My heart stops beating for you

Noise ridden wall of sound pop melodies fuzzy skygaze shoegaze hazy days; the Coves record has gone on my shelf next to JAMC, Raveonettes, Mazzy Star and all the rest. There’s a lot more to it than first meets the ear, needs uninterrupted listens in full, and has myriad sparkling & eclectic pop delights. One more after the jump;

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Snug as….

Because The ‘Spill is listed on Hype Machine we get a lot of submissions, which are nearly all awful half baked demos and turgid electro, so it’s a rare treat when I click a link and get to hear something that’s not utter tripe.

So! Well done for not being shit, Mr Liam Finn! And well done for coining the phrase of 2014 “Snug As Fuck”! And well done on the fab video! And well done on your 60s inflected charming psyche pop!

It reminds me a bit of early 90s never-ran Comfort, who performed under the name Out Of My Hair, who released one album of brilliant music and big hair before vanishing into the ether – am I the only one that remembers him?

Blimpy’s Best Long Playing Records of The Year

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In a slight break from tradition, I’m sticking to the vinyl that I bought this year (sorry Crocodiles & Mikal Cronin, your records were great too, I just don’t own them yet!) – Here’s a not-particularly ordered list!

1. “The Bones Of What You Believe”Chrvrches. Unstoppable song writing from these Glaswegians, a pop heart shot through with a bullet of the all important Scots melancholy. Mighty non-cheesy 80s synths abound.

2. “Modern Vampires Of The City”Vampire Weekend. Good golly there’s a plethora of cracking & clever tunes on here, as the VW begin to contemplate their mortality & place in the world.

3. “A Sea Of Spilt Peas”Courtney Barnett. Bob Dylan, Lou Reed & Kurt Cobain as seen through the lens of a slightly bonkers, mildy stoned Australian singer.

4. “Pedestrian Verse”Frightened  Rabbit. The fourth good record in a row from Selkirk’s finest.

5. “Dream Cave” - Cloud Control. Skewed psych-pop from more Aussies (what do they put in their water over there?)

6. “Hobo Rocket”Pond. Heavy deavy psyche nonsense lifting bits of Zep and Bowie, sounds like it was knocked off in an evening. Australian. Bonza.

7. “II” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Tripped out rambling 60sesque psyche pop from a bunch of long haired freaks. Not Australian!!! What??!

8. “Secret Soundz Vol 2″ – Pictish Trail. I think I may have put this in last year’s list too, but as it officially came out this year…

9. “Now That You Are A Dancer”Kid Canaveral. More indie pop perfection from the brawsome foursome, now with added shoegaze & epicosity.

10. “EP 1″Pixies. Not technically an LP, but I did play the heck out of it. 3 amazing songs, one ok song. No Kim. Still a good deal.

I’d be interested in seeing your lists, so if you can’t be bothered to do a full post, please put top 3s/5s/10s/100s in the comments! I love lists!

Sunshine Daydream

I’ve been intending to post something about the GD May ’77 box set that arrived three months ago. It contains some great music (particularly on the more delicate songs) but this week’s arrival has rather put it (almost literally) in the shade.

The official release of the 1972 Springfield Creamery Benefit concert and the film made of it, Sunshine Daydream, is a marvellous thing. A long-available soundboard recording and bootleg copy of the film on YT have hinted as much but the properly-mixed 16-track sound and a beautifully-restored set of visuals confirm it in spades.

Jerry Garcia couldn’t understand why anyone would want to film the band on stage (“We just stand there. We don’t do anything.”) but, with the addition of Prankster animations and copious shots of roasting hippies, the film is a fantastic document of a communal celebration of life through music. For example:


(Warning: contains naked human wobbly bits)

The film shows the final Dark Star/El Paso/Sing Me Back Home sequence, in which a star dies, two cowboys are killed and a prisoner walks to his execution. Whereas much of the show is suitably sunny and joyful, this is not: it is difficult, harsh and desperately sad. Yet also wonderfully cathartic.

This is the end of Dark Star. It is some of the most involving and intricate acid jazz* collective improvisation you’ll ever hear. To watch it being constructed from thin air is a jaw-dropping delight.

*Acid jazz = jazz improvised whilst under the influence of LSD.

So, it is a case of Farewell, Voyager

It was reported this week that NASA’s venerable Voyager I probe has finally left the Solar System and is heading off out into the cold lonely reaches of interstellar space.

Launched in 1977, Voyager has gone further and faster than any other man-made object and will continue to send data back to Earth until its plutonium energy supply runs out in a few decades time.

So, I decided to put together a playlist that is in the spirit of space, the vast unknown, although not all the tracks are actually directly about space travel.

To keep it fun, the playlist is anonymous and therefore, ‘Spill points are available for those of you who can identify what is what.

Another Tuesday, Another Challenge.

Aha, another ‘Spill Challenge. No real theme here this time and Frippiness has been kept to an absolute minimum. I expect that many of these songs won’t be unfamiliar to most people and I hope that there is something here for everyone. Listening back, though, if there is a theme, it is that I think these tracks all seem to work well in our Summer heat.

So, same as always, What rocks your world and what rains on your parade?

01 – Intro/Sweet Jane – Lou Reed From Lou’s 1974 Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal album, featuring the twin guitar talents of
Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, who also played in Alice Cooper’s band.
02 – Black Water – The Doobie Brothers
The hot weather seems to suit the early Doobie Brother’s sound. This one has a languid, zoned-out feel.
03 – Baby’s On Fire – Brian Eno
The Bard of Braininess from his first album, Here Come The Warm Jets. with a suitably incandescent guitar solo by Robert Fripp (his only appearance on the list).
04 – He’ll Have To Go – Ry Cooder
A hit for Jim Reeves, Ry Cooder’s take is a laid-back affair with a Tex-Mex swing, courtesy of the accordion of Flaco Jimenez.
05 – Jacket Hangs – The Blue Aeroplanes
One of the best-known songs from Bristol’s Blue Aeroplanes. This is a band that needs to be seen live because Gerard Langley is a fantastic frontman. They had a non-singing dancer long before Bez came along, fact fans.
06 – Spencer The Rover – John Martyn
A traditional folk ballad given the inimitable Martyn treatment. One of my favourite songs on the album Sunday’s Child.
07 – There’s No Way Out Of Here – David Gilmour
From his first, 1977 solo album, originally recorded by a band called Unicorn (no, me neither) and released as a single, which flopped, probably because of the year. David gives his guitar a typical workout. This album is interesting, because it shows how Floyd would sound once Roger Waters left leaving David in charge.
08 – When Poets Dreamed Of Angels – David Sylvian
A typically atmospheric song from David Sylvian’s Secrets of the Beehive album. I am a huge fan of his solo work and I really think he deserves more airplay.
09 – Song With No Words – David Crosby
A dreamy drifting workout, basically a jam, from his 1971 solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, this features Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Mike Shrieve and Graham Nash. Hippy Royalty, really. Substances may have been involved in the recording of this track.
10 – Dolphins – Tim Buckley
Fred Neil’s song given the Buckley treatment at the Albert Hall in 1968. Danny Thompson on bass, natch plus guitarist Lee Underwood and David Friedman on vibes. His voice was never better, I think.
11 – Naked Eye – The Who
A regular feature of The Who’s live act but not ever an album track until a version appeared on the Odds ‘n’ Sods compilation. This is classic ‘Ooo.

On the Water…

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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

Ear Candy – Break My Heart

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Ok, so you’ve all been good sports and suffered through my Stones lists, rock lists, garage noise, rock / punk heavy A-list, axe wank list, etc. So i thought that as you were all probably dreading my week for the Spill Game, i’d put up something a bit different. Some of you may remember that i have a not-so-secret hankering for a pretty pop tune. So in honor of VD (i was supposed to be next week, but i switched off with DsD), i did a list of some pretty ear candy instead of the usual ear-splitting stuff. You know the drill – toss one or all, or keep as you see fit.

Will that do?

(Look, there are going to be guitars. There just are. It comes with the turf. But they’re gorgeous Byrds-y, Las-y, melodic, reverby, distorty, feedbacky, groovy, and even maybe some acoustic-y. Maybe a bit of saminess at the beginning of the list, but how can you complain when it’s this easy on the ears. Huh? I do promise that there’s nothing like Jimmy Page taking a dump on a Telecaster.)

Happy VD to all!


(Did this the new player way because a) it cut down on buffering problems, and b) makes it easier to find a specific song.)

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Groovy Garage

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Grab bag of groovy garage / punk / psych / indie / powerpop / whatever tunes that caught my ear, now that i seem to be able to listen to music again.

New Black Angels – “Don’t Play With Guns”

The Black Angels: I dig their droney psyche doom pop the most, ya know?

This song is the first inkling of their fourth album, “Indigo Meadow”, which is agonisingly not out ’til April.

The Black Angels’ first album was also my 3rd favourite of the noughties, list fans.

Unrelated, but we are now only 9 posts off the 2,000 mark, so if anyone has any ideas about how to mark this, um, landmark – please say so in the comments. Cheers. 

Black Lips

It sure does warm my heart to hear some young whippersnapper college garage punkers that have done their Stones homework. They don’t have to fake the southern accents either. Here’s a little mini sampler.

Life On Mars

Thought it might be nice to make a little playlist of Songs About Mars to accompany the exciting first photo the Mars Rover beamed back. Not a terribly original idea, there were already a few playlists out there on the interwebs. A lot of the usual suspects – Bowie, T Rex, Coldplay, etc, and plenty of shoehorns. Tucked in among the shoehorns was this new-to-me (am i the only one who had never heard it before?) beauty that only mentions Mars in passing, but any excuse will do to post it. Axe-fucking-tastic.

Jimi Hendrix – The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice

Songs About Gardens: B-List


Songs About Gardens: B-List

The B-list provides an opportunity to compile a list free of the constraints and pressures of the A-List.  To give a hearing to some tunes of choice without the limits of  PC or taste.  So i was a bit piqued to find my choices and list were less varied, less offensive,  and more user-friendly that i had hoped for.  (I used a bigger shoehorn too!)  Almost too damn pretty of a list.  I think Wyngatecarpenter may have put his finger on it – “Clearly this subject brings out a softer side in some of my favourite artists.”  Slim pickings this week for hard rock, metal, punk, thrash, grunge, and hardcore hip-hop.  On the upside – a banner week for 60’s grooviness, earthy blues, psychedelia, folk, culture, goth, indie/alt and J-pop. Continue reading

AOTWs: Special Pre-Re-Release Edition

Coincidentally or not, just in time for upcoming holiday season,  a few albums are up for re-release this month.  Re-mastered, and each with a slew of new previously unreleased bonus tracks.  Most definitely this is a trend these days, and i still can’t figure out exactly what the reasoning is.  More money, certainly.  A celebration of a classic album, a chance to correct what they may have gotten wrong the first time.  Introducing a classic album from musicians whose time has passed to a new generation,  an excuse for a tour.  A service to fans and other interested parties by releasing tracks that didn’t make the album cut.  So maybe it’s worth a review of the albums as they were before tackling the  new incarnations. Continue reading

Drugs Are Bad, m’kay?

But how much poorer would the music scene be without them?

From Louis Armstrong to Tom Petty, Charlie Parker to Keith Richards, Syd Barrett to Lemmy, Lowell George to Fleetwood Mac, a vast amount of great music has been created by those under the influence of marijuana, heroin, LSD, cocaine and other substances that society has declared illegal. Not all of it, by any means, has been great but would Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Sgt. Pepper, Sister Ray, Dark Star and any number of jazz classics have been created by people sipping a glass of sweet sherry or a cup of tea? Frank Zappa famously abhorred them but was he right to keep his band away from them?

All the Grateful Dead music I’ve posted from Casey was produced under the influence of marijuana, LSD and cocaine in various permutations and, for the most part, that does not seem to have affected the performances detrimentally. But in Amsterdam Garcia, for one, got a little greedy and you can hear the effect in his playing in the first set. Most of the licks that he always plays, because they’re part of the song, are bungled or omitted. Yet when he gets past the opening verses of Playin’ In The Band, the music becomes quite sublime (and the Other One performance in the second set is astonishing). So, what do you think? Just say ‘no’?

This is Playin’ In The Band from Amsterdam.

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7/5/72

The day after I’d seen the Grateful Dead at the Bickershaw Festival, my 19-year-old self wrote to a friend describing his impressions. This verbatim extract sums it up:

“They are just sooooo good. Their knowledge of how to play and what to play is so complete and assured – they just change so smoothly from one to the other & back & sideways.”

(L-R: Keith Godchaux: piano, Phil Lesh: bass, Bill Kreutzmann: drums, Bob Weir: 2nd guitar, Jerry Garcia: lead guitar, Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan: organ)

It was a chilly, wet weekend. Luckily I came across some people I’d met recently who had an old ambulance, so I could sleep in relative comfort rather than mud, and when Day 3 came round I wasn’t too bedraggled. I found a position by a scaffolding tower and stood/leant in front of it from around midday. Country Joe McDonald did a set in which we all joined in the Fish Cheer (F-U-C-K N-I-X-O-N), a chap set himself on fire and did a high-dive into a small tank of water (just what the mud in front of the stage needed!) and the New Riders Of The Purple Sage played for a couple of hours. Around 7pm, the Dead took the stage and, apart from a 20-minute break between sets, they remained there for the next 5 hours.

Another quote from that letter:

“I hadn’t eaten, drunk or smoked for 12 hours and had been standing and jumping around for 5 and didn’t feel hungry or anything really – the Dead just filled me in.”

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Les Rallizes Dénudés (裸のラリーズ or Hadaka No Rallizes )

Les Rallizes Dénudés were a legendary Japanese experimental noise-rock band, lead (controlled megalomaniacally might be more accurate) by visionary guitarist Takeshi Mizutani that were active between 1969 and 1996 (there is no evidence that they are officially no more) but only ever put out a few official releases, which were live albums anyway.
Their commitment to staying impenetrably underground and in the shadows (well, the wilds of Northern Japan) and refusal to play the game, marks them as a true cult phenomenon for me (and a few other lonely, socially inept men in their thirties and forties around the globe). That, and the fact that they released some awe-inspiring, way-ahead of their time, truly experimental and amazing music.

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The People’s Temple is open again

The People’s Temple plough that Brian Jonestown Massacre/Nuggets/13th Floor Elevators furrow that I’m very fond of, veering from BJMesque jams to 60s garage rock freakouts and all bases inbetween on their “Sons Of Stone” LP (on Hozac Records). Here’s a slow one and a hectic one from them.

So so paranoid

It’s heavy psyche night in the house tonight. Finishing on a quieter, more contemplative one from The Warlocks, six and  a half minutes to drift away on, it’s half past midnight here. Just don’t open your bedroom curtains and look out of the window because there’s someone standing in your garden….so…so..paranoid….