Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's spooky time!!!!

I was just idly scanning this week's GU film blog and in honour of Halloween, there's an amusing thread on the scariest film of all time. Not surprisingly Uncle Jack got the most votes, but I was reminded of a TV series which terrified me as a child. If any of you were born in the late sixties, then you might just empathise with my involuntary shiver if I utter the four fatal words: Quiet. As. A. Nun.....
It was a cheesy seventies series called Armchair Thriller and was made in the same mould as Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected. But there was something about that blank, black face that was (and actually still is) the stuff of nightmares. Did this freak any of you good people out too?

And the question to go: It's Halloween. Share your childhood TV and film terrors with us. What sent you skittering behind the sofa in fear and trembling? Happy Halloween my friends. Here's enough fodder fpr a sleepless night here.

Oh and.....
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy



This was in dropbox, and I accidentally copied it's a story about Billie Holiday. Who put it in the box?
Billie Holiday - I Wished on the Moon

THis is Billie Holiday singing I Wished on the Moon...
I Wished on the Moon
BH - What a Little Moonlight Can Do
Ella Fitzgerald - It's Only a Paper Moon
John Prine - CLocks and Spoons
Tom Waits - Drunk on the Moon
TW - Nighthawk Postcards From Easy Street.
Carter Family - Meet Me By The Moonlight Alone
Carter Family - No More the Moon Shines On Lorena
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Underwater You and Me
Manu Chao - Luna y Sol
Manu Chao - Dia Luna Dia Pena
B&S - Waiting for the Moon to Rise
Radiohead - Sail to the Moon (Brush the Cobwebs off the Sky)
Talking Heads - Moon Rocks
Black Star - Astronomy
Black Star - Respiration
Mos Def - Sun Moon Stars
Busdriver - Unemployed Black Astronaut
Busta Rhymes - Shoot for the Moon

I know what my costume will be tonight

Double Caption Competition

Thought it was time for a new one. Or two.

(Picture A)

(Picture B)

"Le voyage dans la lune" - George Méliès

According to Wikepedia;

Georges Méliès (December 8, 1861 – January 21, 1938), full name Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, was a French film maker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema. He was very innovative in the use of special effects. He accidentally discovered the stop trick, or substitution, in 1896, and was one of the first film makers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted colour in his films. Because of his ability to seemingly manipulate and transform reality with the cinematography, Méliès is sometimes referred to as the "Cinemagician."

The narration is by his niece, Madeleine Malthête-Méliès. It's a wonderful little film, with what must have been state-of-the-art special effects in 1902.

Au Clair de La Lune...

There's a French nursery rhyme called Au Clair de La Lune, but I can't remember the second line, it's right there on the tip of my tongue, anybody know it?
I realise there are a lot of songs here, feel free to use the ▶▏ button.

There's A Moon Out Tonight - The Capris
The Killing Moon (Up All Night Mix) - Echo & The Bunnymen
Trip II The Moon (Kaleidoscopiklimax) - Acen

Friday, October 30, 2009

a soul cake, a soul cake...

Must have had the solos creep in 'cos the first three wig out a bit... MGMT, stellastarr* and Yo La Tengo:
Of Moons, Birds & Monsters
Moonrock Mambo

a remix of fiest, Gift of Gab then Adem teaches me a word that I never knew:
My Moon, My Man (Arabesque remix)
You And Moon
Luna for my Double whammy:
Moon Palace

the other 30 tracks that I really rate have to be kept for other themes!!

(I tried to guess other peoples tracks and take in the early lists from 'spill.. but I can't get into RR at all.. so sorry if they are your shouts - doing the picture my computer was screaming - 'NO VIRTUAL MEMORY' @ me)

Separated at Birth?


Demis Roussos

For the birds

You have itty-bitty dippy birds.We like them too. But then we have griffon-vultures, who also like itty-bitty birds, but only when they're defunct . . . post-flying . . . no longer aeronautically viable, ex-parrots . . .

Would someone out there explain all this? It says it's by The Fall:

Das Vulture Ans Das Nutter-Wain

Das Vulture Ans Das Nutter-Wain
La la la la la la

Das Vulture Ans Das Nutter Ein Wain
Vulture Ans Das Nutter-Wain
Ans Das Nutter Ein Wain

Parson's prayer
So few and far between

Down and out
Carry on clown
Paint your face
And close your mouth
Ein das Nutter
La la la la la la


Das Vulture Ans Das Ans
Ein Nutter Wain
Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

Carry on clown
Ans Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain

O say can you see? Oh wait, that's the other guys

Moonrise on the Ottawa River, late summer about 60 miles northwest of Ottawa

No point using my words to say what these songs say much gooder eh. This week's topic has made me nostalgic for late autumn - early winter in middle Canada, where I grew up. (You will see on TV during this winter's Olympics that the city of Vancouver has the same climate as mid-England. Luckily there are mountains nearby for winter sport). In most of Canada, winter is 9 months of icy 16-hour nights. By January it's not so romantic anymore and a little nightlight from above is much appreciated.

Gordon Lightfoot - Song For A Winter's Night
Ann Mortifee - The Moonlight
Joni Mitchell - Night Ride Home
k.d. lang - Helpless (Neil Young cover)
Neil Young - Harvest Moon (unplugged)
Ian Tyson - Night Rider's Lament
Roy Forbes w Connie Kaldor - Saskatoon Moon
Stephen Fearing - Goodnight moon

It's Lunacy I tell you, the Moon is driving us crazy!

The Moon has held a strange fascination over our imaginations ever since our hominid ancestors first looked up and gazed upon our closest companion.

The Moon has been seen as the abode of strange beings, the cause of Madness (hence Lunacy), the power that triggers Lycanthropy and many other things too.

Musically, Moon has traditionally been rhymed with June, but that hasn't stopped musicians using the imagery of the Moon for their own ends.

Genesis - Dancing with the Moonlit Knight

Kristin Hersh - White Trash Moon

Nick Drake - Pink Moon

Bert Jansch - Crimson Moon

Thin Lizzy - Dancing in the Moonlight

Television - Marquee Moon

Camel - Lunar Sea

Siouxsie - Sea of Tranquility

The Grateful Dead - Picasso Moon

The Rolling Stones - Moonlight Mile

Gremlin in Bärlin

Travel is great - think we all agree on that and though Berlin is a place I have been before it is a constantly changing and developing place , buildings , culture , politics , events : the outdoor "Topography of Terror" around where the Chancellry buildings used to be between Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse (today Niederkirchnerstrasse), Wilhelmstrasse and Anhalter Strasse , is now awaiting finishing on a permanent indoor home. U2 are playing in front of the Brandenburger Tor FREE on Nov 5th to commemorate 20th anniversary of Mauerfall. Security was massive while we were there as Angela Merkel had just formed a new government and was being sworn in. Policemen with machine-guns on the streets - now that IS scary. And they don't mess about either.
Here is a wonderful piece of urban art which is for all to see and you can see how big it is from the pic. Spill points for the following:
1. Who made it?
2. What is it called?
3. Where exactly is it?
4. Which are the nearest U-Bahn
5. Is it in former East or west Berlin?
Massive thanks to all the RR-ers who went to Leeds and gave me a CD - I shall be listening to them now I am back and will put fave tracks on here - X

Blue Moon (or how trying to find an amusing picture of workman's bottom on the internet can prove to be difficult & disturbing)

Moon is on Ice
Must be the Moon (Emperor Machine Mix)
Major Malfunction
The Lowest Point of the Moon
Silver Moons

Rok it to the Moon
See You On the Moon
Black Moon
By the Light of the Moon
Moon Witch Cartridge
Waiting for the Moon
The Honeymoon Killers
Man on the Moon

What's all this then?

Spotted in Berlin...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Moon - Cheese - Mouse

The moon is made of cheese, and mice like cheese.

This stop-motion animation for No Age's new song is lots of fun, and very creative.

It follows the secret adventures of a cute wee mousey.

Moon at the Holiday Inn

I have a signed print of this photo - a present from Matt. (Signed by the photographer, not by Keith.)

Walking On The Moon

Taking advantage of the early theme announcement, and so as not to clog ToffeeBoy's post, here's Housse de Racket with Synthétiseur, which, had it been released 7 years ago would have been awesome.

Dipping in and out ...

I'd love to claim that I'd taken this picture when I was fortunate enough to see one of these beautiful birds on Tuesday - unfortunately mine came out so blurred and out of focus that even I'm struggling to identify the brown blob at the centre of the screen as a bird. This is a picture of the now-famous Dipper, a bird which I think has a pretty strong claim to be adopted as the official bird of Readers Recommend. If you've ever had the honour (and it really is an honour) of watching one in action, you'll agree that it does exactly what we do - constantly seeking out new pleasures, bobbing up and down to the music that's surely in its head, twitching its tail in time to the rhythm, and dipping in and out of the water, trying out this and that.

ToffeeGirl and I are off on another walk this afternoon - we're crossing the Forth into the Kingdom of Fife (aka Blimpyland) but only just. A short stroll around North Queensferry is the order of the day - hopefully more interesting bird sightings to report back.

A question for you all: if not the Dipper, which bird/animal should be adopted as the official RR mascot?

EDIT: Thanks to ejd for starting a moon-themed post above. Can we transfer our moon-based activities up there - much as I appreciate the 'traffic', I fear that my poor little dipper's in danger of being eclipsed!

EDIT #2: Apologies to everyone for my revisionist approach to history. I've moved all the non-Dipper/RR familiar comments up to ejd's post above. Sorry if I've lost anything important and sorry if it's made anyone feel at all discombobulated. Particular apologies to Chris whose comments I moved mid-conversation as it were ...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's Everyone Listening To Right Now This Second, RIght NOW!

Okay.....what can you hear the second you read this?

Me, I'm mostly hearing the song "The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine", the second track from the Flaming Lips excellent freak-out of a new double album.

Quite loud too, it seems, as I typed this my mother in law was banging on my front door - me oblivious until Mrs McF came and yelled at me!


Gong - the new album 2032

Amazingly, the Pot-Head Pixies are back from Planet Gong in their Flying Teapot and they are touring in support of their new album 2032

I am going to see them in Bristol on November 19th.

It is pretty much a classic lineup too, even Steve Hillage is back.

Even more interesting, Hillage's own band is playing as a support act to Gong themselves.

Anyway, fresh from Radio Gnome is the new opus

City of Fascination

Digital Girl

How to stay alive

Escape Control Delete

Yoni Poem

Dance with the Pixies

Wacky Baccy Banker

The Year 2032

Robo Warriors

Guitar Zero

The Gris Gris Girl

Wave and a particle

Pinkle Ponkie


Grown up songs - for the over 75's!

BloodyParadise's posting of Harry Roy's 'My Girl's Pussy', got me thinking how many other 'single entendre' songs were recorded in the 30's and 40's. Here's another one I found by Lucille Bogan and another by Bo Carter.

Tipping Point Ahead

Wake Up, Freak Out - then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo.

Just as we were all getting warm and fuzzy...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

RR Northern Social CD Compilations

Back row (l-r): gordonimmel, gremlinfc, DarceysDad, sonofwebcore, exodus, TracyK
Needing, sorry, nicking the sofa: Mnemonic, tarxien
Kneeling: DaddyPig, AliMunday, the extremely tall tincanman

The more formal team picture from Saturday night's shindig. I can't speak for anyone else, but I had a whale of a time, so thank you all. Apologies to our more sensitive readers about gremlin's hand; I did tell him not to pick his spots, but the camera's timer went off, so ... tough!

Anyway, the other reason for posting this - there was the customary exchange of compilation CD-Rs, and the usual promises to listen and feedback. Given that I was in a nostalgic heavy rock mood when I compiled mine, I'm not actually going to hold anyone to that promise! All I ask is that everyone attending, or with access to the 'Box (hint, hint!) listens to Track No.19 on mine, and forgives the fact that it was a live recording from a pub gig, and the source cassette is twenty-three years old.

So, any feedback welcome . . .

RT solos gone

Howls, gnashes RT on the A-list!

Backing a winner

Over on the mothership, this from May1366:
Not so much a supergroup
but the most incredible jazz academy

Rock, blues, country, hip hop... all have seen their share of both supergroups and 'academy' groups (members apprentice under a guru then get famous on their own).
Comment as you please. Examples (good and bad) and finely crafted essays (good and bad but heartfelt) welcome.

Major Tom, We Don't Need You Any More

Here's the results of today's workplace procrastination. 

Instead of doing my proper editing, I made this instead. 

Hope you like it! 

Getting The Hang

I hadn't heard of the instrument the "hang" before yesterday, when I started listening to The Portico Quartet, it always interests me to hear "new" instruments. 

Wiki says:
"A Hang [haŋ] (pronunciation between the vowel sounds in the word 'Hot' and 'Hungry') is a harmonically tuned steel idiophone created by PANArt in Switzerland. It uses some of the same physical principles as a steelpan but with a nitrided surface and structural change of having two clamped shells with a small opening so that the instrument is a Helmholtz Resonator. The creation of the Hang was the result of many years of research on the steelpan as well as the study of a diverse collection of instruments from around the world such as gongsgamelanghatam/ududrums, and bells. Metallurgical and acoustic research by the makers has led to significant changes and refinement in structure, design, and process over the years since the first Hang was offered."

The Portico Quartet play modern jazz, using the hang amongst other instruments, and it sounds like this (from their new album "Isla"): 

I'm really impressed with The Portico Quartet's sound (John Leckie produces the new LP) and will attempt to find their CD at lunch today (an nigh on impossible chore, in this cultural wasteland in which I work). Their first album "Knee Deep In The North Sea" in on Spotify. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

AOTW: Gene Clark - No Other

Amidst the 12,000 other nominations over on the Mothership this week, I noticed DarceysDad call Soulsavers' (excellent version of) "Some Misunderstanding" his song of the year. The original comes from Gene Clark's 1974 solo masterpiece - one of those albums that's described as an underrated or lost classic so often that it's probably now thoroughly rated and found. But a classic nonetheless.

Considering Clark was responsible for much of The Byrds at their best, it's surprising it's not better known. If you were going to classify it, you'd label it as cosmic-country-soul-gospel-rock. Probably. The songwriting is top notch (although the lyrics sometimes try a little too hard: "said she saw the sword of sorrow sunken in the sand of searching souls" may be overdoing the alliteration just slightly).

Top tracks are probably the aforemnentioned "Some Misunderstanding" (where the lyrics are at their strongest) and the epic closer "Lady of the North", where fiddles duel with wah-wah guitars.

Anyway, since no one else has claimed the slot, I humbly submit it as Album of the Week. It's in the Box, and on Spotify.

three bad men, and true

I've tried being bad. Never convincingly evil, more stubbornly contrary - just bad enough to get expelled from school in the '60's, imprisoned for skinnydipping in Greece in the '70's, busted in the '80s. Small-time bad. Criminally naughty.
So I quite like big-time bad guys. Naughtiness that goes global. And last week, and last month, and last year - three major good-time bad-boys have stuck their heads up over the parapet, and got some Major Recognition. By that I mean that they hit some minor headlines.

Last week Maurice Sendak refreshingly said this about worries surrounding the film of Where The Wild Things Are -

Reporter: "What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?"

Sendak: "I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate."

Reporter: "Because kids can't handle it?"

Sendak: "If they can't handle it, go home. Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like."

Last month Robert Crumb [cf Fritz the Cat and Mr Natural, and currently residing nearby in the south of France ] published this -

"To take this as a sacred text, or the word of God or something to live by, is kind of crazy. I don't believe it's the word of God," he told Associated Press, referring to the Bible. "At the same time, I think the stories are very powerful."
Asked about his next project, he replied: "I guess next I'll tackle the Qur'an. See how that goes over."

Last year? That brings us to Tomi Ungerer - “the most famous children’s book author you have never heard of.”

Brought up French in Strasbourg before the war, he underwent schoolboy Nazification for 6 years, which then meant ostracization when the city was reclaimed as French, in '44. He says of Nazism: "They had the strongest songs. And the best graphics."

Today, Tomi Ungerer is among Europe's best-known commercial artists but has been largely forgotten in America, and is unknown in the UK. He made his reputation in the US in the 60's, initially as a children's book author-artist and then as a magazine illustrator, advertising artist and political cartoonist.'Tomi influenced everybody,' says Maurice Sendak. 'No one, I dare say, no one was as original as Tomi Ungerer.'

Those Sgt.Pepper uniforms from WW1? Tomi was wearing one in New York in '64 when the Beatles turned up . . . And those Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine owe him a nod, too.
But his anti-Vietnam art - and his erotic drawings - lost him his publishers - though not his readers.

He was effectively banned in the States, and never appeared in the UK. His name and his books and his 'brand' [from tea-towels to underwear] are still popular all over Europe and in Japan.

« My anger is essential to my work. Humour is a defense mechanism against the evils of society».
« What interests me is the no-man's-land between good and evil : each side can learn from the other. If hell is the devil's paradise, there is no reason for God not to spend a few weekends there from time to time ... »

Tomi was expelled from school - for being 'perverse and subversive'. But went on to win many awards for his work in bringing together French and German culture. A bi-lingual school has recently been named after him.

Not everyone appreciates Ungerer's rude, lewd, skewed sense of humour. I do - but my Mary doesn't. As an artist she respects his skill, but as an early associate of The Women's Press, she finds his work misogynistic. She understands the BDSM game, but still feels his work is anti-women. We agree to disagree.

He finally settled in Ireland, on a farm on the south-west coast with his wife, Yvonne. Which is where we came in. We had just decided to sack ourselves: we were bored with our ceramic design business. Tomi wanted to set up a museum in Strasbourg while Yvonne wanted to explore her inner and outer Tibet. Their schoolboy son liked the idea of living with us and doing his exam years together with his friend, our Daniel. Tomi and Yvonne then wondered if we'd like to look after their farmhouse and horses and dogs, for a winter. It's Ireland's most westerly point, and Three Castles Head was on their land. If you asked me 'What man and what place has most affected you? - I'd have to say Tomi, and here.

Here's Tomi in his studio (with Maurice Sendak) ten years on since we were there, and just as caustic about 'the Establishment - of hypocrisy' - video

And last year on the eve of the opening of the Museum that Strasbourg has donated to him, to house the 9000 artworks and 4000 mechanical toys he's collected over his lifetime and donated to the city. Here.

If this has whetted your interest in his life or his art then there are some good articles, like this NY Times piece
or blog posts like this or this will tell you more.

And this is the official Ungerer/Strasbourg website

Arte [the French/German culture channel] did a two hour retrospective on him in the late '90's. He phoned the farmhouse to make sure I was taping it for him. [As if they hadn't given him the gold-plated box-set already. Exasperating man.] It's a worthy testament to an extraordinary life.

And when I look at the Baaad Boyz of our cultural times - I think of rats in a maze, eyeing the cheese, eating eachother. And their shootings and crashes and overdoses - mere statistics.

Now - I'm sure I've forgotten something . . . someone being a bit bad . . . oh yes

I was going to paste Crumb's version, with the Cheap Suit Serenaders, featuring
R. Crumb : Banjo and Vocals. Allan Dodge : Mandolin, Mando-cello, Violin, and Vocals and Robert E. Armstrong : Guitar, Accordion, Banjo, Saw, and Vocals

- but Crumb's already had his go. Everyone should have their turn at being bad.

NB It looks as if I have a thing about bottoms. In fact, I've just been sparing you the other bits. You'll just have to go looking for them (may I suggest that seedy bookshop on Charing Cross Road?) in you own spare time. You bad thing, you.

Eye candy for (older) women

And younger ones too. Hell yeah!

(Like the handwriting, there, Klaus.)


I've been thinking about this for a while, thinking that it might be an interesting addition to our weekly interactions, it might possibly become a fixture like EOTWQ. My idea is that we write stories, ie; we relate events that the group might find interesting and worthy of discussion. I know there's been quite a few that have said, 'Sorry I haven't been around, been too busy etc' but perhaps we can lure them back, maybe even tempt them to contribute?

OK, since I'm first up I'll start by saying that I've never believed the popular press's take on UFO's, I do believe that there are unidentified flying objects but I don't think that they're related to any activity outside of our solar system. Having said that let me tell you about two UFO's that I've seen.

1. This event took place in Long Beach California in the 1970's on a warm golden summer evening at about 6pm. I was going to teach a class at the university and my route there included a residential street that was about 300 yds long and was a very steep hill, on my left were a row of typical California single story houses going the length of the hill and on my right was an open field. I stress this because it's important to understanding my visual perspective. I was driving a VW Beetle. When I was about half way up the hill I suddenly saw to my left, immediately behind the roofs of the houses an enormous sphere, it was larger than 2-3 houses and I could only see the upper 75-80% of it. I instantly stopped the car and applied the handbrake.
It was a translucent white sphere with an intense white center which was pulsing about 2 times a second, every pulse sent visible ripples of energy outwards towards the edges of the sphere. The evening sun was directly behind in the west but was below the level of the rooftops so I couldn't see it but I could see that it illuminated the sphere from behind.
All of my lifelong disbelief in UFO's vanished in an instant, I was immediately transformed into an absolute believer, I even remember saying something aloud to that effect. I sat transfixed for several minutes.
And then the penny dropped.
A slight detour. About a hundred plus miles north of LA right on the coast is Vandenberg Air Force base, it's the west coast equivalent of Cape Canaveral. They regularly used to shoot rockets from there down the Pacific range towards Australia, I'm not sure why but they often fired them around 6pm. There was usually a beautiful man-made light show that accompanied them; when the rocket reached it's peak altitude the water vapor in the exhaust contrail froze, the late afternoon sun to the west would cause it to burst into spectacular rainbows and then the piece de resistance, the high altitude winds would twist these rainbows into spectacular colored linear abstract patterns which would usually last 5-10 minutes. I often saw them and was always glad that my tax dollars were being put to such good use.
Back to the UFO. The penny that dropped was my realisation that what I was looking at was an exploding missile, the sphere was the smoke, debris, fuel etc. the pulsing center was the ongoing explosion which was actually pulsing visible light energy outwards. It must have exploded at about 60 miles altitude right over the Pacific immediately due west of where I sat. It was spectacular! I went back to being a disbeliever.

2. In about 1953-4 I was living in Suffolk and I'd just come out of the RAF, one clear, warm summer evening, again about 5-6pm, I was walking with my sister along a country lane, ahead of us we saw a small group of 2-3 people standing and staring at the sky. We joined them. If you were to hold a 12" ruler at arms length with your hand level with the horizon the top of the ruler would be approx. 20-30 degrees above the horizon. That was where we were all looking, there was a dull red sphere hovering there, I can't say how far it was but it was as far as the horizon or possibly much more. You know how big the moon looks? about as big as a ping-pong ball in the sky? This was about as big as a marble, bigger than any star or planet but much smaller than the moon. The image I had of it was that it looked like a dull red car tail-light and it just sat there. As we stood watching and talking between ourselves it suddenly started to move, it was directly to the south and in about 15-20 seconds it moved horizontally 90 degrees until it was due west, it absolutely wasn't an aircraft nor a helicopter. If it were and was at that distance it would have taken many, many minutes to travel that 90 degrees, this object did it in seconds. We watched it some more in the west and then suddenly as we stared at it, it vanished, just like that!
The next day I wrote a note to the local paper, The Bury [St Edmunds] Free Press asking if they knew anything about it, they printed my letter and replied that there had been numerous enquiries but they hadn't seen it and their enquiries to local RAF and USAF bases hadn't been fruitful.
To me, that was and still is an unidentified flying object, and I still don't believe in space aliens.

OK, so what do you think, is this sort of thing a worthwhile addition to our weekly trivia quest?

Late Solo

Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) - Jimi Hendrix
Brown Bag - Ivan "Boogaloo" Joe Jones
Reptilia - The Strokes
Pula Baú - Jorge Ben
L'Argent Appelle L'Argent - Pamelo Mounk'a
Digital Love - Daft Punk
Someon's Always Singing - Shuggie Otis
L'Arena - Ennio Morricone

Solo ... it's off the radar and disappeared without trace!

Jumpin' The Gunn - Shades Of Blue

Does anyone know where I can go and buy a couple of extra days to sneak into this weekend's RR nomination window? This "Songs With Super Solos" topic is almost certainly my favourite in over three years of blogging on GU, yet I've barely scratched the surface of the pool of songs I could easily recommend. Some are well-known enough that they don't really need any further justification, such as Thin Lizzy's Still In Love With You, and Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird (which had 23 'Recommend?' clicks the last time I looked - a DsD record). Others, like Jumpin' The Gunn's Shades Of Blue, are criminally unknown.

The above two people - guitarist Andy Gunn and vocalist Vikki Kitson - were part of a VERY young band spotted by the head of Virgin imprint PointBlank Records whilst visiting his mother in Inverness. Next thing they knew, they were on a plane to Memphis, and recording the album named after this song. Vikki was JUST SIXTEEN, FFS !!!

I saw them perform on a late-night TV show hosted by Eddi Reader shortly thereafter, and as this was right at the height of my HMV-£50-Man phase, I bought the CD. I've been wearing it out ever since.

RR Socialisers with my (I think) Mood Indigo compilation already have it, but I'm determined to get PaulMac to at least listen to this, as well as continuing to spread the word, so figure I have no choice but to 'Spill it and then link over here from the mothership.

This is 8 minutes of blues heaven. There's not necessarily anything ground-breaking in the songwriting, but the execution is just about perfect. In particular, that solo does EVERYTHING you could ever want of an electric blues tune.

If you've heard this before, please go over yonder and dond'er. If you haven't, lie back, enjoy, and then go over yonder and dond'er!

These days, Vikki is apparently out of the business and happily domesticated, Andy Gunn has got a little more acoustic and parochial: go here for a listen.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

The astounding eyes of Rita

Just back from Mannheim and a gorgeous concert by the Anouar Brahem quartet, based on this album, The astounding eyes of Rita and held to commemorate 40 yrs. of the ECM label. Fragments can be heard on the ECM site, the album itself is on Spotify.
The instruments used are oud, bass clarinet, bass guitar and darbouka/percussion.
Particularly recommend Stopover at Djibouti and For no apparent reason, just because I'm listening to the album for the first time tonight, and these tracks seem to best fit the concert as I remember it.

I was expecting something quieter and more "chamber music" like, but the group had a surprisingly dark sound through the bass clarinet and bass guitar, a much more melodic and folk based feel than recent Brahem recordings, though his Arabic roots still dominate, and the Darbouka and bass give it a dynamic, upbeat pulse also seldom present on his previous albums. In parts it was reminiscent of folk-jazz groups like Jimmy Giuffre's fifties ensembles, in other parts I was reminded more of an almost voodoo like, hypnotic feel. Particularly nice was the bass clarinet playing of Klaus Gesing, using the entire register of the instrument and tweaking it to produce the occasional blues or New Orleans riff; Björn Meyer's bass also took in some fine excursions and contributed to some soulful interludes. The plucked Oud and the metallic sound of the Darbouka completed the rich palette of sound generated by the quartet. The interaction of all four instruments was an astounding sonic event- there were so many exquisite moments. The concert was sold out and the audience reaction ecstatic.

EOTWQ: Who Dat? Live at Leeds

Welcome to a special early edition of End of the Week Questions, recorded at the RR Northern Social in Leeds Saturday night. Feel free to post your answers to any of the questions posed, make clever remarks or just engage in general merriment.
(iPod version here)

Playing With Yourself

OK, so it is time for those intrepid spankers of the plank here, the pharoahs of the fretboard, the wizards of the widdle and the cosmic noodlers.

Yes 'Spillers, it is GUITAR HERO time and none of these guys need a tiny plastic copy of a strat and a Playstation.

These are all the real deal.

I don't think that there are going to be many unknowns here but if people feel the need to list out who is playing each track, feel free.

For completists only valuable 'Spill points if you can name their axe of choice, what strings they use and their inside leg measurement.

Heaven Knows

Split Part 2

Firth Of Fifth

Playing In The Band

Yours Is No Disgrace


Still In Love With You

Cinnamon Girl

Third Stone From The Sun

Moonage Daydream

..and I just can't hide it..

No comments necessary, just wanted to share my excitement!

I haven't been to a gig all year (high ticket prices, credit crunch, lack of anything I was absolutely dying to go to), but after a last minute cancelled appointment gave me an unexpected free afternoon today, I managed to get in some record shopping and enough time to surf the internet looking for nothing in particular.

I drifted towards the Load records website and found out that my (and other 'Spillers) beloved Lightning Bolt were finally coming back to Tokyo after the aborted attempt 2 years ago. I sprinted to the nearest convenience store to get tickets, only to be confronted with a "sold out" message. After scrambling around on the internet for a couple of hours looking for another ticket provider and another sprint to a different convenience store, I now hold in my grubby mitts a pair of tickets to Lightning Bolt in Shibuya on November 13th. Yay! The icing on this delectable cake? The mighty Guitar Wolf are supporting (GW and LB released a Japan-only split single at the time of the aborted tour 2 years ago). The cherry on top? The gig falls on my birthday! Woo-hoo!

p.s. the link with the video (apart from the fact that of being very excited) is that I saw Le Tigre play the same venue a few years ago and they opened with this number and I took a slash next to Ad Rock!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

going SOLO

Louis Armstrong - Tight Like This
Rumbanella Band - Kellya
Mulatu Astatke - Tezeta
Cymande - Changes
Donald Byrd - Where Are We Going
Sol Hoopii - Tin Roof Blues
Dick Dale and the Del Tones - Miserlou Twist
S.O.U.L. - Burning Spear
Nina Simone - Sinnerman
Jimi Hendrix - Star Spangled Banner
De La Soul - I Am I Be
De La Soul - I Be Blowin
The Roots ft. Jill Scott -You Got Me (Live)
The Roots - Essaywhuman
The Roots - Din Da Da
Mos Def - Blue Black Jack
Talib Kweli - Africa Dream
K'naan - If Rap Gets Jealous

I wanted to add a link to Fela's Confusion. It seemed like to large a file to put into Dropbox, but it's such a remarkable song it deserves a special mention. It's unusual for Fela (to my ears) because of the crazy organ (?) solo to start and then the conversation between the organ solo and the drum solo (not a duet, I don't think, cause they don't play at the same time), but of course, being Fela, it's the horn solos you're listening for, or Sax maybe, does that count as a horn? Oops, ignorance on display. Anyway, give it a listen...

Fela Kuti – Confusion (Part 1 & 2):

Fela - Confusion

Readers Recommend?


Bring Me Solo (& the Wookie too).

Till Tomorrow
Tape Kebab
Glow World
Travel Light
Set You Free
Ball & Biscuit
Man in the Box
Bulls On Parade
The Awakening
Doug Storm
Uncertain Smile

That decides it then....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Bloody Love The Raveonettes

They may not make an appearance until 2.42 in the (very funny and sweet) video, but I bloody love them, they're my 7th most listened to artist, and they've just foisted 12 new songs on the world, this song's ace but isn't the best thing on the LP by a mile. i bloody love the raveonettes!!

Elmo Hope

I was looking at some bluenote covers online, and I liked this picture. I'd never heard of Elmo Hope, but I like his name a lot, and I listened a bit on spotify and like his music, too. (Oh, I just said "like" a lot, but I'm too lazy to go back and find a different word). I'm sure there are other spillers who know more about him?

Elmo Hope – Hot Sauce:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Keeper

Catching up with Ninja Tunes, I found this recent release from Bonobo, featuring Andreya Triana. Proof that less is sometimes more, to (mis)quote Mies van der Rohe.

RZA Special

RZA's part in the upcoming Blakroc project with the Black Keys.

Bong bong!

Wednesday's end of the week questions.

1. What's the best present you've ever given/ what's the best present you've ever been given?

2. A friend of mine recently wrote "there are 2 kinds of people...people who believe there are two kinds of people, and everyone else." I used to think everyone was either a brat or a bully. An old friend used to say everybody is either a fool or a knave, and another old friend used to say everyone was either a big goon or an evil gnome. Have you ever developed a reductive theory about humankind? Or heard of any that you'd like to share?

3. If you could go back and have a drink with your 20-year-old self, what would you talk about? What advice would you impart?

4. I don't think of myself as superstitious, but somehow I've taught my boys some superstitions I've picked up along the way...If you kill a spider it will rain. SHoes on tables and hats on beds are bad luck. If your nose itches it means somebody is thinking about you (Left = brown-eyed, Right = blue). Are there any superstitions that you grew up with? Are there any that are specific to the region where you live? Any that you actually believe, whether you're willing to admit it or not?

5. (sorry, music-related) If you could be in a band, what would it be called? What kind of music would you play?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

... we've even tried putting viagra in it - but it just won't get any bigger or go any faster

Short arses of the world unite...

Not being particularly long in the arse myself, I reckon I can get away with this one. To add to the "shortlist" (arf!) below, my favourite (and possibly only) song I have about little people.

A.V.A.T.H. - My Baby's A Midget


I was at the Royal Festival Hall last night to see what The Times have described, with uncharacteristic accuracy, as "among the greatest live-music acts of recent times", the legendary Gypsy Queens and Kings.

A touring collective of some of Europe's greatest Romany musicians, they combine staggering technical ability with an incredibly infectious sense of fun. With everything underpinned by a huge, undulating wall of brass from Fanfare Ciocarlia and Mahala Rai Banda we were treated to a night joining the dots between the various styles of music associated with the diaspora - from plaintive ballads to flamenco to glorious rolling Balkan funk. Star of the show, inevitably, was the formidable Macedonian icon Esma Redzepova, a favourite of Tito, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and owner of a voice like nobody else.

Appropriately for such a geographically diverse band, shout outs to audience members from Spain, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Moldova and the Czech Republic were warmly returned by a crowd determined to make a mockery of the 'no dancing down the front' rule security guards were vainly trying to enforce.

If you ever get the chance to see them, take it.