Well, yesterday’s covers post seemed to have been a hit and I thought I’d repost some tracks I’d been asked to, as well as a few I haven’t posted here before.
Belle and Sebastian -‘Final Day (Young Marble Giants).’ mp3
Jeff Buckley -‘Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover).’ mp3
Breeders -‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun (The Beatles cover).’ mp3
CSS – ‘One Way Or Another (Blondie cover).’ mp3
Pop Will Eat Itself -‘Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel cover).’ mp3
Sia -‘I Go To Sleep (The Kinks cover).’ mp3
Raincoats -‘Lola (The Kinks cover).’ mp3
Slits -‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye cover).’
Schneider TM -‘The Light 3000 (cover of The Smiths There Is A Light That Never Goes Out).’ mp3
This Mortal Coil -‘Song To the Siren (Tim Buckley cover).’ mp3
For what it’s worth, I genuinely hold The Slits, Schneider TM, The Raincoats, This Mortal Coil and Jeff Buckley to be amongst the finest cover versions ever done. In the unlikely event of any list of best ever cover versions NOT including these, I think I would have to have a word. They reinvent the songs concerned, and that’s what a cover version should do.
…Indeed, just as it says, bluessgrass from east London. Featuring darren hayman, once of Hefner with Dave Watkins on Banjo, Dan Mayfield on Violin, and Dave Tattersall on guitar are Hayman, Watkins, Trout and Lee.
Darren Hayman is still obsessed with girls’ shoes, although he doesn’t seem to be writing Hymns to things he loves, at the moment at any rate.
Their debut single is free for download below, but despite the name, it bears nothing to do with the legends of funk and soul that were Sly and the Family Stone. Don;t let that put you off; this has shaken up my top tracks of 2008 list quite severely after three plays in the last half an hour alone. A five star song.
Hayman, Watkins, Trout & Lee -‘ Sly and the Family Stone.’ mp3
Their mini-ste can be found here while their mySpace is here
Fronted by Tracey Tracey and Paul Court, and an ever changing lineup of a rhythm section, the Primitives from Coventry were one of the acts associated with the C86 movement who actually went on to break the Top 40 and appear in Smash Hits and Top Of The Pops. Though their sound fitted well alongside the likes of The Shop Assistants and Talulah Gosh, their sound also bore the trademarks of The Buzzcocks and Blondie. Their own label, Lazy, put out three singles before they re-issed the first ‘Thru The Flowers’ signed to RCA and released ‘Crash’ the song with which they are most associated. These were their first three singles:
It’s not often that we get phonecalls from Rock Stars at 17 Seconds Towers. That said, I won’t forget the day I pulled over to take a call from Emma Pollock. But I was also impressed that once his bar shift was over, Wake The President guitarist Bjorn rang me at home to chat to 17 Seconds about their new single, their name and the DIY aesthetic in 2008.
Wake The President are Bjorn on guitar, his twin Eric is the singer, with Mark on bass and Scott on drums. (Their mySpace site says, rather cryptically:Guitar Eddie The Bear Markus Corrigan Schott Sieczkowski. Then again, it also lists Johnny Hates Jazz as an influence). Signed to Glasgow’s Electric Honey records, in 2007 they released two singles ‘Sorrows For Clothes’ and ‘Remember Fun?’ April will see the release of their third single ‘You Can’t Change That Boy’ which has been made single of the week on both Radio 2’s Stuart Maconie’s show and on XFM Scotland.
So how did your name came about? There’s no meaning behind it, we were just name juggling.
How did the band come together? Eric and I have been kicking about in bands since we were fourteen or fifteen. Mark and Scott changed it: I worked with Scott and met Mark through a friend.
Who do you see as your influences? We always get lazy comparisons like The Smiths and Belle and Sebastian. Our influences include stuff like you highlighted, like Josef K and The Fire Engines. We’re independent in the way we go about things, we take the DIY approach and work closely with the record company.
Who do you see as your contemporaries in Glasgow and Scotland? Do you consider yourselves part of a scene? We’ve never felt we fit in. There’s lots of wee pockets going [in Glasgow] but we’re not part of anything.
Tell us about your new single, ‘You Can’t Change That Boy.’ It’s record of the week on Radio 2, on Stuart Maconie’s show. It was coming out on Electric Honey, but it’s now coming out on a German label called Aufgeladen und Bereit to save money. The album will be coming out on Electric Honey.
What are your touring and festivals plans? Everything’s scheduled for this year, and we’re getting tour supports etc.. We are looking at doing a few festivals but I’m not saying what until they’re announced.
Would you ever move to London to further the band? I don’t see the point in going anywhere. Glasgow is no different from any other city. There are some really great bands, but the city isn’t terribly inspiring. The new single was written on holiday.
Does the word ‘indie’ mean anything in 2008? Coldplay, Travis, Razorlight…completely! Indie started out as a DIY aesthetic, you pressed up records and sent them out. We are doing this ourselves, putting out records…we cut out the middle man.
What are your plans for your debut album? There are names kicking about. The producer, Paul Savage [former Delgados drummer, co-founder of Chemikal Undeground and husband of Emma Pollock] is currently working with Franz Ferdinand. We’ve been working on it at Chem 19 (The legendary scottish studios). Emma had us there and asked us to support her.
Who would you most like to work with? We’re collaborating with Jeff from Unkle Bob, who’s a good pianist, on the album, and Gemma, an old friend, who’s a singer. I’d like to work with Tony Dougan as a producer.
Are you actively seeking a bug record deal? If offered a deal, we know who we’d sign with. It has to be the right deal for us. We’ve all got day jobs -I’m a part-time bar-man- so it has to be the right deal for us.
‘You Can’t Change That Boy’ is out on April 7 on Aufgelanden & Bereit. Their debut album is scheduled for October. Make friends with Wake The President here
Here’s the video a friend made for their debut single ‘Sorrows For Clothes.’
Well, having not posted many videos here for a while (other than the links to the two Benga videos last week, obviously!) I thought I would post some classic 80s eighties indiepop videos here.
First up, Edinburgh’s gone but not forgotten heroes, The Shop Assistants. BTW, if anyone knows where in Edinburgh this video was filmed, or can work it out, let me know. The other day Mrs. 17 Seconds and I were watching it closely to see if we could work it out but without success.
The Shop Assistants -I Don’t Want To Be Friends With You
I will do a post on the Primitives sometime very soon, having just got my hands on an excellent compilation of early stuff called Buzz Buzz Buzz, for the meantime, here is the video to Really Stupid.
The Primitives -Really Stupid
Hmm, might well have to do a post on the Darling Buds as well. Some people derided them as Primitives copyists (blonde girl singer and three blokes in black! Ooh! must be copying them! *withering sarcasm*) but I thought they were pretty great. The first time I saw this video I was eleven years old.
Darling Buds -It’s All Up To You
Does anyone know if Primal Scream did videos for any of their pre-Sonic Flower Groove singles? This is, however, a class song and (nicely) typical of many of the indie videos of the period.
Primal Scream -Gentle Tuesday
A fantastic song, controversial at the time given that the Grand Hotel in question was the one in Brighton where Margaret Thatcher and the conservatives were staying in 1984 when it was bombed. (‘Jesse Garon’ still runs a record shop in Edinburgh and is a thoroughly nice bloke).
Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes -Grand Hotel.
Meanwhile, will try and write up Amplifico and Wake The President interviews…
Reaching your thirties can have strange affects on your music taste. Some people give up seeking out new music altogther. Some people were born fairly conservative anyway and it makes no difference. Some stay interested in music but seem to move towards a safer middle ground. However, while I increasingly find some magazines getting safer, or too focused on the past, reading The Wire magazine has introduced me to artists I might never have heard, unless stumbling across them in the blogosphere by chance.
One of these is Brooklyn’s Religious Knives. This four piece take noise and drone and make a sound like psychedelic dervishes (I’m guessing here, but…). I hear echoes of Nico and The Doors, but I also hear something fresh. This is music that pushes the boundaries, taking the listener someplace else, and I sense they never stand still in any sense.
Meanwhile, Baby Dee has one of the most astounding voices I have ever heard, think Jeff Buckley, think Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons. Currently on a European tour that, alas, doesn’t take in Scotland, this fifty-something from Ohio, who was once apparently the musical director for a Catholic Church in the Bronx before becoming a hermaphrodite in the circus at Coney Island (if iTunes is to be believed). Some stuff just has to be heard to be believed, and this is what this aging indie kid requires.
Some people might seem designed to commit commercial suicide. Such people might include Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power. After all, will major record chains stock a record with that name? And what about the supermarkets?
Fortunately, most people who will enjoy this sort of music won’t be the sort of people who buy their music from major record chains or supermarkets. If you can look beyond the name, you’ll hear one of the best albums to be released this year so far (up there, for me, with Benga). Signed to the ATP label (All Tomorrow’s Parties -well, it wasn’t going to be a major, was it?), their record company label website states that ” Initially the group was born as an outlet for their nihilistic-noise tendencies but quickly, the two Fuck Buttons realised they could harness the use of noise as a tool to immerse and evoke. No longer afraid of melody or rhythm, the group started fusing all these elements to the point when drone becomes melody becomes rhythm.” And therein lies the wonderful side of this record. Sometimes evoking Four Tet, sometimes My Bloody Valentine, Sometimes Wolf Eyes, and sometimes all three of those acts at the same time, FB really do take noise to a place where it becomes beautiful, and this is an album to lose yourself in, as much to find yourself in. Whether you consider this avant-garde or commercial, that’s by the by. This is a record that needs and deserves to be heard, appreciated, enjoyed and lived with for a very long time.
I have tried hard not to issue many Five Star reviews to albums in the eighteen months plus I’ve been writing this blog. But the sheer amazement on hearing this album means it gets it hands down. Utterly astounding.
Fuck Buttons -‘Sweet Love For Planet Earth.’ mp3
Fuck Buttons -‘Ribs Out.’ mp3
PLEASE NOTE: As always, if you like what you hear, please support the artists by buying the album, going to shows, telling friends etc..