On this day in music history some 51 years ago, Neil Young, at age 17, performed his first professional date at a country club in Winnipeg. Who then knew he would go on to record such heavyweight classic albums as Landing On Water, Life and Everybody’s Rockin’, eh?
Anyway, welcome once again to Kicker’s monthly mix, which this month kicks off with the jangly pop thrill of McCarthy and a political song that still resonates well after the 1990 release of their Banking, Violence And The Inner Life Today LP. After them we have 2 minutes of noisy, angsty late 70s underground punk all the way from Ohio (THE rock and roll state); it’s the Electric Eels with a song that has come to my attention via the fantastic compilation Punk 45: Kill The Hippies! Kill Yourself! (Underground Punk in the USA1973-1980), which I reckon you’ll be hearing more from in the future. Slowing the pace next there’s some classic dreamy 50s pop with a beat that never gives up from Tommy Bell; thanks to another Viper Records compilation. A Darren Hayman remix of Swedish named (it seems to mean Hideous Horse) Gameboy pop-punk star Fulhäst follows (actually, it’s Niklas Vestberg, the Swedish half of Moustache Of Insanity) who, on a track from his album Broken, shows himself to be somewhat of an obsessive.
Next, a top cover of a plinky-plonk squeaky-voiced Joanna Newsom track by Brummie nutjobs The Nightingales that was available free and still is. Right on. A real Kicker favourite is up next; it’s that Simon Joyner from Omaha with a track from his great album Beautiful Losers that rounds up a load of essential singles. This one features the fantastic line “take me to the room where my angels twist… and shout” that manages to combine the profound and the inane quite brilliantly. More Americans follow, this time from Michigan. The girl group Honey Ltd disappeared after releasing just one album in 1968 on Lee Hazlewood’s LHI label but shoulda been huge in my view. You can judge for yourself on a track taken from the Complete LHi Recordings compilation. Literally a Recommended Record next from It Hugs Back (with that young fella who has been filling out Wire’s guitar sound recently): a joyous burst of kaleidoscopic guitar pop.
Strange sounds from perth (lower case) next, who may or may not be from Perth (capital letter), from their What’s Your Utopia? album, which we criminally overlooked from last year. It’s a fair question, kids. Hot on its heels we have a moving little song from Helen Love taken from their deliberately 80s sounding Day-Glo Dreams. I really like this, but hope that the move away from their punky sound is not permanent. It’s that Robert Zimmerman next with a track from the recently released Bootleg Series Vol 10 that, er, celebrates the songs on Self-Portrait, you know, the one Greil Marcus or somesuch reviewed with the words ‘what is this shit?’. Well, this song wasn’t on it. One for my fellow wizard Rebel Rikkit next: following the revelations at the end of last year regarding the on-going genius of Mark Mulcahy, here’s a top track from his first band Miracle Legion that he needs to hear.
I was very pleased recently to find out that Wreckless Eric has resumed his sporadic but superb radio show. He played this Jarvis Cocker track on the last show I heard and it reminded me how good that first solo Jarvis LP was. Now, I may have previously suggested my, at best, apathy towards Joni Mitchell, an artist the two other wizards hold in high regard. However, I am happy to accept this is down to my not liking her voice rather than a questioning of her skills as a songwriter. Hence the inclusion this month of a fabulous cover of one of her finest songs by Emmylou Harris, whose voice I cannot get enough of. One minute of fucked up Lemonheads next from their debut (and yes, Chorizo, best) album Hate Your Friends. A bit of C&W for you after that with a song that I heard on another radio show (apparently there are others) hosted by that Zimmerman bloke. On playing this song by Eddie Noack, Bob tells us that “He wanted to be a journalist. But we have enough journalists, but not enough people who could sing and write like Eddie Noack. Eddie recorded the song called Psycho, written by Leon Payne, a song about a serial killer and quite understandably, it never got a lot of airplay, but has become quite a bit of a cult favorite, as is Eddie Noack himself…”, which will do for me.
Then, it’s time for some Robert Pollard. This track is taken from last year’s under the radar release Down By The Racetrack and features a line that led me to this fantastic book. Following on from that and my 1p album success there’s a masterful track from Dawn & The Replicants second album Wrong Town Wrong Planet Three Hours Late. And no, I never thought you sold out. Up next from the less impressively named album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd., it’s the Wizards’ favourite boy band, The Monkees. On a recent trip back from that London, Rebel Rikkit and I found ourselves grooving to this album and showing excellent knowledge of all the words to Pleasant Valley Sunday if not necessarily all the notes.
I don’t remember when I first heard Bosco Delrey, but I’m glad I did. Here he delivers a singalong song from his Everybody Wah album about, er, seeing dead people. Or something. Yeah, yeah. More join in fun from the mighty Maytals next with an alternative version of the cracking B-side to the classic Monkey Man re-released through my favourite reggae label, Trojan on Boss Shots. A hip Manchester band next, kids. Yes, it’s The Bee Gees. Of course, The Bee Gees. From their psychedelic masterpiece of a first album, this track has clearly been heard by a certain Mr Pollard.
Now I’m not sure how I feel about the concept behind the following song, but I do know I like the sound it makes. All the way from Taiwan, well, the record anyway, it’s Rock And Roll Airforce with what appears to be one of only two songs they have released. A certain smash I’m sure you’ll agree. A band who had plenty of hits back in the day were XTC. I have chosen a track from their Nonsuch album for no particular reason apart from the fact that it stuck in my head when I heard it again last week. Finishing off this month’s mix then, it’s Captain Beefheart with a soulful number from my favourite album of his, Clear Spot.
Those tracks in full:
1. The Drinking Song Of The Merchant Bankers – McCarthy
3. Midnight Dreams – Tommy Bell
5. The Book Of Right On – The Nightingales
6. Flouride – Simon Joyner
7. The Warrior – Honey Ltd.
8. Sa Sa Sa Sails – It Hugs Back
9. Drank And Kites And Tomorrow – perth
10. Our Mum And Dad – Helen Love
11. Tattle O’Day – Bob Dylan
13. Fat Children – Jarvis Cocker
14. Magdalene Laundries – Emmylou Harris
16. Psycho – Eddie Noack
18. Science Fiction Freak – Dawn Of The Replicants
19. Salesman – The Monkees
20. Lovely Sleepy Dead – Bosco Delrey
21. She’s My Scorcher – The Maytals
22. The Bee Gees – Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You
24. Dear Madam Burnum – XTC
25. Captain Beefheart – My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains – the fantastic original isn’t on Spotify so I have included an interesting Everything But The Girl cover version, but some soulful DVV is worth 3 minutes of anyone’s time…
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