Thursday, November 02, 2006

Old buddy, don't let me down

When even the Internet lets us down, who can we count on then? Looking up information on a pair of English 80s bands has appeared to bear little to no fruit. They are: Distant Cousins and The New Colours.

On the former, I've found the occasional reference. One page reads, "The Head brothers soon re-emerged as Shack, signing to the Ghetto Recording Company, home of producer Ian Broudie's solo project, The Lightning Seeds and British soul band Distant Cousins." A second mentions how the band was unfairly lumped in with the Madchester scene, and then goes on to list the members: Doreen Edwards (vocals), Neil Fitzpatrick (guitars) and Snuff (drums and percussion). That's it, pop fans.

Meanwhile, information on The New Colours is non-existant -- at least to this indie pop child of the 80s. My busy typing fingers couldn't track down a single sentence regarding them.

But I know these acts existed. I remember the songs quite vividly and how much pop delight they brought me when listening to them. Here they are for you to upload: The New Colours' "Do You Want To Pray?" and Distant Cousins' "Concrete Boxes."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All aboard the Paddy wagon

When I've been away for awhile, both physically and in spirit, I dust off a Paddy Reilly record and spin the old beauty on the victrola. There's just something about Paddy's voice that's so warm and reassuring, even when he's singinig about topics of the cheerless variety.

One of my favorite tunes by Mr. Reilly is his version of Johnny McEvoy's "Long Before Your Time." McEvoy once jokingly said, "It could have been different. I could have been an advertising man with button-down collar, sports coat, permanently creased terylene trousers, and a secure job. But I threw it all away to become a ballad singer with button-down collar, sports coat, permanently creased terylene trousers, and no job." Rather neat a man with such a sense of humor could produce a song so heart-wrenching.

Paddy's cover of it is just lovely, as he portrays the narrator to be both melancholy and composed; you can picture him telling his story, keeping himself together for his lovely daughter's sake, only to fall apart once his tale ends and his daughter has up and left the room.

Here is "Long Before Your Time."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Somerville, 02144

My old boss was from Somerville, Mass., and whenever he would wax poetically (and unapologetically) about his boyhood exploits there, he'd open things by saying, "Somerville . . . . Seven squares in search of a city."

Let's see if I can make my boss proud and recall all seven: Davis Square, once named one of the 15 hippest places to live in the US, which of course, makes it decidedly unhip; Union Square, where it's alleged the first U.S. flag was raised on Jan. 1, 1776; Teele Square, which I can't, for the life of me, recall a trivial factoid about; Ball Square, one-time site of the famous jazz club known as Willow; Magoun Square, named after a shipbuilding magnet . . . . And . . . .

Ah, five ain't bad. That's passing, right? Anyway, all this came to mind when I was listening to the new Pernice Brothers' album, Live A Little, which features a track named "Somerville." "I’m gonna take a lover," go the words, "Gonna take her back to Somerville/Don’t care if she’s pretty/As we leave Suck City." That last line is a reference to Nick Flynn's autobiography Another Bullshit Night In Suck City, which I'm told, is a favorite of fellow Masshole Joe Pernice.

Two new tracks from Pernice Brothers:


"Microscopic View"