Episode 49: Kitchens of Distinction

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“If I Haven’t Heard It, It’s New to Me” month is coming to a gorgeous if baffling end as we cover one of the most inexplicably underrated bands this side of The Chameleons: Kitchens of Distinction.

Founded in Tooting, London in the late 80’s as a three-piece, Kitchens of Distinction is maybe the most unjustly ignored band we’ve done for this show. Their take on dream pop and shoegaze was entirely distinct, consisting more of dreamy swirls of sound than the fuzzy walls of other bands, while still maintaining a rockier edge than, say, Cocteau Twins. They were sonic innovators with an openly gay frontman and the most beautiful pop songs this side of Slowdive, and yet the four albums they released before breaking up were completely out of print until late last year. And, anecdotally, no one I’ve ever spoken to has ever heard of this band.

Hopefully that’s starting to change. Along with last year’s crowd-funded (!) reissue campaign came some Pitchfork-branded recognition when they placed Kitchens of Distinction’s second album, Strange Free World, at number 22 on their list of the greatest shoegaze albums of all time. And now we’re here, spreading the word to our literally dozens of listeners, you (hopefully) included.

We had a blast making this, as you’ll surely hear: the band is just so good, it’s hard not to be extremely upbeat about them—at least, until we talk about their unjust death and regrettable reunion album. But it’s ok, because we have a pretty rad concert report at the end to bring us all back up. Also: sonic double downs, subway farts, and the best Daniel Craig movie ever, hands down, fuckin’ fight me.

 

Music:

Margaret’s Injection
In a Cave
Prize
The 3rd Time We Opened the Capsule
Drive That Fast
Polaroids
Quick as Rainbows
What Happens Now
When in Heaven
4 Men
Cowboys and Aliens
Here Comes the Swans
Sand on Fire
I Wish it Would Snow
Gorgeous Love
Hammer
Innocent

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