“Knock, knock!” “Who’s there?”
“Music Police.” “Music Police who?”
“Music Police by Sir Niney with Jackie Mittoo in full flow, that’s who.”
Not much of a joke, I have to confess, but an accurate enough intro to the opening track this month. Sounding like The Upsetters to these ears, unfortunately the track is not on Spotify so I have replaced it with King Tubby’s ode to the magnificent,and rightly knighted, Niney. Blood and fire, indeed. Hot on its tail we have a track from The Replacements magnificent Let It Be album (undoubtedly the best Let It Be album ever made). I do hope the reformed ‘Mats make it on tour to the UK, but somehow doubt they will. From Minnesota to Ohio next and a mini celebration of the wonderful Scat Records. Firstly, we have the band Yellow #5 featuring Canadian legend, Molly McGuire and an acronymtastic track from the album Demon Crossing (Scat 73), and then we have Ohio’s favourite sons and repeat Scat Records recording artists (notably Scat 35), Guided By Voices. Of course, the chosen track isn’t from a release on Scat, rather it’s from their big production on TVT, the oft-maligned Do The Collapse, an album I have recently re-bought on orange vinyl as a RSD15 release. What a sucker!
More Canadians next with The Socks, or as they prefer, Les Chaussettes and the A-side of a single they released early this year. The B-side is also pretty not bad. It’s that Wrong-Eyed Jesus next, in the form of Michael Davis Pratt, or as he prefers, Jim White. This is, for me, the standout track on his new collaboration with The Packway Handle Band on this year’s Take It Like A Man LP. Back to this side of the Atlantic next for a blast of Manchester’s Goldblade with John Robb in full skiffle mode on an engagingly lo-fi version of their Psycho track taken from the Acoustic Jukebox album. I’m not sure if this next lot wear hoods, but they sure have heart. I’m guessing they don’t come from the Eastern USA either as Farewell Appalachia!, for it is they, are yet another brilliant band to come out of Brighton on the Faux Discx label. This is a track from their self-titled EP, which is still available, but there are only 18 copies left so be quick about it. The song’s not on Spotify, but it is in the video below.
Another favourite new record in the O’Elves household is Melbourne, Florida by the band Dick Diver, who are indeed from Melbourne, Australia, although as any geography fans will tell you, there is indeed a Melbourne in Florida. Anyway, their new release is jam-packed full of jangly pop delights. And talking of delights, that leads us nicely to the next song, the one that Tex Pix. This month our oversized-hat-wearing friend has gone for the band Jack and the A-side of what I presume is the 12″ édition limitée single of The Emperor of New London released on Belgium’s legendary Les Disques Du Crepuscle label. We follow that with currently my favourite track from the new Johnny Dowd LP, the brilliantly named That’s Your Wife On The Back Of My Horse, something I’m sure we’ve all had reason to say from time to time. This song offers sage advice to new glasses wearers like me. More useful information from Nuggets faves, The Leaves after that with a track you should hear even if it isn’t on Spotify. Luckily, you can do just that by watching the video below. Blow that harp, boy!
I was very pleased to see that indie pop darlings, Comet Gain, put out a new record last year. Said release, Paperback Ghosts, is a very pleasing eclectic mix of the kinds of sounds you wish Belle & Sebastian would still make and echoes of Aztec Camera Obscura (see what I did there?). It’s a really great listen, particularly when the male and female voices harmonise so beautifully as they do here. More great female vocals from, the sadly departed, Screaming Maldini next with their excellent cover of fellow Steel City residents Pulp’s Last Day Of The Miner’s Strike. I might just prefer this new version to the original. What both versions allow me to do is follow up with a Northern Soul classic from Mary Love that picks up on the ‘Lay this burden down’ closing line. Is it wrong to be so pleased with myself for this? Anyway, it’s a great number that Elvis would’ve been proud of. I say that because I am attempting to shoehorn in a link to old friends of the pod, German funmeisters, Woog Riots, who had a fantastic single out back in the day called King Of Pop. A truly tremendous piece of work, it is, sadly, unavailable on Spotify, but is well worth checking out below.
I recently discovered the marvels of the Peski Record label and their showcasing of the wealth of musical talent that continues to appear in Wales. One of the many bands to impress were Cardiff natives, VVolves, in part for that neat double-V at the start of their name, but mostly for their motorik-driven electronica sound. So, from Wolves, ladies and gentlemen, to Lions. And who should be out like a lion? It’s only that Todd Tobias fella (Robert Pollard’s oft-found sidekick), here with Steve Five (of The Library Is On Fire fame) performing as Brother Earth on their debut Positive Haywires release. That is followed by a bit of a blast from the past with good ol’ Uncle Tupelo with a track that featured on the re-release of the classic No Depression album a few years ago. I think I prefer the slightly rougher feel to this demo of Graveyard Shift – more Green On Red than the album version – that opening guitar lick is still as sweet as ever. And closing things up, it’s a track from a 12″ EP that’s been on my shelves for well over 20 years from the confusingly named Bradford who hailed from Blackburn and sang about Liverpool. It’s the only record I’ve got by them and I still love it. One of many I bought as soon as I had heard it on John Peel. This is for John.
Those all important tracks in full:
1. Sir Niney – Music Police (King Tubby – Sir Niney’s Rock is on the Spotify playlist)
2. The Replacements – Favorite Thing
3. Yellow #5 – ICFCFBM
4. Guided By Voices – Mushroom Art
5. Les Chaussettes – Kate
6. Jim White vs. The Packway Handle Band – Not A Song
7. Goldblade – Psycho (George Formby’s Tape Recorder)
8. Farewell Appalachia! – A Heart In A Hood
9. Dick Diver – Leftovers
10. Jack – The Emperor Of New London
11. Johnny Dowd – Sunglasses
12. The Leaves – Too Many People
13. Comet Gain – The Last Love Letter
14. Screaming Maldini – Last Day Of The Miner’s Strike (the Pulp original is on the Spotify Playlist)
15. Mary Love – Lay This Burden Down
16. Woog Riots – King Of Pop (the Woog’s Queen Of Pop is on the Spotify Playlist)
17. VVolves – Wolves
18. Brother Earth – Out Like A Lion
19. Uncle Tupelo – Graveyard Shift (1989 Demo)
20. Bradford – In Liverpool
Dead Dreams Awake
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