Saturday, 23 July 2016
A quick turn around and I'm off again, with the family this time, down to the Dordogne in South West France for the next couple of weeks, stopping off in the Loire for three nights on the way back. It's looking good.
I'll leave you with a couple of songs to speed us on our way and to keep you happy. Rikki Turner's new band The Hurt released a cracking song a few months back, the moody and epic Berlin. The new one is a cover of Nico's One More Chance and is a stately throb.
The new Hardway Bros ep Pleasure Cry is one of my records of the year thus far. This song, Argonaut, was written specifically by Sean Johnston to be played on the boat at Croatia's Electric Elephant Festival. It starts off like Weatherall's mix of Come Together and then heads off into the sunset putting its arms around you and doing a little dance.
And just so's there's some screaming guitars and drawled vocals here's J Mascis and The Fog covering Teenage Fanclub's Everything Flows with Mike Watt on bass. It then diverts into Pavement's Range Life and The Ruts' In A Rut. Is it any good? Of course it is. It is seven minutes of good.
See you in August.
Friday, 22 July 2016
I got back last night, home again after a week away with sixty nine 15-18 year olds, who due to their teenage nature got into one or two scrapes in The Netherlands, Belgium and France but who all had I think a fantastic time. For many of them seeing the battlefields and cemeteries of the Ypres Salient and The Somme was a pretty profound and interesting experience. The weather was amazing. I believe you've had some sun in Blighty too. The temperature gauge on the pharmacy in Poperinge read 36 degrees on Tuesday. Very very hot.
I was saddened to hear of the death of Suicide's Alan Vega. Suicide were a genuinely groundbreaking punk synth duo who fried the heads of punks in the UK when they supported The Clash. This is as good as anything they did- and as good as anything most other people do too.
Keep Your Dreams
Friday, 15 July 2016
The Swede posted Lee Hazlewood yesterday, a fantastic cover version by Leicester's Children Of Leir. Go there first yeah?
I'm going away today, to Europe by bus with sixty-eight secondary school children. Amsterdam, Belgium, the battlefields around Ypres and staying two nights in a chateau. I will be back next Thursday night. See y'all then.
Lee sings this with the lovely Ann Margret (pictured above), a cowboy lament to the loneliest place in the world.
Greyhound Bus Depot
Thursday, 14 July 2016
In the film 24 Hour Party People Steve Coogan's Tony Wilson has a conversation with God, at the end of the film on the roof of the Hacienda the night it closed down. God assures Wilson that what he's done is going to go down in legend but that it's a pity he didn't sign The Smiths. God also tells him he was right about Mick Hucknall ('His music's rubbish'). Wilson finishes the conversation by saying that The Durutti Column make very good chill out music. Which they do- but there's something about Vini Reilly's music that lifts it above the realm of the chill out, there's some real emotional heft to his songs- happiness, sadness, loss, tragedy, melancholy, ecstasy (both kinds). Vini is often dismissive of his music calling it 'trash... with the odd spark occasionally that seems to work... by accident. I never know whether it's any good or not'.
On his 1990 album Vini worked with the new technology available, programmed beats largely rather than Bruce Mitchell's live drums, sequencers and synths and with less guitar than previously. The album is a triumph, showing Vini's ability to make great, inventive and moving instrumental music. This song is one of my favourites from it. I've been trying to narrow down Durutti Column's work to ten songs, partly with one of The Vinyl Villain's imaginary compilation albums in mind, but it's proving difficult.
Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Slab were Nina Walsh (Sabrettes label boss and currently one half of the Woodleigh Research Facility alongside Andrew Weatherall) and The Drum Club's Lol Hammond. In the mid 90s they made a handful of techno records, often quite banging, in-your-face style techno. Their track Atomsmasher was remixed by Weatherall into a stripped back number with bleeps and bloops. It is equally laid back and intense, if that's possible.
Weathersmasher (Atomsmasher Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Dreadzone's 1993 single Fight The Power was a timely piece of protest against the Criminal Justice Bill. It's peppered with sampled speech, a vocal snatch borrowed from the Beastie Boys too, a pumping keyboard riff and bouncing bassline and it doesn't sound any less relevant today- it's just the specific target has changed. Amusingly the person who added the captions for MTV had them down as Deadzone.
Fight The Power '95
Monday, 11 July 2016
This is one of those singles that pretty much got away but remains alive due to the efforts of middle aged bloggers like me. Johnny Boy were a London/Liverpool two piece working with loops and guitars. They released this single in 2004, single of the month in Jockey Slut (the final print issue which is where I heard about it) and it got to number 50 in the charts. It rides in on Phil Spector's drums and tambourines, adds a sheet of guitars, an anti-consumerist message and ends up chucking in a chantalong finale and a wall of noise. It rushes by and then stops dead. It should have been massive. The follow up album was decent but didn't have anything to compare to this. Yeah yeah.
You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve