Thursday, November 04, 2004

So yesterday we checked in with Kevin Ayers, as the starting point for a trip back to Sarah band The Orchids, who really could use a reissue program.

That song by Kevin may pop into your head while listening to Weird Gear by a group called Ultramarine. The album that it comes from is called Every Man And Woman Is A Star, and while it hadn't turned into a rarity, it was somewhat out-of-print until a reissue from a couple of years back. Said reissue is supposedly remastered, though I haven't heard it. The original sounds fine, so I'm not sure how big a difference it would make.

I don't have any particular ethical objection to electronica/dance music/etc. but I'll admit that this blog is fairly damning evidence that it's a genre I don't tend to investigate much, and I'll be honest enough to admit that this is because I tend not to like what I hear. Every Man And Woman Is A Star is the big exception, and my experience is that it's an exception for a lot of people. Maybe it's the influence of the Canterbury scene, maybe it's the organic sounds woven in with the beats, maybe it's better-than-usual songwriting floating atop the grooves, and maybe it's the resolutely sunny atmosphere that permeates the CD. For whatever reason, it's a real favorite of mine, and seems to be one of the few CDs of its type that can cross the blood/brain barrier of almost anyone, regardless of their general taste. Here's another track from the album: Stella.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't help thinking that the song A Living Ken and Barbie by...yay, we're back to The Orchids, owes its existence to the above Ultramarine track. A Living Ken and Barbie comes from an Orchids CD (out of print, like everything they did) called Striving For The Lazy Perfection. If you downloaded yesterday's Orchids track, you may notice that this one sounds nothing like it. They went through a few phases, and were surprisingly successful at pretty much everything they did.

Tomorrow I'll post a few more tracks by The Orchids, probably more in their guitar/indie-pop mode.

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