Monday, March 26, 2007

Weekender : still quite unable to believe the Classic Chart Show shown on The Vault on Saturday

...which featured an Indie Chart from which it picked out to show to kids first thing on a weekend morning the effects-heavy videos for My Bloody Valentine's Swallow and Spacemen 3's Big City.

FREE MUSIC: Chapel Hill, North Carolina married couple The Rosebuds seem to have earned a bit of post-SXSW blog buzz for their apparently comparatively recent move towards New Order territory, more Lowlife era than the really dancey Ibiza/Arthur Baker period. There's a definite leaning towards the trusty disco hi-hat on Get Up Get Out, which doesn't make it any less earcatching. And while it's British synth influenced, at least it's not in the same way the Killers are.

HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: It's not as if we've wanted for Montreal bands of late, but even in their crowded scene Land Of Talk deserve your ears, especially as they're coming our way in May. Some attention in the usual set of influential blogs (Colin Meloy has been vocally supportive too) for the trio, who being female led will inevitably lead to its own particular set of comparative parameters and eventually criticisms, was garnered by last year's EP Applause Cheer Boo Hiss, which variously brings to mind a slightly more linear Blonde Redhead, a less electronic Metric, Kristin Hersh doing Sonic Youth or PJ Harvey in the New Pornographers, and indeed if you want a quick STN-friendly pinpoint that in terms of sweet/sour girl abrasion they might be the North American Sky Larkin.

VISUAL REPRESENTATION: More Of The Monkees was number one in America this week forty years ago, and we've always had a yen for what they were doing. Not in the conceptual 'manufactured' before manufacturing sense (although have you seen that Bel's Boys? Bloody hell, come back North And South, all is forgiven given you're not doing old Sean Maguire songs.) It's a shame that kids of today will never see the series over summer holiday BBC1 mornings, and have you seen how much the DVD box sets are? Let us instead rely on the power of the upload for our fixes of Last Train To Clarksville, actually about lovers torn apart by the Vietnam draft, and Goffin & King's Pleasant Valley Sunday, while noting that even Randy Scouse Git, released as Alternate Title in the UK and titled by writer Micky Dolenz after a phrase he'd heard on Til Death Us Do Part while on business in Britain, had to get the multicoloured backdrop/ethnic design tabard treatment. The series only actually ran for two seasons, still 58 shows, and by the end with the four in open rebellion against their paymasters Michael Nesmith, a singer-songwriter pre-Monkees who'd already sold Different Drum to Linda Ronstadt (the Lemonheads later covered it), started inviting his mates onto the show, which explains the mind-screwing moment when Frank Zappa and Nesmith impersonate each other. The very final show ended not with some sort of farewell Monkees song or montage but with Tim Buckley debuting Song To The Siren three years before the recorded version came out (and note that he's perched on the hood of the car Nesmith and Zappa lay into at the end of the previous clip). A year later came the completely whacked-out film Head, which featured Porpoise Song, and then there was really nowhere else to go. Nesmith, the musical one, didn't rest on the knowledge of his Tipp-Ex inheritance, though, inventing MTV and going solo with psych-folk like Rio, which did for the American pop video market what Bohemian Rhapsody did for them in Britain.

VISUAL REPRESENTATION EXTRA: The year will have to be doing well to beat this as its most surreal televised musical happening. Ladies and gentlemen, Ms Church vs Mr Wolf.

VIRAL MARKETING: Feist's The Reminder, released April 23rd, is getting a lot of attention at the moment and it could finally provide the Canadian chanteuse and former flatmate of Peaches with that one push into a wider audience. A cover of Nina Simone's Sea Lion Woman has been pushed onto YouTube with illustrative studio and live footage.

FALLING OFF A BLOG: We didn't realise when we picked The Video Villain for spotlighting this week that they'd just posted that Buckley/Monkees clip too, so more power to them. It's a YouTube embed blog which means it's forever chasing a) the odd stuff and b) the Terms Of Service monster. It ties in with 7/12" digitising service The Vinyl Villain, which if we've not mentioned on here before is something of an oversight.

EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: Among the US radio stations at SXSW was Cincinnati's WOXY, which took a plethora bands in during the four days for specially recorded live sets all downloadable as mp3s. Among the Lounge Acts: the aforementioned Land Of Talk, the Rumble Strips, Foals, 65daysofstatic, 120 Days, the Little Ones, Snowden, the Manhattan Love Suicides and, as usual, quite a few bands we've never heard of.

IN OTHER NEWS: From the drawer marked Very Low Potential Interest, Kev Hopper, formerly of Stump, has made all his avant garde solo recordings available for free. The Sound of Gyroscopes got on the ITV Chart Show, as we recall. One of the albums here is entirely played on prepared bass.

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