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Archive for the ‘Alternative & Indie’ Category

This Mortal Coil – Meniscus (1986)

Beautiful, short, guitar and synth instrumental from the band that brought you the defining cover version of Tim Buckley’s extraordinary “Song to the Siren”.

This is taken from their second LP Filigree & Shadow which was released in 1986 on 4AD records.

As Discogs tell us:

This Mortal Coil was a 4AD “supergroup” of sorts that recorded three albums and a few other tracks between 1983 and 1991.

The only official members of the project were 4AD label head Ivo Watts-Russell and well-known producer John Fryer, but many other vocalists and musicians from 4AD (and non-4AD) groups such as Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Dif Juz, Colourbox, The Wolfgang Press, Cindytalk, Breathless and more were involved at various points in the project’s lifespan.

Two and a half minutes of perfection. If only it were longer!

 

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – French Press (2017)

April 28, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the records of the year so far! Classic Australian jangle pop released on the legendary Sub Pop records label. Heard it on a CD sampler from Uncut magazine 45 minutes ago and it qualified immediately to be elevated to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!

The, ahem, official video and then a live version from the USA!

 

Bram Tchaikovsky – Girl Of My Dreams (1979)

June 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Couldn’t resist the segue from Pyotr to Bram ….

A powerpop classic and one of my favourite songs when I was 15. Peter Bramall was originally a member of The Motors and then left to forge a new career by forming Bram Tchaikovsky to a largely indifferent world.

Released as a single, “Girl of my Dreams” was taken from the Strange Man, Changed Man which appeared on the wonderful Radar Records label (home of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe around that time).

Perfect pop music!

The Grubby Mitts – To A Friend’s House (2011)

June 2, 2016 Leave a comment

One of my great pleasures in life is receiving my monthly copy of The Wire Magazine. It’s a bit esoteric and, to be frank, a lot of the “experimental” music they cover is unmitigated tosh.

Nonetheless, three or four times a year, the magazine comes with a free CD and the “Wire Tapper” series now stretches past 40 volumes …. I do try and listen to these all the way through but they can be a bit of an endurance test. Occasionally, however, you hear something that makes you pause and really sit up. This track is one such example.

To A Friend’s House” by The Grubby Mitts appeared on Wire Tapper 37 early in 2015. While this was the first official CD release of the track, it actually dates back on vinyl to 2011. Whatever its provenance, this is an intriguing and beguiling track – for me, a blend of classic English folk with the lo-fi, indie-pop nous of the bands on New Zealand’s peerless Flying Nun Records label. It turns out that The Grubby Mitts are from Bedford in the UK; only 20 miles from where I type this missive … guys, can I have a beer for plugging you?

A bit of accordion, a spot of bass and some multi-layered spoken vocals adds up to considerably more than the sum of its parts.

Give it a go!

 

Mogwai – Helps Both Ways (Madden Version) (1999)

May 31, 2016 Leave a comment

Tonight, I am mostly feeling like a bit of a tart. For the first time (in a crude attempt to go viral), I have posted in response to a “request”. Now to be fair, the request is from an old chum but, still, I feel a bit dirty.

Specifically, said chum was observing that there was no Mogwai on this blog.

This I now put right …

However, inevitably, I have to be awkward …

So, here is Mogwai with their classic “Helps Both Ways” …. but this time with the original sample featuring John Madden’s NFL commentary that was removed from the Come On Die Young LP for copyright reasons. This is the definitive version!

The Chills – Double Summer (1992)

May 26, 2016 1 comment

I was re-listening to some of the late Prince‘s back catalogue (considerably better than I appreciated at the time!) when a stray Facebook ad revealed that one of New Zealand’s finest bands, The Chills, would shortly be touring the UK.

A few seconds of googling revealed they will be in Leeds on 6th June. By a remarkable coincidence, so will I – what were the chances of that?

Now, normally, if I stay overnight in Leeds, I try and take my two eldest daughters out for a slap up meal which they usually sign up to at the drop of a hat. This time, I’m offering to throw in The Chills gig as well as the aforementioned slap up meal. So far, many hours have passed and they haven’t replied. I suspect they will be “washing their hair” or somesuch.

No matter, it’s a package deal; you can’t have one without the other (mental note – could we eat after the gig to avoid a major “time inconsistency” problem …)

Either way, I will be there and I hope they (The Chills) play this song, “Double Summer”, which was the single from their 1992 LP Soft Bomb.

I’ve previously posted a very early Chills track, here and, like that, “Double Summer” is a classic Flying Nun Records slice of indie pop heaven. However, by 1992, the Dunedin sound is now garnished with a hint of the Stone Roses at the peak of their baggy powers.

The guitar solo from 1:48 is a thing of some beauty.

Pop perfection.

 

 

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Calexico – Deep Down (2006)

May 23, 2016 Leave a comment

As I have been working my way through the 34 CDs of Herbie Hancock’s Columbia LP collection, I’ve also been keeping myself honest by listening to every Cabaret Voltaire LP since 1978 (no one can ever accuse me of not earning my blogging stripes).

During the Cabs marathon, I thought I’d move (alphabetically) ahead and work my way through the Calexico back catalogue (with the idea that I’d find some crap I could sell!)

Sadly, the Calexico back catalogue has many things going for it and none more so than this …

Taken from the band’s “Garden Ruin” LP of 2006, this is the stand out track and is a (yet another) classic slice of US indie rock.

If you can find a way of going beyond Youtube’s volume limits, do it!

 

 

 

 

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