Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gavin Guss - Riga In The Fall. Video

Gavin Guss - Riga in the Fall from Fin Records on Vimeo.

Here is a really lovely video for the track "Riga In The Fall" by Gavin Guss, from his album "On High" which landed at number 5 in the Ice Cream Man 2012 year end list.  Enjoy!

Stream the album here: Bandcamp

Buy the album here: Fin Records

Download available here: itunes

Official Website:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Surf School Dropouts - Summer is a State of Mind VINYL RELEASE

Last August I raved about "Surf School Dropouts" and they finished second in my year end list, which is no mean feat considering the copious amounts of great music I received last year, and to this day I am still playing the download on a regular basis.  However, you can now own this superb, infectious piece of surf pop on vinyl, the ultimate format, since the band were, quite rightly, snapped up by one of my very favourite labels, "Sunny Day Records."

Surf School Dropouts are:
Andreas Jacobsen - vocals & keyboard/guitar/bass/drums, Christian Bendix - vocals & guitar/bass, Jari Nielsen - vocals, Martin Jensen - vocals.

As the name of the band suggests, these are sun soaked harmony, laden songs with catchy melodies  that will warm you to the core, place a smile on your face and probably make you want to grab your board and head for the beach and soak up the surf. 

Since 2009 Andreas, Christian, Jari and Martin have been on a mission to bring sunny sounds to the frostbitten, Northern shores of Denmark. Based in Copenhagen, these guys may be far, far away from the California sun and beach scenes they sing about. But they nevertheless channel their love of Brian Wilson and infectious harmonies to great effect.
Above all, ‘Summer is a State of Mind’ is a celebration of the classic pop sound with 14 self-penned songs featuring shared lead vocals by all four Dropouts and lots of catchy melodies. 

Buy the vinyl at Sunny Day Records here: Sunny Day Records Shop

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love Surf School Dropouts here: Facebook

Stream the album here: Bandcamp

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

FREE DOWNLOAD - Souvenir Stand - Days I've Spent With You - FREE DOWNLOAD

Here is a rather charming EP that I wanted to share after stumbling across it on Bandcamp, 60's styled beautiful, dreamy pop in the vein of The Beach Boys, had they been blessed with a female voice of course!
I can't really tell you too much about the band, other than that they are a 4 piece from New Jersey, but I can tell you that you should download these three beautiful tracks and take a listen to the bands demos too which are every bit as beautiful!

Download the EP FREE here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love (very much) Souvenir Stand here: Facebook

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Twin Sets - Romance EP

The Twin Sets are back with their second EP, and once again, showing fine form with the extended play"Romance."  I am never sure if a six track should be called an EP or a mini album, but what the hell, we get six tracks, not four and what great tracks they are too!

The last time I featured the band on the blog I was full of praise for their musical abilities, as I still very much am, but I criticised their tracks sung in English as being "quite nonsensical," it was a minor criticism but one the band obviously took to heart as they have certainly nailed the tracks in English on this offering, showing that they are a band that will strive to get it right and get it right, they have!

The Twin Sets are a band that will go far as they work towards getting everything right, from the driving Power Pop sounds to the perfection of the lyrics.  Each and every one of the six tracks on "Romance" hit the mark. 
So, this time around, do I have any positive criticism to share?  Nope, nada, nothing at all, this record is brilliant, the future is looking extremely promising for this four piece from A Coruna in the north west of Spain and they are now sitting very comfortably besides my other favourite bands in the world of Power Pop and I am certainly looking forward to a long player from them in the not to distant future.

The Twin Sets are:

Denís Graña : Vocals, Acoustic Guitar

Borja Fernández: Electric Guitar 

Nacho: Bass 
Pablo Pita "Lito": Drums

Stream and buy The Twin Sets "Romance" EP here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, like and love The Twin Sets here: Facebook

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jay Gonzalez - Mess Of Happiness

Once again, the wonderful Interplanet Janet joins us for an album review, this time for the amazing debut album from Jay Gonzalez.

Jay Gonzalez
Mess of Happiness

You may or may not know Jay Gonzalez as the keyboard player from the band Drive-by Truckers. I would like to introduce you to his first album flying solo. But first, rewind to a couple months ago. I received the album not really sure what to expect since I hadn’t previously heard anything by the Drive-by Truckers. I was delighted because the songs were like the type my friends and I loved years ago. We would take refuge in them when our usual shoegaze, grunge and alt-rock got to be just too much. We would point out certain observant and amusing lyrics, laughing away our seemingly huge but-you-ain’t-seen-nothing-yet teenage troubles. Fun, clever, retro-pop, that back in the 70s and 80s might have been called “rock” because the songs contain a few guitar solos. I listened to Mess of Happiness carefully, smiled and thought Music used to be so fun. Why is my music collection so serious these days?  This question hung over me like Beijing smog.

Let’s examine the album in more detail. I’m not going to list all Jay Gonzalez’s influences, but if you are interested, you can find them posted on— the pop greats Paul McCartney, Todd Rundgren and Joe Jackson feature. This is demonstrated in the quality of the songwriting with an added dose of humour and a dash of not-taking-oneself-too-seriously. Let me assure you though, that the unique and amusing nature of the album (which crosses over into the videos that are well worth a look) does not mean the listener has to sacrifice quality.

 These are fine, well-crafted pop songs; well-sung and packed with personality. The random samples of sound that appear throughout, a child’s voice for example, only add to it’s charm. Some of the further influences I picked up on are Glen Campbell, ABBA, Wings and even the early 90s power-pop  band, Jellyfish— but I’m not sure what Jay would say about that. It does go to show that this is a very eclectic bunch of songs and that a listen is essential.
It’s not easy to choose a few standout tracks because they all have something noteworthy about them, but I will start with the brilliantly-titled Turning Me On. Once upon a time, we made mixtapes. If after hearing this poptastic gem you do not have the immediate urge to put this on a mixtape for someone then there’s something wrong with you.
Also noteworthy is the punchy, peculiar and bass-heavy Skinny Little Fingers. It’s hard to place this song. Part of me feels it belongs nestled in an episode of Scooby-Do for it’s faux-scary murder mystery narrative. Also, if you are like me and enjoy compiling Halloween-themed mixtapes, this track would be perfect. I should add that Gonzalez gets a bumper pack of extra points from me for the insertion of “Teenage Fanclub” in the lyrics. If there is indeed such a thing as a Teenage Fanclub shiny mac, I want one and I want it now.

This is what I have decided. Mess of Happiness is an album that is needed in your record collection right now because it’s probably so unlike what is in your record collection right now. I admit I’ve been pretty big into deeply serious and tortured singer-songwriters who take you through their seemingly impossible quest for love and acceptance.  I honestly have no intention of ditching them but there needs to be a balance. You need to hang out with a funny friend for a while, not just the friend with all the drama permanently attached.  Interestingly, like the funny friend, you will find this album also has considerable depth under the surface. This is especially evident in it’s examination of relationships with friends and lovers. For example, in the tracks Short Leash, I Urge You and Louisa.

I’m pleased to have this album because it has forced me to realise the reason why my record collection has become so serious is because I have become so serious. The teenage me would regard this as a tragedy. All the more reason why, starting with Mess of Happiness, this should be the year for music to make you smile. Despite the mess.

Interplanet Janet

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love Jay Gonzalez here: Facebook

Visit Jay Gonzalez Official web site for more music and photos here:

Buy "Mess of Happiness" at the following links:

iTunesAmazoneMusic  Bandcamp

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hot Nun - Hot Nun

Hot Nun is a band led by former Spinning Jennies and Well Wishers main man, Jeff Shilton, joined by Braden McGraw (Disastroid/Headslide) and together they take Power Pop to the rockier side with the volume turned to eleven.
This album is what I would term as a driving album, stick it on the car stereo, wind the windows down and drive out on the open road, head bobbing up and down and drumming on the steering wheel, then when it comes to an end, you start it all over again and drive a bit further!

This is not Jeff Shelton or Braden McGraw but a "hot nun!"

Fans of The Well Wishers or Spinning Jennies may be looking within to find the chiming guitars that are the trademark of those bands but will not be disappointed with this 8 track album, the melodies are there, the riffs, the harmonies, it is just that this one goes to eleven and the guitars drive proceedings along very nicely.

So, what are you waiting for, get the car polished up and ready to go, download the album and go for a drive!!!

Download the album here: Bandcamp
(CD's are currently being pressed and should be available sometime towards the end of February)

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love Hot Nun here: Facebook

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Men Of North Country - The North

It pays to have friends all over the world when it comes to hearing about good, no, great music, and I'd like to thank my friend Yael in Israel for turning me onto this fantastic soul outfit from Tel Aviv.

Amazingly the band was started by chance when DJ Yashiv Cohen was heard singing along to the records he was spinning at Tel Aviv Soul Club, this led to him teaming up with some musician friends and creating a soul band which stays true to the sound of 60's and Northern Soul, and as a person who is passionate about Soul, I have to say that this band is one of the very best I have heard in recent years.

Human Leagues "Mirror Man" given a tasty work over by MONC.

Working through this album, you can pick out the artists and the songs that drive this band from Al Wilson, Gloria Jones, Style Council and Dexys Midnight Runners, in fact "Ringtone (At The Caffs)" could have sat quite comfortably on Dexys "Searching For The Young Soul Rebels."  MONC very clearly and openly display their influences but also bring their own twist and freshness to Soul.

This is a fantastic debut album that will have you out of your seat and moving your feet, it has been made with passion by people who have soul in their hearts, it really comes as no surprise that MONC are being embraced all over Europes Soul and Mod scenes as well as in their home country, yes, they are that good!

Men Of North Country are:

Yashiv Cohen - Vocals
 Boaz Wolf - Drums, Percussion, Keys, Guitars
Doron Farhi - Guitars, Vocals
Jonathon Ydov - Bass, Vocals
Sefi Sizzling - Trumpet
Ongy Sizzling - Saxaphone
Ido Kretchmer - Trombone

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love MONC here: Facebook

Buy the album here: Acid Jazz Label

Download the album here: itunes

Needless to say..........