Sunday, November 30, 2008

Give us a light mester gremlinfc

On the theme of "lights" the gremlinfc has this week been down to one of the country's most beautiful parts to sample a very old festival well worth a visit. Ze question is...where is it? What is it called and in which town is it held? It's an annual ting...
PS - i'll stick to what i can do in future , that Podbean ting is black magic. The 3rd of the battle-gremlins was the "Battle of the Beanfield".

Friday, November 28, 2008

Flashing Lights

Light My Fire
Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
I'll Keep A Light In My Window
Keep A Light In The Window Until I Come Home
The Well And The Lighthouse
Flashing Lights
Flash Light
Turn Your Lights Down Low
Sweet Music Soft Lights And You
Super Trouper


Betty Davis wants that light shut off.
NOT turned off.

Matt Johnson, accompanied by Johnny Marr, sets out in a taxi following the maxim that, if you seek something, you should seek it where the light is strongest... in his case, what he's seeking can be found standing under the streetlights of his city.. one of his ambiguous, flawed and fractured portraits of a man in search of his sodium light baby..

The Gordons need a new bulb for their hat, so that they can shine it in your eyes, and the beam of their 15 000 watts will wipe away the lies.. you get like that if you spend too long down a coalmine, I guess..

And just because it fits, Betchadupa - Spill the light..

(Player removed)


Afternoon all. Anything happen whilst I was away?

The Frods are having a quick pitstop, washing the bedding, pumping up the tyres, fixing the leaking bits, that sort of thing. It means we have a day and a bit of internet, so I thought I'd just say hello.

Thus far we have managed to make a big, satisfying loop of Belgium and Holland in which the highlights were many - Brugges, Ghent and Maastricht being particularly bejewelled. We have spent some more (slightly enforced) time in Kent whilst wrinkles have been ironed out and now we are aiming squarely toward Ireland, to dot various 'I's and cross various 'T's (once the Manchester Derby has been taken in on Sunday, that is).

After that we are going to come back via Scotland and will be around both ends of the M8 for a week or so. Blimpy, I'm looking at you....

And then it's Christmas, so hometime. Hurrah.

I am kind of keeping a diary, and am kind of considering making a blog out of it, but internet access is very sporadic so it may take a bit of thinking about. Other than that, I need to get on to shoey's festive tracks and probably should avoid a massive-looking RR as time is a bit short.

There now follows a picture of a bus with an unexpected destination and a picture of Brugges. Olé.

Happy Thanksgiving and all that, y'hear?

Feck.. it's a train!!!!!!!!!!

Jens Lekman
Golden Virgins
Azure Ray
Immaculate Machine
Mat Riviere Vs. The Owl Box
Schneider TM Vs. KPT.Michi.Gan
Here's the files I struggled with last night.
Tom Vek

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christmas Is Coming ...

... and DsD is getting fat,
despite a lack of pennies in my old hard hat.
As I can't afford the CDs, CD-Rs will do,
If you haven't had the CD-Rs, please shout "Oi, you!"

Only citrus vodka could give me the chutzpah to post that poetic abuse!!!

Anyway, Shane has - unwittingly, I'm sure - shamed me into putting this one out here. A whole year ago I started to promise people some discs through the post. I have failed to honour that promise on a pretty-much wholesale basis, and in the next fortnight I intend to put it right. So ...

Who wants summary discs of all the attendees' CDs from RR Socials 1&2? I know I *have* actually hand-delivered some to fourfoot, Snadfrod and Abahachi. But not for love-nor-money can I remember what, if anything, I've posted to steenbeck, saneshane, IglooBoogaloo, goneforeign, Blimpy, junks, tracyk, Cauliflower, glasshalfempty, etc., etc., etc. And they're just the ones I know I have addresses for!!

Any 'Spiller/RRer who wants to email me via my profile WILL get a nice little package via Postie of whatever I've promised-but-not-sent, and whatever other compilations I can burn - e.g. I have a double-disc called It's Dark At Christmastime that I'm quite proud of!?!

Cheers and goodnight all. This going to bed twenty minutes before RR launches STILL feels weird, y'know!



The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

having caught a tiny snatch of the music of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour on Buzzcocks this evening, i felt compelled to use the power of the internet to see how much I could find out about them in half an hour. I also used this half hour to play one side of a Chapterhouse 12" that i got for £1.49 in the charity shop today, have a conversation with mrs mcflah, refill my e-cig, go to the bathroom, and much more besides. consequently i haven't found out much asides from these two songs i'm gonna post. the first one sounds like Duffy covering "Walking On the Sun" by Smashmouth (yes, smashmouth! mentioned on the spill!). the second sounds like a funky horny (trumpets and that, ken) shuffle through a moloko jam, crossed with something I can't quite put my finger on just now (someone please put me out my misery).
um, they're swedish, have released one 3 track EP,  have 4144 myspace friends, were on an ipod ad, and now they're on the spill.
boom! well done internet! 
(i'm finding it very hard to not put an apostrophe in their name by the way. although i did find it very easy to write this post without putting capitals Where they should be.)

The Sun Ain't Shining No More by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Around The Bend by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Blimpy's Mystery Track 2

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stop the Violence!

Thanks to the Spillers who contributed to the 2 quiz-pics ; South Africa House in flames from the humungous Poll Tax riot and the furious Battle of Orgreave were the venues- this is the last before peace breaks out and is another from the period where Thatcher & her gang did their best to smash all forms of opposition & protest. For me it poses the question - where & when is violence justified? I love the end of Spike Lee's film "Do the right thing" where he posts 2 quotes - one from MLK and one from Malcolm X and just leaves you to ponder....i go with mr.X
"I don't even call it violence when it's in self defense; I call it intelligence."
Oooh - now that's hard to argue with...

Justify These!

Ray Charles--Booty Butt
The Inspirations--Take Back Your Duck
Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns ft. Maceo Parker--A Blow For Me, A Toot for You

Thank you for the Music

Maybe the rest of the ungrateful world doesn't celebrate thanksgiving, but here in America we commemorate our first harvest dinner with the native americans by ignoring the shameful rest of the history and delighting in excess and self-indulgence.

When I was little we had to say what we were thankful for, and I would like to say I'm very thankful for RR and the 'spill. So thanks everyone, and Blimpy in particular.

I'm going away for a few days. I'm hoping someone will have a laptop and internet access for Thursday night, but in case they don't, here's the key to my iTunes library and that part of my brain that chooses songs.

"Set You Free" - Frightened Rabbit

Still, it's nigh on impossible to top the original, eh? 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

To fight another day ...

I was so engrossed in the debate on the power of words that took place over on the Mothership at the weekend that I haven't had time (until now) to put up the weekly playlist. I'm sure you've all been sitting around, twiddling your thumbs, wondering when I would get round to it so you'll be pleased to see that the wait is finally over...

Ten songs, some of which I recommended on RR, others that I've thought of since. Some fit the theme very well, others are tangenital at best. Some you'll know, others may be new to you. Some will make you smile, others will no doubt produce the classic 'meh' reaction. All are, in my opinion, wonderful songs which deserve an airing.

Here's the full tracklisting:

1. What's The Matter Here? - 10,000 Maniacs
2. 40 Days And 40 Fights - Badly Drawn Boy
3. Just Give 'Em Whiskey - Colourbox
4. Violence, Easter And Christmas - Gangway
5. Sleep Well Tonight - Gene
6. I Predict A Riot - The Kaiser Chiefs
7. Little Hitler - Everything But The Girl
8. Violence - The Pet Shop Boys
9. The Police Will Never Find You - Gene
10. Riot Van - The Arctic Monkeys

The debate on RR threw up some fascinating ideas and it's clear from most of the posts that we are, in the main, a peace loving bunch. But I'm sure that most of us would also agree that some things are worth fighting for. So what would make you fight the good fight and when (if ever) is violence justified?

PS. For the benefit of gremlinfc, sourpus and others who may be interested, I've posted a step-by-step guide to creating a Podbean playlist - it's in the comments on shoegazer's Festive 'Spill Update post.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Police On My Back" - Lethal Bizzle

One day I'll get round to doing a post about my fave Brit hip-hop / grime tunes. The UK stuff has always appealed to me way more than US rap. Anyways, I was having a nostalgia youtube trip; and thought I'd share this really sweet and cute video from Lethal Bizzle. He's amazing live by the way - no one rocks a festie crowd like the Bizzle Bizzle!

His flow is a bit rubbish, but there's something so endearing about him... 

Anyways, big up Wiley, Dizzee, Kano, Bizzle, Streets, Roll Deep, More Fire Crew and all the rest. 

Bonus grime/punk video with LOTS of violence. Here's Bizzle gamely taking on The Ruts "Babylon's Burning", God bless 'im:

Testing.... 1, 2, 3

 It is with trembling fingers that I gingerly attempt my first 'Spill post...I don't have too much confidence it's going to work, so I won't write too much.

(If it works) this track is from the real Japanther, the lo-fi DIY indie-punk band from New York that I stole my blogging name from. Taken from their brand new album "Tut Tut, Now Shake Ya Butt".

WARNING! Contains rude words!

My Favorite Tune

Festive 'Spill Update

22 tracks received so far. Please keep 'em coming: Boxtr & Podbean links seem to be the best way of getting your noms to me, as some mp3 files are proving too large for some e-mail filters. I'm going to be away from December 22, so I plan to post the final playlists as a series of three over successive nights, starting on Friday, December 19. Let me know if this works for everyone? If it does, would suggest a deadline for nominations of Monday, December 15. Based on noms so far, I think this is going to be a lot of fun, folks.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Gun Man--Ethiopians
Stepping Razor--Peter Tosh
Pogues--Boys From County Hell
Tom T. Hall--Salute to a Switchblade
Belle & Sebastian--Lord Anthony
Decemberists--O Valencia
Souls of Mischief--Live and Let Live
Black Star--Respiration
Roots--Return to Innocence
Lupe Fiasco--Little Weapon

Not all skinheads are nazi scum

And here to prove it

Laydeez and Gennulmen - THE REDSKINS

Stop the violence!

Swiss-french trumpeter Erik Truffaz, rapper Nya and Tunesian singer Mounir Troudi describe the situation in the city of Yabous, where one man's obituary is another man's good news..

(Player removed)

self construction single photo

KRS one and the Stop the violence movement.. Self Construction.

Redefining hip-hop culture to curb violence.

Not sure how to turn this track into a self-playing link, it is available here on Myspace:

Get yer 'ead off my truncheon ,pal

Decided to post 2 at once as will be away more than likely over t'weekend, so this is earlier than the first one by about 6 years and should be a doddle for you all - if anyone lives near here you'll recognise the background - dead give away. This is part of our history and should be taught in schools - have a great weekend!

What did you do in the Class War, daddy(and mummy)?

Slight change in the "where's-gremlin" series provoked by the theme over on RR : which outbreak of civil unrest has gremlinfc been joining in with over the last 25 years?
You need to look very closely at this one - the clue is in the background : if you were there or have a good memory , you'll spot the fruits of community action.
Clearly gremlinfc is not condoning this mindless destruction of the visible signs of capitalism, god forbid...but in the words of jello Biafra "the unbeatable high..."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stand up now

In to 1970s my ex and I helped set up a branch of the Anti-Nazi League in Shrewsbury and, in a rather foolhardy manner, offered to have our address and phone number put on the leaflets...I was a bit worried in case we got bricks through the window and nasty phonecalls but luckily nothing of the kind happened.

I'd like to propose The World Turned Upside Down as this week's theme song, partly because I recommended it (tee hee) but also because it's a stirring riposte to fascists of all kinds. I've posted a link on RR to a site where you can download several versions, but I'm posting Maggie Holland's here because it's not on that site. Plus a few others about violence of various kinds.

Crash the Party, by Richard Thompson (TonNL's recommendation)
Valentine's Day Is Over, by June Tabor and Oysterband
The World Turned Upside Down, by Maggie Holland
American Skin, by Bruce Springsteen
Blow You Away, by Robert Earl Keen

Nazi Punks Fuck Off

Unfortunately the Guardian moderators don't appear to agree with this sentiment, since they've removed ShivSideCar's riposte. I don't want to contribute to a thread that has white power fucktards crapping over it, so I'm bailing out of this weeks RR from this point onwards.

Since I'm more of a metal fan than a punk fan, this is Napalm Death's version.

Did You 'Spill My Pint?

Another Hard Man
Romeo Had Juliette
Fight Back
Kung Fu Fighting
Violence Grows
I'm a Lover Not a Fighter
The Great Dominions
Fight The Power

No Fighting At The Social, OK?

Gillan - Fighting Man

Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Another DsD heavy rock fave, and one that will have my good friend gordonimmel giving himself a huge forehead slap.

We'll discuss it over the weekend when we get a chance to share the first issued bottle of the official 'Spill beer, as brewed by Abahachi and presented to me when we met in Bristol this week.

One of the things we discussed was the possibility of RR Social #4 being a West Country affair in the New Year. Who's up for that??

"Hello Chicago! Will you please welcome from England .. U - F - O"

UFO - On With The Action.

One of my earliest-and-30-years-later-still favourite songs. Fits this week's RR to a tee, and I will expect sourpus, or possibly Abahachi on his return, to nominate it forthwith.

Lyrically, it's Broooce re-writing West Side Story's less Shakespearian moments.

"Something going on at the corner of the block,
It's the kids down there
They were starting to rock.
Hot black fever runnin' every place
When the Greek kid pulled a knife and pushed it in his face.
Some girl makes it with a lover in the door
As the ambulance pulls away, she cries out 'more!'
All the kids stand laughin'
They never had such fun,
Then someone cuts a brown man who just can't run.
And the queen that's been standing behind the toilet door
His parents don't like boyfriends, call him a whore.
But the old minister's staring with his bible in his hand,
Was this God's children? He didn't understand."

That last quoted line in particular really gets me.

Musically, it's Michael Schenker at his best. I'm sorry, but my fingers just will NOT stay still in that solo.

I know I'm on the fringes with my heavy rock core taste, so won't be embarrassed by a zero comment response, but I can't *not* post this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Breathing Space performing "Hollow". Just in case you were wondering why I've seen this band eight times in 2008. This is from quite an early gig, and the band have come on a lot since then.

A-Z Index Update Nov 20, 2008

So I have been busy ading to the RR Index which is at as follows:

I started by doing topic pages for all the topics starting alphabetically and finished the As. While doing that I came across an index page which included links to all the blogs and columns for 2005 and 2006. That was a nice find so I decided to work sequentially on the topics by date and finished all the topics for 2005. I discovered in the process that the column was launched on Sept. 16, 2005 and the first topic was change. The first blog was posted two weeks before that. There were fifteen topics in 2005, then a two week hiatus after Christmas before the column came back on Jan. 6, 2006 with the first guest columnist as Dorian took a break.

Here's a trivia question for you - who was the first guest columnist? Hint: It wan't Maddy!

I am thinking of adding a few additional pages - one will be about the writers - short biogs and links to info about them. Another is an RR Trivia page. A related topics page. A Links page. And finally, if there is enough interest - a page about the bloggers if the regular bloggers are interested in submitting a short bio of themselves, picture optional for that page. Let me know if you would be interested in that.

There are now 38 topic pages completed. All but 5 are cross linked with the A-Z by Artist pages. All of the 2005 and 2006 topic pages have links to both the blog and the column for that topic.

The only problem I have encountered so far is finding links for one of the 2007 blogs - the US Cities and States. If anyone has that link, please post it here or email it to me at

Next week I hope to get to fifty completed topic pages, all cross linked with the A-Z by artist pages. That would be close to a third of the topics complete. Plus a start on a Trivia page.

The early columns are interesting reading if you haven't read them before. Check them out. I'm trying to read them all as I go through them.

PS: There has been an expression of willingness to help. Email me and I will send a template, some useful data and specific requests so there is no duplication of work. You probably won't get any replies from me until Sunday though.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

ToffeeBean #1

Well, here it is - my first attempt at a podcast. All (constructive) criticism welcome - I suspect that I waffled on a bit at times and I'm worried that it's a bit heavily biased towards the mid-80s in terms of musical content (I also managed to end up with about nine minutes of silence at the end of the second part which I'll sort out when I have the time). Anyway, I hope you enjoy it - let me know what you think - please be gentle with me...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Festive 'Spill (Best Of 2008)

Thought it might be fun to do a mega-playlist for the holidays of all our favorite 2008 tracks, in the tradition of John Peel's festive 50. Here's how it works (I think):

- Each 'Spiller (or wandering gypsy from RR) can nominate 3 songs.
- Songs must be new releases from 2008 (or very late 2007).
- Email your 3 nominations in order (#1 most favorite) to
- Your e-mail should contain URL links to actual mp3's (Boxtr). Thanks to Blimpy and a QT upgrade, can also do Podbean URL's, but they are a bit of a pain.  Sorry Deezer ladies, can't cope with those. You can also try to include actual mp3's. If all else fails, as a last resort, just list the song's and will attempt to find mp3's for them.
- Be sure to include your RR/'Spill name in the e-mail.
- Nominations are on a first come, first served basis. If one of your picks is taken, I will e-mail you back so you can make another pick.
- Let me know when you want to publish the final playlist(s) (Depending on demand may have to do #3 choices first then #2 and #1)?
- Fingers crossed that this will work, will keep you posted on progress and any changes needed.

Little eyes

YO LA TENGO-little eyes
not songs for them.. but how did I forget YO LA TENGO for the bed theme?

BMX Bandits- serious drugs
The Innocence Mission-song about traveling
Shantel-disco partizan
St.Thomas-dance to the disco
Ballet-when you go dancing
BMX Bandits- serious drugs (other mix)
there isn't enough songs to catch up with I think.. so here's a few that I've missed- don't quite fit or Blimpy was going on about, but couldn't find! enjoy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Qu : How do you spell tinnitus?

Ans : ♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪-♪.....

I'm just back from my early birthday present from a mate - [a ticket for] Motörhead at Manchester Apollo. Danko Jones were supporting: BONUS! And they were no letdown, though I'm now convinced their eponymous frontman is completely bonkers ... (particularly during his Pearl-Jam-"Jeremy"-style rant in Mountain ... see for yourself), . So there's no point me listening to Blimpcast4 or any music now whilst I chill out before bed, as I can't hear a soddin' thing over the deaf&numb-ness in my lugholes.

But back at the gig, and in amongst the old faves - Killed By Death, Overkill, Iron Fist, Stay Clean, Ace Of Spades, Over The Top - we got a reminder that, in Lemmy's own words: "Life is full of surprises". The first tonight was a passable cover of Rosalie dedicated to Phil Lynott, and as for the second . . . well if you thought Motörhead were one-dimensionally about high-speed, high-volume rock&roll, watch this -

and listen to these -

Motörhead - God Was Never On Your Side
Motörhead - Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me

And extra bonus points for anyone who can identify the target of Lemmy's vitriol in both of those two songs.

Goodnight all. I'm busy all weekend and working away from my internet connection all next week, so with the possible exception of drinks with fourfoot and Abahachi, won't see any of you for a bit.

Friday, November 14, 2008

DISKO Biscuit

I just don't know how to put this lot together... I'm guessing it'll just be me that likes them all... some true odd skool tracks... enjoy!

Kings Of Convenience-I'd Rather Dance With You
Shantel-disko boy
Arab Strap-The Shy Retirer
Seeed-dancehall caballeros
Mint Royale-Dancehall Places
The Wombats-Let's Dance To Joy Division

Valentine & Carter-What's that Track
Roland Clark-Time Of The Night
Codec & Flexor-Crazy Girls (Make My Heart Go Boom Boom)

Mia Vigar-Disco lights

What's this place uptown that all the hepcats rave about?

Savoy--Lucky Millinder
Stompin at the Savoy--Isham Jones
Savoyager's Stomp--Carroll Dickerson's Savoyagers
Mahogany Hall Stomp--Louis Armstrong & His Savoy Ballroom Five
Specials--Nite Klub
Alton Ellis--Dance Crasher
Dub it in the Dancehall Dub--King Jammy
Pete Rock & Dead Prez--Warzone
Talib Kweli--Lonely People
Idle Warship ft. MC Chris--Screamin
Outkast--Last Call
Goodie Mob--The Dip
Talib Kweli--Soon the New Day
Mos Def--Miss Fat Booty

Edit--I couldn't resist adding Soon the New Day, because it's a more mellow, thoughtful examination of different aspects of club-going, and Miss Fat Booty, because all but maybe 5 lines of it take place in a club, and I just love it so much.

Members Only

The Evening's Young
Learning To Cope With Cowardice
Yoga Of The Nightclub
Secret Laboratory (Scientific Dancehall)
King of the Beat
Dis Dancehall Ting Is Better Than That T.V. Ting Tony
This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race
The Bubbly
Wild Party
Rave On
*Bonus Tracks - Some not mouldy oldies:
The Green Door
The Girl Can't Dance
Let's Stomp

"I said no trainers!"

Ludacris finally addresses the etiquette of being all in someone's ear in a club:
"I can't hear nothing you saying or spitting, so wassup!
Can't you see we in the club?! Man shut the fuck up!!"

The first challenge is of course to get inside the club, then you get in, do a little dance (make a little love too if you're kinky like that) maybe just stand with your back up the wall and look at the people having fun, and then there's the exit, it's all here for you in chronological order.

I Am Somebody
Let's Get Dirty (I Can't Get In Da Club)
Nightclubbing by Grace Jones
I'm A Flirt (Shoreline)
Hot In Herre by Tiga
Dance Across The Floor
Ask the DJ
Promiscuous feat. Timbaland
She Wants To Move (Remix feat. Common, Mos Def, Q-Tip & De La Soul)
Blinded By The Lights
U Got The Look
All My Friends
Last Night Changed It All

Bonus track:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh No! It's Blimpcast 4!!

Holy cow! It's Blimpcast number 4 already! 
Blimpcast 4 Part 1
Blimpcast 4 Part 2
This edition covers more of the Scots indie popscene, plumminess and revolution, live murder commentary, being missing in Acton, and much more! 
Hope you enjoy! X

I'm your man

Several 'spillers have mentioned that they have contributed generously to the L. Cohen retirement fund. I have too, and saw him in concert on Tuesday night in Bournemouth. The average age of the audience, not surprisingly, was north of 40. There was a hint of ghoulish interest in seeing him for what might be the last time, given that he's 74 (but maybe he's now about ready to stand for President!).

My nephew said it's music to cut your wrists by. And Cohen almost accepts this, saying he gave up prozac and spiritualism because "cheerfulness kept breaking through".

His voice is still intact, if a little weather beaten. He claims to regret the fact that he can't sing, but his distinctive gravelly half singing is something you either love or hate. I loved it, especially given the intelligent poetry of his lyrics, but tired of it by the seventies, due to repetition fatigue. I only recently got into his later oeuvre, including his productive collaborations with Sharon Robinson, on Ten New Songs and Dear Heather, who joins him on stage on this tour.

We got two and a half solid hours for our wedge, and he covered his whole career well. I can't recall the full set list, but it was over 30 songs. And as a bonus we got the virtuoso playing of Spaniard Javier Mas. The band was tight, the sound impeccable, and for LC's fans, it was rare treat.

The other day, on the Obama euphoria post, I posted some of the lyrics from Democracy, a song which got a cheer last night.

To whet your appetite, here are a few clips from the concert taken with my little pocket camera (sorry the sound quality isn't too brilliant).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shameless plug...

The third series of the Jack Dee sitcom, Lead Balloon starts on BBC2 tomorrow at 10 o'clock. Since my brother is the co-writer of said sitcom, I feel it is my fraternal duty to promote it like billy-o. This clip is featured in Episode 2 in which Rick's teenage daughter Sam and her slacker boyfriend Ben form a band and make a video. I was hoping to embed it but it doesn't seem like I can so here's a link instead:

Ben & Sam - Tragic

It's short and sweet - hope you enjoy it - let me know what you think...

Elvis Has Entered the Building

We planned to have my wife's side of the family out for Christmas this year and one of the projects for the occasion was to renovate the basement - carpet was ratty and paint was smudged and ugly. So we repainted it, stripped the carpet and installed laminate flooring and new baseboards.

While this project was underway, we made our annual trip to the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) and came across a busker named Jon Hicks. He is a speed painter from Britain and in the space of about five or six minutes he paints a giant 4 X 6 foot painting of a noted celebrity. He did two for the show - one was of Freddy Mercury and the other is shown in the video below:

We asked him afterwards what he did with the paintings. He said he sells them if anyone wants them. So we bought the one he just did - a giant painting of Elvis. We rolled it up, took it home and a few weeks later we framed it. We decided it would be the focal point and centerpiece of the refinished basement. The renovation is almost completed - just minor touchups to go - and the pics below show the result:

Some time in the New Year we plan to have a party to officially launch the basement. It will be an Elvis party - everyone has to come dressed as Elvis or someone associated with Elvis or a contemporary of Elvis - preferably from the early years. We'll be playing Elvis on vinyl and may have a karaoke or lip sync contest as well. Should be fun! I'm already growing sideburns for the occasion!

A-Z Update

The RR Index now has its own url and website -

I've made the A-Z Topic Page a one page list of all topics alphabetically. Each will eventually link to a separate page for that topic. Each topic page will link to the blog and article at The Guardian for that topic. The A-Z by Artists is almost complete. Some pages still need cross chacking against the A-Z at RR.

There are now 16 topic pages completed of about 160 all about 10% of the way there with the topic pages.

I am having fun doing this, especially reading some of the back articles and browsing through some of the blogs. Fascinating stuff.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ode to Tony Joe

Nothing to do with beds, this post picks up on a comment by ToffeeBoy about my travelling playlist. TB picked out Tony Joe White's Aspen Colorado for special mention and it reminded me that, where Tony Joe White is concerned, that reaction was by no means a first.

I've got to thank, for my Tony Joe devotion, the screenwriter Neville Smith, who wrote the Albert Finney film, Gumshoe, (and who is incidentally another ToffeeBoy - he and Ken Loach made the film The Golden Vision in the '60s, about Everton fans). Neville's twin son and daughter were my best friends when I was at University in Liverpool, and into our music-obsessed group of friends, they introduced some of the sounds with which their dad had raised them. These included musicians I continue to love - Arthur Alexander, Nick Drake, Jim Croce - and there was also one song that, once heard, became something more than a favourite song. It was an intimate, a confidant, one of the gang. The song was Polk Salad Annie. We knew every word, each jag and twinge of the guitar, each vocal grunt like Barry White gone country. We knew the spoken intro the same way me and my brother knew every inflection of Pete Wylie's spoken outro to Story of the Blues years earlier. We'd recognise the song just from the "Four" counting it in right at the beginning. We called the song "Four" as a term of affection. For ages, it was just the one song, though there was a promise of a Best Of LP in Neville's collection that would be purloined on a visit home one time. When that arrived, Tony Joe White became something like a Talmudic text.

And the thing was, it was everyone. Someone might have popped round; if Tony Joe White happened to be playing while they were there, the response would always be, "Who is this?". These were the days of mix-tapes designed to curry favour with pot dealers, impress the pants off an object of affection or save having to spend dole money on a birthday present and, invariably, a Tony Joe White track would be seized upon by the recipient and there'd be a follow-up request for a TJW sampler. So this sampler is constructed in loving memory of temps perdue but also in the confidence that Tony Joe White's music can still win converts.

What we have here are eight TJW numbers, kicking off with Polk Salad Annie, which is well-known thanks to the cover version by Elvis, and rounded up with Rainy Night In Georgia, another TJW composition (he also wrote Steamy Windows for Tina Turner) that provided others with hits. Elsewhere, we have country rhinestone, soul fried chicken and bluesy bourbon in such a distinctly American concoction that it should come as no surprise that TJW has lived for many years among the people who most fervently embraced his music, the French.

Polk Salad Annie
Soul Francisco
Willie and Laura Mae Jones
High Sheriff of Calhoun Parish
Groupy Girl
I've Got A Thing About You Baby
Look Of Love
Rainy Night In Georgia

Bruce part 2

Springsteen went through a bit of a dip in the early 90s - he'd married the wrong woman, they'd moved to LA (which is not much like New Jersey), and he was suffering that 'detachment from the audience' thing that very very famous rock stars get when they find they're a squillion times richer than the people they're singing about. However...

1 'Tougher Than the Rest', from Tunnel of Love: forever one of my favourites for the verse

Well, it ain't no secret
I've been around a time or two
Well, I don't know, baby:
Maybe you've been around too...

2 'Youngstown' from The Ghost of Tom Joad
3 'Born in the USA' the acoustic version, from Tracks. Once, standing in the queue outside the stadium, I heard him doing this one in this way as part of the soundcheck. So I thought it would be in the concert, but it wasn't.
4 'You're Missing' from The Rising. Even if it's not really true, it's nice to think that Bruce was indeed pulling out of the supermarket carpark a few days after 9/11, and someone spotted him and shouted "We need you now!"; so Bruce took the shopping home, went into the music room and wrote The Rising.
5 'Long Time Comin' from Devils and Dust. No, not that one.
6 'Erie Canal' from Live in Dublin. Bruce goes back to Pete Seeger's roots, with the Seeger Sessions band.

1 Tougher Than the Rest
2 Youngstown
3 Born in the USA
4 You're Missing
5 Long Time Comin'
6 Erie Canal

(Meant to post this on Sunday, which was my RR one-year anniversary!)

Scottish Lads from Hell

Spearmint- Scottish Pop
BMX Bandits- Kylies got a crush on us
Ballboy- Song for Kylie
De Rosa- Hopes and Little Jokes
Psychonauts- Hips for Scotland
Sons & Daughters- Monsters
Half Cousin- Country cassette link
Malcolm Middleton (And Alan Bissett)-The Rebel On His Own Tonight
Camera Obscura- Your Picture
Trashcan Sinatras & Ali Smith- Half an apple
Mull Historical Society- Public Service Announcer

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A batty afternoon in bed

Flying Nun group The Bats, with a lovely, melodic piece called Afternoon in bed, meandering between their brand of chiming folk pop and a more harder edged, electric sound... captures that muzzy, woozy feeling you have if you do happen to spend the afternoon in bed.. not that I ever have, of course.. but if I did, I might do it in the Hotel Stein, Salzburg, with zebra striped sheets..
to the accompaniement of two more classic Bats tracks.. Smoking her wings, and North by North.

(Player removed)

Honour Is Restored

My contribution to our nation

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blimpcast Number THREE!

The Blimpcast is back, and has an all new surprise feature in part two. This installment covers  geography, masculinity, swearing, and much more besides - all with a special underlying theme! 

Blimpcast 3 Part One
Blimpcast 3 Part Two

I do hope you enjoy listening to it! 

** edit - there may be a minute and 17 second's silence at the start of part two, for some reason the introduction of the sedond part has been lost to posterity, which doesn't help with making sense of the whole shebang! Soz! **

It's not a bed but "it looks like one...!"

What would i give to be there now - one of the most beautiful experiences the Familie-gremlinfc has had and boy was it hot! This is probably the easiest so far of the hunt-the-gremlinfc and no doubt you will all crack it in a nano-second(am i getting carried away with - hyphens-here?). Back to Blighty for the next one so enjoy the sunshine here.
Oh, yes and as far as beds go, "Broken Dreams" by Basement Jaxx check it out...and Scotty's best number was "Draw Your Brakes" from the "Harder they come" soundtrack, nethinks. Hoping to join the "Bed"-debate at some point but my 30 Germans are here .....

And so to bed...

Bed! Hnghh! Good God! What is it good for?

Well, absolutely everything in my opinion. Bed just happens to be my favourite place – no question about it. In fact I want to be there now - I may not even stay up for the X-Factor results - that's how sleepy I am. Although Match Of The Day's on at 11 and I want to watch that (oh dear - he's wittering again. Ed). So I'm not going to bore you all with lengthy justifications for each of these tracks. I think they're all wonderful and I hope you will too.

A question for you: what's the strangest place you've ever slept? And let's keep it clean shall we? We don't want it getting too French...

Here's the track list:

1. Live Bed Show - Pulp
2. Amazing In Bed - Ooberman
3. Tender Blue - Everything But The Girl
4. Bedshaped - Keane
5. Bedroom Scene - Delays
6. Brothers On A Hotel Bed - Death Cab For Cutie

Enjoy - I'm off up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire...

Beddie Bye

Mississippi John Hurt--Pallet on the Floor
Laura Lee--Two Lovely Pillows
Bessie Smith--Empty Bed Blues Parts 1 & 2
Fred Wesley and His Horny Horns--Between 2 Sheets
Steve Arrington--Beddie Bye
Pete Rock & CL Smooth--Skinz
B&S Beautiful
Remember the Mountain Bed--Wilco & Billy Bragg
Bed, bed, bed, bed--TMBG

I was trying to keep it to 10--there are a few others I mentioned on the mothership that I either posted links for or assume everyone knows. So good night, 'Spillers, and sweet dreams.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Monsters under the BED.

culled from a short list of 107 so far
Over the Rhine- Let's spend the day in bed
at swim two birds- in bed with your best friend
Stars- in our bedroom after the war
Buck 65- Riverbed part2
Electric President- Insomnia
Hot Club De Paris- sometimesitsbetternotto...
Her Space Holiday- Sleepy Tigers
Magnet/Gemma Hayes- Lay Lady Lay

apart from the Roots(a joke) this is now the whole playlist.. boxstr is playing up so it might not play..
Spearmint- wrapped up together
Laura Marling- night terror
Le Tigre- eau de bedroom dancing
Flying Pickets- get off my cloud
Galaxie 500- fourth of July
Buck 65- riverbed part 5
Cass McCombs- bedding down post-xmas time
Styrofoam-simply lie here and breath
Roots- duck down
Nick Cave- dead man in my bed
Kevin Drew-lucky ones

Number 1, in case you'd ever wondered

Just in case you've ever wondered why Field Commander Cohen's famous song is called 'Chelsea Hotel No 2, this is a (rather grainy, less than perfect sound) recording of Chelsea Hotel No 1. The backing singer on the left - about 4 minutes in - is Jennifer Warnes, who toured as one of his backing singers from through the 70s and 80s. Me, I've got my ticket for his concert in Cardiff tomorrow night (Saturday) locked in a safe at the bottom of a disused well

The beds i' the east are soft

This is the Antony and Cleopatra room at a b'n'b in Northumberland (in honour of 'Cleopatran charm', copyright sourpus on RR). They also have a Romeo and Juliet room. Do you think they know what happens in those plays?

I found I hadn't got a digital copy of Tomorrow Is A Long Time by Dylan, so it's Sandy Denny instead.

Maria's Bed, by Bruce Springsteen
Poppy Red, by Richard Thompson
Tomorrow is a Long Time, by Sandy Denny
In My Room, by the Beach Boys
Cold Bed, by the Gourds
Silver Dagger, by Joan Baez
One Night as I Lay On My Bed, by Shirley Collins

Time For Bed

Bed Of Roses
Early To Bed
Waterbed Babies
Recent Bedroom
Jacob's Pillow
Yer Little Bedroom
Talk To Me
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Sleeping Diagonally
House Break
Wet Dream

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Finally .....

It has taken me months to get around to sorting out the various glitches and hitches that needed overcoming to actually post on the blog. .... Still to come, any possibility of me tempting you with bitmapped blackwax .... but this week of all weeks, and prompted by grenouillelimbfc's Parisian jaunt; a reminder that Liberty was originally black and beautiful ... or at least, deeply bronzed.