November 21, 2008

Today's Hotness: Swirlies, Pat Leonard, Small Screen Light Show

Swirlies -- Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
>> This is our 1,000th post. Yeah. It would have been nice to have had some big retrospective with shiny pictures and stuff that goes ping to mark the occasion, but then again, that's not our style.

>> So we were minding our own business Saturday at a social event when we happened upon two former members of Boston chimp-gaze superstars Swirlies goofing around in a basement practice space. After convincing said players that in fact the band had had fans, and that we were one of them, we turned to the charming young fellow at our elbow and asked if he knew any of Swirlies' records, to which he replied in the negative. We thought about this later and realized that there is something about being a certain age at a certain time that insulates you from a lot of good music that was created previously. So while almost any music fan can list off certain of the tracks from AC/DC's Back In Black, for example, few could tell you that Swirlies' Blonder Tongue Audio Baton featured a number of amazing tracks, including "Pancake," "Bell" and "His Life Of Academic Freedom." And that's just that one album. So, in the interest of public service to the lower-cased youth of today, we are posting "Pancake" (the original version) and "Bell" below. A funny thing about Swirlies is we were going to draw a parallel between the band and Philadelphia's Lilys concerning how both bands have had scads of members over the years, and when we went to Swirlies' Internet Home Page and scrutinized its bio we learned that the two bands actually have a one former member in common (that would be Mike Walker). While we were at Swirlies Web HQ we were surprised to see that the current iteration of the band will be playing three East Coast dates at the end of February, including a Feb. 28 gig at The Middle East. In other news, apparently a tribute comp is in the offing, which features -- among other things -- a version of the track "Pony" by indie pop luminaries Surefire Broadcast. More info about the comp, which was slated for release this month free via, is here.

Swirlies -- "Bell" -- Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
Swirlies -- "Pancake" -- Blonder Tongue Audio Baton
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[buy Swirlies records from Newbury Comics right here]

>> We admit we can't name a Moving Targets song off the top of our heads, but we've heard the Boston post-punk band's praises sung by many since moving to Cambridge in 1999 including the chaps from Mission Of Burma. As reported elsewhere, Moving Targets bassist (and short-time Lemonheads drummer) Pat Leonard passed away last month, and there is a show in his honor this Sunday at All Asia in Cambridge. Bands confirmed for the evening include Varsity Drag, The Wynotts (ex-Jerry's Kids), American Pulverizer (featuring Marky Mussel and Kenny Chambers of Moving Targets) and many others. The night kicks off early -- 6PM early -- and there is a block of time left open midway through the bill for a special guest appearance. We can only speculate who that might be, although certain bands whose names begin with Mission or Bullet would make for a very exciting surprise. WMBR DJ Joanie Lindstrom -- who is famous to us for once having interviewed Uniform Choice -- will be holding things together between sets. You can inspect the full lineup for the show right here.

>> Earlier this month ExitFare hipped us to Seaham, England-based duo The Small Screen Light Show and its brilliant track "I'm Too In Love." It's catchy as hell, and there is a moment in the chorus that is just like a moment -- a certain defeated vocal phrasing -- in sorely missed Small Factory's cataclysmically awesome "Expiration Date." Anyway, head over to E-Fare here and download it, or stream it at the two-year-old band's MySpace cabin right here. Of course, being small-minded, we are curious whether the duo of Mattie Vant and Becca Young (which is augmented live by drummer Craig Stamp) are romantically linked; they seem too young to be divorced a la Jack and Meg White. But we digress. According to a MySpace bulletin The Small Screen Light Show spent some of the past week in Doncaster recording new tracks with Justin Lockey, who in addition to being a guitarist for bands including the erstwhile Mycodenameis:Milo and British Expeditionary Force has also produced recordings including My Psychoanalyst's stirring "We Disagree" b/w "Panaphobia" single and tracks by Late Of The Pier, Hot Club De Paris and Bloc Party. Anyway, back to one of the first points we made, if you aren't familiar with Small Factory, they were superb, and Old Fart At Play just reposted its overview of the band, so have at it here.


rock said...

That Small Screen Light Show track is great.

Can we start some sort of campaign to re-unite Small Factory? That would be fantastic.

Jay Breitling said...

Agreed on both fronts, Rock. I'd be glad simply for a Godrays reunion.