Doing it for the Kids 08
We mentioned this release in passing a few weeks back and must admit to being rather honoured in getting a physical copy of this exhaustive and highly engaging 3 CD collection given that physical copies are scarce in supply with many copies coming allocated with a number and up for auction.
Of course named after the classic compilation of the same name put out by Creation records (is it really 20 years old) – a release that heralded the arrival into homes the thrills and wares of House of Love, My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream. Marketed as a cheapo ‘cost’ only CD compilation (and incidentally one of the first CD’s purchased by yours truly – I was still at this stage stubbornly refusing to be sucked into the CD buying market) very much nodding in spirit to Cherry Red’s legendary ‘Pillows and Prayers’ set from a few years earlier.
Rather than merely being some celebratory nod to Creation’s classic collection there is a more pressing and serious side to ‘Doing it for the Kids ‘08. The project is in some small way and thank you to all the staff at the Yorkhill Childrens Foundation for their tireless dedication in the treatment of sick youngsters. Prompted by his own daughter succumbing to a severe and life threatening heart condition (we’re happy to say Tallie Belle is now thankfully on the mend) Sandy Fyfe (whose band Greenheart’ incidentally feature amid these grooves) wanted to show his gratitude for the Yorkhill NHS Trust who had treated his daughter and put her back on the road to recovery as well as raising awareness to the importance of the primary and often overlooked aim of the hospice in providing essential child and family facilities (i.e. available beds for parents to stay over in order to be with their children).
With all proceeds going to the Yorkhill Childrens Foundation (in Glasgow) this three CD set features 66 tracks (of which over a third are previously unreleased) from some of the finest acts currently operating on the underground scene. As said there are a limited issue of physical copies available as well as 266 individually numbered copies which will during the course of the next few weeks be made available via an auction – each of these numbered copies will correspond with a ‘bed and ward’ number (basically you’re adopting a bed) with the winners name being noted on the dedicated ‘doing it for the kids’ website. In addition to that you can also download the compilation for a paltry £6.49 which all being well in the mathematics department works out at each track costing less than 10p a throw.
So what do you get in return for your donation – well the CD version comes complete with a 16 page credits booklet featuring some wonderfully crafted artwork (sadly we can’t give a credit as we can’t find out who the artist is). Each of the CD’s has what we assume is a title to reflect the three stages of the heartache to recovery process – ’hope’, ’health’ and ’happiness’ – from therein there’s a feast of over three hours of sounds, some artists you may have previously heard of (some have featured in these very pages – Roddy Hart, David Ford, Popup, Kelman, New Royal Family, Ed Harcourt, Luxemburg and Slow Down Tallahassee to name just half dozen or so) and some not and without wishing to give the same kind of flannel that you see attributed to these type of sets – there really is inside something catering for all tastes. However what should be applauded from the roof tops is this compilations sneak peak offering of an abundance of talent just waiting to be unearthed, treasured and loved as well as its opening up of a world of indie / DIY labels we never knew existed – labels that we will be investigating the wares of in the very near future – imprints such as Cloudberry and Neon Tetra and all the related communities of imprints that we spied in our brief research who deserve a greater exposure for their tireless support and nurture of largely ignored underground talent.
Of course we’d love to give an individual mention to each and all but time and space restraints make it unfeasible so instead we’ll do our best to cherry pick the main events. Sometimes I do think we spoil you.
Circling similar territories as was once the remit of both the Beachwood Sparks and the Summer Hymns, Southpaw usher in the alarmingly gorgeous ’wearing pink’ – a tasty slice of drifting countrified lilts ghostly tweaked by the honeycombed hubris of west coast motifs. Miyagi’s dirty little monkey’ on the other hand is a festooned carnival of hijinxing harmonicas, crooked time signatures and inebriated accents that lazily mooch about as though having had their DNA cross matched with elements of John Lurie (’get shorty’) and Mungo Jerry’s ’in the summertime’ – well tasty stuff. Those of you kept awake at night wondering what a set up featuring the collected talents of the McCarthy’s with a hoodwinked Louden Wainwright III fronting – worry no more because ’I should’ve guessed’ by the Wynntown Marshalls gives you more than enough scope for the imagination with its deliciously demurring honky tonk wholesomeness. Elsewhere Lynnie Carson’s ’september’s coming’ aside being breathlessly seductive manages to shimmy between the smouldering mid career maturity of the Bangles while simultaneously sounding like a secret track from Jeff Wayne’s ’war of the worlds’ double disc epic. As to ’the long winter to come’ by the Euro Trash Girl lets just say there’s more than enough here of 60’s styled girl beat pop to keep the most casual admirer of the Go Go’s and Strawberry Switchblade satiated while Kim Edgar serves up ’climber’ – a softly beguiling forest cut slice of sweetly caressed folk that trades punches with both Rickie Lee Jones and Karen Dalton. Those of you with a hankering for all things hazy and glazed should tune into the Deserters ’a distant tale’ – all subtle kaleidoscopic intonations smoked with a southern breeze lilt a la the Band.
Ray whose album ‘death in fiction’ much loved here though strangely having gone AWOL of late (a review will be forthcoming once we’ve tracked down the blighter) stump up the hulking and stratospheric Chameleons like throbbing love strut ‘great strange dream’. Last spotted in these very pages with their bollock dropping split with Keith TOTP for the much admired Filthy Little Angels imprint, New Royal Family step up to the plate with ’tortoise’ – a daft, disarming and delicious slice of goof pop that imagines Howard Devoto fronting a seriously chilled Cardiacs – be warned kids a whole full lengths is rumoured to be looming in the shape of ’the new royal family’s greatest hits’. Hailing from somewhere in the south west England vicinity, Westfield Mining Disaster have somehow managed to repel our normally acute radar with a by all accounts flurry of recording activity via the likes of Cloudberry, Series 2, (the excellently named) Closet Trekkie and the international lo-fi underground imprints – ’Judy Greer’ is a breezily fetching slice of jangling C-86 styled sugar pop that to these ears sounds not unlike a match made in twee pop heaven between the 14 Iced Bears and the Orchids. Which in turn neatly brings us to the Orchids themselves – seamless stuff eh? – who appear here with a re-cut version of ‘another Saturday night’ from last years ‘good to be a stranger’ set.
Charlie Big Time again another ensemble previously unknown to us serve up the absolutely gem like ’love is a franchise’ – imagine a sunny dispositional Moz shimmying with butter kissed glee across Marr’s tenderly woven spangled overtures on the Smiths debut full length while delicately nibbling away at Pat Benatar’s ’love is a battlefield‘. culled from their much loved debut full length ’the beautiful light’ Slow Down Tallahassee stump up the sumptuous ’Tallahassee Bop’ a gorgeously festooned floorshow of 50’s styled ice cream parlours, drive ins and sun kissed Blondie moments. ‘love triangle’ is next up from Popup another mighty fine ensemble much admired here they also feature on an compilation cover mount given away with the latest issue of Artrocker as well as a pretty nifty single for Art Goes Pop which this track happens to be – we’ll leave a full appraisal for a forthcoming singled out – just a wee word though – this babe literally punches holes in the speakers – frankly their strongest cut to date. French paisley popsters My Raining Stars are yet another band who’ve somehow ducked beneath our hi fi’s affections so far – ’riding for a fall’ is a pristine slice of effervescent feel good shimmer pop lushly bathed with a curdling after glow that was much the forte of the missing in action Clock Strikes Thirteen and yet decorated in the bespoke 60’s styled grandeur of Camera Obscura – need we say more? While let’s just say the Wild house’s ‘Whacker’ has an air of lilting countrified sweetness as though the Go Between’s had been overdosing on Free Design. As to Kelman – what can we say – we are still blown away by the mellowing melancholic elegance of their second full length ‘I felt my sad heart soar’ which we happily have an advance of and which we suggest all good homes should invest in a copy of , ‘Commercial Road’ of course is no stranger around these parts given that we mentioned it in passing via Singled Out missive 159 and reveals the bands stately song craft and majesty blossoming and maturing to a new found level of elegant artistry that places them side by side by side with the Tindersticks and the Go Betweens – surely greatness awaits. Crumb used to be Hey Paulette in a previous life – for that frankly need we say more – well yes – ’follow me home’ is a bitching brew of kick arse smouldering off centred power pop much the one time aegis of a certain Teenage Fan club / BMX Bandits – now we’ve said our bit. Continuing with the TFC sound bites the Daisy Park’s ’Julie’ we must admit sounds like a ringer for the pre Velvet Crush work of Choo Choo Train – all summer kissed buzz sawing breeze pop while it seems that Glasgow’s quartet the Ronelles certainly deserve further investigation if their hi-fi humping ’don’t leave me hangin’ is any thing to judge by – think of a blistering fun packed bluesed out pub rock sorte featuring the combined talents of the Blockheads, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Feelgoods and then some more. Next up Stones throw – there’s a free to download EP ’Slowly breaking through’ available via their my space site which we suspect you really ought to investigate and rip as your own, for now though ’don’t look down’ is all at once a monolithic mood arranging sounds cape parched with a sumptuous loud / quiet dynamic that erupts from a lo-fi focus into a gloriously vibrant cinematic whirlpool – both turbulent and beautifully bruised its uncoiling tension recalls Radiohead hooked up with Mansun’s mindset doing panoramic Beatles montages.
‘where to begin’ by the Garage Flowers after a few false starts wherein it manages to pass into a hybrid library / ambient routine soon shapes up into a psychedelicised Booker T and the MG’s albeit twiddled by a Donovan obsessed Butthole Surfers. De Rosa – we’re not so sure about this but we suspect named loosely in honour of the Pixies finest hour (like er ’Surfer Rosa’ durr) if not well bugger us if ’Ore’ doesn’t come whiffing of Black Francis and Co – damn fine stuff. Lo-fi lysergic pop of the highest order – ’my ice queen’ by David Westlake certainly imparts moments of a ghostly supernatural chill before the guitars kick in and everything goes – shall we say – a little fringe swept and weirdly off centre – lovers of Sunray will dig. Another previously unknown ensemble to us and a hitherto previously unreleased cut to boot from Mitchell Museum reveals via ’extra lifes’ an affectionate nod towards all things Animal Collective / Panda Bear – a crookedly skewiff tangy slice of west coast pop that has the alluring effect of coming across like a jumbled jubilant jamboree of sorts that admirers of early career Mercury Rev would do well to take note of. Those among you up for a spot of lulling shade wearing dream pop ought to hook up to the JMC meets early career Ride buzz sawing babe ’the saltire’ from Stroszek – very late 80’s Creation. To be filed under frail, fragile and deceptively demurring is the gospel glazed ’dark country’ by Dead Cowboys – heartbreaking, minimal almost spiritual in texture and delivery and best described as a summit meeting between Spiritualized, Low and Procol Harum overseen by Decoration. We here still swoon at the sound of Ooberman’s glorious ’running girl’ set on the rare occasion it pops into view on our turntable, seems Snowy might do to given that ’a life on the tiles’ is cut and finitely carved in the same enchanting eeriness to be sumptuously braided in longing arcs of tenderly mysterious symphonic elegance – more please. Mellow Drunk – who we swear we’ve featured before – ho hum maybe not – do a neat like in unworldly ghostly apparitions of 60’s styled shimmer pop – well at least that’s what ‘there for you’ sounds like – brass florets, soft psyche dialects – if we didn’t know any better we’d swear it was Morricone holed up with the Autumn Leaves with Arthur Lee supervising the event. Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club – where do they get these names from we wonder – ‘true friends’ is a bit of a strange cutie – a dream like overture of flickering and fluttering softly lilting pepper corned motifs that to these ears at least sounds like its stepped from some willowy 50’s styled beauty school teen flick.
‘Doing it for the Kids ‘08’ probably won’t change your life (other than perhaps giving your musical appreciation a bit of a much needed overhaul) however it will change the lives and fortunes of the patrons and staff of the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation. Invest in today.
Further information via –
Key tracks –
Charlie Big Time ‘love is a franchise’
My Raining Stars ‘riding for a fall’
Kelman ‘commercial road’
Stones throw ‘don’t look down’
Mitchell museum ‘extra lifes’
Dead cowboys ‘dark country’
Snowy ‘a life on the tiles’
Lynnie Carson ‘September’s coming’
Southpaw ‘wearing pink’
Further reading –
Additional resources – a radio 2 special focusing on the Creation label can be accessed by going to –
first transmitted – July 2008