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Showing posts from January, 2014

Pontiak – Lack lustre rush (Thrill Jockey)

A thrilling combination of whoops, Jimmy Page juggernaut riffs and a garage rock sensibility, from the Virginia Carney brothers three piece.

Pontiak - Lack Lustre Rush from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

Frankie Rose – Herein Wild (Fat Possum)

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This was another album to slip past me towards the end of 2013. Frankie Rose is someone I’ve been a big fan of since I first came across her drumming with Crystal Stilts in 2009. I must say, of her three solo albums to date I’ve probably liked her first one the most (the garage pop beauty Frankie Rose & The Outs). Having said that, her last album Interstellar contained some great headrush tunes too, a kind of 1980s jangle pop beamed in from a space satellite.

Herein Wildtakes that idea on a step, adding New Order style euphoria to tales of longing and nostalgia, with roaming basslines and pillow-soft drumbeats.

‘Into blue’ is the one song I find myself coming back to over and over. It’s a perfect, simple pop song about being younger and in love which contains the most irresistible elevation to the chorus. It’s practically guaranteed to have you rushing for the nearest dancefloor and I’d be amazed if it doesn’t feature soon in a key scene of the latest Hollywood rom com du jo…

Playlist 296 - Jan 28 2014

Quite a bit of new music on the show again this week, including a real stormer from Dublin's Girl Band (below and currently touring), joining the dots thrillingly between Fugazi and The Pixies.

New single from Future Islands too, great to hear them back. And Girls Names are on the Choice Award list.

John Grant is certainly one cool motherfucker (whatever about being the greatest), he plays Ireland in March. As does Damien Jurado, his new album is wonderful.

Who else? More Ezra Furman, love that; strong Irish music from Patrick Freeman (lovely country feel) and Silverbacks (Yo La Tengo vibe).

Plus Pontiak kicking out some serious jams.

Jan 28 2014 show w/ Girl Band,Girls Names,Ezra Furman,Pontiak,Gram Parsons,Gene Clark++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud

The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


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

Playlist 296
Tues Jan 28 2014
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated o…

Ezra Furman - My zero (from Day of the dog, Bar None)

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Every year, something gets overlooked.

In 2012 it was Ty Segall. Last year it was Ezra Furman (I'm sure others will emerge). I've been catching up on his Day of the dog album for the last couple of weeks and it's a keeper.

It's great to hear an album with such freshness and, I don't know, abandon or something. There are shades of The Modern Lovers and even Violent Femmes here and there but Furman's voice in particular is all his own - brilliantly strained, reaching. There's not enough of that in pop music.

Although, as it happens the album standout for me is an example of him reining it in a tad, the completely convincing, slow-burning 'My zero'. It starts off like a slightly-too-fast ballad, nostalgic for times gone, but is soon ushered into daytime radio league via an irresistible chugging sax, one-string guitar riff and swooning fiddle part.

Have a listen - you'll be singing it out loud all day, all the better to dislodge that …

Playlist 295 - Jan 21 2014

Great news last week of a Cork gig for Julia Kent (pictured) in March (also Dublin). We took a track each from her last two albums, Character and Green and grey, each quite different but equally great.

O Emperor are deservedly up for the Choice Irish album of the year, although no excuse needed to hear 'Holy fool'. Band of Clouds also play a rare gig in Cork in March - 'Cats cuts' is a great slice of fuzzy dream pop and both bands were in the Best of 2013 round up on the blog lately (so were My Pilot actually).

Some brilliant Spaghetti Western cuts from Bruno Nicolai and Alessandro Alessandroni(thanks for the nod PMcD) either side of some more recent soundtrack work from John Parish.

A couple of "archive" classics from Bjork'sMedulla album and XTC'sApple Venus Vol 1. (Can less then 15 years old be considered archive?)

And Ezra Furman taking a page from The Modern Lovers' book, thrillingly.

More on these pages as always.

Jan 21 2…

Playlist 294 - Jan 14 2014

More from the fine debut September Girls album this week (pic) - they're around Ireland and the UK playing live this month.

A little country rock - Mike Nesmith and on the more melancholy, orchestral end, Bob Lind.

Serge Gainsbourg's classicHistoire de Melody Nelson has just been written about in the 33 1/3 series, Jean Claude Vannier was the essential collaborator/orchestrator on that project.

New Neville Skelly album due soon, new Barry McCormack out now.

New music from Jacques Caramac and Ezra Furman, love those.

And two from 1969 - Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone. I wonder did they listen to each other?

Jan 14 2014 Show w/ Sept Girls,Jacques Caramac,Ezra Furman,Pontiak,Serge G,Ennio M,Scott Walker++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud

The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


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

Playlist 294
Tues Jan 14 2014
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated on Tues…

Best of 2013 Review - Part 4 : Pop/Soul/Choral/Soundtrack

And so we come to the end of this look back to 2013. Enjoy these and all the posts. By the way, there are a couple of podcasts on the 2013 Review theme on these links, one from December, one from last July.

http://i.mixcloud.com/CFKuxK

and

http://i.mixcloud.com/CCxjsv

Saint Yorda – Disco
The highly promising debut single from a Cork band who sadly broke up later in the year. Cowbells, a steel drum sample, a great rolling tom drum backbeat, some exquisite syncopated muted guitar and a wonderful falsetto male vocal – these are just some of its pleasures. With shades of the xx and Hot Chip, as sign offs go it’s quite beautiful.



Major Lazer feat Ezra Koenig – Jessica
Catchy as hell dub cut from the American producer with a memorable vocal turn by the Vampire Weekend frontman. I’ve been trying to put my finger on what’s so great about this and I’ve come up with a word – louche. That’s it friends, it’s the height of loucheness.



Elephant – Shapeshifter
Another absolute gem of a release …

Playlist 293 - Jan 7 2014

Happy New Year everyone again, for everyone just joining us.

The first show of 2013 was one last look back to my favourite music of last year, most of the playlist drawing on my Best of 2013 posts on the blog lately (see posts on right of page). Within that, I tried to fit in some stuff that hadn't been on the show as much last year. So great cuts from Kevin Murphy, The Would Be's, Howe Gelb feat Will Oldham and Screaming Maldini.

Special mention for Rocket Girl who issued their 100th release last year - wonderful label that.

There were also September Girls and Jacques Caramac (RG) whose albums come out this month. And still room for a few old treasures from Lee Hazlewood & Ann Margret (seriously, check the sleeve on that record, it's a hoot), The Kinks ('Dead end street', a recession song, don't you know) and one of my faves Petula Clark ('I know a place' was the follow up to the peerless 'Downtown' in 1965, also co-written with…

Best of 2013 Review - Part 3: Garage Pop/Prog Pop/Funk

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Part 3 in this 4-part series of reminisciences on the year gone by. I'm pairing Garage Pop with Prog Pop in this post (and why not, they could possibly do with being paired together more often, even within the same song perhaps), as well as some funk cuts on the side. Again, there's plenty of Irish content in here too in what was another notable year for Irish releases - of all kinds.

A reminder that you can find Parts 1 & 2 under December 2013 in the Posts menu on the right of the page. And Part 4 is on the way later in the week.

The Grays – Very best years
To start, the first of several entries in these lists not from the last year at all, just discovered by me for the first time in 2013. This peach came on my radar courtesy of a Facebook post by Eric Matthews (ex-Cardinal), the kind of happening that tends to represent a tiny chink of light in the mostly dark nether world of social media. The Grays were a supergroup, a bunch of friends between projects put together…