Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Yeah Baby


Older readers will know that I like a pint of Guinness with a slug of champagne in of a New Year's Eve: it is the only time of year I drink this, but it is a tradition, and I stand by it. How fortunate then that the youngest daughter won a bottle of Moët on the tombola at the primary school Christmas Fair in late November, and not the box of rose-scented soaps right next to it. We have been keeping it safe ever since. I will have to get in there quick before Mrs H makes a dent in it, but this is a practice in which I am well-versed.

Some of you will be attending glittering social gatherings tonight, I have no doubt; others will muster in the local boozer. Young Drew is having a rockabilly night. It's a shame he doesn't live next door.

Will you be first footing? Or will someone first foot you? I can't really remember how this works, to be honest, but I know there's something involving lumps of coal.

Anyway.

Our occasional series of extended disco classics builds into a spectacular collection your whole family will enjoy.

One last time.

I shall require several beverages and a take away curry.

Happy New Year x

The Jacksons - 'Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)' (12") (1978)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Post Not Containing My Best Records Of 2010

There's nothing worse than a Christmas song after Christmas, is there? Well, there are a few things obviously: famine, disease, serious injury, that sort of thing. But you get my point.

Hawley needs to come off the top.

Instead I would really like to post something from an album I discovered late this year, thanks to Colin, that I *heart* very much, but that's exactly the sort of thing likely to attract the unwanted attention of the copyright police. So let me just say (again) Warpaint - 'The Fool' - top record, if you like Tanya Donelly-esque woozy riffage, slightly opaque lyrics, that sort of thing.

I liked the School Of Seven Bells one too: more than their first, in fact.

And thank you Simon for the Rose Elinor Dougall tip, though I don't at the moment think there's anything else on the album quite as good as this...




I'm afraid I'll have to go now because I have a busy kitten on my desk who has just written rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr and then wswswswwwwwssssssss by standing on the keyboard.

See you back here tomorrow for a Last Post of the year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas PS...


I always planned to post this on Christmas Eve, but Lee beat me to it with his vid of the lovely live version.

Then today I thought nah - I should post it anyway.

Because you've been nice, not naughty.

Sleep tight.

Richard Hawley - 'Silent Night' (2009)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas To All Our Readers


Is this on TV somewhere over Christmas? It should be.

There comes a point, doesn't there, when even if you haven't got 'everything' your capacity for looking for it and/or your capacity to afford it just bloody runs out, and that is how it should be and that is fine.

I told them perishin' kids they'd catch a cold out there in the snow in inappropriate clothing and now we've all got the sniffles; the mother-in-law's due tomorrow and the place is a mess; we're going to be sleeping on that blow-up bed in the back room and I'm not convinced the pump's working neither.

None of this matters in the least, of course.

*

I can't believe we've almost come to the close of another blogging year. This has remained one of the happiest places in my world, thanks to you, the best commenters and nicest people on (must we call it?) the 'blogosphere'.

So I wish you all you wish yourselves for Christmas - and we're all old enough now to know that it's not about the material things.

Hug the ones you love and who love you forever and celebrate all that you have.

And well, OK, one material thing - always keep a cold one in the fridge x

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anything Can Happen


A snowbound Lake Wobegon story for you for Christmas.

Just 13 minutes long.

But if you have an unhardened heart you may want some tissues handy.

Garrison Keillor - 'Hansel' (from Leaving Home) (1987)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sweet Little New Thing


Here's a sweet little new thing that last I heard was a contender for Radcliffe & Maconie's record of the week; on sale right now via iTunes and so not the sort of thing I would usually post, but since it's also on a festive CD free with this month's Mojo I figure what the hey.

Hannah Peel has a penchant for re-making 80s synth pop quirky-folk style with a music box. Here for example she rather pluckily takes on the Cocteau Twins 'Sugar Hiccup'... Good luck to her, eh?

I am having to trudge one last time into town today but am thereafter officially on my Christmas hols, all satsumas, Quality Street and the double issue Radio Times.

Yay.

Hannah Peel & Tunng - 'Hey Santa!' (2010)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Traditional


Then I played this and realised that it too features an (off-kilter, lo-fi) organ.

It's another re-post I'm afraid, but maybe you can more charitably think of it as an emerging tradition, this being my 5th bloggy Christmas and all?

Altogether now -

On our way from Stockholm
It started to snow....

Low - 'Just Like Christmas' (1999)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

With Mistletoe & Candle Green


That churchiness in the Nick Cave is down to the organ I suppose, which is why it always reminds me of this, one of my very, very favourite things.

Cave's an Aussie rebel raised an Anglican and John Cale famously a son of the Welsh valleys where the Chapel cast thick shadows; ye amateur psychologists make of that what you will (Cale lyric: 'Nothing frightens me more/Than religion at my door'), I think I'll just (re)post this bloody lovely song, which as I have written here before seems to have nothing to do with the Dylan Thomas story, except for its title.

Always my first song of the Season.

Enjoy.

John Cale - 'A Child's Christmas In Wales' (1973)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dark


I'm playing Nick Cave's Boatman's Call a lot at the moment; its dark, churchy love songs seem so right for these short, pre-solstice days, and driving back from the Aged Ps last week I confess a few made me well up, a bit. The ice lacing the trees between Newbury and Swindon on the way down had cleared coming back to dull scrub again and it all whirred through my head, all of the things you'd expect, and a load of random nonsense besides.

I do not know a better opening line to a Track 1, Side 1 than 'I don't believe/In an interventionist God' and the words to this one, too, are - well, just perfect.

Up those stone steps I climb
Hail this joyful day's return
Into its great shadowed vault I go
Hail the Pentecostal morn

The reading is from Luke 24
Where Christ returns to his loved ones
I look at the stone apostles
Think that it's alright for some

And I wish that I was made of stone
So that I would not have to see
A beauty impossible to define
A beauty impossible to believe

A beauty impossible to endure
The blood imparted in little steps
The smell of you still on my hands
As I bring the cup up to my lips

And no God up in the sky
And no Devil beneath the sea
Could do the job that you did baby
Of bringing me to my knees

Outside I sit on the stone steps
With nothing much to do
Forlorn and exhausted, baby
By the absence of you.


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - 'Brompton Oratory' (1997)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Track Of My Year



Hands down, no contest.

Well, unless it's 'On Coming From A Broken Home' - Parts 1 & 2 - from the same LP.

No Potato Roasting Music today - we're off to the panto (oh yes we are) - with a family pizza first.

He's Behind You.

x

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Smiling Hour


Yeah baby, back in the metropolis after two days in Devon with the Aged Ps, tapped out after nights of sleep interrupted by their nocturnal loo visits, the central heating on full blast and the like. I will bore you with the details and/or my melancholy thoughts on same another time.

For it is Friday.

And I shall require a beverage.

Jon Hendricks - 'Flat Foot Floogie' (1975)

Thanks to Darce for setting me off on a JH trail in the autumn x

Monday, December 06, 2010

PVD


I can't leave those spuds up here all Monday, it feels wrong.

Here's a little something that resulted from a cupboard rummage just the other day; a six minute long, trancey reinvention of a song from Republic by Dutch DJ/producer Paul Van Dyk - which I rather like.

New Order - 'Spooky (Out Of Order mix)' (1998)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Potato Roasting Music # 3


In our exciting new series we post music that sounds good on a Sunday whilst a person is roasting potatoes.*

This week...

Richard Harris - 'A Tramp Shining' (1968)

[*those are too smooth; you need to fluff them up a bit with a fork after parboiling]

Friday, December 03, 2010

Honky Tonk Blues


'You got to have smelt a lot of mule manure before you can sing like a hillbilly' - Hank Williams.

Hank Williams - 'Honky Tonk Blues' (1952)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snowed Under

Actual picture taken by me of actual snow

I'm sorry. I've been too busy Tweeting about #uksnow to write a blog post - it's pathetic, it really is. And in other news I've had to computerise the mother-in-law's LP of The Very Best Of Manuel And His Music Of The Mountains since she no longer owns a record player. And Mrs H wants to get kittens. So as you can see, there have been many demands on my time.

I've gone on about all of my favourite snow records (Bon Iver, Aretha) here before, and I really do think it's still a bit early to post Low's 'Just Like Christmas' (even though it's not really a 'Christmas' record).

Can I offer you this as a sort of flip to Ms Ally's ?

Thank you for your understanding.

The Durutti Column - 'Sketch For Winter' (1980)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Meanwhile...



I don't think words are necessary here x

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shake!

WHAM!

Otis ain't messin' around.

And me? I shall require a beverage.

Otis Redding - 'Shake' (1965)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh Mersey


Having built up to it nicely with a weekend of listening to Echo & The Bunnymen, the Teardrop Explodes, China Crisis and, er, Gerry & The Pacemakers, I have just ordered Paul Du Noyer's book about Liverpool music from Amazon Marketplace.

So we best have this.

Wondrous indeed.

And not just the quiff.

Billy Fury - 'Wondrous Place' (1960)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sweet Soul Music

 POW!

And if you hear faint crackles, you are hearing a hundred dodgy styluses in a hundred dodgy halls where I played this in my youth and they never failed to dance.

Arthur Conley - 'Sweet Soul Music' (1967)

I shall require a beverage.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Irma


It's all about the Soul this week.

This song and Bettye Swann's 'Tell It Like It Is' are always connected in my mind since I first heard both on a Stateside compilation I know I've mentioned here before.

Sweet Irma. Still going strong and 70 years young in Feb.

Irma Thomas - 'Wish Someone Would Care' (1964)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bettye Blue


Blue blue blue.

This came on tonight and was just right.

I work hard all day
Stay home every night
Lord knows I try to do the thing that's right
So tell , tell me baby
What is my life coming to?

It'd be unexceptional sung by almost anybody else but Bettye's definitely one of my top five favourite singers, and don't ask me who the others are, but Frank and Marvin'd be in there for sure.

Bettye Swann - 'What Is My Life Coming To?' (1967)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Potato Roasting Music # 2


In this exciting new series, we post music that sounds good on Sunday whilst a person is roasting potatoes*.

This week -

Davy Graham - 'Anji' (1964)

[*If you ask me, there's too much salt on those]

Friday, November 12, 2010

Slight Reprieve


Well, it's been a strange week, but one that seems at least for now to have ended a bit less grimly than it began.

We have kept that wolf from the door one more time - but we know he's still prowling out there, hungry, and the winter could be hard.

We best light a fire with the coal we have, eh?

-------

I'm afraid I've been a soft old Hector these last few days, flattened by some bug but working, worried about money and Mum, and only my faithful old musical friends Frank, Nat and Tom have fit my mood.

So this ain't no glitzy disco nor bassy funk (can I be excused?) ; but it is kinda Friday, if you think about it.

Leave the porch light on for me x

Tom Waits - 'I Can't Wait To Get Off Work (And See My Baby On Montgomery Avenue)' (1976)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Unforeseen Circumstances

Back before too long I hope.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Potato Roasting Music # 1


In this exciting new series, we post music that sounds good on a Sunday whilst a person is roasting potatoes*

This week...

John Martyn - 'Just Now' (1971)

* I like mine with a dash of rosemary and a garlic clove centre-dish, for flavour. I always parboil first, but not for too long.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Meanwhile...



I've definitely posted this before, but I'm blowed if I can find when.

Searching For The Young Ska Rebels


A bunch of white Brummies singing in cod Jamaican accents notched up a number 25 hit with this Gus 'Space Oddity' Dudgeon-produced blue-eyed ska tune in 1968.

There's a rocking rhythm, pumping Hammond and brio in the brass.

All of which I rather like.

The Locomotive - 'Rudi's In Love' (1968)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

'I Was Counting On You Being An Insubordinate Bastard, Palmer'


Lovely mini-series over at Drew's on songs that sound like they're from soundtracks to 60s spy films. This really is, of course. It's a great one for playing in your head as you step suited and booted from the train arriving at Platform 17, in my experience.

John Barry - 'The Ipcress File' (1965)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

You Get What You Give


Right, so. This lot have been lurking in comments, and on me iPo, for the best part of a week. And back in the day, the lead singer was lurking in Miss Ally's supermarket, apparently. Tchh. It wouldn't happen in Waitrose.

Anyway, let's let it all out, eh?

Which is your favourite?

I'm torn between The Orb's and the second part of the Two Parts, chiefly on account of Wobble.

Primal Scream - 'Higher Than The Sun' (American Spring Mix) (1991)
Primal Scream - 'Higher Than The Sun' (Higher Than The Orb) (1991)
Primal Scream - 'Higher Than The Sun (A Dub Symphony In Two Parts)' (1991)

It's all being re-released and re-toured*, blah, you knew that.

*which probably means I'll have to pull this in two days' time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick Or Treat


" 'Ere! You kids! Gedaadovitt!"

Siouxsie & The Banshees - 'Halloween' (Peel Session) (1981)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Reggae # 18


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the big bass sound of Dennis Bovell, in dub.

If I blow just one person's speakers with this, it'll all have been worthwhile.

Linton Kwesi Johnson - 'Insohreckshan Dub' (1983)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Keeping It Peel


Well it had to be a (UK) reggae Session from me, and not only that but one I heard and taped at the time, upstairs in the 70s house with a Westerly dashing rain against the window (transmission date 4th November, it was always raining in Devon in November).

There's a happy blog connection with this one too since many, many years on from having no version of this but my crappy mono cassette recording, a complete, clean copy found its way to me in comments here courtesy 'marc from newsgroups' (shout out Marc!). So I suppose posting this is a bit of my story and a bit of this blog's too, as well as a fragment of JP's.

Everyone has their classic period Peel, their time of listening most intensely and connecting most passionately, and mine ran from about 1980 to 1983. Peel himself was then a year or two younger than I am now; it was a peak time for the show, though there would be many more to come.

Laurel & Hardy (aka Paul Dawkins and Anthony Robinson) had one novelty hit with 'Clunk Click' then pretty much disappeared. Meanwhile when I 'scrobble' 'Tell Her Sey Me Sorry' to Last FM I get a picture of Stan and Ollie. But I am still playing it, thanks John.

Laurel & Hardy - 'Peel Session' (1982)

[The tracks are: 'Speeding', 'Tell Her Sey Me Sorry', 'Toast One Quick', 'You're Nicked'. The musicians are Laurel (v), Hardy (v) John Kpyaie (g) Spy (b) Angus Gaye(d) Reg Graham (k) Annie Whitehead (brs), Chris Layne (v)]

Friday, October 22, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Boom Monday


This is the track after my favourite track (which is very favourite, and has already appeared here) on Duke Ellington's New Orleans Suite and it isn't one I often play; but yesterday, as I pulled the LP from its lovely thick gatefold sleeve, fancying a bit of a listen as the Sunday potatoes roasted, this happened, for a change, to be the track I chose.

And boy that bubbling bass boomed at me good.

On a late-period Ellington recording that contrastingly looks back, right back, at the Old Jazz, the place it came from and some of the people who made it, who are commemorated in musical 'portraits', this piece is a tribute to one of Ellington's own; his bassist throughout the 1920s and 30s whose 'vigorous melodic bass playing, alternately plucking, slapping, and bowing, was an important feature of the early Ellington Orchestra sound'.

Braud died in 1966. Joe Benjamin, the bass player here, would himself be gone four years after this recording - and so would Duke.

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra - 'Portrait Of Wellman Braud' (1970)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Reggae # 17


Deep Joy.

Play loud.

*An Aswad track was here*

[ *sigh* Box.net has responded to a copyright infringement notice and removed this file; I've removed the link. First in 17 Friday Reggae posts over nearly 4 years that this has happened with. Tune's on YouTube mind].

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Prayer


Prayer

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.


(Carol Ann Duffy)


Saint Etienne - 'Finisterre' (2002)


(Thanks to Lee for inspiration with this - and to Greer for reminding me that we haven't had a 'perm' here for a while).

Friday, October 08, 2010

Easy Skanking


I was mighty pleased to grab a newly computerised Peel show tape of '79 vintage this week from the Wiki and delighted too to hear this on it, for the first time in an age: it made me want to upload my original old 7" from back in the day - so I have; and it's here and it's Friday and the sun is shining and it's been 23 degrees in London today, yeah baby.

I shall require a beverage.

The Beat - 'Ranking Full Stop' (1979)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Four


It's four years to the day since I started up this blog (it was raining then too).

Can't imagine my life without it now.

Companeros, thanks so much for sticking around.

Like I always say, it'd be stupidly lonely here without you x

R. Dean Taylor - 'There's A Ghost In My House' (1966)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Blue Monday


'If you like an instrument that sings, play the saxophone. At its best it's like the human voice' - Stan Getz.

Stan Getz - 'Tis Autumn' (1952)

Friday, October 01, 2010

A Tango Of Love


Frankie Laine is my Mum's favourite singer and one of only two recording artists in my experience who have the power to thoroughly transport her emotionally, the other being Glenn Miller (I once came home from school to find her dancing with a squeezy mop to 'Moonlight Serenade').

I always thought of Frankie as a cowboy because of how he looked on this album cover and because he sang songs about riding through the desert in search of water and High Noon and, famously, the TV themes to 'Champion The Wonder Horse' and 'Rawhide', but he was in truth a Chicago-born Italian-American whose real name was Francesco Lovecchio.

The Italian (Sicilian) ancestry might account for the operatic feel Frankie brought to his singing. He had a truly remarkable voice. I loved it, and I loved the dramatic arrangements - the brass and the tango tempo shifts in 'Jealousy' - the overblown passion of it all. I've been wanting to get some of his stuff for years but it's a nightmare trying to find the original recordings in a sea of cheap compilations since in later life, like many singers of his generation, Laine re-recorded his big hits and the new versions are unlistenably awash with synthesised strings and drum machines - just awful.

This budget Hallmark LP was the one I grew up with - I expect Mum bought it in Woolies. I've seen it a few times in charity shops, but always in terrible nick. Today I found a near mint copy - for a quid.

Saddle up and show 'em how it's done, Frankie.

Frankie Laine - 'Jealousy' (1951)
Frankie Laine - 'Cool Water' (1955)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lightfooted


I didn't even know this existed until the other day when I found it on the YouTube.

It's from, of all things, a Valentines Day CD sold in Starbucks last year.

And since at the moment it couldn't get much gloomier here weather-wise, it'll do more than nicely.

Richard Hawley - 'Early Morning Rain' (2009)

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Smiling Hour


Ah, look at what the cat dragged in; I was wondering where you'd got to. Here, I kept you a seat. Still raining outside is it? Nice weather for ducks eh? That's the summer well and truly over then.

So anyway.

What can I get you?

Drop of the usual?

US3 - 'Cantaloupe (Flip Fantasia)' (1993)

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Music Monday


They're fine young fellows from Oxfordshire! They sing songs about conkers shining on the ground! One of them plays the trumpet! Hurrah!

Song was here*

More here.

*I've had a copyright infringement notice on this one via Box Net, and a revert to draft via Blogger too, so the file's removed (5th Oct). Sorry folks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yeah Baby


Nina Simone - 'Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter' (1974)

And that's funky as in 'pungent', we should say.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Would Be In Love Anyway


I have more Frank Sinatra records than anyone I know, but I didn't have this until Monday - even though it's been months since Her Allyness posted one of these songs (and longer still since she first mentioned the LP). It came up on the iPo in a quiet moment the other day when Mrs H was sitting listening and she said 'I've never heard that before. That's lovely' - which reminded me that indeed it was, and sent me, finally, off up the Amazon, and here we are.

The album's narrated by a smalltown guy whose wife has left him and their two boys (Michael & Peter) and taken off on a train for the big city - we're not told why; there's a suggestion he may be to blame. The songs, by Jake Holmes and Bob 'Four Seasons' Gaudio, are a 'series of brief lyrical snapshots that read like letters or soliloquies' (AllMusic); it is the ordinariness of the subject matter that really breaks your heart.

There's an academic interpretation of the album as an allegory for Sinatra's relationship with his recording audience - that by 1969 he was seen as a tired old Vegas-based Greatest Hits machine, out of touch with the Woodstock times, that they had left him and he wondered if he'd ever get them back again. Well, that's interesting, but I'm not sure I buy it: Sinatra was still a huge recording star at the end of the 60s - '69 had been the year of 'My Way', after all.

No. Me, I'm hearing it as an extension of 'A Man Alone' and a reference right back to what the other side of the ring-a-ding-ding Frank had always been doing - singing songs for and of the lonely, baby.

Belated thanks A x

Frank Sinatra - 'Michael & Peter' (1970)
Frank Sinatra - 'What A Funny Girl (You Used To Be)' (1970)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yeah Baby


Summer's bitten the big one and it's dull as all heckfire out there; I'm stone cold broke into the bargain and there ain't no payday coming soon.

But Friday is Friday companeros - and like the lady once said, this here's funkier'n a mosquito's tweeter.

Break!

Gene Harris & The Three Sounds - 'Your Love Is Just Too Much' (1971)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Everything


In celebration of our inter-connectedness, yeah baby.

Donny Hathaway - 'Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)' (1970)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Pulsing


We could run a competition on how best to describe the bassline on this one; I'm going for 'urgent and pulsing'. It's sure cutting through the gloom today.

James Carr - 'That's What I Want To Know' (1967)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Cracking!


Punching car radio buttons in despair as we hit the last few miles of our mega-trek home from hols last Sunday it was a surprise and delight to happen upon a Bank Holiday Northern Soul Special on, of all things, the usually unlistenable Smooth FM.

I was reminded of just how brilliant this is; it's our heartstarter for the week.

Roy Hamilton - 'Crackin' Up Over You' (1966)

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Smiling Hour


"We feel sorry for people that don't drink; when they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're gonna feel all day" - Frank Sinatra.

Salute!

Dean Martin - 'Ain't That A Kick In The Head' (1960)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Here Again (Traditional)


David Sylvian - 'September' (1987)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Memo To Self




Rouse yourself davyh, rouse yourself: you've a load of work to do this week and a charity cycle ride on Sunday and with a brain like stinky soft French cheese and a waistline impacted by same, plus all that Bergerac Rosé, you've much to do to get 'match fit'.

You can start by posting that Midlake song that sounded so good as you swept up the autoroute and make sure you don't fall by the blog wayside as so many around you appear to have done of late: was it all those threats from The Man or did they just get bored? Keep on keepin' on my boy, for autumn's coming and splendid things shall lie ahead if you just believe it, yeah baby.

Midlake - 'Head Home' (2008)

Friday, August 20, 2010

En Vacances


Mais oui et alors mes amis, the Famille H are off on their hols to South West France and hoping that the 40% chance of rain forecast for next week is an erreur; for heading South will be sweeter if to a warmer, sunnier place. Either way we are banking on groovy cheeses and groovier wine, fresh baked bread and some cheap gin from the hypermarket - and we've loved doing the London things this summer, but we also need to breathe some green, you know?

It's an early start and a long drive tomorrow, all frites by the autoroute and petit cafes to keep me awake, so don't make me stay up late tonight gassing away with you.

There's half a melon in the fridge if you want to use it up.

Salut!

Manfred Mann's Earth Band - 'Davy's On The Road Again' (1978)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Busking It


Our internets have been broken all day and Busby's only just fixed them. I should think all of Mrs H's crops in Farmville have died, and you can forget all about that erudite morning post I planned (I know I have).

We best busk it, eh Ted?

Ted Hawkins - 'He Will Break Your Heart' (1985)

Jerry Butler!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Caught Up In This Big Rhythm


It's been rain/sun/rain/sun/rain here all week: off with the girlies, on the 'sun' days we did the Albert Memorial, red pavilion and Princess Di playground in Kensington Gardens, a parched Wimbledon Common/Cannizaro Park and light refreshments at The Hand In Hand, and squeezed in a pub lunch by the river today - low tide, drizzle-pitted Thames, herons and cormorants.

Tinseltown Is In The Rain.

I found this LP in the charity shop in the spring - already had the music, bought it anyway, it was such a nice thing. It has, on reflection, been a good year so far for vinyl finds in places whiffing of mothballs.

Chin Chin my lovelies.

The Blue Nile - 'Tinseltown In The Rain' (1984)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Zing!


Sitting reading last night and listening to the Blackpool Mecca comp, I was struck by just how terrific this is. It sounds so mid 70s Philly (and was a hit in '75), but it was recorded in 1971.

It's the kind of thing that's playing on those hot summer nights by the beach in the perfect August of my imagination.

The Trammps - 'Hold Back The Night' (1972)

Friday, August 06, 2010

It's Disco! With Guitars!



Your vote is well-hung.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Last For Long


So as I mentioned the other day to Simon, right after him posting about this feller and long, long since various people whose musical opinions I dig first blethered on at me about this record, I found it in my local charity shop for a quid, and bought it.

Would those of you who know it describe it as a grower?

I mean, it's dark and moody and complicated and sometimes a bit unexpected isn't it?

My first reaction is some of the tracks are walking dark funky paths in search of a tune, a bit.

I will stick with it, because I like unobviousness.

This (track one!) I think is superb. I'm sort of obsessed with it at the moment.

Lewis Taylor - 'Lucky' (1996)