Archive for December, 2011

Check Out Episode Four of BAMM Global Scene: Amsterdam

Posted on: No Comments

Right now you’re probably lost in that strange void between Christmas and New Year – so why not fill the time with an all-new, exclusive episode of BAMM’s latest Global Scene series? We’ve reached part four of our in-depth look at Amsterdam, and this week’s installment examines the methods by which Amsterdam-based artist create communities, both in an artistic sense and as a method of distributing their music to the fans. Enjoy!


BAMM Advent Calendar: Happy Christmas!

Posted on: No Comments

Well, what else could we choose as our soundtrack to Christmas Day? We’ve showcased a lot of lesser-known yuletide tunes over the last month, but sometimes you’ve just got to return to the stone-cold classics. Here, then, is pretty much the best Christmas song ever recorded, in the shape of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ by The Pogues and Kirsty Mccall. You may have heard it a million times already, but you can never it hear it enough. Oh, and one more thing …


BAMM Advent Calendar: Day Twenty-Four

Posted on: No Comments

Sometimes a song – no matter how brilliant it may be – is covered so many times by so many different artists that each successive version is simply greeted with a shrug. ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ could easily be included in this category: a wonderful Christmas classic, true, but one which has been subject to more interpretations (of varying quality, one might add) as to render itself stale.

Well … not exactly. It’s Christmas Eve, and as the penultimate gift in our BAMM Advent Calendar Countdown, here’s a spellbinding and beautiful version by Tori Amos. Play this directly at the sky and it may well start to snow.

BAMM Advent Calendar: Day Twenty-Three

Posted on: No Comments

Think that vaguely punky-sounding Christmas songs – replete with snotty voices and angular guitar licks – are a relatively modern phenomenon? We’re afraid that The Kinks were way, way ahead of you there, as can be heard in today’s entry in the BAMM Advent Calendar Countdown. ‘Father Christmas,’ the band implores, ‘give us your money, don’t mess around with those silly toys.’ Well, that’s nothing if not pragmatic …

BAMM Advent Calendar: Day Twenty-Two

Posted on: No Comments

We’re getting ever closer to the big day: three days left until Xmas itself, and two days left until you’re frantically running around trying to buy last-minute presents. In order to chill you out (trust us, after braving the shopping mall at this time of year, you’re going to need chilling out) here’s a 1992 track from much-missed Sub Pop indie troubadours Velocity Girl: ‘Merry Christmas, I Love You.’ Now, doesn’t that feel better?

BAMM Advent Calendar: Day Twenty-One

Posted on: No Comments

Early on in our BAMM Advent Calendar Countdown we mentioned the (fantastic) Waitresses tune ‘Christmas Wrapping.’ Well, take a couple of letters away and you’ve got today’s entry; the twenty-first in our musical sleigh ride towards Christmas. ‘Christmas Rappin’ is a fascinating piece: an embryonic slice of 1979 hip-hop/rap from Kurtis Blow which puts a uniquely funky slant on the holiday season. As Santa himself would describe it, this is some ‘real old-school shit’. Enjoy!

Studio Review: Harbours (12/15/11)

Posted on: No Comments

Harbours talks shop in between songs during their recording.


“We’re not a solo band,” Miguel Zelaya says. Although Zelaya, songwriter and frontman of Harbours was referring to the lack of guitar solos on the band’s upcoming album, Parlors & Electrics, the sentiment works in a more general sense for both the album and the band. Lucky for, we were able to witness exactly what he’s talking about last Thursday when the band stopped in for a filmed performance. It’s refreshing to be so impressed by subtlety.

There’s a clarity to these new songs that points to both Zelaya’s sharpness as a songwriter and the band’s ability to find cohesion in a short amount of time together. As is the case for many bands, the Harbours lineup has gone through quite a bit of change recently (Zelaya does a nice job summing it up here). Perhaps needless to say, but band transitions can be unsettling, especially when the former lineup had already begun tracking an album.

What’s cool about the Harbours’ story is that the new members (Peter Weldon on guitar, Heather Marie Ellison on keys and backing vocals, and bassist Braden Towne) have not merely helped finish an album, but they’ve affected a new direction, so much so that Zelaya decided to start over on the new album.

“I’ve always been most excited when you’re writing a song and working with people and they bring something that you wouldn’t have even thought of,” Zelaya says.  “There’s something particular about it (the new lineup) where everyone really does bring a huge part.”

Harbours will continue recording in the coming months. In the meantime, check out studio versions of the set from Thursday here.

Set from studio recording:

  1. “Where You Take Your Mind”
  2. “Hold On”
  3. “Wait For Me”
  4. “Put Down The Sorrow”
  5. “Lost In Your World”


BAMM Advent Calendar: Day Twenty

Posted on: No Comments

We’re five days away from Christmas, folks – that means that in a mere 120 hours Santa Claus will be coming to town, as often depicted in the lyrics of the classic song, erm, ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.’ For Day Twenty of our BAMM Advent Calendar Countdown, we’re featuring a frankly awesome Bruce Springsteen cover of that very song – and if this doesn’t get you into a non-stop-grinning festive frenzy, then nothing will. Interesting fact: Santa is only actually ‘coming to town’ so he can grab a beer or two with Bruce; the whole present-giving thing is just a happy bonus.

BAMM Advent Calendar: Day Nineteen

Posted on: No Comments

It’s day n-n-n-n-nineteen of our BAMM Advent Calendar Countdown, and even the normally gloomy Mark ‘E’ Everett of the Eels is getting into the festive mood. How else could you explain ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas’, a great (and little-known) Eels track in which he swishes off his usual melancholy for a life-affirming yuletide message: that Christmas is actually, y’know, kind of fun. There’s also a spot of whistling in this record, and – as any qualified musicologist will tell you – whistling automatically makes a song ten times more awesome.

BAMM Advent Calendar: Day Eighteen

Posted on: No Comments

If you tried to distill the essence of early-90s Britain into one power-pop couple, you’d end up with St Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell and The Charlatan’s Tim Burgess. It’s true. Scientists have proven it, absolutely conclusively. We would go and find the research for you, but, erm, we’re a bit busy right now.

Anyway: Tim and Sarah. They’re the bell-ringers for today’s BAMM Advent Calendar entry: ‘I Was Born On Christmas Day’ by St. Etienne (featuring Mr Burgess as a guest star). Gloriously chime-laden and jettisoning self-consciousness in favor of unhip yuletide fun, it’s a happy little wintry blast of a tune. Mind you, wouldn’t you be happy if you got to celebrate your birthday and Christmas on the same day?