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

I’ve wasted all my Christmas money on crap. Here goes.


I’m flushed with girlish excitement as Amelia returns from having babies and a very proper job to do what she was put on the Earth to do.

Bad start - it’s a CD single. Never mind, there’s a nice pic of our heroine on the front with - my goodness - a hint of decolletage. Oh, I feel suddenly giddy! Better stick the CD on before I faint with excitement.

Well, the first song’s nothing special. Coming from anyone else it would be fine, but something of a disappointment for a comeback of this scale. Maybe the next song will be better. Hang on, I’ve already got this! It was on that Elefant single from a couple of years ago. Same version and everything. Still, got to love the “I’ll be wearing a check shirt and a denim skirt, and a hairgrip with a cat on it.” bit. Next song, oh crap, I’ve got this too, and I didn’t much like it the first time. Fourth song is pretty ordinary. Oh dear, what a let down. Like finally meeting “cute girl/loves The Smiths”, and finding out she also loves The Kaiser Chiefs. You’ll overlook it because, deep down, you know she’s special.


Like Dido, only not as pretty.


I’m not entirely sure what you’d call this. It’s certainly crackers, and has a man sort of shouting over rapid, repetitive electronic noise. I imagine I bought it because it was by “Spinmaster Plantpot”.


I bet Ben Lee is really, really nice. His records are so, well, friendly. I like the unashamedly happy ones best, like Catch My Disease, or Gamble Everything for Love. This isn’t quite as sunshiney as those, but it’s still nice to listen to.


In the cover photograph, Joe Meek looks very much like my Dad looks in his wedding photos. Unlike my Dad, Joe Meek didn’t half know a bit about music.

Johnny Remember Me is kind of Spanish sounding, and much better than the Showaddywaddy cover with which I am more familiar, but star of the show here is Telstar. It’s Mrs Thatcher’s favourite record, suggesting she can’t be all bad, and to me it captures something I can’t quite grasp. It’s futuristic, optimistic, bold, and strong. A brief encapsulation of a lost sense of hope and wonder. It’s happy and sad at the same time, and we all know what that means.


Despite the fact it borrows from lots of old things, this sounds, to my ears, very contemporary. All the bright young things I hear these days kind sound of like this, but usually not as good. A bit mad, and all the better for it. The vocals rather remind me of Mclusky. The ‘b’ goes on a bit.


Nothing, so far as I know, to do with the mighty Arco Flute Foundation. It’s confusing, but not so confusing as Junior Varsity/Junior Varsity KM, and certainly not so confusing as The National Trust/The National Trust (neither of which are to be confused with The National Trust - obviously. That would be stupid.) This is a beautiful record though. So calm and cool. Lovely. Lovely. Really.

CD album

Since Dirty Fan Male got all popular and spoiled, we need a new kick, and here it is. It came out a couple of years ago on Rephlex, but I’ve only just picked it up. It’s recordings left for a telephone dating/contact agency and is to Dirty Fan Male as Tennants Super is to Panda Shandy. Without Wisby’s interpretations providing a comfortable buffer, it’s harder to laugh, especially when Colin’s chronic stutter kicks in as he explains his S&M fantasies. I don’t know if the people leaving the messages were tricked or had their confidence betrayed, but I very much hope none of them are Rephlex completists, because none of them come out of this looking too good. Sex is scary. And grim. The horror of the contact magazine in your living room.