These are the days, my friends

Some people have a problem with repitition. They live on the edge of curiousity, constantly seeking new experiences, hoping to be moved toward untamed intellectual and emotional landscapes. They are frontiersmen.

I admire this quality but it’s not how I roll. If it’s good, I’ll go back again and again and again. Perhaps I have a high boredom threshold. Almost certainly, I value short-term pleasure over long-term gain.

When it comes to music this tends to mean that I don’t mind musicians that sound like something I’ve heard before – though with one hefty caveat: You can be influenced by others but have to sound like yourself. It’s hard to be explicit about the best way of going about that. To explain how you achieve something so ephemeral yet obvious. I tend to think its about how invested you are in your work. Anyway, by way of explication, here are a couple of wonderful examples:

Whitney (from Chicago and recently signed to the excellent Secretly Canadian) are already, deservedly, picking up some serious heat and when I heard that they featured former members of The Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra my interest was peaked. I wasn’t expecting what I got: Soul-tinted, full-hearted and gloriously expansive music. This is the closing hours of a meltingly hot summer day, the ache in your body slowing dissipating as you sip at a beer chilled to within a whisker of freezing point. It is the moment when you appreciate the breeze caressing your skin, when life – despite everything – seems good and right. When you’re just glad to be alive. Yes, you’ve heard it all before (the county-folk of CSN&Y, the soulful swell of Lambchop). Yes, it’s good:

The Persuasion seems to currently exist as a few photos and a couple of songs. Their online presence is best described as minimal but there is an oddball, off-kilter shuffle to their subtle, psychedelic mesmerism. Leave Her Alone is early Beatles harmonies filtered through Big Star’s ramshackle, inventive pop production. I fucking love this song and I’m hoping for lots, lots more:

These tracks and much other goodness are all on this month’s Quiff. Treat yourself to something a little different today:

1.Golden Gals by Animal Collective
2.Change Your Ways Or Die by The Cactus Blossoms
3.Leave Her Alone by The Persuasion
4.Get With The Programme (feat. O.C.) (prod. by Duck Dodger) by D.I.T.C.
5.Her Heart by Spissy
6.I Need An Angel by La Sera
7.Gun In My Pocket (Revisited) by The Shivas
8.Watch Your Back by The Coathangers
9.Applewood Road by Applewood Road
10.Delorean by Tre Houston
11.No Reaction by Drug Pizza
12.Holding On by Mr. Silla
13.No Woman by Whitney
14.Moments (feat. Leo Stannard) by Kidnap Kid
15.You Disappear by La Luz
16.Every Songbird Says by Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop
17.Daybreak by Electric Mantis
18.Rings by Aesop Rock
19.Good Leg by Alex Seigal
20.Loan by The Cathys
21.Exit 353 by Damien Jurado
22.Undercover (feat. Chris Vu) by Small Talk
23.88 BPM (prod. by EthiKids) by Crimson (Capital 6)
24.Surfer Girl by Happyness

 

 

Back in Time

The Quiff is back. This  month’s mix is feeling pretty pleased with itself and to celebrate here’s a couple of baby-kissing, crime-solving, kung-fu fighting bundles of musical loveliness.

Firstly, there’s urgent melancholy. One lad from Sheffield and another from Leicester pass by us like ghosts. They rumble like passing traffic, like things lost in the endless seeking of the unknown. For Kidnap Kid and Leo Stannard the only sadness is when we stop moving:

From the other end of the globe (well, Texas) and the other end of the spectrum comes Tre Houston. ‘Hey, I’m not gonna talk about anything serious’ is his opening gambit and doesn’t get any less fun from there on in. This is a song to sway drunkenly to; a whisper working it’s way around the corners of a house party; music you spend hungover days trying to put your finger on. Basically, it’s fucking excellent:

This track is going to be on his new Tramzilla EP which I’m pretty damn excited about. Amuse yourself in the interim with this month’s Quiff, which is full of excellence I’ll be bugging you about for the next few weeks:

1.Golden Gals by Animal Collective
2.Change Your Ways Or Die by The Cactus Blossoms
3.Leave Her Alone by The Persuasion
4.Get With The Programme (feat. O.C.) (prod. by Duck Dodger) by D.I.T.C.
5.Her Heart by Spissy
6.I Need An Angel by La Sera
7.Gun In My Pocket (Revisited) by The Shivas
8.Watch Your Back by The Coathangers
9.Applewood Road by Applewood Road
10.Delorean by Tre Houston
11.No Reaction by Drug Pizza
12.Holding On by Mr. Silla
13.No Woman by Whitney
14.Moments (feat. Leo Stannard) by Kidnap Kid
15.You Disappear by La Luz
16.Every Songbird Says by Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop
17.Daybreak by Electric Mantis
18.Rings by Aesop Rock
19.Good Leg by Alex Seigal
20.Loan by The Cathys
21.Exit 353 by Damien Jurado
22.Undercover (feat. Chris Vu) by Small Talk
23.88 BPM (prod. by EthiKids) by Crimson (Capital 6)
24.Surfer Girl by Happyness

 

Get With The Programme

I’m not a convert to this healthy lifestyle schtick. My tokenistic approach to taking care of my body involves the daily consumption of an early morning banana, as if somehow potassium can magically cure my slovenly nature and haphazard snacking. It’s not much of an effort considering that I’ve been obsessed – and I don’t use that word lightly – with the squishy, yellow fruit since I was child.

Reading that back it sounds pretty wrong, so by way of explication I should point out that during my childhood I was forced to go to the doctors because I refused to eat anything but bananas. I’m nothing if not committed.

Anyway, this blog doesn’t reflect a new approach to living as much as the excellence of two songs which will be appearing on a Quiff mix due in the coming days.

D.I.T.C (Diggin’ In The Crates) are, clearly, a crew who I should know more of than I do. This New York based group have been striding around the underground scene since the early Noughties and their forthright, boom bap is pretty typical of the genre, and pretty typically good.

Get With The Programme is 3 minutes of healthy living advice. It’s protein shakes with heavy bass and damn if it ain’t great. I can’t help but feel it’s all a little tongue in cheek but who doesn’t love some heavy duty intimidation which, instead of talking of guns and ho’s, warns you of the bitter taste of wood-brewed tonic:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7geqv1fHDPs

These guys are one of my favourite new things so keep your eyes and ears peeled for more in the coming weeks.

From the other end of the spectrum comes a much more salutary tale. The Cactus Blossoms  are here with a warning. Stop the drinking. Stop the drugs. Stop the high-living. Stop, or die. It’s not a threat (no one is sitting in a wood cabin sharpening a knife) instead it explains how creatures that don’t evolve become extinct. Nature always has the answers:

Currently, there’s a few albums buzzing around my head – Lionlimb, David Wax Museum, Applewood Road & American Wrestlers, for the impatient types – and a new Quiff mix ready to hit the airwaves. Basically, prepare for a barrage of musical  joy in the coming days.

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