Tuesday, 31 May 2011

John Martyn



I'm in a bit of quandry at the moment.

Last week saw the release of an album of material by the late John Martyn, Heaven and Earth. It is said to consist of tracks that John was working on at the time of his death. I'm not a big fan of posthumous releases as I find them for the most part patchy and usually lacking in substance and I fear that this would be true of this release.

I have read the reviews and for the most part they are very positive but I kind of feel that this is usually the case with the material released after the death of someone as over looked by music journalists and indusrty insiders as JM was, call me cynical but that's the way I see it.

I think that I prefer to remember Martyn for the fine body of work that he left behind such as the the track posted and even the album with Eric Clapton and Phil Collins that I used to avoid like the plague is not too bad as I was pleasantly surprised to find when I played it for the first time in years the other week

I'm off over the water to Belfast on the stupid o'clock flight for a couple of days so nothing here until Thursday.

John Martyn - Ways To Cry 

Monday, 30 May 2011

Panda Bear



I am still not sure about Panda Bear.

I have the last two albums and have listened to them quite a few times but feel that there is something I must be missing. Most of the reviews I have seen rave about the work of Noah Lennox but I just don't see it. There are individual tracks on both albums that I think are rather good but nothing overwhelming and I find myself getting bored when listening to the albums as a whole.

However, this remix on the flip side of the last single I think is brilliant but that may have a lot to do with the remixer, as the other side is  just okay.

Panda Bear - Surfer's Hymn (Actress Primitive Patterns Remix)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

"If You're Gonna Play It Out Of Tune, Play It Out Of Tune Properly" pt 7



I had kind of forgotten about this series (thank god, I hear Ctel mutter) until last night but thought that it was a bit slack stopping at 6 when there are oh so many more songs which the Fall have covered in their unique style.

The Fall's version of today's track was featured here a few months ago but I thought that a bit of repetition was okay in order for people to be able to compare and contrastit with the original.

Kimble was originally recorded by Lee Scratch Perry in 1968 and released on single as performed by The Creators. The song was apparently inspired the TV series The Fugitive, in which David Janssen played the part of Dr Richard Kimble on the run after being falsely convicted of killing his wife.

The Creators - Kimble

The Fall version was recorded for the gruppe's fifteenth Peel session recorded on 19th January 1992 and broadcast on 15th February the same year. It was later released the following year on Strange Fruit with 3 further Peel session tracks on the 12" and cd single.

The Fall - Kimble

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Friday, 27 May 2011

It's Friday . . Let's Dance



Although I manage to remain in gainful employment I don't particularly feel like celebrating as over the coming months I will see quite a few people I have worked with for a good few years go on to pastures new. There is one certainty and that is that things will never be quite the same and I fear that it will be a lot less pleasurable work environment for those of us who will still be around.

But it is Friday and some things remain constant, so here is another piece of dance music that you will either love or hate.

Jason Nevin's remix of Run - DMC's 1983 single, It's Like That did elicit strong emotions from people. Quite a few people I knew at the time who were right into their hip-hop would have no truck with it and it would be reasonable to say that if they ever got their hands on Mr Nevins he would have felt the full force of their wrath and have been lucky to leave in one piece. But lots of people did love the track and at the tail end of 1997 and more so during 1998, you would have had to have been deaf or living on Mars not to have been acquainted with the track. It went on to be number 1 in more than 30 countries making it the most popular track ever posted here by a country mile.

For my part, I quite liked it and listening to it very loud before ripping it to post today I still found myself nodding along to it.

Have a good weekend people.

Run-DMC vs Jason Nevins - It's Like That (Drop The Break)

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Just Because



This came on the iPod last week when I was driving up the road from Nottingham and at first I had no recollection of who it was but as soon as the penny dropped I decidied that the whole album warranted a play.

I think that along with Selected Ambient Works volumes 1 & 2 this is Richard D James' most accessible work and although it was very of it's time it still sounds essential today and the clear vinyl looks great on the turntable.

In other news, even the ash cloud which seems to have moved away from Scottish airspace could not stave off the cull as contingency plans were put in place for those who could not travel to Scotland tomorrow to be informed of their fate by other means.

Roll on tomorrow!

Polygon Window - If It Really Is Me

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

All The Best, Bob



As you will be aware Bob Dylan is seventy today.

I started listening to Dylan in my early teens as a mate of mines father was slightly obsessed with him. I loved a lot of what I heard but some things, like the born again Christian albums Saved and Slow Train Coming just did nothing for me.

I remember staying up to listen to him on Live Aid and being bitterly disappointed as he was pish, nearly as bad as the previous year when I had seen him at St James' Park, Newcastle. So my experience of Dylan live has not made me think that I have missed out on anything on his subsequent tours of the UK. I will stick to my albums.

Here is my favourite ever Dylan song from the acclaimed 1975 album, Blood On The Tracks. Simple Twist Of Fate, for me is one of the most beautiful songs of love and longing that I have ever heard and I never get sick of listening to it. I know that Dylan will always be seen as the archetypal protest singer and produced arguably the greatest songs in that field during the 60s but for me it's always this track that I think of when anybody mentions Dylan.

Happy Birthday bob.

Bob Dylan - Simple Twist Of Fate

Monday, 23 May 2011

My Coco



Stellastarr first caught my attention when they were supporting the Raveonettes at the Wah Wah Hut either in 2003 or 2004. That night they were absolutely amazing but their was something very familiar about the sound. Before the Raveonettes came on Stiff and myself, as is our want, tried to pin down who they sounded like but there wa such a mixture of 80's British indie that it was kind of difficult but one influence we were able to agree on was Stuart Adamson, as a lot of the guitar playing had that styling and sound which was synonymous with the guitarist with the Skids and band leader of Big Country.

I have seen Stellastarr on three subsequent occasions and they were excellent each time, giving their all and looking like they were having a great time.The last time at the ABC 2, the guy standing next to me turned at the end and said to me "best fucking tenner I've ever spent, they were magic".

Here is the third single from their first album, released in 2004 and failed miserably to do anything in the charts or ever get any radio play at the time. If you like what you hear I can thoroughly recommend the first two albums, however I found the last album to be a bit of a disappointment.

Stellastarr* - My Coco

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Boy Wonder Returns



There was reason to rejoice this week at the news that  Roddy Frame will be making a long awaited return north of the border this October. Not only that but he will be touring with a band , for the first time in over a decade. The starting up of all this nonsense was as a direct result of Mr Frame's last visit to Glasgow. So you know that momentous things come in the wake of a visit from the Boy Wonder.

This would have been reason enough to celebrate this weekend but it was also the 21st birthday of my oldest nephew, jesus, that makes me feel old,  who I think will have a rather sore head this morning.

Last night I really did morph into my father at D's party when I found myself saying " all this shit sounds the same" although my father would have been a bit more eloquent about it. What is it with the use of vocorders and "singers" on helium? I think that if  I ever met this David Guetta character I would resort to extreme violence. Still we did get two Stone Roses and one Strokes tune which I think was intended to placate the oldies. However note to any aspiring DJ's and young folk alike it is not ironic to like Shang A Lang, it is just a pish song by a dodgy 70s boy band, ok?

Oh,  and I also found out that one of my nephew's lecturers is a blogger familiar to a few of us. Small world isn't it!

Anyway here is a song from a bygone age when songs had real lyrics, real instruments and not a vocoder in sight.

Aztec Camera - Spanish Horses

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Come Go With Me, Again



Today's post is a re-up, a bit slack, I know but someone asked for this brilliant Gloria Jones track and it would have been churlish for me to ignore the request.

I'm back on a soul tip this week, after digging out Frank Beverley last week I have been listening to a lot of the stuff. It had taken a back seat here recently.

Here is Gloria Jones, who is probably best known for Tainted Love, which until recently I didn't realize that she recorded when she was only 18. The track posted today is the title track from her 1966 album recorded for the Uptown label and was originally recorded by the doo-wop group the Del Vikings.

Gloria Jones - Come Go With Me

Thanks to both Davy H and Danny for putting me on to 2 brilliant versions of the song Giving Up which was sampled on yesterday's post. The versions are by the Ad-Libs and Gladys Knight & The Pips.

Friday, 20 May 2011

It's Friday . . Let's Dance



A bit late but a belter of a tune, nonetheless.

Here is the best track and first single from an absolutely outstanding debut album.

Life Is Sweet and Exit Planet Dust the album the track comes from were both released in 1995 and were the blue print for loads of copies in the name of Big Beat some excellent but a lot more dross over the subsequent years.

Right I'm off to pour myself a Gin and Tonic, I believe that I have earned it this week.

Have a good weekend people.

The Chemical Brothers - Life Is Sweet

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Get A Fucking Life!



So, here I am sitting in a hotel restaurant in Nottingham and not for the first time cursing the fact that I did not pay attention while I packed my bag. Not only has the T-shirt I packed got a couple of marks on it ( fact: washing clothes at 30 degrees does not get rid of stains no matter what Unilever tell you, in reality stains appear that weren't there before) but also I have forgotten to pack my book, the essential piece of kit for the anti-social single business traveller.  Nothing says,  "I am not in the slightest bit interested in striking up a conversation" more than a thick book and the one I'm reading at the moment is a belter, A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away by Christopher Brookemyre.

So it is either look like a total jobsworth and read a study protocol while waiting for dinner or just sit here and soak up the atmosphere and as I may be being made redundant next week there is no way I am expending more of my time on work tasks than is totally necessary so I sit here and absorb the surroundings.

Behind me is a group of what I take to be sales reps all trying to out do each other and the words of Colonel Kilgore pop into my mind " You hear that, you hear that son, BULLSHIT, nothing else in the world sounds like that". Christ, do these guys actually think that the other clowns are listening let alone believing  this pish? The four Yorkshire men don't come close.

So I turn my attention elsewhere. Across from me sit a trendy couple in their early twenties who are each staring intently not into each others eyes but into their smartphones, thumbs going ten to the dozen. As I sit here watching this I wonder if they are texting each other but after a few minutes the guy raises his head says something and then shoves his phone in the girl's face and they both snigger and then go back to their handsets. The sharing of screens and sniggering continues until I get bored and again scan the room.

What I find is at least five other single sad sacks sitting fiddling with phones either trying to give off the impression that they are important or to stave off the boredom and the feeling of utter loneliness that spending a mid week night in a hotel in the heart of the Midlands really means.

My steak frites eventually arrives, my interest in my surroundings subsides and I get on with the job in hand, order another beer and try to forget where I am.

Tami Terrell - Lone, Lonely Town

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Lying Awake



Sticking with the British Girl Groups for the moment and here is my favourite of the lot.

Lying Awake was originally recorded in the US by Bernice Swanson. In this version Mark Wirtz of "Grocer Jack" fame enlists the help of Dany Chandelle, The Ladybirds and most probably the kitchen sink, to produce a track every bit as bombastic and dramatic as anything produced by either Shadow Morton or Phil Spector, an absolutely amazing track.

The track can be found along with another 21 tracks recorded during the 60s on the third instalment of the excellent Dream Babes series, this one entitled Backcomb 'n' Beat.

Dany Chandelle and The Ladybirds - Lying Awake

Monday, 16 May 2011

Terry



Ok, it may not be quite as good as Leader of the Pack but Terry by Twinkle has a charm all of it's own.

Right at the start of one of my favourite books, Fuel Injected Dreams, the dj and main character Scott goes into this spiel about how he is on a death trip, only playing trashy, records about death and starts listing the tunes that he is playing such as Dead Man's Curve, Tell Laura I Love her, Happiness Is A Warm Gun etc and every time I read the passage this song by Twinkle pops into my head.

Although it is a pale imitation of the Shangri-La's classic, I think that there is a lot more sadness in Twinkle's voice than there is in Mary Weiss's.  Maybe Twinkle really has lost the love of her life and Mary has just lost her latest love but then again I may be reading far too much into a throw away pop song.

A couple of not very interesting facts about the song. Firstly, it was banned by the BBC for being tasteless and secondly Jimmy Page was one of the session musicians on the track.

What was it Phil Spector once said about little symphonies for the kids?

Twinkle - Terry

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Haunted Dancehall




We haven't had anything from Lord Sabre here for quite some time.

In 1995 the Sabres of Paradise released a series of records, one on 12", one 10" and a single sided 7" single where various luminaries of the dance world such as the Chemical Brothers and LFO remixed tracks from the previous year's excellent Haunted Dancehall long player, with varying degrees of success.

The final release in the series was the single sided 7" where In The Nursery don't remix the final  track from the album but actually perform it as a beautiful but also slightly unsettling piece of modern classical music.

Not the sort of thing that you would want to listen to on a Sunday if you were comimg down from a particularly hedonistic weekend. Not something that troubles me much these days or I suspect many of the people who visit here apart from maybe Mondo of course, as those kinds of weekends are sadly distant memories!

Right I'm off to do the weekly shop. Life on the edge.

Sabres of Paradise - Haunted Dancehall (As Performed By In The Nursery)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Random Thought



Do you think that when you sell 500,000 downloads they frame a gold piece of paper with a download code on it? It would be a bit disengenous to present a gold disc.

Here is a track that probably failed to sell even a thousand singles in it's day, sadly.

Clarence Williams - No Rest For The World

Friday, 13 May 2011

It's Friday . . Let's Dance



Although all of the decent weather has deserted us up here and left us with the wind and rain, I am trying to keep up the sunny demeanour and remain positive which is quite difficult at the moment what with all the speculation of the dreaded word that starts with Re and ends in dundancy coming out of every second persons mouth. It seems to be a foregone conclusion just to what extent. Any way by this time two weeks hence we will know our fate.

But until then, let's dance and be merry.

Please Romy, Jamie et al give this a full release on vinyl and make my summer. I am getting really hacked off with ridiculously small pressings of essential bits of vinyl.

Have a good weekend people.

The xx - Shelter (John Talbot Feel It Too mix)

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Nothing To Do On Friday Night?


Remember Johnny Reb?

I featured them a few months ago and posted the excellent track Nine On The Line. Well they are playing Nice And Sleazy in the town on Friday night with a couple of other bands. If you've got nothing else on the evening of the 13th  and are in the Glasgow area you could do worse than head to Sauchiehall street and see 3 bands for the princely sum of 2 quid.

If you go here you can download for free, the stuff they recorded with Boz Boorer in Portugal

Doors open at 8pm, see you there.

Johnny Reb - Emile (part 1)

Philip, from the band sent me a jpg of the poster to go with this posting but Blogger doesn't seem to like it which is a pity 'cause I like it, so here's one you can download for yourself.

Poster

Music Played And People Sang



For along time I was under the mistaken impression that Bang Bang was originally recorded by Nancy Sinatra and it wasn't until about 1999/2000 with the aid of the internet that I discovered that it was written for Cher by Sonny Bono and released early the same year that Sinatra would cover the track, 1966.

I prefer Nancy's interpretation there is something really beguiling about her version, the almost whispered vocals and the tremelo effect is a lot subtler than the inferior Sonny and Cher version which kind of loses it half way through when it goes all gypsy campfire stylee.

Therre is a rather good version of the song by Isobel Campbell whose soft vocals and sparse instrumentation basically mirror the Sinatra version. I also quite like the Audio Bullys track from 2005 which samples the vocal. However the "original" Sinatra version would be my preference any day.

Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Giant Step Each Day




I had written this whole spiel about how Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space is almost spiritual and all about the melancholy of the lyrics in tracks like Broken Heart and the lush orchestration etc, etc but when I read it back it was the biggest load of pretentious bollocks I'd ever written and that's saying something.

So instead, here is the first track from the best album of 1997 and surely a contender for the best album of the 90s.

S-----------d - LAGWAFIS

Monday, 9 May 2011

Love Inks



After the distractions of last week it is time to get back to the original intentions of this blog, in other words to inflict my somewhat dubious taste in music on anybody prepared to read the nonsense I type here.

Love Inks first came to my attention a couple of months ago when the track Blackeye, which was later to become the first single started floating around the blogosphere. There was something in Sherry LeBlanc's vocal delivery which sucked me in straight away to what is a lovely track which may or may not be about domestic violence.

The trio hail from Austin, Texas and their debut album, ESP was released last week. On a couple of tracks the sound is reminiscent of Mazzy Star but a little less intense if you know what I mean. The album is not up there with All At Once or Mazes by Moon Duo but then again very few albums this year will be but it is still well worth purchasing if you like your indie on the poppier side..

Love Inks - In My Dreams

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Please, God No!



I have been pondering this over the last week, but  it really is too horrid to contemplate.

What if David Cameron wasn't quoting that twat who used to make crap films and even worse insurance adverts but was misquoting Jamie T?

Can you imagine Dave and Sam listening to this in their crib? After the revelation on Radio 4 last week that Ed Vaizey listened to the Redskins in his youth and obviously understood fuck all of the lyrics, anything is possible.

Jamie T - Calm Down Dearest

Saturday, 7 May 2011

What A Week.



I am going to make no apologies for boring you with " a bit of politics" as I think after the week that has just passed it may just be warranted.

The week started off pretty intense with the assassination of that fuck-wit Bin Laden and I know that in the eyes of a lot, if not most Americans and a considerable amount of Muslims that is what the week beginning the 1st May 2011 will be remembered. But up here in the northern part of the United Kingdom and especially West Central Scotland it will be remembered for a momentous shift in the psyche of the ordinary punter,  no longer prepared to be taken for granted by a party that no longer looks out for their interests or even takes into account the opinions of their core voters.

I have stated before that I am no Nationalist, in fact I get quite a bit of stick when I say that I am British first and then Scottish and have no truck with anti-English sentiments (apart from all the pish we have to put up with about 1966),  but for the first time in my life I voted for the SNP, not because I want independence, although sometimes I have to give myself a shake when I read the comments of tossers like AA Gill, Quentin Letts, Kelvin MacKenzie and the like. But because for the first time since Donald Dewar we have a First Minister with some back bone and stature, although his smugness does get to me and more than a few times I would have readily punched that "sonsie face". I realise that politics is about more than the cult of personality but when you have a clever, quick witted, articulate person in the spotlight it does help.

I joined the young Socialists in 1983 and come from a proud tradition of Labour Party activists, my grandfather being present in George Square in 1919 when the then Coalition government sent the troops in, which must have been sickening as he had enlisted in 1914 and survived the horrors of the Somme and Ypres. My uncle was a Union leader in the steel works in Lanarkshire in the 1960s and 70s who regularly spoke at Labour National Conference during those days. So it was with a heavy heart that I left the Labour Party in 2004 but I still voted for them and found it increasingly hard to justify to myself let alone anybody else in subsequent elections why I was doing so.

I am not saying that Alex Salmond is a modern day Manny Shinwell, far from it but I have realised over the past wee while that times have changed and party loyalties aren't what they once were, indeed,  if they ever were for some of the muppets we did vote for in this part of the country.

I heard someone recently say something which has resonated with me over the past week,  that " we should no longer vote for our parents and the past but instead should vote for our children and the future" and for me at least,  there was only one party with any vision for the future.

It is no longer enough to  invoke the spectre of Thatcher,(Labour)  because as a nation I don't think that we are scared of her progeny any longer and  since 1999 we have been able to hold our heads high and have found the self-esteem that was lacking or had been trampled down prior to devolution.

This rather incoherent and disjointed  rant was brought on by having one too many gins and for some reason I felt that this song was applicable as I have visions of  quite a few former career politicians in Scotland  crying into their favourite new world wine while listening to this song having realised that now like many others they will have to try and find some other gainful employment.

Sly And The Family Stone - Que Sera Sera

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Return Of "Sturdy Girl"


Back by popular demand for one last appearance!
Here is a rather splendid, sampletastic track from Fab Samperi to get your weekend off to a funky start.

Have a good weekend people.

Fab Samperi - Alcoholic Drinks ( The Captain remix)

It's Friday . . Let's Dance



I have to admit that in the early to late nineties I wasn't too fond of Jeff Mills take on Techno things like the Waveform Transmission eps I found rather harsh and abrasive and completely lacking in soul. So I therefore didn't spend a lot of time listening to his stuff. My views on Mills were further strengthened when a mate of mine gave me his Live At The Liquid Rooms, Tokyo cd mix to listen to. I had read all the reviews in MixMag etc that Mills one of the greatest DJs and how this was the epitome of what the techno mix cd should be. On listening I found it to be sloppily mixed set with someone with attention deficit syndrome, the tunes did not seem to flow and I found it painful to listen to all the way through.

However, over the years I have grown to appreciate some if not all of Mills body of work and I especially like the Something In The Sky series of 12" singles which started in 2009 and is now up to volume 7. I only own a couple of these on vinyl and it would be nice if they were to be released all together on a double cd.

Here is side 1 track 2 from the latest installment for your enjoyment or I fear otherwise in DVD's case.

Jeff Mills - Something In The Sky Volume 7 track 2

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Vote



If you haven't done so, get off of your arse and go vote, if you are in the UK obviously. I don't care who you vote for or if you spoil your ballot just do it.

The Redskins - The Power Is Yours

Monday, 2 May 2011

Crazy, Mibbies Aye, Mibbies Naw!



I haven't mentioned the elections for the Scottish Parliament before as I haven't wanted to bore people to death and if you aren't from this part of the world it is totally irrelevant to you anyway but I am going to mention it briefly just to say that for the first time since I was able to vote, I am going to vote for a different party, a party I never thought I would ever vote for in a million years and the thing is I don't feel sad or troubled in any way I actually feel quite liberated as I no longer have to try and justify things like the war in Iraq, my party cosying up to Mr Murdoch, try to hide my total disgust in the hypocrite that is Dr John Reid or seethe that Trident is still based in my neighbourhood. My grandfather and my uncle Jimmy will probably be spinning in their graves as I type this, both being Red Clydesiders but times have changed and the colour of the flag is no longer red.

The first three lines of this song kind of sum up how I am feeling at the moment. However, no matter how crazy I finally end up I will never be seen reciting the words to that racist, dirge that is Flower Of Scotland.

Alice Russell - Crazy

The Sun Is Still Shining

Well, that was quite an eventful bank holiday weekend and on a personal level quite illuminating.

Still the sun is still shining and I think some first class reggae from Lee Perry's Black Ark is the order of the day. Released in 1977 this was the first Perry production released on Island's Black Swan label and is quite, quite beautiful.

George Faith - To Be A Lover (Have Some Mercy)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Training Wheels



The other week over at the Vinyl Villain's as part of the guest bloggers series on Happiness and Sadness, Heather posted a beautiful track The Ghost Inside Our House from Cloud Cult. Go here to read her entry and find out more about Cloud Cult and Greg Minowa's heartbreaking story. I commented about a song from Advice To The Happy Hippopotamus which never fails to have me in tears due to the events that surrounded the making of the album and the sentiment of the song. What I didn't really think about was how the song would become relevant to me for other reasons so shortly after reading Heather's writing.

Yesterday I spent what began as a very frustrating but ultimately rewarding afternoon helping Max to learn to ride his bike without the aid of stabilisers or training wheels as they are also called. I have no recollection of learning to ride a bike, I'm sure it must have been a big deal and that my dad was the one who did the running along behind holding on to the seat as I did yesterday but I don't remember. I do know that I was younger than Max is now, as we grew up in a quiet cul-de-sac and not on a main road.

I would love to say that I had a Chopper to instill the idea that as a child I was cool but alas no,  I had a Grifter, a beast of a bike which weighed about ten tons and no matter how many times my dad fixed the gears and bought new cables would go back to default mode of being stuck in third within a week making it virtually impossible to ride the whole way up the hill from the shop back to our house.

Anyway, I digress back to yesterday and eventually after a lot of falling off, huffs, the odd venting of anger and I'm sure some swear words being uttered under his breath Max can now ride his bike without assistance.

Tomorrow's lesson how to turn corners and learning to stop without jumping off.

Cloud Cult - Training Wheels
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