Friday, October 31, 2008

In, out , in , out , you take the pitch apart...

Travels as a footie fan take you here, there & everywhere as Lenin & McArthy said, up and down the length and breadth of this land supporting yer team, as well as overseas and as HMHB will tesify, the pull is magical - "All I want for Xmas is a Dukla Prague away Kit"- whilst we all marvel and admire the Snadfrods as they set off in their wonderful (German) vehicle , spare a thought for the lost souls who marvel at stadia and the wonders of technology all over the the gremlinfc is at one of the few stadia in the world where the pitch can be taken out on rollers but it normally stays outside so it can get sun, rain etc - moving it in or out takes about 4 +half hours...Vorsprung Durch Technik...

Lego Monster Mash - tee hee

This tickled me - hope someone
somewhere gets some enjoyment out of this clever fella's talents...

Regrets Of A Reluctant Traveller

Oh, where do I start??

I've been co-incidentally on the road almost all day today - to and from a funeral in Cumbria - and so have loads to catch up on. As DarceysSis is fast asleep next to me I daren't even play Shane's movie, let alone open up any of the other posts from the last 30hrs or so.

Travelling : both a regular topic for many of my favourite bands, and a subject with much resonance to me & mine.

We're out again tomorrow - Chester Zoo, I think - and won't be travelling home from DarceysGran's until late on Sunday, so Lord only knows when I will get round to my post for this, but I'll promise you it IS coming and it is going to be boringly long!


So get your neck pillows ready; charge the in-car discplayers; check the fluid levels; pack the car hamper and fill the flask . . . oh, and make sure the kids have been to the toilet!

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

Ghost Traveller

Mountain Goats
Tom McRae
Damian Marley
Radical Face
Cass McComb
Death Cab For Cutie
Buck 65
Tom Vek
DJ Shadow
Yo La Tengo
the Accidental
tracks 2-3-4-5 travel and ghosts
1 for Garath
2 for proudfoot
6 to 11 travel tracks
12 a last halloween night track.

Spill Monster Movie

A Soul Cake,
A Spill Cake,
A Music Monster Thrill Cake...

I Pray You Good Woman...

An Apple,
A Pear,
Some Wine or a Penny...

Any Good Thing To Make Us All Merry.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've got chiiiills, they're multiplying!

Just in time for Hallowe'en, here's a different sort of chill altogether.

The Visitations – An Electric Storm
The Black Mass: An Electric Storm In Hell – An Electric Storm

"Parachute" - Shugo Tokumaru

Ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties.. FP's Halloween Quiz

I won't be in tomorrow night - out for a Halloween meal... I have rather a nice list of 20 songs or so - all linked to Halloween-type themes and so if you're having a spooky evening in or indeed a Halloween party, you could do worse than put this on in the background. It all fits.

I am still fighting the good fight to convince my European colleagues that Halloween is not an American invention (although you could see why they might think that) but a very old feast day of Celtic origin and one which I grew up with.

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Go on then - couldn't resist. Shoey's was so great. I've made it into a quiz by blacking out the text. I'll end up with massive egg on my face if the title displays at the top when you play it. But, hey, I'll take the risk.....

Up-date: Forgot to include Javis's finest Halloween hour - so I've added it at the beginning. Move breakable objects out of your reach if you listen to this as you will strike glam rock poses around the living room....


the devil
boogie monster
boogie man


A-Z List Indexed With Topics

In last week's RR blog, jforbes lamented the fact that the A-Z list did not indicate what topics the songs were for. So I volunteered to put together a website doing just that, as long as The Guardian didn't take issue with it for copyright reasons.

Well, I have made a start to the project and you can see it at I am being quite ambitious here and not only have I broken the artist list up into individual A-Z pages, I will be listing the topics in an A-Z list and the topics by date published as well. Additionally, every topic will link to another page with the ten songs listed as well as links to the blog and column for that topic.

Right now only some of the links are active and I have added topics for only the Punctuation Marks and Numerals artists in the A-Z. I've also added pages for the two most recent topics.

So when you follow the link above, click on the A-Z by Artist link and then click on the topics to see how the layout works. You can click on any of the alphabet links in the A-Z by artists for the existing list, as yet not annotated with topics. You can click on the Topic by Date link for the ten topic pages I have done so far. For topic pages from this year I have added the B Lists as well but that is very time consuming and I am not sure I will continue to do so.

Originally I was going to call the site Themed Songs or Topical Songs but decided Readers Recommend: The Complete Index made more sense. I have yet to register an url but will do so if Maddy says the copyright issues are in order. I have put a copyright announcement at the bottom of each page. At this time I am not placing ads on the site but if The Guardian has no problem with my doing so, I may add some Google ads along the ledft side and bottom of the page as well as an link to Dorian's book...but only if there are no issues with that.

I don't know how long the blog and column have been running, but at least since 2005. That makes at least 200 topics covered so far. At fivw to ten topic pages a week, it would take me 20-40 weeks to compile the complete up to date index. If spillers are willing to pitch in, I will create templates that volunteers can use to put together pages and email them back to me. This might speed things up a bit.

I'd like your feedback...what do you think of such an index? Are there any additions you would make? Anything you think should be left out?

The link again is until I register an url and give it a permanent home.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mac + Boxstr + Zipped playlist = 0kb

Can someone help me over this technological wall? I've tried to zip a load of mp3s on my trusty Mac and unstuff them on Boxstr, because it says it wants zip files, not sitx or owt like that. It uploads them, unstuffs them… and gives me a mass of 0kb files. Has anyone else had the same problem, and could you get around it? I was using the "Create archive of x items" feature under the File menu.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

gallo + rza + booze = sexy results

genius film maker and singer vincent gallo has teamed up with genius song maker and actor RZA for a song for belverdere vodka  -  and it's damn good! the song that is, i haven't tried the vodka. i have plum vodka brewing in my larder which should be ready for christmas. !!! anyways...
it's also  ten years since mondogenius "buffalo 66" came out, so here's a clip

Radio Shoe (Halloween Edition)

Radio Shoe and Drunk Pumpkin Productions present the Halloween edition. For all important 'Spill points, redeemable at fine outlets nowhere, am looking for Song Title and Artiste for each. Tried to go with some less obvious choices for tricks, but hope you find a few treats too.
Freak Time - Keith LeBlanc
Ricky's Hand - Fad Gadget
Witches Multiplication Table - Holger Czukay
Irate Caterpillar - Hugh Cornwell & Robert Williams
Stalker Fever - Eric Alexandrakis
Demon Seed - Nine Inch Nails
Sonny's Burning - The Birthday Party
Kundalini - 23 Skidoo
In The Nursery- Psychic TV
The Shankhill Butchers - Decemberists
Werewolf - Cat Power
Halloween - Chris Garneau

Monday, October 27, 2008

Let's Change The World With Music

Apologies to all those to whom this means nothing or less (and, yes, I know that's most of you) but I wanted all my fellow Prefab Sprout fans to share in my joy at discovering that there's a new Sprout album due out in February 2009 - their first since 2001. The working title is Let's Change The World With Music - The Blueprint. I have to confess, I'm all a-tremble.

To celebrate, here's a selection of five of my favourite Prefab Sprout tracks. Enjoy...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where the jemaa el fna is this?

This was a very pleasurable afternoon spent by the gremlin and his little gremlin-ite while mrs. gremlin did "more cultural" things (can't reveal what or it'll give away the location). This footie venue is so vast you can easily wile away a complete afternoon just looking at the trophy Rooms and Museum. Don't forget you Snadfrods - take a good camera with you for piccies!
We're off on us jaunts again tomorrow so won't be back for at least 4 days , sniff, sniff. This teaser is especially for Toffeeboy and Sonicwebcrumb.

"If you go down in the woods today" - an afternoon picking mushrooms in the Alsace

Needless to say, we didn't touch this baby, which indeed corresponds to TracyK's pithy description in my last post and will do nothing to allay her or Darce's prejudices against mushrooms. I can almost see you two sitting on a sofa and saying "Mushrooms? The dirty bastards.." Much love to you two and this is for you..

It's mushroom season in the Alsace and, like man
y other city-dwellers, we headed out to the woods yesterday to enjoy some country air and the last of the incredible sunshine which is still bathing the area in spite of the fact that Christmas is only nine weeks away (aaarrrrgghhh!)

You have to be very careful, though. Even touching something like the monster in the photo can cause serious problems. There are so many different kinds of fungus which proliferate under the dark ferns of the forest, shyly peeping out from under the dead leaves, or indeed standing tall and in your face like this one. And even putting a bad mushroom in the basket with the others means that you have to to
throw the whole lot away. We went with a friend who is a part-time wild man of the woods and can read the forest and all its signs. He can look at a vague pock mark in the mud and say "Hum, a wild boar was eating chestnut kernels here". "How on earth can you tell that?" I asked him on several occasions. But he could always give a plausible explanation for his deductions. I couldn't contradict him anyway...

Yesterdays' mission was finding, in descending order, girolles (the queen of mushrooms) and cêpes (which I hate to use when cooking as they are slimy and glutinous but brilliant when dried). Our friend strode on ahead, poking through the dried leaves and very unselfishly rooting out the small, light beige heads of the pieds de mouton mushrooms which, sadly, were the only kind of edible fungus we came up with yesterday. After four hours' walk we came home with enough to make sauce for two lamb chops. Not such a good haul. But it was a magnificent day in the forest.

Thankfully, we didn't come across these two colourful creatures. Instead of doing an 'afternoon' list (I put all my suggestions on the Mother Ship anyway...), I thought I'd share my current musical obsession with you all. The album's called The Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake. It was, again, a 'turn right at the traffic lights and go once more round the block' moment when I heard the first track - Roscoe - on FIP radio. I can only describe them as "Fleetwood Mac-meets-The-Alan-Parsons-Project-meets-Radiohead", although they describe their influences as being Jethro Tull (gulp). Wikipedia tells me they were formed in 1999 in Denton, Texas. This album was released in 2006 and it seems there'll be a new one this year "tentatively entitled" The Courage of Others. Here's their website.

No particular question this week, but do let me know what you think of Midlake. The first track, Roscoe, blew me away and is representative of the whole album. Enjoy....

Découvrez Midlake!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Very Temple of Delight

Well, someone had to do it - I was rather expecting it to be fp but it seems that it's been left to me to bring some special joy to The 'Spill in the shape of the awesome Starland Vocal Band (not Starlight as some idiots seem to think). Yes, it's Afternoon Delight for your personal delectation.

Next up is the first of two contributions from Jonathan Richman to the afternoon theme: Sunday Afternoon from the recent album Not So Much To Love As To Be Loved. Very short, very instrumental, very beautiful, very Jojo.

Most of us probably know the Crash Test Dummies from their 1993 hit, the wonderfully-titled Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm. Afternoons & Coffee Spoons was the UK follow-up and although it wasn't such a big hit over here, I remember liking it at the time and I think it's aged well. I particularly love the lines:

Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline,
Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime.

We're all heading that way, boys...

Two more tracks to finish with. First of all, it's The Cardigans with In The Afternoon and finally I present to you this week's second Jonathan Richman track. It's simply called Afternoon and it's taken from one of my favourite albums - Rock 'n' Roll with The Modern Lovers. This was recorded at a time when Jonathan was evidently keen to distance himself from the early Modern Lovers' sound - it's about as far away from She Cracked, Pablo Picasso and Roadrunner as you can get. The good news is that you're allowed to like both sounds - and I do...

Edit: I have a question for you all. Although I love the Crash Test Dummies track, I have to admit to feeling just a tad irritated by the guy's voice - there's something ever so slightly annoying about his vocal style - and I can guarantee that there are some singers that grate on your nerves every time you hear them. So my question is, which singers sound to you like finger nails on a blackboard? I'll start things off with the obvious (to me anyway) Bob Dylan, and follow that up with one that I know some of you will find an odd choice; namely, Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays. Over to you...

Songs for a Rainy Afternoon

Tea for Two--Django Reinhardt
One PM Again--Yo La Tengo
Grace Cathedral Hill--Decemberists
Smiths--These Things Take Time
Heaven in the Afternoon--Belle & Sebastian
Roots--Lazy Afternoon

Happy Hour

And at the end of a perfect afternoon (NOT!) comes ...

Matthew Ryan - Happy Hour

As far removed from the vibe of The Housemartins as it is possible to be. A real 'stop-you-in-your-tracks' lyric if ever I heard one. Magnificent, imo.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sunny Afternoons

Sketch For Summer
Happy Days Are Here Again
Cup Of Tea
A Pleasant Afternoon
It's A Fine Day
Passion In The Afternoon
Nine In The Afternoon
Sunny Afternoon
A Crack In The Clouds

Mrs Malaprop on the lyrics sites

I just went to a lyrics site to check my quote from the Who's 'Love Ain't For Keeping' for RR, and found the first line rendered as

Layin' on my back in the nude and on the grass

Now, this may very well be the case later on in the song, but for the first line it's really the 'newly-mown' grass to which they are referring.

Anyone found any more malapropisms on lyrics sites?

Here's Raining in Port Arthur by the Gourds - someone's having a horrible afternoon.

Raining in Port Arthur


...for gremlinfc...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One for the road...

Not for the first time today lost the thread of the many spills being spilt on the spill but gathered that somewhere along the way there was talk of Benjamin Bluemchen and other great German characters. None of them can top this bit of kiddies nonsense from a couple of years back. so, for the Snads and others about to embark on a long journey, put the arm across and let it play..."Schi, Schnah, Schnappi, Schnappi, Schnappi, Schnappi..." , come on , do it for the Snadfrods and give them a great send off..."Ich bin Schnappi, das kleine krokodil..."

Short history of Barack Obama... 'Spill favorite Jeffrey Lewis

Rap Battle

A friend in Australia just sent me this!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

F*ck Buttons, Mogwai at Hammersmith

Is anyone else going to this on Friday and wants to meet for a drink beforehand?

Wo ist der Gremlinfc?

To Snadfrod and family - gremlinfc hopes you get this far in your very reliable (German) automobile. It is a cool and fascinating place but scaary and magical when the sunsets and night descends. It is rivalled only by Cayton Bay or Gwithian Sands , according to Albie Senior from Bradfrod. The first spiller to guess this exotic location "wins" a copy of the CD Gremlinfc will be concocting for the adventurous and very brave Snadfrod family. Second person to get it right wins 2 copies - hahahahahaha!
Note the well-travelled green bag....where will it be next?
Wouldn't we all secretly like to be doing what these people are doing? I think they ought to send a photo of their (German) Automobile in every major location for us if they can find a Cyber/inernet Cafe , then we can enjoy the journey and be even more green with envy! Actually, I would rather be in a building all day surrounded by people i don't like...

You're So Cool

Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you're so cool, you're so cool, you're so cool. 

'Spill fave Esau Mwamwaya is now releasing under the name The Very Best (which is him and Spill commenter/ producer Radioclit) and they have just released the best free mixtape (album if you like) of the year. It gathers together nearly all the stuff of his I've posted this year and much more besides, the Vampire Weekend, MIA, Ruby Suns stuff etc etc. 

Imagine what their debut LP proper will be like if they're giving away all this stuff for free!

List for Snadfrod

Heading To Glory
Travel Light
Get In The Car
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
2-4-6-8 Motorway
The Passenger
I Travel
I Will See You In Far Off Places
Let's Get Lost
Fisherman's Blues

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trumpet blowing time...

I may have shot this....

There is nothing that the road cannot heal.

Ladies and gentlemen of the 'spill, I know it's been a while but it's been an odd few weeks, with very little access to the web along the way. It's been busy, too. We've been up and down the country, we've been gazumped and been fooled, we've been disappointed and been looking at lots of fairly depressing toss. BUT! At last! It happened! In bleedin' Bradford of all places (for DsD alone, that city and its suburbs has given us a lot...)! So here it is. Representing in full effect. The snadfrod wagon.

(Just to be clear, it's the two-tonne, left hand drive 'Hymer Camp 57' in the front you're looking at, not the mother-in-law's Nissan Micra behind. We're not touring Europe in that, that would be insane.)

So, to recap for those of you who might not (quite reasonably) have been following - Mrs Frod, Mini Frod and I have returned from Ireland, jobless, homeless and more than a little directionless. In response to this rather debilitating state of affairs we came up with a pretty jolly ruse. The gist of it is this: we buy a cheap motorhome, run away round Europe for the next six months and, um, that's it.

So yesterday we went to Bradford, having previously had almost everything go wrong on the search, and brought home the beast. There had been false hopes, there had been insurance refusals, there had been payment concerns and there had been, I'll be honest, tears. It was, I imagine, a lot like buying a house except for the fact that ours is a very cheap house and constitutes almost all our worldly finances, in cash. And when the world collapses around us, maybe that will be a good thing...

But anyway, I digress. Finally, yesterday, we got it. It's a '91 Hymer, which means it is German built, which means - basically - that it'll be warm, dry and run forever. It sleeps four in comfort, has cupboards to cobble dogs with and even (miracle of miracles) has a separate shower. Mini Frod, having been leery at first, now loves her big bed above the cab and I have successfully driven it twice now without crashing.

Above, Mini Frod can be seen demonstrating her new, massive den. Don't worry folks, there's loads of air up there. Also, note our new wild-animal livery. Not my choice, but arresting nevertheless.

The plan thus far is a bit sketchy. We reckon it'll be mostly UK up until christmas, with a tentative toe dipped into Northern Europe via a friend who lives in Maastricht. After that, though, in January it'll be a run to the sun and we wont be back until one of us has a job or Mini needs to be in school. Or, more likely, the cash runs out, but still...

Whatever happens, though, it means that the road is now our friend. And my other friend, as it goes, will be the ten CD auto changer that the van has had fitted. Bonus! And so we come to your bit. I would love it if each and every one of you, whom I love respect and need music off, could choose for me your number one driving album. I'm talking proper road trip music. You know the kind of thing, right?

I hereby promise to, ahem, get a copy of every nominated album to go with us in the van and hopefully appraise for you. It's going to be a long trip and we are hoping to blog it but, equally, it could also just end up being a long time without internet access. Either way, I would love to get suggestions from you all and can't wait to let you know how it goes. Pip pip!!

P.S. I would have a song for you, but this ain't my computer. Conor Oberst gave me the blog title, so just play his song Moab in your heads, ok? Ta.

I promise to stop now...

Monday, October 20, 2008

where are all the squirrel songs?

We live near Princeton, famous for it's black squirrels. Oh yeah, and there's a university there, too.

Gor, blimey

Gremlin's Crosby post reminded me that everyone loves the Gormley statues (especially Gormley, as they are all replicas of him). When London was peppered with them last summer, I took this shot on Waterloo Bridge. There wasn't a campaign to keep them in London, but I thought they were pretty neat. This was one of the few you could get at, though - most were on rooftops.

Speaking of cute...

...this cheered up the breakfast table yesterday.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gremlinfc on his travels around Britain's Suburbia ; where is he this week Spillers?


For TFD & FP

Putnam County
Good Life
Good Life
Long Island Degrees
A Certain Romance

Bruce's local library

For me, the local library is more suburban than a Costco, TB...but then like gf I've only ever seen the huge hangar-monsters. Springsteen used to say that the first book he ever read was Ron Kovic's Born on the Fourth of July, but I don't think that's true...or where did the language come from?

Shoey says he never 'got' Bruce, and why don't I do a list. So I have, and I'll post the first 7 and then, after a decent interval, the other 8.

1 For You: Bruce was not the only person who got the 'new Dylan' label - here's an example of the baroque outpouring of words and images that characterised his first album, Greetings From Asbury Park NJ. It was as if people said "ooh, baroque outpouring of words and images - this must be the new Dylan!"
2 Wild Billy's Circus Story: by the second album the language was more comprehensible, and this song is full of weird, wonderful and sinister characters. Plus, show me a person with a song about the circus who DOESN'T put circus music in it.
3 Rosalita: for its joy, its exuberance, and the line "your poppa certainly knows that I don't have any money"...if only he'd known...
4 Meeting Across the River: Springsteen here distils the tension, the relationships and the backstory into a few simple lines - so different from his earliest work. The words are matched by the spareness of the music.
5 Racing in the Street has it all, for me - you've got the subtlety of the relationships, the understanding of people's lives, the clinging on to the one thing that gives their lives meaning, because everything else is too awful to think about. And the 'ching' of the tambourine that evokes a music that's already in the past. Sigh. I love this song.
6 Sherry Darling is also about someone making the best of his lot...but this is much more cheerful.
7 Reason to Believe (not the Rod Stewart song) is from the first acoustic album, Nebraska, and it's like a folk song, a series of little vignettes making a pattern. And again, saying some very profound things about life in a very simple way.

Lyrics here.


Running with the dogs

Just a short playlist this week - still suffering from iTunes-related stress!

First up, the song I mentioned yesterday called Wheels Go Round by a C86-era band called Blue Train. I think this was their only single but they promised more. The song's written from the perspective of the friends left behind when one of their own leaves to seek fame and fortune.

I hope you enjoy, Dean Friedman's Marginal Middle Class. It's nice - that's what it is...

Finally, Watford's contribution to Britpop, and Peel favourites, Gene, with Sleep Well Tonight from their debut album, Olympian. I used to play football with the lead singer - he was better than me at that as well. Curses!

Greetings From Suburbia!

View from Queensbury back to Bradford - when does a village become a suburb?

On Saturday I said ...

I have to say I just LOVE this topic, or rather my music collection does.
There will be at least one post, but it may be after RR deadline, and I suspect that I'll somehow have to whittle the current 63 song longlist down at least by half.

But having been to a typically suburban housewarming party for a now ex-neighbour, I'm too drunk and too tired . . .

Actually, ToffeeBoy, I surprised myself by being up bright and breezy with the girls this morning in time to catch the footy highlights that I missed last night! And whilst wondering whether to now pick Antonio Valencia in place of the injured Martin Petrov for my GU Darcey County FF team, and watching my kids have a typically suburban Sunday, I started to consider my pile of CDs and mp3 possibles . . .

An early thought was to split my list into two, one for each side of the two communities divided by a common language - Cypress Boulevard vs Acacia Avenue if you will - but Bap Kennedy, Scorpions, AC/DC, etc, etc, etc, all conspired to ruin that idea.

So tonight, I've tried to distill my thoughts down into one concise-but-killer post'n'song piece.
The trouble is, in exactly the same way as the very subject matter we're discussing, the DsD musical suburbs keep oozing out past their original boundaries!

After staring at my proto-utterances and CD lyric sheets all evening, I can no longer tell my swallowed-up villages from my satellite towns. Are latterly-gentrified terraces around long-demolished factories now suburbs? How do residents of almost-city-central-but-rich-enough-to-afford-green-moat-detached-houses see themselves?

I've tried taking my newly-installed (and already annoying the pants off me) Firefox over to the mothership for guidance, but it looks like that's bogged down in the same mire. And if I get involved I'll end up picking a fight with sonofwebcore - (New Entry No.6 with a bullet in the DsD Top Ten Stupid Things To Do list) over his definition of my home town!
*Whilst I will defer to his Scouse credentials, his seniority, his impassioned authenticity, and yes his much harder fists, don't EVER call Widnes a Cheshire town to anyone with 40y.o. roots there!! If you didn't work at TAC, Golden Wonder, RTZ or Fisons, it was a dead cert a driving commute involved the "Ford Road" in to/through Speke, rather than heading east or south over the river. CHESHIRE?!?! B@ll*cks to the County pen-pushers who kept changing my family's postal address without our ever packing a bag!*

Anyway, lookee here, midnight again and I haven't uploaded a single tune yet! [SIGH!]

The Bobby Charltons - Sunday Lunch (I Don't Wanna Know)
The Christians - Greenbank Drive
Richmond Fontaine - A Girl In A House In Felony Flats
Live - Shit Towne

The rest'll have to wait again - it's a good job I'm not a journalist on a deadline!

And now that it IS after deadline, here's some more. Dedicated to the Snadfrods, and their new behemoth mobile-suburb-all-by-itself! Or maybe, given the bleak view of the 'burbs the following songs offer, it's his getaway vehicle from the land of the living dead?

Thunder - Higher Ground
Cowboy Junkies - Hunted
EBTG - Anytown
Edie Brickell - Oak Cliff Bra
Matthew Ryan - Chickering Angel
Bap Kennedy - The Shankill And The Falls
Shack - Streets Of Kenny
Joolz - Requiem
Smalltown Heroes - Human Soup

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ToffeeBoy With A Problem

As I mentioned a short while ago on the Mothership, I have a problem with my iTunes. I've lost my 'library' (god knows how - I didn't change anything) - and although I quickly discovered that I hadn't actually lost any music and could easily re-import it all into iTunes, I was more than a bit peeved when I found that I'd lost all my playlists, ratings and play history. I eventually managed to find an older version of my library from just a few weeks ago (which has all the play history etc.) and I've managed to load this but now iTunes can't find the music files. I can locate files individually but I don't really fancy doing that for all 10,000 tracks...

If there's no way of re-introducing the library to the music files (en bloc) it seems that I have two choices ahead of me:

1. Reload the music files from the folders, accept that I've lost the play history etc. and spend an evening (or two) reconstructing my playlists and de-selecting most of ToffeeGirl's favourite tracks so they don't accidentally appear in my head at an inappropriate moment.
2. Re-connect all 10,00 songs manually.

The first of these options seems the more palatable, but before I embark on this tedious process, if anyone's experienced this sort of problem with their iTunes and has a sugestion or two, I'd be grateful if you'd share it with the rest of the class. Ta.

And although blimpy keeps pointing out that this isn't a music blog, I don't feel right posting something without adding some music - so here's a demo version of Elvis Costello's Boy With A Problem for your delictation...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Levi Stubbs (1936 - 2008)

Just heard the sad news of the death of Levi Stubbs and was compelled to say a few words.

It was my great good fortune that so many of the greatest The Four Tops' classic 45's were also among the first few records I can remember seeing in our house. Although I was just a wee speck at the time, I absolutely loved tracks like 'Walk away Rene', 'Bernadette' and 'If I were a Carpenter'. My favorite though was always 'Reach out(I'll be there)' which absolutely sent me into the future every time my older sister played it. It was a great tune, structure, everything, with a wild energy all of its own, like very little else before or since - but it was Levi Stubbs tenderly delivered and yet startlingly righteous vocal that sealed it for me.

By way of a tribute, here's a live vocal from 1966. Unstoppable, I think, is the word.

His loss will be particularly powerful to all those who felt that his music spoke to ordinary men and women everywhere - not just to a niche market - and by all those who can still remember what it means to dance with someone else and have it really mean something.

RIP, Levi Stubbs

Suburban mansions

Was about to take issue with lonniej over on RR about whether it could be suburbia if it was a mansion...then I remembered seeing this house for sale in my son's bit of San Antonio, which is definitely suburban. Mind you, his house isn't as posh as this, which will set you back $1,195,000 o.n.o. (I'm guessing about the o.n.o. bit.)

Some suburban songs...a suburban tragedy, by Maggie Holland; the importance of gardens and gardening, by the same (and of course suburban gardens are now very important for wildlife - not to mention veg growing); RT imagines the true suburban life, complete with shed; and I expect you've all heard Thunder Road before, but this is a live version which perhaps you haven't.

Sandy Hill, by Maggie Holland
A Proper Sort of Gardener, by Maggie Holland
A Solitary Life, by Richard Thompson
Thunder Road (live), by Bruce Springsteen

Sounds from the Suburbs (and Ghetto's)

Neighbours - Noah House of Dread
Sweet Suburbia - The Skids
English Towns - The Stranglers
Here Comes A Saturday - Cowboys International
Suburban Rhonda - Magazine
The Emotional Hooligan - Gary Clail
Evidently Chickentown - John Cooper Clarke
Dream Kitchen - Mark Stewart
Stargazer - The Zephyrs
In The Ghetto - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
No More Ghettos In America - Stanley Winston

Thursday, October 16, 2008 such sweet sorrow

Mr McFlah has asked me most politely to step down from my guest editorship of the Spill, with the following wise words:

Speng, 1975 needs you. If you don't return to 1975 the time continuum will be irreversibly disrupted, punk will never happen, and we'll all be listening to Cliff Richard and Tom Jones in 2008......

He also asked me to publish my reply, which reads as follows:

Mr McFlah (May I call you Blimpy?)

You know, you may have a point there, sir...

I had been thinking of retiring anyway, following the recent financial crisis. Some would no doubt echo 'before they give you the boot old chap' but actually I can see now that I have reached a new plateau in my career as a philanderer from which there is no point in running - time is finally catching up with old 'buzzwagon' Brian.

Better to take an 'early', embrace the inevitable, accept the handshake and move upward and onward to sunnier climes. Maybe i'll just head back over to Mallorca and move in with my sister (she bats for the other side you know) the winter is much less harsh there, and who knows what a beach full of bathing beauties might do for the old libido - could be the start of something big for Brian Speng

Toodle pip, its been a fine thing to associate with you and the others at the jolly old Spill Blimpy, sir. I raise a glass of fine old Sherry to you all.

Cheerio now!


p.s. My closing credits acknowledge my inspiration

So long, one and all!


Oh I can't be arsed to cook... Seafood penne

Haven't done one of these for a while and we had this for dinner this evening. Thought I'd share it. Easy seafood sauce and very scrummy on hot penne or spaghetti.
- Pack of deep frozen mixed seafood - de-frosted and rinsed.
- Large onion
- Third of a cup of fish stock (made with fish stock cube - no sweat)
- Dry white wine or Noilly Prat
- Tub of creme fraiche or liquid single cream
- Portion of saffron

  1. Peel and very finely chop the onion. Soften in oil.
  2. Turn up heat to max and add the seafood mixture. Cook through until done.
  3. Add half a glass of dry white wine or Noilly Prat. Allow to sizzle.
  4. Add the fish stock and sizzle a little more.
  5. Add the wee pot of saffron and it will go lovely and golden.
  6. Finish off by adding the cream and if it's not thick enough boil down a bit.
  7. Pour over pasta and serve with the rest of the white wine!
Any other great pasta sauces out there we should know about?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gremlin-ite takes first strides to fame-dom

Had to be really careful doing title - nearly typed 'femi-dom' and that wouldn't have gone down well with Gremlin-ite. On subject of cartoons and music , these 2 are his little creations from when he was just in his teens using 'Flash' , so several years ago now and very simple but , like "Sniffer" Clarke - effective in and around the penalty area. They are called "Calvin & Clyde" - he's been working on the sequels for about 3 years now... he's managed to post 'em on da toob and is awaiting his cult following (at least i think that's what he said...)

It's another case of mistaken identity!

Inspired by Toffeeboy's homonyms game, I plunged into my own collection to see how many songs I could find that had the same name as some better known tunes. Surprisingly few, as it turned out. But here is, as House of Pain would say, the cream of the crop (apart from Blackbird, which is beautiful would be too obviously by a Mercury-nominated folk group from the north east).

In true RR fashion, I've stretched Toffeeboy's rules a bit – Cannonball is a one-word title but as a word, it's hardly been common currency since Cromwell, and It's a Wonderful Life isn't a homonym for Black's hit, but it's a great film and this list needed some – so, press play and guess the artist. There's precisely nothing here by

• The Mamas and The Papas!
• The Chemical Brothers!
• Iggy and the Stooges!
• Patsy Kensit and Eighth Wonder!
• Foreigner!
• Van Morrison!
• Stevie Wonder!
• James (thanks, gremlinfc)!
• The Four Tops!
• The Chemical Brothers (again!!)!
• James Stewart and Donna Reed!
• The Police!
• Queen!
• The Breeders!
• Radiohead!

As always, I hope you have fun…

EDIT: I'm turning this into a Podbean to see if that works…
EDIT2: The quiz is currently down for maintenance. It should be back up at lunchtime. Sorry about this.
EDIT3: Here we go again… and it works. Yeehaw! And Rich, you're right, that is Sparklehorse.

In response to Shoegazer's query about Reformation, Mrs. Gremlin popped into our local library to ask this very pleasant man what he thought and he immediately put pen to paper and wrote his ideal band down. I won't reveal who / what it was yet as i want to keep you all in suspenders - maybe the more observant spillers can identify the 'borrower'(he is very small and lives in the skirting board). Apparently h used to be in a very popular rock-combo but has to now buy his shirts at Oxfam, where he also bought his last album for 50p. When he got home he took it out of the yellowing sleeve to find out he'd been 'Rick-rolled'. What is the world coming to.
On closer inspection it was found to be the Lesser-feared Motdick - noted for its supposed frightening stat-filled venom , but actually when rumbled and if stepped on it is just full of **** -so watch those flip-flops and wrap up warm in t'hinterland.

The Lark Partitioned

This little birdie is a Skylark (Alauda arvensis).

Ralph Vaughan Williams had his lark ascending into a clear Fenland Summer sky but Robert Fripp removed several of the poor little bugger's tongues and preserved them in savoury jelly.

Then he separated the dish into pieces and here they all are;

Larks tongues in Aspic pt1
Larks tongues in Aspic pt2
Larks tongues in Aspic pt3
Larks tongues in Aspic pt4a
Larks tongues in Aspic pt4b
Larks tongues in Aspic pt4c

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keep it up

Three part harmony, is it? Care for a little Viagra?

Now my friends. Now. Now we are TALKING!

Sketchy Arm!

 a big win for the internets, and for taking an idea and running with it!

Snug as a bug in a rug

The strangest bug I have ever seen- South Africa 2006 - what on earth is it? Is it Henry, the mild-mannered janitor? Can you help solve this strange and worrying mystery? It was too big even to squish , especially with flip-flops on so we let it go its way, which is a good thing as I can't really afford any more lapses on my karma-slate.
It's definitely a warning from nature - made me think of Cerrano (not de Bergerac) "Supernature"...

The Puppini Sisters

These cropped up as part of a mix and Blimpy expressed total ignorance of them so here are a couple of videos of them.

I am sure that Brian Speng will be able to chip in with a few reminiscences.


2008 has not been that great for new acts to emerge, but it has been quite a year for old bands getting back together again.

The Tindersticks overcame their creative differences, wrapped up the solo side projects, and put out their best album in years. Portishead got around to their Third after a long gap. Mark Stewart, Wire and Tricky all managed to get new albums out.  Eno and Byrne will release their first collaboration since Bush of Ghosts. The new My Bloody Valentine album is rumoured to escape in the near future.

What band or artist would you like to see have a reformation? By reformation, I mean put out new relevant material, not just a bunch of has-beens touring their greatest hits because they want the cash (see The Police).  By way of rules: enough of the original line-up needs to be available (i.e. not dead) to make a true reformation viable. 

Please show your working.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wrong Song Phooey!

Big Dog-Black superhero
David Ivar Herman Dune-My Brand New Bike
Liz Phair-Gunshy
Eugene McGuinness-Disneyfied

Best Comic:
Stray Toasters- Bill Sienkiewicz

The star-spengled banner

...Where we can get together and ease our minds...Baby...

We've all seen him at the office looking dapper in a suit, but, after work, I'm guessing it's the star-spengled bell bottoms and roses for the ladies. Am I right, Mr. Speng?

Boggart Hunting

I mentioned earlier that DarceysSis & I went on a thoroughly enjoyable walk last weekend. It was great in spite of the weather -

DarceysSis at Ogden The Giant's tooth

- because we were on a mission, namely a Boggart hunt! So don't be fooled by the picture of us gathering around the Giant's Tooth - that was literally a sidetrack.

Anyway, whaddya mean, what's a Boggart? "Why, don't you know?"
[Psst, y'quoting the wrong woodland monster story there, DsD! - Ed.]

Oh yeah, thanks. Boggarts? They're a Northern English sprite: a nasty little bleeder that causes things to disappear, milk to sour, dogs to go lame, and so on. Always malevolent, the boggart lurks under bridges, in stone walls, outhouses (we still have outdoor toilet blocks up 'ere, tha'knuzz!), wooded thickets etc, taking great delight in scaring the pants off all & sundry.

Legend (aka tourism-desperate Local Authority) has it that during September and October, the Boggarts have an annual festival which climaxes on Halloween. They drink strong wines made from local berries and celebrate the scares they have given humans over the summer. They drink so much that they forget to hide during the day, and are turned to stone by magic in the morning light. Frozen in their stone form, they can be spotted sitting in and around the woodland trails.

Ogden Water, nr. Halifax, has an excellent relationship with the local schools, inviting the kids for several walk-based activities during the year. Although we went on an organised led walk, this one is open for all to take themselves, every day between now and the end of the month. If AliMunday or DaddyPig fancy a free walk that'll get the kids' cheeks rosy, get yourselves to the shop by the Reservoir Head for a set of Walk Instructions. But be warned, wear your walking shoes, take a snack, and leave the pushchairs in the car; it's uphill & downdale for a good 90 mins right round the water (nearer two hours if you go up to see Oggie's molar).

For more info, click here

And somehow, this seems appropriately spooky:

My Morning Jacket - Into The Woods

A zircon levy

I wanted to put this up around the time we were talking about unlikely covers but never got around to it. Listen in and wonder: who's singing this popular tune? And who's on remix duties?
Now that would be telling

Peggy Tupperware-MacNapkins

Miss Peggy Tupperware-MacNapkins here. Yes, that is me in the picture. And I'd just like to say, watch out, Mr. Speng, you have been captured "at it" on camera!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oh Barry!

Oh lady midnight, how I love to drink from thee! Brian Speng here with a late night musical nightcap of a first (or should I say last) post. Perhaps you'd like to start by pressing 'play' on the above clip - i've always considered it my theme tune, especially where the lovely ladies are concerned. My banana yellow Capri just wouldn't hold the road the same without it. The thing about Barry (you only have to look at the picture above to understand what a true inspiration he remains for me) was that he knew intinctively how to talk to a woman. Rather like myself, he had the medium and the message; the timing, the style, the beard -well actually, I had to lose my own whiskers on account of how closely i'd begun to resemble Roger Whittaker, but no matter. My point here is that Barry had the blinking lot my friends and more to spare.

Anyone else got a theme song of their own which they'd care to share with me over a stiff glass of the old bedtime Domecq and a fine cheroot? I'd love to hear from you my dears.


Jeffrey Lewis the the genius behind Blimpy's mystery track from this past week, which went down very well. 
Jeffrey writes his own comics too, and they're kinda tied up with his music too, sometimes on stage the comic panels will get shown when they tie into what he's singing about. 
The track "If You Shoot The Head You Kill THe Ghoul" sounds very comicky, but the track "When i was Four" mentions his comics too and is better.
Jeffrey Lewis also has a song "The History Of The Fall" (thanks shane!) about the Fall, and The Fall have a tune called "Squid Lord" which sounds to me like it's about a comic book villain. 
This Peel session version of Squid lord is epic and scary too - but who really is The Squid Lord?!

oh, i forgot to mention my top five best comicstories

1. Halo Jones
2. Zenith
3. Kill Your Boyfriend
4. Tank Girl 
5. The New Adventures Of Hitler

Cartoon graveyard