A few years ago I did occasional posts of some of my favorite albums from my vinyl collection, generally they were from the 1960′s/70′s. The advent of so much great music on YouTube prompts me to try again, this time with a single YouTube selection which will hopefully point you towards more offerings at YouTube or to Spottify if you want more. I have several on my desktop so if this works I’ll keep it going with a rather diverse set of selections, all favorites from long ago.
The first is a showcase for one of my all-time favorite guitarists who sadly didn’t stay very long, another victim of the needle at an early age, his name, Michael Bloomfield, he’s joined by Elvin Bishop and the the album is East West by the Paul Butterfield Blues band.
The title cut East-West is a remarkable oddity. On the one hand, it was a ’60s pop-music hybrid, combining the disparate musical styles of blues, jazz, modal and Eastern musics in a way that appealed to rock listeners. On the other, it was a virtuoso display that challenged the very notion of “popular” and pushed the limits of how pop music was heard. In some ways it bears comparison to the Miles Davis album, Kinda Blue and Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, both of which challenged standard musical ideas.
The piece was recorded in the summer of 1966 in Chicago at Chess Studios, the personnel were:
There’s that moment, in the career of almost every artist or group*, when it becomes unmistakably clear that something has gone wrong and it’s all downhill from here; the magic has been lost, they’ve forgotten exactly what it was that made them great in the first place. The concept of jumping the shark may have first been applied to tv series, but it applies to music just as much. It’s the moment when the singer gets religion and starts making unfortunate pronouncements about homosexuality. When the songwriter who made his name with gritty street-level realism starts writing songs about the difficulty of finding trustworthy domestic staff. When half the original members of the group have left, and they’re reduced to playing the bass player’s free-form jazz number. Continue reading →
Doctor Pablo & Dub Syndicate – Man Of Mystery
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & Dub Syndicate – Secret Laboratory (Scientific Dancehall)
BEF & Billy MacKenzie – The Secret Life Of Arabia
Young Galaxy – Cover Your Tracks
Mercury Rev – Secret For A Song
Wave Pictures – Secret Garden
Swell Maps – Secret Island
Stereolab – Metronomic Underground
Yello – Le Secret Farida
Venetian Snares – You Discovered The Secret And Juiced It For All It’s Worth
Young Gods – Secret
Mark Stewart + Mafia – None Dare Call It Conspiracy
Up, Bustle & Out – Kennedy’s Secret Tapes
Wolfgang Press – Kansas
Orbital – The Box (Part 2)
Luxúria – Beast Box Is Dreaming
1: Earl Scruggs with Billy Bob Thornton – Ring Of Fire ~ SpottedRichard
Randy Scruggs heard Billy Bob’s album and called him to come talk to his dad about recording a Johnny Cash cover for the album Earl Scruggs and Friends. You may or may not like this “hick-hop” influenced version of the Johnny Cash song, but kudos to Earl for pushing the envelope all the way.
2: Iron & Wine – Belated Promise Ring ~ ToffeeBoy
Iron & Wine are one of the acts that I’ve ‘discovered’ through LastFM’s similar artists feature – I think that Sufjan Stevens was probably the link – and although I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve heard, they’ve never really grabbed me. A bit samey – a bit monotonous – one-dimensional. Good lyrics, good stories but not enough in the musical cupboard for my liking. And then I heard this song and I can’t stop listening to it. It starts off at a good steady pace and just keeps going right to the end, spreading harmoniously melodic joy on its way. Hope y’all enjoy it too..
3: The Wailers – Bus Dem Shut (Pyaka) ~ AlBahooky
I came to the magic of Bob Marley late on and first heard this on the ‘Songs Of Freedom‘ box set. Here he is with Peter Tosh & Bunny Wailer, pre – Perry & Island as The Wailers with a sublime melodic lightness to counterpoint the consciousness lyrics as enlightened by Robert Christigau : ”Bus Dem Shut (Pyaka),” “bus” meaning “bust” and “pyaka” meaning “liar.” - nuff niceness!
4: Tracy Chapman – Subcity ~ bishbosh
Compassion, empathy, a social conscience… All qualities greatly undervalued in rock and pop, IMHO. 20-odd years later, this still sounds depressingly timely.
5. Everything But The Girl – Don’t Let The Teardrops Rust Your Shining Heart ~ Zalamanda
From the lushly orchestral album, “Baby, The Stars Shine Bright“, this always makes me think of a sad and lonely knight whose armour is at risk of rusting – as well as his heart. I love EBTG’s use of lyrics.
6: Aretha Franklin & Mary J. Blige – Never Gonna Break My Faith ~ Tincanman
Not hard to tell why Aretha was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame this spring. This song about struggling to understand a random fatal shooting is the most powerful gospel duet I know.
A big Thank You to everyone who has send in these and other songs. If you have more, PLEASE! Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either email@example.com or a wormhole near you. Thank you.
I first realised something was wrong as I joined the (very long) bus queue in the pouring rain after getting off the hovercraft in Ryde. A rumour ran along the queue that it was taking the buses 6 hours to get to the festival site – a distance of 6 miles. That can’t be true, we thought. But it was, though our driver shaved off an hour by taking a detour via Newport. What had happened was that the first cars into the festival car park had immediately stuck fast in the mud; no more could get in, and the route soon got blocked with traffic for its whole length. We also heard that there were two car ferries circling in the Solent – the police were preventing them from landing.
Five hours later, then, the bus reached the site and I thought my troubles were over. It was dark by then of course, and still raining; and in front of me there appeared a vision of hell – a hill of mud, lit by strings of lights reflected on its shiny surface, up which a host of dark figures with tents and bags were slowly toiling. There was no way of telling how much further it would be once you got to the top. It was a lot further, and I dared not let my suitcase fall. For the first time, but not the last, I regretted my foolishness in not stopping to buy wellies on the way.
Biggie Tembo (guitar + vocal) and David Mankaba (bass)
Inspired by Shane’s revelation that he has a Shona dictionary to assist with Bhundu Boys nominations, and a reminiscent mood caused by turning 50 last month, my thoughts wander to 25 years ago this month, half my lifetime, when I was Students’ Union President at the Cranfield Institute of Technology. Where the *#~* is Cranfield ?!? may well be your first thought.
Well, it’s between Bedford and Milton Keynes, near junction 14 of the M1. It was an airfield, then an aeronautical institute, then a university proudly calling itself an Institute of Technology, and since I was there has given in and calls itself a University. The Students’ Union was a small group of us trying to promote social life and student welfare on an isolated campus dedicated to profitable selling of technology and learning.
My predecessor had revived, surprisingly and successfully, the tradition of the Graduation Ball, and we were not a team to shirk a challenge. We had no hesitation in dedicating ourselves to seeking out the best music and comedy we could afford. Continue reading →
Click On The Picture to see a really HUGE picture. You may even spot TFD in the audience!
You may well be wondering why I am writing a post about the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers concert at the Albert Hall last Wednesday. It was the 5th (or was it the 6th?) that Treefrogdemon has been to since May. The reason is that I went too.
I was curious to see what all the fuss was about, more than anything. (She knows this!) I’ve sort of liked TP&H since the early 80s, in pretty much the same way as I liked Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Hornsby etc… great American R&R, but wondering now whether it’s just a little bit dated, you know? Of course I didn’t particularly know, and hadn’t made it my business to find out, so I went to the concert on Wednesday, to see what the big deal was and why TFD is so enthusiastic.
The concerts have received good reviews in the press. This is not surprising. Tom, Mike, Scott and the rest of the band were consummate professionals and highly skilled musicians. There was not one bum note for the whole 2 and a half hours they played, even when Tom stumbled over a microphone cable; he recovered from that really fast. The set was excellent – lots of hits that I recognised and other stuff too that I did not. I was so impressed with the growth in their sound; the richness and the sophistication that wasn’t there in the 80s. There was no stagnation and no sense of a bunch of aging rockers coming out to thrash out their old hits in a mind-numbing way.
There was also a surprise.
Steve Winwood came out and joined them. Playing guitar and singing Can’t Find My Way Home, then moving over to keyboards to sing and play Gimme Some Loving.
The concert was an absolute treat. Incidentally, Helen Mirren was sitting directly behind us. TFD thought it wasn’t her because she looked too young. I am sure it was (as were Anne-Marie and Brad with us). She’s had work.
Mr P – Are you sure we are cool enough for Shibuya ? ? ?
Tokyo, like all cities has many neighbourhoods and each has it’s own style and character. Of all the neighbourhoods in this vast and crazy city Shibuya is . . . . well Shibuya. It is young, hip, loud, crowded, bright, fun and high energy. There is nowhere else like it and you either love it or hate it. Shibuya is Asia’s capital of cool ! ! ! In the 1990 decade, a style of music particular to this neighbourhood began to develop which took a different and unique direction from the music in the rest of Tokyo and Japan. It used European influences and styles from the 1960 decade rather than the US rock influences. The style became known as Shibuya Kei which just means Shibuya Style. We would like to share some of the wide variety of music that has come from this unique neighbourhood.
To be honest Shibuya sounds like my worst nightmare these days. Busy , noisy full of life and neon lights. I’m more of a “sitting alone in a field” kind of a guy now. When I was younger, though, I frequented the back alleys of Soho and Oxford Circus and I think Shibuya is a bit like that area. Swinging, sophisticated, naughty. A place for the young, the young at heart and , apparently, faithful dogs ! ( eh ? Look, just google “Hackiko” O.K.) . Here then, are some sounds from “Swinging Tokyo”. Hope you like them.
Scratch Perverts – Stand By
Built To Spill – The Wait
Grandaddy – I’m On Standby
Grizzly Bear – While You Wait For The Others
Mystery Jets – Waiting On A Miracle
Lambchop – I Would Have Waited Here All Day
Be Good Tanyas – Waiting Around To Die
Mountain Goats – Wait For You
Tubeway Army – Jo The Waiter
Buzzcocks – Time’s Up
Rogers Sisters – Delayed Reaction
Colin Newman – I’ve Waited Ages
Mark Stewart + Mafia – The Waiting Room
Pama International Meets Mad Professor – Dub I Wait
Twinkle Brothers & Trebunie-Tutki – Milosc Moja [I'm Still Waiting For You]
XTC – Wait ‘Til Your Boat Goes Down
1: Pink Cadillac – Bruce Sprigsteen ~Treefrogdemon
Ever since I heard about Elvis giving away pink Cadillacs to people I have wanted one (and in fact told Matt that when he became a rock star I would prefer one to the traditional house in Weybridge). This was an outtake from the Born In The USA sessions and came out as the B side of Dancing In The Dark. According to Wikipedia the car in question is a veiled pudendal reference; I may say this had never occurred to me and I have loved the song for years and listened to it many, many times. Hmm. Plush velvet seats.
2: Along Came Jones – The Coasters ~ RockingMitch
From 1959, I think the lyrics on this represent one of composers Leiber & Stoller’s finest moments. Brilliant!
3: Happy Virus – Hundreds ~ Zalamanda
Ridiculously upbeat song about the banality of caffeine-fuelled urban life.
4: Miguel Bose – Morena Mia ~ MrsMaki
A lesson in how to write a song about sex without ever actually mentioning it. The imagery and metaphor are as delicate as they are spicy. A sexy song without a hint of smuttiness.
5: Moulty – The Barbarians ~ SpottedRichard
A wacky “triumph over adversity” song, but it’s absolutely true – Moulty is Victor Moulton of The Barbarians and he sang the song.
6: One Vision – Queen ~ DaveSheddi
I would like to say a big Thank You to everyone who is sending in their lovely worms. I had already scheduled playlists through to 2 July, but after that, I am hoping that if you see my songs on the playlist it will only be occasionally for continuity purposes. Please see that as an incentive to keep ‘em coming!
PLEASE! Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either firstname.lastname@example.org or a wormhole near you. Thank you.
I wanted to start with Abahachi’s futile jazz nomination – because that is the essence of this game – waiting in vain for your own pet project to get A listed .. and we all feel WE are persecuted against – the Hip Hop brigade, the Progsters, the Indie Kids, The J-Pop, the punk, the goth .. the etc etc etc
But I couldn’t find a link to add in my playlists So Aba will have sulk as usual !
I don’t expect a bunch of people to listen. (Although it would be nice!) This playlist is mostly to assist Shane with his kindly offered task to do a Spill Waiting Game this weekend. I’ve put together a few songs. Something a bit punkish, something a bit gothish, a little bit of soul, some alt. and some pure pop. I’ve included some newish stuff – so it’s not all 20 to 30 years old.
This time round I’m writing about about 4 lads from Merseyside whose music has gone on to influence bands around the world. Of course I mean the “fab four” – Hockey, Tabby, Bazza, Ant – better known as Instant Agony. I suppose there are other bands I could be talking about, but I can’t think of them just now
I’m in this photo – those are my blue sleeves on the barrier
Talking of waiting…I’ve just realised that it’s now a week since I saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Cork…and I won’t see them again till Monday! Gee whiz, the waiting is the hardest part. So to cheer myself up I’ve made a playlist of the songs they did in Ireland. The setlists weren’t very different (and believe me, I have complained). So I’m sitting here listening to this, and it occurred to me that perhaps some of you might like to listen too. These aren’t the actual performances, mind, but they’re all live recordings (except one) of the songs I heard last week.
So just imagine, if you will, that it’s a week ago in the Marquee in Cork, TP&TH have just come on stage, I am standing beneath TP’s mic stand and my favourite band are playing just for me.
1 Listen To Her Heart
2 You Wreck Me
3 I Won’t Back Down
4 Here Comes My Girl
5 Handle With Care
6 Good Enough
7 Oh Well
8 I’m A Man
9 Something Big
10 King’s Highway
11 Free Fallin’
12 It’s Good To Be King
13 Something Good Coming
14 Learning To Fly
15 Yer So Bad
16 I Should Have Known It
18 Runnin’ Down A Dream
19 Mary Jane’s Last Dance
20 American Girl
And while I’m at it I thought I’d post this week’s Buried Treasure Show, which is specially good (apart from the Dave Clark Five, of whom TP is strangely fond). It’s no. 154. I won’t bother with the playlist, because you can find it on TP’s website – as he will tell you.
“You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…”
I’m not trying to tread on Jon’s toes – I just want the sour tone of RR to stop.
With that in mind you have until Sunday evening to choose waiting songs – no strings – anything to do with waiting… just so those who do not ‘get’ the Beatles can have a fun weekend playing a game.
If you could add links via the Guardian blog box, if you understand what I mean – rather than adding youtube links straight in – (that’ll help if this gets too big) .. I’d like to be able to see suggestions without shutting my photoshop down .. lots of video’s gets too big too quickly. I also want this to be inclusive for those with less powerful computers.
You are perfectly welcome to add a list or do a ‘spill post of songs too.
I’ll be waiting to read through on Sunday night to select a top 13.
Good luck – entertain me – while I jangle my jewellery.
Nobody has posted a challenge this week, so I thought I would take a turn…
I went to a pyjama party on Friday, but this one was a little bit different. Besides our PJs we were encouraged to take our kids (if we had any) and our teddies.
After we had eaten healthily, we all sprawled on soft furniture and cushions in front of the biggest tv screen I’ve ever seen and stuffed our faces with curly wurlies, iced gems, jelly babies, twiglets, dolly mixtures and liquorice allsorts while we watched old cartoons from our childhoods. It was wonderful to see Pogles Wood, Mr Benn, Noggin The Nog, Trumpton, The Wombles, Dangermouse, Bagpuss and Hector’s House again. And the bestest of them all – The Clangers. The little ones were fascinated by these cartoons from another time and even though it was way past their bedtimes, none fell asleep.
Noggin The Nog
The cartoons reminded me of some of my favourite songs from my childhood. The challenge this week is to find a clip for one of your favourite childhood songs and to maybe tell how old you were and if you can remember, any memories you have of that time.
UPDATE: Is anyone in the mood to set next week’s challenge? The first person to volunteer gets a tube of ‘Spill points and a gold star.
Since Manuel Göttsching’s E2-E4 is one of the Spill’s unofficial anthems, after a whole series of us were converted to it by FrogPrincess, it stands to reason that there might well be people here interested in what he’s up to at the moment – or, as in my case, open to being made furiously jealous at the news of a concert that they have no chance of attending. I’ve been asked to post the following by Christian Wheeldon, who very modestly mentions his forthcoming biography of the great man at the very bottom of the post…
Saturday 23rd June, 9pm
This live date presents a rare opportunity to see Manuel Göttsching performing E2-E4, his seminal classic of electronic minimalism at Mönchengladbach’s famous Museum Abteiberg. Continue reading →
There was no water, but the fountain was still very pretty
Last Friday, after I’d checked into my hotel in Cork, I went for a bit of a wander round the town until it was time to start looking for the venue for the gig, and I discovered the English Market. (That’s ‘discovered’ in the sense of Columbus discovering America, of course, since lots of people already knew it was there.) It’s a covered market that somehow winds its way behind the ordinary shops – there are at least 3 entrances that I found and there may well be a few more. And it’s a place of many gustatory delights.
Bread stall in the English Market
I didn’t buy anything that first day, even though there was a man on one of the stalls frying potatoes, which looked lovely, and a sign behind him saying Potatoes and Sausage 4 Euros. But I had had such a huge breakfast in the Dublin hotel that morning that I really wasn’t hungry. I knew I was only going to get a ‘mini breakfast’ at the Cork hotel the next day so I decided to come back to the market after that – there would be time for a second breakfast before I caught the bus to the airport. Instead I went in search of the venue, which doesn’t have much of an internet presence (for instance, there’s no map showing it), and was surprised when I found it that there was no queue there yet, although it was 3 o’clock by then; so I started one, and was subsequently interviewed by the local radio station and achieved my aim of being leant on the barrier immediately below TP’s mic when the gig started. But I’m not talking about the gig here, of course. This is about the market.
The next morning I found that the hotel’s definition of a mini breakfast wasn’t the same as mine and I was once again not hungry when I turned up mid-morning at the English Market again. I had hoped that my appetite would’ve returned, but it hadn’t, so the potato and sausage man had no business from me. I bought some white chocolate buttons from the chocolate man, though, and sat down in the cafe with a coffee till it was bus time…Incidentally the coffee I had in Ireland was (nearly all) wonderful, even the kind provided by Aer Lingus.
Though there were stalls with all sorts of food in the market, the majority were of interest to carnivores only, especially fans of chicken and fish. (They didn’t even have that much fish in Kirkcudbright!)
Tripe and burgers
Several of the stalls had tripe. On this one there were also ready-battered burgers. I was not sorry to have to leave both those things behind. I walked along to St Patrick’s Quay and sat down at the bus stop, only to find I’d left the chocolate buttons in the cafe. Well, they’re bad for you anyway. And at the airport they had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
Too many ready to call it a day Before the day starts
1: Swarrrm – Pain ~ Panthersan
I realise that Japanese grindcore may not be immediate Earworm material, but I played this LP a few nights ago and the bluesy riff that runs through this track has been in my head ever since. Don’t forget to play it LOUD……or perhaps cover your ears and hide behind the sofa!
2: Curved Air – Backstreet Love ~ Severin
Much though I love Sonja’s recent adventures into ambience (aka Mask) I do find that this song takes me back to the age of thirteen and that performance on Top of the Pops. I saw the revamped version of the band in London recently and they can still send shivers down your spine.
3: P.J. Proby – Nikki Hoeky ~ SpottedRichard
Jim Ford wrote this song. Although it’s been covered by Aretha Franklin, Bobbie Gentry and others, this is my absolute favourite version. P.J. Proby rocks!
4: Scarlet Fantastic – No Memory ~ Zalamanda
Apparently this song’s parent album was rereleased last year, “due to popular demand” (I’m happy with my vinyl copy). This – the hit – is easily the pick of the record. Upbeat 80s pop-rock, slightly cheesey, sufficiently alternative/indie in feel to belie its PWL source.
5: The Housemartins – Flag Day ~ bishbosh
Is it juvenile of me to want to play this VERY LOUDLY every time I hear the words “Diamond Jubilee”?
6: Darden Smith – Little Victories ~ SweetHomeAlabama
Texan Darden Smith had one of those careers that never seemed to fit any defined radio format. After recording country in the ’80s, his biggest hit “Loving Arms” was lite rock, and “Frankie and Sue” was a perfect retro-pop song that became an unlikely college radio/alternative hit and reads like a romantic comedy just waiting to be made.
PLEASE! Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either email@example.com or a wormbank near you. Thank you.
If I’m not mistaken, today is not only your birthday, Maki m’dear, but a big and important one. So here’s some (rather hastily cobbled-together) birthday songs from those of your ‘Spill friends who read my shamefully last-minute email in time!
Mitch thought his chosen track was appropriate now that you have “turned the corner into ‘old codgerdom’”. Tinny writes: “Spain gave us Las Ketchup and we’ve been waited 10 years to give ‘em back. Viene Maki rumbeando!” Carole “knows you like some great plank spanking, so is wishing you a happy birthday with Davy Graham playing the incomparable Anji”. Severin says: “Here’s a peaceful and (I think) beautiful song for a chap’s 50th birthday. Nitin Sawhney – Koyal (Songbird). Happy birthday to Maki and, hey, I think I’ve just used up a potential earworm.” Glasshalfempty sends you something Manana-ish from Radio Tarifa. Ali claims that “50 years young is not so bad when you get used to it!” Honest! DaddyPig sends you “a groovy African-Hispanic thing to say Happy Birthday”. Sakura chan has sent something called “Sakura Sakura”, which she maintains is not about her but about cherry flowers. Hmmm. Beth’s not sure you’ll like Pentangle but wishes you a very happy birthday anyway. Bluepeter sent a humorous videoclip that I tried to upload but failed – sorry Peter and Maki, my technical skills have let you down… T’other Chris says: “I suppose Spain is more in need of wads of cash than sunshine but I hope you like this version of ‘Here Comes Sunshine’ that Jerry & co delivered back in 1973. The voices aren’t perfect but the music is suitably sweet and warm. May your next 50 years be filled with little joys like these.” And Amy brings us back to old codgerdom, saying: “Happy Birthday to Mr. Maki, and many more!”
And, quite frankly, SO SAY ALL OF US! Have a good one, my lovely friend.
UPDATE: Now with added DsD, who says: “Happy Birthday Maki. As the lyrics of my contribution say, “May your days be golden”. Hope to see you very soon. Rich C. / DsD”
PS: All tracks (plus bluepeter’s vid) now in the Dropbox!
Brian Jonestown Massacre, PIL, Walkmen, Heartless Bastards, Mystery Jets, Soulsavers, Diablo Swing Orchestra*, Savages, Japandroids, PS I Love You, El-P, Lower Dens, Whitey*, TV Girl*, Alt-J*,Regina Spektor, Imagined Village, Marissa Nadler, Here We Go Magic
What a wonderful idea (click & select Cassette From My Ex)! I’m betting it will connect with ’Spillers given our love of poking around in others’ music collections and tendency (given our predisposition to geekiness) to get dumped.
So, is there a song in your collection you still cling to like a pathetic wretch BACKSPACE that was too good to throw out with the bathwater, so to speak?
As closely on topic as possible with only Carter having a little dig and some childish dropping of trousers – here’s my rich tea party – Enjoy:
1 Nowhere Fast The Smiths
2 Stuff The Jubilee (1977) Carter USM
3 Queen Anavan
4 Queen Drum (Henning Fürst Remix) Young Galaxy
5 When Will I Be Queen? Bearsuit
6 Dragon Queen Yeah Yeah Yeahs
1 Queen Black Acid Menomena
2 Kings & Queens Apostle Of Hustle
3 Good Love Bat For Lashes
4 Saltwater Queen The Battle of Land and Sea
5 Rook To Queen’s Pawn Six Fujiya & Miyagi
6 Queen Of The Savages The Magnetic Fields
7 Vogt Dig for Kloppervok The Books