Friday, January 15, 2010

Listening Too Long to One Song: Sunny & the Sunliners "If I Could See You Now"

In the grand scheme of things, my knowledge of great Northern Soul records is severely limited. You could set me in front of a bin filled with nothing but absolute gems, and I could probably pull out something like five, maybe up to ten if I was particularly on top of my game that day. The fact that I would know any such records at all has a lot that I DJ at a club with people who are far more knowledgeable on the subject than myself, so I've managed to pick up a thing or two here and there. This track from Sunny & the Sunliners was the first one that really managed to jump out and grab me. I'd heard one of my fellow DJs play it a number of times, and always thought it was great. Still, it wasn't until one particular Hungry Beat! a few months ago that I finally said to myself, "I have to know what that song is!" I asked, and I was told. Ever since then I'll have a day here and there where I simply have to hear the song several times in a row before my intake of it has been satisfied. To my mind it perfectly encompasses everything about Northern Soul records that make them ideal for all night dance parties - the unasuming instrumentation with the always welcome use of horns and an organ in their respective exactly right places, the vocals that are sort of simultaneously heartfelt and whimsical, and probably more than anything else the relentlessly fast (yet very even) pace that blends fantastically with the vocal phrasing to guarantee that you'll be out of breath by the end of the song whether you've been dancing particularly hard or not. I've still not yet tracked down the 45, but I'm hoping that it's only a matter of time...

And if you feel like dancing tomorrow (quite possibly to this song) you should head out to La Cita and join us for Hungry Beat!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

KCRW Playlists from 1/13 (filling in for Michael Barnes) and 1/10 (My show)

Another week, another radio show, well, two actually, but not surprisingly the weekend and early part of the week managed to escape me too fast. Thus, here I am on Thursday sorting through so many thoughts of excitement over so many pop songs that I've been listening to and enjoying lately. Not surprisingly, a good number of those songs made their way into my past two radio shows so I thought this might be a good post within which to discuss those thoughts.

I'm really pleased with the lead singles from both the forthcoming Love is All record Two Thousand Ten Injuries, and the new Knight School record Revenger. It'll be interesting to see if the Brooklyn based Knight School picks up a larger audience with this new release. Their debut record The Poor and Needy Need to Party was one of my favorites of 2009, and I still can't understand why it didn't reach more people. In my opinion The Poor and Needy Need to Party was the one of the most perfect collection of bratty, noisy gleefully short pop songs to come out in quite some time. It's only further helped by the fact that it sounds like it was exactly as much fun to make as it is to hear. "Pizza My Coat," the first single from Revenger seems to be taking them further along in the same direction with perhaps a slight degree of assurance added to the sound. You can download that track here. The fact that the NME is writing about them does seem to indicate an encouraging development in their level of exposure. Slightly funny to see that the NME is writing about them now that they are releasing their music on this San Francisco based label, and not the U.K. based label that put out their first record. Lostmusic is fantastic though, and I would strongly encourage you to visit their website, and purchase the records they release. Love is All appear to have made a label change as well (they're on Polyvinyl this time around), but have also apparently stayed within the same sonic realm that they've been operating in for the past few years. I can't stop listening to the new single "Kungen," it's as giddy and frantic as any of their best, and based on it's strength Two Thousad Ten Injuries might now be my most anticipated record of this year. Hopefully this means a U.S. tour for Love is All in 2010 as well. I can't recommend their live show highly enough. It's almost certain to make you two thousand and ten times happier than you were before seeing it, in my humble opinion. On the rare occasions that I want something slower paced than the Knight School or Love is All singles I've been turning to the dreamy new Beach House record, Teen Dream. Has Beach House ever produced a song that wasn't positively dreamy? Speaking of dreamy, I severely neglected the Maria single from last year Love Is. I can't properly explain that one. Maria finally put three of my favorite songs from their live show on to a 7", and though I've owned it since it was released last year it's only within the past few weeks that I've given it the repeat listens that it deserves. The band finally achieved the exact right sound for them (the one that they have been hinting at since I first discovered that band), and I still maintain that the YAY! label is one of the most exciting things going on in indiepop these days.

Well, I suppose that is enough rambling from me for the time being. Time to head off and search for more lovely new and/or classic songs!

You can listen to me filling in for Michael Barnes here. That will be archived until Wednesday morning of next week.

And you can catch my show here. It's archived until Monday morning.

I've posted the play lists from both shows here as well...

Show from 1/13 (Filling in for Michael Barnes)
Was (Not Was) - "Tell Me That I'm Dreaming"

Quadron - "Slippin'"

Lucky Soul - "Whoa Billy"

Sunny & The Sunliners - "If I Could See You Now"

Myron And E With The Soul Investigators - "Cold Game"

The 24-Carat Black - "Gone The Promises Of Yesterday"

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - "Falling Over"

Testbild! - "My Brother The Submariner"

Slowdive - "Machine Gun"

Charles Bradley And The Menahan Street Band - "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"

The Clientele - "Since K Got Over Me"

The Go-Betweens - "Bachelor Kisses"

David Bowie - "Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed"

Pete Dunaway - "Supermarket"

Jovenes Y Sexys - "Amor Platonico"

Maria - "When The Sun Goes Down"

Devendra Banhart - "Forget About Him"

The Yummy Fur - "Hong Kong In Stereo"

Comet Gain - "If I Had A Soul"

Love Is All - "Kungen"

Beach House - "Silver Soul"

Atlas Sound - "Shelia"

Knight School - "Pizza My Coat"

The Soft Pack - "Answer To Yourself"

Crocodiles - "Hollow Hollow Eyes"

The Velvet Underground - "I'll Be Your Mirror"

Wild Nothing - "Summer Holiday"

Jim Noir - "All Right"

Toro Y Moi - "Talamak"

The XX - "Heart Skipped A Beat"

Bibio - "Bones & Skulls"

Vis A Vis - "Obi Agye Me Dofo"

Francoiz Breut - "Mochoir De Poche"

The Pastels/Tenniscoats - "Vivid Youth"

Laura Veirs - "Silo Song"

Mulato Astake - "Tezeta"

Desolation Wilderness - "Slow Fade"

Dum Dum Girls - "Baby Don't Go"

Build An Ark - "In The Park"


Show from 1/10 (My Show)
Girls At Our Best - "Pleasure"

Delta 5 - "Mind Your Own Business (Man Ray Mix)"

LCD Soundsystem - "Losing My Edge"

Dead Milkmen - "Instant Club Hit (You'll Dance To Anything)"

Vampire Weekend - "Giving Up The Gun"

Zoot Woman - "Just A Friend Of Mine (Jump Jump Dance Dance Remix)"

Annie - "Bad Times"

The XX - "Shelter"

Princeton - "Shout It Out"

Clare & The Reasons - "Ooh You Hurt Me So"

Plaisir De France - "Le Responsable Revisite"

Laura Veirs - "Where Are You Driving"

Beach House - "Walk In The Park"

Memory Tapes - "Stop Talking"

Washed Out - "Feel It All Around"

Television Personalities - "I Know Where Syd Barret Lives"

Pink Floyd - "Bike"

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Good Kids Make Bad Grown Ups"

Nosaj Thing - "Coat Of Arms"

Taxi Taxi! - "Old Big Trees"

Devendra Banhart - "Goin Back"

Rodrigo Y Gabriela - "Atman"

Kyeremateng Atwede & The Kyeremateng Stars - "I Go Die For You"

Love Is All - "Kungen"

Quasi - "Repulsion"

The Muslims - "Walking With Jesus"

Aberdeen - "Cities & Busses (Live on Morning Becomes Eclectic)"

The Pastels - "Stay With Me Until The Morning Comes"

Maria - "When The Sun Goes Down"

Peter Sarstedt - "Once Upon An Everyday"

Belle & Sebastian - "We Are The Sleepyheads"

Pulp - "David's Last Summer"

The Broadfield Marchers - "Falling Asleep To Disappear"

The Clientele - "Bonfires On The Heath"

Liechtenstein - "The End"

Air - "Tropical Disease"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 1/3 - A Few Personal Highlights from 2009

This was a tough one. 2009 was a pretty great year for me, both in terms of the music that I heard, and personal things. More often than not the two overlapped. It's always nice when such things happen. There are many things that should have been played on this show, but weren't due to time constraints (it still kills me that I wasn't able to close things out with "The End" by Lichtenstein). There are also many things that likely should have made this list that I sadly did not have a chance to hear. These are, of course, only problems indicative of an excellent year for music.

I also realize that leading my show off with a Comet Gain single that was released at the end of 2008 might raise some eyebrows, but since the "Broken Record Prayers" comp was released here in the States in 2009, I decided that it simply must be that way. Since I've taken to the airwaves Comet Gain have to be my most often played band after the Pastels (who I include on every show). 2009 was also the year when I finally started really listening to Comet Gain after too many incidences of asking a friend who was responsible for the awesome song they just played, and the answer always being "Comet Gain." As for picking the song "Love Without Lies," well, I have a weakness for any song that can make the experience of walking somewhere more pleasant, fun or exciting. This song manages all three. When it fills my headphones I walk taller, faster, and with more confidence. Everything is heightened, and the world feels at once a thousand times more risky, and ten thousand times more safe. And what would life be if certain songs didn't come along to heighten everything at the very least once a year?

Upwards and onwards to all in 2010!


You can listen to the show here:

Here is the playlist:
Comet Gain - Love Without Lies

A Sunny Day In Glasgow - The White Witch

The Drums - Let's Go Surfing

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Twin Of Myself (Go! Team Remix)

U.S.E - K.I.S.S.I.N.G

The Postmarks - My Lucky Charm

Air France - Gothenberg Belongs To Me

Little Dragon - My Step

Annie - My Love Is Better

Suburban Kids With Biblical Names - 1999

The Mayfair Set - Desert Fun

A Place To Bury Strangers - Keep Slipping Away

The Horrors - Who Can Say

Quadron - Pressure

Crocodiles - I Wanna Kill

Mos Def - Pretty Dancer

Chin Chin - Stay

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Falling Over

Bricolage - On The Omnibusses

Fol Chen - Winter, That's All

Tha Boogie - Peter Parker

Cry Babies - It's My Thing

Myron And E With The Soul Investigators - Cold Game

Mayer Hawthorne - Maybe So, Maybe No

Wake The President - Something To Turn Up

Wake The President - Professor

Sonic Youth - Malibu Gas Station

Knight School - Pregnant Again

Brilliant Colors - I Searched

Pens - I Sing Just For You

The Bridal Shop - Ideal State

Camera Obscura - Honey In The Sun

Testbild! - My Brother The Submariner

Real Estate - Fake Blues

Pastels/Tenniscoats - So Many Stars

John Vanderslice - Carina Constallation

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - Sets The Blaze

The Clientele - Never Anyone But You

Atlas Sound - Quick Canal (Featuring Laetitia Sadier)