Thursday, August 31, 2017

Self Help Radio 083017: Indiepop A To Z # 54

(Almost all these images found at Discogs.)

& there's another episode in the can.  How was it?  There sure are a lot of bands that I consider indiepop, aren't there?  & they don't have all the same sound, do they?  These are a lot of questions.  Perhaps they're rhetorical.

Sometimes I wonder if an archivist must also be a completist.  The week before I do this show, I listen to a lot of music.  If I had my druthers, if my druthers hadn't been gone long before I knew I had druthers, I would be even more inclusive.  I would say, as the kids do, "This may not be indiepop, but it's indiepop-adjacent!"  Do the kids say that?  I mean, with words other than indiepop.  I haven't been around kids for a long time.  They grow up, up, & away so fast.  Or is that just superkids?

In any event, this might be a fun show for you to listen to while you're waiting in line for precious gasoline, since one of the main places we get that from is under water right now.  I don't mean to make light of the ongoing tragedy in Houston & the Texas coast - my heart goes out to the people there, I hope they find themselves someplace safe & I hope that the city recovers quickly.  I just hope those people who are waiting in lines & griping about it understand their inconvenience is minor compare to actual suffering just three hundred miles away.

Jeez, I didn't mean to get weird.  It's on my mind, you know.  The show can be listened to at the Self Help Radio website.  There's a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) you'll need to listen, if you want.  The show is in two parts; what's in those parts is below.

In four months, if the world hasn't turn into Mad Max: Fury Road, we'll finish the "Ma"s & get to the "Mc"s.  Promise!

(part one)

"The Choice You Have" Malory _Outerbeats_
"California Dreamin'" The Mamas & The Papas _All The Leaves Are Brown: The Golden Era Collection_
"Drive Drive Drive" The Man From Delmonte _The Good Things In Life_

"Country Boy" The Man Upstairs _Sad In My Heart 7"_
"Indecision" Manatee _Indecision_
"More Than Happy" The Mandelbrot Set _A Place Called Kansas_
"Things You've Never Done" The Manhattan Love Suicides _The Manhattan Love Suicides_
"Rasberry Thighs" The Mantles _Long Enough To Leave_

"Sucker" Maow _The Unforgiving Sounds Of... Maow_
"La Balada De La Primavera" Le Mans _Moshi Moshi (Pop International Style)_
"Still Dreaming" The Marble Staircase _Whaam! Bam! Thank You Dan!_
"Go Marilee" Marbles _Pyramid Landing & Other Favorites_
"Oh Constance" Marden Hill _Dream Topping: él Retrospective_

"Through The Hole" Mardi Picasso _Smerk_
"Welcome To Stalingrad" Montt Mardie _Skaizerkite_

(part two)

"I'm So Happy" The Mare _I'm So Happy_
"Musicienne" Marie Antoinette _Musicienne_
"Waiting In Line" The Marigolds _Wild!_

"Lazy Ways" Marine Girls _Lazy Ways/Beach Party_
"Big Sur" Marine Life _Fool Of A Kind_
"Hopefulness To Hopelessness" Marine Research _Sounds From The Gulf Stream_
"When Will You Realise That I Care" Marine Time Keepers _When Will You Realise That I Care_
"One Inch Punch" Mark 700 _Cohiba_

"Dead Girl In My Bed" The Marmite Sisters _Tug EP_
"Mercy Mercy, To My Melancholic Life Journey" The Marshmallow Kisses _Ciao! Baby_
"First Kiss" The Marteens _The Sound Of Leamington Spa, Vol. 4_
"1997, Passing In The Hallway" Martha _Courting Strong_
"Fish Bowl" Mary-Go-Round _Plays Golden Hits_

"Lost" The Mary Onettes _The Mary Onettes_
"Evensong" Mary Queen Of Scots _Mary Queen Of Scots/Peru Split 7"_
"Follow The Sound" Mascott _Follow The Sound_

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 54?

(Marine Girls, one of the bands you'll hear on tonight's show, image from here.)

Yes, we're fifty-four episodes in.  It's a little crazy.  We began the letter M last time, four months ago, & if all goes well tonight, we'll explore bands & artists whose names fit somewhere between Malory & Marzipan.  Yes, there are a lot of bands who will appear in the letter M.  I may not finish it this decade.

But what a bunch of good music!  & from all over: the states, Great Britain, Australia, Sweden, Canada, Spain, Hong Kong, France, Germany.  & pretty equally divided gender-wise - there are four bands whose name includes the word "Marine" & all of them are female-fronted.  Marine Girls, pictured above, were all women.  Indiepop is international & it's not at all sexist.  I celebrate that!

Come listen, tonight from 9-11pm eastern (8-10pm central) on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington & online everywhere at Lexington Community Radio dot org.  It should be fun.  At least the music.  I make no promises about my place in this.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 54: Sisyphus

(Somehow I never imagined Sisyphus as so muscular, but I guess in Hell you still get rewarded for constantly working out.  Image from here.)

Actually, there won't be any discussion of Sisyphus in this little blog post.  Except to say, you know who I'm talking about, right?  The guy condemned to roll a rock up a hill for eternity?  When he gets to the bottom, he goes back to the top of the slide, where he stops, & he turns, & goes for a little ride?  Wait, no, that's Charles Manson.  Anyway, I think you know what I'm talking about.  I won't be talking about that right now.  Though I do have to briefly talk about it to let you know I'm not going to talk about it.

What I did want to say, which I hope to say during tomorrow's show, but which I sometimes forget to say, is that my stupid Indiepop A To Z adventure owes a hell of a lot to the band list at Twee dot net.  I haven't counted how many bands they have on the list - for the letter M, there are 92 (!) - but even if I had stuck to the list (I haven't) I would probably still not be finished with the series.  But it's been perfect as a skeleton for which to hang my own idears about indiepop, plus I have discovered a few bands thanks to them!

Also it's important to point out that, as the Internet has gotten bigger, it's become much easier to find the more obscure bands, the ones that just released a single in 1987.  Indiepop thrives on singles, on flexi-discs & compilation appearances, & on playing out - the latter of which I have no access to.  One band that released a great single might have been active touring around England for years.

Sometimes I do wish I had been an archivist, & so this series sometimes serves to feed that desire in me.  But I have to acknowledge that this hasn't been entirely my thing.  I got the idea looking at the list.  & it continues to aid & inspire me as I stumble through the letter M.  Which I'll be doing for some time now.  There are lots of bands/musicians whose name starts with the letter M!  In the indipop world, at least, for me.

Thank you, TweeNet!  If ever someone over there finds out I was doing this, I hope that you also find my gratitude!

Monday, August 28, 2017


(Image from here.)

Houston is on my mind tonight.  I haven't been there in years but of course anytime a city with millions goes through the trauma it's experiencing now, you can't help but feel empathy with your fellow citizens, in my case on a national & state level.  My friends who live there are thankfully safe but many aren't, & I am weighing my options in seeing how I can help.

Texas Monthly has a great article listing how one can help in the state.  NPR does too.  Here in Fort Worth, relief efforts are underway, & that's where I am starting.  Things will get worse before they get better.  I hope the people & the city are resilient enough to handle the devastation.

The wife bemoaned the fact that both the state & the nation are filled with people who don't believe government can help in situations like this, although I read the head of FEMA saying they had "learned" from Katrina.  Let's hope so.  Meanwhile.  I think I am going to volunteer here in town.  It's almost the least I can do.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Meet My Pets (Again) # 3: Bolan

In between tonight's twin television treats of Twin Peaks & Game Of Thrones, I take a moment to talk about the second-oldest cat, & third-oldest animal in the house, Bolan.  I wrote a bit about him five years ago on the blog.  He went from being the goofiest & youngest to being a kind of patriarch - Beatrice, the oldest, has no interest in being in charge, & the other two cats seem to naturally submit to his noisy insistence.

Recently, he lost some weight, & the hair on his ears thinned, & we were like, what the fuck?  We imagined the worst, & in fact he tested positive for FIV - which is like cat HIV - but that was a dumbass false positive.  Fuck false positives.  An x-ray showed he had too much hair in his stomach, he couldn't digest or pass or throw it up.  That's right: this dumb cat was too busy grooming himself & his siblings, it made him sick & he lost weight because of it.  We gave him a gel - which he loves eating - to dissolve the hair in his belly, & he's returned to being a chubby cat - & even the hair on his ears has started to grow back.

As I write this, all four cats are in the same room, but he's the noisiest, the most insistent, & of course the most annoying.  He does groom his younger siblings, but the oldest, Beatrice, has never really taken a shine to him.  Maybe if we had kept the group to just him & her.  But we didn't.  & I think I'll talk about that in a future Sunday installment.