Monday, June 30, 2008

The State Broadcasters

Lets Make T-Shirts – The State Broadcasters

Which state is that then? Glasgow, the state capital of indie.
What flavour of indie? Not a million miles from their label mates Wake The President, or even Electric Honey alumni Belle and Sebastian, only with orchestral augmentation that includes cello, glockenspiel, trombone and clarsach.
Clarsach? Nope, me neither.
Sounds a bit Fence collective: You could happily file this next to your Alasdair Roberts albums, although it would fit perfectly between Lambchop’s Nixon and Eels’ Daisies of the Galaxy.
Is it depressing? Not at all. This a sweetly drowsy song about first love, remembered with a lugubrious humour:
Let’s make sweet love
We are both 16 and it will be good
Let’s do it to Hatful of Hollow
A pregnancy scare will surely follow
Saucy! Try this for size, then:
You showed me your appendix scar
I could show you nothing
Except my red, red, red…face
Excellent! Electric Honey’s the best, isn’t it: Luckily, you have forgotten about Biffy Clyro. But we cannot forgive them.
Shouldn’t it be “let’s” not “lets”? Blame punk rock or falling educational standards, but for a song this good I think we can overlook their ignorance of the imperative mood.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lost Soul: Lonette McKee

The sixth in a series of soul classics that have fallen through the floorboards

It’s 1974 and the sound of soul music is SEX. Anyone who thinks the distaff reaction to Marvin’s 1973 call to bed, Let’s Get It On, or Barry "The Mountain Of Mounting" White’s I've Got So Much Love To Give was to divest themselves of their cumbersome clothes and recline legs akimbo on a water bed, can't have heard Lonette McKee’s Do To Me.

A hymn to concupiscence and gratification, Do To Me sees Lonette McKee cajoling her man to forget his hang-ups and enjoy the pleasures of the flesh.
I don’t see what the hang up would be
I dig you and I think you dig me
Come on and give it a try
I like the things you
Do to me in the morning time
Do to me in the evening time
Do to me when the sun don’t shine
Do to me when I’m feeling fine

Yes, this feminist anthem of free love suggests that Lonette McKee would have burnt her bra if she'd ever worn one.

Do To Me's mid-tempo crossover soul would fit right in after the necktie-loosening floorfillers have got everybody’s blood pressure pumping and just before the slow-paced erection section at the end of the DJ’s set.

Oh, if the song –particularly the keyboard - sounds slightly slow, all copies of this record I’ve heard play like this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dead Dog

for your listening enjoyment: muffled singing! loud guitars! and 30%more feedbacK than the leading brand!

For anyone missing The Bridge Gang’s sonic chaos or the fury and, uh, dischord of 80s American hardcore, then Dead Dog's fiercely dissonant chiming - the product of punk rock played fast on Rickenbacker guitars - will press all the right buttons.

Their eponymous debut album is eight songs long, plays at 45rpm and is over in a quarter of an hour. Not a second is wasted in this rabid, vehement maelstrom.

A cover of Daniel Johnston’s Hate Song points to a deeper anguish underlying this maniacal riot, but songs like Dead Dogs Don’t Mind and Return Of The Living Dead show this trio are having a blast and their infectious brio is enchantingly – perversely – infectious.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lost Soul: Detroit Soul

The fifth in a series of soul classics that have fallen through the floorboards

All Of My Life mixes the swing of club soul and the pounding rhythm of Northern soul with teenage romantic despair and longing for one almightily essential track. It’s been issued on a few compilations, so for those of you who already have it, here’s the b-side, Mister Hip, as well, which has never been given the reissue treatment.

An inventive instrumental with – naturally – much applause, I wonder if this song got the acid jazz or rare groove crowds excited twenty years ago. It should’ve done. My five pounds says that Ally turned a shoe to this in Soho back in the day and that the walls of Landcroft House will be throbbing to the sound of Mister Hip this weekend (goatees optional).

Detroit Soul’s bassist, Bart Mazzarella, said elsewhere on the internet:
We had a regional hit record, produced by Ken Griffin on Music Town records, called "All Of My Life" in the summer of 1967. We recorded it at Wallingford's Syncron (sp) Studio. The "Detroit Soul" was a staple at the Good Guys All Family Outings at Riverside Park and won all the Battle Of The Bands, including one over Al Anderson's Wild Weeds (No Good To Cry). By the way, I also played in a band that appeared "Live" at one of Ron Landry's record hop gigs. We were called "The High Tones" and I was a guitar player in junior high school.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Harvey Williams spectacular

Edwyn played an acoustic gig, assisted by Roddy Frame, last night at the Social. Harvey Williams, who took the photo, said it was “a real honour to be there. Edwyn is looking & sounding better every time I see him. Also: it's strange how indie pop is probably the least cool musical genre ever, yet there I was in a room full of meedja types punching the air & whooping it up to Falling & Laughing. A faith restorer, really; even more so than a traditional Edwyn show.”

Harvey, along with The Lodger, Strange Idols, Pocketbooks and many more, will be playing at an Edwyn Collins tribute night at the Social next Monday, 16 June, each covering an Edwyn or Orange Juice song.

If that’s not enough Harvey action for you – and why should it be? – Harvey will be DJing at the Hangover Lounge this Sunday afternoon, 15 June, at the Salmon + Compass in Angel.

Radio 2 Goes Twee

Tonight on Radio 2
Paul Morley is both fascinated and confused by the number of different musical genres that exist today.

In this four-part series, he sets off to find out where all of these new genres have come from and what, if anything, do they mean to music fans today.

Each programme finds Paul talking to current champions of a new music style and the artists that have influenced them.

Tune in to find out everything you ever wanted to know about psych-folk, glitch, twee, post-rock, emo and perfect pop in the company of Lou Reed, Billy Bragg and Bernard Butler amongst others.

I'd probably have greater enthusiasm for this programme if the presenter weren't "confused" by the subject. The clever money's on a descent into cliches and misreadings, but I hope indiepop's political fire is examined and clueless, bandwagon-jumping neophytes are bitchslapped. I won't find out. I'll be at the Absentee gig.

Monday, June 09, 2008


In the three years since their intriguing, promising debut ep, Seeds of Hopelessness, Leeds’s Downdime have tightened up their act.

New single, Hate The Morning, sees Downdime swap Super Furries’ wayward keyboard whimsy for Rocketship’s frantic pop and marshal their psychedelic tendencies with some of that deliciously direct and brutal guitar strumming that the Wedding Present did so well 20 or more years ago.

Their excitably rampant turmoil suggests they might have listened to the odd Flaming Lips record in the past three years. On the strength of this second single, which you could file quite happily next to your Pains Of Being Pure At Heart ep, their third release had better come quickly.

On myspace they say, accurately enough, that they play “frantic, loud, reckless, shambolic, catchy, fast, chaotic, moody indie pop”.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lost Soul: Patrice Holloway

The fourth in a series of soul classics that have fallen through the floorboards

Patrice Holloway, one of the finest of all soul singers, has never had a career retrospective issued: this is not just an oversight, it’s both an insult to her legacy and an injustice for music fans.

Her trio of singles for Capitol in 1966/7 - Stolen Hours / Lucky My Boy; Love And Desire / Ecstasy; Stay With Your Own Kind / That's All You Got To Do – is one of the greatest runs of three singles by anyone, ever.

Patrice’s year of birth is a matter of dispute, but what’s clear is that she was a teenager when she made these records. Before her Capitol soul classics, she made a great double-sider with her older sister, Motown star Brenda Holloway, and Sherlie Matthews as The Belles, the storming Don’t Pretend/Words Can’t Explain (1966) and a couple of singles for Motown’s VIP label, the second of which, 1964’s For The Love Of Mike, was criminally shelved.

With her sister and their cousin, Patty Hunt, they released two singles as The Wooden Nickels. Nobody But You gets the Northern crowd excited, but it’s 1965's Should I Give My Love (never reissued, sadly) that I’m uploading. Channelling the teen melodrama of the Shangri-La’s, the sexual trepidation of The Shirelles and the symphonic bliss of Spector (yes, that is Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto you can hear), Should I Give My Love is, like almost everything Patrice Holloway recorded, brilliant.

Patrice Holloway recorded her final solo single in 1972 and continued her music career in the background as a session singer. She died in 2006 of a heart attack. The Rev Frank Wilson (yes, that Frank Wilson) delivered her funeral eulogy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Withered Hand

We wrote pavement on our shoes
We stole a biro and we paid our dues
We paid our respects
We wrote ‘confusion is sex’
And on your shoulder bag
I wrote ‘The Silver Jews’

More one-man band greatness arrives in the form of a bloke called Dan from Edinburgh, who’s got the unsettling abrasion of Pet Politics and the wrecked charm of Agent Simple.

Religious Songs is an intense, eccentric, bittersweet and very wry ep. Unsteady guitars, wounded sentiment and tipsy violins reveal an emotional screw-up with a strong-enough hold on reality to channel the bitter and the sweet in equal measure.

Apart from the obvious Silver Jews reference, there’s Sodastream’s maudlin chamber pop, Adam Green's handmade riot, Syd Barrett’s uneasy vision and folk music's stirring vulnerability.

Keep an eye on Withered Hand because on the basis of this very strong debut there’s a good chance that one day Dan will make a clock-stopping album to file next to Moving Up Country, American Water or Farewell Sorrow.

Favourite lines? There are many. But here's a few from the ep:

I’m getting the words wrong
My hair’s getting too long
And they’re saying
‘How does he really expect to be happy
When he listens to death metal bands?’

You stole my heart and I stole your underwear

I knew you so long
I ran out of cool things to say

All this takeaway food is making me unwell
At my funeral I’m going to get them to sing Highway To Hell

Monday, June 02, 2008

Edwyn Collins Unique Artwork

Musicians, artists, actors and authors are set to provide 25 original pieces of artwork for Edwyn Collins’ forthcoming single Home Again.

The full list of artists providing original artwork is:
John Squire
Irvine Welsh
Jeremy Deller
Norman Blake
Samantha Morton
Paul Cook
Franz Ferdinand (all 4 members)
Nicky Wire
Harry Hill
Pete Fowler
Pam Hogg
Billy Childish
Pete Shelley
Tracey Thorn
Jarvis Cocker
The Cribs
Bob London
Bernard Butler
Sebastian Lewsley
David Shrigley
Graham Coxon
Andrew Weatherall
Tim Burgess
Richard Hawley

The single will be available on 23rd June 2008. The lovingly packaged 7” only single will have a limited run of 1500 copies.

In the spirit of the great Postcard Records sleeves of old and as a nod to the independent aesthetic, attitude and ethos that Edwyn inspired in the first place, each of the artists have customised a fold-over paper 7” sleeve which features one of Edwyn’s distinctive pencil drawings; Edwyn has learnt how to draw with his left hand as part of his recuperative therapy.

In the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket tradition, the complete run of 7”s will then be sealed, among which will be the 25 specially customised sleeves, and then placed, at random, in a selection of record stores across the UK giving the public a chance to get hold of a highly collectable piece of original artwork for the cost of a 7” record.

In these digital times, Edwyn & Heavenly also fancied bringing a bit of fun and romance back to buying a single. You’ve got to go to a record shop to buy the single.

Copies of the sleeves will all be displayed at an exhibition at The Social in London, opening on June 9th at 5.30pm. The sleeves will then be on display for 4 weeks. The night will also feature an acoustic performance from Edwyn and DJ sets from Andrew Weatherall & Pete Fowler.

The profits from this project will be donated to Connect, the aphasia support organisation who helped Edwyn during his recuperation following his life-threatening cerebral haemorrhage in February 2005.

All sleeves can be viewed and updated information about the release and the list of participating shops can be accessed via Edwyn’s website,

The single will be available at the following stores:
One up



HMV High Street












HMV Princess Street


HMV Argyle Street
HMV Sauchiehall Street
Zavvi Buchanan Street


HMV Headrow




HMV Oxford Circus
HMV Oxford Street
HMV Trocadero
Zavvi Oxford Street
Zavvi Piccadilly
Rough Trade
Sister Ray
Pure groove

HMV 90 Market Street
Zavvi Arndale
Piccadilly Records

Sound knowledge





HMV Listergate





HMV Oracle

HMV High Street
HMV Meadowhall