Monday, December 29, 2008

Twee Time's 2008 in Review

Favourite CD
Every Scene Needs a Center by Tullycraft (Magic Marker)

OK, so what if this came out in late 2007? MY year began with the fifth full-length indie-pop release from Seattle's Tullycraft, recorded entirely on analog tape. With tracks like "Georgette Plays a Goth" and "Bored to Hear Your Heart Still Breaks", Tullycraft continues to craft the best twee anthems. The album comes complete with inside jokes, name dropping, and their usual catchy guitar riffs. Every Scene Needs A Center is a celebration of love-lorn punks, goth waitresses, and "heavy metal heartbreak." I was immediately hooked. The album solidified my obsessive attachment to this band and its love for all thing Twee.

Happiest discovery
Me, Myself, and the Empty Soul EP - Sunny Summer Day (Letterbox Records UK)

Twee! From INDONESIA! Sunny Summer Day has been around for quite a while, but I only heard about them recently when I saw their video for "Emma's House" (The Field Mice cover) on YouTube and immediately fell in love. Their brand of pure perfect pop makes me so happy. Fans of Sarah Records and C86 will like this band and their jangle-pop sound.

Most thankful for
The Gruesomes CD reissues of Tyrants of Teen Trash and Gruesomania (on Ricochet Sound) because the needle on my old record player wore away, then my stereo tuner died and I can't listen to my vinyl right now.

Here's a video I took at their show at Café Campus on May 29, 2008:

Most memorable tune
"Homecoming" from the album Reality Check by The Teenagers (Beggars Xl Recording)

Even though the guys in this band aren't hot enough to completely get away with the lyrics to "Homecoming", the song is totally 1980s and damn catchy, so the Teenagers have made the list this year.

Favourite EP of 2007 that I only started listening to in 2008
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Painbow)


Take one cup of the Pastels, a dash of Black Tambourine, and two cubes of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Blend on low for one minute, heat it up and pour it all in a big bowl, then sprinkle a little My Bloody Valentine on top for flavour. Follow these cooking instructions and you've got New York's best indie-pop band right now.

Other stuff I listened to this year
Feels Like Mother Fuckers/Bekki-Anne 7" - The Nymphets (Psychic Handshake Recordings)
Distortion - Magnetic Fields (Nonesuch Records)
Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls (Mauled by Tigers/In the Red)
Spectrum, 14th Century EP - Final Fantasy (Blocks Recording Club)
First Frost - The Lucksmiths (Matinée)
In the Future - Black Mountain (Jagjaguwar)
Real Emotional Trash - Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks (Matador)
Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust - Sigur Rós (EMI/XL Recordings)
Looking Into It - All Girl Summer Fun Band (AGSFB Music)
Longstanding - Belleisle (Ships at Night)

On repeat: old favourites that stand the test of time
The Pastels - Sittin' Pretty
Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
Velvet Underground - Loaded
Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

Monday, December 22, 2008

Twee Things

Today's Video "The Wrong Girl" by Belle and Sebastian

This is adorable. A young man prepares for college by going to a "hip" clothing store and asking the sales clerk for the same outfit Bob Dylan wears on the Blonde on Blonde album cover.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fancy New Antenna


We are very excited because our fancy new AM radio antenna has arrived and is erected in its new spot on a roof somewhere in Montreal.

Go to the CJLO March to the AM blog for details.

CJLO: 1690 AM in Montreal... soon, soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Way of the Vaselines

In the mid-1980s a little band from Bellshill, Scotland, were making beautiful, pure, perfect noise.

The Vaselines

Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee formed The Vaselines in 1986. Over 4 years the band released two short EPs (Son of a Gun, Dying For it), and one album (Dum-Dum). Then the band broke up on a rainy day in 1989.

Today's Track Teenage Superstars, from the Dying for It EP (53rd & 3rd, 1988)

Today's Quote is from Eugene Kelly:

The Vaselines were born out of the bored and very sick minds of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee. They were later joined by Eugene’s brother Charles on drums and James Seenan on bass. We only wanted to have some fun. We were friends of Stephan from "The Pastels" and he introduced us to Sandy McClean with whom he had set up a label "53rd & 3rd." Stephan took us under his wing and produced our first two singles as we had no studio experience whatsoever. The first single was the first time we had ever been in a studio. We were camp and pretended to be sleazy and we were very drunk. Vaselines rehearsals involved meeting in the pub and talking about. James would often turn up and realise his bass was locked in a bar we used to drink in. Charlie turned up once without drum sticks and then constructed some from bamboo sticks, two nails and lots of tape. We soldiered on until 53rd & 3rd went bust. The band split the week the album was eventually released with help from Rough Trade. We were bored, had no money and sick of it. We hoped someone would get the joke. They did and we live on.

Dum-Dum LP (I want this on vinyl so bad):

Dum-Dum album

Frances and Eugene

The Vaselines

At the time, the Vaselines were known mainly inside their little town in Scotland. The band might have faded into obscurity, but Kurt Cobain loved them so, and credited Eugene and Frances as his "favourite songwriters in the whole world." Look for the songs Molly's Lips and Son of a Gun on the Nirvana album "Incesticide." Those are Vaselines songs.

Cobain invited them to open for his band in 1990 when the Nirvana played in Edinburgh, and the Vaselines said yes. Later, Eugene and Frances went on to form other bands; Eugenius (aka Captain America) and Suckle respectively. In 2006 the Vaselines played in London for one night to promote their solo projects. I'm glad they're still friends. Hopefully that won't be the end of the Vaselines because I love them.

Today's Tweevia Guess who Frances Bean Cobain was named after (a hint: it was not actress Frances Farmer).

Frances, Frances McKee. I love her music with every part of me...

Frances McKee