For the last time, HAL, my name’s not Dave!


Initially all sorts of individual lyrics sprang to mind – Louis Bertignac’s broken coffee maker in Ces Idées-là, eh fp?! But as the list expanded and expanded, it fast became too big to consider ‘Spilling, even when it includes such favourites as Shack’s Time Machine, HMHB’s Dukla Prague Away Kit, and Natural Life’s Strange World (“Weird piece of machinery, built for making holes in me, oo-ooh … shotgun”). So in a typically contrary U-turn, I then tried self-imposing a Dorian-tight set of parameters, namely if the whole song isn’t actually ABOUT the machine, it ain’t comin’ in! […so I can bin Drive-By Truckers’ The Day John Henry Died, can I DsD? – Ed.]

Obviously I could exclude songs others have beaten me to, but I offer my ‘Spilldonds to the likes of BFB’s Song Against Robots, and – naturally – Tackhead’s Fix The Machine.

But then I started arguing with myself about whether any given tune was a good-enough fit. Ugh.

So eventually, I just thought … “Oh sod it, just pick some songs I like that may not have been thought of over on RR and post ‘em here.

That’s Black Sabbath’s Iron Man above – I’ll be gobsmacked if that HASN’T been mentioned over yonder.

But now here’s some much less threatening (and almost certainly WA-A-A-AY off-topic) machinery:

Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Minibar Blues
Montrose – Space Station No.5
Morcheeba – Tape Loop
Cocteau Twins – The Spangle Maker
Codeine – Cigarette Machine

And this last one is my quizzer for the week: a point each for artist and title, two bonus points for the vocalist:

R…eally? W…ell I never!

I’m unlikely to get much opportunity to post/comment this week, so have a good’un everyone, and let’s see if I can get Snadfrod drunk enough on Thursday night to let me photograph his beard – sorry – The Beard in all its glory!

Did you know that a Steenbeck is a machine?

John Henry
John Henry
John Henry
John Henry
Ring ring RIng Ha Ha Hey–De La Soul
Flutey Ring ring ring remix
Paranoid Android–Easy Star All Stars
Fitter Happier–Easy Star All Stars
The Way You Move–Big Boi
Synthesizer–Outkast ft. George Clinton
Synthetic Substitution–Melvin Bliss
22nd Century–Nina Simone
Daydreaming–Lupe Fiasco

My ever-expanding ‘Spill list continues…
All Pete Rock…(all the time)
Tru Master
The Best Secret
#1 Soul Brother (My pick as best for this subject)
Don’t Be Mad

And Jean Redpath…
Tae the Weavers


The child, hanging from his father’s hands, now saw again the bright star Sirius. It seemed to fly onwards, keeping pace beside them through the distant sky. As before, the child found its light a comfort. His good-luck coin clinked against his drum, and now he felt luckier than ever before. “Maybe we shan’t always be helpless, Papa,” he said. “Maybe we’ll be self-winding someday.”

“Maybe,” said his father.

The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban is one of my favourite books, and every time I recommend it to someone I feel a teeny bit jealous, because they’ll be reading it for the first time, and I can’t ever experience that again. Anyone else feel like that about a book?

The Jute Mill Song, by June Tabor
Somebody Bring Me a Flower, I’m a Robot, by Kev Russell
Jackie’s Train, by Mary Gauthier

My name’s really – ‘Ellier’ – a night at the Ososphere

All this talk of machines and robots sent me down to road to check out our local electronic music festival – The Ososphere – last night. The main reason for the outing was to see Sébastien Tellier play his set. Ejay will remember that I was outraged when France announced that Tellier would represent them at Eurovision. “You can’t do that! He’s GOOD!!” I raged. Indeed, Tellier has been critically successful since 2001 and his album ‘Sexuality’, released this year, was a collaboration with Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo. I needn’t have worried, though. His song, ‘Divine’, finished 18th out of 25 songs with “quarente-sept points”.

His music has developed from using traditional instruments to pure and unapologetic synth-pop. This is the big brother of Air and a close cousin of Daft Punk. However, he is not averse to sitting down at the baby grand and giving us a burst of the orchestral and melancholic ‘la Ritornelle’ which was one of his earliest successes in 2004. Moving from some very competent guitar work, he played through the sensual synth swathes of ‘Sexuality’ which dominated my MP3 player on the beaches of Arcachon this summer. If you listen to ‘Roche’ you’ll hear why…

Découvrez Sébastien Tellier!

Physically, Tellier is one big contradiction. He is, as my dear father would put it, “built like a brick shit house”. Frequent comparisons with rugby player Sébastien Chabal are entirely merited. The look is resolutely hirsute with an unkempt beard and straggly locks covering most of his face. And an outsized pair of 80s shades just to cover up the rest for good measure. What is he hiding? And yet the masculine shagginess is offset by a breathy, almost feminine vocal style and a bright puce V-necked pullover. I’m talking serious pink here. At one point he whipped off the shades and I got a glimpse of the beauty beneath. Under those layers, I suspect, lies a seriously handsome face and I actually think that someone should play him with a couple of excellent bottles of Bordeaux and shave the whole lot off. I’d willingly contribute a smart sweater. Not a ‘Cosby sweater’. Or lend him my E2-E4 black T-shirt which is the coolest item in my wardrobe.

But he wouldn’t be Sébastien Tellier then, would he?

And since I got side-tracked on fashion issues, the question to go: Coolest, most prized item in your wardrobe….?