Monday, February 25, 2019

Indie-Pop Sounds From Seattle

It has been six long years since we had a long player from Tullycraft. Could seventh album 'The Railway Prince Hotel' be the one that takes our twee heroes from relative obscurity to household names? No, of course not, but only because the world is not a just place. Here's an end around. Let's add a new word to the lexicon:

tullycraft /təhl·lē·kraft/ v., -ed, -ing to create something extraordinary after years of inactivity.

Decades later, U2 finally realized they never had the slightest ability to tullycraft an album.

Paddy McAloon sure tullycrafted it with the release of 'Crimson/Red.'

Could the Wild Swans be tullycrafting their masterpiece right now?

Use Tullycraft as a verb as often as possible and they will be remembered long after we're gone... as they should be. 'The Railway Prince Hotel' is an absolute treasure. Album of the year so far. Mine a few gems below. And as a bonus to our pal George who is taking us around the U.S.A. state by state at CC's place, you finally have a song for Delaware. Pick this one up via the always reliable HHBTM Records.

Chris over at Jigsaw Records has been known to search the globe for indie-pop gems. In the last couple of years he has discovered jangle in Indonesia and disciples of Stereolab in France, to name just a couple, but lately it seems he has found you don't need to leave the friendly confines of the Emerald City to discover fine indie pop.

Seapony put out a couple of wonderful albums on Seattle-based Hardly Art earlier this decade, as well as a handful of EPs, but prolific is not exactly a word you would use to describe the band. A few years ago they seemed to be finished for good but then surprised everyone with an EP in 2017. Where the band stands now is a head-scratcher, but at least that hole in your soul is being filled by Seapony offshoot Space Daze, solo project of guitarist Danny Rowland. The sound on 'Too Mystical' isn't worlds away from Seapony either. The album has that laid-back tone of Real Estate, or for those whippersnappers of my generation, late '80s or early '90s Feelies. This one is sure to hit the spot.

Here's some indie pop that won't make you feel like a sad sack staring at the top of your shoes. On "Every Kiss (Feels Like It Could Be The Last)," the Regrets seem sugary sweet on the outside but feel sour on the inside, and that juxtaposition makes for perfect pop. The songs on the five-song EP "Endless Desire" hearken to another age, much like the School or early Lucky Soul, but the band isn't afraid turn it up for some 1966 garage on "Temporary Attachment." Can't wait to hear what direction they decide to go on their first long player.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Frozen Outside But Feeling Warm on the Inside

If you have never heard of the "Seattle Freeze," that's the old axiom, put as kindly as I can, that it's difficult to make friends around here. Well, we are experiencing a more literal freeze these days. Falling temperatures and a rare blizzard has all but closed the Pacific Northwest the past few days. I didn't step foot in a record store in January. Is it any wonder the month sucked? Before the snow fell, I defeated the winter doldrums with a trip to Jigsaw Records in Seattle, and the photo above was the prompt to leave the warmth of home. That's two big boxes of used singles (mostly from the golden age of indie pop!) acquired by Chris and posted on the shop's Facebook page. I was the third customer to browse the bounty, and I came away with 11 records. Quality. The bounce is back in my step. Don't worry, Seattle indie-pop fans. I left plenty of good stuff. Word on the street is there will be a big box of LPs purchased from the same fella coming into Jigsaw any day now. Suddenly, February rules.

I picked up a couple of other records of the 12" variety too. See if you can spot any old favorites from my spree in the photo below. Here are a couple of hints. There are three Sarah singles in there, and at least two bands made my list of best new releases in 2018.

Yep, there are a couple from the Chesterf!elds in there. I already had the Cherry Red compilation and the "Completely & Utterly" and "Ask Johnny Dee" singles, but I can never pass up anything with the Subway logo on it.

"Sweet Revenge"

Next time we'll listen to a few exciting new indie-pop releases from right here in Seattle.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Been a Bit Since This One Was 'All the Rage'

Hi, all. Been a while, eh? Long enough that a few of you even inquired about my whereabouts. I appreciate the check-ins, actually. That's what friends do. All is well, really, but I have been so busy that when the house settles down for the night I haven't had the gumption to pull out a record, rip it and then write about it, you know? Simple as that. Oh, and I shredded my wrist playing tennis and have been seeing a hand therapist quite a bit with hopes of avoiding surgery. Man, I'm getting old. Speaking of old, I'm going to make you feel a little long in the tooth as well. Ready?

General Public's '...All the Rage' was released 35 years ago this week. Sorry about that. I remember picking it up so vividly that it feels like it was just the other day. Scary. Here's the followup to the hit "Tenderness." The song didn't do nearly as well, peaking at No. 105 here in America, but I do love it so. A perfect piece of pop. You may say it doesn't hold a candle to anything the Beat ever did, and I won't argue. Thing is, the Beat were just a hair before my time, and I never got to experience running into the shop on new-release day to pick up, say, 'I Just Can't Stop It' or 'Special Best Service.' After discovering the Beat, I had that moment in 1984 with '...All the Rage,' and sometimes that makes all of the difference. The following is the album version and not the remix I posted about a year ago.

Never You Done That