On Bubble Wrap this week, we showcased two artists new to us who have purchase-worthy albums out right now: winsome punk rockers The Courtneys and the French-North African dance outfit Acid Arab. The Courtneys (of Vancouver, Canada) take me straight back to the early days of DIY indie rock and what song could better represent that inter-generational connection than “Insufficient Funds.” Perhaps it’s their sheer frustration with the problems of making a living that gives this song its power. Or maybe it’s true ring of the chorus which is appropriately shouted as much as sung: “you can work for your dad, you can work for my mom, you can work for yourself making minimum wage….” Indeed, self-employment is not always as lucrative as one might hope.
“Insufficent Funds” is from The Courtneys self-titled first album. “Tour” and the single “Silver Velvet” are from the also eponymous follow-up Courtneys 2. We’ve been playing “Silver Velvet” a lot (thank you, KEXP). To our mild surprise and genuine pleasure, the rest of the album is good too! I love girl bands who rock and The Courtneys do right down to the last guitar solo. I’ll say that again — guitar solo! They do guitar solos. Gotta love that.
As for Acid Arab, the moniker refers to two Paris DJs, neither of them Arab, who have taken their inspiration from North African music. Their song “Gul L’Abi” (featuring the amazing vocal cords of guest artist AWA) was on our best of list for 2016. The album from which it emanates is the cheekily titled Musique de France, which is a joke on the French, needless to say. The music is anything but “French” in the traditional sense, being deeply steeped in the tonalities and rhythms of the Arab world. We played “La Hafla” and “Buzq Blues” this time out, but we could have picked almost anything — the whole album is great. File under: World Dance.
Otherwise, there were new songs, old songs, and a couple of plugs for the WVEW LP station fundraiser — a screening of Stop Making Sense at 118 Elliot.
April 26, 2017
She-Devils – Hey Boy
Tom Tom Club – Spooks (12″)
George Clinton – Martial Law (2Phunky Finger remix)
SHPR – Tell Me
Steph Copeland & Freek Van Workum – Little Boxes [Ed. note — this isn’t the “Little Boxes” you’re thinking of]
Trementina – Please Let’s Go Away
Prince – Deliverance
Prince – I Am, Touch Me, Sunrise Sunset, No One Else
Sister Carol – Wild Thing
The Courtneys – Insufficient Funds
The Courtneys – Tour
The Florists – Gentle Bender
Wendy & Lisa – Satisfaction (12″ Dance Mix)
Acid Arab – La Hafla
Acid Arab – Buzq Blues
Colour of Spring – Echoes
BNQT – Restart
Aerosmith – Love in an Elevator (Elevator Mix)
Talking Heads – Life During Wartime
The Courtneys – Silver Velvet
Godwonder – Tradicional
R.I.P. Jonathan Demme — thanks for all the great movies!