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UNDER THE RADAR: Ninetails - "Maybe We"

UNDER THE RADAR: From Liverpool comes math-rock band Ninetails. They're playing with precision, but also with emotion. The bass lines are propulsive, the guitar playing is strong and vocals understated.

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SongsSmiths
Music from the Front Line. Alternative Music, Pop/Rock, Indie Pop/Rock
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SONG of the DAY: BOAT BEAM – “Sabio”

SONG of the DAY: BOAT BEAM – “Sabio”.

 

Delicate impressionist landscapes of folk, indie pop, and classical music from a Spanish trio.

 

Origin: Madrid.

 

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PHOTO: Rachel Goswell - SLOWDIVE

PHOTO: Rachel Goswell - SLOWDIVE | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Rachel Goswell - SLOWDIVE.

 

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SONG of the DAY: THE JAR FAMILY – “Poolie Strut”

SONG of the DAY: THE JAR FAMILY – “Poolie Strut”.

 

Distinctly British folk music with a loyalty to the roots of North East England.

 

Origin: Hartlepool, England.

 

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PHOTO: David Bowie, London, 1976 by Michael Putland.

PHOTO: David Bowie, London, 1976 by Michael Putland. | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: David Bowie, London, 1976 by Michael Putland.

 

"This was on the Thin White Duke tour at Wembley. It was a brilliant show, that's all I can really remember." Michael Putland.

 

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THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Aztec Camera – “Oblivious”

THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Aztec Camera – “Oblivious”.

 

Aztec Camera’s debut single (in the US, at least; several years’ worth of indie releases had preceded it in the UK) could not have sounded more out of step with the gestalt of the MTV generation.

 

Instead of synthesizers, Roddy Frame and company were playing acoustic guitars the song even had a flamenco-style classical guitar solo, for cryin’ out loud, complete with the handclaps – and the cheerful pessimism of Frame’s lyrics was equally at odds with the New Romantic return to ironic Hollywood-style glamour.

 

On the other hand, the chorus is exceedingly catchy, and there’s so much youthful vitality in this song – Frame was all of 18 years old at the time – that in retrospect, it’s easy to understand why so many writers on both sides of the Atlantic were so quick to proclaim Roddy Frame a new pop genius on the basis of this one single, a crown that never sat easily on his head. Roddy Frame has returned to this song several times over the course of his career; many remixes and live versions are around, none of them as sweetly perfect as the original.

.allmusic

 

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PHOTO: The Clash, photographed in NYC, 1978 by Michael Putland

PHOTO: The Clash, photographed in NYC, 1978 by Michael Putland | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: The Clash, photographed in NYC, 1978 by Michael Putland.

 

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THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Arabian Knights”

THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Arabian Knights”.

 

Though not an instant classic on the level of Juju’s other single, “Spellbound” — perhaps an unfair comparison since “Spellbound” may well be Siouxsie & the Banshees’ finest four minutes — “Arabian Knights” is still a compelling, albeit disturbing, single.

 

Although Budgie copped the drum intro from “Be My Baby” for the song’s atmospheric opening, John McGeoch’s droning guitars, drenched in the echo and reverb that typify this era in Siouxsie & the Banshees’ sound, and Steve Severin’s propulsive bass pattern power the song. It’s all so dreamy and gothy that it takes several listens for Siouxsie Sioux’s disturbing lyrics to fully sink in.

 

Beginning with some abstract, poetic images and then moving into a scene of tacky desert tourism and “a monstrous oil tanker/its wound bleeding in seas,” the song drives its point home in an unsettling final verse that decries the lack of women’s rights in some parts of the Islamic world and goes on to accuse the song’s subjects of committing acts of pedophilia, bestiality, and random sacrificial violence.

 

Siouxsie & the Banshees would continue to feature similar themes in later songs — 1988’s hit single “Peekaboo” is about the degradation of the sex industry — but there’s an unpleasantly sanctimonious, strawman vibe in the lyrics to “Arabian Knights.”

.allmusic

 

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THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Suede – “Trash”

THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Suede – “Trash”.


“Trash” is the first single from the album Coming Up by Suede, released on July 29, 1996, on Nude Records. It is the first single on which all the songs were written without guitarist Bernard Butler, since Richard Oakes had taken his place.


The video for the title song was filmed at Elstree Studios and directed by David Mould. The video also marks the first appearance of a new band member, keyboard player Neil Codling.


Various meanings have been given to the song, but the main themes seem to be about ‘outsiders’, being different but living well with it. Anderson also described it as the soundtrack to his life, saying “It’s about believing in the romance of the everyday.”In an interview in late 2009, for the SkyArts’ Songbook series, Anderson said about the song.


“I actually wrote it about the band Suede. It’s a celebration of the band, but by extension, it’s a celebration of the fans as well. And it was a kind of a song written about us, as a gang, it was written about the values we stood for. And even though it sounds like a love song, it was actually about the idea of the identity of the band, and what they stood for.”


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PHOTO: Led Zeppelin performing at the Cherry Tree public house in Welwyn Garden City, U.K., 1969.

PHOTO: Led Zeppelin performing at the Cherry Tree public house in Welwyn Garden City, U.K., 1969. | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Led Zeppelin performing at the Cherry Tree public house in Welwyn Garden City, U.K., 1969.

 

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THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Bauhaus – “Telegram Sam”

THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Bauhaus – “Telegram Sam”.

 

Marc Bolan’s “Telegram Sam,” originally a U.K. chart-topper for his own T Rex in 1972, proved almost as successful on the independent chart eight years later, when Bauhaus climbed to number three with a frenetic, punk-flavored cover that only amplified the original’s quickfire lyric and street-smart athleticism.

 

The song was originally reserved for Bauhaus soundchecks, before the group recorded a version at their maiden John Peel session in early 1980. It proved so popular that it was then transferred into the live set, where it acted, recalled vocalist Peter Murphy, as a “total contrast [to the rest of the show], a really up thing. Zappy. Seeing as we all liked Marc Bolan, it was great to do. Loads of kids asked for it as a single, so we thought ‘why not?’”

 

Why not indeed. In the days before gothic rock became a millstone around their neck, Bauhaus was routinely being described, in the U.K. press, as a new wave glam rock band. “Telegram Sam” was their way of poking fun back at those same critics.

.allmusic

 

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PHOTO: Lou Reed

PHOTO: Lou Reed | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Lou Reed.

 

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LIVE SESSION: Twin Peaks performs “Baby Blue” – Pitchfork Music Festival 2014

LIVE SESSION: Twin Peaks performs “Baby Blue” – Pitchfork Music Festival 2014.


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THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Soup Dragons – “I’m Free”.

THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Soup Dragons – “I’m Free”.

 

The Soup Dragons were a Scottish alternative rock band of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Named after a character in the 1970s children’s television show Clangers, the group is best known for its cover of the Rolling Stones’ song “I’m Free.”

 

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PHOTO: The Ramones signing their first record contract with Sire

PHOTO: The Ramones signing their first record contract with Sire | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: The Ramones signing their first record contract with Sire.

 

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THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Japan – “Gentlemen Take Polaroids”

THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Japan – “Gentlemen Take Polaroids”.

 

Leaving behind the inevitable comparisons with David Bowie and Roxy Music that dogged them no matter where they ducked, 1980’s ”Gentlemen Take Polaroids” focussed on a Japan that sounded more, rather than less, like Japan and no one else.

 

Putting all the pieces together for this early decade masterpiece, the band brought a sophistication to their sound that did indeed echo the intentions of their mentors, but still bristled with all the hope that this new breed could muster.

 

”Gentlemen Take Polaroids” flies its most triumphant flag in the buttered cohesion of melody, lyrics and style. There is no dichotomy of style, no dissonance and angular interjection of voice and guitar, keys and drums. Instead, Japan flawlessly blended it all, emerging with an elemental song that boasts of late nights, seedy lights and cocktails for everyone. Grown up, but very much off the beaten path, ”Gentlemen Take Polaroids” laid down the law that bands like Duran Duran and Ultravox could only hope to obey.

.allmusic

 

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PHOTO: Bauhaus in concert

PHOTO: Bauhaus in concert | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Bauhaus in concert.

 

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THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Durutti Column – “For Belgian Friends”

THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Durutti Column – “For Belgian Friends”.

 

Recorded between The return of the Durutti Column and LC (on which it now appears as a related work), ‘For Belgian friends’ is atypical Durutti Column because it features Donald Johnson on drums rather than a machine or Bruce Mitchell. It’s not Donald Johnson as we came to know and love him in A Certain Ratio, although there is a suggestion of funky choppiness as the music heads into what with a proper and willing singer on board might well have been a chorus. He contains himself, provides the necessary rhythm for Vini’s trills and frills, but the very act of containment proved that a long-term relationship between the two was not possible. The studio wasn’t big enough for both of them.

 

The piece is also unusual for being more formally arranged than most early Durutti Column, when Vini had a tendency to start and stop for no apparent reason. This flows, builds, and drains away.

 

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PHOTO: Bruce Springsteen, US west coast tour, 1978 by Michael Putland.

PHOTO: Bruce Springsteen, US west coast tour, 1978 by Michael Putland. | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Bruce Springsteen, US west coast tour, 1978 by Michael Putland.

 

“It was either in San Diego or Phoenix and I did a couple of days on the road just shooting the shows more than anything else. Just before the shot, he and the saxophonist had both jumped right over my head into the front row of the audience. They were so close I couldn’t even photograph them.” Michael Putland.

 

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PHOTO: Robert Smith of The Cure, Brazil, 1987 by Michael Putland.

PHOTO: Robert Smith of The Cure, Brazil, 1987 by Michael Putland. | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Robert Smith of The Cure, Brazil, 1987 by Michael Putland

“I was on tour with them in Brazil and we stopped off in a hill top village with this wonderful church and did some portraits. It’s rather embarrassing because I didn’t really know The Cure very well and I didn’t realise that part of his craft was the lipstick. So when I did some close ups I pointed out the smudge and he just looked at me.” Michael Putland.

 

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PHOTO: Siouxsie Sioux, London, August 1980 by Michael Putland.

PHOTO: Siouxsie Sioux, London, August 1980 by Michael Putland. | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Siouxsie Sioux, London, August 1980 by Michael Putland.

 

“This was probably one of my favourite shoots, it was really great. She had this stroppy image, but she was divine and all that hair covered the most beautiful eyes. It was shot in somebody’s flat in Marylebone if I remember.” Michael Putland.

 

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PHOTO: Patti Smith

PHOTO: Patti Smith | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Patti Smith.

 

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PHOTO: Bruce Springsteen

PHOTO: Bruce Springsteen | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Bruce Springsteen.

 

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PHOTO: Lou Reed

PHOTO: Lou Reed | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Lou Reed.

 

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PHOTO: Robert Smith of the Cure

PHOTO: Robert Smith of the Cure | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Robert Smith of the Cure.

 

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PHOTO: Jack White and Lillie Mae Rische

PHOTO: Jack White and Lillie Mae Rische | SongsSmiths | Scoop.it

PHOTO: Jack White and Lillie Mae Rische.

 

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