Left Of The Dial // news
you turn 25, now you're all out of escapes
This week: your humble host turns 25, so we're playing nothing but songs that were also first released in 1986 to see if they've aged as poorly as he has over the past quarter century. Expect The Smiths, New Order, Beastie Boys, R.E.M. and - yes! - The Real Roxanne. Live at 2pm, on listen again shortly thereafter.
Posted at 23:56, 30th April 2011
a record shop's for life not just record store day
This week: a buncha long songs, with both sides of Radiohead's Record Store Day single, some surprisingly sunny Red House Painters, some unsurprisingly sunny Panda Bear and the total antithesis of sunny in Sly & The Family Stone's bad trip bum-out There's A Riot Goin' On.
Posted at 12:59, 24th April 2011
difficult third album
This week: second albums are often known as the 'difficult' ones, but what about the third? More often than not, that's the one that shapes the future career, whether for good (finally hitting that unique sound and sticking with it) or bad (failing spectacularly and retreating to safer ground). We'll looking at classic thirds from Springsteen, Talking Heads, Radiohead, The Replacements, The Stooges and more, and arguing that they're the real legacy-makers for any band.
Posted at 11:04, 17th April 2011
nine types of song
This week: rope-a-dope, the newest in new, as we play nothing but nothing but new stuff. And some Daft Punk. But mostly new stuff, from such luminaries as TV On The Radio, Bill Callahan, Low, and both sides of the limited edition 12" collaboration between Burial, Four Tet and Thom Yorke.
Posted at 12:59, 10th April 2011
to tell the truth, this could be the last time
This week: end of an era. As James Murphy lays LCD Soundsystem to rest, we dedicate an entire show to one of the most important bands of the past decade. Think of it like the helplines they set up for teenage girls when Take That split up, only with more jaded twenty-somethings.
Posted at 13:05, 3rd April 2011
the weeknd starts here
This week: finding out if Fatboy Slim is a part of the past that can be repeated, deafening ourselves with some prime Sonic Youth in this week's #1 Records, and rounding up a bunch of new stuff from the past month we haven't got round to playing yet, including Yuck, Kurt Vile and The Weeknd. On-air at 2pm, on Listen Again shortly thereafter.
Posted at 11:31, 27th March 2011
the ghost of graffiti they couldn't quite erase
This week: spazzing out to The Dismemberment Plan in Instant Epiphanies, pouring one out for Nate Dogg, and letting the emotions spill out for this week's #1 Record, The Flaming Lips' peerless The Soft Bulletin.
Posted at 14:28, 20th March 2011
the dead kennedys short song challenge
This week: Dead Kennedys like short songs. They like short songs. They like short songs, etc. So do we. So we're taking up the gauntlet - 30 songs in an hour, without sacrificing the show's regular features or eclectic tastes. The rules: THERE ARE NO RULES, except nothing over two minutes, and they have to work as songs in the same way that anything longer would. Can it be done question mark
Posted at 20:27, 12th March 2011
my bloody ears
This week: new stuff from Dum Dum Girls and Odd Future affiliate Frank Ocean; a round-up of recent live shows we plan on making you feel bad for missing, including Janelle Monáe and Surfer Blood; and a bona fide noise-pop classic in #1 Records, courtesy of My Bloody Valentine's singular racket Loveless.
Posted at 01:13, 6th March 2011
you need to diversify yo bonds
This week: It's Oscar season! Nobody who really loves movies cares! Still, a tenuous excuse to string together a bunch of actors turned musicians and musicians turned actors is a tenuous excuse to string together a bunch of actors turned musicians and musicians turned actors, so we're on-air at 2pm with tracks from Bowie, Black Star, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and some others whose names don't start with B.
Posted at 01:21, 27th February 2011
This week: Chris listens to Nevermind for the first time in eight years in You Can't Repeat The Past; Liz Phair starts her cannonball of a career with the graceful swan dive of Exile In Guyville in #1 Records; LA teen indie hip hop blog sensations Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All blow up thanks to a jaw-dropping appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Oh, eh, and some band both announced and released a hitherto unspoken-of album in the five days following last week's show. Download only though, so they can't be that big a deal. We might get round to them if we've got time.
Posted at 07:39, 20th February 2011
This week: Valentine's Day - load o' pish, right? Tacky, cynical, overpriced, existing only to cause tension between couples and make singles feel sorry for themselves. But enough about us (http://instantrimshot.com). Since you'd expect nothing more cheerful from an LOTD Valentine show, this week we're going to chart the demise of a conceptual relationship song by ever-more-depressing song, from the initial ask-me-out euphoria of The Marvelettes through the bleaker-than-bleak bathroom-based break-up of Arab Strap and eventually the wearily acceptant 'here's looking at you, kid' of Beirut. Also, since Pixies have the #1 Record for the week, there'll probably be whores somewhere in there too. Yup. Whole lotta whores.
Posted at 05:39, 13th February 2011
sex and dying in high society
This week: insights into Chris's shockingly balearic pre-teen years in the second thrilling instalment of You Can't Repeat The Past; the origins of show favourites Japandroids in this week's #1 Record, the sort-of-hardcore, definitely-classic Los Angeles by west coast punk legends X; and new stuff from James Blake, How To Dress Well and The Go! Team.
Posted at 05:59, 6th February 2011
This week: another Instant Epiphany, this time from Arthur Russell; another #1 Record, this time from The Feelies with The Good Earth; and another selection of complementary tunes to round out the show, including Yo La Tengo, LCD Soundsystem, The Sonics and Caetano Veloso. 'Mon doon.
Posted at 05:53, 30th January 2011
This week: since by the time St Andrew's Day rolls around we're usually knee-deep in year-end best-of lists, we've taken to celebrating Scottishness on the show around Burns Night, and this year's no different. In preparation for the cutting of the veggie haggis (or, y'know, something less gross) we've got some lesser-known Scottish indie, two sides of the same song from Teenage Fanclub and BMX Bandits, a gorgeous #1 Record from The Blue Nile and another, potentially-humiliating-for-Chris, new feature.
Posted at 17:06, 22nd January 2011
in the new year
This week: the first show of 2011 brings an appropriate greeting from The Walkmen (playing the Oran Mor this Wednesday, incidentally); a catch-up of assorted albums missed from last year, based on other folks' year-end best-ofs; Orange Juice's seminal but long out of print debut record You Can't Hide Your Love Forever, finally available again thanks to Domino's wonderful new complete discography boxset Coals To Newcastle, in #1 Records; and a new feature to boot. Yes.
Posted at 06:44, 14th January 2011
subcity selection pack
This week: Chris is joined by a host of hosts from other fine Subcity programming - including Source Tags & Mixtapes, Hooray For Tuesday, Vinyl Cut, Modern Highlife and Screen Shrapnel - to talk in more detail over the year that was. Yep, getting all talk radio on yez. We'd even make it a phone-in, if the studio had a phone. There'll be chat about the year's musical high- and lowlights, both recorded and live, there'll be various trivial detours, there might even be conversational expansion into other media - it's a live conversation, so who knows. Tune in for this meeting of the minds, live at 2pm on Sunday then on Listen Again from just after 3pm.
Posted at 17:16, 11th December 2010
the lotd thanatotic thirty 2010: 10-1
This week: we reach the conclusion of our epic albums of the year countdown - nicely timed to coincide with the arrival of just such lists from several respectable publications, I think you'll find - and reveal Left Of The Dial's ten favourite albums of the best year for new music in a long, long time. Seriously, these albums are so good, they're better than LCD Soundsystem! Better than Four Tet! Better than Robyn (shut it)! Oh my stars, what could they possibly be? All will be revealed, Sunday, 2pm.
Posted at 13:29, 2nd December 2010
the lotd thanatotic thirty 2010: 18-11
This week: our countdown of our thirty favourite albums of the year continues, as the LOTD Thanatotic Thirty (yep, keeping that going, think we're rocking it) reaches the immediate runners-up. Want to know what albums we thought were better than Deerhunter, Spoon, Gil Scott-Heron and several other fine releases, but still weren't quite good enough to make the top ten in this vintage year? Tune in Sunday at 2pm to find out, or afterwards on Listen Again.
Posted at 15:11, 27th November 2010
the lotd thanatotic thirty 2010: 30-19
Thanatos (n): an ancient Greek personification of death. Related forms - Thanatotic (adj).
As another year reaches the end of its own march of Thanatos, Left Of The Dial presents the first instalment of its torturously alliterative answer to John Peel's Festive Fifty - the Thanatotic Thirty, a three-part rundown of the thirty finest albums of 2010. We're covering 30-19 this week, and without wanting to give anything away, some of the stuff we're playing should give you some indication of just how good a year it's been: any other year, it certainly wouldn't be languishing in the lower depths like this. Leave your own 30-19s or have a guess at what ours'll be before Sunday's show, either on the show Facebook page or on the Subcity message board.
Posted at 02:48, 19th November 2010
not from the front, but from the side
This week: the frontmen take a rest and let their bandmates have a go - songs from singers generally limited to vocals on one or two tracks per album, from Keith Richards subbing for Mick Jagger in the Stones, to Lee Ranaldo letting Kim and Thurston take a back seat for Sonic Youth and Stephen Drozd reminding Wayne Coyne that The Flaming Lips isn't a solo project. Prefer Kim Deal to Black Francis? Flava Flav to Chuck D? Stevie Jackson to Stuart Murdoch? Get in touch via the show Facebook page or the Subcity forum before Sunday with your own favourites.
Posted at 17:25, 12th November 2010
This week: live in session in the Subcity studio, local no-goodniks Johnny Reb (http://www.myspace.com/johnnyrebsound). There'll be live, right as they're played, direct to your ears tracks, there'll be chat about the band, they might pick a few tracks, there may even be a Very Special Guest (but given our past form in this regard, we're promising nothing). It'll be lovely, it will.
Posted at 18:11, 6th November 2010
the bed that eats people
This week: the third LOTD Halloween broadcast, which probably marks the turning point between yearly custom and annual tradition. Backwoods American weirdness from Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson and Johnny Cash, spooky lingerings from Spoon and The Fall, Woody Allen's most uncomfortable Halloween ever and Patton Oswalt's viewing of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People.
Posted at 17:02, 30th October 2010
This week: oooh, we've got a good one this week. Amid widespread discontent over UK public spending cuts and the impending doom of the US midterms, The Roots and John Legend have released Wake Up!, an album of politically-minded soul covers that prove upsettingly relevant to the current climate. So inspired, we'll be playing their stunning version of Bill Withers' "I Can't Write Left-Handed", and further soulful dissent from Billie Holiday, The Temptations, Black Star, Fela Kuti and Marvin Gaye's seminal politi-soul landmark What's Going On, this week's #1 Record.
Posted at 19:37, 21st October 2010
This week: it's been one of the biggest weeks of new indie releases of the year, with eagerly anticipated albums from Sufjan Stevens, Belle and Sebastian and The Walkmen debuting all at once. We'll be talking about all three of them - The Age Of Adz, Write About Love and Lisbon, respectively - on Sunday's show, so leave your own opinions on any or all of them over at the show Facebook page or on the Subcity message board before then. Also, we've got a reputation to maintain as the one Subcity show guaranteed to play a bit of Mark Kozelek at the first hint of autumn, so the #1 Record is Red House Painters' Down Colorful Hill. But we'll play some cheerier stuff to counterbalance it too, promise, so don't start sharpening those razors just yet.
Posted at 23:23, 13th October 2010
This week: Superchunk roar out of the gates to claim the title of comeback of the year without breaking a sweat, Chris Defends one Robert Nesta Marley, patron saint of stoned frat-boys everywhere, and Talking Heads get polyrhythmic in the #1 Record, their 1980 masterpiece Remain In Light. Also, some Gonjasufi, Beastie Boys, Otis Redding, DJ Shadow, Lloyd Cole and The Magnetic Fields.
Posted at 17:22, 8th October 2010
unaffiliated with the wire
This week: guest Kim Higgins of blog/podcast/gig putter-onners Elba Sessions (http://elbasessions.co.uk) comes in to talk first birthday celebrations and Sufjan Stevens; Chris Defends makes its first appearance of the session in honour of the oft-maligned-by-musos field of dance-pop; and this week's #1 Record is Nico's beautiful, timeless Chelsea Girl.
Posted at 00:43, 3rd October 2010
what we did on our holidays
This week: hey, this week we're back! It's been over three months since the last show, so we'll be playing catch-up with stories and songs from over the summer, as Chris recounts the horror of his encounter with the Shoreditch wankers (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Peter Hook), Producer Anna talks about whatever the hell she's been up to and Kanye West asks if you've ever had sex with a pharaoh. Business as usual then. Be there be square, Sunday, 2pm.
Posted at 21:56, 23rd September 2010
baby please don't go
This week: it's the last show of the broadcast year. Hopefully not ever, but you never know, so best tune in just in case, so you can say you were there when the cult following began. Joining us in the studio to send the show off in style is Dave Gillies, frontman of Dirty Keys, to talk about the band, shooting videos and picking a few tracks. Should be a good 'un, and, circumstances allowing, should hopefully extend beyond the usual hour.
Posted at 01:41, 8th June 2010
gonna play some records in the month of... june
This week: a rat done bit my sister Nell, and whitey's playing some Gil Scott-Heron; Chris Defends is brought out of storage to make the case for The Beach Boys in the 70s; after the realisation hit that, in nearly two years on air, we've never included them in the slot, Elvis Costello & The Attractions have this week's #1 Record; and, after a bit of a stooshie on the road to getting it in the first place, the first Subcity play of the new Arcade Fire double A-side 12".
Posted at 00:32, 1st June 2010
the theme of this party's the industrial age
This week: new stuff courtesy of The Hold Steady, Male Bonding and The Roots featuring My Morning Jacket's Jim James; old stuff courtesy of a shedload of USB turntable-enabled vinyl-to-mp3 conversion, including The Byrds, The Allman Brothers Band and American Music Club; and a #1 Record courtesy of Lenny Kaye, long-time guitarist for Patti Smith and a legend in his own right as compiler of classic psych-garage cornerstone comp Nuggets.
Posted at 02:22, 25th May 2010
this is happening. right now.
This week: a hip, happening, with it group of tunes from an assortment of groovy young beat combos of the day. Or something. A selection of cuts from several fine new albums released over the past wee while in the first half, from the likes of LCD Soundsystem, The National, Flying Lotus and Surfer Blood, and a few more from folk who've played live in Glasgow this past couple of weeks in the second, including Dinosaur Jr., Pavement and the creator of this week's #1 Record, Sail Away, the inimitable Randy Newman.
Posted at 02:13, 18th May 2010
dance dance -> revolution
This week: there's an election happening. You may have noticed. Political screeds, rants and revolutions from M.I.A., Nina Simone and Gil Scott-Heron, the perfect fusion of the personal and the political from The Clash in #1 Records and, whilst we at LOTD remain tactfully neutral, a final track from Morrissey that envisions the execution of Margaret Thatcher. Dancing on graves optional.
Posted at 01:01, 4th May 2010
This week: a triumphant (?) return to the airwaves full of non-album tracks, in a belated tribute to last week's tremendously successful Record Store Day. 7"s, B-sides and other assorted rarities from the likes of The Twilight Sad, Japandroids, Dead Kennedys and My Bloody Valentine, a singles compilation that can go toe-to-toe with any studio album you'd care to name from Buzzcocks in #1 Records, and, most exciting of all, the new Arab Strap track, recently completed for the forthcoming boxset Scenes Of A Sexual Nature, released in a limited pre-release run for Record Store Day.
By the by, we put a podcast together in our absence from yr internetz: hear two tracks from the Dirty Keys' debut gig at http://www.subcity.org/podcasts.php?id=443
Posted at 13:07, 26th April 2010
stories from the city, stories from the sea
This week: it was a dirty night. I shook the rain from my shoes as I came through the front door. Something moved in the darkness. A flick of the light-switch later and I discovered a hell of a party happening in my living room. Moffat and Middleton nursed whiskys and hangovers in the corner. Ghostface and Lupe pulled out comics from the bookcase. The Boss and Waits played three-card stud at the dining table while Little Pauly Simon kept score. Yo La Tengo argued on the couch over who'd win in a fight between Lou Reed and John Cale. The Bad Seeds were taking turns pulling legs off flies.
'Not that I'm not pleased to see ya, fellas,' I said, lighting a cigarette, 'but it's getting late and so am I if I don't get some sleep. Let me call a cab or two.' A crash outside as a tree blew over. Out went the lights. I picked up the phone. No tone.
'Well, fellas', I says, settling into a chair with an exhalation of smoke, 'looks like we're here for the duration. Anyone got any good stories?' Their eyes lit up the room.
Posted at 22:12, 29th March 2010
i'm in love with that song
This week: another week, another untimely obituary, as we pay tribute to one of the giants of cult music, Alex Chilton, legendary frontman of Big Star and the Box Tops, who died last week aged 59. Expect some of Big Star's finest, The Replacements' own beloved tribute to Chilton, and a #1 Record from #1 Chilton fanboys, Teenage Fanclub.
Posted at 00:24, 22nd March 2010
the hippin', the hoppin', the bippin', the boppin'
This week: white guys can't rap? Says who? You? Racist. What? Yes. Proof positive that white people hip-hop doesn't begin and end with Vanilla Ice and Asher Roth, with tracks from DJs Shadow and Format, legally blind albino convert to Islam Brother Ali, hobo beatnik Canadian weirdo Buck 65, some indie/hip-hop mash-ups featuring some combination of Jay-Z, Dead Prez, Radiohead and Grizzly Bear, and a #1 Record with more stories than J.D.'s got Salinger, Beastie Boys's seminal Paul's Boutique.
Posted at 00:19, 15th March 2010
sad and beautiful world
This week: any festivities planned for the move to the new timeslot of Tuesdays at 6pm have been superceded by the untimely death of Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous this past weekend. New tracks from Titus Andronicus, Johnny Cash and The Unwinding Hours and a Sun Kil Moon classic in the first half, then an extended tribute to Linkous himself in the second, with tracks from sometime collaborators PJ Harvey, The Flaming Lips and Teenage Fanclub, and, in the #1 Records slot, Sparklehorse's own timeless debut Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot.
Posted at 17:11, 8th March 2010
deeper into movies
This week: the Glasgow Film Festival is finishing up and the Oscars are just around the corner, so today's all about gaun tae the pickshurs. Songs about movie characters from Sonic Youth and The Specials, songs about movies in general by Yo La Tengo and The Hold Steady, a formative soundtrack in #1 Records and Chris Defends songs that have been ruined by terrible, terrible films.
Posted at 01:09, 27th February 2010
the underground velvet underground
This week: an attempt to quantify Midlake's standing as a good band following a live show that veered dangerously close to Jethro Tull; the triumphant return of Gil Scott-Heron; and proof of John Cale's total dominance of Lou Reed in the #1 Record, Sabotage/Live.
Posted at 19:37, 19th February 2010
i'm no nino rota, i don't know the score
This week: an epic album deserves the royal treatment, so in honour of its induction into the LOTD hall of fame that is #1 Records, two-thirds of the show is devoted to The Magnetic Fields' magnum opus 69 Love Songs - a full nine songs, which is still only about a seventh of the album. Fractions and lyrical genius aside, expect Buzzcocks, Al Green and Minnie Riperton, whilst Chris Defends disco lovin' via Donna Summer.
Posted at 15:47, 12th February 2010
it's the same old song
This week: competing songs of the same name by different artists. That aren't covers. That'd be cheating. Expect two each of "California", "One Time Too Many", "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and "Demons", and, in this week's #1 Records, two very different takes on Let It Be.
Posted at 01:01, 5th February 2010
This week: an attempt to justify the £60+ spent on newly released albums in one go by playing something from each of them; Chris Defends '00s R&B via Timbaland and Aaliyah; and the #1 Record, off the back of the BBC's mini-season on the great man, is Brian Eno's Here Come The Warm Jets.
Posted at 01:58, 29th January 2010
how'd it get burns-ed?!
This week: since it's Burns Night coming up, an all-Scots episode, from The Blue Nile to The Beta Band, and including one lot of them live and in person: the John Knox Sex Club, or as many of them as we can fit in, playing a session in the Subcity studio this Saturday morning at some point between nine and ten a.m., ahead of their appearance at the I'm On A Boat fundraising gig on the Ferry later that night alongside a few of Subcity's own. DAE IT.
Posted at 17:11, 22nd January 2010
This week: left-field turns and other reinventions, as Silver Jews go pop in #1 Records, Chris Defends Bob Dylan's Jews For Jesus period, Kanye West does unspeakable things with AutoTune and numerous others take detours into electronica. No Roxy Music, though.
Posted at 17:51, 14th January 2010
you're older now, and you're a clever swine
This week: it's the first show of the decade, and the future is a lot less exciting than Kraftwerk made it sound on this week's #1 Record, Computer World. Elsewhere, an update on the Captain Beefheart For Christmas Number One anti-campaign, and the introduction of the exciting, potentially sexy new feature 'Chris Defends', in which Chris stands firmly behind an unfashionable cause and fights the good fight. First up: Rod Stewart.
Posted at 20:23, 7th January 2010
vegetarian chicken soup for the secular soul
This week: the last show of 2009 is, inevitably, Christmas/winter-centric. Returning favourites from Arab Strap and Darlene Love, something from Bob Dylan's "Christmas In The Heart" (which somehow manages to sound exactly like you'd expect whilst still being totally shitting mental) and Fucked Up and guests putting their own inimitable stamp on "Do They Know It's Christmas". It's a Festivus for the rest of us.
Posted at 00:30, 12th December 2009
sex! cinéma! politique!
This week: the show gets its first ever returning guest, as Sean Cumming, frontman of the splendid John Knox Sex Club, makes a triumphant return to sift through the pop cultural detritus of the past decade with Chris, in the last of the LOTD year-/decade-end specials (which could run anywhere between one and three hours depending on the chat mileage).
Posted at 22:50, 4th December 2009
ten how's your fathers
This week: LOTD's top ten albums of the decade, following on from last year's best of '09. And, since once again there will be no spoilers here, that's about it. Contribute your own lists in each category ahead of next week's analysisacular though, either on the Subcity message board or the LOTD Facebook page.
Posted at 12:50, 26th November 2009
ten bloody marys
This week: the now annual, I guess, LOTD year-end best-of, counting down the ten greatest albums released in 2009. No spoilers here, so you'll have to listen back to find out what they were. Or just look at the show profile page once the playlist's been added. BE THERE.
Posted at 23:47, 19th November 2009
born to runner-up
This week: the first of four year-/decade-ending specials cements 2009's growing reputation as a cracking year for music by looking at some of the albums that didn't make it into the LOTD top ten of the year (to be announced next week), and discovering that they still contain terrific work by The Phantom Band, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, God Help The Girl and De Rosa.
As for the other three year/decade-ending specials, the plan is:
November 21st: Top Ten albums of 2009
November 28th: Top Ten albums of the 2000s
December 5th: Post-match analysis of the decade's music and movies with any willing parties (anyone who wants to get on board with that, get in touch)
And finish up for the year on December 12th with a Christmas special. Stay tuned, an' that.
Posted at 22:22, 11th November 2009
keep yourself warm
This week: in a bid to combat the realisation that Halloween and Bonfire Night are over and there's still eight weeks of sucky weather till Christmas, LOTD proffers a selection of feel-good material. None of yer tooth-rotting Hallmark-sentiment pish, though - instead, a schizophrenic back'n'forth between material bound to get even the whitest of white boys up and bouncin' from Jay-Z and Ol' Dirty Bastard, and songs that understand how sometimes the best consolation comes from just knowing that other people are somehow surviving too; songs like those found on this week's #1 Record, Richard and Linda Thompson's "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight". Bridging the gap between the two is the Sufjan Stevens/Gift Of Gab mash-up the world's been waiting for. For real.
Posted at 18:48, 5th November 2009
turns out it's man
This week: a change of time from 10am to 9am only means a head start on the day's misanthropy, as the inevitable concession to Halloween turns its gaze inward to decidedly more tangible malevolence than shirtless werewolves and sparkly vampires.
Expect stories of murder and mayhem from Nina Simone and Sons And Daughters; twitchy paranoia from Dr. Dre and Love; the co-mingling of sex and death from seemingly everyone; and the reduction of the body to nothing but a bag of bones in this week's #1 Record, Tom Waits' classic "Bone Machine".
As an added bonus, due to circumstances beyond his control, Chris may be hosting this week whilst dressed as Shaun. As in, "of the Dead". So, y'know, there's that.
Posted at 19:30, 29th October 2009
crushing one another with colossal expectations
This week: beautiful losers, sons of no-one, gin-joint boys and dames not worth a dime - the wild, the innocent and the E Street shufflers. Tunes from those who've succeeded despite themselves (Talking Heads, Patti Smith), those who've failed gloriously (The Replacements) and a celebration of their kind in this week's #1 Record from a pre-Born To Run Bruce Springsteen.
Posted at 01:39, 23rd October 2009
This week: no overarching themes or guest hosts, but a track from the mindbending new Flaming Lips album, the unlikely juxtaposition of D'Angelo and Van Morrison, and a spirited defense of Kanye West in #1 Records, SQUID-BRAINS!!!
Posted at 13:40, 16th October 2009
don't feel so alone with the radio on
This week: hey, remember that Gram Parsons special we did last week? We're doing a similar thing this week, but replacing Gram Parsons with naive-punk O.G. Jonathan Richman, in honour of his gig at the Oran Mor later on Saturday night. #1 Record is the first Modern Lovers album, there's tracks from acts he's gone on to influence, from Talking Heads to M.I.A., and there'll be chat about just how naive such a blatant Velvet Underground fanboy can ever really be. RADIO ON!
Posted at 01:31, 7th October 2009
gram by the kilo
This week: a Gram Parsons special for some reason. A scenic tour through influences and associated bands, including some twangy Byrds and some remastered Beatles; influenced, from Dinosaur Jr through the horrendously named Monsters Of Folk; and of course, the great man himself, via this week's #1 Record - The Flying Burrito Brothers' 'The Gilded Palace Of Sin' - and a request taken from his solo classic, 'Grievous Angel'.
Posted at 00:31, 1st October 2009
i know there's an answer
This week: a quizzical theme. Q: Why? A: You know what happens to nosy fellas? No? THEY LOSE THEIR NOSES. Take it from Roman Polanski. He knows.
Expect questions posed in song by The Strokes, The Fall, Diana Ross and Devo, to be answered, maybe, by Nick Cave, Pulp, Elvis Costello and... Devo.
Posted at 00:45, 23rd September 2009
so fresh, so clean
This week: a Fresher's Week primer to the house style at LOTD with absolutely nothing to offend OFCOM, plus new tracks from show favourites Yo La Tengo and The Twilight Sad, the west end of Glasgow album ne plus ultra from Belle And Sebastian and a new Thom Yorke track that, in pre-internet days, would only have been heard by about 3000 people worldwide.
Posted at 00:14, 19th September 2009
don't call it a comeback
This week: back back back for a second year, with changes afoot and a playlist constructed entirely from music (officially) released in the three months since the last show. SWOON! at some dreamy Bibio. RECOIL IN HORROR! at a controversial Major Lazer track. TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN! as indie finally learns to stop worrying and love R&B. WONDER! where the hell Dan's gone. All will be revealed, maybe. Be there, be square.
Posted at 01:21, 7th September 2009
the end has no end
This week: the last ever (at least of this session) Left of the Dial winds down with nothing but nothing but album closers. Expect final tracks from usual suspects The Hold Steady, The Replacements and Arab Strap, plus a few more epic last songs.
Posted at 20:30, 11th June 2009
lotd vs the fans
This week: the penultimate show of the year sees us hand over complete control of the playlist to the listeners, if any. In so doing, we realise we're leaving ourselves open to Bowie-lets-fans-pick-the-live-sets-and-they-vote-en-masse-for-The-Laughing-Gnome levels of disaster, and we've already been threatened with an appearance by the Vengabus. To prevent such catastrophe, get on the message board or the Facebook page and leave yer requests. It's arguably the most important election whose results will be revealed on Friday. And if nobody votes at all, we'll just call it LOTD Vs The Fannies and it'll be business as usual.
Posted at 14:46, 31st May 2009
does humour belong in music?
A question famously posed by Frank Zappa in the title to his 1984 concert film, and to whom we pay tribute this week with Joe's Garage as #1 Record. Other funny stuff from Ween, Primus, and Beck, and few surprises thrown in.
Posted at 22:29, 28th May 2009
weird era continued
This week: some new My Latest Novel, some old Deerhunter (i.e. seven months and a kajillion releases ago) and some timeless Minutemen. Also: we're the first show all year to play any Midlake? Really?
Posted at 23:13, 21st May 2009
'you on point dan? - 'all the time chris!'
This week: a long-promised connection between Sonic Youth and Joni Mitchell, a Joy Division cover that won't have Ian Curtis spinning in his grave, and a brand spanking new track from The Twilight Sad's feverishly anticipated second album Forget The Night Ahead.
Posted at 22:33, 13th May 2009
back for good, -ish.
This week: back back back for (we think) another month or so, with new tunes from Bob Dylan and Broken Records, some remastered Vaselines, some completely remade Prefab Sprout and a just about perfect Kinks song. Also: PANIC.
Posted at 15:22, 7th May 2009
This week: The Specials and Elvis Costello hit town, Ted Leo wonders where they've gone, and as promised last week, there's an undersung #1 Record from Joni Mitchell. It'll be total good times, like.
Posted at 17:00, 23rd April 2009
he shot me (it felt like a gunshot to the face)
This week: a quite ridiculous, and ridiculously eclectic at that, number of tracks squeezed into the hour, including three (3) from #1 Record Vashti Bunyan's Just Another Diamond Day, an underrated Cameron Crowe soundtrack featuring Tom Petty, and Phil Spector... yeah. Some Phil Spector. Nothing libellous though. Or gun-woundy.
Posted at 01:12, 16th April 2009
This week: an Easter special, sort of, with a distinctly egg/Jesus-shaped Magnolia, The Pogues contemplating falling from grace with God and, just for the hell of it, Blondie covering T-Rex.
Posted at 14:31, 9th April 2009
help me somebody
This week: Dan's away again, because he's being subjected to rigorous psychological experimentation (no, really). So what happens when Chris is left to his own devices? A disproportionate amount of hip-hop gets played, is what: Spoonie Gee to Jay-Z via Steinski and Beastie Boys, plus a rather popular (and, for once, literal) #1 Record from Prince And The Revolution and some gloating over this week's once in a lifetime (http://instantrimshot.com) David Byrne gig.
Posted at 00:49, 2nd April 2009
a calvinist narrowly avoids pleasure
This week: Dan's sick or on holiday or something, which means that Chris is on his own. Except he's not, because joining him in the studio is Sean Cumming, frontman of the spectacularly named John Knox Sex Club. Result.
Posted at 16:28, 26th March 2009
when we say 'pump that', y'all say...
This week: not a guest in sight, but a sunny #1 Record from Love, Mission Of Burma and R.E.M. Could Be Your Life in Magnolia, and eleven minutes of filth from Lou Reed.
Posted at 23:18, 19th March 2009
heart of glass
This week: the last of our FM guestaculars sees us welcome author, biographer, musician and all round polymath Rodge Glass into the studio to play some hot off the press songs by his band Burnt Island, pick some of his own favourite tracks and talk about oh so many startlements, including but not limited to his biography of Alasdair Gray, the forthcoming paperback edition of his novel Hope For Newborns and what it is a writer in residence actually does. Should be a good 'un.
Posted at 00:32, 12th March 2009
everybody talk about: popolo music
New York, London, Paris, Munich, Glasgow... Wherever you are you won't want to miss this week's episode, as I'll be joined in the studio by the fantastic Popolo. They'll be choosing tracks, hopefully including some of their own blend of math-rock/pop wonderment. #1 Record this week from Pavement; Fantomas make us cower behind the sofa in terror; and this week's Magnolia is dedicated to the late great Elliot Smith.
Posted at 12:15, 4th March 2009
this is radio nowhere
"Ladies and gentlemen, for the next sixty minutes, we are gonna bring the righteous and mighty power of Left Of The Dial into YOUR beautiful bedsit. I want you to step away from last night’s kebab. I want you to put the Irn-Bru down, and turn your radio ALL the way up. And what I wanna know is: IS THERE ANBODY ALIVE OUT THERE? IS THERE ANYBODY ALIVE OUT THERE?"
Positive Jam gets commandeered by The Boss [see above], we relish the challenge of trying to find tracks from Arab Strap's filthy masterpiece Philophobia that are playable on the wireless in #1 Records and live and in person, from the Subcity studio to YOUR beautiful hovel, are the rather wonderful Brother Louis Collective.
Posted at 15:55, 26th February 2009
This week: Chris is away, but I'll be joined by United Fruit. #1 Record this week - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion 'Now I Got Worry', plus Weezer covering The Pixies, surf madness from Man Or Astroman, Lean Tales, and more fun than you can shake a rotten banana at. Check out United Fruit's myspace here: www.myspace.com/unitedfruitband
Posted at 16:11, 14th February 2009
an isle of joy
This week: Magnolia heralds the return of the mighty Mad Men, The Pogues get Joycean in #1 Records (but in a good way) and we play that awesome Robyn Hitchcock song that some of the few of you who've seen Rachel Getting Married probably really liked.
Posted at 18:28, 12th February 2009
barclay james harvest
Chris will be absent this week as he is off to battle trolls. In his stead we have... Chris! (Barclay) from local indie wunderkids The French Wives. And possibly other French Wives, in which case we can have our first ever live session (!). Expect music of the usual sky-shattering superbness, from Fleet Foxes, Os Mutantes, Nirvana, our #1 Record this week 'Now I Got Worry' by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and whatever Chris (Barclay) wishes to inflict on us. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.
Posted at 21:16, 2nd February 2009
reasons to be cheerful
This week: a summation of why 2009 is shaping up to be the suckiest suck that ever sucked, and it's only January 30th. Mick Harvey leaves The Bad Seeds, Ron Asheton and John Martyn die, and the Silver Jews split up (possibly because of the seemingly endless cycle of violence between them and Arab Strap. What? Oh.)
Posted at 18:45, 29th January 2009
g.u. state of mind
This week: funky presidents, little Hondas and British knights. Also - a play of The National that might get us upgraded from 'good' to 'very good' in the mind of at least one listener, and a #1 Record from Nas.
Posted at 00:52, 23rd January 2009
This week: the first show of the year takes Motown's 50th anniversary as a starting point for a headlong hurl through the influx and influence of the past fifty years of African-American pop music, going from Martha Reeves & The Vandellas to Gnarls Barkley with stops along the way for Curtis Mayfield, Spinners, Wu-Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill and token white guy David Bowie. It'll be a cracka.
Posted at 01:27, 16th January 2009
a festivus for the rest of us
This week: the last show of the year is a non/multi-denominational holiday special, so Chris and Dan'll be wishing one and all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Kwazy Kwanzaa, a Tip-Top Tet and a solemn and dignified Ramadan. The qualifiers for songs this week: mention of winter, snow, or general Yuletide merriment (or lack thereof). Expect Arab Strap, Vashti Bunyan, Ramones, Sufjan Stevens and - yes! - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band.
Posted at 20:00, 17th December 2008
2008: a music odyssey
On the Show tHis weeK: Dan will be taking a different approach to Chris' top 10 of 2008 and will mostly be playing stuff that came out years ago. Nevermind though, it'll still be well good. Honest! A personal best of 2008, prepare to hear the stuff that genuinely made Dan shake his ass, or nod his head approvingly, or stroke his luscious beard this year - plus plenty of chat about our fondest musical memories of the year. Try to contain yourselves, you lucky listeners you!!!!
Posted at 21:49, 10th December 2008
good year for the roses
This week: the first of three year-ending specials sees Chris count down his top ten albums of 2008, ahead of Dan doing the same next week and a Christmas episode to cap it all off. Set the angle of your argument hats to 'jaunty'.
Posted at 21:17, 2nd December 2008
dan's solo extravaganza!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, not really. Actually, its more a fumbling, bumbling, vaguely-embarassing episode that sees me realise that doing the show is a lot harder when you don't just have to sit in the corner and say "Yeah" every few minutes. Having said that, music does get played, from the likes of Yo! Majesty, Dananananaykroyd, Elbow, Gang of Four, Pavement, and our classic-album-artist Weezer. Special mention to Damon Che of Don Caballero for having used to be good, in our one-off special, 'It's A Shame About Che'. Get it, Chris?, get it? Chris? Chris?
Posted at 12:48, 28th November 2008
ground control to major tom
This week: there's no getting round it, this week sees us peak (and not just our peak in this episode, like, the highest point we're ever likely to reach) with the first Subcity play of the mighty Tom Waits/Kool Keith collaboration that's already making N.A.S.A.'s debut album Chris's most highly-anticipated release of 2009, even though it has nothing to do with the space program. Also: #1 Records gets an origin story, and... ah, who cares - Tom Waits and Kool Keith! Aieeeeeee!
Posted at 21:14, 20th November 2008
looking like a born-again, living like a heretic
This week: are you ready to be heartbroken? Lloyd, we're ready to be heartbroken - The Commotions' debut is the #1 Record and Camera Obscura are well up for it. Also: Mitch Mitchell R.I.P., Ramones and Tom Waits - together at last, sort of! - and special guest Vicky Cole of Three Blocks From The Wake.
Posted at 22:37, 13th November 2008
prog is just a four letter word
This week: Dan attempts to convince Chris of the merits of Chris' nemesis, prog rock. Chris retaliates with some ultimate anti-prog. Pick your side, make up t-shirts and posters and such and fight your corner. Incidentally, Republicans love prog. Just *love* it.
Posted at 00:48, 7th November 2008
the times, they are a-becoming quite different
This week, Left Of The Dial shifts from its cosy little Saturday night slot to the brave new world of Friday mornings. Dan's celebrating by playing epic song after epic song; Chris is reacting with a potted history of the Wu-Tang Clan. Good times.
Posted at 14:54, 30th October 2008
boys becoming men, men becoming wolves
Tonight - we succumb to cliché and put on a Halloween special (we know it's nearly a week away, but this is our last show before then. Save it for listen again if you have to). Features are temporarily suspended, so anything goes. Oooooooh, etc.
Posted at 17:09, 25th October 2008
Brace yourself kiddies because Saturday's show is our spooky Halloween special! OK, so its a full week before Halloween, but what with Chris being as big a Simpsons-obsessive as he is, how could we not do a Halloween special? Expect some spooky tunes, macabre chat, and er... Spookiness.
Posted at 20:12, 22nd October 2008
their satanic majesties request
This week - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and The Velvet Underground find common ground in Glen Campbell; Chris dismisses an album that got a rare perfect 10.0 from Pitchfork in favour of its undersung follow-up in #1 Records; and the show plays its first ever request. Sort of.
Posted at 14:33, 17th October 2008
'either it's dead or my watch has stopped'
Tonight - the triumphant return of Dan (that's right - triumphant). Also: The Fall go Motown in Remake/Remodel, Dylan goes electric in #1 Records and, in the week John Lydon started shilling for butter, Magnolia passes comment on whether or not punk's dead.
Posted at 12:46, 11th October 2008
On tonight's thrilling instalment Dan will be... well, it's hard to say exactly what he'll be doing, because he's buggered off to Edinburgh to see Dananananaykroyd, so you're stuck with Chris again. He did leave the songs he wants played though, so we've split the show in two - one half is fairly upbeat and rockin', the other half is miserable bastard music. See if you can guess whose is whose.
Posted at 14:54, 4th October 2008