Thursday, March 4, 2021

In Love With These Times

Well, no, not these times. Let's go back to 1989. Lately, we have had a lot of chatter on these pages and in the comments about Flying Nun, and that has had me thinking about one of my favorite label samplers from my youth. The legendary 'Dunedin Double' was before my time, but another one of Flying Nun's comps came out at exactly the right time to reel in this impressionable very late teen. If a label sampler is worth its salt, when the dust settles you have picked up at least a few new albums and started following a couple of bands you stick with for the rest of your days. 'In Love With These Times' was that type of album for me. It wouldn't be long before I went back to get the 'Dunedin Double' either, but that's a tale for another day.

Three of the four bands on the 'Dunedin Double' were still going strong seven years after that release and appeared on 'In Love With These Times.' That would be the Chills, Sneaky Feelings and the Verlaines. (Who could have guessed all three of those bands would have new albums two decades into the 21st century?!?) The original version of 'In Love With These Times' featured 13 bands on vinyl and a whopping 19 bands on CD. I have the vinyl, which is cool, but in hindsight, CD would have been better because Dead Famous People would have been on my shelf much earlier. 'In Love With These Times' has been reissued a couple of times, including once as a 13-track CD edition that accompanied Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd's 2016 autobiography of the same name. I haven't read this book, but I couldn't resist ordering it earlier this evening.

Here are a few from 'In Love With These Times.' This song from the Chills appeared on the 1987 album 'Brave Words.' I know there is at least one reader who really like this album. He even uses a song title from the album for his online moniker. Look Blue Go Purple sure knows how to get their jangle on. If you don't have the band's comp 'Still Bewitched,' pick this one up right away. This song from Sneaky Feelings is two minutes of off-kilter pop that sounds so very Flying Nun to the ears of this Yank. Apologies for not picking something from the Bats, Snapper and all of the other bands on this sampler. They are all certainly worthy.

The Chills - Rain
Look Blue Go Purple - Cactus Cat
Sneaky Feelings - Trouble With Kay


Dan Destiny's Silver Dawn said...

What a brilliant post, Brian!

The Roger Shepherd book is excellent - a good choice. The other book to seek out is 'Positively George Street' by Matthew Bannister of Sneaky Feelings. It's been out of print for many years, but is well worth getting if you see a copy. It's an honest, reflective and self deprecating account of the early 80s Dunedin scene, full of the attendant bitchiness, rivalries, affairs, camaraderie and the forging of life-long friendships you would expect.

'Trouble With Kay' is a favourite Sneaky Feelings track of mine - I tend to prefer David Pine's songs. According to Bannister, the song reflected David's determination to stop writing about himself, "but to create characters and situations with dramatic objectivity", and was influenced by Robbie Robertson and Randy Newman. Bannister also comments on the song's "extreme brevity" - "The concentration of 'Kay' is almost frightening: the words spill out over the edges of the song like a damned-up river".

Great to see you supporting the massively underrated LBGP - one of my top 10 NZ bands, they deserve more attention.

And yes, 'Brave Words' is my favourite Chills LPs!

Rol said...

Has there ever been a bad song with Rain in the title?

Look Blue Go Purple is a great band name.