Song: Big Blue Ball
Artist: Peter Gabriel, Manu Katche & Karl Wallinger, England, Frances, Wales
Album: Big Blue Ball, 2008
Notes: Terrific title cut from long-gestating World Music collaborative album conceived by and released on Gabriel's own Real World label. CD also includes Papa Wemba, Jah Wobble, Joseph Arthur and Deep Forest. Wallinger was World Party founder.
Song: Private Revolution
Artist: World Party, Wales
Album: Private Revolution, 1986
Notes: Welsh multi-instrumentalist Karl Wallinger with a splendid rolling groove. Suffered an aneurysm in 2001 but mercifully now recovered, performed for the first time in ages at last year's SXSW festival.
Song: String of Broken Lights
Artist: Paper Moon, Canada
Notes: Top-drawer overlooked modern rock bubbler from one of Canada's finest and least-known melodic rock outfits. Major lineup changes throughout their 11 years together with three different female lead singers.
Artist: Thomas Dolby, England
Notes: The return of the always original, always surprising electronic pioneer Dolby, good song from his first album in eons. Refreshingly organic and un-electro for him.
Song: Baby You’re My Light
Artist: Richard Hawley, England
Album: Late Night Final, 2001
Notes: Uncomplicated simple old-school melodies and arrangement from Hawley who was formerly a member of Brit Rockers, Pulp alongside Jarvis Cocker.
Song: Piano Song
Artist: Meiko, Roberta, GA
Album: Meiko, 2008
Notes: So underrated, yet another sweet winner from her outstanding maiden effort. Meiko is one quarter Japanese, but born in Georgia and now based in LA. Still in the studio working on her sophomore CD.
Song: Never Never
Artist: Assembly, England
Album: Never Never (single), 1983
Notes: Self-piteous in the extreme, but a delicious lost gem from Feargal Sharkey (ex-Undertones) and Depeche Mode co-founder, Vince Clarke. Extremely rare, sadly not available.
Song: Place de la Republique
Artist: Coeur de Pirate, Canada
Album: Blonde, 2011
Notes: Stunning World Music ballad from Canadian songstress, Beatrice Martin who's from Quebec and writes most of her songs in French. Began learning the piano as a 3-year old - a bright new talent.
Artist: Sam Gray, England
Album: Brighter Day, 2011
Notes: Rollicking debut single by promising new British pop-folkster: smart musical chops, sterling musicianship, catchy tunes, effortless delivery, a future coffee shop fave.
Artist: Neko Case, Alexandria, VA
Album: Middle Cyclone, 2009
Notes: Lovely number from reliable troubadour brought up in Tacoma, WA, but lived up in Canada for a while and became a part of the folk-rock Canadian music scene - also a long time collaborator with the New Pornographers band.
Artist: Alanis Morissette, Canada
Notes: Yet another superb song released as a single all over the world which mystifyingly failed to chart anywhere - quite bizarre given all the crap that does make the charts.
Song: Cranberry Lake
Artist: Ari Hest, Bronx, NY
Album: Twelve Mondays, 2009
Notes: Too good for prime time: how can an artist this good not get more attention? Lovely female co-vocal courtesy of Rosi Golan. More at www.arihest.com.
Artist: R.E.M., Athens, GA
Notes: Orchestral-backed swayer, the best of the three previously unreleased cuts on the new 52-track compilation. RIP R.E.M.
Song: Meet Me On The Corner
Artist: Lindisfarne, England
Album: Fog On The Tyne, 1971
Notes: Simple folk rock ditty from way back when. One of the best bands to ever emerge from the northern city of Newcastle, named after the small island off the coast of Newcastle called Lindisfarne. Founding frontman, singer-songwriter Alan Hull, died too soon at the age of 50 in 1995.
Song: Maybe Tomorrow
Artist: Molly Jenson, San Diego
Album: Maybe Tomorrow, 2009
Notes: A fine melodramatic outing Molly's only album to date (which was produced by L&F regular, Greg Laswell). Wonderful video blog on the increasingly fashionable tumblr website: mollyjenson.tumblr.com.
Artist: Lionel Richie, Tuskegee, AL
Album: Lionel Richie, 1982
Notes: 1 minute and 23 seconds of sappy perfection from the master of melody from his very first album - a warm thought for a cold season.
Song: Big Blue Western Skies
Artist: Rory Faithfield, Australia
Album: Songs for Sooner, 2009
Notes: Pastoral ease from singer-songwriter born down under but now mostly based in Dublin, Ireland. Album described by the Sydney Morning Herald as 'sublime, heart-stoppingly beautiful'.
Song: Ageless Beauty
Artist: Stars, Canada
Album: Set Yourself on Fire, 2004
Notes: Straight-ahead modern rock, a choice cut by one of L&F'S favorite bands. Fine combo is based around singer and longtime actor, Torquil Campbell, keyboard player Chris Seligman and lead singer, Amy Millan - who record in both New York and Montreal.
Song: Space Age Love Song
Artist: A Flock of Seagulls, England
Album: A Flock of Seagulls, 1982
Notes: Always bigger in the US than in their native UK, a fine pop-rock new wave nugget by deeply unfashionable band led by ex-hairdresser, Mike Score (who put that muppet, Donald Trump to shame with the most bizarre combed-back hair style (which he tried to make look like a seagull's wings).
Song: Let It Be Me
Artist: Rosie Thomas, Seattle
Album: If Songs Could Be Held, 2005
Notes: Fragile and winning acoustic cover of the immortal Everly Brothers classic, also featuring Ed Harcourt on guest vocals. Formerly signed to Sub Pop label (Nirvana).
Artist: Schuyler Fisk, Los Angeles
Album: The Good Stuff, 2009
Notes: Top quality songstress fare from actress-musician who was taught to play the guitar as a child by her mother, Oscar-winning thespian , Sissy Spacek. Interesting backstory video about the making of her recently issued sophomore album, 'Blue Ribbon Winner' at www.schuylerfisk.com.
Artist: Reindeer Section, Scotland
Notes: Distinctive lead vocals by Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody fronting a loose aggregation he called the Reindeer Section (a quieter more mellow alternative to his mainstream rock work with SP).
Artist: Jason Mraz, Mechanicsville, VA
Album: Mr. A-Z, 2005
Notes: A little pearl tucked away on his sophomore long-player (which was titled after his nickname, Mr. AZ).
Song: Two Shots
Artist: Elle King, Ohio
Album: Not available, 2011
Notes: Bitter and twisted corker - so much soul and grit in her performance, a top new talent, one to watch for sure. Just getting started on her career, just been snapped up by a major label and working on her maiden album: more at myspace.com/ellekingmusic.
Song: Church of the KLF
Artist: KLF, Scotland
Album: The White Room, 1991
Notes: 1:40 seconds of curious gospel-fuelled magic by the British Acid House pioneers fronted by the ever-controversial and enigmatic Bill Drummond (who was once manager of Echo & The Bunnymen).
Song: Lebanese Blonde
Artist: Thievery Corporation, Washington, DC
Album: The Mirror Conspiracy, 2000
Notes: Deftly mixing Indian (sitar) flavors with acid jazz, lounge and electronica. Always creative duo of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton. Track also featured on the essential 'Garden State' film soundtrack.
Song: True Believers
Artist: Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Springfield, MI
Album: Don't Look Down, 1977
Notes: Ace but lost Country rock swayer from the mid '70s. Perhaps the only southern rock act to ever feature the sitar. Despite their unfashionable style, band recorded some fine overlooked tunes in addition to their big hit, 'Jackie Blue'.
Artist: Lucy Schwartz, Los Angeles
Album: Keep Me, 2011
Notes: Eclectic pop from West Coast singer-songwriter who's toured with Sarah McLachlan's 'Lilith Fair' . Also cut a couple of tasty duets with L&F regulars, Landon Pigg and Aqualung.
Song: Wishing Weed
Artist: Jason Reeves, Iowa City, IA
Notes: Master tunesmith with an inherent sense of melody on a delicious new duet with Colbie Caillat. Seven of the eight tracks on new EP are superb - except for one clunker with overrated and mechanical Kara Dio Guardi.
Song: Deep Down Inside
Artist: Cheryl Dilcher, New York
Album: Butterfly, 1973
Notes: More rare than an honest politician, a completely buried melodic folk/pop lost treasure from an overlooked '70s songstress. Only available on hard to find vinyl LP.
Song: It Was Me
Artist: Nerina Pallot, England
Album: The Graduate, 2009
Notes: Old-style, big-screen ballad by the lovely British performer. She's just released a wonderful new CD, 'Year of the Wolf' which Geffen Records seems reluctant to release over here - why?
Song: Shine On
Artist: House of Love, England
Album: The House of Love, 1990
Notes: Fronted by the charismatic singer and main songwriter, Guy Chadwick, solid slice of modern rock from former British hipsters. Signed to the seminal Creation Records label which later snapped up Oasis.
Song: Extreme Ways
Artist: Moby, New York
Album: 18, 2001
Notes: The original version of a kick-arse tune which was subsequently remixed for the 'Bourne Identity' movie in 2002 and all things Bourne thereafter. Matt Damon's real name? - David Webb.
Song: Soul Boy
Artist: Blue Nile, Scotland
Album: High, 2004
Notes: Hypnotic grooves from one of Scotland's most under-appreciated acts. One of the songs included by film director Cameron Crowe on a private CD he made specifically for Matt Damon to woo him into accepting the lead male role in his new movie, 'We Bought A Zoo'.
Artist: Hey Rosetta!, Canada
Album: Seeds, 2011
Notes: One of the most energetic high energy live bands you'll ever see. Quartet from Newfoundland cleverly mixes an organic folk-rock sound with garage rock in an intriguing combination.
Song: Coffee and Cigarettes
Artist: Michelle Featherstone, England
Album: Fallen Down, 2006
Notes: Trying to get over the addiction of love, a fragile and yearning diamond from transatlantic transplant, Featherstone who studied at the Royal Academy of Music.
Song: Stolen Car
Artist: Beth Orton, England
Album: Central Reservation, 1999
Notes: Cracking cut from artiste who's now 40 and been recording for 20 years. After a long five-year break new music should finally emerge from Beth next year. A young and unaccredited Ben Harper on guitar on that lost gem.
Song: Fade To Grey
Artist: Visage, England
Album: Visage, 1980
Notes: Big New Wave/New Romantic hit around Europe and Australia in the early '80s, the only decent song recorded by British new wavers, Visage (led by fashion victim, Steve Strange). Produced by Midge Ure (who co-wrote 'Do They Know It's Christmas with Bob Geldof).
Song: Keep On Tryin’
Artist: Poco, Los Angeles
Album: Head Over Heels, 1975
Notes: Superb close-harmony shuffler from Country rockers who emerged same time and scene as the Eagles. Writer/lead vocalist of this track, Timothy B. Schmit subsequently joined the Eagles in 1977.