Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Meat And Two Veg

The start of 2007 will be fun filled and action packed for Belle & Sebastian fans. A new album "The Life Pursuit" appears at the start of February, a UK tour around the same time with lots of shows elsewhere to follow, a graphic novel "Put The Book Back On The Shelf" featuring illustrated interpretations of the band's songs, and finally a mix album in the "Late Night Tales" series mixed by Chris Geddes of the band and featuring an eclectic mix of old and new. To promote this he has also put together two 30 minute mixes that feature tracks from the album along with other cool stuff. One of them is here to download today, along with a link to one of the new Belle & Sebastian songs from the album "Another Sunnny Day" posted at Matador's site.

For more details of the album and samples go here

Download - Belle & Sebastian - Another Sunny Day

Belle & Sebastian graphic novel details are here

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Don't Give Up The Fight

Last night we had the pleasure of spending 45 minutes in the company of The Magic Numbers as part of their tour with Feist and Bright Eyes at the wonderful Loews Theatre in Jersey City. Although I loved the band's album when it was released earlier this year, live they were absolutely wonderful. Stunning harmonies, supercharged songs, and four people looking like they were having the time of their lives playing them to an audience that even extracting themselves from their plush seats to give them a standing ovation when they left the stage. Even Conor Oberst was getting down side stage while they were playing, so if he's a fan surely you know you're missing out.
The songs today are from their recent KCRW radio session, two songs from their album, and a great Beyonce cover.

Buy the bands album here

The bands website is here

Friday, November 25, 2005

Melt Your Heart

One of my eagerly awaited albums for 2006 will definitely be "Rabbit Fur Coat" by Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley. It's released at the end of January, but was apparently leaked earlier this week as a few songs have ended up on some blogs already. From what I've heard there's definitely a country vibe going on with the album and I can see some Neko Case comparisons being thrown out there come review time. I can see it getting the attention of non Rilo Kiley fans and some of them really wanting a new band album. Today's downloads are two of the songs on the album but live versions not the studio versions. If you like these, you'll be counting down the days until the albums out.

The official Rilo Kiley website can be found here

and a great fan site is here

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Me And This Army

"Me and This Army" is an excellant album by Panzah Zandahz of Radiohead remixes featuring the likes of MF Doom, Kool Keith and De La Soul and ranks up there with the Kleptones mash ups. Grab it while you can from the link below as it won't be around for long......

- Radiohead meet De La Soul - Itsoweezee (PZ I Will remix)

- Radiohead meet The Jungle Brothers - "How Ya Want It - (PZ Punchup remix)

Go here for all the details.

The whole album can also be purchased here although don't use Safari to go there as you end up with a blank screen?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

(Cardboard) Box Fish

The last of the Volume mags/CDs today and we end with No.13. Included on this CD is a demo version of Radiohead's "Nice Dream" but being contrary I've posted four other songs. A demo version of an Animals That Swim song that ended up on their second album. A song from Juliana Hatfield from when she was riding the Lemonheads slipstream to erm nowhere really. A song from Luscious Jackson less funky than some of their other songs but cool nonetheless and finally the highlight of the day Edwyn Collins and Bernard Butler covering the Orange Juice classic "In A Nutshell"

- Animals That Swim - East Street O'Neill
Buy Cds here

- Juliana Hatfield - Waves
CDs here

- Luscious Jackson - Daddy
Cheap Cds here

- Edwyn Collins & Bernard Butler - In A Nutshell
Edwyn Collins CDs here

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Little Fish

Volume magazine number 11 came out in Autumn 94 and was billed as their Reading festival special. For those not in the know Reading festival held in Berkshire England was for many years a poor mans Glastonbury festival. It consisted of lots of bad heavy metal acts and bikers throwing bottles of piss at each other. At some point new organizers took over and decided alternative music is where its at for attracting a crowd and now it takes place in Leeds as well as Reading with bands playing in both locations over the end of August weekend. The two times I attended the festival was making that difficult transition from hairy bikers to hairy students and the bill reflected this.

The first year I went we took the lightweight option and took a coach for just one day featuring top goths Fields of the Nephilim or "Why won't the Sisters Of Mercy release some new songs!" to give them their full name. Sadly, the coach driver insisted parking away from the festival site and warned us he'd leave without anyone back on the coach at 11.30. So imagine the scene at 11.27 as us and a bunch of drunk goths staggered through a cabbage field in the dark trying to find the coach.

Undeterred we returned the next complete with car (that overheated on the way there, and would start when we tried to leave) and a borrowed "three man" tent that tuned out to be a "three infant" sized tent and when we returned after the first night and turned into a "three infant soggy puddle" that was attracting much laughing from passers by. The music the second year consisted of the likes of The Wonder Stuff and many others I've completely forgotten. Oh The Butthole Surfers and Swans who were both very scary!

Anyway, where was I? The Volume Reading Festival special. Taken from it we have Drugstore, Deus, Kitchens Of Distinction three bands who were great and no longer exist, and The Wedding Present who are still great, and still exist.

- Drugstore - Super Glider
Buy albums here

- Deus - Violins And Happy Endings
Cds here

- Kitchens Of Distinction - Remember Me?
Kitchen wares here

- The Wedding Present - Spangle
Buy here

Monday, November 21, 2005

Big Fish

During the early 90s in the UK someone came up with the great idea of producing Volume, a CD sized magazine that came complete with a CD featuring the bands interviewed inside, often with rare or exclusive songs, and all featuring a cool fish on the front cover. This apparently sold pretty well and the started doing a trancey/dancey version and then a Nu-metal version and then for whatever reason they stopped. I guess traditional music magazine publishers took notice as now every UK music mag has to have a covermounted CD to sell.

Anyway, I picked up some of the Volume CDs last week and its interesting to see what bands still exist and how many you'd completely forgotten about, often for good reason! So for the next few days I'll post a few songs from each CD, starting today with Volume 6. First up is(c) or Lesley Rankine, who apparently was a model who got a reputation for being "difficult", recorded one album that fitted into the trip-hop times of the early 90s and vanished. Ultra Vivid Scene I think were on 4AD at the time, and has maintained a cult following who will snap up limited edition box sets etc ever since, but is one of those bands I will always hear a song by and think that's good but can't digest a whole album. Gallon Drunk again had some great songs, but seemed to come over as a bit of a poor mans birthday Party of Bad Seeds. Big in Camden and not much else sadly. Fluke were Creation records first foray into dance music but swiftly moved on to Virgin who released their best albums, they were kind of the point where trance music and the ambient Orb type stuff met and went on to make some cool songs that fitted perfectly onto video games.

- (C) - He Was
- Buy it here

- Ultra Vivid Scene - Cut Throat (remix)
- Get stuff here

- Gallon Drunk - Keep Moving On
- Albums here

- Fluke - Spacey
- Buy stuff here

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ruined In A Day

If you check the comments on yesterday's post you'll find some more "Love Will Tear Us Apart" cover version suggestions. In a similar vein today here's some New Order covers that don't include the numerous bad versions of "Blue Monday". So here are live versions of "Regret" by The Afghan Whigs and The Get Up Kids, a folky version of "Love Vigilantes" by Poi Dog Pondering and there must be something in the water of Australian indie pop as both Frente! and Even As We Speak covered "Bizarre Love Triangle".

- The Afghan Whigs - Regret (live)
buy the Afghan Whigs here

- Even As We Speak - Bizarre Love Triangle

- Frente! - Bizarre Love Triangle
buy Frente here

- The Get Up Kids - Regret (live)
Buy The Get Up Kids here

- Poi Dog Pondering - Love Vigilantes
get Poi Dog Pondering here

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


This week I picked up a copy of an album called "Sweetheart" which features the likes of Neko Case, Old 97's, M Ward, and many more playing covers of songs that hold special places in their collective hearts. Also on there, and my highlight of the album, are Calexico with their rendition of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" which thankfully doesn't try and copy the original but takes it in a whole new direction.

This inspired me to look through my record collection and discover just how many versions of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" I own. Sadly not the Paul Young version but if anyone has it along with his version of Billy Bragg's "Man With The Iron Mask" please get in touch! So we have the Bossa Nova sound of Nouvelle vague from their great album, two versions by Swans the black and red versions no less, the aforementioned Calexico version and lastly Bis being almost restrained for them with their take on it.

- Calexico - Love Will Tear Us Apart buy it here

- Nouvelle Vague - Love Will Tear Us Apart buy it here

- Swans - Love Will Tear Us Apart (black) buy it here

- Swans - Love Will Tear Us Apart (red)

- Bis - Love Will Tear Us Apart Buy it here

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sore Heads And Happy Hearts

Never has a band's record label been better named than The Groove Farm's Raving Pop Blast. From 1987 to 1990 the band released a whole bunch of EPs and singles full of garage surf pop and amazingly long song titles. My favorite was the "Big Black Plastic Explosion" EP where over the course of the 5 songs everything that made the band great came together perfectly, especially in the two songs you can download today. After the band split, two of the members formed The Beatnik Filmstars, and they released a great compilation of Groove Farm stuff that you can get from the link below.

- The Groove Farm - Nancy Sinatra

- The Groove Farm - Baby Blue Marine

Buy Groove Farm releases here

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Play that egg shaker!

Earlier this week Saint Etienne appeared live in the studio on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radio 2 show and performed three songs; a samba stylee version of their current single 'Good Thing', the previous single from 'Tales From Turnpike House', 'Side Streets' and a current B-side and Womack & Womack cover 'Missing Persons Bureau' Never one to miss a Saint Etienne opportunity, and waiting for their alleged US tour early next year, here's the complete session for your listening pleasure.

- Saint Etienne - Good Thing

- Saint Etienne - Missing Persons Bureau

- Saint Etienne - Side Streets

The album isn't out in the US till next year but this is a good import price here

The band's website is here

Friday, November 04, 2005

Not Just For Christmas

If you put santa dog into google image search you get a whole heap of dejected looking animals resplendent in Christmas garb but wade your way through the canines and eventually you come to a picture of four people looking slightly less perturbed at their situation, that's the Santa Dog, Bristol based and sure to face the question in EVERY interview they do what does the name mean??
They have recently released their second EP 'Chemical' and on it you will find four lovingly crafted songs that other reviews seem to want to mention in the same breath as Brit-pop which I can't quite get but that might be just me. What they do display is a knack for pop songs that draw you in and then the lyrics have a sense of quiet menace like someone coming up close and whispering something sinister to you. The band are thankfully not trying to sound like the current big things and have produced an EP that I know I'd have enjoyed five years, today or in the future.

You can download the title track of this EP at the link below and a song from there first EP to get a good idea of their progression in a short space of time. The EP can be purchased direct from the band in the UK and from CD baby elsewhere (links below) and if you want to get an idea of their live sound there's two more songs on the indie mp3 blog on the 29th September (my birthday and you all forgot!).

Download - Santa Dog - Chemical

Download - Santa Dog - Delicate

Buy the EP from the band's website in the UK here

Get it in the US/Elsewhere here

Download some live songs here

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Nourishment Nation

Of course, being on the cutting edge of blogland I hear about all these great new bands before anyone else. In fact, forget before they've released anything, I'm so damn cool I know about bands before they've even been formed! Yeah right, take Rogue Wave I heard them for the first time......About three weeks ago. I bought the soundtrack to the 'Stubbs the Zombie' video game which features the likes of Ben Kweller and Death Cab For Cutie covering 50's/60's classic songs. On there Rogue Wave do a great version of Buddy Holly's 'Everyday' which was enough to get me to seek out there then only album 'Out Of The Shadow' and immediately see why at the time of its release the band were being touted as the next Shins.

The benefit of my ignorance regarding the band was that after buying one album I only had to wait two weeks for a new one to be released. 'Descended Like Vultures' has apparently been drawing some flack because apparently people wanted another copy of the first album, the main difference I see is that the first release was in essence a solo album by Zach Rogue which drew you in with hushed whispers. This time, the band is truly as band with each member bringing their talents to the album and the production is more fully realized. A nod to commercialism or a move away from willful obscurity you can make up your own mind, but the two things that link the albums are the quality of the songs which doesn't let up. Two fine examples of that rare beast complete albums.

I'm not sure if they're still doing it but Sub pop were sending out an extra CD of demos if you bought the album direct from them, which are great to see how the songs progressed. In fact you can do that below.

- Rogue Wave - Publish My Love (demo)

Download - Rogue Wave - Publish My Love

Download - Rogue Wave - 10.1

and from 'Out Of The Shadow'

Download - Rogue Wave - Every Moment

Buy both albums here

The band's website is here

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Drinking Irn Bru

The first Sarah records single I bought was 'I've Got A Habit' by The Orchids, a band who remained on the label from its very beginning and played their last gig (at that point) at the label's farewell party. The band during their lifetime progressed in terms of their sound and ambition, but right from the start had wonderful songs. A fact best appreciated as every one of their releases have stood the test of time.
Now, following the Field Mice reissues, those bastions of taste at LTM have released the band's three albums on CD, complete with all the singles that never made it to CD the first time round. What's more each CD now includes an insert featuring a history of the band by Alistair Fitchett who writes Tangents, and on his website you can also found an earlier piece on the band. The band have also reformed, recorded some new songs in the last couple of months and I'm sure they'll live up to their past glories.

You can get the CDs direct from LTM in the UK, and in the US I'd recommend Twee Kitten who got them to me in three days along with The Arrogants CD (hint!)

- The Orchids - I've Got A Habit from Lyceum

- The Orchids - Bemused, Confused & Bedraggled from Unholy Soul

- The Orchids - Striving For The Lazy Perfection from the album of the same name.

In the UK/Europe buy the CDs here

In the US buy them here

The tangents page on The Orchids can be found here

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Pavement Covers

As promised here are a bunch of live Pavement cover versions, enjoy!

- Pavement - 1979 (Smashing Pumpkins)

- Pavement - Where Is My Mind/Gigantic (Pixies)

- Pavement - Big Gay Heart (Lemonheads)

- Pavement - The Killing Moon (Echo & The Bunnymen)

- Pavement - What Goes On (Velvet Underground)

Buy all the Pavement your heart desires here

Monday, October 24, 2005


I've got Teenage Fanclub to thank for alerting me to Pavement. I was in Glasgow and we went into a bar where some of the city's bands were meant to hang out and on this particular afternoon two of Teenage Fanclub were sitting in a corner nursing their pints. I would probably never have approached them but the person I was with, lacking any shame, promptly went over and we ended up chatting to them for half an hour or so. In the course of this they recommended Pavement's 'Trigger Cut' EP which had just come out, and the next day I bought it. After that I bought the odd CD, not knowing that on this side of the pond, my one day to be wife was buying everything they ever put out.
Now of course the band are rightly heralded as worthy of having their albums being re-released in lavish packages with extra songs aplenty and I'm sure one day we'll see the inevitable reunion. In a kind of two part Pavement post, today I thought I'd put up one of my favorite songs of theirs, 'Here', in this instance the Peel session version, along with some covers of it, and tomorrow I'll post some covers by Pavement. So here is 'Here' interpreted by Grandaddy (live) which cuts off sadly so if anyone has a full length version let me know, Tindersticks, and mixed up with the mighty '99 Problems' by Jay-Z

- Pavement - Here (Peel session) buy it here

Grandaddy - Here (live)

- Tindersticks - Here buy it here

- Jay-Z vs Pavement - 99 Problems Here

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Tell Laura I love Her

I had plans to put up the Paul Anka version of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' today but then my better judgment got the better of me. For those who don't know Mr. Anka has recorded a whole album of rock covers in his Sinatra-lite style so if you wanna hear It's My Life and The Lovecats rendered so his new albums for you, and no-one else frankly. Anyway, to feel this grunge anthem void I present the Credit To The Nation sampling almost hit, and Pansy Division's Kurt endorsed version.

The answer to the previous quiz was Saint Etienne, the covered the Candlewick Green song, sampled the Dusty Springfield song, St. Etienne backing singer Debsy sings in Birdie, and Shampoo started off their illustrious career with two singles on Icerink a label started by the band. The football shirt picture features a Saint Etienne shirt.

Download - Credit To The Nation - Call It What You Want buy it here

Download - Pansy Division - Smells Like Queer Spirit Buy their albums here

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


So the answer to yesterday's teaser was:
Dave Newton was a member of The Wiild Flowers

He left to form The Mighty Lemon Drops

Pop Will Itself released a cover of 'Like An Angel' and in their song 'Can U Dig It?' mention

'Hit The North' now I'm not sure if they were talking about the song by The Fall but its such a great song who cares.

The picture was a promo shot for the long gone radio show also called Hit The North featuring Mark Radcliff, Frank Sidebottom and of course Marc 'Lard' Riley once of The Fall. See easy!

So today, never one to avoid flogging a dead horse here's four more songs, and a picture; How are they all connected?

Candlewick Green - Who Do You Think You Are?

Dusty Springfield - I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face Buy it here

Birdie - Please Rain Fall buy it here

Shampoo - Trouble buy it here

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Join the dots

So today we have a chance for you to win bragging rights and be the first to let me know how these four songs are connected. Answer tomorrow, and bonus points if you can tie it all in with the picture as well.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

It Was Really Pretty Good

So if you thought yesterday's post was but the gateway to a whole kaboodle of songs by The Arrogants, hold on to your hats as today we can even top that by introducing you if you haven't already met them to Thunderegg. I know you're thinking "huh the state rock of Oregon, since when has this been a geology blog?" (if you want a good time check some of those badboys out). No, Thunderegg, in this case, is a band who have since the distant days of 1993 making music together with various interludes of band members moving around the country. While this was going on Will from the band stayed in New York recording six CDs of four track demos, displaying a perfect mixture of folk, pop, and some of the best heartfelt and humorous lyrics this side of The Lucksmiths. Taking some of these songs the band recorded 'A Very Fine Sample of What's Available at the Mine' which you can purchase directly from the band below. So what have the band done with those other 259 songs recorded as demos? Well some can either be downloaded, yes downloaded from the band's website, purchased on separate CDs, or in the very near future they are going to put onto one MP3 CD 'Open Book' which will also come complete with a very thick booklet of all the lyrics.

If that wasn't enough Will, at the start of the year, began posting at least one new song a week on their website to download. Every Monday you can go there and get your fix of a perfect pop gem to get you through the week. The great thing is, unlike here where we giveth the MP3, and then we cruelly snatch them away from you in a week or so, you can still get all forty plus songs that have been posted so far. So pick a week, download the song and I guarantee you'll then want the whole bunch.

Download - Thunderegg - If A Went On A Diet from 'A Very Fine Sample Of What's Available At The Mine'.buy the album here

Download - Thunderegg - It's Not You, It's Not Me (Pedal Steel version)

Download - Thunderegg - Puffins (version 2)

Download more more more at the band's website here

Friday, October 14, 2005

Cool Shoes

Don't you just hate it when real life and its trials and tribulations get in the way of posting MP3?? Yep me to. Anyway this coming Monday sees the long awaited, by me at least, first full length album by the wonderful Arrogants whats more as well as 23 more fine examples of the great pop songs they've delighted us with in the past 'You've always known best when to say goodbye' comes complete with a free DVD featuring a film made over the last two years as the album was made. If that's not good enough for you it also comes to you for the knockdown price of $8.75 in the US from Twee Kitten at the link below. So put a ring around your calendar for Monday and in the meantime you can check out the songs below including two from the new album and two from their previous two mini albums. What's more the band have made their complete back catalogue available free to download at their website, so dip your toes in the Arrogants paddling pool below, flail around in the shallow end at their website, and then on Monday go the whole hog and depth-charge all the little kids from the highboard on Monday (or something)

Download - The Arrogants - Don't Be So Cynical from 'You've Always Known Best When To Say Goodbye

Download - The Arrogants - Wishing Well also from the new CD

Download - The Arrogants - Why TANG Is My Favorite Band

Download - The Arrogants - Costa Rica

Buy the new album from Twee Kitten here

All of the other Arrrogants downloads can be found at their website here

Friday, October 07, 2005

That Smoooth Jazz Sound

Words cannot describe how much I hate the jazzy stylings of Dame Cleo Laine, the memories of her cropping up on some TV variety show with husband Johnny DANKworth in tow to irritate the hell out of me. So in was with some trepidation I approached the new FREE MP3 EP from Looper as the first song is entitled 'Cleo Laine' but I'm pleased to report the song itself, although apparently about the harpy herself, is a gentle, almost folky, song with a wonderful trumpet part that crops up in the final third. This, and the second song 'Close Your Eyes' both share a quiet quality like someone is whispering in your ear and drawing you closer. The third song is a remix by Bitmap of 'The Strangest Girl' which ups the tempo and volume, and reminds you that Looper are equally at home with beats or songs about bubble haired Dames.

The set of three MP3 EPs that are now available would make up the strongest album Looper have produced so far and in case you were averting your eyes at the mention of the Laine woman earlier they are all free at the link below. Well apart from having to register to receive them, but that is a small price to pay, unless the whole thing is a ploy to get you on Dame Cleo's mailing list?

To download the three Looper EPs go here

An interview we did with Looper from way back when can be found here

Monday, September 26, 2005

Cat Tails

As there appears to be a severe lack of guinea pig songs, today we have three songs devoted to our feline friends. First up Belle And Sebastian's 'A Century Of Elvis' or their 'Century Of Fakers' tune with Stuart David doing a Looper over the top. The story kind of links to his 'Impossible Things' song and was the first time, I think, anyone heard his dulcet tones.

Next is The Old 97's 'Murder (Or A Heart Attack' taken from their "Fight Songs" album, which for me is the point their country punk early releases got a poppier edge and were all the better for it. A suitably scrappy version can be found on their live CD that was released last week.

Lastly a song from the most recent Weakerthans album 'Reconstruction Site' which contained some great upbeat moments alongside their more introspective songs that dominated their first two releases. Hopefully a new album is around the corner.

Buy all three albums here

Belle And Sebastian live here

The Old 97's can be found here

The Weakerthans reside here

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Radio Days

Radio Indie Pop is yes you've guessed it an online radio station playing all the bands you only hear on a handful of stations when you're lucky enough to live in a few select parts of the country. They have a different board theme for each day of the week, so Monday's for instance is 'Acoustic & Introspective Indie Rock' from the likes of Belle And Sebastian, Lambchop, Wilco and Black Box Recorder. The interface on the webpage also tells you what songs are coming up and they also have an album of the month button where you can listen to that whole album. September's is the very wonderful New Pornographers and 'Twin Cinema' and October's will be the new album by Stellastarr*

Check out Radio Indie Pop here

Thursday, September 22, 2005

To Accept The Things I Cannot

Monica Queen is probably best known as the voice that showed Belle And Sebastian fans what female vocals sound like when the person can actually sing on 'Lazy Line Painter Jane' but for those with longer memories she was previously the focal point of Thrum, a band who didn't let the fact they were Scottish get in the way of their love of country rock but suffered the curse of all bands on Fire Records, no sales. Since the B&S hook-up Monica Queen, along with Thrum guitarist Johnny Smillie have recorded two fine albums that taking the good bits of Thrum and added a few electronic twists, and lets face it Ms Queen could be singing her gorcery list and it'd sound awesome. The latest album, 'Return Of The Sacred Heart' was released earlier this year and can be ordered from their label below. You can also listen to a couple more songs on her myspace page along with towards downloads, One from each album.

Buy the new album here

Monica Queen's website is here, and her myspace page lives here

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Floats Like A Mogwai

Two tracks from the recesses of my record collection today. Firstly one of the seminal mix-ups by Double Dee & Steinski who wikipedia describe as the act who " exerted a powerful influence on an entire generation of "samplists" and continues to be cited to this day as a landmark in the history of "sampledelica". Indeed one can trace a line from Double Dee and Steinski through Coldcut's "Say Kids What Time Is It?" (which begat Bomb The Bass' "Beat Dis", which, in turn, begat LA Mix's "Check This Out") to DJ Shadow (who paid his dues on a track entitled "Lesson 4") and The Avalanches"

"The Motorcade Sped On" appeared on a 7" given away with the NME and stood out like a sore thumb amongst the likes of U.2. who were also on there.

Secondly we have a great example of a bootleg mash-up that isn't two tracks stuck together badly but something, I think, stands up on its own as a great piece of music, Mogwai, Cassius Clay, and the talents of McSleazy.

The McSleazy Website resides here

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Birds Make Good Neighbors

The second wonderful album by The Rosebuds is just out, and I'm overjoyed to find that 'Birds Make Good Neighbors' even eclipses the highs of their debut 'Make Out' the blending of 60's pop and the better sounds of indie rock are still there, but the increase of Kelly Crisp's vocal duties are the most welcome addition. A married couple, how they met, fell in love, and started the band is a cool story so I'll just steal it wholesale from the Merge Records website:

"Ivan and Kelly met in Wilmington, NC where they both went to start their lives after high school. Ivan planned to play basketball for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington but before he got to suit up for his freshman season, he broke both arms in a pick-up game, essentially ending his basketball career. He didnĂ‚’t know what to do next but he was too depressed to care about school anymore. Kelly, who was studying English, became one of his closest friends. She would share stories about her own life, talk to him about books she was reading, and they would go to see rock shows together. It was a good friendship and eventually, it was a relationship. Ivan started playing the guitar and writing songs. Kelly started writing her stories down and joined an all-female performance group that wrote and directed their own material. So, by the time of their wedding, they were both so heavily involved with their own creative projects that they were eager to try a project together. When The Rosebuds took the stage on that first evening playing as a two-piece with a drum machine, they were unknowingly defining their future as a married couple."

At the moment if you purchase the album direct from Merge you can also get their previous "The Rosebuds Unwind" EP at a bargain price and there's also mention of Rosebuds tattoos up for grabs so how can you resist?

Buy your Rosebuds releases here

The band's own website can be found here

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Did I Imagine You?

.........Now that might have been it but in early 99 a very limited 7" appeared on Heavenly in the UK announcing in no uncertain terms the return of Dot Allison. "Tomorrow Never Comes" the a-side was a stunning reintroduction, a countrified lament featuring BJ Cole on Pedal Steel some keyboards gently reverberating in the background and Dot's almost whispered vocals drawing you in. Imagine St Etienne discovering alt. country or Beth Orton's best songs on her first album and you're halfway there.

This was followed by some frankly bizarre promotional activity in the UK, two limited CD singles in the shape of "Mo Pop" a timeless slice of soaring choruses and breathy French vocals and then "Message Personal" that has an almost eastern feel courtesy of swathes of guitar from Kevin Shields and a mantra vocal style showing that there weren't going to be any set formulas to her solo career. Then finally a proper single release in "Close Your Eyes" coming over as the James Bond theme that hasn't yet been commissioned and another song that could have come out anytime since the late sixties.

When the album "Afterglow" eventually sneaked out with little fanfare from her label the main thing that struck me was how very personal it all is. Not particularly in terms of soul laid bare lyrics but because despite a host of famous friends being involved including Mani from Primal Scream, Richard Fearless of Death In Vegas and the aforementioned Shields it's very much Dot's album. It doesn't pander to fashion in any way. The presence of a song co-written by Hal David I think pretty much sums up her aim to produce music that is wonderful now but will be equally so in ten years time.

This was followed up by the aimed at the dancefloor 'We Are Science' and a very rare tour only Cd of acoustic tracks that I'd love to hear. The latest news according to the great now official website Chemical Sister is her next album will have an feel. The website is also promising MP3 of demos coming soon, and features Dot's own online journal so check back regularly.

Buy Dot Allison's CDs here

The Dot Allison website lives here

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Morning Dove White

Sometimes a band's failure to become huge can be totally inexplicable, relatively speaking of course. I mean most of the bands written about here are never going to scale the same lofty heights as the Britneys and Coldplays and I'd be shocked if they ever aspired to. Sometimes though a band appears who look set to have if not the world at least the charts at their feet.

One such band were One Dove a Scottish three piece who had everything going for them. They emerged around 1993 on the Boys Own label which at that time was probably the hippest in the UK. Production duties were being handled by Andrew Weatherall who was currently THE person to have sitting behind your mixing desk after the big hand he'd had in reinventing Primal Scream on "Screamadelica" Throw into the mix the band's songs; drawn out excursions into dub, ambient house & guitars topped off with the rich vocals of singer Dot Allison and you had a band creating come down torch songs for the E generation.

So what went wrong? Timing mainly I think, Boys Own fell apart and One Dove found themselves signed to a major label at a time when it seemed major label's only concept of "dance" music was of novelty hits from Belgium. So while a few years later the likes of Portishead and Massive Attack were given time to almost create an audience One Dove's songs were handed over to producers to rework them with raw edges removed, a radio friendly sheen added and a big chunk of their soul sacrificed. Their one and only album "Morning Dove White" when it eventually appeared was a real jumbled affair, the Weatherall originals alongside the new versions, a few other songs placed in the middle an d by then the band was falling apart anyway. The album still sells fairly well mainly on word of mouth recommendations but sadly the highlights only show how flawed the rest of it is.

Buy the album from here

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Unknown Pleasures

If you've not already fell in love with them I'd recommend, to anyone with a love of reading about music that goes beyond the latest record company purchased articles that make up the mjority of the music press, Continuum Books' 33 1/3 series. These pocket-sized books which have been published since 2003, and now number 26 in the series, each focus in on a particular album that is the author concerned desert island disc if you like. Featuring a mixture of obvious (Velvet Underground & Nice, OK Computer) and not so obvious (Abba Gold, Jethro Tull Agualung) the series and the quality of writing are so good you'll enjoy the books about albums you would never consider even listening to (Jethro Tull) and want to dig out your copies of albums you have (the majority of the rest).
The books go from in depth studies of the albums concerned to how it played a huge part in their life (Colin Meloy of The Decemberists take on The Replacements 'Let It Be) to a work of fiction linked to the album (Joe Pernice's take on The Smiths 'Meat Is Murder'). Four new titles have just been released including the book on DJ Shadow's 'Entroducing' that I'm looking forward to, and best of all the book on My Bloody Valentine's 'Loveless' is being continually pushed back on the release schedule just like the album itself was. David Barker the editor of the series even has his own blog devoted to the books which you can find the link to below.

The downloads today feature The Aluminum Group covering 'Caroline, No' from the Brian Wilson tribute album 'Caroline Now' to tie in with the book on 'Pet Sounds' and Colin Meloy covering 'Everyday Is Like Sunday' from his big bucks on ebay tour EP of Morrissey covers.

The 33 1/3 blog can be found here and the books themselves should be tucked in amongst the Beatles/Dylan tomes of your local book emporium.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Todd Stadtman first came to my attention as half of the duo Zikzak who released a CD 'See You There' in 2000, a collection of new romantic pop driven songs, five years before that became fashionable again. Since then he has released two fine Cds under his own name 2002's 'Anxotica' and this years' 'Only I Can Save You'. All these releases combine Stadtman's love of electro-pop with a blend of bookish lyricism placing him firmly in the Edwyn Collins and lloyd Cole camp with a vocals that remind me of Elvis Costello around the time of his 'Imperial Bedroom' album. Todays songs are taken from the two most recent albums, both of which can be purchased both on iTunes and at Stadtman's own website where you'll also find a bunch more downloads.

Buy these albums and find more downloads here

Friday, September 09, 2005

Kill All Hippies

Not many bands can claim to have been as adventurous during their existence as Primal Scream, looking back they started out as part of the C86 shambling scene with 'Velocity Girl' and gave The Stone Roses a sound to borrow on their 'Made Of Stone', paid homage to The Byrds and Love on their debut album 'Sonic Flower Groove', decided they wanted to in fact be The Stooges on 'Primal Scream' teamed up with Andy Weatherall to conjure up 'Loaded' and in 'Screamadelica' produced an album that is one of the best of the last twenty years. Next up another rock beast in 'Give Out But Don't Give Up' but once again they got their shit together and came back with the magnificent 'Kowalski' single and 'Vanishing Point' album and the accompanying dub version in 'Echodek', 'Xtrmntr' followed along with the acquisition of Mani from The Stone Roses and Kevin Shields who may still be in My Bloody Valentine, who knows? Their most recent album was the patchy 'Evil Heat' and since the perfect introduction, along with 'Screamadelica', the compilation 'Dirty Hits' little has been heard from the band who are apparently in the process of producing a new album with Brian Eno or Youth or somebody else. The official sites for the band appear to be either on the fritz or out of date so follow the link below to the best site on the band.

The songs today are a Kevin Shields remix, a Jesus & Mary Chain cover, and a funky b-side featuring as the name suggests Hammonds aplenty have most of the band's albums at bargain prices here

The best Primal Scream website lives here

Thursday, September 08, 2005

From The Aislers Set to Napalm Death

The Perfumed Garden is a blog devoted to radio sessions recorded for the late John Peel's radio show, and what a treasure trove it is. Every post is a complete session of three or four songs, with enough info about the band concerned to whet your appetite and get you seeking out more. Over the course of his show there were so many Peel sessions I remember hearing, and wishing I'd taped, or did and the cassettes have been lost over time. Now its great to get as chance to hear some of them again. So far the likes of The Wedding Present, Jesus & Mary Chain, Pink Floyd, and The Field Mice have been featured and I can't wait to hear more. The sessions are downloadable as complete zip files but here's a couple of individual songs.

All the sessions can be found at The Perfumed Garden here

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Free CDs for Hurricane Relief

For a limited time, anybody who donates any amount of money to the Hurricane Katrina Red Cross appeal can email me and we will send you copies of the two CDs we released. If you haven't yet donated you can go to here and there is a link on the front page. I belive iTunes and paypal are offering similar services.

The two CDs are a compilation 'A Boy, A Girl & A Rendez-Vous' featuring the likes of The Aisers Set, Lucksmiths, Aberdeen, Windmills, Lovejoy, Sugargliders, and a whole bunch of others. The second CD is a full length by Callow that is something fans of The Pernice Brothers/American Music Club might enjoy.

Email me your address at and we'll get the CDs off to you. For today here are a couple of tracks from the CDs to encourage you to donate something no matter how small.

Download - The Arrogants - Nothing Good Will Ever Come Us This

Download - Callow - Lessons In Shuteye

Monday, September 05, 2005

Desire Me Or Die

I just noticed that Erik Voeks star of the one 7" we put out that should have sold a whole bunch (it came with a free balloon for pete's sake!) now has his own myspace page and on it you find three more of his very wonderful songs including a cover of The Sugarcubes 'Birthday' no less. Pop over there now and think good thoughts for Max (pictured here) who is a sick pig at the moment.

Go to Erik's mypace page here

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mary Jane Is Strange

Frank Bednash and Donna Esposito the duo who made up Cowboy & Spingirl have been recording music for Parasol Records almost since the label was formed, changing their name to Toothpaste 2000, and now Mas Rapido! they have made nine albums and a batch of singles. Today though, we're going back to 1991/2 when the band released their first two 7"s which immediately displayed their talent for making great pop music that takes its cue from the past but does so without becoming overtly retro. The songs sound like they were recorded as cheaply as possible but with the melodies are strong enough to make that immaterial. The band released one full length CD 'Earcandy' and a collection of their other recordings 'Odds & Bobs' which includes a great version of 'Nowhereland' with Donna singing. Both Cds, along with their other albums and song samples, can be found at the Parasol records site and you can even get the two 7" today's downloads are from for the bargain price of 50c each!!

Buy Cowboy & Spingirl/Toothpaste 2000/Mas Rapido! at Parasol here

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Every Other Thursday

I thought today I'd back up yesterday's rash statement that the tape that came with Red Roses 6 which featured Australia's The Jordans was worth purchasing by posting some of the songs contained on it in their slightly ropey tape to MP3 glory. How this tape happened I'll steal from the Red Roses For Me webpage about them:

"It feels like the paths of Red Roses For Me and The Jordans are strangely intertwined. Back in 1991 while compiling a cassette to accompany Red Roses 5, I approached The Sugargliders about contributing. When they sent me back a master tape of their song they included a song ("Concerning You") by their friend, producer and occasional musical contributor Adam Dennis, under the guise of The Jordans. I immediately contacted Adam about also including his song, and although he was somewhat surprised as Josh and Joel had sent it in without his knowledge, he readily agreed.
For Red Roses 6, we decided that instead of a compilation tape a mini-album by one band would be the perfect indication of the big new direction we foolishly thought we were heading in, and a Jordans cassette felt like the perfect selection. When it arrived I knew it had been an inspired choice, the six songs on the tape brimmed over with catchy choruses, heartfelt lyrics and production values that stood them apart from the endless dull Sarah records clones that abounded at the time The fanzine proved to be the best-selling Red Roses and I'd say the cassette had a huge part to play in that."

Following the release of the tape Adam Dennis joined up with Josh and Joel in The Steinbecks who made an album and a couple of singles with that line-up. The Jordans have since released two full length CDs, 'Katydid' in 1997, and 'The Hallelujah Mine' in 2001. Sadly, the band appears to have stopped functioning since then, or at least updating their website. There are some more recent MP3 of songs from the two albums at the website however along with a chance to buy their releases.

Download - The Jordans - Every Other Thursday

Download - The Jordans - I'm Mystified

Download - The Jordans - Elect Me

The Jordans webpage with more MP3 and CDs to buy can be found here

The Red Roses For Me Jordans page lives here

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Well The Tape's Worth Buying

Someone is selling the second best edition of Red Roses For Me on ebay at the moment along with the very good Jordans tape that came with it. You still have a couple of hours if you'd like to own a copy (sadly it's not me selling it!)

You can find it here

Make A Deal With The City

As I may have mentioned before the bands I liked the most who released music on Sarah Records were those who stood out from the majority of other bands on the label. The likes of Even As We Speak, Sugargliders, and, most conspicuously East River Pipe which was one guy, F.M. Cornog, recording his music at home on a small portastudio. Through a series of singles on his own Hell Gate label, which were later re-released by Sarah in the UK, Cornog produced what felt like a collection of short stories of New York/New Jersey life that were sad, reflecting, and slightly dark and grimy. No twee hearts and flowers here, made by fresh-faced college kids, these songs felt like they were made by someone who had actually battled some demons.

After these initial singles East River Pipe produced several fine albums the last being 2001's 'Garbageheads On Endless Stun'. You can also fortunately get all the early releases on a compilation CD 'Shining Hours In A Can' both from Merge Records and iTunes. The two songs today are both found on that album.

UPDATE Just heard from Merge records that a new East River Pipe album 'What Are You On?' will be released in January

Buy East River Pipe releases here

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Nova Scotia

Ultramarine came to most peoples attention with the release of their second, and what is widely regarded as their best, album "Every Man And Woman Is A Star". The album coincided with the interest in ambient house or chill out music, and would often be found alongside the Orb's "Ultraworld" album in the discerning hipsters CD collection. Comparing the two albums I would say Ultramarine's definitely stands the test of time better with a pastoral feel which runs throughout the band's releases. Whereas the Orb were heading for the stars Ultramarine's album featured a cornfield and a huge cloud filled sky. Perfect summer driving music, and having a longtime being deleted the album was reissued in the UK by LTM and in the US by Darla. LTM also released "Companion" featuring various remixes and tracks from singles that appeared around the time of the album and is definitely worth purchasing as well.

Purchase the album in the UK/Europe here

Purchase the album in the US here

Monday, August 29, 2005

Keeping The Curtains Closed

In the late 80's in the UK if you really fortunate at three in the morning one of the then four television networks would host a show devoted to indie/alternative music. One such show, the of which escapes me but lets called it "Loaded", would feature every week a fanzine review, and then play a video by one of thew bands featured in that fanzine. So I duely sent in a copy of Red Roses For Me, and shock horror a couple of weeks later some guy sitting on a park bench was talking about it, telling the world it was pretty much a bog standard indiepop fanzine, featuring a couple of sarah bands and "look it comes apart" as several pages blew away in the wind! "Bastard!" I thought as they went into a Wedding Present video, "Who is this git?" I wanted to know. It turned out the host was one Pat Fish, head honcho of The Jazz Butcher and yes in hindsight he was right about that particular Red Roses.

So at the time I pretty much decided I would hate with a passion anything this Fish character released, or I'd least ignore it. This I did until I heard the band's cover of "Spooky" which was pretty damn cool and at some point I found the two Creation albums released either side of that single; 1988's "Fishcotheque" and 89's "Big Planet, Scary Planet". Both of these albums fitted into the Creation sound of the day with members of The Weather Prophets helping out on the former and fans of that band, The Caretaker Race, and Lloyd Cole & The Commotions would find much to love here. The band were apparently more popular in Europe and even the US then they ever were in the UK and Fish (Pat, not that guy from Marillion) continues to record as The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy to this day. The two songs today are examples of the pop goodness of "Fishcotheque" and if you go to the band's website below you'll find lots of MP3 and links to purchase the CDs that are currently available, sadly "Fishcotheque" not being one of them.

The Jazz Butcher website with places to buy their music can be found right here

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Goodnight NME

So we've reached the last day of delving back into the NME's Ruby Trax compilation album, and to end it all we have three songs that couldn't sound more different. Back to the more obscure on monday.

Marc Almond - Like A Prayer The Detroit-born Queen of pop gets covered here. The superb and highly controversial 1989 number one receives a stylish reworking-with a New Orleans style brass section to boot-by Marc Almond who gives it faith, passion and great crooning bits as befits a singer who has given us breathtaking interpretations of songs by everyone from Jacques Brel to Gene Pitney

Aztec Camera with Andy Fairweather-Low - Half As Nice Here we see history repeating itself. Andy Fairweather-Low, as well as being a successful solo artist, was the lead singer of Amen Corner, who took "Half As Nice" to number one the first time round in 1969. Now he joins up with Aztec Camera's Roddy Frame for a soulful retake on the original. Incidentally, Aztec Camera are also noted for their incredable Lou Reed-style version of Van Halen's classic "Jump".

Billy Bragg - When Will I See You Again? In 1974, the Three Degrees took this to the top spot and Barking's king of the red check shirt recreates the sultry atmosphere of the discotheque in this funky new version. The Three Degrees were Prince Charles' favourite act; it is beleived that Bill-is not

Saturday, August 27, 2005

NME Of The State

Inspiral Carpets - Tainted Love 1981 and electro pop rules the world. Soft Cell take Gloria Jones's top soul song to number one; 11 years later and Marc Almond is lending grandeur to Madonna's "Like A Prayer"; meanwhile "Tainted Love" passes into the hands of Manchester's Inspiral Carpets where the tasteful organ work of Clint Boon and the impassioned voice of Tom Hingley take it to new universes.

Teenage Fanclub - Mr Tambourine Man From 1965, this Bob Dylan song stands as The Byrds' only number one. Now it returns in classic tribute form, gently massaged by the loving hands of Scotland's Teenage Fanclub. Other great moments in the Fannies' repertoire include their delightful lurch through T-Rex's "Life's A Gas" and their self-penned "Kylies Got A Crush On Us".

Blur - Maggie May Rod Stewert's first number one (from 1971) is hammered into the 90s by Colchester's sex gods Blur. Trivia fans may recall that, when Rod and his mates The Faces performed "Maggie May" on Top Of The Pops, the tasteful mandolin solo was performed by DJ John Peel

Friday, August 26, 2005

The NME At The Gates

The House Of Love - Rock Your Baby Written by Howie Casey of KC And The Sunshine band, "Rock Your Baby" was a number one for George McCrae in 1974 and is reckoned to be the first disco record of all time. Here Guy Chadwick and his plangent beat group The House Of Love depart from their usual thrumming alternative rock sound to bring that disco sound screaming into the 1990s.

The Fatima Mansions - (Everything I Do) I Do It For You Number one for 16 weeks in 1991, this song will always give Canada's Bryan Adams a place in the nation's heart. It is also clearly indelibly etched in the heart of The Fatima Mansions' Cathal Coughlan, who turns it inside out and writes all over its entrails in this hypnotic total remake. Cathal too is no stranger to cover versions, having entranced the rock world in the 1980s when in Microdisney with a moving rendition of the theme from Sons and Daughters

Curve - I Feel Love Donna Summer's classic number one from 1977 is still the ultimate Eurodisco record, a maelstrom of electronics and sex. Curve-normally noted for their hypnotic spook rock-take a rare trip to the dancefloor and give a blasting tribute to the genuis of "I Feel Love"'s influentual writer and producer Giorgio Moroder.

The Spastics Society in the UK who benefited from the release of this album in 1992, renamed themselves Scope and you can get information about them, and make a donation here

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Keep Your NME's Closer

The Blue Aeroplanes - Bad Moon Rising Gerard Langley is the rock poet who leads Bristol's Blue Aeroplanes, a band who at one time had 12 members, all of whom insisted on playing guitar. Here more than a few of the Aeroplanes assemble themselves to thoroughly trounce Creedence Clearwater Revival's 1969 Number one hit in an energetic and heartfelt fashion

Tori Amos - Ring My Bell 1979 and Anita Ward's innuendo-ridden disco hit tops the charts with its rude implications and brilliant "pyooweee!" drum noise. 1992 and Tori Amos-the US chanteuse already noted for her moving piano-only version of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"-brings a distinctly rock sensibility to Anita's hit. Versatile stuff pop music eh?

Ride - The Model A 1981 hit for Kraftwerk, this 1977 song is here rendered faithfully by Oxford's Ride who elected to drop their standard glittering guitar stylings and go keyboard crazy. Prehaps Ride will go the whole hog and, like Kraftwerk, release "The Model" in German. We can only wait with baited breath.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The NME Within

A real mixed bag today:

Sinead O'Connor - Secret Love Once a number one for the great Doris Day in 1954. "Secret Love" goes uptempo and brassy in this new version by Sinead O'Connor, herself something of a fan of the classic torch song, wther it be "Someday My Prince Will Come" from Sleeping Beauty or indeed your actual Prince song "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Ned's Atomic Dustbin - I've Never Been To Me Charlene - where is she now? "I've Never Been To Me" was her only hit, a 1979 number one whose thoughtful sentiments and moody melody have by and large been ignored by Ned's Atomic Dustbin, who bring to the song a dance sensibility it had previously lacked. The Neds-normally a scrunching Midlands alternative rock act with two bass guitars-are the only band here named after an episode of The Goon Show. I expected to hate this track but it is one of my favorites on the album, how could I have doubted the mighty Neds??

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Little Red Rooster In their early days The Rolling Stones did so many songs wriiten by other people that their manager Andrew Loog Oldham became confused and announced that the band's version of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" was the best song the Stones ever wrote"! "Little Red Rooster was the band's first number one in 1964 a sexually unambiguous take on the Howling Wolf original. Here it is given a new feedback menace by East Kilbride's Jesus And Mary Chain, themselves previously best known covers wise for their bizarre version of Smokey Robinson's "My Girl".

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


So I thought I'd also copy the sleevenotes for each of these songs, which as I mentioned are all from the "Ruby Trax" album produced by the NME in 1992 to celebrate the magaizne's 40th anniversary. Profits went to the Spastics Society in the UK, and the album featured favourite NME artists at the time covering number one singles from the previous 40 years. So today we have:

Suede - Brass In Pocket 1979 and The Pretenders have their first number one with the great "Brass In Pocket". Singer Chrissie Hynde is curiously unenthusiastic. "Listen to that woman's voice," she tells NME. "I hate it." Time has, however, proved her wrong. "Brass In Pocket" is a top rock classic, as evidenced by this new version from upcoming emperors of rock Suede-whose Brett Anderson is prehaps fonder of his own voice than Chrisssie was of hers.

Saint Etienne - Stranger In Paradise The only group here named after a minor French football team, Saint Etienne are versatile types, having previously given us a glowing dance remake of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". Now they turn the shimmering dub pop gleam that enhanced Saint Etienne greats like "Join Our Club" and "Nothing Can Stop Us Now" to "Stranger In Paradise", thus joining the company of Tony Bennett's 1955 number one (and versions by Bing Crosby, Eddie Calvert, The Four Aces, and for all we know Dumpy's Rusty Nuts). Is that a reference to Mudhoney right at the end of the song?

Cud - Down Down Status Quo's archetypal boogie was their first number one in 1975 and its version here by Cud, kings of lion pop (who remembers this NME created scene?) is the most original since Dexy's Midnight Runners turned "Marguerita Time" into a waltz. Cud singer Carl brings the hip-swinging spirit of Tom Jones to a track best known for virtually inventing the concept of head-banging.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Hulk Is Hulk

Cover versions by NME faves will start tomorrow when I've had a chance to count the ballots on Billy Bragg yes or no. In the meantime feel free to let me know what songs you'd like to hear. In the meantime today we'll delve into the world of New Zealand's premier pop duo The Brunettes. They have recently been touring the US supporting the likes of The Shins and Rilo Kiley, and their blend of 60's girl groups, Jonathan Richman, and wry observational lyrics must have gone over well if the recorded versions are anything to go by. The duo have been together since 1998 and have released three EPs and two albums and although their pop sensibilities have always been there, the more recent releases, the album "Mars Loves Venus" and the EP "When Ice Met Cream" from this year show their sound really developing.

Although their label Lil Chief is based in New Zealand they sell/ship the newer releases from within the US. Today's songs are a song each from their last three CDs

Visit the bands website here

Buy their music here

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Yes, We Do Take Requests

I picked up the vinyl box of the NME's Rubytrax compilation yesterday which features a whole bunch of top bands in 1992 covering their favorite number one singles. So what I thought I'd do is give you a list of what's on the albums and you can email me if you have something you'd love to hear. Email me at or post a comment, and over the next week I'll post the most requested songs here.

The choices are:

The Wonder Stuff - Coz I Love You, Billy Bragg - When Will I See You Again? Jesus And Mary Chain - Little Red Rooster, The Mission - Atomic, Fatima Mansions - (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, Saint Etienne - Stranger In Paradise, Wedding Present - Cumberland Gap, Aztec Camera - (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice, Dannii Mingoue - Show You The Way To Go, Welfare Heroine - Where Do You Go To My Lovely, Blue Aeroplanes - Bad Moon Rising, Senseless Things - Apache, Teenage Fanclub - Mr Tambourine Man

Carter USM - Another Brick In The Wall, Blur - Maggie May, Tears For Fears - Ashes To Ashes, House Of Love - Rock Your Baby, Frank & Walters - I'm A Believer, EMF - Shuddup Your Face, Suede - Brass In Pocket, Tori Amos - Ring My Bell, Kingmaker - Lady Madonna, Marc Almond - Like A Prayer, The Farm - Don't You Want Me, Ned's Atomic Dustbin - I've Never Been To Me, Boy George - My Sweet Lord

Jesus Jones - Voodoo Chile, Bob Geldolf - Sunny Afternoon, Johnny Marr - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Cud - Down Down, The Fall - Legend Of Xanadu, Siinead O'Connor - Secret Love, World Party - World Without Love, Inspiral Carpets - Tainted Love, Elektric Music - Baby Come Back, Ride - The Model, Vic Reeves - Vienna, Tin Machine - Go Now, Curve - I Feel Love, Manic Street Preachers - Suicide Is Painless.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Bolivian Adventure

So today we return to Treeball who I mentioned earlier in the week in relation to their contribution to the Endearing Record IPX EP series. After purchasing their two albums, 2002's "The Strawberry Blonde School Of Class" which you can get from iTunes in the US and 2004's "National Treasure" which arrived from Finnland in 4 days!! I can report back and say the IPX EP is but the tip of a vast iceburg of pop goodness. The best thing about their music is that they fully exploit the fact they have two fine vocalists in Nick Triani and Astrid (last name?) and use that relative endangered species in modern pop, the duet, to great efffect. The most relevant recent comparison I can think of is the best moments of the Britta Philips/Dean Wareham album who also mix in shades of The Velvet Underground and The Go-Beetweens. Both of today's songs are from their more recent album, and if you visit their website there are more downloads inlcuding the video to the song "Monkeys"

The band's website resides here

Buy their music from Stupido Shop here

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Stoppit and Tidyup

The rather excellant Gorilla vs Bear blog (found here) featured The Happy Bullets this week, and after hearing the three songs downloadable there, I immediately ordered their most recent album "The Vice And Virtue Ministry" and looked around for some more songs by the band. This new album is their first real band effort, as the earlier album "Blue Skies And Umbrellas" was recorded at home by two of the bandmembers. The new one, from what I've heard, is something fans of The Decemberists and The Shins would love, and also has touches of classsic Kinks and XTC floating around in there as well. Frequent live shows in their homestate of Texas seem to be occuring, and I hope they'll be venturing further afield soon. The songs here today are the title track of the new album, another song from there and "Kerosene Heart" from the first CD. If anyone knows where I can get a copy of this release please let me know.

The band's website can be found here and their home is here

Buy the band's album here

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Lemon Peeler

The Gigolo Aunts are one of those bands that produced a consistantly high standard of album but I never really paid much attention to as the likes of Teenage Fanclub and Fountains Of Wayne always topped my Byrds/Big Star/Power pop chart. In fact the biggest interaction I had with the band were letting them know where Portsmouth's only health food store was when they popped into HMV when they supported The Wonder Stuff in the city. Like many bands though, they had that ONE song, the one they would always be known for and that would end up on lots of movie soundtracks or TV themes. In their case it was "Where I Find My Heaven".

I think the band are no more as vocalist Dave Gibbs recently released an album under the name Kid Lightning, moving in a more Americana direction i noticed with fear that he's been hanging out with Counting Crows, his website also features a Phil Collins cover MP3 if you're interested. Consider yourself warned! He also features on yet another one of the IPX EPs mentioned below which is where this song comes from.

The old Gigolo Aunts website is here

and The Kid Lighning website is here