Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mac and Katie Kissoon - Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep

Mac and Katie were just two of eight siblings from the Kissoon family who moved to England from Trinidad in 1962. Both singers had solo projects before they realized maybe they should try a Brady Bunch/Cowsills kinda thing and sing together. "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep," an ode to baby birds, was barreling into the Top 40 in England in 1971 when it was suddenly overtaken by a cover version by another band, appropriately named Middle of the Road.

The Kissoons kept at it and later found bigger success in the mid-'70s. For me, though, this track is their defining moment: simple, silly, bubblegum pop at its most deliriously infectious.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Deaths - Birmingham

I meant to write about The Deaths a while ago. Like some other bloggers, I downloaded tons of mp3's from the SXSW web site in hopes of finding the next small thing. What I found was a distressing level of mediocrity. This track by the Deaths caught my ear though. A little research turned up the following info:

The Deaths are a four-piece from Minneapolis. Probably even played a show with good ol' Tapes n' Tapes. In 2005 they self-released Choir Invisible which is going to be re-released this year. The band has yet to mention who exactly is releasing it though. This year the Austin Chronicle called the Deaths a SXSW sleeper (I won't delve into the irony here) and boy were they right. Pretty much nobody outside of Chuck Klosterman has written about these guys. And that was way back when Klosterman actually worked for Spin. If the Deaths are lucky, Klosty might mention them in his next memoir about Death and generate a little more buzz.

My take on the band? They sound a bit like the Charlatans, the original old-timey drug sailors from San Francisco who scored big with a rustic cover of "Codine" that essentially jump-started the psychedelic revolution. Civil War pop -- with lovebeads.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bobb Trimble - Premonitions Fantasy


With outspoken fans like Ariel Pink, Thurston Moore, and Devendra Banhart, you'd think maybe Bobb Trimble would finally be getting his due after toiling in obscurity for 26 years. But no, this woefully out-of-time genius is still just as unknown now as he was in 1980 when he self-released his debut album, Iron Curtain Innocence. The album drew heavily on California psych and showed Trimble to be an astonishingly gifted songwriter and vocalist. The album was barely distributed outside Trimble's home state of Massachusetts and sank without a trace. However, psych collectors eventually stumbled on the album and collectively shit their pants. Originals now trade hands on ebay for about $1,000.

Trimble followed up his debut with the even better Harvest of Dreams which was recently bootlegged by UK label Radioactive Records. Trimble, who is hip enough to actually have a myspace profile and a website, eventually found out and was not happy about it. According to his website, Trimble is in talks with a few labels right now to legitimately resissue his first two albums using the original mastertapes.