Song of the day: Peelgreems – "Tsuruuchi"

January 26, 2013

I received a message from Alexis Hadefi (a.k.a. Mr. Peelgreems) that he’ll be releasing one of his Peelgreems songs on a 7″ vinyl record.

(In Peter Power Pop’s dictionary, the phrase “vinyl record” comes with the following description: “Vinyl record [vy-nill wreck-ord], n.: An antiquated and obsolete curiosity that hipsters seem to adore for reasons unfathomable to Peter because Peter is not a hipster”.)

Alexis provided this information:

Peelgreems VINYL Single 7″ collector’s item

Side A : “Tsuruuchi
Side B : “Simple And Sweet

This is an expensive “unit” fabrication only available until Jan 27 !!!

Cost : $50 (shipping included) via PayPal.
1. Log in to PayPal
2. Click on the Send Money tab
3. The address is peelprod@hotmail.com

There are only 10 copies of the Peelgreems vinyl singles (individually numbered) available. If you want one of them you’ll have to grab the offer and buy now.

Update: There are now only four copies left.

This is what you’ll be getting for your money (on vinyl):

A-side:
Peelgreems – “Tsuruuchi (2012)

B-side:
Peelgreems – “Simple And Sweet (2012)

Advertisements

Song of the day: Peelgreems – "Zashikiwarashi, Akari .​.​."

December 30, 2012

My favourite non-Australian band for 2012, Peelgreems, released a Christmas song on Christmas Eve. (You’re finding out about it now because I received an email about it approximately five minutes ago.)

It’s a bit dance-y for my liking, but I’ll take whatever Peelgreems I can get:

Peelgreems – “Zashikiwarashi, Akari .​.​. (2012)

http://alexishadefi.tumblr.com/
http://peelgreems.tumblr.com/


Song of the day: The Luxury – "Why Don’t You Cry Anymore (Like You Used To)?"

December 27, 2012

This post is the result of a request by a band, and starts with a bit of a saga. (I’ll try to make the saga part brief.)

Some time ago I was contacted by a very patient American musician by the name of Jason (Hi, Jason!). He’s in a band called The Luxury, and he’s patient because he asked if I’d have a listen to his band’s music. I said A-OK and he very generously send me a CD. The only trouble is that the CD never arrived. Grrr. After letting Jason know that I was crestfallen at not being able to hold that shiny piece of plastic and aluminium in my hands, he sent me some MP3s instead, and they arrived much quicker. (Like about five weeks quicker.)

That saga out of the way, I hunkered down to listen to The Luxury’s latest five-track EP, Why Don’t You Cry Anymore (Like You Used To)?. Unfortunately, my first impression was not positive, but that’s only because of the title – not because of the music, which I hadn’t heard yet. That title sounds a bit icky to me. (Or, to put it a bit more sophisticatedly: “psychologically suspect”.) It reminded me of a song title that I’m also not fond of: “Tears Are Cool” by Teenage Fanclub. (As far as I’m concerned, when someone sings “When I see you cry, I think tears are cool”, I think to myself: “Who on Earth thinks tears are cool? What kind of person enjoys seeing someone cry?”)

However, I put that misgiving aside and played the EP. After all, it’s the music that I’m interested in.

So, with the MP3s that Jason sent me sitting in my media player waiting to be played, I played them.

The Luxury – Why Don’t You Cry Anymore (Like You Used To)? (2012)

1. “Moment of Clarity

This is sort of a non-track. It’s 33 seconds of a synthesizer awash in moody and melodramatic sounds. I liked it because it’s an unusual way to start an EP.

2. “Why Don’t You Cry Anymore (Like You Used To)?

Here’s that synthesizer again. For a moment I was beginning to wonder if I’d been handed an EP of nothing but ambient sounds (like something you’d hear in an aromatherapist’s waiting room), but I was relieved to hear a drum at 0:06. And then another one. And a few more, until at 0:21 and there’s a quick drum fill before this song is off and racing. I must admit that I found the fast pace a little disconcerting after all the synthesized moodiness. It took a little while, but I settled into the pace. I like the singer’s voice. It reminds me of someone. But I don’t quite know who. Hang on… I’ll listen to him a bit more… Almost got it… Hang on…

Ah, that’s it. He sounds like a combination of Robert Pollard (from Guided By Voices), an early Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), and Chris Martin (Coldplay).

Production-wise, I like the reverb applied to his voice. My favourite part of the song is the middle eight (1:50-2:07). My least favourite part of the song is the little drum break after the middle eight (2:07-2:10). Here the drums are accompanied by a synthesizer with a sound that I can only describe as “dinky”. And that’s followed by a guitar solo that I found fairly painful to listen to. The guitar sound is fine, but it’s out of tune. (2:20-2:23 is especially painful.)

Overall, this song didn’t really float my boat. I did like how it finished though. (Abruptly – which was a nice surprise.)

3. “Alive And Kicking”

This is a cover of a Simple Minds song.

Due to legal shenanigans I won’t be posting it here. It’s on the CD (the band got permission), but not online (Internet law is a slippery thing, so the band’s playing it safe by not posting it anywhere).

But that’s not going to stop me talking about a song you’re not going to hear online. No sirree.

Oh-oh. The singer’s voice has that currently fashionable slightly distorted sound that has him sounding like he’s singing through a megaphone. Grrr. I think this is a decent cover. Not spectacular, just decent. There’s a dinky synthesizer in this song too. There’s also a bizarrely out of tune guitar in the right channel (e.g., 1:16 and 1:19). It’s bizarre because it sounds like the guitar is being pushed out of tune, possibly by either the strings being hit too hard or the strings being pushed up. Either way, it’s weird and doesn’t suit the song at all. (I reckon.)

One more production oddity before I stop bothering this song: During the verse that starts from 1:30, there’s a guitar in the right channel quietly playing a chord at the beginning of each bar. What I found odd was that at 1:46 the guitarist plays his chord much quieter than the previous chords, but at 1:48 he plays the next chord surprisingly loudly, much louder than all the other ones in the verse he had played up until then. After that he goes back to playing his chords quietly. Weird.

Unfortunately, I’m familiar with the original “Alive And Kicking” by Simple Minds so I wasn’t entirely able to erase my memories of it whilst listening to The Luxury’s version. As a result, I found this new version anaemic. (The sounds of those Simple Minds drums and the voice of Jim Kerr don’t leave your brain in a hurry once you’ve heard them.)

4. “Sleep Through Summer

Oh yeah. I like this. I think this is much more interesting than the tracks that came before it.

“Sleep Through Summer” starts off with a synthesizer sound that could be described (by me) as “Ice Crystals”, and then the band comes roaring in at 0:13 with some off-kilter guitar sounds. This is much better.

One reason I’m liking this song is that the noisy part of the introduction (0:13-0:35) reminds me of a song by Peelgreems called “Shenmue”. Have a listen from 3:33 onwards and you might hear the same vibe I hear:

Peelgreems – “Shenmue (2010)

But back to “Sleep Through Summer”:

I like a fair amount of things about the verse, such as its sleepy mood (with singing that suits the mood beautifully) and the repeating guitar line in the right channel. And I loved how the band chucked in a bar of 6/8 to split the verse (0:44-0:45). Cute. I thought the bridge (0:57-1:19) was a bit ordinary compared to the verses, but the chorus comes along sounding nice ‘n’ epic (1:19-1:41). I’d say that if the band wanted to attract people who like the mid-tempo portentous sound that has been “in” for the last few years (ever since Coldplay made it popular), they could play them this song.

Yep. “Sleep Through Summer” is my favourite track on the EP so far. And now for the last track. Let’s see what that brings…

5. “Seven Stories [Live]

Well, this one has more energy than the non-live tracks. And I like it more than the other ones – except for “Sleep Through Summer”, which is still my favourite track on the EP.

I do have a minor complaint about “Seven Stories” though: I’m not keen on the sound of that synthesizer in the first half of the instrumental break (2:17-2:31). It’s not just dinky, it’s ultra-dinky. The synthesizer is still there for the second half (2:31-2:43), but at least it’s a lot quieter, and not playing as many notes.

But apart from that minor complaint, I enjoyed “Seven Stories”.

Oh, by the way: I’m glad this song is called “Seven Stories”, because it gives me an excuse to tell you that my brother (Hi, Anthony!) was recently guest guitarist in the 80’s/90’s band Seven Stories for their recent reunion gig. Here’s my brother in action on the night of the Seven Stories gig (he’s the one with the least amount of hair):

Thanks, The Luxury, for calling your song “Seven Stories”.

Okey dokey. I think I should stop typing shortly and let you get on with whatever it is you were doing before you stopped to read this post.

Summary

I was glad to be given the opportunity to hear music I hadn’t heard before (thanks, guys!), and I thought the EP was A-OK for what it was – i.e., slightly synth-y, slightly moody rock. It’s not quite what I enjoy listening to, but I think it’s a good example of the kind of music it is. If that’s you bag, then I’d say you’d enjoy it more than I did.

À chacun son goût, baby.

***

By the way, in what might be a horrible case of “I like your old stuff better than your new stuff“, I must admit that after listening to both Why Don’t You Cry… and the band’s previous effort, the 2009 album In The Wake Of Won’t Change, I prefer the album. I’m fully aware that the band could be reading this and thinking “That album was three years ago! We’ve moved on! We’re much better now!” etc., but it’s just my particular tastes in music that have me reaching for the play button on the album rather than the EP. Ah well.

***

Oh, and one more thing (I will finish this post eventually)…

One of the songs on the In The Wake Of Won’t Change album reminded me of another song, so there’ll soon be a Musical coincidence on the blog that will feature The Luxury. Oh yeah.


Song of the day: Peelgreems – "Simple And Sweet"

November 24, 2012

Well, I’ve finally gone a day without listening to Peelgreems, the band I first heard about two months ago (thanks, Miyuki!) and had been listening to relentlessly ever since.

I don’t know what it is about the music of Peelgreems. There’s something in it that is catnip to me. I don’t know if it’s the tunes (I love ’em), or the playing (the musicians all have excellent chops – or as non-musicians would say, “they play well”), or the production (it’s busy but clean), or a combination of the three, but I can’t stop returning to it. Until now.

Woohoo! Peelgreems has released its grip on me! I spent a day without listening to them. Huzzah!

Mind you, the very next day I was back listening to Peelgreems. And have been since then.

To celebrate my Peelgreems-free day, here’s a Peelgreems song:

Peelgreems – “Simple And Sweet (2012)

For today’s song, I was torn between the compact and poppy “Simple And Sweet” or the epic “A Great Dictator“. (“Compact and poppy” won.)

However, I would love you to hear “A Great Dictator” anyway. It’s the last track on Peelgreems’ 2010 album, First Step To Merry Test …, and I think it’s a stunning way to end the album.

The less I say about this track the better. Just press “play”:

Peelgreems – “A Great Dictator (2010)

Oh, and one more thing…

Peelgreems has released two albums, Big Adventure (2012) and First Step To Merry Test … (2010). (Before those two album there was an EP, From A To L … [2010], but I wouldn’t mention that too loudly. It’s enjoyable-ish, but it’s what I’d call “nascent”.)

I think both those albums are tremendously magnificent, and it leads me to the following question:

Isn’t there any power pop blogger who’s going to review a Peelgreems album?

Anyone at all?


Musical coincidences # 329

November 6, 2012

Just like the previous coincidence in this series, we have another one involving French band Peelgreems and classical music.

Even if you’re not all that familiar with classical music, I reckon you’ll have no trouble spotting this tune used by Peelgreems:

Peelgreems – “The Knight And The Last Crusade (2012) (excerpt)

And…

Tchaikovsky1812 Overture (1880) (excerpt)
[Performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sian Edwards, 1989]

Here are the full versions:

Peelgreems – “The Knight And The Last Crusade (2012)

Tchaikovsky1812 Overture (1880)
[Performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sian Edwards, 1989]


Musical coincidences # 328

November 5, 2012

This coincidence involves a French band called Peelgreems and a bit of classical music.

Peelgreems has a track called “Ikkoku” on its latest album, Big Adventure.

This part of the song…

Peelgreems – “Ikkoku (2012) (excerpt)

…reminds me a lot of an extremely well-known piece of classical music:

Mozart – “Eine kleine Nachtmusik“, 1st movement (1787) (excerpt)
[Performed by I Musici, 1983]

Classy.

Here are the full versions:

Peelgreems – “Ikkoku (2012)

Mozart – “Eine kleine Nachtmusik (1787)
[Performed by I Musici, 1983]

By the way, the next coincidence will also involve Peelgreems and classical music. So be prepared for some déjà vu the next time you’re reading about a coincidence on this blog.


Song of the day: Peelgreems – " ‘L’ Like The Sun Over My Head"

November 3, 2012

Look, this isn’t funny anymore.

I’m still gaga over a band I first heard about a month ago, and can’t stop listening to them.

The band is Peelgreems (it’s actually one man, Alexis Hadefi, who has occasional help from a few musician friends).

Peelgreems has so far released an EP and two albums, and I’ve been listening to them incessantly. Last month I pestered you with a fair bit of Peelgreems (four posts – here, here, here, and a Musical coincidence). In one of those posts I said that I was listening to those albums and EP at least twice a day. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been able to cut down to once a day. However, I haven’t been able to go a day without listening to them at all.

By the way, the last time I posted a Peelgreems track I said that “there’s a distinct possibility that I’ll be thoroughly sick of Peelgreems by the end of next week”. That hasn’t happened yet. And it’s been a month.

Because I’m besotted by Peelgreems, I find it completely baffling why the band is not rating a mention anywhere. I understand that there are now squillions of musical acts vying for attention in the electronosphere, but I though at least someone would have noticed Peelgreems by now.

But no. Since my posts last month I’ve heard nothing from no-one about nothin’. I’ve yet to see a review of any of Peelgreems’ albums on a blog or website that does that kind of thing (i.e., review albums). That makes me want to emit a huge “Grrr”.

Anyway, despite my frustration at living in a world in which Peelgreems doesn’t seem to exist, here’s a track to prove they do:

Peelgreems – ” ‘L’ Like The Sun Over My Head (2010)

After this post I’ll try not to bother you with Peelgreems anymore. I’m acutely aware that you may not feel anywhere near as “Yeah!” as I do about them. So I’ll keep my fanboy-ism to myself.