So last night I was a party with a 2010s theme and there was a lot of discussion going on about people’s memories from the decade. Long lost club nights, venues and gigs. The general consensus seemed to be that 2010 was actually the height of guitar-based music during this decade. It was the culmination of the Brooklyn scene based around labels Captured Tracks, Woodsist and bands like Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, Fresh & Onlys and of course Woods. Remember the CT/Woodsist festival of 2009? I would have killed to have been there. But things were already brewing in California: Ty Segall had just released his second album, Wavves their third. The Mantles “Don’t Lie” was probably my most played song during 2009-2010. And the rumours about King Tuff’s elusive first album Was Dead were already making the rounds. And Thee Oh Sees, what were they up to? Their 11th album perhaps if you include OCS stuff?
Today, most of the interesting garage and punk bands are from Melbourne, where the Anti Fade label is maintaining world dominion. But it all started around 2010 there too, with The Frowning Clouds, Total Control and Straight Arrows. Big ups to the latter for still going strong!
For me, the highlight of the decade was meeting German Measles. I was in Brooklyn in 2010 and suddenly found myself in a living room with a bunch of guys watching homemade DIY films. I said something about German Measles and it turned out half of them were in the band. They were just the nicest people, and of course Alex and Arno were also in the unparalleled caUSE co-MOTION. One of the tracks on this 2nd part of my mix of the best non-streaming music from the 2010s is actually an unreleased caUSE co-MOTION cover.
“Only Fades Away” was covered by Jed Smith (My Teenage Stride) and Chris Balla who was in Knight School together with Kevin from The Hairs and Lil’ Hospital. It turned up as a youtube video and was shared around some blogs, including mine. As a bonus, someone has reposted their “Some Velvet Morning” cover too.
Another unreleased track included here is the amazing “Clouded Night” by Texas artist Vacations (no, not those wimpy Australian bois). They had a nice 45 out on the brilliant but forgotten Play Pinball! Records (mostly known for that era-defining compilation Denton Denton USA! that included Fergus & Geronimo… who later morphed into Parquet Courts). They also released the Unwed Teenage Mothers LP from which the opening track of the mix is lifted. That LP has the same tracks pressed on both the A side and B side, such a great idea. Just by chance I found my old post about the Vacations 45 and lo and behold, the connected Soundcloud account is now called Beauty Parlor! I never got a chance to mention Beauty Parlor last year, but their self-titled EP was amazing.
So apparently Jacob Bruce (of Vacations and Fungi Girls) is now in Beauty Parlor. As a matter of fact Fungi Girls is one of two bands I have offered to release an album by – back before I had a mortgage. The album we’re talking about is Place Unknown, that was only ever release on a tape they sold on tour. Burger-affiliated Gnar was supposed to release it on vinyl in 2015 but the band kind of went on an indefinite hiatus. So they turned my offer down. I’ve included a track from that tape in the mix too.
2015 was the mid-point of course, and the photo in the mix cover is from a demonstration to welcome more refugees in Malmö. Sadly, everything has gone downhill from there and Sweden became a cold, unwelcoming country. Still, to this day, I have to sit through the new “border control” between Denmark and Sweden every single day.
The other band I offered a vinyl release was Dream Boys, whose second LP should have come out of Slumberland if Mike hadn’t been so disillusioned at the time. Their selftitled debut came out on Art Fag, but Happy to Forget was even better. It’s such a shame they only sold a few tapes and put it up on Soundcloud. We premiered it on HYMN, but the members have since focused on other, more successful projects like Levitation Room. So we had to make do with the 45 release of album track “Positive Arguments”.
Last but not least. Christmas has the most difficult band name to search for ever. It may well be it’s on Spotify, but I sure can’t find it. Their selftitled LP is definitely in my top ten albums of the 2010s. And they’re probably the best band from Olympia, right up until Vexx appeared and stole the crown.