Mogwai’s first live album will be released on Rock Action Records this spring. Released alongside the live film Burning (by Vincent Moon). The formats will be CD and DVD and limited deluxe triple vinyl box set which will also include the dvd of Burning, set lists and a poster. The artwork was designed by Aidan Moffat.

To mark the announcement of the full track listing for this release Mogwai will be giving away a free MP3 of the song 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong taken from the Special Moves live CD via the minisite: www.mogwaispecialmoves.com

The track list for the the cd/dvd version is:

– I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead
– Friend Of The Night
– Hunted By A Freak
– Mogwai Fear Satan
– Cody
– You Don’t Know Jesus
– I Know You Are But What Am I
– I Love You, I’m Going To Blow Up Your School
– 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
– Like Herod
– Glasgow Megasnake

The track list for the vinyl version contains the above plus:

– Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home
– Scotlands Shame
– New Paths To Helicon Part 1
– Batcat
– Thank You Space Expert
– The Precipice

The extra songs featured on the vinyl release will be available as a free download with the CD.

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Awesome, awesome, awesome.  Alright so it’s never going to fully capture the Mogwai live experience (unless you’ve got a terrifying home music system) but it should be a lot of fun.  Not a bad set list all told (especially with the extra tracks) and the free download is well worth listening to as a taster.  As my last post detailed – my favourite song of the last 10 years.

Will I won’t I shall I shan’t I?  Write?  Well.  I’m unwell.  A long felt awareness of continually running at sub-par always seems to manifest whenever I take some time off.  Maybe the energy and stresses of work allowing my immune system to keep trucking on, keeping a low profile from the distracted awareness of my brain, crash and burn when I stop.  When the long weekend and relaxation kicked in it translated into rapid sinus congestion, sore throat and muzzy head.

Reasons to write?  One being the fun weekend we all had in Akaroa.  Got monumentally drunk Friday night with good friends and to my immense sense of self satisfaction I managed to play the entirety of Tarot Sport to a room full of people in a party type situation.  And only 2 people asked me to turn it off (cunningly by this point of the evening attention spans had been tequilaed down to bare seconds so I just ignored their pleas for musical leniency).  I actually played Street Horrrsing too but there was only one other left drinking and awake by that point so not sure I can claim that one.

Our sortie on Saturday for a bit of a ramble was scuppered when we arrived on the desolate beach to find a freaked out surfer who pointed us out to his 2 mates who were being swept out by the rip.  Our mate jumped in his kayak and went out to help the swept away guy (the other one made it to the rocks) while we went to call the coast guard.

One helicopter later, lots of standing around for us (plus a fuck load of paddling our mate) and all 3 were safe.  Good result and they were sheepishly nonplussed once it was all over.  Surfers are stupid.  We on the other hand went sea kayaking the following day and didn’t need helicopter rescue.  We did need burgers though.

Then we all got to see this:

And finally, perhaps the most joyous thing of all is that someone has posted the boot of the Royal Albert Hall gig by Mogwai from 2006.  In the 7 times I’ve seen them this was and still is the best they’ve ever been and I’ve been hoping for a copy ever since.  Everything about that night was perfect.  The venue was immense; the crowd were real fans, committed and politely quiet; the sound was enormous, it filled and decimated everything else in the hall, you could feel it through every inch of your body (I thought the bass on 2 rights was going to rupture my sternum); the version of 2 rights was the best I’ve ever heard live, the welcome return of Tracy and the second surprise encore (which I almost missed thinking they had gone) of a monumental and righteous MFMK was perfect.  I was there with a sweet Jewish San Franciscan girl I was sort of dating at the time at the end of a brief summer of letting go; she jumped a mile out of her seat at the noise mid way through fear satan and half way through MFMK said, ‘wait, this is…’

Yes it is; with a smile.  It felt better sharing it with someone and I was elated for days.  The recording’s pretty good so please download, listen and share it with me.

I’ve been rather slack when it comes to my blog.  Oh well.  Life has been busy.

It’s winter here now.  Truly.  I’ve gone skiing twice now.  My second lesson at the weekend didn’t go too well.  On the first run down I stacked it and got sifted to the ‘slow’ group, comprising me and 5 middle aged women.  It got worse as I went on though.  Felt pretty disillusioned with the whole process and had a bit of a strop until I saw a chubby guy about my age crying on his arse with his tutor holding him by the shoulders saying, “It’s ok Danny, we just need to get to the bottom of the slope; can you do that?; come on, we’re getting there, we just need to crack your balance…’, NO! I want to stop!”.  I decided to man up after that shameful display.

In the afternoon I progressed to the big boy slope and after 1 run of sheer terror I felt pretty good about the whole thing and was rather annoyed when the weather came in and we had to go home.

Ached like a bitch for the next few days.

A friend of mine let me know that the Blur set at Glastonbury was the best gig of his life which made me feel great.  Watching the footage on line it’s really taken me back to the old days, watching Blur with friends, crowd-surfing, singing to my throat gave out and leaving soaked to the skin with sweat, water and stale lager.  Upset I missed the gig.

I’m working in elderly care at the moment which is nice as I find old people fascinating and some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.  You don’t seem to get as many war stories in NZ though and I’m not sure why.  I’m currently sitting waiting for a medical registrar job to come up but in the mean time I’ve applied formally for jobs in December.  K is working as an anaesthetic registrar which is pretty cool.  I’m proud of her.

So many things.

Right now I’m listening to an almost perfect live version of 2 rights make 1 wrong from the Evening session in 2001.  It’s glorious and well worth digging out.  Time for bed now though.

So it comes that time when we all compile pointless lists of what we enjoyed throughout the year.  And I’m feeling it this time so make no exception.  So some top lists (in alphabetical order):

Movies:

  • Cloverfield
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man
  • No country for old men
  • Son of Rambow
  • Wall-E

A quiet year for movies on reflection.  If I had to choose only one it would be Wall-E.  As much as The Dark Knight is perfectly accomplished and astonishing in its brilliance and Iron Man is just brilliantly entertaining, Wall-E is just a wonderful combination of stunning visuals, gorgeous sound design and heartbreakingly staged story.  I love it.

Albums:

  • Crystal Castles
  • Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
  • Foals – Antidotes
  • Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing
  • Los Campesinos! – Hold on now, youngster
  • Lykke Li – Youth Novel
  • Metronomy – Nights out
  • Mogwai – The Hawk is Howling
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Did, Lazarus, Dig!
  • Remember Remember
  • Vampire Weekend

Picking a favourite from these is extremely difficult.  Or very easy, as since The Hawk is Howling was released I’ve listened to very little else.  It’s a truly stunning Mogwai album and feels fully formed, like it’s existed for years.  And I love it.  However, choosing Mogwai as my favourite of the year is kind of cheating as they’re my favourite band.  So before that was released it was Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing.  I’ve been listening to this all year and still love it.  Powerful and compelling.  Regardless, all  the above have been on constant repeat since release and are well worth listening to.  Interestingly, my favourite album of last year: Low – Drums and Guns is still on heavy rotation.

Songs:

  • Black Francis – The Seus
  • CSS – Rat is dead (Rage)
  • David Byrne & Brian Eno – Strange overtones
  • Elbow – One day like this; Weather to fly
  • Fleet Foxes – Blue ridge mountains
  • Fuck Buttons – Sweet love for Planet earth
  • Gotye – Hearts a mess
  • Ladyhawke – Paris is burning
  • Lambchop – Sharing a Gibson with Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Lykke Li – I’m good, I’m gone
  • Metronomy – Heartbreaker
  • Mogwai – Scotland’s Shame; Devil Rides
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – More news from nowhere
  • Noah and the Whale – 5 years
  • Pete and the Pirates – Mr Understanding
  • Remember Remember – Fountain Mountain
  • Santogold – You’ll find a way
  • Those Dancing Days – Hitten

Rather an indiepop-tastic selection this year (getting old?) but fuck it.  My favourite?  Hmmmm.  Fountain Mountain probably (the original version rather than the split version that appeared on the album).

Books:

I managed to get through an impressive 53 books this year (not including comics) and out of those my favourites were:

  • We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  • The Murder of Roger Akroyd – Agatha Christie
  • I am Legend – Richard Matheson
  • Regeneration – Pat Barker

My favourite was ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ – an incredibly powerful and compelling story.  Plus this was the year I discovered Agatha Christie and more importantly, Poirot.  The full list is at my Goodreads site on the right.

So, that’s it for the lists.  Not a bad year all in all.

K left the country yesterday for New Zealand (via LA) which is sad but exciting.  Sad as we don’t get to see each other for the next 3 months but exciting as it’s the start of a new life.  Exciting also because I got my job in Christchurch so now can buy my plane ticket.  Add to my ticket to Nepal I bought last week and life is very exciting.  Well, apart from today which is just ok.

Paid in a check, bought some books, then fought a massive desire to just read my book rather than do anything ‘constructive’.  Meh.  Plus the weather is switching from baking sun to pounding rain and back again at the touch of a random button.

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An interesting video for the new Mogwai single Batcat has been released.  It’s an odd tune, very metal.  I need to hear this album as a whole as none of the recent tunes seem to fit together.  Watch it here.

We saw The Dark Knight again the other day at the IMAX – it really does look great on such a huge screen and is worth the journey.

It’s growing on me and this fan video helps!

New Mogwai song released from their forthcoming album The Hawk is Howling.  It’s called The sun smells too loud.  Not sure how I feel about it on first listen – it’s quite upbeat, almost pop-like which doesn’t remind me of the new tracks I saw at Queen Elizabeth Hall a month or so ago.  Very much looking forward to the new album though.  Mr Beast gradually did sink in but I’m still not a huge fan.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this but I met Stuart Braithwaite at the above gig when he sat in front of me at the mixing desk during the Remember Remember set (which was truly stunning by the way – keep an eye out).  Stuart looked puzzled but did sign my book and drew a smiley face when I asked him.  The whole thing made me stupidly happy!  A hero of mine and all I can do is look stupid and ask for an autograph…What is the best way to deal with your heros?  Never meet them?

Check out the (legal) mp3 here