Saturday, March 19, 2005
Our other New Favorite Song...
is Charlotte Hatherly's "Bastardo." It's funny and sad and we keep playing it over and over in rotation with the Futureheads.
Song Of the Day: March 20, 2005
Flying Colours-Abstract Art
No Records 45, 1981
Terrific punk rock single, or goofy knock-off of the Rezillos "(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures?" Who says it can't be both? This is one of many fantastic records that first came to our attention via the Teenage Treats compilations of rare UK punk/powerpop/mod/DIY.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Song Of the Day: March 19, 2005
Something Pretty Beautiful-
Expect a Miracle Today
From the EP "Freefall," Creation Records, 1989
Whenever anyone mentions Something Pretty Beautiful it always seems to be in one of two contexts. The first is that Julian Cope's brother is in SPB; and he must be very disappointed that they never became as famous as the Teardrop Explodes, so much so that he can't be bothered to comment on Krautrock or Stonehenge. The second is in the context of demonstrating that not everything Creation Records touched turned to gold. "Yeah, I'll give you Teenage Fanclub, the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, but what about Something Pretty Beautiful?"
We don't care. At Little Hits you can be in our Hall Of Fame if you have that one song that makes us laugh or cry or try to sing like Frankie Lymon. Or in this case Scott Walker. It's a big grandiose pop number, brimming with the possibilities of spring and the notion that things will get better, however eventually.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Song Of the Day: March 18, 2005
The Spliffs-You Know What They'll Say
Black and White Records 45, 1986
More Australian guitar pop from the 80s. One might think that once he or she has amassed all of the great 45s from the more prominent indies like Citadel and Waterfront and Greasy Pop and AuGoGo that there couldn't possibly be much left. One would be very very wrong. Here's a tip of the iceberg from the perhaps-inappropriately named Spliffs; their breathless pop doesn't suggest marijuana nearly so much as grape soda. This is from their first 7", a three-song disc in an oversized pic sleeve. Three other singles and an LP, House Of Seven, followed.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Song Of the Day: March 17, 2005
The Outcasts-1523 Blair
Gallant Records 45, 1967
Available on the I'm A No-Count LP/CD, Teenage Shutdown Records
Some of the best sixties punk records are barely comprehensible, especially if they're by a Texas band. These San Antonio kids already had one future classic, "I'm In Pittsburgh (And It's Raining)" to their credit by the time they waxed this 45 in early '67, but this one is a giant leap sideways. Actually several giant leaps sideways in one song. After weaving all over the road doing 50 in a 30 mph zone it pulls over and barks nonsense at you, then roars off again. Sort of like "7 and 7 Is" but with no attention span whatsoever.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Song Of the Day: March 16, 2005
The Turbines-Skull and Crossbones
From the EP "Last Dance Before Highway,"
Big Time Records, 1985
We're big fans of this Boston combo's massive rendition of the Sparkle Moore rockabilly obscurity "Skull and Crossbones." In fact we'd go so far as to say that this EP easily blows anything the Cramps have done since they left IRS out of the stagnant, slimy water. While Jack Hickey's guitar steals the show, it's worth noting that frontman John Hovorka made several strange DIY records in the early eighties that bear no resemblance to this. There was a full-length LP that followed called Magic Fingers and Hourly Rates on New Rose (France), which I sold about 15 years ago for the price of a pack of cigarettes. Wish I hadn't.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Song Of the Day: March 15, 2005
The Reactions-Tomorrow's Time Today
St. Valentine Records 45, 1985
What's more mod than having a Batman sticker on your Rickenbacker? The Reactions were a swell Cleveland combo who made a pair of singles and a solid EP for Homestead before they decided that their dreamed-of youth explosion was never going to ignite. This was their first effort, a great flower-pop song with just enough dirtiness to the jangle that even mean guys like Byron Coley and Gerard Cosloy liked it. Current whereabouts: Dave Swanson has been involved with the New Salem Witch Hunters, and Swanson and bassist Brian McCafferty are garage-folk-rocking out in the Rainy Day Saints. The RDSaints will release a second LP this year on Get Hip. For more details check the excellent Clepunk site, dedicated to Ohio's long and amazing history of great punk bands.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Song Of the Day: March 14, 2005
Curtiss A-I Don't Want To Be President
Twin/Tone Records 45, 1979
While to my knowledge neither of the major political parties ever formed an exploratory committee regarding the Presidential chances of Curtiss A, he nevertheless felt it necessary to nip any such notions in the bud via this number which sounds a bit like some journeyman soul shouter fronting the Damned. If you're geek enough to handle it, Twin/Tone Records has an incredibly detailed website, where they provide information on their early releases including to the exact number of copies sold. Several of these early records were by Curtiss A (real name, Curt Almstead), and feature his punk/R 'n' B fusion that surely must have made him at least a local legend. He made three LPs for Twin/Tone during the 80s which were once fairly ubiquitous in Midwestern used-record stores, but are no longer so common, especially the first, Courtesy.