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...