I was listening to this track yesterday and thought that it could do with posting again. as it was in Feb 2009 when this originally appeared on the blog.
To continue with the positive attitude of this blog here is a typically odd release from British Sea Power.
A Lovely Day Tomorrow is a collaboration between BSP and the Czech band The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa. The track is one of three tracks on a cd released only in the Czech Republic to celebrate that country's entry into the EU. It was made available in limited quantities in the UK during BSP's 2004 tour and also via the band's website.
The song deals with the story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia and one of the architects of the "final solution") at the hands of 2 Czech agents.The cd was limited to 1942 copies which happens to be the year in which said assassination took place.
We haven't had anything from the mighty Fall for a while. Here is a track that finds Mark and the gruppe in a reflective mood. This track is from the 1990 release, Extricate the first album released after Brix Smith left.
I went to see Allo Darlin' at the Captain's Rest last night. Their album was one of the highlights of last year for me and Dreaming made the Tracks of My Year. I didn't quite know what to expect live, there was a possibility that this could end up all twee and horrible. I needn't have worried, it turned out to be a great night with the band sounding fuller live than they do on record and not a hint of twee, even when Elizabeth came on on for the first encore just her and her ukulele and performed Tallulah which turned out to be quite beautiful. As for the arses who carried on their conversation through this, why the fuck do you bother going to see bands?.
Anyway, if you want a good night out with plenty of unassuming happy indie pop and you can get to either Manchester tonight, or Bristol, Cardiff, Cambridge or London over the next week you could do worse than go and see Allo Darlin' I guarantee that you will leave the venue smiling, if they can make a grumpy git like me smile well.
I will not be imbibing tonight on account of having to drive into the town to see Allo Darlin' in the Captain's Rest. But may I suggest something sweet and heady for the rest of you drunkards out there.
I promise that this is the first and last time Jeff Beck appears on this blog. It could have been worse it could have been the Elkie Brooks version which I had to endure during my childhood my mother being a fan of Elkie's and once a record went on the music center in the living room it stayed there for months if not years.
I will however have not a word said against Pearl's A Singer. She stands up when she plays the piano, you know.
It's back to 1992 for this week's track and a bit of acid revival courtesy of egg and acid obsessed Ege Bam Yasi a nutter from Inverness who had been making music influenced by the likes of Can, Captain Beefheart and the sounds of electro from 1984. When Acid House happened Mr Egg found a movement that fitted the sounds that he had already been making and he continued in this vain turning his 303 up to 11 and releasing some great warped dance 12" singles including the Acid Indigestion series.
Today's offering comes from the Acid Indegestion ep released on the IT label.
In a previous existence when I was an apprentice joiner after jacking in Uni the majority of my time was spent working on building sites. Building sites in the late 80s were not the nicest places in the world, in fact the working conditions were pretty awful, I hate to think what they were like in less enlightened times.
Anyway, I spent a large part of my apprenticeship working with two tradesmen in particular, John and Eddie. These guys were a good laugh and I spent many a happy hour either under the floors of houses or nailed to the roof, once ten storeys up, how I laughed. It was not all hilarity and fun, when we were on a price all John could see were £ signs and we worked our arses off in order that John would be able to retire at the age of 50.
However, no matter how hard we were working or how good the price of the job was we had to down tools at 11 am every week day and listen to the radio in silence for 15 minutes or so.
What I hear you ask was so important that it got in the way of these good capitalists and children of Thatcher making money?
Simon fucking Bates and Our Tune is the answer!
For those of you not familiar with this excellent piece of broadcasting thank your lucky stars. Our Tune was a national institution for 13 years it just felt like a hell of a lot longer. In this tasteless slot Bates would recount in his most earnest and sincere voice a story sent in by a listener over the theme tune to Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet. Most of these stories were tainted by disaster and tragedy and the tune that was requested was usually one of those heart wrenching, or most of the time gut wrenching pieces of schmaltz so beloved in the 70s and 80s' pish like Seasons In The Sun or True by Spandau Ballet and the like, you get the gist. Most of the time I just sniggered to myself but a couple of times I was incredulous at the personal stuff that some people wanted to share with the nation.
With John and Eddie it was different, it was a serious business, these two cynical, hard as nails guys lapped up this mawkish rubbish and once I caught John wiping away the tears after hearing Zoom by Fat Larry's Band. So I had to find out why this particular piece of soul lite had reduced him to a blubbering wreck and was informed that it reminded him of a Fraulein that he had had a fling with when he was working in Germany, it had been their song, ffs!
My listening to Our Tune finished when I stopped working with John and Eddie but on thinking back when writing this I seem to remember that it was not just these two that downed tools at 11 am every day that most of the sites that I worked on went quiet at this time, I may just be misremembering but I am not too sure.
Here is a track that I always thought that I would hear on Our Tune but sadly never did because if it had appeared it would surely have been accompanied by a belter of a story.
A couple of weeks ago in a piece on the Plaid remixes of the first UNKLE ep, Ctel over at Acid Ted commented that the first UNKLE album, Psyence Fiction was dull and SwissAdam commented that he thought the album a disappointment. These are comments that I have read quite a bit over the years and remember a couple of lacklustre reviews at the time of the release.
I on the other hand never found the album to be a let down at the time and having listened to it recently will freely admit that it isn't the greatest album in the world but I think that it still holds it's own.
One of the main reasons that I didn't have high expectations for the album was that at this time and even now without the notable exception of a handful of artists and maybe a couple of dozen albums at the most, the LP is not the format in which dance music excels in my view. Over the space of a whole album even the Chemical Brothers and Underworld fail to hold my attention and I get bored. So when I first played the album there were sufficient changes in tempo and style to keep me listening. Okay there are bits of it that are less than brilliant and maybe it is a bit too eclectic at times but what else should be expected with so many collaborators in the mix.
Another reason why my expectations weren't stellar for this album was that up until this point the UNKLE singles weren't that brilliant, they certainly weren't the best output on Mo Wax. For me their remixes and DJ sets out shone their own work.
So I think that when I first listened to it I took it on it's own merit and was not let down with the result, don't get me wrong I wasn't proclaiming it the best album of 1998 either. But as albums in this genre go it is not too shabby.
I think that this Psyence Fiction is a necessary step where Lavelle honed his production and collaborative skills which would lead to further great albums such as Never, Never Land and War Stories.
This is the first week since I started back after the holidays that I will not be thinking "jesus I wish it was the weekend". This week is not as hectic as the past two and a half have been, I've only got one over night and I don't have to fly anywhere. On the downside I do have my line manager coming out with me to ensure that I am doing my job correctly. But compaired to last week it is a breeze.
So let's have a big, bold stomping piece of northern soul to start off the week. That's The Way He Is by Ann Perry is number 352 in the Northern Soul Top 500 and was released twice on the Theoda Records label, once in Detroit and then in Los Angeles and if you would like a copy of the single it will set you back about £150.
When I decided to post this I realised that I have never actually heard the vocal version of this track.
There is a new Twilight Singers album being released on the 14th Feb which I'm really looking forward to but more than that Dulli and Co will be at the Arches in Glasgow on the 19th of March. I was really pissed off last year that I missed the Gutter Twins when they were touring as it's the first time I've missed one of Dulli's visits to Glasgow in years.
Here is the 2nd single from 2003s offering Blackberry Belle which features the dulcet tones of friend and long time collaborator of Dulli's Mark Lanegan.
Here is a belter of an R&B track, guaranteed to brighten up your Saturday night.
Each Day was recorded by Ann Cole and released in 1956 on the Baton label. Ann Cole was also responsible for the original version of Got My Mojo Working made famous by Muddy Waters and that's about all I know about this lady but what a voice.
I picked up a repress copy of the single on Fryers Records from Fat City last year.
Now if that other Ann as in Cheryl Ann Cole could sing like that I might actually take some notice of her.
Not so much a what your drinking tonight as to where. I used to love Cheers wouldn't go out on a Friday night until it was finished. We used to have a local that we all thought was a bit like that but looking back it was just full of student jakies, disillusioned folk in their twenties/thirties and a money grabbing bastard of an owner, still it was home.
Cliff: Well ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
During the early to mid nineties there were two names that if credited on the back of a 12" single would guarantee that I bought it. The first which will be of no surprise to anyone was Andrew Weatherall and the other was an ex scooterboy, dj and club runner from Northern Ireland by the name of David Holmes.
During the nineties Holmes was quite a prolific remixer putting in exceptional mixes for the likes of everybody from Saint Etienne to that dreaded Irish band, in fact that is the only thing I have against him, that unlike Mr Weatherall he did try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear for those band wagon jumpers and not only on one occasion. However as soon as I put on Holmes' remix of Smokebelch II I could forgive him capital offences let alone such misguided misdemeanours.
Holmes did not just try his hand at remixing but also released records in his own right and also in collaboration with the likes of Stuart McMillan, Kriss Needs and others during this period producing some of the best progressive house tracks of the time such as DeNiro, The Hawaiian Death Stomp and Minus 61 in Detroit to name but 3.
At the turn of the century Holmes focused his efforts on movie scores and now has a pretty successful career in this field, with the likes of Ocean's Eleven and Out of Sight to his credit.
He is also responsible for the best essential mix ever.
Here is the track that brought Holmes to my attention.
Fortran 5 - Persian Blues (Full On Orchestral Philharmonical Mix)
The Groupies were from Manhattan and as far as I am aware this is the only single they released and what a single it is. It was on the ATCO label in 1966. I've got the tune on the excellent The Roots Of The Cramps compilation of obscure and not so well known singles by rockabilly and American garage bands.
I've decided that there is some deep psychological flaw that I suffer from, in layman's terms it is possibly called being a completest sadsack of a man but there will be some technical term for the affliction but I'm not sure that there is a cure.
A couple of months ago when I heard that there was going to be a 20th anniversary edition of Screamadelica, straight away before I even knew what the release would consist of I said to myself I'm for some of that. When I did find out the contents I started to drool with anticipation, you didn't just get the lp on heavyweight vinyl but also a cd off all of the remixes, the Dixie Narco ep, an unreleased live concert from 1992, a book, and a dvd. But what sold it to me was the slipmatt emblazoned with the artwork which would also be on the replica tour t-shirt and all for the bargain price of one hundred pounds!
Now, any sane person, who owned the album on both vinyl and cd, all of the 12" singles and therefore all of the mixes and the Dixie Narco ep would not have entertained this as they would have reasoned that it was not necessary to own all of this stuff again and shell out a lot of money when skint just to own a slipmat and a t-shirt but not me I pre ordered the package before I could say rip-off bastards and it has been in and out of my shopping basket on a weekly basis ever since.
At the time of writing it is not in the shopping basket but there is still time. I really think that that slipmat will look lovely on my SL1200. This is my other problem, when I buy these limited edition things, they don't just sit in the cupboard they are opened and played diminishing their value as a collectors item considerably. Take the ltd Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space blister pack, there really was no need to open all 12 of the discs and make sure that it was the correct tracks that were on them, especially as there was absolutely no remastering done. But out of curiosity I had to open them, play them just to make sure and make the package worth hee-haw.
At the moment sanity is prevailing but I'm really not sure for how long.
As an aside, I had the t-shirt. Bought at the Barrowlands in October 1991 but had to be bin it in July ofthe following year. I will not go into the sordid details but it did involve a mate, my cousin, said t-shirt and the use of my parents bed.! The memory still rankles.
I'm off to the arse end of civilisation for a couple of days, Luton. So no activity here until probably Thursday.
I fell off the wagon in spectacular form last night and feel as if Keith Moon is drumming inside my head this afternoon. The combination of this and this is not one I would recommend if you want to have a clear head the next morning.
So for the first year in 6 years I have failed to make it to the end of January without a drink. Still, got halfway there!
Just because I'm "aff it" for the duration of January doesn't mean that everyone else has to abstain. I would suggest some Whisky, scotch without the e and of an Islay variety would be my choice but I'm not partaking so do what ever you like with it but please no coke in scotch that would be beyond the pale and bad whiskey indeed.
Firstly thanks to everyone who left a comment on the previous post each and every one was appreciated. To anonymous who accuses me of “stroking my ego”, I genuinely don’t believe that was my intention. I really was in two minds about the blog and whether it was worth the effort. I will not lie and say that I didn’t feel better about the blog and myself after reading the comments but that wasn’t why I wrote the post.
Anyway I am going to persevere but I don’t think that I will be posting every day and will definitely not be doing so for the rest of this month or next as work commitments are bloody hellish until the end of February.
As it is Friday I thought that I could see if I can flog a dead horse some more and continue with the dance theme for some time yet. There are a good few hundred 12 inch singles of varying quality that I haven’t posted yet and I may even post a couple of trancey things that I discovered nestling away in the shelves over the festering period.
But first up, is a track that I have posted before, way back in the early days of the blog in February 2009.
I have read in a few places that some people think of Plastikman’s Spastik as a DJ tool to be dropped in now and again throughout a set and indeed the first time I heard the track a certain Mr. Weatherall was doing just that teasing out the percussive beats in and around a couple of other tracks to great effect. I, however feel that this is doing the record an injustice and love to listen to it in its entirety loud.
For a minimal record comprising wholly of synthetic drum sounds there is a hell of lot to listen to and I never get bored of it as I’m continually waiting for what will happen next and the moment at about 6 minutes 20 when the bass drum kicks in gets me every time.
A true techno classic first released as a 12” single in October 1993 and spawned quite a few below par imitations.
I know that a lot of people think of this kind of sound as soul free, joy less music but I love it and I think to feel that about the record means that there must be some soul in those icy, manmade beats somewhere.
Plastikman is the main alias of Canadian techno legend Ritchie Hawtin who started off in 1990 under the moniker of F.U.S.E. on Plus 8 Records which was started up by Hawtin and fellow techno bod John Acquaviva. Plus 8 would go on to release the Plastikman output as well as influential releases by the likes of Speedy J and Kenny Larkin and was synonymous with the sound of Detroit Techno.
You may have noticed or you may not have that there haven't been that many posts over the last week and you may also be aware that the quality has somewhat diminished over the past few weeks, not that it was that great to begin with mind you.
I have been been aware that the tracks aren't getting downloaded in the numbers they once were and can only put this down to the fact that the music I'm posting isn't that interesting anymore. This is not me feeling sorry for myself or anything. The blog may just have run it's course. Maybe there is only so long that you can bang on about records before you become irrelevant.
For the past few weeks I have found it difficult to find tracks to put on here that are not knowingly obscure but that are not that well known that everybody will already have them downloaded. This is my biggest problem it would be easy to just post tracks that everybody already new and loved but what is the point of that anyway? You can do the odd track like that now and again but that kind of thing was never my intention. Sure I probably still have hundreds of obscure northern soul tracks which people may like but it would get rather boring just sticking to the one genre.
I'm really not that sure what to do. I think that I may have to sit here contemplating my navel for a wee while longer.
Enough of my self indulgent tosh. Here is the 7" version of the best single produced in 1985, you may think differently but you would be wrong, it is also the song which lends it's title to this blog.
The first day back to work after some time off is usually a fairly hellish occasion for me at the best of times but going back today was worse than usual as I'm still loaded with the flu but need to go back and get the stuff done that was put off by the extreme weather in December.
So, this morning after spending the night tossing and turning, coughing and spluttering and checking the clock every hour or so to see exactly how little time I had left until it was time to get up, I eventually got out of the house about ten minutes later than planned stuck the ipod on shuffle and this came on. I turned up the volume and sat their for a couple of minutes and then set off. Nearly made it worthwhile getting up, nearly.
Hope you had a good New Year. Mine's has been somewhat tempered due to the most inopportune bout of the flu and no alcohol has passed my lips since Hogmanay, not a bad thing you may say but due to masochistic tendencies I have forsworn the demon drink for the month of January yet again and therefore have a quite intense month ahead at work without the prize of a gin or two on a Friday night.
Anyway, enough moaning. Here is a record that I dug out and played on Hogmanay for no reason in particular but really enjoyed hearing again.