50 years of 45s

for a bit of a helping hand Here’s a Mix of the A sides..
same bands- same snigles- same order.. wake me up before you GO GO GO:
A Side Quiz

I tried to do this on the 31 March – I’m told that’s the official 50th Birthday of the 7″ snigle that we knew and loved – some of us still do. The Independent shops that I know tried to lobby the record companies to do a big celebration for it and only sell some special 7″ on disc – but who would want to make some cash out of a beautiful slab of vinyl when it can be given away for free by people like us.. on an impersonal computer hard drive… Here’s the B – side:
Eels – I write the B-Sides

This could be impossible or really easy.. who knows?
I WANT THE BAND NAME b-side SONG TITLE and the A-SIDE that it’s from please
22 tracks in all 66 spill points up for grabs
B-Sides QUIZ

My Mechanical Heart

I’ve never paid much attention to the coffee table blandisms of Royksopp until now. 
Until they got ‘Spill fave Lykke Li to sing for them. 
Here she ponders her “mechanical heart”, thus putting her into bed with The Tinman from The Wizard Of Oz, and Deckard from Blade Runner. 
I spoke with an online chat robot to see what he thought about it all: 

How was your day.

Quite tiring. What about you?

OK thanks, but tell me about your day.

Well I attended a conference about Intellectual Property in the morning. In the afternoon I did some animations.

At the same time and the same place?

Both were at the University I work at but in different buildings. Have you heard the new Royksopp song?

In the same city.

Yes. What do you think about their guest singer?

And what do you think about it?

I think her singing really makes the tune. Even though she sings like she has a lollypop in her mouth. The song is about her mechanical heart. Do you wish you were human?

That is a really good song.

Glad you like it. Do you wish you had a heart?

No I like being heartless.

Is it easier being heartless, because you can’t get hurt?

You can’t think.

I find sometimes that I over-think things. This stops me going to sleep at night sometimes. 

How often?

Occasionally. Now, do you prefer Indie or Grime?

I don’t prefer anything.

What if I’m the only human, and everyone else are robots?

You can’t be. You are machine. I am human. It works the other way.

Oh bugger….

I will do as I please.

Bye then, you heartless bastard.

That is correct – I have no heart.

Bye then!

Where are you going? Don’t leave me alone here! It’s so dark and scary! And almost no one but you visits me!

Miss It So Much


Born in 1950 into a Romany (Roma) family, Jackie Leven spent his childhood and teenage years clearly marked out as an outsider in the clannish, insular world that was Fife, Scotland at that time. Although Scottish himself, neither of his parents were from the area – his father was an Irish Cockney, his mother was from a large Northumberland (Geordie) family, and adapting to existing cultural norms was a hard, if not formidable task for such incomers. This seems to have formed the start of an independence of mind in the young Leven, hopelessly wayward at school (although outstanding at English and essay writing), with few friends, and those mostly considered ‘oddball’. His attendance at school was woeful, but those truanting times spent alone in glens and hills and by rivers still form the basis of his songs’ imagery to this day.

Dropped kicking and screaming into the box; Fairy Tales is the fourth album of Jackie’s 1990’s return to music after an unprovoked and near fatal attack which damaged his larynx and left him barely able to speak, let alone sing for two years.

Here’s some of what Jackie says about this album in his sleevenotes:

“And so now, with Fairy Tales for Hardmen I hand over some of my stories about the lives of men and women. Hardmen, because so many boys come under ill-considered or even demonic pressure to be hard or to be men. Indeed, so many men are just boys trapped in men’s lives, pretending to be men — exhibiting cruelty, cowardice, fear, shame (toxic and natural), despair — controlling, manipulating, raging — but also showing tenderness, blessing, joy of living, erotic savvy, and humour that doesn’t rely on victims to be funny.”

This is an album which I love for its bleakly affirmative intensity coupled with its soul and ambitious sonics, for me it’s one of those records that needs to run its course, once it’s on I need to let it play right through.  Jackie has continued to weave other voices, spoken word sections, sound effects and quotes from classic American soul music into his records.  This is perhaps his most Celtic sounding album with Steafan Hannigan’s raucous Uillean Pipes featuring on several tracks.  More recent albums have developed something of a celtic americana soundscape.

For a bit more insight into the period of Jackie’s life that led to this album here’s an interview that appeared in The Independent in 1996.

Spill points for anyone who can name the painter of the picture used for the album’s cover  … claimed by saneshane who got in there with Peter Howson, the picture is from the period where he became heavily involved with the Scottish bodybuilding scene … lots of 5′ 6″ tall blokes trying to inflate themselves to 5′ 6″ wide as well.  

And free pies for a year to the person who can name the three poets whose texts are sung and spoken as part of the proceedings.



Last week I posted that piece about losing my emails and then subsequently finding them again. Were it not for that I might never have started scrolling through my 10 year old emails. This week I came across another one, also to my friend Bill, and my immediate thought was “I think there might be some at the Spill who’d enjoy this”. It involves a variety of topics: film special effects, sci-fi films, ie 2001, Star Wars and Silent Running, photography and the evolution of Photoshop and my tiny roll in all of the above.
It would tie up too much space here so I’ve posted it at my blog under the title ‘2001 – Star Wars etc’ If you’re interested go to: http://goneforeign.blogspot.com/

Let my tablet go …

moses… or … Get Your Own Tablet You Thieving Git!

Many, many thanks to jforbes for posting the link to the recipe for tablet and to The Littlest MissToffee for providing the necessary culinary skills to produce a delicious end-product (with a bit of help from ToffeeGirl and my good self). The entire Toffee family now feels as sick as four (relatively) healthy people can be expected to feel after consuming far too much of this food o’ the de’il.

Anyhoo, this is what the final product looked like …


If I were to be critical I would say that we probably didn’t let it boil for long enough so it wasn’t quite as substantial as it should be and the tin we used was probably too large so the mixture spread too thin. But the end result was certainly tasty if almost unpalatably sweet for anyone aged over 7.

I’m struggling to find a musical link to this but as blimpy keeps reminding us all, THIS IS NOT A MUSIC BLOG, so let’s not worry too much about it. The best I can do is to post the only song I have on my iTunes which was included in the A-List for the Songs About Sweet Foods theme.* It’s Sugar Hiccup by the Cocteau Twins and it’s appropriate for two reasons:

1) because I like to look at this evening as a sugar hiccup in my own life – never again is the way I feel right now – and
2) because Liz Fraser wuz unco’ fond o’ a bit o’ her Granny’s tablet when she wuz a wee lassie back in bonnie Grangemouth (allegedly).

* I only know this because of Marconius7’s phenomenal work on his RR website. It is simply a stunning piece of work and I feel more guilty every time I use it because I offered to help him with it and I’ve done sod all about it and … what can I say, Marco? I’m not worthy …


I’m sorry to announce that my definition of dond has been rejected. Still, we’ll always have dondle.

noreply@urbandictionary.com to me
show details 1:07 PM (27 minutes ago)


Thanks for your definition of dond!

Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to not publish it.

To get a better idea of what editors publish and reject, sign up as an Urban Dictionary Editor here: http://editor.urbandictionary.com/

Urban Dictionary



An expression of support or agreement, originally from the Guardian’s Readers Recommend. From the Typographically Challenged “sedonded,” via the English “Seconded.”

Immediate and massive donds to the Fannies and Buggles, which were the first songs that sprung to mind, unfortunately I now have that Corrs song bouncing round my blimp sized cranuim and it’s proving impossible to dislodge!

But wait, what’s this?

I’m copying this from the great Sid Smith’s blog, ‘Postcards From The Yellow Room’ (link below ); partly because it gave me a great laugh, remembering an intricate cut and paste job I once did on some bean tin labels to make them read ‘Heinz Naked Beast’, but also because it does bother me that music shared ‘for free’ has to be paid for somewhere along the line. Are RRers really buying more music through hearing more, or are we putting corner shops out of business? What’s on your hard drive and iPud that you’ve not paid for?


I Want It All And I Want It Now And I Want It For Free

How come my corner shop won’t give me a free can of beans?

I mean surely they could put adverts on the tins that would pay for it? Haven’t they heard of the new business models that are all the rage in the music and entertainment business – especially via the internet?

I mean, I’ll tell all my pals about how great his shop is, and how great the beans are. They’ll tell all their friends and very soon, my local corner shop will have lots of fans.

With every can of beans that gets distributed for free, the reputation of the shop will just grow and grow.

“But, how will the shopkeeper continue to feed his family and pay his bills and generally meet his commitments?” ask the unhip and terminally old-fashioned critics of this ‘new thinking.’

Well, that’s easy.

The great thing about this new business model is that after having the free beans, and being filled with a munificent sense of well-being at having been nourished for free, later on people will want to try the other beans that are on the shelf – the kind that you have to pay for.

You think?

And how about a variation on the theme? The ease with which new media enables folks to give music away. This is a true story and one which you’ll be all to familiar with.

There’s a band I know who’ve just released a new album.

The music isn’t commercially mainstream. They aren’t particularly well known beyond a fairly small community of listeners. The album will hopefully break even and maybe turn a modest profit.

Except it won’t because a fan of the band has uploaded the album onto his blog and is giving it away for free. It doesn’t matter that the blogger didn’t ask or get permission to do this.

The blogger, who loves the band so much he wants all the world to know how good the band is, has it online and “ripped @320. cover and booklet scans included.”

The band in question, who won’t see a cent from the couple of hundred downloads so far, aren’t fat cats with yachts, fancy cars, big houses and the like.

They aren’t ‘the man,’ or part of some multi-national corporation, which may be some kind of ass-backwards ‘robbing the rich to give to the poor’ justification (although it isn’t actually) to be ripping their material like this.

They’re just working guys trying to make a living by composing and playing music who released an album they hope people will buy.

When challenged about this upload, the tart response goes along the lines of “fuck you and fuck them. I’m helping promote the band – you and they should be thanking me for everything I do! I bought this album fair and square. I can do what I like with it. Anyway, this one is shit. Their last one was much better.”

And so on.

Music is reduced to an accessory or a commodity and the human beings who make it are just stacked up like so many cans of beans.

If this new business model is so cool and generally advantageous to one and all in the music business how come other professions and services aren’t queuing up to take part?

How come my dentist won’t do my dental work for free or next to nothing?

Why won’t my mate’s plumber come and sort out his central heating for free?

How come my corner shop won’t give me a free can of beans?

Hideous tricks on the brain

fameFame, fame, fatal fame … and all that stuff. It’s difficult to follow frogprincess’s fine list (thankfully, the way that these new-fangled bloggy things work, this actually precedes it) so I won’t try anything too tricksy.

I will however, start my list with a response to The Velvet Underground’s Femme Fatale in the shape of Tracey Thorn‘s take on the song, from her debut album A Distant Shore. I’m that rare specimen – a Jonathan Richman fan who doesn’t have much time for The Velvets – don’t know why – I’m probably wrong but, what the hey…

Next up (and here’s a real attempt to out frogprincess, frogprincess) it’s David Essex with Gonna Make You A Star. Leo Sayer a few weeks ago – now this. I genuinely have no shame – but it’s still a great song, innit?

Microdisney‘s Singer’s Hampstead Home covers the trappings of fame and was allegedly written with Boy George in mind. Like all the best Cathal Coughlan/Sean O’Hagan compositions, it’s crystal pure pop, hiding an acerbic under-belly.

Including a Barenaked Ladies song in a ‘Spill post always does wonders for our Google hits. This just happens to be one of my favourites. A poignant look at the rise and fall of a pop star, told from the point of view of his career-spanning Box Set. Listen to the lyrics – it’s very funny.

You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby is a typically upbeat song from the late Kirsty MacColl. She was a wonderful songwriter and a great singer and I still have to stop myself wondering when her next album’s coming …

Oops – just noticed that placing Dead Pop Stars next in the playlist was not such a good idea. Sorry! Anyway, any excuse to hear the sublime Ms Grogan (who, by the way, would be my choice for the pop star I’d most like to see bouncing around on a trampoline). Just thought I’d mention that…

Crowded House? Are they underrated or overrated? Answers on a postcard to… Well, I like them and I particularly like Woodface, the album from what this track is taken. Some people, I know, find them a bit too clean and over-produced. I saw them live a few times in the late 80s and they were brilliant. So there.

I really hope you like the next track. It’s called Wheels Go Round and it’s by a band called Blue Train and as far as I can tell, this is the only thing they ever did. Shame, as it shows much promise and a good ear for a jazzy pop tune. If anyone out there involved in the band is reading this, please post a comment here. You have a fan.

Last up, it’s REM with All The Way To Reno from the 2001 album, Reveal. Overall, this is not one of their greatest works but this is the standout track – I love the corny guitar.

As usual frogprincess has taken the best supplementary question, so I’ll ask you this. If you were famous, what would you like to be famous for?

What you like is in the Limo… FP’s almost famous playlist

Thanks to Gordon for being on the ball enough to realise that this marvellous cautionary tale about reaching for the stars had already been zedded. I’m still posting it just to remind us all how great it is. Otherwise my incursions into blackcurrent land have resulted in a fairly eclectic playlist with, I hope, something for everyone. I’ve been struck by various different threads of narrative in the songs you’ve all suggested this week: fame as a living hell pursued by paparazzi, fame as the ultimate goal, fame as the impossible dream which eventually devours you (as with Hot Chocolate’s Emma) and finally, and thankfully, some songs which dare to reflect that “life’s been good” to those who make it to the top. As the equally divine Oscar, Chrissie and Stephen pointed out “We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars…”

But what we really want to know is: Have YOU had your 15 minutes? Did you try for them or did they just happen? Was your life touched by fame as a result? Do tell….

And extra ‘Spill points for telling which Oscar/Chrissie/Stephen I mean…..


New King Creosote! "Coast On By"

New King Creosote alert!! I’m very excited about the impending KC LP, out on Domino in April. The video for “Coast On By” was shot down the road in Crail, in the East Neuk. I was thinking about heading that way today, but it’s blowing a bloody gale out there the now. 
King Creosote explains here how the song came about:

“It’s all well and good when a pal offers to work on and record one of your songs, but when that pal is Steve Mason (Beta Band, King Biscuit Time, Black Affair) then up goes the ante. With album Flick the Vs well under way, and with no sign yet of a contender for the 3 minute pop hit thereon, I arrived chez Mason clutching a string of uneven verses each spitting out some facet of the tour-tired “leave me alone to my small village” blues. There followed 3 happy accidents:

- During the run thru’ Steve muttered “is that it?” in such a tone of voice that, in fear of ridicule, I ad-libbed a positive sounding one line mantra to the end of take one.

- Whilst I made the tea, Steve “lost” my original guitar take and mistook my ad-libbed mantra for “the hook”.

- A bungled cut n paste somehow morphed a duff bridge into a blinding chorus – three times?!

And that’s it – the precise art of song craft lies in the choice of “Coast On By” over the more accurate title “two grumpy old men realise that, together, they’ve created the very monster both have spent entire careers baiting, only for it to sneak up and bite them in unbridled joy”.

Gremlinfc wants his 15 minutes…

Back out from t’hospital after a good bedbath from Nurse Ratchet and gremlinfc got a pop at the popstar business (“30 years man and boy…”)- memorable choons and sell-out gigs brought a lavish life-style and a new bike…unfortunately the young gremlinfc…couldn’t maintain the hit-factory and that problematic 2nd album led to the demise of the boy wonder : what’s the session? Album? Backing singers?

I hear those voices that will not be drowned

Well, here is a memorial to a famous composer. It has caused quite a bit of controversy but I think it’s great – especially if you have small children who can crawl underneath it. Do you like it or loathe it?

Virtual brownie points to anyone who can answer the following:

Which composer does it commemorate?
What is the significance of the inscription?
What is the name of the local brewery?

For an extra gold star, can you think of any other unusual memorials to composers or musicians? The quirkiest one I can think of is a local pub called “The King’s Head”, which has a picture of Jimi Hendrix on the sign.

Over to you!

The Old Weird America

My goodness, I’m very excited now…have any of you heard of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music? (That’s it in the picture.) It’s a 6-CD, 84-track set of songs and tunes mostly from the 1920s and 30s – folk, blues, hillbilly and church music (according to Amazon). I’ve been meaning to buy it for ages but is IS rather expensive…

…well, I’ve just found a blog where a chap is going to take each track in the anthology and produce a downloadable list of

1 a set of different songs by the same artist; and
2 a set of different versions of the same song by other artists.

So I’m mighty glad I’ve just bought a 120G iPod! He says he’s going to do them all, but he’s only done 18 so far, which should give me time to catch up.

The Old Weird America

Album of the Week

This is the first track from I am Kloots ‘Play Moolah Rouge’ filmed while recording the album..
for those that wish to partake in our album therapy group discussion – all of the tracks are in Dropbox.. in the folder : album of the week.

if you haven’t been invited yet.. it means tincanman doesn’t like you, or you haven’t told him your e-mail address..

Email this address to be added.

“I think I Am Kloot’s I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge (Skinny Dog) is the only true rock’n’roll record released this year. You’ve got true, earnest, honest songwriting with the power of the Stooges.”
- Guy Garvey, Elbow
(Nov 2008 Guardian asked this year’s most talked-about acts to reveal their favourite releases of the past year)

Here are a few tracks…
Down at the Front

And here’s a link to the album on Spotify.

Thank you and we can all look forward to the response to the album.