So, three quarters of the way through the year that is calling itself 2016 and nothing of note has happened, eh? Oh. Ah.


THE big news in Kicker Towers

This quarterly mix kicks off in fine instrumental style with the undoubted king of the melodica, Augustus Pablo, and a track from the self-explanatory Dub, Reggae and Roots from the Melodica King collection. This is followed by another oldie, and definitely a goodie, some proper blues from another self-titled king – he of the slide guitar – Elmore James and my favourite of his that tells a tale of sneaking out the window rather than facing the music, which seems apt. This is the title track from another compilation, One Way Out, that I would recommend everyone own even if it is their only blues album. Taking us up the M1, ahem, we next have San Fran punks J Church with one of many great tunes on the singles collection Nostalgic For Nothing. Then rounding up our compilation heavy start, we have a top track taken from the Sensible Record Labels RSD15 release curated by our pals at Alcopop and here featuring Best Friends from the label Art Is Hard, which you can buy here and hear there:

A band that certainly unites all of us wizards is The Wave Pictures and I am currently really keen on their album If You Leave It Alone and in particular the title track, so here it is. After that it’s Andrew Howie, who I was introduced to via the Grand Gestures collective first couple of albums, and whose own album The Great Divide I would heartily recommend. I would also suggest you go back and check out Andrew’s first band Calamateur too. A bit of European solidarity next with the inclusion of Berlin-based multilingual, French-German duo Stereo Total and a track from their second album Monokini, which as well as sporting a remarkable cover, also contains a load of great music including this track, which my CSE (ask yer parents, kids) German tells me means ‘nice behind’. Yeah. After that, we have more European culture from the very difficult to google Collection with a track taken from AB Records (out of Lyon, France) Go Goal 1 round up of their own artists that came out in January and which you can hear in full on this link and enjoy on the player below.

Here’s another free compilation that you should get hold of immediately – the Bloodshot Records Sampler 15 – which brings you a pleasing mix of genres, usually within the one song. It’s all good, but I’ve gone for the rip-roaring Banditos, who kick this set off in fine style. They’re followed by this year’s new sensation, at least according to the fine people on the Not For The Masses forum, and who am I to disagree, it’s London’s own Yak. Their debut LP Alas Salvation is going to be right up there in my best of the year list, no doubt, so now’s as good a time as any to catch up. Our GBV related track this time comes not from Robert Pollard, but from the equally gifted, if rather less prolific, Tobin Sprout, who has so far given us one fantastic single and here a taster track from a new album due later in the year. Maintaining the lo-fi aesthetic we then have a track from the magnificently monikered Dolby Fuckers’ album of Groovy Tunes that again you can get hold of fer nowt. This one is my favourite:

More from San Fran next in the form of new-wavers Tuxedomoon and the title-track from their debut EP No Tears from, bloody hell, 1978 – still sounds pretty contemporary to me. Another old favourite, although not from so far back, is the opener to the Peter Bjorn & John album Falling Out. I always thought there should be a comma after Peter, but perhaps the band’s name refers to two individuals not three. There’s definitely a bloke called Bjorn in the band, I know that.There’s only one Rowland S Howard though, and he’s up next with a killer track from his wonderful Pop Crimes album. Probably my second favourite ex-Birthday Party bloke if push came to shove, but it’s a close call. The S is for Stuart, you’ll be pleased to know. Our pals at Active Listener released a tremendous collection of psychedelic tunes on The Great British Psychedelic Trip Revisited back in March that features wizard favourites like Adam Leonard and The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, but how could I resist a song about a vacuum cleaner. It’s not Mission Of Burma, it’s Murmurs Of Irma…

The last 4 tracks of the mix start with a fab song off of the debut album from Number One Cup Possom Trot Plan. Unfortunately, you won’t get to hear it on Spotify, but as luck would have it Dundee’s finest, Spare Snare, do a rip roaring cover that you will. Well, you will if you get onto the playlist below. If you want to hear the original, there’s a video of a man having a shave at the foot of the page that you should check out. After that particular song, we have a bit of ‘reggae’s sweetest voice’ with Bim Sherman aka Jarrett Vincent aka Lloyd Tomlinson. The song here is taken from the Pay It All Back Vol. 3 compilation on On-U-Sound and I can confirm that Vols. 1 & 2 are equally ace. I am a recent convert to the lo-fi sounds of Tim Chaplin, but am increasingly building up a bit of a collection of the great man’s work. As good a starting point as any is the Boy To Make Me Worry double album that appeared on Bleeding Gold Records at the turn of the year with a whole bunch of home recordings with hatfulls (hatsfull?) of distortion. It really is excellent stuff. The final song to get you through the next 3 months is from Canada, a single entitled Triple Water from Les Chaussettes (which sounds much better than The Socks, right?). Anyway, this is the second 7″ I have got from them (both on Punk Fox) and both are fantastique. A bientot.

Those all important tracks in full

So Many Things To Explain

  1.  Augustus Pablo – Up Warricka Hill
  2.  Elmore James – One Way Out
  3. J Church – At The End Of The M1
  4. Best Friends – Wash Me Out
  5. The Wave Pictures – If You Leave It Alone
  6. Andrew Howie – Dead Ringer
  7. Stereo Total – Schoen Von Hinten
  8. Collection – Ghosts
  9. Banditos – The Breeze
  10. Yak – Plastic People
  11. Tobin Sprout – Future Boy Today / Man Of Tomorrow
  12. Dolby Fuckers – Liam Leads
  13. Tuxedomoon – No Tears
  14. Peter, Bjorn & John – Far Away, By My Side
  15. Rowland S Howard – The Golden Age Of Bloodshed
  16. Murmurs Of Irma – Vacuum Cleaner
  17. Number One Cup – Strange & Silent Staircase (covered by Spare Snare on the playlist)
  18. Bim Sherman – Nightmare
  19. Tim Chaplin – Stratospheric
  20. Les Chaussettes – Triple Water

The Playlist

The original Number One Cup version of Strange & Silent Staircase:

About kickerofelves1

Wizard-in-Chief for Trust The Wizards music podcast and blog. Guided By Voices fanatic.

2 responses »

  1. It’s the beginning of July and you’re saying we’re three quarters of the way through the year? Back to school with you, sonny!

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