Saturday, January 31, 2009

Luck of the Steenbeck

I finally gave up on boxstr...


So boxstr isn't working for me since I have upgraded .. these may be playable.. it has saved you all from an 18 track CD-R full of tunes..... I'm especially pleased about being on theme for tracks 1/2/3/6/ and 8 my Hot Chip for this week.

(Broken Social Scene) Kevin Drew- Lucky ones
DJ Medhi-Lucky Boy
Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra-Lady Luck
The Teenages- Wheel of Fortune
Cass McCombs-Windfall
Veda Hille-LuckLucky
Ed Harcourt-All Of Your Days Will Be Blessed
Hot Chip- Bad Luck

Lucky ?

Every time (ie both times) I have used this feature the heat rises in my chest, the palms get sticky, the throat swells. But I think I have once again managed to actually upload two of my favourite lucky things which appear to be either a) unknown to the cognoscenti (for that is what you are RR team) or b) so rabidly unpopular as to be not worthy of comment (with hon exceptions). So for the (hopefully) uninitiated here are the very lucky Todd Rundgren whose talent has backfired upon him so many times, lucky because he can play every instrument (and frequently does) - backfired - because he gets bored easily I guess. "Lucky Guy" is from his last true pop album (he's on heavy Rock right now) Hermit Of Mink Hollow (which is in Woodstock NY btw) in 1978. It's a beautifully simple song. Merle Haggard is a country n western singer from Bakersfield, California who actually spent some time in prison (unlike my favourite twerp Johnny Cash) and who has the most sublime voice, warm, deep and thrilling. He saw LEfty Frizzell live early in life and was inspired to sing for a living - and this song may have been written by LEfty - haven't been able to check. It's fantastic. Enjoy !!

Chips With Everything

Nice picture of Clive Owen with a white shirt and dicky bow in 'Croupier' rather than of Christopher Walken with a white shirt accessorised with his brains in 'The Deer Hunter' because in this lucky seven selection, there's a general acceptance that your luck may be bad or good, but there's always another spin of the wheel to come.
First of all, we have Willie Dixon, fortunate with his songwriting gifts but as one of the most ripped-off musicians in history, not so lucky in business. Comp him a cocktail but don't ask him to choose where to place your chips. The Sylvers aren't old enough to go to a casino and, some would say, not old enough to know so much about love but Bebo's helping them with the latter and fake online IDs are getting them a fix of the former. Swamp Dogg's perpetually on his way out the door to find out where someone put the sunshine, but that loose slot machine near the exit just keeps convincing him that it's worth another shot. Frank Sinatra would tell him it isn't, but he part-owns the casino so he just pats him on the back and goes off to see a show...
In the showtune section, we have Liza Minelli, charmingly oblivious to the advance of Nazism, pinning all her hopes on a noncommittal English bisexual; Marlon Brando is hoping to roll a seven but in this list he only makes six; the coveted No.7 goes to Stanley Holloway and his mates.

I Ain't Superstitious
Roulette Wheel Of Love
Buzzard Luck
Sally Bowles
Skye Masterson
Alfred Doolittle Esq.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gremlinfc's adventures in Celluloid

After the controversy of the slasher fillums and the lack of thespian quality in most of them , I decided it was time to seek out a meatier role(oops bad choice of words)which would best suit me talents : LUCKILY I knew abloke who knew a bloke who knew a bloke and quite by CHANCE , I landed a role in what was to be another groundbreaking fillum , which brought some great lines but still its fair share of blood 'n k'llings. Question is , what's the fillum and what's the line it spawned uttered daily by wannabe gremlinfcs?

Make your own luck

A very eclectic mix this week.. so I'll give some pointers.

Feeling lucky, post-punk? Try The Clean, above, with Anything could happen..

Those indie freaks among you whose rabbit's feet tap more for pessimistic vocals and jangly guitars need listen no further than the Verlaines' Lucky in my dreams, track one below..

If, on the other hand, you find your pot of gold at the end of a chillout drum & bass rainbow, you might want to x-step forward to track two, taken from a very reasonably priced compilation, back in the days when I used to consider that sort of thing a lucky charm.

Have no fear, jazz fan(s), I have not deserted you.. you are fortunate enough to be able to choose between two (2!!) versions of Lucky to be me, as sung by Irene Kral (medleyed with another Bernstein track, Some other time), or performed solo by Bill Evans.

Fans of R&B, hip-hop, or soul should skip directly to 24 carat black's '73 Stax recording, Ghetto: Misfortune's wealth.

..and then, thank your lucky stars.

(Player removed)

Lucky me

It's funny stuff, luck: we speak of something as 'lucky' when it's really no such thing. For instance, I feel really lucky at the moment because I've got the afternoon off: but that's got nothing to do with luck - it's because I worked a 12-hour day on Tuesday, and I chose to take this afternoon as lieu time. Similarly, I think I'm lucky because I've got a new iPod which is four times the capacity of my old (full) one - but again, I go to work, they give me money and I choose how to spend it.

I think I'm moving closer to real luck when I contemplate my two grandsons. That's Ellis up above, aged 5 weeks or so. But then it gets all mixed up again. For instance, it was a matter of luck that they're boys not girls, but is that good luck or bad luck? Neither, in our case; though that might not be so for some families. My daughter and her partner are knocking on a bit to be first parents, so they might be said to have been lucky that Naomi could conceive at all...and so on. See what I'm getting at? It's not as simple as you think at first...

The Lucky One - Alison Krauss (ElDerino's recommendation)
Hard Luck Stories - Richard and Linda Thompson
Lucky Town - Bruce Springsteen
Taoist Tale - Maggie Holland
One More Dollar - Gillian Welch
Lucky Stars - Mary Gauthier

Winners & Losers

Three Coins In The Fountain
Magic Penny
Boy With A Coin
Lucky Number Nine
Dice Man
So Lucky
Have A Lucky Day (Live)
Beautiful Losers
Losers In A Lost Land
Only Losers Take The Bus
The Game
Death Goes to the Winner

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Future Of Music and The Internet (and a wee quiz)

There's no doubting that the internet has kinda revolutionised the way those online listen to music, find out about music, and communicate about music. The fact that I'm writing on this community blog that mostly discusses and shares thoughts about music is proof of that.
The latest web - music thing that's cropped up is the idea that now we've kinda got used to having (and paying for!) mp3s - is it about to go the way of the cassette also? 
Personally speaking the hard drive of my laptop is groaning under the weight of music files, and there's not much room for anymore (not once I've finished downloading the 4 gig John Peel festive 50s torrent that I'm on just now). 
I do intend to network another mac into my setup to mainly use as storage - but is this really necessary? 
With the rise of LastFM, The Hype Machine, and lately Spotify - do we really need to hoard away thousands of mp3s when we can easily stream them at will? The size the Spill is growing to is kinda epic too, you can just hit play on the yahoo player and have hours of quality and diverse music to listen to. 
I've only been getting into LastFM recently, and really dig it the most (I have it as an iPhone app also)  - and there's friends of mine that don't buy music and solely use LastFM instead. 
Obviously I'll always be happy to buy vinyl (cds I can take or leave) - but what I am interested in is your thoughts on whether you'd happily ditch the itunes library if everything could be streamed on demand - or if you are getting attached to the massed gigabytes (that could get wiped out with a hard drive failure in an instant) you own. 
Or would you be happy uploading your music library to your own personal internet server (like a Dropbox or Google G-Drive scenario) and being able to access it from anywhere (it's only a matter of time before the whole country is covered by free wifi)?
Or is there another way? 

Bonus easy quiz - there are 'Spill points on offer here if you can name all artists and songs used in this megakewlrofl mash-up: 

Mystery Quiz Track

John Martyn (1948-2009)

A great talent, a true bon viveur and a very sad loss.

Images from tincanland

Long overdue posting of an impromptu mini-social
in London in early Jan, with (L-R) tincanman, ejaydee,
garethi, mnemonic, and (not pictured because we didn't
think of a picture in time) d33pf1x.

Skye (screen name: Tinpuppy)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tonight You Belong To Me


Somebody played this for me last week, and now it's stuck in my head.

And this is cool too:

And just because:

Veggie Haggis!!

Isn't it lovely?

That's right, our kitchen table is entirely covered with chalkboard paint.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Return Of The Other Guy From Arab Strap

I know that over the last year or so I've banged on about how much I like Malcolm Middleton quite a lot, so I think it's time Aidan Moffat (his former Arab Strap partner) got some attention. 
After releasing a jaw-dropping spoken word album last year, he's back with something that's a bit more "singy" (yes, that is a word...) than before and a new musical group The Best Ofs. 
I'm excited about the album that's due to come out shortly, and I love this video he's made - proving that you don't even need to leave your comfy chair to make something great for the web. 

Return of Gremlinfc...with a bite!

So, this was one of my first major film roles and though many thought at the time it was a prosthetic head, in fact I did actually bite and sever a real zombie's head! I never took to the taste though and after several more low-budget horror-slash-slash fillums, I decided to switch to romantic leads (more of those in the future).
Any guesses on this gruesome scene ? Fillum? Year? Tasty morcel or spewy mouthful?
Nice to be back and hope all Spillers are grooving nicely into the Year of the Ox.
Kung hei fa choi!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What Steenbeck heard on the way to the...

The CD player in our car is broken, and this causes me to listen to the radio. Fortunately, we have a few college stations in the area that play great varieties of music, sometimes awful, but you never know. I realized how much the 'Spill has impacted me, because as I would hear new music, I would wonder which 'Spillster would like it. I thought it might be fun to post a sample of what I heard, and I could see this being an ongoing series, and encourage others to participate as well.

The BPA--Toe Jam ft. David Byrne and DIzzee Rascall (and an amusing video)


Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp--Les Matin des Noire

MF Doom
MF DOOM--Mugwort

Talking of haggis...

I was so busy celebrating Robert Burns' 250th birthday yesterday that I forgot it might be a good idea to celebrate it on the 'Spill too. A friend of his lived in my house during the time Burns was based in Dumfries, so I have this fantasy about him dropping in for a dram...

...anyway, here's Ae Fond Kiss, which is my favourite Burns song.

Ae Fond Kiss - Five Hand Reel

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Over on the Mothership on Friday, I jokingly nominated The Hidden Camera's song "Awoo" cos that's the noise a ghost makes ( I also thought it hilarious to nominate "Phantom Limb" by The Shins too, deary me..).

HOWEVER! I've dug a bit deeper into "Awoo" and discovered that along with the fact it is indeed a fab pop song - IT ALSO HAS A SPOOKY VIDEO AND GHOSTLY LYRICS TOO! So maybe it is about ghosts after all....

"If I am naked on the throne, I’ll be working in bone yard, awoo
Haunts the blood like a bad reputation, awoo" 

Soul Music

Ten minutes or so of floorboards creaking with submerged childhood memories; the tormented wails of abandoned lovers blending into the frequency at which the banshees broadcast their nightly howls; spirits up from the graves and marching towards the freedom denied them in life; and people walking over their own grave.

Spirits Up Above

No, not the optics down the Barley Mow, the ghosts of our ancestors looking after us as we sleep. This is a beautiful song from a beautiful band - Osibisa. I commend it to your spirits...

"I am not ready!"

This is Passenham churchyard...Passenham, a small village in Buckinghamshire, is famous for its ghosts. One is an evil landlord, who is dragged through the lanes by his ghost horse, with his foot caught in the stirrup. Then there's the corpse who shrieked 'I am not ready!' as her coffin was going down. They opened the coffin to check, but she was ready all right.

I used to live just across the river from Passenham but, though I walked there lots of times through the water meadows, I never saw a thing.

Now That I Am Dead - Richard Thompson
The Bay of Biscay - Waterson Carthy
Picture On The Wall - Carter Family
Molly Bond - Oysterband
Downbound Train - Springsteen
The Unquiet Grave - Shirley Collins
Cruel Sister - Pentangle
Ghosts of Hallelujah - the Gourds

VNV Nation - Beloved

Since no one has commented on VNV Nation - Beloved (good, bad or otherwise), I'll assume it's because it is too rare to find and stick it on here. At least I think I will - first attempt at boxtsr after moving over from the other one.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The Slow Club
Roots Manuva
Radical Face
Electric President
Wolfgang Press
wrong Wolfgang press ..should be ghosts from 10 years earlier... I've so tried to keep this short, go to spill monster post October 31st for more...
this is one of the subjects I love..  if you want my proper ghost cds with art work- e-mail me.
I post them snail mail.

Have you seen the ghostly playlist?

Louis Armstrong--Skeleton in the Closet
Burning Spear--The Ghost
Budos Band--Ghost Walk
Decemberists--Eli, the Barrow Boy
Decemberists--Yankee Bayonet
Decemberists--Leslie Ann Levine
M. Ward--One Life Away
Regina Spektor--Ghost of Corporate Future
Tom Waits--Back in the Good Old World
Tom Waits--Good Old World (waltz)
Arab Strap--Haunt Me
Lupe Fiasco--The Cool
Raveonettes--Attack of the Ghost Riders
White Stripes--Walking with a Ghost

Approaching fifty with fridge magnets

In approximately one month I will hit my half century. This is probably the last chance I'll get to master the art of posting while I'm still 49, so I thought I'd have a go while everyone's out (I gave them some petrol money and a fiver for fish and chips) and I can play with the computer.

I have managed to put a playlist together, there is no theme except that it's music I like and I'd welcome comments on it. But I totally don't know how to link it to this post, so in the meantime, does anyone have any strong views about fridge magnets? We've gone from pre-sprog minimalist to post-sprog OMG I can't see the floor. Does it matter? How can I post a playlist? Answers on a postcard, to the usual address.

'Cos You Dance To Disco And You Don't Like Rock...

Well, I've extracted a Top Ten from Mrs Abahachi, and thought that I might as well go ahead and get the discussion rolling. On reflection, Valentine's Day might be the last date we should get involved in questions of musical incompatibility with one's other half; it might make singletons like Sourpus feel even more left out of things (or, quite possibly, deeply relieved), and anyway the debate then tends to be about choice of romantic viewing rather than music: I say Casablanca, you say Notting Hill...

Actually that reminds me of an important caveat: the point of this discussion is not to sneer or snigger at the musical tastes of our significant others - after all, they probably overlap with those of someone else on the 'Spill - but to wonder how (to paraphrase Duke Ellington on the subject of jazz) such great extremes as currently exist can rub along together under the same roof. So, in considering these lists (and I do hope you're all going to join in), what matters is not so much the contents in their own right as the juxtaposition with a given Spiller's known preference for, for example, classic 80s pop, miserable Scottish indie, noise-drone-rumble-core or, in the case of the Abahachi household, avant-garde European jazz with occasional NWOBHM and Bob Dylan.

Mrs Abahachi's Top Ten
1. Mozart, Requiem
2. Night and Day, sung by A Male Singer who probably isn't Frank Sinatra
3. Vivaldi, Mandolin Concerto
4. The crowd at Cardiff Arms Park singing Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau
5. La Cumpasita, as heard on Some Like It Hot
6. Barbara Dickson, Another Suitcase in Another Hall
7. Billy Joel, The Stranger
8. Mozart, Marriage of Figaro
9. Beatles, Let It Be
10. Emma Kirkby, Columba Aspexit

Incidentally, if I'd been guessing at this I'd have got five out of ten.

Ghost in the Machine

I apologise in advance for the complete unlistenableness of this playlist, special 'Spill medal awarded to anyone who manages to listen all the way through without A) throwing up their arms and declaring "but this isn't music, it's just a load of noise, and not even very interesting noise at that", B) topping themselves. Or even anyone who makes it to the end!

I've added a couple that weren't my nominations but were definite donds, hope the nominators don't mind, just wanted to share the music!

Erm.....(try to) enjoy!

Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
Track 5
Track 6
Track 7
Track 8


Papa Legba
Yulunga (Spirit Dance)
The Phantom
Love Is A Ghost
Ghost In The Snow
Maybe Sprout Wings
Welcome, Ghosts
Lost Souls On Funk

Friday, January 23, 2009

Be my ghost

Tricky, RZA, Gatekeeper digging up some graves.

The playlist starts off with Travelling grave, by 3D's forerunner band Goblin mix, a short lived, early flying nun combo obsessed with gothic imagery and indie garage sounds.

Next up Conjure's General Science, a whimsical little piece from one of numerous Kip Hanrahan projects which I wheel out occasionally (to deafening silence).

Followed by Kimbu Kimra's Raise the dead, remixed by Atjazz- I seem to have loads of this type of late nineties nu-jazz thing on compilations, this track would be one of the better ones though, released by Munich label Compost.

Then with one of my favourite Grant Mclennan tracks, Haunted House. The guitar reminds me of Johnny Marr, the swelling organ fits perfectly, Grant turns out one of his most timeless lyrics, the ending is unbearably uplifting. Hearing this tune always makes me sad, but in a euphoric way. RIP, G.M. Mclennan.

Ending with Ghosts, by The Chills. More of an epic, folk sound than usual on this classic track from the Brave Words album.

(Player removed)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The President And The Captain

I 'found this in my personal files' and was wondering if anyone would like to offer up a caption for it?

Gigs notifications

Someone recently posted something about how we should let each other know about gigs but I can't remember whether it was here or on the mothership.

One suggestion was through "Events" on but that won't work very well as you can't add an event to a group page (though you can do a shout). Anyway, I have a list of people I often e-mail about stuff that's on so is it better to copy that information here or to the group page? More people read this one.

For the moment, tomorrow night I will be at Cafe Oto for Ben Nash and Gareth Hardwick

Next Thursday 100 Club for RockingMitch ( lists this under Love Music Hate Racism rather than his band name)

Friday 30th, David Thomas Broughton. Doveman, and Sam Amidon at Bush Hall

Sunday 1 Feb, Bush Hall again for an acoustic all-dayer

The Twelve Tasks of ToffeeBoy - #1 Microdisney

I could have called this herculean task that I have, rather foolishly, set myself, "In Defence of Pop". Because, ladies and gentleman, my aim, over the course of the year, in twelve, monthly instalments, is to convince those of you who need convincing (frogprincess, you’re excused) that pop music needn’t be clichéd, sickly sweet, overly simplistic, or anodyne – in other words, that pop music doesn’t need to be pap music (see what I did there?).

Pop music has, over the years, developed a bad name when put up against its cooler cousins; rock, jazz, indie, folk and blues. My task is to put right what I perceive as wrongs; to persuade you all that melodies and harmonies can, in the right hands, produce music of sublime (oops!) splendour; that pop can display just as much depth as jazz and classical music, that a 4/4 time signature can still create astonishingly exciting results; that light and shade have a big part to play in all this and that pop can use them as a means to achieve aims beyond its expected horizons. But, above all, to demonstrate that pop music can be achingly beautiful and moving.

The way I aim to do all this is to introduce you to (or possibly to remind you of) twelve acts who I believe demonstrate some or all of the above qualities. And we’re going to start off with Microdisney. I’m not going to waste my time and yours by regurgitating facts that are readily available elsewhere on the interweb. Instead, I’ll place some links to useful websites – I’ll even risk incurring Abahachi’s wrath by routinely including the relevant Wikipedia link!

Most importantly, I’ll post a representative selection of their music, together with a video courtesy of YouTube. Another regular feature will be a recommended album so, under the banner, If You Buy One Microdisney Album It Should Be … I give you … The Clock Comes Down The Stairs.

Hope you enjoy – let me know what you think and if you’re so inclined, you might even suggest acts I could feature in the future (!) or, damn it, do it yourself.

So here it comes – the First Task of ToffeeBoy …

Warning - this video is a bit loud and distorted - TURN DOWN YOUR VOLUME BEFORE PLAYING!!!!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Long Black Veil - who knew?

Well, not me for a start - I always thought LBV was a traditional song. See, this is what'll happen once everyone downloads their music and doesn't have a CD cover to peer at the small print on. It's a 'composed' song written by Danny Dill, who's just died (but I don't think anyone mentioned him on RR so we're safe) in 1959, making it now 50 years old or nearly. There's quite a bit in the Grauniad obit about his inspiration for it.

The video is Barack's mate Bruce, with the Seeger Sessions band.

Martin Luther King Day

Not The Readers Recommend Blog

OK - it's time to take things into our own hands. The RR blog is now open again for comments - here. Now where were we ...

Peenie Wallie

Proudfoot asked about Jackie Mittoo. I only have one album by him, and I always thought of him as a rocksteady Jimmy Smith or Booker T. and the MGs. I found a few articles about him, here and here of dubious reliability but interesting nonetheless. I was fascinated to find that his song Peenie Wallie, as posted here, was versioned by the Wailers and became Duppy Conquerer, one of my favs.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

For debbym

I can't pretend for a moment that Cathal Coughlan's as cute as Clare Grogan (I think this is a truism whatever gender or sexual persuasion you might stand possessed of) but nevertheless debbym, this is for you. Have a good one...

When Love Is A Four Letter Word


This week's RR topic is not a subject I like to contemplate too deeply, actually!

Here's a short playlist that starts with the Terry Evans heartbreaking tune we've decided probably doesn't fit, and then works its way from TE's doldrums into ever more choppy waters.

Terry Evans - That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me
Was (Not Was) - Love Can Be Bad Luck
Terraplane - Couldn't Handle The Tears
Damien Rice - Rootless Tree
Drive-By Truckers - Feb 14
Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

More Songs of Love & Hate

I Don't Know Why I Love You
Fears Of Gun
Stay The Fuck Away From Me
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Shut The Fuck Up
Love In Vain
He Hate Me
The Hate Inside
The Matter (of Our Discussion)
Fatal Attraction
La Folie
I Believe
Raindrops (live)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

If you don't have love a dondle will do

ultra vivid scene*
art brut*
Casiotone For The Painfully Alone*
The Cure 'us or them'*
TV On The Radio
Liz Phair
Bright Eyes*
Her Space Holiday*
Hot Chip
Cowboy Junkies
Ten Minutes With My Dad
Frazier Chorus
The Cure 'alt.end'
*should work for the theme... What do I know !

Love is Blue

Jackie Mittoo--Love is Blue
Toots & the Maytals--Love is Gonna Walk Out on Me
Billie Holiday--Trav'lin' Light
Chet Baker--You Don't Know What Love Is
Bill Monroe--Sitting On Top of the World
The Carter Family--It'll Aggravate Your Soul
The Ambassadors--Ain't Got the Love of One Girl On My Mind
Marvin Gaye--That's the Way Love Is
Bloodstone--Dumb Dude
101ers--Rabies from the Dogs of Love
Mos Def-- U R the One
EPMD--Gold Digger
Belle & Sebastian--I Don't Love ANyone

B-Mac vrs mc sane

Don't talk to me about love - FP's unlovely playlist

Apologies for an unashamedly poppy, 80s-based playlist. I tried, I really tried to get some cool and obscure indie or even some jazz in there. But these songs just elbowed their way to the front by their brilliance or resonance.

It must have been fun to be lovesick in the middle ages. You actually had someone to blame then. Cupid existed in the common psyche as a fickle little blind demi-god whose arbitrarily shot arrows could wreak havoc in the lives of us mere mortals. So if you were suffering from unrequited love or indeed if you broke up with your lover, you had a concrete focus for your wrath and railings against the injustice of it all: bloody cupid! Rosalind in 'As You Like It' calls him 'that blind rascally boy who abuses everyone's eyes because his own are out'. Much more convenient and poetic than modern psychiatry which would have us believe that, when the sh*t hits the fan, we're all just repeating the models of our parents anyway. That Freud had a lot to answer for...

And the courtly love of the Elisabethan era sounds like splendid fun. You were allowed to languish, lose weight, write godawful poetry. And no one would growl at you to "pull yourself together". You were expected to manifest your lovesickness in a manner of ways which, to modern eyes, seem totally over the top and self indulgeant. Nowadays one would take refuge in a rented DVD and a tub of Ben n' Jerrys... It's the falling in love that's making me high, it's the being in love that makes me cry cry cry...

Thanks to Shiv for this week's question and please correct me if we've done this one before. Out with it - your first ever live gig. The one your mam and dad drove you to. And picked you up again. At the door. And were waiting for you before it finished. That one. I have checked and was wondering how to reveal to you that mine was probably either Howard Jones or Kajagoogoo at Newcastle's City Hall. But a quick bit of creative mathematics reveals that in reality my first live gig was probably Japan at the City Hall. That's the official version and I'm sticking to it yer honour...

Friday, January 16, 2009

The ultimate 70s prog mondegreen

Finally, an explaination as to what Magma's Mekanïk Desktruktïw Kommandöh is all about.

Or perhaps not.

No I don't want to love you

Betty Davis, with some good reasons not to fall in love..

Others not overly enamoured of Aphrodite..

Graeme Downes, of the Verlaines, is feeling a bit puckered out.. after all he does trying to please the ladies, he still seems to spend his Saturday nights lying comatose in pubs..
Lying in state is a classic Verlaines track, with ringing guitars and anguished vocals. Lyrics here, for anyone unfamiliar with Graeme's down-under diction..

More Flying Nun.. Jay Clarkson, of the Expendables, sings of the Man with no desire..

Biscuit, by Portishead, with that fantastic slowed down Johnny Ray sample..

Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime.. moi non plus, remixed into a downbeat classic by Dzihan and Kamien.

(Player removed)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Last Poets - Hip Hop Pioneers?

The Last Poets' "Wake Up Niggers" manages to cram a lot into 2 minutes and 50 seconds, that's for sure. I first heard it on the best film soundtrack LP ever ("Performance") - a film that came out in 1970, which surely must make The Last Poets pioneers of rap, heck they even mention rapping in the lyrics.

This song itself is a mental call to arms, to shake out the apathy they saw in their brothers putting up with racial oppression. The drink and drugs keep you stupid and somnambulant - wake up - or we're all through. 

This sort of sentiment has been echoed throughout the more socially conscious element of hip hop that followed, the theory that the CIA introduced crack to the ghetto to keep revolutionary thoughts at bay. 

The Manics also picked up on this theme on their New Art Riot EP, but transposing it to the UK - "Everyone's taking drugs cos it makes governing easier". 

There's a great scene in Alex Cox's "Sid and Nancy" where a very astute black man handing out the methadone lectures Sid:

“Smack is the great controller, keeps people stupid. When they could be smart. You guys got no right to be strung out on that stuff. YOU could be selling healthy anarchy. Long as you addicts, you be full of shit.” 

The Last Poets' interweaving voices build to a climax, becoming louder and more and more frantic! Dig it the most! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

4 Shoey et all: Beating the winter blues

The Vinyl Cafe is a radio show heard on CBC Radio in Canada, on selected public radio stations in the United States, on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 137, on Podcast, and live online. The show is written and hosted by Stuart McLean and features stories, essays and music (both live and recorded).

The amusing Vinyl Cafe stories are about Dave, owner of the second hand record store, and they are collected in books and on CD. The stories also feature Dave's wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie, and assorted friends and neighbours.

The motto of Dave's store - and of the radio show - is "We May Not Be Big, But We're Small".

2008 - The Leftovers & Overlooked

Gathered up some stuff that I ran across this year, on sampler cd's & the web that wasn't from you lot (I don't think so anyway - feel free to apply for any appropriate credit due in the comments), and shoved it all in a playlist for your amusement. This one's mostly for Shane as payback for the mega '08 compilation he was kind enough to mail to me, but there should be something for everyone. If anyone else feels inspired to post their own '08 discoveries, to help us shake the post holiday doldrums, that would be cool:

Cutout (Exbanding Head Band Version)
You Disappear
Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second
Monkey Bee
A Whore Called Renee
Write It All Down For You
Old Virginia Block
Make You Crazy
Runaway Pram
In The Rushes

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Starting a Forest Fire

Happy New Year to all you freedom fighters for great music.

In all likelihood I first heard of Brooklyn band Forest Fire from someone on t'Spill. I like this track for the phrase "Gatling gun social skills" (apologies for the lo-fi vid). Their song 'Slow motion' is one of the best things I've heard this year(!). To top it all, the whole of their first album, Survival, is available free (they are 'doing a Radiohead'). Go to Catbird Records.

***EDIT*** I don't know why this pesky video won't always play. If you get 'No longer available' they're lying. Try here

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart aren't even from the late 80s or even Glasgow, but if you like music that is, then you'll love this like I do.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Liberdade- Edição Brasileira

Dans Mon Île
Samba De Orly
13 De Maio
Rap da felicidade

Freedom Road

Well I promised I'd post The Pharoahs and Freedom Road so here it is, plus a couple of other great Black Power anthems.

Freedom Road
I wish I knew how it would feel to be free
The revolution will not be televised

Hippo shoots penguin

As promised, a penguin for Steenbeck: that spot in the middle of the picture is a rare Hoiho (yellow-eyed penguin) Mara snapped coming ashore in southeast NZ. Unlike some other penguin species, the Hoiho prefer to keep to themselves, and generally wait until other penguins have cleared the beach before they surf in, hence the lack of masses of birds. Owing to the need to remain out of sight in a hide the picture is rather small. Some interesting facts about this bird here:

Other avian highlights included Albatross, Kaka and Kea (forest and mountain parrots), Saddlebacks, Bellbirds, Tui, Shags, Oystercatchers. And we encountered some funky Pelicans on Santa Monica pier on the way home.

Here's a Tui Mara recorded on a forest walk at Kaka Point:

And some tracks which might fit the inauguration of my Pacific brother (as my Hawaiian neighbour and I refer to him) Obama:
Nat Adderley Jr, The price you gotta pay to be free. Recorded in 1970, could have been recorded in 2008..
Ammoncontact, One in an infinity of ways.
Freedom, DJ Food, remixed by Fila Brazilia. Zensational Ninja Tunes chill down track. One for Saneshane.
The Chills' Rain could be seen to be contrasting the safe, constrained existence of the narrator (Rain taps my window pane, I'm sheltering warm and dry) with the freedom of the person he's addressing (wishing you near to me, now that you're finally free).. well, have a listen anyway.

(Players removed.)

Adding Coldcut's remix of Jello Biafra's A message from our sponsor, off the brilliant Journeys by DJ mix. Unify is the next track on the album.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


If you only hear one, please check out Freedom Flight by Shuggie Otis. You don't have to only listen to one though.

I Want To Be Free - Ohio Players
Free - Deniece Williams
Nètsanèt (Liberté) - Mulatu Astatqé
It Ain't Me Babe - The Turtles
Oh Freedom - Odetta
Free At Last - Al Green
Freedom Flight

Latitude is an Attitude

Feso Trombone
The Capstan Shafts
Swan Lake
Iron and Wine
Surf City
The Make-Up
Mad Professor
Spiral Tribe

Winter Home Disco - The Pictish Trail

Superb Fife Folktronisist and Fence Records honcho The Pictish Trail has made a lovely video for his song "Winter Home Disco". It's all filmed just down the road, from what I can make out, and is one of my current fave songs. Perfect for this time of year; it's too cold to go out, so make your own disco at home!! 

Freedom Rider

Here is the marvellous Freedom Rider by Traffic from the John Barleycorn Must Die album

I'll try and upload my copy of Freedom Road by The Pharoahs onto Boxtr later today and post that one.

It is on a compilation album I bought ages ago called Stand Up And Be Counted Vol.1: Soul Funk & Jazz from a Revolutionary Era which is still available on Amazon. I recommend it unconditionally.

Here is the track listing;

1. Stand up and be counted - The Flames
2. Revolution will not be televised - Gil Scott-Heron
3. Mighty mighty (spade and whitey) - The Impressions
4. East - Billy Paul
5. Hang on in there - Mike James Kirkland
6. Things ain't right - Esther Marrow
7. Say it loud (I'm black and I'm proud) - James Brown
8. When the revolution comes - The Last Poets
9. Push on Jesse Jackson - Pace-Setters
10. Blue for Brother George Jackson - Archie Shepp
11. My People.. Hold On - Eddie Kendricks
12. Freedom Road - The Pharoahs
13. Loose here - Kain
14. I wish I knew how it would feel to be free - Nina Simone

Welcome To Liberty City

Armagideon Time
Suspect Device
Liberty City
Free The Marijuana
Free Will & Testament
Fight The Power
C*nts Are Still Running The World

Stay Free

Asian Dub Foundation - Free Satpal Ram

It's frustrating not having all of my record collection in the same continent, have to rely on Youtube for the above and can't find a free MP3 or even a Youtube of The Make-Up's excellent "Free Arthur Lee". If anyone has a copy....?

Warning!! Those with kiddiwinks near the computer may want to skip the !!! track as it utilises the F-word near constantly throughout.

Melt Banana - Free The Bee
!!! - Pardon My Freedom
Errol Walker - Better Future
Culture - Free Again
Desaparacidos - The Happiest Place On Earth
Jello Biafra - A Message From Our Sponsor
Dir Yassin - Sic Transit Gloria Mundi
Dir Yassin - Independence Day
Primal Scream - Loaded
Sleater Kinney - Combat Rock
Eddie and the Hot Rods - Do Anything You wanna Do

Not about freedom as such, but now's a good a time as any to post this beauty:
Fosforo - Cumbia Obama

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ye noble hippies all

I'm fascinated by those libertarian movements that spring up in times of uncertainty and unrest...the Peasants Revolt with its slogan 'When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?', but most of all the Civil War movements like the Diggers and the Levellers. No ruling class will tolerate them; it's during times of chaos that they flourish briefly and then are stamped out. Dammit. This first song is the one I remembered from being in a play about the Diggers.

The Diggers' Song - Chumbawamba
The New St George - Richard Thompson
Freedom and Rain - June Tabor and the Oysterband
We Shall Overcome - Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band
Van Diemen's Land - Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band
The Ballad of Easy Rider - Fairport Convention
Freedom Come All Ye - Five Hand Reel
The World Turned Upside Down - Billy Bragg