Luna: 23 Minutes In Brussels (1995)
My introduction to Luna was their 1995 CD, “Penthouse”, which includes this track. A lot of bands claim to be influenced by the Velvet Underground, but with their relentless chug I think these guys may have been listening more closely than most. Maybe this is how the Velvets would have sounded with modern production – they just need to add a viola. I was sure that this band would be huge and raved about them to anyone who would listen. It seemed that they broke up five minutes later. I felt kind of responsible.
Jens Lekman: Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo (2007)
Jens Lekman is one of the many artists that I’ve discovered through the CDs included with Uncut, Mojo and Word magazines. Often these bands are one or two CDs away from mainstream success, giving me the chance to see these bands in small venues before the secret gets out. The National is a good example. Thanks to Uncut, I was able to see them in a small club. They’re coming back next year to play Auckland’s biggest indoor arena. So I’m hoping that the same happens for Jens. This is his ode to 1950’s rural Sweden.
Low: Silver Rider (2005)
Everything I said above regarding Jens could be applicable to Low – another discovery courtesy of Uncut, and another band that I’ve been able to enjoy in a tiny club. Maybe Robert Plant also reads Uncut, as he covered two Low songs on the same CD, this one and Monkey.
Lambchop: All Smiles And Mariachi (1996)
Yet another introduction by Uncut – in this case I discovered a whole genre. Americana seemed to be going through a growth spurt when I first heard and read about singers such as Tom Russell and Willie Nile, and bands like Calexico and Drive-By Truckers. Another making frequent appearances on free CDs was Lambchop. Some of the lines in All Smiles and Mariachi remind me of my first experiences back the dating game after many years:
We ordered some cheese dip, a tea, and two light beers
I feel i should be talking, rather saying something
Instead of nodding and eating most of the chips
The song was probably about something else entirely. Not to be confused with the other Lambchop.