The Off-White Album

 

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This has been done a million times before but………

When we recently covered the year 1968 in barbryn’s Spillyears series, the subject of The Beatles’ White Album came up. I said that, much though I loved it, I wouldn’t say I loved any individual song enough to pick as a track of the year.

Not everyone agreed with that but it is one of those double albums that (according to convention) could have lost a few tracks and made a much better single album. Or an even better e.p.

I don’t think that’s right. Part of the appeal of the thing is its sprawling, insane mix of rock, pop, MOR, blues, experimental shenanigans and Ringo. Continue reading

Readers Recommend – Songs About Being In Limbo

Well, we have done survival and we did songs about uncertainty some time ago.

http://rrindex.com/topics/uncertainty.htm

If you want to save time looking the uncertainty one up, the resultant playlist was:

It’s Too Soon to Know – The Orioles
I Know But I Don’t Know – Blondie
Who Will the Next Fool Be – Charlie Rich
Hanging On a String – Loose Ends
The Weakness In me – Joan Armatrading
Flood – Tool
Seriocity – The Chameleons
Can’t Be Sure – The Sundays
For Today I Am A Boy – Antony and the Johnsons
What’s Happening?!?! – The Byrds

There’s a bit of overlap but being in limbo is usually something imposed on you rather than simply being uncertain in your own mind. Probably. Not necessarily. Not always. Anyway, interpret it how you will and I’ll try to sort the wheat from the goats. (you did that joke several weeks ago – ed)
If there are, in fact, any songs about actually being in the Catholic Church’s limbo I don’t know about them and I’ll be happy to be enlightened. Songs about other dimensions may well count. Songs about doing a limbo dance will be treated with the contempt I deserve.(you’ve done that one before too – ed)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo

So anyway – we’re off – again. Let the merriment commence. Sharpen your pencils, show your working and ponder the Council of Trent.

Lord Sulaco and Me

honolulu-mountain-daffodils-tequila-dementia-back

This is a version of something I originally intended to post on Facebook. Constant re-editing has resulted in it growing into an article of sorts. It’s by way of a belated goodbye to an old friend. My apologies for its personal nature and my lack of writing ability when it comes to this kind of personal stuff. Musical dates and anecdotes will stand in for emotional sharing throughout. Any chronological errors are due to my faulty memory. I’ve included a couple of links to more reliable witnesses. It’s just a story I wanted to tell in my own way. Continue reading

Spill Challenge No 22 – Covers That Never Were

Ah yes, the rules are the thing – erm…

A new challenge appears every Tuesday Morning or evening – or not.

No song may be chosen twice unless it is.

This week’s challenge is to choose a song that you would like to be recorded by somebody else.

For example it was once suggested in the letters page of the NME that The Smiths’ “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” would be the perfect vehicle for Shirley Bassey in her “I Who Have Nothing” mode.

Elvis Costello always hoped that Frank Sinatra would record “Almost Blue” but no joy there. Chet Baker recorded a lovely version of course.

So anyway, what other cover versions do you think should have happened but didn’t?

Who saw an open goal staring them in the face and said “Oh look, a squirrel?”

Clearly you’ll have to post another version of the same song unless you have mystical powers of which I know nothing.

Now, use your imagination and post songs you love that could have been even better.

Mitch can nominate himself but only if he then goes on to actually record the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_qPTyy4itI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4PKzz81m5c

(memo to self – never agree to do this again)

Spill Challenge no 21 Covers that never were.

Ah yes, the rules are the thing – erm…

A new challenge appears every Tuesday Morning or evening – or not.

No song may be chosen twice unless it is.

This week’s challenge is to choose a song that you would like to be recorded by somebody else.

For example it was once suggested in the letters page of the NME that The Smiths’ “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” would be the perfect vehicle for Shirley Bassey in her “I Who Have Nothing” mode.

Elvis Costello always hoped that Frank Sinatra would record “Almost Blue” but no joy there. Chet Baker recorded a lovely version of course.

So anyway, what other cover versions do you think should have happened but didn’t?

Who saw an open goal staring them in the face and said “Oh look, a squirrel?”

Clearly you’ll have to post another version of the same song unless you have mystical powers of which I know nothing.

Mitch can nominate himself but only if he then goes on to actually record the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_qPTyy4itI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4PKzz81m5c

(I have a nagging feeling that this isn’t going to work – memo to self – never agree to do this again)

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.

So………

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).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/32wx

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.