Friday, July 31, 2009

Pure reason shall never win

I was just reminded of this lovely clip, which I thought might appeal to some of you.
I can translate the lyrics if anyone is interested.
This is the remix, the original has more of a ringing guitars sound and is also very nice.


I know, I know. That's the opposite to this week's theme. However...your indulgence, I pray, for my celebration of the launch of the In and Outlaws' eponymously-titled CD. I shall explain.

My son Matt is not the most dynamic or dedicated of folk and in the past he's had lots of disappointments. (We don't use the word 'failure' in our family.) He's not very good at sticking to things and tends to take the easy way out if he can. He was a founder member of the In and Outlaws, and they get paid for gigs, but not a great deal, so they decided that instead of just sharing the money out they'd put it in the bank and save it so that they'd be able to make a record.

And so they have. But this wouldn't have happened without Matt's efforts. The other three band members are very difficult to work with - sometimes they don't turn up for gigs, let alone rehearsals and recording sessions. At least two of them have a serious alcohol problem. It's been very frustrating for Matt but he's seen it through and it's quite true to say that the record wouldn't be out now if it wasn't for his work. He is proud of himself and I (have you guessed?) am very very proud of him too. He's already been on the radio to promote it and next week they set off on a tour of Louisiana, the first time they've played outside Texas, so having the record to sell at gigs will be very helpful. The timing couldn't be better.

UNFORTUNATELY I haven't received my copy yet and so the first version of Weddings (below) hasn't got Matt's backing vocals on it - they recorded this particular one when he had a bad cold. So I'm including his demo version as well, with him doing all the singing and playing. Go Matty!

I Always Cry At Weddings - the In and Outlaws
I Always Cry At Weddings (demo) - Matt Rose
However Much I Booze - the Who
The Wife of Usher's Well - Steeleye Span
One More Dollar - Gillian Welch
Can't Win - Richard Thompson
Lord Franklin - Pentangle
My Husband's Got No Courage In Him - the Silly Sisters

Nomming and donding


Another week where I have been too busy on a Friday to play RR.

This work lark is getting in the way of the important stuff.

Would anyone like to volunteer to cover my conference call with this project I am working on next week?

Experience of database design would be useful ...

We Both Go Down Together

Shane & Shoey present the collaborative failure playlist:

Everyone's Starting Over
I've Been Let Down
They're Leaving Me Behind
Breakups Breakdowns
Fallen Not Broken
Wherever You Go
Rusted Guns Of Milan
Wisdom Fail
Losers Weepers, Finders Keepers
Divine Disappointment
I Can't Get Next To You Babe
Let Love Not Weigh Me Down

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Look, Treefrogdemon!!

oops--I loaded the pictures backwards--obviously, the tadpole picture is on the bottom.

David found a tadpole in a puddle, and he brought it home so we could watch it for a while. (The puddle dried up the next day!!) It was thrilling watching him (or her) grow little arms and legs. Last night he was swimming around with a tail. This morning...he had disappeared!! We finally found him not far away on the table. Well, we said to ourselves...what kind of frog could climb up a sloping glass wall? What kind of frog has big clingy pads on his toes? A TREEFROG!! How wonderful is that? We're reading up on the best place to let him go. But we think he might be a pine barren treefrog, which is an endangered species. Isn't he beautiful?

it's only a game.

It's been pointed out to me that this game has the capabilities of setting up your own league.. as we did last year on the defunct Guardian game... Don't know if I can play this year Mummy sez my tea is nearly ready... (got a big project starting at the end of August)
..but if snadfrod hasn't gone out to by todays Times to get a head start on the rest of you.. then it could be a good good one to set up and get going with the RR lot... the good thing about it - no-one can have the same player in their team as one of their opponents... double plus tough.

Carnaval del Pueblo. Sarf London Sunday 2nd August. FREE. The biggest Latin American festival in Europe.

This'll get you limbered up :

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On The Beat

I love videos where the video matches the beat of the music. It's simplistic, but when I walk with headphones on, I like to be in sync with the music, a bit like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Here's my favourite example of what I mean:

If you want to see how Michel Gondry conceived it:

Just Dave Van Ronk

Having just acquired this album by devious means, I've put it in the Dropbox for all the rest of you DVR fans.

I'm taking it out on Friday though to make room for the next RR topic.

Enjoy it!

Some Rushed EOTWQs

Who lives (occasionally) in a place like this? Ans: not me, but v.relevant to RR this week!

OK, just got in and seen that there appear to be no takers for End Of The Week Questions this week. As steenbeck said, I'd reserved a place in the queue, but the number on my pull-ticket was kinda smudged, so I'm not sure if I should be standing up or not . . . which leads me into my first question:

1. At some point, we've all been snapped back to attention in a boring meeting by realising we've been called upon to contribute. But, uh-oh, you weren't listening, so you have to wing it. What happened next? And was your response embarrassingly off-topic, or, as with mine, serendipitously brilliant. (I'll share later.)

2. A couple of weeks ago, we were asked what basic life-skill we lacked. This week, I want to know what ULTIMATELY MEANINGLESS life-skill you are actually ace at? Me? As a former house-husband responsible for all domestic duties including the laundry, I am ridiculously proud of my "flick" ability. Who knows what I mean?

3. Sticking with the idea of "ultimately meaningless", what is the knick-knack that a burglar (God Forbid!) would pass by, but you would be heartbroken if it got lost or broken? Nothing over 20 quid/bucks in value allowed, and we'll exclude the usual photos/lock-of-kids'-hair type stuff. I'm not really after sentimental attachments, more inexplicable possessive ones.

4. Big one now: when was the last time you were REALLY scared, and why? I don't know what I can justifiably expect you to say, as I'm still debating with myself whether to even share mine with you.

5. I eventually realised that my Question 5 was music-related, and thus banned from the EOTWQs. So instead of asking about your choice of funeral music, I'll ask what quirky request/demand would you like to put in your funeral instructions. I have a couple, one of which is that, subject to a veto by my girls (of anything meaningful or valuable to them), I'd like all of my friends to choose one album from my music collection to take away, keep, and play occasionally to remember me by. But of course that puts us back on the subject of music AGAIN, which means this question might get ejected from the EOTWQ lounge. So just in case, here's an extra question to ensure I stay at the minimum of five required . . .

6. Having made myself a coffee in my clients' works kitchen today and walked out, I turned around to pick up the folder I realised I'd left next to the kettle, and went *SPANG!!* right into the self-closing door! So - what's your last stupid, self-inflicted injury? On scales from 1 to 10, which score was higher: the pain or the embarrassment?


New Genre Alert!! New Genre Alert!!!

Whilst we wait for EOTWQ, here's some new Victoria Bergsman, performing some cutesy summer twee-ggae (I think i just named a new genre!!!) as Taken By Trees: 


I had previously declared Victoria as having  a sing me the phone book voice, which you can read about along with a brief history by clicking here. Also worth reading the comments for some interesting DsDness. 

Anyone ever invented or named any musical genres, or have a fave/hated genre name? 

Sample, Sampled, Covered

Note the repeated use of the word reBUKE

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I just spent a week in LA visiting old friends, the first ones we stayed with were John and Marti in Topanga Canyon, John's a carpenter/artist and Marti's a botanist and works for the National Parks, she needed a new car and they saw this sitting on a car lot, they bought it instantly. It's a new Honda and the paint job was commissioned by the House of Blues in Hollywood as a fund raiser, it was then sold to the car dealer who was having a hard time selling it. Marti's well past middle age and this is the car she drives to the office every day, it draws lots of attention. I've put a folder in the dropbox with some more pictures.

Shoey's Album of the Month - July

Oh No, got it down to 4 - but can't decide which one to go with. Here's a sample from each album, which one should be declared "Shoey's album of the month for July"? No write-ins, most votes wins.



This is another in my series of 60's classic vinyl, this album came out in 1965 and it had an enormous influence on me. The band comprised Paul Butterfield on harmonica, Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield on guitars, Mark Naftalin on keyboards, Jerome Arnold on bass and Sam Lay on drums. The psychedelic  revolution of the late 1960s had several sources, but probably the most important was electric blues.  Gradually, electric blues evolved into psychedelic rock and East West was one of the seminal albums that led and marked that transition. The Butterfield Blues Band started out as a straight-ahead Chicago electric blues band and there are several traditional electric blues numbers on this album  but there are also several tracks that stretch the boundaries of the blues genre. The band was remarkable for the work of the two great soloists plus Paul Butterfield was an outstanding harmonica player. Unlike a lot of 1960s blues rock musicians, Butterfield, Bishop and Bloomfield still sound fresh and unique today. In particular, Bloomfield's solos on "Work Song", and "East West" have a modal quality unlike any of the other blues rock guitar players of his era and the contrast between Bloomfield's complex droning runs and  Elvin Bishop's more traditonal lick-based solos is stunning.

 There was another album a couple of years later with a similar line up and sound, that was Super Session with Al Kooper, Steven Stills, Mike Bloomfield, that was one of the earliest 'super group' bands: Kooper and Bloomfield had both toured with and played in Dylan's Highway 61 album  band a couple of years earlier which is where I developed a love of their style of playing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Loft Classics No. 1 - "Curfew" by Drive

I'd like to introduce a new feature to The 'Spill!

"Loft Classics"

It's a really poor play-on-words, and it's because I'm attempting to make sense of all the guff in my loft (so I can add to the guff with more guff). 

I'm sure 'Spillers can relate; I find it impossible to throw away music. This has led to an amalgamation of second tier CDs accumulating in the eves. 
The second tier includes a lot of CD singles, CDs that came free with magazines, and stuff that I wasn't really that into (but still liked) when I last moved house 3 years ago. 

So, whilst in the loft today, I put my hand into a dusty box and randomly pulled out the CD single "Curfew" by the group Drive. 

Released on Ninja Tune in 1993 (it didn't bother the charts), and featuring a future All Saint (Mel Blatt) sharing vocals with a certain Julienne Davis (acted in Eyes Wide Shut, according to Wikipedia). 

The song itself, has a jaunty atypically early 90s drum loop (think MARRS) and some sweet non-warbly pop girl vocals mixed in with some bluesy/funky slide guitar. 

For the life of me the vocal melody and lyrics seem like they're from an old 60s US pop tune, but I can't place it. It seems too good and accurate to be a spoof/tribute. 

The film sample sounds to my ears like Nick Cage, perhaps from Wild At Heart? 

Anyways, this is a stone cold Loft Classic - a great tune, obscure as anything, dusted off and brought back to life!!  If anyone has anymore information about the song, please leave it in the comments! 

Curfew by Drive

('Spillers, I'd like this to be a regular series, so on your marks, get set, LOFT IT!!) 

RIP - Merce Cunningham

I was lucky enough to witness the Merce Cunningham Dance Company on more than one occasion, and to actually witness the great man contribute his steps.

Attending Goldsmith's College in the 1980's - physically attached, as it was at the time, to the world famous Laban Centre on Laurie Grove - was an instruction in many things, mostly unrelated to the subject I "studied". Dance was one of them. Without attending Goldsmith's, I am certain that one complete area of the Arts might have completely passed me by.

My first experience of attending a dance performance was Yolanda Snaith in a small performance space in East London, just after arriving at college. I had few hopes for the evening, but instead my eyes were opened to the talent, dedication and prowess of great dancers and why they deserve respect. I went expecting to be rather bored, but instead I was profoundly moved.

Merce Cunningham (like Martha Graham) was among the towering figures of modern forms of dance - the Elvis or Beatles of his discipline in many ways. He went on dancing until well into traditional old age and, in this respect, he is also an inspiration to those of us who have ambition to stay fit and healthy as long as possible.


AOTW: A**erisked with abandon

MeursaultPissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues

Four-piece Meursault – loved by Mojo (which spelt their name wrong) and praised in The Scotsman – play six & twelve string acoustic guitars, five string banjo, tenor ukulele, accordian, upright piano, cajon, shaker, korg electribe samplers, korg synth, bowed electric guitar, autoharp, floor tom, snare – and circuit bending. If you read that list and think "folktronica", listen in – the beats are so programmed and prominent, and Neil Pennycook's voice strains so hard (without cracking), that the label doesn't really do them justice. Pennycook is also a fine songwriter, producing humane lyrics such as "the worry that you carry is another word for courage" in The Furnace. They've also thought about the pacing of the album – for example, the instrumental Statues of Strangers is a welcome breather in between Salt Pt.1 and The Furnace.

If I may be so bold as to recommend a couple of tracks, try four, the title track (also on my social CD) and eight, A Small Stretch of Land. The title track makes a combination of lamb-and-apricot perfection with Poke, by Frightened Rabbit, whom they’re supporting in Edinburgh on 18 August. Meursault are also playing a session for Marc Riley on 6 Music on 6 August.

Since Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues was released last year, Meursault have released the Nothing Broke EP. This is the title track:

This is a live version of the penultimate track, William Henry Miller, Pt.1, played on a bandstand in Newcastle. The eccentric Miller lived in 18th-century Edinburgh and was rumoured to be a hermaphrodite. When he died, he asked to be buried face down, forty feet below the ground, so that when he ascended to heaven, he could see the souls of others burning in hell below. The story (his? hers?) makes for a beautiful song, though.

EDIT: Thanks Ed!

Neither the album nor the EP are on sale in the remaining high-street music chain, but you can buy it from Song By Toad, which helpfully puts the online store on the front page, or iTunes, which a**erisks the album with abandon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Speech debelle

Just heard this for the first time on Ninja Tune.. I like it a lot.

Celebration of Light Fireworks

Every year they have a fireworks competition at English Bay in Vancouver. Representatives of several countries put on a display of fireworks from a barge in English Bay. Thousands gather on the shore to watch. The fireworks are set to music.

Last night my wife and I were there for the second entrant, South Africa. It was sunny when we got there at 5 PM (people go early to get a good viewing spot) and through 7 PM by which time we had done the NY Times saturday crossword and had our picnic lunch. Then it started to rain and a lightning storm moved in. Below is a pic of Mrs. Marconius and I looking like drowned rats hiding under our blanket.

And here is a video of some of the lighning strikes before the fireworks, one during the fireworks and finale of the fireworks.

In spite of getting as wet as drowned rats, it was a lot of fun. Fireworks and music go well together.

Tin, if you've ever been to one of these, I hope it brings back memories!

The Twelve Tasks Of ToffeeBoy - #6 Ben Folds

Bet you thought I'd forgotten about the foolish pledge I made back in January. Well. I'm afraid you're wrong. Here, about a month and a half later than scheduled, is the sixth installment of the (quite lidderally) Herculean task I set myself at the beginning of the year, to expose y'all to some of the sections of my collection which don't seem to get much exposure in these parts or over on the Mothership.

The whole series got off to a flying start with some enormously gratifying (not to say, elucidating [I told you not to say that. Ed.]) debate on the nature of pop music: what exactly is pop music, what isn't it and what qualities define what we call 'Pop Music' - which we ARE NOT GOING TO REVISIT! OK???

The debate continued with the controversial choice of Coldplay but the last two editions have raised barely a mumble as first Steely Dan and then Aztec Camera have been rejected either as MOR in the former case or as not even worth rejecting in the latter. Well, I ask you ...

Hopefully, my latest choice will get people talking a bit more. I was surprised to find (courtesy of the magnificent Marconium) that Ben Folds has only featured once on the A-List, putting him alongside such luminaries as Bette Midler and The Spice Girls and two behind Britney Spears. Without wishing to buke the works of everyone's favourite former Disney starlet, surely that can't be right??!! I suspect that there have been some B-Listings as well, one of which (The Luckiest) I was responsible for myself but this still ain't enough, d'ye hear? We need more Ben Folds in Readers Recommend and we need it now.

So , to that end, may I present to you the wonderful, the one and only, Mr Ben Folds (with and without his Five (who were actually only Two (or Three if you include him))). As always, I'll let the music speak for itself but I just want to mention a couple of highlights.

Song For The Dumped has been nominated on RR for a number of topics over the years - it's about a really, REALLY bad breakup and features the line, 'Give me my money back, you bitch'. What's not to like?

Late is a hauntingly beautiful song written by Ben Folds after the death of his fellow singer-songwriter, musician and good friend, Elliott Smith. There's a great line it where he says, 'Elliott man you played a mean guitar, and some dirty basketball'. I remember listening to the song when I realised what it was about and having a good greet (as my Granny would have said).

Boxing is one of the loveliest songs I know. If I liked boxing I would ask to have it played at my funeral.

Oh, and if you buy only one Ben Folds album, let it be Songs For Silverman.

Here's some music ...

Song For The Dumped

Uncle Walter
Satan Is My Master
Alice Childress
Carrying Cathy
Hospital Song
The Luckiest

... and here are some links:

Official site
Fan club

Saturday, July 25, 2009

RIP Captain Pugwash

RIP John Ryan, who died recently. And here is Captain Pugwash.

Ever get the feeling...

Talking John BIrch Paranoid Blues
Peeping Tom
Watch Her Disappear
Cherry Chapstick
Winter Wooskie
Love Detective
The Boogie Monster
Neighborhood Watch
En Focus
Strange Eyes
Fear Not of Man
The Whole World

The Spill's Ninja Stealth Undercover Reporter um reports

Some of you may have read on the motheRRship that webcore was going down to play at his allotment garden's annual open house today.

Given this week's topic, I rolled on a healthy coating of spystick and went down to see what I could capture surreytip... suratep...stirruptish..., well capture on my little mini-video recorder.

It's a song he wrote himself, and is sung here accompanied by his son Kevin on guitar. In the background prepubescent boys, representing the innocence of youth lost, kick a football, symbolizing Mother Earth and man's struggle to understand opera.

Hip hop funky organ samples post #2

Steen posted this great A.T.C.Q. track a couple of weeks ago on RR for the youth cults theme, it opens with a sample of Reuben Wilson's recording of Inner City Blues, from the album The Sweet Life, recorded in 1974. Additionally, a recent compilation from Steen featuring Jamaican organ legend Jackie Mittoo inspired me to revisit Wilson's organ and blues band.

Here's Wilson's Inner city blues, a nicely stripped down piece of R&B. The rest of the album occupies the same relaxed, pared down groove- in particular the title track and the Mittooesque I'll take you there hit some very sweet spots.
Listen on Dropbox.

Poets and pop.

The topics picked for RR lists just goes to show (for the mockers and sneerers) that there's a lot of overlap between pop and poetry. The songs people mention can very often easily stand beside the stuff I read in Carol Ann Duffy's piece in today's Guardian :

Those wonderful poems brought to mind a song from one of Australia's biggest ever bands Cold Chisel called Khe Sanh. Don Walker writes like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, two other pop poets (among many) (no, that's not one of my prolific typos - it really is the URL).

And then I went rummaging around for stuff about pop and poetry and found this piece from last year about poet Simon Armitage's love for pop :

Cheers, Caitlin

Velvet pants

While idly flicking through some old singles I stumbled over this spybreaks mix of the 'Spill theme song.

BUGS in the attic

"I'd like to be followed by a private eye, just to prove that I'm not for real"
Ultra Vivid Scene 'Not in Love (Hit by a Truck)'

Ital Visions
Raise The Alarm
Light In Her Window
Hidden Camera Show
A Normal Suburban Lifestyle Is A Near Impossibility Once You've Fallen In Love With An International Spy
Let's Fall In Love And Run Away From Here
Shutter Buggin'
I can Hardly See Them
the Government
the police and the private
Hide and Seek (demo)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Well, one glass can't hurt....

Check out this Japanese designed "glass for drinking a lot". It uses the power of pyhsics to automatically fill itself up
Surely a shoo-in for many a 'Spillers Christmas list.


What with new bands seamlessly plundering a musical past that I have experienced first hand, it sometimes makes it very difficult for me to even know what year it is. 

Is this just going to get worse the older I get? 

Free music in Manchester

It may be considered bad manners to use the spill to promote things but I think I can get away with this as 1) it's free 2) it's all in a good cause and 3) it's a damn fine day out. The annual Exodus Festval takes place next Sunday afternoon (2nd August) at Urbis & Cathedral Gardens in Manchester, directly outside Victoria train station. As well as being the source of my nom de blog Exodus is the arts project I help manage in Greater Manchester, working with Refugee and local community groups. There'll be two stages featuring contemporary and traditional song and dance from across the globe (including Congo, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iran, Angola, China & all points elsewhere) international food stalls, workshops & kids activities. More details can be viewed at

hope some of you can make it - if you do come and say hello, I'll be helping to man the outdoor stage, in a 'CAN' badge & unfeasibly long (approaching ZZTopness) goatee.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Houses Of The Holy (new improved version)

I am a big Led Zeppelin fan, I was an even bigger fan back in the 1970s.

This album is almost perfect, fantastic cover art, great songs, but - and it is a huge but - there are two tracks I really don't like.

They are The Crunge and D'yer Mak'er both of which I tend to avoid playing if at all possible.

Anyway, when Zeppelin were recording Physical Graffiti, they decided to put it out as a double album because the new stuff they had recorded was too long for a single vinyl album.

To do this they took songs that had been recorded for previous albums and used them to bulk the album out. There were three songs that had been recorded for Houses Of The Holy but rejected at that time.

Those songs were The Rover, Black Country Woman and Houses Of The Holy itself.

So, now that we are not limited by vinyl and tape I put together a better, in my opinion, version of the Houses Of The Holy album, using songs that were rejected initially.

I played around with the options and this is my final track listing;

1. "The Song Remains the Same"
2. "The Rain Song"
3. "Over the Hills and Far Away"
4. "Houses of the Holy"
5. "Dancing Days"
6. "The Rover"
7. "No Quarter"
8. "The Ocean"

I tried moving the track listing around in all sorts of ways but in the end just felt that a straight replacement was the most effective option because the dynamic of the album stays mostly the same except that tracks 4, 5 and 6 have a similar feel and make a nice solid block of riffery in the middle.

I think that it really works and it ROCKS, to go a bit Tommy Vance.

If you are a Zep fan and you have these tracks, give it a go and let me know what you think.

Ladybug Transistor

My brother went to a show the other day, and this band, that he'd never heard of, was the opening act. He liked them and told me about them, and I liked them, and now I'm telling you. They have two albums on spotify, and I've listened to them both in my distracted way. They have some elements that add up to general goodness in a band, by my reckoning...HORNS!! Musical complexity, and lots of instruments you don't expect in pop music (cellos, flutes, violins) intriguing lyrics, a female bass-player (think about it--how many good bands have female bass players? Right?)

They play breezy pop music, almost 60s sounding, sometimes, but it feels like there's more going on there. Anyway, there are two albums on spotify, and I've enjoyed them both, and thought I'd share...

Oceans in the Hall
Perfect for Shattering

The video I posted actually has a female vocalist, but most of the songs are sung by a fellow.

Fishing For Compliments.

Well, it was only a matter of time until someone did it. Unfortunately, that someone is me, who can't get any kind of music posting to work, so here's a load of YouTube links instead. This plaice . . .

Okay, now I'm just codding. This wasn't the brightest idea I've ever had. Far too many links . . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The EOTWQ Wears Its Disappointment Like A Badge Of Honour

1] The actor Nigel Havers is pictured here showing off the tattoo he had inscribed on his arm for the BBC4 'twixt-comedy-and-chat show, I've Never Seen Star Wars, in which Marcus Brigstocke invites out-of-touch celebrities to sample staples of prole, youth or cognoscenti culture they'd hitherto avoided or about which they'd dwelt in blissful ignorance. In a memorable display of damn good sportness, Havers got a tat, found that he adored The Simpsons, was pleasantly surprised by a Big Mac, and HERE found a route into The Smiths. Naturally, such a high-concept show had me considering what might be the gaps in my own popular culture experience, although I get little further than the title because I actually have never seen Star Wars.
So Question 1: Dislocation - which apparently essential cultural experience, one that simply everyone else has done/read/watched/tasted/etc, has managed to pass you by?

2] Still with BBC4-related quizzery: last year, back in the days when I (shudder) contributed to Guardian blogs other than RR, there was a film blog asking for suggestions of "TV shows you'd like to see re-made for the big screen." The idea I posted was "Flight Of The Conchords: The Musical - directed by Michel Gondry." Many months later, I sat down to watch an episode of the second FOTC series, and the director was of course Michel Gondry. Now, it's not likely anyone got this idea from my one post on that Guardian blog but I did wonder about what the process and resulting kudos might have been if I'd been more active in turning my idea into this actual (if relatively small) cultural product.
Thus Question 2: Voice In The Wilderness Which of your achievements should have guaranteed you riches, glory or fame were it not for the conspiracy of a mocking Universe?

3] This question rips off a question ejaydee posed on the mothership earlier, asking what is the thing people are least proud of having done. Since a particularly lurid confession might place the 'Spillers in exactly the same moral quandary as Montgomery Clift in I Confess, I'll adapt the question:
Question 3: Shame. (a)If you could erase one thing you have done in your past, what would it be? and (b) Which one thing could you have done that you most regret not having done?

4] It's not all about the politics of despair even in cruelty week, though. Question 4 sheds a little nightlight on the quiz.
Question 4. Fleeting Innocence You can answer this in your guise as a parent, grandparent or former child, or a combination - which is/was your favourite children's book?

5] In honour of the RR social and reflecting on the ale-laced memoirs of those who attended, as a follow-up to the discussions on dinner party politicking and etiquette in last week's EOTWQ, and because I bizarrely found myself at the Queen's garden party last Tuesday (the explanation of why I was there makes it less bizarre but it's too boring to go into right now), we close this oddly emo-flavoured quiz with a multiple choice.
Question 5: The Despairing Quest For Acceptance. You have the choice to be dropped into one of these social situations - in which one would you feel most comfortable?
(a) Drink down the pub
(b) Foody dinner party
(c) Queen's garden party
(d) Just you, a tumbler of something free-poured, and your tunes
(e) An after-hours shebeen/lock-in/drinking den/speakeasy
(f) A big family do

Cruel to be kind...gremlinfc asks if it is so?

Getting to wear groovy tanktops was a plus in this fillum which gave me one of my favourite calm put downs ever...not really cruel but HONEST. What was the fillum? This grand scene included a flying plate of asparagus... Another great quote from a TV episode for which I was overlooked (had an inflamed pea at the time so looked unusual) is:
"I have seen more intelligent creatures than you lying on their backs at the bottom of ponds.
I have seen better organised creatures than you running round farmyards with their heads cut off." Now that IS acerbic...
Finally , my fave rant and cruel jibe , which i thoroughly enjoyed doing (pictorial clue)
"I’m gonna rip the eyes out of your head and piss in your dead skull! You fucked with the wrong________(carries on)
I can deal with the bullets, and the bombs, and the blood. I don’t want money, and I don’t want medals. What I do want is for you to stand there in that faggoty white uniform and with your Harvard mouth extend me some fucking courtesy"
Easy points there , methinks.

Woodstock: 40 years on

I have just pre-ordered this from Amazon.

I am really looking forward to playing it through.


Was looking for some films to watch with the kids, & we decided on this one. Reason for posting is it had the BEST soundtrack I've heard in a long time & the movie wasn't bad either (x-men/x-files thing; government agents & gangsters with psychic powers chasing our heroes through Hong Kong. A bit like "Jumper", except it didn't suck.). Anyhow, there does not seem to be an official soundtrack album, so here are a few tracks to give an idea. Anyone else recommend a great movie soundtrack?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Don't Take Candy From Strangers

During the recent rash of street pianos in London, Groanbox pitched up to play an impromptu set in Portobello before their gig at The Luminaire in Kilburn. Mr Groanbox, Michael Ward Bergeman, was so taken with the idea of playing slightly wonky pianos rather than his usual 120 bass accordion that he threatened to come back and hit as many as he could in one day once the tour was over ....... and he did ......

AOTW- The Chills, Submarine bells

I still consider Submarine Bells the best release by a Flying Nun band, compilations excluded. It's over in a fairly racy 36 minutes, but covers a lot of ground in a surprisingly cohesive way.

There's the folky tied up in chains linking the exhilarating sweetness of heavenly pop hit with the rockier oncoming day, which is then tempered by the intricacy of part past, part fiction and the ballads; the oddness of dead web and the Smiths-like cynicism of familiarity breeds contempt then lead into the extraordinary effloresce and deliquesce, and the whole thing is rounded off by the exquisitely orchestrated sounds of the title track. The fishy cover and Greenpeace info of the liner notes convey something of the dramatic political change taking place in NZ at the time, while Martin Phillips' light hearted sci-fi tendencies (the swooping-past-planets or diving-into-suns of heavenly pop hit and the pseudo astro-chemistry of effloresce and deliquesce) blend with more serious themes of confusion, longing, conflict, and distance.

Give it a listen, either on the box or below, and please post your own opinions.

Spotify link here

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Strange goings -on down t'Spill

I've just posted something I started writing over the weekend (don't let that put you off, it's really not that long) and was irritated not to find it on t'Spill when I checked. I didn't realize that posts appear according to the date you started on them rather than the date you finished them (live & learn) - PLEASE scroll down, it's the 8th post beneath this one.
Thanks! Merci! Danke! Kiitos! Ta very much!

The Dirty Dozen

Just returned from The Union Tavern where no fewer than twelve 'Spillers gathered for an evening of food, drink, music and merriment.

Seated in comfort or perched precariously on the arm of a chair (left to right); snadfrod, Mnemonic, TatankaYotanka, Proudfoot, cauliflower, Tim (Kalyr), ejaydee, GarethI
Seated agonisingly on the floor (left to right); ToffeeBoy, Abahachi, glasshalfempty, tarxien

Click on the picture to see the horrible truth, closer up than you'd really like.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that there are 13 CDs here - the additional one was supplied by DarceysDad whose presence was felt throughout the evening. A bit spooky - ever so slightly creepy really ...

I'll add some thoughts on the evening tomorrow and I'll put some more piccies in the dropbox (far too tired right now) but I just wanted to say a big thank you to ejaydee for organising things and also to say how genuinely lovely it was to meet everyone.

The only down side of the whole event was the complete lack of ginger beer on the premises ...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

People Get Together

I'VE BEEN HAVING A scout round some blogs and music sites, and here's a thing that caught my ear - Deerhunter and Panda Bear hook-up, it's kinda like a big headache, but a nice big headache - if you like either Bradford Cox or Noah Lennox, then this will keep your ears nice big for just under 4 minutes:

Walkabout - Atlas Sound & Panda Bear

i haven't got the new LEMONHEADs LP (which is all them doing covers) but i did hear some life being breathed into this old standard by Evan Dando, just goes to show and bit of feedbacky guitar can go a long way:

I once saw EVAN dando duet with Eugene Kelly of Vaselines and Captain America /Eugenius fame, they sang the River Clyde Song, ON the river clyde, most apt. I don't have a recording of it, so here's EUGENE with isobel campbell singing a different song instead:

Time Is Just The Same

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Pour encourager les autres

This is Admiral John Byng, whose trial and execution for not chasing the French diligently enough was satirised by Voltaire as being done to make all the other admirals try harder. A bit cruel, you might say; and here are some more cruel people.

Cruel Sister - Pentangle
The Cruel Brother - Five Hand Reel
The Cruel Mother - Shirley Collins
The Cruel Ship's Captain - Bryan Ferry

Cruel Sister is bethnoir's recommendation.

Kirsty MacColl's 50th birthday event 11th October

Given how many times the lovely and clever Kirsty MacColl is mentioned on RR (usually as "much-missed, sadly-missed" etc with all her wit, storytelling gift, gorgeous voice and mischief), people may be interested in this special event for her 50th birthday to celebrate her many talents.

Cheers, Caitlin

Cocktail Slippers - St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Pure pop from Norway, they are on Steven van Zandt's 'Wicked Cool Records', enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Duckworth Lewis Method

Not sure how I missed the reviews of this! Neil Hannon (of the Divine Comedy) has recently embarked on one of the strangest projects of recent times - a cricket concept album, in tandem with fellow Irish musician Thomas Walsh. Under the name The Duckworth Lewis Method (which will probably mean nothing to non-cricket fans) they've released an eponymously titled album which, amongst much more, features a song called Jiggery Pokery. Here's a recent piece from The Times all about the track:

Here is a taste of Jiggery Pokery, a Noël Coward-style song about the famous ball delivered by the great Australian bowler Shane Warne that bamboozled Mike Gatting in 1993: “I took the crease to great applause and focused on me dinner/ I knew that I had little cause to fear their young leg spinner.” Then Gatting is out, after the ball “span obscenely”. And he’s very angry: “It was jiggery pokery trickery jokery how did he open me up?/ Robbery muggery Aussie skulduggery out for a buggering duck.” The song ends in a hysterical crescendo: “I hate Shane Warne!”
I think I might just recommend it over on the Mothership!

The Duckworth Lewis Method's Myspace page


My brother texted me this afternoon from the Latitude Festival (taking place this weekend) to tell me that he'd just seen them performing and was more than impressed. I'm off to download the album - if you want a taster you can hear the whole thing on Spotify.


Warning! A few of these tracks at the end are possibly disturbing.
32-20 blues
crow jane
Big Leg Blues
Funky Butt
Lord Anthony
You Don't Send Me
Satin in a Coffin
Scrap Metal
Black Widow Pt. 2
Dance With the Devil
Return to Innocence Lost

Mother's Pride

I realize I can bore for England on the topic of my kids, but this time it's something special (honest, guv). I've mentioned before over on the Mothership that mrdebbyjr writes his own songs, and I may well have regaled you all with tales of his fearless performance in a packed pub at a party a couple of weeks ago.
Last weekend was the little summer festival we run in the Schroederstift (that's the place we live) and Sam and his band played their first ever gig, Saturday afternoon up on the main stage. For 13 year-olds on their first outing it wasn't half bad! They sold every single copy of their recently recorded CD, and that at EUR 5 a pop - there's hope he'll earn his own college fees yet...
The sound man was great with the lads (they'd never even done a soundcheck before) and made them a little recording of their set. Unfortunately it seems to have gone on holiday with the Young Master, so I'm going to try and upload one of his solo songs (they're all I can find on this computer). So, this is Sam & his magic pedal (many thanks to tincanman for patience & technical information)

My Dear Cousin

And this is the band with a track off their CD (but I'm not sure if this is the final mix!) available to anyone interested in about a month's time, courtesy of Proud Mum
Shark in the Jungle

P.S. Just in case anyone starting up a RRecord lable is interested in this (hint, hint) - surprisingly enough they're not signed yet!

Stay Cruel

I don't have too many nominations and they aren't particularly on topic but I haven't done a playlist for a while and I really wanted to put up the Downliners Sect track.
I've been considering the Downliners Sect for a future AOTW, it still might make it, but here is a taster.

The Chloe Poems track is a personal favourite of mine too and should appeal to all good Guardian readers.

One Ugly Child

Mistakes and Regrets
The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock


Just thought i'd add a couple more. First is a track which I can't remember whether i've posted before or not, but it's definitely worth another listen (just not with the kiddywinks around!). The artist is Valerio Camporini Faggioni. The other is The Pony's.

A Polite Man
I Only Love You 'Cause You Look Like Me

Cruel & Not So Kind

Rhythm Of Cruelty
Bill Gates Must Die
The Hold (Tight Packing)
Do You Remember Those Days Of Slavery?
Wings Off Flies
The Aging Young Rebel (Gentle Cruelty)
No Children
Suffering Jukebox
Diamonds In The Mine


I heard this on the radio today, and I really like it. And I sought it out, and still really like it, which is rare for me...don't know anything else about the music, but i'm sure somebody else on here does.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

FREE Big Sexy Festy Party

I'm just dropping in briefly to post about something special I heard about then I'll scurry back into my den to go back to lurking.

I've resisted posting here for as long as I could. I've been posting on the Guardian music blog for a little while, RR and other bits of it, trying to contain my online music jabbering. As much as I've enjoyed reading the Spill, I know posting here will make my essay-prevention procrastinating even harder to rein in.

Aaanyway, I volunteer with Crisis, the homelessness charity and we're being supported by the Big Sexy Festy Party in September which aims to cover 10,000 Christmas dinners for homeless guests at the annual Crisis Christmas which is an amazing feat of goodwill and organisation. Breathtaking really.

I hadn't heard of the BSFP before this week. Maybe the other RRers/Spillers have been before. It sounds briliant so I thought I'd mention it here. It's huge, it's free and it's all built on goodwill and a belief in "excellence in music", a bit like the RR blogs which have really been a pleasure for me lately.

Saturday September 5th in East London :

Thanks, Caitlin