Chewing my own arm off…

Penny Smith - The Clash London CallingHaving spunked away invested the last of my EMusic credits for this period in loco Peruvian psychedelia, I find myself drumming my fingers on the dashboard of my laptop impatiently waiting for my refresh date.

I’ve apparently not planned this well.

Firstly there’s the new Field Music record already out and no doubt getting good reviews (impossible to imagine them being anything less than gushing…), which I will be compelled to get as soon as that darned Refresh Date rolls around.

Here’s a very fidgety “The Noisy Days Are Over” from the record:


(Really enjoying the Blockheads-style sax break…)

I don’t need to say anything about Field Music, they are what they are, and I’d invest all of a hefty lottery win into ensuring they stay that way (I live in fear of them packing it in…)

Also due out… ooh…  any day now, is a second record from Trouble in Mind’s Doug Tuttle, which I’m very much looking forward to hearing. Really, really enjoyed the first one and I’d be very surprised if I didn’t say so loudly on these very pages.

There’s this offering on the TiM site, which is sounding very promising too:



And then there’s a third record from another of my recent favourites, the increasingly Dylan-esque Kevin Morby, which is due out in April. And again, doesn’t this sound good?:


I’m chewing my own arm off, here…

Many strangers have arrived, wearing immense black boots, selling buttons at my door, I don’t feel well

f23ee6be4059db716502c71ea3433326Once again the earnest souls of @lpgrp have organised a Secret Santa exchange of Best of ’14 tracks to share with each other. I enjoy this and it’s always interesting to hear new endorsements but I have to admit that this year I threw mine together in a bit of a hurry, having not got myself organised earlier and for a number of reasons I’m not entirely happy with it.

Probably the biggest gripe I have with myself is that although the brief was to compile it from “new to you” tracks rather than bona fide released-in-the-last-12-months stuff, there really isn’t much new stuff here. I can’t decide whether this is because 2014’s not been a great year for new releases or whether this year I’ve been more easily distracted than usual. I suspect it’s a large slice of both.

This is one of the reasons I’ve not clambered into the whole seasonal gongs business this year – I haven’t really bought a lot of new stuff (neither have I seen a lot of live music, for that matter…) – and so I feel a little out of touch. All in all, I reckon the tracks by Mogran Delt, Doug Tuttle, the Delines, Siesta! and Tigres Leones are about the only brand new stuff on the collection. The tracks by White Fence, Courtney Barnett and Speedy Ortiz are new-ish but the rest is, I’m afraid, all old. Some of it really old (the Trio Matamoros song is from the forties, I think).

But anyway, here, in all its glory:

Secret Santa ’14 – @Sweeny99

  1. Pink Gorilla – White Fence
  2. Make My Grey Brain Green – Morgan Delt
  3. Save My Soul – Wimple Winch
  4. 1906 – The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
  5. Millionspiel – Can
  6. Bat Macumba – Os Mutantes
  7. Muevéla – Abelardo Carbonó
  8. Jam 5 Kai Thiet – Ros Serey Sothea
  9. Lam Tung Wai – Chaweewan Dumnem
  10. Buenos Hermanos – Trio Matamoros
  11. Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett
  12. Colfax Avenue – the Delines
  13. Erusu Nganga – The Sweet Talks
  14. Ya Mom Samaray – Guelewar
  15. Bocata de Sangre – Siesta!
  16. Pájaros – Tigres Leones
  17. With Us Soon – Doug Tuttle
  18. No below – Speedy Ortiz

Having said all this, you’ll love it – some psych, some afrobeat, some garage punk, some Spanish new wave – but particularly worth noting are tracks 8 and 9 which I’ve taken from a couple of fabulous Cambodian and Siamese compilations by Parallel World and by the consistently brilliant Soundway Records.

If you don’t fancy any of it, I understand, it’s OK – we can still be friends. Although, I would urge you to listen at least to the Trio Matamoros track which features Cuba’s greatest singer Beny Moré and is just magnificent. It also includes a really wild piano break which sounds like it finishes in some sort of plane crash (around the 2:30 mark).


I was going to leave it there, but I think it’s worth mentioning that while I may not have spent much time on new releases, 2014 has not been a waste of time entirely. It is after all the year when I finally discovered the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, surely the weirdest of a weird crop.

“1906” is certainly as odd a song as anything I heard this year and I can’t help thinking 2015 will have to be a very strange one indeed to throw up anything like this…


Here’s to more strangeness!

With Us Soon

The unexpected bonus of a relatively free Sunday has meant that I’ve been able to do a bit of work on the pond, go for a walk by the canal and even consider a bit of a post for the long-suffering, patient readers of this Blog.

I bought the new Temples record the other week, which has had some good words said and written about it (plus a few not so good), but I’ve listened to it just a couple of times since. Haven’t really managed to form a coherent opinion of it yet, however, because a couple of whispers amongst the in-the-know Twitter folk I like to surround myself with have given me these two sticky delights to stuff myself silly with…

Morgan Delt

MorganDelt_AlbumArt-608x608You can read about Morgan Delt here on his Trouble In Mind page and read the first couple of lines (if you’re like me) of the Pitchfork review here, but I’d rather think of him as another of the Jonathan Wilson-style West Coast, sunfried aliens that emerges from time to time, album and musical persona, fully formed and ready to go.

If Wilson’s records come from the land of Seventies Laurel Canyon though, you could probably say that Delt’s self-titled LP has been hot-housed in Sixties Haight Ashbury with a more than (un)healthy dose of bonkers English psychedelia in there. It’s a lot of fun. Here’s the opener Make My Grey Brain Green from the record, really gooey, freaky stuff…



The other record that has had me capering around at the wheel in an unseemly fashion this couple of weeks is another self-titled effort from this bloke:

Doug Tuttle

doug tuttleTuttle is another Trouble In Mind alumni, where he released two records with another band I’m starting to explore, Mmoss, from whom he’s recently split. His own record is a beautiful mix of Byrds-y psychedelia with a huge nod towards Teenage Fanclub (indeed I Will Leave could have come straight off Songs from Northern Britain). As a record, full of keening organs, distorted vocals and engineering trickery, it’s damn near perfect, if not quite as exhilarating Morgan Delt’s; and if next Christmas I’m not banging on about it in my End Of Year lists, then it’s either been a helluva year, or I’ve been having a helluva Christmas…

Here’s the opener track of this record too, With Us Soon:



This is a record I’ve not finished with yet.