singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
8 June 2011
(listening through speakers)Avid Acutus
Graham 2.2 Ceramic Deluxe
Benz Micro Glider
Linn Akurate DS
TEAD Groove Anniversary
TEAD Vibe / Pulse 2
Linn Klimax Twin
Wilson Benesch Arc

Easing back into this with a band I know I like, but had rather forgotten about. This is boring. Plodding and dull, with none of the frenetic energy that songs like Johnny Cash and Dance Me In had. I don’t like the up-front vocals, and I’m not keen on the b-side either, Good funny guitar sound though. As ever, saxophones only make things worse.

2

On Great Pop Supplement, a label which I inexplicably collect, when I tend not to particularly like much of what they release. I always like the sleeve art though, and GPS is a label with a proper identity, an eye for the unusual, and which puts care into everything it does. That’s worth supporting, even if it does mean sitting through some proper beard-stroking torpor every now and again. This record has a jukebox hole in the middle, which now I have a funny record player, is very agreeable. As expected, it’s folky (it is a Durham mining folk song) and twangy, and rather good. Yes, I like this. B-side (sorry, AA) is excellent too, with a lovely folk-singing lady. This, kids, is proper English folk music, done right.

4

Tenniscoats are a band I almost like. I like the idea more than the music I think, but I keep giving them another chance. White vinyl, which only goes a short way to justifying the heinous price of this record. This is the usual twee, floaty, but at the same time somehow difficult, thing they always do. Some kind of horrible organ or melodica type thing, a cheap 80s drum machine, and a lot of la la la-ing in a Stereolab stylee. Hmmm. Not bad. Yes, it is a melodica, it says on the sleeve. I had one when I was little.

I’ve never heard of Tape. Let’s give them a whirl. They’re doing an Ennio Morricone tune, so it ought to be good. Lots of horrible organ/melodica thing on here, but soft, beautiful guitar. Goes a bit Get Carter in the middle, then there’s some Japanese singing for a very short moment, and it finishes. Good. Very good in fact. I’d like an album of this please. And a lie down.

4

Couldn’t have put it better myself. I’ve got a lot of time for The Lovely Eggs, because they’re bonkers. I even loved that Twin Peaks thing they did, and that was totally bonkers. They make Bearsuit sound like Peter Gabriel.

The picture on the front sees Johnny Ramone following Yvette Fielding upstairs, with Yvette realizing she’s just heard the bin lorry, and the bins aren’t out.

Beginning with just singing over a softly plucked guitar, the title track builds to something almost anthemic and strangely transfixing, in a predictably trashy kind of way. Watermelons rocks hard, with a kazoo solo, and Band on the Sand is just silly. Boxes, ticked.

4

Also on Cherryade, but a wholly more professional effort than The Lovely Eggs, this is semi-hard, semi-fast indiepop. The singer is slightly too capable for my tastes, and it’s a bit too earnest. The a-side very much reminds me of something, but I can’t think what. What else do kids love these days? X-Box, Facebook and taking photographs of everything that happens or exists. Little bastards.

2

The first of three singles on Happy Happy Birthday to Me, one of my favourite labels. (I’ve never heard of any of the bands before.) Vancouver BC is very 50s, with loads of echo, very simple music, and a good tune. After the first couple of bars you can pretty much guess the rest of the record, but what’s wrong with that? Great. Both b-sides are pretty much exactly the same, even the live one. (Sounds like there are about ten people there, all of whom got in on the guest list for sure.) I used to have to maintain a piece of trend Analysis software called Orca, and I hated it.

3

I can’t think of girls and sweaters without thinking of Audrey in Twin Peaks. Not that that’s a problem, I can think about that all day. This is exactly the kind of record I expect on HHBTM. Lo-fi, slightly ramshackle, girl-fronted indiepop, with the drums always on the brink of running away from the rest of the band. They have a nice guitar sound too. Do You Like My Tight Sweater?, that was a great album title wasn’t it? Like Now Phats What I Small Music, but different.

Stonking big fat fuzz bass on the ‘b’, but now the drums are struggling to keep up. Sort of like a rough-round the edges All Girl Summer Fun Band, with a similar sense of generally trying too hard.

3

A four-track 45rpm, so even if the songs are crap, they’ll be over quickly. Great start, sounding a bit Sarah circa 1987. Sounds a bit like it should be playing at 33rpm, or possibly about 40, not least because the bass is being played high up the neck. Second track sounds like Talulah Gosh. Can I just say “Then she stamped her foot, which I thought was brilliant because it reminded me of Talulah Gosh”. Thanks. B-side now and some dude’s singing. This is a bit of a stonker. Now it’s gone all Upside Down. Best record of the day. Have a 5!

5

I’ve been properly enjoying the recent GPS releases, and slipping this out of the sleeve I see that it has no middle, which puts me in good heart as I don’t need to faff about with the home-made cork mat I have to use for 7” singles, because of the Acutus’s clamp and raised centre.

The See-See do their very competent, slightly fuzzy west-coast 60s psyche-pop thing. Ooh, “competent” sounds like a condemnation, or back-handed compliment at best. It’s a really good song, especially on a sunny day like this. By the Sea are more echoey, but have similar reference points. This song is a bit too long, whilst the other was a bit too short. What excellent music.

4

Whilst we have the beautifully machined centre on the turntable, we’ll play this, as it’s also on GPS and has no middle. Looking at the sleeve art, the band name and the song titles, I have a feeling I’m not going to like this.

Sounds weird. Like the record’s off-centre, but it isn’t, and the Benz is tracking perfectly. Pleasantly rough-around-the-edges folky, fuzzy, instrumentalism. Veh nice. There’s a chap singing on the second song. He has an excellent voice, but I’m not sure whether the slight wobble is the recording or the singing. Side two is kind of side one in reverse, that wonderful singing and little else on the first song, then an instrumental, this time with banjo and fiddle. I like this, though I’ll probably never play it again.

3

When Grimble Grumble released this in 1990-whatever, they didn’t cut out the middle. So out comes the cork mat, and we’re off. Can’t tell which side is which, and there’s no clue what speed it plays at, but such details tend not to matter with this kind of music. I’ll take a chance on 45rpm. Sounds like the wrong speed, unless the bass is being played right up the neck, and those piano notes are quite high. Just as I got up to drop the speed, a girl started singing - it is a 45rpm, and it’s a good one. A repeating bass riff, tapping cymbals, a repeated vocal riff, all gradually drowned out by the kind of noise a jet engine would make if it was made out of stone. Ace.

4

One of my favourite bands of all time ever vs one I’ve never heard of. Let’s start with Casiokids. I don’t like the name. Doesn’t grab me. There are elements of oM, but it doesn’t have that charm.

oM’s track is a Buffalo Springfield cover. That’s a band I know nothing about, but Kevin always picks great tracks to cover. It’s just yer man singing and playing the piano. It’s all a bit melodramatic to be honest, and the echo makes it pretty near impossible to tell a word he’s saying.

Disappointing.

2

I used to love Füxa back in the day. When it was just the two of them and you had the melodic repetitive ones and the ones that sounded like a hoover. There are a lot more people in Füxa now, so it’s not really the same band, and the sound here is a lot richer and more complex than I remember. It’s actually not unlike those old Apples in Stereo instrumentals. Very pleasant.

This is a 33rpm 7”, on multicoloured, but predominantly brown, vinyl, with a cat thing on the sleeve and label that makes me think of that Paula Abdul video from years ago.

Martin Rev repeats the same choir-pad chords on an old Korg (or whatever). The odd note soars up (to heaven? it’s kind of religious sounding) and now and again a crash breaks the smooth repetition. It’s the same all the way through, but also constantly changing. Quite something.

4