Thursday, June 28, 2007


Recently I've been more and more taken by the bands on the old Teatime label, that Indiepages had some songs from on their sounds page a while ago. The only bands I knew on it before where The Spinning Wheels and The Candy Darlings. I'd only heard about The Driscolls and Mousefolk, who actually started the label. Since then I've heard so many good songs, especially by The Dricolls, who were one of many indiepop bands at the time to take their cues from 60's garage. They even did a cover Fire's "Father's Name Was Dad", which is really good. The Driscolls released four singles between 1987 and 1990 and turned up on countless compilation tapes (13 according to!). One tape that isn't listed on TweeNet however is Kite - it's from 1989 and the tracklisting is:

The Driscolls - Call Me Anything
The Popguns - Don't Smile (live)
Big Red Bus - Another World
The Mayfields - All You Ever Say
Buy off the Bar - No Money For the Lavatory
The Candy Darlings - That's Where Caroline Lives
The Colgates - Before
The Haywains - Surfing in My Sleep (live)
Mousefolk - Fire Engine
Jane Pow - Why Am I Here?
Jerks - Waterskin
The Penny Candles - No Doubt
Great Scott - The Very Best Part
The Man from Delmonte - Casual Friends (live)
The Moneygods - Papa's Gonna Buy Me a CD Player
Nervous Curve - Your Idea of Heaven
St. Christopher - To the Mountain (live)
Crocodile Ride - Ride
Howl in the Typewriter - Melt
The Williams - Can I Walk in Your World
Rodney Allen - Victoria's Values
Wom - Hanging Man
Honeycrash - Smiling Behind Me
Millstones - Walking Stick Pub
Singing Curtains - While the Children Build Sandcastles I Can Sail & Windsurf
Dirty Stop-Outs - Trying So Hard

Margery Daws - Typical Day

The Driscolls - Call Me Anything

Monday, June 25, 2007


The Garlands seem to have a record on its way finally. Someone said Cloudberry, but according to their MySpace site they've made a deal with Fridlyst that has previously released Agent Simple. This song is available for download from their MySpace page - it's more stripped down than "David" and "You Never Notice Me" with just Roger's guitar and Christin's voice, but it's every bit as good! Had I known my George Michael stuff better I would have recognized as one of his songs, but it took a Tom to point it out. The picture above is of uhm... Roger and his car.

The Garlands - Freedom


Today it's a mix of new stuff and a few odds and ends that I wanted to get in before the final one, which you'll get next Monday. By then I should be safely back in Malmö again. The title of this podcast is from a Louis Philippe song that was on his first album Appointment With Venus. Fittingly, he turns up here with a track from his brilliant new album. The Sarah style cover picture is based on a photograph by Partick Camera Club, although I might have said before that I wasn't going to use any more of them.

The Wolfhounds – L.A. Juice
There's quite a bit of sixties-tinged music today, and we start off with "L.A. Juice" on which the influence of Nuggets and Pebbles lps becomes perhaps more apparent then anywhere else in The Wolfhounds' short career. It's from their debut ep Cut the Cake that came out on the influential Pink Label in 1985. I recently remembered how brilliant The Wolfhounds are, so this is why this is here as well.
Thee Headcoatees – All My Feelings Denied
This all-girl garage group evolved out of The Delmonas and is perhaps better known as the group Holly Golightly was in before launching a very successful solo career. This song is from their 1994 album Ballad of the Insolent Pup. Watch out for that amazing scream about mid-song. That's the true spirit of garage!
The Fallen Leaves - Repetition
A relatively new garage group based in London, that I discovered via Bus Stop's MySpace page. The members aren't exactly new to garage though. They run a club in London called The Parliament Club and even have a founding member of The Subway Sect in their line-up! They have a self-released 7"/cdep called Trouble that I bought directly from them. If you're interested you can contact them here.
The Cyrkle – Red Chair Fade Away
American psychpop group The Cyrkle had a hit in the late 60's with "Red Rubber Ball" then disappeared from the radar. But as many other obscure 60's groups they've been reappraised and since 1991 their output has been available on cd as part of Sony's Legacy Rock Artifacts Series. This song was originally by The Bee Gees, and it has also lent its name to Tim Vass' band after Razorcuts.
The Clientele – Nothing But Sunshine
The Clientele released their third album on Merge last month. It's called God Save the Clientele, and as usual it is a masterpiece. It also features the debut appearance of new keyboardist Mel Draisey. It was recorded in Nashville and produced by Mark Nevers who has previously worked with Will Oldham and Lambchop. The result of this new combination can be heard e.g. on the pedal steel equipped "Nothing But Sunshine".
Louis Philippe – Born Beautiful

Just as with Strange Geometry, the new Clientele album has string arrangements penned by Louis Philippe, who has been busy this year. Recently his collaboration with Stuart Moxham (ex-Young Marble Giants) resulted in album as Huddlehouse. He has also released a new solo album, that like the last one is released on his own label and was funded through subscription. It's definitely a return to his él Records roots and he describes it as his most orchestrated album for years. It reminds me of his first album, both in its complexity and simplicity.
Blueboy – Boy’s Don’t Matter
My tribute to Keith Girdler continues with songs from two of his previous bands. Only after his death have I finally heard the whole Blueboy catalogue, which is quite extensive. And impressive to say the least! Three albums all in all, and looking back now I can conclude that as suave as If Wishes Were Horses is, my favourite will have to be Unisex. A complete artistic statement in a way that no other record from his career became. This is song is from that album, released by Sarah in 1994.
Feverfew – Crimson Gloom
Before starting Blueboy, Paul and Keith played in this band. Two of their songs ended up on split with The Rileys on A Turntable Friend. It was dubbed The Happiness EP and came out in 1992, when they had already split up and Blueboy was well on their way to stardom. At the time of Feverfew's existence though, a handful of songs turned up on compilations and "Crimson Gloom" from the Corrupt Postman tape is the best I've heard from them.
Twig – At Work and At Home
Eventually Twig's first single has seen the light of day. This band from Stockholm have been active off and on for many years, producing only a few demos. I first heard them in 2004 and fell in love with "Find Me". They got played on Swedish radio and were described as a cross between The Wake and Orange Juice. And I have to say that is the most well-founded description of that kind I have heard! The "Life In a Swedish Town" single is available from Cloudberry, but I can't wait for the release of this opus of a pop song.
California Snow Story – A New Light to Guide You
I've already told you how much I love Close to the Ocean but if you're still not convinced, just listen to this song from the new album. It was my favourite already when I heard it live last year.
The Hi-Life Companion – You’re the Greatest
The Hi-Life Companion's first album should be out sometime this year and should include this song. It is the best I've heard from the band so far and it was on a sampler called Say Yes! they were nice enough to send me. The Rain Fell Down wishes them all best for their future career!
The Pocketbooks – Not Going Out
London's darlings The Pocketbooks have been headed for a place in the hearts of pop fans ever since the inclusion of "First World Record" on Ian Watson's Kids At the Club compilation. This song is from their first single, released by Atomic Beat - newly started by the lovely Marianthi. You can get the 7" from their website, and should also take the opportunity of grabbing a copy of the Pete Green single.
Wake the President – Sorrows For Clothes
Glasgow boys Wake the President's first single is truly a double a-side, and it took a while to figure out that this is the actual 'first' song. It came out on Electric Honey - legendary for releasing Belle & Sebastian's first album - and it's a prestigious title to chosen as their band of the year. Wake the President definitely live up to expectations though, and manage to simultaneously be at the centre of Glasgow's indiepop scene and wallow in their influences from 80's Scotspop acts like Remember Fun.
The Hardy Boys – Wonderful Lie
...or The Hardy Boys. This obscure Scottish group released one single in the late 80's and this is it. And what a wonderful single! They've recently reformed and Erik and Bjorn from Wake the President were quick to book them some gigs in August. According to the new MySpace page there is a retrospective cd in the works, although it doesn't say on what label.
Bubblegum Lemonade – 10 Years Younger
Laz continues going from triumph to triumph. The new Strawberry Whiplash tune "Summershine" (that you can listen to here) is an instant classic that wouldn't be dwarfed next to The Sea Urchins' song with the same name and other 'summershine' songs like Bulldozer Crash's "Sarah Said". Equally "10 Years Younger" is a flawless addition to the Bubblegum Lemonade catalogue. Now all we need are a couple singles! And something tells me it might happen soon.
The Thanes – World of Stone
This is the best garage revival group from Scotland. They started out as The Green Telescope, which is a much better name if you ask me, releasing two seven-inches. Since then they've recorded countless albums, but a good introduction might be the Evolver compilation from 2004. This song is on it, and someone said it sounded like "Simple Things" by Belle & Sebastian!
Thee Milkshakes – The Best Things In Life
Another Billy Childish band. This is from Thee Milkshakes' album They Came They Saw They Conquered that came out on Pink Dust in 1984.
Shawn Robinson – My Dear Heart
The week's northern soul tune is a recent favourite, that I had the pleasure of dancing to at the Function club in Sweden. One of the places you can find it is on the second volume of Stateside's Talcum Soul compilations.
The Leaves – Words
The early stage of The Turtles, and they've been credited with cutting the first version of "Hey Joe" that became most famous in Jimi Hendrix's rendition. This song is from the album Hey Joe that came out in the US in 1966 - two other songs from it is on the Nuggets box.
The Knickerbockers – I Can Do It Better
The Knickerbockers' first album goes for big money on eBay, I've read. But it's nowhere as good as the second one, called Lies, that apart from that staple of garage rock that the title-track is (also on Nuggets) also includes this slightly more psychedelic song.

Heaven Is Above Your Head

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Caretaker Race is a band I've been intrigued by recently. I'd only heard "I Wish I'd Said That", but now finally I've had the pleasure of hearing the rest of their only album Hangover Square that came out in 1990. Caretaker Race was one of the bands formed in the wake of The Loft's break-up, and this one was Andy Strickland's project. He's my favourite member of The Loft as he was the guy who played the Byrds style lead guitar. So no wonder I like Caretaker Race better than The Weather Prophets or The Wishing Stones. The album is not all as great as that that song due some all too common overproduction, but it's got its high points. The one I've chosen for this post is the closing track "Man Overboard", that had also come out as a single earlier that year. The whole album sounds quite inspired by Grant's contributions to the Go-Betweens songbook, and this is no exception. As a side note one of the b-sides to the single is called "Grey Gardens", which I'm dying to hear after having seen the film by the Maysles brothers (that is also Roxanne Clifford's choice for the next Monorail Film Club by the way). Incidentally Hangover Square was a film too, directed by John Brahm in 1945. There's plenty of more information about the band here.

Caretaker Race - Man Overboard

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bright Pavilions

Summer is the season of mixtaping, and making tapes for pop festivals are especially important. I've already compiled my tape for the Rip It Up festival, although I haven't recorded it yet. It looks really promising - and it's only two weeks now until I get to see St. Christopher play live! I really must buy my ticket soon. If you want to hear it I suggest you come along. TVPs are with all probability NOT coming, but it'll be great anyway!

The Dovers – People Ask Me Why
The Orange Peels – Everybody’s Gone (demo)
The Rain – Saint Martin’s-In-the-Fields
The Byrds – Have You Seen Her Face
Primal Scream – It Happens
Biff Bang Pow! – The Happiest Girl In the World
St. Christopher – Gabriel
Blueboy – Always There
The Pines – Baby You’ll Do
Brittle Stars – Souvenir
Love Dance – Unsympathetic Ways
Fat Tulips – Girl That You Once Knew
Sportique – If You Ever Change Your Mind
The Squires – Go Ahead
The Rainyard – 1,000 Years
The Choo Choo Train – Parasol

Happydeadmen – Science Fiction
Holidaymakers – Cincinatti
Bulldozer Crash – Sarah Said
Brighter – Don’t Remember
Razorcuts – Snowbound
The Sea Urchins – Day Into Day
The Poets – I’ll Come Home
The Thanes – Girls
The Claim – Hopeless
Television Personalities – The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming
Reserve – Postcard From Paradise (slow version)
Johnny Johnson – Cripple Me
Popguns – I’m Spoiling Everything
The Velvet Crush – Circling the Sun
Paulie Chastain – Raining All Day

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Name That (Old, Obscure Indiepop) Tune

Here's a competition of sorts. Although there's no real prize, except for getting the songs. But it would be a boost to your indie credibility if you get them all right (if you're sad enough to care about that). See, a devout reader of this very blog sent me a compilation that he didn't know the tracklisting for. He thought I could help and I've got tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 17 pinned but the other remain unknown. Take a listen to this, and post your contribution in the comments. I've posted on the ones I know, so don't look if you don't want your fun spoilt!

EDIT: Well, that was quick! Jessel actually identified this as a compilation HE had made years ago. He's posted the tracklist in the comments.


Here's a song by the band that turned into 1000 Violins. The Page Boys had one 7" on Whaam! in 1983 called "You're My Kind of Girl", this is the b-side. Wally from The Beautiful Music called it electromod, but judge for yourselves. You can find this song on the Whaam! compilation that Vinyl Japan put out years ago. At least it might be easier to find than the original single! Couldn't find any proper pictures, so you'll have make do with this one snatched from eBay.

The Page Boys - In Love With You

Monday, June 18, 2007


Only two left now... Today it's a podcast on Australia and New Zealand. These countries have produced some great groups through the years, though there haven't been that many new bands lately. The Zebras is one exception of course. Both Australia and New Zealand were very important for pop music in the 80's and produced respectively the Brisbane sound and the Dunedin sound. The former is represented here by bands like The Go-Betweens and The Lighthouse Keepers and the latter by Sneaky Feelings and The Bats. The two labels of note here are Australian Waterfront (which, like Rough Trade, was also a record shop) and Flying Nun (which was modelled on Rough Trade amongst others) in New Zealand of course.

The Tender Engines – Clinging to the Wreckage
This was one of the bands that made the Summershine label so great. It's one of my favourite labels and just like Bus Stop and A Turntable Friend it should be placed right up there with Sarah Records. This song, from 1990, was the group's first single and the second to be released by Summershine.
Even As We Speak – Stay With Me
This is from a Peel Session they did during their first trip to the UK, to promote the release of their album Feral Pop Frenzy in 1992. It never appeared on record, I think. Peel was a big fan of the band and they managed to record four songs, borrowing equipment from other Sarah bands. Jim Kavanaugh, ever the fan of ozpop, has a compilation of the band's pre-Sarah singles scheduled for release on his Egg Records sometime this year.
The Masters Apprentices – War Or Hands of Time
Australia produced quite a few good beat and garage groups in the sixties, as the second Nuggets box proves. This group was perhaps the most successful in their apprenticeship to the masters of fuzz on the other side of the world. This song is from 1966.
The Sugargliders – Tightening Our Belts
This is a demo that I got from Olaf, so I don't know where it came from apart from that. A google search turned up dry - maybe he can enlighten us?
The Apartments – Help
Australia was pretty big when it came to powerpop and garage revival as well, as any readers of Sideroom 7" Singles should have learned. This song I found on Beat For Two though, and it's a 1979 single.
The Sunnyboys – Alone With You
Probably the best Australian revival band? This is the 7" version that came out on Phantom in 1980.
The Lighthouse Keepers – Wheels Over the Desert
Here's another Australian band from whom we're also eagerly awaiting an Egg compilation. I still only have the band's first album Tales of the Unexpected from 1984, but judging from "Springtime" that was on the latest Egg sampler there are some great stuff lurking in the vaults. This is the opening track from the album, and one of the best on it.
Widdershins – Now You Know
As the The Lighthouse Keepers turned into the Widdershins after 1986, they may have lost an amazing bassist, but the music also became increasingly jangly in a Smiths kind of way. And Juliet Ward's voice had never sounded better! This song is included on the Egg retrospective Good Songs, which in fact includes everything the band ever recorded. It originally came out on a Waterfront 7" twenty years ago.
The Orange – What's In a Name?
This song was part of Jim Kavanaugh's Australian extravaganza on Indie MP3 a few years ago, if you remember that. He said himself that this was the most obscure contribution, and there is very little information about this band. Apart from the fact that it's from a Flying Nun 12" released in 1986 there's not much else. There's another release listed in the Flying Nun catalogue, but there are doubts as to whether it actually exists.
The Easybeats – Sorry
Thee Australian freakbeat group! They moved to London in 1966 and became the first Australian band to score a big international hit, with "Friday On My Mind" in 1966. But this single from the same year, which is included on Nuggets II together with "Friday On My Mind" has at least as much hit potential if you ask me. They where definitely the Beatles of Australia and created an 'Easyfever' that could even rival Beatlemania.
The La De Das – How Is the Air Up There?
This band was The Rolling Stones of New Zealand then. The song is a Blues Magoos cover and was their first single with proper distribution. It made them the biggest pop group in New Zealand, which they remained until moving to Australia in 1967.
The Smoke – No More Now
Another New Zealand garage group, that like The La De Das, The Chants R&B and The Bluestars (on SPLASH 22) is included on Nuggets II. But this one might be my favourite, with its psychedelic guitar parts and overdriven bass. That's probably a result of it coming out one year after e.g. "Friday On My Mind", which means in 1967 when psychedelia hit full on. They're not to be confused with the seminal Britsh group with the same name.
Sneaky Feelings - Pity's Sake
The birth of Flying Nun was a response the growing scene in Dunedin and Christchurch. The centre of this scene was The Clean, although everybody played in each other's bands. There's a quite comprehensive study of the Dunedin sound on the excellent In Love With These Times. After the original bands like Toy Love and The Clean split up, several new bands were formed and four of them ended up on the Dunedin Double EP from 1982: The Chills, The Stones, The Verlaines, and Sneaky Feelings. Each band had one side, and this is the first on Sneaky Feelings' side.
The Bats – Boogey Man
The Bats were formed by Robert Scott, the bassist of The Clean, after they split up. They're my favourite band on Flying Nun alongside The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience. This is a jangly single from 1991, that was also included on their third album Fear of God.
The Go-Betweens – Eight Pictures
What can you say? The most important band from Australia, right up until last year saw the end of the reformed duo of Robert Forster and Grant McLennan. Nothing short of death could stop them. This is one my favourites, and it's from their first album Send Me a Lullaby. It was also the first Go-Between's album I heard, after buying it at a record fair in the nearby town when I was at a festival in Sweden. I brought it all the way back home, put in on the record player and was overtaken by the fractured pop songs coming at me from the speakers. I quickly learned to love it, especially "Eight Pictures" and "It Could Be Anyone".
The Cat's Miaow – Smitten
This band has been a relatively new discovery for me, but when I finally got around to buying those two Library compilations I realised that this is one of my favourite bands ever. The Cat's Miaow was the best of the many indiepop bands in Australia in the early 90's - like Hyroplane and Huon e.g. You can get this song on Songs For Girls to Sing from 2003.
The Lucksmiths – Don't Bring Your Work to Bed
This was probably the first Australian indiepop band I discovered though, around the time Why That Doesn't Surprise Me. I remember they were actually on tv in Sweden, on the music programme Musikbyrån. I went to see them live in Malmö at the wonderful Young Alive and In Love club, although I was probably under-age! But it was the best show I'd ever been to at the time. I even wrote a song about it. Every song on that album is a favourite and I can't resist singing along every time I put it on, but anyway, this is one of them.
Girl of the World – 3000 ft.
Bart Cummings was one of the founders of The Cat's Miaow in 1992, but he'd been in other bands previously. For example Girl of the World, and this is the b-side of their third single.
Ups & Downs – I Wonder
Another classic Waterfront release was the Ups & Downs' "In the Shadows" from 1986. But the b-side is simply unbelievable! To the band's credibility, their name comes from a Flamin' Groovies song, and they even had the honour of supporting them on their 1986 tour. I'll let this song end today's podcast.

Kaleidoscope Worlds Away


I only have two weeks left here so I'll try to cram in the last DROPs that I've been planning. Here's a track from the sadly forgotten mod pop group The Direct Hits that were signed to Dan Treacy's Whaam! label in the early 80's. Colin Swan was previously in a band called The Exits, and Rev-Ola recently released a compilation with that band. But their music is reportedly more in the new wave style - I've not heard it but according to The Brogues it's not that great. After The Direct Hits Colin was in The Happy Breed and now has a band called The Cult 45s, in case you're interested... During their time together the Hits released one single and one album, that has since become legendary and are almost impossible to find. This song however, is from a Japanese compilation of outtakes and live recordings. It came out in 2004 and is called Modesty Blaise! - I think it's a bootleg. There's also another similar cd of what was supposed to be their second album. "Ordinary Girl" is a great example of their very classic pop songwriting.

The Direct Hits - Ordinary Girl

Monday, June 11, 2007


Just a podcast this time. Most of the songs today are by bands from Asia and other faraway places. And some new stuff from closer to home as well, including Trembling Blue Stars. The programme today is called Riding On the Equator, which is probably my favourite Felt composition. Several of the songs here are from a compilation called Peachy Little Secrets, released by Singaporean label Fruit Records last year. This programme is dedicated to them!

The Oddfellows – Unity Song
The oldest song by far on the Peachy Little Secrets comp is by The Oddfellows from Singapore. They formed in 1988 and must have been something like Singapore's Happydeadmen. From the sound it, this song ought to be an indiepop classic in Asia.
Annemarie – Bubblegum I See
One of the best albums so far this year comes from Indonesia and Annemarie, via the Music Is My Girlfriend and Plastilina labels. Annemarie's name is a tribute to Anne-Marie from The Field Mice, but the record sounds more like Swedish pop by the likes of The Cardigans and Acid House Kings. This song has one of the most well-placed ba-ba-ba's I've ever heard!
Fibi Frap – Catherine
Our Swedish band of the week does not have any equatorial connections, and in fact comes from north of the polar circle. It's a duo consisting of Madelaine and Sarah and they've released three eps on labels like the now defunct My Secret Garden. This song is from How Fast Is Your Heart Beating?.
Trembling Blue Stars – The Tenth of Always
Undeniably one of their strongest releases to date, I'm sure The Last Holy Writer didn't let anyone down. Skatterbrain has already posted "Idyllwild" and raved about how it's one of best songs of the year. I agree, but I like this one just as much. It's calmer, and more reminiscent of The Occasional Keepers album and, maybe even Her Handwriting.
Mocca – I Would Never...
As I said earlier Mocca from Indonesia have just released their third album, but here is a song from the Fruit comp (taken from the Friends album). Fruit have indeed made their name from the release of Mocca's first album, called My Diary, in 2004. This song features Karolina from Club 8 on guest vocals - she comes in somewhere in the middle, but you'll notice, it's impossible to mistake that voice!
Purplepaige – Suzie On Monday Morning
Here's one of many bands I got introduced to through the Fruit comp. They're from the label's home country and have released two singles so far. Go to their MySpace to hear some more songs! And if you want to hear even more songs, go to their SECOND MySpace page, which you'll find linked there.
Pale Sunday – Just Friends
Here's the promised Brazilian song. Pale Sunday and Postal Blue are pretty much the only Brazilian bands I know. Do you know any more? Pale Sunday have released one ep (A Weekend With Jane) and one album (Summertime?) on Matinée as well contributing tracks to their compilations. "Just Friends" is a Gregory Webster original from 2003's Matinée 50 compilation, on which the Matinée bands cover each other's material.
Lollipop Sonic – Exotic Lollipop
Lollipop Sonic was the first band Japanese Keigo Oyamada (aka Cornelius) started. He was only in junior high then, and later went on to form Flipper's Guitar as well as founding the influential Trattoria label. I've got this song on Accident Records' reissue of the Hoopla compilation.
The Delmonas – I Feel Like Giving In
One of Billy Childish's girl bands, later turned into Thee Headcoatees. I think Billy wrote their songs because I have one song recorded by both Thee Headcoats and Thee Headcoatees. But either way, each member went on to projects of their own afterwards and Holly Golightly has turned out to be the most prolific. And no, they don't normally sing in French.
The Draytones - Time
Fresh-faced garage group The Draytones are from London, but their singer is of Argentinean origin. That's not why they're here though - it's because their debut ep Keep Loving Me is a cracker.
Garnet Mimms – As Long As I Have You
Maybe I should have had a 'Southern Soul song of the week' instead? But why, when we can dig the northern stomp of this Garnet Mimms classic?
Los Shakers – Break It All
Nuggets II has a handful of songs from South American garage groups and Los Shakers were Uruguay's answer to The Beatles. Apparently there was something of a Uruguayan Invasion in Argentina, with several Montevideo bands rising in popularity there. This was Los Shakers their first single and came out in 1965.
My Writes – Love In the 60’s
Another Singapore band on Peachy Little Secrets. They have one ep out since last year and a MySpace page here.
The Pancakes – I Know
The legendary Hong-Kong artist Dejay has been making music as The Pancakes since 2000 and supports herself by making music for tv commercials and films. Her synthesizer-based music is as cute as her voice, and she's got a charming website over here. This song is from her second album Pancakes Can Panic that came out only seven months after her first live performance!
The Marshmallow Kisses – Everyone Is Ahead, Far Ahead
This band is also from Hong-Kong and the song was on the Fruit comp as well. It's from an ep called I Wonder Why My Favorite Boy Leaves Me an EP, that seems to be from 2004 according their website. But according to their MySpace they are now in London!
Carnival Park – Candy Coated Kisses
An old indiepop band from the Philippines, where the indiepop scene seems now to have disintegrated. This song is from Shelflife's covers compilation You're Still Young At Heart that came out the same year as Matinée's. Carnival Park take on that staple of tweepop that is The Autocollants' "Candy Coated Kisses". Their only release is otherwise the sold-out ep Her Kinder Crush.
Apple Orchard – Half-Steps Toward Bright Skies
Brothers Ryan and Dale used to live in the Philippines and have played in several of that country's indiepop bands. But they moved to California years ago and have been making music as Apple Orchard for at least as long. At long last, their first album will soon be ready - the last I heard they were just about to send it off to the pressing plant.
Ferns – Wistful Thinking
The latest release on Fruit is the debut album from Malaysia's Ferns. One of the tracks has been featured here before, but here is another of my favourites.

Riding On the Equator

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Here's one of several great tunes you can find on The Fauves were from Scotland and included Dan Vallely and Grant Morrison of The Mixers. Their only release was a 1988 single called "Tortured Soul" on their own label. But obviously they had more recordings, as the song they've put up was not on that single. When Dan left the band he was briefly replaced by Ulric (also in The Mixers, and now The Catalysts) who had just left The Golden Dawn. Go their website to listen to all of their other related bands!

Monday, June 04, 2007


So, here it is - the last The Rain Fell Down programme to be broadcast from Subcity and the tiny studio in the John McIntyre building. The name today comes from a song by Television Personalities, and fittingly the woman in the picture is Emma Peel from the British 60's tv series The Avengers. If you like the track by The Local heroes, which you OUGHT to, you can go here and read about how to get a copy of their cd. Next Monday there will be an mp3 mix for you to download though! This file starts with the Groove Farm track, unfortunately, so if you're a huge Jasmine Minks fan you'll have to listen to the end of this.

The Jasmine Minks – What’s Happening

The Groove Farm – God’s Tears
The Exotics – Come With Me
The Pandoras – It Just Ain’t True
Little Anthony & the Imperials – Gonna Fix You Good (Every Time You're Bad)
The Buff Medways – Troubled Mind
The Tyde – Crystal Canyons
Cats On Fire – Mesmer and Reason
Love Dance – Perfect Friendship
The Wild Swans – Mythical Beast
The Direct Hits – Ever Ready Plaything
Tibi Lubin – Romany Rye
Belmondo – Grey-Eyed Lie
BMX Bandits – Girl At the Bus Stop
Slow Club – Sunday
The Margarets – Countryside
The Local Heroes – Hands In the Air
Brittle Stars – Four Words
The Visitors – Never Has, Never Will

The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Why Butcher Boy Likes Babies

As I was walking home a ragged troubadour on Ashton Lane was playing "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" by Black Sabbath. Butcher Boy have a new song called "Why I Like Babies", but I assure you, there's nothing sinister about whatsoever. It's completely innocent, so I don't think it will be material for the street troubadours of the 2030's. Yes, I was walking home from John Hunt's flat where Butcher Boy had spent the whole day recording songs for a new ep. And when I left John and Garry were still at it. They're innocents, but most of all professionals. They're not young. Basil was saying he's really too old to be doing this. Christ, he's buying a house with eight bedrooms. But that doesn't matter. They're doing it because they need to. John Hunt started writing songs in 1998. He didn't have a band, but he felt the urge. "He's a true artist" Basil said, and listening to the lyrics to their first album Profit In Your Poetry, it's obvious he's got something to say. "I'm far too old. I'm far too cold. I don't want any trouble I just want to find my way home." Would you have written that? Butcher Boy is about Glasgow to a large extent. John was saying how he felt more at home on the South Side. And that's something only a true Glaswegian would say. He's moving back there soon, which means he's giving up his gorgeous flat on Woodside Terrace. I mean, it's fifteen feet from floor to ceiling and the living room is just huge. Yes, I was walking home from there, along Park Terrace which is just above it and my favourite street in Glasgow, down through Kelvingrove Park and the descending dusk. I love the light in the West End at night. And I knew then that this post was going to be as much about Glasgow as it is about Butcher Boy. I'm been living here for nine months now and I can't believe I'm leaving in just another month. I'm going to miss the foxes. No, frankly there are too many things to mention that I'm going to miss. I've been thinking about Glasgow quite a bit lately. Because I did come here in part because of the Glasgow I had an image of through songs and stuff I've read. My favourite music video is Belle & Sebastian's "Dog On Wheels". It's just Stuart strolling down Byres Road, wearing his hat (though I've learned he's got several that all look they same). But it's hard to imagine Glasgow as it might have been for him in 1995. Or for James Kirk in 1980 for that matter. The Glasgow that "Just a Modern Rock Song" is about. "Le pastie de la bourgeoisie" was sprayed on the wall of Gregg's just round the corner from where I live. And I've seen Stuart strolling down Byres Road too. But he said "hi" to me. He didn't do that in the "Dog On Wheels" video. But I've learned enough from him trough the years, anyway. Alistair Fitchett said he thought the old Glasgow was forever vanished. He might be right. I love Glasgow, but it's not like in a song. Not until I heard Butcher Boy. What I like about Butcher Boy is that they don't sound like you'd expect them to sound. Just like Glasgow isn't what I expected. They are a pop band in every sense of the word. But the melodies sound as timeless as old Scottish folk songs. And they use instruments like cello, viola, autoharp, accordion, mandolin and Spanish guitar. John's voice is simply unique. So, why was I walking home from John's just half an hour ago? Or why was I there in the first place? I was surprised, and very happily so, last week when Basil sent me an email asking if I'd like to come along to a rehearsal on Thursday and the recording session on Saturday. I said yes of course. That's not an opportunity you would pass up. Just think what a privilege it would have been to hang out with Belle & Sebastian when they recorded the Lazy Line Painter Jane EP. Because I do think Butcher Boy have the same potential. They wanted me to take same pictures and write something about the whole thing later on. I guess they wanted to document the life of Butcher Boy. Well, I've definitely got a good idea of what they're about now. Cause their people as well of course, and some of the nicest I've met. A band is so much more that the records they make and the gigs they do. And they chose me, because hopefully someone might read about them. I don't know about that, but at least You are reading. The rehearsal on the Thursday was not as planned because only John, Basil and Findlay could make it. But it was good to see the Berkely Annex from the inside, and especially the rehearsal rooms themselves. It was very clean, spartan and professional and apparently all the 'real' bands rehearse there. They worked through some of the songs that will be on the next album, mainly trying to get the drum parts right. It was interesting to see how determined John was about the arrangements. He obviously had a really clear vision of how he wanted each song to sound. He would record quite elaborate demos of the songs before he'd let the others hear and practise them. And they happily oblige to his wishes, cause after all it's his dreams they're fulfilling. Findlay is the drummer, he lives and works in England but had come up for the rehearsals and the recordings. He's really one of the most good-humoured people I've met. And Basil is just as humble as John is. He's played in bands and made music on his own since the 80's. He might not be a 'real guitarist' and he might be self-taught, but he can play that guitar better that I can ever hope to. I was quite surprised to hear that the guitar he's using it still pretty much his first guitar. And then today I went round to John's flat at around 3 pm and the recording was already well under way. They were planning to record new and quite different sounding acoustic versions of three album tracks and two new songs called "Eighteenth Emergency" and "React or Die". To be released hopefully as an ep by How Does It Feel to Be Loved? this year. The takes that I heard take shape indeed sound very different from the ones on the album. They benefited hugely from the acoustics of Johns spacious living room. The album was all recorded at the legendary CaVa studio, which is not very far from where he lives. But these songs where recorded onto an 8-track porta, totally acoustic and clean, without any effects. Garry was handling the recording, and as an aspiring Phil Spector disciple he was very pleased with what they had accomplished today. He also plays bass guitar of course. Alison (who together with Garry make up the wonderful All My Friends) is the band's multi-instrumentalist, if you will. Today she played piano, accordion and did some harmonies. And then there's Maya who's joined recently as their cellist. She seemed very competent but didn't mind just sitting around for several hours until it was her turn to be recorded. And she'd done a beautiful cello arrangement for one of the new songs. In contrast, Aoife turned up last, recorded her viola parts and then headed off again. That's efficiency if I ever saw it. And we all got to stomp along to intro of "There Is No One Who Can Tell You Where You've Been", including me. But I think that part might not be included in the final mix. It was great to see John's flat before he moves out, and I'm glad the band got to do a recording in there as well. Look out for the ep, because the sound will be great I tell you. And it was all captured with a small photo shoot on the stairs to the house. Maybe it will be a site for future indie pilgrimage? I'm very thankful for being invited, and I hope I can return the favour one day. The last thing I heard before I left was John recording his vocal for "React Or Die". That's another thing I like about Butcher Boy... they recognise the importance of decent song titles. I think I read somewhere that The Long Blondes want all their song titles to sound like old film noirs. Butcher Boy's song titles sound like novels. And that's what I think you should aim for. At least Belle & Sebastian did. But no one but John would write a song called "Why I Like Babies". What IS that song about then? Well, you'll find out when the next album arrives.

A small photo reportage:

Basil plays the guitar.

Half of Butcher Boy rehearse at the Berkely Annex.

Woodside Terrace, Glasgow 2007.

17 Woodside Terrace.

Butcher Boy recording in John's flat.

Garry listening to the sound of guitars.

Maya warming up for recording her cello parts.

Garry and Aoife checking the levels for the voila.

John sings in the darkness.

A small video:


The compilation of Allen Clapp's early singles and a few 'rarities' was released by Bus Stop not long ago, under the name Something Strange Happens, which is also the name of one of his best loved songs. And he's playing with his band The Orange Peels at the NYC Popfest soon. Allen Clapp & His Orchestra became The Orange Peels sometime in the mid-90's and released their first album Square on Minty Fresh. However, they had done some extensive demoing of the songs on 4-track before that and this is a home recorded version "Everybody's Gone". I've now heard the original (thanks to The Brogues!) and this version is very different, played as if it was a matter of life or death. A perfect pop song from start to finish. I found this demo in the latest podcast on The Orange Peels fine website. The podcast includes all the demos from Square and you should also check out the two previous ones that form a narrated history of the band.



Here is a beautiful song from BMX Bandits' Little Hands EP that came out on Creation in 1993. Like they say it is an old song - it's an acoustic version of the same song on C86, their first album. It's one of the best BMX Bandits songs I've heard. So simple, but I think it's the acoustic 12-string that does it.

The BMX Bandits - But Tonight