singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
3 December 2019
(listening with headphones)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Benz Micro LP-S
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove Mk 2
TEAD Vibe Phoenix / Pulse 2
Luxman P-1u
Sennheiser HD800

On Burnt Hair, from 2004. Lovely marbled jade vinyl and handsful of pointless inserts. Disappointingly straightforward stoner rock, perfectly grasping that guitar sound those kinds of bands always have. You know the one. Alright, but I was hoping for something more droney and spacey.

3

Half black, half white vinyl. Or possibly the other way round. Both artists get side ‘b’. Jay Reatard does an upbeat, snappy guitar-pop thing which is great until it goes 6/8. Normally I hate this: it’s a cheap, obvious trick (beloved by The cheap, obvious Beatles) but he sees it through to the end, making it one of those The Dirge style songs-of-two halves.

Sonik Youth (that’s what it says on the sleeve) do the Sonic Youth thing, but at the end of a corridor. There’s some excellent riffage, some Glenn Branca dissonance, some hypnotic mantra stuff. Sonic Youth in microcosm, but with a ‘k’ and without any singing. Nice!

4

“Pressed at 45rpm. Play at any speed”. Right, it’s going to be like that is it?

Kid 606 was last seen here putting Straight Outta Compton through a ring modulator. But here he’s in a gentler mood. First some drum and bass through some kind of weird filter, which comes out strangely soothing. Next, some synth arpeggios, twiddling the filter knobs with the sustain pedal flat down. BUT REALLY LOUD.

LSR’s side is mental. He starts off telling us we can eat a bowl of dicks if we don’t like Kid 606 (fortunately, we did), then speeds up and slows down a couple of records. It’s a bit boring

2

Way back when, I had a tape which I think came with an issue of Select, and it was called Planet of the Japes. It had Bill Hicks doing his flying saucer tour bit and unnecessarily denigrating the waffle waitress, and it had some Scottish bloke doing some bit about Betty Boo. I think perhaps he was buying a record, and the person in the shop said “She’s young, and very svelte in her figure. What do you want with her?”. That’s exactly how I think people will see me if they find out I like Taylor Swift.

I think I read somewhere that “doin’ the do” was a euphemism for fellatio. This may have been on Urban Dictionary, which would obviously make it nonsense. Did you know a Chicago Fruit Chute is an act of intercourse where the woman inserts a frozen banana into her partner’s rectum whilst he urinates on a box of tissues and she describes the plot of Inception? That’s pretty much every entry on Urban Dictionary.

But Betty Boo isn’t doing that kind of Do. (And she’s certainly not doing a Chicago Fruit Chute). She’s better, and a whole lot cleverer. She namechecks the Roly Polies.

The ‘b’ is pleasingly oddball.

On the sleeve, Betty Boo drives a cartoon car through a space-age city, with shady figures pursuing in some kind of ’50s American thing. She’s clearly kidnapped a square-jawed villain, who sits gagged in the passenger seat. On the back, men point guns, while Betty Boo strikes a kung-fu pose and has cool hair.

Funny, the things you know. I knew this was on Rhythm King. I have absolutely no idea why.

4

Title: Zero Zero Zero One. Catalogue number: 0001. I like this already. The front cover has three detectors from an unnamed radio telescope array; the back has a photo of a crater. (Sadly, taken in the optical.) We went to Jodrell Bank once, and it was pretty good.

For the second time tonight I was expecting more drone than I got. On the ‘a’ we have: one note bass; toe-tapping drumming; pretty cool guitar acrobatics; gratuitous noise; what sounds like tuning up. Lots to like.

The ‘b’ is slower. Lots of tape-flutter tremolo; bass walks with a limp; drums have no interest in repeating themselves. Good, but not as good.

From 1995, on Repellent, which I think may have been their own label.

4

Not sure what I make of this. Is it “wacky”? It’s alright though. Overloaded, processed, junk sci-fi. ‘b’ sounds like a Dalek fronting the Buzzcocks at the wrong speed via busted speakers.

3

Another of the first-album reissues, this time on lovely mauve vinyl. According to legend, written for a school concert at 15; it’s a little hokey (fiddle, God, porches), and a lot brilliant (lyrics, melody, sentiment).

I wish we’d had Taylor Swift when I was at school, because she so beautifully explains how girls feel differently, and more deeply, to boys. I would have made a few less mistakes if I’d learnt this long before I did.

Oh, and on my first date with my wife, I didn’t kiss her when I should have, but that worked out all right.

5