Welcome to my blog!

UPDATE: Mediafire have suspended my account and locked my downloads. Having endured the tedium of re-uploading everything I had previously hosted on Mega Upload onto Mediafire earlier this year, I can't be arsed re-uploading everything again.

So please don't ask for things to be reuploaded!

I undertake this venture knowing that I don't have the spare time to do it, but feel that these artists NEED TO BE HEARD (please excuse my shouting!). Or is that I think I need to be heard? Or that there are (or have been) some great music blogs that have inspired me to wanna jump on the bandwagon? Probably all of the above??I hope you enjoy the blog. If I turn one person onto these bands that turned me on then it will all have been worth it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Smudge - Manilow

You may not have heard of Smudge, but chances are you've heard their songs (and their sound!) if you are familiar with The Lemonheads, who covered no less than three Smudge songs. Furthermore, Smudge leader Tom Morgan also co-wrote two songs from The Lemonheads It's a Shame about Ray, and more than half the tracks on the follow-up C'mon Feel the Lemonheads.

As a result, Smudge (and specifically Morgan) are typically mentioned only as a footnote to the Evan Dando/Lemonheads story. Which is a shame, because they are as good (if not better) than the Lemonheads. However, they lacked a few things the Lemonheads had in their favor - a major record label (and the resulting PR) and a charismatic front-person. Being Australian also didn't help at a time when Seattle ruled the world.

Smudge play no-frills, irresistible indie guitar-pop with witty lyrics. Their debut album, Manilow, is arguably their best album, and features re-recorded versions of many of their best songs from their early singles and EPs. The album was reissued in 2006, with a bonus disc of acoustic demos and a session from Triple J's Live at the wireless.

Manilow features song after song of classic indie pop. Ingrown and Superhero are rapid-fire power-pop. Impractical Joke is an effortless, mid-tempo indie pop classic. Down About It is technically a cover of the C'mon Feel the Lemonheads track Morgan co-wrote with Evan Dando. Little Help is yet another effortless, mid-tempo track. Scary Cassettes is paean to Lou Reed, complete with cheesy synthesizer.

Where the album really takes off is the sequence of tracks from Pulp through to Divan. Pulp, an early single, is more power-pop. Dave The Talking Bear is mid-tempo and infectious. Ugly, Just Like Me is a rollicking acoustic guitar based track. Divan, covered by the Lemonheads, is classic Smudge - effortless, with great lyrics about a seemingly mundane topic (i.e. a sofa bed!). The second last track is a cover of the theme song from the 80's sit-com Charles In Charge.

If that isn't enough, the 2006 re-issue provides another CD of equally classic material. The acoustic demos are a revelation, and are arguably better than the albums versions - particularly What Do You Mean I Don't Understand. Outside is fantastic - how this failed to make any Smudge album is a mystery. The Live at The Wireless tracks are pretty faithful to the recorded versions, but provide a few excellent non-Manilow tracks - a full band version of Outside, My Bright Idea, which later appeared on the Hot Smoke and Sassafras EP, and most importantly, the classic Outdoor Type, later released as a single, and covered by (guess who) The Lemonheads on their under-rated Car, Button, Cloth album.

Smudge - 1994/2006 - Manilow

CD 1
1. Manilow
2. Ingrown
3. Impractical Joke
4. Superhero
5. Funny You Should Mention That
6. Bodyshirt
7. Down About It
8. Little Help
9. Desmond
10. Scary Cassettes
11. Mr Coffee Man
12. Pulp
13. Dave The Talking Bear
14. Ugly, Just Like Me
15. Divan
16. Not Here For A Haircut
17. Don't Understand
18. Hell On Hot Bread
19. Top Bunkin' Duncan
20. Charles In Charge
21. Kelly

FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3

CD 2
Tom Morgan acoustic demos:
1. Ugly, Just Like Me
2. Hope You Like Lou (Scary Cassettes)
3. What Do You Mean I Don't Understand
4. Alison Tells Me She's Not Sure That What She's Got Is Contagious
5. Outside
6. Superhero
7. Ingrown
8. Outside
9. Little Help
10. Funny You Should Mention That
11. Outdoor Type
12. Scary Cassettes
13. Impractical Joke
14. Pulp
15. My Bright Idea
16. Down About It
17. Tea, Toast & Turmoil

FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3


  1. Sold! I've never heard of these guys, but you've certainly convinced me to. Downloading now, will report back later ;)

    1. Lou Barlow, not Lou Reed!

    2. Both of them in fact. It says in the liner notes for the re-issue, if you're not already convinced by the Sattelite of Love reference at the start and the Sebadoh reference further in.

      Smudge are freakin' awesome! Caught them accidentally when they supported the Lemonheads in Melbourne and so stoked to have been that lucky cos they don't play that often now.


    3. Oops... that was supposed to say Satellite!

  2. Always been a big fan of the Lemonheads. Thanks for this. Really enjoyed it!


  3. Nah, you're both wrong! It's about Lou Reed, and Lou Reed only.

    The lyrics which reference Sebadoh are "someone who looks a little like *him* though, don't know his name but he plays guitar for Sebadoh". i.e. the song is about "Lou", rather than the guy from Sebadoh who looks like him!

    1. Lou Barlow is from Sebadoh though. Been trying to find where I read about it, but the lyrics go: "He's pride of place at number one, and also number two." I think it was something about not being able to take on a new friend called Lou cos there were already two.

      BTW - No references to The Hummingbirds, The Clouds, Died Pretty or Tall Tales and True I notice. Thought I'd see at least one of them in here somewhere, especially the Hummingbirds as they have connections through Ratcat, Smudge and the Lemonheads (and probably more, they got around)! Cheers for taking us back though, haven't seen some of these albums for a long, long time.


    2. ...and check out the Evan Dando J-Files for a cracking recording of Tom Morgan singing John Waite's "I Ain't Missing You" while Evan plays drums on his knees and contributes some dodgy backing vocals. Priceless.