The Sarah Records thread

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crystalball
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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by crystalball » Mon Mar 03, 2014 16:47

a fog of ideas wrote: What I find really unsettling now is the huge reverence people have for the label, something I don't think Clare or Matt would have been comfortable with at the time (they may feel differently now), Sarah always seemed to me a means to an end, it was about the process as much as it was about the bands... I may be massively wrong... but, yeh, the reverence, that gets me down. There are loads of Tumblrs out there by da yoof all digging indiepop and none of them caring very much about indiepop after 'Tigermilk', for them Sarah seems to be the be all and end all, for me it's a part of the story not the whole story or the definitive story or the only story

But perhaps it was the end, the final word, perhaps we should all give up?
But, if anything, the fact that indiepop has been so exciting and ace and brilliant and we've all been having amazing times in the last eight years proves that we didn't give up.

Being down on Sarah because some people are discovering it now and think it's great seems absurd to me. It's one thing not liking their musical output and another saying that they didn't make a difference. No-one married pop and politics as consciously and boldly as they did and, in those pre-internet times, they were a revolutionary label. They weren't earnest but they were militant. They thought there was a place for dissent in music by giving a shit and having faith in what you love. Some of us even loved their records! I don't blindly revere Sarah and I don't buy the false dilemma between them and Subway. Sarah did save my life; and I think that every time someone listens to their records or falls in love with them, something good lights up and there's a chance they might stumble upon the indiepop that we all love now.

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by Trev » Mon Mar 03, 2014 18:32

I think I'm a lot closer to Jay and A Fog Of Ideas views on this.....

I'm not being down on Sarah now per-se mainly because my views haven't really changed: I was never that bothered about what they released. Like I said elsewhere, plenty of good releases but plenty more that weren't for me. So much so I stopped paying attention to what they were releasing and started listening to DUB/Reggae and Trip hop. And Flying Saucer Attack.

And I think indiepop over the last 8 years owes very little to what Sarah did.

Odd Box inspiration for starting was blogging. And hearing exciting things that deserved to be released. In fact that was Lostmusic inspiration. Odd Box was born out of my frustrations of working in a team of 3!

As for the politics of it at all. I was in different place musically in the early/mid 90s and really wasn't that influenced by what the label stood for. I didn't hate the label. I just didn't care for it much either.

Saying that I wish I hadn't sold my handful of Sarah records in the mid 90s due to being skint. They're probably worth a packet now! ;-)
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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by Trev » Mon Mar 03, 2014 18:57

a fog of ideas wrote: But perhaps it was the end, the final word, perhaps we should all give up?
It's seen as the final word by some but that's no reason for the rest of us to give up. In fact the reason I release stuff/put shows on etc is because I refuse to give up. I refuse to believe that the side of indiepop I like is forever going to be seen as the poor rabid cousin of the more refined or classic indiepop sound (not that this was entirely what Sarah were about either).

I dunno. I'm rambling. If you love Sarah and what they released, that's good. If you didn't, that's not a crime either.
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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by linus » Mon Mar 03, 2014 19:54

crystalball wrote:Being down on Sarah because some people are discovering it now and think it's great seems absurd to me.
Well that is absurd, but that's not what I was suggesting, I probably need to articulate it better. I'm not down on Sarah, I'm down on what has always been a continual bane of my loving this thing whatever you want to call it (indiepop, I'm guessing) is and that's that from '85 onwards (I have noticed that) there has been a persistent chorus of voices buzzing away saying how 'the now' fails to match up to the past, so when I was doing my Saturday job in Tesco I routinely had the piss taken out of me for digging the Shop Assistants, The Wedding Present, The Pastels, etc by my supervisor who insisted Josef K, Orange Juice, the whole Postcard thing was so much better or when I was digging on Sarah there were these older popkids telling me it was fey, affected shit and on and on it went until now where it's not even done to cause offence it's just how music is consumed, all these received notions and mapped out histories where 'the now' is ignored and overlooked and digging on the past is so rehearsed and that seems so safe

That's what galls that it's almost too much of a risk for 'the young people' to say 'I dig this, it's new', that they'll have to wait ten years until it's fully documented, compiled and the liner notes are written and there's no chance of getting it wrong, that's my beef with the tumblr thing. The culture is set in aspic, it's congealed. The lesson of Sarah is not 'let's look back and only look back' it's surely 'this is one way of doing this, now go do it your way'?

That should be the lasting legacy, if there must be a legacy. Not people leafing through 'A Scene In Between' and making mental shopping lists of these trousers, that length of fringe, those particular boots, that band, etc.

Learn from history, don't re-enact somebody else's, create your own. Come home each night smelling of bonfires!

So I'm not down on Sarah at all, it coalesced so many of the approaches, attitudes and intent that was so exciting to me about all those POP things that came before or were happening concurrently. Unlike so many of my peers back then (and maybe now) I see this thing whatever we choose to call it as a continuing conversation back and forth through time, when the conversation picks up anew or deviates or new voices are added it revitalizes. To me, Sarah mattered for all those reasons, not just that it had a mostly impeccable discography.

And, yes, it still hurts that I let a girlfriend use my Field Mice and Sarah t-shirts as nighties and when we split up I never saw them again.

It still hurts.

*Sobs*

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by linus » Mon Mar 03, 2014 20:07

When I use the term 'the young people' I am massively overgeneralising, I do appreciate that... and also paying all young people a massive disservice... I'm referring to 'the consumers' not bands or labels or participants or what have you

And I am a 'consumer', ultimately that's what I am, but that's what I find odd, like how people 'consume', the choices people make, what informs those decisions, etc

I'll save that for the David Icke Forum

Time for my tablets...

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by Jay » Mon Mar 03, 2014 20:27

It's a great post altogether, but I particularly enjoyed this:
a fog of ideas wrote:And, yes, it still hurts that I let a girlfriend use my Field Mice and Sarah t-shirts as nighties and when we split up I never saw them again.
I still lay in bed at night, when I can't sleep, thinking about the T-Shirts I lost 20+ years ago. I never bought T-shirts with bands on them, but there was my b&w tie-dye, the one that had 'outrageous' encircling the whole T-Shirt (that was so cool and I only ever wore it once), a blue one from Burton's with a printed design on, MY PINK LE SHARK POLO SHIRT (that wouldn't have even been very comfortable to sleep in), my Barnsley FC away kit from the 90-91 season... all lost to phantom nighty wearers who disappeared in to the ether. I think most of the girls I went out with only did it for the T-shirts.

Sorry, back to Sarah...

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by linus » Mon Mar 03, 2014 22:24

I feel that I should make it clear, if it's not clear already, that my view of Sarah being 'revered' is purely supposition based largely on a hunch as is my view that tumblr is in anyway a barometer of what 'the young people' think or feel

My feelings for Sarah Records find me uncomfortably placed between those that dismiss it or choose to knock it and those that seem to suggest it was the ne plus ultra of this thing we call indiepop... the reality is that there a lot of people I know for whom Sarah was life-enhancing and great, etc and I feel a deep need to defend them against the former, while also insisting they are most definitely not the latter... which is why I feel the need to repeatedly explain myself in an attempt to avoid being misunderstood while gaily courting misunderstanding and the opprobrium of all

Can you dig it?

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by timahall » Tue Mar 04, 2014 19:44

So, um, what's everyone's favourite Sarah Records release? Mines a toss up between Unisex by Blueboy and Striving For The Lazy Perfection by The Orchids.

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by Trev » Tue Mar 04, 2014 19:47

Something by The Golden Dawn I think. My Secret World probably.
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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by timahall » Tue Mar 04, 2014 19:49

Trev wrote:Something by The Golden Dawn I think. My Secret World probably.
Now we're talking! That's a fantastic record. Weren't Christine's Cat from the flexi linked to The Golden Dawn? That wasn't Sarah's finest hour for sure.

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by Trev » Tue Mar 04, 2014 19:52

See I don't hate it all. I like The Field Mice and The Sea Urchins too. Not to mention Heavenly....

As for the flexi - yr asking the wrong person! I'm no aficionado on this stuff!
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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by linus » Tue Mar 04, 2014 20:27

All the Sea Urchins singles. The 14 Iced Bears single... I wasted so much time trying to find anything by the 'Bears prior to that release, think I managed the Ideal Guest House compilation they were on ('Like A Dolphin') and a flexi with a live version of 'Balloon Song' (but I craved more, more I tell you)... and I figured that would be it and then Sarah put out 'Come Get Me' and it was the most awesome thing for me back then, this label was on my side. The 'Some Gorgeous Accident' single by Blueboy. All the Heavenly releases Sarah put out. 'Emmas House'. 'Sensitive'. 'Something For The Longing'. 'These Things Happen/Boy Meets World'.

That's just skimming the surface of the singles...

Murray

Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by Murray » Tue Mar 04, 2014 22:00

Jay wrote:It's a great post altogether, but I particularly enjoyed this:
a fog of ideas wrote:And, yes, it still hurts that I let a girlfriend use my Field Mice and Sarah t-shirts as nighties and when we split up I never saw them again.
I still lay in bed at night, when I can't sleep, thinking about the T-Shirts I lost 20+ years ago. I never bought T-shirts with bands on them, but there was my b&w tie-dye, the one that had 'outrageous' encircling the whole T-Shirt (that was so cool and I only ever wore it once), a blue one from Burton's with a printed design on, MY PINK LE SHARK POLO SHIRT (that wouldn't have even been very comfortable to sleep in), my Barnsley FC away kit from the 90-91 season... all lost to phantom nighty wearers who disappeared in to the ether. I think most of the girls I went out with only did it for the T-shirts.

Sorry, back to Sarah...
Sally Broadbent's dog pissed on my Discharge 'Noise Not Music' T-shirt. I was wearing it at the time. Tsk!

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by richpassivity » Thu Mar 06, 2014 08:58

My faves:
SEA URCHINS - 'Pristine Christine'
HEAVENLY - '...Vs Satan'
FIELD MICE - 'Emma's House'
BRIGHTER - 'Poppy Day'
THE ORCHIDS - 'Lyceum'
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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by lloydybwoy » Fri Mar 07, 2014 15:22

timahall wrote:So, um, what's everyone's favourite Sarah Records release? Mines a toss up between Unisex by Blueboy and Striving For The Lazy Perfection by The Orchids.
Unisex was a revelation when I heard it. So Catch Him is pretty much the perfect start a record could ever wish to have.

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by Tomb » Fri Mar 07, 2014 17:25

My favourite Sarah tracks would be:

The Sea Urchins - Please Rain Fall
The Field Mice - End Of The Affair
Another Sunny Day - You All Should Be Murdered.
14 Iced Bears - Come Get Me

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by richardo » Mon Mar 10, 2014 00:25

Sea Urchins - Solace is a great tune, I also really like Gentle Despite - Shadow of a Girl

Gentle Despite also have a great tune on the Fierce Sarah records live bootleg. Does anybody know anything about them, there is absolutely nothing on the internet other than a link to another band Esmereldas Kite?

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by linus » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:37

Referring back to a post in the Lost/Unsung band's thread there's a couple of links there that may help, but information is rather scarce: http://www.anorakforum.com/viewtopic.ph ... 88#p198688

Gentle Despite seem to be Simon Westwood, the singer from Esmerelda's Kite, w/ an old school friend (Paul Gorton), possibly with Ian Masters from Pale Saints too (or maybe he just contributed to the GD demos?)

I loved the singles they did for Sarah... there was something a bit nocturnal and indoors/upstairs/in the attic about them, the power out, candles lit, to the creak of leather upholstery, one foot on the floor, a heady scented world (camphor oil and linament, petuli and lavender), etc

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by linus » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:03

Actually in respect of my earlier post where I skimmed the surface of the singles I didn't mention the Gentle Despite singles or 'Sunflower' by The Springfields, and these are records which had a profound effect on me to an almost molecular level, records that left me craving so much more than just music and records (although they were the starting point)... listening to them now, they're just deeply deeply achingly beautiful records to me, even if I know a thousand fucking musos might ridicule them and me for existing it wouldn't fucking matter to me, the 1,000 boring fuckers can fuck off, I don't listen and respond to music for their approval, I listen to and respond to music like this because it hits me right there... 'Summer In Me' or 'Sunflower' capture something so utterly right and vital, something I can be lost in for the 2 or 3 minutes they exist in time, something that seems so timeless and so infinite, a couple of wee groovy dreamy pop songs sung by people who sound like they may fall over if they dared to stand upright... and you wish the songs might never end

Anyway

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Re: The Sarah Records thread

Post by richardo » Tue Mar 11, 2014 01:00

a fog of ideas wrote:Referring back to a post in the Lost/Unsung band's thread there's a couple of links there that may help, but information is rather scarce: http://www.anorakforum.com/viewtopic.ph ... 88#p198688

Gentle Despite seem to be Simon Westwood, the singer from Esmerelda's Kite, w/ an old school friend (Paul Gorton), possibly with Ian Masters from Pale Saints too (or maybe he just contributed to the GD demos?)

I loved the singles they did for Sarah... there was something a bit nocturnal and indoors/upstairs/in the attic about them, the power out, candles lit, to the creak of leather upholstery, one foot on the floor, a heady scented world (camphor oil and linament, petuli and lavender), etc
FYI and anybody else who is interested in Gentle Despite, i contacted Ian Masters from Pale Saints regarding them and this was his response

"Well, there's really not much I can tell you. We played with them a
few times. I helped out when they recorded their first single. They
used to do a mean version of Interstellar Overdrive live, to "piss off
the twee pop kids".

I guess Simon and Paul don't want to be found. I thought Paul would
have continued doing music but I can't find any evidence of that.

Try checking the phone directory for the Westwood family in Leeds.
I'll try to find a postal address that you can try. I lost touch a
long time ago when I left England"

Friendly

Ian

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