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It was sunny the other day…

Posted: March 2nd, 2009, by Simon Minter

…so here are some brief mentions of decent recent pop music to get you in the right frame of mind:

Various: The Wetherbeat Scene 1988-1991 (CD, 555 Recordings 555CD88) About as niche as compilations can get, this is a collection of 35 tracks by bands that were part of a tiny scene in the tiny town of Wetherby, Yorkshire, as the 80s became 90s. What that means is Hood, Boyracer and a variety of associated bands and pseudonyms.¬† Ramshackle as you like, it’s squarely aimed at listeners like me who used to exchange post with these people around the time of these recordings. Pure nostalgia, through a filter of noise, faltering voices and the occasional glimmering of greatness. 555 Recordings

The Bumblebees: EP (CD single, self-released) It’s just like the old days, getting a handwritten letter (replete with stickers and whatnot) in an envelope along with this CD. It doesn’t get more indie-pop than that, or than this music, which is super-perky and, I imagine, amazingly annoying if you’re not in the right frame of mind – it’s like somebody going ‘come on, chin up! chin up!’ repeatedly after you’ve just had a major trauma. Given that, it raises a smile for all its intentional messiness and simplicity, cutesy Casio melodies and relentless ba-ba-ba-ing. The Bumblebees

Shrag: Shrag (CD, Where It’s At Is Where You Are WIACD016) Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Prolapse, Huggy Bear, Bis, Johnny Foreigner, Shrag. Excellent√©! Buy this and write your own description. Shrag

Merchandise: Listen Up! (7″, Cityscape CITY-S-009) Okay okay, this single is available on CD as well, but the CD doesn’t come on white vinyl, now does it? Regardless of the technical implications of pressing a CD on vinyl, you just don’t get 7″ diameter CDs. Merchandise are like Baby Bird’s cheerier brother, like the Badly Drawn Boy knock-off act it’s okay to like because they’re about fifty times better. They do accomplished, layered pop music with one foot in the ‘literate, dour Northerners’ camp and the other in the one that says ‘we’ve got beards, but we’re fun and approachable’.Merchandise

Sarandon: Other People’s Records (7″, Little Car MINI 1) Jerky, angular pop music that most refreshingly doesn’t sound like Oxes, American Football, Foals or any other band that everybody still mystifyingly wants to sound like. Sarandon have more of a grip on their history than that, and sound like they’re just enjoying themselves rather than worrying about their haircuts/tuning/tapping technique/etc. Why, it’s every bit the combination of mid-period Beatnik Filmstars and Big Flame. And if you know what that means, you’ll know whether you’ll like it or not… Sarandon



Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.

http://www.nineteenpoint.com

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