Saturday 31 December 2016

Out With The Old . . .

And in with the new.

I'm probably not the only one to think that 2016 was a c**t of a year. There have been more than a few dramas in the lives of people close to me, one of which had a  positive outcome but sadly not so on a couple of other occasions and just when we didn't think it could get much worse at the beginning of December one of Max's best pals was nearly killed in a freak accident and if it wasn't for another friend's bravery and  presence of mind to carry him the 500 yards to get help and the NHS staff who treated him and continue to do so he would not be with us now. He has a long road to recovery but he is a very lucky 14 year old to still be alive. So one positive to take into the start of 2017.

I would like to thank every one who stopped by here this past year and especially to the ones that left a comment, each and every one of which is appreciated, they are what make me and others continue.

Anyway,  I wish you all health and happiness for the coming year, I will leave you with a bit of Jimi Hendrix.

There will be nothing to see here until at least the 6th January as we are off to Amsterdam with my parents to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. They got married fifty years ago on the 23rd December.

Jimi Hendrix - Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne

Thursday 29 December 2016

Comfort Food For The Soul

The whole of the household has succumbed to the dreaded lurgy that is doing the rounds up here at the moment. I feel as if I have had a thoroughly good kicking and am feeling sorry for myself. At times like this you need something comforting and there isn't much more comforting than the dulcet tones of Dot Allison on one of my all time top 21 tracks.

This song immediately transports me back to the freezing hovel I shared with two others on Woodlands Road in Glasgow back in 1991. I used to come in at night put on an extra couple of layers,  retire to my bed and listen to this record over and over again, every now and again for a break changing it for Come Alive by the Orchestra JB. It got to the stage that in order to cut down on the getting in and out of bed I made up a c-90 one side filled with each. Fallen is the only record that I can think of that Andrew Weatherall's remix doesn't better the original.

It's strange the things you remember. This was the record I played just before finding out that Freddie Mercury died, after this had finished I turned on Radio 4 to get the news to learn of the singer's death and the first thing that came into my mind was that the radio would be full of Queen songs for the foreseeable future and most likely the Christmas number 1.

Dove - Fallen (Darkest Hour)

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Albums of The Year

There are not too many reasons for me to look back on 2016 fondly, it has been quite a shitty year for many reasons. One good thing about it was the resurgence of the long player. I noticed that the albums that I bought this year really hung together and flowed as an album should do. I'm not sure if this was deliberate on the part of the artists or just that I have rediscovered my love for the format but all of the albums in my top ten and in the many others that didn't make the cut felt more than just a collection of tracks compiled together under an album title.

Notable albums for me that didn't make the cut but which were excellent were the latest Brian Jonestown Massacre album, Third World Pyramid which reinforced my view that Anton Newcombe just gets better and better. He was also responsible for the best remix of the year with his reworking of Primal Scream's 100% or Nothing  and you should check out the Berlin ep he produced for The Vacant Lots. Another nearly but not quite was Atomic by Mogwai which is at times moving and at other times inducing a feeling of dread and fear matching the subject matter, I suspect that if I had a chance to listen to Let Them Eat Chaos more over the past couple of months it would have made the top ten but I just haven't got into it enough,

One major disappointment for me was One Day All of This Won't Matter Anymore by Slow Club, I think that this is mainly down to my expectations after Complete Surrender which I loved so much. I don't feel that there are as many standout songs on the latest album and also that Rebecca's voice isn't as prominent as it was on previous outing where at times it took your breath away. It is by no means a bad album and I am probably being a bit hard on them but I think that I will always reach for Complete Surrender over ODAOTWMA.

You will notice that Blackstar isn't in the list either. I have to admit that although it is a very good album which I think I will agree in time that it is a great album at the moment I can't listen to it without getting thoroughly depressed and for that reason it could not be considered.

10.  Beyond The Wizards Sleeve - The Soft Bounce

Some great pop moments such as Diagram Girl, space rock in the form of Iron Age and loads of psychedelic moments.

9. Death In Vegas - Transmission

Richard Fearless teams up with Sasha Grey to produce a deep, dark soundscape full of atmosphere. For some reason it had me reaching for The Fifth Mission by Two Lone Swordsmen after the first airing. If you buy the vinyl be wary as some of the first pressings were really poor on side one. I had three copies before getting a perfect one from Drone with a rather nice message of apology from Mr Fearless himself. Excellent customer service.

8. Teen Canteen - Say It With A Kiss

Lovely, sunny, pure Glasgow pop that always makes me smile. I felt very old at the album launch in Mono, that was until I saw Duglas T Stewart wandering about.

7. The Wedding Present - Going, Going . . .

The first time I put side 1 of this on, I thought that there had been a mistake at the pressing plant, the first four tracks were instrumental and very unWedding Presenty, then Two Bridges, first released as a 7" back in 2013, came on and the order of things was restored, songs of love, loss and longing followed. An album that takes a few listens to get really into. The best thing Gedge has done since Take Fountain, not as good as that album but very good indeed. I still don't get Secretary though.

6. Rancho Relaxo - White Light Fever

The influence of the Velvets is strong in this one, from the title of the album to the picture of Edie Sedgwick on the cover through the music, no bad thing in my book. An album to get lost in.

5. King Creosote - Astronaut Meets Appleman

When KC went epic. In the review on the Piccadilly Records website Barry says "All of these pieces feel like they could be the song at the end of a movie that we all end up Googling" which is about as succinct and perfect a review  as I've ever read. Every tune is great but Love Life and the bonus track on the 10" single The Long Fade are especially good.

Keep it up Kenny!

4. The Woodleigh Research Facility - The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories)

Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh get deep and dubby on this excellent double lp. It feels like a natural evolution from Sabres through Two Lone Swordsmen to this.

3. The Lucid Dream - Compulsion Songs

Third album from this older than their years combo from Carlisle. This is psych rock for the 21st Century that fuses dub and rock with all the attitude of punk. I saw them in Glasgow just prior to the release of this album and they made a beautiful noise, sadly witnessed by too few people.

2. Nick Waterhouse - Never Twice

Classy, Jazzy in bits, soul and R&B at other points. totally essential.

Still not happy that Mr Waterhouse is not venturing further north than Manchester, He did however explain that he couldn't afford it.

1. Ette - Homemade Lemonade

In a year as thoroughly depressing as 2016 turned out to be thank god for Carla J Easton responsible for the two albums that put a smile on my face more than any others. I thought that the Ette album was just going to be the taster to the full album from Carla's other group,  Teen Canteen. Both albums are shinning examples of what pop music should be but the Ette album just edges it. My only grumble being that as I have said before Attack Of The Glam Soul Cheerleaders should have been released as a 7" single.

I'm Higher Than I'm Down

That's it all over for another year and I must admit I've had a rare old three days. Compliments must go once again to Delia for her expert guidance on the cooking of the Christmas lunch. I am now, however beginning to feel the effects of the over indulgence and have designated today and tomorrow as "do bugger all" days.

As this is Tuesday, how about a bit of Garage Rock from that vintage year of 1966. The Aardvarks were from Grand Rapids, Michigan and released four singles in the two years in which they were in existence. I think that this was their debut single. Classic garage rock that was recorded in an old cinema which had been converted to a recording studio, in Sparta Michigan.

The Aardvarks - I'm Higher Than I'm Down

Saturday 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas

No matter what you are up to this weekend have a good one and I hope Santa brings you everything you wanted, although I am not holding out much hope for that Bobby Kline 7" I put on my list.

The Housemartins - Caravan of Love

Thursday 22 December 2016

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Gonna Cry Me A River, A River Of Tears

I've been holding this one back for a wee while to give you something special in the run up to Christmas to cleanse your ears of all that awful piped music that can be heard everywhere at the moment. It's an absolute doozy as no one with any sense of credibility would say. Unlike many of the garage bands that have been featured here, the Unrelated Segments had a modicum of success, granted it was in Michigan and Ohio only but there first two singles gained them enough popularity to be the support act for the likes of The Who and The Spencer Davies Group.  Our attention, however is focused on the band's third and final single Cry, Cry,  Cry which bombed in 1968 but which has achieved legendary status in Garage circles since. Great Tune, pish name.

Unrelated Segments - Cry,  Cry,  Cry

Monday 19 December 2016

Keep On Keeping On

All those years ago when I was a moody teenager today's track was one of those songs that I immediately thought of when someone mentioned Northern Soul, it was one of the first tracks on the northern compilation that a girl call called Lynn gave me that whetted my appetite and led to a30/31 year and counting love affair with this music.  The song was recorded by N.F. Porter, it would be years before I found out the first name was Nolan and later still that the F was for Fredrick, not that it's of much relevance.The single came out on the Lizard label in 1971. I had a dodgy boot of this for quite a few years until last year when I picked up the RSD release with the now more popular "If I Could Only Be Sure" on the flip. Apparently Joy Division were asked to cover this. I am having difficulty imagining how that would have sounded.

N.F Porter - Keep On Keeping On

Friday 16 December 2016

Before Bobby Got His Groove On

SWC and Badger posted Come Together as number 7 in their Top 200 here today which prompted JC to comment  that he could believe that they posted it over Velocity Girl, a track which I know is a favourite of the anorak wearing C86 brigade but for me was always just a little too short and there is something about the way Gillespie sings " leave me alone" which has always irritated, being a wee bit too whiney for my liking. The post and the comments had me longing for the working day to be done so I could go downstairs and dig out my favourite pre-E Primals moment, as up until now I hadn't ripped the track. Since early this evening I think that I have played the song about ten times. Every time I am transported back to the days when I was thin, was a walking advertisement for Flip and paid over the odds for Lucky Strike unfiltered fags from a tobacconists just off George Square.

It is too good to keep to myself and on the b-side they covered a track by The Shadows of Knight but back then I didn't have a clue it was a cover.

Primal Scream - Gentle Tuesday

Primal Scream - I'm Gonna Make You Mine

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I'm way too busy at work at the moment. This I suspect is a common complaint so I won't moan about it, Today's track is one that I find myself playing quite frequently although a deep house track it has quite a soothing effect on me and lightens the mood considerably.The record is the work of Olof Dreijer one half of the Swedish duo The Knife and was released in 2009 and what makes this tune even more remarkable is that it is the b-side, That doesn't mean that the a-side is not a good tune, it is very good this (it has no title) is just so much better.

After last weeks five nil mauling by the side floundering at the bottom of the table,  I am rather glad that there is no home game for Airdrie this week. I think that Leo and I are suffering from PTSD, the car on the way home was silent apart from the odd sigh and me repeating "five nil, five blinking nil" and we hav e not discussed the game since. This week we are away to the league leaders, Livingston who are 7 points ahead of us.

Have a good weekend people

Oni Ayhun - OAR003-B

Wednesday 14 December 2016

X Film Plus Ultra

With all this talk of a new Jesus and Mary Chain album and tour next year I was reminded of swithering and missing out on the best thing that any meber of x member of the band had done in the past ten years and it wasn't a Reid brother. In 2013 Douglas Hart released his first solo single and I hesitated a bit too long and all 250 copies had vanished which was a bit of a bugger then a month or so ago I heard that he had released another record. Again I was too fucking late!

Tuesday 13 December 2016

You're In My Mind

This Garage on a Tuesday lark has turned into a thing. It wasn't my intention for this to happen but over the last wee while I have been listening to a lot of this kind of stuff, Today's track you will be surprised to know does not come from 1966 but a couple of years later and is a tad more psychedelic man than what normally appears here. Graf Zepplin were from OAk Park Illinois and formed in 1966, so we have a connection to that great year for this kind of music. The unique spelling of Zepplin came about after the drummer incorrectly spelt the name on his bass drum. Like a couple of other tracks that have featured this one was the result of the band winning a battle of the bands competition with the prize being some studio time where they laid down this great piece of psych rock. 500 copies of the single were pressed with a kind of hippy ballad, Sunset on the flip. My copy is of course a boot as an original would be well out of my price range.

Graf Zepplin - You're In My Mind

Monday 12 December 2016

Soul On Fire

" Well you know what they say, it's always a badass that makes a girl's heart beat faster . . .

. . . Wanna dance?"

LaVern Baker - Soul On Fire

Saturday 10 December 2016

The Tracks Of My Year

So it's time for my self indulgent list of what I have been listening to and buying this year. The list is limited to music made in 2016 which ruled out a load of northern soul and a couple of recent garage rock acquisitions. When compiling the list I had a feeling that there was a definite bias towards electronic and dance music but when it was finished it actually appeared to be more balanced than I thought.

There are four people with entries under two guises. Firstly Carla Easton, responsible for two of my favourite albums of the year by Teen Canteen and Ette, the music is just so joyous and both albums make me smile loads. I just wish that the Ette track included had been released as a 7" as that is, in my mind anyway where it belongs. Also when I attended the album launch for Say It With A Kiss I finally realised that I am an old duffer, christ did I feel old and if I'm honest rather out of place even though Duglas T Stewart was in attendance.

Richard Norris also pops up with two tracks in the top three,  one as Circle Sky and one in his Beyond The Wizards Sleeve guise. The Circle Sky track transports me back to my golden days of clubbing while still being absolutely fresh, a sort of Rez for 2016 not quite as great as that track but similar in the way it builds. If the original version of Diagram Girl had been extended it would have been head and shoulders above anything else for me this year but the single version is just too short and the "re-animation" although very very good is just missing a tiny something. There could have been another couple of entries for BTWS if I had allowed multiple entries.

Jamie xx is the third. I know I included Talabot's remix of Loud Places in last year's list but it did appear very late in the year and stayed glued to the turntable until about February/March this year. The first single from the third album of The xx proper augers well and on the strength of it the album was duly pre-ordered and eagerly awaited. I am still pissed off that they are not coming to Scotland during their "UK" tour but not half as upset as Nick Waterhouse not coming north of Manchester but that's another story.

The final double entry, you will not be surprised to read is from Lord Sabre himself, one as part of the Woodleigh Research Facility and the other in the form of a remix. Weatherall is the only person to be included in all 8 of these end of year things. This year he could have had at least half a dozen entries if not double figures he has been quite prolific in 2016 while managing to keep the quality of the highest order. I am sure that SA will have more than a few Weatherall tracks when his list comes out round at the Bagging Area.

With regards to the rest of the list, there is the welcome return of Meursault, Also back this year were the Wedding Present with their best album since Take Fountain, still don't understand the inclusion of Secretary though. Earlier in the year I stated that due to the extortionate price of The Spoils on vinyl this would be one Massive Attack release I would not be purchasing however I am weak and knew that I would regret it and end up paying more for it in the future so I succumbed. Slam also released a new album to celebrate 25 years of making records and it was as fresh as fuck. My new favourite band are the Lucid Dream, Stiff and I saw them in September and they were loud. Sadly also in the list is the last song by Allo Darlin' who have decided to call it a day. Unfortunately this has had to be purchased on MP3 as the limited single is only available at the band's final two shows this weekend in London and I will not be in attendance. I have pleaded with the m on Twitter but have had no response.  It's been a while since I raved about a Primal Scream tune but this year there were two that were rather remarkable, one, Big Belly Nothing 100% dub, down mainly to Antone Newcombe's remix but the other, well, if somebody had said that I would have been blown away by a Scream cover of S'Express they would have been told to go and take a flying fuck to themselves, but I was, 2016 was indeed a strange year.  Talking of that, something had to be included from Blackstar. If I'm honest I hadn't taken much notice of Bowie  since Absolute Beginners really, apart from the James Murphy remix of Love Is Lost. After his death I streamed the final album and  a few listens decided it was worth having for the last track alone but the whole thing has grown on me, not a comfortable listen but absolutely astounding under the circumstances.

Also in the list is a track by a man I had the good fortune to DJ with when we did the Blog Rocking Beats nights in the Flying Duck in Glasgow,  Gareth from the sadly defunct How Does That One Go Again, whose track Solina is number 34 on the list, a labour of love which took 17 years to finally get a release and was played on the too few balmy summer nights we had up here, the kind of track that in bygone days would have accompanied a good toke.

You may have noticed that there is nothing by the gruppe in the list, even though they released a 12" ep in 2016. I'm not sure if I was compiling a top 100 Wise Old Man would even be in there, no I am sure it wouldn't. from reading the reviews of concerts from the second half of the year there are a few promising new songs but we will see how they sound when the new album appears but until then . . .

1,  Circle Sky - Reveal
2.  Massive Attack - The Spoils
3.  Beyond The Wizards Sleeve - Diagram Girl(Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Re-animation)
4,  Nick Waterhouse - LA Turnaround
5   The xx - On Hold
6.  Ette - Attack of the Glam Soul Cheerleaders
7.  Hardway Bros - Argonaut
8.  The Unloved - When A Woman Is Around
9.  The Lucid Dream - I'm A Star In My Own Right
10, Teen Canteen - Kung Fu Kisses
11. The Wedding Present - Rachel
12 .King Creosote - The Long Fade
13. Woodleigh Research Facility - Osler's Crystal Fountain
14. Jamie xx - Loud Place (John Talabot's Higher dub)
15. Slow Club - Champion
16. Sordid Sound System - I Walk on Splintered Gilders
17. Primal Scream - Mantra For A State Of Mind
18. David Bowie - I Can't Give Everything Away
19. Lack of Afro - Fires Glow
20. Burial - Night Market
21. Slam - Ecclesiastic
22. Allo Darlin' - Hymn of the 45
23. Meursault - Simple Is Good
24. Haley Bonar - Kismet Kills
25. Al Kent - Good Inside
26. The Liminanas feat. Peter Hook - Garden Of Love (Mardi Mouille mix)
27. Caverns of Anti-Matter - Tardis Cymbals
28. Levon Vincent - Birds
28. Mogwai - Fat Man
29. Pearl Charles - Idea To Her
30. Death In Vegas - Consequences of Love
31. Hooton Tennis Club - Katy Anne Bellis
32. Cigarettes After Sex - Hurt You Baby
33. Ripperton - Hat Uh Mi Head
34. Imperfect Product - Solina
35. Emma Woods - I Don't Drink Too Forget
36. Rachel Modest - I Try
37. Rancho Relaxo - Who Married Jane Fonda
38.The Third Degree - Toxic
39. Brian Jonestown Massacre - La Facon Dont La Macine Vers L'arriere
40. Deadboy - White Light Gemini

Friday 9 December 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

This week I have been spending quite a bit of time trying to work out the "Tracks of My Year" so I have been mostly listening to stuff from the past 12 months. Early in the week today's track came on the mp3 player and I had to remind myself that this single came out 5 years ago and not recently which is quite rare these days as when I find myself sticking on dance tunes from the last few years I find that a lot of them have dated quite considerably in a quite a short time.

This week the Diamonds will be hosting Stenhousemuir and a win would mean us consolidating our second spot in the table, yes I did type that correctly, we are second in the league!. Unfortunately only Leo and myself will be at the game from our mob as Stiff and Willie are off to see Newcastle United and Max has decided that he no longer wants to support Airdrie, his exact words were "I've got better things to do with my Saturday",which is debatable as all he seems to do is hang about Subway or play the x-box which is in no way better than watching Airdrie on a winning streak. I wonder what it would take for them to be made team of the day on Off The Ball, nothing short of winning the Scottish Cup I think. A few weeks ago Tam Cowan actually nominated a thug called Jim Goodwin as pplayer of the day after a game against Airdrie where he persistently fouled, scored an own goal, was sent off and nearly broke an Airdrie player's leg with his well timed cropping of the player. I'm not saying Cowan is biased but he is from Motherwell and mentions their cup win over three decades ago at least five times in every show (and his taste in music is pish). But I digress.

Have a good weekend people.

Dauwd - Acireams

Thursday 8 December 2016

I Suppose It's Time

What is all this warm temperature shit in December? Driving home from Dundee yesterday afternoon I noticed it was 13.5 c.

The Raveonettes - The Christmas Song

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Cigarettes After Sex

I heard this a few months ago and from the first couple of bars I was hooked. Okay it isn't the most original thing in the world it brings to mind the Trinity Sessions, The Velvets at their most laid back  and Mazzy Star but when in the right sort of mood on these dark evenings this really hits the spot. Not sure about the name, it's pish not as pish as Cabbage but if I had heard the name before listening I don't think I would have bothered. The band are resident in Brooklyn but were formed in El Paso by Greg Gonzalez. If you like what you hear, the vinyl or cd can be purchased here.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

I've Been Through It Before

We will keep mining the rich seam of gold that was garage land USA in 1966. This time from Lansing Michigan. The Plagues had been on the scene for a couple of years when they recorded their third and final single , I've Been Through It Before and what a way to bow out, all fuzz guitar, mournful vocals and a great bit of drumming, really what more do you want or need in a two and a half minute garage track.

The Plagues - I've Been Through It Before

Monday 5 December 2016

Your Love's Too Strong

I know virtually nothing about this track apart from it would cost you north of £300 on 7" if you could find a copy. I don't think that if you were ever to track down D Wilkerson and ask if he/she was influenced by the Motown, I don't think that there would be any point in him/her denying it as this has the sound of 2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit all over it, however the record apparently is a Chicago release. it reminds me a lot of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. I love that bit at about 1:30 when the piano stops and just the drums and vocals continue.

Donna Coleman - Your Love's Too Strong