Tuesday, 15 July 2014

On And On With Lou Reed

22 years go Trash (now, that's how to name yr band!) released "On and On With Lou Reed" (New World of Sound).  I wish I'd heard it at the time as it's a clattering delight that never lets up and yet another reason to look back in awe at the music being produced in New Zealand in the 80s and 90s.  A friend described it as 'a pop Dead C' which is not only a great concept but an astute observation given that that group's Robbie Yeats played on it.  I wonder if John Peel picked up on it.  It would surely have turned a fair few heads if he did, in fact, play it on his show*.

(Thanks for the tip, Jon!)

* - this would suggest Peel did play it - sweet!

Monday, 14 July 2014

My Love Has Gone

Last week's trip to Monorail Music yielded the"My Love Has Gone" 7" (Norton) by Miriam (Linna of The A-Bones).  I'd read about Miriam's album on Lindsay Hutton's cranky but admirably passionate Next Big Thing blog so was on the lookout for her records.  "My Love Has Gone" is such a punchy evocation of the classic girl group sound.  TV theme catchy with hooks by the score, everything is played so emphatically (those drum skins took quite a beating!) that despite all the glockenspiel and romance-gone misery it could never be described as twee.  Hopefully, the lp will show up in Glasgow before too long.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Stuck In The 60s

BBC Radio 5Live ran a feature the other night about how Environmental Health officers had clocked crazy 100+ db sound levels during showings of recent blockbuster movies such as Godzilla.  Of course, I tut-tutted in agreement.  I mean, who hasn't come out of the cinema in the last few years rubbing their ears and moaning about it?  Of course, I am a total hypocrite when it comes to volume.  If 5Live ran a similar feature on the volume of music played in cars, I would be totally busted.  Tonight I stopped by the ever-wonderful Monorail Music and picked up a bunch of hot new vinyl spins and one second hand cd - this - and you should have heard the loopy volume at which I repeatedly played Bob & Kit's incredible 60s jangler "You've Gotta Stop" (HBR):

The first thing I did when I got home was to fire up ebay and search for an original 7".  Unfortunately, there's only 1 copy for sale and it's quite visibly scratched so I won't be investing in that.  I'm willing to wait for a pristine(ish?) copy.  After all, thanks to the impeccable taste of the cd's compiler, Nick Saloman of The Bevis Frond, I can blast it on cd till my ears stop working completely.

Another recent 60s cut to have won my heart is The Striders' adorably perky "There's A Storm Coming" (Columbia):

A tenner secured me a(n allegedly - we'll see when it arrives!) Mint- copy.  The slightly wimpy songs from the mid-60s that straddle the line between garage and pure pop are just so endearing.

Finally, while revisiting Ace Records' ridiculously great "Boy Trouble: Garpax Girls", this Rev-lons stunner swelled my heart all over again:

If "Whirlwind" doesn't have ya shufflin' and a handclappin' and a ooh-ooh-in' then just how do you get your kicks?

There's a fair chance the above 3 songs will form my Three In A Row suggestion for Brian Matthew's Sounds of the Sixties on BBC Radio 2.  Yeah, let's do this!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

If I Can't Have You

Remember when Rhino followed their boxset version of the "Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968" compilation with "Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era, 1976–1995"?  Should they ever do likewise with their comprehensive overview of the girl group era, "One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost And Found", they would be duty-bound to include The Yearning's sweet dream-inducing "If I Can't Have You":

In a fair world it will be clutched lovingly to the hearts of the legion of vintage clothes-wearing Camera Obscura obsessives.  Tests have shown that it sounds best at twilight and in the movies, heartbroken teenage girls would play it to their friends on portable record players. It's a shame, therefore, that (thus far?) it's only available as a digital download.  Thanks to this and the singles by Parcel Post and The Luxembourg Signal, I've well and truly fallen back in love with indiepop; for much of 2014 we were on a break.  

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Parcel Post "Centimetres"

Lisle Mitnik plays guitar just the way Not Unloved would have it.  When Very Truly Yours appeared at The Captain's Rest in Glasgow a couple of summers ago I was in constant awe of his flawless playing.  He has such an intuitive way with a jangle!  The A-side of the debut 7" by Parcel Post, his new collaboration with Scott Stevens of the always adorable Summer Cats, was recently uploaded to Soundcloud and it's as hummable (that melody!) a slice of post-Sarah Records pop as you could ever hope to hear; Kingfisher Bluez and Cloudberry must have turned cartwheels when they first heard it.  The lead vocal is dreamy while Kristine Capua (also of Very Truly Yours) provides some winningly sweet backing echoes.  With such glistening guitar-work and so much glockenspiel "Centimetres" radiates.  I hope the vinyl comes in the classic wraparound sleeve/poly bag combo. Singles are just that bit more alluring that way, aren't they?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Distant Drive / Looking For Real Love / Footwork

There are some immense singles around just now.  Here are 3:

> The Luxembourg Signal "Distant Drive" (Shelflife)

A solid contender for Single of the Year So Far.  It's been out for a couple of months but I just broke my 'no vinyl from the US due to prohibitive postal rates' rule to get it so it's current for me.  Beth Arzy from Sarah Records group Aberdeen is a member; I loved them, too.  That guitar line is a dream and a half and the vocals, well, they're Belgian chocolate sprinkles.

> Hollie Cook "Looking For Real Love" (Mr Bongo)

Now that the good weather feels comfortable enough to hang around for a bit in Scotland, Hollie's lover's rock makes even more sense.  Why this isn't blasting out from radios and car stereos and mobile phones up and down the land is a mystery.  Hollie's under-played singing style serves her well making her voice as welcome as a Magnum on a hot day.  Go on...treat yourself to one of the 100 copies on pretty green vinyl!

> Theo Parrish "Footwork" (Sound Sculpture)

Addictive. Not overly banging or attention-seeking, just addictive.

Monday, 16 June 2014

I Wish You The World of Happiness

If Beatin' Rhythm in Manchester wasn't quite the palace of delights it had been the last time I visited it 4 years ago, I still came away an essential reissue 45 (on the shop's own label) of a Northern Soul diamond:

Eddie Holman and James Solomon's lyrics recount a moving tale of stoicism in the face of rejection:

The world's just not the same
At least not to me
'cause I won't see you again
You're setting me free
But I wish you the world of happiness
Though you're hurting me

Musically, it's archetypal mid-60s dancefloor-targeted soul.  It could prove a pricey acquisition as, if I keep playing it so much, I'll need to buy a rug to cover the living room carpet's threadbare patch.