Monday, December 01, 2008

"All That Jazz"


Time to get back again and it's a manic Monday so im gonna catch some things up like as i need some light to shine on me... Yesterday was a bit busy weekend as i was with my friend waking hours up and talking about the recent CD sale happening and the current great new & upcoming releases ( which im gonna post in the coming days! ) while we we're having dinner somewhere in an overpopulated mall in Quezon City ( so many people this season isn't it?! ). I was very full when we parted ways and it was my first time eating a FULL hainanese white chicken meal! Im so full packed!!! But thanks anyway mate...

I wake up at 11:30 AM earlier and had the chance to listen to this swirly/indierock group who called themselves The Permanent Smilers. I first heard them back in July this year when Richard from the band emailed me and was very kind to send me some of their music including their newly released LP titled "Jazz Liberties". Heavily influenced by post punk band The Stranglers and mix it with jazz singers with a hint of classical music, The band plays music that recalls the heydays of indierock groups like Sugar and Pixies with Richard's voice not so distant far with Francis Black and Bob Mould in song's "Temporary" and "Curfew Of The Sun" with crunchy guitar lines washing along the lines.

The band is composed of Richard Lemongrower ( acoustic/electric guitar/keys/mandolin/oil drum/spade/percussion ), Johnny Cole ( bass guitar ) and Pete Fraser ( drums ). Richard formed the band after his previous band, The Lemongrowers ( who released 2 LP's in the mid 90's, "Segments" and "The Ultimate Mutation" respectively. ) folded in the late 90's. Influenced by New Wave and Ska in the 80's along with the Britpop cockiness of the 90's which he later mix up when he formed The Permanent Smilers. Their debut LP "Sit Down And Smile" was released last year on their own Citric Sounds label. It includes the shimmering 60's pop of "Without You" and the splattering powerpop of "My Beautiful You". A band to adored for if you loved indierock with a touch of true DIY ethic and class of their own.

Feel free to listen to them in their Myspace or Buy their records Here

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"You'll Never Know"


How's anyone? How's the music world revolving lately? Im a bit wee but im still around and STILL listening! Gosh! It's been so long since i write and thanks to Tom for asking me in Facebook if my blog is still alive and kicking and now i just wake up from a dream, A long lost dream... A happy feeling specially in this part of the year, a few days before Christmas falls and a mere month to welcome the coming year. To start things up, Which i usually do in rounding things off and there's so much great music that had been part of us this year but i just stumble on and it was great, great music... So lovely i very much adorn it...

Just a few days when i was browsing the web ( Myspace to be exact ) i discovered a lovely fellow who plays music reminiscent of The Hit Parade on a mary go round riding along with 80's popsters Prefab Sprout. Im talking about Kevin McGrother, a one man band who played happy, fun and jangly music reminiscent of classic 80's guitarpop. Recalling the days of great p!o!p! hits and the much loved indiepop music, Kevin started making music in the early 90's with Just Like Alice and after that a band named Tickety Boo, which released an EP but was laid off because of a court case.

The year 2008 was a really virtual change and ten years on, Kevin and co. strut their guitars and instruments to release the wonderful "Living In An Enid Blyton World", A collection of his past 10 years in recording and what a blast from the past!!! The first time i've heard the single "You'll Never Know" i was totally happy that music like this has been made and i just wanna smile, smile and smile while i was walking the laneways of our neighbourhood. With the whispering intro through the chimey piano chorus line, I feel like i was a child again, no worries to think about and when i heard the vocals i was reminded how Julian Henry made great music with The Hit Parade.

The title track show's a more janglier track in the vein of C86 ala Friends ( with matching horns, handclapps ), The Smiths, The Housemartins and many janglepop bands. "The Same Old Story" truly capture the Sarah Records sound as it also draws the closest comparison to The Hit Parade's "In Gunnersbury Park" with the tilting acoustic guitar lines mixing along with the beautiful lovelorn vocals of Mary Joyce followed by Kevin. A lovely record, beautiful pop melodies made by a genius.

You can visit his Myspace page and feel free to buy his beautiful album. A must have!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"Quiet Hearts For A Quiet Start"


I'm gonna be rushing up to things as there are a lot of catching up to do but first let me get on to a bit of rounding up new releases and upcoming ones too...It was truly a cracking dawn when my speaker's blown to the sound of dreamy atmospheric's of Moscow Olympics new release "Cut The World" out now on Lavender label. After the release of their astonishing single debut "Still" on Fraction Disc comes this new mini-LP. Whew! Was it Keith fronting The Radio Dept. with Peter Hook on their bassline? This was a wonderful release with the new and very gazey "Ocean Sign" on it, Im really throwing myself offshore ( not to the sea! ) but through a waves of glittery guitar soundscapes. This really put our country on the map.

Buy the CD Here or Direct from Lavender

Another lovely release was from the melancholy yet very catchy lovelorn kids from Richmond, CA. "Half-Steps Towards Bright Skies" was Apple Orchard's debut release and also their first on their fledging label, Haymarket Recordings. This marks the heavy output made by Ryan & Dale which took the LP 2 year's to be made but now has been widely released to critical acclaim. This includes new songs but still carrying that same sound mix only to broader horizons which can be heard on trace on "Unfazed", "The Cloud Fleets" and an old favorite "Midnight Stars And Kisses". Hearing them now is like hearing Trembling Blue Stars riding on a winter train, This is the start i guess and we're waiting for more! Can't wait for that compy on Haymarket and the Sonnet LVIII LP or a Golden Teardrops EP or finally a Sodajerk LP release but it will see the light of the day...Keep your fingers crossed.

Buy the CD Here or visit Apple Crumble ( Japan )

Now we go to upcoming and new bands that set up the tone of Filipino music nowadays, Let's start with The Fantasy Lights. Another melancholy yet very dreamy outfit armed with heavy synthesizers and organic laptop's, Patryk and co. have just released an EP on the beloved Cloudberry label. Check them out if you'd loved the music of Brighter, Trembling Blue Stars and many Sarah Records acts.

Another lovely act that should be heard by the globe was the charming sister's Ria & Chary Silva, They composed the lo-fi, acoustic outfit The Wentletraps. Formed by the loved of music and was not quite an idea to be a live band but more of a studio project but at last these guys made it sure that their music was to be heard, Hearing them remind me so much of The Softies and Rose Merlberg ( and her other outfits as well ). I loved their cover of The Radio Dept. song titled "Bus" and The Smiths "This Charming Man". Im sure there will be more to follow...

As the once heralded guitarpop outfit had parted ways last year, A new crop of talented band emerged from the ashes of that group. Im talking about The Camerawalls. It was spearheaded by the former singer/guitarist of Orange & Lemons Clem Castro. It was a joy hearing their demo "Markers Of Beautiful Memories" on their Myspace page and i was delighted to hear that they are up to a new LP this year. The band which composed of Clem ( guitars/vox ), Law Santiago ( bass ) and Ian Sarabia ( drums ). Hearing them puts me in nostalgia when i first heard OnL back in 2003, This one was great! A far cry from their mainstream counterparts! A hint of Trash Can Sinatras, The Housemartins and a dose of Mozzer on this fledging group. I hope they sustain that musical feeling... A true marker of beautiful memories.

That's the first part of this round up and i'm off to my friend's place to get some drinks and keep an eye soon to a lot more of great music...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Feel The Beat And Do It Anyway"


How are the popkids and fans feeling nowadays? It's been close to a year since i last wrote an article but it's kinda refreshing to be back!!! Thanks to the wonderful world of music and a lot of great new bands to hear on in with new releases to catch on their backs...I just woke up after a drinking spree last night with the Ortega boys and it was lovely to see a brand new day passing by with the sounds of electro-tinged pop from the beautiful London based band, Sparky's Magic Piano.

The band which is comprised of Marion Turnbull ( vocals ) and Oliver Bartlett ( guitar/synths/effects ) plays music which may bring to mind the likes of St. Etienne, Freezepop, Stereolab and Club 8 on their electronic mode. They have just released their LP late last year titled "Feel The Beat And Do It Anyway" on the Melody Factory label which features songs filled by love layered by beautifully crafted electronic music, Songs such as "Something Somewhere", "You Like Her" really mend my ears and my favorite track "Like Falling In Love". This is pure, crisp indiep!o!p! music you must chilled on! Cloudberry Records have also released an EP which is also my personal fave none other than "Falling In Love". They have been playing around the UK since last year and im sure there is a lot more coming in from them, I can't wait and surely will feel that beat and i'm really doing it anyway!!!

Buy the CD Here or Direct from Them