Tag Archive for 'rock'

“You sold the cottage” by Martha and the Muffins

martha.jpgBefore another month goes by, I have to make another post. I have many on deck, and a big project to procrastinate from, so I’m hoping to squeeze in a few posts this week before we go on vacation the first week of August. & on the cusp of something great is the perfect time to post about Martha & the Muffins (later M+M), one of the greatest Canadian bands of all time. & that’s saying a lot.

This track, from their 3rd LP, This is the Ice Age,  is one of my favorites, and demonstrates their keen attention to sound. Their albums are so amazingly mixed it gives me goosebumps to listen to them. Also, this album’s cover is just gorgeous in every detail, down to the tiny typography.

This is the Muffin’s first album produced my Daniel Lanois, the production genuis– he happened to be the brother of Jocylene, the band’s new bassist. Lanois, with Brian Eno, is responsible for blowing the world’s mind with the production on the Joshua Tree. The band eventually had 2 Marthas (!) and even featured Tim “not that Tim Gane” Gane and his brother Mark. Talented siblings.

Martha & The Muffins, “You sold the cottage” from the This is the Ice Age LP on Virgin (1981).

You should pick up a copy of the reissued Danceparc cd ASAP.

Here’s a video of the group performing “Echo Beach,” from their first album.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/CyzsBqk8u1w" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

 & a mix I recently made featuring their great track “Cheesies & Gum” about 1/3rd of the way in (track 6).

“And He Descended into Hell” by Microdisney

crooked.jpgA strange, downtempo, twangy number from Microdisney, which feaures Sean O’Hagan of The High Llamas and Turn On (and, frequently, of Stereolab).

This album will feel familiar to any High Llamas fans, as it includes many lush arrangements of strangely-worded pop songs. Plenty of banjo as well. What’s a little strange about it is that the songs sound almost like they’re trying to be conventional… something I think O’Hagan is incapable of. I wonder if that’s the major label influence.

The first time I came across this album was in the mid 90s at School Kids Records in Carrboro, NC. There was a title card for them in the CD stacks, but no discs. I later found this LP at a store in Cleveland, and noticed Sean O’Hagain was involved. Needless to say, I think $1.99 was a deal.

Microdisney, “And He Descended Into Hell” from the Crooked Mile LP on Virgin Records (1987)

“Inkpot” by Shocking Blue

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Continuing in the same genre: another tough, layered female-led pop song.

Most know Shocking Blue from Bananarama’s cover of their hit “Venus.” This is probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite song by SB (“Hot Sand” and “Send Me a Postcard” figure in there too), but the lyrics for this one are the best. Is “putting the ink in the ink pot” really something everyone can relate to? It kinda makes me think I don’t properly know how to put some love in my heart. Notice the early sitar lead-in that they didn’t edit out. All of these pieces make a great whole.

Shocking Blue, “Inkpot” (1972)

Check out this great video for their version of “Venus”:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/U2DBcbZc3ck" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
They have such a great look.

I’ll post more tunes from this era in Dutch music soon.