singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
8 October 2021
(listening through speakers)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Benz Micro LP-S
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove Mk 2
TEAD Vibe Phoenix / Pulse 2
TEAD Linear A mk 2
TEAD Model One

There’s a famous cartoon of two men standing in front of a hi-fi, with one saying to the other “the two things that attracted me to vinyl were the expense and the inconvenience”. This year the thread on my turntable clamp failed, which cost me a fortune. Then I got a fault on my tonearm, which was gone for repair for almost five months. Then the phono amp started playing up. That’s been gone two months so far, and looks like it’s also going to cost a fortune.

I’ve been building this stereo, through sales, trades, part-exes, dogged bargain hunts and strokes of luck, since I was in my teens. I’ve always loved it, and the connection it’s given me to so much wonderful music. But these days it feels increasingly like a burden. As does The Collection.

I started selling a few records last year, and though I occasionally get “I’ll regret this” pangs, so far, I haven’t really missed any of it. In fact, I rather like the liberated feeling, and I love it when someone else is really excited to get something.

The vinyl is going out very, very slowly, but I have had several hundred CDs in boxes under the stairs and under the eaves, and they’re no good to anyone there. So, I decided to get rid. Mostly given away, because they’re worth nothing, more collectible stuff sold on Discogs.

In the absence of the vinyl playback chain, let’s do some of the CD singles I’ve just listed. To begin, I shall tackle the surprisingly in-demand 3” WeePop! that have been in a tupperware box since we moved house.

First up is very collectible “The Darlings” who apparently is Elizabeth Morris from out of off of Tender Trap and Allo, Darlin’. Unfortunately, she’s the one out of off of Tender Trap who plays the ukulele, and she’s brought it with her.

I liked the first song a lot: a super-proficient indiepop stormer, and beautifully sung. Then Emily was good, apart from having a ukulele on it. But in the end it all went wrong with a slow girl plus ukulele John-Lewis advert interpretation of You Shook Me All Night Long, and I can’t forgive that.

3

When it kicked in I thought it was Frank Sidebottom. Then I just wished it was. Indiepop girls are great. But the boys… Jesus.

Ticks all the “things I hate about indiepop” boxes. Wet bloke. Self pity. Trying to be funny.

But I liked it when the girl sang.

2

They did a song on a Happy Happy Birthday To Me compilation that I loved, but everything I found of them after was annoying.

Right now, I don’t find this annoying, but wonder if that’s because I found the last one intensely annoying; like how a sweet orange tastes sour after a glass of Coke.

Speaking of bugs eating books, there’s a chemical, whose name I forget, that gives you that “old book” smell. A lot of my records smell of it now, and with five thousand of the things in the living room, I feel an even stronger impetus to clear them all out. Anyone want to buy five thousand records? Some of them are really good.

Oh yeah, the music: a couple of good upbeat toe-tappers.

4

Opening up with Monsterpuss is a bold move. Changing the tune bolder. I’d say it’s a gambit that failed. And there’s a good reason why the original didn’t have a bloody recorder on it. Ouch.

For the second time tonight, I get an inkling of why school bullies choose to be school bullies.

1

Did I say Annoying? How about a ukulele, a self-pitying singer who makes Kermit sound like Barry White, and a song called Do Animals Get Lonely Late at Night? Jesus, how did we end up here?

The last song is pretty good. They have a Melodica. Obviously.

2

Slogging on with these purely on the assumption that one of them must have been good or I wouldn’t have bought all the others.

The opener goes for an indiepop Al Duvall Victrola vibe. With ukulele, natch.

Then 1000% Not Creepy: a full-band indie-disco ARSE kicker. YES.

Two more good songs, not remotely irritating, affected, or twee. This might be the good one folks!

4

In a word: “irritating”. In two “really irritating”. And long.

1

There’s something in this one, but it’s still a slightly irritating shade of extra-Scottish no-girlfriend indiepop melancholy. Though in the interests of balance, there is also no-boyfriend melancholy. Nice piano and guitar playing, especially on the last two songs.

3