Adorable’s Pet Fij comments on NME’s shutting down of its print edition

This was posted on Pete Fij’s (Pete Fijalkowski) facebook profile here.

“A lot of internet chatter about the demise of the NME magazine which is about to finish publishing it’s last print edition, so just thought I’d share some of the pivotal points in my early career involving the paper which kind of sums up the highs and lows of my career and relationship with the print press of the time.

It’s hard to emphasise now just how influential and important the NME was. It was Facebook and Twitter. It was the internet. There were maybe 3 or 4 roots to your audience – the NME, Melody Maker, Radio One (evening shows with Mark Goodier or John Peel) or maybe SNUB tv. That was it, but top of the pile, if you were to have just support from one of those, it would be the NME every day of the week – it led the way head and shoulders in terms of importance for all things indie/alternative

Adorable first got came to wider attention back in late summer of 1991 when a white label we had pressed up got picked up and got a rave write up in the NME from Simon Williams which led to us coming tantalizingly close to signing with Rough Trade.

A few months later in January 1992 we got invited by NME to be part of their ‘NME On For 92’ showcase gig at The Venue in New Cross, London which brought unsigned or very new bands to the attention as ‘ones to watch’ – it was I suppose what the BBC’s ‘Sound Of’ is these days, often these showcase nights would feature bands who would go on to be huge, so the public and industry alike would come to see the next big thing. There were 8 bands over the 2 nights – we played with Suede on our night, both of us unsigned at that point, PJ Harvey was headlining the following evening. We went on stage knowing this was a pivotal moment, our one big chance, and we played a blinder of a show. I recall coming off and saying to others, “if we don’t get signed after that, we never will”. The next morning our manager Ed Connelly was struggling to keep up with all the offers coming in, he kept ringing us back every couple of hours with updates (“Cherry Red have made an offer, and RCA have left a message, and Chrysalis want a meeting tomorrow”) – we had probably a dozen offers, including several major labels, but Creation Records was the one that mattered (though we flirted with the idea of signing to Blur’s Food Records as well).

Our debut single (take 2) ‘Sunshine Smile’ got Single of The Week in NME (again reviewed by Simon Williams who said it was one of the best things since The Railway Children….hmmm), and this coupled with topping the NME indie charts was for me a real feeling of arriving. I remember opening the paper in a small side street in London outside the venue we were playing and seeing we were #1 in the NME charts and thinking “YEEEESSS!” I’d bought the paper every week, and used to pour over reviews, interviews, and the charts, so achieving these two milestones with our first release was a massive achievement. What I wasn’t to know that the first week of my career would be the high point and it’d be down hill from then on. Probably just as well.

Wil and myself did the interviews, and our attempts to distance ourselves from the attitude-light shoegazing movement, and align ourselves more to our outspoken heroes such as Morrissey, Julian Cope & Ian McCulloch, pushed us too far in the eyes of the press the other way, and we were considered pretentious arty know it alls (although there was more than a grain of truth in that!), and seen as egotistical and arrogant. That we had managed to achieve this image in 2 interviews that ran in total for just over a page means we made quite an impression, but sadly for us the wrong one, and we never got interviewed again in either the Melody Maker or the NME for our entire career after our debut single.

To make matters worse, our 3rd single ‘Homeboy’ (which I think was our best release) didn’t even get reviewed in the NME, despite the fact that our first two singles were hanging around the top end of the indie charts. ‘Sistine Chapel Ceiling’ got another single of the week, but still no interview feature piece.

NME - "The Ego Has Landed" (Adorable)
NME – “The Ego Has Landed” (Adorable)

I knew we were in serious trouble when in a small written 1/8th page Q&A piece in the NME to coincide with the album, they substituted my written answer to a question with a quote from a previous interview taken out of context and deliberately chosen to paint me as an arrogant tosser. I was advised by my press officer not to complain but I was furious that something so clearly black and white as a written answer to a questionnaire could be ignored and so openly manipulated, and how a persona was being created for me by the press (there would be a slow drip of casually referencing our egotism in the reviews of other bands etc all the while) over which I had no right to reply apart from the wingey “woe is me” single ‘Kangaroo Court’ (“I know I’m losing my appeal / cause I was hung, drawn and quartered before my trial / and every single thing that’s not real / was put before the jury without the privilege of denial”).

NME 05.02.92
NME 05.02.92

Our debut album ‘Against Perfection’ came out in March 1993 and the review in the NME described it as “a flawed classic” which I rather liked , though the 6/10 score seemed to go against the largely positive write up. We were later told by the reviewer that he had given it a higher score, but the reviews editor who didn’t like us had marked his score down, and it was at that point I realised that the stakes were stacked too high against us and it would be a miracle to turn this ship around.

By the time our second album ‘Fake’ came out in the autumn of 1994, we were on the ropes. The NME review finished us off mercilessly, complaining the album was “drenching us with tawdry non-songs and dashed promises that are anodyne and limp-wristed” with a 5/10 score (that probably DID reflect the reviewer’s opinion this time). Battered and bruised we called it a day realising that without support of our label (who had been distant from us from the word go), or the most important player in the music business at the time we were pretty much sunk.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

So a genuine thanks NME, and an equally genuine no thanks.”


The Catherine Wheel’s Happy Days to be re-released for Record Store Day

Happy Days, The Catherine Wheel’s 3rd album, is being re-released for Record Store Day on April 21st. (Can we get Adam & Eve, please? If anyone wants to sell me their copy then please message me.)

Limited, one-time pressing of 2000 copies.

Here is the official Record Store Day text on the re-release:

‘Happy Days is the third full-length album by English alternative rock band Catherine Wheel, released in 1995. Like its predecessor, Chrome, it was produced by Gil Norton, and the influences of heavy metal and hard rock are prevalent on this album; however, the band does retain some elements of the shoegazing style that dominated their previous albums, particularly on the songs “Heal” and “Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck”.’

1. God Inside My Head – 3:52
2. Waydown – 3:14
3. Little Muscle – 3:04
4. Heal – 6:13
5. Empty Head – 3:12
6. Receive – 3:35
7. My Exhibition – 2:27
8. Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck – 8:06
9. Shocking – 3:58
10. Love Tips Up – 3:55
11. Judy Staring at the Sun – 3:56
12. Hole – 3:49
13. Fizzy Love – 3:34
14. Glitter – 4:10
15. Kill My Soul – 5:10


CCFX, new EP from Olympia, Washington Indie Rock Outfit

Olympia, Washington outfit CCFX has already garnered some nice media coverage from Pitchfork (7.5 rating) and NPR Music.

CCFX is a new group resulting from a merger between two Olympia pop music outfits; CC Dust and Trans FX. On their debut self-titled EP, artists Chris McDonnell, Mirče Popovic, Mary Jane Dunphe and David Jaques offer a record that is at once a showcase and an aberration of what is currently coming out of the Pacific Northwest.

The opening track, The One To Wait, sounds like an early version of The Cure doing their own take on Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner.  Maybe it’s only the drum beat but still.

Recommended if you like: The Cure, The Chameleons UK

Listen to more and buy the album/download here. (bandcamp)


Recorded and (re)mixed with local OG Captain Tripps, the EP’s sound partially recalls late 90’s/early 00’s indie pop as chiming, melodic guitar parts counter and complement Mary Jane’s brilliant voice. In the same vein of the past few decades’ most beloved and coveted hitmakers (both in the clubs as well as on the radio), the music feeds on a sense of nostalgia not necessarily specific to any one time or place – sun-kissed riffs seem to go on forever, supported by a steady breakbeat.

The timbre of the music is warm and just slightly fuzzed out, and the expressive quality of Mary Jane’s voice is pushed to the front. The b-side’s “Ode,” a late CC Dust piece, and “2Tru,” written by Popovic, were put together around the time of Trans FX’s The Clearing, whereas “The One to Wait” and “Venetian Screens” found Dunphe, Jaques and McDonnell picking up where they left off a year later, swept up in the productive frenzy leading to TFX’s latest effort, Gaslit.

CCFX, over the course of this palpable evolution, have struck that rare yet essential balance between heartfelt sincerity and calculated disillusionment, bearing the mark of a project which is as fearless as it is humble, out there living as big as it wants to be. These four tracks grant listeners access to suppressed and superseded feelings from youth, paired with a backwards glint of whatever strange luxury this epoch’s future might still hold. FFO St Etienne, Q Lazarus, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, dancing, celebrations, success stories, TFX, CCの, etc.


Juliana Hatfield “Hey Babe” 25th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue Pre-Order

American Laundromat Records has announced the 25th anniversary reissue of Juliana Hatfield’s “Hey Babe”. It’s available for pre-order now.


“We cannot be more excited to reissue Juliana Hatfield’s debut album “Hey Babe” on vinyl to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. We took great care to have our friend and long-time collaborator, Sean Glonek at SRG Studios newly master from the original 1/4″ analog tapes. The artwork has been recreated from the original LP art but with a little twist thanks to the skill and creativity of award-winning designer, Aaron Tanner of Melodic Virtue. This exclusive limited-edition pressing, in a single-pocket gatefold jacket, was pressed by hand at Burlington Record Plant in Burlington, VT.”

Pressing Information:

  • Mystery Wild Card Color Vinyl (50 pressed) Label Exclusive (Sold Out) [They usually do two or three different variations though sometimes just 1 color]
  • Clear Vinyl (100 pressed) Label Exclusive
  • Translucent Green Vinyl (175 pressed) Label Exclusive
  • Virgin Black Vinyl (325 pressed)
  • Translucent “Amethyst” Purple Vinyl (350 pressed)

*Please know due to licensing restrictions, we are unable to include digital downloads.

All “Bundle” pre-orders will be signed by Juliana
Test Pressings will be signed & personalized by Juliana
All pre-orders ship in early March 2018, unless your order included “Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John.” In this case, everything will ship in early April.

“Hey Babe” was produced by Gary Smith (Pixies, Throwing Muses, Blake Babies), and was originally released on Mammoth Records back in 1992. The album featured a bevy of guest players, including Mike Watt, Evan Dando, John Wesley Harding, Clay Tarver, Chick Graning, and Todd Philips.


Abbey Road Studios engineer Sean Magee talks about working on The Beatles vinyl releases


Mixonline has a great interview with Sean Magee, Abbey Road Studios engineer, about The Beatles recent vinyl releases.

It’s an interesting and informative read for those interested in vinyl. He explains the challenges involved that’s worth the read even if you’re not a fan of The Beatles. He explains how they used test pressing after test pressing and even different types of pressings, traditional lacquer versus Direct Metal Mastering (DMM), to get the best possible quality.

You can buy the highly recommended 2014 The Beatles mono box set and will have the best sounding copy money can buy and for a reasonable price.



Fazerdaze is the shoegaze/dream pop project of Amelia Murray, of Wellington, New Zealand. She released her debut self-titled EP in October 2014, recording it entirely in her bedroom studio in Auckland. With the help of multi-instrumentalist, Jonathan Pearce, who mastered the release, she created a dream-pop sound, using electric guitars and effect pedals.

Morningside, the debut album, was released on May 5, 2017.



The Beatles seminal Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Edition, A Must Have?

It’s 2017 and it’s been 50 years since The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They are releasing a newly remixed 50th-anniversary edition. Is it worth it?

Giles Martin, George Martin’s son, discusses it here with Bob Boilen on NPR, with excellent original mono, hastily produced original stereo, and now 50th-anniversary edition audio examples and explains what has changed.

One of the big differences is that the original tapes required “bouncing” multiple tracks down onto a single track in order to make room for the remaining tracks. This lowered the quality of the recordings. For this new edition, they are not doing that.

Additionally, NPR’s Terry Gross also interviewed Giles Martin as well. They discuss experimentation, both musically and with drugs.

Both interviews discuss the multi-piano E-chord used to create the ending for A Day In The Life.

Terry Gross interviews Beatles Ringo Starr And Paul McCartney the next day. They don’t discuss specifics of the new anniversary release but discuss various Beatles’ moments: first meeting other members, the meaning behind “Yesterday”, and a touching moment when Paul and John bonded.

Buy the new 50th-anniversary special edition on CD, 2-LP vinyl, mp3, or streaming here.


My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields discusses the new Loveless all-analog vinyl release and compromises

Pitchfork interviewed Kevin Shields and they discussed the soon to be released all-analog Loveless vinyl release, his hearing changes through the years, and the new My Bloody Valentine album they are working on (to be released in 2018).

Regarding the decision to press a single disc instead of a double LP:

I wanted it to actually be played the way it was originally conceived, which is basically an A and B side: Loveless is like a mirror image of itself on each side. It works as a continuous thing. That’s where I got a little nuts, but it was one of the things that I got right [initially]. The obvious thing to do in this day and age would be to cut it onto two vinyls. That’s something I will do someday, just for the pure sound quality. But from the perspective of listening to it, I didn’t want that to be the only version that people had access to, because it just breaks it up. There are compromises.

You can read the whole interview here.


There is a new Rolling Stone interview posted 11/15/2017 that is worth a read.

began exploring sounds influenced more by the Smiths, the Cure and the guitar of the Byrds. To Shields’ ears, his playing on My Bloody Valentine’s earliest records represented a “perversion of a guitar sound,” meaning “it’s extremely clean, extremely small and just noise – in a way not trying to be impressive.”

“Shields’ big inspirations around this time were American bands: Dinosaur Jr., some Sonic Youth and, “particularly for me,” Public Enemy. “The sound on the first two Public Enemy records were very mid-rangey,” he says. “They weren’t hi-fi hip-hop records. It wasn’t music that was designed for an arena, and I loved up-frontness of that sound and the lack of attempting to pacify the listener with prettiness.”