Monday, 30 April 2012

Goldie Hawn - Cloudy Summer Afternoon...

You know how sometimes you really want to hear a record, but you're not sure exactly why?  I remember being back in CT 4 or 5 years ago, record shopping with a few of my lifelong best friends and coming across, at a store in Bridgeport whose name I cannot recall nor can I say for sure if it still exists, Goldie Hawn's Goldie LP.  I didn't feel like shelling out however much it was for the record that day but I was intrigued, and ever since then I'd always been curious.  Finally decided to seek it out the other night, finding a rip on the Vinyl Shipwreck blog.  Her voice is very nice but overall the album is a bit too country for my tastes.  However, Cloudy Summer Afternoon is just lovely:

What I Played At The Hangover Lounge, April 29th, 2012

Enjoyed DJ'ing at The Hangover Lounge yesterday.  Here is what I played:

John Barry Orchestra - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society
Jon Pertwee - Pure Mystery 
Saint Etienne - Tomorrow Never Dies
The Real Tuesday Weld - The Ugly & The Beautiful
Rainy Day - I'll Keep It With Mine
Opal - Strange Delight
Even As We Speak - Drown
Roxy Music - Pyjamarama
Martin Newell - Miss Van Houton's Coffee Shoppe
The Magnetic Fields - Long Forgotten Fairytale
The Tear Garden - Romulus & Venus
Wire - Midnight Bahnhof Cafe
David Devant & His Spirit Wife - Born Yesterday
Brian Eno - Cindy Tells Me
The Elevator Drops - Rats
Dolly Mixture - Spend Your Wishes
Gillian Hills - Rentre Sans Moi
Annette Hanshaw - Tiptoe Through The Tulips
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Shadowtime

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Cleaners From Venus...

There's been an awful lot of rain lately, perhaps a nice way to herald the reissue of that lost pop masterpiece, Midnight Cleaners, by The Cleaners From Venus.  Wanted to post the gorgeous instrumental that opens the record, This Rainy Decade, but can't find it anywhere online.  Hopefully that will change soon.

Record Store Day (Saturday, April 21st) sees the re-release of the first 3 Cleaners From Venus albums, appearing for the first time on vinyl and cd (true to D.I.Y. form, they were originally only issued on cassettes).  These are Pop Gems that deserve to be heard by a much wider audience.  Back in February, I had the pleasure of interviewing the man behind it all, Martin Newell, about these early records and much more.  The interview is up at The Quietus from today.

I've posted about Martin a couple of times before (and here).  I'll try not to repeat myself. But the man is a True Pop Genius.  Consider yourself in for a treat if you haven't heard his songs yet, or even if you have.  Late one evening two summers ago, facing the usual bout of insomnia, I was trawling through the blogs, looking for anything I hadn't heard before when I came across Living With Victoria Grey - The Very Best Of The Cleaners From Venus.  Intrigued by the name, and furthermore by such song titles as Ilya Kuryakin Looked At Me, Julie Profumo, Mad March Hare, and I Was A Teenage Idiot Dancer, I decided to give them a listen.  Also factoring in that I had been at school with a girl named Victoria Grey. It is almost always worth following coincidences, especially in the world of pop music where they can lead you to exciting new avenues and alleys, rooftops and roadways*, palaces and planets, or in the case of Martin Newell, universes.

Here is another one that mentions rain.  Ilya Kuryakin Looked At Me, my first favourite Cleaners song.  Fantastic Pop. Inspired by a real life sighting of David McCallum, the actor who played Ilya Kuryakin on the TV show The Man From U.N.C.L.E., recounted in Martin's highly entertaining This Little Ziggy, talking about the magic of London when he moved there as a teenager.  (The character of Napoleon Solo would also give another of my favourite songwriters, Mikey Georgeson, his Mr. Solo guise.)

Live at the XTC Convention, Swindon, 2005:

*"Rooftops and Roadways" comes from Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and I always wanted to call an album that.

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Lodger - The Good Old Days...

The Good Old Days by The Lodger has been stuck in my head since I woke up today.  Maybe it's to do with the promise of nice weather approaching.  I find this song always brings a smile and the urge to dance.  Incredibly uplifting but with that combination of positivity and despair in the lyrics that all the best songs have.  From their second album, Life Is Sweet.  This is one of the best songs of recent years, definitely one of my favourites from 2008.  I saw them live a few times around then and there was always excitement in the air, the feeling like something was going to happen.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Real Tuesday Weld - You're Gonna Live...

Very pleased this video is finally up to watch!  I first saw it at The Real Tuesday Weld's Halloween show last year (October 29th at the Westminster Reference Library, a great gig).  Such a Lovely film, made by their bassist Don Brosnan, and the song itself is one of my all-time faves.  As I said in my review of their The Last Werewolf:

There are few songs that actually manage to pull if off (to me, Pulp’s “Glory Days” is the prime example), to synthesize all of life’s seemingly conflicting components – ecstatic love and soulnumbing dejection, the wonder of being alive and the despair of also being so, the joy of hope and disappointment too bitter, along with every other possible feeling, realizing and transcending them in one huge triumphant YES!  With such force behind it feeling like it could last forever.   The Real Tuesday Weld have given us (for it is always a gift) their contribution to this elite canon with “You’re Gonna Live”.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

What I Played At The First Ever DEBBIE Night...

My two sets from the first ever DEBBIE, April 6, 2012:

Set 1

Throwing Muses - Not Too Soon
Even As We Speak - Getting Faster
Blondie - Dreaming
Bad Dream Fancy Dress - Curry Crazy
Girlfrendo - Delicatessen
Marine Research - Parallel Horizontal
Shrag - Rabbit Kids
Siouxsie & The Banshees - The Killing Jar
Gillian Hills - Tut Tut Tut Tut (Busy Signal)
Coming Up Roses - I Could've Been Your Girlfriend (If You'd Asked Me To)
Linda Thorson - Here I Am
Lesley Gore - Sometimes
ABBA - Waterloo
The Pipettes - I Like A Boy In Uniform (School Uniform)

Set 2

The Long Blondes - Here Comes The Serious Bit
Gina G - Ooh Ahh...Just A Little Bit (Motiv8 Radio Edit)
Raffaella Carra - Rumore
Freezepop - 7 Boom Medley
Madonna - Dress You Up
Saint Etienne - He's On The Phone
Jane Wiedlin - Rush Hour


Friday, 6 April 2012

Blur - Under The Westway...

I am LOVING the new Blur song.  One of those songs that arrive just when you need them to and remind you how Wonderful and Beautiful music can be.  Reminiscent of the evenings of late summer, where even the concrete in the city comes alive, soaking in the sun's golden radiance, and filled with hidden corners of prismatic possibility.  When one's dreams shoot far beyond the horizon.

Damon Albarn & Graham Coxon performing Under The Westway live at War Child, Shepherd's Bush Empire, February 19th, 2012.

The "a love song for the way I feel about you" part, Oh Yes.

Great interview with Damon at The Quietus here.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Electrum - Interference...

I've been obsessed with this song all day since hearing it when Alistair from Unpopular tweeted it yesterday. He released their Like I Said EP back in 2006, which is now up on Soundcloud.  Haven't been able to find out too much about Electrum except that they're a studio project duo (Caireen and Jamie) from Edinburgh.  Interview at Designer Magazine here.  Reminds me of The Breeders and Jale. Great pop song.

Blur- Song 2 (Alternate Version)...

I came across this nice, loungey version of Song 2 when I was looking for Rocket Juice & The Moon videos on YouTube.

Blur on Spanish TV, 1997:

And an early live version from 1996, with different lyrics: