singled out missive 191

Singled Out
Missive CXCI

For Kelly and Mark

Singled Out – a musical bullshit detector.

John Martyn RIP.

Admittedly a very brief missive but a missive all the same. Anyhow less waffle…. – absolutely love this since it veered into our listening orbit following a friend request, the Dirty Shames are a New York based two girl / two boy quartet fronted by the sweetly purring vocal talents of a certain Lisa Lush who we must say drills some well tasty Debbie Harry-esque motifs atop some niftily fuzzed out garage beat boogie which for the best part double takes a pre disco cherished era Blondie (check out ‘you‘re a drag‘) and slips in some neatly wired elements of the Heartbreakers and the Ramones for good measure. Its decadent, dirty and much deserving of being checked out at your earliest convenience and while the three chord glam strut shimmied ’promises’ is the obvious ear gear pick up here we’re much admiring of the spiked and stripped down ’restless youth’ which to these ears tailgates that same raw and threadbare touch applied by a certain Mr Thunders on his ’get off the phone’ era material while ’its probably for the best’ sounds like a bad assed Harry fronting a particularly wired and clearly pissed off Shaggs. Mind you lest we omit to mention the dragster stomp ’too little too late’ – we want their records – and now. – now we don’t mind admitting that this brace of tunes have had us exchanging the odd passing admiring glance across the turntable. The work of Oklahoma duo Gabriel Sacco and Paul Vanzetti who much to our surprise are currently unsigned though that shouldn’t remain the case for very much longer given they’ve been clearly overdosing on all manner Casino vs. Japan grooves and no doubt those all to rare outings put out by the Frank and Wobbly imprint a few years ago. Miss Chevious occupy a strange sound scape prescribed and fluent in the kind of distant dialects found orbiting in what may well pass for some wired and weird mutant disco hybrid of an electro pop species. Indelibly frosted with an austere touch and all at once skewed and schizoid we here are thinking that ‘paranoia at the murder masquerade’ – incidentally clearly the best thing here – is some devilishly dislocated slice of minimalist electro pop curiously teased with off kilter funk palpitations and framed as though it were a hitherto damaged and distressed celestial intermission laid for posterity on an antiquated tape cassette and foolishly left out in the sun to warp and sound like some parallel universe conceived ‘moon safari’ era Air dimpled and derailed by an assortment of visitations from the Normal and Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus and irrefutably and heartily heavy with the essence of early Factory and Fast Product releases. Well smart in our estimation. And just for the record ’dommedag’ isn’t half bad either in a Starfighter Pilot type way. we attribute it to age, stupidity or the weather – perhaps all three all said and done but we swear we’ve featured the work of Ohio based composer Timothy S Klugh in previous missive dispatches. Dedicated to a suite composed and arranged for the Curtain Players production of Richard Nash’s ‘the rainmaker’ this site showcases the work of the entrancing and sublimely spellbinding ‘waiting for the rain’ full length. A breathtaking movement between whose grooves the symphonic symmetry of the divinely colourful free spirited dialects of Debussy are first and foremost brought to the fore, the Brontean cascades and canters sweetly disarm with affectionate grace and untold majesty recalling all at once the softly stirring classicism of Michael Nyman’s score for Greenaway’s ’the draughtsman’s contract’ and the delicately woven allure of Fort Dax’s ’at Bracken’ debut. Without doubt the centrepiece is the nine minute plus opus ’healing rain’ with its uplifting flurries, flighty follies and freewheeling flute opines it mix of tenderness, tragedy and conquest tailgates the yearning beauty of Richard Harvey and Elvis Costello’s arrangement for Bleasedale’s politicised drama ’GBH’ – a truly breathless suite of such longing and yearning which will – guaranteed – bewitch all who hear. While you are there we also suggest you check out ’vast dry plains’ which aside being braided by a loveably lolloping ’Bonanza’ styled western accent is summarily divinely sprinkled with subtle washes of Verdi and Vernon Eliot. Irresistible stuff. – think we are right in saying that Chris their press rep sent along a copy of their forthcoming full length ‘high slang’ for Blang (who kindly sent along the latest release by Milk Kan which due to us being useless, stupid and inept we’ve somehow managed to mislay for the moment – a crack troupe of reconnaissance free fighters have been duly despatched to search and retrieve so expect fond words shortly – at some point in the none to distant future) though right at this moment we are having trouble putting our hand to it, rest assured we’ll track the blighter down in the coming days. Before then there’s the small matter of a download only single to contend with entitled ‘god to holloway’ which by our reckoning could well be the London quintet’s finest moment to date and whether you agree or not there’s no denying that in our gaff this has had us in something of a swoon. Blending a curious pop transfusion that sees subtle washes of 60’s styled soft psyche dialects sumptuously caressed by down tempo / lounge like lilts all brought to bear by a delicious backline of harpsichord treatments (and yes I am open to corrections from person or persons saying it’s a dulcimer) and configured with a crooked and wonky time signature that frankly wouldn’t look to amiss on a Robyn Hitchcock record we here are thinking that this curiously rousing slice of day-glo pop peppered with all manner of lolloping overtures, off kilter shimmies and floral follies may well be right up the street of admirers of the much missed Dawn of the Replicants. Strangely perfect in other words. – one of life’s annoying things is that there just aren’t enough 1965 releases in our gaff, now here I ain’t talking about the actual year but the rather well formed a timelessly trendy imprint of the same name who on the odd occasion when we have nailed items of their ear wear have delighted and indeed turned us on to the joys of Pizzy Yelliott, the Book of Lies and Baxter Dury while also re-directing our radar towards ex Stairs main man Edgar Jones’ latest beat pop combo Free Peace who we did indeed mention in dispatches a missive or so ago wherein if I recall rightly we alerted them to lovers of Hendrix and Zep’s first opus. Anyhow this here site showcases events in the planning for their monthly records, beer and boogie soirees all happily referred to by the cooler and more in tune elements of the vinyl buying underground as ’the windmill of your mind’ – details, dates and happenings all of which you can find signposted here. And as though spoiling you rotten there’s a killer grab bag of top tasty tunes to contend with the Draytones particularly catching the ear and having the toe a tapping wildly with the lip smacking winkle picker wearing Beatles meets the Misunderstood sounds of the ’draytones theme’ though winning over our affections Ace Breasts kick in with some neatly ominous minimalist goth garage groove that to these ears sounds not unlike some witching hour séance conducted by an early incarnation of Sisters of Mercy and a Bryan Gregory era Cramps. – word has been reaching us of the imminent coming of the debut full length platter from that fucking tank who some of you may well recall us going apes hit over in print when their blistered and bent out of shape ’the awesome magnet’ release for On the Bone reared its squalid head on our turntable. Anyhow as said rumour has it there’s a full length due on Gringo – we think – due to cause fist fights in record racks near you sometime in Easter – whenever that is – guessing March time. The lads are currently prepping themselves for an extensive tour of Europe in April you lucky people – expect plenty of friction, festering riffs and gridlocked grooves from the bastard off spring as were of a bunk up between Jesus Lizard, Shellac and the mid 90’s Touch n Go crew – those wondering what the fuss is about will do well to hook yourselves up to the buckled blues grind of ’pumpin’ iron’. – you see young people that’s the way you can guarantee an almost immediate mention in these pages – simply send us a message / comment with a pic nicked from Gerry Anderson’s much loved sci-fi series ‘UFO’ (extra marks go to those who root out photos of Paul Foster’s car, Ms Drake or the moon base dining area – it’s a kitchen thing). Brazil based aural alchemists Le Scopittone did just that, mind you the minor details such as placing us top of their friends and the tunes being tenaciously tasty tail feather tripping jitterbugs kind of helps matters. Of course regular observers of these pages will be all to familiar with the retro sounds of Le Scopittone given we mentioned him in passing via missive 144, preferring to keep his true identity a secret and with that assuming the pseudonym Le Purpurios Octopus he wiles away an intergalactic exile tinkering and taming all manner of tuneful tropicalia five cuts which appear here for your discerning toe tapping delight all previous mentioned with much love in the aforementioned dispatch all except that is the delirious funky bug bitten ‘surfing mind’ which to these ears sounds like a whole heap of wigged out day-glo dippyness that those dudes over at Hammond Beat and Butterfly really ought to be hooking up to while the rest of us get suitably fried and wired from the distractively kooky and smoking late 60’s shapes that this babe cuts. Fans of Scott Bond will adore. Mind ’space judy’ is still proving to be the pick of the set being as it is a head frying arabesque slice of hip shimmying sassiness too much of which will cause your head to dissolve. Very tasty – are there any records yet we wonder.

And here’s a spot of UFO behind the scenes footage taken from an Italian fan convention a few years back…. another combo who have been decorating our listening space of late following a recent friend request. Able and Baker hail from LA and number in 4 (though the publicity photo on their site clearly shows 5). There’s a recently released debut EP currently kicking about in record world entitled ‘forever is fleeting’ which frankly I feel we need to own before we all get any much older. As to the sound As to the sound – well lets put it this way fans of very early career Moose and Catherine Wheel will not be found wanting as won’t fans of Ride. Able and Baker sculpture monumental slabs of serenely bruised stratospheric pop that sumptuously trips between dispersing hollowed and aching bitter sweet lilts as on the numbing and statuesque ‘teenage momentum’ to crunching sun burnt emotional torn blizzards of turbulence (check out ‘royal charm’ with its noodling math motifs). That pick of the pack is the sweetly scorched ache applied to the near stately ’midwinter’ which unless our ears do deceive had us recalling (aside the aforementioned Moose / Catherine Wheel) elements of the Chameleons as though having had there’s noses bloodied by a particularly sparky Codeine. Think we need to hear more and soon. – mentioned with much fondness in missive 189 we inadvertently referred to these dudes as a group of lads while forgetting the small but noticeable detail that Jo who plays bass clearly isn’t – so apologies Jo – and well here’s a video of the chiming cherubs performing ‘arch angel’…


Till next time take good care of yourselves



first aired – Jan 2009

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