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Friday 29 July 2011

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 22

Zut alors et sacre bleu, c'est rockabilly. From 1957 it's Jimmy Lloyd. He's got a rocket in his pocket and 'the fuse is lit'.

Thursday 28 July 2011

En Vacances

By the time you read this we should be on the road, off on our summer holiday. Having read Drew's description of his French debacle last summer we thought long and hard and decided... to drive to France. We're staying in a small house in the village of Chateauponsac, north of Limoges. It's about three quarters of the way down France, in the middle. You can't miss it. So, off we go, Dover today, ferry tomorrow morning, various letters in two languages to explain the large quantity of medicines we're carrying from one country to another (for our eldest I.T., who has a variety of medical issues), a shops worth of car sweets (which will probably be gone by Knutsford), hundreds of Earl Grey tea bags (Mrs Swiss likes a cup of tea), many multi-bags of prawn cocktail crisps (I.T. again, limited diet, God knows what he'll eat in France once the Walkers run out), several cds I've made for the long road trip which will contain next to nothing young E.T. will like, and as many clothes as we can fit in what's left of the boot space. We're not ones to pack lightly, but will most likely bring back half of it unworn. I'm really looking forward to it- the last few weeks have been a bit heavy for one reason or another and getting away to a small French village with plenty of sunshine should be great. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

After tomorrow night's rockabilly post there won't be any action here at Bagging Area until the middle of August. Here's a song to send us on our way- in 2007 Paul Weller and ex-Blur guitarist Graham Coxon released a one-off, limited 7" three track single. The A-side was this song, a rollicking guitar tune with Coxon on vox and making the best of both men's talents.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

And I Think To Myself...

A post to tie together a couple of recent posts featuring The Ramones and Louis Armstrong, making it look dangerously like I plan what goes on here rather than just lurch from one song to another. In 2002 Joey Ramone's only solo album came out. Released posthumously it was titled Don't Worry About Me and opened up with a cover version of Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World. It sounds just like you think it should, but is none the worse for it.

Edit- post and track removed by Blogger/DMCA. Post restored without mp3 file.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Sitar, Dub And Bass

As a follow on from Paul Weller's Indian Vibes excursion that I posted the other day, I went back and listened to the whole e.p. Death In Vegas mainman Richard Fearless' remix of Mathar is the stand out of the versions- some very cool electronic dub to wash over you.

Monday 25 July 2011

We Need Nothing More

As far as I'm aware, since they delivered Loveless in 1991, My Bloody Valentine have recorded only two songs- one was a cover of a Wire song Map Ref 41n 93w (posted here some time ago) and the other was this cover version of Louis Armstrong's Bond theme We Have All The Time In The World. This is very swirly and dreamy and has Bilinda Butcher's vocals to the fore (by MBV's standards) but it's also a pretty straight cover with Kevin Shields keeping the melody and strings intact. It hasn't got that totally disorientating, weightless, headswimming effect that Loveless or Isn't Anything had. Well worth a listen as a starter, especially if you stick Soon on afterwards for the main course.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Twenty Seven Forever

I posted this A Certain Ratio song last October. It feels fitting somehow this weekend. Poor old Amy.

Sitar, Drums And Bass

A track from 1998 which sounds surprisingly good today- Mathar by Indian Vibes, with some very catchy sitar playing, and general 90s clubbiness (y'know, Sunday Social, Chemical Brothers, that kind of thing). Indian Vibes was Paul Weller and chums with producer Brendan Lynch. The 12" came with two remixes, one by Death In Vegas' Richard Fearless who took it dubwards and another by Primal Scream who turned in something very noisy indeed. There's much to enjoy in this extended version.

Saturday 23 July 2011

Yesterday Dub

No not Sir Paul. Steve Mason, ex of The Beta Band, released an album last year- Boys Outside- that has been thoroughly reworked and dubbed up by Dennis Bovell (legendary British reggae man who also worked with The Slits and Orange Juice). Mr Weatherall provided two dubs of Boys Outside which were pretty much my favourite tracks of last year. Now Mr Bovell takes Steve Mason's haunting original songs and adds horns, dub bass and lashings of echo, as shown here. Very, very good and highly recommended.

With His Centre Parted Sun Tan

More big, stupid fun with Black Grape. I wasn't that fussed about Black Grape but the first album had it's moments, this being the best- Kelly's Heroes. It's got that mid 90s rhythm, a naggingly good funky guitar riff and some very funny Shaun Ryder lyrics, mainly about Jesus, 'handing out the fish, man, with his centre parted sun tan, then cured the lame'. The chorus is made-up-on-the-spot brilliance- 'Jesus was a black man, no Jesus was Batman, no, no, no, no, no, that was Bruce Wayne.'


One minute and twenty five seconds of big, stupid fun, written by Lemmy and Motorhead, performed by the last Ramones line up, tacked onto the end of the Japanese edition of Adios Amigos, this is R.A.M.O.N.E.S. If you don't like this....

Friday 22 July 2011

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 22

All the way from 1958 this is The Spirals with Baby You Just Wait. This unnamed couple are out there somewhere keeping 1958 alive. Have a good evening.

Walk On By, Walk On Through

It feels like the first day of the summer holidays. Because it is. Let's kick Friday off with some glorious pop-house from 1993. Before Doves were Doves they were Sub Sub and other than making bleepy Manc house tunes like the very ace Space Face they had an actual number 3 hit single with this song, featuring the guest vocals of Melanie Williams. From it's zoom intro to it's bouncy verses to it's catchy as chicken pox chorus, this is 7" perfection guaranteed to put a spring in your step. The only thing wrong with it is that it's over almost before it's begun.

Thursday 21 July 2011

Weatherall Mix Roundup 3

I realised the other day that posts by or connected to Andrew Weatherall make up 10% of Bagging Area's output. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or the signs of an obsession that's out of control. But, at the risk of this blog becoming a sort of Audrey dub Pravda (mind, with that beard he looks more Romanov than Soviet) here's some more Weatherall stuff to listen to, no downloads from me though I'm afraid.

First up, a remix due out in August of Watch Me Dance by Toddla T and Roots Manuva. This one is a buyer no mistake, just stunning, listen to that bassline.

Next up, a nigh on two hour mix available at Dummymag. You can download this one from them. There's also a brief interview where he mentions forthcoming remixes of The Horrors and Wooden Shjips.

Finally, a blast from 1994, recorded live at The Albany for the Heavenly Social. Listen only.

More news when we get it comrades.

Unlikely Remix

I don't how these two crossed paths but in 1999 Jim Reid, fresh from the recently split up Jesus And Mary Chain, remixed Fun-Da-Mental's Ja Sha Taan. Fun-Da-Mental make political, electronic, agit-prop mixing in rap, Asian sounds and Qawwali singers, in this case Nawazish Ali Khan. Jim Reid makes feedback drenched, American influenced, British indie rock. This remix manages to cover both bases.

Meetings With Footballers 4 & 5

For about 18 months in the early-to-mid 90s I ended living in a flat above a hairdressers in Hale. The flat was large, very reasonably priced rent and just down the road from my then flatmate's girlfriend. Hale is a wealthy suburb of south Manchester, near Altrincham. I lived in almost abject poverty, but as Gang For Four said 'to hell with poverty, we'll get drunk on cheap wine'. We started drinking in the local pub, the romantically named Bleeding Wolf. It's now a block of expensive apartments. As happens when you spend a lot of time in one pub, you get to know the landlord, you get lock-ins, next thing you know you get asked to dj at the staff Christmas party. So we hauled our records down the road, scrounged and cobbled together various pieces of equipment and set up to play in a large landing area above the pub once the last order's bell had been rung. Well into the night, everyone drunk and having a good time, I put on The Clash's (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais. Careering out of the kitchen, at the time injured with a dodgy knee but clearly having a good time, comes Roy Keane. He clatters around the dancefloor, jumps up and down a bit, and then vanishes back into the kitchen, with us praying we're not responsible for worsening the knee. Still, it's not every night you can say you made Roy Keane dance. I've posted White Man recently so there's no point putting that up, I don't have Morrissey's Roy's Keen (and it's rubbish), so instead here's something else I'm pretty sure we played- Motorhead's Ace Of Spades.

Another time, in the same pub, in the lead up to major international football tournament (probably USA '94), a reporter is on the rolling news live from the Republic Of Ireland camp commenting on the mysterious absence from the squad of Paul McGrath (who also had dodgy knees). Everyone in The Bleeding Wolf that afternoon knows exactly where he is. It should be noted, Paul McGrath attended a charity dinner in aid of our son's special needs school last year and was the perfect gentleman.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Meetings With Footballers 3

It is 19th May 1995. It is my 25th birthday. We go into town and have beers and tequila at Ten Bar. We meet the man. We go to Home, in retrospect a very dubious nightclub. We drink more bottled beer. In the bar area above the dancefloor, flanked by two minders in black MA 1 bomber jackets, is Eric Cantona. Eric is serving a long ban for attacking a Crystal Palace supporter as he was leaving the pitch, still one of the most extraordinary things I've seen take place at a football match. We shake Eric's hand. Things are a bit messy now all round. A queue forms. We go up to shake his hand again, reasoning he won't remember our faces. Eric takes all this with good grace, despite us clearly being worse for wear. I drag the soon-to-be Mrs Swiss off the dancefloor, so she can meet Eric. She asks Eric if he minds being hassled by drunken/gurning idiots in nightclubs. 'No' he replies, 'Not really'.

In 1995 The Stone Roses disintegrated. They lost Reni, the finest drummer of his generation. They released Ten Storey Love Song as a single, the only song off the Second Coming that sounded like the work of the same band that made the first album six years earlier. On their singles to support the first album the B-sides were as good as the A-sides- Standing Here, Mersey Paradise, Going Down... By the time they came to finding B-sides for Second Coming singles the quality was dipping. The 12" of Ten Storey Love Song had two B-sides- Ride On, a Brown/Squire number, slow, stoned, dirgy, and Moses, a pile driver of guitar riffs and heavy groove, with a breakdown and the riff tumbling back in. Credited to Squire/Mounfield/Wren you felt it was a warm-up, practice tune that had never gained vocals. Heavy and a long way from waterfalls, sugar spun sisters and her banging the drums.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Meetings With Footballers 2

One night in either 1988 or 1989 a group of us are outside Liverpool University Students' Union. The House Of Love are playing the smaller venue in the Union, the Stanley Theatre. I saw them on their previous tour. Another band are playing the larger Mountford Hall. My memory tells me it was The Fall but it could've been The Wonderstuff. I know at around the same time we went to see the up-and-coming Charlatans instead of The Fall. Choices, choices. None of these cost more than a couple of quid. We were spoilt I tell you. Well, except for the Wonderstuff. Anyway, we were outside the Union and a man on crutches approaches us, floppy hair and Scottish accent- 'Excuse me lads, can you tell me where The House Of Love are playing?' As one of us begins to direct the man down the road, an Evertonian among us says 'Hey, you're Pat Nevin'. Pat Nevin, formerly of Clyde and Chelsea, at the time Everton's injured winger, scuttles off as fast as his crutches will take him. I don't know what he thought we might do to him, but it was the 1980s. Football was yet to become what it is today.

The House Of Love were riding high when Destroy The Heart was released on Creation, and it's shimmering guitars and pent-up drama are still exciting today. They left for Fontana and never really recovered. Pat Nevin has since dj-ed at Bowlie Weekender, not having the usual footballer's musical tastes.

Monday 18 July 2011

Meetings With Footballers 1

I'm not sure exactly when this photo was taken, sometime around the 70s turning into the 80s. That's me in the middle and my younger brother Z on the left. The gent on the right is Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton. A building society in Didsbury, M20, launched itself on a Saturday morning with a promotion where if you opened an account with them (minimum deposit, one whole pound) you got your picture taken with Bobby. So, me and Z trooped up the road from Withington to Didsbury, not quite believing the actual Bobby Charlton would be there, and opened our accounts. The photo turned up a few days later, signed by Bobby. Z still has the photo in his possession. It's worth noting that out of the three people in the picture Bobby is the one who looks most now like he did then. I wish I could still get my hair to look like it did then.

Radio 4 is the final track on Public Image Ltd's barnstorming 1979 Metal Box lp, the flood gate opener for post-punk. After four sides of Wobble's dub basslines, Levene's scraping guitar, the skittering rhythms and Lydon's caterwauling, Radio 4 was a moment of beauty and respite- drumless, synthchords, virtual strings, post-punk classical. Probably the only thing on the record Bobby Charlton could listen to.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Way Out

This is a cracking song, from House Of Fix featuring Circa. It sounds like it could've been made anytime from the late 70s onwards by some combination of members of Wire and Can but according to Discogs was made by someone called Jason Leach, and released in 2003 by a record label based in Scarborough.

Repeating krauty bassline, Wire vocals, organ stabs, increasingly intense. You need it this Sunday morning. I got it off a mix cd Ivan Smagghe did called Death Disco.

Saturday 16 July 2011

End Of The Road

New Order appear to be at the very end of the road. Peter and Bernard, friends since the 1960s, have had enough of each other. From an interview published yesterday-

Peter Hook 'The truth is Bernard's a twat and he always has been'

Bernard Sumner 'We've spent all our life as an outfit with principles and ideals and what Peter has done goes against everything we've stood for'

Stephen Morris 'There's no future for New Order. It's hard to draw a line under everything, but I think we have to.'

Gillian Gilbert 'One of them vomited on the table tennis table.' (This quote isn't actually about the band but I didn't want to leave Gillian out. She's been left out too often since the late 90s reformation.)

The details seem to centre around Peter Hook buying the rights to the name The Hacienda without telling the others, and performing Joy Division albums in their entirety and releasing cover e.p.s with a variety of other musicians. Bernard once said that New Order split up in the early 90s because he couldn't stand the way that after eating a packet of Wotsits Hooky licked each of his fingers clean. You got the feeling Bernard was totally serious. In a way I wish all this had happened before that awful last album, which included a song with a Scissor Sister. FFS- These are the people who wrote Ceremony and Everything's Gone Green and Age Of Consent and Temptation and Love Vigilantes and True Faith and Regret.

This is Skullcrusher, from the soundtrack to a 1987 film called Salvation, which also gave us Touched By The Hand Of God. Which was typical New Order. Write one of the greatest songs of that year and stick it on the soundtrack of a dodgy film.

I Never Thought I'd Need So Many People

Another Bowie cover to follow yesterday's Associates version of Boys Keep Swinging. We've had the odd Terry Edwards post here before, either from his e.p. of punk trumpet covers of Jesus And Mary Chain songs or his totally wired cover of The Fall. This is something else, a totally beautiful and entrancing cover of Bowie's apocalyptic Five Years, done for a Peel Session in 1993. The playing is such that you don't need to hear Bowie imploring 'we've got five years, my brain hurts a lot'- it's all there in the brass.

Friday 15 July 2011

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 21

Tonight's choice is a Cramps song with a huge dollop of rockabilly, over which Lux Interior meditates on women, the bible and badness.

'Adam and Eve, sitting in the woods
Eve said man I got something real good
It's in that tree, you'll get smart fast
Adam said sure, Satan my ass
I don't see no snakes but all women are bad

Samson and Delilah, talking 'bout grooming
Delilah said Sam you don't look human
Took some scissors, went snip, snip
Said now everybody's gonna think you're hip
Sam felt his head, said all women are bad'

On top of that, in the chorus Lux tells us

'All women are bad
All women are bad
They got groovy wiggly tails
They got horns on their heads
All women are bad'

And on it goes. Given that Poison Ivy co-wrote the song, played guitar on it, produced it and managed the band, I think we can assume Lux's tongue was firmly in his cheek. Anyway, it's got that necessary Friday night rockabilly stomp, so get it clicked, turn it up and turn it loose.

You Can Wear A Uniform

I was watching something recently which ended with David Bowie's in-no-way-at-all-camp single Boys Keep Swinging. Filmed in a brightly lit TV studio it had Bowie miming, sashaying around and singing lines like 'You can wear a uniform, other boys will check you out'. And I thought, this is good but I think The Associates 1979 stripped down version is better.

Thursday 14 July 2011

You're Obsolete My Baby

'You're obsolete my baby' is a pretty cutting line. So is much of the rest of this Jagger-Richards written song, taken to number one in 1966 by the great voice of Chris Farlowe and some very cool strings. Mick Jagger's songs from the mid-60s often showed some fairly neanderthal attitudes (see also Under My Thumb amongst others) but if we can leave that to one side this is a cracker of a single, recorded for Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label. Wiki adds the following line to his page- 'Outside his music career, Chris Farlowe collects war memorabilia.'

Wednesday 13 July 2011

And Then I Kissed Her With A Kiss That Can Only Mean Goodbye Part Two

Just so you can compare and contrast, here's Roland S Howard's She Cried, from his 2000 album Teenage Snuff Movie, which today's earlier Horror's song is clearly indebted to. Rowland S Howard was guitarist in The Boys Next Door (for whom he wrote the still stunning Shivers aged only 16) and then The Birthday Party. He died of liver cancer on December 30th 2009, two days before I started Bagging Area. His cover of Talk Talk's Life's What You Make It was the second or third post here, and was part of the reason for starting blogging.

And Then I Kissed Her With A Kiss That Can Only Mean Goodbye

Everyone's favourite skinny legged, crate-digging, goth and garage rocking five piece The Horrors are back with a new album Skying. The last time they put an lp out they flipped lids all over the place. Primary Colours featured the electro and krautrocking Sea Within A Sea and Who Can Say, just about my favourite rock single from that year. They also released a superb single, Whole New Way, which I posted here ages ago. By way of celebrating the new album, shaping up to be on heavy rotation, here's Who Can Say from a 6 Music session. The mp3 I think came originally from the late, lamented Ripped In Glasgow blog (although Moggieboy's RiG adventures do continue on a well-known social networking site). Anyway, distorted guitars, 60s organ, girl group drums, Rowland S Howard 'inspired' breakdown- what more could you want?

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Jump To Your Feet, Let Us Get You High

I can't think of a record that's less produced than this. Green Fuz by The Green Fuz is barely lo-fi, more no-fi. It's so muffled it sounds like it was recorded through a thick wall, with the mic in a bucket of porridge. The Green Fuz were a late 60s garage band from Texas and this was their only single, recorded in a deserted roadside cafe chosen for it's acoustics. The total lack of any production, clarity, range or tone only adds to it's charm. It was, of course, covered by The Cramps and I think also The Lemonheads.

Monday 11 July 2011

Battle Lines

Battles make that kind of music that gets described as 'angular', 'jerky' and 'post-rock', or worse 'math-rock'. The sort of descriptions that can put me off sometimes, coming across as too post-punk derived or and a bit joyless. Their latest album Gloss Drop hasn't won me over completely but it's got it's moments. They lost their singer while recording it, so it's got some guest vocalists and some instrumentals like this one, which is funky and sunny and not too mathematical.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Nite Time

While we're in The Walker Brothers area here's Nite Flights from a few years after No Regrets. This is a different kettle of fish entirely, more in Bowie's Kraftwerkian experimental central European musical zone. Nite Flights was their last album and each member recorded their own songs separately. This is one of Scott's songs and it's very good indeed.

Saturday 9 July 2011

For Far Too Long I've Had Nothing New To Show To You

Sometimes you need to wallow in some premium tearjerking schmaltz, and The Walker Brothers 1976 comeback No Regrets ticks all those boxes. Lacking the echo laden drama of their 60s work, the one-man vision of Scott's solo albums and the avant garde nature of his later albums featuring someone punching a side of beef for percussion, this is wide screen, orchestral, Vegas-style pop. But still featuring those killer lines that Scott Walker can deliver- 'I woke last night and spoke to you not thinking you were gone, and it felt so strange to lie awake alone' being just one. Guitarist John Walker died recently aged 67.

Nearly two decades ago me and my then flatmate started going to a pub quiz. We hooked up with a pair of middle aged blokes, a builder and a carpet fitter, when we realised between us we had the required level of general knowledge and useless nonsense (especially for the music round) to win the quiz each Monday. Pete used to pick us up in his van, and we'd drive down to the pub, often with this song belting out. We must have looked pretty ridiculous, two twenty somethings and two forty somethings arriving in a builder's van bellowing Scott's song of lost love. I'm now a forty something, and Pete is a sixty something, and we still get to a pub quiz, despite having lost the other two along the way. Funny how such random encounters can lead to lifelong friendships being made. For the record, we don't win very often anymore. Maybe we need some young blood.

Mills And Factories

Mr A.N. mentioned Jeff Mills in response to the Plastikman post from earlier this week, specifically the soundtrack to Metropolis. Then I remembered I have Waveform Transmission Volume 3 lurking on the hard drive. The Waveform Transmission albums were a series from the mid 90s that set the bar for hard techno. Much of Volume 3 is visceral, relentless techno, with those synth melodies and synthetic strings but with juddering snare drums that can loosen filings if listened to at volume. This track is less nosebleed, sleeker, less punishing and rather nice. What Jeff Mills is doing selling those rolls of fabric is anyone's guess, but it does look like he's keeping it tidy.

Friday 8 July 2011

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 20

Joe Therrien and The Sully Trio (and not The Rockets as shown in the picture) with tonight's rockabilly groove, I Ain't Gonna Be Around. Nice twangy bass and some rocking guitar on display. Enjoy your Friday night- me, I shall be drinking.

When You Come Home In A Box

The Goats were a hip-hop threepiece from the early 90s who shoved their way through the door the likes of Cypress Hill had opened. This 1992 single is a loud, shouty blast starting out with a great looped bassline sample, mixing hip-hop and punk (punk-hop?) and lyrics taking political pot shots. Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf, US commander in the first Gulf war, cops it at one point. The last few lines show maybe not much has changed in the last two decades- 'When you come home in a box, green drawers, green pants, green socks, typical American kid I think not'. A riot of their own from start to finish.

Thursday 7 July 2011

We'll Defuse Bombs And Run Marathons

I wrote a while back about Belle And Sebastian's This Is Just A Modern Rock Song and how it soundtracked the first couple of weeks of my son I.T.'s life and even further back about Teenage Fanclub's It's A Bad World and how it affected me during his diagnosis with Hurler's Disease and his bone marrow transplant. I heard this song at the weekend for the first time in years and for similar reasons it stopped me dead in my tracks. Grandaddy's A.M. 180 was on a free cd that came with the NME and I played the song loads during that period. It opens with a catchy, bleepy riff, followed by crunchy guitars and Jason Lyttle's fragile vocals and is wonderful from start to finish. I bought the album it came off (Under the Western Freeway) but nothing else on it hit me like this one.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

They Are Kloot

I Am Kloot have been knocking around Manchester forever without ever hitting it big, Johnny Bramwell's jaundiced worldview not crossing over to the masses like their mates Elbow have. Would it surprise you that I Believe (off 2005 Gods And Monsters album) was remixed by Two Lone Swordsmen? Possibly. Would it surprise you that I'm going to post it? Possibly not.

I Believe Fuzztrumental Two Lone Swordsmen Remix

Oh You've Got Green Eyes

Jon Auer is one of The Posies, who play power pop. I think I know what power pop is without being able to describe it. I don't know much about The Posies either, other than that Prestwich Stuart put a song of theirs on a tape he did for me years ago, the chorus of which went 'It's a different door to another dimension' (or something like that) and I really liked it. Another band that I never delved any further into, despite the internet. Here, Jon Auer does a very lovely acoustic cover version of Green Eyes, a Flip Your Wig era Husker Du song written by Bagging Area favourite Grant Hart. It's worth bearing in mind that given Grant's sexuality this song is probably sung by a man to a man. Which gives it a different slant somehow.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Please Think Of The Bassists

Blues rock duos are ten-a-penny, all over the place, making a guitar, vox and drums racket, minimising their touring budgets and making soundchecks easy. But everywhere there must be scores of unemployed bassists, kicking their heels and twiddling their thumbs. Please, blues rock duos, think of the bassists.

I've never felt the urge to check out The Black Keys that deeply. Their 2008 album Attack And Release, produced by Dangermouse, didn't do much for me and I never got any further with them though recently they've been garlanded with Grammy awards and had praise heaped upon them. Last year's Brothers album passed me by also. I may be prepared to change my mind based on this song, a 7" B-side, free download and magazine freebie. This is Ohio (not the Neil Young song) and between them Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney kick up a right storm.

Monday 4 July 2011

Let's Call Flash Gordon

Much under-rated and way ahead of the times were Manchester's New Fast Automatic Daffodils. They benefited from the Madchester hype and feeding frenzy but it didn't translate into sales. I saw them live several times including one at Liverpool University where each Saturday a 'secret' band would perform for half an hour in the Union building. A screen would rise up to reveal the band, they got half an hour and then the screen dropped down. It was never much a secret who the band were, word being leaked to ensure people turned up I suppose. Paris Angels played there one time, frightening the student crowd, and also The Wedding Present, David Gedge in his soon to be trademark shorts after deciding gigging in jeans was too sweaty. It was very warm in there.

This is Fishes Eyes, a bass heavy groove with jagged guitar and sax, and Andy Spearpoint's obtuse lyrics. They had a song which I swear part of the lyric went 'let's call Flash Gordon' but it's not this one. Big maybe? Or Get Better? I can't remember. Maybe I imagined it.

Plastic Post

Plastikman was well known for his hard-edged, acidic techno. This is a far more laid back affair. Are Friends Elektric is a beautiful piece of melodic techno with melancholic synth strings. Very nice. This track came free on an NME covermounted cd back in 1998, which I suppose explains why it's called the NME edit.

Sunday 3 July 2011

I'm With The 99

I feel like I've been repeating myself here recently, so at risk of boring you here's another song from Big Audio Dynamite. Their musical stew does seem suited to this hot weather, and the other day I found this footage of them playing back in April at Shepherds Bush Empire. The link takes you to the encore of The Bottom Line and E=MC2. Looks like everyone had a good time and they don't sound too shabby either. Worth seven minutes of your Sunday evening.

This is Other 99, from the Tighten Up Vol. '88 album, a lively little song that I've had on repeat over the weekend, with Mick celebrating realistic underachievement and showing some humility that maybe was absent when he was in The Clash.

While I'm here, if you haven't already get over to Castles In Space where Nolan Micron has spent the weekend posting a load of acid house. Before that he'd posted a bucketful of early Warp, which I burnt onto cd and led to my head imploding when I listened to it on Friday evening. Stunning bleep house fest.

Saturday 2 July 2011

Hang On To Your Detuned Guitars

Sonic Youth do their Sonic Youth thing to I Know There's An Answer, a song off The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, which as everyone knows is one of the greatest albums since blah blah. This is pretty good actually, nicely ramshackle.

I Know There's An Answer started life as a song called Hang On To Your Ego, which some members of the Beach Boys refused to sing claiming it was hippy nonsense. Which it probably was. Doesn't make them right to make Brian go and change it though does it?

Friday 1 July 2011

Friday Night Noise

It's Friday, and this is about as far from rockabilly as you can get. Blanck Mass is the solo work of Benjamin Power, one half of Fuck Buttons. I don't know if he's Mr Fuck or Mr Buttons. This track, Land Disasters, is several minutes of noise- some white noise, some guitar feeding back noise and some of that lovely analogue synth noise. It's a soothing noise. It could do your head in at times I imagine. It might also help clear up who plays what in Fuck Buttons.

One Day We Will Be Free

Let's kick July off with one of the undisputed heavyweight champions of house- Joe Smooth's Promised Land from 1989. It's got the lot- piano, synths, Anthony Thomas' soulful vocal, happy/sad strings, that ascending and descending bassline, and thumping drums. The lyrics about angels, doves, walking hand in hand and freedom from fighting, violence and death in the street may sound a bit naive to our cynical, austerity driven 2011 ears but we should remember that in the late 80s positivity and optimism were all the rage. And maybe we could all do with a little bit more of that (cynical, grumpy, middle aged Mancunians included).