Tuesday, 30 April 2019
This live cover of the Carole King classic never fails to put me in a good mood. It comes from one of my favourite live albums, Donny Hathaway Live. The album was released in 1972 from recordings of two gigs from the previous year, one side from the Troubadour in Hollywood and the other from The Bitter End in Greenwich Village. The album should be a fixture in anyone's collection who has even a passing interest in soul music and includes incredible versions off The Ghetto and Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything) as well as the track posted to be honest there isn't a duff track amongst the 8 on the record. The other great thing about this album as it seems to have captured the atmosphere of the shows and you can virtually hear the smiling that must have been on the faces of all present not least when the crowd sing along during You've Got A Friend.
Donny Hathaway - You've Got A Friend
Monday, 29 April 2019
The album that today's song comes from is an early contender for album of the year and not one which I was eagerly anticipating if I'm honest. However the collaboration between Karen O and Danger Mouse is an absolute gem and moves from Motownesque songs through lush orchestral numbers and tracks that would not have been out of place on an album hailing from Bristol in the 1990s. Lux Prima, the title track was originally released in the US in December of last year on a limited single sided 12" single.
Friday, 26 April 2019
I told you this would return, like Theresa May this series does not know when it's outstayed it's welcome. Yesterday SA posted a great new Four Tet track at the Bagging area and I thought that I would feature another recent release by Mr Hebden this time under his KH moniker. Only Human was released as a single sided 12" a couple of weeks ago once the Nelly Furtado sample from her 2006 release "Afraid" had been cleared. This track had been causing much interest after Kieran Hebden had dropped it into a couple of dj sets. I sweated for nearly a week as my copy which had been ordered for what seemed like ages but eventually arrived last week.
In other news, what can I say about Airdrieonians season, not a great deal, the team hasn't covered itself in glory this season, the last two home games have been possibly the worst performances that I have ever seen. The season, as usual started with much anticipation and more than a little confidence that we would make the play-offs at the right end of the division as we come into the last home game of the season with one further away game next week, the Diamonds are sitting 6th on goal difference above Dumbarton and Stranraer, seven points above the bottom two which means that even if they lose the last two games they are safe which is a distinct possibility as they haven't won any of the last four matches. There is always next season, onwards and upwards
Have a good weekend people.
Thursday, 25 April 2019
In 1992 The Afghan Whigs released an ep on Sub Pop on multiple formats. The 7" single containing two tracks, the 12" single 4 and an extra hidden track on the cd. What was interesting about the ep was that all of the tracks were covers, with the exception of a secret uncredited original track hidden after a few seconds of silence on track 4 of the cd which was actually a remix of the track Milez Is Ded from the recent album, Congregation. The covers were all versions of soul favourites of the band, Come See About Me a hit single for the Supremes in 1964, True Love Travels On a Gravel Road which had ee recorded by Percy Sledge and Elvis on the From Memphis album amongst others, Beware an early 70s album track and, my favourite Band of Gold, a number 1 hit single for Freda Payne in the UK. I love the primitive drumming and the feedback and the completely desolate tone of Dulli's vocals on this track, which was the a side of the 7" single with Come See About Me on the flip.
Afghan Whigs - Band of Gold
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Monday, 22 April 2019
Usually a lot of deliberation goes into Monday's long song, I know you wouldn't have thought so would you, on a Sunday while doing the messages, putting away the messages and getting the dinner ready by the time that The Westminster Hour hits the airwaves I have chosen the song and begin to think of some rubbish to type to go along with it.
Not yesterday, though.
I am proud to admit I did hew haw the whole day other than play music but with no thought to today's post but rather just records that fitted into the bright, warm holiday vibe and so I started with Roddy Frame's criminally overlooked first solo album, The North Star, so no contenders there, I did play a bit of Burial and the absolute joy that is Morning Dove White but the first I featured last week if any one is paying attention and One Dove have been done to death here and other places over the years.
Flogging a dead horse is something I am accustomed to doing (the It's Friday . . . Let's Dance posts will return shortly, by the way ) so here is William Orbit's Stereo Odyssey mix of Breakdown for you that I have just decided needs another airing, Well, you can never have too much One Dove
I did do one other thing yesterday, I watched Repo Man for the first time in years and can report back and confirm that Repo Men are indeed still intense and the film is just as good as it was when I first watched it as a snotty teenager.
One Dove - Breakdown (William Orbit Stereo Odyssey)
Thursday, 18 April 2019
Dulli is quite eclectic in the music that he chooses to cover, anything from Henry Mancini, through songs from The Wizard of Oz to Bjork. The re-interpretation of a still fresh, only two year old, modern R&B, Billboard topping track by the biggest selling American Girl Band must have raised a few eyebrows at the time. Creep, originally by TLC was one of 4 tracks, two originals and two covers on the Honkey's Ladder ep in February 1996 but unlike the TLC original it failed to bother the Billboard Charts but I think is quite brilliant.
The Afghan Whigs - Creep
Tuesday, 16 April 2019
When talking about live albums this has to be right up there with the best of them, although it does not fully recreate the experience of seeing Motorhead at this time unless you have a huge soundsystem, bung it up to 10 and stick your head in the speakers, then you might come close. My first experience was pretty scary as I thought that the balcony in the Apollo was going to fall down and what I thought was dandruff from all the headbanging was actually plaster from the ceiling. What a magic night it was and I will be forever grateful to my late cousin Stuart for taking me.
No Sleep 'til Hammersmith was released in June 1981 and was the first Motorhead album to reach number 1 in the charts in the UK. This was an album that I waited for impatiently after experiencing the live Motorhead experience and I was not disappointed. This album for me captures the classic line-up at their peak. The album that followed, Iron Fist was a bit of a disappointment.
Motorhead - Ace of Spades
Monday, 15 April 2019
The only word for this is wonderful. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the this limited Vinyl Factory release and at the time there was quite a backlash that this was released in such a limited number but these days 1000 copies is actually not that limited a run compared to some of the releases that SA and me were discussing on Thursday night over a few pints. I do love everything about this record from the 3D designed cover to the reassuringly heavy vinyl. There are a few comments on Discogs regarding the quality of the pressing but as far as my ears are concerned it sounds perfectly fine exactly what you would expect Massive Attack mixed by Burial to sound like.
There were rumours that Burial had remixed the whole of the Heligoland album which was to get a full release which had me salivating at the time but alas it has never surfaced.
Massive Attack vs Burial - Paradise Circus
Thursday, 11 April 2019
The Ass Ponys were an indie rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio and as such were also friends with Greg Dulli's band from the same city, so much so that John Curley the bassist of the Afghan Whigs produced the band's debut album, Mr Superlove. In 1993 the bands decided to release a split single where they covered a track each. Dulli decided to cover the title track from that debut album by the Ass Ponys and as a result recorded the definitive version of the song, it's the banjo and the vocals that do it. I'm not sure if anybody else agrees with me but if you were an Ass Pony I think you may have been pissed off by the Whigs rendition but not as much as the story, if true, regarding Greg Dulli and one of the band member's girlfriends whom I'm sure I read Dulli had a thing with leading to disintegration of the friendship of the bands,
The split single was released in a limited run of 3000 on Moon Cat 7 Records but then the Afghan Whigs version was released on the flip of the Gentleman single, then the What Jail Is Like ep and also included on the 25th anniversary version of the Gentleman album
The Afghan Whigs - Mr Super Love
Tuesday, 9 April 2019
It was one of those kind of weekends when I just wanted to play the Velvets and not any old Velvets, I was in the mood to listen to the whole of the Matrix Tapes from start to finish, A question posed on Twitter got me reaching for this, the second most essential box set. It is a question that floats about Twitter all the time "if you had to pick any band artist to see live who would it be?" and always without hesitation I would pick the Velvets and the post Cale line-up and I can even be more specific than that. If I were ever to get in tow with the Dr then this would be my one stipulation, I'll help you save the Earth from the Daleks mam, but you will have to take me back to San Francisco on 26th November 1969 and let me hang about 3138 Fillmore Street for a couple of days.
I know that a lot of folk don't like live albums, I do I love them, I love to hear the tweeks from the studio versions or even better something that barely resembles the version that took usually a few takes to get on tape.
After posting that I was listening to the Matrix Tapes, I received a reply from @Kevd99 that he thought that there were 5 good live albums which got me thinking and the rest of the weekend was spent playing only live recordings and I can confirm that in my little world there are considerably more than 5 great live albums which also threw up another idea for a little series, if I can get my lazy arse sorted out.
Until then here are two versions of Over You which don't appear anywhere else other than on the Quine Bootleg and one version on Live 1969.
The Velvet Underground - Over You (version 1)
The Velvet Underground - Over You (version 2)
Monday, 8 April 2019
Today's drawn-out piece of music comes from one of the three things I've bought on tape in the last twenty, possibly closer to thirty years. It was purchased on that less than optimum medium out of necessity as somebody either from having a fetish for the format or I suspect probably more likely from their judgement being impaired though heavy weed use decided that that was the best way to release, Cosmic Winds, the third long player by Thousand Foot Whale Claw, the previous release was similarly formatted.
I first got into the Austin Texas experimental drone merchants when I took a punt on their first album Dope Moons Vol.1 which was released on the far more sensible vinyl format, I believe that there was also a cassette version which came later but we will not dwell on that. They produce music to get lost in, ambient, stoner tunes that remind me of the stuff that Pete Namlook was doing with his Air project back in the early 90s.
A fourth album was released at the tail end of last year but I'm ashamed to admit that I have only played it a couple of time but from what I can remember it is in a similar vein and also very good.
1000 Foot Whale Claw - Cosmic Winds
Thursday, 4 April 2019
One of the things that I discovered early when I delved into Greg Dulli's back catalogue (I came late to his work, courtesy of John Richards on KEXP in the very early 2000s) and which continued to come to the fore in the ensuing years was that he had very good taste in the songs that he covered. Whether it was as an Afghan Whig, Twilight Singer, Gutter Twin or on his own he has a way with other people's songs and can put a new slant on something that I already knew or made me appreciate something that I would not have given the time of day in any other circumstances. There is only one rendition that I have thought "Nah Greg, that was not a very good idea, you would have been better leaving that alone". Which is a pretty brilliant hit rate considering the number of other people's songs he has recorded.
I was compiling a playlist of these tracks the other week and thought that I may as well feature some of these on the blog.
I thought that I would start with a track from the only "perfect" album that I know of, London Calling. Side b track 3 Lost In The Supermarket, like every other track on Rolling Stone's "best album of the 80s" is a highlight, one of those tracks which should be left alone niot touched as they can't be bettered. And no, Afghan Whigs don't better it but do produce a great cover version none the less. It was included on a Clash tribute album, Burning London, released in 1999 containing the likes of No Doubt, Ice Cube and Rancid. For me the rest of the CD is without merit, you really do not want to hear Moby's take on Straight To Hell.
Afghan Whigs - Lost In The Supermarket
Tuesday, 2 April 2019
I have eventually found a copy of the deluxe version of Sunday At Devil Dirt by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan. I have been on the lookout for a copy of this at a decent price as the extra disc comprises of tracks recorded at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in January 2007 and especially a version of the Nancy and Lee classic, Sand. I had been bowled over two nights prior to the London show by the performance of this, possibly my favourite track by that most incongruous of pairings, Nancy and Lee that is, although Isobel and Mark would be a close second but both proved to be almost magical pairings but I digress. Therefore I was really looking forward to hearing this again but was slightly disappointed as it sounded a bit flat, not bad but just not nearly as good as I remembered, I'm not sure if I am misremembering or they just didn't get it quite right two night later when it was recorded.
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Sand
Monday, 1 April 2019
On the 10th/11th/12th of October 1968 the Jimi Hendrix Experience played 6 shows at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco in 1987 a selection of the tracks from these performances was released on a double album and from these you could tell that the Experience were at the peak of their powers at the time of this mini residency, with absolutely brilliant versions of Purple Haze, Killing Floor, Fire amongst others, however the full power of the performances didn't come to light until 2011 when a 4 cd, 8 album version of these nights was released which absolutely blew me away not least the two epic versions of my favourite Hendrix cover, Like A Rolling Stone. I never thought that Hendrix could surpass the version recorded at Monterey Pop in 1967, and in a way he didn't as the versions from Winterland are a lot bluesier less angsty than the earlier version, they are also a lot longer.
I was introduced to Hendrix at the age of eleven by an older guy called Jim Loughrey and was instantly hooked by what I heard and nearly forty years later I am still in awe of the noise that Hendrix managed to get out of a Fender Stratocaster (mostly). Not being musical at all I find it impossible to understand how, no matter how so many people have tried over the years, I have never heard anyone who can make a guitar sing like Hendrix can.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Like A Rolling Stone (11/10/1968 second show)