Sunday, 4 August 2013

Parasol Music: Imaginary Pants / Sourpatch

There's a certain style of music that I'll forever think of as 'Parasol music' after the now sadly defunct Illinois-based mail-order (the label and its sub-labels remain) from whom I bought a fair amount of it.  If I remember correctly, a place-holder in the Rough Trade shop just off London's Portobello Road dubbed it 'US Small Label Pop'.  That was always my favourite section, royally stuffed with poly bag/wraparound sleeve 45s on labels like Harriet, Bus Stop, Slumberland, K etc., each one a promise of a few minutes of wide-eyed thrills created in a spirit of unashamed exuberance.  To me, Rose Melberg was the undoubted queen of this scene and one of the most endearing songs she recorded was "The Love We Could Have Had"; a fuzz-dosed duet with Dustin Reske of the unutterably brilliant Rocketship (for his birthday, if my memory's reliable) :

Later, it featured on Rose's first lp "Portola" but originally it graced a split 7" on Double Agent Records which arrived at my parent's house in a box from, yup, Parasol.  Roll on more than a decade and a half and Rose is in girl/boy duet action again, this time with the group Imaginary Pants:

What kicks!  What with the prohibitively high postage costs from the US, I probably wouldn't have bought it direct from Rok Lok Records but Andy Malcolm (thanks, Andy!) imported a few for his strictly no capital letters distro so I was able to get a copy at a decidedly reasonable £3.50 + p&p.

In a similar vein, the recent release from San Jose, California's Sourpatch (as part of Where It's At Is Where You Are's latest 7" single series) has energy and zip to spare and would've prompted untold joy had it arrived in a Parasol parcel in '98 alongside records from Gaze, Pencil Tin (I noticed Pebble Records was selling their cd at Indietracks this year) or Tiger Trap. In the 90s this type of  music seemed like the antidote to the lumpen dross that clogged-up the 'indie' singles racks in chainstores and I loved it all the more for that.  I suspect I'll always have room in my heart for young people making an unself-conscious, joyful noise.

No comments:

Post a Comment