12 June 2009

Electric Light Orchestra

The last week or two I've been waking up with really strange songs in my head. Just the other day I was looking for this ELO song that popped into my head one morning (I almost wrote pooped into my head, isn't that FUNNY?). Songs seem to be coming up out of nowhere lately, dusting themselves off from the archival abyss in the annals of my brain, and taking center stage in my consciousness. It's not by choice, at all. Two days ago it was Goo Goo Dolls' "Slide", I shit you not. There's some messed up wiring going on in my upstairs, you know what I'm saying?

So I was looking for this song, and I wasn't really sure what it was called, but figured I had it on my computer. So I searched through all 9 GDing ELO albums on my computer, only to come up empty. But about a year ago, before I got a turntable in my possession, I bought the ELO album "Discovery" from a dollar bin somewhere. Discovery came out a couple years after their back-to-back masterpieces, but right before their disco cheeseball phase. At this point they were only borderline disco cheeseball. Anyway, voila! Song's called "Shine a Little Love".

Electric Light Orchestra - Shine a Little Love

As it's the first song on this particular record, it opens with the obligatory space-time warping synth sounds, before quickly shifting into a huge hook, laden with hand claps and searing violin work. Discovery is kind of a hit and miss record, but it's worth that crate dig and 100 cents for the few noteworthy tracks on the record.

Here's the sweet, sweet video for the song.

Check out those glittering vests! See what I'm saying about borderline disco cheeseball?

03 June 2009

Medicine Head

Back in my record store days, this great Dandelion Records single compilation(John Peel's record label) came in that first introduced me to the music of Medicine Head.

Although their later output treads toward the boogie side of British blues and folk, Medicine Head's early singles, off their debut New Bottles, Old Medicine, are right up the London equivalent to Tin Pan Alley. Bert Jansch, Jackson C. Franke, the softer personality of Peter Green, and John Martyn are all contemporaries. It's ambling, pensive, and warm folk music that all those guys did so well, and that nearly nobody has been able to do since.

Medicine Head - This Love of Old

And here's some of that boogie I was talking about:


So there's this band called Church, not to be confused with 80's and 90's (and, unfortunately, 00's) Australian rock band The Church, or the San Francisco punk band J Church. Just Church. I'm beginning to think bands have stopped trying to come up with decent names. It's become a reflex- SeeSomethingNameSomething. Women. Woods. Yacht. The Field. Church. As artists, aren't you meant to be creative? Adjectives, people!

So back to the music. Church are a Portland indie-pop band, through and through. I heard this song called "Happiness" a year ago, and because their name and obscurity made it difficult to find anything out about them, I gave up. But somehow I recently managed to stumble upon their myspace, and in honour of my great triumph, today I'm posting this "Happiness" song that I heard so long ago. It sounds a lot like Grandaddy, although their other stuff is more akin to The Minus Story or Menomena or something. Basically I just really like this one song. It's on an EP called Gold that came out last year on soHItek.

Church - Happiness

And here's their myspace, for the record.