What a pleasant surprise from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard! The Australian rock band released Teenage Gizzard, a compilation of their first songs, recorded in 2010 and 2011. Very cool to hear how they started: short rock songs with surf influences, in which the characteristic singing style and hypnotic guitars are already central, but less complex and drawn-out than in their later work. The ten tracks are available as a digital album, but you can also bootleg the album yourself (like seven other albums – live shows or demos). The audio master files and cover art can be downloaded for free by anyone who wants to release this album (in 2017 they did something similar with Polygondwanaland, now 288 different versions have been made). I look forward to the creative outbursts this new challenge will yield and I want to have at least one of them in my collection.
At the start of each year, I create a playlist to keep track of newly released songs I like. Then, at the end of the year, I pick out the best song from this list to create a year-end mixtape, a playlist I like to return to every now and then, and revisit or rediscover songs and memories of a specific period of time. The thing is, I am not a very efficient person. So basically I drag songs to the playlist for 350 days resulting in quite the mess – the playlist currently has 1944 songs, almost 92 hours of music. Then, with the year coming to its close, I frantically go to work trimming down the playlist to its essence. That’s the hard part, because I am way better in adding stuff than throwing things away, or so I am told. I usually end up with a playlist around 300-400 songs, in spite of my good intentions to keep it shorter. This year is no exception. What I did do differently this year however, is split up the songs in two playlists that reflect my two musical taste buds: a playlist with more straightforward punk, powerpop and garage hits from 2020, and one playlist with a little less distortion (i.e., indiepop, jangle, twee, but also postpunk, and more fuzzy and surfy popsounds). As always, one song per artists. Click read more to check them out. Hope you’ll like ’em, and will uncover some new favorite tunes! BTW, in case this is my final post of the year, take care, be well and see you in 2021!
In 1995 Waldemar Noë visited Wim Elzinga to record a few songs at his home, the start of Bingo Trappers. Now, 25 years later, the Dutch lo-fi band still works that way. They make 60’s/70’s-influenced psychedelic garage pop with a twang. Old-fashioned craftsmanship. Their new album Giddy Wishes, follow up to Elizabethan (2018), offers ten new melancholic tunes that bring a little light to these dark days. Most of the songs are a bit more subdued than before, but the singer’s ‘Whoo!’ exclamation halfway through the stand-out track What’s the score (listen below) shows the enthusiasm that the band still has. The album title refers to an old-fashioned postcard: ‘Some giddy wishes from a confined place – mind and heart are free to travel from A to B.’ Just what we need right now.
Obviously, cool things are happening in Japan. Strange things too: just listen to this album by Alco Degurutieni (アルコ デグルチーニ), a one-man band from Osaka that has been making songs for almost 40 years. Apparently you should actually see him live (pre Covid-19 he was touring through the world constantly), an experience as incomprehensible as unforgettable. Dark Mondo is a compilation with older songs (self released or on tiny labels) and new ones, songs that deserve a larger audience according to the people at Voodoo Rhythm Records. They describe Degurutieni’s music as weird, wild, obscure, spooky, exotica burlesque toy junk muzak trash made with broken cassette desks and fucked up record players. And that’s not even all you hear or see. Fascinating. RIYL Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, cinematic weirdness.
The idea behind this blog is that we share the work of relatively unknown artists, work that we would like to have in our collection, work you might want to add to your wantlist. That’s not always that easy. This week, through a Spotify playlist, I discovered Exotic Psychotic, the second EP by Australian psych rockers Crosstown Killers. I immediately dragged the track This World is a Modern Day Jail to my favorites list, but it seems there’s no option to pay for the music. They have a website and some social accounts, but unfortunately no page on Bandcamp, no physical release either. Too bad for you and me, but also for the band, I guess. I found a song on Soundcloud to give you an idea of what you’re missing.
So apparently the EP is not for sale, but it can be heard on Spotify.
UPDATE: Message from Crosstown Killers: ‘We’re in the process of making some hard copies for sale.’ 🙂
OK, let’s start with the obligatory cliché intro text. The only good thing about 2020 was that by being at home more often you could listen to even more music and for those who want to hear it, enough good music has been made. Since January I have checked out 1,100+ new albums. Sometimes after half a minute I knew it wasn’t for me, sometimes I just couldn’t get enough. No doubt I missed a few things that I should not have missed, but right now this is what it is. And it doesn’t really matter either. Music lists are by definition debatable, because they say something about taste and taste is personal. What follows does not really say anything about quality, but simply reflects what I have played and enjoyed the most. In my list guitars and distinctive voices predominate, it’s mostly rock orientated (alternative, garage, jangle, roots, post-punk, …) plus a little bit of soul, with both debuting bands and old rockers with renewed energy who could have been their grandfather. It turns out that 2020 was not that bad at all!
True, these 5 songs have been available for 2 months now, but I’m only discovering them now (thanks Shindig! Magazine!) and this debut EP is too good not to share. The 4-peace consists of members of Bottomfeeders and Jeff the Brotherhood and they play driving guitar rock with garage-psych and glam influences that could have come straight from the 70s. The Out Of The Darkness EP is out digitally via Third Man Records and the label promises a self-titled full-length LP for 2021. Yeah!
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp
For obvious reasons, far fewer new albums are released in December than in other months, but luckily there is still some notable new work. Most interesting this week imho is Slacker Paint, the debut LP of The Mary Veils. It turns out to be not really a new album, because the American garage rock band self-released it back in 2017. Apparently most music lovers missed that at the time, the album was not even on Discogs yet, but PNKSLM Recordings now shares it with a wider audience. The second full-length album is due for release next year, but let’s dive into this first; there is much to discover in these varied tracks.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp