I don’t think a week has gone by in the past century that I haven’t listened to at least one Olivia Newton-John song (with “Sam”, “A Little More Love” and her duet w/Cliff Richard “Suddenly” topping the playlist). As with most Gen X-ers, she was a constant pop presence through most of my childhood and teenage years. It wasn’t Grease that hooked me, or her brilliant string of AM radio hits (though I did love them) but her 1978 album “Totally Hot” where for the first time, she began to ROCK (not too hard mind you, this is Olivia Newton-John we’re talking about). I can’t adequately explain how jarring her sonic transformation seemed at the time, how back-alley dirty “A Little More Love” sounded compared to everything else she’d ever done. I recollect being kind of shocked (I was an unworldly child). Up until then, she’d been “sweet Olivia” and her tough girl persona had just been a performative thing in a movie. To a kid who’d only known that side of her, it was very “scary” indeed…scary exciting. It turned out Olivia wanted to “rock”, just like me, who freakin’ knew? I was all in after that.
When she passed away this week, it hit a particular nerve with me (as it did with a million other people) and so I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge her awesomeness and reiterate how she was so much more than Grease. ONJ forever.
It is now time for the WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path this week. They are weird and wonderful to the last. Listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify. And HEY, there’s a little treat following the playlists so please mr. please keep scrolling 😉
Listen on Soundcloud
Listen on Spotify
PuR pal Ed Zed of the band Strange Flesh (formerly known as The Casual Sexists) wrote us a review of the new album by New Zealand radio legend Stinky Jim, called Spacial Awareness, which he has been seriously digging and wanted to share with all you adventurers. Lay it on us hero Ed…
The venerable Stinky Jim – now into his fourth decade of bringing much of the world’s finest new music to the listeners of his Stinky Grooves radio show on Auckland’s 95bFM – is back with a brand new album to remind us that he too makes utterly corking music of his own.
Spacial Awareness is a reggaematical kaleidoscope, encompassing dancehall, dub, roots, and even a skeletal smattering of reggaeton. But what makes it so hypnotically compelling is the fusion of these elements with Jim’s unique avant garde electronic sensibilities that truly know no bounds.
The album is festooned with vocal fragments, which often feel like instruments in their own right, and on other occasions hint tantalisingly—dubwise style—at whole vocal tracks that might exist elsewhere.
The one fully fledged vocal performance on the album is the truly spectacular ‘Steam Fish’, featuring Kingston dub poet Nazamba, whose gravelly baritone carries the ominous beauty of a summer thunderstorm.
This luscious opus is out now on Bandcamp. Get involved, good people.