One Bite At A Time?

That’s the way to eat an elephant, I believe.

Well, I’m just about to receive the musical equivalent: my 73-CD box set of the Grateful Dead’s 1972 European tour. All 22 concerts, originally recorded on 16-track tape and now lovingly re-mastered by people who love the Dead’s music. With a shedload of information and ephemera, packed in a ‘flight case’ with new graphics by Stanley Mouse (example on left) in the same vein as his work with Anton Kelley for the initial release, it certainly looks like a huge beast to tackle.

I will listen to the Bickershaw Festival performance first, as that’s the one I attended and I need to hear if my memory has been lying to me. But after that, I’ve no idea. There are some of the 60-odd songs I don’t need to hear multiple times (although only two songs were played every night) but, even then, the one I skip may be the best version….

Any suggestions? Other than ‘Seek psychiatric help’, obviously.

While you cogitate, here’s a version of Good Lovin’ from Bickershaw, one of the last examples of Pigpen doing his thang while the boys in the band do theirs.

Mmmm..Nutty !

Firstly an apology.
I didn’t mean to be a Spillhog this week but a post by Dothebathosphere on the RR spurred me on. In it the claim was made that John Zorn’s Omelet Punk had the “best title in the world ever”. Now, this is a bit of a special area for me. I have been know, on many an occasion to purchase a song, unheard, because of the title or the name of the band. Thus I have built up quite a respectable selection of songs with titles of great wackiness and , consequently, I thought I might share a few with you good people.
Naturally the playlist is somewhat erratic, both in quality and genre, as the title here is the think.
If I were you I’d skip the ones you don’t like.
Or all of them.
That might be best.
Continue reading

New Trwbador: Sun in the Winter EP

Trwbador’s early records established their distinctive pallette of sounds: simple guitar patterns and glockenspiel melodies against off-kilter beats, Angharad van Rijswijk’s pure, quiet voice against unearthly noises, a slow-motion kaleidoscopic collison of folk, pop and electronica.

Their new EP marks a dramatic step forward in the development of their sound, through the simple yet devastating expedient of combining all these elements in the same songs, rather than leaving them side by side eyeing each other nervously. Four entrancing and perfectly-formed songs, like spiderwebs on an autumn morning, glittering, delicate and surprisingly strong. ‘Sun in the Winter’ sets an alienated vocal against robust beats, somewhat in the manner of Leftfield’s Original; ‘Once I Had A Love’ offers pure folk with an electronic counterpoint; ‘Red Handkerchiefs’ plays with multi-tracked vocals, building from an a capella opening to infuriatingly catchy overlapping melodies; ‘Onions Make Me Cry’ is simply lovely – reminding me of Dubstar, in the best possible way – and simply far too short.

If anyone ever makes a film of Russell Hoban’s The Mouse and his Child – and, more importantly, gets it right – then Trwbador should do the soundtrack; their songs call to mind musical boxes and stop-motion animation, and they have the same emotional power, the feelings of loss and sadness – they may seem child-like at times, but never childish. This record manages to be pure pop without sacrificing any of the quirkiness or homespun authenticity that has marked their career so far. Highly recommended.

EP available from or on Spotify.

Spill Weekly Song Challenge #17 – Get on yer dancing shoes!

Snow White dancing

Here’s a quick run-through of the rules for the weekly challenge:

– no artist can be duplicated in one week, whoever chooses first gets their pick;

– song choices can be duplicated in subsequent weeks with a one-week prohibition;

– next challenge-setter to volunteer during the course of the blog.

Right Spillers, what is the first song you remember dancing to in public? And would you still dance to it now?

Was it a smooch with Sally / Stephen Snodgrass at the school disco? A Christmas waltz with your drunken Uncle Billy? A jolly gig, at the local ceilidh? Tap dancing? Sword dancing? Head-banging with your mates at Donington? Confess all. And if you don’t dance, what is the song that might just tempt you if you’d had enough to drink?

And for my sins, I give you Ike and Tina Turner, “Nutbush City Limits”. I danced to this with my first official boyfriend at a Bristol club c.1976, complete with flashing disco ball. And yes, I might still dance to it if suitably mellow, although now it might result in personal injury and / or the need for a neck brace in the morning:


“One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain” Bob Marley.

Yesterday, Sunday morning, I decided that I’d post something to fill the Monday void left by Bish. On my desktop I have a folder labeled ‘Bish Earworms’, whenever I come across something I think fits the bill I toss it in there and every few weeks I’ll send him 2-3 to use as he sees fit. Currently there’s 14 cuts in there so I thought that I might pull a few and post them in his absence, so I spent Sunday morning preparing the post, I created a document with all of the cuts, the descriptive notes, the html code and the picture, I planned to post it at about 6pm here so that it would be there first thing Monday morning.
A few minutes after I’d opened a ‘new post’ and was inserting the photo the document disappeared! Nothing I did should have caused it but suddenly it wasn’t there! Annoyed? you’d better believe it, to the point of saying ‘Well to hell with that, I’m not going to re-do all of that again’. But today I feel more kindly towards my fellow man [and women] so here we go again, there’s a void that needs to be filled.
These could all fit into the category of ‘My Favorite Things’ so consider this post as a part of my ongoing MFT’s.

1. Flower Lady by Ian Mathews: A beautiful sad song by Phil Ochs, one of the most neglected songwriters of the 60’s. It’s sung by one of my favorite singers from that era; Ian Mathews.

2. Summertime by Angelique Kidjo: Full name; Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, she’s from Benin and here she delivers a great and original version of Gershwin’s classic.

3. Riberonzinha by Maria de Barros: Maria sings in Crioulo, a mix of old Portuguese and tribal languages from Senegal. She lives in Cape Verdes where the indigenous music is like no other in Africa.

4. Come Sunday by Abbey Lincoln; This was written by Duke Ellington for his 1943 Carnegie Hall performance, it was originally sung by Mahalia Jackson.

5. The Pearls by Ry Cooder; This was written by Jelly Roll Morton around the turn of the century, it has flavors of Ragtime, Haiti, Spain and classical European music, it’s from a 1978 vinyl album wheaten Ry investigates the origins of jazz. There’s over 20 known jazz artists on the album but here he plays solo, with some overdubbing.

6. Open Mind by The Tamlins: This is from a 7″ single that I bought in Kingston in the 70’s, plain white paper sleeve, no notes and there’s not much online; all I know is that they’re a classic Jamaican vocal trio that does mostly back up vocals.
Open up your mind and you will see!

(I’m A) TV saneshane

I’ve tried my best to make it interesting (I’m not saying its good!) let FF be your friend… I don’t envy doing this playlist.. have fun.. and be careful out there.

1 The Bod Theme Derek Griffiths
2 Just Give ‘Em Whiskey colourbox
3 Peter Gunn [Feat. Duane Eddy] Art Of Noise
4 Saved (Mr Roy’s 7″ Middlewicket Mix) Mr Roy
5 Theme From “Cheers” Titus Andronicus
1 Jamie And The Magic Torch Tv Music
2 Yoda Meets The A-Team DJ Yoda
3 Hit the Hi-Tech Groove Pop Will Eat Itself
4 Jackanory Tango in the Attic
5 Yoda Meets Dr. Who DJ Yoda
1 Maybe Tomorrow F&M
2 C Is For Cookie (Funky Version – Special Disco Mix By Larry Cookie Monster
3 Yoda Meets The Thunderbirds DJ Yoda
4 Hey Hey We Are Not The Monkees The JAMS