Christmas Comes Early for SR!

Several years ago I found a slightly scruffy picture in an even scruffier frame at a flea market in San Antonio, but I fell in love with it on the spot and went home hugging my little purchase to myself, much pleased. In fact the picture was just cut out from a magazine, but I really didn’t care. It took pride of place in my living room. When I left the US, I left nearly everything behind, but I brought that picture back, even though the lady who bought my house tried to tempt me to part with it by offering me a ridiculous sum.

For the last 10 years or so, I’ve been trying to find out who painted it and what it’s called. I thought it was vaguely Andrew Wyeth Senior-ish, but not. My knowledge of American art isn’t great and I failed to discover the artist – until today when I found out that he was a German immigrant, Julius Gari(baldi) Melchers, and the picture is unsurprisingly entitled Mother And Child, and the artist painted it in 1906. It hangs in the Art Institute Chicago.

I’ve even found a litho which I’m thinking of buying myself for Christmas, although nervous about getting it shipped as things have a habit of disappearing in the US/UK postal systems.

And what is all the fuss about? See for yourself. I hope you like it too!

The Spill Awards 2012

Why haven’t I been nominated for a Spill Award this year?

Okay, I’m going to interpret two “sorry too busy” and one “it wouldn’t be the same without you” comments as a ringing endorsement of my stewardship of the annual Spill Awards, and put my mind to thinking of a way to top last year’s live blog of the award ceremony. I suppose we could do it on Twitter… If anyone has any thoughts, let me know; meanwhile, it’s time to open nominations.  Here’s how it works… Continue reading

Llamalpaca’s A Waste Of Space. Peter Gabriel.

This week’s object of affection/derision is Peter Gabriel. It has to be said that the ladyllama is no fan, but he has had a varied career and I guess a fair chunk of it may have passed her by. Remember the Genesis era theatrics, or the political conscience? Or the jokes going round Africa about needing to quickly hide the rhythms any time he or Paul Simon showed up? Recently he has been reduced to revisiting his back catalogue. Has the man any talent or is he rock’s own jerkin-clad Chauncey Gardiner mucking around with a mixing desk in his oversized garden shed?

Now you may hold views PG which might be too withering in their honesty for publication over on RR. Here, however, you may choose to pay homage to some of his ouevre that moved you or delight in cruelly exposing overarching ambition interlaced with a bewildering lack of talent and yes, even a considered meh is fully acceptable.  Any stance should be supported with some form of evidence or justification.

Off you go then.

Earworms 26 November 2012

1: Bruce Springsteen – Racing In The Streets (Acoustic Boot) ~ Tincanman

Springsteen’s Racing in the Streets is one of the saddest songs I know, and I’d argue his best. If he’d put the fiddle from this bootleg on the album version it’d be too painful to listen to. Bye bye career, sorry, all your fans have killed themselves.

2: Any Trouble – Playing Bogart ~ Treefrogdemon

Someone on the TP&TH Facebook page quoted the verse from this song that mentions TP, the other day. I love Any Trouble and I’ve known this song for years but I never noticed that…oops. This is the shorter, faster version.

3: The Pirates – Castin’ My Spell ~ RockingMitch

These were the 2nd set of Pirates and this was their first solo record in 1966. They took the song from a version by Johnny Otis and put a completely new spin on it. Originally, this and the A-side “My Babe” were to be recorded by Johnny, but they had laid down they backing track whilst he was away in the Midlands. Unfortunately, on his way back to London, he was involved in a fatal car smash, so Johnny Spence (aka Holliday) took over on the vocals. Mick Green’s guitar is superb, I think.

4: Punjabi MC (ft. Surinder Shinda) – Mirza ~ Chinny

I considered Mirza by Punjabi MC/Surinder Shinda for its bassline last week. Then decided it lacked a sufficiently pumping or memorable one. The song is an absolute belter, though. Its East-West mix is one of the sublimest I know. It’s just so damn epic and portentous! It’s like a really profound, Punjabi power ballad!

5: Hubert Von Goisen Und Der Original Alpinkatzen – Heast As Nit ~ Abahachi

“The young men have grown old, and the old ones have died…” A sad, beautiful song about the inexorable passage of time, albeit sung in an Austrian dialect and with added yodeling.

6: Death In Vegas – Amber ~ DarceysDad

I would call this hypnotic slab of electronic dub one of my all-time favourite songs to lose myself in, whether dancing to it (yes – me! Dancing!!) or lying in a darkened room chilling out.

Thanks for all the recent feedback and to those of you who are already sending your Holiday Earworm songs in.  I plan to post one playlist on Monday 17th December. If there are lots of submissions, I may schedule another. So let’s have ’em if you’ve got them. I’ll post a cut-off date in a couple of weeks.

A big Thank You to everyone who contributed worms to this playlist or has sent them in to the wormbank. Please send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked to either or a wormhole near you. Thank you.

Festive ‘Spill, 2012

2012 is winding down, so it’s time to look back & pick our favourite tunes of the year for our annual listening party – continuing a tradition established by the late John Peel & his Festive 50 broadcasts. A reminder of how our version works:

You can nominate 3 songs (New releases from 2012 (or late 2011, that missed the cut last year). Any ‘Spiller or Readers Recommender is welcome to participate.

Please rank your choices 1,2 & 3; #1 being your best of the best. We ‘Spillcast the results in three parts, starting with the #3’s on dates to be be determined – suggestions welcome in the comments for preferred broadcast dates.

Send your nominations to

The tricky part: In order to play the tunes, I need actual mp3’s of your choices. You can attach mp3 files to an e-mail (usually works best if you send one mp3 per e-mail).

You can also send a URL hotlink to an mp3, if it’s stored somewhere I can access it.

Those of you on Dropbox can use your private folder in Dropbox (the one called public). Add your file to the public folder. Right click on the file, select “copy public link” & paste into your e-mail. If you’re a DB expert, you can set up a new shared folder instead. Please don’t use the public RR folder as this will spoil the surprise.

You will get confirmation from me when I have received your votes & mp3 files. If using a hotlink, please leave the files where they are until you get the e-mail confirmation.

Nominations are on a first come basis. If one of your picks is already taken, I will let you know so you can make another one. Vote early if you want to avoid this.

Please take part if you can. Feel free to use the comments for any questions or suggestions.

The Real Japanese School Girls – Swing Girls – Brass Band Attack ! ! ! 

Swing Girls – The Brass Band Is Where The Action is ! ! !

Of course while I was making my posts on Japanese school girls and J-pop I was aware that actually 2 things.  The first is that Japanese people actually make music much more that western people, and that the reality is that in talking about Japanese school girls and music in real life (as distinct from J-pop) then really the brass band is where it is all happening for girls these days.

Continue reading