Wednesday 31 August 2011

Jean's Not Happening

It is quite surprising that a blog named after a Pale Fountains song hasn't had more postings on the music of Michael Head and co.

Here is the taster single released in 1984  for the following year's . . . From Across The Kitchen Table lp. When I listened to the album the other night what struck me was the earnestness of the sound which I think is synonymous with the alternative/ indie bands of the early to mid eighties before the rise of the shambolic sound ushered in by the C86 bands.

Enough pish from me. Just listen to an absolutely brilliant single not quite as good as the follow-up but nearly.

The Pale Fountains - Jean's Not Happening

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Head Over Heels

For about a year from when I received the first 3" cd single from Cloudberry I was slightly obsessed by The Manhattan Love Suicides. They weren't doing anything particularly new but at that time not many bands other than The Raveonettes were making these kinds of sounds and I just lapped it up. Most of it sounded like The Jesus and Mary Chain with female vocals, no bad thing in my mind and in the realm of indie rock what is totally unique and new these days and is also listenable anyway?

The band hailed from Leeds and lasted all of 3 years. During that time they released the afore mentioned ep on Cloudberry, five 7" eps, an excellent album and a compilation cd which comprised of all the tracks from the album and the eps, Burnt Out Landscapes which is worth tracking down if you wish to investigate further.

The track posted is from is from the Keep It Coming single released on Lost Music Records and has that famous Hal Blaine drum beat at the beginning and with lyrics that would have fitted in with the subject matter of many of the hits of various 60s girl groups.

The Manhattan Love Suicides - Head Over Heels

Monday 29 August 2011

Red Tan

Although I was less than impressed this year's Raven In The Grave, it is still about time that the Raveonettes toured the UK again. They are doing a one off gig in London but nowhere else.

Anyway,  here is a track from their third album, Pretty In Black released in 2005. Not a bad way to start the week but I've no idea what the "red tan" is all about unless being Danish they are similarly afflicted in the summer time as us Scottich people and they are singing about sun burn.

The Raveonettes - Red Tan

Saturday 27 August 2011

What's That All About?

Can't believe I've never posted this song before.

One of the most bombastic songs this side of The Story Of The Blues, You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve may not be the catchiest title in the world but it does make you stop wonder what the fuck they are going on about.

This was the second and as far as I know the last single by Johnny Boy and it is absolutely brilliant.

Johnny Boy - You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve.

Friday 26 August 2011

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

From the outset the label title said it all "Soma Quality Recordings".

If anybody can find me another independant label as ground breaking and with such consistently high quality over the past twenty years (Warp is a given) I would like to know.

Prior to the release of SOMA-1, Slam were already know as the best dj double act this side of the border starting with their Black Market nights at Fury Murrys then their Atlantis nights at the Sub Club and one offs at the Barrowlands and Strathy Park. The year after they launched Soma records saw them take up occupation of  the Arches in Glasgow which produced some of the best nights that I have ever been to with guest spots from the cream of the world wide djing fraternity.

But coming back to the music, the term "classic" is bandied about far too much these days not least by me but I think that this is a bona fide classic. When thought of now through the haze of too many years, you think that it is very much of it's time but back in 1991 Slam were well ahead of the pack when they released Eterna.

Have a good weekend people.

Slam - Eterna

Thursday 25 August 2011

Duke Special

I don't really have a lot to say about Duke Special. I bought the album Songs From The Deep Forest out of curiosity. I had heard a bit about Peter Wilson's songwriting and unconventional orchestration, his percussionist uses cheese graters, egg whisks and the like but up until buying the cd I had never actually heard him.

So one day while wandering around Fopp and with nothing else catching my eye I decided to take a punt on the album and was quite happy with the result. Although to be honest after playing it quite a few times in the first couple of weeks, it was filed away and has rarely seen the tray of the cd player. However I have never had to fast forward any of the tracks when they have come up on random on the mobile jukebox.

Last Night I Nearly Died is the standout track from the album for me but from the first play I have always thought that it was vaguely familiar especially the start but have never been able to pinpoint what it reminds me of.

Duke Special - Last Night I Nearly Died

Wednesday 24 August 2011

It Really Hurts Me Girl

One of the best northern tunes ever and one which helped usher in the new sounds and styles being championed by Ian Levine. When it was first aired at the Mecca in 1974 it was practically a current sound as it had been released and bombed in the US the following year.

There is a village about 6 miles from Lanark called Carstairs and have often wondered why a group would take it's name from a place know for having the State Mental Hospital/Penitentiary and a railway station where the train from London splits in two one half heading west to Glasgow the other half going to the east and the capital.

The Carstairs - It Really Hurts Me Girl

Monday 22 August 2011

Brian Jonestown Massacre

I don't really know that much about the Brian Jonestown Massacre, other than Anton Newcombe seems to be a bit of a fuck wit and is probably second only to Liam Gallagher with his fixation of all things 60s.

I bought my first cd, the compilation Tepid Peppermint Wonderland on the strength of the band's name, I figured with a name that good they must be alright which for a change turned out to be true. Unlike when I applied the same criteria to Ten Benson, sorry guys good name bloody awful band. Anyway I have a few albums by the Brian Jonestown Massacre none of which are without merit  even though the band wear their influences on their sleeves as well as in their name.

Here is one of my favourite tracks from the band. If you like what you hear you would be as well starting with the Tepid Peppermint Wonderland compilation.

Nothing here until Wednesday as I'm down in Luton 'til then, joy of joys!

Brian Jonestown Massacre - Anenome

Sunday 21 August 2011

Once we get out of the eighties, the nineties are going to make the sixties look like the fifties

"It takes more than going down your local video store and renting Easy Rider to be a rebel" the words of Huey Walker as played by the legend that is Dennis Hopper in the 1989 film Flashback which I watched for the first time in many years last night. Shit, it was either that or the cack factor.

Thanks must be given to C who down loaded it from one of his snidey websites for me after hearing me complain once too often about the price of the DVD on Amazon and being out bid every time on ebay.

If you have never seen the film, find a snidey website and download it, it is well worth a watch. Dennis Hopper is great as the ageing hippy rebel and Keifer Sutherland is very good as an FBI agent that isn't Jack Bauer.  the film gently pokes fun at the hippie ideals of the 60s but also has something to say about American society in the late 80s.

I was smiling all the through remembering the last time I watched this film was with a group of great friends, one weekend  the summer of  about 1991 when G, the lounge lizard,  was house sitting for a friend. We had about half an ounce of good squidgy black and the house had rather a good wine cellar. We spent the weekend watching films like Flashback, Two-Lane Black Top and Easy Rider while ripped on good black and drunk on very good claret.

At the end of the weekend the house was in no worse a state than it had been at the start, however G was never asked to house sit again as the main reason he was there was so that no one burgled the wine cellar.  Unfortunately due to G knowing a bit about wine we had tanned quite a few of the good bottles and therefore the owners thought that they would run the risk in future of being robbed rather than have the house sitter reap the benefits of their cellar.

Here is a track not from Flashback, but a cover of a track from Easy Rider that whenever it comes on transports me back to that weekend and puts a huge grin on my coupon.

Kathryn Williams - The Ballad of Easy Rider.

Saturday 20 August 2011

Peel Sessions

While loitering with intent at the Bagging Area checking out the latest excellent instalment of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night I remembered that a good while ago I promised to post the Cramps Peel session if I ever got my hands on it.

To be honest it wasn't that difficult getting hold of the session but it was certainly worth while. Although the session versions of two of the tracks from  1986's  Big Beat release, A Date With Elvis aren't earth shatteringly different from the versions on the album they are great examples of a band who were unique and consistently on form. The session recorded on 23/12/1985 differs from most Peel sessions in that it was not recorded at Maida Vale but at Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood. It was first broadcast on 10/02/1986.

The Cramps -What's Inside A Girl?

The Cramps - Cornfed Dames

The Cramps - Give Me A Woman

Friday 19 August 2011

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

If I were asked to pick my favourite time period in modern dance music, it would be a tough decision but I think that the period from 1991 to the end of 1993 and the genre of Progressive House would win out.  The sounds emanating from labels like Guerilla, Cowboy and Hard Hands. and from producers David Holmes, Andrew Weatherall, William Orbit and a whole host of others who produced one of belters of tracks, were in my opinion the best things that ever happened in dance music.

One of the main factors which endeared this type of dance to me as opposed to the breakbeat or Rave stuff synonymous with this time was the length and depth of the tracks. Most progressive house tracks, like progressive rock I suppose clocked in at over seven minutes and for me the longer the better, ten to 11 minutes was just about the right time for me to get totally immersed in the sounds.

Journalist and musician Kris Needs was another who got caught up in the progressive house vibe producing some great 12" singles released on the Sabres of Paradise, Hard Hands and latterly Deconstruction label with vocalist Wonder Schneider under the monikers of Secret Knowledge and Delta Lady.

Posted is the first Delta Lady single released in 1993 on Hard Hands.

Have a good weekend people.

Delta Lady - Anything You Want (The Delta Belter Vocal Symphony)

Thursday 18 August 2011

7 Heures du Matin

Mr H over at The Ghost of Electricity has posted a lovely piece of 60s Gallic pop. Seeing as there is not enough of this genre of music floating around our small bit of the interweb here is my contribution.

I did have this in the French but it looks as though I have deleted it in one of my database purges so you will have to do with the English.

Jacqueline Taieb - 7 a.m.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Comin' Home Baby

When you think of girl groups, the eighties isn't the decade that would spring up in most people's minds but one of my favourites were active during the second half of that decade.

The Delmonas started off as the Milkboilers backing singers for Billy Childish's band the Milkshakes. The girls released a couple of ep's of mainly cover versions at the tail end of 1984 and their debut lp,  Dangerous Charms in 1985 which is well worth getting your hands on if possible, it also contains all of the tracks on the eps. A further 3 albums followed but nothing since 1989.

The track posted is the lead track from the first ep, a cracking cover version of a track which was first a hit for Mel Torme way back in 1962.

Apparently a Delmona is a decorative handbag favoured by the women of the Klaipeda region of Lithuania.

The Delmonas - I'm Comin' Home Baby

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Straight Outta Africa

Continuing with the hip-hop.

Zimbabwe Legit were two brothers, Akin and Dumi from the land of Mugabe who went to study in the US who caught the attention of hip-hop visionary Dave Funkenklein with a demo that they had produced . Funkenklein took the brothers to Holloywood to record for the label he was running, Hollywood BASIC.

The resulting ep garnered a lot of positive reviews from the music press but due to a lack of promtional budget and stock not reaching stores the record flopped.

Zimbabwe Legit should have been huge what with their def rhymes, humour and extensive knowledge of rap history. Also at this time their was an Afrocentric focus in the rap world which should have embraced the rappers who were the real deal. But due to some bad breaks they never became widely known. Their champion, Funkenklein died of cancer in 1994 and other people were assigned to running the label who didn't have a clue about the music or how to market the brothers, leading to the demise of the label and the end
of their career.

The track posted was a retrospective single released in 2006 and was also a track found on the first ep released by the brothers. It can also be found on the album Brothers From The Mother which collects all of their recordings and is also memorable for having the first production by Josh Davis (aka DJ Shadow) on it.

Zimbabwe Legit - Rhymin' Wit The African Symphony.

Monday 15 August 2011

Big Mama

I was thinking at the weekend and not fo the first time that very little rap and hip hop has been thown out across the kitchen table in the two and a half years I have been writing this drivel and coming across as a "typical scot". Which is quite strange as I like my hip hip, granted not a great deal from the late nineties onwards but the earlier stuff, the less gansta flows.

So to start to redress the balance a little, here is my favourite female MC and she is rather vexed with a few people. Not the sort of lady you would take home a burst pay packet to I suspect.

Roxanne Shante - Big Mama

Sunday 14 August 2011

Makes You Proud To Be Scottish, By The Way

From an article in the Sunday Herald.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan of the Vioence Reduction Unit, Strathclyde Police, when asked if the riots could happen in Glasgow:-

"We have all the same factors of deprivation and unemployment here and we have them in spades. But it seems to me that the gangs that Cameron described were criminal gangs with hierarchical structure and there was criminality in those gangs and guarding their turf. Our gangs are not like that. In Glasgow we coined the phrase 'recreational violence'. Fighting wasn't a means to an end, it was just recreational violence. Maybe our guys couldn't be bothered with rioting:they're happy to be having a drink and a fight. So I think the nature of the gangs is one of the key differences."

In other words up here we're too busy drinking tonic and chibbing each other to be arsed rioting. Makes you proud doesn't it?

Upsetters - No Peace dub

"If You're Gonna Play It Out Of Tune, Play It Out Of Tune Properly" pt 8

Right, I think that Ctel has had a long enough respite from the joyous racket that is The Fall, the greatest band in the world!

Time to get back to the series that introduces you to the delights of  Mark E Smith and the gruppe's interpretations of other peoples tunes. No Mr H, not Crawfish, to my knowledge the band have never covered this, sadly.

Today's post finds the Fall covering Beatle Bones 'N' Smokin' Stones,  a Captain Beefheart song for their twentieth Peel session broadcast 0n 18/08 96. The original was included on the 1968 album Strictly Blue.


The Fall - Beatle Bones 'N' Broken Stones

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Beatle Bones & Broken Stones.

Saturday 13 August 2011


When I was a kid and to this day I have taken a pretty dim view of my brother's choice in music, it's pish. He has a Boyzone cd for christ's sake!

As  a teenager I used to dream about going in and taking a 50 pence piece to his Chris De Burgh collection, If I had to to endure Patricia The Stripper or A (fucking) Spaceman Came Travelling through the Gyprock and Anaglypta once I must have heard them a thousand times. I never carried out the vandalism I thought about but the little git did do the very same thing to my Crass, Christ The Album which I only realised years later as it is not the sort of album that anybody in their right mind would play on a regular basis.

Anyway, another of my brother's favourites from a very young age was Elvis and as somebody trying to live up to the ideals of punk all I had was disdain for the man in rhinestones and sideboards that were a mile out. I remember every time an Elvis Presley film came on the telly we had to watch it.  It was usually a bank holiday weekend or Boxing day that these delights were shown on the telly in the 70s and there was always something better on STV, like Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger but we had to bloody watch Elvis. I fucking hated these films, even then I knew that the acting was crap, the stories were all the same,  Elvis sees girl, Elvis gets girl, Elvis pisses girl off but at the end always ends up with girl again, oh and Elvis sings a lot of shitty songs.

But there was one song from one film that always stuck in my mind as it wasn't shitty and Elvis didn't look like a twat when he sang it but looked like probably the coolest pesron I had ever seen in my life and was singing one of the most amazing, if brief songs that I had ever heard. Although being a self respecting punk and metal fan it was more than my life was worth to admit to liking this or anything by the King.

Years later, I realised just what I had been missing with my embargo in Presley's music when a friend gave me a loan of his copy of The Sun Sessions albums and I listened without prejudice to the boy from Tupelo.

However I still can not watch GI Blues and every time I hear Wooden Heart (my brother used to play it repeatedly) I want to set fire to wooden toys.

So here is mine and Joe Strummer's favourite Elvis tune, with more than a little help from Kitty White.

E P - Crawfish

And here is the scene from the film

Friday 12 August 2011

Sturdy Girl Drinks Again

I think that we could all do with a couple of drinks after the events of the past week.

George Thorogood - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Well that was a bastard of a first week back at work! 

Although what I had to endure is nothing compaired to the people in those communities where all of that misplaced anger, aggression and down right fucking criminal behaviour came to the fore this week, I am still glad it's Friday and the weekend is nearly upon us.

I need something positve and upbeat to end the week and this track popped into my head during the week. Well actually while sitting at Aldergrove on Tuesday night waiting for another late plane and reading the Guardian the cover of London Hooligan Soul by the Ballistic Brothers came to mind and from there it wasn't much of a leap to this, which I think is the best thing that Rocky, Diesel and Ashley have ever recorded.

Have a peaceful weekend people.

The Ballistic Brothers - A Love Supreme

Thursday 11 August 2011

She Blew A Good Thing

I think that a little more soul is the order of the day and one of the songs responsible for my obsession with northern soul.

She Blew A Good Thing was released in 1966 on the Symbol label and very nearly troubled the US charts, it was released on Decca over here as The American Poets, as there was already a band called the Poets here.

To some this may just be another soul track about a boy losing his girl. But for me the track exudes class,  from the cool lead vocal from Ronnie Lewis, the immaculate harmonies to the unfussy subtle backing track.  One of those tracks that still give me goosebumps although I must have played it a thousand times, well a couple of hundred at least.

The Poets - She Blew A Good Thing

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Candy And The Kisses

How about a bit of northern?

Sisters Candy and Suzanne Nelson along with Jeanette Johnson from Port Richmond NY are probably best remembered for the Cameo-Parkway released single The 81 in 1964 which has a typical upbeat girl-group sound of the times. They also produced a version of Mr Creator a track much loved in northern circles in the version cut by the Apollas.

Are You Trying To Get Rid of Me Baby has a more moody feel to it than their other releases and is probably my favourite track by the trio. Written by Ashford, Simpson & Armstead it was later released on 45 by the Crystals after their association with Phil Spector had ended.

Candy And The Kisses - Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby

Tuesday 9 August 2011

New Music - Will Hanson

This popped into my in-box a few weeks ago when I was at Latitude and I have been meaning to post it ever since.

It is the new single by Will Hanson. It was actually released last Monday on Chemikal Underground as a taster for his album which will be released on the 22nd of August. Although released on the Glasgow label, Hanson was born and bred in London and that is about all I know about him.

This is the sort of music that words like gothic and brooding were meant to describe. I love this and not just because I'm in a very dark place at the moment as BA decided to cancel my flight home last night meaning that I had to kick about City Airport for a couple of more hours than should have been necessary.

  Deathbed Conversion by Will Hanson

Monday 8 August 2011

Back To The Daily Grind

Well that's the holidays over for another year back to work with a bang today as I have to fly down to London for a meeting at The Royal Brompton. Why did I agree to this I asked myself yesterday and remembered that I wasn't given a choice in the matter.

Here is the first track from the pure dead brilliant first album from Kid Canaveral, Shouting At Wildlife which has just been re-released on glorious vinyl which comes with the cd as part of the deal on Fence records. Up your well-being/happiness index ten fold by buying the album here, you know it makes sense.

Posts may be a bit sporadic this week as I endevour to transcribe all my notes from working without a laptop for the week before going on holiday due to incompetent couriers who couldn't find their arses from their elbow.

Kid Canaveral - Good Morning