Wednesday, July 30, 2008
On another account here are some swimming songs....
I love some of these so much..hope you enjoy them too....
Broken Social Scene
I am Kloot
Bjork and Bronsky Quartet
Much, much later:
Oh, first one to mention Glastonbury gets a biscuit.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
How I Sang Dang - Arcie Bronson Outfit
Gobbledigook - Sigur Ros
Gesunteit - People Like Us
Pissing - Low
The current's strong it makes you spin
Your arms in a wild rotation
Your arms in a wild rotation
The truth's enough to set you afloat
Describe the truth as a yellow lifeboat
Admitting this you climb its ladder
But now the yellow boat
Just looks sadder"
Hey everybody! Back in dear old Blighty after a short break or a long weekend (whichever way you want to look at it) spent in the stunningly-beautiful Pfalz. ToffeeGirl and I go there every second year and we just can't get enough of it - luckily, it's nowhere near the sea and there aren't hundreds of nightclubs - the result of which is, virtually no English tourists - not a kiss-me-quick hat in sight. It was a weekend of long walks up deeply wooded hills (they call them mountains but who am I to disabuse them?) with refreshing drinks available at the top - usually in a ruined castle. And when you come down from the mountains, you have the pleasure of driving (or walking) through the vineyards with buzzards and harriers soaring overhead - and then there are the villages with the Weingüte and Restaurants and the hundreds of House Martins and Swallows flying around. Wunderbar!
And before you ask, yes, I am fully aware that this is a music blog and is not primarily dedicated to holidays/travel - please bear with me - I am slowly but surely working my way towards the tenuous music link.
About twenty years ago I made a tape for my brother featuring lots of northern soul, Capitol and Stax tracks that I was listening to at the time. Since he was then living in Hackney, the tape became known as the Hackney Soul tape. Many years later, I made a CD version, took it on holiday (to Germany) and forced the whole family to listen to it as we drove around the beautiful countryside. The two little MissToffees loved it - so much so, that it's now become an integral part of our trips to the Pfalz and is known, rather incongruosly, as the German Soul CD.
Here are some highlights from said CD for you own listening pleasure. Some you'll already know - some may be new to you - all, I hope, will hit the spot.
Let me know what you think - and, of course, if you have your own favourite holiday sounds, do tell us what they are...
It's hot here. There's something about summer that makes you want to dive into some water. In our area, we have the option of joining a pool. But we never have. When it gets hot, sometimes we'll go over to Princeton and let the boys swim in the fountain, which is actually a very joyful experience, because there's good ice cream nearby, and because there are always children from all over the world there, and it's beautiful to see how little ones are completely uninhibited when it comes to making friends. And sometimes we go here... It's a creek, but in places it's deep enough for even Mr. Steenbeck (6'3" tall) to be immersed up to his chin.
So where does everyone else go swimming?
I couldn't think of any songs about swimming, but this is something I love that I'll never have a reason to post on RR.
La Folia, also called les folies d'espagne is a chord progression or ground bass that many different people wrote different variations on over the course of hundreds of years. (notably Vivaldi and Corelli). The one I posted is by Marin Marais and played on bass viol, which is an instrument I love. La Folia has been compared (for obvious reasons) to 12 bar blues or jazz arrangements, and I love it because it's beautiful, and some of the variations are actually ROCKIN. I have a few other versions--if anyone is interested in hearing, I will post them. Apologies if any of these facts are foggy, but foggy facts are my métier.
Marin Marais--La Folia
Martin Y Coll--Diferencias Sobre Las Folias
Corelli-- Violin Sonata In D Minor, Op. 5_12, _La Follia
And surely someone out there can think of some swimming songs...
Monday, July 28, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I have a couple of private copies (with English subtitles) of this because FLT operator training is 90% of what my company does, and I find it funny as hell [goneforeign? You most definitely WON'T!] Unbelievably you can buy a public-license version and use it as a training accompaniment video. I would never do that (a) because that version ups the cost by 10,000% for the same tape, and (b) ... well, watch for yourself . . . you just wouldn't would you? Enjoy:
And before you dismiss this as being outlandish for the sake of it, you should know that in the UK we STILL average twenty to thirty fatal accidents involving FLTs every single year!
Erm, lecture over. If you enjoyed that, head over to youtube and type in Friseuse Claudia or Elektriker Horst.
Now let's see if I've successfully embedded a youtube ...
Découvrez Pink Martini!
see more pwn and owned pictures
Because being the decider is a tough job...
I can't Wait to get off work and see my baby--Tom Waits
Take THis Carriage Clock and Shove it--B&S
Funky Boss--Beastie Boys
Muleskinner Blues--Woody Guthrie
All Day Love Affair--Cee Lo
Wat About the Workin Class--LKJ
Work Song--Nellie McKay
Friday, July 25, 2008
Eddy Clearwater - Lazy Woman
Lowell George - Easy Money
Rickie Lee Jones - Easy Money
Edie Brickell - In The Bath
Katrina And The Waves - Going Down To Liverpool
Blood Meridian - Work Hard, For What?
Richmond Fontaine - Exit 194B
The Zutons - Don't Get Caught
The Zutons - Family Of Leeches
Slobberbone - Lazy Guy
Thunder - Ball And Chain
Drive-By Truckers - Buttholeville
Tin emailed me that photo of Eddy Clearwater; I sent him a gig-going tale about the man in reply. If anyone wants to hear it ...
As I said over on the Mothership, Hard Cash was a television series that was never shown, because the Beeb and Maggie weren't getting on too well at the time. But here's some of the music, which is all about the horrors of work under various kinds of oppression.
1 is Mrs Rita, sung by June Tabor
2 is Work Life Out to Keep Life In: Martin Carthy has added an extra verse to this trad. song
3 is The Guernsey Kitchen Porter, by Michael Marra
4 is Good With My Hands, by Christine Collister and Clive Gregson
Discover Various Artists!
A workshy slacker if ever there was one.
Walking around in the park
This week's theme of anti-work songs fit's perfectly for one of my anti-heroes, Mark Stewart. I won't bore you with the biographical details as you can go here if interested:
None Dare Call It Conspiracy
Bring the Mackaback
What A Waste
We Are All Prostitutes
Working & Shopping
Just Who Is The Five O'Clock Hero?
Blood Money 2
Well it seems to be acceptable to introduce new family members here so I'd like to introduce our latest member and by association, the newest Spill member, his name is 'Marley', he's a a lovely 8 week old male sable German Shepherd puppy, he arrived last Sunday.
We already have two dogs, Seamus, the world's largest German Shepherd and Jasmin a lovely female Boxer who you've already met. Seamus is large but very gentle, friendly, and totally non aggressive, I've never heard him growl. Jasmin is similar plus she's the comedian in the family, there's also two cats. It's been a while since we had a puppy in the house, Seamus, about 12 years ago, so it's going to be fun again. We named him Marley because that's a name we want to hear about the house on a daily basis and it fits; I thought this piece of music was appropriate for a christening.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
My current wallpaper is appropriate for this week's topic...and, spookily, the same person and the same brand (but a different picture) feature as my laptop's wallpaper. Ooer!
At work I'm not allowed wallpaper thanks to our evil IT guys. And we have an enforced screensaver about washing your hands. Did I complain? Yes, but it didn't get me anywhere. Except being labelled as a troublemaker.
My current wallpaper, a quite young ibex, totally at ease (thinking "I can climb a lot better than you, you silly guy with camera..."), at some 2800m above sea level, above Saas-Fee, Switzerland.....
In 6 weeks time I will be there again for my annual holiday, yes!!
ps. click on the pic to see it in its full glory
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
It's been a while since our last bare faced traffic raising gesture, so I thought that in order to keep our 3000+ monthly visitors happy, and to attract new readers, that I'd post up what is the current wallpaper on my laptop.....(it's dita von teese looking saucy for the benefit of google's text based searches: i read recently that this sort of thing really works, even with the sophisticated genteel readership that the ' Spill has....)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Anyone who recognises the above logo will know my pain. Anyone who doesn't ... don't ask.
The point is that I'm in a VERY black mood, and in these cases I have a bunch of songs that I use as pressure release valves. I can't say too many of you are going to like these - and be warned: swearing figures LARGE - but I'm using them as a test to see if I can make Boxstr work.
Now if you don't mind, I'm off to do my best 'Headbanging-Whirling-Dervish-Attacks-Air-Guitar-Whilst-Practising-Primal-Scream-Therapy' thang!
Damien Rice - Rootless Tree
Sass Jordan - Damaged
WGC - Let It Roll
Icicle Works - Shit Creek
Young Heart Attack - Mouthful Of Love
The Datsuns - MF From Hell
Th'Legendary Shack Shakers - Ichabod
The Bellrays - Stupid Fuckin' People
Alter Bridge - Metalingus
Something's Going To Happen Soon by Ballboy
Monday, July 21, 2008
First time I've been to an all-day rock festival for more than 20 years - the last one was The Garden Party back in 1986.
The Cambridge Rock Festival (formerly the Rock and Beer Festival) took place in the unlikely venue of the Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester, just outside Huntingdon. It's certainly one of the so-called 'boutique' festivals, catering for the genres of music outside the fashionable mainstream. This one featured headliners Marillion (who ironically headlined The Garden Party back in 1986). With personal favourites Mostly Autumn, The Reasoning and Breathing Space also on the bill, this is one I just had to go to.
Given the vagaries of the British excuse for a summer, this one took place in an indoor arena. That turned out to be a large cow-shed like building, whose acoustics were actually a lot better than you'd expect.
With both Mostly Autumn, Breathing Space and The Reasoning all having overlapping fan bases, the festival saw the biggest gathering of Mostly Autumn fans since that fan convention last March in the caravan park near Bournemouth; an awful lot of familiar faces there. Add to that a bar with an extremely large selection of real ales, most of which I'd never heard of, so ordering a beer was a matter of choosing something at random.
Local blues band Taildragger opened the proceedings; competent and tight but rather generic; as a friend of mine remarked, blues bands all tend to sound the same. Bijoumiyo were rather better; a mix of funk and reggae basslines with psychedelic guitar, quite unlike anything else on the bill.
The first two acts played to a largely empty hall; clearly the prog fans had time their arrival to get there in time for Touchstone's set. I'd seen them a year and a bit ago supporting The Reasoning; frontwoman Kim Seviour's first ever gig, and that was a somewhat nervous performance. Today they played a confident and energetic set, mostly drawn from their album Discordant Dreams. Probably the proggiest band of the day, but with a hard-rock edge. You could tell they were clearly enjoying their time on stage, and went down well with the growing crowd. I think this performance probably earned them quite a few new fans.
Breathing Space played an absolute blinder. For the biggest gig of their career so far, they rose to the occasion with a superbly tight set, the best band of the first half of the day. Breathing Space have been a great live band this year; a bit poppy for some tastes, perhaps, showcasing Livvy Sparnenn's fantastic lead vocals, but there's still enough instrumental depth to keep prog fans interested. Aside from Livvy, the rest of the band shone too, especially guitarist Mark Rowan. Livvy's striking mermaid costume was definitely the stage outfit of the day.
John Otway's pub-rock meets standup comedy shtick isn't really my cup of tea, I'm afraid, and I missed part of his set in search of food. But I have to say his set closer of The Osmond's "Crazy Horses" with the theramin solo was entertaining.
The Reasoning's set was one of the most eagerly awaited of the day's lineup, their first gig with their new guitarist Owain Roberts. They played strong hard rocking set, mixing favourites from "Awakening", a great version of the Karnataka oldie "Talk to Me" with several songs from the forthcoming "Dark Angel", including the prog-metal masterpiece of the title track, and the live debut of one called 'Call Me God?'. Marillion's Steve Rothery guested with them for "Within Cold Glass". They did suffer from more than a few technical glitches and sound mix problems, which took the edge off things slightly, which meant they didn't quite top Breathing Space's earlier set.
I felt sorry for Jim and Geoffrey. As an acoustic duo (guitar and violin) they struggled to hold the attention of an audience that had been rocked out by the previous band, and despite being quite good, they died horribly. I'd love to see them in a small club venue, where might make more of an impression.
If the number of t-shirts was anything to go by, Mostly Autumn had the greatest fan support of any band on the bill. So many people were seriously annoyed when they got half-an-hour lopped off their set to allow the following band longer to set up. To make matters worse, problems with Bryan's guitar setup delayed the start, so the band ended up playing for just 40 minutes or so, to the intense disappointment of both the band and their legion of fans. But for that short set the band were absolutely on fire; a storming 'Fading Colours', a really intense 'Unoriginal Sin' and a fantastic 'Heroes'. Had they had the opportunity to play their originally planned setlist they would have been the band of the day without question.
In contrast, Andy Fairweather Low was the nadir of the day. As someone who's had a few hits aeons ago, and had since been an anonymous sidesman of other people, he had neither the charisma nor the material to play such a long set this high on the bill. His interminably long set seemed to consist mainly of 50s and 60s covers, with perfunctory takes on his few hits. As someone it's probably better not to name who it was that said "Who wants to listen to this wank? Just because he's been on Later with Jools Holland". Couldn't have put it better myself. Music for chin-stroking Mojo readers perhaps, not not music for the sort of Rock fans who made up this audience.
And so, headliners Marillion. A band I've been a fan of for longer than members of some bands lower down the bill have been alive, playing a 90-minute festival set. To be truthful this wasn't in the same league as the two awe-inspiring shows I saw in 2007; still good, but lacking the sort of intensity I've seen in past gigs. They played what amounted to a greatest hits set of the post-Fish era, favourites like 'Easter', their recent hit 'She's Gone', 'Afraid of Sunlight', 'King' and the encore 'Neverland'. Still very good, but for me at least failed to top the Mostlies, despite their truncated set.
While what happened to the Mostlies put a bit of a damper on an otherwise great day, in the end the event was bigger than any individual band. The whole festival had a relaxed air, members of many of the bands mingling with fans throughout the day, helped by the fact that there was no backstage bar. And there seemed to be no egos involved. That laid-back approach probably would not have worked at a bigger festival, but here it added to atmosphere; the whole thing felt like a fan convention of sorts. It made me wish I'd camped and made a weekend of it.
I've been constantly amazed by everything I read about the whole 'music festival' phenomenon in the UK, a couple of weeks ago there was an article in the G. with a list of those that were happening this summer that to me were unbelievable, there were possibly hundreds of events charging what seem to me to be exhorbitent prices scheduled outdoors come rain or shine. The pictures published in the G. cause me to wonder re. the sanity of those attending.
'Nuff said about all that, what I wanted to comment on is what was possibly THE ORIGINAL POPULAR MUSIC FESTIVAL, at least I can't think of any that precede it except for some classical events, it's The Newport Jazz Festival held annually in Newport Rhode Island, it's been held annually since 1954. There was an interesting film made about it in 1958, it features a who's who of jazz talent and is intercut with shots of the America's Cup sailboat races which were happening just offshore, it's called Jazz on a Summer's Day, it was directed by Bert Stern.
Specifically I want to deal with just one year, 1956, one band, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, playing just one tune, Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue. It should have been a shoe in last week. Duke's popularity was in decline as was that of all the big bands in the mid '50's but George Wein, the event producer invited him to bring the band to Newport and it became an historic occasion.
In 1938 Duke wrote two short pieces to be played separately, Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue, for this event however he arranged for the tenor sax soloist with the band, Paul Gonsalves, to play a solo in the interval between the pieces, he told Paul to play as long as he felt comfortable.
Duke introduced the piece and led in on the piano, the band picked it up and it started to swing and then at about the four minute point Paul began his solo, very tentatively at first but gaining confidence as he played. He started to swing like mad and the audience was caught up in the excitement of the moment, what should have been a 5-6 minute piece was suddenly being stretched by the amazing tenor sax solo with the band members and Paul Gonsalves playing as they'd never played before, the audience was going nuts! George Wein sensing the possibility of a riot can be heard offstage telling Duke to end the piece, to shut it down but Duke looks the other way and the band takes it up to another level all the while with Paul still soloing. Finally he puts his horn down and the baton is picked up by Cat Anderson, the high note trumpet soloist who does nothing to ease the tension as it builds to a climax. When it finishes the audience erupts, there's a roaring, cheering and shouting that at the time went on for about 7 minutes, on the record it's shortened considerably. The entire event was broadcast live world-wide on The Voice of America with Willis Connover as the host, it was also recorded by Columbia records, I listened to VOA on my headphones in my bedroom in Suffolk.
Duke's picture was on the cover of the next issue of Time Magazine and his fortunes changed at that moment but....
Columbia realised before the concert ended that the mic that Paul Gonsalves was playing into was not on, he was being picked up on an adjacent mic but not clearly. What to do, they had a million seller on their hands and they couldn't use it. The concert was on the Saturday evening so they had Duke bring the orchestra to New York first thing Monday morning and they re-recorded it entirely in the studio and then mixed in the audience reaction from the live recording and released it as 'Live at Newport!' And then some years later when stereo had hit someone found the Voice of America recording in a cupboard, [with a good solo mic] so they were able to combine both versions to create a stereo version.
I have the original vinyl recording titled 'Ellington at Newport' and the updated double CD version which is titled 'Ellington at Newport' with the word 'complete' printed rather obscurely. If you want the full story of this event get the 'complete' version.
OK, so after that long winded into, put on the headphones, sit back and enjoy one of the all time great sax solos, Paul Gonsalves for about 13 minutes at Newport 1956.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Yesterday Jo Stafford died, in 1952 she had a huge hit in England with this song, I was 18, working at my first job and I thought it was a wonderful song. It was Stafford's greatest hit, topping the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom (the first song by a female singer to top the UK chart). It first entered the chart on August 1, 1952 and remained there for 24 weeks.
It was covered by Bob Dylan for the the 1994 movie Natural Born Killers. A version by Jason Wade was part of the soundtrack to the 2001 animated film Shrek. Rocker Tori Amos also sang the classic for the Julia Roberts film Mona Lisa Smile in 2003. Most recently, actress Rose McGowan sang it on the soundtrack for the Planet Terror segment of the 2007 movie Grindhouse.
A picture of my favourite bike, my trusty, indestructable Gazelle MTB, as an introduction to this great video, extolling the virtues of the "Hop Supreme" bicycle, "Medway Wheelers" by the great Wild Billy Childish & the Buff Medways:
So what/who were the Medway Wheelers? It’s the tale of Billy’s Mum, June, & her exploits with her local cycle club, the Medway Wheelers, which she joined in 1944. June had a Hop Supreme cycle. Billy recalls with amusement the manufacturers claim that the bike was ‘made-to-measure’. Not quite the case – it was a man’s bike!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Welcome to a brand new (geddit?) playlist featuring nothing but Jonathan Richman.
The beauty of this is twofold:
1. If you don't like Jonathan Richman then you don't need to bother with this and you can go straight on to the next (probably far more interesting) post from someone like ejaydee, nilpferd or steenbeck (par exemple) and...
2. If you do like Jonathan or you're willing to give him a chance then you're in for a treat!
I really hope the technology works - both Podbean and Deezer failed me tonight so I'm joining the Boxstr club and feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants.
I'll spare you the lengthy introductions this week - Jonathan tends to speak for himself. So, here we go: six tracks - one genius - how can you possibly go wrong?
Well after an unbelievable amount of frustration and an enormous amount of help from my wonderful fellow 'Spillers - I gave up and went back to Podbean which now seems to be working. God I hope this is worth it...
Blue Plastic Bags by Malcolm Middleton
Découvrez Sister Sledge!
A note for Ms. Cauliflower, re. the Ry Cooder tape I need to know the size of the reel, you hinted at 101/2", stereo or mono, the speed it was recorded at, and the format it's in; If it's on a reel it's ok, if it's a pancake I don't have the where-with-all to load it, My Revox has two speeds 3 3/4" & 7 1/2" ips, if it's 15ips I can't handle it.
I pulled my Revox A77 back into service and connected it into my Mac and dubbed an old tape from my father to CD, it worked fine.
I must sing the praises of Revox, a division of Studer; I bought this machine in 1970 for about $500, it had a lifetime warranty, consequently I took in to their service unit on Hollywood Blvd annually for a check up. At one point I owned 3 of these, not sure why.
I just checked eBay and they're still asking more than I paid new!
This has caused me to think about the entire process of recording audio, I bought my first recorder, a cheap Phillips unit, in about 1953, I immediately hooked it into AFN and Radio Luxembourg. When I moved to the US I bought a cheap consumer grade Wollensak, I later moved up to Revox. When I think back I realise that I've always had at least one recorder in my music system whether it's been a cassette, a VHS, an open reel or a mini disc, and more lately my hard disc. If I hear of something of interest coming on I hit 'Record', I've got a huge archive of tapes and discs, most of them logged into the Mac.
Anybody else this obsessive?
Friday, July 18, 2008
The Pooh Sticks
Blast First the pooh sticks wont sign for them cos their music doesn’t make your ears bleed- probably correct at the time.. many other labels name checked too.
Dress me up in Stussy.
Blake Grape say put on ya Reeboks and play…tennis.
Don’t lose your child in Tesco they sell them for a pound.
They have Nick Cave Dolls…Cool.
Jeff Lewis doing 12 Crass covers is just Genius.
Technicolor would have been put forward if I had been back for last weeks.
Sellotape give you a Sunday morning student house a decade back.
Jarvis sorts out Disney time…
John Deere Tractor - The Judds
Money for Nothing - Dire Straits
Kodak Ghosts - Michael Chapman
Mr and Mrs Mickey - The Bonzos congratulate Mickey Mouse
The Jeepster - Marc Bolan
Parlaphone - Erik Truffaz