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Thursday 30 September 2010

The Great Lost Band Of The 90s

There's general agreement round Bagging Area's way that One Dove's Morning Dove White is the great lost album of the 90s, packed with Weatherall's production, great songs, Dot Allison's vox and loads of after-club atmosphere. In their limited back catalogue there's a few other gems- I've posted their cover of Jolene and the Weatherall remix of Breakdown (Squire Black Dove rides Out). This song, Skanga, was tucked away on the Why Don't You Take Me single (various formats, cd, 12" double pack etc). I think by this point the record company were getting a little desparate for a hit. Skanga is five and a half minutes of dub-house loveliness with a strangely off key vocal from Dot. What's bemusing is why the album featured two versions of two of the songs, White Love and Breakdown (it had both the superior Weatherall mixes and inferior Stephen Hague radio mixes of each song), when this and Jolene would've made an eleven track beauty. But then whoever thought record companies knew what they were doing?

One Dove - 02 Skanga.mp3

Space Woman

I was going to go for a Bunnymen hat-trick with an obscure late period B-side but judging by the download stats no-one's that interested, so instead here's a superb piece of space disco from 1977, Space Woman by Herman's Rocket. Containing far less cosmic cheese than The Ultimate Warlord from a few weeks back, this is a great track with a huge synth bassline.


Wednesday 29 September 2010

Through The Fog We'll Keep On Beaming

Here it is, the song that's been in my head all day- The Game by Echo And The Bunnymen. It's the last great Bunnysong by the original line-up, released in 1987 as the first single ahead of their self-titled fifth album (otherwise known as the grey album). The album was panned, the band didn't like it, or each other. Result? The US loved it, it sold half a million, they did a tour of enormo-domes, and later co-headlined the Monsters Of Alternative Rock (ugh) tour with New Order.

01 The Game.wma#1

C C C Cucumber

I woke up this morning with Echo And The Bunnymen's The Game playing in my head- not sure why, maybe it's September becoming October and that stuff in The Game about changing seasons and everybody having their own good reason why their favourite season is their favourite season. Maybe not.

I've just realised I don't have The Game on the hard drive, so it'll have to wait until later in the week. In the meantime, here's a crackers remix of Thorn Of Crowns. Go Home Productions Mark Vidler has produced many wonderful mash-ups, including Ray Of Gob and How Soon Is Independance, both featured previously at Bagging Area. This isn't a mash up. It's Thorn Of Crowns (possibly my least favourite track from Ocean Rain 'the greatest album ever made', the one where McCulloch goes 'c c c cucumber, c c c cauliflower, c c c cabbage') remixed with an in-yer-face electronic backing. The band apparently loved it. I imagine Bunnymen purists will hate it. I'm somewhere in between. See what you think.

Thorn Of Crowns (Go Home Productions remix).mp3

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Default Mode- More Audrey

One of the best records from the last few years- Fuck Buttons' Sweet Love For Planet Earth, remixed by Andrew Weatherall. Music to lose yourself in. Smoking.

Sweet Love For Planet Earth (Andrew Waetherall Remix).mp3

Monday 27 September 2010

I've Been Waiting So Long

A third track from David Holmes' mix on the London Xpress NME/Xfm free cd for you, following the Family Of God and Joy Zipper posts last week. This is Ella Fitzgerald covering hoary old rock band Cream's Sunshine Of Your Love, and it's really, really good, with horns replacing that guitar riff and predictably huge vocals.

I have now broken a Bagging Area unwritten rule of not posting anything by Eric Clapton, even though he doesn't appear on this. And yes Clapton apologists, I know, Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers etc, but it's a personal prejudice formed in the 1980s and I can't do anything about it.

19 Sunshine Of Your Love.wma

Sunday 26 September 2010

Railway Crossing

We've been camping near Carnforth, Lancashire this weekend for a friend's 40th (cold nights, no rain, sunny days, drunken evenings, very good all told). We were waiting at a level crossing with this Underworld song pumping away on the car stereo, complete with ringing bells and the sound of trains whooshing past.

Saturday 25 September 2010

We Shun Publicity

Sometimes I need a short, sharp, shock of punk rock to blow the cobwebs away. This is Subway Sect, who genuinely couldn't play, were inspired by seeing Sex Pistols gigs, played the 100 Club festival in 1976, and had something to say. Nobody's Scared was released in 1978 on manager Bernie Rhodes Braik Records. Rhodes later sacked the band except for singer Vic Goddard and a whole album was left unreleased (cleaned up and released eventually in the last year or two, if anyone's heard it I'd like to know if it's worth getting). Rhodes released another Subway Sect single, Ambition, which he had keyboards plastered all over. Goddard later became a postman, before making various comebacks. None of which takes anything away from this urgent, clattering 7" single.

Nobody's Scared.mp3

Friday 24 September 2010

Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 30

It wouldn't be right to do this Friday series without featuring serial Bagging Area offenders The Clash in some way. A love of rockabilly was brought to the band by Paul Simonon and Joe Strummer, and they recorded numerous rockabilly songs, either covers or their own, starting with Vince Taylor's Brand New Cadillac on London Calling. This is Long Time Jerk, a little known Clash song from 1983, the B-side to Know Your Rights. It opens with one of Joe's greatest introductions-

'We gotta scrape the trouble off our boots!'
This Friday night rockabilly series has to stop somewhere and I think this is it. We've gone from the early 50s to 2010 with 30 different bands or artists, rocking, rolling, shaking and smoking. If you want to investigate further I recommend Max Decharne's new book Rocket In My Pocket, and the accompanying cd. Available from all good stockists. I'm sure I'll come back to posting some from time to time- in the meantime quiffs up, jeans turned up, sleeves rolled up and off we go...

19 Long Time Jerk.wma

Childish Stuff

It's been a while since we had anything from Mr Billy Childish round Bagging Area's way. This is Pokerhuntus Was Her Name by Billy's 90s incarnation Thee Headcoats. If you're a fan of Billy Childish's abrasive, 60s garage rock style stuff you'll like this. Or own it already. If not use it as a starting for exploring the career of a man who has made 100s of records in a thirty year career. I think a deerstalker may be this season's headgear of choice. A Bagging Area style tip for you.

08 Pokerhuntus Was Her Name (Album).mp3

Thursday 23 September 2010

Your Aching Spanish Heart

808 State's breakthrough album Ex El from 1991 featured several of their best tunes (Lift, In Yer Face, Cubik), two collaborations with Bjork, and this song co-written with and sung by Bernard Sumner. Spanish Heart is a lovely piece of Sumner dance-melancholia, great backing from Massey, Price and the other two (not that Other Two), and a close cousin of several tracks on the first Electronic album. Very of it's time and very good.

Spanish Heart.mp3

I Guess A Twinkle In Her Eye Is Just A Twinkle In Her Eye

In a deft step to the side, Bagging Area presents some hip hop from 1993- The Pharcyde's Passing Me By. 1993 was fairly close to when I stopped listening to hip hop. The Pharcyde, a Californian four piece, using self-deprecating humour, rapping about wishing they weren't such a wimp, and sampling Quincy Jones, Weather Report and Jimi Hendrix on this single, with vinyl crackle all over the start. As people say at the moment, what's not to like? The four mc's take it in turns to describe school day crushes on unattainable girls, and contains one of my favourite rhymes- 'now there she goes again, the dopest Ethiopian'. If you don't normally listen to this kind of thing, you should make an exception here.

It's also to the best of my knowledge the only rap song to use the word nincompoop as an insult.

The Pharcyde - Passing Me By.mp3

Wednesday 22 September 2010

I Like Your Clothes When They're Undone

Also from the David Holmes mix on the 2000 London Xpress cd New York's Joy Zipper with Check Out My New Jesus. Distorted guitars, stoned drumming, l-a-z-y vocals about new jeans, Jesus and like other stuff man, and a general summery, narcotic haze. Tabitha Tindale and Vincent Cafiso went on to work with David Holmes and Kevin Shields, and be scuppered by collapsing record companies.

13 Check Out.wma

Tuesday 21 September 2010

God's Children

Here's an oddity.

Back in 2000 the NME and Xfm put a cd out, free with the NME, with mixes by Andrew Weatherall and David Holmes. I know that the idea of either NME or Xfm being associated with the distribution of good music may seem strange today, but stick with me.

The cd was called London Xpress. You can pick it up on ebay for a few quid. Weatherall contributed a mix of seven mainly minimal tech-house tracks. Holmes put in a brief alternative version of his legendary Essential Mix, opening with this track- Family Of God by Family Of God. It's laid back and trippy, has bah-bah-bah backing vocals and American children talking about their idea of what God is like. Listening to it, it seems to be recorded with a kind of Super 8 film quality (if that makes any sense), and actually would work really well with the Go! Team track I posted the other day now I think about it. Discogs says Family Of God were Adam Peters and Chris Brick who recorded a few albums and singles in the late 90s. That's the sum of knowledge I have about the them.

The rest of Holmes mix was equally druggy, electic and inspired, with an early Joy Zipper track (Check Out The Patches On My New Jeans), a couple of solo tracks from Bow Down To The Exit Sign, some Keith Mansfield, some Fred Neil, some Hot Butter and Ella Fitzgerald doing Sunshine Of Your Love. I'll stick some of it up here over the next week or so.

12 Family Of God.wma

This Was A Pizza Hut, Now It's All Covered With Daisies

Another installment in the continuing adventures of Johnny Marr after he left The Smiths.

Talking Heads recorded four (count 'em) groundbreaking albums between 1977 and 1981, reinvented the concert film and the pop video, went from four, to four plus Brian Eno, to four plus any number of ex-P-Funk players, then stripped it all back and fell out. They reconvened for 1988's Naked, which still sounds like a weird add on to their back catalogue, but has some good songs on it.

Not least this one, Nothing But Flowers, featuring David Byrne's lyric about nature taking over and reclaiming the shopping malls, car parks and fast food eateries, and some impossibly funky, African highlife style guitar, from Mr Marr.

Talking Heads - Nothing But Flowers.mp3

Monday 20 September 2010

Go! Go! Go!

When The Go! Team's Thunder, Lightning, Strike album came out in 2004 it was a blast of fresh air. Ian Parton's studio project (and later 6 piece live band) mixed up old skool hip-hop, kid's toy's melodies, Sonic Youth style guitar, double dutch rhyming, soundtracks, and general funky stuff. This song- Everyone's A VIP To Someone -was the album closer, and sounds like the theme tune to a 70s TV show you dimly remember watching as a kid. A perfect mix of retro and new.

11 Everyone's a V.I.P. to Someone.wma

Sunday 19 September 2010

Their Necks Crane

Massive Attack's recent album Heligoland, like all their albums since the still astonishing Blue Lines, was a bit of a mixed bag of guest appearances, some good songs, some padding and the strong whiff of jazz cigarettes. Paradise Circus (featuring Hope Sandoval) and Pray For Rain (featuring TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe) were two standouts. A bunch of remixes followed the album, and this one is the best- Tim Goldsworthy sends the song out clubbing (a cool club though, not a city centre 2-shots-for-quid type of place).

Pray For Rain (Tim Goldsworthy Remix).mp3

Saturday 18 September 2010


The Isley Brothers' Behind A Painted Smile- joyous, guitar led soul with wonderful vocals from 1968. It does that 60s happy/sad thing as well as any other northern soul record from that time. In an interview last year Johnny Marr said this was a huge influence on him and Morrissey when The Smiths started. That Isley guitar line could easily fit on This Charming Man.

Behind A Painted Smile.mp3

Friday 17 September 2010

Makes My Back Burn

I have little or no interest in The Cult, or anything else they have done, but this is a ridiculously good song. Long version for extra intro and drama. Do that funny dance. Shake your arms around. Get a bandanna. You know you want it.

she sells sanctuary long version.mp3

Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 29

Johnny Marr kicks off Friday night's rockabilly rave-up this week. His rockabilly influences were worn on his sleeve from early on The Smiths, with Rusholme Ruffians on Meat Is Murder, and some later songs as well (Strangeways' Death At Ones Elbow for one). He also sported a mighty fine quiff. His various projects and guest appearances since havn't been too heavy on rockabilly but his mid-00s band The Healers album saw a brief revival. This is Need It, loaded with rockabilly rhythm and spirit. It's possibly the only track on the album I could still listen to - it was heavily Oasis-ised, and as various people pointed out at The Vinyl Villain this week, not very popular. Actuually looking at the track listing, Down On The Corner's pretty good too. But enough Marr conjecture, on with the Diddley shuffle...

04 Need It.wma

Thursday 16 September 2010

More Shadow

Here's that second new DJ Shadow track, the A-side called Def Surounds Us. Electro to the fore, up front dnb drums and a huge breakdown around the five minute mark. Very good and very noisy.

DJ Shadow - Def Surrounds Us- b-w -I've Been Trying - 01 Def Surrounds Us.mp3 - 4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download

Running Away With My Heart

Mid-80s Los Angeleans The Long Ryders made this barnstorming single Looking For Lewis And Clark. It rattles by with souped-up guitars, fiddle, call and response lyrics, and a bit in the middle where it almost goes into Louie Louie. Cowpunk they called it, and cowpunk it is.


Wednesday 15 September 2010

Just Keeping Going And Trying To Stay Free

Edwyn Collins has a new single out called Losing Sleep, laced with northern soul stylings. There's an album at the end of the month too (with appearances by Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, Franz Ferdinand and a host of others), and then the Orange Juice boxset in November. Edwyn's interviewed by Sylvia Patterson in this week's Guardian Guide, and there was a line in it that really struck me. Edwyn's partner and manager Grace Maxwell is explaining that his career has never been commercially successful but that his whole life has been 'more a survival thing', to which Sylvia responds...

'Just keeping going and trying to stay free?'

I'm not a fan of mottos, mission statements, and greetings card/bumper sticker/office poster cod-philosophy but the phrase Just Keep Going And Try To Stay Free sounds like pretty good ideal for living. Similar to the old mod adage 'clean living under difficult circumstances'- a bit vague, a bit romantic, a bit daft maybe, but spot on as well.

This is One Is A Lonely Number, the opening track from Edwyn's last album Home Again, recorded before his illness, but finished and released afterwards. I've just noticed it's tag from the cd rip is One Is A Lonely Humber, which maybe isn't news to the people of Hull.

01 One Is a Lonely Humber.wma

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Hi Kitten, This One's For You

I got an email earlier from DJ Shadow (not him personally I suppose), offering a free download of two tracks that have been doing the rounds as very expensive white labels. Both are tasters for next year's as yet untitled album. The A-side is an 'electro/dubstep/dnb-inspired epic' called Def Surrounds Us, and the press release description does it justice. This is the B-side, I've Been Trying, 'an intricately crafted, soulful jam that goes down like molasses'. True also- this is a brilliant track. When I can free up some bandwidth I'll post the A-side, but I'm sure you'll be able to find it elsewhere if you have a look around.

DJ Shadow - Def Surrounds Us- b-w -I've Been Trying - 02 I've Been Trying.mp3

I Hate Pink Floyd

Oh go on then.

John Lydon.
Sabres Of Paradise.
Open Up I Hate Pink Floyd Remix remix.

Strangely, for a Weatherall remix I don't think it's as good as the original.
I do hate Pink Floyd though. Except the Syd Barrett stuff, obviously.

Open Up (I Hate Pink Floyd mix).mp3

Monday 13 September 2010

To Make Some Woman Smile

After he left The Bunnymen Ian McCulloch released the highly regarded Candleland, with songs about death and the passing of time, and a duet with Liz Fraser from Cocteau Twins. The press loved it. In 1992 he followed it Mysterio, which didn't receive anything like the same praise or sales. The lead single was this, a cover of Leonard Cohen's Lover, Lover, Lover. Pretty good it is too .

This being Leonard Cohen (I'm not a big fan, I love Tower Of Song though) there are some lovely lyrical touches- the second verse goes 'He said I locked you in this body, I mean it as a kind of trial, you can use it as a weapon, or to make some woman smile'.

I saw Ian McCulloch on the tour to promote Mysterio. He played what used to be called Manchester University Main Debating Hall but is now called Fizzy Lager Academy 2 or something. I saw Oasis there after Shakermaker came out and they were dull as ditchwater, but that's another story. I think I went to the McCulloch gig on my own which is never the best way to see a gig. Mac had rounded up a band of tracksuited musicians, who could play but looked like car thieves. The encore saw a ton of dry ice pumped out and Mac emerging from it to croon You'll Never Walk Alone. It was dramatic and this being Manchester it was pretty provocative too, but it wasn't a football violence kind of crowd- a few half hearted boos and he went into In Bloom, also from Mysterio, which sent everyone home happy. The album has a few moments but doesn't fare that well compared to the rest of his back catalogue. Looking back he was just killing time before the inevitable Bunnymen re-union, although before that happened there was an album recorded with Johnny Marr; apparently the mastertapes were stolen from a security van. It would've been interesting to hear.

Ian McCulloch - 06. Lover Lover Lover.mp3

Sunday 12 September 2010

Wasting Time In Numbers And Rhyme

Continuing with The Fall theme for no particular reason, this is Bingo Master's Breakout. Not by MES and co, but by punk trumpeter Terry Edwards, whose ep covering The Jesus And Mary Chain was a blast. I think this is from a Peel Session- it's certainly no less confrontational than The Fall.

02 Bingo Masters Breakout.wma

The Observer Magazine Just About Sums Him Up

The Fall are a bit of an acquired taste. I know people who can't stand them who have otherwise excellent taste. I know people who are obsessed with them to the point where I fear for their sanity. I don't often listen to a Fall album all the way through much anymore but they're a great compilation tape/cd band, cutting through the bands and songs placed before and after them. No nonsense garage art rock.

BBC4 showed a documentary from a few years back about The Fall on Friday night, which consisted of some great live clips and videos, Mark E Smith directing a Peel Session, various interviews with MES shot in a variety of pubs, and assorted interviews with former members of the band. These assorted guitarists, bassists, drummers and keyboardists looked like they'd served time in a disaster zone and couldn't quite believe they'd survived. I hope they've got a decent support group. Una Baines. Craig Scanlon. Brix Smith. Marc Riley. Karl Burns. Steve Hanley. Martin Bramah. Julia Nagle. Simon Wolstencroft. Marcia Schofield. Spencer Birtwistle. Ben Pritchard. And dozens of others, I salute you.

05 How I Wrote Elastic Man.wma

Saturday 11 September 2010

Let's Get Electrofied

Some more Leftfield, this time from their second album Rhythm And Stealth in 1999, and featuring top hip-hop/electro inventor Afrika Bambaataa on vocals. Two Leftfield posts, and still no Lydon or Weatherall- something must be up.

Leftfield - Afrika Shox.mp3

Saturday Dub

Weatherall played this on his 6 Mix show in August, and then I stumbled upon it on emusic the other night. From their 1975 album The Legendary Skatalites In Dub, dubbery provided by equally legendary King Tubby. If you've any interest in dub the whole album is knockout- I listened to it the other night while typing away at a mammoth report/review for work, and it made the whole experience vastly better.

Skatalites_08_African Roots Dub.mp3

Friday 10 September 2010

The Djum Djum Boys

A very nice man who lives down the road from us (who we'll call Chelsea Mick for the sake of this blog) has just knocked on to offer me a spare ticket to go to see Leftfield at The Apollo in November, and in a moment of reckless spontaneity I said yes. It's been a while since I had my bowels moved by bass, they've got a fine back catalogue, and I think are the only band to be banned by a venue for making plaster fall from the ceiling.

I've just realised we've had no Leftfield at Bagging Area. It's been a struggle but I've resisted the urge to go for either Open Up or a Weatherall remix, so here is Afro-Left (Afro-Ride) featuring Djum Djum (Neil Cole to his mum) on vocals (singing in gibberish, but very effectively). Nine minutes of dub-house madness.

Afro-Left (Afro-Ride).mp3

Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 28

The Meteors and their bequiffed fans proudly proclaim that Only The Meteors Are Pure Psychobilly. They started out in 1980 and are still going strong today, and tonight you get them covering Jan And Dean.

Surf City?
Straight on mate, left at the lights, cross the roundabout, right at the pub, down the dual carriageway for a mile or so and you can't miss it-two girls for every boy.

Surf City.mp3#1

Talk Of The Town, Talk Of The Country

For those of you who enjoyed Wayne Smith's Under Me Sleng Teng (and judging by the dl stats, that's quite a few of you) here's Tenor Saw's Ring The Alarm- a fantastic digital-reggae, dancehall smash from 1985. I first heard this on 200% Dynamite, from the ever excellent Soul Jazz record label, and it sounded just as good as the stuff from the 60s and 70s. It should put a spring in your step on this Friday morning.

Tenor saw was hit by a car in Houston in 1988 and died, aged 22.

'Ring the alarm, and not a sound is dying'

Thursday 9 September 2010

Bad Name, Good Song, Unsure About The Band

Another band with a stupid name- Fountains Of Wayne, who had a hit in 2003 with that irritating Stacey's Mom novelty record. But in 1996, at the height (or depth maybe) of Britpop I heard this single and loved it- chugging guitars, hugely catchy chorus, more hooks than an angler's box, sunny day guitar pop. I think they call it Power Pop. Whatever it is, it's impossible not to sing along.


Bad Name, Good Band

When I was posting that 4AD stuff last weekend a reader called Arthit mentioned the long forgotten Kitchens Of Distinction, who released some highly praised but hardly bought, shimmering, sonic cathedral style, indie rock in the late 80s and early 90s. They weren't afraid to court trouble- Margaret's Injection fantasised about killing Thatcher, and singer Patrick sang openly, out-and-proud gay lyrics, which the less open minded members of the indie crowd probably couldn't put up with. They were often NME/Melody Maker Single Of The Week winners (and used to really mean something) and had some great moments. The Third Time We Opened The Capsule, Drive That Fast, and this one, Prize. Shame about the name though- Kitchens Of Distinction. Can't really have helped much.


Wednesday 8 September 2010

I Have Learned What My Lips Are For

It's hard to resist any song that starts off...

'Tonight for the first time
I have learned what my lips are for
And darling, now that I've kissed you
I'm craving to kiss you more'

...especially when it's a up tempo blast of Northern Soul, like this from Irma Thomas in 1964.

18 Long After Tonight Is All Over.wma

Ramba Ho!

One for your next compilation cd of weird and wonderful cover versions. This is Indian singer Usha Uthup tackling Donna Summer's 1977 sex and ecstacy fest I Feel Love. Usha is one of the biggest selling stars of Indian music and has recorded tracks in 16 Indian languages as well as 12 others, including Swahili, Nepalese and Creole. You'll love this, but it's a million miles from Donna's disco epic.


Tuesday 7 September 2010

There's A Light, A Certain Kind Of Light

While we're on the soul-train, here's Nina Simone's To Love Somebody from 1967. It's a cover of a Bee Gees song you know. I don't own too many songs with Gibb, Gibb in brackets after the title. This is taken from the Joe Strummer compilation The Future Is Unwritten, so features Joe introducing the track on his BBC World Service show, with the words 'Let Nina Simone rule the world...'. Two greats for the price of one. Four if you include those pesky Gibb brothers.

23 To Love Somebody.wma - 4shared.com - music and mp3 sharing - download

On His Way And The End Of Wigan

There's been some tip top Northern Soul posted recently at various blog places, so I'm going to follow suit. Also mediafire isn't playing ball tonight so I can't post the track I was going to post. I'm On My Way by Dean Parrish was the last single played at the last all-nighter at Wigan Casino. Brooklyn born to Spanish/Italian parents Phil Anastasi became Dean Parrish on the advice of Ronnie Spector, recorded for a variety of soul labels in the mid 60s, and when that work dried up moved into acting for film and TV, eventually becaming a session musician working with amongst others Jimi Hendrix, Santana and Bob Marley. By the time the Northern scene took off in the mid-70s Dean had become Phil again. After Russ Winstanley began playing I'm On My Way at Wigan a re-released version went on to sell over 200,000 copies and reached number 38 in the singles chart in 1975. More recently he has performed at a Northern weekender at Prestatyn, appeared in an episode of The Sopranos and recorded a single with Paul Weller-Left, Right And Centre (which Weller wrote aged 15).

i'm_on_my_way.mp3 - 4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download

Monday 6 September 2010

She Only Dances To Rock Steady

The Hussy's were a six piece from Glasgow who released an e.p. in 2005, one in 2006 and another in 2007. The trail runs a bit cold there. Their myspace says there's now only three of them and there don't seem to be any other releases. This song, Rock Steady, is the only one I've got. It's a sweetly sardonic tale of a mod-girl who only dances to rock steady and her scooter-boy boyfriend who is seen hitching lifts from the edge of town because his scooter's broken down. The song's a bit ska-ish, with a chorus that threatens to turn into The Police (but thankfully doesn't).


4AD #3

Three 4AD posts in a row, this time from Lush, the Camden Abba. Lush had a few good moments, although their drinking often seemed to overshadow their music in the press. Of which they got plenty, partly due to their female front two Emma and Miki. This track Sweetness And Light was one of their best known, and I think turned up selling cars at some point. They split up in 1998, after drummer Chris committed suicide, and went their seperate ways. Bassist Phil plays with The Jesus And Mary Chain, not sure about Miki and Emma- I think one of them resurfaced in a band some time ago. This version of Sweetness And Light (Orange Squash) is a My Bloody Valentine remix (which essentially means Kevin Shields), done for a film called Splendor.

Me either.

Sweetness and Light_MBV remix.mp3 - 4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download

Sunday 5 September 2010

4AD #2

Cut from a similar piece of cloth (dirty denim or suede, or leather maybe), and also on 4AD were Spirea X. Leader Jim Beattie had spent six years in Primal Scream and played guitar (12 string) on their early singles and the Sonic Flower Groove album. When he formed Spirea X, named after an early Primal Scream b-side, Jim declared Spirea X would do better than his former bandmates by 'having better songs, better melodies, better arrangements, better everything'. He also claimed to be God at one point, before downgrading himself to Jesus. No shortage of ego then.

Chlorine Dream is a lovely piece of 60s indebted guitar pop (check the opening guitar lines) coupled with some early 90s backbeat and production. Another good single Speed Reaction followed and then an album, Fireblade Skies, which the press liked but sold little. I've not listened to the album for ages, but Chlorine Dream is on the mp3 player and always sounds good when it pops up. Obviously being on 4AD they had nice record sleeves, something not to be sniffed at.


Pick Three Words

Kurt Ralske's Ultra Vivid Scene were another band much loved by the now defunkt Melody Maker. Taking the usual Velvets and Mary Chain influences they made buzzy, melodic, two chord, American indie-pop, and as they were signed to 4AD, had beautiful sleeves. This is Special One from 1990, recorded with Pixies Kim Deal. One of those bands who you suspect picked three random words from the dictionary for their name- or was that Ocean Colour Scene?

Special One.mp3

Saturday 4 September 2010

Who Is The Ultimate Warlord?

Some music is deep, some is hard hitting, some rootsy or bluesy, or emotionally charged, or balls-out rock 'n' roll, or ecstatic, or massive 808 squiggles with gospel vocals and that kick drum, or chiming light as air guitar stuff, or ramshackle, or inspirational, or fluid and funky, or life-affirming, and there are songs we cling to, the songs that break us, the songs that change us, the songs that make us think, songs that comment on the world we live in or the people in power, songs with a well turned phrase, or deftly crafted couplet, or a verse that skewers a feeling or a point of view or a universal experience, or a time you remember, or the time you thought it was only you that felt like that.

Some music is utter nonsense.

This is The Immortals 1979 12" The Ultimate Warlord. It's total, utter, absolute nonsense. Apparently it's also Italo Disco or Cosmic Disco, but I don't think many of us had even heard of that until a couple of years ago. This record has huge, ominous analogue disco synths and drums, ridiculous chord changes, and the stupidest vocodered vocals you've ever heard, about being the ultimate warlord. It is complete nonsense, and also very, very good.

the ultimatewarlord.mp3

A Love From Outer Space

Hugely influential, much loved by Melody Maker, dream-pop/shoegaze/acid house/whatever, from AR Kane, who made two albums, 69 and i, and a load of singles. A Love From Outer Space was their poppiest moment. AR Kane were also half of MARRS, whose Pump Up The Volume was a number 1 smash and one of the first British entirely sample-made records.

A Love From Outer Space.mp3

Friday 3 September 2010

Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 27

This week's rockabilly rave-up comes from 1981, covered in Clash connections. That's Pearl and Mick Jones in the picture above. Pearl Harbour had fronted what the Americans call a 'new wave' band (Pearl Harbour and The Explosions) who made a mediocre album. By 1980 she had fallen in with The Clash, and recorded a rockabilly inspired album called Don't Follow Me... I'm Lost Too, much of which which sounds surprisingly good today, 29 years later. It bombed at the time. Pearl's boyfriend Kosmo Vinyl (Clash tour manager and self styled 'consiglieri') and Pearl decided she and the album should stand on their two feet, and so there were few credits on the album's sleeve despite it's stellar line-up which would surely have gained it more attention. Produced by Blockhead and Clash touring keyboardist Mickey Gallagher, and with Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Topper Headon from The Clash and Wilko Johnson (ex-Dr Feelgood) amongst others playing the instruments. Pearl and Paul Simonon were married for much of the 80s, and she appeared on stage with The Clash. There's youtube footage of her performing this song, Fujiyama Mama, with The Clash in Japan. Fujiyama Mama was a hit in the 50s for rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson, whose songs have popped up on Friday nights here before. Anyway, take it away Pearl...

02 Fujiyama Mama (Album Version).mp3

I Used To Think That The Day Would Never Come

True Faith was New Order's breakthrough single. Released in 1987, coming off a Best Of album (Substance), produced with a poppy sheen by Stephen Hague (who talked Bernard into changing a lyric about drug-taking, despite half the song seeming to be about that), and supported by an eye-catching video. It took New Order into the Top 5 and the US Top 40 for the first time, and won them a Brit award for best video (the award was inscribed 'Best Video True Face').

Factory legend has it that Substance was only compiled and released because Tony Wilson's new car had a cd player in it, and he wanted all of the band's singles on one handy disc. One of those Factory legends you hope is true.

This version of True Faith is from the 2004 In Session cd, which featured a Peel Session from 1998. The songs were True Faith, Isolation, Touched By The Hand Of God, Atmosphere and Paradise, the original line-up with Gillian still playing keyboards. I posted Isolation back in the early days of Bagging Area. The cd also has an Evening Session from 2001 to promote the Get Ready album. This version of True Faith pumps up the dance and house influences, and shows the band in the kind of form that wowed the Reading Festival that summer, reformed after several years and numerous side projects.

01 True Faith.wma

Thursday 2 September 2010

It Started Fast But It Ends So Slow

If you can ignore the soap opera, the tabloids, drugs, the band of a generation, burglaries, supermodels, prison, arrests, blood and syringes, break-ups, re-unions, solo bands and side projects, 'the fifteen quid I just shelled out for your second album' (quote Nigel Blackwell), and all the other detritus and debris that surrounds The Libertines, you'll notice that Don't Look Back Into The Sun (B-side to I Get Along in 2003) is a magnificent song.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Wrapped In A Sweater

The Strangeloves' I Want Candy, from 1965, is one of those impossibly cool 60s garage/beat singles, all tribal drumming, surf guitars and dumb lyrics. It was covered famously by Malcolm McLaren's jailbait pop band Bow Wow Wow (I posted Kevin Shields' remix of it when McLaren died earlier this year). The truth behind the original single is a little stranger.

The Strangeloves were the creation of a New York songwriting/production team- Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gotthehrer (who went on to produce Blondie and Richard Hell, and started up Sire records with Seymour Stein) . They concocted the story that The Strangeloves were actually from Australia, three brothers who had grown up on a sheepfarm, made themselves rich by crossbreeding a new type of sheep (the long haired Gotthehrer) and this money made it possible for them to form a band. When I Want Candy became a hit Feldman, Goldstein and Gotthehrer found themselves not wanting to perform on stage so they put together a group of session musicians to perform the song live, eventually finding Rick Zehringer while on the road and taking him back to New York to record Hang On Sloopy as The McCoys. It's Bill Drummond-esque isn't it?

I_want_candy (3).mp3