The Last Mystery of All

We’ve had everything explained to us and there are no mysteries left. Myths have been debunked, and the internet had analysed every cultural detail into meaningless dust.

DJ Shadow finds an unmarked record when cratedigging and throws it in a mix as “unknown song, unknown artist”. Anton Newcombe from Brian Jonestown Massacre picks it out a number of years later, puts it up on youtube, claims it’s from a sixties band called Smile, or Smiles, says it’s a brilliant tune. Says it’s called “I Am Just A Star On A Democratic Flag”.

Maybe it’s Newcombe himself behind the record, sounds like it could be.

DJ Shadow allegedly says “The name of the group is “Smiles”. I think it’s a group from Los Angeles, and the song’s dating back from 1968-69. Unfortunately, the writtings on the record are not in good shape. I’ve never seen another record. I remember Dante came to my house, he saw the record, listened to it. He will never stop digging to find that particular record.”

Someone listens carefully to the surface noise, to see if it’s genuine, or an affectation.

Newcombe denies it’s him. Youtube commenters fail to find any online record of the song. Some claim that Newcombe is not Newcombe. DJ Shadow denies his real name is Clive. Clive Shadow.

I post the song on an intelligent, popular music blog with very well listened contributers, and hope for some news.

The mystery continues, the plot thickens.

Panda Bears, if only we could ask them what they’re thinking

I have had “Mr Noah” by Panda Bear (his 2007 LP was my fave of that year) on repeat for the last two weeks & is the mpst bizarre earworm as I have no clue at all what he’s singing about, apart from he won’t get out of bed except for chips & egg? Maybe? And it’s definately dog themed….maybe….

I thought it may be fun if we have a guess at the lyrics, without googling (who wants the truth? not me!) and see what comes out of the morass?

You like real music, don’t you? Like Pussy Riot or Louis Armstrong?

The East Neuk of Fife, down the coast from where I live, is a funny old place. Everything is tiny and the rappers are eggs or potatoes if you squint; living in a dolls’ house means less time spent cleaning. The name slaters for woodlice travelled to Australia too. Put another twig on the fire, the nights are fair drawing in.

No More Dealing, ‘Arry, awwigh’?

harry_redknapp_car_windowPHEW!

What a transfer window that was! The Premier League continues to obscenely devour itself out of pure greed, and I get no more comfortable coping with that. But nonetheless, let’s talk about it.

:!:

– Time to vent that spleen, Toon fans!
– End of an era at LFC, with Dagger and Pepe leaving permanently?
– The Mancs now challenging the Arse as the team with least connection to its roots?
– Southampton fans: sleeping any better now?

And let’s try adding a poll; I’ve never done that in a DsD post – Who was August’s “best” acquisition, IYHO?

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100 years since the start of World War One

So its been 100 years since the start of World War 1 – we don’t learn do we, when you look at all the conflicts that went on before then, and all the conflicts that have occurred since.

 

I see that RR has already tackled the topic of war before I was a regular, so I shouldn’t be running the risk of spoiling anything over there, but wanted to put together a playlist of war, or really, anti war songs. So please indulge me for my first post on the Spill!

 

Although my list is dominated by Aussie artists, don’t get too hung up on whose side the songs come from, the key thing is recognising the messages, which to put it simply really highlight the futility of war.

 

I hope you appreciate it.

 

I Was Only 19 (A Walk in the Light Green) – Redgum

Wow, what a song. Of course involvement in the Vietnam War was controversial for a number of different nations, including Australia. At the time, there was a national conscription done by a birth date lottery – that was one lottery you didn’t want to win.

 

In this song, Redgum sum up the so many of the themes so well – the pride of going off to war (“Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay, this clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean”),  the horrors of war (“A four week operation, when each step could mean your last one on two legs: it was a war within yourself”), and the lasting impacts of the war long after active service was complete ( “And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can’t get to sleep? And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet? , And what’s this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?”)

 

What’s a Few Men? – Hunters and Collectors

I am not much of a reader, but A B Facey’s “A Fortunate Life” is probably my favourite book and one I would highly recommend. It’s Facey’s memoirs and he certainly did lead an amazing life – his WWI experience being just one part of it. In the book, Facey recalls a high ranking officer  quipping “what’s a few men?” when told that a certain course of action would result in casualties.  This song is pretty much based on Facey’s recollection of his war experiences, and its such a powerful insight into the war. Mark Seymour, lead singer of the Hunters and Collectors delivers the lyrics so well. I actually prefer the solo version that Seymour recorded for his “Daytime and the Dark” album but I couldn’t find that on you tube.

 

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda – The Pogues

Written by Eric Bogle, but I think the Pogues version is as good as any others going around.

 

The Battle of Brisbane – The Pogues

If you want another example of how stupid war is, look no further than the Battle of Brisbane. During World War II, American soldiers were based in the Australian city of Brisbane, for a variety of reasons –mainly either awaiting deployment to various hot spots in the Pacific, or for rest and recuperation.  Australia and the US were allies in the war, but as the stories go, the Aussie troops were resentful of the Americans, as their soldiers were paid more, they had better looking uniforms and they seemed to have a tendency to be more successful with the local women. Fuelled by alcohol, these tensions eventually boiled over and resulted in two days of rioting in the streets, and brawling between the Aussies and the Americans. Yes, you read right, during the middle of a world war, Allied forces were fighting each other on the streets of Brisbane. One person was killed, many others injured, and countless amounts of damage was caused by two parties ON THE SAME SIDE fighting.  The Pogues bring us a jaunty instrumental which you can just imagine being set to drunk people brawling in almost a Benny Hill kind of way.

 

Singing in Vietnam Talking Blues – Johnny Cash

This is such a simple song, but it’s a got a simple poignancy to it that I really like. Its basically Cash telling the story of him and wife June heading to Vietnam to entertain the troops – performing some concerts, spending time in a military hospital chatting to the injured, and trying to sleep with all the shells going off.

 

 

Khe Sanh – Cold Chisel

This song has become a bit of an anthem in Australia, and sadly, in my opinion, has become associated with drunken yobbos and karaoke. But to anyone that has badly belted out a rendition of this, I would encourage you to study the lyrics carefully, it really is a wonderful piece of songwriting, telling the story of someone returning from the Vietnam war and being totally lost with what to do with themselves. The shoddy treatment of Vietnam Vets when they returned was not unique to Australia (indeed for  a music look at this topic, also refer to “Born in the USA”- Springsteen, and “Four Walls of Raiford” – Lynard Skynard) and that topic is also touched upon in this brilliant track.

 

War – Edwin Starr

So if you haven’t worked out the message of this post yet, refer to Edwin Starr – what a chorus!

 

Give Peace a Chance – John Lennon

I have to end on an optimistic note, via a bed in at a Montreal hotel. “All we are saying, is give peace a chance”.

 

I have put all of these tracks into a Youtube playlist for those interested.