Thursday, January 31, 2008
or whether I have my rocker head on: The Cult - Edie (Ciao Baby)
NOTHING is pushing Dorian's buttons.
I hope he doesn't make me angry ... you wouldn't like me when I'm angry !!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The first is Shelby Lynn, the song: Jesus on a Greyhound, it's from her album 'Love'.
Second is 'Love at the 5 and dime' by Nanci Griffith, there's a video of it at:
Third is one of my favorite Phil Ochs songs, it's 'Changes' sung by Nancy Tucker from the album 'What's that I hear?' Lovely song.
And last, 'Hands' another by Phil Ochs, this one sung by Pat Humphries, also from the same album. There's a website that has some info on her at: www.appleseedrec.com/pathumphries/
Looking at the blogger profiles there seem to be several who list 'gardening' as an interest, since the cooking clan regularly share their secrets I was wondering if there's enough of of us to have a little corner off to the side somewhere where we might talk about the goings on in the garden since spring is just around the corner and all. Where I live the dafs are ready to pop and I think it might be interesting to have an international view of of mother nature through the seasons and to share some thoughts and tips, we might even get the cooks to start from ground zero. Anybody else interested?
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The traditional Scottish pudding to have at Burns night is cranachan, which is basically raspberries with cream and toasted oats. This is a variation that I made for my brother’s Burns Supper on Saturday – I feel that by increasing the sugar content it at least stays within the principles of Scottish cookery…
7oz rolled oats
5 ½ oz toasted hazelnuts
3 ½ oz light muscovado sugar
6 oz dark chocolate
3 oz milk chocolate
1 pint double cream
¼ pint Drambuie
18 fl oz crème fraiche
1lb raspberries (or you can use half raspberries and half blackcurrants for a tarter flavour)
Grate all the chocolate and mix in with the hazelnuts and sugar. Toast the oats in batches under a grill for 3-4 minutes, turning every 30 seconds or so (nb if you’re like me, you really ought to start off with about 10 oz of oats because chances are you’ll burn at least one lot. If you’re not such a kitchen numpty, you can ignore that), then tip them all into the same bowl, so they melt the chocolate and it coats everything nicely. Beat the cream (though not too stiff), then add the crème fraiche and Drambuie to it. Put a layer of the oat mixture into the bowl for the pudding, then a layer of cream on top, then a layer of raspberries, and repeat until you’ve used everything up. Stick it in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavours combine and there you go.
And for listening accompaniment - Looking through my mp3s, I discover that I have a paltry single Burns track within: the Delgados cover of Parcel Of Rogues. So I’ve filled out the playlist with a few contributions from the godfathers of Scottish traditional music: Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, fiddle player and accordionist respectively.
Their label is daptone records. On this page you can download a 58 minute program...Binky Griptites-ghettofunkpowerhour.
Also listen to the Budos Band on their label--Fela meets high school marching band, in a good way.
Monday, January 28, 2008
One day back in the '80's Bob Andy, Jamaican musician was staying with us in Long Beach California. On the Saturday I noticed that there was a free reggae festival in a park in south central LA. We decided to go. We were standing around between sets, sort of backstage, though there wasn't any real backstage when I saw Nina Simone standing alone about 40ft away. I couldn't believe it, I'd been a huge fan for all of my adult life, I'd never seen her perform, but there she was. I knew that she had a gig at the Wiltern theater in LA the following Tuesday so I excused myself from my wife and Bob and walked over to her, I introduced myself and told her how much I'd appreciated her music over the years and how much she'd meant to me. She was very cordial and we chatted, then I said "Nina, I'd like you to meet my friend Bob and my wife"; we walked back to where they were and I said 'Nina, this is my friend Bob Andy'.
Everything changed at that moment, I'd not even remembered that Bob Andy and Marcia Griffith had had a world-wide hit single back in the 60's of Nina's song "To be Young, Gifted and Black". 'Bob Andy' she screamed 'you're that Bob Andy?' 'You god damn motherfucker, you ripped me off, I never got a penny for that song and you made millions!'
What had been a pleasant surprise encounter had suddenly taken a nose dive, all there was now was anger and embarrassment. I tried to smooth things over but she obviously wasn't having any so we gingerly backed off and I said something to the effect that I looked forward to her concert. 'You show your face at my fucking concert you bastard, and I'll have security throw you out!' Oops, nothing I could say was going to work so we beat an ignominious retreat, but as we left I was approached by a guy who said that he was managing Nina and did I have any influence with the mayors office, I told absolutely none, I wasn't at all involved with any of that.
On the way home I had a thought. Whenever there were high end celebrity visitors to LA I noticed that there were day's proclaimed in their honour and the mayors office would issue proclamations, in the form of very ornate heraldic hand lettered documents listing that person's contributions to society etc. The guys question made me think it might be appropriate to send a note to the mayors office and suggest this. I had an image of some flunky coming onstage before the show and making a bit of a fuss and then giving it to her so I sent a note and promptly forgot about it.
Regardless of Nina's threats we went to both shows, the 7 pm and the 9 pm, I had a press pass that got us into the Wiltern and we could always grab any empty seats; we had two right in the front row and I had all my camera gear with me. I shot her discretely throughout the first show and then sat back and enjoyed the second. I didn't even notice that there was no representative from the Mayors office.
The next day I went to work and when I came home at around 5pm I checked the mailbox as usual and there was a large 16" by 20" envelope screwed up and stuffed into it, I opened it and it was the creased up proclamation for Nina! And there was a nasty note attached to the effect that if I requested a proclamation, then it was my responsibility to come and get it! Oh dear! Little did I understand the inner workings of LA politics. So what to do with it? The manager guy, who I later realised was the Ethiopian Orthodox minister who had conducted the ceremony for Bob Marley's funeral at the National Stadium, had given me his card, so we called him and explained the screw up. He asked if we would bring it to her since she was leaving for Paris early the next day; she was staying at a place in the San Fernando valley which was about 75 miles from us and given her reaction on the weekend I didn't really feel like 150 miles of LA rush hour traffic just to be Mr Niceguy. But we weakened, we found the address, her apartment door opened, he stood there, we gave it to him, he thanked us and closed the door. And that was how we met Nina Simone!
For all those voyeurs out there, here's the other place I do a lot of listening, in my fabuloso figaro! The Japs did a great job on this limited edition runabout (originally developed for the growing domestic market of working women with disposable income, so-called "office ladies" (ugh!).) The retro look is comprehensive, even the radio/cassette/CD. Great for cruisin' with Roadrunner at top blast!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Here's a selection from my "Unbearably Cheery" tunes.
If I've got this right (probably not!) the song titles WON'T show up, because I want you to run it as a test. I'm not being obtuse, your reaction when you realise what the song is is what I want to measure. Just listen and see how many seconds into each song it is before you find yourself :
(i) Grinning from ear to ear.
(ii) Singing along.
Of course it could be just me that these songs work on, in which case I'm going to look a prize pillock. Give us some feedback on which ones work (or don't) just so as I know whether to do it again.
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Saturday, January 26, 2008
Thanks for turning us on to FIP, fp. I like the non-stop music, and the eclectic mix, tho' Peel it ain't. I like the display of what's playing too - dead handy if you like something (rather than the usual thing of hoping against hope that the DJ will deign to mention the name/performer, rather than cutting to a jingle or ad). The African bias is great too. For anyone who hasn't tried it yet, the url is http://www.radiofrance.fr/chaines/fip/endirect/
I'll try listening over the ether the next time I'm in Brighton.
In Romania after a burial, there is a banquet. There is often musical accompaniement, and this song is one of those often played. It was also played while the funeral train was on its way to the cemetery. The band would stop at each crossroad to play a song, or the priest would make a brief statement.
It is a funeral hymn, in which the singer makes the following observations..
"world, oh world-
some are born, and celebrate..
some die and putrefy..
your desire for your mother and father will never be sated...
your desire for your brother and sister will never be sated..."
LumeLume, played by Fanfare Ciocarlia.
Somebody mentioned Quicksilver here recently, one of my favorite groups from one of my favorite eras. I have this piece that I'd like to share with you sitting in my iTunes file, it's 'Calvary' by Quicksilver Messenger Service from the 'Happy Trails' album. I should have posted it in the recent RR 'religion' topic but I wasn't thinking straight. I think it's an absolute classic of the SF psychedelic period, definitely headphones music. For me it was almost life-changing, it brought me into contact with Quicksilver and we discussed making a film together, fortunately I instead took another option which in retrospect was a very smart thing to have done. Quicksilver broke up shortly thereafter.
Here's Cet Enfant Que Je T'avais Fait by Jacques Higelin and Brigitte Fontaine. He asks her about their second child, and she keeps on changing the subject, pretending like she doesn't hear him. It's all very calm, he keeps his cool, even when he tells her that she's careless, but you get the feeling that she can't face having lost the child, or she's crazy. In any case it's captivating.
Here we are at the Fugits. This is the main sound system and a large portion of our cds. We ahve more in the bedroom and I've got a couple of record collections on separate hard drives. A couple of mates and I decided to share our stuff and put our complete cd collections on hard drives. Took ages and I still haven't had time to hear everything. It's something I'm saving for my old age, when I don't work and won't be able to afford to buy as much as I do now. I neve ruse the hard drive stuff for RR selections, only my own stuff. I've also got about 200 cassettes packed away in boxes - I was told I could have either cds or cassettes 'cluttering' up the front room.
We live in a typical arabic style first floor apartment. It's built to house an extended family of 6 - 8 or so and is inhabited by us two Fugits. This is the front room. It is meant to be used as a 'diwan'. This is the public part of the home, used for entertaining guests - usually men only, the women will go into the family rooms. We use it as the front room. This is the music corner. There is a huge balcony to the left, where we sit and enjoy the spring and autumn evenings, sweeping open the large French window. The space in front of the music centre is the dance floor - yes after a few bevvies, we still get up and strut our stuff - usually after 1 in the morning. Then we have the telly section in the opposite corner. Our downstairs neighbour is the second wife of a young Emirati from Dubai. It is empty apart from a few hours a couple of evenings a month when they endeavour to obtain pregnancy. When he returns to the first wife, the second wife goes home to her family home. This means the volume can be turned up and I can close my eyes and imagine I might be at a concert.
It may look a bit sparse, but it's how we like our space - empty to be filled by sound.
I was walking to the office with my grey-haired, extraordinarily nice German boss the other day. "I heff just heard a Scottish singer on ze radio! Great woice! Mr Rock and Roll or somezing? Who is she? Ken you get it for me?" "Um, you don't mean Amy Macdonald do you?" "Ja! ja! Genau! Die!" So my boss has become an Amy fan. Can't say I'm surprised. I know this 18 year-old Glaswegian troubadour has taken the UK by storm with her album 'This is the Life' riding at number one. My sister tlls me it's a hymn to Pete Doherty who must be feeling very chuffed at such an accomplished tribute. I'm posting the album for all you ex-pats who won't have heard her yet. Although it's only a matter of time before she goes planetary on us. My boss says so. You could do a lot worse than listen to this at your Burns supper. We will. And I officially nominate her for the soundtrack to our Scottish week-end. Unless you have other suggestions...
Friday, January 25, 2008
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner, Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit: T
hro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.
Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
(Though I suspect there's something about the French there... anyone agree? What's the French ragout bit about?)
Number 9. And all that for the Maclean family. Here's the site I used which is great to find your family tartan. But which one...?????
Christ, hope I remember to take the wee things out of the freezer tonight otherwise I may as well stick a wooden stick up them and try to convince Frogprince that they're Scottish popsicles. Think it'd work? Anyway, was deeply impressed to come across this idea on another cookery blog and this is they way I'll be serving our haggis tomorrow night. Here's the link to the cookery blog in question. Hope they don't mind me showing you their photo. So which is Burn's night? Tonight or tomorrow night?
Les absents ont toujours tort.
This CD was put together a little more hastily put together than the firtst one. Despite my best efforts to control it, I'm a whiner at heart (must be the French in me), so I went for the "should've been in x playlist" theme. Most of them have been recommended by me before, some were songs for themes I missed, and some are songs I discovered after the fact (it's probably cheating though isn't it?).
All My Friends by John Cale- Change/Getting old. Could have gone for the original by LCD Soundsystem, but it was already released as a single.
Un Poison Violent, C'est Ça L'Amour Avec Jean-Claude Brialy by Serge Gainsbourg - Duets/Advice. Brialy died not too long ago and I just love their conversation, with Gainsbourg at his most cynical. Only later did I realise that this probably wasn't the best song of his to include on the CD (because of the language thing) but then who knows.
Club Soda by Thomas Bangalter- Parties. I'm probably taking a risk here as electro/house/dance isn't a very popular genre among socialites, even the whole RR community (my brother says we're a gang now, I think he overestimates our power), but I just love it. Although I think it misses background party noises like in the beginning of What's Going On?. But then maybe you're supposed to put the song on at parties, therefore helping to build the song.
Super Trouper by Camera Obscura- Covers better than the original. I meant to replace this with a better version but forgot, so the ending will be a bit abrupt. Now I know what the song is about.
Monsieur Le Maire De Niafunké by Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabeté- Duets/Africa. Have you met the Kora? It's this instrument that sounds like a harp, except more beautiful.
Ghetto:Misfortune'S Wealth by Twenty-Four Carat Black- Poverty. It's also the title of the album, and you can sense a theme about it. As I mentioned in the blog that week, it's probably the most depressing soul album ever made, but then again it's part of its appeal.
I Used to Love H.E.R. by Common. Genres, in this case Hip Hop. Talkin' All That Jazz was the Hip hop track that got in that week, but I think this one tells a lot more about the actual genre and the whole culture around it. The one thing that bothers me though is that at the end he spells out who he's been rapping about for the last 4 min. It's like explaining a joke before we get a chance to laugh, it kills it.
In A Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington & John Coltrane- Duets again. That piano intro...
93 'Til Infinity by Souls Of Mischief- Dates. It works best if we get a bit more sun. I always thought there was two songs to this side. It seems extremely chilled on one side but then again it's got this edge that I can't quite describe
Jesus Cristo by Erlon Chaves. Boy's names. Play loud. It's a samba-funk cracker. Go nuts and convert for 2 min.
Tuareg by Gal Costa- Characters.
Deep Fried Frenz by MF DOOM- Friends. I'm starting to love him more and more. Agree with Dorian's review that the cartoon samples get annoying, so I cut them out
African Convention by Miriam Makeba- Africa. A bit like us except we have an RR convention. She sings "No 1 on the agenda is music". Was listening to it before I put it on and that line made it a sure entry.
I Should Be Proud by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas- War. Still appropriate today.
Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie- The Sea. Sorry to end on such a sad note, it's just that I couldn't picture somewhere in the middle of the playing order. This one didn't make it in favour of Beyond The Sea, for a perfectly understandable reason, but this one was more personal to me.
The rest of the tracks can be found on youtube
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The "Only Here For The Beer" crew at our wedding.
DarceysMam's Bridesman over my shoulder, DD's Best Man#1 in blazer, BM#2 (youknowwho) squatting, Best Bird with the shiny chest! [This is a photo of the poster-photo; best I could do at 10toRR!]
Can't make Deezer work, dammit, so I'll have to post the haggis song later when I've run out of ideas for Dorian's next effort.
I've been enjoying the Guardian blog topic on album closers, and so of course started thinking about album openers. Some openers are let down by what comes after - for example, "The Fallen" on Franz Ferdinand's second album was head and shoulders over what followed - while some are so weak as to forever be labelled "skip" (for me, "Sunday Morning" by the Velvet Underground is one of these. Controversial, I know). So I guess I really mean songs that let you know from note one what to expect from an album, those that suck you in and keep you there and could almost be said to typify the album. I've come up with a random ten, in no particular order, from a cursory glance at the shelves, which as ususal would probably be a different ten another time. A bit "High Fidelity", I know (I think they actually do a top 5 on this topic), but possibly fun.
Anyone have any other examples?
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love (II)
Sonic Youth - Dirty Boots (Goo)
Jane's Addiction - Stop! (Ritual De Lo Habitual)
Guns 'N Roses - Welcome To The Jungle (Appetite For Destruction)
Pixies - Bone Machine (Surfer Rosa)
Spiritualized - You Know It's True (Lazer-Guided Melodies)
The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice (Pet Sounds)
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (Hounds Of Love)
The Stooges - 1969 (The Stooges)
Ministry - N.W.O. (Psalm 69)
This morning, before I got up, my wife Gina was poking around on the internet, she wanted to see my blog so she googled my name, what she got was Amazon.com where they're promoting a book I'm in and the promotion is my piece! If you're curious click here
It's all true and it's also, along with some other tales at my blog. I've been intending to add some pictures of the event at the blog but so far RROS has monopolised my time.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I love how despite the clip's apparent amateurism, there's a "mise en scène" (what's the word frogprincess?) there. If I'm listening to music in my headphones, I like it when the songs kicks off as I open the door, etc., so this is my kind of thing.
That's what RR is all about, really. One of my current pleasures is to read a book while listening to music relevant to that book. This works easiest, of course, with books about music. There are even books that have a companion CD, like the one illustrated, Barney Hoskyn's well researched book about the LA music scene circa 1970. (There was even a music CD with The Robert Crumb Handbook, but that's another story). Reading Jimmy McDonough's excellent authorised (but then unauthorised) biog of Neil Young ('Shakey'), I listened to every one of his albums, even the excrable Trans. Dylan's brilliant autobiog Chronicles, was accompanied on my 'phones by much of his oeuvre, especially Oh Mercy, the making of which - with producer & sometime accompanist Daniel Lanois - is described in detail. Most recently I island hopped the Caribbean reading Barney's 'Beneath the Diamond Sky', about the hippie era in SF - a good excuse to dig out everything from Quicksilver to Butterfield, by way of the Dead, the Airplane & Big Brother, all of whom I saw perform at the Fillmore etc while living in SF in '68.
Anyone else do this listen & read thing? Any hot recommendations?
P.S. Bonus points for remembering which song 'beneath the diamond sky' is from
P.P.S. Talking of trains, which we were, what is this rock star fascination with model railways (Phil Collins, Eric Clapton & Rod Stewart, to mention a few)? Neil Young even bought a model train manufacturer! (tho' he would claim that was because of his son, but that's what they all say!)
This from today's Time Out:
"The Museum Of London's forthcoming "Weather Permitting" exhibition is missing one thing: a soundtrack. So they want TO readers to come up with their Top Ten weather-themed songs to be played on a loop in the foyer. The winner will not only contribute to the display [? - Ed.] ...; they will also receive their own collection of 300,000-year old molluscs found in Stoke Newington... Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 8."
Beyond a shadow of doubt 3 of these songs will be "Sunny Afternoon", "I Can't Stand The Rain" and "Weather With You" - It's The Law. But the remainder could be in our grimy hands, fellow RRers. Make Dorian proud. You know you want to.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
So this is the game: you pick a past topic and choose some music for it. Here are some SCARY SONGS!
Long Lankin should NOT be listened to by people with babies. It's by Steeleye Span and they do that thing with the two tunes that usually annoys me but here I think it's very effective - because when the first verse is repeated with the first tune and the VERY spooky music, you realise that in fact what the man told his wife wouldn't have done any good anyway, because the enemy was already inside.
Here in Arkansas is by Robert Earl Keen. What did the bloke do that annoyed those people so much? Dunno.
Killing Jar is by Richard Thompson. It's not autobiographical. (His father was a policeman.)
Yes, for me it's a computer as well, and here's a bit of my view at night and then a crudely enlightened (staged) view by day. This is a temporary set-up so I'm enjoying the view while I can. What you see is some office buildings, opposite the river Pinheiros. You can't quite see it on the pictures, but on the left of those towers (on my bank of the river) there's a block of social housing, and on the left of that is a favela (actually you can see the rooves at the very bottom). Left of THAT are 4 huge white residential towers. All of this stuck together, São Paulo in a nutshell. The inside of the apartment isn't anything to write home about, my mate being the caricature of a bachelor that he is. It's all sharp angles and stuff, so I'd rather look out the window.