Posts Tagged ‘linear tracking lives’

Postal Blue at Linear Tracking Lives

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Presents for Sally at Linear Tracking Lives!

The sophomore album ‘Colours & Changes’ from UK band Presents for Sally is another one that took me back to the late ’80s and early ’90s, but this time with the guitar turned way up. Shoegaze is a label that seems to have stuck, and there are plenty of the sounds of My Bloody Valentine, Lush and Ride to be found here, but don’t pigeonhole this trio. There is plenty more going on here, and I even detect influences from this side of the pond as well, especially the more accessible side of Sonic Youth. The single “Wishawaytoday” deserves to be played on radios ’round the world. Saint Marie Records releases this one on Sept. 11.


Lunchbox, Moon Types at Linear Tracking Lives!

Today’s vacation shot is of Devils Punch Bowl in Otter Rock, Oregon. It’s a beautiful stretch of beach known for great whale watching and surfing. During low tide, the tide pools and rocks make for some fascinating investigation, but you don’t want to be around the bowl during high tide. The water churns and foams in a most violent way. It’s really cool to watch from above. If you’re down there, though, your ultimate demise is imminent. During winter storms, the water in the bowl is known to rotate like a toilet in mid flush. How’s that for a visual?

We took a long walk from Beverly Beach State Park north to Devils Punch Bowl. Everyone was pretty tired after all of that exploration, and nobody in my family was excited to take the trek back to the park. I seemed like a selfless hero when I suggested I could go it alone to Beverly, hop in the van and drive to the Devils Punch Bowl viewpoint to pick up everyone. Truth is, I wanted to go for a run and listen to music along the way. You steal these moments when you can. Here was my soundtrack of new sounds during the jog:

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Fireworks at Linear Tracking Lives!

This is so cool. I had no idea the Shop Assistants were recording again. What? It’s not them?!? Oh, then surely “Runaround” is a bonus track unearthed for a reissue of Chin Chin’s ‘Under the Westway.’ Really? Strike two? Well, I thought I knew most of these wonderful fuzz-drenched bands from the mid-’80s, but the Fireworks are a nice discovery nonetheless… even if it took me 30 years to fall under their spell. Wait a minute. This press release I’m reading claims the song is from the band’s debut album, ‘Switch Me On,’ out Feb. 10 from Shelflife Records.

Ah, a bright spot in an otherwise dismal week of news that had me weeping for the future.

Nearly all of the 13 tracks that make up ‘Switch Me On’ are frenetic reverb-filled racers with nary a dud in the lot. You won’t be able to stop stomping the floor. When they do turn it down a bit, however, particularly on “Let You Know,” we are rewarded with jangly pop that wouldn’t be out of place on a split single with Razorcuts during the Subway days. I hope the band isn’t afraid to keep that pace in mind a little more when they follow up this brilliant piece of work. Well done, Fireworks.


Crayon at Linear Tracking Lives!

This might be cheating a bit, but the above is my favorite album art from this year. You might be wondering how I could choose a cover from a piece of music that came out two decades ago. Well, back in the day, Crayon’s ‘Brick Factory’ was released via Harriet Records on CD and cassette… before quickly going out of print. HHBTM Records recently resurrected this lost treasure and gave it to us on vinyl for the first time ever. I don’t have to tell you it’s not only the music that’s better on wax. I love the blurred hustle and bustle attempting to envelop a couple that doesn’t seem to notice any of the other students. Is this where love begins? Anyway, that’s how I see it. I know nothing about the artist, but there were two names credited to the artwork on the original CD. So, I’ll thank George Pfromm II and Todd Christensen and hope that covers it. HHBTM pressed 500 copies, and the label is including 20 bonus tracks for download with purchase. It’s a twee/punk masterpiece.


Primitives, Luxembourg Signal, Close Lobsters, and Lunchbox at Linear Tracking Lives

Click through to read their year end top 40 list.


Emotional Response at Linear Tracking Lives

If you’ve ever heard Sarah 076, “B Is For Boyracer,” then you know this 7″ was not the usual sound that made the label famous. Famous? Point is, Boyracer was anything but submissive, and the lads leaned a little more punk than pop. There were a couple of more Sarah singles and a wonderful full-length album on Slumberland during that era. I highly recommend the lot. Here’s a little taste from 1993:

I kind of lost track of Boyracer around 1995. Shameful. There were lots of personnel changes, more labels and many many more songs, but the one constant throughout Boyracer’s roughly 23 years was Stewart Anderson. During those years Anderson had a couple of labels of his own, and he’s recently founded a new one with his wife, Jen Turrell. One of the latest releases on Emotional Response is being touted as Boyracer’s swansong, but what a way to go out! Anderson is joined by the Mrs. and Sarah-era guitarist Matt Green (his first Boyracer appearance in two decades) for the four-song 7″ “Pete Shelley” (six songs as a download). Yes, that Pete Shelley. How cool is that? Perhaps this should be an all A-side affair, because every song is a keeper. Sample “The Kind Of Man You Really Are” below, and stick around or you’ll miss Terrell’s organ-infused “Jump,” and that would be your loss, believe me.

The “Pete Shelley” EP is exactly what I would have wanted Boyracer to sound like in 2014. Still raucous, a little more grown up, and with the kind of crisp production that wasn’t even a thought when I was a fan during the Sarah and Slumberland years. It feels good to be back in the fold, even if I just barely made it in time.


Primitives at Linear Tracking Lives

Where has the time gone? This weekend marks 10 years since John Peel’s turntable stopped spinning. As we are all managing the juxtaposition of sadness and celebration, I have asked Paul Court of the Coventry band the Primitives for his remembrances of listening to and performing on the legendary BBC Radio DJ’s program. Special thanks to Mike Turner at Crashing Through Publicity for helping me get in touch with another one of my heroes.

Linear Tracking Lives: As a kid, what are some of your fondest memories of listening to John Peel’s show?
Paul Court: I started listening to the show in 1978. Radio One used to turn into Radio Two in the evening and then revert back to Radio One at ten for the John Peel show, so it really felt like a visit to some secret, cut-off place. I loved all the post-punk stuff coming through in ’78/’79. Lots of melody and experimentation creeping in. I’d listen in bed and would normally fall asleep before the end and wake up in the early hours wondering why the fuck he was playing Leo Sayer, before realising it had gone back to Radio Two and some truckers request show was on, and that I’d missed the next installment of Sir Henry at Rawlinson End or the final song in a Spizzenergi session.

LTL: What do you think made Peel so good at what he did?
Paul: I think because he was just left alone to get on with it, which fortunately meant giving the underdogs and outsiders a chance.

LTL: What standout Peel Sessions do you recall from other bands?
Paul: Loads of different contrasting stuff, such as The Birthday Party and Helen and The Horns. He played a lot of stuff that I really disliked to begin with, but couldn’t stop thinking about the next day, so I would tune in wondering if he’d play it again that night, subsequently becoming a big fan — The Birthday Party, The Fall, etc. I loved the first few Mary Chain sessions.

LTL: For many reasons, 1986 must have been such an exciting time for the Primitives. It was also the first of three consecutive years the band appeared on Peel’s Festive 50, and in the fall you recorded your first of three Peel Sessions. What was it like going into the studio and then hearing yourselves on the program? Is there a particular song or session that really stands out in your mind?
Paul: The studio was at Maida Vale in London. It was an ornate single story cake of a building with studios below the ground. It felt very much like being in the 1930s down there — I don’t think much had been altered since then. The first couple of sessions we did were produced by Dale Griffin, the drummer from Mott The Hoople. You could tell he wasn’t best pleased having to record all these musically inept bands. I remember him saying the guitar jangle on the chorus of “Stop Killing Me” didn’t fit, but I refused to change it because that was what I played. Eventually he conceded that it sort of worked. When we went back for a second session he was a bit friendlier and told us we’d improved. Hearing the session on the radio was a massive thrill. It would take a few weeks for it to appear on the show and they wouldn’t let you take a tape away, so you couldn’t really remember how it sounded. This was our first John Peel session. [sends YouTube link]

LTL: More than a quarter century after the band’s days on Lazy Records, the Primitives have returned to its indie roots with ‘Spin-O-Rama’ on Elefant Records. What do you think John Peel would have thought about that?
Paul: Hard to say really. I’d like to think he’d show some small acknowledgment, but his thing was always about the new young upstarts.

If you have heard ‘Spin-O-Rama,’ I think you’ll agree Paul is being far too modest with that last answer. So, I’ll say it: Peel would approve. If you haven’t heard the new one yet, check out a few of the new songshere. Then buy it on LP or CD. For more of the Primitives, listen to the band’s second Peel Session (and my favorite of the three) from the spring of ’87. Songs include “She Don’t Need You,” “Ocean Blue,” “Everything’s Shining Bright” and “Dream Walk Baby.” It’s nine minutes of pop perfection.

This very grateful fan would like to thank Mr. Court for taking the time. Thrill of my life.


The Primitives at Linear Tracking Lives

The Primitives first album of original material in 23 years is out today stateside, but it’s as if no time between releases has elapsed at all.‘Spin-O-Rama’ is chock full of the same timeless indie pop PJ Court and Tracy Tracy gave to us in their heyday. That’s a sentiment you see in review after review as our favorite bands from days of yore make their way back to us. In this case, however, I promise it’s not a cliche.

For fans who have been paying attention, the high standing of this new work will come as no surprise. We have known since 2012 this triumphant day would arrive. The inspired choices the band made on its covers album ‘Echoes and Rhymes’ were just too good for this to be a fleeting moment. Our feelings were confirmed early last year with one of the catchiest choruses the band ever put on a 7″. If you missed it, don’t worry. “Lose the Reason” is on the new album.

So, it really comes down to this: If you used to be into the Primitives, you will enjoy ‘Spin-O-Rama’ immensely. For the rest of you, now is as good a time as any to give them a try. I’m wording it this way because it must be assumed you never heard them in the first place. Otherwise, you would already be in the first camp.

Click through to stream some tunes!


Luxembourg Signal at Linear Tracking Lives!

For fans of Sarah Records, it’s been a year to reminisce and rejoice. So far there has been an art exhibit, a documentary film and a book announcement. Looking back is all well and good, and it’s certainly wonderful to see Sarah receive accolades in a way it never did when it existed, but let’s not forget there are still some label alums making great music in 2014. For starters, check out ‘Cornish Love Songs’ from the Hit Parade and ‘Kick to Kick’ from the Steinbecks. (That’s the Sugargliders’ Josh and Joel Meadows.)

Back in the spring I heard a most wonderful piece of dreampop. The single “Distant Drive” had a timeless sound — familiar but fresh at the same time — full of soaring guitars and a just a hint of shoegaze sensibilities. Wow, who were these guys? Turned out I did know the Luxembourg Signal. Three members of the band were from Aberdeen, a Sarah band that, gasp, came from right here in America. It’s kind of like Go-Betweens on Postcard. Geography be damned. They were, simply, a fine fit. If you were a fan of those Sarah days, the impending full-length release will be right up your alley, but this is no retread. Expect a slightly louder, darker and more mature affair.

The album was due for a Sept. 30 release, via the always dependable Shelflife Records, but a delay in the delivery of the vinyl has pushed the date back to Oct. 21. This is becoming an old story as the scarce number of vinyl pressing plants struggle to keep up. Tough not to have mixed feelings about that development, but that’s a story for another day. I’m going to spend the rest of the week on more new releases and reissues. They are coming fast and furious now. In the meantime, here are a couple of real gems from the Luxembourg Signal. Preorder now!