Finally, after days of searching, I've managed to locate the CD with another track I'd been intending to include in the post about our quiz the other day, Questions and Answers by Biffy Clyro. The ironic thing is, I'd actually given up trying to find it and was searching for a different CD entirely when it finally turned up in a stash of CDs perched in an unorderly pile behind my PC* this morning. (*that's my personal computer, rather than my police constable.) Gor blimey guv - my life!
Thanks to Breadman, Jones and Adam for giving the trivia round a go, by the way! How about the rest of you lovely people? Can I interest anyone else in having a squizz at our quiz?
Anyway, here's that Biffy Clyro track and the accompanying video, both of which are rather ace.
Spike (Sutti) and me (Hughesy) have our own daily trivia quiz. There are ten multiple choice questions to answer each day, on a variety of subjects. Fancy giving it a try? You can find it here.*
N.B. Although an enthusiastic bunch, we're mostly a bit rubbish at this answering questions malarkey, so if you're some sort of ultra-competitive trivia wunderkind you may wish to seek out a more challenging league instead. But if you're just after a bit of a laugh and a chance to answer a few questions each day, step right up!
*it's completely free, and registering only takes a few seconds.
Finally - at the fourth time of asking in a major championship on a June 22nd - Spain have won a penalty shoot-out (they had, rather spookily, lost the previous three that had fallen on this date in history), beating Italy in tonight's Euro 2008 quarter-final. Well done them - and to veteran coach Luis Aragonés for finally remembering that he had, in Cesc Fabregas, the best young midfielder in the world at his disposal, and belatedly introducing said midfield maestro for the latter stages of the game. Better late than never, gramps!
Following on from Spike's Suzanne post the other day, today we feature a third - and fourth! - different song with the self-same title. London-based Hut signings and shoegaze pioneers Moose delivered their own Suzanne in 1991, as the opening track on the Cool Breeze EP. Jolly good it is too.
Mildly Interesting Moose Fact: Moose's bass player, Lincoln Fong, had what I believe to be the greatest name in popular music history. (unless anyone knows better?) Mildly Interesting Moose Fact #2: The cover of the band's third EP, Reprise, featured a picture of the three Brady Bunch girls - Marcia, Jan and Cindy. Cindy Brady was played by Susan Olsen (right and right), whose first name sounds a bit like Suzanne. A mere coincidence? I think not!
Susannah is another name that sounds a bit like Suzanne; it was also the title of a cheesy 1984 Europop smash by Dutch group The Art Company. I bet you won't have heard this one for a while, eh, readers? (what do you mean no, thank god?)
Mildly Interesting Pop Fact: 'The Art Company' was merely the English name for the group: they were actually called VOF de Kunst. And what was the title of the original Dutch-language version of Susannah? Why, Suzanne of course!
There have been many girls' names used as titles of popular (and less popular - Craig McLachlan and Check 1, 2's Mona springs to mind...) songs over the years, and it seems peculiar how often the one name can elicit similar sentiments. Take the bitter-sweet yearning and almost unwilling affection towards Suzanne from Leonard Cohen and Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions, for instance...
Lemon Cone's song entitled Suzanne featured on his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, and has been covered by anyone who's anyone, including such greats as Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Joan Baez and Françoise Hardy. And of course we must not forget country singer George Hamilton IV (not to be confused with the perma-tanned actor who starred in Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough).
Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions's song entitled Suzanne hasn't. But it's still bloody good! I love the complicated xylophone part underscoring the simple guitar backing. It can - and should - be heard on the 2001 album Bavarian Bread Fruit.
A selection from the 1994 compilation LP If I Were A Carpenter today; which isn't, surprisingly, a tribute to the skilled woodworkers of the world, but rather to the brother-sister duo who set the pop charts ablaze with their cheesetastic easy-listening hits in them thar seventies.
The album brings together what'd be best-described as a largely college radio-friendly bunch of artists: American Music Club, Shonen Knife, Sonic Youth, The Cranberries, Bettie Serveert, Dishwalla (I must confess I'd never heard of this bunch before), Sheryl Crow, Johnette (Johnette?!) Napolitano with Marc Moreland, Redd Kross, Babes In Toyland, Cracker, Matthew Sweet, 4 Non Blondes, and Grant Lee Buffalo - all performing, perhaps unsurprisingly given the nature of the album, covers of classic Carpenters cuts (alliteration alert!).
But are any of them up there with the originals, I don't hear you ask. Well, mostly, no. But it's a pleasant enough listen. Here are a few of my favourites - with pride of place going to Shonen Knife's frankly inspired take on Top Of The World!
The album seems to have long since gone out of print, by the way, so it looks as if places like eBay and Amazon Marketplace would be your best bet for tracking a copy down now. If you're interested, like.
An old favourite from Malmo twee/shoegaze types Like Honey today, to celebrate the rather good news that the band are finally releasing their debut album, Leaves, in September. It would have been with us already but the pesky record company felt it would make more commercial sense to wait until the autumn, as the band explained in their MySpace blog recently:
We just had a chat with the executives of HYBRIS and we have agreed on releasing the album in early September instead of now. According to the marketing staff there its more strategic to release it after the summer. So we listen to the expertise, we want our little baby to get all the attention possible.
Ah well, as long as the album lives up to the likes of today's featured track, Airport, it'll be well worth the wait!
Have a look at the video for the fantastic new single by north London sprog siblings Kitty, Daisy And Lewis, a cover of the old Canned Heat song Going Up The Country:
I've never actually heard the original but isn't that cover just bloomin' marvellous? Absolutely perfect for a summer's day - or any day, really! It's being released as a single on 7th July in a variety of era-hopping formats: 7", CD, download and, rather thrillingly, 78rpm 10". Their first long player will follow on 28th July, and you'll be able to choose from all these releases and more at the Sunday Best Shop.
Mildly Interesting Pop Fact: Kitty, Daisy And Lewis Durham's mum, Ingrid Weiss, used to play the drums in post-punk combo The Raincoats.
Completely Made-Up Pop Fact: In her spare time, youngest sibling Kitty Durham presents the ITV Lunchtime News.
Well it was certainly a relief to see an exciting Euro 2008 game at last, with the Netherlands trouncing the world champions Italy 3-0 in the sixth game of the tournament last night - a scoreline few would have predicted beforehand. To add to the surreal atmosphere, Ruud van Nistelrooy spurned a chance to go down in the area for what would have been a clear penalty, and Dirk Kuyt played a blinder. Quite bizarre! The Dutch fans were terrific too, as ever.
Actually, the whole spectacle reminded me very much of England's even more unexpected 4-1 thrashing of the Dutch themselves at Euro '96. Highly enjoyable stuff.
Back to 2008's tournament, and up until Monday night's game the first five matches had been almost universally rubbish, so this minor classic was long overdue. Fingers crossed we get a few more over the coming weeks now.
Away from the pitch, the best thing, for me, about the '08 Championships has been The Guardian Football Daily podcasts with James Richardson & Barry Glendenning. They're a terrific listen, and far more entertaining than anything you'll hear from the pundits in the Match of the Day studios (with the honourable exceptions of messrs O'Neill, Strachan & possibly Dixon). For example, it's hard to imagine the Alans Shearer and Hansen having an argument about who'd win a fight between Bruce Hornsby & The Range and Huey Lewis & The News!
You don't even have to go to the trouble of downloading the podcasts either; they can be streamed directly from here.
Anyway, I don't know about you but it's normally about this time that I like to listen to a couple of classic Teenage Fanclub covers!
Hello you! Guess what? Stockholm's Razzia Records have a fantastic-looking compilation album, There's A Razzia Going On, coming out on June 18th. Just have a butcher's at the goodies on offer:
01. Hello Saferide - I was definitely made for these times 02. Adiam Dymott - Memory loss 03. Konie - My Life Is Shit But I Am Funky (remix) 04. I Are Droid - Blood & Ether 05. Firefox AK vs Laid -Once I was like you 06. Maia Hirasawa - Melody 07. Tripoli - Walk on 08. Säkert! - Det var tre månader sedan idag 09. They Live By Night - Meaningless repair 10. Timo Räisänen - Spill your beans 11. Svenska Kürkan - Besatt 12. The Plan - Stay Awhile 13. Jonna Lee - I wrote this song 14. Mange Schmidt feat. Thomas Rusiak & Eye N I - Håll käften del 15. Thunder Express - Switch 16. Tellevika feat. Firefox AK - Eric 17. Ebbot Lundberg & Mattias Bärjed - Coming down cold
The Hello Saferide track - indubitably one of the best UK-released singles of 2007 - would be worth the admission fee alone, but with Firefox AK, Maia Hirasawa, Timo Räisänen, Jonna Lee and Annika Norlin's side-project Säkert also present, this album just has to be a very good thing indeed.
More exciting Hello Saferide news: Annika's announced on the HS website that the band've been busy recording a new album, which "will be released September-ish". As if that wasn't enough on its own, it turns out the album's being produced by Swedish indie pop legend Andreas Mattsson of Popsicle, Sweet Chariots and Andreas Mattsson fame (and who I wrote a gushing tribute to in this entry)!
So anyway, it's all good, to borrow a phrase from that nice Sarah Assbring lady. And, while we're here, let's have some classic Hello Saferide and Popsicle by way of a celebration. Why not!
Three songs from the second volume in the Indie Top 20 series today. Twenty tracks spread across two shiny vinyl LPs. Despite the fact that the release date of this album would have been 1987, I never actually got around to buying it until about eight years later, from a stall in Clacton covered market. Better late than never, though, eh? Here's the full track listing:
Side 1 1. Crazyhead: What Gives You The Idea That You're So Amazing Baby? 2:38 2. Pop Will Eat Itself: Love Missle FI-II 2:44 3. Three Wise Men: Refresh Yourself 3:36 4. Renegade Sound Wave: Kray Twins 3:16 5. Bambi Slam: Don't It Make You Feel... 2:47
Side 2 1. Close Lobsters: Never Seen Before 2:52 2. The Flatmates: Happy All The Time 2:14 3. The Pastels: Crawl Babies 3:15 4. The Soup Dragons: Head Gone Astray 3:40 5. Mighty Mighty: Built Like A Car 2:07
Side 3 1. The Beatmasters featuring the Cookie Crew: Rok Da House 3:50 2. The Beloved: Forever Dancing 3:38 3. The Chesterfields: Ask Johnny Dee 2:53 4. Voice Of The Beehive: Just A City 3:30 5. All About Eve: Our Summer 3:19
Side 4 1. Michelle-Shocked: If Love Was A Train [live] 3:27 2. The Passmore Sisters: Every Child In Heaven 3:30 3. Blue Aeroplanes: Tolerance 2:44 4. The Brilliant Corners: Brian Rix 2:51 5. Talulah Gosh: Talulah Gosh 3:19
But which three to choose for today's selection? Ooh... these I think!
If I was going to introduce today's song in haiku form, it would possibly go something like this:
Here's the new single from Swedish combo Club 8 who died for our sins
but I realise I was probably pushing my luck already with that Harold Melvin one the other night, so instead I'll merely say this: Jesus, Walk With Me is a gorgeous slice of surprisingly acoustic pop from one of the best acts around, and it comes from a new 5-track EP of the same name that's available to buy for a paltry 6 EUROS from the Labrador webshop. So there you go.
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