Another month, another mix and surprising no-one, we’re going to kick off with an instrumental. However, there is a surprising backstory to this particular selection. It’s the opening track from Volume One of The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Progam 1972-83 by the band Kosmischer Läufer. Oh, yes. Turns out this is a bloke called Martin Zeichnette, a fifty year old Dresdener who was summoned by the GDR authorities to write motorik repetitive songs for potential Olympic athletes to train to and it’s only now that these mesmeric pieces are seeing the light of day. I have been playing this first volume for weeks since I first caught up with it and am very excited by the release of a second set on gorgeous red vinyl. Suffice to say, if you like this track, you’ll love the second volume. Of course, the concept may be pure hokum (the record was sent to me from an Edinburgh address after all), but the music is just great and I, for one, will choose to believe the story.
Getting right up to date we follow the Läufer (as nobody calls them) with a track from the latest Stanley Brinks & The Wave Pictures LP called Gin (and of course it’s on gin coloured vinyl). Stan is the artist formerly known as Herman Dune, who definitely sounds German (although I think he’s French). Anyway, this song is in English and damn fine it is too. A Scouse classic up next with former Pale Fountain Michael Head and a track from his Magical World Of The Strands album that I was reminded about after our friend Huw Wild Eyes nominated it as one of his favourite tracks on a previous podcast. Then it’s The Pretty Things with a song Shindig magazine recently called ‘The Best British Beat Single Recorded In 1964’ and despite the specificity of that award, they had to, er, beat off plenty of competition. Of course, it’s Rosalyn.
Time to move into a technicolour world with a song that came my way via the New Yorkist Partisan Records Sampler 2014. It’s the band Ages And Ages with a magnificent singalong track and that’s all I know. Back to the 70s and it’s time we had a cool Beatle on, isn’t it? Everybody’s favourite thumbtastic headshaker, it’s Macca with a neat little instrumental from his second solo album. No doubt in my mind, it’s Paul who was the experimental one. Rather brilliantly that leads into a modern day celebration of the interesting Rolling Stone. A band, by the way, the wizards would happily nominated as the most over-rated of all time (OK, that might just be me). Anyway, the Bermondsey Joyriders, for it is they, have crafted a very catchy anthem to Brian Jones that is worth a listen. It’s another track from the wonderful Active Listener series next and another band I know nothing about, Black Springs, with the song Silver Ship. Or is it Silver Ship with the song Black Springs? It probably doesn’t matter. Very neat it is in any case.
Former Morrissey tips for the top, James, have got a new album out and rather fine it is too. It’s mostly about death, which is usually right up my street. The album is La Petite Mort, which doesn’t necessarily refer to an orgasm (as I previously thought), but also to a great disappointment or a dying inside. Like how I felt on hearing of the appointment of David Hockaday – more unorgasmic, you could not get. Rather more exciting is the news that a big favourite of mine, Darren Hayman, will be playing up north (well, Crewe) next month. He recently released a limited edition of hand painted EPs about dogs, which I failed to get hold of (cue another petite mort – and not one of the good ones) and one of the tracks was a very nice solo version of the next song on the mix. It had me listening to the remarkable Table For One all over again. Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the virtues of a high fibre diet. They will also know that I enjoy picking up records by local bands when I happen upon a record shop in a faraway town. And so it was that when I was in the marvellous Soundclash Records in Norwich earlier in the year, I picked up the eponymous debut album by the band Juke & The All-Drunk Orchestra. A little bit Waitsy (Tom), a little bit Spencery (Blues Explosion not Frank), they make a very enjoyable sound indeed. As do the pleasingly named Everthus The Deadbeats band. They appear on this mix as part of an irregular ‘Tex Pix’ feature, where friend of the pod, Texas Paul gets to suggest a track for inclusion. He knows there is no certainty that his selection will make it, but hot on the heels of his excellent recommendation of The Growlers, this track damn sure has to be played.
At Wizard HQ, we are all very excited about the forthcoming Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia with loads of must-see bands. On the Friday, I am hoping to see Purple Heart Parade and Plank (both Manchester bands), the magnificent Amen Dunes and Allah-Las. For Saturday, I am lining up Bed Rugs, Gnod, The Lucid Dream, Mazes, Teeth Of The Sea, Christian Bland & The Revelators and, of course, headliners, Goat. I also don’t want to miss Grumbling Fur, whose Glynnaestra album is still getting regular spins on the O’Elves turntable. Here’s one of my favourite tracks from that set. I was attracted to the next band, Pujol, not by their floppy haired football link, but by this, on the Noisetrade Sampler site: “Pujol’s latest LP, Kludge, idiosyncratically captures life as it exists in our weird almost future world of flying robots, cancer from food, cell phone wire taps, metadata, $7.25ish minimum wage and $15.50 an hour endless choice buffets.” And yes, they really sound like that. The Parrots, on the other hand, do not sound like parrots. They appear on the indispensable Vaultage 78: Two Sides Of Brighton compilation and outshine local heroes Peter & The Test Tube Babies. Another new one next and it’s Drive-By Truckers with the song title of the month in Shit Shot Counts from their English Oceans LP.
Do you remember The Pop Group? Bristolian post-punk pioneers, they released the next track, She Is Beyond Good And Evil, as their debut single back in 1979 to critical acclaim and no sales. They are still name dropped by the likes of Nick Cave as being important and have recently popped up on Pledge Music trying to raise funds to release a remastered version of We Are Time and a bunch of rarities. Worth a punt, I’d say. Also, always good value is Wizard-fave, Roddy Frame, whose new Seven Dials album has already featured on our podcasts. The reflective track Postcard not only recalls the iconic record label, but also echoes one of our favourite guitar solos. The whole album is just beautiful. Just about time then for a track from one of the more recent Rough Trade Album Club selections. This is from the Typical System LP by the Aussie band Total Control. It’s difficult to describe the sound of this lot as they vary from punk to krautrock to synth pop from one track to another. It all works surprisingly well as an album and it is really growing on me. See what you think. Then, finally, it’s the track that has often been described as ‘the ballad of GBV’, not least (in fact, probably only) by the band themselves. The track is Dayton, Ohio 19 Something And 5, which appears on the fanclub Tonics & Twisted Chasers album (not on Spotify) and as a live track on the Selective Service set (on Spotify). Just so you can enjoy both versions, check out the video below. Isn’t it great to exist at this point in time?
See you next month.
Those tracks in full:
1. Kosmischer Läufer – Zeit Zum Laufen 156
2. Stanley Brinks & The Wave Pictures – One Minute Of Darkness
3. Michael Head – Something Like You
4. The Pretty Things – Rosalyn
5. Ages And Ages – Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)
6. Paul McCartney – Front Parlour
7. The Bermondsey Joyriders – Brian Jones (The Real True Leader Of The Rolling Stones)
8. Black Springs – Silver Ship
9. James – Bitter Virtue
10. Darren Hayman – The National Canine Defence League
11. Juke & The All-Drunk Orchestra – Howlin’ At The Moon
12. Everthus The Deadbeats – Dinosaur
13. Grumbling Fur – Galacticon
14. Pujol – Dark Haired Suitor
15. The Parrots – Vicious Circles
16. Drive-By Truckers – Shit Shots Count
17. The Pop Group – She Is Beyond Good And Evil
18. Roddy Frame – Postcard
19. Total Control – Safety Net
20. Guided By Voices – Dayton, Ohio 19 Something And 5
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