After a stunning run of great cover art from actual, talented people we're back to questionable work by Yours Truly. And yes, I resorted to Poladroid but I thought the seedy nature of this tableau needed it. This weird, every-shifting diorama exists in the empty lot at the end of my block and many Williamsburg residents may recognize it. Gorilla knows that even while working at his desk, there's time for partying. Or at least a little guitar. But don't overdo it like Venom, or else the cow will be annoyed. Words to live by. Other words to live by: No shuffling. Here's this week's tracklist:
- Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Time of the Season
- Paul McCartney & Wings – Mrs. Vanderbilt
- The Dandy Warhols – The Coffee and Tea Wrecks
- Pleasure w/Ed Harcourt – From the Country to the City
- Everything Everything – Schoolin'
- The Coral – 1000 Years
- Weed Hounds – Skating Away from the Cops
- Pale Saints – Ordeal
- Tamaryn – Love Fade
- The Chameleons – Up the Down Escalator
- Girls Names – Running Scared
- Woven Bones – I've Gotta Get
- The Young Fresh Fellows – Young Fresh Fellows Theme
- Wild Nothing – Our Composition Book
- Baby Bird – A Cool and Crazy Thing
- Twin Shadow – I Can't Wait
- The Supremes – Dr. Goldfoot & the Bikini Machine
- Suede – He is Dead
Another not-so-thematically-cohesive mix but I like all the songs. Liner notes after the jump.
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Time of the Season
Nancy and Lee, Serge and Jane, Dean and Britta…the allure of male/female duos is evergreen and this former Screaming Tree and onetime Belle & Sebastian singer fit nicely on this shelf. This is the third album Campbell and Lanegan have made together and they follow Nancy & Lee's dusty formula pretty closely, but it works.
Paul McCartney & Wings – Mrs. Vanderbilt
Paul McCartney's post-Beatles career doesn't get much attention these days, but Wings were huge in the '70s and — "Mull of Kintyre" aside — made some pretty amazing pop music. Band on the Run is the best thing they ever did (mostly recorded on an 8-track in Nigeria!) and holds up today. Sax solo aside, this is one of the LP's lesser-known gems.
The Dandy Warhols – The Coffee and Tea Wrecks
While their last couple records were duds, The Dandy Warhols have made a lot of great music over the years — even the dumb giant pop stuff. This is from the band's 1995 debut which is them at their druggiest, but the Dandy's had pop hooks from day one. There's a Bats/3d's vibe to this and features one of their many bad pun titles.
Pleasure w/Ed Harcourt – From the Country to the City
Norwegian fellow Ed Ball makes music under the Pleasure moniker, usually with other people singing. You could primarily call his output dance music, but the best songs on his two albums to date are the slow, glittery ones. This might be the best song Ed Harcourt has ever sung.
Everything Everything – Schoolin'
From Sunderland, UK which is home to Futureheads, Field Music and Frankie & the Heartstrings. Bands are a little different up there, and Everything Everything are too — a little funk, a little prog, a little rapid falsetto singing, a little cribbed from the PC Richards jingle. Weird and catchy, a little bit of of everything.
The Coral – 1000 Years
This is the second track from The Coral's new album to make it onto a Summer Fridays mix. Jettisoning some of affected sea chanty-isms, Butterfly House is the best thing they've done since their debut. Producer John Leckie is a master and getting this paisley vibe on tape, especially when the songs are as good as this.
Weed Hounds – Skating Away from the Cops
I listen to lots of music but sometimes can be close-minded. I've been aware of Weed Hounds existence for some time now but never listened due to their name. I figured it was either sludgy stoner rock or bliss-out non-music. But then my friend Toby pointed out it kind of sounded like the Pale Saints which immediately made me listen. Poppy shoegaze (a bit like Velocity Girl too)…who would've thought? Pot-themed names are still a deterrent, though.
Pale Saints – Ordeal
I've put a Pale Saints song on a Summer Fridays mix every year and have had "Ordeal" (from 1992's great In Ribbons) in the reserves for some time but this two song section is definitely a tip of the hat to Toby. I didn't actually intend to make it so obvious but Weed Hounds slow distorted fade was a perfect intro to Pale Saints' slow build start. Had to go here.
Tamaryn – Love Fade
Dreamy, beautiful stuff that may remind you of 4AD's late-'80s output. Following well-received singles on Hell Yes! and True Panther, this San Franciscan will release her full-length debut via Mexican Summer on September 14.
The Chameleons – Up the Down Escalator
I saw the Chameleons' Mark Burgess perform twice this week and it reminded me how big a fan I am and how much of an influence their music has had. The band are often saddled with the "goth" tag but I never really associated them with that. Their music soars are much as it goes dark and deep. Both Script of the Bridge (which this is from) and What Does Anything Mean? Basically? have just been given great double-CD reissues. If you're unfamiliar, you should definitely pick these up.
Girls Names – Running Scared
Girls Names are from Belfast, Ireland and list Orange Juice, The Fall, Black Tambourine and Felt as influences. (They even have a song called "Lawrence" to drive home the latter.) Which is to say they kind of sound like Crystal Stilts. (Speaking of, where'd you guys go?) This is from an EP, Tough Love, that's now sold out but you can still get it digitally at Emusic. They've also got a 12" out on Captured Tracks too, natch.
Woven Bones – I've Gotta Get
Freshly signed to Hardly Art, this single is Woven Bones first for that label and easily trumps anything from their recently-released album on Hozac. Where that LP was a fine exercise in sound and style, "I've Gotta Get" is an actual catchy song. Looking forward to more of them.
The Young Fresh Fellows – Young Fresh Fellows Theme
Sorry all others, the Young Fresh Fellows are the definitive Seattle band and had perfected the slacker vibe long before the '90s. Here's the YFF ethos defined in song: "We're not out to make a great big splash, but we wouldn't mind a record or a little hard cash."
Wild Nothing – Our Composition Book
I love Wild Nothing's debut album, but their songs don't lend themselves to these mixes where I try to keep things tight and moving along. "Chinatown" has almost been on every mix this summer but that mellotron into/outro stymies me every time. So here's the bouncy "Our Composition Book," which has a fade-in into that is also not ideal but works here.
Baby Bird – A Cool and Crazy Thing
Stephen Jones recorded a zillion songs on four-track in the early '90s and then put out the best 125 or so on five CDs over the course of 95'-'96. The poppiest songs from those ended up being rerecorded for Babybird's major label debut, Ugly Beautiful, which tried to re-brand Jones as being kinda normal. But this seems more the real Jones, from my favorite of those first five records, Fatherhood. Dig the creepy, funny, paranoid vibe on this song about joyriding and vandalism.
Twin Shadow – I Can't Wait
Looking like a modern day Phil Lynott, George Lewis Jr makes pigeonhole-defying music. (Though he does clearly love The 80s") Let's just call it good. His debut is out soon on Terrible Records, the label run by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor.
The Supremes – Dr. Goldfoot & the Bikini Machine
This song totally does not fit on this mix, but I've been itching to put it on one of these since digging it out of the internet to play when I DJ'd before Golden Triangle's set at the Seaport last month. If you've never seen the movie this is from, it's pure '60s kitsch from the fine folks at American International Pictures who never let a fad get past them. Beach Party meets James Bond. A big influence on Austin Powers. And it's the Supremes!
Suede – He is Dead
Tipped by the UK music press as the Next Smiths, Suede never quite reached that status but they came close in a lot of ways, especially early on when Bernard Butler was still in the band. The comparison was appropriate especially in the way they ofter put out their best songs as b-sides. Here's an example.