Song of the day: Field Music – "A New Town"

February 29, 2012

I was all set to play you a swag of Australian songs this week (I already have posts ready to go that feature very Australian songs), but before that I’m going to sneak in a song by Field Music. It’s because I’ve finally gotten around to listening to the band’s latest album, Plumb.

Although I had pre-ordered Plumb, and the little beastie arrived a couple of weeks ago (thanks for the prompt delivery, Memphis Industries!), I hadn’t heard it until now because I’d been in the grip of a huge Split Enz phase. I decided to exert some willpower and have a break from my Enzarama by listening to Plumb. (The CD was sitting on my desk for all that time, just looking at me, and not being played. What could I do?)

Now that I’ve heard it, I can give you a mini-review of Plumb:

It’ll stretch your brain.

I’m going to designate today as Field Music Day*, because the band appears in both of today’s posts – this Song of the day and the latest Musical coincidence (see below).

To celebrate Field Music Day, here’s a song from Plumb:

Field Music – “A New Town (2012)

“A New Town” is available on Field Music’s website (and for free – woohoo!). Apparently, the song has been available there for quite a while (making this post pretty redundant). I didn’t know about it because as soon as I pre-ordered Plumb I studiously avoided seeing or hearing anything associated with it until I had the album and could hear it in its entirety.

Incidentally, the Field Music chaps said in an interview that the album cover was inspired by artist Edward Ruscha‘s Standard Station, which looks a little like this:

(From The Museum of Modern Art)

It looks to me like it might have also inspired this album artwork by Australian band The Valery Trails:

Or maybe not.

Field Music official website
Field Music on Facebook
Field Music on Twitter
Memphis Industries

(*As opposed to Field Day, a splendid album by Marshall Crenshaw.)

Musical coincidences # 185

February 29, 2012

I was listening to “Is This The Picture?”, one of the songs on Field Music‘s new album, Plumb (see Song of the day above), when a little guitar lick appeared towards the end of it that sounded a little familiar. When it was repeated it sounded a lot more familiar, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it reminded me of. However, when that guitar lick appeared for the third time, my brain went “That’s it!”. This is why my brain exclaimed so heartily:

Field Music – “Is This The Picture?” (2012) (excerpt)


10cc – “Don’t Hang Up” (1976) (excerpt)


Thanks, Field Music chaps, for reminding me of 10cc, one of my favourite bands of the 1970s.

Here are the full versions:

Field Music – “Is This The Picture?” (2012)


10cc – “Don’t Hang Up” (1976)


Song of the day: ABC – "Hey Citizen!"

February 28, 2012

I’m not entirely sure why, but I feel the need to apologise for the haphazard nature of the recent posts on this blog. I frequently think that this blog should just focus on Australian power pop (it is its raison d’être after all), but I’m continually interrupting that thought with non-Australian, non-power-pop songs. Unfortunately for you, here comes another one…

I was reading a blog a few days ago (I’ve forgotten which blog) that said something about something (I’ve forgotten what exactly). Nevertheless, the post reminded me of ABC, the 80’s band that had all those wonderful dreadful witty cheesy wry hits (“Poison Arrow“, “The Look Of Love“, “All Of My Heart” etc) from The Lexicon Of Love, an album I thoroughly enjoyed owning on vinyl.

As I was reminiscing about ABC, I remembered that I also had their second album (Beauty Stab) and I really liked it as well. (I also remember liking that second album because it was more guitar-centric and focused less on synthesizers.)

There was one particular song on it that I thought was the cat’s whiskers. Here ’tis:

ABC – “Hey Citizen!” (1983)


What originally drew me to that song was the guitar part. The overall production is ultra-slick, but I still love that guitar part, as well as its sound. (I wouldn’t have minded it being more forward in the mix – maybe even drowning out the other instruments.)

I must admit that, after listening to The Lexicon Of Love and Beauty Stab again, I’m still diggin’ ABC.

As a bonus (or punishment, depending on how you feel about ABC), here’s another track from Beauty Stab:

ABC – “Bite The Hand” (1983)


Tomorrow I’ll try to get back to Australian power pop and keep playing Australian power pop – for a few days at least.

Song of the day: Go Betsy – "Boy From Canada"

February 27, 2012

I know exactly two things about today’s song, and I’ll let you know what they are after you play it:

Go Betsy – “Boy From Canada” (2004)


1. That song appears on a Popboomerang Records (Hi, Scotty!) compilation called Shake Yer Popboomerang 2.

2. There’s another version of that song. It’s by Jane Vs World and I played it here in June last year. If you don’t want to read that earlier post (or you may be reluctant to click on that link for some reason), you can hear the song here:

Jane Vs World – “Boy From Canada” (2006)


And that’s it.

My guess is that Go Betsy morphed into Jane Vs World and someone decided to use “Boy From Canada” again. (Why waste a cute song?) I like a band that recycles.

Buy Shake Yer Popboomerang 2 at Popboomerang Records
Buy Shake Yer Popboomerang 2 at Bandcamp

Musical coincidences # 184

February 27, 2012

Today’s coincidence involves no music – it’s purely visual.

(Given the title of this series, I guess that makes this a false-pretences post. But I’ll post it anyway.)

Plenty of observant people have noticed a similarity between the artwork for Van Halen’s latest album and a 1975 album by the Commodores:

Song of the day: Split Enz – "How Can I Resist Her"

February 26, 2012

Look, I’m terribly sorry about this but I’m still* in an enormous Split Enz phase, listening and re-listening to their entire back catalogue, as well as all the associated solo Finn music and spin-off bands (Crowded House, The Swingers, Schnell Fenster et al).

I’ll try very, very hard to make this the last Split Enz post for a long time. (Well that’s what I’m hoping for anyway. After all, this is an Australian power pop blog, not a Split Enz blog.)

As I was listening to True Colours again after a decade or so of not hearing it, I was struck by how one song in particular could quite easily pass for a decent power pop song – especially if you didn’t know it was from Split Enz:

Split Enz – “How Can I Resist Her” (1980)


To me, that’s a mighty good power pop song from 1980 – regardless of who recorded it.

(*And it’s all because of this book.)

Musical coincidences # 183

February 26, 2012

Today’s coincidence involves a song that I first heard – then completely forgot about until very recently – on the blog of my friend, Stonefish (hi, Stonionio!).

As hinted at in the previous paragraph, I’m a forgetful chap. (Correction: I have no problem with recalling music trivia, but I’m hopeless with important things like birthdays, anniversaries, people’s names etc – you know, the stuff that matters.) To counter my dreadful memory I developed a habit some time ago (I don’t remember when) of writing notes to myself and putting them in my pocket, Columbo-style. If I don’t, I’m guaranteed to forget what it is I found noteworthy at the time. (For example, I’ll have a brainwave about something while I’m at the shops, but by the time I get home I’ll have forgotten about it.)

This note-taking has come in handy because I recently found an old one that said “Musical coincidence: Groove – You Are The One I Love (Stonefish’s blog) / The Rolling Stones – Let’s Spend The Night Together“.

I revisited Stonefish’s post featuring The Groove, had a listen to “You Are The One I Love”, and thought “Ah, that’s why I wrote that note.”

The Rolling Stones – “Let’s Spend The Night Together (1967) (excerpt)


The Groove – “You Are The One I Love” (1968) (excerpt)


And the full versions:

The Rolling Stones – “Let’s Spend The Night Together (1967)


The Groove – “You Are The One I Love” (1968)


Thanks, Stonefish, for posting that Groove song in the first place.

Song of the day: Ral Donner – "You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)"

February 25, 2012

I thought for today’s song I’d play you something from the 1950’s or 1960’s, because I’ve been playing a lot of new-fangled music recently. Just for today I wanted to delve into the early days of rock’n’roll, back when there were elves in the charts (i.e., Elves Presley*).

In my auditory travels I came across an old song that isn’t Australian, but one that I found eminently blog-worthy because of my response to the singer in question. The song is called “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)”, and I hadn’t heard it before. When it started I thought “Oh, an Elvis Presley song. I don’t know many Elvis Presley songs. This is another one I didn’t know about, but I know his voice when I hear it.” When I saw the artist listed, I thought “Ral Donner? I don’t know who Ral Donner is, but that’s not Ral Donner – it’s Elvis Presley. Someone made a mistake when they tagged the MP3.” I looked through Elvis Presley’s discography for confirmation of my magnificent astuteness, but came up blank. I then looked up Ral Donner’s discography, and there it was. It’s a Ral Donner song.

By the way, in what I consider to be The Understatement Of The Decade, Wikipedia states that Ral Donner “had a voice similar to Elvis Presley’s”.

I know that in the wake of Elvis the P’s phenomenal popularity there were a lot of singers who did their best to sound like him, but this Ral Donner fellow is… is… well, I think he possibly out-Elvises Elvis.

Here’s the song that apparently is definitely not by Elvis Presley:

Ral Donner – “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It) (1961)


(*I really hope that’s the worst pun you see all year.)

Musical coincidences # 182

February 25, 2012

And one more coincidence from the ultra-helpful Mr. Fabulous before I pester you tomorrow with one he didn’t find (but given time I reckon he would have).

Before I go on, I’d just like to point out that Mr. Fabulous prefers to be called Dr. Keats. I prefer to call him Mr. Fabulous.

The Big F has discovered a marvellous three-for-the-price-of-one deal with this coincidence. Behold a trio of songs using remarkably similar chord progressions:

Hoodoo Gurus – “Bittersweet (1985) (excerpt)


Tom Petty – “I Won’t Back Down (1989) (excerpt)


Texas – “Black Eyed Boy (1997) (excerpt)


Here are the full versions:

Hoodoo Gurus – “Bittersweet (1985)


Tom Petty – “I Won’t Back Down (1989)


Texas – “Black Eyed Boy (1997)


Song of the day: Regurgitator – "No Show"

February 24, 2012

Here’s Regurgitator with a song that fellow blogger Bill Kopp (Hi, Bill!) says “channels their inner Fountains of Wayne – it’s a powerpop gem of the first order”:

Regurgitator – “No Show (2011)

Official website