Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 44

I have a lot of stuff in this post. I didn't know that I wanted to talk about so much this week. 

I have not received anything new this week but am still waiting for the Whirr/Anne split to arrive. The first two tracks for the My Chemical Romance 7" set, Conventional Weapons, will be released next week though.

Here we go...

This is the fourth and final studio album from Heavenly. It was put out in 1996. It was put out on K Records here in the US and Wiiija everywhere else. Shortly before the release of Operation Heavenly, Mathew Fletcher, the band's drummer and Amelia's, the lead singer, brother, committed suicide. The remaining members announced that the band name Heavenly was to be retired, but that they would continue, using the name Marine Research, a moniker under which they released a single album, 1999's Sounds From The Gulf Stream, on K Records (it was not released separately in Britain). Afterwards, Marine Research dissolved. The band's core members reformed in 2002 as Tender Trap, releasing their debut album, Film Molecules, on K Records once again. 2006 saw the release of two new Tender Trap releases – two EPs, Language Lessons and ¿Como te Llamas?, and a full-length album, 6 Billion People. I knew of Tender Trap but did not know that they were associated to Heavenly.

There were two singles released from this album. The first was Trophy Girlfriend. This was released as a split single with Bis. I talk about this single in Vol. 3 Episode 33. It is a very good song and what attracted me to the group in the first place.

The Second single released from this album is called SpaceManatee. I think that this is a very interesting space influenced song. They sing about a manatee that flies in space that a protagonist flies on. There is an organ that is used in the song to give it that extra space like sound. It is a fun song.

I would also like to mention the cover that they did of Serge Gainsbourgs’ song called Nous Ne Somme Pas Des Anges. The song is sung entirely in French by Amelia. Though it was still recognizably the Heavenly sound with lots of pop guitars.

This is the tenth album released from The Ventures. It was released in 1963 along with three other albums released form the group in that year. There were no official singles released from this album that I am aware of but there are certainly some standout tracks from the album.

The first track that I think is exceptional is the lead track called Pipeline. It is exactly what you would expect from anything in the surf genre but so much better. In true surf style the song is very short but to the point.

The second track that I really like is called Diamonds. It has a fun beach feel to it. It reminds me of the 60s beach party movies where nothing really happens other than young kids having a part on the beach for 24 hours or more.

The last song that I really like from this album is the third track called Ten Over. It is obviously a reference to ten toes on the edge of the surf board. There is a crazy cool solo that happens in the middle of the song that is so much fun. 

This is Billy Idols’ first solo effort before his first full length album. It is a four song EP that was released in 1981. it contained a version of Tommy James and the Shondells UK #1, Mony Mony, that would become a hit as live version in 1987 and Dancing with Myself, the latter of which had also been a moderate hit for Idol's former band Generation X. Dancing With Myself (from Generation X's last LP Kiss Me Deadly) was not re-recorded for the Don't Stop EP release but was simply remixed from Generation X's 6:05 extended release of the song and edited down to a 4:50 version, in which a drum solo and chorus section were removed. The song Untouchables however, another Generation X song written by Idol and also from Kiss Me Deadly, was re-recorded for Don't Stop.

The first single released from this EP was Mony Mony. A live cover version of the song became a hit for Billy Idol in 1987. Billy Idol's version of the song gave rise to an interesting custom in the 1980s. When the song was performed live in concert or played at a club or dance, people would shout a certain formulaic (and usually obscene) sentence in the two bars following each line. One example is: "Hey motherfucker, get laid, get fucked." or "Hey don't you know I have a twelve inch cock." The way that I remember it being sung was: “Hey I wanna get laid, get fucked.” I remember singing it this way at the school dances in middle school (6th -8th grade) when the 87’ live single was released. This custom led to the song being banned at high school dances across North America, although it continues at Idol concerts today. Although, the song was not banned in my school system.

The other single released from the EP is the song Dancing With Myself. As mentioned above is just a remixed version of the Generation X track that Idol penned. Since he had rights to the song it was added to the EP. It is a song that I remember from my youth. I always thought that it was strange to dance with yourself. Now that I think about it seems perfectly logical and fun at times.
It is a great EP with great songs!

This is an album, although it is short at five songs, by Bob James. It was released in 1978. The title is a reference to this being his sixth solo album (a touchdown being worth six points in Football), a pattern also followed by his previous album Heads (featuring a five cent coin on its cover) and next album Lucky Seven. This is a jazz fusion album that goes down very easy.

There was one single released from these five tracks. That song is called Angela. This was a commercial breakout for Bob with the song Angela. It became the theme song for the TV show Taxi. The song was named after the guest character in the third episode of the first season ("Blind Date"), but after hearing the song, the producers made this the show's main theme, replacing their previous choice, which became this album's featured track.

The whole album is very good but if  you have no interest in jazz then don’t bother with the full album.

This is a live set from their Part Time Punks set. Part TimePunks (PTP) is a club that takes over Echo Park (A.K.A. The Echo) every Sunday night. The Echo is located at 1822 Sunset in Los Angeles. PTP focuses on DIY and Indie vinyl coming out of the U.S., UK and Europe from 1977 to the present: Punk, Post-Punk, Synth-Punk, Synthpop, Minimal Synth, Dark/Cold/Minimal Wave, NDW, Industrial, New Wave, No Wave, C86, Indiepop, Twee, Shoegaze, Baggy and even Krautrock…

This session was recorded live on August 26, 2012. Around this time Whirrs’ tour van, Big Blue, broke down. The band took this session and had the record company, Tigers & Daggers, put this out on cassette tape. The cassette is colored smoky blue in honor of the tour van. There are 200 of these floating around as they are limited and numbered to 200. All money will be going to fix Big Blue. I got my copy with the number 3/200.  Interesting side note is that both sides of the tape have the same content.

All of the songs on the tape have already been released except for the last track which is a demo of the song Color Change. The studio version of this track was just released on the Graveface Charity series 3. I think that this track was an extra that they put on the tape and was not recorded as part of the PTP set as the volume of the track is considerably different from the rest of the tape, this is very cool if this is the case.

The cassette track listing is interesting to say the least. The first track, Blue, comes from their first EP called Distressor. The next two tracks, Flashback and June (A.K.A. Junebouvier), come from their first full length album called Pipe Dreams. The next song, Twist, is from their up coming double 7” split single with Anne. Then there is the last track, Color Change (Demo). All of the track seem to drag a little bit but it works well with the songs that are on this tape. If you are into shoegaze or are into the new noise pop sound that is out there this would be a great album to get. You can listen to the first four tracks from the set here.

The Graveface charity series 3 featuring Whirr, Monster Movie, Ian McCutcheon & The Astral Rangers, and The Marshmallow Ghosts And Dreamend
This is a three 7” record set put out by Graveface records for charity. Each record benefits a separate charity. I am not sure how those charities are chosen though. Each of the graphics below depict a super rare version (Multicolored), an uncommon version (Solid colored), and a black version (Standard). I have the uncommon versions of this set. In order to get the multicolored editions you have to get all five sets at the same time at $132. I could not see spending that much since I was only after one track.

The first record in this set has tracks from Whirr and Monster Movie. This 7” supports the charity 924 Gilman. They are a DIY, non-profit music and art community space started in 1986. They are located in Berkeley CA. The track from Whirr can only be found on this set and that is why I got this set of three 7” records. The track that Whirr contributed is called Color Change. There is a demo version of this on the groups Part Time Punks cassette too. This studio version is cleaner than the demo version. You can better hear each instrument and clarity is everything in music.

The B side of this record is from Monster Movie. The track is called Flatlining. The song is just a regular pop song that reminds me of something that David Singer would have put out. It is very good. I may even look this group up to find out more about them.

The second 7” record from this set has two tracks from Ian McCutcheon & The Astral Rangers. This record puts money toward Greenpeace. The A side track is called Julius You Still Care. The song sort of reminds me of Elliot Smith with the all acoustic guitars and breathy vocals. I like the style and the song is very easy to get along with.

The B side of the record is called A Simple Little Beat. This song continues with the vocals in the style of Elliot Smith but there is a smooth piano that is added to the track. This song has a marked slower tempo than the A side of the record which was already slow to start off with. It is still a sweet song though.

This third record in this set is from The Marshmallow Ghosts And Dreamend or Dreamend And The Marshmallow Ghosts depending on which version of the track you are listening to. The track that is on this record is called The Sneak. It is two different versions of the song though and this is the reason for the reversed naming of the bands. This record benefits the charity The Rape Crisis Center of The Coastal Empire. They are a rape crisis center started in 1975 in Georgia. 

The A side of this record is done by The Marshmallow Ghosts And Dreamend. This version of The Sneak is simple synthesized sounds. The strange part is the vocals. They seem somewhat monotone and processed through a distortion box. I think the song would be so much better if the vocalist would have tried to sing the song better or just left off the vocals.

The B side of this record is done by Dreamend And The Marshmallow Ghosts. This version of the song uses the same synthesized tones but also adds a screeching distorted guitar sound over the top. It adds a deep bass sound under the guitar part and progressively gets more intense because of this. It all then cuts out with the exception of a nice synth wave sound. There are no vocals on this version and I think that is the best honestly. It is the best of both worlds. Lots of noise in the beginning and fades to beautiful synth sounds at the end. This is the better of the two versions for sure.

I couldn't find links to any of these songs so go buy it!

That is all I have for now...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 43

I just got the Graveface charity record 7" set. Not sure when I will be getting a review of them though since they are supposed to be a christmas present. I will try to get them recorded before they are wrapped and under the tree, two months away, I know.

I also have coming a cassette, yeah, that's right, I said cassette, of Whirrs' Part Time Punks set. They put it out to get some much needed funds to fix their broke down tour van. There is a track that only appears on this tape. It is also limited to 200 copies.

I have fixed my record cleaner and will be recording the stack of records that I have been sitting on all summer. The first few from that stack will be albums from Heavenly and The Ventures.

Here we go...

This is the first compilation from Stereolab. It was released in 1992. It was originally released by Too Pure (UK) and (believe it or not) Slumberland Records. I was very surprised and excited to find that out. I did not get into Stereolab until 1998 with the album Dots And Loops. Since then I have been looking for anything and everything they have put out. I recently found this compilation at one of my local record stores used for cheap. It is a culmination of the groups first three releases that are very hard to find. Those three releases are called; Super 45, Super-Electric and Stunning Debut Album. The first two are 10” albums and the last is a 7” single. The album takes its name from the Switched-On series of titles from the late 60s to early 70s albums that featured the Moog synthesizer as the primary instrument. The only thing that I find distracting is that the songs are not in the order that they were released. They have been rearranged, I am assuming, to make a more cohesive album. It is not really that big of a deal because if I really wanted to I could put them in what ever order I wanted to in my music database.

Since there were no actual singles released from this compilation I will give a couple of my favorites. The first is the song called Super Electric. This track starts off the album. The song starts with a sort of bubbly sound and then a distorted tone joins in for a couple of seconds before the song kicks in with a supper cool riff that loops through all of the verse and most of the chorus. There are a few breaks to keep interest in the song. There is something about how they play with the sounds that just barely keeps the boredom from the songs. I think that is what I like about the group.

The next track that I really like is called Au Grand Jour. This is not to be confused with Au Grand Jour’. They are essentially the same song taken in different ways. I like the version with out the apostrophe better. There is more of a rock sound on this version. It uses noisy electric guitars and fun drums that make use of the toms.

The last track that I really like from this album is called TheLight That Will Cease To Fail. This track is a drone track, like a lot of their music really. It is the vocals that make this song stand out, pretty female vocals. The vocals are an instrument of their own really and help to make the songs not so boring in most cases.

This is the second compilation of B sides and rarities from Stereolab. It was released in 1995. This is the second in a series of three Switched On releases from Stereolab. I still don’t have the third album yet. I had been looking for this album for quite a while. I whish that I has gotten it when I saw it new in the stores. I am kicking my self for not getting it when I could. Hind sight is 20/20 right?

Since they are a series of hard to find tracks I will give my favorites from the grouping here. The first one that I really like is called Lo Boob Oscillator. The first half of the song uses vocals and vocal pops. It is the pops that I really like about this song. The pops are actually done on a synthesizer. The last two minutes of the song is just a drone that sounds really cool. I have this song in other formats in another compilation but this is my favorite version of this song.

The second track I like is called Revox. This song comes from a four band split 7” from Duophonic. It is another droning track from the group based on two chords. What keeps the listener interested is still the vocals as they go through changes over the top of the two chords. There are lyrics to the song that add interest as well.

French Disko is another track that I really like from this album. It originally came from a 7” also from Duophonic. This song has an intensity that makes that song interesting. It is like there is something important that I need to do but I am not sure what it is that needs to be done. It is really cool and not many bands have written music that gives me that feeling.

The last track that I really like from this compilation is called John Cage Bubblegum. This was originally released on Slumberland Records as a 7” single. I love that I never knew that one of my favorite groups released material on one of my new favorite record companies. Anyway, the song has a different feel than the other songs on this compilation. It still as the drone sound that they are known for but this is some how different. It is lighter or a happy blue feel in my mind. I like it a lot. 

This is the first EP from Frankie Rose. It was released this month, October 2012. It is a promotional EP pushing her last album, Interstellar. This is the second release in support of the album. It has only been released on CD. If you buy a copy of the album from some retailers and etailers you will get a copy. I know that InSound is giving away copies with the album. If you have already purchased a copy of the album and can prove it let Slumberland Records know and they will send you a copy for three dollars shipping. You can also download a truncated copy of the EP from your favorite MP3 store. The MP3 version does not come with the two remix tracks though. The remix tracks are just as important as the demos though in my opinion. I got my copy in the mail earlier this week. It is a great EP and am very happy to have gotten a copy.

It is obviously in support of the single Night Swim. This single has lots of vibey guitar along with a clear tone guitar. The vocals are multi tracked to give it a fuller sound. The drums are more to the front of the song and push the song along at a quick speed. The song has a space like surf sound that I like a lot.

There are a total of five songs on the EP, the single that I talked about, two demo tracks and two remixes. The second track is the first of the remixes, The Fall (Fort Romeau Remix). It has frequent drops that make the song more interesting and the addition of a somewhat arpegiated xylophone sound in classic house style techno. It is a fun remix that reminds me of something that would be played at a rave during a transition between House and trance styles.

The next track is a demo of Know Me. This version of the song has no drums and seems to be slower because of it. It is more elegant than the version on the album and I am very glad to have it. There are parts in this version that I have not heard on the album version. I am not sure if that is because they are not there or are covered up by other music but this version is very pretty.

The fourth track is a demo of Apples For The Sun. This version also does not have drums on it. The album version of this track was never my favorite but this demo version brings new light to the song. It is so interesting how removing the drums from a track can change it into something completely different. Both of these demos were recorded on tape as you can hear the tape hiss as the song plays. This isn’t a bad thing, it adds to the brittleness of the song.

The last track is called Apples For The Sun (The Go! TeamRemix). It reminds me of a track from the sound track to A Series of Unfortunate Events in the beginning. It is very nice piano work that seems to flow through the song. It keeps with the original sound for the song but in a new direction. This is what I love about remixes. The original vocals are not really used in the song except for a snippet of her vocals. The vocals are basically unintelligible in this version but still work very well.

If you have the chance to get this do so. It was put together very well.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart have released a non-album cover single in support of their current tour over seas. It was released just this past week, October 2012. It is a 7” release on army green vinyl through Slumberland Records. The record also comes with a download code if you go that way. They covered two songs from two different bands. Kip Berman, the lead singer, said that the two songs were from bands that have heavily influenced the group from the beginning.

The A side of the record has the song Jeremy. This is a cover from the group Magnetic Fields. The song originates from the album The Wayward Bus, if you are interested in hearing the original song. For me, The Pains can do no wrong. I have never heard the original Magnetic Fields song but I love what The Pains have done with this song. I love the vocals and the short guitar singles that make the song what it is. For the most part you can’t understand the lyrics but the vocal tones are what I really care about. It is a great song with fun solos.

The B side of the record is called My Life Is Wrong. This is a cover from the group East River Pipe. The song originally comes from the album Shining Hours In A Can. If you are interested you can look this one up too. I haven’t heard the original song my self. This cover version of the song is filled with lots of noise. It is still a good song but not one of my favorites from The Pains. I think that the good bits are covered up by the noise that is on the track. I can tell where the song is going by following the bass line though. From that, it reminds me of something from the early 80s and if the original follows suit I will probably like the original song.

That is all I have for now...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 42

I should get the new single from The Pains of Being Pure At Heart this Tuesday. I will be getting a CD EP from Frankie Rose for the single Night Swim for free too. I am very excited about both of these items. 

Graveface Records is doing a charity series of 7" records. Whirr has a track on one of the sets that is a part of this series. I am going to try to get a set if they don't sell out before I get the money to make the purchase.

On with the show...

This is the sixth album from The Beatles. It was released in 1965. This album was recorded quickly to be released in time for the Christmas market that year. I have a copy of the 87’ remaster on vinyl. I have heard so much bad talk about this version, actually the whole 87’ remastered set. Since I don’t really know the difference I like what I have. I am sure that the new 09’ remasters sound better but I can’t justify having more than one copy of an album. I take that back. There are some artists that I do have more than one copy of an album, usually one copy on CD and one vinyl, but they are artists that mean more to me than The Beatles do. I am a casual but a collector at the same time. So, although I am not a super fan of The Beatles I do own all of their albums on vinyl in one form or another, original release or 87’ repressing mostly.

Most Beatles fans know every track on this album. For me, they are all great except for one that is good but stands out as an odd ball for me. That track is What Goes On. It has a country feel that I really can’t stand. It is of course the track that Ringo Star sings. It is not his fault. His style of singing doesn’t help though.

The rest of the album is perfection. From Drive My Car with its classic rock sounds to Norwegian Wood and the first world music styled sitar use from George Harrison. The whole album is so much fun. With the exception of the track that I complained about you can’t complain about this album. Even the deep cuts on this album are considered singles!

This is the sixth album from David Bowie. It was released in 1973. It is the follow-up to Ziggy Stardust and uses a new character that was developed during the Ziggy Stardust tours. The character is based on the duality of mind in a schizophrenic mind. It really boiled down to Bowie wanting to be up on stage performing but not wanting to be around the people who he toured with. Bowie has also made reference to his brother who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I have had this album for a while now. I found it in good condition on vinyl at one of my local record stores.

There are four singles that were released from this album. The first of which is The Jean Genie. According to Bowie, it was "a smorgasbord of imagined Americana", with a protagonist inspired by Iggy Pop, and the title being a pun on author Jean Genet. The song is good but not one of Bowies best. It is not exactly what you would expect from him.

The second single from the album is called Drive-InSaturday. Heavily influenced by 1950s doo-wop, "Drive-In Saturday" describes how the inhabitants of a post-apocalyptic world in the future (Bowie once said the year 2033) have forgotten how to reproduce, and need to watch old porn films to see how it's done. The narrative has been cited as an example of Bowie's "futuristic nostalgia", where the story is told from the perspective of an inhabitant of the future looking back in time. It is a strange story but I have heard similar ideas too from other sources.

The third single from the album is called Time. The piece has been described as "burlesque vamp,” and compared to the cabaret music of Jacques Brel and Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill. Keyboardist Mike Garson said that he employed "the old stride piano style from the 20s and I mixed it up with avant-garde jazz styles plus it had the element of show music, plus it was very European." Co-producer Ken Scott took credit for the idea of mixing the sound of Bowie's breathing right up front when the music paused, just before guitarist Mick Ronson launched into his cacophonous solo.

The last single from this album is a cover of The Rolling Stones song Let’s Spend The Night Together. I am personally not a fan of The Rolling Stones but they did make some killer songs. This version of Let’s Spend The Night Together is faster and adds some really cool synth sounds to the song. I like it a lot.

In addition to these singles I remember hearing the first track, Watch That Man, on the album on the radio quite frequently. It has been said that bowie was moving tward a “Stones” sound. I would agree with this song as it is very “Stonesesque” in sound.
This group has released so many albums and EPs that I am not sure how to classify it in an order. I guess I could say that it was the third US release. It was released in 1997. They are a Japanese pop group so I don’t really know much about them except I really like their music. They put out so many EPs and singles in support of their music along with remixes of each song on the album that it is hard to know what is what with this group at times. Every thing that they put out is so amazing though that I just decided to get the albums that were released in the US because it is so overwhelming the amount of music that they released. I have some extra stuff that they released but not all that much.

There were a few tracks that were exceptional from this album though. My favorite from this album is called Love’s Theme (The link is to the Automator mix). This song spells out the word K-I-S-S frequently. I am all about love themes. The drum work on this track is stellar. The strings work so well with the drums and the bass is just simple enough to support the song in the right way. I have always been interested in Japanese style and the female Japanese vocals are perfection in style.

The second track that I really like on this album is called Trailer Music. It has a sample from what seems like a fun dance track from the 40’s or maybe earlier. What ever the song is it has been cut up and modernized into something amazing. There is a little bit of talking from a male voice but is mostly devoid of singing.

The last track that I like from this album is called Porno3003. It features a low toned female voice talking over a pretty flute lead part. The song is very slow almost lounge like in feel. There is of course some fantastic drum programming on this track too. The strings and sitar on the track add to the atmosphere of the song. 

This is the first album from Sea Wolf. It was released in 2007. I originally bought this album on CD. It wasn’t until after the second album was released that I finally picked it up on vinyl. I am so glad that I did. This album is super special to me. It has a sound that covers the whole album that makes me want to curl up under a blanket and just relax while watching TV. This may be because it was released in the fall and that the songs reference cold water/rain and falling leaves frequently.

I am pretty sure that there were three singles released from this album or at least my public radio station, 89.3 The Current, played three or more songs from the album on the air. The first single from the album is called You’re A Wolf. I loved the simplistic sounds on this song and the lyrics work so well too. The lyrics as they are sung are very easy to understand and are very interesting. It could be about a wild wolf or a werewolf or a man searching for his girlfriend. The story is not specific but is still very intriguing.

The next song that I have heard on the radio is called Winter Windows. This song features an accordion. I am not usually a fan of the accordion but when it works in a song it works. I really like “Weird Al” Yankovic’s music and he makes use of the accordion as well. In my opinion Sea Wolf’s use is even more musical than “Weird Al” Yankovic’s use of the instrument.

The last track that I for sure remember hearing on the radio from the album is called Black Dirt. The song has an unlikely start until the pre-chorus starts. It is at that point that the song really kicks in. It is the chorus that makes the song. In my head I see homeless people with no shoes on with black dirty feet from the black dirt in the street wearing moldy rags and sacks draped over their backs to keep warm. I really feel for those people that I see in my head. They are developed from movies about old England and comic books that I read while in high school. I don’t even know if people like that really exist other than in my head but I do feel for them if they do.

This is one of the great albums from an artist rich time, 2007 was a great year for music, in the 00’s. I highly recommend this album.

That is all I have for now...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vol. 3 Episode 41

Foxes has a new single out in early November. The song is called echo, and you can see the video up on youtube right now.

The new Pains of Being Pure At Heart single should be up for preorder pretty soon.

I also recently bought the first Lorelei album on CD because it has two extra tracks that are not on the record. I haven’t listened to the two tracks yet but I am happy to have all of the songs released for this album. I am now just missing a 7” record called The Bitter Air.

I don’t think that I have brought this up yet but My Chemical Romance (MCR) are releasing an unusual collection of songs. They had recorded a full album after The Black Parade and scrapped it. Instead they released Danger Days. They have decided to release this scrapped album. You can get them at the MCR web page to pre-order now. It is called Conventional Weapons. They are going to released it as a 7” box set or as downloads. I have purchased a copy of the box set but will not see a physical product until February when the last of the 7” records will be released. I will get access to the downloads as each 7” is released though. The first 7” will be released at the end of October and there will be a total of 5 records in the box set. I am very excited about this project and will keep you all up to date as they come out. I do know that the first record will be pressed on orange vinyl. It will remain to be seen if all if the records in my version will also be colored.

On with the show...

This is the third album from Sea Wolf. It was released in the fall of 2012. This album goes back to the smoothness that was on the first album. I really like the vocals on this album. They are not quite as good as with Leaves In The River but are so much better than with White Water, White Bloom. The drums are a little bit mechanical at some points but over all are very well done. The instrumentation, especially the acoustic guitar, sounds amazing.

I ordered this album from a website called I preordered the album about a month in advance. They took my money in advance as well. I like that they take my money when I have it instead of when the album is released in the future when I am not sure that I will have the money at that time. The problem is that if I decide that I don’t want the album I can only get store credit back. The problem came when the album did not ship on the release date. I tried to call them but it goes straight to voice mail. I was really pissed about this because the web page states that you can call them to make orders. I find this impossible since they never called back either. If I leave a message with my phone number I expect a call back. I did however get prompt apologetic emails back though. Apparently they got a delayed shipment of the album by two to three weeks. This seems odd to me. The phone problem was never resolved and never approached in the couple emails that I received. I have ordered from this company only one other time and that was with the second Sigur Ros 10” single from the last album Valtari. I did not even pay attention to that single so I am not sure if it was late or on time. I would not recommend buying anything from this company because they can’t seem to guarantee anything and if they can’t get their hands on the product as promised you are stuck with store credit instead of a refund. I don’t know about you but I want my money back!

There has been only one single, Old Friend, released from the album that I am aware of so far. It does not have a physical release but it is up on the Sea Wolf site to preview. This song is a great lead off song for the album. It has a great beat. It is sort of funny because most Sea Wolf songs are slow and this one has a quick beat that is unexpected. It is almost danceable. I love the acoustic guitar and electric guitar back and forth that happens in this song too. It is a pretty song that floats but still has pop sensibility with the exceptional drums on the track.

The album is a great album that should not be over looked. I think that is the biggest problem with Sea Wolf. They seem to be over looked quite a bit. If you are a fan of Bon Iver or the Avett Brothers you may like this album too.

This is the second album from The Soft Pack. It was released in August of 2012. I bought this album from Amazon on vinyl. When I got it I found out that the record was part of the “Flamingo Edition”. Apparently there were 2000 of this version pressed and 300 pressed with a limited cover pressed. I don’t know if there was a price difference between the two though. I was delighted to get the Flamingo Edition anyway. I was not expecting it at all. I like to get a limited version if I can. The inner sleeve is covered with Flamingos in various positions with black bowties and black healed shoes on. The funny thing was that the inside of the outer sleeve was covered in the same graphic. It was cute.

The album as a whole is not that great. I expected more from the group and they did not deliver. I was very disappointed. There are a couple of good songs though. They are the singles mainly though. The first single is called Saratoga. It starts off right quick with a fun bass line. The vocals are a little slow though. What could have been a great fast song is slowed down by the vocals some what. It is still a great song though.

The second single, Tallboy, is an interesting song that makes use of an organ. This was released as a promo single only. The organ sound reminds me of the old Vox red body organ that was used in the 60s and 70s a lot. This song is slower than the first single. It is a good song but it doesn’t make me want to come back to the song or the album for that matter to listen again and again.

There is one song that I totally like a lot. That is the song called Bobby Brown. This song is officially the third single from the album. There is a keyboard part that makes this song so good. The guitar is simple and the drums make the parts work together but the keyboard part is what makes this song. It reminds me of something that would have come from the 80s pop scene. It is perfect. To make it even more 80s they added a saxophone solo in the middle of the song. I like that just as much as the keyboards. I hope that they release this as a single.

You can see the flamingos in the videos that I have linked to the second and third songs.
This is the fifth album from James. It was released in 1993. Brian Eno produced all tracks on the album except one, One Of The Three. This track was recorded on a day that Eno took off. At the time this was a somewhat underground album. I think that I ran across it through the Bevis and Butt-head show that aired on MTV with the videos between the stories. The first single is what made me originally buy the album. It is a great album that flows expertly. At some point I sold the CD, probably to one of my local record stores. It was only recently that I purchased it again. This was on my trip to the pawn shop a couple months ago. I bought it for a dollar along with about ten or so others. I have made mention of this trip with some of the other albums that I have talked about already.

There were three singles that I can find that were released from this album. The first single is called Laid. I pulled this from Wikipedia, “Emotionally evocative and featuring the risqué lyrics "This bed is on fire with passionate love, the neighbours complain about the noises above, but she only comes when she's on top", it quickly gained popularity on American college radio and remains the group's best known song in that country. Because of the lyrics, the music video of the song replaced the infamous line with "she only sings when she's on top" (although Tim Booth clearly lip-syncs the original line, and is accompanied by a subtitle reading "hums"”. The song has a great acoustic guitar and organ part. It is really the lyrics that are the star on this song. The lysics push the ideas of romance and sex. It is a beautiful song about about just that, love, romance and relationships that work for a strange reason.

The second single released from the album is called Sometimes (Lester Piggot). It is another pretty song. The lyrics for the most part are spoken instead of sung. The chorus is sung though. The singer is singing about things that I don’t understand because they are from England. But the chorus is plain as day. He sings, “Sometimes, when I look into your eyes I swear I can see your soul.” For me it just means that you have a relationship so deep that you know the person physically, mentally and spiritually. That is a special relationship. I don’t think that I can ever have that kind of a relationship. I, personally, have too many walls that are in the way.

The last single released from this album is called SaySomething. This song as a very cool sounding 80s guitar that Eno is famous for. Along with a mind numbing mono tone that beeps through all of the verse parts. It floats just under the surface but if you listen for it you will hear it. The song is another beautiful track about an argument between a couple. It is a one sided argument as the other side has given in to the silent treatment. This is something that I am guilty of consistently.

This is one of those forgotten gems of the early mid 90s. It is a wonderful album that actually has great dynamic range. Eno did a great job with this album. The group is still around but they have not made a hit in the USA since this album.

The June Brides – A January Moon & Between The Moon And The Clouds
This is a single from The June Brides. The single came out in June 2012, go figure. It is the first release from the group since 1985. It is a Slumberland Records release. The single came with a CD. The CD has not only the two tracks from the 7” but also a bunch of stuff from the lead singers, Phil Wilson, solo efforts, B-sides and demo tracks. Not only that, but Phil covered a couple of tracks from The June Brides too. The last track is a stripped down version of Cloud that sounds so beautiful.

Both of the tracks from the 7” are very intimate. The first single,A January Moon, is a song that reminds me of a hot cloudy summer day. It is very pretty and kind of pulls on a feeling that I have about summer cloudy days. The B-side, Cloud, is a kind of quirky song that I have mixed feelings about. I like it but it is sort of weird like a Jens Lekman song. I want to understand it better but I am not sure that I should try.

The rest of the CD is very good even if all of the tracks are not a part of the June Brides cannon. It does still come from a major contributor and I guess that counts for something. Hearing this music has made me want to check out their first album from back in 1985 though and I will be searching that out as soon as I can.

That is all I have for now...