Having gone through all the Indietrack Compilations between 2012 and 2019 in the previous eight parts of this mini-series, I’m now identifying singers or bands who appear on two or more of the compilations but have yet to make an appearance on the blog:-

mp3: Chorusgirl – No Moon (from Indietracks Compilation, 2015)
mp3: Chorusgirl – Shivers (from Indietracks Compilation, 2017)

From all music:-

“Mixing the noisy, poppy sounds of the dream pop past (Ride, Lush) with those of a more recent vintage (Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls), Chorusgirl take a straightforward approach to their songwriting and arrangements that allows the words and vocals of Silvi Wersing to bubble to the surface. The German native formed Chorusgirl in London and released two albums of stripped-down and emotionally tough songs in the second half of the 2010s.

Wersing spent her formative years as a musician playing bass and guitar in a string of bands, first in Germany, then in England, before striking out on her own under the name Chorusgirl in 2012. She began recording demos, solo and with producer Jan Niklas Jansen, at Bear Cave Studio in Cologne. When enough songs were ready to be aired live, she formed a group. Bassist (and fellow German) Udo Westhoff, drummer Michael Boyle, and guitarist Caroline Arvensis joined in early 2014, though Arvensis was soon replaced by Diogo Oliveira.  Chorusgirl released a single in early 2015 (“No Moon”/”Dream on, Baby Blue” for the Odd Box label’s 100 Club series) and performed at Indietracks, then later in 2015 released their self-titled debut album on Fortuna POP!

The next couple of years saw the band in flux; Oliveira departed and was replaced by guitarist Faith Taylor of the group Suggested Friends, their label closed up shop, and Brexit left the German members of the band feeling uncertain. Add to that mix, Wersing’s struggles with anxiety, and making their second album was a tough go. They kept at it and worked again with Jansen in Cologne on a more thoughtful and stripped-down set of songs, two of which were contributed by Taylor. The group found a new label, Reckless Yes, and released Shimmer and Spin in late 2018.”

Both of the songs on the Indietracks compilations were taken from the self-titled debut album.  Here’s a couple from the second LP:-

mp3: Chorusgirl – In Dreams
mp3: Chorusgirl – Love Is Like




The annual Indietracks Compilations were issued to celebrate the singers and bands performing that particular year, but they didn’t always contain new or recent songs, as this example from the 2019 compilation demonstrates:-

mp3: Advance Base – Summon Satan

Despite its title seemingly more in keeping with some sort of song by a heavy metal band, possibly from the deepest and darkest forests of Central Europe, it is in fact a song that is very typical of Advance Base, the name often used in recording and performance by Owen Ashworth, a Chicago-based musician who, as his website advises,“uses electric piano, Omnichord, samplers, effect pedals & drum machines, Ashworth builds minimalist, heavy-hearted, & nostalgia-obsessed ballads around his conversational baritone.”

He’s been making music for many years, initially as the wonderfully named Casio For The Painfully Alone as far back as 1999, while the Advance Base material dates from 2011 to the present, with Owen currently, as you read this, about to head out on a nine-date tour that will take in cities in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina over the next couple of weeks.  Summon Satan can be found on the album Nephew In The Wild, which was released in 2015.

The website informs visitors that ‘the warm, electronic sound of Advance Base has been described as “lo-fi,” “depressed” & “weirdly uplifting.” ‘, which, based on the above track and those which follow below, is bang on the money.  I reckon he’ll be a mesmerising watch in the live setting.

mp3: Advance Base – Summer Music (from A Shut-in’s Prayer, 2012)
mp3: Advance Base – Rabbits (from Animal Companionship, 2018)

Here’s the link to his official website.




It’s fast approaching 2pm on Monday here in Barbados (6pm in the UK) and I’ve had a quick check to ensure that folk are able to vote in the ties that make up the last 16 of the ICA World Cup.  It’s going well – 25 comments to this stage which is a bit down on the usual, but then again there’s twice as many ties as usual to take into consideration….and interesting also that some folk won’t commit either way on some of them.  As things stand, the biggest lead is 14-9 while one match-up is locked at 12-12.  Keep them coming…..

I also found that another of my guest contributions has popped up over at No Badger Required. 

So….if anyone wants to read my thoughts on why Trapped and Unwrapped, the 1984 debut (and only) LP by Friends Again, is nearly perfect, then feel free to click here.

mp3: Friends Again – Swallows In The Rain

A track produced by none other than Tom Verlaine, whose band Television, is currently battling things out against Terry Hall in the ICA World Cup.




Indietracks was a festival that had a great connection with trains.  Its location was The Midland Railway-Butterly, a heritage railway in Derbyshire, and as well as enjoying the 50 or so live acts who appeared each year, festival-goers were free to enjoy steam train rides and other on-site railway attractions.  The profits from the various Indietracks compilations went to the trust that looked after the visitor attraction which is still open all year round, albeit Indietracks itself is no more.

Which makes this track from the 2018 compilation seem very apt:-

mp3: Just Blankets – Britain’s Least Used Stations

I can’t find too much about Just Blankets other than what is on their bandcamp and discogs pages.  The band members were Claire Swift,
Tom Baker (no, not the one who played Dr. Who), Nick Streeter, and Harry Partridge, although I don’t know who played what instrument.

The positive responses to a self-released cassette EP in 2016 led to them being asked by London-based Everything Sucks Music to record and release a 7″ vinyl EP, Like Velcro, in 2017.   The song on the Indietracks compilation was taken from that EP.

This was also on the EP:-

mp3: Just Blankets – White & Orange

There’s no trace of anything after their appearance at Indietracks.



icaworldcupBack on 3 July, when I announced details of the 2022 ICA World Cup, I did recognise in advance that Sunday 27 November would be the pinch point as it marked the busiest day with all 8 matches of the latest round being scheduled.

I hadn’t however, fully appreciated that I’d be thousands of miles away from Villain Towers (not that I’m complaining), or factored in that something could very well go wrong with the laptop or internet access, thus bringing the whole thing crashing down.  But if you happen to be reading this, then my fears have proven to be unfounded.

I also didn’t factor in that one of the match-ups in the final set from Round 2 would prove to be the biggest nail biter of them all.

The Cure’s ICA, on paper, was one of the strongest.  The group stage saw them pick up 40 votes out of a possible 46, and the 87% hit-rate was the best of anyone in that stage.  In Round 1 of the knockout stage, they trounced The Chameleons by 33-8.  By Monday night of Round 2, a point in time when most of the votes have usually been cast, they held a 17-13 lead over Terry Hall, who was being represented by a Colourfield song.  A further eleven votes came in on time between Tuesday and Friday night.  Eleven absolutely crucial votes……

Match M : The Sweet 11 Orange Juice 32

Match N :  Soft Cell 23 The Breeders 18

Match O : David Bowie 25 Elvis Costello 18

Match P : The Cure 20 Terry Hall 21

I’ll add that Bill turned up to vote 90 minutes after the deadline having, unsurprisingly, fallen asleep after the England v USA match in the actual World Cup.   His vote was for Terry H, and so wouldn’t have affected the final outcome, but if he’d been in on time, the draw for the last 16 would have been slightly different…….

No rest at all for last week’s winners, as they join the previous twelve who came through the rigours of Round 2 to take their place in the last 16.

I long ago decided that the draw for this round would see the act with the highest number of votes last time out take on the act which came through with the least votes and so on… (1v16, 2v15, 3v14……..7v10, 8v9).

The song in each instance will be the first song on Side B of the ICA.

(1) Human League (ICA 228) v (16) Iggy Pop (ICA 183)

mp3 : Human League – Black Hit Of Space v mp3 : Iggy Pop – Gardenia

(2) Television (ICA 248) v (15) Terry Hall (ICA 277)

mp3: Television – Call Mr Lee v Nearly God – Bubbles *

*ICA 277 was a compilation of songs on which Terry Hall had a vocal

(3) Lloyd Cole (ICA 300) v (14) The Jam (ICA 152)

mp3: Lloyd Cole – Half Of Everything v mp3: The Jam – In The Street Today

(4) Orange Juice (ICA 219) v (13) Soft Cell (ICA 156)

mp3: Orange Juice – The Artisans v mp3: Soft Cell – Frustration

(5) John McGeoch (ICA 259) v  (12) Cinerama (ICA 296)

Propaganda – P-Machinery (beta)* v mp3: Cinerama – Wow (extended version) 

*ICA 259 was a compilation of songs on which John McGeoch played

(6)  Joy Division (ICA 160) v (11) David Bowie (ICA 284)

mp3: Joy Division – Disorder v mp3: David Bowie – Looking For Water

(7) Siouxsie & The Banshees (ICA 258) v (10) The Go-Betweens (ICA 200)

mp3: Siouxsie and The Banshees – Painted Bird v mp3: Go-Betweens – Head Full Of Steam

(8) Cocteau Twins (ICA 195) v (9) Blondie (ICA 198)

mp3: Cocteau Twins – Bluebeard v mp3: Blondie 11:59

If Bill’s votes had counted, Orange Juice would have been the #3 seed and Soft Cell would have moved up a slot to #12.  Three ties would then have been different – Orange Juice v The Jam; Lloyd Cole v Cinerama; and John McGeoch v Soft Cell.  So it goes……

Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 2nd of December. I’ll be coming towards the end of my holiday, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be still be sharp enough to bring you the results next Sunday, along with the match-ups for the quarter-finals.

Please note, the quarter-finals will be an all-in draw, rather than anything based on this week’s results.




We’ve reached 2017 in the look back at the collection of Indietracks Compilation releases.

One of the things about the various Indietracks Festivals is that the line-ups often included bands who had long broken-up but later reformed for one reason or another. Here’s some info cribbed and edited down from wiki-

“Monkey Swallows the Universe (MSTU) were an acoustic/indie band from Sheffield, who were active from 2004 to 2008.

Nat Johnson and Kevin Gori established MSTU in 2003 after meeting at the University of Sheffield. In the band’s first incarnation they both sang and played acoustic guitars, with Gori adding extra touches with instruments such as the recorder and glockenspiel. The band later expanded to include Catherine Tully on violin, Andy George on cello and Rob Dean on drums. Johnson became the main singer and songwriter. In February 2006, the band released its first album, The Bright Carvings, on the small independent record label Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation. The same year saw them record a BBC 6 Music Session for Gideon Coe, play three support shows for Richard Hawley, support The Long Blondes on five dates of a UK tour, and release two singles.

The following year, they signed to Loose Records and released the album The Casket Letters, as well as appearing at a number of outdoor festivals over the summer. At the end of 2007, they announced an indefinite hiatus, playing their last show in February 2008, after which Nat Johnson embarked on a solo career, before she reunited with Kevin Gori to form Nat Johnson and the Figureheads, who released albums on Damaged Goods Records and Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation, befire returning to a solo career in 2014.

MTSU reformed for a one-off gig at Queens Social Club in Sheffield in March 2016 to mark the 10th anniversary of the release of their first album.”

Except, it wasn’t a one-off as they were on the bill of Indietracks 2017, appearing on Sunday 30 July on the Indoor Stage.  Here’s the track which appeared on the 2017 compilation:-

mp3: Monkey Swallows The Universe – Florence

This had originally been one of the tracks on a CD single, Science, that had come out in 2006.

Here’s a couple more songs:-

mp3: Monkey Swallows The Universe – Bloodline (digital single)
mp3: Monkey Swallows The Universe – Matterhoney (from The Casket Letters)

And here’s a fun cover of a Jonathan Richman song:-

mp3: Monkey Swallows The Universe – Ice Cream Man

I’ve a feeling their show in 2017 went down well.  I’ll need to ask Aldo if he saw them.




The final instalment this week from the Indietracks Compilations sees us arrive at 2016 and a band from Barcelona.

mp3: Jessica and The Fletchers – Marble Fountain

Info is hard to come by, but I’ve been able to establish that the four-piece combo, who clearly have a great love for everything from the C86 era, consist of Jane Wildson (vocals, guitar), Antoni Amaya (keyboards/backing vocals), Aitor Bigas (bass) and Sonia Montoya (drums). 

Marble Fountain was one half of a double-A single, released in 2016 on the UK-based indie label, Market Square Records, with the other track being Crystal Tears.  Both songs were composed by Antoni Amaya. This was a year after their debut album, Connecting People, came out on the Barcelona label, Discos de Kirlian.  It must be up there for an nomination in the shortest running debut LP, with its ten tracks last a little over seventeen-and-a-half minutes. Here’s a couple of its tracks:-

mp3: Jessica and The Fletchers – My Blue Jumper
mp3: Jessica and The Fletchers – Jane’s Song

Also in 2015, the band had been one half of a split single on a Madrid-based label, Discos Walden.  The title of this one appealled to me:-

mp3: Jessica and The Fletchers – Mis Amigos Odian Talulah Gosh

I don’t know any Spanish, but I believe the translation is ‘My Friends Hate Talulah Gosh’.

Oh, and please don’t mix up today’s band with The Jessica Fletchers, a Norwegian indie-pop band who released four albums between 1997 and 2007




Now to a band I can recall seeing when they played the CCA in Glasgow in September 2019 as one of the support acts when the debut album from Broken Chanter was released.

mp3: Mammoth Penguins – When I Was Your Age

I genuinely can’t remember too much about Mammoth Penguins from that particular evening, as they didn’t leave too much of an impression on me  – I think I described them afterwards as ‘workmanlike’.

Here’s the bio from all music:-

“Featuring the matter-of-fact vocals and incisive lyrics of Emma Kupa, the Cambridge trio Mammoth Penguins play energetic, bouncy indie rock but aren’t afraid to take chances, as shown on the synth- and sample-laden concept album John Doe.

Kupa played bass and sang in the band Standard Fare, who broke up in 2013 following an eight-year run, during which they toured extensively and released two albums. After the split, Kupa pulled up stakes and moved from her hometown of Sheffield to Cambridge. Once there, she briefly pursued a solo career, recording a solo EP, Home Cinema, and a single with singer/songwriter Darren Hayman. By the time Home Cinema was ready for release in early 2015, Kupa had already lined up a new project. Taking up the guitar, she recruited bassist Mark Boxall and drummer Tom Barden to form Mammoth Penguins, a crunchier, more straight-forward take on indie rock than Standard Fare had been. Their debut single, When I Was Your Age, was released in June 2015, and an album, Hide and Seek, arrived a month later on the Fortuna POP! label.

The band returned in 2017 with the A Simple Misunderstanding single for Kingfisher Bluez; then they endeavoured to make a record that stretched their punk-pop sound. Under the name Mammoth Penguins & Friends, they recorded a concept album about a man who faked his own death and then returned ten years later. Titled John Doe, it featured contributions from Haiku Salut‘s Sophie Barkerwood (programming/samples), Russell Lomas (violin), and Alto 45‘s Joe Bear (samples/synths). The record was released in late 2017 on the wiaiwya label. This experience led the band to want to expand their sound on their next album. To that end, the trio welcomed back Bear to play a variety of keyboards and added guitarist Faith Taylor, whom Kupa played with in the band Suggested Friends. The resulting record, There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, was a hybrid of their first two and was released by Fika Recordings in early 2019.”

Just because I’m not a huge fan doesn’t make then a bad listen…..it’s very much all about taste.  Here’s a couple more tracks to help you make up your own minds.

mp3: Mammoth Penguins and Friends – The Sailor (from John Doe, 2017)
mp3: Mammoth Penguins – Closure (from There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, 2019)




We began this series in London before heading over to Oslo.  Today….it’s Bordeaux.

mp3: Watoo Watoo – Correspondance

From last fm:-

“Watoo Watoo consist primarily of Pascale & Michaël, who live in Bordeaux. Michaël usually records new songs on his computer, e-mails friends to help with the guitars, and then asks Pascale to add her lovely voice…

Over the years, Watoo Watoo have released 3 albums & 2 E.P.s on various labels throughout the world & have made appearances on an impressive number of compilations.

The music was strictly indiepop in Watoo Watoo’s early years, but now other influences have surfaced. “Felt is still an obsession but Serge Gainsbourg is also one. I also discovered a lot of new music in the last few years, so bossa beats or jazz chords sometimes subconsciously appear when I write a new song”, says Michaël.”

A look at Discogs reveals a debut EP as long ago as 1997, along with five studio LPs released between 2001 and 2018.  The track on the Indietracks compilation was on the 2014 album, Une Si Longue Attente.

Here’s some other songs:-

mp3: Watoo Watoo – Un Peu De Moi (from Un Peu De Moi, 1997)
mp3: Watoo Watoo – Perdu (from La Fuite, 2007)
mp3: Watoo Watoo – Un Lundi Comme Autre (from Uni Si Longue Attente, 2014)
mp3: Watoo Watoo – Modern Express (from Modern Express, 2018)




Today’s offering from the Indietracks 2013 compilation offers up some Scandi-Pop.

mp3: Making Marks – Ticket Machine

Making Marks formed in Oslo in 2012, with its members being Ola Innset (guitar and vocals), Nina Bø (vocals and keyboards), Marie Sneve (bass) and Jørgen Nordby (drums).

They were previously known as My Little Pony, who had released two albums in 2008 and 2011, the latter of which was called Making Marks.

The newly named band signed to the London-based Fika Recordings, with Ticket Machine being the debut single for the new label in October 2012.  One further single, Barcodes, would be issued on Fika in the summer of 2013, before debut album A Thousand Half Truths appeared in February 2014.

Going by the info out there on t’internet, the band gigged extensively across Europe in 2014, culminating in a seven-date UK tour in November, after which it appears as if they called it a day.

Here’s the other single released on Fika:, as well as a track from their only album:-

mp3: Making Marks – Barcodes
mp3: Making Marks – Lemon Sheets




Back in June, I featured a mini-series of music from compilation albums that were issued on an annual basis from 2012 to 2019 to commemorate the staging of the Indietracks festival.

It seemed to go down quite well, so much so that for the period in which I’m away sunning myself in the Caribbean, I’m going to bring it back which means it’s going to be a tad obscure, musically wise, around these parts until early December, but you still have the ICA World Cup to enjoy each Sunday.

A reminder that Indietracks was a festival of independent, creative and DIY pop music that took place in the Derbyshire countryside, with around 50 new and established artists performing across a range of stages at the festival.

Aldo was a regular, and I had promised him that once I stopped working, I’d make an effort to come along one year. Sadly, my retiral in March 2020 coincided with the first wave of COVID, and it was the ongoing ramifications of the pandemic that ultimately led to the decision by the organisers to call it a day.

Every year a download compilation album featuring bands playing at the festival was released with all proceeds going to the Midland Railway charity. I’ve downloaded each of the volumes from 2012-2019 via bandcamp, and the idea is to again share with one track per day from a singer or band yet to feature on TVV.

This, kind of appropriately titled song, is from the 2012 compilation:-

mp3: Colour Me Wednesday – Holiday From Your Life

I reckon this is a splendid piece of pop music, and given that there’s quite an extensive back catalogue out there, I’m kicking myself that I didn’t know anything till putting this piece together.

Here’s some info, edited from the wiki entry:-

“Colour Me Wednesday are an English indie pop/pop punk band from West London, built around sisters Jen and Harriet Doveton. The band are noted for their melodic guitar pop, politicised lyrics and DIY punk method, including producing their own recordings, artwork and promotional videos.

They formed in 2007, initially performing local gigs with various line-ups, and settled as a permanent band in 2009, with Danny Gardner on bass and Sam Brackley on drums. Brackley had previously played bass, with Helen Meragi on drums. They self-recorded and self-released their debut CDr EP What To Do In An Emergency that year.

In 2010 and 2011, a series of self-produced YouTube videos for tracks from their follow up Sampler EP brought them to wider attention in DIY punk and indiepop circles.

In 2012, Carmela Pietrangelo (of ¡Ay Carmela!) joined as new bassist.  In June, the band released debut single Shut as a digital download with accompanying video, taken from the album I Thought It Was Morning, released by Discount Horse Records in July. The same year, the band was invited to play the Indietracks festival in 2012 and subsequently the following year in 2013.

2014 saw the band release a split album with Spoonboy on California’s Lauren Records, supported by a US tour including appearances at Plan-It X festival and New York Popfest. A promo video was released for lead track Sugar-Coated.

In 2015, Colour Me Wednesday made a return to the Indietracks festival, joined by new drummer Jaca Freer and guitarist Laura Ankles (both also of ¡Ay Carmela!). This line-up released its first recordings in 2016 as the  Anyone and Everyone EP. The group also played at Madrid Popfest.

In 2017,  they released a new track online, a version of Demi Lovato‘s Cool for the Summer.  2018 saw the release of second album Counting Pennies in the Afterlife.”

Here’s a few more of their songs:-

mp3: Colour Me Wednesday – Shut (from I Thought It Was Dry Land, 2013)
mp3: Colour Me Wednesday – Don’t Tell Anyone (from Anyone and Everyone, 2016)
mp3: Colour Me Wednesday – Sunriser (from Counting Pennies In The Afterlife, 2018)

Sorry it’s taken so long to bring them to your attention.




I’m now in the habit of having a check on the scores at the end of Sunday night.  There were 23 votes in by midnight, as compared to 30 at the same time the previous week, which perhaps was an indication that the four ties hadn’t quite grabbed everyone’s attention as others.  Further evidence for this being the case was that none of the ties had been voted on by all who had dropped by, and indeed one tie had seen four of the initial visitors choosing to abstain.

It was also clear that two of the outcomes were going to be foregone conclusions, and to use some boxing parlance, the referee really should have stepped in early to prevent further punishment.  The votes did continue to roll in over the rest of the week (and, as ever, a huge thanks to all concerned), but compared to the previous week, it all felt like an anticlimax…..not that any of the victors are complaining!

Match I : Go-Betweens 26 Neil Young 15

Match J : Human League 37 Beastie Boys 5

Match K : Suede 15 Siouxsie & The Banshees 27

Match L : Lloyd Cole 32 The National 7

Today’s quartet features the four who got through from the seventh and eighth weeks in Round 1.  A reminder that the song up for consideration in Round 2 has always been the third track on Side A of the ICA in question.

The Sweet (ICA 313) v Orange Juice (ICA 219)

mp3: The Sweet – Alexander Graham Bell v mp3: Orange Juice – Bridge

Soft Cell (ICA 159) v The Breeders (ICA 173)

mp3: Soft Cell – The Art Of Falling Apart v mp3 : Breeders – Bang On

Elvis Costello (ICA 284) v David Bowie (ICA 284)

mp3: Elvis Costello – Hoover Factory v mp3: David Bowie – Cactus

The Cure (ICA 157) v Terry Hall (ICA 277)

mp3: The Cure – Doing The Unstuck v The Colourfield – Cruel Circus*

*ICA 277 was a compilation of various acts in which Terry had been or is involved

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 25th of November.  I’ll be away on holiday in Barbados, and will be counting the votes while sipping some sort of rum-based cocktail, while panicking that I can keep the whole shebang going just as it gets to the busiest stage!




Today’s offering is the only 45 ever released by The Submarines, courtesy of it being part of the C87 boxset, a 3 x CD compilation issued by Cherry Red in 2016.

mp3: The Submarines – Grey Skies Blue

From the accompanying booklet:-

This obscure Scottish band comprised Paul McNeil (guitar/vocals), Brian Kane (guitar), Craig Keaney (drums) and Scott Blain (bass).  The Submarines’ sole release was the wistful, Weather Prophets-ish ‘Grey Skies Blue’ (backed by the equally wonderful ‘I Saw The Children’) on Jeff Barrett‘s Head label in 1987. Sadly, it didn’t launch a glorious career and the band was no more by 1989. However, Jim Kavanagh‘s Egg label did an excellent excavation job, raiding the vaults for Telegraph Signals : Recorded Artefacts 1986-89.

The Egg label release was a CD with all ten songs ever recorded by The Submarines.  As such, I’ve been able to get a hold of the b-side of the single:-

mp3: The Submarines – I Saw The Children

Also worth mentioning that one of the tracks from the Egg compilation, found its way onto the Big Gold Dreams boxset that I’ve referred to many times throughout this series.

mp3: The Submarines – Take Me Away

Just to mention that this series is taking a short break……it certainly deserves it after 333 weeks!  I’m needing the next few Saturdays to ensure a number of scheduled and guest posts can be incorporated, but I guarantee #334 will appear early in the new year.



aka The Vinyl Villain incorporating Sexy Loser

#002 – THE B-52’s – ‚Planet Claire’ (Island Records, ’79)

Hello friends,

Let me start with another applause to JC for being so kind to feature my insufficient attempts on TVV. The truth of the matter is: I told him that I was afraid no-one would read them anyway if they were to appear on sexyloser. The audience here is much bigger, of course, which in theory should increase my chances. Well, so I thought.

But now I’m not so sure any longer. The thing is, my interest in music could easily be described as ‘old-fashioned’: people who know me and/or have read sexyloser in the past will be able to confirm this. And now we are talking about my favourite 111 singles … I mean it’s obvious that there will be a few choices which will only knock the socks off those who are very young indeed or have lived on a remote island somewhere in the Pacific since WW II!

In conclusion, there isn’t pretty much to say about today’s single, you will know it by heart. But I thought it had to be bought, because it’s one of those songs that never fail to put a smile on my face since I first heard it in the very early 80’s.

The band was founded in Athens, Georgia in 1976 and if memory serves, ‘Planet Claire’ was their third single. The beehive haircuts of the ladies (Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson) gave the band their name, because in the Southern US-states those haircuts were often compared to the front part of the Boeing B-52 bomber.

And if you, like I have always been, ever were confused why they sometimes are being referred to as ‘B-52’s’ and sometimes as ‘B-52s’: they lost their apostrophe in 2008, don’t ask me why.

Apostrophe or not, this is a neat record, and excellent for dancing in fact (not that I find myself on the dance floor all too often, basically this only happens when I’m crossing it on me way to the bar).

So here you are, an oldie but goodie if you like, some crackles here and there, but hey, the single is 43 years old!

mp3: The B-52’s – Planet Claire

All the best, enjoy,


PS: and no. It’s not, as I thought for several decades, “She drove a Plymouth Satellite / and masturbated at the speed of light” …



A Ripped and Wrinkled Life :

A Momus ICA

This ICA has been a very, very long time in the making. Back in 2017 when I was a regular but silent visitor to TVV, JC wrote about Momus’ 1988 album Tender Pervert and Jonny The Friendly Lawyer commented that “Maybe somebody with the goods can serve up an ICA so we can see what he’s all about?” I agreed wholeheartedly, but did nothing.

In 2020, the first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the early months of the UK lockdown, Momus popped up again in #213 of JC’s epic Saturday’s Scottish Song series. That’s also the go-to for an invaluable Momus bio.

A few months later, a further Momus post featured 1989’s should-have-been-a-hit single, The Hairstyle Of The Devil. I’d finally found a voice by then and had contributed my first ICA a few months previously. The post prompted a similar comment from TVV reader Yours Truly (not to be confused with yours truly, i.e. me), “I wish someone came up with a Momus ICA?” Again, I agreed wholeheartedly, but did nothing.

Part of the challenge is that I had a couple of Momus albums from his ‘classic’ period on Creation Records in the late 1980s/early 1990s, having started with the singles compilation, Monsters Of Love. I also had the Forbidden Software Timemachine double CD, compiling the “Best Of The Creation Years”. Over a hundred songs all in all, so where to begin?

It’s an understatement to say that Momus is prolific, and he’s been bringing out roughly an album each year (with the occasional break) since 1986. So a career-spanning ICA was also out of the question, not least because I haven’t been able to keep up with (or afford) that level of output.

At the tail end of 2021, I thought I’d cracked it. “Aha”, I said to myself (yes, my inner monologue had become an outer dialogue during lockdown), “I’ll just focus on Momus’ last three albums!” Three or four songs per album, ten to twelve songs in total. Bosh! ICA done.

Of course, it was never going to be that easy, not least because the sum total of the three albums is forty-seven songs. And I liked all of the songs on all of the albums. Curses!

I played around and played around with various songs and sequences, and I just couldn’t settle on a final running order. My procrastinating rolled into early 2022 and inevitably came at a cost: A new Momus album! Another eighteen songs! All of them good! Aaaaaaargh!

I’ve spent the last six months on and off, starting again with an ICA spanning the four albums, managing to whittle sixty-five songs down to twenty, nearly but not quite being able to decide on the final ICA track listing.

Yesterday (26th October)*, Momus announced a new album, his 4,017th by my reckoning. Issyvoo is out on 2nd December 2022, his second album this year. I told you he was prolific. The prospect of having to start all over again and expand the scope to include five albums was all the kick up the arse that I needed to finish this ICA.

*Note from JC : Khayem sent all this over back on 27 October, but it went missing in cyberspace!

I am under no illusion that this will be a contender for the next ICA World Cup final, but I think it provides a snapshot of how much – and how little – has changed in Momus’ world since those hazy days with Creation. And where else would you find references, often in the same song, to Eurydice, coronavirus, Sally Bowles, Lidl urinals, Orpheus, Fire Island, Romy Schneider, “goths in a holocaust”, Balthazar, Bob Dylan and Frankie Howard?!

I’ve cheated a little as this ICA has stretched to twelve songs, three per album, rather than the customary ten. It’s all wrapped up in just over twenty minutes per side, so I’ll hopefully get away with it.

In keeping with my own blog, I’ve also presented the ICA as a single, 40-minute Dubhed Selection for your listening pleasure.

Side One

1) Influencer Village (Smudger, 2022)

Watch me now one million views / Smashing all the mirrors / Click ‘like’, thumbs up and subscribe / Influencer Village

2) Zooming (Athenian, 2021)

That’s not painting, that’s body-shaming!

3) People Are Turning To Gold (Video Version ft. Janice Long) (Akkordian, 2019)

People who love money they make me sick / Praying to the god of arithmetic

4) I Got It From Agnes (Vivid, 2020)

It doesn’t matter who / It might have been at the pub / Or at the club, or in the loo

5) What The Kite Thinks (Akkordian, 2019)

Above the shaking mirror / As the world sinks

6) Horrorworld (Athenian, 2021)

Once we dreamed a smooth and a simple life / What turned up? / A ripped and a wrinkled life

Side Two

1) Friendly World (Smudger, 2022)

This world doesn’t owe you anything / No one stops you from leaving

2) Self-Isolation (Vivid, 2020)

Happy the land that doesn’t need heroes in the first place

3) Bus Inspector Bill (Athenian, 2021)

And the day that Charlie passed away Lil was there to hear him say

“I’ve been unfaithful to you in every known position, Lili dear”

She said “Charlie darling never mind, I knew it all the time

That’s why I put 9000 milligrammes of arsenic trioxide in your beer”

4) Dylanology (Akkordian, 2019)

And everybody’s laughing at the trial of Josef K / The judge keeps quoting Wilde but I’ve got better things to say

5) Friends (Smudger, 2022)

I used to respect you, yes I did / Even though you’re an obvious junkie

6) Fever Dream (Vivid, 2020)

I’m in the underworld but I’m also in my kitchen / I’m in the afterlife, but also television

Bonus) A Ripped and Wrinkled Life : The Dubhead Mix (40:42)





…..it might have sounded like this.

The words of The Robster when talking about this song as part of his outstanding Saint Etienne ICA back in November 2015.  And let’s face it, he’s spot on with that observation.

I was surprised, on two counts, about the performance of the single on its release in November 1995.  Firstly, that it achieved the highest ever singles chart placing for Saint Etienne – I was sure it must have been one of Join Our Club, Who Do You Think You Are?, or You’re In A Bad Way.

Secondly, and even more to my surprise (and indeed, shock), is that the chart position in question is #11.  I’d have put my house and my life savings on the fact that the band had enjoyed at least one Top Ten single during their existence.

The single is attributed to Saint Etienne in collaboration with Etienne Daho, a bona-fide pop legend of the French music scene whose recording career dates back to 1981 and has seen him work alongside Arthur Baker, Air, OMD,  Jane Birkin, Marianne Faithfull, Françoise Hardy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Vanessa Paradis among many others.

mp3: Saint Etienne (feat. Etienne Daho) – He’s On The Phone

The single was released in all sorts of formats – there were three different 12″ vinyl versions with a host of remixes and a couple of lengthy remixes of old songs, while 2 x CDs offered up some mixes, some otherwise unreleased songs and a couple of intriguing cover versions.  Here’s the (then) unreleased songs and covers.

mp3: Saint Etienne – Groveley Road
mp3: Saint Etienne – The Process
mp3: Saint Etienne – Is It True
mp3: Saint Etienne – How I Learned To Love The Bomb

Is It True was written by Marc Bolan but never given any proper studio recording.  It’s a home demo which was included on a posthumous release. ‘The Bomb’ is their take on a 1985 single by The Television Personalities.





Damien Jurado – All That’s Great, Good and Exasperating in a Singer-Songwriter

Hybrid Soc Prof

Your Anti-anti-intellectual Correspondent from a State Surrounded by Water

The forms of authenticity/DIY-sensibility to which musicians seem to return most regularly – as an alternative to the major label, corporate world of professional song-writing for professional singers backed by professional session players for professional producers in preparation for professionally dressed and quaffed interviews and tours supported by other professional musicians, dancers, etc. – is that of “the singer-songwriter.” Either that or it’s a form all manner of musicians with poetic aspirations, or lyricists with musical goals, find to fit well with working alone.

Too often, I equate “singer-songwriter” with folk because so often the music’s acoustic and the voice – however magnificent – apparently amateurish. Folks here have noted that I can get over-concerned with genre, guilty as charged… but, since I teach elements of this stuff most semesters, periodizations and categories seem to be the predicate of initial clarity for students before – as Donna Haraway calls it – I return to Staying with the Trouble.

Damien Jurado is definitely a singer-songwriter and every problem I have with that tradition exists in his discography. When he hits the sweet spot, his intimate, observational, empathic, lyrical intelligence swims within a vast, sparse acoustic soundscape which sometimes swells to an incrementally accelerated anthemic modality that just sucks me in.

However, in the making of this ICA, I found myself repeatedly exasperated (is that redundant?) by the extent to which Jurado has a sound, and mode of singing, and a pace of delivery that’s too consistent… at times his songs all run into one another – even the better ones. (I did have 22 songs to consider, but in gathering them and selecting among them, I often wanted to have something more specific to help me choose one over another.) The themes of place, relationships and movement are central – and evocatively presented – in Jurado’s efforts but, too often, it’s more of the same and I lose interest and find myself paying no attention to the lyrics or the music. And then the best song on whichever record it is reaches out and draws me in and I can’t pay attention to much of anything else.

Almost every record he’s generated has at least one really excellent song, but too many only have one or two… Caught in the Trees (2008) has a few, but the most consistent records are the next three: St. Bartlett (which made a good bit of noise when it was released in 2010), Mariqopa (2012) and Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son (2014). As is my wont, this ICA starts quieter and ends louder, though loud for Damien Jurado leans On the Beach more than the electric side of Rust Never Sleeps.

  1. Ohio, from Rehearsals For Departure (1999)
  2. There Goes Your Man, from And Now That I’m In Your Shadow (2006)
  3. Working Titles, from Maraqopa (2012)
  4. Rachel & Cali, from Saint Bartlett (2010)
  5. Go First, from Caught In The Trees (2008)
  6. Exit 353, from Visions of Us on the Land (2016)
  7. Silver Timothy, from Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son (2014)
  8. Sucker, from On My Way to Absence (2005)
  9. Texas To Ohio, from Where Shall You Take Me? (2003)
  10. Wallingford, from Saint Bartlett (2010)



JC writes……..

I had a post all set to go for today…..indeed I’ve a whole bundle of posts set to go for the next few weeks as I’m shortly going off for my first holiday in three years.

But an e-mail arrived yesterday that changed everything.  I think what follows will be of huge interest to a fair number of you.  Here’s the legend who is Dirk (aka Sexy Loser)


#001 – THE AKRYLYKZ – ‘Spyderman’ (Double R Records, ’80)

Hello friends,

My name may still sound familiar to some of the older readers of this great blog, if it doesn’t: no matter. Well, yes, it’s been a while, reasons were many, and I surely won’t bore you with details, but every once in a while someone came up and asked me to post a little something again. Thanks to those nice people, it really meant a lot to me! In the end it was my mate JC who convinced me to finally reappear in one form or another, he suggested to do this here at his place instead of restarting sexyloser. And as his will is my command, I’m happy to oblige …

Please bear with me when I try to explain what this series is intended to be all about, I’m trying to keep it short and simple, promised. And also I won’t explain it again, so it’s just this post which will be even more boring than the ones to follow:

As you might imagine, the last few years have not been all golden (hence my hiatus), but there was also a positive feature: I stopped smoking in the first days of January this year. Now, smoking nearly ate away all of my ‘pocket money’ (in Sexyloserland we call it ‘pocket money’, at the end of the day it is an allowance for both Mrs. Loser and me which we take off our combined wages at the beginning of each month). Basically she bought shoes and handbags, I bought Lucky Strikes.

It didn’t take all too long until I had to ask myself what to do with all the money I suddenly had. I spent a bit on clothing and red wine, but also something inside me developed a cunning plan: I want to physically own the best 77 7” singles of all time! ‘The best’ in my humble opinion, of course. A few of them I already had (the bulk I sold for cigarettes though within the years. And for new shoes for Little Loser), but most of them I had to buy on discogs.

Now, this pocket money is less than you might expect it to be, so I had to make some restrictions: I wanted to have VG+ or NM copies, if possible, but simultaneously they had to be halfway affordable. Postage these days is a pain in the arse, as you might know, and it can easily double the record’s price depending on which country you buy from. Postage is one thing, but the prices sellers want – and, apparently, get – for records which aren’t mass items, are ludicrous sometimes. I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere, i.e.: although I clearly reckon Pavement’s ‘Box Elder’ to be one of the great songs of our time, still I wouldn’t (be able to) pay € 300,- for a copy of the 7” it came with. And that’s just one of hundreds of examples I could make!!

Also I had to realize that the newer the recording was, the less record companies were willing to offer it on vinyl when it came out. Which means: a really great song, but only available on CD single = out: Pulp’s ‘Common People’ comes to mind here.

Other fabulous songs were only available on albums, but never sold as 7” singles, Mazzy Star’s ‘Blue Flower’ for example.

Also I should add that my interest in music has always been, let’s say, very much diversified. So don’t expect Indie only, that’s far from the truth. Which didn’t make it easier for me, no.

And also, as the title of this series might already have shown the more clever contingent of you, I totally failed to diminish myself to 77 singles, in fact today I received the final one by post, number 111.

But what would it all mean if I would not share them with like-minded people? Not all too much, I suppose.

Therefore, thanks again to JC for his kind offer to present this series here, I do hope it meets with your approval – the comments will tell if this is the case or not. One last thing: I will send the files to JC as superior quality rips w/ 320 kbps, still it will always be the actual single that has been ripped. And I certainly don’t have a high-end record player. So if there are crackles or background noise, then that’s the way it is. I’m sure that if you are really interested, you can easily find a better download – or buy a mint copy yourself. And finally: I will post the singles in alphabetical order. And in my world (yes, I know you think otherwise) this means that Rick Astley is filed under ‘R’, not under ‘A’.

Thanks for having read the above, I won’t go through all of this again, promised! So, let’s start with # 001, shall we?

I’ve always had an appetite for Ska. Not necessarily for Reggae, but Ska, in all its forms, appealed to me greatly. And this is not only true for second and third wave Ska, but also for early 60’s Jamaican Ska.

The problem is, you see, I’m obviously too young to have witnessed the origins, I’m even too young to have witnessed second wave Ska when it came up in Europe. I was eleven in 1979 and I was stuck in a village in the middle of nowhere, where, apart from many sheep, there wasn’t pretty much interesting going on altogether (feel free to insert any old joke about bored county youths , sheep and sexual activities here and now). Also, obviously, there was no access to the music papers, no internet and no-one to talk to: the older youths I knew by and large consisted of two groups – those who listened to the softer side of hard rock, i.e. Genesis, and the ones who listened to the harder side of hard rock, i.e. Led Zeppelin. Anything else was strictly verboten to them musically, so hard rock was all that I got to hear back then.

Consequently it took me another three or four years before I got into Ska, although in 1983 the bands I first found (The Specials, The Selecter, Madness, The Beat , UB40 and Bad Manners) were more or less already dead … again, as with Punk, I came too late!

But still I never stopped searching for more, and people who lost interest after the ‘big’ names disappeared without a trace, will most likely never have heard of the first record in this series.


mp3: The Akrylkyz – Spyderman

The point I was trying to make is: The Akrylykz are just one of the bands from that era, who, despite of never having had big success, are simply wonderful. Listen to the tune, and you’ll see what I mean.

Second wave Ska came up in Coventry, The Akrylykz though came from Hull of all places. The band consisted of Roland Gift (vox, tenor sax), Steve Pears (vox, tenor sax), Stevie “B” Robottom, (vox, alto sax, keys), Piotr Swiderski (drums) and Michael “Fred” Reynolds (bass)). And yes, if the name Roland Gift sounds familiar to some of you, it’s him of Fine Young Cannibals fame!

Originally they were called The Acrylic Victims, as a reference to the acrylic paint use in the art school. Later they changed this to The Akrylyk Vyktymz, but soon the name was abbreviated to The Akrylykz.

By mid ’79 the band had built up a considerable fanbase in Yorkshire and they were getting some seriously big gigs supporting the likes of the Specials, the Beat, UB40, the Clash, Bad Manners, Madness, etc. This lead Red Rhino Records to have the first single released on their Double R label in 1980. Not very much later, Polydor came up with a second single, ‘J.D.’.

The Akrylykz split in 1981, without any album of theirs ever to see the light of day. A real shame, because as far as I’m concerned, even if a handful of tunes would have reached the level that ‘Spyderman’ has reached, a potential album would surely have been a masterpiece!

If only I could understand the lyrics of ‘Spyderman’, I would be a happy man indeed. If you native speakers have a few minutes to kill, feel free to help me, okay?

Until then, enjoy!




Last week’s pairings delivered a match-up for the ages, along with another tie that was close throughout for the most part.  The other two games, while not exactly being blow-outs, saw a couple of substantial early leads that were never in much danger.

At 10pm (UK time) on the Sunday evening, just 16 hours after polling had opened, I did a quick count for all four games. Television and John McGeoch both held identical leads of 20-10 over their opponents.  Only a further 18 set of votes came in through to Friday night, and the gaps never closed (not everyone cast four votes!)

Match E : Television 33 Buddy Holly 13

Match F : Beatles 16 John McGeoch 31

It was Northern Ireland v Scotland in Match G.  Ash v Cocteau Twins, and at the first count, it was a 15-14 lead for Scotland.  The next few days saw Northern Ireland slowly run out of steam, giving a final result of:-

Match G : Ash 20  Cocteau Twins 27

And so, to Liverpool v Leeds.   The Bunnymen had racked up the most points in Round 1, and with a singles-heavy ICA to fall back on, could very much be regarded as one of the favourites.  But in this round, a live cover version was the song for consideration, and as DAM observed in his comments (he was 26th to cast his votes)

“Looks like the Bunnymen have done the equivalent of playing the under 23s, assuming that they will need the big guns later. But on this showing, they could be heading for a fall.”

Cinerama‘s effort had a bit of the continental flair about it, and was picking up a fair few votes….but given they had initially qualified in 6th place from the same group the Bunnymen had won, and in Round 1 had got through by 26-7 when the Bunnymen had triumphed 33-4….it seemed an awful lot to overcome.

Sunday night.  The score was tied at 15-15.  24 hours later, it was 20-19 to Liverpool.

By the time I woke up on Tuesday morning, two more votes had come in.  It was now 21-20 to Leeds.  Tuesday itself saw it move out to a 23-21 lead for Cinerama. No votes arrived on Wednesday or Thursday, but I was waiting on the final flurry on Friday with a great amount of anticipation.

Both picked up one vote each while I was asleep, meaning it was soon 24-22.  The next vote came in at 12.42pm and made it 24-23.

Hamirthehermit dropped by  5.50pm.  As ever, he offered up a commentary on each of his selections. As far as the nail-biter went…..

‘Have a lot more favourite songs by Cinerama than the Bunnies. And I’m not a fan of the Stones.  But a good cover of a good song takes it this round.  Echo & The Bunnymen’.

That made it 24-24

Earlier in the day, thinking that there might eventually be a tie, I had come up with a possible way out of any such impasse.

I made good on a long-time commitment to meet up with Comrade Colin on Friday afternoon.  At one point over our second coffee/diet cola, I mentioned the Bunnymen v Cinerama match-up and asked him that in the event of it finishing in a tie, which of the two songs he would have voted for.

In effect, I was appointing him as the VAR, if required.

But would it come down to that? Midnight came and went……..

Match H : Echo and The Bunnymen 24 Cinerama 24

Cinerama won the penalty shoot-out…….courtesy of Comrade Colin’s preference.

For what it’s worth, if I had been voting, I’d have gone for the Bunnymen on the basis of me seeing them play a storming version of Paint It Black at the Glasgow Barrowlands back in 1985 that has long-lived in the memory. But having decided how the call should be made, my huge thanks to the Comrade for helping out.

After all that, it’s time to turn our attention to today’s quartet, featuring the four who got through from the fifth and sixth weeks in Round 1.  A reminder that the song up for consideration in Round 2 will always be the third track on Side A of the ICA in question.  Will there be any drama?

The Go-Betweens (ICA 200) v Neil Young (ICA 259)

mp3: The Go-Betweens – The Clock v mp3 : Neil Young – Sugar Mountain (live)

Human League (ICA 228) v Beastie Boys (ICA 285)

mp3: Human League – Sound Of The Crowd (complete) v mp3 : Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise

Suede (ICA 209) v Siouxsie & The Banshees (ICA 258)

mp3: Suede – The Big Time v mp3: Siouxsie & The Banshees – Playground Twist

Lloyd Cole (ICA 300) v The National (ICA 243)

mp3: Lloyd Cole – Weeping Wine v mp3 : The National – I Need My Girl

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 18th of November.




I have but one song from today’s band, courtesy of its inclusion in the 5xCD Big Gold Dreams box set, issued by Cherry Red Records in 2019. so I have to rely on the info provided within the accompanying booklet:-

Close your eyes, and you could be in a Hamburg cellar club circa 1958, listening to the slicked-back sounds of Styng Rytes, led by vocalist George Miller, aka Kaiser George. This debut three-track EP tapped into a then burgeoning wave of retro rock and roll and garage band psychobilly, which retained a vintage purity through frenetic live shows. Miller kept up appearances with his next band The Kaisers, who released umpteen records over their decade-long existence, and continues to do so with The New Piccadillys.

mp3: The Styng Rytes – Baby’s Got A Brand New Brain

The EP came out on the band’s own Snaffle Records in 1985.  The following year would see the release of a second EP, Night Cruising, issued on DDT Records, which was based in Edinburgh.