Monday 26 August 2019

Monday's Long Song

I'm not sure why I don't listen to the Future Sound of London more as when I do I always feel the better for it. Today's track comes from the fifth release  in the Environments series which started off as a way to get out a lot of the unreleased archive material that the duo had accrued over the years but this one contained 13 completely new compositions. In Solitude We Are Least Alone is a very good way to ease us into the new week, a haunting, mellow track that which when I put on always have to play it at least twice.

Future Sound of London - In Solitude We Are Least Alone

Friday 23 August 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance


Last Sunday on our way through to the Edinburgh Fringe today's track popped up on the iPod which startled me, as it is not a huge favourite and can't remember ripping it, I have a suspicion it may have been for this very feature and then I forgot all about it. It also brought to mind a conversation with Swiss Adam on Twitter and continued in the comments section of the Bagging Area which began due to Andrew Weatherall, not an uncommon occurrence you may be thinking and you are probably right. It was about a mixtape (in the true sense of the word) of a set that Weatherall had done in the backroom of Cream round about 93/94 time and the samples that our favourite DJ used to pepper into his sets and in particular the one that went "to the beat of the drum bang, to the beat of the drum, bang bang".  I am not sure if Patrick Prins is a Weatherall aficionado or had heard others drop this sample into their sets but in 1995 he built a very dancefloor friendly tune around the sample which was first released in Italy on the UMM label.

The Ethics  - To The Beat Of The Drum (La Luna)

Last week I berated the less than illustrious start of the season Airdrie had made and on Saturday it looked like it wasn't going to get much better, conceding a goal in the first minute and looking positively lacklustre all through the first half. I am not sure what Ian Murray said or did to the team at half time but a very different team emerged for the second half  with an equaliser two minutes in by Kurtis Roberts followed by numerous attempts at goal, three of which in the space of seconds all hitting the woodwork. It looked like it was going to be another hard luck story to regale Lynn with when I got home. However with ten minutes to go Dale Carrick put the home team ahead but could we see it out was what was on everybody's mind and a nail biting final 10 minutes seemed to crawl by and then in the 92 minute Calum Gallagher put the game to bed with what can only be described as a wonder goal, a beautifully placed overhead kick. If I see a better goal this season I will be very lucky.

So tomorrow it's away to East Fife, so let's hope Airdrie can keep up the winning ways. What's that feeling, pure foolish optimism the curse of all "diddy team" supporters. Brian may yet be right.

Have a good weekend people

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Sound of My Summer

A few months ago I took a punt on an album on just what I had read about it quite a strange event these days but there were no tracks posted anywhere but there was a buzz coming from sources I trust, Monorail and Piccadilly Records amongst others so went for it. The album duly arrived, a white cover with only the words Cowgirl In Sweden on the front and on the reverse the track names and the label nothing else. I put the album on and knew right from the off that I had made the right decision and this record would spend quite a bit of time on the turntable. The album has the sound of late 60s Southern California, filled with pop psych nuggets at least one of which is a cover, The West Coast Experimental Pop Band's "Here's Where You Belong". which although harking back to the heady days of peace and love still sounds fresh and has been one of my albums of the summer.

As there was absolutely no information on the record and I was quite curious as to who this band were and so headed to the internet where there really wasn't very much but pretty much all of the pieces I could find agreed on who they thought were responsible; more of which to come.

Cowgirl In Sweden - This Earth 

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Not Just A One Album Thing, Then

My favourite bratty California teenagers. The Regrettes  are back with a new album, How Do You Love and also a European Tour and the bampots have managed to sell-out King Tut's before I got a chance to get a ticket. Still it will stop me feeling as deeply self conscious as I did when I saw them a couple of years ago in Nice and Sleazy's with all the teenagers giving me a double take and the "what the fuck is that old guy doing here?"look.

The new album is not radically different from their debut, all loud guitars, shouty lyrics and lots of attitude. Ok, at times it is a bit repetitive, the intros to 4 of the songs are very very similar, but that never stopped The Ramones. The Regrettes aren't quite in the same league as those legends but then again songwriter, guitarist and singer Lydia Night is still only 18 so you never know. Not the most original sound in the world but there is always a time and a place for fun, thrashy  rock n roll.

Monday 19 August 2019

Monday's Long Song

Right,  this is the last of the ancient tracks in this series, for a while anyway, I promise. From next week it will at least be something from this century but first here is a great piece of improvisation from one of the nearly were bands of the psychedelic era. Moby Grape were formed in 1966 by the ex drummer and the manager of Jefferson Airplane and also included in the line up were Jerry Miller and Don Stevenson of The Frantics, Bob Mosley and Peter Lewis. The original line-up was short lived and by 1969 and after two albums after Skip Spence was incarcerated after increasingly erratic behaviour after being turned on to LSD, The story of the band is one of bad timing, poor decision making and shit luck. One example was that they played by all accounts a great set at Monterey which although recorded on tape and film was cut from D.A. Pennebaker's Monterey Pop film  as Katz wanted 1million dollars for the rights to their performance, also they were moved from opening for Otis Redding on the Saturday night to sunset on the Friday night when hardly anybody was there, The footage was shown eventually in 2007 as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Pop Festival.

Dark Magic is quite an incredible bit of psychedelic guitar rock but is even more impressive when you consider that it a live improvisation around  the very briefest of sketches of a song by a group of musicians who had been working together for less than 6 months when this was put on tape at the Avalon Ballroom on New Years Eve 1966.

Moby Grape - Dark Magic

Saturday 17 August 2019

Peter Fonda

Another of the main figures of late 60s counter culture gone. I've loved Easy Rider from an early age and for a scooter lover I always wanted to own one of the choppers in that film but not Captain America's but Billy The Kid's which always looked cooler to me anyway.

Rest easy Peter for me you had more of an influence on films and filmmaking than either your father or sister. And lest we forget his part in possibly the best indie/dance record of all time, Loaded.

YouTube won't let me embed the Easy Rider clip I wanted and it appears that the only version of the Ballad of Easy Rider I have ripped is the Kathryn Williams one which in it's way is better than the Byrds one.

Kathryn Williams - The Ballad of Easy Rider

Friday 16 August 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Nobody will have been waiting for this to rear it's ugly head again but I can't think of anything else to fill a Friday with so there you go. Here's a bit of early Dutch Techno from way back in the early days raving. Techno Trance was the flip side of Yaaaaaaaaaah, a very basic one dimensional bit of techno  but we are talking about 1990. Techno Trance isn't really a track with much depth either but when it's 02:00 am and you're eccied out your nut who needs depth, what you need is a pulverising beat and repetitive shouting of "c'mon, wooh". Not the subtlest but somewhat effective.

It has been a pretty ignominious start to the season for the Diamonds, a two nil home defeat and pitiful performance  against Forfar on the first day of the season and a narrow one nil away win at Montrose last week. Let's hope some sort of gelling has happened and we get a better performance at the Excelsior tomorrow against Clyde but I will not hold my breath. Still we do have a home tie against Irish side Bohemians in the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup next month to look forward to. Onwards and upwards as they say.

Have a good weekend people.

D-Shake - Techno Trance (Paradise Is Now)

Thursday 15 August 2019

My Sweet Lord

Got this a few weeks ago and it is absolutely joyous. In it's original form John Gary Williams cover of the George Harrison classic is a laid back wah wah driven tune, with a spoken word bit in the middle. The Soul Flip guys give it a northern back beat keep the spoken word bit and turn it into something that if it doesn't make the most ardent Dawkins acolyte move, I'll eat my recently purchased rather fine new Airdrieonians beanie.

John Gary Williams - My Sweet Lord (Soul Flip edit)

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Greg Dulli Covers

When Greg Dulli returned to Louisville after the extensive and gruelling touring on the back of the Congregation album, he found that things had changed in his absence. His live in girlfriend confessed to him that while he was away she had "hooked up" with someone else and although Dulli had been doing the dirty on her more than a few times when on tour he could not accept that somebody could do the same to him. He upped and moved home to Cincinnati to lick his wounds and do some soul searching to a soundtrack of Blood On The Tracks, Here My Dear and Astral Weeks. The record however that got the most turntable time turned out to be the flip side of an R&B top three hit Turn Back The Hands Of Time from 1970, The pleading, grovelling, "please take me back" plea for forgiveness "I Keep Coming Back" struck a chord with Dulli.

A lot of Dulli's feelings from this time of reflection shaped the subject matter and lyrics of the Whigs next album, Gentleman and so covering the track that he had played over and over during the downtime in Cincinnati was probably an obvious choice and what a cover it is, the emotion that Dulli puts into his rendition of this track would have you thinking that these must be his own words penned from deep within, it wasn't until after the third or fourth time of listening and on getting round to perusing the sleeve notes that I realised that this was a cover not being acquainted with the original at that point. On a couple of occasions during the song the singer nearly goes totally out of tune but manages to pull it back from the brink just as you think "oh no" which makes this one of my absolute favourite covers and a track would that would have ended a few compilation tapes if it had been around back in the day when I tried to woo members of the opposite sex with the aid of what I believed to be my excellent taste in music,

The Afghan Whigs - I Keep Coming Back

Monday 12 August 2019

Monday's Long Song

One of the best things about trying to find long songs for a Monday has been that I have had to revisit a lot of the music that I was introduced to in my early teens before I became a bit of a music snob and turned my back on all of the proggy/ hippy stuff that Lex, Jim and others introduced me to. A lot of this stuff easily met the criteria for this feature and I think this is why I love tracks that go on for some time as I was used to listening to lengthy tracks from quite an early age. Don't get me wrong some of the stuff I have gone back to and listened to have been real rubbish, quite a few falling into the "meandering pish" category but others have had me chastising myself for not listening to them for so long.

I have only ever owned one Vanilla Fudge album, the first one and never felt the need to own anything else, the album consists of 7 cover versions, 6 of which last a lot longer than the original versions and on the whole work pretty well. The pick of the bunch and which in single form broke into the top twenty on both sides of the Atlantic was their version of the Supremes You Keep Me Hanging On, before I got really into soul when I was about 15/16 this version of the Holland-Dozier-Holland song was the one I was more familiar with, I had probably heard the original first on the radio but this slowed down, strung out version with the weird organ intro was the one I knew best. It's probably been ten to fifteen years since I had heard it up until a few weeks ago but it has been played half a dozen times since then.

Vanilla Fudge like so many of the bands form that era have re-formed and released an album in 2015. The band were an influence on the likes of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and the like which you may thank them for or not and have been seen as one of the bands that links psychedelia to Heavy Metal.

Vanilla Fudge - You Keep Me Hanging On