Monday 28 February 2011
Sunday 27 February 2011
I had a bit of a Roddy Frame fest yesterday but decided to play the albums that I seem to over look for the more obvious choices such as High Land Hard Rain or Surf. So I played the final two Aztec Camera albums Dreamland and Frestonia and also the first much overlooked solo album the North Star. All 3 albums are brilliant both musically and lyrically. Why Roddy Frame is not more highly regarded is a mystery to me, it also makes me quite angry when you see some of the mediocre musicians and song writers that are venerated in the music press and beyond.
Here is as Roddy says on one of the live cds "an autobiographical song" from the afore mentioned North Star. I was going to post Sun from the Frestonia lp as it was rather pleasant up here yesterday but by posting it I would probably put the kibosh on that.
It has been far too long since we have had either any new material or a tour from The Boy Wonder.
Roddy Frame - Bigger Brighter Better
Saturday 26 February 2011
Those of you of the same disposition as Ctel, in that you can't fucking stand Mark E Smith and The Fall should mibbe be better giving this blog a body swerve for the next few Saturdays or until I get bored and get an original idea and go with that but until that happens you're stuck with this.
I think that I may have mentioned a couple of times of the high esteem that I hold The Fall in and have posted one or two of their tracks over the two and a bit years that this blog has been going. Over there 34 year history the gruppe have had a penchant for including cover versions on their albums and live. No genre is safe from getting the Fall treatment, everything from rock, Deep Purple's Black Night, through disco and encompassing William Blake poems later sung as hymns and all transformed to be instantly recognisable as Fall songs.
I think we will start with one of Max's favourite songs.
$Foldin - Money was originally recorded by Tommy Blake, a man who could have been a forerunner of Smith's, described as a "headlong troublemaker" by one contemporary and another said of him "Some guys can give it a shot, accept that the public doesn't want to buy what they have to sell, then move on, happy that they at least tried. Not Tommy Blake. That could have been written about Smith. The Song was released as a single in the States in 1959. He had a chequered career, passing through quite a few different labels in the late 50s and 60s. He succumbed to the twin vices of alcohol and drugs and on Christmas Eve 1985 he was shot dead by his third wife.
Tommy Blake - $Foldin' - Money
The Fall recorded their version in 1999, it was included on that year's Marshall Suite album and was also released as a single.
The Fall - F-'oldin' Money
Friday 25 February 2011
I think that you may be relived to hear that this will probably be the last in the series of drink related Friday posts.
So to finish with do we have a sophisticated cocktail or a fine wine? No in true ATKT stylee we have a pretty scummy, cheap and nasty concoction of malt liquor and orange juice which the Beastie Boys rapped about on their debut album. We folk from Lanarkshire are always ahead of the game when it comes to drink as I had a mate called Mil who used to put Kia-Ora in his Tennents Super long before we had even heard of the Brooklyn trio.
Have a good weekend people.
The Beastie Boys - Brass Monkey
When I read in either Mixmag or Update early in 1992 that my favourite DJ and remixer was remixing my favourite track of the previous year I couldn't wait to hear the results. Bit when I eventually got my hands on Weatherall's mix of Fallen by (One) Dove, I wasn't so much disappointed as perplexed as apart from the sax solo which I've been told was lifted from Supertramp there wasn't a great deal of difference from the original Soma release. I'm not sure what I really thought Weatherall could do to improve what in my opinion is a perfect track anyway.
Later when it was disclosed that Weatherall was to become the producer for the band I was more than a little excited at the prospect of the people that had produced Fallen and, well the most consistent remixer in the world at the time collaborating.
This time the pairing did not disappoint, the next single Transient Truth was an absolute belter which was bought on the day of release and flogged to death. There was a rumour that there was a promo of another load of Weatherall mixes out there but I never ever saw a copy let alone got the chance to get my mitts on one.
A few years ago now when I found Discogs, one of the first things I looked up was One Dove and while clicking through the discography found that the fabled Sabres Of Paradise mixes of Transient Truth did exist and that there were a couple of copies for sale the cheapest being £40 which was too steep for me as up to this point I didn't even know if they were any good, I had my suspicions that they would be worth shelling out the money for but still couldn't justify it.
About two years ago at the excellent blog Audio Out, STX posted all 4 of the mixes for download, which I eagerly did and must have played continually for about 2 weeks and was as happy as a pig in shite that I had eventually got these mixes. However it still nagged me that this was the only release by One Dove that I did not have on vinyl and one drunken Friday night not long afterwards the inevitable happened and I bought the copy on Discogs.
One Dove and Weatherall went on to produce one of the best albums of the early 90s and a further three brilliant singles were released with some great mixes by the likes of William Orbit and Underworld before the band sadly went their separate ways. There are rumours that a second album was recorded but as yet this has to be verified.
Here is one of the mixes of Transient Truth that I haven't posted before.
One Dove - Transient Truth (Sabres Of Paradise Death Of A Disco Dancer)
Wednesday 23 February 2011
One of the best things about working in a pub is that you get to discuss the important things in life with all sorts of different types of people, you know the type of things politics, sport, religion and music.
The last pub that I worked in had a very mixed clientele, from people who were just having their first ever illegal/legal alcoholic beverage to those you wouldn't bet on it not being the last half they ever had. This meant that a hell of a lot of different views on the important matters of the day were expressed and I usually had an opinion on most of these, however I used to hold my own council when it came to golf as to me it was and still is the most pointless game in existence, where people with the most terrible fashion sense, arcane ideas all met of a Saturday or Sunday to try out do each other in the sport of social climbing.
As the pub had a high contingent of golfers I learned early on that they did not take too kindly to being called chauvinist dinosaurs and that the course that they played on belonged to the people of the town and not their elite band of not so merry men.
I will get to the point of the post now. On a Saturday evening a group of these guys would come in after a hard afternoon hitting a ball on a course that they would never stop telling anybody who cared was actually an Open qualifying course. They would have a few drinks, try to chat up any young ladies in the pub and then saunter home where they would expect their dinner to be on the table when they arrived.
One of the guys in this crowd would be forever telling me of how fabulous Daryl Hall and John Oates were and how "seriously, you need to listen to them they are amazing" to which I would always reply that I would rather have tinnitus than have to endure any more of I Can't Go For That or whatever else they sang. But the guy just didn't give up and one Saturday night he came in with a tape for me full of Hall & Oats, Luther Vandross and more of the like, for which I politely thanked him and put the cassette behind the bar.
The next day I came into the pub for a drink and S asked me if I had listened to the tape, I said no as I had left it behind the night before and again I got hit with the "seriously. you need to listen to it".
That night when I got home I decided out of courtesy and realising that I would get my heid nipped until I did, I listened to the tape and as I suspected it was dross apart from one tune which I thought was brilliant, I checked the track listing which said the track was by Dion. I thought to myself this can't be the same guy who recorded The Wanderer and Runaround Sue, surely he must be dead by now.
The next Saturday when the golfers came in I had to ask S, who this other Dion was, as this was pre-internet days and therefore I wasn't able to find anything out about the track. S went into the history of the artist and the track at great length, it was indeed Dion DiMucci, of Dion and the Belmonts and the singer behind the Wanderer etc and the track came from the 1989 comeback album Yo Frankie.
That, those of you have bothered to read this far is the convoluted story of how I discovered this great track from a rather good album.
Dion - King Of The New York Streets.
Here is probably my favourite Velvet Underground track. I'm not sure why, I love the lazy almost plodding tempo of the track it sort of gets under my skin. Lou Reed later re-recorded the track along with a few other Velvets songs for his first solo album but that version loses all the subtlety and is vastly inferior to this one.
I have a feeling that Michael and Margo Timmings had listened to this track a few times before they covered Sweet Jane on The Trinity Sessions.
The Velvet Underground - Lisa Says
Tuesday 22 February 2011
I only bought one twelve inch by the Alabama 3, Ain't Going To Goa which I really liked but the b-side was the track that really did it for me with it's snippets of dialogue' infectious beats, harmonica and overall upbeat disposition.
Over the years I have acquired other tracks by the collective from various blogs and have liked what I have heard but have never delved any deeper.
I was listening to this the other day and well with all that has gone on in Egypt and other places the Chairman has been seen not necessarily to be correct again.
Alabama 3 - Mao Tse Tung Said (Radio K mix)
Monday 21 February 2011
Let's get Monday off to a right good start with not one but two cover versions for the price of one, bargain.
I like most folk I think wasn't aware that Tainted Love was a cover when I first heard the Soft Cell version being twelve and living in Lanark, soulboys who could have informed me of the truth were a bit thin on the ground. I just thought that it was a great song at the time and a bit different. It was maybe three years before I heard the original in all it's glory; a song that never fails to get even the lamest and rhythmically challenged on to the dance floor.
The reason I've posted this today is that I've been reading " The Record Players, Dj Revolutionaries" a rather informative book which has interviews with all of the most influential Djs from Jimmy Saville to Tiesto, that's right. I didn't say the best DJs but they are also present from Peel to Weatherall. The book can be rather irritating as it could have done with a decent editor and spell checker. The format of a chapter per DJ with an introduction and then interview means that it is a book that you are not going to read cover to cover in one go but is ideal for dipping in and out of.
Anyway, there are a few chapters dealing with the northern soul djs such as Ian Levine and Kev Roberts but no Richard Searling for some reason. One northern disc spinner that I knew very little about was Ian Dewhirst who guested at most of the big venues and had the residency at Cleethorpes Wintergardens. He also djed at the Warehouse where a certain new romantic was the cloakroom boy, and recounts how Soft Cell would later cover Tainted Love and take the relatively unknown song to number 1.
"Marc Almond used to be the cloakroom boy in the Warehouse. We booked the Q Tips to play on the Tuesday and Wednesday night,. I thought Great I'll pull some soul stuff out. I brought the more accessible northern stuff out, so I could play it as people came in. I put Tainted Love on and this guy who I'd conspicuously avoided for nine months - he was always getting in fights with women or something - he came rushing up in the middle of Gloria Jones.
What's that record? I've got to know what that record is!
It's Gloria Jones with Tainted Love.
I've got to have a tape of it!.
He'd done an ep called Mutant Moments which was doodly electronic stuff that I couldn't play. He'd done something on a Some Bizarre compilation and Memorabilia. Anyway, the upshot of it was he ended up coming round my house . I remember it because he's allergic to dogs. I put Gloria Jones and a load of other stuff on tape for him. Probably even Judy Street, though I can't be certain."
So there you have it, how one of the best singles of 1981 came about.
When people refer to Gloria Jones I wish they would omit the fact that she was the girlfriend of a certain rock star and in the car when he died and just say Gloria Jones, who recorded one of the finest stompers ever recorded.
Soft Cell - Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go
Sunday 20 February 2011
Just to compliment Mr H's latest post in his exemplary Friday series.
Here is a track that I got on 7" last week from that fine music emporium that is Fat City. A double a-side repress with 54 - 46 on the flip.
Toots & The Maytals - Pressure Drop
Saturday 19 February 2011
Friday 18 February 2011
No recommendations this week just a paean to all types of intoxicating drinks from the brilliant Hefner.
I myself will be drinking mostly Irn-Bru this evening on account of having to drive in to Glasgow to witness the Big Nosed Bard From Barking in all his glory. A man whose songs are as relevant now as they were back in the bad old days of the true blue meanies, sadly! Which side are you on?
Have a good weekend people.
Hefner - The Hymn For The Alcohol
1994 this week and another sub genre of the every splintering music that I call dance music ie anything from about 1985 onwards, Tribal House.
Love and Happiness was absolutely fucking huge, everywhere you went in 1994 this track could be heard. Uplifting, spiritual house music didn't get much better than this well apart from (Who?) Keeps Changing Your Mind.
Written by India and Louie Vega, produced by Vega and Kenny Dope Gonzalez and originally released on Strictly Rhythmin the States and Cooltempo over here. The version posted comes from the remix 12" and was tinkered with by x-press 2 in a Junior Boys Own stylee.
River Ocean featuring India - Love And Happiness (Yemaya Ochun) Junior Boys Own Super Dub
Thursday 17 February 2011
I think we will stick with the Soul for a bit.
Here is a track that should have been absolutely huge, god alone knows why it wasn't.
Written by Holland-Dozier-Holland, released in 1973 and found in a warehouse by Ian Levine, Love Factory is about as good a mid tempo northern track as you will ever hear.
After reading a lot of articles and books on northern soul and a couple of interviews with Ian Levine, he is in my opinion what we would call up here " a bit of a baw bag" and was responsible for more than a couple of Take That hits but credit where credit is due he did unearth and spin a hell of a lot more northern classics than anybody else and for that reason alone should be applauded.
Eloise Laws - Love Factory
Wednesday 16 February 2011
Tuesday 15 February 2011
I was alerted to the existence of the Eastern Conference Champions a few weeks ago. I was sent a link to a track by a PR company. The majority of the stuff I get sent is not really my cup of tea and I didn't start this blog to pimp for PR companies anyway but when I played the track I really liked it and decided to investigate further.
It seems that the band have been going for a wee while, forming in 2005 in Philadelphia but now resident in California. In the 5 odd years that they have been going they have released a brace of singles, a couple of eps a full length album and a track on the soundtrack album to the third film in the Twilight series but don't hold that against them.
I got a hold of the last two eps, Sante Fe released in 2009 and 2010s, Akustiks both of which have been played quite a lot over the past few days. I suppose you could call them indie rock but these days that tag just about covers all bases. I don't really like comparing bands to others anyway. If you are interested give these tracks a listen, one from both releases mentioned above, I think that you may like them. I know my mate Gav of the Scuffers fame will like this.
Oh, and look out for the new full length album which will be released later this year.
Eastern Conference Champions - Bloody Bells
Eastern Conference Champions - Bristol Road
Monday 14 February 2011
Being born and growing up in west central Scotland does not make one the most demonstrative or romantic person in the world. Coupled with the fact that I think that celebrating St Valentine's Day is on a par with celebrating Adolph Hitler's birthday, which just happens to be the same day as a good friend of mine's, hence why you never get a present T; I was in two minds whether to post something lovey dovey today.
But then again why miss a chance to play the most romantic and beautiful song I possess.
L, this one's for you doll!
Ruby Andrews - Just Loving You
Sunday 13 February 2011
I forgot about Reggae Britannia on Friday night but I'm sure I will be able to catch it on repeat pretty soon.
Anyway here is one of my favourite reggae tracks, a cover of a Millie Jackson tune which features the talents of Boris Gardner on bass, the Zap Pow Horns and was produced by Lee Scratch Perry.
Susan Cadogan - Hurts So Good
Saturday 12 February 2011
As I mentioned on an earlier post about the Joy Formidable gig, both myself and Stiff were well impressed by the first band on the bill Airship. Don't know anything about them and their website isn't much help.
They mat not be the all that groundbreaking but they possess some cracking songs which they play really well live. I will most definitely catch them the next time they are in either Glasgow or Edinburgh and look forward to hearing the forthcoming album.
Airship = Algebra
Friday 11 February 2011
It was inevitable that this would eventually be posted in the Friday night tipple section.
I'm not a big fan of Irish Whiskey, I prefer the subtle, smoother peaty Islay malts or even Black Bottle but I would still sooner have it than the American stuff.
I don't think that Gary Moore played on this but tonight I will raise a glass and play Parisienne Walkways to one of the finest guitarists it has been my pleasure to see play live, albeit a long time ago. Go easy Gary.
Have a good weekend people
Thin Lizzy - Whiskey In The Jar (Peel Session)
A few weeks ago I mentioned for me anyway, the long player really didn't work for dance music that it wasn't designed for listening to 10 -14 tracks in a row by the same artist and that I tended to lose interest after maybe four or five tracks. There are the odd exceptions but as a whole I stand by those thoughts.
Another realm where for me dance collectives, duos, whatever are at their least effective is the live environment. This again is a personal opinion and again their are exceptions. I can hear people saying " you're talking shite Drew I saw the Chems, Leftfield or whoever and they were absolutely brilliant " and they probably were but on the whole I get bored watching a few guys behind sequencers, keyboards and laptops producing dance music while the occasional guest vocalist takes to the stage to sing a couple of numbers and head off again.
There is one duo who nailed the live experience with dance music and that is the follically challenged brothers with the light up specs, Orbital. For me, live they are as exciting as any band can be. It has a lot to do with the crowd who are perpetually on a high when Orbital come on and some of it is to do with the light show but without tunes with the power of Chime or Are We Here or the beauty of Belfast the experience would not be there.
A few years ago they released a double cd/dvd set of their legendary Glastonbury performances which although the sound quality is less than perfect in parts on it is as good an illustration of them live as you are ever likely to get without actually being there.
Here is a track from that set which was recorded in 2002.
Orbital - Funny Break (Weekend Ravers)
Wednesday 9 February 2011
The first week of February is by so as has been the custom these past four years, this sad middle aged man's mind turns to the serious issue of whether to get involved in the nostalgia fest that is known as St Patrick's Night at the Barras. Some of you will be aware of what I am banging on about but for the others I will briefly fill you in.
For the past 19 years SLF have played the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow on St Patricks night. For the first couple of years my mate asked me if I wanted to go but I declined on the grounds that I wasn't going to see a band that by then, I believed were a pale imitation of what they would have been circa 1978/79. So for fourteen years nothing more was said but 4 years ago Stiff ( no he is not called that due to his love of SLF) asked me again but this time persuaded me with the argument that it might possibly be the last chance to see them and if I said no then I would regret it, maybe not that day or the next but soon and for the rest of my life. So I decided what the hell.
When I walked into the Barras my heart sank as I was confronted with a scene that would not have been out of place if Life On Mars had it been set in 1979 or 1980 instead of the early 70's and everybody was a punk but the age that they would have been in the year 2007. The Clash tribute band lowered my expectations further but when SLF took to the stage everything changed and to cut a long story short, I had a ball and the band were absolutely electric, no parody of themselves what so ever.
Anyway I was happy that I had attended the night but decided that that would be it. So the following year I declined the invitation but on the night felt like I was missing out on something and last year I went back. Virtually the same crowd, well, exactly the same crowd where we were standing as two years previously, the same terrible support and then the same brilliant performance by SLF.
So this year sees the 20th anniversary and after writing the above I have decided that, yes I will be going if I can get a ticket. I am under no illusions about what I will witness, I could probably give you a 95 % accurate set list just now. There will be one difference however, the dodgy Clash tribute band are not the support, that will be supplied by Spear of Destiny which will be interesting.
Here is an SLF track, that when it came out I thought was a bit too poppy and didn't buy but which over the years I have come to love. This version was recorded at the Barras in 2006, no need to ask when that year.
Stiff Little Fingers - Silver Lining.
I think that some Northern Soul is in order to dispel the midweek blues, brought on by early mornings and late nights, not through enjoying myself I hasten to add. If you are from Luton I hope you don't take any offence but the town in which you reside is up there with the most soulless places I have every been and I feel truly sorry for anybody who lives there
A special prize to the person who can tell me why at Luton airport they can't just assign a flight a fucking gate rather to announce it 20 minutes before the flight is due to leave which results in a sprint that resembles Death Race 2000 but without the car for safety?
Here is a track from a split 7" single from Kent that I recently came into possession of. This is as funky as fuck as they say round these parts, and from a guy named Percy.
Percy Wiggins - Call On Me
Sunday 6 February 2011
Here is a lovely piece of dreamy dub Techno for a Sunday from CV313 on the Echospace label.
Seconds to Forever was released a couple of weeks ago and the ep comprises of 2 versions of Seconds To Forever and a further track. On side one there is the original mix and the remix of Seconds To Forever and on side two is the 23 minute live reprise of Beyond The Clouds, which you really should check out as it is a quite wonderful piece of ambient house, recorded live from the capital of Techno, Detroit.
CV313 - Seconds To Forever (reshape)
Saturday 5 February 2011
Here is a brilliant bit of early R&B that I managed to get my mitts on a few weeks ago on 7 inch.
Originally released in 1955 on Modern Records. The backing tune performed by Maxwell Davis and is Orchestra is rather familiar.
Dolly Cooper - My Man
Friday 4 February 2011
Just in from a rather scary trip to and from Aberdeen, so in need of a half or two. Up hear a half doesn't mean a half pint unless you are talking about a half and a half pint, it means a measure of spirit which up until about ten years ago was 1/4 gill considerably more than the English unit of preference a measly 1/6 of a gill. But alas we had to go metric so in Lanarkshire spirits are usually sold in 35 ml measures or multiples thereof, however in the East and the city's you are more likely to get 25 mls.
Tonight's song in celebration of the start of the weekend and the demon drink is a ditty where Mr Mark Smith sings of his longing for the quarter gill, oh and that city that thinks it's special just because it's got a castle.
Have a good weekend
The Fall - Edinburgh Man
My favourite period in dance music was from 1988 to about 1993/94. From the acid house sounds until just before progressive house started to disappear up it's own arse and the rise of the superstar trance (big yawn) djs began their world domination.
If there was a more consistent label than Guerilla during the early to mid nineties then I must really have missed something. Cowboy records were patchy, there were some great releases but there were also quite a few so so ones. Sabres of Paradise didn't really release that many but what they did release were mostly excellent. But for consistency over a large number of releases it's got to be Guerilla.
Formed by William Orbit and Dick O'Dell. Right from there first release in 1990, Bassomatic's In The Realm Of The Senses the direction was clear, dub influenced house music that you could lose yourself in on the dancefloor or just relaxing with a spliff or two at home.
For the next four years artists such as React II Rhythm, DOP, Moody Boyz and FIJ Pierre amongst many others released quality music "for your mind your body and your soul".
If you don't own any Guerilla records and fancy checking out the label, a good place to start would be with the Dub House Disco compilations.
Here is one of my favourite 12" singles from the label by The Drum Club (Lol Hammond and Charlie Hall). Released in 1992 and flogged to death for months by me, U Make Me feel So Good.
The Drum Club - You Make Me Feel So Good (Deep n Hard mix)
Wednesday 2 February 2011
I don't know if it's just me, I have a feeling it is but I find the BMX Bandits infuriating. I really want to love them, they originated in deepest Lanarkshire, they are about as indie as indie can be, I know a guy who used to play sax for them and they have written some absolutely brilliant pop songs and recorded a couple of a wonderful cover versions; but to be honest I can only say that I like some of their stuff.
The problem being, as well as being brilliant they can also be incredibly twee with songs so sweet and sickly that your teeth start to ache just looking at the titles.
A case in point is the track posted. Doorways was a double a-side single and is one of my favourite songs of the past few years it is a beautiful song of love and lost, But then flip it over and you are hit with a track so twee I can hear a thousand indie kids sighing into their anoraks.
The tracks I do like by the BMX Bandits I love but I think that somewhere there is something I'm not getting.
A few years ago when Isobel Campbell was touring the excellent Ballad of The Broken Seas album and Eugene Kelly was standing in for Mark Lanegan, I had the pleasure of attending the gig in the ABC2 in Glasgow.L and I were sitting at the back corner before the band took to the stage and there was this group of 3 vaguely familiar guys sitting next to us. One of these guys L thought looked quite strange what with the RSPB T-shirt and munching on Smarties the whole night. It wasn't until we were walking along Sauchiehall Street that it came to me who the "smartie chomping weirdo" (L's words, not mine) was, it was Duglas T Stewart, thee BMX Bandit. I ask you, is there anything more twee than eating smarties at a gig? Probably only if doing so while wearing a duffle coat.
At the subsequent 2 Isobel Campbell concerts over the next year that I went to, Stewart was also in attendance but I don't know if Smarties was still the confectionery of preference.
BMX Bandits - Doorways
Tuesday 1 February 2011
What do you get when a big room house dj indulges his love of rockabilly? A very very strange hybrid which I'm not entirely sure about. I think it works but I think that old Lux will be spinning right now.
Drop The Lime - Hot As Hell