November 18, 2007

Win a new Brit Box compilation, and listen to the re-formed Verve in Blackpool

New contest! This one tails nicely on the heels of my anglophile’s paradise post last month about the Britpop movement. If you find yourself with some UK-centric leanings in your musical selections, here’s a new box set you might wanna throw down for.

The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze And Brit-Pop Gems Of The Last Millenium is out this week on Rhino Records, collecting 78 songs out of Britain from 1984 to present that celebrate “the essence of cool.”

I have one box set to give away! In rad packaging, you’ll get:

-DISC ONE: 1984-1990. Early modern British influencers like Stones Roses, Happy Mondays, Jesus & Mary Chain, The Smiths, Primal Scream
-DISC TWO: 1990-1993. The hazy shimmer of the shoegaze movement is traced through acts like Ride, My Bloody Valentine, and The Telescopes
-DISC THREE: 1994-1995. Britpop explodes in a crushing supernova. Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Elastica etc.
-DISC FOUR: 1995-present. Where we’re going – Ash, The Verve, Super Furry Animals, Mansun, Placebo and more

The 80-page liner note booklet comes with with interviews, memories and essays from Creation Records founder Alan McGee, seminal producers Stephen Street and Alan Moulder and an assortment of artists. Full tracklist here.

To celebrate the release of this box set, vLES (a “virtual Lower East Side” web community set up by MTV) has some special programming this week. Brett Anderson of Suede will be on MTV’s Subterranean tonight to talk about the Brit Box, and on Monday vLES will have an online “Britpop Round Table” streaming from the Bowery Ballroom with Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone (who wrote this excellent ‘lil book), Rob Dickinson of Catherine Wheel (who I tragically omitted from my last Britpop post) and John Hagelston from Rhino Records. Check here for a full list of the other Brit-centric programming this week.

So, they offered me one box set to either keep, or for contesting. Do not ever say I don’t love you: leave me a comment to win my promo copy of the Brit Box set!

And to wrap up the last contest before we move it along: Aikin from Licorice Pizza was picked as the random winner of the NYC DVD set. Thanks for all the wonderful stories.

* * * * * * *

Speaking of awesome music wafting from across the Atlantic, how ’bout that re-formed Verve? They’ve now hit the road, back together in the original lineup, and just completed six shows earlier this month in the UK.

Since the odds of them coming through the U.S. seem to be about the same odds I get on a Stereophonics tour, I have to satisfy myself with reading what folks said about the experience, and trolling YouTube for hazy cellphone video clips. From the moment they first took the stage on Night One in Glasgow, they’ve been playing some seriously rad sets. This vantage point makes me tingle (from the second night in Glasgow):

And listening to this boot from a few nights later at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool does nothing short of give me little frissons of excitement up and down my spine – hear the crowd sing along with Sonnet, or the wild roar that greets Bittersweet Symphony.


[Thanks to taper: Pete Bullock]

This Is Music
Space and Time
Gravity Grave
Weeping Willow
Life’s An Ocean
Sit And Wonder (new song)
Velvet Morning
Already There
Stormy Clouds
Let The Damage Begin (b-side)
On Your Own
The Rolling People
The Drugs Don’t Work
Bittersweet Symphony
A Man Called Sun
Lucky Man
Come On


And a bit of scene-setting from someone lucky enough to be there:

I was at [the Blackpool show] – arrived just in time to hear ‘Mad Richard’ announce ‘This Is Music’… It was great to finally see the band in their original conception- no extra guitarist, no string section.

What was even more impressive was the fact that so much 1st & 2nd album stuff was on the set…even ON YOUR OWN & MAN CALLED SUN (personal faves). One could argue that a mediocre, crowd satisfying ‘last album’ set would have been enough. But could you really have seen Nick McCabe agreeing to re-form for that kinda live package???!!

Must say [the Empress is] the best venue for this type of gig. Ok the acoustics are not entirely set out for rock bands but the surroundings always make gigs at the Empress very unique. There’s also that ‘outta town’ mentality where a band has purposely avoided the more suitable venues within the vicinity (Manchester Apollo/Uni, Liverpool Uni) and gone with the face of Seasides past ‘Blackpool’-not to mention the sprung floor!…magical!

Overall a grand night had by all…now lets see how the bigger gigs go next year!

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  • With a blog called Drive Blind, how could I not be excited about this box – especially disc 2!

    Jerad — November 20, 2007 @ 8:48 am

  • thanks for the verve show! i really want them to tour the states. i got to see richard ashcroft play a solo acoustic show and he was amazing. and the box set looks awesome. i love the art and the tracklisting is great.

    scissors happy — November 20, 2007 @ 9:24 am

  • Boy you got lots of people commenting on this blgo entry ha! I wonder why?! Everyone loves to comment on your posting. It couldnt be because they are trying to win something could it? Ha! Keep up the great prizes and postings!

    Trey — November 20, 2007 @ 9:35 am

  • I’d love to win that box set. It looks awesome!

    Donald — November 20, 2007 @ 10:34 am

  • count me in to win this one. please.

    Anonymous — November 20, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

  • Heather – candidly, your Anglo song list is better than Rhino’s fancy Brit Box. I burned your little list on a couple of blue CDs which have been continually playing in my little Audi (not my little Jag-U-Ar, to paraphrase Liam and Noel Gallagher). But I love the stuff. Lately I can’t get enough Mansun; how wack is that? You decide. Love, me. Oh, I don’t have a google account. If you like this, just let me know and I will drop you an e-mail. Call me IRRESPONSIBLE!

    Anonymous — November 20, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  • Please add me to win The Brit Box Set.

    I’m 54 and music has been as vital to me as air and food. My nephew is a big UK music fan. Since he went away to college and is no longer here to talk to me about the new music he has discovered, I have been feeling a real loss. There is just nothing like the moment someone shares a new song with you … you put the headphones on … the music begins to play … a riff sends you off to a place that is indescribable … and then you smile. It is a wonderful word-less sharing experience.

    This collection, can’t replace my nephew, but it will certainly fill the void.

    I found your site while perusing the You Crazy Dreamers website. Thank you for sharing the music. You probably will never know how much it means to people.

    daisydear — November 20, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

  • I want the box set.

    s — November 20, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

  • I love your blog. Thanks for everything.

    Matthew — November 20, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

  • Hi Heather – I think you should choose someone who has made interesting comments to your other posts and not me or the other 88 (and counting) who have dredged their fingers across the keys to say “Me, me, me!”. Being a Brit (now living in NJ) I lived through all the songs on the box set and have the best of them! Talking of the Smiths, thanks for all the Buckley posts over the years, particularly the Liz Fraser duet – you’ll know this one, but worth checking out now and then… xx Jim

    Jim — November 20, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

  • For a chance to win such a mad box set I am popping my cherry and leaving my first comment on a blog….and even if I don’t win it’s worth it for the Verve show…nice!

    jsterrettr — November 20, 2007 @ 11:12 pm

  • My fantastic boyfriend’s 30th birthday is today and he would LOVE this! If I win this I would be the best girlfriend ever! It would seem even more thoughtful if I won it because when we are old and gray and sitting in our rockers rockin’ it out at the nursing home to the Stone Roses, he will STILL be telling the story about how awesome I am!

    ps. I love your blog. It helps me engage music lovers in conversation. You make me much smarter :)

    Susan — November 21, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

  • Wow, what a great prize. Yeah, I’d love this one.


    Derryl Murphy — November 21, 2007 @ 11:06 pm

  • pick me! please

    Eddie — November 23, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

  • Wow–my dad was born in raised in Blackpool and HE is the one I would give this to…

    And thanks for all the cool music that I probably never would have listened to without your sampling!

    Matt Butcher — November 24, 2007 @ 9:30 am



    Anonymous — November 24, 2007 @ 11:12 am

  • Wow, that track list brings me back to my college day. I was introduced to most of those bands by the cutest boy in my english class. It took me weeks to get up the nerve to talk to him!

    Peg — November 24, 2007 @ 11:24 am

  • Yummy!

    - Laura

    Laura — November 24, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

  • Miss H, your blog gets better with each entry.

    Just that, not entering the contest, i am passing on that.

    Take care and keep up the great RnR coming.


    Gilberto — November 24, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

  • Thank you for posting the Verve zip file. I am ever-so grateful. And, if it is not too late, please add my name to the pot for consideration in the Brit Box compilation set. Remember, music saves.

    JewlsDeluxe — November 25, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

  • Great blog – I’m discovering new music all the time here! I’m also salivating at the possibility of the Brit-Pop box…Thx!

    Brett — November 26, 2007 @ 9:34 am

  • I want it, I want it, I want it —CAAAAN’t Have it.

    Is Magic Bus a representation of Brit Cool?

    Rob Howard — November 26, 2007 @ 11:56 am

  • Verve me baby!

    Plus shipping is cheap within Colorado

    Rob — November 29, 2007 @ 6:01 am

  • 1st time I saw (The) Verve they were playing 2nd stage a LalalalapLooza. Nick Cave and The Badseeds had just finished their set and we were to tell the truth ready to hit the bricks at 5:30 in the afternoon.I can remember this like it was yesterday I was suck in to the frenzy of “This Is Music” followed by “Come On” Richard was shritless sweating his ass off the the hot Michigan USA summer sun it was beyond the beyond to say the least Richard doing that barefooted swager dance he is so well known for waving at us as if to say Come On Come On Come On(Oh yeah he was saying that…but you could feel he really meant it like DIG THIS!!)Cheers,HenryPonds

    HenryPonds — December 30, 2007 @ 1:13 am

  • Wonderful! I loved Gravity Grave especially. Thanks!

    María — March 15, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

  • My wife and I were lucky enough, from Arizona, to get to see the second Roundhouse show on the 9th. I haven’t found a good boot though. A couple guys said they’d had it, but never posted anywhere. Do you know if it exists downloadably?


    Daniel Edlen — April 14, 2009 @ 9:35 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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