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Outsideleft Week in Music starring David Christian We're hearing from...David Christian, My Idea, Black Country New Road, Beirut, Yard Act, Pierre Wenders, Cate Le Bon, Dorothy, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sonic Youth, The Divine Comedy, The Reds, Pinks and Purples, Delvon LaMarr Organ Trio, Raveena, Beside, Marko Nyberg and Franz Ferdinand

Outsideleft Week in Music starring David Christian

We're hearing from...David Christian, My Idea, Black Country New Road, Beirut, Yard Act, Pierre Wenders, Cate Le Bon, Dorothy, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sonic Youth, The Divine Comedy, The Reds, Pinks and Purples, Delvon LaMarr Organ Trio, Raveena, Beside, Marko Nyberg and Franz Ferdinand

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: February, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

David Christian of the world's coolest band Comet Gain has been emptying his heart and spleen into Bandcamp

Outsideleft Week in Music is transitioning! As you'll see we are beginning to incorporate a new Love Heart favoritefavorite_border rating system for music, predicated on... How much we love records. Why? It's true, we've never done this before with music, as I am strongly into having the reader read, Barthes' Death of the Author style if you like, and interpret, make their own deductions from the words onscreen. That readers' intention thing is more foisted and forced and strictured and less open to interpretation with Love Hearts, but... I'll tell you why I think we're doing it. The initial inspiration comes from our great film guy and London editor, Lake, who introduced a star rating for films for our SXSW film fest coverage in 2021. I guess publicists find it easier to copy/paste explain to their clients a review written in stars. So Love hearts for music it's a total sop - industry insider thing for our professional friends who send us so much shit each and every week - we are grateful. Meanwhile as you read this you will see that I've changed the message in the OUTSIDELEFT logo space from Modernist Now to Fiercely Independent because you know we are. Apologies, readers, but now too you can get scanning, for obviously good goods that get the most heart hearts. Like you didn't scan already. Everything in life just gets easier.


Your Pinecone Companion & Beat of the Veins (self-released) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite

by Alex V. Cook

David Christian of the world's coolest band Comet Gain has been emptying his heart and spleen into Bandcamp, filling it with inexhaustible variants of his perfect cult rock inclinations. Your Pinecone Companion is some songs from pervious such releases slightly reimagined on the four-track of his battered soul. Beat of the Veins (with The Frenchoids) is more his raggedy fuzz punk side, broadsides for the narrow of trouser leg, Farfisa farces that help you face the fakes. Either LP is worth the time it takes to look at what exactly you are doing with your life. 


BESIDE - No Swoon (Substitute Scene Records)
by Tim London

Bet they get fed up of being described as ‘ethereal’. Trippy hipster rock fronted by ethereal singer. Ethereal, as in her voice, she’s not an actual wraith. That would be… spooky. The slide guitar goes deeeooown and then it goes, nnnneeewuuuuup! They’ve just moved to LA from New York - that’s like me saying I’ve bought a sun bed OR ‘I’m desperate’ OR Brooklyn rents are anti-creative OR I’m going to live that Mamas and Papas song. Sometimes snide is all that’s left.

FRANZ FERDINAND - Curious (Domino) 
by Jay Lewis

The first time I saw Franz Ferdinand live they were supporting Morrissey at his comeback show at Manchester Arena in 2004. With the most celebrated and sexily cerebral debut of the year (and a genius single that may have been both about the sensation of falling in love and the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand), the night was there's. The headliner's performance was sadly hollow in comparison.

Eighteen years later, and despite a few misfires, artistic cul-de-sacs, and a lineup change they've got a sturdy greatest hits album on the way. 'Curious' is the second of the new offerings (first single 'Billy Goodbye' was a perky and infectious joy),  and it's as smart, slick, and danceable as anything that they initially charmed us with. They sound like they're having fun again.

SONIC YOUTH - In and Out (Three Lobed Recordings) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Ancient Champion

Yeah this is alright. Love it a bit. And it's here since the only musical anecdote I can bother to recall is... wait well there is the Alex Chilton one, and the Steve Jones one, the Captain Sensible one, Joe Strummer one, but as I twist through the rolodex of my memories, ahhh the Sonic Youth one. Ha! By now you know this review is an experiment to see whether I can write nothing in exactly 7:35. While listening. But, yes, I wonder if you were there that night, when Lake and assorted friends, in a girlfriends' lime green Vauxhall Viva went down to Brighton beach to see Sonic Youth play and the bonfires couldn't even keep us warm. I couldn't for the life of me tell when the band had finished tuning up and when they'd started a song. A story I wasn't allowed to tell for 30 years. And yet here they are now. And okay, they've outlasted me here today. Really great though. Better than it might have sounded on the beach. And we had to push start the Viva to get it going to take us home. One time, someone broke into that car when it was parked in St. Leonards On Sea and since there was nothing to steal, left a note suggesting the interior should be cleaned. They didn't put it quite like that. And the pool of water in the passenger footwell drained too. Another quality motor. Loved by the owner. Love the owner still.

by Jay Lewis

Whilst overseeing the creation of his new website (where you can now buy sheet music versions of his piano music), it feels that Sakamoto has been listing to Erik Satie again and maybe a few Morton Feldman albums too. And the result is this exquisite solo piece. 

'Ieta' (which you can also buy the sheet music for), was written for a contact lens commercial (but he wears such cool specs!), and before you get all snooty about music made for adverts, remember that most of the Japanese ambient music that was created in the eighties was for such purposes. I'll recommend 'Kankyo Ongandu:  Japanese Environmental, Ambient and New Age Music 1980 -1990' as your starter.  You can thank me later. 

RAVEENA - Rush (Warner) 
by Lee Paul

I'm unsure that the world has seen anyone quite like Raveena. Her single Still Dreaming is as beautiful and sultry as a soul ballad could be. Full of yearning. Here. Mishmashing cultures. It's a treat.

DOROTHY - rest In Peace (Ron Nation)
by Tim London

Hair. Leather. PVC. Quaint guitar solo. Lyrics that rhyme ‘hallelujah’ with ‘do ya’ and a big bellow of impassioned fame desire. Everything you would want from a Hungarian woman who brought her guitar technician back to life after an overdose on the tour bus with the power of prayer. The press release doesn’t specify whether it was god or satan who received her supplication. But the track is the devil’s own mess of big rock cliche so I know who my bet’s on.

PIERRE WENDERS - Papa Wemba (Arts and Crafts Records)
by Toon Traveller

Pierre Wembers great new single Papa Wemba, channeling, Papa Wemba, full Toon Traveler take, here

MY IDEA - Cry Mfer (Hardly Art)
by Tim London

The gorgeous chord sequence and hypnotic beat have brought me back to listen to this again and again. It shows that stoned American indiepop sung by uber-relaxed girly voiced singers can be classic. Somehow this seems to live in the same, canniboid-legalized universe as Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks. There’s a great 21st century compilation album waiting for a Lenny Kaye to put together of accidentally iconic American pop. This would be on it. They do still have compilation albums, right?


MARKO NYBERG - Ingrid EP (El Camino) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by John Robinson

Marko Nyberg's spartan EP is reviewed by John Robinson, here

DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO - Get Da Steppin' (Colemine) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

The Delvon LaMarr Trio... the name can easily be prefixed with 'the superb...' Without the Hammond B3, organists oh they'd still be limited to Praise performances. Chained to the church pipes not let loose like this on a somnambulant and unprepared world. Great from the get go!


YARD ACT - The Overload (Universal)
by Lee Paul

Major label grumbling for the urban outfitters set. If it's raining the singer wears a raincoat and sometimes it is worn when it is not.

BLACK COUNTRY NEW ROAD - Ants From Up There (Ninja Tune) 
by Erin

Following the sad and unexpected exit of guitarist and lead vocalist Isaac Wood, Black Country, New Road release their follow up to last year's much-celebrated debut - 'For The First Time'

'Ants From Up There' is an incredibly strong album that not only manages to show their progression as a band, introducing new sounds and themes of romance whilst still retaining the same anxiety and power that defined their debut, both sonically and lyrically.  

It's is a stellar follow-up, making Black Country, New Road one of the most intriguing and engaging new British bands.

THE REDS, PINKS AND PURPLES - Summer at Land's End (Slumberland) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Alex V. Cook

Glenn Donaldson's excellent melancholy project just keeps getting more so. The lyrics are less buried in his exquisite 80s/90s jangle cardigan, given space in that empty bedroom to wallow. Fists are put through sheetrock, tears are shed, lovers dispatched, lights are dimly squinted at in tunnels. It's so good. Given this trajectory, their next release will be a mood ring/jump drive with the saddest possible version of Vampire Weekend's "Oxford Comma" therein.

CATE LE BON - Pompeii (Mexican Summer) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Alex V. Cook

I used to really love Cate Le Bon's songs, but as they grew less song-y, maybe it was her. Delivery on Pompeii is pitched somewhere between Nico and Bjork, landing as loopy precipitates like the "Dirt on the Bed" or dream-pop deconstructions like "Moderation." Her voice gasps it way into being another instrument more than a narrative delivery system, occupying the same lane as an omnipresent yet pleasing saxophone. The record goes a little long in the 1988 mall soundtrack vibe for my tastes, but the wiggier numbers like the title track more than make up for it. Perfect music to listen to while making a purchase of pricy sunglasses a touch more severe than your idiom can accommodate.

BEIRUT - Artifacts (Pompeii Records)
by Alex V. Cook

Beirut's swooning makes me swoon. This watch-me-grow-up montage odds/sods begins back when our boy was all a drum tattoo, eastern European woodwinds and brass and an eager politic and sexuality blasted through them. Each ukulele lilt and euphonium groan is met with that perfect voice of his. By track 8, the drum machines and synth sequencers replace that whole band room of rusting gear, and I don't want to say he loses me for it because I fetishized his previous means of production over the songs, but this may be the case. Also, he's less inclined to bust out that lovesick holler with the blinking lights. I mean, I can love Magnetic Fields no matter what instruments they employ, but Stephin Merritt's voice and song is always there. This goes on for a bit. Come track 12 "Your Sails", he's back into Robinson Caruso sea shanty wailing and Friday, I'm in love again.  From there on, he manages to combine his adopted synthesis with his honking nature like we all do at some point and the results are a dream. Title like "Napoleon on the Bellerophon" and "Interior of a Dutch House" and something in German indicate he has my fussy romanticized number. Like I said, he makes me swoon. 

THE DIVINE COMEDY - Charmed Life - The Best of The Divine Comedy (Divine Comedy) zero favorite_borders
by Katherine Pargeter

See Kath Pargeter's zero♥ review, here

Essential Info
Main Image: Youtube screen grab David Christian

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Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV

about LamontPaul »»



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