Rambling Man

Laura Marling’s songs have rocketed to the top of my last.fm scrobbler, as I endlessly play her new album “I Speak Because I Can” – she’s just released a video for “Rambling Man” which is about the 7th best song on the record. I feel like I’ve been bangin on about Marling since forever*, so it’s nice to see her get some mainstream recognition – although I hope this doesn’t scupper her wish to release another album later this year.

*the first mention of LM I can find on The ‘Spill was February 7th 2008 here

Well, let’s try a playlist

Here is where you put the HTML and the mp3 files go after that

OK, let’s see how this goes. Not many songs that people won’t have heard before, I expect, but all nice solid music. Anyway, one of these has been an earworm for most of the day, so it is a convenient peg to hang the post from.

good taste ? why bother !

I have already apologised to regulars via email for last weekend’s petulance and resignation.  I will be back. But for now I’ll try this site, and offer you an Act Of War rather than any peaceful friendly apology. Just kidding !  I think you’re all pretty flipping amazingly generous people…I’ll raise my game, promise.  Now, here’s a shocker I found today….I’m still tripping over the technology, so bear with me….

Although seriously I am half thrilled and half appalled by this completely eighties video by Elton John in worrying headgear and Millie Jackson playing it straight. Enjoy.

Earworms … Mar 30

This’ll either irritate the crap out of you or you’ll want it on tape-loop. Barbeau (another prolific US indie operator, who may be UK-domiciled now) sings about the simple joys of life… but it’s the sugar/acid-drop backing vocals that make it memorable. Nice record for a spring day.

I’ve been playing lots of Trojan Roots Reggae in the car and that kind of drives earworms away, but every now and then I find myself singing this along in my head. My earworms always seem to be songs I know really well and which are tuneful. I can’t say that I ever get many Can or Van Der Graaf Generator earworms.

The Scarecrow’s dance moves are absolute genius, but even just in audio it’s uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time.  “I would not be just a nuthin’/ My head all full of stuffin’/ My heart all full of pain” – it’s both Yip Harburg’s lyrics and Bolger’s delivery that make it so surprisingly moving. Judy Garland’s warming intervention is fantastic, and the orchestration during the instrumental break for the dance is like Sun Ra stepped in.

A ghost story from the short-lived early ’70s Yorkshire Dales folk-rock band, it is sung from the perspective of the eponymous unfortunate “walking a valley that never saw the sun”. You never find out quite how or why he was hanged, although it may have been accidental. I like the mystery, the rolling tune (of the chorus in particular) and its atmosphere, which isn’t as gloomy as it sounds. There’s a certain amount of bucolic nostagia; this ghost seems quite content, actually.
Close your eyes if you will, and imagine yourself at a virtual benefit concert of some sort. It is the finale, and the early Kinks and Who have joined mid-stride Clash and Tom Robinson. Short, sharp pop punk; this is the sound of Maidstone’s Len Price 3. Not 100% the real thing, but there’s four or five cuts off this Pictures album that’ll make nice earworms for the summer.
This is Carla Bley’s instrumental arrangement of the Christmas classic for piano, bass and brass quintet, which has popped up on my MP3 player a few times since New Year, each time soothing away the cares of the day, and sticking around being hummed for a day or two afterwards. The musical colours come from mediaeval church music, Duke Ellington and some well-crafted discords.

Superb submissions people! This thing is really coming alive now. If you haven’t had a turn yet, what are you waiting for Spillers? rr@tincanland.com

Play all earworms:


Another Beerplease

Little Miss Indie was the indiest person you’ve ever met in your whole life.

She looked indie because she was indie, in everything she did.

You could always tell where Little Miss Indie had been because she left a trail of indie records wherever she’d been.

Oh yes, Little Miss Indie was indie by name, indie by nature!

Little Miss Indie lived in a particularly indie looking house.

Posters of Damon on the walls.

7″ singles spread out on the floor.

Fan club membership cards held together with hair clips in a secret drawer.

You know what she looks like don’t you, because you’ve seen her picture at the start of this story… watching Gorillaz in a little indie club.

Phonograph Blues

Beatrice got a phonograph, and it won’t say a lonesome word

Beatrice got a phonograph, and it won’t say a lonesome word
What evil have I done, what evil has the poor girl heard

Beatrice, I love my phonograph, but you broke my windin’ chain
Beatrice, I love my phonograph, but you have broke my windin’ chain
And you taken my lovin’, and you give it to your other man

And we played it on the sofa, and we played it side the wall
And we played it on the sofa, and we played it side the wall
But boys, my needles have got rusty, and it will not play at all

Beatrice, I love my phonograph mmm, babe and I’m bound to lose my mind
Beatrice, I love my phonograph, and I’m ’bout to lose my mind
Why’n’t1 you bring your clothes back home, baby, and try me one more time

Now my phonograph, mmm, babe, it won’t say a lonesome word
My little phonograph, and it won’t say a lonesome word
What evil I have done, what evil have the poor girl heard

Now Beatrice, won’t you bring your clothes back home
Now Beatrice, won’t you bring your clothes back home
I wanna wind your little phonograph, just to hear your little motor moan

Gorillaz G Club live review at the Lincoln Engine Shed.

What an opportunity! To see Gorillaz perform Plastic Beach to a very small audience of mainly G Club fans in the less-than-glamorous confines of Lincoln’s Engine Shed! My husband taunted me all week that it was probably going to be projections and recorded voices all round, no chance of getting up close and personal with the thinking ‘middle-aged indie-chick totty of choice’, Damon Albarn. But lo! There he was in ill-advised, baggy-assed jeans, Fred Perry and gold tooth, looking genuinely delighted to be there.

I’m really loving Plastic Beach, it leans heavily on Damon’s plaintive, whimsical side, and while there’s no stand-out monster groove track a la Dare (which got a huge reaction),  there’s plenty to cherish, from the glitter-rock stomper of Glitter Freeze (feat Mark E Smith) to the loopy pop of Superfast Jellyfish (feat De La Soul and Gruff Rhys of SFA: mad but it works) and the dark funk of Stylo. The guest artists are provided courtesy of pre-recorded tracks, but there’s no sense of glorified karaoke here. Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, dressed up like Captain Pugwash’s naughtier brothers, bookend Damon, there are two drummers, two keyboardists and four backing singers. Damon leaps between his piano (on which we get a cheeky Advert in response to a heckle for Parklife: in response to “Now Wonderwall!” he just grins sarcastically), the mic and his melodica.

The band are tight, even on the untried extended jam at the end, and Damon seems to be relaxed, impassioned, actually happy to be in such a small venue and he asks to have the lights lowered so he can see us better, all a thousand of us. “But you’re a star!” someone shouts out. And *sigh* he really, really is.

USA 60s Psych / RnB

Here’s Part Two of my attempt to recreate a couple of long lost cassette “mix tapes” in the mp3 format, again quite a few likely suspects available from the usual compilations but a few you may not have heard before.

I got a DMCA notice on the last Psych post so have deleted it here, you can still find it on the following link (for a limited time only).


Continue reading

There’ll be no stopping me now

This is a radio programme in San Marcos, Texas – you can listen to the station live at http://ktsw.txstate.edu/specialty_shows/TheOtherSide.html

At the mo they’re playing the Sugarcubes…unfortunately the Americana programme isn’t on till 8pm their time, which is even later for us now we’ve put our clocks forward. So I won’t be listening but maybe you transatlantic folk would like to – they’ve promised to play some In And Outlaws!


New genre, or ridiculous pigeon-holing? Ever since the bizarre categorisation of Post-Rock took hold, it seems that nothing is safe from the prefix. I really like this track by Polar Bear but I can’t embed it on our blog, hence the other video above (both from the same LP “Peepers”). I’d like to know what the hardcore ‘Spiller Jazz fiends make of it all?

b is for ballboy

I was thinking about good first lines, and went to find some ballboy on YouTube, realising I hadn’t seen the video for “I Hate Scotland” before, and got utter goosebumps – so that makes b be ballboy…

ballboy have kindly put up the mp3 of the song too, for free download.

their website is well worth a visit

Carole’s New Quiz

OK, so now we are all getting settled in the new house, perhaps it is time for a QUIZ!

So, usual thing, 10 tracks, artist and song title please.

I am sure that Blimpy has valuable ‘Spill points for the lucky winner.

If not, there are virtual Crackerjack (CRACKERJACK!) pencils for everyone who gets one right.

Good Luck!

Continue reading

Eat to the Beat

mmmmm ... tasty snacks

So, the Mothership Connection was severed around lunchtime, to the sound of a large bloop blooping and some clangers dropping; a chance to see how many folks the new yard can accommodate.  Those tasty tapas are posted in the new WordPress ‘scratch n’ sniff’ format (be careful to start somewhere near the centre of the screen)  and are designed to lure in the peckish, the footloose, the discombobulated and the flocksome and jetpacks of the RR diaspora.  Let’s test the quality of this new velour uphostelry; flex those rigid digits and dig right in.


I recently watched the film ‘Rockers’ again, for the umpteenth time, possibly the best  reggae film ever made, everyone is in it, except for Bob and Toots, but they were having plenty of international exposure anyway. Here’s one of my favorite cuts from the film, it’s Kiddus I and “Graduation in Zion”, he’s in the studio recording it.

‘Spill Housekeeping – Categories & Tags


Hi ‘Spillers!

In a vague attempt to make things more organised, and for ease of finding our way through our vast back catalogue (2,759 posts!!); I’m going to attempt to implement a loose categories and tags policy!

All posts have both categories and tags. The categories appear in the sidebar of The ‘Spill, and I’d like to keep this to a relative minimum. This is because I can make sub-pages on The ‘Spill that will only contain posts that are in a certain category.

For example, I’ve been asked before if we could have a page that has all the podcasts on it, which is easily done if they’re all posted in the podcast category. I also intend to make a ‘Spillharmonic page – and am open to suggestion for other pages we can have. These pages can then appear as tabs in the top bar.

Posts can also be tagged. I’ve turned our old list of categories into tags; so you can still search that way too. Feel free to use as many different tags as you like, including your user name if you like to be able to find all your previous musings.

To begin with I’d like to have music categorized by genre (I know that may lead to a probs but hey! If there’s one thing we like to do is argue about that sorta thing) and then have other categories like Film, Literature, Cooking, Musing, Architecture, etc.

So, to sum up:

  • Choose from the categories, but do add -for example – Dubstep – if it’s not there
  • Put whatever you like as tags, and as many as you like

Any thoughts and suggestions much appreciated in the comments please!