Sad news which I read about over at The Ghost Of Electricity, about the death of Terry Callier at the age of sixty seven.
I first heard of Callier as a teenager when I first flirted with northern soul and subsequently got my hands on Ordinary Joe and Look At Me Know on a couple of compilations but I didn't investigate any further until the late nineties when he was signed to Talking Loud and released a couple of brilliant 12" singles and a couple of sevens which led to a rennaisance in his career and further albums being released on the Mr Bongo label the latest of which was released in 2009 and a collaboration with Massive Attack.
Here is the track that led to the discovery of Callier by a whole different group of people in 1998.
Here's another tune that was featured in its original form on the film Dirty Dancing. Here it is given the deep soul treatment by another singer who should be a household name but sadly never really made it.
Betty Harris was born in Orlando, Florida in 1939. Cry To Me, released in 1963 was her first hit and the first of three singles recorded for the Jubilee label. In 1964 she started recording for the New Orleans label Sansu being produced by the legendary Allen Toussaint. She appears to have given up recording in 1969 but returned to the live circuit in 2004 and in 2007 recorded a new album. Not sure what that sounds like but on this single and the subsequent couple I have she can really belt it out.
Sorry Solomon but Betty Harris' version kicks yours right in to touch.
I'm off to see the Boy Wonder again tonight and I'm awffy excited at the prospect. Last October's outing with the band was my gigging highlight of the year and I realise that due to the venue, Paisley Abbey it's going to be a solo affair tonight but I have never been to a Roddy Frame gig that failed to live up to expectations.
Here is a beautiful track from the much overlooked and underrated Frestonia album which most definitely won't get played tonight but which is still a great song. It's an embarrassment of riches, Roddy Frame's back catalogue and must make it difficult to choose a set to play.
This was released last week, on which label I have not got a clue. Who Delta Code are? Pass. What the tracks are called apart from 1, 2 and 3, I know not either. What I can tell you is that it is brilliant timeless Techno which I would guess is from Germany. The twelve inch was limited to 200 copies so I don't feel guilty about posting the track.
I understand why a lot of people can't stand this kind of stuff, lack of melody, tune or vocals but personally I could listen to a lot more of this than those fuckers on the xfactor using twenty five notes when five would suffice.
Not sure how many bloggers are doing something this year as I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.
Anyway, I was going to pick something a bit different this year, maybe a bit of Pink Floyd, Led Zep or Deep Purple, yes all three did record more than one session for Peel, with The Pink Floyd recording six. So Peel did promote the dinosaurs that the bands he later trumpeted wanted to destroy.
In the end I've decided to pick a track from the first session by the band if I was ever forced at gunpoint to list my favourite bands would be number three on that list.
Everybody knows who the Jesus and Mary Chain are, probably the second most influential British bands of the 80s. Back in October 1984 it was a different story, very few people had heard of or were prepared for the beautiful racket that the brothers Reid, Douglas Hart and Bobby Gillispie were making.
Tracks - In A Hole, You Trip Me Up, Never Understand, Taste The Floor. Recorded 23/10/1984, aired 30/10/1984.
When I heard this track for the first time last year, I was more than a little surprised that it was a completely new track as it had me nearly reaching for my John Hughes soundtracks to find which teen angst drama it had been featured on, as it has that sort of mid 80's vaguely European sound that Hughes used to fill his films with. I'm not dissing the man or his movies, I loved most of them and still do. But you have to admit that this track would not be out of place in one of them.
I had this running through my head all day yesterday and thought that by posting, it may leave my brain.
I love this song, I remember the first time I heard it, I had never heard of All Saints but loved the track, it has an old girl group feel to it. This was kicking about at the time that Radio 1 started playing things months before they got a release date and I still listened to the station, which doesn't make it yesterday, and I remember it being flogged to death so much so that after it's release I hardly ever played it.
I wasn't really enamoured with any of their subsequent releases apart from the Tom Middleton mix of Pure Shores.
Today's slice of soul comes from New Orleans. Maurice Williams is best know for the 1960 hit Stay with the band the Zodiacs which was on the soundtrack amnd featured in the film Dirty Dancing.
Nobody Knows was recorded in the middle of that decade and released on the Scepter label. He is probably best know in northern circles for Being Without You which sounds a bit more Motownesque than Nobody Knows.
Ally over at Dusty Sevens posted the the Gladys Knight version of Giving Up on her torment Tuesday which had me digging out my version by the Ad Libs and firing it on the turntable forgetting that the labels are stuck on the wrong side I accidentally put on the plug side Appreciation and was shocked at how good a track it was and chastised myself for not playing it more.
So here for your listening pleasure is the A side of the single, also written and produced by Van McCoy and released on Share Records in 1969.
There will be nothing to see at the kitchen table until Friday as it is half term up here and I will be away for the week with the in-laws, all eleven of them! for a week of absolutely no rest or recuperation.
I've always loved record fairs, there is something about seeing so many pieces of vinyl in one place and all of those desperate guys furtively looking for their individual holy grail that appeals to the right saddoe in me. These days they don't seem to have the same importance as they used to what with ebay, Discogs and the like. But there is nothing like being in a huge hall with loads of other males and it is a predominantly male environment sadly, flicking through the boxes of records, the smell of foostie vinyl mixed in with sweat and patchouli wafting in your nostrils, the expectancy of the big find, you can't beat it.
It wasn't always this way, the first record fair that Stiff and I never made it to was a tragedy that should have had us vowing never, ever to try and attempt attending one ever again.
That fateful Sunday started off okay. It must have been autumn 1983/84 when I got a call from Stiff in the morning asking if I wanted to go to a record fair in Glasgow. Straight away I said yes but I had a distinct lack of funds, so decided that I would take and sell some stuff that I hadn't listened to in a while. First up was my double cassette copy of Sandinista, after all everybody kept telling me it was pish. Also there was that American Prayer album by Jim Morrison that really was shit, Indians on the highway and all that, poetry my arse.
So with both of these, a couple of other albums that I can't remember and all of my savings, five quid, I headed over to Stiff's bit, where Tank, the oldest W brother did some hard bartering with me and ended up with both the Morrison album and Clash cassettes for less than a fiver I think. Tank wasn't coming with us on this adventure only Bat and his mate Kyle.
We set out in Papa's Lada in high spirits with Stiff and I asking Bat to put on another tape as what was on wasn't the kind of thing that we were into but he was adamant that that was what was being played as he was driving and we could either like it or lump it. So we sat in the back feeling hard done to and watching the valley road.
All was going well until just after the Baillieston junction when papa John's Lada started acting up, so just after the turn off to Easterhouse Bat pulled into the hard shoulder where the car decided to expire.
"What do we do now?" Kyle asked
"You two (pointing at us), stay here" Bat said, "Kyle and I will go for help".
Fair enough we thought and off they went.
The full enormity of the situation didn't hit us until about twenty minutes later when the tape finished and I said to Stiff, "For fuck's sake change that tape, there is only so much Leonard Cohen you can listen to!".
Stiff went to change the tape, turned round with a kind of hapless look on his coupon and said " there only is the one tape"
You have got to be fucking jokin!'" I exclaimed
"Nope" he replied.
" You mean to say that we are stranded on the M8, on the outskirts of Easterhoose, with one fucking tape, with Bob, bastarding Dylan on one side and Leonard fucking Cohen on the other?"
" 'fraid so"
"Jesus fucking christ, they better get help quick"
Two hours later Bat and Kyle returned.
We waited a further hour for the AA and after they took us back to the depot we spent another hour waiting on them repairing the clutch cable and then we returned home. Not the best Sunday I have ever spent in my life but one which familiarised me with some of the best and it must be said some really rank songs by Leonard Cohen and also Blood On The Tracks.
Here is possibly my favourite track from Blood On The Tracks, which every time I hear it transports me back to sitting in the back seat of a red Lada Riva, broken down on the hard shoulder of the M8 outside Easterhouse.
The KLF have featured here on a few occasions and today posted is the track that kicked off the whole stadium house genre and is probably responsible for that 6 letter word that stands for bloated excess and over blown pomposity in the dance world, neither of which could apply to this track I hasten to add.
What Time Is Love has appeared in many forms over the years with various versions being released but I think that the original, sans the samples and the rap is my favourite. It is hard to believe that this was released in 1988 and even harder to believe due to the fanfare that accompanied subsequent releases by the duo that it was such a low key affair.
I love a bit of Lee Scratch Perry and the other Sunday when I was in the town with my mate Colin and perusing the shelves of Monorail in between pints of cider I spotted a double album of unreleased tracks which had to be purchased as it was the only thing that day that had grabbed my attention and there was no way that I could go home without purchasing something, well it would have been rude for a start.
I eventually got round to listening to the album last weekend, prising the Dexy's album off of the turntable for nearly 70 minutes, a record over the past few months. Anyway in amongst the brilliant dub tracks this really soulful reggae track from Candy McKenzie got me to sit up and pay attention. It is from a "lost" album recorded at the Black Ark in 1977 which was passed on by Island at the time which to me is unfathomable if the rest of the album is as sweet as this track. The track shows that for all his eccentricities Perry could also produce what I would call sublime soulful pop music.
For a couple of weeks I had known that last week was going to be a bit full on and had therefore prepared myself for it (I was being handed over a load of work from a colleague who is leaving the company). Not only would I be spending two days away I would also be having some extremely long days.
Monday went ok, a late one and most of it spent in a cupboard with no natural light but not too bad considering.
Tuesday however got off to a bad start. I was travelling to Aberdeen and set off later than I expected which I hate doing and had to make up some time along the way which is not the easiest thing to do when travelling on the A90, 17 speed cameras between Dundee and the Granite City and also unmarked traffic polis. It would have been fine but when Today finished on Radio 4 as usual I hit play on the Touch but nothing happened. WTF? So I found the nearest layby, stopped and checked the player, touched the music icon to be confronted with nothing, not a single solitary song. Immediately I broke into a cold sweat, away from home for two days and absolutely no music, no cds in the car as not needed what with the ipod. A scenario too scary to be able comprehend fully.
The following hour and fifteen minutes was sheer torture as I had to endure the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, something I have managed to avoid since 2004 when , briefly I car shared with someone who actually found Chris (why play music when you can hear me talking pish about me) Moyles, amusing. Those mornings were excruciating. There was some solace in the fact that last Tuesday I didn't have to listen to "The Saviour of Radio One", not much granted but some.
Anyway I survived the journey and spent the next two days somewhat distracted wondering, firstly why was there no music on my iPod and secondly would it load up when I got home or was it goosed?
I arrived home on Wednesday night and before even greeting L and the boys, who really weren't that interested in my return anyway, I rushed up the stairs got into my office booted up the computer and connected the iPod. After going down and saying hello I went back up and to my relief found the mp3 player successfully syncing with iTunes. Thank god I said to myself.
So, on Thursday I headed off to Glasgow with renewed vigour safe in the knowledge that I had a fully functioning music player, or so I thought.
After arriving at my destination, getting my laptop connected and in possession of all of the notes needed to do a serious day's monitoring, I selected songs then shuffle, put on my headphones and settled down to work.
This can't be happening as I fidgeted with the jack plug connected to the top of the player trying to get the sound to come out of both headphones but unfortunately it was true the headphone connection was shagged. But I only got this repaired a couple of months ago!
I was straight on the email to the iPod Surgery, who to be fair couldn't have been more helpful, the repair was still within warranty and they would send out the Special Delivery packaging straight away and so when I got home on Friday I found a package from them which was duly filled with the faulty Touch and dispatched back to them first thing Saturday morning.
And now I come to the point of this ramble.
Over the weekend I was reflecting upon how it has come to this, that I felt that there was an essential part of my being missing, a feeling which I suspect will not abate until I have my mp3 player back in my possesion. Back in the day I would never have felt like this about my Walkman, in fact frequently I was without it due to the batteries running out and when my red Sony one finally bit the dust I didn't replace it for a good 18 months until I could afford a decent portable cd player which ate batteries and therefore didn't get out much. It is quite scary on how dependent I have become in being able to shut out the the rest of humanity and live in my own wee bubble, scary but not that scary that I am going to give it up any time soon. I have already put contingencies in place, in that as soon as my touch is returned my old 80gb will be dispatched for surgery so that if I ever end up music less in the future I will have a backup.
It is a rather sad and pathetic state of affairs becoming so reliant on a piece of technology. But not something I am willing to contemplate weaning myself of off in the foreseeable future.
The Fall - Lost In Music (sorry Ctel, twice in the space of less than a week)
Please tell me if you are getting a bit bored with starting the week with a bit of soul? I hate to be predictable but I can't think of a better way to start the week, certainly better than listening to Andrew Marr.
Here is a bit of an R&B stomper from Maxine Brown and the flip side of the more mainstream Little Girl Lost which is not a bad track, couldn't be with Maxine's vocals but the non plug side is definitely the one for me. Released on Wand in 1964. It always amazes me that these soul records, some sixty plus years old still sound fresh today.
After the debacle that was Airborne Toxic Event at the Arches, Stiff and I left the venue insisting that, that was it we had banned ourselves from the venue on the grounds of the shit sound, we also decided that that was the last time that we would go and see ATE as well due to them not dealing well with the shit sound and going off in the huff. Decisions that neither of us would find that difficult to keep.
That was until a fortnight ago.
Not for the first time the complete bastard that is Mark Edward Smith has put us in a dilemma. After the last two disgustingly bad performances in Edinburgh we both vowed that we would never go and see the Fall in the capital again. But Glasgow was a different matter as neither of us had ever seen the gruppe at anything but their best there.
Now Smith has decided that the Fall will play the Arches, of all the venues in the city it had to be that one. It was discussed in depth last week at the football, in between watching Airdrie getting beaten yet again and we decided to think about it some more.
So that night after a few glasses of rum I came to the executive decision to purchase the tickets, we will now be going to see the Fall at the Arches on Wednesday the 21st of November. This is definitely Smith's last chance, another shite gig and that's it!
Here is a track that has come out of the back catalogue, been dusted down and had an airing live recently.
For those of you that thought that Glasgow dance music labels started with Soma and ended with 23rd Precinct/Limbo, think again.
In 1997 Kevin McKay started up Glasgow Underground, another label from the second city of Empire that did exactly as it said on the label, releasing quality house tracks from the not insignificant local talent and beyond such as Musique Tropique, 16B and DJ Q. The label also released tracks by people from further afield such as Mateo and Matis and Romanthology. The track posted is by the Idjut Boys and Quakerman. The Idjut Boys are responsible for my favourite track on the label a remix of Stella Sunday that I have posted previously.
If you like what you hear and frankly what's not to like and you wish to investigate further The Glasgow Underground compilations would be a good place to start.
Have a good weekend people.
Idjut Boys & Quakerman - Radio Rage (16B Club mix)
Btw, apparently this track was canned by Sasha and appeared on one of his Essential mixes but don't let that put you off, there is not a swooshy synth line anywhere just an extremely catchy bassline
You might have noticed a distinct drop in activity over the kitchen table over the past few weeks. The reasons for this are two-fold.
Firstly, work has been steadily encroaching on my personal life, so much so that I have been working most evening when at home as well as when away, which is far from good. And it looks as though it's going to get a whole lot fucking worse before it gets any better.
The other reason and the main one if I'm honest is that all I want to listen to at the moment is Dexys and therefore all I really want to say is you need to buy One Day I'm Going To Soar as it is fucking amazing and hearing that day after day may get boring which certainly isn't true about playing the album.
Oh, and once you've played that for about a week solid go back and listen to and reappraise Don't Stand Me Down which also, twenty seven years after it's initial release is fucking brilliant.
It's not as if I haven't bought anything over the past six weeks or so; there is a double Lee Scratch Perry dub album, the latest offerings from Moon Duo and The Raveonettes and quite a few others that need to be given some attention but I just seem to be stuck in a groove where only six sides of music are doing it for me at the moment.
Work got in the way of seeing them live at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh a few weeks ago which by all accounts was a brilliant night. But hopefully due to the success of the tour they may tour again soon (fingers crossed).
So here is a track from that album from 1985 which was much maligned not least by yours truly and a performance of one of the tracks from the latest delve into the life of Kevin Rowland from the appearance on later earlier this year.
Here is a song by a guy I know absolutely nothing about.
Sunshine Love is the flip side of a rather slow smouldering soul ballad called Take Me. Sunshine Love is a different beast entirely, a mid paced dancer that could grace any dance floor. It was released on Tangerine records out of NYC. Apart from that you're own your own.