Tuesday 29 September 2009

Back To Belfast

I'm off to Belfast for a couple of days with work. So not a great deal going on here again this week.

Stiff Little Fingers - Doesn't Make It Alright

Monday 28 September 2009

The Farm Groovy Train

Back to the celebrations of all thing Boys Own and a 12" single I picked up a few weeks back in Oxfam Music on Byres Road for the princely sum of £1. I didn't buy this at the time for reasons that will become apparent from the remainder of the post.

The Farm were a huge influence on Boys Own in that it was their Fanzine "The End" which inspired the Boys Own team to begin with. Their first release, a slow shuffling cover of Stepping Stone which was remixed by Terry Farley was something of an anthem round my house at the time. So you can imagine my disappointment in the follow up, Groovy Train, it just didn't do anything for me. It seemed rather lightweight, somehow in relation to its predecessor, maybe a bit too poppy. I don't know, I just never warmed to the track, it's ubiquity later on did even less to endear it to me.

When I saw the 12" single in Oxfam a few weeks back I was in two minds whether to purchase it, i was slightly curious as I couldn't recall ever hearing a remix by Terry Farley or being aware that I was listening to a Boys Own mix. I decided in the end that it was worth the punt as it was only a quid. I must have listened to it about 10 times since buying it and honestly, I still can't warm to the track.

Also included is the Rocky & Diesel mix which I do quite like. Rocky and Diesel went on to form X-Press 2 more on whom later this week.

See what you think.

The Farm - Groovy Train (Farley mix)

The Farm - Groovy Train (Rocky & Diesel mix)

BTW - was discussing this series of posts with a few friends yesterday when one turned round and asked when I started liking Boyzone. I just looked at her and eventually the penny dropped .Sometimes I despair of people in their early thirties.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Real Estate

A few weeks ago I had the Beta Band scene experience in Mono in Glasgow. I've meant to post the track for weeks but never got round to it but I feel that it may be about the right time to post as I already have a happy glow about me which may be the result of being at a christening, thanks S & S and baby C or the couple of gins I've had since, probably a combination of both.

The first time I heard this song I got a warm contented feeling which hasn't really subsided on numerous subsequent plays. The band hail from New Jersey and that is about all I know about them apart from the fact that I love this understated reverb drenched track.

Real Estate - Fake Blues

Saturday 26 September 2009

What Special Relationship?

Is it not about time that we stopped caring about what the good old US of A thinks about us and just get on with being the UK and part of Europe?

As the only Royle that matters, Jim, would say "Special Relationship, My Arse!"

It has been a long week.

KLF - America No More

Friday 25 September 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

As you are reading this, I will be on my way home from Birmingham after being at the beck and call of some very important colonial cousins. It will have been a very intense and tiring week. I will need something to cheer me up on the long drive up the road.

So carrying on with the celebrations of all things Boys Own. Here is a track which although not on the Boys Own or JBO labels is closely associated with the collective and on possibly, the most consistent of the indie labels of the early nineties, Heavenly.

Let's Kiss And Make Up as most will already be aware was originally recorded by the Field Mice, which is a great single in it's own right. The Saint Etienne version turns the track into an indie dance track. The Pete Heller Midsummer Madness mix is a loved up, blissed out anthem to all things Balearic.

I loved all the Balearic stuff and the experimentation which went on, however sometimes it did go a bit far, Mandy Smith, what the fuck was that all about, the E's weren't that good.

I love this track, it makes me smile and is just what I need.

Saint Etienne - Kiss And Make Up (Midsummer Madness Mix)

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Paradiso - Here We Go Again

Another track in celebration of the release of the Boys Own book and of the collective who changed British clubbing and club culture in the late 80's and early nineties.

Here is an Italian house track which first saw the light of day on the Discomagic label, was championed by Danny Rampling and became the third release on the Boys Own imprint.

Paradiso - Here we Go Again

Sunday 20 September 2009

Sunday Song

Found this track while cleaning up my itunes after an unsuccessful attempt to load up the latest version last week. I tried the solutions suggested on the website on how to recover your music library but to no avail which meant that I have had to load the whole library again, all 24 600 odd tracks, manually go through them and uncheck the ones I don't want transferred to the iPod, L's Killers, Crowded House etc. To make matters worse I will need to restore all my playlists before I can sync the iPod. Which means instead of just taking the indispensable piece of white kit on my travels I will also need to take all the recent cds I've acquired over the last couple of weeks.

Sunday Song totally suits the way I will be feeling today, as I will have to pack a bag for a week away in Birmingham with work. The most I've been away before with work has been 3 days and although one or two nights away are quite common I am not looking forward to 5 nights away from L and the boys.

So this afternoon I will be driving down to Birmingham not at all happy to be away from home for an entire week of long days and stress.

I've managed to do a post for mid week and Friday but they aren't that good as I tend to write this rubbish on the hoof with not a lot of fore thought as some of you have probably guessed by now.

Normal service will resume next Saturday.

Correct track now linked

The Icicles - Sunday Song

Saturday 19 September 2009

New Music

This is the business. I think that it is ok to post as it has been released in a criminally limited pressing of 500 copies and I can't find it available as a download anywhere. It eventually arrived today and have played it at least half a dozen times.

Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo

Flamboyant Bella

I didn't start this blog of to punt music for record companies and have never went out of my way to encourage PR companies and the like to send me music to review. Usually if I have written about some new band or other it is because I have stumbled across them by way of another blog or seen them support somebody else.

A couple of weeks ago, however, in my inbox was a mail from somebody promoting Flamboyant Bella, I know, I thought the same thing, what a crap name, despite this I listened to the attached mp3 and really liked the track , Get A Reaction, which will be the next single. Along with the track came a press release. Do the people who write these press releases really believe that they are doing the band any favours? Reading the pish that was written actually made me dislike the band, terms such as "pop teen phenomenon" and "bubbly" are not the sort of phrases to endear a band to me.

I am not here to pimp the band to you, I just liked the track and on delving deeper I also liked what I heard of the last ep Abbi. In their sound I can hear a slightly poppier Chew Lips on the new single and a less clever Slow Club in the previous ep.

I still think that the name is pish.

Flamboyant Bella - Abbi

Friday 18 September 2009


In celebration of the fact that MES has eventually got his arse in gear and arranged some Scottish gigs (13th & 14th of Nov at the Renfrew Ferry at the very reasonable price of 25 quid for both nights), here is the blistering version of Reformation from the Last Night At The Palais CD/DVD albeit cut short due to dodgy bouncers and a hostile atmosphere and an introduction by some cock who was offended by Smith's lack of respect for it being the last night of the venue.

At the time of the recording the current line-up of the fall sans drummer joined the dudes (members of the American band Darker My Love) to form one of the best Fall line-ups it has been my pleasure to see.

The Fall - Reformation

As an extra from the same gig, the gruppe's cover of Hungry Freaks, Daddy

The Fall - Hungry Freaks, Daddy

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

For the next few weeks to celebrate the publication of all of the Boys Own Fanzines in book form I shall feature a few of the tracks released on Boy's Own and Junior Boy's Own labels along with a few of the remixes done in their name.

Fire Island consist of Pete Heller and Terry Farley, two of the main men in the Boy's Own team. Fire Island /In Your Bones was the first single they recorded under the Fire Island moniker and basically sets out the pair's stall beautifully, preferring the more soulful melodic side of dance music. In both of these tunes you can hear that distinctive sound which is present in all the Fire Island records and the Junior Boy's Own remixes from that period.

Heller and Farley also recorded under the aliases The Heller and Farley Project and Roach Motel. they were also 2 of the best dj's I've ever heard. If you can get a hold of their essential mix from November 1993 I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Boy's Own - The Complete Fanzines can be ordered here.

Fire Island - Beat In Your Bones

Fire Island - Fire Island

Thursday 17 September 2009

It Had To Be Purchased . . .Again

I happened to be in the West End of the toon yesterday on business and decided to have a wee root through the boxes in Oxfam music on Byres Road and among a few quite decent, cheap twelves which I procured was a mint copy of the Terry Farley mix of Loaded for a quid, I already have a copy but it has seen quite a few parties and has seen better days so didn't have to think long and hard about whether to purchase or not.

Very similar to the Weatherall mix, pretty hard to better perfection, it is about a minute shorter and with more of the vocal from I'm Losing More Than I Ever Had.

Loaded will always be in my top ten tracks and reminds me of a Friday in 1990 when I first took it to a mate's house to let him hear it. When I told him he had to hear the latest by Primal Scream he told me to fuck off. After the initial play the 12" took up residence on his turntable for the next couple of weeks. Not many tracks have that effect on us these days.

Primal Scream - Loaded (Terry Farley mix)

Correct track now uploaded

Wednesday 16 September 2009

John Foxx

My first foray into the realms of electronic music began with Gary Numan with the songs Cars and Are Friends Electric when I was ten. I bought or was bought every single and album up until She's Got Claws when I either stopped buying due to the fact that the single was pish or because Numan had came out as a Tory. It would be quite a few years until I could listen to him again after that revelation.

I think that Numan mentioned Ultravox and John Foxx somewhere as I remember asking an older friend about them and him playing me some stuff and me quite liking this strange vocal delivery The music seemed darker and more forboding than that of Numan's. I remember buying a double pack single by Ultravox which contained the tracks Slow Motion, Quiet Men, Hiroshima Mon Amour and Dislocation. However I'm sure that that was after I already had the John Foxx solo singles Underpass and No One's Driving and the album Metamatic.

My dalliance with Foxx and Ultravox pretty much stopped there. I decided to dig out Metamatic which I had replaced on cd a few years ago, recently and was quite amazed that, although it does not sound cutting edge these days it has not dated as badly as some other stuff from that era.

Was it just me, or was John Foxx quite a scary looking bloke back then? The only thing which scared me more at this time was the Parkerilla album cover which I remember seeing in the record dept of Lewis' store in Glasgow around this time.

John Foxx - Underpass

Monday 14 September 2009

Withered Hand - Good News

I think that I have just played the album of the year. Well, I think that it will be pretty hard to beat in this house anyway. Not one ok track, all ten are first rate. It is so good that I played it again straight after.

The album consist of 8 tracks written by Dan Willson and 2 covers. It is dark in places but also very funny and clever. Willson has a knack with lyrics and the religious themes are apparent on a few of the tracks. Some of my favourite lines being " Diss me I don't mind, bad lucker , It's much cooler to be kind, So let's get trashed on tonic wine" which you should know from I Am Nothing off of the Religious Songs which I posted a while back.

Every discerning music lover should own this album. It can be purchased here.

Withered Hand - Takeaway Food.

From the ep, I'm not posting anything from the album, just buy it.

Two Sevens Clash

After listening to quite a bit of dub over the weekend. I thought I should post one of my favorite dub tracks.

Two Sevens Clash was the first release by roots reggae outfit Culture and was produced by Joe Gibbs. The song was based on an apocalyptic prediction by Marcus Garvey that there would be world wide turmoil on the seventh of July 1977 when the sevens met. In Kingston on that date many businesses did not open and many citizens didn't even venture outdoors.

I get this feeling of turmoil every Monday morning.

Culture - Two Sevens Clash

Sunday 13 September 2009

Soothing Soul

I think that some soothing soul music will be in order today.

L and I will be recovering from a friend's wedding last night and knowing the bride's taste in music it will have been all ABBA, Take That and the like. I will be in need for some soul, even if I don't have a hangover to wash away the memory of all the cheese which would have been inflicted upon my ears last night.

First up is Inez and Charlie Foxx, best known for their version of Mockingbird with the classic No Stranger to Love.

Inez and Charlie Foxx - No Stranger To Love

Then we have Tommy Hunt who hit it big in northern circles with Cracking Up and Loving On The Losing Side. Here he is a little more subdued with Lover, a song so smooth that it will make any hangover feel better and be able to dispel the taste of the maturest cheddar.

Tommy Hunt - Lover

Now back to that dub.

Saturday 12 September 2009

Wax 20002

The title for this post is all that I really know about this record. I got it a couple of weeks ago and after doing a wee bit of digging I have found out that this is only the 2nd ltd white label on this record label and it's from the Hardwax camp.

Side one is aimed straight at the dance floor and is pretty good in a minimal way but it is side two for me that is the track, very reminiscent of the very best of Detroit. I just love the repeated piano chords and that phased thing that is going on throughout. It is the kind of track which would sound best at about 3 or 4 in the am.

unknown - Side Two (Wax 20002)

Friday 11 September 2009

Just Because

I was listening to Black Market Clash today and thought that this should be shared. I think that I may have a bit of a dub weekend, which will not go down well with L. Now where is that Joe Gibbs box set?

The Clash - Robber Dub

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

With the imminent release of a new ep (05/10) from Massive Attack I thought that I would post one of the few remixes of one of the singles which I think is better than the original, excluding the Mad Professor's mixes which are separate entities in their own right.

The single Risingson was released in 1997, was the lead single from the 3rd album Mezzanine and came as a lovely clear vinyl ltd 12". This track was a sampler for the change in direction of Massive Attack on the third album, the tracks are a lot darker and the whole album is enveloped with a feeling of menace.

An absolutely essential album as all Massive Attack are. Once you eventually get to hear the latest album all gripes about the length of time it has taken them to release it dissolve and you realis that it takes time to come up with something as good as what you are immersed in.

The version posted is the Underworld mix.

Massive Attack - Risingson ( Underworld Mix)

Thursday 10 September 2009

Ever Get The Feeling You're Being Cheated?

Am I the only one sick of all this coverage of the re releasing of the Beatles back catalogue?

If the slightly tweaked albums of a band who split up nearly 40 years ago are going to be the saviours of the record industry, as someone said this week, then I think that we let it go.

Sex Pistols - No Fun (Live At Winterland)

Go On Girl

How about a bit of hip-hop from one of the original female MCs, Roxanne Shante. Shante appeared on the scene at the age of 14 with the track Roxanne's Revenge, a retort to UTFO's track Roxanne, Roxanne, which started a beef with the group who released a record with Adelaida Martinez assuming the role of the Real Roxanne which brought the group and Shante to public attention and made her a hip hop face.

She has a very distinctive vocal and was renowned for her free styling. She released 2 albums Bad Sister and The Bitch Is Back. The track posted, Go On Girl was a single in 1988 and which reached the dizzy heights of number 55 in the UK.

Roxanne Shante - Go On Girl

Wednesday 9 September 2009

The Mendoza Line

Continuing the alt-country theme from yesterday with the Mendoza Line a band from Athens, Georgia who relocated to Brooklyn. The band formed in 1996 and released 9 albums before they broke up in 2007 due to the divorce of the main song writers Timothy Bracy and Shannon McArdle.

The last album 30 Year Low was my introduction to the band and led me to seek out their back catalogue, however I think that the final album is their best. That may be because it was the first thing that I heard from them. The album came with a bonus disc of covers and live versions including a great version of the Springsteen track Tougher Than The Rest.

Talking of Springsteen covers, my split single of Springsteen covers by Darren Hayman and The Wave Pictures arrived this morning, included is a Wave Pictures album of covers of the New Jersey rocker, some of which are more successful than others. I'm sure that these will be all over blogs like a rash in the coming week or so.

BTW- A Mendoza Line, is a baseball term for the lowest batting average a player can make before being either sacked or sold, apparently. Not knowing anything about baseball I'm none the wiser.

The Mendoza Line - Aspects of An Old Maid (with Will Sheff)

The Mendoza Line - Tougher Than The Rest

Monday 7 September 2009

Ryan Adams

I've got this mate, let's call him Gav, for that is his name, who has a band called the Scuffers, if you're into alt country with a weegie twist then they are the band for you. When I first met the Gster he was a bit of a cheesy quaver all Rezerection and Stone Island clobber. Then one day he had an epiphany and started listening to his dad's albums which led him to Americana, alt country and picking up a guitar.

Gav and I have been to quite a few gigs together and I suppose I got him into a few bands although like many others he still doesn't get The Fall and he was responsible for putting me onto Ryan Adams. I did not like the idea of country which I thought was all redneck, Republican shit and alt country I just thought would be a watered down version.

Gav kept banging on about Ryan Adams, so in order to be able to argue with him I thought I better at least buy something, listen to it and then I would be able to rip it to shreds. So I bought the album which I had been told was his best, Heartbreaker. To both my dismay and my delight I loved it. Dismay that I could no longer just dismiss alt country as shit kicking music and delight as I had found, albeit rather late, a great singer songwriter and decided to invest in the back catalogue and this is where my problems with Ryan Adams begin.

If you looked up the meaning of prolific in the dictionary, I don't think that Adams' name would be far away. The man has produced 11 legitimate albums in the past 8 years and that's not including the 3 albums with his previous band Whiskeytown. This huge body of work has been the topic of many a conversation between myself and Gav. I think that those 11 albums could be condensed into 5 brilliant albums, not including anything from Rock n Roll. I also believe that his quality control is way off. My evidence for this being the many album recording sessions available where it is not uncommon to find absolutely brilliant tracks which have been shelved in favour of others which are mediocre at best.

Which is the whole point of this post, a couple of days ago a track called Saturday Night came on the ipod, one of Adams best track in my opinion but which has never appeared on any of his albums, it is available on the Pinkheart Sessions which can be found without too much effort on the internet.

Also included in this post is a beautiful song written about Anne Frank which Gav introduced me to, about 5 years ago and reliably informs me that Adams has no intention of ever putting on a legitimate release!

Ryan Adams - Saturday Night

Ryan Adams - Dear Anne

Saturday 5 September 2009

Classical/Techno, Anyone?

What do you get if you ask one of the originators of Detroit techno and the leading light of Berlin's dub techno scene to collaborate on recomposing their pick of the Deutsche Grammophon huge back catalogue?

One of the most innovative albums that I think I have ever heard.

Carl Craig and Moritz Von Oswald finally settled on Ravel's "Bolero" and "Rhapsodie Espagnola" and Modest Mussorgsky's "Bilder einer Ausstellung". No I didn't have a clue who Mussorgsky was either. The result is something which is quite wonderful and extremely hypnotic in sections. The album is listed as 6 movements, although not knowing the source material apart from Bolero, I couldn't tell you which is a re composition of which.

A couple of weeks ago while perusing Boomkat's on line store I saw a remix twelve of a couple of movements from this album. My interest was initially tweaked by the fact that Ricardo Villalobos was remixing one of the tracks. I am quite into his extremely sparse, repetitive, minimalist sound at the moment. So I decided to give the single a punt. However the Villalobos mix is no where near as good as Carl Craig's own remix of his original re composition!.

In my strangest dreams I never thought that I would ever be posting anything from Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft on this blog. It is, however a belter of a track, not the sort of endorsement you will find on the average DGG sleeve or review I bet.

Carl Craig - Movement 8 (c2 version)

Friday 4 September 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Today there are 2 quite different versions of a northern soul classic for your delectation.

First up we have Darrell Banks with the original from 1966 of Open The Door To Your Heart an absolute classic and number 63 in the Northern Soul Top 500. The song was a hit stateside on Revilot Records but did nothing over hear on either Stateside or London. On hearing the horns on the intro to this song I can't help but grin and a warm feeling envelopes me. As it says in the above mentioned book "Darrell's vocal presence in sumptuous", couldn't have put it better myself.

The second version if played in a club would have the purists either running screaming out of the doors or more than likely trying to invade the decks to destroy this abomination. Although it must be popular with some, as a 7" is on ebay for $300! This version is from 1975 and interpreted in a more, shall we say, uptempo style by Sonny Munro, who I think is the same Sonny Munro who died in March this year and sang with the Falcons, known in northern circles for the song Good Good Feeling.

Compare and contrast

Darrell Banks - Open The Door To Your Heart

Sonny Munro - Open The Door To Your Heart

Thursday 3 September 2009

Elvis Is Not A Dog But In Fact A Cat.

Before the kids came along, when we lived in our old house and where I was allowed to have the decks up in the back bedroom, a couple of mates and myself would spend more time than was healthy playing tunes and having a couple of spliffs. As the night wore on and the smoke took hold the music would get stranger and more mellow, a favorite was the track A Century Of Elvis from Belle And Sebastian's Lazy Line Painter Jane ep.

One night I was sitting in the pub with a group of friends, when it became perfectly clear and I blurted out rather too loudly "Elvis is a dog!", to which all but one of the group looked at me in bemusement, the other mate just nodded his head and smiled.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago when I was in Birmingham I had the ipod on shuffle as I couldn't sleep in the hotel and A Century Of Elvis came on and I was transported to that smoke filled room a good few years ago now but as I listened to the track I realised that I had been wrong, Elvis was not a dog but in fact a cat. No dogs that I know of would ever think about climbing into a post office van or sit on the arm of a chair but a cat, definitely. So I booted up my laptop and emailed my mate to inform him of our misconception then fell asleep happy in the knowledge that an important fact was now beyond doubt.

The above nonsense has been inspired by Kippers' post on Looper at the consistently good Too Much Apple Pie

Belle And Sebastian - A Century Of Elvis

Wednesday 2 September 2009


I came to Pavement quite late. I don't know why but I was under the impression that they were just another American slacker band and I had heard enough of them and as a result never bothered to investigate the band further.

One day when our office was still in the center of Edinburgh, I was on one of my frequent visits to Avalanche Records in Cockburn Street when I noticed a few Pavement cds at a fiver. My interest in the band had been tweaked just before this when I had read an article where they had been compared to the Fall and the writer had quoted Mark E Smith as saying that Pavement were a rip off of his band. So when I saw that the cds were so cheap I decided to take a punt on the first one Slanted & Enchanted. I took it back to the office and gave it a quick listen, quite liking what I heard but not understanding the reference to the Fall at first, however on repeated listens it became clear that Malkmus did indeed owe Smith a debt or two.

Over the following few weeks I bought the remaining Pavement cds including the double disc re release of Crooked Rain Crooked Rain but I think that the first album is still my favorite although I still haven't got round to buying the 2 disc edition of that which appeared in 2007.

Posted are 2 versions of my favorite track on the first album

Pavement - Here

Pavement - Here [#]

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Just because

Trembling Blue Stars - Helen Reddy

Detroit Cobras

Can't recall when I first heard the Detroit Cobras but it was around 2003, when there was all that hype about bands from Detroit, in the wake of the success of the White Stripes.

The band was formed in Detroit Michigan in 1994 and released their first album on the influential local label Sympathy For The Record Industry label which also put out the first releases of the a fore mentioned White Stripes. They are basically a garage covers band who choose to cover favorite tracks from their record collections.

The tracks featured both come from the Seven Easy Pieces ep which came out in 2003 and i have no idea of who originally recorded the tracks.

Looking at the history of the band it looks as though they are trying to keep up with MES with the turn over of band members as at present there have been more than 20.

The Detroit Cobras - My Baby Loves The Secret Agent

The Detroit Cobras - Silver & Gold (When I Get Like This)