Best of the Blogs: Dots & Dashes


Every few weeks we’ll be inviting some of our favourite bloggers to get involved with and write a guest post. It’s a great opportunity to hear something new from some of the most celebrated tastemakers in the blogosphere, this week we have Dots & Dashes in the hot seat.

Based in the UK, Dots & Dashes focuses on delivering both established acts as well as up-and-comers from all corners of the world. Known for producing high quality and thoughtful reviews, well researched interviews and comprehensive festival coverage, the blog was form ikn early 2009 by Josh Holliday whilst at University.

Josh has racked up an impressive 46,000 scrobbles since March 2010, which on average is an 22 tracks per day. Find out what he’s listening to here.

Over to Josh for his three picks:

Devo – Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro! (Seamus Unleashed)

Brand them what you will – postmodern or otherwise – few bands have ever come close to the ingenuity on show across the almost excessively extended discography of Akron spuds Devo. They sit pretty atop of my, unchanging over time.

So, what have we here? WOAH! Startling as any luminous boiler suit, ‘Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro! (Seamus Unleashed)’ tells the tail (arf) of Seamus, Mitt Romney’s Irish setter, who felt the harsh inhumanities of the Republican motormouth firsthand as he endured a torrid 1,000km-plus voyage strapped to the roof rack of the family’s ramshackle station wagon. That’s the theory. In practice? This one’s a fairly bluesy whirl swirled with the expired pooch’s then unspoken reprisals (now voiced by Dogs Against Romney activist, Jerry Casale). And, although perhaps not quite as outré as one may expect of Ohio’s finest, it’s irrefutably direct as ‘the man’ gets well and truly sticked.

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who

The sight of the inimitable New Wave elder statesman, David Byrne, shaking his 60-yo tush to sublime Ethio-jazz horns, and the unequaled jitter of St. Vincent‘s pawnshop guitar, make Martin de Thurah’s visual interpretation of ‘Who’ stick to the mind like gum clinging longingly to either of Annie Clark’s pinprick stilettos. Faintly Lynchian in aesthetic, the two porcelain figures (who, combined, boast over 40,000,000 scrobbles) enact the lyrical narrative ‘Who’ (13,981 scrobbles) with style, panache and some impeccably executed histrionics.

TOPS – Easy Friends

Of course it’ll always be a certain Claire Boucher for which Montréal’s Arbutus Records is oft recalled, although more than a fleeting thought ought to be set aside for TOPS. A cutesy slo-psych five-piece, their Tender Opposites LP is among the year’s finest thus far, yet with only 2,374 listeners to date looks to be something of an undiscovered gem amid the boulders and balderdash that surround us and our ears. I was thoroughly disappointed, disgusted almost, by Ariel Pink‘s Mature Themes, but ‘Easy Friends’, the flip side to a forthcoming limited 7″ release of album highlight and TOPS’ most popular track ‘Diamond Look’ (1,767 plays, of which I’ll fess up to a fair few), accomplishes everything Ariel neglected to grow into and more.