Wednesday, 19 February 2020
A few weeks ago on a Saturday night, I was sitting in the record/dining room on my new chair listening to music as is my want when Lynn came in to ask me something, I can't remember what but at the end she said "you really need to do something about all those records all over the floor" I looked around and she was right, there were records all over the place, in neat piles but encroaching on the rest of the room too much. This was highlighted due to the fact that during the festive period a lot of the records were moved out as the room really needed to be a dining room and it was a hell of a lot easier to navigate your way around the room and if I'm being totally honest a lot more pleasing to the eye.
So I agreed but added "what?"
"Well, we could get rid of that for a start" she said pointing to the horrendous 1950s kitchen cabinet that the previous owners had fitted into the corner of the room and up until this point I had managed to ignore Lynn's hints at getting rid of. Not because I found it aesthetically pleasing or thought that it fitted in with the rest of the room as it clearly didn't but because the extra storage was helpful and more to the point I thought that getting rid of it wouldn't be as easy as my better half thought and I just couldn't be arsed with the hassle.
That was until she dropped the suggestion, "we could get rid of that and get a bigger one of those units (Kallax) that could hold all of the records".
Two minutes later I was back in the room with my hammer and a chisel that I had quickly located from my tool box in the cupboard half way up the stairs and was trying to spring the facings from the cabinet to have a look at how it was secured to the wall.
It turned out that the answer to that was not very well, however when I looked behind it I realised as I suspected that this was not going to be as easy as just emptying the cupboard and trying to get it out of the room. oh did I forget to mention that the unit was 18 inches taller than the door frame and just about as wide! It turned out that the guy who had put the unit in may have been a Clerk of Works but he wisnae nae jyner. Instead of scribing round the skirtings and dado rail he had cut both off!
So here was my first problem, as the house is pre 20th Century and the skirtings looked pretty original it would probably be difficult to source the two bits that I would need, I know that skirting board certainly doesn't come 250 mm deep these days. I was less concerned by the dado rail as it looked as if it had been added later and the mould looked familiar not too ornate.
When we managed to pull the cupboard further out to inspect behind it more closely problem number two became apparent, we would also need to try and match up the dado panels below where the non existent dado rail should have been. After consulting the internet this problem appeared to be easily overcome as there were various web-sites offering up the same pattern but at a price. Fuck it, I thought, it needs to be done and duly ordered the dado panel anagylpta.
I decided to call it a night at this point as there wasn't much else that could be done until the paper arrived and I had sourced the timber.
Not sure where I'm going with this music wise but here is a track from the great, new Whyte Horses covers album, Hard Times which had taken up residence the week prior to all these fun and games started. It is quite strange that my favourite track from this album should be a Bee Gees cover as during the Christmas holidays I had bought a best off the Bee Gees (pre 70s) cd as I had an urge to hear To Love Somebody and I Started a Joke and had become quite obsessed with the album much to Lynn's amusement. Mister Natural, however is not from that period of the group but from the immaculately coiffured, shiny teethed on the cusp of disco dominance period. The other thing about this cover is the singer, La Roux, who I only knew previously as the shrill sounding singer of In For The Kill but she sounds nothing like that on this track.
If you haven't already purchased this album you really need to do so, with covers of Lou Reed, Plastic Bertrand and Curtis Mayfield tracks in amongst the more obscure it is a great listen with some very good guest singers including John Grant, Tracyanne Campbell and Gruff Rhys amoungst them.
Tuesday, 18 February 2020
06/04/1963 to 17/02/2020
God I wish that I wasn't writing this post but there is no way that I couldn't mark the passing of the genius that was Andrew Weatherall. I know that that word is bandied about with abandon these days and therefore the meaning is diminished somewhat but what else can you call someone who goes into the studio with absolutely no experience in remixing music and turns a bluesy ballad into something that helped to define a genre of music and also turned many an indie kid onto the joys of E and dancing in fields to repetitive beats. Then for the next three decades shifts, changes directions, runs clubs, sets up labels, writes, collaborates with some of the most talented musicians around, becomes artist in residence for a publisher and never once has his name on anything that is stale, tired or just going through the motions.
I still remember vividly the day that I brought Loaded home played it, got straight on the scooter down to El-Arish barged in to where Stiff was sitting in the living room watching some pish on the telly and excitedly breathlessly, stated "you've got to listen to this!" to which his question was
"who is it?"
"Primal Scream" I informed him
"Fuck off" and a snigger was the reply
"No really you need to hear this"
"Aw, alright" he replied humouring me.
So I cranked up Mrs G's ancient stereo, put the 12" single on and watched his face change from slight annoyance that his concentration on whatever he was watching was interrupted, to bemusement and then sheer joy as he began to comprehend the absolute brilliance of what he was hearing.
"No way is that Primal Scream"
"It fucking is", and after consulting the back cover, "produced by Andrew Weatherall"
The record took up squatters rights on Mrs G's stereo for god knows how long after that. The following Friday I went back into Fopp and picked up another copy and that was it for the next thirty years if it had Andrew Weatherall's name as artist, producer, remixer or co-conspirator on it and I could get my hands on a physical format I bought it, even if it was Texas or the xx Teens. I am not going to lie to you I didn't fall in love with it all, some of it took a while to grow on me, a few thing I never got at all, the remix of Nowhere by Therapy? but 99% of it is essential. As far as remixes go I still maintain that there is only one track he has never improved upon the original and that was Fallen by One Dove but then again it is impossible to surpass perfection. He did however do a wonderful job when he produced Morning Dove White, I think more of an exemplar of his talents than Screamadelica but I know I am in the minority on that one.
I was ever so slightly disappointed by the second Woodleigh Research Facility album, 127 To Facility 4 when I managed to get one of the limited copies just before Christmas, it had the feel of a work in progress to me, sketches of tunes when I first heard it and I still don't think it is him at his best but then again the Unknown Plunderer 12" which is supposed to be released this Friday sounds absolutely fantastic and the recent remixes of the thirty eight year old Venetians track, Son Sur Sun, is space disco at it's best.
When I think about it, the Guv'nor over the years has had as much of an influence over my music collection as Stiff's older brothers and my cousin Stuart. He set me off searching for things either through samples used, music discussed in interviews or tracks played in his dj sets or his radio shows, the later being responsible for me being financially embarrassed long before payday most months! As |I was typing this I could see the post-it notes containing records to buy from the last few Music's Not For Everyone shows stuck to the wall at my side.
I still really can't get my head round the fact that this overly hairy, uniquely attired, musical tastemaker will no longer be dictating a large part of my music listening and purchasing or that my dream of attending the Convenanza festival in Carcassonne will remain that, just a dream.
My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. As John Niven said on Twitter earlier "how much poorer this world is without Andy Weatherall in it".
Primal Scream - Loaded
Two Lone Swordsmen - Get Out Of My Kingdom
Monday, 17 February 2020
By 1993 Shoegaze was a much derided genre, in fact a part from a very few bands from the late 80s, I body-swerved anything tagged or reviewed as such as most of it was just pish reliant on effects pedals and distorted meaningless lyrics made by white pimply studenty types who were unable or unwilling to get grooving and dismissed music made by machines as in some way as not being real music. So Chapterhouse were a band that I took absolutely fuck all notice of , even though they seemed to be in every music mag all the time. That was until I heard that that they had been remixed by Global Communication, a.k.a The Jedi Knights or alternately known as Reload, this piqued my interest and I subsequently bought the 12" single that contained two of the phases of their reworking of the shoegazers album Blood Music. I can't tell you how radically different these tracks are from the source material as I have no interest in hearing the originals but I suspect that Chapterthouse fans or anybody else would have difficulty pairing these two ambient masterpieces with anything from the original album. I am at a loss as to why I didn't buy the cd, Pentamerous Metamorphoses, containing all 5 phases of the remix project, possibly because I considered the title pretentious wank or more probably because I was even less inclined to buy cds back in 1993 than I am now as back then the pricing was reversed with cds being ridiculously expensive and vinyl being better for your budget.
Pretentious wank, the title of the cd may be but the two "phases", even though they have been named after Greek letters of the alphabet, have stood up to the test of time pretty well. Here is the Alpha phase.
Chapterhouse - Alpha Phase
Monday, 10 February 2020
A collaboration with the Orb and one member of Pink Floyd or another was something that had been rumoured about more than once before it did happen, in fact there is a bootleg out there of remixes of Dark Side of The Moon that purported to be by The Orb but was in fact bollocks. So when David Gilmour collaborated with Alex Paterson and Youth on the Metallic Spheres album, 10 years ago now(!) it was kind of a big deal and people had great expectations which were partially fulfilled, there is little doubt over who the is playing the guitar that wafts in and out of the two tracks that make up the album but I find that it doesn't hold my attention the way that the previous album Baghdad Batteries did. However, if you had pre-ordered the album you got a download code (hoi, record labels remember download codes?) for a bonus ambient mix which I must admit I have played a lot more over the subsequent years than the full album.
The Orb Featuring David Gilmour - Metallic Spheres (Ambient Mix)
Friday, 7 February 2020
I was in the cupboard where the cds from R to Z are last weekend looking for something specific that I couldn't remember by the time I opened the cupboard. So while scanning the shelves hoping that what I was looking for would come back to me (it didn't by the way) I noticed a cd on one of the Various shelves called "The Art of Acid" which I vaguely remembered buying some time ago. The first cd of this 2 disc set is a Justin Robertson mix of of a lot of acid house classics which is a good mix but more interesting is the second disc where the likes of 808 State and Greg Wilson remix some Trax classics with varying degrees of success. One of the best is the remix of Frankie Knuckles/Jamie Principle classic, Your Love where Italian DJ/Producer Dusty Kid, strips it back, removes the vocals and stretches the track out and produces something although not a patch on the original is different enough to make it more than worthwhile.
Airdrieonians were pretty much woeful last Saturday against Raith Rovers, now I am no football tactical genius but if I can see that playing without a midfield and punts up from the back and hoping that it reaches one of the guys up front isn't really working then why can't the manager. One thing is for sure if they still want to challenge for promotion they need to start winning games pretty soon starting tomorrow away to Dumbarton, I will not be holding my breath.
Have a good weekend
Frankie Knuckles - Your Love (Dusty Kid Makes Love Tender edit)
Thursday, 6 February 2020
Silence Of The Morning is one of the best bits of fuzz drenched heavy psych that came out in 1971 just as psych was morphing into heavy rock/metal. The Glass Sun were formed in 1964 in the Detroit suburb of Westland but did not record any material until after they had returned from tours in Vietnam. They released two singles, Silence of The Morning in 1971 and Stick Over Me the following year. Both of which were largely ignored but have found an audience over the past ten years prompting the band to remaster all of tracks they recorded and release an album Cyclonic Review in 2014.
The Glass Sun - Silence of The Morning
Wednesday, 5 February 2020
I went to see Mick Head last Thursday at Summerhall in Edinburgh and he did not disappoint, although I did feel that he was rather nervous for the first couple of tracks. A great mixture of old and new tracks and when I heard Reach I was a bit gobsmacked as I was not expecting that and it sounded absolutely wonderful. The new material sounded really good too, so I now have even higher expectations for the next album.Streets of Kenny was another highlight of the night, in fact they were all highlights and of course Comedy to set us on our way as the final track of the night, with JC and I racing out of the venue just as the song finished in order for me to get him to Haymarket to catch his train back to Glasgow.
Shack - Streets of Kenny
Monday, 3 February 2020
I featured the Bjorn Torske remix of Obedience from the same ep that today's remix of Carmen Villain comes from a few years ago. The Peaking Lights mix of Dreamo was the main track on the ep and the American psych husband and wife team produce a poppy, bouncy remix which is bound to put a spring in your step today.
Carmen Villain - Dreamo (Peaking Lights remix)
Friday, 31 January 2020
Tuesday, 28 January 2020
A bit of blue-eyed soul for a Tuesday.
This upbeat track was released on the Columbia label in 1966. As is usual with a lot of these tracks I can find very little about either Diamond or the record. I am sure that I once read that Bobby Diamond was better known as an actor and had a part in the original Death Wish film but I can't verify that. One thing for sure he did release a cracker of a record way back when.
Bobby Diamond - Stop
Monday, 27 January 2020
A year ago today I was going to feature the live version of John Coltrane Stereo Blues from the RSD release "How We Found Ourselves . . . Everywhere!" by the Dream Syndicate. This version was recorded in Philadelphia for WXPN, the University of Pennsylvania's radio station, excellent as this version is with the duelling guitars sounding so good, I do wish it had been the live recording that the band had done for KEXP that had been included in this release which is another three and a bit minutes longer.
link now sorted
The Dream Syndicate - John Coltrane Stereo Blues
Friday, 24 January 2020
A bit of Tech House from what I thought was a couple of years ago until I pulled out the shelves yesterday and looked at the date, 2013, so just the 7 years ago then. Desire is the lead track from the Mr Jones double pack 12" from Nina Kraviz. Quite minimal but very effective stuff. I have it on good authority from two of my nephews that Miss Kraviz is an excellent dj and knows how to work a Techno crowd.
Well that's the cup run over for another year. Airdrie were well and truly pumped last Saturday at Tynecastle. Hearts may be pish but they are pish two levels above the Diamonds and it showed. Back to the league this week and a home clash against Stranraer in the promotion bid. Although sitting at the bottom of the league, Stranraer were only beaten 2 nil by The Rangers not scudded five nothing, so another nail biting 90 minutes seem to be in prospect.
Have a good weekend people.
Nina Kraviz - Desire
Thursday, 23 January 2020
God I love this cover version. It was originally written and recorded by Sonny Bono and released as a single in 1965. In 1969 Mott The Hoople recorded the song for their debut album and to say it is a tad Dylanesque would be a bit of an understatement and of course it's Ian Hunter's voice that first grabs your attention but it's the music that holds the attention when it reaches it's peak it reminds me of You Can't Always Get What You Want, it may just be the organ. I once read somewhere that Hunter's vision for Mott The Hoople was Dylan backed by the Rolling Stones and it feels to me that he attained it on their first album.
Mott The Hoople - Laugh At Me
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Cleveland Robinson born in Macon, Georgia, raised in Pittsburgh then in the early 60s he moved with wife to Cleveland, Ohio where he recorded 15 singles and one album. His first single These Are The Hands after being picked up by the Ascot label caused interest from a few major labels, undeterred when none of the deals came to fruition, Robinson decided to start his own label, Nosnibor Records to release his music, he was now singer/writer/producer and label owner. Boy featured here was the 12th release on the label, another great soul side that failed to set the heather on fire but would set you back at least £250 if you were lucky enough to find a copy.
Cleveland Robinson - Boy
Monday, 20 January 2020
Kannan's album is described thus on El Paraiso's website "Winborne is debut album from the Young Norwegian power trio Kanaan. With components from jazz, fusion and post rock they have created six extended pieces of blazin freeform psychedelia"
Worth a listen then? Of course it is and also worth picking up. They also have a second release Odense sessions scheduled for release in February and available for pre order here or from Amazon. I duly did on the strength of Winborne. A Hausenbecken below is the first track off of that debut.
Kanaan - A. Hausenbecken
Friday, 17 January 2020
January isn't getting any easier is it. I've got to that bit of the month that I realise exactly just how skint I am and it is getting me down, more so when it dawns on me that there are a couple more significant dunts to my bank balance to come before the wages drop for records that I just couldn't live without and bought through Paypal and ticked the pay in 14 days box. What I and I suspect quite a few of you could also do with is a tune that gives you a warm glow with memories of long drawn out warm sunny days.
The Sun Rising anyone?
Well tomorrow sees Airdrieonians take on Hearts in the Scottish Cup for the first time since the semi-final replay on April 14th 1992 when the game ended one each and Airdrie came out on top after penalties and went on to lose 2-1 to Rangers in the final. Hopes are high as Hearts are right pish at the moment but knowing our luck tomorrow will be when their new manager Daniel Stendl's team click and we get pumped. Unconfirmed rumours on Twitter have said that the Diamonds have sold 3500 tickets, they have certainly sold out the allocation that was given but whether it's as many as that we shall see. One thing for sure is Leo is really excited about this game as it will be the largest he has attended and he is looking forward to going to Tyncastle for the first time. For me it will be the first time in over 25 years!
Have a good weekend people
The Beloved - The Sun Rising
Thursday, 16 January 2020
One of my favourite TV programs when growing up was M*A*S*H. So I was quite happy couple of months before Christmas after re-tuning the digi box in the bedroom and stumbling upon an episode on the newly acquired Sony TV channel (48) late one night which turned into being quite ecstatic when I realised that they were repeating the whole show all eleven series on weekday nights, well early mornings to be precise and therein lay the problem, four episodes a night from midnight. I was lucky to get to the end of the second each night before either falling asleep or being told to "turn that bloody telly off". Also after discussing the series with someone on Twitter I started to becoming increasingly annoyed with the canned laughter track. This had not been present when it was originally shown on BBC on I think a Wednesday night at 21:00 and I had successfully blocked it out until it had been brought to my attention.
As it was not going to be practical for me to watch all of the episodes I began to wonder if I should just record them all on the BT box downstairs but as it had already reached series 4 I decided that I would look and see if it would be possible to purchase the dvds of series 1-3, so I consulted Google, not only could I purchase all 11 series (260 episodes) and various specials on a 36 disc box set for the bargain price of £26, so I was sold before even reading that I could select to cut the laughter track from the sound, magic.
I am not sure how old I was when I started watching M*A*S*H first time, I couldn't have been that old but I must have at that time watching repeats as I can remember Col Blake and Trapper. I'm sure that I only partly understood it back then, I certainly didn't appreciate the subtlety, cleverness or excellent dialogue and it is certainly a lot darker then I remember.One thing I do remember from when I was a kid is that I was really upset at the last couple of episodes and now am not ashamed to admit I cried, although there is no way I would have admitted that as a fourteen or 15 yr old.
In 1992 the NME put out a a compilation album, Ruby Tracks, The Roaring 40 where they got 40 contemporary artist to cover classic UK #1 singles to commemorate 40 years of the publication. The album is worth owning for the Fall's version of The Legend of Xanadu alone. Other notable performances are Roddy Frame's (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice, Little Red Rooster by The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Manic Street Preachers rendition of The Theme From M.A.S.H which was also released as a single and reached #7 in the UK Charts.
Manic Street Preachers - Suicide Is Painless
Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Matthew Sweet had been in bands from the early 80s in his home town of Athens, Georgia, where he collaborated with a certain Michael Stipe and his sister in a band called the Oh-Ok. In 1985 Sweet went solo and signed with Columbia Records for whom he released a couple of albums. His debut Inside garnered critical acclaim but little in the way of sales. In 1989 he released a second album which fared just as badly as the first resulting in his being dropped by Columbia and to compound his woes his wife left him around the same time.
In 1990 he started work on the album which would eventually see the light of day under the title Girlfriend but which was initially titled Nothing Last. The title was changed due to the fact that Sweet wanted to use a picture of a 14 year old Tuesday Weld on the cover. Weld, those permission was sought for the use of the image, was in middle age at this time and although had no objection to the picture being used she did have reservation of the connotations around the use of the picture and the title and so Sweet changed it.
On it's release the album sold extremely well in the US and gave the artist the break he had been seeking. The theme of relationships in all their guises and Sweet's honest confessional lyrics struck a chord with the record buying public and critics alike.
From the first chord of the album's opening track, Divine Intervention I was hooked, the guitar sound has a very late 60s psychedelic feel to it and when it comes back in all to briefly after the false ending it never fails to give me shivers. Absolutely wonderful stuff that should have been a single.
Matthew Sweet - Divine Intervention
Tuesday, 14 January 2020
The Contours were one of the early male singing groups to join Berry Gordy's Motown soon to be empire. However Gordy turned the group down the first time they auditioned for him. The bass singer Hubert Johnson, the bass singer was not going to take no for an answer and so visited his cousin, one Jackie Wilson who knew Gordy to ask if he could persuade the label owner to give them another chance which he did and after hearing the exact same songs as the first audition he signed the group to a 7 year contract. The group are probably best know for their million seller from 1962 Do You Love Me. My favourite track by them is Just A Little Misunderstanding, however this version of the Smokey Robinson penned, Temptations hit runs it a very close second. Prior to Richard Searling including the song on the first version of Tamla Motown Connoisseurs this was only ever available on a UK budget album from the early 70s.
The Contours - It's Growing
Monday, 13 January 2020
I had a shock last week when I pulled out the album that today's track is from and realised that I had owned it for thirty six years! One of the best live albums from one of the most underrated guitarists ever. Also from an album recorded in parts somewhere that not too many people would go to back in the early 70s. Rory Gallagher did not ignore his many fans on both sides of the divide during "the troubles" and played Northern Ireland all through the 70s.
An extremely talented guitarist who sadly died way too soon.
Rory Gallagher - Walk On Hot Coals
Friday, 10 January 2020
There are two reasons that we need to end the working week with a complete banger this week.
Firstly, it has probably been one of the sairest, longest, most fucking awful weeks of the year and let's just celebrate that we have put it behind us.
The second reason is Andy Ryan has returned to Airdrie on loan from Dunfermline until the end of the season. ANDY FUCKING RYAN! I know that this will mean sweet F A to most of you but to me, a few hundred others and especially Leo this IS the second coming, Andy Ryan only made 32 appearances for the Diamonds between May 2016 and August 2017, however during that time he scored 24 goals.
You may not be aware of this but the might Airdrionians are doing no bad at the moment , sitting second, two points behind those pesky Raith Rovers. Lets hope the signing of Ryan, Leon McCann and others who have committed their futures to the club mean that we go into the second half of the league with stability and some well deserved confidence.
Have a good weekend people.
ANDY FUCKING RYAN!
Mighty Dub Katz - Magic Carpet Ride (Fatboy Slim Latin Ska Acid Breakbeat mix)
Wednesday, 8 January 2020
Tuesday, 7 January 2020
Very little is know about this track or the artist that recorded it. Deceived was the flip side of the 1966 single Feminine Ingenuity released on Gold Token Records out of Los Angeles in 1966. It was first aired on the Northern scene in the mid to late 1980s and if you were looking to buy a copy of this lovely bit of soul it would set you back upwards of £600.
Ruby - Deceived
Monday, 6 January 2020
In one of my moodier moments I could possibly describe today's long piece of music as |"meandering pish", it is however the sort of gentle, none too taxing kind of thing needed to ease in the next working decade.
Chocolate Hills is a side product of Alex Paterson's in collaboration with Paul Conboy . They released a rather lovely ambient album, A Pail of Air, last year. And At The Same Time was one of the two bonus tracks with the digital release. A word of warning if you are considering buying the vinyl album, so far both of my copies have had to be returned due to excess noise and in the case of the second one loads of shit in the grooves of the vinyl.
Chocolate Hills - And At The Same Time