Wednesday, 30 May 2012
The first time I was aware of Johnny Boy was when I received the latest installment in the series of Boobytrap monthly cds back in 2002. On first listen it sounded to these ears like a lost Pete Wylie song from the same session that produced Come Back. It had that epic, dare I say it, wall of sound backing, with a sample at the beginning which took me a long time to identify as being from Mean Streets. Being a sucker for anything vaguely Spectorish I fell in love with the track and had it on continually for weeks and eagerly awaited the next single.
It was to be a two year wait, the follow-up has probably one of the best titles I've ever heard - You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve. The song turned out to be every bit as bombastic as the debut if not more so. It was produced by James Dean Bradfield who had heard the first single and loved it that much that he offered to produce the duo. Why this song did not did not reach a wider audience I will never understand as it is epic in every way.
After another couple of years an album appeared which I found a disappointment, I don't know if this was due to the wait and expectation of the first 2 singles or I had just lost interest but I have not found myself playing anything else apart from the tracks that introduced me to the band after the initial couple of listens. Maybe further listening and a reappraisal is in order.
On their myspace page they describe their music as "Church bells, boy-girl vocals, loops, twists, warps, walls of sound and edgy guitars combined to rekindle the idea of Sandinista!-era Clash having an, erm, shootout with Phil Spector. The Sandinista reference I know will put off a few of you (JC?) but give them a chance.
Johnny Boy - Johnny Boy Theme
First posted 11Feb 2009
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Yesterday on Twitter Simon was extolling the virtues of Prince's Kiss which got me thinking about Age of Chance. A band well ahead of their time. I have posted before about the Kiss Power mix, a record I would give my left kidney for and how it was the first track to be entirely produced from samples. I exaggerate only slightly.
I saw the band live once, in 1987 in Aberdeen but remember little about the evening as I had concussion after falling more than once and smashing my skull against granite the previous evening after arsing a bottle of Stoli which my mother had brought me back from her travels in Russia. I may recount the full sad tale at some future juncture when I have nothing else to say.
Anyway, one thing I do remember is DJ Powercut, as this is the first time I had ever saw a dj cutting and scratching live on stage with a band. He also had a rather cracking blue Adidas track suit on. Why I remember this I have no idea.
The band were promoting their first full and criminally underrated album 1000 Years of Trouble. The album is choc full off samples and punishing beats. If you ever get a chance to get your hands on this gem I suggest that you buy it without hesitation.
Here is one of the many highlights.
Age of Chance - Learn To Pray
Monday, 28 May 2012
Let's start the week off with a belter of a track that Motown deemed not good enough for release when it was recorded. I know that there were many of great tracks vying for release at any one time at ' the sound of young America' but to leave this track on the shelf seems absolutely criminal to me. Again we have to thank a crate digging northern soul fanatic, Peter Lowrie for bringing this track to the attention of the wider public.
Brenda Holloway - Think It Over (Before You Break My Heart) A.K.A. Reconsider
Sunday, 27 May 2012
I am beginning to get used to having the sun shining. The miserable old git in me keeps saying, it's not going to last and it will be pissing down by the middle of the week. But until then I think that I will just go with it and enjoy.
I find that his track by Lemon Interupt (Underworld) accompanies this weather particularly well. Yes I know I have posted this before but it is rather good.
Lemon Interupt - Eclipse
Saturday, 26 May 2012
Friday, 25 May 2012
Warning - this post contains Trance
Hypocrite! I hear you shout, it was only a couple of months ago when, in this feature I was very disparaiging about trance and the super star djs who promoted it.
Nothing's changed I still get a shiver down my spine, Mme Lagarde stylee when ever anybody utters the word or I'm somewhere and I hear a trance track. However, a few decent, in my opinion, tracks did appear out of this genre and one or two I actually purchased.
Jam & Spoon are probably best known for Stella and their remix of Age Of Love. Subsequent to this they teamed up with Plavka and released some really rather iffy commercial dance tunes, the a-side to the track posted, Find Me (Odessey to Anyoona) falls into this catageroy. The extended instrumental on the other side is a different beast completely, an intro that seems to build forever but when the enevitable breakdown does come in it turns the track into a rather mellow blisssed out affair perfect for the sort of weather we are having at the moment.
Have a good weekend people.
I'm off to try and buy a new scooter. I think my mid life crisis has eventually hit. I'm fair excited at the prospect.
Jam & Spoon - Odyssey to Anyoona.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
A while ago I featured the b-side of the Nick Waterhouse second single, Is That Clear.
Last month the twenty five year old's debut album, Time's All Gone was released on the Innovate Leisure label out of San Fransisco. The music definitely harks back to the British RnB sounds of the 60's, the sort of sounds thatr Them, The Yardbirds, The Animals etc were producing then. Even although the sounds hark back to that era it also sounds like the recent Alabama Shakes album pretty fresh and has that sort of 'live' feel to it. With only 10 tracks and a running time of 32 minutes, it is rather short.
There is a problem with the availibility of the album, as so far it has only been released on vinyl and in the US and I'm not sure if there are any planss to release it over here. Although I suppose you could aalways buy it on iTunes.
The packaging for the LP is great aswell, the vinyl is housed in the kind if really stiff glossy card that I've only ever come across housing my mother's old Ella Fitzgerald and Sinatra albums.
Nick Waterhouse - Raina
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Lazy concept, this one, rehash old posts of tunes that I'm in the mood to listen to but can't be arsed trying to think up something new to write about them.
First up a post from the early days of the blog, 20th Feb 2009, featuring my favourite New Order track and one of my Top 21 tracks.
It's a dreich Monday night around the middle of October 1987 and I'm standing in the Mudd Club at the Ritzy in Aberdeen, surrounded by students having a good time and getting legless as students do on a Monday or any other day of the week for that matter. I on the other hand am neither happy nor drunk, I am like the weather that night miserable.
I have just returned to Aberdeen after spending the last weekend with my long term girlfriend as on the Thursday she is emigrating to Australia. Her father in his infinite wisdom has decided to up root his family due to a selfish dream of living in a land down under.
Into the bargain I am also realising that this student life is not all it's cracked up to be. Along with the freedom of living away from home comes the dubious pleasures of shit digs, even shittier food and penury.
Then out of the blue this track comes on and I grab a friend and dance. For nearly 7 minutes all of the crap feelings I have been carrying around with me for what then seemed like forever are lifted and I'm smiling and dancing with not a care in the world (without the aid of a disco biscuit).
The healing power of dance music.
New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle (12" version)
Monday, 21 May 2012
Sunday, 20 May 2012
In just under 4 hours the most important football match of the weekend will take place, forget about your Champions League Final or your Scottish Cup, the real drama of the weekend will take place at New Broomfield in Airdrie, where Airdrie United take on Dumbarton in the second leg of the Division Two play-offs. At stake, a place in the Scottish First Division where the Diamonds rightly deserve to be.
Airdrie go into this match with a slight disadvantage; we are two one down from the first leg but both Stiff and myself are confident that we can overcome this position and win the match (that's just put the death knell on any chance the team had!).
I sort of fell out of love with football in 2002, when David Murray called in a debt which put Airdrieonians out of business at the time Murray said :
“I apologise to Airdrie’s supporters but something had to be done about this debt. Business is business and Carnegie Sports also have wages to pay,”
I hope the irony of that statement isn't lost on the true blue loyal who have found themselves in a similar situation recently.
Airdrie rose again in the form of Airdrie Utd after the Chairman bought over another club in financial trouble, Clydebank and relocated them to Airdrie and changed the name. But I just couldn't get that enthusiastic about the team and only ever went to the ocassional match but still checked the results every Saturday night.
But that is all history now, as over the last six months of taking Max to the home matches my passion for the team and football in general has been re-ignited and as I type this I find myself as nervous and excited by the prospect of today's game as I was when my team played Rangers and Celtic in two Scottish Cup finals in the nineties or when subsequent to the Rangers final my dad and I found ourselves walking down Gartlea Hill to the sight of the UEFA flag flying above Broomfield when we took on Sparta Prague in the Cup Winners Cup.
So if you are at a loss for something to do today and fancy some drama and 'real' football tune in to BBC Alba at 4pm and cheer on the Diamonds.
Arctic Monkeys - Diamonds Are Forever (Live At Glastonbury)
We got royally humped. Second Division football again next season.
Saturday, 19 May 2012
Around the middle of October last year I received an email from a guy called Wally on the back of the Roddy Frame review I had posted. He said that he ran a small independent label in Canada and had an artist on the label Armstrong, who if I liked Roddy Frame I may be interested in and if so he would send me a copy of the Armstrong cd to listen to.
A few weeks later I received a package from Canada that contained a plethora of releases from the label including two cds from Armstrong, Skytone, Roy Moller and the recent release by Dot Dash that I know Swiss Adam and Ed over at 17 Seconds had reviewed.
The Armstrong cds were good but really not for me as in my opinion it was to close to Roddy Frame which kind of put me off. Don't get me wrong the songs were good and not a simple pastiche of Frame's material but when listening to the cd I had the overwhelming urge to take it off and listen to Surf or Frestonia.
Also included in Wally's package were three cds which really interested me. These cds are part of what can only be termed as a labour of love -
" to gather some of the greatest names in music to record for a label so small that it is practically non-existent and convince them to cover one of your favourite songs by one of your all time favourite bands . . . a 10 volume tribute to the Television Personalities to be released over the course of the next ten years and to feature some 200 covers of TVP songs both old and new."
I first became aware of the TV Personalities when I was about fourteen or fifteen. A couple of friends older brothers, the ones with the quiffs, that got their gear from Flip and talked about The Velvet Underground and Josef K were into the TV Personalities. But when I listened to the the music, I couldn't see what all the fuss was about, to me the music was under produced which I suppose was part of the charm for some and the singer's voice really got on my nerves, so I never got into them but loved the covers!
In my mid twenties I tried again to get into them, when somebody gave me a couple of singles and I bought a compilation cd but sadly I still didn't get it and to this day after buying a few other things I still don't. I do however, recognise Daniel Treacy as a good/great lyricist and have often wondered how something like If I Could Write Poetry or The Prettiest Girl In The World would sound performed by say David Gedge or Roddy Frame. For this reason I was intrigued by these cds and although, neither Gedge or Frame appear in the series so far and most of the bands are not household names I have listened to the cds a fair bit and have gained a different perspective on the music of the TVPs.
If you are a fan of The Television Personalities then you will be interested to hear how contemporaries of Treacy such as Nikki Sudden and Duglas T Stewart interpret the songs they have chosen. But if you have never heard of Treacy or the band and have the most fleeting interest in leftfield music you will find plenty in these cd to hold your attention and possible jump around the room like an edjit to.
Even if you have no interest in The Television Personalities tribute check out www.thebeautfulmusic.com as you will probably find something there that you will like, if you like the music posted on here.
Semion - The Prettiest Girl In The World
Friday, 18 May 2012
Twenty years ago if I was out clubbing I would be found at The Arches or occasionally the Sub Club. There was as much chance of me going to the likes of Resurrection or Fantasia as there was me going to see Take That. All that turbo nutter stuff was not for me. Did fancy going to one Street Rave Do at Prestwick Airport for the sheer novelty value.
So, I haven't a clue where I first heard Let Me Be Your Fantasy. Probably from one of my cheesy quaver friends who did frequent clubs specialising in the madder end of dance culture. It was one of the few hardcore tracks that I heard and did not dismiss instantly as rubbish. Don't know what it is about the track but like Sweet Harmony it has the piano sample and the breakbeats, so maybe I was a closet breakbeat fan and didn't realise it.
The track was released on the Production House label and was remixed by Acen, a mix I'm not aware of ever hearing but imagine will be even more hardcore than the original. It was bastardised and re-released in 2000 in a Garage stylee which is absolutely pish and should be avoided at all costs.
Have a good weekend people
Baby D - Let Me Be Your Fantasy
Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Here's a track I featured way back in the early days of the blog. Then I was looking for a little bit of positivity at a time when all was doom and gloom, how things stay the same eh?
Sweeping The Nation was released in 1997 and first came to my attention due to the rather effective use of a sample from Dobie Gray's Out On The Floor Tonight but the song as a whole is a rather splendid piece of pop.
Spearmint - Sweeping The Nation
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Here's a bit of upbeat, minimal techno. Yes I know minimal techno is not renowned for being upbeat. But Hendrik Weber doesn't really conform to the rules. I'm not sure if Welt Am Draht was inspired by the Fassbinder film of the same title; not having seen the film or even knowing of it's existence until I just googled the phrase, in translation it is World on a Wire by the way.
The track comes from the third album, Black Noise released on Rough Trade a couple of years ago.
Pantha Du Prince - Welt Am Draht
Sunday, 13 May 2012
A few weeks ago I confessed that I wasn't really up on my UK Garage but posted a track by Paleface featuring Kyla that I really liked. Since then I have investigated a little and to be honest still don't know that much about the genre but have decided that I really quite like Kyla.
So here is the follow-up to Do You Mind which I think is actually better.
Kyla - Daydreaming (extended mix)
Saturday, 12 May 2012
This is another of those records that I decided to take a punt on after reading a review of the album somewhere as I had never heard of the band..
The review went as follows -
"So, we get a tape of this in the post, yes, a tape, and thought it was pretty wild, then heard nothing...then we get a CDR, well two of them, some mix cassette, and a CD containing some OTT modern day Pop Art sleeve design that is retina rubbling!....with a scrawled note claiming, "when you put the record out, you have to limit it to 500 LPs with a bonus free CD version that has a different mix of the music on it, NO Downloads whatsoever, and while your are at it, make some giveaway cassettes up of the mixtape we sent to go with it, and the sleeve has to be wrap-around, like it could be a poster, on thicker card too, full colour mind!...we are Koolaid (Global Tyranny) on this record...send us some copies when its done".
So with no mention of what the music would be like I decided that I would take a chance on it and am very glad that I did so. I'm not sure how to describe the music, my first thoughts were that it was a more fucked up and trippy version of the Fuck Buttons with the layering of noise and samples but that doesn't really do the sound justice as that just covers the first track I think for the most part it is like not much else that I own but has lots of elements of other stuff all mashed together. There is a live feel to the recording, I may be totally wrong but I get the kind of feeling that this was put down in one take.
I have been unable to find out much more about Koolaid (Global Tyrany) which I suppose doesn't really matter when the sounds are as good as they are. Although any info would be appreciated
Worth checking out.
Kool Aid (Global Tyranny) - Intercity Firm (vinyl mix)
Friday, 11 May 2012
As I've just been reminded on Twitter it's Friday. Apologies for the tardiness of this post, actually wasn't going to bother due to full on week and being in Birmingham yesterday and today but here you go.
Here is a cover version of an Eagles song from 1990 which used to make all of dudes in double denim in the pub where I worked incandescent with rage when I used to put it on. For that reason alone I loved it along with a rather dodgy version of You Can't Always Get What You Want by Roman. But I actually think that it is a rather good track and there are also a couple of really good Orb remixes.
Have a good weekend people.
Jam On The Mutha - Hotel California (Ibiza 90mix)
. . . I am wallowing in the glorious noise that is Psychocandy and the pure pop of Darklands at the moment. Two absolutely brilliant albums that have stood the test of time. I really loved the Mary Chain back then.
The Jesus And Mary Chain - Cherry Came Too
Monday, 7 May 2012
Here is one of my favourite female sung northern tracks. Patrice's sister Brenda is probably better known but this 1966, Capitol release is as good as anything Brenda recorded, well everything apart from Think It Over (Before You Break My Heart) of course and Every Little Bit Hurts.
Patrice Holloway - Love and Desire
Sunday, 6 May 2012
It's a bank holiday Monday so you all have some time to spare. I can't think of a better way to spend eight and a half minutes than listening to the sweet vocals, bright brass and funky guitar of Move On Up.
Apologies to those of you working today. I'm off to Kelvingrove Art Gallery with the family and maybe a wee visit to Oxfam Music and then Heart Of Buchanan on Byres Rd. But we won't mention that to L just yet!
Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up
Here's a lovely piece of winsome indiepop to brighten up your Sunday. Not that it needs brightening up, up here the sun is shining for a change.
Some People Say is lifted from Europe, the second album by Allo Darlin'. This release is stylishly much the same as the debut but has a kind of sadder, ever so slightly darker and dare I say it, less twee feel to it than it's predecessor. Another very good album released last month.
Allo Darlin' - Some People Say
Saturday, 5 May 2012
I have a somewhat ambivalent relationship with Stereolab some of their stuff I think is absolutely wonderful but a lot of the time I find their output to be rather self indulgent footerings that go nowhere and does nothing for me. None of which ever stopped me from buying their albums as there was always at least two or three tracks which made them worth buying. And seeing them live which was always very entertaining.
Stereolab - Jenny Ondioline
Friday, 4 May 2012
Let us return to the days of boilersuits, glow sticks, Vicks and all things mental.
N-Joi had been making and performing music at underground Raves for a couple of years before they decided that what they needed was a front women to basically mime all of the diverse vocal samples for their next single and so they were joined by Saffron or Samantha Sprackling to the folk she went to school with, either that or she sounded just like Gwen Guthrie on some of the vocals and a couple of completely different singers at other points on the track. Anyway sod all like she did in Republica.
I still love this track although it does sound a bit tame now.
Have a good weekend, people.
N-Joi - Anthem
Thursday, 3 May 2012
It's been quite a good month for new albums what with Spiritualized, Alabama Shakes and Nick Waterhouse just to name three.
Here's a track from an album that I bought on the strength of the cover and just to hear a dub of a Reggae version of Walking In The Sand and I'm very glad I did as the whole album is excellent.
Hollie Cook's debut album was released last summer and was championed by the likes of Steve Lamacq. A couple of weeks ago the companion piece Prince Fatty presents Hollie Cook 'In Dub' was released which does exactly what it says in the title, turning the almost pop Reggae original tracks in to late night listening that King Tubby would have been proud to have produced.
Oh and Hollie has a famous dad who has been recently carrying out drumming duties for Edwyn Collins and a member of an influential punk band.
Hollie Cook - Walking In The Sand Dub.
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
I should be in Luton today but due to a last minute decision to hold the meeting by WebEx I'm actually at home, not needing to get the stupid o'clock flight down and the even more ridiculously timed flight home, So I have reasons to be cheerful this morning as it looks as though this will be the norm going forward. Ya Dancer!
In light of this here is a not too miserable track by Camera Obscura originally released as a single in 2001.
Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan
btw - don't know why some files aren't transferring to MP3 in iTunes, sorry.