I know, I know. It's past Labor Day and maybe some of you think these mixes are as over as white shoes. Summer Fridays, in the office sense, are definitely over. But technically the season goes till September 21 so I'm gonna do these for two more weeks. Clearly I'm running out of stuff as this week features some Repeat Offenders. That's a bonehead name but I'm all for recidivism. And when a new Fresh & Onlys album gets handed to me, how can I say no?
Cover art this week is courtesy Alan Hevelone who has saved you all from seeing another of my creations. I probably wouldn't have been able to resist using a picture of a dude in a rainbow wig at a football game.
- Abe Vigoda – Dream of My Love Chasing After You
- Coin Under Tongue – Beyond Yes
- House of Love – The Hedonist
- Crocodiles – Mirror
- The Stone Roses – Waterfall
- Procedure Club – Rather
- The Intelligence – The Beetles
- X-Ray Spex – Germ-Free Adolescents
- Violens – It Couldn't Be Perceived
- The Fresh & Onlys – Fascinated
- The Smiths – The Headmaster Ritual
- Brian Eno – The True Wheel
- Furniture – Your Brilliant Mind
- Laetitia Sadier – Un Soir, Un Chien
- Automelodi – Rose A.D.
- Grand National – Talk Amongst Yourselves
Not even gonna say the thing I normally say here. Do what you will. Next week's it, though it'll probably be a double. Liner notes after the jump.
Abe Vigoda – Dream of My Love Chasing After You
Who'd have thought, just a few years ago, that Abe Vigoda would turn out to be the most interesting of the late-'00s L.A. noise scene? These guys seemed to tire of it almost immediately, with much higher aspirations. After dabbling in electro-tropical sounds on last year's Reviver, the band have gone all moody '80s synthy for their fantastic new platter, Crush. (Shades of OMD?) Some of this album woulda sounded at home in a John Hughes movie. And some of it makes me think Abe Vigoda have been listening to The Horrors.
Coin Under Tongue – Beyond Yes
Like Abe Vigoda, Brooklyn's Coin Under Tounge have been going through some ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Which is not to imply they now sound like Bowie, because that would be genuinely crazy. No, CoT used to be pile-driving rock, all screaming and cheap trucker's speed. Working in close proximity to A Place to Bury Strangers has rubbed off (Oliver Ackerman produced), or they're letting guitarist George Wilson (formerly of Dirty on Purpose) write songs too, or they bought a Chameleons LP. Because while the band's new album, Reception, is still pedal-to-the-metal rock, the post punk influence is undeniable. Check out this track, and then download the whole album FOR FREE.
House of Love – The Hedonist
The album this song came from — the one with the butterfly on the cover — is 20 years old which kind of blows my mind. It still sounds great, thanks to Guy Vickers' killer songs (and voice) and guitarist Terry Bickers' creative playing. "The Hedonist," which was an early b-side, is your basic blues structure but they really elevate it here into a moody little masterpiece. The whole record's a full-on classic. Out of print, but easily gettable for cheap.
Crocodiles – Mirrors
I wouldn't exactly say that these San Diegans have grown leaps and bounds on their second album, Sleep Forever. It's still an amalgam of Spacemen 3 and JAMC, but they're getting better at it. And when it's done right, like on the LP's opening track "Mirrors," it just sounds fantastic.
The Stone Roses – Waterfall
My favorite song on the Stone Roses stone-cold-classic debut LP. I mean, what can you say at this point that Q and Mojo haven't already? Dig the backwards guitar, man!
Procedure Club – Rather
Rhode Island noiseniks Procedure Club released an album on Slumberland this summer, which this is from, and it didn't really get much notice but if you like that Black Tambourine/Henry's Dress sound you should definitely dig in. This is one of the more obviously poppy tracks.
The Intelligence – The Beetles
Couldn't help but double dip into the fantastic new Intelligence album which you should totally get on vinyl because it just sounds amazing. This is probably the best song on the album, which you may already own in low-fi form from that World's Lousy with Ideas compilation (which I picked up during Record Store Day 2009). This version is better. The Intelligence clean up nice.
X-Ray Spex – Germ-Free Adolescents
I'll tell ya, the bleating saxophone that is all over Germ Free Adolescents kind of ruins the album for me, as far as wanting listen to it as a whole, but I will never ever never tire of the title track. And I love the sax on it too.
Violens – It Couldn't Be Perceived
I was beginning to think Violens were never going to release an album but here we are with Amoral which for some dumb reason comes out in two weeks in the UK but not till November here in the States. Isn't that just asking for people to download it illegally? Anyway, it's pretty damn good, full of dreamy atmospherics and refreshingly hi-fi production. It just sounds good, y'know?
The Fresh & Onlys – Fascinated
Speaking of sounding good, here's something from The Fresh & Onlys' new album, Play it Strange, which was not recorded on a cassette tape but in a real studio — probably still in analog — with expensive mikes and everything. To be honest, I was expecting it to be more polished than it is, but mid-fi suits them fine. They are a pop band at heart, no need to be hiding these gems under swampy sonics. Yes, they were just on last week's mix but I couldn't resist when I got the new LP. I really do love these guys.
The Smiths – The Headmaster Ritual
Do you understand the restraint I show by not putting a Smiths song on every damn one of these mixes? Sometimes I forget how much I love the Smiths, but then I hear a song or I go see a Smiths tribute band and I instantly revert into fan mode. Meat is Murder was the first Smiths album I owned, so I guess this was the first Smiths song I heard. Hooked instantly. This song kind of has it all: the killer Johnny Marr hooks, basslines that never stop moving, a solid beat, and some of my favorite Moz lines ever, plus light yodeling.
Brian Eno – True Wheel
I've never put a solo Eno track on a Summer Fridays mix which is pretty shocking. So here you go. This is from his second album, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). Eno didn't release any singles from this, but if he had "The True Wheel" probably would've been it. A Certain Ration nicked their name from this song. Ding ding!
Furniture – Your Brilliant Mind
This song couldn't be any more 1986 if it tried. Melodramatic vocals, arch lyrics, saxophone, bombastic production… what's not to like? One of the great lost singles from the New Pop era.
Laetitia Sadier – Un Soir, Un Chien
I really wasn't expecting former Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier to go alt-country on her solo debut. And thankfully she hasn't. While it doesn't sound exactly like her old band, you're also not gonna be shocked with what you get. It's good. I think this is maybe my favorite track, a cover of French new wave band Les Rita Mitsouko's "Un Soir, Un Chien" which you may remember from Godard's Soigne Ta Droite!
Automelodi – Rose A.D.
I don't think that many people downloaded the mostly-in-French Summer Fridays 3.7 which is a shame as it's one of my favorites. Don't let it scare you. So here's another track from Montreal's Automelodi whose self-titled debut is one of my favorites of the year. If you like Gary Numan, all records on the Mute label before 1985 and Urgh! A Music War then you'll dig this.
Grand National – Talk Amongst Yourselves
I really liked Grand National's first album, Kicking the National Habit. Then I saw them live and their unironic cheesiness (mesh shirt, Ibiza-loving type) pretty much ruined it for me. Just horrible. But dang it, their early singles still sound good. Just gotta pretend I don't know what they look like or act like onstage.