26 February 2007

Pop Shopping

Pop Shopping is a compilation from the classic label Crippled Dick Hot Wax. This compilation of German TV commercial jingles from the 60s and 70s celebrates forgotten music. Its English language equivalent would feature the Shake And Vac theme.

Amongst the pop nuggets on here are a bizarre calypso (in German of course) for Nescafe coffee, a rocking tune for Grand Prix racing at the Nurburgring, and various ditties for hand cream, chocolates, cars, blenders and all other manner of mod cons.

Swinging Nordwest is the funkiest track on this album, a rather groovy number for Nordwest Shoes. You can almost imagine the advert to this great track (I was thinking go-go dancers in miniskirts while the camera zooms in and out rapidly). There is also an instrumental version on the album.

17 February 2007

Explosions in the Sky

I guess it's rather predictable for me to include a track from the new Explosions in the Sky album, but predictable just has to be done sometimes ... Maybe that's appropriate as many who have heard the whole album, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, have accused it of being predictable too. Perhaps this is rather unfair as the album sees them gradually refining their exquisite sound, not reinventing it. What is certain is that the band have again captured the more joyous side of post-rock, with soaring and swooping melodies combining to make a soundtrack to some long forgotten post-dawn walk back home after a night out.

For those who haven't come across Explosions in the Sky yet, they are a four piece formed in the suburbs of Austin, Texas in 1999. After a series of local gigs, they were signed to Temporary Residence on the recommendation of the American Analog Set who submitted a brief note with the demo simply saying "This totally f***ing destroys".

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone is their fourth album and is released this weekend. Welcome Ghosts features Explosions' trademark intertwining guitar leads, soaring melodies and pummelling drums.

Explosions in the Sky - Welcome Ghosts on Temporary Residence

13 February 2007

Patchwork On The Blues

WARNING! This music contains nothing original whatsoever! This is utterly derivative blues, through and through. No blues cliché is left unused (one song even begins "woke up this morning") So far, so bad, but what this band does bring is great musicianship, a great lo-fi basement club recording, and an immense sense of fun.

Patchwork On The Blues are a German blues band that evidently love the music they play, but are simultaneously aware of the hoary clichés at every turn - the songs are verging on parody, with band members bent double over their instruments with laughter. The result is a great blues stomp that is utterly familiar and none the worse for it.

Good Ol' Shoe gives a feeling for the ramshackle, improvised nature of the material. Three full albums are available for free download, and this is from Sessions.

11 February 2007


Maybe there's someone in the universe who has never heard Blondie's Heart of Glass. Actually there's probably millions, but let me have the cliched exaggeration. I'm sure there's also a few of those of have heard it that don't know anything about Blondie. Probably wandering around asking for that glass hearts song by Dinah Washington or someone you know from the olden days.

But I'm going to assume that you do know all about Blondie and that you know all about the fact that Heart Of Glass started life as Once I Had a Love and that it was originally recorded in 1975 and that it features a sloppy guitar solo, minimal arrangement and most importantly Debbie Harry's voice bang up in the middle, singing lyrics which do not feature any glass hearts.

Once I had a Love It was a gas,

soon turned out to be a thing of the past.

And I'm going to assume that you know this version and that you actually prefer it to the original. AND I'm going to assume that you don't need me to post this track up for your listening pleasure, because you got your Blondie box set out last night and listened to it. - however if I'm wrong have a listen to this:

Blondie - Once I had a Love (AKA the disco song) [1975 Version]

Alice Coltrane

Imagine yourself to be lying flat out on a raft.
Imagine that raft to be slowly floating down a calm, barely moving stream.
Imagine the sun caressing your face.
Imagine yourself with no cares in the world.

That's the only way I can describe how 'Journey in Satchidananda' sounds.
Taken from the 1970 album of the same name, this track sees Alice backed up by some serious heavyweights of the Jazz world - Pharoah Sanders on soprano saxophone and percussion, Cecil McBee on bass and Rashied Ali on drums. They combine to create one of the spaciest tracks I've ever heard.
No notes are rushed, nothing is busy.....everything just moves along at the right pace.

Sadly, Alice passed away on the 12th of January this year.

Please excuse me, I have to get back to my raft.

Journey In Satchidananda

01 February 2007


As we wait for February's icy blast, this five-piece from Atlanta can warm your heart. Formed in 2001, it appears to be Deerhunter's ambition to revisit two previously diametrically opposed genres and send them crashing together: the hypnotic wash of ambient and minimalist music with the sturm und drang of garage rock. At any moment recalling some of Spacemen 3 or My Bloody Valentine's finest moments, this is a post millenial neurotic fog of delayed guitars, lo-fi drums and distant vocals.

Almost inevitably they have been picked up by that bastion of edgy and out there, Kranky, and clearly show the company's desire to break free from any cliches that might remain caught up in their back list. So Krank104, Crypotograms, has exploded into existance and is a schizophrenic collection of tracks. At times forming long drawn-out washes of sound revisiting Eno and Budd, at others angular psych-rock recalling Sonic Youth or bursting with dream-pop colour.

Two tracks really can't adequately cover the range of Deerhunter's ambition, but they are typical of the quality of the album as a whole.

Deerhunter - Spring Hall Convert on Kranky
Deerhunter - Heatherwood on Kranky