Ready Steady Girls!
Where to begin with Australian singer/songwriter (and mean guitarist) Courtney Barnett? Rolling Stone has likened her songs to “tales that unspool like barstool revelations and sound like some hybrid of Kimya Dawson and Kurt Cobain.” I haven’t a clue what that means but it sounds good. So does her music.
Billed as a ‘celebration of Europe’s fabbest female singers of the sixties,’ Ready Steady Girls really is a joyful place, bursting with photos, background information, discographies and sample music clips. If you can’t find anything you like here, you’re just not trying.
The Allah Las
LA band the Allah Las don’t sound like anyone else I know. Sure, there’s a groovy sixties influence in there somewhere, but where exactly is difficult to define. Still, definitions don’t really matter. Music matters.
Requiem pour un Twister
How I miss those bright sunny days when you could hang out at your local indie record shop, meet cool people and catch the latest sounds... Still, Requiem pour un Twister is the next best thing – a light and breezy space that is part blog, part forum, part record label (the wonderfully named Croque Macadam Records). And any label that puts out ‘Hurt My Pride’ by the Young Sinclairs will always be getting my vote.
I’ve always admired people who have the courage to plough a lone furrow. Paul Messis writes his own brand of ’66 garage/psych and then puts it out on vinyl, just as the good Lord intended. And only vinyl: none of your new-fangled CDs thank you. (I don’t think Paul’s too keen on downloads, either). He may be committing commercial suicide, but at least he’s doing it in style.
pic: Nolan Hall
When it comes to sixties garage punk, Garage Hangover is the most definitive guide I’m aware of. It is thorough, well-researched and regularly updated. Clearly a labour of love if ever there were one.
It’s hard not to like The Castellers. For a start they have a modern take on the garage sound I find really refreshing. And what’s more, they’re a great act live (I’ve seen them eight times so far and counting). True, most of ’em look like Bradley Wiggins, but that’s not such a bad thing.
There are quite a few exciting ‘alternative’ bands coming out of France at the moment. Such bands wouldn’t be able to thrive without good independent labels to support them, which is why outfits like Disques Entreprise are so important. The label is home to a number of groups, each with a very different style: you’ve got everything from bonkers pop punkers Superets to the sublimely strange Moodoïd; not to mention my own personal favourites- indie-pop darlings Juniore. I had considered paying Disques Entreprise a visit the next time I’m in Paris, but they’ve already made it plain that they don’t like squares.
PEOPLE I LIKE | MUSIC
Paul Orwell makes great music and absolutely refuses to sell out. What more is there to say? I suppose I could add that he’s also a world authority on Val Doonican, but I’d be be joking. It’s Roger Whittaker...