Archive for March, 2011

Date: March 31st, 2011
Cate: rediscovered

Messis lists moody garage in Shindig!

By coincidence, Paul Messis has also made a list of his favourite moody 60s garage, so I don’t even need to ask him for a list. It will be published in Happening! (the online digest of Shindig!) with his commentary. There are lots of great songs on his list and the track by The Intruders will also turn up on Bitter Bells in the future, as well as another number by the mighty Dovers. Messis has covered “What Am I Going to Do” for his debut album, and there’s a Youtube video of him doing an acoustic version of The Rogues’ “Next Guy”. We also have “I’ve Seen Darker Nights” that you might have heard in The Thanes’ version. Other than that, several of the tracks were new to me and probably will be to you too, so I made a Soundcloud set of it. Hopefully Paul wants to put it on his blog It’s Mashed Potato Time! that he writes with Samira Larouci. Surprisingly perhaps, he there confesses his love for Sarah Records and posts some of his favorite singles released by the Bristol label. Or perhaps not so surprising, since indiepop was my first passion too, and many people who were into the garage revival scene in the 80s also liked some of the indie bands – resulting in crossover groups like Inspiral Carpets and 14 Iced Bears.

Date: March 30th, 2011
Cate: graphic design

Young Monster

Young Monster are four American designers, and I just mentioned them a few posts down, cause one of them called Nick has collaborated with CMRTYZ on a few things. If you like those guys, who’ll probably like Young Monster as well. They too work with screenprinting and in a similar mash-up style, but their expression has more variety (and more colour) and they’ve also done conventional design projects. Here’s one poster by Nick that I like, and below that an uncredited gig poster.

Date: March 30th, 2011
Cate: Music, new releases

Paul Messis | The Problem With Me

Paul Messis’ debut LP on 13 O’Clock will soon be in the shops and here’s his brand new video for the title track “The Problem With Me”. Paul says they went for the sort of Bandstand tv performance look (cf. The Paragons playing “Abba”), and you can see Marty and Mole of The Mystreated moonlighting in the band. The rest of the album is very much in the same teen jangler style, and includes a couple of covers by The Barons and The Dovers.

If you like The Mystreated you should also check out the new single by Marty’s current band The Higher State. It’s coming out on Get Hip and you can listen to the a-side “I’ll Always Be Around” below. The b-side is another West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band cover – they’ve already tackled “The Smell of Incense”. This time it’s one of my favourite tracks of theirs, the often covered “Transparent Day”. Not a surprising choice perhaps, since the a-side features some rising intervals the end of the verses similar to the WCPAEB intro.

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Date: March 30th, 2011
Cate: new releases

The Wrong Words

I must have lost count of all the great Trouble In Mind releases towards the end of 2010, cause not only did I miss Sticks N Stones’ (featuring Natalie of The Flips) follow-up to their great Dusty Medical single, “Is It You”, I also missed out on the insanely catchy  “What Went Wrong” by San Francisco’s The Wrong Words. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can still check out the video here.

Their self-titled debut is just out now, as part of TIM’s slew of spring release which also includes a truly psychedelic LP from The Paperhead. If White Wires were the powerpop crush of last autumn, The Wrong Words is where it’s at this spring. If you dig The Tranzmitors, The Rantouls and The Scruffs you will play this record on repeat. My favourite track is probably “Summer’s Gone”, which is the free mp3 floating around and also playing on the TIM site, where you can order the record for cheap. Some other great tunes are the short and jangly “Lie Detector”, the almost Raspberries-class “Everything Is Different Now”, and “Wrong Again” that combines relentless strumming with a fuzz lead. And of course “Cross the Line” wins me over immediately with its 12-string riff. The only thing that surprises me is that they weren’t on the fantastic tribute to The Nerves (and related bands) on Volar, called Under the Covers Vol. 2. That’s definitely the best compilation of new bands I’ve heard for over a year, and The Wrong Words really are up there with The Mantles, Audacity, Moonhearts and Grass Widow (who are all on that comp).

Date: March 29th, 2011
Cate: graphic design, new releases

Christmas

CMRTYZ have done it again, and so have Christmas. This is the cover of their brand new LP, a split-release between CMRTYZ, that I’ve written about before, and Handshakes & Highfives. “Namiot” has also been released on 7″ by K Records, with a Calvin Johnson remix on the b-side. Order the LP on Bandcamp or check out the free download of “Dog Problems”. Gotta be one of the albums of the year! The fab artwork (that also included a poster, which you can see in the photo below) was done by C.M. Ruiz in collaboration with Young Monster.

Date: March 29th, 2011
Cate: graphic design, rediscovered

La Ragazza con la Pistola

Mario Monicelli’s La Ragazza con la Pistola may have been nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film, but is mainly interesting for Monica Vitti prancing around Edinburgh and Sheffield. The shot above, with Vitti’s character pointing out her legs in a billboard somewhere in London, is the most interesting one just cause the copy is brilliant! Also worth your attention is the slightly psychedelic soundtrack (it WAS 1968) by Peppino de Luca.

Date: March 28th, 2011
Cate: new releases

Lana Loveland

More news from Portugal’s Groovie Records! Crimson Shadows are getting a reissue, to accompany their brand new 10″ coming out this year. And Groovie, who are probably most well-known as the home of Brazil’s own Music Machine, Os Haxixins, are putting out another Sean Bonniwell-influenced group. Loveland, is Lana Loveland’s (The Fuzztones, Bonniwell Music Machine) new band, where she is the main songwriter and vocalist. The debut album Order to Love was released a few weeks ago, following the Black Glove 7″ from last year. That song was written as a tribute to The Music Machine, who were known to wear black gloves on one hand, and is included on the album too. Also check out her other band Lana Satana & Her Organs In Orbit in a more lounge/exotica style, but who haven’t released anything yet.

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Date: March 28th, 2011
Cate: new releases

Parallèles

For some reason I’ve only been playing Spanish/Portuguese language music today. Did I forget to say how great the new Dávila 666 album Tan Bajo is? Well, it’s already on Spotify and available from In the Red. Another LP you should look out for this year is the debut from Brazilian all-female group Paralléles. Their first 45 (above, cool Ric there) came out on Groovie Records in 2010 and they subsequently recorded a full-length for them, that should be out soon. It’s coming out on cd on Rastrillo, and they’re already taking pre-orders. The a-side and several other songs (perhaps from the album?) are available on Soundcloud, here’s my favourite.

by Paralleles

Date: March 28th, 2011
Cate: graphic design
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Identity | Nørrebro Bryghus

Here’s the latest haul from microbrewery Nørrebro Bryghus in Copenhagen. Now that’s an example of successful branding, and I thought it would be interesting to see how it works now – about six years since it was created by Punktum Design together with A2/SW/HK (whom I’ve mentioned before here) as well as being awarded the Danish Design Prize. They’ve continued developing the bottles and labels as you can see in the photo above, showing some of their current line. The Easter ‘bock’ ale was fantastic this year and I’m really looking forward to trying the La Granja Stout which is one of their flagship beers.

But back to the identity now. During my recent visit, what caught my eye was this ‘design wall’ hidden away in a corner down in the café (a section of it is below, click to enlarge). It shows the full range of the identity, incorporating everything from stationery and signage to interior design and bottles. Not to mention Henrik Kubel’s bespoke typeface.

It’s interesting because, although some of the branded objects in the pub are becoming a bit worn, the label design system still generates successful and unique labels. Sure, it may not suit the longer names some of the exclusive brews have, and the intended function of mapping the flavours and types of beer is probably lost on consumers (even when still sober). But the strength of the idea is enough, and even with a much smaller number of colours countless combinations are possible. The description of each beer can simply be printed along the bottom of the label, as shown above. What they really need now though is a better website.

Date: March 27th, 2011
Cate: new releases
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Dreamdate | Melody Walk

A whole lot of people seem to go on about female-fronted country-inflected groups at the moment, like The Sandwitches, Those  Darlins and Gun Outfit. Well, the top of the line is delivered by SF’s Dreamdate on their third album, just out on Tic Tac Totally. They started out on the Chocolate Covered label back in 2007, and the new album is a bit raunchier but a bit stronger too. Also, it’s on Spotify, just click the thumbnail below!