Late last year Daptone's sister imprint Wickstruck garage pop gold with "Time Is Not On My Side" by Billy Swivs. It'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!
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!
That Record Got Me High came to Not Unloved's attention when Tim Hinely (of Dagger zine fame) had the good sense to select Galaxie 500's landmark debut album as his topic of discussion. The format of the show is simple: an invited guest selects an album of their choice to listen to and discuss in detail with host, Rob Elba (and, previously, former Moe Tucker and Jad Fair collaborator, Barry Stock), Episodes are just over an hour in length and Elba is a great host who is cheerful and never overbearing. Pleasingly, he doesn't fall into the trap that so many other music podcasters do of trying to assert their knowledge and opinions over those of their guests. In fact, it's really refreshing to hear Elba admit to not having prior knowledge of some of the chosen albums. The periods in 2020 and 2021 when going out to live shows wasn't a possibility provided plenty of time for catching up with previous episodes of That Record Got Me High. Some of Not Unloved's favourites are:
Steve Michener was lucky enough to play bass with three fabulous 80s/90s US indie-rock touchstones: Volcano Suns, Big Dipper and Dumptruck. The Vulgar Boatmen was a name I'd seen in mailorder catalogues in days gone by but a group I'd never actually heard. After listening to season 5, episode 201, however, I'm sure keen to hear more.
The episode where Joe Tunis of noise label Carbon Records and Elba chatted about The Dead C's "Trapdoor Fucking Exit" was a blast.
That's enough to be going on with, All that remains is for Not Unloved to finally put our hand in our pocket and become a patron of the show.
Since this post has name-checked both The Lemonheads and Volcano Suns, it seems like an opportune time to post this wonderfully heartfelt cover by the former of the latter's excellent "Balancing Act"which was released on 7" by Atlantic in 1997 (!).