Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sittin' Pretty and The Bats

Here are some sweet late 8o's Indie classics. Sittin' Pretty by The Pastels is the first and probably best album from those Scottish cult mainstays, The Pastels. Think The Vaselines, but maybe even a little better. Then we have Daddy's Highway by The Bats- vintage New Zealand "Kiwi" pop. You say you like The Clean and you're not from down-under? Well, chances are you need to dial in to The Bats, my friend. They are basically just Kilgour and Co's harmonizing jangle-pop cousins. Though The Pastels and The Bats hailed from different corners, I'd say their early albums share a sort of common energy. Both records seem like they could've been made by stepkids of the Velvet Underground, each laying down a sort of ragtag outsider pop right smack in the midst of the tired and unfortunate excesses of the late-80s. Its not like they were the only ones riding that train at the time, but these albums have qualities that just stand-out as similar. I bet that back then, emulating the Velvets probably still felt irreverent to all involved. I had a great time humming along to these records while I was cleaning our basement a few weeks back. And that's why I've paired them together for this post. Enjoy.
The Pastels- "Nothing To Be Done"
The Bats- "Made Up In Blue"
Mediafire download links:
The Pastels- Sittin' Pretty (refreshed 2/2/10)
The Bats- Daddy's Highway (refreshed 2/2/10)

Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family- My Ancestors

Zamrock! Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family may have cut the best fuzzed-out classic African pysch record that has ever graced these ears.
Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family- My Ancestors (refreshed 1/31/10)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Joe Harriott- Free Form

Joe Harriott has remained virtually unknown amongst even the most enthusiastic acolytes of 1960's avant jazz. Most likely, that's because he was Jamaican-British, plying his pioneering style in London Clubs, rather than New York. According to Allmusic, Harriott's music was written off by his American contemporaries as derivative of Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz. That's really a damn shame. I'd say Harriott's early sound is something more akin to Eric Dolphy. They both had the ability to venture into uncharted territory without losing that vital connection to their bebop/post-bop roots. Translation: The melodies are better and their delivery less harsh. When faced with the choice, I'd generally tend to choose Free Form or Out to Lunch over any of Ornette's Atlantic output. No disrespect, but I just like listening to Dolphy and Harriott a whole lot more.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Long Harvest, Coming Soon....

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger "The Long Harvest v.1-10" (Argo, 1966-1968).

A 10 record set of traditional ballads, performed in their British, Scottish & American forms. This is amazing stuff. I'm ecstatic about having stumbled upon the complete LP collection. To be digitized and posted ASAP, for your listening pleasure. Now I've got my work cut out for me....