Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Help A Brutha Out

Let's check the in-box, shall we?

"Dear Mr. Fab,
      Good day! I'm a reader of your blog and an ardent lover of exceptional music. For the past year, I have been on a relentless search for a very unusual band, and I am hoping that perhaps you could help. In short, about a year ago I chanced to hear two short songs that have haumted me ever since. The music was simple, strange, like a primitive Velvet Underground, with the words sung in a depressive monotone. It was definitely the lyrics that caught me the most, deadpan honest and sad, like a suicide note set to music- somewhat in the vein of Jandek. I wasn't able to catch the name of the band, but the primitive truth of it definitely fit the criteria of 'outsider' music. Despite a wide and varied knowledge of music, and a year of searching, I've yet to find them- my only hope is that by some chance another connoisseur will have been lucky enough to know of them. Is there any chance that you know the band I'm talking about? I seem to remember the lyrics were something like 'Everything I felt in life was someone else's bad joke', with the chorus 'All I wanted was a place in the sun.' This was the kind of music that changes your life, and I would be eternally grateful for your help in this. Thank you, and please keep up the good work.

Best regards,
Z. Colombino"

I wrote back: "Your description of the music/singer sounds like Beat Happening, but I don't remember any really depressing songs of theirs like that, the lyrics don't ring a bell" and he replied: "Yeah they are very reminiscent of beat happening, definitely similar to the twee-pop school musically. I've come to realize they defy classification- for any similarity they have with another band, they're completely different in ten other ways. If I had to guess the era I'd say late 70's-80's...I'd thought maybe Edinburgh post-punk at one point? Orange Juice is another very similar band."

And so we turn to you, dear readers. Anyone?


Anonymous said...

how bout the band Deja Voodoo?

Z said...

Wow, getting close I think. The band I'm thinking of wasn't quite as punky musically, although the vocals are very similar. Either way, awesome band. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I was just thinking... I would ask the person who sent the mail if they could tell more details. about where they heard it and when? If it was on a particular station might give insight perhaps? Was it in a public place? Website? What instruments? Gender of singer? multiple singers? etc...

My initial Thought on theme was Rilo Kiley just from what was written about the lyrics. Some of her stuff in Take Offs and landings was pretty sad and minimal.

Searching parts of the lyrics led me to a band called Dirty Vegas and a song called "Ghosts" That had lyrics like "All I ever wanted is a place out by the sun
To watch the world go by and take each day as it comes
All I ever wanted was a chance to catch my breath
To see the world go by and lay my ghosts to rest" but that was pretty highly produced and on MTV as well. Though it did seem in some ways similar to a suicide note there was nothing about a cosmic joke. They also have a song called walk into the sun in which the lyrics sound like a suicide note. but it isn't outsider at all. Though it did in some ways resemble a song by Oranges that I listened to on myspace.

I listened to Jandek and Danielson came to mind but his music is so not monotone. I wish I could be more helpful.

Mr Fab said...

Josef K?

Z. said...

Yeah I heard it by chance on somebody's ipod, hence my dilemma. If it helps the singer is male and the instruments would. Probably be guitar, bass drums and some kind of keyboard/synthesizer. The music itself is very simple, jangly pop, which contrasts brilliantly with the the lyrics and singing. Hope that helps!

I love Josef K but sadly its not them. Thanks for the help guys !

Pierre said...

Maybe you can try bands like Monochrome Set, Half Man Half Biscuit.

LastFm suggestions might help you too.

Anonymous said...

Jazz Butcher?
Just throwing that out there. His singing is pretty deadpan but they're really not very punk sounding.

Anonymous said...

Any idea of their nationality?
From your description the only band that springs to mind are Bizarros or The Feelies, both of which are American unlike the majority of the suggestions thus far.
Good luck with your quest.
Fingal Sponge.

Z said...

thanks, sponge. im pretty sure theyre from the uk, based on the singer's accent. the singing was very edwin collins-esque so possibly scotland. the feelies are another very similar band

Beef said...

It wasn't Disco Inferno, was it?

British post punk band, sad lyrics, poppy music, largely traditional use of instruments but also use sampling.

bonsaisuperstar said...

The Television Personalities?


Pierre said...

Maybe it's Ballboy.
It's the closest band to your description i know.
They're from edinburgh, guitar+keyboards+monotone voice, simple songs.

Mr Fab said...

Television Personalities is a good guess! I reviewed 'em here:

Pierre said...

He has not find yet?

The Pastels?
The Happy Family?

I'm curious to know the band he's looking for

Anonymous said...


Could it be something by Arab Strap or an offshoot....?

Good luck with the finding,