Last night, over to the west, drifting out in the early hours. Brampford Speke church tower silhouetted in the flashes. Every time now, for a handful of decades, every time I hear thunder these lines tease my head. “One drop of rain on the back of my hand...” It was Verlaine at first of course but in my heart it is always Langley... breaking, breaking... Chris Roberts described the thrill best. Something about “ravishing green fingers playing hoopla with halos” and dancing on throats. Well quite.
The sweetest thing about love is how it re-configures itself, re-invents itself, winks in the darkening evening light and says ‘remember this?’ You fall into yourself and its arms. It’s not as though you had forgotten, just that you hadn’t necessarily remembered.
Blink the sleep from your lips and kiss the morning. Dance on the treetops. The world might well be fucked, but you, you’ve got this. Tie a knot in your teardrops.
Silver Rays - Animals That Swim (you'll find it on iTunes) It Hurts Me Too - My Teenage Stride (Bandcamp) They Don't Know - Kirsty MacColl (you don't have this already?! Buy the Best Of on Amazon ) Gruesome Castle - Wild Nothing (Soundcloud) Plastic Flowers - The Wake (from the Here Comes Everybody and Singles reissue on LTM) What a Pleasure - Beach Fossils (Soundcloud) Strange Girl - duplodeck (Bandcamp) Unceremonious Splendour - Sleuth (Bandcamp) Punk Means Cuddle - Tsunami (find it on the World Tour and Other Destinations set) Little Surprise - The Wave Pictures (Soundcloud) Words Fail Me (Acoustic) - Chris T-T (you'll find it on iTunes) For My Mother - Let's Wrestle (from new album 'Nursing Home' which you can pre-order now from Amazon) Teenager - Apache Dropout (Bandcamp) Lawrence - Girls Names (from the 'Dead To Me' set on Slumberland) Fields and Fields - Family Cactus (Bandcamp) High School Lover - Oregon Bike Trails (Bandcamp) Doppelganger - Freezepop (free from their site) Ready To Go Steady - The Go! Team (YouTube it, dude) On A Breeze - Ghost Wave (a blog has it here...) Breaking In My Heart - The Blue Aeroplanes (one version is on the old vinyl edition of 'friendloverplane' and another is on the 'Warhol's 15' CD compilation, both out of print. Go and dig around, see what you can find...)
So here is my easter gift to you, dearest readers. It may not be made of chocolate, but it is filled with delicious treats. Lot's of the music is free, or at least the price of a swedger, so follow the links and support the groups. Send them your love. Tell them I sent you. Not that it will mean anything to them, but what the heck... The next installment is already under construction and will likely feature the likes of Let's Wrestle, Wave Pictures, Chris T-T, Wild Nothing, Go! Team, Duplodeck and the utterly brilliant Sleuth.
Raise a glass, a shout, a finger. Head deeper underground, even if only in your mind. Spot the connections, make the hops, skips and jumps. This is how it goes: the songs that brighten the days and nights; the words that smother your dreams in imaginary kisses; the swords that pierce your heart. A last glance over the shoulder then disappearing in crowds of metropolitan isolation. Music for the lost couple.
End of February and here’s a blend of blistered, blurred and blissed out guitars, beats and electronic glitches for you. Personal highlights would be the the Loveless lovers’ space rock of Young Prisms, Alien Pimp and Spatial’s subterranean techno and the glorious Pop electro smooch of Living Rooms and especially Icky Blossoms, whose aptly titled ‘Perfect Visions’ gives title to the mix. Not forgetting of course the salacious sludge rock of Fungi Girls and Girls Names: shifty, bedsit noisy Pop whose aim in life is surely to soundtrack a moment of mixtape romance and then to be be gone (and hence remembered) forever. Mission accomplished.
Haller Lake - The Cave Singers I Want To Be Around You - Jonny Stay Awake - Young Prisms I Did It Sober - Idiot Glee Ungirthed - Purity Ring Another Sunny Day In Barcelona - Alien Pimp 100319 - Spatial You're A Mirage - Living Rooms Perfect Vision - Icky Blossoms Sleepless City - Punches Belong - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Pacifica Nostalgia - Fungi Girls Tear Me Down - Girls Names Meet Me In the City - The Babies Youth Is Wasted On The Young - Chain And The Gang
February already, so just in time for that mid-month day of romantic commercial overkill (sorry, of course I meant ‘celebration’) here’s a mix of some of my month’s listening so far. Lots to love, I'm sure you'll agree. Don't forget to follow the trails and investigate/support the acts that make your knees tremble.
Attention - BLOW! Kill Them - Tiger Bones Edita V - Balkans Teachers - Surf City Up Past The Nursery - Suuns Bruises - Minks Gotta Get Along - New Shouts The Kingdom - Bank Heist Equestrian (Flosstradamus Remix) - U.S. Royalty Found Out - Caribou The High Life - Matt Longo Theme From New Fun - The European Under The Silver Stars Of Love - Slow Down Tallahassee God Save the Runaways - The Secret History Kiss For Fun - New Shouts Climbing Walls - Strange Talk Lovesick (Once Again) - The Hundred In The Hands Quitting You Is Harder Than Candy (featuring Liz Enthusiasm) - Eiscafe
Ballad Of Fuck All - Malcolm Middleton Happytown - East River Pipe Flying On The Ground - The Sneetches Giddy and Gay - The High Llamas You Take The Gold - Beachwood Sparks Everyone's Song - Plans & Apologies I Didn't Know The World Would Last This Long - John Hartford How I Saved My Life - The Secret History We Can't Be Friends (lost inner ear mix) - Black Tambourine Beatnik - Comet Gain Shake the Shackles - Crystal Stilts The Witch - Clinic fob.com - Prolapse Don't Fall - The Chameleons How Much Older Will We Grow - Mars Bonfire Let Our Hopes Run Our Dreams - Rain My Finest Hour - The Sundays Life's Parade - Jan & Lorraine The Pearl - Judee Sill Don't Be Upset - Jeffrey Lewis
So what has filled your January listening list? If it is anything like mine then it will have been peppered with songs from records that you have been catching up with from 2010. All those records you missed that someone said you ought to check out. Some of them you even like.
I had good intentions for January. Don’t we always? I was going to take a stance against all those blogs who post track after track but never actually tell you much about the music aside from some biographical details that honestly you couldn’t give a fuck about. I mean, does anyone remember words? Does anyone remember what it’s like to read poetry about music? I mean, sure, it’s frustrating to read that music is like ochre kissed fields in a darkening January twilight only to discover that it’s actually just another bleary, easy cash in on the current trend (in other words it just sounds like a weak Best Coast or Wild Nothing copycat). But it’s better than just coming to that conclusion from simply clicking on an embedded music file, no? No? Just me then?
The irony of course is that my own January listening mix is shared here without any words about the music at all and is filled with many songs culled from those very kinds of blogs.
So I’m a hypocrite. Deal with it.
I Know I Fucked Up - Darren Hayman & Elizabeth Morris Not Today - White Wishes Weathervane - Early to Bed Homework - Big Deal Yarrow - WOJCIK Jigsaw Falling Out Of Place - Zoo Kid U & Eye - Chaim Cover The Walls (Dreamtrak Diamond Sound) - Internet Forever Running Up That Hill - Bank Heist Hole In Your Heart - Secret Shine Those Days, Those Nights - The Notes Freakscene - Insect Guide You Girls Smoke Cigarettes? - No Joy Dirty Boots - Sex Beet Romantic Girl - Bare Wires Kudzu Girlfriend - Standard Fare The Accidental - Modern Rivals Buffalo - The Deloreans Golden Age - Beat Radio Last Train To Clarkston - Bubblegum Lemonade
Download the mix here. Usual rules of engagement apply: If you like something, buy the damn records (unless it’s free anyway, in which case send the artists your love and devotion) and spread the word.