Dumbo Gets Mad, Gets Even, Gets Away With It

This week I cracked. I emailed Bad Panda Records and ineloquently put them on the spot: have you signed a deal with Satan, or what?

It’s a reasonable question, honestly – if there’s another record label that gives away a Creative Commons-licensed song every Monday and manages to maintain as ludicrously high standard of releases, I’ve yet to find it.

ANBAD has featured so many of their artists now, that it became embarrassing a while ago. And yet how – why – should I stop when their hit-rate is similar to that of a teenage Mike Tyson?

Dumbo Gets Mad // Electric Prawn

Dumbo Gets Mad has the kind of throwback name that I remember Indie bands from continental Europe having before the internet threw open the doors of cool and suckered so many inside.

The music glances backwards too, without shame and without concern. Electric Prawn foists another clunker of a name onto a song gaily spritzing itself with the best parts of Psych and 60’s Pop. Starting at ? And The Mysterians, and quickly reining in the outlandishness, Electric Prawn is a swirling triumph.

Mastering the sound of a certain era’s music is one thing, but to nail such artisan nuts-and-bolt skills to a great song is a success of suspicious proportions. When the Hammond organ appears half-way through, you’ll understand why thoughts of Lucifer’s influence formed.

If someone played you this song and told you it was recorded in 1969, you wouldn’t believe them. Except, of course, you would. Its obvious that this song couldn’t have existed then. And yet it sounds exactly right. Genius.

myspace.com/dumbogetsmad // CC License: BY-NC-SA 3.0

>Today’s New Band – Nutrition On Tape

If, after the almost total turnabout in music making and listening habits thanks to the file-sharin’, Myspace-browsin’ power of the internet, you need any further proof that music is evolving so fast we should all be dizzier than that bit in Top Gun where Maverick and Goose go into a flat spin, take a look at Today’s New Band, Nutrition On Tape.

Nutrition On Tape is one of the new breed which creates mind-loopingly complex songs that have not only a pop sensibility and clever production, but also creativity and credibility. These bands are usually one-man operations, and so it’s new technology we have to thank. Computer equipment has finally freed music makers from their music-industry shackles, and left individuals to allow their singular vision to reveal itself, untempered by outside influence.

Thus Nutrition On Tape‘s music is a jabbering, eddying salute to the last 30 years’ pop music. Songs waft in through the window and tickle your ears. Songs like The Sun One is a psychedelic, honeyed wave of orange sound, and Fire Dog Wax Apple lurches from the calmest sun-down slide guitar lilt to jaunty drum ‘n’ twang 60’s pop in a heartbeat. Where Everything Works is a blend of the increasingly ahead-of-their-time Boards Of Canada and a crazed, surf guitar-through-an-acid-house-filter beatstravaganza.

Nutrition On Tape: tomorrow today. Clever, bright and alive. Great. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Hong Kong In The 60’s

>Over the weekend I had a long, contorted conversation with a friend, discussing the relative merits of Steven Seagal’s mighty body of work. We both expressed fond teen memories of the moment when a topless Erika Eleniak popped out of a giant cake in front of a bemused-looking Seagal in Under Seige, and then agreed that Segal always wears a look of mild bemusement, possibly in the belief that it makes him look like a wise Sensei.

Our discussion also confirmed our fears that, with his string of increasingly absurd straight-to-DVD movies, such as Belly of The Beast and Today You Die, he is slowly turning into Troy McClure.

Given this solid grounding in the life’s work of The Seagal, you can imagine my barely-contained excitement with the news that his new Magnum Opus, Driven To Kill, in which he plays an ex-Russian mobster turned novelist, is about to show up in bargain bins worldwide.

To quell any chop-socky hyperventilation as I wait, Today’s New Band, Hong Kong In The 60’s, are here to place the metaphorical brown paper bag over my mouth and whisper soothingly reassuring words. Their songs arrive on a cool, sticky wave of Pina Colada – arch, relaxed, distant.

Footsteps – calm, pretty and sweet – is so delicate and persuasive that you’ll swoon like a teenage girl being introduced to the captain of the football team. Shadow Of The Bear is the exact music you’d like to hear if you were sitting by a stream, watching kingfishers dive as the sun sets. The Mermaids oozes kitch, keyboard-cool.

Hong Kong In The 60’s are unlike most bands in that they take a template – French 60’s lounge music – and by injecting just enough intelligence, fun and innovation, make it work for them (and us) without stumbling into elevator-musak territory. A brave, successful aim. Listen here!