In 1956 I was living in Suffolk; I had subscriptions to both the MM and the NME and one of them reviewed an LP by Joe Turner, it was titled ‘The Boss of the Blues’ on the Atlantic label. It was such a rave review that I immediately bought a copy and it was indeed as good/great as the reviewer said it was. If I had to choose a top 10 from my entire collection of records this one would definitely be in there.

 A little background: When the ban on American musicians performing in England was lifted in the early 50′s the Count Basie band was a regular visitor, they probably came at least once a year, sometimes twice. I loved the Basie band and went to see them whenever possible, consequently I was familiar with all of the musicians. It turned out that the backing band on the Joe Turner album were almost all Basie-ites so for me that was a double treat, the king of Kansas City blues plus all those guys I’d come to love. 

 Just a word re. Kansas City; when the US Navy shut down the brothels in Storyville in New Orleans in 1917 they eliminated the places where all the jazz musicians worked, hence they all hit the road, highway 61 heading north for NY, Chicago, LA and Kansas City. Each city absorbed them and there they evolved different styles of jazz in each, Kansas City being perhaps the most unique. Kansas City jazz is more blues based and more swing oriented than any of the others and it has the longest list of superstar musicians who started life there; they include, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Count Basie, Jimmy Lunceford, Pete Johnson, Ben Webster and dozens more, it was the most fertile jazz source in the country and in 1936 Columbia record producer John H. Hammond launched his career by discovering Kansas City talent starting with Count Basie who he heard on a radio broadcast from a KC club.

 Another side note, Robert Altman was a fierce Kansas City jazz fan, in 1996 he produced and directed a great film which is totally based on the KC jazz scene of the 30′s, well worth seeing, it’s title, ‘Kansas City’. It was nominated for a Palme d’Or. Plus In 1979 there was  a documentary film starring Basie and  Big Joe Turner, and featuring many performers from the original era. It’s titled ‘The Last of the Blue Devils’. If you haven’t guessed by now, Kansas City jazz is the style I’m most addicted to and what much of my vinyl jazz is comprised of.

 So when I departed England for Los Angeles in 1958 I packed just a few personal belongings, my LP’s and about a dozen books on the subject of jazz plus whatever clothes I had. Boss of the Blues was absolutely included and it’s still played fairly regularly and the books are still on my bookshelf.  Many years later, possibly in the early 80′s, I met Joe Turner and I asked him to autograph my album, he did so with a black felt tip, right across the cover BIG JOE TURNER FROM KC. He died in LA in 1985 and I went to his funeral as did several thousand others.

 It came as a huge surprise to recently find several cuts from the album on youtube, though as the poster commented it is very rare and almost impossible to find so rather than my usual post of one cut I’ll post three.

 Here’s Joe Turner, The Boss of the Blues and here he sings Kansas City Jazz.

The personnel are:






Tuesday Challenge – Number 3.01 – Meet The Band ! ! !

Okinawan girl rockers Streropony

I think this is going to be a really tough one for you ! ! !  

I was listening to  More More More which is the latest album by Stereopony and the opening track is called Introduction.  It is a short track where Ami (the singer and guitarist) just says a few words about the band in English.

So I started to think about it and I have only 3 tracks where the bans introduce themselves.  One other Japanese track  and one English.

So I think this will be a tough challenge for you.

What are your favourite Meet The Band tracks ? ? ?

Here is Stereopony with Introduction:

The Race

John Schroeder Orchestra – But She Ran the Other Way
Edwyn Collins – Running Away With Myself
Cabaret Voltaire – Runaway
Yello – Who's Gone? ("Who's Groove")
Shriekback – Running On The Rocks
Gary Clail & On U-Sound System – Escape [On The Mix]
Bim Sherman – Run Them Away
African Head Charge – Run Come See

Vivian Girls – Where Do You Run To?
Heartless Bastards – Runnin
Boxer Rebellion – The Runner
Thee More Shallows – Fly Paper
John Vanderslice – They Won't Let Me Run
Tiny Ruins – Running Through The Night
Ambrose Tompkins – Running On Grass
Tindersticks – Running Wild

running up that ‘spill

1 Run Tings Inner Terrestrials
2 Running From The Thoughts Dub Pistols
3 Running On Empty Honkeyfinger
4 Run Boy Run Dudley Sibley
5 Running two* Run Lola Run
6 The Runaway (feat. Elle. J) UNKLE
7 Dog Run De Phazz
1 Hare And The Tortoise HMS Ginafore And King Creosote
2 When I was Running Out of Time Joseph Arthur
3 Must Land Running Stepdad
4 Run From Safety Octoberman
5 Knock A Door Run Arctic Monkeys
6 Time Runs Too Slow Downdime

Earworms 30 July 2012 Mystery Edition

Just give me a glass of wine and a clock that tells no time,
Some cigarettes that’s all my company.

This week, at DarceysDad‘s suggestion, you might like to have a little fun guessing who submitted each of these worms.

Wormers,  you know your own but you will need to comment on them  otherwise you will give yourself away – and if you would like to pop back before Sunday morning to identify yourselves, please do so, or I’ll do the big reveal on Sunday afternoon.

There will be lovely Spill Points for the person(s) with the highest number of correct guesses.

1: The Distortions – Behind My Wall ~ ?

A group that endured in one lineup or another until the late 1970s.  This was their closest to a national hit, on a major label.  A departure from their garage rock style, this was twee psychedelic pop with faux Brit accents.

2: The Pogues – I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day ~ ?

Oh, I love Shane singing in the Pogues as much as the next non-Irish person might; but this one – with Cait O’Riordan taking lead vocals – is a special treat from Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (as far as I know it’s never been anthologised). With a voice that is clear, sweet and decidely feminine, Cait declares herself to be “Jock Stewart”, the eponymous rare fellow. And you believe her. She *is* Jock – generous, charming… but could you trust him?

3: Rita Pavone – Heart ~ ?

Rita Pavone’s 45 was in a box I was going through and I remembered I loved it and still do.

4: Breathe – Hands To Heaven ~ ?

Here’s the song that ISN’T Fiction Factory’s Feels Like Heaven, but which fights for the same memory space in my head whenever FF are mentioned, making it an ‘earworm par excellence‘! And yes, despite it being complete treacle, I like it!

This is a NYC teen I rap with (go me, huh?) who has more musical ideas than the rest of us put together. He makes Common seem, well, Common. It’s a kid doing stuff from his bedroom who has no clue how good he is.

5: BlaZe – Autumn, Winter, Spring ~ ?

A young man making music who has no idea how good he is.

6: Pink Floyd = The Crying Song ~ ?

Neither psychedelic Syd nor grumpy Roger, this is  an example of Pink Floyd’s softer side. This song gets lodged in my head from time to time, I was making a compilation for a friend who wasn’t very familiar with the band and thought it showed a different aspect of their sound.

A big Thank You to everyone who contributed worms to this playlist and/or  sent them to the wormbank. Do you have more to share?  Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either or a wormhole near you. Thank you.

He Said – She Said – Our Current Favourites ! ! !

Read this post or we shoot the puppy ! ! !

She Says:

We wanted to make a post to share some of the tracks we are listening to just now.  Of course when it is Mr P and I, you know there will some surprises and also some artists  you can probably predict.  We had a lot of fun writing it and we hope you enjoy the post ! ! !

He says:

This week we have chosen some of our favourite “up to the minute” ( more or less) artists to share with you. We hope these give a little taster of what we cool, trendy young folks listen to when drinking our Horlicks. I hope you enjoy them.
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Back in the early ’60′s jazz was my music of choice and had been for near twenty years but as that decade progressed I found myself ignoring jazz which was becoming stilted and repetitive in favor of the newly emerging ‘pop’. There was so much creativity in so many of the new pop groups that I wound up becoming seriously addicted and spending a lot of time in the various LA clubs that featured all the top groups; it was a brand new music compared to the rock’n roll of the earlier Bill Haley era. That pattern continued ’til the early ’70′s. Throughout that period I was a grad student at the UCLA film school and consequently I was regularly seeing just about every foreign film that was released, French, German, Swedish, Italian, English, Spanish, the lot! Until one day my local Art theater advertised that the following week there’d be a Jamaican film, hell, I didn’t even know that they made films in Jamaica but of course I went to see it.
It was ‘The Harder they Come’, a film by Perry Henzel and featuring Jimmy Cliff; I absolutely loved it, I thought it was the best film in recent history! And on top of all that it had a fabulous musical soundtrack, something new to my ears, Reggae!
I became an instant obsessive, not just of the music but the whole culture. I found LA’s Jamaican community and started buying my records in their shops and eating in their restaurants and I also started visiting Jamaica, in short, I was hooked!
And then six months later the Wailers released their first album, ‘Catch a Fire’, that did it, my days of listening to jazz and pop were basically over, or at least substantially reduced, from here on and for the next twenty odd years my life changed, I became a total obsessive regarding all aspects of Jamaican culture, frequently visiting there, photographing and writing about every aspect of it, the music, the art, the literature, the language, the history, everything! The majority of the creative people that I met were either full on Rasta’s or were very sympathetic, Bob had made Rasta acceptable and apart from the religious component I found myself very much in agreement with their philosophy, several of my Jamaican friends used to call me Tony, [Toe-en-ee] Him a baldhead rasta!
So 1972 was a very dramatic fork in the road for me and this week I have two youtube musical choices, the first is from the film The Harder they Come, it’s ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ by the Melodians and the second is the Wailers, the original Wailers, Bob, Peter, Bunny, the Barrett Bros and Wya, all assembled in the BBC studio to record a clip for ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’, the song is from their then new album Catch a Fire, it’s Concrete Jungle. A classic piece of film, look how young Familyman is, I saw him last year, he looks like me now.
In later years I was to meet and spend time with both Perry Henzel and the Wailers in Kingston, some years ago I wrote a piece here about my relationship with Basil Keane who played the roll of Preacher-man in the film, very interesting times and this music’s bringing it all back home. Such happy and interesting days.
If anyone hasn’t seen the film I noticed that youtube has it, it’s well worth a look and Spotify has both the soundtrack album for ‘The Harder they Come’ plus the Wailer’s album ‘Catch a Fire’, also both worth a listen.

Spill Challenge #50ish – Songs You Love That They Won’t Play Or That You Wished They Wouldn’t Butcher

No Self-Sacrifice aka I Ain’t Playin’That No More…

“We’ll play anything you want to hear – as long as it’s not Whiskey In The Jar”

The weary words of Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott came to mind on Saturday.

I was at the Madonna gig at Murrayfield with a bunch of friends. We all got free tickets which were being handed out like Hard Candy the week before – it was far from a sell-out. I asked them which song they would really like her to play but – surprise, surprise – none of them were indulged by Her Madge. Instead we were treated to the rotting carcase of her latest magnum opus – a mildly entertaining but visually dazzling spectacle. What most would consider to be her best material was completely ignored or visually incorporated in sample length snippets while The Old Girl went off for yet another costume change.

We’ve all been there haven’t we? Finally getting to see your favourite band or artist and then – the temerity of them – being denied a performance of their best song, or worse still hearing it butchered in a flippant new arrangement. Here’s your opportunity to name and shame the blighters and give them some long overdue payback.

To kick things off I give you Air – Kelly Watch The Stars . I have seen them thricely and they have botched it on each occasion by speeding it up and turning it into a prog rock drumfest. While seeking a suitable link I note that since I stopped going to see them they have reverted to the original arrangement – the feckers!

So entries please – on the back of an old ticket stub – and embellish them as you see fit with video links, but please don’t embed the video or pepl wid iBits will get very ;-(

All That Glisters

Mountain Goats – Golden Boy
Jazz Butcher – Girls Who Keep Goldfish
Country Teasers – Golden Apples
Yacht – I Saw Gold

Barry Adamson – ‘For Your Ears Only’: The Man With The Golden Arm
Devics – Gold In The Girl
Blue Sky Black Death – Gold In Gold Out
Lower Dens – Completely Golden
Departure Lounge – Tubular Belgian In My Goldfield
Band Of Skulls – Dull Gold Heart

Viva Voce – Good As Gold
Beck – The Golden Age
Slow Club – Gold Mountain
Poly Styrene – White Gold
Up, Bustle & Out – Waterfalls of Gold [Dub]
Hugh Masekela – Gold

Music Snob Tees

Riot Season records has been a favourite label of mine for a few years now, it releases doomy and noise type stuff and is the labour of love of a nice bloke called Andy. Well, he seems like a nice bloke, I don’t know him or anything!

Anyway, he has just started a new venture selling music snob t-shirts that I thought might tickle the fancy of some ‘Spillers. There are only a few designs so far, but I suppose more will be forthcoming.

I fancy the doom or krautrock one myself!

Check his website for what there is so far!

Earworms 23 July 2012

Pop Quiz: How many athletes can you name who can sing? Here’s one!

1: The Radha Krsna Temple – Hare Krsna Mantra (2010 – Remaster) – BethNoir

There’s something rather comforting about a mantra, isn’t there? Or is that just me and George Harrison?

2: Rachid Taha – Tabla Motown ~ AlBahooky

Here’s a tune from Rachid Taha’s ’95 LP ‘Ole Ole’ which ticks all the boxes for me; North African meets India via Europe/USA – haven’t got a clue what it’s about but that’s irrelevant when it sounds like this : voice + music = groove.

3: Takeshi Terauchi &  Bunnys – Genroku Hanami Odori  ~ HoshinoSakura

I think this is an interesting piece from Takeshi Terauchi.  He was know as The King Of The Surf Guitar and made lots of albums over the years.  This one mixes the typical surf guitar sound with a traditional Japanese dance melody.  I hope you like it ! ! !

4: Sophie George – Girlie Girlie ~ RockingMitch

I love it, but it is one of those songs that once heard, never leaves your head, or what in my case passes for a brain.

5: Miguel Bose- Te Digo Amore ~ MrsMaki

A song about love not a loved one. About how important it is and the effect it has on our lives. Sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter: it gives us life and we are lucky it exists.

6: Jean Sibelius – The Swan of Tuonela ~ GoneForeign

I think of this piece as the Finnish  equivalent  of Lark Ascending, it’s by Sibelius and is based on medieval mythology. What’s unique is the unusual small orchestra it was written for; cor anglais , oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, 4 horns, 3 trombones, timpani, bass drum, harp, and  strings. The cor anglais  [English horn] is the voice of the swan and its solo is perhaps the best known cor anglais solo in the orchestral literature. It’s this assemblage of musical voices that gives it  it’s unique quality. A beautiful piece of ‘mood music’.

A big Thank You to everyone who has send in these and other songs. If you have more, PLEASE send them in!  Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either or a wormhole near you. Thank you.

An Engagement is Announced…

Never let it be said that we don’t bring you the very latest up-to-the-minute pop gossip: Owain and Hari (Angharad) from up-and-coming bilingual Welsh-English folk/electronica duo Trwbador are engaged! That is indeed MrStepAbahachi, and we couldn’t be happier. Here’s a clip from a tv appearance on S4C last year, to whet the appetite for their forthcoming debut album – the wedding comes later next year…

zanxeo and the gorilla’s gold

1 Always Gold Radical Face
2 Gold For The Price Of Silver (Erot Collaboration) Kings Of Convenience
3 Inside The Golden Days Of Missing You Silver Jews
4 Gold Sol Seppy
5 Gold Mine Gutted (Her Space Holiday MIx) Bright Eyes


1 Black Gold Foals
2 Cream of Gold_mix2 Astrid Swan
3 Realms Of Gold Hopewell
4 The Golden Boy Parov Stelar
5 Solid Gold The Golden Filter
1 Calypso Gold Princeton
2 Turn It Gold (Derek Allen Remix) Hestra Prynn
3 Gold In The Fire (We Have Band Remix) Monarchy
4 Gold, Tan, Peach, And Grey Bodies Of Water
5 Attack on Golden Mountain Subrosa
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I’m sure that you all know of the interest in Eastern philosophy and music that existed in the 1960′s, many musicians dabbled in it, some more seriously than others. This week’s album choice from that period is by John Coltrane’s wife Alice, she was a musician also and was a devotee of an Indian Hindu, Swami Satchidananda. This album was dedicated to him and my youtube choice is the title cut. I bought this album in 1970 and became enthralled by this piece, I was so intrigued by it that I spent hours trying to figure out how to incorporate it into a film, with no success. Today with computers that would be so much easier. 

Pharaoh Sanders is featured on the soprano sax and the rest of the musicians are:

 All music review by Thom Jurek

 The CD reissue of Alice Coltrane‘s landmark Journey to Satchidananda reveals just how far the pianist and widow of John Coltrane had come in the three years after his death. The compositions here are wildly open and droning figures built on whole tones and minor modes. And while it’s true that one can definitely hear her late husband’s influence on this music, she wouldn’t have had it any other way. Pharoah Sanders‘ playing on the title cut, “Shiva-Loka,” and “Isis and Osiris” (which also features the Vishnu Wood on oud and Charlie Haden on bass) is gloriously restrained and melodic. Coltrane‘s harp playing, too, is an element of tonal expansion as much as it is a modal and melodic device. With a tamboura player, Cecil McBee on bass, Rashied Ali on drums, and Majid Shabazz on bells and tambourine, tracks such as “Stopover Bombay” and the D minor modally drenched “Something About John Coltrane” become exercised in truly Eastern blues improvisation. Sanders plays soprano exclusively, and the interplay between it and Coltrane‘s piano and harp is mesmerizing. With the drone factor supplied either by the tamboura or the oud, the elongation of line and extended duration of intervallic exploration is wondrous. The depths to which these blues are played reveal their roots in African antiquity more fully than any jazz or blues music on record, a tenet that exists today over 30 years after the fact. One last note, the “Isis and Osiris” track, which was recorded live at the Village Gate, features some of the most intense bass and drum interplay — as it exists between Haden and Ali — in the history of vanguard jazz. Truly, this is a remarkable album, and necessary for anyone interested in the development of modal and experimental jazz. It’s also remarkably accessible.


Earworms 16 July 2012

Me, I’m like Can’t Get You Out of My Head
Annoying at times but I make you wanna dance

1: Tony Mascolo – Night Wind ~ SweetHomeAlabama

A little intro is in order This one sounds like some lost nugget from an early-80s Roxy Music album.

2: Pulp – Razzmatazz ~ bishbosh

I remember buying Pulp’s “Intro” album (on cassette, natch) in about 1994, having never heard anything by them but having read a rapturous review somewhere (probably the NME). The two tracks that stood out for me were “Babies” (later resurrected for “His ‘n’ Hers”) and this. Gotta love a lyric that opens with a mordant couplet about incest, haven’t you? Haven’t you? Oh…

3: Hello Saferide – I Wonder Who Is Like This One ~ Barbryn

“People are like songs,” sings Swedish songwriter Annika Norlin. And when she compares someone to “God Only Knows”, you know exactly how she feels. So, what song are you like?

4: Olivia Chaney – Daddy Oh, I’m Hoovering ~ Severin

Infuriatingly the very talented Olivia Chaney has yet to venture into a studio on her own behalf. She did, however, take part in a CD project organised by Concerto Caledonia. A classical/folkie recording made in one afternoon. This self-written song would be worth posting for the title alone, which refers to only cleaning your flat if a pretty boy is coming round. It does also feature the line “Woke up with bruises on my legs, bad circulation, he said”. Ah, romance!

5: Alan Hull – United States of Mind ~ AliMunday

Here is a song by Alan Hull which appeared on the album ‘Pipe Dream’, circa 1973. I used to have the album which had a Magritte-style picture on the cover, of a man with his nose in a pipe (a play onCeci n’est pas une pipe”, I guess). Anyway, I digress, I had forgotten about this song but it popped into my head today, and I still really like it.

6: Nacho – Forbidden Nectar ~ Tincanman

I DO know it’s terrible. You’re singing it though, aren’t you? With the accent. Before you deny it, “remember that I can rupture intestines with the flexing of my thigh”.


7: Jason Segal, Amy Adams et al, Life’s A Happy Song – Abahachi


Here’s the video  (trailer only)

A classic earworm, insofar as I can’t get the chorus out of my head. I would say that anyone who doesn’t love The Muppets has no soul, but since that includes Mrs Abahachi… Just be thankful that I didn’t send in their barbershop version of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’…

A big Thank You to everyone who has send in these and other songs. If you have more, yes PLEASE!  Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either or a wormhole near you. Thank you.

Fashion Victims

Misty In Roots – Food, Clothes & Shelter
Gary Clail & On U-Sound System – Food, Clothes & Shelter
Tackhead – Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
Cibo Matto – What Are You Wearing?
Fops – Yellow Jacket Corpse
Underworld – Jumbo
Laurie Anderson – Bright Red
Lisa Germano – (Late Night) Dresses

Julian Cope – Mad Clothes
Monochrome Set – Leather Jacket
Mountain Goats – Marduk T-Shirt Men’s Room Incident
Laura Cantrell – Kitty Wells’ Dresses
Damien Jurado – Best Dress
Giant Sand – Wearing The Robes Of Bible Black
Stump – Tupperware Stripper
Primus – Coattails Of A Deadman

clothes maketh the man

1 Muchihwa Bhundu Boys
2 Corduroy BALLET
3 Wearing Influences On Our Sleeve-Lees T-shirts Electric President
4 You’re Gorgeous Baby Bird
5 Up Town Top Ranking Black Box Recorder
1 Iron Shirt Dreadzone
2 Dance Little Rude Boy Ian Dury & The Blockheads
3 Fashion Party (With Chairlift) Das Racist
4 Black Sweatshirt Sage Francis
5 I’ve Got Pictures Of You In Your Underwear Ballboy
6 70s 80s Nightmares On Wax

The Okinawa Actor’s School

The entertainment industry in Japan is really full of Okinawa actors, dancers and singers, and groups.  But Okinawa is the most isolated and poorest of the prefectures that make Japan.  It is a prefecture made of hundreds of islands that stretch from the Japanese mainland for more than 1,000 kilometers south to Taiwan and the population is only 1.3 million people.

So how did such a poor and isolated prefecture become so strong in entertainment?

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C’Mon … it’s LOW, and it’s not sold out, ffs!!

Please forward onto your little black books -
Live Music in Halifax since 2005 :
 Join us on Facebook : Follow us on Twitter
NEXT Friday July 13th at Halifax Minster
LOW + The Steals

Advance tickets £19.50 + booking fee : Buy Tickets Online HERE


LOW will be playing the beautiful Halifax Minster, a 12th Century building steeped in history and a quite winderful venue. The Minster will be candlelit for the evening and there will also be a bar serving real ale, beers, wines and soft drinks. Its a true gem and all who have played there, and the majority who have seen performaces in it are really blown away with the building, its acoustics and the welcome they are given.C’mon is the shortest title of any Low album, which seems fitting, as it also ranks among the most succinct and straightforward entries in their variegated discography. Singer-guitarist Alan Sparhawk has even perfected the “elevator pitch” for C’mon: “Recorded in an old church in Duluth, MN and mixed in an apartment in Hollywood, CA.” But that brief synopsis hides universes. To get to the heart of this album, we must delve deeper into both halves of the creative journey of C’mon.
Comprised of new material written on and off the road, the ten-song set was recorded in a former Catholic church, aka Sacred Heart Studio (where the band previously crafted 2002′s Trust). Sparhawk says Low deliberately seeks out circumstances that will generate challenges and happy accidents, breaking them out of established patterns. “We like to work in situations where there’s a character, whether that’s the time period or who we’re working with. A lot of times, the space can set that tone.”
The Steals

“Mysterious, haunting, heart-breaking and life-affirming, listening to northern English band The Steals is like hearing something for the first time which you just know, instinctively, is going to become a part of your life for years to come….. This is a breathtakingly brilliant album” ….(Phil McMullen) TERRASCOPE
“Static Kingdom is an astonishing record” ….[SIDEWAYS THROUGH SOUND]
“Heavenly, Wild, Lonliness on CD” …BLOOM
“Static Kingdom” is a beautiful album, informed by folky notions that reminisce of travellers and pre-showgazed innocence, washed in electric instruments, equally swirling in echoes”….. [MANCHESTER MUSIC]

More info to be found at

More info and bios available from

Visit us on FACEBOOK, if you want…
The Doghouse and EL CAMPELLO

He Says ~ She Says ~ Hello My Old China ! ! ! Chinese Language Music from 40′s, 50′s, 60;s and 70′s

“But Sakura ! ! ! Why I do I have to wear the ears?”

She Says:

This week we are moving in a new area for me.  We are going to share some tracks from an interesting period in Asian popular music.   I think that the Chinese are a maybe a  little like the Italians of Asia.  They tend to talk  a lot, are very funny, and are very romantic and nostalgic and this is reflected in their popular music.  The 1940 – 1980 period saw a huge change for Chinese speaking peoples.  The war and revolution in China lead to the establishment  PRC of course  but also Taiwan became an independant country and Hong Kong, as the last colony in Chinese territory grew into a wealthy centre for trade and finance for the whole of Asia.  Chinese language music was now developing in three very different environments, but some how there seems to be thread holding it together.

He Says:

China. Still, in some ways, a land of mystery to us in the West. So big, so many people. How on earth can you get your head round somewhere so vast, so different, so ancient ? We’d like to introduce you to some Chinese tunes this week. Many of them heavily “Westernised” and , therefore, somewhat easier on the ear than traditional Chinese music. Hope you enjoy them

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Last Orders

Yello – The Evening’s Young [Rmx]
Irrationals – Boozebottle
Pete & The Pirates – Come To The Bar
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – A Bottle of Buckie
Six By Seven – American Beer
Why? – Me On Beer
David Bazan – Cold Beer and Cigarettes

Kimya Dawson – The Beer
Carissa’s Wierd – Drunk With the Only Saints I Know
Ray Wylie Hubbard – Drunken Poet’s Dream
Opal – Empty Bottles
James Yorkston – Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk
Broken Family Band – The Booze and The Drugs
Titus Andronicus – Theme From “Cheers”
Lucero – Drink ‘Till We’re Gone


Here’s another from my 1960′s vinyl collection, I assume that everyone has  heard this perhaps dozens of time as I have but I wanted a cut that was representative of that period Dylan. Like a Rolling Stone and Desolation Row were both first choices but there are dozens/hundreds more, all wonderful so I poked around with ‘Freewheelin’, ‘ a Changin’, ‘Bringing it all Back Home’ and ultimately I settled on ‘Highway 61 Revisited’. If you were not there you can’t imagine the effect that the release of this album had, it was unlike anything that you see today, the times were indeed a changin’.  It contains so many great songs, all recorded right after the fiasco at the Newport Folk Festival where he ‘went electric’, it contains both of my initial choices, it starts with ‘Stone’ and finishes with ‘Desolation’ but I decided to choose another favorite, “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”, a real slow country blues that relates directly to the album’s title, Highway 61. That’s the highway that runs from Minnesota to New Orleans running parallel to the Mississippi much of the way; there’s a lot of blues connections on Highway 61, it’s also the route that many black Americans took to escape the poverty of the Delta and how jazz migrated from New Orleans to Chicago. 

 Musically, “It Takes a Lot to Laugh” has a lazy tempo driven by session drummer Bobby Gregg, a barrelhouse piano part played by Paul Griffin, a raunchy bass part played by Harvey Brooks, an electric guitar part played by Mike Bloomfield and a harmonica part by Dylan.

By 1965 Dylan was into his sixth album, a huge archive of great music but here I wanted to select just one cut to epitomize that era, an impossible task: which cut would you have chosen?


Spill Challenge – Number Quite A lot – Tracks about Stars and Space.

tanzaku and traditional decorations hanging in trees to celebrate Tanabata

July 7th (or August 7th in Sendai) is the  Tanabata  or  Star Festival, in Japan.

It is a really nice festival with a lovely story about it. The festival is about the gods Orihime and Hikoboshi who were loves but forced to separate and and a river was made to go between them. They are only allowed to see eachother one day a year and this day is the festival of Tanabata.

The gods are represented by the stars Vega and Altair and the river is the milky way and so this why the festival is known as the star festival.

People write their wishes for the year on colorful small strips of papers called tanzaku and hang them on trees with other beautiful traditional paper decorations decorations. They are really very pretty ! ! !  Of course there are processions and usually fireworks and it is really nice time.  Normally I celebrate this festival in Sendai where it is on the 7th  August.

So my Challenge is this:

What is your favourite track about stars and space ? ? ?

Here is mine to start you ! ! !

Yui  - Rolling Star – Live In Hong Kong

Extra Spill points if there is a story with the track ! ! !

Please think about maybe using links to save space.

Earworms 9 July 2012

Open the till
Give me the change

1. Gang Of Four – Damaged Goods ~ Abahachi

The third episode of ‘Punk Britannia’ sent me back to a load of brilliant records that I can’t have listened to for decades. I can’t imagine I’m the only one – although rumour has it there was a football match on at the same time; give me the Marxist disco-punk any day…

2: Moloko – Indigo ~ Zalamanda

There are almost certainly better songs on Things to Make And Do, but this is the one that consistently lodges in my head (I remember it looping insistently in there while I was cycling home from work one long-ago lunch time). And it’s a welcome lodger: it is exuberantly, repetively, glamishly catchy, with sidelong verbal references to past glories of the ’70s. It’s about being in a band, wanting to make it big. It’s metamusic.

3: The Liminanas – Je ne suis pas tres drogue – SpottedRichard

À jour French garage-fuzz with a daft/annoying musical hiccup. I can’t help thinking Serge would have loved it. Yé-yé.

4: Alabama 3 -Up Above My Head – DarceysDad

In their own ace mash’n’rehash style, the A3 take Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s bare call’n’response tune, electrify it, add new-millennial lyrics -”You left your virus in my daughter’s PlayStation, but you ain’t got your hook in me” - chuck in a guitar solo, and Hey Presto, make a VERY happy DsD!

5: Pop Will Eat Itself – Def Con One Including The Twilight Zone ~ Zalamanda

This song is the only reason that I have ever been heard to utter the words, “Give me Big Mac, gimme fries to go”. Catchy, loud, and comin’ atcha from a Funky Town near you. In the 90s.

6: VCMG – Spock ~ BethNoir

The band name is the initials of the men involved and Depeche Mode is the clue. A piece of kind of polite techno which I keep wanting to play again, hope you do too.

A big Thank You to everyone who has sent 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 or a wormhole near you. Thank you.