Bitches Brewin': a monthly forum mix-tape


#881

How do I get in on this playlist? I do have a Spotify account (username tylertoo626).

Edit: Never mind. I think all I have to do is follow the list!


#882

Yep, you got it. Just click ‘Follow’.


#883

LAST MONTH

THIS MONTH

TRANSMISSION ENDS


#884

For a brief moment in time there was the Drop Nineteens. Formed around Boston in '91, they put out Delaware in 1992, a slightly disjointed but fantastic little shoegaze album. They were more recognized in the UK than the US, though they did get play on the college stations as well as 120 Minutes and were featured on the Adventures of Pete and Pete soundtrack. Internal conflict led to several members changing before their follow up album was released, with a somewhat different sound, before they ultimately broke up.

On some days I might argue Winona is a top 5 shoegaze song of all time. The video also perfectly captures those early days of Alternative


#885

Ah, the Drop Nineteens! It’s been, as the kids are wont to say, a minute.

I just discovered a new release from long-time fave Juana Molina called Halo.

Intoxicatingly warm and weird folkish electronic stuff.


#886

Drop Nineteens were so great…


#887

More of an EP, really, but I’m adding Peter Broderick’s Grunewald, released late last year. He’s one of those guys who’s played on all sorts of people’s records: Mark Kozelek, M Ward, Zooey Deschanel and dozens of ambient/electronic artists. His solo stuff is even better, maybe. Mainly spare compositions for piano and violin (sometimes guitar and banjo, sometimes treated, sometimes not), very simply recorded in one night, in a German church called “Grunewald”. This absolutely wouldn’t be out of place on the shelf next to Library Tapes or possibly This Mortal Coil.


#888

This all very much sounds excellent.


#889

Realize I’m late to May here, but after taking a deep dive into this group/artist over the weekend, I figured I’d share.

See, back 22 years ago or whatever, I think I put a musical pin into The Auteurs, always meaning to get back to them at some point. And then I forgot about them, until Bernard Butler and Luke Haines (who basically WAS the Auteurs) exchanged some funny tweets last week.

And so hey, what’s not to like about a crankier version of Noel Gallagher reimaginining George Harrison songs as covered by a glam rock band? I uploaded their debut album New Wave.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31K5DEW0J6L.jpg

There’s one fatal flaw to New Wave: the first track, “Show Girl” is so fucking good that it almost overwhelms the rest of the record. If you’ve never heard it, once you get done playing it a dozen times…check out "“American Guitars”, “Idiot Brother” and “Early Years”.

But seriously, fucking “Show Girl.” My god…


#890

Love that album! And it’s a bit of a weird coincidence that you chose it… just a couple weeks ago, I revisited it for the first time in manymany years after seeing it listed in a Pitchfork feature on the Top 50 Britpop albums.

They made a really good Spotify playlist for that feature.

Also, charmtrap, I’m really liking your Grunewald pick!


#891

Realize I’m late to May here, but after taking a deep dive into this group/artist over the weekend, I figured I’d share.

Just wait until you get to After Murder Park…my favorite Auteurs record. Much less glammy and Suede-influenced, much angrier. The whole thing just seethes. It’s my second-favorite album (after The Holy Bible) that came from the Britpop years.

(Glad you dig it, rr…I’ve been really enjoying digging through his whole discography)


#892

Reset!

Last month.


#893

I have been taking a DEEP dive into the career and history of The Monochrome Set all week, so I added a singles comp to this month’s playlist…minus a handful of clunkers from that comp.

The great thing about doing a deep dive on The Monochrome Set is that every two or three songs, you’ll hear a track you’re unfamiliar with, and it’ll be bloody brilliant. The other side of that coin is that every fifth or sixth song, you’ll get an absolute howler, because they’ve had their share there of “too clever by half” as well.

But still…goddamn what a band. Thing I didn’t know: The Monochrome Set and Adam & the Ants both came from the same band, a London Art School group called The B-Sides. Half that group became the Ants, along with B-Sides bassist Stuart Goddard. The other half showed up a year later (after poaching some Ants away) as The Monochrome Set.

You can hear how influential they were, even if they never had hits. The popular expression how the Velvet Underground only sold a few records during their existence, but everyone who bought one formed a band seems to apply to The Set. Apparently Johnny Marr had no idea what to make of this odd Morrissey bloke on first meeting and was set to bag him completely when Morrissey averred that he’d destroyed own record collection because it was shit, save ten 7" singles. Marr looked at that collection of 10 singles and saw The Monochrome Set, and the two finally bonded over a shared adoration of all things MS. (And if you can’t hear the influence they’d have, you need to listen to “The Mating Game” here. It’s like the proto-Smiths.)

But there’s also post-punk being born. “Eine Symphonie Des Grauens” pre-dates “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by a few months in 1979, and sounds way fresher today, like some long lost Franz Ferdinand track. (FF called Monochrome Set frontman Bid out of retirement to produce some singles, so…).

Anyway, if you just want to dip a toe in:

“He’s Frank”
“Eine Symphonie Des Grauens”
“Jet Set Junta” (Which sounds more current in 2017 in than it did in 1980)
“The Strange Boutique”
…those are great starters.

And then if you’re like “Oh, the Monochrome set reformed in the 1990s and kept putting out records through the 2000s, and I bet those suck,” camp…

“Jack”
“Killing Dave”
“Forever Young”
“Milk And Honey”

Will all punch you in the earhole in refutation.


#894

Sounds awesome… not familiar with them at all.

I’ve added the new one from British Sea Power called Let the Dancers Inherit the Party. Keeping up with BSP over the past 15(!) years has proven exhausting… I pretty much tuned out their last few albums. But this latest one got me, starting with standout mega-hit single What You’re Doing.

Other highlights include Bad Bohemian, Don’t Let the Sun Get in the Way, and gorgeous closing ballad Alone Piano.


#895

In the early 90s Chupa formed around Boston and briefly existed, notably with members Mary Lou Lord on and Juliana Hatfield’s brother Jason. Hatfield and Lord would soon depart, and the remaining members would go on to recruit Mary Timony to take on lead guitar and vocals. With the new lineup they renamed themselves Helium. They put out a couple of albums in the mid 90s. Recently they put out Ends with And, a rarities compilation.


#896

Good stuff this month. I’m a huge Monochrome Set fan, love everything about British Sea Power, and then blasting back from the 90s, Helium. And that Mr. Mitch album is an interesting sort of ambient-IDM/rap mashup.

I’m gonna add a new album by Secret Shine, There Is Only Now. No huge surprises here. They sound a lot like Slowdive which they have done since their debut in the early 90s on a string of singles on Sarah Records. They’ve been steadily releasing albums throughout the years though, and they’re pretty good at this sound at this point and they’re an astonishingly good live act. I’m really enjoying this album, and they deserve at least 5% of the audience that Slowdive gets, so I’m doing my small part.


#897

The very fine last month

This month, a little political?


#898

Nothing new is really doing it for me, so I guess it’s time for an old favorite. I’m going with Sacramento’s-own Rocketship and their 1995 indiepop classic A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness.

Think analog synth-forward sound of Stereolab, the strummy guitars and breathy vocals and ravishing melodies of Strawberry Wine-era My Bloody Valentine…add in some lovely ambient interstitial pieces and this becomes the perfect soundtrack for a weekend of time-wasting and regret. Pretty close to perfect, in my opinion.


#899

It was a roadtrip a while back with friends. We always have music for those, and we rotate who’s up. I can’t even remember who’s turn it was, but they hooked their CD (old skool yo) in. I wasn’t paying a ton of attention.

But then the music came in, and it was that shock of the familiar, like when you hear a song you love in one context in a commercial or movie or something. I didn’t know the song that was playing, but I recognized all these familiar elements. Strings. Weird, west-coasty 1960s production. An almost stately pace to the song. “Who is this??!?” I asked. “Guess,” I was told.

I finally figured it out on the third song of the album, when I heard a version of “Tried So Hard” I’d never heard before, but one clearly a little older and rawer than the Flying Burrito Brothers version. “Is this Gene Clark? What the fuck?”

It was Gene Clark. And since then I’ve been taking a deep dive down the Gene Clark rabbit hole, and it is a richly rewarding experience. I could talk about how Gene’s the forgotten “Lost Boy” of 1960s rock, a guy who didn’t have the smarts to die young like Jimi, Janis, Graham Parsons, or Jim Morrison. A guy who was just tough enough to survive his addictions and mental illness by maintaining that nothing was wrong, which allowed him to make more music than Brian Wilson, Roky Erickson or Arthur Lee.

Gene Clark didn’t die in his 20s, but he died young, in 1991…about five years before he’d have been venerated as an Alex Chilton figure by the alt-country movement. He consumed more alcohol and drugs in his life than pretty much any of his peers, but managed to give off the illusion of being functional long enough to got be worshipped as a “what-if” figure like other contemporaries.

Instead, Gene Clark just sorta disappeared from public consciousness. He was a founding member of The Byrds. His vocals, paired with Jim McGuinn’s (and David Crosby’s harmonies) are all over the first two Byrds albums, and singles like “Tambourine Man”, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and his own songs “Feel a Whole Lot Better”, “8 Miles High”, and “Here Without You”. He left the band when he and Crosby couldn’t get along, although that also corresponded to Clark’s alcoholism and paranoia about flying making it tough for him to stay in the group. He got a record deal right away, though, and was set to record a groundbreaking record.

And so dig it, on Gene’s first solo record in 1967, it’s him, with fellow Byrds Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke…joined by a couple of young session players on the rise in Glen Campbell and Leon Russell. Van Dyke Parks plays on a couple of tracks. The Wrecking Crew was enlisted, along with that expensive studio. In order to handle the vocal harmonies, future Nashville legend Vern Gosdin and his brother Rex are brought in to sing spot-on McGuinn/Crosby harmony clusters around Clark’s baritone. Record comes out, gets great reviews…and then two weeks later the Byrds rush into release their own classic “Younger Than Yesterday” and everyone forgets Gene Clark.

So here’s the thing. You know how crazy and outta left field Love’s Forever Changes sounds when you listen to it compared with their earlier stuff? There’s a reason for that. Arthur Lee heard Gene Clark’s first solo album and was shocked. That was the record he wanted to make. And Forever Changes is in many ways Love’s homage to Gene Clark and built off the foundation that Clark laid.

Gene Clark (With The Gosdin Brothers) should have been a massive hit, and a classic held up alongside Pet Sounds and Forever Changes. It’s that fucking great. Instead, it’s saddled with a terrible name (Gene’s manager also managed the Gosdin Brothers, and got them billing on the record next to Clark’s name) and lousy timing and it’s entirely likely you’ve never heard it. I love the Byrds, I love the Flying Burrito Brothers, and I even can tell you which Long Ryders songs from 1984 that Clark adds some guest vocal to…and I’d never heard this record.

Which means, I hope you dig it half as much as I do. It’s a stunner, really. “Echoes” sounds like what you’d get if Johnny Cash took a bang at “A House is Not A Motel”. “Is Yours Is Mine” is a great chance to hear one of California’s great lost session players, Clarence White (he was killed by a drunk driver in 1973), rip some amazing guitar arpeggios that were way beyond anything anyone in the Byrds could play.

“I Couldn’t Believe Her” is one of Clark’s best rock vocals, a sort of garage rock take on The Byrds sound that almost sounds like punk rock Moody Blues thanks to the Gosdin Brother’s crazy backing vocals. And speaking of which, those haunted harmonies take the place of a string section on “The Same One” to wonderful effect.

But if there’s one song on this record to listen to before you trash or smash it, that song is “So You Say You Lost Your Baby”. Pedestrian title, right? Believe me when I say that this 2 minute song is one of the most bonkers, insanely awesome great lost songs of the entire late 1960s era. Clark sings these nutso apocalyptical vocals (it’s Armageddon time, but man, trust your girl; even when the sun goes black, she’ll be true to you.) It’s a song that opens with a clanging guitar that sounds like they might rip into The Monkees “Stepping Stone”, but then the whole Wrecking Crew string section comes drifting in from left field, and holy shit this song.

I’ve only added the 11 proper tracks from the original album (which Spotify erroneously credits to The Gosdin Brothers, for some reason; a final stake through Gene’s long-dead heart) but the bonus tracks on the reissued album are pretty great too.


#900

These both sound awesome!

Guess I’ll split the difference with the debut album from 60’s-indebted late-90’s psychedelic alt-rock band The Essex Green called Everything is Green. I love this band’s later work and was just noodling around Spotify and realized I never really spent much time with their first release. Join me, won’t you, on a voyage of discovery…