Thursday, 23 October 2014

Tommy Rodgers "I'll Tell It To The Wind"

Ebay itself must have laughed when I speculatively bid 15.25 GBP (note that extra 25p just in case somebody was stoopid enough to bid 15 quid on the nose!) for a near mint copy of Tommy Rodgers' incredible "I'll Tell It To The Wind" as it usually fetches something in the region of 200 quid.  I crossed my fingers all day that nobody else had noticed it.  As if that was ever going to happen in 2014!  Now this it's at 63 quid I've stopped looking.  At least I can still blast it on repeat via good ole dependable YouTube:

There's something about the way Tommys sings "There's something about you that makes me weak" that makes me weak.  That little fragment of melody is the hook that elevates it above hundreds of other similar songs, for me.  Tonight I'll no doubt dream that I 'won' the auction and wake up a little deflated that I didn't.  Human brains are cruel like that...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

We Should Thank The Lord

Many of the songs I fantasize about owning on original 7" vinyl have come into my life via Soul Jazz compilations.  Without doubt the one I would love to own most is the bubblegum (that keyboard is pure bubblegum) devotional "We Should Thank The Lord" by The Lovers Of God* from "Soul Gospel Volume 2"

The unfathomable beauty and purity of the lead vocal, especially early on when it's at its sweetest (is it a different singer on the latter part of the song?), never fails to send me spinning  then evangelising about to it to anyone who'll hear me out; not that I can ever conjure up the right superlatives to do it justice, mind you.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Mor Paranoids "Circular" (WIAIWYA)

In the annual stramash of Record Store Day some great records get elbowed out of the way in favour of the skiploads of deluxe reissues and major label product; record shops just can't stock everything from the exclusives list, I guess.  I suspect that this year "Circular" by The Mor Paranoids may have been one of them which is a damned shame as it's a fabulous collection of Alternative TV/Swell Maps informed rattlers that exist in the glorious intersection of Black Time's blasting garage and The Yummy Fur's cheeky but intelligent post-punk (actually, that description sounds a lot like The Action Time - must revisit their records this weekend!).  If I still compiled tapes for chums, the thumping "Security Guard"  would have been on every one made since mid-April, 2014.  It starts innocently enough but pretty soon proceedings get raucous then wonky before ascending into chaos:

It's a suitably thrilling way to close the record and I'm willing to bet serious money that Guided Missile wish they'd put it out on 7".  That said, The Mor Paranoids' cover of the aforementioned Swell Maps"International Rescue" is also a real contender:

"Circular" was released in an edition of 100 copies on the best format yet devised by mankind: 10" vinyl. According to the Where It's Is Where You Are (they've had a great year, haven't they?) bandcamp page there are only 15 copies left - nudge, nudge.  There's no way on earth that "Circular" won't make my 2014 Top 10.

(Big thanks to Paul E for buying "Circular" on my behalf after none of the local record shops stocked it.)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Debutantes "Adam's Apple"

"Adam's Apple" by pre-September Girls group The Debutantes turns eardrum vibrations into pure adrenalin.  If a more dizzying slice of fuzz scorch has been unleashed in 2014 I've not heard it. It's in the same class as Henry's Dress at their smoking best or the Emily's Sassy Lime of the unbeatable "Pineapple Boys Need Not Apply"Soft Power Records has built up a real head of steam in 2014 with a slew of great releases.  There aren't many copies of The Debutantes tape left so if you're craving a jag of unflinching POP! noise (those backing vocals are some of the most perfect POP! moments of the year) then you'd best get on it now!

Looks like the ever dependable Norman Records still has some copies.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

City Yelps

A couple of weekends ago Leeds group City Yelps inaugurated the 7th Annual Nottingham Pop Alldayer at The Maze and they were utterly glorious.  Within minutes I was sold on their sparky fusion of the inspirational 70s pop of the Swell Maps/Modern Lovers with Parquet Courts-style 2000s DIY.  A poster above the merch table advertising their self-released “Cheap Psych” tape – only 3 quid! - proudly boasted of “10 Songs, 2 Chords”. Only a fool would resist.  Across a remarkably consistent set of songs there's a cascade of instantly lovable guitar lines, vocals caked in rodeo announcer Tannoy reverb and a raft of drums battered with glee (see opener, “Psych On The Cheap”).  The final song, “Veterinary Centre”, is maybe my favourite of the bunch; a great live cut with the winning feel of a VU Quine tape, its ominous intro suggesting something cataclysmic to follow:

City Yelps' submission for the Odd Box Singles Club (Vol. 2 #4) was released in August and is also well worth firing up Paypal for.

The Phrogs "Baby, I'm Gone"

"Baby I'm Gone" by Southend's The Phrogs is an appealing patchwork of a bunch of  things I hold dear: Its intro has the brilliant choppiness of The Eyes' "I'm Rowed Out", there's more than a whiff of 13th Floor Elevators in the melody and the keyboard will have you reaching for those rollicking early 7"s by The Chesterfield Kings.  If you add to all that some pleasingly fried harmonica and dangerously frenetic drumming you have a solid slab of garage that will have winkle pickers and Chelsea boots the world over tapping in time.

It dates from a decade or so ago but will be released on the eminently portable 45 format through Crocodile Records of Manchester later this month. DJs in search new of a new beat belter take note!  

A video for it * was shot at Channel 4's studios (!).  

* WARNING: contains footage of a guitarist in a vest. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Curtis Harding "Keep On Shining"

10 minutes ago I'd never heard of Curtis Harding but then I visited the Burger Records website just, you know, to see what they're up to - I'm nosey like that - and spotted that Iggy Pop had given a 'shout-out' to the label.  That shout-out came after he'd played a Curtis Harding track on his BBC6 Music radio show in July and what a startlingly good track it is:

Easily the best Iggy tip since he alerted me to the wondrous Lift To The Scaffold by choosing it as one of the films for his Fantasy Multiplex on Radio 1. I've not felt so aflame with excitement about a new soul act since Did Not Chart first posted about Myron & E.  If that intro doesn't hook you then, well, I despair!  Well done to Burger for not sticking to one sound and going where their ears and heart lead them.  I, for one, never expected to hear them release anything remotely like this; Timmion yes, Daptone yes, Burger no.  I may be a bit skint at the moment but that won't stop me buying Curtis's lp the very second it hits the shelves of Glasgow's record shops.  (Please let it hit the shelves of Glasgow's record shops!)