Sunday, 30 March 2008

Three Of A Kind #39

Three bands, three songs, one common title - the rather motivational-sounding Get Yourself Together. Has any other title ever produced three such different but equally brilliant songs? Quite frankly, I doubt it!

Firstly, we have French band Tahiti 80's gently encouraging pop nugget from their 2002 album Wallpaper For The Soul. This could well be enough to make me snap the hell out of any mood! (myspace / website)

Tahiti 80 - Get Yourself Together mp3 (available for 7 days)

Secondly, here's The Jam's slightly less altruistic but no less rousing take on the title, which can be found on the 1992 Extras album. (fan website)

The Jam - Get Yourself Together (live) mp3 (available for 7 days)

Finally, British band Velocette sing in French on this version of their sparkling debut single from 1997. This song has reared its lovely head at several important moments in my life and has secured itself a place in my top ten favourite songs ever, even though I dont officially have one.

Velocette - Get Yourself Together (French version) mp3 (available for 7 days)

You can buy music by all three bands from

And since I love the song so much, here's the video for Velocette's English version of Get Yourself Together:

Friday, 28 March 2008

Search Us II

Ahh, stupid web searches, where would we be without them? A couple of posts worse off on this blog, for a start. But that's by the by. I'm pleased to announce that the daft Googlers have been out in force once again following our previous round-up of misguided internet searches, and we can now proudly present the latest batch of hit-and-hope merchants who have, invariably forlornly, ended up chancing upon us here.

youtobe (No, mekippers. Yousemiliteratepranny.)

I'm nervous everytime I wake up (Are you sharing a cell with Peter Sutcliffe, by any chance?)

too much, pale, *porno (Proof that excessive masturbation plays havoc with your punctuation.)

somebody's got too (Not to mention your grammar.)

a silly dream (That's nice, dear.)

nude curling (Ooh no! You'd freeze your bits off.)

Norwegian women nude (Oh alright then, but only if they're curling.)

Nude curling us women ( Tcha! You women and your nude curling.)

Linn Githmark picture (OK, here she is. Now get off my back!)

martin newell mediafire or sendspace or zshare or megaupload or rapidshare or sharebee (or you could always just go out and buy the CD, Mr Stingy Pants.)

Keeley Hawes nude Ashes To Ashes
Keeley Hawes nude
Keeley Hawes nude
Keeley Hawes nude
Keeley Hawes nude
Keeley Hawes naked
(Hang on, I'm sensing a theme here!)

Pergament nude ( And what, may I ask, is wrong with Keeley Hawes?)

Wincey Willis death (How many times must we keep going over this? Wincey is still very much alive and kicking. With these...

Wincey Willis legs (Go on, admit it, it was you who Googled this one, wasn't it?)

Abba risque outfits (Sadly we've long since deleted those pictures of Benny and Bjorn in posing pouches.)

Watch out boy man ideal (It's like they're trying to tell us something!)

Has anyone ever ordered from Hot Stuff in Sweden? (What, the successful, long-established mail order record store? I'm guessing they probably have, yes.)

shoo boy (No way! I was here first!)

shoo for you (Only if it's not too much trouble.)

She is the title of a song written by Charles Aznavour (I know she is. And will she ever let us forget it? No she will not!)

porn videos on Blogspot (Porn? On the internet? That'll be the day.)

And not forgetting the usual shedload of apple/pie-related madness:

how pie effects the music genres you like
songs with the word pie in it
what is pie?
spell apple pie
what's in your apple pie
catch phrase pie
the meaning of apple pie
the song called it's too late for apple pie
I don't like apple pies
pies sold a year
how much are pies
songs about apple pies
a song about apple pies
bye bye pie
apple pie c
what is in pies
david dear ms applepie
easy apple pie blog
much apple pie lyrics
song about a girl being called apple pie
Sam apple pie the band
Who wrote pie

So there you go. An extraordinarily high standard of barmy searches this month, I'm sure you'll agree. And, much like the titular characters in a game of Space Invaders, or Friends repeats on E4, they just keep coming. Stay tuned for another exciting instalment soon!

In the meantime, have a listen to the fantastic Help Me Roada by melodic New Yorkers LOOKER, who become the second band featured on here this week to favour the use of GRATUITOUS BLOCK CAPITALS. The scamps!

LOOKER - Help Me Roada mp3 (available for 7 days)

Buy LOOKER stuff here. (That link also features, rather handily, a full band biography.)

LOOKER's MySpace page

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

"Timid and shy and scared am I"

#The hills are aliiiiiiiive with the sound of...# Dalek Beach Party?!

The Sound Of Music
Dalek Beach Party - The Sound Of Music mp3 (right click and save as)

This Duane-Eddy-esque version of a musical classic by one of my favourite-named bands comes from a fantastic anti-racist benefit album released on Bring On Bull Records in 1993. A whole host of indiepop bands - including BMX Bandits, The Haywains, Northern Picture Library and Blueboy - cover songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound Of Music. No two of my interests have come together so well since I combined my love of art with my hatred of Celine Dion and stabbed her in the larynx with a paintbrush! Just kidding! (It was actually a 4B pencil.)

The Sound Of Music indiepop styleThere are so many things to love about this album, from BMX Bandits' delicate straight cover of Edelweiss (in their own words, "It's touched us!") to Cesspit Rebels' shambolic and vaguely atonal version of So Long, Farewell, but I have to skip straight to the song I love most in the musical. Here it's given a nice gender flip and some great bass by The Rileys:

The Rileys - Sixteen Going On Seventeen mp3 (right click and save as)

The final song I've picked out is recently reformed Strawberry Story's fun version of Maria, given their own special fuzzy guitar treatment.

Strawberry Story - Maria mp3 (right click and save as)

I also love Mrs Kipling's treatment of Lonely Goatherd, complete with handclaps. I could rave about the whole album, to be honest, but instead I'll direct you to where you can download the whole thing for free. Yes, FREE! It's over here at the Waaah/Bring On Bull website. There are many other wonders to check out at that website, too, so take your time!

You can find out more about Strawberry Story at their myspace page and Dalek Beach Party have their own website.

What are a few of your favourite things about this album?

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Three of a kind #38

Footballers can be an unsavoury bunch at times. Well, quite a lot of the time actually. With this in mind, today's Three of a kind is dedicated to Derby County manager Paul Jewell, who's been caught out by one of the tabloid newspapers playing away from home - and not in the footballing sense.

Paul's been a silly boy, you see, and allegedly produced (and directed!) home-made porn videos of himself having extramarital rumpo, strapping his lady friend to a bed and doing all sorts of saucy things normally reserved for the letters page of Fiesta. And now the papers have got hold of said tape - quelle surprise! - and the shit has really hit the fan; or rather hit the newspaper in question with the threat of legal action, and they've been forced to remove the story from their website.

Anyway, I'd never be so uncouth as to make any crass jokes about him being the first person on Derby's payroll to score this season, or about his boys taking a hell of a beating, so here, instead, are three songs on a theme.

William Bell - Headline News mp3

The Dylans - My Hands Are Tied mp3

Daryll-Ann - You're So Vain mp3

(mp3s available for 7 days)

NB: I was intending to include an old Juliana Hatfield B-side, Put It Away, in today's selection, but I rather tragically couldn't find my copy of the single it featured on. Ho hum.

Buy music here.

Monday, 24 March 2008


I've been listening to Hush* by the curiously-named Sad Day For PUPPETS a fair bit lately; I really cannot get enough of this song at the minute. If you liked bands like Ride, Lush and My Bloody Valentine, then this one should be right up your street. It's pure 1991 - in 2008.

Sad Day For PUPPETS - Hush mp3 (available for 7 days)

*Relax, those of you with an aversion to faux-psychedelic Britpop-era bands - this has absolutely nothing to do with Kula Shaker or any songs that particular combo may have recorded.

Sad Day For PUPPETS' (I'll never get used to those block capitals!) debut EP Just Like A Ghost is released on April 9th. You can order the CD here. You'll also be able to purchase all 6 tracks as a download for a bargain £1.35 here.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

"Holding my breath on the way home"

AberdeenTonight I had a sudden need to hear this song:

Aberdeen - Sink Or Float mp3 (available for 7 days)

It's the kind of song I only ever seem to listen to late at night, usually after I've been somewhere, had a great time and then find myself alone and sleepy.

It's from Aberdeen's first (and only) full length album, Homesick And Happy To Be Here, which was recorded and released during their second stint together. Aberdeen were signed to Sarah Records when it finally folded and the band split up after that. They reformed in 2000 and released their only proper album the two years later. Homesick And Happy To Be Here is a nice record with a few stand out tracks and you can buy it (and a couple of singles) from Better Looking Records.

I'm off to listen to the album and stare at my ceiling contentedly!

Friday, 21 March 2008

Ken you dig it?

Ahh, The Rock Steady Crew. What a zany bunch they were, spinning around on their posteriors and so forth. A choice collection of monikers, too: first there was girl singer Baby Love, then you had male members Bucky, Kuriaki, Crazy Legs, Doze and, erm, Ken Swift. That's right - Ken Swift.

I must say it was nice of Ken to take time out from his regular duties as treasurer of the Batley & District Working Men's Club in order to spin a few platters for the Rocksteady ones. But sadly - as happens with all the best bands - things came to a sour end when the rest of the Crew objected to Swift's continued insistence on playing Roy "Chubby" Brown records at their thrice-weekly youth club gatherings. Crazy Legs was positively apoplectic, hurling a volley of abuse at Swift and a can of Top Deck at his precious box of 45s, and what came next can only be described as carnage. Never mind, the music still lives on - which is more than can be said for Ken's Chubby Brown collection.

The Rock Steady Crew - (Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew mp3 (available for 7 days)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

"We like the same things and I like your style"

My heart always sinks when I hear that an actor has plans to move into the world of music. David Hasselhoff, William Shatner and Tracy Shaw from Coronation Street spring immediately (and horrifyingly) to mind. Celebrity duets are another terrible thing. I'm still trying to forget ever having witnessed Hylda Baker and Arthur Mullard destroying You're the One That I Want (you can view clips of it here if you absolutely must, but I really wouldn't recommend it).
She & HimSo I sighed and rolled my eyes when I heard that indie flick queen Zooey Deschanel was making a record with indie-folk chappie M. Ward under the name She & Him.
I've never really taken to M. Ward, despite him having worked with a whole host of artists I love (Beth Orton, Jenny Lewis and My Morning Jacket for a start), so I was shocked when I heard the song below, which Merge Records have made available to download. It's superb! Deschanel sounds great and it has a certain thrillingness about it, something that often seemed to be missing from Matt Ward's solo stuff for me.

She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? mp3 (right click and save as)

The She & Him debut album, cunningly entitled Volume One, was released yesterday and you can buy it on CD or as an mp3 or FLAC download from the Merge shop.

You can stream most of Volume One at their myspace page and that should give you an idea of the variety of genres that She & Him cover. You've got the 60s girl group style harmonies of I Was Made For You (Ronnie Spector, anyone?), and the yearning, swooning I Thought I Saw Your Face Today, complete with lovely whistling break. And that's just my absolute favourites - the rest is pretty good too. At this rate I might just conquer my phobia of singing actors and celebrity duets!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

All dead, yet still alive...

Dublin combo A House came up with arguably one of the greatest singles of the 90s with 1992's #46 smash Endless Art, a roll call of many of the deceased greats in the fields of art, literature and music from the past several hundred years. Not only was this one of the best list songs of all time, the band also came up with this cracking promo video to accompany it:

But, this art being endless and all, there was more to come: fourteen years later, erstwhile A House frontman Dave Couse released a new version, Endless Art '06 with his band The Impossible, which lists various cultural icons who've popped their clogs since the original recording. The recent dates - combined with the sheer number of luminaries who died in the intervening decade and a half - give it an added poignancy which the original simply can't live with (pun only slightly intended).

And then, in a twist of fate as unwelcome as it is ironic, just as I'm writing this entry it transpires that Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella (who I'll always remember fondly for his work as script editor on Grange Hill - a staple of my childhood - in its 80s heyday) died suddenly today. The list goes on...

A House - Endless Art mp3

Couse & the Impossible - Endless Art 06 mp3

(mp3s available for 7 days)

Buy A House stuff here.

Buy Couse & the Impossible stuff here.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Three Of A Kind #37

computer geek musicComputer geeks and music fans, rejoice! Today's Three Of A Kind is three songs about computers and codes.

The first band is even named in a coding-related way! MJ Hibbett & the Validators came up trumps with this wonderful paean to old home computing consoles (I still have my Spectrum ZX+2 in a cupboard downstairs), which was released as an internet single in 2000.

MJ Hibbett & the Validators - Hey Hey 16k mp3 (available for 7 days)

Listen to more at their myspace page and buy music and merchandise from their website.

The Hot Toddies are Heidi, Erin, Jessica and Sylvia from Oakland, California, and they've produced this slightly anachronistic-sounding doo-wop online love/hate story., indeed!

The Hot Toddies - HTML mp3 (available for 7 days)

Listen to more on their myspace page and you can also buy their album, Smell The Mitten, and merchandise from the shop there.

The final track comes courtesy of The Superfantastics and can be found on their Pop-Up Book album. It's a romantic song about love over ICQ, facebook and other internet fads. It's enough to warm the cockles of your cathode ray tubes!

The Superfantastics - The Only One I C++ Is U++ mp3 (available for 7 days)

You can hear more at their myspace page and buy music from their website.

And here's the excellent sing-a-long video for Hey Hey 16K:

Thursday, 13 March 2008

"Humour me, darling"

I'm a sucker for anyone who can make me laugh. This definitely extends to bands as well. Today here are two bands beginning with 'K' who have suckered me good and proper!

Here are Kenickie being deadpan:
KateGoes over the rainbow
I've probably mentioned before that I'm a fan of Kenickie. One of my favourite Kenickie recordings is the hidden track on their debut album At The Club. Known as 'Montrose Gimps It Up For Charity', it's clearly largely improvised by bassist Emmy-Kate Montrose. As she mentions the milk bar, scaffolding and the fishnet section, the rest of the band piss themselves laughing in the background. Obviously I enjoy their pre-prepared songs too, but the humour is so infectious on this track!

Kenickie - Montrose Gimps It Up For Charity mp3 (available for 7 days)

Today, I spent a lot of time chuckling as I listened to my mp3 player. This was mostly down to KateGoes. I can't get enough of this band at the moment! They're so inventive and funny and make brilliant music! The Tamagotchi freak-out in this song is especially fantastic...

KateGoes - Yo-Yo mp3 (available for 7 days)

Please, please rush over to the KateGoes myspace page to listen to the songs up there (particularly Walking The Dog) then read the blog entry that tells you how to buy KateGoes music. I'm determined that everyone I've ever known should hear this band!

I'm surprised to see how hard it is to find a large online outlet where you can buy Kenickie albums in a tangible form, but you can buy them in download form from here. Hoorah!

P.S. Hey baby, you're gorgeous. Do you fancy accompanying me to the milk bar?

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Three of a kind #36

Three tracks from The Hits Album 7 compilation today, which I picked up on double CD for the princely sum of 50p in a charity shop the other day. How I loved these albums back in my early record-buying days. So much so, in fact, that I'm now going to blather on about them at length. Don't say you weren't warned!

Conceived in late '84 as a rival to the hugely successful Now That's What I Call Music series, the Hits compilations were, for all their early success, eventually destined to fall by the wayside while their rivals continued to prosper, in much the same way that Betamax video tapes had been seen off by VHS years earlier.

A large reason for this may well have been because The Hits brigade never quite established their (shudder) brand as firmly as their Now counterparts had: whereas Now's early releases generally had pictures of that cartoon pig in sunglasses (an idea they filched from an advertising poster for Danish meat products, by the way!) and their distinctive logo adorning the sleeves, Hits never quite seemed to settle on a regular look for their releases; in fact, they couldn't even get something as straightforward as the numbering of the albums right. After successfully negotiating Volumes 1-10 they suddenly decided to change tack and christened the next release (ie what should have been Hits 11) Monster Hits.

But they weren't satisfied with that. They followed Monster Hits with: Snap It Up! Monster Hits 2 and The Hit Pack: The Best of Chart Music, before belatedly reverting back to the numbering system with The Hits Album 15 - despite the fact that this was actually the fourteenth release in the series! What a shambles!

Things became even more confusing as the series continued to be relaunched and rebranded intermittently throughout the nineties and beyond, always including the word "Hits" somewhere in the albums' titles, viz Hits 93 Vols 1-4, The Ultimate Hits Album, New Hits 96, Fresh Hits 96, Huge Hits 96, Big Hits etc etc, before suddenly and arbitrarily adopting the moniker Hits 50 for what was actually their 47th release, in 2001, in order to steal a March on Now, who were poised to release their own (actual) 50th volume shortly afterwards. So Hits 50 was basically a rather shameless attempt to "overtake" their rivals! The cheek!

This re-rebranding exercise obviously only had limited success, and by late 2004 (and Hits 60), the Hits had pretty much dried up - although, true to form, they did try one last repackaging exercise with Essential Hits, in 2005. It obviously can't have been that essential for the music buying public, though, as this proved to be the final release in the series.

Anyway, back to happier times, and Hits 7. There were quite a few songs from the 32 featured that I'd have been happy to include here (although perhaps not Spagna's Call Me, which, much like Dorian Gray's picture or a five-week-old pint of milk, has not aged at all well!), but these are the ones I've plumped for.

Alexander O'Neal - Criticize mp3

Desireless - Voyage Voyage mp3

Eric B. and Rakim - Paid In Full mp3

(mp3s available for 7 days)

Buy music by today's featured artists here

Monday, 10 March 2008

From Raissa with love

A couple of cracking tracks from Raissa's 1999 Believer album today. If you've never heard of her before and don't know what to expect, Raissa Khan-Panni (to give her her full, fancy hyphenated name) has the following list of similar artists on Last FM: Power of Trinity, Awaria, Natural Mystic, Managga, Menomini...

No, I've never heard of any of them either. But Raissa - who mid-eighties era Smash Hits would undoubtedly have termed a "foxy vixtress" (oh how I loved that phrase!) - really has come up with some great pop songs in her time. Songs like these!

Raissa - Walk Right Through mp3

Raissa - How Long Do I Get mp3

(mp3s available for 7 days)

When you're done here, why not have a gander at this Raissa fansite?

Also, have a listen to some songs by Raissa's latest project The Mummers on their MySpace page. Be rude not to really.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Three of a kind #35

Desmond. Crazy name, crazy guys. But who would have thought such a prosaic name could inspire so many fantastic songs? (Well, the occasional fantastic song.) If you've never heard Desmond Don't Go before, you're in for a real treat here.

Daryll-Ann - Desmond Don't Go mp3 (available for 7 days)

Smudge - Desmond mp3 (available for 7 days)

ABBA - Des Your Mother Know* mp3 (available for 7 days)

*a lot of people get confused and misremember the title of this song; I wouldn't worry if you're one of these yourself as it's quite a common problem - even the band used to do it.

In other news, there's been an ironic new development in the John Kettley (is a Weatherman)
saga. One of the manifold celebrities mentioned in the original A Tribe of Toffs song, ex-CBBC presenter Simon Parkin, has now himself become...... a TV weatherman! That's right. I saw him doing the forecast after the local news on Meridian the other night. What are the chances, eh?

Download the brilliant Happy Traum by Daryll-Ann at It's quite possibly Too Much Apple Pie's favourite album of the past ten years!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

"I've got a sketchy image of you and a habit of never seeing my thoughts through"

Foxes!Foxes! have been hanging around on my mp3 player for the best part of a year now. I just can't shake them and I have no idea why it's taken me this long to blog about them! They formed in Oxford, even though two of them are Canadian, but have now relocated to Brighton. The band consists of Kayla Bell on vocals, drums and keyboard, Adam Bell (who is married to Kayla) on guitar, vocals and keyboard, and Al Grice on bass, keyboard and percussion. (Those keyboards must really get a bit crowded!)

Foxes! play the kind catchy, melodic - but not formulaic - indie pop with strong, sweet lead vocals which ranges from the neat noisy racket produced by the likes of Dressy Bessy (only better) to the slightly more twee side of things a la Yo La Tengo. I really, really like this band a lot and strongly urge you to download the following three tracks, which are freely available from Foxes!'s (oh that's a conundrum - where to put the possessive apostrophe there?) first EP 46a Appleside Drive, which was released in May 2006.

Foxes! - 6 O'Clock mp3 (right click and save as)

Foxes! - Apples To Apples mp3 (right click and save as)

Foxes! - Art Girl mp3 (right click and save as)

You can listen to the second Foxes! EP (that got around the apostrophe difficulties!), which is called, on the Foxes! myspace page and you can buy the Anneka Rice-inspired Panda Bear Song and cafe-inspired Welcome To The Jivin' as downloads from Shifty Disco.

If you are lucky enough to have no plans for tomorrow night and can get to Brighton, you will be able to see Foxes! play live at The Ocean Rooms at 8pm.

(This is the most exclamation marks you will see in a blog post by me. Unless I blog about !!!. Which I won't. Or They Go Boom!!!. Which I may do.)

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

"Good enough for anyone but me"

The RevelationsAt the weekend, the UK picked a song to represent us in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. When I say "the UK", I really mean "those people who were at home watching telly on a Saturday night who could be arsed to pick up the phone to vote and didn't mind spending their money on doing so".
The majority of contenders were singers who had previously been on reality tv shows but didn't win (although not winning reality shows isn't necessarily a bad thing) so I was surprised to see that The Revelations were one of the entries.

Their entry wasn't bad and therefore it didn't win. That's why the song I'm putting up today is The Revelations' You're the Loser. Appropriate, no? Also, it's about a hundred times better than any of their other songs that I've heard and is a bloody brilliant pop song!

The Revelations - You're The Loser mp3 (available for 7 days)

The Making Your Mind Up page on the BBC website describes The Revelations thus:
"The Revelations are Annika, Sarah, and Louise. Their classic soulful pop music extends the lineage of the great 60's girl groups such as The Ronettes and Supremes, while drawing on more contemporary influences, such as the Scissor Sisters and Sugababes with just a sprinkle of ABBA."
but I could have said, "sub-Pipettes" and you would have got the idea a bit better.

Anyway, this video on youtube lets you hear their never-was-Eurovision-entry song It's You and also provides a handy introduction to the members of The Revelations so you can put a name to a face.

Listen to more by The Revelations on their myspace page, buy the single of You're The Loser here and it's now possible to buy their debut album on iTunes (I'd love to give you a link but I'm not iTunes compatible, I'm afraid).

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Andrew Fletcher...

Crash Calloway over at Pretending Life Is Like A Song (the first blog I ever used to read regularly, and still a big favourite) recently posted an extended, remixed version of Depeche Mode's Just Can't Get Enough - which, together with the fact that his blog is named after a Wannadies lyric, caused my addled brain to remember that I have a couple of energetic early Depeche Mode cover versions by the Swedish indie poppers knocking around, which would seem perfect for putting up here, being that both are blummin' well fantastic. Spike originally put these on a birthday mix CD six years ago after I'd been bugging her to track them down for me for a while (I didn't have much of a clue about all this new-fangled downloading malarkey myself back then. How times change). Anyway, I digress. Here be the songs!

The Wannadies - Just Can't Get Enough mp3

The Wannadies - New Life mp3

(mp3s available for 7 days)

If you enjoy these, I'd thoroughly recommend you download the Wannadies' sublime 1992 album Aquanautic in its entirety for a bargain £5.95 here. It is quide liderally the best thing since sliced bread!