Wednesday, 31 March 2010
I stopped by Crying All The Way To The Chip Shop, where londonlee has posted a scene from one of my favourite films of my youth, Diner. In the scene, Shrevie is trying to explain, albeit rather scarily the merits of his record collection and the importance of filing said pieces of vinyl to a rather ambivalent Beth (Ellen Barkin), the scene encapsulates rather well how serious some people take music and in the end you feel rather sorry for Shrevie and the pathetic specimen of a man that he is.
The only other film which, comes close to conveying the, some would say, sorry life of the record collector is High Fidelity. When I first read the book there was a passage which got me to thinking, god I wish that would happen to me and I started to feel rather envious of Rob until I got a grip and reminded myself that it was a mere work of fiction but then again what if that happened. The scene was not in the finished film, however it has been posted on YouTube.
If you want to watch it you will have to click on the link as the embedding has been disabled for some reason.
I have always had a couple of problems with this scenario from the first time I read the book.
Firstly, the guy couldn't have thought that much of his collection in the first place if he left it and ran away with a young thing. Surely he knew what the consequences would be?
My second problem with the passage/scene is Rob's, frankly pathetic response when the wife says that she only wants fifty quid for the whole priceless collection. All that, "I couldn't do that to another collector" is bollocks, I don't know anybody who in that situation would walk away, no matter how straight your moral backbone was , it's sheer nonsense, you would be down at the cash machine in a shot, insisting that the lady go with you, just in case some other guy was to turn up while you were getting the cash. Anyway, if you combine it with my highly plausible argument in point one, then there really is no moral quandary anyway, as the guy didn't deserve the vinyl in the first place.
I used to have nightmares about coming home and finding that L, in a fit of pique had taken all of my records out and made one huge ashtray out of them in the back garden. It was my only worry. I have had to move them all on a couple of occasions and know exactly how much time and effort goes into shifting them, so I reasoned that if some burglar with such good taste managed to get them out of the house and whisked away without anybody being alerted then he (as it would most certainly be a male) deserved the haul.
A couple of years ago I was asked by somebody what record I would save if I only had time to get one out of the house? This thought troubled me, I would be so indecisive that the house would probably come crashing down around me while I was trying to choose. This preyed on my mind for quite a time until I came up with the solution.
So I bought 2 very good quality Swan flight cases, one which could holds 100 12" records and one which could hold 200" 7" ones.
A lot of difficult choices had to be made as to which records warranted inclusion in the boxes and the decisions were not made on financial value as quite a few of the records which are worth money such as the first Fireman album, were never in the running. It took some time but the contents haven't changed that much since then, there have been a few old ones that have had to make way for certain new ones but no major upheavels. At the moment I am debating as to whether the mighty Fall should have a box all of their own or would it be enough just to save the vinyl I have in the boxes and the Peel sessions box set.
Anyway, to the point of the post, does this information and the further disclosures to be made make me a sadsack or just someone with a healthy interest in music? I know which L believes.
Here are 2 records from the afore mentioned boxes
From the 7" box
Frightened Rabbit - Head Rolls Off
and the twelves
Slam - Positive Education
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
We have about 4 bloody inches of snow lying outside the house, so much for turning the heating off. This is getting beyond a joke, it has been known, for us to get the odd flurry of snow up here at the end of March beginning of April but not for it to resemble the bloody set of Dr Zhivago.
Still both boys are down, which is a bonus as M didn't fall asleep 'til half past ten last night, meaning that I was cleaning the kitchen at bloody midnight.
I think a bit of Isobel Campbell is in order.
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - The Circus Is Leaving Town
Monday, 29 March 2010
Not a lot of time for posting this week as L has decided to leave me and the boys for 4 days while she swans of to Dublin with work.
I've said it before but I will repeat myself, I have the greatest admiration for single parent households, how does anything ever get done? L's only been away little more than a day and the house resembles a squat which has seen a mini tornado in it's midst.
It is so much easier when there are 2 of you, you at least get a breather now and then. I'm only able to type this post because M is in the bath and L(2) is down (result!). I know that I should be doing something more productive at the moment but thought that I should do the post just now as by the time I get the stuff ready for the morning, M into bed and the kitchen tidied up it will most likely be midnight and I won't have the energy for a post.
This is not a feel sorry for Drew post, it's just I sometimes don't really appreciate what L has to put up with when i'm away every few weeks, granted it's usually only 1 or 2 nights but still
Anyway, here's something I haven't heard in ages and everybody probably already has but it's good to hear it again and it is the most effective use of a Clash sample I've ever heard
M.I.A - Paper Planes
It seems as though the picture facility isn't working on blogger, which is a pity because I found quite an amusing one.
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Another lovely bit of dub techno for a Sunday, don't worry this is not going to turn into a regular feature, the track just fits the way I'm feeling at the moment.
I say dub techno, but the track has a more blissed out, dare I say it, Balearic feel to it than Andy Stott's more usual Dubstep and Techno excursions and you can certainly hear and feel the Basic Channel influence.
Just the thing for a Sunday when you have had an hour's less sleep than usual and probably a few short of what's needed.
Andy Stott - Brief Encounter
Saturday, 27 March 2010
I was watching Synth Britannia on BBC 4 last night. I missed it the first time around. I have to admit that I wasn't a big fan of a lot of it. I really liked Gary Numan and John Foxx but could take or leave most of the rest.
I never understood what all the fuss was over the Human League and Depeche Mode. As for the fathers of it all, Kraftwerk I just never got it, I have always found their music boring.
Here is one synth pop track that I have always loved. Although I've had to reappraise my view of the vocalist on the track over the past couple of years coming to the conclusion ever the singer of John Peel's favourite song can be a cock.
The Assembly - Never Never
Friday, 26 March 2010
Back again to 1988, there really were quite a number of very good house records produced in the early days, I still have quite a few that I want to post. So if you are beginning to get bored with this series the bad news is, it may last for a few more weeks yet.
After last weeks dip into the world of acid house today's track takes us right back to more conventional House sounds with a track that was produced by Clivilles and Cole and released on Fever Records.
Notice Me was the third solo single by Sandee (Sandra Casanas). She was one of the three original members of the girl group Expose, who would become hugely successful in the States in the 90s, after she had left the group. She pursued a solo career and had a hit with the track Love Desire. Sadly, Sandee died of a seizure on 15th December 2008.
Here is her finest moment.
Sandee - Notice Me
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
Last Wednesday I saw SLF for the second time in 3 years, they did not seem quite as tight as they had on the previous occasion, but that may just have been due to my expectations being raised by the performance they gave that night and them not being the caricature of their former selves that I had imagined they would be beforehand.
It was also my distinct misfortune to witness, also for the second time in 3 years, the worst tribute band that I have ever seen (can there ever be anything but a bad tribute band), although my experience of this type of band is severely limited to this one band.
S and I discussed, why if you were a fan of a band would you try to then go on stage and do third rate covers of your heroes music? They couldn't be that deluded to think that they did any of the tracks the justice that they deserved, could they? If they were fans then they would have played these records hundreds of times and would have realised that what they were peddling was absolute pish in comparison. Which brings us back to why? I just can't fathom it out.
I have to confess though, me and S were definitely in the minority as most of the rest of the crowd gave them hearty applause after every murder and atrocity they committed. I can understand the urge to sing along to lyrics that have been seared into your brain but to applaud and give encouragement to what can only be classed as crimes against music makes those who do, complicit in those crimes in my eyes.
Still it could have been worse as S informed me that he had to endure Chelsea the previous year.
Here is my favourite ever Clash song, which is also one of my top 21 tracks ever and which that band totally ruined by taking all the subtlety away from and playing the song at about twice the speed of the original missing the whole point of the track in my eyes.
To paraphrase Joe Strummer - " Please mister, leave them alone"
The Clash - (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
I know very little about Gorodisch, other than it is the alias of , one Stephen Cracknell who also records under the name The Memory band. Gorodisch has released tracks on mid to late 90's Bristol based beatz label Cup of Tea and Leaf recordings
The track The Killing comes from Lost For Words, a Leaf sampler I bought years ago on the strength of A Small Good Thing being on the label and i had recently bought the 12" of Cooling System by them.
Don't let the title put you off, it is a rather nice track to start the week with.
Gorodisch - The Killing
Sunday, 21 March 2010
How about a bit of dub techno from the Basic Channel crew for a Sunday.
No Partial is a remix of a Wailers track by Berlin's Rhythm & Sound (Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus). First released in 2001 as the b-side of the Higher Field Marshall 10". I have to fess up and say that my 10" is the repress from this year and not the original, which when I could find a copy was out of my price range.
I have a few Rhythm & Sound 7" singles which may make an appearance over the coming months, but for the moment sit back and listen to 6 minutes of dub bliss.
Rhythm & Sound - No Partial
Saturday, 20 March 2010
It's one of the many pleasures of parenthood, (are you taking note C&K and congratulations) Saturday night telly. M likes Harry Hill, so we have to watch that. Tonight, Casino Royale is on for the umpteenth time and as L is a fan of Daniel Craig, we will be watching that. It's not that we don't have another telly in the house, it's just, well, a good excuse for me either to get the old vinyl out and have a nostalgia fest, or be sat here in the cupboard I amusingly call an office and inflict upon anybody who's interested this guff.
Still, it isn't all bad, Airdrie won today, an all too infrequent event this season. Doesn't mean we won't get relegated but it will mean that half of Dundee won't be happy tonight, which is par for the course really, but it's nice to know that the Diamonds will be responsible for their puses tripping them.
Here is a very housey remix of Green Velvet for your delectation. This remix by Studio 54 is built round a sample of Lou Rawls "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" which is kinda in keeping with the soulful vibe that seems to be about the blogosphere this weekend, what with Davy at The Ghost Of Electricity posting the 4 Tops yesterday and Swiss Adam and North Country Boy both posting Motown remixes today.
Green Velvet - Never Satisfied ( studio 54 re-re mix)
Friday, 19 March 2010
I've been over to Swiss Adam's bit and after listening to Sunglasses after Dark, this popped into my head. Wanda has been in my thoughts recently, not least because the Fall cover Funnel Of Love on the new album, which will be out on the 24th of April.
Wanda Jackson - Mean Mean Man
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Here is the second release on the Sabres Of Paradise label from 1993.
Secret Knowledge were Kris Needs, music journalist turned musician/remixer and Wonder Schneider vocalist who also recorded as Delta Lady on Hard Hands.
The duo produced 2 singles for Sabres of Paradise, Sugar Daddy which is probably the better known release and Ooh Baby which is a bit of a laid back, dubby, progressive house classic. They went on to release an album on Deconstruction in 1995 which I didn't buy so can't tell you if it was any good or not.
Secret Knowledge - Ooh Baby
I'm off back to the late 70's tomorrow night or so it seems when you walk into the Barrowlands on St Patrick's night to see SLF and then I'm off to Belfast at stupid o'clock on Thursday morning, so probably won't post anything until Friday.
Monday, 15 March 2010
The first time I heard this track was way back in 1995 when I would religiously tape Pete Tong's Essential Mix on a Saturday night, although I think I may have set the timer for the first half of this as it went out on my birthday and more likely than not I would have been in the pub. The track was segued between Ray Charles and The Winston's in probably the most eclectic and possibly the second best essential mix, I've ever heard. At the time the mix was credited to Portishead but I think in reality it would have been Andy Smith, who was responsible. If you haven't heard it or just want to hear the mix again, it can be found here.
It would be a couple of months until I found out the name of the track, courtesy of MixMag, who in those days used to supply the track listings to essential mixes in handy cut out and keep cassette inlay card sized form.
Spreadin' Honey by Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band started life as a theme song for a DJ called Magnificent Montague, you couldn't make this stuff up. The track became so popular that LA producer and Keyman Records producer Fred Smith decided to release it as a single in 1967 under the moniker of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm band, who would become established as a stable line-up the following year and would go on to release tracks such as Do Your Thang and Express Yourself.
Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Spreadin' Honey
A nice piece of mellow American indie rock to ease you into the working week.
Maria Taylor was a label mate of Conor Oberstat Saddle Creek when the later was in Bright Eyes, she also collaborated with him and sang backing vocals on a few Bright Eyes tracks. Oberst repayed the favour, singing backing vocals on the track posted here.
Song Beneath The Song can be found on Taylor's excellent first album 11:11 released in 2005. Her third album LadyLuck was released in March last year.
Maria Taylor - Song Beneath The Song
Sunday, 14 March 2010
I was just thinking yesterday, as I walked past the empty and rather dilapidated former Woolies, that I missed my Saturday visit with M and the tantrums that entailed when I refused to buy him the largest toy he could find in the store. I do not however miss the mad sugar rushes that used to ensue later on in the day when he loaded himself up on the crap that I capitulated on and bought much to the annoyance of his mother.
I also started wondering what all of the kids now did on a Saturday morning and how they spent their pocket money. Every weekend me and S would go up the street first thing and spend all of our pocket money on a single from either Woolies or Menzies
Woolies was always the best as it stocked the top 40 singles, whereas John Menzies only had the top 20. I remember one fraught Saturday, racing up to buy the UK Subs, Party In Paris on orange vinyl, as on the Friday there had only been 2 copies in the store. When we got there we found that one had been purchased. Being the magnanimous sort, I let S buy it, if the truth be told I didn't really like the track. The UK Subs weren't my favourite band, I do however still like Warhead, which came on brown vinyl. I think that the rare UK Subs singles were the ones which were on black vinyl as I can't actually remember ever seeing any on black vinyl.
My earliest memory of Woolies was the one in Airdrie, where I remember getting plastic figures of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman, this was before I started to focus on small pieces of black plastic.
Here is one of the first singles I remember buying from Woolies.
SLF - At The Edge
and also Nanci Griffiths ode to Woolies
Nanci Griffiths - Love At The Five And Dime
Saturday, 13 March 2010
I've never been a fan of Malcolm McLaren but I've got to give it to him that over the years he has been associated with some great records. Whether that be with the Sex Pistols, Bow Wow Wow or the stuff that was produced under his own name.
He certainly had a knack of being a bit of, if not a musical pioneer then someone who brought new styles of music to the attention of a wider audience, whether that be punk, hip-hop, African sounds or Opera.
Here is the remix of one of my favourite tracks by McLaren. Amongst the production credits on the original are Bootsy Collins and Phil Ramone. The remix was done by Mark Moore and William Orbit.
Lisa Marie with Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra - Something's Jumpin' In Your Shirt (Walk The Body mix)
Friday, 12 March 2010
How about a bit of minimal techno for a Saturday?
I know very little about this track, can't even recollect where or when I got it. I just know that it just builds and builds and makes good use of a sample from The Drum Club's You Make Me Feel So Good.
Kenny Hawkes & David Parr - The Boobytrap (Serge Santiago mix)
I'm not sure how much longer this series of early House tracks will go on for but it has been fun digging out the 12 inch singles and I have been shocked by how dated some of the tracks sound now and pleasantly surprised by others which I thought would have dated badly but actually still sound great, transporting me back to when I really didn't have a care in the world, apart from unemployment, Thatcher, the cold war and the prospect of Mutually Assured Destruction, so nothing really that important.
Rok Da House was one of those twelves that I picked out thinking that there was no way that it would even sound half decent after 23 years (jesus!). But I think that it holds up pretty well.
The Beatmasters were a British production trio who had quite a bit a few hits during the late 80's in collaboration with the likes of P.P. Arnold, Yazz, Betty Boo and on this, their first single, with British female hip-hop duo the Cookie Crew; producing a track which I think invented one of the first sub genres of House, Hip-House.
The track was released in late 1987 and climbed the UK charts reaching number 5 in early 1988.
The Beatmasters feat The Cookie Crew - Rok Da House
Thursday, 11 March 2010
I guarantee that this will be my last bit of yearning for a bygone age, for a while at least.
The Angelic Upstarts were a punk band who espoused socialist values and were also one of the first bands with an anti-fascist agenda. Their first single " The Murder Of Liddle Towers" concerned itself with the death of a 39 year old man from Gateshead from injuries sustained in custody at the hands of the police.
The band were grouped in with the Oi faction of punk, which I never understood as to me the Oi bands and the creator of the genre Gary Bushell were a bunch of fascist bastards, although this is supposedly not the case and the movements roots were in working class socialism. I never found much of a socialist message in the dross of the 4Skins, Anti-Pasti, the Exploited and others.
Angelic Upstarts have released 19 singles and 11 studio albums and as far as I am aware are still going strong. The track posted was a single in 1983 and can be found on the album Reason Why.
The title of the track, Solidarity is in reference to the Polish shipyard workers trades union led by Lech Walesa which at the time were being repressed by the Communist regime in that country but who by 1989 led a coalition government and did much to contribute to the downfall of communism.
Angelic Upstarts - Solidarity
As a bonus here are a couple of the b-sides of the 12" single. The first is a spoken word thing from Mensi and the second is a surprising track from the band which sounds like it could be an early out take from the Redskins but without Chris Dean's earnest, political lyrics and soulfull vocals.
Angelic Upstarts - Dollars and Pounds
Angelic Upstarts - Don't Stop
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
My mate has once again talked me into going to SLF's annual St Patrick's Night pilgrimage to the Glasgow Barrowlands. The excuse he used this time was that it may be the last one and how would I feel if I missed it? As eluded to yesterday I have been wallowing in quite a bit of nostalgia of late, so I thought what the hell.
If past experience is anything to go by they will do a blistering cover of Doesn't Make It Alright, the original of which can be found on The Specials first album. It is very difficult to pick a stand out track from that album as even listening now every track still sounds great but if I had to pick just one, then it would be the one posted, I just love everything about it.
The SLF version can be found on the b-side to Just Fade Away, another track which still sounds great, or you could splash out and get All The Best, every one a classic, well apart from 3 or 4 which I never really got into.
Specials - Doesn't Make It Alright
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Monday, 8 March 2010
The Ghosts Of Cable Street tells the story of a battle that took place in that street in London on Sunday 4th October 1936 when a coalition of anti-fascists including communists, trades unionists, members of the Jewish community and others reacted to Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists legally marched with the aid of the Police through the East-End of London, where a large number of Jewish people lived.
The anti-fascist demonstrators, who numbered an estimated 300,000 decided to barricade the route and thus prevent the blackshirts from marching. The Police had other ideas and cleared the barricades which enraged the demonstrators who started throwing anything at hand at the police and a riot ensued. The march by Mosley and his scum was stopped, however at the cost of quite a few injuries amongst the protestors and police alike.
The ringleaders of the protest were found guilty of affray and sentenced to 3 months hard labour, however as a result of the riot the 1936 Public Order Act was passed which stated that political marches needed to be sanctioned by the police and that marchers could not wear political uniforms such as the black shirts did. It is thought that the passing of this act had a direct result on The British Union of Fascists decline.
It just goes to show that some laws do turn out to have the desired effect.
I was reminded of this song when listening to a BBC programme today Hate Against Hope. But also at the weekend I overheard some rascist comments by people who I thought knew better. It seems as though we still need people like Joe Jacobs and the others these days.
The Men They Couldn't Hang - The Ghosts Of Cable Street.
Friday, 5 March 2010
Today's track comes courtesy of one of the pioneers of early British House music Mark Moore.
S'Express came to the attention in the UK in April 1988, when Theme From S'Express was released and reached number 1 in the UK charts. I love Theme with it's Rose Royce and Gil Scott-Heron samples but thought that everyone would have the track.
So here is the follow-up single, Superfly Guy, in it's Fluffy Bagel remix form which is a 303tastic acid remix by Mark McGuire which I think still sounds great today.
More acid to follow in the coming weeks.
S' Express - Superfly Guy (Fluffy Bagel mix).
I'm off down south for a do this weekend, so there will be no communication from the kitchen table until either Sunday night if I'm feeling up to it but more likely Monday.
Enjoy This Trip
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
I've not been in the best of moods over recent days and was rooting around for something to cheer me up and played today's track. It is something that I have thought about posting now and then but decided to keep in reserve for that special day.
Today I decided that it should be heard more often as it is such a joyous track and has perked me up measurably this afternoon.
As a result of hearing this tune in the past, M had a picture in his mind that Fatcher, as he is want to call it had a pointy hat and a broomstick. When he was in the position to put a picture to his imaginings, it didn't really change his original picture. When I pointed it out to him, when an image of the beast came on the telly, I think it may have been on the news a couple of years ago he said that she looked more like a ghost than a witch, to which I could not disagree. Unfortunately, I can't seem to dispel the idea that he has that she has super human powers.
Last summer we had quite a thunderstorm here. I was in the dinning room/record room when the first crack of thunder happened. It was extremely loud and the house shook, about 3 seconds later M ran down the stairs, burst through the door and shouted one word "Fatcher". I reasoned with him and told him that she had nothing to do with the weather and it was all to do with atmospherics (I'm no weatherman) and that she was no longer in a position to harm anyone which sort of calmed him down, although i think he remained wholly unconvinced.
Sadly I'm increasingly beginning to think that that statement is no longer the case. I fear that very soon her ideas will be hurting an awful lot of people, through her bastard spawn and his Bullingdon Club cronies.
Hefner - The Day That Thatcher Dies
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
I've just finished reading the Dave Thompson biography of Phil Spector, Wall Of Pain. The book is a comprehensive look at Spector's life, studio sessions and plainly unhinged behaviour of which I feel that Thompson is far too ready to justify. An example of which is when recounting the story of when Spector pulled a gun on Walter Cronkite's daughter at a Christmas bash hosted by Joan Rivers, Thompson writes "Context, of course, is everything and Spector has never publicly spoken about why he pulled the gun" It doesn't matter why he pulled the gun, Dave, there is no justification.
If you can put the bias to one side the book is rather informative about Spector's relationship with many of the musicians he worked with. It also shows, how at a very young age Spector knew what he wanted to do and was able to realise his ambitions by learning quickly how to play the game and beat the music establishment at their own game.
I have a feeling that a lot of the stories around Spector's erratic behaviour in the studio has been somewhat embellished over the years or why were the same musicians willing to go back in the studio session after session, year after year. It certainly can't be due to lack of work. As these musicians must have been sought after having been involved in so many hit singles in the early 60's.
There is one big what if in the book. During 1979 Spector was looking around for a new project and turned his attention on Blondie. Spector had first noticed the band when they were the support for the Ramones at The Whisky A Go Go in 1977 and had followed their progress since. Blondie, however, aware of the antics during the recording of the Ramones, End Of The Century album with Spector, declined his offer to produce. One can only dream of what could have been the result of those sessions if both band and producer had got it together.
During what I think will have been Spector's last production session, for Starsailor, James Walsh marvelled at what the producer could do in the studio without the use of modern technology such as Pro Tools. "It was an amazing experience, first and foremost. To see for example, the way he could make a string quartet sound like an orchestra|" he is quoted as saying.
The final chapter deals very briefly with the events of the early hours of 3rd February 2003 when the actress Lana Clarkson was found dead at Spector's house in Alhambra and the record producers eventual indictment for murder on the 19th of September. The book went to print long before the case would eventually come to court and Spector sentenced to 19 years to life for second degree murder on 29th May 2009. Spector now resides in the Corcoran state prison which also houses Charles Manson.
My overwhelming impression of Spector after reading this book, hasn't changed from the one I formed of him after reading Ronnie Bennet's autobiography and He's A Rebel, a previous biography by Mark Ribowsky, that of a deeply troubled individual capable of greatness in the studio but a wholly inadequate human being who at times was incredibly dangerous to be around.
What doesn't sit well with me sometimes is the sheer pleasure that I get out of the work of a convicted murderer. Is it wrong to still get enjoyment out of the work of such a person, is it possible to detach Spector from his "little symphonies for the kids"? I just don't know and should I be bothered when these days it seems to be a badge of honour in some music genres to boast about your criminal past?
Still, a man who once reffered to the Spice Girls as the antichrist can't be all bad.
Here is the results of that final Spector session.
Starsailor - Silence Is Easy