Monday, 21 January 2008

Black Mountain

These days, when I need to get a dose of heavy psychedelic stoner wigged out beats, I am minded to reach for these (Vancouver) Canadian cruncher riffers. They are duel fronted by brash but beatific lady bellowing (Amber Webber) who compliments Stephen McBean's lighter melancholic drawl. Their sound has rock solid Sabbath/Purplesque base camp rising towards a fuzzy post rock experimental summit whilst Krautrock,Prog, Neil Young and Hawkwind like condors soar high above the cloud line. In The Future is out this week in the U.K and should peak highly in the charts. High flying birds indeed!


Just a quick nod to this up and coming singer who's getting loads of press and is expected to go stellar in 2008. I thought her first single Hometown Glory was one of the tracks of 2007 and the new single Chasing Pavements is out today in the U.K with the debut album 19 being released next Monday. All I can say is the hype is justified and you will be enthralled by her soulful voice belting out beautifully crafted pop tunes. This is a golden age for British female vocalists in popular music at the moment, it's hard to keep up with all this emerging talent and long may it continue..

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Cmon Get Happy! It's The Partridge Family

By popular demand (well request) we have some top quality cheesy bubblegum pop from the early Seventies. The Partridge Family was an American t.v sitcom about a widowed mum and her five children, designed to be wholesome family entertainment like The Brady Bunch. Think of the Waltons crossed with The Monkees and.. well you get the idea. It ran for nearly 100 episodes and made a teen heart throb star out the main character David Cassidy. I'm sure many girls (and some boys!) had his poster pinned up on their purple flock wallpapered walls and what better to complement this scene than a nice slab of Partridge vinyl to sing along to. Of course, I'm far too young to remember them first time around but I couldn't resist picking up a couple of these records recently. 'The Partridge Family Sound Magazine' surprisingly did make me get happy with an array of catchy tunes which hold up pretty well in the bubblegum genre. It is thought of as probably their best album and is worth a couple of spins when you are in an Abigail's Party mood. The Partridge Family Shopping Bag is less spin worthy however and has the feel of a franchise running out of steam. It promised me a free shopping bag inside on the cover, which must be one of the strangest marketing promos ever, but that has long since gone.. Design wise, the cover really captures the commercial appropriation of sixties psychedelia combined with early seventies shouty colours aesthetic. Alan Partridge mixed with The Manson Family anyone?

Monday, 14 January 2008

The Insect Guide, The Lionheart Brothers, Miracle Fortress

It's name check time for some promising current bands doing the rounds. First up are 'The Lionheart Brothers' who have a breezy, giddy indie bop with a splash of psychedelic pop and are gaining fans in all the right places. A roaring success!

Next come 'Miracle Fortress' from Canada with a chap called Graham Van Pelt being the main driving force behind this catchy, off kilter indie pop. Impregnable beats! (top tipster: Matty Grooves)

'The Insect Guide' are scuttling around in the right direction. Post-rocking, guitars'a'buzzing and slow crawling towards that 'Newgaze' sound that flies from My Bloody Valentine to Low avoiding the sticky jam(ming) on the way.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Belly Dancing Beauties

I chanced upon these delightful ladies partaking in the noble art of belly dancing on my weekend in the fair city of London. These were the pick of the bunch from a fruitful afternoon of chazzer mining and beer drinking. They are straight out of Lebanon from 1975 and are part of a series of 'belly' themed vinyl which now needs to be tracked down (another sub genre to fill in) The Aziza record is conducted by Nicholas Dick (and a fine job of it he does of it as well) and is released on the VOS Voice Of Stars label. The record on the right is on the the 'Voice Of Lebanon' label and proclaims that it is at the 'Farid El Atrache Nightclub' That sounds and looks like it was one hell of a night out for those lucky enough to frequent that establishment in those party times. Any further information on these will be greatly appreciated; the Lebanese belly dancing revival starts here..!

Friday, 4 January 2008

The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles

As a prelude to the latest Chipmunk movie heading your way to matinee performances at the multiplex, I present this vinyl beauty from 1964. On it, Alvin manages to massacre most of the early back catalogue of The Fab Four with a little help from his furry, buck toothed chums. It's a great cover though and really captures that bubblegum kid's pop culture of that era.. nutty stuff indeed. A big shout out of of sympathy for any parents out there who have to endure sitting through the cinematic version of these furry vermin.

Make Model

Make Model are a new band that have been making considerable waves in the biz in 2007 and are set to continue their progress in 2008 with their captivating sound. It reminds me of The Beta Band doing a Deacon Blue vibe, which is apt as they come from Raintown as well, with a flicker of the Arcade Fire smouldering in the mix: all good ingredients. They're on tour in Jan/Feb 2008 so catch'em strut their stuff on a catwalk near you and enjoy.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Bobbie Gentry

Happy New Year and may 2008 be full of lovely fresh musical delights. One of my last finds of 2007 was 60's/70's singer Bobbie Gentry. For some reason I had never bothered to investigate her back catalogue before.. perhaps I assumed that she was too middle of the road. However, I picked up 'Way Down South' on Music For Pleasure which seems to be the U.K release of her second album 'The Delta Sweete' and what a little belter it was to. She possesses a dusky voice that can knock out a southern delta stomp with aplomb. This is earthy country music in the best sense of the genre and despite the dodgy production values of my copy (it sounds like it's been mastered off an 8track player (( kids ask yer grandparents)) the quality still shines through. Now I just need to track down the rest of her recording career and I'll be sorted..