Rockin with the Renees + the Silly Egg EP (Abstract)
In 1983 NME called them "hilarious cartoon deadbeat sleaze," but when Paula Richards sings, "We're the Renees, here we come/ 1-2-3 and up yer bum!" she means it. The Gymslips were like the British Tuscadero, or Gina Birch's little sisters, or the Go-Gos before their record deal, sugar bath and makeover. IRS never let Belinda Carlisle sneer, "Get drunk! Get smashed! Get pissed! Get fat!" and, "Some boys just don't understand/ that some girls do it pretty good," meaning, um, doing it. This is Oi! at its playful, non-fascist best, exploring advice columns, plastic surgery, Barbara Cartland's mansion and the comforts of pie 'n mash ("it's working class!").
The Tuna Helpers - I'll Have What She's Having (Mimicry)
Tori? Siouxsie? Throwing Muses? Coming up with sound-a-likes for the Tuna Helpers is like watching the State of the Union address; you could do it, but what would be the point? Besides, they really don't sound like anyone else. The Helpers are the awesomely-named Australian sisters Adrienne and Bethany Sneed and drummer Khattie Quinones. They will be touring the Western part of the US this month behind I'll Have What She's Having, leaving a trail of stripey stockings, dolls parts and stuffed rabbits in their wake. Break open yr glass unicorn bank for show money and catch them if you can.
Something borrowed (from Jon)
Magazine - Real Life (Caroline)
The sound of first wave UK punk in transition. Howard Devoto stayed in the Buzzcocks just long enough to co-write "Orgasm Addict" and the Spiral Scratch EP before starting the slightly artier and poppier Magazine, which spat in the eyes of genre-mongers by being resolutely punk, post-punk and new wave at the same time. "The Light Pours Out of Me" thunders and shimmers and spews lightning bolts, prophesying the imminent rise of a band whose name has become increasingly difficult to drop without sounding like a tool (starts with "Joy," ends with "Division"). "My Tulpa" is the best queer S&M anthem you've never heard: "You can touch yourself anytime/ I am so wretched--you are so fetching/ Stop smiling at me--treat me unpleasantly." For real.
Vincent Delerm - s/t (tot Ou tard)
Delerm's enunciation is so slow and crystalline you can use it to teach yrself French! Or at least, learn how to sound real, real suave and whisper things like, "J'espere qu'y aura des elephants," which I think basically means, "I hope that it will have elephants." Don't we all? Most tracks are hushed and stately and wistful--so much so that even when the piano kicks up-tempo they keep a patina of sadness to them, as if recorded inside an empty cabaret where all of the bar stools are knocked over and the counter is sticky with spilled wine. But his newer CD has a song on it called "Veruca Salt et Frank Black." !