Monday, February 22, 2010

Myron & E with The Soul Investigators - It's A Shame

Myron and E with the Soul Investigators follow Cold Game – officially 2009’s best single FACT – with It’s A Shame, a more downtempo but no less assured outing which sees Southern grit meet quietly burning funk.

I reckon there’s an echo of Larry Banks and Jaibi’s My Life Is No Better, but maybe that’s just me. You decide. Whatever, it’s a great single and the album’s almost done.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Great free gig amazement!

Fuck me nine ways to Sunday!* The Hangover Lounge has got all the first-name choices on the team sheet for a live and acoustic spectacular: Chris Wilson of the legendary Flamin’ Groovies! Bob Collins and Mark Matthews of The Dentists are back! Argentina’s finest Hacia dos Veranos!

Bob and Mark Dentists are playing solo sets as a prelude to the first Dentists gig in 15 years, and the first with the original line-up since 1986, at Dingwalls on March 25, which also features HL alumni and all-round greats The Claim.

*Sunday March 14. Full Hangover Lounge info here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Beachniks are a hobby band and their hobbies are bubblegum pop, drunken couldn’t-care-less guitar riffs and wanting to sound like the first Vaselines ep. They – and they are members of Crystal Stilts and German Measles – aren’t trying too hard and get away with it on panache, cheap thrills and goofiness.

I’ve had this four-track 7” for a week and played it a bunch of times. I may never play it again. It was fun while it lasted and I ain’t complaining. It’s ditzy, throwaway, sloppy pop music that’ll keep you entertained for minutes. And that’s enough until the next bright thing turns up.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Gigi - Maintenant

If God Help The Girl had sounded half as good as Maintenant, Stuart Murdoch would have been in the New Year’s Honours List; if Phil Spector had made a record this strong in the past 10 years, the jurors at his trial may have been more lenient; and if Stephin Merritt still wrote songs of this quality he’d have to reconvene The 6ths for Wasps' Nests Part 2.

Gigi – the combination of Canadian songwriter Nick Krgovich and producer Colin Stewart with guest vocalists – took three years to make Maintenant; on the basis of the string-swept settings, rain-soaked heartache and Brill Building melodrama, those three years could easily have been 1962-65.

For all the obvious comparisons – Spector/Barry/Greenwich, and Bacharach and David in particular – there’s a warmth to this record and a range of less obvious influences – Serge Gainsbourg's breathy noir and The Zombies' baroque pop, for example – that ensures Maintenant sidesteps pastiche to stake a claim for its own star on Sunset Boulevard.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Middle Ones hit the small time

Grace and Anna play acoustic guitars, sing different vocal lines simultaneously in different keys to each other while both quite possibly out of tune, decorate their bedsit pop with toy instruments and giggle at the silliness of it all. Pop music doesn’t get more charming than this.

They’re like the Marine Girls only somehow more indie, or like Melody Dog only somehow more amateurish. They may never have heard of either of those bands, but instead have a comprehensive knowledge of Sesame Street soundtracks.

The Middle Ones have a four-track 10” out now. It’s the record least likely to ever be played by Tim Westwood. He probably wouldn’t even recognise it as music. It’s fantastic.

Download Young Explorer

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Lost Soul: The Saints

I don't know much about this outfit. This single was on Revue, MCA's soul subsidiary, but as Revue picked up singles from across the USA, your guess is as good as mine as to where Saints came from. Unless you know, in which case please tell...I know of one other single, I've Been Taken For A Ride, which you can find on the excellent Impressed! 24 groups inspired by the legendary Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions collection.

You might be familiar with Mirror Mirror On The Wall from Kent's Pure Soul compilation (and, seriously, if you don't have that album, hunt it down); the a-side, Come On, Let's Dance picks up the tempo for a quality slice of late-60s r&b. Cultural commentators might be interested to know that one of the dances they suggest the listener try is the moonwalk.