Saturday, 30 June 2018
Mark from Rude Audio, a South London based acid house outfit featured before here with their own tracks and here dubbing out The Charlatans versus Chris and Cosey, are preparing a new e.p. to be released in late summer/early autumn. As a foretaste of what's to come Mark has put together this rather excellent mix, a two hour forty minute marathon, where 'dub, chug and house meet Arab vibes uptown for a bit of a cavort'. I can't do much more than recommend you press play and enjoy.
Rude Audio - To The Sun
Timothy Clerkin - Akama
Bedford Falls Players - Off The Drop (Rude Audio Remix)
Steady State - Steady State (Rich Lane Remix)
Lisa Germano - Lovesick (Underdog Remix)
Leftfield - Release The Pressure (Adrian Sherwood Remix)
Dub Trees - King Of The Faeries (Outer Space Chug Mix)
Bedford Falls Players - Story Of House (BFP Remix)
Shara Nelson - One In Ten (Underdog Remix)
Field Of Dreams - Nothing Is Perfect (Original - Instrumental)
Bedford Falls Players - Synthetic
Danielle Baldelli and Darlo - Infinity Machine
Rude Audio - Athens 91 (Are Killing Me)
Jagwar Ma - Give Me A Reason (Weatherall No.1 Remix)
Foals - Lonely Hunter (Bedford Falls Players Remix)
De Gama - Mantekilla
2CV - Sally Up Sally Down
Rude Audio - To The Half Moon (Rich Lane Remix)
Rude Audio - Rumble On Arab St
Mehmet Aslan - Gazel
Mixhell/Joe Goddard/Mutado Pintado - Crocodile Boots (Mixhell Remix)
Kalabrese - Desperate Man (Matthew Herbert Instrumental Remix)
Lauer - ESC (Prins Thomas Diskomix)
Rude Audio - Pipeline Screaming
Munk and Rebolledo - Surf Smurf (Munk Version)
Carter Tutti - Dancing On Your Grave
Time and Space Machine - Good Morning (St Etienne Remix)
Alien Stadium - Titanic
Friday, 29 June 2018
One of my favourite tracks of 2015 existed only as a Soundcloud post but happily it has just had a proper release. Sunrise by Pearl's Cab Ride remixed into an extended trip by Mono Life. A full on Balearic, blissed out, wobbly bass celebration of dawn in the summertime. Mono Life, the skull from Hull, surpassed himself here.
Pearl's Cab Ride are a funk and soul band from Humberside. The lead track on the 3 song release is this sultry groover, with horns that hit the right spots. Great vocals too.
Available at the usual digital outlets and on old fashioned compact disc here.
Thursday, 28 June 2018
June 2018 is a gift that keeps on giving in terms of images. In the picture at the top Diego Maradona celebrates Argentina finding some form of redemption against Nigeria (who didn't deserve to lose to be honest). Diego danced with a Nigerian fan, celebrated Messi's goal in ecstatic style, flipped double birds at fans below on the 86th minute winner and then had a health scare in the concourse. He is disappearing in a blizzard of coke. I love Diego in many ways but I fear for his health. In the picture below a resident of Mossley, in the Pennines east of Manchester, returns from the Co-op in a gas mask to protect from the moorland fires which have been out of control most of the week. The smell of burning peat hangs over the city.
Recently I have been a little bit obsessed with this song from Talking Heads in 1979. Byrne's lyrics were adapted from a poem by the Dadaist writer Hugo Ball. The groundbreaking Afro-funk is the product of the band.
I Zimbra (12" version)
It works well with this, out earlier this year from Sean Johnston's Hardway Bros, a 2018 slice of Afro-funkiness.
Wednesday, 27 June 2018
I beg to differ- the sky this week is most definitely blue (admittedly with pink and orange streaks at sunset). Back in 2004 Nathan Fake's The Sky Was Pink was remixed by James Holden, an epic ten minute job with processed beats, effects and a melody that surfaces and disappears and resurfaces. The bassline pounds along and as the track progresses the beats get harder and everything is a little bit more intense than everything else.
The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix)
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Tim Burgess has recently released a solo album he recorded and then forgot about. At a loose end between Christmas and New Year ten years ago and having only just given up the booze he gathered a few mates around him at The Charlatans studio in Northwich- Martin Duffy on keyboards, Debbie Googe on bass, Josh from The Horrors on guitar and Steffan from The Klaxons on drums. They recorded ten songs and this one, Clutching Insignificance, is the opener to the album (As I Was Now), a little bit ragged but insistent and intent on sticking in the memory.
Monday, 25 June 2018
This is the new single from Death In Vegas, Honey, with the blissful vocals of Sasha Grey over throbbing, minimal, mind altering techno. 'I would die... for you' Sasha whispers.
Richard Fearless has more or less devoted his music making over the last few years to this sound, stripping it back and purifying it. In 2015 he put out this eight minute song, Overview Effect. It followed 2 singles form the year before, all in similar groove. When you've got a sound this good, why do anything other than refine it?
I don't know why some get released as Richard Fearless and some as Death In Vegas, where Fearless ends and Vegas begins? Or the other way round...
Sunday, 24 June 2018
This comes recommended by Drew (of sadly recently defunct blog Across The Kitchen Table). Rival Consoles featured here a little while ago remixing The Neil Cowley Trio. Rival Consoles own album came out back in April, an introspective feast of electronic sounds, synths, drum machines, computers creating music you could dance to, and music for sitting in dim light and listening to- ambient, drones, melodies. All infused with very human emotions. You can buy it here.
Saturday, 23 June 2018
Back once again, the renegade master... actually, not the renegade master, but Lord Sabre. June's edition of Music's Not For everyone went out on Thursday and has the new Death In Vegas single, The Lucid Dream's blast of acid house SX1000, DJ Khaleb, a new one from the man himself titled The Blue Bullet, Lee Perry, Can and the usual array of stuff you've never heard of. Mark E Smith once opened up with 'Notebooks out plagiarists!'. With Weatherall it's more a case of 'chequebooks out enthusiasts!'. Tracklist here.
Friday, 22 June 2018
I appreciate that here in the UK we don't have too much room to shout at the moment, being led as we are by the most incompetent government since the end of the Second World War who are attempting to put into law, by most reckonings, the most disastrous political decision any major western country has taken in the same period. But, as the question at the top of the post asks, 'whither goest thou, America?' When Jack Kerouac asked the question in On The Road it was in a different context but still, the question stands.
In the last two weeks alone Trump has-
* legitimised a brutal dictator who uses torture and murder against his own people, orders assassinations of those in his government who he falls out with and who has used forced starvation to bring the population to heel.
* professed admiration for this dictator, praising him as a a man whose people listen when he speaks and said he wants the same from the American people
* removed the USA from the United Nations Committee on Human Rights because it criticises Israeli policies against the Palestinian people
* continued to support a policy that has led to toddlers being imprisoned in cages on the USA's southern border
This is the normalisation of anti-democratic practices by the US government. We know from history where this leads. It's never too late to shout about it. One of the things David Byrne talked about between songs on Monday night was about how at his shows in the US they had a table in the foyer to register people to vote there and then, and about how important it is to get people to engage, to vote in local elections and national ones. It beats 'Hi, how are you?' (response usually a big cheer) and 'this is a new one' (response, a trip to the bar or the toilet). Unless Trump abolishes elections in the next 2 years (as his new friend in North Korea might advise), he is removable and defeatable. Same over here. We've got to rid of these people. The chorus of this 2006 Jarvis Cocker song is truer now than it was when he wrote it...
Running The World
' I mean, man, whither goest thou? Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?" "Whither goest thou?'
In 1997 an album called Joy Kicks Darkness was released, a spoken word tribute to Kerouac by artists including Michael Stipe, Lydia Lunch, Patti Smith, Thurston Moore, John Cale and Juliana Hatfield and also featuring surviving Beats like Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. This track is Joe Strummer and Jack Kerouac together.
MacDougal Street Blues
Thursday, 21 June 2018
Today is the longest day and the summer solstice, where the sun rises earlier and sets later than any other day. Make the most of it. I've never been to the stones at sunrise but if I did the man I'd want beside me would be the arch-drude, Julian Cope himself. Maybe he has the answer about the ancients...
They Were All On Drugs
Wednesday, 20 June 2018
David Byrne played at The Apollo on Monday night and it was quite a night. Byrne had promised in advance that this tour was ambitious and it definitely did things differently in terms of staging and presentation. The stage was completely bare of any of the standard rock 'n' roll equipment- no amps, no drum riser or drum kit. As we took our seats all that was on the stage was a metal legged table and a chair under a single spotlight. At 8.45 he appeared, singing Here to a rubber brain. Dressed in a grey suit and shirt and barefoot, grown out white hair, he looks every inch the intellectual and artist. But things heat up very quickly after this arty intro. My friend, DJ, who got me the ticket, saw the show in Birmingham the night before and said that the crowd remained mostly seated throughout until the encore. From the moment the band hit the opening notes of the second song, his 2002 hit with X-Press 2 Lazy, the Manchester crowd is on its feet and dances until the end.
The band are all, in Byrne's words, 'untethered'. All dressed identically, grey suits and shirts and barefoot, the eleven players are free to move around. The guitar and bass have no leads, the keyboard player has his keys in front of him on a harness, again no leads, there are two hardworking backing vocalists/dancers and anywhere up to six drummers, standing up samba-style playing a variety of drums and percussion instruments. The show is highly choreographed. No backdrop or projections except for a silver metallic curtain and at one point a light as a TV set but the lights change the shape of the stage. Lit from low down hge shadows engulf the back wall during one song, genuinely exciting to look at. At times the eleven band members stand in a line, at times they move in circles or file in and out, some walking forwards as others move back. Lots of this seems to be a visual nod to Stop Making Sense. At the close of one song the lights go out and when they come up again the band are all lying down. On another they all stand on the right hand side and then stagger to the left, as if at sea in rough weather. All of this is very clever and very stylised and could run the risk of being too theatrical were it not for the playing and the songs. At no point do I wish they'd drop the artifice and just play the songs. The songs, the dancing, the show- all add up to something hugely imaginative.
Lazy is bright and breezy, full of bounce, and followed by I, Zimbra, monumentally funky and African influenced. They follow that with Slippery People. At this point I'm pretty much in David Byrne gig heaven- his voice is strong, his dancing energetic (and at times wonderfully in sync with his backing dancers) and the band are playing fully realised versions of the Talking Heads songs you want played at a gig. He throws in songs from other projects he's had along the way, one from the album he did with St. Vincent and one from his record with Fatboy Slim and a few from solo records (Like Humans Do). The songs from the current album American Utopia slip in seamlessly, less arch in concert than on disc. Anyone else who had written something as influential and massive as Once In A Lifetime would play it as an encore. David Byrne plays it at about the half way point, a single spotlight following his jerky dancing along the lip of the stage. It's all astonishing stuff- loud, clear, full of energy and the band and David are clearly enjoying the songs as much as we are. The set closes with two Talking Heads songs, first a blistering version of 1988's Blind, a song I hadn't expected and have loved since the day it came out, and then a red hot dance through Burning Down The House, the stage drenched in red light. To top this the first encore gives up The Great Curve (to join Remain In Light's Born Under Punches, played earlier), groundbreaking funk in 1981 and still ahead of the curve now. The group then stand in a line and play a cover of Janelle Monae's Hell You Talmbout, minimal drumbeat and chanting voices- essentially a list of black men killed by white Americans. The tour is sold out. David is bringing the show back in December, to arenas. My advice, if you want to see someone doing something other people don't or can't and doing it as well as you can imagine, is to get a ticket. The heat goes on, as he reminds us forcefully in Born Under Punches, the heat goes on.
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
From northern England yesterday to New Jersey today. I've posted some Yo La Tengo but make no apologies for putting some more up. In 1993 they released Painful, an album combining their love of ambience and atmospherics with melodic guitar and noise. The noise on From A Motel 6 is there at the start and comes in ecstatic bursts afterwards. Motel 6 is a nationwide chain of budget motels. I always imagined someone similar, Teenage Fanclub say, writing a British equivalent about Travelodges or Premier Inns in reply.
From A Motel 6
Monday, 18 June 2018
Somehow this beautiful, surprisingly noisy piece of northern rock is eighteen years old. I played it yesterday and was struck by how it manages to be both melancholic and uplifting. I have it on 10" but curiously it didn't find its way into the recent 10 x 10 thing on Twitter. The waves of sound it rides in on and the slow paced bang of the drums are built for cities in the summer, especially this one, even before the tears-in-your-beer howl of the chorus.
The Cedar Room
Sunday, 17 June 2018
Up in Edinburgh John Vick and Davie Miller have taken their time putting together an album as Finiflex, working in a subterranean studio in Leith, putting in early morning shifts from 6am until 9am when the paying customers arrived to use the studio. The album, Suilven, came out on Friday and while I'll have to wait until payday to get a copy it is sounding very much like a end of year list-maker already. Suilven has the fingerprints that made Finitribe such an unexpected groovy treat in the 80s and early 90s but updated for 2018. Familiar multitracked vocals, bleeps and bloops, chuggy rhythms and a sense of openness and possibility. I've posted the 2 singles that preceded the album Ta Ta Oh Ha and Bonus Freaks before, back in October last year and March this year, both of which I've played repeatedly. The title track Suilven is a joy and a tribute to a mountain in Sutherland, Scotland. You can buy Suilven here (the album not the mountain).
Saturday, 16 June 2018
Sad news to wake up to this morning- as well as what looks like a catastrophic fire the beautiful Glasgow School of Art building- is that Nick Knox, the longest serving drummer of The Cramps, died yesterday aged 60. Nick started his tenure with Lux and Ivy in 1977 and played on at least 4 classic Cramps albums before leaving in 1991- Songs The Lord Taught Us, Psychedelic Jungle, A Date With Elvis and Stay Sick! plus songs and singles on the essential compilations Off The Bone and Bad Music For Bad People. That's your full Cramps set right there. RIP Nick Knox.
I was asked to dj at a friend's 45th birthday party in Sheffield a few years ago, a party with guaranteed dancers and folk who would enjoy a good shindig. Which was very much true. Except with this song, which cleared the floor. Sometimes you've got to scare them away to bring them back again.
Bikini Girls With Machine Guns
Johnny Marr posted this photograph on his Twitter account yesterday with the caption Kylie Fucking Minogue. It got me thinking that I would definitely pay good money for an Imaginary Collaboration Album, Marr and Minogue covering songs from their respective back catalogues. Johnny and his current band with Kylie singing How Soon Is Now and Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me, Kylie cooing her way through Getting Away With It, The Beat(en) Generation and Still Feel The Rain by Stex and in return Johnny blazing his way through Can't Get You Out Of My Head, finding a new slinky guitar version of All The Lovers and a jangle version of I Should Be So Lucky. Come on, make it happen.
Johnny Mar's new solo album came out yesterday to uniformly good reviews. I'm not getting it until tomorrow (Father's Day innit). This single came out a month ago and sounds like a song he meant to record with his most famous band but never got around to until now.
And some Kylie. In 1994 everyone loved Kylie.
Friday, 15 June 2018
I pulled out Two Lone Swordsmen's 1996 double album Swimming Not Skimming at the weekend, a record I haven't played for a long time. SNS was a mixture of new tracks from Weatherall and Tenniswood and some remixes. The vinyl always confused me- the tracklist and disc labelling was unclear and I wasn't sure what the different tracks were called until I became acquainted with the cd version and then later the internet could confirm which track was which. Additionally the cd had 10 tracks to the vinyl version's 7. Both formats have the same couple of remixes of stand-up bass tour de force Rico's Helly, almost worth the price of admission on their own. I was half tempted to post the whole thing but it is still available to buy digitally so decided against it. Here's a couple of tasters, one from the vinyl/cd and one from the cd alone.
This is the one that grabbed me most at the weekend. Blu Jack And Florence is extremely high quality machine funk, riding in on a mechanical rhythm. The bass hits at fifteen seconds and then the keyboards play around over the top. Wait for the synth strings come in at around 3.30. Hair-raising. The drums double up and it powers forward unrelenting.
Blu Jack And Florence
In The Nursery Visit Glenn Street was only on the cd (along with the lovely ambient opener Azzolini And the Branch Brothers Meet Being), a remix by In The Nursery (who had previously done a lovely, slightly spooky remix of Haunted Dancehall). Klive and Nigel Humberstone pull out the bassline and some ambient bubbling and add sweeping strings, a cinematic and celestial track to counter Blu Jack And Florence's more earthbound, booty shaking appeal.
In The Nursery Visit Glenn Street
Thursday, 14 June 2018
There are two significant events today, June 14th 2018, one personal and one international. The first one, close to home, is the 15th birthday of number two child/number one daughter Eliza. Once, as the picture shows, she was young and cute and happily wore a Clash t-shirt. Now she is 15, growing up into a young woman and probably wouldn't wear a Clash t-shirt.
Every summer in recent years we've driven to France with a stack of music. I get accused of hogging the car stereo. Not true obviously. Finding songs we can all agree on is a bit of an artform. Last summer we got there on this one- I've got to say, I think this is a tune. So you can have this one as your birthday song Eliza. Happy birthday.
One of Eliza's presents is Dolly Parton's 9 To 5 on 7" (which she should have opened by the time this is posted). So here's your birthday bonus song...
We survived our first 'proper' teenage house party at the weekend, a mixed group of 15 of them in our garden, with music, dancing, shrieking and 'controlled' drinking (you can control what they drink in your house- more difficult to control what some of them have drunk before they arrive). Apart from some minor damage to our already patchy lawn there was no harm done and much fun had. The party playlist was dominated by 80s pop, some disgraceful 80s soft-rock and some more contemporary stuff. Back in 1985, when I turned 15 this was the UK's number one single...
19 is groundbreaking in its own way and genuinely memorable, and kept at the number one slot by regular releases of remixed versions. Vietnam was big in the mid-80s. A decade on from the end of the war people were getting to grips with it, what had happened and what it meant. I read somewhere recently that the average age of the combat soldier in Vietnam wasn't actually 19 but 22. But that doesn't really change the message of the song or the fact that if you were poor, uneducated or black you were far more likely to end up in Vietnam than if you were wealthier, educated and white. Does it Mr. Trump? Coincidentally I played it to my Year 11 class recently as part of their depth study on The Vietnam War. They weren't very impressed if truth be told, the sounds were too dated and quaint, the stuttering vocal too cliched and the female backing vox too cheesy. But they took the message and the visuals in.
The other event today is the start of the World Cup, Russia 2018. This is my 11th World Cup. I have some vague memories of Argentina '78 aged 8, memories of the final at least, which I was allowed to stay up and watch some of. Spain '82 is the first one I really remember- in the picture above Bryan Robson celebrates after scoring against France in England's opening game. Mexico '86 was a blast, taking place during my O Levels, the magnificence of Diego Maradona in his prime, England out in controversial manner and an epic France v Brazil game. Italia 90 was ace, mixed up as it was with New Order's World In Motion, No Alla Violenza, Toto Schillaci, Roger Milla and an England run to the semi-finals.
Twenty-eight years on, this is still the only world cup record that really matters.
'Love's got the world in motion and we can't believe it's true'.
World In Motion (No Alla Violenza Mix)
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
This new method record labels have adopted of suddenly releasing singles and albums has its benefits but it makes planning monthly record spending very difficult. You think you're sorted and have budgeted for what you want and then without warning Phantasy send you an email saying they've just put out a Gabe Gurnsey 12", following up last month's superb Ultra Clear Sound. The new track, Eyes Over, is another summer monster, sweaty night club vibes, warm synth sounds and what the press release calls 'proto-Hacienda grooves'. The vocal is an insistent little earworm too. This is the radio edit....
And the flipside of the 12" single has an extended dub mix, separating the different elements out with some very mid-to-late 80s Chicago sounds going on, drawn out over seven increasingly intense bass-led minutes, the temperature rising as it unfolds.
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
I had techno on repeat at the weekend and this one from 1995 was buzzing around my head after pressing play at some point on Saturday morning. Drexciya were a duo from Detroit, a focused and purist electro-techno pairing who shunned the media and dwelt in the shadows. They created an origin myth for their name- Drexciya was an underwater nation made populated and inhabited by the unborn children of pregant African slaves who jumped or were thrown off slave ships crossing the Atlantic.
The sleeve to the Aquatic Invasion 12" has this on it...
On February First Nineteen Hundred And Ninety Five the Drexciyan Tactical Seaforces received orders from UR Strikeforce Command, for one final mission. The dreaded Drexciya stingray and barracuda battalions were dispatched from the Bermuda Triangle. Their search and destroy mission to be carried out during the Winter Equinox of 1995 against the programmer strongholds. During their return journey home to the invisible city one final mighty blow will be dealt to the programmers. Aquatic knowledge for those who know.
The Unknown Writer
They weren't messing around. Wavejumper is the a-side on the 12", a blast of the future, a slice of purist funky electro, a piece of uncompromising dark techno. It still sounds streets ahead.
Monday, 11 June 2018
We spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon drinking beer and wine in the sun and listening to music at a friend's house. After a while the person in charge of Spotify started asking for requests and we ended up with a bunch of mid-to-late 80s songs, as you might expect given the age of the people present, and eventually a run of Aztec Camera songs. This one didn't get played but it should have if time and had permitted. Roddy Frame's bittersweet kiss off to punk (and a major inspiration on Johnny Marr, tuning in, a couple of hundred miles south). This is the single version, with production and horns that sound dated- but the song is divine.
Walk Out To Winter
Sunday, 10 June 2018
When I posted the Rival Consoles remix of The Neil Cowley Trio's Weightless last week a reader called Adverse Camper advised me that the remix of Echo Nebula by Vessels on the same ep (Spacebound Tapes) was really good too. And Adverse Camper is absolutely spot on, it is. It buzzes and fizzes, building in bursts, little melodies shining through, before the classical piano emerges at the end. The 12" is long since sold out but this track will cost you just £1 at Bandcamp or you could splash out on the whole 4 track ep for a whopping £3 if you're feeling flush.
Saturday, 9 June 2018
I was waiting my turn in the barber's, sweltering in the summer heat and after a day at work, and there was a playlist from Spotify on (it's usually XFM in there, wall to wall Oasis and Arctic Monkeys). Out of nowhere the keyboard part and funky guitar riff from Genius Of Love came into earshot and for the next five minutes I was grooving slightly in my seat to the sounds of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz back in 1981. 1981! I can't think of many songs from 1981 that still sound as fresh as this does and as full of life. One of the most sampled songs ever and a genuine hit. Tina's bassline alone guarantees it a special place. According to Frantz when David Byrne heard it he changed his mind about splitting Talking Heads up- he was a little envious I should imagine.
Genius Of Love
Friday, 8 June 2018
Back in the middle of May I posted Eyes Of Others recent single Lust Unrequited, a top notch release featuring a fine pair of remixes, one each from Sordid Sound System and Mugwump. Now, fresh off the shelf at Paradise Palms headquarters in Edinburgh, comes a remix of a 2017 Eyes Of Others song by Andrew Weatherall, a seriously dubbed out affair with live sounding drums and melodica, on a journey into time and space.
Thursday, 7 June 2018
Yesterday I contributed the 170th Imaginary Compilation Album over at The Vinyl Villain. I think it's fair to say it is an idea which has caught on. After sending over ICAs for Big Audio Dynamite, Husker Du, ACR and Andrew Weatherall I decided it was time for San Pedro's 80s punks Minutemen to have their time in the sun. You can read it and get the songs here. As always there are songs which had to be left out. This is one of them, the live version from their posthumous 1987 live album Ballot Result. Following D. Boon's death Mike Watt and Hurley compiled the album from fans votes and contributions but the idea had started back in 1984 when they were bootlegged.
I Felt Like A Gringo (live)
The lyrics for this song show, along with the 10 short songs over at TVV, what a remarkable band they were. Over their frenetic, jerky post-punk funk we get one minute forty seconds of American awkwardness and cultural imperialism in the Reagan era.
'Ton of white boy guilt, that's my problem
Obstacle to joy- one reason to use some drugs
Slept on a Mexican beach, slept in trash
Too much can ruin a good time
I asked a Mexican who ran a bar for Americans
'Who won' I said, 'the election?'
He laughed, I felt like a gringo
We paid for a song and they had some fun with us
Why can't you buy a good time?
Why are there soldiers in the streets?
Why did I spend the 4th in somebody else's country?'
Wednesday, 6 June 2018
I missed this when it came out back in 2015, a standalone 7" single from Michael Head and his Red Elastic Band. The b-side is a jazzy song about Koala Bears with an intelrude into Close To You. The a-side is a beaut, with a finger picked intro reminiscent of Everybody's Talkin', cello and Mick singing of the pleasures of listening to Lou, Sterling, John and Mo in the park, in the dark.
Velvets In The Dark
This live version was recorded in March 2016 at Islington Assembly Hall, all reverb and atmosphere. It shimmers. If you want a physical copy of the studio version Piccadilly Records seem to have some left.
Tuesday, 5 June 2018
If you're looking for sublime, romantic indie-rock with happy sad melodies, just the right amount of fuzz, some chiming noise and the sense that something else is out there, just out of reach, there's no finer sound than Yo La Tengo in the mid 90s. Tom Courteney is a marvellous example- maybe their finest (although I'm willing to listen to arguments for Autumn Sweater, From A Motel 6, Sugarcube and Big Day Coming. Actually this list could go on and on...)
Monday, 4 June 2018
Five years ago last night, 9 pm on June 3rd 2013 to be exact, was the last time I smoked a cigarette. At that time being smoke free for five years seemed impossible. I do feel a sense of achievement about giving up. I don't even miss it all the time now- I do miss it sometimes but not every waking moment like I did at first. When I get a waft of smoke in the street from a passerby I quite like it but there have been occasions when I get a noseful of second hand smoke where I can't believe I actually used to do it. I sometimes think that I'll start again when it's too late to matter much, maybe when I'm 75, but I suspect in 27 years time it'll be illegal to smoke in any public or private space and if not it'll be prohibitively expensive.
This ep from Bird Of Paradise called Smoking Holiday came out on Sweden's Hoga Nord label earlier this year. All four tracks here are top quality, spaced out, slow motion, electronic chug.
Sunday, 3 June 2018
How about some Balearic groove for your Sunday? To accompany the photo I took of our Lake District sunset last Sunday I offer you this mid-paced piece of summer loveliness, Underground System remixed by Leo Mas and Fabrice. The Afro-beat drums clatter about nicely, the bass riff is up front and on the dub mix the trumpet part is wonderfully loopy. Bella Ciao is a hymn to freedom and resistance dating from the civil war. Italo disco veteran Fabrice and Ibiza original Leo Mas, Balearic veterans both, take it up towards the sun, wherever you happen to be listening to it.
Saturday, 2 June 2018
In his most recent Music's Not For Everyone radio show Weatherall played this track, released back in February. Neil Cowley made an album called Spacebound Apes, a sci fi exploration based loosely around Arthur C Clarke's 1956 novel The City And The Stars. This remix by Rival Consoles is a joy, a beautiful, lighter than air piece of music that sounds like music made by human machines.
Friday, 1 June 2018
It's June, June already. How on earth did that happen? Summer has arrived in the north west of the UK recently and long may it continue. I spent most of yesterday pulling up the wooden decking from our back garden, ten years old and rotten and collapsing in places (but really well secured in others, hence every single part of me aches today. I ache in places I didn't know you could ache). We're replacing it with gravel. Gravel doesn't rot and doesn't need maintaining.
In 2008 Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve put out this track, Winter In June, a 60s psychedelic inspired adventure, a re-edit of The Mystic Astrologic Crystal Band's 1967 song Flowers Never Cry.
And yes, that is the voice of Percy Thrower.
Winter In June