An Alternative History of "Pop" Music: Part 3, 2004 -

Started by jamiefairlie, October 25, 2021, 04:39:14 AM

Previous topic - Next topic



My pleasure!

(I've been sitting on that one for SIX months!)


Wild - Meat Beat Manifesto.   Released on Thirsty Ear in 2005

Now, we've already covered Jack Dangers & Co way back in 1990 but this album was a fantastic return to form.  In fact, it was recommended to me on my first Oscillations thread about woodwind usage in rock/pop wot I started on CaB circa 2007, so it holds a little sentimental value.


Idlewild - As If I Hadn't Slept

Taken from their fifth album "Warnings / Promises"

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

The Decemberists - Sixteen Military Wives

QuoteThe Decemberists are an American indie rock band from Portland, Oregon. In addition to their lyrics, which often focus on historical incidents and/or folklore, the Decemberists are also well known for their eclectic live shows. Audience participation is a part of each performance, typically during encores. The band stages whimsical reenactments of sea battles and other centuries-old events, typically of regional interest, or acts out songs with members of the crowd.

Which sounds like a bloody nightmare, but to each their own.

Songwriter Colin Meloy has characterised Sixteen Military Wives as a "protest song" inspired by the Iraq War. However, though it does attack elements of American foreign policy under George W. Bush (the lines "Cause America can/and America can't say no/And America does/if America says it's so/it's so" in the chorus), Sixteen Military Wives focuses primarily on the news media and popular response to the war, particularly levying criticism at infotainment and the surface-level involvement of celebrities in public affairs.


Muddyhead ‎– Miracle Cure

Featured on the album 'Land And Sea' - Released in 2005

QuoteMuddyHead were a Cheshire-based band, chiefly notable for featuring ex-China Crisis man Gary Daly. While bassist Daly was the highest-profile member, most of the songwriting credits, singing and guitar playing was performed by Andy Steele. They released the album 'Land and Sea' in 2005.

Andy Steele : "Muddyhead's Land and Sea album, was a solo record but it had been a few years since I'd written any decent songs and the catalyst for it was Michael Hurley's 'Automatic Slim and the Fatboys'. The lead track from it, Miracle Cure, was played a number of times by Mark Radcliffe on his night time Radio 2 show and I remember thinking that that in itself was mission accomplished...that's all I'd really set out to achieve."

Andy Steele : "I love Mark Radcliffe from way back on Out on Blue Six. Our musical tastes are identical and he's one of only a handful of broadcasters who have survived the dreadful dismantling of the airwaves that has taken place in recent times who's opinion is really worth anything.I listen to his radio 6 show and go 'yeah...yep...bloody well right Mark.' I don't know the guy at all, but he lives just up the road from me. I left the Land And Sea album in his pigeon hole at Oxford Road and he played it and it was a real moment for me. I don't have any expectations any more so it's the little victories that mean the most."


That Andy Steele has remarkably low aspirations in life.


On the other hand, he's rarely disappointed and sometimes delightfully surprised.


Mice Parade - Waterslide

Taken from their sixth album "Bem-Vinda Vontade"

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

The Mountain Goats - This Year

We've heard from John Darnielle - one of the world's greatest living songwriters - before in this thread, and I daresay we'll hear from him again.

QuoteThe Sunset Tree is the ninth studio album by the Mountain Goats. Its songs revolve around the house John Darnielle grew up in and the people who lived there, including his mother, sister, stepfather, friends, and enemies.

A recurring theme is domestic violence. The album title refers to a scene in Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh in which the character Theobald beats his son Ernest for being unable to pronounce a hard C when singing a hymn. The hymn, The Tyrolese Evening Hymn, begins with the lines "Come, come, come, come to the sunset tree".

In the album's liner notes, Darnielle writes:

"Made possible by my stepfather, Mike Noonan (1940–2004): may the peace which eluded you in life be yours now. Dedicated to any young men and women anywhere who live with people who abuse them, with the following good news:

you are going to make it out of there alive
you will live to tell your story
never lose hope


Figurines ‎– Silver Ponds

Lead track on a three-track promo EP - released in April 2005

QuoteFigurines were formed in Denmark in the mid-1990s when Christian Hjelm, Claus Salling Johansen and Andreas Toft (all guitarists) all began to "jam" together. Eventually Toft switched over to bass and Claus swapped to drums until Kristian Volden joined the band.

Christian Hjelm : "It's tight, fast, melodic. And I think we have more elements to our music, more of hybrid style of different genres: punk rock, stoner rock, folk rock-- it's all in a mixture."

The band released their first EP, The Detour, in 2001. The band began to receive national attention in Denmark around the time of the full-length album, 'Shake a Mountain', in 2004.

Their second album, 'Skeleton', was released in 2005, and the band toured America.

Claus Johansen : "I was really surprised in a good way about the people. You hear stories about how dangerous it is to walk along the streets, and then one night we were walking around and couldn't find our hotel, and this lady stops-- she could tell that what we were totally lost-- and she asked us what we were looking for. That would never happen in Denmark! And also, we heard all these horror stories from Danish bands touring in the U.S. that they had to play pizza joints and no sound engineer showed up and everything was fucked...but it wasn't like that for us. But there were a lot of burgers! A lot of good burgers. A lot of different burgers. I think we're very spoiled up here in Denmark when it comes to venues, and the treatment and the catering. But we felt good eating those burgers."


Two Dedications - Sam Prekop. Released on Thrill Jockey in 2005.

Lilting pop from Sam Prekop.

Sam Prekop (born October 18, 1964) is an American rock/pop musician in the band The Sea and Cake. He also has released five solo albums.

Prekop was born in London, but grew up in Chicago. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Prekop enlisted the help of Jim O'Rourke (X-Factor) to produce his self-titled first solo album in 1999. Bassist Josh Abrams, drummer Chad Taylor, and guitarist Archer Prewitt also contributed their talents. The album was described as soft and breezy, with tinges of Brazilian pop.

In 2005, Who's Your New Professor featured drummer Chad Taylor and cornetist Rob Mazurek (both from the Chicago Underground Duo), bassist Josh Abrams (Sticks & Stones), and The Sea and Cake bandmates Archer Prewitt and John McEntire on guitar and drums, respectively.


Pernice Brothers - There Goes The Sun

taken from from their fourth album "Discover A Lovelier You".

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Acid House Kings - This Heart is a Stone

Some winsome Swedish pop for your Sunday morning. Acid House Kings haven't released an album since 2011, so one presumes they're no longer a going concern. Which is a Scandinavian shame.


Pure Reason Revolution ‎– The Intention Craft

Released in November 2005 - reached #95 on the UK chart

QuotePure Reason Revolution released their first mini-album, 'Cautionary Tales for the Brave', in November 2005. Most of the tracks also appear on their debut album 'The Dark Third', with the exception of "In Aurelia".

In March 2005, the band played the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, before playing several North American dates. In spring 2005, Greg Jong left the band, to be replaced by another Westminster pal Jamie Willcox (guitar, vocals), though Jong featured on all their recordings up to, and including 'The Dark Third', released in 2006.

Johnny Foreigner

Köhn en De Portables - Good Evening, Sergeant

De Portables are an experimental/alternative (post-)rock band from Ghent, founded in 1996, who combine guitar music and electronic synth stuff. I saw them many years ago; they are a laid-back bunch of boys, just doing things they like and not worrying too much about commercial success. Their album Op visite bij tante Klara ('a visit to auntie Klara': possibly a reference to the Flemish classical music station, called Klara) was released in 2005 and features bells, pipes, congas and 'lots of other rubbish'.


100 Oxford Street - Andy Lewis. Released on Acid Jazz in 2005.

Shamelessly mod retro, but fuck it, the man is a diamond and knows his green onions. Always the best DJ at Blow Up ten years earlier.

Andy Lewis is an English record producer, musician and bassist. He has released two albums as a solo artist, on Acid Jazz Records: Billion Pound Project in September 2005 and You Should Be Hearing Something Now! in October 2007, He is a member of the bands Pimlico, The Red Inspectors, and Spearmint.

In recent years, Lewis has appeared as bass guitar and backing vocals in Paul Weller's live band, as well as featuring in some recorded tracks (including "Fast Car/Slow Traffic" in the video) - however original jam bassist Bruce Foxton played on the record and "Are You Trying to Be Lonely?"). He appeared on Weller's albums 22 Dreams, Wake Up the Nation and Sonik Kicks, contributing bass, and also cello to a track on 22 Dreams. He was briefly interviewed on the Just a Dream live DVD, also appearing in the rehearsal session and live BBC footage.


Sun Kil Moon - Tiny Cities Made of Ashes

From San Francisco, California, founded in 2002. Initially a continuation of Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon is now the primary recording moniker of vocalist and guitarist Mark Kozelek.
This is from their second album, "Tiny Cities", curiously made up entirely of songs from the band Modest Mouse.


Sing Sing ‎– Come Sing Me A Song

featured on the album 'Sing-Sing And I' - released in 2005

QuoteSing-Sing were formed in 1997 in London, by vocalist Lisa O'Neill (who had previously worked with Locust, Mad Professor, and Kid Loco) and guitarist/vocalist Emma Anderson (formerly of Lush).

Emma Anderson : "We were both going out with these guys who lived in this flat in Camden, a horrible flat actually. That's the first place we physically met, was in like their kitchen or living room, I can't remember. But we didn't really know anything about each other, but didn't really speak actually, just sort of 'hello.' But then it was a friend of mine who I've known since school, she worked with Lisa at an animation company and she phoned me up one day, she's going, 'there's a girl who works here and she's looking for work to sing with somebody. And I think you might have met her in Pete's flat.' And I was like, 'oh yeah Lisa, I didn't know she sang.' 'And she sang on this record called Locust or something.' And I'm like, 'well I've got that.' So I put the phone down and put the CD on and it's the hidden track and I thought, 'this is great without the guy.'"

In early 1998 they recorded their first demo as Sing-Sing, with Justin Welch of Elastica on drums. A second demo prompted Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie to release "Feels Like Summer" as a single on their Bella Union label in October 1998. After having a track on a split single in 1999, they started their own label, Aerial, through which they released their next two singles, "I'll Be" and a re-recorded "Feels Like Summer", in 2000.

They signed with Alan McGee's Poptones label for the release of their debut album, 'The Joy of Sing-Sing', in October 2001. They toured the United States twice in 2002 taking in both SXSW in Austin and CMJ in New York.

Lisa O'Neill : "I think they're a lot more pleased to see us. I think it's because we're English and they're American, so they know we've made much more of an effort to come and play. And they tend to be a lot more enthusiastic. With English people, it is true, they are more reserved and that does show when you play live. We get a good reception in England as well, but I don't know, I do like playing to American audiences. It depends on where you are in America as well. The LA crowd was always the best of the last tour, the most rowdy. Denver is quite good as well, where as Seattle is quite quiet. No they're good, they're much louder than the English crowds."

To raise funds to record a second album they sold the 'Madame Sing-Sing' EP via their website. Second album 'Sing-Sing and I' followed in 2005. At the end of December 2007, they announced via their mailing list and website that they had decided to disband.

Radar Bros. - Papillon

From the 2005 album 'The Fallen Leaf Pages' by Californian band Radar Bros, a mellow outfit with shades of Neil Young and Pink Floyd and, it has to be said, not a million miles away in sound from their Californian cousins Grandaddy.


A Fine Start - Veda Hille. Released on Ape House in 2005.

Chamber pop lives! Well, back in 2005 it did.

Veda Hille (born August 11, 1968) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, keyboardist and tenor guitar player from Vancouver, British Columbia. She writes songs about love and tragedy, as well as about topical British Columbia subjects. As well as solo work, she has taken part in many musical collaborations, and has organised two recording projects, Duplex! and The Fits.


The Radio Dept - Deliverance

Icy, aloof Scand-indie, taken from their "This Past Week" EP.

This era really does feel like it has a significant upsurge in interesting acts breaking through from Scandinavia, wonder what was behind that?


Quote from: daf on November 22, 2021, 11:03:22 AMSing Sing ‎– Come Sing Me A Song

featured on the album 'Sing-Sing And I' - released in 2005

And here's Panda Eyes from their debut (which I'd completely forgotten about, so thanks for this)


D - Sparkwood.  Self released in 2005.

Scant info on this guy but loved this album at the time.

Sparkwood were an Austin, Texas-based power pop band, centred around songwriter, vocalist and keyboardist Bart Padar. Padar now works at the Austin Public Library.


The Zephyrs - So Called Beau

Taken from their fourth album "Bright Yellow Flowers On A Dark Double Bed"


Johnny Foreigner

Inkubus Sukkubus - Lady Geneva

Inkubus Sukkubus are a long-standing 'pagan rock' band from Cheltenham, founded by Candia Ridley and Tony McKormack in 1989. They make a kind of guitar rock with goth influences and Irish folk instruments, and seem to take the pagan stuff quite seriously; it is mostly about witches and spirits and mother goddesses. 'Heart of Lilith' is probably their best-known song.

They have been regulars in the goth-festival circuit since the mid-nineties. This is from their 2005 album, Witch Queen.


Tunng - Magpie Bites

Formed in 2003 by Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay, Tunng are an English folk music band often associated with the folktronica genre. This was released as their third single.


the boy least likely To ‎– hugging my grudge

Released in 2005 - did not chart

Quotethe boy least likely to were formed by composer/multi-instrumentalist Pete Hobbs and lyricist/singer Jof Owen. Owen and Hobbs both grew up in the village of Wendover in Buckinghamshire. After meeting at school, they began writing and recording songs in the summer of 2002.

They released three singles and completed the recording of their debut album before playing any live shows. The debut album, 'the best party ever', which compiled the band's first three singles and added five new tracks, was released in the UK in February 2005, and in the United States in late Spring 2006.

They were included in the top ten bands of 2006 in Rolling Stone magazine, and described as sounding like what would happen "if all your childhood stuffed animals got together and started a band."


Caribou - Hello Hammerheads

Daniel Victor Snaith (born 1978) is a Canadian composer, musician, and recording artist who has performed under the stage names Caribou, Manitoba, and Daphni. This is from Caribou's debut album "The Milk Of Human Kindness".