Friday, June 29, 2007
Latta people tellin' me reggae's a sunny music...
And since all it has done in the UK this week is piss down with rain, and many people are flooded out of their homes, how can sunny reggae be right?
Well you know what? They get a LOT of rain in Jamaica. Hurricanes too.
And here are some songs to prove it...
Bob Marley & The Wailers - 'Misty Morning' (1978)
Bob Marley & The Wailers - 'Kaya' (1971)
Bruce Ruffin - 'Rain' (1971)
[Oh yes, that's the original version of 'Kaya' produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry and available on this. The 1978 album of the same name, with a re-recorded version of the title track and the lovely 'Misty Morning', is a cracker though - maybe my favourite Bob LP - and available here. The Bruce Ruffin (a Jose Feliciano song given the pop-reggae treatment) is from this - but on lots of other compilations besides.]
This has been a More Reggae In The Blogosphere (c) posting 2007. Stay dry this weekend. Thanks to Darcy for joining the campaign x
Monday, June 25, 2007
As his regular readers will know, the inestimable Colin from And Before The First Kiss is away at the moment, but as he has been a tireless and sincere champion of the music of Robert Wratten I'd like to think of him as a benevolent and groovy spirit at the table of this post.
Trembling Blue Stars - 'Idyllwild' (2007)
Given those lyrics - A song on the radio/Makes you shiver/You want to curl into a ball/Makes you want to be 17/And forget the future's shrinking - it's spooky that the song reminds me so much musically and thematically of this...
Weekend - 'Past Meets Present' (1982)
...a single I bought when I was - 17.
Time flies swift as an arrow. Indeed.
[Trembling Blue Stars MySpace is here - look out for free downloads now and then - and the new album is here and other places. The pre-history of Bobby Wratten and his music is here. Oh, and you can get the Weekend track on this. Yes, yes Young Marble Giants - but let's get the Weekend revival going now].
Friday, June 22, 2007
For Rickie Lee Jones the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire and the clouds would catch the colours everywhere. You don't see that. Well, you might still see it in the desert...
Thursday, June 21, 2007
When I was a small boy my Dad was a big fan of Reader's Digest box sets. Mail order music long before Amazon, and 'not available in the shops', they usually comprised 8 or so 'easy listening' LPs with glossy, high-production-value sleeves designed to a theme, and expensive inner bags lined with soft cellophane, all presented in numbered order in a robust matching box.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Composer, producer, arranger, musician, singer, performer and bona fide pop legend Brian Wilson is 65 today. It's wonderful to know that not only has he lived to collect his bus pass (and God Only Knows that longevity has looked a dodgy prospect more than once over the last forty years), but better still that he is healthier, happier and more musically active than he has been for decades.
The list of highly-creative, prodigiously talented and painfully sensitive individuals who did LSD (and Lord knows what else) by the cartload in the late 1960s and survived is a tragically short one: Brian famously took to his bed for five years in the 1970s, and despite many 'Brian Is Back' false dawns in intervening years did not really write or record much of substance again until the late 1980s.
This solo album release, at the time, seemed miraculous enough....
...I couldn't have imagined that 16 years later I would spend the evening of my 39th birthday watching the magnificent, mythic, abandoned-in-'66 song cycle 'SMiLE' performed (completed!) triumphantly by its composer at the Royal Festival Hall as a July sun slipped down across the Thames; this thing we had read about and dreamed about and tried to make sense of and put back together from the broken fragments of bootlegs, there before us, whole, and lovely and old and new all at once. Talk about great gigs of your life...
So, to honour Brian's attainment of OAP status I have posted 1) an interview he gave with Mojo magazine in 1997 where he talks about the recording of 'Good Vibrations' 2) the edited sequence of 'Vibrations' recording sessions from the CD reissue of Smiley Smile 3) a 'SMiLE' centrepiece and one of the few intact songs from the original sessions to actually see release in the late 60s (on this) 4) a cruelly underrated instrumental from Pet Sounds which may just be one of the best things he ever wrote 5) something for the summer (from this).
Happy Birthday Brian - we love ya.
Brian Wilson - Mojo interview excerpt (1997)
Brian Wilson - 'Good Vibrations [Various Sessions]' (1966)
The Beach Boys - 'Cabinessence' (1966)
The Beach Boys - 'Let's Go Away For Awhile'(1966)
The Beach Boys - 'The Warmth Of The Sun' (1964)
[Brian is touring Europe now - details at the official website here; a decent book about 'SMiLE' here; the 2004 re-recording here].
Saturday, June 16, 2007
No, not once you have fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with the guitar soundscapes and soaring melodies of Mr Robin Guthrie and the extraordinary voice of Ms Elizabeth Fraser. As I did, so many years ago...*sigh*.
Remarkably, this is my first Cocteau Twins post (such self-restraint - I could have overwhelmed you with them) but I hope it won't be the last.
This song fits into the proverbial 'grab at all costs if house burning down' category for me; but I hadn't seen the video until just the other day, and it is lovely.
Friday, June 15, 2007
There's a Minnie Riperton link too to our Friday funk-out in this North London 'nu jazz' collective's 1998 cover of her song, originally from Come Into My Garden.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Well, not exactly blue, but definitely a bit grey here in London after a surprisingly sizzling weekend.
(My copy of this track from this which is a snip for 99p on ebay; Flunk's website here).
Friday, June 08, 2007
Years ago I used to present a weekly Friday night soul show on the preposterously named Hospital Radio Nine at St George's Hospital, Tooting (there were no hospital radios 1-8 as far as I could tell). Our 'studio' wasn't in the quite slick environment of the general hospital building, but in the nearby Springfield Hospital, which was a psychiatric unit. It was at the very top of the building in a kind of late Victorian gothic tower with small leaded windows, many of which were broken (this was quite nice in the summer when the stuffiness would be relieved by cool breezes sweeping across Streatham Vale, but a tad nippy in the winter).
To get to the studio you had to walk through the wards, and it was common to be 'detained' by patients, most of whom were a) very sweet b) rather bewildered, for obvious reasons. The place had that disinfectant/boiled cabbage/stale urine kind of smell and all the chairs were slashed PVC with the foam rubber spilling out. Broadcasting House it was not.
I was never convinced anyone actually listened to my show, or the station in general come to that: we were encouraged to give out an internal phone number for patients to ring in requests, but no-one ever did. At least this meant we didn't have to play any Phil Collins I suppose.
We frequently amused ourselves by coming up with lists of records it would be inappropriate to play - 'Still Ill' by The Smiths was an obvious no-no - but 'Always Crashing In The Same Car' (Bowie) 'My Death' (Jacques Brel) 'Cancer' (Joe Jackson) and Tears For Fears' 'Mad World' also seemed unlikely to make the playlist. If we'd had a playlist.
Basically I got to play my favourite soul, funk and disco for an hour every week whilst occasionally rambling on inconsequentially.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I have an overnight stay in Nottingham tonight because I'm working there early tomorrow.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
After eating out and partaking of rather too many Pinot Grigios last night, I shall be staying in ce soir and cooking the (in some quarters legendary) DavyH prawn curry - spices, onion, garlic, ginger and fresh tomatoes all cooked down nice and slow before the smooth coconut cream is added and the masala paste-marinated prawns and chopped coriander tumble in finally.