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Outsideleft Week in Music... rockin' out with The Rakers We're hearing from... The Rakers, Callum Easter, Big Joanie, Sudan Archives, Alhaji Waziri Oshomah, The Real Tuesday Weld, Feldermelder, The Wedding Present, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Anja Lauvdal, Italia 90, Goat, El Michels Affair meets Liam Bailey, Suede, Allison Russell and Brandi Carlile, Plastic Harpoons, Maya Hawke and Victor Orlando

Outsideleft Week in Music... rockin' out with The Rakers

We're hearing from... The Rakers, Callum Easter, Big Joanie, Sudan Archives, Alhaji Waziri Oshomah, The Real Tuesday Weld, Feldermelder, The Wedding Present, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Anja Lauvdal, Italia 90, Goat, El Michels Affair meets Liam Bailey, Suede, Allison Russell and Brandi Carlile, Plastic Harpoons, Maya Hawke and Victor Orlando

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: September, 2022
If you hanker after those days when nothing much mattered but Gas, Food, Lodging then Louisiana's The Rakers have the Morality of Heart Transplants for you to consider

WOW! I don't think I've seen so many 5favorite reviews in one week ever. That's what a great week it has been for the world of musics. Once more, Some of My Best Friends are Songs and it seems the same could be said for this weeks record revieweres... Lee Paul, Sheridan Coyle, Toon Traveller, Ancient Champion, DJ Fuzzyfelt, Jay Lewis and Spanish Pantalones.

SINGLES

BIG JOANIE - Confident Man (Daydream Library/Kill Rock Stars)
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by Lee Paul 

A new single with pulsing synth grooves from Black feminist punk band Big Joanie's highly anticipated second album Back Home, out on November 4th via Thurston Moore and Eva Prinz’s Daydream Library Series (UK) and Kill Rock Stars (US). Confident Man is wildly entertaining and a remove from what's what with Big Joanie. Makes me very excited about the LP.


CALLUM EASTER - Dark Angel (Moshi Moshi)
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by Lee Paul

Ogglypoogly has reviewed Callum Easter's TV special this week (here). This single, Dark Angel, from Callum's LP, System, heads into glam territory for sure. But how glam is that? White suit on a cross glam. What Would Jesus Wear if he was back tomorrow? Makes me glad there are still record labels like Moshi Moshi who can hold their nerve. Fab! 


THE REAL TUESDAY WELD - Bones Dreams Blood (Antique Beat)
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by Sheridan Coyle

This standout track from The Real Tuesday Weld’s second farewell album (more about that here) comes with an excellent promo video directed by the band’s bass machine Don Brosnan. There are Scooby Doo style ghosts and a starring role for maverick British film director Jack Bond as he’s led up the cemetery path by a young kid in a top hat. And I'm guessing R D Laing rarely gets a namecheck in a pop song. See Stephen Coates' track by track of the F/L LP here.


FELDERMELDER - Less Real Than You (-OUS)
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by Toon Traveller

Sound Artist, hmm that often covers a multitude of sins, but as a traveller I'm  always up for a Journey into Sound and this didn't disappoint. Echoes of Tangerine Dream and the semi-industrial sounds so beloved of  German 70s artists Amon Düül, Can, and well, Faust too comes to mind. This is real traveller's music, where the point is to journey and not to arrive, I suppose to paraphrase the recently deceased French New Wave cinematic colossus Jean Luc Goddard, "This has a beginning, a middle, and an ending, but not necessarily in that order."  This is that same journey, hop aboard and let the music take you where it wants to go. See where you end up.


ALHAJI WAZIRI OSHOMAH - Okhume Ukhaduame (Luaka Bop)
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by Toon Traveller

Always find the Luaka Bop imprimatur worth a listen, Real World music, different sources, and places, sometimes mixed up mash ups, this is straight though taken from The Muslim Highlife of Alhaji Waziri Oshomah, which is part of Luaka Bop's spiritual series of releases. You probably have the Alice Coltrane one, and listened to it once.  Anyway, I love the  guitar intro, sharp, almost soprano trumpet, or trompeta, and the easy sense of that background vocal. It's the horns that provide a lead voice for the songs first section, then stronger vocal edge throughout. It's the guitars weaving, ducking, diving swooping through the song that make it. Sky high praise to the organist too for framing it all. Lively short percussion, a burst of talking drums slip in and out, it swings along, like sun setting on an East African village before the night falls and the party begins. 5 stars for the joyous celebration, and sense of hope it engenders. Possibly, most likely, just what you need today.


GOAT - Under No Nation (Rocket)
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by Toon Traveller

Interesting, Elton John used to own a "Rocket Records". Factiod. Under No Nation bounds along, underpinned with great strident drums and rhythm guitar, jagged and spiky incessant jabs almost a riff, fuzz wah-wah'd guitar solo, a drop-in sax exit and that's it. Think 80's Funk, thinks... 70s psychedelic rock, think mixed-up, mashed-down but up-to-date sounds grabbing punk and funk, and a few strained voices and power chords. It's streets away from the usual pedestrian stuff passed up north for review, I loved  it. Pro 70's metal meets 80's jazz rock (yeah that weird). 


ANJA LAUVDAL - Fantasie for Agathe Backer Grøndahl (Smalltown Supersound)
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by Toon Traveller

Norwegian musician Anja Lauvdal announces From a Story Now Lost, her debut solo album produced by Laurel Halo out October 28th on Smalltown Supersound, the label that is truly a stamp of greatness, an idlers Tamla Motown. Anja Lauvdal's Fantasie for Agathe Backer Grøndahl gets underway with areat  intro, almost irregular patterns, but stay with it, the delights here are the repetition and slow evolution reminding us of the systems music beloved of Steve Reich, Steve Martland, and Philip Glass. There's melody, and rhythm and diversity, married to  bursting array of ideas. Growing as the music progresses. This is full of life, a sound track of our times, no? A taste of music that most readers may not have heard? Possibly. This is music that runs the gambit of emotions over far too few minutes. It pulses and sweeps and you'll find your fingers on the handle of the door to whole new of music waiting to be discovered. Accessibly Excellent.


ALLISON RUSSELL AND BRANDI CARLILE - You're Not Alone (Fantasy)
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by Toon Traveller

Allison Russell has formed a congregation with Brandi Carlile in the broad church of Americana. Often involving a banjo, and some simpering vocals and semi crying violins, single coil unrocky guitar licks. That sets the tone, echoes of folk, and country, a few paces on from 80's rebel country stars that shaped C&W then. This skips on a few steps more. There's dashes of the Gospel soul of the '70's, and touches of 60's folk rock, into a jambalaya of music and song. Love Allison's her voice, it's plaintiff, romantic and honest, there's a real mix in play here, styles and influences, love the slide into French / Creole. A slice of Louisiana, that roots this music a long freight train ride from the sweet syrup that's associate with Nashville's Rhinestone Country. 


ITALIA 90 - Leisure Activities (Brace Yourself)
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by Toon Traveller

Faced with Italia 90, one cannot forget Gazza's tears. Italia 90 the band can't forget The Gang of Four and they are all the better for it. Here's the same generational anger as those urban poets of Notts, The Sleaford Mods, but added guitar and ghostly driven melodies. Leisure Activities is insistent and explodes with guitar aggression at one point which really gives an onomatopoeical sense to their political stance. This offers  a stinging and strong slap in your face message, erm, wake up? A call to arms I've rarely heard since, 80's heroes The Redskins knocked it on the head. Nodding approvingly, feeling a dormant torch 'as been picked up, and the revolution ain't dead, and there's is hope for the Youth of today. It's really saying something.


THE WEDDING PRESENT - We All Came From The Sea (Radio Edit) (Scopitones)
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by Ancient Champion

Well, that was a pleasure wasn't it. From the getgo, from wayback, David Gedge has been good with guitars and We All Came From The Sea neither shirks nor slouches in that dept. Although, how does he do it, I'd really like to know? Layer upon massively delicious layer of six string sounds guitar mountains and vocals and bottomy bass and... delightful percussion. There are Ray Davies like qualities at large here I kind of think although, not in a retro way. How come we don't get anything from their publicists? Maybe they need better pr because this is great. Actually totally great classic-like. Put it on repeat and it'll get you through most of the day.


VICTOR ORLANDO - Get Ready (unsure)
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by Toon Traveller

Love the keyboards here, and the horns. Always a good way to start - can turn any day into a sunny day, full of hope, full joy. A gospel full of love and life's joy, listen and it's NOT HERE. Yes  wonderful warmth  voice, a rise to the Bridge and Middle eight. Too polished for my tastes, it's not the danceability of The Mighty Clouds of Joy.  However I do have real issues with what sounds like a message he's one of the chosen one's that God will anoint, Nawh not having that one. There's real passion here, if you can get past the message. This ran into the second Latin percussion track, similar messages. Hard to judge music and passion, when the sub text is one of superiority. Great voice, and feel shame about the "chosen people  to heaven message." God is not so good then, picking and choosing. 


PLASTIC HARPOONS - East of State (Lolipop Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Marginally better than most of the recent 'rock' music I've heard. Opens with great power chords, and slips into a easy groove, think a sleazy late night drive, border small town, maybe think of the opening minutes of Touch of Evil. Cruising, nowhere to go, nowhere to run. End of the road, 'last call for alcohol,' neon pools,  old tired streets, young voices dispossessed, distant from life at 23. Forget the FAKE rebel yells this is clapped out 90s ford focus, wrong side of the tracks kids, looking for love, waiting for marriage, and trailer park homes. Empty bars and nowhere, lives. Zero hours future. A voice of the beaten down, had all too hope generation, poignant soaring guitar swooping through the dying chords as the car drifts out of small town, one street, America, into the the empty void of their parents shoes they feel destined to fill.


LPs

THE RAKERS - The Morality of Heart Transplants (Full Tilt Records)
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by Ancient Champion

Celebrate good times everyone! Consider, The Morality of Heart Transplants... from The Rakers of Baton Rouge. Moving on from their garage rock years... Here's a first impression of the band delightfully raking over the hallowed arable land tended by Green on Red - if you hanker after those days when nothing much mattered but Gas, Food, Lodging then Louisiana's The Rakers have the Morality of Heart Transplants for you to consider. There's plenty of crazy horses standing their ground, and Dusty and Danny and Chuck Prophet too. Rocking and refreshingly reaching the parts other rockers can't reach, The Rakers' The Next Right Thing sounds like they found fragments of tore up tape from Mitch Easter's garage in 1981 and pieced it together with a fuzz... Great! Great! Great! Seek it out!


SUDAN ARCHIVES - Natural Brown Prom Queen (Stones Throw)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

Album of the Year......there I said it! In a year of great albums (Adwaith, Michael Head, Gintis for starters) this, the second record by Sudan Archives is a triumph. Released on the perennially reliable Stones Throw Records, home of Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib/Quasimoto etc, singer, songwriter, violinist Brittney Parks has produced a dizzying melange that veers from R&B, to Jazz, to goodness knows what, often within the same song. It's a tough album to review because its just so eclectic, brave, confident, exciting, without a clue where its going next... Ah dammit-stop reading my nonsense and go and lose yourself in it....again.....and again.....and again....


DAVID BOWIE - Moonage Daydream - A Film by Brett Morgan (Parlophone)
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by Jay Lewis

A perfect accompaniment to Brett Morgan's spectacular documentary and, without doubt, the best Bowie 'Best Of' there is.

Sometimes deviating from the traditional linear path, 'Moonage Daydream' makes a leap from a snatch of 'Space Oddity' to 'Hallo Spaceboy' and it all makes beautiful sense. The original numbers, the live recordings, remixes, and occasional snatches of dialogue blend together to create a unified whole, not just a selection of tracks. There are genuine surprises (an unaccompanied snatch of the vocal for 'Blackstar', the delirious guitar coda on the live version of the title track, a stripped-back mix of 'A New Career in a New Town'). Only perfunctory live renditions of 'Sound and Vision' and "Heroes" make me ache for the studio versions.

'Moonage Daydream' is not a historical artifact, it's too alive, too exciting. A reminder of how you first fell in love with this music and why it is still so exhilarating, so strange and so joyously new every time you hear it.


MAYA HAWKE - Sweet Tooth (Mom + Pop Music)
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by Spanish Pantalones

There’s a strong chance that I would’ve eaten this shit up in the early ‘90s. Mary Lou Lord, Tanya Donelly, Juliana Hatfield, Liz Phair, Lisa Germano, Harriet Wheeler, Sarah Shannon – I was deep into that kind of sound. The sound that only a mousey, bookish girl in an indie band with washed-out features and a reedy-voice could deliver. Thirty years on and I just don’t have the patience for that sound anymore. At least when it’s served up the way Maya Hawke delivers it. The things that made Phair, Wheeler, and the others interesting was that they each seemed to have their own sound with a vulnerable point of view. Hawke just sort of does a color-by-numbers version of a Lana Del Rey album, the album where it sounds like she’s on Ambien.


SUEDE - Autofiction (BMG)
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by Jay Lewis

'Afternoons in bedrooms with TV meals ...'. Welcome back to Suedeworld, it's been a while, hasn't it? 

For those who have waited for the Suede album where you could shake your bits to the hits again (or shake, shake, shake to the trumpets if you're so inclined), then 'Autofiction' is it. 

However wide-screen the last few Suede albums have been, this is a reset, a record that shows how a band can still write and perform visceral, exciting, and (damn it), swaggering gems thirty years on from their debut. From the scrape of feedback and punkish simplicity of the opening of the effervescent ', She Still Leads Me On' to pounding mayhem and snatch of static that closes the final song: 'Turn Off Your Brain and Yell' this is an album that rarely faulters. Richard Oakes punk infused guitar sound may be to the fore, but It's Simon Gilbert's ferocious drumming that holds the sound together so perfectly. Anderson's lyrics may seem wiser but their still delivered in that dark and distinctly dramatic way. He has never sounded this commanding. 'Autofiction' is classic Suede, and that's a fact.


EL MICHELS AFFAIR MEETS LIAM BAILEY - Ekundayo Inversions Instrumentals (Big Crown)
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by Ancient Champion

Big Crown found a 30-box. A magical mixture of reggae and soul. This is an opportunity American readers should not resist. And in the UK, still available I think from Rough Trade and most likely elsewhere. Just record of the week any week. Except this one. Really is.


PINK FLOYD - Animals (2018 remix) (BMG)
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by Jay Lewis

In the entrance to the room dedicated to 'Animals' at the Pink Floyd retrospective exhibition at the V&A ('Their Mortal Remains' - 2017), was a display showing a version of Johnny Rotten's DIY 'I Hate Pink Floyd' T - Shirt and accompanying newspaper articles. The intention appeared to suggest that the 'social-political' (their words not mine) 'Animals' (1977), was as abrasive and challenging as anything that those silly young punks were rallying against. Whisper it quietly but on one song the never-jolly Roger Waters even uses the F word. How cutting edge they were.

'Animals' though is the moment when it all starts to go very wrong for Pink Floyd. All of the lovely soft aural textures of previous albums are discarded and a harsher environment is created to accompany Roger Waters'  didactic finger-wagging routine (this shiny 2018 remix cannot conceal that the record is still a muddy and plodding affair). The Orwell-inspired song titles are bad enough (Dogs, Sheep, Pigs) but what is worse is that Waters rants are not just misanthropic, they're playground puerile ('you fucked up old hag...ha, ha, charade you are' etc.). This was the first album that I would cringe at when a particularly crass lyric came along. T

On 'Animals' the gulf between the band and self-appointed band leader was getting more apparent and no future scab-picking concept albums would ever rectify that fact. Shame.


Essential Info
Main image The Rakers who have a new LP, The Morality of Heart Transplants

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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