Friday, 23 February 2018

LIST 235 - 23/02/18

Hello again,

Right, the Valentine's Special has been and gone now, so put each other down again.  That's better.  Thankyou.  Honestly...

Please enjoy a selection which includes the return of Superchunk, Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance having found enough time to spare from the demands of running Merge Records (needless to say, a far, far bigger undertaking now than when they set it up in 1989 to put out their own band's releases) to vent their collective spleens on all things Trump and Trump-endorsing America.  The high-octane delivery remains intact, likewise the knack for a killer tune - it's grand to have them among us again.  It's also great to be able to revisit the opening track of their 1991 Steve Albini-produced No Pocky For Kitty LP, a tune whose cover version by Good Grief is also well worth the entry money.

Rather more serene is Sarcophagus, taken from Hamilton Mausoleum Suite, a tribute to the eponymous South Lanarkshire building (and one in which an echo can reportedly take fifteen seconds to travel) in the form of a minimalist chamber piece by Teenage Fanclub drummer Francis MacDonald.  Soloists from the Scottish Festival Orchestra help MacDonald realise the ambitions for this project.  Thoughtful and lovely.

Lovely in a somewhat different way is the track by Superorganism, a big, daft piece of sample-heavy day-glo pop which those of you (okay, us) hoping to see the resurgent Daphne & Celeste on tour in March and April will surely embrace fondly.  With my Day Job hat on, the presence of a proliferation of correctly cited Creative Commons CC BY copyright licenses for the snippets of videos in the accompanying promo is very pleasing :-)

In "I wish they were still around" corner this week is Coping Saw, one of that phalanx of jagged, female-fronted punk-pop acts of the late-1990s that would've deservedly strolled onto an Indietracks line-up were Indietracks already a thing back then (see also: Lung Leg, Sally Skull, Dick Johnson, Golden Starlet, International Strike Force - I could go on!).

In "I never knew that was off of that!" corner, meanwhile, we have Theme For Great Cities, an eerie 1981 instrumental by Simple Minds which everyone else on the planet probably already (i) knew about, and (ii) knew was the basis for The Real Life, the 2001 top 20 hit for producer Dave Lee (Joey Negro, Jakatta, etc.) under his Raven Maize alias.  Either way, it's certainly representative of the era of Simple Minds' career on which I'd prefer to dwell, 2018's top ten album doing nothing whatsoever for me from the tracks I've heard on Radio 2 of late, alas....

J xx


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