Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Soar

Matinée Recordings have just released a holiday ep, that harkens back to the time of their Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter themed compilations of yesteryears. Back then, during my first few years of indiepop obsession, Matinée was very important. I think the first mp3 I ever downloaded was "Poppy Day" by Brighter, and subsequently Jimmy did a commendable job on introducing me to bands like The Visitors, Razorcuts, Slipslide, The Pines and The Fairways - bands that are still among my favourites. Today their roster is different, but in a year that hasn't seen many great indiepop albums released, Matinée again saves the day with Bubblegum Lemonade's new album (more about that soon). Another thing that was important about Matinée was their idiosyncrasy when it came to releasing vinyl. Not many other indiepop labels did at the time. Now that new vinyl is becoming collectible again, Matinée have returned to the format, and that makes me smile.

To get back to the ep, it features the best of the current roster, including Northern Portrait, Bubblegum Lemonade, and Laz' other group Strawberry Whiplash. And it is the latter's "Santa Needs a Holiday" that really hits the spot. Perhaps their best recording to date, with the catchiest 12-string fill this side of The Rain Parade. You can stream all the tracks on the Matinée facebook.

CLOUD 122 Strawberry Whiplash - Santa Needs a Holiday

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Record Turnover

As you can see, there have been significantly fewer posts here this year. This is not, like Matthew said, because I have listened to less music this year - quite the contrary, as you can see from the list of recommended 2010 releases that I just took off the sidebar and put into a post.

But, I now have a new blog where I post more frequently! I have finally moved to Wordpress and created a blog under my website, which is called Record Turnover and is about design and art, as well as music of course. Since Don't Die On My Doorstep is now finished, the new name will also be used as an umbrella name for all kinds of events I might put on.

HIAYH will still be here, and I will save longer pieces of writing (or reviews if you want to call it that) for this space, enabling me to post quick blurbs to my new blog. This also means that the heavensabove email will no longer be checked, so direct all inquiries to the email at or leave a comment on the blog and I will write back to you.

Happy reading.

Christmas Shopping List

This is simply a dump of my list of recommended releases in 2010. My Top Ten lists will be posted at Record Turnover shortly.


Standard Fare The Noyelle Beat (Melody/Thee SPC)
Warm Morning Too Close to the Stars (self-released)
Very Truly Yours Things You Used to Say (Skywriting)
Sourpatch Crushin' (Happy Happy Birthday to Me)
The School Loveless Unbeliever (Elefant)
Dum Dum Girls I Will Be (Subpop/Hozac)
Beach Fossils s/t (Woodsist)
The Magnetic Fields Realism (Merge)
White Mystery s/t (Missile X)
The Art Museumn Rough Frame (Woodsist)
Dignan Porch Tendrils (Captured Tracks)
The Splinters Kick (Double Negative)
Black Tambourine s/t (Slumberland reissue)
Boy Genius Staggering (Greenpop)
Ruby Suns Fight Softly (Lil' Chief)
V/A PVI006/IBB004 (Italian Beach Babes/Paradise Vendors
Allo, Darlin' Dreaming (Fortuna Pop)
The Soft City s/t (Plastilina)
The Lodger Flash Backs (Slumberland)
Woven Bones In and Out and Back Again (HoZac)
Male Bonding Nothing Hurts (Sub Pop)
Chin Chin Sound of the Westway (Slumberland reissue)
Knight School Revenger (Make a Mess)
Neverever Angelic Swells (Slumberland)
Best Coast Crazy For You (Mexican Summer)
Wild Nothing Gemini (Captured Tracks)
The Bank Holidays Sail Becomes a Kite (Lost & Lonesome)
Bart & Friends Make You Blush (Lost & Lonesome)
Ribbons Surprise Attacks (Electric Lights)
The Secret History The World That Never Was (Le Grand Magistery)
The Honey Dos Fine Thank You (self-released)
Ty Segall Melted (Goner)
Harlem Hippies (Matador)
Las Robertas Cry Out Loud (Produccion Automata / Art Fag)
Dolly Mixture Everything and More (self-released 3CD box set)
V/A Les Filles Du Crépuscule (LTM)
The Girls At Dawn Call the Doctor (Norton)
Math & Physics Club I Shouldn't Look As Good As I Do (Matinée)
Cats On Fire Dealing In Antiques (Matinée)
Tender Trap Dansette Dansette (Slumberland)
The Hepburns How the Fallen Are Mighty (Radio Khartoum)
Aias A la piscina (Captured Tracks)
Magic Kids Memphis (True Panther)
Dead Ghosts s/t (Florida's Dying)
The Vaselines Sex With an X (Sub Pop)
Jaill That's How We Burn (Sub Pop)
The Specific Heats "Cursed!" (Fun With Asbestos)
Bare Wires Seeking Love (Castle Face)
Grass Widow Past Time (Kill Rock Stars)
The Intelligence Males (In the Red)
Tijuana Panthers Max Baker (self-released)
Frankie Rose & the Outs s/t (Slumberland)
Shrag Life! Death! Prizes! (WIAIWYA)
Fabienne Delsol On My Mind (Damaged Goods)
Seeland How to Live (Loaf)
The Clientele Minotaur (Pointy)
Cinema Red and Blue s/t (What's Your Rupture)
The Ocean Tango s/t (self-released)
Royal Baths Litanies (Woodsist)
The Frowning Clouds Listen Closelier (Off the Hip)
Edwyn Collins Losing Sleep (Heavenly)
Eternal Summers Silver (Kanine)
Laetitia Sadier The Trip (Drag City)
Cheap Time Fantastic Explanations (and Similar Situations) (In the Red)
Dead Ghosts Live Tapes (Psychic Lunch)
The Fresh & Onlys Play It Strange (In the Red)
Cola Freaks s/t (Douchemaster)
Belle & Sebastian Write About Love (Rough Trade)
Vermillion Sands s/t (Alien Snatch)
The Unwed Teenage Mothers Blonde Girls (Play Pinball)
The Rantouls In the Village of Rantoul (Chocolate Covered Records)
Tyvek Nothing Fits (In the Red)
The Magnificent Brotherhood Dope Idiots (Magnificent Music)
The Loons Red Dissolving Rays of Light (Bomp!)
The Milkees Lovelever (Sazanami)
No Joy Ghost Blonde (Mexican Summer)
Pigeons Si Faustine (Olde English Spelling Bee)
Le Futur Pompiste s/t (Shelflife)
Phil Wilson God Bless Jim Kennedy (Slumberland)
Happy Birthday s/t (Sub Pop)
The Sugar Stems Sweet Sounds of (Bachelor)
Mighty Clouds s/t (Polyvinyl)
Pigeons Liasons (Soft Abuse)
Reading Rainbow Prism Eyes (HoZac)
Myelin Sheaths Get On Your Nerves (Southpaw)
Venereans Future Primitive (Tic Tac Totally)
The Felt Tips Living and Growing (Plastilina)
Crushed Stars Convalescing In Braille (Simulacra)
Bubblegum Lemonade Sophomore Release (Matinée)
Moonhearts s/t (Tic Tac Totally)
Personal & the Pizzas Raw Pie (1234 Go!)
Trembling Blue Stars Fast Trains and Telegraph Wires (Elefant)
Teenage Fanclub Shadows (Merge)
Golden Triangle Double Jointer (Hardly Art)
Les Bellas Belladelic (Disques Steak)
Miss Chain & the Broken Heels On a Bittersweet Ride (Screaming Apple)
Heavy Times Dead (Rotted Tooth)
White Fence s/t (Woodsist)
Super Wild Horses Fifteen (HoZac)

Singles & EPs
Beach Fossils Daydream (Captured Tracks 7")
Veronica Falls Found Love In a Graveyard (Captured Tracks 7")
Burning Hearts Night Animal (Shelflife 7")
Standard Fare Fifteen (Thee SPC)
Fair Ohs Summer Lake (Sex Is Disgusting 7")
Spectrals/Fair Ohs split (Tough Love 7")
Best Coast Something In the Way EP (Past Present Medium 7")
Vivian Girls My Love Will Follow Me (Wild World 7")
German Measles Color Vibration (Wild World 7")
The Babies All Things Come to Pass (Wild World 7")
Blank Dogs Phrases (Captured Tracks 12")
The Fresh & Onlys August In My Mind (Captured Tracks 12")
Minks Funeral Song (Captured Tracks 7")
La La Vasquez Hello EP (Captured Tracks 7")
The Girls At Dawn Back to You (Tic Tac Totally 7")
The Flips s/t (HoZac 7")
The Blanche Hudson Weekend The Rats In the Cellar EP (Oddbox 7")
Hollows Bobby Blueheart (Trouble In Mind 7")
Ty Segall/CoCoComa/White Wires/Charlie & the Moonhearts covers split (Trouble In Mind 7")
The Loves Sweet Sister Delia EP (Fortuna Pop download)
Summer Cats Your Timetable (Slumberland 7")
The Hairs Electric Virgin EP (Holiday download)
The Limiñanas I'm Dead (HoZac 7")
The Limiñanas Je ne suis pas trés drogue (Trouble In Mind 7")
Girls Names Don't Let Me In (Captured Tracks 12")
The Babies Meet Me In the City (Make a Mess 7")
Brilliant Colors Never Mine (Slumberland 7")
Box Elders Tiny Sioux (HoZac 7")
Metric Mile Since April Left (Holiday digital)
Young Michelin s/t (Bulle Sonore 7")
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart Say No to Love (Slumberland 7")
Tender Trap Do You Want a Boyfriend? (Slumberland)
Sea Lions/The New House Greetings From Oxnard to Tokyo (Violet and Claire split-CS)
For Ex-Lovers Only Coffin (Magic Marker 7")
World Atlas s/t (Magic Marker EP)
Coasting s/t (M'Lady's 7")
Pens You Only Like Me When I Tell You I'm Wrong (De Stijl 7")
Girls Names You Should Know By Now (Tough Love 12")
Comet Gain I Never Happened (What's Your Rupture 7")
The Fresh & Onlys Vanishing Cream (Plastic Spoons 7")
Cults s/t (Forest Family 7")
Sweater Girls s/t (HHBTM 7")
The Manhattan Love Suicides Dandelion Radio Seesion (Oddbox EP)
Colleen Green 4 Loko 2 Kayla (self-released CS)
Colleen Green Milo Goes to Compton (self-released CS)
Girlfriends Good to Be True (Ampeater Review digital)
The Cave Weddings Last Time (Bachelor 7")
Apple Orchard A Month of Spring (Haymarket 7")
Veronica Falls Beachy Head (No Pain In Pop 7")
Twig Hourglass (Fraction 7")
Comet Gain/Hello Cuca split (Doble Vida 7")
First Base She's Boy Crazy (Play Pinball EP)
The Mantles Pink Information (Mexican Summer 12")
Liechtenstein Passion For Water (Fraction Discs EP)
Nerve City Sleepwalker (Sacred Bones 12")
The Girls At Dawn/The Gaye Blades split (Norton 7")
Bubblegum Lemonade Caroline's Radio (Matinée EP)
Spectrals 7th Date (Slumberland 7")
Aias Aias (Captured Tracks 7")
Mazes Cenetaph (Suffering Jukebox 7")
Hanoi Janes Specks Ho! (Captured Tracks 12")
Weed Hounds Beach Bummed (Iron Pier 7")
The Blanche Hudson Weekend Hate Is a Loaded Gun (Squirrel EP)
Girlfriends Gov't Seizure (Aurora7 7")
Woven Bones I've Gotta Get (Hardly Art 7")
Minks Ophelia (Captured Tracks 7")
Ergquist 42,069 Secods With Ergquist (self-released EP)
Papá Topo Oso Panda (Elefant 7")
Wet Illustrated Born Stoked (Corvette City 7")
Zipper Visions (Cloudberry 7")
Zipper Last Chance For Friday's Badge (Bubblegum EP)
Sea Lions/Watercolor Paintings split (YAY! 12")
Fair Ohs Eden Rock (Sleep All Day 7")
Eternal Summers s/t (Chimney Sweep EP)
French Kissing Oh Suzanne (Sleep All Day 7")
The Hit Parade I Like Bubblegum (JSH 7")
Los Ginkas Ongi Ibili Pop-abily (self-released EP)
Still Corners Don't Fall In Love (Great Pop Supplement 7")
The Just Joans Your Pain In Nothing Next to Mines (WeePOP! EP)
Outer Minds Bloodshot Eyes (HoZac 7")
Outer Minds s/t (Plustapes)
Coasting Coasting (Group Tightener 7")
Black Time More Songs About Motorcycles & Death (Wrench 12")
Harlem LSD Saves (Matador 7")
Spectrals An Extended Play With... (Moshi Moshi ep)
Beach Fossils Face It (Captured Tracks 7")
Wild Nothing Golden Haze (Captured Tracks 12")
Sweater Girls/The History of Apple Pie split cassette (Cool In a Crisis)
Seapony Dreaming (Double Denim 7")
Dávila 666 12" EP (Rob's House 12")
Dávila 666 Mala (In the Red digital)
Fungi Girls/Indian Wars spliti (Psychic Lunch 7")
Fergus & Geronimo Never Satisfied (Hardly Art 7")
Christmas Scenic Beauty (Highfives & Handshakes flexi)
Christmas Metal (Highfives & Handshakes 7")
Guards Resolution of One (Small Plates 7")
Crystal Stilts Shake the Shackles (Slumberland 7")
Lemon Dots Girl In Motion (Labor of Love 7")
Girls Names/Brilliant Colors split (Slumberland 7")
Sticks N Stones Red Light (Dusty Medical 7")
Sweater Girls Pretty When You Smile (HHBTM 7")
Sourpatch Mira Mija EP (HHBTM 7")
Catwalk Bona Fide EP (YAY! digital)
Catwalk (Please) Don't Break Me (Captured Tracks 7")
Sunray Baby Honey (Strawberry 10")
The Splinters Blood On My Hands (Southpaw)
Vermillion Sands 20 Hours (Trouble In Mind 7")
Vermillion Sands Something Wrong (Hell, Yes! 7")
Vermillion Sands In the Wood (Fat Possum 7")
The Beets/Cassie Ramone split (Psychic Lunch 7")
La Sera Never Come Around (Hardly Art 7")
All Saints Day It'll Come Around (Art Fag 7")
Real Estate Out of Tune (True Panther Sounds 7")
Audacity Ears and Eyes EP (Volar 7")
Coasting/Reading Rainbow split (Atelier Ciseaux 7")
Soda Shop Farewell (Shelflife 7")
Ty Segall My Sunshine (Trouble In Mind 7")
La La Vasquez Buoy EP (M'Lady's 7")
The Sticks Under Pressure EP
(M'Lady's 7")
Coasting Same Old Same Old
(M'Lady's 7")

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Guitar amp&

Happy Happy Birthday to Me have some new 7"s out, one of which is Sourpatch's follow-up to the brilliant debut lp Crushin'. The ep contains four tracks and I think their music works best on this format. "Deli Dream" opens up like an almost Tiger Trap affair, an influence they're not only with anymore (listen to the fantastic Seapony for example). The other three songs are over in five short but sweet minutes, during which you can admire the cover - screenprinted, as usual, on thick brown paper.

Also out is the second single from Sweater Girls, now without Allan Kingdom in the line-up. Three new and exciting songs, but still with some of the worst recorded drums in pop history. The three, plus "Sweater Weather" are also to be found on split with The History of Apple Pie, released by new London-based cassette label Cool In a Crisis - definitely a medium that is more forgiving to their sound.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

In and Out of Print

It's twenty years since Happydeadmen released their first album Eleven Pop Songs, and probably almost as long since it went out of print, at small Swedish label Ceilidh. It actually is quite strange that it's been unavailable for so long, since it's up there with the first Popsicle album and Hep Stars' It's Been a Long Long Time as one of the best Swedish pop albums ever. However, this fact has given it a 'holy grail' status and it has also been virtually impossible to come by even in Sweden.

What about the songs then? Happydeadmen's sound was not really all that unique as there were plenty of other groups around at the time playing jangly guitars (The Watermelon Men, The Playmates etc.) but what separated Happydeadmen from the rest were their purely indiepop influences, while the other bands were part of the garage rock revival in 80s Sweden. The Watermelon Men had probably listened to American and Australian bands, while Happydeadmen sounded like British groups on Creation.

The reissue has finally been taken care of, by Swedish label Fraction, and it is a very faithful reproduction of the original LP, down to the pastel cover art. It includes the 11 tracks and has not seen any remastering. I seem to recall a Japanese reissue with some bonus tracks, but if you really want to hear the 7" version of "Silent Sigh City" you can always get the Classics: A Decade In Pop compilation which is still in print.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Perfect Pervert

Photo by rezflicks on Flickr.

The Girls At Dawn are sadly no more, but before leaving us they gave us a fantastic full-length, released by garage authorities Norton. An album was a natural step after a 7" on HoZac, a 12" on Captured Tracks and another 7" on Tic Tac Totally (which doesn't seem to have come out yet). Up until now, The Girls At Dawn have seemed perfectly suited for the 7"/12" format and one of the reasons I've been so keen to hear the LP is to see if they could pull it off. And I don't think there's any doubt that they have.

Although the title (Call the Doctor) and the cover photo might give you associations to riot grrrl groups, these 12 pop songs are much more rooted in 60s garage and the few female performers within that scene. I suppose lots of groups can bash out 12 songs in 20-25 minutes, but what is most impressive about this set are the melodies - especially the vocal and harmony on "I'm Alone", and "They're Waiting" (The Sonics reference?).

The recordings sound as thin as a bad 7" rip on Back From the Grave (this is good, of course), with a touch of chorus on the guitars to supply that gothic touch which I guess is part of the idea of the band. "Reach Me (Don't Forget Me)" sounds like the most elaborately arranged one, and works splendidly with its 12-string overdubs during the breaks.

Norton also have TGAD featured on their Rolling Stones covers singles club. "That Girl Belongs to Yesterday" (never actually recorded by the Stones) is backed with The Gaye Blades' take on "Ruby Tuesday". The question is, what happened to "Fox In the Woods" which was my first favourite by the band? Whoah, my question was just answered as I downloaded the new (and free!) Tic Tac Totally comp. There is was!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Looming Clouds

There have been at least three classic releases on the garage revival scene this year, and they're all by bands I haven't previously been familiar with.

First, and probably the the most criminally overlooked by me, is San Diego's The Loons. One look at the Vox and Rickenbacker wielding musicians on the cover could tell you that. And it gets worse when you find out they're a veritable super-group led by Mike Stax of The Tell-Tale Hearts (and the equally great Crawdaddy's and The Hoods, as well as being the editor of Ugly Things magazine since 1983!). In fact all the members streamed together from previous obligations in other bands around 1995. Having been on the scene for 15 years, this is still only their third effort. If all three bands in this post have to be pinned down to the sound of one year, these guys definitely have the '66 sound of Love and The Pretty Things nailed. All the songs are solid garage-psych, and in fact Glen Ross Campbell of The Misunderstood plays on a couple. I don't really have to divulge any more since the whole album is available on Spotify, unless you want to buy it from Bomp! of course. Oh,and if you like it you definitely have to listen to The Higher States' two LPs.

The strangely named Frowning Clouds however, are a bunch of fresh-faced kids from Australia. With two fantastic eps behind them, they now have a longplayer out on classic Aussie garage label Off the Hip. Listen Closelier sounds as authentically '65 as anything recorded at Toe Rag. Going straight for the r'n'b sound of The Rolling Stones and early garage groups like The Eyes, they manage to sound completely derivative yet somehow still magically exciting.

The Magnificent Brotherhood out of Berlin, are definitely the most psychedelic of this lot. Building on the reputation of 2008's acclaimed self-titled debut and a live lp, the release party for new album Dope Idiots was held only a few weeks ago. It sounds like they've found The Music Machine's fuzz pedal and a Vox Continental organ that The Doors scrapped in 1967, and the results are anything but mediocre. The album is self-released on green vinyl and can be picked up from their shop.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mushrooms Cloud the Sky

After two great singles, "I'm Dead" (HoZac) and "Je Ne Suis Pas Trés Drogue" (Trouble In Mind), French yé-yé time machine The Limiñanas are back with a full-length. It is the tastemakers behind garage label TIM (and garage group CoCoComa) who have taken upon themselves to release the LP, and their unique sleeve art is nicely adapted to the new format.

Musically, it's another home run for Marie and Lionel, with some help from their faithful guest vocalists Mu and Nadege. This is the best re-creation of the wild sound of mid-to-late 60s French artists like Antoine, Delphine and Ronnie Bird in recent years. It has been done before: April March, Fabienne Delsol, Cécila et Ses Ennuis... but it hasn't been done enough!

Most of the record stays within the lounge-friendly midtempo zone, but slows done on the "Bonnie & Clyde"-like "Berçeuse pour Clive". Since that was the b-side to their previous single, perhaps they should have left the a-side off this album, as it is very similar to opening track "The Darkside" (not a Shadows of Knight cover). "Chocolate In My Milk" mines the same Nancy Sinatra territory as their Italian colleagues Vermillion Sands, but perhaps not quite as skillfully. The duo are on top their game however, on the ultra-cool "Je suis une go-go girl" and the oriental-flavoured "Tigre du Bengale" (also included as an instrumental).

Pick up the 12-track vinyl (download code included) from the new TIM website now, along with the latest 7"s from Personal & the Pizzas, Wounded Lion and Vermillion Sands.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The White Skeleton Boys Have a Lifestyle I Can't Afford

I never think that I am going to make a Halloween mix, but as you know, it has happened before. Here is one for 2010, with the cover being another Ngaio Marsh adaptation. It includes new nerve-tingling material from Black Time, The Limiñans, Vermillion Sands, Nerve City, Unwed Teenage Mothers, Royal Baths, Harlem, The Girls At Dawn, Outer Minds and Guards. And of course a few carefully selected moody garage numbers, like The Affection Collection track which is only included on a single compilation, Larry & Blue Notes' unreleased "Night of the Sadist" (censored and recut as "Night of the Phantom") and a track from Ludella Black's (Thee Headcoatees) second album. Through in a few classics from Skywave, Lost Sounds and Forbidden Tigers and you have a winner!

CLOUD 121 V/A - Grave Mistaken

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sight-Specific Site

Here's something for anyone interested in design, I just finished my website and one of the projects shown is one I worked at while in Auckland last year.

You may remember the brief: creating a brand and a marketing strategy for a festival, but I never posted the result as I promised. My proposal was a pop festival in Ponsonby, featuring bands like Summer Cats, The Clean, The Chills, Sly Hats etc. The marketing campaign (pictured) was inspired by street art on Ponsonby Road and I've had this photo on Flickr for ages. The piece also turned up on a street art blog around that time, and I found out it was by Component. Today, I found out that he has a website, where the same piece is pictured. Apparently he caused some controversy earlier this year when being arrested, while his work was included in the Public Access exhibit at Auckland Art Gallery!

Friday, October 22, 2010



Slumberland have posted my new and second podcast for them, making it #14 in the total count. It's been in the feed for a while, but if you haven't heard it yet, you should head over and check it out. It's full of 12-string jangle, and even a couple of songs that not from the 60s: The Higher State is a UK band featuring members of The Mystreated and The Embrooks, and The Terminals is a NZ band with releases on Flying Nun and early Siltbreeze who returned with a new lp in 2007. Les BOF! is of course the Edinburgh hitmakers featuring members of The Thanes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bent Statues

One of the most interesting new bands I've heard this year is Eternal Summers. Their first album Silver just came out on Kanine (home of The Depreciation Guild et. al), following an ep and a download single on Beko. Apart from the two tracks from the excellent single, the album includes 10 new songs showing a welcome diversity in songwriting and structure. The duo, augmented by bass and some guitar overdubs, manage to sound like everything from Brilliant Colors (expected) to Pylon (less expected) to Galaxie 500 on the closing jam "Bully In Disguise" (unexpected).

Black Time quite recently put out what is rumoured to be their last record. More Songs About Motorcycles & Death with the excellent cover art you can see above is a 6-track ep on Wrench, following last year's fantastic split with Ty Segall. Over the last five years the band have actually recorded a whopping 10 singles, most of which have been sadly over-looking. I've only heard four of them myself! The best tracks on the new ep is the "Psycho" homophone "Cycles" and their cover of Brigitte Bardot's "Harley Davidson" (how can that not be great?). She seems a popular artist cover recently seeing as Fair Ohs just did a take on "La Madrague"...

M'Lady's are as slow as ever, and we have to wait for the La La Vasquez 7" a bit longer. But Coasting on the other hand (Fiona of The Coolies + Madison of Dream Diary) have a follow-up to their M'Lady's single already, available from Group Tightener now. It pairs the instrumental "Coasting" with "Hot For Teacher".

There have been a few good gigs in Malmö for a change. Just saw Cheap Time, whose excellent new album Fantastic Explanations (and Similar Situations) is out on In the Red now (as well as the third Fresh & Onlys album). After their 20-minute set I picked up a flyer for a Cola Freaks gig next week. They're playing with Captured Tracks head honcho Blank Dogs in Copenhagen tonight and is another piece of evidence of the reversed trend in quality of Danish bands. They just released their first album on Douchemaster, and judging by the generous amount of songs from it on Myspace it's well worth a purchase - even if you don't understand Danish. Apart from that, they also have a great 7" out on the hip Rob's House label (pictured above) and a live lp.

And as if that wasn't enough, I've just updated the list of recommended new releases in the sidebar with a bunch of new items.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Accidental Knife

Captured Tracks have just signed Catwalk! So hopefully we can expect some new music from them soon. CT have also released a new Blank Dogs album, which is actually quite good, and he's out on tour in Europe soon. Beach Fossils are coming to Europe too, hot on the heels of a new single. "Face It" is just as good as their album from earlier this year. The a-side has a bit more bass-heavy drum machine groove to it, while the excellent b-side "Distance" leads off with a droning 12-string riff. Whatever happened to "Time" by the way? Woodsist didn't seem to release it, which is a shame since it's probably Beach Fossils' best song. The Brooklyn group are playing in Lund on November 4th and Don't Die On My Doorstep will be DJing some of our fave Captured Tracks records along with the odd Sacred Bones or HoZac 7".

If you act fast you've got a chance of buying one of the 400 copies of this silkscreened Aias debut longplayer. Captured Tracks is offering this alternate sleeve (and white wax record) for early birds. Do we need to mention how great the songs are? Well, most of them have been on Myspace forever so you probably know.

We'll we back with more news on the Vermillion Sands and The Limiñanas debut lps soon!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Sunken Cinema

Is it just me or is Cinema Red and Blue the new Tyde? A supergroup destined for critical acclaim and collective ignorance... While The Tyde borrowed their musical bearings from The Flying Burrito Brothers and Felt, Cinema Red and Blue here cover The Chills and Vic Godard while having a track named after Jesse Lee Kincaid (member of The Rising Sons and writer of "Baby You Come Rolling Across My Mind"). The Tyde was formed by members of Beachwood Sparks, Further and Velvet Crush. Cinema Red and Blue is David, Anne and Philip of Comet Gain, Andy and the ubiquitous JB of Crystal Stilts, as well as Kyle (now also in Crystal Stilts) and Gary of the Ladybug Transistor. That Philip, who now lives in New York, also plays with Kyle in the excellent Soft City is perhaps only trivia at this point.

As it seems Gary has mostly acted as producer here, the album can basically be seen as a Comet Gain and Crystal Stilts collaboration. While some reviewers have played up the psychedelic element of this record, it really sounds quite close to a Comet Gain album due to David's overbearing presence and writing style, as Tim Sendra rightly points out. But there actually is a proper Comet Gain album coming out on Fortuna Pop! one day soon, recorded with Edwyn Collins. Far more interesting for late 60's psych fans is "Commin' Soon" on the CR&B myspace.

The best cover on the album is the version of Wreckless Eric's "You're Gonna Screw My Head Off". The least intereting one is "Brave Words" which just sounds too much like The Chills. Out of the original songs my favourites are the 12-string jangler "Melanie Down" and the half-spoken mess of "Jesse Lee Kincaid". The album is out on the eminent label What's Your Rupture?.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cloud Pleaser

[altered found image]

Who was Brian Arthur? All I can tell you is that he released a single on the relatively big Coral Records (Decca subsidiary) in 1966, called "What Can You Do With a Broken Heart" b/w "I'd Like to Know". The a-side was compiled by the Australian who goes by the pseudonym Gyro66 in 2003, on Teen Blast USA Vol. 2, and it's the closest anyone has got to recreating Roger McGuinn's unique Rickenbacker tone on record. It seems to go for about £50, but is it really rare?

CLOUD 120 Brian Arthur - What Can You Do With a Broken Heart?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Foxtrot Beta

One of the most anticipated albums of the year is here: the self-titled debut from The Ocean Tango. Once again French/British composer and singer Louis Philippe has entered into a collaboration, but unlike the Huddle House album with Stuart Moxham (Young Marble Giants, The Gist) the Ocean Tango project sees Louis paired with Swedish group Testbild! in a more mutual and symbiotic fashion. Both parties contribute to the song-writing here, as well as vocals and instrumentation. The eleven tracks on the album couple Louis's soft-rock tendencies with Testbild!'s excellent feeling for jazz and lounge to great effect. Short interludes of not more than a minute ("Par Hasard") feel as justified as six-minute compositions ("The Ocean Tango"). It is a warming sound for chilly autumn evenings and an album that does not require attention but rewards those who give it theirs - undivided.

The album is currently available digitally from bandcamp, which also offers a package deal including a pre-order of the cd. If you are interested in acquiring this fantastic record on vinyl, you should answer this survey on Louis' website to make the pressing happen.

Friday, October 1, 2010

High Heeled Speakers

My favourite new Spanish band since hearing Aias is Los Ginkas from Pamplona. Despite the unarguably twee cover of their first ep (above) they play melodic powerpop to rival the sadly disbanded Stolen Hearts. Of course, Spanish pop fans will liken them to TCR, Los Muebles and Zipper, but since I've listen so much to Hello Cuca lately, that's what I hear. The ep's got five songs on it, and all being equally good, it certainly makes one wonder how great their album will turn out to be?

Speaking of Zipper, their second single of the year (they're planning three, I think) came out recently on Scottish pop purveyor Bubblegum Records. It's a three-track English language affair called "Last Chance For Friday's Badge", an amalgamation of the three song titles. Opening track "Friday Night" was played at Indietracks last year, and introduced as a prequel to "Sunday Morning" off of their album 11. My favourite on the ep is "Last Chance" with its catchy major-minor chord changes.

Also out on Bubblegum is a new ep from Scottish 80s band The Hardy Boys. They've had a reunion coming a long time now, and here we get a taste of their new material in the shape of three fresh songs. "You're Just What I Need" is probably what the revivalists want: an upbeat, jangly sound, while the other two are more mellow with a fine duet between Johnny White and Kat King on "And the Trains Run On Time". The ep is called Under the Picadilly Clock and is available here. More importantly, the long-anticipated compilation of their older material is available from their own label for a mere £8 within Europe! Called The Hardy Boys Play Songs From the Lenin & McCarthy Songbook, it includes all the tracks from their lone 12" as well as the planned release on Egg (which appeared finally in 2005). "Wonderful Lie" is a classic that must be heard. Even if there is no relation to the Lenin and McCarthy label, googling it turns up this.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Old As the Till

There's actually nothing new about this Monochrome Set 12", as Bid pointed out. Yes, of course the songs are old, but they have been released before (check out the Black & White Minstrels comp on Cherry Red). But vinyl lovers as they are, Captured Tracks decided these songs deserved to be pressed onto black plastic. All seven tracks were recorded prior to the band's first single "Eine Symphonie des Grauens". While the first side shows an overbearing influence from Lou Reed, on "We Are Zarbie" they are making what is definitely their own kind of noise.

If people are smart, they will buy this record so that Bid, who's still recovering from a stroke (without side effects luckily!), can comfort himself with an icecream. The Monochrome Set reunion is not far off now, starting off at London Popfest in February. It wasn't that long since the last reunion (for Cherry Red's 30th anniversary in 2008), and you can hear what Bid and Lester Square had to say back then. They'd only reform if someone offered them a lot of money or if it was something really special apparently, like playing the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Which begs the question, what was it this time?

Hopefully, the reunion will also bring some attention to the extensive MS back catalogue, and Cherry Red would do right to get the 90s albums Misère, Trinity Road and Dante's Casino back in stock. Perhaps a reissue of Jack (on Honeymoon, 1991) would also be in order?

I'll leave you with this great video for "Fat Fun", one of their best songs in my opinion.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Use Motion

Chris of Knight School (and now The Bright Lights too!) teams up with Jed of My Teenage Stride to record a cover of caUSE co-MOTION!'s first single "Only Fades Away", making it sound like a lost Dennis & the Times acetate. Best unreleased song of the year? He made this video too.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Female Superstructure

The last track of the second podcast for Slumberland that I just finished is the amazing "Please Stay With Me" by Charlotte & Emily from 1965. I haven't found any information about the artists except that they were from New York and released this one single for New Voice, the sister label to Bob Crewe's Dynovoice. Both sides of this fantastic release have been compiled (for example on the Lost Jukebox series and The Dynovoice Story 1965-68) and I recently heard the a-side, the haunting "Love Not Have I", and you simply must hear it. And look out for the new Slumberland podcast - if you're subscribed to the HIAYH feed you will already have got it!

CLOUD 119 Charlotte & Emily - Love Not Have I

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lost Cavalcade

It's been more than a year since I last made any promotion for Don't Die On My Doorstep on here, so I thought this might be a good occasion to mention it. See, we've got the brilliant British band The Cavalcade to play for us next month!

The Cavalcade caught an ear or two when their first ep Meet You In the Rain came out last year. The Edition 59 ep For You followed suit, and by that time it wasn't enough to just compare them to The Clientele anymore. Perhaps The Shining Hour? Pebble Records just released their first full-length Many Moons, which includes four songs from the eps as well as seven completely new tracks - probably enough to make them the other half of a comparative pair. With its release, The Cavalcade grabbed the opportunity to embark on an ambitious European tour, covering Greece and Spain as well as Sweden. You can watch a video for the upcoming single "I'm Like a Ship Trapped Inside a Bottle" here, and all the detail about the gig in Malmö are here.

Support comes from Swedish group The Lost Homeboys who, like The Cavalcade, have released an ep on Cloudberry. On Rainy Days however, the band consisted only of Jimmi and Gustaf (of The Electric Pop Group and Tellus About the Moon) but they've now expanded to a fourpiece and have some new songs. They rarely play live, so we're very happy to have them come to Malmö.

There is no guest DJ this month, so to make up for it we've compiled a playlist for Spotify that you can play before you head out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

All the Newsprint Fit

In Berlin I got to spend a few hours in the great shop Bis Auf's Messer in Friedrichshain, and I remember thinking they had most of the records I've wanted to buy this year. There was even a section marked Sacred Bones / Captured Tracks / HoZac / Goner etc... One of the things I picked up was a tape by Brown Recluse that I didn't even know about. The tape section was quite big, and items reasonably priced. This tape was the band's second release, while they still carried the "...sings" bit of their name. It's got 11 songs on it, all of them basic, early versions of tracks meant for their first LP. The Evening Tapestry should hopefully be out this year on Slumberland, and though this tape is naturally far from what the full arrangements will sound like, one can still tell that there is enough songwriting quality in there to make for a magnificent album.

In the meantime you should pick up the excellent Zombies-flavoured The Soft Skin 12" on Slumberland.
Apart from this tape and the brilliant new Flips 7" (even better than the Bankcroft one!) I also picked up the first single from Chicago's Outer Minds. The cover of this HoZac release is unfortunately too hideous to show here, but the three songs are the best garage I've heard since Dead Ghosts, sometimes not a far cry from Count Five. I have yet to acquire a copy of their tape, which is out now on Plustapes, but I should. There are mp3s of two tracks off of the single floating around already, so I will direct you to their myspace, and instead present you with a Brown Recluse tape rip.

CLOUD 118 Brown Recluse Sings - Monday Moon

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Visigoth Isthmus

The new Intelligence album just came out on In the Red, making it their fifth. There are a number of reasons why I like The Intelligence. For one they have been going since 2003, when most beach bums who now want to be on In the Red were still in school - something the last album Fake Surfers seemed to comment on. Add to that lyrics that contains a considerable dose of that very same intelligence. Males seems less infused with the self-referential attitude of their previous record, except for the Facebook ditty "Like Like Like Like Like Like Like" perhaps.

On here you'll find a new recording of my favourite Intelligence number to date, "The Beetles", which sadly sounds inferior to the version on The World Is Lousy With Ideas Vol. 8. When I think about it, the production is what makes this album less interesting than say, Icky Baby from 2005, which is arguably still their best effort. Plus points though, for the total length being under 30 minutes, and for Lars Finberg's 12-string Squier Venus showing on the cover.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beach Boys Are the Best Boys

It's been quite a while since I posted an mp3 here, but recently I found a group that simply requires a post. I'm talking about Houston-based group The Coastliners. Apparently they still play together occasionally, as this article suggests, but they formed in 1963 and released their first single in 1966. "The Lonely Sea" was a cover of The Beach Boys song, with a b-side in the same style - which you can stream here. For their next single they were picked up by International Artists (later to sign groups like 13th Floor Elevators). The slightly more rocking "Alright" was backed with a more bubblegum number, "Wonderful You", which you'll find below. At about the same time they also signed with the Back Beat label, for whom they cut two singles. The first one, "She's My Girl", had the great garage stormer "I'll Be Gone" on the flip, using the riff of The Turtles' "Almost There". That song has been blogged here.

Their final single "California On My Mind" from 1967, is almost ruined by a phaser effect that is sadly typical of its time. However, the group's finest moment arrive with the b-side "I See Me", which I've already decided to end my set in Berlin with. Oh yes, I am playing records at the indiepop weekender in Berlin (September 3-5th).

The Coastliners changed their name to The U.S. Males after this, recording one more single in 1968 "Come Out of the Rain"/"Open Up Your Heart". These songs are included on vol. 122 & 125 of Lost Jukebox, so I expect to have them soon.

CLOUD 117 The Coastliners - Wonderful You

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tyrannies of Fun

Matt Jones' Hepburns are back with a new album, equally well suited for the beach as for a quiet evening with the curtains pulled and fingers tracing the lyrics. It's released by Radio Khartoum, and as usual Alexander has done a good job of the cover.

I was actually surprised to notice that their previous album Trojan Hearse is already two years old. Especially since I felt it was their best work since getting back into recording in the late 90s. How the Fallen Are Mighty (a twist on 'how the mighty have fallen') builds on the feats of that album, managing to sound both instantly catchier and suggestive of a rewarding exploration of its themes and lyrics. The musical spectrum covered is wide, stretching as far back in its familiarity as the Goalmouth Incident ep (on "Vermouth" and "Growing Old"). "Writer Friend" and "Man Missing" retains the best of the urban soundtracking of Champagne Reception. Perhaps the new confidence is a result of Jones' increased collaboration with other musicians, most notably Testbild! from the Sweden, the results of which I hope to hear soon!

The title of the album is very fitting, full of odes to the odd and old as it is, but always with a finesse and perfection in delivery more fitting of Billy Childish's father than the child himself. The album also includes a tasteful instrumental, the name of which inevitably brings to mind Duffy's vibraphone tune for Felt, "Press Softly On the Brakes Holly". "Save Your Stories For the Police, Maurice" is considerably more interesting though.

How the Fallen Are Mighty will suddenly make you remember how much of the other music listened to or made today requires little thought to digest, perhaps like popcorn. This is more like pickled shark. And reading Alexander's note on the mastering and about not participating in the 'loudness wars' makes you want to give him a pat on the shoulder.

Also out on RK, is the second album from Leed's Cavil. It's a pleasure to be acquainted with them and I shall definitely give Laughing In the Morning, their first album, a listen if I come across it. That being released in France in 2002, it's taken the band quite some time to find a home for the new album. And Radio Khartoum, also being the home of Cessna, Anthony Rochester and Testbild!, is of course a very good home. Mares' Tails is a type of cloud, and its celestial and pastoral associations suggest a positive and warm musical tone, but there's not really that much in major key on the album. Most of it lingers in a meandering melancholy, like a sophisticated Iron & Wine or perhaps even Mr. Wright.

Considering I've listened plenty to all things Crépuscule lately, I must mention that LTM Publishing have just put out a new compilation drawing from the vaults of the Belgian Le Disques du Crépuscle label. Called Les Filles du Crépuscule, it features 20 tracks with female vocals. Among the many great selections you'll find Antena, Swedish translator Virna Lindt, Ludus, Mikado, Cathy Claret and Devine & Statton.