Monday, 27 June 2011

Lee majors

There was a time about ten or eleven or twelve (who's counting?) years ago when I'd find it hard to go a day without listening to Spearmint's 'A Week Away' album. That record has taken on almost legendary status in indiepop circles, and with some justification, really. Who didn't jump around the room before heading out to town to 'We're Going Out'? You? Really? Loser.

Shirley Lee, the singer off of Spearmint has tottered around since then, often with the band, putting out deightfully understated masterpieces that have failed to sell more than, ooh, 47 copies each. Some people are idiots. Now, he's released a an album called 'Winter, Autumn, Summer, Spring' on Missing Page Records, and I'd wager my last tenner that it's ace, if Maidenhead is anything to go by.

Off the same album, and as a tribute to some old DJ or other, is 'An Old Cricketer (For John Peel)', which is similarly ace.

And, for old time's sake, one of the finest singles ever released - live, from ages ago now...

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Happy Sundays

Ah, Sunday. A time for guiltily buying the News of the World to see whether or not Ashley Cole has slept with you yet; eating half a chicken at a disappointing pub; and getting thoroughly depressed at the thought of work tomorrow.

Sunday really isn't what it used to be. Sundays used to be endless, with long days spent pissing around on your cheap BMX - not worrying about your the homework you hasn't done because you knew that you'd be able to copy it off Hannah Rutter if you got into school early enough.

Nowadays, though, the thought of Monday mornings are enough to have me on my knees within seconds. I expect you're the same, and so, in a completing disarming display of public duty, here are two new Modern Moving Image Videos to help you relax. I love them both.

Amor de Dí­as - Wild Winter Trees from Merge Records on Vimeo.

swansea recreation centre - celeste! from dankp on Vimeo.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Evans the Death gig poster

Here is a lovely poster that Andy Hart at a fog of ideas did for the Evans the Death show in Nottingham in a couple of weeks. Smart, isn't it?
Here's the facebook page for the show, anyway.

Dinosaur planet

Not that we should expect anything else from the leader of the labour Party at almost any time in it's shameful history, but if Ed Milliband's latest lurch to the right is has ruined your weekend, then I might have something to perk you up.

if, like me, you find the Wallace and Gromit-faced leader of the opposition a complete intellectual void who will pander to the right wing press's scare stories on immigration and housing benefit "scroungers", as well as urging public sector workers not to strike, then perhaps Dinosaurs Are Still Alive will restore your faith in humanity with their scratchy, urgent take on pop music.

It makes me feel pepped up enough to wish the Labour Party and its reformist milieu was extinct.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Stilts walk on

I still get all tingly when I listen to that last Crystal Stilts album (or is is the one before last? I'm quite tired...), but that time I tried to go and see them in Nottingham put me right off the band.

Still, it's hard not to love the new single, out on download tomorrow (Monday 20 June). Slightly more poppy than their previous stuff, 'Shake the Shackles' still sparks that sense of existential doom that appeals to the long-gone teenager in me. So to speak.

Crystal Stilts - Shake the Shackles from Army Of Kids on Vimeo.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Dalesman

It's always a pleasure interviewing Pete Dale off of Milky Wimpshake, and so here's a link of a little email chat I had with him about the band's upcoming Indietracks appearance.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Last minute gig fandango

I'll admit I'd had a few drinks after I'd listened to that new Evans the Death single, and so it seemed a good idea to book a random, last-minute gig for them and a couple of other bands in Nottingham.

So, Evans the Death will be playing with August Actually and one more at The Chameleon in Nottingham on Tuesday 5th July. Doors at at 8pm, and it's only four quid to get in. Bargain, that.

If you or your band fancies taking up that other slot, then send me one of those email things and offer me your services. So to speak.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Oh, Evans the Death

How delightful that a band who showed so much early promise have delivered. Noisy, raucous pop fun, and weighing in at just over two minutes, the debut Evans the Death single is a joy. This reminds me of the first time I heard Pixies or Tunabunny or Horowitz or any of those bands that seems to make such sweet sounds by physically abusing their instruments. Cuddle this one quickly.

'Threads' is born on the 4th July on the ever-brilliant Fortuna Pop!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


There are many, many bands out there who are raved about without must justification, sometimes for the fact they’re from London, or perhaps because they have a load of mates “in the industry”. Then there are those bands who are so deeply unfashionable, have a terrible name, and don’t go out of their way to be seen at all the places to be seen at. Hello, Spaghetti Anywhere.

The Spaghetti’s (as no-one is calling them) new ep ‘Doolally’ is a piece of mild-mannered, quiet genius, and it’s mostly about getting off your head, and the consequences. So, you have ‘Super special’, which is basically a slowed-down version of the band’s ace ‘Nice to be Nice’ track from a while back, telling the maudlin, tragi-comic tale of an alcoholic. Imagine a gentler version of 8-Ace from Viz. That may well flummox some overseas readers - soz.

‘Drugs’ is a variation on the theme, about a character who tends to take LSD, take his clothes off, and go for a walk outside.

Meanwhile, ‘Hulk’ is all about thinking you can take anyone on in a fight after a few pints. Come on, we’ve all been there. We’ve all turned into a bit of reckoner now and again after a good night out - Spaghetti Western are only saying what we’re all thinking.

I’d love for this band to be universally loved, but they won’t be, because of reasons I mentioned earlier. But they’re up there for me, whilst writing about those people down there. There’s a sort of wonderful symmetry about that.