Yoruba Hat trick!

The language Yaruba has only been mentioned twice ever on The ‘Spill and both times by GoneForeign, so this one’s for you (if you don’t know them already of course). Ibeyi sing in English and break into Yaruba at various points, when I heard this on the radio I felt the need to find out more about it, which usually means cross-referencing with The ‘Spill. I like the modern jazz/electronic styling and the lack of warbling in the singing. Further research (hi Wikipedia!) shows they’re the twin offspring of a Beuna Vista Social Club member and indeed Ibeyi means ‘twins’.

Fears and the Funk

I fear that Mark Ronson’s recent mega hit may have opened a door to five following years of awful funk funking up the place like a bad funk. A door that cannot be shut easily. What point am I trying to make? Maybe that it’s that I don’t really like funk, or that the majority of funk in the world hasn’t been the best. Maybe I don’t think about funk very often. I suppose everything’s like that anyway, we just need to find the 5% that’s good, or 1% even.  Maybe bad things have been done to funk, similar to the horrific abuse of the poor saxophone in the ’80s. Who’s got the funk? Not me.

Lonelady, on the other hand, has cowbell and spanking bass mixed with a taut post-punk edge and ridiculously catchy 80sesque (bunker) pop melodies. Half of her LP “Hinterland” is full of massive bangers that Prince would have been proud of. Love it. Maybe I do have the funk.

**Edit** GF asked about Spotify working embedded in posts, so I’m testing it here, with the Lonelady album.

REMEMBERING SAM CHARTERS AND BIG BILL BROONZY

Cover A guy who was significant for me in my youth died last week, his name was Samuel Charters, he was a blues and jazz historian. There’s an interesting daily interview program on the radio here, it’s ‘Fresh Air'; a couple of days ago they played an interview with him from the archives.
He, along with Alan Lomax, was researching southern country blues in the ’40’s, recording totally unknown blues artists on primitive tape recorders long before Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and John Mayall et. al. were out of short pants. One memorable album was ‘Blues in the Mississippi Night’ by Lomax, used copies are now going for close to $100 at Amazon, it was my first blues album and it went the way of all the others come the divorce. I hope my ex wife is still computer illiterate.

During the interview he mentioned getting a contract with Folkways records, one of my early favorites, this prompted me to pull several early blues from my collection to see if his name was on any of them. One of them was ‘Big Bill Broonzy sings Country Blues’ on Folkways from 1957, he’s also interviewed on the record by Studs Terkel.
I’ve mentioned meeting Big Bill hereabouts and this LP relates directly to that.

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I Hope You All Had A Super Hina Matsuri ! ! !

Hina Matsuri Is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.

Hina Matsuri Is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.

Hina Matsuri is celebrated on the 3rd March.  I had hoped to post something about Hina Matsuri before the day, so I am so sorry I am late wishing all The Spillers a happy Hina Matsuri.

Hina Matsuri is one of the nicest festivals in Japan and it is the Dolls Festival and Girls Day.  It is a day to celebrate daughters in families and to appreciate the joy that girls bring to a family and to pray that they have a peaceful, happy and fulfilled life.

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A Year of Listening Scottishly – February

So that’s one sixth of the year gone already and another month of listening Scottishly behind me.

For the benefit of those of you who have not been following every post on Facebook, waiting eagerly for each successive day’s slice of Scottish pop heaven, here’s February’s list:

1 Danny Wilson Davy
2 Aztec Camera Stray
3 Twin Atlantic Brothers And Sisters
4 King Creosote You’ve No Clue Do You?
5 Idlewild Love Steals Us From Loneliness
6 Del Amitri Heard Through A Wall
7 The Blue Nile Downtown Lights
8 Altered Images Love To Stay
9 Belle & Sebastian The Boys Are Back In Town (Live)
10 Trashcan Sinatras White Horses
11 Camera Obscura Modern Girl
12 Aztec Camera Jump
13 God Help The Girl Funny Little Frog
14 Orange Juice L.O.V.E. Love
15 Teenage Fanclub Here Comes Your Man
16 Close Lobsters I Kiss The Flower In Bloom
17 Ballboy Donald In The Bushes With A Bag Of Glue
18 Franz Ferdinand Darts Of Pleasure
19 Cocteau Twins Musette And Drums
20 Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan Come Undone
21 Eurythmics There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)
22 The Pastels Up For A Bit
23 Trashcan Sinatras Weightlifting
24 Peatbog Faeries The Naughty Step
25 Roddy Frame English Garden
26 Big Country In A Big Country
27 Mogwai This Messiah Needs Watching
28 Belle & Sebastian Fox In The Snow

I particularly enjoyed ‘covers’ week which presented me with an additional challenge and led me to the discovery of Teenage Fanclub’s excellent version of The PixiesHere Comes Your Man – further themed weeks are in the pipeline.

It’s certainly no struggle finding suitable material and while of course the list is inevitably going to be skewed in favour of my own 1980s, indie-pop leanings, I’ve been trying to mix it up a bit, dipping my toe into the murky waters of folk music for example, and I intend to continue to push the boundaries of my comfort zone as the year progresses. I’m grateful for any suggestions (I’m not taking requests as such – yet!) but please don’t ask for any Nazareth as a Glesga’ Kiss offends…

One thing that’s become very apparent is the dearth of suitable Scottish music dating from before the mid-to-late 1970s and it raises an interesting question. Why did the 1960s pop revolution (apparently) not take hold in Scotland? Both Glasgow and Edinburgh (and Aberdeen and Dundee for that matter) seem like perfect breeding grounds for the sort of guitar-based rhythm and blues/pop bands which sprung up in their hundreds south of the border, but I’m struggling to find anything worthy of inclusion. It’s almost as if the entire nation spent twenty years listening to what was going on elsewhere, taking it all in and quietly, secretively perfecting its pop sensibilities, before handing Edwyn Collins a guitar and a microphone and saying, ‘Go on. You know what to do…’

Of course I may be wrong and there may be some excellent 1960s/early 70s material waiting to be discovered. But that’s for another month.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of highlights from February’s posts…