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OUTSIDELEFT Week in Music We're hearing from Stereolab, PJ Harvey, Madlib, Arlo Parks, Delvon Lamarr, Celeste, Tindersticks and more...

OUTSIDELEFT Week in Music

We're hearing from Stereolab, PJ Harvey, Madlib, Arlo Parks, Delvon Lamarr, Celeste, Tindersticks and more...

by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor
first published: February, 2021
I think the words "organ trio" are all you need.

WEEK: 5 of 52

It's that time of the week again. The moment when OUTSIDELEFT culls from its greatest minds as they ponder over the music that dropped this week -- all in one article. Vive le convenience!

SINGLES

STEREOLAB
Household Names
(Duophonic UHF Disks)
This song is old enough to legally purchase Mad Dog 20/20 in the US yet sounds as now as anything. Such is the way of Sterelab: rehashing German electronics, French politics, and British TV themes into a permamambo from the heart of the cosmic lounge. They are welcome to use that title, by the way, or maybe they have. Who can keep up with everything they’ve released? “Household Names” like the rest of 2000 double mini-album The First of the Microbe Hunters is encapsulated in the latest from their perpetual archive series emerging this spring in various collector scum editions. Oh, and they have a new line of mugs, rolling trays and coasters. Get on that! --Alex V. Cook

KINLAW
Haircut
(Bayonet Records)
On first listen, Kinlaw produces ethereal music, ice cold in feel, inside and out. Think a snowy walk, open fields, moors, last nights snow, puffs of wind, blown powder snow brushing your face, refreshing, invigorating, eye;s open, soul alive, a cerebral shot of music. The video detracted from the song, BUT the music was lovely, carefully staged, subtle unpinning, and matched the songs themes, and intent. a great slice of modern music. Not a feel good song, but a song that lifts your soul and leaves you feeling good about the day, and yourself. would see them live, depends. I'd keep eyes and ears open for the album, but it can't all be as comfortingly bleak, love her steel tantalizing  voice, one that i can't imagine as a rock voice, love to hear her with Scandinavian Jazz, imagine Jan Garberek, john Surman, ECM music is a good starting point. --Toon Traveler

SPACE CADET
Bad Luck
(Kirtland Records) 
“Bad Luck” has kind of a ‘90s Manchester feel good chugging bass lines, clashing guitars, and sleazy dirty vocals. It swings along. I can see the band on stage, nightfallen, chorus sing along finale, ams waving, phone swaying. (What ever happened to Zippo lighters and festival gigs?) Well worth a couple of plays. Produced by Bouncing Souls Pete Steinkopf. --Toon Traveller (on a sleet filled, leaden, skied day)

TINDERSTICKS
Man Alone (Can’t Stop the Fadin’)
(Lucky Dog/Drag City)
My sensors are calibrated to detect the evermore slight fluctuations in the development of Tindersticks, one of the finest bands comprised of human beings, and the evidence supports developments of mitochondrial disco in their ranks, the kind practiced by Lambchop and Arab Strap in their grooviests. They blew out 2020 with the decadent “You’ll Have to Scream Louder” - spoiler: they don’t - from their forthcoming Distractions album (Feb ‘21).  They up, or maybe low, the ante with the  11-minute “Man Alone (Can’t Stop the Fadin’)”

Like the greatest Tindersticks songs, it barely exists. It’s watching last night’s glitter waft away on a chilly morning breeze. Stuart Staples is deep in, offering whoa’s like cold war numbers station, repeating “can’t stop the fadin’” just as the majesty of Saturn emerges over the icy horizon of their sonic Enceladus. The perfect endless banger for your lonely isolation dancefloor.  --Alex V. Cook

TIGERCUB
Beauty
(BLAME Recordings)
Let’s boogie! This track arcs from some ZZ Top-grade groove into maybe a Flaming Lips moment of grandeur and then back. It has words, but who cares what they are? Tigercub doesn’t.  Fuzz bass, y’all! This would sound fantastic blasting out of a rented convertible as you pull up to your AirBnB.  --Alex V. Cook

ICEAGE
The Holding Hand
(Mexican Summer)
I saw ICEAGE a few years back and they were well, very intense young men, a brilliant live act. So, in lockdown it’s interesting to see what they come up with. More fully reviewed here  --Lee Paul

BILL CALLAHAN, BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY feat. Six Organs of Admittance
Arise Therefore
(Drag City)
Bill Callahan and Will Oldham have been releasing an excellent series of singles covering their old songs and those of others (go see what they did with Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blue”), making some of the best classic rock released in modern practice. The corpse of the  title track from the Palace scorched earth release is infused with new blood and rises to wreak terror on the villagers. Beware! --Alex V. Cook

JOE WORRICKER
Window Shopping
(Blue Genie)
Joe Worricker’s “Window Shopping” has great percussion and I love the strange timing and the off beats -- it works with the song. The prickly sense of love, desire, and hints of fantasy, in attraction, that sense of unattainable love, echoes of the soul classic -- “Just My Imagination.” The soft vocals wrap her in ribbons, she's so delicious. A great opening line for any song. I can hear summer strolls, park-sitting, iced-cola sipping, spliffing, and dreaming the day away. A very soft slice of summer. The voice plaintive, pleading, longing, a hint of The Flaming Lips, but lower key, and lower octave, a delightful song for an afternoon radio playing, country park sitting, ponds' stone skimming. Yeah Window Shopping bears more than a few listens. --Toon Traveller


EPs

MARTIN GORE
The Third Chimpanzee
(Mute Records)
As I was listening to The Third Chimpanzee, I thought I was listening to John Carpenter’s Lost Themes III: Alive After Death, which I’m reviewing right after this new release from Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore. This EP consists of five instrumentals, all of them named after different primates, and on first listen, they sound like sketches -- almost demo-like. It’s not a horrible collection of dark, nihilistic-flavored work, but Chimpanzee will not be on anyone’s Your Top Songs of 2021 on Spotify. --Alarcon

BEACHWOOD SPARKS
Beachwood Deluxe
(Curation Records)
They are so fun. Weedy and breezy. They should only do, or have done (I believe they reformed) half-baked/fully-baked EPs like this one where they let their psychedelic tendencies get the best of them. Outtakes in the sense that you take out the smokable from the stems. --Alex V. Cook


LPs 


CELESTE
Not Your Muse
(Universal)
Not that Celeste’s Not Your Muse has been a long time coming, but the deluxe version on Spotify contains 21 tracks and although it was released on January 29th, that’s a lot of listening to absorb… If there’s a latter-day British invasion sound then this is London-esque rnb nouveau is produced so effortlessly well here. Like good fish and chips. And it is produced, could be Mark Ronson at the controls easily pulling back from pure torch. It is Hollywood filmsheen beautific. Of course you can push all the right buttons,  but Celeste’s voice ties this all together with wire. It’s a highwire walk of originality and pure joy. Was growing my hair like Will Gompertz, but now I think I might go for the full on Celeste. --Ancient Champion

PJ HARVEY
Is This Desire? - Demos
(PJ Harvey/Universal)
You don’t need to be sold on PJ Harvey, she is a known god. This third collection of demos is like peeking in her window while she’s eating or smoking, an intimate invasion of her world that rivals witnessing her in full realization. Makes me wonder if there are some Patti Smith Radio Ethiopia demos floating around, because that would *the thing*, but this will do until they are sourced. --Alex V. Cook

JOE STRUMMER
Assembly
(Dark Horse)
I guess you can pre-order Assembly from Dark Horse now, it’ll be available next month. It’s a 16-track Joe Strummer collection. The highlights for some fans will be the trio of previously unreleased songs, an acoustic Junco Partner and live versions of Clash favorites: “Rudie Can’t Fail” and “I Fought The Law” from Brixton Academy, and assorted greatest solo hits and recordings with the Mescalaros. In these difficult times, it would be pretty good to have Joe around. He definitely left it all on the stage. --Hamilton High

DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO
I Told You So
(Colemine Records)
I think the words “organ trio” are all you need. Their rendition of Wham!’s  “Careless Whisper” is gonna get worn out by clever people who like covers more than they like music, despite it actually transcending its conceptual novelty, so get on this funky monster LP before you can’t stand to hear it anymore. --Alex V. Cook

ARLO PARKS
Collapsing in Sunbeams
(Transgressive)
We’ve always thought Arlo Parks had the power to change the world from the moment we heard about “Coca cola eyes…” or “Doing ketamine on weekends...” It’s not your parents’ drug. Parks pulling the curtain back on the lives of her supersad generation was like seeing your kids’ social media video upload when perhaps you didn’t want to. Sadly then her first full length comes with too much external weight on its shoulders… Erin reviews it and wonders whether this will all Collapse into Sunbeams. (Erin's full Arlo Parks Collapsing in Sunbeams review here) --Ancient Champion 

MADLIB
Sound Ancestors
(Madlib Invazion)
Madlib is no stranger to informally gathering of the sonic world for your sonic perusal. His Beat Konducta series is superb. An Alan Lomax tour of his whims. Nor is he anything but a brill collab bro - see the riveting Freddie Gibbs records he helmed. And now Sound Ancestors with Four Tet… The whole LP is reviewed here --Alex V. Cook

JOHN CARPENTER
Lost Themes III: Alive After Death
(Sacred Bones Records)
Lost Themes III: Alive After Death is Carpenter’s third studio album; he wrote the first Lost Themes in 2015 -- a trilogy born well into the maestro’s third act. That said, it’s a very weighty release. While Martin Gore’s The Third Chimpanzee songs like unfinished demos (read the review above if you haven’t already), Lost Themes III has depth. Carpenter’s songs have beginnings, middles, and ends; there’s tension and drama -- real emotion. It’s easy to have a puff, listen to Lost Themes III and wonder what type of films Carpenter would have made to accompany songs such as “Vampire’s Touch,” “Weeping Ghost,” or Dripping Blood.” --Alarcon

TAMAR APHEK
All Bets are Off
(Kill Rock Stars)
In depth review in the works, but the best Israeli underground rock album released so far this year. Also, maybe best album. --Alex V. Cook


20 CURRENTLY ON THE OL OFFICE TURNTABLE THIS WEEK

  1. Jim Sullivan - UFO 
  2. PJ Harvey - “The Wind (Demo)”
  3. Jahari Massamba Unit, Madlib, Karriem Riggins - Pardon My French
  4. Vladislav Delay & Max Loderbauer - Roadblocks
  5. Tobe Nwigwe - CINCORIGINALS
  6. Beachwood Sparks - “Morning Light”
  7. Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio - “Call Your Mom”
  8. Sofie - “99 Glimpses
  9. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - “Bout des doigts
  10. King Tubby - “King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown”
  11. Life Without Buildings - “The Leanover”
  12. Ryuichi Sakamoto - “Bamboo Houses (remix)”
  13. Tamar Aphek - “Crossbow”
  14. Sarah Mary Chadwick - "Me and Ennui are Friends, Baby"
  15. The Weather Station - "Ignorance"
  16. Madlib - "Sound Ancestors"
  17. Primemeridian & Rashid Hadee - "Prime Diesel"
  18. TV Priest - "Uppers"
  19. Vivian Stanshall - "Men Opening Umbrella's Ahead"
  20. River Kittens - "Atlantic City"

Alex V. Cook
Music Editor

Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com
about Alex V. Cook »»

I think the words "organ trio" are all you need.

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