This week Dan’s podcast RatholeRadio hit it’s 21st episode and to be fair it seems to be going from strength to strength. It’s a really nice way to round off Sunday evening I’m not sure why but I don’t feel the ‘urgency’ that I sense when other podcasts do their ‘Live’ shows. Maybe its the smaller IRC audience but I think its more to do with the fact that Dan plays what he wants, while you could heckle him from the IRC channel “Dan I’m stabbing myself with a Biro” I doubt very much if he would change the playlist that he had set up for that particular shows performance.
This week I decided to listen on my main openSUSE box rather than my Ubuntu Dell mini the first problem I encountered was appalling sound level, level? there was no sound! Actually that was not strictly true I could hear a faint noise coming from the left headphone. I have two shuttle PC’s both of which have audio in/out on the front, now dear reader you would have thought ‘remove two jacks from top machine plug same into bottom machine’ right? Erm apparently not! The bottom machine has the two ports cunningly swapped! Arrrrgghh I am now deafened and sentenced to suffer from tinnitus for the next week or so as 50 billion decibels burst my not so young eardrums.
As per usual Dan started off with some demo music just to test out his sound systems and the icecast http://188.8.131.52:8216/live we all seem to enjoy this part heaps as its not included in the podcast so its sort of our little groups pre-show party so to speak.
Hold On To Your Structure by The Hoboscopes
This is a fun track, gypsy punk with a heavy accordion lead. This had us all jigging around like lunatics, I like the way Dan plays something lively to kick the show off, gypsy punk always seems to put a smile on my face I suppose the musicians take it seriously I just think its a sort of mickey take on main stream punk or is it a more palatable version? Thumbs up on this one.
These Days by Robin Grey
A guitar based semi folk type song nothing special in my opinion but was a pretty easy listening track so fitted in well with the ‘Sunday Evening’ theme that permeates throughout these reviews. I would have thought Dan would have played a second lively song rather than hitting us with this mellow track? Over all it was a so so track gets a “Meh” on this one.
Loneliness Of The Shot Down Bomber by Paindonor
Now this is an interesting song a cool mellow techno start with a heavy violin influence slightly strange but pretty haunting. I’m not sure if you could “Get down and shake your bootee” to this one but ideal for chilling out to or maybe while driving to work. I really like the title of the song and you did sort of feel, I presume, the pain in the track. Thumbs up on this one.
Words Of Wisdom by George Carlin
This was one of those political ‘message’ monologues Dan seems to favour I’m not a big fan of it myself I’m not sure how it fits into a music show although having said that music and political messages have been intertwined since time began. I suppose it was enjoyable if you’re into that sort of thing it sort of reminds me of those free concerts where you have to listen to Red Robbo after each song to justify getting in for free. Thumbs down on this one.
Sad Man by Dub Rebellion
A Ska, Dub, Reggae band Dan seems to think I’m a huge fan of reggae I like it but its not my sole interest. The cohesion of Ska and Reggea is defiantly right up my street I wonder what a Bob Marley song would have been like given a Ska makeover? I enjoyed this track even doing a few ‘skanking‘ moves which is perfectly acceptable in the privacy of your own home. Thumbs up on this one.
The first ever live Rathole Radio gig tickets go on sale
The first ever live Rathole Radio gig is happening in Liverpool on Friday April 30th at the Bad Format Social Club. It kicks things off nicely for the OggCamp10 weekend to follow. Dan is trying to promote Creative Commons artists and has some amazing acts playing live. There’ll be interactive message walls, many laughs and the bar is also very reasonably priced apparently. I have paid my measly £5.00 so maybe I’ll see you there?
Live Fast Lie Down by BeatSix
This was a fairly lively Rock ‘N’ Soul mix reasonably enjoyable but nothing to set my socks on fire to be honest. I had a quick read-up on their Jamendo profile where they state “Think, very early Duran, mid-era Echo and the Bunnymen, a touch of David Sylvian/Japan with a potent stabs of art-rock guitar stings over a chocolaty bass and drums groove”. which in my opinion translates as “I’m not too sure what we are?” it wasn’t a bad song just nothing special. Gets a “Meh”
Superhero by Lab7
We was back on track with this Electro Spanish group, the song does the classic quiet start building to a heavy typical electro beat, quick as a flash out came the glow sticks and we was pumping to the beat. Apparently they are “An alter ego of a normal someone who uses electronic music to express himself through a kidnapped mind” which is a little bit scary. I like this one a lot and would probably download it. This one gets a thumbs up.
Mr Weirdo by Fresh Body Shop
Dan then hit us with this indie group with a very good beat and guitar rhythm I tried to resist performing as a virtual drummer and made do with ‘foot tapping’ instead. The group hail from France and have a huge list of so called influences listed on their MySpace website I did like the first influence “My cat” which I thought was kinda funny but over all I liked the song so this one gets a thumbs up.
LIVE TRACK – Billy Bragg – “Waiting For The Great Leap Forward”
Within the first two or three chords I recognised this emotional song from my youth with that epic line which is the title of the song. Dan gave us what to date has been my favourite rendition of a song which he belted out with all the passion that Billy himself would have been proud of. I’ve always liked Billy Braggs stuff I wonder if Dan fancies having a crack at the Levi Stubbs cover Tears? Have a listen to some of Billy’s stuff he is a political musician but the words of his songs still have value today. Thumbs up on this one.
Weapons by Keep Cool Vibration
Billed as Reggae Live Dub Rastafari this would be the classic big band Bob Marley type presentation, yes you guessed it we was all doing that slow motion bottom thrusting dancing. Yet another good tune to take up the penultimate slot of the show, I did want to read a bit more about them but their profile on Jamedo is in French and Google translate usually gets French wrong or so I’m told. Some strong trumpet sections and pretty clear vocals all in all a pretty good song which would be well worth downloading in my opinion or at least have a listen on line. Thumbs up on this one.
The Horse & Cart by Kagnee
Yet another song from the catalogue of the band Dan was a member of, this one apparently is about Pamela Anderson who made a porn tape with her partner Tommy Lee Jones back in the days when I had hair. Now I do like some of the stuff on the album but this particular track turned me off while it was probably a laugh making the song and it has some low level historical value, apparently Tommy Lee heard the song and sent a signed copy back to the band, I thought it was terrible just an excuse to say what a slapper she was. Thumbs down on this one.
With seven thumbs up it would seem this weeks show was better than I thought I had a feeling it was slightly down on the last two podcasts that I’d attended but I must be wrong? I obviously enjoyed myself more than I thought.