Friday, 29 July 2011

Black Milk - Brain

Detroit MC Black Milk cut two songs at Jack White's studio in Nashville with a nine-piece band (numbering White) that are out on 7" now. Brain is the funk masterpiece for contemporary clubs that Primal Scream have wanted to record for over 20 years but have got nowhere near achieving.
Black Milk - Brain by weallwantsome1

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Belle and Sebastian live in 1997

Belle and Sebastian were great live in 1996 - their first London headline gig at the Borderline, they seemed excited to be playing, and were messing about (between songs, one of them played Smoke On The Water on a kazoo to much merriment on and off stage). A few days before, supporting Tindersticks at the ICA, Stuart Murdoch spotted Lawrence in the audience and changed a lot of the lyrics to Felt song titles and lyrics.

Come 1997, they were increasingly diffident on stage. This show from August 2 1997 presented a more raggedy band than the year before. They'd played a good gig the previous night in London, but this period marked the start of an unpredictable gigging band (who would keep crowds waiting for an hour before begrudingly coming onstage; who once kept a crowd waiting for an hour and a half before deciding they couldn't play because Isobel had a tickly throat).

The audience was a little lively at this Oxford gig and the heckles came perhaps as much through frustration with the band as with the excess alcohol consumed waiting for the band to play.

Still, if you're prepared to sit through some woman shouting "Judy!" a lot and some bloke shouting what he thought was funny (but wasn't) then some of this gig sounds great.

My main memory is my flatmate not being able to collect the tickets he'd booked on his credit card because the signature had rubbed off from being in his pocket (he refused to use a wallet as for some bizarre reason he didn't trust people who used wallets). We had to pay in cash, leaving us totally broke in the venue. Oxford indiepop legend and millionaire car designer Sir Greg Webster stepped up and loaned my flatmate beer money for the night. That debt is still outstanding. Thanks, Greg.

Thursday, 21 July 2011


Two self-styled Philly brat punks, like PENS with filthy minds, like Psychedelic Horseshit with an even smaller recording budget and like Daphne & Celeste if they’d grown up on Sonic Youth and Bikini Kill.

They’ve got a song called Seventh Grade which is an anthem to dirty teenage love and starts:
You smell like piss
My heart beat's fast as shit
It starts like this
God, I really hoped for it

They’ve got a four-track 7”, Pretend To Be Nice, that's all killer and is ruled by No Offense:

They’ve got a digital album Sorry I’m Not Sorry that’s wonderfully scatological, scuzzy and funny, with great song titles (Smells Like Milk and Teen Mom, for instance). You’ll love this band. If you don’t, then they’ll write a song about how much of a shit-for-brains loser you are.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Elizabeth Price's CHOIR

Elizabeth Price - yes, her out of Talulah Gosh and The Carousel to the indiepop types; artiste to the rest of you - has her latest work CHOIR performed at the Chisenhale Gallery in London this Thursday.

The soundtrack was arranged by Price and features original recordings by John Stanley (him out of Tender Trap to you indie types). John says:

I recorded the soundtrack, which has been a lengthy project involving throwing tambourines on the floor in St. Bride's and forcing houseguests to chant 'We Know' into a microphone eighty times or so, amongst much else. It's been really interesting and enjoyable working on such a great piece.

Best of all, it's FREE. The film lasts 15mins, and runs on a loop from 7-10pm.

It says you need to book, but I am pretty sure that this is not necessary and you can just turn up (in the worst case you'll have to wait a few minutes for the next showing).

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Puzzle Pieces

The classic college rock sound - melodic maelstroms like Dinosaur Jr, fast and furious like Husker Du - has been picked up by the Puzzle Pieces label on their first two releases.

Four Eyes' four-track 7", Towards The End Of Cosmic Loneliness, pulls off that rare trick of offering nothing new but sounding completely fresh. If you've been picking up the Outdoor Miners singles or remember The Edsel Auctioneer and The Pale Saints with fondness then this is an essential record.

Bad Banana whip it up even harder and faster on Cry About It - their pop-punk is a kindred spirit to Sourpatch - but can slow it down a touch and be just as effective on the whip-smart Boys With Girlfriends.

Puzzle Pieces are giving these singles away as free downloads, but at only $4 a piece for the vinyl, and with reasonable shipping costs, you should buy them.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Dexys on Jonathan Ross

As the excitement builds for Dexys' comeback, here are the two new songs they played on Jonathan Ross's Saturday Zoo TV programme on 27 March 1993. These two songs feature Big Jim Patterson and Billy Adams, who sadly aren't part of the current Dexys line-up.

If I Ever


I got these songs on a bootleg CD at a record fair in the 90s. This is the full tracklisting:

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Todd Shuster (ex-Impossible Years)

Todd Shuster of The Impossible Years has a CD of twenty songs recorded at home on 4-track cassette between 1988 and 1997. Many of the songs on My Report Card match the quality of The Impossible Years' Dreamworld ep, and all carve out their territory either in paisley psychedelia or urgent beat pop.

There are enough great lost songs to make My Report Card a treasure trove worth the attention of any indiepop or psych fan. One of the jewels is I Agree, which was the first song Shuster wrote for the pre-Impossible Years band, The Jags:

If there are a few occasions over the twenty songs when the influences are a little too obvious (1967 vintage Pink Floyd and The Beatles) then Shuster has enough charm to set out his own Carnaby Street stall convincingly. My Report Card is being sold at a bargain price - email Todd at to score your deal.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Go-Betweens live at Tower Records, 25 August 1994

Robert and Grant played an acoustic set at Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus on Thursday 25 August, 1994. I thought it was one of the best gigs I'd ever seen. My friend from college who I'd persuaded to come along had never heard The Go-Betweens before. He didn't like them. The lyrics were rubbish, he reckoned. He was obsessed with Suede, which is I suppose its own punishment. We are no longer in touch.

The first 45 minutes of the gig

The last five minutes:

Monday, 4 July 2011

Love Cuts

Love Cuts make DIY pop and have five short, raggedy, gloriously amateur tracks on one 7". Like Real Numbers, they sound like one of the hidden gems on a Messthetics compilation. They've got the fragility of Marine Girls, the awkward stumble of early Pastels, and the raw minimalism of Beat Happening. They're from Vancouver and their names are Cheryl, Kaity, and Tracey.