Pow!! On this day in 1894, Thomas Edison (him of fluorescent tube fame) films the American sharpshooter Annie Oakley (getcher gun), which is instrumental in her being hired by Buffalo Bill (no doubt taking a break from adding up the cost of all that bison) for his Wild West Show and in time begets the hit musical by, er, Squeeze.
Neigh!! On this day in 1938, Seabiscuit (not a biscuit and not from the sea) defeats War Admiral (disappointingly also a horse) in an upset victory during a match race deemed “the match of the century” in horse racing and is the start of Moby’s musical soundtrack career. Possibly.
Woof! On this day right here right now, yet another Monthly Mix is launched on an obscure musical blog and is listened to by literally tens of people.
Yes, boys and girls, mums and dads, it’s the first of the month and time for a listen in on the musical world of me, Kicker of Elves.
This month my mix starts with a track from Sheffield’s synth pioneers, Cabaret Voltaire, which features a myriad of strange noise, voices and a killer bass line. Nice. And then nicely on its heels comes a classic from Nick, er, Nicely from his album Psychotropia. A highly recommended bit of psychedelia with a top bit of overly loud something or other (probably synthesised horns, to be fair) at just the right points. Then we are bang up to date with one of Pixies new tracks from their 10″ EP1, a song we wizards and a number of friends of the pod are very keen to hear live later this month.
Back to 1979 next with some power pop from Ellen Foley, who shouldn’t be dismissed for being best known as Meatloaf’s better-looking foil. I reckon her first solo album, Night Out, is pretty damn neat. Retro mod stylings from The Past Tense, who seemingly ‘used to be a haircut’ are up next. This is a band who definitely look worth catching live and should not be confused with definite article lacking Past Tense (a mask-clad bunch of chancers by all accounts). A great song from Californian cult artist, Cass McCombs, follows from his new album Big Wheel & Others on which he asks the question we all want to know the answer to “What’s it like to shit in space?”
As our regular listener will fully be aware, all the Wizards have a huge mancrush on Chuck Prophet and have loved seeing him live many times over the last few years. Time now, though to give it up for Chuck’s erstwhile partner from tip top band Green On Red, Dan Stuart, who’s here with a song from his criminally overlooked album from last year, The Deliverance of Marlowe Billings. The reformed Scots, De Rosa, are next with a moving track from their 2009 album Prevention, where they ‘give in to reverie’. More Californians up after that, this time it’s those noisy buggers, Thee Oh Sees, with a killer track from their new album Floating Coffin.
‘What no GBV?!’ I hear you cry. Worry not faithful follower, as right now we have back to back tracks from Tobin Sprout and Robert Pollard. First, we have Tobin’s solo version of ‘It’s Like Soul Man’ from his Carnival Boy LP and then from Bob’s Not In My Airforce comes a great little acoustic number ‘Roofer’s Union Fight Song’. I remember John Peel similarly playing back to back tracks from these albums back in 1996 and saying he preferred Tobin’s album. I’m not so sure about that, but see what you think. Time then for more Ohioans, this time, the band Scrawl, with their great post-punk influenced sound. This is followed by a song from former Husker Du man, Grant Hart’s latest (whisper it, concept) album, The Argument, which is based on Milton’s Paradise Lost, but sounds a damn sight better than that might suggest.
After all that, we have another favourite of the pod, The Handsome Family with their version of the EC Bell song, ‘Jenny Jenkins’ from a fantastic compilation, the wonderfully titled Face A Frowning World. Then a track from clearly deranged (in a good way) Deerhunter, fronted of course, by the wonderful Bradford Cox, which is surely too much of a gift to this son of Leeds to miss out on*. The track here is from their 2010 Halcyon Digest LP, but their new one is pretty neat too. It’s uber 60s girl band, The Marvelettes next, and they advise us that ‘You’re The One’ and who are we to argue. Then, where Bradford has its cocks, Leeds has a thriving DIY music scene, and a big part of this scene are Hookworms, with a typically noisy blast from this year’s LP Pearl Mystic.
* It was.
Kicking off the last four songs this month, all the way from New York City, are Vampire Weekend with a song from this years’ great album Modern Vampires Of The City. ‘Wotcher on about?’ After them it’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who hail from New, er, Zealand. This song is from their second album, surprisingly entitled eleven. Eh? Oh. Then a track taken from my favourite compilation set this year. Released by the very wonderful Fruits de Mer Records, the Strange Fish collection came in the form of a vinyl only package of 2 single LPs and 2 double LPs. Oh, and an additional CD from which this track, an excerpt of ‘Floating With’, by The Golden Cake Company was taken. I have the feeling it is long gone now though. Finally, rounding things off with a song that is clearly 2 months late, is the very fragrant Katie Malco of Alcopop Records fame.
1. Black Mask – Cabaret Voltaire
2. On The Coast 2 – Nick Nicely
3. Indie Cindy – Pixies
4. Hideaway – Ellen Foley
5. Angel Face – The Past Tense
7. Can’t Be Found – Dan Stuart
8. Under The Stairs – De Rosa
9. Toe Cutter Thumb Buster – Thee Oh Sees
10. It’s Like Soul Man – Tobin Sprout (The GBV version is on Spotify, but this is Tobin’s solo version)
12. Standing Around – Scrawl
13. Is The Sky The Limit? – Grant Hart
14. Jenny Jenkins – The Handsome Family (The original EC Ball version is on Spotify, but you can hear Brett & Rennie’s fantastic version here)
15. Revival – Deerhunter
16. You’re The One – The Marvelettes
17. Form & Function – Hookworms
18. Step – Vampire Weekend
19. No Need For A Leader – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
20. Floating With – The Golden Cake Company (There’s no TGCC stuff on Spotify so I have included another Fruits De Mer band, Vespero, in their stead. Find out more about the Strange Fish compilation here.)
21. September – Katie Malco
Only No-ones Get Through The Gate
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