Thursday, December 3, 2009

ABOUT THOSE RR NORTHERN SOCIAL CDs...


Celebrations
Firstly, a special mention to those brave enough to wear their heart on their (record) sleeves. My approach was to mix and match quite a lot, in the hope of pleasing all the people some of the time. Whereas, I think it’s quite brave to stick to one special thing, taking the risk that others might not like any of it. So credit and thanks to: DarceysDad for the heavy rock; Exodus for the reminder of that post-punk flourishing of weird, brilliant originality (into which the two Beatles tracks fitted amazingly well); TracyK for the low-fi indie tunefulness; Webcore for celebrating the pre-electric blues; and gordonimmel, hello over there on the central reservation; some stuff sells millions because it speaks to millions !

Rediscovering…
…is one of those pleasures that keeps on growing through one’s middle and later years, as memory struggles to keep up with experience. John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett’s "Beware of the Flowers…" (Exodus) and Klark Kent’s "Don’t Care" (DsD) reminded me of when every High St in north-east London seemed to have an independent record shop, with a seemingly endless supply of great 45rpm singles (on green vinyl in KK’s case). I remembered the Bunnymen’s "Crocodiles" (Exodus), but had forgotten how good it is. I’d not listened to the lovely Joan Armatrading (gordonimmel) or the infernally catchy St Etienne (gremlinfc) for years. I’m still giving Dr Feelgood’s “No Mo Do Yakomo” (DsD) repeat plays; I think the album, “Case of the Shakes” ( picture above) might be both my favourite ‘unsung’ album and favourite 1980s album. Nick Lowe at last perfected the capturing of the raw essence of the rhythm & blues band on vinyl, just in time for the world to go off in a different direction.

Soundtracks
Two songs popped up serendipitously while I was on the move: “Scattered Leaves” by The Be Good Tanyas (Tarxien) when I was on the train to work, looking out on the River Aire and Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The lyrics described the November day with uncanny accuracy. The chilliness a few degrees colder than the week before; through the trees, a little more of Kirkstall Abbey visible each day. The other was when The Dickies version of "Banana Splits" (DsD) came on as I ran for a train; it felt like being in a speeded-up scene from a silent movie; I’m sure everything turned black-and-white for a few minutes.

Questioning one’s old prejudices ?
DsD Rocks was a challenge for me, because I’ve been pretty sure since about 1977 – with the help of a little indoctrination from the New Musical Express – that I couldn’t stand most of the featured artists. Would it turn out after all that I like Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Rush, AC/DC, Scorpions and the rest ? Had I been duped out of 30 years of heavy rocking pleasure ? …… No - I really do hate ALL 1980s heavy metal ! What surprised me was how much I relished each press of the Fast Forward function. Not just a dislike, but a dislike that I’m very attached to and enjoyed having confirmed. Sorry DsD, I'd hoped I was nicer than that, and I hope you enjoyed doing the same to my jazz offerings.

And it did bring something to mind from my bachelor days, a telephone conversation with a woman I’d contacted via The Guardian’s ‘Soulmates’. She made me laugh when she admitted her policy of not dating any men (and there were quite a few) who claimed to have an “eclectic” taste in music. Perhaps one's dislikes can be as important and self-defining as the things we love ? Did she see eclecticism as evidence that a man is incapable of proper, thoroughly biased, loyalty and commitment ?

Bewitched, bothered and indeed bewildered…
Mnemonic won this category by miles. What on earth was going on ? Which is the artist and which is the title ?? However, having spread a few of the tracks around my MP3 player, so that they don’t all crowd in at once, I find that "Current 93" and "I Miss You" are really quite nice and friendly to listen to.

Favourite new discoveries
Of course this is what RR is all about: Taj Mahal & Toumani Diabate, and the Stanley Brothers (AliMunday); Asie Payton, Louise Johnson, and the acoustic predecessors of “I Can’t Be Satisfied” & the “Smokestack Lightning” riff (webcore); Bruce’s "My Lover Man" (Tarxien); Gregory Isaacs’ “Babylon…” & the Daddy Freddy – the way the samples are dropped in here is brilliant - (gremlinfc); The Eagles “Wasted Time” (gordonimmel). I'm still not sure what I think about Lydia Lunch's "Knives In My Drain" (Exodus), but I'm sure no-one else on the bus was listening to anything quite like it. And, the catchiest tune, that I could sing back after it had finished, and stuck there; "I’m A Paleontologist" – They Might Be Giants (TracyK).

Lipps Inc.
tincanman’s offering of Neil Young’s “Prairie Moon” was indeed a great gig by a great band, with Emmylou Harris an extra special treat. "Harvest Moon" and "This Old Guitar…" stood out especially for me. There were lip-synch issues on the recording which added an extra something for me, as if it were a Japanese Neil Young impersonator overdubbed by the real Canadian one.

Thanks everyone !

16 comments:

DarceysDad said...

COOL! No offence taken at all there, my friend, in fact I'm feeling rather chuffed with that description of my efforts.

Cheers, DP.

gordonimmel said...

Thanks for the comments, Daddypig. I think it's a given that nobody's going to like everything by everyone else but it's good to get a few nods.
On the subjects of The Eagles (Pedants Alert: It's 'Wasted Time' not 'Wasted Years') I'm not a massive fan of theirs but I do think they do some good 'middle of the road' stuff and I can't help feeling a bit of a snobbish attitude over on the Mothership to any of their noms - as if I'd nommed Peters and Lee or Englebert Humperdink (and there's nothing wrong with them if the song is good enough). When you consider the massive range of artists nommed, from 1920's jazz or blues artists to noughties hip hop I don't see why seventies country rockers should be automatically sneered at.


Oh, and, anonymous, if God's mill grinds slow I hope it's some of that five seasons mixed peppercorns in it 'cos that p*sses on your average pepper.......

DaddyPig said...

Cheers DsD.

Gordon, I'll edit the correct title in for The Eagles; my first published version had "Prairie Dawn", who's a Sesame Street girl muppet, instead of "Prairie Moon".

It's a perfect no-regrets-no-hard-feelings end of a relationship song isn't it ? Lots of people need one of those at some point in our lives.

AliMunday said...

Thanks for taking the trouble, Daddypig. I really liked It Aint Necessarily So (Peggy Lee) from your collection - but aside from the comments I posted previously, I still haven't listened to all the CDs yet! I've just worked out that I can transfer music onto my Walkman from the Apple Mac (previously had trouble because we don't have Windows) - so hoping to be up to speed soon!

Meanwhile, someone wants me to put up the Christmas tree ... and I'm still in pyjamas (too much information - Ed).

tincanman said...

I think we're all humbled by the effort you've put in Puff Daddy Pig - I certainly am.

I'm not even at all miffed at you for showing me up (I'm hoping/planning to tackle my third Leeds CD this weekend). I'm not, really. Bastard.

tincanman said...

Oh and re deleting comments,
others have said how to do that. I just wanted to add that one of my old ones was attracting spam (the foc'sle one; wonder what that means?) so I went to edit posts and deleted them and then switched the options to do not allow comments. Not a solution for newer posts alas

DaddyPig said...

I've only listened to the social CDs a couple of times each by missing a few weeks on RR, or not listening to as much from the 'Spill as usual.

We were going to leave our Xmas tree until nearer the day, but our children's mithering connected with our inner children mithering. So it's up, and we had The Ethiopians' "Ding Dong Bell" on before 6.30am the next morning.

DaddyPig said...

If anyone's interested, I just found that A Case Of The Shakes is on Spotify. "Best In The World" is another favourite track.

Mnemonic said...

I'm still listening to the CDs from the London social, but I'll get there in the end.

DaddyPig said...

Yes, I'm kind of relieved there were just 11 of us there ! I've still got your tunes popping up on my MP3 player Mnemonic, so we'll see what else works its way in !

TracyK said...

I keep thinking the Big Bang Theory theme tune should be They Might Be Giants DP, it's so silly and catchy. I am a resolutely indie girl and I'm happy in my spangly rut: as long as no-one else minds, eh? Thanks for the feedback, I have to work out how to delete everything off my MP3 Player and load everything new on. I don't actually get technology!

sonofwebcore said...

Hello, you dragged me in . . .

I played all of the Northern Social CDs within a week. I don't use a personal stereo so they were all bunged on the hi-fi. I liked most of the music, but I don't want to say which ones didn't do it for me cos I have to love anyone who went to the trouble to create and burn a CD for me. DSD, much to my surprise I enjoyed the Judas Priest, in case you thought I didn't go for all that hard rock. Tonight I'm creating and burning a Tom Waits CD for my niece's partner who has heard Bone Machine but nothing else. See you.

DaddyPig said...

Thanks TracyK and webcore, good to have a midweek flurry ! I must admit that making time to load up an MP3 player and using it on the move doesn't come naturally to me either, but the train to work is just my best opportunity to have time to listen to music. As you're out and about on your bike webcore, I'm really very relieved to know that your ears are reserved exclusively for the traffic, I wish all cyclists were so wise. Especially if the music in question is Judas Priest !

DarceysDad said...

WOOHOO #1: Yay, webcore's succumbed. Welcome aboard, that man.

WOOHOO #2: webcore & Judas Priest ?!?!? [Metallic voice:] "Warning! Doesnotcompute, doesnotcompute, doesnotco..." I mean, OK, it's a Fleetwood Mac cover, but I have to say that's the most unexpected of positive reactions. Cheers!

Rob said...

You ll have to look out for Julien Temple's documentary on Fr Feelgood called Oil City Confidential its awesome!

DaddyPig said...

Fr. Feelgood ? I'd like to know what church he's preaching at...