Sunday 12 May 2013

What's In Yir Box? M

Well we are half way through the alphabet and a bit over half way through the box. The letter M has a a respectable showing in the box and a couple of surprises as well.

First up is Madness with probably one of the best records about relationships that I know of. Like Up The Junction it is a kitchen sink drama in about three and a half minutes. I have vague memories of hearing this in my mum's red Chevette as we drove the 20 miles to my first primary school which I continued to attend for a year after we moved to Lanark and more vivid ones of playing this when I would continually fall out with the girl that I went out with for most of my late teens.

Next we have the Manhattan Love Suicides. I waited over twenty years for my wish for a female fronted Jesus And The Mary Chain circa Psychocandy and you know what,  they weren't half bad. The single in the box is the band's second release, the first being a 3 1/2" disc on Cloudberry Records. I recently found out that the main members of the band formed The Blanche Hudson Weekend on the demise of original group and have recently purchased the first two singles which I have yet to listen to.

I always found the Manic Street Preachers to be a little bit too earnest, not the kind of guys you could have a good laugh with, you don't see them smile much let alone laugh. Which is a bit funny coming from somebody who used to like Crass. But they did release some great singles, I know I will get pelters about this, but not albums, life is too short to listen to a Manics album all they way through more than once, especially The Holy Bible. Motorcycle Emptiness on the other hand I can listen to repeatedly.

Stella by Ida Maria is a good song, not sure that is great and even less sure that it deserves to be in the box but it's there and it's on nice blue vinyl. Oh and it is L's favourite lager.

I've had a wee thing for Imelda May Clabby ever since I saw her in King Tuts back in 2009. You know  that this girl knows her shit and it's not all about image. The single in the box isn't that good. Psycho, is an alright track but not the best thing on the album. But the b-side a cover of My Baby Left Me is the business.

The next single is also one where the standout track is the b-side,  which is not to say that the a-side isn't good but A Few Kind Words is one of those songs that once in your head refuses to leave. I think that Meursault deserve to be a household name and not just amongst the upper middle classes who know their white Burgundys. As with all things released on Song By Toad the record is lovely, it was part one of two singles released on clear vinyl.

I think that the next single should actually have been filed first.  M.I.A.'s Paper Planes definitely gets the prize for best use of a Clash sample. I was always going to love something that used one of my favourite Clash songs to great effect. This like Straight To Hell needs to be played very loud.

The first time I heard Roadrunner would have been off of the Great Rock And Roll Swindle when Lydon forgets the words and the whole thing is a bit of a disaster. The Modern Runners version would for sure have been heard first from one of Stiff's older brothers record collections during one of our many raids upon them. It is filed under M, as Roadrunner (Twice) is my favourite version and on the label it is assigned to the Modern Lovers, whereas, Roadrunner (Once) is Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers.

I was cleaning the house one Saturday morning back in 1997 when I heard this absolutely amazing track on Radio One, back in the day when Radio One could still surprise me. It was on the Jo Whiley show but I didn't catch who it was by. Lynn was driving home from Edinburgh at the same time and when she came in she asked me if I had been listening to Radio One as there had been this tune on it that she knew that I would have loved. I asked her if she had happened to get the name of it and she said it was by some band called Mogwai and it was called New Paths to somewhere. The following day we scoured Glasgow for this single, eventually finding a copy in John Smiths Bookshop in Byres Rd (alas no more, it's a fucking Starbucks).

The first band that I ever had a real love for were Motorhead and they were also the first band I saw live. I got rid of all of Motorhead collection in my early twenties and am not entirely sure why. As even as a teenager in the late 80s after embracing Acid House I would still argue with anybody who would listen that the Motorhead line up of Lemmy, Animal and Fast Eddie were the greatest rock band ever so I'm not quite sure why later I would get rid of all of the vinyl, I had every single, 12" and album up to Iron Fist. I suspect that money may have had something to do with it. About 5 years ago I decided that I would try and piece the collection back together again but wouldn't pay ridiculous amounts for things, at the moment I'm still looking for decent copies of the Iron Fist single and the Ace of Spades and No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith albums.

The last of the M's come from another Scottish band, and like the Mogwai single before,  it is one that I found through listening to the radio. Not fabulous Radio One this time but 6 Music, can't remember exactly when I heard Sister Sneaker Soul Sister but whenever it was I was I paid attention at the end to catch the name,  a post it-note was put on the fridge and it was purchased a few weeks later. I'm not getting parochial here but there are certain bands that you hear and you know exactly where they come from and there is something about My Latest Novel that when you hear them you know that they couldn't come from anywhere else but west central Scotland.

Fuck, that was longer than I intended it to be but this series is evolving by the week. At the beginning I was only going to write about the song that I was posting, so as if I were to post any of the others later then I would have something to say about them but over the last couple of weeks I have felt that the other tracks need some explanation as to why they are in the box, for some it is obvious but for others less so. So sorry if the ramblings above have bored you to death, you can go back and read the Sunday papers now.

Madness - My Girl
Manhattan Love Suicides - Keep It Coming ep
Manic Street Preachers - Motorcycle Emptiness
Ida Maria - Stella
Imelda May - Psycho (My Baby Left Me)
Meursault - William Henry Miller Part Two (A Few Kind Words)
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner (Twice)
Mogwai - New Paths To Helicon
Motorhead - Motorhead
My Latest Novel - Sister Sneaker Soul Sister

The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner (Twice)


secondopinion said...

Fine work. I shall be passing this around the form as an example of what thoughtful, creative endeavour can achieve.

George said...

Really liked the article. An interesting read. Middle aged men and their singles. Quality.

dickvandyke said...

I too like your ramblings. (So much so, I will join you with some bollix of my own) ...

I even put down the Sunday Supplement advertising the 'Big Slipper' and the KTel 'handy foreskin cleaner' - only £3.99 (plus £6.99 p&p)

I too like some single from the Manics phone book of hits. But oh, the lyrics may be earnest, but they are usually also complete Bobbins. 'You Stole the Sun..' and 'Autumn Song' hit the spot for me though.

No Morrisey then, drewster?

I'd slip in some Mott!
And Martha & The Muffins should be in everybody's old tatty vinyl box.

Other M's to nuzzle. (BTY - Dame Judy Dench ... would you? No. And yet .. Dame Helen Mirren!)

Anyway, if ever there's a song of the mid-80s it would be 'Kayleigh' by Marillion. Like it or not, it cloaked the nation in nostalgic melancholia ..(albeit smelling of Fish).

Perhaps I could say the same for John Miles 'Music' from the mid 70s? But I won't.

Remind yourself of 'Dancing In The City' by Marshall Hain. The gap-toothed goddess in particular.

Should I be surprised that there is no Bob Marley featured. I suspect many singles went the way of the handy bastard 'cash' inducement. That elusive 50p bought a pint in 1980.

I have a Roger Miller 'King Of The Road' on Philips in a box in the loft somewhere. Or maybe the back of the garage. And Mink Deville is probably being eaten by field mice as we speak.

And do you know what? .. (No Dick, what?) I bought Gary Moore's 'Parisienne Walkways' on the same day I bought 'Jimmy Jimmy' on green vinyl. (You didn't? I did).

Marmalade's 'Reflections of my Life' says more about me than Junior Campbell and his boys.

If you don't recall/know Medicine Head's 'One and One is One' they I commend it to your house. Hair and a Jew's Harp were once all the rage.

The Members - 'Sound Of The Suburbs' remains perfect for today. (As does the Monkees Pleasant Valley Sunday).

By the way, I find myself saying 'One Day At A Time .. sweet Jesus' a lot these days. Although I'm not suggesting anyone should play any Lena Martell.

Right. This meandering madness isn't mopping the kitchen floor is it?

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with your Motorhead comment. Overkill especially. For me, M would have Martha & The Muffins, Morrissey (Hairdresser on Fire), Madonna (Ray of Light), MARRS, Massive Attack (Unfinished Sympathy) and Max Cooper (Chaotishe/Stochastiche Serie)

It would only have MSP in the Stealth Sonic Orchestra remixes versions, without the bellowed vocals from a startled bullock


Anonymous said...

Great post btw

drew said...

Second opinion, I don't know about "thoughtful" or "creative" but I do tent to find that a few rums of a Saturday evening help.

George - we are a tad sad aren't we? But harmless, mostly!

DVD - Lena Martell, my dad's favorite. I'm sure the Members single is somewhere. That comment should be a post on your own blog but you know that, already.

Ctel - MARRS and Massive Attack both in the 12" box.

e.f. bartlam said...

Moon Duo


Modest mouse



Meat puppets

Macy grey

My Bloody Valentine - nearly the whole cataloge ha