Welcome then, dear listeners, to not only the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but also the latest monthly mix lovingly compiled by our very own Kicker of Elves. Best then conspire with him how to (down)load and bless his little cotton socks…
Back by popular demand, we revert to an instrumental to start things off, this time featuring a track from Three Cane Whale’s wonderful self-titled album (with friend of the pod, Paul Bradley on guitar and teeny tiny harp). Then it’s back to 1982 with a favourite track from REM’s Chronic Town EP debut that I was reminded of when listening to a cracking live bootleg of the band at their peak. Next it’s an excerpt from an already micro opera from certified nutjob Luke Haines with a top track from his Adventures In Dementia collection that takes as its theme a Mark E Smith impersonator and an Austin Metro road trip. Obviously. Of course, as the fabulous Boyracer remind us, everyone is a critic but not every track of theirs is on Spotify, so get yer lugs round this magnificent single below and then go and buy it.
Another fab mid-80s track next with the one song I know by the band Working Week as it just squeaked into John Peel’s Festive Fifty some 31 years ago. It’s a tribute to Victor Jara that features both Robert Wyatt and Tracey Thorn. Still sounds great too. Now, many of you will have noticed that the undoubted ‘best band of all-time’, Guided By Voices have announced the release of a fourth Suitcase collection (for those uninitiated amongst you – for shame! – these are 4CD boxsets of 100 tracks from the Robert Pollard archives) that has me all a quiver. So, it seems duly appropriate to take this month’s GBV track from the first such set, Failed Experiments & Trashed Aircraft, here under the guise of Champion Hairpuller. With Texas Paul all at sea, literally, our guest contributor this month is everyone’s favourite O’Elves, Kicker Jr. He has plumped for a track from his beloved They Might Be Giants with one from this year’s Glean album. Another fine taster from Aussie label Hidden Shoal threw up the next track, a mighty piece of ambient electronica from German’s Jumpel – one of many excellent tracks on a sampler you can get for nowt right here – and can see in full below.
Almost certainly natives of America next with Native America, a band from New Orleans who deliver fine fuzzed up psych pop on their Bad Weed / But Still Weed EP. If you like the track here, you’ll be wanting to get the whole set (again for a name your price price) via this link. Another free collection that comes highly recommended is brought to us once again by our friends at Active Listener. Here we have an impossibly difficult to pronounce track from The Prefab Messiahs that appeared on Sampler #29. We have previously documented our love for all things Throwing Muses and, in particular, Kristin Hersh, but this month we want to highlight the genius of Tanya Donelly with a top track from her Whiskey Tango Ghosts LP. Time to party after that (to your Om – eh?) with a tremendous piece of New Zealand indie from the wonderfully named Scattered Brains Of The Lovely Union that appeared on the Temporary compilation that we have previously dipped in to. This one isn’t on Spotify, but can be heard below:
Another Belfast boy, Robb Murphy put out a beautiful album called Sleep Tonight earlier this year and my favourite track on it is coming out as a single this month, so what a good time to include it. You can buy it here too. A compilation that came out in 2003 from the Welsh indie label Ankst Records was their Radio Crymi Playlist that compiled releases from the label from 1988-1998 – 10 years of Welsh domination. Last Saturday’s uplifting victory in some rugby match (it’s not cricket, is it?) seems as good a reason as any for including a top track from it, and I’ve gone for the one from Rheinallt H Rowlands. Maintaining the Western coast theme, but extending outside the UK to the Isle of Man next and the band Suicide Highlife, who made some great C86 type jangle back in the day. You can get their Where’s The Matter album here from our friends at Small Bear Records… and you should. You should then have a listen to great lost US 80s college band 28th Day. From their self-titled LP, check out Burnsite…
After seeing The Wave Pictures live for the first time at Indietracks earlier this year, I have been investigating the band’s impressive back catalogue. Possibly my favourite release of theirs (and not just to prove a well made point) is their first, Instant Coffee Baby, and there are loads of tracks that I might have included from it. In the end, though I went for Kiss Me, which you can do. Following that there’s a track from the latest compilation of stuff from all-round genius songwriter, Martin Newell. The Teatime Assortment set picks up on some of the more recent Cleaners From Venus releases, but be aware that the Essex Robert Pollard has a new one out next month, so keep the fuck up. An album that came to me via a strong recommendation through the Pollard supporting Interweb groups I am inevitably involved in (thanks, Daniel Taylor!) was Flotation Toy Warning’s Bluffers Guide To The First Deck and now I am strongly recommending it to you. Check out the opening track on the playlist below. To round things off this month then, we have a track from Calvin Party that is one of those that doesn’t appear on the album of the same name. There is almost certainly a Popcorn Double Feature in this, but in any case enjoy the track Life And Other Sex Tragedies from the album Lies Lies & Government (the album that followed the album Life And Other Sex Tragedies) and then go and buy both albums, cos they’re great. Oh, and here’s the irrepressible live musical force of JD Meatyard (for it is he) from back in 2009. Do yourself another favour and see him as part of the Independents Tour through October – including a special date in Liverpool with new local sensations Fort Baxter.
Those all important tracks in full:
- Three Cane Whale – Dancing Ledge
- REM – Carnival Of Sorts (Boxcar)
- Luke Haines – Caravan Man
- Boyracer – Everyone’s A Critic
- Working Week – Venceramos
- Champion Hairpuller – James Riot
- They Might Be Giants – Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel
- Jumpel – Blue Ceiling
- Native America – Heroine
- The Prefab Messiahs – Ssydarthurr
- Tanya Donelly – Story High
- Scattered Brains Of The Lovely Union – Party To Your Om
- Robb Murphy – Headstrong
- Rheinallt H. Rowlands – Merch O Gaerdydd
- Suicide Highlife – McCarthyville
- 28th Day – Burnsite
- The Wave Pictures – Kiss Me
- Martin Newell – All The Lights In This House
- Flotation Toy Warning – Happy 13
- Calvin Party – Life And Other Sex Tragedies
Writhe And Twitch
Previous monthly mixes
All twenty-seven previous mixes are still available for free! Why not follow us on Spotify to avoid missing out?