Saturday, 28 March 2015
It feels like spring is finally here- the evenings are lighter, the clocks go forward tonight, the trees have the first signs of blossom, I've got two weeks off work for Easter, the temperature has hit double figures occasionally (I'll ignore the fact that I drove to work through snow on Thursday morning). Springtime brings promise and sunshine and... Balearic records.
The Aloof's first 12" single was this Apocalypse Now! sampling classic Never Get Out Of The Boat. Good advice under the circumstances. You don't need me to describe it for you- just listen to it.
You have probably noticed I've run out of bandwidth for downloads. I could set up a second Boxnet account with a different email address I suppose but haven't got around to it so far. There's more to life than downloads.
Friday, 27 March 2015
Stoney Lane by The Fireflies is strange electric psyche-folk, slowburning, smoky and mysterious, with some real subtlety to the playing and vocals. It sounds like the song the band were playing late at night in a stone wall pub, after a weird night out in the English countryside.
Stoney Lane is coming out soon on Moine Dubh, a new label from Andrew Weatherall. 7" vinyl only, via subscription. He knows how to draw us in.
Thursday, 26 March 2015
In 1988 Sonic Youth put out The Whitey Album, not very well disguised as Ciccone Youth and in tribute to Madonna Louise Ciccone. Most of the attention was on the record's cover versions. These had been put out as a single on New Alliance in 1986 and were expanded out for the album. Coming at a time when Sonic Youth were being praised to the heavens for Daydream Nation this was possibly an effective way of defusing some of the hype- some noise, contributions from Mike Watt, jokey covers plus a hip reference to krautrock with the song Two Cool Rock Chicks Listening To Neu! The cover of the album was a photocopied close up of Madonna's face. Madonna apparently gave her blessing to it, remembering the band from her clubbing and Danceteria days. Ciccone Youth did their Madonna thing on Into The Groove(y) and Burnin' Up. Someone on Youtube has done the decent thing and set the music to clips of Desperately Seeking Susan (the only Madonna film that is actually watchable).
Better still though was their version of Robert Palmer's Addicted To Love. The video and vocal were recorded in a karaoke booth for $25- D.I.Y. punk rock in attitude, style and cost. It was also a very effective way of sending up Palmer's video with Kim Gordon singing the song deadpan and dancing with images from the Vietnam War flashing over the top.
This is the standard setter and last word in ironic cover versions. And still sounds great.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Sometimes we all need a bit of boom-shackalackalack boom-shackalackalack in our lives and Sly Stone is just the man. In this live performance on Soul Train Sly spends a few minutes meeting his adoring fanbase, with Japanese subtitles, and then leads the band through Dance To the Music with a detour into I Want To Take You Higher.
Fact- I first bought a Sly Stone record because they were mentioned in relation to The Stone Roses, in an NME article. Fact- neither band sound remotely like each other.
Here's the studio version, audio only. Life affirming and all that, from 1968 and before the drugs, paranoia and disillusionment with the hippy dream set in.
That drum break's been recycled a few times.
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
The Swede posted Weatherall and Farley's remix of That Petrol Emotion's Abandon yesterday. Apart from the odd remix they'd completely dropped off my radar. Big Decision was a hit (of sorts, number 42) in 1987, and massively popular in indie discos/alternative nights. They sort of prefigured the Madchester/indie-dance sound, big guitar chords and drumbeats that you could dance (or lope around) to. With a nod to rap as well. Annoyingly the video here cuts out just before the end.
Live at teatime on a Friday up in Newcastle for The Tube (Big Decision and Swamp) and sounding really good. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you biographical stuff about The Undertones and all that.
Monday, 23 March 2015
Moon Duo , as mentioned yesterday, have a new album out, handily titled to fit in with the solar eclipse. Two fuzz guitar chords, a motorik drumbeat, drone organ, a wigged out guitar solo, flat and nasal vocals. It's not easy to do something so familiar and still manage to do something so exhilarating with it. This is the song Weatherall played on the radio- seven minutes of your journey to work well spent this morning.
Sunday, 22 March 2015
Weatherall returned to NTS radio last week with a particularly good two hour session. There's some belting drone rock in the first half from the likes of Moon Duo and some kosmiche and reggae chucked in for good measure. Laid back and groovy.