Tuesday 30 June 2009
Yesterday's post by the Vinyl Villain where he mentions the start of the school holidays got me reminiscing about my own summer holidays all those years ago.
When I was growing up I spent the first week of every summer holiday in a caravan with my mother and younger brother in North Berwick. I used to wonder why my father's mood would lighten as the last week of school approached, I now realise he was looking forward to his week of peace. As he didn't really drink, he was obviously looking forward to a week going from work straight to the golf course and not having to referee the battles between my brother and I.
We were not alone in this , there was always at least 4 or 5 other vans with my mother's friends and their kids.
This was where the problems stemmed from, my mother's friends like my mother were teachers and teachers when they get together have to organise things. Even holidays must be structured and have an itinerary. You would have thought that after organising and teaching children all year long they would like to lighten up, chill out have a kit-kat. Not this lot, if it wasn't rounders, it was long walks, crazy golf and if it was raining (and it did frequently) it was cards. Once in order to stop my brother and I from killing each other it was a walk in the pouring rain to Tantallon Castle, a ruin 3 miles from North Berwick, although it felt like twenty.
If I'm painting a rather bleak picture, I don't mean to as I had some of the best times of my life there I just didn't know it at the time.
As I grew older I started to resent going away for this week.
Could I not stay at home? I asked when I was 16, after all I was old enough to be on my own. No! stated my father, a little too quickly for my mother's liking I think. So once again I was on my way to Mrs Craig's caravan park.
Things started to look up from the moment we arrived. G had brought a friend with her. K was possibly the loveliest girl I had seen since the day before when I had last seen my girlfriend. I made any excuse I could to hang around G's caravan and connived of ways in which G and K could be incorporated in anything that was going on with us. As the week progressed we spent a lot of time together but nothing happened and at the end of the week I went home faithful to I but rather pissed off about it.
A couple of month's later, with that week in North Berwick a distant memory, my girlfriend introduced me to a new girl in her class. I was stunned when I saw that it was K, I think that she was a little surprised too. At that moment I was rather glad that that week had been fruitless.
One of the best things about North Berwick was it had a record shop. Not just a record shop but a record shop that stocked records other than the stuff in the charts. I got some great records there, the only problem being that I bought them all on the Saturday we arrived and could not play them until the following Sunday when we returned home.
Come Back by The Mighty Wah is one of the records that I got in that record shop. Here it is in its full ten and a half minute,12" overblown bombastic glory.
Oh, and the hill in the picture, that's Berwick Law, a hill that we had to climb every bloody year, one year carrying a diabetic poodle (for another day)! Still the view from the top was pretty impressive.
The Mighty Wah! - Come Back (The Story Of The Reds/The Devil In Miss Jones)
Monday 29 June 2009
Don't bother to try to download Redemption Song from the post a couple of Saturday's ago as it has been deleted by Boxnet for copyright infringement. It seems that Chris Blackwood, like David Bowie before him doesn't have enough money either.
I didn't think that their would be that many folk who didn't have that tune. Still, at least Boxnet don't tear down the whole post which is fair enough
I didn't think that their would be that many folk who didn't have that tune. Still, at least Boxnet don't tear down the whole post which is fair enough
Sunday 28 June 2009
Last Friday, I stated that I didn't get Glastonbury and that I had only wished that I had been there twice. Well after watching Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band's headlining slot for the 2nd time I've just regretted not being there for the 3rd time. I thought that their set was outstanding. However if you were to read Dorien Lynksey's column on the Guardian's website, it was all self parody, broadway show type tunes and by the end of it all hardly anybody there. I think that I was watching a different gig.
I'm not the biggest Springsteen fan in the world and don't pretend to know his music inside out. I have quite a few of his albums but tend to prefer Nebraska and Devils & Dust to the rockier stuff. But the performance from that band was excellent, from what I could see all of them were having a ball and giving 100 %, which I know is as it should be but it wouldn't be the first time that I have seen headliners just going through the motions. They seemed to be able to anticipate Springsteen's frequent off stage wanderings, although I suppose when you've worked together for so long that would become second nature. Also with a set that was 2 1/2 hours long the crowd certainly got their money's worth.
Anyway, here are a couple of my favourite covers of Springsteen songs and my favourite track of his.
Catherine Feeny - I'm On Fire
Allo Darlin' - Atlantic City
Bruce Springsteen - Highway Patrolman
Ps The worst thing about the Glastonbury coverage, as usual Jo, bloody, Whiley.
Saturday 27 June 2009
I received this single through the post the other week. On first listen, if you didn't know better you would think that this was an oldie from the days of the Casino. It is however from the tail end of last year and what's more comes out of Finland! I would have stuck money on this being from the West Coast of the USA circa 1968/70.
Myron & E, who supply the vocals are indeed from the States and are part of the hiphop/soul scene and have worked with the likes of Blackalicious, Missy Elliot, the Roots and others not the kind of music you would readily think of when you here the sweet, laid back vocals on this track.
The Soul Investigators whio provide the backing track all glorious strings, joyous horns and driving percussion are from Finland and have produced a fine album with Nicole Willis which is worth checking out.
This is just the thing for a suny afternoon at the end of June. Enjoy.
Myron And E With The Soul Investigators - Cold Game.
Friday 26 June 2009
I've never understood the appeal of Glastonbury. Why would you want to fork out a fortune to spend a weekend, filthy, under canvas and see some bands, some of whom formed this century, from half a mile away do half a set?
Sure, in the mid eighties I was up for it but that was because it was still a CND festival and that was the main point, seeing Billy Bragg and others was just incidental. A mate and I even planned our route to Shepton Mallet but decided against it when we realized it would take us about 3 weeks to get their avoiding motorways, 2s up on a Vespa PX125.
Only twice have I ever wished that I had been there. Once was when I heard the Orbital track Impact (live from Glastonbury) on a tape given away free with Select magazine and the second time was when, sitting watching the coverage live on the beeb a few years ago the Chemical Brothers performed The Private Psychedelic Reel.
So good luck to anybody who is there and I wish you godspeed home on Monday hung over and stinking. I will be watching "live" on the beeb with my gin in the cupboard and my ice in the fridge.
Orbital - Impact (The World Is Burning)
The Chemical Brothers - The Private Psychedelic Reel
Thursday 25 June 2009
When the NME tipped Giant Drag as one of the big things in 2006 they put the kiss of death on a promising career for the duo of Annie Hardy and Micah Calabrese. By this time they had already released an ep Lemona and an album Hearts and Unicorns but since then nothing. On their myspace page it says that the Swansong ep will be released soon, however since it was recorded last year I wouldn't hold my breath.
The album reminds me a bit of Belly mixed with elements of My Bloody Valentine especially the opening track Kevin Is Gay, which also illustrates my problem with the duo, the song titles. These include My Dick Sux (sic), You Are Full Of Shit and my favourite Yflmd (You Fuck Like My Dad), are they trying to be provocactive? Probably but to me it just comes across as being brattish. If you can get over this then the music is good, not earth shattering but pleasant enough and the album does contain a rather good cover version of Wicked Game by Chris Isaak.
Bit of trivia - Annie Hardy performed Just Like Honey with the Reid Brothers (no, not the Proclaimers, the other, disfunctional ones) on their reunion tour, let's hope it was better than the piss poor attempt by Scarlett Johanson, posted here a couple of months ago.
Giant Drag - This Isn't It
Giant Drag - Wicked Game
Monday 22 June 2009
After 19 years I still don't know whether I like this track or not.
I like the idea of it and most of the time will play the instru-mental mix rather than vocal Ibiza 90 mix. I also loved the fact that when I dropped it in the pub where I djed, I would get some long hair or double denim clad type coming up and calling it sacrelidge and how dare I play this rubbish, which just made me play it all the more.
I bought Jam on The Mutha's cover of Hotel California in the remix format first as it was remixed by the Orb and Orb remixes were always worth the money , it was also in the bargain bin, so I couldn't really lose.
I know very little about Jam on The Mutha, apart from the fact that it seems to be one of Youth's many guises and that Hotel California was released on Wau! Mr Modo, the same label as The Orb at the time.
I will make one statement for the defence in the case for the release of this record, it was 1990 and the E's were very good.
Jam On The Mutha - Hotel California ( Ibiza 90 mix)
Jam On The Mutha - Hotel California (Orb In Cali mix)
Sunday 21 June 2009
This is just the thing for a lazy Sunday morning, all brooding and introspective.
And the Racket They Made is taken from the 4th official King Creosote album - Bombshell made during his foray into major label territory.
For those of you not familiar with the King (Kenny Anderson) he is the founder and most prolific member of the Fence Collective , a group of like minded artists who reside mainly in the East Neuk of Fife and produce some of the best, most original music around.
If you get the chance you should visit the East Neuk, as it is a beautiful part of the country and when there go to Anstruther, home of the Fence Collective, where there are 2 chippys serving possibly the best fish suppers in the world. You could then wash it down with a pint in the Ship Tavern where Anderson and his brothers would regularly play on a Sunday night.
King Creosote - And The Racket They Made
As a bonus here is the Withered Hand original of the Meursault track posted a couple of weeks ago. This can be found on the ep You're Not Alone on which King Creosote helps out and which can be purchased from Fence here.
Withered Hand - Oldsmobile Car
Saturday 20 June 2009
I'm going to go on my first anti-trident march in years today.
It's quite depressing to think that the first time I marched against Trident was 25 years ago in Barrow in Furness where they were building the submarines which would launch the missiles. Since then there have been numerous visits to Faslane, Coulport and other places.
It has always seemed like lunacy to me that we posses a first strike weapon in the name of a deterrent and so we can keep our seat at the big table. It's about time that our government realised that having these weapons does not enhance our status in the world but actually encourages other nations in their attempts to get their own nuclear weapons.
In the current economic crisis when the reality is that public services will have to be cut then surely the first thing to go should be the replacement of a weapons system that we will never be able to use without the say so of the good old US of A and more to the point morally should not even entertain the notion of using?
Here are a couple of tracks that stick in my mind from that first anti-trident demo a long time ago.
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Redemption Song
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes (Carnage)
Friday 19 June 2009
A bit of Scottish progressive house from 1992 for you today.
The Slam boys and Soma weren't the only label out of Glasgow that was releasing quality house tunes during the early 90s there was also the 23rd Precinct and Limbo labels both of which were affiliated with the record shop in Glasgow with the same name. The sound of 23rd Precinct/Limbo was always, to me anyway a little more commercial than the edgier more upfront sound of Soma.
The record shop was staffed by c_ _ _s of the first degree. It was a common occurrence to get sneered at if you asked for something that the git behind the counter didn't approve of. They make Jack Black's character in High Fidelity look like the epitome of fair mindedness. If you were trying to get a hold of anything quite rare there was absolutely no point in going to 23rd Precinct unless you were part of their crew. On a few occasions I asked for tunes and could see the vinyl behind the counter only to be told that they didn't have it! Thank God that there were other dance music shops in Glasgow to frequent.
However the labels did release some great tracks by the likes of Havana, Harri and Sublime.
Fight the Feeling was produced by Mathew Brown and Graham Drinnan and came out as a white label only, on the 23rd Precinct label and is pretty typical of the releases around this time fairly progressive with a bit of piano. I remember flogging this to death when it came out. When I pulled it out earlier in the week I initially thought that it had dated badly, however after a couple of plays at volume I have revised my opinion and think that it holds up pretty well.
Sublime - Fight The Feeling
Wednesday 17 June 2009
The other night during the ad break in something I was half watching, an ad for "Now That's What I Call The Best Dadrock, Pub Jukebox, Classic, Driving Anthems Ever, Volume Umpteenth" or some such equally fatuous title caught my attention. Snipets of all the usual suspects were played in the 30 second ad, The Undertones, Oasis, Coldplay etc etc and also things like Free, Elton John and bloody Bachman Turner Overdrive, ffs. This got me thinking what demographic is this compilation aimed at? It can't be aimed at the kind of people who read music blogs, (I'm trying not to use the term "serious music listeners") as I don't think that this group tend to buy mainstream compilations, I could be wrong but don't think so.
Even casual music listeners, who would want to play this sort of thing in the car will probably have the majority of these tracks and the ones that they don't, are they likely to fork out 12 quid for the cd when all of the tracks will be available in a digital format from itunes, eMusic or some other e vendor.
If this cd is aimed at kids to buy for Father's Day, I think that the marketeers are seriously deluded. What kid will go out and buy a cd of tracks which they can readily get off the internet for nada?
If in a few years M gave me a compilation cd he had burned I would be much happier than him buying one of these scattergun approach to music compilations at least if he had compiled it then some thought would have gone into it.
I just don't see the point of this type of compilation. A quick search on HMV shows that there are absolutely loads of these things out there. Why?
I do see the need for specialist compilations, such as dance mix cds, obscure Northern Soul or even obscurer indie that was only ever released in limited numbers on 7" vinyl, yes but not this mainstream stuff as it is all available elsewhere and with a little bit of effort you can make yourself a bespoke compilation better than any of these off the shelf
This accessibility to music wasn't always the case. As has been written here before and on many other blogs in the pre internet days it wasn't that easy to get a hold of tracks. even just a couple of years old.
Finally I get to the point of this post.
Pre download days, it wasn't unknown for me to buy a compilation album just for one or two tracks which was quite a costly way of getting hold of music. I would attempt to root out the singles, if the track had been released on that format. This meant a trip to the Barras in Glasgow on a Saturday and searching the 2nd hand record stalls.
On one occasion I asked one of the stall owners, who sort of specialised in soul if he had It Should Have Been Me by Yvonne Fair to which his reply was "What do you want that for, your bird dumped you or something?"
Here are 3 tracks from compilation albums that I bought solely for these songs.
First up is William Bell & Judy Clay - Private Number. It was originally released in 1968 on the Stax label. The copy I own is on a double lp released in 1986 called the Originals an album full of 60s soul staples from the likes of the Isley Brothers, Sam Cooke etc. If I remember rightly this album was released on the back of the retro Levi 501 ads which at the time started us all wearing boxer shorts and lying in the bath in our new jeans.
William Bell & Judy Clay - Private Number
Next we have Bettye Swann with her cover of a Neville Brothers track Tell it Like It Is from What's Happening Stateside a sampler album of artists on the Stateside label. This album was probably the best £2.99 I've ever spent as it introduced me to a whole raft of soul artists I had never heard of before such as Irma Thomas, Z.Z. Hill & Jimmy Holiday.
Bettye Swann - Tell it Like It Is
The third track is from a soundtrack album. I first heard Tipitina by Professor Longhair when I saw The Big Easy with Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin and couldn't get it out of my head. The only way to get the song was to buy the rather pricey, at the time soundtrack cd, which is patchy although it does have a live version of the Neville Brothers doing Tell It Like It Is.
Professor Longhair - Tipitina
Friday 12 June 2009
A great day was had by all but alas no Rose Tyler. M was particularly scared of the Daleks but was happy that he got to see his favorites, the Sontaran. I don't think that it was the full exhibition though, there was no finale as Mondo mentioned in the previous comments.
I even got to go to Fopp and Oxfam Music.
BBC Radiophonic Workshop - Dr Who Theme
BBC Radiophonic Workshop - Dr Who Theme ( Unreleased U.N.K.L.E Reconstruction)
Orbital - Dr Who
I've been a little distracted lately. too much going on in my head, hence the lack of content and the brevity of recent posts. I think that things may get back to normal soon.
I've got a couple of days off, as yesterday was Lanimer Day, our town's equivalent of a Gala Day, I was going to rant on about this and the underlying feudalism of the whole day but I won't bother.
Anyway, I'm taking M to see the Doctor Who exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow today. I think that I may be looking forward to it more than M. "Will Rose be there?" he asked this morning to which I could only reply " If only M, if only".
As it is Friday, it's time for a dance. Today's track Weak Become Heroes by The Streets sums up beautifully how those early days of raving felt, the optimism and positivity of the whole scene before the gangsters and the bad pills took over. Ashley Beadle houses things up somewhat on the remix posted here.
Streets - Weak Become Heroes (Ashley Beadle's Love Bug Vocal)
Tuesday 9 June 2009
It has been a while since I featured the talents of Mr Weatherall.
How about some voodoo skank from Lord Sabre along with Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns in the form of the Sabres of Paradise. Wilmot was originally on the excellent Haunted Dancehall album. The version posted is the 12" single version.
Sabres of Paradise - Wilmot
Monday 8 June 2009
Here are a couple of tunes from the band without whom, my record collection would be a rather sorry state of affairs. As if they had not existed then at least 80% of my favorite bands would never have been formed either.
I have often wondered how my music tastes would have evolved if I hadn't sought out the Velvet Underground. Would I now be listening to a lot more chart friendly music or god forbid ended up not that interested at all?
As I've mentioned before, when I first heard The Jesus and Mary Chain I was hooked, so much so that I eagerly sought every article I could find on the band. The group that seemed to be referenced in every piece of writing about JAMC was The Velvet Underground whether it was in relation to the music or the look, the black clothing and Ray-Bans. At this point I didn't know much about the Velvet Underground apart from Lou Reed had been in the band and also vaguely, the Andy Warhol connection.
In those pre-internet days and also before everybody's back catalogue was available on cd it was quite difficult and costly to get your hands on records by "cult" bands. I was lucky enough to have a mate who had an older brother who was into The Velvets due to being a huge Orange Juice /Postcard fan. He taped The Velvet Underground And Nico and White Light White Heat for me. I was instantly won over from the opening music box like notes of Sunday Morning to the final thrashes of Sister Ray. From then it was my mission to get all 4 studio albums on vinyl. Since then I have bought all the Velvets stuff I've come across from the necessary Live 1969 double album to the purely exploitative Live at Max's Kansas City.
Screeds have been written about the Velvet Underground over the years and I don't have anything insightful to contribute to what has already been said. The only thing that I can say is that a lot of the music that I have grown to love over the years wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for the influence of Cale, Reed, Morrison and Tucker.
Both of the tunes posted here are from the 1985 released VU album which was a collection of tracks recorded between Feb 1968 and September 1969 which had apparently been lost and the tapes of which were discovered when the record label were preparing to re-release the first 3 albums.
The Velvet Underground - I Can't Stand It
The Velvet Underground - Foggy Notion
Saturday 6 June 2009
As I've stated before I love the Raveonettes live and really like the recorded stuff but don't think that it does their live sound justice.
Here are another couple of tracks from previous albums, as it doesn't look as though there will be any new tracks or a tour for that matter in the forseable future.
As others have pointed out there is nothing revolutionary in their sound, yes it is derivative and the lyrics are not deep and meaningful; I think that they are rather good none the less.
The Raveonettes - Remember
The Raveonettes - Somewhere in Texas
Friday 5 June 2009
This Friday it's time for a couple of mid tempo northern soul tunes.
First up is my second favorite Northern tune ever, Just Loving You by Ruby Andrews.There are only two words to describe this tune, absolutely and gorgeous; nothing else needs to be said.
Ruby Andrews - Just Loving You
Now for a bit of blue eyed soul. Bobby Paris is well known on the northern scene with the tracks Night Owl, Personally and this track, which I think is his best.
Bobby Paris - I Walked Away.
Not a lot in the way of information on these tracks but when the songs are this good you don't need me pontificating about them.
Thursday 4 June 2009
If you are reading this in the UK , like me you are probably totally switched off by politics and have very little trust in the politicians at Westminster.
No matter how hacked off I am at the moment with politics , I still believe that it is my duty to vote in the European election today and I urge everybody feeling disillusioned to do the same, no matter who you vote for, even the SNP if you must (in Scotland anyway).
If you believe that by not voting you are lodging a protest against the system or the main parties then I think that you are gravely mistaken. By protesting in this manner you may be aiding the odious BNP or the equally ridiculous UKIP to get a foothold in mainstream politics; especially in England where local elections are also taking place.
I have had the arguments with friends as to what is the point of voting, the stock argument being "my vote doesn't make any difference anyway", this is what the BNP and UKIP are hoping for; that enough people think like this and in combination with the lies that they have been peddling to people who are sick of what has been going on and yes, gullible. I wasn't going to say that but to vote for these parties you really have to have either fascistic tendencies or be very stupid to believe the hatred that they spout.
So please use your vote, no matter who you vote for. Apart from either of the jokes mentioned above, if you intend to vote for them fuck off, you're not wanted here.
I know the system isn't ideal but it's what we've got. To quote a famous Tory (I never thought that I would ever be doing that)- Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time
Billy Bragg - An Accident Waiting To Happen
The Men They Couldn't Hang - The Ghosts of Cable Street
Wednesday 3 June 2009
This came on the iPod the other day and I thought it was worth sharing.
The Deadly Avenger mix is just one of 4 remixes of the Get Carter Theme on a 12" single released in 1999. I have no idea why someone decided to remix the track but a couple of the mixes are quite good, this one and the Lionrock one.
Roy Budd - Get Carter (Deadly Avenger remix)
Monday 1 June 2009
A little bit of teutonic techno to start the week of to a bang.
Ellen Allien is one of the leading lights in the Berlin and European electro/trance scenes. She started djing in 1992 and landed a residency at Tresor, one of the most influential clubs for techno over the last couple of decades. Subsequently she has had her own radio show, organised parties, started 2 labels, the shortlived Brain Candy and BPitch Control on which she has released her six albums and numerous others including Modeselektor and Apparat and one of my favorite albums this year by Moderat.
The track posted was the lead single from the 2005 album Thrills. I first heard this one day when lurking round Fopp looking for something different about 4 years ago. Asked the guy behind the counter what it was, bought the album which turned out to be just the sort of thing I was looking for.
Ellen Allien - Magma