Hullo. It’s a poorly sick Nobody’s Listening that greets you this week as I’m currently in the grip of a particularly nasty bout of vertigo. But enough of my ailments, what’s in store this week I hear all six-twelve of you cry? Well, among other delights we have some seasonal Bossa Nova, electronic bliss from Japan, sixties Brit psych-pop and some good ol’ fashioned country music.
Of course, the fit and working Paul D’Cruz is with us with his pick of the week. My very good friend, bandmate and tree surgeon to the estate of Leeds-born comedian and Panto legend Billy Pearce kicks off this weeks proceedings.
Ok then, dance yourself dizzy (pun intended)…
Track 1. Bon Chic Bon Genre by Campag Velocet.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
Here he is then with nineties indie-dance band Campag Velocet. Championed by the NME as ‘The Best New Band In Britain’, they released their debut LP in 1999 of which this is the title track. The accolade proved to be a burden for the London based group as poor sales led to dismissal from their label and despite scraping together a second album in 2004, they called it a day the following year. This is great stuff though and a fine way to begin the playlist.
Track 2. Incurably Innocent by At The Drive-In.
This is brand spanking new gear from the Texan post hardcore combo, and only the second piece of new music we’ve heard from them in over fifteen years. And a blistering return it is too, with all the usual ATDI tropes, unusual chords, a fast tempo and crunching guitars. One element that is missing however is founder member and guitarist Jim Ward who chose not to participate in the reunion and has been replaced by former Sparta guitarist Keeley Davis. The new LP, ‘in•ter a•li•a’ is due to drop in May.
Track 3. Lemonade by Tatsuhiko Asano.
After a blistering start, we slow things down for the bulk of this weeks playlist, beginning with this guitar and effects piece which opens the Tokyo based multi intrumentalists 2001 debut LP ‘Genny Haniver’. Dreamy, bleepy and atmospheric, it has lots to admire and get lost in.
Track 4. Águas De Março by Antônio Carlos Jobim, Elis Regina.
Next, we reach this weeks cover star and her duet with the songs composer, the late, great Antônio Carlos Jobim. This 1972 bossa was an instant success for the Brazilian songwriter and was voted the all-time best Brazilian song in a poll conducted in 2001. It first came to my attention when I heard Susannah McCorkle’s version played over the credits for Jerry Seinfeld’s documentary ‘Comedian’ around fifteen years back. It has since become a favourite of my own and a track I wheel out at the beginning of spring every year. Elis’ sweet vocal makes this version, that infectious smile coming through in her delivery. She is regarded as one of the greatest ever Brazilian singers and remains popular in her homeland today, thirty five years after her passing at the tragically young age of 36.
Track 5. This One’s For You by The Concretes.
This Swedish eight piece have been a going concern for over twenty years now although their original lead singer Victoria Bergsman, featured here, parted company with the band in 2006. This sumptously orchestrated track is the closer from their 2004 self titled debut album and shares similarities with fellow indie-pop travelers Camera Obscura. With harp glissando’s and stirring strings, the last minute and a half or so is a thing of real beauty.
Track 6. Red Lady by Phil Cordell.
Cordell had a minor career in the late sixties and throughout the seventies releasing records under his own name as well as the monikers ‘Springwater’ and ‘Dan the Banjo Man’. It was under the Springwater guise that he scored his biggest hit, a 1971 UK top 5 with the instrumental ‘I Will Return’. This, however, is the b-side to his debut single, ‘Pumping the Water’ released under his own name in 1969.
Track 7. Wiserway by Pavo Pavo.
This single was released by the Brooklyn quintet just last summer. A gorgeous chamber pop piece with some neat touches, not least in the ‘Department Of Eagles’ type lead vocal which is complimented by a sometimes bombastic, sometimes sparce backing. Band member Oliver Hill backed this assessment up when he described the track thus.. “‘Wiserway’ is about extremes – the main elements are a bass line and an autoharp, so there’s an ocean of space between them. It’s meant to resemble a tornado in that way – destructive when its close-up and so peaceful from a distance.”
Track 8. Can´t Wait No More by The Last Hurrah!!.
The first of a country segue next with the return to the playlist of this Norwegian American troupe who feature Maesa Pullman, the daughter of Hollywood actor Bill Pullman, on vocals. This comes from their third LP released in 2015, ‘Mudflowers’ and is a lush country lament smothered in pedal steel and strings. Close your eyes and You’re in Tennessee, open them and You’re in Bergen where this live video was recorded.
Track 9. Pass The Booze by Ernest Tubb.
Our second toe dip into country brings us to ‘The Texas Troubadour’ and a 7″ from 1964. Tubb was one of the grandfathers of country, helping to popularise Honky Tonk music in the early forties. Tubb never possessed the best voice, he always sang flat, and actually mocked his own singing. He told an interviewer that 95 percent of the men in bars would hear his music on the juke box and say to their girlfriends, “I can sing better than him,” and Tubb added they would be right. Nevertheless, character can get you a long way and this typical Country lament has bags of it.
Track 10. Who’s Lovin’ You by The Jackson 5.
SSC time. No strangers to NL, the J5 will no doubt make many more appearances, such is the high quality of those early Motown years. Little Michael was always a superb interpreter of Smokey Robinson’s songs, sharing the same high register as Smokey himself. This appeared on their debut LP, 1969’s ‘Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5’ and is probably now the best known version. Twelve-year-old singer Shaheen Jafargholi performed the song at Michael Jackson’s public memorial service in July 2009.
There you go. Ten more of the best from me to you. Now, I’m going to lie down in a darkened room and hopefully shake this cursed illness.
Hope to see you back here in seven days time.
Until then, keep on running.