Wednesday 30 August 2017
When I was thirteen/fourteen the older hippy types that I hung about with quite a bit introduced me to a lot of things that I would not have heard anywhere else at that time, Janis Joplin, Hendrix, Love and loads of late 60s stuff on Jac Holzman's Elektra label and the like. Don't get me wrong a lot of it was pure pish but some of it, the wigouts with loads of feedback and noise I especially liked those (I nearly added a "man") in there. All of this subtle brainwashing has left me with a bit of a susceptibility for tunes that go that little bit "further". So when someone a few years ago pointed me in the direction of Richard Norris' The Time and Space Machine project it was a stick-on that I would get into these edits of obscure 60s psychedelic tunes. Of the three volumes released on 5D, I think that volume 2 is the one I return to most and especially this edit of Through With You by The Lemon Pipers.
The Time And Space Machine - Through (Your Mind)
Tuesday 29 August 2017
No this isn't that total fud David Davis' theme tune although if it weren't for the fact that it would ruin the song for me it would be quite apt for him to adopt it. Maybe someone else could write one entitled "We're Getting Fuck All But At Least We've Taken Back Control, perhaps Morrissey. But I digress.
I Ain't No No Miracle Worker was the second single by The Brogues and was supposed to cash in on the local success of the band from Merced, California's first single Someday. It was co-written by Anette Tucker (responsible for writing I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night) and Nancie Nantz. The single was recorded at Sunset Recorders in LA and released on the local Challenge Records label in November 1965 and like so many local garage and soul records before and after them failed to do the business nationally and was the final release by the band, as similarly to other Garage bands the group disbanded when two of their members were conscripted to the military and were sent to Vietnam. This is one of my absolute favourite releases in the genre. I love the fuzzed up lead guitar and the strong soulful vocal performance from Gary Cole. The song was also recorded by The Great Scots shortly afterwards and then a few years later by The Chocolate Watch Band but this is the definitive version.
The Brogues - I Ain't No Miracle Worker
Monday 28 August 2017
I'm really surprised that I have never posted this rather passionate break up song from Eddie Parker. I'm Gone was released on the Awake label in 1966 and was co-written by Jack Ashford ex funk brother and co-produced by Lorraine Chandler. As is common in soul circles the single was a flop! Why? You're guess is as good as mine and Parker did very little for the next two years until Ashford and Chandler set up their own label "Ashford and released the excellent follow up to I'm Gone, Love You Baby another flop, and subsequently went bankrupt. However the taste-makers in the north of England found these treasures a few years later and the rest is as they say history, with a significant price tag for those wishing to own the originals.
Eddie Parker - I'm Gone
Friday 25 August 2017
In the week that has seen the return of the KLF after their twenty three year self imposed hiatus I thought that we should re-visit what it was that got us all on board Drummond and Cauty's Ice Cream Van to begin with. Yes, they will be remembered and rightly hailed as geniuses for the performance at the Brit Awards and the dumping of the sheep at an after show party, be castigated for the burning of one million quid in notes on Jura and the many other memorable events that they staged. But you can't get away from the fact that not only did the invent two genres of dance music, Ambient and Stadium House they also released some of the best pop records of the 1990s and Doctorin' The Tardis, which for me is right up there with Pump Up The Jam in the pish record stakes.
I have opted for the first of the "pure trance" records What Time Is Love?, which in a later incarnation, albeit in a much more radio friendly form would get to number 5 in the charts. In 1988 there weren't very many records that sounded like What Time Is Love or sounded so powerful when dropped at just the right time in a club or the middle of a field.
We are on week 4 of the Scottish League Division 1 season and Airdrie are doing a lot better than I feared we would be during the pre-season League Cup games. They have won one , drawn one and lost another. The Diamonds are in a precarious financial position after the Chairmen, one year into his three year plan decided he didn't really fancy pouring his money into a football club and withdrew funding. Our Manager who to be honest with you wasn't that great anyway and no great loss decided to bail too and then the volunteer coach who replaced him followed suit. So at the moment we are coach less with a much reduced squad, most of whom and I'm not exaggerating here will be twenty one day. The club have also had to sell their best player, Andy Ryan the other week, much to Leo's dismay but let's hope getting in enough money that those of us who bought a season ticket didn't do so in vain.
Anyway, onwards and upwards as they say. This Saturday we host Alloa Athletic who are also sitting on four points at present. As long as we win more than we lose this season and stay afloat I think most of us will be happy. If any of you dear readers feel like lighting a candle to Saint Jude for Airdrionians please feel free, it can't hurt. At the end of next month we have to take on JCs beloved Raith Rovers for the first time in this campaign and I am not looking forward to thhat one.
Have a good weekend people.
KLF - What Time Is Love?
Thursday 24 August 2017
There are some albums that you know from the moment that the needle picks up the first bar or two of music are going to require your full attention for the duration. Return From Sea, the debut album from Sister John is one such album. As soon as I heard the first notes of Thinner Air I I knew that I was going to have to park myself on the listening chair and focus. What followed was forty three minutes of lush, warm, beautifully crafted songs that I think will be just perfect for the darkening evenings that are beginning to creep up on us. Although quite minimal in parts for example See You Again, the sound is never cold, always quite comforting which is all the more surprising when you discover that the record was recorded in a tiny room off the kitchen where two of the band members reside, although this may account for the overall intimate feel of the album. I hate to put tags on music or say if you like such and such then you will like this but I think that anybody who is fond of well crafted music that you can immerse yourself in will love this album. At the moment my favourites are Sweetest Moment and Sister John's Dream but that will probably change tomorrow. Seriously this is one of my favourite releases of the year and there have been quite a few albums that I have loved so far.
The band are a four piece and consist of Amanda McKeown (Vocals/Guitar and songwriting), Jonathan Lilley (Guitar/Bass/Keyboards/Vocals). Heather Philips (Violin/Vocals) and Sophie Pragnell (Drums?Viola/Vocals) who met through the Parsonage Choir and kind of fell together as a band after being asked to perform at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow.
The album will be released on the Last Night From Glasgow label on the 15th September, a label that is consistent in releasing great music which is also beautifully packaged as only someone who loves the physical formats of music could design and produce, making each release that little bit more special. I'm not sure how many copies of the limited edition 180g vinyl edition are left but if you are quick you can order it here. There is also a two night launch party at the Hug and Pint on 14th/15th September which unfortunately are both sold out.
Sister John - Sweetest Moment
Wednesday 23 August 2017
Before Max was born I had a worrying couple of months. What was troubling me was gender and names. I was dreading the prospect of having a daughter, not for some male, first born having to be a boy kind of shit. A little bit of my worry was that I would be a crap dad to a daughter, ie she wouldn't be allowed out until she was thirty and even then it would be with a chaperone, I know terrible but I believe that that is only a slight exaggeration of how I would be. But what vexed me even more than my potential crap parenting was the choice of name for the apple of my eye, L had her mind set on Stella and I was none to keen on calling my first born after a premium strength Continental lager, as that's what people in these parts would have believed. We already knew of someone who had named her daughter after the spiced rum she had been drinking the night said daughter was conceived. Anyway on 31st October 2003 my fears came to naught when Max made has emergency entrance to this world.
A few years later I was to thank my lucky stars again that Max had been indeed a boy when a rather splendid song by a Norwegian nutter based in Stockholm came out entitled Stella, telling the story of a "forty three year old hooker from downtown" who God was offering the world to if she spent the night with him.
A close call, I'm sure you will agree.
Ida Maria - Stella
Tuesday 22 August 2017
What do you get when you cross Rockabilly and Garage Rock? You get Round Robin. A record that must have been in Lux and Ivy's collection, it just ticks all of their boxes. I'm The Wolfman was written by James Baker Knight best known for writing thing like The Wonder of You and Lonesome Town and for artists like Dean Martin, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra, so god knows what someone had slipped into his scotch and soda when we sat down and penned this piece of trash rock. Whatever it was maybe he should have kept with it but then it probably was n't as profitable for him. The record was released on the Domain Records label in 1965.
Round Robin - I'm The Wolfman
Monday 21 August 2017
I dug out this single and played it for the first time in ages on Saturday night but I had the same reaction to it that I always have, goose pimples and shivers. It really is an amazing record, Bessie Banks finest vocal and a thousand times better than the rather wet cover by the Moody Blues that came out in the same year, 1964. One of my top 21 records.
Bessie Banks - Go Now
Friday 18 August 2017
Today's dance track has a tenuous link to Wednesday's post in so much as I have seen it stated in more than one place that the track is a cover of a classic Jerry Butler soul song which Elvis covered on the From Elvis in Memphis album. I remain skeptical as the one resemblance I can find between the two tracks is the title, Only The Strong Survive, nothing else sounds even remotely similar. This does not mean that the Frankie Knuckles piano house tune from 1987 is any less of a track, how could it be it's Frankie Knuckles, it's just a different beast entirely, a laid back, soulful deep house groove that sounded great thirty years ago and although can't be considered as sounding fresh, I think it stands the test of time.
As part of L's significant birthday celebrations, she is away for the weekend at a heuchter-teuchter music festival in Campbelltown with a few of the "girls". Each to their own I suppose. So while she is listening to bollocks about heather and how we were constantly under the yolk of the colonisers from the south I will be listening to the proclamations of Mark Edward Smith and whoever else I please at volume without any fear of grumbling or being told to "turn that bloody racket down" while the boys run feral.
Have a good weekend people.
Frankie Knuckles - Only The Strong Survive
Thursday 17 August 2017
The third album, Who Sold The World by Night Beats totally passed me by when it was released. I remember reading a review of it and thinking that it sounded like the kind of thing that would appeal to me, being described as a 21st Century update on the Texan garage/psych sound of the mid 60s, in the vein of 13th Floor Elevators. But then I forgot all about them until Dr John Cooper Clarke dropped a track from the album when he was sitting in for Jarvis on 6Music. The album was duly bought and has been played often ever since. You can sort of spot the influences but this is no mere nostalgic trip back to the mid 60s. The music feels both ancient and very now.
One of the highlights of the album Sunday Mourning, think Stoned and Dethroned era Mary Chain with added LSD laced Kool Aid and you are on the right track, was handed over to Jono Ma, one third of Aussie psych dance mob Jagwar Ma. The consequences although quite predicable, a strung out druggy laid back dance groove is no less brilliant, although a tad short another 5 minutes or so wouldn't have done it any harm.
Talking of Jagwa Ma, there is a remix ep out at the moment which is absolutely brilliant and include a remix by all of our favourite remixer, Andrew Weatherall. However for the third time recently his remic is not my favourite on a release, don't get me wrong it is no less than excellent but the Michael Mayer one just edges it for me as did the XAM remix of Fluxus by Early Years and the WAVNE remix of Sometimes by Sexual Objects. Could this be the law of diminishing returns in operation?
Night Beats - Sunday Mourning (Jono Ma rexix)
Wednesday 16 August 2017
I am going to repeat myself below, so feel free to just skip to the 4th or 5th paragraph. That's if you actually read any of this in the first place.
It was forty years ago today that the man who is still referred to as "The King" died. I know exactly where I was when I heard the news, I was in my grandfather's house at 100 Douglas Street, Airdrie. My memory of this event has nothing to do with an early love of the vocal talents of Elvis Aaron Presley but more to do with the strange reaction of some of the people round about me when they heard the news. Staying with my grandpa at the time were my dad's American cousin and his girlfriend, who were from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, over on an excursion to see the old country and who the previous day had presented me with the funniest rugby ball I had ever seen, apparently it was made of pigskin and also the sweetest, sickliest sweets (candy) I had ever tasted. Anyway, you would have thought that one of their closest relatives had died the way they were going on and Jimmy's girlfriend, whose name I cannot recall but whose dazzling, shiny white teeth I can see to this day was inconsolable, I may be wrong but I think that she spent the rest of her stay grief stricken.
At the time I was ambivalent to the work of the boy from Tupelo and it took me another ten years to start to appreciate him but at this time he meant crappy films on Boxing Day/Ne'erday or Bank Holidays except for the black and white one with the song Trouble and the one about the fish, I liked that and those songs. A few years later I positively loathed the man due to my brother's obsession with GI Blues, my mother encouraging him by buying the bloody soundtrack album and for a good couple of years before he found Chris De fucking Burg, it felt like Wooden Heart was being played on a loop in our house.So when I heard that punks especially the Clash and the like had no time for Elvis I naturally got on board and happily followed suit and up until I was about 19 refused to entertain anything to do with Elvis.
One Sunday afternoon in 1988 in the pub when talking about music, one of the crowd starting waxing lyrical about Elvis, it was easy for all to see that Gilkes was serious and he wasn't a crazy rhinestone encrusted, huge belt buckle wearing guy with even huger sideboards but rather someone, who apart from his liking of the Eagles had quite good taste. I asked him to suggest where I start, so he lent me his copy of the Sun Collection, early sessions album which absolutely blew me away and then it was From Elvis in Memphis which I think is a nearly perfect album, I love the way that Elvis' voice got deeper and more soulful as he got older.
To be honest with you after those two albums, King Creole, the 68 Comeback Special, Elvis Presley and about a dozen singles I haven't delved too deeply into the back catalogue but every now and again I hear a previously a song that i have never heard before and most of the time they are brilliant. I bet that there are quite a few gems tucked in some of those crappy soundtrack albums from those terrible films that he made after coming out of the army and up until the Vegas years. I do fancy getting either a copy of the Hawaii concert or a recording of one of the Vegas performances as on some of the clips I have seen of these the orchestration is great and also if you don't look and focus on the voice, the King still had it at that time.
Anyway, the track I am going to feature to commemorate the passing of Elvis Presley is in my opinion a gem, hidden amongst the shit on one of those soundtracks. It was also released as the flip of Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby released in 1968 to promote the film Speedway which also featured Nancy Sinatra which to my knowledge I have never seen but can imagine, Elvis wins girl while driving, fucks up, girl bolts, Elvis wins impossible race and in doing so wins girl back and sings big song, the end.
At the time of Elvis's death That's Alright Mama had been around for less years than Fool's Gold has been today and so the next time you wax lyrical about the great tunes of the late 8os/early 90s to some kid with a bored expression think on, about how we felt when old timers were banging on about the King. and we were thinking "aye was he". Although it would appear that Elvis' repertoire has stood the test of time. We will need to see if some of our "classics" fare as well.
Elvis Presley - Let Yourself Go
Tuesday 15 August 2017
Danny Burk and his Invaders may not win any fans in the teaching fraternity for their use of grammar but other bands in the Memphis TN area could have learned a thing or two on how to put together a scorching garage tune which may or may not be recognised as a classic in it's day but will be admired and sought after in decades to come. This is another of those releases from that golden year for Garage Rock 1966. I think that it would be hard to pick a top 50 "Garage Greats" from that year.
Danny Burk & The Invaders - A'int Going Nowhere.
Monday 14 August 2017
Back to work for me today after a better week in Machrihanish than was expected. We had sunshine on four out of the seven days away, the boys got to body board in some excellent waves off of Westport beach and I got to get my kite up which was great although my arms were aching afterwards.
Linda Jones has featured on the blog before with her very distinctive gospel influenced voice. Today's track was originally from 1967 and was only ever released in France on the Warner Brothers label for some unfathomable reason. It is an uptempo screamer of a track wich Jones giving a very powerful almost belligerent vocal full of disdain for a previous lover. Great stuff. It was re-released on 7" vinyl last year on the Austrian Record Shack label.
Linda Jones - You Can't Take It
Friday 11 August 2017
I know nothing about the band Fovea Hex or the remixer Abul Mogard but when Mary Anne Hobbs recommends something it is always wise to give it a listen. This is absolutely stunning and will be a great soundtrack to watching the Perseid Meteor Shower this weekend.
Saturday 5 August 2017
A few weeks ago on the swansong post to CC's feature of Springsteen Vs The Rest he featured Springsteen with the Rigger boot firmly on the other foot with his cover of the sublime Tom Waits song Jersey Girl which took me back to early October last year when I found out in a tweet from Simon, who used to hang about this little corner of the internet, of the untimely death of Billy Franks an underrated and very under appreciated singer songwriter. The first song to come into my head obviously was Easter Parade but the next was a Youtube clip that I had stumbled upon a couple of years ago of Billy testing out a sound desk and the song he was singing was Jersey Girl which from the clip below you can see he really got into.
I really wish that I had had the pleasure of seeing Billy Franks perform live as by all accounts it was a near spiritual occasion which Davy H so eloquently described in a post on The Ghost Of Electricity here nearly nine years ago now.
Friday 4 August 2017
In Glasgow in the early to mid nineties Slam and Soma weren't the only game in town. Down the road across the M8 and in Bath Street in the city centre a record shop called 23rd Precinct was getting in on the act with it's roster of labels and local talent. I have posted before about the absolute Although not quite as cutting edge as the Soma, for me anyway they did release some excellent progressive house and early Trance singles. The other night I revisited some of the early highlights when I dug out my copy of House of Limbo Vol 1. Although much of it is of it's time that doesn't mean that it isn't worth listening to although I must admit the my mood was a bit nostalgic remembering the first time that I heard classics Schtoom and I Trance You.
One of the tracks that has stood the test of time is the first release by Glasgow Subby legend Harri, Skelph, a storming piece of Progressive House from 1992 and the ninth release on the Limbo label.
We are off for a week of fun and torrential rain in Machrihanish, so probably nothing to see here for a week or so.
Have a good weekend people
Harri - Skelph
Thursday 3 August 2017
I have listened to this lovely piece of music at least twice a day since I was first put on to it when it was the headphones moment on Lauren Laverne's show on 6Music a few weeks ago. A few days ago I found out that it is being released on vinyl through Young Turks at the end of September and without hesitation went to the Piccadilly Records website and duly ordered it. So make a cup of coffee or a pot of tea and sit down and take 14 minutes out, I guarantee you will not regret it.
Wednesday 2 August 2017
A few weeks ago I had a mini rant about advertisers appropriating northern soul tunes to sell all sorts of shit from grease filled protein to easy credit, And it's not just consigned to soul. I thought we had reached the low point when London Calling was used to sell air travel , although the use of that song had always only been a matter of time but no the vampires have now surpassed themselves using Loaded to sell fucking
Thanks a fucking lot you scumbags! All the memories I have wrapped up in the tune, like when I just got it and took it round to Stiff saying "you've got to listen to this it's amazing" and he looked at it and replied "fuck off, it's Primal Scream" and when finally persuaded to put it on the turntable he was blown away by the tune and it didn't leave the stereo in Hazel's mother's house for a week. Now when I play this I am going to have to try to block out the vision of an actress sitting in a car talking about "progress" when I should be remembering being wasted at five o'clock in the morning singing ba ba ba ba ba da while a bemused dog looks at me strangely.
Anyway, the story of Loaded is well documented and both the Weatherall and Farley mixes have been featured here so I thought that I would post the three tunes that Weatherall sampled in his reconstruction of I'm Losing More Than I Ever Head, along with the vocal sample of Peter Fonda.
Firstly we have the drum sample which was lifted from an Italian bootleg of What I Am by Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians.
Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians - What I Am (bootleg).
Then we have the vocal sample "I don't Want To Lose Your Love"
The Emotions - I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love
and finally the horn sample which I was belting out to Barney all those years ago.
Not sure who I detest more, The Tory Party, the bankers or advertisers. It's a close call.
Tuesday 1 August 2017
We aren't getting much help weather wise getting a summery vibe on up here in the rainy north. I think the couple of weekends we had in May and June are going to be looked back as our summer.
So if the weather isn't going to play the game maybe we can get in the mood with some class reggae from Lee Perry's stable. Long Enough, for some inextricable reason was never released back in 1977 and was to be one of the tracks on Candy McKenzie's album for Island that was shelved but then finally released on Trojan in 2011. I have never bought the album as I read some reviews at the time that said that the production was awful and a lot of vocals not very good. Something that can't be said about this track which I first heard when I purchased The Return of Sound System Scratch, a collection of unreleased tracks, dubs and instrumentals all sprinkled with the Upsetter's magic dust and well worth seeking out.
In my head the sun is shining and it's 32 degrees.
Candy McKenzie - Long Enough