The Hototogisu, the Japanese name for the Lesser Cuckoo, comprises Matthew Bower and Marcia Bassett. Bassett’s primary contribution to the band comes in the form of violin; Bower plays guitar and electronics. Both have played in several other bands, including Skullflower, Double Leopards, and many others. Today’s track is taken from the album Cuckoo Cloudland, released on De Stijl Records in 2001. The duo has also released music on Sub Pop, Important Records, and their own label, Heavy Blossom. They have also collaborated a few times with like-minded musicians Burning Star Core.
Following Morris Day’s departure in 1984, Prince approached the remaining members of The Time and convinced them to form The Family with his then-fiancé Susannah Melvoin (twin sister of Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin) and Eric Leeds. “Yes” comes off their self-titled album, put out on Prince’s Paisley Park Records in 1985. Though Prince wrote and performed most of the tracks himself, “Yes” was one of the first collaborations between Prince and Leeds, who would later form Prince’s jazz-fusion project Madhouse. The group released only one single, an extended version of “The Screams of Passion,” and gave only one public performance before disbanding, with singer St. Paul going on to a solo career and the remaining members joining an expanded Revolution. Leeds continued to work with Prince after break-up of The Revolution and released his solo album, Times Squared, on Paisley Park in 1991. The group reunited in 2007 and continues to perform and record under the name fDeluxe.
Michael Rother, probably best known as half of the krautrock band Neu!, has had an expansive career. Rother was in an early incarnation of Kraftwerk, but left in 1971 along with Neu! bandmate Klaus Dinger. After their third release in 1975, Neu! was inactive for a period of time, and Rother put out Flammende Herzen, which features “Karussel,” in 1977. Neu! began recording more material in the ’80s, but none of it was released until 1995, and in the meantime Rother continued to work solo; he also played in the group Harmonia with Cluster‘s Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Mobius (and briefly Brian Eno). Rother has been active throughout the 2000s, too; he joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers for an on-stage jam session in 2007 and collaborated with Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley in 2010.
While looking around online for stuff to play on my Handpicked show this past summer, I came across a release called New Technology Volume 4, put out in 1983 by the Canadian library label Parry Music. I really liked it, especially the stuff by Harry Forbes—unfortunately, like a lot of the great library releases of the era, this material has long been only available second-hand and is nearly impossible to track down. That’s why I was excited last month to see the British label Public Information put out Tomorrow’s Achievements: Parry Music Library 1976 – 86. To promote the release, Public Information put together this video (a re-edit of an old Shell commercial) for the title cut, another Forbes composition. The compilation is available on vinyl and digital download and is definitely worth checking out.
Slutever is the self-described “shit-fi” duo of Philadelphians Rachel Gagliardi and Nicole Snyder. “No Offense” comes off Slutever’s “Pretend To Be Nice” 7″, which they released in March of last year. The release was put out by Bantic Media, which is a student-run artist services group at Drexel University; it’s also where the release was recorded. Aside from a previous EP release, 2010′s more abrasive Sorry I’m Not Sorry, Slutever hasn’t put out any other recordings, but it seems like they’re playing pretty actively throughout the east coast. Maybe one of these days they’ll stop by our neck of the woods.