So, welcome to the last monthly mix of 2014, a 20-track present beautifully packaged and tied with a bow, just for you.
Let’s get straight to it, then. We kick things of in traditional instrumental manner with self-styled ‘legends from time and swamp’, the surf rock Brummies, The Terrorsaurs, with just one of a whole bunch of wonderful Schlock Singles. Come and play Liverpool, fellas! Then we get the post punk/northern soul stylings of Comet Gain from their last but one album Howl Of The Lonely Crowd out on the very wonderful Fortuna Pop! label. I do have to question whether you can get a clang out of concrete though. Anyway, I am ashamed to say I haven’t got round to listening to their latest effort, but will definitely find time to do so in the new year. A record I have very much enjoyed from this year, though, is the second single from The Mentalettes that comes all the way from Berlin, Germany. Sehr toll, Schwestern! Then it’s time for our regular irregular feature, Tex Pix, where a newly-promoted Texas Paul picks a track from his crazy listening world for our consideration. This month he has gone for a cover version that he and I heard in the flesh from spooky cockernee surf vibe types, Black Mekon at the Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia earlier this year. Mighty fine it was then and mighty fine it is now too. Sadly, the song is not on Spotify, so enjoy it on the video below.
Up next it’s an underrated and underplayed gem from The Kinks, just because…, which is followed by the tremendous title track from the band Toy. This one ticks all the right boxes and undoubtedly joins all the right dots too. Another great track from this year comes from The Soundcarriers, who released their album Entropicalia (fusing thermodynamics and 60s Brazilian avant-garde, I’m guessing) on the always interesting Ghost Box label. In any case, this is a really upbeat jazz-influenced whirl of an album, which gets my temperature rising. And this is suitably followed by Suzi Chunk and Groovy Uncle with a track from their latest thick cut 45 out on State Records. This record brings together the 60s vocals of said Suzi with yer real proper Medway sound and is presumably an homage of sorts to Redford & Fonda. A marriage made in Chatham.
Time the for another nugget from the Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era collection that seems to permanently be on my listening device. This month, it’s the turn of The Outsiders to show us what it was all about and I, for one, am happy to let them. Our friends at Active Listener once again come up trumps with their sampler #23 from which we get the FoneZ (who may well be Argentinian) track that Spotify have so far overlooked. It’s worth checking out on the link below. Super groovy. As are, the rather wonderful Section 25 (or SXXV if you prefer), who have, according to their promotional blurb “metamorphos[ed] from the glummest, most dour group ever into progenitors of House”. All I know is that Blackpool bands never sounded finer on orange vinyl. How about a cover version of a Kinks song that appears on a Wes Anderson film soundtrack, you ask? Oh, go on then. Yes, it’s Solvents with their take on Nothing in This World Can Stop Me Worryin’ Bout That Girl. And pretty not bad it is too. Here’s the original:
For fuck’s sake, get some GBV on this mix tape! Yes, very much guided by the voices in my head, up next there’s a track from the only band that matters’ first full length LP Devil Between My Toes that sounds just about perfect to these ears. Doing its best to follow that, it’s Ry Cooder’s version of the Blind Alfred Reed classic that not only sounds very different to the original, but also reorders the lyrics, fact fans. And while we’re in classic track territory, how about some Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band, eh? You can only listen in awe to this track when you realise that it features a solo by Roger Ruskin Spear on a genuine trouser press he had fitted with a pick-up. Now that’s dedication to a concept. Then, spearheading (albeit reluctantly) the dolewave (come on, keep up, Rebel) movement, we next have up the mournful sound of Dick Diver, a 4 piece from Melbourne with perhaps their best known song. Their Calendar Days album would definitely have featured in this year’s list of best albums, except it came out last year.
On a podcast sometime ago, I brought the band Microsdisney to the wizards table as I was aware that neither of the other two were very familiar with Cathal Coughlan’s first band. I really struggled to choose the one track I thought might showcase a band I still reckon are pretty important. In the end, I went for Genius, but now’s time for another great track. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you This Liberal Love in all it’s bouncy glory. You might remember we have played [The] Caseworker on these mixes before, well an earlier guise of that band (one at least featuring Conor and Eimer Devlin, anyway) was Half Film and this next track of theirs came my way via the Aussie label Hidden Shoal. After that it’s a track from the new album from The Antlers, Familiars, that I have been playing a lot recently. It is both suitably miserable and full of great trumpets throughout. Then, rounding things off we have yet another top release from Ghost Box. It’s a single from Brooks & O’Hagan, who are Jon Brooks (Advisory Circle) and Sean O’Hagan (High Llamas) who have merged their wonderful talents quite brilliantly. As we have also featured Sean with his Microdisney hat on, it only seems appropriate to finish here with a video of Jon with his hi-viz Advisory Circle bib on. See you next month.
Those all important tracks in full:
1. The Terrorsaurs – Mariocki Midnight
2. Comet Gain – Clang Of The Concrete Swans
3. The Mentalettes – Lover’s Wasteland
4. Black Mekon – Wrote For Luck [not on Spotify, so have yerself a Happy Monday]
5. The Kinks – God’s Children
6. Toy – Join The Dots
7. The Soundcarriers – Boiling Point
8. Suzi Chunk & Groovy Uncle – Barefoot In The Car Park
9. The Outsiders – Time Won’t Let Go
11. Section 25 – Reflection (Young Image)
12. Solvents – Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin’ Bout That Girl
13. Guided By Voices – Hey, Hey, Spaceman
14. Ry Cooder – How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live
15. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band – Trouser Press
16. Dick Diver – New Start Again
17. Microdisney – This Liberal Love
18. Half Film – Machines, Hawks And The Perfect Equation
19. The Antlers – Parade
20. Brooks & O’Hagan – Calibair
The Carefree World Of Opportunity
Previous monthly mixes
All seventeen previous mixes are still available for free! Why not follow us on Spotify to avoid missing out?
Lost of good stuff there. Not heard that Ry Cooder one in years. The Kinks tune is one of my favourites.
That Antlers track was on the longlist for my Best of 2014 mix, didn’t make the cut though.
The Toy song is the best track on the album and it’s also on my playlist for running. The repetitive bassline is very conducive to plodding along the country lanes of Cheshire.
Lots of other songs I’m not familiar with that I look forward to getting to know.