Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mood Piece

Feeling a little melancholy.

Only one thing to do - go with the mood.

Play a little Astrud.

Watch the rain.

Astrud Gilberto - 'A Certain Sadness' (1967)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Soul Friday

I guess that like last Friday's choon this might also be a contender for the 'covers that blow socks off' list, from the big fat bassline right on in (though the Sam Cooke'll always have a place in my heart).

The Stax sound baby, it never fades.

Play Loud.

Like you need me to tell you.

Eddie Floyd - 'Bring It On Home To Me' (1968)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weather Report

Louis Armstrong - 'Didn't It Rain' (1958)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Season Cycle

Spring is here if I'm on my bike in Richmond Park, and yesterday I was.

Mind, it's not all green yet like it is in that picture, and of course I don't look 'professional' either.

But the air was fresh and the ground was stirring.

Keep those dogs on leads in designated areas, the skylarks are nesting.

(I've been listening to a lot of Courtney too).

Courtney Pine - 'Skylark' (1989)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Soul Friday

There is a strange mix of this on some Motown compilations that has that bad split-stereo thing going on and a distressingly prominent plonky piano coming out of the right-hand speaker - and children, it is wrong.

What we need is the full mono blast of the vinyl 45 and Levi Stubbs doing serious work on the song written by the Left Banke's 16 year-old keyboard player: surely a contender for your next 'cover versions that blow socks off the original' in-pub conversation.

So good it makes me cry!

The Four Tops - 'Walk Away Renee' (1967)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alex Chilton (Dec 28 1950 – Mar 17 2010)

Like most people of my musical generation, I suppose, I came to him via the people he had inspired; they covered his songs, namechecked him in interviews, and because I liked them and trusted them, I sought his stuff out too. # 1 Record b/w Radio City on an early CD from Rhythm Records in Camden in the heat of Teenage Fanclub mania; Third after hearing 'Kangaroo' and 'Holocaust' on It'll End In Tears.

I didn't even make The Box Tops connection until quite recently. Wow.

What a bunch of work; what a powerful influence.

59 is - self-evidently - way too young to die.


Big Star - 'Thirteen' (1972)
Big Star - 'Holocaust' (1974)
The Replacements - 'Alex Chilton' (1987)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Notes & Tones

Cover art: S.Neil Fujita

Yesterday in London felt like the first real day of spring; the sun didn't just shine, it was warm, and in EC1 I saw a woman sitting outside a cafe/bar sipping at a rosé wine.

I have all the windows open today.

And I've been going crazy for Mingus again; Ah Um. Truly great.

Charles Mingus - 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' (1959)

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's Cold Outside...

Hey! That's Billy Currie on keyboards!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Postscript: Glen Now

Yes, I'd have put 'Old Glen' but that sounds like the name of a sheepdog, or possibly an export Scotch whisky found in French supermarkets.

Anyway, this is very lovely. A Paul Westerberg song.

No cities in this one, move along.

Glen Campbell - 'Sadly Beautiful' (2008)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Cannons Flashing

I love everything about this recording; a great song of course (Jimmy Webb) - gorgeous melody, sparely evocative lyrics - but also a wonderful, soaring vocal, the playing of no less than the legendary Wrecking Crew, which included Campbell (that guitar solo two minutes in!), a sound that is the sea breeze and surf of that place he's left behind and all of his longing to be back there.

They quite genuinely don't make 'em like this any more, you know.

PS: The seafront at Galveston had a hard, hard battering from Hurricane Ike in 2008, by which time still more young men were cleaning their guns far from their loved ones, in invaded lands.

Interesting Artist - 'Great Song' (1969) (see below)

(12/03: Just had this 'returned to draft' and the Mediafire file deleted, so assume it's a copyright thang - have restored the post without the file: sheesh, you all already own it anyway. Ropey, but great, old video clip here).

(23/03: Brilliantly this has been 'taken down' AGAIN. even though there is no link here. So - I have now removed the words that identify the track. Call off the bots! Sheesh x 4).

Friday, March 05, 2010

Yeah Baby

Go careful with this - it's hot! from the tom-toms in.

Lee Fields And Sugarman & Co - 'Stand Up' (2009)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

And You Try To Forget Your Past

I've been playing this over and over in the last few days. I really like it. It's from a synthy mid-80s album of his which is a mixed bag, but I've had it for years on this Beggar's Banquet sampler* that I bought in a junk shop in Wood St, Walthamstow when we were students in a flat above the chip shop.

John Cale - 'The Sleeper' (1985)

*I'm steering clear of some of the other things on it. Gene Loves Jezebel? You know I'm really not so sure.