Friday, October 31, 2008

You Can't Love Your Hide Forever

The second Klubb K3 night went fine and I was surprised by the high quality of all the music my guests played! Here's my own playlist and as you can see it's northern soul only.

The Charades – Key to My Happiness
The Fascinations – Girls Are Out to Get You
Revilot Orchestra – Somebody Somewhere (Needs You)
The Flirtations – Stronger Than Her Love
Maxine Brown – One In a Million
Gigi & the Charmaines – Poor Unfortunate Me
The Formations – At the Top of the Stairs
Pat Hodges – Playgirl
Toni Basil – Breakaway
The Sharpets – Lost In a World of a Dream
The Oracles – I Ain't Got Time
Clydie King – He Always Comes Back to Me

The Millionaires – Never For Me
Elsie Strong – You Cut the Love Line
Julian Covay & the Machine – A Little Bit Hurt
The Charts – Desiree
Willie Hatcher – Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
Pat Lewis – Let's Get Together
Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons – I'm Gonna Change
Bobby Hebb – Love, Love, Love
Kelly Garrett – Love Is the Only Answer
Rose Batiste – Hit and Run
Little Tommy – Baby Can't You See
The Combinations – Whatcha Gonna Do
The Butlers – She Tried to Kiss Me

I'm busy stapling fanzines for tonight's Don't Die On My Doorstep. Here's what they look like.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

First You Fall In Love Then You Find a Girl

A new mix to warm you throughout the next month is now on Don't Die On My Doorstep's Myspace page! I just heard "Green Green Field" by The Impacts played at Flipside yesterday, so here's "Sunshine Day" from the same (renamed) American garage group. Read more about this amazing band here. The Outsiders are of course the Dutch garage masters. And there's new track from our darlings The Motifs, which is from Eardrums' A Good Crop 4cd autumn compilation that you can (and should) download for free! Then a northern soul number that you can find on Sanctuary's 2cd set The In Crowd. And finally a real diamond from lesbian actor and singer Polly Perkins - being openly gay in 60s Britain must've taken some courage! I tried but couldn't find out which label the original single was on, but you'll find it on volume seven of Dream Babes.

V/A - Abrasive Adoration

Crystal Stilts - Prismatic Room
[LP track, Slumberland 2008]

The Outsiders - Won't You Listen
[LP track, Pseudonym 1967]

The Impact Express - Sunshine Day
[a-side, Lavender 1966]

The Motifs - Notes
[compilation track, Eardrums 2008]

Robert Parker - Let's Go Baby (Where the Action Is)
[b-side, Nola 1965]

Polly Perkins - You Too Can Be a Beatle
[a-side, 1964]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where's My Cake?! Where's My Sugar?!

Freely adapted from Skull Control:
A while back I did a post about The Carrots, a modern girl group from Austin, Texas. I was excited about their new eps. They were super fun and great to dance to. Little did I know they had a secret and it was better than The Carrots! Well, not better, that's not fair. The Carrots are awesome. But OMG you have to meet Finally Punk! The girls from The Carrots are also 3/4 of Finally Punk. They play noisy punk music that sounds a bit like Mika Miko and The Frumpies. I was immediately sucked in to their songs. They don't perform in matching outfits and they're not 'too cute to puke'. Not even on the audience. You can't play this music and NOT puke.

Well, that was that. I've been listening lots to Finally Punk this week and it seems impossible to tire of their 16-track self-titled album. The songs are so short you won't remember the inkling of a structure they suggest, after the 17 minutes it takes for the cd to repeat. It's a constant discovery of notes and snippets of lyrics. I hear they have a European tour planned for the coming year, so write to Santa NOW if you want them to play in your country. Or go to a mosque or something and pray pray pray.

If your parents won't give you a treat this Halloween you can pre-order Finally Punk's new Hypertension 7" from here, and play a real mean trick on their ears. The girls also have about twentythree new releases in the pipeline, and if they too are written and recorded in one day it would seem Finally Punk are not really a band. Just a plot to make the 'f' shelf in your record collection collapse under its own weight. Start re-ordering your collection now, or 'g' will take a real beating.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Then When I Scream

I forgot to mention that The Postmarks have recently added one more cover to their website, it's a version of Ministry's "Everyday Is Halloween". As they wrote "for your Halloween mixes" I decided to make one... even though I'm not sure exactly when it happens. And so here it is! Click on the picture to make the tracklist big enough to read. The archive below comes with a printable wraparound sleeve as well. Please note that you need both parts before you can uncompress it.

I have to admit it's a bit of a tricky theme for a mixtape, unless you stick to mention of ghosts - of which there is plenty. I'm quite happy with this however; I tried not to make it too eclectic, but still it contains everything from yé-yé singer Christine Pilzer to riot grrrl mainstays Heavens to Betsy and Kevin "Lil' Hospital"s new lo-fi project Knight School. And lots of old-school indiepop of course, with The Chills and The Bats making natural appearances! I'm especially pleased with fitting northern soul dancer "Trick Me, Treat Me" in there. Other non-obvious, but fitting, choices are The Strangeloves bubblegum hit "I Want Candy", some moody garage from The Evil and sunshine pop outfit October Country (who have also recorded "My Girlfriend Is a Witch"!). The brilliantly titled "What Did Your Last Servant Die of?" by the Weddoes sadly has no lyrical connection to the theme, but how could I resist including it?

As always, you think of things you should have included immediately. Like The Lollipop Shoppe's "You Must Be a Witch" that I listened to only yesterday!

CLOUD 75 V/A - The Splendour of Fear

Friday, October 17, 2008

Take Me From Crayons to Perfume

I've been spoilt with swoon-worthy female voices recently - such as Rita Calypso, Cristina Georgina, Bathing Beauty, Bel Divioleta and other chanteuses of the Siesta stable. But this morning I was reminded of how much I love Tim Yehezkely of The Postmarks' voice. Where she sang "don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing's gonna be alright" in "Three Little Birds" it really made me lighten up. Their album from last year was one of my favourites and now they are soon back with a new cd, called By the Numbers. It's a series of 12 covers of songs that have their respective number in the title. Eg track six is The Cure's "Six Different Ways". The brilliant idea of doing a Wedding Present (releasing one song every month of the year) but for free turned out be nothing but a silly ploy however. It would cost considerably more to subscribe to eMusic for the twelve months than to buy the cd which now compiles all twelve tracks! And people who were already subscribers have been rubbish at passing the mp3s on to us normal people...

Anyway, the cd is very interesting even though most of the versions aren't nearly as good as their own first class material. Mainly because you get to hear them trying out things they would never do otherwise. Cause apart from the more or less expected bits of samba, musical and soundtrack there are surprises like the Ride and Jesus & Mary Chain covers. And a few up-tempo songs! Arguably, Yehezkely's voice really comes into its own on the slow, atmospheric numbers, but just to hear her sing something like Blondie's "11:59" scores higher than The Pearly Gatecrashers on the Cute Scale! They land very close to Saturday Looks Good to Me on this song and my favourite on the album: "7-11". I'd never heard The Ramones' orignal as I only bothered to buy the first two lps back in the day (meaning when I was 14, and not in 1976!), so I had to track it down now. I have to say The Postmarks' version is roughly 6.3 times better. Try your multiplication on this.

CLOUD 74 The Postmarks - 7-11

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Camera In the Sky

A reference to the cover of Apple Orchard's first 7" - here's one way of looking at their new ep Turning Point. It just just came out on Edition 59 which is an off-shoot of Vollwert Records in Germany, specialising in very limited editions of 3" CD-Rs. Perhaps you'd say 8€ is too much to pay for three songs? Well, there are only 59 copies of each release! At least two of the twelve releases are worth getting I would say, and one of them is Apple Orchard's follow-up to the brilliant debut album Half-Steps to Bright Skies. The first two songs are as beautiful as anything on that, emphasising the keyboards and percussion. My favourite is "Careful, Careless" which is one of their strongest songs so far, with a gorgeous melody and a bit of 12-string action. The last of the three tracks is a cover of The Sugargliders' "2-Star Motel", which you hear there - I won't upload anything as I did that when I wrote about the album earlier this year.

You might be too late to snap up the other ep I got - The Motifs' Memory's Gone EP. That was the label's first release and is now listed as 'sold out'. You never know though, the songs might be included somewhere else yet! They are three brand new songs, with "Just an Echo" as the real stand-out. "Take Mine" is playing over here.

I finally recieved their new album Cross Paths as well, and it does look good. Even the cardboard sleeve is hand made! It includes three new songs, some of the tracks from their sold out WeePOP! ep, and the rest gathered from the Japan only cd Away. That was in itself a re-release of their first album Dots (of which Swedish label Music Is My Girlfriend made 50 copies only!) with 11 more songs added. Confused? Well, there should be 37 Motifs songs all in all. The best of the new ones on Cross Paths is "TN", and it's in the wee player to your right. Order the lp from here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Honeymoon Hell

This post is named after a song by English artiste Always, but right now at Gallery Krets in Malmö there's an exhibition named after a Field Mice song! It's 22-year-old American artist Jessica Williams who's showing middle- to large-sized photographic prints. We went today and saw a small zine as well, called Sensitive, and joked about buying it for a Field Mice fan! Then I realised the exhibition was called Missing the Moon, and there it was on the info sheet: "a song by English pop band The Field Mice" and Williams quoted saying "I like it because it's long and kind of boring but also amazing and dreamy". I should tell Bobby about this.

One of the exhibited prints: Fragmented Self-portrait (2007).

I Want a Club For My Birthday

This month Don't Die On My Doorstep celebrates its first anniversary and the tenth club night all at once. In a way it amazes me - that we've stuck around for a whole year. Some disappointments, but so much fun has been had - even after Erik and Kalle gave up on me. I don't know what's happening on our tenth club night, more than the fact that Matloob from Roadside Poppies is playing records. I mean, won't you bring us cake? I just had an idea... why don't we give away a rare indiepop 7" to the person who gives us the tastiest/best wrapped present? I like it.

Anyway, this is the flyer. The first frame of a comic from a fan magazine - the whole of the first page is on the poster! The Orchids is in this case of course the English girl group from the 60s.

I hope you've bought the Vivian Girls album! It's out on In the Red finally.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chips For Tea

That Swedish crisp brand Estrella has reintroduced the salt & vinegar flavour after trying and failing about ten years ago is cause for celebration if anything! Who needs prawn-flavoured crisps when there's salt and vinegar? British exiles across the length of the country must be rejoicing. And you get them in 300g bags too! I'll be opening one tonight when I'm going to start watching my new Avengers box set, containing the whole of the second series.

Did you know that Dandelion Radio has been continuing the tradition of the Festive 50 that the late Peel used to do at the end of each year? Yes, it's ex-Flatmate (and ex-Rosehip for that matter) Rocker who's been carrying the torch since 2006. And looking at the 2006 and 2007 results, they can do with some more insightful voters! It's a bit early to choose the best songs of 2008, but maybe that just makes it simpler? The School, Vivian Girls and POBPAH got my votes!

'Probably the best fanzine since Chickfactor' - what may that be? Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams of course! Written my Amy Richardson in London, already with three issues out. The latest one includes an interview with Pam Berry and comes with an ace cd compilation including Rocketship, Marine Time Keepers, a new Apple Orchard song and much more.

As you can tell from the picture, I've also seen If... recently along with many other great films. I'd never seen Lindsay Anderson's brilliant 1968 college revolt film before and I enjoyed it immensely. Malcolm McDowell plays a part that in some ways prefigures his character in A Clockwork Orange. The Fantastic Film Festival was on recently in Lund and the first film I went to see there was Peter Greenaway's new creation Nightwatching, about Rembrant van Rijn (played by Martin Freeman!). It's a very beautiful film - the photography reminiscent of Barry Lyndon - and both sad and funny in places. I like the way he's tried to capture the Dutch way of living in olden times by using, what seems to me, very British dialects and sensibilities. The film was followed by a long and rather tedious Q&A with Greenaway, where he gave 10 minute answers to 10 second questions. He came over as a sad, old liberal but maybe that was just one more try at being provocative. You may remember me mentioning Hungarian director Béla Tarr before, and this semester Filmstudion in Lund is going for an extensive retrospective series. I saw one his older films at the festival, called Damnation and shot in 1987, and would again recommend it warmly.

That there's a new Celestial album available from Music Is My Girlfriend (the label) and Lavender is a happy surprise. Celestial is still mainly Andreas Hagman, who also runs Lavender and sometimes posts to Indie-MP3. Dream On that came out on Skipping Stones last year was a very good album but Crystal Heights builds on what were, for me, the strengths of his first album: the clean guitar jangle and the occasional female vocals. There are two guest singers on the new album - Ulrika Nymark and Malin Dahlberg. While the latter has a very pleasant voice, it's rather typical of indiepop and I much more prefer Nymark's huskier vocals, which might even have benefited from more prominent mixing. Overall, the production feels clearer and a bit more airy and the songs feel more thought through. The slight shoegaze leanings of Dream On have been abandoned for a simpler but more effective Razorcuts jangle. It's not too hard imagining Gregory Webster playing on opening track "Preston Park"! Since my favourite is already on their Myspace profile, I don't need to upload anything, hurrah!

As an aside, the cover instantly reminded me of 14 Iced Bears' second album. See the resemblance? And an extra point for the tracklisting on the back, which forms the shape of arrow with a wee swallow as its head. Can't have enough concrete poetry in pop!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Visual Complement

Mike just sent this. Watch out for it!

It's Like I'll Explode With Everyone Else

Mike was kind enough to send me a digital version of the new (The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope album All This Heaven. I haven't seen any artwork or label info yet, so you'll have to make do with some pop art. All I know that it's going to be on vinyl and pressed in time for their upcoming tour. I gather it's been more or less ready for quite a while, since it's now three years since their last release! You can listen to their whole catalogue round this way.

The sounds of what? Kaleidoscope. Formed in 1995 and once including two ex-Ropers in the line-up. Since their first ep These Are the Sounds of Kaleidoscope on fab DC label Foxyboy the sound has evolved from no-frills garage-punk towards more experimental outings into shoegaze and psych. By discarding some of the more obtuse elements of their previous work, they have created a record which sounds both crisper and heavier. It contains some of their strongest songs yet, and the production is as close to perfect as one can wish for. I was listening to it on the Terravision bus from Stansted and it's perfectly suited for the dark afternoons of autumn. There are quite a few long, drony compositions like "Asa Nisi Masa" (a phrase you may recognise from ) balanced with short, trebly scorchers like "False Telegraph". They even squeeze in a bit of folky jangle with "Learn to Forget". And "In the Air" - which is a clear favourite! The most beautiful thing I've heard since the Airfields album early this year, with a very MBV-sounding 'chorus'.

CLOUD 73 (The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope - In the Air

Here Is Happiness

Here comes the poster for the next Klubb K3. The idea is that I will only play northern soul, but so far there's only one guest dj. Maybe two hours of northern soul is a bit much even for me. Hopefully you can expect slightly better lyrics than the Soul Shakers tune I'm spinning right now, which containins the dubious line "I love you darling, as the fish loves the sea". Oh, and you did recognise Sharon Tate of course?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why Weren't You Special?

Now that I've got some distance to our club night two weeks ago, I feel ready to say something about it. I'm still unsure of whether I will ever do anything as significant though... As you may know, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart played live. They played those songs above, and "The Pains of Being Pure At Heart" for the encore. It felt so good after worrying that people might not turn up, that the band was late, that the drum kit would fall apart (if it even got there!) etc, when we even managed to fill På Besök. And there were smiles aplenty.

Actually, I found the band members already there when I got to the venue - sitting around a table with a beer each. They had a sound engineer with them, Danny, and already when they were soundchecking I was amazed at how good the sound was. They kept it clean though, and didn't play any fuzzed-out songs like "Come Saturday". The thing I feel most pleased with at the moment is that we caught them at just the right time. This was probably one of the last small gigs they will do (they're supporting The Wedding Present in the UK soon for chrissake!). If they ever come back to Sweden they will no doubt be in the hands of a monolithic booking agency. Even their gigs in Gothenburg and Stockholm were much bigger. I mean, we were standing/sitting right under their noses when they played! And of course it was great that they compared På Besök to the Cake Shop in NY... And I'm proud that I was able to give everyone who turned up the opportunity to see them, and that in a small way I managed to make them that little bit happier. At the end of the night we'd made more than double the meager sum I'd promised them, and that's not counting those who sneaked in without paying.

At the time it was all the little things that made it amazing. Just finally meeting Alex, Kip, Peggy and Kurt. That they genuinely liked the music me and Anna played. The nationalist t-shirts they were really trying to get rid of. That G.O.O.F. did such a great job supporting them, with Henrik on second guitar probably for the first time. It really made the songs gel into complete entities. They were all new to me as well, and by the sound of it I'd say it's time for that fourth album! And of course I got my hands on this little cutie.

By the time you're reading this, "Everything With You" will be available from Slumberland, so you can get it too! And you don't have to wait until 2009 to hear the forthcoming album - I just discovered the whole thing is streaming on The album contains new recordings of "Come Saturday" and the old ep tracks "This Love Is Fucking Right!" and "Hey Paul". The real drums version of "The Pains of Being Pure At Heart" is incidentally the b-side to aforementioned 7".

The playlist from the night as well as more pictures can be found here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Candy and a Currant Bun

Had to throw this together for Auckland University of Technology in a couple of hours. Anyone interested in what I've been doing at uni the last year can check out this pdf - or if you're simply interested in the life of insects in my backyard lawn.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hiding In the Leaves of the Cd Jacket Sleeve

Cursive, how's that for an indiepop reference? Today I've been listening mostly to Pavement and right now I'm playing the new Horowitz single that will soon be out on a Cloudberry single near you. "How to Look Imploring" b/w "The Drunks Are Writing Punk Songs" - which is more than an easy way to get on the Tullycraft blog, in fact it's the very song Ian played me in May this year. As they're quite old, I can't quite hear the influence of Wowee Zowee era Pavement and Village Green Preservation Society era Kinks (the latter of which Ian made sure me and Pete fell asleep to last night) that Ian promises will be the secret recipe for a new Horowitz album. Anyway, both songs are immediate, well-crafted pop songs.

I was at a wedding party in Nottingham last night, but not just any wedding because The Deirdres were playing and MJ Hibbett. Some cheesy covers had been requested but they were interspersed with snappy originals. Heart-warming, since The Deirdres are only doing a handful more gigs before they part ways. And the fact that I ended up choosing the song for the first dance was funny. Naturally, it was "La La La Lisa" by Math & Physics Club! The highlights, apart from this, was the cheese and crackers, Hibbett calling the groom Nottingham's finest plastic communist, meeting lots of expected and unexpected friends and dancing intermittently with about three people to these songs (I suspect Marianthi wants to know what they were...).

Cut the Cake
The Flatmates - Happy All the Time
Sandy Wynns - I'll Give That to You
Comet Gain - Stay With Me Til Morning
Angela & the Fans - I Know You
The Carrots - Mr. Postman
The School - Valentine
The Track - Cry to Me
Belle & Sebastian - Belle & Sebastian
Summer's Children - Too Young to Marry
Antoinette - Thank You For Loving Me
Cub - I'm Your Angel
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - A Teenager In Love
The Manhattan Love Suicides - Never Far From You
Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes - You'll Never Be That Young Again
The Motorcycle Boy - Under the Bridge
The Castaway Stones - Lost and Found
The Magic Whispers - How Do You Do It?
BMX Bandits - I Wanna Fall In Love
Susan Coleman - The Age of the Wolf
Lindy Lane - Low Grades and High Fever
The Smittens - Half My Heart Beats
The Pooh Sticks - 1-2-3 Red Light
The Wedding Present - Once More
The Young Tradition - California Morning
The Byrds - Wait and See
The Go-Betweens - People Say
Yvonne Daniels - I Don't Wanna Get Away From Your Love
Yellow Balloon - Baby Baby It's You
The Orchids - Love Hit Me

The Sunday roast at The Golden Fleece today was pretty ace as well. And Pete B's driving skills came in handy again, as we were chasing (and catching) the EMA Skylink! The rest of A Smile and a Ribbon couldn't come to Nottingham, but I'm sure they would've wanted to. As did Pocketbooks, who were unfortunately shut in a London studio for the weekend, to record their upcoming album. Emma and Dan's calendar made it clear how important this pop racket is for them. As important as Pocketbooks ought to be for everyone - I mean, isn't your calendar spilling over with 'listen to Pocketbooks' reminders?

I was in London the day before, needless to say, and half of the reason why that was so great is private and will not be disclosed here, but the other half was that I was playing records at How Does It Feel to Be Loved. And it was also the first time I've been to a HDIF, in Brixton or central London. The Canterbury Arms seems easy to find on Google Maps, but I walked straight past it. Eventually I came back round and went up closer for a more thorough inspection. And indeed there was a piece of paper taped on the inside on the window with 'The Canterbury Arms' written by hand and an Ian Watson sitting by a table on the other side of the door. He proudly showed me this little poster outside the entrance to the back room where the disco is. How could anyone possibly miss that?

He feared that it would be a quiet night, but it turned out the Victoria line was not closed and quite a few friends turned up in the end. Those who didn't - you know who you are! I would say my little set went down rather well, but perhaps I should've played one or two more songs people recognised. I also forgot to do the I'm-only-the-guest-dj routine when people came up to request things like Jens Lekman. The playlist should be on myspace soon. I had a great time dancing to Ian's selections afterwards, got interviewed by a BBC employee (for Pennyblack Music alas), and I even got payed - imagine that. The next morning Dan & Emma shuffled off to the studio and I had toast to ESG, went down to Primrose Hill and managed to squeeze in a walk all the way to King's Cross and lunch in one of the dogdy restaurant in the street outside before missing my train and sneaking onto the next one to Nottingham. I'd forgotten that King's Cross and St Pancras are not the same station, so I would've missed it even if we hadn't been pressed for time!

Thanks to everyone for a great weekend. And what better way to round it off than to come home to a parcel containing the new Liechtenstein single? Apathy has been commercially unavailable for a long time, but you can buy it now. And the unique canvas bags are also good for carrying sleeping bags. I don't know about you, but I'm wearing my Liechtenstein badge tomorrow!