Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bill Direen

I should probably start this blog post with a little disclaimer, this music is not really indie pop, but please don't let that stop you reading. It is very interesting music, it is quite different from stuff I usually listen to, but I love it none the less. A very cool unique release with an interesting story behind it.

Bill Direen is an interesting figure, not only releasing music, also writing books. He is what I consider to be a lost gem from the Flying Nun label. I always hear indiepop fans talking about The Bats, The Chills, The Clean etc ... but what about Bill Direen, who was in The Bilders, probably not talked about because it is more weird than pop.

The particular release I will be talking about is a 'new' EP (recorded in 1989 I think) from Bill, titled "Songs For Mickey Joe", Mickey Joe as in Michael Joseph Savage, the New Zealand politician, and first Labour party (the party that grew out of the unions) prime minister, from 1935 till his death in 1940. The songs were originally used in a play by Alan Brunton, about the life of Michael Joseph Savage.

Reading the liner notes that come with the CD it reads "Alan wanted a few tunes on piano that would have the flavour of parlour songs of the 1930s", and that is what these songs are, short, bouncy, piano ditties. I cannot tell you whether they have the 'flavour' of 1930s parlor songs, because I haven't really listened to any of that, but I can tell you this is a good listen.

This particular release was released by Powertool Records (Bill’s current label it would seem), you can buy the EP there as well as several other releases by him.

Interesting interview will Bill -

Songs :

Comrade Joe -
Soldier In The War -

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