I've been madly sorting through mp3s for our dj gig at the Chain Drive Wednesday (we're usually strictly vinyl only, but we want to be a bit more au courant at these shows), and as a result have had the opportunity to spend some quality time with a few albums and artists that I'd inadvertently neglected for one reason or another.
There's something really appealing about the Victorian English Gentlemens Club's bizzarely so-retro-they're-positively-futuristic Sparks-meets-Pixies, B52's-meets-Wire vibe. I have to admit, I'm the kind of listener that focuses on the actual instrumentation over lyrical content when I first listen to a band -- so the times when I'm struck by both simultaneously are few and far between. Frontman Adam's vocals are positively caustic, but they grow on you, I promise; the rhythm section of Louise on bass and Emma on drums pack a real impressive punch -- send me anyone who says that girls can't rock out, and these ladies will set them straight. And really, they all have fantastic style as well:
The Victorian English Gentlemens Club -- Stupid as Wood
The Victorian English Gentlemens Club -- Cannonball
I can't believe I've been sitting on this Max Tundra track from his Tomlab alphabet series 7" release for as long as I have, it's kind of embarassing -- it's a 1989 cover of The KLF's "What Time Is Love" -- if you're a fan of Mr. Tundra's work, it's kind of neat to know he was already ripping songs up by covering them back when he was 16! And, as an aside, I can't encourage you more heartily to check out the Tomlab alphabet 7" series overall -- especially if you're a fan of great design and/or of bleeding edge music that defies genre classification.
Max Tundra -- What Time Is Love
This is turning into a rather UK-focused post, not through any particular agenda. The Veils Nux Vomica (yes, they named their album for the plant that produces strychnine, due out Sept. 11) is the total sleeper hit of my summer -- along with The French Kicks' Two Thousand, but we've already talked quite enough about that... It's a deliciously coherent and creepy album, just a little turn around the corner from the band's slightly more upbeat (but still rather moody and dark) debut, The Runaway Found. And yes, like some other bands with new offerings lately (namely The Sills), The Veils underwent a big personnel change after a post-debut implosion (sidebar: could Band of Horses be headed for something similar), but everything seems to be working out just fine with the new personnel. Here's a few new tracks and an old favorite.
The Veils -- Advice For Young Mothers To Be
The Veils -- Pan
The Veils -- The Tide That Left and Never Came Back
Goodness, look at me, being all legit-mp3 blogger-like with this post. I suppose I should throw in that Pinkie and I managed to put together some really awesome new outfits on the cheap this weekend (because, honestly, rich girls we ain't, lately) and spent way too much time gossiping and knitting and watching movies -- like the director's cut of Legend, which I'd never seen. Boy, if you really want to put how bonkers Tom Cruise has become in perspective, just watch that flick...
But the highlight of the weekend was probably when we had to spend an extra 10 minutes at the video store because they were playing the Guns'n'Roses video collection, and "November Rain" was on. I'd forgotten what a magnificently underrated work of art that video is... (But, is that Riki Rachtman diving through the cake?)