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Friday, 22 January 2021

American Music Club - Shades of Weariness (1985-2008)

 


Short(ish) bio:
Singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel founded American Music Club in San Francisco in 1983 with guitarist Scott Alexander, drummer Greg Bonnell and bass player Brad Johnson. The band went through many personnel changes before arriving at a stable line up of guitarist Vudi, bassist Danny Pearson, keyboardist Brad Johnson and drummer Matt Norelli. This lineup would change over the next several years, but Eitzel always remained the core of the band in terms of its vocals, lyrics and thematic focus, with Vudi and Pearson accompanying him on guitar and bass.

Their 1985 debut, The Restless Stranger, is widely considered as the first "slowcore" release, establishing the band as major pioneers of the genre and an early influence on post-rock. It was followed by 1987's Engine which saw record producer Tom Mallon as a full-time member. The band earned a solid cult following on the strength of 1988's California and 1989's United Kingdom.

In 1991 American Music Club emerged with the record that is widely considered their masterpiece, Everclear. Critical acclaim attracted the attention of several major labels. Eventually, AMC - then consisting of Eitzel, Vudi, Pearson, multi-instrumentalist Bruce Kaphan and drummer Tim Mooney - signed with Reprise Records in the US and Virgin Records throughout the rest of the world. Mercury followed in 1993 and, despite positive reviews, the album fared poorly on the charts and earned virtually no recognition from radio or MTV. In 1994, AMC issued San Francisco.

The band disbanded soon after San Francisco was released, reuniting in 2003 to record a new album, Love Songs For Patriots, released in 2004. On June 20, 2007, AMC announced a new lineup. Eitzel and Vudi remained, joined by bassist Sean Hoffman and drummer Steve Didelot. AMC's next record, The Golden Age, was released in 2008. Shortly after an extensive tour, the group disbanded and then reformed with a new line-up including Eitzel, Vudi and Steve as well as Dana Schechter on bass and Jonathan Heine on second guitar. This short-lived lineup disbanded for good in 2009.



Here's a band who had more or less slipped my mind, regarding compiling an anthology, despite featuring one of their songs on one of my recent Spaghetti Tree mixes. Once again I have to thank Manerg for introducing me to this band, when he played me their 3rd album "California" which he'd bought soon after it's release. I was pretty much hooked from the first listen, the track Laughingstock standing out for me the most. Manerg and I are both agreed California is our favourite album, maybe because it was the first we heard by them. Or maybe because to us it is a perfect album, not one bad track.

Since my introduction to the band I've bought all their albums before and after California, up to their final (?) album The Golden Age. While the 2 albums after they reunited are both high in quality, they never reached the heights of what were for me their peak period from 1987 to 1993. After California my next favourites are Everclear and Mercury. Also worth checking out are Mark Eitzel's solo albums. I highly recommend his first solo release, Songs of Love, an acoustic performance recorded live at The Borderline in London, England on January 17, 1991, with the exception of the last two tracks which are acoustic studio recordings. Some of his renditions of AMC songs I think are superior to the band versions.


Info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you enjoy this latest collection, and as always stay safe!


  1. At My Mercy (4:06)
  2. Ex-Girlfriend (2:46)
  3. Firefly (2:50)
  4. In the Shadow of the Valley (6:26)
  5. Tell Yourself (4:02)
  6. Art of Love (3:08)
  7. Dream Is Gone (3:55)
  8. Hollywood 4-5-92 (4:11)
  9. Western Sky (3:26)
10. Home (4:27)
11. Decibels and Little Pills (5:36)
12. Miracle on 8th Street (4:05)
13. I'll Be Gone (3:55)
14. I'm in Heaven Now (3:49)
15. Laughingstock (4:16)
16. The Thorn in My Side Is Gone (alternate version) (4:47)
17. Will You Find Me? (4:06)
18. Heaven of Your Hands (3:00)
19. The Dead Part of You (2:42)
20. Job to Do (5:01)


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Thursday, 14 January 2021

Songs from Beneath the Spaghetti Tree Vol. 64

 


  1. Hopf - Lebenselixier (4:10)
  2. The Move - The Words of Aaron (5:24)
  3. Prince Rupert's Drops - Sesame Seed (3:57)
  4. The Bevis Frond - You Saw Me Coming (3:04)
  5. Mono in VCF - There’s No Blood in Bone (2:51)
  6. Lee Harvey - Laughing Monkey Man (2:48)
  7. Alan Parker & William Parrish - The Hawk (2:56)
  8. Ichiko Hashimoto - Tamare Kurawanka (3:52)
  9. Gruff Rhys - Gwn Mi Wn (2:33)
10. Tyrannosaurus Rex - King of the Rumbling Spires (2:06)
11. His Name Is Alive - Wall of Speed (2:38)
12. Hilary Woods - N.I.B. (4:08)
13. Daddylonglegs - When Betty Comes to Town (4:04)
14. Look Blue Go Purple - Hiawatha (3:25)
15. Beans - Stride (5:32)
16. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Abba Zaba (2:40)
17. Gary Higgins - Windy Child (3:28)
18. Brothers in Sound - Sleep Again (4:03)
19. Little Barrie & Malcom Catto - T.R.A.B.S. (3:54)
20. Microdot Gnome - Stained Rainbow (3:48)
21. The Durutti Column - Number Three (feat. Caoilfhionn Rose) (4:43)
22. Paul Quinn & Edwyn Collins - Pale Blue Eyes (3:17)
23. Johanna Group - Strange Love Action (7:17)

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Saturday, 9 January 2021

Manerg's Monumental Mix Four >> Play - Volume 2

 


For my first post of 2021 we have Manerg's final selection from the past year. He chose the tracks, I had the pleasure of compiling them plus tweaking the artwork. Once again an excellent selection including a few more bands I need to check out. As usual, info containing origin of each track is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I wish you all a belated happy new year, and as ever stay safe!

Note: I put the wrong Brigid Dawson track on the original mix, but have now rectified. Apologies!

 

  1. Alex Maas - Slip Into (3:46)
  2. Muzz - Chubby Checker (2:41)
  3. Bob of the Pops - Warwick Town (2:39)
  4. Ellis/Munk Ensemble - Larry's Jungle Juice (6:49)
  5. Cobalt Chapel - Our Angel Polygon (4:11)
  6. The Greek Theatre - Sail Away (part two) (5:25)
  7. Tara King Th. - Parallel (feat. Hera T. Davis) (3:26)
  8. Dorcha - Bruiser (4:12)
  9. Julien Gasc - Les Flots (5:43)
10. Causa Sui - La Jolla (5:18)
11. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - The Hungry Wolf of Fate (5:07)
12. Godcaster - Blister Intercom (2:22)
13. The Horses of the Gods - Deiseil (3:48)
14. Let It Come Down - Pennies (4:50)
15. Loma - Blue Rainbow (3:07)
16. Bill Baird - Spreadsheet Star Charts (5:35)
17. Brigid Dawson and the Mothers Network - Trixxx (4:27)
18. Wilma Archer - Cures & Wounds (4:22)
19. The Citradels - Siren Song (2:57)
20. Cindy Lee - Heavy Metal (4:00)
21. The Heliocentrics - Left to Our Own Devices (8:04)
22. Thor & Friends - Mystery Train (feat. Low, Jolie Holland) (5:51)

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Sunday, 27 December 2020

Best of 2020 mix - Volume 2

 
 
The final compilation of the year from me is, of course, a few more favourite songs from what has been probably the worst year in living memory for many of us. I could've done a 3rd volume quite easily, so high was the quality of new albums this year, instead I've compiled a longer mix than usual, running at just over 1 hour and 40 minutes. There were still many artists I could've added to this comp, but then it could have run into several hours! 
 
One particular highlight for me this year has been the high amount of quality releases by artists such as Wire, The Chills, Mark Lanegan, Lee Ranaldo, Guided by Voices and Philip Parfitt to name just a few. All have been recording for several years and still releasing excellent albums, hopefully many more to come from them. 
 
Many of the acts who just missed the cut on my 2 volumes, such as Julian Cope, Alien Mustangs, The Asteroid No.4, Magik Markers, Throwing Muses and Turtle Skull, have been included in other comps over the years, but I highly recommend their latest releases. Manerg is currently compiling his 2nd "Monumental Mix", I'm looking forward to hearing that, maybe some of those artists will feature on that.
 
As usual, info containing origin of each track is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you all enjoy my final selection from 2020. Lastly,  thanks to everyone who has commented. While I don't respond to all, every comment is appreciated and inspire me to carry on. Here's hoping 2021 is a much better year for you all, it surely can't be as bad as this one! Cheers, and stay safe!

  1. Vintage Cucumber - Caricia (4:24)
  2. Mark Lanegan - Bleed All Over (3:34)
  3. Bill Baird - Option Paralysis (3:47)
  4. The Heliocentrics - Light in the Dark (4:56)
  5. The Left Outsides - A Face in the Crowd (4:51)
  6. Yorkston/Thorne/Khan - Westlin Winds (9:51)
  7. ATA Records - Nuclear Wind II (2:19)
  8. The Chills - You're Immortal (3:09)
  9. FACS - Lifelike (3:07)
10. Guided by Voices - War of the Devils (2:28)
11. Ricardo Richaid - Só na Darkzera (4:35)
12. Wire - Unrepentant (4:56)
13. Dr. Pete Larson and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band - Pwonja (3:10)
14. Osees - Gong of Catastrophe (4:41)
15. Paint - Ta Fardah (2:38)
16. Carlton Melton - Dezebelle (5:24)
17. Alec Bathgate - Imposter Syndrome (2:54)
18. Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Urge You (2:20)
19. Isobel Campbell - Ant Life (2:34)
20. Heather Trost - Jump Into the Fire (5:30)
21. Calibro 35 - Death of Storytelling (3:35)
22. Green Seagull - This Wheel (3:59)
23. The NoMen - Girl With the Golden Boots (2:10)
24. Wolfhounds - The Roaches (3:17)
25. Mugstar - Cato (2:37)
26. Figueroa - Back to the Stars (6:06)

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Saturday, 19 December 2020

Causa Sui - Rip Tide 2005-2020

 


Bio:
Causa Sui is a Danish instrumental psych-rock / stoner rock band composed of Jakob Skøtt, Jonas Munk, Rasmus Rasmussen and Jess Kahr. Beginning with their eponymous debut album, the band has released twelve albums since 2005. Causa Sui's heavy sound is supplemented by abstract, instrumental and ambient styles akin to electric Miles Davis or Can, particularly on their 'Sessions' series of albums, which feature guest musicians. Other cited influences include Popul Vuh, The Allman Brothers Band, and Tame Impala. Causa Sui's sound has been described as the sound of a giant wave rolling up through the last four decades of rock. Despite seldomly performing live, the band has released two live albums.

 

Not much more I can add to the above (short) bio. What isn't mentioned is that their 1st 2 releases featured a vocalist, Kasper Markus, who I felt was the weakest part of the line-up. For me they took their music to another level after his departure, not having to rely on structuring their songs around his vocals. With their following albums I felt the band improved with every release, their most recent album, this year's Szabodelico, I think is their best yet.

For this collection I have included tracks from all 12 of their studio albums. Favourite albums by them are the aforementioned Szabodelico, and the preceding album Vibraciones Doradas released in 2017. As many of their songs are very long, I decided to forget about any time limits, which is why this collection comes in at almost 2 hours long instead of the usual 80 minutes max. As ever, info containing origin of each track & original year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file.

A shoutout to my pal Moonglum, who I know will enjoy this latest anthology, he was very helpful regarding replacing my old knackered PC a few months back. So this is my sort of Christmas gift to him, but I hope you all enjoy this too. This will be my last post before Christmas so I hope you all manage somehow to have a good time, and stay safe! Cheers.




  1. Red Sun in June (7:02)
  2. Gelassenheit (11:47)
  3. Echo Springs (5:02)
  4. White Sun (9:55)
  5. Dust Meridian (10:07)
  6. Lucien's Beat (4:20)
  7. Where the Streams Collide (6:28)
  8. Rip Tide (5:26)
  9. El Fuego (11:24)
10. May Sun (4:30)
11. Vibratone (5:04)
12. Top of the Hill (4:04)
13. Eutopia (4:57)
14. Santa Sangre (8:15)
15. Seven Hills (7:22)
16. Mondo Buzzo (8:28)

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Saturday, 12 December 2020

Manerg's Monumental Mix Four >> Play


What has now become a tradition the past few years, my good pal Manerg picks some of his favourite songs from the past year. We both agreed that while it's been a rather dire year all round, musically it has been very strong, and he found it just as tough as me to pick a few favourites. So, maybe in a few weeks he'll provide us with a second volume! Like the previous "Monumental" mixes, I've found his choices highly enjoyable, with a few artists I'm unfamiliar with which I'll need to check out. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and as always, stay safe!

 

  1. Sault - Scary Times (3:39)
  2. Pree Tone - Hidden Beauty (4:10)
  3. Homunculus Res - Tetraktys (3:30)
  4. Little Barrie & Malcom Catto - You're Only You (3:20)
  5. Wire - Humming (3:28)
  6. Psychedelic Suns - How Hard It Is to Let Go (2:55)
  7. Deradoorian - It Was Me (4:23)
  8. Ghost Funk Orchestra - Little Bird (4:15)
  9. Osees - If I Had My Way (2:45)
10. Chloë March - To a Place (2:58)
11. King Creosote - Susie Mullen (4:43)
12. Drab City - Working for the Men (2:04)
13. Alex Izenberg - Revolution Girls (3:09)
14. ROY - Stone of Infinite Power (3:03)
15. Vinyl Williams - Magicland (3:38)
16. Caitlin Pasko - Even God (5:28)
17. Lake Ruth - Aging Now (2:37)
18. Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Sweet Freak (4:17)
19. Holy Fawn - Candy (5:42)
20. Green Seagull - Simeon Brown (3:06)
21. Psychic Temple (feat. Chicago Underground Trio) - Lightning (3:41)
22. Joan of Arc - Creature and Being (2:09)
23. Population II - Ce n'est Rêve (7:25)
24. The Innocence Mission - The Brothers Williams Said (3:29)

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Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Cate Le Bon - Looping Melodies

 


Short bio:
Cate Le Bon (born Cate Timothy on 4 March 1983) is a Welsh musician and producer, now based in Los Angeles. She has released five solo albums, three EPs and a number of singles. Le Bon is singled out by critics for her "beautiful, haunting voice". She described writing and performing music as "important to me, it's just an expression and sometimes it's not necessary to moralise it". Le Bon claimed that "early experiences with a string of pet deaths had a profound lasting effect on me" and informed her initial self-admitted "abnormal fixation with death". She describes her lyric writing as "foraging for words and then everything falls into place".



My interest in Cate Le Bon began after hearing her 2nd album, Cyrk, in 2012. PopMatters.com said about the album: "At its best moments, Cyrk sounds like an edgier version of The Wicker Man soundtrack; the same sense of mystery pervades. Everything about it evokes swinging garden gates, desolate vales, and dusk setting in far too soon."

I'd say my favourite album by her is "Crab Day", released in 2016. Allmusic.com had this to say about it: "For fans of her particular brand of knotty, carnivalesque art-pop, which sounds like an amalgam of Os Mutantes, Nico, Stereolab, Syd Barrett, and Shirley Collins, Crab Day will be a delight." There's certainly elements of the aforementioned artists on the album, but she brings her own uniqueness to it. I've just noticed some reviewer on allmusic also stated "She sounds like Nico if Nico knew how to have fun". Well... not much I can add to that, even though I am a huge fan of Nico's solo work.

As well as her solo releases, Le Bon has collaborated with many artists, most notably with White Fence's Tim Presley, recording 2 albums under the name of DRINKS. Other notable collaborations are EP releases with Bradford Cox and Group Listening. For this collection I concentrated on her solo releases, taking tracks from her 5 albums and 3 EPS, plus her contribution to a Wilco tribute album, the track "Company in My Back". As per usual, info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you enjoy this latest collection, and stay safe!


  1. It's Not the End (3:19)
  2. Fold the Cloth (5:01)
  3. Wonderful (2:36)
  4. Hwylio Mewn Cyfog (4:23)
  5. Sad Nudes (2:56)
  6. Sisters (4:02)
  7. I'm a Dirty Attic (3:04)
  8. I Just Wanna Be Good (3:00)
  9. Out to Sea (2:36)
10. Baw Waw (2:43)
11. Company in My Back (4:04)
12. Falcon Eyed (2:48)
13. Mirror Me (3:47)
14. The Eiggy Sea (4:36)
15. Home to You (5:25)
16. Crab Day (3:46)
17. Sad Sad Feet (3:33)
18. I Can't Help You (4:00)
19. We Might Revolve (3:46)
20. Here It Comes Again (3:24)
21. Ploughing Out (6:50)

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Friday, 4 December 2020

Songs from Beneath the Spaghetti Tree Vol. 63

 


  1. The Brian Marshall Orchestra & The Silencers - Wheelspin (3:23)
  2. Propeller - Sugar Pudding (3:56)
  3. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Honey (4:29)
  4. Spirit - What Do I Have (1:56)
  5. Ennio Morricone - Lui Per Lei (3:08)
  6. United States of Existence - Gone (2:17)
  7. Camera - Roehre (4:07)
  8. Festival - Warm Me (2:01)
  9. Spunky Onions - How I Lost My Virginity (3:24)
10. The Twelve Hour Foundation - Watching the Wires (2:40)
11. Godcaster - All the Feral Girls in the Universe (2:54)
12. Pell Mell - Spy vs Spy (2:51)
13. The 5th Dimension - Carpet Man (3:05)
14. Matching Mole - Signed Curtain (3:03)
15. David Nance - This Side of the Moon (2:44)
16. Syd Arthur - Morning's Calling (4:40)
17. Lithics - Hands (3:24)
18. Alco Frisbass - Les Cartes Vivantes (8:08)
19. Mosses - MSR (5:34)
20. Von Südenfed - Chicken Yiamas (2:33)
21. Louis Philippe - Anna Doesn't Live Here Anymore (3:20)
22. Paddy Kingsland - Vespucci (3:16)
23. Walter Wanderley Set - Open Your Arms (Let Me Walk Right In) (2:33)
24. Thee More Shallows - Freshman Thesis (5:01)

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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Best of 2020 mix - Volume 1

 


When I posted my Best of 2019 mix - volume 2 late last year, I wrote the fateful words "hopefully things will improve in the next year..." Well... who would've known the shitstorm that was awaiting us..! Who knows what next year will be like... I couldn't even begin to predict, but the events of this year will hang over us for many years to come.

One good thing to take from 2020 has been the continual release of excellent music, which helps take your mind off all the crap happening worldwide. It's certainly kept me (relatively) sane during the darker moments. So, compiling this volume was an enjoyable experience, a further volume will be posted in about a month's time. I'll also be asking my pal Manerg to compile some of his favourites like he has the past 3 years, they've proved to be quite popular here and on mixcloud. As usual, info containing origin of each track is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you enjoy this first selection from 2020 and as always, stay safe!


  1. Bitmap - Night Games (2:57)
  2. Mt. Mountain - Tassels (4:49)
  3. Ghost Funk Orchestra - Quiet Soul (3:51)
  4. Juniore - Grave (3:19)
  5. Philip Parfitt - All Fucked Up (4:58)
  6. Tara King Th. - Maze (feat. Hera T. Davis) (3:12)
  7. Tunng - Carry You (4:51)
  8. Causa Sui - Gabor's Path (4:26)
  9. The Greek Theatre - Old Jawbone (2:51)
10. Smokescreens - On and On (3:06)
11. Jumble Hole Clough - Five Years of What? (2:28)
12. Lambchop - Shirley (4:34)
13. Mint Field - Aterrizar (3:34)
14. Cornershop - Highly Amplified (4:46)
15. The Explorers Club - Somewhere Else (3:36)
16. Les Passagers - Coucher les Ombres (4:23)
17. Lee Ranaldo & Raül Refree - Humps (5:44)
18. Brigid Dawson and the Mothers Network - Ballet of Apes (6:50)
19. Homunculus Res - La Spia (4:32)

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Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Songs from Beneath the Spaghetti Tree Vol. 62

 

 
 
  1. The Noveltones - Left Bank 2 (2:26)
  2. P.E. Hewitt Jazz Ensemble - Bada Que Bash (4:08)
  3. Osees - Gong of Catastrophe (4:40)
  4. Mild Orange - Share This Dance (5:49)
  5. Todd Parker and The Witches - Slipping Into the Mirror (4:46)
  6. The Merry-Go-Round - You're a Very Lovely Woman (2:52)
  7. The Earlies - Morning Wonder (5:31)
  8. Beverly Glenn-Copeland - In the Image (4:17)
  9. The Voices - Savant (4:53)
10. Brigitte Fontaine - Dommage Que Tu Sois Mort (2:22)
11. The Left Outsides - Down to the Waterside (3:40)
12. Focus - Sugar Island (3:02)
13. Dr. Pete Larson and his Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band - Koblo (5:37)
14. Magik Markers - Hymn for 2020 (4:11)
15. Dead Meadow - One More Toll Taker (2:51)
16. Ellis/Munk Ensemble - Electric Saloon (8:52)
17. Laurie Johnson - The Professionals (1:52)
18. Stark Reality - Junkman's Song (7:34)