Sunday, December 30, 2007

Two's a Crowd

- Cunningly cut to accentuate that male, male build - yet remains loose and easy for action wear!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another Year Another Address

So that's the albums dealt with. But what about all the eps, singles, mp3s and unreleased songs that passed our way? To make up for that, partially, here's a list of the new SONGS that I couldn't have made it without this year. (In no particular order, only one per artist, and nothing from artists on the albums list.)

The School - All I Wanna Do
Bubblegum Lemonade - Ten Years Younger
Horowitz - Tracyanne
For Ex-Lovers Only - Mindy le Findy
Would-Be-Goods - Temporary Best Friend
Liechtenstein - Stalking Skills
Moscow Olympics - Still
The Fallen Leaves - Shining
Strawberry Whiplash - Summershine
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Come Saturday
The Parallelograms - Dream On, Daisy
Pocketbooks - Not Going Out
Slow Club - Because We're Dead
Katie Jennifer Stewart - Aurora and the Sugar-Free Plan
The Manhattan Love Suicides - Head Over Heels
The Shining Hour - Before You Know It
The First Division - We'll Never Be Cool
The Garlands - You Never Notice Me
The Orange Peels - Everybody's Gone (4-track demo)
The Draytones - Keep Loving Me
Clay Hips - Failure
Slipslide - You Won't Find It Again

The Year of Driving Langourously

Here they are, more or less in descending order (at least the first ten!):

The Clientele – God Save the Clientele
Pants Yell! – Alison Statton
Love Dance – Result
Butcher Boy – Profit In Your Poetry
California Snow Story – Close to the Ocean
The Loves – Technicolour
Louis Philippe – An Unknown Spring
The Royal We – The Royal We
The Dreamers – Day For Night
Afternoon Naps - Sunbeamed
The Postmarks – The Postmarks
Club 8 – The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming
A Smile and a Ribbon – The Boy I Wish I Never Met
Trembling Blue Stars – The Last Holy Writer
The Orchids – Good to Be a Stranger
The Hermit Crabs – Saw You Dancing
Cats On Fire – The Province Complains
The Sunny Street – They Hurt You Every Day
The Hepburns – Something Worth Stealing
BMX Bandits – Bee Stings
Tullycraft – Every Scene Needs a Center
The Urges – Psych Ward
All My Friends – All My Friends Get Hung Up
Celestial – Dream On
Soda Fountain Rag – Sometimes I Wonder If You Have a Heart
The Icicles – Arrivals & Departures
Annemarie – ABC On TV
Ferns – On Botany
1990s – Cookies
The Owls – Daughters and Suns
The Red Button - She's About to Cross My Mind

The Lodger – Grown-Ups

Souvenir – 64

I've probably forgotten something...

Man-Eater of Surrey Green

- Come the autumn, I hope to see more of you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cookery Casualty

For another, let's see... ten and a half hours you can download Belle & Sebastian's "Are You Coming Over For Christmas" on MySpace. Having listened to it, it sounds exceedingly like BMX Bandits with its almost David Scott class production. I wish Stuart all the best with his musical next year!

Dial a Deadly Number

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Newton Told Me

God, I can't believe I missed Nick Currie's lecture Down With Fun at Galleri Krets! But what really bothers me is I don't find out until NOW, a month later. Fortunately he'll be back to play in Lund next year. Talking to people at So Tough! So Cute! yesterday, I should at least count myself lucky I didn't miss out on The Hepburns two days ago... It was Matt's first time in Sweden, so he didn't dare to bring the whole band. Now that he knows it's quite safe and the teenage fans won't corner them and scream at harmful frequencies, he considers coming back with a full band in the spring. A guy has to protect his ears, and all that.

The decibel level at the sparse gallery in southern Malmö was notably low for a POP show, and the atmosphere hushed. Anthony Rochester (from Tasmania!) even felt compelled to whisper his banter. He opened with a tasteful set on Danelectro guitar and ipod backtrack. A few members of the secretive local act Testbild! joined him for a some of the songs, and these later made up Matt's backing band - together with Anthony. At the most there were five of them, as you can see. I hope it says something about the talent of the Testbild! members that they'd only rehearsed for two days and still played a (as far as I can tell) note-perfect gig. The line-up with vibraphone and the occasional trombone made for a slightly different sound than on the record - I'm looking forward to hearing the song they recorded together! I only recognised the first song ("Beautiful Mover") as they played mostly Matt's new material, and a few from the latest album Something Worth Stealing which I still have the pleasure of hearing to look forward to.

On the Balcony Next Door

Before going on with my end-of-year list, I have to say some things about the new Pants Yell! record. Because Alison Statton (named after the Young Marble Giants singer, of course) is their BIG album. I knew it soon as I opened the parcel from Soft Abuse and saw the jewelcase. Because only a classic album would be released in a jewelcase in these days of digipacks, 3"s, transparent vinyl, mp3s and cdrs. Listening to the songs, it's hard not to think of The Boy With the Arab Strap and other records that made their creators huge.

The last time that happened to an indiepop group seems to be with Camera Obscura's Underachievers Please Try Harder, and even though only a mere four years ago, it's hard to see that as a possibility these days. If AS had come out in 1998 I think Pants Yell! would be Everywhere now. Even though there isn't a huge development in Andrew's songwriting skills (last year's Recent Drama was already a work of genius) there's a clear line of development from their first release Songs For Siblings: fuller, more intricate arrangements, crisper sound and the quirky song-structures have been bent into one immaculate pop hook. And obviously Carly's distinct drumming is gone, but Casey brings new textures to the songs that create yet more variation.

From the perfect opening track "More Purple" with its brass-driven sound, followed by the more old-school Pants Yell! sound of "Reject, Reject" that was a live favourite last year already, then "Tried to Be Good" which is the first of two big POP! songs on the record, Andrew's own favourite (and maybe mine too) "Evan's Way" follows in mellow and more autobiographical tone and is perhaps the best example of how this time they've got the guitar sounds Just Right, "A New City Life" is the songs that sticks out in the middle with it's unprecedented use of distortion, "Magenta and Green" is the other irresistible pop rush and suddenly you glimpse an influence from the British indiepop of the 80s that I know Andrew loves but that hasn't been tangible on their previous efforts, "Shoreham Kent" is AS's "Simple Things" and over in just over a minute, "Alison Statton" then is its "Boy With the Arab Strap" (or why not "Too Much Love"?) with a bouncy piano that won't let you leave the dance floor, and it's tempting to see "The Royal We" as a mirror image of Belle & Sebastian's mention of another contemporary Glasgow group but it actually isn't, the acoustic "For Dee" is almost prettier than "Pony Tales", and through to the end with "Two French Sisters" that must be one of the best closing tracks on a pop album ever (though I admit being slightly biased in that evaluation!), this is one of the most important coherent recordings of the decade.

CLOUD 30 Pants Yell! - Evan's Way

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Hour That Never Was

All the People I Like Are Those That Stay In Bed

Thinking about this year, this is the part I remember, and the part I want to remember. Because what is important is what's in the other direction. And nothing could be more fitting to listen to at this very moment than "September Lady" by Felt. I'm working on a list of the best albums of the year but it'll have to wait another week. Until then, here are some other things that might actually be more interesting.

I've listened to, and fallen in love with so many new bands this year. More than ever, and I find it hard to believe it would be possible to listen to more music than I have done. Also, you have to consider what I have chosen to call 'the Indietracks effect'. What made the festival so important is that there is now actually an indiepop scene, at least in the UK. I think many of the bands, fans, writers, promoters and label owners met out there at Butterley. So here is my list of the Heaven Is Above Your Head/The Rain Fell Down scene - the names of 2007.

The School/The Jerks/The Voluntary Butler Scheme/The Loves, Butcher Boy/All My Friends, Slow Club, Bubblegum Lemonade/Strawberry Whiplash, The Paralellograms, Horowitz, The Royal We, Esiotrot, The Urges, The Fallen Leaves, Pocketbooks, Afternoon Naps, The Dreamers, Moscow Olympics, For Ex-Lovers Only, Pains of Being Pure At Heart, The Bridal Shop, The Hermit Crabs, Clay Hips, The Sunny Street, Liechtenstein, Wake the President, Northern Portrait, The First Division, The Local Heroes, Nalda, Burning Hearts, The Deirdres, Soda Fountain Rag, Beach House, The Felt Tips, Ferns, Maria, Catwalk, The Hillfields.

But as usual, it hasn't all been about new music for me. So here's a list of my biggest obsessions this year - this means that at various points I've been convinced that each of these was the best band/artist EVER.

The Dovers, The Foxgloves, The Relict, Bomb Pops, The School, The Squires, Reserve, Laura Watling, Billy Nicholls, The Suede Crocodiles, Brittle Stars, Paul Chastain & Ric Menck, Life Without Buildings, #Poundsign#, Joe Meek, The Popguns.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Surfeit of H2O

- She was going into the pit of inequity.

COIR 003: Smashing Times At Metro!

If you've stayed up to date with Don't Die On My Doorstep on MySpace (which you probably haven't) you may have noted some significant changes. First of all we're moving to a new venue for January, which is due to several very boring reasons. It's definitely for the better though: free entry, Saturday dates and more dancing! Our first date is the 26th of January, and to celebrate we're giving you the bestest POP disco in town. Smashing Time will be screened on repeat, there'll be badges and fanzines and if you turn up early enough you'll get a chance to grab a copy of the exclusive Cloudberry release Nothing Matters When We're Dancing! Check it out on Cloudberry's site if you don't believe it: an indiepop compilation ep only available at Don't Die On My Doorstep and our esteemed friends Twee As Fuck and Spiral Scratch in London town. Playing records this night will be me and Elin (A Smile and a Ribbon's best kept secret).

In March we're hoping to present an intimate performance from Glenn Melia (St. Christopher), in conjunction with On Our Honeymoon in Gothenburg, but more news about that next year! We might even have something coming up in February...

And just one more thing - if you haven't overdosed on Christmas Indie yet you HAVE to get "Wombling Merry Christmas" from here. As far as I know it's the first song from The Voluntary Butler Scheme available for download. Rob's unloved, extra-curricular (forgive the pun) activities are recent favourites, and I'm hoping for a grand release next year. 2008 might just be Cardiff's big year, with albums from The School and The Loves speaking for it.

Also from Wales, The Hepburns are coming to Sweden! Well, just Matt really, accompanied by members of Testbild!. They're playing at Galleri Krets on Friday together with labelmate Anthony Rochester. Indiepop legends as they are, The Hepburns have been on the scene for about 20 years, with their latest effort out this very year! Here's the first track off of Something Worth Stealing. See you there.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Cherry Christmas!

Martin just sent me the new A Smile and a Ribbon tunes, and one of them is the best they've done so far! I might be spoiling you, but here it is. It's on the wonderful compilation A Very Cherry Christmas Vol. 3 from Cherryade, which you must get as it also includes songs from The Bobby McGees, The Deirdres and MJ Hibbett! And if you can't get enough of them sleigh-bells, here are some other seasonal songs you should listen to, including the fist ever Rose Melberg & Gregory Webster recording (covering The Ramones)! Only Joe Kane's "The Guy In the Grotto" is from last year, but he's just put it up on MySpace. He used to be in The Owsley Sunshine, remember?

CLOUD 29 A Smile and a Ribbon - Heavenly Christmas

Rose & Greg - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight), from

Pocketbooks - Christmas In Your Sights, from Emma's lovely blog Quick As Rainbows

Only Joe Kane - The Guy In the Grotto, download here.

The School - Kiss You In the Snow, dowload here.

The School - Let Me Be the Fairy On Your Christmas Tree, listen here.

Don't Give a Fig, If You Don't Dig! That I'm Around

I've finally managed to track down Smashing Time, a legendary 1967 film by Desmond Davis, starring British 60s faces Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave. I first heard about it as a Television Personalities song title, of course, then heard Death By Chocolate's version of "While I'm Still Young" from the soundtrack. It's a musical you see, the actors are singing - only not on camera. And if you watch intently you might get a glimpse of Tomorrow performing at a party!

The film has been released on dvd in the US, but it's out of print. So imagine my joy when
I came upon this blogpost at I'm Learning to Share. Not only can you get the original version of "While I'm Still Young" by Lynn Redgrave - there's a link to the Rita Tushingham Home Page! From there you can order vhs or dvd copies of most of the films she's been in, including Smashing Time.

So, about the song then. In the film it's a hit recording by Yvonne (Lynn Redgrave). She can't sing but after flicking some switches in the studio it suddenly sounds hip! The vocal is still hilarious though, and I was quite frankly shocked when I first heard it. Since then I've started to dig it more and more and now I think it's genius!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Hear a New World

Finally, I think I've managed to track down all the Castaway Stones songs out there. The last one was their cover of Pamela Blue's "My Friend Bobby", which can be found on this green split-7" with Electrocope. It's a tribute to Geoff Goddard who worked closely with British producer Joe Meek in the 60s. Glasgow's Electroscope were helped out by the Mount Vernon Arts Lab on their rendition of "Skymen", which was also performed and not olny written (like "My Friend Bobby") by Goddard. He seems to be an intriguing character, so let's hope his own recordings are reissued some day! The Pamela Blue original is available on Let's Go! Joe Meek's Girls and this split-single is still stocked by a few mailorders (like Norman, where I got mine).

Pam sings on the Castaway Stones side, of course, and it's no lie to go as far as calling it their best recording ever, certainly inspired by Meek's sound in the production. I couldn't think of a better Christmas present to give you than this:

Another Night In a Another City

Oh, I forgot to tell you about going to see The Sunny Street at Indigo in Lund! As you can see, Remi had a very nice new Danelectro, though it did drop out sometimes... They seem to always have problems with the sound, but they did an endearing set anyway with some new tunes thrown in. It was very quiet, so lucky for them they played early - before the bulk of the drunk students had arrived.

On another Friday night we went over to Copenhagen and the cool Club Mau Mau, where our friends were playing records. The support band for The Masonics was a pleasant surprise indeed. The Phantom Pillow (may the name have anything to do with this guy's Vox copy?) from Denmark is a brand new garage group who were actually doing their very first gig. They went down really well with crowd, with their extrovert female singer, inspired covers ("Going All the Way" by The Squires!) and rocking originals. The Masonics gig was probably the best thing I've seen this year - they had such an aura about them. In the middle of their set, I was quite shocked when they invited Miss Ludella Black on stage, to sing on some tunes!

I'd seen her by the merchandise table earlier and thought she looked like Ludella. It definitely hadn't been announced that she would be on stage too! And it was cool just watching her dance in the crowd during the first part of the set. On stage, she contributed to some of the best songs of the set, like a version of "Why Don't You Smile" and the new 7" (split between her and The Masonics) which was the loudest song of the night.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Honeymoon Gone Well

On Our Honeymoon was a great success last night and The Felt Tips flew home with kronor notes sticking out of their pockets! And a bunch of wee girls on their ever-growing list of admirers. All that bearing in mind that they unleashed their naughtiest lyric so far on the unknowing Swedish audience! It was great hanging out with Andrew (pictured), Neil, Roy and Miguel and they should be as pleased with the night as the On Our Honeymoon guys seemed to be. I had a great time playing records, as I stuck to stuff I'd just recently (and I mean one or two weeks) fallen for. The For Ex-Lovers Only track is definitely the best song in this set, I think, and if you don't check them out NOW you'll live to regret it. Or maybe not even that.

The Loves – She'll Break Your Heart
The Cake – World of Dreams
Catwalk – I Think Too Much
The Hillfields – Spoon
All My Friends – Up and Down the River
The Magic Shop – It's True
#Poundsign# - Walking and Talking
The Delmonas – He Tells Me He Loves
The Masonics – No Desire For Revenge
Christine Pilzer – Ils pataugent
Bad Dream Fancy Dress – Kick In the Teeth
Chin Chin – Never Surrender
Tibi Lubin – Romany Rye
We the People – Alfred, What Kind of Man Are You?
Bubblegum Lemonade – That Thing You Do
The Manhattan Love Suicides – Head Over Heels
The Cookies – I Wanna Boy For My Birthday
Clothilde – Fallait pas écraser le queue du chat
Laura Watling – It’s All I Can Do
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – Transparent Day
The Visitors – I Remember
Billy Nicholls – London Social Degree
Adèle – Jái peur parfois
The Yellow Balloon – Springtime Girl
The Volutary Butler Scheme – Laundry
The Airfields – Yr So Wonderful
Bright Coloured Lights – Leave You Behind
Rocketship – Your New Boyfriend
Majestic – Nyra and Michelle
The Lucksmiths – Up
The Jazz Butcher – Soul Happy Hour
The Pinefox – Her Lost Polo
Wake the President – Remember Fun?
The Left Banke – I've Got Something On My Mind
The Clouds – Jenny Nowhere
Horowitz – Hug Target
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – This Love Is Fucking Right!
The Bristols – True True Lovin'
Jan & Dean – She's My Summer Girl
The Groove Farm – It Always Rains On Sunday
Maria – Friends Forever
The Jaywalkers – (You Can’t Be) Happy All the Time
The Big Gun – Heard About Love
Dolly Mixture – Will He Kiss Me Tonight
Miss Ludella Black – Is It True
Liberty Belles – Shing-a-ling Time
Lynn Redgrave – While I'm Still Young
Strawberry Story – Freight Train
The Royal We – All the Rage
Komon – Poetry For the Winter
The Autocollants – Butterscotch
Tullycraft – The Punks Are Writing Love Songs
For Ex-Lovers Only – Mindy le Findy
Pants Yell! – Magenta and Green

Well, at least I managed to squeeze two Sha-La-La tracks in there!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Eleanor's Cake That Ate Her

Is a song by Kevin Ayers, about 60s girlgroup The Cake, which I can't wait to hear after listening to Rev-Ola's double-reissue of their two albums. More of the Cake finally arrived in the mail today, after my Cherry Red order having disappeared in the black hole of Royal Mail twice. I originally ordered it when it came out in August, but it definitely suits the dark season better, with its blend of ominous psych-pop and swinging r'n'b, flavoured with English folk melodies. The story of The Cake is not unlike that of fictive group The Carrie Nations - formed in 1966 by three teenage girls (one of them sadly died in 1980), who wrote their own material. The albums came out in 1968 and '69 and although called the last proper girlgroup, The Cake only have two songs in that vein really. Just listen to the baroque sounds of "Fire Fly", and there are more songs on their self-made MySpace page. Then buy the cd and let it monopolise your listening time over the holiday!

She Was a Mau Mau

Yes it's true, the Masonic machine will be turning you on in Copenhagen this Friday! The garage legends are playing Club Mau Mau and Johanna from Club Flipslide in Malmö has been endowed with the honour of playing records. The three members of The Masonics have been in most every garage band of note in the UK since the days of the Pop Rivets and The Milkshakes. Apart from the bulk of Billy Childish's bands, they've been in The Wildebeest, The Bristols, Thee Headcoatees just to name a few. Mickey Hampshire actually lives together with Ludella Black and plays on both the Mickey & Ludella album and her solo records. Here is the opening track of The Masonic Machine Turns On You from 2002, the best of the two albums I have. You should also check out the cool new sounds on MySpace, cut at the vintage equipment studio Circo Perotti in Italy.
This means I'm going to miss Scout Niblett's gig in Malmö, whether or not she's in good health... But The Castanets won't be supporting her that night, which at least makes it a somewhat smaller loss. Playing tomorrow in Malmö, are Glasgow's favourite sons 1990s, fronted by 'songstress' (as the writers on the venue's site call him!) John Mckeown from The Yummy Fur, which is not to be missed either by any self-respecting connoisseur of brainless riffs.

The Murder Market

- Makes one feel that the whole platoon of the other half's panting to get up one. Might be true too.

Dial # For Hit of the Week

Are #Poundsign# the BEST band ever, or the best band EVER? I've been hearing about them for years and have been aching to hear them since The Young Tradition covered their "Isolation" on their first ep. Now finally I have listened to their two albums: Wavelength, and Under the Marquee. The first, from 1998, is the masterpiece but the second has some great tunes, like "Coffee Flavoured Friend". They sound like a cross between Majestic and Brent Kenji's first band Skypark; with the crisp bouncy drumming of the former and the bright guitar tone and honeyed female vocals of the latter (courtesy of Alicia of The Aislers Set and Dear Nora). There are also some similarities to Rocketship and Brittle Stars. In other words, everthing which is great about American indiepop! Here is the last song on Wavelength. And there's a short interview from the Kickstand fanzine on Indiepages.

The Master Minds

- Has anyone ever remarked on the astonishing resemblance between yourself and Florence Nightingale?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pinecones Will Shiver

The First of Advent means it's time for another compilation here, and this is my Christmas and winter mix of the year. You can see the tracklisting here on the back cover (which you can also print yourself)!. The big exclamation mark is of course that it includes the first Pinefox song ever made available to the public, that I know. Used with permission, and you can probably guess from whom when you hear it. And as December also includes my birthday, I've included "Twentytwo" by The Lucksmiths, which I actually heard just recently. It feels like it was written just for me, in a way. And of course it's the 22nd track! Get everything from the link below.

CLOUD 24 V/A - Too Many Christmas Trees
(Christmas is over...)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Honeymoon Diaries

We did it all over backwards, I told him. First of all we got to know each other, and then a while after that we met, and when we'd known each other for about seven years we decided to have an anniversary, and that went quite well, so after the anniversary we had a honeymoon, and that went well too, so after that we decided that we would get married. That's why we're living there now.

So what's the December news for Don't Die On My Doorstep? Well, we're taking a bit of a winter/xmas leave and will be back in the new year, at a new venue. But if you prefer your snow with some pristine indiepop, you should go to On Our Honeymoon in Gothenburg, which I will be guesting on the 8th. And so will The Felt Tips from Glasgow! I'm so impressed with their debut ep on Cloudberry, and more than a bit proud of them. I saw them a year ago and listened to their demos, which I liked. But then seeing their set at Indietracks, where they played in the wee church at Butterley station, everything changed. They didn't have their drummer (see empty stool above), which really brought Miguel's jangly playing to the front, and the acoustics were excellent. Now listening to the 3" I'm so pleased with the mixing, that is trebly to the point of a Happydeadmen production. But with those lyrics, I hope it's not a honeymoon diary! It's their only gig in Sweden so I hope people travel wide and far. The other guest dj is one of the two guys who arranged Rip It Up this summer, called Johan.

Oh, you've got
this right?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Castle De'ath

- I've run out of puff.
- Pity, I'm just getting steamed up.

We Compose All Rock 'n' Roll

So in a few hours I'm off to this semester's second installment of Klubb K3. This time I'm not playing records, though I did make this flyer. Let's ponder I was playing. This is what I would have played in that case, a sort of fictional playlist for you to download. Perfectly suited for the weekend's pre-parties! I've called it Songs We Taught the Fuzztones, and it's split into two halves. It's kicks off with a blazing instrumental off of The Urges terrific brand new debut Psych Ward, which you can (and should) get on vinyl from Off the Hip. And don't miss Elsa Leroy's unbelievable cover of The Beau Brummell's "Just a Little". If you want to know how to get hold of any of the other tracks, just leave a comment and you will be enlightened!

The Urges - Salvaje
The Factory - Try a Little Sunshine
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - If You Want This Love
Delphine - Les prisons de sa majesté
Dana Gillespie - You Just Gotta Know My Mind
Watermelon Men - You Should Be Mine
The Motions - Who'll Save My Soul
The Bristols - I'll Be Gone
Miss Ludella Black - Love Pours Out of My Heart
Kaleidoscope - (Further Reflections) In the Room of Percussion
The Clientele - 100 Leaves

Pamela Blue - Me Friend Bobby
Glenda Collins - Been Invited to a Party
Clothilde - Saperlipopette
We the People - Look At the Girls
The Left Banke - She May Call You Up Tonight
Billy Nicholls - Girl From New York
The Basooties - You Didn't Try to Call Me
Chris Morgan & the Togas - Would You Believe (Love Is Dead)
Elsa Leroy - Mieux vaut tard que jamais
The Fallen Leaves - Choose
The Litter - I'm a Man

Songs We Taught the Fuzztones

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Winter Seems Fine

Thanks to everyone who came last week! We had a wonderful night and all three gigs were amazing. Katie was first on and although a little nervous (her first gig outside Scotland and she hasn't played on her own much at all) turned in a short but sweet set that included a Marianne Faithful cover and ended with "Miss Myopia" - one of my favourite Tibi Lubin songs. The Icicles really impressed me, and the rest of the crowd as well, I'm sure. Using borrowed equipment, they made it sound and look so simple. Well rehearsed, some coordinated stage moves, matching striped outfits and a pocket full of hits made us shout them back in for an encore - "Snowman" on request. A friend said they even stole the scene from Harvey... Shawn from Microindie was with them and recorded the gig - will be interesting to see how that turned out. Harvey Willams certainly seemed to enjoy himself as much on stage as we enjoyed hearing his songs. He started out with some 'newer' ones on the keyboard. Some of them were so 'new' they were written after California, like "Snow Plough". People were humming along, and as he switched to acoustic guitar and Another Sunny Day material the hums turned into all-out singing and shouting. He played "I'm In Love With a Girl That Doesn't Know I Exist", "What's Happened?", "You Should All Be Murdered", "Horse Riding", "Rio" (with whistling solo!) and "I Don't Suppose I'll Get Another Chance". Of course, he came back in for an encore and the night ended perfectly with "She Sleeps Around" and a Hit Parade cover. What's more, some friends of his had come along for the Malmö and Gothenburg gigs, and they weren't just anyone! Tim Hopkins, once in The Visitors, whom I met a few months ago was there, and Ben who writes the excellent Fire Escape Talking blog (head over there and check out the lovely Julian Henry interview if you haven't read it yet). It was great to see Tim again and Ben was very entertaining, he promised to come back for a dj-set at So Tough! So Cute! next year. I know you can't wait either...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Death At Bargain Prices

- After all, we did save them from the biggest closing-down sale ever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Once Round the Record Fair

Big news for record lovers, indeed. November has been unfair to us - so many records to buy, so little money. My first priority was to get the Royal We album and the 7" and they both lived up to expectations. I'm listening to Dolly Mixture and I suddenly think there's a similarity there... Otherwise the wee Royals have been notorious for mixing the Sound of Young Scotland with glam guitars and girlie riots. The self-titled minialbum actually presents a range of sounds: from the typical late 90s Glasgow sound of the single "All the Rage", to the Raincoatsy time-changes in "That Ain't Me Sweet Love", to the ukelele ditty "Back and Forth Forever". It's clear why the demagogues of eclecticism Geographic signed them. And after all it's as natural as Postcard signing Orange Juice. My favourite line is 'put that body away - hey hey hey' in "I Hate Rock n Roll". But my favourite song is by far "Willy", and you'll know why when you've heard it! In short: 20 minutes you're guaranteed not to stand still.

Recently, I also got the second Slow Club 7". It wasn't as monumental a moment in my life as when the first one came. Maybe I've just gotten used to the fact that Slow Club are real? In fact, the songs are amazing and you'll recognise them from the live performances. The difference is that the arrangements are a bit more fleshed out this time, the odd guitar overdub here and the odd Bright Eyes choir there. The dragging waltz-time b-side benefits most from this treatment with it's unexpected crescendo. Both sides are on their Myspace page.

Another 7", that has yet to arrive, is Wake the President's second offering "Remember Fun?", which I've been looking forward to for a while. Both the songs have been up on Myspace so I know how great they are. I hope you all voted for them on Radio 2 - I certainly did. I'm not surprised they got single of the week! I think they're playing in London soon, so look out.

It's all 7" today apparently. The last one that deserves mention is the the debut from Zoey van Goey, released by Erik and Björn incidentally, on their Say Dirty Records. The a-side is definitely the best song I've heard from them so far with its lackadaisical strum. It's produced by Stuart Murdoch, but I don't think he needed to do much anything because they've had their act together since the start. Also, B&S trainspotters should be overjoyed to know that Bob Kildea plays bass guitar here.

By the way, I just discovered that The Thanes are playing at The Woodside on Saturday! Why does Edinburgh have to be next to Glasgow instead of Malmö?!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm In Love With a Song They Don't Know Exist

This is a rare sight these days. But two days from now, you can see this guy on stage in Malmö. Why don't you come on down and listen, we've heard he's quite good. His name is Harvey by the way. You might just not be able to forgive yourself if you don't. But we promise to think of you as we sing our throats dry to "You Should All Be Murdered". Survival is dependent on you turning up at Inkonst at 8 pm sharp on Thursday. Also playing are The Icicles - on tour with their amazing second album - and Katie from Tibi Lubin. She's on first, so that's reason enough for you to get there early. You wouldn't want to miss her first ever performance in Sweden, now would you? Tickets are a mere 90 SEK on the door, and contrary to previous government announcements we're open til 12 pm. We guarantee we will only play songs the NME have never heard about!

The Cybernauts

- It moves in the dark, it leaves no mark, it's as hard as steel. Nine down.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Popgun Boys

Today it's time to acknowledge one of the great lost singles of the late 80's - "Heard About Love" by Irvine's The Big Gun. I finally got my copy on eBay! I met Keith (the singer, that's him in the middle) briefly in Glasgow - he runs a club called Spitfire - and they once shared a split-flexi with Basil Pieroni (now guitarist in Butcher Boy) who's also from Irvine. (That flexi was on eBay too a while ago - wonder who got it?) It feels good indeed to have some sort of connection to this piece of pop history! So, this single from 1987 was their only release on vinyl and the a-side is available on The Sound of Leamington Spa Vol. 2 and has been posted on several blogs. But here is the other a-side, which is brilliant as well. It's more early New Order, where the first nods toward The Cure's "Boy's Don't Cry". The best part is the last 30 seconds where the lead guitar goes into a great fuzz sound!

CLOUD 22 The Big Gun - Happens All the Time

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Gravediggers

- With your pleasing demeanour you'll get in there quite easily as a nurse.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Look At the Girls, and See If You Love Them

I just heard one of the greatest albums ever, Billy Nicholls' forgotten Would You Believe, originally released by Immediate in 1968 but deleted after a promotional run of 100 copies only. This was his first record under his own name (he was still a teenager after all) and was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham who owned the label. Steve Marriot of The Faces and many other well-known musicians were enlisted and many of these songs have subsequently reached much bigger success recorded by other artist. One example, not of success though, is Dana Gillespie's amazing album Foolish Winter that contained two Nicholls compositions. The album has been called an English Pet Sounds, and it was certainly created with that goal in mind. Perhaps Nicholls' songwriting can't compete with Brian Wilson's, but this is absolutely one of the best psych-pop albums I have heard. It was reissued in 1999 on both cd and vinyl.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Town of No Return

- All this is supposed to be on the horse, you know.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Save For a Rainy Day

Just thought I should let you know that All My Friends have recorded a heart-rending cover of Margo Guryan's "Think of Rain" as part of their Pop Evangelism project. The original is to be found on her only album Take a Picture. A perfect lullaby for a rainy day, although it pretty much winter already here in Sweden. All the leaves... gone. All My Friends make you feel like sunshine pop originated in Scotland and not California!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It Snowed That Night

I think snow should not be made

but I do like chocolate cake.

Monday, November 5, 2007

We Suppose All Rock 'n' Roll

Today's name is Eugene, so I suggest you put on "Eugene, You Genius" by Esiotrot from their album - one of the best from last year. But anything with The Vaselines will do, really.

This weekend I went to So Tough So Cute!, where Katja Ekman was guest dj. I knew of course she was involved with Testbild!, The Jet Set Junta and Friendly Noise. But I recognised her and I was quite shocked with how much she's done although she just one year older than me. I soon remembered it was Young Alive and In Love I recognised her from - the best P!O!P club in Malmö's history. I knew two of the people behind it, but I'd never spoken to Katja before. She played lots of good music, but perhaps a bit too refined for the Retro (the name of the place) crowd.

Testbild!'s fourth album Une Teinte Intense came out earlier this year (which means I have missed their third one) and is inspired by Isabelle Eberhart. It contains excerpts from her writings, read by Katja as it were. Eberhart was an explorer and writer born in Switzerland in the late 19th century. She travelled widely in North Africa, disguised as a man. She sided with the local population against the French occupants, converted to Islam and married an Algerian soldier. She died in a flood at the age of 27, but her writings were rescued. There is definitely a North African air over the record, with its sun-bleached imagery and distant muezzin voices. Still it puts me in a Christmas mood, but maybe blazing hot sand dunes is a thought that is quite welcome in the autumn cold. No, I think it's more due to the vocal harmonies - as distinguished as on any Louis Philippe song - that sound decidedly Swedish. As I only have Testbild!'s second album, I can only compare it to that. The Inexplicable Feeling of September was a blatanly autumn-themed record with a warm analogue sound. Une Teinte Intense is much lighter (and shorter) - like an oscillating mirage. The compostions are slower and more acoustic, with fewer synthesisers and no electronic beats. The obvious stand-out track is "The Moorish Café" (just ask Louis Philippe!).

But even better is the debut album by The Dreamers - the best thing Friendly Noise have done so far! Day For Night has finally been released now and Kevin Wright and Sarah Nyberg-Pergament have done their first shows in Sweden (the picture above was taken in Finland). Too bad we couldn't book them, I hope we didn't miss our only chance. Anyone who has heard their previous projects and fallen in love will not be able to resist this wonderfully matched duo. I saw them play as Mr. Wright and Action Biker respectively at the Mitt Sista Liv festival in 2004, which is also where they first met. The first song they wrote together, "Petit Nuage", is in the autumn mix below. You can g
et both records from Friendly Noise or Darla.

The Day You Saw Your Record On the Shelf

So this is goodbye - to The Royal We. The Glasgow hipsters finally release their debut album (on Geographic, of course) and split up. Their singer is moving back to the US and their album launch at Stereo (which starts in roughly three hours) has been announced as their last gig. A bit sad, but most of their members have been in other bands all along (Patrick is in Dot to Dot e g). And at least I got to see them live once! If you can get to Renfield Lane in under three hours, promise you will. You can buy the self-titled album from the Domino website, and the 7" of "All the Rage" is still available as well. Previously The Royal We have contributed a track to the Postcard tribute 7" - their version of "Poor Old Soul" by Orange Juice. At least they can say they 'made it' - which is more than most indie bands can.

Other Sunny Day

The second club night is drawing closer and Erik came up with the rather charming idea for each of us to write about the first time we heard Another Sunny Day. When I think about it, there is theoretically a chance that someone reading this still haven't heard this band. So we have to let you know why it's so special to have Harvey playing for us.

Well, I volunteer to start. In one of Delicious Goldfish's mailorder mail-outs about new second hand-stock there was a rather off-hand mention of some Sarah Records singles. So I emailed to ask which they were. Because this was two and a half years ago and I had never seen a Sarah release before and hadn't come across a mailorder that had any. There were two Another Sunny Day 7"s and I decided to go for the oldest one. 150 SEK was the most I'd paid for three songs at that time, and since then I've found you can get these things a lot cheaper. I hadn't heard Another Sunny Day, although I'd been reading lots about them and knew I would like them. The only bands on Sarah that I HAD heard were Heavenly, The Field Mice and my first love of the name Sarah - Brighter. Well anyways, it turned out that I had gotten my hands on the very best one, I'm usually quite lucky that way. Because with "What's Happened?", "Impossible?" and "Can't You Tell It True?" on it there's no arguing about it, is there? I remember opening the parcel, feeling this curious artifact in my hands for the first time. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I owned. And I loved the fact that all the songs ended with a question mark. I put it on the turntable and lowered the needle, there was some crackle and then the world-toppling pop noise that is "What's Happened?" blasted out the speakers. It's very under-produced, but it sounded like nothing I'd heard before and I still think it would be near-impossible to create that sound again. The only band that has ever been fairly compared to Another Sunny Day is Love Dance. Their "What Does This Tell You?" is not far off the mark, but it sounds HUGE compared to this tiny miracle. It's so crisp and they way the drum machine and the almost percussive acousic guitar mesh together is wonderful. And that 'solo' at the end makes me want to die every time. One of the best 50 songs ever? Yes.

Read what Erik and Kalle have to say on MySpace, but you might need to catch up on your Swedish first. You'll find "What's Happened?" somewhere below!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lynch Matinée

Don't misunderstand the title - we love Jimmy! In fact this is Matinée's 10th anniversary, so in the onslaught of new fabulous indiepop records don't miss out on their new batch of releases. Our friends from Glasgow, The Hermit Crabs, have finally completed their brilliant debut album Saw You Dancing. If you've heard any of their previous output you know this is an essential pop album! Jimmy, being the nice bloke he is, lets you download the instant hit "Friends Folk Festival". I've only heard this live before and the recording definitely adds a lot to it in arrangement and production. Also availble is the first offering from Math and Physics Club since their first album. Hearing "Baby I'm Yours" brings back pictures of listening to their two previous eps on the bus from Glasgow to Edinburgh, and that's an excellent effect if you ask me. I can't wait to buy these along with the Lucksmiths compilation Spring a Leak, the anniversary release The Matinée Hit Parade and forthcoming eps from Danish Northern Portrait, Swedish The Electic Pop Group and Scottish Strawberry Whiplash/Baby Lemonade. It's almost become a tradition for me to place an order with Matinée around Christmas (as you have to order ten cds at a time if you're not in the US), one you should adopt too!

The Lynch connection? Well, I went to a David Lynch themed party yesterday, and also Inland Empire is in the cinemas over here now (like, half a year late!). I saw it this spring, as a matinée screening, and I still think it's the best film of the year and I'm looking forward to seeing it again at a cinema in Malmö called Spegeln ('the mirror'). This was the only decent cinema in town and scandalously closed down before the summer due to financial reasons. It's got a new owner now though and is about to open up again. A relief, since I no longer have to travel to Gothenburg to see a good film...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

House Warming

The Beach House gig was great, by the way. Their self-titled album is old news I guess since it originally came out last year (but didn't get a proper release until this year). But I'll post my favourite track from it here, in hope that they'll get a few more in the crowd for their upcoming UK dates. Anyone in the UK can look forward to seeing them live in a few weeks (unless you're in Devon or some other far removed corner of the empire), on their first European tour. Their set in Malmö was very impressive with lots of new songs. It could have been quite magical if there had been more people, giving it a better atmosphere. But it was a Tuesday night after all, and I guess most of the people who did turn up probably wanted to see the main act (yes, Beach House were just supporting). They were called Arbouretum and were from the same city in the US. They were compared to Crazy Horse on the venue's site, which didn't give me high expectations if you know what I mean. Their first song was interesting - an experimental and long instrumtal number. After that the only thing that kept me from walkng out (which would have been too rude in that sparse crowd anyway) was their two amazingly talented guitarists. Such a waste of skills! They're doing the whole tour together, so you'll get your dose of each. It's definitely worth it for Beach House and their Mazzy Star/Galaxie 500-scented wisps of fog.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dust From a Memory

There's no such thing as dusty chestnuts. For our tenth cloud, I've complied an autumn mixtape, that you can burn to cdr! There's even a nice little cover. To find everything, just follow the link below. I don't have much to say about the tracklisting, it'll seem natural enough once you listen to it. And you can find out about stuff just as easily as me. The only thing I want to say is the there's an Amazing Foxgloves Song in there. It was their first released song and was on a cd that came with the Papercuts fanzine. Hope you enjoy it as much as the squirrels!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Do You Have to Stop Writing to Start Living?

Someone emailed me recently, which made me re-read the Twee As Fuck article on Pitchfork. It turned out I had quite a few thoughts on it, so I decided to post it here. Read the article first, please.

There are some things I feel uncomfortable about. Like how they say indie wasn't cool, sexy, arty or fiery. That just depends on your ideals. I don't think there's anything sexier or cooler than Orange Juice, Josef K or Subway Sect. You only need to take the smallest step outside of the heterosexual, patriarchal bubble to realise that. It's all about creating another universe, which is what subcultures essentially are. Mainstream 'cool' is one thing and indie 'cool' is another. Originally pop was a subculture, perhaps one of the first big youth cultures. It was just the kids who listened to rock'n'roll in 1955. And every label was an indie label. When pop became mainstream, punk became the new subculture. Punk, actually, started in 1965 with garage groups like the Count Five. And from 1978 onwards it splintered into a million fractions - from death metal to acid house.

Then of course indie became mainstream, just like punk had. That's why indie is such a nullified word today, and we have to make up our own names. No one really called it anorak, or c86, or shambling - back in the day. I prefer to call it just 'pop', because my definition of pop is quite narrow as it is. For me indie from the early 80s was pop, the rest was an extension of advanced capitalism and the 'record industry'. Even if artists like Madonna had a great deal of self-control, they let themselves become products. T
hat doesn't mean bands like McCarthy were radical or opposed the system; after all their records weren't for free (although the say that in one of their songs!) and their goal was to be on Top of the Pops. But like all creative output it's a comment on society - be it its politics, one's own subculture, the commodity value of pop etc.

It's hard writing about pop and eschewing all preconceptions and clichés. Twee As Fuck tries to generalise, make it simple. If you write about music you have start from the other end, from our own experiences. Then you can start deconstructing, contradicting, complicating. But in the end it will always be about yourself, getting closer to 'what you think'. And never be boring!

Unfortunately indiepop records are becoming all the more collectible = expensive. Big companies (like eBay) are trying to profit on our subculture. The result is that the subculture is becoming all the more splintered and crystallised. While 'indiepop' is quite big, there's only a few thousand people around the world who listen to the same bands as me. I don't know if it would be preferable for everyone to suddenly start listening to The June Brides. The important thing is that there is enough enthusiasm from young people to continue creating this pop stuff. And that can come from fanaticism as much as populism. It reflects the tricky issue of how popular indiepop fans want their bands to be. They want them to be successful and recognised but not to turn into a new U2.

Another tricky issue are the accusations of asexuality, childishness, feyness and other things embedded in the 'twee' term. The article discusses this in relation to Sarah Records and how a band like The Field Mice can be seen as very introverted, afraid of the Afro-American roots of pop music. The attributes lined up seems more true for a group like Kraftwerk, who ironically became an important link in the evolution of dance music and hip-hop. The Field Mice did what they could, with the means offered them. Who would prefer two Englishmen playing awkward reggae over a Jamaican band? These days Wratten admits listening more to dub than anything else and he never understood the twee tag. True, they weren't very sexy, but they approached sexuality on an intellectual plane - in their lyrics and in their gender identities. And it was always passionate. True, they were more feminine than masculine. But why can't a male duo be feminine? Art is always more interesting when you start messing with the gender roles. In the 60s it was ok for girlgroups to be feminine and garage groups to be masculine. But in the 80s and 90s the anti-rock stance of Razorcuts and the feminism of Bikini Kill was a necessity. When Sarah Records first set up and still to this day, pop music was male dominated - as was the 'indie scene'. So why not weigh it up with some queerness?

As for machismo vs. naivety - I agree with David Brogan that the only thing I want music not to be is 'muscular'. It can be raw, primitive, dirty and loud, but when that word comes to mind it just feels wrong. That's why I don't like the word 'rock' either, because I associate it with 'muscular'. Muscular can be good in mainstream contexts as it is certain subcultures, but pop should never go there. "We were never the guys in school who played guitar, who had long hair and were into Rush", Wratten has said. So why should they pretend? That's not saying The Field Mice didn't have their not-so-fey moments. Pop is essentially postmodern, which means it can never be described as solely being one thing. Pop can be naive sometimes, perhaps even dumb but that's not what makes it good or bad, unless it's a conscious stance. Many bands on Sarah had an element of romanticism, in believing in the beauty of the misunderstood artist, nature as inspiration; 'pastoral', the music and its images were often called. Subcultures are symptom of the postmodern, like avantgarde was a modernist notion. So as soon as the bands on Sarah started feeling pigeonholed they reacted and went in new directions. Pop is so self-conscious.

The last thing I disagree about is the analogy about folk and pop music in the 60s. Surely what was pop and what was folk in the 80s was the same as in the 60s. Anyone could listen to folk music in the early 60s - kids and parents. But pop was rebellious, youthful. True, folk artists like Dylan approached political subjects in their songwriting and students took them to their hearts. But The Shangri-Las were political in a more direct way, simply through their existence. Anyone could become a pop star. But not everyone could go to college or university. These days pop has slightly more political lyrics, perhaps a reflection of the higher standards of education. But the music most closely associated with radical politics is reggae, traditional punk and hip-hop (still). The Pastels, just like Beat Happening were never political in an outspoken way, but everything about them was radical, and to some people threatening and an object for ridicule and restriction.

Is there anything in spontaneity?
Is the only way to know
to let the pen and paper go
and do like they say and just be?

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Purple

So there I was, playing records again. Didn't dare to bring anything but cdrs. It was at this club run by my department and a professor in media studies. Different teachers and students are guest djs every time. It was quite nice, and there was even ONE person I knew there. There was a heavy metal gig going on next door, so towards the end a member of The Hellacopters and an ex-member of Entombed came into the pub. I had had the honour of making the flyer, which was orange really, but this one is... well, more purple. If you don't get it go listen to Pants Yell!. And those are The Clouds, who were blue originally. My playlist was not very long so I'll just put it here. Maia played some good stuff as well (it involved a lot yé-yé = good). I was so impressed by hearing Delphine's cover of "In the Past" by The Chocolate Watchband to invite her to play at our next club!

The Milkshakes – Rhurge Beat
The Sequins – He's a Flirt
The Loves – Honey
The School – Let It Slip
Ria Bartok – Ecoute mon coeur
The Cyrkle – How Can I Leave Her
The Claim – Wait and See
The Popguns – Bye Bye Baby
Black Tambourine – Drown
The Pandoras – It Just Ain't True
The Dovers – The Third Eye
Ariane – Tu voudrai que j'oublie
The Undecided? – You’re Gonna Cry
Paul Sindab – Do Watcha Wanna Do
The Urges – Gonna Find Out
The Pretty Things – Come and See Me
The Delmonas – I Feel Like Giving In
Diane Lewis – Keep a Hold On Me
The Sorrows – Let Me In
Razorcuts – Try
Revolving Paint Dream – Sun, Sea, Sand
What Four – I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy
The Fizzbombs – You Worry Me
Bomb Pops – Decal
The Siddeleys – Something Almost Brilliant Happened Last Night
The Pastels – Crawl Babies
Majestic – Tumbling

Early Longings/New Belongings

Pre-ordering is what it's all about these days! Why wait, when you know you want that record? At the moment you can pre-order Slow Club's new single "You and Me" and soon also the amazing third album from Pants Yell! called Alison Statton, with all probability in honour of certain marble giants. And there's a song on it called "The Royal We"! I know you're all over the Soft Abuse site, just waitng for that pre-order button to appear... I pre-ordered The Cake retrospective on Rev-Ola months ago, but still haven't got it. That only proves you can never be too early. Today I got a cd from Toomas in The Bridal Shop, which made me very happy. In the sudden overflow of must-buys I somehow missed that their ep From Seas is finally available. I've been listening to the few songs I had for a year soon, so it's most welcome. I put up the title-track on my old blog, and it turned out to one of the most popular uploads I did. And now there's even a 3" on Cloudberry that you can get dirt cheap. So listen to "Marine Thing" over there, "Spectrum of Clarity" here, and you'll end up having ordered both before you know it!

Hey! Are You Real?

Or just too good not to be true? And is it just me or does The Railway Children's "Another Town" make you feel really claustrophobic? "Lost summer in the crowd, deep down underground"? There couldn't be a bigger difference between that feeling and the one I get from Any Other City and songs like "New Town". It's more one of bursting through the roof, encircling the houses with trembling wings, climbing to icarusian heights. In short everything that made me love bands like Architecture In Helsinki, The Royal We and Slow Club. It sounds like New York noise and riot grrrl, and it's definitely the coolest vocal delivery I've heard since... can't remember. I just can't believe how long it's taken me to discover Life Without Buildings. They were from Glasgow after all. Earlier this year a live album was released, which I think Alistair mentioned. The live version of "New Town" was the first I heard, and it was impossible not to fall in love! Actually they broke up years ago, and their only album is now seven years old. Here's a song from that.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Safety In Crosswords

It seems I've been complaining about the lack of good gigs in Malmö, but recently there have been quite a few things happening. First of all there was the Language of Flowers gig, which came quite unexectedly. They played in Lund last year, but have pretty much split up and two of them have a new band whose name eludes me at the moment. But the temptation to play in Lund again was too strong. So they came back! And what a show it was, despite what Marc likes to think. Ben said it was their last gig, but that was apparently something they hadn't discussed before going on stage. "Botanic Gardens" for the encore couldn't have been more perfect. Indigo was more crowded and the smiles broader than most of the times I've been there.

Blekingska continued the streak of great bookings with Friday Bridge, whom I had never seen before. Their album Intricacy is great and it was interesting to hear the songs live, although they didn't bring that much new to them.

Then Jonathan Richman turned up at KB! Half an hour late, but that was just lucky as we thought doors would open 8 pm, when it was in fact 7 pm. I was very pleased to get another chance to see him, as I never went a year ago in Glasgow. There's not much to say except that it was one of the best gigs I've seen. I'd seen the live dvd of course, so I had high expectations. But they were definitely met! "Older Girl" - how good a song is that?

Back to Blekingska to see our Indietracks friends Strange Idols. Me and Rebecca were supposed to be playing records, but Rebecca lost her cd case on way there. The horror! Ok, half of it was cdrs, but half were REAL cds, her favourites - stolen! Needless to say that ruined the night. I played on my own, but it wasn't much fun - the playlist is in the comments (last song by The School of course). Strange Idols were good though, and nice people. Laura's performance was a not quite as outrageous as at Indietracks, but it was probably checked by the row of drunk, male students standing up front.

Just the day after Club 8 played. They were a lot of people on stage (not two!) and had a really good female lead guitarist I'd never seen before. They played many new songs, including my favourite from the new album - "Football Kids". They had time for a few old ones too though, the most welcome choice being "Everlasting Love" which Karolina introduced as a 'youth song' for them. She doesn't look as old as she is, trust me. The thing that really struck me during the gig was the intensity of Karolina's presence. As her vocals sound so cool and distanced I was expecting a slightly timid personality. But her singing was really passionate, in a twee sort of way of course. She's quite the Sarah Cracknell.

On Tuesday American dreampop duo Beach House are playing, which I am very much looking forward to. And I'm playing records again on Thursday. At Klubb K3, Vinylbaren, if anyone can be bothered.

This post could just as well have been titled Circumspect Penelope.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Hope You Realise, You Never Are Alone

Is there any point in holding off on the end-of-year lists? I can't see how there is. For me there is no question about the fact that God Save the Clientele is the best one. And even The Clientele's best one. It almost scares me how this picture was taken exactly one year ago. Maybe it's some biological impulse. Or maybe the coming of autumn means having to do certain things for everyone. Certainly listen to Alasdair's voice surrounding us like the falling leaves. If you haven't bought the record yet, there's no better time.