Monday, October 31, 2011

Daisy Chainsaw - Natural Man

Track from their 1992 debut album Eleventeen which lacks the band's usual manic energy but makes up for it in sheer weirdness. It's the only one that Katie Jane doesn't sing on; I've always assumed the vocals were guitarist Crispin Gray's but I'm not sure I have any actual reason to assume that. I could be completely wrong.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Buzz of Delight - In Summer

I wasn't a fan at all of Matthew Sweet's solo material but he was in a couple decent bands in the early '80s, including this one who dissolved after their 1984 Sound Castles EP. This is the standout track, a genuinely delightful piece of twee power-pop not that far removed from Sixteen Tambourines-era Three O'Clock.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Moped - Window Shopping

Moped were from New Jersey but released their lone album, the splendidly-titled It Won't Sound Any Better Tomorrow, on the Australian Summershine label. It was kind of typically mid-'90s boy/girl indie music, somewhere on the continuum that exists in my head between indiepop and indie rock - nothing you couldn't live without, but enjoyable enough. You can download it here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Bloody Valentine - I Believe

B-side to "Feed Me With Your Kiss". I'll say that again: this was a b-side. I still can't quite wrap my head around that. You could take the best bits from the best a-sides of 95% of the records that have ever existed, and make the best a-side you could possibly make from them, and it still wouldn't be fit to wipe the dust off this song. Which was a b-side.

OK, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit. But, seriously... can you believe this was only a b-side? I can't.

From 1988.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Riptides - 77 Sunset Strip

Following on from that Pointed Sticks post a little while ago here's some more classic but somewhat forgotten late '70s punk-pop, this time from Australia (Brisbane, to be precise). Robert Vickers of the Go-Betweens was in an early incarnation of this band, who I gather were significantly better known in their native country than outside of it.

This was their first single.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Grooveyard - Summer

From Brighton, apparently, but that's about all that I know about them.

This song appeared on the Uncle Arthur's Pop Parlour cassette compilation in 1987 and on a split flexi with "Sleepyhead" by Ever (which is also on Uncle Arthur) the following year. It's a great little piece of jangly-pop-with-flute. Terrible mixing, but who cares.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thomas Dolby - One of Our Submarines

Thomas Dolby has released some horrific material in his time (see: "Hyperactive") but The Golden Age of Wireless would be a guilty pleasure of mine were it not for the fact that I refuse to feel guilty about any of my listening habits. Admittedly some of it is a little too ploink ploink for my tastes, but this particular track would be lovely on any instrument and is no less so just because it's all synthy.

Apparently he wrote it about his uncle, who drowned in a submarine during World War 2.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Chameleons – Thursday’s Child

I haven’t posted nearly enough Chameleons here, and I see that I haven’t posted anything that isn’t on their magnificent 1983 debut album Script of the Bridge.

I’ll rectify the latter omission at some point. But not today.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Stone Roses - All Across the Sand

I was strangely underwhelmed by the news that the Stone Roses are to play in Dublin next year. Like many others of my generation, I worshipped the ground they walked on in their early years (though my own personal backlash began earlier than most - I never liked "Fools Gold", and I still don't). I never got to see them in their heyday; I still think their debut album is one of the finest ever released, and I've long since got over my reunionphobia. Yet it took me all of thirty seconds or so to decide not to bother with the Dublin gig, and I can't quite put my finger on why. I'll probably regret it later - when the tickets have shot up to €200 on the black market. Oh well.

Here's a b-side to "Sally Cinnamon". Bet they don't play this at the reunion gig!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

His Name is Alive - Is This the Way the Tigers Do?

From HNIA's remarkable Dirt Eaters EP from 1992. It's more abrasive than the other tracks on the EP, though less so than the scratchy and sireny bits might lead you to expect at the start.

If anyone has a clue what the words are about, don't tell me, I probably don't want to know.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blur - Intermission

Just a brief intermission for the blog as I have a million and one things to focus on over the next couple days. I'll try to make it back for Friday, but if not, Saturday definitely! See you soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ride - Like a Daydream

Opening number from their second EP, Play, from 1990. This was really where I felt Ride arrived: its self-titled predecessor a few months earlier had some strong moments, but there was nothing on it with the immediacy of this track, which I have to say pretty much knocked my socks off the moment I heard it. Actually, it still knocks my socks off.

Doesn't Mark look cute with his poofy li'l haircut, too. I bet he cringes seeing this now.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Secret Shine - After Years

In their early years, before they went all shoegazey on us, Secret Shine were that rare Sarah band that sometimes dipped into "too twee even for me" territory. Listen to the song "Secret Shine" (on the Ephemeral 7") if you don't believe me.

Most of the time, though, they walked the fine line without quite stepping over it - and made some lovely music as a result. This was their first single on Sarah, from 1991.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lush - Bitter

Great track from Lush's debut EP Scar. I'm putting a shoegaze tag on it just because it's Lush, but there's really nothing shoegazey at all about this one: it's a simple two-minute rockin' guitar rush with lyrics that, let me just say, I really identify with at the moment. You don't want to know.

From 1989.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Patti Smith - Kimberly

I was planning on writing an intelligent piece about this song - because really, it's a bit of an insult to the wonder that was Horses to post a song from it without writing something intelligent about it - but unfortunately the pub intervened and I am not really in a fit state to write anything intelligent about anything. Let's just say that this is a very enjoyable and underrated track from an album that you should already own anyway.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Lavender Faction - Harbour Me

Durham-based shoegaze band who put out a number of singles in 1990-91 and then disappeared. I never thought they were quite as amazing as some of my fellow indieheads did but they’re certainly worth checking out if you're into this sort of thing.

This is from “In My Mind”, a 1990 7”. Please note that I am not responsible for the atrocious spelling at the start of the video!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1000 Mexicans - The Last Pop Song

I posted a 1000 Mexicans track a few months ago of them in their pop mode, but this one's a bit darker and draws more from post-punk. It was a 1984 single. Really grows on you after a while.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pointed Sticks - Out of Luck

Vancouver power-pop. This is an absolute belter of a single, from 1979. It was re-recorded for the Sticks' lone album the following year but this is the version you want.

Seriously this one is a classic.

Monday, October 10, 2011

XTC - That's Really Super, Supergirl

Very catchy track from Skylarking which, it must be said, is a particularly catchy-track-laden XTC album. I can sort of see why the XTC purists (and XTC themselves, apparently) weren't all that happy with Todd Rundgren's production, because it is really very slick and radio-friendly, but as far as I'm concerned that just means we got the great pop record that they always teased us with. There isn't a song on it that I would skip through, and there are very few XTC records I can say that about.

From 1986.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

14 Iced Bears - Heaven Star

From their 1991 album Wonder, and it really is wondrous: soft and shimmering shoegazey pop with one of those couplets so stunning in its simplicity ("Waiting on a shooting star/
I hope you are, I hope you are") it puts a lump in my throat. My condolences to the mystifying number of 14 Iced Bears fans who don't like this album - your loss.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dum Dum Girls - Blank Girl

More sixties-influenced lo-fi girlpop. I know these bands are a dime a dozen these days - and most of them are somehow linked to the Vivian Girls - but I haven't yet stopped finding them irresistible, and I hope I never will.

From their 2010 debut album, I Will Be.

Friday, October 7, 2011

REM - South Central Rain

I dreamed about this song last night. Well, to be precise about it, I dreamed this song. From start to finish - even the moany bits at the end. Except that it was me singing instead of Michael Stipe. I think I was about to start singing "Seven Chinese Brothers" when I woke up.

I'm not sure exactly why I had this on the brain. REM have been in the news recently for breaking up, of course, but that's not something I took much notice of. To be honest, I lost interest in them around 25 years ago, and wasn't even really aware they still existed.

But I suppose I'll take the dream as a sign that I ought to post this song, so here it is. Not with me singing though. Trust me, that would give you nightmares.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Disco Inferno - It's a Kid's World

Just a quickie today as I have to head out for the Hard Working Class Heroes festival, something I never miss. I've had a few readers lately arrive at this blog by searching for Disco Inferno songs, which I'm always happy to make it easier to find. This is a 1994 single.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Raining Stars - Gone For Ever More

French band whose sound takes little bits from baggy, C86 and skinny-tie pop. Not a bad collection of influences, I'm sure you'd agree.

This is from their 2008 album From St Saviour To Quickwell.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Salvation Army - While We Were in Your Room Talking to Your Wall

The Salvation Army’s lone album under that name is basically a psychedelic pop record, but one that largely reflects their punk roots – it’s some distance from the fluffy pre-twee sounds that they would become known for as The Three O’Clock. This song is as close as they get to it, a trippy almost-ballad distinguishable from their Sixteen Tambourines period only by the sloppy production.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Four Million Telephones - If I Was There

Another rare finding by Wilfully Obscure, these were an apparently Lincoln-based late '80s band playing mildly jangly guitar pop. Not a lot to write home about here but I think this track, one of the b-sides from this 1988 EP, is rather nice.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Cure - Primary

Faith is a dark album even by the Cure's standards, but this track - well, it's still pretty dark, but it's got a pace to it that makes it stand out a bit from the relentless gloom that surrounds it. It's kind of been lost in the passage of time and doesn't usually even get a look into lists of Cure Classics but every time I hear it I think to myself, "Fuck me, that's a great song."

It may have been partially based on Penelope Farmer's books, although not as obviously so as "Charlotte Sometimes".

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Breezy Porticos - Breaking Away

Denver, Colorado band that seem to have been inactive for a few years now. Their records were all released in the 2000s, but their sound is distinctly early/mid-'90s US bubblegum indiepop, Poole being the most obvious reference. Somewhat lacklustre vocals, though.

This was from a split 7" with New Jersey band the Gwens, released in 2000 on Athens GA label Happy Happy Birthday to Me.