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Volume #95 April – May 2014
Greetings! I hope everyone is well, especially now that we’re starting to get the odd nice day of weather. This compilation features quite a few different nationalities and I hope there is something for everyone to like.
01) The Rollers - Knockin' at the Wrong Door: I just picked up a stash of releases from the Numero label after they put up a pop-up shop a few weekends ago. This song opens the Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City compilation, which as usual has some incredible material.
02) Curtis Harding - Keep on Shining: Finally a contemporary artist who gets old school soul without necessarily sounding derivative. Curtis has just released his debut album, Soul Power, on the ubiquitous Burger Records. He’s playing a couple of shows in NYC in June and I am looking forward to catching at least one of them.
03) King Khan & the Shrines - Bite My Tongue: I had earmarked this song for the last couple of compilations but couldn’t quite squeeze it on, which isn’t a bad thing because it slots perfectly into this mix. I saw King Khan & the Shrines back at the end of October and it was one of those gigs where I didn’t know much of the material but was blown away. If you get the chance to see them live then do so. A great combination of soul, big band, R&B and rock.
04) Screaming Females - Rotten Apples: Screaming Females are another excellent band from the DIY scene in New Brunswick, New Jersey and are signed to Don Giovanni records. Marissa Paternoster is a brilliant guitarist, not to mention refreshing in a time where guitar solos seem to be unfashionable. There are many bands that are fantastic live, and then there are a small handful of bands at the very top of the game, Screaming Females are one of those.
05) Beverly - Honey Do (demo): A record-store-day purchase was the Non-Violent Femmes compilation on Kanine Records. I saw Beverly play recently opening for Fear of Men and enjoyed their sludgey sound, the band includes Frankie Rose although she was not present in the live lineup.
06) Withered Hand - Black Tambournine: Dan Wilson’s New Gods is sure to end up on many a best-of 2014 list, the record flirts between catchy pop songs like this one and more sombre folk moments.
07) Nueva Costa – Amanece: Yet another wonderful artist from Chile, El Gran Espíritu is the first full-length from Nueva Costa and is on the utterly incredible Blow Your Mind record label. This song has a hypnotic bassline.
08) Boogarins – Erre: Another South American band, this time we look to Brazil and Boogarins’ 60s inspired psyche rock. Signed to Other Music in the US, I saw an instore performance at the record shop of the same name and duly bought the album, As Plantas Que Curam.
09) Goat - Let it Bleed (live): I was really disappointed to miss Goat when they played in New York last year, but can thankfully make up for it as they are playing again next month. I’ve taken from their live album (recorded at London’s Electric Ballroom) which sees the Swedish band in utterly inspired form.
10) Miss Garrison - Whisky Boy: Let’s head back to Chile again now, and not surprisingly, Santiago, Miss Garrison formed in 2008 and have two records to their name. This track is taken from their latest, deAaB. I saw them at the Paperbox this month and they are superb, and there’s something even more impressive with drummers who can sing, as Francisca Straube does in Miss Garrison. This song, and the album, certainly has a Radiohead influence to it.
11) Nothing – Dig: There’s a lot to talk that doesn’t involve the music when it comes to Nothing, frontman Domenic Palermo spent time in prison for a stabbing incident while in previous band Horror Show among other things. But it’s really the music that matters and Nothing’s album Guilty of Everything is an impressive and intense dose of dark shoegazing rock. Dig is probably the standout track but definitely check out the record if you like what you hear.
12) His Electro Blue Voice - Sea Bug: It’s time to head to Italy now (Como, to be precise) for His Electro Blue Voice, whose debut album, Ruthless Sperm was released on Sub Pop last year and is a wind tunnel of a time. Singer/guitarist Francisca Straube makes Bob Mould sound like a teddy bear.
13) Solids - Off White: I wrote about Solids here (http://mysocialist.com/blog/2014/03/12/sxsw-artist-to-watch-solids/) and caught their set at Mercury Lounge in March. For a two-piece they make an impressive racket. Hailing from Montreal (who have quietly been churning out some great bands in the last few years), Solids should appeal to those who like their guitars scuzzy and grungy.
14) Unwound - Stuck in the Middle of Nowhere Again: Sometimes you hear a band from years gone by and wonder how you never heard them first time around, Unwound are one of those bands. Part of a major re-issue project courtesy of Numero, the Olympia (Washington) 90s band have barely been off my record player this month. This track appears on the first Unwound boxset, Kid is Gone.
15) Adam Franklin & Bolts of Melody - I Used to Live for Music: Time to go home to Oxford. Adam Franklin is of course best known for Swervedriver, but he seems to be one of those people who will release good music no matter what the project. Black Horses was released last year and I managed to pick the vinyl up for a bargain $5 recently. Musically this project is much more melodic than Swervedriver.
16) HOUNDSds - Conduct1: HOUNDSds is essentially a solo venture of Patrick McIntyre, who writes and records all the music himself. This track really reminds me of The Church (no bad thing at all). You can download the music at a “name your price” on bandcamp: http://houndsds.bandcamp.com/
17) Fear of Men - Green Sea: Loom will be another album sure to threaten the end of year lists, I’ve used the band previously, of course, but Loom is their debut full length and really fulfils the promise they’ve had up to now. I saw the band three times last month and they always put on a great show as well, they come from Brighton, England.
18) Matt Kivel – Tetro: I saw LA-based singer/songwriter Matt Kivel at Glasslands last month and he really impressed, this track opens his last album Double Exposure which I bought at the show. He already has a new album out soon on Woodsist called Days of Being Wild.
19) The Besnard Lakes - People of the Sticks: The second band from Montreal on this mix, I loved 2010’s The Roaring Lakes but then the band went off my radar a little bit until I noticed latest album (released in 2013) Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO in a $5 bargain bin, it maybe doesn’t have the depth of the previous album but it is a nice addition and definitely rewards multiple listens.
20) Josefus - Crazy Man: Yet another Numero purchase, and another departure from their usual soul re-issues, I bought this on a whim based on the sticker which promised a lost masterpiece of 70s hard rock, it isn’t quite that good but it certainly deserves more than obscurity.
21) Beach Day - Am I the Only One: I saw Beach Day last month and instantly fell for their sunny 60s girl group pop, this is my favourite track on Trip Trap Attack and probably would have been a huge hit if they’d have arrived before Best Coast. Listen really carefully to those harsh My Bloody Valentine-ish sounds that live just below the surface of the song.
22) Lou Ragland - What Should I Do: Lou Ragland has lived quite the life, far too much to detail here, I’ll just copy and paste the first sentence from Numero’s website: O’Jays road manager, Don King prison chauffeur, window washer, house painter, Ink Spot, Domino, engineer, label owner, guitorgan technician, and one-time steward of a coveted Jet Magazine delivery route, Lou Ragland is Cleveland’s Eastside success story. Ragland possesses a classic deep soul voice and this song is pretty poignant.
I’m hoping to fit in a visit back home towards the end of June, and it’s also the World Cup and the start of the summer concerts, busy times!
Until next time
Peace and love - Q