A fancy Friday 5!

Mono In VCF – “Key To The House” from Mono In VCF

I’ve been trying to track down a copy of the debut record from this group for a while now, and I just stumbled across it this week…if you were to take the baroque, country-tinged psychedelia of Lee Hazelwood or John D. Loudermilk and mixed in the dreamy, disaffected female voice that fits in so well with that music, you’d have a winner…the fact that Mono In VCF are making music like that in this century would be impressive enough, but joining them on this and other tracks is none other than Terry Jacks, whom the group cites as a primary influence…how’s that for retroism?…

The Undertones – “It’s Going To Happen” from Positive Touch

While the North-Irish group will forever be known for punk gem “Teenage Kicks” (which is no small feat), there are plenty of other interesting tracks in their original catalogue…this song, with its total ska/Roman Holliday horns, is a bit out of left field for a band that was associated with such a stripped-down scene, but it’s a brilliant tune nonetheless…The Undertones reformed back in 1999 with a new lead singer, but Feargal Sharkey’s nasal, almost Robin Zander-like croon will forever be The Undertones’ legacy…

Big Blue Ball – “Habibe” from Big Blue Ball

Not unlike Brian Wilson’s SMiLE, the Big Blue Ball project has been, dare I say it, bouncing around various recording studios ever since Peter Gabriel started it back in 1991…finally being released this year, the record features many of Gabriel’s buddies, like Karl Wallinger, Jah Wobble and Tim Finn, churning out some funky worldbeat with the help of some native vocalists…the result is something that you might sooner expect from David Byrne…I’m still not sure what to make of it, since Gabriel’s involvement is not very apparent aside from a vocal here and there…Melt this ain’t, though fans of Security might enjoy this little tread into foreign waters…

10cc – “Art For Arts Sake” from How Dare You!

They were the quintessential art-pop band…if Roxy Music was too flashy and Jethro Tull gave you nightmares, then you probably had a bunch of 10cc records…during the tenures of pop-masters Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, the band produced four albums packed with tunes that were just weird enough to keep them on the charts here and there, but rarely keeping high slots for very long…the duo later split to form their own eponymous project, while Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman kept the group going and penned some of the best known songs, “The Things We Do For Love” and “Dreadlock Holiday”…

Fleet Foxes – “White Winter Hymnal” from Fleet Foxes

Whatever it is that Phil Ek does to the records he produces should be bottled and sold…as this, the latest album to feature Ek’s trademark ethereal production style, will show, his harnessed talent would be a powerful ingredient…that’s not to say that the musicians that make up the Seattle quintet don’t deserve thanks for this record’s charm…in fact, without their tight harmonies, gentle campfire arrangements and sing-along songwriting, Ek wouldn’t have anything to work with…hopefully, we’ll hear more from these guys as we have from the many other groups that have recorded with Ek, such as The Shins, Band Of Horses and Built To Spill

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~ by E. on June 13, 2008.

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