Friday, December 18, 2009

Tender Engines - Girl From The Hinterland

Another band off Summershine, the premier Australian indiepop label of the early 1990s. As I've noted previously, that label wasn't really up to the standards of its contemporaries in Britain and the US, and Tender Engines were no exception, at least on the evidence of the With Regret EP which this is from. Still, pleasant enough.

This will be the last post for a while as I'm off on Christmas holliers. I can't believe when I come back I'll have to create a new "decade" tag!

Nollaig shona...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Olivia Tremor Control - Courtyard

The Olivia Tremor Control were part of the Elephant 6 collective - I'm not sure what exactly was "collective" about it, but that's how Elephant 6 is always described - a group of American bands who played pleasant, mildly psychedelic pop music in the early to mid 1990s. Generally, I found them palatable in small doses only; they were a bit too wheezy for my liking and they all seemed to sort of write the same song over and over again. But for an EP's length or so, they were worth a listen.

This is from an album whose title is far too long for me to ever remember (or be arsed to type) but had "Dusk at Cubist Castle" in it somewhere.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Distractors - Burning Flags

Here's another local band that I've had the pleasure to see a couple times over the past few years. The Distractors are kind of just your basic indie rock'n'roll band; they aren't breaking any new ground and are unlikely to ever qualify as one of my favourites. But they're always fun to listen to, and a great live act.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Descendants - Suburban Home

Here's a fun little piece of 1980s California surf-punk. It's not a genre I'm hugely fond of, but most of these bands had enough hooks for at least one or two decent tracks. This one still gets stuck in my head from time to time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Pixies - Levitate Me

The Pixies were, to my mind, easily the best of the "big" American indie rock bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s... I was never much of a fan of Sonic Youth or anything that came out of Seattle.

I didn't go see them on their reunion tour because I just didn't have the urge - plus, it takes something really special (like, say, the Specials) to get me to a venue the size of the Olympia these days - but I'm glad my younger friends who weren't around to see them the first time got the opportunity. By all accounts they were excellent.

Here's a live clip of a track from Come On Pilgrim, their debut release. How on earth could this be over 20 years ago?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pocketbooks - Footsteps

As you're compiling your "best singles of 2009" list don't forget this utter pop gem from London's Pocketbooks. This is such a fantastic tune, I'd make it numbers 1-5 if I could. Except I never make lists, so I'm relying on the rest of you!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rubella Ballet - Slant and Slide

Always had an odd fondness for this band. Their origins lie in the anarcho-punk scene (there are musical and family ties to the likes of Poison Girls, Fatal Microbes and Flux of Pink Indians) but I always thought there was a bit more of a goth element to their own sound. At times, though, they could also be surprisingly poppy, though those weren't necessarily their best times. Think All About Eve, if they weren't crap.

This is a B-side to their 1984 single "42°F".

Friday, December 11, 2009

More technical difficulties

Blogger really annoys me sometimes :(

Hope to have something up later tonight, but if not, it'll be tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Last Tycoons - Sunrise

Here's another local band, one that I don't know much about except:
1. they used to be called Porn Trauma
2. this is a great song which vaguely puts me in mind of the unfairly neglected '80s cowpunk band the Long Ryders, and
3. I find their singer oddly attractive. Maybe that's just me.

ETA: I've just been advised that they have an album coming out at the end of February, so keep your ears posted. And there's more music up here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Red Crayola - Victory Gardens

The Red Crayola (or Krayola, depending on whether they wanted to get sued or not) were so far ahead of their time it's almost uncanny. If I hadn't known when hearing their first two albums that they were made in the '60s, I would never have guessed.

There's an obvious Roky Erickson comparison to be drawn, and their name did resurface in some sections of the media during the Roky revival of the early '90s. They reformed in the mid-1990s and some of their older material was re-released alongside new recordings. But they still remain among the cultiest of cult bands. Which is all right by me, elitist indie snob that I am.

Galaxie 500 did a nice cover of this on their Blue Thunder EP.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lush - I Have the Moon

I know I posted a Lush track recently but here's another one. Why the hell not? It's a cover of a Magnetic Fields song and originally appeared on the Nowhere soundtrack. And it's gorgeous.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tall Dwarfs - Life is Strange

Here's another band from the "lo-fi" side of the Flying Nun stables. I know a few Flying Nun fans who don't care much for Tall Dwarfs, and I can kind of understand why; their songs don't really have the killer pop hooks that that label is famous for (well, to the extent that it can be said to be "famous" for anything). Still better than most of the rubbish out there though.

This is from Fork Songs.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Delorentos - Leave It On

Here's something a little more up-to-date. Delorentos are a Dublin indie band, very popular locally, and while I find them generally rather average they have put out a couple really great pop tunes, this being one of them. It's from their first album, In Love With Detail.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kirsty MacColl - They Don't Know

Since I've been on a girlpop kick lately, here's one by a goddess of the genre.

What a lovely voice Kirsty had. What a sad, sad loss.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Backwater - Supercool

I don't know much about Backwater but back in the 1990s they were rather hotly tipped by a lot of people to be the next big lo-fi band. Except their sound tended to be a bit heavier/punker than most lo-fi. Actually, I find most of their debut (and last?) album Angels Are Cool not terribly interesting. But I really like this song.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sing-Sing - Feels Like Summer

Emma Anderson's post-Lush project, Sing-Sing never really reached that band's heights either in terms of overall quality or popularity but were nonetheless well worth listening to, particularly if (like me) you're a sucker for the classic girlpop sounds of the '60s. I mean, Dusty Springfield could have done this one. Is there any higher compliment?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tones on Tail - Performance

Back in my gothier days, I used to really love Tones on Tail but listening to them now I find them pretty cringeworthy. I bet there are a lot of people thinking "I told you so". Yes, so you did.

Still think this one's pretty cool though.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shonen Knife - Little Tree

Ah come on, you've got to like Shonen Knife. They've been around forever (though they sure as hell don't look it), they've put out a million albums and they sometimes play as a Ramones cover band. What's not to like?