Sunday 31 December 2017

Out With The Old . . .

. . . and in with the new, as they say.

Good riddance to 2017, the year that started off badly got better and then from October took a turn for the worse once more.  A time that got me questioning the people and things that should matter in my life and also made me come to terms with an uncomfortable fact about something that I thought was a given. In time I may rant on about it at some length but for now the sore has yet to scab over.

There were some highlights of course. The Jesus and Mary Chain restoring my faith and convincing me that middle aged "rock stars" could still be relevant. There was also tons of good music including the unbridled triumph of the return of Mick Head. It would also be remiss of me not to mention the highlight of the year when a load guys with the optimism of youth rapidly receding in the rear view mirror met, many for the first time in Glasgow in May for the weekend,  got drunk together talked shit without a serious cross word being uttered and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The less said about the Prof's beetroot falafel the better. I know that everybody is heartily sick of hearing about it but it was rather special.

I have never been a big fan of New Year being quite a misanthropic person, which is particularly difficult in Scotland where there is absolutely no getting away from these  three days of getting totally full of it, dewey eyed with nostalgia and unrealistically hopeful for the year ahead. So much so that for a few years during my early 20s I refused to acknowledge it at all. After getting in tow with L this became impossible as she loves any excuse to party and I was dragged from one gathering to the next until the dying embers of the 2nd of January after which life could go back to normal and I no longer had to feign interest in what others were up to.

I am however quite looking forward to tonight as I don't have to leave the house and the guest list only includes our close friends and their offspring.

I would like to thank everybody who has looked in here over the last year and especially to thoise who have left comments, all of which are appreciated especially the negative ones, I have especially loved the few from Maria baiting me regarding Trump and Brexit.

Health and happiness to you all for the coming year and beyond.

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

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Let It Go

Scunnered with rich food, bevy and relations yet? Here's the perfect antidote,  a bit of retro psychedelia with west coast harmonies and a bit of jingly jangly guitar.

Monday 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas One And All

Thank fuck that elf on the shelf pish is over with.

I hope you all get from Santa what you deserve, me I'm still hoping for that Bobby Kline 7", one of these years, maybe.

btw E-I-O E-I-O Airdrie, Airdrie.  We showed Ayr Utd how it's done.

The Housemartins - Caravan Of Love 

Friday 22 December 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Blue fucking passports eh, let's fucking rejoice.

The kind of fuckwits that are having orgasms over this are probably the same people that make the Friday before Christmas the worst night in the year to work in a bar, well if you don't live in Lanark because that honour is given to Lanimer day but let's not get into that at the moment. My thoughts are with all the folk up and down the land who have to pour alcohol to amateur drinkers tonight and also the hardened drinkers who will be unable to get inebriated in their local quietly this evening. If you had Rez on on a loop inside your head tonight would probably be more bearable.

Airdrie are at home tomorrow to Ayr United, the league leaders and managing a draw would be a huge achievement.

Have a good weekend people and if you are heading out tonight I will quote Sergeant Phil Esterhaus "Hey let's be careful out there"

Underworld - Rez

Thursday 21 December 2017

Not Long Now

Many have disagreed with me about this but they have all been wrong.  Kirsty and Pogues, Fairytale Of New York is a great record,  Merry Christmas (War Is Over) is very good and I won't have a word said against The Raveonettes Christmas song but this is the original and best, no contest.

Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Wednesday 20 December 2017

If Carlsberg Did Weekends

This song, for me will always be synonymous with Nice and Sleazy's on the first Saturday night in May of this year in the company of the reprobates pictured above and Aldo. Right about the time that this came on I was peaking again after maybe ten minutes of quiet contemplation. If this was not the best weekend of the year, then it was right up there, nah it was the best which I suppose to some may sound pretty sad but what could be better than spending a weekend talking shit about lots of things but mostly music, taking in some third tier Scottish football and trekking round a load of pubs with a genuine bunch of international chancers ?  I really can't think of much apart from Airdrie winning the play-offs and promotion to the Championship.

The young DJ in Sleazy's that Saturday night played some top tunes and another one in particular that was so good I had to ask what it was and then typed the title into my phone or I should say thought that I had typed it into my phone as when I checked it the next day there was just a note with a random load of letters like what you would find on the Countdown thingy but I'm fucked if I could make out what the title or artist, or it could have been an attempt at both, was/were.

Atlas Sound - Quick Canal

btw - this post was scheduled before JC's better piece on The Sound Of Being Ok and I couldn't be arsed changing it.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Space Is Deep

My mind was well and truly blown last week when I read the article about Oumuamua, the first observed object known to be from beyond our solar system that came, saw and then buggered off at 98.000 miles an hour, fuck sake! The rock is estimated to be up to quarter of a mile long and 130 feet wide and kind of cigar shaped. But not up here no, in Scotland it has been called the intergalactic jobby! We really can't help ourselves, first we had Hurricane Bawbag and now this.

Image result for rock from outside the solar system

Pondering the stars inevitably got me thinking of some Space Rock and this tune got lodged in my brain. It was originally on Hawkwind's third album Doremi  Fasol Latido from 1972 but this version is taken from the following year's live masterpiece Space Ritual. I am by no means an expert on this bunch of madmen and eccentrics but I had a few bits and pieces and a couple of years back an 11 disc box set of their albums and singles from 1970 - 74, This Is Your Captain Speaking . . . Your Captain Is Dead was released and was at that point pretty cheap, so I took a punt and from then on every now and again I get lost in some mad, mental prog rock which I have to say I thoroughly enjoy.

Hawkwind - Space Is Deep

Monday 18 December 2017

Christmas In Vietnam

I think of the lousy Christmases I've had in the past, put them all together and they would still pale into insignificance next to being thousands of mile from home spending it fighting a war.

I really don't think that John Wilson and John Wessler were exploiting the fact that there countrymen were spending the festivities in the jungle or on a muddy base camp. The vocals on this the only record they released are far too heartfelt and emotional for that. I think that it was a plea for the people back home in 1966 to spare a thought for those not so comfortable in South East Asia.

Johnny and Jon - Christmas In Vietnam

Friday 15 December 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

In response to SA's week of German themed posting this week, here is a bit of early Teutonic Trance from 1992, I say trance I would place it more in the progressive house camp. I love this track from the icy spoken word vocals, the throbbing beat and the swirling analogue keyboards. Don't know anything about the three producers of this track apart from that they are German and that this was released on the German off shoot of Rough Trade Records, Rough mix. I'm not sure that I really need to know anything else really.

Cruelly robbed of a deserved, memorable win over Raith Rovers by a stoppage time equaliser, Airdrie are away at the national stadium tomorrow for a tough game against bottom side Queen's Park who are in desperate need of some points. Let's hope that the Airdrie Young Team play like they did last Sunday but without conceding late on but with this league you never know which makes it so interesting if somewhat frustrating.

Have a good weekend people.

Fruits Of The Paradise - A Man Like You 

Thursday 14 December 2017

The Tracks of My Year

Yip it's back, the most self-indulgent post of the year, the new tracks by which I mean the ones released over the past 12 months that I have been playing the most and are therefore my favourites of the year. This list does not include any of the garage/psych which I really got back into this year and if the truth be told became slightly obsessed with. It is about time that somebody wrote a trainspotter type book regarding this music but I digress.

Back to 2017 then, in the previous eight years that I have compiled this list only one person has featured on every one and it would be incredibly stupid of me if I missed him out this year.  In fact he has been so prolific that he could have filled half of this table easily but I limited Mr Weatherall's contributions to five, one original and four remixes which proved to be an extremely difficult task. Jamie xx/The xx only missed the first year and that was due to my late bandwagon jumping with them that didn't happen until early 2010 but a remix by Jamie xx of his band ensures their entry this year. As for the top spot, I honestly cannot decide between either of these instrumental Wedding Present tracks, one day Northern Ireland is the one, with its frantic tempo that eventually slows and then those wonderful horns, just about perfect and the next it's the almost mournful beginning of Scotland that grabs me and keeps me enthralled til the end and sends me home with that familiar feeling of almost glorious defeat that anybody that follows the national team can identify with, wonderful stuff. Even the Mick Head album hasn't spent as long on the turntable as this 12" single but that is due to the Home International ep coming out in April whereas Adios Senor Pussycat was the middle of October.

I would like to make special mention to Elizabeth Morris' new project Elva. Tailwind has such a beautiful laid back vibe but why is Morris not the lead voca

1.  The Wedding Present -  - Northern Ireland/Scotland
3.  Kamasi Washington - Truth
4.  Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band - What's The Difference (it could be any or all the tracks)
5.  The Jesus and Mary Chain - Always Sad
6.  Elva - Tail Wind
7.  The Regrettes - Seashore
8.  Phil Kieran Find Love (Weatherall mix)
9.  K.H. - ?
10. Mogwai - Crossing The Road Material
11. Hannah Peel - The Planet of Passed Souls
12. Mark Lanegan - Beehive (Andrew Weatherall mix)
13. Meursault - I Will Kill Again
14. Sister John - The Sweetest Moment
15. Go Home Productions - Girl Wants (To Say Goodbye To) Rock n Roll
16, Afghan Whigs - Arabian Heights
17. Nick & Brit - I Try
18, Siobhan Wilson - Whatever Helps
19. Bicep - Glue
20. Four Tet - SW9 9SL
21. Andrew Weatherall - Between Stations
22. The Charlatans - Different Days (Chris & Cosey mix)
23. The xx - On Hold (Jamie xx remix)
24. Luxembourg Signal - Laura Palmer
25. D_troit - Soul Sound System
26. Brian Jonestown Massacre - Groove Is In The Heart
27. Early Years - Fluxus (Xam remix)
28. Armando - 100% Dissin' You (Chabia + Jeff Solo edit)
29. Nomad - Devotion (Pangaea edit)
30. Jagwar Ma - Give Me A Reason (Michael Mayer Does The Amoeba mix)
31. The Just Joans - No Longer Young Enough
32. Best Picture - Isabelle
33. Night Beats - - Sunday Mourning (Jono Ma remix)
34. Goldie - Inner City Life (2017 rebuild)
35. Roger Waters - Deja Vu
36. Confidence Man - Bubblegum (Andrew Weatherall mix)
37. Burial - Pre Dawn
38. Warpaint - White Out
39. Curtis Harding On And On
40. The Sexual Objects - Sometimes


Tuesday 12 December 2017

'Cos The Wine On Our Breath Puts The Love On Our Tongues

I dug out all of the Christmas records on Saturday and had a rare afternoon with the Phil Spector and Charlie Brown  Christmas albums amongst other assorted traditional fare. This is the first thing that I put on the turntable and it never fails to get the Christmas spirit bubbling.

Frightened Rabbit - It's Christmas So We'll Stop (Choir version)

oh, it's Christmas so here you go

Frightened Rabbit - It's Christmas So We'll Stop

Brains In My Feet

Time for some deep trippy psych today. Purple Canteen hailed from Jonesboro, Arkansas and recorded this absolute belter of a fuzzed up psych classic in a session in 1969 and that's about all I know about the band. There is a bit about the recording technique on Discogs but to be honest I couldn't be arsed copying it.

This one really should be played at extreme volume.

Purple Canteen - Brains In My Feet

Monday 11 December 2017

We've Got Albums To Remember You By

Fifty years ago yesterday the world was robbed of possibly the finest most emotive male voice in soul music when the plane in which Otis Redding and the Bar-Keys were passengers in crashed on it's approach to Truax Field, Madison, Wisconsin. The only survivor from the crash was Ben Cauley the band's trumpet player, in total including the pilot and the band's valet 7 men perished.

During his short recording career Otis recorded 6 albums all of which are well worth purchasing. His best known song "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" was laid down three days prior to the singer's death and was released in January the year after his death and was Redding's only number one, although most people at Stax disliked the track and did not consider it R&B. Whether this track would have heralded a permanent change in direction for the singer nobody will ever know. However he also left another three albums worth of material that were released on ATCO from 1968 to 1970 and most of the material on these sound like SOUL to me. I've Got Dreams To Remember was included on the first of these "The Immortal Otis Redding" and was also released as a single in 1968.

Otis Redding - I've Got Dreams To Remember

Friday 8 December 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Warning - this post contains Trance

I know, I know, I have been rather disparaging about trance in the past,  however, a few decent, in my opinion, tracks did appear out of this genre and one or two I actually purchased.

Jam & Spoon  are probably best known for Stella and their remix of Age Of Love. Subsequent to this they teamed up with Plavka and released some really rather iffy commercial dance tunes,  the a-side to the track posted, Find Me (Odyssey to Anyoona) falls into this catageroy. The extended instrumental on the other side is a different beast completely, an intro that seems to build forever but when the enevitable breakdown does come in it turns the track into a rather mellow blissed out affair perfect for the sort of weather we are having at the moment.

The not so might Diamonds were victorious against Forfar last week in in what was not the most entertaining game of football but a win is a win. This week I suspect it might be different when we take on Raith Rovers (JC) on Sunday, as we are the featured game on BBC Alba, not quite sure how that happened but still. For the second week in a row I may bump into an away supporter that I know as strangely last week I met a guy who used to lodge with us years ago, whose "wee team" is Forfar, he really supports the ugly sister who resides in the East End of Glasgow.

Have a good weekend people.

Jam & Spoon - Odyssey to Anyoona 

Thursday 7 December 2017

Albums of The Year

It has been a very good year for albums, so much so that I still have quite a few that I haven't got round to buying yet.It felt like every week there was at least another two to add to the list. So my top ten here are from the ones that I actually purchased and I realise that there will be ones that I will get round to listening to next year that will have been smaefully over looked here. Of those that didn't make the ten, notable  mentions have to be made for  The Black Angels - Death Song,  The Brian Jonestown Masssacre- Don't Get Lost, Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle and Eat Lights Become Lights - Nature Reserve and I suspect that You Might Be Smiling Now by The Just Joans may have made the list had it been released before last week.

The biggest disappointment of the year by far was New Facts Emerge by The (once mighty) Fall which I keep going back to hoping that it's just me and it will eventually just click and I will get it but I'm afraid that for me it is a very poor album. Take care MES and make a speedy recovery so you can getr into the studio and produce another album that will blow us away.

10. Meursault - I Will Kill Again.

One of the highlights of 2017 was the return of Meursault and the forth album from Neil Pennycook and friends did not disappoint. It may not be the most uplifting of albums but it contains a dark beauty and the use of bit samples from Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here" is rather lovely.

9. Curtis Harding - Face Your Fear

Harding's second album continues on from his debut Soul Power. His sound has been described as "retro-soul" and of course it does hark back to the late 60s/early 70s and the sounds of Curtis Mayfield and tinges of psychedelic soul. For a excellent review from a blogger who describes the album far better than me go here and get the full sp from Craig.

8. The Afghan Whigs - In Spades

More songs of sleaze and debauchery from the dark recesses of the mind of Greg Dulli. One of the very few rock bands who you know have genuinely got soul. As ever Dulli's vocal delivery is always on the verge of losing it but he always seems to pull it back from the brink just in time.

7. The Regrettes - Feel Your Feelings Fool

I never thought that my find of the year would be a bunch of teenagers from LA making an album full of Riot Girl sentiments to a hybrid sound of DooWop, Punk and Surf Rock. But it is a breath of fresh air, full of attitude and very good songs. I'm still not sure that a middle aged man is the demographic that the band are aiming at tho'. They are also responsible for the most sing along chorus of the decade in Seashore  that you really can't sing out loud.

6. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy

This album was in and out of my Piccadilly Records basket on more than one occasion. One minute I was thinking "it's not going to be a patch on anything that they've done before" and the next "it's a Mary Chain album, you need to buy it" But up until seeing them at the Barrowlands in March I wasn't expecting much from this, so to say that it exceeded my expectations doesn't mean much but it turned out to be 100 times better than I expected even if nearly half of the tracks had been aired before in one form or another Live they were absolutely brilliant both times I saw them this year.

5. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun

It's what you expect from Mogwai but never formulaic or boring, quite a feat for a band who have been together for over twenty years. It also contains Party In The Dark which if we lived in a sane world would have been a huge hit single.

4. Andrew Weatherall Qualia

It has been a very busy year for the Chairman and when I come to produce The Tracks of My Year in the next week or so I suspect that he may feature a few times in one form or another.  Qualia is an album to be listened to in it's entirety, sure you can listen to the tracks on their own and they are all excellent pieces of abstract techno but you only get the full force of the when listened in one sitting either at home or on a long drive.

3. Hannah Peel - Mary Casio - Journey To Cassiopeia

Another album that needs to be played in a single sitting and I guarantee that you will play it more than once. Hannah Peel's concept album about an elderly lady from Barnsley who dreams of travelling in space to the constellation of Cassiopeia where Peel marries the sounds of a traditional colliery brass band and analogue synths may have you arching an eyebrow or going "aye right Drew" but have a listen you won't regret it, it is an incredible piece of music. Oh, and the cover is absolutely beautiful.

2. Sister John - Returned From The Sea

This album is just so intimate and lush when I first heard it it took me back to the feeling that I had the first time I heard the Trinity Sessions by Cowboy Junkies it has the same sort of atmosphere but whereas at times there is a coldness to that album, there is a warmth about Returned From The Sea. One for putting on when a gale is blowing and the rain is lashing down outside and you will soon reap the benefits of this lovely album.

1, Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band - Adios Senor Pussycat

It's Mick Head, what else do you need to know.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Back On The Shelf

I'm still on a girl group and all things early to mid 60s at the moment. I have put Fuel Injected Dreams back on the book shelf half way up the stairs for another year or so but the sounds are still ringing in my head. Ever since I first heard Amy Winehouse's cover of Phil Spector's first hit has always been the song to accompany the last page of the book for me. There have been other covers of this 1958 classic, notably the version by Dee Dee Sharp and rather incongruous live version by Roger Waters and David Gilmour, seriously!  But this world weary version recorded for The Dermot O'Leary Show on Radio 2 is my absolute favourite and possibly even superior to the original.

Amy Winehouse - To Know Him Is To Love Him

Monday 4 December 2017

I Never Dreamed

I Never Dreamed has graced these pages before but that was as an upload from a compilation CD of The Cookies, today's rip is courtesy of a vinyl copy of the 1964 Dimenson Records promo 7". This record has been very high on my wants list every since I first heard it but it has always been well out of my price range, however a copy came up on eBay a few weeks ago and for some reason only garnered the interest of one other bidder who I assume wasn't that serious about the record as I ended up getting it for a very good price, even when taking into account the customs charges, something that we in the UK will know a lot more about from 2019 onwards!.

I consider I Never Dreamed to be right up there with the very best of the Girl Group sounds and would go as far as to say it is in my top 5. The single was written  and produced by Russ Titelman and Gerry Goffin and arranged by Carole King and as I have written on these pages on numerous occasions failed to be a hit which to me is inexplicable as it is absolutely sublime.

The Cookies - I Never Dreamed

Friday 1 December 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Back to the halcyon days of 1992 with a bit of moody breakbeat from the label that was best known for the Prodigy and SL2 at that time,  XL. Liquid had made the big time with their previous single, the Marshall Jefferson sampling Sweet Harmony which rightly made the UK top twenty earlier in the year. The Future Music ep followed a similar sort of blueprint,  some well known samples,  a piano line and a wellchosen breakbeat, it was all about the break. Although the ep didn't have anything quite as immediate as Sweet Harmony it does consist of four very good slices of what for me is early drum and bass. My favourite track is the Todd Terry sampling House Is A Feeling, with it's minimal bassline, moody synths and essential breakbeat.

Unfortunately last week the Diamonds took another mauling away from home at the hands of East fucking Fife, for christ's sake! After scoring in the first minute, it appears that it all went downhill rapidly eventually being scudded 6 (six) one. It would be a lie if I said that either Leo or I are looking forward to tomorrow's home game against Forfar who are one three points and one place below us in the league. We can but hope that some kind of miracle has taken place this week during training, we will see.

Have a good weekend people

Liquid - House Is A Feeling