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Outsideleft Week in Music with Galen and Paul We're hearing from... Galen & Paul, Big Thief, Gorillaz, The Strokes, Brother Lee, Sau Paulo Underground, Mandy Indiana, The Sextones, Royal Arctic Institute, Natural Information Society, The Blue Aeroplanes, Hello Mary, Attrition, Fishbone, Terzo, Christopher Butterfield, Monika Roscher Bigband, Fetty Wap, Eric Angelo Bessel, Nuha Ruby Ra, Delerium, Easy Star All-Stars and Charming Disaster

Outsideleft Week in Music with Galen and Paul

We're hearing from... Galen & Paul, Big Thief, Gorillaz, The Strokes, Brother Lee, Sau Paulo Underground, Mandy Indiana, The Sextones, Royal Arctic Institute, Natural Information Society, The Blue Aeroplanes, Hello Mary, Attrition, Fishbone, Terzo, Christopher Butterfield, Monika Roscher Bigband, Fetty Wap, Eric Angelo Bessel, Nuha Ruby Ra, Delerium, Easy Star All-Stars and Charming Disaster

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: March, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

Now Paul Simonon's greatest hits can have two songs on it.

SINGLES

MONIKA ROSCHER BIGBAND - Starlight Nightcrash (Zenna Records/Membran)
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by Alan Rider

Normally I would have reservations about a band named after one individual - for me a band is comprised of all its members - and the phrase 'Bigband' would send me running for the hills, but Munich's 18 strong Monika Roscher Bigband are an entirely different kettle of fish.  They sound huge.  They are huge.  But they are also capable of moments of incredible delicacy.  Following up last month's epic '8 Prinzessinnen' single and accompanying video, Starlight Nightcrash is relatively restrained, but retains the same quirky, Bjork like qualities that set this act apart, even incorporating the mangled sounds of a circuit-hacked Casio keyboard into the mix of horns, glacial vocals and rolling drums.  I despise the ordinary in music and this is definitely not ordinary.  Their third album 'Witchy Activities And The Maple Death’ is due in May.  We may very well have to pay them another visit then.


GALEN AND PAUL - Lonely Town (Sony)
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by Ancient Champion

A hold the front page moment this morning as I was driving along and along came Galen and Paul. I played this five times I love it so. And then googled who... Because I know nothing. Totally tricky easy listening with a wonderful, make that W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L.  Trumpet outro...  The best thing I've heard in yonks. Now Paul Simonon's greatest hits can have two songs on it.


SAU PAULO UNDERGROUND - Into The Rising Sun (Cuneiform Records)
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by Ancient Champion

From the album, Beija Flors Velho E Sujo [HD 24?/?96] comes the first single, Into The Rising Sun from the Chicago based Sau Paulo Underground... There's an intergalactic travelogue for you. It's brilliant by the way, parts fucked sideways up Tijuana Brass, boomy booming here and there. The theme to a movie we'll never see. This is most likely the sound God could hear when dabbling with the Creation. Good enough for God... There can't be higher praise, surely?


NATURAL INFORMATION SOCIETY - Stigmergy (eremite)
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by Toon Traveller

Natural Information Society have a new LP in April, Since Time Is Gravity. The first single, Stigmergy is here now. A couple of clicks, you're in a dark swirling world, Arab souks, Mystery of the desert night. Camels, traders, kindling fires, burbling tea pots. Tom Wait's backing band wondering what they're building in there. There is though and expression. A splash of Anatolia, into a tasty mix. A sax lifting and floating, kite-like above all. Music evoking other times and other places all investigated late at night. Stigmergy gives what you put in. Ends somewhere far from the outset with some fabulous echoes and reverb, flames reflecting on the walls of an ancient caravanserai. Popous oafd maybe, I don't know, I don't know them. But Delightful. 


TERZO - Cymbeline (Icons Creating Evil Art)
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by Alan Rider

Terzo are from Italy and claim to be a "darkwave/shoegaze/post-rock duo".  That may have lost something in translation, as I'd describe 'Cymbeline' as overlong (10 mins!) and a bit turgid.  Still, at least they can credit William Shakespeare with the lyrics and he won't be asking for royalties.  I'd better give Stratford-on-Avon a call though so they know what that spinning sound is coming from his grave.


FISHBONE - All We Have Is Now (Fat Wreck Chords)
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by Alarcon

The one thing you could rely on with Fishbone was that you never knew what they were going to throw at you next. Within one album, set, or song, they could seamlessly weave in and out of punk, calypso, polka, heavy metal, soul, rock, jazz, thrash, big band, pop, rap, funk, and avant-garde, and Angelo Moore conducted it all like a mad conductor in a bowler hat. (If you don’t believe me, watch this.) Fishbone elevated music into a brilliant cacophony that no one has ever created before or ever since and they’ve been doing it since 1979. So it’s a little difficult for me to listen to this new single. As someone who has struggled with the decades-long aftermath of divorced parents, I appreciate this song’s message, but the music itself just sort of paint-by-the-numbers ska with no hooks or surprises. Predictable, you could set your time to it. I’m giving it a generous 3 hearts though, because I bet it sounds like it's supposed to when they play it live.


NUHA RUBY RA - 6 In The Morning (Brace Yourself Records)
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by Alan Rider

Nuha Ruby Ra is pissed off.  If she doesn't like what she hears, she will just rip the turntable off the wall and throw it across the room. "God, how I've grown to hate guitars and every prick that holds one" she spits like a latter day Lydia Lunch over a pounding beat stabbed and bleeding with guitar and horn knives. You won't find her warbling wistfully over an acoustic guitar. She is more likely to smash that guitar over your head.  Just don't catch her eye.  Don't look, she is coming over!  I'm scared! 

Magnificent. 

'6 In The Morning' is taken from the upcoming 'Machine Like Me' EP out March 17th.


THE BLUE AEROPLANES - Building an Arc For the Anthropocene (Last Night From Glasgow)
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by Jay Lewis

It's been six long years since we last heard from The Blue Aeroplanes and, my word, I've missed them. Many of the delays between then and now were due to vocalist Gerard Langley being hospitalized with cancer, and then, of course, the lockdown. 'Building an Arc For the Anthropocene' is, like their the re-energized last album ('Welcome Stranger - 2017), punchier and punkier than would associate them. Having seen them on that last tour it's clear to see what a fabulous recruit to the ever-evolving lineup (at least 48 members since 1981), guitarist Bec Jevons. The layers of massed guitars on 'Building an Arc For the Anthropocene' is bewilderingly good. The single shows singer/poet Langley as being, unsurprisingly, much angrier and rather more politically engaged than we may have known him previously to be. It is an indication if the prevailing mood of their 12th studio album ‘Culture Gun’ is officially released on Fri 28th April 2023. Welcome back, Strangers!


FETTY WAP - Tonight (300 Entertainment)
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by Alarcon

Another potentially stone-cold groove that's been destroyed by Auto-Tune. I blame Cher.


MANDY, INDIANA - Pinking Shears (Fire Talk)
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by Alan Rider

Mandy, Indiana are a bit weird. A Manchester three piece who specialise in "mechanised violence" and record in West Country caves with a sound reminiscent of Einstuerzender Neubauten, in intent if not literally.  They sing in french.  They saw sounds out of their instruments rather than play.  They make cheap but effective videos in stark contrast to the over produced dross that we get sent every day at OL.  I'd say they were a tiny breath of not-completely-stale air in the vacuum that generally passes for music.  Mandy, Indiana are a bit weird and that's a good thing.


EASY STAR ALL-STARS - Moonage Daydream ft. Naomi Cowan (Easy Star Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Wow! A daring and brill fat slab of rock reggae, reggae Bowie's got the thing to keep my feet moving, retreading a well worn groove for sure, but Naomi Cowan has such a great voice, slide that over some fat bass lines and percussion and this is a delicious antidote to the hail battering the windows right now. Love the groove, the horn breaks those "freak out, far out" exhortations... Feel the groove, and wait... The classic Mick Ronson guitar solo channeled by the otherwise horrible Alex Lifeson of terrible Rush at the tracks end... This is perfect reggae for the 2020s, echoing the past, adding rock, it's powerful, with of oodles groove. Even the generally unreadable Entertainment Weekly said, "Re-invention rarely sounds this good.” Stopped clocks, and all that.


THE SEXTONES - You're So Fine (Record Kicks)
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by LamontPaul

Alright I think our contributor, Duncan, who I ran into at the allotment last week, and hadn't seen in ages, can add this to his list of incredible pop records with talky bits. There's ain't enough of that kind of thing. Duncan's piece Speaking and Singing at the Same Time is here⇒ it's one of my favorite Outsideleft items of all time. The Sextones - oh their saucy name fits into a natural groove, chi-litey, sure. But you'd do well to find more Chi-LItes records on your fave musicians record racks. The Sextones are superstar soul dudes in their own right already. Singer Mark and bassist Alexander are from the cinematic-soul project Whatitdo Archive Group, and Daniel works with soul/jazz supes Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. You're so fine is perfect archaic pop and that is a beautiful thing.


ERIC ANGELO BESSEL - Secret Lake (Lore City Music)
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by Lee Paul

From the new LP Visitation... Eric Angelo Bessel's Secret Lake is a moody minimal body of water for sure. Chilling. A hit for the Angelino Heights mansions this Halloween. 


EPs

ATTRITION - The Switch (Two Gods)
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by Alan Rider

Attrition seem to have been going forever.  Possibly they have. The Switch EP shows why they are still here, showcasing a track from their forthcoming album ‘The Black Maria’. With trademark pulsating electronics and gruff and near indecipherable vocals, coupled with operatic moans from founder member Julia and Anni Hogan donating notes on the Grand Piano, its instantly recognisable as them. The rest of the EP is made up of remixes of the title track by others, but none can hold a candle to the original.  There is certainly no one like Attrition and they have carved themselves out a pretty unique place in the dark electronic world, which means that when they finally get round to releasing The Black Maria (and it’s been quite a wait), it will be well worth it.


CHRISTOPHER BUTTERFIELD - Souvenir (Red Shift Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Humm jagged piano opening pensive hesitant drums, repeated bird motif, a true soundscape that's full of mystery, intrigue and surprise. This hops, and skips, missing a beat, but misses THE RIGHT BEAT, if you gat my drift. The spaces are there for YOU and ME to fill in our Imagination. This is music that demands we listen and explore as opposed to merely "hear." Is there a direction, well that's for us to determine, love the swirl and shifting times and keys, There's all the big band stuff, brash horns, scrapped strings, and hints or early romantic classics, cut, snipped, pasted and eased in. This a long piece of pace and delights, in particular the repeated flutes hint of light and warmth, playful in the overall introspective piece's impression. not too sure I love this piece, it flutters and flusters, and draws on a few to many 'other periods', but when it cooks, it's Michelin five stars, and there's more than enough substance to leave you filled and wondering what's for desert. Frame video below. Pre-order Christopher's LP here⇒


LPs

THE STROKES - The Singles Volume 01 (Legacy Recordings)
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by Alarcon

Go listen to this, you know you're gonna love it. It's a boxset comprised of the ten original singles released from their first three studio albums. It's made up of a bunch of poorly recorded demos, b-sides, alternate takes, and it'll remind you how important they were to the trajectory of rock and roll. Thank god for the Strokes.


DELERIUM - Signs (Metropolis)
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by Alan Rider

Sign is the 15th Long Player from Delerium. Alan Rider reviews it right here⇒


ROYAL ARCTIC INSTITUTE - Coma To Catharsis (Already Dead Tapes)
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by Toon Traveller

This is a cassette only release. Like to see the editors do with that cos they didn't send it to me and I have the Japanese JVC still ready to go. Still waiting. Coma To Catharsis? Mostly mellow in a very mellifluous sort of way. Very. Sorta opening mysterious, patterns, wistful, romantic, reminiscent of 70's late night floating on a water bed music. Redolent of the spacey, spaced, slightly trippy music of the pre-punk 70s, listened to while sat in mates' bed sits, smoking, talking nonsense, before going on to be estate agents, accountants, and media workers. This floats along going where YOU want it to go. Yeah that's right hipsters, this is transcendental music, there's a big bit if Les Baxter, that's just the right side of incidentally.  Sit and chill after a long drive in heavy traffic. Strangely evocative and inspirational, makes me want to travel, somewhere ethereal, any suggestions?


GORILLAZ - Cracker Island (Warner Records)
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by Alarcon

While we’ve already heard half of the album (five of Cracker Island’s songs have already been released as singles over the last six months), I haven’t lived with the full LP long enough to determine whether I like it or if it's the anti-climactic middler I think it might be. That said, it’s not the album I was initially hoping for. While Cracker Island has a lot of elements that I listen for in a Gorillaz production, it sounds different -- more lush and sprawling. Ultimately, Cracker Island has sonic cohesion, but all of its guest singers feel tacked on this time out and gives the record a patchy, piece-meal feel. Stevie Nicks, the Tame Impala Guy, Adeleye Omotayo, Bad Bunny, Thundercat, the Pharcyde’s Bootie Brown, Beck -– too many cooks! Thematically, I was partially correct in my concert review of Gorillaz at the Forum last summer: Cracker Island is mostly about losing one’s self to the internet and cults of personality, but those things are only there if you listen for them. I suspect most Gorillaz fans will just listen to this one for the “vibes.”


CHARMING DISASTER - Super Natural History (Charming Distaster)
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by Alan Rider

Charming Disaster present themselves as a 'goth-cabaret Folk' Vaudeville duo from Brooklyn in the Dark Cabaret mould of Tiger Lillies and Dresden Dolls.   All hurdy gurdy and horns, Super Natural History is their fifth album to date, following on from last years Pandemic penned 'Our Lady of Radium' based on the life of Marie Curie.  It doesn't grab you as instantly as Urban Voodoo Machine, nor is it as weird, but they do have their own Tarot deck and Evil Eye Drops and an off-the-wall live stream if you like. If you are looking for an underbelly to scratch, this isn't too hairy.  Preordering from Bandcamp on vinyl, CD and download.


HELLO MARY - Hello Mary (FrenchKiss Records)
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by Alan Rider

Goodbye Mary.


BROTHER LEE | Serequellograms (Dime)
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by Lamontpaul

The fourth LP in 20 months from Brother Lee puts him in a class alongside the great brit eccentric musician-poets, Robyn Hitchcock, Anton and Brian Jones. Look, they don't have to be British. They are Britishers. 


Other Materials

BIG THIEF - Vampire Empire (4AD or something)
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by Lee Paul

Big on Big Thief. Have loved most parts of most of their records so far. Didn't enjoy that Glastonbury thing much. What I like about this is they look like they just close their eyes and pull whatever they pull out of the tour clean laundry hamper. Absolutely mastering wearing bad clothes not well. Vampire Empire, a new song, As Seen On TV, unreleased in any other format. Easy on the ears. 


Essential Info
Main image Galen and Paul looking good

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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