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


And I thought we were enjoying some days of spring here in New York. Today the temperature dropped to 6 degrees Celsius. Go figure. In any case it was a fresh morning to pass by the print shop and pick up the sleeves for the compilation “Envoys from Alexandria” that’s coming out in a week or two. This compilation of course is bundled with a ink and paper fanzine, like the good old days. The new Cloudberry fanzine, printed in orange, containing 28 pages of pure indiepop, is the eighth issue and I’m very happy and proud of it.

The new fanzine includes interviews to many of my new favourite bands, bands that have been part or will be part of the Cloudberry family. Included in our catalog number 408 are interviews to Flowers, Tiny Fireflies, Pale Spectres, Je Suis Animal and Tripping the Light Fantastic.

And this is the 3″ CD tracklist:
a1. Hiro – Crystal Days
a2. Homecomings – You Never Kiss
a3. Je Suis Animal – Tale From the Sea
b1. Tiny Fireflies – If It’s True
b2. Souvenir Stand – Wherever You Go
b3. Flowers – Hide and Seek

Pretty international compilation. France, Norway, Japan, the UK and the US are all well represented. As always, like previous fanzine releases, included are Cloudberry favourites and up and coming bands. I’m all for introducing you all the new bands I’m enjoying at the moment! I hope you like them too 🙂

If you are familiar with previous Cloudberry releases you’ll find the usual sections, my editorial, the recommended listening column, the recommended fanzines and websites and the Cloudberry catalog. Not trying to re-invent the wheel here. Just a humble fanzine with the important things in indiepop! The things that matter!

Something that I feel important to mention is that the fanzine is not an extension of this blog. Some people might think that because it includes interviews. But the interviews in the fanzine are very different to the ones here. Whereas here, in the blog, I try to reconstruct the band’s story, on the fanzine I try to find out the soul of the band, their ideas, their future plans, the small details that make them different to other bands out there. Does that make sense? Also of course you can’t compare the format. Flipping pages is something else. And I don’t print it in copy paper, just saying. But on a pretty fine quality paper.

I remember when I started drafting my first zine. It was around the last months of 2007. It was a time when there were a couple of people writing some. Mostly black and white photocopy zines. I thought I should do one, mostly as a vehicle to promote the Cloudberry bands in a format that is tightly associated to indiepop. As a record collector I have of course ended up collecting fanzines too. Especially those of the late 80s. And I said to myself, if I was going to make a zine, it should try to recapture that feel, the aesthetic, of the Woosh, the Turn!, This Almighty Pop!, or The Fine Art of Shoplifting, among others.

Did I happen to be successful at this? I want to think that I have. Up to a point at least. Of course the printing industry has changed. Doing offset printing these days is really not an option. So you have to go on and print color. Even if it’s just one color as my fanzine is. That means it’s going to be a bit pricey. Unless I print it in black ink (which I did once, on 405). The idea is to have a rainbow of fanzines, each to have it’s different feel. So a blue fanzine came first, a red one second, a light green third, a purple fourth, a black fifth, a pink sixth, a dark green seventh and now an orange eighth.

The important thing in the end was to make something with quality, a design and aesthetic quality, which is something I really am very picky with. There’s nothing more important for me than the packaging of all our releases. Because I can’t understand those that having beautiful music decide to dress it in the most cheap-looking, and eye-appalling, packages. How could anyone for example put a gorgeous indiepop jingle jangle pop band in a slim jewel case? Is it laziness? Indolence? A lack of taste? I don’t know. The scary part is of course that many times bands put it with it.

In any case it doesn’t matter. The Cloudberry fanzine happily has been a success, all copies selling out pretty fast. It makes me terribly happy that people have been very supportive. Especially when fanzines feel like a dead medium sometimes. When blogs and websites are supposed to take over their print counterpart. But it’s clear there are romantics out there that appreciate the feel of paper in their hands. To those people I promise to keep up doing fanzines and I hope, and I’m very positive, that there will be a new fanzine, the 9th, later this year.


It’s been a while since I visited and covered an obscure band from Sweden. So let’s do that now. It’s one of my favourite places after all. I would move there in a blink if I could. Be with all the good friends I happen to have there.

Let’s go back then to 1986. That’s the year The Merry Dance released their one and only release. A private release with catalog AIM-001 that seems very obscure these days. As far as I know there were only 500 copies pressed.

The sound is very Felt-esque. It’s quite brilliant. It’s jangly, it has an organ, and the Japanese fans would definitely file this record under that broad term they have that is neo-aco.

The A side of this single is “It’s Passed, it is Gone” and the B side is “You will See the Light”. The artwork of the record is pretty minimalistic and a bit mysterious. Two pair of eyes, two noses. Two mouthless faces. Wonder if these drawings have any meaning.

Both songs were penned by Peter Rosén who also played the 12 and 6 string guitars, bass and vocals. Nicko Rölke played the Spanish solo guitar and did backing vocals. Henrik Af Ugglas played drums, hammond organ and backing vocals. And last but not least James Flach did backing vocals too. Because of this setup I tend to guess that they were more of a studio band and not much a live band.

This fine slab of 7″ vinyl was produced by both Rosén and Ugglas (who also engineered the record).

I have a wild guess that this might be the same Henrik Af Ugglas of The Merry Dance on Discogs. Clicking on the myspace link it confirms that he lives in Stockholm as well, and also on Discogs he has a release with the band Baby Snakes from 1987, meaning he was making music since the late 80s. So, are my suspicions in the right track?

The last bit of information to be found is that both songs were recorded in Stockholm in Spring of 1986.

Everything else about them seems a mystery. There’s absolutely no other information about them online. so, if anyone out there has any other information about The Merry Dance, their whereabouts, what did they do after, if they had more songs, if anyone have any spare copies of this 7″, and so on, I’d love to know. Even if anyone has the B-side and would be kind to share it with me. I would love to hear it. I really enjoy this “It’s Passed, it is Gone song”.

See you next week!


Sleepwalkers – Honey Hunter


The latest Cloudberry release came out yesterday, April 15th, the Tripping the Light Fantastic 7″. Today I feel very happy. I went earlier to the post office and posted a bunch of records. Tomorrow will be the same story. And Thursday too. Also I just got an email saying that the new stock of Cloudberry t-shirts is on it’s way to me. So everything’s dandy around here. Next week  I should finally send the fanzine to print. And then I think I’m going to be up to date. I wasn’t wrong when I said this was going the be the most productive year for the label.

Speaking of merch. A couple of weekends ago I had some friends visiting and were asking me if I would do mugs with the label logo or turntable slipmats. Anyone interested in that?
I’ve been having a bit of a flashback day today. Jalito found this scan of a Cookie Scene magazine (a music magazine from Japan) that Toshiko, from Apple Crumble, used to write. She had a column/page in the magazine called “Indiepop Around the World”. I actually have one number where she talks about Cloudberry. And of course, that is really no surprise, as she was kind enough t send me a copy. This article in the other hand talks a bit about South American indiepop, mostly about Plastilina and it’s run as the one and only true indiepop label in the continent. The surprise for me was to see my first band being named in this page, Demolición.

I’ve never been keen to talk about those days. It was great fun and we were so very young. We tried to make proper indiepop, like the Funday Mornings or the Tidy Ups, but we always sound punkier, less poppier, than our intentions. We weren’t successful. So why talk about that? I’ve always avoided talking much about it on interviews when asked how come I don’t make music. The truth is, I’m not very talented at that. Though if I could, I would try it again today. Anyways, what surprised me is how come Toshiko knew about Demolición. It’s not like people knew us.

We did release a tape. And had a song on a compilation. I feel the compilation appearance was a bit of cheating as I curated it. It was for a magazine in Lima called Revista 69. I wasn’t planning to include my song “Artes Marciales” but the editor of the magazine said I should, that it was great, and represented the new indiepop in Peru. That might have been true. We were the only ones at that time at least trying to make indiepop. The compilation name was “Es Pop, Mamá”, taken from a song by Ella y los Neumáticos, a band that included Christina Rosenvinge who would become quite famous, even in the mainstream, Christina y los Subterráneos. This song was later covered by the super fantastic, my favourite band to sing in Spanish (and who you could say was my biggest influence in my short band experience), TCR.

This magazine had a lot of readers. And I’ve met many people back in Peru that do know this song. And I’ve seen it uploaded in Youtube even. Which is really scary. I sing awful. Even more bizarre some bands have covered it. Still, it was only inside the bubble of Peru, no one outside of it knew about it.

Perhaps that’s not a 100% true. I guess through Soulseek people might have found it. There’s the one and only case that I know of, Adriá from Papa Topo, found it. That was totally strange. Unexpected. We somehow had made it all the way to Mallorca. I felt very honoured and pleased with this odd change of events that I sent Adriá the last copy I had of our one and only proper release, “Laurita lee el Bushido” (Laurita reads the Bushido), a tape with our home recordings that was released by a small Peruvian label called Internerds Records back in 2005 or so (?), many years after we had split as a band.

That still doesn’t explain how we ended up in an article of a Japanese magazine. I’m stoked. We were terrible. We barely knew how to play an instrument. We did have that amateur freshness, that drive and nerve that eighteen year old have when making music, but that was that. That was probably our only asset. I do think we wrote fun lyrics and that our melodies were fine. If we only had been a bit better, more proficient, we could have lasted longer. But perhaps not. Daniel left to Denver. José wasn’t please with Guille’s guitars. And so, things started to crumble. We tried later doing it again. I remember trying to record a song called “Tragaplanetas” at Arturo’s place. I don’t know what happened to those tracks, if there are any.

The good thing of all of this is that Daniel and José are still making music under Eva & John along with Chete (who I played briefly with in Los Rebeldes Walkie-Talkie) and who I’m putting out their first release, a flexi single in the next couple of weeks. It’s smashing. It sounds 100 times better than what Demolición used to sound. Though I have to say, I have this little itch sometimes, after I see blog posts or little comments remembering us, that if this first flexi proves successful, I wouldn’t mind releasing a Demolición flexi, with two of our songs. Just for fun.


Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism or noctambulism, is a sleep disorder belonging to the parasomnia family. Sleepwalkers arise from the slow wave sleep stage in a state of low consciousness and perform activities that are usually performed during a state of full consciousness. These activities can be as benign as sitting up in bed, walking to the bathroom, and cleaning, or as hazardous as cooking, driving, violent gestures, grabbing at hallucinated objects, or even homicide.

The obscure band for this week is an Irish one. One from Galway. And they were called Sleepwalkers.

I’ve never been to Galway or know much about it, so I guess a little background information won’t hurt:

Galway, or the City of Galway (Irish: Cathair na Gaillimhe), is a city in Ireland. It is in the West Region and the province of Connacht. Galway City Council is the local authority for the city. Galway lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous city in the state and the sixth most populous on the island of Ireland.
The city takes its name from the river Gaillimh (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe (“Fort at the mouth of the Gaillimh”). The word Gaillimh means “stoney” as in “stoney river” (the mythical and alternative derivations are given in History of Galway). Historically, the name was Anglicised as Galliv, which is closer to the Irish pronunciation as is the city’s name in Latin, Galvia.

It seems they have some medieval structures in town, so definitely my kind of place. I would really like to go to Ireland at some point. If only I had more vacations!

The information I could find from the band mostly comes from the Irish Rock Discography site. As in the case of Cuba Dares, we can’t be 100% sure that the information on the site is accurate, but let’s hope it is for our own sake.

There is no dates for when the band was active but there’s; a lineup. That’s a start!
John Crumlish – vocals
Declan Gibbons – guitar
Fergal Gallagher – bassAllan Flynn – drums

The drummer, Allan, had been involved before with the band “Too Much for the Whiteman”. And it’s said that Walter Feichter replaced Fergal Gallagher on bass for the band’s second single.

There’s a little interesting article here about John Crumlish who was the vocalist of the band and is now the Chief Executive of Galway Arts Festival. There’s a little mention to Sleepwalkers here:

John had commitments to his job so he returned to teaching but lasted just another year before he packed it all in to move to Galway full-time. By this stage, himself and Declan had their own band, The Sleepwalkers, which he felt justified his move to the City of the Tribes – though others might have thought it was a foolish decision at the time, leaving a full-time teaching post to write songs and play in a band!

It seems that “Too Much for the Whiteman” was quite different to Sleepwalkers. It’s said to have been a rock/reggae band that was around from 85 to 89. These dates make me assume that Sleepwalkers started as a band in the early 90s. I found a little video of the band rehearsing. I think it’s from these days?

Don’t know how successful they were, but I would say they were at least a bit. Releasing two 7″s has never been an easy task. Their first 7″ was released in 1991, on the label Solid Records (catalog ROK 742). This record has the sublime “Rapid City” on the A side and “Extreme” on the B side. The A side might be my favourite Sleepwalkers song. I wonder if they’ve ever been to Rapid City, South Dakota! You can listen to it on Youtube as that cuckoo Japanese Takashi has uploaded it. Not complete of course because he is so careful for people (especially me) not to “steal” an MP3. Oh well, indie fans and their quirks.

The second single came out a year later. Again on Solid Records. This time the catalog was ROK 756. The song I’m sharing with you comes from this one. The A side was “Honey Hunter” and the B side was “Danny (Is it Now?)”.

On the back sleeve of the second single there’s a bit extra information. We learn that “Honey Hunter” was produced by John Dunford and recorded at Bow Lane Studios in Dublin. The B side on the other hand was produced by the band and recorded at West One in Galway by Pat Neary.

And that’s all I’ve been able to gather about this band. I wonder what happened to them. If any of them was an actual sleepwalker. If they had more songs. Who knows. Maybe someone out there knows and can fill in the blanks. If any one happens to have any spare copies of their record that’d be great too. Playing their songs on Youtube or on iTunes doesn’t compare as playing them on your turntable! Let’s see if we can solve the Sleepwalkers mystery.


Sleepwalkers – Honey Hunter


Incredibly sunny today in New York City. It’s warm. So warm it feels like it is summer. Last week’s weather made you think that spring was never coming around, that winter was going to stay forever, and now this. It’s like we are just skipping a whole season. I may have to buy the a/c units before what I expected. Especially for my illustrious guests in May for NYC Popfest.

Speaking of NYC Popfest I’ve been invited to DJ between bands on the opening night at the Cake Shop. I’ve DJed twice between bands, at Littlefield here in NY and in Brixton at How Does it Feel. I will always prefer making people dance, playing the obvious hits and the not so obvious, but DJing between bands can be rewarding too. You ask how? Well, I tend to play obscure songs in these cases. I feel rewarded if someone ends up recognizing the song and comes up for a little chat. It’s like finding a soul-mate.  Well, not quite. But you get my point.

Also yesterday the Chickfactor shows were announced for June. I will attend this again even though I’ve seen most of the bands before. It surprises me though that most of the bands too did play Chickfactor festival last year. I guess I’m not so keen in seeing the same bands over and over. Though seeing the Jim Ruiz group ten thousand times is fine with me. My only big complain about it: it’s pricey. You see, NYC Popfest, with many more international bands, on a weekend, for four days, is cheaper than Chickfactor’s three nights during weekdays.

Also T-shirts for Cloudberry are being made at the moment. Most of them are in black and truffle colour. But there will be some in navy and lieutenant gray. The run is very limited. 30 t-shirts. And of course, those 30 will be divided in small, medium, large and x-large sizes. So if you want to secure one you can email me and we’ll figure something up. I still need to figure out the postage price with this year’s increase but as soon as I have, I’ll post a pre-order button on the label website.

Talking about repeating bands. I saw the Sea Lions and Golden Grrrls once more yesterday at the Cake Shop. It was quite fun, especially the Sea Lions who I really think have come to be one of the best American indie pop bands. So good. I believe they are playing again tonight in Bushwick, but even though I’d love to go I don’t think it’s such a great idea to go all the way there as I do have to work tomorrow. And tomorrow I actually do need to prepare a class I’m teaching at CUNY this Thursday evening, so the week is going to be over before I know it. Pretty busy. I look forward to a more relaxed next week though the Tripping the Light Fantastic is coming out next week too. So, yeah, I’m probably never resting again in my life.

Yesterday after a nice chit-chat at the Cake Shop I was reminded of MaxBurger. I had read about this company before and I didn’t remember seeing it in Stockholm the last time I was there. But this time around I saw a couple around and I was lucky that there was one around the place I was staying. I’m curious always about the local flavour and when Gustav, Emelie and me, were wondering what to have for dinner I quickly suggested the burgers.

Less than a week before this important event in my life I had tried Hesburger in Tallinn. Not an Estonian chain, but a Finnish one. As I was hanging out with my friend Riina who happened to be Finnish, we had to get take out. The hamburger was alright. Not bad for a chain store, but nothing special, it wouldn’t beat Wendy’s but McDonald’s for sure. The terrible thing about this place was that they charged you for sauces. Even for ketchup! How can that be legal?

MaxBurger was on a league of it’s own. It was quite tasty. Especially thanks to that orange-pink sauce they have. Looking at it’s ingredients I noticed that it contained some cauliflower. I totally dislike cauliflower. But that sauce was heavenly. Heavenly between the hamburger buns, heavenly with the fries. I believe they charge you other different dips, but they seemed fancier than ketchup. But no need, Gustav bought a whole pot of MaxBurger sauce. You don’t need anything else but that. If they only sell it here at the supermarket like the ever-present in my everyday life HP Brown sauce.

A funny anecdote while at the line ordering my burger was that there was a couple behind me with their kids. Older couple. And I could totally recognize the accent of the woman behind me. Totally. She was from Lima. And her phrases, the words she chose, it brought back a part of Peru all the way to Stockholm to me. I swear. I can never run away from it. I have a Peruvian magnet! It’s like that one time on a random train in Denmark, overhearing another Peruvian woman telling a guy her stories as a prostitute. Oh dear! When I was growing up I always heard on TV and places that there was a Peruvian even in the most remote places. I truly believe in this. It is just a big and precise fact.

Anyways, yes, MaxBurger, the one in Hammarby. Good times. Maybe next year I’ll have another bite.


Today’s obscure band: Scarlet Downs.

The thing about this very obscure band is that it included Simon Barber from the ubiquitous The Chesterf¡elds. Sadly even though I tried contacting Simon through Facebook I never heard back from him. Bit of a shame as online there’s little to nothing about them.

There’s one mention on the Golden Pathway’s label page. Golden Pathway being the label that Andy from Number 4 Joystreet runs since the 80s. There’s a mention about Simon leaving the band called The Act in 1983 to start Scarlet Downs. The Act had been going since 1980.

As far as I know there was only one 7″ released. One that included the song “Windows” on the A-side and “Turning Around” on the B-side. The record was released by Rum Records as a 7″ and having catalog number RUM059.

Sadly even the back cover of the sleeve of this 7″ has no information about the band either. The only interesting fact I guess would be that Rum Records was based in Dorset. I have no clue what other releases were put out by this label.

The song I know, “Windows”, to Chesterf!elds fans, would sound unfamiliar. It clearly has a more early 80s feel. The electric guitars are not going in a frenzy here. The song is a different kind of fun. It would fit fine even in one of those Messthetics compilations if you know what I mean. It would go well along the likes of The Cinematics, The Avocados, even along some of Dolly Mixture or The Mo-Dettes. It has that kind of feeling I think. It’s what I would call proto-indiepop if we can call it something. It’s POP. But not indiepop, not yet at least. But still, very enjoyable, and perfect to understand the history of our beloved indiepop.

The artwork is great too. No surprise as Simon is one of the coolest designers in the UK.

If anyone has any more information about them, like who were the other members, or if they had more songs, if they played many gigs, or even if anyone has a spare copy that I could buy, that’d be great. Would love to know more about them!


Scarlet Downs – Windows


April already. The year is moving fast and I’m already looking way ahead through 2013. It seems in the end I’ll be attending Indietracks once again, supporting the many Cloudberry bands that are playing as well as the whole festival. It will be my fourth one! Clearly, I must like going there a lot even though I complain about a thing or another. But it’s true, it’s as close to perfection when it comes to indie festivals. Now, if they can please book The Brilliant Corners?!

Then later in November I’m going to be visiting Peru. Not so sure what’s the plan there. Perhaps I end up doing some tourism too. I’ll be there for the Thanksgiving week. Probably it’s too late to go to Cuzco at that time, it’s the rainy season I believe. But perhaps I can go to the Amazon? I wouldn’t mind looking at monkeys in the wild and eating exotic dishes!

Also I’m hoping to go at the end of the month to Boston. Just because. I’ve never been. It’s close. And I want to see their record shops. Just for a weekend. Any recommendations are welcome, especially for local seafood. I would love some lobster!

Yesterday night I had a good time at Glasslands watching Sea Lions and Golden Grrrls. I missed the first band of the four band line-up, and the second was quite terrible. The highlight of the night were Sea Lions. Even though they made many mistakes and forgot some of their songs, what they played was really fantastic. I reckon this size of venue is perfect for them, much better than the other times I’ve seen them. They sounded powerful and Adrian’s guitar was frantic, almost Wedding Present like. Their crashing-jangle songs sounded huge. I liked it a lot. And will definitely attend their second show in NYC in this tour on Monday at the Cake Shop.

Golden Grrrls are good, and I bought a bunch of their records. Still my favourite song of theirs is their cover of Look Blue Go Purple. They are fun band to see though this time they didn’t have that energy I’ve seen in them before at Madrid Popfest where they were such a happy surprise for me as I’ve never heard about them before that day . I also noticed that this time the vocals of the drummer were a bit low and hard to listen at some points. Maybe they were a bit jetlagged. I don’t blame them. Monday I’ll see them again.

Let me tell you some news today too. We have a release date for the Tripping the Light Fantastic 7″. It is April 15. Okay, now that you marked your calendar and pre-ordered the record, I can confirm too that a new stock of t-shirts is on the way, the fanzine is finished, and there is a new series of CD albums coming out very soon. This time new albums, not retrospectives. More news on this probably next week. Just be patient!

This week is a short post, been a bit busy working on so many different things for the label. I’m also putting together a Bandcamp were I want to have at least the 100 3″CD singles of the original series for streaming. That’s a project for the next couple of months. It will be very time-consuming I can tell.


Dorotheanthus bellidiformis (Livingstone daisy) is a species of flowering plant in the family Aizoaceae, native to the Cape Peninsula in South Africa, where it is known as Bokbaaivygie. It is a low-growing succulent annual growing to 25 cm (10 in), and much cultivated for its iridescent, many-petalled, daisy-like blooms in shades of white, yellow, orange, cream, pink and crimson. In temperate areas it must be grown as a half-hardy annual, and lends itself to mass plantings or as edging plants in summer bedding schemes in parks and gardens. It is still widely referenced under its former name, Mesembryanthemum criniflorum. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Some days ago I got the first album by Livingstone Daisy, “33 Minutes Before the Light”. You probably haven’t heard about this band. It’s ok. It’s a Japan only release, but I’m going to recommend getting it.

Sure you don’t understand Japanese. But does that matter? Can’t you enjoy a beautiful record anyways?

Livingstone Daisy is the new project by Hideshi Hachino who used to front the wonderful 90s indiepop band B-flower. Maybe you are familiar with them. If not I suggest checking the interview we did in the blog some time ago. Though be ready that this record is quite a bit different to his previous band.

There are similar things of course, the fragile vocals are still there, that hasn’t changed a bit. Heartfelt sounds. The music made by Sakana Hosomi, who has released many records as Maju, blends perfectly with the lyrics and vocals of Hideshi. It’s all about the aesthetics here. Everything carefully put together, like a tiny puzzle, where every piece falls in the right place.

Could the name, the poetic name of the band, mean something. I like to think so. If livingstone daisies, as flowers, are what represent fragility, this record is a good example of that. It feels fragile, something you could only touch softly, and thus, listening to it at high volume could be a terrible idea. Because the music is soothing I find it very brave to even make this kind of music today. It’s clear that Hideshi is not re-inventing the wheel here, but he is just making a very honest record that even for me, that I don’t understand Japanese, I can tell this is a passionate and sincere record. Just by having a listen to it’s 33 minutes and 48 seconds. To it’s 10 songs.

For this record Hideshi also counted with his old partner at B-Flower, Wataru Okabe, to play drums and doing some backing vocals. While Sakana contributed by playing all other instruments, doing vocals, and even engineering the record.

It’s a very welcome comeback for one of Japan’s most beloved indiepop artists. It was in 2000 when he stopped B-flower after 8 albums only to return in November 2010 to release the debut single of their new project Livingstone Daisy, “This World of Sorrow”. Since that moment the album started to take shape, little by little, and they finally decided to put this record out on their own Seed Records. Being this their seventh reference (the first one, was the first single by B-flower back in 1990!).

The record is available in Amazon Japan, HMV Japan and also on the Sugarfrost mailorder record store. For those of us English speakers the Sugarfrost site might be the best option. Akiko is in charge of it and she’ll take care of you in the best way possible.

Like the press sheet of the record says, “Like how William Eggleston captured the scenes from dull everyday life of 1970s America, Livingstone Daisy recreate in their music the anticlimactic moments of unglamorous Japanese life in 2010s.”, this record is for those who like a bit of melancholy in their music, for those passionate enough that don’t need to blow up their speakers, it’s for those who can appreciate elegance.

It’s another beautiful effort by Hideshi Hachino, if you are looking for something that is not throwaway, that has some worth, feeling and value, “33 Minutes Before the Light” is your record.


Livingstone Daisy – Tokyo, Snowscape