SYNOPSIS In which more stuff old and new is dragged out, digitaized and uploaded for your edification. Listen, track it down buy it if you can find it.
We’d also like to take this time to say “Howdy!” and “Yes, please!” to Uncle Dr Brien, a new friend from VCU (he’s with Virginia Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Genetics; and No!!! so don’t ask) who wrote us an amusing and very lovely letter about Suburban Lawns and such, also teasing us with lots of obscure stuff even we haven’t heard… Do send it on, friend! And to say “Howdy!” and “You are too kind!” to another music lover, Uncle EJ (oh, how we love the initialed ones) who makes nifty art and has great taste in podcasts . . . . Anyone who loves Miss Dana Kletter as much as we do is instant family to us.
NEXT WEEK: Soundtracks for imaginary films
Playlist for Episode 35
“A Folded Cloth” and “Handkerchiefs,” from The Light Divides (Soft Alarm, 2007)
Pretty folkie stuff from pretty folks in Northampton, Mass. They seem to have a textile obsession, but we like that about them. This disc brand new and scores very high in our imaginary “this is what music is and was meant to be” chart. Gorgeous understated production, lovely melodies sung by people who can really sing, and little or no annoying affectation. We’d bake gingerbread for them, yes indeedy.
Ultra Vivid Scene
“Winter Song” and “Don’t Look Now (Now!),” from Rev bonus disc (Chaos/4AD, 1992)
Cool stuff from the bonus disc that came with the original pressing of this album. Long before we knew anything at all about Mark Dumais/Crash, we loved this album and this song… Little did we know then that “Don’t Look Now (Now!)” is a somewhat rocked-out version of one of Crash’s best songs, on which a young Mr Ralske plaed really really great guitar. Your Uncle LD’s version, wrought — or overwrought — by his outfit moth wranglers, is to a certain extent patterned on this cover. It’s sexy, creepy, and more than a little desperate. Which to us equals l-o-v-e.
“Unemployed,” from Greatest Trips (Brave, 1990)
“Money Talks” single (Ubiquitous, 1985)
Another dancefloor hit from this fine, fucked up combo, circa too long ago. Flailing (with or without strobes, flattops and long black coats) is definitely in order while listening. They sure made hating fun. We’ve played “Lovelife” before — Greatest Trips has a fantastic dub mix, incidentally — and we’re delighted to share some more of this wondrous chaos with you. But oh! How your Uncle LD longs to remix “Money Talks,” and make it harder, louder, and more virolent.
“Your Hands” and “Animals on Wheels,” from Omnipop (Virgin, 1996)
She’s publicly proclaimed her crush on Uncle Stephin, which seems pointless since as she says, only likes people with “man parts.” But who wouldn’t adore a gal who named her supposed “best of” — culled from three amazing, almost unheard major-label albums — Zero, Zero Zero? Hey, over here . . . We’re single.
“Woah!” and “Top Banana,” from All Things, Forests (Misra, 2007)
Fab new stuff from their brand new, very excellent 4th album. If possible it’s even better than P3, which had songs called “Albacore” and “Knitting for Pleasure.” — which, surprise! where not about tuna and a kinder, gentler Billyburg. They may seem like nice, friendly kiddies at first, judging from their glorious, delirous pop . . . but we wouldn’t want to meet them in an alley behind the skating rink.
The Railway Children
“In the Meantine,” from Gentle Sound (Ether, 2003)
“Gentle Sound,” from Reunion Wilderness (Factory, 1987)
Oh, Uncle Gary . . . shoulda stayed at Factory. We once read a review of The Railway Children’s first album that called it a “bright pop postcard from the North” and boy, did we run right out and fetch it. They got jangle just right, and worked it for a while. But then… something happened, and they tried to be all dancey. Anyhow, they were and probably are still monumentally underloved. Gentle Sound is Uncle Gary redoing mostly-acoustic versions of songs from his early TRC albums. It’s all about his very distinctive voice — Red House Painters guy always made us think of this band, vocally — and almost too pretty guitars. The full-band versions are much more intense, even with the somewhat-annoying production. Still, we cry for them. Him. Something.