30 September 2008

The best band in the world?*

I'm currently listening to the songs from the all-time Festive Fifty of 1982 and as it is actually made up of relatively few bands, I thought I'd look at the figures and see who were John Peel's listeners' favourite bands from back then. If you have seen the chart you will easily see that Joy Division must come out top. I added up the points depending on the chart positions like 1st place gets 50 points down to 1 point for 50th place and came up with this chart. The lists of numbers are the individual points and in brackets is the total. Of course, there were more bands than this but these are the most notable ones.
  1. Joy Division - 49,48,47,44,39,28,25,13,10,3 (306)
  2. New Order - 45,33,21 (99)
  3. Sex Pistols - 50,26,14,7 (97)
  4. The Clash - 41,32,11 (84)
  5. Stiff Little Fingers - 35,22,20 (77)
  6. The Jam - 40,34 (74)
  7. Siouxsie & the Banshees- 36,12,9,6,5 (68)
  8. The Undertones - 43,15 (58)
  9. The Cure - 46
  10. Bauhaus - 42
  11. The Damned - 38,1 (39)
  12. Dead Kennedys - 37
  13. Killing Joke - 19,17 (36)
Amazingly, no-one even came close to JD and even though the Pistols got the number 1, their total was still less than New Order's. Siouxsie & the Banshees got the second most number of songs in the chart but only one was in the top 20.
I think that also looking at the kind of bands that made that Festive Fifty, it was a very dark time and the political and social situation in the UK then was really reflected in these generally bleak and angst-ridden songs.

As I was only 10 at the time of this chart, I have been unaware of some of the bands or songs in this chart. It was interesting to hear the song at number 49. I'd never heard of the artist or song before but I thought it interesting enough to share with you and it makes me think that maybe the band 'Air' have been inspired by it.

It is Laurie Anderson's "O Superman".

*pre-1983 anyway...

15 September 2008

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Peel session 1996

Gorky's were quite a quirky band from North-West Wales. I used to work with someone who knew these guys, although I never met them (we were working in Spain at the time). I saw them live once, in Wolverhampton, at The Varsity, where I had also played quite a few gigs. Gorky's were something different to say the least. They sang in both Welsh and English as you will hear from the songs posted here.
It's quite hard to explain their sound. If you don't know them, just have a listen. It leans more towards indie-pop than rock but they had their own sound and you would know it could only be Gorky's if you turned on the radio midway through one of their songs.
This session is dated 21/4/96 and there was one other song, which I didn't record. Maybe I was in the bathroom at that stage of the show, I don't know...
Anyway, my favourite of the three songs is "Young Girls, Happy Endings". Not only because I can actually understand the lyrics but also because they sum up the music scene very well, even 12 years later:

You know young girls like happy endings
Well I guess that's the way it's gotta be
Cause without all these happy endings
What would happen to my industry?

You know I wrote that bit to sell ya, sell ya
You know I never mean a word I tell ya (repeat)

Ivory towers wrapped up in silk
A young calf with its mother's milk
Victorian England shining so bright
Two lovers kissing in the moonlight

You know I wrote that bit to sell ya, sell ya
You know I never mean a word I tell ya (repeat)

Are the feeling's stronger, the reason's longer (repeat)

Meirion Wyllt
Dim Atsain
Young Girls, Happy Endings

The band finished in 2006 after 15 years and 9 studio albums. Incidentally, for those unfamiliar with GZM or the Welsh language, "Mynci" is pronounced "Monkey".

By the way, there's part of a Nirvana set over at Live Indie Classics.

06 September 2008


Gumball were a band that came into being around the time of the grunge era and even though they were a kind of indie-rock band with songs often based on guitar riffs, they didn't really sound quite so dirty as the bands over the other side of the States. They were from Washington D.C. and were led by Don Fleming who had already been in bands during the 80s such as The Velvet Monkeys.
Here are two of the songs from their Peel session from the 20th of August 1991. Thanks to Steve from Teenage Kicks who passed the songs on to me. I really like the first one for being based on a single riff repeated 39 times.
Gumball recorded 4 albums before their break-up in 1994 and Don Fleming went on to do various projects and producing.

39 Lashes
High or Low

29 August 2008

Only Shallow (My Bloody Valentine cover)

I would like to show you my cover of this song that I just did and made a video for. It would be nice if you commented and rated it on YouTube. Thanks.

25 August 2008

Turn me on, dead man...

...is indeed a strange lyric but that formed the chorus of the title track of the last album by Beat Happening. This was a three-piece band from Washington state who mostly recorded on K Records. They were very minimalistic and lo-fi, not even using a bass guitar or anything more than a basic drum kit. However, their songwriting more than made up for this and came across well over the course of their five albums between 1985 and 1992. It was their last album "You Turn Me On" that I got to know of them and these three songs feature on it. The male singer, Calvin Johnson, sang in the baritone range and was the lead vocalist on most of the songs. I have included one that was sung by Heather Lewis to give you a flavour of her sung songs.
Beat Happening never announced a split and claimed to still rehearse once a month and they did release a single in 2000. Otherwise, nothing much has been heard about them in the last 16 years!

Beat Happening - Teenage Caveman
Pinebox Derby

Pinebox Derby video

19 August 2008


Now, this is a song I heard on the radio not too many years ago and after liking the start of it, I recorded the rest. I know absolutely nothing about the band except that, from the below YouTube clip, they played a gig recently... Anyway, I just found the song TK1 from YouTube without a video but that doesn't matter, I can share all of it with you. Does anyone know anything about them as it's a great, catchy indie-rock tune?

Twinkie - TK1

A crappy sound quality live version of the song.

12 August 2008

Superchunk live part 2

Sorry to keep you waiting. I wasn't trying to tease you by not posting this second part for a few days but I commented below that after a long fight with Windows, I had to reformat my hard disk so I was kind of de-internetificated for a few days. Anyway, I know there are some people who are waiting for this, so here's the second half. Again, I don't know the title of the one song, but I'm sure some of you will, so let us know when you identify it.

Tracklisting for part 2

  • Skip Steps 1&3
  • Mower
  • Let It Go
  • unknown title
Superchunk live part 2

Also, as I have a lot of live stuff from the radio, I've made another blog called Live Indie Classics.
This includes the live songs I've posted on this blog and will have other concerts by bands that are not necessarily rare but you might like to have anyway.

06 August 2008


Superchunk are a 4-piece indie rock band from North Carolina, USA. They formed in 1989 and I knew some of their music via Peel in the early 90s. I liked their songs as they were quite happy sounding and they kind of had their own sound, mainly due to the distinctive voice of the singer, Mac McCaughan. They are still going and have now released 14 albums, the most recent in 2004.
I'm only really knowledgeable of their first 3 albums, up to 1992. I have a recording from the radio of part of their Glastonbury 1993 set. The first half of it is here and if you are interested in having the rest, let me know and I'll upload it.

Tracklisting of part 1.

  • The Question is How Fast
  • Precision Auto
  • unknown title (if you know it, let me know)
  • Cast Iron

Superchunk live 25/6/93

14 July 2008

You've made another site?!

Yes, another. Anyone who's known about this site for some time will be aware that I keep polluting the networks with things I come up with and this time I've made a site to share my own music. I've been writing for almost 20 years but never released anything so I thought I should let people hear what I do rather than just listen to it myself! There are some paintings to see, too!

So, come along and visit Zouch and hopefully, some of you will give me a bit of feedback.

29 May 2008

Expando Brain

Thanks to the people who have commented recently. It's time for a new post.
Expando Brain were from Boston, Mass., USA and recorded in the mid 80s. They had a raw, jangly, tense and almost disjointed sound which pays off well for me. I don't know much else about them to be honest but these two songs are pretty cool and offer something a bit different.

Expando Brain - Thyroid
Expando Brain - Get Even

And this fella has posted 3 other songs by them on his site if you like what you hear.

19 May 2008

The question of the illegality of downloading music

Obviously we all know about how it's illegal to download music through file sharers, etc. but does it really make sense that people can buy other people's music from them? What I mean is it's no problem to buy second hand discs from shops, your friends or via the internet but in the end, what is the difference between that and simply downloading the same album?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that everyone should be free to download every song that they want, especially recent songs that the artists are trying to make a living from, but it is legal for someone to acquire a ton of recently released albums and resell them on Ebay, for example.
The only difference I can see is the scale of it. It's true that you can only resell a limited number of records or CDs but in the end, the artists and record companies get absolutely no money from these resales.
For me, it doesn't equate here. What do you reckon? Is the law correct?

Now, on to the Festive Fifty of Never that I have recorded the first three parts of. You may have noticed that I haven't posted part four for a long time since part three. Why? Quite simply, hardly anyone shows their appreciation for my efforts so I'm not going to bother with the top 20 as recordings. All I will give you is the list of the songs that make my part four, that being numbers 20 to 11.

11. High Risk Group – Flag

12. Flaming Lips - The Gash

13. The Jesus Lizard - Then Comes Dudley

14. Josh Wink - Higher State of Consciousness

15. Tiger - On The Rose

16. Pavement – I Love Perth

17. The Stone Roses - Breaking Into Heaven

18. The Sugarcubes – Regina

19. Morrissey - I Don't Mind If You Forget Me

20. The Breeders – Saints

Just to finish off, I will let you know that I will post actual recordings in relation to the number of comments that are left on this blog. Cheers.

13 February 2008

Bloody Valentine's Day...

Don't worry, I'm not about to start moaning about the 14th of February. I just realised that as I was uploading some songs for today's post, there is an obvious connection with them and tomorrow's special day.
So! My Bloody Valentine are back together and due to be playing live in the UK this year and releasing a new record, 17 years after their last one. Well, instead of going back to their biggest period of time (1988 to 1991), we're going to have a listen to before and after this time. First of all, their first record was out in 1985 and if you listen to the song below, John will give you the info about it. It's not what you might expect from MBV if you like their stunning albums "Isn't Anything" and "Loveless". I'd say it was more influenced by bands like Bauhaus and The Birthday Party. I can't say I listen to it on a daily basis, but it's certainly worth hearing.
Then, when they finished touring in 1991, Kevin Shields of course, went in search of musical perfection (which he'd already achieved in my opinion) and was never satisfied enough with what he wrote and produced. The other members of the band got a bit sick of waiting and the bassist, Debbie Googe, decided to quit and form another band. This was Snowpony, who were only together for a short period and were kind of like an indie-supergroup, also with former members of Stereolab and Curve. I just have this one song from the radio (good sound quality, though) but I can't remember if it was from 1996 or 1998. Anyway, it's excellent, notably for the quality drumming.
I don't usually write such long posts. I think I'll have a lie down... Enjoy the songs!

My Bloody Valentine - The Love Gang
Snowpony - Come and Sit Here On Your Daddy's Knee

PS - Just before I lie down, I should add this bit before I forget about it...
I was thinking that it's a bad idea for artists to release an album where the first track is the previously released single. The reason being- most people will know it and like it already and it's probably quite easy to get into. I think it kind of makes the following songs not sound as good as they perhaps should. I thought about this while listening to The Flaming Lips. I love this band but two of their last three albums have this syndrome. Nirvana also did it with Nevermind of course. Can you think of other alternative acts that did this? An ex of mine would always judge an album by listening to the second song first. A good idea, I reckon...

08 February 2008

Something for the weekend, sir?

It's time for the third part of the Festive Fifty that never was. This collection is for numbers 30 to 21. You may know some of these songs but as we go into the top 20, there will be more obscure and rare songs.
And just while I think about it, this is not a Podcast. Why? Well, why the chuf should I call it that? Because it's the cool way of calling a recording of more than 5 minutes? You can listen to it on anything that plays mp3s... I don't have an iP*d and am never going to be reeled in by Apple's monopoly in the mp3 player market. They are overpriced and you can play mp3s with the same sound quality on pretty much any mp3 player. Mine has 20Gb of space but no 'cool' image quality rubbish and guess what... it was loads cheaper than an iP*d and the sound quality is just as good.
Is that enough moaning for now? Righty-o. Enjoy the "iFestive Fifty"... ;P

F50 no.s 30 to 21

PS - I've just remembered about the band Gumball, led by Don Fleming. Their music seems to be unavailable but does anyone have anything by them? I would especially like the song "39 Lashes" from their Peel session of 1991. Or any of those songs. Cheers.

13 January 2008

Tiger - live set

After posting a song by Tiger a while back, I had a request from Yoko Casionos for the live set by them that I have. As a reminder, Tiger were a band from the southeast of England and were active between 1996 and 1998. They were a great, different kind of indie pop band who didn't fit in with any style at the time (and still wouldn't and I like that way of thinking...)

I bought their first album "We Are Puppets" but had left the country when they released their second so I never got hold of a copy. However, this set, which was recorded between the two albums from the radio (so no crappy bootleg quality) features their later songs.
This also means that I can't give you the song titles (maybe Yoko knows them?) except for song number three which is called "Friends". The image is the CD single cover that I have of that song.
So, with no further ado, here are

Six live songs by Tiger