Hugs and Kisses #33: Be Your Own Pet, El Perro Del Mar, Black Kids


El Perro Del Mar: Her name is Sarah Assbring.

Hugs and Kisses

The Continued Outbursts of Everett True

THIS WEEK: Everett reviews some more records

You’ll have to excuse me. Been up all evening doing Plan B accounts. Not much of an occupation, and one guaranteed to cause anxiety, sleepless nights, insatiable cravings for cheesy snacks… not too dissimilar to being a parent. Man. Those figures. Wow. Wow. It’s so fun being a publisher, I can’t tell you. So anyway, had this plan at the back of my mind to turn you onto Tasmanian indie, or possibly talk up some favourites of Stephen Pastel that he’d been kind enough to share with me… but no. I have mountains of CDs on my desk, and I’m a fraction scared that one of these days my two-and-a-half year old son will take it into his mind to start toppling them all over, so yes, it’s that time of the week again. It’s time for singles reviewed, with all due deference to prematurely jaded rock musician students, without recourse to press releases.

be your own PET, “Super Soaked” + “Food Fight! + “Black Hole” + “The Kelly Affair” (XL)

When I first encountered Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I thought they were a neat idea: I devoted 15 pages of my former magazine Careless Talk Costs Lives to their escapades, got into a slap-fest with their manager, made Karen O out to be a drifting aimless stoner, watched acquaintances being dragged out of Brooklyn bars by their hair, all when they were but an EP old. So yeah, yeah, whatever. It don’t mean that about 20 years after the event I’m gonna release four ‘limited edition’ seven-inch singles that pay tribute to the fact they were once my favourite band. Plus, all these songs sound stupidly sped-up (OK, that might be my age) and strangely analogous to former post-Riot Grrrl space age Scots teamsters Bis without the spangly leggings. I ain’t denying that I’m jealous they have way more hair than me, and that they probably enjoy sex more than me. I’m just saying that I can do without them in my life again, despite the fact I have a real weakness for the sort of art-rock they purvey.

Turner Cody, First Light (forthcoming Boy Scout Recordings album)

Hey, so I lied about the singles part. So sue me. I have a fondness for Mr Cody that is partly driven by his bluesy boogie-woogie and partly because I saw him support (and play bass with) Herman Düne at one of my Three Favourite Shows Of Last Year Official at Brighton’s Old Ship Hotel, which is like all those parts of England you might imagine still exist but have mostly ceased to do so for about five decades now (lights glancing off balustrades, decrepit balconies littered with beer glasses, staircases leading to nowhere). He’s warming, and cheerful, and sounds like he covets his friends, and probably sports a non-threatening beard, and pronounces “Mos-cow” like it’s some sort of bovine feast, and probably gets called “antifolk” by regular folk who have no idea of the torment involved. He’s basically classic old-time classic rock but without the usual connotations or worry. I will be playing this album again. And again. And again.

Crystal Castles, “Courtship Dating” (Last Gang)

I have a feeling this are the duo — “disco anarchists,” right? — who have spent their entire round of recent UK press interviews complaining about the fact they have to do UK press interviews. Dicks. If you don’t fucking want to talk to the music press, don’t talk to it. It’s that simple. This is precisely the sort of music I imagine those sensitive souls over at Vice Magazine to listen to while they’re dry-humping mounds of speed: all slouched-over hoodies and shifty Pink Floyd steals. I would call it vacuous, but the folk over at Vice are oddly touchy about that adjective when used anywhere near their vicinity.

El Perro Del Mar, From The Valley To The Stars (forthcoming Memphis Industries album)

Another album, yep — must be annoying if you’re a literal sort. Sometimes, it feels like there’s an entire strain of female-fronted emotional pop (see also the charming and utterly bewildering Frida Hyvönen) that I like only cos I was too surly to appreciate it at the time (I mean the Seventies — and it wasn’t just that I was too surly, more that I didn’t like modern music whatsoever). See also Jane Siberry, now I think about it. (And I quite often do, seeing as how she’s caught up in one of the most heartbreaking episodes of my life.) I saw Sarah Assbring (the solo artist behind El Perro Del Mar) at one of those ubiquitously smart European festivals a couple of years back, on a friend’s recommendation, and she totally bewitched me. The enchantment grows with every listen of this, her second album. Any parallels I could throw your way would be false as I never caught this music the first time, but… well, the two ladies above make fair touch points. And God, this makes me miss an era I hated so much the first time around.

Black Kids, “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You” (Almost Gold)

Oh, this is just horrible. Someone shoot me if I ever become this generic.

Hugs And Kisses Top 5

More songs Everett True likes

1. Smoosh, “Find A Way” (from the forthcoming Barsuk album Free To Stay)
For at least 30 seconds it’s like my favourite teen Seattle duo have turned into my favourite grumpy, bittersweet Portland duo (Quasi). That’s a fine start, by any reckoning.

2. Jack Kerouac/Steve Allen, “Deadbelly” (from the EMI album Poetry For The Beat Generation)
I was about to write, I ain’t a fan of his writing…but that’s bullshit. Tell you what, though: set to cagey-smart, interpretative piano and with blues leanings, Kerouac’s voice totally sparkles into life.

3. Zombie Zombie, “Driving This Road Until Death Sets You Free” (from the forthcoming Versatile album A Land For Renegades)
Live, they channel the spirit of infamous Belgian punk Plastic Bertrand. On record, they make perfect music for driving to Worthing to — Kraftwerk, sped up ever so fractionally.

4. Solar Fire Trio, “Start Up” (from the CD-r Super De Luxe)
Delicious, unrestrained sax, sax and drum improv that reminds me of Scandinavians The Thing, but that probably only shows how crap my knowledge of such music is.

5. Those Dancing Days, “Hitten” (Wichita single)
I kinda don’t like this. I kinda really do. I kinda think the overwrought female vocal really let this down. I kinda think it’s nothing without.