I recently finished the job of filing all our CDs away in binders and chucking out the cases (for recycling, I’m not a barbarian). It was bloody tedious but also a nice nostalgia trip as I came across a lot of great albums from the 1990s I’d forgotten about, like Pedals by Chicago band The Aluminum Group.
The Aluminum Group took their name from a line of furniture designed by Charles and Ray Eames which was reason enough for me to like them, and played a crisp, smooth chamber-pop that was as beautifully put together as an Eames chair.
If their name wasn’t arty enough for you, Pedals opens with a 10-minute song about Marcel Duchamp called “Rrose Sélavy’s Valise” which is about as pretentious a move a band can make. Rrose Sélavy was Duchamp’s female alter ego, and the valise is a reference to this Duchamp work. With it’s epic length and multi-part structure it sounds something like Lounge Prog which should really be a thing.
Looking around my iTunes library for a suitable track to go with the previous post I found this which I recorded off my 12″ vinyl copy a long time ago but never posted for some reason.
Remixed in 1982 from an earlier b-side, this a sleek Euro-disco groover that glides along on Mick Karn’s rubbery bass playing and some honking sax. I was never a huge Japan fan but this does make me want to suck in my cheekbones and go pose outside a Berlin nightclub. Hopefully I’d be allowed back in England after.
I’ve heard so many good new tracks recently instead of posting one a week like usual I thought I’d splurge them all over the next few days and have a New Music Week. Then it will be back to our regularly-scheduled sentimental wankery if I can get around to finishing something. First up…
Dream Wife are a trio of English and Icelandic girls who formed the band as a performance art project while they were all at art school in Brighton. They must have passed the course with flying colours because this conceptual jape became a real band — a really good one at that — playing gigs and putting out a proper EP from where the bloody marvelous “Kids” comes.
This seems designed to hit all my pleasure centres: sassy and artsy girls singing fuzzy, New-Wavey pop with a fun, stylish video to boot. It’s heartening to know that British art schools can still produce good bands, I was worried that wasn’t the case anymore.
This is the first record Ultravox made with Midge Ure. I quite liked the Vienna album at the time but wasn’t all that keen on them after that. Not sure what their critical rep is these days but I’ve a feeling even Gary Numan is cooler than they are now.
I had no idea Fad Gadget (aka Frank Tovey) had died in 2002 until I started writing this post. Tovey was an early pioneer of electronic post-punk and “Back To Nature” from 1979 was only the second single ever released on Mute Records (after “Warm Leatherette”). He was a little too experimental for mainstream success though and remained only a cult figure.
He played a gig in the canteen at Maidstone College of Art circa 1983 when I was student there. I didn’t go for some reason and it was apparently a rather mad affair like his gigs usually were. One more on the list of acts I kick myself over not seeing when I had the chance.
Up to my tits in work and really worn out at the moment. I’m lucky enough to like what I do for a living, but there are times when I want to retire and live a life of leisure, blogging, and t-shirt designing. Which is another way of saying don’t expect much here for the next couple of weeks.