Monday, March 31, 2008
I should also say that my flash mixtape is up and playing on Jessel's page, with the info on the songs in a blog post. My tape is called Get That Haircut Off Your Head! and will probably be playing for a couple of weeks. However, you'll need to check my post below for the tape cover, or if you want to hear the songs in the intended order.
Will be back soon with a date for our April night and our next guest dj! Don't forget to see Soda Fountain Rag if you're around Copenhagen this weekend.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Mine's called Get That Haircut Off Your Head! and as I'm used to simply making mixes from mp3s on my computer these days, I decided to go back to my records and pick the ones I'm most proud of owning. The reason is also that Jessel asked me to take a photograph of all the records the songs are from, so I basically had to! For the nosy types, it would be interesting to double-check this with the list of my 60 favourite songs on my old blog, to find out how many of those I actually own... This compilation comes with a full rundown of all the songs and why I chose them, I'll let you know when that's up at Jessel's.
CLOUD 45 V/A - Get That Haircut Off Your Head!
My writings about the songs are now up here, along with a picture of all the records I used. You can also listen to the tape on Jessel's main profile page, but the song order is randomised there, so you won't hear the songs in the correct order.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The first Veronica Lake record was a single (not an ep!) on Bus Stop in 1992 called The Man Who Was Not With It EP. It was quite lo-fi and very sparse. Two more singles followed the next year, on spinART and Audrey's Diary. But apart from a bunch of tracks on compilations and split-singles that was it, sadly enough. My favourite is still "Threnody", the a-side of their last single, which ís a duet with Pam and has a lovely production. Working Holiday was an old singles club on American label Simple Machines. Twelve split-singles were released monthly in 1993 -the May instalment featuring Bratmobile (with a track later included on the album Pottymouth) and Veronica Lake's "Saints Above". It's a fantastic tune with a crazy warbling synthesizer and Pam Berry in the background. All the singles in the series was later compiled on a cd, called Working Holiday as well.
CLOUD 44 Veronica Lake - Saints Above
Monday, March 17, 2008
As The First Division, he's joined by twee compatriot Tim Hopkins of Visitors fame. Comparing the ep with the Arc Lamps' release (which is difficult to avoid) these three songs are very much about London - an essay On the City if you will - whereas the songs on the other ep are more about countryside life and experiences. It's also the one that sounds more like The Pines (Joe + Pam Berry), or rather it's got the Mike Jones sound all over it. Much more acoustic, the jangly texture gets a welcome contrast from Tim's now quite coarse voice (he's not sixteen anymore, after all). It works very well together I think, so they both have every reason to be proud of the recordings. You can download "Downriver" from Cloudberry's site, but actually the other two songs are even better. Lyrically, this ep also has more to offer and both the title-track and the "Oil Fires" are brimful of poignant lines. As you can buy it anymore, here's one for the unlucky.
CLOUD 43 The First Division - Oil Fires
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Yesterday I went to Lund to participate in the Tandem Pop radio show on student radio station Radio AF. I was one of the presenters 2004-2006, ie before I went to Glasgow. I don't intend to continue broadcasting cause I don't have the time but I've managed to recruite some friends to keep it going. Kalle is the only one who remains from my day and he was actually involved a long time before me - it's quite an old show really. I heard recently that Johan Angergård (Labrador Records, Club 8, The Legends etc.) was once involved too. Anyway, it was only me, Anna and Marcus last night. We managed quite well and it was good fun trying to remember how to work the mixers and stuff - resulting in a few technical errors, but I don't suppose anyone listened anyway. That's because of their new stupid broadcasting hours: 11-12 pm. To make it more bearable they've turned it into party and down a few pints every Thursday. Well, this is what I played:
The Voluntary Butler Scheme - If You Only Knew How Hard I Try
Pocketbooks - Love Is the Stick You Throw
Wake the President - You Can't Change That Boy
The First Division - On the City
The Rainyard - Beneath the Skin
Tricycle - 54321 Here I Come
I recently helped Katja Ekman out with a little something she was writing about 'tweepunk'. A sort of "then and now" article of which the first part is now published on Digfi. It's in Swedish so you might not be able to read it; some good band recommendations though. The second part is about contemporary bands and should be up soon. I was quite surprised actually, when she sent me some questions as I've always thought of her as part of the indiepop generation that just preceded mine and thus ought be an authority for me. I used to see her at Young Alive and In Love when I was in school and didn't dare speak to anyone!
I'll be back soon with news about an A Smile and a Ribbon tour of the UK.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
But the main subject of this post is to tell you about another record I got this week - the simply amazing ep from Swedish Strawberry Fair! It's Jenny Franzén's first proper release, five years on from her two cdrs Strawberry Fair and Empty Wallets and Greedy Companies. The sound has developed considerably since she first appeared and was involuntarily rounded up with other quite lo-fi groups to create the tweepop revival of 2003. She actually turned down an offer to play at the Mitt Nästa Liv festival, together with The Tidy Ups, Bearsuit, A Boy Named Thor, Javelins, Rocky Dennis (Jens Lekman), Dorotea etc.
New songs turned up on Myspace over a year ago - the title-track of the new ep as well as a cover of The Toys' "Attack!". Both showcased the influence of 60s pop and girlgroups, especially in her vocal style which is closer to The Shangri-Las than Heavenly. Last year she also appeared at the soon legendary Rip It Up festival backed by a band made up of the cream of Stockholm's pop scene. Now finally, "I Can't Do Anything" is released on cd together with three new songs, available from Johan Jacobsson's old label Alltid Hela Tiden (which means 'always all the time'). Every song, except for maybe "Kristoffer", is an instant hit combining lyrics that aim straight for the heart and vocals that could have made Phil Spector shed a tear with a clean and modern indiepop sound. Here's my favourite.
CLOUD 42 Strawberry Fair - Give Up
Friday, March 7, 2008
Anyone who likes POP! (in the form of punk and northern soul that is) should check out the brand new I Smiled Yesterday podcast on Slumberland's site. I Smiled Yesterday is David and Andrew and they're keen on hearing your comments about their mix on Myspace. I've listened to it twice already and I can't wait for #2!
It would seem Foxyboy have finally got round to shipping out some more records (maybe Ara's moved back from Sweden?) - checking Poppolar's site there are lots of Foxyboy releases back in stock. Including The Foxgloves' Lives You Didn't Lead EP, which was impossible to find ANYWHERE when I was (desperately) searching for a copy! I just ordered the first (The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope ep and a Saturday People ep I didn't even know existed.
Another bunch of records turned up today. The one I was most eager to throw on the turntable was of course the new Atomic Beat 7": a split-single between The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and The Parallelograms - it doesn't get any cooler than that. The Pains just completed a tour of England and Iceland that I'm devastated I missed out on, and their side (called "Kurt Cobain's Cardigan") is surely the start of a very POBPAH year! Another classic pop song. I should probably feel more lucky about having caught The Parallograms live TWICE, but now it just seems like an integral part of my life. Where would have I been now, if I hadn't seen them? Probably in a sadder state anyhow. "1,2,3, Go!" and "Pop the Bubbles" are in fact the first two of their songs to see release and the wait has indeed been long! I've been pestering them about sending me demos since Indietracks... Apparently they've re-recorded things more than once, and "1,2,3, Go!" does sound a lot different than the demo I was given last year. The biggest change is probably the use of fuzz bass that gives it a chunkier sound, and ultimately erases the similarity in sound to their mentors The Rosehips. I like the new sound, but it's not necessarily an improvement. With this band it's not the sound but the melodies and the attitude that will reduce you to a dummy-sucking toddler. Fuzz guitars that leave your brain blanker than Cobain's and ba-ba-bas so catchy they could have been your first words. "Pop the Bubbles" is my natural favourite as it's new to me and I can play it on repeat at least another fifteen times. Sheffield doesn't deserve The Parallelograms! Give them to me, I promise to take good care of them.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Of course it's not love, but I'm not choosy