Saturday, 26 November 2011

Sympathetic Anaesthetic

I was having a beer with Graham (ex Bricolage) and now Post the other night and started talking about the Fire Engines. Now Graham is very fortunate in so much as he's currently playing guitar with (Engines main man) Davey Henderson's latest project Sexual Objects. After we'd downed a few, i started talking about my LOVE for the engines and opined that just maybe Davey Henderson is the most underrated Pop/Rock star EVER.

After all he did produce one of the greatest pop songs of the 80's

And, with the Fire Engines, made the most urgent, effervescent 'pop' music of the late 70's/early 80's. Sort of Beefheart's Magic Band on fizzy sweets. Example:

After the short lived brilliance of the Fire Engines, Henderson formed 'Win' with the aim (presumably) to be massively successful in the pop arena.

Difficult to tell in hindsight whether this was some kind of post-modern joke, but what is certain, is that they sold less than fuck all records.

After Win, lost - Henderson's next project was the utterly ace Nectarine No9. Disgustingly, there is barely ANY internet evidence of their existence. Can i please ask that you listen to their ace 'A Sea With Three Stars' LP? Maybe start with this one? Hey, in my humble opinion it's one of the finest album's of the 90's and sort of beat Beck to the Odelay post-modern punch.

Now Davey is doing the aforementioned Sexual Objects thing to an audience of less than deserved. AND STILL that prick Bono exists.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Made This Robot Cowboy Happy

Those little gaps in Spotify's catalogue can be quite annoying. There are the obvious ones like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Zep etc, but there are also some that most might not notice but i do, step forward the Drag City catalogue (Jim O'Rourke, Smog etc), Spacemen 3 and others. One of those annoying gaps was (the mighty) Beachwood Sparks, but (hallelujah!) not any more...

Part of a cosmic-rock, psyche-country, retro-scene that developed in Los Angeles in the late 90's (see also Lilys, Further), i first came across them in 2001 when Rough Trade asked me to look after press for their 2nd album, 'Once We Were Trees'. Liked initially, loved later and obsessed over eventually, It ended up being the album that i was most proud of working on as a press officer (and there were some pretty big contenders).

Sometimes a record just exists in a way that imitates perfection. The playing, the singing, the arrangements and perhaps, most importantly, the way it SOUNDS combine to produce something that could never be repeated (see also Big Star's 3rd, Parson's 'Grievous Angel', Exile On Main Street). And all this on an album that was terribly retro. Beautiful Sade cover alert.

I went back and discovered their first record which wasn't as mind-bendingly epic but has some pretty damned fine pop songs.

After the band split/dissolved in 2003 various members made their own records, can i please recommend listening to

Exhibit A: The Tyde: the only LA band (i know of) eulogising about Felt in the mid-00's

Exhibit B: Farmer Dave Scher: reggae meets psyche meets country meets pop meets something stronger than Silk Cut.

Farmer Dave Scher – You Pick Me Up

Exhibit C: All Night Radio: Another Scher project, this song just happened to be one of the best, undiscovered gems of the last 10 years

All Night Radio – Daylight Till Dawn

Magic Alex drummer John Mac did the sound for Beachwood Sparks and also looks after most of their solo things whenever they're in the UK, he tells me their currently back together and making another album. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Return Of The MacDaddy

This Friday sees the 2nd Hospital Radio night at the Chorlton Irish Club. I'm very pleased to say that my old DJ sparring partner (and Magic Alex tub thumper) John Mac will be joining me on the Decks.

This week i am mostly looking forward to playing this:

and this:

and this:

See you there?

Friday, 4 November 2011

It was 20 years ago today

that i put this record on and SERIOUSLY thought that the vinyl was faulty. I took it back to my local Our Price and they gave me another one, took it home and thought, 'maybe my record player is fucked?'

When i bought the 'Soon' 12" it was a very big moment. Madchester was in its ascendancy but all the cool DJ's knew that THIS was the future*

*unfortunately it wasn't the future, it was, in fact, the end of music being a progressive force. Literally, a full stop to music being a progressive art form. It almost (did) INVENTED post-rock. An amazing amalgamation of rock, hip-hop, noise and melody,

And then Andrew Weatherall used the song to make my favourite dance song EVER.

I was already a fan of MBV before all of this, i'd watched them go from a knock-kneed indie-pop band to one of the most interesting bands around. They disembowelled rock to leave just the entrails. example*

A long time ago, an ex-girlfriend and i, decided, whilst interviewing potential house-share members, to cheekily throw in the question, "Do you think that Diana was a cunt?" The idea being that if they were offended, they probably weren't the kind of person that we'd want to live with. Equally, if i meet someone who's heard My Bloody Valentine, and doesn't agree they are in the top 5 bands EVER.

I don't want to be their friend.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

New Jamz On Wednesday

Hey, I like The Spectrals, they fall just on the right side of 'Indie' (i.e more like The Pale Fountains than say Beady Eye). The debut album is a bit like if The La's came back with a new album on Captured Tracks. Which is rather nice obvs. Checkitowt

Have i mentioned Real Estate before? Good, you've been paying attention then. The new album gets better each play and thirty plays in, that's pretty, pretty good. Here's the album closer which is, let's face it, PERFECT.

Been hearing this next one on the radio (read 6music) a lot. Always very pleasing to listen to, although, they look bloody dreadful and  it sounds SO 90's i almost dismissed it. However John S has been texting me telling me that they are the psychedelic Everly Brothers and i should listen to the album, so i will, and so should you...

And finally, the girls in my house are very much digging this one. And the girls are never wrong... Like a young Kim Gordon fronting Tom Tom Club. Yeah? YEAHHH!