Monday, 22 October 2018

Monday's Long Song



I've just finished reading Stuart Cosgrove's second part of his Soul Trilogy Memphis 68, and very good it was too even better than part one. It only reinforced the annoyance at myself that I have been feeling since L came back from Memphis regarding my fear of inter continental flying, as I have been told several times over the past week or so "you would love Memphis, Drew, you really would". I can console myself that even if I were to get over this, some have said "irrational" fear, the distinct lack of funds and my total inability to save as much as £100 means that unless I win the lottery, I will not be going. If I were to win the lottery I would be going by boat anyway.

Back to the music, finishing the book made me change the track that I had lined up for today and replace it with something that not only helped bring someone who up until the album that today's track was released was a minor figure in the Memphis Soul scene,  also shaped the direction that soul would travel in the 1970,  laid the foundations for the likes of Barry White and took soul music from the constraints of the sub 3 minute pop song, if not into the realms of the concept album, then at least the song as a long form story. A Jimmy Webb penned, Glen Campbell, Nashville staple is not the sort of thing you would associate with changing the face of soul music but that's just what happened when Isaac Hayes reinterpreted By The Time I Get To Phoenix, adding a spoken word back story to the sounds of the Bar-Kays, Hayes takes nearly nine minutes setting the scene before the track kicks in fully and then the next nine minutes are taken up with absolutely sublime soul and then it's over, wow! The album this track comes from, Hot Buttered Soul only contains 4 tracks, three of which are covers and one original composition by Hayes and Al Bell. It was a toss up whether to post By The Time I Get To Phoenix or the sublime rendition of Walk On By which also qualifies for this series clocking in at 12 minutes.

There will not be a lot to see here this week as I am at a three day meeting, in the exotic location of Heathrow bloody airport. I have put together something for Thursday though.

Isaac Hayes - By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Friday, 19 October 2018

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



Back to the heady days of 1993, when it was really difficult to keep up with all the excellent 12" singles that were coming out. This was when Progressive House ruled supreme, well with me anyway and you always got your money's worth when purchasing records on labels like Guerilla, Cowboy, Soma and the likes as most tracks stretched out well over 6 minutes and there would usually be at least one further interesting mix by another leading light of the genre on the b-side.

Today's two for the price of one comes from Spooky who consistently came up with the goods on their own recordings and also the remixes they did for others. Schmoo was the duo's third  release on William Orbit and Disc O'Dell's Guerilla label. There were four mixes on the 12" two by Spooky and two by Underworld, who were yet to become the stars of the dance scene that they would be in the coming years, But in 1993 along with remixing the likes of  Spooky and One Dove they would produce two very good singles and one outstanding one in Rez.  On their mix of Schmoo, they take an already very good piece of dub house disco and turn it into a dance floor classic, indicative of the sounds that I and thousands like me were listening to back then when a good dj took you journey on the dancefloor.

Tomorrow Airdrie are away to Montrose, I was up for the journey north but Leo was less keen  and really didn't fancy the 5 hour round trip, so tomorrow I will be tuned into Open All Mikes and checking Twitter for a match that the Diamonds really need to come away with something from.

Have a good weekend people.

Spooky - Schmoo (Underworld mix)

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Not A Sound



I have always been a fan of James Lavelle, UNKLE  and especially the Unklesounds dj sets there is always loads going on within the music and collaborations that at first you think, really? for example those with Ian Astbury and Josh Homme, not two singers high on my list but their participation worked really well. For me however the best UNKLE sounds are those epic, panoramic instrumentals which sadly tend to find themselves being used as music to soundtrack twats driving big cars faster than you should and generally being real men. Or so I believe , as I'm not really a Top Gear type person but when playing today's track on YouTube the other week when I couldn't find it on my iPod, the comments stated shit like "Top Gear brought me here", "perfect for the F-Type" and pish like that and when I checked I found that quite a few tracks by James Lavelle and his ever changing collaborators have been used on the BBC driving programme.

Not A Sound was a track from the 2001 album Another Night Out, a record that has collaborations with the likes of Gavin Clark, Liela Moss, Nick Cave and the Black Angels. It was released as a stands alone cd but also in a boxset with the previous album Where Did The Night Fall which can be bought on Discogs at a very reasonable price, quite a bit cheaper than when it came out.

UNKLE - Not A Sound 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Simmer Down, Simmer Down, Simmer Down Now



I haven't been able to get this song out of my head for the past couple of weeks. Quiet Dog Bite Hard comes from Mos Def's fourth album , the Ecstatic released in 2009. And that's about it really.

mos def - Quiet Dog Bites Hard

Monday, 15 October 2018

Monday's Long Song



Since it's release last month, And Nothing Hurt, the 8th studio album from Jason Pierce's Spiritualized has not been far from the turntable, price of the box set aside the album is nothing short of brilliant, if this is to be the final Spiritualized album then it is a high point to bow out on. So for today's long song I thought that we would go back to an earlier  masterpiece from Spiritualized, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space and the ear splitting, nerve shredding finale, Cop Shoot Cop, the ultimate junkie's lament which recycles and repeats lines from John Prine's bleakest moment, Sam Stone. I have said "nerve shredding" because for ages that's what happened to me when the free jazz section kicks in, you have been taken in by the languid pace of the song and then bang you are confronted by a wall of white noise, it is especially effective live, when the lighting rig explodes and you have to concentrate on staring at the floor as if you look up your head would explode due to the strobes going mental.

Posted is a live version from New York in 2010.

Spiritualized - Cop Shoot Cop (Live New York 30-07-2010)

Friday, 12 October 2018

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



What with the weather being so pish this week, although I was in Luton yesterday where it was positively balmy but up here it has been thoroughly dreich all week, I thought that some Balearic sounds from back in the golden age would go down quite well today.

The other weekend, I had commented on Twitter about Weatherall's remix of Fallen being the only thing that I could think of that he had worked his magic on that hadn't improved on the original but I did like the Supertramp sample, which got me thinking about Come Alive by Orchestra JB which also has a harmonica sample on it but this time from a Housemartins song. So I went searching for the the 12" and also found the previous record by Jimmy Brown from the previous year, 1990 and thought I haven't played that in a long time so duly put it on, the similarities between this and the record that would follow are quite strong from the prominent piano loop, the beats and also the ubiquitous by now moothie sample. This track might be slightly dated with the use of  Let No Man Put Assunder samples but I still love it. And to complete the circle this track also uses the Supertramp sample, maybe a certain producer had this record in his collection.

In football news, I use the term loosely in relation to the antics on the park of the current Airdrie team, the club and the manager have parted company this week. Last Saturday's performance against Brechin. 1 -3 score aside has to be one of the worst performances I have seen, come to think of it each performance so far this season has been progressively worse. Let's hope that the board can get someone in who can get this squad of players playing like a team, as I think that there is the makings of a good team there. No game to endure this week due to the international break, although I'm not sure why that would affect the third tier of Scottish football anyway, so a nice relaxing Saturday in store and the bonus of my blood pressure at 16:45 being normal, well normal for me anyway.

Have a good weekend people.

Orchestra JB - Free Spirit (Slow Burn)

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Bigger Brighter Better



I was going to go on a rant about Global Warming, Trump , Brexit and everything but really what's the fucking point. So here's a bit of Otis to ease all the angst. 

This time last week my better half was visiting Soulsville U.S.A, of course I'm happy for her but just ever so slightly jealous!

Otis Redding - Look At That Girl

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Nothing's As It Seems



I was driving down the M74 on Sunday to Hamilton to do the shopping (life on the edge, eh?) when one of the few post Vanishing Point Primal Scream songs that I can say that I really love came on the Touch, Sometimes I Feel So Lonely the final track on 2006's Riot City Blues. I was only half listening as I was thinking about other things, primarily Sunday evenings chores including the ironing of school uniforms which I was not looking forward to one bit but I was dragged back to reality as something didn't sound quite right, the song sounded flatter, less full than I remembered and so when it finished, I clicked the back button and listened, really listened this time, where were the strings, that breakdown about half way through that always takes my breath away? Then I remembered I only ever play the 7" single version, haven't played the album since, well 2006 if I'm honest and of course only the album version is in iTunes as I wouldn't have ripped the single thinking that the album mix is the same as there is nothing on either format to suggest different version but they are and the 7" version is the better version by a country mile.

So the previous time when I posted this song I obviously posted the wrong version.

Am I the only person who is really excited at the prospect of the original mixes of Give Out But Don't Give Up dropping this Friday?

The reason I was worrying about school uniforms and doing the shopping myself is due to the fact that for the past 10 days L has been living it up in New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville with her best friend for in celebration of their 50th birthdays last year,  So the song was also pretty relevant too on Sunday.

Primal Scream - Sometimes I Feel So Lonely (single version)

Monday, 8 October 2018

Monday's Long Song



Today's long song is more of a tune than a song really. When looking through the long songs on my iTunes database they tend to fall into three categories, mad Space Rock jams, extended four to the floor dance tracks which are more suited to a Friday in my mind rather than the stark reality of the start of the working week and the more ambient/shoegaze, navel contemplating stuff. Today's track falls into the last grouping, all shimmery, jangly guitar, near lack of beats for the first six minutes and then a subtle build up before ebbing away again and then once again building to a climax. Lovely stuff for a Monday morning. It won't always be such an easy listen.

Lunaire - Soro No Woto

The photo was taken from my bedroom window yesterday morning. I'm not usually up early enough on a Sunday to catch the sunrise but no alcohol and being a single parent for the past week or so meant I was up, as you can see at the crack of dawn.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Upon This Rock



I've been a big fan of the Originals label ever since the first single, a Pilooski edit of a Dee Edwards song which was made all the more tasty due to having the original version on the other side which in its original 1971 pressing was well out of my price range,

Since then I have missed out on very few of the subsequent releases and those I have missed I have bitterly regretted. Sometimes I have never heard the track or edit before but there isn't one that once I have put on the turntable I have regretted buying.

I had never heard of Joe Farrell before I bought this single but I suspect that I had heard his sax and flute many a time as he was part of Chick Corea's group whom I have heard on many occasions as a friend of mine is a huge fan and probably owns all of the 130 albums listed on Discogs.  Upon This Rock was one of the four tracks on Farrell's 1974 album of the same name and clocked in at just under 10 minutes which would make it a contender for Monday's Long Song if that was the version I had, however the track has been wonderfully edited down by Mr Fantastic to a much more enjoyable 4 minutes, although I wouldn't have objected if it had gone on longer.  All the self indulgence and fat has been trimmed and what you are left with is a fine lean slab of funk, full of wah wah guitar, a beat that's not possible to ignore and a wicked sax which JC will absolutely hate.

Enjoy

Joe Farrell - Upon This Rock (Mr Fantastic Edit)

Monday, 1 October 2018

Monday's Long Song 2



Strangely enough I had penciled in this track by Stereolab  prior to my Twitter correspondence regarding the Anglo/French "avant-pop" groovers with Prof Clark on Friday. Metronomic Underground was originally on the band's critically acclaimed album Emperor Tomato Ketchup, the version posted is the Peel session one recorded on 24-02-96 and takes an already long song for the band and extends it to a ten minute groove that you just don't want to end.

Stereolab - Metronomic Underground

Friday, 28 September 2018

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



Back to the old school this week, some simple but incredibly effective breakbeat from back in 1992. I saw on the Piccadilly Records website that this is getting a reworking for the RAVE revival that is apparently happening at the moment, no me neither which got me digging out the original which I believe still works perfectly well. Not my go to music back in the day but a very good alternative now and again.

In football news, Airdrie were fucking woeful last Saturday and still remarkably managed to get a one each draw. They will need to up their game considerably to get anything away from home against league leaders Arbroath. We shall see.

Have a good weekend people.

Awesome 3 - Don't Go

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Dale Barclay



Really sad news today regarding Dale Barclay from the Amazing Snakeheads, it has been announced that he has died from the brain cancer that he was being treated for. Thirty two is no age at all.

The first time I saw the Amazing Snakeheads was downstairs in Nice N Sleazy in Glasgow and I couldn't work out whether they were actually a band or just a few pished guys who had taken over  the stage and nicked the instruments from the band gfor a laugh but there was something in the performance that intriqued me and got a hold of Stiff who never missed a performace when they played Glasgow. The next time I saw them was at the launch of there first single where by the looks of it they gave half of the single out to mates and punters for free. The performace that night was absolutely brilliant but also wild. Sadly I only got to see them once more before the band were no more. In Dale Barclay they had a unique and very charismatic front man. Dale once said in an interiew that touring could be tough "but it's never as tough as going to work on a fucking building site in the winter". when not fronting up The Snakeheads and then later And Yet It Moves Dale was a stone mason.

RIP Dale

The Amazing Snakeheads - Testifying Time 

Am I Here? Of Course I Am, Yes



I was driving down to Leeds on Monday afternoon for work and there was nothing on Radio 4 so I fired up the Touch on shuffle. About five or six songs in, "Fast Blood" from the Midnight Organ Fight came on and after about thirty secods I found my eyes welling up and started to cry, tears streaming down my face and I thought that I was going to have to pull over.

I was surprised by my reaction, as firstly,  I thought that I had come to terms with the death of Scott Hutchison, About six weeks ago I was able to play the Midnight Organ Fight in it's entirety, prior to this every time I had tried to listen since May I had found it too difficult and had taken it off knowing that the further it wenbt on the more painful it would be.

The other reason I was surprised was that it was Fast Blood that had brought this reaction, I'm not saying that it isn't a great song but it's a track which had never made me overly emotional previously unlike, Head Rolls Off, My Backwards Walk or Poke all of which would lead to me at least having a lump in my throat even prior to the tragic events that unfolded earlier this year. But on Monday that intro, the bit when the drums break in and Scott's yearning vocal just hit me like a steamroller and by the the time the oh, ohs came in I was wrecked!

I began to wonder,  that if this is how it feels like for someone who just knew Scott through his music, how must it feel, for his friends, band members and especially his parents and brother Grant who I'm sure will never get over this tragedy.

Frightened Rabbit - Fast Blood (Live At Urban Outfitters: SxSW 2007

The picture above is from Electric Fields at the end of August where on the Friday night the song below was played over the PA on the Main Stage at 19:45 which was a rather emotional affair but not quite as much as the tribute at Belladrum, a festival that the Frabbits had played regularly,  where The Midnight Organ Fight was played in full.

Frightened Rabbit - The Loneliness And The Scream

Remember talking helps.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Monday's Long Song



A few months ago I posted "Do Your Thing by Isaac Hayes ans the Swede happened to comment that he thought that it might be a good idea if we all posted a long song on a Monday. I quite liked this idea and during my time in the wilderness, the Swede's comment popped into my head a couple of times and so at the weekend I thought why the hell not. I love a piece of music that goes on for a while, years of training with all the hippy stuff and then Weatherall, the Orb etc. So prepare yourself on a Monday for tunes that outstay their welcome and leave you think at the end, well that's at least ten minutes of my life that I will not see again. Or you could just not bother.

In 2016 through Pledge Music, the Raveonettes came up with a novel idea, you could pledge your money for their new album either on cd or vinyl and each month you would receive one track per month in your in-box as an MP3 and at the end of the year the full album in the format that you pledged for,. It didn't quite turn out like that as the album eventually appeared at the end of April 2017, by far not the most delayed PledgeMusic album that I have waited for, that accolade would go jointly to  SLF and The Orb.

What the hell has this got to do with long songs you may ask as all Raveonettes tracks are usually short, sharp noisy affairs. This is true but the final track which appeared in my inbox in December took me by surprise, a 12 minute tune by the Raveonettes, shurely shome mishtake? On when you listen to it, it's definitely Sune and Sharin but somewhat extended and with keyboards. Personally I love it, the album is patchy and due to the manner in which it was produced rather disjointed but on the whole it was a worthwhile experiment, although a pretty dark one.

The Raveonettes - Pendejo