Archive for December, 2012

Date: December 29th, 2012
Cate: Music

2012 | the year in review

2012

Let’s get down to the hard facts. These are my last.fm top 15’s of the year.

ARTISTS PLAYED

The Resonars — 130
Useless Eaters — 107
Thee Oh Sees — 106
Felt — 98
The Turtles— 97
Les Playboys — 92
Saint Etienne — 91
Mean Jeans — 91
White Wires — 89
Pavement — 88
The Rolling Stones — 87
Cosmonauts — 86
The Others — 85
King Tuff — 85
Woollen Kits — 84

ALBUMS PLAYED
(as usual albums with more tracks get a higher listing)

The Smoke High in a Room: The Smoke Anthology — 77
Mind Spiders Meltdown — 63
White Wires WWIII — 63
The Inner Mystiques Get Mystified! — 62
Dana Gillespie Box of Surprises — 61
Terry Malts Killing Time — 61
Jim Ruiz Set Mount Curve Avenue — 61
Gary Valentine Tomorrow Belongs to You — 59
Hollows Vulture — 59
Royal Headache s/t — 58
Mean Jeans Are You Serious? — 57
Beachwood Sparks The Tarnished Gold — 57
The Basements I’m Dead — 55
Sunset Love Psychedelic Moods Part 2: Journey Thru Inner Space — 54
Strawberry Whiplash Hits In the Car — 52

TRACKS PLAYED

Missing Monuments “Another Girl” — 20
Tony’s Defenders “Waiting For a Call From You” — 18
The Rose Garden “Here’s Today” — 16
The Smoke “Don’t Lead Me On” — 14
The Choir “Don’t Change Your Mind” — 14
Marlina Mars “I’m Gonna Hold On” — 14
Cosmonauts “Lazerbeam” — 14
Dee Edwards “You Say You Love Me” — 13
The Go “Tomorrow Night” — 13
Royal Headache “Down the Lane” — 13
The Innsmen “I Don’t Know” — 12
The Galaboochees “It’ll Never Work Out” — 12
Rhonda Davis “Can You Remember” — 12
Mean Jeans “Total Creep” — 12
The React! “Only Living For You” — 12

Date: December 27th, 2012
Cate: Music
2 msgs

2012 | top fifteeen singles & eps

roommates

15
Roommates
Winnifred
Slumberland

Like my 2012 albums list, let’s start this one off with a Slumberland record. Old Marvelous Darlings side project Roommates who had four songs released on cassettes, got a posthumous 45 released this year. “Kelly I’m Not a Creep” is a modern powerpop classic.

Read more…

Date: December 24th, 2012
Cate: Music

2012 | top fifteen albums

terry

15
Terry Malts
Killing Time
Slumberland

A classic noise-pop album, right up there with Henry’s Dress. Unfortunately I played this to death in the first few weeks. It’s about time to come back to it now though, and it feels like a worthy start to my list of top 2012 albums.

Read more…

Date: December 23rd, 2012
Cate: new releases

Peach Kelli Pop & Indian Wars

_MG_1691

Arriving just in time for your year-end lists and Christmas shopping are two LPs from Bachelor Records. Peach Kelli Pop is the second and self-titled album by Allie’s (White Wires) Peach Kelli Pop. Last year’s debut was among the best albums of the year, although it was originally released by tiny label Going Gaga in 2010. For the new record, Allie’s sticks with the lo-fi attributes and delivers 10 sugar-sweet punk numbers spread over two 45 rpm sides. It shows a slight bit more variation in song structure, but if that’s what you’re looking for I suggest you go somewhere else. This is music for people who want a thrill, and don’t want to waste more than 20 minutes getting it. I’ve already played it three times, and I can’t even pick my favourite track yet. The best thing is I don’t have to, I just flip it over and play it all again. But why don’t you have a listen to “Red Leather” below, which could almost have been a White Wires hit.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Indian Wars first came to my attention through their affiliation with Dead Ghosts and a brilliant first 45 “Ghost Letter”. Since then, they have faithfully stayed with Bachelor and now deliver their second longplayer. For a Canadian band, they seem unnaturally attuned to down-South roots music. A few whiffs of country rock and bluegrass flicker by as titles like “Mississippi”, “Florida” and “Pastor Phillips” set the tone of the album. Songs From the North does kind of feel like a trip “There and Back Again”, as the opening track is called. A musical trip both back over latitudinal lines and back in time. “Windshield Wiper Blues”, “Wastin’ Time” and “Already Home” reinforce a travelling theme, while the full-on “Denny” invariably brings to mind fellow garage/country enthusiasts Denney & the Jets. Although Vancouver is a long way from Nashville, these groups share what is currently quite an unusual mindset. It’s a gritty sound, miles away from The Jayhawks or other staples of modern country rock. It’s no surprise to learn that the entire Indian Wars set was cut in one studio session. I think they shine the brightest on the sparkly second track “Sweetheart of the North”, where they mix up their sound with some West Coast folk rock (hear it below). Closing track “Who Needs a Girls Like You” with its lengthy Dylan-circa-’65 jam also impresses.

Date: December 18th, 2012
Cate: graphic design, Music

SIDE52B | 2012 Top 50

cover

And here’s the second part of my 2012 mix, featuring the top 25 tracks I’ve heard for the first time this year. The only new song to make it on here is of course Pop Singles’ brilliant “All Gone” from the album with the same title. I’ve never actually heard The Troggs’ “Our Love Will Still Be There” until this year, although I’m well familiar with the cover done by The Bristols. Liam Watson is great at recreating 60s originals but in this case he couldn’t quite match the splendour of their fuzz-laced ballad. The exceptional cut by The Montanas has surprisingly gone unreleased until its inclusion on Rare Mod Vol. 3 (Acid Jazz, 2011) as the opening track. British outfit New York Public Library, at #2 here, have been comped on Ballroom Beat Vol. 2 and English Freakbeat Vol. 5. The top track is from what sounds like a teen garage group, and what gets me everytime is how the poorly recorded guitar manages to sound more menacing with every play. The Galabooches (or GalaBooChes as it says on the label scan I’ve found) were from Indiana and there are no auctions of their Staff 45 listed on Popsike. “It’ll Never Work Out” was comped on Garage Punk Unknowns #4. Check my previous post for #26-50, and hang in there for the top 15 lists of this years albums and singles.

SIDE52B

25 Dana Gillespie – When Darkness Fell
24 The Troggs – Our Love Will Still Be There
23 The Avengers – Crying All Alone
22 Al McCarther – His True Love For You
21 The Satin Bells – Come C’mon
20 Rhonda Davis – Can You Remember
19 Pop Singles – All Gone
18 Gary Valentine – You (Wanted Me to Hang Around You)
17 Lewis Clark – I Need Your Lovin’ So Bad
16 The Pete Best Combo – I Can’t Do Without You Now
15 The Go – Tomorrow Night
14 The Innocents – One Way Love
13 The Roosters – She Sends Me
12 The Yo Yo’s – Gotta Find a New Love
11 Sunset Love – Reach Out
10 The New Order – Why Can’t I?
09 The Reasons Why – Tell Her One More Time
08 Velvet Seed – Sharon Patterson
07 The Rose Garden – Long Time
06 The Initial Shock – You’ve Been a Long Time Coming
05 The Sweets – Satisfy Me Baby
04 The Montanas – Open the Door
03 Betty Lloyd – I’m Catching On
02 New York Public Library – Got to Get Away
01 The Galaboochees – It’ll Never Work Out

Date: December 13th, 2012
Cate: Music

Monorail 10yrs

Last Sunday Monorail in Glasgow celebrated their 10th birthday, and Brogues who played some records for the occasion wrote these words about it. I felt like I should chime in, since this record shop was central to my experience of Glasgow and must be the only record shop in the world that you can pop into once a year and still be recognised. We completely lack anything like it in Sweden, a record shop that exists in symbiosis with a great vegan café and bar, while also being a popular gig venue. The only parallells I can think of would be The Cake Shop and The Smell, the latter of which I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting yet.

Monorail is tied up with my very first memories of Scotland, from a family holiday in 2005. For me it was as much a musical journey however, starting by ferry and then car across the border. The first inkling I got was travelling through Fife, sitting in a pub in St. Andrews were King Creosote had played mere days before. Edinburgh and Glasgow meant record shopping. Before going back I got to see Belle & Sebastian for the second time, and meet Stuart Murdoch for the first time.

The record shops all felt special then. Being served by members of Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes, Camera Obscura and The Pastels repectively played a big part in that. Looking through my record of purchases it looks like the first ones I ever bought at Monorail were:

— The Go-Betweens 78 ’til 79 – The Lost Album

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

— Saturday Looks Good to Me All Your Summer Songs

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Above are one song from each to soundtrack this post. I must be correct since I remember playing these albums in the car later on. The cds came from the bargain bin of course, since I never had much money to spend on records. It must be said though, that Monorail have some of the best bargain bins in the country. The new LPs and cds are reasonably prices of course, but I seldom afforded myself the luxury. At the time I was busy stocking up on 80s releases through eBay anyway, since I didn’t have to pay for international postage while I was living in the UK. That said, Monorail is the kind of shop you come into for the joy of it, and not buying anything is never a disappointment. You always get a warm welcome, perhaps a chat or a recommendation for something you’ve never heard of. That is the way the records are organised as well, you might find an entire section that will be enough to teach you the basics of an obscure genre. And the handstamped brown paper bags you get your goods in makes it feel special.

Monorail is more than a record shop, they sell tickets for gigs, host a film club at the GFT and arrange events in the space outside known as Mono. It’s one of the best places to meet people in Glasgow and a lot of people from local bands have passed through the staff doors of both Mono and Monorail. The music playing in the background is always lovingly chosen. I remember being introduced to one of my alltime favourite songs there, when Norman Blake and Gerry Love of Teenage Fanclub were DJing. “Go Ahead” by The Squires, the b-side to their Nuggets classic “Going All the Way” on Atco. It was also a welcome excuse to talk to Norman.

I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so proud to stand behind a pair of decks as the one time I got to play there together with Brogues, actually three years ago to the day! We were warming up for Taken By Trees and later a DJ set by Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura. I was particularly pleased with playing Dale & the Devonairs’ “Never Be Free” and The Different Parts’ “Why“.

Coming into Monorail, even in 2006, I could never have believed they opened only four years prior to that. They already had an establishment that felt as firm as if had it been there for a decade. Now that independent record shops are becoming Monorail will prove more important than ever. Some of my best memories are from there, and I hope there will be as many to come. Apart from playing there with Brogues, some other cherished moments from that place are watching Maher Shalal Hash Baz (on the Monorail-affiliated label Geographic) with K around Christmas time, seeing it more packed than ever for the 1990s album launch, and going there with H during the last feverish week in Glasgow of summer 2007. An embarrasing photograph from that day ended up as the banner for one of my old blogs for a while. “Heavens Above” is by The Pastels, I first heard it on a compilation I got on my trip in 2005. That was also the first time I met one of Monorail’s owners, Stephen Pastel. “Heaven Is Above Your Head” is by Louis Philippe, I first heard him on the Belissimo! él Records compilations I got with my first Monorail haul of 2006. My last.fm account is still called heavensabove.

Date: December 13th, 2012
Cate: graphic design, Music
3 msgs

SIDE53 | club night

Next week it will be this year’s final Record Turnover night, and finally we’ll be able to keep it up until 2 am. This night will feature the very first appearance of Frans Fleischer behind På Besök’s decks, so if you haven’t already split for the holidays please come round. I’ll be playing psych classics like Neon Pearl, M.G. & the Escorts, Tomorrow; and new ones from Mmoss, By the Sea, The Smoking Trees and The Resonars. Also, new purchases by The Smoke, The Peeps, Symon Grace & The Tuesday Blues, The Tidal Wave etc will receive their first spin.

SIDE53

På Besök 21/12
10pm – 2am
free entry

Date: December 11th, 2012
Cate: graphic design, Music

SIDE52A | 2012 Top 50

Last year I did a DJ set of the best 50 songs I had heard that year. This year, it’s a mix in two parts instead. Unfortunately min.us seem to have changed their service to an image hosting/gallery thing, but for now I’ll continue to use it for mixes. You’ll have to download the tracks seperately though, so bear with me. The mix is ordered from #50 to #1, and the top 25 won’t be revealed until later.

The mix also exists on C90 tape, which you can get a copy of at the next club night on the 21st of December! Of course, the tape only fits 34 tracks or so, but you’ll get the added joy of more even mastering and about 100 mouse clicks less. Side A features about 4 songs released this year, but I think that’s pretty good going considering they’ve had to compete with newly discovered songs from the last 50 years. Let the countdown begin.

SIDE52A

50 The Contents Are – I Don’t Know
49 The Resonars – I Didn’t Feel So Cold Then
48 Start – No Direction
47 The Zombies – I Don’t Want to Know
46 Dee Edwards – You Say You Love Me
45 The Bats – Got a Girl
44 Lawson & Four More – Halfway Down the Stairs
43 Jo & Jenny’s Group – Un Santone Indiano
42 Missing Monuments – Another Girl
41 Evil – Short Life
40 The Rovin’ Kind – Right On Time
39 The Secrets – Here I Am
38 Cosmonauts – Lazerbeam
37 The Parakeets – I Love You Like I Do
36 The Carnabeats – Chu! Chu! Chu!
35 Thane Russal & Three – Your Love Is Burning Me
34 Marlina Mars – I’m Gonna Hold On
33 The Ricochettes – Losing You
32 Bobby Saint Clair – Fool That I Am
31 The Inner Mystiques – Don’t Worry, Don’t Cry
30 The Doughboys – Everybody Knows My Name
29 The Commands – No Time For You
28 The Lil’ Boys Blue – Take You Away
27 The Whatt Four – You’re Wishin’ I Was Someone Else
26 Reatha Reese – Only Lies

Date: December 11th, 2012
Cate: new releases

Mmoss | Only Children

It’s almost time to wrap up 2012 and its best albums and singles. Many of which I haven’t had time to mention! So let’s talk about one record that will definitely be on my list, and that has already turned up in a few other ones. Mmoss come from New Hampshire and their new album Only Children might give both them and their new label Trouble In Mind some much-deserved exposure. Burger, who have proved once again this year that they are the best at picking up on promising bands, released the first Mmoss album last year. No one noticed of course, which is also Burger’s curse. With Only Children, Mmoss have garnered comparisions to as widely varying outfits at Pink Floyd, The Byrds and Ant Trip Ceremony. The fact is, that this 9-track LP may be favourably compared to much any critically acclaimed psych/pop album of the 60s and 70s. Not only do they live and breathe the sound, which we’ve seen a lot of bands do this year (not least Cosmonauts and Woods), but the composition and arrangement of the songs bear a degree of complexity not many bands can be bothered about these days. The only thing that would have kept this album from becoming legendary had it been released in 1968 are the vocals, which play a minor role here (something I feel is sadly also the case with another one of 2012’s best releases, from By the Sea). “War Sux” isn’t 10 minutes long because they decided that before finishing it, which some of the songs on Toy’s recent debut give the effect of. It merely goes on until is has emptied every musical potential it holds. Another strong point for the album is the circular fullness, beginning and ending with with the companion tracks “Spoiled Sun” and “Spoiled Son”. It’s an album that doesn’t feel like it stops between songs – apart from flipping it over, the 40 minutes feel like a complete experience. Listen on spotify, particularly to my favourite track “Okay” that could have been a single if they needed one.

Date: December 5th, 2012
Cate: graphic design, new releases
1 msg

Vacations | Purple Slumber 7″

Vacations is the solo project of Fungi Girls member Jacob Bruce. Here’s C.M. Ruiz’ art for his upcoming single release. Vactions have two songs on soundcloud, and I really hope “Clouded Night” will be on the b-side of the single. It’s simply better than anything Fungi Girls recorded, and one of the best songs I’ve heard this year.