Song, by Toad

Posts tagged ethiopians

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Final Fresh Fringe Friday

 This evening is the last of my shows for Fresh Air Radio as part of their Fresh Fringe programming. I’ll be continuing to do mini features on record labels I love because… well, I started and I haven’t got through all of them yet, so I might as well finish don’t you think?

This week we shall have Olive Grove Records, Armellodie, 4AD and Tye Die Tapes, amongst others, so if you are fans of this lot then I suggest you tune in, because it’s going to be special.

Yesterday I went to see Liverpool vs. Hearts because, at the last minute, a friend was able to offer me a ticket.  It was fun, despite being a pretty poor game.  I guess because I get to see so little live football at the *cough cough* ‘top’ level there is still a novelty value to it.

Add to that the fact that Tynecastle is a tiny little stadium, with steep stands very, very close to the pitch, and that there was a cracking atmosphere in the ground, and the whole thing still felt pretty intense, even for a match which was in itself quite insipid.  Also, Jonjo Shelvey is absolutely rubbish at football.

Anyway, Fresh Air Radio, yes, here we go:

On air from 6-8pm UK time – listen live here.

And in the meantime, here are five utterly pointless questions for you to answer as you wait breathlessly for two hours worth of glittering radio perfection later this evening. Or something like that.  I’ll have been drinking anyway, so it might at least be funny.

1. What spectacle do you quite enjoy just every once in a while, thanks.
2. What landmark was actually far less impressive than you expected.
3. And which rather impressed you?
4. Is it going to be a heavy weekend or an easy one?
5. What did you draw all over your school books when you were a kid?

Radio show playlist will appear live below as we go along:

Shape Records
1. Islet – Entwined Pines
2. H. Hawkline – Black Domino Box
3. Sweet Baboo – If I Died Would You Remember That You Love Me?

4AD
4. Kurt Vile – Society is My Friend
5. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who
6. Grimes – Genesis

Sways Records
7. The Louche – Only in a Dream
8. Money – Goodnight London
9. Ghost Outfit – I Was Good When I Was Young
10. Weird Era – Summer Heights

Olive Grove
11. Randolph’s Leap – Bile
12. The Son(s) – Radar

Bathetic Records
13. Angel Olsen – So That We Can Be Still

Night People
14. Peaking Lights – Lifed
15. Terror Bird – Married Women
16. Ela Orleans – I Know

Tye Die Tapes
17. Slowcoaches – 2:54
18. Fawn Spots – Spanish Glass
19. Ethi0pians – Buddha Tone (Organ Version)

Armellodie Records
20. The Scottish Enlightenment – Necromancer
21. Thirty Pounds of Bone – Uyeasound (Toad Session)
22. Chris Devotion & the Expectations – Tell the Girl

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Ethiopians – Beautiful Marmalade

 It may irritate Tye Die Tapes, who were looking to publicise an entirely different release, but I am writing about this album as a result of a minor synaptic leap, which can happen when incoming PR reminds you of stuff you meant to write about ages ago, but somehow didn’t.

They were suggesting I may want to feature their newest release by Blood Sports, which of course I may yet do, but for some reason this reminded me that I have never really covered their first release on Song, by Toad.  And I should have, because for all it tails off a little, there some moments of brilliance on it.

I am talking about Beautiful Marmalade by Ethiopians, which you can buy here for as much as you care to pay. It is a long-sold-out release by a band who are, I think at least, from Cleveland.  Although they may not exist anymore, as the only real evidence of them is a MySpace page which seems as eerily silent and yet uncomfortably garish as you would expect from a MySpace page these days.

Anyhow, it won’t surprise you to hear that this is a lo-fi garagey pop record.  Not frantic and punky, more a sort of slacker take on sprightly guitar pop, albeit one which lapses into a disinterested slur at times. The most immediate pop songs are in the first half: Buddha Tone, A Theme to Try and Rusty Arms are brilliant tracks, but after that the record goes off the rails a little.

I don’t mean that in a bad way exactly, but tight, relatively energetic pop songs give way to more grumbly, ambling, directionless tone which has some great moments, such as closer Grab Those Great Ones, but perhaps loses it a little around the middle of the record.  It’s a relatively small criticism though, because this is a highly enjoyable release, and I just wish I could find a copy of the actual tape to buy somewhere.  But sadly it looks like it sold out ages ago, and even eBay doesn’t bloody have one.

Ethiopians – Buddha Tone (Organ Version)

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Ethiopians – Rusty Arms

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