Teenage Fanclub’s latest album “Shadows” has been steadily growing on us, and it was a treat to receive a three song DVD from their Rockpalast performance in December 2010, which includes the excellent new track “When I Still Have Thee”. When they stopped in to the Jimmy Fallon show back in September of that year, they played the first single from the record, the gorgeous “Baby Lee”, another Norman Blake penned tune. It’s worth remembering that, in addition to churning out flawless twee power pop, these Scottish melody craftsmen also know how to rock, as evidenced on “Pet Rock”, recorded for the Dennis Miller show in 1992, and taken from their magnificent third album Bandwagonesque.
British Sea Power have a thing for playing odd locations, a practice they continued last week when the Brighton indie rockers took over a an old Sea Cadet hut in North London to record a version of their excellent “Who’s In Control”, the sharp edged lead single from the latest disc “Valhalla Dancehall”. The new song represents a welcome departure from their earlier sound, which was heavy in portentous multi-instrumentation, viz: “Waving Flags”, performed at the Mercury Music Awards in 2008 alongside London’s Bulgarian choir.
Bob Geldof appears to be following in the footsteps of art pranksters the KLF by naming his new album “How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell”, a title that echoes “The Manual: How To Have A Number One The Easy Way” the infamous book published in 1988 by Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond that deconstructed to pop making process. Geldof, of course, is no stranger to the machinations of the music biz, and his album’s first single “How I Roll” was well received by the Letterman audience when he debuted it on March 15th.
Coming across long-lost performance video of beloved songs is one of the many pleasures of our work here at RockPeaks. This week we were fortunate to receive a new compilation of US TV performances from the years 93-96, that included a clip of Radiohead’s legendary visit to the set of Late Night with Conan O’Brien on September 14th, 1993. The band were the first musical guest on the then-new show, and as we witness a golden-locked Thom Yorke writhing and caterwauling his way through the classic “Creep” you can sense that this is a band with great things ahead of them.
On St Patrick’s Day 2010 we lost Alex Chilton, of Box Tops and Big Star fame. In honour of the anniversary of his passing, we play a bit of “In The Street” from Big Star’s debut album, #1 Record. It was the only time the group were on TV, and it came in late 1994, when the band reformed with two new members, and played a string of live dates, including this pit stop on Jay Leno’s tonight show on Halloween night.
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