Happy America, people! This week's mix features mostly foreigners, or as some senators cal them, enemies. Not me, I'm all about uniting the world through jangly guitar music. For this mix, at least. Cover art this week is by Jack "Skippy" McFadden, former talent booker for Union Hall and The Bell House who has now landed at The Rock Shop which has it's first show next week. If I knew anything about the music that's gonna be on this Altered Zones website ("Drone Step"? Really? That's a thing?) this could be cover art, though the title would've been scratched into the Polaroid with a safety pin instead of the fine photoshopping you see above. What am I on about? No idea. Here's the mix:
- The Chills – Double Summer
- The Silver Seas – What's the Drawback?
- Nick Drake – Hazey Jane II
- Richard James – When You See Me (In The Pouring Rain)
- Teenage Fanclub – Ain't That Enough
- Family Trees – Dream Talkin'
- Dusty Springfield – Magic Garden
- Tame Impala – Solitude is Bliss
- The Lionheart Brothers – Bring it Down
- Best Coast – Boyfriend
- Badly Drawn Boy – Everybody's Stalking
- Gold-Bears – Tally
- The Rough Bunnies – I Say Goodbye
- A House – Love Quarry
- The Vaselines – I Hate the '80s
- The Meligrove Band – Halflight
- The Kinks – Driving
- That Petrol Emotion – The Deadbeat
- MINKS – Funeral Song
- Frankie Rose & the Outs – Little Brown Haired Girl
Please listen to this in it's proper running order. Putting this on shuffle would be UNAMERICAN. Liner notes after the jump.
The Chills – Double Summer
Opening track also come courtesy Skippy, but I approve. From the Chills last "proper" album, Soft Bomb, and it's a bit of a mess/disappointment but there are some gems on here and this is one of them.
The Silver Seas – What's the Drawback?
We finally got a new album out of Nashville's Silver Seas and it's another ace set of '70s-ish AM pop. Even without the lyric referencing ELO, Jeff Lynne's influence is all over this one.
Nick Drake – Hazey Jane II
One of Drake most upbeat songs, from his second album Bryter Layter. Featherlight and beautiful…how much did Stuart Murdoch steal from this one song for all of Belle & Sebastian?
Richard James – When You See Me (In The Pouring Rain)
No, not the Aphex Twin guy. This Richard James was in Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and has just released his first solo album, and if you were a fan of his old band you're gonna like this too. The rest of the record is more folky than this but just as good.
Teenage Fanclub – Ain't That Enough
From what I think is the Fannies' best album, 1997's Songs from Northern Britain. It's a Gerard number, of course, he writes the best songs of the band — though Norman and Raymond are no slouches either. These guys have a new album which is real good too, but I went with a classic.
Family Trees – Dream Talkin'
New band from Brooklyn and this is the A-side to their just-released debut 7". Nearly all their songs, not that they have a ton, mention the beach or summer or the sun and they've got an old school surfrock vibe to them, albeit the mellow side. I love the chord change in the "ooh wee ooh" chorus.
Dusty Springfield – Magic Garden
The great Jimmy Webb wrote this song that was originally recorded by The 5th Dimension but I actually like Dusty's version better. Something about it pulls my heartstrings every time. It's got a really crappy fade-out at the end, though, so I made my own edit.
Tame Impala – Solitude is Bliss
Whoa somebody put something in the punch. This mix just took a technicolor turn with Australia's trippy Tame Impala.
The Lionheart Brothers – Bring it Down
Tame Impala make me think of Norway's Lionheart Brothers who share a love of big rhythms and psychedelics. From their overlooked 2006 album Dizzy Kiss. Anyone know — are these guys still together?
Best Coast – Boyfriend
Owner of Snacks, the world's most famous indie rock cat, Bethany Cosentino also plays in a rock band called Best Coast. Did you know that? She wishes she had a boyfriend. Pretty sure that problem is solved now. BC's debut album is out July 27.
Badly Drawn Boy – Everybody's Stalking
It's amazing how good BDB's debut is and how mediocre everything that followed was. But we'll always have Hour of the Bewilderbeast which contains this classic creepy lyric'd track.
Gold-Bears – Tally
I'm a sucker for the slightly sloppy jangle and Gold-Bears are in firm (meaning loose) control of this, the A-side to their new single on Magic Marker. They've got a way with melody too, a little bit in the Pains of Being Pure at Heart school of anthemic choruses. They played NYC for Popfest, let's hope they come back soon. They're from Atlanta, a town with way too many lame garage rock bands and not enough of this stuff.
The Rough Bunnies – I Say Goodbye
Incredible indiepop band from the early '00s that not enough people heard at the time. You missed 'em. Most of us did. But their tunes live on, and the band have made their entire catalog available to download for free — which you should do right now. This might actually be the band they had before RBs, called Inside Riot. I'm a bit confused. Fine Arts Showcase do a great version of this song on their album Sings the Rough Bunnies.
A House – Love Quarry
Irish band who never got much attention in the US, this is from their debut, On Our Big Fat Merry-Go-Round which I still listen to fairly often for a 22-year-old obscurity. Singer David Couse's voice was always just this side of unhinged.
The Vaselines – I Hate the '80s
This first taste of the new Vaselines album — the first in 20 years — is like they never left. The '80s were shit, it's true, despite all these chillwave bands having nostalgia for a decade they were barely alive for. Glad Eugene and Frances are here to set the record straight. If I'd been really clever, I coulda followed this up with Denim's thematically similar "I'm Against the '80s" but instead, we go with…
The Meligrove Band – Halflight
…the criminally overlooked Canadians The Meligrove Band. Their last album, Planets Conspire, came out four years ago and had a real '70s feel to it. But by the sounds of "Halflight" which is from their upcoming Shimmering Lights they've been listening to Wolf Parade in the interim. Also: more whistling.
The Kinks – Driving
I could probably put a Kinks song on every mix. This is from 1969's Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) which was originally supposed to be the soundtrack to a television movie that never happened. Instead we get this concept album about a man who moves his family to Australia which doesn't turn out to be the paradise he'd hoped. But you don't need to know all that to enjoy this summery single from it.
That Petrol Emotion – The Deadbeat
This is the b-side to "It's a Good Thing" which graced Summer Fridays #09 two years ago. This early era of TPE is my favorite, before they discovered dance music or turned into slick anthemic rockers. Not that either of those were bad, but I love them here, the traces of the Undertones still lingering.
MINKS – Funeral Song
I wonder if Captured Tracks offers free use of tremolo and chorus-y vocal effects for all it's bands. It's on those early Beach Fossils records, and Blank Dogs and Mayfair Set releases and you can hear it on this MINKS track. Same with Beach Fossils, I'm not sure it needs it — this is such a catchy little song — and they don't use it live. But it doesn't hurt it either. We'll see what the next release brings.
Frankie Rose & the Outs – Little Brown Haired Girl
After years making other bands better with propulsive drumming, Frankie Rose is stepping into the spotlight finally with her own band, whose debut is out in September and which this track is from. This song only has one lyric line (maybe two?) but it's all about the velocity and those great harmonies. It sounds like flying.