It’s a week of news here at Cloudberry HQ. And it makes sense to be it that way before the holidays. Holidays that I will spend working in NYC. I already spent all my vacation time for this year in rather a great way. So no complains. I’ll be a bit like Santa, packing orders and posting parcels. And as pressing plants will be closed, we can’t really come up with much news aside perhaps of some new projects we’ll embark on. But let’s get the ball rolling.
First things first. The Nixon 7″ is out at last! It came out yesterday, Monday the 10th. And all orders have started shipping. Bear in mind that as this is holiday season it may take a wee long for them to arrive at home, especially if you live abroad. The 7″ as I said before includes four songs running at 33rpm and it’s the same old Nixon we always loved. There are no surprises and Nixon didn’t try to reinvent himself. It’s indeed one of the proudest moments for me here at Cloudberry as I’ve been a fan of Nixon for more than 10 years now. And finally, after so many years there are four brand new songs out there that sadly seem to be his farewell to indiepop under that moniker. Of course we can all cross fingers for that not to happen, but we’ll see. The 7″ also includes a lyrics sheet for you all to sing along. Pretty important.
We’ve set the release date for yet another Swedish act. A 3 song 7″ by Göteborg’s Alpaca Sports will be released in February 10th. This one will probably start shipping before that date but we wanted to keep it safe due to the holiday season that may delay the production of the vinyl record. There’s a lot of expectation for this release and pre-orders show that. This is Alpaca Sports’ 3rd single and it continues that same line of fabulous jangly naive indiepop that has been charming everyone everywhere. And because of this, they’ve been hitting the road playing already many countries and will soon get on playing Popfests in Spain and somewhere very near to me. The artwork for this new Alpaca Sports single comes thanks to Ray Kimura who they’ve been working closely since day 1. Ray had already collaborated with us at Cloudberry with the sleeve artwork for the Cassolette 7″ roughly one year ago. Also, in Japan, a mini-album will be released early in January. So yes, Alpaca Sports are hot. And they are making videos and videos for their songs. And so, tomorrow we’ll debut a new video. So keep your eyes peeled.
Third point. Tripping the Light Fantastic. You can pre-order the 7″ now. I estimate it will be out sometime in February. If you haven’t listened to the A side “Heavy Heart” head to the Cloudberry site and do that. You are going to love it.
More news? You bet. I’m starting to work on the 8th fanzine. After the success of the last fanzine, which sold out in just a couple of weeks, I’m beginning to plan it. Who to interview? What color should the zine be? Which songs should be featured? If you have any suggestions please let me know. I’d love to print it by the end of March or early April. Wishful thinking perhaps.
And the last piece of news that I want to announce, and perhaps it may be the bomb for many, at least it’s for me, it’s that we have started working on a new Cloudberry Cake Kitchen release. On this 4th volume of our beloved series we’ll be showcasing the indiepop genius of The Rileys!! More on this front soon!
And a bit more of personal news I managed to book yesterday plane tickets to Madrid. Yes, I’m heading again to Madrid Popfest for a weekend of indiepop, friends, fantastic food and the best dancefloors an indiepop festival has to offer these days. As I’ve said before, Madrid Popfest organization is inspiring to me, so I’m glad to attend once more this event and even though it will probably be much different as the first time, think the quality of bands, and the friends I’ll get to see again, will probably make up for the ones that won’t be there. I am sure it’s going to be a magic weekend.
As soon as that weekend ends I’ll be taking a plane to Stockholm. Why? I’m going to celebrate my party there. At this point planning a nice party. I’m just thrilled by this. I’ve never been big in celebrating my birthday but I thought, before I’m 30, I should do something exciting. And so here I am. Traveling all over the place and hoping to have a party with all the good friends in that indiepop city that is Stockholm. I hope and wish I can book a band, but if not a good dancefloor with my friend Emelie DJing will be enough for a good night. I wonder if you can BYOB in Stockholm though? That’d be perfect! It’s so expensive to go out there!
AND, if everything goes as planned I’ll be spending some days too in Tallinn. Because I’ve been meaning and wanting to go there for a long time. Because I like medieval towns, buildings, castles, and that sort of thing. It should be glorious!
Because I’m thinking about this birthday of mine in Stockholm, let’s rescue an obscure band from that same city from the mid 2000s: Your Place or Mine.
I think the first time I heard their songs were during the times when a bunch of soulseekers moved from the Twee Folks room to DC++ another P2P program. Andreas Olsson was running the room there and had been inviting us all who loved the good music. I’m sure it was him that went crazy about the band. I can’t recall if he blogged about them on the blog all users of the room shared. I think the blog was called “Twee Pop Love”. It must have been either 2004 or 2005. I knew Andreas wanted to start a label. Only 7″s he said. And the first band he was going to release were Zipper. And the second, and my memory shouldn’t fail, was to be Your Place or Mine. He absolutely adored the band. And so did I. I thought they were fantastic. I thought I was never going to see them play live though. And at that time my label dreams were so far in the future. I was studying and needed to pay for school. I didn’t have any loans.
They had two CDRs. None of those I ended up owning. And I doubt I will ever. Those little things back then were so rare, so scarce. So today it might be just impossible. I think they were made on demand too. At least, that’s how I would have done it if I had a band. The first CDR was called “Demo 1″ and included the songs: “Hard Liquor”, “Another Lover of a Demo Group”, “Oh, How I Spend My Days” and “All our Instruments are Borrowed”.
The second CDR was the “Atta Boy EP”. A name that of course reminded me of the Heavenly “Atta Girl” 7″. The songs on this release were “In 25 Years Don’t Exist”, “Kill Me” , “Heut Ist Mein Tag”, “She Said (Pt1)” and “Atta Boy”.
“Heut Ist Mein Tag” of course was a Blümchen cover. It gives me goosebumps to see South Beach, my previous neighborhood, on that video!
The songs were immediate, powerful, pop with punk sensibilities, tweepunk if you want. Fast, exciting, like a straight jab to your face. They were catchy as hell. The guitars could remind you of Free Loan Investments perhaps, the instrumentation, with trumpets and trombones, make you think of Love is All maybe, but in the end, they were original, very original. They were one of a kind and I always felt it was a shame that no proper release of them ever materialized. And yes, they should have been bigger. Perhaps if they had been around 2 years earlier or 2 years after they had fared a bit better luck. It’s just that during those mid-2000s indiepop was such a quiet scene.
After the Blümchen connection, well I thought they named the band because of a Vengaboys song called “Your Place or Mine“. I don’t hide my liking for either Blümchen or Vengaboys. I do enjoy this kind of music. Good pop is good pop.
The first gig ever by Your Place or Mine seems to have been in Lund at the Beat Goes On festival organized by Maja Eriksson and Fredrika Thelandersson. From what I’ve read the whole festival wasn’t that successful. But the band was happy and proud of their performance and the response of the crowd.
I remember the band having a very kitsch kind of website. One of those domains that ended with .tk that were really popular back then. Do you remember them? The website sadly doesn’t exist anymore.
The band started with Jakob Elmgren (guitars) and Per Holmquist (drums) after, on the way home, both took the underground after a fun club night. Some days later they asked Jana Johansson if she wanted to join and play bass. Soon after they would recruit Matilda Kihlberg to sing for them after meeting her at the “Your Hair is Too Long and Your Face is Too Small” club. And they were set.
From an old little article on Louder than Bombs, it seems the name of the band comes from a previous song name of “Another Lover of a Demo Pop Group”. The previous name of this song was “Your Place or Mine”.
On an interview when asked what the band thought about the comparisons with Talulah Gosh and Fat Tulips they well answered that they would like to be compared with The Siddeleys. And that they usually just sound like “paff paff paff paff GADUGGA DUGGA!”
During that first CDR, “Demo 1″, they had received help from members of Corduroy Utd. Sam Carlshamre played trombone and Sandra Valencia played trumpet. Justus Birch also from Corduroy Utd. helped them produce the CD. I feel the first two might have joined the band at some point? But perhaps I’m wrong.
I spent so many evenings at the small convenience store I used to work in South Beach playing their songs while beach-goers made my life miserable by complaining about the ridiculous prices we had. But well, what can you expect from a store a block away from one of the most famous beaches in the US? Playing these songs alleviated the pain of those days, they always brought a smile to me. Today revisiting them, I feel the same enthusiasm, the same awe, the same smile as soon “Another Lover of a Demo Pop Group” starts playing at my work computer. And planning my trip to Stockholm, with this music on the background, even if it’s month away, brings a true excitement!
And that was it. Then there was silence. Whatever happened to this fantastic band? Did they record any more songs? I thought they were recording an album at some point. I tried, when I was working on compiling the first Starke Adolf CD, to contact Mathilda but with no luck. Nowadays it would be great if I could get in touch to showcase them on the Sound of Starke Adolf Vol.2 and see what they are up to. I’m pretty curious.