This has been already a difficult week. The United States Postal Service has raised the postage prices. It’s expected that every year they do so, and for the last couple of years their increases were really reasonable. This year in the other hand has been insane albeit not for domestic postage. It has been international postage what had been hurt the most with increases of almost 100%!

What used to cost around $6 to post a 7″ abroad now costs almost $10. Small labels that don’t really have big distributors behind them, that rely on individual buyers abroad will be hurt the most. Thus, Cloudberry will be really hurt. Unless of course international fans don’t mind paying now much more for postage than what they are already buying. We’ll see.

Sadly I spent yesterday afternoon updating the paypal buttons with new prices. Please do write me if you want to combine postage. We’ll always try to work something out. The terrible part of it all  is that all these new prices weren’t calculated in the pre-orders for our next three 7″s. This will only mean that we’ll be losing a hole lot of money when posting these pre-orders. But what can we do? What’s fair is fair. Perhaps we shouldn’t do pre-orders anymore if the USPS are going to come with crazy surprises like this one.

I do see a good opportunity though for international indiepop fans. It might be a good time to start a mailorder in your country as people will probably prefer buying records that way as it might be cheaper as the mailorders usually buy in bulks. Or perhaps the existing mailorders will take advantage of it all and become more central, more important and more successful too. This is all yet to see, but the chances of thriving are big I think.

On a not so related note, the New York Subway fares are also increasing. My monthly pass will go from $104 to $113. Everything’s going up!

Anyways, back to the big issue of the week. Sure these prices are less competitive than the ones we used to have. It’s funny. I used to complain of German postal rates. But they have gone cheaper in the last couple of years. I think that you can mail 5 7″s for 5 euros. That’s a super price. The US instead think we should have Japan-like prices for our postage. I wonder if many of the other small business around won’t be affected by it. Probably they will. And is this the way the American government tries to help it’s businesses?

I read in some forums some Canadians cheering for this postal increase. Their reasoning being that they couldn’t compete with the previous US prices. The Canadian postage being quite pricey. They said the previous US prices were unrealistic, that they were subsidized, and now things are getting fairer. Maybe they do have a point. But doesn’t it feel terribly stupid to pay 10 dollars postage for something that costs really around 5 dollars? Doesn’t make any sense.

I can understand that prices had to go up. But I do hope the USPS bright minds come with some flat rate ideas as the German did. That would alleviate this complicated panorama were are seeing. In the meantime I urge everyone that reads this to sign this petition, we need to fight in every front to make indiepop survive. This might be the biggest blow I’ve experienced since starting the label. I have to be honest that, for the first time, the future of the label is a bit scary.

PS. I have one good news. The Flowers 7″ will be out February 15th. More on that next week! Keep your eyes peeled!


PATRIC (Pathosystems Resource Integration Center) is the Bacterial Bioinformatics Resource Center, an information system designed to support the biomedical research community’s work on bacterial infectious diseases via integration of vital pathogen information with rich data and analysis tools.

The only famous Patric I could think of:

Jason Patric (born June 17, 1966) is an American film, television and stage actor. He is known for his roles in the films The Lost Boys, Sleepers, Your Friends & Neighbors, Narc, The Losers and Speed 2: Cruise Control. His father was actor/playwright Jason Miller. Patric is the maternal grandson of Jackie Gleason.

Not many clues there about the mysterious, enigmatic and obscure Patric.

A couple of weeks back Stephan from Germany sent me a couple of songs from this mysterious band. He asked me to blog about them. The information online seemed scarce, but I actually ended up finding a 12″, their one and only, for a good price. The songs were brilliant. Perfect jangly pop. Chiming guitars, and the kind of British vocals we all love!

The songs were: “The Message”, “On the Road”, “It’s Over”. My favourite being “The Message” with those girl backing vocals. It kind of reminds me a bit of The Bats! But UK style? Yeah, something like that. Strangely. It’s pretty good.

This record that has on the front cover a black and white photo of who I would guess is the real Patric was produced by Chris Groothuizen, engineered by Charles Bullen and recorded at Cold Storage, Brixton. There are special thanks to Sarah, and the cover photo was taken by Suzy Gibbons. It was released by Orange Records (catalog JOOS IT) from Camberwell, south London.

On the labels of the record we see credit to a P. O’Connor. Probably then, Patric O’Connor?

There is some information though about what happened to our hero Patric after this release. He joined the House of Love (?!). Well, not quite. He joined the remaining members after Terry Bickers left and Guy Chadwick was having a sabbatical. With them they formed a band called My White Bedroom who released an album with Plastic Records in 1991. I have never listened to it, but I plan buying it next week, it doesn’t seem hard to find, though with all these price increases perhaps I should cut my spending! The Youtube uploads of some of their songs are nice… Anyhow…

On an internet forum I read one of the guys that was in Counterfeit (the band on Creation Records and who had a re-release not so long ago on Vollwert) saying about My White Bedroom:

The band were originally called “Patric” – at the time the only HOL member was Chris Groothuizen (the bassist who didn’t make the HOL reunion).

Vaguely remember the My White Bedroom record – but I have the only 12″ Patric released – “The Message”.

I played with Patric and The Motorcycle Boy at the Goldsmiths Tavern in’89 with a band called Stranger – we changed our name to Counterfeit, made one shit Creation 12″ and split up

On this same forum, on a message from August 18, 2008, our hero Patric shows up and decides to tell us the story of the band! So hold on tight and read:

My White Bedroom was formed in late 1985 and performed their first ‘proper’ gig at The Ambulance Station in early 1986. They continued in one form or another until 1996.

In 1989 after being dropped by Orange records Patric approached Chris with the idea to make an album . Chris had taken over Plastic records from Guy Chadwick and was keen to sign up new acts to the fledgling label. Money was raised from various quarters ( Alan McGee stumped up a couple of grand) and the record was recorded in two weeks at a studio on Bedford Hill in Balham in December 1989. More recording and mastering followed in 1990 but it wasn’t released until May 1991.

Some of the musicians on the album had played in the band at various points during the 1980’s :

Simon Walker joined the original My White Bedroom lineup in 1986 and was with the band for two years before he went on to join HOL after the departure of Terry Bickers. Simon played lead on ‘Lazer Gun’ , ‘The Garden’ and ‘This Time’.

Chris Groothuizen met Patric in 1985 and spent many an hour ‘jamming’ and honing his bass playing skills in a Camberwell squat before joining HOL in 1986. He played bass on all the tracks and produced the record .

Pete Donaghy was an American guitarist who played with MWB when they supported HOL on the English leg of their European tour. He played lead on ‘The Ocean’ and ‘Into the Light Now’ .He went on to form Mung in the 1990’s .

Pete Evans was the HOL drummer and is still with the band today. He played drums on all the tracks.

Mick Gallen was an Australian musician who played the Doors style keyboards on ‘Lovechild’ and a few other tracks.

Backing vocals were by Patric’s sister Rachel.

All lead vocals and other lead and rhythm guitar parts were sung /played by Patric who also wrote all the songs.

The album had some ecstatic reviews and went on to sell a respectable amount in spite of having no promotion and being deleted by Creation Records after it’s initial run.

Hope that clears up a few facts for anyones who is interested,

cheers – Patric

And that’s the end of it. No more information about this obscure Patric. If they had been going though for so long, they might and must have more songs. And that would be amazing.  If they played any gigs? If anyone of you saw them play? I wonder what happened to him after the My White Bedroom record too. If he continued making music. As always so many mysteries. But here, I will urge you to get yourself a copy of the Patric 12″. It’s a long lost classic. You’ll like it!


Patric – The Message


Poppyhead is a form of carving of the end of a bench or a choir stall. Its name is unrelated to the poppy flower. It is derived, by way of Old French, from the Latin word puppis, which means the poop or the figurehead of a ship. In its simplest, and its most usual form, it has the appearance of a stylised fleur-de-lys. In some cases, it consists of a much more intricate carving; for example in Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, some of the poppyheads represent the seven deadly sins.

Back from a nice weekend in San Diego and waiting for me 500 vinyl records for Alpaca Sports. The only missing piece now are the inserts and they will be arriving on Friday. Pre-orders then will start shipping on Saturday. I love when we make it on time, before the release date deadline. But it won’t stop there, there’s more work to do as we have Flowers coming out on February 20th.

I took the red eye flight on Monday night, arriving at 6:20am yesterday. 2 hours of sleep at home. And then to work, on the coldest day of the winter so far. Today is as cold though and for the first time I use a huge puffy jacket to work. Looking good doesn’t matter anymore when it is this cold. It was a very long day yesterday, but quite rewarding as I met Ed for dinner in K-Town. He brought me the latest Shelflife releases which was a surprise. There is one 7″ that everybody should get this year, and that’s the Goodly Thousands one that he just put out. It’s beautiful. I joked about “stealing” him this band. It’s that good. While you are at it, do get Nalda’s new album and the Pia Fraus compilation.

In San Diego I didn’t step into any record store. Actually it was an indiepop-less weekend. I didn’t even bring music with me. I stuck to doing the touristy stuff. Seeing the sights. Enjoying the beautiful weather and with stoic discipline having only Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

$44 to get into the zoo seemed a bit over the top. The world renowned San Diego Zoo. But I’m not much into saving money when I’m on a trip. I always convince myself saying “once in a lifetime”. So in there I went and saw for the first time panda bears, red pandas, koalas, okapis, and komodo dragons. I had a really good time watching at the apes and monkeys as well. Since I was a kid they were my favourite with their silly occurrences.

Another fun thing was taking a cruise into the Pacific Ocean for whale watching. Sadly the cruises don’t get too close to the whales so bringing binoculars would have been a great idea. But I didn’t know. I thought the whales were going to be jumping next to the boat. Nonetheless it was fun and I saw plenty of whales spouting and diving, bringing their huge tales out of the water. Best of all of this 3 hour tour was that they served very cheap beer on board.

True was that there was cheap beer everywhere. So unlike here in New York. We even crashed into an art gallery opening where there were two kegs of beer. And it wasn’t cheep beer, it was some San Diego microbrewery brand. It was good. Even in the zoo beer was at reasonable price.

Huevos rancheros for breakfast. Lobster enchiladas. Swordfish tacos. Shrimp burritos. Machaca. Chiles toreados. And so on. Everything served with rice and beans. And tortillas. Everyday it was a feast of Mexican food. And again it was cheap. I always ended up ordering so much food because I thought a $6 dollar portion wasn’t going to be enough for me. So I ordered more food. Always. I must have gained weight this weekend. Happily I don’t have a scale at home. So I won’t worry.

On my last day in San Diego I went all the way to Cabrillo National Monument, which is the northern tip of the bay, it looks like a huge elephant trunk that embraces San Diego and the Coronado island. Up there you get some amazing views of the city. You can also see Mexico on the horizon. It was really pretty up there, next to an old lighthouse. There’s also a path there to some tidal pools where you can spot different species of sea-life like anemones and colorful crabs. Next stop was San Diego’s old town, that I would guess is not really that old as it looks kind of fake, like some those “countries” in Disney’s Epcot Center. Still it was really pretty and picturesque. Mexican-style town. The Old West.

Upon coming back, going through all my emails, Uwe reminds me of The Poppyheads. And whatever happened to them?


For a Sarah Records band there is very little on the web about The Poppyheads. It’s true that it is one of the most sought-after 7″s released by the Bristol label and it was an early release on the label. Perhaps that’s why. I don’t own a copy sadly, and perhaps never will as I don’t feel like investing over 80 pounds for a 7″. Unless I win the lottery that is.

Maybe back in the day they did appear in many fanzines. I don’t think I own any that have an article on them but maybe some of you do? If so, maybe there are interviews and rare photos of the band? These days no one writes about them, and not even those download blogs are offering any of their releases.

They had two releases. One on Sarah as many of you know, and a flexi on the pre-Sarah label Sha La La that Matt Haynes also ran. The sound had changed in between releases. From the ramshackle beauty of the flexi to a more Pastels-kind of sound on the Cremation Town 7″.

As I said the flexi came first, in 1987, and came along the Are You Scared to be Happy fanzine. It was the sixth issue of the zine. I do own the flexi, not the zine sadly. Hard to buy them in bundles these days. The flexi is titled “Postcard for Flossy” and has a fun artwork in yellow and blue with small profile pictures of each of the band members. It was catalog number Ba Ba Ba-Ba Ba 004 and had four songs on it’s one and only side, “Sun Shines Forever “, “Changes Yesterday”, “First Thing” and On And On”. On the back cover there are some credits: “Rob played twelve-string guitar, Del shook the tambourine and sang too, Andrew played bass, David sang and played guitar and Nigel hit the drums”.

In April 1988 Sarah 006 was out. It was the Poppyheads new 7″ and had three songs, two on the A side and one on the B Side. The songs were “Cremation Town”, “Pictures You Weave” and “Dreamabout”. It is one of the most beautiful 7″s ever released in indiepop history. The cover and the back cover have monotone pictures in green taken by an enigmatic Melissa. These songs were recorded at The Facility 31st January 1988 and it came with a black and white poster of the band. Now the credits in this release are more descriptive:
– Bass – Andrew Zurek
-Drums – Nigel Blackwood
-Keyboards – Del Davies
-Producer – Chris Martin
-Written-By, Guitar, Vocals – Rob Young
-Written-By, Vocals, Guitar – David Barbenel

The beautiful, my favourite song of them, “Dreamabout” also would appear on two Sarah Records compilations, on Shadow Factory and Air Balloon Road as well.

Among some tidbits that I found online about the band there is the fact that they were from Cambridge and that Rob Young is a music author, journalist and current editor-at-large of The Wire, a British based experimental music magazine.  Young has contributed to various publications including The Guardian, Gramophone, The Independent On Sunday, Uncut, Frieze and Jazz Times. Actually if you follow this link you can read some of his articles.

He has published a bunch of books already too:
-Undercurrents: The Hidden Wiring of Modern Music (Editor, 2002: ISBN 0-8264-6450-5)
-Warp – Labels Unlimited (Black Dog Publishing, 2005: ISBN 1-904772-32-3)
-Rough Trade – Labels Unlimited (Black Dog Publishing, 2006: ISBN 1-904772-47-1)
-The Wire Primers Book (Editor, published by Verso, October 2009)

There’s also a story involving him, Factory Records and the fantastic Stockholm Monsters. As a youngster, Young allegedly wrote to Factory Records, looking to procure a copy of Stockholm Monsters’ latest release for a review in his fanzine, Tony France; the return letter was a rather succinct: “Fuck off and buy their records.”

About the other band members I couldn’t find any information. There’s a cello player called David Barbenel though who was playing for the Alan Tyler & The Lost Sons Of Littlefield. Could it be him? There’s a slight possibility as there are some members in this band that used to be in The Rockingbirds who were kind of close to the indiepop scene back in the early nineties releasing some records in Clawfist Records.

And that’s about it. I’ve heard there are tapes with more songs by The Poppyheads but never had the chance to hear to them. I wonder how many songs were actually recorded. Will they ever release a retrospective like their other Sarah Records peers did? I do know Firestation is interested and that would be a great thing for indiepop fans! If anyone has any memories, or any anecdotes or anything at all, please share! I really would like to know more about The Poppyheads, their legacy is little, but it’s really precious!


The Poppyheads – Dreamabout


Thanks so much to Jim Bishop for this interview! K-State was always a mystery to me until earlier this week I found two of their songs on Jim’s Youtube channel. Upon listening to “Lies” I was reminded why I searched for them in the first place, because they were making great jangly pop in those late 80s! As many obscure bands of the period there is not much written about them on the internet, but it’s time for that to change. Now sit back and discover K-State!

++ Hi Jim! Thanks a lot for for being up for this interview. As you might know there’s absolutely no information about K-State on the internet. Why do you think was that? Were you THAT obscure back in the day?

Good question. I’m surprised there’s absolutely nothing at all except for the posts I’ve put up on YouTube. In a way I was seeing if someone from the band would get in contact. At least you contacted me ABOUT the band so it does work ! But why nothing else..? Maybe.

1) The band was very popular locally in suburban North West London – Harrow, Wembley – but that’s still quite provincial. It’s away from the main live scene, so there’s no record of the band playing at well known venues like Dingwalls or The Dublin Castle. The Roxborough in Harrow for example was well known and popular but not on the live radar so far as London was concerned. Probably the nearest was The Clarendon, in Hammersmith.

2) As a wider answer, the unsigned bands from the eighties and nineties fall into a kind of internet black hole. Budget filming methods barely existed, so decent footage is thin on the ground and very basic quality by today’s standards. So material to put on YouTube is limited. Let alone posting the gig onto your Facebook page the day after. And audio-wise, If you weren’t signed it cost quite a lot of money to go into a recording studio then press the record yourself, so there were only a couple of ‘proper’ recordings made. I’ve posted one track from each vinyl record.

3) Time-wise most people of our era will have got on with their lives & copies of everything may have been lost in the intervening years with moving house, etc. I for one can’t find the early recordings made before I joined, I’m hoping someone somewhere has them.

++ You were telling me that you joined the band when they were already going, right? When did the band start and when did you join? And how did you know them?

I’d say they got going in 81/82. I met them in 83, and we became friends & me a fan.

I played in a guest spot on the first record in 86, and was asked to join after that.

Because I wasn’t there when they formed I’ll do my best to remember what the story was.

The 2 guitar players & bassist were – I think – all at the same school in Wembley, north west London. They definitely all lived in the same area. But the drummer went to school in Acton, where I lived. I was in a band myself and 3 of my band were at this school too, so the two bands were introduced to each other through that. We were playing in a similar style.

As a bizarre side-story, 3 members of The Who went to the same Acton school as the K-State drummer, whereas The Who’s drummer went to the same Wembley school as the other 3 members of K-State ! Also, I think three members of each band had learned to play the trumpet as well. Strange.

++ Talking of “them”, who were K-State and what instruments did each one of you played?

Original line-up:

Richard Elderfield – lead vocals, guitar, principal songwriter.
Graham Hodson – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Wade Chandler – Bass
Robert Weaver – Drums
Rachel Weaver – saxaphone (from 85)
Jim Bishop – Keyboards, some guitar, backing vocals (from 86)

++ Any clues why they named the band K-State?

Yes. Good answer, this, which is important for a band name. Robert’s Dad Bernie was a retired sound technician who’d worked for The Rank Organisation. As a result he somehow had access to the closed-down Kilburn State ballroom, which I understand was still being used as a BBC soundstage then (the guys told me there was a piano crashed halfway through the actual stage stuck there permanently.) Bernie managed to get the band in there to rehearse and even make some straight-to-tape recordings, which were really good quality. Anyway, someone was cleverly inspired to shorten Kilburn State to K-State. And there you have it. Some more educated scientific folk used to guess that it was referring to the k-state of an electron !

Because the building is listed they’ve kept it intact and you can still see it clearly from the tube with the huge letters ‘State’ on the top, so on the rare occasions I travel out that way it brings a smile to my face as it reminds me of the story. Not a bad landmark to choose ! It became a bingo hall afterwards, it’s even on Wiki – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilburn_State

++ And, yes, very important question. Whereabouts in the UK were you based? And what were the places in your town that you usually like hanging out at?

Nearly everyone lived in Wembley, or nearby. A pretty unremarkable part of London – except for having the most famous stadium in the world. At the time, especially after Live Aid in 85, lots more gigs went on there & the guys lived so close they could hear them from their houses – U2, Simple Minds, etc. I lived in Acton/Ealing, which is a couple of miles the other side of a huge hill & a big main road out of London from Wembley. Nice looking place, but hardly any live music.

++ What about gigs? Did K-State gig much? Any favourite gigs that you remember?

They/we did a regular gig at a pub originally called The Chequered Flag, in North Wembley. That was the ‘home gig’ if you like. Pretty much all the fans would turn up to those & they were good nights.  There are 3 videotaped shows from there, very basic quality. The pub changed its name to The Dog & Duck (yuck).

(The promoters who put that night on were big Gary Numan fans so how K-State ended up playing at those nights is still a bit weird. Apparently they put on a regular Numan disco & the man himself would turn up.)

The Roxborough in Harrow was good in an old-fashioned rowdy beer-drenched boozer sense; downstairs at The Clarendon and most other places like it you felt a bit more pressure. It was right at the height of pay-to-play so the pressure was on to get as many of your mates down to the gig to impress the promoters.

But the first K-State gig I went to (this is before I joined of course) left me speechless. I had no idea what I was in for – they blew the roof off. It was in one of those social clubs which have almost all disappeared now, North Harrow something-or-other.

++ Any other bands from that period that you liked and would recommend?

I’d gotten into the mod scene without becoming a full-on mod, so I used to see The Truth, The Prisoners, Making Time, The Moment, The Rage, The Way Out, to name a few. But that scene was short-lived and eventually splintered, the main result being Acid Jazz. I liked to see rhythm’n’blues bands, preferably with pub rock legends like Gypie Mayo or Mick Green. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There were a load of bands I liked at the time. I could go on and on and that’s not even asking everyone else in the band.

++ So, from what I gather, there were two releases, a 12″ and a 7″. Is that right? Or was there anything else? Compilation appearances perhaps?

That’s it I’m afraid, both self-made. No record label so no real release as such. Just sold at gigs.

++ The 12″ that had “Promise” in it came in 1986 and it was self-released by the band. What other songs were in this release?  And did your own label had a name?

The A-side was We’ll Find A Way (which Richard sometimes called We’ll Find THE Way, he kept switching.) The other track was Endless Struggle. No label.

++ Then, in 1987 there was the “Lies” 7″. I’ve only heard the A-side for this one. The B-side being “The Connoisseur”. But “Lies” to me sounds a bit different than the previous release, it’s just pure jangle bliss! Who would you say were the influences of K-State? And do you happen to know the story behind this song?

First and foremost, we had all met because we loved The Jam, but sadly they split up just as we’d started.

I was surprised when Richard brought Lies in, it’s so different from anything else he came up with. They way he sings it sounds like he really means what he’s singing, but I have no idea what influenced it. I can say for sure that we all knew the writing was on the wall for angry-young-men-doing-power-pop, which was the thing we’d been into. Once Paul Weller ditched The Jam and stopped being the king of making sharp aggressive music, there was no-one to take his place and tastes shifted away from it, as they always do.

Indie bands were getting more exposure & heading for mainstream popularity, especially The Cure and The Smiths; The Fall started to sound more chart-friendly, That Petrol Emotion were on the rise, Roddy Frame hit with Aztec Camera. So we had to change & although there were a few directions we could’ve gone, the popular thing at the time – and you have to remember all bands wanted to sign a record contract – was slick-sounding white soul, like The Blow Monkeys or Swing Out Sister. If you remember the late eighties you’ll know what I mean. And Richard was going for something like that that still suited the band. He did great I think.

I’ll get around to putting The Connoisseur up. It was a very popular live favourite, the K-State theme song for a while. It’s the first one to add saxophone & go for a smoother sound, but really catchy too.

++ On the sleeve artwork for this 7″ there are some portrait drawings. Who are they?

That’s us, as sketched by a friend of the band, from photos taken at the recording session.

++ By any chance do you know how many copies were pressed of these records? Perhaps it’s because they are not very well known, but I don’t think I’ve even seen them pop on eBay!

My best memory is that there were 200 of the 12” and 500 of the 7”. I know for a fact that 50 of the 7” got totalled because like a prat I drove away from the pressing plant with one box still on the roof of my car! Oops. I seem to remember we put the sleeves together Buzzcocks-style, sitting round with scissors and glue.

++ And what happened between the 7″ and the time you left the band? Are there any recordings from that period?

We did tape some rehearsals – which as I said unfortunately I’ve lost – but no more studio stuff. We were doing a good job forging ahead trying a new direction, but everything seems to have its own lifespan and I’d say ours had run its course.

++ When did the band split? And what happened after? Were you guys still involved with music?

I went travelling at the end of 88 and although I contacted the guys when I got back I really lost proper touch with them not long after; the band came to a halt in 89 and I think everybody splintered a little, as happens. People wanted to start families, spend more time doing other things. Being in a band can be very time absorbing. But I’ve been banging away ever since! I tried to stop when I was going through a hard time in the nineties, but it keeps drawing me back like a siren. I play in a band called, would you believe, King Salami and The Cumberland Three, which has a decent fanbase on the independent garage punk scene. I’m also in a 60’s all-male dance troupe called The Action Men; it’s easier to just watch the YouTube clips than explain. I’ve been in quite a few other band along the way, most recently Luxury Condo.

I record my own stuff under the name The Sayme, a lot of which I’ve put up on Soundcloud under the name Clark Commando (I’ve ended up with pseudonyms all over the place). In fact I pressed a 7” single in 2006 of a song I originally wrote for K-State, with new title & lyrics, called Ebabe. I was hoping to hawk it to Ebay to see if they’d use it in an ad, but that company are impenetrable! I thought of flogging some t-shirts with the ebabe logo on, but that seemed like too much hassle. And I could’ve gotten sued into poverty.

++ You were telling me you haven’t heard from the other band members since then. That’s a long time! Is there anything you’d like to say to them?

Hey ! How’s it going?! Let’s meet up…

I hope everyone’s doing well. We were good friends and a good band, and as you go on through life you realise just how much good fortune it takes to make those things work. I’m sure at least a couple of them are still in touch with each other.

++ And what would you say was your biggest highlight as part of K-State?

Musically, the Lies single sounded great to me, a real epic. I confess I’ve been naughty and put the alternate mix on YouTube with everything on it, that’s the one I love.

Live, the first time I saw the band play – they opened with Heatwave and I couldn’t believe how powerful, tight and sharp they were. Then the first time I played live I got a cheer when my name was mentioned. Typical show-off you see.

Socially we had some great laughs, especially with our drummer Robert, he’s such a character. Lots of growing up lads stuff that would make us wince now, but really funny at the time. But when we recorded Lies we went up to a studio in the middle of nowhere, literally a converted farmhouse. We stayed at a local pub and the landlord took the rare chance (for him) to stay up drinking with us. It was very messy.

I got into Super-8 film; mainly collecting though I tried to make films as well to use as backdrops for gigs. Wasn’t really good at it though.But I now have an unrivaled Super-8 collection, mainly because there’s no rivalry in it.

I took up scuba diving which I’d wanted to do since I was a kid. I love it but time and money make it a rare treat these days.

I’m a general wildlife enthusiast, though I don’t think of it as a hobby as such.

++ Thanks again Jim! Great to know a bit more about K-State. Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for tracking K-State down and being interested in the band!


K-State – Lies


Cristóbal sends me a message, “have you seen the Twee.net results?”. It’s last Monday and I’m waiting for a friend to have early lunch. Korea Town. 12pm. Just an hour before work. I haven’t seen the poll results. I don’t expect any blatant cheating as Series Two did many years ago, but I expect some dubious labels to show up. It’s part of the game. Anyways, it’s never more than 30 or so people that bother to vote. But my reasoning being that these are the 30 people that are really into indiepop, that do care to express their mind.

Upon devouring my soup with noodles and sliced ribeye, and having a nice time with my friend who just moved to New York from Miami to work at the NY Times, I walked the 5 long blocks that separate the K-Town and it’s fun karaokes and AP’s building in a non-descriptive street. First thing to do when waking up the computer, check the Twee.net poll.

I admit I wasn’t surprised to see Cloudberry getting just the exhilarating amount of 2 votes. If one was by Cristóbal, then there is one more fan in the whole world. Many thanks to that one person who voted for me. Matinée won the category with 8 votes.

The blog did win, or to be exact, tied with three other blogs on the first place on the category Best Blog about Indiepop. We got three votes as A Layer of Chips, Indefinitely Blue and Frigopop also did. Cheers for that. Quite an accomplishment. If I remember correctly the blog also did very well in the 2012 poll.

On the best band category it was lovely to see Alpaca Sports on the 3rd place with 5 votes. Alpaca Sports is our next release. And actually the sleeves for the upcoming 7″ single arrived this weekend. Now just waiting for the vinyls! Another Cloudberry-related band, The Garlands, came in 7th place. The winner of this category was no other than Allo Darlin.

For “Best Song”, it was great to see “Helen of Troy” by Pale Spectres on 4th place. Twig also had a song called “Helen of Troy” on the 3″ mini CD. Pale Spectres, who appeared on the CD of our last fanzine, will appear in an interview on the next fanzine now. And we are planning a 7″ release for this year. Crossing fingers. Again Allo Darlin wins this category.

The Garlands snatched a third place as “Best Album”. I would have loved to release this album of course. I voted for it as well. Once again Allo Darlin wins this category.

In “Best New Band”, Alpaca Sports win with flying colors. A well deserved first place with 8 votes. Pale Spectres, with 5 votes, came 4th. The surprise is Charlie Big Time, who are by no means a new band, as we released a 3″ CD in 2007, and later another song on the second Cloudberry fanzine in 2008. But this time they appear in this category as the 5th place.

“Best gig”? Allo Darlin keeps on winning. But second place is the Close Lobsters and their Madrid Popfest gig. I don’t understand how this gig didn’t win first place as it was so special. It was just legendary. Sorry Allo Darlin, you might have more fans willing to vote than The Close Lobsters, but their gig deserved first place. And the second place, if we are just fair and square, should have been The Aislers Set at the Chickfactor show in New York. Sadly it seems it was just me who thought this way as that gig only got one vote.

“Best Indiepop site” goes to Frigopop. I wonder what’s the difference between indiepop blog and indiepop site as these days it seems they are both the same.

“Best paper fanzine”. Oh here I’m actually so disappointed. The fanzine I make with so much love didn’t get even a single vote. Oddly enough the last fanzine sold out in just weeks. In previous years we always won this category. It was our stronghold. This year, no votes. But our fanzines sell faster. Go figure.

“Best mailorder” goes to Pebble Records. Second place for Jigsaw and third place, and please don’t get scared by this answer, “Bandcamp”. Yes you read that right. BANDCAMP. I can only ask, what is wrong with people??

Something I do miss from previous years of the Twee.net poll is the ability to check individual votes. That’s no longer the case, and now all votes are secret.

What does this all mean for Cloudberry, most probably it states the fact that we are not very well known. That even though we can be very productive our lack of “big bands” leaves us in the outskirts of the indiepop scene. That may raise the question, do we even want to be a bigger label? Certainly the answer is no, we are happy with how we work and what we do. I like the pace of Cloudberry. Will it be possible to keep doing the same and at some point gain more recognition? That’s something, entering in 2013 to our 6th year, I’d like to see. Perhaps the next Twee.net poll will answer those questions.


Today I have a very obscure band. One that there’s almost zero information about online. It is true that they have a discogs entry and their two songs are on Youtube, but any sort of descriptive information about them is non-existent on the web. I heard about them, just by the name, from Stephan, a friend and a follower of the blog (who I owe some MP3 rips. Will do this week! Promise!). I eventually found the 7″ for cheap on eBay. Like for 3 dollars if I remember correctly, plus shipping. So I assume it’s easy to find for all of you treasure hunters.

picture (n.)  “drawing, painting,” from Latin pictura “painting,” from pictus, pp. of pingere “to make pictures, to paint, to embroider,”

innocence (n.) “freedom from guilt,” from O.Fr. inocence “innocence, purity, chastity” (12c.), from L. innocentia, from innocens “harmless, blameless” (see innocent). Meaning “lacking in guile or artifice” is from late 14c.

Two words from latin origin put together, Pictures of Innocence is the obscure band of the week.

The blue monotone cover sleeve has a picture of what I would guess a Chinese man, an elder man, smoking some sort of pipe. He is wearing shades. His hands are bony. And there’s smoke all around. On the right bottom corner the name of the band and the name of the A-side, “No-one Crying”.

This A-side is the best song of the 7″. A mix of synths and electric guitars, very much the style of pre-indiepop times. This is from 1983 and you can already sense where jangly pop was heading towards to in the British isles. The pop sensibilities of later C86 bands are here, but of course, it’s a bit different. It’s a different period altogether. But it’s great too as any pop lover would attest.

The record was released by Little Prince records, this release being the first reference of the catalog. This makes me deduce that this was a self-released record and the band ran the label. On one of the 7″ labels, you know the center part of the record, there’s a drawing of the Little Prince, who I assume most of the readers of the blog have read?

The B-side is “Love & War”. This song is a bit more synth-pop driven, more early 80s sound, with what I guess is a saxophone (?) too. It’s not as catchy as the A-side, but still it’s quite enjoyable. On this track the vocals are very late 80s indiepop I think. I’m brainstorming right now, thinking which band the vocals reminds me of, but I can’t just figure out, though I feel I have the name of the band on the tip of my tongue.

But as I said, about the band there’s nothing at all to uncover. We don’t know the band members’ names. Or if they had any releases. Or where in the UK were they from. And that’s if they are from the UK! If they played any gigs? If they were part of any scene? If they recorded any more songs? If they were involved with other bands? All questions are unanswered but hopefully not for long. Maybe some of you can help?


Pictures of Innocence – No-one Crying


Sonia is a feminine given name in many areas of the world including the West, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and India. The name is derived from “Sophia”, a Greek name meaning wisdom. Sonia and its variant spellings Sonja and Sonya are Russian variations on Sophia. The name was popularised by a 1917 bestselling novel, Sonia by Stephen McKenna.  In Hindi, the name means ‘golden’, derived from सोना sonā ‘gold’, from Sanskrit सुवर्ण suvarṇa (su- ‘good’ + varṇa ‘color’).  Sonya and its variations are occasionally found as surnames in England and the American eastern seaboard.

Of course, the Sonya I remember, the Sonya I know, is Sonya Blade from the Mortal Kombat games…

Can’t say yet that it’s been a great start of the year. Today I waited forever for the internet guy to come home and do a brand new installation. He never showed up. Had to call and reschedule with the company. They say they can’t track him down, that I could only wait or reschedule. Even though I paid already, Time Warner seems to feel they are entitled to treat their customers like this. As they have my money, now I can only play by their rules. Even the operator, this woman called Tiffany, said that I have to have a positive attitude, that I can’t be thinking they won’t call me on Thursday, the new date when the technician is supposed to come. How dare her tell me that when I’ve been waiting for a phone call for four hours. But what was I going to do? fight?

On Saturday, another argument at the post office. I’m sending a new parcel to Jigsaw Records, full of replacements. The woman asks me if I want to do Media Mail. I say no. I explain to her that I sent Media Mail last time and my 4 lbs parcel arrived as a 1.2 lbs parcel. That most of the stuff went missing. She must be quite slow because she asked me where is the rest of the stuff. I said, probably at some postman’s house. Perhaps I should have been more polite, as it wasn’t her fault really, but it pissed me. It was a big parcel, with lots of records and most especially some sold out fanzines which I really don’t have anymore to replace. In the end I paid 3 times more for shipping, I sent it as Parcel Post.

And another package I sent back in October went missing. It makes me wonder, because the United States Postal Service is raising the prices on January 27th, if they plan to keep being so clumsy and losing people’s packages. Sadly this new raise of prices will affect Cloudberry prices. I will appreciate everyone’s understanding.

Of course, it’s not that terrible, there are plenty of different scenarios that can be worst than this early 2013 start. But you know, I was very positive and thinking it will be a smooth year. The last couple of months of 2012 haven’t been that easy. So it’s definitely a bit of a letdown. But, and there’s a big but, my traveling adventures are just around the corner and they will lift my spirits. Definitely.

In two weekends I’m heading to San Diego, just as a tourist, with a heavy agenda in sightseeing. Looking forward especially to the famous San Diego Zoo. I’ve never been a fan of pets, but I love animals and their little story, their background, what they eat, where they live and one or two curiosities about them. You know, like how many hearts a squid has? That kind of thing. Also I love spotting animals that come from Peru. It’s a bit random, but it makes me proud when for example I see a bunch of llamas. Which reminded me of that one time, when in a high school field trip, one llama decided to spit, on a perfect parabola, a big clot onto one of the hip classmates eye. Those were the days.

And speaking to “the days”, then of course there is my trip to Europe in March. Not many news on that front aside that I bought my Madrid Popfest ticket yesterday. Still waiting for the remaining announcements as I believe there are two or three bands left to be added to the bill.

In general, that should be a fantastic birthday trip. The first time I try to celebrate my birthday properly. I’ve always liked it to have a quiet day, even I preferred going to work every Ides of March. The only time I recall having an out of the ordinary birthday was probably when I turned six years old. My dad took me to the racetrack. And we bet on the horses. I bet on number six for obvious reasons. And “Karateka”, that was the name of the horse, won with honors. With the money won, we went to the market and spend it in new G.I. Joes.

The past couple of days I’ve been doing something I love though, I’ve been reordering my whole 7″ vinyl record collection. In alphabetical order. It’s taking me hours and hours and I’m still not done. I bought these special boxes for 45s they sell at Bags Unlimited. They are quite nice, and most importantly, you can stack them. This is perfect for me, because I need more space in my spare room. I hope to fit at some point my sofa bed and also a twin size inflatable mattress. Always thinking in my guests comfort. Anyhow, I also bought these separators and I noticed I wasted one in letter “O”. So little indiepop bands that start with the letter O. I should have combined it with the letter N as I did Q with R. In any case, I have many more hours of ordering them. And in the not so distant future some CD furniture will be arriving home too and then it will be the turn of the CDs.

And after a very odd weekend at karaokes, lunching Trinidad and Tobago’s cuisine, devouring delicious roti and shark sandwiches, and later drinking Miller High Life at Mondo while I danced to The Primitives on my own, I rested. I played some computer games and found out that there’s a new Sim City coming out soon. And that’s quite exciting. Oh and that there’s a new movie coming up, “Before Midnight”, that I’m also looking forward as I enjoyed the prequels very much. Now, the question is, are there any indiepop albums coming up that I should be on the lookout? If so, enlighten me. I find myself so out of the loop these days.


I keep going through the amazing CD that Rupert from A Turntable Revolution gave me months ago. As some of you might be aware a bunch of the latest posts on the blog are covering bands that appear on this CD he kindly made for me. Perhaps next week I’ll investigate about some band not featured here as I have got a couple of requests (oddly enough!). But for now, let me stick to it as only by blogging I do end up finding and taming this curiosity of mine.

Track number 16 on this nameless white CD-R. On the tracklist, black ink and handwritten, it says ‘Splash with Sonya – Surf Song’. To my surprise this song has been already uploaded to Youtube. The comments there don’t say much, someone remembers the good times when the band was around, another remembers that they were around the same time as the Shop Assistants, Soup Dragons and more. The only clue and potential information is in the description of the video: “Coventry indie band from the late 1980’s”

Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 12th largest UK city overall. It is also the second largest city in the West Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 318,600 at the 2011 UK census. Coventry was the world’s first twin city when it formed a twinning relationship with the Russian city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) during World War II. The relationship developed through ordinary people in Coventry who wanted to show their support for the Soviet Red Army during the Battle of Stalingrad.

When I think of Coventry, I always think of The Primitives. I’ve never been there mind you.

As far as I could figure out, there was only one release by Splash with Sonya. It was a 12″ released by Gemma GR Records in 1990 (catalog GR 100) and included the songs “Surf Song”, “Talk To Much”, “Once In A Lifetime (Again)” and “Watchtower”. I’ve only listened to the opening track. If anyone could help me listen the rest of the EP, that’d be very nice!

The band was formed by Niall Carson, Jamie Deas and Simon Wagstaff. It seems they were from an area called Stoke Park, and from what I found online, after the little success of Splash with Sonya they started a covers band in 1992, actually a Beatles tribute band. And they called themselves The Swains. You can read their story here.

About the name of the band, according to The Swains official page, Splash with Sonya  was “a name culled from the title of a film surely no-one would want to see.”

The only other mention I found was actually about Marion, Simon’s mother. It’s a bit odd, but perhaps it would end up as a clue to know whatever happened to the band. It seems she moved to a place called Criccieth where she takes care of her garden and of course her son, who happened to be the drummer of Splash with Sonya visits her often.

From my deductive powers, if Simon was the drummer, Niall must have been the vocalist and guitarist and Jamie the bassist.

And that’s all about I could find about them. It seems that their records don’t show up much on eBay, but then I can’t say I have been following and searching for them for a long time. I’ve only discovered them through this CD. So if anyone has any more information about them, please share! And if anyone has a spare copy of the record that would be happy to part with, please consider me!


Splash with Sonya – Surf Song


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