Saturday, April 30, 2011
Today's song is dedicated to American noise-meister Jeff Shelton. I reckon he'd like this:
Hey Mercedes - "The Switch" (2003)
Jeff Shelton, if you don't know the name, is the chap responsible for an American power pop band called The Well Wishers. Tomorrow I'll post one of their songs. In the meantime, a previous Well Wishers post on the blog will give you an idea of what to expect. Hi, Jeff!
Hey Mercedes on MySpace
Friday, April 29, 2011
The title of yesterday's song ("Good Morning Judge") reminded me of...
The Vapors - "Here Comes The Judge" (live) (1980)
I've always loved that track. It was the B-side of The Vapors' enormous hit "Turning Japanese", and depending on the mood I was in I'd sometimes prefer "Here Comes The Judge" to the A-side.
But you can decide for yourself which track you prefer:
The Vapors - "Turning Japanese" (1980)
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Today's song is dedicated to Rushbo, lover of all things 10cc:
10cc - "Good Morning Judge" (1977)
Now, with that particular song I don't mean to imply that Rushbo is, or has ever been, in trouble with the law. I just thought Rushdude might like to hear a rockin' little 10cc number.
As a bonus, here's a live version (which sounds virtually identical* to the studio one):
10cc - "Good Morning Judge" (live) (1977)
(*Why bother playing a song live and make it sound almost exactly the way it sounded in the studio? Aren't live gigs supposed to be unique experiences?)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
It's been a while since I played you a skinny-tie song. If you're the type of person who has an unquenchable desire to hear skinny-tie music, I hope the following will satisfy your uncontrollable urges:
The Innocents - "Answer Me" (1982)
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Here's cooler-than-cool Frank Bennett with his take on "Black Stick", a not-quite-a-jazz-standard by The Cruel Sea:
Frank Bennett - "Black Stick" (1998)
Here's the original for comparison:
The Cruel Sea - "Black Stick" (1992)
I know which one I prefer, baby. I'm hep.
Monday, April 25, 2011
I was all set to play you "Happenstance" by The dB's from their 1982 album Repercussion, but I had another listen to it after not hearing it for a couple of years, and I think it's a bit too dreary to go on the blog. Instead, I'll play you a much peppier song from the album:
The dB's - "Ask For Jill" (1982)
In case you're feeling cheated out of hearing the song I was going to play you (before I got all fickle), here it is so you can hear for yourself how dreary it is*:
The dB's - "Happenstance" (1982)
(*Or isn't, depending on how you feel about it.)
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Yesterday I played you a song by Jebediah from their latest album, Kosciuszko. In a nice coincidence, or perhaps happenstance*, "Kosciusko" (minus the "z") just happens to be the name of one of my favourite tracks by this band:
(Terribly important advice: I thoroughly recommend you ignore the file player and go straight to the video – and turn it up as much as humanly possible.)
A band - "Kosciusko" (1984)
(*"Happenstance". Hmm. I think I know what song will be featured tomorrow...)
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Here's the recently-reformed Jebediah with a song from their new album, Kosciuszko:
Jebediah - "She's Like A Comet" (2011)
According to YouTube, "She's Like A Comet" is the second single from the album. Now I know why there's a video for the song. The things you learn when you're Interneting...
Jebediah official website
Jebediah on MySpace
Jebediah on Facebook
Jebediah on YouTube
Jebediah on Twitter
Friday, April 22, 2011
It's time to get groovy with a song that reminds me of two other songs:
Lynne Randell - "Ciao Baby" (1967)
"Ciao Baby" reminds me (a lot) of:
Unit 4 + 2 - "Concrete And Clay" (1965)
Sandie Shaw - "(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me"* (1964)
And now for the original versions:
The Toys - "Ciao Baby" (1967)
Lou Johnson - "(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me" (1964)
(*How very apt.)
Thursday, April 21, 2011
An extremely helpful chap by the name of Matt (Hi, Matt!) has alerted me to a band I'd never heard of before. (Thanks, Matt!)
Here are a couple of whizzo (translation: I like 'em) songs by American band The Bynars:
I like 'em.
Incidentally, I have a slight suspicion that whoever1 named the band likes Star Trek. According to the world of Star Trek (a world I don't inhabit), Bynars are a race of aliens2. This is what they look like:
I just thought you'd like to know.
The Bynars official website
The Bynars on Facebook
The Bynars on Twitter
The Bynars on MySpace
The Bynars at Bandcamp
The Bynars on Sonicbids
(2And to Bynars, Earthlings would be aliens.)
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I'll try to make today's post a bit briefer than some of my recent ones, lest you start thinking that I've become an insufferable windbag (cf. Saturday's and Sunday's posts which were both much longer than they needed to be).
Here's something nice and jangly (and Australian):
The Someloves - "Sunshine's Glove" (1989)
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
This may very well be my favourite version of this particular song:
The Beatnix - "Stairway To Heaven" (1992)
I usually play you the original version of any covers presented on this blog as well, but I'm guessing that you know the original well enough by now. However, if you are unfamiliar with the original you can hear it in a previous post.
The Beatnix official website
Once again, Mr. Fabulous has supplied a musical coincidence I was completely unaware of. Much obliged, Mr. F.
Here's a bit of the acoustic guitar at the beginning of David Bowie's rather well-known "Space Oddity":
(Courtesy of a bit of audio trickery, I've removed the left channel – it had all the other instruments except for the acoustic guitar which is exclusively in the right – made it mono, and turned it up so you can hear it clearly.)
David Bowie - "Space Oddity" (1969) (excerpt)
And here's how The Church's not-as-well-known "Remote Luxury" starts:
(I've left this one intact, but it's turned way up as well. These two songs sure do start off quiet...)
The Church - "Remote Luxury" (1984) (excerpt)
Here are the full versions:
David Bowie - "Space Oddity" (1969)
The Church - "Remote Luxury" (1984)
Monday, April 18, 2011
Over a year ago I tried to post today's song, but when I did I was met with three messages from the Blogger Takedown people that were none-too-complimentary (as in: "Take down that post now or we'll...").
However, I'm feeling brave again (see most recent attempt at bravery), so here – for as long as possible – are the Divinyls with a rip-roaring rave-up:
Divinyls - "Hey Little Boy" (1988)
If you have a pretty good knowledge of obscure American garage rock (even if you don't it's probably better than mine, as I know close to zilch about American garage rock), then you already know that the Divinyls pilfered the song from an earlier source.
Here's the original:
Syndicate Of Sound - "Little Girl" (1966)
Sunday, April 17, 2011
A chap by the name of Nathan (Hi, Nathan!) asked if I wouldn't mind playing one of his band's songs. Given that my policy regarding requests could loosely be described as "I'll play anything!", I was more than happy to.
Now, to get you in the mood for this particular song by Australian band Love Parade, please do the following:
- Invite some friends over to your house. (Any time of the day is OK, but the optimal period will be between two and four in the morning.)
- Contact your nearest ashram and ask if you can borrow some ponchos.
- While the ponchos are being delivered to you by the incredibly kind and generous people there, find that packet of incense you bought years ago and completely forgot about.
- Take every stick of incense you found to your hi-fi room, place them strategically around the room, and light them. All of them.
- As your friends are making their way over to see you, cover all the electric light bulbs in your house with coloured cellophone.
- By this time, the ponchos will have been delivered. Thank your poncho donors by saying, "Om."
- Bring every bean bag you have out of storage and put them in your hi-fi room.
- When your friends arrive, hand out the ponchos.
- * With everyone now gathered in the hi-fi room and wearing ponchos, invite everyone to sit in the bean bags. And make sure that everyone has trouble seeing each other due to the haze from the incense.
"It's Happening Again Or" appears on Love Parade's 2010 EP, A Strawberry Situation, which you can hear either at Bandcamp or over at Soundcloud.
That song was track 1 on the EP. All six tracks are pretty freaky, but track 2 is a little poppier than the rest which is probably why I liked it more than track 1. Here's track 2:
Oh man, I've got the munchies.
Love Parade on MySpace
Love Parade on Triple J Unearthed
(*With regard to the number of items in the list – and to keep the psychedelic vibe going – please repeat after me: "Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine...")
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I was contacted a few days by the lovely Sarah (Hi, Sarah!) about a band she wanted me to hear.
As you may (or may not) know, when it comes to new music I'm definitely a "Can do" kind of guy, so taking up Sarah's suggestion was what people in the land of Americans like to say a "no-brainer".
The band is called Still Spark, and they're from the US.
Before we get to the music, though, I just want to mention the band's biography.
Here's the band's "official bio":
At first glance, the two guitars have little in common – one is splashed with boldly colored stickers and battered from years of touring, while the other is shiny and simple, with an air of innocence. Posed side by side, they would seem to suggest an unlikely meeting of very different worlds. And yet it's exactly this juxtaposition that has created the compelling and energized music of STILL SPARK.
After meeting through a mutual friend, the seemingly unlikely pair of long-time musician Seth Freeman (formerly of Boston alt-rock band Little John) and aerospace engineer-turned-songwriter Dan O'Leary began collaborating on the songs that would eventually become Still Spark. Though they were inspired by diverse influences – everything from Van Morrison and Bob Dylan to Weezer and Nirvana – the two found their different backgrounds and styles nevertheless complement each other perfectly.
The result is a collection of songs that range from the driving energy of the smirking first single "Love Comes Calling" to quieter, more introspective moments like "Heart O' Mine," always bound with a common thread of lyrical storytelling and genuine emotion.
Freeman explains, "Still Spark is about being okay with wherever we are, as long as we end up there by following our inspiration."
Fueled by a successful Kickstarter campaign, the self-titled debut album from the Los Angeles-based duo will be released on March 8, 2011. It was produced by Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo, Palmdale, Miley Cyrus) and Chris Zerby (Helicopter Helicopter, Hello Dragon) and boasts knockout performances by Michael Eisenstein (Letters to Cleo, Our Lady Peace), Blair Sinta (Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morrissette), Lawrence Katz (Mighty Mighty Bosstones), Joseph Karnes (Five for Fighting, Damien Rice), Linus Dotson (Nerf Herder, Palmdale), Gaby Moreno, and more.
A collaborative effort in every sense, Still Spark whips together roots rock, pop hooks and clever wordsmithing, proving that sometimes two heads, or two guitars - when nobody would have bet on them - can create something bigger than the sum of the notes.
For me, that's yer standard puff-piece, telling you how great the band is, who they've worked with etc etc. I'd much rather read an unofficial bio, something like this:
Seth Freeman and Dan O'Leary were two goat-herders who lived on opposite sides of the world. Seth was based in Venezuela and Dan divided his time between Tibet and Portugal. They met at the 1967 Annual Goat-Herders' Convention in Gdansk. It was in the foyer of Gdansk's Bumpey-Frisson Hotel where the Convention was being held that Seth's main goat accidentally bumped into Dan's. As the two men exchanged apologies and greetings, they discovered that in addition to goat-herding they shared a love of dirigibles, paintings of giant acorns, and, most importantly, the size of f-holes in pre-Edwardian lap-steel guitars. When Seth invited Dan back to the hotel room he was sharing with his main goat to show Dan his collection of f-holes, they decided to have a whistling contest. After a few hours of whistling they concluded that neither man was better than the other. In fact, their whistling complemented each other's to such an extent that they both came up with the same idea at the same time: how about they try to write songs together? They were so excited at the prospect that they immediately set about writing a song. Unfortunately, neither knew how to play guitar – and neither had a guitar. They ran to the nearest music store, purchased guitars and a book on learning how to play, then ran back to the hotel room. The Convention finished in three days but Seth and Dan stayed on, determined to master their new instruments. After two weeks in the hotel, Seth and Dan had learned 5,241 guitar chords. For Seth and Dan, this was now the moment to see if their hard work would pay off. They endeavoured to write their first song together. This they did, and they were relieved that the songwriting process for them turned out to be very easy. Their first song was a masterpiece. They had written a 23-minute song about the joys of goat-herding, and it had only taken them two minutes to write. Buoyed by their new-found talent, they proceeded to write an album's worth of songs. They did this in the next 14 minutes. And the result is their debut album (minus the 23-minute song about goat-herding which was left off due to time restrictions). To give the album a name, they both decided against Seth's suggestion, Seth And Dan's Really Good First Album, and Dan's suggestion, Dan And Seth Made An Album – Please Listen To It. The two finally settled on Still Spark ("Still" is the name of Seth's main goat, and "Spark" is the name of Dan's). As for the name of the duo, they chose "Seth And Dan Or Dan And Seth". Unfortunately, the two discovered that there was already a duo from Finland called "Seth And Dan Or Dan And Seth". Undaunted, they thought it best to simply use the name of the album for the band name. When all this had been finalised, Seth and Dan sold their respective goat-herding businesses and based themselves in South Korea, which is where they built up a music empire involving songwriting and music production. Their South Korean music publishing company, "SKit'll Do You Good" is now the second-largest company in the third-smallest town in the fourth-Eastern area of the country. Their activities have now expanded to include writing and producing the music for all of South Korea's boy bands, in addition to choreographing their dance moves and designing their costumes. Seth and Dan have come a long way from their simple, goat-herding days.
By the way, you didn't have to read any of that. (I guess I should have mentioned that before you started reading it.)
As for the music, to my (faulty) ears it's pop/rock music that sounds very slightly rootsy. And although I haven't listened to a lot of Dwight-Twilley Band over the years, I reckon Still Spark sounds a bit like them, too.
It's just occurred to me that, for you, the previous paragraph may be fairly close to useless. You might want to actually hear some of the music for yourself. Then you can say either "Oh yes, Peter's right on the money there – he really knows what he's talking about" or "What an idiot! Peter has absolutely no idea what he's talking about. Did he even listen to it? Can't he hear that it sounds like ... and .... And how come he didn't pick up on the band's ... vibe. I mean, it's so obvious!"
So, here are what I think are a couple of representative* tracks:
Still Spark - "Love Comes Calling" (2011)
Still Spark - "Caroline" (2011)
And from the Good News / Bad News Department of Peter's Power Pop
My friend and fellow Australian music blogger Stonefish (Hi, Stonepacked!) was also contacted by the lovely Sarah, and the Stonester blogged about Still Spark a couple of days ago. To me, the bad news is that you may not want to read about Still Spark for a second time, which has the unfortunate side-effect of depriving Stoney of a potential reader. However, because I'm an incurable optimist I think the good news is that you have a chance to read someone else's thoughts on Still Spark (with the bonus of those thoughts being eminently more understandable).
Still Spark official website
Still Spark on Facebook
Still Spark on MySpace
Still Spark on YouTube
Still Spark on Twitter
Still Spark at Bandcamp
Still Spark at ReverbNation
Still Spark are everywhere
(*Warning: they may not be representative tracks. If they're not, then hopefully the band can contact me and say "Peter, what were you thinking? Play these tracks instead.")
Friday, April 15, 2011
Here's something you may not have heard too often in the 90's – a grunge song with tunes:
The Fauves - "Self-Abuser" (1996)
The sentiment is pure grunge, but it has tunes. Tunes!
The Fauves official website
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Although yesterday I did return to power pop after a couple of days of stuff that wasn't even remotely related it, the song wasn't Australian. Here's an Australian power pop song:
The Rainyard - "Downward Rise" (1995)
Just before I finish this post, I'd like to ask a question. I'm pretty predantic when it comes to the names of bands and songs – and even how they're pronounced. Due to my pedantic-osity*, my question to anyone prepared to answer it is...
How do you pronounce the second word in the band's name? Is it:
1. "Rain Yard"
2. "Rainy Ard"?
I'm inclined to go with "Rainy Ard" because it reminds me of the word "brainy", and I like the word "brainy".
(*I just remembered that the correct word there is "pedantry". What a pointlessly pedantic post my particular proclivity proceeded to produce. Pah!)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Now, before you wander away resentfully from this blog, muttering under your breath "I thought this was a power pop blog – two days ago he put on a useless 60's song that nobody's ever heard of, and then yesterday he put on a squeaky-clean girl trio singing a ballad", here's an honest-to-goodness power pop song to hopefully keep you tuned in:
Sugarbomb - "Clover" (2001)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Today I feel compelled to play you a song from the 70's that I've always adored, mainly for the singing more than anything else (although I think the tunes are wonderful, too). Here's a track featuring angelic* singing:
The Moir Sisters - "Good Morning (How Are You?)" (1974)
This song was mentioned briefly in my History of Power Pop in Australia, but today I'm putting it in the spotlight. Those voices!
(*Is it OK for a non-religious person to use the word "angelic"?)
Monday, April 11, 2011
Here's a track that manages to combine two fads in the one song:
The Familiars - "Go-Go Hula-Hoop" (1967)
It may not be the most memorable song I've ever put on the blog, but the main reason I put it here is the band name. I just love the name of that band.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Now that we've finished our whirlwind tour of new, non-Australian, and non-power-pop music, it's time for something that's a) Australian and b) power pop:
You Am I - "Cathy's Clown" (1995)
By the way, in the interview preceding the song in the video above, You Am I's Tim Rogers mentioned that he lifted the opening guitar bit in "Cathy's Clown" from the Hoodoo Gurus' live version of The Beatles' "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey".
If you're curious as to what the Hoodoo Gurus version sounded like (I know was), here it is:
Hoodoo Gurus - "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey" (1998)
And the original:
The Beatles - "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey" (1968)
Speaking of cover versions...
Because John Lennon was reportedly thrilled to bits that Fats Domino, one of his childhood musical heroes, recorded the song in 1970, here's that version as well:
Fats Domino - "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey" (1970)
And it looks like this has turned into a post about "Everybody's Got Something To Hide..." instead of You Am I's song. Many apologies, You Am I fans. What was their song called again? Oh yeah...
The Everly Brothers - "Cathy's Clown" (1960)
Friday, April 8, 2011
Peter's Aural Mystery Tour: Day 5
After yesterday's toe-tappers from England called Athletes in Paris (no, I don't know why a band from England is called Athletes in Paris either), we zip over to America to hear the slightly sad Jim Camacho:
What I think it sounds like: Sort of country, sort of rootsy, sort of AOR (sort of).
Jim Camacho - "It's Over" (2011)
If you liked that, here's another one:
Jim Camacho - "Get Out" (2011)
Unless I've forgotten someone*, today's post concludes this little whirlwind tour of artists I'd never heard of before. It's back to regular power pop duties tomorrow, folks.
Jim Camacho official website
Jim Camacho on MySpace
Jim Camacho on Facebook
(*It's entirely possible.)
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Peter's Aural Mystery Tour: Day 4
And we continue our journey along the pleasant byways of bands I've never heard of before with Athletes In Paris, a band from Newcastle.
When I saw that they were from Newcastle I thought "Excellent – an Australian band this time." But when I started listening to the song and heard the lead singer's pretty strong accent, I had a feeling that the Newcastle they were talking about wasn't the one in the Australian state of New South Wales. I checked their MySpace page and found that they're from Newcastle, England.
What I think they sound like: a dancey rock band. (I was going to describe them as "Scissor Sisters Without The Camp" but thought that may be a tad unfair to both bands.)
Athletes In Paris - "Borrowed Time" (2011)
Athletes In Paris on MySpace
Athletes In Paris on Facebook
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Peter's Aural Mystery Tour: Day 3
Today we have Kicking Spit, a band from the land of Americans. They're very loud. Even when I was listening to their songs and turned the volume down, it was still very loud. I don't know how that's possible.
What I think they sound like: a noisier Hüsker Dü
Kicking Spit at Tankcrimes
Kicking Spit on Facebook
Kicking Spit mini-store
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Peter's Aural Mystery Tour: Day 2
Next up we have a band from... er... hang on, I'll just see where they're from... Chicago. They're from Chicago.
OK, here's a new* band from Chicago called The Bright White.
What I think they sound like: U2 as a roots rock band but with a much better singer.
The Bright White - Until Then (EP)
Listen to Until Then at The Bright White website
Listen to Until Then at ReverbNation
My favourite was "Red Summer Rose".
The Bright White official website
The Bright White Fan Club on Facebook
(*Well, they're new to me.)
Monday, April 4, 2011
Welcome this week to Peter's Aural Mystery Tour.
Sorry, that may have been a bit cryptic. You'll probably want a bit of an explanation...
All the Songs of the day for this week will be from artists that are mostly new to me. This is the direct result of having received a gaggle* of emails last week from a whole heap of artistes who were keen on me being keen on letting people about their latest musical efforts (as in: "Hey, Peter would you mind playing one of our new songs on your blog?"). I'm always keen on playing new songs by new artists, so I thought to myself: "A-OK / No problem / Glad to / It'd be a pleasure / Bring it on, baby / etc."
Incidentally, I don't know if this is a spooky coincidence (or just a regular one), but I received almost all of those emails on the same day (Friday). It's taken me until this week to get these songs on the blog because I listened to all of them. I have a general rule of listening to every song that goes on the blog (except Miley Cyrus), and although I didn't like everything I heard I don't want to stand in the way of you hearing something that you might like.
I'll try to make this week as fair as possible to all concerned by:
a) presenting you with precisely what I was sent (I won't leave anything out);
b) letting you know what I think the music sounds like before you venture into "OK, I'll play it" territory; and
c) giving you the opportunity to ignore anything I present to you.
Let the journey of discovery begin!
Peter's Aural Mystery Tour: Day 1
First up, we have an Australian chappy by the name of Carus Thompson. Actually, Carus has been featured on the blog before, but today's track is the new single from his latest album.
What I think it sounds like: slightly gentle, slighty rootsy rock. (I may be wrong.)
Carus Thompson - "Imperfect Circle" (2011)
(Courtesy of Heapsaflash)
Carus Thompson official website
Carus Thompson on MySpace
Carus Thompson on Facebook
(*Is that the correct term for a group of emails?)