Listen to that opening section - it's like early Clientele in its infinite, dreamy softness! From then on it just gets all emotional and rushes on a Dillard & Clark run with little vocal touches that spark thoughts of how Glasgow's The Orchids frequently manage to hit heights of pure feeling that few other groups could ever hope to reach. These days, when I hear a new 60s song, a quick check of ebay usually reveals that I'll need to part with a small fortune to buy it on original vinyl. This time, however, original copies don't cost too much and are pretty easy to come by. My 'unplayed' DJ copy cost a mere 8 US dollars plus postage. When it arrives there's absolutely no chance that it won't be the highlight of that day and most likely the week.
Thursday 20 September 2012
Everybody needs friends, right? Friends do nice things for each other don't they? Recently, a friend (thanks Krister, I owe you one!) did me a real favour by recommending this majestic song:
Saturday 15 September 2012
Recently, The Wake have been sharing demos, alternate versions and live tracks on their Soundcloud page. It's an object lesson in how to use that site and well worth bookmarking.
Thursday 13 September 2012
For a brief wee while I was the owner of this 60s fuzz/jangle belter on vinyl. The Road Runners retrospective on which it appears was listed recently in the sale section of an online store so I placed an order with a real rush of excitement only to get the deflating 'out of stock' email a few days later. Ah well, it would only have caused more stomping around the living room and general over-heating so maybe I've saved myself a heart attack and my downstairs neighbours a few nights of raised blood pressure. Still, it would have sounded phenomenal at volume so I can't help feeling a little...bereft.
Sunday 9 September 2012
Just bought a ticket to see Michael Clark at Glasgow's Tramway in early October. The last time I saw Clark and his dance troupe in Edinburgh was one of the most eye-opening, opinion altering nights of my life. I wrote this for an extremely limited circulation fanzine at the time:
Watching Michael Clark’s dancers twist and leap thrillingly to Bowie’s ‘Jean Genie’ from the heaving stalls of The Playhouse in Edinburgh last Sunday I was thankful that The Pastels had enticed me over the threshold of a theatre as without that first step I would’ve missed out on something special. As for ‘About You’, I hope those moves were captured on film as I’d love to see them again. J and I both reckon that they could’ve added up to a neat little dance video for the song. Maybe one day some shaky footage will find its way onto YouTube. After all in these digital days you never know who’s sitting there with their wee Fuji Finepix sneakily filming away do you?
There's a great little documentary on Michael Clark here. The section to "Heroes" was incredible.
The ripples of that night in Edinburgh were felt recently when I attended the Juiliard Dance School's at times astounding show, again at The Playhouse. I really will be forever grateful that The Pastels tempted me into a theatre and opened up whole areas of culture that, up to that point, I could never see myself embracing.
Monday 3 September 2012
"I Need Love" - the Independence reissue from '68, not, alas, the Thunder original from '67 - was bought largely on the strength of the vocal;. It's one of the coolest vocals I've heard on a garage record so far; nearly as cool as that on The Harbinger Complex's untouchable "Sometimes I Wonder". 'Cool' usually feels like a cop-out adjective but on this occasion it seems like the most appropriate one. The word 'need' may appear in the song's title but this fellow sure doesn't come across as desperate; I guess because he doesn't over-sing and when he does step things up, it ends with a jaunty little 'hey hey'. Certainly not the actions of a needy chap! No, most of the hormonal need is in the music. Check the intro or the last 20 seconds - it's a teenage boy's heartbeat when the object of his lust walks past wearing a tight sweater in musical form. Brilliant record! Of course, I prefer to picture The Third Booth as the dapper, neat haired, Byrds-like kids from the first picture in the clip above and not as the bearded longhairs of the second. Again, it's all about coolness.
Sunday 2 September 2012
It may have been on the BBC4 documentary about the Belle Epoque photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue that I heard the line (paraphrasing), "Photography is the only art form where one can accidentally create a masterpiece". At the time it seemed like an astute comment but since then songs like "Two Serious Men" by the short-lived Australian group The Bowles have made me think otherwise. It sounds like they just inserted a TDK D90 into a tape recorder, hit record and slightly nervously, slightly tentatively started to play. Somehow, though, what they produced is incredibly affecting and, I would contend, a masterpiece. The fidelity may be low and there may be a bunch of mistakes left in but the sombre atmosphere and wobbly vocals combine with the lonely guitar line to produce one of the finest slices of home recording I've heard since the heady days of Lou Barlow's Sentridoh or early Hood. It's the first track on the b-side of a recent 7" on Kye Records which isn't cheap at around £10 but, once I had heard it, I couldn't live without it. I'm going to file it next to those breathtaking early Movietone singles.