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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Theatre Royal – Doubt (Vacilando ’68)

A great heartwarming sound that harks back to the likes of Martin Stephenson & The Daintees from another era.

Blue-eyed soulful vocals, jangly guitars, songwriting worn authentically on the sleeve.

From the upcoming album We don't know where we are, which we will certainly be mentioning here again.

Playlist 320 - July 22 2014 - Summer Songs

You've heard of a raindance. This is a kind of sundance set, a playlist dedicated to songs about, of and reminiscient of summer. (Much as I love Don Henley's 'The boys of summer', I'm thinking more outside the box than that for this playlist. 'Summer of 69' is right out.)

In here you will find nostalgic cuts (summers of the past), psych pop meanderings (summers of the imagination?), love songs, film music, plenty of soul and buckets of melody. There are also trumpets involved.

You'll find a blow by blow underneath, extra background and reasons why I picked these songs. They're divided into categories which are a little arbitrary. Also, because there was only room for 18 in the hour long show, I might post another set, part 2, later in the summer.

July 22 2014 Summer Songs Special w/Go Betweens,XTC,Serge & Jane,Crystals,Lee Hazlewood,Chills++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud



The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


www.theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/theundergroundofhappiness

Playlist 320 – Summer Songs Special
Tues July 22 2014
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm)
UCC 98.3FM
listen live on the web at www.ucc.ie/983fm
*listen back to this show here
http://goo.gl/yfOpm3


Playlist
The Crystals – Da doo ron ron
Martha & the Muffins – Echo Beach
The Go Betweens – Bye bye pride
Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – 69 Année Erotique
Prefab Sprout – Bonny
The Beach Boys – Wild honey
The 5th Dimension – Aquarius/Let the sunshine in
XTC – Grass
The Flaming Lips – Race for the prize
Lee Hazlewood & Nina Lizell – Hey cowboy
Dionne Warwick – Do you know the way to San José?
Cousteau – Last good day of the year
Esquivel – Mucha Muchacha
The Zombies – Time of the season
Ry Cooder – Brothers (from the soundtrack of the film Paris, Texas)
Harper’s Bizarre – I come to the sunshine
Minnie Riperton – Les fleurs
The Chills – Double summer (playing Button Factory, Dublin, July 31)

*next week’s show is a Trunk Records Special and will feature music from Glenn Gould, Eden Ahbez & The Wicker Man soundtrack, among others

e-mail the show on radio@ucc.ie
or text +353 (0)86-7839800
please mark messages “uoh”

Conor O'Toole,
c/o UCC 98.3FM,
Áras na Mac Léinn,
Student Centre,
University College Cork,
Cork,
Ireland.


Nostalgia

1. The Crystals – Da doo ron ron

We start with an absolute highpoint of popluar music, from 1963, recorded at Gold Star Studios in LA,– written by the peerless songwriting team of Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich, produced by Phil Spector, arranged by Jack Nitzsche, with Hal Blaine on drums. And of course the eternal voice of youth of Dolores La La Brooks. Something about the song screams the freedom and yearning of long summer nights when you’re a teenager. Those clip-clopping castanets could be the sound of teenage pulses racing.



2. Martha & the Muffins – Echo Beach

From 1980, a classic example of post punk infiltrating the pop mainstream, to the tune of no 10 on the UK singles chart. I seem to remember this song coming into our house on one of those pre-NOW chart compilations - I think 'Turning Japanese by The Vapours was on the same one so that was a pretty good year obviously.

There's a kind of sunny nostalgia here for a place and time in the past. The Echo Beach of the title is fictional but it's a symbol of anywhere we escape to from humdrum daily routine. 1980 also seems to have been a (happier) time before saxophone solos in pop songs became naff. This song was also covered later on one of his solo albums by Robert Forster of The Go Betweens...



3. The Go Betweens – Bye bye pride

From Tallulah, the 5th album by the band which tends not to receive as much love as their other albums from Go Betweens diehards. For me, it contains their best collection of songs.

It came out in 1987 but for me this song is all about the summer of 1991 which is when it came into my life. I was an impressionable 20 year old and this song made a lasting impression on me. Right from the vivid opening lines -

A white moon appears
Like a hole in the sky
The mangroves go quiet
In La Brisa de la Palma
A teenage rasputin
Takes the sting from a gin


Straightaway, that sticky, exotic atmosphere had me dreaming of the semi-tropical Antipodean climate...a little like Grant MacLennan dreaming of a heart “tied up and held for ransom”. Class songwriting at any time of the year.



Love

4. Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – 69 Année Erotique

The sound of a head-spinning love rush and head-splitting sunshine is implied, as is plenty of good old fashioned and pleasurable adult fumbling. The album containing this song, Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg, is like the consummation of their relationship. And what a beautiful thing that is. As is that bassline, among many other things. Check also Mick Harvey’s translation for full lyrical appreciation.



5. Prefab Sprout – Bonny

The voice of the great Paddy McAloon, at his lovelorn best, from Steve McQueen in 1985, a year which brought Ireland something of a mini-heatwave. This album was my soundtrack to that summer as I grappled with adolescence - bush drinking, personal identity and what the fuck to talk to girls about. Extending the summer theme, this song also has a kind of sun-burnished atmosphere, courtesy of the exquisite production of Thomas Dolby.



6. The Beach Boys - Wild honey

The title track from the album of the same name, also a single from 1967. The Beach Boys were a band whose music seemed to occupy a permanent summer, so any number of songs could have made this list. This one has a stunning lead vocal by Carl Wilson and has a certain lustful, “in heat” quality which seems to add something unique to this set.



Psychedelic Pop

7. The 5th Dimension – Aquarius/Let the sunshine in

The height of the hippie dream, THE Summer of Love, but apart from that this is a high watermark of stoned soul, from a band supposedly set up as a black version of The Mamas & The Papas.



8. XTC – Grass

From the 1986 album Slylarking, there’s a wonderful giddy, childlike flavour to this song, aswell as a very appealing pastoral folk undertone. It's like the aural equivalent of doing downhill roly polys in a field in July (Andy Partridge actually does some of those in the video).



9. The Flaming Lips – Race for the prize

A song that ruled the airwaves, and my life, in the summer of 1999, from their classic album The Soft Bulletin. It's an unlikely tale of scientific rivalry. Other than that, all I can say is, what a drum sound.



Trumpets

10. Lee Hazlewood & Nina Lizell – Hey cowboy

That’s one of the most prolific writers and producers in pop music, from the Cowboy in Sweden album from 1970. That was the time Lee had exiled himself to that country. This song has an irresistible summer feel, mainly down to that breezy trumpet line and the clip clop rhythm...that’s even before they get to talking about the “land of the midnight sun”. Gorgeous.



11. Dionne Warwick – Do you know the way to San José

From 1968 written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David, I think of this as the dark heart of summer, that melancholy that Hal David specialised in and which Burt Bacharach disguised brilliantly with that signature swooning string, brass and organ arrangement. You can feel the sweat turning cold on the skin of the song’s protagonist.



12. Cousteau – Last good day of the year

From 2000, featuring singer Liam McKahey from Cork, what a voice. The song is almost like an update of the Dionne Warwick classic, the trumpet and strings arrangement could even be a Bacharach homage. The ending of summer. A bittersweet memory. (Actually I’ve just spotted that the song may in fact be about autumn but let’s not let that get in the way of a good playlist and a great pop song.)



Hot & Sticky

13. Esquivel – Mucha muchacha

An authentic flavour of Mexico by the genius composer and bandleader from the Latinesque album of 1962 (Esquivel's version of 'All of me' is the theme tune of my show). I’m picturing a sultry summer night, a space age bachelor pad, sports jackets, frilly dresses, and drinks with fruits in them.



14. The Zombies – Time of the season

Another one from the first summer of love, 1968, and a song that will forever be associated with summer in this country since its use in a certain cider ad. But apart from that, there’s something seething and steaming about the song - that backing vocal exhalation, the improvised organ solo, those guitar stabs, they all say STICKY. In fact, a little bit filthy all round, for such nice looking boys.



15. Ry Cooder – Brothers

Some classic film music from Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas (1985), starring the great Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski. A film about the breakdown of a relationship under a neverending, unforgiving sun. A cruel summer, if you will.



Unashamedly Joyous

16. Harper’s Bizarre – Come to the sunshine

Written by the great Van Dyke Parks, with a sweet arrangement reminiscient of the man. If ever a song deserved the term “sunshine pop” it's this.



17. Minnie Riperton – Les fleurs

Mindblowing stuff from Ms Riperton's 1970 album Come to my garden. There's an ineffable quality to it, like fluff blown off a dandelion and floating in the air. It's just a song that brings to mind nothing but meadows and flowers and sunshine...possibly hallucinogens too.



18. The Chills – Double summer

To finish, a band I fell in love with in 1992 via their killer Soft bomb album. Written by main Chill Martin Phillips, it's a winning combination of melody, sentiment and weather. Perfect guitar pop doesn’t come any more sincere and moving than this.

Here goes double summer
Sharing with one another


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Laurie Shaw Interview

Here's the full audio now of that interview with Laurie Shaw - we had a few minutes of it on the show this week. We recorded it sitting outside at The Pavilion in Cork during the June heatwave, while Laurie was taking a break from rehearsing for an upcoming gig with his band.

Laurie is originally from The Wirral near Liverpool (as is quickly evident from his accent) but has lived in Kerry for almost 10 years. He started recording using his Dad's equipment at home and has amassed more than 30 albums to date. You can find a selection on these links - http://laurieshaw.wordpress.com/music/ and https://soundcloud.com/laurie-shaw. I'll post some examples down the page.

I first came across his name through Plugd Records in Cork last February, when they posted one of his soundcloud or youtube links. I believe you can buy some of his music in there too. Which is something you should do.

The first bunch of songs I heard had a distinct Garage Rock flavour (Laurie himself mentions Arctic Monkeys in the interview, as well as Grinderman), but his songs are tripping over memorable melodies, something not always guaranteed in Garage Rock. The more you listen, though, the more dispersed and intriguing the influences seem to get - bits of glam-era Bowie (try 'Handbag' below), also some soul stirrings with particularly beautiful falsetto vocals to the fore in places. That song 'Toucan' down the end even has a kind of wonderful warped Kinks vibe going on. The album I've been playing on the show lately is called Evil, which I first heard a couple of months ago; according to Laurie, he's recorded about three albums since that one!

To say he's prolific doesn't come close. And he's just 19. Plus FIFA Records have just hooked up with him for an upcoming August release. Great.

Apart from those impressive credentials, he's also an interesting character and the music good's too. We chatted about how (and even why) he started, what he had in mind for the recordings at that stage, his musical influences, playing live, some thoughts on the "concept" behind the Evil album, and other stuff.

Enjoy.

Interview w/ Laurie Shaw recorded June 18 2014 at The Pavilion in Cork by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud











Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Playlist 319 - July 15 2014

Centrepiece of this week's show was some of an interview I did last month with Laurie Shaw (pic). Cork label FIFA Records have just announced they will be releasing something by Laurie in August. In the meantime, you can find plenty of his recordings on soundcloud.

Other than that, any excuse for something from The La's, a band very dear to my heart. And Stump (with the wonderfully unhinged but somehow perfectly sane at the same time 'Buffalo' - "How much is the fish? Does the fish have chips?") one of many bands to play Sir Henry's, the legendary Cork venue which is the subject of a retrospective exhibition at UCC's Boole Library which runs until September.

New music from A Winged Victory For The Sullen, from their upcoming 2nd album Atomos, orchestral ambient majesty as you'd expect. New music too from Pye Corner Audio with foreboding Krautrock grooves.

And two interesting Dublin bands. Death in the Sickroom channelling Johnny Marr to great effect. And I Heart The Monster Hero with some pleasingly fuzzy, day-glo electro pop.

More on these pages as always.

July 15 2014 w/ Stump,The La's,Laurie Shaw I'view,AWVFTS,Pye Corner Audio,Automat,The Clientele++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud



The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


www.theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/theundergroundofhappiness

Playlist 319
Tues July 15 2014
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm)
UCC 98.3FM
listen live on the web at www.ucc.ie/983fm
*listen back to this show here
http://goo.gl/Hbm7dO


Playlist
The La’s – I can’t sleep
Stump - Buffalo
A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Atomos V (playing Milton Court, Barbican, London, Oct 19 & 20)
The Clientele – An hour before the light
Death in the Sickroom – Tonight (playing Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, Aug 6 w/ Sex Beasts & Eulogys; Bello Bar, Dublin, Aug 16)
I Heart The Monster Hero – Toni Bailey (playing The Workman’s Club, Dublin, July 18)

Laurie Shaw Interview
Laurie Shaw – Handbag
Laurie Shaw Interview Excerpt
Laurie Shaw – Vishnu & the Evil Lites
(playing Indiependence Festival, Mitchelstown, Aug 1-3)

Pye Corner Audio – Black Mist
Automat feat. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge – Mount Tamalpais
Future Islands - Doves (playing Vicar Street, Dublin, Nov 2 & 3)
Tracey Thorn feat. Jens Lekman – Come on home to me

*next week’s show is a Summer Songs Special and will feature music from Serge Gainsbourg, Esquivel & The Go Betweens, among others

e-mail the show on radio@ucc.ie
or text +353 (0)86-7839800
please mark messages “uoh”

Conor O'Toole,
c/o UCC 98.3FM,
Áras na Mac Léinn,
Student Centre,
University College Cork,
Cork,
Ireland.




Sunday, July 13, 2014

Playlist 318 - July 8 2014

I've been on a bit of a Bob Lind buzz lately. He's often unfairly thought of as a one-hit wonder ('Elusive butterfly'), but there's much more to him than that. I managed to get my hands on his debut album - embedded within a Best of collection full of psych pop nuggets, from which we heard the beautiful 'Truly Julie's Blues'.

Somehow this lead me to Harry Nilsson, one of pop music's true mavericks. From 1977, the gorgeous and unsettling 'All I think about is you', a piece of work so at odds with the currents of that year, it boggles the mind. Part Ennio Morricone, part Serge Gainsbourg, it's just genius.

Also new White Fence, lovely garage pop with an early Kinks flavour; new Trans Am with a krautrock flavour; new Groom, literate lo-fi guitar pop; new Ultimate Painting, a tasty slice of alt rock, in a good way.

And Life Without Buildings from 2001, taking a post punk template and time-travelling it with very C86 female vocals. Great.

More on these pages as always.

July 8 2014 w/ White Fence,Bob Lind,Harry Nilsson,Trans Am,Michael Rother,Groom,Haley Bonar++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud



The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


www.theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/theundergroundofhappiness

Playlist 318
Tues July 8 2014
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm)
UCC 98.3FM
listen live on the web at www.ucc.ie/983fm
*listen back to this show here
http://goo.gl/2deZwr


Playlist
Benjamin Schoos feat. Laetitia Sadier – Une derniere danse
Sun Machine – Tamaho Hitman Part 1
White Fence – Like that
Bob Lind – Truly Julie’s Blues (I’ll be there)
Trans Am – Night shift (playing Le Guess Who Festival, Nov 21)
Michael Rother – Feuerland
The Drink – Haunted place
Life Without Buildings - Philip
Merchandise – Little killer
Groom – The old songs (playing The Pop Inn, Dublin, Aug 9)
Haley Bonar – Kill the fun
Cormac O Caoimh – Place a letter on my front porch (playing Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, July 18)
Harry Nilsson – All I want is you
Ultimate Painting - Ultimate Painting
Kult Country – Trembling moon

*next week’s show will feature music from The La’s & Death in the Sickroom, among others, plus an interview with Laurie Shaw

e-mail the show on radio@ucc.ie
or text +353 (0)86-7839800
please mark messages “uoh”

Conor O'Toole,
c/o UCC 98.3FM,
Áras na Mac Léinn,
Student Centre,
University College Cork,
Cork,
Ireland.




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Playlist 317 - July 1 2014

Soul mining, the classic album by The The from 1983, has just been reissued. Great to hear something from it, the wonderful 'This is the day'. And on the subject of 1983, some other British white soul from Edwyn Collins and friends in Orange Juice. Yes.

Another album reissued is the debut from The Clientele from 2000, Suburban light. That sounds brilliantly fresh in its melancholy shades of Byrdsian jangle. Interesting too to compare it to Alasdair MacLean's new/current group Amor de Dias.

A trio of Vacilando 68 related releases. Howe Gelb and friends with some luscious space-themed country exotica; Theatre Royal with some lovely nostalgic guitar pop; and Samuel Frank with an intriguing mixture of breakbeats and folk music. Fascinating.

OOIOO, The Altered Hours, UMA.

And some German lounge lizardry from Christer Bladin from 1974, compiled on The In Kraut series. Wildkatze!

More on these pages.

July 1 2014 w/ The The,Orange Juice,White Fence,Altered Hours,OOIOO,Tune-Yards,Howe Gelb++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud



The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


www.theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/theundergroundofhappiness

Playlist 317
Tues July 1 2014
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm)
UCC 98.3FM
listen live on the web at www.ucc.ie/983fm
*listen back to this show here
http://goo.gl/Q0FVLD


Playlist
The The – This is the day
Orange Juice – Rip it up
The Clientele – We could walk together
Amor de Dias – Voice in the rose
White Fence – Like that
Tune-Yards – Hey life (playing End of the Road Festival, Aug 29-31)
Theatre Royal – French Riviera 1988
Howe Gelb & Friends – Lucky Star Love
Samuel Frank – When the wise man was young
Got A Girl – Did we love too fast
Christer Bladin – Wildkatze (from the soundtrack of the film Gina Wildkatze)
UMA – Depart
OOIOO – Gamel Uma Umo
The Altered Hours – Dig early (playing The Academy, Dublin, July 9, w/ The Brian Jonestown Massacre)

*next week’s show will feature music from Bob Lind, Trans Am & Merchandise, among others

e-mail the show on radio@ucc.ie
or text +353 (0)86-7839800
please mark messages “uoh”

Conor O'Toole,
c/o UCC 98.3FM,
Áras na Mac Léinn,
Student Centre,
University College Cork,
Cork,
Ireland.




Thursday, June 26, 2014

Playlist 316 - June 24 2014

A couple of things working on a vaguely Brazilian theme this week. Sergio Mendes & crew from 1966 with some sublime bossa. Then Sun Kil Moon from this year treating his poetic soul songs to some sunny classical guitars and saxophone. Sabina brought it north a bit with a lovely mariachi vibe. SlowPlaceLikeHome is another sound of summer, but closer to Berlin via Donegal.

We had the husband and wife split 7" from Rachael Dadd and Ichi, love both of those. (She encourages him to make a sentence, he responds with gibberish and mosquito noises!...or that's my interpretation anyway...)

A much darker mid-section with the brooding orchestra of Roll The Dice, the stalking bass pulse of Automat with vocals by Lydia Lunch & the tortured sax meditation of Polar Bear.

Chris Stroffolino is a fascinating sounding character I'll come back to, among other things he's a fan of The Kinks, as am I, and sure who isn't?

More on these pages.

June 24 2014 w/ SPLH,Sabina,Sergio Mendes,Astronauts,Automat,Roll The Dice,Rachael Dadd,The Kinks++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud



The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


www.theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/theundergroundofhappiness

Playlist 316
Tues June 24 2014
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm)
UCC 98.3FM
listen live on the web at www.ucc.ie/983fm
*listen back to this show here
http://goo.gl/YvbkFW


Playlist
SlowPlaceLikeHome – She comes in colour stereo
Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 – Daytripper
Sabina – Mystery lover
Sun Kil Moon – Ben’s my friend (playing Green Man Festival, Aug 15)
Rachael Dadd – Make a sentence
Astronauts – Vampires
Roll The Dice – Wherever I go, darkness follows
Automat feat. Lydia Lunch – The streets
Polar Bear – Two storms (playing Love Supreme Jazz Festival, July 4-6)
The Kinks – I’m not like everybody else
Chris Stroffolino – Fire side of me
Ichi – Go Gagambo
Red Snapper – Card trick
Laetitia Sadier – Then, I will love you again

*next week’s show will feature music from OOIOO, UMA & Tune-Yards, among others

e-mail the show on radio@ucc.ie
or text +353 (0)86-7839800
please mark messages “uoh”

Conor O'Toole,
c/o UCC 98.3FM,
Áras na Mac Léinn,
Student Centre,
University College Cork,
Cork,
Ireland.