He Said – She Said ~ The A to Z of Japanese Music – The Letter E ! ! !


I am the letter E and this is my Teddy Bear ! ! !

I am the letter E and this is my Teddy Bear ! ! !

faye1She Says: Welcome back to our almost weekly series about Japanese Pop, Rock, Punk and Indie.  Life and love distracted us from the important things like He Said – She Said, But we are back on schedule again now ! ! !  This week we have a really great variety with tracks from the 1960′s to now and variety of Genres and even a boy band ! ! !  So check out the post ! ! !


He says:

“Life and love distracted us from the important things like He Said – She Said” Speak for yourself, dearie! ! ! 

I have neither ! ! !

Anyway, E, the most common letter in English and reasonably common in Japanese too, fortunately ( what is the most commonly used letter in Japanese ?). Which means there were quite a few artists to choose from. Here are some of them. Continue reading

Truth And Fiction

Many of my favourite films of recent years have been classified as documentaries (The Fog Of War, Cave Of Forgotten Dreams, Inside Job, Beware Of Mr Baker, Nostalgia for the Light, Stories We Tell….) but the one that won the Bafta in that category last year takes the genre into brave, new territory.

In The Act Of Killing, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer puts in front of the camera a handful of the gangster* paramilitaries who helped the Indonesian army torture and kill around a million ‘communists’ in 1965/66. He then encourages them to create fictionalised versions of their acts. Being still highly-regarded by the current regime, they are keen to do so and, being fans of Hollywood films, they use the language of the Western, film noir, the musical and the gangster film.

The result is a devastating, upsetting, mesmeric, often surreal, portrait of corrupted humans who are celebrated and still valued by a corrupt government. It is now available on DVD/Blu-ray and I urge you to see it.

*The label ‘gangster’ is worn as a badge of honour, as it is understood to mean ‘free man’. Hence the use of Born Free in the film.

Continue reading

Buried Christmas treasure

christmas small
I recently received an early Christmas present in the shape of a pen drive loaded with the entire Buried Treasure back catalogue, and as Tom Petty’s radio programme is currently in its eighth season and there are 24-5 programmes per season with 20 or so tracks per programme you better believe that’s a fair old amount of music. I’m currently listening my way through Season Two and I came across this Christmas show which I thought you people might like. He does play two of his own recordings, which isn’t usual, but those of you who don’t like TP&TH can always skip those.

Happy Christmas!

1 Theme Song
2 I Feel OK – Detroit Junior
3 Merry Christmas, Baby – Otis Redding
4 Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5 Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas – Staples Singers
6 Silver Bells – Booker T and the MGs
7 White Christmas – Otis Redding
8 Tom’s Mailbag
9 Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Albert King
10 Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Elvis Presley
11 Merry Christmas – Lightnin’ Hopkins
12 Santa Claus Baby – The Voices
13 Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – Sir Mack Rice
14 The Christmas Song – King Curtis
15 Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
16 Red Rooster – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
17 Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
18 Happy New Year – Lightnin’ Hopkins
19 Christmas Song – The Chipmunks
20 Feels Like Christmas – Al Greene
21 Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/
Auld Lang Syne – Jimi Hendrix
22 Jingle Bells – Booker T and the MGs



Ray Manzarek died last week, he was the keyboard player with the Doors. I never met him but living in LA for 40 odd years I was always conscious of who he was, he was frequently on the air or being interviewed in the music press.
Around 1966 I applied for admission to the graduate program of the UCLA film school and was accepted. At approx. the same time, the Doors who were well known around town as the house band at the Whiskey, released their first album which became a huge hit and was played constantly on the radio. At the film school it was common knowledge that several members of the Doors were using the facilities after hours to edit a film. I never saw them but those in the know had tales of their nocturnal presence. Upstairs in the dept was a long corridor, 60 – 80 ft long, every 6 ft on each side there was a door to an editing room, which was about 6ft by 10 ft with only a 16 mm. Movieola editing machine, a film bin, a chair and a shelf: very basic, very primitive, though from those tiny rooms emerged many works of filmic genius. The word around the department was that there was a student who was a friend of the Doors who regularly signed up for an edit room and then gave them the key. We used those rooms day and night, I was editing one of my films with the radio on the night that Robert Kennedy was shot at around midnight at the Ambassador hotel only a couple of miles away. Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison were the two who were most frequently mentioned as being the film editors; I’ve never seen or read anything about the film they were working on but as usual whenever they’re mentioned, as in this week’s obituaries, there’s usually a line that states they were UCLA film students, I don’t think that’s actually true.
That first album ‘The Doors’ was released in 1967 and became a huge success in the US once the single “Light My Fire” scaled the charts, the album peaked at #2 in September 1967. “Light My Fire” was the first song ever written by Robby Krieger and was the beginning of the band’s success. The other standout hit from that album was ‘The End’, Coppola, another film student at that time used it for the finale of Apocalypse Now.
Here’s a clip from a 1998 recording of Ray Manzarek talking about the origins and the musical evolution of ‘Light my Fire, it’s very interesting how it came to be, particularly John Coltrane’s contribution, the boogie boogie influence and the Bach component, well worth a listen for Spillers.

A little vinyl to clear the air.


Some time back I spent a day digitizing a lot of vinyl, most of which I hadn’t played in years, it was basically much of what we on the west coast were listening to through the late sixties and into the seventies. Finny, another westcoaster,  just posted the Youngbloods on Earworms and and that was enough to send my off to my iTunes file to find some of those vinyl cuts, always loved the Youngbloods.  So here’s a short playlist, I suspect that many of them will be familiar, but you, like me might not have heard them for a while.

I think it’s what those square DJ’s call ‘A trip down memory lane’ or ‘A blast from the past’.

A good way to start a week?

Spill Challenge # ≥ [ x → ∞ ]

Dinosaur Shepherd

Our founder Saint Owsley & Little Ergot

The Asafareans (Ancient Mystical order of the Revered Dinosaur – Lahontan Branch) are once again holding their Memorial Day fundraiser concert at the Fillmore. An over zealous member has booked 11 bands with only 10 spots available. Won’t you, our parishioners, would be parishioners or even barely interested pagans please help us by picking one band to headline & one to go on next years list of hopefuls. Be gentle they’re all great folks &  just want to help others get their freak in order. Remember – Dinos are fond of a large aural space to frolic in so if you have speakers with a large set of woofers it’ll make them smile.  Play thingy on this side to listen to in a blissfully unaware state or play thingy with playlist for those impatient for knowledge on the other side.  Click gently so you don’t disturb the dinos.

Continue reading

Brighton Festival May 2013

The Psychedelic Love Orchestra are back


Forgive a plug but glasshalfempty came down a few years ago and we’re doing it all again. We’re in a new venue this year – All Saints Church in Hove, with a bar running throughout the shows, a new set on Sunday night – The Life Of Brian (Wilson) which is a history of The Beach Boys, and on the Saturday our award-winning concert Pet Sounds/Sgt Pepper for the eighth year running…Friday we’re playing a new improved 1969 Show (best pop of that great year) to support the wonderful thing that is Abbey Road, the last Beatles album (or LP as I prefer to call it). A 16-piece orchestra will bring these timeless albums to life before your very eyes and ears. It’s a thing of wonder and love
see also https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brighton-Beach-Boys/343338702433070

sorry I think those posters are a little small…

There’s always the Sun…

Winter sun through a window in Pamplona (C)lgconnolly

Winter sun through a window in Pamplona (C)lgconnolly

So with all of the excitement in the world of organised religion this week, I found myself pontificating (how apt) about the strangeness of it all. It was prompted specifically by some comment that I read about “primitive religions” worshiping the Sun – and for some reason that really rankled with me… Continue reading

On the Water…

full moonOverWater

I’ve never written a post for The Spill before. Isn’t that shocking? So I thought it was about time I made amends and started chucking the odd thing on over here, as it’s nice to break loose from the RR confines when time permits and do something about what is lighting my fire currently. As I’m still getting used to the vagaries of WordPress, I thought I would just throw something out and use it to work out how to do the techie bits;  so hoping to work those out whilst writing this but hopefully still say something interesting…. Continue reading

Which Cut Is The Bestest?

true love Waits

It may be a song much used & abused by karaoke maniacs, bedroom youtubers, & egotistical pop stars but let us not forget what a phenomenal tune it really is. Cat may have sold it to PP for £30 back in the day – but which version of the three do you prefer? Or do you know of a better one (I have looked for a noisy indie rock version, and failed, but would love it if there was one in existence)?

‘Spill points are available, and there are bonus ‘Spill points if you can explain why Tom Waits is holding a bunny. caption the Tom Waits & bunny photo.


Last week the Guardian had a story about a naturalist field recordist named Bernie Krause, a name I hadn’t heard in quite a while. He used to be a musician in California, possibly the first to see the potential of the Moog synthesizer, he introduced both George Harrison and George Martin to it’s potential. He and his partner Paul Beaver, also a synthesist and Hammond B3 organist, released a series of three albums for Warner Bros. starting in 1970, I bought them all, still got ‘em. Paul Beaver died in 1975.
Following up on my recent Ben Webster post, here’s another, this time it’s Gerry Mulligan featured on baritone sax and it’s from Beaver and Krause’s 1971 album, Gandharva [the celestial musician] and was recorded in Grace cathedral in San Francisco.The title is ‘By Your Grace’. Also heard are Bud Shank on alto, Gail Laughton plays simultaneously two harps and Howard Roberts is on guitar; Krause is on Moog and Beaver plays the cathedral’s pipe organ.
The second cut, from the same album, was also recorded in the cathedral, it’s ‘Short film for David’, that’s Mike Bloomfield and Howard Roberts on guitars and Bud Shank on alto sax with Mulligan on baritone and Laughton again on the harp, plus B&K.
I’ve long thought of introducing the Spill audience to Beaver and Krause, so here we go, hope you think they’re as great as I do.

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

Continue reading

Davy Jones RIP

I can’t admit to ever being a fan of The Monkees but I used to watch it fairly regularly, nonetheless. Corny and as contrived as f**k, but great fun. I suppose Davy’s accent made it more than just an American show, somehow.

And they did have some good tunes (although I’m not sure that had much to do with Davy). But sad to see another part of (my) musical history disappear. He was only 66.

I came across this curio a while ago. Goes to show, you don’t ever know.




Rahou – Fairuz
Song To Woody – Bob Dylan
Kadia Blues – Orchestre De La Paillote
Fever – La Lupe
Love For Sale – Barney Kessel
My Favorite Things – John Coltrane

Grauniad continues to get TP’s age wrong shock

Sigh. Last year when the Graun said it was TP’s 57th birthday I wrote and pointed out it was actually his 60th. Did they take any notice? Nuh uh. I shall have to write to them again. Happy 61st, TP.

Here’s one of your favourite bands playing one of your favourite songs. Present from me.

I’m A Man by the Yardbirds in 1967, with Jimmy Page playing the guitar with a bow – I was hoping Mike Campbell would be using his e-bow in the TP&TH version but unfortunately he doesn’t.

I’m A Man by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2006. Bo Diddley wrote the song in 1955.

tfd’s 20

What? Am I the winner?

You most certainly are, Shirley – congratulations!

Hi ‘Spillers: this is an auspicious occasion (I’m having quite a week in fact), as I celebrate my 20th A-lister on RR. I first got drawn in for Illness, in November 2007, made all the usual mistakes that newbies make, and got my first A-lister the following January. Now, I’m sure you don’t want to listen to all 20 in one go (if at all) so I’m going to do two lists of 10. Here’s the first.

1 I’m The Face by the High Numbers, alias the Who. ‘I Am’ songs, Jan 25 2008
2 Nottamun Town by Shirley Collins and Davey Graham. Surreal songs, June 13 2008
3 Remember (Walking In The Sand) by the Shangri-Las. Songs about memory, Oct 10 2008
4 Ghost In This House by Alison Krauss and Union Station. Songs about ghosts, Jan 30 2009
5 Lord Gregory by Shirley Collins. Songs about social class, March 27 2009
6 Marilyn Monroe by the Ian Campbell Folk Group. Songs about actors, April 17, 2009
7 Complainte Pour Ste Catherine by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Songs in French, June 19 2009
8 The Cruel Mother by Shirley Collins. Cruel songs, July 24 2009
9 However Much I Booze by the Who. Songs about failure, August 7 2009
10 Barroom Girls by Gillian Welch. Songs about hangovers, January 8 2010

Ready for Part 2? OK then:

11 Killing Jar by Richard Thompson. Unsettling songs, January 22 2010
12 The Victory by Steeleye Span. Songs about historical figures, January 29 2010
13 Long Live Rock by the Who. Songs about concerts, May 27 2010
14 The Eyes Of Fate by the Incredible String Band. Songs about fate, September 24 2010
15 The Unquiet Grave by Shirley Collins. Songs about the afterlife, May 26 2011
16 Cherry Red Wine by Luther Allison. Songs about wine, June 9 2011
17 Blue Days, Black Nights by Buddy Holly. Debut songs, June 23 2011
18 The Dark-Eyed Sailor by June Tabor and the Oysterband. Songs about eavesdropping, July 14 2011
19 Barefootin’ by Robert Parker. Songs about dance styles, July 28 2011
20 So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) by the Everly Brothers. Songs about a change of mind, August 4 2011

Well, that should keep everyone amused for a bit!

Coming Across Criss

A few weeks ago, as her Question 31B, amylee asked for an instrumental song we love. I was thrilled at the clutch of warm responses to my choice of Sonny Criss playing I’ll Catch The Sun. The idea fermented to follow this up with a post celebrating the alto saxophonist, principally to give you a few more examples of his playing. This is what I’m doing here but it occurred to me that I’ve been trying off and on for 23 years to tell the world about Sonny Criss and thus the influence his voice has had on mine is also something I want to consider. As a result, I’m supersizing my blogging by twinning this post with one on my own blog, contemplating the literary issues that unspool from my Sonny Criss fandom.

This is a brief and not at all comprehensive primer, courtesy of YouTube, of my favourite instrumental voice in jazz. That’s an accolade that requires some clarification and contextualisation. There are, if we are to give these terms any meaning, ‘greater’ jazz musicians than Sonny Criss. Quite apart from anything else, Criss was one of the legion alto saxophonists who were turned onto a style of playing by Charlie Parker. There’s a reason we call the likes of Criss, Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderley, Jackie McLean, Sahib Shibab and more post-Bird saxophonists – it’s not to their detriment that they stood in the conceptual shadow of someone who, to all intents and purposes, made the music new again. You don’t look to Sonny Criss for game-changing innovation. He wasn’t pulling the blues inside-out: he was playing them straight, sultry, smoky and spine-tingling, as here in Black Coffee:

I bow before Mingus, Monk, Ellington, Carla Bley, Sun Ra and plenty more jazz composers before I think of Sonny Criss. But just as I can hear most songs better when they’re sung by Ella, Sinatra or Sarah Vaughan, Sonny could play a song lyric to the same level of perfection of those vocalists. Here he is on Charlie Chaplin’s Smile and Jimmy Webb’s Up Up And Away (links via text to save screen space).

Nor did he move with the times in the manner of Miles Davis or, more recently, David Murray. Things funked up a little in the seventies but the sound that soared over the top of the groove was still that wondrously fluid, human heart-tugging voice, as here in Cool Struttin’ .

Sonny Criss works for me as instantly as the voices of those I love most in the world. I’ll rave about and dance to and revere and be inspired by countless others but Sonny’s notes trigger a thousand awakenings in my brain and across my body. I feel encapsulated by the sense of mortality and intoxicated by the desire for joy that I hear throughout the dozens of his recordings I own. I want to line up loads more for you to enjoy but I’ll leave you with just this, and embed it so it doesn’t get overlooked and by way of a birthday gift to steenbeck, a captivating God Bless The Child:


A gallery of posters for events promoted by The Family Dog back in 1960′s San Francisco has recently appeared on  the Grateful Dead’s website. The posters were made by the ‘San Francisco Five’ - Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse and Wes Wilson – and are prime examples of the groovy artwork of the day.

Here’s the link (via dead.net): http://www.dead.net/family-dog-gallery?eml=dnb/061311/galleries

If you click on an image, the whole thing goes fullscreen. Drop a tab and your brain will follow, er, man.

And here’s a little something to listen to while you’re browsing, from a Family Dog event at The Great Highway on 4th February, 1970:

And here, for SpottedRichard in particular, are the Grateful Dead’s sets from the Avalon concert on 12th October, 1968, the poster for which appears in the gallery.

It’s magic, man!

BEATLES ALERT: This post was prepared in a factory that handles Beatles music. If you suffer from Beatles allergy, look away now.

Many of you will remember the contributions of magicman, and he is missed on RR by many of us. Some of you will be aware that he is a renowned film and TV actor, based in Brighton, and that he is also a leading light and prime mover in the Brighton Beach Boys, a tribute band. They have been going for ten years, and for the last five of them, have staged an annual award winning Brighton Festival event, Pet Sounds versus Sgt. Pepper. This involves them playing both albums in their entirety, to a packed church in Kemptown.

Given the studio-complexity of both albums, they enlist the help of the Psychedelic Love Orchestra, to provide string and wind back up.

I love Brighton Festival, and took the opportunity to see magicman in action, and enjoy a brief chat with him about RR/spill, Dorian, African and black American music, and the pleasure he gets from being in the Brighton Beach Boys. In an ensemble 15 strong, he is the only one who is not a professional musician, but you wouldn’t know it from his dexterity on sax, keyboards and vocals. I enjoyed meeting and chatting to him,

I have to admit that this is not normally the sort of thing I go to – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tribute band before, and I’m not into nostalgia, with so much great music in the here and now. I felt a bit like my gran going to see Vera Lynn do wartime songs when the war was a distant memory. But having said that, I enjoyed the evening immensely in a guilty pleasures sort of way, and the band do a great job. And the audience was drawn from all age groups, not just wrinklies like me!

Here’s a few clips I took at the gig for your delectation (magicman is the one in the hat, and then hatless for ‘Within you, without you’). Given that the venue was a church, we start fittingly with ‘God only knows’. The second youtube is a short vid from LatestTV, with magicman talking about the band.

Gratefully Dead

Eric Burdon and the Animals – Gratefully Dead

Stumbled on this rare slice of psychedelic acid garage punk funk rap whatever and still can’t stop listening to it. Released as the B-side to San Franciscan Nights in the UK only. Can’t find any lyrics. Can’t find any other info on it online. No idea what the overlapping vocal track is. What i do know – thanks to this article courtesy of our intrepid Dead expert (thanks, Chris) – is that Eric and the Animals took the stage and did a set with the Dead’s equipment on March 26, 1967, and this song seems to be recorded soon after that show. I can’t imagine why they didn’t give this song a wider release, it’s the best thing i’ve ever heard in my life. Any further info on the song very welcome.