Review: Spenking, aka Spencer Kingman, makes his vinyl debut after more than a decade of DIY venues and playing with Dirty Projectors, Flaspar, Viking Moses, Low Skies, Dear Tick, Castanets and Jana Hunter. Kingman sings lively, unencumbered melodies in a lovely high-register over inventive guitar work. His arrangements are direct and sparse. This inviting, intimate sound is contrasted with dense rhyming lyrics charged with an obscure sense of catastrophe, disorientation, and dread. Recommended for fans of the Harry Smith Folk Anthology, Patti Smith, Gil-Scott Heron, The Mamas and the Papas, Rufus Wainwright, Leonard Cohen, and Diane Cluck.
Alan Parker & Alan Hawkshaw - "Evening Shade" (2:34)
Review: If you're looking for someone to chronicle the seamier side of British musical history, or a curatorial force with insights into its more dusty and unchartered areas, no-one is better qualified than Saint Etienne boffins Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, and they've excelled themselves here, delivering a beautifully chosen and endlessly evocative selection of songs from an era often overlooked by the reductive forces of retro culture - a disenfranchised but rich zone in the early seventies after psychedelia, when although the '60s dream had faded slightly the atmosphere of melancholy and hope alike made for unclassifiable and evergreen music. Not quite prog, not quite psych, the likes of T2, Aardvark, Matching Mole and Van Der Graaf Generator were harbingers of a lost spirit that makes for endlessly rewarding listening here, sitting proudly alongside better known figures like Daevid Allen and John Cale on a strange time capsule to be cherished.