Monday, 29 April 2013

Sea Pinks (free download & gigs!)

After two essential lps and a couple of cassettes of uncluttered, super-crisp guitar pop, any news of activity on the Sea Pinks front is cause for celebration so it's exciting to note:

a) They've released a new song which (generously!) is free to download at the moment:

b) They're playing at Mono (Glasgow) next Monday (May, 6th):

Finally, I get to see Sea Pinks!  It's sure to be an evening to savour with Sacred Paws' appearance coming hot on the heels of last Friday's triumphant set at The Glue Factory where their hyped-up township punk set the dancefloor alight.  Coming at the end of a Bank Holiday weekend, it'll help beat the back-to-work blues.

The facebook page for the Glasgow gig is here.
Their other tour dates are listed here.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Irma Vep

Those who bought Golden Grrrls' corking debut lp from Monorail Music in Glasgow, also received a cd-r of other people's songs compiled by the group.  Tracks by The Dovers, West Coast Pop Art Experimental  Band etc. provide ample evidence that they know their history but it was "Guilt" by Manchester's Irma Vep which piqued my interest and sent me scurrying to Soundcloud and bandcamp for a dig around.  That's when I came across this dizzying dose of dirge pop:

Turn it up and crawl inside!  "The Jerk" is slated to appear on the a-side of a 7" on The Great Pop Supplement, proving once again just what well calibrated ears that label has.  Folks within striking distance of Glasgow have the chance to see the group perform live at The Old Hairdressers this Tuesday, 30th April*.  Go on, give the Champions League a miss, for once - you won't regret it!

* - As with the recent Brilliant Colors Old Hairdressers gig, the promotion on this show hasn't been great so far.  Putting up a few posters in sister venues isn't really enough in 2013.  At the very least it should be listed on the venue's website or facebook page.   I know it's a lot of work and they could be short-staffed or whatever so I'm loath to be too critical but either the promoter or the venue owes it to the acts appearing to do their best to spread the word about the show.  Mind you, maybe I'm just too old and subscribed to the wrong forums and condemned, therefore, to be forever uninformed.


My brain's a bit pickled!  I didn't have the GG cd-r to hand when I rummaged online and wrote the words above.  Now that I do, it turns out that the track labelled as "Guilt" is actually The Jerk" which, I guess, is great news as it'll tide me over till the vinyl is released.  Hurrah!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Prefab Messiahs "Prefab Sun"

Not Unloved is spectacularly weak when it comes to keeping up a series of themed posts.  A while back there were plans to do a lengthy series of posts covering 'New (to me) vintage D.I.Y.' music. I got as far as #1.  A dismal effort all round, really.  #2 was intended to be on early 80s Wormtown (beat that for a place name!), Massachussets group The Prefab Messiahs after David and Heather Leigh from Volcanic Tongue persuaded me that I needed that group's 12".  They, of course, were right - it's a charming, addictive record of which I've grown very fond.  Their best song, however, was released as the b-side of the "Franz Kafka" 7" (Almost Ready).  Every element of "Prefab Sun" is lovable.  If, after the first listen, you're not shaking your fringe and dopily singing "Under a prefab sun. Woah! Under a prefab sun!", you wanna get yrself checked for anaemia!  It has the same winning live garage band feel as those brilliant Long Branch recordings by the The Modern Lovers and very little can match its intro for metallic (but not, y'know, metal) attack.  There's a sort of stumbling, fumbling genius at work on "Prefab Sun".

Pet Cat

These days, I forget more than I remember.  Listening to Gideon Coe's show to hear Stephen Pastel talking about the new Pastels record, I was reminded that I'd resolved to seek out the group Pet Cat who Gideon played a week or two ago; the song "Puppet", I think.  They're one of the most promising noisy guitar pop bands to chafe my ears since, say, Sweet Bulbs or possibly the Ringo Deathstarr of "Rip".  Just listen to the way "Dreams" picks up momentum over time, getting ever more exhilarating as it goes:

Their debut physical release is a cassette (plus download, of course!) limited to a paltry 50 copies. Best get in there quick!  Part of me wants to hold off, however, in the hope that these songs find a home on vinyl where they'd prosper and grow.  At 9 minutes and 16 seconds, the title track, "Wires", demonstrates that they can produce compelling long-form pieces that are dynamic and varied enough to hold the interest.  It's to Gideon Coe's credit that a bunch of noisy young pretenders can send him an unsolicited tape of songs recorded in a day, receive a fair listen and find themselves blasting out over the airwaves without having a PR machine behind them.  It's how radio should be but so seldom is.  Public service broadcasting at its best, I'd say!

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Mentalettes

If, like me, the idea of Clare Grogan fronting Thee Headcoatees sets yr heart all aflutter, y'all had best sit down before listening to The Mentalettes!

There's more joy and bounce per square (round?) inch on "Fine, Fine, Fine" (Copasetic) than on any 45 I've heard in some time.  From their bandcamp page, they're of Swedish/Spanish/German/American (!) origin but are Brighton bound on 11th May.  If I had any spare sheckels, I'd make the trip, mainline Sherbet Fountains and forget my age and my arthritic ankle and dance giddily to the embarrassment of the cool kids.  Their album, brilliantly titled "A Girl Group Gone Berserk", is sure to be top of my shopping list when it hits the record shops in "mid 2013".

(Thanks to Lindsay from The Next Big Thing for the recommendation!)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Record Store Day 2013 playlist

(thanks to Katrina for taking such a flattering picture!)

Record Store Day 2013 at Monorail Music was immense! I bought some great music (the megalithic Half Japanese box set, the killer new Vic Godard and The Subway Sect 7" etc.), chatted with so many lovely folks (the place was heaving) and got to play some records to the throng with the lovely Jenny Rollo (from the fab All The Rage night).  Unfortunately, the first hour and a half of our slot was blighted with technical issues. Jenny bore the brunt of it but she and Dougie (the sound man) did a great job working through the issues - thanks, guys! - and Jenny's iPad sure came to the rescue.  Of what I played, Girl One and The Grease Guns was certainly the hit; I wrote three notes for curious folks.

The Seeds Mr Farmer (GNP Crescendo)
The Bang(le)s Getting Out Of Hand (Downkiddie)
Dangerloves Young Pretender (Static Shock)
Shoes Tomorrow Night (BOMP!)
Thomas and Richard Frost Where Did Yesterday Go? (Liberty)
Baby Lemonade The Secret Goldfish (Narodnik)
Don and The Goodtimes I Could Be So Good To You (Epic)
Alpaca Sports I Was Running (Duffelcoat)
Ringo Deathstarr Rip (Club AC30)
Pat Lewis No One To Love (Beecool)
The Squires Going All The Way (Crypt)
The Springfields Tranquil (Summershine)
The Yellow Balloon The Yellow Balloon (Canterbury)
Flowers When You Lie (Cloudberry)
Girl One and The Grease Guns Driving Without Headlights (Once Again) (Squirrel)
Mikki Farrow Set My Heart At Ease (Kent - Pied Piper series)
The Stems Tears Me In Two (Citadel)
The #1s I Wish I Was Lonely (Art For Blind)
The Nightblooms Crystal Eyes (Fierce)
The Hush Puppies Hey, Stop Messing Around (Playboy - grey area reissue?)
Kids On A Crime Spree Creep The Creeps (Slumberland)
Delphine La Fermeture Eclair (Feral Child - grey area reissue?)
Motions It's The Same Old Song (Havoc)
East Village Cubans In The Bluefield (Sub Aqua)
Television Personalities I Was A Mod Before You Was A Mod (Overground)
Blank Realm Hey, Little Child (Negative Guest List)
Veronica Falls Teenage (Bella Union)
Sandi Sheldon You're Going To Make Me Love You (Starburst reissue)
The Volcanos Storm Warning (Arctic)
Burning Hearts Night Animal (Shelflife)
The Wake Talk About The Past (Factory)
The Go-Gos Our Lips Are Sealed (IRS)
The Supremes Where Did Our Love Go (Stateside)

Alpaca Sports' recent-ish Duffelcoat 7" seemed to fit the mood of the afternoon with its light, summery feel:

Thanks again to Dep, Stephen, Russell, Mark and Tara from Monorail Music for making Record Store Day such a great occasion and for asking me to be part of their big day.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Record Store Day at Monorail Music (20/04/2013)

Only a week to go! I'm really looking forward to it as I've bought some wondrous stuff from Monorail Music (The Wake lp box, Fame Records singles box, 7"s by The Scientists, The Electric Eels etc.) and seen some great music in Mono (Edwyn Collins, The Membranes and more) on previous Record Store Days. This year's Monorail Music programme is startlingly good: Vic Godard and The Sexual Objects playing a set of Velvet Underground covers (gasp!), World Peace (Sinead from Palms' other group who come highly recommended!) and unique sonic traveller Ela Orleans:

In between the groups, records will be spun by Deena E. Jacobs (The Sophisticated Boom Boom and soon to be seen DJing in The Pastels' "Check My Heart" video), David Barbarossa (Huntleys & Palmers, Wild Combination etc.) and The Brogues (Not Unloved).  I hope Deena busts out her Thai (?) "Venus" soundalike!  One 45 that is 100% certain to find its way from my record box onto a turntable is this brand new effervescent pop smash from Slumberland Records's Kids On A Crime Spree:

I'll be proudly wearing my Slumberland SLR badge and clapping along like a loon while it's spinning.  If you're there, please feel free to join me!

There's a facebook page for RSD 2013 @ Monorail Music here


Jenny Rollo from the All The Rage team will be joining me on the decks.  She has top taste so this is great news!  Unfortunately, she was added a little too late to have her name added to this smashing poster:

Friday, 12 April 2013

Justin Velor feat. Gerry Love / "Marty Suicide"

Sparse, affecting and almost hymnal, Justin Velor's "Missing You" is one of the prettiest pieces of music to seemingly drop from out of nowhere so far this year:

It was released in February but nobody told me or, most likely, I was distracted and didn't listen when I was told. Gerard Love's hushed vocal is something special. Think Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain late at night in reflective, sober mood. Sometimes you don't need to shout to be heard. Not many tunes can lay claim to having one gorgeous guitar solo never mind two or three, the third (at 5mins) being worthy of Vini Reilly himself.  I'd love for it to be released on 7" vinyl.  If Brutal Music saw fit to do just that, I'd no doubt sequence it alongside something like Fuxa's* majestic tribute to Martin Rev of Suicide (Great Pop Supplement) which, again, managed not to register with me upon its release in 2011:

Martin Rev and Suicide seem to be something of a cultural phenomenon at the moment with Rev's enjoyable debut lp (which includes the deliciously creepy "Baby O Baby") having been reissued on vinyl by Superior Viaduct and Suicide's music featuring on the soundtrack to at least two recent films: new Ryan Gosling movie The Place Beyond The Pines and uplifting Ulster punk flick Good Vibrations.  All of this is fine by me!

* - I'll never forget the first time I heard John Peel say their name.  I think he relished the naughtiness of pronouncing it fuksa and not fooscha.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Pastels "Check My Heart"

Radiant, optimistic and youthful, "Check My Heart" just put a little love in my heart!

That The Pastels' return would ever be anything other than an unalloyed joy was never in doubt and it passed the danceability test with ease when, a little over a week ago, a group of us assembled in Hyndland Parish Church's Community Hall to pull shapes for the song's video.  It was great fun and good for the soul.  Not wanting to be prescriptive, Stephen said before filming started that dancing wasn't mandatory, that people need only do whatever they felt comfortable doing.  He (and, no doubt, Calvin Johnson had he been there!) would've been happy as there was 100% participation and certainly no parking on the dancefloor.  There was even a cute little dog getting on the goodfoot, lending the occasion a sweet community feel.  Great song, lovely memories!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Brilliant Colors in Glasgow (10th April)

Slumberland Records' punky messtheticists Brilliant Colors strike me as a little unlucky.  They last played in Glasgow at The 13th Note on the same night as the celebration of Alex Chilton's life just across the road at Mono. Alex Chilton was much loved in Glasgow so a lot of those who might have taken a chance on Brilliant Colors probably opted for Mono instead.  A few people - Not Unloved included - dashed between the venues between the groups in an attempt to see as much as possible of both shows.  It was a memorable night!  Next Wednesday's (April, 10th) Brilliant Colors show at The Old Hairdressers has been abysmally promoted.  Crazily, it's not even listed on the What's On page of the venue's website and the group's name has been misspelled on the poster; 'colours' rather than 'colors' prompting concerns that a UK Brilliant Colors tribute act is playing rather than the real deal!  I really hope this time that The Old Hairdressers is rammed as the bill is strong with both Glasgow's brooding, post-Babes In Toyland screamers Palms and James from Veronica Falls' lovely 60s pop by way of 80s Dunedin group, The Proper Ornaments, also appearing.

Come on Glasgow, REPRESENT!!! <--- Yes, that was my Delia Smith 'Where are you?!' moment.

(Thanks to S for pointing out the typo in the subject line. Misspelling 'Glasgow' in a post where I have a go at somebody else for wrongly spelling a group's name just goes to show what a dumpling I am.  I need an editor!)

Update: There's now a Facebook page for the event here