Friday, 31 March 2017
Here's a Weatherall mix that somehow passed me by- back in 2014 he spent a year as the Faber Social artist in residence and this was his last post for them, an hour long mixtape titled the Final Transmission.
Suite of Culto Solar - Luis Perez
Life Child - Rameses
Dreamworld - The End
Estergon Kalesi - Baris Manco
Viens Dans Ma Vie - Kenan
Beyond the Realms of Dub - Mad Professor
Mocking Bird Dream - Patrick Cowley
Troll - Tank
Blues - Opia
#2 Hit Jam - Dead Radio
Old Gospel Medley #1 - Luther Dickinson
Thursday, 30 March 2017
The Madchester Rave On e.p. is best known for the musical dance riot that is Hallelujah but there were three other songs on the disc- Holy Ghost, Clap Your Hands and the one here which gave the record its name. Rave On is a swirl of keyboards and guitars mashed together by Martin Hannett, some funk slap bass, massively echo laden drums and Shaun Ryder giving it the full on stream-of-consciousness through his centre parting vibe. Various phrases bubble up- we know how to do it, you're a walking miracle, well the worm has definitely turned for you. I can't decipher it all, I may have misheard some of these (for the last twenty seven and a half years) and the usual lyric websites aren't much help and maybe that's for the best because the not knowing and the guessing is all part of the fun. I suspect they're mainly about taking drugs. No one else sounded like this then and hasn't since really.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Today is the day an unelected Prime Minister with no mandate, desiring only to suck up to the Daily Mail, the right wing of the Tory Party and a slim majority of those who bothered to vote last year, pushes the button to start the process of isolating the UK from European political and economic union.
Don't worry, I'm sure it will be fine.
Rowland S Howard was in Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party with Nick Cave and also Crime And The City Solution before making a couple of excellent solo albums. He died at the end of 2009.
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
This should have been posted this morning but it didn't happen. My fault.
Here is something epic and funky to welcome Tuesday. Epic and funky are two very overused words but in this song's case both are accurate. Psychemagik came up with this spirit raising, smile inducing instrumental for a Phonica sampler back in 2014. Two internet friends put me onto it last week for which I am very grateful.
Triumph Of The Gods
Monday, 27 March 2017
An hour and a half in the company of The Jesus And Mary Chain is a good thing at the moment. They turned on their own brand of charm on Saturday night, sounding engaged, interested and on some sort of mission. The opening one-two-three of Amputation, April Skies and Head On set us up nicely for what followed- some hits, some album tracks and some new songs. They were ragged enough for it not to seem too drilled or professional- Jim had to speak to the audience in gap after the opener due to a technical problem with William's sound and he ran out of things to say pretty quickly. They had three attempts at getting The Hardest Walk off the ground and at least one other song had a false start too. I like this slightly shambolic edge, it adds to the proceedings, reminds us of who they were. William's guitar is loud in the mix, often overpowering the rest of the group except for Jim and the snare drum, and he peels off the chords and top lines from behind his mess of hair, backlighting and dry ice. Those three sounds are what I want from a Mary Chain gig- Jim's voice, William's guitar and some drums. Teenage Lust is heavy and dark. Darklands highlights Cherry Came Too and Nine Million Rainy Days sound brittle and menacing. Some Candy Talking is fuzzy and tense, building to a staccato end. Reverence is long and overdriven. The encore brings a mini-Psychocandy, Just Like Honey, The Living End, You Trip Me Up and Taste Of Cindy before finishing with War On Peace, another new one. This slow approach to the reunion has done them some good, not rushing in and pushing it. Making an album, by their own admission a stressful experience, and managing to remain on speaking terms shows some growth. These miserable, uncommunicative but maybe now slightly more grown up middle aged men have found a way to make it work. Long may they have the blues.
Sunday, 26 March 2017
At least from today onwards until October the clock in my car will be telling the right time. British summertime starts today- you did remember to put your clocks forward didn't you? Yesterday's sunshine made it feel like the seasons had changed at a stroke. Everything feels a little better with some sun on your face.
It gives me a good excuse to post this Ultramarine song from 1991.
Saturday, 25 March 2017
While looking for something else on the net I found this picture of fans of The Cure from 1985. It was an easily obtainable look for those willing to go the distance with the crimpers.
This 1985 single by The Cure couldn't sound more like New Order if Hooky played the bass and Stephen Morris was on the drums. No mistaking the voice though, it couldn't be anyone other than Robert Smith. A song about regretting the mistakes of a love triangle and losing the girl he wanted with the finest pop melodies and the jauntiest rhythm.
In Between Days
A song I've posted before, back in 2012 it seems, making reference to the New Order comparisons. Round and round....
Friday, 24 March 2017
The new Jesus And Mary Chain album is out today, not words I necessarily thought I'd end up typing when I started this blog. I'm reasonably excited about the new album, tempered slightly by the fact that seven of the fourteen songs have been recorded and released by one Reid brother or the other in previous post-split incarnations- I've heard half of the album before, but still, new Mary Chain is new Mary Chain. This single from February is one of the new new ones and is good enough. Tomorrow night they're on at Manchester Academy and I shall be in attendance. Hopefully they'll still cut it live- they certainly did on the Psychocandy tour a couple of years ago.
Thursday, 23 March 2017
Andrew Weatherall, mentioned once or twice previously in this parish, has been back at NTS for Music's Not For Everyone.
The tracklist includes Cowboys International, Peter Hook, Siouxsie And The Banshees, a new one from himself and later on a new remix of Frank Butters by himself again, Jah Shaka, Dub Syndicate, Eat Light Become Light, Dinger and many others. Even if all I do after these shows is buy the records Weatherall makes or remixes it costs me more than I can afford.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Acid Ted posted about this the other day but it was on my mental list of stuff to write about and it's all in a good cause. Steve Cobby must have had some time on his hands recently. While looking back at his own Solid Doctor compilation spanning music he made and put out between 1990 and 1995 he decided to remaster it for a re-release. Then, due to his own lax methods of labelling tracks he discovered a few unreleased ones that actually sounded really good. So he's putting them out as well. The whole thing adds up to fifty eight tracks, six and a half hours worth of music, spread over six cds and now available from Bandcamp as either a cd box or a download. There is way more here than I can get my ears around at the moment, tracks ranging from properly chilled out loveliness to Balearica to 90s trip hop and to digital jazziness to fifteen minute long tranced out repetitive bliss. You just have to dive in and start swimming. This track is my current favourite- an answer phone message, some sampled Phillip Glass strings and the funkiest rhythm. Just wait for the bleepy bit at two minutes fifty and then...bye bye.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
There was a time when I didn't really see why One Dove's beautiful and mysterious Why Don't You Take Me needed remixing, even though it was Underworld (and Secret Knowledge) doing said remixing. Weatherall's production and Dot's vocal were so right mucking around with them or removing the vocal seemed wrong. But the first Underworld remix, a slow one and a long way from the usual throbbing pulsing Emerson sound, is really good, building slowly over eleven minutes with a repeated synth part.
Why Don't You Take Me (Underworld Remix)
And the second one is nearly fifteen minutes of throbbing and pulsing and dark corners and dry ice- those hi hats and kick drums keep pushing it on and on.
Why Don't You Take Me (Underworld Up 2 Down Remix)
And while neither of them are as wondrous as the original, they exist to do a different job.
Monday, 20 March 2017
I'm trying to fight the blogger's feeling that you should comment on every death in rock 'n' roll and have something to say about it. Chuck Berry died over the weekend- he invented rock 'n' roll, he invented the riff and the lyrical concerns of the song. Mrs Swiss and myself danced to You Never Can Tell at our wedding back in 1995 (we were both in our mid 20s so it wasn't quite the teenage wedding of the song). Other than that there isn't much I have to say about Chuck Berry. He was by all accounts an appalling person but in music we often have to separate the artist from the art, as unpleasant as that can be.
1995 was also the year that Sabres Of Paradise put out a series of remixes by other artists of songs from Haunted Dancehall, released the previous year. Chemical Brothers, LFO, Nightmares On Wax, In The Nursery and Depth Charge all had goes at reworking the work of Weatherall, Kooner and Burns. This Depth Charge version sounds very 1995- dusty, wired and with a big beat.
Tow Truck (Depth Charge Mix)
Sunday, 19 March 2017
Volume 3 of Weatherall's Rotters Golf Club Archive Hour is up, with songs from these fine artists
1. Restless Spell – The Wolfhounds
2. Desperate Man Blues – John Fahey
3. Rock Run Blues – Leon And Carlos
4. A Little Star – The Orient Express
5. The Problem – Jackie Leven
6. London Dub – Ruts D.C.
7. Inheritance Dub – Pama International Vs. Mad Professor
8. All Cats Are Grey (Peel Sessions 1981) – The Cure
9. The Suburban Westland – Twilight Royal
10. U.S. Centurion – Applecraft
11. Spanish Stroll – Mink DeVille
12. The Last Love Letter – Comet Gain
13. Don’t Forget About Me – Arthur Russell
14. Let’s Make Some Plans – Close Lobsters
15. 1991 – The Fauns
16. The Gold At The End Of My Rainbow – Be-Bop Deluxe
Saturday, 18 March 2017
Last weekend BBC4 showed the Screamadelica classic album programme, an hour long celebration of 1991's best album with contributions from many of those involved. One of the discussion points was whether Higher Than The Sun should be on the album in its edited or 12" form, shorter or longer. Andrew Innes went for the shorter one for the sake of the flow of the record and everyone agreed this was right, with the proviso that the 12" was the one for full tripped out enjoyment. Alex Paterson, who produced it as The Orb, reckons along with Little Fluffy Clouds it is the best thing he's done. But there's also another version of Higher Than The Sun, which goes further, a little bit longer, a little but higher, a little bit further out...
Higher Than The Sun (Higher Than The Kite)
Friday, 17 March 2017
The Clash, day five. I've tried to avoid the obvious songs but for today I'm going with one of their best songs and a high point of the later years. In Straight To Hell Joe delivers a state of the world address, taking in Thatcherism, industrial decline, unemployment and racism in verse one, abandoned children, cultural imperialism and the Vietnam War in verse two and the lives of immigrants universally in verse three. Mick comes up with the guitar hook and Topper thumps out a sort of Bossa Nova with a lemonade bottle with a towel wrapped around it banged against the bass drum. This is the longer version which was edited down for Combat Rock, complete with extra lyrics- at seven minutes long it is possibly Joe's finest hour lyrically and vocally. From the Sound System remasters, this is the version you want/need.
Straight To Hell (Unedited Version)
Thursday, 16 March 2017
Clash week day four. Two songs from round the old Joanna. When the Clash On Broadway box came out in 1991 one of the unreleased songs was a cover of Every Little Bit Hurts, Mick at the piano and giving it loads with a reverb drenched, soulful vocal. According to the booklet it was recorded during the Sandinista! sessions after Chrissie Hynde had dropped in. Mick and Chrissie used to sing it together and Mick gave it a go in the studio a few days later, with Norman Watt Roy on bass (which dates it to when Simonon was away filming Ladies And Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains) and Topper splashing away on cymbals and percussion.
Every Little Bit Hurts
Originally sung by Brenda Holloway in 1964 it was covered by The Spencer Davis Group which is where Mick knew it from. A couple of years earlier The Clash had been the subjects of a film, Rude Boy, a semi-fictionalised account of the life a roadie called Ray Gange. The film is a brave but flawed stab at documenting life in 1978-9 in Britain. But it does also feature some of the most incendiary Clash live footage committed to tape/celluloid which still makes the hairs on the back of neck stand up and the blood pump a little faster. In this section Joe finds a piano and starts hammering away while Gange stands around drinking beer. After a minute and a half and some muttering/swearing from Gange about Sam Philips and Elvis Joe breaks into Let The Good Times Roll, a Shirley and Lee song from 1956.
Give 'em a piano and a couple of minutes and both Joe and Mick would reel out the pre-punk songs. What Year Zero?
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Paul Simonon realised after a while that the money was in songwriting. During the sessions for what became London Calling he worked up a tune into what would become one of the group's most recognisable and best-loved songs, thanks in large part to 'the bassline of the twentieth century'. The swagger of Guns Of Brixton comes from the swing of the bassline and Paul's rough and ready vocal, the ripping sound at the start (velcro being peeled off the studio chairs apparently) and the chanted backing vocals. One of my favourites.
In 1990 Norman Cook borrowed the bassline for his number one hit Dub Be Good To Me. Without asking permission. Paul and Norman settled in a cafe and according to Paul at the time the cash injection was much needed. I happen to love Dub Be Good To Me, an updating of The SOS Band's Just Be Good To Me with harmonica pinched from Ennio Morricone and the rap half-inched from Johnny Dynell.
CBS, sensing a hit, decided to get a top dj to remix Guns Of Brixton, for the club scene. Jeremy Healy was the dj and a 12" single with three new versions (two are below) was put out. It stormed into the charts reaching number 57. I don't remember the clubs and bars of 1990 being awash with this version either. Well done CBS, good work.
To be honest I quite like the remixes, they present the song a bit differently, give it something else. They're not as good as the original no, and yes, they're probably for completists and the curious only.
Return To Brixton (Extended Mix)
Return To Brixton (SW2 Dub)
Jeremy Healy was in Haysi Fantayzee previous to his dj career. I've been watching the Top Of The Pops re-runs from 1983 this year and the January editions had Haysi Fantayzee on several times doing Shiny Shiny,a sort of pirate, nursery rhyme, tribal, glam, anti-nuclear thumper. Having recorded it, I re-watched it a few times too. Two words- Kate Garner.
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Don Letts is a man who looms large in The Clash story- the dj who played dub for the punks, the man who dressed the bands who couldn't afford Malcolm's clothes, the film maker who went with them to New York and the cover star of Black Market Clash (later expanded into Super Black Market Clash), a compilation of B-sides and assortments. One of the highlights inside these two albums is Pressure Drop, an amped up take on the Toots And The Maytals song (and originally the b-side to 1978's English Civil War). The Clash's enthusiasm for reggae was a gateway into Jamaican music for many fans. Joe often worried about covering reggae songs, stung by Lydon's criticisms, and he referred to them as trash reggae but this cover is way more than that.
Monday, 13 March 2017
Following Saturday's feedback I've thought about having a Clash week over the weekend. There doesn't seem much point just posting five obvious Clash songs and I don't know what I've got to add to the story of The Clash- on the other hand their music and history is so rich and full of people, characters and songs that there is always something else to focus on. They are a band that still mean a huge amount to many, many people. Joe's death means that they haven't sullied their legacy by either reforming for pots of cash or making a water treading album (they did that after sacking Mick and releasing Cut The Crap). Apparently they were on the verge of reforming for the Hall Of Fame induction but it didn't happen (Paul said no- well done Paul). Their back catalogue is so large and there are so many lesser known Clash songs that doing a week of Clash posts that skirt the outer edges shouldn't be too difficult. So I'll start with this.
Bernie Rhodes insisted that their songs should be about something, and that as a writer Joe should look at the world and engage with it. Joe was at times dismissive of Mick's more straight love songs and considered that the subject of love was largely covered. Instead Joe wrote some songs that dealt with things very simplistically (White Riot say) and some that were more complex and showed more depth. Something About England is tucked away at the end of side 1 of Sandinista! and it's one of the most complex songs the group wrote and performed. The song is a conversation between Joe's narrator (sung by Mick), a man looking at life in late 70s Britain, and a homeless man in a dirty overcoat. Mick opens the song with Joe's attention grabbing first verse
'They say the immigrants steal the hubcaps of respected gentlemen
They say it would be wine and roses if England were for Englishmen again'
Mick continues, noticing the old man as the sirens wail and the bars close for the night. The old man (Joe) then joins in, berating Mick's young narrator...
'You really think it's all new
You really think about it too?
I'll tell you a thing or two'
Then the song lurches from a dark piano music hall tune into something more urgent and Joe takes over...
'I missed the fourteen-eighteen war but not the sorrow afterwards
With my father dead and my mother ran off
My brothers took the pay of hoods
The Twenties turned, the north was dead
The hunger strike came marching south
At the garden party not a word was said
As ladies lifted cake to their mouths'
In full flow now and the next verse takes in the Second World War and then the men returning home limping around old Piccadilly and Leicester Square, the world rebuilding itself and architects who 'could not care'.
The penultimate verse finds Joe/the old man raging against the follies of government and people, sending young men to die in wars and 'photos in wallets on battlefields', the English class system of 'masters and servants and servants and dogs' and the gap that the country has never closed. The old man winds up, addressing Mick for the final time...
'The memories that you have dredged up
Are letters forwarded from hell'.
The song plays out and Mick's voice returns to conclude as the lights go out down the street and in the bedsits- 'old England was all alone'.
In a world of Trump and Brexit and Farage and Breitbart and countless other revivals of the hatred and divisions of the 1930s Something About England rings as true and as important in 2017 as it did in 1980. The people that blame the immigrants for their own woes and misfortunes are still with us, quietened for a while but now loud again. We still need The Clash.
Something About England
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Pet Shop Boys' 1990 single Being Boring is one of the songs that summarises life, one of those songs that hits hard and resonates emotionally, that seems to be somehow 'about' you (even though the autobiographical details are all specific to Neil Tennant and not me). The tune is lovely beyond words with swelling keyboards and a memorable melody line but it's Neil's words about growing up that really strike home- along with the reference to Zelda Fitzgerald's quote about not being boring because she was never bored- and the details of the verses that show how people change as they get older.
It's stuck with me also I guess because as I've got older I've moved through the verses (as they chronicle Neil Tennant getting older). It's a proper bittersweet and happy/sad song too, the pain and joy caused by sifting through the 'cache of old photos and invitations to teenage parties'. Neil Tennant would have been in his mid-to-late thirties when he wrote it and that seems to be telling- this isn't a song that a twenty something would write. Maybe that's why it keeps giving- when I first heard it in 1990 I was twenty so roughly the age the narrator is singing about in the second verse. Then as you get older you become the narrator of the third verse. A friend said recently this is 'the finest pop' which it is but it has a depth that much pop music doesn't- that's not to criticise pop music but it's often at its most effective when it is ephemeral and surface rather than depth. Being Boring is pop and much more than pop.
The extended mix is over ten minutes long but doesn't feel forced or anything like ten minutes long.
Being Boring (Extended Mix)
The video, shot by fashion photographer Bruce Weber, is like a Vogue shoot come to life and has the young and the beautiful enjoying themselves immensely.
Saturday, 11 March 2017
I found this image on the web the other night so it gives me a good excuse for a gratuitous Clash post and one of the most hair raising, adrenaline infused songs they recorded. The original Capital Radio was a freebie with the NME and the second hand price of it sky-rocketed. This appalled the band whose insistence on value for money and fans not being ripped off was a founding principal. So the song was re-recorded and included on the 1979 Cost Of Living ep, pound for pound one of the best value for money 7" records ever released (a four track ep led by I Fought The Law and supported by two of their best lesser known songs Groovy Times and Gates Of The West plus this one here).
Capital Radio starts with Mick playing a sweet acoustic finger picked riff. At twenty nine seconds Mick, off mic, shouts '1-2-3-4' and hits the main riff, a massive jolt of electric guitars. Joe joins in with a line about 'the Dr Goebbels show!' Topper's drumming is on the money. Joe and Mick alternate call and response style, railing against London's number one commercial radio station and it's refusal to play punk records and celebrating the pirate stations of the 60s- now silent 'cos they ain't got government license'. They make radio programming sound like the biggest injustice of modern times. At two minutes the band breaks it down and Joe comes in with 'hey guys, come on'. 'Yeah wot?' Mick responds, surly as you like. Joe then explores the possibility of The Clash being radio friendly and having a hit before they end with a brief breakout into You're The One That I Want, then at the top of the charts with Travolta and Newton John. Mick's strings squeal. Topper doubles the beat. More exciting and more fun than you can possibly imagine (as Obi Wan never said).
Capital Radio (Two)
While I'm here these pictures have been sitting in a folder waiting for a post so I may as well put them here or I'll end up doing a week of Clash posts.
Here's Joe and Mick in the USA, 1983, hanging by the pool- everything you need in late period Clash... Joe in Docs with mohawk and a busker's ukulele, Mick having raided the army surplus store.
Paul live in Paris, raising standards.
And lastly Topper and Paul, on tour c1979 somewhere far from the Westway.
Friday, 10 March 2017
Local bands often have the best names. There's a pub I drive past on the way to work which is advertising gigs by upcoming groups including Mustard, Gin Pit and T.V.O.D, all of which are great names. I have no desire to see these bands play and accept that they are probably just pub covers bands. In my head they are something else entirely, fully fleshed out with members, songs and background, ready to change the world. Another pub, now demolished, a mile up the road had a chalkboard that stayed up on the outside for months after it closed promoting Kim Jung Ill and Chineapple Punks. Unfortunately not on the same night.
The Slits is one of the great band names. It's a strange thing that given that almost every album ever made has been re-issued and is more or less constantly available, in double pack with b-sides and Peel Sessions and/or triple or coloured vinyl special editions, that their second album is unavailable and has been since a 2006 re-issue. Return Of The Giant Slits was released in 1981 and was a sidestep on from the punky energy of their debut- it's more groove based, pinned down by Bruce Smith's drums, allowing Tessa, Ari and Viv to explore African rhythms and a more laid back approach. Earthbeat was the album's opener and a single and seems early 80s compared to the very '77 sounds of Cut.
Thursday, 9 March 2017
George requested Carl Perkins following the Perkins-Craig face off on Monday. I haven't posted any rockabilly since my Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night series came to a close in March 2015. It began to feel like homework and a chore, two hundred and ten posts in, so it stopped. So this is a rockabilly reprise for a Thursday in March...
In 1956 Carl Perkins released Her Love Rubbed Off, a song that makes maximum use of Carl's southern gargle, a psyched out guitar part and slap back echo. The lyric celebrates getting it on in a pretty frank style for 1956.
'Well, I was so alone in the city park
I met my baby standing in the dark
Took my lovin' baby by the hand
I let her know that I'm her lovin' man
That love rubbed off on me
That baby wouldn't let me be
That baby took me by the hand
That love, I made her understand
That love, I hollered no, no, no
That baby wouldn't let me go, oh, oh'
Her Love Rubbed Off
In 1990 The Cramps twisted it further around, Lux and Ivy adding volume and distortion to Carl's already pretty hot under the collar song. You just can't beat The Cramps.
Her Love Rubbed Off Correct link now.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Last month I wrote about Moon Duo's Occult Architecture Vol. 1 and it hasn't been far away from me since, seven slices of dark psych drone rock. Last song White Rose in particular is a blast. Vol.2 is out at the start of May. The two albums were recorded as a pair, a 'psychedelic opus... an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of the seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light'. Their words, not mine. This song is in advance of Vol. 2, an organ led riot of colour, crystal and daylight (and drones) with a stunning backwards guitar solo.
Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Since not going to see Julian Cope a couple of weeks ago I pulled out his recent compilation album Trip Advizer, a sixteen track cd that rounds up the best of his work from 1999- 2015. If you only get one Julian Cope cd from this millennium etc. Also, Trip Advizer is the best name for a Cope cd (and strangely when listening to it I can kind of hear parallels with Half Man Half Biscuit- the wordplay, the music, the playing it straight). Anyhow, I don't always agree with the archdrude but I always enjoy him and his songs, and it may be the case that Trip Advizer works best as a dipper (play a few songs from it every now and then rather than an eighty minute one sitting album), but every song on it is a good one. They Were All On Hard Drugs is my favourite, a sweetly sung ode to ancient civilisations and their psychedelic drug practices with a Casio keyboard hissing away underneath but I've posted that before. In Psychedelic Revolution Julian promises to settle some scores tonight and then sings about spiking a range of targets- fat cats, greed-heads, moneybags, fuckers generally.
Monday, 6 March 2017
I noticed in the labels list that runs down the right hand side of this blog that Carl Craig has pulled ahead of Carl Perkins in the postings stakes, eight posts to six (nine to seven now). Carl Perkins was there at the start of popular music- he wrote Blue Suede Shoes for crying out loud- but Carl Craig has a wider back catalogue and has pursued progression and sonic experimentation more doggedly. Not that it is a competition, they just both happen to be named Carl and next to each other on this blog.
Sandstorms is a 2004 track, from the Just Another Day ep, that builds languidly over squelchy bass noise. Carl is releasing an updated 2017 symphonic version with pianist Francesco Tristano, out shortly.
Sunday, 5 March 2017
Here's some spacey Adrian Sherwood dub from 1984 for your Sunday, making use of some Indian vibes and lashings of echo.
I had a longer post in mind but when it came to writing not much came out.
Ravi Shankar Pt 1
Saturday, 4 March 2017
In 2015 an enormous six disc Jah Wobble box was released into the world, more Jah than you can shake a bass at. One of the more intriguing tracks to my ears was a new version of his 1991 masterwork Visions Of You. The original, with its three Weatherall remixes, was an otherworldly adventure, an odyssey of groove, bass and music from around the world with Sinead O'Connor providing vocals. This version- and I've no idea when or where it was made or who the personel involved are- is subtly different, sharper and distinct. Not better, not worse, just version.
Visions Of You (New Version)
Friday, 3 March 2017
Do you like Andrew Weatherall remixes? Good, so do I. Here's a new one...
That's a floaty, repetitive and spacey version, not an unpleasant experience at all. There's a pretty cosmic Roman Flugel remix too if you want to double your fun...
Thursday, 2 March 2017
Slipping back to 1985 today after I came across this twenty five minute clip yesterday. Husker Du live at The Stone in San Francisco on March 1st. The film starts towards the end of the set with Diane, Hate Paper Doll and Divide And Conquer (both from then recent release Flip Your Wig) and into an encore of Eight Miles High and Makes No Sense At All. For the final song, a romp through Louie Louie, the Huskers are joined by members of all four support bands- SWA, Saccharine Trust, Minutemen and Meat Puppets. Seeing Husker Du, Minutemen and Meat Puppets on the same bill seems extraordinary now but was standard for the time.
What seems funny about this video now is that it was professionally filmed but is so shonky. The sound is pretty hit and miss, Bob Mould's guitar inaudible in places against Greg Norton's bass. Whether that's the sound at the gig or just what the cameras are picking up I don't know.
The group also show how different things were in 1985. Touring without much in the way of label support- SST had never had any money- they more or less just booked some dates, got in a van and off they went. Minutemen's creed famously was 'we jam econo', in other words they cut their costs as far as they could, packed and unpacked their own gear, slept in the van or on fans' floors, touring as cheaply as possible. Touring connected with them fans and promoted records (which could be bought if SST had got them into the record shops in the town they were playing). These bands have not been anywhere near a stylist or a focus group, there's no lightshow, no backdrop, no projections, no gap between band and audience- all the things that modern signed bands take for granted. Different times.
This is also a new discovery for me, an unreleased outtake from 1984's New Day Rising album. Corruscating independent punk from Reagan's America.
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
More new music- there's lots of new music around at the moment isn't there? A good thing, keeps us on our toes. This is the new one from Kid Wave, a group a lot of us round here fell for back in 2015 with their Wanderlust album. Everything Changes is all warmth- fuzzy guitars, a chiming lead and slow motion vocals. Shoegaze but with focus.
Reunited Oxfordians Ride have put out two new tracks. The first one, Charm Assault, was alright I felt but a bit too brash. It was followed by Home Is A Feeling, a sprawling FX pedal piece of work which lets you swim in it and also sounds like it could have been recorded in the Thames Valley in the summer of 1992, fringes and love beads.
But Kid Wave take the lead I think.