It’s getting colder and damper in NYC. It darkens by 4:00pm.

I’m very busy lately. It’s hard to find some time to dedicate to one of my loves: indiepop.

But I want to recommend some music that’s been sent my way in the last couple of weeks. A bunch of exciting new bands have appeared and I’m pretty impressed by what I hear. Perhaps 2015 won’t be as bad as 2014? Listening to these songs I feel there’s a good chance that we’ll have a good year or record buying, record releasing and gig attending.

The first release I want to recommend is a split tape on Tigre Discs from Spain. I’m not much into cassettes. I have said this a million times. So the plan for now will be to get the tape and MP3s. I’m no fan of MP3s either. But what can you do. You have to understand the economy of indiepop too. The bands that are included in this split are Jessica & the Fletchers from Barcelona and The Prams from NYC.  Jessica & the Fletchers (Fletcher because of Amelia Fletcher obviously), are a young band from Spain that includes members from Pacifico, Univers and Papa Topo. Quite a super group. My favourite song is a classic of theirs, one that I listened in a lo-fi recording on their demo that they handed me at Madrid Popfest two years ago, the song is called “Amelia (te queremos igual)”. On top of that I’ve spotted Toni on a band photo with a Cloudberry shirt. What’s not to like? 😉
On the other hand The Prams is a duo formed by Matthew and Victoria. Victoria is known for being the vocalist of Franny & Zooey, the Dominican band, and Matthew has been recording under Secret Beach. Matthew is actually my neighbor. Lives three houses down across the street. He has a very nice collection of female indiepop 7″s, Dolly Mixture, The Avocados, Girls at Our Best, and more. They’ve recorded some great songs indeed, a bit different from their other projects, and I recommend especially the song “Mess”, a cracker.

Then this week I got an email from Pretty Sad who are releasing an album on Shelflife next year. They are promoting a digital only EP on soundcloud at the moment. Again, let’s understand the economy. These three songs would be super fabulous on a 7″ indeed, but here’s hoping that the 4 songs get included at least as bonus tracks on the CD version of the album. It should be done. They are beautiful songs, where “Wish You Knew”, is indeed lovely. Funny though the little info says that the band is scattered “all throughout Europe (Scotland, Denmark and the UK)” call me a geography nerd, but isn’t Scotland still part of the UK? In any case, I get that chilly Denmark vibe in the songs. Perhaps in the bass? Three very strong songs that remind me of Champagne Riot, My Favorite and The Bridal Shop.

Next songs I got on my mail were from the new EP by Tempura Nights. Australia’s Tempura Nights has in their ranks the lovely Alice who used to be in one of my favourite bands from the last couple of years, Go Violets (who I still dream of re-releasing their EP on vinyl). There are four songs on the new EP, “Brainroof”, “Child Model”, “Jonas the Sandman” and “RIP Chix”. This is a bit of a departure from the sugar coated Go Violets, but is still top quality pop! This has much more distortion! It’s noisier! Perhaps a bit like September Girls? I really like the poppier “RIP Chix”, that has even a promo video!, and the spooky “Brainroof”.

Then another of my favourite bands of the last year, Desperate Journalist, that I discovered back in April thanks to the great Arnar in GBG as he was sporting their white cat t-shirt, are releasing a new album. At this time it’s available only digitally at the moment. But if we wait until January there will be a vinyl and CD version. They are promoting the new album with a promo video for the song “Control”. Needless to say it’s fantastic. Another band I dream putting out even though the sound perhaps it’s not really Cloudberry-like. The album is out on a “bigger” label, Fierce Panda, and should be easily found in any store, even Amazon I think. Now I only hope they come and play NYC Popfest next year!

And lastly I got a download link from my good friend Giorgos of The Occasional Flickers with their new album. As a long long fan of his band I can say his new work is definitely one of his best. Such a great songwriter, always touching interesting topics, wish he was a bit more recognized out there (why didn’t he play Indietracks this year?). The album I believe will be called “Sleep and the Time in Between”. Perhaps the name has to do with his daughter Flora who is still very very young? Maybe lots of sleepless night? Seems like yesterday the first time we started talking. We got introduced through Dimitra. She knew I love Greek indiepop. Giorgos was still living in Greece. Now of course he is settled in Edinburgh. It makes sense, him being such a fan of Scottish pop. Or the time Miguel and me visited Ola and him on my first visit to Scotland. We had gyros at a tiny place called Palmyra. Of course later he would take me to have proper haggis and cullen skink. And then when we went all the way to Loch Ness and Inverness. Good times my friend.  This is definitely a lovely album, will be one of my contenders for 2015 when it gets released.


Back in the day there was a fanzine in France called Tea Time.  I wasn’t around. The year was 1992. Does anyone remember it? It was the sixth number of the fanzine and it seems this was the first time they were releasing a flexi with it.

They “created” a label for this release. They called it Encore. Their first flexi, catalog ENCORE001, was single-sided and included two bands: Stereolab and Guitare Boy. No, our obscure band won’t be Stereolab.

I haven’t been able yet to buy the record. It’s a bit expensive because of the Stereolab connection, that’s obvious. $25+ for a flexi is always a bit too much in my book. Especially also because I only care for the song by Guitare Boy. It’s not that I don’t like Stereolab, I do, but I find more interesting the smaller bands, the underdogs, you know.

My friend Toni says they sound like Poprace, the “other” band of the Acid House Kings in the early 90s. I can see that definitely.

Stereolab contributes two songs, “XXX000” and “High Expectations (demo)”. Guitare Boy, paying it’s dues, only has one, the gorgeous “Golden Bike”.

It’s a beautiful song, with distorted guitars, heartfelt lyrics, that reminds me a of a lot of Summershine bands of the period.

The information about this flexi and this band is almost none on the web. We know that Tea Time was based in Arreadon, in France. That’s Brittany. The only person from Brittany that likes pop would be Thomas from Pale Spectres. It also seems a very isolated place to harbour any indiepop fans. Mysteries of the world.

There’s an insert that comes with the flexi as someone has kindly scanned it on Discogs. In it, Guitare Boy thanks Manu and Arny. I want to think Guitare Boy are French. It would make sense. Where from? Perhaps from Brittany too?

This insert includes the lyrics for their song that starts in very Another Sunny Day fashion, “Girl can you see, the handsome boy with golden bike”.

A lovely lovely song that leaves me wondering if they ever recorded any other songs. Would be fantastic to listen to them! And hey, if anyone has any spare copies that would like to trade or sell me for a reasonable price, let me know! Would love to have a proper spin at home!


Guitare Boy – Golden Bike


So close to March. So close of me being 30. It’s an interesting feeling. I did want to celebrate happily and in a special way my 29th birthday, because in my mind it was the last year of my youth. For my 30th I haven’t planned much aside from organizing something with friends and beers, like if I’m not that excited to reach the big thirty. Which is kind of dumb perhaps, I remember Nana’s 30th party in Hamburg, one of the best nights in my life, and most possibly one of the best ones for her definitely. That night is for me legendary now, including the best crowd and the best music you could think of. Why didn’t I copy and organize something like that? I want to blame it to me being lazy, not wanting to spend my birthday organizing something and taking care of things, of bands, of sound systems, and stuff. I wanted not to worry. Maybe this is a trait of me becoming older? Being a bit more selfish in that sense? I wonder.

Also I have to say I’m not that keen on DJing anymore. It’s more fun to dance. Of course, you need a person with fantastic taste so I can dance like a madman, one that plays the songs that “talk about my life”.  I have friends that can do that, friends with pristine taste. Not that many in New York, true, but nonetheless, I could enjoy a night of cheesy songs too. My love for Roxette or Vengaboys is something I’ve never hid. The only DJ gig that I still want to do is the one at Indietracks. I know that it will be hard for me to be picked, especially for my now famous and also uncomfortable indiepop militant stand, but I trust that it will happen. I’ve always delivered dancing and stomping dancefloors. One of the things I’m proud of.

And talking about being proud of, today I announced a new release on the label. Though the band made a comeback two years ago this is their recording comeback, with new songs. I’m talking of stuff of indiepop legend, of indiepop history, of indiepop heroes. I’m talking about a 4 song 7″ vinyl EP by the might THE HAYWAINS!!!!

Albeit I knew about this release for some months now, we kept it secret until now, especially as the date of the release date is on May 30th, the day of a very important gig for them! The information and a pre-order button are now up on the Cloudberry site. The 7″ EP includes the songs:
a1. It’s Time We Stopped Pretending
a2. Badgerline Day Return
b1. The Rebels With Good Intentions
b2. Let’s Twist! (The Knife In My Heart)

An interesting fact for you all: ‘Badgerline Day Return’ is a song the band were playing live back in 1989. The song never got recorded at the time, yet it remained one of The Haywains favourites, and it has at last being recorded!

To my surprise the music doesn’t sound like what many of you might expect: “mature and boring”. It sounds fresh! It sounds like if The Haywains had never left. This sounds circa 1991. Glory days! Just give it a try, you can download the first song of the record from our site. And on our Soundcloud you can listen to “Badgerline Day Return.”

I’m so very happy to announce this record, and I hope you all love it! It will be our last 500 copy 7″ too, because after it we’ll be making smaller numbers to catch up with these modern times. So kind of a landmark this Haywains return.

I can’t explain the excitement I feel. I’ve been a Haywains fan for years. Tracking all their releases. I traveled all the way to Spain to see them at Madrid Popfest last year, and what a concert it was. They were so true to their hearts. I had to fight and push to get their setlist. It was amazing! And to remember the day in Bristol, at the Mother’s Ruin, at a Big Pink Cake party, when I met Paul Towler for the first time. For a few minutes. So long ago. And having worked twice with him in his other project, The Westfield Mining Disaster, to now being able to release one of my favourite bands from the period. This is why I love having a label, this is why I love indiepop, because things like these happen!


Changing a bit the subject now, the classic obscure band of the week section. The one that half of the readers care for (ha ha ha).

We stay in the UK. But exactly where inthe UK, I don’t know. Playing Soldiers they didn’t release anything, but the one song on a compilation. The compilation I’m talking about was “Shift the Shift” and was released in 1984 by Shift Records. Here is the first clue perhaps, it says that the whole record was rorded at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh but track B6 recorded at Berkeley St. Studios. Track B6 was by one Robert Henry.

I don’t own the compilation yet, but the prices don’t seem expensive, so I might as well get it after finishing writing this blog post. I’m curious though if it’s worth it. I don’t know the rest of the bands but Chewy Raccoon. They are alright, guitar pop, but wouldn’t say indiepop really. You can listen to one of their songs here. Chewy Raccoon released a 12″ with this label in 1985 (Shift 003).

This compilation came out in 1984 and was the first release of the label, being catalog SHIFT 001. What was SHIFT 002? I have no clue. The other bands in this label sampler were: Mo and The Souvenirs, West of Sunset, Earthworks, Simone Lahbib, Anne Turner, and the aforementioned Robert Henry.

The song that Playing Soldiers contributed to this compilation was “Thought for Walking”. It was the fifth track on the A side. From the credits we learn that Playing Soldiers were Gordon Keen, Jim Lambie, Mark Tuffley, Nick Quail and Stephen Davis. Not sure which instruments each of them played. It doesn’t say on the back sleeve photo of them.

The only other song I know by them is a better one, “Corner of My Mind”. This should have been their single I’d say. This song I first heard on Myspace some time  ago, and I grin seeing it in that monolithic site. It’s a fantastic piece of jangle, ahead of the game, ahead of their C86 peers. Somewhere in between The Room and The High Five perhaps?! Timeless pop that has been lost in time. Judge for yourself!


Seems I didn’t do my homework that well. My friend Andreas from Hamburg just pointed me that:

Playing Soldiers predated BMX Bandits, The Soup Dragons, Boy Hairdressers, Teenage Fanclub, Captain America and Eugenius:

Gordon Keen – Playing Soldiers, BMX Bandits, Captain America, Eugenius (see also http://www.discogs.com/Gordon-Keen-And-His-BMX-Bandits-Gordon-Keen-And-His-BMX-Bandits/master/252839 and http://zenandjuice.com/music/teenage_fanclub/text/bmxbandits.txt)

Jim Lambie – Playing Soldiers, The Boy Hairdressers, Jim Lambie (solo, one 7″)

Nick Quail – Playing Soldiers, The Soup Dragons, BMX Bandits, Teenage Fanclub


Playing Soldiers – Corner of My Mind


Would you say there’s an indiepop revival? Band-wise I would say definitely not. I don’t see the same amount of bands that were appearing in 2007-2008. And if we don’t care about quantity, then quality, I would say it doesn’t compare either. There are fantastic bands these days but they are a handful. Same with labels. Whereas back then new labels were appearing all the time, from DIY CD-Rs to small runs of vinyl, these days there are no more than 5 or 6 bonafide indiepop labels, and the trend is for them to disappear, not much of new ones appearing all of a sudden.

But there’s an interesting fact that I’ve noticed in the last two years or so. And that has to do with documenting indiepop. Sure I’ve been doing this blog for so many years now, trying to do my part in a small scale, but I’m talking of other people doing it in a much larger scale. I’m talking about books and documentaries.

Truth to be told none of these projects have anything to do with each other. For example the release of Morrissey’s Autobiography doesn’t have any sort of link to “Yeah Yeah Yeah” by Bob Stanley (though of course Moz is mentioned in this book). To me though, the interesting fact is that these two books, and other ones too, are being published in this same timeframe, in this 2013-2014 sort of guitar pop rediscovery.

It was just a couple of days ago that I watched on Netflix the Creation Records documentary. Aptly titled “Upside Down”, it was pretty enlightening to me. I didn’t know much of the story behind the label though I was very knowledgeable of their catalog especially the 80s period. Of course I enjoyed watching it, and even though so many bands are not mentioned much like The Jasmine Minks or The Bodines, it’s cool to see Douglas from BMX Bandits, or Joe McAlinden from Superstar/Groovy Little Numbers, giving their two cents about the rise and fall of one of the best labels of our era. The indiepop connection was all over the place. It was so refreshing to hear people mentioning The Pastels, The Shop Assistants, Television Personalities and more.

Another book that came out not so long ago is the one called “A Scene in Between”. In due honesty I don’t think the book adds much to the conversation. And although it’s beautifully done, with great pictures that document the era, similar pictures have been seen before and text-wise, content-wise, I was left a bit empty. There are a couple of interviews that don’t say that much, interviews that might as well appeared on any blog. But there’s something that struck me about the book. It is pretty popular. A friend of mine even picked it up at the MOMA store. And that made me happy. So at last the likes of Edwyn Collins, Phil Wilson, Stephen Pastel and other heroes of us all, were easily available for people. That’s a big success. I wouldn’t have ever thought that the fashion twist of indiepop would be so appealing!

Not so long ago it was announced that the Sarah Records book, written by Michael White (who has written a bunch of liner notes for Cherry Red indiepop reissues), found a publisher. This is definitely another triumph for indiepop. A hopeful like me would think that if publishers are willing to publish the story of a small-ish label (let’s be honest, Sarah is great but when it comes to sale or popularity, books about say Creation make more sense for a publisher), maybe smaller publishers would also be interested in say the story of other labels? What about the story of El? or Siesta? or Pink?

There’s another project that seems will see the light of day this year, and is also Sarah related. The Sarah Records documentary is supposed to screen this year for the first time. It’s been many years in the making, possibly the idea of making it even comes back from that first wave of indiepop excitement I was talking about, the one from 2007-2008. I wouldn’t be surprised. I remember seeing the girl making the documentary interviewing a bunch of friends at Indietracks. That must have been either 2009 or 2010. I can’t recall. But it was quite some time ago. It’s really interesting that both book and documentary will be out soon, complimenting each other perhaps, but at the same time it could be pretty interesting as they hopefully have different points of views as they have been crafted by two totally different people. Let’s wait and see.

This documentary will be a very welcome addition to the documentaries about Creation, Dolly Mixture, The Magnetic Fields and the BMX Bandits, that have been made in the last couple of years. (Actually today Wednesday – I started writing this yesterday – I got an email from Lucy asking for a little help contacting an 80s indiepopper! Made me happy to help!)

For me though the best book I’ve read about POP! lately is the Bob Stanley’s one. Sure it doesn’t talk that much about indiepop, just a couple of pages. But the whole thing is enlightening, it explains you how we got from point A to point B and then point C, in Pop history. Everything was connected. And this huge book, this huge undertaking of St Etienne’s man, opened my eyes in many ways. It also made me think that indiepop might need a similar book, a book that recalls the whole story of indiepop, from how it started up to this day. It definitely is a difficult thing to do, for example a lot of bands’ stories are forgotten forever, we only remember the songs. But if efforts are made to scratch the surface, write a whole book on Sarah Records, why not go deeper at some point, and write the whole story of indiepop? True it is a lot of effort, and work, but how important would it be for future generations to understand how we came up to this point.

I also want to mention the Scared to Get Happy box set on Cherry Red. Though it doesn’t compare at all with the quality and the excitement of The Leamington Spa Series on Firestation, and I admit not even listening to most of the songs as they were the “same old”, it includes a little treasure, something very worthy. Guess what? It’s the booklet that is for me that has the big value of this release. Here there are a hundred of little biographies of bands from the period covered in the release. This is invaluable information, and it only reaffirms the fact that all of these sort of releases, retrospectives and such, really deserve quality liner notes. There’s no way around it. I feel sad when I see some low-budget releases for many of these great 80s bands, or 90s bands, that barely have the tracklist and nothing else. Not even credits, or photos of the band. What kind of release is that?

In the meantime, I salute all these efforts, and even if I’m a fan or not of them, all of them are contributing in having a real tangible document of the existence of indiepop, something I’ve been hoping for years now. And I thank all of the people behind them as well, because I know they are passionate fans, and they are doing a big thing for our small scene!

(EDIT – Just got to know there’s a book coming up by Simon Goddard about the Postcard label! It’s called “Och Aye the Noo Wave: The Preposterous Story of Postcard Records” and it’s being published in April.  This reminds me of….
That there’s also a documentary about the Scottish scene that I forgot to mention -my bad!- called “Songs From Northern Britain – The Sound of Young Scotland” that will be privately screened in October this year and who is co-directed by Erik from Wake the President).


Today I want to introduce you to one of the scarcest and possibly obscurest indiepop records. It’s a 7″ that I know absolutely nothing as I’ve never seen one. It’s by a band called Three Dancers and included just two songs: “Seventeen” and “It Doesn’t Matter.”

Will it be a safe guess that the band name comes from Picasso’s painting of the same name? Let’s check what wikipedia has to say about this famous work of art:
The painting shows three dancers, the one on the right being barely visible. A macabre dance takes place, with the dancer on the left having her head bent at a near-impossible angle. The dancer on the right is usually interpreted as being Ramon Pichot, a friend of Picasso who died during the painting of Three Dancers. (Some critics believe it could well be Picasso’s wife Olga Khokhlova.) The one on the left is claimed to be Pichot’s wife Germaine Gargallo with the one in the centre being Gargallo’s boyfriend Carlos Casagemas, also Picasso’s friend. Casagemas shot himself after failing to shoot Gargallo, twenty-five years before Pichot’s death, and the loss of two of his best friends spurred Picasso to paint this chilling depiction of the love triangle.

There is a copy for sale now on Discogs for 265 euros. If anyone can afford it. Ships from Czech Republic of all places. Not a common place for obscure indiepop records. But who knows. The information Discogs has about the record shows that it was released in 1987 by Dilettante Disques (catalog 007). This is quite interesting as I’m not aware of any other releases in this label.

The only true fact is that the A side, “Seventeen”, is one of the finest slices of indiepop. It feels timeless and classic. It does have vocals that can remind you of Edwyn, but the music is like the one Reserve, Holyday Makers, or even Bob was doing at the time. It’s such a great record that no wonder it is sought after. I dream of one day having it of course. Anyone know anything else by them?!


Three Dancers – Seventeen



Welcome to another exciting blog post at the most amazing indiepop blog of the galaxy. What do we offer you? The latest reviews of the latest MP3s of the coolest labels that will link us to their facebook page. Some years ago we used to receive some free physical records from labels but these days we are so content with an MP3 and a mention. We’ll copy/paste some press release. In a best case scenario, if we are feeling terribly excited about your music we’ll write some lines about your band telling how original you are but at the same time mentioning four or five influences we think you have so it’s easier for people to try and download you and them at the torrents and p2p secret networks. Why not, that’s the future isn’t it?

What’s new? We have two new releases for you. Because Cloudberry living now at the city that never sleeps, well, we don’t sleep either. This month we come with two new 7″s, one by Greek, by way of Edinburgh-Scotland, band The Occasional Flickers and Tokyo’s Boyish. I’ve talked a bunch about both bands and both records in the blog so I’ll spare you about that this time. The important news is that you can order them both right now and I’ll ship them to you immediately. The official release date for the Flickers was the 15th and for Boyish the 30th, but they are already at home waiting to be sent to a new home.

This week I received the last Kill People You Like fanzine. You can see some photos of how gorgeous it is here. Not much on it written, but design-wise, passion-wise, and craftmanship-wise, this is a must have. Included two is a unmissable CD with lots of great tracks, many of them exclusive to this release. Among my favourites on the CD are the Flowers and Eva & John songs. Also there’s a mini-zine I wrote for them that for some reason I wrote in Spanish. I thought as the people behind the fanzine were Mexican, well I better write it in Spanish. They were so kind though to save me the trouble and they translated the whole thing for me before publishing! At the time I’m writing this the zine might be already sold out but I believe some mailorders may have some copies (?).

New York now is a bit quieter after the demise of Dominican indiepop stalwarts Franny & Zooey. It’s been a bunch of months that I’ve had a share of indiepop in the city, going to many venues just following this quintet. Yesterday JJ, the guitar player, left for Santo Domingo until probably next year, so no indiepop for us in the city for a while. Their last show happened on Wednesday and it was quite a success even though the venue, The Flat, behaved really like assholes. And not only was their lack of help but their crazy prices for beers. I’ve never seen a place selling a Bud for $6. Not even in Manhattan. The good news about this gig was that it was the American debut of Astrid’s Northern Spies. If you read the blog now and then you’d know that she comes from Sweden and played at one of the train shows at Indietracks. This time she was a little less talkative (fair enough there were less people as she was opening at 8:00pm), but again she dazzled us with her amazing voice. It’s always a treat to listen to her songs. I was very happy to have skipped everything I had to do this day just to be able to be on time.

But before I stop writing this “short” post in a very busy week, I want to salute team Indietracks for announcing that the festival will be back next year!! Yes! So July 25 to the 27. Have you marked your calendars? I hope so. I plan going for my fifth year in a row. This time I will go back to the Alfreton Travelodge, like the first two years! Back to that seedy Little Chef for breakfast, to that picnic table at the entrance to share wine with Andreas and Nana, to have beers there with the French and the Swedes. Exciting times ahead! Book your hotels soon because it seems all prices are going up! I got a double room for 96 pounds. These days it seems they are going for 130 pounds or so. The Premier Inns are going crazy and charging almost 300 pounds for their Ripley location. What will you do? I hope you don’t end up camping!

The important thing is, you better come! And which bands will play? No announcements yet, but if I’m allow to guess the obvious, I think The Flatmates will play, don’t you think?


Today I fly all the way to Australia. Where exactly? I don’t know. Or to be more exact, I don’t remember as I was once in touch with Kieren Fitzpatrick from the band but those were the days of Myspace and well, all that correspondence between us is lost in the midst of a Myspace inbox.

It was back in 2009 when I contacted him trying to find more information about his old band Love Minus Zero. It was the days when I wanted to do that sort of Australian “Sound of Leamington Spa” series. As I’ve said many times it didn’t happen because Egg Records wanted to do it and I didn’t want to clash with anyone. I can be very diplomatic. In any case I did ask Kieren to do an interview for the blog, I wrote some questions but sadly I never got any answers. What I did get were a bunch of unreleased songs that sounded amazing.  The songs were:

– Whose Side are You On (demo 1988)
– Then It’s Gone (demo 1988)
– Porcelain (demo 1988)
– That Brings Me Down (unreleased single 1989)
– No Tomorrow (unreleased single 1989)
– Mary (unreleased single 1989)

If there were more unreleased recorded songs by Love Minus Zero I wouldn’t know. But these sounded great.

The first time I ever head them was through the song “Fade Away” that was included in a Waterfront Records compilation called On The Waterfront (catalog DAMP 31). On that compilation it was the A3 track, and the A4 track was also theirs, it was “Into the Night”. The credits for these songs according to Discogs are:

Bass: Gregory Kasch
Drums: Je Genua
Guitar, Vocals: Kieren Fitzpatrick
Guitar: Michael Royce

I sadly don’t own either this compilation or the one record they released. It seems not too difficult to track their 12″ and I should try to get it on my next paycheck. It was an eponymous EP released in 1988 on the Green Fez label (catalog FEZ 308). Credits as follow:

Artwork By – Jane Cameron
Bass, Vocals – Gregory Kasch
Engineer – Tom Colley
Guitar [Guest Musician] – Brad Fitzpatrick, Michael Royce
Piano, Organ [Hammond] [Guest Musician] – Damon Giles
Producer – Love Minus Zero, Tom Colley
Trumpet [Guest Musician] – Peter Dudman
Vocals, Drums – Joe Genua*
Vocals, Guitar, Twelve-string Guitar – Kieren Fitzpatrick
Written-By – Love Minus Zero

From the guest musicians we gather:
– Brad Fitzpatrick seems to have been involved in The Bam Balams too. I assume he is Kieren’s brother (?). If so, they were based in Sydney and so can it be safe to assume Love Minus Zero hailed from that same town? I think so.
– Damon Gilles is better known for have been part of The Moffs who recorded many records under their 60s sound being my favourite “Another Day in the Sun

And the tracklist was:
A1 Wondering Why
A2 I Am Your Friend
A3 I Believe
B1 Beware
B2 Come On

All different songs from the Waterfront Records compilation. That’s why perhaps Kieren wanted to release some sort of album when I was in touch with him.

There’s also another Love Minus Zero track on yet another Waterfront compilation. On Waterfront catalog DAMP 43, on the “On the Waterfront Volume 3” compilation the song ‘Wondering Why’ was included. But this is just the same as the one in the EP.

And that’s all there is about them. Now that Myspace disappeared I don’t know where to contact Kieren. I wonder if he will find this, and maybe perhaps remember the interview! Would be great to know the story of the band. But if anyone out there know anything about this obscure Aussie band, don’t doubt to share!


Love Minus Zero – Fade Away


At last I can announce the new release coming out on Cloudberry! The official date is June 12th but there will be copies at NYC Popfest. That’s because this “secret” band is playing there. There will also be copies at Indietracks because of the same reason. Perhaps you guessed already. The band is a NYC band, with very tight bonds to the city. Many of the members of the band used to be in a classic, wait, legendary, indiepop band from this same town. I found out that one of the vocalist actually lived three blocks away from where I live now in Astoria. Strangest things have happened. This band toured Sweden even. Hultsfred festival. I wish I had been there. Are you following my hints? They released 10 years ago an epic album, “The Happiest Days of My Life”. I still hear many songs from this record when fellow indiepopkids DJ. Then there was the hiatus. Then they came back under a new name and with new faces and released an EP and an album on Le Grand Magistery. Years passed. And now I can happily announce that Cloudberry is releasing The Secret History’s new album!

The album is aptly titled “Americans Singing in the Dark” and it’s a true ode to New York, this city I’ve started to make my own. This of course doesn’t mean that people that don’t live here won’t understand it. It’s a universal album. It’s indiepop, classic, elegant, and well written. The brainy kind. It has it’s gritty moments, it’s has it’s sugary moments, and at all times it’s a proud album with immense songs crafted with detail.

11 new songs and opening a new series of contemporary albums called the Cloudberry Dream Workshop. Because I believe that dreams are the future, and these albums are the future of our scene, of our music.

The album is packaged in true Cloudberry fashion, the vertical book style digipak, full colour booklet, lyrics included. Quality over anything, as you who follow us know well. The album tracklist and some more details have been announced on both the Cloudberry site and the Cloudberry Facebook page by now. We will be giving away an MP3 taster in the next couple of hours. I really hope you like it.

I’m very proud about this release as I’ve been a fan of The Secret History and My Favorite for years. The first time I saw them was at the 2007 NYC Popfest. I was blown away. I remember buying a t-shirt then which I still wear it. Many years after, at Littlefield I was going to see them again, at then another NYC Popfest, the 2010 edition. That year I bought from them another t-shirt. Very similar to the first one, though this one instead of having the name of the band all in white, they decided to have the “The” part of the band in yellow. I didn’t know them. I was just a fan. I had had a bit of contact with Michael at some point years before because he really liked the Blind Terry 3″ single, especially because of the nod to Prefab Sprout. Him being a big fan.

Years have passed since those days. I’m still a fan. But now I know them a bit more. Talking at some gigs. And then at Mondo too. Cheap beer and indie gossip. A one time meeting at The Sparrow for another pints and figuring out how we were going to make this release happen. The time frame. Happily as we talk all parts are in the pressing plant and things are full-steam ahead. You can’t imagine how happy I am. It’s a bit strange when you get to release a band and people you grew up listening to their music with. I always thought that they would have made a great single for Cloudberry when I was starting, but maybe felt shy to ask them. They were too “big” in my book. And now we have worked on this album, albeit secretly, for the last couple of months, but now it’s for everyone to know. And I’m honoured. I think it’s a great time for the label and a lot has to do with this release. It feels like the label has finally found a place in NYC, something it never did in Miami. And so I hope to see you all at the release party in June. And why not, at NYC Popfest and Indietracks! Can I count with you all?

PS. There’s another “secret” gig in July which I’m doing a flyer for as I write these lines and I will DJ between bands then too… and no, it’s not in the US!


So as our weekly “tradition” (because it is one already, right?) I’ll introduce you to an obscure band. I don’t know yet what’s your favourite part of the blog, if any. If the Cloudberry news, if some of my pop diaries, or the obscure band. Or just the MP3 that is shared. You tell me. I enjoy writing anyways. 2004 was the first time I blogged. I’m getting old! Anyhow, let’s continue our march in converting all good souls of the world into indiepop and collecting records!

Henry & Me. Who was Henry? And who was this me? Who were Henry & Me? That’s an indiepop mystery that Google can’t solve. And I’m looking out for your help.

Henry :   masc. proper name, from French Henri, from Late Latin Henricus, from German Heinrich, from Old High German Heimerich, literally “the ruler of the house,” from heim “home” + rihhi “ruler.” One of the most popular Norman names after the Conquest.

Henry & Me released just one 7″ as far as I know. The A-side was “Sentimental” and the B-side was “Average Guy”. I’ve had this record for a long time on my saved searches but nothing pops up for me. Luckily I finally heard one of their songs, Average Guy, thanks to the great blog From a Northern Place (which I thank and also celebrate on my latest fanzine because they are one of the few that has been making me happy with MP3s from records I’ve been looking for and feeling curious about for long!).

I’m pretty sure the band is British, because of the accent. But on the back sleeve there’s a photo of NYC. With the Twin Towers. Odd. I never saw them in real live. Then the other hint that tells me they weren’t from around here is that there is a phone number on there too, belonging to a Ronan Whyte. That’s an Irish name though, isn’t it? But the number seems British.

The only other information on the back sleeve that seems relevant is that the two songs were original recordings by the band and they were made in 1991.

The front sleeve has a very fun artwork. It’s hand-drawn and it’s all black and white. For some reason this release seems more like promo material (especially because there’s a phone on the back), so I’m guessing they were trying to get label interest? Surprisingly it seems they didn’t. It’s strange because I really like “Average Guy”. It reminds me a bit of Nixon actually. That kind of indiepop. Sad, lovelorn, melancholic, in shambles, written in someone’s bedroom, recorded with a lot of hear and honest sentiments.

But who knows what happened to them. And who were the people behind it. It’s a big mystery to me. And maybe someone out there can help me understand it better. Who were they? How many copies of this record are out there? Any spares for me maybe? Did they play many gigs? Where did they hail from? Were they involved with other bands? So many questions and don’t even know where to start looking.


Henry & Me – Average Man


All ready. All set. I got my stupid tourist visa. Ready to spend vacation time next month in Europe. The lineup of Madrid Popfest has been confirmed and all I can say it is that I’m looking forward to it a lot, especially to see bands I’ve never seen before like The Haywains, Northern Portrait and Alpaca Sports. This time though, I’m traveling by myself so I’m much more open to meeting up with friends and exploring the city, something I didn’t do much last time. Last time I dedicated my days to day travels to different cities around Madrid like Segovia, Toledo, Avila among others. It was fantastic, though being by myself, I don’t see much of a point, who will take photos of me posing as a good tourist for example? Record shopping will be a must, and so, if anyone wants to join, let’s do that. I’m also very excited for the Madrid restaurants with their 10 euro menus, which was something I really enjoyed the first time around.

But the best news of this week has to do with the release of the Flowers 7″. The official release date is the 15th. One day after Valentines Day. Do you celebrate that? I wonder. I’ve never read or heard any indiepop kid celebrating it. But then, it’s perhaps something very private or probably indiepopkids hate capitalist inventions like that. What do I know. Anyhow, the record is ready and it’s shipping to all over the world. It’s perhaps the records with most pre-orders that Cloudberry has released. Very anticipated debut by the London trio!

I’ve only seen them once. Last November, when I decided to travel to England even though I wasn’t going to meet the girl anymore. It was a difficult decision because it was going to bring memories and perhaps I wasn’t going to like my holidays as much as I would want to. But at the same time, life goes on, and because of something circumstantial like that, I couldn’t just trash my plans I thought. I had already told many of my British friends during Indietracks that I was returning to London later that year, that we’d find a place for her to leave her cat safe and sound and all, and that we’d enjoy at least a weekend together there. In the end, it was just me. I expanded the weekend to a whole week. Went all the way to Scotland and back, back even to the southern tip of Great Britain, to Portsmouth and all. And as always I saw castles.

It was that day that I went to Arundel with Paloma, who happily joined me at last minute, who was strangely and randomly enough staying just a tube station away from where I was staying at Chez Navarro’s. After sightseeing around Arundel and having still a couple of hours to burn, we looked at a map and decided to keep exploring. For 10 more pounds we could go to Portsmouth and back. I didn’t know much about Portsmouth, aside from the football team, but sounded like a good plan. We had already circled Arundel and there was not much more to see. Which doesn’t mean it wasn’t fantastic. I truly recommend people visiting it. The castle is beautiful.

We both wanted to go to the Flowers gig that night. Happily Rachel had been nice enough to put me plus guests on the guestlist. So that wasn’t something to worry. But just the timing. We had to take all these trains back to London and we had to do transfers. A mistake in trains could make us miss the gig. We were thorough and asking the officers and such we finally succeeded and returned to London just in time. We had some so-so food at a Weatherspoons around Buffalo Bar and got just in time for the first band.

Two folk bands and two indiepop bands was the premise for that night. Don’t hate me if I don’t remember the name of the folk bands. But the indiepop class was represented by Cosines and Flowers. Flowers were headlining. Cosines had among their ranks many people I know like Alice, Dan and Johnny. Also my dear Kajsa was playing with them. It was a pleasure to see her playing keyboards again, smiling, dressed in a cute pink dress. She has one of my favourite smiles. A smile that I first met in Stockholm so many years ago and that I seem to see at least once a year since then. Can’t really complain, with the distance and all, must be one of my international friends I see the most. But anyways, I had been to the Buffalo Bar to see Flowers. And so after buying and buying San Miguel beers, because Rory wouldn’t give me a free one (!), it was about time for Flowers to get on the stage.

You’ll think I’m biased, but the thing is, that Flowers were amazing. They were a new band, but they sounded like soldiers of many battles, tight, and very confident. They knew what they were doing. Rachel with her one-string bass, Jordan with his noisy guitar and Sam banging the drums with a true C86 beat. I knew they were fantastic, I knew that since I found them on bandcamp ages ago and bought their 2 demo CDRs. But seeing them live, and making all the crow to be awe-struck, confirmed it to me. They were special. Wait, they ARE special.

The 7″ took a bit of time to be made. Issues with computers, with artwork, and stuff. But it was all worth it. It sounds great, it looks great, and it feels great. Four short songs of noisy pop, with vocals that remind you of a bygone era, like when people listened to The Parachute Men or The Nightblooms. But updated. Updated to sound like a band from today. Not surprisingly another Cloudberry graduates, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart invited them to tour around Europe with them. And it’s also not surprising that they have already signed a deal with Fortuna Pop to release an album later this year (also The Spook School joined them at this, could it be that Fortuna Pop trusts Cloudberry’s taste?).

If you haven’t already, please do check “When You Lie” on the Cloudberry website. It’s just a teaser, but it’s a fantastic song. If you like it, do order it. Or if you are in London pick up a copy at the next London Popfest where they will probably amaze everyone!


But let’s move to the obscure band of the week: Boxing Clever.

I remember looking for them many years ago, with no success. I remember finding one of the members on Myspace, I think he was involved with some sort of punk band. Sadly I never heard back from him. I wanted to interview him about the band for the blog of course.

The only piece of information comes from the Falkirk Music Scene page. It says:

Falkirk / Edinburgh pop / rock act formed in 1988 by ex-Breakfast Boyz member Justin Skelton (vocals / guitar). He added local drummer Ian Wallace (ex-Nirvana, no not that one!) and Edinburgh musicians Gus Carmichael (keyboards), George Christie (guitar) & Eddie McGlone (bass). The band released one single in 1989, “Toy Soldiers”, on the BMG label before splitting. Skelton later ran a rehearsal room, whilst Wallace joined The Cotton Train.

“Toy Soldiers” (12 inch single, BMG, 1989)

None of those bands named in that little biography had any releases sadly. So it’s hard to track them through them.

The Urban Dictionary says that Boxing Clever means: to use inventive thinking above all other attributes in order to achieve an end goal.

Is that why they named the band like that? One can only wonder. The truth is that the only other bit of information I could gather was from the back cover of their 12″ release. A 12″ I haven’t had any luck in having or finding.

We know that all songs were written by Justin Skelton and then arranged by the rest of the band. The songs that were included in this release were “Toy Soldiers”, “I Just Do”, “Nobody Else I Know” and “William”. There’s a little information about each one of them:

Toy Soldiers – Recorded at Palladium Studios. Produced by Boxing Clever and Chris Harley. Engineered by Keith Mitchell.

I Just Do – Recorded at H.M. Studios. Produced by Boxing Clever. Engineered by Alan Cuthberson.

Nobody Else I Know – Recorded at H.M. Studios. Produced by Boxing Clever. Engineered by Alan Cuthberson.

William – Recorded at The Howf. Produced and engineered by Justin Skelton.

Keyboards and accordian were provided by Gus Carmichael and John Sweeney respectively.

All tracks published BMG (a major! horror!) Music Publishing LTD. But it was released by Beaver Records.

The sleeve design was thanks to Rose O’ Connor. And the record came out in 1989.

And that’s all there is. I could tell you  a bit about Falkirk as it has some interesting history, if you like though? Well, so…

An Eaglais Bhreac is a derivative formed from the Scottish Gaelic cognate of the first recorded name Ecclesbrith from the Brittonic for “speckled church”, presumably referring to a church building built of many-coloured stones. The Scottish Gaelic name was translated into Scots as Fawkirk then later amended to the modern English name of Falkirk. The Latin name Varia Capella also has the same meaning. Falkirk Old Parish Church stands on the site of the medieval church, which may have been founded as early as the 7th century.

 The Antonine Wall, which stretches across the centre of Scotland, passed through the town and remnants of it can be seen at Callendar Park. Similar to Hadrian’s Wall but built of turf rather than stone so less of it has survived, it marked the northern frontier of the Roman Empire between the Firth of Forth and Firth of Clyde during the AD 140s. Much of the best evidence of Roman occupation in Scotland has been found in Falkirk, including a large hoard of Roman coins and a cloth of tartan, thought to be the oldest ever recorded.

And that’s all I can tell you about Boxing Clever and Falkirk, and Scotland this week. Though probably after listening to the song, you’d wonder why there’s no more information about them. I ask myself the same. Wish I knew if they had more recordings. If they appeared on compilations. Whatever happened to them? Where are they now? So many mysteries. Maybe some of you remember them? Maybe some can fill in the blanks!


Boxing Clever – Nobody Else I Know


A razor is a bladed tool primarily used in the removal of unwanted body hair through the act of shaving. Kinds of razors include straight razors, disposable razors and electric razors.  While the razor has been in existence since before the Bronze Age (the oldest razor like-object was discovered in 18,000 B.C.), its modern counterpart was invented in the 18th century, and the 1930s saw the invention of electric razors. In the 21st century, the safety razor – electric or not – is most commonly used by both men and women, but other kinds still exist.

2013. First day. The boys posting Another Sunny Day’s “New Year Honours” on facebook, me uploading Holiday’s “New Year’s Anything” and the girls loving Camera Obscura’s “Happy New Year”. Seems like any other New Year day to me.

I’m at work and I’ve been dealing all day long with the “fiscal cliff” story. I guess one should be glad to know that the people in Washington DC are working hard during holidays. No time for them to party. Well, and no time for me to party either. Democrats and Republicans have agreed on a deal. Now the it’s on the House’s hands. But I’m out of here soon and they seem to be busier passing a bill for hurricane Sandy.

Upon arriving home I will prepare the paperwork for the Flowers 7″ and mail the masters to the pressing plant tomorrow. I’m also sending the masters of an unknown Peruvian band to the pressing plant, Eva & John is their name and we are making a flexi. Not part of the Cloudberry catalog mind you, but it will be under the Plastilina umbrella. I’m very excited about this lot, especially as three of them are long time friends of mine. Two of them friends from my youth in Miami, that for one or another reason had to go back to Lima. We even had a band, the three of us, but that’s a story not worthy to be told.

The name Eva & John is a pun. It’s a mocking of Eva Ayllón, one of Peru leading songstresses along with Susana Baca and Tania Libertad. Her thing is Afro-Peruvian music. I remember still the day I saw, to my surprise, posters of her in Stockholm.  So she might be a bit known to those who like exotic kind of sounds. Of course, she is no Yma Súmac, but, in Peru she is revered. I can’t deny that I have sometimes found myself singing some of her lines while having a shower. I guess those songs are engrained in us, like a razor blade, since we are little.

The songs are “César Gutiérrez” and “Ciempiés”. There’s only one side to the flexi. A white flexi, which I hope to carry some copies for the curious. I don’t know if many Cloudberry fans will be interested in it even though this is a ridiculously good record. It’s pure pop, with great lyrics, catchy hooks, that remind anyone of the Spanish 80s, the so called La Movida, and also to later sounds of Los Punsetes, Bananas or TCR. Of course the idiosyncrasy is different, this is made in Peru, and so their fabulous name-dropping, a la Television Personalities, in the opening track will sound alien to many. But to me, it feels like home. These songs make me revisit my home city from far away.

The songs have been mixed  and mastered with fantastic results by my good friend Cris from Sundae. He understood the sound the band was looking for and made these songs sound as they should. I’m terribly happy about this, and I’m even considering starting a small series of flexis for Peruvian indiepop bands. See, the thing about them is that they record some demos and then they disband. They make one or two fantastic songs and that’s it. Then nobody hears about them anymore. Because no one cares. But maybe I care, and perhaps with Eva & John it all works out, and this flexi, perhaps the first flexi to ever be sold in Peru, proves to be successful. And if that’s the case, it would make sense to keep going!

This of course makes me start the year with a high note. On top of that, I’ve finally purchased my ticket from Stockholm to Tallinn. That’s good news. And maybe I could take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki one day. I will have to check that. If that doesn’t work out, it’s ok, I’m already doing lots during that trip. Also this weekend I’m going to try to choose with some friends where to go for President’s Day weekend in February. The cheapest options are Charlotte and Myrtle Beach. Under $200. Never been there. I might as well just go and see. There’s good BBQ in the Carolinas, right?

Oh, and last but not least, I’ve purchased new shelves for my books and CDs, and special boxes for my 7″s. Exciting times ahead, reordering everything that’s been piling in alphabetical order. I’ve even bought some separators! The only thing I don’t look forward to, is assembling these of course!

So short and sweet post to start the year, moving to the super obscure band of the week, “This Change is Everything”.


The enigmatic This Change is Everything bears already a very mysterious name. Wonder what they meant by it. The only one song I know from them is “Razor Blades”, and I know it, once again, thanks to Rupert from, a Turntable Revolution, and the magical CD he burned for me.

What do I know about this song that sounds a bit (or a lot) to This Charming Man by The Smiths? I know nothing. I know it’s great and addictive. That it has some great guitars. And some fine lyrics too. That it makes me curious to know if the band recorded any other songs at all. I don’t even know what years were they active.

What I do know is that this song was the opening song of the B side of an LP compilation called “First Wave: A Compilation LP Of Young Independent Bands” released by GI Records from Oxford. This is the same label that in 1989 released the compilation “Expose It” that included New English and that we’ve mentioned in the blog before. The only conclusion I have from these little hints is that “First Wave” was released in 1989 or before.

On “First Wave” I find myself clueless. The only band I recognize is All Over the Place. The rest, I don’t know. The other bands included are The Vulcans, Passion of Ice, The Price, Airlane, The Innocents, The Trees, The Raindogs, The Chain and The No No’s.

The only other small clue, is on the back cover of this compilation, which sadly I don’t have, but I found a picture on Discogs. There’s an address for the band. They were based in London. In the South West, close to Southfields station. I’ve never been there. Not yet.

And that’s all I could find about this very elusive band. Do you know anything else about them?

Happy new year to every one that comes and read my little blog. All the best wishes for this 2013. Hopefully there’s lots of great indiepop coming our way this year!


This Change is Everything – Razor Blades


It’s a week of news here at Cloudberry HQ. And it makes sense to be it that way before the holidays. Holidays that I will spend working in NYC. I already spent all my vacation time for this year in rather a great way. So no complains. I’ll be a bit like Santa, packing orders and posting parcels. And as pressing plants will be closed, we can’t really come up with much news aside perhaps of some new projects we’ll embark on. But let’s get the ball rolling.

First things first. The Nixon 7″ is out at last! It came out yesterday, Monday the 10th. And all orders have started shipping. Bear in mind that as this is holiday season it may take a wee long for them to arrive at home, especially if you live abroad. The 7″ as I said before includes four songs running at 33rpm and it’s the same old Nixon we always loved. There are no surprises and Nixon didn’t try to reinvent himself. It’s indeed one of the proudest moments for me here at Cloudberry as I’ve been a fan of Nixon for more than 10 years now. And finally, after so many years there are four brand new songs out there that sadly seem to be his farewell to indiepop under that moniker. Of course we can all cross fingers for that not to happen, but we’ll see. The 7″ also includes a lyrics sheet for you all to sing along. Pretty important.

We’ve set the release date for yet another Swedish act. A 3 song 7″ by Göteborg’s Alpaca Sports will be released in February 10th. This one will probably start shipping before that date but we wanted to keep it safe due to the holiday season that may delay the production of the vinyl record. There’s a lot of expectation for this release and pre-orders show that. This is Alpaca Sports’ 3rd single and it continues that same line of fabulous jangly naive indiepop that has been charming everyone everywhere. And because of this, they’ve been hitting the road playing already many countries and will soon get on playing Popfests in Spain and somewhere very near to me. The artwork for this new Alpaca Sports single comes thanks to Ray Kimura who they’ve been working closely since day 1. Ray had already collaborated with us at Cloudberry with the sleeve artwork for the Cassolette 7″ roughly one year ago.  Also, in Japan, a mini-album will be released early in January. So yes, Alpaca Sports are hot. And they are making videos and videos for their songs. And so, tomorrow we’ll debut a new video. So keep your eyes peeled.

Third point. Tripping the Light Fantastic. You can pre-order the 7″ now. I estimate it will be out sometime in February. If you haven’t listened to the A side “Heavy Heart” head to the Cloudberry site and do that. You are going to love it.

More news? You bet. I’m starting to work on the 8th fanzine. After the success of the last fanzine, which sold out in just a couple of weeks, I’m beginning to plan it. Who to interview? What color should the zine be? Which songs should be featured? If you have any suggestions please let me know. I’d love to print it by the end of March or early April. Wishful thinking perhaps.

And the last piece of news that I want to announce, and perhaps it may be the bomb for many, at least it’s for me, it’s that we have started working on a new Cloudberry Cake Kitchen release. On this 4th volume of our beloved series we’ll be showcasing the indiepop genius of The Rileys!! More on this front soon!

And a bit more of personal news I managed to book yesterday plane tickets to Madrid. Yes, I’m heading again to Madrid Popfest for a weekend of indiepop, friends, fantastic food and the best dancefloors an indiepop festival has to offer these days. As I’ve said before, Madrid Popfest organization is inspiring to me, so I’m glad to attend once more this event and even though it will probably be much different as the first time,  think the quality of bands, and the friends I’ll get to see again, will probably make up for the ones that won’t be there. I am sure it’s going to be a magic weekend.

As soon as that weekend ends I’ll be taking a plane to Stockholm. Why? I’m going to celebrate my party there. At this point planning a nice party. I’m just thrilled by this. I’ve never been big in celebrating my birthday but I thought, before I’m 30, I should do something exciting. And so here I am. Traveling all over the place and hoping to have a party with all the good friends in that indiepop city that is Stockholm. I hope and wish I can book a band, but if not a good dancefloor with my friend Emelie DJing will be enough for a good night. I wonder if you can BYOB in Stockholm though? That’d be perfect! It’s so expensive to go out there!

AND, if everything goes as planned I’ll be spending some days too in Tallinn. Because I’ve been meaning and wanting to go there for a long time. Because I like medieval towns, buildings, castles, and that sort of thing. It should be glorious!

Because I’m thinking about this birthday of mine in Stockholm, let’s rescue an obscure band from that same city from the mid 2000s: Your Place or Mine.

I think the first time I heard their songs were during the times when a bunch of soulseekers moved from the Twee Folks room to DC++ another P2P program. Andreas Olsson was running the room there and had been inviting us all who loved the good music. I’m sure it was him that went crazy about the band. I can’t recall if he blogged about them on the blog all users of the room shared. I think the blog was called “Twee Pop Love”. It must have been either 2004 or 2005. I knew Andreas wanted to start a label. Only 7″s he said. And the first band he was going to release were Zipper. And the second, and my memory shouldn’t fail, was to be Your Place or Mine. He absolutely adored the band. And so did I. I thought they were fantastic. I thought I was never going to see them play live though. And at that time my label dreams were so far in the future. I was studying and needed to pay for school. I didn’t have any loans.

They had two CDRs. None of those I ended up owning. And I doubt I will ever. Those little things back then were so rare, so scarce. So today it might be just impossible. I think they were made on demand too. At least, that’s how I would have done it if I had a band. The first CDR was called “Demo 1” and included the songs: “Hard Liquor”, “Another Lover of a Demo Group”, “Oh, How I Spend My Days” and “All our Instruments are Borrowed”.

The second CDR was the “Atta Boy EP”. A name that of course reminded me of the Heavenly “Atta Girl” 7″. The songs on this release were “In 25 Years Don’t Exist”, “Kill Me” , “Heut Ist Mein Tag”, “She Said (Pt1)” and “Atta Boy”.

“Heut Ist Mein Tag” of course was a Blümchen cover. It gives me goosebumps to see South Beach, my previous neighborhood, on that video!

The songs were immediate, powerful, pop with punk sensibilities, tweepunk if you want. Fast, exciting, like a straight jab to your face. They were catchy as hell. The guitars could remind you of Free Loan Investments perhaps, the instrumentation, with trumpets and trombones, make you think of Love is All maybe, but in the end, they were original, very original. They were one of a kind and I always felt it was a shame that no proper release of them ever materialized. And yes, they should have been bigger. Perhaps if they had been around 2 years earlier or 2 years after they had fared a bit better luck. It’s just that during those mid-2000s indiepop was such a quiet scene.

After the Blümchen connection, well I thought they named the band because of a Vengaboys song called “Your Place or Mine“. I don’t hide my liking for either Blümchen or Vengaboys. I do enjoy this kind of music. Good pop is good pop.

The first gig ever by Your Place or Mine seems to have been in Lund at the Beat Goes On festival organized by Maja Eriksson and Fredrika Thelandersson. From what I’ve read the whole festival wasn’t that successful. But the band was happy and proud of their performance and the response of the crowd.

I remember the band having a very kitsch kind of website. One of those domains that ended with .tk that were really popular back then. Do you remember them? The website sadly doesn’t exist anymore.

The band started with Jakob Elmgren (guitars) and Per Holmquist (drums) after, on the way home, both took the underground after a fun club night. Some days later they asked Jana Johansson if she wanted to join and play bass. Soon after they would recruit Matilda Kihlberg to sing for them after meeting her at the “Your Hair is Too Long and Your Face is Too Small” club.  And they were set.

From an old little article on Louder than Bombs, it seems the name of the band comes from a previous song name of “Another Lover of a Demo Pop Group”. The previous name of this song was “Your Place or Mine”.

On an interview when asked what the band thought about the comparisons with Talulah Gosh and Fat Tulips they well answered that they would like to be compared with The Siddeleys. And that they usually just sound like “paff paff paff paff GADUGGA DUGGA!”

During that first CDR, “Demo 1”, they had received help from members of Corduroy Utd. Sam Carlshamre played trombone and Sandra Valencia played trumpet. Justus Birch also from Corduroy Utd. helped them produce the CD. I feel the first two might have joined the band at some point? But perhaps I’m wrong.

I spent so many evenings at the small convenience store I used to work in South Beach playing their songs while beach-goers made my life miserable by complaining about the ridiculous prices we had. But well, what can you expect from a store a block away from one of the most famous beaches in the US? Playing these songs alleviated the pain of those days, they always brought a smile to me. Today revisiting them, I feel the same enthusiasm, the same awe, the same smile as soon “Another Lover of a Demo Pop Group” starts playing at my work computer. And planning my trip to Stockholm, with this music on the background, even if it’s month away, brings a true excitement!

And that was it. Then there was silence. Whatever happened to this fantastic band? Did they record any more songs? I thought they were recording an album at some point. I tried, when I was working on compiling the first Starke Adolf CD, to contact Mathilda but with no luck. Nowadays it would be great if I could get in touch to showcase them on the Sound of Starke Adolf Vol.2 and see what they are up to. I’m pretty curious.


Your Place or Mine – Another Lover of a Demo Pop Group


I wrote already about The Doris Days a couple of months ago. Since then I’ve been looking and searching everywhere for more information about them as well as trying to find at least mp3s from their demos. Just recently, thanks to Phil Suggars from The Candie Maids, I got the chance to get in touch with Hayley Morton from The Doris Days! She has been super kind and nice to share some interesting facts about one of the best bands you have never heard about. I thought sharing with the couple of readers of the blog.

I met Vanessa Norwood (lead singer) 25 years ago when we were 17, she was doing an art foundation course at Lewes College and I under duress was doing a secretarial course. I play classical piano and wrote songs which Vanessa would write words to. We both met Dennis when we were about 19 – I think he was a DJ and helped put on Magical Mystery Tours where you could go off to see bands in London mostly – we saw a lot of the June Bride gigs and the Shop Assistants who Dennis had links with.

Dennis was at Brighton Art college doing an expressive arts course with Nick the trumpet player and Simon, who played cello with us for a while. He was also friends with Ed the bass player who I think was an engineer with the army if my memory serves me right. Rachel the other guitarist was Vanessa’s younger sister.

Dennis started going out with Vanessa – he was always writing music and asked me to write some piano bits for him. We then formed the band with his other friends. Dennis wrote the songs and we contributed with our instrumental parts. We would go into the art college and record the tracks – unfortunately I only have old tapes of this music and I’m not even sure I got copies of any of the good stuff. (I hope these get digitised one day!! – CCP)

The basement gig was our last one – I won’t go into details but we argued after the gig and that was that – I think Dennis carried on for a bit under the same name. I met up with them both a few years later and he was doing other stuff by then.

I went on to play in a band with Phil Suggars called CC Baxter (well worth a listen). Unfortunately I’m not doing anything now apart from finally trying to do my Piano Diploma – still writing songs though.

Thanks so much Hayley! :)


The Doris Days – Another Day


News. Bits and bobs. Releases. Songs. Stuff. May offerings.

  • Out now is the Signed Papercuts single! I’m very happy and proud about it. It includes 2 songs, one on each side of the vinyl record. On A side you can find “Of My Heart” and on the B side the great “Sound of Silence Pt. 2″, which I believe, at least in spirit, is the continuation of “Sound of Silence” which was included in the 3″CD that was released in 2007. And speaking of that release, the comic book look is finds continuation in the 7″ thanks to the great illustration of Danny Zabbal. If you like dreamy, lush and swirly indiepop-shoegaze, this will totally be up your alley. You can order it on the Cloudberry website. Thanks again for your support
  • Firestation Records is having a huge record blowout! Lots of their back catalogue for just 1 euro! And some other stuff for 3 and 6 euro. Lots of discounts! Now is the time to get those releases you are missing from the great Berlin label. Visit them here. Among some great stuff I would totally suggest getting The Vermont Sugar House’s “Braveheart” 7″ for 1 euro, and what about The Nivens or the Bloody Marys for 6 euros. A good good deal!
  • There’s a nice bundle by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart which includes their latest 7″ (”Young Adult Friction” which is a great song!), a tote bag, a poster and 3 badges. You can get all of this for $17 dollars here. I bet these will get sold out pretty soon!
  • Also a new 7″ is out by Boy Genius. I had the opportunity to put out a small 3″ (which is still available!) that was a taster for their fantastic debut “Anchorage”. The new 7″ is out on their own Greenpop label and includes the tracks “Blame Love” and “Backyard”. I’ve only listened so far the A Side, which is streaming on their Myspace, and it’s a really nice track. Upbeat, boy/girl vocals, and jangly guitars. You can order it in their myspace
  • Also Papillons Noir label has some new stuff out that is totally worth checking out. First is the Komon 7″ that includes her smash hit, “Ebay Watchlist”. Ehem, this title sounds really familiar!! At the moment I have 125 items being watched… oh dear. And second 7″ they have out is by Help Stamp Out Loneliness! This is maybe one of my favourite indiepop bands around. This is a single you can’t miss, “Torvill and Dean” is one of my favourite songs this 2009! Get them here!
  • Stars in Coma has just put out an album on the always lovely and interesting Music is My Girlfriend. The album is called “Sisters” and I still need to order it! But it looks promising. Maybe you can be faster than me and order it here? André is very talented, I bet the album is a cracker!
  • Another album that I need to order is “Bite My Tongue” by Friday Bridge. Would probably do it next week! Need to save those 15 euros! The songs on the myspace sound fantastic, go ahead and order it here.
  • Cherry Red has some great treats for us indiepop lovers this month too! Can you believe, the lost Blue Ox Babes album is going to be released… and “Pleasure” by Girls at Our Best reissued! Can’t wait for them
  • Liechtenstein’s album is just around the corner too! Here is what Fraction Discs say:
    “Survival Strategies In A Modern World”, the debut album by Liechtenstein, will be released on both CD and 10″ vinyl on May 26! The 10″ vinyl will be a co-release with Slumberland, who will also release the CD in North America. One of the tracks from this 9 track album is now available for free download on our label page. It’s a smash hit called “Roses In The Park”. You can also have a listen to another track called “All At Once”.
  • And looking forward to May 19th for the great release by Socialist Leisure Party on Shelflife. But more on that later!


Signed Papercuts – Of My Heart