We are I sense, in the mid-summer rocknroll doldrums. Where have all the stars gone? Either that or we are all asunder from Kanye's listening party last week. That was really something... Still, here are some great tunes...
With this cover of the Stone Roses Fools Gold, Earl Natty has probably done enough to secure a glorious future on the alt-wedding live band circuit. Of far more interest to me personally here is the version of Harry Js Liquidator, available here for the first time. Pure liquid swamp. Earl Natty on the ska train. What you have here is a world class version of a world class tune. Utterly amped up, distorted everything. Harry J is where I came in and I would encourage you to hear Even For Second Generation Suedeheads, It's Been A Long Shift - which might be an alternate universe companion piece to this. As Earl Natty says of the Fools Gold/Liquidator release, "total roughneck version." Total brilliance I'd hasten to add. I don't think I could love a record more if I tried.
Springsteen and Vedder sing a paint-by-numbers karaoke version of an AC/DC song. This is what you warm the band up with during rehearsals, Tom; you don't release it as the leadoff single of your solo album.
In a recent interview to mark the 40th anniversary of Duran Duran's debut album, John Taylor reflected on the pre-fame days of band on the competitive music scene in Birmingham. When asked by someone in 1980 what band he was in, he was met with the line: 'Duran Duran! Are they still going?'.
Well, yes, they're still going. And 'More Joy' is playful and uplifting and somewhat inspired by Japanese video games that makes me want to dig out my copy of the Yellow Magic Orchestra's 'Firecracker'.
Japanese band CHAI add (according to Simon Le Bon) their 'pink neon magic spikey dust' on the song.
New Romantics groove to vintage Japanese video game music -- this weekend’s dance floor soundtrack. (Spanish)
To coincide with the release of the excellent memoir of his childhood (‘Chaise Longue’), Baxter has decided to take us all on a night out.
These Are My Friends is Baxter’s internal monologue ('I’m not gonna be here for ever…oh, fuck it...') as we stumble through the night. He’s gruff, thoughtful, frequently potty-mouthed, bewildered, but always charming (‘Let’s Dance Again, shall we…?), it’s vintage Baxter. But unlike vintage Baxter, he has been dragged into the club and onto the dancefloor by Fred again..
It looks like it’s going to be a great night.
I was in TK Maxx pondering the possibility of spending £60 on a t-shirt with the legend 'Thank You Helmut' writ large on the front. I am still wondering whether to go back for it. Buyers' remorse. I am so enamoured, much so, by the punk rock, music-art-fashion nexus and I can't let it go. Imagine my delight then to hear the new Tierra Whack single. Walk The Beat, - aside for sounding sonically excellent, here's music, art and fashion in three super cool minutes. Tierra Whack rhymes Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang. I'm loving that. Flawless seams... When you're picking out your clobber for the day, this is the soundtrack to it.
Punky powerpoppy new wave from Southern California's The Linda Linda's. Has a touch of the Redd Krosses about it and can be a bit Bangly too if you need references. But they're no revivalists. Half Asian / half Latinx. Two sisters, a cousin, and their close friend and massive, massive commercial appeal, surely. That's what's happening here. I Love it.
Seaside Witch Coven's A.E.O. is their first single in a while and is pretty ambitious in its scope as far as rock records go. They won't shy away from the epic. It's as if Delia Derbyshire got into the studio to get things under way, then was quickly ushered out. A.E.O. drive and dives and twists and turns in all sorts of unexpected directions. Like The Sound or the era of rockers, revisited but not revived. And they have an all time great band name so that's worth something. A lot. The is the sound of Cardiff now.
After more than a decade of "...teaching the lessons of the past through the music of the future” (mostly by combining archive BFI voices with electronic soundscapes), Public Service Broadcasting have had a bit of a re-think. Time spent living in Berlin, visits to the Hansa Studios (Bowie, Iggy, Depeche Mode...) and the guiding influence of Walter Rittman's 1930 sound collage 'Wochenende' have inspired an album that is looser and more impressionistic than previous outings.
'Blue Heaven ' is inspired by Marlene Dietrich, her uncompromising nature, bravery, and ambition ('I am my own creation, I'm in my Blue Heaven' sings guest vocalist, Andreya Casablanca ) and, whereas their last single was designed for dancing, this is a dramatic guitar-driven thing that's closer to 'Signal 30' on their debut album. It's energetic and exciting and I haven't even mentioned the excellent video yet (a powerful performance by choreographer and dancer Celine Fortenbacker). Enjoy...
MUSEUMGOER - 17 (Museumgoer)
by Lee Paul
The 17th release in the Museumgoer series and as ever, who knows what each release will bring and that is just part of the beauty. 17 comes with lovely intentions I think. Ms. Se. Um. Go. Er. Is a sprightly pop tart of a tune. Nova Means Don't Go, Museumgoer reveals is the real reason why the Chevy Nova was a poor seller south of the border. It's the perfect sentiment for a faux euro pop concoction, the bossa beats and synth melody invoke a Stereolab day when Laetitia didn't show up for work. Great to hear. Go shopping kids!
For their fifth EP of adaptations of works by Philip Glass to be released this year, the Tana Quarter have selected this haunted early work that dates back to when he was still a student in Paris. You can hear many of those familiar traits of Glass’s music start to formulate. It feels like a prelude to much of his familiar film work. The multi-award-winning Tana Quartet have, again, recorded an exquisite and sublime performance. Essential.
Primitive probably understates it. Turn it up enough and Ghost Woman causes serious autonomic dysfunction. You'll be shot to pieces and still you'll put the tone arm back to the beginning. Really, really, great.
The Downtown Laundry Band are dirty for sure. Although that feels like a way too surrogate Craig Charles of a thing to say. Their debut EP from French label Dime Records boasts four chunks of funnnnkkk. There, I've done it again! Oh man. Anyway from the first snapping snare of the atmospheric opener, Laundry Bag, this record feels special. Oh wow! The sounds they get onto tape. World Class. There are vibes, brushes, stand up bass, melodica and acoustic guitars interwoven through four superlative instrumentals. A downtempo super cool delight.
Erin finds Billie Eilish holding firm in the eye of the storm of attention that surrounds her... Read Erin's full review here.
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