Sunday, November 26, 2006


Japanese label Accident Records have put out some fine records, however hard to come by they are. There's the reissue of the old La-Di-Da comp Hoopla, the Trixie's Big Red Motorbike compilation, and of course Don't Send Me Flowers - the collection of all (?) the Twa Toots material. Twa Toots were, like Trixie's Big Red Motorbike, an early 80's British pop band and it's not too much of a stretch to call them pre-tweepop. The two main women were Sarah Brown and Philippa Richmond. Sarah was also in Sundress with Mark Randall (Fat Tulips), who recorded the Give Your Heart Another Day EP for Sunday Records in 1994. Three years before that Twa Toots released a reunion single called "Don't Send Me Flowers" and this is it.


Mother Watch Me Burn

One of the records I picked up at the Edinburgh Avalanche was Flowers In the Sky: The Enigma of the Revolving Paint Dream, just out on Rev-Ola, thanks to Joe Foster it seems. I was alerted to this world-toppling release by David, so it's thanks to his raving that I've now had the pleasure of hearing fabulous paisley-tinged creations such as "Sun, Sea, Sand". There's even a song here called "Stop the World"! Coincidences, or maybe just fate. Cherry Red/Rev-Ola have given us some stunning compilations this and last year, and this one is right up there with the Chesterf!elds, The Loft and The Servants retrospectives. Just a snippet of the text on the back cover is enough to get you down to the record shop straight away, really.

According to legend, Innes recieved a late night telephone call and took a cab to the studio. What he found was allegedly a scene of utter desolation: smashed instruments, the walls daubed with pink swastikas and a smell of burning. Outside was a bonfire of clothing, guitars and recording tape, and a note which read: "We are invisible... we cannot see you".

The enigma bit isn't just plucked out of thin air, The Revolving Paint Dream have always been a bit of a mystery. The line-up was not fixed, but rather included various people part of the Creation scene at the time, including Alan McGee and Andrew Innes. The songs are really good, not just the legendary Creation single "Flowers In the Sky". I'd like to put some songs here, but as it's all available in the "proper" fashion, I'll wait until the next podcast/radio show. That feels like a more sanctioned medium.

Stop the World, I Want to Get On

We went to Edinburgh yesterday, mainly to go see the play Do I Mean Anything to You /// Or Am I Just Passing By?, written by Gerard McInulty (ex-The Wake) and sondtracked by The Pastels. But we took the bus in the early afternoon sun, to have time for a bit more. First record-shopping at the Cockburn Street Avalanche (the other one and the Glasgow one are not nearly as good). Andrew Tully from Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes was behind the counter. He watched with interest as the other guy handled my purchase of Nixon (the second Desperadoes album). I also found the Groovy Little Numbers single collection (another Avalanche release), the first Altered Images single (written by Caesar who played guitar with them before forming The Wake), and the new Revoling Paint Dream retrospective. We then walked around for a while, but didn't get very far because of the drizzling rain and the storm-strength wind. We did pop in at The Scotch Whisky Centre however, to buy some presents, and a little something for ourselves. Suddenly seized by hunger, we went down to West Nicolson Street to get a bite to eat at vegetarian café/restaurant Susie's. A rather big bite, I should say, because there was nothing medium about their Medium Plate! I had an enchilada and some tasty greek and rice salads. Then there was just enough time for the walk to the Traverse Theatre. It's a very nice place and if you're ever in Edinburgh you should go there, if only for a drink. Other people seemed to have done just that, by the look of it. The no. 2 theatre was not even half full as the play started. The stage was U-shaped with the audience sitting on three sides, and Stephen and Katrina in a corner with their equipment. Most of the music was pre-recorded anyway, except for some cymbals and glockenspiel. The Pastels' music was really good, but the play itself stood up on its own as well. It consisted of four monologues, by two men and two women. I liked the first and the last ones best. One thing I remember thinking about was a line by the third actor on: "Stop the world - I want to get on." There's a line in "What the World Is Waiting For" by The Stone Roses that goes: "Stop the world, I'm getting off!". I'm sure McInulty knows that song. That line encapsulates what the play was about, I think. I also reflected on the theatre-specific elements of the performance, as it was in many ways not unlike an avantgarde film, having a soundtrack and all. And why McInulty had chosen to do it as a play instead of film, which would have been more expected from someone of his generation. I enjoyed it, I mean.

Like Belmondo In the Movies

Belmondo is good band. Jean-Paul himself is not so bad either, although he's not in the band. But Jean-LUC Godard really is a good director. Perhaps the most eagerly refereced in POP too. These weeks I've been watching quite a few movies, which is not all that strange since one of the courses I'm doing is Film & Television Studies. We had a week on auteur theory just now and watched some Wong Kar-Wai. I'd never seen Fallen Angels (1995) before, and I have to say it's the best of his early films (obviously none of them can compete with In Mood For Love and 2046). I've also seen Alphaville by Godard, that's were the still is from. I just picked that because it reminded my of the cover of the Shapiros comp. Pam Berry WAS in Belmondo, by the way. Yesterday we went to see Nora Helmer, one of Fassbinder's rarely shown films. That's understandable, because it's not Fassbinder at his best. It was still interesting though, and a good initiative of the CCA to screen it as part of their Fassbinder season. It was a tv-adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll House, with minimal acting and lots of shots through glass and of mirror reflections.

On Friday we went to our last National Pop League for this year. (The next one is on December 29th, one day before my birthday, and I'm going to be in Sweden then.) It was good fun and hot as usual. Highlights were Wedding Present's "Nobody's Twisting Your Arm", TG's "Bringing Up Baby", Altered Images' "Don't Talk to Me About Love" and Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher". The latter gave Stuart a good chance to show off his moves. He's always just as cute!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Subcity interviewed me last week, about my application for a new show. They'd had many, but my impression was that my chances are good. So here's another podcast to keep you warm until December! These are songs that I had left after completing the tracklistings for the first few radio shows (plus some new tracks I've fallen in love with since then), and I thought I might just as well give them to you now. I just came to think of the fact that it makes this show's title even more fitting. This is Throwaway Stars, which is ALMOST a Lucksmiths song-title, and an attempt to tell you something about the nature of POP!. These are songs that will, hopefully, make you dance or cry - for the moment. Let these bands be your stars for tonight, and forget everything else. Because tomorrow you will be on the lookout for the New Thing. "Yesterday's gone and tomorrow might never come." That is not to say you will forget Widdershins or Apple Orchard. You will rediscover them next week, or even next year, and fall in love all over again. Pop music is a commodity, to be consumed and thrown away, like "a bubblegum when the flavour's gone". But it is also art – you can put your life into it and it can change your life. Pop's potential lies in the tension between art and commerce, just as with pop art. Your life is nothing but a collection of memories, of moments. Some of those are without a doubt musical moments. A good pop song will become part of you and who you are. It won't be forgotten. A good pop song is not something you pay £20 for on eBay, just so you can put it on your shelf. A good pop song is an mp3 you play on repeat twenty times and is then lost as your iPod breaks down the day after the warranty ends.

The Ups and Downs – The Living Kind
I discovered this twenty-year-old, jangling, Australian indie gem thanks to the blog Lost and Found. It's the sixteenth song Javier has shared with us and, in my opinion, the best of those still active. Go there now and discover all the other fantastic obscurities from the dusty vaults of aged vinyl!
Mary Queen of Scots – Think of Me
Another discovery made thanks to a blog. This time Andreas' Dance to the Sun. As you can read on this website, Mary Queen of Scots was the early 90's project of another Chris. Overlooked by almost everyone except Kris Waaah, it's time that changed. You can get all his songs on a cd for a symbolic sum, and if you like the guitar sound and poignant lyrics of Sarah Records you needn't think twice.
Johnny Says Yeah! – Everything Is Mine
Continuing in the mellow track. Firestation have released two brilliant retrospectives this year. A compilation of The Nivens' music and the much anticipated Long Ball Into Nowhere with (almost) everything Hey Paulette did. Not more than a year ago they also released Friends Gone By 1986-1989 with Johnny Says Yeah!, who deserve praise if not only for their exclamation mark. They were featured on the fourth Leamington Spa with the brilliant "Waiting Here For Me", but as with many obscure 80's bands, their material were of a shifting quality. They had a piano/horn section thing going on, that sometimes makes a sound I'm not entirely comfortable with. But when the more jangling elements shine through, as in this grandiose ballad, you've got to hand it to them.
Friends – Primrose Hill
Friends start off the second Leamington Spa with the epic "You'll Never See That Summertime Again" from their second album. Frontman William Jones had long been playing classical guitar when the first single "It's Getting Louder" was released in 1986. Since then eight albums have come out and there's more to come, quite soon. However, the early sound of Friends (featuring classical guitar patterns, female backing vocals and trumpets) has undergone substantial changes through the years. The last classic Friends album was Songs Without Tears from 1991 and that's where you can find this song. Thanks to the fine work of their label Summerhouse, all the Friends releases are still available.
Popundret – Behind Her
The Swedish track of the week is from Montemarte 15 40 (released by A Westside Fabrication in 1996), the only album by one of the most classic Swedish indiepop bands to date. By 1996 they were pretty much the only ones left from the original northern indie groups. If you are familiar with the history of Swedish indiepop you've probably heard their hit from this record, "Shiver Gone". I had the pleasure of hearing that and many other classics at their reunion gig at the Mitt Sista Liv festival in 2004. Popundret show that you can get away with imitating Morrissey, as long as you do it better than he does himself.
Horowitz – Sister
Pete from old Subway group The Rosehips is now in a new band, and you knew you were going to like it. The recording technique certainly doesn't show any improvement from two decades ago - more like the other way around. If you want more of this lo-fi c86, buy their first album that came out on Kitchen earlier this year!
Apple Orchard – Summer Memories
You probably know the story about Apple Orchard by now - the Marquez brothers who moved from The Philippines to California and took their name from a Bouquet song. They've done a bunch of cassettes, but their first single "A Hiding Smile" came out early this year and is still the best 45 of the year. This is a cover of an Autumn Almanac song that might never get released. The Apple Orchard release schedule is slow, if not only for all of Ryan's other projects. He also completed the debut (and goodbye) album with The Haircuts this year, which you I thought I'd play for you sometime soon. In addition he has (and has had for quite some time) a new label in the works, called Haymarket, whose first release will be a compilation called From Christmas Steps to Southend-On-Sea, to be released sometime next year.
Annemarie – Strawberry Fields
A band still based in Asia - Indonesia to be precise - but that gained international fame with their Living Model EP. This song will be included on the forthcoming full-length that is to be released by the excellent Swedish label Music Is My Girlfriend.
Mr. Suitcase – After Winter's Rain and Ruin
Billy Rimgard is the most brilliant light on a fading Swedish electro scene. Following his debut EP The Shame of Being Imperfect, a cdr of leftovers appeared. It's called Leftovers and can be downloaded from his website. This is one of two "new" tracks on it.
Ring Snuten! - Mellanstadiediskot
Ring Snuten is Patrik of Hormones In Abundance fame. His new name means "call the cops" and goes with a more electronic sound that is simultaneously slower, grander and influenced by old Swedish pop singers. He sings some songs in Swedish, but I've chosen one of those in English for you. Only Ring Snuten could write a convincing song about this subject. The title can be translated as "middle-school disco" and it's about when were around "eleven and a half" - too old for birthday parties with parents and too young for throwing your own parties (and getting drunk). The middle-school disco is an institution in Sweden, or at least it was when I grew up. The teachers would arrange a party each year, that would usually take place in the classroom, under their supervision. This song reminds one of how strong one's feelings could be despite young age.
Harper Lee – William Blake
This almost makes you want to start a band called William Blake and write a song about Harper Lee! Or at least start a new band called Harper Lee, because Keris says this is the end for his project. This is a song from their, hopefully not, last EP called He Holds a Flame, released by Matinée when the sun was still shining.
Another Sunny Day – I Want You
Harvey called the demos posted on indie-mp3 uninspired, but this 1986 demo might be one of his most inspired songs. The sound isn't the best, but I think you can live with that because this song is so direct, so true and so... good!
Mighty Mighty – Throwaway
Here's where the bubblegum quote comes from. This is a perfect pop song, from the first decisive drumbeat, through the classic four-chord sequence, down to the very POP! line "am I really so disposable?". Mighty Mighty were on the C86 tape and this song is from one of their early singles, and can also be found on their Vinyl Japan single collection. They had a clear Orange Juice (not only vocally) and 60's influence on their sound, so here's an appropriate song to follow it:
The Urges – It Ain’t Right
One of the most authentic 60's revival bands today, Dublin's The Urges do a convincing take on The Seeds here. The singer even goes some way in imitating the inimitable Sky Saxon! If there's ever a Children of Nuggets II box - they will be on it.
The Artistics – This Heart of Mine
Now for some real 60's sounds. Our northern track of the week is one of the most majestic I know of. The Artistics were on the Okeh label, the closest you get to a "northern soul label". The single was released in 1965 when the label was still Chicago-centred and it was the group's only hit before they moved on to Brunswick.
Widdershins – A Place In Time
"A Place In Time" makes for a suitable ending this time around, with its tale of ageing and lost love. It's from the download single "Now You Know", released by Egg Records in anticipation of their recent Widdershins retrospective Good Songs 1987-1989. It was originally intended for a scrapped 1990 single. You can hear how Juilet Ward's amazing voice sounds slightly more mature than in the good old Lighthouse Keepers days, but that only serves to lend an added depth to lines such as "nothing feels like anything anymore".

Throwaway Stars

(SPLASH 2 should be up and working again now. As before, let me know if this or earlier podcasts stop functioning.)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Perfect to a Tea

The other day we went to Tchai Ovna to see Lily O'Lee, The Hermit Crabs and California Snow Story. It was a really nice evening and I truly regret not having discovered this cosy tea house earlier. It's very small, so maybe it was just as well I left the opera mid-performance to get there just after eight. How typical, walking out on a baroque opera to go to an indiepop show! I met two guys from Hello Saferide, and to my sorrow, found out that Sounds of Sweden had been on a Wednesday this week! Which means I could have gone to that as well. I'm really dissappointed that I missed The Poems. I consoled myself with a pot of dhesi tchai. I also met a very nice man called David, a longtime Glasgow indie scenester I guess we could call him. Unfortunately my camera battery gave in right at the beginning of the evening, so this is the only photo I have to show for it. It was equally a pleasure to meet David from California Snow Story, who gave me one of their new, cute badges! And the album will be out on Letterbox on January 29th. It looks like the next two months will be a really eventful record releasing period, with the new Matinée releases, the California Snow Story album, The Orchids' new one and the A Smile and a Ribbon debut! The Hermit Crabs made a very good impression on me, I've never heard them before. Their second guitarist was playing an electro-acoustic, nylon-stringed guitar instead of his electric, which made the sound more interesting. And they'd also recruited a new violin player for the night! California Snow Story was even better. They only played one old song, I think, and most of the new ones were quite slow. But in that beautiful Postal Blue way. Maybe it was the guitar sound that made me think of Postal Blue - you know, muted and warm, low on the treble? I'm very much looking forward to that album! Oh, and they played "Candy Says" too, which you can't hardly go wrong with. Next weekend we might go to the play Do I Mean Anything To You Or Am I Just Passing By?, the one The Pastels have done the music for.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


You should already know about Snowbirds from SPLASH 2, and if you've looked them up, "Beautiful Morning" ought to have caught your eye - or ear. It's one of their best, and the perfect twee song. Fast and sweet like a sugar rush. Here it is, but by another one of my favourite twee groups: Bella Vista, Mark's pre-Pipas band. They did the third ever release on Matinée Recordings: the sold out Was the Last EP, as well as another single and one split. I'm a bit confused as to where this cover comes from though. On the split, The Best Wishes do a cover of it, but this recording definitely sounds like Bella Vista. Have to ask Mark! The Bella Vista version is slow and jangling. Being almost twice as long as the original, I hardly recognised it at first! They've also done an (incredibly enough) superior version of The Carousel's "My Boy and His Motorbike". They deserve to remembered, if not only for that.


One Good Autumn

These have been busy days. I've had a visit from my friend Marie and spent the weekend doing as many things as we possibly could. We went to see the fascinating exhibition Doves & Dreams at the Hunterian, displaying the much too rarely seen work of the "other two" of The Four: James Herbert McNair and his wife Frances Macdonald. We strolled out East to The Barras Market and Glasgow Green with its humid Winter Garden, via the cathedral and the Necropolis (a suitable place for Sinister picnics indeed!). We popped in at the Art School and the CCA, and came back in the evening to honour Andrew Symington's club Divine! with our presence. Undaunted by the rain (propelled by strong gusts of wind) we satisfied our cravings for antiques and second hand goods through a string of shops, ending up at Mono, where our more physical hunger was stilled. We rode buses, subway cars and trains, and learned to appreciate the importance of comfortable foot-wear. And finally, my girlfriend arrives today, with only a suitcase-full of essentials due to new restrictions on baggage weight. Tomorrow I will have to get busy writing an essay in musical philosphy. And don't even start me talking about Thursday. Blast it, I'll go ahead and do it anyway. First of all I'm missing Sounds of Sweden, featuring Hello Saferide. I had planned to go and see a rare Fassbinder film at the CCA, for the small sum of £1.50. Now those plans have been ditched as well. But for a very happy reason, I should say. This week Matinée finally revealed the identity of their new act: The Hermit Crabs. Suitably, they are from Glasgow, although they're completely new to me. Well not ultimately, because two of the members were previously in Camera Obscura off-shoot California Snow Story, who with the help of Shelflife gave the world a beautiful EP called One Good Summer five summers ago. Such great news, and finally I get to live in the same city as a Matinée band! Even the those who remember Remember Fun didn't have that much fun. But what about Thursday? Well, it just so happens that The Hermit Crabs are playing a show in a tea shop not beyond walking distance from here, that very day! What's more, California Snow Story apparently reformed (or formed again, differently) early this year and are also playing on that very same night! And they have an ALBUM coming out next year. I'm overwhelmed with good news all at once! Maybe it will come out on Shelflife, because it doesn't stop there. It seems the esteemed label in stirring in its sleep and will soon be out and about once more! I just heard from Rebecca that they plan to release the A Smile and a Ribbon debut album in January. And that is simply unbelievable.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I still have high hopes for a radio show, and Subcity is going to interview me soon, but I found out that broadcasting will not start until December. I think it's strange that they wait so long from the beginning of the semester – back in Lund the new shows started already in September. Obviously, I don't want you to wait that long. I've decided to give you the show I had planned to do as my second as a podcast instead. The radio shows will all have titles and catalogue numbers, starting with SPLASH 1. SPLASH 1 was going to be an introduction to the whole series of shows, so I will save that for the first show proper. Instead, here is Raining In My Heart, SPLASH 2! It is based on the autumn-themed mixtape I made earlier. As I wrote then, the title is a well-known song and also an EP by British 60's group The Pretty Things. I also chose this one for the podcast, because a few people have been asking me to upload the mix. It doesn't have any talking, I just couldn't be bothered. You can just read what I have to say instead:

The Cat's Miaow – Autumn
What better way is there to start any indiepop endeavour than with a Cat's Miaow song? Australia have given us many fine bands, but this just might be the best. You can find this song, and about 70 more if you pick up the two comps that Library put out three years ago. "Autumn" is of the average Cat's Miaow length so 70 songs isn't really that much! Halloween was earlier this week, so a bit late maybe, but here's a song about pumpkins and drinking gin:
The Pines – October Gin Again
Bart from Cat's Miaow was also in The Shapiros with Pam Berry, as you may know. That band was around for about three weeks, but the most enduring of Pam's projects has turned out to be The Pines. "October Gin Again" was on the Please Don’t Get Married EP (issued by Becalmed in 2001) and is likely to be included on the upcoming Pines full-length on Matinée. It's not really an album, but a collection of EPs and compilation tracks.
Brighter – Summer Becomes Winter Again
Indeed summer becomes winter… again. Another Matinée compilation, that you couldn't have missed by this time, is the magnificent Out to Sea with Brighter. This song was originally on their only album Laurel.
The Clientele – The Evening In Your Eyes
Oh there's nothing that encapsulates a city dressed in autumn leaves the way The Clientele does! We haven't heard anything from them this year, but last autumn was to a large extent soundtracked by Strange Geometry. More overlooked was their other release at the end of the year: It's Art Dad, a compilation of demos 1991-1997. This is one of many stunning tracks on that record.
The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience – Shadows
A song that reminds me of The Clientele quite a lot, and they definitely share the 60's psych influence. This New Zealand band was one of the best Flying Nun could boast in the 80's. It's on The Size of Food from 1988.
The Sea Urchins – Please Rain Fall
Another band that wore their 60's influence on their sleeves. You probably know everything about these Sarah darlings already, so I won't bore you. As you may have noticed, not all the songs here are actually ABOUT the autumn. It's much easier to find songs about rain, so here's another one:
The June Brides – In the Rain
From one indiepop classic to another – the first single from The June Brides. Phil Wilson finished his set at the ICA with this one. If you haven't picked up the Cherry Red retropective yet, bad luck, it's sold out! You've probably heard "In the Rain" already and wasn't sure whether to choose the Lovejoy cover instead, but I wanted to play June Brides. The cover is really good though, recorded for the tribute cd, but now also included on the latest Lovejoy EP: England Made Me.
The Desert Wolves – November
Another song from a sold out retrospective and this one actually about the current month! After including "Mexico" on The Sound of Leamington Spa Volume 1, Firestation (then Firestation Tower) released one of my favourite cds ever: Pontification, with nine amazing songs by one of the most criminally overlooked band there are. Still, you may have more luck finding that than the original singles.
The Go-Betweens – The Sound of Rain
Something in memory of Grant McLennan then. One of the songs recorded in Australia for a would-be album. I think there are several cds compiling these early tracks. God bless him!
Glo-Worm – One Million Rainy Days
Another Pam Berry band, I confess that I can't get enough of them! This might be my favourite though. It's light as cotton and sweet as cotton candy. Still available on the K Records Glimmer comp, I think. Or hope.
Harper Lee – Autumn
I sincerely hope Harper Lee aren't really calling it a day. Their new ep is SO good. And their last album, that "Autumn" is on, seemed so promising! Harper Lee meant more to me than I can describe that autumn two years ago. I was hopeful when one day I listened to "I Could Be There For You", the next day it made me cry my eyes out. But especially Go Back to Bed, where all the lyrics reflected my life at time so well it was scary. Keris must have been in exactly the same situation when he wrote those songs. All Things Can Be Mended was equally bleak, but this song was a streak of hope right in the middle.
The Castaway Stones – Autumn II
The last band Pam Berry was in before she moved to London. Sometimes they are my favourite too! If I'm not mistaken Castaway Stones shared members with Slumberlanders The Ropers and The Saturday People. This song is from their 1998 album Make Love to You, a Shelflife classic and obviously sold out.
The Budgies – Summer Come Back!
The reason The Budgies are italicised is not because the are exceptionally good, which they are of course, but because they are this week's Swedish Band. There will be one for every show and we start out with the best of the best – at least they were before Days turned up. One thing's for sure, The Budgies is the only proper tweepop band that is still around in Sweden! This song was meant for a compilation, don't know if it is out yet. If you like The Budgies you should invest in the new live cd, which you can get cheap from
here. If anyone can bring the summer back – it's The Budgies!
Snowbirds – Rainy Day Boy
Snowbirds is probably my favourite "twee" band. They took their name from "Snowbirds Don't Fly" by Razorcuts and the girl was dating The Legend!. Their sound takes all the juicy bits from Razorcuts, Talulah Gosh, The Rosehips and mix them all into one sweet twee milkshake. This is from their demo, that you can find on the Waaah! site.
Sandra Phillips – World Without Sunshine
Twee certainly has a few things in common with northern soul and 60's fashion in general. This is this week's Northern Soul Hit, hence the italics, and it will work in the same way as the Swedish theme. As you know, there are not many northern songs about autumn, they're all about love, but this one has a suitable title at least. It's from 1966.
The Watermelon Men – Autumn Girl
The 60's revival spawned its equivalents in Sweden too. Swedish pop band Watermelon Men can be seen as such, indeed they are included on last year's The Children of Nuggets box, which I only just found out about. I got this song thanks to Little Hits and it's from their 1985 album Past, Present, and Future.
Love Parade – Autumn
My collection of Love Parade songs is growing slowly. There's one on Indiepages just now. Graeme Elston has been in a host bands: Astronaut, Luna, Pure and most recently Slipslide. But as usual the first is the best. "Autumn" was on their first release from 1990.
East Village – Black Autumn
Justly viewed as the best band in the world by many indiepop fans, East Village is also in my top ten. This is my favourite track off of their only album, Drop Out. What was once the Most Expensive Indiepop Record, the Hot Rod Hotel singles comp, is now available as part of the new reissue of Drop Out. A welcomed gift to the world from Japanese Excellent Records, from earlier this year. You haven't missed THAT, have you?

Raining In My Heart

(To avoid upsetting any of the bands, this will only be available until the next show. Let me know if the link stops functioning before then.)

Friday, November 03, 2006


If Belle & Sebastian hadn't been such an important part of my life and helped me survive school, Brighter would have been my favourite band. In 2004 I spent many a summer day listening to the jangling guitars of songs like "I Don't Think It Matters" and somehow, the world seemed so beautiful. I wrote many songs that summer, one of them was "Cinderella's Boots". I was really let down when my naive view of the world later came to pieces. But sometimes when I listen to Brighter these days, I experience that feeling again. Such as today, when the autumn chill makes me think back on summer days in Sweden. Of being in love, not knowing what do to about it. Brighter told me what to do and what to think. Not long ago a gave a mixtape to girl which had "Never Ever" at the end. Discovering new Brighter songs is a pleasure that is hard to match. A few weeks ago Tom gave us some demos he had found. Some of them had no name and suffered from an abysmal sound quality. Keris gave me the titles and I tried to improve the sound. Now I'm giving you "Sunburst" back. It was on the first demos Keris sent to Sarah Records. If you feel old today, this song will make you cheer up.

Life is love and summer days

Brighter - Sunburst

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Psychedelic Halloween

This morning, walking to school, I saw Stuart in Ashton Lane. Wonder what he'd been doing yesterday night? Halloween wasn't yesterday, but the day before yesterday you know. I was in town around midnight and Sauchiehall street was just packed with people, dressed in bad excuses for scary costumes, queuing to get into some club or other. Well I was just leaving a club, Capitol, that had four bands playing that night. I mainly went to see my friends All My Friends, who do a really good take on psych pop with equal parts Brian Wilson, Elephant6 and sixties psychedelia. I also got to see The Get Set Go, whose drummer is playing with AMF too. They went on when there was virtually no-one in the club, but I quite liked them. Then there was a rubbish band before Only Joe Kane was on. Joe played guitar on a few songs for AMF, but unfortunately I didn't get to see his own band because I had to go home. AMF friends are only just getting a full band together, so hopefully, I'll get to play some guitar for them!