heard on the wire

You complain about the mice, but you never clean your kitchen

Tappa Zukie

I like to think of the words in this blog as the equivalent of those little descriptions that you get when you buy a box of chocolates. They may tease, listing fillings and flavours; they may warn—beware of the praline; but they can only hint at the joys that lie beneath the surface of each morsel.

Life, you see, is a carefully curated blog post.

In this episode, we’ve got indie pop from both sides of the Atlantic, Jamaican reggae that tells a story, the sweetest soul from an unexpected decade, a Birmingham swansong and eight minutes of sonic elaboration.

And it’s on the other side of the Atlantic that we start. The magnificent Pains of Being Pure at Heart have recently been strumming their stuff on these shores. I managed to miss them, which would have amounted to a fail of the most epic proportions were it not for the best of reasons. Still, the coolest band from New York will be back.

I still think people in Sweden think we are cooler than the people on my block. And I don’t think of what I do as a profession, because it’s far too enjoyable and tenuous—it feels like a gift, or something I’ll have to stop doing soon because the world will find out that I just write songs in my bedroom and play them for people, and that is my life. I am grateful that this is what I do at this moment, but I sense that it is deeply unfair to all the people that would like to do it and don’t get a chance to. I’m lucky. But, there are a lot of people out there who are talented, and who deserve the same sort of attention we get.¹

Actually Kip, on the whole they don’t.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart :: Coral and Gold ⬇ [iTunes]

Audio MP3


I’ve just watched the excellent Don Letts documentary about the Clash. Westway to the World documents the band’s career from their reggae-loving and pub rock origins to superstardom and implosion. Both guitarist Mick Jones and bass player Paul “awesome surname” Simonon were reggae fans and the music was a huge influence on the band, not least this record. According to the copy I have, it’s by Tappa Zukie; according to his “official” website it’s Tapper. Either way, if you’ve ever wondered where the Clash got their reggae sound from, wonder no more.

Tapper Zukie :: MPLA ⬇ [iTunes]

Audio MP3


From a seventies record I hadn’t heard before to a similarly elusive number from the following decade. Until I was introduced tot his by the excellent A Side soul music blog, I’d never even heard of the singer. Given that he had a 40-year recording career dating back to 1961, that’s some oversight. Rectification begins with this phenomenon, a soul record from the 1980s that isn’t a pile of pleated-trouser pants.

Bobby Bland :: Members Only ⬇ [iTunes]

Audio MP3


This is what happens when you choose the song from an LP that you are going to blog, blog it, then change your mind.

Veronica Falls :: Come on Over

Here’s hoping that there will be another Veronica Falls LP. Sadly we can’t say the same of Ace Bushy Striptease, who have announced that they are “stopping being a band”.

We’re nothing, were nothing and will continue to be nothing. But we made each other believe we’re something. I’m bitter because I think we’re brilliant and no-one else does. I’m bitter because I’m a flawed jealous individual who looks at other bands and what they do and how they do it and thinks, that should be us, up there. But you know why? Because I think my bandmates are incredible songwriters and their creativity and imagination is inspiring. I think the songs they’ve written are wonderful and I think what we did was genuinely different and unique for the seven years of our existence.

:And I’m devastated it has had to end. But it has. And it had to.

And what a way to end, with a collection of songs that amount to the best work they’ve ever done.

Ace Bushy Striptease :: Peanut Butter Revolution

The last post concluded with an eight-minutes-plus track by Felt and given their shared Birmingham roots with Ace Bushy Striptease what better way to end this one than with an eight-minutes-plus instrumental from a solo recording by the band’s guitarist, Maurice Deebank. Felt adopted this its own on the Absolute Classic Masterpieces compilation that serves as an excellent introduction to their music.

Maurice Deebank :: Dance of Deliverance ⬇ [iTunes]

Audio MP3

¹ The Pains of Being Pure at Heart | Truth Be Told

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3 Responses

  1. John says:

    The Maurice Deebanks is like the missing link between Led Zeppelin and The Ozric Tentacles.



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