Friday 31 July 2009

Here comes the summershine, expect the best of times. Fave Tunes May/June 2009

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear The Beach Boys processing in a dignified and stately manner

Always The Same – The Legends
Heavenly FUZZED pop

Ulysses and The Cats – Whitetree Drifting in the ether soothingness

Rainwater Cassette Exchange – Deerhunter Dippy, slip-sliding folk-pop trip gets a good reverbing

Young Drugs – Crocodiles Deadpan kids do electro-Spectrum lullaby

Brave The Storm - Graham Coxon Finger-pickled and fluting ‘Watch With Mother’ dusty sunshine afternoons

Twin Of Myself - Black Moth Super Rainbow Very twinkly and reminds me of Tangerine

Quicksand - Locust Plaza A lonely wind whistling through a high school that‘s been derelict since 1958

Dancing with abandon to ‘Surrender’ by Cheap Trick at Track And Field Be rude not to

My Baby Don’t Care – King With Captain Sensible, not the '80s Doc Martened shitehawks

City Trains – Music And Movement Swirling and clattering and even better than pretending to be a tree growing from a seed or currants being mixed in a bowl (1970s education, yes)

Saturday 11 July 2009

Indietracks : An Indiepop Compilation (Make Do And Mend)

Indietracks! It’s nearly upon us again. Peer down the line and you can just make out a curl of steam in the distance, woohoo!

If you’re going to the festival, this album is an excellent way of getting yerself in the mood. If you’re not going, then it’s a fine primer for what’s going on over the hills and far away from the mainstream in the land of INDIEPOP: be it jangly, spangly, fuzzy, buzzy, spikey, swoonsome or any other kind of marvellous that the term can encompass.

Friends kick things off with the suitably titled ‘You’ll Never See That Summertime Again’, a perfect piece of sparkling summertime pop that is sort of The Bodines if they’d been submerged in the soaring wistfulness of The Lotus Eaters’ ‘First Picture Of You’ (a total flashback-to-childhood-summer song).

Eux Autres sidle towards Beat Happening terrirtory with their beaty drums, twanglesome guitars and flat emotion-free = emotion-full indie boy/girl vocals. There are laid-back fuzzy Pavementisms from Downdime (more flashbacks, this time to the Subpop summer of 1990). Wake The President have Scottish vocals, to which I am always rather partial, and rush along on handclaps and old-skool Post-cardy jangles that SNAP! at your desert-boot clad heels. Disasteradio use synths and robot vocoder vocals to come across like Super Furries havin’ a disko with Neu!

The Rocky Nest’s track is called ‘Lenny and Jenny Had One Too Many’ which is very annoying of it. However they make intriguingly odd and fuddled soundz like a lo-fi kitchen-sink T.Rex cranking along. And they feature an ex-Fonda 500 so that’s me sold.

More people-what-used-to-be-in-another-band action from Ray Rumours And The No-Eyed Deers, i.e. Ros what was in Electrelane. Unlike Electrelane, ‘Puddles And Rain’ is very simple, rattley and sparse, but thanks to Ros’ open, girlish voice it has a touching warmth.

Moustache Of Insanity’s (don’t say a word) ‘Living Room Pic-nic’ is like a v.v. cutesie version of Schwervon’s ‘Dinner’ with a bit of Esiotrot for afters. Zipper are indeed zippy, guitars crunching along in a Rosehips sort of way with a not-stopping-for-breath girl vocal. Alaska’s ‘She Was A Rockstar’ is utterly adorable swingin’ pop, a companion pice to ‘Talulah Gosh’ maybe?

What’s this? Why, ‘tis Teenage Fanclub, this year’s righteous headliners. Oh no, it’s ‘Cancion de Viernes’ by Cooper, it just sounds EXACTLY like the Fannies, or maybe EXACTLY like The Fannies being Big Star and The Byrds, lots of lazily jangling guitars and sunkissed harmonies. Num.

Fzzztttt! Bloop! The space-time continuum has gone all hazey! Erk! I can’t tell if it’s then or now, for behold! ‘tis Mighty Mighty with ‘Kiss For The Crowd’! Is that an old track or new ’un? Not sure, I’m not completely au fait with the band’s entire oeuvre you know. Though I did always enjoy, ‘Maisonette’, and ‘Throwaway’, and ‘Built Like A Car’ and ‘Biddy Baxter’ and the picture of Bridget Sea Urchin surfing on an ironing board, and… blimey! what time are they playing?

Imagine Broadcast circa ‘The Noise made By People’ trying to go Ye-ye but then going a bit John Barry instead. You might get ‘Alapati’ by the splendidly/sick-makingly named Marshmallow Kisses. Ver Kisses, as nobody should ever refer to them, are going to include Tim from Hong Kong In The 60s amongst their number when they play at Indietracks, and look here ARE HK60s with their sublime, spider-web in the breeze ‘Disintegration’. If you fancy being soothed for a while by sounds that stroke as gentle as a feather, settle yourself in a pew when HK60s grace the Church stage.

Someone needs to take up the mantle of fine penmanship and top pop ideals left lying around by Belle And Sebastian. Maybe Pocketbooks, or perhaps Butcher Boy, both on fine form here, will get there with their elegantly-crafted pop vignettes.

Ste McCabe’s ‘Public Debate’ is Pete Shelly singing The Ramones' ‘I Wanna Live’ and it brings a welcome buzz of distortion to things. Also, Ste says “My hatred of the Daily Mail is bordering on obsession”. Huzzah! With you there for sure.

Forty-four tracks long, this is a bumper summer special of an album. It’s got music from Sweden, Denmark, Spain, USA, UK, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Argentina… and is an excellent way of taking a peek at the soundz going down on the international pop underground. Print out your festival schedule and start asterisking who you're going to see. All aboard!

P.S. This review was written whilst wearing a dress patterned with apple trees, sitting on a sunny beach, occasionally flicking pebbles into the sea. Afterwards I went and ate an ice-cream. True! Facts!