Mixing Cocktails With A Plastic-Tipped Cigar
Blue Minkies “You Make Me Blush” – This is the latest single from Brighton’s The Blue Minkies, whose aesthetic is a charming throwback to early 90s DIY both in terms of sound (it seems as though their favorite bands in the world are Huggy Bear and Bikini Kill) and style (an emphasis on old school indie zine making.) “You Make Me Blush” is a fun bit of UK punk built around a persistent, high pitched toy keyboard vamp which is almost as ingratiating as it is headache-inducing.
Pavement “Perfect Depth/She Believes/Summer Babe” (Live at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, 1994) – Here’s a little treat for all of the Pavement junkies out there. In addition to just being a great performance from a significant period of their career (just after the release of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and the addition of drummer Steve West to the line-up), this recording is notable for two things. First, “Perfect Depth” was rarely played live, and whenever it was performed, it was in a more conventional arrangement which allowed the lyrics to be intelligable and the vocal melody to be the focus of the song rather than feedback and white noise. Second, this version of “She Believes” features Stephen Malkmus playing the guitar part from the Sun City Girls’ “Space Prophet Dogon” (one of my all-time favorite songs, incidentally) over the lengthy intro.
If you’re a fan of the band, I recommend picking up a copy of Rob Jovanovic’s book Perfect Sound Forever, which was just released a little over a week ago. As a Pavement fanatic, I found it to be pretty satisfying even though it didn’t add all that much to what I already knew. The most exciting thing for me (aside from a few great anecdotes courtesy of Bob Nastanovich) was the ephemera printed throughout the book – several dozen zine reviews from the 89-92 period, print ads, alternate tracklistings, college radio charts, business correspondence, the entire venue rider for the 1999 tour. If you are the least bit nerdy about this band, then this book is a must-have.
Elsewhere: Mystery & Misery is another new mp3 blog with an emphasis on indie and experimental music.
Also: The Fiery Furnaces talk about their influences in the Guardian.
The Fiery Furnaces’ next project is even based on the Who’s mini-rock opera The Who Sell Out. “Our forthcoming album is a bunch of seven- to eight-minute songs with varying degrees of incoherent stories, so it’s a narrative set to music, just like The Who Sell Out,” says Matthew. “We’re happy to imitate other bands. On Gallowsbird’s Bark, we tried, unsuccessfully, to imitate the first album by [1960s Brazilian rockers] Os Mutantes, Taking Tiger Mountain by Brian Eno, and The Madcap Laughs by Syd Barrett.”
(Thanks to Parallax View.)