David Bowie On Film? Yes Please!!!

I’m amazed there’s anyone out there that hasn’t seen the amazing Labyrinth, with David Bowie as Jareth The Goblin King. The above clip shows one of the musical numbers from the film, called “Dance Magic Dance”, fab!
Bowie also put a good turn in as Andy Warhol in the movie Basquiat (one of the best films ever made, and one of the best soundtracks ever – but that’s for another post)  –  Bowie has gone from singing a song about Warhol, to playing him. Nice!  

Bonus youtube clip; Flight Of The Conchord’s tribute to the man himself called “Bowie’s In Space”, which has the great line “Hey Bowie, do you have one really funky sequined space suit?

Or do you have several ch-ch-ch-ch-changes?”

Disco is Not Dead – This year’s Modjo….

I’ve very much enjoyed listening to all your ‘magical’ playlists on the balcony this afternoon. Some fantastic discoveries there. But just in case anyone is feeling a little ‘spellbound’ I thought I’d offer the counter curse to all this hocus pocus. I was born in ’66 which makes me…ooooh… do the math… And grew up as a result with my ears firmly rooted in the disco and funk tradition perpetrated by Nile Rodgers and everything he touched, Mr Clinton, Chic, Sister Sledge, Earth Wind and Fire, the Whispers etc. etc. I therefore get very excited when I hear NEW disco sounds which have just been produced but which have their head and heart firmly rooted in the sounds of my adolescence. With another member of my family, we keep our ears to the ground for the next new-old disco track. We were enthralled when Modjo released ‘Lady (Hear me tonight) as that’s exactly the kind of new-old disco which gets my pulse racing. Even more so when I realised they’d sampled Chic’s ‘Soup for one’ on the chord structure. We therefore christened any disco discoveries ‘This year’s Modjo’ and, from time to time, will send each other our ‘This year’s Modjo’. The award has since gone to ‘Starlight’ by the Superman Lovers, ‘Lola’s Theme’ by the Shapeshifters and ‘This Year’s Modjo’ for 2008 is, without any question, ‘Dance Free Night’ by Brooklyn Funk Essentials. Pour yourself a brightly coloured cocktail and enjoy…
Découvrez Modjo!

Missing in Action

The fun for me about the RR blog is discovering new stuff or stumbling over something long forgotten.  I’m not that interested in the final 10, given the capricious nature of the selection process.  It seems to me that you could print the RR blog, give it to a blind monkey with a pin, and arrive at an equally hit or miss playlist each week. Despite this, the A-Z holds up remarkably well. A lot of popular contemporary artists are missing though (Coldplay, Keane, Snow Patrol, Moby).  Not “cool” enough? Not the right theme? 
Anyway, here’s a playlist with 5 of my favorite missing artists; which of your favorites are missing in action?

Fun With PC’s

Would you like to record anything that you can hear on your computer? If you have a Mac I’m sure you just ask it nicely.  Here’s what you have to do for Windows:

Click “Start”> “Control Panel”> “Sounds and Audio Devices”> “Audio” tab > “Volume” button in “Sound Playback” (NOT “Sound Recording”) > “Options” >  “Properties” > “Adjust Volume for” check “Recording”  check “Stereo Mix” and Click OK, Raise the Stereo Mix Volume slider to about 7.  Close “Recording Control” & “Volume Control” windows & Click “OK” to close out the “Sound and Audio Devices Properties” window. Phew. To undo follow the same steps, but select “Microphone” instead of “Stereo Mix”.

Now we need some free software.  Click here to get Audacity.  Download & install this program.  Launch Audacity and select “stereo mix” from the dropdown menu.  In edit > preferences > audio I/O tab choose stereo and pick your recording quality settings in the quality tab.  Now play your favorite playlist or podcast and hit the record button.  Adjust your levels with the microphone slider.  The edit menu will help you clean up your finished track such as removing any gaps at the beginning or end.

If you want to save your recording as an mp3 go here to download Lame 3.97 (free mp3 converter).  Unzip this file & remember where you saved it. When you first export a file to mp3, Audacity will prompt you to find Lame on your computer (one time only).

That should do it.  Have fun. 

The witching hour

Recently saw The Prestige, half magic, half occult, which we thought was very good. I never realised Bowie played Tesla until I posted this clip here, though. Most people’s tracks this week are quite dark, mine are no exception..

General Science/Ish/Papa la bas, Conjure.
Science meets seance. Kip Hanrahan’s latin jazz with a badly behaved ghost..perhaps more suitable for the magic theme, so I’ve warmed it up again.

The Witch, by 25 cents. Nice, thrashy lo-fi track by one of NZ label Flying Nun’s first woman-only bands, very obscure but worth a listen.

Chilled out Nu Jazz for Saturday evening…
Two tracks from the Future sounds of jazz series:
Raise the dead, by Kimbu Kimra, Atjazz remix
Voodoo Science, by Boom bip & DJ Osiris

Possessed trumpet married to hard edged funk- just to complete the set of Miles Davis tracks, Sivad, by the Miles Davis group edits three fragments together- the ending of a live version of Directions, followed by a studio fragment of Honky Tonk, and then a live Honky Tonk.

(Player removed)

Tricky’s masterpiece to end with..

"By the pricking of my thumbs" FP’s magical mystery playlist

We all like to have a bet on what will be this week’s sho-in, don’t we? There’s one song towering head and gory locks above the rest of them this week, and that’s Jarvis’s Black Magic. It’s a Ziggy-esque miracle of glam splendour and I urge, beg, nay, implore those of you who don’t know it to give it a whirl. Just make sure there are no fragile objects within reach which could be smashed by the glam rock poses you will be mysteriously compelled to strike…
We’ve not done spooky stories on the blog yet, have we? Sure you’ve got some spine chillin’ ones. Here’s mine: I was strolling through a Canterbury housing estate one Halloween evening (as you do) towards 6 o’clock. Normal, red-bricked houses. Pots of geraniums in the gardens. Surbubia in all its glorious banality. Not a soul around. I was suddenly aware of an awful sense of foreboding and began to feel very frightened unaccountably. I looked around and there was no reason whatsoever for the awful terror suddenly gripping me. My sense of street cred didn’t quite allow me to break into a run. But I stepped up the pace and got out of there very quickly. Enquiries with local pals very quickly revealed that the housing estate was built on a site where witches were burned in the middle ages. Ta-DAAAAHHH!
Now. Let’s. Have. Yours…..

a very special brew.

Haven’t been able to look too closely at all the posts so hope I’ll not have a spell put on me.

some very interesting tunes for this subject..I love Morphines potion and I don’t quite know if a raindance is magic ….BUT I think Past Seven Days only did one 7″ so it’s in.
Fatboy Slims Latin Ska Acid Breakbeat version of Magic Carpet Ride joins the Baggies and My Computer on a ‘You may have to have been there to enjoy them vibe…’
Mariee Sioux and Get Well Soon I know nothing about but like the songs..hope you enjoy…
Time to listen to the new podcast me thinks…

Well, damnit, someone had to…

Ok. Right. Deep breath, aaaaaannnnnddddd throw it to the wolves……

Couldn’t get my head round magic today, so opted to waste my time in a different way instead – namely by trying to rid myself of the albatross of temptation that’s been on me since Blimpy’s first podcast. So here, then, is my first effort. I really enjoyed making it, even though it terrified me, and I really hope you enjoy some or all of it.

And now the caveats. It is VERY creaky, as I repeatedly point out during the thing itself (I apologise too much, sorry). The sound levels are rotten, my mic is terrible, there are little plosive puffs of air all over the place, I ‘um’ and ‘ah’ like a good-un and I am well aware that three songs early on are almost inaudible. I don’t know why that last one should be but if you turn them up REALLY LOUD then you can hear a bit and I didn’t have the heart to re-record it all….

Still, in spite of all that, I invite your thoughts, your criticisms and your advice. Either way, I’m doing another one soon, with less mistakes, so you’re stuck with me.

WARNING: This podcast contains some sweary talk which made me feel very big and clever. Sorry.


Albums that really change things

OK, I know that this is going to be massively contentious but there really are albums that are so earth shatteringly important that when you look back you can see how they changed music forever.

Most of them are hugely well known, and deservedly so in many cases, but others tend to be only appreciated in hindsight.

I am thinking here of albums that make other people listen and think “wow, I am going to have to start doing that sort of thing” or they change the way an artist in regarded by the business and the fans or they are albums that just do something so new that they start a movement or they encapsulate a moment so well that they almost become the moment, a shorthand for what was going on at the time.

My nominations here are pretty much all well known, but I think that they do fulfil at least one of my self imposed criteria in some way, and none are recent either. I am pretty much sticking to the rock world too, because if I was going to include everything then the list would be massive.

I reckon you could do a list for Jazz, Soul, Reggae, Hiphop etc separately.

So here goes;

Bob Dylan “Bringing it all back home”
Bruce Springsteen “Born to run”
Pink Floyd “Dark side of the moon”
Led Zeppelin “Four Symbols”
Jimi Hendrix “Are you experienced”
Fairport Convention “LIege and lief”
Nirvana “Nevermind”
Stone Roses “Stone Roses”
Joy Division “Unknown pleasures”
The Clash “London calling”

My reasons are varied. They are;

The Dylan one is where he first plugged it in and changed guitar pop forever
“Born to run” created Springsteen as the artist we have now
DSOTM brought Pink Floyd to world domination and opened the door to zillions of copyists and let prog hit the big time
Led Zep 4 created stadium rock
“Are you experienced” encapsulated the fusion of blues, psychedelia and rock in the 60s. Cream may have been there first but Jimi did it best
“Liege and lief” invented folk rock
“Nevermind” brought grunge to the world, OK not the first grunge album, or the grungiest but the one everyone knows – inadvertently giving us Nickelback, oh well no one’s perfect!
The first Roses album is where Brit Pop began
“Unknown pleasures” gave us the right to be miserable and showed us one way how to get out of punk
“London calling” fused punk, reggae, rock ‘n’ roll and gave us the other way to get out of punk’s impasse

A very subjective list, but I think my reasons are valid.

Now, over to the rest of you.

Oh I can’t be arsed to cook – cold chicken pesto salad

Summer has finally arrived and the weather has turned sunny and hot. Salad time! My lunch break disappeared in a cloud of smoke today (too much on) and so I rushed around the corner to pick up something quick from my favourite Italian deli. They were selling a rather good chicken salad and, as I de-constructed the recipe in my head, I thought you lot might just like it. It’s a very good way of using up any leftovers from sunday chicken dinner – if anyone can eat sunday chicken dinner in this heat!
Here goes:
  1. - Pieces of cold chicken cut off your leftover roast
  2. - Carrots and green beans cooked so they’re still crisp and crunchy
  • Put whole lot in a large tupperware.
  • Mix up some olive oil with some pesto and pour over.
  • Chop up some fresh basil and add this.
  • Slice up half a lemon and add.
  • Add a handful of pine kernals.
  • Shake up the whole lot and put the lid on. Leave in the fridge all day so that the pesto, lemon and basil can work its way though the whole lot.

Anyone else got any good mixed salad recipes? It’s just too hot to eat anything else at the mo!

4 Little Birds

This was my birthday present from Malcolm–it’s a picture of 4 little birds, a sequel to the Bob Marley song.

For all of us getting on in scores of years, here are Satchel Paige’s Rules for Staying Young…

1. “Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.”
2. “If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.”
3. “Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.”
4. “Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society — the social ramble ain’t restful.”
5. “Avoid running at all times.”
6. “And don’t look back — something might be gaining on you.”

He forgot 7. “drink loads of red wine.”



Happy Birthday
Hope you are not feeling too cranky…
The first track is for GlassHalfEmpty and his hangover.

It’s been a busy week on the ‘spill.. tracks 1,2,and3 finish the birthday songs for me, I’m sure no one wants to hear Radial Spangle and their song birthday…

attitude song…
then a couple of songs to throw shapes to…
and being the house songstress with the garage band tunes here is ‘rock star’

to finish off ‘young forever’ all you lot who had birthdays this week.

Your life is over. Your life is over.

So, after a long trek to Dublin and back this weekend (‘cos Ireland can’t seem to have more than one of ANYTHING, and that one almost always has to be six hours drive away in the capital) I rather missed out on all the lovely kissing action. Which is a shame, as it looked like a good stint, so good work.


I just wanted to share a song with you (consider it my gift to Mr McFlah) by a band I’ve been listening to increasingly much this last week or two. Now, if you can get past the fact that the singer has BLATANTLY nicked Conor Bright Eyes’ schtick, I reckon there’s a lot going on here. Bit of Arcade Fire. Bit of 60s R&B. Bit of ramped up gypsy punk. And, to top it all, they’re named after one of Shakespeare’s very best plays – Titus Andronicus (seriously, I never know why Titus gets hated on so much. Sure, its unpolished, but its a big budget horror flick. Gore! Rape! Dismemberment! Scheming! Children baked in a pie! What’s not to love?). OK, so it may sound like it was recorded in a bin, but when the handclaps kick in and the whole band chant ‘your life is over’ I think it is ridiculously fun.

So here, then, is ‘Titus Andronicus’ by Titus Andronicus. You can purchase their rather fine album, ‘The Airing of Grievances’, here too. Enjoy.

06 titus andronicus.mp3

Birthday Songs!

Today is Midsummer Day, and also my birthday, so to celebrate here’s a couple of birthday tunes and I expect a full top-ten of recommendations from youse guys shortly.
For my birthday this year, I gratefully received – 
From my family:
1. A nice pillow for my noggin
2. A chocolate cake with 4 candles
3. Half a bicycle
4. Beer and pizza (according to Mini McFlah, my favourite food, when he was asked)
5. A coffee table book by designer Jonathan Adler
From my work colleagues:
1. A very good looking bottle of Chote De Rhone Village
2. some Frois Gras
3. A card of multiple signage
From the Scottish climate:
1. A big load of rain
Folks who share my birthday:
1. Little Grey Rabbit
2. Jeff Beck
3. Mick Fleetwood
4. Arthur Brown 
6. One of OMD
7. Beyonce’s sister

The classic “Birthday” by The Sugarcubes
Happy Birthday Dear Friend Lisa by Jens LekmanBonus song that I mentioned in the comments