Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Episode 4's only record - the twelve inch Strike Up Matches has become known as one of the most expensive indiepop records there are. According to the East Village page (cause it's the same band) on Indiepages it been sold for around $500, which is ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as $600 for the East Village single collection Hot Rod Hotel. That has been reissued now (as part of the new deluxe edition of Drop Out on Excellent Records), but still no sign of Strike Up Matches... So here is one of the four songs on it. They're all more acoustic than the East Village stuff, and not as good as East Village at their best moments. It's still fantastic though, so thanks for the songs Ben!


The Night You Can't Remember

I've been enjoying my first week of the uni Easter Break and I've had time to do a bit more than previous weeks. The first thing I did was to go to the Magnetic Fields tribute night at MacSorley's two weeks ago. Covers were played by musicians from bands like Dot to Dot, The Royal We, Hermit Crabs and Older and Far Away for several hours. The best set was from the band called The Meritocracy (pictured below) - made up for the night. And that was mainly because Hermit Crab-John played guitar. Older and Far Away were good as well - I've never seen them before. I'm looking forward to seeing them with The Hermit Crabs at the RAFA Club on April 13th (yes, it's a Friday...).

This week I went Hitherto (small shop inside Tinderbox) where some friends of the Mono folk put on the Japanese folk guitarist Naoto Kawate, who has been seen playing with Maher Shalal Hash Baz on occasion. He was really shy and had the quietest voice. But his guitar-playing was beautiful and ranging from virtuosity to awkwardness. It was instrumental because 'the notes were the words' or something. Supporting him was a lone David Scott without backup from the rest of The Pearlfishers. I've never listened much to The Pearlfishers although I like them, but I will now! It was a great performance and top quality songs, including a charming cover of the Pentangle song "Lord Franklin". Stephen and Katrina were there of course, as well as Norman Blake and Duglas T Stewart (who seemed to have gotten a recent haircut).

The day after that, on Friday, I went to Sounds of Sweden. This month it was at Bacchus and had Television Keeps Us Apart and Zoey Van Goey on the bill. Only the former were from Sweden of course, but I've never heard of them before. They were quite good, but it seemed the bulk of the crowd were there to see local attractions Zoey, who were as good as the last time I saw them. Next month (on Easter Sunday!) it's The Ex-Men (who include a guy from Death By Chocolate, but which is of no consequence musically I gather) and Mr. Suitcase, which means I'll finally be able to see him play live.

The Even More Brilliant Corners

I recently made a life-changing discovery. Remember how I said before that I've always wondered why The Brilliant Corners sound so different on the BBC Sessions lp that I've got? Better, I've always thought though. I suddenly came up with the idea to slow the songs down, after having messed around with Tullycraft's "Twee" (you should try listening to it speeded up - it's the funniest thing ever!). I soon found out that the BBC Sessions lp is pressed at a speed that is approximately 15% too fast, with the result that everything is one tone step higher. This is not so on the cd version, I've checked, but I have yet to found out if all the vinyl copies are defective or if it's just mine! It'll be interesting to hear from other people who own the record... So now I've fixed all the songs, but they sounded better before - mainly because they were faster, and also the vocals sounded more twee. So then I made a third version of the record, which is transposed down to the right pitch but retains the same high speed. I've put up these three versions of one and the same song from the lp - "Trust Me". Which do you think sounds best? Please listen to them in the the order they are in, especially if you haven't heard The Brilliant Corners before! I wonder if the band are aware of this, or if even Vinyl Japan are. And the songs are here by the way.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Here's a new radio programme! This time with a Hey Paulette-derived title. More indiepop today, with the odd psych track as well. Seemingly without reason, the 'listen again' thing has now gone back to starting too late, which is very upsetting because I'm so excited about that Liechtenstein b-side that's supposed to be first. What I'll do is I'll upload the song and put the link and what I was saying about it in the comments as soon as I can!

Liechtenstein – Cravings
Dolly Mixture – Side Street Walker
The Fizzbombs – Surfaround
The Standells – Did You Ever Have That Feeling
Phyllis Brown – I’ve Got Something On My Mind
Butcher Boy – I Could Be In Love With Anyone
Apple Orchard – Closer
Orange Juice – You Old Eccentric
The Suede Crocodiles – Happiness Sound
The Brilliant Corners – A Very Easy Death
Emily – The Old Stone Bridge
Celestial – Dream On
The Dufflecoats – Motorbikesong
Denver – World of Pages
14 Iced Bears – Dust Remains
The Cudgels – Watermeadow Dream
The Seeds – Chocolate River
The Hepburns – I Am a Machine

Her Cluelessness Is Absolute

Monday, March 19, 2007


This is a photograph of one of the heat reflectors in Kibble Palace, Botanic Gardens, Glasgow - and nothing else. This programme was meant to be a bit electronic with a cold and crisp soundscape and was named after a Wild Swans song. Which doesn't really fit... because the Swans' sound was quite warm, and so are the tracks from Souvenir and Gwenno. But I hope you'll like it anyway. And just when I thought I'd shorten the show and start later, it seems that they've fixed the problem so there was no point starting five past! Well, all you missed was an Air France song called "Never Content". At least you'll get the to hear the intro theme now.

The Bridal Shop - Spectrum of Clarity
Trembling Blue Stars - Until the Dream Gets Broken
Sovenir - Allô , allô
They Go Boom!! - I Wish You Were Someone Else
The Wild Swans - No Bleeding
The Wake - Torn Curtain
The Snowdrops - Mad World
ático - Garden Greene
Hal - Election Day
The Magnetic Fields - In My Secret Place
Gwenno - Lime Chordial
Section 25 - Looking From a Hilltop

Now You're Perfect

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Here is the second and last instalment of Spring Rain. As before please read from 42 upwards. I've noticed that "Stop the Rain" by The Suede Crocodiles is by far the most popular DROP I've posted. I do wonder why, but I guess it is as it should be.

Sometimes people forget that Razorcuts actually recorded more songs than are on the Matinée reissues. I'm not going to go on about "Snowbirds Don't Fly" again but on their first album, called Storyteller (Creation 1987), there are two songs that were not on R Is For...Razorcuts or the following ep. Of course Jimmy couldn't include all their songs, and "Silhouette" and "Sky High" are not really among their best songs. There's no such thing as a second-rate Razorcuts songs though, and they should all be heard and treasured. Here is "Sky High" - track four on the lp for completists. I would just like to alert you to the fact that sometime Razorcuts lead guitarist Angus Stevenson is now in The Relationships with members of another of my favourite bands: The Anyways. But maybe you know them already cause they've already done two records. It escapes my how they could have passed my by so long! I mean, their first ep was on Twee Kitten! Well, more about them later, this is a Razorcuts post.


I recently bought The Brilliant Corners' second album What's In a Word from 1986. It's short - only eight songs - but that's alright because they're all great! The most well-known song from it is probably the single "Brian Rix", but I have to give you this hilarious acoustic number that rounds the album off and which is not very representative. The lyrics to many of the songs are first class: "Laugh I Could Have Cried" is about a pretend Marxist who makes him 'desperately entranced but then she opens her mouth and pulls out a tract', and you can hear the lyrics to "Boy and the Cloud" yourself - or read it above.



Stephen played guitar in a band called Bulldozer Crash and their singer Marc Elston later went on to form the brilliant Liberty Ship. Stephen has had several projects afterwards: Denver, Kosmonaut, and the latest Northern_Electrix who released a single on I Wish I Was Unpopular last year. Bulldozer Crash's unbelievable first single "Sarah Said" (Sunday 002) was on SPLASH 15, and I thought I'd give you a song from their second 7" as well. Also on Sunday Records, it was called the Automatic Smile EP. On the a-side: "What Happen's Now?" and "Mrs Robinson's Daughter". "Automatic Smile" was on the b-side, and now it is also here! Thanks to Stephen once again.



They Go Boom!!'s first release was a Dolphin 7 flexi called The Summer's On Its Way EP that came with the fourth number of the This Almighty Pop! fanzine, written by Stephen Maughan. Which means in 1990. It's not really an ep as it only has two songs, but maybe they just wanted to put that title on it. Which is a good idea of course, and the reason why it turns up here now. The other song will be part of Now You're Perfect on Monday. "Age of Innocence" is the first track on the flexi, and it comes courtesy of Stephen.



The next radio programme will be a bit more electronic, to make up for the lack of electronic pop music in previous shows. So I thought, what better time to post a song by Hal than now? No, not THAT Hal of course... This is Keris and Alex's post-Brighter project, which also included Laura Bridge I'm told. She would later start Harper Lee together with Keris. He had some songs he'd written for Brighter left and jumped at the possibility of recording them for an ep on Vinyl Japan. (One of the songs on the ep, "I Wish I'd Never Said That", turned up at Indie MP3 last year as a Brighter demo). The newly recorded versions presented a more electronic sound with more prominent drum programming, bass keyboards and some Bernard Sumner style guitar-playing among the many layers of jangle. There is also a beautiful song called "Somedays" that stands out starkly for its sparse use of guitar. The feel of the lyrics is bleaker than the older Brighter songs, that sometimes presented an innocent (but perhaps futile) hope - I'm thinking of songs like "Does Love Last Forever?". In many ways the ep is more similar to Harper Lee and their more electronic moments, like "Stupid". Or "He Holds a Flame" for that matter. As Hal, they wrote new material and played a few shows, but none of the original Hal songs were ever recorded - to my and I'm sure many other fans' chagrin. Alex Sharkey later joined Fosca for a while and then started Pinkie. If we've truly seen the last of Harper Lee, maybe we could hope for a Hal reunion then? Do you remember the songs Keris? And if we all gather in money we can sue those Hal impostors! The Election Day EP was released in 1994, and if you listen to the programme next week, you can hear the title-track as well.


Friday, March 16, 2007

I'd Whisper My Confession

After David told me how he and his sister used to make tapes every spring of the Best Songs Ever, I sat down at 1.00 am today (yesterday actually) and gave it try. (This is the sort of thing I waste my time on, when I should really be sleeping.) I obviously ended up with too much for a C-90 tape, so I separated it into two lists - one of indiepop and one of garage-psych and northern soul. And rather than an exact length of time, I limited each to 30 songs. This is the result, without any special order but of course, which songs I came up with first says something about their urgency.

Here are the pop songs, all of them from the ten year span of 1982-1992 (except for The Clientele of course):

The Anyways – My Confession
The Rainyard – 1,000 Years
The Springfields – Sunflower
The Desert Wolves – Besotted
The Mayfields – Feels Like Yesterday
14 Iced Bears – Sure to See
Bulldozer Crash – Sarah Said
East Village – Back Between Places
St. Christopher – All of a Tremble
The Hit Parade – You Didn’t Love Me Then
Hurrah! – Around and Around
The Clouds – Tranquil
The Sea Urchins – A Morning Oddyssey
James Dean Driving Experience – Drop Dead Darling
Brighter – Does Love Last Forever?
Another Sunny Day – What’s Happened
The Suede Crocodiles – Paint Yourself a Rainbow
Reserve – The Sun Slid Down the Tower
The Siddeleys – Something Almost Brilliant Almost Happened Last Night
Razorcuts – First Day
The Jaywalkers – (You Can’t Be) Happy All the Time
Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes – This Town Is Falling Down
The Submarines – Take Me Away
Felt – Hours of Darkness Have Changed My Mind
The Clientele – Lacewings
The Visitors – Waking Up to Nothing
The Orchids – Apologies
Sister Rain – Burt Reynolds
Primal Scream – Subterranean
This Poison! – You;- Think!!

Here is the 60s stuff then. I'm not as sure about this as the previous list, cause I haven't listened to this music for as long, so my favourites aren't that well cemented yet and change around quite a bit.

The Dovers – She’s Not Just Anybody
The Squires – Go Ahead
The Rain Parade – What She’s Done to Your Mind
The Nashville Ramblers – The Trains
The Poets – That’s the Way It’s Got to Be
The Flamin’ Groovies – I Can’t Hide
The Vipers – Cheated and Lied
The Music Machine – Double Yellow Line
The Chocolate Watchband – Sweet Young Thing
The Seeds – Evil Hoodoo
The Remains – Why Do I Cry
The Point – All My Life
The Action – In My Lonely Room
The Beau Brummels – Don’t Talk to Strangers
The Sound Magics – Don’t You Remember
The Palace Guard – Falling Sugar
The Del-Vettes – Last Time Around
The Sorrows – Cara-Lin
Dean Parrish – I’m On My Way
Tina Britt – The Real Thing
The Inspirations – Touch Me, Hold Me, Kiss Me
Diane Lewis – Keep a Hold On Me
Patti Young – Head and Shoulders
Cindy Scott – I Love You Baby
Bob & Fred – I’m On My Way
Jimmy Mack – My World Is On Fire
Robby Lawson – Burning Sensation
Ken Williams – Come Back
The Artistics – This Heart of Mine
Amanda Humphrey – Power of Love

It's going to be interesting to look back at this in a year! Many of these songs have been featured here earlier, and the ones that haven't probably will eventually, in one form or another. You're welcome to propose omissions!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tortoise, Tortoise, Get Bigger, Get Bigger!

Esiotrot are a Magic Band. Come on, they can't be for real! If the sound that playing children make had been music, this is what it would sound like. Listening to Esiotrot is like being let in on a secret. At first the music is mesmerizing. Then you go: that funny sound... that is a guitar? You'd never know. Oh, so that's were the furry bunny in the top hat came from! But the saw... it really has an edge to it, and now there're body parts all over the floor! And bleach on your fingers when you tried to remove the stains.

I admit I'm a bit late catching on to the Esiotrot Hype, but now I've finally bought their album Schmesiotrot thanks to Mr. Fitchett and Mr. Brogan. They're like Pants Yell! with four more members, including a mini horn section. You know how sometimes it seems like The Boy Least Likely To wish they were the cute little creatures on their record sleeve? Well, they're Esiotrot so tough luck! You should let your record shopping be dictated by Those Who Know Better too! (Hint.) And that goes in particular for records with interchangeable sleeves! I wish I'd thought of that. I wish I'd thought of Esiotrot. (Can't read backwards? Common adult symptom. Try this knil.)

Let's fight fires instead of making firewalls.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I haven't really been doing anything interesting the past two weeks, so nothing to write about. To compensate I present to you Sping Rain - our spring collection of ten magnificent songs that will come in two bundles. I've had songs I've wanted to post piling up, so here's the first five. You should start with 37 and work your way upwards.

When you've done that, you are welcome to read this paragraph! The Suede Crocodiles is the second band to be featured twice, and this is due not only to the fact that I've now actually got the Stop the Rain compilation (on Accident), but also that this group is very special. If they hadn't split up so soon, they might have got a release on Postcard, and they might be as legendary as Orange Juice are today. The quality of the songwriting is THAT good. When I listened to the record I couldn't believe that every song was as good as the previous one! It's a classic.



Reserve is the first band to get a second DROP on The Rain Fell Down. This is an not an indication that I listen to a limited range of bands, but of the unbelievable greatness of Reserve. This beautiful song is from a demo tape that Ally gave me, called In Strangled Orchards, which I suppose must be from 1987. I don't think Torquil still has the same phone number that is written on the back! Most of the songs are intense and dripping with bile, which makes this song the soothing eye of the storm. This song has never been released. And it is such a shame.

The tide comes in through derelict streets and strangled orchards.

Reserve - Postcard From Paradise


Until recently I had never really listened to The Cudgels, who where just a band I associated with Whoosh and Whaaam! But then I found a site apparently created by themselves on MySpace. Their early sound, which is represented there, sort of lumps them together with other Dan Treacy-inspired indiepop bands of the early 90s such as The Bartlebees. But listening to their album God's Children, is a totally different story. Now they've gone psych and the sound reminds me of those two 14 Iced Bears albums. God's Children came out in 1992, one year after Wonder. There are still plenty of pop moments though, as on the brilliant song here. If you like you should head on over to the Waaah! site where you can download the rest of the album.


This is the first of two DROPs I would like to give you in connection with Monday's radioprogram. The second one is No. 39, and both are decidedly psychedelic. This band is called The Hangman's Beautiful Daughters, a name they got from an Incredible String Band album. Naturally, Dan Treacy signed them to his then re-baptised Dreamworld label. He plays some keyboards on the 1987 Trash Mantra mini-album, it says on the back. This is the opening track with jangly 12-string guitar and wild vocals. There's also a great cover of Shadows of Knights' "Darkside" if you're interested.


This is the first item of Spring Rain - and one of two that you'll enjoy if you liked the Sombrero-themed radio programme last week. (The other is DROP 40 obviously.) "Sun Serious" is a monster of a back-beat pop song and was the b-side of their first single "Drive Drive Drive". It came out as the third release on Ugly Man in 1987 and the a-side was on the first volume of The Sound of Leamington Spa. And they did take their name from the old Del Monte TV commercial. If you're lucky you might find Vinyl Japan's The Good Things In Life compilations for a reasonable price!

The Man From Delmonte - Sun Serious

Monday, March 12, 2007


Have you had your daily dose of fuzztone and backwards guitar drone? Not yet? Well here you go! We've got an impressive playlist today, as you can see below. With 60's garage, psych, freakbeat, 80's garage revival and generally paisley-esque indiepop. It includes an exclusive preview of an ace song from The Branded, and you should check out the three other ones on MySpace. There was a bit of a technical hitch during the Delmontes number, but the song is repeated in full at the end of the programme. The problem with the start and stop times is still not solved so you'll have to skip to the end of Diversion for the first song. Maybe I should just do a shorter set, starting later? And don't ask me about the title of the programme... But checkered paint WOULD make for easier production of chess boards!

Episode 4 – Strike Up Matches
The Miracle Workers – You'll Know Why
The Delmontes – So It's Not to Be
Sherlie Matthews – My Sugar Baby
The Bangs – Getting Out of Hand

Death By Chocolate – John Steed Swordstick
The Brogues – I Ain't No Miracle Worker
The Chocolate Watchband – Misty Lane
The Creation – Biff! Bang! Pow!
The Green Telescope – Thinkin' About Today
Biff Bang Pow! – Fifty Years of Fun

The Creeps – City of People
Crimson Shadows – Even I Tell Lies
The Urges – It Ain't Right
The Sorrows – Let Me In
Freddie Chavez – They'll Never Know Why
The Chemistry Set – It's All Right
The Cherry Stones - Go Away
The Branded – She's My Woman
Edward Hamilton – I'm Gonna Leave You

Chequered Paint, Paisley Canvas

Monday, March 05, 2007


And we're back from a short break! This time with a programme about the esteemed Sombrero Recordings. The cover pic is adapted from a an old gig poster. The club was called Cool Trout Basement! as you can see, and that is also the name of today's programme. The label could boast such legends as Reserve, Bob and The Siddeleys and was run by Ally who also did the amazing Trout Fishing In Leytonstone fanzine. She is also here on Blogger these days, click on Dustysevens in the links to the right to have a look. I haven't listened to it yet so I don't know if the timing is still an issue, but if so the beginning will have ended up in the Diversion file (which is another good programme btw!). Here's today's playlist:

The Siddeleys - I Wish I Was Good
Reserve - The Sun Slid Down Behind the Tower (flexi version)
North of Cornwallis - One 2nd Class Return
James Dean Driving Experience - Sean Connery
Bob - It Was Kevin (session)
The Man From Delmonte - The Good Things In Life
Dynamics - Love to a Guy
The Mascots - A Sad Boy
The Dovers - What Am I Going to Do
The Dentists - Now You're Gone
The Passmore Sisters - All I Need Is Change
The Melons - Eskimo
The Chefs - Boasting
The Would-Be's - I'm Hardly Ever Wrong
Trixie's Big Red Motorbike - Fairytales
Bulldozer Crash - Sarah Said
Friends - Primrose Hill
Mighty Mighty - Yours Truly
Rodney Allen - Victoria's Valleys (live)

Cool Trout Basement!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I see a few people have already listened to the live song below, but I think it is time Goof was featured proplerly on this blog. He deserves it after all. This is a song from his latest album Songs After Election Day, which was released after the general election in Sweden last year. The Bad People won, but that day had another significance for him as well. Anyway, it was his birthday last Saturday, so here's a song he wrote for another birthday years ago. I missed the party last weekend, but at least I gave him a present. The least you can do is to listen to this song!

G.O.O.F. - Birthday Song