Sunday, June 26, 2022

Lindy Morrison


Lawrence of Felt


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 36 The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 601 Duran Duran


Song(s) of the Day # 3,070 The Burning Hell


From the off, immediately a band that doesn't sound like one called The Burning Hell, playing a record called Garbage Island. Declaring itself early as a band in the line of Lou Reed at his friendliest and most indie rather than one in thrall to Tony Iommi's school of thinking as you might anticipate.

The record soon declares itself as one of those cutesy, back to t-shirts and shorts kiddies parties way, way back we're well accustomed to. Male and female harmonies, rinky dink keyboards and the kind of obsessional nostalgia fests for early teenage scrapes that we've become familiar with on Jeffrey Lewis, Wave Picture and Daniel Johnson.

Juvenilia essentially but a whole vein of the Indie Canon has been tied up with this strain of thinking since the early days of Jonathan Richman, Jad Fair and Dean Wareham. The Burning Hell make you feel like you're watching Juno or one of your favourite Wes Anderson movies just one more time while organising all the B-52's and Postcard records you bought in your youth one more time, and that could never be a bad thing. File under Quirky.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Jarvis Cocker


Regina Spektor - Hope, Before & After


The opening track on Regina Spektor's new album Home, before & after, sum up her and her appeal and charms, better possibly than any track she's ever put out.

Becoming All Alone, comes with a disclaimer. It is cute. Extremely cute. It finds Spektor having a conversation with God walking home one New York morning. He invites her for a beer and they discuss what this life thing is all about and why things can seem so ridiculously unfair. That's what you get. This is Regina Spektor.

Well Spektor is cute but also fiendishly ambitious. It'is something that you have to accept and embrace about her. This is as much West End Musical as it is Pop or Rock record. She was always a talent apart. 

I don't have problems with any of this. Since I discovered her a few years back, she's become one of my favourite living artists. But she's probably not for everyone. You have to have a sense of wonder and a special place in your heart for childhood to really have your head fully turned by her.

Emerging with the wave of wonderful talent that exploded so unexpectedly with The Strokes at the turn of the millenium she has ripened and matured since, an astonishing, classically trained talent sat at her piano at the side of stage, one part Carole King, one part Disney or Pixar heroine.

Home, before & after rather overplays the cute card. I don't like it quite as much as 2016's Remember Us To Life, the astonishing record that really made me truly fall in love with her.

She's a little too much ingenue here. She flutters her eyelids one too many times. Nevertheelss it also contains some of her very best songs. It's still a good record, Spektor is such a good artist that I'd say she's incapable of making a totally bad LP. But I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with some of this.. 

Despite a few quite spectacular tracks here, there's just a bit too much saccharine elsewhere  for my taste. I'll play it some more and am hopening it will win me over. But I'll probaly return to Remember Us To Life as my go to Spektor.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 602 Jamie XX - In Color


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 35 Davy Graham & Shirley Graham - Folk Routes,New Routes


Song(s) of the Day # 3,069 Martin Courtney


Martin Courtney, also of Real Estate, releases his second solo album, which should appeal to anyone who has ever enjoyed the sound of guitars that jangle.

This is hardly earth shattering news for anyone who has ever listened to a record that Courtney has been involved with before. This is what he's like. This is what he does.

This is a sound that most obviously goes back to The early Byrds and the bands they immediately inspired. Then, in Courtney's case, to the Eighties and Nineties, Felt, Ride, The Clientele, bleached out Belle & Sebastian.

This is slightly characterless. Courtney's records often are. The vocals and actual lyrics are somewhere back in the mix, not the main priority, which is the shimmering haze of the guitar sound.

I sometimes find this slightly frustrating about Courtney, Real Estate, Beach Fossils and the whole raft of American guitar bands that showed up around ten years ago and defined a new / old sound.

This record says precious little but sounds nice if this is your thing. It's partially my thing but as with most of Courtney's records, I'm not entirely sure. I wish he'd say a bit more.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Sweet Dreams - The Story of the New Romantics # 25 Frankie Goes to Hollywood


Frankie says.

The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 34 The Holy Modal Rounders - The Holy Modal Rounders


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 603 Nico - Chelsea Girl


Song(s) of the Day # 3,068 My Raining Stars


An album for anyone who's ever enjoyed a late New Order single, My Raining Stars latest 89 Memories, might just as easily be called Memories of '89.

It's a walk down Indie Memory Lane. To the moment when the likes of NO, The Lightning Seeds and Oasis begab to corall all of the slightly wistless meanderings of The Railway Childre, House of Love and Sarah Records and turned them into a chart prospect.

Labelled Throwback Indie by the ever perceptive A Pessimist is Never Disappointed site, that's exact;y what this is. It's pieced entirely together from other records. Not essential on any level really but a likeable record for anyone who likes this stuff.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Sweet Dreams - The Story of the New Romantics # 22 George Michael


The new Royalty are established; Spandau, Duran and the Georges. Boy and Michael.

The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 33 Koerner, Ray & Glover - Blues, Rags & Hollers


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 604 Keane - Hopes & Fears


Song(s) of the Day # 3,067 Laundromat Chicks


'Jangling miserabilism' . Not my words, but those of the Jangle Pop Hub site to describe the music of young Austrian band Laundromat Chicks and their seven track EP Trouble. Frankly you couldn't hit a nail more squarely on the head.

Listening to it, it sounds almost as of Ian Curtis jas decoded he would rather be on Postcard Records, than Factory Records back in 1980. Who knows, it might have saved him.

So the songs here sound not unlike early Josek K, Go Betweens or Orange Juice demos soaked overnight in glumness. I though the mood began to pall a little three or four songs in when I began to think the lead singer needed a jplly good shake. Particularly if you skip ahead and see that the next track coming up is entitled My Head Fell off. Nevertheless this is certainly worth a listen.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Sweet Dreams - The Story of the New Romantics # 19 The Style Council


Paul Weller makes his own sea change.

The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 30 Charles Mingus - The Black Saint & the Sinner Lady


Jon Savage's 1977-1979 ~ Symbols Clashing Everywhere # 46 The Slits


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 607 Gorillaz - Gorillaz


Song(s) of the Day # 3,064 Wild Arrows


Any album that begins with musing on Les Chantes de Maldoror the fabled prose poem by The Compte De Lautreamont must have something for me. I love that pretentious nonsense. 

New York's Wild Arrows Loving The Void, is not a particularly easy album to listen to. It's one of those claustrophobic, arty Post Punk albums that was in vogue in the early Eighties.

To be admired for its ambition but I won't go back to it. I was struggling for air by the fourth track. Fans of This Heat, Pop Group and 23 Skidoo might find more succour here than I did.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Green / Blue - Paper Thin


Minneapolis band Green / Blue have clearly got a decent work ethic. Only months after I reviewed their LP Offering with gushing, wholesome praise, they're back with another, their third album in all Paper Thin.

It's not as good as Offering. Very few alternative guitar records will be for me. this year There's still plenty to enjoy here mind.

Green / Blue capture and bottle much of the sound and spirit that made the American leftfield charge of R.E.M, The Replacements, Guadalcanal Diary and the Paisley Underground bands so thrilling. This time round there's also a healthy dollop of the British Gothic dread of the same period. The Cure, Joy Division and The House of Love come to mind particularly.

Paper Thin  like Offering is very, very 1984. I'm not complaining. I hope they're making inroads. Because although their sound is very, very much of those times, they do it all very well.

Songs About People # 1,349 Mary Millington


Classic early Indie song for English model and pornographic actress Mary Millington.

Sweet Dreams - The Story of the New Romantics # 17 Wham!


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 28 Bill Evans - Sunday at the Village Vanguard


Jon Savage's 1977-1979 ~ Symbols Clashing Everywhere # 44 The Monochrome Set


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 609 The Mothers of Invention - We're Only On It For The Money


Song(s) of the Day # 3,062 Mt. Joy


American Indie band that frankly sound like an English Indies band. Mt. Joy, based in Los Angeles but originally from Philadelphia, return with third album Orange Blood.

Incredibly heneric. This is a likeable record without ever threatening to be one you would press on anyone as one that you would press on anyone that they need to hear.

Something of a mix between The Shins and The Libertines. Or else something a lot less exciting like Snow Patrol. I enjoyed my listen through to it but there are certainly more essential things around.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Things Found on My Local's Jukebox # 506 Roxy Music


Been lsitening to a lot of Roxy recently. What a phenomenon they were. First two albums especially. The ones with Eno on them. But also plenty more to marvel at all the way to Avalon.

Sweet Dreams - The Story of the New Romantics # 15 Soft Cell


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 26 Oliver Nelson - Blues & The Abstract Truth


Jon Savage's 1977-1979 ~ Symbols Clashing Everywhere # 42 A Certain Ratio


Song(s) of the Day # 3,060 Son Parapluie


Isobel Campbell, once of Belle & Sebastian teams up with a group of musicians to compose and extended love letter to Paris as it once was. The record sounds pretty much exactly as you would expect it to.

Nothing wrong with that for a moment. Sung in French as it should be, anyone who has ever read Sartre, Camus or Cocteau or fallen in love with Audrey Hepburn, Serge, Jacques Dutronc, Francoise Hardy or Ratatouille for that matter should find plenty to enjoy with it.

The record does cast its net beyond the standard B&S strumming as it spins on. A set of remixes around central themes with production contributions from the likes of Martin Carr and Jah Wobble, it all coalesces wonderfully. Paris n'existe pas is a truly lovely album, one to truly lose yourself in and really believe that you're off on a bank holiday Air B & B break on the Left Bank.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 611 Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Songs About People # 1,348 Andre Breton


                              Heavy hitting Surrealist gets cute and highly addictive tribute. 

Unknown Pleasures


The first use of the image of the cover art for Unknown Pleasures originally published by Harold Craft for his 1970 PhD.