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Friday, 25 January 2013

Tingle in the Netherlands - Sterilized Please and a bag of spuds

Music, it is one of those things in life (along with cheesy midday soap operas) that can make you laugh, feel sad and cringe in the space of minutes, this Indie Dunes subject certainly did that to me one afternoon late last year.

I have Fishy to thank for introducing me into the world of Tingle In The Netherlands, its been quite an interesting journey so far. It has taken me into an intergalactic orbit that brought childhood memories of a bygone time flooding back. That's right 80s synth pop returns to the 00s with a cynical tongue dripping with a sense of humour and faintly disguised social commentary.

It is not to often mentioning a cleaning product can have me flashing back to my days as a kid. Lets start off on the launch pad of this journey. It has to be the most excited Ive heard Fishie in a txt message EVER. "Steveeeeeeee!! You have to listen to this BAHAHAHAHAHAAHA Cow floppy Udders FFS..HAHAHHAHA" Well how could I not drop everything I was doing and listen straight away. Here enter Housewife's Lament. The rockets had ignighted, there was no turning back from this point.

Tingle in the Netherlands are a collaborative duo consisting of Owen J. and Helen T. Partners in crime in all thing grit and the little bits in-between. Owen's role in this partnership is bringing a range of sounds back into my life that I have not been accustomed to hearing for a very long time. Bleeps bops and laser sounds from cheesy sci-fi series. This could be more simply put as writing and producing the music that have you travelling back at light-speed to Kraftwerk and Gary Numan.

Helen T contributes the genius behind the very clever and insightful view on a life lived behind net curtains and inside cheap highly polished glossy handbags. The vocal harmonies along with the melody are also the domain of Helen. It would be remiss of me not to mention Owen contributed the completed lyric to the track Mammals, all this while Helen drank tea (grabbed from the bio, the info!! not the tea, anywayyyyy)

This led me to ask some really important questions almost immediately. Well one question actually.

How did Helên take her tea?

Apparently really strong builders type tea, white no sugar. Owen however drinks coffee and wine due to upbringing in Belguim.
Ok back to the blog.

Housewives Lament was the track that introduced me to the pleasures of the Tingle. It's commonly called "Shagging the Milkman", you will understand once you listen. On first listen its easy to take it as extracting the urine out of the electronic style of the early 80s and such bands like Kraftwerk and Numan. The sounds are so familiar and easy to place, add this to a humorous, yet acidic depiction of a failing relationship.

There is something extremely funny and yet sad about the story being spun out. The lyrics tell parts of scenes that could be getting played out possibly in many houses around the UK or places around the world with milk deliveries. I could be reading to much into it, but that's the great thing because for a seemingly funny track, it's got me thinking about the grimmy side of life in the suburbs.

What you notice pretty quickly! After you get over being transported back to Numan-land is that this is one tightly produced set of tracks, with clever, precise lyrics used to paint a picture. Granted the lyrics are slightly absurd, and very gritty/adult LOL. But they are the work of a skilled wordsmith. I didnt expect to find myself returning to Tingle on a regular basis, I thought Ahhh Yup, very clever!! Move on. But I return frequently and have a ponder about floppy udders and a heart full of urine.

Ive also found myself writing a song about my days of being a Paperboy, but thats because i want to see if I can match Helens wit, I want to use the line "pushing one through in through her box...." its a work in progress, never to be released

Tingle In The Netherlands are due to release a new album soon. Its been a while since the release of Prostitutes Handbag.... Bring it on I say, I feel like getting a buzz through my unmentionables. We will keep you posted

Enjoy the tracks linked below and follow on the Usual Suspects, Twitter, Soundcloud and Tumblr.

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Friday, 18 January 2013

If You Have Five Seconds to Spare

Everyone looks like everyone else to me lately. I meet someone and there is a 90% chance that they will remind me of someone I know/knew. It’s getting to a point where I am starting to raise an eyebrow at myself – wtf. Have I met so many people I’ve reached full circle and I’m starting all over again? They are not even from the same gene pool – people are reminding me of other people divided by continents, genders and other preferences (as in – a bit effeminate in the latest reincarnation).

I can see 2013 is going to be one of those years... few weeks in and its already weird.

So in the spirit of same but different – let’s talk about covers today. I like covers. I like mixes, remixes and mashups for that matter. I do not have an aversion towards my fave tune being chewed up and spat out as something else – a concept which is viewed as a serious insult by many I have discussed this with. I love a different take on the original – sometimes the result is a cringe-able drunken karaoke fail, agreed, but in the hands of musicians confident in their own style – the result can be the best homage a tune can receive.

When ‘The Smiths is dead’ first came out in 1996 (10 year anniversary of The Queen is Dead), my then bf, the person who introduced me to the Smiths for that matter, refused to listen. He looked at the CD, read the list of bands covering ten tunes of the Queen is Dead, and handed it back to me. ‘Blasphemy’ he called it, if I remember correctly. I wasn't deterred. 

I remember listening to it thinking – hm, Billy Bragg is butchering Never Had No One ever – and was introduced to Placebo for the first time via their rendition of Big Mouth Strikes Again and never looked back.

More recently in 2011- a tribute album was released 'Please, Please, Please: A Tribute to The Smiths' with today's indie bands bravely subjecting themselves to the wrath of hard-core Smiths fans. I never heard of most of the bands before listening to the tribute album (two CDs) - having said that - some big names were there, too - I was stunned to find Tanya Donnelly and Six Pence Non the Richer on the list. The Wedding Present blew me away with their fuzz-heavy version of Hand in Glove.

One of my favorite Smiths tunes is ‘There is a Light That Never Goes Out’. An ambiguous till-death-do-us-part in a bleak urban setting love song, sung to someone you are aching to meet, or to the one you have - take it as you need it. I’ve heard many a brave attempt at personalizing this masterpiece – and I will share my favorite two with you here. Relax hard-core Smiths fans, this will not hurt a bit.

Dum Dum Girls - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths Cover) from DJROCCOHORROR on Vimeo.

And if this is all new to you, feast your ears on the original:

Sunday, 13 January 2013

He Ain’t Hippy, He is my Boondock

It has been a while since my last post and even I was starting to doubt if I’d ever get around to writing another post on Indie Dunes.

 So many great artists out there who deserve the word to be spread through places like this and the other great blogs I have been reading lately. I just exchanged tweets with Rudeina from in regard to the amount of talent out there in Musicland and how it is a blog writer’s nightmare and dream come true in the same breath. So I thought I better jump back on the horse and whip my butt into gear and help share the load.

Late last year we introduced the Indie Dunes Music Cafe, we called for bands/artists to submit a track so we could play it on our online stream. We were flooded with tracks, we played a lot of new tracks that night, ‘twas a lot of fun. One band stood out to my ears so much I played two tracks.

So here they are, introducing BoonDock Hippy

Boondock Hippy started off as a project of Steve Keenlyside, it quickly became an ensemble of 6 accomplished players, all playing an integral part in creating a rich melody in the tracks. A definite blues/rock feel, with a hint of bluegrass in some tracks.

Steve links the style of his influences really well into his tunes, without being blatantly obvious about it. Dylan and Hendrix are in there, I also hear a link to recent bands like the Happy Mondays in a couple of tracks. Run is one in particular (I played this in the Music Café) It is the track that pricked my ears and made me search for more. 

Boondock Hippy released two full albums worth of quality tracks. The 1st Life in the Slow Lane was released in April and has a distinctly different feel to the November release Dylan’s Gold. The progression of the Hippy in this short space of time is really great to hear.

The opening track on the debut release Life in the Slow Lane really caught my attention and since its January and the Martin Luther King holiday is nearly upon the US, it’s a topical subject. Dr King starts off with an infectious quiet beat, I’m not sure when I became a sucker for great soulful harmonica but this track sucked me in head first. Add influential speech from a highly respected political figure and that’s a perfect opening to an enjoyable experience. I asked Steve, why Dr King?

"There's no doubt that the 60's was an unbelievable era for music, but it was also a time of considerable civil unrest. Perhaps that is why so much seminal music was written at the time, as there was a great desire for change  + writing songs about such issues was a way of getting your voice heard. Dr Martin Luther King, stood tall at all times and never wavered from his goal of equality and peace. His speech on the Vietnam War spread like wild fire into the consciousness of the US, at the time. I felt this speech should be celebrated in a song".

Which led me to question in today’s current climate, who Steve considers worthy of spreading a message in the same manner as M.L.K. With the civil uprising happening throughout the world today, a leader of such standing is needed, or is the world bereft of such a person.

So much was achieved through the efforts and words of such civil rights activists as Dr King (US) and Mandela (SA) during the movement that it requires us now, in 2013 to look at it with a reframed and evolved vision. I think politicians in particular let us down more often than not as they are too eager to maintain the Status quo and "get votes". Therefore, these so called representatives of the people, never come across as being 100% honest. Barack Obama is; in my opinion, the closest politician we have as a compatriot to Dr King. His stance on equality, education, employment for example, all lean into the civil rights agenda. 

If im being honest though I think we have to an increasing look at grassroots level to find people who are really making a difference to civil rights. Volunteers, who are not necessarily in the public eye, but work tirelessly to make a difference in, i.e. countries torn apart by civil war. In particular Charity workers, the unsung heroes who do not expect anything in return, & whom dedicate their lives to making those unequal, equal.

So in the words of Dr King (new version Dr King II) A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus”.

I agree with Steve on this point, this is actually highlighted in the gun reform issue in the US ATM. Even after a momentous win, President Obama is still concerned about upsetting the NRA. Anywayyy

More points to ponder and reflect upon. I better get back to the music, after all it’s a music blog, isn't it amazing how social reform and songs walk hand in hand throughout recent history.

Another track I really enjoy on this first release is Toots Lamally. It’s got a really cool groove going through it. Sounds like an interesting dude does old Toots. The bass in this track gets me thinking of this self-assured character walking down the street, oblivious to what is going on around him. There is a character from my childhood that comes to mind when I listen to this track. I asked Steve about good old Toots. Was he fictional or a real dude?

"Toots is a real guy, although that was his nickname. I met him when I first moved down to London. He was the most eccentric person I've ever met. He used to throw a bucket of ice cold water over himself in the mornings to mentally prepare himself for the day - this was a great man!"

The 2nd release in a year of productivity for the Boondock Hippy was Dylans Gold. This collection of tracks belongs to the soundtrack of a movie Steve has written but not has not made yet. Apparently a really easy collection of tracks to compose I’ll pass you over to Mr Keenlyside

I immediately started writing the accompanying soundtrack after finishing the screenplay. It was actually the easiest bit of writing I've done, as I could picture each scene. This helped setting a mood and feeling for each track. The film is set in Ireland about a greyhound called Dylan's Gold. I am hoping at some point in the near future to make the film, but it’s not top priority at the minute

One question sprung to mind instantly after reading this answer from Steve and it involves the album cover art. A great picture of a man and his Great Dane sitting side by side looking across a vista of mountains. Why a Great Dane when Dylan's Gold is a Greyhound

"That is a very good question and one that I should have a better answer for. The truth is that, I liked the photo; plain and simple. It was more the unique relationship between man and man's best friend I wanted to try and convey".

Its a fantastic album cover and nothing like an honest answer for the right answer ;) 

The album is a great listen with each song obviously telling a story, it doesn’t sound like it was hastily put together. Run is one of the songs Steve sent me originally and its possibly my favourite out of all the Hippy tracks. Very Happy Mondays.

In fact the last 4 songs Run, Mothership, Karma Calling and Rocker to Raver of Dylan’s Gold are a brilliant way to finish this album. Makes me want go back to the start and listen again. That is a great thing in my book!!

So that’s the music of the Boondock Hippy, a very talented group of players, producing great tracks.
 The first tracks I received were not enough to whet my appetite for this band and I searched iTunes to find more. I bought the first album “Life in the Slow Lane” I still remember the conversation that followed the purchase and it’s the deciding factor and inspiration of why Boondock Hippy is my first post for 2013.

Life is about passion and inspiration, feeling happy to be breathing yet another day.  
What comes through from talking to Steve about his music, he shows such passion but is a humble and appreciative of any exposure I have given through the @IndieDunes or @CrustyToon twitter accounts

That inspiration might lead to great moments of success or creativity, or it might also just make the day easier to get through if times are tough. A simple pleasure such as music can take your mind to a happier place, hopefully problems can be forgotten for a brief moment.

That’s what music does for me. It helps me forget or recall in the space of a few notes or words. It doesn’t matter the genre or the style. It is about connection and feeling. 

This collection of songs is a connection from the past and hopefully the future. When I am listening I feel myself being slowly taken back to my own childhood and early adulthood. It’s a heart-warming feeling and it gives you a point of reflection and I feel a smile hit my lips.
 I admire the honesty in Boondock Hippy tunes. Add to this a really nice guy that is writing the tunes and what is not to like about them.
 I hope you like Boondock Hippy as much as have enjoyed sharing them with you.Steve aka CrustyToon (gets confusing when you are blogging someone of the same name)

P.S. Steve recently wrote and released Chasing the Winter EP(released 4th of January 13) The EP comprises of only 3 songs. he wrote after seeing a film called theEndless Winter-A very British Surf movie last year. It documents the history of the UK surf scene quite beautifully. Steve was so inspired by it he wrote some songs about it. "pretty simple really" apparently!!!

Check it out

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I encourage you to get onto iTunes and purchase the first album if you like these tunes and support the indie bands we get so much pleasure from.  

Other blog posts on Boondock Hippy


TICP - Volume 5 - Sadly the last one

IndieTernational - Germany

IndieTernational - India

Grab It: Cross Wires #supportindie

IndieTernational - Greece

IndieTernational - Italy

Debut: Blockhouse Bay #supportindie


IndieTernational - Finland