One Album Wonders: The La's

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 9, 2015 03:48pm | Post a Comment

In 2000, Pearl Jam treated their audience to a cover of The La’s“Timeless Melody.” Eddie Vedder, addressing the Mancunian audience characteristically mumbled, “Hey! There’s a good, uh — fuckin’ good? -- a great band who made one great record and they’re called The La’s and I think they’re from your town… I believe. A great songwriter from your town… his last name ain’t Gallagher.” 

Vedder's geographical mix-up could’ve, under the wrong circumstances, ignited a full scale riot but The La’s were a great band and what sensible person wouldn’t want to be associated with their brilliance. Also, Lee Mavers’s name “ain’t” Gallagher but — along with other Scouse bands like Rain and The Real People — the so-called Cosmic Scally scene arguably had much more influence on Oasis than the Manchester scene which quickly stole its spotlight. Also, both the Gallaghers and Mavers are dyed-in-the-blue-wool football supporters — the Gallaghers of “The Sky Blues” (Man City) and Mavers of “The Blues” (Everton).

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One Album Wonders: The Bodines' Played

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 22, 2014 01:36pm | Post a Comment
Here is an additional edition of my series of great, mostly obscure, one album wonders. In the album era (roughly the mid-1960s until the mid-2000s), the album was the dominant format of recorded music expression and consumption. It seems that most musicians from that era, if able to scrape together the funds for the recording of one studio album, generally returned with at least one more.  Some, like Sun Ra, somehow released more albums than I've had hot dinners. Even most excellent bands, in my opinion, would have done well to find something other to do with their time rather than keep making records after their fifth album or twelfth year (although there is the Go-Betweens Exception). The following acts mostly date fromthe Golden Age of the LP -- and yet were unable or unwilling, in all cases, to record more than one. 



The Bodines (not ever to be confused with WaukeshaWisconsin's BoDeans) were a jangle-pop band from Glossop, England comprised of Michael RyanPaul BrothertonTim Burtonwood, and Paul Lilley. In 1985 they released a debut single, “God Bless” b/w “Paradise,” on Creation. After its release Lilley was replaced by John Rowland. Their second single, “Therese,” was included in the famed C86 compilation.

Their profile thus raised, they secured a deal with Magnet, who released their debut album, Played in 1987. Despite its quality and what should've been the Midas Touch of Ian Broudie's production, the album only reached 96 in the UK charts -- this was, after all, the height of the Stock Aitken Waterman-era. Having utterly failed to trouble the likes of Rick Astley and Mel & Kim, the Bodines apparently had no choice but to disband.

The band briefly re-formed with Spencer Birtwistle in place of Burwood in 1999. After re-breaking up, Rowland went on to form The Rainkings with several former members of Inspiral Carpets, Ryan went on to form Medalark Eleven, and Birtwistle played in one-album-wonders, Laugh, which evolved intoIntastellaPlayed was re-released (with bonus tracks) on compact disc by Cherry Red in 2010.



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Dream Boys Usher in Fall with Autumnal Debut

Posted by Billy Gil, October 1, 2013 03:31pm | Post a Comment

There’s nothing to signify the leaves changing color the wind getting crisper than some cool jangly rock ‘n’ roll. L.A.’s Dream Boys deliver that in spades on their self-titled debut (check it out on CD or LP). Songs like “Sometimes” breeze through with shimmering guitars and sweet, swoony harmonies, calling to mind a post-punk Byrds or Southern Californian Stone Roses. Few bands dig into this sound so thoroughly, with a wonderfully patient, languid quality, making Dream Boys a standout record even among a crowded field.

I sat down for a minute to talk to these dreamy So. Cal. boys about their somnambulist sound.

PST: It’s hard to find out much about you guys from the Internet! Why don't you just tell me in brief about yourselves—when did you form, why did you form, who does what in the band, and are you native Angelenos or from other parts?

Wayne Faler: We formed a little over a year ago. There are three songwriters. Band members are Wayne Faler and Wallace Meek on guitars and vocals, Will Ivy on bass and vocals, and Mike La Franchi on drums. Mike is from the Northern California. Wallace is from Scotland, Wayne is from Michigan, and Will is a Southwest guy via San Francisco. We formed the band after meeting while playing in other bands. We wanted to combine a certain set of influences that really spoke to us and present them in a more modern way.

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