Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Wyld Gooms "Doesn't Matter To Me"

It may only be March but there's a fair chance that LA's Wyld Gooms have already produced thee garage b-side of 2022 in "Doesn't Matter To Me" (Outro Records):

The various Gooms have done time in a bunch of notable Not Unloved-endorsed groups (including but not limited to The Premonitions, The Slop, The Violet Mindfield, The Night Times) so it's no surprise that they know their way around a coulda-bin-comped-on-Pebbles tune and can deliver it with enough verve to elevate it well above the pack. The ole roar then guitar solo one-two about a minute and 45 seconds in, in particular, is a real adrenaline rush. It should be noted that the a-side is a blast, too; 2 minutes and 17 seconds of prime organ-addled scuzz to set yr bowl cut shakin'.

Scott McCarl and The Rubinoos "In Love Without A Girl"

A few years ago one of the most played slabs of vinyl around these parts was a late 60s 45 by Yellow Hair. "Sometimes" is a sun-bleached number that wafts on a West Coast breeze of gentle harmonies and unobtrusive instrumentation. It was later compiled by Numero Group on the indispensable "Louis Wayne Moody High" compilation:

"Sometimes" was written by a chap called Scott McCarl. In the late 90s McCarl, backed by California's legendary Rubinoos, cut one of the finest power pop singles since the genre's skinny tied 70s hey day with "In Love Without A Girl". It was released on the Titan label which was the subject of a typically comprehensive boxset via the aforementioned Numero Group. "In Love Without A Girl" is a chunky pop number with lovelorn lyrics and a terrific vocal from McCarl that should have admirers of The Posies circa "Frosting On The Beater" excitedly updating their wants lists. It sounds thrilling when cranked up loud.


Monday, 21 March 2022

Charlène Darling "NON MON GARÇON" (Lexi Disques, 2022)

Belgian label Lexi Disques won a little piece of Not Unloved's heart last year with the release of Lawrence Le Doux and Roger 3000's huggable "Creme/Caramel" single and they've repeated the trick in 2022 with Charlène Darling's bare bones but incredibly catchy "NON MON GARÇON" 7". From just whip-crack drums and a plaintive, at times double-tracked, vocal, Darling has conjured up a memorable slice of melodic Stereo Total-style pop that takes up residence in your brain with the result that you'll catch yourself unwittingly tapping out its rhythm and humming its melody as you go about your daily chores. Darling released an album in October 2019. It's high time Not Unloved became acquainted with it!

Friday, 18 March 2022

Glas-Goes Pop : an indiepop happening

It's been a wee while since Glasgow had a dedicated indiepop shindig. Probably the last one was the Pop South Weekender at The Glad Cafe in, ooh, 2016 (?). Creation Records royalty, Pete Astor, played that one - he was every bit as tremendous as I'd hoped; check the footage here - and he's also in the smashing-looking lineup for Glas-Goes Pop this coming August. The acts announced so far are:

Close Lobsters

The June Brides

David Christian (Comet Gain)

Pete Astor

The Catenary Wires

Davey Woodward & the Winter Orphans

Jetstream Pony

Swansea Sound

The Orchids

Rachel Love

Papernut Cambridge

+ DJs: Gerard Love, Chris 'Beans' Geddes & Andrew Williams

From what I hear, a couple more acts will probably be added to this already stuffed list. There's so much to look forward to but one name that leaps out is that of Rachel Love. She won a lot of hearts as a member of Dolly Mixture back in the early 80s but her full length from last year, "Picture In Mind", was among the very best albums of 2021 for Not Unloved's money. It'll be a real treat to see her perform songs from it live, that's for sure.

It'll be a blast, too, to see David from Comet Gain in Glasgow once again. It's been way too long since Comet Gain played a rollicking set as part of an all-dayer at Mono and even longer since they tore up the basement of The 13th Note with the incredible The Peechees - what a memorable night that was! It's also going to be tremendous to welcome Jetstream Pony to a Glasgow stage for the first time. Not Unloved made the pilgrimage to London's legendary 100 Club to see them play with the always brilliant The Orchids and the soaring St. Christopher in February 2020. That seems like forever ago now so roll on August!

The scoop:

When? Fri & Sat, August 5th & 6th 2022

Where? GUU Debates Chamber (Glasgow, Scotland)

Facebook? here

Instagram? here

Twitter? here

Tickets? On sale here NOW!

Also, be sure to tune in to Clyde Built Radio on Saturday, 19/03/2022 at 11am (UK time) to hear the organizers talk about the event! Don't worry if you can't tune in at that time as it'll be archived here in due course.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Rock Writ (podcast)

In 2022 there are so many top notch podcasts, mixes and streaming radio options that trying to consume them all is a recipe for madness or, at the very least, chronic sleep deprivation. With so much choice, I suspect that we may already be living in the era of Momus's Famous For Fifteen People. Over the last year or so, Canadian Armen Svadjian's excellent "podcast exploring rock criticism and old-school fanzine culture", Rock Writ, has become an essential listen here at Not Unloved. Over its 20 episodes (and counting!), Armen has interviewed luminaries such as Mike Stax of legendary 60s garage/psych zine Ugly Things, Jay Hinman of D.I.Y./punk bibles Superdope and Dynamite Hemorrhage (new issue out now!), not to mention Scotland's very own early fanzine heavyweights, Lindsay Hutton (The Next Big Thing) and Brian Hogg (Bam Balam/Strange Things Are Happening). The conversations always prove illuminating and Armen - a former zine writer himself - is a friendly and knowledgeable host who enables his guests to tell their stories via a series of astute questions and observations. There hasn't been an episode so far that hasn't had me scurrying to ebay on the hunt for back issues of whichever publication is being discussed. It really makes you yearn for a return to the days when Tower Records or Borders Books had shelves devoted to small run zines and, of course, makes you kick yourself for not picking up more of them when they were freely available.

Follow Rock Writ on Twitter here

Listen to Rock Writ here

Monday, 10 January 2022

Billy Swivs "Time Is Not On My Side" (Wick, 2021)

Late last year Daptone's sister imprint Wick struck garage pop gold with "Time Is Not On My Side" by Billy SwivsIt's a barrel of Stones-y fun with some fine tellin'-it-like-it-is lyrics:

All the people on TV

They don't believe in you or me

No, they're just trying to waste your time

Control your brain and rule your mind

I dunno, maybe it's from witnessing all the call and response at King Khan shows or Ian Svevonius's many exhortations at Chain and The Gang/The Make-up/Escape-ism etc. gigs but I just wanna punch the air at all the wee side comments such as "That I could be somebody!" (which is uttered in a manner pleasingly reminiscent of Not Unloved fave Ryan Kidd!) or "I had a dream about it!". It's nigh on impossible to bring anything new to this style of music (I'm not sure that the avid followers of it want that, mind you!) but if you have a memorable enough tune, an ear for the good stuff from the last 55 years of garage punk and the swagger to pull it all off you'll still be able to tempt my winklepickers onto the dancefloor. Hell, yeah!

Agincourt "Fly Away" / Andersens "Bacharach"

There's a fair chance that you can count on one hand the number of records on Not Unloved's shelves that could conceivably be tagged with word 'prog'. Agincourt's "Fly Away" - most recently reissued in 2021 on Trading Places - is one of the few, if discogs is to be believed. Thankfully, however, "Fly Away" is a much more succinct, (folk)pop-oriented affair than the dreaded 'prog' word would suggest with the highlight being "All My Life" which somehow manages to rival the acoustic side of Kaleidoscope for effortless beauty:

Agincourt unexpectedly landed in Not Unloved's orbit when, upon playing the heart-meltingly pretty "Bacharach" by the Japanese group Andersens to a musician friend, they (correctly to these ears!) mooted a certain similarity in the vocal melody to "All My Life""Bacharach" appears on Morr Music's smashing overview of Andersens' output to date, "There Is A Sound". Fans of Tenniscoats and Molly Linen are urged to seek it out if they haven't already!