Saturday 16 June 2018

Adios Companeros

All good things come to an end and so should self indulgent music blogs too for that matter. It has been fun over the past nine and a half years but my enthusiasm has waned recently, not just for the blog if the truth be told but that's another story.  As I said on Monday's post I have had the good fortune to meet some great guys through this and form bonds with others albeit virtual ones so it's not all been bad,  for me anyway.

There may very well be one last posting on the Sunday of the August Bank Holiday, as I have committed to being part of something that looks like it could be very interesting but I'm not sure if it is going ahead or not but you will hear about it in other places if it does come off.

As the first song on the blog came courtesy of the genius that is Michael Head it seems only fitting that the the final one should also be by him. I never ever did get around to the series I was going to do on Mick Head.  So, here for you delectation are three versions of what I consider to be one of the finest pop songs ever,  if I were to ever repeat the discussion that the Ghost of Electricity and I had in the Uxbridge Arms way too long ago I would certainly be lobbying vociferiously for this.

So long and thanks for all the comments.

Shack - Comedy (Radio Edit)

Shack - Comedy (King Tuts 19-05-06)

Michael Head & The Sense Sound - Comedy

Friday 15 June 2018

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

This is where it all started with dance music for me, with the aptly titled "The House Music Anthem". This was the first import 12" single that I ever bought and it cost me a pretty penny in 1987 from Fopp when it was the tiny wee shop on Renfield Street. I had just finished school, was heading to Uni in Aberdeen but working on building sites in Glasgow for the summer earning and spending a fortune. From the first time I heard "Move Your Body" I loved it, the overcrowded, echoey vocals, the synth stabs and the sheer repetitiiveness of it. Once I moved up to Aberdeen it was one track that I requested from the DJ at the RGIT Union every Friday/Saturday and again in the Pelican Club later on. Madonna was right when she said "Only when I'm dancing can I feel this free" As we all used to go mad on the dancefloor to these new, mechanical, repetitive beats and nobody gave a fuck how you danced because nobody had a clue how to dance to it anyway, One of the best things about the early house music was that it seemed to evolve on a weekly basis, nothing ever got a chance to get stale. However, that doesn't mean that the music was throwaway, it could be just nostalgia but listening to all three of the versions of this last night all sounded brilliantr to me.

Sorry for the crackles but this 12" single has seen a lot of play over the intervening 31 years! Christ on a bike!

Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body (Body mix)

Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body (House Music Anthem)

Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body (Move mix)

Thursday 14 June 2018

The Dutch Are Weeping In Four Languages At Least

Since his sad death in January this year there have been loads of excellent posts on blogs all over the place. Just yesterday over at JC's bit Jonder posted an excellent ICA rounding up his best tracks of the gruppe's first decade. I was slightly crestfallen when I saw this until I scanned the track listing and to my relief he hadn't chosen the song that I had earmarked for today's post.

I wouldn't say that Tempo House is my favourite track from Perverted by Language, that is an impossible task, let's just say it one of my favourite eight tracks on the album. PBL was the Fall's sixth album, released in 1983 which was also the last to be released on Rough Trade as Smith was completely pissed off with all the focus and energy the label were putting into the Smiths. It was also the album that introduced Brix to Fall fans, although her input on this album was minimal as most of the tracks were recorded prior to her joining. Tempo House is the only track on the album not recorded in the studio, the recording comes from a live performance at the Hacienda as the band were not happy with the studio recording, especially the sound of the bass. I have often wondered what a Peel session of this track would have sounded like as at this time every session they did for the DJ was absolutely brilliant, we can but speculate but one thing for sure it would have been something to have heard this live if the album version and one from the Live in Reykjavik cd also posted are anything to go by.

No. I don't have a clue what Smith is going on about in the lyrics.

The Fall - Tempo House (album version)

The Fall - Tempo House (Live in Reykjavik)

Wednesday 13 June 2018

One Chord Is Fine, Two Chords Are Pushing It. Three Chords And You're Into Jazz

For anybody coming of age from the 1990s onwards it will be difficult to understand that even if you were aware of a band it was still not that easy to get to hear them. You really only had fabulous  Radio 1 to listen to and then only in the evenings or on a Saturday if you wanted to hear anything that wasn't chart fodder or big hits from yesteryear. So when I saw the Velvet Underground being name checked in all the music papers in relation to the Jesus and Mary Chain it was very frustrating that I couldn't actually get to bloody hear what they sounded like. I knew of Lou Reed  due to the Bowie link and of course had heard Perfect Day and Walk On The Wild Side but I hadn't knowingly heard any Velvet Underground records and none of the albums were to be found in our local Menzies or Woolies, all were out of print in 1985 anyway. So it was back to the tried and tested method of asking friends with older brothers if they had any and two came up trumps, big Mil and the elder brother of the best friend of the girl I was kicking about with back in 1985,  who would later play with the BMX Bandits. Both these guys were devotees of Edwyn Collins, Postcard and all that scene. Big Mil gave me a tape with the first Velvet Underground album and of course I was hooked immediately. From Willie I got a weird US Garage compilation which is a long time lost but contained the Velvets, Love, Stooges, Kim Fowley amongst many others that over the years I have sought out.

As I have said before I ended up getting the first two Velvets albums from a friend who like me had seen them being mentioned in the music mags and on his next annual trip to Florida bought both but when playing them decided that they were not for him. This was obvious to me as he always came back from these trips with loads of tapes he had recorded over there of the local Orlando FM radio station which were mostly as bland as that sounds although I did first hear REM on one of these tapes. From then on I picked up whatever I could when I could find it and have pretty much everything officially released and quite a lot of unofficial things which range in quality from soundboard to literally being recorded from inside the guitar amp, the quality of which you can probably guess at. Original copies of the 5 Verve/MGM singles have always been way out of my price range but I did manage to get the box set when it was released in 2009 which although not brilliant is well worth having.

If I could only have one Velvets release then it would have to be the Complete Matrix Tapes box that came out in 2015 even though this is not the original line-up, I think that on these four discs you get the Velvets at their very very best.

Posted below are four different versions of my very favourite Velvet Underground song.

The Velvet Underground - Lisa Says (VU version)

The Velvet Underground - Lisa Says (2014 mix)

The Velvet Underground - Lisa Says (Live At The Matrix)

The Velvet Underground - Lisa Says (Demo version)

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Your Life Is Like A Broken Shell, It Dosen't Really Matter To Me

Growing up I loved loads of different music, from the punk that Stiff and his brothers were introducing me to all the way to  Hendrix, Joplin and  stuff that the older hippy types I sometimes hung about with were listening to and also playing when they rehearsed in New Lanark Village Hall. But I didn't have a band that I felt were mine, the closest would have probably been Motorhead but even they seemed to belong to those just that bit older.

It wasn't until late 1984 and the cacophony that was Upside Down that I found what I would consider to be my band. That is not totally correct, I was drawn to the screeching and noise like a moth to a flame from the first time I heard that debut single but it wouldn't be until the following year when the Mary Chain were all over the music press after two further brilliant singles and the release of what for me is still the best debut album of all time that I realised thst this was the band for me. I didn't do the look though, no amount of hair spray would have enabled my hair to look like the Reid Brothers' and I was still a bit of a hippy with my grandad shirts and Levis which would morph into scooter/soul boy but not the indie/goth look which I knew I could never pull off. What chance did you have when Kevin McAllister lived just up the road and looked as though he was the missing fifth member somehow exiled to Lanark.

The other thing that the dysfunctional brothers from EK did was to broaden my musical horizons further with me eagerly seeking out anybody they namechecked in interviews or were compaired to in the NME. It was also no longer necessary for me to keep quiet about my love of the 60s girl group sounds, especially the Ronettes and the Spector Wall of Sound in general, as it was now seen as quite cool whereas previosuly I would have had the urine extracted big time if I had mentioned Leader of The Pack or Baby I Love You.

My love of the Mary Chain waned somewhat when Automatic was released, their sound had changed and I found myself spending more and more time in clubs or fields listening to repetitive beats, I still bought each release but no longer felt the rush I did from the likes of Just Like Honey or Cherry Came Too.  But it would not be a lie to say that Jim and William Reid probably shaped my musical taste more than any other band did. Even now when I listen to Psychocandy I can see myselff walking up past the Science Building with my red Sony Walkman in my pocket listening to You Trip Me Up or Never Understand way too loud.

I still get goosepimples and shivers when I pull out this single and blast it out.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Upside Down

Monday 11 June 2018

The Best Pop Record Of All Time

One of the best things about this blogging lark that I have found is the fact that I have met in the flesh some of my fellow compatriots and to a man they have turned out to be, yes we do seem to be all male, thoroughly decent blokes.

Prior to starting the blog I had of course met J.C., only the once like,  but all that followed stemmed from that one chance meeting. In 2011 I found myself, much to my dismay I may add,  working in the Big Smoke, that there London, somewhere that I had stipulated to my boss that I never wanted to work, I could be sent to the furthest reaches of this,  for the moment United Kingdom but please not there! Surely there were others that could cover that place? Apparently not and I found myself at London City Airport on the morning of the 8th of August 2011 not knowing that the city had endured a weekend of rioting as I had only returned from France very late on the Saturday night and had spent the Sunday in a daze sorting out wine and washing. What the fuck has this got to do with the best pop record of all time you ask, not a great deal,  I am just setting the scene.

So for the next wee while I follow the same routine, twice a month I take the Sleeper from Glasgow Central to Euston on a Wednesday night, work at the Royal Brompton on a Thursday/Friday and then take the 17:30 from Euston back to Motherwell where I stagger out of the train  and into the waiting car and L has to listen to my drunken pish all the way home.

This goes on until the beginning of November when I post possible my favourite record of all time, Be My Baby under the title Pop Perfection. JC comments that this should be something that needs to be be discussed face to face, in real life, in the pub and so events begin to happen that ensure that these conversations between sad middle aged men no longer happen only on Blogger but scarily in mano a mano.

I am due back down in London the following week and rashly agree to meet up with Mr H. My hotel is in Kingdom Street, just off the Westway and Davy suggests we meet up in a pub just off Notting Hill Gate I agree not having a scooby where it is. I'm sure he said it's a "stop or two on the the tube" and there lies the second issue I have with meeting a complete stranger from the internet, I don't do the Underground, no way. I think to myself "i'll just sack it, come up with an excuse , too tired  and all will be fine" but I look at the hotel and think again "why the fuck not" and so I eventually arrive at the pub (after getting lost twice while walking from my hotel) I can't remember the name,  and an absolutely excellent night enfolds with the two of us talking pish,  drinking too much London Pride combined with a few haufs and to top it all we decided on the top ten pop tunes of all time, which can be found here. It also resulted in probably the most comments ever posted on any of the music blogs any of us have ever visited, 150 in total.

You may not agree with our choices, I'm not sure by the Friday afternoon either myself or Mr H agreed with our choices but I am still sure that Be My Baby by the Ronettes is the perfect pop 7" single.

My feelings regarding Phil Spector, his music and his antics, well,  that is a discussion for another time.

The Ronettes - Be My Baby

Wednesday 6 June 2018

The Black Delta Movement

A bit late to the party with this mob from Kingston-Upon-Hull as they have been going since 2010 and have areleased a string of eps and one album earlier this year. I was alerted to them by their latest release, The Seven Circles ep which can be purchased here. The track posted is from the album, Preservation which does not appear to be available. There is one copy on Discogs but that is in Denmark.

Tuesday 5 June 2018

My Codename's Happy Harry

I'm pretty sure that the demographic that visit this place will have no problem understanding what MES is ranting about on this rather wonderful tune by The Fall. This was bizarely only a b-side of the 1982 Kamera single release Look, Know

 I was never into CB radio's, a mate up the road had one but I always wondered what the fascination was with spouting pish with folk you don't even know, I still don't. An acquaintence of my parents who had one of those large Citreons, the ones with the suspension that went up and down, his was white, was big into C.B and I remember him having an absolutely ridiculous "handle", something like the white arrow or something equally stupid, on account of the car. Now that I think of it, he was a bit of a weird fucker all in.

The Fall - I'm Into C.B

Monday 4 June 2018

Just As Much

A bit of Blue Eyed Soul today, out of Detroit.  Kris Peterson released eight singles on a few different labels. The one we are interested in is the 1966 release on Artie Fields Top Dog records. There is no mistaking where the track was recorded, it has the Motor City written all over it. Quite a rare record and from one of the soul forums, Kris herself mentioned that there are no known copies lying about and all of the Tog Dog masters had been destroyed. She also said that by 1968, the scene in the US changed and the "black" radio stations would not play blue eyed soul. Peterson moved to New York, where she did some backing vocals on a Frank Zappa lp but then gave up the music businnes entirely.

Kris Peterson - Just As Much

Friday 1 June 2018

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

After a week's respite the series that refuses to go gentle into that good night is back and back with the mother of all acid tracks, the aptly titled Acid Trax. Originally released on Trax Records in 1987. This tune sounds as good now,  depressingly, some 31 years later.

Leo and I are fighting off the boredom of no league football tomorrow by attentding a charity match at the Excelsior where the likes of Airdrie legends Sandy Stewart and John Martin will be playing along side the likes of Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon (which should be interesting) against stars of stage and screen all in aid of St Andrew's Hospice.

Have a good weekend people.

Phuture - Acid Trax