Category Archives: Hinson, Micah P

Scottish BAMS Go For The National

For the second year running, the ridiculously energetic Peenko has organised a poll of Scottish Blogs and Music Sites to determine the Caledonian blogosphere’s albums of the year. Here in full is the Top 30:

1. The National – High Violet
2. Admiral Fallow – Boots Met My Face
3. Meursault – All Creatures Will Make Merry
4. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks
5. Kid Canaveral – Shouting at Wildlife
6. The Phantom Band – The Wants
7. The Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
8. The Last Battle – Heart of the Land, Soul of the Sea
9. Broken Records – Let Me Come Home
10. Bronto Skylift – The White Crow
11. Beach House – Teen Dream
12. The Fire & I – Stampede Finale
13. Sufjan Stevens – Age Of Adz
14. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
15. Best Coast – Crazy For You
16. Mitchell Museum – The Peters Port Memorial Service
17. Teenage Fanclub – Shadows
18. The Scottish Enlightenment – St Thomas
19. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
20. Jonsi – go do
21. RM Hubbert – First & Last
22. Errors – Come Down With Me
23. Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
24. Sleigh Bells – Treats
25. The Boy Who Trapped The Sun – Fireplace
26. Micah P Hinson and the Pioneer Saboteurs
27. Bruce Springsteen – The Promise
28. How To Swim – Retina (Or More Fun Than A Vat Of Love)
29. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
30. Silver Columns – Yes and Dance

I own, I think, a dozen of the above records and a couple of my personal Top 5 haven’t made the cut. What I find interesting about the higher reaches of the chart is that 3 of the Top 4 are in the MPT collection yet all 3 records are, IMHO, inferior to the previous efforts of the artists concerned. The full list of voters can be found here on Peenko.

I’ll not be writing about my LPs of the year until close to the end of 2010, because at the moment I’m still attempting to take several releases which are new to my ears even if they’ve been out for a while.

I’m also planning to present the best of the year in a slightly different format to previous years as well – time permitting.

OK, I’m off to hopefully see one of the bands featured above. Can you guess which one?

BAMS Logo designed by Struan Teague

Digging A Grave In The Moonlight

Here’s a record which is hardly current but has been doggedly battling for my listening attention ever since the turn of the year.

I’ve talked about Micah P Hinson before and have now caught up with his most recent offering ‘Micah P Hinson and the Opera Circuit’ from 2006.

As with his debut LP, in fact probably more so, ‘The Opera Circuit’ is a varied trawl through the styles of the great American songbook and beyond. In fact TOC is probably even less of a rock LP than TGOP even if it does include ‘You’re Only Lonely’ the first track which drew me to him and the only track which could obviously be labelled rock.

Amongst the dizzying array of styles, the one constant throughout is his voice, which honestly sounds like it should come from someone with at least three decades more life experience than young Mr Hinson. That comparison stretches to the songs themselves – these songs have been lived.

I said in my introduction that TOC has been battling for attention amongst my many listening choices and that’s because, like its predecessor, it’s a far from immediate record. But the fact that I keep returning to it despite competition from frankly easier to listen to records is a good indicator of its depth. One thing I like about this record is that it is something of a stretch for me.

Another indication of its quality is that, whilst it was quite an easy task to pick the outstanding track from TGOP, that’s not the case here. So let’s go for something that you perhaps wouldn’t expect to hear on MPT:

Micah P Hinson – Letter from Huntsville (from ‘Micah P Hinson and the Opera Circuit’) [Buy it] [Download it]

The Texan should release a follow-up LP later this year and that’s a release I’m certainly looking forward to with a degree of anticipation. And there are possible UK dates for June as well with his new “power trio”, which sounds intriguing.

That Was 2007 (#2)


Today’s five tracks from last year are:

The Twilight Sad – That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy (from Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters) [Buy it]

Probably the stand-out from the Twilight Sad’s excellent debut LP, be warned that this track features a rather naughty word.

Micah P Hinson – The Day Texas Sank To The Bottom Of The Sea (from ‘Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress’) [Buy it]

Yes, it dates back from 2004 but having only discovered Mr Hinson this year, I feel I should bring him to your attention. Definitely an LP worth getting a hold of.

Bob Mould – Underneath Days (live) (from ‘Circle of Friends’) [Buy it]

One of the highlights from Bob’s last LP, this version is taken from the superlative live DVD which features tracks from throughout his career. It nicely filled the gap pending the release of new LP ‘District Line’ next month.

The Decemberists – The Crane Wife 3 (from ‘The Crane Wife’) [Buy it]

I’ve never quite got round to buying the LP (although I will) but this is an excellent track which I got from one of the Uncut CDs early in the year. Very nice.

The McCarricks – Letter From Nagoya (from ‘The McCarricks’) [Buy it]

The McCarricks were an integral part of both Krisitn Hersh’s excellent LP and live show earlier this year . But they also released their own mini-LP, which is pretty unique. And I’ve only just made the Banshees connection.

Texas Fever

Micah P Hinson

My final purchase from Avalanche last month was “Micah P Hinson and the Gospel of Progress”. It’s fair to say that this was very much a spec purchase.

Very conscious of the fact that a lot of the stuff I was looking at was old stuff I wanted to buy something different and seeing this LP by the till proved enough of an incentive.

My knowledge of Hinson was very limited. Up until the start of the year I’d heard the name but had half assumed that he was in fact a “she”! Hearing a track on an Uncut compilation though righted that misconception and also created a favourable impression.

As it turns out, “Gospel of Progress” isn’t his most recent LP but rather his debut from 2004. And, it is not exactly in my comfort zone because few songs on here feature the type of rock dynamics which tend to attract my attention.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any on here – there’s the gothic sweep of “At Last Our Promises” and the building tension in “Don’t You Forget About Me”. But more often the album draws on more traditional forms of American songwriting such as “Stand In My Way”.

It’s one of these albums which is just a set of consistently strong numbers throughout. Having said that there is one stand-out, the final ‘The Day Texas Sank To The Bottom Of The Sea”, which is just one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. And that could apply to you to, if you give it a go:

Micah P Hinson – The Day Texas Sank To The Bottom Of The Sea (from ‘Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress’) [Buy it]

I’ll definitely be investigating his subsequent work and am only disappointed that his Glasgow show earlier in the week came at a bad time for me to go.


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