A few tracks from the shadowy realm of my collection. Sensitive types will want to skip the first two. Continue reading
As it was world book day on Thursday last weeks theme was that the songs were all book titles:
Welcome to the third episode of our new series ! ! ! This week we have another great variety of tracks from Japan dating from 1955 to 2013 so I am sure there will be something you like this week ! ! ! We have one of the biggest Stars in Japanese music history and bands that only the members mothers have heard about, so why not take a few minutes and join Mr P and I for . . . The Cs ! ! !
“C”, the last letter in the ABC, is often overlooked in favour of more popular letters like “P”. Here , however, we shine a little light on “C” and some of the bands that have chosen the letter as the initial of their names. Continue reading
One of the many great quotes in This Is Spinal Tap is where their manager is asked if the fact they are playing smaller venues is because their popularity is waning. “Oh, no” replies the manager “I just think that their appeal is becoming more selective”
Last week’s connection was pyromania, or starting fires.
One Direction – that’s 1D to you. The first band in US Billboard history to have their first three albums debut at number one. And no, I can’t name you one of their songs either.
I first became aware of Louis Tomlinson -1 of 1D – when he got clobbered in a pre-season charity football match. Undeterred, he is about to do something rather unique: he has signed a non-contract deal with Doncaster Rovers as part of an ongoing association with the club in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, and will tonight make his debut for the reserves against Rotherham in front of 4,000 adoring 1D fans. This is very noble of Mr Tomlinson and we should all salute him for using his celebrity status to good effect. But it also struck me as somewhat unique in that everybody gains from his participation: the fans get up close with their idol, the club gets more people attending their matches and who knows they may even come back to watch the first team, Bluebell Wood will be better able to support and care for children less fortunate than ourselves, and Tomlinson fulfils the dream of playing for his beloved Rovers.
So that’s a good example of giving fans what they want. There are plenty of questionable ones. Anyone for a Kiss coffin? Do you really need eight Pearl Jam live lps? Or do you lust after a pair of them oven gloves, immortalised by Half Man Half Biscuit?
Can you think of an altruistic act of giving by an artist? Maybe you can think of an act of pure exploitation that needs to be aired. Any stance should be supported with some form of evidence or justification.
Off you go then.
Welcome to the second episode of our new series ! ! ! This week we look at the letter B and we will be looking at the blacklist operated by agencies and record companies, some great punk, one of Japan’s most popular indie outfits and some Eurobeat disco music. So we think there will be something to interest everyone . . .well almost everyone ! ! !
Do be do be do”, no , not Frank Sinatra, that’s what Sakura said to me, and so I did. From me this week are some crusty old punk tracks while Sakura provides and interesting tale of industry shenanigans and some class J-pop.
We hope you enjoy them.
I heard this on the radio this weekend, she’s talking about her high school,it made me chuckle.
I was recently thinking about my record collection when out of the blue a question popped into my head. I have a fairly sizable collection of both LP’s and CD’s accumulated over 50 odd years and the question was “Which of all these is my favorite album?” I had to think a bit, what did I mean by favorite etc? but it came down to which one had given me the most pleasure, which was the most played, which had affected me the most?
The answer came fairly quickly – “Graceland” of course, and I decided “Yep, that’s the one’.
But then suddenly another thought intruded, “What about Bob? Surely BMW has given me more pleasure and was more life changing than Graceland, That’s true, OK, then it must be “Catch a Fire”, and at exactly the same time in 1973 I also bought “The Harder they Come”,
the movie soundtrack, that one exposed me to many other reggae groups and both got major playing time and both started me off on a life changing path; the music of Jamaica.
And then there was another, Duke Ellington, what about Duke? Can’t have a favorites album without considering at least one by Duke. I have more albums by him than any other artist and “Ellington at Newport 1956″ immediately sprang to mind,
I did a post on that album here some time back and moviegoers will recognize it as the key piece of music in the current film American Hustle. I heard it live on shortwave on Voice of America lying in bed in Suffolk in 1956 and dozens of times on vinyl since then.
Suddenly more albums started flooding in and at this point I decided that there’s no way I can pick a single favorite from all those, maybe it has to be a list, but how many?
So lets change the rules, I arbitrarily decided on a dozen and went back to remembering the pleasures of essential LP’s.
Dylan was huge in the 60′s but nothing was bigger than “Highway 61″, ditto The Beatles with “Sgt. Pepper”, I clearly remember the excitement when those two were released, everyone was waiting for the new Beatles album and ditto the new Dylan in ways that just don’t happen anymore.
Whoops! what about Mahler? I’ve got ‘em all so how about where it all started for me in about 1964, “Mahler’s 1st with Lenny Bernstein and the NY Phil”, I bought that LP at a yard sale on impulse and it rapidly became an endlessly played favorite that led to another lifetime obsession of collecting and playing. Now I regularly start the day with Mahler dvd’s on youtube.
And then there was the “Lionel Hampton All Stars at Pasadena Civic in 1947″, the all time greatest recording of Stardust and I’ve often been tempted to do a post here at the Spill on just that one tune.
I must include Louis. he started me off in the right direction back in 1947, my favorite Louis album is “Louis plays W C Handy” from about 1954 which is about when I saw him twice in London with this band, the high point of my adolescence.
Right from the start Count Basie has been very significant in my collection, maybe second only to Duke numerically, it’s hard to pick only one but it would have to be “The Essential Count Basie vol 2 – 1939″. Goin’ to Chicago, the classic Basie blues with Jimmy Rushing.
We’re getting close, the last one could get tough, but it springs to mind quickly, it’s from 1955 “Sarah Vaughn – In the land of Hi Fi”, Sarah with a great jazz group with Cannonball Adderley soloing right behind her.
There you go, I can live with that list, they’re all memorable LP’s that have been played endlessly and have given enormous pleasure over the years. It would be very easy to play the RR guru and to continue with the B list, there’s so many deserving albums that didn’t make the A list, but that’s for another day.
But If I were to think about a B list there’s dozens of names that should be considered: Joni Mitchell, CSNY, Springfield, Astor Piazzolla, Dennis Brown, Toots, Christy Moore, Charlie Parker, Burning Spear. Dozens of African artists, Ella, Lester Young, Billie, Miles, Nina, Bechet, Ray Charles, Tommy! and many, many more.
So this could be the current version of the old EOTWQ, those rules look fairly simple and I know there’s many here who are as musically obsessive as I am, so have at it, your dozen all-time favorite albums with maybe a sentence with each and a favorite cut.
Here’s my list, in no particular order, if I had to choose one it could be any of these.
Graceland – Graceland.
Catch a Fire- No more trouble.
The Harder they come – Rivers of Babylon.
Ellington at Newport – Diminuendo & Crescendo in Blue.
Highway 61- Desolation Row.
Sgt. Pepper – A day in the life.
Mahler 1st – 3rd movement – the hunter’s funeral.
Hamp at Pasadena – Stardust.
Louis plays W C Handy – Yellow Dog Blues
Count Basie – Goin’ to Chicago.
Sarah Vaughn – How high the Moon.
Orange Juice tried to combine punk ethics, the funk of Chic and Lou Reed lyrics that were far too literate for the average pop song. It was perfect music for the proto-indie kid who wanted to dance, didn’t want songs to last too long and who liked to sing along to something that was a bit different. Here are twelve Orange Juice songs that contain references to faces and facial expressions.
Or the new Friday Night Connection but on a Sunday, perhaps Sunday’s Subject, The Sunday Sequence?
Hey, doesn’t matter about the title the whole point of these posts was to have some fun seeing how Spillers think when presented with three tracks where they are told they are connected in some way; be it through the song title, the album, members or some obscure fact that I happened to have connected with.
The second part to the posts was to share some decent music that I would loosely ‘pigeonhole’ as rock.
Thirdly I hoped to emulate tincanman’s A to Z series last year and discover some “new to me” music and see how my fellow Spiller’s brains were wired. Loving saneshane’s concept this week, which really has engaged with everyone – great fun.
To the music, last week’s theme / connection was of course Valentine’s Day – you were on to something DarceysDad and the first song was ….
Track 1:- Fleetwood Mac – Need Your Love Tonight
Track 2:- Queen (sorry Chris) – Somebody To Love
Track 3:- A double hitter; Heart – Alone
A fourth would be so easy perhaps a second Queen track (sorry again Chris) Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy, several Whitesnake songs but then again how about something from Tom Petty and his backing group?
Well you’ve got to play to your audience so how about Grateful Dead – They Love Each Other (’73)
Here’s this weekend’s connection:
For the first time in years, I’ve actually seen all this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominations before the event. For what it’s worth, these are my impressions. I’d be interested in yours.
My prediction for the winner is at the end.
Welcome our new project ! ! ! We have been thinking about how we can give our Spiller friends a taste of the variety of music that there is in Japan and we thought about this idea. Each week we will use a different letter and include bands, tracks or genres that start with that letter. That way we hope to share with you a wide variety of pop, rock, punk, indie, alternative and anything else we can think about ! ! ! Maybe you will not like all the tracks, but we hope you enjoy most and that you enjoy our new series ! ! !
Welcome to “Project A-Z” in which Sakura and I hope to explore the dark nooks and crannies of Japanese music and, with luck, provide some interesting and entertaining tit-bits of information. I shall be focusing on “Word of the week”, being keen on education and stuff, and will be teaching a Japanese word with each post. We hope you enjoy the ride. Fasten your seat belts please….
Lately I’ve been poking around at WordPress trying to understand their obscure system for posting multiple photos, I think I’ve finally got it, or at least enough to get started. I’d like to do an occasional post devoted to photography rather than music. I’ve always thought of myself primarily as a photographer, I wore all sorts of other hats but generally speaking, wherever I went I was always carrying a Nikon F or an F3. But not just a Nikon, often/usually I also had my camera bag on the other shoulder, that contained another Nikon with a different lens, plus both of them had motor drives. A Nikon F with a 180mm, f2.8 lens, with a motor drive with 8 AA batteries in it and loaded with a 36 expo roll of Ektachrome 200 weighs about 5.5 – 6 lbs. I carried two of those plus several spare lenses, spare batteries, plus a lot of various misc. photo gear and lots of spare film. I’m not complaining in the slightest, it was a chosen way of life. Generally speaking, wherever I went, that’s what I carried, particularly whenever on ‘holiday’ or at a musical event.
So I was walking along a rural lane in the village of Todos Santos Cuchumatan, It is situated in northeastern Guatemala in the the remote Sierra de los Cuchumatanes mountains at an elevation of about 8,000 ft. My fiend John and I had driven there in the VW camper van when we visited Guatemala in the late 70′s. The population of Todos Santos is predominantly indigenous, of Mayan descent, most of whom still speak the Mayan language of Mam. The town is one of few places in Guatemala where the indigenous population still make and wear their traditional clothing.
As I walked along that lane that morning I glanced up and saw a young boy walking towards me, my Nikon was in my right hand at about thigh level, the lens must have been pointing forward.
When he was about 10-12 ft from me he suddenly bent over from his waist to look directly level into the camera lens, I suspect that he’d never seen a professional camera with a long lens before. Instantly I dropped to one knee to be at his level and fired one quick shot and as I did so I remember saying to myself “That’s probably the best photo I’ve ever taken” but at the same instant I knew that it was out of focus. I straightened up and instantly fired another but the magic had passed, he was no longer looking into the lens. There was no auto-focus in those days, every shot had to be manually focussed. I should mention that the reason for using a motor drive was because the film was instantaneously advanced whenever a shot was made, the camera was always ‘cocked’, always ready to shoot, a huge advantage.
This is the first shot I took that day, to the non-critical eye it might look OK but if you look carefully you’ll see that it is out of focus.
This is the second shot, it’s OK, it’s in focus but something’s missing.
Here’s a selection of photos of people from that village, notice the similarity of their clothes, the women make them on primitive looms in their cottages and every family has a different traditional design. This is not uncommon in Guatemala and you can often tell where a person’s from by the design of his/her clothing. I’ve read that the design of these clothes originates with the Spanish conquistadors who came to Guatemala in the sixteenth century, check out the codpieces, the shoes and the elaborate collars. I started buying examples of their clothes and came home with a large collection. They were not dumb about selling them, I recall at one cottage paying about $440 for several items, a huge amount considering that the men usually worked at seasonal agriculture for less than $1 per day! The women were the only ones who made and sold the clothes and these were not tourist items, there were no tourists, these were the clothes that they wore. They’re absolutely beautiful. I have them hanging in the house.
I very rarely asked permission to shoot photos, had I done so the moment would have been lost, instead if I saw a shot I’d point my camera and smile and a return smile was my OK. I can only ever remember one time where someone was upset at my shooting, it was in this village and I was standing against a wall at the edge of the market shooting with a 300mm lens, suddenly there was a ‘whack’ up the side of my head, a woman had hit me with a stick; I took the hint and quit for the day. Generally speaking most people were happy to have their photos taken.
I have to admit I don’t really keep up with mainstream pop, but I am very taken with the new twist on chamber pop from Clean Bandit, and find myself surprised to be posting about a group at No.1 in the singles chart (though I’m posting another song of theirs). And their videos are wonderful things in their own right. The Grauniad today mentions two other new-to-me artists, George Ezra, and Angel Olsen, that equally impressed. I love discovering new stuff. Hope you like too.
The answer to last week’s connection was Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone.
I had the above image as a poster on my bedroom wall throughout my teenage years.
The songs were:
Queen – We Are The CHAMPIONS – Elric was The Eternal Champion
Procul Harem – Whiter Shade of Pale – what could be a whiter shade of pale, well an Albino; the description of Elric was: his skin was the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair which flows below his shoulders is milk-white. From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody.
Deep Purple – Stormbringer – which was his sword.
Thank you Ali for posting a fourth, though I’d appreciate your reasoning as I can’t figure out the connection
In the week that saw AIP’s return to The Spill and to me over thinking why people aren’t playing this EOTW quiz I’ll give it one more go at this time on a Friday and then perhaps try it on a Sunday.
This weeks is a lot more obvious:
Tokyo is a wonderful city and as one gets to know it, one discovers the hidden places in this strange and beautiful city.
Asakusa is a neighbourhood in the city known for the most famous Buddhist temple in Tokyo and the narrow side streets packed with tiny shops selling just about everything you could wish for ! ! !
The area next to the Sumida river is lined with house boats and there is a thriving alternative life style there which gives the area a vibrant and carefree atmosphere.
SLADE – So why am I talking about a neighbourhood in Tokyo when this post is about Slade ? ? ?
1. Okkervil River – Singer Songwriter; 2. Animal Collective – My Girls; 3. The Four Tops – Barbara’s Boy; 4. The O’Jays – Rich Get Richer; 5. Dreadzone – Little Britain; 6. Shock Headed Peters – I, Bloodbrother Be (£4,000 Love Letter); 7. Saul Williams – DNA; 8. Paul Mounsey – Passing Away; 9. Delay Trees – About Brothers; 10. The Go-Betweens – Born to a Family; 11. Sonic Youth – Little Trouble Girl; 12 Grasscut – In Her Pride.
A few songs for RRSA Inheritance. Some might have needed a large shoehorn but still would’ve been on topic enough for me.
Soooo… I’ve been absent a lot lately. In my defence, I’ve been busy. “Doing what?” I hear you ask.
Of course last week’s connection was Magic Tricks.
Before I tell you what the songs were here’s a little bit of magic I picked up this week.
As this is a music blog, the three songs that were magically connected were:
1. Cheap TRICK – Surrender
2. Genesis – Ripples (from the album A TRICK of the Tail)
3. Styx – The Grand Illusion
My fourth would probably have been Steppenwolf and Magic Carpet Ride
Perhaps the first two weeks have been on the easy side but nonetheless well done to AliMunday who correctly guessed even though only two songs played at first.
This weeks three songs might have a more challenging connection.
Whether you guess or simply enjoy the music selection please could you simply nominate a fourth suitable song and not post your answer just in case there are other people playing (some hope!) so they can work it out for themselves. Thank you.
Today Bob would have had his 69th birthday, I have a hard time imagining Bob being 69. He was always so young and vigorous and he always had so much to say. And what he said touched so many people around the world, everywhere I’ve travelled there was always evidence of Bob Marley, on posters, T shirts, murals on walls, his music coming out of doorways and from radios, he was and is everywhere; the universal man. His music will last forever.
Bob literally changed my life, everything changed when I bought his first album, ‘Catch a Fire’ in 1972. To that point I’d been listening to jazz and pop, I suddenly discovered reggae and it was infectious. I spent the next decade always looking forward to his next album and his next tour. I saw him four times and the highlight was the 1976 Roxy show in LA, a small club packed to the gills and Bob was onstage about 10ft from the table where I was sitting. It was the most amazing and intimate musical performance ever. I’m including the encore of that performance in the playlist, if you haven’t heard it you should listen, I never heard the Wailers play that way again and I have most of his concert aircheck tapes.
Here’s a selection of his music, some spiritual, some Rasta, some love songs, some everyday life songs and a couple of cuts that some might not have heard, first the Roxy encore, ‘Get up, stand up’ and an acoustic set of Bob sitting on a hotel bed in Sweden playing a medley for his own enjoyment with just an acoustic guitar. When I had a radio show I did at least one special every year devoted to Bob, either on his birthday or the anniversary of his death, let’s continue that tradition.
And give thanks to Ari for her tech support.
Here’s the playlist.
1. One Love.
2. I’m hurting’ inside.
3. Waiting in vain.
4. Natural Mystic.
5. Time will Tell.
6. Is this Love.
7. I’ll be forever loving Jah.
8. One Drop.
9. Rastaman live up.
10. Give thanks and praises.
11. Jah would never give the power to a baldheaded.
12. Acoustic Medley.
13. Get up, stand up, Roxy encore.
The photos are of some of the featured artists, they are: Lloyd Parks, Junior Marvin, Bo Peep, Dean Fraser with the Ras Brass, Burning Spear, Pablo Moses, Mutabaruka, Puma Jones, Joe Higgs. They’re supposed to get larger if you click on ‘em.
Over the years I’ve been tempted many times to post reggae playlists here but somehow apathy seemed to get in the way. Reggae was an obsession with me for about 20 odd years, basically throughout Bob’s musical career, consequently I accumulated a fairly large collection plus I visited Jamaica regularly, sometimes several times a year. I was always involved with Jamaican culture and music throughout this period. After I retired and moved to northern California I became a DJ on the local NPR radio station, every Saturday night from midnight ’til 2am for 7 years. I had a total free hand to play anything that I wanted and I’d mix it up with jazz, reggae, blues, African etc. I taped every show, labelled ‘em and tossed ‘em into a box with dozens of others, there was never any attempt to organize them or even to listen to them.
However, I recently got the urge to reorganize the upstairs room where anything and everything had been pushed out of sight over the years, therein I found dozens of boxes of tapes, literally well over a thousand, so I installed about 40 ft of shelves and started organizing them plus all the other media up there. The results have been wonderful! I’m now replaying not only my airchecks but also the results of obsessively having a recorder with a blank tape in it attached to my radio at all times; I’ve got the cultural history of the last half of the 20th century on tape and it’s amazing listening to it all again. I listen on earbuds in the early hours when I can’t sleep, it’s the best time of the day.
Last week I played a cassette of my radio program from the 90′s, my show was called ‘The Heart of Saturday Night’, and this one was a reggae program. I enjoyed it so much that I thought I’d play it here for anyone who’s interested, it’s almost two hours, I edited out a couple of PSA’s that were of no interest and split the program into two sections.
So call it a playlist, a blog or a radio program, take your pick, use it as background while you do the dishes or whatever. I hope you enjoy at least some of it.
Here’s the playlist.
1. Sharpville by ‘The Reggae Philharmonic’.
2. What a Joy by ‘Black Uhuru’.
3. Iron Sharpeneth Iron by ‘Culture’.
4. Freedom Song by ‘Third World’.
4. A Song by ‘Pablo Moses’.
5. War inna Babylon by ‘Max Romeo’.
6. Country Boy by ‘The Heptones’.
7. Roots Train by ‘Junior Murvin’.
8. Flashing Whip by ‘Jah Lion’.
9. Coming on Strong by Prince Jazzbo’.
10. ‘Skank in Bed by ‘Scotty & Lorna’.
11. The Existance of Jah by ‘Dennis Brown.
12. Love and Devotion by ‘Jimmy Riley.
13. There’s a reward for me by ‘Joe Higgs.
14. Marcus Garvey by ‘Burning Spear.
15. Peace, Love and Justice by ‘Ras Michael.
16. The Same Song by ‘Israel Vibrations.
17. I am that I am by ‘Peter Tosh.
18. Jump Jump by ‘Bunny Wailer.
19. Redemption Song by ‘Dean Fraser.
20. The System by ‘Mutabaruka.
21. White Man Country by ‘Mutabaruka.
22. When you Remember by ‘Mutabaruka.
Assassins; yes that was the answer to the first Friday Night Connection.
The songs were:
1. Those awesome Aussie rockers AC/DC with Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
2. Journey – Dead or Alive
3. Marillion with the truly awesome Assassing
My probable fourth choice would have been
Thank you to those that had a go last week.
In the week Pete Seeger died (RIP) here’s a tribute from The Boss
Without further preamble to this week’s Friday Night Connection:
Eagerly Awaiting Friday Night at 10:00 p.m.
As a young boy my formative music years were spent ear pressed against a transistor radio every Friday night when I was supposed to be asleep, listening to the ‘dulcet’ tones of one Tommy ‘the’ Vance and the Friday Rock Show.
I expect most spillers have fond recollections of TV on the Radio!
Perhaps it was the illicit nature of listening under the bed clothes or straining to hear because the volume was so low or later using those single mono white plastic earphones but I was captivated by his voice, every word, song, drum solo and electric guitar chord.
The Friday Rock Show introduced me to and cultivated my interest in ROCK MUSIC; these were great bands: Led Zep, Genesis, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath and this underpinned my love of this type of music and got me to explore the genre further. With my pocket money I saved to buy LP’s and of course I bought Kerrang to read about and see pictures of my ‘heroes’, oh to have had the internet then.
Each week about half way through the show there was the Friday Night Connection; three songs that listeners had to identify and if I recall suggest a fitting fourth song (but I might be making that last bit up). Anyway the basis of this challenge is here’s three songs: What’s the connection? And which song / group would you choose to be the fourth?
Remember that it wasn’t just the title of the song that provided the link it could be but the theme, the group, the singer or even album title could provide the connection; sneaky!
For the first week let’s have a relatively straight-forward one:
Answers on a post card to …
So as not to spoil it for anyone else please don’t post the theme but suggest a fitting fourth song; if you can’t guess the connection or cannot think of a fitting additional tune simply enjoy some Friday Night Rock music.