singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
16 November 2011
(listening through speakers)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Linn Akurate DS
TEAD Groove Anniversary
TEAD Vibe / Pulse 2
TEAD Linear A
TEAD Model One

I think I’ve gone too far with hi-fi. To even play this seven inch single I have to put a specially made (by me) cork mat on the Acutus platter, then put the record on, then put two weights (one of which is a spirit level) over the spindle. Then I can play it. With all my old systems badly recorded stuff always sounded okay, but with the Linear A and the Model Ones, bad stuff sounds bad. Really bad. Apparently Lancaster Musician’s Co-Op is no Abbey Road, as this sounds awful. Being a Lovely Eggs record though, it’s brilliant anyway.

A quick briefing for those who don’t know them: they’ve made a Twin Peaks tribute single, they do proper Christmas songs, and their back catalogue includes the sagacity of People Are Twats, some of the best rhymes ever in Digital Accordian, and the perfect Don’t Look at Me I Don’t Like It. Check those out, suckers. This is good too, a bit of a singalong, smart, and funny. They’re a great band. Reminded me that I lit a candle upstairs earlier to try to get rid of the smell of artist’s varnish, and made me panic that it was still burning. It wasn’t.

4

On Slumberland, on quite gorgeous burgundy sunburst type vinyl, this is a slightly psychedelic sixties sounding affair, somewhat in the vein of Butterflies of Love, The Clientele, or maybe The Thrills. Nothing much seems to happen, then it finishes, and you want to hear it again. Let’s hear it again. Yeah, really good. The sort of thing I’d expect to be on the radio in California, though I expect they just get the same rubbish we do, except for probably the Saturday night talent show stuff, which I can’t imagine ever impresses the colonies.

B-side sounds almost exactly the same, but that’s fine, because it’s the sort of music that puts you in a pleasant mood where you no longer mind things like that.

3

An old Bobby McGee’s (their apostrophe) single I haven’t heard before, providing six songs of the usual ukulele whimsy. Molly’s Lips is not the Vaselines song of the same name, but an unsubtle instruction to “Kill yourself kill yourself kill yourself kill yourself”; Ivor Cutler is Dead never mentions the bard of the Scotch sitting room, and Morrissey Said to Yuri mentions neither of the titular protagonists. Genki Sudo By Flying Triangles is an interesting title too. I know genki is Japanese for health, and was also a Linn CD player, and that sudo is a privilege escalation program commonly used on Linux. It’s in Solaris too now, though pfexec(1) is the preferred tool as it integrates more properly with the OS. While we’re on minutiae, it grinds my gears when people pronounce Jules et Jim with two French sounding ‘J’s, when anyone who’s taken the time to watch the damn thing knows it states quite plainly that Jim pronounces his name with the harder English J. Otherwise in French films, Amelie annoys me. And English people who talk about “movies”.

3

This week’s Great Pop Supplement offerings mean the horrible cork mat can come off, and the sound quality can go up a notch as the VTA is now pretty much correct. Still Corners do a hypnotically beautiful, echoey, breathy thing that could almost be in a David Lynch film. The New Lines have turned their reverb machine up even higher, and sound a bit like Broadcast doing a jam with Kevin Shields singing. Did I just say “jam” outside the context of a fruit preserve? I do apologize. This is quite good, but that Still Corners song is a killer. I wonder if I have anything else by them? I bet I do.

4

By the Sea are new to me, I think. Proudly stating it was recorded at Bill Ryder-Jones’ mum’s house, Either Bill has a big old reverb machine, or his mum lives in a cathedral. Probably the former, hopefully the latter. I’m not sure how to describe this, but think of all the other GPS records that have electric, rather than acoustic, guitars, and you’ll be on the right lines.

Side B begins with the sound of the sea, reminding us we are, quite literally, listening to By the Sea. It’s a bit like a sonic equivalent of a Steps dance routine. Jesus, Steps are back! Are you TOTALLY STOKED or what? I want to go to see them, but apparently every venue is sold out, and I refuse to buy tickets off the twats on eBay who hoover 90% of them up straight away. I can cut my nose off to spite my face any old time you selfish shits. We’ve digressed haven’t we? Truth is, this is a bit boring.

2