Just wrong.

Hi again chums, time for a little “outsider” again. Forgive me if I’m making too many posts, I am trying to take my mind off an impending hernia operation that will involve having my tenderest parts mangled by some guy I hardly know, not a new thing for me admittedly and usually something I pay good money for but it’s freaking me out a bit.
Speaking of which….
Today I shall be mostly posting a variety of songs which come from the sub-genre of the outsider music world known as “incorrect music”. I should stress that there are no hard and fast definitions here, “incorrect music” was a term used by an American radio show to cover the kind of thing on offer here today.
It’s difficult to pin down exactly what the term means. I would define it as music that is , in some way, “off”. Sometimes it’s very subtle , sometimes very obvious but there’s something about the songs that make you go “Hmmm…that ain’t quite right”. Not always for musical reasons, sometimes for the idea behind the tunes. Anyway, that’s my take on it and here, without further doo-doo are the songs.*
First up, let’s go into the strange, strange world of Christian puppetry. Now, on their own both Christianity and puppetry are fine things but, for some reason, put the two together and it seems, to me at least, a little odd.
Thusly the very concept of a hamster singing about Jesus, as in Charlie the Hamster-If it wasn’t for Jesus just seems, well, wrong. What knoweth a hamster of salvation or the end of days ? Not a lot, I shouldn’t think. I dedicate this song to the Black Bellied Hamsters of Alsace who, frankly, could do with a bit of divine intervention.
Next on offer, and in a similar vein, is Tammy Faye Baker with Oops, Here comes a smile. An annoying tune sung by her “puppet” alter-egos “Susie Moppet” and “Allie” ( a Christian alligator).
To follow the third in our un-Holy trilogy today, we have Rappin’ with Rappin’ Rabbit. It’s what it says. A rapping, Christian rabbit ( saves time and money at Easter, I suppose).

Moving away from the religious world and into the world of dubious Country tunes we find one of the most aweseomest artifacts of all, a song so “wrong” in so many ways as to be , surely, “right” ( it’s a “circle thing”, go far enough to the left and , eventually , you start going right again) Troy Hess- Please don’t go topless , Mother. A young child pleads with his “Mom” to , basically “put them away”. Probably wanting to keep the good stuff for himself ( though perhaps a little past the weaning stage).

Lastly the most “famous” of our tunes today. Sung, apparently , by Englebert Humperdink for the Beavis and Butthead movie, here we have the original of Lesbian Seagull sung by it’s writer Tom Wilson ( not that one). A sensitive number written in response, so I believe, to study in the 1970s that claimed to recognise a certain Sapphic element within the seagull population. Fine by me, that way the perishers would die out. I don’t think I’d miss the quarrelsome, noisy, poopy ratbags much.
Hope you endure the songs as much as I do.
As always, for those that make it to the end, there is a secret bonus track !

* The management takes no responsibility for any damage emotional or psychological caused by listening to these songs by human beings or animals of any kind.

More Nu-Shoegaze – Tears Run Rings

Came across this today and immediately thought of Slowdive, which of course meant that I immediately thought of Blimpy and the ‘Spill, so I thought i’d share it.

Tears Run Rings are the band and it looks as if they are named after a Marc Almond song, which can’t be a bad thing!

Here’s the website if anyone takes a fancy:

The D double o D double o Style

I’ve had this song stuck in my head for weeks now. I LOVE IT! I was going to submit is as an earworm, but, honestly, this video, with the, what…2 minutes? of silence just kills me. The whole track does. It’s so spare and old-school hip hop, it’s so sweet…

I’m sorry about the strange ads on the video. I wonder if you’ll even be able to see it if you don’t live in America.

Cause Nobody Can do it, like mixmaster can, COME ON!!!!

Hot Gossip


Stranglers – Bitching
Ram Jam – Black Betty
Delta 5 – Mind Your Own Business
Strokes – You Talk Way Too Much
AC Marias – Just Talk
Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
Love Is All – Rumours
Primus – My Name Is Mud


Annie – I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me
Gary Clail & On-U Soundsystem – Rumours
Bel Canto – Rumour
Underworld – Jumbo

The godAmsterdams – A Beautiful Heartbreak

A ‘Spill 1st for me – I actually have the artists’ permission to share this with you. My friend Erick, & his songwriting partner, Ben, released their 1st mini-album on Valentines Day. Fitting, as the 6 tracks deal with a relationship from start-up to break-up. Mmm, reading that back, should probably clarify that Erick & Ben are not a “couple” &, as it says on the box: “No hearts were broken in making this record”. Anyway, The godAmerstams want feedback from us ‘Spillers. So go to it:

If you want more, here’s a linky to buy from i-Tunes:


EOTWQs – Where does the time go?!

This is Julie’s latest exercise – not really a time-waster but it IS an album cover for a record that doesn’t exist! She was doing it to hone her newly-taught Adobe skills, ahead of her next assessment at college.

I know I’m getting in a little early, but that’s kind of in keeping with my loose theme. Having spent an inordinate amount of my time around issues relating to the new Drive-By Truckers album, various time-related or opportunities seized/missed thoughts ran through my head.

1. What do you wait for pointlessly?
It doesn’t matter how long I sit there hitting ‘Refresh’, I’m making no difference to whether or not I get any response to my Amazon reviews. Why the hell am I so flippin’ needy on the subject? (That bit’s not an official question, by the way!)

Whilst I’m at my desk with nothing happening on Amazon/ RR / The ‘Spill, I should get through more work than I actually do.
THIS little blighter is partly responsible! So -
2. What’s your favourite way to waste time?

One of the things I used to do almost automatically during the day was go make a(n instant) coffee whilst waiting for the PC to finish tasks, but since being poorly at Christmas, I’ve gone right off instant. I’ve turned it into a sort of New Year Resolution to drink less-but-better-quality coffee, and so far I’ve not had a single granule of instant in 2011. We’ve had this question before, but the other way round: mine to you is -
3. What drink or foodstuff did you used to love, but can’t stand now?

And the strange connections a brain makes … I thought back to an American friend who just never did understand how anyone could stomach instant coffee. And then I realized just how long it is since we spoke to him, or in fact even got so much as a Christmas card from him. So -
4. Who have you lost touch with? How long has it been? Why haven’t you done anything about it?

In Tyler’s case, it’s been so long since we saw him, that we still had the Jeep Wrangler – I remember that because I went looking for some accessories for it when we last stayed with him in Ohio. THAT thought then led me to a cold-sweat memory I’d long-since buried. In 2001, when Julie was 7 months pregnant with Jess, and big with it, she was commuting in the Wrangler. One morning it just conked out and flat refused to restart – IN THE MIDDLE LANE OF THE M621 DURING LEEDS RUSH-HOUR!! She rang me when the AA said it would be over an hour before they got to her (in spite of her condition), but I was over an hour away too. I told her to ring the Police, but those bastards said until she actually caused an accident, she wasn’t a high enough priority to come out to.
She sat there, mostly on the phone to me, both of us panicking, with cars swerving around her for over half-an-hour. Finally, when we were both completely frazzled, a car pulled up across lanes 1&2, put its hazards on, and three apparently HUGE security guards first stopped the traffic, then escorted Julie to the embankment, then pushed the dead weight of the Jeep up onto the hard shoulder. They checked she was OK, asked if she wanted to use their phone, and when satisfied she was sorted, promptly got in their car and drove away. Julie was so freaked by this time, and I (on the phone miles away) was so enraged at the lack of response from the official services, that neither of us even thanked them properly, let alone found out who they were. So -
5. What random act of kindness has someone shown you, that you never got to thank them for?
Here’s your chance to shout it to the world. You never know: this is the internet … they may see this and recognize themselves!

More Rahman

Well, it’s been a while since I posted any music by AR Rahman, so here are a few more faves, old and new. The first is from “Taal”, the first Bollywood film I ever saw, back in 2000. The next two are from “Delhi 6″ (or “Dilli 6″, if you prefer – my iTunes seems to), released in 2009. And the final track is from “Ghajini”, a Bollywoodisation of Chris Nolan’s “Memento” released in 2008.

If you ask me, they’re all a hell of a lot better than that limp Dido duet Rahman’s up for an Oscar for (for “127 Hours”)! Enjoy…

It is grey, damp, melancholy, let’s think of better times ahead

There isn’t really a theme to this particular playlist, except perhaps that all the tracks I’ve chosen have a certain quality that reflects my state of mind at the moment.

There is a kind of otherworldliness about many of these, tinged with maybe a dash of melancholy, distance or maybe detachment from the day-to-day dullness of grey, dismal February.

I’ve tried to make the playlist a kind of voyage, starting out with a dash of experimentation that flows into Jerry Garcia’s achingly beautiful “The Wheel”, via some old and new psychedelia, a dash of a Fripp and Travis soundscape, a leavening of classically lovely female singing and finally coming home again, via post-rock, to a place of aching beauty again.

The photograph that heads up this playlist is one of my own. It is the Château de Sercy in the southern part of Burgundy, just north of Cluny. I have no particular reason to post it, except that it is a lovely place and the sky is blue in the picture.

We all need a bit of blue in our skies at this time of year. I think that February is the worst month of the year, but hopefully this playlist ends on an fairly uplifting and optimistic note and leads the way to a happy 2011 for all of us ‘Spillers and our loved ones.

Anyway, now for the music;

1. Jerry Garcia – The Wheel
2. Moby Grape – Looper
3. Mazzy Star – Look Down From The Bridge
4. Warpaint – Warpaint
5. Robert Fripp and Theo Travis – Moonchild
6. It’s A Beautiful Day – Bombay Calling
7. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Black Mountain
8. Sandy Denny – I’m A Dreamer
9. Mogwai – Like Herod
10. Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun


I recently found myself rooting through my albums looking for James Taylor, I found him and for some unknown reason I then found myself then looking for some similar albums from the same era. I didn’t have anything specific in mind I was just browsing, just letting my mind wander; I thought about Leonard Cohen and then Randy Newman and I realized that I was on an ‘early 70’s male singer/songwriter tack. That gave me something specific to deal with so I continued, as I proceeded I created some parameters, basically solo artists, all male, all white, I thought that black artists could be a totally separate category for a future list; I chose also to not include known ‘groups’. What I realized that I was sorting out were individual artists who’d had hits in the 60/70’s that had had serious airplay and they were songs that long ago I’d bought those albums for, songs that I’d loved but hadn’t played in many years. So I pulled ‘em and made a playlist of my favorites, I realized that there must also be similar playlists of female artists, reggae, rock, soul, blues and R&B, all genres that I listened to and collected throughout that era, so they’re all on the back burner, perhaps I’ll work on them and then tack ‘em all together as a total ‘best of’ playlist: Here’s the first playlist I came up with, to me it’s an orgy of earworms with a nod towards Tinny another who appreciates a good singer/songwriter:

1. Peace Like a River – Paul Simon
2. Fire & Rain – James Taylor
3. American Pie – Don McLean
4. Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
5. Blue Bayou – Roy Orbison
6. City of New Orleans – Arlo Guthrie
7. Early Morning Rain – Gordon Lightfoot
8. Everybody’s Talkin’ – Fred Neil
9. Lonely at the top – Randy Newman
10. Me and Bobby McGhee – Khris Kristofferson
11. Country Roads – John Denver
12. You can leave your hat on – Joe Cocker

Moove on up.

To celebrate the International Year of the Cow* I thought it would be nice to trawl down the back of my metaphorical sofa and dig out some dairy themed “outsider” stuff for you all to “enjoy”.
Cows, are, I feel, somewhat neglected in song. There are plenty of great songs about cowboys and a few about green grass but not so many about our bovine friends or , indeed, the products they produce ( though, it must be said, milk does feature in quite a few great tunes “No milk today” “Ernie” etc). I love cheese and other dairy products, yoghurt for example, and present these tracks as an homage to a creature and food provider that even we vegetarians can talk to without looking totally barmy.

Another “outsider” fan put it very well on his blog, these are not tunes to be “enjoyed” they are tunes to “withstand”.
So, without further ado, I hope you withstand them.

First up we have Mike Sophia- Cow
This work of genius takes us deep into the mind of the cow , which, I suspect, is mainly full to thoughts about grass. In fact I’m willing to bet that the “word” “Moo” means “grass” in cow. Set to what may be best described as a “nightmare fairground” backing and replete with the joyful lowing of many cows it is a thing of beauty and wonder.

Next we have Rudy Burkhalter- Come to Cheese Day in Monro

I’ve been fascinated for some years by the annual Cheese Day event held in Monro County, Wisconsin ( Big Swiss-American community, apparently) where parades and events celebrate the foodstuff which we all know and love.
I stumbled across this celebration by accident, following on links that I discovered whilst perusing the online works of my favourite poet, James McIntyre who, whilst born in Canada, had some cheesy connections with the states. Here are a few lines from his epic poem “Ode on the Mammoth Cheese” **

We have seen the Queen of cheese,
Laying quietly at your ease,
Gently fanned by evening breeze –
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.

Lastly, but not leastly, a song from the New Zealand ministry of cows recording that was sent out to farmers to encourage them to medicate their cows against the foremost disease of the udders. The record, called Mastitis Melodies, utilises well known tunes to get the message across.
Here then is The Waikato Dairy Singers- Treat your teats

Well, I hope you withstood that O.K. I’m afraid I can’t take responsibility for any mind warping caused by listening to this stuff.
I hope to be able to continue posting, perhaps themed , songs in a similar vein for your withstandment and will include a “Mystery Track” to add to the fun

* Which I just made up.

** This, apparently, means a large cheese and not what I first assumed.


at times like this – there’s only one thing for it……..

1 The Holy Egoism Of Genius Art Of Noise
2 All Things To All Men Cinematic Orchesta Feat. Roots Manuva
it’s fire behind my eyes – it’s the bookmark between my thighs
Continue reading


Derrick Morgan – I Am The Ruler
Jurassic 5 – Jurass Finish First
Fats Comet – Rochester
Telephone – Lady Gaga & Beyonce
U2 – Even Better Than The Real Thing [Perfecto]

Buzzkunst – Can You See Me Shining?
Stranglers – Pin Up
Wolfgang Press – King Of Soul
Shriekback – Hubris
Underworld – Best Mamgu Ever


Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter

To keep you amused till midnight…and possibly beyond! This is my first ever attempt at a podcast, and it’s about my musical journey from when I first got interested in music, in the early 60s, till now. Plus there’s a competition, with valuable ‘Spill points for prizes – your challenge is to tell me, from those musicians/bands represented here…whose music do I have a complete collection of? (Clue: it’s more than one.)

I know this is a bit like the idea that Blimpy suggested the other day on bluepeter’s EOTWQ post, but I’d already started doing this then and I didn’t want to waste it.

The Frogcast is in two parts, the first being just over 30 minutes long and the second 37.


Avid Guardian readers may have noticed that the book Dorian went off to write, about protest songs, is to be published shortly. The timing could not be more apt, as the middle east is in turmoil, and angry demos against the cuts take place in England somewhere every day. The clever title is “33 revolutions per minute”, and the book will be out in paperback on 3rd March. It’s £9 on Amazon, or much better value in a real bookshop. If you protest enough, there might still be one or two libraries left to borrow it from.

There’s an article by Dorian about the first protest song HERE

Dorian at an RR social

Book cover

Panic Room up north.

So the two gig-free months come to an end, and the gigging season begins again. Yet again, I’ve been putting in serious amounts of rail miles to see two gigs by Panic Room, the first at Fibbers in York, the second the following night at The Factory in Manchester. Are they really worth spending so many hours on board Arriva Cross-Country Voyagers to see? I think so, or I wouldn’t keep doing it. Not that I managed to persuade GordonImmel or DarceysDad to attend either…

Friday night was was the second time I’ve been to the recently refurbished Fibbers. It’s now more of a nightclub than a rock club, no draft beers any more, and decor that seems to lack character, and focuses on the dancefloor rather than the stage. Still, unlike in December where what turned out to have been Breathing Space’s final gig was spoiled by very poor sound, this time the venue seems to have got it’s act together in that respect, and the sound was excellent, good separation with every instrument clear.

The Factory in Manchester the following night didn’t have quite as good sound as the night before, a little bit too loud. But we did have one of the most enthusiastic audiences I’ve seen at a Panic Room gig to date. The Magnum-style arm-waving during “Satellite” was a new one on me. There was one downside, though, which I’ll come to later.

A few words on the support acts. Friday’s support was a solo acoustic singer-songwriter who’s name I forget. I find these sorts of performers rather hit-and-miss. Marc Atkinson, Chris Johnson, or for that matter Anne-Marie herself, can win over audiences with strong performances and good songs. But this guy wasn’t really in the same league. To give him some credit, he did write his own songs rather than take the easy route and play covers, but his act really needs a bit more work. Saturday’s support was David R Black, fronting an indie/metal trio who brought along a lot of their own fans and helped sell tickets for the gig. They didn’t do an awful lot for me, I’m afraid. They were musically competent, and pretty tight too, but their songs rather generic to my ears. But they weren’t really my kind of music, so I might not be the best person to judge.

As for Panic Room themselves, they more or less picked up where they left off last year. As I know I’ve said before, Yatim Halimi’s arrival as their new bass player seems to be the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle that has turned them from being a good live band to having all the makings of a great one. They’re now got the magical combination of tightness and onstage energy, all five members giving it absolutely everything and making an equally important contribution. Gavin and Yatim make a powerful rhythm section, Jon and Paul on keys and guitar perfect foils for each other, especially with a set that alternates between guitar-led and keyboard-led numbers. And of course Anne-Marie demonstrating just why she was voted Female Vocalist of the Year by readers of Classic Rock Presents Prog. And while their music has plenty of depth and complexity to satisfy progressive rock audiences, many of their songs are direct enough to give them crossover appeal.

Much as on their tour last autumn, the bulk of the set came from “Satellite”, with just two or three songs from their debut album. They’re still playing their as-yet unreleased swamp-blues cover of ELP’s “Bitches Crystal”, which I find far superior to the original. Since several songs from “Satellite” had become live favourites long before the band went into the studio to record them, there was the feeling that it was about time some new material started appearing in the set. And we got two brand-new songs, of which one, a twin-guitar prog-metal epic with a working title of “Song for Tomorrow” has all the makings of a future classic. My only regret is they’ve retired the lengthy epics from the first album. I’m not suggesting they exhume “The Dreaming”, which never really worked that well live, but “Endgame” used to be a live highlight, and it’s a song that means a lot to me personally.

One annoying thing about both venues was the way they turned into nightclubs after the gig, and the DJs started up at a volume at least twice as loud as the band had been the second the band finished playing. In this respect The Factory was far worse than Fibbers in that they started letting clubbers into the venue while the band were still on stage, which meant fans had to fight their way through the crowd to reach the exit at the end. And this was after a truncated set due to of a very strict curfew. I’ve since been told they started letting them in a good half-hour before the band finished, and their chatter was drowning out the band for those towards the back. Some were even making juvenile attempts to take the piss out of band and audience. The atmosphere as I was leaving the venue felt vaguely threatening; it certainly wasn’t the sort of place I wanted to hang around for any time. I would recommend that Panic Room, and other bands in the same scene, give venues like this a wide berth in future. No band should be playing in a venue where their own fans do not feel safe.

Panic Room have one more gig on this leg of the tour, at The Peel in Kingston on Saturday 26th. I know the place is a bit of dive, but at least it won’t be full of lagered-up yoof at the end. Be there and see a band who I believe are now on the edge of something bigger.

Come outside.

Hello folks.
I am a Spill virgin and an congenitally useless when it comes to technology so apologies if this all goes wrong.
Feel free to shout at me. I’m used to it. I’m married.
I decided that, as it’s a lovely day and I need an excuse not to take any exercise I thought I try and post a couple
of “outsider” tunes that, I hope, may tickle a few people’s fancies.
I do tend to waffle on, so feel free to stop reading at any point, you won’t miss much.
I’ve been a fan of “outsider” music for a long time, I’ve always been attracted to the weird and wonderful ( hence the marriage to Ma Ubu*) and ,with the advent of computer downloads a rich seam of delights has become available for me to mine.
I’d like to share a couple of long time favourites with you.
I’ve chosen Los Punkeros- Pretty Vacant, a Spanish “knock off” version of the Sex Pistols fave which is of interest chiefly because the singer clearly didn’t speak English and , basically, just made up words that sounded right.
The second song is from Lebanon and it’s Philemon Whebe with his song Hamburger. This is a celebration of the eponymous tasty treat backed by a kind of Arabic rockabilly beat. Philemon huffs and puffs like a demon on this one making it rather special.
Lastly there’s Gen Orange with Thunderstorm. How much do I love this song ? Very much indeed. Amazingly this was the B-side to her (as far as I know) only single. A song about worldwide injustice and sharing. I love the piano on this, especially in the last minute or so when it goes into double time.

That’s all for now, folks…..except for the secret bonus track.
I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do and , depending on reaction, I may post some more.

* this is a joke , dear.

Tcha Tcha Tcha!

Forgive two posts in one day, but Shoey has spurred me to clear a backlog of intentions that never reached the action stage.

I love hot club style gypsy jazz on both guitar and violin. One of my favourites is blind gypsy virtuoso Tcha Limberger. I saw him a while back at the Brighton Festival, and he blew me away.

Although a Belgian, he has moved to Hungary (hi, sourpus) and learned Hungarian, in order to master the folk songs of that country, the Magyar Nota. Here’s a short extract – I only have this fragment that I filmed, but his playing is magical. And he’s just as good on a guitar, and has a lovely voice (unlike his Dad!). The guy behind Tcha is playing an instrument of Persian origin, the cimbalom. I’ve also posted a full track (Lassu Csardas) from a recent album. He seems to have a new band every time he records.

Listen to a proper whole track by clicking the link below:

Lassú Csárdás

1960-62 The Barren Years

Elvis had been in the US Army for two years, The Beatles wouldn’t release Love Me Do until October ’62 and musical wisdom has it (yes I know) that these are “the barren years”, full of Elvis wannabes and whitebread covers of black rock’n’roll and rhythm and blues. My latest fad when a friend’s birthday comes around is to make them a CD from their birth year, so I’ve had cause to investigate The Barren Years recently. And they’re actually pretty good. Just a quick glance at the following tunes should convince you : Stand By Me, Desafinado, Cryin’, Runaway, Green Onions, Telstar, Big Girls Don’t Cry, These Arms Of Mine, Surfin’ Safari, The Wanderer, Send Me Some Loving, It Might As Well Rain Until September, You Don’t Know Me and Funny How Time Slips Away. If that doesn’t convince you – and apologies, I can’t find the instructions on how to make a playlist and I’m thick – try these vintage tunes for size :

Loving the early sixties right now !

Ukulele madness…

Stung by Shoey’s recent comment (ouch), here’s a post I’ve been meaning to write for a day or two. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain started as a joke twenty years ago. It proved such a good joke, they’ve never stopped since their first appearance. They delight in taking the most unlikely of source material, and bending and twisting it to create a new musical lifeform. Their rendition of ‘Pinball Wizard’ as a sea shanty is a wonderous thing! And they do a great version of the theme to ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’. I went to see them recently and – with disbelief suspended – really enjoyed the evening of musical satire. Whilst they are highly proficient musicians, I recommend them more for novelty than being worthy of a serious following – though they clearly have a big fanclub, and the gig was a sell out. Anyhow, here they are filmed backstage at the gig I went to (not by me!), doing another unlikely cover – Wheatus’ ‘Teenage dirtbag‘.


I came across these new to me guys the other day. Out of Canada, an “acid folk” band formed in 2009 by Tom Wilson and members of the Cowboy Junkies and Skydiggers (don’t know them). Cuckoo’s Nest actually sounded a bit more bluesy than folky to me, but some of their other tunes are more along the lines of acoustic folk. I likee.

Steenbeck’s superlong stir crazy dance party children’s music playlist

1. Louis Armstrong 2. Lefty Frizzell 3. Desmond Dekker 4. Bobby McFerrin 5. Roy Shirley 6. Mississippi John Hurt 7. Desmond Dekker 8. Rufus Thomas 9. Lulu Masilela 10. Ray Charles 11. Dino 5 12. Bobby Bare 13. Barry Louis Pollisar 14. The Meters 15. Dino 5 16. Jackson 5 17. Dino 5 18. Billy Bragg & Wilco (and Natalie Merchant) 19. Belle & Sebastian 20. Jungle Brothers 21. Dino 5 22. Beastie Boys 23. Antsy Pants 24. TMBG