August 31, 2006



The Lovekevins made two of last years most wonderful singles in 'Blame The English' and 'Max Leon' (the latter still available from Songs I Wish I Had Written). An album was slated for release in May this year, but nothing happened... we're still waiting. In the meantime (hopefully not instead), band member Fredrik has made a couple of solo recordings. Unsurprisingly, they are great. I can't seem to stop playing this in particular:

Fredrik | 1986

August 29, 2006

I see my baby burning

(This post was going to be about a strange, confused and very beautiful 17 year old girl I hung out with for a short while back in 1986, and in whose company I first heard The Love Deniers... but what I wrote started getting too personal. So just the facts then.)

20 years ago (Jesus... has it really been that long?) I bought a compilation tape called 'Animal Aid'. On it was some OK stuff, some forgettable rubbish, and one amazing song; 'Diamonds Are Forever' by The Love Deniers. A bit of research later (I forget what kind, but it was long before Google) and I'd discovered that this was a band led by one Michael Krohn. (For the uninitiated, ie. anyone not Norwegian, Michael Krohn is something of a legend, having first played drums in influential (post) punk band Kjøtt in the late 70s, before forming and singing in the very popular Raga Rockers throughout the next decade. But all beside the point). I sent the guy a letter telling him how fantastic I thought 'Diamonds' was, and that I wanted to write about The Love Deniers in my fanzine.

A week or so later a demo cassette landed in my postbox, containing 'Diamonds' and 5 more tracks; all great. Circumstance may have played a small part, but... I immediately fell in love. Wonderful bitter-sweet pop; organ, tuba, drums and a girl singing... from the opening wake-up call of 'Shake The World' to the final put-down of 'Oblivion' ("Do you mind if I smoke when you screw me / Do you mind if I yawn when you come / Do you mind if you wake up in the morning / Just to find out that I've gone / Back to the Streets of Oblivion"), the Love Deniers demo was, and still is, magic. I played it constantly for months, and now after having recently converted the contents to MP3s, I'm doing it again.

I probably should have found out more about The Love Deniers when I had the chance (maybe I did... maybe my mind was just somwehere else); I seem to recall rumours of a videotape circulating, and that Bitten Forsudd from Garden Of Delight and Einmal Kommt Die Liebe was involved, possibly someone from hardcore outfit Svart Framtid (Black Future), but that's it. So what was their story? Why the short life span? Why weren't these songs released? (They still should be... fuck, I'd do it.) If anyone knows, or knows someone who knows, please get in touch! In the meantime, and with the sincere hope that none of the involved parties mind, enjoy this:

The Love Deniers | Demo

(Even 20 years on, listening to The Love Deniers is inextricably linked to certain memories. I wonder sometimes how her life turned out...)

August 28, 2006

"Your body is so much fun"

It's midday on a Monday, and I really should be working. Instead, I'm unable to tear myself away from this.

Salad Fingers

Weird, disturbing, and very very wonderful, 'Salad Fingers' is the creation of one David Firth, of It follows an odd, mad little green man on his quest for perfect spoons, gorgeous grubby taps and rusty kettles, encountering on the way a curious group of side characters such as Milford Cubicle, Mable, Mr. Branches, bug-eyed little boys and a collection of tattered finger-puppets.

Soundtracked by The Boards Of Canada (and others) and brilliantly voiced by Firth himself, 'Salad Fingers' is the coolest flash-animated cartoon series I've ever seen. Reminiscent of David Lynch and Tim Burton at their darkest, most wickedly surreal... it's funny and it's scary and it's absolutely brilliant!

Episode 1: Spoons | Episode 2: Friends | Episode 3: Nettles
Episode 4: Cage | Episode 5: Picnic | Episode 6: Present
Episode 7: Shore Leave

Thanks to Simon Indelicate for pointing me to this. And now, back to work. (Actually, I'm going to check what else David Firth has made first).

August 24, 2006

Building A Better Way: Music From The 1974 Chevrolet Announcement Film

HEA Productions | Building A Better Way

I stumbled over some MP3s from this a few years ago, and was astonished. Who'd have thought that the soundtrack for a film advertising a new car, produced by a company of corporate jingle makers would sound great? It does though... and I decided I needed to find the LP so that I could hear the rest. Googling led me to a copy with a $75 asking price, which is stupid (although many lesser albums with similar grooves go for much more), but then recently it turned up on eBay with a "buy it now" price of $15. Much more to my liking.

Highlights include the outer space opening of... 'Opening', the amazing 'Designing' which starts off like the theme from a blaxploitation flick, has an interlude that's all sci-fi and moogy, and a part with Beach Boys' style ba-ba-ba's, all sweet and sunshine; there's the great funky soul jazz of 'Proving', the mad moog-tinged big band psychedelia of 'Building' (my current fave)... and more. All of which have me wondering who the real people behind/playing on this record are. Anyone know?

HEA Productions | Building A Better Way

PS. Those of you who like this (or are into Chevies) might want to go here for a similarly themed album.

August 15, 2006

Photos, festivals, and The School

Got myself a Flickr account, initially because I needed to upload recent photos from Brighton and London that I knew others would want to see. So that's another Internet community to get hooked on then. Are any of them really of any use? At all? My MySpace has now registered more than 1000 profile views. Why?!? (OK, I have met and befriended some nice people...)

Love Is All

I spent the latter half of last week at Oslo's annual Øya festival. Never really been a fan of outdoor festivals (the wrong setting for most good music, too many people, rain, I'm too old) but after realizing that the one day I attended last year was quite enjoyable, I decided I'd go for the duration this time. And it was in fact grand. Oh, there was still plenty to moan about (the wrong setting for most good music, too many people, rain, I'm too old), but I also met up with some nice people (again), and obviously got to see a fair amount of from decent to great gigs. Big names (Morrissey, Beck, The Cramps, Yoko Ono, The Fall), medium sized names (!!!, The Wrens, Spank Rock, Kieran Hebden w. Steve Reid), small names (Love Is All, Liars, Cold War Kids) and Norwegian names (or mostly English names but on Norwegian bands): Spunk (playfully noisy improv), The Loch Ness Mouse (summery indiepop), Motorpsycho (yeah well, hadn't seen them live before), Susanna & The Magical Orchestra (beautiful electronica tinged reworkings of rock classics), Datarock (bouncy, funky electro), Darkside Of The Force (latino fused live hip hop), and this lot:

The School

Great spiky pop-punk, all angular guitars (what does that mean anyway?) and attitude... The School need only get a deal with Domino Records and they'll have it made. There's an album out shortly; in the meantime you could do worse than lend an ear to the excellent 'Mädchen' ep from some months back. The track below steals it's motoric groove from The Modern Lovers' Roadrunner by way of Stereolab's 'Super Electric', and is ace!

The School | Situation