Can it be ………. the EOTWQ?

OK, not done one before so this is new ground to cover.

No particular reasons for these questions, just maybe some variations on what we have done before.

1) I am a big fan of what literature geeks call genre fiction. I love fantasy, science fiction, historical novels, detective stuff, so the first question is;

What is your favourite fiction genre and what book is the epitome of that style for you?

2) I think we have done musical guilty pleasures before, but it is always worth revisiting. Recently I bought Seals and Crofts Diamond Girl album, it was a fave of mine back in the mid ’70s. What is your most recent gulity pleasure music purchase?

3) A food question. What is the earliest “exotic” thing you remember eating that was something completely outside of what you had at home?

4) I am a big fan of Marvel comics and my favourite character is Doctor Strange (hence the pic). Do you like comics and, if so, who is your fave character?

5) Last one. Have you ever wanted to be a character in a novel? If so, who and why?

Forces of Vicktry – gremlinfc salutes you

Grandad gremlinfc playing an old role- any idea who the quotes are from?
1.“The greater our innocence, the greater our strength and the swifter our victory”
2.“Character is victory organized.”
3.”One must start with the impossible in order to reach the possible.”
4.”The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. “
5.”The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
6.”A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at”.
7.”If you don’t stand for something , you will fall for anything”.
And finally summat from a true philosafa…
“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”

This isn’t the half of it…

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I only managed to take one pic on my iphone on the shoot today, which is this one – a crap snap of the monitor.

what you won’t see for a week or so, is people spinning on their heads, some freaky dancing, booty shaking, moonwalkin and all sorts of good stuff like that.

the artist is the dude in the middle. i had to get the leading lady to take her shoes off, to aid his ego…

Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Pop Icon)

Typical, isn’t it? You wait ages for an Album Of The Week and then two come along at the same time. Sort of …

This is yet another (relatively) obscure album from what is fast becoming known as the ToffeeBoy era. Before I got involved with this strange ‘Spilly thing, it hadn’t particularly occurred to me that so much of the music that I love dates from the 1980s but I can’t deny that it does seem to be the case. Perhaps it’s because I lived and breathed music during much of the decade, playing in bands and working for Our Price. Who knows?

Win were a short-lived band, formed out of the ashes of Postcard-era Scottish indie-popsters, The Fire Engines. Their first single was released in 1985 and they had disbanded by 1990 – if you blinked, you’d have missed them. The entire back catalogue consists of seven singles and two albums. That’s all there is.

The album I’m sharing with the class today, is Win‘s 1987 debut, the strangely (pretentiously?) titled Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Pop Icon).

It’s not really typical of the sort of music I tend to like – it isn’t full of jangly guitars, it’s not at all fey or whimsical and it’s far more dance-based and much, much funkier than you might expect from an old fogey like me. But what it does have is great tunes, soaring melodies, interesting lyrics and some inventive use of electronic keyboards/synthesizers. More than anything else, it sounds to me like a band having fun.

Some of you (I’m sure) won’t like the production – there’s almost certainly too much reverb for Chris’s liking (whether we’re talking spring reverb or otherwise will have to be left to Abahachi to judge) – and some of you may not like the (admittedly very ’80s) vocals – and you know what? I don’t care. This is an album that’s been part of my life for twenty two years and I love it. And I just wanted to share …

Super Popoid Groove
Shampoo Tears
Binding Love Spell
Un-American Broadcasting (Ext)
Hollywood Baby Too
Empty Holsters
You’ve Got The Power
Charms Of Powerful Trouble
It May Be A Beautiful Sky Tonight But It’s Only A Shelter For A World At Risk
Charms (Reprise)
Baby Cutting

Scots amongst us may remember this:

Bbbbbut Bbbbbruce

I said on the mothership the other day that I admired Springsteen but am not a fan, as in I find him a tad tedious to listen to for long.

I was surprised to find that The Band had covered his Atlantic City, and I think they help me make my point. To be fair, Bruce’s is from the deliberately sparse Nebraska, which I like more than many others. But the Band’s take stays true to the song and album’s organic roots, so its not like it needed a lot of gimmicking up or anything.)

Bruce’s version
Creative dissent welcome.
Band’s version


Acorns. Trees. Fall.

Blimp’s reminiscing about listening to records with his Dad reminded me of playing chess at the kitchen table with my Dad and listening to his records: Johnny Cash, Odetta, Janis Joplin and Stan Getz were his favorites, along with some Buffy Sainte Marie, Jefferson Airplane and Andres Segovia. I think there was some Leadbelly in there too. This was when Michelle My Belle was on mom’s radio in the other room, so on reflection he knew his music.

My Dad and I had a complicated relationship, as some of us do. For those who also did, or do, I thought I’d share some Hank Williams Jr with you. (I have kids of my own now, and I may not be the best Dad in the world, but one thing I have not saddled them with is big footsteps lol).

Hank Jr, very briefly, collapsed under the weight of expectations and in later middle age made peace with his demons and dead father. Most of his songs are autobiographical, and brutal in their honesty at times.

The Conversation is from his A Tribute to My Father album.
Long Gone Lonesome Blues was one of several early Hank Jr songs to play on the word Lonesome. I wanted to post his 1969 hit Standing in the Shadows (of his father), but I don’t have it.
There’s A Tear In My Beer is a virtual duet by Hank and his dad.
A Whole Lot of Hank and Family Tradition speak for themselves.

UPDATE: Standing in the Shadows arrived by overnight post. Typically it’s not very deep or poetic, but it’s all on his sleeve.

I know that I’m not great
And some say I imitate
Anymore I don’t know
I’m just doing the best I can

After all I’m standing in the shadows
of a very famous man

Banjo Or Freakout!

This one’s for all our resident ‘Spiller banjo fans – banjo? check! build to a missive banjo climax? check! moreish and catchy tune? check! cheeky swearyness that stops you singing it infront of the kids? check! BANJO? CHECK!!!
The YFF (Young Folks’ Folk, (c) Blimpy 2009) movement moves apace – rumour has it that Johnny Flynn has been recording with Laura Marling, y’know!

album of the week part 1 – at swim two birds

I was trying to put this in an RR folder – but I’m failing cos I’m so tied.
I really don’t know anything about this – I picked it up because I liked the cover and was interested in the name… I’ll put it up now, then Toffeeboy can add his smile inspired AOTW too… interested to hear the opinions on this.. Enjoy.


Geeking Out – or – How I Listen To Music Has Changed

Hey ‘Spillers – I’ve geeked out a bit this week, with the arrival of my new laptop (It’s a 15″ Macbook Pro, if anyone’s interested) and thought I’d discuss it with you – mainly centring on how my music set-up has changed over the years. Maybe it would be easiest if I break it down by rough era:
1977 – 1987 – My music listening is at the whim of my father. He owns thousands of LPs, mostly classical. These are played by his record player and amp, and massive speakers that he built himself. By the age of ten I’ve heard every piece of classical music ever written, some 60s avant garde, and some jazz. I’ve also heard “Pillow Talk”/ “Roly Poly” a 7″ that I get him to play over and over, it’s from some Doris Day film I’ve still never seen.
1987 – 1992 – I buy my first 7″ records, but still have to play them on my dad’s record player. At some point during this period, a tape-to-tape deck gets brought home from my dad’s work. He puts my 7″s onto cassette tape for me, an I can play them on the “dubbing” deck. I also use this deck to copy Sinclair Spectrum games, and to tape songs off the radio. This must be my first musical independence – being able to play what I want at my own leisure. About this time, I have a go on my cousin’s Sony Walkman when out for a walk one day. My mind is blown, having all this music to yourself, to your ears alone, is phenomenal. I don’t even realise the fast forward and rewind buttons exist. I buy a few albums on tape, and get a walkman equivalent for a birthday. My Madonna tapes make way for Extreme, Ugly Kid Joe, and Aerosmith. Cassette singles abound, from 1988 onwards.
1992 – 1996 – The first CDs that I can remember turn up, though it escapes me which the very first was. During this period I still have to tape a lot of CDs through my Dad’s stereo, I also begin to borrow CDs from the library – who in retrospect have a decent selection of indie music! I inherit my Grandfather’s record/tape player, which I hook up a CD player to (A Technics unit, that only died about a year ago) that I buy with saved up birthday money. I start to love the vinyl, buying what are now Indie and Grunge classics, cos the cds were always a bit too expensive. I make a copy of an indie tape that my brother’s friend has made, this tape turns out to been the most influential compendium of music that has ever featured in my life (the exact tracklisting of which is going to be the subject of a future blimpcast). I start to trail around Soho record shops looking for stuff that I can’t get in my local WHSmiths.
1996 – 1999 - I swap a Britpop Adidas 3 stripe trackey top that’s a bit too big for me for a CD/tape stereo with quite small and crappy speakers, which only works when there’s a shoe on top of the CD lid. This goes to Uni with me, and is how I hear music for the 3 years I’m at Uni. Also during this time, I buy almost zero music, due to a lack of money, and a lack of a place to play vinyl. The most important CDs I buy during this period are Belle and Sebastian, and Mogwai, though it takes a few more years to realise the importance of the former.
1999 – 2003 – I get my first computer, an Apple iMac, which has awesomely powerful built in speakers, and my first internet connection. Dial Up. 56k!! I download mp3s for the first time, which could take ten minutes for one song, and begin to build up a library of free tracks from a website whose name escapes me. Itunes doesn’t exist at this point. My iMac is located in a spare room, so I still listen to CDs and LPs, now Uni has finished hi-via my fi separates that have turned up.
2003 -2006 – This period my computer music and analogue music are very much separate, my iMac moves into my bedroom, and I can play CDs through it. Peer to Peer software gets invented and I start to take advantage of it with my new broadband connection. Itunes shows up, as a very easy way to organise and access all these hundreds of songs I’ve downloaded.
2004/2005 - I get my first laptop, as well as airtunes via an apple airport express. This means I can wirelessly stream music on my laptop to my “big” stereo. Torrent software makes it quick and easy to download whole albums. I get my first iPod in 2005, and almost fill it immediately. The difference between mp3s and cds etc is lessening, the effort of having to sit at a computer in a specified room has vanished due to the laptop. The experience of listening to music thru small computer speakers has also vanished. I still fetishise vinyl, and my wife buys me a 1950s portable record player.
2005 – Present – Listening to music via the computer has become the norm – Itunes, Ipods, Airtunes, iPods in the car via a tape adaptor,, torrents, and lately Spotify that means even tho the CD is upstairs, you don’t need to go and find it. The idea of having music on a physical storage media seems dated (cds from the 80s are falling apart, just like the Mona Lisa) The laptop is the most important part of it, because the internet is no longer confined to a certain room, all the music ever can be wherever you are at home, sitting on the couch with your feet up. Browsing is dead. Buying music on a review alone is dead. No alarms and no surprises (but also less disappointments and wastes of time, and albums bought on the basis of one good track and a good NME review).
At the moment, I have 3 networked laptops with music librarys that can be accessed via iTunes from any one laptop. This streams wirelessly to the massive B&W speakers in the lounge, via the Cambridge Audio amp. This is achieved using an application called “Airfoil” for the mac, and an apple airport express which has an audio line out from it, to carry the perfect signal. Occasionally I get up and put on a record. One day I won’t require legs any more.
It’s a shame that, although the process of listening to music has been made more accessible and easier and easier, this process has cheapened the art itself.

It’s the myth of speed.

The faster you go, the more you see, and the less it all means.

A Brief History Of Love

St. Vincent – "Marrow" – Part Two!

Wordwall Warning!
Pseud Alert!

” What’s this frankly bizarre video all about, ‘Spillers? What does it all mean? “

Blimpy recently was intigued enough about the St. Vincent video of Marrow to pose the above questions. It was the first time I’d come across Annie Clark. I thought – wow something special here, posted a reply saying as much – then set about a more thorough study. Time to put my Pseud Hat on.

I have to say again at the outset – she has an extraordinary sensibility, and extraordinary musical abilities to match. This is rare in music (or any other art – we could be talking painting here) – rarer than usual, but not bizarre or weird. She’s doing all she can to give shape to the shape she’s in. It’s what we all have to deal with every day – it’s just that with this particular degree of sensibility and level of musical accomplishment (she plays/engineers pretty much everything) it makes for a match you don’t see that often.

What we’re seeing and hearing is someone struggling to make sense of their life, their predicament. And it seems a battle, or at least a clash. This isn’t easy listenin’. This isn’t just the usual rub of life’s rough edges catching against the smooth – the stuff you and I deal with. For her it seems that violence and calm have to be fixed in a kind of stasis, kept in a perfect balance. They are warring elements – elemental forces – that she keeps control of by means of balanced/opposed word pairings, and by sound colours/textures/intensities set off against eachother. It runs through all her songs, not just these lines:

Muscle connects to the bone
And the bone to the iron in the marrow
I wish I had a gentle mind and a spine made up of iron

Mouth connects to the teeth
And teeth to the loves and curses

Muscle is soft and flexible – bone is hard and rigid. Loves balance curses. She has a formidable intellect, that’s clear : but is it too sharp/too critical? She wishes it were less hard-edged : that the toughness could go elsewhere and be more useful to keep her strong.

And in between it all, she’s insisting on connections. So these aren’t just simple statements of opposites – they’re all joined up somehow in a body. We are where these antitheses live. Which for us, is generally in a state of uneasy accommodation. For her I suspect, they are locked in mortal combat. You think I exaggerate? You should listen to the long inexorable climax to Black Rainbow. Play it as loud as she plays it on stage, and you’d be shook. This is a slim stylishly-dressed young woman wrestling with her daemons.

Meanwhile what’s happening onscreen? It’s a road. A long straight road in the middle of nowhere? That, at my age, would seem to be a young person looking at life. My ‘road dream’ would be considerably shorter. And who’s coming up behind? Is it a slow-crawling rapist, or a friendly local? And the blank-faced couple (with daughter as part of) is that a fan-belt problem or a family break-down?

These and other encounters along the way are all seen as either/both/neither threatening, then disturbing – then . . . unimportant. She turns her back on all of them. They still follow, because you can’t erase the past, but they have lost, for the moment, all power over her. Or only as long as she keeps singing. Menace and comfort are present in all these little scenes: the family, the cop, the hoodies, the bike, the sheep. Ordinary in context – surreal out of.
And the shrine by the roadside? That starts and ends the video? You think I’d leave a little thing like the ephemeral inconsequentiality of religion out of it (simply because I’d almost completly forgotten about it, or thought it was going to be too tricky to explain? Please. C’m on! How many more question marks have I left? Uh – only five? Or four now? Oh shit . . . )

So I pretend there aren’t ten strings tied to all ten of my fingers.

As a pretty ace guitarist she possibly finds it easier not to think of the strings that join up her body. Start anatomizing things, and you might not be able to put them back together. She’s aware of the precarious framework that holds the whole show together.

And what’s our protagonist doing all the while? No, she’s not wiggling her butt-magnet (that’ll be her next hip-hop deconstruct album) – she’s utterly impassive and neutral. She’s got it all under control. Like her album-cover photos.
Well, just. The dual-camera shift-effect tells me that all these people, all these scenarios still have possible other meanings, other outcomes. Nothing bad has happened – yet. Or it might depend on how you look at it.

Oh and the music? Well now . . . it’s the usual disjunture of angelic choirs jousting with impossible instruments. No, I really mean impossible: these are bassoonophons and harpsifiddles that she crams into her ‘stomp-box’ for the stage. Generally it’s almost atonal sludge that she pumps up out of the bilges with this pedal. Aurally glorious too. Those in the know will soon enough tell me that there are extraordinary chord or key shifts going on. I know it sounds like chaos – and I know it’s not in the least. Meanwhile she keeps her voice-track pretty clear : she wants the words, beautifully enunciated, to get through, above all.

Can you reach the spots that need oiling and fixing?

Help me, help me

Is this video bizarre? Is she mad?

Only the crazy think they’re not. She’s not and you’d know it too if you can be bothered to find the clip of her rehearsing that particularly blistering guitar section, and getting it right, and grinning with delight. (Rehearsal before South by SouthWest). But she knows too that people are haunted machines: the strings that twitch the bones, and the mind that pulls the strings. She knows she’s got it bad – whatever it is that makes her her – but also that she’s got the means to deal with it so we can see it, and thereby see her, more clearly. And all that might just make the whole trip more bearable, even joyful.

Drawing a Crowd

as DsD didn’t get me a Grolsch.. I’ll become a Lager Lout on my own……

the days of wine and roses just one of my favorite and my best tracks ever, crow barred into pole position.
Winners Lose a cover of one anti-folk to another…
Heavyweight Champion Of The World Barbryn reminded me of this with his post this week.. good timing.

Win Your Love a joyous noise
Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo silly but brilliant, I was going to do a whole BINGO list but resisted.
Windfall he gets too country for my taste some times, but lyrically some strangeness that I just enjoy.. this is a peach.
Took You Two Tears To Win My Heart over the top on many occasions – this is one of two songs from this album that fits the theme.

Hey, let’s challenge… bet I win…
Grammy Winners a different version to the video posted bellow.
We Gonna Win oh yes we are
Bingo okay another bingo track.. I just wanna shout “house” .. obviously this is not house music!
Winners Take All what’s it all about then?
Champion Sound don’t think steen or EJD have beaten me to it..
Win Win Winwhat’s it all about then too?

Donds to anyone whose suggested them on RR… can’t get on again (my computer has run out of space.. it’s the least of my problems at the moment) so enjoy.
and add The German top Five ‘The Champ’ between Jens and Cass and you get a double sided groove machine of a playlist… enjoy…( or endure the second half, some of you!)

Favourite Recorded Scream

I read about this a while ago and have finally got round to tracking down some information about it. This is from the website of the bloke who made it:

“Between October 2008 and March 2009, I visited every record store in Manhattan and asked the employees for their favorite scream from recorded music. Side one of this record is a compilation of the screams; one from each song, edited together and arranged in the order they were submitted. Side two follows the same order as side one, but has ten second spaces between each of the audio tracks.” Includes 18 x 24″ poster w/ map and record store information, address/hours/website/phone etc.
Pictured on this site is the cover of the record, the poster (both sides), and all 74 of the participant questionnaires.
LP. Edition of 500. Includes fold-out map.”

Here’s an extract:

My Favourite Recorded Scream

So, what’s yours?

New/Old MBV (fingers crossed).

Despite the fact that I’d consider myself fairly competent on a computer, I’ve never had any luck with posting music here, so this is the latest in a long, long line of attempts, and it’s probably doomed too. Edit: Well, it took just under three hours, but I think I’ve finally cracked it.

Recently, I came across four unreleased My Bloody Valentine songs, presumably demos, dating from around the time of ‘Isn’t Anything’ and ‘Glider’. My guess is that ‘Good For You’ and the infamous ‘Cowboy Song’ date from the former, ‘Kevin Song’ and ‘Bilinda Song’ from the latter. It would be very hard to explain how excited I was to hear essentially an EP of new music from Kevin Shields, or how in awe of his music I am (not so much pre-‘You Made Me Realise’, but that’s not the point here). Posting music that has leaked online is obviously dubious at best, but after enduring and suffering the wait and the silence from the man (people born the year ‘Loveless’ was released are now eligible to vote, to give you an idea), and with a promise of new music in December at All Tomorrow’s Parties (we’ll see), it’s too good and happy-making to ignore, or not to share, and I know I’ll buy it if it ever gets a formal release. I’d love to hear a finished version of ‘Bilinda Song’, my favourite of the four.

I’ve added a few other rarities, the instrumentals that came on a 7″ with initial copies of ‘Isn’t Anything’, ‘Sugar’, which was only released on a flexidisc with a French magazine, the two post-‘Loveless’ cover versions (including the Wire cover I’ve nommed every chance I got), the full version of ‘Glider’, and, as an extra, the best of the pieces Kevin Shields wrote for the dance company La La La Human Steps, which is only available in bootleg versions, hence the strange intro on the version included here (the real piece, which I think is the best thing he’s done in between MBV then-and-now, starts about 40 seconds in). I’ve also included a brief video, with terrible sound, of the performance to this piece, which looks amazing, and a fan video for the first track released post-MBV.

I’m still trying to figure out the whole Dropbox thing, so if these files are too large, or there’s some other problem, please let me know. Hope you like.

Good For You
Cowboy Song
Kevin Song
Bilinda Song
Instrumental A
Instrumental B
We Have All The Time In The World
Map Reference 41°N 93°W

Triumphal playlist

Riddles Wisely Expounded
Backlash Blues
Eyes on the Prize
Paths of Victory
Desmond Dekkar Came First
Duppy Conqueror
All You Fascists
Joe DiMaggio Done it Again
Grey Victory
Take Your Carriage Clock and Shove it
Thunder Road
Tell Me
I Am Somebody
Jurass Finish First
Black President
Champion Requiem
Won’t Trade
The Champ


Zissou has been found living on a large traffic island in the middle of the A23 at Thornton Heath Pond. She’s fat and glossy and apparently been eating scraps thrown at her from all the local takeaways. She arrived home half an hour ago c/o the Cats Protection League who trapped her and kept her overnight. Not taking very kindly to Zebedee yet, so she’s shut in my bedroom with her own food and temporary litter tray. Zebedee, who has not long left his family of six (mother, grandmother, two siblings, and an uncle) is simply curious.

Just how many lives must she have got through there, I dread to think.


In response to Shoey’s request, here’s some thrown together (non-musical) EOTWQs:

1. First of all, to connect to the picture, what’s the strangest item of clothing you’ve ever worn?

2. I’ve decided to do this at almost two in the morning, because I’m on work admin avoidance again. I do love my job, but the paperwork is a pain in the arse. Which part of your job is (a) the worst? (b) the best?

3. After a comment made by Darcey at teatime to night, I’d like to know what’s the most disgusting food you’ve ever made yourself eat, just to be polite?

4. Hmmm. I’ve already had to delete two completely unnecessary uses of the word ‘basically‘ from this post. Which word or phrase do you grossly overuse?

5. It’s my round: what are you having?


And an extra techie question: As Boxstr seems to have gone for good, I wondered how you were all still posting mp3s? [A Mr. S.Gazer of Florida has provided the answer.]

Dance The Night Away