Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Despite recent concern in some quarters regarding my chilled beats and barefoot bar fantasy I must assure you that I am as likely to frequent a dingy boozer as the next man (and you should see the next man, arf).
In fact I would go so far as to say that I now have a proud and illustrious 20 year track record in the treading of the sticky carpet and the sluicing back of the lusty ale and you'd never notice to look at me in daylight just as long as I breathe in and am wearing black.
Of course, there's no activity more certain to land you in a dodgy bar with beer spilt down your front than going to see a dodgy band, and we've all seen a few of them in our time, right?
Blimey, as I've mentioned here before, I once even had friends in a dodgy band and they often played this dodgy, and now derelict, pub. Actually, I think it was always derelict, it's just now it's actually closed.
But I digress.
This Friday, a song for the backroom of a British boozer - all spilt beer, fags and Brylcreem in the hair. Nothing dodgy about the band, mind.
Dr. Feelgood - 'Milk & Alcohol' (1979)
Mine's a large one.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Yes, bit by bit I'm blowing the cover on the potential summer mix by posting candidate tracks separately but I can't help it, these are the songs that are sounding good to me right now and what's this place for if not to share the music that's in my head and heart and on the hi-fi and all?
John Martyn sounds especially good at this time of year; there's something about his stoner sound that goes well with fly-buzzin' afternoons and heat haze hanging low over London parks - even the inevitable rain.
This is from Solid Air, but you all know that I'm sure. Groove Armada's Andy Cato has chosen it to open his 2008 mix for Cafe Mambo, not that that should influence your judgement either way, but it does show we're, like, well zeitgeisty, eh?
John Martyn - 'Don't Want To Know' (1973)
Monday, June 23, 2008
The lapping water sounds, soft repeating vocal and acoustic guitar to Saint Etienne rhythm thing going on here'll make it a cert for my hot summer 2008 mix; if we have a hot summer in 2008 and I do a mix, that is.
Club 8 - 'We Set Ourselves Free' (2002)
Friday, June 20, 2008
I've been Up West being High Powered today (cough) so I haven't had time to knock up a Friday post. What is more, I got to the blog platform only to see the Train Of Inspiration pulling away at speed, and the days when I could still run to catch up with it and swing on from the heavy slamming door in a moment of life-endangering vigour are long past (different doors, slower running).
I thought about nicking Jon's Friday random idea but have resisted because 1) it is Jon's Friday random idea 2) my random thingy came up with records unsuited to Friday listening (slow Richard Hawley ones, that sort of thing).
Feck it. I'll just post a vinyl rip from my favourite Vapors single and muse wryly that Time Did Make Me That Man Someday.
I'm looking forward to Friday nite tonight, but I think I will have to go get some more Tonic for it to really kick off in style.
Vic Coppersmith-Heaven, I salute you.
The Vapors - 'News At Ten' (1980)
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
Only a handful of Edward Thomas's poems were published in his lifetime. He was killed on the first day of the Battle Of Arras, on Easter Monday 1917, aged 39.
I have loved this poem for a long time now - the way it captures that still, special moment in an unexpected stop at an unexpected place in a summertime in England.
They closed Adlestrop railway station in 1966, but they saved the station sign and stuck it in the village bus shelter.
I hope to pop by there someday.
This is from an old cassette I have of RB reading various poems.
Here's to unexpected stops.
Richard Burton - 'Adlestrop' (by Edward Thomas)
Monday, June 16, 2008
I had a solo drive west on Saturday for a family wedding near Bristol so I thought something from Swindon's finest might soundtrack my journey nicely. Had a bit of a moment to this whilst whizzing through Wiltshire downland on the M4 motorway.
XTC - 'The Wheel And The Maypole' (2005)
Friday, June 13, 2008
I don't know about you, but sometimes of a Friday I fancy a hit song out of a 1960s American Tribal Love Rock Musical as done by a Great Soul Singer with the full and magnificent backing of the Stax house band from the big warm, bass-rich black vinyl grooves of Stax Soul Explosion (1968).
Carla Thomas - 'Where Do I Go?' (1968)
Let's get naked!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
It seems every year or so it falls to a blogger somewhere to post this wonderful and relatively rare early record from Simon Booth's post-Weekend outfit and since I've just converted my precious vinyl copy to an mpthreeple I guess it must be my turn. La lucha continua.
Two versions here: the full 10 mins-plus 12" single A-side, the slower, shorter and in its own way just as lovely 7" 'bossa' B-side. Guest vocalists - Tracey Thorn, Robert Wyatt, Claudia Figueroa.
I weep tears of gratitude and pride that this is one of the most played tracks on my eight and a half year old daughter's iPo. We don't do 'High School Musical' in this house and neither, companeros, need you.
Working Week - 'Venceremos (We Will Win)' [jazz dance special 12" edition] (1984)
Working Week - 'Venceremos (We Will Win)' [7" bossa version] (1984)
Monday, June 09, 2008
I think you're gonna like this.
Elvis Costello's cover and the medium hit he had with it as a single in the UK may mean it isn't the most obscure song I've ever posted, but Teacher's Edition? This is an act so sadly lost to time that I could find no biographical info, discography or even picture of them on the interwebby; all I know is that, like Al Green, they recorded for Ray Harris's Memphis-based Hi Records and a few of their songs have made minor label soul comps over the years. [I have them on this - thanks to my good friend Dr.Al].
I'd assume that's the Hi house band adding their distinctive sound - so if you love Al Green, and why the heck wouldn't you, you're in for a treat here. Those sweet harmonies....
The sun's shining...throw open those windows baby.
Teacher's Edition - 'I Wanna Be Loved' (1973)
Friday, June 06, 2008
I have a fantasy alternate life where I run a blissed out beach bar somewhere hot and groovy where every night and day lovely people drop by for cold beers and cocktails while chilled beats fill the salty air. The feel of sand is always under my feet because I never wear shoes.
People come from all over the world, we celebrate our diversity; there are regulars too and I know them all by name - sometimes one'll bring a CD they made or an old record they found - 'This'll be right for the bar' - and we stick it on and are pleased to see a few heads nodding, some sandalled feet tapping. The draught San Miguel flows cold and golden and the local rosado is fine. I don't make much money, but I've never been happier in my life.
* * *
I've come up with a thousand reasons why it wouldn't work for real, but I've scratched out this place in the shifting sand and you've kindly popped in - some of you more than once. And I'm really, really glad to have you here. You're some of the grooviest persons a chap could hope to meet. So thank you.
What can I get you?
'Small Balearic Bar Session' - A Davy H Mix (27:08 mins)
[Ingredients available on request]
Thursday, June 05, 2008
What a relief. I thought it was the 300th and had got all worked up about having to find a 'theme', discovering that if you Google '300' you end up with about that many references to this film, which by the way I had never heard of before, and er...not much else. I'm not even familiar with the number 300 bus route in East London, and there's always a good story in a bus route isn't there?
No, no. Delete that abandoned draft post still cluttering up the list and we're back to a nice, free, anything goes 299 today, leaving the third century for Friday, where I can't help but feel it most properly belongs.
So... this arrived, and I've been enjoying it very much, not least because I thought I'd heard everything Weekend had ever made (which isn't hard) but this is like listening to a lost original album (though most of it's from about fifteen years later).
My favourite things on it are the bonus tracks which originally appeared as the Alison & Spike EP 'Weekend In Wales' (nod to the history). Here are two of them; they sound dead right for a sunny London morning that's burst in on the memory of an early week of rain.
Alison Statton & Spike - 'A Greater Notion' (1993)
Alison Statton & Spike - 'Web Of Decline' (1993)
Say hello to the lovely Spike here.
Monday, June 02, 2008
This revival-of-vinyl easy-upload-to-mp3 format cross-fertilisation mallarkey's all very well but where does a person go for a new stylus? Eh?
This reminds me of all those fruitless trawls I made around smalltown hi-fi shops when I was a nipper except now it's a fruitless trawl around the interwebby and trying to match my cartridge with the cartridges in the smallest, crappiest pictures you've ever seen and failing, either because a) the number of my cartridge does not match the picture of their cartridge with the same number or b) the picture of their cartridge that matches my cartridge is an entirely different number, so different in fact that one gets a distinct feeling of unease about the prospective purchase.
What I want to do is walk into a little shop where the man has a hundred little boxes in a cabinet, hold up my cartridge boldly and say 'Good morning matey tatey, have you got one of these?'
What are the chances of me being able to do that do you think?
*sigh* I think I might just have to get on my bike and find such an emporium and try....
The Velvelettes - 'Needle In A Haystack' (1964)
[Actual cartridge not as shown. Natch.]