Thursday, 30 June 2011

Neil Hannon - "Song For Ten"...

Woke up with this lovely and romantic Neil Hannon song stuck in my head.  Written for the 10th Doctor's first episode, "The Christmas Invasion".

Perhaps it's because of my recent obsession with Jon Pertwee's "Pure Mystery" and that yesterday I must've listened to The Divine Comedy's "Something For The Weekend" at least 10 times, it having the most perfect middle 8, a glorious little piece of music in already amazing pop song:

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Jon Pertwee - "Pure Mystery"...

Jonathan O'Brien posted this last night and I've been obsessed with it since.  A really wonderful song.  The b-side of Jon Pertwee's 1972 single "Who Is The Doctor?" , both also on the "Who Is Doctor Who?" compilation.

Monday, 20 June 2011

New Order - "Anarchy In The U.K." (Live)...

Wow.  My friend Kevin on Facebook just posted this:

Audio of New Order covering "Anarchy In The U.K." at the Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA on 19/09/87.     Apparently they closed the set with it.  Searching for more info, the mp3 seems to also be listed as "Echo & The Bunnymen And New Order" and it's true that they played this gig together (with Gene Loves Jezebel supporting) but I can't find out any more info than that.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Naz Nomad & The Nightmares - "Kicks"...

I have always loved The Damned. Dave Vanian has such an excellent and powerful voice (listen to the croon in the middle 8 below!) and is one of the best frontmen I've ever seen.  I got to see The Damned play on Halloween in Boston once, it was AMAZING.  It was only recently though that I learned about their garage-rock project in disguise, Naz Nomad & The Nightmares.  A bunch of 60s garage/psych covers plus two originals,  "Give Daddy The Knife Cindy" was released in 1984 (although it was meant to look like a reissue of the 1967 soundtrack to a b-movie).  "Kicks" is my favourite from the album, but their cover of The Human Beinz' "Nobody But Me" is pretty great too.

And the original by Paul Revere & The Raiders:

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Soft Close-Ups

David Shah (of Luxembourg, The Melting Ice Caps) and I make music as The Soft Close-Ups.  Today we released a collection of our songs so far, which we've just had mastered.  It can be downloaded here paying-what-you-like or for free (just type in 0).  I also made some videos for 3 of the songs, starring some of our attractive female friends.

The Monochrome Set

I just got back from seeing The Fakirs (David Devant & His Spirit Wife 'in disguise') & The Monochrome Set at Dingwall's in Camden.  What an excellent evening!

Devant played an ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC set of much older songs, none of which I'd ever seen live before, all but one song can be found on 'The Lost World of David Devant & His Spirit Wife' .  BUY IT, you'll thank me : )  And that one song was an ace version of "Why Can't Someone Else".  They opened with "Happy Accidents", which I've always loved:

I'm quite tired and going to bed in a minute so here are just some of my favourite Monochrome Set songs:

And there was much excitement when they played "Fat Fun":

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Siouxsie & Suede - "Caroline Says"...

With all this talk of the Suede reissues, and with Siouxsie & The Banshees"Sleepwalking (On The Highwire)" coming on last night, I was reminded that at Suede's July 1993 fanclub-only gig Siouxsie and Martin McCarrick joined them for a cover of Lou Reed's "Caroline Says II".  You think it should be the greatest thing ever...and it pretty much IS.

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Dead Milkmen - "Punk Rock Girl"...

The Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl" was a classic on its release.  Fun, incredibly catchy and deeply romantic with the light-hearted, care-free romance of youth.  The suburban romance of dreamt urban anarchy, when young souls are compelled to paint the grey world every possible colour they can, whether it matches or not, whilst all the while being very aware its all still grey.  Or maybe that's just how it seems to me now.  Now that I'm old.  When I was younger, it was just fun, incredibly catchy, and somehow deeply romantic ; )

"Beelzebubba" is a great album, my other faves from it being "The Guitar Song", "Born To Love Volcanos" and "Life Is Shit".  I saw them in 1992 on the 'Soul Rotation' tour at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT and Rodney Anonymous dove into the crowd and was hauled outside by security who didn't realize/believe he was the singer.  There was quite a funny delay, him being without his pass, before he was allowed back in and onstage.

This is also one of my favourite ever guitar solos.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Drop Nineteens - "Winona"...

Just a quick post as I'm off to explore Queensway/take a look at Moscow Road again.  This was the area  where I'd always stay when I flew into London, as it's where the cheap hotels were. And Martin Amis writes about it in a few of his books, definitely in "Success" and again now in "The Pregnant Widow", which I'm currently reading.  And I must say I love it, easily one of his best.  I really HATED the last two (his Russian characters in "House of Meetings" don't work, as Russians, for me), but here he's not trying too hard.

Drop Nineteens' "Winona", from their 'Delaware' album, has been stuck in my head for days.  A lost shoegaze classic.  Dreamy chimey melody afloat on a slow flood of sound.  I just watched this video for the first time in 19 years.  WOW!  I saw it back in 1992, asked for and got the cd for xmas that year.  I still have the CD longbox (I recently learned this phenomena took place only in the States.  Excessive, unpractical packaging but yet somehow very cool).  I was very excited that my first ever solo rock stone gig (TT The Bear's, Cambridge, MA, November 2002) was opening for Paula Kelley & Aaron Tap (and Tahiti 80).  Also check out their and Ad Frank's Bee Gee's cover band, The Boy Joys.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Wallias Band - "Musicawi Silt"...

My friend Chris DiMenna hipped me to this song sometime last year when I was back home (check out his tumblr for lots of good psych, kraut, folk, rock etc. and cool artwork).  From Volume 13 of the Ethiopiques seriesWallias Band's "Musicawi Silt".  Such a KILLER GROOVE.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Girlfrendo - "First Kiss Feeling Vs. Everyday Sensations"...

Eddie Argos mentioned the other day that he was going to play this song on his Resonance FM show, which reminded me how much I LOVE Girlfrendo (though this thought is never far from my mind).  I fondly remember the day I first discovered them, flipping through the records at the Notting Hill Music Exchange, December 2003, shortly before the end of my first stay in London.  And shortly after being intrigued by Living Death's "Vengeance of Hell" LP, I spotted this lovely cover:

And I was further drawn in by the POP! song titles.  Guttingly, my suitcases were already bulging and I had no room to carry any more records back to the States, but I immediately bought 'Surprise! Surprise! It's Girlfrendo' when I returned home (I heard Dolly Mixture for the first time that week also, superexciting!  This was the very beginnings of H Bird ).

The album is GLORIOUS POP!  Sassy, fun, cute & romantic without being overly so, fantastic (both in quality and as in given to fantasy) and overwhelmingly melodic.  "First Kiss Feeling Vs. Everyday Sensations" is PERFECTION, call-and-response shouty/singy girl/boy vocals, an argument over their relationship (and relationships in general) that transcends this, encapsulating both points of view into something that is purely uplifting.  TheCarsThatAteParis has uploaded the 1997 Peel Session version of this and 2 of the 3 other songs played.

My other favourite is "Delicatessen", which I often think is the BEST SONG EVER WRITTEN.  BURSTING with ENERGY and MELODY, a superfun supermarket crush.  Everything about this song is just PERFECT.  Some AMAZINGLY AWESOME lyrics:

"...'can I have some more of that Swedish cheese?'
He was hip and he weakened my knees
And in the corner of my eye
I saw him pick up apple pie
And when he asked for Hungarian bread
I thought of ways to his bed"

And some other excellent songs of theirs:

Find more Girlfrendo songs at Myspace Music

Find more Girlfrendo songs at Myspace Music

Monday, 6 June 2011

Petra Černocká - "Saxana" ("The Girl On A Broomstick" Soundtrack)...

Two weeks ago we stumbled upon Earwax Records in Brooklyn, which is probably the best record shop I've been in in NYC for a while.  And I came across "The Girl On A Broomstick" soundtrack ("Dívka na Koštěti") by Angelo Michajlov, out on the excellent Finders Keepers Records.  I was immediately intrigued by the cover:

and further so by "From The Studios That Brought You Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, Daisies & The Cremator".  "Daisies" being one of my all-time favourite films and, though I've yet to hear or see it, "Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders" and its soundtrack are considered classics by people whose tastes I trust (plus I'm usually a sucker for the Czech New Wave anyway ; )

I looked it up when I got home and was presented with this stunningly catchy POP song:

And promptly bought the album.  We listened to the soundtrack as we drove back into NYC the next day for an ace 1920's night, Wit's End.  Excellent stuff.  Mainly funky variations on this main theme (and another as well), nice orchestration (I particularly like the bass clarinet on "A Rabbit In Cage 6"), and cool (& LOUD) sound effects.

I'm dying to see the film.  It seems to be up on YouTube here.

Petra Cernocká is the vocalist on this track and stars as Saxana, the young witch pupil, in the film.  More info on her and the film at Funky Czech-In.   I came across this other excellent song of hers while I was looking her up:

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Boney M - "Rasputin"/Proxy Music...

Last night at GlamRacket Soph played Boney M's "Rasputin" and once again, as every time I hear this song, I was thrilled.  It's just so AMAZING.  A disco song about Rasputin.  That should be enough but there's so much more.  In fact everything about this song is INCREDIBLY AWESOME.  "Ra-Ra-Rasputin, Russia's greatest love machine".  I still remember the first time I ever heard that line, being completely blown away.  We were on a family holiday in 1996 and this song came up in a pub quiz.  No one had ever heard of it except for my cousins, who had lived in Australia in the late 70s, and they loved it.  Very intrigued, I managed to find "The Magic of Boney M" in the cut-out bin in Newbury Comics a few months later.  Which introduced me to other such joys as "Daddy Cool" and "Ma Baker".  And we've recently discovered that "Rasputin" is the ultimate boy-girl karaoke song.  BEHOLD:

GlamRacket was also the Proxy Music single launch, which was very good fun.  The idea of going to see a cover band always seemed quite strange to me (except perhaps when David Lee Roth hired a Van Halen tribute act for his backing band on the 2002 Sam & Dave tour) but Proxy Music are something different.  I went along to see them three years ago at a friend's suggestion - "They only play songs from the first two albums, and a couple of Eno singles" - and it was just that.  And it was Awesome.  The sound, the look, the magic - all there.  Evoking quite an atmosphere, with a good sense of fun about it as well.  Last night adding in songs from "Stranded" too, including my favourite Roxy song, "Street Life".

The new single, "Lucky Number", however, is actually a Lene Lovich song, which, per their introduction to it last night, the band noticed that when played at 33 rpm rather than 45, it sounds like Bryan Ferry. And now it does ; )  The instrumental passages alternating between the KILLER riff and BIG, awesome 70's freakouts, all in all a great rock song.  Backed with a dirty, spacey version of "Baby's On Fire" sung by Heidi Heelz, which is rather excellent.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Coming Up Roses - "I Could've Been Your Girlfriend"...

I'm back from America and my computer seems to have been fixed (fingers crossed).  I could write many, many posts about Dolly Mixture, so much POP PERFECTION, and should get around to it soon (I've been particularly obsessed with 'Spend Your Wishes' lately), but first here's a POP SONG if I've ever heard one.  From Debsey Wykes & Hester Smith's band post-Dolly MixtureComing Up Roses.  They released one 6-song mini-album on Utility Records in 1989, "I Said Ballroom" (as far as I know it's out-of-print and there's no plans for a reissue so here it is), which features the pop gem, "I Could've Been Your Girlfriend".  Those "hey-ey-ey"s in the choruses, OH YES.