Category Archives: Alternative

Ride – Future Love (2019)

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I watched Ride in my hometown Kingston-upon-Thames last night. I enjoyed this number off their new album This Is Not A Safe Place. In ‘Future Love’, they have been able to mix their guitars with a harmony to create something that wouldn’t be too offside from the recent output of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. A group reformed and reconstituted.

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Pavement – Cut Your Hair (1994)

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Well I lost a day to the cricket yesterday; or more precisely to the rain. But it’s always great to catch up with old friends… banter and nostalgia. So I’ve woken up this morning and decided there’s still not enough Pavement on this blog. ‘Cut Your Hair’ features on the band’s classic sophomore album Crooked Rain Crooked Rain. I will make up for the lost day this weekend. Have a great day.

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Silver Jews – Random Rules (1998)

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David Berman took his own life last week. He leaves behind a world that is lesser for his departure. The man that coined the phrase “Slanted and Enchanted” had began Silver Jews in the 1989 with friends Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. While the latter pair would go on to form Pavement, Berman’s project never lost their shared interests. Berman’s widest acclaim came with the release of the 1998 album American Water. Its opening track ‘Random Rules’ reminds me of Pavement’s ‘Range Life’. In fact, Malkmus had participated in the making of the early Silver Jews albums as a side project. But all the songs were masterfully written by Berman, even if a lot of what he said was “lifted off men’s room walls”. Last month, Berman released his first work in over a decade since the dissolution of Silver Jews. The self-titled LP by Purple Mountains is his epitaph. RIP DB.

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Iggy Pop – China Girl (1977)

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By 1976, the Stooges were history and Iggy had been on a downward spiral, including some self-induced time in an asylum. Longtime confidant, David Bowie stepped in to help him out. The two of them wrote some new material and produced The Idiot. It was far removed from the proto-punk of the Stooges, but it was new, different and full of promise. Take ‘China Girl’… underrated at the time, it was always destined for greater things.

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Devendra Banhart – Kantori Ongaku (2019)

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First single from Devendra Banhart’s new LP Ma is ‘Kantori Ongaku’ (Japanese for country music). Banhart says that it’s a tribute to Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Harry Hosono. Samuelsounds says it sounds like a tribute to Ray Davies. The album is released on Nonesuch Records in September.

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Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness (1992)

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‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ is the haunting, beating heart of one of the most ambitious debut LPs ever recorded. The Manic Street Preachers were already on fire when they released the double album Generation Terrorists… they had been waiting for the record deal that would change everything. Columbia Records signed the Manics, but could not have foreseen the permanent, mysterious disappearance of their guitarist Richey Edwards just three year later.

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Radiohead – Creep (1992)

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Radiohead are no fans of the track that started it all. ‘Creep’ featured on Pablo Honey and put them on the map with its breakthrough in the US. Thom Yorke apparently took to calling the song ‘Crap’ and at one concert in Montreal, he answered a fan’s song request by telling the crowd to “f*ck off, we’re tired of it”.  A nice problem to have.

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Pavement – In The Mouth A Desert (1992)

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“I’ve been crowned the king of it and it’s all that we have/ So, wait to hear my words and they’re diamond sharp/ I can open it up and it’s up and down.” The “king of it” is Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus. 1991 may have belonged to Nirvana, but 1992 was all about Pavement’s debut Slanted And Enchanted, “the quintessential indie rock album” (Rolling Stone) . ‘In The Mouth A Desert’ was the fourth track on Side 1 of the L.P.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1992

A compilation for sunny day in June. 1992 could have been a creative wasteland between what had been (Madchester, shoegazing, grunge) and what was to come (the Wu-Tang, trip hop, Britpop). But no, far from it. For starters, this was the year that Slanted and Enchanted and Selected Ambient Works 85-92 reached our ears.

Pavement – Summer Babe

Aphex Twin – Xtal

Flowered Up – Weekender

Pulp – Babies

R.E.M. – Nightswimming

The Black Crowes – Remedy

Crowded House – Four Seasons In One Day

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Honourable mentions also go to: Sade for ‘No Ordinary Love‘; Derrick May for his Illusion First Mix of ‘Sueño Latino‘; Mel’isa Morgan for ‘Still In Love‘; Coco Steel & Lovebom for ‘Feel It‘, My Bloody Valentine for ‘Only Shallow‘, Sergio Mendes for ‘Fanfarra (Cabua Le-Le)‘, Spiritualized for ‘Shine A Light‘, Kevin Saunderson for his Tunnel Mix of Inner City’s ‘Pennies From Heaven‘, X-Press 2 for ‘Muzik Xpress‘; and The Pharcyde for ‘Passing Me By‘.

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Cuco feat. Jean Carter – Bossa No Sé (2019)

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I short changed my regular subscribers this week. Today a bonus track, tomorrow a “Best of” list. L.A. singer-songwriter Cuco has shared a new song called ‘Bossa No Sé’. It’s an advance single from his forthcoming debut LP Para Mi, to be released on 26 July on Interscope. Alt-soul or bossanova-pop-hip-hop… whatever the label, his story of bad romance is endearing. The duet format with Jean Carter (from L.A. hip-hopsters Your Grandparents) is fun. Have a great weekend.

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Bill Callahan – The Ballad of the Hulk (2019)

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The touching sound of ‘The Ballad of the Hulk’ sees Bill Callahan reflect upon his (lack of) anger management issues. This nostalgia is inspired by the 1970s TV show The Incredible Hulk. While Callahan “used to share a tailor with David Bruce Banner”, he just “never got angry”. The internalisation has brought about some great music. The track features on his new album Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest. Have a great week.

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The White Stripes – My Doorbell (2005)

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Good morning peeps. The classic ‘My Doorbell’ was The White Stripes’ second single from their album Get Behind Me Satan. Enjoy and have a good week.

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Peter Perrett – How The West Was Won (2017)

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I’m not always convinced by YouTube’s algorithmic analysis of my music preferences… but hey, I’ll give them this leftfield signpost. Best known as the frontman of The Only Ones, Peter Perrett released the album How The West Was Won a couple of years back. Its title track popped up this week.

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Crumb – Nina (2019)

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Crumb deliver an intoxicating psych-pop sound. Lila Ramani’s smooth vocals give the Brooklyn four-piece something better – just better. ‘Nina’ is their latest self-released single.

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Kevin Morby – No Halo (2019)

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‘No Halo’ is the lead single off Kevin Morby’s fifth solo album, Oh My God. Brilliant. Lovely touches of sax and flute, many hand claps “and hey, hey, hey/no, no, no halo”.

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