Tuesday, 19 September 2017
(Those) Rogues are the second Canadian band that I have featured in this Tuesday spot that was never intended to run as long as it has. I have surprised myself with the number of mid sixties garage rock records that I actually own, granted most of them are like a fair bit of my northern collection, pressings or re-releases. I realised years ago that I didn't have the wherewithal to be part of the OVO brigade so never developed the contempt for non kosher vinyl.
Back to (Those) Rogues, no I have no idea why the brackets, were from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and were active from 1964 to 1967. They only released the one single recorded in Toronto in ealry 1967 but had already committed to tape enough original tracks to make an album which sadly never saw the light of day. For me the better side of the single is the b-side, Girl.
(Those) Rogues - Girl
Monday, 18 September 2017
This was first posted four years ago but I played the single yesterday for the first time in ages and thought that it warranted another airing on the blog.
I had a bit of a crush on Stansfield back in the day when others were lusting over the likes of Harriet.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Lisa Stansfield in a modern soul post. Stansfield herself is responsible for a track that was huge on the scene, so much so that the track was bootlegged and released out on 7" vinyl. 8-3-1 was released as a cd single in 2001 and was one of the standout tracks from that year's Face Up album.
I once nearly met Lisa Stansfield, when she was at the height of her fame. I was returning from an exhausting week in Holland with sixty odd Primary school children. We had stopped at a service station when one of the girls spotted Stansfield returning to her coach which led to maybe a dozen girls rushing over. Stansfield was having none of it and quickly got into the coach. The kids were told to go away in very unambiguous terms by the Rochdale singer's "security" and they returned to hassling the staff at the service station instead. One girl turned to me and said " does she no know who we ir? an she isnae Madonna onyways".
Lisa Stansfield - 8-3-1
Saturday, 16 September 2017
Friday, 15 September 2017
I''m getting a bit peeved off with this exclusivity pish that's going on with vinyl releases at the moment, records being pressed in ever more limited runs. The Fort Beulah release was bad enough only 150 copies available exclusively through Love Vinyl in that there London place. But Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet aka KH has gone one better and released a single sided 12" single with only 100 copies available from Phonica Records in store only , in you've guessed it the only place where music matters, our capital city and cultural hub where the only good music comes from, well Lauren Lavern, Idris Elba and the judges of the Mercury Music prize seem to believe that, but I digress. The xx used to be guilty of this with runs of 300 copies of this only available from Japan and 500 of that only released in Germany but I see that they have at least given fans a sporting chance with their latest 12" remix, 1000 copies available for pre-order from their website.
I know, I know , rarity value where music is concerned is not a new thing and one of my greatest loves, northern soul has probably got a lot to do with this commoditization of music, with the exorbitant prices some of the records on the scene fetch but there is a genuine reason for these records being scarce, most of them were local, small releases or bombed and as a result the vinyl was melted down or lost in storage somewhere. This recent marketing shit is different, it's bollocks and reeks of the worst excesses of capitalism where records are a thing to possess and lust over rather than listen to. Call me old fashioned but when I get a record I want to put it on the turntable and hear it not just look at. I love ripping the shrinkwrap off an album and getting that first whiff of vinyl as you prise it out of the inner sleeve and hear the slight crackle of the static that has built up. In days gone by it was even better as you had the anticipation as to what the album as a whole sounded like as there was no streaming prior to release and you would only have heard the lead single which had prompted you to purchase the record in the first place but I digress once more.
While we're on the subject single sided 12" singles at at least a tenner a pop are not value for money, even if the track is 10 minutes long. Sort it fucking out!
So after all that today's track is in the form of a Youtube clip, I would love to offer up a 320mbs/s rip of the track but as I am not unfortunate enough to live in the vicinity of Phonica Records and don't have a spare one hundred and fifty quid to buy one of the two copies on Discogs that will have to do.
The still manager-less Airdrie tomorrow are at home to East Fife and we will be looking for a better result that the 3-1 defeat away at Stanraer last week. I saw we, Stiff is otherwise engaged and Leo is away with L to watch his grandfather Hill Climb at Doune, so I will be on my own but hopefully Willie and father John will be in attendance.
Have a good weekend people.
Thursday, 14 September 2017
My list of records to buy doesn't seem to be getting shorter. It seems that on a daily basis I have to add something, yesterday it was the new Four Tet one which will be released at the beginning of October. I haven't been able to buy a pair of trainers for some months and had to forget the limited edition beer proof Adidas Prost which looked the business. It has also meant that the priorities keep changing as one more limited edition takes precedence over another, in turn bumping other things further back in the queue. One such thing is the second (see that, not sophmore as I am not American) album from Canadian band Alvvays which is quite annoying as from what I've heard it is even better than their debut. although I haven't heard anything that quite matches today's track.
You will probably find me bangoing on about Antisocialists ( a brilliant title) in about 18 months time the way things are going just now.
Alvvays - Archie, Marry Me
Tuesday, 12 September 2017
I am beginning to really look forward to the prospect of the Michael Head gig at Oran Mor at the beginning of next month and if the two tracks from the new album that have been released so far are indicative of the rest of the album, well we will forgive Mick for the wait. This popped up on Twitter the other day and is absolutely lovely.
Monday, 11 September 2017
Is the Jimmy Mack who cut this single for Detroit's Palmer label in 1967 the same Jimmy Mack that Martha Reeves sung about and had bolted on her? I don't know, it's possible, could be, as the identity of the singer on this record has never confirmed at one time it was thought that he was Jimmy McEachin, however that was ruled out as he worked on the West Coast in L.A. He was then thought to be a writer and singer out of Chicago. Whoever he is he should be saluted for recording such an excellent dancer and I hope that he is/was aware of how much esteem My World Is On Fire is held in on this side of the pond, making the lower reaches of the Northern Soul Top , number 459. No mean feat.
Jimmy Mack - My World Is On Fire
Friday, 8 September 2017
The first weekend in September where the hell has the year gone. As you can probably guess from the last sentence I've not got much to say, so best just to tell you that today's track from Levon Vincent is a rather fine piece of modern squelchy acid that was released last year on his own Novel Sound imprint (Novel being Levon backwards). On the flip side there is a less than essential remix of Tubular Bells.
Four games in and Airdrionians have made a better start to the season than most of us expected. At present they are sitting joint third. Tomorrow the Diamonds make the long trip to Stranraer in previous encounters the honours have been even with 9 wins a piece and two draws so anything can happen. Let's hope that the youngsters who seem to be gelling well as a team can come up the road with a victory.
Have a good weekend people.
Levon Vincent - Birds
Thursday, 7 September 2017
As you may have picked up I am quite partial to a bit of the drone and the longer and weirder the better so here is the final track from the album. I will warn you, it does go on for quite a while but that is part of it's appeal.
The Warlocks - Oh Shadie
Wednesday, 6 September 2017
With all the doom and gloom filling the airways and the newspapers it's kind of hard to be upbeat about anything. It's at times like this that I like to find solace in some Scandinavian indiepop and where better than with the Labrador label. Days is the second track from, European, Sambassadeur's third album for the label released in 2010. However thinking about that title makes me somewhat depressed.
Sambassadeur - Days
Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Love at a Price was the one and only single by Kempy and the Guardians , I know, seriously bad name by rights I should never have listened to this as the name suggests a particularly crap team of superheroes to me. Now, I don;t like to speculate but maybe the pish name chosen by the band from Oak Cliff, Texas had something to do with them only releasing the one single although they had two goes at it. It's not the song anyway as it's a great piece of fuzz tone garage which has a bit of a Yardbirds feel to it. Or it could be that in 1966 this record just got lost as we know that was a particularly good year for garage rock singles. The version posted is for me the better version, the second one released on Romunda Records.
Kempy and the Guardians - Love At A Price
Monday, 4 September 2017
Loleatta Holloway is probably best know for her wonderful disco records on the Salsoul like Love Sensation or Seconds or for the numerous samples of here voice that have appeared on many a house tune, Ride On Time by Black Box being one of the most blatant ones. But before her forays into disco she was signed to Aware Records out of Atlanta Georgia and in 1973 released a single "Mother of Shame" which was played as a current record at the Blackpool Mecca and from there crossed the country and became a bip play in the Wigan Casino. The track was co-written by Sam Dees responsible for one of my favourite northern tracks Lonely For You Baby.
Loleatta Holloway - Mother of Shame
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
When I was thirteen/fourteen the older hippy types that I hung about with quite a bit introduced me to a lot of things that I would not have heard anywhere else at that time, Janis Joplin, Hendrix, Love and loads of late 60s stuff on Jac Holzman's Elektra label and the like. Don't get me wrong a lot of it was pure pish but some of it, the wigouts with loads of feedback and noise I especially liked those (I nearly added a "man") in there. All of this subtle brainwashing has left me with a bit of a susceptibility for tunes that go that little bit "further". So when someone a few years ago pointed me in the direction of Richard Norris' The Time and Space Machine project it was a stick-on that I would get into these edits of obscure 60s psychedelic tunes. Of the three volumes released on 5D, I think that volume 2 is the one I return to most and especially this edit of Through With You by The Lemon Pipers.
The Time And Space Machine - Through (Your Mind)
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
No this isn't that total fud David Davis' theme tune although if it weren't for the fact that it would ruin the song for me it would be quite apt for him to adopt it. Maybe someone else could write one entitled "We're Getting Fuck All But At Least We've Taken Back Control, perhaps Morrissey. But I digress.
I Ain't No No Miracle Worker was the second single by The Brogues and was supposed to cash in on the local success of the band from Merced, California's first single Someday. It was co-written by Anette Tucker (responsible for writing I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night) and Nancie Nantz. The single was recorded at Sunset Recorders in LA and released on the local Challenge Records label in November 1965 and like so many local garage and soul records before and after them failed to do the business nationally and was the final release by the band, as similarly to other Garage bands the group disbanded when two of their members were conscripted to the military and were sent to Vietnam. This is one of my absolute favourite releases in the genre. I love the fuzzed up lead guitar and the strong soulful vocal performance from Gary Cole. The song was also recorded by The Great Scots shortly afterwards and then a few years later by The Chocolate Watch Band but this is the definitive version.
The Brogues - I Ain't No Miracle Worker
Monday, 28 August 2017
I'm really surprised that I have never posted this rather passionate break up song from Eddie Parker. I'm Gone was released on the Awake label in 1966 and was co-written by Jack Ashford ex funk brother and produced co-produced by Lorraine Chandler. As is common in soul circles the single was a flop! Why? You're guess is as good as mine and Parker did very little for the next two years until Ashford and Chandler set up their own label "Ashford and released the excellent follow up to I'm Gone, Love You Baby another flop, and subsequently went bankrupt. However the taste-makers in the north of England found these treasures a few years later and the rest is as they say history, with a significant price tag for those wishing to own the originals.
Eddie Parker - I'm Gone
Friday, 25 August 2017
In the week that has seen the return of the KLF after their twenty three year self imposed hiatus I thought that we should re-visit what it was that got us all on board Drummond and Cauty's Ice Cream Van to begin with. Yes, they will be remembered and rightly hailed as geniuses for the performance at the Brit Awards and the dumping of the sheep at an after show party, be castigated for the burning of one million quid in notes on Jura and the many other memorable events that they staged. But you can't get away from the fact that not only did the invent two genres of dance music, Ambient and Stadium House they also released some of the best pop records of the 1990s and Doctorin' The Tardis, which for me is right up there with Pump Up The Jam in the pish record stakes.
I have opted for the first of the "pure trance" records What Time Is Love?, which in a later incarnation, albeit in a much more radio friendly form would get to number 5 in the charts. In 1988 there weren't very many records that sounded like What Time Is Love or sounded so powerful when dropped at just the right time in a club or the middle of a field.
We are on week 4 of the Scottish League Division 1 season and Airdrie are doing a lot better than I feared we would be during the pre-season League Cup games. They have won one , drawn one and lost another. The Diamonds are in a precarious financial position after the Chairmen, one year into his three year plan decided he didn't really fancy pouring his money into a football club and withdrew funding. Our Manager who to be honest with you wasn't that great anyway and no great loss decided to bail too and then the volunteer coach who replaced him followed suit. So at the moment we are coach less with a much reduced squad, most of whom and I'm not exaggerating here will be twenty one day. The club have also had to sell their best player, Andy Ryan the other week, much to Leo's dismay but let's hope getting in enough money that those of us who bought a season ticket didn't do so in vain.
Anyway, onwards and upwards as they say. This Saturday we host Alloa Athletic who are also sitting on four points at present. As long as we win more than we lose this season and stay afloat I think most of us will be happy. If any of you dear readers feel like lighting a candle to Saint Jude for Airdrionians please feel free, it can't hurt. At the end of next month we have to take on JCs beloved Raith Rovers for the first time in this campaign and I am not looking forward to thhat one.
Have a good weekend people.
KLF - What Time Is Love?
Thursday, 24 August 2017
There are some albums that you know from the moment that the needle picks up the first bar or two of music are going to require your full attention for the duration. Return From Sea, the debut album from Sister John is one such album. As soon as I heard the first notes of Thinner Air I I knew that I was going to have to park myself on the listening chair and focus. What followed was forty three minutes of lush, warm, beautifully crafted songs that I think will be just perfect for the darkening evenings that are beginning to creep up on us. Although quite minimal in parts for example See You Again, the sound is never cold, always quite comforting which is all the more surprising when you discover that the record was recorded in a tiny room off the kitchen where two of the band members reside, although this may account for the overall intimate feel of the album. I hate to put tags on music or say if you like such and such then you will like this but I think that anybody who is fond of well crafted music that you can immerse yourself in will love this album. At the moment my favourites are Sweetest Moment and Sister John's Dream but that will probably change tomorrow. Seriously this is one of my favourite releases of the year and there have been quite a few albums that I have loved so far.
The band are a four piece and consist of Amanda McKeown (Vocals/Guitar and songwriting), Jonathan Lilley (Guitar/Bass/Keyboards/Vocals). Heather Philips (Violin/Vocals) and Sophie Pragnell (Drums?Viola/Vocals) who met through the Parsonage Choir and kind of fell together as a band after being asked to perform at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow.
The album will be released on the Last Night From Glasgow label on the 15th September, a label that is consistent in releasing great music which is also beautifully packaged as only someone who loves the physical formats of music could design and produce, making each release that little bit more special. I'm not sure how many copies of the limited edition 180g vinyl edition are left but if you are quick you can order it here. There is also a two night launch party at the Hug and Pint on 14th/15th September which unfortunately are both sold out.
Sister John - Sweetest Moment
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
Before Max was born I had a worrying couple of months. What was troubling me was gender and names. I was dreading the prospect of having a daughter, not for some male, first born having to be a boy kind of shit. A little bit of my worry was that I would be a crap dad to a daughter, ie she wouldn't be allowed out until she was thirty and even then it would be with a chaperone, I know terrible but I believe that that is only a slight exaggeration of how I would be. But what vexed me even more than my potential crap parenting was the choice of name for the apple of my eye, L had her mind set on Stella and I was none to keen on calling my first born after a premium strength Continental lager, as that's what people in these parts would have believed. We already knew of someone who had named her daughter after the spiced rum she had been drinking the night said daughter was conceived. Anyway on 31st October 2003 my fears came to naught when Max made has emergency entrance to this world.
A few years later I was to thank my lucky stars again that Max had been indeed a boy when a rather splendid song by a Norwegian nutter based in Stockholm came out entitled Stella, telling the story of a "forty three year old hooker from downtown" who God was offering the world to if she spent the night with him.
A close call, I'm sure you will agree.
Ida Maria - Stella
Tuesday, 22 August 2017
What do you get when you cross Rockabilly and Garage Rock? You get Round Robin. A record that must have been in Lux and Ivy's collection, it just ticks all of their boxes. I'm The Wolfman was written by James Baker Knight best known for writing thing like The Wonder of You and Lonesome Town and for artists like Dean Martin, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra, so god knows what someone had slipped into his scotch and soda when we sat down and penned this piece of trash rock. Whatever it was maybe he should have kept with it but then it probably was n't as profitable for him. The record was released on the Domain Records label in 1965.
Round Robin - I'm The Wolfman
Monday, 21 August 2017
I dug out this single and played it for the first time in ages on Saturday night but I had the same reaction to it that I always have, goose pimples and shivers. It really is an amazing record, Bessie Banks finest vocal and a thousand times better than the rather wet cover by the Moody Blues that came out in the same year, 1964. One of my top 21 records.
Bessie Banks - Go Now
Friday, 18 August 2017
Today's dance track has a tenuous link to Wednesday's post in so much as I have seen it stated in more than one place that the track is a cover of a classic Jerry Butler soul song which Elvis covered on the From Elvis in Memphis album. I remain skeptical as the one resemblance I can find between the two tracks is the title, Only The Strong Survive, nothing else sounds even remotely similar. This does not mean that the Frankie Knuckles piano house tune from 1987 is any less of a track, how could it be it's Frankie Knuckles, it's just a different beast entirely, a laid back, soulful deep house groove that sounded great thirty years ago and although can't be considered as sounding fresh, I think it stands the test of time.
As part of L's significant birthday celebrations, she is away for the weekend at a heuchter-teuchter music festival in Campbelltown with a few of the "girls". Each to their own I suppose. So while she is listening to bollocks about heather and how we were constantly under the yolk of the colonisers from the south I will be listening to the proclamations of Mark Edward Smith and whoever else I please at volume without any fear of grumbling or being told to "turn that bloody racket down" while the boys run feral.
Have a good weekend people.
Frankie Knuckles - Only The Strong Survive
Thursday, 17 August 2017
The third album, Who Sold The World by Night Beats totally passed me by when it was released. I remember reading a review of it and thinking that it sounded like the kind of thing that would appeal to me, being described as a 21st Century update on the Texan garage/psych sound of the mid 60s, in the vein of 13th Floor Elevators. But then I forgot all about them until Dr John Cooper Clarke dropped a track from the album when he was sitting in for Jarvis on 6Music. The album was duly bought and has been played often ever since. You can sort of spot the influences but this is no mere nostalgic trip back to the mid 60s. The music feels both ancient and very now.
One of the highlights of the album Sunday Mourning, think Stoned and Dethroned era Mary Chain with added LSD laced Kool Aid and you are on the right track, was handed over to Jono Ma, one third of Aussie psych dance mob Jagwar Ma. The consequences although quite predicable, a strung out druggy laid back dance groove is no less brilliant, although a tad short another 5 minutes or so wouldn't have done it any harm.
Talking of Jagwa Ma, there is a remix ep out at the moment which is absolutely brilliant and include a remix by all of our favourite remixer, Andrew Weatherall. However for the third time recently his remic is not my favourite on a release, don't get me wrong it is no less than excellent but the Michael Mayer one just edges it for me as did the XAM remix of Fluxus by Early Years and the WAVNE remix of Sometimes by Sexual Objects. Could this be the law of diminishing returns in operation?
Night Beats - Sunday Mourning (Jono Ma rexix)
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
I am going to repeat myself below, so feel free to just skip to the 4th or 5th paragraph. That's if you actually read any of this in the first place.
It was forty years ago today that the man who is still referred to as "The King" died. I know exactly where I was when I heard the news, I was in my grandfather's house at 100 Douglas Street, Airdrie. My memory of this event has nothing to do with an early love of the vocal talents of Elvis Aaron Presley but more to do with the strange reaction of some of the people round about me when they heard the news. Staying with my grandpa at the time were my dad's American cousin and his girlfriend, who were from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, over on an excursion to see the old country and who the previous day had presented me with the funniest rugby ball I had ever seen, apparently it was made of pigskin and also the sweetest, sickliest sweets (candy) I had ever tasted. Anyway, you would have thought that one of their closest relatives had died the way they were going on and Jimmy's girlfriend, whose name I cannot recall but whose dazzling, shiny white teeth I can see to this day was inconsolable, I may be wrong but I think that she spent the rest of her stay grief stricken.
At the time I was ambivalent to the work of the boy from Tupelo and it took me another ten years to start to appreciate him but at this time he meant crappy films on Boxing Day/Ne'erday or Bank Holidays except for the black and white one with the song Trouble and the one about the fish, I liked that and those songs. A few years later I positively loathed the man due to my brother's obsession with GI Blues, my mother encouraging him by buying the bloody soundtrack album and for a good couple of years before he found Chris De fucking Burg, it felt like Wooden Heart was being played on a loop in our house.So when I heard that punks especially the Clash and the like had no time for Elvis I naturally got on board and happily followed suit and up until I was about 19 refused to entertain anything to do with Elvis.
One Sunday afternoon in 1988 in the pub when talking about music, one of the crowd starting waxing lyrical about Elvis, it was easy for all to see that Gilkes was serious and he wasn't a crazy rhinestone encrusted, huge belt buckle wearing guy with even huger sideboards but rather someone, who apart from his liking of the Eagles had quite good taste. I asked him to suggest where I start, so he lent me his copy of the Sun Collection, early sessions album which absolutely blew me away and then it was From Elvis in Memphis which I think is a nearly perfect album, I love the way that Elvis' voice got deeper and more soulful as he got older.
To be honest with you after those two albums, King Creole, the 68 Comeback Special, Elvis Presley and about a dozen singles I haven't delved too deeply into the back catalogue but every now and again I hear a previously a song that i have never heard before and most of the time they are brilliant. I bet that there are quite a few gems tucked in some of those crappy soundtrack albums from those terrible films that he made after coming out of the army and up until the Vegas years. I do fancy getting either a copy of the Hawaii concert or a recording of one of the Vegas performances as on some of the clips I have seen of these the orchestration is great and also if you don't look and focus on the voice, the King still had it at that time.
Anyway, the track I am going to feature to commemorate the passing of Elvis Presley is in my opinion a gem, hidden amongst the shit on one of those soundtracks. It was also released as the flip of Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby released in 1968 to promote the film Speedway which also featured Nancy Sinatra which to my knowledge I have never seen but can imagine, Elvis wins girl while driving, fucks up, girl bolts, Elvis wins impossible race and in doing so wins girl back and sings big song, the end.
At the time of Elvis's death That's Alright Mama had been around for less years than Fool's Gold has been today and so the next time you wax lyrical about the great tunes of the late 8os/early 90s to some kid with a bored expression think on, about how we felt when old timers were banging on about the King. and we were thinking "aye was he". Although it would appear that Elvis' repertoire has stood the test of time. We will need to see if some of our "classics" fare as well.
Elvis Presley - Let Yourself Go
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Danny Burk and his Invaders may not win any fans in the teaching fraternity for their use of grammar but other bands in the Memphis TN area could have learned a thing or two on how to put together a scorching garage tune which may or may not be recognised as a classic in it's day but will be admired and sought after in decades to come. This is another of those releases from that golden year for Garage Rock 1966. I think that it would be hard to pick a top 50 "Garage Greats" from that year.
Danny Burk & The Invaders - A'int Going Nowhere.
Monday, 14 August 2017
Back to work for me today after a better week in Machrihanish than was expected. We had sunshine on four out of the seven days away, the boys got to body board in some excellent waves off of Westport beach and I got to get my kite up which was great although my arms were aching afterwards.
Linda Jones has featured on the blog before with her very distinctive gospel influenced voice. Today's track was originally from 1967 and was only ever released in France on the Warner Brothers label for some unfathomable reason. It is an uptempo screamer of a track wich Jones giving a very powerful almost belligerent vocal full of disdain for a previous lover. Great stuff. It was re-released on 7" vinyl last year on the Austrian Record Shack label.
Linda Jones - You Can't Take It
Friday, 11 August 2017
I know nothing about the band Fovea Hex or the remixer Abul Mogard but when Mary Anne Hobbs recommends something it is always wise to give it a listen. This is absolutely stunning and will be a great soundtrack to watching the Perseid Meteor Shower this weekend.
Saturday, 5 August 2017
A few weeks ago on the swansong post to CC's feature of Springsteen Vs The Rest he featured Springsteen with the Rigger boot firmly on the other foot with his cover of the sublime Tom Waits song Jersey Girl which took me back to early October last year when I found out in a tweet from Simon, who used to hang about this little corner of the internet, of the untimely death of Billy Franks an underrated and very under appreciated singer songwriter. The first song to come into my head obviously was Easter Parade but the next was a Youtube clip that I had stumbled upon a couple of years ago of Billy testing out a sound desk and the song he was singing was Jersey Girl which from the clip below you can see he really got into.
I really wish that I had had the pleasure of seeing Billy Franks perform live as by all accounts it was a near spiritual occasion which Davy H so eloquently described in a post on The Ghost Of Electricity here nearly nine years ago now.
Friday, 4 August 2017
In Glasgow in the early to mid nineties Slam and Soma weren't the only game in town. Down the road across the M8 and in Bath Street in the city centre a record shop called 23rd Precinct was getting in on the act with it's roster of labels and local talent. I have posted before about the absolute Although not quite as cutting edge as the Soma, for me anyway they did release some excellent progressive house and early Trance singles. The other night I revisited some of the early highlights when I dug out my copy of House of Limbo Vol 1. Although much of it is of it's time that doesn't mean that it isn't worth listening to although I must admit the my mood was a bit nostalgic remembering the first time that I heard classics Schtoom and I Trance You.
One of the tracks that has stood the test of time is the first release by Glasgow Subby legend Harri, Skelph, a storming piece of Progressive House from 1992 and the ninth release on the Limbo label.
We are off for a week of fun and torrential rain in Machrihanish, so probably nothing to see here for a week or so.
Have a good weekend people
Harri - Skelph
Thursday, 3 August 2017
I have listened to this lovely piece of music at least twice a day since I was first put on to it when it was the headphones moment on Lauren Laverne's show on 6Music a few weeks ago. A few days ago I found out that it is being released on vinyl through Young Turks at the end of September and without hesitation went to the Piccadilly Records website and duly ordered it. So make a cup of coffee or a pot of tea and sit down and take 14 minutes out, I guarantee you will not regret it.
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
A few weeks ago I had a mini rant about advertisers appropriating northern soul tunes to sell all sorts of shit from grease filled protein to easy credit, And it's not just consigned to soul. I thought we had reached the low point when London Calling was used to sell air travel , although the use of that song had always only been a matter of time but no the vampires have now surpassed themselves using Loaded to sell fucking
Thanks a fucking lot you scumbags! All the memories I have wrapped up in the tune, like when I just got it and took it round to Stiff saying "you've got to listen to this it's amazing" and he looked at it and replied "fuck off, it's Primal Scream" and when finally persuaded to put it on the turntable he was blown away by the tune and it didn't leave the stereo in Hazel's mother's house for a week. Now when I play this I am going to have to try to block out the vision of an actress sitting in a car talking about "progress" when I should be remembering being wasted at five o'clock in the morning singing ba ba ba ba ba da while a bemused dog looks at me strangely.
Anyway, the story of Loaded is well documented and both the Weatherall and Farley mixes have been featured here so I thought that I would post the three tunes that Weatherall sampled in his reconstruction of I'm Losing More Than I Ever Head, along with the vocal sample of Peter Fonda.
Firstly we have the drum sample which was lifted from an Italian bootleg of What I Am by Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians.
Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians - What I Am (bootleg).
Then we have the vocal sample "I don't Want To Lose Your Love"
The Emotions - I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love
and finally the horn sample which I was belting out to Barney all those years ago.
Not sure who I detest more, The Tory Party, the bankers or advertisers. It's a close call.
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
We aren't getting much help weather wise getting a summery vibe on up here in the rainy north. I think the couple of weekends we had in May and June are going to be looked back as our summer.
So if the weather isn't going to play the game maybe we can get in the mood with some class reggae from Lee Perry's stable. Long Enough, for some inextricable reason was never released back in 1977 and was to be one of the tracks on Candy McKenzie's album for Island that was shelved but then finally released on Trojan in 2011. I have never bought the album as I read some reviews at the time that said that the production was awful and a lot of vocals not very good. Something that can't be said about this track which I first heard when I purchased The Return of Sound System Scratch, a collection of unreleased tracks, dubs and instrumentals all sprinkled with the Upsetter's magic dust and well worth seeking out.
In my head the sun is shining and it's 32 degrees.
Candy McKenzie - Long Enough
Friday, 28 July 2017
Reach came on the Fiio the other day and my first thought was that it wasn't as fierce as I remembered it being the breakbeats not quite so frantic or the synth stabs as jarring must be something to do with the passage of time, I'm not trying to say it's dated or anything, I think I like it more now than I did then. Plavka's vocals although saying not very much at all but summing up the mood in the clubs at the time perfectly, are still as soulful as ever.
RIP Casper Pound, a guy taken far too early.
Have a good weekend people.
Rising High Collective - Reach
Thursday, 27 July 2017
Stumbled across this the other week. Don't know anything bout the band but this makes me want to investigate further. Definitely if at work listen through headphones as there are a few sweary words in there. I think that this should be adopted as the theme song for the female "talent" at the BBC. You can find out more about them here. It looks as though they will be in Glasgow in October, I may have to attend.
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
I most certainly am not but I think that the chances of the name being typed on this blog again are very slim. This is the man who was responsible for one of the smoochin songs at the YMCA discos in the early 80s in Lanark when you would take to the floor if you were lucky enough to have a winch for the night and shuffle totally out of time to the music while Bob would sing " we got tonight, who needs tomorrow", your faces locked together swapping spit. 2 +2 = ? is a totally different beast, a screaming anti Vietnam protest song from 1968 that up until recently was very rare indeed.
Earlier this year Jack White managed to secure the rights to the track and re-released it on Third Man Records for RSD and I failed miserably to get a copy, So when I saw a tweet from Monorail on Thursday stating that they had copies of the limited black re-press in stock. I knew where my first port of call was going to be on Friday afternoon when I was in the town getting something for L's birthday from the boys. I took the scooter into the town and straight to Kings Street and checked through the racks, no single. I checked through all the sections just to be sure. Nothing and so I asked one of the staff, I think they're all sold out but I'll check. . . No sorry" And so I went to leave when one of the other staff said "we have a copy kept back for such and such but I know that he is on holiday and we have ordered another two copies so he could get one of those when he gets back, so here you go". Now that is what I call customer service and one of the reasons why I love the place.
I think that Jack White might have been listening to this when he came up with the riff for Seven Nation Army. What do you reckon?
My luck wasn't all good on Friday as when I left Monorail I snapped my scooter key in the glove box lock and half an hour was spent trying to retrieve half of the key from the lock and a further hour or so wandering round Glasgow to find a Timpsons with a key close enough to it to cut to fit. It all ended fine as I got to Nancy Smillie's in the West End and got L's present.
I'm not going to post the single as I believe that there are still copies out there.
Monday, 24 July 2017
The 45, and I'm not talking about the Scottish Independence Referendum from a few years ago here, is the lead track from the 10" ep by D/Troit released back in 2015. It is a cracking bit of soul from Copenhagen and an ode to the 7" single. I know that soul music isn't confined to the States and can and should be made everywhere but I am still surprised that something of the quality of all 6 tracks on this ep should come from the label that originally brought us The Raveonettes an act that I naturally associate with Denmark. D/troit have a new single Soul Sound System which was released a few weeks and a whole album due for release very soon and one which will most definitely be spinning on my turntable before too long.
D/Troit - The 45
Friday, 21 July 2017
Space Face was produced with the soul intention of getting the three Hacienda regulars onto the guest list. The track pressed up with money from their parents became a regular play at the Manchester club. The "my god it's full of stars" comes from 2010 the follow up to Kubrick's 2001 both of which seemed very far off when out of your nut in a club or field at the beginning of the 90s.
Have a good weekend people.
Sub Sub - Space Face
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Only a week to go until New Facts Emerge, the latest long player from the mighty Fall. I know Ctel, only eight days more to wait! I am hoping that the vocals are a bit clearer and actually contain some real, actual words, although judging on the evidence of recent gigs I wouldn't go putting any money on it. I yearn for the days of non-rhyming couplets like
"on tv today somebody claimed their dog
had been molested by a textile chemist
But life just bounces so don't you get worried at all
sometimes life just bounces so don't you get worried at all"
Lines from Life Just Bounces which was originally released on Cerebral Caustic. This version is the live one from the In The City cd. Apparently the tune was inspired by Elton John and Kiki Dee's Don't Go Breaking My Heart, which must be true as MES said so in an interview in the Melody Maker,
The Fall - Life Just Bounces (In The City)
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
The majority of stuff that I am enjoying at present could be said to be either psych or kraut influenced. Here is another brilliant pulsing motorik 4x4 driving beat that could easily go on twice as long without being boring ( I know that I have used that phrase on more than a couple of occasions but repetition is the key anyway. This track comes from a 12" of remixes of tracks from Norwegian Carmen Villain's only album to date, Sleeper. The 12" includes remixes of a couple of other tracks by Peaking Lights and JD Twitch and is well worth seeking out.
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Today's piece of mid 60s Garage greatness isn't as furious in tempo as most of the other tracks in this unintended series have been, Why Don't You Smile was the flip side of the debut single of The All Night Workers from Syracuse, New York and was released on the Round Sound label in 1965. The a side is a blue eyed soul number that picked up some plays on the northern scene, however I find it rather formulaic and well, meh. The flip is far more interesting not least as the track is also the first recorded output of a collaboration of two young guys who the following year would write and record one of the most influential albums ever, not that it was apparent at the time. The two talented songwriters were Lou Reed and John Cale and according to the latter this song was written after a heavy drinking session.
The All Night Workers - Why Don't You Smile
If the song sounds familiar it may be because you have heard either the cover version from 1966 by The Downliners Sect or more probably the Spiritualized interpretation released as a single in 1991. The version posted below is an alternative version from the Blue on Blue bootleg which Will Carruthers sold by mail order in 2007 to raise some cash
Spiritualized - Why Don't You Smile (Alt mix)
Monday, 17 July 2017
Northern soul music has been used to sell all sorts of shit over the years. Credit Cards (Come On Train), Fried Chicken (loads of tracks) and bloody eggs (Do I Love You) to point out just three products that have used classic songs to entice you to get further into debt, make an omelette or end up with heartburn, Butt the connection between product and song usually has me at a loss, But none is as incongruous as the use of Rubin's absolute belter to sell fucking cat food?
The single was released in 1968 on Kapp and as usual failed to chart and subsequently when re-discovered became huge on the northern scene for about a year and then fell out of favour until resurrected for the cat food commercial and has been very popular since then. The identity of "Rubin" is not entirely clear and has been open to speculation ever since the record was unearthed.
I seem to have misplaced the dodgy bootleg copy I have.
Rubin - You've Been Away
Saturday, 15 July 2017
I saw this on Twitter and thought that it should be marked, Harry Dean Stanton, one of my favourite actors is 91 today. I loved him in, Pretty in Pink, Repo Man and especially his heart bursting performance in Paris Texas. Below is a post from the very early days of this blog,
All the best Harry and here's to many more!
Today's track is a bit of a curiosity. I say track but it is really a scene from one of my favorite films which was included in it's entirety on the soundtrack album.
Paris Texas was a film directed by Wim Wenders from a story written by Sam Shepherd and starring Harry Dean Stanton. At it's basics it is the story of an amnesiac who has reappeared after 4 years and of his attempt to make sense of what happened and try to reconcile his family on his return. The film is beautifully shot and has some wonderful performances notably Harry Dean Stanton and Dean Stockwell. Or as one of my less discerning friends once said, "self indulgent, chin stroking pish".
I've never been a great fan of Ry Cooder's music but I don't think that this film would have half the impact without the harsh, jarring sound of his steel guitar and especially the acoustic Spanish guitar which breaks in half way through the track posted and which turns an already emotional scene into a heartbreaking one.
Ry Cooder - I Knew These People
Friday, 14 July 2017
I bet that you have missed your weekly dose of less than "upfront" dance tunes on a Friday for the past few weeks, eh? Well today's almost fresh sound from only twenty four years ago should maybe fill that void. Smells Like Heaven was one of the many aliases of Fabio Paras, or Fabio Borzacco as he is known to his mother. This is the man who was responsible for That Piano track by Outrage which featured on The Junior Boy's Own Collection and some cracking remixes for the likes of The Aloof and De Ja Vu. Londres Strutt like most of the producer's output is heavily percussion driven and in the Rhythm De Londres mix throbs along with the best progressive house monsters of 1993. It was originally released on Dean Thatcher and Charlie Chester's Cowboy records and then later the same year picked up by DeConstruction and given a couple of remixes by Gypsy and Boomshanka, however the version posted is the one, the original mix annoys me with the repeated use of the "baseline, baseline, baseline kicking, I'm grooving" sample. Wellin my opinion anyway.
Have a good weekend people.
Smells Like Heaven - Londres Strutt (Rhythm De Londres mix)
Thursday, 13 July 2017
There is something about repetition like the drone that just sucks me in. So when I heard that Al Lover, an artist who I also found via Hoga Nord, was releasing an homage to one of the pioneers of the sounds that would become known as Kraut along with the equally groundbreaking Suicide it didn't take much for me to hit the buy now button. The resulting white 10" single entitled Neuicide has one side dedicated to the duo from NYC and the other to the band from Dusseldorf and both are well worth purchasing. For me, at the moment the NEUicide side as oppossed to neuICIDE on the flip is winning out.
Al Lover - NEUicide
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
I first stumbled across Hoga Nord Rekords at the tail end of 2015 when I heard the Pistol Disco 7" double header Goo/Pool and since then have been hooked and have bought all of the singles since and due to the quality took the plunge at the beginning of this year to join the singles club. The label is based in Gothenburg in Sweden and I assume that most of the acts on the label are from Scandinavia but I could be wrong as the likes of Timothy J Fairplay, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Al Lover have all had output on the label All three releases this year have been by bands, collectives, whatever that I have never heard of before but all of which have been extremely good. The track featured today is the b-side of the latest release, HNR020 by Ultra Satan, whose members have also recorded with various other acts from the label. This laid back groove and barely audible vocal is just right for the long lazy days of summer that people get elsewhere and if it went on twice long as it does it would not outstay it's welcome. This track is not for download due to it being current, the single can be purchased straight from the label or from Piccadilly Records and I'm sure are the tracks are available digitally from the usual outlets.
Ultra Satan - USB
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
The Bad Seeds were formed in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1964 and if the records that I have heard are anything to go by they owned more than a couple of Rolling Stones records. I'm A King Bee is the flip side of the group's first single, A Taste of the Same released on local label J-Beck records in 1965. They went on to release another couple of singles but disbanded not long after coming second in a Battle of the Bands competition to the Zakary Thaks who I have featured before. I think there's a good chance that an original of this could be found Lux and Ivy's in record collection.
The Bad Seeds - I'm A King Bee
Monday, 10 July 2017
Well that was a quick two weeks. The pantry is now well stocked up on Foie Gras, Cassoulet and Confit du Canard. I think that I may have also done some serious damage to my suspension with the amount of wine that we brought back! But now it's back to the grind.
This Monday's bit of soul is from deep in the heart of Texas, Houston to be precise, at least that was wher etyhe Back Beat label was based but I know that some singles released on the label were recorded in Memphis, Chicago and also Detroit so this may have been produced elsewhere to. Shirley Lawson also known as Shirley Walker was the lead vocalist in the Curtis Mayfield produced group the Fascinations and therefore there is a good chance that One More Chance may have been recorded in the Windy City but I can't find anything to back that up. Irrespective of where the track was recorded this uptempo bit of soul released in 1966 makes the start of the new working week that little bit easier to bear. This track should not be confused with the song by Margie Joseph with the same title.
Shirley Lawson - One More Chance
Friday, 23 June 2017
This will be our digs for the next fortnight and I cannae wait to get there sometime in the afternoon Sunday. It has been a long time coming and I have been counting down the days for some months now. We have had quite a lot of shit over the last 6 months, and we are not alone there I know, which will not miraculously dissipate during two weeks in the middle of France but it won't be any worse and the good food and wine may help. I am looking forward to finding out what Jean-Paul and Philippe think about the UK's exit from the European Union.
I've never been the biggest fan of Sasha, or God as he was known by more than a few during the mid 90s but live he was an excellent dj, could build up the vibe and manipulate a crowd, sure he was no Weatherall but nobody was. He also produced some belters of remixes which I was reminded of the other week after listening to his Scene Delete album from last year and deciding to revisit some of the reworking of other artists material.that I have This one from 1994 of Talk To Me by Hysterix for me is the pick of the bunch and probably one of the highlights of his seminal Renaissance mix from that year that kind of made his name for those who had yet to experience Alexander Paul Coe djing.
Have a good weekend people.
Hysterix - Talk To Me (Sasha's Full Music Master mix)
Thursday, 22 June 2017
I'm not sure why I haven't featured Daughter before as they are frequently on the turntable and I have often thought that they should be better known than they are (like featuring them on here is going to further that end much!). I know that Walter has posted them once or twice and rates them quite highly. When I have seen them mentioned, the article or review usually contains a comparison with The xx which I suppose is quite valid, however there is more to them than that whereas the xx have that sort of electronic feel, Daughter feel more organic with more than a hint of folk now and again in their sound and the distinctive voice of Elena Tonra,
To date they have released two very good albums and quite a few singles and eps. Today's track comes from one of my favourite releases, a US only 10", The Wild Youth ep from 2011, the trio's second record.
I am not one for watching Channel 5, the likes of CSI, CSI New York, CSI Timbuktu or whatever are not the kind of thing that I get into but a year or so ago I happened to be away with work one Monday night and started watching an episode of Person of Interest which I actually really enjoyed. So much so that when I was at home the following week I made a point of watching the next episode and then the next and then in the middle of the run the station decided to stop it for some reason. After a couple of weeks I decided to see if I could get the series on DVD and found the first four seasons could be purchased quite reasonably from eBay and the fifth and final one slightly more expensively than the other 4 together. So I decided to buy all 5 and have been watching them from the start for the past couple of months.and a few weeks ago Medicine by Daughter was used to great effect in one episode which got me looking back and remembering that there had been quite a few decent tracks used throughout the series, by the likes of Massive Attack, Mazzy Star, DJ Shadow and funnily enough The xx. The music is mostly very subtly used in the drama, never taking center stage, mostly in the background, sometimes to the fore but always very effectively.
I am still not wholly sure as to why this particular series grabbed me rather than others of note such as Breaking Bad as this kind of vigilante violence, conspiracy theory stuff isn't really my bag but it did and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I am at a loss now that I have watched it all, I have been toying with going back to Twin Peaks but the last time I tried I got bored. I have the feeling that I am not going to get much out of revisiting it. It could be time to binge on Northern Exposure again.
Daughter - Medicine
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Some of you may have noticed that the posts on here have become somewhat sporadic and if it were possible even shorter than they have been for some tie. There hasn't even been any rants for quite some time even though there have been a huge amount of things to rant about lately. But I really can't find the words, it's not that I can't be bothered with the blog anymore I still want to go on but just can't find the inspiration. At the end of this week I am off for a couple of weeks and hope that after two weeks in south-west France I will have renewed inspiration and a few new ideas to come back with.
Getting back to the music, on Monday I mentioned that I had a song that I thought may have been inspired with a Toast To The Lady. It is unlikely as the Eddie Wilson song is not that well known but there are similarities in the organ sound on both tracks and I find myself wanting to play Waking With A Stranger after a Toast To The Lady or vice versa. Of course it is probably all in my head and you will be thinking "what the fuck are you on about, they sound nothing like each other".
Waking With A Stranger by the Tyrell Corporation came out in 1992 and came to the attention of absolutely bugger all as I think that it is a great record which has featured here before in the early days of the blog when my levels of enthusiasm were a lot higher than at the moment.
The Tyrell Corporation - Waking With A Stranger
Monday, 19 June 2017
What seems like a lifetime ago I compiled a tape (a compilation, not a mixtape as no mixing was involved) titled "Table For One" comprised of soul/northern soul break up songs. I know what your thinking, aren't the vast majority of soul songs concerned with the dissolution of romances. Well a heck of a lot of them are. For this tape I wanted to start from the dawning that the affair or whatever was on the road out through the separation, the anger and finally the acceptance and getting over the whole thing, I can't remember the full track listing at the moment and I don't have have a copy of the tape more's the pity but it did include No One There by Martha Reeves, The Night The Angels Cried. and finished with I Walked Away by Bobby Paris where I imagined the protagonist after just more than the right amount of wine getting up and walking away from his table for one with that " fuck it, I'm fine, she 's the one who will regret it" feeling, the one that would inevitably be gone the next morning when he was alone with just his hangover for company but at that moment he felt he was "over her".
Toast To The Lady, the flip side of Just Call On Me, released in 1964 on Tollie Records the Vee Jay subsiduary was the inspiration for the said tape. Well that and sitting alone at a table in the Newcastle Malmaison after just the right amount of alcohol. I have posted this song before after sitting listening to it one night and noticing the similarities to Burt Bacharach and Bob Hillard's Any Day Now but when I played it again in the early hours of yesterday morning I could hear a resemblance to another song more of which tomorrow.
Eddie Wilson - Toast To The Lady
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
We are back to Texas with this week's fuzzed up, sadly virtually unknown Garage classic from Waco to be precise. Strangely this was the Twilighters one and only release which was recorded in a club called the Mark VII which also lent it's name to the label on which the record was released. I don't know anything further about the band or the record, sorry.
The Twilighters - Nothing Can Bring Me Down