Time then for the final mix of the year, and what better way to start than with a song to lead us through the Winter Hours by the remarkable Advisory Circle (that Jon Brooks on that Ghost Box label) from this year’s From Out There LP.
Following on from that instrumental opener, we have the band Clearance (who may very well have heard a Pavement record or two). The song is a B-side on their Greensleeve 7″ that came out a couple of years ago, although they have had a new album out this year called Rapid Rewards that you should check out too (my copy has seemingly permanently been held up in the post). An oldie next and another track from that 60 Songs From The Cramps Crazy Collection compilation that I dipped into last month. This time I’ve gone for a track by Gene Summers, an old-school rockabilly type from Texas (it says here). Then, mostly to contradict our own Chorizo Garbanzo, I’ve gone for another track from a compilation in the form of the ungooglable legendary New York punk duo Snatch and their magnificent late 70s single, which appears on the wonderfully titled Somewhere Between Heaven And Woolworths collection. Disappointingly, this song isn’t on Spotify, but here it is in its full video glory…
A classic from the band they call The Band next and the much underrated Jawbone from their self-titled second album. Then we have a single from the band they call Caesars, featuring future Les Big Byrds no less. Poptastic stuff from Sweden once again. Taking things down a notch comes a track from this year’s release from Simon Joyner, Grass Branch & Bone, which sounds like a dodgy firm of solicitors to me, but is in fact a collection of sparse singer-songwritery gems from Omaha, Nebraska. From rather nearer home, Derby to be exact, come The Telephones, who Tex and I enjoyed at the Cardigan Fruits De Mer shindig early this year. I picked up their Hummingbyrd single then and it’s the B-side that has particularly stuck. It’s not Spotifiable though, so you’ll have to go and buy it via the band’s Facebook page after you’ve heard a live version below.
Electropop courtesy of Minneapolis duo Polica next, with a track that appeared on their Raw Exit EP last year and appears on this mix right about now. Erstwhile wedding singer and current Middle Eastern hearthrob, Omar Souleyman has a new one out this year (Bahdeini Nami) and it’s very much more of the same, which is excellent news for us fans of Arabic scales and squelchy synths. Interestingly enough, I played some of this to an Omani friend whose reaction was to laugh uncontrollably – seems the lyrics are a little ‘cartoony’, sounds great to me though. A song that will not get laughed at next from The Replacements – a favourite from their Pleased To Meet Me album and, in response to Chorizo Garbanzo’s challenge, my first suggestion for a band whose albums just got better and better. Then from the A to Z of Art Is Hard, we have G for Goddam Nobody and another song that Spotify have missed. Luckily, you don’t have to…
As regular readers will testify, a high fibre diet is a must. They will also be aware that I occasionally dabble with Kickstarter projects. One such was last year’s album from The Men They Couldn’t Hang called The Defiant. As a long-term fan of their wonderful debut, it was great to hear the band have still got what it takes nigh on 30 years later. Now, we know that all us wizards love that Chuck Prophet, but did you know that he’s all over the Go Go Market 2003 album Hotel San Jose with his missus, Stephanie Finch? Well, he is, which just make it doubly go-good. At this point, I have to admit not to having kept up with the band The House Of Love. I understand they reformed and had a new album out a couple of years ago, but frankly why listen to that when you can go back to their first album and, of course, the two early non-album singles. Here’s one of them. Talking of avoiding the new stuff… Neil Young. Yes, last year saw perhaps a low point only previously hit with Landing On Water, but there I was a couple of months ago again waiting for his new one to drop onto my doorstep. Fortunately, this The Monsanto Years is a noticeable return to form, and I can happily report that it is well worth a listen or two. Here’s a live taste of one of the standout tracks as it’s not on Spotify (I guess you Pono fans already knew that though, right?).
A welcome return for our Tex Pix feature next, and our lone star star has found a real cracker in the band Shopping. Releasing their Why Choose LP on Big Cat Records is a very good sign, sounding, as the Texster says, like a lo-fi B52s is another. More Welsh wonderfulness next with a track from Melys that appears on yet another compilation I’ve been listening to, the self-explanatory Anskst Records: Radio Crymi Playlist VOL 1 1988-1998, and very pleasingly features the term ‘the big-I-am’. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing? Bringing together like minded souls from different parts of the globe at the click of a mouse. And so it was that fellow GBV-nut, Stefan Breuer brought to my attention the fact that his band The World Of Dust had a new album out featuring Robert Pollard associate Todd Tobias called Womb Realm. It was bound to be great, right? Damn right it was. Oh, and how about a Robert Pollard track to wrap things up for the year? From one of three Ricked Wicky albums released in 2015, this track very nearly made my best of the year list, but has been edged out by a Circus Devils masterpiece. Still, get on the I Sell The Circus album and work forwards from there and don’t accept any substitutes.
Those all important tracks in full:
- The Advisory Circle – Winter Hours
- Clearance – She’s A Peach
- Gene Summers – Straight Skirt
- Snatch – I.R.T.
- The Band – Jawbone
- Caesars – Boo Boo Goo Goo
- Simon Joyner – Sonny
- The Telephones – Amsterdam
- Polica – You Don’t Own Me
- Omar Souleyman – Enssa El Aatab
- The Replacements – Skyway
- Goddam Nobody – Cut And Paste To Waste
- The Men They Couldn’t Hang – Fail To Comply
- Go Go Market – Channel 9
- The House Of Love – Destroy The Heart
- Neil Young & Promise Of The Real – Big Box
- Shopping – Take It Outside
- Melys – Puppet
- The World Of Dust – Hyenas
- Ricked Wicky – Rotten Backboards
Striking Hand Breaks
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