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Friday 30 April 2010

Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 11

It's Friday night and it's that time again, for our weekly rockabilly rave-up. Carl Perkins (he was there before Elvis music fans) invites you to a party, and for this bank holiday weekend, including our pre-40th trip to Edinburgh, I think we should all get Dixie Fried. Have a great weekend.

14 Dixie Fried.wma

Thursday 29 April 2010

The Stone Roses 'What The World Is Waiting For'

And they were, wern't they?

The Stone Roses were a massive band for me- right age, right time, right part of the country. I've shied away from writing about them because a) there can't be anyone who has even a passing interest in them who hasn't got everything they've done, b) the whole world knows their story and I'm not sure I can add much to it, and c) their importance seems to fade each year and I've listened to them so much I can't even hear them any more, it's become almost musical wallpaper.

But they were massive for me. I first heard them when a hipper friend taped me the Sally Cinnamon 12", and a year or two later on I saw them play. This was just before the first album came out, and they blew me away. It's still the gig I judge other gigs against. I only knew a couple of the songs they played but the set knocked my head off, along with their arrogant cool, haircuts, trousers and the all the rest of it. Stunning. From that point on me and them fell perfectly into place and The Roses trajectory from the first album through to Spike Island (much better than people would have you believe, though there was a lot of sitting around in the afternoon) was close to perfect. Thousands of other people my age could say the same. Blackpool, Ally Pally, arrest for chucking paint around, blowing the sound on the Late Show, Fools Gold on TOTP along with Happy Mondays, photos on top of a Swiss mountain for the end of year NME- everything. Wonderful.

The other side of it is they really should have stopped there, and preserved the legend. We all know The Second Coming is better than the reviews at the time said, but then maybe it's not as good as the fans have since said. Guitar overload, Ian audibly not interested, a fair few below par songs. John Squire was asked what he'd change if he had the chance to do that record again- 'The cover was too dark' he said, and then muttered 'do it again over my dead body'. It doesn't sound like anyone enjoyed it. Sure, the NME 'Gotcha' cover was exciting, and Love Spreads was great, but after the album was released they collapsed slowly. Reni left. The tour nights at the Apollo were stunning, but it already felt like nostalgia. The song they recorded for Help said it all- given the challenge of recording a song in a day they turned in a poor cover of one of their own songs (Love Spreads), with super-heavy guitar, flat vocals and an embarrassing piano bit. Totally dysfunctional. Arguments, remixes of Begging You (very un-Roses) , Squire left, the others slagged him off rotten, Reading Festival atrocity exhibition. The end.

Even after that they and others have continued to ruin the legacy. Middling to poor solo careers. The Seahorses (one good song). Two Squire solo albums, proving never mind about Ian, John really couldn't sing. The highlights of Ian Brown's solo career, to these ears, would fill a 6 track e.p. at best, including the track he did with UNKLE. And despite his best cosmic-love, stoner philosophy he's still over a decade later got steam coming out of ears about John leaving. Reni? The Rub? Only Mani escaped with dignity intact and re-energised Primal Scream. Beneath all of that Silvertone have pillaged the back catalogue and sucked it dry, cheapening the whole thing further, re-releasing the album and singles multiple times. Last year's twentieth anniversary box-set setting a new low, with a lemon-shaped USB stick of the first lp. I didn't buy it. In fact, the only thing they've done which continues to earn respect is avoid reforming, which would be the real, living end.

So, despite their enormous influence on me- they changed everything, including the music I listened to, the width of my trousers and cut of my hair, or should that be cut of my trousers and width of my hair?- I have real mixed feelings about them these days, but occasionally when I hear Waterfall, or Adored, or Elephant Stone, or Standing Here, or chance upon the video of them on TOTP or The Late Show, or hear the opening chimes of Sally Cinnamon, or the last 6 minutes of Fools Gold, or this, the cool-as-Christmas flipside to Fools Gold, and close my eyes it can be good again. Cheers lads.

02 What the world is waiting for.wma

Wild Billy Childish and The Buff Medways 'The Poets Dream'

It's not all garage rock round Billy Childish's way, no sir. This is the quite lovely ballad The Poet's Dream, electric guitar but finger picked rather than three chord strum, great melody and aching singing, with Billy celebrating his muse. It's a song for lovers, as Dicky Ashcroft once observed, far less successfully.

Speaking of muses (and not that godawful band from Devon) Nick Cave had a verse in There She Goes, My Beautiful World that goes 'I look at you and you look at me, deep in our hearts we know it, that you weren't much of a muse,but then I'm weren't much of a poet', which always makes me laugh. Billy Childish isn't a Nick Cave fan so I doubt he'd be that pleased to be linked in this way, but then he doesn't do the internet either so I shouldn't think he'll be reading this. But if you are Billy, say hello.

09 The Poets Dream.wma

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Gorillaz 'Stylo' Live On Later

Just found this- Gorillaz playing Stylo live on Later earlier this week. I heard the album a few weeks ago and wasn't that taken with it, however this is superb. Have a look on Youtube for the visuals, almost everyone dressed as sailors. This version features Bobby Womack and Mos Def doing the vocals as on the record, but more excitingly for The Clash fans, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon playing live together for the first time since 1983. And if anyone can carry off a peaked sailor's cap it's Paul Simonon.


Siouxsie 'Into A Swan' (Weatherall Remix)

We havn't had any Weatherall for well over a week here at Bagging Area, and to be honest between all the pro-Weatherall blogs there can't be much left to post, but here's a remix from 2007. Punk-goth Queen Siouxsie Sioux's Into A Swan, from her first solo album Mantaray, which was pretty good if memory serves. Weatherall takes Siouxsie for a spin round the dancefloor, fairly successfully, though this may not top anyone's list of favourite Weatherall remixes.

Someone asked me recently, Siouxsie or Debbie Harry? and I answered Siouxsie without even thinking about it. Maybe that's just me. She's a bit scary though.

Into A Swan (Weatherall Remix).wma

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Sister Vanilla 'Jamcolas'

When The Jesus And Mary Chain split up live on stage in 1999 it seemed pretty terminal. William went off and recorded some of the most uncommercial, unfocussed and downright unlistenable stuff any record label has ever put out as Lazycame. I've got the album and it's awful. I've got a 7" which has got a good track on it. Jim took Ben Lurie from The Mary Chain and formed Freeheat, who released some stuff in America, but it was a bit uninspired. Jim had a brief stab at a solo career as well, with a good single called Dead End Kids (remind me and I'll post it at some point). In 2007 they unexpectedly reformed playing Coachella (with Scarlett Johansson guesting) and a few gigs afterwards, but new material has been thin on the ground. A new song was aired on a US tv show and popped up in an episode of Heroes. Typically, they claimed the secret to the reformation was 'Jim doesn't drink anymore, and William doesn't drink on stage'.

In between the split and the reformation, in early 2007, a Sister Vanilla album, Little Pop Rock, came out to a few reviews but little fanfare which was surprising as it was a Mary Chain album in all but name. Sister Vanilla is fronted by the Reid's sister Linda, and she has the Mary Chain drawl down to a t. The Mary Chain are all over the album- the songs are co-written by Jim and William, Jim, Ben Lurie and William produced it, Jim sings on many of the tracks with Linda and plays guitar, William's instruments are all over it. The lyrics reference the Mary Chain (the title of this song for one, another goes 'Honey's Dead, Psychocandy, I listen to them all of the time'). Several of the songs were recorded by earlier Reid projects (Two Of Us by Freeheat, Can't Stop The Rock by Jim as the b-side to his Secret For A Song solo single, K To Be Lost was the best/only Lazycame song). Some of the songs feature William's distinctive misanthropic worldview ('I've had money and drugs and fame, I pissed my money all down the drain, I pissed my mother, I pissed my friend' etc etc, sung with a sweet snarl by Linda). It's a really good little album and well worth looking out for.
Here's a taster- Jamcolas- fuzzy, snarly, warm, narcotic but alive, honey and candy- you know the drill.

02 Jamcolas.wma

Monday 26 April 2010

The Modfather 'Andromeda' (Richard Hawley Remix)

The naysayers (and I'm pointing this finger partly at my friend Mr A.N. of Ealing) have always had Weller down as an arch-conservative, songs carved from traditional oak, a meat-and-two-veg man, and granted his mid 90s renaissance contained some duff albums, as did his dadrocking, Later with Jools Holland presence, and Gallagher brother association tendencies, but from The Jam onwards he's never really stood still and at least once changed so much he shed thousands of fans.

The jump from In The City to Sound Affects to The Gift contains more stylistic leaps than most bands will ever make (certainly the ones you see tramping round today), and the quantum shift into The Style Council was too mind-bending for many. One of the things that was most disappointing about the Modfather's return in the 90s was his seeming dismissal of the Style Council. Bagging Area thinks the early Style Council singles and some of the album tracks are the equal of The Jam's. Similarly the move from Mod-pop to soul to modern jazz to house The Style Council made is unlikely to repeated by, say, The Editors or (insert current band's name here). His first two solo albums (Paul Weller and Wild Wood) contain ideas aplenty, before the rot began to set in with Stanley Road. Even then, he was churning out top singles like Hung Up, and being remixed by Portishead and Brendan Lynch (his Kosmos remix is fantastic).

Last week his latest album Wake Up The Nation was released, following 2008's 22 Dreams, which had a crack at every leftfield musical style you can think of. Wake Up The Nation is a blast, 16 songs in under 40 minutes, fizzing and crackling, jagged riffs, loud funky drums, noise, energy and abandon. I'm sure some people are only just getting over January's single with very non-mod Kevin Shields 7 & 3 Is The Strikers Name. The double cd edition of the new album contains this- Richard Hawley's remix of Andromeda, sounding like neither Weller nor Hawley, but like a lost underground psyche classic, The Walker Brothers freaking out while My Bloody Valentine fall down the stairs behind them. Something even the non-believers can enjoy. All of which makes it more of a shame he never properly released the Weatherall remix of Heliocentric- but that's another story.
Acknowledgements and thanks to Phil Spector at the wonderful Plain Or Pan blog, whose review last week convinced me to get the double cd, which this remix is taken from.

2-05 Andromeda (Richard Hawley Remix.mp3

Vini Reilly 'The Together Mix'

On and off Factory Records Vini Reilly and his Durutti Column have created many wonderful records. This one, from 1990's Obey the Time, sees Vini taking inspiration from the advances in club culture and technology going on around him, and obeying the time he created this, The Together Mix. It was worked on and remixed by Together, who went on to have a hit with Hardcore Uproar, one of whom died in a car crash in Ibiza. This is a lovely summery song, with Vini's trademark use of melody coupled with summer of late 80s/early 90s dance record production. It's a warm evening here and this fits perfectly.

The Together Mix.mp3

Sunday 25 April 2010

So What Should Someone Do In Edinburgh For The Weekend?

I have a birthday approaching that starts with a 4 and ends with an 0. To celebrate Mrs Swiss is taking me away for the weekend, the May Day bank holiday weekend, and we're going to Edinburgh, somewhere neither of us have been since the late 1980s. So, to any of the readers of Bagging Area who know Edinburgh and have any ideas about the places to visit, bars to drink in, record shops to spend an hour or so in, or anywhere else that might be fun/cool/interesting/off the beaten track, please leave a comment or email ldotturner23atntlworlddotcom (replace dots and ats for symbols, I don't want tons of adverts for performance enhancing pills in my inbox thank you very much).

40. Jeez.

Saturday 24 April 2010

Husker Du 'Divide And Conquer'

Back in the early-to-mid 1990s, when it was all dance music round here, far as the eye could see, I got back into Husker Du. I'd not been a massive fan previously, but had Candy Apple Grey and the Eight Miles High 7" (which is astonishing, and I'll have to post it at some point). At the time we'd fallen in with a chap, who had the most enormous punk rock record collection and who did the lights and projections at Cream in Liverpool. Hence, on many Saturday nights we trekked over to Liverpool, got into Cream for £1, and danced all night in the back room to Weatherall, The Chemical (then known as Dust) Brothers and other leading lights of the dance scene. We usually ended up back at the flat he shared with his then girlfriend and played records til dawn. Often punk-y stuff. It was a good counter-point to the dance music we'd bashed our brains about to and spent our income on. So it sent me tumbling back into the mid-80s US hardcore stuff. Black Flag were, and remain, too hardcore for me on the whole, but Husker Du were frequently just what the doctor ordered, their fuzzy but melodic power-punk-pop echoing round my head for days on end. This is Divide And Conquer, off Flip Your Wig (the best place to start I reckon, punk-pop, tunes and choruses; save Zen Arcade for later). This is a Bob Mould song, great riff and drums, angry political lyric, but catchily sung. Top stuff.

Divide And Conquer.mp3

Friday 23 April 2010

Death In Vegas 'Dirge' Adrian Sherwood Remix

Some dub remix action from the legendary Adrian Sherwood. Dirge featured the vocals of former One Dove singer Dot Allison, and became one of Death In Vegas' best known tracks, due it being used to sell something on the telly- mobile phones, cars or something. Dirge was released as a single at least once, and had a myriad of remixes and versions. Several of them were available for free at their myspace page a long time back, which is where I got this. Myspace- remember that? Is it still going?

dirge adrian sherwood remix.mp3

Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 10

'B. O. P.
P. I. L. L. S.
Bop Pills.'

I posted The Cramps deranged cover of this song a week or so ago, and eventually found the original, presented here as part of your Bagging Area Friday rockabilly session. From the picture Macy 'Skip' Skipper doesn't particularly look like the type to go ingesting dancing chemicals and then crawling to the doctors begging for more, but it's always the quiet ones, isn't it?

Bop Pills.mp3

Stex ft. Johnny Marr 'Still Feel The Rain' 12" Version

It's probably fair to say that after Johnny Marr left The Smiths in 1987 he felt a little bit liberated. He'd already flown to Paris to record an African influenced album with Talking Heads, stuck out a single with Bryan Ferry which took a Smiths instrumental and funked it up, and recorded apocalypse-rock album Mind Bomb with The The. None of them were very Smithsy. In 1990, after the perfect New Order and Pet Shop Boys chic of Getting Away With It this single was released. Stex were a London based dance act, who somehow talked Johnny into playing guitar on this single, and as far as I can tell this was all they released. In the video dreadlocked Stex and the female singer dance around in early 90s style, while white denim and sunglasses clad Johnny dances and nonchalently plays his guitar. Another man plays, excuse me, keetar. This is the 12" mix, starts like a balearic chugger, with that drum sample, and features housey, Soul To Soul type vocals, and is very nice in a 1990 kind of way. Johnny's guitar riff takes the whole thing somewhere else- loose, funky, Chic-esque, light-fingered- and makes welcome re-appearences throughout the song. I remember reading about it in the long-gone Select magazine, with a photo of Johnny and Stex from the video shoot, and it all looked and seemed so cool. Bought the 12". Then nothing. Johnny Marr obviously went on to many other things, but not too many of them had the joy, freedom and freshness of this.


Thursday 22 April 2010

The Groupies 'Primitive'

Fuzzy, dirty slice of New York 1960s garage rock, as covered by The Cramps, and on several Songs The Cramps Taught Us compilations. This sounds like it was recorded in a bus shelter, and is all the better for it. 'Cos I love and I live, Primitive'.


The Versatones 'Tight Skirt Tight Sweater'

From an online series called Lux and Ivy's Favourites, lovingly curated by I can't remember who or where (google it, there are nine volumes) , some garage rock/rockabilly goodness, celebrating close fitting clothing and the female form. Nothing more to say really.

tight skirt tight sweater.mp3

Wednesday 21 April 2010

World Unite 'World Unite'

A few months back I posted some tracks from the still brilliant sounding Keeping The Faith, a compilation of dance, dance-rock, dance traitors, rock traitors and dub-disco put out by Creation records back in 1991. So far we've had Fluke, JBC, Sheer Taft and Hypnotone. Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine in remixed forms were the best-known artists on the album. This is World Unite by World Unite. I can find out nothing about World Unite other than that their names were Stacey and Potter, and they released this single, World Unite with a remix on the B-side. But it doesn't matter- this is a gorgeous slice of early 90s dance music, with some very of-the-time positivity lyrics, some world-music backing vox/samples, and the lovely ambient dub stretched out over seven and a half minutes. This is so early 90s it almost comes out of the speakers wearing white jeans, a curtains hair style and saucer-eyed, telling you it loves you. And it does.

08 - World Unite - World Unite.mp3


This came on the mp3 player in the car on the way home and it was almost a religous experience. One of those records for when it's very late, you're in a bit of a mess, but need to play something else before you go to bed. Ripped from scratchy vinyl with a very battered sleeve for that authentic end-of-night experience.

Edit Post removed by Blogger, reposted without track.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

The Heptones 'Hypocrite'

More politically-conscious roots reggae from current Bagging Area house favourites The Heptones. Let it wash over you with some late evening sunshine and the drink of your choice.

hypocrite (2).mp3

Monday 19 April 2010

The Heptones 'Book Of Rules'

I cannot stop playing this song at the moment. I found an 1973 original 7" in the treasure trove that is King Bee Records in Chorlton recently, which I paid £6 for. Value for money and the cost of music is one of the main record industry debates at the moment. iTunes decided that every song is worth 79 pence, which seems vaguely absurd. This absolutely wonderful, lilting, beautifully sung and utterly magical piece of music must be worth more than 79 pence. More than £6 too. Essential.

04. Heptones, The - Book Of Rules.mp3

Two Lone Swordsmen 'Wrong Meeting Remix'

Back in May 2007 Two Lone Swordsmen released Wrong Meeting, followed a month later by Wrong Meeting 2. Weatherall and Tenniswood completed their move from a purely electronic outfit into a garage rock band, although in interviews at the time Weatherall said all the songs were written on computer, with guitars, bass, vocals and some live drums added later. I loved these two albums, chock full of great songs, interesting lyrics, sequenced like proper vinyl lps, and clearly influenced by garage rock, rockabilly, glam, some goth, and yes, some sleazy electronica. If you bought the Wrong Meeting box-set direct from Rotters Golf Club you got a numbered box, vinyl lp, T-shirt, signed print and lyric booklet illustrated by Weatherall himself. These things appealed to the teenage fan in me. You also became a member of the Patient Saints club, and were promised extras. In the end these extras amounted to just a set of badges and a remix, but still, they were exclusive extras. This is the Weatherall remix of the title track, where Weatherall strips off the guitars and sends it back to the computer, in a similar way to the remixes he did for the Sex Beat and Big Shining Silver Motor Of Sin singles a few years before (currently available over at Ripped In Glasgow). If you're a Weatherall obsessive (and I know some of you are), you may not have this. It appears from a recent interview somewhere that Tenniswood and Weatherall have parted company and TLS have split so the two Wrong Meeting albums are now their swansong. They went out on a high though.

wrong meeting remix mastered 320.mp3

Sunday 18 April 2010

Lee Dorsey 'Get Out of My Life Woman'

'I'm a newly wed and not a divorcee

And everything I do is funky like Lee Dorsey'

...said The Beastie Boys on Sure Shot. While holidaying in a caravan on the Yorkshire coast two weeks ago I popped into Oxfam in the market town of Beverley and found a rather nice vinyl Best Of Lee Dorsey, and this song is one of his top moments. Understated New Orleans funk, from the man who served in the US Navy, fought as a lightweight under the name Kid Chocolate, and worked constantly, partly to support his eleven children.

Saturday 17 April 2010

Lily Allen and Mick Jones 'Straight To Hell'

I don't suppose we'll be posting many tracks by Lily Allen, but this is interesting enough. Mick Jones' guitars and backing vocals on a cover of The Clash's 1982 masterpiece Straight To Hell. Lily doesn't quite have Joe's vocal depth, to put it mildly, but gives the song a sing-song element which works pretty well.

Straight To Hell (2).mp3


I don't feature much brand new music here at Bagging Area, but for this I'll make an exception. It's all over the internet (if you look at the Hype Machine say) so I'm guessing it's a sanctioned leak from the forthcoming LCD Soundsystem album This Is Happening, which James Murphy has said will be their last. This is a beauty, in the vein of All My Friends and Someone Great, a minor key electro throbber with a great vocal- machines and heart-felt emotion. Lovely way to start a Saturday.

Edit Post removed by Blogger, reposted without track.

Friday 16 April 2010

Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 9

White suit, black shirt, white tie?- it works for Warren Smith.
Warren's been out of town, and he gets back to see his girl. 'Who you been lovin' since I been gone?' he asks. The reply is a nightmare for Warren- there is another guy, this other guy's got 'plenty of cash', and even worse 'a red cadillac and a black moustache'. We've all been there.

Red-Cadillac-&-A -Black-Moustache.mp3

Willie Williams 'Armagideon Time'

You realise you're into the record buying lark deeply when you start trying to track down the original versions of songs covered by your favourite bands. Two decades ago I started collecting the songs The Clash covered, on vinyl wherever possible. In these internet times it's a lot easier. I held out from buying a cd player until about 1996, which made things doubly hard. Once I started buying cds tracks became easier to get hold of due to the re-issue culture cd encouraged, although the price was often extortionate. I remember looking at an Equals compilation in Market Street HMV which had Police On My Back on it for £16.99. More recently Paul Simonon compiled a cd for Trojan containing most of the Clash cover originals, which is where this is taken from, although I've since duplicated it on a couple of reggae compilations. I still don't have all the Clash cover songs on vinyl, although my 7" of Bobby Fuller's I Fought The Law has taken a battering over the years and was well worth the £5.99 I shelled out. This is Willie Williams' brilliant Armagideon Time, famously covered by The Clash as the B-side to the London Calling single.

19 Armagideon Time.wma

Minutemen 'Political Nightmare'

Gordon can handle the economy, but his one-liners are delivered like they were written by script-writers.
Eton Rifle 'Dave' Cameron once met a black man who was worried about immigration. He met someone who'd been burgled too.
Nick Clegg isn't like them other two, but he's the winner apparently.

From The Minutemen's Three Way Tie (For Last) album.

Made your mind up yet? (Hint: don't vote Tory).

04 Political Nightmare.wma

Thursday 15 April 2010

Teenage Fanclub 'It's A Bad World'

They say that the sense most closely related to memory is smell, but sound must run it a close second. I posted some Teenage Fanclub a couple of weeks ago, and inevitably one thing led to another, and I ended up listening to their Songs FromNorthern Britain album, for the first time in years. I used to have a copy on cassette which lived in the car. Back in 1998 our son I.T. was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disease, aged 8 months. He needed a bone marrow transplant to give him some chance of life, although BMT we were told was swapping one set of problems for another, though if it worked it would ensure he lived. At the time success rate was 50%, and there was a 20% mortality rate, so it didn't look great. We also had to wait ages for a suitable donor. After spending the summer of 1999 in hospital we didn't get a donor until spring 2000, and we were told they wouldn't transplant after his second birthday (November of 2000), so it was all pretty tense. In September 1999 I went back to work and all the way through to April 2000 I found myself drving home from work with all kinds of thoughts running through my head. It became pretty Pavlovian- I'd get in the car and for the next 40 minutes the same thoughts attacked me, usually what we'd do if the BMT didn't work, how we'd cope, and how on earth we'd go about organising a funeral for a one-year old. I tried to block this out with music. I'd forgotten about this until recently, and Teenage Fanclub's Songs From Northern Britain opened the lids off some jars I thought I'd put on very tightly. The three albums I remember listening to mainly on those car journeys were the Teenage Fanclub one, Primal Scream's XTRMNTR and Sugar's Copper Blue. There's a song off each one I can't listen to now without the exact feelings being triggered and flooding back. Off XTRMNTR it was Keep Your Dreams with a line about 'I believe that when we die our bodies become dust' (you can see where that one was going), Man In the Moon off Copper Blue ('There's a man in the moon, he's a good friend of yours, he's a good friend of mine': not sure why that one hit me), and this song It's A Bad World, which is a beautiful song about it being a bad world. Which at the time it was.

I.T.'s BMT failed but he survived it. He had a second BMT in the summer, with me as a half-match donor, which worked. Which brings me back to memory. I heard It's A Bad World a couple of weeks ago for the first time in years, and it took me straight back instantly. Bizarre. The chords, tune, words, everything were fresh in my mind and triggered the whole thing off. I daren't listen to Keep Your Dreams or Man In the Moon. I think I'd probably dissolve or something.

On top of this I visited Auschwitz on Monday, and while there's no real way a pop song can adequately express what I saw there and what happened there, this song kind of fits. While we there, there was a march, the March of The Living from Auschwitz 1 to Birkenau, celebrating survivors and survival. I don't want this to sound crass but, it is bad world, but we do get through, because people can survive. I'm not sure this is a well thought out response to Auschwitz but there you go.

Sorry if this has been a bit heavy folks, but it's been bubbling away for the last two weeks and I needed to get it off my chest. Tomorrow, some lovely reggae and rockabilly escapism.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Back From The Digital Grave

Back again. Computer recovered from a nasty virus, one whole week off-line (which has been bizarre, a drag and slightly liberating), several quid lighter, but a massive sense of relief. I'm a little pushed for time here but to celebrate here's some lovely, deep, groovy techno from Chile's Ricardo Villalobos. This should get you moving, or your head nodding at the least. Nice to back in the cyber realm. Dedicated to the tech guys at PC World, Pin Mill, Ancoats.

01 Easy Lee.wma

Friday 9 April 2010

Bagging area is in meltdown and offline, computer disabled, this post by phone, back soon hopefully

M. Ashraf ft. Ahmed Rushti 'Dama Dam Mast Qalandar' (The Sound Of Wonder)

Lahore in the 1970s and 1980s was the centre of the Pakistani film industry, Lollywood as it was known. The soundtracks to these films contained mad, joyous, funky, Pakistani pop music. Recently compiled by the Finders Keepers label this is Dama Dam Mast Qalander ('This is the sound of wonder' Ahmed Rushti sings), with the vocals flipping between languages, and the Moogs bubbling and synthing away. A funky start to Friday.

01 Dama Dam Mast Qalandar.wma

Thursday 8 April 2010

Bow Wow Wow 'I Want Candy' (Kevin Shield's Remix)

Malcolm McClaren has died aged 64. Lydon hasn't spoken good of him since about 1978 but without Malcolm, no Pistols, no.... anything really. This lot were a second attempt to subvert popular culture and made some good records. This is the Kevin Shields remix, done a few years ago for that Marie Antoinette film. Don't be expecting MBV-style sonic cathedrals though- this is the Bow Wow Wow cover of The Strangeloves' song with slightly different drums.

No picture I'm afraid- my computer currently thinks almost everything internet-based is 'unsafe'. You're lucky I've managed to get it to publish this.

I Want Candy (Kevin Shield's Remix).mp3

King Tubby 'Hijack the Barber'

King Tubby invented dub. There are arguments about this, but Tubby's case is pretty convincing. His first two albums, The Roots Of Dub and Dub From The Roots, contain pretty much all you need. In the mid-1970s he versioned Jamaican singles, cranking up the bass and drums, fading vocals in and out, adding echo and sound effects, and made entirely new records out of old and current ones. I was in town shopping the other day, and found a new re-pressing of the Dub From The Roots album on Jamaican Recordings, on heavyweight vinyl for under a tenner and it sounds ace. So take the mp3 and enjoy it, it's fantastic like the rest of the album, but to really hear this one you need to do yourself a favour and get to the record shop, buy the vinyl and hear that bass and those horns. Sublime.

04 Hijack the Barber.wma

Yo La Tengo 'Autumn Sweater'

Something to ease the soul and lift the spirits after a Wednesday night which ended in some disappointment round these parts (and many thanks to all those who texted messages of support after we were dumped out of the Champions League last night). I saw Yo La Tengo play the Roadhouse in Manchester after I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One came out, about ten years ago I reckon. They were fantastic, playing guitar drones, rock-outs, moments of lo-fi spine-tingling beauty, and some random covers (Gram Parsons, Sham 69). This is their finest moment to these ears, although there are many other contenders- And Then Nothing Turned itself Inside Out is a great album, last year's Popular Songs held up well, and from their early stuff from you've got to go a long way to find better songs than Big Day Coming and From A Motel 6.

This song, Autumn Sweater (and somewhere I've got a Kevin Shields remix I need to dig out), is autumn captured on tape, all disappointment, loneliness, longing and regret- 'We could slip away, maybe that'd be better, me with nothing to say and you in your autumn sweater'. Lovely drums and organ, descending bassline, whispered vocals. Maybe not quite what we want on a sunny spring morning but it'll fit for the moment.

02 Autumn Sweater.wma

Wednesday 7 April 2010

The Cramps 'Bop Pills'

In 1956 Macy 'Skip' Skipper released Bop Pills, a rockabilly hymn to the pleasures of dancing with the aid of chemicals, a full three decades plus before acid house. I thought I had the original on some format but can't find it anywhere, and if it turns up maybe it should be left for Friday's rockabilly series anyway. This version is by Bagging Area favourites The Cramps, released in 1990 on the wonderful Stay Sick album. Lux and Ivy turn in a fantastic cover, with Lux's vocals particularly deranged.

Bop Pills.mp3

Tuesday 6 April 2010

DMCA Nonsense 2

This is good, a well timed piece of news- on Paul Haig Day, I've just had a post removed by the DMCA. The The 'Dogs of Lust' was the offending track. When I re-posted David Holmes last time without the links they removed the entire article again. Don't think I can be arsed re-posting it this time.

Lord Sabre's Birthday

Today is Lord Sabre's birthday. It would be remiss of this blog to let Andrew Weatherall's birthday pass without a posting. This is the Weatherall remix of Jack Knife by Arrows. Arrows are a six piece rock band from Bedfordshire, and released an lp called Create/Evade/Inspire/Escape in 2007. Lord Sabre took Jack Knife and slapped it about a bit, creating a beaty, rockabillyish, buzz-saw style version. Happy birthday Mr Weatherall


Paul Haig Day 2 Update

News just in from the Vinyl Villain, who's set up this whole thing- Paul Haig has made this track from his last album Relive available to all the bloggers taking part in Paul Haig Day 2. It's a remix of Trip Out The Rider by Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly.

Edit! It's not the Lemon Jelly remix, that's coming out on limited 7" in a few weeks. This is Paul's own remix. That'll teach me not to read emails carefully.

Paul Haig - Trip Out The Rider Mix 2.mp3

Paul Haig Day 2

I'm joining in with Paul Haig Day, started last year on April the 6th by The Vinyl Villain, whose wonderful blog was one of the main reasons I started doing this. You can read about this in more detail over at his place, and at 25 other music blogs who have signed up also, but briefly... TVV posted some Paul Haig tracks in 2009 and shortly afterwards the DMCA removed the links, the posts, the pictures, everything, without even contacting him to ask or say they were going to do it. TVV was outraged, more so after Paul Haig's management contacted TVV to give their approval of the posts, being as they were good publicity for Paul Haig, and encouraging people to go out and actually buy other stuff by him, including a then up-coming solo album. TVV thus started Paul Haig Day as a chance for the bloggers to strike back at the draconian menace of a (U.S. based) law and organisation removing peoples' posts and blogs in such a heavy handed way.

Paul Haig was the singer and guitarist in Edinburgh post-punk band Josef K, whose Sorry For Laughing is a period classic. He's had an on-and-off solo career, including being produced by Bernard Sumner, touring with members of Orange Juice, producing some slick dance-pop, working with Cabaret Voltaire and the Associates Billy Mackenzie, and an lp last year called Relive which featured the wonderful dancey Trip Out The Rider. Go and find it. I'm posting this song, from 1985, Paul Haig's cover version of the mighty Suicide's alternative US national anthem Ghost Rider, done rockabilly style. Andrew Weatherall (birthday today, more later Audrey fans) played this on one of his 6 Mix shows last year. In another nice little coincidence a found a 7" of Paul Haig's Running Away in Oxfam in Altrincham last weekend. You see how these things come together?

Ghost Rider (2).mp3

Thursday 1 April 2010

Thursday Night Is Rockabilly Night This Week

The family Swiss are off to a caravan for the Easter weekend, setting off tomorrow early-ish. The weather forecast is mixed, mainly rain. I thought your weekly Friday slice of greased-up, quiff and motorcycle boot friendly action better come tonight seeing as I won't have time tomorrow and I haven't worked out how to post-date a post.

This is Eddie Cochran's Something Else. It's all about cars, girls and dreams, and when it all comes true, man, that's something else.

Two pictures, because he's worth it. Enjoy your Easter weekend, see y'all Monday.

04 Somethin' Else.wma

Orange Juice 'Felicity'

We break up, we break up, we don't care if school blows up....

I've finished work for Easter which makes it a good day. But any day couldn't be entirely bad for hearing the sheer joy and exuberance of Felicity, my favourite Orange Juice song- from the opening 'woaaah woah, woaaah woah, woaaah woah!!', this song sums up the Chic meets The Velvets style, as Edwyn described it. Written by James Kirk, lovely ramshackle, chiming guitars, great all-over-the-shop singing, brilliant break- 'let's take it to the bridge now!'.

Apparently all OJ's albums are about to be re-issued and a box-set is coming too. 'Happiness, oh-oh-oh happiness, oh-oh-oh, happiness, this is the sound of happiness'.
And don't their fringes look great?