Sunday, June 14, 2009

Would have liked to have seen The Drones tonight in Glasgow but neither the flesh nor wallet contents permit this. It’s shaping up to be a busy couple of months with one thing and another and “ye cannae dae it all”.

However, here are some things you might care to attend. The emphasis is on local to central Scotland but feel free to visit. The Edinburgh International Film Festival starts this week and a cool feature of their website is that, if you sign up, you can find out who is attending what screening in terms of film maker, cast, etc.

Here’s a clue as to who I reckon the special guest at the All Tomorrows Parties film might be. You know how Joe Dante is coming? Well think of a creature from one of his films, a group by the same name resides in Glasgow. Can you think who they are yet?

David Simon is at the Book Festival on August 29th, you can find out about that and all the other stuff that’s on there at the website.

When I picked up the Fringe programme I was thinking that there are never any good US comics like Emo Phillips, Denis Leary or Bill Hicks anymore but was pleased to see that Janeane Garofalo is doing a stand up stint from August 6th through 15th.

CJ Ramone will be at Ivory Black’s with a combo that will include Daniel Rey on August 17th, you can find all the tour dates here. (Thanks Martin)

And don’t forget that Dean and Britta are in Dunfermline on July 8th, that isn’t too far away so get moving and make sure you book those tickets. If you don’t then you’ll only have yourself to blame when you keep hearing how great it was.

The Plastic PalsGood Karma Café (Polythene Records)

This is as a consistently good melting pot of influences as I’ve heard in recent times. I’ll leave you to determine who or what these are but will add my consideration that Häkan’s vocal reminds me of Ian McNabb of The Icicle Works. “She’s Going Back” was the one that sealed that comparison being that I always thought it would be cool if The Del Lords covered “Understanding Jane”.

There really is a neo-Liverpool sound to this Stockholm combo that sets this set aside from much of the psychedelic pop that is mane under laboratory conditions to a business plan. The Pals manage to circumnavigate all that with what is obviously a passion to simply create bloody good songs and see where those lead ‘em.

If you heard one of these cuts on the radio then whichever one it was, you’d want to know who it was. Those guitars are utterly infectious as they jangle and pummel, sometimes simultaneously. If what goes around does indeed come around then their music will take them far.

Dan JanischMedicine Man (Green Door Record Co.)

I found this in a pile of cds and realised that I hadn’t mentioned it. It’s been here for some time and Dan may well have put out a follow-up by now but hey, there’s no sell-by date on this produce. His mention of “grasshopper” in the title track is timely given the recent demise of David Carradine.

There’s a Peter Sarstedt quality to his voice and relaxed strumming. Great songs too. Could be a touch of Neil Diamond via Steve Earle lurking in there too (“Big Trip”). “Sayonara Chinatown” has an understated Modern Loversesque toyshop Velvets rockin’ factor that could bring a house down.

Love BoatImaginary Beatings Of Love (Alien Snatch)

The post Black Lips world is reverberating to this quasimercybeat sound these days. Love Boat is from Italy and they pack a skiffle factor into the soup that I actually prefer to the aforementioned beat combo. There are hooks buried in the foundations of these songs that give’em a rowdy campfire type vibe that channels aspects of The Undertones. Pretty damn snappy. I think that if this was on vinyl then some snaps, crackles and pops would only add to the sense of occasion. “Funny Guy” employs a kazoo to maximum effect that will thrill or irritate depending on your feelings about that particular instrument in popular music.

I’m very pro-kazoo.

Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!! - !!!Viven!!! (Munster)

Rip roaring timeless garage punk from Spain. Their name pretty much lays it out chapter and verse and I imagine that their shows will be pretty sweaty affairs. I have quite a low threshold these days for bands that claim to play this kind of music. It often completely misses the pan. These guys don’t dribble a drop though and indicate that this stuff can still wet the whistle.

Of course, you heard it all before but not with quite so much gusto. Powered on farfisa propulsion and blazing guitars, fans of The Fleshtones could get particularly excitable around these arrrgh blokes.

Turpentine Brothers - S/T (Alien Snatch)

I don’t know anything about these folks and I have no time to google (or bing/whatever) them right now. I can however tell you that although their “music” is as rough as the proverbial bear’s arse, it is very compulsive, like getting a wheen of tiny electric shocks at one time with relentless regularity.

Again the keyboard activity takes centre stage in keeping things up in the air. It makes sure that things don’t lag. If the Samoans had taken a garage pill and adopted a Hammond then perhaps some of their work might have sounded like this.

Doesn’t sound like they’re running out of “Ritalin” anytime soon to these ears. “Tired Luxury” is simply an exercise in changing the pace for their own ends.

The Thurston Lava Tube
The Thoughtful Sounds of Bat Smuggling (Cordelia Records)

Buoyed by the discovery of this new Bambi’s cut earlier, I remembered about this. Not similar at all except in the spirit to which they approach the cinematic nature of instrumental rock’n’roll. Displaying it as a danceable solution and also as a canvas to accompany a vivid visual projection in your napper, I believe that this is their 4th album with another just about ready to pop.

BS contains the freshest, most scintillating take on “Miserlou” I’ve heard in many a moon.

NightinghalesNo Looking Back (Folked Tongue)

I don’t know what’s with the spelling and I’m not entirely sure about the title either because the music here definitely harks back to the sixties. Still, they’ve infused their sound not unlike The Dandy Warhols to create a punchy concoction. The vocalist Ben Sommers Bachman has a distinctive style, maybe a couple of octaves lower than Russell Mael but that’s who he reminds me of.

“GM Polka” has a rock/beat undertow bolstered by handclaps that suggests that if these kids were to get the breaks then they could quite feasibly find themselves in demand. “Damaged” does a pretty reasonable job of combining The Dolls with The Faces. Serendipitous as Johansen and Co made their UK debut with those guys way back before these folks were even born.

“Buddy Wooly” reminds me of Redd Kross without ever sounding like them. Ditto for Pavlov’s Dog. Actually, when I spun this the other day – I made a mental note about getting their records down from the loft. From Ninian Hawick country, Minneapolis – Nightinghales have a pretty good grasp on what it takes to be poptastic! Let’s not tempt fate by using expressions like soaring but I reckon there are a lot of folks out there that would be pretty pleased to hear what they’ve got to offer.

There’s some stuff to be going on with then. I’m gonna make some coffee and grab some P Dog and Bruce Anderson while I compile the “coming up” list that was meant to be done yez'day.
Being the confused individual I am, I got a notion to try this twitter lark. Not from a phone. I’m staunchly attached to my “pay as you go”, non-photo taking, hardly used bog standard basic model. However, I’m strangely coming round to the fact that my bahookie will be dragged into this century at some juncture. The conversion to cyberdroid is just so unbearably tedious plus, the older I get – the thicker I get, comes with the territory.

My ability to prioritise, focus and to just plain get stuff done seems to have hit something of a speedbump. Still, no point in mithering, like Track 12 of on this fine Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women album sez, “Que Sera Sera”.
I didn’t make it back here yesterday evening after all but I have remembered the band that Angel and I saw at Terminator in SF circa 1992 with Lenny Kaye when I was on the “In Search Of Elvis” tour. Walking past a bill poster hoarding in town yesterday I saw the Testament logo and had a “Chuck” type recall. It was like the club scene from the movie “The Crow”, indeterminably metal but a real hoot.

Wonder what today will bring? I’m not planning to go anywhere so maybe there’ll be some action here. The time that I couldn’t get online seems to have brought upon a streak that suggests to me that I shouldn’t become outright addicted again.

David Hayman is on the wireless talking about guardian angels. A wee bit of spirituality for a Sunday AM, maybe one of mine will help me get my arse in gear to set about tackling the various tasks that need to be seen to.

This remains to be seen but there must be some merit to all this because I already discovered that Bambi’s track today.

Thanks to Nick West for the heads up on this via Twitter...

Preview the EPIC new Bambi Molesters single!!

and here's some new footage. Fingers and everything else crossed for a new album before the end of the year...

the bambi molesters - latinia