The Hit Parade are back with a new single after last year’s smash “I Like Bubblegum”. You can hear both sides below, and the b-side in particular feels like it was written about me. It’s a tribute to Sarah recording artists Brighter, and I probably wouldn’t have liked it back when Brighter were my heroes cause it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. But now the lines “in a room we painted sadness blue, I wait enthusiastically for you” actually make me smile, and wonder if the boy who was IN Brighter still lives alone. The 7″ is out on JSH May 2nd.
Archive for April, 2011
I still love flexidiscs. Since they’re all collecting dust in my bookshelf cause I have them recorded to my computer anyway, I thought I’d play through my favourite ones, and record it as a podcast at the same time. Some of these songs have been released on cd later, like The Sea Urchins, The Visitors, The Stupid Cupids (early Velvet Crush), St. Christopher, The McTells and Razorcuts – with much better sound quality. There have been and are plans to reissue some, and some will most likely never be heard again. You’ll probably find all of these and lots of even more obscure ones over at the I Wish I Was a Flexidisc blog, which is still up. Full tracklist below.
This is quite a good Flickr add-on, for viewing photos seamlessly. Pity they didn’t make the embed resizable!
Perhaps you too missed that Lilypad Records released the demos for Miaow’s would-be 1987 debut LP for Factory, to be called Priceless Innuendo, some time last year? Priceless Restoration is re-mastered off of a cassette the band had recorded after what was to become their final single “Break the Code”, and includes 16 tracks. It would appear the first 10 songs were demoed for the album and the other 6 six songs are older recordings. The basis of the new songs was a drum machine that was programmed to play jazzy rhythms, instead of using a live drummer.
Also included are “Sport Most Royal” that appeared on C86, three tracks from each of the group’s three singles, as well as “Fate” and “Thames At High Water” that you’ll also find on the excellent LTM retrospective When It All Comes Down. Singer Cath Carroll did eventually release an album for Factory, the 1991 solo effort England Made Me, also available from LTM.
You can play the whole of the new record above, and buy cd/digital from Lilypad.
Here is the poster for the next, and third, Record Turnover club night. This one will be at the old venue På Besök, and the theme is mod. Come listen to Lynne Randell (in the poster), Roger Young, Herbie Goins, The 5 A.M. Event, The Knack, Diana Dors and sample På Besök’s spring selection of ales and beer.
The Belltowers is a garage group from Orlando, but with a West Coast sound owing more than a bit to the likes of The Byrds and The Mojo Men. Like The Higher State from the UK, their sound is based around 12-string Rickenbackers, but unlike them The Belltowers keep their songs short with a minimum of psychedelic freakouts. Their singer and lead guitarist Paul Muchler (pictured above) has been in a number of bands before, most notably The Lears who released a fantastic single on Misty Lane in 1995. Muchler is a great guitarist, and with metal fingerpicks and a good sustain he manages to get close to McGuinn’s original droney sound on “Thoughts and Words”. That’s one of the covers included on the bonus cd you can get if you order their first ep The Lily-Pad Sessions on Kool Kat. But the covers aside, it’s the groups own songs that will get your attention. My favourite is “Tomorrow Will Remain” which combines a fuzz guitar chorus with a remarkable 12-string solo. Among the other four tracks, “No Reason to Cry” sticks out with some eerie piano overdubs that puts it closer to Byrds at the time of The Notorious Byrd Brothers. “Annabel Lee” is a reworking from the Lears era, as is this demo below called “I Won’t Remind You” from two years ago. I’m looking forward to hearing something from them on vinyl in the future, and I think State Records would be a perfect home for them.
On a side note I finally heard the first album from Oxford’s The Relationships (featuring ex-members of The Anyways and Razorcuts). It’s called Trend and came out in 2000. They play 12-string folk-rock too, but in a more mellow mode than The Belltowers, with one foot in the British indie scene of the 80s and with the quintessentially English singing and lyrics of Richard Ramage. Their two newer albums are both on Spotify, and Space from 2009 is a record I’ve spoken warmly of before. But here’s a track from the much harder to find first album, called “Knock Knock Who’s There”.
New style icon at Record Turnover: Graham Gouldman, Mockingbird and songwriter extraordinaire (The Yardbirds and The Hollies are only two of the bands he provided with material). Below is my playlist from the mod themed Friday Casual night last week. A fairly wide interpretation of it, but as it was said on Friday, that Saturday’s Children single sounds so much like The Hollies! For an overview of the original, soul side of mod, check out DJ and soul fan Randy Cozens’ Mod Top 100. Not surprisingly, someone made it into a 4-part download several years ago, and it’s still around.
Here is the first single from collaborative project Zodiacs. It’s out on Captured Tracks as a free release, house in a screenprinted envelope sleeve just like the Mayfair Set 7″, as a way of giving something back to the label’s supporters and celebrating the 100th release. In a new interview for UK podcast New Noise, Mike Snipers tells us how the idea started with the Mayfair Set live lineup put together for the CT/Woodsist festival a couple a years ago. That was when the first song was written and various people have contributed since then. I’m sure you already know how to get hold of this record, otherwise, head on over to CT’s website and don’t forget to pick up the Beach Fossils / Wild Nothing tribute to The Wake as well, which is out on Record Store Day.