Monday 31 August 2009

Touched By The Hand Of God VII

It has been over a month since Mr Weatherall featured on this blog. So let's start off the week with one of his best remixes from 1992, a year in which he did brilliant remixes for the likes of Future Sound Of London with the spacey Papua New Guinea, Galliano's Skunk Funk and West In Motion for Bumble amongst others.

We are concerned with Weatherall's Weekender where he takes an already funky hymn to hedonism, Weekender, by a bunch of chancers from Camden Town and stretches it out with 2 mixes clocking in at 15:30 and 17:10 respectively.

I have friends who are not that partial to these remixes but I have yet to hear a compelling argument against them.

Flowered Up - Weekender (Audrey is A Little Bit More Partial)

Saturday 29 August 2009

Spiritual House Music

How about a joyous house cover of a Stevie Wonder track, with a little bit of Farley & Heller thrown in for good measure

Secret Life - As Always (gospel mix)

Friday 28 August 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance.

So much for new music week, one post and it's Friday already. I promise that I will post some new stuff next week but as it's Friday there's only one thing for it, yes let's have a little U2.

Instead how about a tune that was originally written for Nina Simone, whose version did absolutely nothing in 1964, however the song was picked up by the Animals who had a hit with it the following year. There have been loads of versions of the Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood but I think that my favorite is probably Elvis Costello's.

The version posted is by a French/US disco group who reached number 15 in the US charts with the track in 1978. I have to be honest and say that I had never heard the track before 2003 when it was used in the soundtrack to Kill Bill Vol1.

Santa Esmeralda - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Thursday 27 August 2009

RIP Ellie Greenwich

This lady didn't half write some classics in collaboration with her husband and for Be My Baby, alone, I shall raise a glass.

Beth Orton - I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine

The Shangri-Las - Out In The Streets

Wednesday 26 August 2009

New Music Week (Well Couple of Days)

Mathew over at Song By Toad has been musing about when it is that you stop seeking out new music and get into a rut or as MES would say turn into a "look back bore". Mathew thinks that he has another good couple of years before this happens which would take him to 35 which somewhat dismayed me, cos as you will probably be aware I turned 40 this year and am still looking for those tracks which will make me feel the same way as I did when I first heard From Across The Kitchen Table or Loaded. Granted it doesn't happen very often but when it does it feels just as good.

Mathew's musings however got me thinking of how others perceive this quest for the new and spending more time in King Tut's than a forty year old father of 2 should. I have noticed the funny looks sometimes from the predominantly younger members of staff on my infrequent visits to my company's office when I am extolling the virtues of We Were Promised Jetpacks, Meursault or the like. Am I seen as some sadsack trying to keep young by looking out for new bands? and , Do I care what they think anyway when most of them are more interested in the X Factor than the brilliant burgeoning music scene in the central belt of Scotland these days. The answers to theses questions is I don't know and frankly I couldn't give a shit.

Recently the new music that I have been listening to is mostly dance and electronic. Some time in the early noughties (I fucking hate that term) I decided that it was quite sad for somebody over 30 to still be buying 12" dance singles and trying to mix in his bedroom. L may have had something to do with this decision as it was her bedroom too. Another reason was probably that nothing was really grabbing my attention.

This all changed in 2006 when I heard the first Burial album and started listening to dubstep. Since then I have been gradually buying more and more dance music, mostly minimalist techno and dub step but other things as well, some electronica and of course anything with Weatherall's name on it, didn't really give up on him at all but even he seemed to be steering away from dance with the Wrong Meetings albums.

Anyway, this year has seen me buy more dance 12" singles in the past 6 months than probably the last 3 years.

Today's track is the flip side mix of the new single on Soma from Funk D'Void, one Lars Sandberg previously of Glasgow but now a resident of Barcelona, I think. He has a long history with the Glasgow label Jack Me Off, his first single being released on Soma in 1995. The track is a collaboration with Sian whom I know absolutely nothing about. The press release says Sian is now becoming recognized as a truly unique figure in electronic music. His list of aficionados reads like a who’s who of contemporary dance culture, from Luciano, Loco Dice, Ricardo Villalobos, Steve Bug, Carl Craig and M.A.N.D.Y to Sasha, John Digweed and James Zabiela. More of Villalobos and Carl Craig in the next couple of days.

This track reminds me of early Warp releases without being retro or dated sounding and probably sounds absolutely wonderful at full volume in somewhere like the Subby.

For all of those who think that dance music is that formulaic thump thump thump that you hear coming out of fucked-up Citroen Saxa's, have a listen to this and give it a chance.

Funk D'Void and Sian - A Raven Wheeling Overhead (Sleazy Dub mix)

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Get A Load Of This

This is absolutely outstanding.

Alice Russell - Crazy

Mother Sky

Time for another of those edits from that French DJ, Pilooski, I will soon have posted half of the Dirty Edits album. I don't think that I will need to worry about take down notices though as the legality of the original twelves is somewhat in doubt.#

This time Pilooski takes on some Krautrock ( a term that I feel quite uncomfortable about, however I can't think of another one), in the form of Can an experimental band from West Germany as it was called in 1968 when they formed. Their best period in my eyes was between 1971 - 73 when they released 3 classic albums, Tagoo Magoo, Ege Bamyasi and Future Days. The experimental nature of some of Can's work tends to put people off but if you persevere I think it is worth it.

Can have influenced many bands from PIL to the Flaming Lips. The influence on MES and The Fall is obvious even without the tribute titled I Am Damo Suzuki (Can's one time singer) on This Nations Saving Grace.

Speaking of The Fall, the long anticipated Last Night At The Hammersmith Palais CD/DVD
finally dropped through the letter box today and I can tell you it was worth the wait, for the blistering albeit cut short version of Reformation alone. I can thoroughly recommend this release and at £8.99 from Amazon a bargain as well.

Can - Mother Sky (Pilloski edit). Link restored

PS if you ever see a record on Discogs being sold by some one who goes by the name Major_Dude avoid at all costs, as he took 25 quid off of me for the above 12" and never sent it or replied to any of my communication - Robbing Bastard is the term for this c_ _ t

Monday 24 August 2009

Richard d James

Monday again, I know it's a cliche but weekends don't last long enough.

Spent yesterday avec famille at a medieval festival at the race course in Lanark where there were various re-enactments of battles between the Scots and the English, the Vikings and the English, The French and the English, basically the rest of Europe and the English. It was quiet strange as there were guys wandering about dressed as Roman Legionaries, others in Napoleonic War get up and WW1 Tommys. M loved it and got another sword to add to his burgeoning collection of weapons which sometimes disturbs me but on the other hand I played with Action Men and had guns and turned into a peacenik or as others would have it, a lily-livered liberal pinko.

In Lanark we are pre-disposed to this medieval stuff as this is where William Wallace was married and first raised arms against the English. The best pub in the town is called the Wallace Cave, or it used to be when I worked there and before the change of owner.

Today's track has only the most tenuous link to the above ramblings, in so much as Richard D James bought a tank which he would drive around the English countryside freaking people out.

Selected Ambient Works 85 - 92 is an album that I keep going back to. It has been criticized over the years due to the poor quality of the recording, it was all mastered off of cassette, to be honest with you I've never noticed as I thought that that was the way the album was supposed to sound as I bought the vinyl back in 1992 and I'm too tight to buy the remastered version which came out on vinyl in 2006 and cd in 2008 to find out if it is true or not.

There is no point telling you about Richard D James as how much of the information available about the man is truth and how much is myth that has been circulated by the man himself is debatable. One thing that is true is that when he is on form he is absolutely brilliant and years ahead of everyone else but at other times, well lets just say like other geniuses such as MES and Weatherall the output can be challenging. In my opinion he has released nothing which is not worth listening to at least once.

Aphex Twin - Heliosphan

Sunday 23 August 2009

We Get On

I had sort of forgotten about Kate Nash recently. In one of the early posts on this blog I posted Birds, the other side of her first single and said how much I liked her songs but the album had not lived up to the potential I felt that it had been over produced and that the songs lost some of their intimacy due to this. The track posted today is a prime example, it's the 2nd thing that I ever heard by her and I just loved the lyrics and the forlorn feeling of the track, however when it appeared on the album, it had a jaunty beat, backing vocals and full accompaniment and completely lost the desperate feel of the radio session version.

The reason this track came into my head this week is that I have been reading One Day by David Nicholls a book aimed directly at mine and a few of the bloggers listed at the side's age group. I believe that if Kate Nash had been around in 1988, Emma, one of the two main characters would have had this track on repeat. If you get the chance read the book. It is funny, clever and will strike a chord with anyone who has felt more for a member of the opposite sex than they've let on and never had the courage to do anything about it. Don't let the Tony Parsons quote put off.

A word of warning though, if you read it, when you get to chapter 18 do not read it as I did while waiting for your dinner to arrive, sitting alone in a hotel as the waitress is apt to look at you very strangely and enquire about your mental well being.

Kate Nash - We Get On

I have just realised that I did indeed post this track in the previous Kate Nash post but I've finished the post now so apologies for the repetition.

Saturday 22 August 2009

Not One Of My Best Decisions

I spent Thursday and Friday in Birmingham for work, my god they used a lot of concrete building that city. When I completed what I had to do I realised that I was going to have a 4 hour wait at the airport, so I did the calculation waiting time + flight time + drive home from the airport and came to the conclusion that I would be just as quick getting in the hire car and driving north.

Getting out of Birmingham was easy enough but it took me 3 hours to get to bloody Preston due to traffic going to the V Festival and as a result I got home at 10:35 pm, an hour and a half later than if I had got the flight. Not one of my better decisions. Still I didn't spend money I haven't got in the duty free.

One observation from spending so much time in the car, Radio 1 is completely shit. Due to the lack of iPod connectivity I was forced to listen to the radio, after a brief flirtation with Radio 2, yuk and nothing interesting on Radio 4 until PM at five, there was nothing else for it but Fabulous Radio 1. I'm sorry Edith Bowman but if you think Kernkraft 400 by Zombie Nation is a dance classic you are sadly mistaken and in need of a full frontal lobotomy and I am not going to go into any details about the Scott Mills show, suffice to say pish of the highest order.

I'm not sure which was worse the traffic jam or Radio 1 but in combination it was probably one of the worst forms of torture imaginable and needs to banned in the Geneva Conventions

Bob Marley And The Wailers - Concrete Jungle (version)

Bobby Womack - Home Is Where The Heart Is

Friday 21 August 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Anybody up for a bit of Future Jazz? Nope, didn't think so I can imagine CTEL's back will be up straight away with the J word. Shall we call it Deep House then?

The Audience is a rather soulful piece of house by the man of many aliases, Herbert. This tune came out on the Studio! K7 label in 2001. The vocals are by Jamie Lidell and Dani Sicilian.

In my best John Thompson, as the presenter on Jazz Club, side on to the camera - Nice . . Great

Herbet feat Dani Siciliano - The Audience (vs Jamie Lidell)

Wednesday 19 August 2009

A Live Review Of Sorts.

I don't do concert reviews as I tend to spend my time just enjoying gigs as opposed to getting the set order correct and being in review mode, however Tart has asked me to report back on her 2 favorite bands, so I will. If you wish to find out details of running order etc you should have no trouble as there were at least 4 people, who to me looked like weans sitting on the pews of Queen's Hall furtively making notes in little pads all the way through

I made Edinburgh from the other side of Manchester in just over 3 hrs, not bad going. There I found that the doors did not open at 7 as on the tickets and found myself queuing to get into a gig for the first time in many a year.

The first band who's name I cannot remember did absolutely nothing for me, they weren't bad or anything just not my kind of thing. So sorry, I'm sure they're all great people but just not for me so I didn't pay very much attention to them but still kept quiet.

Meursault, on the other hand were guaranteed my undivided attention and for the rather short 25 minute set they did, they did not disappoint, they exceeded my expectations, especially A Small Stretch Of Land which was quite beautiful. I will need to investigate further because this short set has just whetted my appetite and will need to see them do a full set.

One thing though, why the fuck do people persist in talking all the way through the support act at gigs? I have come to hear the bands, all of them even the ones I don't particularly like and couldn't give a flying fuck how drunk you were last night or who you got off with. If you have no interest in the band stay in the fucking bar. It is the height of ignorance to stand/sit and talk all the way through.

The feirt bunnies were given a rapturous welcome and indeed the crowd sang along and clapped out of time with the music so much so that at one point L thought that she was at a Runrig concert, having never frequented one I don't know what she was on about. The band were excellent and the 3 new tunes for the album which according to Scott is completed albeit with at least one song still untitled were very promising and I look forward to hearing in full as soon as possible. One grumble though, I did not like the version of Backwards Walk, always one my favorites, it lost all of the melancholy. Apart from that and the arseholes talking all the way through Meursault a wonderful night was had by all.

Frightened Rabbit - My Backwards Walk (Daytrotter session)

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Finally I May Get To See Meursault Live

Tonight I'm off to see Frightened Rabbit as part of the music bit of the Festival but I'm more excited about finally getting to see Meursault, well I may get to see them. My boss decided to arrange the team meeting for today which would have been all well and good in the past as they were held in Edinburgh however the changes that were made whilst I was on holiday resulted in me joining a new team who have their meetings in Manchester, bugger. Not taking any chances on cancelled flights by FlyMaybe as soon as the meeting is over I will be on the M6 and trying to beat the Manchester to Edinburgh land speed record.

Frightened Rabbit - Heads Roll Off

Meursault - Nothing Broke

Monday 17 August 2009

How about a bit of Krautrock to start off the week, krautrock with a twist in that it is from Brighton 2006 not Cologne 1976.

M's first day back at school today and not a moment too soon, wonder if my parents had the same thoughts, my father maybe my mother certainly not, being a teacher.

Fujiya & Miyagi - Conductor 71 (This track comes Weatherall approved, it says so on the sticker on the front of the cd)

Saturday 15 August 2009

Everybody Loves A Cover . . . Right?

A brace of contemporary covers for you, well from last year anyway.

First up are the Mystery Jets with their cover of a Leonna Lewis song, no wait, come back it is rather good. I hadn't heard the original or hadn't been aware that I had until fairly recently as I'm strictly a radio's 4 & 6 person. I caught it while at my parents house, who have Murdoch TV and when I'm there I tend to flick through the music channels much to the chagrin of both my parents and M who wants to watch Spongebob or the Clone Wars. I never thought that this would happen to me, shock horror, but I have to admit that I quite liked what I heard a track by a TV talentless show winner. Musical snobbery aside, it is a good track but whether it warrants being the biggest selling single worldwide in 2008 is an argument for another day. Anyway, I think that the Mystery Jets, an indie band from London do an ever better version.

Mystery Jets - Bleeding Love

Secondly we have a duet from Florence (without the Machine)and Kid Harpoon covering a Bruce Springsteen song.

In my spotty youth I loved Springsteen, The River and Nebraska were albums that my mate Ben would play all the time. Then came Born In The USA and I have to admit that even before Reagan appropriated the song for his re-election campaign I felt uncomfortable with the album. There was something about it that just put me off. From the first time I heard Born In The USA I didn't like the song. I was an earnest left wing anti Pershing and Cruise missile campaigner so anything that was so in your face proud to be an American ( or so I foolishly misinterpreted) as this song seemed, was guaranteed to get my blood boiling.

I think Born In The USA is the album that created stadium rock. I realise that there had been many stadium gigs before this but I do believe that this album was the blueprint for all those bands who have since sat down and intentionally written albums that would sound good in a stadium and for that I think Springsteen has a lot to answer for.

I'm digressing here but the point is that when I first heard I'm Going Down by Florence & Kid Harpoon the song was vaguely familiar but I would never have remembered that it came from Born In The USA, if it had not been pointed out by a friend. The reason being that even though I listen to Sprinsteen quite frequently, I think that I may have played I'm On Fire or My Hometown from that album but would never even think of playing the whole thing so had completely forgotten that there are indeed some great tracks on it.

The stripped down approach which Florence and Kid Harpoon take brings out the essence of the track and something you could imagine Springsteen himself approving of. Strangely enough, Catherine Feeny did something similar to I'm On Fire, another track from Born In The USA.

Florence & Kid Harpoon - I'm Going Down

That Bellshill Beat

I played this for the first time in ages this morning, Duglas T Stewart the man responsible for so many twee indie bands and for putting Bellshill on the map for something other than the consumption of tonic wine.

Seriously, how good is this record?

BMX Bandits - Serious Drugs

Rilo Kiley

My introduction to Rilo Kiley came via a cover mount cd from Word Magazine. The track was from their second album The Execution of All Things which I duly went out and purchased. The album lived up to the promise of the free track. It reminded me of label mates, Bright Eyes with the strong lyrics and great tunes but with the added bonus of Jenny Lewis' voice and what a voice she has.

I think that it is just as well that I bought the album before I read up on the band. As when I read that the 2 founding members were child actors from the Valley, I could feel my inherent prejudice against precocious child actors turned musicians come to the fore. The charge of tweeness which was levelled at them more than once, I thought was a little harsh, however if I had read these reviews prior to listening to the album I would probably have steered clear of them. A lesson was learnt, give things a chance before dismissing them.

Later the same year (2004) the band released an even better album in the form of More Adventurous. This album was a more polished affair with string arrangements and better production. Two singles were released from the album, the anti-war Bush baiting It's A Hit and the wonderful Portions For Foxes although there is not a track on the album that I would skip.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the follow-up, 3 years later entitled Under The Blacklight. This album has to be one of the most disappointing releases for me since EXTRMNTR. It is way too glossy, the production far too slick and the songs just not in the same league as the earlier material. I did wonder how much the critical acclaim and success of Lewis' first solo album contributed to the lacklustre tunes on this release, was she reluctant to give the band her best songs instead wishing to keep them for her second solo outing. That was until the release of said album which was just as disappointing, in my opinion as Under The Blacklight. Several reviews likened the forth album to Rumours era Fleetwood Mac. A Fleetwood Mac for the 21st Century is not something which is needed.

It looks as though Rilo Kiley are now no more and it is sad that the last thing that they produced was as slick and corporate as it was, but if you disregard this album and look back at the previous 3, Rilo Kiley leave a better than average back catalogue.

Rilo Kiley - With Arms Outstretched (The song on the Word cd)

Rilo Kiley - 15 (The only track from the final album which, to me, is any good)

Friday 14 August 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Justin Robertson is not your average dj/producer, how many others have a degree in philosophy ? He started working in the record shop Eastern Bloc in his native Manchester at exactly the time when the city was yet again coming to the attention of the rest of the world via the baggy and acid house scenes.

He started remixing and his talents were utilised by the likes of the Shamen and the Sugarcubes before releasing his first single Lionrock/Roots and Culture on his own Most Excellent label, the single was subsequently picked up and re-released by de-Construction who he continued to record for releasing 2 albums and quite a few more singles before moving on to Concrete where he recorded probably Lionrock's best known track outwith dance circles with Rude Boy Rock which if I'm not mistaken was later used in an add for some Sony product.

The track posted is the follow-up to Rude Boy Rock, Scatter and Swing which personally I love but at the time was blasted by others as being a bit too commercial.

Lionrock - Scatter & Swing

Below you will find the youtube clip for a track which I have been meaning to feature on the Friday section of this blog as it is the best dancer I have heard this year. I have had 7" for a couple of months now and was going to feature it as it was in a limited run of 500 7" singles on Acid Jazz and I believed that it should be heard by the wider world. However, Eddie Pillar, for it is the work of that old mod, has rightly given it a full release on a different label. So I implore you to go out and buy it. I am confident that once you hear it you will want to get hold of it. I liked the original but this just pisses all over it.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Just Because

How about a bit of a cajun cover version of an old Chuck Berry tune. Have no idea why this was running about my head today

Johnnie Allan - Promised Land

Hoi Smith, Where's The Bloody Album?

The work ethic that Mark E Smith bangs on about in every interview he does seems to have eluded him of late. It has been over a year since the last album launch which was also a rather tardy release. I keep checking the "unofficial" Fall website, hoping to see a post informing the masses of the imminent release of a new album by the gruppe, but nothing. The nearest their is is the live cd/dvd package of the gig at the last night of The Hammersmith Palais which I have pre-ordered twice already and will not hold my breath for it actually being released on the 24th August.

Another thing which has pissed me off this year is the distinct lack of Fall gigs north of the border, one earlier this year and that was part of a festival. I wasn't paying fifty quid to see forty five minutes in the dubious acoustics of the Arches. I may be mad but I'm not stupid.

This week I was informed that I will have to go to Berlin with work in October which just so happens is when the Fall have penciled in a few dates round the country, none in Scotland as yet but you can bet your bottom dollar that when the Scottish dates are announced it will be the bloody week I will be in Berlin and I don't think that the powers that be will be very sympathetic or realise the importance of seeing the Fall live.

The Fall - Garden (Peel session)

The above post was just another excuse to slip on something by the world's greatest band

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Lead Me On

Today's track was a crossover hit at the turn of the century. It was an in demand record on both the modern and northern dance floors and an original 7" will cost you upwards of £50 these days.

Lead Me On by Gwen McCrae was given a full release by Universal in 1972 but as is often the case with tracks posted on this blog did not see much chart action. The song was an old gospel - blues song recorded by Bobby Bland which Gwen injected with a lot of soul and a smokey late night feel.

Gwen McCrae - Lead Me On

Monday 10 August 2009


I have avidly collected the works of Josh Davis since the first time I heard In Flux which was also my introduction to Mo Wax, James Lavelle and the whole headz culture which I eagerly embraced.

There is something about collages made from snatches of dialogue, samples, laid back beats and turntablism that floats my boat. I can got lost in these strung out, cinematic odysseys and long ago stopped trying to spot the samples.

The one thing about DJ Shadow is that every so often he does something that once you listen to it makes perfect sense but on first hearing of, you think, what is he up to? This was what went through my head when I first got my hands on Mashin' On The Motorway and noticed that the main track was a collaboration with Roots Manuva. However after listening to the track it was such an obvious pairing, the pre-eminent turntablist and the UK's best and most unorthodox rapper.

If you get the chance check out his mix cd with Cut Chemist, Brainfreeze, another venture which on hindsight is exactly what he should have done.

GDMFSOB would possibly have been the phrase I would have uttered when the alarm went off this morning, if I resided on the West Coast of the USA as opposed to west central Scotland where we just say, shit!

DJ Shadow - GDMFSOB (UNKLE uncensored)

Sunday 9 August 2009

One Goodbye In Ten

Shara Nelson is best known for her vocal on one of my top 5 favorite tracks, Unfinished Sympathy. Before this she had released a single as a solo artist and also worked with Jah Wobble and Adrian Sherwood.Unfinished Sympathy wasn't here first collaboration with Daddy Gee, Mushroom and 3-D, she had previously supplied the vocals for their cover of the Bacharach & David's classic The Look Of Love when they were still the Wild Bunch.

The track posted, One Goodbye In Ten was the third single from her first solo album, What Silence Knows and was co-written by Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley (Saint Etienne). As with Unfinished Sympathy, there are lush strings and a huge sound to the track. It also reminds me of the track Waking With A Stranger which featured here earlier this year.

Shara Nelson - One Goodbye In Ten

Saturday 8 August 2009

I've Got The Bends From Pressure

I was digging through a pile of 12" singles last night to rip to I-Tunes and came across a my James singles and decided to stick a couple on. I had forgotten how much I liked James.

A friend introduced me to them via the Stutter album in about 1987 and I must have played Johnny Yen over and over again. I followed the band from then on buying the following 2 albums but it wasn't until Sit Down that I started buying the singles. I suppose the highlight for me was the Weatherall mix of Come Home, where Weatherall made an already great song into a strung out 8 and a half minute masterpiece.

The band were always on the ball with their re-mixers all of whom seemed to add a little something to already good tracks making them that little bit different from the remix by numbers going on in the baggy scene (for want of a better term) at the time.

The remix posted, is another mix of Come Home, remixed by Youth, bass player with Killing Joke, Butterfly records owner and much sought after producer and re-mixer during the early 90s. Check out his collaboration as the Fireman with Paul McCartney, Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (Fuck me, just checked on Discogs and it's up there for 160 quid, may need to sell my copy as it isn't that good). The Youth Pressure Dub mix was on the b-side of the Sound 12" which I remember buying from Tower records in Glasgow one drunken night when it used to be open til midnight, dangerous stuff.

James also had some classic T-shirts, everybody used to bang on about Inspiral Carpets shirts but the James ones were far superior. I must have had about half a dozen different ones, none of which would remotely fit me these days if I had kept them.

James - Come Home (Youth Pressure dub)

Friday 7 August 2009

John Hughes RIP

Although his films were formulaic and American, there was something about Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and my favourite, Some Kind Of Wonderful which made me watch and love them. I think it may have been to do with the great music that was used in the soundtracks or possibly Mary Stuart Masterson, Mia Sara and Molly Ringwald.

Whether it be the Smiths or Otis Redding in Pretty In Pink, or a little known Jesus and The Mary Chain track, albeit remixed in Some Kind Of Wonderful , Hughes had an ear for good music.

Sad to say that with Hughes' demise yesterday another part of my youth has been assigned to history.

If you fancy hearing good cover versions of songs used in Hughes' films check out American Laundromat Records High School Reunion, although no longer available on cd, I think it is still on ITunes.

Here are a couple of originals from the soundtracks and a couple of covers from the ALR cd
Stephen Duffy - She Loves Me

Otis Redding - Try A Little Tenderness

The Atomic Hep Cats - Bring On The Dancing Horses

The Caulfield Sisters - Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want This Time

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I take you back to my formative years, when ox blood Docs, Levi 501's and flat tops were the order of the day and you just couldn't get rid of the smell of 2-stroke oil.

I've posted before of the joys of the testosterone and brown ale fuelled events known as Scooter dances and how they always ended up one of 2 ways for our club, either embroiled in a battle or heading home in the mini bus sans at least one or two of our mob. Once we forgot one mate who phoned us up later saying that he was penniless and couldn't get home. He was told not to worry, get a taxi and one of us would pay for it once he got to the friend's house where we were crashing that night. We proceeded to empty the coppers jar and count out the 10 quid or so, left it on the coffee table for him and all went to bed pissing ourselves laughing. The next morning we were confronted by the moodiest bastard in the world but still couldn't stop laughing.

Back to the scooter nights and the strict music policy, it had to be punk, psychobilly and soul no deviation, no Smiths here or any other what was termed student music apart from probably the Wedding Present who were deemed thrashy enough.

Spear of Destiny's Liberator was a definite floor filler and also a stick on for the odd bloody nose or black eye from an over enthusiastic slammer. If slamming is dancing then this must be the slam dancer's anthem. Being a bit of a pussy I stayed well clear of the dancefloor during this track but loved it none the less.

Spear Of Destiny - Liberator (extended mix)

Funnily it seems a bit tame now!

Thursday 6 August 2009

Bat's 1977 - 1982 Compilation Tape Side 2

It's time for side 2 of the tape and this is the side which introduced me to a few new bands at the time. There are at least 2 tracks that I don't know what they are or who they are by but I'm sure that you clever train spotters will be able to put me right. There is one absolute stinker, I wonder if you can guess which one it is?

The Jonathan Richman track That Summer Feeling isn't on this tape, it would have made the title wrong anyway as it was from 1984, however this means that there is another tape lurking in the wine boxes which musically will be of a similar standard as it was compiled by the same person. Further investigation will proceed this weekend.

The reason that I have used the term compilation tapes as opposed to mix tapes is, as far back as I can remember we always called them compilations, the term mixtape only came into being at the beginning of the nineties and referred to acid house and dance tapes where the songs were actually mixed together. At least that is how I remember it.

Buzzcocks - Promises
Orange Juice - Felicity
unknown track
Clive Langer And The Boxes - Half As Nice
The Farmer's Boy's - Country Mile
The Cure - Boys Don't Cry
The Knack - My Sharona
Angelic Upstarts - England (WTF?)
Squeeze - Is That Love
Soft Cell - Tainted Love
Jilted John - Gordon Is A Moron
Souixsie And The Banshees - Christine
Stranglers - Walk On By
The Clash - Spanish Bombs
The Jagz - Back Of My Hand
unknown track
The Dickies ? - I Like It (not sure it is them but it's the sort of thing they did)

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Bat's 1977 - 1982 Compilation Tape Side 1

After writing yesterday's post I decided to root about the wine boxes and see if I could find the tape that I was going on about. Eventually after a bit of digging I struck gold and decided to go through it and to my surprise there are some tracks that I don't remember being on there, a couple I can't believe are included that I must have fast forwarded through, three that I don't have a clue what they are and one that's not there which I could have sworn was.

Here is a list of what was on side one.

Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Undertones - Teenage Kicks
Aztec Camera - Oblivious
The Piranhas - Getting Beaten Up Is Part Of Growing Up
Pretenders - Back On The Chain Gang
Echo and The Bunnymen - Rescue
The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
The Cars - My Best Friend's Girlfriend
The Jam - The Eton Rifles
The Ramones - Needles and Pins
Blondie - Dreaming
Elvis Costello - Lip Service
Sham 69 - You're A Better Man Than I
Skids - Into The Valley
Unknown track

Most of the tracks are readily available these days but back then if you didn't have the vinyl you had to rely on mates with older brothers, cheers Bat and Tank.

If anyone can tell me what the unknown track is I would be grateful. Sorry for the sound quality of said track but it came off of a tape that I reckon must be 25 years old.

Side 2 tomorrow

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Country Line

I recently purchased a wonderful, chunky old Technics 630 tape deck from ebay for the very reasonable price of 20 quid plus another £10 for next day courier delivery. It had been bugging me for some time that I no longer had something to play all my old cassettes on, actually ever since I made a half arsed attempt to clear out the cupboard on the half landing where all the junk gets forgotten about. During this futile attempt to de-clutter I came across 3 wine crates full of tapes, most mine but some L's and even though we no longer had the facility to play them I just couldn't bring myself to take them to the cowp.

Since getting the tape deck rigged up I have been delving into these crates, there are loads of Essential Mixes from 1993 to about 1996, plenty of Weatherall mix tapes and a whole load of my old dance mixes which I am too scared to listen to as there is bound to be some horrendous attempts at beat mixing and more than several train crashes.

There are also loads of bootlegs everything from Crass at the ZigZag Club, through the Smiths at the Barrowlands in 84 to really badly recorded Velvet Underground ones. Most of these were purchased at Revolver record stall at the Barras at over inflated prices, as the quality of the tapes that you took home never seemed as good as the ones the shady guy with the ponytail let you hear when you were buying them.

In fact the first tape I put in the deck was a Billy Bragg bootleg from a concert at the Barras in Nov 86 which I was at. Unfortunately the deck took a serious dislike to the TDK D 120 and chewed it up, which did not bode well, however up til now that is the only thing that the machine has chewed up, thankfully.

Getting back to the point of the post, while trailing through one of the crates I found a cover simply titled 77 to 82, a rather wide time frame for a single c90 granted but every track was brilliant. This was a tape that my best mate's elder brother had put together and I had "borrowed" in order to record. This tape was my introduction to Jonathan Richman's That Summer Feeling and the track I'm going to post today. There are probably loads more tracks I first heard on this tape but these are the only that stick out. It would probably have helped if W had listed the tracks on the cover and it would be handy if the tape was actually in the cover and I could play it but it's not and I haven't had the time to search for it.

The track is called Country Mile and it was the b side of the third single More Than A Dream by The Farmer's Boys.

The Farmer's Boys were a band from Norwich who formed in 1982 and split in 1985. They released 9 singles and 2 albums in their time and are probably best known for their cover of the Cliff Richard song In The Country, no don't click away, they were actually pretty good.

The Farmer's Boys - The Country Line

I'm hoping that I come across the c90 that D did for me back in 1987 which consists of From Across the Kitchen Table over both sides of the tape as mentioned in the first post on here, as I know that I haven't thrown that out.

Lone Justice

Lone Justice have featured on this blog before with their cover of Sweet Jane. The couple of tracks posted today come from their self titled first album, which is an absolute gem, very rough with Maria McKee's vocal delivery not dissimilar to Janis Joplin's.

I first saw Lone Justice on the Whistle Test and something about them got me interested. I can't remember just what it was, as country rock or cowpunk as some music journalist labelled them was not the sort of thing that I was listening to at the time ( I think I spent much of 1985 with Psychocandy on repeat). Something made my go to Glasgow in search of the album which did not disappoint on first listen and still sounded good at the weekend when I played it again for the first time in ages. It doesn't sound quite as raw now as I thought it did but McKee's vocal sounds as good as ever, she really can belt it out.

Lone Justice went on to make a second album which was not a patch on the first, it sounded too smooth, too well produced. I blame Bonzo, I blame him for a lot of things but this time with some justification. After the critical success of the first album Lone Justice went on tour with the Irish band and McKee started hanging about with them, then they go into the studio and produce a bland soulless album, coincidence? I think not.

Shortly after the release of the second album, McKee broke up the band and embarked on a solo career. The first 2 albums of which are excellent, however the following 2 I couldn't get into at all and haven't bothered with anything since.

Interesting fact or possibly not, Ricky Ross wrote Real Gone Kid about McKee after Deacon Blue supported Lone Justice.

Lone Justice - After The Flood

Lone Justice - Ways To Be Wicked

Monday 3 August 2009

Back To Pit Boots and Purridge

I'm back to work today after 2 weeks rest and recuperation. It won't be that bad, I just wonder how many efficiency and cost saving measures have been implemented in my absence, it is a given that there will be at least one.

Spare a thought for L though as today is also her first day back after a little longer than myself, six and a half months to be exact. It is going to to be a bit of a culture shock for both her and our youngest, who will be packed off with his brother to their Gran's.

Here's one of L's favorite tracks and another which may very well sum up her mood tomorrow night.

Ted Hawkins - Bring It On Home To Me

Arctic Monkeys - Mardy Bum

FYI - "back to pit boots and purridge on Monday, Sarah", were the immortal words which my uncle Jimmy would say with a deep sigh every time it was back to work after a holiday, when I was wee I never understood why he would talk about pit boots when he worked in the steelworks.

Sunday 2 August 2009

The Power Of Advertising

I was watching the telly the other night and during the break Hannibal Lecter was banging on about the scene in Blade Runner where Rutger Hauer was on the rooftop and does the tears in the rain speech, in the vain attempt to get me to subscribe to Rupert Murdoch's Shit TV.

I haven't seen Blade Runner for quite a few years, it used to be essential post pub/club viewing with a few spliffs in one of my mates flat, when the debates would start over whether Deckard was a replicant himself or which of the 7 versions was actually the best. Personally I liked the voice over on the original release but I know most folk don't.

One thing that was never argued about was the soundtrack and how good it was. There was the odd gripe about the inferior New American Orchestra recording which was released in 1982 but when Vangelis' score was finally available on CD in 1994 this was no longer an issue. Since then there have been several bootleg soundtracks slipped out and Vangelis released a 3 disc version containing the original score, unreleased tracks and a third disc of music inspired by Blade Runner, none of which I have heard as having the 1994 version this package is very low on the wants list.

Due to Dr Lecter and Murdoch's advert i decided it was about time that I watched Blade Runner again, so headed to Amazon where it can be picked up in the "final" cut for a very reasonable £4.96 quite a bit cheaper than a subscription to satellite tv.

Here are two of my favorite tracks from the soundtrack.

Vangelis - Memories of Green

Vangelis - Tears In Rain