Here I am with the excitement of Copa America all around. Don’t know if any of you is following it, as I assume half of the indiepop crowd is into football, and then I assume less than a third of this half is into South American football, but I am. Very much so, and looking forward to the quarterfinals. My team is performing much better than expected and we’ve got a good chance to pass to semifinals this Thursday. So let’s see what happens.

I know the Podcast has been left on a side. And I’m very sorry about that. I guess it would have been wise to say that I was going to take a vacation for summer, even though I wasn’t. Anyhow, Toni has promised the May Podcast to be available today. We’ll see if that happens. If it does, I’ll get to be a bit productive this weekend and record the June episode. Again, very sorry for not having being able to get this out earlier.

On Cloudberry news, well as you know the Fibi Frap compilation is out and I’m very proud of it. Many mailorders also have them now and if you prefer you can get the CD from them. I think Japan has been the most interested in the record so far!

On more Cloudberry news, today I’ll be sharing the Color Waves A side, from their upcoming 7″. It’s called Chirology and it’s a beauty. So keep your eyes peeled. Pre-order button coming soon too.

And that’s not all. I received a nice package with Parcel Post 7″s. There are still a few left. So if anyone happens to want one, please send me an email and we will figure out how to get one to you. Until supplies last of course.

Right, so then I’m supposed to go over the Saturday of NYC Popfest. On the previous posts I’ve covered Thursday and Friday. So alright, I think we can do a Saturday review.

It will be a bit short though, sadly I missed (skipped really) the afternoon shows. After the long party on Friday I was way too tired to get to Brooklyn that early. So I decided to just get to the Knitting Factory by the time of the first gig. And so I did. It was a real shame to miss The Chandler Estate, I think it was one of the bands I was looking forward the most.

Expert Alterations were playing first. Before they started I raided the merch table. I had seen them play before and I knew what to expect. A bit shambolic and very jangly, the Baltimore band won many new fans at their gig. It’s no surprise that they have just released a new record on Slumberland, they are gaining a bigger following as every month goes on. Now, I want to listen to more new songs! They have told me on one of the podcasts were I interviewed them that they actually have a very busy year coming up, with lots of stuff to put out. Can’t wait. If you haven’t seen them, well you should. With them it feels a bit like 1987 again, even if neither them or me where around gigging at that time.

The shouts of “Saiko!” from Victoria and me announced that Wallflower were going to give one of the best gigs during Popfest. The Japanese band who were perhaps one of the least known for the American fans immediately convinced everyone that they were just fantastic. No surprise they sold out all their merch! They brought CDs, 7″s, tote bags, and even a tape that was at that point exclusive for Popfest. Everything was sold out. Their shoegazy-pop sound had everyone tapping their feet, and when Eri started singing the Wake’s “Pale Spectre”, everyone was in awe. At least that’s how I felt it. I was in awe. If you understand Japanese Wallflower has written a diary of their time in NYC. You can also use Google Translate, and you’ll get the gist of it. They seem very thankful for having being part of Popfest, I think we should all be grateful of them coming here.

Then happiness came to me. A band I always longed to see was finally making it to the stage. Brideshead. The German band with the countless of extremely catchy songs and wise lyrics. A band that had played NYC back in the late 90s. A band that I believe barely plays live these days. They started with the classic “Same Story Different Day”, and finished with the super favourite song of mine “Shortsightedness”. I admit I’m not that familiar with their newer songs, but I did get their album they just released on Shelflife. I hope then I can catch up! After the show I was happy to take a photo with Martin, the vocalist of Brideshead. That was really cool. I jumped and sang out loud, it was so much fun.

I think I went for dinner after Brideshead. I can’t remember much where now, but I think I wasn’t around for half of Veronica Lake’s gig. I know Wallflower went for pizza. What did I go for? I can’t recall! I was told Michael from My Favorite had joined Veronica Lake for a song. I missed that. I’m very sad I missed that. I caught some of their songs, and they were really nice of course, I always liked Veronica Lake. But at this time things seem blurry to me!

I do remember being at some point while Spook School were setting up that I was talking with Daniel from So Tough and his friend Sandra (I believe was her name) on the front room of the venue. Having a nice chat and catching up a bit since I haven’t seen him in years. But everything is pretty blurry until the Darling Buds came on stage.

That was such a gig. They played all their classics and I was like a little kid having so much fun with a new toy. It was just wonderful to sing along their songs. Andrea threw flowers to the crowd, my friend Victoria still has one (looks pretty dead, but I guess it’s a cool souvenir. Then I remember a pink balloon that was being passed from side to side, left to right, front and back, in the crowd. I was just so happy, until of course someone took all the setlists and I couldn’t get one for myself! Well, I did take a photo with Andrea, and that was definitely one of the best moments of Popfest for me. I’m very happy that Maz booked them, The Darling Buds had been playing again for some years and no indiepop festival had booked them since. I was really surprised by this. So I’m very thankful! It was such a fun gig!

And then the dancing. Slow motion choreography with the Wallflower gang and more. Until very late. It wasn’t packed, but there was a good dancing crowd. Pete, Amanda, Christen, Jackie, Alex, and more. It was a good end of the night. And even better when Maz offered a ride back to Queens.


“Stayed up all night listening “Storyteller”” ….

I was today searching online for some 7″s I’ve been looking for. And I found out that The Moonlings’ “Coming True” 7″ is not even listed on Discogs. Now, how do I go about finding a copy for me?

I thought about asking Jenny and Leonard who I once interviewed about Bella Vista, a band closely related to The Moonlings. But I saw that I was deleted from his Facebook friends. I felt a bit odd to go and ask. I know some people like “trimming” their friends list, deleting those who they don’t actually talk to. I don’t do that. I don’t understand what difference it really makes. Or perhaps they just don’t like the label or the blog, or me? Who knows… well, so who were The Moonlings?

They only did that one release as far as I know. It was released on the “Turn Up the Treble” label. The songs included were “Coming True”, “Doesn’t Matter If I Miss the Train” and “Half the Time”.

But it was thanks to a song that appeared on a compilation that I fell in love with their music. The song is called “Let’s Sell All Our Records and Move Somewhere Else”.  This song appears on the A side, as the second song on a compilation 7″ on the Japanese label Motorway (MOTOR 010D). It was released in 1997 and the other songs included were #Poundsign#’s “Chicken Soup”, Rizzo’s “Apple Pancakes” and Juniper’s “I Just Wanted You to Know”.

From the interview to Bella Vista I was talking about there are some important details from The Moonlings, the pre-Pipas band that Mark Powell was involved with:

Jenny: The Moonlings were Mark Powell, Lara Cohen, Leonard, and me. Mark had a few songs that the Moonlings didn’t do, for reasons I no longer remember. Our friend Josh Feldman invited him up to Connecticut to play them at a show with Josh’s band, the Best Wishes, and our friend Ian Schlein’s band, Musical Chairs. Mark was trying to avoid being onstage alone, so he invited us to play with him, even though this meant he’d have to teach me how to play guitar note by note. And so Bella Vista was born.

Leonard: It wasn’t really a name change. Although the Moonlings and Bella Vista shared three members, they were different bands that existed at roughly the same time. The Moonlings began in the summer of 1996 for the purpose of playing Mark and Lara’s songs. Jenny and I didn’t write anything whatsoever in that band. Bella Vista began in the spring of 1997 for the purpose of playing that one show, at a sort of gallery/performance space/bookstore. But it continued because Lara was away at college, Mark had songs that didn’t fit into the Moonlings repertoire, Jenny began to write her own songs, and we were offered a few other opportunities to play out, as well as some to make records. I got to write a bass part or two, even though I didn’t even own a bass.

We know that the label “Turn Up the Treble” who put out the 7″ was run by Josh from The Best Wishes (who do deserve a post on the blog). It seems there were only 300 copies made.

This was perfect bedroom kind of jangly pop, could have fitted perfectly on labels like Pillarbox Red, Heaven, Woosh, with a sound not many American bands used to make. It also reminds me of Nixon, and that is always a really good thing!

I keep googling and find out that there was a short tour to the midwest and DC were The Moonlings went with the Musical Chairs, The Best Wishes and Bella Vista in 1997.

Don’t know how long the band was around. Or if they recorded any other songs. This is more or less all I could find online. Would be cool if anyone can fill in the blanks. And if anyone has a spare copy please let me know!


The Moonlings – Let’s Sell All Our Records and Move Somewhere Else


Popfest Friday started with me meeting the Wallflower gang and Victoria in Williamsburg. We were supposed to have Peruvian food at Chimu but it was closed. Odd, seems the restaurant now closes Fridays and Saturdays. Strange days to close really. So change of plans, we went to Caracas for some arepas. We were happy to enjoy some Peruvian beer there plus a great lunch special for $9. An arepa of your choice and a salad. This was the moment when I learned the Japanese word “saiko”, which means awesome. During the whole meal, the band was saying “saiko” non-stop.

Afterwards we went on a record store adventure. We started at Rough Trade, then we headed to Academy Records and lastly to that store of the hipster label that doesn’t need any promo here. All in all I didn’t find any good records. Everything was crap or overpriced. The rest of our gang didn’t find much either. The best moment of all this walking from Williamsburg all the way to Greenpoint, was the postcard photo the Wallflowers took with Manhattan on the back at the Bushwick Inlet Park.

We arrived a bit late for the showing of the Sarah documentary at Knitting Factory. But there seemed to be a problem. The blu-ray disc wasn’t playing. The room was almost full, no spaces for sitting down, and everyone was waiting for a solution. A lot of people were trying to help, which shows how supportive is the indiepop crowd. I thought of a friend that lives around the corner, but he doesn’t even own a TV. Happily Videology, a bar that was a 10 minute walk, offered to show the movie for Popfest.

I guess the movie deserves a proper review so I’ll leave that for another occasion. I think that’s pretty fair.

After the show, it was time to go to Cameo for the Popfest gigs. There I had a sandwich, ate it fast, and got ready to catch the second band of the night, Jessica and the Fletchers.

You can think I’m biased as they are my friends, but their show was a fresh breeze of indiepop. Fast, upbeat, catchy, and with a lot of attitude. Kudos to Toni, the keyboardist, for his “Toni Poni” DIY t-shirt. Some of their songs, when released properly, like “Amelia (Te Queremos Igual)” or the sublime “Air Balloon Road” could be classics of this indiepop period. Still a very young band with lots of room to grow, they got indiepop flowing in their veins. They feel it, and they have fun playing it. I think everyone had a very good time with band.

I know, Pale Lights played first, and I did my best to catch them. I did catch their two last songs. The thing was that this sandwich I ordered at Cameo took forever to come! At some point I thought I was going to make it as they brought me a sandwich almost 5 minutes after ordering. As I was eating some of the fries the waiter told me he made a mistake and took the sandwich away from me to another table! Oh well… But you know, I’ve raved about Pale Lights so many times in the blog, definitely one of the best bands in NYC, and the little I could catch was as good as always with the inclusion of Kyle this time around instead of Andy.

Third band was The Catenary Wires. Obviously seeing Amelia is always a treat. Some people think this new project is boring. I heard that a bit. I’ve been listening to the album, and I can’t agree with anyone saying that. The thing is, it is different to what we are used to. We are used to the upbeatness of Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Tender Trap, Marine Research, etc. I know, it may be hard for some to adjust. I won’t say they are my favourite band of the ones she has been involved but I still find it very enjoyable, with good lyrics and well crafted pop songs.

Fourth time I see Papa Topo, and the second time I was seeing them in a week. Of course the surprise factor wasn’t there at Popfest, especially when they played the cover of the Spice Girls. A band that plays a lot of influences, but of course, I always look forward to their biggest hits, “La Chica Vampira” and “Oso Panda”. It was so much fun, I could see people jumping around, and they even brought some Spanish speaking music fans that weren’t part of the indiepop scene. This I thought was cool. Though one of them was telling me to start “rock en español” club night and play some Argentinean hard rock at it. I don’t understand how some people could put in the same bag Papa Topo with say Sumo or something like that.

The two last bands are legendary bands. #Poundsign# and The Loft. In due honesty I’m more of a fan of #Poundsign# than The Loft. From The Loft I love two or three songs. The rest are fine, but don’t think they are as brilliant as “Up the Hill and Down the Slope“. But, that didn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the whole show. It was really good, powerful even! I bought a t-shirt. A very nice t-shirt actually! Now, next year please bring The Caretaker Race, from the bands that sprung off The Loft, that is my favourite. I would LOVE that.

Brooklyn Vegan posted a photo of me with a drumstick while #Poundsign# was playing. That was a gift from Papa Topo’s drummer, the Jankely. Bit embarrassed of that photo. In any case, I was just so happy listening to so many tunes that I’ve always loved. It was a treat to see a reunited #Poundsign#. I had already the Wavelength record on vinyl, but as they were selling it on CD, I also bought it.

After all the bands there was some good dancing at Mondo. Maz played a bunch of classic tunes and I danced until very late, it was almost 4am when we left the venue. It was a goodbye though. All Jessica and The Fletchers and Papa Topos were leaving on Saturday. It was a sad goodbye, I had enjoyed a whole week in their good company.


A sleeve that looks like The Pale Fountains. It was 1982 when Pulsebeat Records released the “Farewell to the Playground EP” (cine 001) by The Cinematics.

A four song 7″ with two songs on each side. “Puffa Train” and “Don’t Mention Love” on the A side, while “All it Means” and “Learning to Say Goodbye” on the B side.

This is pre-indiepop indiepop and for those who are not very aware of who The Cinematics were, well, it has two illustrious members of the indiepop hall of fame: Gregory Webster and Tim Vass. You know, those two from the Razorcuts, or the Forever People, or bands like Red Chair Fadeaway or Sportique.

This is a very rare record. I don’t own it sadly, and the median price on Discogs is a bit too high I think. On the credits of this record we find that Colin Rodgers played drums, lyrics and music on the B side by Tim Vass, music on the A side by Gregory Webster and trumpet by John Goodwin.

This song also would appear later in the Messthetics compilations, perhaps making the record much more sought after than before. On the Messthetics liner notes we get to know that the band was based in Luton.
Luton  is a large town in Bedfordshire, England, 30 miles (50 km) north of London. Luton Town F.C. have had several spells in the top flight of the English league and won the Football League Cup in 1988. They have played at Kenilworth Road since 1905.London Luton Airport opened in 1938; in the Second World War, it was a Royal Air Force base.The University of Bedfordshire is based in the town. The town was for many years famous for hat-making, and was also home to a large Vauxhall Motors factory; the head office of Vauxhall Motors is still situated in the town. Car production at the plant began in 1905 and continued until 2002; commercial vehicle production remains.

Also I like this line that sums up more or less the sound of the band:
“Puffa Train” from their 1982 single shows Gregory Webster and Tim Vass’ evolution from TV Personalities DIY to breathy twee-pop well underway”

I would guess 500 copies of this record were made. I don’t know sadly much more of the Cinematics. Would be great to learn if they recorded any other songs, or if they participated in compilations. Also we know what happened to two of their members, but was Colin Rodgers involved in any other indiepop bands? Was Pulsebeat Records a name for self-releasing? Anyone know anything else about them? Maybe you were at one of their gigs?


The Cinematics – Puffa Train


I know, I know. I said I was going to write about NYC Popfest this week. It’s Friday, and to be honest I thought about skipping this week and not posting at all. I have been feeling sick since Monday, and only today I feel a bit better. So no, definitely not in the mood. I’ve been listening to music to a much lower volume than I’m used to. That must mean something, I think.

I guess I could resume my Thursday Popfest experience in this post. In due honesty I didn’t see any bands the first day of Popfest. I wanted to see the first two, Souvenir Stand and Roman a Clef. Sadly there was some breaking news, I had to do some locator map just before my shift was about to end, and well, I ended up arriving when the second band was finishing their set. The rest of the bands on Thursday weren’t really my cup of tea so I mostly mingled with friends in the first floor of the Cake Shop. In a way that was a reasonable thing to do. People in the know are aware that the Cake Shop becomes a sauna when it’s packed.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of Thursday Popfest was going for some pastrami sandwiches with Aitor and Toni to Katz Deli. Aitor was really into having pastrami. He had the last time he was in NYC with his other band, Univers, and was craving for a proper sandwich. Katz being around the corner of the Cake Shop, and even though it’s overpriced and kind of a tourist trap, offers really good pastrami sandwiches, among the best in the city perhaps. So it was no surprise that he loved it. And Toni, who wasn’t planning on ordering anything, ate a whole sandwich as well. It was delicious.

Another big highlight of Thursday was meeting at last with the great Wallflower from Japan. They were so great to hang out with during the whole Popfest. But it was here at Cake Shop that we met and had some beers and planned on meeting for lunch on Friday.

Then of course seeing friends again one more time. It was so cool to see both Horowitz, Pete and Ian, back in NYC. And also meeting Heinz from Germany, in his first time ever in America! That was super cool! Also Amanda from Sweden, who I saw last time at Indietracks like two years ago, and José from Chicago, that comes every single year just for the indiepop!

It was mostly chatting and catching up. And drinking Genessee, cheap $4 beer. Actually the bar tender thought I was someone else. She insisted that I worked as a bar tender somewhere else. I insisted that it wasn’t me. But she was incredulous. It’s odd, at first I thought she was remembering me because I’ve been so many times at Cake Shop, but then it was clear that she really thought she had met me before somewhere else and I had been a bar tender at some bar in Brooklyn. Damn. I can’t even mix a drink!!

So that was my Thursday at Popfest. Not very eventful, but I really enjoyed it. As it always happens to me at Indietracks first day, Friday, I ended up using this day to catch up with old and new friends. So sorry to disappoint you if you expected me to tell you how amazing some of these bands sounded!! BUT! I will promise to go over the Friday show next week!


“If You Found Some “Distorted Space” On This Records. Please Don’t Mind. Your Ears Working Normal!! ”

That’s the message on the one and only 7″ the Groovy Metal Babies released back in 1995. The Japanese band put this record out on the German label Little Teddy Recordings (LiTe730) and included 4 fantastic raw but cute fuzzy pop songs. On the A side we find “She Does Not” and “My Secondhand Sweetheart” and on the B side we find “Never” and “In No Time”. Curious enough the 7″ is titled after the B side. It’s called the Never EP.

You are in luck, I just checked Discogs, and you can find for very good prices this record!

Anyhow, there are some credits to Seiko Ishiguro and Tsuyoshi, as well as vocals for Ayako for the song “In No Time”.

The sound of the band is a mix between Shonen Knife and the bands of the great Yoshino Momoko. It’s very “anorak” sounding!

Online it seems the band is mostly known as a pre-Jenka band. I know, we Westerners don’t know much about Jenka, but this girl has released a bunch of records! According to Last.fm:
JENKA is a female singer-songwriter from Japan who writes pop songs with a variety of influences from other genres. She sings primarily in English. Jenka debuted in 1995 with the album “Sweet Grape Sugar Beats”, which gained considerable positive attention both in Japan and abroad. She soon joined with a Swedish producer to create further albums. Her most recent was released in 2001 and titled Home Is Where The Heart Is.

Well, that is the Seiko from the credits. And she was part of Groovy Metal Babies. But it’s under Jenka that she got to release a bunch of records. 3 albums and at least 3 EPs according to Discogs. I found one of the songs on Youtube called “Muddy Muddy Murmur” and it’s really nice. It has that Swedish sound of the mid nineties.

A change of style indeed, but totally understandable. This is indiepop as well! But anyhow, today we are covering the Groovy Metal Babies. Oh! I like the band name quite a lot too!

On a Japanese website it says that the Groovy Metal Babies were just active for about only three months before Jenka. Very short stint, perhaps they only did these 4 songs, recorded them and call it a day. Perhaps it was just a fun project between two friends. I don’t know. I wonder though if they recorded any other songs. And also what happened to Tsuyoshi? If he still continued making music?

Does anyone know anything about this cool sounding band?


Groovy Metal Babies – She Does Not


Well Popfest is over and I have to say that I’m very tired. I’m getting old, that’s clear. Nonetheless I had a very good time with old and new friends. And the bands were really great too. But I can’t review Popfest yet, I need some time to get in the right mood and recover some energy. So bear with me.

There are some important news to go over. First let me tell you that I’m very sorry that the May podcast hasn’t been published yet. I know we are already in June, but with everything that has been going on there hasn’t been any enough time to get it done. But I promise it will be out soon. This weekend I will start recording the June episode.

Most importantly though is that the Fibi Frap compilation arrived home. The release date is June 10th but all pre-orders have been shipped and any orders will be shipped immediately. Very happy with the sixth release of the Cloudberry Cake Kitchen series.

The bad news though is that the postage prices at USPS have risen. Almost a dollar for international orders. It’s really a shame. This hurts everyone. I will keep the same prices of all our releases for the time being. But the next releases will have to cost a dollar more. That’s how it’s going to be sadly.

Then there’s some good news from our friends at Firestation Records. I don’t know much of the details but 4 new albums have been announced: The Train Set, The Siddeleys, The Reflection A.O.B. and The Bridge. Super cool news! Not to miss any of them.

Then Shelflife has also some great releases, The Treasures of Mexico and the new Brideshead album. Seems this is going to be a very good summer for indiepop.

But before I close this post, thanks so much to Maz for organizing a great NYC Popfest.


Today I want to head to Belgium. To the early 90s.

There has been some very good Belgium bands, good pop bands, but they’ve been a few. Here’s one that perhaps you haven’t been aware of.

Peter & The Lions have been Peter Léonard’s band. It was in 1991 when they released their first single, the great “Bye For Now”. A nice slice of jangle. On the B side of this 7″ released by Rainland Records (RL 009) was the song “Have You Ever…”. For this record Peter had the help of Jose Perez on bass and Yves Baibay on drums. The lyrics were written by Patrice Macar and Peter, the record was engineered by Yves Delannoy, mastered by Jérome Sandron and produced by Michel Van Achter. Peter was on vocals, guitar, keyboard, drum programming and even percussion.

On the back sleeve of the record we find that there was help from the Ministery of French Community in Belgium. I would guess it was some money for the label. I’m not familiar at all with Rainland, some of the releases are by bands I’ve never heard about like Tom Wolf, Owen Curtiz or Asoha. All their releases were out in the first half of the nineties.

Actually their next release after the Peter & The Lions single was the debut album of the band. It was also released in 1991 and had the title of “New Days” (RL 010). This record included only 9 songs: “Sixteen and Uncertain”, “Bye For Now”, “How You Manage”, “When Days Are Soft and Long”, “It’s a New Day”, “The Picture-Book”, “The Unreal Minute”, “The Land of Angry Men”, “Open Air Song”.  I don’t own it sadly, or ever listened to it, so couldn’t say who is credited in it. There’s one copy available at Discogs at the moment, but well, I find it a bit too pricey for me!

My next stop is Youtube. There are some videos dating from 2012 where Peter plays some songs from his double album “Postcards from Home”. It’s a bit different in sound to the earlier single, and you can actually listen to this album here. Also in this bandcamp of his there’s another album dating from 2007 called “Crossing the Strings”. You can check this one here.

We get to know some curious facts. We know that Peter is based in Liege and that he has been involved in other bands like “Where’s China?” (a post-new wave band), “Glassnotes” (a blend of rock, funk and jazz), and “Sing Sing” (an a capella quartet in french with a touch of ironic wit). Also the only person we see again from the early releases being credited is Michel Van Achter doing the mixes and the masters. These two albums were released by the label Home Records from Belgium.

On RateYourMusic we find mention of other releases by the band. We see a 1994 album called “Lost Paradise Songs” and a 2002 album called “Hold On”. From the 1994 album I could find two songs on a Myspace by Patrick Schouters (who I guess played in the band then). The songs are “Spotlights Burning” and “Fire and Water”. From the 2002 album I could find no information. I’d assume these records were mostly distributed in Belgium.

That’s more or less all I could find especially as there is an author out there called Peter Leonard as well. He is an American author of crime novels. Maybe some of you can help me know more about them! I would especially like to listen to their first album, and perhaps if anyone have spares of their first releases, well, would love to trade or something! Oh! And of course, as it seems the discography is a bit obscure, are we missing anything?


Peter & Lions – Bye For Now