Friday, 31 August 2012
September- always a depressing thought. I don't mind Autumn as such but the end of summer, back to school, onset of darker evenings, the thought that the next real holiday is Christmas.
Here's some rockabilly from Eddie Zack from 1955 to shake the blues away.
I'm Gonna Roll And Rock
Battersea Power station in 1936. The other two chimneys were added later.
Battersea Bunches was a short film put out by The Orb in 2010. A soundtrack, C Batter C, was released in November last year. The title track is seventeen minutes of ambient and foundsounds, melancholic, some disturbing strings being plucked, fragments of pub piano, disembodied voices describing lives past. Around the ten minute mark things pick up a bit with some steam powered percussion but it's all still very ghostly, and then it fades again for several minutes of ending, factory noises, a train, more voices and a BBC announcer. Worth sticking with. The rest of the album featured a bunch of remixes (David Harrow, Being, Thomas Fehlman amongst others), all much shorter, some very good.
Battersea Bunches (Original Soundtrack)
Thursday, 30 August 2012
103rd Street Boys
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, summer is not over yet... Andrew Weatherall remixes Madness (Death Of A Rude Boy). I think this could be the best thing I've heard since...whenever. Very Sabres-esque, bass heavy, dub horns, Suggs. Seriously good. Keep hitting repeat while we wait for a vinyl release. There will be a vinyl release won't there?
On Saturday February 5th 2011 I posted Olympians by Fuck Buttons, the stand out track from their Tarot Sport album and wrote this;
Ten minutes plus of joyful, melodic, ecstatic, headspinning, roomfilling noise, drums and production courtesy of Andrew Weatherall. If the organisers of London 2012 use this for the opening ceremony it'll be an interesting games.
Which was unusually prescient of me seeing as they did. Looking at the back cover of the Opening Ceremony Isles Of Wonder cd in the supermarket the other day I saw that Fuck Buttons have been renamed F Buttons, which amused me briefly before going off to do the big shop. This was another huge track off their 2009 lp.
Flight Of The Feathered Serpent
Good luck to everyone involved in the Paralympics (organisers, volunteers and especially athletes), starting today. Let's hope its as successful as the games a couple of weeks ago were.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Jack Kerouac may have been the handsome, freewheeling, checked shirt and chino, hitch-hiking, Zen typing, King of the Beats but in the long term Allen Ginsberg was probably a more sorted fella. In the mid 50s he pioneered a new form of poetry and won an obscenity trial over his poem Howl, particularly fighting against homophobic laws and attitudes. in the 60s he adopted the hippies and they adopted him, befriending Bob Dylan and being conspicuous in the anti-Vietnam movement. On meeting London's swinging 60s leading lights he stripped naked; John Lennon left he room aghast muttering 'not in front of the birds'. I thought I had an mp3 of him reading America but can't find it. It's a great poem, starting...
America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories
I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
Instead this is Ginsberg reading his epic Howl.
While in New York for their residency at Bond's Casino The Clash crossed paths with Ginsberg. Joe Strummer and Ginsberg collaborated on some lyrics, though Strummer later said Ginsberg's contribution was only a few words.Ginsberg then provided vocals on the superb Ghetto Defendant, from Combat Rock (including some memorable lines- slamdance cosmopolis, enlighten the populace; strung out committee, walled out of the city). Today's bonus download is the version of Ghetto Defendant from Mick Jones' unreleased Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg bootleg (later to be pruned and polished into Combat Rock). This one is rougher and features more Ginsberg.
Ghetto Defendant (Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg version)
Monday, 27 August 2012
I quite like this- Johnny Marr and his Healers playing How Soon Is Now at a gig (Ray Bans promo possibly), October 2011. Some of the guitaring is first rate, as you might expect.
And playing some Chic with Nile Rodgers a month later (lower quality fan filming job I'm afraid but the riff survives).
And playing some Chic with Nile Rodgers a month later (lower quality fan filming job I'm afraid but the riff survives).
I first read On The Road in the summer of 1989, aged 19. I loved it. It didn't get me hitch-hiking across North America but I went on to read loads of other Kerouac novels, biographies, and then onwards into Burroughs, Ginsberg and the rest. Kerouac's work is full of contradictions- some of it is almost unreadable (Dr Sax say), some of it just has to be read for the writing rather than any sense of narrative. He famously typed On The Road in a three week Benzadrine fuelled binge on a non-stop roll of paper. It had to be widely edited to make any narrative sense. For all the wanderlust and adventures and search for kicks, he spent his life with the apron strings to his mother firmly uncut. He tried to balance the booze, partying and excitement with a spiritual quest, settling for Buddhism and his own version of Zen. When fame hit him, ten years after writing the book, he soon found he couldn't cope. Held up by the hippies as the King of the Beats he criticised, even loathed, the 60s counter culture and died an alcoholic in front of the TV in Florida. But the sense of freedom in his best writing, the lyrical nature of the verse, the attempt to 'write jazz', the trip to Mexico in On The Road, The Dharma Bums, parts of Desolation Angels, are all beautiful and romantic and inspiring.
Long considered unfilmable, Walter Salles, has had a go at it (starring Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen). The trailer below looks right but you just can't tell from a trailer how good a film is going to be. It got mixed reviews at Cannes in the summer. I'm kind of looking forward to it when it gets released this December.
Kerouac recorded several albums, sometimes reading his work alone, sometimes reading it accompanied by jazz musicians.
Jack Kerouac Reading On The Road
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Regular Friday night rockabilly enthusiast and reader George asked about some surf music. I'm not sure I've got a huge amount and some of what I have got I've already shoehorned into the rockabilly series (Chantays' Pipeline cropped up in May). George also referred to Dick Dale and his epic surf instrumental Miserlou (best known to many as the theme from Pulp Fiction). So, as a starter in what may be a somewhat short series of Surf Sunday posts, here's Dick Dale and his Deltones with another string bending surf song.
Let's go Trippin'
Saturday, 25 August 2012
Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, died today aged 82. I feel oddly moved by this somehow. I also worked out that he was nearly 40 when he made his small step/giant step, which in a world which puts youth above all else seems significant.
Several years ago my own band recorded a humble tribute to the moonwalkers.
PP Arnold- what a cutie eh?
PP Arnold sang with The Small Faces and was romantically linked with Steve Marriott for a while. She signed to Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label and put out several fine solo records. I got one the other day second hand, which contained two too many Beatles covers but had a quite a few corkers too. In 1995 there was a Small Faces tribute album. This song from it united PP with Primal Scream. Primal Scream do their thing, PP does hers.
Friday, 24 August 2012
Onie Wheeler from 1956 with a country fiddle tinged rockabilly tune for your Friday night enjoyment along with some Teddy boys and girls from 1950s London.
A Booger Gonna Getcha
No-one seems to split blogger/reader opinion quite like Paul Weller, and even some of the diehards are now suggesting the haircut should probably go for a man of his age. This year's album (Sonik Kicks) had a cracking lead off single (That Dangerous Age), some krautrock influences, a dub duet with his latest missus, and various other things he wouldn't necessarily have tried in the mid 90s. This song, Starlite, came out this time last year, a stand alone 12". Listening to Sonik Kicks it's difficult to see where it would have fitted. Musically it harks back to The Style Council. The voice may not be quite up to the tune, but it's got a late summery feel that feels right.
In the picture he's wearing the white version of his Fred Perry limited edition, signature range. I got the black with grey piping one cheap in an outlet a good while back. Mine's numbered 948/1000, and as Arthog noted re: the Bradley Wiggins Fred Perry range, black Fred Perry's always fade. But white ones will stain. What you lose on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts.
Thursday, 23 August 2012
Over at BBC Radio 6 Mix you can catch these two fine gentlemen, Mr Andrew Weatherall and Mr Adrian Sherwood, discussing life and reggae and playing many, many fine reggae tunes as part of the BBC's celebration of 50 years of Jamaican independence. Hurry up though, it only streams for another three days. Unless you can find a sneaky download.
These hearty young men and women are the North Cotswold Cycling Club, pictured having a breather on top of the Malvern Hills in 1936. I spent the last few nights sitting outside our tent watching the sun set over these hills, and very pleasant it was too. Although we seem to have depleted the supply of red wine we brought back from France the week before. This song by The Charlatans came through the tinny Argos speakers I bought for the mp3 player and sounded better than ever. Sproston Green is near Holmes Chapel, Cheshire.
I've just realised I've posted this song before, back in May 2010. Repetition, repetition, repetition...
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Teabags, tears and tunes to heal the soul.
Some of you who come here will know Ctel's story. Ctel runs Acid Ted, the best dance music blog on the planet. He lost his son to a brain tumour. Ctel and Thee Pause have put together a compilation album, Let's Go Somewhere Quiet, 14 unsigned artists from a range of musical backgrounds from Detroit techno to acoustic. All profits go towards brain tumour research and treatment in the UK and US. It was released yesterday (August 20th) and you can get it at iTunes and Beatport. This is important (and close to my heart due to my own experiences with life-threatening childhood illness with IT). What are you waiting for?
Artists- Alex Zalenka, Little Manitou, QTheSuit, Sugar Glider, Sam Levine, Stylusboy, Coolio Franco, niceFingers, yournewmachine, Larry Jefferson, Alice Love with Johan Bengtsson and Baruch Thomas Kozak Cooke, Boy Meets Machine, Felix Da Kat and Thee Pause.
Monday, 20 August 2012
I dug out a Colourbox album the other day while tackling a mound of ironing that Hercules would have balked at. I managed to burn myself only twice as well (left forearm and right thumb), which for a cack-handed, left-hander isn't bad. The album was the two disc vinyl version with the second mixed disc of offcuts and versions, including the monumental Arena II which I've put up here before. Some of their stuff sounds a little dated but there's a load of goodness in it. There's a boxed set out (released back in May also called Colourbox like the albums were, just to make it all a little confusing). This song is a killer, driving bass and guitars and BAD style samples littered throughout. Tip top, ahead of the curve stuff. They went on to make Pump Up The Volume and you can hear why in this song.
Just Give 'Em Whiskey
We are off to a campsite near Tewkesbury for two nights, being time rich/cash poor in August, camping with Mrs Swiss's best friend P and her family. Weather forecast looks reasonable. Back on Wednesday.
Sunday, 19 August 2012
Timothy J Fairplay's remix of Scott Fraser's A Life Of Silence, second release on Weatherall's Bird Scarer Records. No download, vinyl 12" only. Also the visuals are rather good (if very retromaniac). Think New Order may be in here somewhere sonically.
I've been reading Simon Reynolds' Retromania book and it's pretty clear that I'm part of the problem. Reynolds has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and has spent the last thirty years being constantly excited by the new (from post punk into dance/rave). He contends that at some point after the mid 90s music stopped being about forward thrust and has turned in on itself, devouring it's own recent past. Re-issues, re-unions, reformations, revivals, revivalists (Mod, northern soul), anniversaries, remakes, the internet (especially the access to everything now! that ipods and youtube offer), retro sounds, mash-ups, re-edits, vintage- these are the driving forces of music now. He struggles to find any new form of music since 2000 that has jettisoned all previous forms and created something entirely new, and says that even the more forward thinking areas have only really touched up or refined already existing forms (dubstep and grime for example). Vintage and retro get chastised fully, while he recognises that nostalgia for the future (a 50s/60s view of the future) is part of his own worldview. He praises analogue over digital while acknowledging this is itself retro. He discusses sampling widely, forcing himself into an anti-sampling point of view while praising those who pioneered it (Coldcut say). He admits hunting down old vinyl while also constantly wanting the rush of hearing something he's never heard before. Reynolds writes about boxed sets- their tomblike quality, the lovely booklets and ephemera, the way they sit on the shelf, yet admits they never get listened to all the way through, certainly not in one sitting. Music's only revolution since 2000 has been in the way it is consumed and available, transferred instantly from computer to computer, recorded in digital brightness, carried around and heard all the time but not ever really listened to, all music ever available on your phone. It's difficult to argue with much of his thinking- I've moaned about aspects of it myself while still taking part in it. He also points the finger at artists and things I love- Billy Childish, St Etienne, vintage culture (clothes, vinyl etc) to pick three random examples. He also accepts (I think) that music's progressive nature from 1963 through to the mid 90s maybe is a one off and that the scientific idea of linear progression shouldn't necessarily apply to musical artforms. Interestingly, he also identifies 1967 as the year retro began, when Edwardian military jackets became fashionable rather than modernist clothing, when back to basics and a rejection of psychedelia and going back to older forms (The Band etc) began. A lot of food for thought.
This blog is also part of the problem (rather than a solution he's looking for). Much of the stuff I post here is old (this isn't a new music blog, I don't have the time or perhaps the inclination to solely focus on new music or the search for it). It has a pick 'n' mix aesthetic (this is not a niche blog, it's scattergun like the shuffle function). It gets nostalgic (although let's remember the literal translation of nostalgia is the pain of looking back, rather the rosy glow that it gets tarred with). It takes advantage of being able to distribute music via modern technology, providing people with tinny, compressed mp3s. But, hey ho, I don't think it's going to change. Here's something old from Motown. And if that sounds a bit a bit glib, sorry Simon.
It's A Shame
Saturday, 18 August 2012
I've neglected the reggae and dub side of things recently so here's some Lee Perry for Saturday morning, from the outstanding Voodooism compilation that came out in the mid 90s, an album with twenty first class tracks. There's a Lee Perry-Orb album out at the moment which didn't get a great review (at least the one I read). Has anyone heard it?
The English football season starts in earnest today with the kick-off of the 'greatest league in the world'. I've never felt so underwhelmed by the start of a season and United's recent signing of Robin Van Persie made me do nothing other than shrug. Maybe that'll change when we play Everton on Monday night but I've really enjoyed not having any Premier League football for the last couple of months.
Friday, 17 August 2012
The other band I saw at the campsite were the Ducky Jim Rockabilly Trio, a French rockabilly outfit from Quimper. Pretty good to be honest in the context of playing an hour long set on a basketball court on a campsite. They got the British, Irish and Dutch campers up dancing, even if it was a bit odd to travel to Bretagne to see live rockabilly.
Just so you get a download here's Rocky Bill Ford in 1956.
Mad Dog In Town
On the campsite in Bretagne (sorry if you're getting bored of 'what I did on my holidays') I saw two bands play. Just before they stuck the Olympics closing ceremony up on a big screen in the sportsbarn a Breton band played on the basketball court. Breton culture is very celtic so this threepiece had mandolins, tin whistles and a one horned bagpipe thing as well as guitars. Second song in I started singing along to something I recognised (they sang in French, or Breton more likely). After the first chorus I realised it was a cover of The Pogues' Streams Of Whiskey, which they followed with Sally MacLennan (sung in English, with a French accent). Later on they did A Pair Of Brown Eyes and a rather affecting version of Thousands Are Sailing. Then we all decamped to the sportsbarn for the closing ceremony. As the Kronenbourg kicked in and the scooters charged across the Olympic stadium to the sound of Pinball Wizzard, and people cheered images of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah, it all felt very peculiar and for the first time, almost ever, I felt a pang of being patriotic (and not in a following the England football team way but a newer, modern British, multicultural, left-of-centre kind of way. Let's see how long this lasts).
Thousands Are Sailing
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Someone over at Ripped In Glasgow Basefook page has been looking for the Hidden Library 7" singles that Andrew Weatherall released via the Rotters Golf Club website back in 2002. I posted all four sides two years ago but the links have long expired so I'll stick these up again. Limited to 500 copies of each these two records were mail order only. As far as I know Hidden Library 001 doesn't exist (or only existed in a very small run) and was perhaps played on a Two Lone Swordsmen radio show. Hidden Library 002 was two sides of Weatherall/Tenniswood hip-hop influenced electronica, good if inessential.
Hidden Library 2a
Hidden Library 2b
Hidden Library 003 was credited to Jnr Poon. Exactly whose alias this was I've never been entirely sure. Buzzy, electric, snarly, catchy; Lord Of The Hornets is a personal favourite, a record I've inflicted on paying customers when djing to support a band. It is a cover of a Robert Calvert song, a man barking even by Hawkwind standards. The B-side I don't really like at all.
Lord Of The Hornets
My Backwards Cousin Mark
As well as prehistoric sites I like a Breton shirt (as modelled here by Pablo Picasso). I could've blown most of the holiday budget on stripey marinierres. When I got in on Tuesday night amongst all the bank statements, junk mail and demands for money was a postcard from the postman to tell me I had a parcel undelivered. I got it yesterday from the sorting office. London longhairs Toy remixed by Andrew Weatherall on 12" vinyl. It made coming home worthwhile, a beautiful, throbbing, krauty number, really, really nice and totally cool. Limited to 1000 copies and I'm guessing the other 999 have all been sold so posting this is OK isn't it?
Dead And Gone (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Usually our holidays consist of loads of day trips, often dragging the kids around historical sites. This time we managed to slow right dooooown, and spent several days not even leaving the campsite, just taking in the sun, reading, using the pool, paddling in the river, canoeing, drinking, talking to the Dutch (who must be the friendliest nation in Europe. Except for the 17 year old cock who called Isaac a 'fucking mongoloid' at some volume from within the safety of his tent. We had words me and him, I nearly lost it). But we were here a few days ago- I love a good prehistoric site and Carnac is as big as they come in Europe. Thousands of standing stones spread over a mile or two, many of them in lines (les alignements), a good few dolmen as well. Very impressive. It's a shame that in high season you can't actually walk around the stones. There are guided tours but the ones in English are at 11am on a Tuesday and a Friday. Still, you can get close enough.
No prehistoric posting should be without a Julian Cope track should it? This one, Beautiful Love, was given a very 1991 remix by Hugo Nicholson (who co-engineered Screamadelica and went out big style on tour in Australia with Primal Scream, seen looking for the Sydney Opera House's steering wheel). From the days when a remix completely took a song apart to make something new.
Now that was a long drive.
We got back late last night, having left Quimperle just before midday the day before. What day was that? Monday? Predictably the only bad traffic was in Dover and on the M1. Anyway, we had a great time, lovely weather, wish you'd been there.
This song has been bubbling in my head from when we got the ferry to Calais two weeks ago Norman Cook's proto mash-up from 1990, splicing Paul Simonon's bassline with The SOS Band.
Dub Be Good To Me
Thursday, 2 August 2012
By the time this publishes we should be about to get on the road- M6, M1, M25, Dover. Our ferry sails for the continent at 5.25, then a short hop to a B&B hotel at Boulogne overnight. On Friday we're off to Arzano, Britanny to spend eleven nights in a Eurocamp tent, and one night at Caen on the way back. I'm particularly looking forward to Carnac- love the odd standing stone. Passports, clothes, extra bedding, mp3 player (mine), mp3 player (ET's), arguments about music in the car (mine and ET's), docking bay, provisions for special needs thirteen year old who distrusts French food packaging (prawn cocktail crisps and digestive biscuits mainly), immune system support sub-cut medicine, pump, syringes and sharps bin (plus covering letter from consultant), letter detailing all IT's medical issues and needs kindly translated into French by the MFL dept at work, books (including that Grey trilogy for Mrs Swiss), various chargers, cables, leads and plug adapters, wet weather clothing as well as flip flops and sunglasses and sun cream, camping chairs and table, and... does anyone else take all this stuff? (Ha, I've just re-read last year's En Vacances post and it's very similar to this paragraph. Zero points for originality at Bagging Area).
So, have a good time at home with the Olympics and all that while we're gone. Let me know if Weatherall releases anything vital. Please remember to feed the cat. Take the post in. Water the plants. The rum's all gone I'm afraid but you might find some red wine on top of the fridge and there's the odd beer in the fridge, next to the rotting cucumber I forgot to chuck out before we set off. Please put any records you play back in the correct sleeves. Try not to riot like last year. That's it I think.
Espiritu were a dance act on Heavenly in the early 90s who made a couple of memorable records. Memorable chiefly because they were remixed by Sabres Of Paradise. Here's one where Weatherall and the Sabres boys put the 303s into action and send us on a long trip. Ooh la la.
Conquistador (Sabres Of Paradise Mix Number 1)
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
One of my favourite Jam tracks to open August- So Sad About Us was the B-side to 1978's Down In The Tube Station At Midnight, a cover of a Who song and tribute to the Who's Keith Moon who was pictured on the back of the sleeve and who had recently died.
So Sad About Us