of the liturgy, whatever style the latter follows. Even worse, this type of music is all too often delivered in such an inappropriate, mind numbing, ear bleeding and indecipherable form that still doesn't hide its naffness! Of course, worship does not necessarily take place within a church anyway, it can and, perhaps, should, happen everywhere... that's a debate.

Although I do not think such a thing as 'contemporary worship music' exists I will just mention contemporary hymns. I do concede that songwriter Stuart Townend has created some moving hymnody, (good art, good message), for example, 'How Deep The Father's Love', which is distinctly different from the usual modern churchy fare.

Having said all that, I have made a suggestion above, simply entitled 'You', which is a song that readily engages me in worship. It is by my buddy Rob Halligan, singer / songwriter extrordinaire and also the lead singist in After The Fire. It spells out grandness, it quotes the good book, it employs poetic imagery, it evokes discipleship and even a personal response but not as a simpering request to cuddle up to Jesus. It is just at home in the set list when we play a full on mainstream concert or in a liturgical church service, thereby breaking any divide between the sacred and secular.

I know this only just scratches the surface, my plea is to leave the veil of the Temple riven.


It seems Peter Nolan's solo material as Spectre Folk is consistently understood as a side project in the public eye. After all it's hard to compete when your other band is thee Magik Markers. But maybe things will start to change a little in the near future as Nolan and company prepare for the release of the newest Spectre Folk 12" EP out on Woodsist March 29.

The Blackest Medicine, Vol II as it's called seems to take inspiration from the same pool of acidic stoned folk rock as the previous few Spectre Folk albums. This album sees Nolan joined by Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) Peter Meehan (The Grey Lady) , & Aaron Mullen (Tall Firs).

Any doubts of the music coming second to such a star studded line up are put to rest by the end the title track The Blackest Medicine. Resembling moments of like minded musicians such as MV & EE, as well as the label's figure heads Woods. But then again Peter has been doing this for some time, before his time with Magik Markers, as Elisa Ambrogio points out in her insightful take on the release.

Peter Nolan is currently touring with Sic Alps, playing in Magik Markers. You can find the dates here.

And if you can check out the previous Spectre Folk release Compass Blanket Lantern Mojo on Nolan's own Arbitrary Signs label.

The Insatiable Moon...

The trailer for the New Zealand film The Insatiable Moon about to hit the UK shores, initial run from March 4th at The Empire Leicester Square in London. A fascinating synopsis for a film which deals with mental illness, religion, communities and relationships all in one package.

Turning out to be a special time for films, I'm still recovering from the excellent multi BAFTA winning The King's Speech and prior to that the wonderful Africa United.


Sunday soul soother...

An inspirational version of the song 'Railroad Man' from the enigmatic Eels performed with a string section on Later with Jools. Love the arrangement and instrumentation, simply brilliant:

And I know I can walk along the tracks, it may take a little longer but I'll know how to find my way back...

h/t Graham Peacock


Classic Country Music on Film

I found a neat YT channel with a bunch of classic country artists shot on film in the mid-seventies.
Take a look:

Rest In Peace James O'Gwynn mp3

Jug Brown - mp3

George Jones live at his club Possum Holler

David and Allen Frizzell live at Frizzell Mirror Room


Thanks to all who came out to the Silk Flowers Record Release last Friday (2/4)! It was a great time. Happy so many people came out for the party and got to check out all the awesome bands. Shea Stadium, our gracious hosts for the evening, recently launched their own website ( and will hopefully be providing audio of each set in the near future.

...Anyway big thanks to Shea Stadium, Silk Flowers, Soft Circle, Mazing Vids, R.A.F. & all who came out!

On another note...

Some of you may have noticed the changes to the blog. I've decided it best to widen my focus a bit you could say. First of all I've merged my other blog with this one, creating a sole site for everything that myself & LSTN (Last Nights) are up. This includes the random ponderings and whatnot.

I've also been in the habit of booking & promoting more and more show as of late, rather than putting out an endless stream of recordings that few will buy. Still reserving the right for the occasional LSTN release but mainly everything will go the route of shows as far as promotion stuff goes. Hopefully more fun and useful!


NYC based group Psychic Ills have been pushing some boundaries with their blend of art/psych rock and electronics for a few years now. As such their addition into RVNG's FRKWYS 12" catalogue isn't too surprising. But when you consider that people like Detroit Techno pioneer Juan Atkins decided to jump on board and provide a remix of their 2009 track Mantis things get pretty exciting.

The release also boasts remix's by Gibby Hanes (Butthole Surfers) & Hans-Joachim Irmler (Faust). Yes, it's definitely rad that they were able to get these guys but their tracks left little to the imagination especially when compared with the source material. As such Atkins' track manages to outshine the rest due to both a thoughtful approach in wedding the sounds of Detroit Techno with the Ills unique blend of electronics & psych rock. Turning the meditative track Mantis into a... well, meditative 4 on the floor classic.

More info on this release and other RVNG releases check their site here.

Images - 'The 60's Sound' CS32

The 60's Sound
Edition of 50
$5 (shipping not included)

Order Direct Here:

The great people at AMDISCS have also been kind enough to distribute the EP digitally.

You can find the digital version here

Liturgical music commission...

Listening to newsreader Jon Snow's Desert Island Disc selection the other day I was really struck by this stand out piece shown above which jogged a distant memory of experiencing it before...

Wikipedia reveals that witty composer Gioachino Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle (Solemn Little Mass) received criticism from none other than Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte that it was 'neither little, solemn nor particularly liturgical'. Rossini prefaced his Mass with this play on words:
Good God—behold completed this poor little Mass—is it indeed sacred music [la musique sacrée] that I have just written, or merely some damned music [la sacré musique]? You know well, I was born for comic opera. Little science, a little heart, that is all. So may you be blessed, and grant me Paradise!
Written unusually for two pianos and a harmonium, this version has the pianos along with what sounds like a pipe organ. It is very daring to provide a musical surprise using upbeat tempo and syncopation in a setting for the Mass. So I am making this my suggestion of liturgical music that would inspire and engage even as a 'performance' choral piece in line with Kathryn's suggestion, more to follow...


I rest my case...

Just when you thought it was safe with so many excellent posts on the subject of CCM songs we love to hate in comes this serious contribution... h/t

However, in the fullness of time I will be posting at least one response to the various blog responses.


Let us sing No Anglican Covenant...

When you, when you forget your name
When old faces all look the same
Meet me in the morning when you wake up
Meet me in the morning then you'll wake up
If only I don't bend and break
I'll meet you on the other side
I'll meet you in the light
If only I don't suffocate
I'll meet you in the morning when you wake
Bitter and hardened heart
Aching waiting for life to start
Meet me in the morning when you wake up

Bend and Break - track 2 on Keane's 2004 album Hopes and Fears


The appalling CCM songs meme...

This is via Rev Sam originally from Doug aka Clayboy: 'Please try to name ONE (I know, there are so many to choose from) CCM praise song that you find unbearable and at least 2-3 reasons why, pointing to specific lyrics if you must.'

Like Sam I don't know any CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) stuff because I simply don't listen to it. However, anyone that goes to church often has to put up with 'praise' songs usually grouped under the 'Worship Music' category. So my example, written by 'leading worship leader Matt Redman' (and his missus) is this complete and utter drivel:
Let my words be few

You are God in heaven
And here am I on earth,
So I'll let my words be few-
Jesus I am so in love with You.

And I'll stand in awe of You,
Yes I'll stand in awe of You,
And I'll let my words be few-
Jesus I am so in love with You.

The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to You,
So I'll let my words be few-
Jesus I am so in love with You.
The Meme requests that 2 - 3 reasons are given why it is unbearable:
  1. It's total crap
  2. It's unbelievably banal
  3. Whenever I have heard it sung/performed the irony of a relatively short song being 'repeated ad infinitum until blessed' never seems to occur to the band!
One day I will really say what I think on the whole genre, both from a musical perspective and, particularly from the marketing side; the fleecing of Christians, temple trading... I could go on and on (until blessed!).

When these guys not only spout their 'songs' but also intersperse them with indecipherable Christianese there is a sense that actually God's name is being taken in vain. Furthermore the whole scene is so self perpetuating in that worship music propagators now organise training seminars and conferences where they train fledgling church musicians/songwriters to simply carry on producing more of the same 'spot the difference' rubbish. They could do much better by suffering (in the best sense of the word) the mentorship of genuine mainstream musicians, writers and producers but that challenges 'safeness'.

We have such a vast resource of more deeply creative and spiritual songs from the panoply of inspirational mainstream artists. Let's play them both in our pubs and churches rejoicing in the clarity of the image of the Creator in their art.


Also see contributions by:
Jon Evens
Phil Ritchie

I tag Tim, Sally, R J, Mike, Graham, Archdruid Eileen

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The Lord's Prayer - Susan Werner style...

Remind the Pope he could have been born a girl...

is just one of the many great lines from this gem of a song by Susan M. Werner. Her publishing royalties will soon be increasing nicely as the voice that is Sir Tom Jones chose her brilliant song 'Did Trouble Me' for his remarkable album 'Praise and Blame'.

Do enjoy this more light-hearted contribution from her repertoire!