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Outsideleft Week in Music We're hearing from... Sufjan Stevens and Danielson, The Go! Team, Grapetooth, Big Star, Ron Gallo, David Benjamin Blower, The Wedding Present, Ancient Champion & Museumgoer, Aayushi, Craig Wedren, Liv.e and Little Simz

Outsideleft Week in Music

We're hearing from... Sufjan Stevens and Danielson, The Go! Team, Grapetooth, Big Star, Ron Gallo, David Benjamin Blower, The Wedding Present, Ancient Champion & Museumgoer, Aayushi, Craig Wedren, Liv.e and Little Simz

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

approximate reading time: minutes

Happy Holidays from the Outsideleft Music writers!

Well... Despite being an anagram of Satan, I am really into the whole Santa thing. The psychotic sado-masochistic giving until the expense really, really hurts. It's the only time I feel all year long.  Who would deny me such simple pleasure? This is really it, the last Outsideleft Week in Music of 2022. Next week? Who knows what fills this space. Whatever. This week features some fab tunes that would be winners if people weren't distracted by Christmas shopping. Meanwhile your beloved Week in Music, like your favorite president or something, will be back in 2023.

FOCUS TRACKS-Formerly known as Singles

CRAIG WEDREN - Who's Alive (Tougher Lover)
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by Tim London

Craig’s ‘famously elastic voice’ here on a mercifully short track taken from his new EP, Second Sleep is like a scene from an afternoon love and knickers TV movie wherein the heroine, newly arrived to a small town in Massachusetts encounters the handsome but horribly coiffured English teacher at the local high school who is distractedly playing piano to himself but secretly knowing she is watching which is all part of his dastardly plot to get into her knickers and steal her house/money/car/soul. Does he succeed? Buy the EP and find out!


LITTLE SIMZ - Broken (Forever Living)
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by Lee Paul

Little Simz released a whole LP, No Thank You, with such alacrity that the entertainment machine surrounding our top entertainers these days couldn't keep up, didn't have time to secure a slot at the vinyl record pressing plant making it very difficult for white people to enjoy the album since "What? This is not available on vinyl yet?" Well then it might as well not really exist. Broken is an arresting Dylan-esque lyrical odyssey, very brilliant and very painful, so compliments of the season to you for that. "Work two jobs, just so rice is on the children's plate, Landlord tells you, 'This is the last time you can be late' Health issues that you try to suppress, But all your health issues are derived from stress..." Sounds like fragments from conversations with my best friends. And so hummable too. Little Simz is our poet, saying it is okay to say something, reaching national treasure status before 30 I'd be thinking.


RON GALLO - Yucca Valley Marshalls (Kill Rock Stars)
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by Tim London

Play it again, Tim. OK, I will. Why? Well… there’s a section of the long lasting BBC R4 comedy panel show I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue called one song to the tune of another, where they sing the lyrics of one song to the tune of another. And, initially, it sounds like that’s what Ron’s doing here, the lyrics split and separated at all the ‘wrong’ places. Which makes it interesting and sets off the somewhat basic trad bass/drums/strummy guitar to an extent. Then there’s a lovely bridge and chorus and you are there, killing the planet along with Ron in his hire car cos he wanted to see the desert but bumped into a shop instead (or as well).


SUFJAN STEVENS AND DANIELSON - Worried Shoes (Shimmy Disc)
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by LamontPaul

Daniel Johnson's tremulous Worried Shoes rekindled by Sufjan Stevens and Danielson or Danielson and Sufjan Stevens. However you like it I guess. I sometimes wonder whether I am the luckiest unlucky man in the world, or just the unluckiest lucky man? Amazingly beautiful. Steeped in Bukowski-Hopper-esque Americana.  Tearjerker of the week for sure.


DAVID BENJAMIN BLOWER - Late Upon A Starry Night (Bandcamp)
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by LamontPaul

A quick history lesson, an archetypal David Benjamin Blower song. It's folk, for strange folks and more. Test your taste...  Late Upon A Starry Night is a Christmas song, up for the duration of Christmas only (until 5th Jan '23). 50% of the proceeds go to Safe Passage UK, who are working toward safe routes for refugees. "He has brought the powerful down from their thrones, And lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, And sent the rich away empty" -Lk1:52..


GRAPETOOTH - Infinite Source (Polyvinyl)
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by Tim London

Two chords on a rickety horn section promise… something. And then a 1990s dance music producer walks in and there is a battle between him and the family of the horn section arranger who he asked around to do some healing type singing together, because, you know what with one thing and another and the will and all that, they needed some time together and singing is a way for them to, like, remember they are related and they used to love each other. It’s a draw.


AAYUSHI - I Ran Out Into the Snowflakes, Laughing (Bandcamp)
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by Lee Paul

I've got to tell you that I am really into Aayushi, so this seasonal greeting sounds better to me with every listen. One of UK's great unsung stars. 


EPs

THE WEDDING PRESENT - Momento Mori (Scopitones)
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by Lee Paul

Momento Mori has all of the facets  I love from the Wedding Present music. It does it for me. Guitars. Guitars going on when the drums stop going at all. Love that. David Gedge. Relationships are an eternal mystery. Yep. "I can see the mountains from here and they don't look too high." An oblique reference to Diana surely? Dave's way of saying ain't no mountain high enough. Momento Mori is part of Loneliest Time of the Year EP put out for the season. It's the goods.


LPs

erm, none we noticed this week.


Other Materials

BIG STAR - Jesus Christ (Ardent I dont know)
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by LamontPaul

Ancient Champion lumber through this every Christmas. Eva since Lake told me to listen to it, it's been nn my top ten fave Christmas rock songs forever. I should do a playlist for Christmas eve for that time when you get back from midnight mass while Santa and the helpers and reindeers are working their asses off but your drinking is kicking further in and in my child house that was the one day a year my dad ate liver and onions? Dad! Jesus Christ is from Big Star's 3rd and is a balmy BALM of the season. Remember that word. Capitalized just like that. We're gonna get born now...


ANCIENT CHAMPION AND MUSEUMGOER - Western and Country (Youtube)
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by Sheridan Coyle

Heard this late at night on Soho radio's The Trip this week, and while it took me an age to find a version of it, it was well worth persevering. A demo by Ancient Champion and Museumgoer for Dime Records, a French indie label we've loved this year. Pedal steels from Baton Rouge. Western guitars from Bearwoods. Video star and horse? Only visuals fabricator Jay knows. Ancient Champion and Museumgoer remixed by Million Dollar Tim. An all together fine combine.


LIV.E - I've Been Learning From My Mistakes (and way more the the - Tiny Desk) (Tiny Desk)
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by LamontPaul

Oh my god, how much do I love Liv.e's subsuming all of contemporary rnb into one record, Wild Animals. So now, while you've got a long weekend on your hands, hopefully, check that out and check out this lovely gospel inflected - although our church band never sounded like this, Tiny Desk show...


THE GO! TEAM - Whammy-O (Memphis Industries)
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by LamontPaul

We've reviewed this already but in case you missed this superlative incitement to excitement, on wax. 


Essential Info
Main Image: Santa

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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