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Outsideleft Week in Music: Dry Cleaning or Laundromat? Music Reviewed Here: Dry Cleaning, Laundromat, Gabriels, Prehistoric Man, Courtney Marie Andrews, Leo Ferre, Murkage Dave, Plains, Sparta, Tomeka Reid Quartet, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Sault, Nora O'Connor, Passive Fix, Marina Hasselberg, Drugdealer, George Boomsma, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Tindersticks, Black Lips, Lightning Seeds, and The Big Moon

Outsideleft Week in Music: Dry Cleaning or Laundromat?

Music Reviewed Here: Dry Cleaning, Laundromat, Gabriels, Prehistoric Man, Courtney Marie Andrews, Leo Ferre, Murkage Dave, Plains, Sparta, Tomeka Reid Quartet, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Sault, Nora O'Connor, Passive Fix, Marina Hasselberg, Drugdealer, George Boomsma, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Tindersticks, Black Lips, Lightning Seeds, and The Big Moon

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: October, 2022
Dry Cleaning - "It's all about the words. And the delivery."
Laundromat - "The energy doesn't drop..."

This Week in Music is a massive expansive journey-type one. From the suave minimalism of Prehistoric Man to the high culture contributions of cellists (three in a week), Marina Hasselberg, Tomeka Reid and Sheku Kanneh-Mason and don't forget your Dry Cleaning or the Laundromat. All the wrinkles ironed out this week by Lee Paul, Ancient Champion, Tim Sparks, Toon Traveller, Tim London, Jay Lewis, Spanish Pantalones, Katherine Pargeter, and I have added something too.

SINGLES

DRY CLEANING - No Decent Shoes For The Rain (4AD)
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by Tim London

Spoken voice. It’s all about the words. And the delivery. These words are delivered with some slight embarrassment. But I like them. Not the whole package, then. Reminds me a little of Marianne Faithful’s Broken English (the guitars and dreary drums) but Faithful’s voice, by then, was epically minced and Ms Cleaning’s is… a quiet, ironic conversation in a coffee shop.


LAUNDROMAT - Gloss (Brace Yourself Records)
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by Tim Sparks

Kicks off with a Beatles style Bass sound so I'm in already...a nice pace pop track with some cool guitar sounds and nice vocal harmonies, some hard panned instruments give it space, and I do believe there's a cowbell in there...nice. The energy doesn't drop ...a continual rhythm keeps it all together, almost hypnotic, or monotonous, whichever way you hear it, but it's all good, and it's just enough to make you want to play it again!


PREHISTORIC MAN - Flavoured Finish (Bandcamp)
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by Lee Paul

Prehistoric Man are big favorites in my house, so it was very exciting to wake up last Saturday to a message saying they are back. Flavoured Finish attempts, they say, to embody the harmonic sensibilities of the classic girl groups of the 60's, such as The Chiffons, with the production values of late 80's era Northern house music. They know what they're doing. Flavoured Finish is not a facsimile mashed to a pulp, it is a mesmerising trippy journey, evoking hipster spy movie themes, before giving way to crystalline multi-layered percussion. A surprise of a dreamscape then, that simply sounds awesome. Let it take you.


SHEKU KANNEH-MASON - Say A Little Prayer (Decca)
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by Ancient Champion

Well, three cello stars in one week, Sheku Kenneh-Mason + Tomeka Reid + Marina Hasselberg and it seems unexceptional, like a semblance of balance restored to the OL universe. I saw Sheku Kenneh-Mason perform Haydn to a sold out crowd at the Symphony Hall recently and it was, as I know I saw way too often, mesmerising. I was kind of on a plane where I saw right across his fingers as they literally danced over the cello. You know - like he'd had the salt cellar out to make the loafers move. Remember doing that? Say A Little Prayer is the most perfect piece is pop, of course, I know, and now it is this. Note: Sheku Kenneh-Mason is returning to Birmingham, as part of the Noise Night scheme to take classical music into new environs, grab a ticket while you can...»»  


PLAINS - Hurricane (Anti Records)
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by Lee Paul

It's not that Hurricane, oldsters... These Plains are Jess Williamson and Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield’s and this is the latest track to be available prior to the release of their full length, Walked With You A Ways. Out today.


SPARTA - Until The Kingdom Comes (Dine Alone Records)
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by Tim Sparks

This wouldn't  be out of place on a Muse album, it has a driving Bass line and solid drum track with this octave guitar notes giving the intro and verse a slightly minor feel, but then before long the chorus kicks in with a melodic chant style vocal lifting the whole song. Throughout the whole thing the guitars weave their way around the vocal melody filling all the gaps nicely, all in all a cool song.   


MURKAGE DAVE - Choose Your Own Adventure (Bandcamp)
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by Tim London

In the future, when sociologists want to know what life is really like for young-ish Londoners they can study Dave’s lyrics. Over a circular backing, the round and round of life goes on. It’s beautiful and sad.


MARINA HASSELBERG - Deep Blue (Redshift Records)
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by Toon Traveller

From Marina Hasselberg's full length LP, Red, due next week, comes the life affirming Deep Blue. As I aged, my instrument of desire morphed, from electric guitar, to piano and later, ended up here at the cello. And here we are, Marina Hasselberg has it all in the fingers and the bow. Approaching what I had considered to be understated only to have my mind blown. Deep Blue literally stretches, tears, rips and aches as notes escape Marina's mind, through her fingers, and out into the world.  This is music rooted in the spaces BETWEEN the dark places in your mind, hair-raising, spine-tingling, a dark pool of sound, beckoning... Leap in if you dare. Deep Blue cuts through skin with its raw visceral attack, on the instrument, on the listener and on the safe havens of what we know. This is the best thing I have heard this year. I love it. Can't wait for the LP.


DRUGDEALER - Pictures Of You (Mexican Summer)
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by Toon Traveller

Be kind to your Drugdealer and you will be rewarded... Here with the relaxed start, this has that early '80s post Steely Dan feel, sophisticated, urbane, a bit yacht rocky, and oohh so knowing.  A great guitar lick and solo, underpinned by a wonderful electric piano sense.  Provides that New York / LA pop / Jazz sensibility. This is perfect late night, sit back and de-stress, shut the door, close the curtains, pop the wine cork, yeah it's wine time, that buzz.  Let this ease over you, a scented bath without getting wet. This eases along with a soft focus I prefer to despise but this just hits the spot. So hard. Leaves you with a sense of sunshine and hope. Wherever your energy costs land, this softens the pain. 


PASSIVE FIX - The Fix (Independent)
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by Tim Sparks

Saw these guys at a local music show...the fact that they got our attention as a live band says something I think, this track "The Fix" has a pretty dark undertone but some great lyrics and sounds complimented by a really cool production. The song stomps along to a solid drum track before slipping into a nice melodic chorus, but don't be fooled...guitars are coming your way! The double track vocal adds to the vibe, even more so with the cans on, then a suitably raging outdo! I believe they are gigging soon, check them out.  


NORA O'CONNOR - My Heart (Pravda Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Easy, easy intro, from Nora, steering wheel tapping as you're stuck in traffic, tells a tale of a love gone, whilst not forgotten, a slice of melancholic sweetness. There's always going to be a tinge of regret though when you fall for a loser. There's a great Star Baker elegance to the country guitar solo, that breaks the song, and 'hits the spot'. This swings with memories of a lover gone, but one that was destined to fail from the start. There's regrets, a sense she saw the end before the beginning. It's hopeless love in a song.


EPs

SAULT - 10 (Tunecore)
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by Tim London

What is Sault? Does it matter? Here it is Chronixx singing inimitably over, initially, some sparse rock funk for the first couple of minutes of ultimately around just 10 minutes and ten seconds of what might be a track from a new album.

His Jamaican stylings and the backing vocals remind me of Black Uhuru in this ‘whiter’ context. ‘Whiter’? How white musicians colonised what became known as rock is a whole convoluted epic tale, especially as drip by drip it is reclaimed by various Black artists.

The track breaks down into essentially three parts and a mellow singer-songwriting piano takes over, placing Chronixx in an even more unlikely setting (a groovy American wedding reception?) as he sings of the eternal walk towards ‘zion’. Finally a short spoken word section leads us into a strummy, campfire smoke-jam and the fade on ‘soul rebel, so gentle, go gently and find your way’ which is both profound and meaningless, as late night moments often are.

So, what is Sault? Is it a feeling that comes from deep inside or a hamhock in your cornflakes? Take a listen, you decide.


GEORGE BOOMSMA - What's Left Behind (Independent)
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by Jay Lewis

On George Boomsma's What's Left Behind EP Jay Lewis hears a voice that is a pure and effortlessly soaring instrument... Read Jay's full review, here »» 


LPs

COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS - Loose Future (Fat Possum Records)
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by Jay Lewis

Courtney Marie Andrews' last album (the GRAMMY nominated 'Old Flowers' 2020), was one of the most heartbreaking records that I'd heard in a long ('I may never let love in again' she declared on 'Carnival Dream'). It was a quiet, country-folk album with that wounded, soul-searching vocals at the centre.

Loose Future opens with the admission that she has  'learned from her mistakes', and it's an indication of what is to follow. Her personal, insightful lyrics tell tales of moving cautiously forward, learning to live again, and although there may still be huge patches of self-doubt ('Change My Mind' ), and frustration ('On the Line') there's also newfound live-one-day-at-a-time wisdom of 'These Are The Good Old Days' Best of all is the yearning of 'Thinkin' on You,' that feeling of aching for someone to return, probably just moments after they've left.

This is an album built out of painful experiences and the need for personal change, of seeing light at the end of the tunnel and the move towards it. 


DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS - Too-Rye-Ay (As It Should Have Sounded) (Universal Music)
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by Spanish Pantalones

A few things about the 40th anniversary re-release of Dexys Midnight Runners' Too-Rye-Ay. First off, it has a subtitle: As It Should Have Sounded. Also, it's Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners now. (I have a great theory about lead singers known mostly for their first band, who enjoyed a smattering of solo success after their band's split, then insist on separate and top billing for the reunion, but I'll write that article later.) Anyway, Rowland says he was "never happy" with Too-Rye-Ay. "I always felt the mixes could be better," Rowland sniffed in the press release. So I personally sat down and carefully listened to both versions of the album with decent earbuds. I couldn't tell the difference between the two LPs. I wasn't expecting a dub version of 'Jackie Wilson Said' or juiced fiddles, but the new one sounds just like the old one. Don't get me wrong, the old one is great. I adore the old one. I'm just saying, there's no need to buy the new one because Rowland didn't do jack shit to this pricey reissue. I'm taking a star away for the "As It Should Have Sounded" business, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Too-Rye-Ay is a great record.


GABRIELS - Angels and Queens - Part 1 (Atlas Artists)
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by Katherine Pargeter

We're entering that godawful 'best of year' list-making season, where there's the usual one-upmanship about what might be the best or not best record of 2022.  And why is it always one-upmanship?  Why is that? 

Well, any of those lists that fail to mention Gabries elegant mix of soul, gospel, jazz, swoops string and Jacob Lusk's tender, aching passionate voice... any list not mentioning this record, will be treated like a typo-strewn CV and thrown away immediately.  

Angels and Queens - Part One is the album of the year - no competition. 


THE BLACK LIPS - Apocalypse Love (Fire Records)
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by Spanish Pantalones

Apocalypse Love makes me ask myself why I don’t listen to the Black Lips more. The lead single ('Lost Angel') is sexy and cinematic – like a pornographic western. Everything else is brash and funky. I like Apocalypse Love a lot, but I can also see myself quickly getting exhausted with it in the same way I feel after I hear more than three songs in a row by The Go! Team. Proceed with caution, young gun.


THE BIG MOON - Here Is Everything (Fiction)
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by Lee Paul

The Big Moon's heavily anticipated 3rd LP, Here Is Everything arrives this week. A big indie hope... The single Wide Eyes, achieving an epic intimacy, quite a trick, released in the summer, coincided with the actual big moon in the sky. So... for the two of you who haven't heard them yet, imagine with The National hooks. Fleetwood Mac, with youth on their side. Imagine pop music that can speak and sing.


RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - Return of the Dream Canteen (Warner Records)
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by Spanish Pantalones

Another album of 17 listless Red Hot Chili Peppers songs that sound roughly like the other 230 songs the band has released since 1984. One song -- probably about California -- bleeds into another, all held together with those nasally, compressed vocals. I'm not sure why RHCP felt like they had to release this double album only four months after they released Unlimited Love, another double album. Maybe they think that if they inundate their fans with dozens of new songs every few months, no one will have the time to absorb how bad they really are.


THE LIGHTNING SEEDS - See You In The Stars (BMG)
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by Spanish Pantalones

Too twee, even for me. This album makes Talulah Gosh sound like a Norwegian black death metal band.


TINDERSTICKS - Stars at Noon (Original Soundtrack) (Lucky Dog / City Slang)
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by Spanish Pantalones

This record is less a soundtrack and more of a score. Most of the album's 19 tracks are boozy sketches and dark, atmospheric instrumentals. It sounds great at night with dimmed lights and a tumbler filled with brown liquor, but you're not going to reach for Stars at Noon if you need motivation. Have the Tindersticks made music for David Lynch yet? If not, it's only a matter of time.


Other Materials

LEO FERRE - C'est Extra (Barclay Records)
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by Ancient Champion

Léo Ferré's C'est Extra is a mild balm for Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Annie Ernaux, as she watches her mum succumb to Alzheimer's in the course of I Remain In Darkness. It's beautifully perverse, epic and with a weird organ hanging 'round down there. Qu'aurait du chien sans l'faire exprès. Perfect.


TOMEKA REID QUARTET - Old New (Cuneiform Records)
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by LamontPaul

Tomeka Reid's Quartet released the incredible Old New LP in 2019, it was one of our top 10 LPs of that year, actually 8th best, a couple of places above Sault and Snoh Aalegra. Old New is possibly one of the best records you will ever hear. Anyway, we're revisiting Old New this week to celebrate Tomeka Reid's just announced 2022 MacArthur Genius Award for her work in jazz improvisation and so, so, so much more. For all the reasons MacArthur ordains genius. Read an expanded version of this news here »».


Essential Info
Main image from Pexels by Karolina Grabowska

LamontPaul
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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