A couple of websites

You know those lyrics sites where the lyrics are just plain, well…wrong? I’ve just discovered songmeanings.net which is a lot better than others I’ve tried. There’s a comments section underneath each lyric where people post what they think the song means, which is often amusing and rarely used for slagging people off – the site promotes being nice to each other and respecting other people’s opinions. You can add lyrics (or artists/bands) if they’re not already there and so far I’m having lots of fun and even been complimented once on a description. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Also, last night I discovered

The Oxford American Southern Samplers which are compilations of music from the southern US – all kinds. There are seven of them and the blog site provides info, pictures and a track listing for each one. I only had time to download one last night, but I’m pleased to say I now have Ode To Billy Joe in my collection.

If you’re not used to downloading zipped files from blogs let me know and I’ll help.

Joan T Bender and Her Toy Tubas

Or June Tabor and the Oyster Band as they are better known.

Actually I may have got that anagram wrong. I hadn’t heard it before this evening and I wasn’t taking notes.

So what happened was this. TFD bought a ticket to see JT and the OB’s at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s  South Bank.

Sadly she could not come to London midweek to attend so she gave the ticket to me on condition that I write some kind of review.

Writing about music is not my forte as you may have noticed. I tend to just say I like something and quote a snippet of the lyric or use terms like “pretty marvelous” or “particularly impressive” which don’t really tell you anything.


It was, I have to say, a pretty marvelous gig, including, as it did, songs from their original collaboration (which I’m partially familiar with) and their forthcoming album Ragged Kingdom (which, obviously, I’m not).


This was the first time they’d played some of the songs from the new album live and we were repeatedly thanked for being their guinea pig audience. A major tour is to follow and (tfd take note) I think they’re going to play Milton Keynes. Much though I love the South Bank Centre and all its works, I think this set will really take off when they play to an audience who aren’t obliged to remain in their seats.

Covers of rock classics included “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, “White Rabbit”  and the Velvets’ “All Tomorrow’s Parties”.

These were all welcome but even better were their versions of  Dylan’s “Seven Curses” and Polly Harvey’s “That Was My Veil”

They even managed to win over the teenagers sitting behind me who had been dragged there by their parents and who, at one point,  spent their time complaining that “I didn’t want a history lesson” when a song introduction dared to include a bit of background colour.

I do have to say that June became rather terrifying as she contemplated the possible eviction of  the Dale Farm travelers and the contribution travelling folks have made to preserving traditional songs. I look forward to seeing her on “Question Time” very soon.

The music veered from the manic to the ethereal and back again. Allen Prosser on guitar was particularly impressive but they were so integrated you couldn’t really isolate one element.

For some reason they did not play Day Trip To Bangor.

A Present From Casey

I will keep my urge to share Casey’s goodies with you to a minimum but I’d just like to give you a flavour of the thing.

The audio is the final 20 minutes of the first show, at Wembley on 7th April 1972. Bobby’s got a cold, it’s a huge, soulless arena only half full (due to a last-minute venue change), and they’ve only been playing for two hours, but this finale is a firm instruction to get up and dance. So wind the volume up high, follow Garcia’s twisting lead and twirl away!

Not Fade Away>Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad>Not Fade Away and an encore of One More Saturday Night. (Apologies for the small breaks between CD tracks: I can’t quite erase them.)

Who’s Casey? Not the raven. It’s what I’m calling my box set.

New The Big Pink – ‘Stay Gold’

The Big Pink’s debut album was played to death by me, so I’m super excited that new material has begun to emerge. “Stay Gold” seems to have kept their anthemic noise intact, so far so good on first listen. Second listen reveals some ropey lyrics, which I’m just going to ignore because the chorus gets bigger each time you hear it, it really reminds me of something else though – any ideas?

**Edit** I went and had a shower, the chorus firmly lodged in my head – earworm alert!! 

It’s A Boy!, er, I mean, It’s A Box!

I’m pleased to announce the delivery of a bonny bundle of delight that started out as a a mere twinkle nine months ago and has now blossomed into a weighty little chap.

He seems well put together, with love and dedication, and I’m looking forward to getting to know him. From the small amount of time we’ve spent together so far, he seems to have a great set of lungs and all the bits you hope for appear to be beautifully formed.

Well that’s as far as I can take that analogy……

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Spill Weekly Challenge # 19 – Emotions.

You know the rules, right..blah de blah….

Anyway, the aliens are back. Very grateful for the music we gave them last time, they really got a grip with what the planet was like.
Unfortunately , when they left they took a copy of Tina Turner’s Greatest Hits with them and they have been buzzing the universe to the strains of Nutbush City Limits and asking abductees if they once had a puppy.

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Earworms – September 12

“My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.”
Edward Elgar

Lonesome Wyatt & Rachel Brooke – Give Up and Die
There’s an old gag that all country songs are about a guy losing his girl and his dog plus his truck won’t start, but that’s way too upbeat for Lonesome Wyatt & Rachel Brooke, who figure what country music really needs is a good dose of goth.

Goran Bregovic – Mesecina
I don’t know how well known this guy is over there. Not that I’m really familiar with him myself, but we’re having a crap summer over here and I feel like listening to real summer music. And this is what a summer night should sound like. Brassy, sweaty and hot… and, most of all, a lot of fun. (Sidenote: Obviously, I don’t know the first word in Serbo-Croat, so I’ve just found that Mesecina means Midnight… Too bad stuff like this has zero chances of ever featuring any week in the Mothership. Any ideas about how to overcome that?)

The Box Ticked – Dear Colleague
There’s only three of them but they make a lot of noise. Is it punk? Not with this subject matter – if you’ve ever worked in an office you will recognise it and I hope you will laugh. Oh and by the way – did you have a nice weekend?

Jackie Leven – I’ve Been Everywhere
When we were coming home from holiday, Dad and Mum were being boring talking about places they’ve been. So Jess & me decided to sing this song (from Jess’ mp3 player) loud so we couldn’t hear them. But we only really know one line – sing along with us:

“I’ve been to BadenBaden BadenBaden BadenBaden BadenBaden BadenBaden BadenBaden BadenBaden BadenBaden
BadenBaden BadenBaden BadenBaden BadenBaden…..”

Darcey & Sis

EarlyGhost – Bernardo
To a wrinkly like me, it’s not just police officers who look ridiculously young. I caught an Early Ghost gig recently in Brighton, and they are very talented eleven year olds (well, they looked it!). All multi-instrumentalists, their recent EP is a wonder. They are as comfortable acoustic as electric.

New Model Army – Marrakesh
New Model Army – Vagabonds
Perhaps a little different to what I’m usually linked with, I have recently met someone who is a big fan of this band and so I’ve been listening also and these two tracks particularly made a mark on me. I think they’re brilliant and have burrowed into my psyche. Don’t worry, I still like Gene Vincent!

Please send submissions to earworm@tincanland.com – thanks! It’s that time again when I mention that the cupboards are getting bare. So if you don’t want a bishbosh-heavy selection of Kylie and Girls Aloud next week… As if I would! Or would I?

Old folkers – Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick 70th birthday tour

Many thanks to Daddypig for alerting me to a gig at Holy Trinity Church in Leeds last night, (part of Carthy and Swarbrick’s 70th birthday tour).

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that they are two amazing musicians. They have been performing together since the mid ’60s, and have been involved with numerous projects and bands at various stages, including Fairport Convention; the Albion Country Band and Steeleye Span, to name a few.

I met Daddypig and his friend Terry (champion of the Guardian’s Notes and Queries) at the appointed time, in what has to be one of the mini-est Spill socials ever. We took our own beer – it was surreal sitting in a pew in a beautiful 300-year-old church and cracking open a bottle of Hoegaarden. Considering the status of the performers, the audience was small, and we had a whole pew to ourselves. It’s not often you see two folk legends checking tickets and manning their own CD stall!

The acoustics were excellent; the opening number was “Sovay“, followed by other classics including “The Death of Queen Jane” (above), “When I was a Little Boy“, and “The Bride’s March from Unst“, which Dave Swarbrick had great fun in trying to pronounce, with very few teeth. For a man who has survived emphysema and a double lung transplant, he is incredible, his playing as fluid and relaxed as ever and a perfect complement to Martin Carthy’s excellent guitar and dour vocal. In between songs we were regaled with tales of pickpockets, derring-do, funnel-web spiders and how to tell the difference between a slip jig and a reel (it’s all in the timing).

They are promoting a new CD featuring live recordings between 1989-1996 (“Walnut Creek“) – check it out, if you’re a folk fan. I’m sorry the audio on the above links isn’t very good.

My thanks to Daddypig for getting the ticket, to Mrs Daddypig for hospitality and Match of the Day, and to Terry for the lift home. Much appreciated!

And we got nothing to be guilty of… (Part 5*)

OMG, it's Rome!

OMG, it's Rome!

Me again! Now, I may be about to shoot a ‘Spill sacred cow (or, more likely, no-one will give a tinker’s cuss**), but… I hate the film “Napoleon Dynamite”. I remember really looking forward to it, expecting something along the lines of, if not Todd Solondz’s “Happiness”, then at least “Heathers”. Or “Clueless”. Or, hell, even “The Breakfast Club”. God, I love “The Breakfast Club”…

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i bet they wouldn’t win

1 when i win the lottery Camper Van Beethoven
2 First Day Of My Life Bright Eyes
3 Code Of The Streets Gang Starr
4 Going To The Casino (Tomorrow Night) Philadelphia Grand Jury
5 Losers Weepers, Finders Keepers Mikey Dread
6 Fruit Machine Homelife
1 Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo Jens Lekman
2 You can lose it Geniuser
3 Card Trick With A Chimp The Victorian English Gentlemens Club
4 Dream Lottery Regular fries
5 Lady Luck Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra
1 Gamble On Ya Boy Madlib
2 Bingo M.I.A.
3 Gamble Your Life Molemen
4 Winners Take All Aesop Rock
5 Easy Winners Cornershop

New Gurrumul!

Those of you with particularly good memories may remember that one of the first (maybe the first) earworms I submitted was by Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, from his debut solo album. My memory’s so ropy I can’t even remember what the song was – Djarimirri, maybe. Well, he’s back with a new album, Rrakala. And if this video is anything to go by, it looks like being as special as the first one.

He’s playing the Barbican on 6 October. I might well go. Let me know if you’re interested in joining me!

Everyone’s A Winner

Echo & The Bunnymen – The Game
Skids – Circus Games
Fall – Dice Man
Rip, Rig & Panic – Bob Hope Takes Risks
Deerhoof – Dummy Discards A Heart

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – The Gambling Priest
F.S.K. – Casino
Gary Clail & The On-U Soundsystem – 2 Thieves & A Liar
Ry Cooder – No Banker Left Behind
Elbow – The Fix

Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke – The Human Game
Crystal Method – High Roller
Add N To (X) – The Poker Roll
Tough Alliance – A New Chance [Juan MacLean Rmx]
Hot Choccy – Everyone’s A Winner

september 2 the ‘B’

a really quick B lists.. randomly picked – it’s still quite chilled before the excesses of Autumn weather – but hopefully not bland….. I only managed to sit at my desk for 20 minutes so isn’t definitive and would be preferable before the new topic is up next time.. hope it’s slightly interesting.. enjoy:

1 Shoegazer

The Upper Volga Corngrowers Co-operative Association Choral Dance Troop Ensemble – (The strange circumstances which lead to) Vladimir and Olga (‘requesting’ rehabilitation in a Siberian health resort as a result of stress in furthering the people’s policies)
One more try for the longest artist/title record. Starts off:
It was a hot September

The hottest I can remember

We put the children in the Lada

& headed for cool climes in Odessa

the rest after the jump
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The Saga of Steamboat Archipelago

Cormorant in upscale neighborhood of the Truckee

Hi, all.  I’ve done a kinda lengthy write up of birds on my local river.  To ease the time here’s a cut I’ve listened to dozens of times this summer while riding my bike.  I’m addicted to my instrumentals playlist for biking. This comes from Renaud Garcia-Fons, who I stumbled upon during the water topic & is now a Fintan household favorite.  See you after the break.


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bish’s latest bolly bonanza (part 1)



As I have doubtless now mentioned ad infinitum, I recently got back from a fortnight in Kerala: a bit of ashramming, a bit of beachbumming, a bit of rooting out new Bollywood tunes… So here, for your delectation, are a few choice numbers, some of which I’ve just discovered and some of which have been languishing on my iPod for a while.

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‘Spill Weekly Song Challenge #18 – Bass lines

(Posted for bethnoir by tfd)

Patricia Morrison with her bass

Here’s a quick run-through of the rules for the weekly challenge:

- no artist can be duplicated in one week, whoever chooses first gets their pick;

- song choices can be duplicated in subsequent weeks with a one-week prohibition;

- next challenge-setter to volunteer during the course of the blog. Go on, you know you want to.

I was listening to a Jimi Hendrix ‘Blues’ album on Spotify the other day and got mesmerized by the bass line Noel Redding was playing on “Born Under a Bad Sign”. It’s the same as the Cream version, but just so groovy I could listen to it forever.


As a bit of a goth, bass lines have always been an important part of a song for me, I even learned a few by the Sisters of Mercy and The Cure, despite my love of lyrics I think songs should be built from the bass upwards.

I’d love to hear songs other ‘Spillers would recommend for their bass guitar lines, or if I am alone in my bass guitar love, perhaps another unloved instrument (i.e. not lead guitar or vocal line) that particularly makes the song special…

New York, New York

New York has been on my mind a lot lately. What with the 9/11 hoopla (which i’m trying to ignore). And because i’ve decided to move back there in the future (hopefully not too distant). Doesn’t matter where i live, New York is the place that always feels like home to me.
It’s been ages since i heard or thought of this song, but it’s the one that’s been showing up in my head these days. (Along with Shattered, of course.) Was going to send this in for an earworm, but i figured it would probably scare off the horses. Came out in 1983, the year i graduated college and when i decided to move to NYC the first time. Nina rocks. This is my favorite youtube comment -

Cocaine is a hell of a drug!

Earworms – September 5

“Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ed Sheeran – The A Team
I understand this caused something of a sensation on release but it passed me by until I heard it in the Co-op (yes, my life is sad)! I was so taken with it that I went home and looked it up – had never heard of Ed Sheeran before, but this is brilliant. He has a lovely voice and the phrasing just works for me.
Ali Munday

The Disconnection Section – They open, they close
We all like to support our musician friends. A mate of mine is doing very well locally with his jazz combo, The Disconnection Section. He plays radiophonic guitar, and I really like this track with its fluid guitar work.

Liverpool Express – You Are My Love
I’d completely forgotten about this until a repeat of TOTP from 1976, and now can’t stop singing it. Mr Abahachi says it reminds him of Barclay James Harvest.
Mrs Abahachi

Laki Mera – More Than You
The first time I heard this bunch was on Radio 2 (a fortunate accident of tuning – I’m still resisting becoming a regular listener to “the light programme”). They played this song and a rather pretty cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” I was smitten. They’re a Scottish four-piece with an electronic bent who sound like they’ve listened to more than their fair share of folk in their time.

Tangerine Dream – Rubycon
Once upon a time, this was the music of the future, and the future was going to be the sort of place where music like this made perfect sense…

A Certain Ratio – The Big E
In my mid- to late teens, this tapped into an almost unbearable yearning I felt. Listening to it now, not all that much has changed.

Please send submissions to earworm@tincanland.com – thanks!


Meet Matilda… She was born on the morning of September 1, rather sooner than she was supposed to be: at just 28 weeks, weighing 2lb 9oz.

Everything is going as well as it possibly could be in the circumstances. She’s breathing on her own, and can cry, yawn, stretch, poo and grip your finger in her unimaginably tiny hands. One of the neo-natal nurses has described her as “verging on the obscenely feisty”, which bodes well for the next few weeks (the next 20 years, maybe not so much…).

She’s in an incubator on the special care unit in Brighton, and will be in hospital for many weeks. It’s not going to be an easy time, but after a rollercoaster few days, we’re looking ahead with hope.

This is the most moving song in the world:

The Oates Field – Wild Oates

I hadn’t heard of The Oates Field and still wouldn’t know of them were it not for a lil’ serendipity. I was due to review another act playing at the Edinburgh Fringe, which unfortunately had to cancel due to illness. The other musicians booked to perform included Alan Oates, and this is his newly released album.

The Oates Field is Alan Oates who writes and plays pretty much everything with Iona Marshall on backing vocals and Chris Lowrie on the drums. Oates is a regular on the Fence Collective’s live scene – a Fife based community of musicians regularly collaborating amongst themselves, moving between folk, indie and electronica.

The imprint of both Fife and Fence is evident lyrically and in ambience on Wild Oates which has a  broad range for what is a pastoral album in the true sense (Oates lives in Leith on the outskirts of Edinburgh). The arrangements are mainly based around Oates’ Lo-Fi guitar sounds but the use of electronica is sparing and effective and the whole album has an accomplished loose feel and open sound.

Life, Fife is an uplifting celebration of the music scene, Nature takes us on a trip to the countryside, Watches muses on the passing of time and has a great groove and The End of The Show which closes the album opens with a soundscape echoing the Boards of Canada. The four tracks are on the player below – please listen to the whole lot.

Llama verdict: a wiggle of both ears, lots of eyelash batting followed by a joyous trot around the enclosure.

Wild Oates is released today

http://www.the oatesfield.com

september the second is it saneshane?

September is a bit of a weird one isn’t it? let’s try some of these:

1 September, Maybe Sleeping States
2 September Endless Blue
3 September Red Stars Theory
4 Miss September Liz Phair
5 Indian Summer The Manhattan Love Suicides
6 The Wind Blows Geniuser
7 Hurricane Grace Jones
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