If I'm honest, the summer holiday or if your name is Brian vacation, this year has not had me as excited as usual mainly due to the fact that we're not off to Gurcan but driving south to Bude. I do like Cornwall and have really enjoyed Bude the three or 4 times we have been there previously but Bergerac it ain't. However amid the madness that is work at present and when I've had 5 minutes to think about it I have had the odd flutter of excitement and that summer feeling so there really is only one song to post.
Tuesday 25 June 2019
I think that Dulli's best covers are when he takes a stone cold soul classic and Dullifies it adding that nearly out of tune hoarse voice while Rick McCollum adds some licks and they generally beef up the sound. Here's a prime example you really shouldn't cover Curtis and the Whigs can't better the opening track from Mayfield's seminal debut from 1970 but they do put in a rather fine performance on this live cd.
The Afghan Whigs - (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Gonna Go
As an extra treat from the same live recording Going To Town that starts off with a little bit of Stevie Wonder which doesn't quite hit the mark but interesting none the less.
The Afghan Whigs - Superstition/Going To Town
Monday 24 June 2019
Those few of you who still visit here don't know how lucky you are today as it was my intention to inflict all 26:30 minutes of a live version of Supper's Ready by Genesis on you. But I decided that to keep any shred of credibility not to mention visitors to this site it would probably be best to keep one of the best examples of prog self indulgence to myself. Turning fifty has had some strange effects on me not least me digging about in the most embarrassing corners of my record collection and listening to things that have not seen the light of day in over thirty years. Ok, there is some pish lurking in there but I can proudly hold my head up and say that at least there is no Queen or U2.
Instead I have decided that you may be a bit more receptive to a bit of Mugstar. The Liverpool band are well known for their lengthy spacerock/kraut inspired journeys, all pounding bass, phasing guitars and metronimic beats and Serra (Distant Sun I) certainly falls into this category. Posted is side one of a limited 12" pressed on green vinyl and remixed by Robert Hampson, one time member of 80s Space Rockers, Loop. The other side Serra (Distant Sun II) is a continuation of the remix of the track from 2010 album Lime and played in it's entirety it's not a bad way to spend 37 + minutes of your time.
Mugstar - Serra (Distant Sun I)
Friday 21 June 2019
I had a little bit of a Weatherall fest the other night, two hours of Lord Sabre dubbed up and extended remixes, I got through 4 12" singles in just under two hours. The tunes had my head nodding and me longing for a time when nearly ever week I heard a new record that either pushed boundaries or inventing a whole new sub genre of dance music, I am only exaggerating slightly here. I decided that I am going to have a Weatherall weekend and will start with the releases that I have on the Sabres of Paradise label.
PT003, Pleasure by SYT has always been a favourite of mine from the label, I remember at the time Mixmag Update describing it as Ancient Arabic themed house or something similar and rated it really highly. It is very deep and dubby and an underrated bit of vinyl in my book.
In other news, only a couple of weeks until the first of the pre-season friendlies which I will unfortunately miss being in Cornwall at the time. As usual there will be nearly a whole new team of players to familiarise ourselves with come the start of the season, so by about Christmas I may be able to identify the whole team.
Have a good weekend people
SYT - Pleasure
Thursday 20 June 2019
I was very late to the party when it comes to today's band, only finding out of their existence last year when I heard Waves from the split single that they brought out with Gloria. I loved the late 60s psych vibe of the song, at that time to be honest I had become quite obsessed with sound of this type, But did I really need to go investigating another band's back catalogue, probably not but I did so anyway. I listened to a few things on YouTube realised that Waves was not a one off and headed for Discogs. I soon discovered that although not a vast back catalogue, it was not going to be cheap. The vinyl was out of the question especially for the first two releases with the cheapest copy of Harmonium at £85.
I decided to start with the first album, Harmonium released in 2009. The album is jam packed with analogue synths, breathy male/female vocals, flutes and some of the best drumming I've heard in a long time. Ok, it harks back to the late 60s and at times sails a bit too close to Stereolab territory but it has a very positive vibe and bright sound which is very welcome at the moment.
Still not sure how I missed this at the time.
The Soundcarriers - Let It Ride
Tuesday 18 June 2019
When the Afghan Whigs made their cover of Frank Ocean's Lovercrimes available for download through the band's website it was almost contemporaneous with the original being less than a year since it appeared on the self released Nostalgia Ultra album. I have to confess that I was not that au fait with the works of R&B singer/songwriter from New Orleans at the time and heard Dulli and Co's version first and I have to admit that I do prefer it to The Ocean original which is a great track but just doesn't have fullness of sound that the Whigs version does and I do especially like the strings. The recently reformed band had been playing it live at the reunion gigs and must have been the first thing that they recorded after getting back together and in celebration of this they made the track available for download from the band's website. Well worth the price of admission, me being me would love to have it in some physical form or other.
Afghan Whigs - Lovecrimes
Monday 17 June 2019
This is one to just sit back and let flow over you. Sense In Scotland was one of three tracks by Le Thug to be featured on Song By Toad's second split 12" ep of sessions recorded in Mathew's flat in Edinburgh. The 12" was released on RSD 2013 as an experiment to find out which was more popular beer or records which I wrote about here. Would you call this track shoegaze,(a term I never really had much time for), ambient, experimental or something else? I'm not sure I just think that it is rather fine like most thing recorded by Le Thug.
I am not sure if the band is still a going concern, I do hope so , as events conspired against me ever getting to see them live and I still hold out hope that one day Swam, a track I consider one of the finest of the past decade, will get a proper physical release one day and not just live on my hard drive.
Le Thug - Sense In Scotland
Thursday 13 June 2019
Such Misery was originally recorded by the precisions but this version by Mr Soul Satisfaction himself, Timmy Willis is far superior in my opinion, My it lay languishing unreleased until the millennium is beyond my ken. It was released on a fine Joy Boy compilation The Northern Soul Years 2 - Heartbroken Memories and then as a single sided 7". I think that this could become a theme tune for the UK if Doris Johnson, or any of those other fucking hypocritical, lying, cheating, backstabbing Tory fuckers becomes PM. Great tune all the same.
Timmy Willis - Such Misery
Wednesday 12 June 2019
I can find out absolutely sod all about the is mysterious mob. The whole album can be found on iTunes but I must admit I baulk at the idea of forking out nearly 14 quid on nothing I can actually put my hands on but sadly there doesn't look like there is a physical release. You can listen the whole thing here and it's all good but Let Me Go is absolutely brilliant and deserves to be on lovely 7" black vinyl,
Tuesday 11 June 2019
As I said at the start of this series of post Greg Dulli has a knack with the covers he chooses, he seems to, if not make the track his own, he does seem to add a little something to each song, granted that something usually has a sleazy dark undertone t it but nonetheless well worth at least a listen.
Unfortunately there have been a couple that for me were a bad call, where he really shouldn't have bothered. I first heard the Afghan Whigs cover of Regret on a bootleg of a Boston show from 1994 where Dulli, who's voice is always on the verge of going out of tune totally loses it and the whole ting is just a car crash, so when I got my hands on the studio version I wasn't expecting much. The voice is okay and there is nothing inherently bad about the song, I just don't think it suits him and I really am not sure that Regret would work at this tempo no matter who was covering it.
Anyway see what you think.
Afghan Whigs - Regret
Monday 10 June 2019
I have discussed the older hippies that I hung around with from 1st year at High school before and the music that they introduced me to, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Gong and a lot of others, this along with the stuff that I was hearing from Stiff and his brothers meant that I had quite a mental taste in music as a teenager. Something that every now and then led to the earnest young indie types in their oversized Oxfam purchased car coats trying to rip the pish out me about, which never really bothered me as I had no need to carry a copy of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde under my arm and kid on that I was such a sensitive soul in order to win the heart of a fair maiden. I was thinking about this at the weekend after a comment from Michael on SA's excellent posts last Thursday and Friday when he said that 88/89 was a time when the barriers came down and people were no longer scared to shout about their influences and I thought "yip, I remember that period". It really fucked me off, all these clowns that before wouldn't go near anything that wasn't in the indie chart or written about out with the confines of the NME and would baulk at Sounds were now aficionados of all things late 60s counter culture and even more galling experts on the sound of young America, it was all a bit, "there's always been a dance/soul/hippy element to the records I like. The overcoats were gone and flares and Lennon specs were considered high fashion
Anyway, when I was thinking about all this, I reminisced about some of the happiest times of my early teenage years spent in the Village Hall in New Lanark. Three of the guys I hung about with, Jim, Chris and Alec had a band the name of which escapes me at the moment, and as two of them were residents of the now UNESCO World Heritage Site they got to use the hall for band practice. I spent a lot of time taping these "jam sessions" as they called them and up until about ten years ago I still had one tape which I gave the guitarist Alec a loan of to listen, as it contained what was an extremely self indulgent over ten minute interpretation by him of Jimi Hendrix, doing The Star Spangled Banner, Jim and Chris got bored and fucked off out for a smoke if I remember correctly. I never did get that tape back and foolishly hadn't made a copy.
The band of course did almost exclusively cover versions of your staple hard rock and blues songs, such as Sunshine of Your Love, Communication Breakdown, The Pusher, Framed, more than a couple of Hendrix songs and a very good interpretation of Big Brother and The Holding Company's Summertime. Alec was an extremely talented, self taught musician and that is not just the misremembering through rose tinted glasses and the mists of time, as when I unearthed that tape, through the hiss and the echo I was amazed that what I was hearing was the guitar playing of a 16/17 year old boy, the drumming was good and, sorry Jim, the bass rudimentary at best but Alec's guitar playing was the real deal.
One song that I always looked forward to at these sessions was their version of War Pigs where I would sometimes try to make the sound of the siren in the introduction. A few weeks ago I had stuck on Paranoid, the album that this is from when wanting something a little bit different and really enjoyed it which probably brought the memory of those band practices back into my head. I played the album again yesterday. For me, the band that basically invented heavy metal never bettered this classic. At one time, I had every Black Sabbath album up to Live At Last with the exception of Technical Ecstasy which was right pish.
There were times at these "sessions" when other local musicians would turn up, a couple of members of local mental biker band the Hemorrhoids, a keyboard player who would later play with John Martyn, Doobie Anderson another drummer who may have replaced Chris in the band for a while and another local guitarist Sinky who was nearly as good as Alec but thought he was better which would lead to a lot one upmanship which was very funny and highly entertaining.
I had decided on War Pigs for today's post a couple of weeks ago when strangely a track from this album popped up on my Twitter timeline on Saturday posted by a guy who was a founder member of the Hamilton Ghosts Scooter Club, which could lead to further reminiscing of my later teenage years if you are really unlucky.
Black Sabbath - War Pigs
Wednesday 5 June 2019
I know people who get very annoyed about anybody having the audacity to cover Big Star. Not one for them today, then. I do think that Mr Dulli treats the song with respect but does add a little something here, Nightime originally appeared on Big Star's third album,'Third/Sister Lovers' an album that was once described as "amongst the most harrowing experiences in pop music" this was obviously pre the Spice Girls and although I wouldn't put it that strongly, it is not an album you would play prior to going out for a fun night on the town.
Afghan Whigs - Nightime
Monday 3 June 2019
This was the track that first brought Mogwai to my attention way back in early 1997.
One Friday afternoon I'm sure it was, I was busy doing the housework, at this time L lived and worked in Edinburgh during the week and came home at the weekends,. Not sure why I was off but I was and I was either cleaning the kitchen or dusting, not hoovering or I would not have heard it, when this tune came on the radio, Radio 1 (I still listened to the station at the time) that stopped me in my tracks, It started with the aural equivalent of something shimmering that kind of lulled me into a relaxed feeling of immense well being continued in this vein for about four minutes then bang, fuzz over the top of the melody , however the noise did not grate and just felt like a natural progression building to a climax and just it the absolute perfect moment the noise dissipated, the shimmering returned and eventually petered out. Sheer bliss. There wasn't anything that sounded like this around at that time, well not that I had heard anyway. I waited for Jo Wylie to inform me of who it was but nothing, straight into some unremarkable indie pish which really annoyed me. No BBC Website to go on to check the playlist back then, so unless I caught this again somewhere else, there was a distinct possibility that this absolutely stunning piece of music would be lost to me.
An hour or so later Lynn came in and after the usual chit chat about the drive, the night before etc, she said "did you hear that track by somebody called Mogwai on Radio1 earlier?" So now I knew who it was by, a trip into Glasgow the following day was decided upon. In Fopp, I found out the name of the single but there were no copies there. After fruitless searches in a couple of more record shops, my last hope was upstairs at John Smith's bookstore and lo and behold there tucked in the singles was one copy of New Paths to Helicon which was duly purchased and flogged to death for weeks later and now resides in the red Swan singles box that would be lifted in case of emergencies.
I've posted the version from the Government Commissions compilation of Peel sessions as it lasts a further minute and a bit.
Mogwai - New Paths To Helicon Pt 1 (BBC Session)