singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
17 May 2006
(listening through speakers)Linn LP12
Linn Ittok LVII
Linn Arkiv
TAG McLaren CDT20R / Chord DAC64
TEAD Microgroove Plus
Linn Kairn
Linn LK140 (x3)
Linn Espek

The most inappropriately named group since Adorable celebrate their fiftieth anniversary with a self released seven inch. Never been much of a seven inch band, Sonic Youth, more your double album/ten inch bootleg/Hoover bag full of CDs type outfit, so maybe this venture into the smaller format heralds a change of direction?

Of course, it doesn’t. It sounds like Sonic Youth, which is what we want. They’re too old to change now, and why would we want them too? There are so many bands who sound like Sonic Youth, with two panned out guitars, scratchyness, angularity, bird that can’t sing etc etc, and that all misses the point of what makes Sonic Youth so great. It’s all in the construction, complexity, and at times, virtuosity. I was listening to Daydream Nation the other night, and I just marvel that anyone could make that record. Probably no one else could. Hell, no one else could make this, and it only lasts eight minutes.

3

I always get Stuart Staples and Steven Stapleton mixed up, which may be the reason I bought this. Those who are not totally retarded will, unlike me, be expecting Tindersticky melancholia, not noise with wound, and they won’t be disappointed. I’ve always preferred Pooh Sticks to Tindersticks, but I have to say, this is terrific.

The a-side has the sound of a Western, (something else I don’t like, except for Unforgiven) and a wistful sadness beyond the lyrics. Mister Staples, who I always think sounds like that bloke from The Wolfgang Press crossed with Vic Reeves, sings with some lady called Lhasa de Sela, who is great. The b-side is more beautiful still. The only downside is that it’s an awfully pressed record. One of those that sounds like you’ve got fluff on your needle even when you haven’t.

4

Not, alas, a Fred Schneider and the Shake Society tribute band, but some odd electronic outfit who did that funny cover of There is a Light That Never Goes Out a couple of years ago. I remember some time ago when there was a lot of hoo-hah about violent video games producing violent children, someone saying something to the effect of “When we were kids, it was all Pac-Man. If any of this is true then we’d all be running round dark rooms listening to bleeping music and gobbling pills.” Quite.

This is odd, with acoustic guitars, kind of African rhythms, great bass. Interesting, but not hugely exciting, for me at least. This sounds crap too. I’m starting to think I might need a re-tip.

2

The thing in this week’s pile that I genuinely wanted. The rest just got thrown in, because you can’t just buy one record, can you? A Sister’s Social Agony is one of my very favourite songs, and I think I prefer that slow style than to their more upbeat stuff, and I much prefer Tracyanne singing to the bloke. This is more upbeat, and more sixties than I’ve ever heard them. And do you know what? It’s GREAT! I’m disappointed that it’s on Elefant but not coloured vinyl, but that’s all. As always it’s a great sleeve, and as always the lyrics are clever and touching. As usual the tune is catchy, and I love it. I definitely think I’ve got needle problems, and I was planning on MP3-ing a bunch of singles this afternoon. Do you know how much it costs to get a new tip on this damned thing? YOU DON’T WANT TO.

5

I reckon I’ve now got about five records and CDs which don’t say who the artist or label is, and which I am unable to identify. Fortunately this one, white label, plain white sleeve, empty run-out groove, is unmistakably Animal Collective. It’s mad percussion with a weird folkiness, and about fifty ideas per minute. It incorporates a large chunk of I Just Called to Say I Love You, which I think was originally recorded by Jamiroquai. Would be better at half the length, because I liked the first couple of minutes, and ended up wishing it would finish. I hate the b-side.

2