Monday, June 1, 2009

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: April 2009

This is a damn good list this month.

We've got the powerful and passionate Mick Collins and his excellent band the Dirtbombs turning Barry White into sexy garage-rock glory at #1. We've got Jeffrey Lewis putting a Jonathan Richman-like spin on the works of Crass and making it work. (Here he finds melody and poignancy in what was originally an eerie spoken word piece about looking at the graves of fallen soldiers and seeing only futility.) We've got a cynical political punk bar band record that was handed to me a couple months ago by local poet/journalist Michael Layne Heath, who also plays guitar with the Screamin' Geezers. ("They're making money, you can't argue with that!") We've got one of the most underrated bands of the British Invasion, the Dave Clark Five, who, bless their souls, treated every song they did as A NAIL THAT WAS MEANT TO BE POUNDED JUST RIGHT.

We've got another pointed anti-folk blurt from Paleface, who deserves more than to be known mainly as Beck's ex-roommate. We've got return visits from Angel Corpus-Christi and Love. We've got a brief gem from local psychedelic fusion miniaturists the Interstellar Grains. We've got an old favorite by African Head Charge, who implore us to "hold some more" and "love some more". We've got another funky Bush Tetras classic, which reminds us to congratulate bassist Laura Kennedy on her progress after her liver transplant. We've got a big messy Mothers Of Invention epic from their most inspired period, just before Frank Zappa made the mistake of his life by breaking up the band.

We've got the band Ian turned us on to, one of the bands that inspired Mike to bring back the Slumberland label, the blazing guitar and lazy vocals of Crystal Stilts. (Hat tip to Ian.) We've got an oldie that inspired many a hallucinogenic journey in the 80s: basically the Cocteau Twins covering Tim Buckley under the name This Mortal Coil; frankly, I've never been able to get into either of the Buckleys' musical output, but damn, that This Mortal Coil song hits the proverbial spot. We've got another AMAZING track from the Young Disciples. We've got Sonic Youth in the 90s throwing themselves into a cover that's guaranteed to piss off both Beatle-haters and overly serious Beatles fans and please anyone who loves great music.

We've got a great, great, great ballad from the Pretty Things; just listen to Phil May's voice when he groans "I love you baaaaaaybeehhhhhh!" We've got an oddity from the little known corners of Leonard Cohen's discography that only caught my attention during the Conspiracy Of Beards' New York tour; love that major-to-minor shift at the end of each stanza. We've got a depression ballad from fellow Mekons fans the Knife And Fork Band. We've got a kick-ass piece of musical journalism from Jonathan Mann. (I'll post the YouTube video through which I discovered this indie gem in an upcoming post.) And last, we've got Irma Thomas, a New Orleans goddess, showing us what love is all about.

Running this station is an endless source of joy, and knowing that someone out there is paying attention is the icing on the cake. Keep on listening and voting!

1. The Dirtbombs - I'm Qualified To Satisfy You - Ultraglide In Black
2. Jeffrey Lewis - Demoncrats - 12 Crass Songs
3. John Shirley's Screamin' Geezers - They're Makin' Money - We're Not Supposed To Be Doing This
4. The Dave Clark Five - Any Way You Want It - The Hits
5. Bush Tetras - You Can't Be Funky - Boom in the Night
6. Angel Corpus Christi - Theme From Taxi Driver/NY NY - I Love New York
7. Paleface - Stupid War Movies - Paleface
8. Interstellar Grains - The Source - Interstellar Grains
9. African Head Charge - Hold Some More - Songs Of Praise
10. The Mothers Of Invention - The Little House I Used To Live In - Burnt Weeny Sandwich
11. Crystal Stilts - Verdant Gaze - Alight Of Night
12. This Mortal Coil - Song To The Siren - It'll End in Tears
13. Third Flight - Third Flight - Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples
14. Sonic Youth - Within You Without You - Daydream Nation
15. The Pretty Things - You Don't Believe Me - Get The Picture?
16. Love - Love Is More Than Words (or Better Late Than Never) - Out Here
17. Leonard Cohen - Stories Of The Street - Songs of Leonard Cohen
18. Knife & Fork Band - Depression Of 1990 - Almost Friday Night
19. Jonathan Mann - Hey Paul Krugman - Song A Day # 3
20. Irma Thomas - Take A Look - Time Is on My Side


IanSchultz said...

I seriously regret not buying Love - "The Blue Thumb Recordings" boxset when I saw it for £8 (about $7) cause Out There is a good album and Crystal Stilts are best new band in the world.

Did you ever about of The Horrors?
They started out as a garage punk band (and were damn good at it) but are now more of a shoegaze band

IanSchultz said...

Have you heard the new crystal stilts single? if not here is the video...

J Neo Marvin said...

The first five Love albums are all essential (I haven't heard the sixth, False Start, yet) though Four Sail and Out Here feature a completely different band than the first three. Out Here has so many great songs on it:

"Gather round people as fast as you can
I wanna tell another story about an animal called man
He struts all around in his tailor-made suit
But his mind is all filled up with BULLSHIT!"

We got to see Arthur Lee twice while he was still alive. The first time was one of the best shows I've ever seen; the second was a trainwreck. But even then he was incredibly gracious when Davis spoke to him after the show.

IanSchultz said...

I have the first 4 love albums and 2 live ones.

J Neo Marvin said...

Does the Blue Thumb box have anything that's not already on Four Sail and Out Here?

IanSchultz said...

It has False Start and a live disc.

IanSchultz said...

Best Sonic Youth Beatles cover...

Best Beatles cover...

J Neo Marvin said...

"Found my coat, and grabbed my stash-ah!"

J Neo Marvin said...

The Horrors...hmmm. Kinda like Nick Cave fronting a sped-up Killing Joke with David Cronenberg directing the video. Which is not a bad thing to aim for.

The other one is like a guitar band approximating early Suicide with loud roller rink organ solos.

IanSchultz said...

and on Sonic Youth... the new Sonic Youth album is ace, best thing they have done in uh... 20 years...