Sometimes when the party is over, everyone has left, the empty glasses still stand about and I’m sleepy yet want to listen to one more album, it is Slanted & Enchanted that almost invariably comes out. Instead of on the audio system, increasingly these days, in deference to the others that I live with, it is cranked up on the iPod. I find Pavement’s first (and may I say, classic) album’s fractured music, esoteric lyrics and the entire low-fidelity quality of sound a perfect way to top off a night of excesses.
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Purists will hate me for it but I like covers. I know there’s nothing like the real McCoy but listening to cover versions of songs whose classic versions you’re familiar with has a different sort of appeal. I enjoy listening to covers, especially when they’re done in an unexpected way. In recent weeks there was quite a bit of that.
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What was otherwise a bland week turned into something special when I discovered that a brand new full-length album was available for download absolutely free. What’s more it was a totally legal download. The album, Dig Deep, by the band, The Motet, is up on various websites, including several mp3 blogs, and it made me revisit music by this mainly instrumental band who play their own brand of jazz, funk and afrobeat influenced music.

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The very first time I heard their lead singer’s raspy, nasal, serrated vocals, I knew I was going to like Deer Tick, a band I first heard on a podcast of their gig at Newport Folk Fest last month. I may have mentioned the band in passing in an earlier instalment of Download Central but I hadn’t explored them enough then. Lead singer John McCauley III’s nasal snarl belies his age. He is 23. And a friend who dropped in while I was playing some Deer Tick said he sounds like a baby Dylan.
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