Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
The record leads off with "Lighthouse" (that you can hear on MySpace) - an instant classic and one of David Beckey's finest compositions. Guitarist Jon Hunt (almost John Hunt's namesake!) has contributed the next one called "Summer Sunshine Girl" which made for a perfect soundtrack to a cuppa coffee in a sun-drenched backyard earlier today. Reading the songwriting credits is actually rather interesting as they're just vague enough. E.g. the backwards five-second intro "Emo Texan" is credited to Yekceb (read it backwards!). If you didn't know already, you'll learn that "In the Morning" is a Bee Gees cover. Given a beautiful treatment here with harmonies and banjo-style Rickenbacker picking. And I tracked down "You Can't Be Serious" as a 1966 b-side by British pop-sike group The Mirage. That's the one song that sticks out in the set, because of its raucous vocal - I'm guessing it's Keith Patterson singing... just because he plays such a mean-looking Burns Bison bass! "Wintertyme Joy" is the only psychedelic song this time around and can also be found on MySpace, along with the laidback title-track. "Make My Move" doesn't exactly suffer from having almost the same melody as "The Rollercoaster Ride" by Belle & Sebastian, and "Back to Me" has a very Felty guitar line (including a solo that even Lawrence ought to dig). The closing track "Bonfire In the Sand" connects with the heathen theme of the artwork, thanks to some freaky vocals and chuckling goblins.
That's almost all the tracks and they all deserve to be mentioned, honestly, because even the ones I left out are brilliant. More brilliant American pop is on If Things Were Perfect, in the shape of a rare Honeybunch flexi track.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Orchids played to the, now usual, sparse crowd of drunk students at the Indigo student night in Lund. Two people in the crowd revealed completely new ways of listening to gentle Sarah pop! "So you wanted to dance, make a fool of yourself" indeed. The set was a bit more rocking than what I remember from seeing them before, or maybe it was just a bad influence from the people who thought they were watching Guns 'n' Roses! Still very touching though. But the encore felt slightly misplaced as the people cheering them back on had heard neither "Apologies" or "I've Got a Habit". Anyway, they did play both of them but the former didn't sound half as divine as at Indietracks and the latter was barely recogniseable.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Because I need your love, even in the next world
CLOUD 52 Feverfew - Answered Prayer
Monday, April 21, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Another item you need to pick up as soon as possible is the split-7" with Wake the President and The Kingfishers, on German label Aufgeladen und Bereit. I just ordered it from Norman! WTP's contribution is called "You Can't Change That Boy" and I think I've increased its play-count on MySpace by at least fifteen (deliberately, that is).
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Need I say more? Probably that Brittle Stars' only album has finally been reissued! If you read my old blog you should be familiar with one of my favourite bands, who are re-uniting for a gig at Pop Mayhem! in Gainesville, FL in May. It's their 10th anniversary, so reason enough for Estelle to get a plane from Isreal. The reissue is on Ruined Potential and is available on three different-colour 10"s, with different sleeves as well. I got the one called 'Gregory go boom' in clear marbled vinyl! And I got a free split-7" as an extra treat, featuring Ola Porida and XOXO, Panda in a similarly exclusive package (maybe inspired by that Section 25 lp on Factory?). The 7" is probably more along the lines of the label's usual output, as they've also put out American Analog Set and Songs of Green Pheasant.
The bonus 7" was very warmly welcomed in fact, as the postage was ridiculous! It arrived super-fast though so maybe it was some sort of special delivery. You might be able to get the 10" from Tonevendor too, if they get more copies in. But they're only selling the blue version!. Or, in case you're not a vinyl fetischist, just hold on for the complete retrospective (i.e. also including the Garage Sale EP) on Clairecords, which is run by former BS members. Estelle now plays in a duo called Elephant Parade, and prior to joining BS she was in Crush 22 together with drummer Joshua. Their song "Wrap Around" is in the sidebar.
In other Clairecords news, the Tears Run Rings debut album Always, Sometimes, Seldom, Never is just out and it's truly brilliant. It's one of the best shoegaze records I've heard. The band includes members of Evening Lights and The Autocollants and first appeared on the scene last year with an ep on Swedish Lavender Recordings (split with Disaster Club Records in the US, to be exact).
EDIT: I just found Crush 22's Myspace page, from where you can download four of their demos!
Friday, April 11, 2008
After Slumberland posted that fabulous unreleased Honeymoon Diary song on their blog, I have to let you hear their only released recording, as far as I know. It's called "Drive" and is from a compilation on Kittridge called Homemade Hits, Vol. 1 (the same comp that has the Honeybunch track I mention below). Honeymoon Diary was originally started by Jennifer and Leonard after Bella Vista split. The name is appropriate as they later got married! If "Baby" sounds like Bella Vista covering The Carousel while paying tribute to Black Tambourine, "Drive" has the more typical Bella Vista sound and is even clocks in at just over average Bella Vista song-length (about 60 seconds). I hope all this attention is enough encouragement to get some more songs out there!
CLOUD 51 Honeymoon Diary - Drive
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Thursday May 8th
Saturday May 10th
Sunday, April 6, 2008
The band's latest release is also their first proper cd longplayer: It's Rag Time on Irish label Yesboyicecream - the previous ones have all been cdrs. There are a few new songs on it which makes it worth buying, but as I said this song is not on it.
CLOUD 49 Soda Fountain Rag - The Fall
Thursday, April 3, 2008
This was meant to come out on Valentine's Day originally and that's why it's pink I guess (perhaps with "Valentine" on the a-side?). Hmm... didn't The Pipettes do a pink 7"? Who cares, it wasn't this good-looking and I'm even more obsessed with The School than I was with The Pipettes three years ago! You can't believe how satisfying it is to see All I Wanna Do printed below "A SIDE" on the label centered on this pink slab of vinyl. At least not until you've bought it.
After listening to the demo so many times over it's fantastic just to hear this new recording, done in London with Ian Catt behind the controls. Liz has been talking about how he claims to do "pop - not indie" and he's really given both songs a pure, timeless production that wouldn't be intimidated placed next to the Cookies 45s in your collection. And Liz's vocals are sweeter than ever. I only wish Let It Slip would be released tomorrow and not in another couple of months...
Underhill's music seems to lack reference points completely, at least it must have done in 1989 when it was first released. Of course there are similarities to The Choo Choo Train (as the other two future members of Velvet Crush called themselves at the time), but the songs seem to tie into an even more timeless American tradition - going past Big Star to The Band even. And their unique sensibilities weren't matched again until groups like The Fairways (and later Pants Yell!) arrived. It would seem to me Brent Kenji owes a great deal to Honeybunch, both in his songwriting and his vocal style. Both bands have the same pristine sound and play with effortless skill, and they are both among my favourite groups ever.
However, where The Fairways have a much softer sound anchored in 60s jangle and soft rock, Honeybunch have a more garagey twang and a sort of wooden, less studio-clean sound (maybe a tinge of country rock there?). The songs are almost instantly recogniseable and very varied in pacing, structure and feel. The first time I heard "Always Someone Else's Shadow" I could swear I'd heard it somewhere else before!
But wait a minute, you say, hasn't that Summershine retrospective been sold out for years? Well, Spanish label Elefant issued it in Europe the following year (1997) and that's been in stock ever since. In fact, it can be had for a shocking 2€ from Elefant at the time of writing. Time Trials includes everything the band had released (on vinyl) at that point plus unreleased treasures (thus not the 2003 comeback ep on Bus Stop, which is again still available). The reason I write 'on vinyl' is because it sadly doesn't include the flexis "Crooked Mile" (one of their best recordings) and "Nothing But Trouble" (I haven't got that, so if someone does please share it), nor "Humble Dream" from the Heol cassette compilation. I think I do have the latter - the mp3 is labelled "You're Killing Me", but that title is not in their discography plus it sounds old and like it's been recorded from a cassette. Not in the Bus Stop discography either, are two newer songs "All That's Left of Me Is You" (a reworking of "Always Someone Else's Shadow" from the Homemade Hits, V.1 2004 comp) and "Everything to Everyone" (which I don't know where it comes from).
That's enough of the details and time to prove my seemingly daring claims are justified. Listen to "Candy Breath" from their second single and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about!
The sparkle in your eyes
still takes me by surprise
If it's nothing as you insist
CLOUD 48 Honeybunch - Candy Breath
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
CLOUD 47 Juniper - Anna Thema