Ananda Shankar and his Music (EMI India 1975 - Fallout 2006)
Ananda (1942-1999) is certainly not the most famous member of the Shankar Family : his uncle
The actual reason for which I needed to disinter this 2005’Montgolfier Brothers’ EP from the shelf was a mystery to me until I heard the first chords of song n°2 “Bridestones Revisited”! It’s just the perfect reflection of the following “Les Disques du Crépuscule” video I was hunting yesterday on You Tube :
Soft Verdict : “Close Cover” video (1983)
22 years between those 2 songs and this purely ironic title “Close Cover”…Roger Quigley vs Wim Mertens…Vespertine vs Crepuscule…What a remarkable unsuspected filiation ! And again, like yesterday, this sweet melancholy deep down in my heart...
Roy Moller : Speak When I'm Spoken To (Book Club Records - Nov 2006)
Scottish fellow Roy Moller has been a long time faithful Belle and Sebastian collaborator on some Stevie Jackson’s own-penned songs and has also appeared with The Happy Couple recently. We met him for the first time as a solo artist with his great “Maximum Smile”
Time now for the debut full length, released in November on Aussie label Book Club Records with…Stevie Jackson as co-producer and both B&S members Stevie J. and Bob Kildea also credited as musicians.
The inspiration here is not to be found in any old or recent Scottish scene : melodies, harmonies and choruses are clearly 60’s California Coast influenced, at times also reminiscent of the Kinks… while instrumentation and sounds sometimes send back to good old british psychedelic works. Great job from a very gifted and unconventional artist!! Buy it HERE (couldn’t find it in any mailorder yet)!!
Wishing you all a very sweet new year full of great pop moments !!!
Je vous souhaite une nouvelle année pleine de petits bonheurs et de grands moments pop !!!
Math and Physics Club : S/T (Matinée)
This highly awaited debut album from
This is not the latest Stereolab e-single, this is "Zzotto" taken from "Straight of Lame", the 1967 - and only - album by The Daisy Chain, a legendary obscure female foursome from Orange County, California. This ultra-rare psych-garage album, reissued in 2005 on Sundazed Records, is proving that an all-songwriter-girl combo could do something drop-dead cool in those years, ruled by flower power teenage boys. Rosemary, Camille, Shel Le and Dee Dee Lea have accomplished here a very weird but charming one-shot diversified project, oscillating from Soul to Garage and from Pop to Psych, and, as you can hear, the carrier waves from that seism are still being felt today...
Best album or EP :
Could have done this in 3 parts : best indie album, best electro album and best EP, but I’m getting tired with all these charts so I’m gonna do it all at once. Ooooh, and if you’re a twee boy or girl, do not forget the traditional TweeNet Poll end-of-year reflex!!
01. Ponies in the Surf Ponies on Fire
This album simply deserves the top for its delicate melodies and its brilliant minimalist outline. At the era of the 0,99 € e-song and the i-pod, this handmade sleeve and this rock-bottom price (4$) are the incontrovertible evidences that the best pop quality remains the affair of passionate people.
02. Tender Trap 6 Billion People
A very dense and mature work, perfectly synthesizing all Amelia Fletcher’s personal background, from Heavenly’s sonic spaces to Marine Research’ grace.
03. Love is All Nine Times that same Song
The first Pop ‘n Cherries post back in April and a home fave since 2 years now. A unique saxo-saturated heady post punk sound, male choirs from beyond the grave and J.O’s transcendent sputters. The best live experience of the year and a truly classic album, recently re-released on a major !
04. The Radio Dept. Pet Grief
05. Cats on Fire Draw in the Reins EP
06. Pipas Sorry Love
07. Belle and Sebastian The Life Pursuit
08. Stereolab Fab Four Suture
09. Little Name How to Swim and Live (streamed on the web)
10. The Hit Parade The Return of the Hit Parade
11. Bears S/T
12. The Electric Pop Group S/T
13. The Happy Couple Happy Times & Petty Crimes
14. Pants Yell Recent Drama
15. Casiotone f.t.p. Alone Etiquette
17. Dominique A L’horizon
18. The Most Serene Republic Phages EP + Underwater Cinematographer
19. Junior Boys So this is Goodbye
21. Mirafiori No Podemo Volver a Casa
22. Momus Ocky Milk
23. Destroyer Destroyer’s Rubies
24. Hypo and EDH The correct Use of Pets
25. The Embassy Tacking (Worldwide release)
26. Hot Chip The Warning
27. Poni Hoax S/T
28. Pas/Cal Dear Sir EP
29. Nathan Fake Drowning in a
30. El Perro
31. Holden Chevrotine
32. Voxtrot Mother, Sisters, Daughters and Wives EP
33. Farina Allotments
35. Gossip Standing in the Way of Control
36. All my Friends All my Friends get hung up
37. The Airfields Laneways EP
38. Lo Fi FNK Boylife
39. Math and Physics Club S/T
40. The Pipettes We are the Pipettes
41. Orval Carlos Sibelius S/T
42. Dat Politics Wow Twist
43. Miou Miou La la grande finale
44. My Brightest Diamond Bring Me the Workhouse
45. Camera Obscura Let’s get out of this Country
46. Mates of State Bring it Back
47. Electroluvs Bubblewrapped
48. The Long Blondes Someone to drive you home + EP’s
49. The Cathouse Bloody Hours EP
50. Peter, Bjorn and John Writer’s block
Must have forgotten some…
Of course, many stories to be checked in the archives…
1. The Kids at the Club : An Indiepop compilation (How does it Feel to be Loved)
2. The Trip - as curated by Jarvis Cocker & Steve Mackey (Family)
3. Chloé & Ivan Smagghe : The Dysfunctional Family (Kill the DJ)
4. CD86 : 48 Tracks from the Birth of Indiepop (Sanctuary)
5. Peachy Little Secrets (Fruit Records)
6. Blue Skies Up – Welcome to the New Pop Revolution (Dogbox Records)
7. BIPPP : French Synth-Wave 1978/85 (Born Bad)
8. Pop the Question (Book Club Records)
9. Digital Penetration (Alt/Del Records)
10. Kitsuné Maison Compilation 3 (Kitsuné)
Thomas Hilverkus and Johanna Maier (aka Janehoney) from Germany are what we call "Music Mates", having a common love for "The Pop Moment". In 2002, they created the marvellous Félicité Single Club (with an él in it yeaahhh), releasing some stylishly packaged collector 7" with cult artists as King of Luxembourg, The Catalysts and Roy Moller.
In the same time, they formed The Happy Couple, releasing their first highly acclaimed EP "Four Seasons"on their own label. 2005 saw the release of their second EP "Fools in Love"on the lovely Matinée label (in collaboration with B&S' Stevie Jackson) and earlier this year, they recorded a third confidential "Song for the Troubadour" CDEP. This compilation on the Japanese label Quince gives us the opportunity to get the 3 EP's reunited, confirming the duo sweet tendencies for tasteful, fragile, jangly twee pop. One of the best Xmas gifts I could imagine...
Oooh yeah it's that time of the year, and we'll start with an easy one, remembering what we loved this year in the field of french chanson, variété, french-speaking pop or whatever you call it... So, in the absence of Orwell, Watoo Watoo and Arnaud Fleurent-Didier, my choice went to :
The Chanson Française tradition is not dead, thanks this heartbreaking woman, with her profound voice and stylish pen.
Perfect catchy pop tunes in the best indie style, enclosed in an antique tape. What more do you want ?
The Hexagone is still anxiously waiting for an innovative pop-rock act. This act already exists in...Québec, Canada. Malajube's immediate and energetic melodies kicked my ass...
The rest du meilleur :
Vanessa and the O's
La ballade d'O
Celle que vous croyez
Raides à la ville EP
Entre deux rivages
(Trois Jeunes Tambours)
Ouh la la la
Comme un seul homme
Tant de temps
la nuit m'attend
Saule et les pleureurs
Vous êtes ici
Que le temps passe
(Barclay / Universal)
One great explorative debut album (Underwater Cinematographer) and a brilliant long EP (only available on tour initially) this year are sufficient to consider MSR as one of Canada's most precious acts. While the album was exploring all directions (from Blonde Redhead to Broken Social Scene), "Phages" allows them to find their very own noisy and melodramatic sound. Stunning act to follow !
==> The Most Serene Republic - Proposition 61 (from Underwater Cinematographer)
Language of Flowers : You're the One (from The Kids at the Club Compilation)
"Language of Flowers" was a song on Pale Saints' first album and is also the name of this talented outfit from UK. Their debut album on Shelflife records was one of the best 2004' discoveries and the song Tara Mascara has now become a classic indie anthem.
"You're the One" is part of the great indiepop compilation "The Kids at the Club" released some months ago on How Does It Feel To Be Loved? label. The song never sounded right to be included in the 2004 album and has been re-released many times before this final version.
This post is especially dedicated to the person who stole my laptop last week...
Buy it HERE
Before being a teen idol, cuttie girl Yuko Ogura was a swimsuit model. "Onna no Ko, Otoko no Ko" is part of manga "School Rumble (1st season)" OST and was a big hit back in 2005. Get it HERE with a Yuko calendar !
Polysics has built a solid worlwide reputation by touring a lot in Europe and US and claim to be "the Japanese Devo"! Q : Are we not men ? A : We are Polysics ! This awesome 10 years old robot-dancer, known as "Strong Machine 2", is not part of the band yet ! Get this HERE
The story was in the air some months ago : a super-super canadian group with Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade), Dan Bejar (New Pornographers, Destroyer) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes). Any excited, curious or even skeptical you could be about this, you'll have to accept, after hearing "Beast Moans", that this music succeeds in fusing all 3 actors' antagonisms, bringing them into a fully new own original sound, solemn, exploratory and beautiful at the same time...
Despite only one official album and some singles, Mikado (1982-1991) is one of the most emblematic acts generated in the whole
“Par Hasard” (Les disques du Crépuscule – 1982)
Mikado est fondé en 1982 par Pascale Borel (paroles) et Gregori Czerkinsky (musique). C’est le gourou du Crépuscule Michel Duval qui leur fait signer leur premier single très confidentiel « Par Hasard » et c’est de là que tout partira. Au Japon tout d’abord, où ils remplacent presque « par hasard » Antena au pied levé pour une mini-tournée avec Winston Tong et Durutti Column via le label cousin « Le Crépuscule au Japon ». Grâce à cette tournée et les autres qui suivront, Mikado s’y retrouve vite en haut de l’affiche, finit par signer sur un gros label et y devenir extrêmement populaire.
« Naufrage en hiver » ( Non Standard-JP-1984 ; Vogue-FR-1986)
Tandis que le 1er album éponyme sort au Japon en 1984 (avec une pochette de Pierres et Gilles), Vogue en prend la licence en France et décide de sortir « Naufrage en Hiver » en single, le soutenant par une promotion très active. Le succès est au rendez-vous : concerts, passages en radio et enfin une certaine reconnaissance en France. Suivront une reprise en main par CBS-Sony et la sortie du single « La fille du soleil »
« C’est le vent » (Unreleased-1990 ; Le Village Vert-FR-1998)
Après 2 enfants et quelques années de pause, le couple Borel-Czerkinsky présente en 1990 les maquettes de nouvelles chansons pour un second album assez autobiographique où Grégori s’affirme davantage au chant. Sony fait mine de s’y intéresser puis décline. Suite à des problèmes personnels entre Gregori et Pascale, l’aventure Mikado s’arrête en 1991. Le second album ne verra jamais le jour …jusqu’en 1998 où, dans la foulée du 1er excellent album solo de Czerkinsky, le label Village Vert sort « Mikado Forever », une compilation de 23 titres comprenant la quasi-totalité du 1er album, des titres sortis au Japon, en Hollande et en Angleterre de même que des inédits dont certains titres du « second album », comme ce « C’est le vent ».
Il ne reste plus qu’à souhaiter peut-être que les 2 albums soient (ré)édités intégralement en digipack (on verrait bien Ze records ou Les Temps Modernes), avec pourquoi pas une pochette inédite de Pierres et Gilles pour le second. En attendant, regardons devant nous en continuant à écouter le miraculeux dernier album de Pascale Borel tout en scrutant l’arrivée du prochain Czerkinsky (c’est sûr il nous prépare quelque chose le petit Grégori, foi de Katerine…).
-Pascale Borel interview on lalalala.org
-Tequeno, a Japanese webpage about Mikado
-« Mikado Forever » compilation on « Le Village Vert »
As a kick-off for the week-end, let’s push the PAUSE button for club-orientated hyp-bands à
Third release for beloved Fruit records label, and this time it is a special world tour trip for twee boys & girls, featuring unreleased tracks, unsigned stuff, Asia’s fine fleur, classic international acts and pure discoveries, old or new : bands from fruit catalogue (Serenaide, Ferns), popular asian acts (Mocca, Annemarie - see video below -, The Marshmallow Kisses, My Little Airport with the wonderful demo of “Je pense à toi” becoming “Japan ‘Sut Gua”), swedish acts (Ingenting from Labrador label and too-short-living band The Castavetes), well-known international pop bands ( Lucksmiths from Australia,
Luisa Mandou Um Beijo : "Amarelinha"
Blam Blam Blam : “There is no Depression in New-Zealand” (
The lightning-existence of the band BLAM BLAM BLAM is deeply linked to both musical and political New-Zealand History. Born in 1980 from the ashes of The Wizzkids an The Plague, at a golden time and in a country where many independent labels (Ripper, Reaction, Propeller, REM, Flying Nun…) were coming to life – after a moribund decade -, the trio quickly signed to Propeller Records. Behind their first eponym EP, they released the single “There is no Depression in New-Zealand”, a song that became an almost-national anthem during the 1981 Anti-Springbok Tour protests and riots. Shortly after their 1982 debut Album, the band sadly disintegrated following a serious van crash. It is beyond question Blam Blam Blam highly influenced all of the next-to-come-world-breaking NZ indie scene…
- “It’s Bigger than Both of Us” NZ singles 1979-82 (Propeller)
It’s been 4 years since the first and only Mirafiori EP, produced by Guille Milkyway (
Munich-based multi-instrumentist Roberto Di Gioia is known for his collaborations with Console and The Notwist and has got a huge jazz and classical pedigree. This is the second album for his project Marsmobil, clearly influenced by the likes of Portishead & Air (should I say Barry and Gainsbourg). These 11 space-electronica-trip-pop moments are made of visionary smooth-skinned melodies, magnified at times by Martine Rojine’s crystal-cut voice. This will most certainly calm down all your worries.
la Variété by Weekend (Rough Trade 1982 - Reedition on Cherry Red 2006)
The surgical crew is back for operation n° 5. Many of the instruments and formulas stay unchanged – still very CLINIC! - but, at times, some new devices make a conspicuous appearance: a strongly marked “garage” sound and saturated psychedelic backgrounds...Although perfect achievements of operation 1 “first EP's compilation” and operation 2 “Internal Wrangler” are out of reach for the time being, the “masks” are moving forward in a very interesting direction again... and that's great news !
The Embassy : Tacking (Service)
At the time I was having a look at the Service label for some modern crooner called Rocky Dennis (later known as Jens Lekman), I never paid attention to this labelmate band, who already was a little phenomenon in Sweden with their 2002 debut album. So I'm discovering them with this 2nd LP for which I'm instantly falling in love ! This is pure electroacoustic pop (à la New Order, St Etienne or even Happy Mondays) coupled with this peculiar Scandinavian touch, bringing a sense of irony and a special melodic gesture (think SKWBN or Jens Lekman). Own this and buy it HERE !
The Embassy : "Stage Persona"
As far as I know, this is the one and only 45rpm released by this mysterious blonde woman, who's mainly known as a dubbing actress for animated movies (what a wastefulness !). And yeah, this music, these arrangements…that’s the unclassifiable Mister André Popp, the pioneer mad doctor who composed for such sweeties as Jeanette, Marie Laforêt, Astrud Gilberto and Claudine Longet but also wrote some cult soundtracks (Babar, Tintin...), great instrumental pieces such as “Mon cinéma et moi” or the famous “Piccolo, Saxo et Compagnie”, a symphonic tale for children…
My Name In Lights
My Name In Lights only have 2 demo songs on their website, they are recording some more stuff at the moment but they don’t have any releases on the way just yet. However, this is more than enough to understand there’s something very special going on with this brand new sextet from
Nearly all band members have been in other bands : Jim, the bass player is also in Lolita Storm who used to be on Digital Hardcore records ; Paul, one of the guitarists, is also in a blues band called Mudlow and Sputnik also drums in a surf band the Surfin' Lungs, who are signed to Wild Punk Records. Dark-haired lead singer Tamsin has never been famous before though!
My Little Airport signed on Elefant
Well, this is quite amazing news that our Hong-Kong darlings have been signed on the Spanish label, which was somewhat goo-gooing on the Eastern side recently. It is manifest their innocent marshmallow electro-pop and cute naive melodies will fit like a silky glove to the Elefant catalogue. Furthermore they will now benefit from a well deserved worldwide distribution... The major disillusion for the early fans is that their first release on the label, due in December, will not be more than a 14 songs’ album compiling “the best moments” of their 2 Harbour Records’ previous albums…
PAS/CAL : Dear Sir EP (Preorder – Le Grand Magistery – Release 07/11)
Hardly after two EP’s on Le Grand Magistery and two 12’’split singles on their own label Romantic Air,
The third EP “Dear Sir” is now available for preorder via Darla.
Track listing : 1) Little Red Radio, 2) C.A.V. (Sans Muscle), 3) Dear Sir, 4) The