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Outsideleft Week in Music starring The Steens We're hearing from The Steens, Aitch & Bakar, Liminanas, Wire, G. Love, Beyonce, piri & tommy, Regressive Left, Norma Jean Bell, Flo Milli, Christine McVie and Bartees Strange

Outsideleft Week in Music starring The Steens

We're hearing from The Steens, Aitch & Bakar, Liminanas, Wire, G. Love, Beyonce, piri & tommy, Regressive Left, Norma Jean Bell, Flo Milli, Christine McVie and Bartees Strange

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: June, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

"If we were gonna be the 'black anything' can't we at least be 'the Black Iggy Pops'" - The Steens


THE STEENS - What A Way To Die (DontKnow) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Ancient Champion

Wow! This is the greatest single piece of rocknroll to emerge from Orange County, Ca since Walter The Assaulter by Ron & Nancy in '93. Remember when music retained the ability to sound more deranged than just oh run of the mill dangerous? This should probably should come with an advisory, that musical instruments were hurt in the making of this record. When suggested their band was like the Black Strokes or something, the Steens said "they’re a little polite, no? If we were gonna be the 'black anything' can’t we at least be 'the Black Iggy Pops.'" What A Way To Die. Fuck me, the Steens have it all and the world is there for their taking. Brilliant.

NORMA JEAN BELL - Just Look-Ah What You'll Be Missing (Light In The Attic) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion


AITCH, BAKAR - In Disguise (Polaris Records) favoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

This is a missive from the sort of parallel universe that many people live in, where clean trainers are important. This is an advert for a brand. Do you like it? wanna buy it? Fill yer boots.

Six Love island points.

FLO MILLI - Conceited (RCA) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

My first thought is, ‘what a floppy bass drum’… Sometimes it feels like I’m very drunk and in a room with particularly colourful wallpaper and the images and patterns blend and congeal. I can no longer see young men and women, the details disappear, a super long fingernail decorated with diamante becomes a nose… red lips become a line in a six pack… faces are all one face. It’s a great big puke of pop. That’s cos I’m old.

Six Love Island points

PIRI & TOMMY - words (EMI) ZERO favorite_borders
by Tim London

Grown ups should not eat the kind of sweets meant for toddlers. Honestly, it will make you sick and hate yourself, even if there is a two second sugar rush.

Too young for Love Island.

BEYONCE - Break My Soul (Columbia) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

This made me think of TS Elliot, of course. That thing, where all new work is informed and potentially expands on what exists already. Genius steals, right? And then I thought better of that, I thought when you assemble world class talent, you can make summer arrive. 

BARTEES STRANGE - Wretched (4AD) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Lee Paul

Wretched is from the excellently named LP, Farm To Table, from the excellently named Bartees Strange... While it's tough to follow up that cardigan in the Heavy Heart video, the stripey off the shoulder dungarees are a  statement I could probably not even make it my back garden. I am not, and whether Bartees is Strange is or not, IDK. Where his Heavy Heart single was parts dynamic and epic, Wretched has parts dynamic, epic and more generally generic.


REGRESSIVE LEFT - The Wrong Side of HIstory (Bad Vibrations) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by LamontPaul

I guess there's a synesthesia induced by The Wrong Side of History from a forthcoming EP of a similar name from The Regressive Left. I'm listening but feel like I am reading Architectural Digest, transported to the NoHo loft of my earlier dreams, dialling James Murphy and asking him what he might do next and he says he's intent on forming a band called LCD Soundsystem, and while that's the not the most exciting idea, because the technology is cheap and ubiquitous, he presciently says, thinner kids from Luton, will later on when he's stopped being useful, pick up the rambling synth dance mantle and it will be fun that goes on a bit. Minimally and then majestically. That's not a bad thing.


G. LOVE - Philadelphia Mississippi (Brushfire Records) favoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Spanish Pantalones

God damned, G., what happened? Your first album was perfect – fu-kining perfect! It had a lazy, druggy flow that threw clumsy hip-hop, early solo Lou Reed, and bastardized soul into a long hoagie roll, smothered in grilled onions and Whiz -- perfect! You could smell the cheap weed when you immersed yourself in it. I still listen to your self-titled debut at least once a month – it’s like a pacifier, it centers me. 

After your debut, you released three more absolute corkers (Coast to Coast Motel, Yeah, It's That Easy, and Philadelphonic) and we all thought the good times would never end. Then we jumped into the ‘00s and you started recording with Jack Johnson and it all went to shit. I’m not saying that that hippie surfer jinxed you, but things got milquetoast around this time and there’s an argument to be made about the correlation. Now I’m hearing your latest release – Philadelphia Mississippi... what the fuck is this? It’s the kind of generic rhythm and blues you’d hear from a Gap commercial. We’ll always have those first four LPs, but I can’t go soft with you, you're on your own. (Side note: get the Special Sauce back in the fold -- you need 'em.)

WIRE - Not About To Die (Pink Flag) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Alarcon

Alarcon suggests the unearthed Wire gold nuggets are going have plenty of pensioner toes tapping, over here

CHRISTINE MCVIE - Songbird (A Solo Collection) (Rhino Entertainment Co.) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Spanish Pantalones

She's no fucking Stevie Nicks, I can tell you that.

Other Materials

LIMINANAS - The Mirror (featuring Kirk Lake) (YouTube) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Lee Paul

The Liminanas will have another retrospective available in late July, so a great opportunity to dig out this spoken word piece featuring our film guy, Lake with a lovely and fascinating story of the Mirror. Quite brilliantly entertaining.

Essential Info
Main Image The Steens

Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV

about LamontPaul »»



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