heard on the wire

I saw two shooting stars last night

Satellite Dishes

Such is my love for the debut LP by Spain’s When Nalda Became Punk that I’m taking the unprecedented step of blogging a third track from A Farewell to Youth.

The band started as plain Nalda, formed by singer and guitarist Elena Sestelo, but Became Punk with the release of a mini-LP, Time to Meet Your Family, in 2010. Nalda then became two when Elena was joined by Roberto Cibeira.

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What use is a dream if not a blueprint for courageous action?

Sunrise Motel

This blog likes to take the occasional musical road trip across the great USA, clocking up the virtual miles in search of good and sometimes great music. Recently we’ve taken in: Elmhurst, Illinois; Brooklyn, New York; and Oakland and Los Angeles in California. Today we start our engine in Missoula, Montana, home of the Boys.

Missoula is, according to Weird Missoula, “a little town in the mountains that time forgot” on the western edge of the state. The same blog describes the Boys as garage rockers with a sense of humour and an antidote to “music nerds [who] have a tendency to take themselves WAY too seriously.” They put their first LP out last year and being the most generous of sorts, declined to charge for it. What have you got to lose?

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A preoccupation with originality destroys originality itself…

Ted Moult

This blog’s been on a bit of a nostalgia trip lately so it’s about time we returned to the present, or thereabouts, with some music from this century.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been late to an indie party, but I like to think I’m fashionably late. Public Service Broadcasting are a London-based duo who snip up public information and other recordings of yesteryear and lay them over a rich musical mixture of pop electronica.

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The sailor shot the dice straight through

Woman in Winter (front)

Some thirty years ago this was my all-time favourite record of all-time. it’s slipped down the pecking order somewhat since then, but still holds a place close to my heart.

The Skids’ third LP, Absolute Game, was hugely popular among my playground contemporaries and this was the third single from it. Like much of the record, it’s poetic gibberish but beautifully played and proved to be the last decent thing the band ever did. And at three minutes 49, it’s shorter than the LP version—and better for it. The single was packaged with a 12-page comic, detailing the band’s efforts to find treasure hidden on a Scottish island. I’m sure tongues were firmly in cheeks, as you can see below.

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The music of our hearts is roots music

Live At The Counter Eurovision '79

John Peel considered Misty in Roots’ first recording, Live at the Counter Eurovision, to be the best live LP ever made.

Recorded at Brussels’ Cirque Royale in 1979, it confirms that nothing matches the sound of a reggae band at the height of its powers.

Sadly the LP is no longer available, though there are a few secondhand vinyl copies knocking around.

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The kids are solid gold

Gold

No-one has a more impressive indie pop CV than the former chief economist and senior director of mergers for the Office of Fair Trading, Amelia Fletcher.

The current professor of competition policy at the University of East Anglia has fronted Heavenly, Talulah Gosh, Marine Research and Tender Trap, sung backing vocals for the Wedding Present and Hefner and been guest vocalist for several other bands. She’s also played keyboards for Sportique.

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Lie on your back like an underscore

Love song

Some bands hit you immediately between the eyes; others cuddle up beside you. Ace Bushy Striptease did neither. In fact they did their best to stoke my disinterest, until the release of their 2012 LP, Outside It’s Cold Just Like the Inside of Your Body And.

“And what?” you might ask — a fair question to which I don’t have an answer.

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She’ll fill your heart with joy

Doo-Wop

It’s almost impossible to conceive that the tuneless witterings of a generation of boy bands are but the latest phase of a rich musical tradition that dates back to the 40s and the rise of doo-wop.

This vocal-based rhythm and blues music developed in African-American communities in a number of US cities and was widely popular in the 1950s and early 1960s.

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What else is there to do than watch some Scooby Doo?

Eva on the Western Castle Island

What would happen if you crossed a young Malaysian woman with three chaps from Finland? Some quite delightful pop music, courtesy of Eva on the Western Castle Island.

Eva, so the bio goes, lived in the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru with her mother and little sister and like all Malaysian girls she was spending her days in karaoke booths, huge shopping malls and night markets.

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You’re William and silver transparent, are you amphibious?

Nothing

Another year, another new LP—some things should never change. Re-Mit is the thirtieth long player from Mark E Smith and his ever-changing collection of troubadours and marks a return to form after the disappointing Ersatz GB.

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.