Sunday, 23 October 2016

Planet Jazz "New To Try" (Crocodile Records)

Two years ago the reactivated Crocodile Records released an ace 7" by The Phrogs which earned a few hastily tapped words on Not Unloved.   Next up for Crocodile is a fizzing 4 tracker from Cornwall's skinny tie/shaky leg merchants Planet Jazz.  "New To Try" bursts out of the traps with youthful vigour and never lets up for two minutes.  It's sure to lift the spirits of those who remember the prime powerpop of the turn of the 80s and anyone who treasures their #1s 7"s as much as I do.  Keep an eye out for it!

Out November 1st (pre-order up soon)

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Some recent favourites

Los Cripis show up in Glasgow way more frequently than you would expect for a group from Argentina.  Their latest show with Current Affairs, Still House Plants and (Brighton's) Mortgage in the roasting basement of the Transmission gallery was another pleasing kick to the shins.  They still do slightly stern art pop better than most and their latest 7", "Restaurant" (Glad Fact), has already elbowed its way to the front of the recent purchases pile on a fair few occasions.

Somehow I completely lost touch with what Hozac Records was up to.  It was only when The Jeanies 7" landed in Monorail Music recently that I was reminded of their existence and went poking around on their Soundcloud page where I found faithful adherents of the early 80s Paisley Underground sound, Soft Candy.  Without doubt they have a fondness for The Rain Parade and who can blame them?  "Bixarre Luv Pyramids" won't earn itself any column inches in The Wire but you can bet your Chelsea boots that, should they hear it, Shindig! will flip their Brian Jones wigs over it.

Foolishly, my copy of Lady Wray's debut lp is still in the to-be-listened-to pile, its shrinkwrap intact .  On the evidence of the "Do It Again" 7" (Big Crown), however, it will be bursting with production detail, melodies to get you through the day and a voice that goes through the gears as easily as a vintage Jag.

I've pestered the good folks at Rubadub three times this week to no avail for a copy of the latest Omar S 12",  "Sky Train" (FXHE), which boasts an unexpectedly soulful vocal by Nite Jewel.  If there's a more uplifting, soul cleansing track around just now, it's yet to reach these ears. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

NUSONIC 001: Vital Idles - My Sentiments b/w The Garden (teaser!)

Finally, the time has come to share the teaser for NUSONIC 001 with the world!  I've loved Vital Idles since witnessing their first gig in May, 2015 - I wrote about it here - and that love has only increased with each successive gig and with the release of their demo tapes.  If ever a band was suited to 7" vinyl it's Vital Idles so Not Unloved is super-excited to be able to help them onto their rightful format.

Tell the world!

Here's the blurb:

Vital Idles are Jess, Nick, Matthew and Ruari. In 2015 they leapt fully formed from the fertile intersection of Glasgow's visual art and music undergrounds. Their early live shows were a revelation, all ecstatic dancing and incisive tunes that betrayed an affection for the pioneering run of 7"s from the dawn of Rough Trade and the more pop slanted sounds from the worldwide DIY boom that followed. NUSONIC 001, the first release on Not Unloved Records, marks their vinyl debut following two stirring demo tapes and highlights a group equally adept at abrasive postpunk ("My Sentiments") and saucy pastoral pop ("The Garden"). Fans of Kleenex, Primetime and The Smiths are urged to take note!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Still stuck on 7" singles!

In the 80s I loved Crackerjack. The best bit was when somebody got gunked (as happens 39mins 35secs into this clip).  I've bought so many records but gone to so many gigs of late (there's been quite a run in Glasgow in recent weeks: Terry/Woolf/Anxeity, Moritz von Oswald, The Goon Sax/Boys Forever/Spinning Coin, Cavern of Anti-Matter, Colleen Green/Cassie Ramone/The Pooches, Bill Orcutt/Okkyung Lee etc. etc.) that on those rare evenings when I do actually sit down to listen to them it feels akin to being sat in a Crackerjack gunking booth, voluntarily pulling the cord and getting soaked to the skin by new music.  At the most recent gunking these are the 7" singles that widened Not Unloved's eyes the most:

What a heart melting slice of bounce-pop!  Tangible Excitement! have tremendous pop pedigree, being a collaboration between Scott Stevens, (singer with The Earthmen, Summer Cats), Stewart Anderson (Boyracer and a million other fab groups) and Mark Monnone (The Lucksmiths, Monnone Alone etc).  For good measure Louis from The Zebras/Bart and Friends guests on guitar, too.  On the flip there's an irresistibly fizzy cover of Tiger Trap's much cherished "Puzzle Pieces" that rivals the original in terms of sheer joy.

I don't think I'll be hearing from any lawyers if I say that The Jeanies have a fondness for the records of Big Star and Milk'n'Cookies.  That, of course, is no bad thing and when they can craft melodies as instantly memorable as "Amilee", they'll earn admiration for more than just having fine record collections.

At a recent gig a friend declared that they were officially over the 60s garage sound and never needed to hear or see another group so fixated on that period ever again.  It being 2016 and hence a whole five decades since the bulk of the touchstone records of that ilk were released, I could see their point.  Then I heard the latest blast of downer garage jangle from Hamburg's The Wrong Society's and knew I wouldn't be turning my back on that sound anytime soon.  The sombre "Don't Know Why" on the flip is particularly beguiling and would earn its place among the greats on any one of my favourite volumes of the Teenage Shutdown series.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Playlist from the We Love Soft Power! gig

Last night's farewell to Soft Power Records was a largely blasting affair, high on intensity and gut churning intensity.  It was brilliant!  Here's what made it from my stuffed 7" box to the decks (ineptly, as usual - there was a wee issue with one of the turntables which lead to sticking records and dead air):

September Girls Gay Bar (Bachelor)
Bent Skeleton Man (Moontown)
The Wake Of The Matter (Factory)
The Mekons Where Were You? (Fast Product)

> Blood of the Bull live

CTMF Song For Kylie Minogue (Damaged Goods)
Shopping Straight Lines (Fat Cat)
Veronica Falls Teenage (Bella Union)

> Current Affairs live

Broadcast American Boy (Warp)
CC Dust New Ways (Night School)
Primetime Pervert (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Vital Idles My Sentiments (Not Unloved)

> Dora Maar (Andrew Hill solo) live

The Royal Sitars Eloise (Agitated)
Scars Horrorshow (Fast Product)
The Fall It's The New Thing (Superior Viaduct)
Tommy James and The Shondells Hanky Panky (Philips)
Billie Davis Billy Sunshine (Decca)

> Witching Waves live

Bikini Kill I Like Fucking (Kill Rock Stars)
A Certain Ratio Do The Du (Peel Session version) (Soul Jazz)
The Frowning Clouds All Night Long (Saturno)
Sugababes Overload (London)
Marnie The Hunter (Soft Power)
Sandra Plays Electronics Her Needs (Minimal Wave)
X Ray Spex Identity (EMI)
Babes In Toyland Handsome and Gretel (Insipid Vinyl)

> H. Grimace live

The Raincoats Fairytale In The Supermarket (Rough Trade)
Patience The Church (Night School)
Carol So Low (Weyrd Son)
David Bowie Rebel Rebel (RCA)
Maureen Tucker Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (Trash)

> Kaspar Hauser live

Alternative TV Action Time Vision (Deptford Fun City)
The Brats Be A Man (Hozac)
Gary Walker You Don't Love Me (Columbia)
The Diaboliks Hangover Head (Vinyl Japan)
The Sorrows Take A Heart (Pye)
Psychic Dancehall A Love That Kills (Art Fag)
CC Dust New Ways (Night School - played again for Seb from Current Affairs)

Hearing "Hangover Head" louder than I've ever heard it before was a real treat:

"New Ways" by CC Dust (7" coming soon on Night School) seemed to fit the mood of the evening perfectly:

Monday, 22 August 2016

We Love Soft Power! (27th August 2016, The Old Hairdressers)

It's always sad to see a favourite record label call it a day.  It's doubly sad when that label is run by friends.  When Bek and Graeme announced earlier this year that there were going to be no more Soft Power Records releases it gave me a bit of a jolt as I hadn't seen it coming.  After the inital surprise, the memories came rushing back. I remembered the sweet nights spent listening to amazing POP music at neighbourhood feud-starting volume at their house in Livingston.  I remembered, too,  all the great records I had bought from them and, for that matter, all the records they so kindly gave me for cheap or free from their ace and much-missed Soft Power Vinyl distro.  I remembered the heart-quickening thrill of hearing Marnie's "The Hunter" before it came out and I remembered just how chuffed I was when they told me that they had taken the plunge and were going to release a single by Glasgow's Aggi Doom, who at that stage were fizzing with ideas and vitality.  I have so many great memories connected to Soft Power Records.  It's so great, therefore, that another of the label's friends, David Barr (himself a passionate supporter of less heralded music - check out his Ski Pie Rage blog), has taken it upon himself to organise a celebration of all things Soft Power with a night at Glasgow's The Old Hairdressers.  It's this Saturday and is sure to be a blast with Witching Waves and H. Grimace making the trip north where they will be joined by Kaspar Hauser, Blood of the Bull, Current Affairs (the latest fab group featuring Joan and  Josh who graced the label as part of Seconds) and Dora Maar from Soft Power's Scottish contingent.  I'll be playing a few tunes between bands, too.  Bek and Graeme are two of the most enthusiastic, warm-hearted, generous and genuine people I've had the privilege to know so, if you can, please come along on Saturday to thank them for fighting the good fight for the past 6 years and to give their label the righteous send-off it deserves.

Remind yourself of just how much wonderful music Soft Power Records released by listening to the David Barr compiled We Love Soft Power Compilation which can be streamed HERE

Read more about the We Love Soft Power gig HERE

Buy a bunch of brilliant Soft Power Records records and tapes HERE

Buy tickets (only 7 quid!) for the We Love Soft Power gig HERE

Dance giddily around your bedroom to Marnie's perfect-in-every-way Soft Power Records single, "The Hunter":

Monday, 11 July 2016

The Garbage and The Flowers "The Deep Niche"

"Eyes Rind As If Beggars" by The Garbage and The Flowers occupies a unique place in my heart.  Seldom has a record come from seemingly nowhere (somehow I missed all the reviews which must have been stellar and none of the music obsessives that I hung around with mentioned it even in passing upon its first release in 1997) had such an impact on me.  Excitingly, Grapefruit Record Club has a new collection of pre-"Eyes Rind..." material due for release this week (thanks for the tip, G!).  "The Deep Niche"  features the choral nursery rhyme sweetness of "Sandy Skies" which approaches their own "Love Comes Slowly Now" for sheer love-inducing prettiness:

The fidelity and feel are perfect and lend it the magical air of some long lost acetate of Vashti fronting The Velvet Underground that some lucky soul chanced upon in a flea market or garage sale.  I'm purposefully not listening to any more of "The Deep Niche" in advance of hearing the vinyl to keep the moment special.  If only Volcanic Tongue were still around to ensure that it came to Glasgow.

Get it from midheaven