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Outsideleft Week In Music - The Stop Everything You're Doing... It's Asha Puthli and others... We're hearing from... Asha Puthli, Killer Mike, Yard Act ft. Elton John, Sufjan Stevens, Rae Morris, Morrissey, KOKOKO!, The Wedding Present, Guided By Voices, Loyle Carner, Metric, Bijean, Margaret Glaspy, Walker Brigade, Humour and Viagra Boys

Outsideleft Week In Music - The Stop Everything You're Doing... It's Asha Puthli and others...

We're hearing from... Asha Puthli, Killer Mike, Yard Act ft. Elton John, Sufjan Stevens, Rae Morris, Morrissey, KOKOKO!, The Wedding Present, Guided By Voices, Loyle Carner, Metric, Bijean, Margaret Glaspy, Walker Brigade, Humour and Viagra Boys

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

approximate reading time: minutes

A gigantic giant from when giants strode the earth, Asha Puthli's new Essential Collection from Mr Bongo Records is... WILD! - Ancient Champion

SINGLES

HUMOUR - yeah, mud (So Young Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

If you’ve gotta have tidy post-punk from Glasgow let it be like this. The story of a soldier coming to terms with their death set to standard spiky bass and stabbing guitars (check) set apart by the (hey!) Humour and smartness of the lyrics. Very appropriately, a Youtube search for the band playing live throws up ‘Another ned fight on the Trongate Outside McDonalds’. Glasgow is a place of sharp humour. What's a ned? Look it up, if you've no read Trainspotting, it will bring joy to your life.


WALKER BRIGADE - I'm Tired (Big Stir) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Lee Paul

Walker Brigade's twisted take on I'm Tired from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles is from their new Big Stir Records LP, If Only. You can read John Robinson's album review here.


RAE MORRIS - A Table For Two (Sony) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

A charming idea. Rae has booked a table in a restaurant in heaven where she will meet up with her fella, Ben, who she hopes will choke and die so he can join her (if she dies first.) Judging by the video the joint looks very much like someone’s dining room where the radiators have been turned on full. It’s not often we witness the birth of a new genre but here one is. Ladeez and gennelmen, introducing batshit crazy middle of the road Easy Fuck You Listening.


KOKOKO! - Polo Muneni & Nassanilni (Transgressive) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

Skipping electro beats, fuzzed up thumb piano and lyrics I don’t understand, sung full-throated. This is what I imagined 21st-century music would be like when I thought about it in the 1980s. Sort of vintage, foreign and familiar. My fave bit is when it sounds like he’s singing ‘Subbuteo’ which would make the whole thing even more post-post-modern culturally. I listened out to see if I could make out a ‘Dirk Bogarde’s fabulous quiff’ or ‘Mama Cass’s crust’ but ironic mis-hearing only stretches so far before guilt kicks in and tells me to stop being silly. the double AA. Nassanilni is equally deranged yet distinguished.


SUFJAN STEVENS - Fourth of July (April Base and DUMBO versions) (Asthmatic Kitty) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Erin

Sufjan Stevens has that oh-so-rare ability to embed more meaning into a single line of a song than a mere singer-songwriter should be able to. Here are a pair of recently rediscovered versions of one of the most haunting songs from his exquisite 'Carrie and Lowell' album. How do you sum up your feelings about your parents' re-appearance in your life and then the realisation that one of them, your mother, is dying of cancer? How much sorrow is there in looking back at the nickname your mother gave you in childhood and how the beauty and painful emptiness of 'My Little Versaille' now seems to sum up your own loneliness?  Poets strive for this beauty and brevity and Sufjan Stevens is certainly one.


LOYLE CARNER - Hate (UMG) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

Loyle’s gonna tell you what he hates: everything he ain’t and more. So many zeroes in his bank. Time... And what he fears: he fears drugs and women. The colour of his skin... It’s a simple lyrical concept that builds and works very well and is matched by a video that tells the same story: of a young Black man being suffocated by expectations. Set to a cymbal-heavy, heavily compressed beat that is slightly irrelevant. The words work by themselves. Dub version?


MARGARET GLASPY - My Body My Choice (ATO Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

A meaty slice of down and dirty mean sleazy blues. Lazy, and down on the farm country tilt. Love the discordance dobro sliding and slipping around. This is a lovely slice of blues, and delightful feels, but it's the pro choice message, it's the individual choice message of the song that comes through, words delivered with sincerity, and understated power, there's an urgency that can't be misinterpreted. I loved this song, not a yell, but the truth we need to hear. 


KILLER MIKE - Run ft. Dave Chappelle & Young Thug (Loma Vista) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

Based on a kick drum busy blues rock rhythm. When Young Thug pops in it somewhat upsets the solemn pace and the militant mood but, somehow, he manages to take us from surreal sex, via an interior lawn and Dr. Marten boots (not kidding) to the single potent phrase: ‘installing this shit in my son’ which gives the whole track substance beyond even what you would normally expect from Mr. Mike. Very silly video, though.


YARD ACT - 100% Endurance ft. Elton John (Island ) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Katherine Pargeter

What a beautiful thing this is.  Elton is, above all, a huge authority on all music and a great champion of other artists.  And he loves adding his services to the artists he loves.  So here is a revised version of the closer from Yard Act's debut with added  vocal harmonies, piano, and a fabulous string section to close.  Oh, and there's a brilliant version of 'Tiny Dancer' on the b-side. 


EPs

BIJEAN - Caldwell's Way (Ghostly International) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Bijean features spacey innocent vocals, like 70's 80s saccharine pop, lovely sparse wayback in the mix strings. The melody a bit too simple perhaps, but love the easy laid back feel, the sense of hope, and optimism, running through the song like a strawberry strip in a ice cream twist. Sweet slightly trippy, almost an echo from another world, this is perfect music for those full up moments, after the coals are cooling on the BBQ, and before the booze has run out, a great slice of modern pop, in these dark, depressing says before recession bites. I am reminded of Cadburys flake adverts from the 70s, 80s wandering through corn fields. If you are not of a certain age, google the advert and see what sold what in the 80s...


LPs

THE WEDDING PRESENT - Locked Down and Stripped Back Vol 2 (Scorpitones) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Jay Lewis

"Take it away, Grapper..."

There's a moment on the version of 'Nobody's Twisting Your Arm' on this new batch o of home-recorded and filmed Wedding Present favourites where David Gedge utters that line and, for the first time in thirty years...'Grapper' responds! If that doesn't make sense to those of you who are beyond the gallery, 'Grapper' (Peter Solowka), was the band's original and distinctive guitarist and, although he's now happier with an accordion, his reappearance must have brought a huge smile to many, many fans. And that's before the duet with former backing vocalist Amelia Fletcher. It's all too beautiful.

As with the first 'Locked Down and Stripped Back' collection, Gedge's sharp, funny, heartbreaking, occasionally bitter but always piercingly honest songwriting benefits from being taken apart and reassembled in this way. I really don't think that 'Seamonsters' epic closer 'Octopussy' has ever sounded as good as it does here (current bassist Melanie Howard and former bassist Terry de Castro both choose acoustic guitars), finding something so intimate there that was only hinted at before. Any chance of Volume 3, please?


VIAGRA BOYS - Cave Things (YEAR0001) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Spanish Pantalones

Cave World – the Viagra Boys’ third album in four years – sounds like a lot of the lite punk that came out of the ‘90s: slick hard rock punctuated by an insufferable lead singer. Once they stop trying to sound like DEVO and Rob Zombie, Viagra Boys might have a recording worth listening to. Until then, I’d avoid Cave World – it sounds desperate. Like a band begging for an audience that has since moved on to Slipknot and Ghengis Tron.


GUIDED BY VOICES - Tremblers And Goggles By Rank (Rockathon) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Spanish Pantalones

Robert Pollard and I have a routine: he releases a Guided By Voices album every four or five months, and I listen to it, followed by my rave review (and Tremblers And Goggles By Rank continue with our tradition). Tremblers is another distorted rocker with slight hints of 1982-era R.E.M., 1967-era Who, and dashes of weird proggy rock for good measure. The hooks and melodies of Tremblers are relentless, but if I had my way, I wish Pollard would spend a few more minutes on his lyrics. Couplets like “I wear my shirt out / Don't want you to see my clown” make it difficult to give this one a perfect 5 of 5. Of course, you don’t listen to the latest GBV record for its clever lyrics, you throw their albums on for ambience – slacker music for slacker people who were there for the first dozen albums.


VARIOUS - Alrededor de la Húmisha: La música de los conjuntos típicos amazónicos de Perú (Bandcamp) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Lee Paul

Around the Húmisha: The music of the traditional Amazonian Ensembles of Peru brings together various groups formed between the mid-60s and early 80s, defining the sound of the popular music that emerged in the Peruvian jungle at that time. If there is ever a cure for the jaded overwhelm of a fraught world this record is it. Sophisticated and uncomplicated. Could listen all day.


ASHA PUTHLI - The Essential Asha Puthli (Mr. Bongo Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

This is the first massive career-spanning retrospective from singer/songwriter/dancer/actress Asha Puthli - a gigantic giant when giants strode the earth - and can't possibly be the last. Never trapped or bound by any specific genre, her work covers 60s Psychedelia, Classical Indian Music, Free Jazz, Pop, Soul, Disco Diva-y majesty, Rock, and everything else besides. I guess lots of NY-LA-LDN types rediscovered her through her recent very cool appearance on Raveena's Asha's Awakening record - Raveena is a natural successional in her equally relentless musical daring. Look-ee here, you could start with the synth lead on Asha Puthli's Space Talk while you wonder how now to dispose of the rest your mediocre record collection. This essential LP can replace most of all of that tat. Wild!


METRIC - Formentera (Last Gang) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Spanish Pantalones

What happened? The last time I checked, Metric were positioned to pick up where the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs left off. I remember seeing this punky four-piece at the 2003 Sunset Junction Street Fair in Los Angeles where they proceeded to stun several hundreds of onlookers with an afternoon set that killed. For reasons only known to the band, Formentera sounds like they’re taking its collective foot off the gas pedal. Punchy rockers like “Doomscroller” have the spirit, but the edges are so polished, it makes me wonder how stronger Formentera might have sounded if it were recorded in the early aughts. 


Other Materials

MORRISSEY - Bonfire of Teenagers/Rebels Without Applause (Streaming platforms only ) ZERO favorite_borders
by Jay Lewis

Yet again, this is not a case of being unable to separate the art from the artist, that's an entirely separate debate. No, this is the heart-sinking reminder that an artist that once moved their audience with their provocative, challenging, shocking, and hilarious insights and with words that worked on so many gorgeously sensual layers it felt like poetry, has now long departed.

Recorded live in Las Vegas, and only available on YouTube 'Bonfire of the Teenagers' is a bitter blathering about the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in 2017. It castigates all the 'silly people' and 'morons' that sang 'Look Back in Anger' at gatherings throughout the community afterward, before claiming that he will 'Look back in anger till the day he dies'. Does he not understand that succumbing to such hatred will only destroy you. What a hateful old man you've become Steven. 

Also uploaded is the mauling ode to punk 'Rebels Without Applause' (oh how endearing this wordplay used to be!), which includes the risible couplet 'Generation X to X-Ray Specs/ I loved them all', which, unlike Vic Reeves' 'I Remember Punk Rock (Like it Was Only Yesterday)' is unintentionally hilarious.

And if Rebels Without Applause' ever does end up being properly released, I'd be intrigued by what the co-creator of 'Cemetery Gates' would have to say about the very familiar melody. This is mortifyingly puerile songwriting.


Essential Info
Main Image: Asha Puthli (about now) from her Facebook page

LamontPaul
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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