April 30, 2006


(Some songs that for whatever reason won't turn up on any CD-R compilation of mine but are still pretty damn good.)


I've been very much enjoying the highly innovative, wildy energetic and slightly bonkers noise-rockers cum performance artists Afrirampo from Osaka ever since I saw them live last summer. Here's a track from their self-titled mini-album on Gyuune Cassette; sadly out of print but I found one at not too high a price on eBay recently, about which I'm very pleased because I think maybe it's their best.

Afrirampo | Kekko

The Akon Compilation

A friend of mine recommended I buy the 1979 Akron Ohio compilation (on Stiff) we stumbled over in a Rotterdam 2nd hand store recently, and I did. Which was a mistake really, because the insert was missing, the vinyl wasn't coloured and the scratch 'n' sniff thingy on the cover was gone... but that's probably just me being a sad record collector type. More importantly though, much of the record was a bit crap, or dated at best. However not these two tracks; one by Jane Aire & The Belvederes whom I'd heard of but knew very little about, and one by The Waitresses who later joined the Ze stable and were always great. Cool stuff!

Jane Aire & The Belvederes | I'm An Actress
The Waitresses | Slide

More to come probably.

April 23, 2006

Juliette Gréco, part deux

Juliette Gréco | La Femme

Here then, is the other one. While 'Juliette' has that classic chanson sound to it, 'La Femme' is very much in tune with the best orchestral pop of it's time (1967), featuring exquisite arrangments by among others Michel Colombier (Gainsbourg, Pierre Henry, Beach Boys...). If this was in English and sung by a man, it could have been a Scott Walker album.

Juliette Gréco | La Femme

April 20, 2006

Juliette Gréco

I know much less about Juliette Gréco than I undoubtedly should and would like. I know she had looks and a disposition tailor made for the bohemian lifestyle of Paris (Left Bank of course) in the fifties, she hung out with Sartre and Camus, she starred in Jean Cocteau's marvelous 'Orphée', and she had an affair with Miles Davis ("Juliette was probably the first woman that I loved as an equal human being."). I also know she's made some wonderful records, a few of which I've picked up in flea markets here and there over the years. Musically she sounds a bit like Jacques Brel's female counterpart, very sensual! (That's a really lazy description by the way.) Lyrically I can't say, my French leaves tout to be desired, but I'd wager the words fit the spirit of the period perfectly.

Juliette Gréco | Juliette

Thought of her recently when the subject of important female singers came up on a bulletin board I tend to spend time on, and decided to share a couple of LPs I have by her. This one's a US release from 1958 or thereabouts, next up (in a few days I suspect) will be the fabulous 'La Femme' from 1967.

Juliette Gréco | Juliette

April 09, 2006

Despicable folk-rock cabaret with a mission to end all music

Recently, and for the first time ever, I scheduled a planned trip to London specifically to coincide with a couple of live shows. Why? Because it was The Indelicates playing, and for the moment there is no band in the world that I love more.

The Indelicates

The Indelicates are Julia; photographer and ex of polka-dotted pop trio The Pipettes, and Simon; poet and maker of musicals featuring Satan. They play keyboards and guitar respectively, they both sing and they both write songs. The Indelicates are also Ed, Kate and Jack, providing sonic and rhythmic backing. Last year they made a lovely folk song called 'Waiting For Pete Doherty To Die' which caused a bit of stir: websites crashed for bandwidth overload and fatwas were issued, despite The Indelicates not actually wanting Pete Doherty to die. Another of their song tells us, quite rightly I suspect, that Pop is rotten and should be ended. It's called 'We Hate The Kids', which they don't, not really. And it's wise not to ignore the great 'New Art For The People', at one point referred to by Simon as "a self advertisement for me and Julia" if I remember correctly.

The Indelicates make well crafted, intelligent, poignant, brilliantly cool and catchy pop (small p) songs that must become classics. They sound like a cross between The Divine Comedy (when they were good) and The Jam (who were always good), performing with Kate Bush in a Weimar era nightclub. Or not... if that doesn't work for you, don't be surprised if they sound like something else entirely. In fact, it's really enough to say that they sound utterly fantastic. (Listen!!) The Indelicates are extremely talented, and despite, or maybe because they have a borderline obsessive fan base, they are very nice people.

There's plenty of essential info about The Indelicates on their website, including mp3s of the above and other songs. There is also a lively forum where band and fans (including other bands) alike are often to be found debating important cultural issues and deciphering secret codes.

The Indelicates should be very famous. They are, I am tempted to say, perfect. Now download the track below (it's an exclusive!)

The Indelicates | The British Left In Wartime

April 03, 2006



All the screensavers on my computer are boring, which is why I sometimes open this site instead before leaving my desk. Problem is, it is so captivating that it usually takes a while before I'm able to tear myself away. Technically brilliant, visually stunning, and with a very spooky sounding soundtrack... this is computer art as good as I've ever come across.

April 02, 2006


I've been debating with myself whether or not the sharity business is something I want to get into. This recent article doesn't make me feel any less self conscious about taking part, but seeing as I'm still trying to figure out WSBS's raison d'etre... The first in an infrequent series:

Velvet Underground | 1966

Some years back, in a rare instance of perfect synchronicity, I stumbled over this great Velvet Underground LP within days of being gobsmacked by the (edited) live improvisation 'Melody Laughter' on the 'Peel Slowly And See' box set. '1966' has an extended 27 minute (approx.) version, with a similar, just as great a track on the b-side. Both have since turned up elsewhere, in a variety of edits, mixes and places (including the Internet), but this 1981 LP was their first appearance in any form. It's the classic VU and Nico line-up at their prime; droning immaculately, defining noise as beauty. (And, trivia fans, it is also one of the few VU recordings available where Mo Tucker plays bass. Or so her Wikipedia write-up has it... but who's playing drums then?)

Velvet Underground | 1966

P.S. Punters may also want to check out Italian Raro Video's recently released DVD of Andy Warhol's film 'The Velvet Underground and Nico'.