Saturday, June 24, 2017

Song of the day (2)

"Another Day In The Sun", by The Moffs.

While digging through the Compactus looking for songs fitting the theme of "days" (tomorrow on The O-Zone), I stumbled upon a forgotten nugget from a forgotten (but not entirely -- see below) Australian band from the latter half of the 1980s -- a place and time where giants walked upon the land. Feedtime. The Cannanes. The Lime Spiders. The Widdershins. Beasts of Bourbon. The Cosmic Psychos. Died Pretty. The Apartments. The Eastern Dark. And this is probably only just scratching the surface.

While a lot of the above drew on the sounds of underground pop music, garage punk, so-called "psychobilly" and the like, The Moffs, at least on this song, seem from this distance to have been drawing more from the well of dreampop/shoegaze and the paisley underground. If these terms mean nothing to you, you might, nevertheless, find this song a joy to listen to.

And if it whets your whistle, there is much more goodness to be found on these two excellent collections. Pin your ears back.

Bonus beats:

If you are of the younger generation, this cover version by contemporary pop pickers Jagwar Ma (with Dreems; who teaches these kids to spell?) might be more to your fancy.

Song of the day (1)

"Conversation Piece", by The Chills.

And speaking (we were, weren't we?) of the beloved Dunedin sound, hands up if you knew that at the start of this year The Chills released, seemingly only as a promo single, a cover of a very old David Bowie B-side?

One would infer that the intention was to mark the anniversary of Bowie's passing. (One would also have to say that all of those memes about Bowie having been all that was holding the fabric of western society together would appear to have been proven correct.) In any event, even if it was intended as in the spirit of Bowie's occasional early "novelty" singles, it turns out to be a moving, and powerful, tribute to the man. The fragility in Martin's voice, e.g. when he sings "scattered on the floor", is hard to listen to. From one national treasure to another.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Song of the day

"As Does The Sun", by Look Blue Go Purple.

Speaking of the beloved Dunedin Sound, there has never been a better time to note the chronically underrated contribution to same of Look Blue Go Purple, given that Flying Nun has just released an extensive compilation CD, entitled, cleverly, "Still Bewitched" ("Bewitched" being the name of their first record), comprising the entirety of their three EPs (which, when they drag me off to the nursing home, will be among the last things that I discard, and even then I will make damn sure they go to a good and appreciative home) plus a delicious live cover of "Codine" and a selection of live but unrecorded originals (note, especially, a song called "Eyes Are The Door") which are, as might be expected, pretty raw in terms of sound, but as songs complete in and of themselves, such that what we really need is a LBGP cover band (or maybe the girls themselves?) to record them properly and, if karma is an actual thing, perhaps give them the hit single they almost but never quite had.

(That may be the longest sentence I have ever attempted. Kids, don't try this at home.)

I have blogged a couple of their songs before, but I don't think I have yet given you this one. As good and all as "Cactus Cat" and "Circumspect Penelope" are, at a certain time of year and a certain time of day, in certain weather conditions, I am inclined to think this is the pick of them all. (To wit: just before the winter solstice, as it darkens, on one of those days when the sun never really comes out. An open fire is desirable but not essential. I have never been to Dunedin but those are the kind of conditions I imagine these songs being conceived in.)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Song of the day

"Party", by Aldous Harding.

As of today, this is the most breathtaking song I have heard. I shouldn't say "ever". Possibly ever. The clip below shows her performing it live in the studio for NZ television. It misses the multitracked vocals of the album version, which are what really push the song (and the listener) over the edge. But it still captures something that, by rights, should be impossible to capture.

And I know that too much water has flowed under too many bridges for me to still be looking for traces of the beloved Dunedin sound in records coming from New Zealand, but maybe, just maybe, if you close your eyes and listen really, really hard to the album version (which I would urge you to do), there is something here, even if it is only in the piano towards the end of the song, that might remind you of Peter Jefferies.