Friday, November 23, 2007


A little while ago I banned myself from buying any more records in a bid to save money. It turned out to be far too difficult a task and as such I compromised by buying inexpensive records instead. Cloudberry release a HUGE number of 3" CDrs, of which I ordered 5 (one with a zine) more or less randomly.

Parker Lewis - "Written and Directed by" Cloudberry42 is a collection of 3 songs by this Swedish guy who I can tell you nothing more about as there is no info whatsoever on the cd case. It's sweet and breezy pop with vocals that remind me a little of a mix between Wayne Coyne and John William Davies. In the first song I can't help but be reminded of The Avalanches. The rest of the songs use a number of samples of strings and things I can't really identify, it all adds up to quite a lovely, delicate, and at times plinky plonky little collection of songs.

Log Lady Train - s/t Cloudberry 45.Log Lady Train are a Swedish two piece with a more classic c86 style of pop. The first possibly contains the line "you are shy and pathetic/ everything that i like" so I suppose that gives an idea of what it might sounds like. I'd happily dance to this at the disco, and I'd probably sing along loudly and poorly too. It's sun-shiny and optimistic, but not saccharine- just the way we like it really.

the deirdres - "dinosaurs that can swim" Cloudberry 55i think everyone knows by now that the deirdres are from derby. and i don't know how many of them there are.. 7 according to the credits. They sound to me a little bit like the retro spankees, but if you could somehow have more retro spankeees and be quite a bit quieter. I'm quite impressed with the variation on the "ba-da-ba" / "la-la-la" as in the 1st song we're treated to a "fa-fa-fa-la." There are handclaps and vocal harmonies, there's a melodica, it's often a bit of a shamles, it's great pop music.

Komon - "punk ep" Cloudberry 56this is drum machine, distorted keyboard, female vocals noisier than the other stuff so far, but there's till "doo-doo-doos" and a melodica. Frankly, it's a little bit too noisy to play through the speakers on my laptop (which is what i'm doing) so it's hard to fully appreciate these songs. Still, it's boppy, poppy, keyboardy and catchy, which is nice.

I'll write about the zine and compilation over the weekend.

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God Damn Doo Wop

The God Damn Doo Wop Band - "Broken Hearts" Afternoon Records

I only heard this band because of the mixtape that was being given away at Wishin ' and Hopin' the other week, the one song on that tape - "posso", also the first song on this album - coupled with a quick look at their myspace was enough for me to order the album.

Comparisons to the pipettes would be as lazy as they would be inaccurate. True, there are three female singers, and the male musicians are absent front the front cover (though i think it's them pictured beaten and bloodied on the back), and the songs are very much in a retro style. BUT the songs on this album have a much more authentic 1950's Doo Wop feel to them, and the quality of the vocals would make a the Diskettes a sounder point of reference, but still wide of the mark.There's a hint of girl gang swagger in a number of the songs and it contrasts with - or perhaps compliments the Doo Wop style excellently. It could be the presence of a saxophone that adds extra depth to the songs, and it's obviously important to the band, so much so that that the 4th song on the album "johnny" is a lament about their sax player being grounded and thus a gig is threatened with cancellation.

I wrote 2 full pages of notes about this album, but really what I need to say is that I've listened to it on average 3 times a day for the past 3 days.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007


I don't know how I ended up at the Wee Pop website, but I did. Initially I managed to resist purchasing anything, I'd banned myself from internet shopping cos all my money has been disappearing via paypal. Eventually I gave in, and in all honesty it's probably a good thing. Their 3inch ltd edition (120) cdrs are lovely and come with so many little inserts it's not only exciting but slightly intimidating. Camila and Thor let you know that it's all alright though with a personalised note (complete with heart-shaped cut-out) and a lollipop!

So I was attempting to be responsible and only purchased 2 of the available releases.
POP! 005 is "Pizza under the sea" by tinyfolk
For some reason I thought I knew tinfyfolk already, on listening to this cd I realised I didn't. It's massively (minutely?) twee guitar based pop, that reminds me a little bit of Matt Mason. It's the sort of dream-story acoustic pop that you'll be familiar with if you know asaurus records. It's tender and lo-fi, you're either going to like it or hate it, if you like tape hiss and story songs then you can't go wrong.

POP! 007 is "Call and Response" by Sunny Intervals (Andy from Pocketbooks) which he describes as his "..occasional lo-fi imaginary pop project." It does pretty much what you'd expect from it, it's multi-instrumental sweet, breezy, twee pop about trying to have fun in pubs heaving with hipsters and in towns being bludgeoned by councils and corporations. About finding whimsy and beauty in the quiet spots that are our own, or in the chaos that's communal. The fact that this was recorded in a bedroom is perfectly apt (of course it is not unusual for the genre we now and love), in as much as we find ourselves marginalised not only for our attraction to an esoteric form of pop music, but also that the option to not shop at asda, or buy coca cola, find a career path, get on the property ladder, or whatever has pretty much been wiped away in society. This might be a one-man imaginary pop project, but it's good enough to let me know i'm not alone.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I think I’m going to make this a whinging blog/ cookery blog/ music blog.

And I’ll start with saying that I’m in my new office at work, it’s an open plan thing but pretty small with only 9 desks. HOWEVER, there is a separate office with the manager in. Currently they are having a training meeting with 2 Marketing staff and a new sales man. They’re all coming out with buzzwords and it makes me want to die.

Our new office is meant to be dead swanky but it’s actually a bit rubbish. Not least of all because there is a windowpane missing between this office and the next once, so I can hear everything they’re saying. I mean, they all seem to be trying to talk louder than each other anyway, but the missing window doesn’t help.

Before we moved over to this office last week there was much talk of all the new furniture and so on. But one of the most interesting things that was being talked about was the new Kitchen! Café Pays Noir, we were expecting a decent waterside eatery, you know, polished floors and sandwiches in boxes, demerera sugar for our craftier coffee.

In reality "Café Black Country" is a room with a sink and a fridge. There’s not even a kettle or a microwave; it’s a step down from what we had in the old office with its enormous ancient microwave. Instead of a kettle now we have this thing built into the wall that dispenses "boiling" water.

There are some "arty" black and white photos from around the 30’s and 40’s so obviously they’ve gone for the black country/film noir connection. Maybe.