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Outsideleft Week in Music A Golden Dawn for the End of the Year We're hearing from... GOAT, Chelsea Wolfe, The Goa Express, Shplang, Jean Knight, Amelie Lucille, Hotel Lux, Micky Greaney, Shabbos Ranks, Booker T. Jones, Fela Kuti, Limahl, Riding With Killers, Popclaw, Cryptosis, The Links, Isabelle Adjani, Khruangbin, Killing Joke, KLF KARE & Harry Nillson ft. Ricardo Da Force, Thelonious Monster and Minutemen

Outsideleft Week in Music A Golden Dawn for the End of the Year

We're hearing from... GOAT, Chelsea Wolfe, The Goa Express, Shplang, Jean Knight, Amelie Lucille, Hotel Lux, Micky Greaney, Shabbos Ranks, Booker T. Jones, Fela Kuti, Limahl, Riding With Killers, Popclaw, Cryptosis, The Links, Isabelle Adjani, Khruangbin, Killing Joke, KLF KARE & Harry Nillson ft. Ricardo Da Force, Thelonious Monster and Minutemen

by OL House Writer,
first published: December, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

GOAT - Golden Dawn... "Wow. Blown Away."

We're gathering up our major, minor and not at all Celeb friends to discover just when the holiday season begins for them... When they let us know we'll let you know and we'll get the OL party underway. If Limahl hasn't already...

SINGLES

LIMAHL - One Wish For Christmas (Christopher)
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by Ancient Champion

Who the hell knows what to make of this? December is that time of year when memories become souvenirs. I mean no one loves Christmas more than I do. But I've been thinking about this for three years and I am stuck with... It's a Fairytale of New Fuct ... Limahl rhymes best with banal you know. 


CRYPTOSIS - Master of Life (Century Media)
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by Alan Rider

Let's let Cryptosis review their own single for a change shall we? "Prepare to be captivated by the bold, the dynamic, and the extraordinary. As 'Master Of Life' unfolds, the lyrics become a poignant commentary on the delicate balance between technological advancement and the preservation of human essence" they say.  Let me just step in here on behalf of the long suffering listener. In reality, the lyrics appear to consist mainly of them shouting "Master of life!" a lot of times over a thrash metal backing, interspersed with shouting "Master of death!" occasionally.  If that captivates you, then this will be heaven on earth.  Otherwise, you might want to scroll on.


SHABBOS RANKS - Slide (Scientist Dub Mix) (Offbeat)
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by Ancient Champion

For sure ambitious dub with dubby cello and other things sliding way the hell all over the place. A thing of immense beauty...


POPCLAW - Stocking Filler (Trussels Trust Charity song) (Independant)
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by Tim Sparks

This is a bit different, a seasonal 1 minute Christmas Punk song with a message for a worthy charitable cause. Popclaw band have taken time out to put this together with all of the proceeds going the the charity Trussell Trust, who work hard continually fulfil the needs of food banks around the UK, and help folks who might be struggling little, particularly at this time of year. Let's get to the track, it's 1 Min., its raw, its punk, its guitars, it carries the message - Kids shouldn’t go hungry at Christmas... These guys are out there on all social channels trying to raise awareness, if you can help them in anyway that would be commendable.


HOTEL LUX - The Carvery (State 51 Conspiracy)
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by Alan Rider

Its getting to that time of year again where every other release has some dreadful Christmas tinge and taste flies out of the window to be replaced by shops full of tat accompanied by cheesy and crap festive tunes from the 80s (step foward Wham et al).  Hotel Lux are joining in by doing what several bands do every year without fail - release a spoof-y Christmas single that thinks itself hilarious, but is anything but.  This follows a well worn path first trod by the late Shane MacGowan and the also late Kirsty MacColl, namely of slurring out an inebriated take on the theme, the difference being that Shane and Kirsty's 'Fairytale of New York' gets it spot on. 'The Carvery' is not a single Hotel Lux will look back on with any pride.  It is the aural equivalent of the 'ironic' Christmas Jumper, a garment that every year I advise anyone thinking of getting me one to make sure they also give me a box of matches to go with it.


RIDING WITH KILLERS - Hostility (Streaming and download platforms)
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by Alan Rider

Neat band name. Riding With Killers.  It conjours up all sorts of B Movie images.  Soundwise, they have a noisier Nine Inch Nails feel about them, even if the video itself is dull as dishwater - three blokes playing their instruments and yelling in a room is not going to win any Oscars, trust me.  Its a song about a relationship that sounds like the singer might be well advised to give up on.  Hostility?  That's not a lot of fun.  Just tell her "its not you, its me" then high tail it out of there before she throws any more glass ornaments at your head. That's my advice anyhow.


CHELSEA WOLFE - Tunnel Lights (Loma Vista)
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by Alan Rider

I'm sure Chelsea Wolfe is a made up name.  If not, hats off to her parents!  'Tunnel Lights' is intense, claustrophobic, and far from pop easy listening.  She sounds troubled and more than a little scary to be honest.  That makes this stand out a mile from all the happy, clappy, dross that is floating around out there like something that really needs flushing. It has a heaving, thudding, quality that batters your senses and is quite unnerving.  All her other stuff is like this too. Nicely done, I'd say, even if she is not likely to be the life and soul of the office party any time soon.


MINUTEMEN - History Lesson Part 2 (Live) (Crayon)
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by Ancient Champion

"Daniel Boon was a friend of a friend of mine and you sir are no Daniel Boon." Variations on this Lloyd Bentsen quip to Daniel Quayle expresses maybe this is how I feel about the current crop of agitprop bands that people seem so excited about. This is from Minutemen's Son Of A Mother live in San Francisco (22 Songs in 22.59 right there...). Love these Americans, go get the real thing. 


AMELIE LUCILLE - Beautiful Creature (Independant)
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by Tim Sparks

Amelie Lucille is a young singer songwriter from New York, and this latest release is essentially a one take home recording of Piano and vocal, proving you don't need a full production team to come up with something special, the arrangement and delivery is just right. The lyrics say volumes about some of the trials faced by young people in todays society, and are quite compelling to hear from someone so young themselves, the haunting melody and vocal style could stand on its own to be honest, its a very nice performance and the final production has talent all over it. She has attracted plenty of attention on social channels and streaming sites and I suspect this will continue as she grows an audience and builds her profile, definitely someone to watch out for. 


LPs

ISABELLE ADJANI - Adjani, bande originale (Warner Music France)
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by Jay Lewis

It's only been 40 years since Adjani's last, Serge Gainsbourg - assisted, album.  And a  mere 17 years since she started and shelved this project  (It's okay Isabelle, your fans know that you have been busy)  Her initial collaborator, Pascal Obispo, is back on board and has described the finished work as having drawn inspiration from film music and electro:  '...between Massive Attack, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Billie Eilish' adding '...it's one of the most beautiful things I've done in music'.  It's an album of duets that includes Youssou N'Dour, David Sylvian, Pete(r) Murphy and Simon Le Bon. (Oh and Seal, but I'll just look the other way).  As this album was started in 2006, it's startling to hear Philippe Pascal, Christophe, and Daniel Darc contribute from beyond the grave.  Forget that AI-assisted record with that dead singer that's been hogging the news and the charts here, it's the sound of Darc on 'Homme et Femme' that has me in tears.  Beautiful. 


FELA KUTI - Box Set 6 (Curated by Idris Elba) (Partisan)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

Five hearts for the the music, fewer for the minor quibbles from DJ Fuzzyfelt, read the whole review right here.


THE GOA EXPRESS - The Goa Express (Self released)
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by Alan Rider

You can't knock The Goa Express for effort.  They clocked up over 100 gigs in 2022, popping up just about everywhere.  Ideal Festival fare, their chirpy, derivative indie punk pop (think Supergrass crossed with the LA's and Ocean Colour Scene) is certainly effective and nicely done. The drums and bass punch through in all the right places, guitars jangle away, verses and choruses are all well organised, they sing about inoffensive subjects (friendship, lost love, being on the beach and so on). They all look so very clean and well behaved too. Its all so, well, so nice!  So damned happy, chirpy, smiley, and... just horribly nice!  So nice in fact it makes me want to hit something very hard until it breaks and say fuck quite a lot just to keep the spirit of rock alive for a bit longer.  Like audio valium, The Goa Express will do well I'm sure once they get their hooks into you, but you will be left wondering what happened to your real life afterwards.


The Links are from Lafeyette, LA, and self reference Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Tomahawk, Tame Impala.  That will give you a flavour of what they sound like, but 'Outside' has a great clattery, raw production sound.  It sounds very live, particularly on tracks like 'Calice' and 'Excess' which channel the energy and in-yer-face snotty rock attitude of The Stooges.  Feedback intros, drawled couldn't-give-a-fuck vocals and cheesegrater guitar chords.  Other tracks are more surf/space rock-y, all echoey guitars and Thom Yorke yelping. It may not be a brand new sound, but it's refreshing in its sloppiness, the sort of controlled sloppiness and improvised workouts Radiohead made their own.  They even throw in a spacey cover of a Depeche Mode track 'in your room' to close off the album.  It's a keeper.


SHPLANG - Thank You, Valued Customer (Big Stir)
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by John Robinson

John Robinson thanks Shplang for their new LP, right here


Other Materials

GOAT - Golden Dawn (Levitation Sessions)
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by Toon Traveller

Wow blown away, pure, proto African funk, guitars, timbale, wahwah guitar. More funky than chicken in New Orleans. This is amazing as a slab of pure fun, hotter than a Vindaloo Curry, it's a jaw dropping, hard-stepping, get up offa that thang, and dance, dance, dance, dance them blues and depression away. The guitar is just hard, hard aggression. There are animal yells, there fuzzed sounds galore. This is brilliant - but a word of warning, just listening takes your breath away. Yeah that bloody good. And so, tune in find it at Levitation.fm it'll be streaming live this weekend.

JEAN KNIGHT - Mr Big Stuff (Stax)
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by Ancient Champion

Imagine, if you were best known throughout the entire globe and beyond for just one thing, wouldn't you want it to be Mr. Big Stuff? Genuinely great forever.


BOOKER T. JONES - Everything is Everything (Anti Records)
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by Ancient Champion

Oh this is one for sure. One of those ones where you wish you'd come up with the arrangement yourself. Who knew missing Lauryn Hill could be easy?


MICKY GREANEY - Look At Me Now' (YouTube )
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by Jay Lewis

Somewhere on the list of long-lost recordings that you'd finally assumed would always remain lost is the second album by Birmingham-born Micky Greaney. His first album ('Little Symphonies for the Kids' ) had been a DIY affair, but the critical response to it was so great (go and listen to the sublime 'Hurry Home' straight after you've read this - you will thank me for it!), that it led him to a production deal that would lead to the sessions at Abbey Road... with John Leckie producing. But somehow Greaney remained unsigned and the album's worth of material never saw the light of day. And then...the rest is silence.

Then, a few days ago, a video for 'Look at Me Now' emerged online alongside the staggering news that it was part of an album that will include those Abbey Road sessions. That album, 'And Now It's All This' will be released early in 2024. 'Look at Me Now' feels dramatic yet intimate, like a classic early 70s US singer-songwriter resurfacing in NW8 decades later and adapting to the new surrounding immediately.

Nearly thirty years after it was recorded, 'Look at Me Now' is the long-lost gem that has finally been found. 


THELONIOUS MONSTER - So What If I Did (Youtube)
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by Ancient Champion

So, Mike Marrt died. One of the most significant 80/90s Los Angeles guitarists, with Tex and The Horseheads, oh wow; and of course with Thelonious Monster on the Next Saturday Afternoon and Stormy Weather LPs, (that's right, after the Lena Horne movie of the same name). A perfect foil for Bob Forrest as you'll hear here. One of the things I love about American music culture regional markets matter so much more. Thelonious Monster were a bit like what the Bounty Hunters are to Birmingham. Here how effortlessly they imbue a song with soul. But probably no one gave the Bounty Hunters $400,000 to make a record. That Bob Forrest took so there money and fired the whole band is a God love rocknroll stories moment. Here's an interview with Mike Marrt on the Thelonious Monster website. The live footage  is from Raji's - didn't that place get red tagged after the Northridge quake? Saw so many great bands there. So What If I Did. Words to live by.


KLF KARE & HARRY NILLSON FT. RICARDO DA FORCE - Everybody's Talking At Me. (YouTube )
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by Jay Lewis

I want this to be real. I want this middling mash-up of some of KLF's best bits and one Harry Nillson's most sublime singles to actually be a real, bona fide, and genuine KLF record. I want this record to honour the prophecy from the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu's 2017 novel ( '2023: A Trilogy') that the KLF would have this year's Christmas number one. I want this odd piece of pop trash to drown out all rivals. I want the KLF back, screwing with the media, raising all our hopes then smashing everything apart. I want them to burn another million pounds, then another, then another. I then want to move into a KLF Kare Home. I want a KLF Christmas (or is that Kristmas?), I want, I want, but I know I'll never get. Over and out.


KHRUANGBIN - A Calf Born In Winter (Dead Oceans)
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by Ancient Champion

Live at Sydney Opera House... A Calf Born In Winter is one of my most favorite tunes from one of my most favorite bands, meandering meaningfully like a melting mixdown of a Terry Jacks track with the vocals muted. That good.


KILLING JOKE - Eighties (EG Records)
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by Alan Rider

In a week that has also seen the death of Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, I felt that I had to say something to mark the passing of Killing Joke guitarist [Kevin] Geordie Walker before it got overshadowed.  Whilst unlikely to make the national news in the same way as MacGowan, it is no less of a loss for those of us of a certain age who grew up with Killing Joke, and especially that unique guitar sound, which was iconic to the extent that the opening guitar line on 'Eighties' was copied wholesale by Nirvana for 'Come As You are' - a fact they freely admitted to in court.  Worth mentioning also is that bass player Paul Raven seen in this video also passed away in 2007, a fact which spurred the original line up of Killing Joke to re-form to tour and record.  Whether they can now continue on as a band is debatable, but this track and others reminds us of why the death of Walker is a real loss to culture as no one can deny Killing Joke were a genuine one off , regardless of whether you like their music or not, but without Geordie's guitar they simply wouldn't have been Killing Joke.


Essential Information
Main image screengrab of GOAT

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