Tag Archives: 1998

The Name Game – 4

I haven’t milked this particular gimmick in over a month, so it’s high time I posted some more songs that share their names with musical acts and vice versa.

Dusty Springfield was a popular target for tributes from the indiepop community in the 1980s/90s… well, I say popular, but that’s based on the fact that I can think of a whopping two examples off the top of my head. Of course one is the ace Chicago indiepop band The Springfields, named after Dusty’s original band, The Springfields. Kind of like how the Chemical Brothers started out as the Dust Brothers, named after the Dust Brothers. Except I think the Springfields managed to avoid any legal threats. In contrast, equally ace janglepopsters The Haywains managed to sidestep any potential confusion by not naming themselves Buddy Holly And The Crickets or anything like that, and simply stuck to singing about Dusty Springfield.

Link: “Breakfast In Bed” by Dusty Springfield
Link: “Dusty Springfield” by The Haywains

I think everyone knows I like Stereolab. Texan experimental rockers Transona Five clearly like Stereolab too. I’ll be honest, I did deliberately pick their most Stereolab-like track for this, but I think it proves my point.

Link: “Estrogen Blaster” by Transona Five
Link: “Transona Five” by Stereolab

And finally, a very clear reference to a well-known performer, but what’s this Scissor Sisters song actually got to do with Paul McCartney? Well, nothing really. But apparently Jake Shears had a dream in which he chatted with Paul McCartney about songwriting, and it would appear that the inspiration he got from this was to name a song after Paul McCartney. You’d kind of hope Macca would have given him better advice than that, I mean, not even Paul McCartney ever named a song “Paul McCartney”. Macca’s own song here is from his 1980 album McCartney II, the one that sold a trillion copies off the back of the rocking single “Coming Up” only for buyers to find the rest was weird synth noodlings which most people only played once. “Temporary Secretary” was a single. It flopped.

Link: “Temporary Secretary” by Paul McCartney
Link: “Paul McCartney” by Scissor Sisters

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What goes around

A song that came into my head as I was running round in circles. Well, they were rounded oblongs really, but close enough.

1990s New York alternative rock-hip-hop combo Soul Coughing released three albums before their acrimonous split and this was the lead single from the last, El Oso. Mike Doughty‘s lyrical style reminds me a bit of Karl Hyde from Underworld, though he’s fairly restrained on this particular track. Ashley Beedle provides four quite similar remixes.

 

Link: Soul Coughing – Circles (mixes) (password: salad)

1. Circles (Radio Mix)
2. Circles (Radio-TV Mix)
3. Circles (Extended)
4. Circles (Extended instrumental)
5. Circles (Album version)

The Name Game – 2

You wouldn’t know I used to be a really good writer. I was. Seriously. And look what life has done to me.

At least I don’t have to put any effort into this gimmick! First up for this installment, The Sabres Of Paradise. I don’t think there’s any doubt here that the band was named after the song – heck, Andrew Weatherall probably chose it expressly to wind up Jeremy Healy (who in case you didn’t know, was half of Haysi Fantayzee before becoming a top DJ). “Wilmot Meets Lord Scruffage” is easily the best of today’s tracks.

Link: “Wilmot Meets Lord Scruffage” by The Sabres Of Paradise
Link: “The Sabres Of Paradise” by Haysi Fantayzee

There’s definitely no connection in this instance. Also no similarity at all between the slightly-too-upbeat 80s synthpop of Modern Romance and the gloomy Yeah Yeah Yeahs number with which they share a name.

Link: “Burn It!” by Modern Romance
Link: “Modern Romance” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

And no connection here either. Catch (not to be confused with The Catch, who became The Tourists) were an indiepop band of no particular renown. For the last twenty years I’ve been carrying around the idea that one of them was Angus Deayton’s son, but now I come to check it out, this turns out to be nonsense. As for the song, you were going to get The Cure here, but then I found this Sunscreem CD. They never did release the album this was supposed to presage.

Link: “Dive In” by Catch
Link: “Catch” by Sunscreem

 

 

 

 

Big Wubbles, No Trubbles

I’m not hugely familiar with 90s alt-dance group Wubble-U, and they haven’t struck enough of a chord with anyone to have much more than a stub on Wikipedia. They seem to be remembered pretty much solely for the bouncy, Stanley Unwin-featuring microhit “Petal”, but today I’m sharing the only other slab of Wubble-U in my collection, and it’s not very much like “Petal” at all, more like a high-velocity version of Fat Les. It seems it was supposed to be the follow-up to “Petal” but… wasn’t. And it wasn’t even on their album, so this one-track promo is all there ever was.

Link: A Bit Like You – Wubble-U

Off the A5 at Stratford and follow the signs

Prolapse are a hard band to describe. According to Wikipedia, they played “a mixture of punk rock, krautrock and shoegazing styles”, which I suppose is as good a description as any. Certainly as good as any you’ll get from me. Although they would sometimes go off into an ambient instrumental, their main selling point was the interplay between vocalists “Scottish Mick” Derrick and Linda Steelyard. Singing at cross purposes, in fact often appearing to be performing two different songs, their double act gave Prolapse at their best a menacing intensity.

At times they could also be funny, as on this magnificent rant about how everything in the 1980s was crap. I don’t think it was, but Scottish Mick delivers his put downs with such brio that it would be rude to argue. And possibly inadvisable.

Also, for the third track on this CD, they cover Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, so, y’know, respect.

Prolapse – Deanshanger (CD single, 1998)

Link: Prolapse – Deanshanger
Link: Prolapse – Liquid Complement
Link: Prolapse – The Diamonds O’ Monte Carlo
Link: Prolapse – Deanshanger (Carlo Rama Remix)

Deanshanger, incidentally, is a place. Printed in the tiny circle in the middle of the CD tray on the digipack it says, “it’s near Milton Keynes”. I don’t think it has much to do with the song, since very few of Prolapse’s titles ever did.

Last Train To Christmas

aprilmarchNew Yorker Elinor Blake started her musical career in new wavers The Pussywillows in the late 80s and early 90s, but since moving to California in 1991 has mainly worked under the nom-de-disque of April March.  I don’t know whether she’s still making music – her last album was in 2012 and her website went offline earlier this year – but she’s got an interesting catalogue behind her anyway, ranging from her early ye-ye revivalism (including an LP of anglophone Serge Gainsbourg adaptations) through excursions in garage rock and electronica to… well, this, a spot of seasonal chamber pop taken from a 1998 winter-themed mini-LP she made in collaboration with experimental rock band Los Cincos. Blake has perhaps been guilty of excessive kookiness at times, but I think this song is just charming…

Link: April March and Los Cincos – Last Train To Christmas

Some random stuff from an old CD-R (hurrah!)

BSOD_2Earlier this year, my old computer died. Not the hard drive but the… other bits. I don’t understand computers. Anyway, happily my back-ups were not too far out of date so I didn’t lose much. And I did eventually work out how to get stuff off the old hard drive as well, though that’s a bit of a headache because… well, as I said, I don’t understand computers.

Anyway! This sent me back to my backups to try to figure out what I did and didn’t have backed up. I have about half a terabyte’s worth of USB sticks (most of them identical, which doesn’t help) and a shoebox full of CD-Rs and DVD-Rs and DVD+Rs (whatever the difference is… but they seem to work the same, anyhow). And this resulted in me rediscovering a load of stuff I’d completely forgotten I had, stuff probably downloaded from blogs that are now long gone. So this post is just some random stuff from one of my absurdly large number of discs, this one a TDK CD-R labelled, with my customary eye for detail, “BACKUPS”, and mainly containing out-of-date copies of the portable versions of several popular open source software products, but also some music. Of course if anyone actually wants an ancient copy of Audacity Portable 1.2.6 revision 3, I’ll happily upload that as well…

So what we have here is…

808 State – Bond
Featuring misanthropic miseryguts M Doughty from hip-hop-jazz-rockers Soul Coughing (and I really must post some of their stuff some day), this was one of the singles from ver State’s 1996 LP Don Solaris. I see the lead single, the loping 5/4-time “Lopez” featuring James Dean Bradfield, appear fairly often on the blogs I frequent, but this one not so much. (The other single, “Azura” with Louise Rhodes, is also pretty good and I hope it will turn up somewhere in my backups as well. I’ll post it if it does! Unfortunately the only physical CD I have of it is a one-track radio promo.) Basic album version here, plus a harder, rockier alternative mix and a bonus B-side.

Link: 808 State with M Doughty – Bond
Link: 808 State with M Doughty – Bonded
Link: 808 State – Chisler

Flor-De-Lis – Todas as Ruas de Amor
Chirpy Portuguese folk-pop that came somewhere in the middle of the table at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009. Well, I liked it anyway. This version is from their album Signo Solar, which came out a couple of years later, though I seem to recall preferring the earlier versions.

Link: Flor-De-Lis – Todas as Ruas de Amor

Mauerblümchen Brie – Happyness Is Not For Me
Guitar-based indiepop. Seems to be the only thing this band ever released. Apparently off a 1998 compilation called What You Hear Today, You’ll Be Singing Tomorrow, which would be a great title for a blog, if anyone’s looking for one. I guess I didn’t think much of the rest of the tracks as this is the only one I backed up (unless the rest is somewhere else… which is actually quite likely).

Link: Mauerblümchen Brie – Happyness Is Not For Me

Nina goes camping

nina-presson_imageWith The Cardigans on hiatus, 2001 saw Nina Persson branch out with her own band, A Camp, featuring her husband Nathan Larsson together with, at various stages of the recording, Niclas Frisk and Mark Linkous. The country-tinged songs were quite unlike what The Cardigans had been doing up to that point, though those who’d been paying attention to Larsson and Persson’s soundtrack work would have been less surprised. Being happily married didn’t seem to dull Nina’s tendency toward cynical lyrics about the darker side of love,  though.

The country stylings spilled over into The Cardigans’ next album Long Gone Before Daylight, and anyone who loves that album (I think it’s their best) should certainly check out A Camp’s two long-players, A Camp (2001) and Colonia (2009). To get you started (or fill in the gaps), here’s all of A Camp’s officially released non-album tracks: three honest-to-goodness B-sides, three quite different versions of tracks from the debut album, and three covers…

Tracklisting:
Charlie Charlie
Angel Of Sadness (Out On The Porch Version)
Song For The Leftovers (Radio Version)
Train Of Salvation
My Misery Is A Mystery
Such A Bad Comedown (Version 1 – The 1998 Recording)
Us And Them (Pink Floyd cover)
Boys Keep Swinging (Dave Bowie cover)
I’ve Done It Again (Grace Jones cover)

Download: A Camp Uncollected (Mediafire) (re-up)

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