It has often been said that the Devil has all the best tunes. There is also supposed to be something diabolic about certain types of music and there is the interval known as diabolus in musica (the Devil in Music) a.k.a the tritone, an interval known for dissonance.
Diabolic and Satanic imagery has long been associated with heavy metal and Goth has always been as much about decaying ruins, vampires and death as it has about music.
Jimmy Page was, at one time, deeply interested in Aleister Crowley, the so-called Wickedest Man Alive and founder of the occult religion of Thelema (motto – Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law) and the late Graham Bond was so obsesed with Crowley that he formed a band called Holy Magick and believed himself to be Crowley’s son.
Earlier still, it was said that Robert Johnson bacame a blues guitar phenomenon because of a pact with the Devil, signed at midnight, down at the crossroads. This idea later spawned a film about the same subject, culminating in a guitar battle between the Devil’s guitar hero, played by Steve Vai and the hero of the film, Eugene (guitar work by Ry Cooder).
So, music has a long tradition of dealing in the Black Arts and this playlist covers all the bases from posession and exorcism, through witchcraft, occult ceremonies and the Undead athrough to Hell and Damnation.
As you can see, we have 11 tracks. The task here is to decide which one will be saved from the Pit and which one will be cast into the Outer Dark forever.
The track listing is:
Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Siousxie and the Banshees – Spellbound
David Byrne and Brian Eno – The Jezebel Spirit
Dr John – Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
Black Widow – Come To The Sabbat
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Cassandra Wilson – Hellhound On My Trail
John Martyn – I’d Rather Be The Devil
King Crimson – The Devil’s Triangle
The Clash – Straight To Hell
AC/DC – Highway To Hell
I seem to be in a classic rock kinda mood today, so i figured it was as good a time as any to have a look at these 2 guys as cover artists. Lotta similarities here – both have (arguably i suppose) some of the finest pipes ever bestowed upon mortals and their voices often (inexplicablty to me) get confused. They shared a band – Stevie Marriott was with the Small Faces until he quit to form the Pie, and Rod Stewart took his place on pipes and Ronnie Wood took over his axework and they morphed into the Faces. They both wrote songs, and some damn good ones too, but covered more than their share. Many of the same artists. Small Faces was one of the most original and inventive bands going, and yet Stevie left to do a few great original tunes (30 Days in the Hole, Thunderbox, Hot and Nasty) and a slew of covers with the Pie. Rod went solo and did a few great original songs (Every Picture Tells a Story, Maggie May, You Wear It Well, Mandolin Wind), some ok ones, some shit ones, and a buttload of covers of varying quality.
It’s Tom Petty’s birthday today – he’s 63 – and I thought you’d like to see this painting of him and Dylan in American Gothic mode. I don’t know who it’s by; it just popped up on the Facebook Tom Petty Friends page the other day. Here’s a clip of Tom’n'Bob in 1987.
And talking of the Tom Petty Friends, I’m pleased to say that the birthday video they’ve made this year includes me! So once TP wakes up and looks at Twitter he’ll be able to see me, his devoted fan, wishing him a happy birthday. (Well, perhaps.)
Also, this Lego version of the band appeared on blockaholic.com the other day…
Where do you get Lego guitars, I’d like to know? Anyway – have a happy TP birthday, everybody!
Two years ago Carly Jamison sent us her first album for review. You can see the review here. It was a corker (imho) and one of the tracks actually made it into my Festive picks for the year.
Well, she got in touch the other day to let me know that her second album, Ungrounded, is out on 28th October and asked if I’d like to hear it and offer a pre-release taster for my friends on the ‘Spill. She has, in her own words, moved up in the world since last time out: a proper distribution deal with Sony/RED and a much fuller sound, production and instrumentation. Gulp! I thought reading all that. What I liked most about the first album was the roughness around the edges, the “as-live” feel of the production and the balls it took to get it recorded and distributed in the first place. First listen was undertaken with a certain foreboding, there’s horns on this one FFS!
I needn’t have worried. Carly has come up with the goods again. If her first album was eclectic and slightly unruly in its romp through the canon of American Rock, revealing – perhaps – an artist still in search of her own style but not afraid to experiment, this is far more solid and focussed. Here’s an artist who knows what she wants to sing, knows what she’s doing and is obviously having a good time doing it.
The album kicks off strongly with Superman Fantasy, a riff heavy, horn driven number which has already seen a fair bit of youtube action in animations and in Man of Steel Fan Trailers. It’s good enough and will no doubt help Carly reach a wider audience than before, but for me the album really starts after this. Continue reading →
It doesn’t seem that long since Mark Everett last toured here, but hell, I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to see this band play again. They are here for the No Mean City Festival, but reading between the lines, these guys just love playing together and have a short UK tour to tie in with their festival commitments.
The evening’s entertainment gets off to a predictably unexpected start: bouncers insist that we retreat from the stage to make room for what appears to be a bunch of Virgin cabin crew complete with wheelie cases, but turns out to be a burlesque troupe. I must confess that this didn’t entirely throw me as I had seen them a few years back in Lisbon where the first support act was a ventriloquist. The whole thing passes off in entertaining enough fashion, with the su[pport baton passed to Misty Miller, fully clothed and sporting a Telecaster. Her main inspirations would appear to be PJ Harvey and her former drummer who provides ample subject material for her love songs. I liked her guitar playing which was a mixture of delicacy and dirty open chord distortion.
Eels take the stage in regulation Adidas track suits, beards and sunglasses, with E sporting a somewhat ill-advised headband. Regular followers will be aware of Mark Everett’s whimsical attitude to pleasing audiences. Who can forget the post Blinking Lights tour, a noise-fest that would try the patience of the most ardent fan (and happened to be the ladyllama’s introduction to the band, which had her questioning my sanity). Tonight however we are in safe hands, with a set largely hewn for Wonderful Glorious with a smattering of oldies from Hombre Lobo (Fresh Blood & Tremendous Dynamite), Shootenanny! (Saturday Morning & Dirty Girl) and Electro-Shock Blues ( Climbing Up To The Moon), interspersed with good humoured joshing and band hugs for all concerned. It is rare to see a band enjoy themselves as thoroughly as these guys and the playing is bone-crunchingly tight; a total of three guitarists including The Chet ably driven along by Big Al (the lady llama prefers Kool G Murder, who she claims was “looking at” her in Lisbon!) and the excellent Knuckles. They would certainly be my nomination for best covers act and tonight they excel with a blistering take on Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well and a fabulous and faithful take on the Stones’ Beast of Burden – Amy would surely approve,
E in the zone and impervious to distraction.
After the usual encores the band return after lights up with a kick ass Dog Faced Boy, accompanied by the burlesque troupe, this time fully clothed. A good time was had by all.
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.
I’m still sort of bitter that i got to RR many years too late for the (Cocaine and) Heroin topic, and as for one who never touched the stuff and never will, i seem to have an inordinate stock of tunes about shooting up. So here i get to make up for it a bit, a snapshot playlist of what’s caught my fancy lately, and some old faves. (I did leave off any duplicates from the RR list.) (We’re also back to business as usual on the rock front there.)
The Beacon Theatre, New York City, photo by Andy Tennille
When I heard that the tickets for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 5-night run at the 2,800-seater Beacon Theatre in Manhattan were to be allocated by lottery, I thought I might as well have a go. It proved to be an expensive decision. To win didn’t mean you got a free ticket – what you won was an opportunity to buy a ticket. Well, I won twice and I’m not going to tell you how much the whole thing cost – because, to be honest, I don’t know and I don’t want to know.
If he chooses a track about octopuses . . I will kill him ! ! !
Welcome to the special Cross Cultural Edition of He Said – She Said ! ! ! This time we decided to show what we think is typical of the music from each other’s counties ! ! ! So I will be picking typically English tracks and Mr P will be picking typically Japanese tracks ! ! !
We think it will be fun and hope you like the post ! ! !
This time we have chosen to visit each other’s musical heritage in a fantastic cross cultural exchange type of a thing. I think it’s interesting to see how others see us, through the medium of music. We have chosen one contemporary track, one oldie and one traditional. We hope you enjoy the tracks.
Good to have a slow topic from time to time. Been filling up i-tunes with cds from my collection and had forgotten how much I loved this album when I bought it. 16 songs. Not one over 3 minutes long. Guitars, simple bass lines and a ballsy female vocalists, who are sisters hence the name of the album. The name of the group comes from the brand of jeans their mum used to sell in her shop. Spanish group from Majadahonda (a town just up the road from Maki Towers) – they sing in English so shouldn’t be too hard to relate to. Here from 1995 are half a dozen tracks from their début album.
Yeah, so this is a lazy playlist (click the playlist button bottom left for full set) or some of my favorite acts of axe heroism. Haven’t been in the mood to listen to much lately, stuff on my mind to sort. But Shane’s list last week (sorry love, i will get there, just haven’t had the brain space to give it the attention it deserves) reminded me that it’s probably time to get this series up and going again.
So free dates – claim as you wish. Repeat offenders welcome if you have new stuff to share.
That ought to get us started. Tech help available for any who need it.
Feel free to treat this as a challenge and post your own favorite selfless acts of axe heroism.
There’s a new (!!) Suede song here. It’s called “Barriers”, a taster for their new album which is due in March. I know there’s a lot of Suede fans on The ‘Spill, so I’m most interested to see what you think. Let’s discuss in the comments below!
Ah, it’s great to see a band put some effort in. After years of trying, I finally got to a Thunder Christmas Party gig. After this evening, and with pretty much all of my customers having finished work for the holidays at Friday lunchtime, I think I can safely say the holiday season has started.
2012 has been a strange old year, and in some respects I won’t be sad to see the back of it, but on the other hand, there was the Olympics, LFC collecting silverware again, DsSis at the Royal Albert Hall, the West Country RR Social, the truth about Hillsborough, etc., etc.
But as we get to the end of another year (or even a 5,125 year cycle, if you’re Mayan), let’s start the “out with the old, and in with the new” chit-chat, shall we? I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a better 2013 than you had a 2012.
Ok, so i fully realize that i’m the only one who cares about this sort of thing. But it’s been a very good week for Stones fans. They did two 50-year anniversary concerts at O2 this week, one show earlier, and another on the 29th. Tickets cost way too much, as they do for the shows in Brooklyn and Newark upcoming next month, i won’t be there and won’t be sorry not to be either. Youtube is good enough for me.
What do we do with the winners Mr P? Exploit them ruthlessly like everyone else Ms S ! ! !
Welcome to the J- factor ! ! ! This post is based on a popular TV series which maybe some of you have seen. Basically we have three categories. Solo, Group and Oldie. I will nominate one track for each category and Mr P will nominate one for each category and then you will have the chance to vote for your favourite. We hope you have fun listening to the tracks and voting for your favourites ! ! !
Call me S*mon C**ell and pass me a pair of high waisted trousers. It’s time for a head to head J-Factor contsest. The rules are clear ( vote for me) and the gloves are off !
Haven’t done one of these posts in a long time, but really feeling like it’s time to give these guys the shout that they deserve. (And maybe you need a little something to listen to before the list goes up.) For starters, because not just anyone can take on the Midnight Rambler and do it justice.
What makes these guys such great cover artists? Well, you start with a southern boy with pipes to die for, (and Chris Robinson certainly has them) a definite requirement if you want to take on the likes of Mick, Joe Cocker, Stevie, Plant, etc. But you don’t do great Stones covers with pipes alone, and the band is more than up for the job. Brother Richie on guitar, and Chris on harp, do the Stones proud on this and many, many other Stones covers. (If i’m missing Mick and Co. at all here, it’s only because i’ve become addicted to the coke fueled live bootleg versions.)
Tokyo all female three-piece TOQUIWA release their hi-energy J-punk in the UK on October the 22nd, 2012. Scopitones announced TOQUIWA’s self-titled debut on digital release and limited edition tour CD.
They begin touring the UK on 26/10 in Bournemouth – I’m going to be there (in a home made bright orange TOQUIWA T-shirt) – I also made a T-shirt using the ticket from a live Wedding Presents Ukrainian Sessions gig. But I can’t wear both.
This is the track listing and below the review are Smash Hits style questions sportingly answered by the band.
(I want to post this today – so I will have to ask Sakura to advise if I’ve got anything in the wrong places)
Photograph of the band used with permission – all designs created by arTEEsane are not for profit – please don’t use.
illustrative track from Music Ripple recorded as Pinky Piglets
The self titled album by Toquiwa on the Wedding Presents Scopitones label, should almost be called go out and get ‘em girl – such is the frantic pace that they erupt with perfect pop rock. The first 13 seconds set up the album (you heard right – 13 seconds sets out their manifesto) – Fantasticly playing the many influences and condensing them into a tight Toquiwa package.
Strangely managing to be extremely talented musicians yet still exuding that punk ethic of innocence and naivety.
The tracks have so many astonishingly catchy segments and hooks, you wonder how the pace can be kept up, but keep up they do, building and building, twisting styles and era’s together as if timelines were squeezed, squashed and smashed into their musical brains. Until in comes out sounding as though these things should always have sat together (superbly) in each 3 minute track.
Not only that, they know how to sequence an album – just as your head might explode keeping up – (ten second bar room blues, into superfly 70′s style, into a quiet millisecond break – roaring back into .. you get the drift – I’m loath to compare because it all sounds so Toquiwa – but as reference you could detect The Animals merging with a Curtis Mayfield track with hints of Kirsty MacColl’s weariness and wonder, while a Status Quo repetitive rock riff underpins a track – and quiteloudquiet indie rock aesthetics jostle in) they take a breather with a ballad – and then we are invited to party hard once again, ending with an enthusiastic Wedding Present adaption to thrill and inspire while closing the album out.
It’s fantastic fun – superbly performed and feverishly played. Total enjoyment.
Would they be happy to answer my frivolous questions linking to each song on the album?:
It was a chance meeting out side Shibuya station in Tokyo that resulted in Japanese girl punk-pop band Toquiwa’s signing to a UK record lable and collaborating with The Wedding Present.
Toquiwa (as Pinky Piglets) were playing a street live out side the famous Shibuya station in the heart of one of Tokyo’s most popular entertainment districts when the promoter who was booking the Wedding Present Japanese tour walked past and stopped to listen and had one of those wonderful “A ha ! ! !” moments. He booked Pinky Piglets as they were called at the time to support Wedding Present and the start of a common journey with the two bands began.
It’s Tom Petty’s 62nd birthday – and this time the Guardian gets it right (thanks to me)
For TP’s birthday this year I thought I’d do one of amylee’s lists of 11, and these are eleven of his lesser-known songs, some from his solo albums and some with the Heartbreakers. And guess what, I love all of them – they’re all in my top 50. And I don’t think I’ve posted any of them before. But if you want to play the dump-one-keep-one game, feel free – I won’t be cross.
I was born in 1960. I knew the early Stones tunes from the radio mostly. Caught the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, even at 3 years old, i somehow knew this was an important thing to see. Amazing, actually. But never knew a peep about the Stones on there. First Stones album i bought was Hot Rocks, followed by More Hot Rocks which i figured had all the oldies i ever needed. Never saw any reason to get the older albums – they all had pretty much the same songs on them anyway! So there are still plenty of oldies i’ve never heard. Wanted to get a sampler of some of them on the list, but Shanes’ covers list made my job a lot easier – there would have been a lot of duplicates – and most of those songs probably aren’t new to folks on here anyway. Shane’s Empty Heart was newtome and great, i hear echoes of that one, and Heart of Stone and Time is on My Side in the snotnose garage bands i’m liking now. Under My Thumb and Play With Fire would have probably made my list – i think they foreshadow some of the darker tunes yet to come. Some other standouts for me – Ruby Tuesday, As Tears Go By, Lady Jane, Sitting on a Fence, Spider and the Fly, Not Fade Away, The Last Time, I’m Free – although biggies like Get Off of My Cloud (sorry, Fintan), Satisfaction, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, and Mothers’ Little Helper still don’t do much for me. Continue reading →
Rules are simple: Pick your favourite Rolling stones tune – try to narrow it down so it doesn’t get too overwhelming – and in the spirit of RR tell us why it rocks your socks.
Amy or Fuel will give you a deadline for nominations and then one of them will pick a playlist – (I always narrowed it down to fit on a blank CD – it gave me something to aim for)… they might even do one each and we’ll vote to see who wins and who loses (I’m joking – grrr).
If anyone wants to add their favourite Rolling Stones cover tracks – then I will curate that – and pick a CD80 of them there tunes too.
The idea of ‘spillover is to get a really unique CD80 (or two) of an artists work – if the compilers choice fits perfectly in a playlist then they can put it in. This isn’t RR.
There’s no one song for each player either – if ten people said ‘Paint it Black’ say, is their fav – it just means it’s popular.
It has to be artists that have a large amount of albums. Because when I started this – I didn’t want it to be definitive – i.e we post the ‘so called’ best tracks – then no one ever needs to buy another song from said artist … whatever anyone’s views of music sharing is – I wanted it to celebrate a body of work. Inspire people to dig further. Like a mixtape to hook you in.
So if you’re down on you’re luck, and you can’t harmonise -
do the ‘spillover challenge with smiles in your eyes.
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.