Ever played six degrees of Kevin Bacon? The aim of the parlour game is to see how many degrees you are removed from the legendary actor. My claim to fame (well, I have a couple) is that I used to work in Fopp in Edinburgh with Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon fame. The latest news from Mr. Hamilton (who is lovely, by the way) is that he has collaborated with the New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder on a new act called Frontperson. They’ll be releasing their first album together, entitled Frontrunner, on September 21. This is gorgeous indie-folk meets chamber pop music.

So far, two tracks have been released from the record, with excellent videos to boot. First up (ok it’s been around for a bit, but I’ve been trying to get my writing head back on) is ‘Tick-Tock (Frontrunner).’ The video looks at a sports meet, but by showing it in reverse, it actually means that everyone ends equally, the same. This seems like a pretty good metaphor for life, if you ask me. The video was made by Rob Leickner and Ryan Sudds.

It’s a gorgeous song, and possibly even better is ‘Young Love’ (much newer, it’s only been out for five days). It’s about having a crush on someone (we’ve all been there, so it’s pretty universal). Directed by Lorenz Trobinger (you can read about it in more detail over on Stereogum), who also stars in it, it’s simple, straightforward, and yet surprisingly affective.

Frontrunner will be out on Ms. Calder’s own Oscar St. Records on September 21. Order it from their bandcamp here

The tracklisting is as follows:

1 “U.O.I”
2 “Long Night”
3 “Tick-Tock (Frontrunner)”
4 “He Follows Me”
5 “Young Love”
6 “Shorter Days”
7 “This City Is Mine”
8 “Postcards From A Posh Man”
9 “Insight”



Album Review – New Pornographers

New Pornographers -‘Brill Bruisers.’ (Matador)



When the title track and ‘War On The East Coast’ (the latter a serious contender for track of the year) started doing the rounds, it suggested that the latest album from this eight piece indie supergroup was going to be very, very good indeed. And so it proves.

A.C. Newman and Neko Case are [probably the most well-known members of the troupe, but between them all, they’ve produced a glorious album that begs to be played again. Right from the openeing ‘Bah-Bah! Bah-bah-bah-Bah!’ of the opening title track, this is a warm and fuzzy glow sort of record. It has been described by A.C. Newman as a celebration record and that’s exactly how it feels. And as well as the aforementioned tracks, other excellent songs can be found here in the form of ‘Another Drug Deal Of The Heart’ and ‘Champions Of Red Wine.’

Some people still think that indie rock is always navel gazing misery. If someone repeats that falsehood in your presence, hand them a copy of this: an effervescent joy from start to finish.


Brill Bruisers is out on Matador on August 25.

Stream the album via The Guardian

Two new tracks from the New Pornographers’ new record!

(‘The return of’ needs resting)

New Pornographers will release their new album on August 25. It’s entitled Brill Bruisers and is the first album in four years by the North American indie supergroup.

So far two tracks have been made available as videos, which you can stream. At the top of the page (And probably playing already) is the title track (if two tracks appear to be playing, maybe it’s the Morrissey one down the page).

Meanwhile down below is ‘War On The East Coast’

The album’s tracklisting is as follows:

1. Brill Bruisers
2. Champions Of Red Wine
3. Fantasy Fools
4. War On The East Coast
5. Backstairs
6. Marching Orders
7. Another Drug Deal Of The Heart
8. Born With A Sound
9. Wide Eyes
10. Dancehall Domine
11. Spidyr
12. Hi-Rise
13. You Tell Me Where

Oh no. Not again. And this time it’s really f*****g annoying.


I have been writing 17 Seconds since July 2006. It’s a labour of love. I don’t get paid in monetary terms (though the freebies that get passed my way are much appreciated). I knew this when I started it.

So it is nothing short of anger making when mp3s are taken down without contacting me. On one memorable occasion, I was sent an mp3 by the UK PR representative, posted it with their permission and came back to find a complaint from the US and it had been taken down. It transpired that the US end of it didn’t know that permission had been gven and sent in the heavy artillery.

This evening, it transpires that the entirety of my files have been deleted from my account at Mediafire. Every single one. Including a number of files that were on there because they were there for promotional purposes for 17 Seconds Records. I have made it abundantly clear that I should be contacted if people are unhappy about me posting stuff.

It is ironic -considering that I get about thirty submissions a day, from newly formed bands to acts that have been going for years – that there are sections of the music industry that see blogs as a threat. I have never ever intended any music I post to be here as an alternative to buying music.

There are those blogs which post entire albums. This blog has only posted a handful of albums in six years that were entire- and these were albums long out of print. In one case it was Orange Juice’s classic You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever. JC at the Vinyl Villain was inspired to use it as an example to sell CD-Rs of the band’s music for charity -and this was with the backing of Edwyn Collins himself.

There are people who use the internet to distribute material that is harmful, that abuses, that seeks to demonise and put back the cause of humanity. This is simply a blog written by a thirty-something who is passionate about music and wants to share that.

Go after the real criminals. Be very wary of those organisations that seek to protect copyright ‘for a fee.’

Now: I don’t own the rights to these songs. I never claimed to. If you like them, go and supprot the artists involved. If you support draconian internet piracy laws, you are a waste of space. I post them simply to illustrate the point.

New Pornographers -‘The Laws Have Changed.’ mp3

Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield -‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?’ mp3

Chumbawumba with Credit To The Nation -‘Enough Is Enough.’ mp3

More new music in my inbox


Yet again…lots of brilliant music coming my way and I’m trying to get through it all! I’ve already heard at least thirty new albums this year, and still haven’t had time to write reviews for them all (in some cases, because I won’t get back the time required to advise people, constructively, that it’s not worth their time or money either). But three things that are most definitely floating my boat.

First up are 4AD’s The National, who will be releasing their new single ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ in May. This might be one of my favourite tracks so far this year. This is the first track to come from their forthcoming album High Violet and you can download it for free by going here:

Download ‘High Violet’ by the National here!


Meanwhile, the New Pornographers, the Vancouver -based supergroup that includes A.C. Newman and Neko Case have just released an excellent track called ‘Crash years’ which can be downloaded from iTunes (not on eMusic when I checked two minutes ago). You can hear the track on their facebook page here. this is taken from their forthcoming fifth album Together.

Last, but most definitely not least, Teenage Fanclub are due to return with their first new album in five years at the end of May, entitled Shadows, to be released on May 31. This year will mark twenty years since the release of theirseminal debut single ‘Everything Flows’ and the attendant debut A Catholic Education.

The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

1. Sometimes I Don’t Need To Believe In Anything
2. Baby Lee
3. The Fall
4. Into The City
5. Dark Clouds
6. The Past
7. Shock And Awe
8. When I Still Have Thee
9. Live With The Seasons
10. Sweet Days Waiting
11. The Back Of My Mind
12. Today Never Ends

Hear ‘Baby Lee’ here on Soundcloud.

New Pornographers-or how I’m a Johnny-come-lately!

17 Seconds is kicking itself. On Sunday Morning, I went over to Song, By Toad to download his podcast, which is pretty damn good. I was blown away by the track ‘New Romantic’ by the New Pornographers and set about trying to find as much as I could legally.

For anyone who is even more of a Johnny-Come-Lately than me, they are an ‘indie-supergroup’ based in Chicago, and amongst their number are Neko Case and A.C.Newman, who I had heard of, but not really heard.

Their new album is called Challengers and will be out in August, from where ‘My Rights Versus yours’ comes from.

New Pornographers-‘My Rights Versus Yours.’ mp3

New Pornographers-‘The Laws have Changed.’ mp3

New Pornographers-‘Mass Romantic.’ mp3

New Pornographers-‘Twin Cinema.’ mp3

New Pornographers-‘Use It.’ mp3

And some of the solo stuff:

Neko Case-‘Star Witness.’ mp3

Neko Case-‘If You Knew.’ mp3

A.C. Newman-‘Miracle Drug.’ mp3

A.C. Newman-‘Drink To me.’ mp3

Official New Pornographers website here

These will be up for one week only. If yopu like what you hear, go investigate, either at Amazon or a local independent record shop.