SYNOPSIS: Enough is enough, they say. Sure thing, kiddo. But Uncle concurs with whomever the heck it was who said that too much of a good thing can be marvelous. So if you’re starving for something delicious—and don’t know just what it will take to appease your craving—then your Uncle LD suggests letting this week’s musical selections seep deep into your brain to help heal the thousand hurts aimed at you by society, the press, your icky family, etc. There’s a place at this banquet table for most anyone, unless of course he’s boring, or a xtian fundie, or has hairy moles sprouting in conspicuous places (and the latter might be negotiable).
Most of the songs that follow are obscure or rare or otherwise off/under the radar; some are next to impossible to find, too, unless you frequent gemm.com or various record fairs, or have older friends with very eclectic tastes. Since your Uncle LD has no allegiance to any genre, scene, or style, his eclectic playlist might seem a bit baffling at first. But that’s what you’re here for, yes? A little aural stretching never hurt anyone. Well, maybe him.
“Bright Colored Lights” by Crash, from EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN (Justine 1992)
Okay, we know… he’s dead and all, and we probably play his stuff too much. But your Uncle LD just loves it, so there. And soon we’ll probably play more
of his stuff. It’s like Roy Orbison backed by REM. Or the Posies. Or something. Whatever… it’s terrific.
“Once in a Lifetime” by Ryuichi Sakamoto & Robin Scott, from LEFT HANDED DREAM (Epic 1981)
Robin Scott was M (you know: “Ev’rybody talk about/Pop music!”), and a big London scenster and producer guy. Here’s a gorgeous track from an album he recorded with Yellow Magic Orchestra gent, Ryuichi Sakamoto. WE hum this under our breathe all the time.
“Black Cab” by Jens Lekman from MAPLE LEAVES (Secretly Canadian 2004)
Swedish poppet who resents being compared to a certain literate New York pop guru of our acquaintance. Maybe it’s the ukulele? Nonetheless, this song is so beautiful we’d cry if we were still able. Jens plays Mercury Lounge on July 19 and Bowery Ballroom on July 21. Probably sold out by now, though.
Crushworthy ex-Rex bassist, doing experimental Appalachian front-porch hoedowns. Orso has a couple hard-to-find records, and doesn’t tour enough. Here’s a nice little sample from their second record, but it’s all delicious, delicate, and quietly sexy.
More rural weirdness, though this was made by New Yorkers with an abiding interest in alcohol, tobacco, and Neil Young. Their records don’t do their sound justice, really, and they’re much better live. Just keep an eye on the exit in case things get too messy.
“Portia” by John Ashfield from HOT HOT HANDS: A Tribute to Throwing Muses (Kuma-chan, 2003)
John teaches Orff to kids in California. He sings like an angel and plays the 12-sting electric like a god. This song is from an obscure tribute album that’s worth owning; in fact it’s almost as good as WHORE. But do seek out John’s own weird pop, please.
This seems to be about someone who is (or maybe should be) institutionalized. We adore Mr Fitzsimmons for his lovely breathy voice, wistful lyrics, and general aura of hugability. Somehow the secret subtext to this week seems to be “music by/for bearded introspective smarties.” What a surprise. Surely Mr Fitzsimmons’s charming open invitation will yield results for him. P.S. We actually don’t care for Iron & Wine, his obvious influence, and we’re not ashamed to admit it. But we like Mr Fitzsimmons just fine.
Once the unholy grail of italo-disco, now still really hard to find in it’s extremely limited reissue on Rephlex disc and vinyl. Maybe if you’re naughty—i mean Good!—Uncle LD’ll play some more of this trancey fucked up mini-album soon.