splat splash splosh

I went on holiday and came back to a million spill e-mails, I’ve been though most of them and couldn’t turn down the chance to get a swimming play list going, even though Boxstr has stopped my account by request.

On another account here are some swimming songs….
I love some of these so much..hope you enjoy them too….

Hot Chip
Swan Lake
Broken Social Scene
I am Kloot
Tom McRae
Bjork and Bronsky Quartet
Brother Brown
Nouvelle Vague

You’ve Come A Long Way

A long, long time ago:

Much, much later:

Oh, first one to mention Glastonbury gets a biscuit.

While I’m at it, here’s a funny little thing I’ve been playing with

Bonus Tracks
Jay-Z vs Fela: Roc Boyz (MikeLove’s Nigerian Gangster remix)

Anybody got other such transformations? I thought of John Lennon obviously, but that’s all I came up with.

Onomatopoeiac Songs!!?!!

The Onomatopoeia Challenge begins here!

We’ve already had:
Umm – Scritti Politti
How I Sang Dang – Arcie Bronson Outfit
Gobbledigook – Sigur Ros
Gesunteit – People Like Us
Pissing – Low
Boing Boom Tschak – Kraftwerk
from Shoegazer

And I’m going to add “Cannonball” by The Breeders, because it has the lyric: “Crash! I’m the last splash!” which is a double point score!!!

‘Spillers: On your marks…set….GO!!!

More Swimming Songs!

“Swim” by Madder Rose

I loved Madder Rose when they were around, they released a coupe of brill albums in a row, and I saw them play quite a few times – they played the day after Kurt did ‘imself in, and dedicated a cover of Sonic Youth’s “Star Power” to him, which I found quite moving at the time. 
“The river’s edge you jump right in
The current’s strong it makes you spin
Your arms in a wild rotation
Your arms in a wild rotation

The truth’s enough to set you afloat
Describe the truth as a yellow lifeboat
Admitting this you climb its ladder
But now the yellow boat
Just looks sadder”

Do we have enough swimming songs for a top ten yet? 

O Pfälzerland, wie schön bist du!

Leinsweiler, Pfalz
Hey everybody! Back in dear old Blighty after a short break or a long weekend (whichever way you want to look at it) spent in the stunningly-beautiful Pfalz. ToffeeGirl and I go there every second year and we just can’t get enough of it – luckily, it’s nowhere near the sea and there aren’t hundreds of nightclubs – the result of which is, virtually no English tourists – not a kiss-me-quick hat in sight. It was a weekend of long walks up deeply wooded hills (they call them mountains but who am I to disabuse them?) with refreshing drinks available at the top – usually in a ruined castle. And when you come down from the mountains, you have the pleasure of driving (or walking) through the vineyards with buzzards and harriers soaring overhead – and then there are the villages with the Weingüte and Restaurants and the hundreds of House Martins and Swallows flying around. Wunderbar!

And before you ask, yes, I am fully aware that this is a music blog and is not primarily dedicated to holidays/travel – please bear with me – I am slowly but surely working my way towards the tenuous music link.

About twenty years ago I made a tape for my brother featuring lots of northern soul, Capitol and Stax tracks that I was listening to at the time. Since he was then living in Hackney, the tape became known as the Hackney Soul tape. Many years later, I made a CD version, took it on holiday (to Germany) and forced the whole family to listen to it as we drove around the beautiful countryside. The two little MissToffees loved it – so much so, that it’s now become an integral part of our trips to the Pfalz and is known, rather incongruosly, as the German Soul CD.

Here are some highlights from said CD for you own listening pleasure. Some you’ll already know – some may be new to you – all, I hope, will hit the spot.

Let me know what you think – and, of course, if you have your own favourite holiday sounds, do tell us what they are…


It’s hot here. There’s something about summer that makes you want to dive into some water. In our area, we have the option of joining a pool. But we never have. When it gets hot, sometimes we’ll go over to Princeton and let the boys swim in the fountain, which is actually a very joyful experience, because there’s good ice cream nearby, and because there are always children from all over the world there, and it’s beautiful to see how little ones are completely uninhibited when it comes to making friends. And sometimes we go here… It’s a creek, but in places it’s deep enough for even Mr. Steenbeck (6’3″ tall) to be immersed up to his chin.

So where does everyone else go swimming?

I couldn’t think of any songs about swimming, but this is something I love that I’ll never have a reason to post on RR.
La Folia, also called les folies d’espagne is a chord progression or ground bass that many different people wrote different variations on over the course of hundreds of years. (notably Vivaldi and Corelli). The one I posted is by Marin Marais and played on bass viol, which is an instrument I love. La Folia has been compared (for obvious reasons) to 12 bar blues or jazz arrangements, and I love it because it’s beautiful, and some of the variations are actually ROCKIN. I have a few other versions–if anyone is interested in hearing, I will post them. Apologies if any of these facts are foggy, but foggy facts are my métier.
Marin Marais–La Folia
Martin Y Coll–Diferencias Sobre Las Folias
Corelli– Violin Sonata In D Minor, Op. 5_12, _La Follia

And surely someone out there can think of some swimming songs…

NOT for the squeamish!! (Seriously, you have been warned!)

At the express request of frogprincess, may I present to you a category winner from Cannes 2001 – Staplerfahrer Klaus – Der Erste Arbeitstag. Or, if your German is as good as mine – Forklift Driver Klaus – The First Day On The Job.

I have a couple of private copies (with English subtitles) of this because FLT operator training is 90% of what my company does, and I find it funny as hell [goneforeign? You most definitely WON'T!] Unbelievably you can buy a public-license version and use it as a training accompaniment video. I would never do that (a) because that version ups the cost by 10,000% for the same tape, and (b) … well, watch for yourself . . . you just wouldn’t would you? Enjoy:




And before you dismiss this as being outlandish for the sake of it, you should know that in the UK we STILL average twenty to thirty fatal accidents involving FLTs every single year!

Erm, lecture over. If you enjoyed that, head over to youtube and type in Friseuse Claudia or Elektriker Horst.

Now let’s see if I’ve successfully embedded a youtube …

Saki – Man or monkey?

Just in case any of you are still dithering about which book to take with you for those long, indolent days on the beach, may I be so bold as to make a recommendation? I can think of no better travel companion than the complete works of Saki. The confusion about the pseudonym of English writer Hector Hugh Munro is perhaps understandable. The most popular theory, indeed corroborated by his sister Ethel, is that the name Saki came from a character in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The fact that a Saki is also a small, mischevious monkey with a reputedly wicked temper is not without interest, given that animals play a dominant role in his works, and the sharp-tongued invariably win the day : the triumph of naked wit over brawn.
Saki is considered to be the consummate master of short stories and his first collection – Reginald – was published in 1904. He died in 1916, having enlisted in 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War. He was well over the age limit at the time and died of a sniper’s bullet in the head, having uttered his last words: “Put that bloody cigarette out”.
His stories are witty, satirical, often very dark and violent. But always recounted with a gleam in the eye and a profound sense of the ridiculousness of it all. They are often only two pages – short, short stories. And yet every word is weighed and its position in the sentence so finely calculated that he often succeeds in giving you the very essence of a character and their entire outlook on life in one line. His prose is that meticulous.
Saki’s mother was killed in a bizarre accident: she was trampled by a cow in a country lane and as a result he was brought up by his aunts. His childhood was, by reports, not a happy one and his stories are often peopled by extremely unpleasant aunts and wily children trying to out-fox them. The vagaries of fate and chance are also major themes – not surprisingly. Animals and the superiority of animal cunning over human intelligence also figure frequently. Saki was a member of the wealthy upper middle class and his world is overrun by dowager duchesses who spend their summer holidays in Baden Baden or Le Touquet, often trying to shake off undesirable hangers-on. He was a true European who worked as Balkan correspondant for the Tory Morning Post from 1902 and could write knowledgeably about Vienna, Prague or Paris. He also spent part of his life in India, and so his stories are extremely diverse in their finely-observed geographical detail.
If I had to choose a favourite, it would be Sredni Vashtar, which best typifies his writing and thematic concerns. Read it and maybe the animal cunning and violence beneath the rigid formality of social nicety will fascinate you as much as it did me.
As for the music, I suggested a song which Ejay correctly named and Lady S. donded: Sympathique by Pink Martini. Now Saki’s characters would undoubtedly enjoy sipping a Pink Martini in whatever European watering-hole they were visiting. And you’ll agree, I think, that the song has such a twenties feel to it that it seems to fit Saki’s universe perfectly…

Découvrez Pink Martini!

Dancey Schmancey? Too much like hard work!

(Eddy Clearwater – With thanks to tincanman for the picture)
OK, if I’m getting the hang of this, what follows are most of my best nominations so far this weekend. I’ve put in both versions of Easy Money even though RLJ has no chance of 2wks running, I’ve given you two of the Zutons songs as they’re so different. Katrina & The Waves original of Going Down To Liverpool is much meatier than The Bangles, and we’ll finish with Drive-By Truckers’ industrial strength riff for Buttholeville. RR Socialisers: note that I HAVEN’T nominated or posted Swiss-metallers Krokus’ Bedside Radio “Instead of going to the office, you’re leaving town!” Still wincing over putting that on my CD almost 12 months later.

Eddy Clearwater – Lazy Woman
Lowell George – Easy Money
Rickie Lee Jones – Easy Money
Edie Brickell – In The Bath
Katrina And The Waves – Going Down To Liverpool
Blood Meridian – Work Hard, For What?
Richmond Fontaine – Exit 194B
The Zutons – Don’t Get Caught
The Zutons – Family Of Leeches
Slobberbone – Lazy Guy
Thunder – Ball And Chain
Drive-By Truckers – Buttholeville

Tin emailed me that photo of Eddy Clearwater; I sent him a gig-going tale about the man in reply. If anyone wants to hear it …

Hard Cash

As I said over on the Mothership, Hard Cash was a television series that was never shown, because the Beeb and Maggie weren’t getting on too well at the time. But here’s some of the music, which is all about the horrors of work under various kinds of oppression.

1 is Mrs Rita, sung by June Tabor
2 is Work Life Out to Keep Life In: Martin Carthy has added an extra verse to this trad. song
3 is The Guernsey Kitchen Porter, by Michael Marra
4 is Good With My Hands, by Christine Collister and Clive Gregson

Discover Various Artists!

Today’s themed poetry courtesy of Philip Larkin:
A workshy slacker if ever there was one.

Why should I let the toad work

Squat on my life?

Can’t I use my wit as a pitchfork

And drive the brute off?

Six days of the week it soils

With its sickening poison

-Just for paying a few bills!

That’s out of proportion.

Lots of folk live on their wits:

Lecturers, lispers,

Losers, loblolly-men, louts

-They don’t end as paupers;

Lots of folk live up lanes

With fires in a bucket,

Eat windfalls and tinned sardines

-They seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,

Their unspeakable wives

Are skinny as whippets – and yet
No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough

To shout, Stuff your pension!

But I know, all too well, that’s the stuff

That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like

Squats in me, too;

Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,

And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney

My way of getting

The fame and the girl and the money

All at one sitting.

I don’t say, one bodies the other

One’s spiritual truth;

But I do say it’s hard to lose either,

When you have both.

Toads Revisited

Walking around in the park

Should feel better than work:

The lake, the sunshine,

The grass to lie on,

Blurred playground noises

Beyond black-stockinged nurses -

Not a bad place to be.

Yet it doesn’t suit me.

Being one of the men

You meet of an afternoon:

Palsied old step-takers,

Hare-eyed clerks with the jitters,

Waxed-fleshed out-patients

Still vague from accidents,

And characters in long coats

Deep in the litter-baskets -All dodging the toad work

By being stupid or weak.

Think of being them!

Hearing the hours chime,

Watching the bread delivered,

The sun by clouds covered,

The children going home;

Think of being them,

Turning over their failures

By some bed of lobelias,

Nowhere to go but indoors,

Nor friends but empty chairs

-No, give me my in-tray,

My loaf-haired secretary,

My shall-I-keep-the-call-in-Sir:

What else can I answer,

When the lights come on at four

At the end of another year?

Give me your arm, old toad;

Help me down Cemetery Road.

Philip Larkin

We Are All Prostitutes

This week’s theme of anti-work songs fit’s perfectly for one of my anti-heroes, Mark Stewart. I won’t bore you with the biographical details as you can go here if interested:


What I love about Mark Stewart is that he is a true innovator with an uncompromising attitude. He was one of the first to put some funk in post-punk and one of the first to steal, mash-up, dub & overdub to create something unique, usually with an in-your- face political point. His live shows with the Maffia (= Tack>Head = The Sugarhill Gang) were astonishing. He has a new album “Edit” & is currently touring Europe. He is not everyone’s cup of tea.
This week’s playlist has lot’s of Mark Stewart in it. Some sort of introduction to these things seems to generate more commentary, rather than my usual (lazy) practice of just sticking up the songs for people to walk away with/from. So we’ll give that a try too.
1. Here’s Johnny. Mr. & Mrs. Shoegazer Senior had this single with “The Blizzard” on the B side – so it represents the 1st musical respect Mum & Dad got from me. Also, am convinced that the single version was different to this one. Anyone, anyone, Bueller? 2. M.S. puts in his 1st appearance. 3. Anyone still here after that can listen to the easier listening version by Dub Syndicate. 4. The Congo’s, LSP’s finest production work on this album IMHO. Still not sure if this is an anti or pro work song? 5. Blue Orchids – mellower Fall spin-off 6. Mr Dury’s 1st big hit. 7. M.S. again with The Pop Group & the title track, but this is a recent, insane remix by Adam Sky. 8. Tools You Can Trust grunting & probably operating DIY machinery in the studio. 9. Mr.Devoto wants to join in the fun & give up the farm work. 10. The Jam with a brave choice of single after a run of mega-hits. 11. M.S. to close. Like a fine wine he mellows (slightly) with age (put on some weight too, judging from the above photo).

Sixteen Tons
None Dare Call It Conspiracy
The Corporation
Bring the Mackaback
What A Waste
We Are All Prostitutes
Working & Shopping
Model Worker
Just Who Is The Five O’Clock Hero?
Blood Money 2


Well it seems to be acceptable to introduce new family members here so I’d like to introduce our latest member and by association, the newest Spill member, his name is ‘Marley’, he’s a a lovely 8 week old male sable German Shepherd puppy, he arrived last Sunday.
We already have two dogs, Seamus, the world’s largest German Shepherd and Jasmin a lovely female Boxer who you’ve already met. Seamus is large but very gentle, friendly, and totally non aggressive, I’ve never heard him growl. Jasmin is similar plus she’s the comedian in the family, there’s also two cats. It’s been a while since we had a puppy in the house, Seamus, about 12 years ago, so it’s going to be fun again. We named him Marley because that’s a name we want to hear about the house on a daily basis and it fits; I thought this piece of music was appropriate for a christening.

The Phantom Carriage

Here’s a link to a clip from a silent film (1921) called The Phantom Carriage.

The clip features a new score (the original one was most probably lost) by Jonathan Richman, which I thought would be of interest. Its known that Jonathan has played both guitar and clarinet since childhood, but still you might not expect something like this from the man who brought you ‘Road Runner’ and ‘My love is a flowers just beginning to bloom’.

Its noticeable to me, even when scoring a movie, that Jonathan’s sound has an ancient and timeless quality – much like his best popular recordings.

Compare this with the soundtrack which accompanies the DVD released version, featuring a soundtrack prepared by Stephen O’Malley and Peter Rehburg.
Which do you prefer?

Shameless branding

My current wallpaper is appropriate for this week’s topic…and, spookily, the same person and the same brand (but a different picture) feature as my laptop’s wallpaper. Ooer!

At work I’m not allowed wallpaper thanks to our evil IT guys. And we have an enforced screensaver about washing your hands. Did I complain? Yes, but it didn’t get me anywhere. Except being labelled as a troublemaker.


My current wallpaper, a quite young ibex, totally at ease (thinking “I can climb a lot better than you, you silly guy with camera…”), at some 2800m above sea level, above Saas-Fee, Switzerland…..

In 6 weeks time I will be there again for my annual holiday, yes!!

ps. click on the pic to see it in its full glory

A rare, yet shameless, traffic boosting gesture….

It’s been a while since our last bare faced traffic raising gesture, so I thought that in order to keep our 3000+ monthly visitors happy, and to attract new readers, that I’d post up what is the current wallpaper on my laptop…..(it’s dita von teese looking saucy for the benefit of google’s text based searches:  i read recently that this sort of thing really works, even with the sophisticated genteel readership that the ‘ Spill has….) 

So, what do you ‘Spillers have as your computer “wallpaper”? 
In another blatent attempt, here’s the UK’s current number one artiste covering last week’s number one record. As we all know 1 x 1 = 1. Oh yes! 

That’s Not My Name by Dizzee Rascal – Ting Tings Cover –

No I Have NOT Had A Good F**kin’ Day

Anyone who recognises the above logo will know my pain. Anyone who doesn’t … don’t ask.

The point is that I’m in a VERY black mood, and in these cases I have a bunch of songs that I use as pressure release valves. I can’t say too many of you are going to like these – and be warned: swearing figures LARGE - but I’m using them as a test to see if I can make Boxstr work.

Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to do my best ‘Headbanging-Whirling-Dervish-Attacks-Air-Guitar-Whilst-Practising-Primal-Scream-Therapy’ thang!

Damien Rice – Rootless Tree
Sass Jordan – Damaged
WGC – Let It Roll
Icicle Works – Shit Creek
Young Heart Attack – Mouthful Of Love
The Datsuns – MF From Hell
Th’Legendary Shack Shakers – Ichabod
The Bellrays – Stupid Fuckin’ People
Alter Bridge – Metalingus