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Outsideleft Week In Music with Kevin Morby and more... We're hearing from... The Clash, Tomberlin, Simon Grab, Ivan Nahem, Kama Vardi, 100 gecs, Amai Kuda et Les Bois, LYR, Surprise Chef, Horsegirl, Party Dozen, GWAR, Greenness, Interpol, MISZCZYK, Jim Perkins, Yakov Berger and Kevin Morby

Outsideleft Week In Music with Kevin Morby and more...

We're hearing from... The Clash, Tomberlin, Simon Grab, Ivan Nahem, Kama Vardi, 100 gecs, Amai Kuda et Les Bois, LYR, Surprise Chef, Horsegirl, Party Dozen, GWAR, Greenness, Interpol, MISZCZYK, Jim Perkins, Yakov Berger and Kevin Morby

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

approximate reading time: minutes

when you're out of lust, what are you left here for?


TOMBERLIN - Born Again Runner (Saddle Creek) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Ancient Champion

Born Again Runner is from I Don't Know Who Needs To Hear This... and of course the only answer is everyone. Tomberlin are well... You know how Big Thief stopped being a secret between you and your besties and now they belong to everyone? Well, Tomberlin, for a few months maybe are just between you and me... We can be selfish with this. Swirling pedal-effected pedal steels, something about seeing something from the nosebleed seats. It's got a failing physicality, "I know I'm not Jesus, But Jesus, I'm tryin' to be enough..." OMG! Tomberlin. It's enough for now.

LYR - Addison Drifts (LYR Recordings) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by LamontPaul

LYR have so much going on here it's totally great. From a quiet spoken opening to the eventual epic. I'm reminded a little of a Reynard The Fox. I'm reminded of the greats. Addison Drifts, drifts so effectively. Every moment matters. Let's imagine if Kamasi Washington was hopeless, he would still be really super special right? Well that is how great LYR are. The are as great as a poor Kamasi Washington might be. Still great. Don't be put off that LYR include current British poet laureate Simon Armitage amongst their number, which also includes boss muso's Richard Walters and Patrick Pearson. LYR are the Naz, I love it.

AMAI KUDA ET LES BOIS - Eshu (Youtube) ZERO favorite_borders
by LamontPaul

I am told this is what Outsideleft does. So I am doing it anyway. In between relentlessly shilling for dinosaurs, like visitor guide writers for a musical Jurassic Park, it is said, Outsideleft's review page drops in some piece of Afrique beat every now and then to give the impression that we are something more than shillers for dinosaurs, that Outsideleft is actually populated by the discerning. I am so transparent. Thanks for the analysis. So while examining that here, while prosecuting that here, while dismantling myself here. Ooops I've overlooked the record. That can happen. I am self-absorbed number 1. Eshu is a bit of light fluffiness that does not submit to any one convention. A song about healing. Amai Kuda et Les Bois is more than a band or a solo act, Amai Kuda et Les Bois is a movement. It's a movement with a wondrous sense of melody. What is that sub sub plinky plonk thing where the bass might go? Love that. Pop pop pop for sure, with an animated video from Nigeria's Spoof Animation. Could possibly lighten to darkest of days. 

YAKOV BERGER - Tightrope (YB) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Lee Paul

Thoughtfully spare, sparse solo piano subtly subsumed by its minor chords. Alright, I don't know whether they are minor at all. I love hearing the piano's squelching innards though. Is it sinking slowly into the sand? This is portently beautiful and I have been listening all week. Tightrope is enough because it is everything it needs to be. Great!

100 GECS - Doritos and Fritos (Big Beat) favoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

A promotional video that once again confirms that rock drumming kills dancing ability. 100 gecs have made an instant drivetime, ad friendly, annoying as fuck song about food. One of them where someone who’s music taste you once admired says, ‘but I kinda like it’. But I kinda hate it.

PARTY DOZEN - Macca The Mutt (feat Nick Cave (Bandcamp) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

Finally a tune by Nick Cave I can enjoy! How long ago was Release The Bats? That’s the last time I enjoyed Nick’s dodgy American accent. Perhaps it’s got something to do with animals plus barmy lyrics? Who knows? If this track came up after Enya you’d probably die of shock. Also the best bit of saxamaphone playing since the last Iklan track. Release the mutts!

JIM PERKINS - The North Wind (featuring Daigo Hanada) (Bigo and Twigetti) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

Jim Perkins knocks it out of the fucking park again with a relentlessly melodic meandering piano piece squoze into your almost two blissful minutes Daigo Hanada has a hand in this too. There's no need for more. Jim Perkins understands that.

MISZCZYK - In The Dark (feat. Laetitia Sadier) (We Are Time Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Sounding as if she is in a different room to the drum machine, Laetitia does her 1968 in Europe, wandering on a beach, being distracted by the sharp cheek boned waiter, waiting, endlessly waiting (like the waiter), eventually coming to decision to eat pasta, thing. Which is always enjoyable. Mix it again and this track would be very special. As it is, the drums are distracting.

KAMA VARDI - Bread & Wine (Digital only ) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Jay Lewis

I first heard the wonderful Kama Vardi when she was covered 'These Days' - the Jackson Browne song, made magnificent by Nico. Then I got to discover what a superb songwriter Vardi is in her own right...

‘Bread & Wine’ was written in a tiny shack in a rural part of northern Israel during lockdown (Vardi is from Tel Aviv). As with the best art that was created during those recent bouts of self-isolation, the song is a poignant reflection, in this case, of a couple feeling the disillusion of their changing love. ‘Bread & Wine’ is gorgeous, cinematic melancholy, made so tender by Vardi's softly whispered vocal.

The song is a taster of her forthcoming 'Somewhere East EP', scheduled for September on Vardi’s own label Bread for Eskimos.

HORSEGIRL - Dirtbag Transformation (Still Dirty) (Matador) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

Things happen so fast and then so slowly at the same time. Horsegirl, slacker sounds for a small subset of the now generation that likes the look of guitars on bands. Dirtbag Transformation (Still Dirty) is the next new track from the forthcoming Versions of Modern Performance LP. That's one thing to look forward to this summer.  It will feel like ages 'til it arrives on June 3rd, and then it will be all over in half an hour. Like young Gustav Metzgers Burning Up Brightly. 

GWAR - Berserker Mode (Pit Records) favoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London


INTERPOL - Fables (Matador) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by LamontPaul

Interpol are arresting aren't they. Fables is from their upcoming LP The Other Side of Make-Believe and I don't know what to make of it. I suppose...

SURPRISE CHEF - Springs Theme (Big Crown Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

Oh Wow! What a fantastic surprise Surprise Chef cooks up. Brought to you by Big Crown Records, we should've know this was going to incorporate some really fine superior organ notes. When it comes it really comes. Oh it do. It do.


IVAN NAHEM - Crawling through the Grass (Arguably Records ) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Ambient music covers a range of styles, attitudes and composition. I Always find ambient sounds a challenge - in a positive sense. This starts with what sounds like backward tracking, and some slow, slow synth, and then the jarring echo, there's the sense of industrial menace, things closed, but still haunted by the ghosts of the long gone workers. Think of the preserved steel mill in Birmingham, Alabama, yeah there's a stark beauty here, cold and austere, but it's beauty nonetheless. Crawling Through The Grass is brilliant and captivating.   

SIMON GRAB - Anthropocene Panic (sound-space) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

From the Anthropocene Panic LP, here we go with a Slow intro, tool, machines powering up, light flicking on, people shuffling to their workbenches - lots of heavy industrial beats, ponderous, techno-heavy metal bashing, sparks flashing and spraying, but is it doing anything? Going anywhere? Probably not. Yeah there's breaks, reprises, soft interludes, (tea breaks?) and a return to the bass-heavy, synth tempered sounds. Quirky little splashes of synth and echopelexed, sustained note guitar, this has been done before. I suppose the return to bassline repetitive beats will attract some ears, but I can't imagine this being listened to at home, at a gig, or in the garden. But there's not too much to make me want to listen more than once or twice. If Black Sabbath, the UK's 70's metal gods, (who claimed their songs and rhythms were defined by metal bashing in their working lives) were starting out today this could be their electro-techno-thrash metal versions of those lives, and represent their musical roots, using synth, bass drums, drums and 'treated guitars'.

GREENNESS - Sunrooms (One Fern Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Jay Lewis

Looking back over those lockdowns, some artists took time to gaze out at their world, find, what was precious, and create, fabulous and inspiring work out of it.

Take the Brighton based Anglo-French duo Greenness as an example. They wrote 'Sunrooms', a vivid and varied collection of nature inspired songs that matched the soaring voice of bilingual vocals Cécile Frangi with Graham Pratt's blend of electronica, alt-folk and rock. It's a fascinating and sensual mix that delights over and over again. Sphinx, sung in French, opens with some frankly odd dial-up noises and some inventive percussion. Apparently, it's about the mysteries of ancient Egypt and a love of cats, but I'll just take their word for it. Best of all is the single 'Destroy/Enjoy' which opens with Frangi's most Bjork-like meandering before turning into the best track that This is the Kit never made. It's one for the end-of-year compilations.

Sunrooms is such a splendid debut.

KEVIN MORBY - This Is A Photograph (Dead Oceans) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion

Kevin Morby moves around. Kansas, New York, California, Tennessee... Who knows where he will be next. Let's hope he has a motor that can handle the high mileage. This Is A Photograph is his 7th serious and seriously funny LP - if you don't count his bass work with impeccably noisy folk folks, Woods. Of course you're an idiot if you're not enjoying Woods one way, or the other while reading this. Here, Woods. Four LPs with Woods, two others with The Babies. Prolific person. This is Photograph is just so full of Kevin Morby and way, that is a good thing. It's like a Hollywood movie where the superstar inhabits every scene. Even when they are very much just out of the frame as Kevin is in moments like the drop dead gorgeous, Bitterwseet, TN... Which could be considered Go-Betweens-ie, Triffids-y if that helps at all? He's still only barely off stage. Who knew, writing matters after all and Kevin Morby quietly does it better than just about anyone. This is a Photograph, is a restlessly insightful, revelatory record about an American life being lived out right now in front of him and he's in it. He's washing a little dirt from under his nails, pulling a splinter out of his paw and mythologising Memphis all within the same moment. This American Life is insinuated into the tempo. Many of the songs crescend towards the end... It's often very intense, either musically or lyrically or both at once. All at once. And then the lazily soaring, A Coat of Butterflies - a Jeff Buckley memorial of sorts... "You're living on the river's floor..." Is one aspect of Kevin's report into Jeff's whereabouts. A batik assemblage of from a minimalist coupla guitar chords like Television's Carried Away or something... Writing like Chuck Watchel, dumbfounding with unobtuse decomposition, carrying you further away, further along in the same deliriously new direction we're all headed. Embrace it. Sure, there are questions along the way. Unanswered, not always answered, so what do you think, when you're out of lust, what are you left here for? When you're out of life, why are you still here? This, this is what I'll miss about being alive. 

Other Materials

THE CLASH - Combat Rock (CBS) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Tim London

40 years on from the week of its initial release, Tim London remembers Combat Rock, right here 

Essential Info
Main image, Kevin Morby dropping the nunchucks on his Rock Bottom blooper reel

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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