Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September's Picks

1. BLUR-"She's So High"
It's hard to believe it was almost 20 years ago to date and I was a recently demobbed soldier and my friend Dave Woj and I were well into our umpteeenth pint one sunday night at Old Bay when this trippy video came on by this band doing this song on the pub's sole TV. Anyway it reminded us alot of the pseudo-psychedelic sonic onslaught perpetuated a few years earlier by our good friends Lord John.  I duly purchased "Leisure" the very next day at Jack's in Red Bank and for the next 4 or 5 years this was my favorite band until "The Great Escape". It just boggles my mind because it literally, seems like not that long ago.

A nice bit of weirdo b-side action from the Teens, this was the flip of their jaunty stab at Randy Newman's "The Biggest Night Of Her Life" from late '67 and unearthed on one of the "New Rubble" compilations.  It has some spooky backing vocals and some great phlanged piano, subtly trippy without being clumsy.

3. MASTERSWITCH-"Action Replay"
Brilliant one off single by a punky band with power pop leanings which has sadly been overlooked on the CD compilation scene.  Lead singer Jimmy Edwards later formed Time U.K. with Rick Buckler and the two of them later formed the ill famed Sharp with Bruce Foxton.

4. THE SNEETCHES-"Empty Sea"
A brilliant little pop song from a quirky band from the late 80's/early 90's, it has all the trappings of that era as far as recording techniques but the melody and snappy vocal harmonies wash all that "contemporary" stuff away in it's lush grooviness!

5. CHAD STUART & JEREMY CLYDE-"The Emancipation Of Mr. X"
Utilizing a them later explored by Blur ("Tracy Jacks" ) and The Len Price Three ("Mr. Grey") Chad & Jeremy give us the tale of a 9 to 5 executive who has enough of the daily grind and finally snaps, in the most melodic, orchestrated pop way possible. From their amazing LP "Ark".

6. 999-"Boys In The Gang"
One of my favorite English punk bands this number captures why I like them.  Their tunes are melodic and unlike a lot of their peers they could actually play, very well too!

7. PANDAMONIUM-"The Sun Shines From His Eyes"
A jaunty piece of pop-psych found of the flip side of the lysergic, Hollie's influenced "No Presents For Me" is this simplistic but groovy little ditty of sing-along semi psychedelic '67 style goodness.

8. HERMAN'S HERMITS-"The Man With The Cigar"
As a kid I thought this B-side of "A Must To Avoid" was boring, years ago I gave it another shot and was immediately taken by it's somber backing vocal, simplistic/melodic guitar solo and the general down trodden ambiance of this great number.

9. JOHN WONDERLING-"Midway Down"
After being familiar with The Creation version for 25+ years imagine my surprise to find out last year that it was a cover by a U.S. artist named John Wonderling!  The original is far trippier than The Creation's Kinks style kitsch and features a groovy little fairground organ bit!

10. SYD BARRETT-"Octopus"
Until I read Rob Chapman's "Syd Barret-A Very Irregular Head" I'd long believed this song to be a bunch of entertaining gobbledygook psychobabble.  It turns out that the majority of the lyrics are fragments of lines from poems, literature and children's stories cleverly linked up by Syd and pit to music, in fact all this years I thought he'd been singing "The Madcap laughed at the man on the border.." when in fact he was/is singing "mad cat"! Genuis.

1 comment:

JZ said...

Nice to see both "Last Minute" and "The Emancipation of Mr. X" referenced. The Nashville Teens are a criminally underrated band.

"The Ark" is one of the great LP's most people have never heard. Anyone whom is only familiar with the early C&J material will be shocked silly when they first hear it; I know I certainly was. Like The Small Faces with "Ogdon's Nut Gone Flake", Chad & Jeremy saved their best for last. Unfortunately they split right before the LP came out and Columbia did not promote it.