31 May, 2017

Dreaming in Stereo for May 30, 2017

After last week's pop-heavy Manc episode, I figured it was time for another shoegaze-heavy episode. I don't know that it quite worked out that way, but I have no regrets. I just discovered Chastity Belt, who open the show, and there's a definite feeling of "how did they sneak by me?" going on with them. The three tracks I've heard so far off the new album are fairly stellar, and looking forward to the full release.

Also discovered a couple of knockout bands from London: Swimming Tapes, who are nice and breezy and eminently catchy, and Night Swimming, who are dense and thick and have a nice, heavy take on the 'gaze (and from what I picked up from the web, only formed last year, and are already sounding like they've put their time in).

Chastity Belt - Different Now - I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone - Sub Pop
The Launderettes - Cold Cold Hearts - Getaway - Wicked Cool Records
Supermoon - Lemonade - single - Other Coast
Swimming Tapes - Set the Fire - Souvenirs EP - Hand in Hive
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - A Song of Summer - On Echoing Green - Mexican Summer
Galaxie 500 - Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste - Today - Aurora Records
Night Swimming - Tusk - Blossom - self-released
Adorable - Sunshine Smile - Against Perfection - Creation
Ride - Drive Blind - Smile - Sire
Bleach - Trip & Slide - Killing Time - Elektra
Blonde Redhead - Equus - Misery is a Butterfly - 4AD

 This episode actually began with the Adorable song, and built around that. Back in the mid-late 1990s, when I was full into my first major Britpop phase (coming, as it did, at the tail end of the movement), Adorable was one of those bands I'd heard of, but being in the Midwest could never find anything by. Not even when we'd cross the border and hit up the record stores in Canada, there was never anything to be found. And to be fair, it's not hard to understand why - Canada may have stronger ties to the Empire than down here, but even there you're not going to get a lot of traction as a third-tier Britpop band. Which is too bad, as they were a decent group with some fairly catchy hooks and solid chops. But in a genre that was overflowing with talent (much of which would end up immolating itself in the trappings of success), not everyone could make it to the front of the stage.

It took years for me to finally track them down, and I think the song featured in this episode proves that time wasn't all in vain. It may not be Earth-shattering, but there's always room in the world for a good pop song.

28 May, 2017

Dreaming in Stereo for May 22, 2017 - The Manchester Episode

What a difference a few hours can make.

In honor of Morrissey's birthday on May 22, I thought I'd not just feature a tribute to Moz himself, but to the city that (more or less) made him, Manchester. As anyone who's seen the movie 24 Hour Party People, or has even a passing knowledge of pop music in the late 20th century knows, there's an almost staggering amount of talent that came out of that northern England town, particularly in the 1980s and '90s. So that Monday afternoon I posted the show, and due to technical issues (note: don't use Internet Explorer if you have any choice in the matter) I wasn't able to post this entry until later.

Like a lot of people, my heart sank that night when I heard the news. Here was this city I'd just honoured a few hours prior, making headlines for all the wrong reasons. I don't even want to mention it again, as I like this show to be a respite from the seemingly endless parade of tragedy and farce that seem to be the zeitgeist of the 20-teens, but suffice it to say this episode took on a different tone for me (and for the listeners?) in the days that followed.

Anyway, enough of being a really heavy negative vibe merchant. Enjoy the show, and Viva la Morrissey!

The Smiths - Unhappy Birthday - Strangeways, Here We Come - Sire
The Stone Roses - Mersey Paradise - The Complete Stone Roses - Silvertone Records
James - Say Something - Laid - Mercury
Inspiral Carpets - This Is How It Feels - Life - Elektra
Doves - House of Mirrors - Kingdom of Rust - Heavenly
Elbow - Grace Under Pressure - Cast of Thousands - V2 Records
Courteeners - Has He Told You He Loves You Yet? - Concrete Love  PIAS Cooperative
Joy Division - Novelty - Heart and Soul - London
New Order w/ Billy Corgan - Turn My Way - Get Ready - London
Electronic - Get the Message - Get the Message - Warner Bros.
Johnny Marr - European Me - The Messenger - Warner Bros.
Sandie Shaw w/ the Smiths - Hand in Glove - Hand in Glove single - Rough Trade
Morrissey - Get Off the Stage - The HMV/Parlophone Singles '88-'95 - EMI
Morrissey - Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me - Live at Earl's Court - Attack Records

And at the risk of veering into sentimentality, here's Glastonbury Festival's Poet in Residence Tony Walsh reading his poem "This Is the Place":

17 May, 2017

Dreaming in Stereo for May 17, 2017

Having shopped at thrift stores since the grunge bands introduced the idea to us kids in the 1990s (look, it was a different time), I've come to discern the cycle of re-sale merchandise, particularly when it comes to music. I picked up lots of 1970s and '80s rock in the early-mid 2000s, and now it's time for all the '90s bands to take their turns in the $2 bins. Which is fine for me, and was how I was able to re-discover PJ Harvey's balls-out 1995 album To Bring You My Love, which starts off this week's episode. Giving the title track a listen, and hearing that power in Harvey's vocals (to say nothing of the music behind it) - forget nostalgia, that's just a masterpiece that still holds up.

PJ Harvey bookends this episode, because I don't want to act like she never put anything good out after that, and I really dug this track off her latest album. 

PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love - To Bring You My Love - Island
Killing Joke - Requiem - Killing Joke - E.G.
The Cure - Disintegration - Disintegration - Fiction
Nothing - Nineteen Ninety Heaven - Tired of Tomorrow - Relapse
Moving Panoramas - Always - One - Modern Outsider
Eternal Summers - Together or Alone - Gold and Stone - Kanine Records
Žen - Žal (Strand) - Jantar - Unrecords
The Telescopes - Flying - # Untitled Second - Rev-Ola
Pinkshinyultrablast - The Cherry Pit - Grandfeathered - Vinyl Junkie Recordings
Strand of Oaks - Radio Kids - Hard Love - Dead Oceans
PJ Harvey - The Wheel - The Hope Six Demolition Project - Island

I discovered Zen whilst blog-hopping recently, and this is another group I (and presumably, you) really need to check out more. Here's a video - nice and loud:

11 May, 2017

Dreaming in Stereo for May 9, 2017

I was planning on doing a proper write-up of the Slowdive show at the 9:30 Club, but then I got busy seeing another classic British band two days later (The Damned), and promptly got sick. So, to give you the tl;dr summary, Slowdive were mind-blowingly amazing. From the sound to the playing to the set, everything was perfect. I even got to meet Rachel Goswell after the show, and she was very nice and tolerant of my minor rambling. Definitely one of the top ten shows of my lifetime.

And on with the show:

Trementina - Please, Let's Go Away - 810 - Burger Records
Sulk - Black Infinity (Upside Down) - No Illusions - Perfect Sound Forever
Vadaat Charigim - Ein Li Makom - Sinking As a Stone - Burger Records
Japanese Breakfast - In Heaven - Psychopomp - Yellow K Records
Ozean - Scenic - Ozean - Moon Sounds
The Philter - Skinned Knee - The Philter/Love in Athens split - Doorway Recordings
Froth - Romance Distractions - Outside (Briefly) - Wichita Recordings
Kestrels - No Alternative - Kestrels - Sonic Unyon
Dylan in the Movies w/ Tanya Donelly - Girl in the Black Tights - Sweet Rebel Thee - DeeVeeUs Records
The Veils - Swimming with Crocodiles - Total Depravity - Nettwerk
Johnny Marr - The Messenger - The Messenger - Warner Bros.
Hammock - In the Middle of This Nowhere (Oblivion Hymns) - Oblivion Hymns - Hammock Music -
Lush - Undertow - Split - 4AD

06 May, 2017

Dreaming in Stereo for May 3, 2017 - the Slowdive episode

In honor of their North American tour (all half dozen dates of it), this episode is all Slowdive - either the band itself or its various spin-off and solo projects .

Also, all the praise for the new album is entirely justified.

And now, enjoy...

Slowdive -Catch the Breeze - Just for a Day - Creation
Slowdive - Souvlaki Space Station - Souvlaki - Creation
Slowdive - Blue Skied An' Clear - Pygmallion - Cherry Red Records
Slowdive - Sugar for the Pill - Slowdive - Dead Oceans
Slowdive - Morningrise - Morningrise EP - Creation
Monster Movie - Keep the Voices Distant - Keep the Voices Distant - Graveface
Minor Victories - Folk Arp - Minor Victories - Fat Possum Records
Mojave 3 - Love Songs on the Radio - Ask Me Tomorrow - 4AD
Neil Halstead - Tied to You - Palindrome Hunches - Universal
Red House Painters w/ Rachel Goswell - Again and Again - Take Me Home: A Tribute to John Denver - Badman Recordings
Slowdive - Crazy for You (alt version (demo)) - Pygmallion - Cherry Red Records

And for those not lucky enough to get to see the band at one of these shows (fortunately not the case for me), here's the band in action (you'll have to advance to the 5 minute mark for the show to begin, and astute listeners will recognize their intro music):