Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blimpy's Top Ten Indie Totty


Due to my inbox being flooded with requests for this, I feel I must oblige. So, in no particular order, here's my top ten indie hotties:


Annie Hardy, the one woman potty-mouth shoegazeathon that is Giant Drag.



Obscure indie folkstress Rozi Plain.



Sophie Ellis Bextor was in an indie band before conquering the pop charts. I obviously stopped liking her once she became successful. I put most of her appeal down to the fact that I fancied her mum on Blue Peter when I was about 6.


One half of the Raveonettes; Sharin Foo!


Polly Harvey, of course!


Meg White, primal drummer extraordinaire from The White Stripes


Muse of the Noughties, the exceptionally talented Laura Marling.


Um, Elastica generally speaking...



Debbie Harry from Blondie invented the whole indie chick thing in the first place.



And let us not forget Zia McCabe from the Dandy Warhols!

So, who have I missed?

(And a happy 2010 to all!!)

We Need Considerably Bigger Buns




Happy New Year, Peace, Health, Happiness and Considerably Bigger Buns to you all.

And thanks to Young Munday for not eating them before I took the photograph.

Feel the love, man!!


Gig of the Year



Can't find footage of the actual gig, which was at Cafe Oto in October, but this clip comes close. It accounts for my favourite song of the year too.

Let's talk about cute boys!!

Calling on DebbyM, Treefrogdemon, AliMunday, Carole, Bethnoir, TracyK, Cauliflower, Frogprincess, Mnemonic, and any other female looking in...

* Very very sorry. Didn't mean to be exclusive, of course fellows may have a say, too. *

Let's talk about boys that are hot hot hot. No, wait, that look good in cocktail dresses...no no that's not it. Let's talk about boys that play guitar well. Yeah, that's what I mean.

Okay, so he's not playing a guitar, and I don't think he's hot, but I love this video. There is something beautiful going on. Must be the tail...



Half-naked fellows, please!

Head To Head: Chicks Who Shred - ROUND TWO!




VS:




The winner from last round, Marnie Stern, takes on the grunge betty riff-mongers that make up Veruca Salt with their 1995 classic "Seether". Boy, I was a huge fan back when I was 17, I wonder why.....

Again, Stern shreds from the word go, whereas the Salt save the big solo for a change amongst some monster riffage. Ow!!

Your winner please? And suggestions for who they can face in the next round?


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR


Happy New Year to my friends at the Spill.
Here's a different version of my 'festive reggae' tune, this one's more suited to the occasion.

Album of the ... what the heck day is it anyway? Doesn't matter, it's the blues Jim, but not as we know it.

After 100 years of blues recording, you wouldn't think there was much new worth doing. I'm a lifelong blues fan, and I'll defend the art form until my death ..... but its not a genre of innovation or current discourse. By and large there's not been a pressing need to buy blues records beyond the chestnuts rereleased or recorded after the 60's and 70's blues revival.

Except R.L. Burnside, a contemporary of Mississippi John Hurt, Fred McDowell, Skip James and Son House. Like his Mississippi brethren, he was largely unknown until old age. But unlike them, he chose not to live only in the past.

In 1998 he released Come On In, an experimental mix of acoustic blues with electronica production easily filed with the other curious artistic breakthroughs (Buffalo Girls) you never listen to.

But Come On In led to Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down, which got it absofuckinglutely spot on. It's one of the best blues albums ever and proof that blues need not be relegated to museums and documentaries. The tape loops, scratching and electronic tricks are still there, but the overall balance is more organic.

It's a bleak album, filled with songs of death and betrayal. Yet it is strangely uplifting, perhaps because it is (or should be) a resurrection. The blues had a baby all right, and this is what it sounds like.

Hopefully someone with better wordishness than me/I will have a go now in the comments. I just think it is one of those rare fully realized artistic visions that any collection is incomplete without. I'll link to Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues - an autobiographical take on Skip James' Killing Floor Blues - Got Messed Up and Miss Maybelle to give you an idea.
.

After careful consideration..

My album of the decade: A Camp (the eponymous debut) 2001

Not a note out of place, not a wasted moment. Perfect from end to end and in exactly the order presented. Many people, it seems, love their album from this year ('Colonia' - and it is truly great..perhaps in another ten years, i'll be writing about it) but I prefer the first album. Like The Sunday's Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (apparently also a big influence on A Camp's Nina Persson) this an album which never stops thrilling me with its charm. You know when you're on to a real winner when this keeps happening.

Got one?











Head To Head: Chicks Who Shred




VS:


Marnie shreds from the word go, but goes especially nuts at the 2.34 mark, whereas Anita bides her time before letting rip with a truly satanic backwards solo at the 2 min mark.

But which one is the best??

& who is your fave XX chromosome'd guitar player?

Tim Hart 1948-2009



Tim Hart of Steeleye Span has died of lung cancer aged 61. That's him on the left in front, and this photo, from the Grauniad website, has the bottom half cropped so you can't see the rollup in his hand. From the obituary: "Their [Steeleye's] novelty Christmas release, Gaudete, led to a collaboration with Mike Batt, the creator of the Wombles pop act, who produced their eighth album, All Around My Hat (1975): the title track reached No 5 in the UK singles charts. Further hits eluded the band..."

Well, I like All Around My Hat a lot, but as many people don't, I thought we could listen to Gaudete instead. 'Tis the season, and all that. I expect it's the being in Latin that's the novelty.

Gaudete - Steeleye Span

I think that this is brilliant

I found this today. Fantastic!



What do others think?

If you can't be good, be careful.



I'm more than a little obsessed with this track at the moment. I've only ever been able to find 4 tracks by Sir Lord Comic, and this is one I don't have. Catcher (I think it was) once asked about songs we'd like to use in a movie soundtrack, and this is absolutely one, for me.

Anyway...When I first met David he lived in an older apartment building, with an unfinished attic. We used to escape from roommates up there, there was an old couch, not much else. But somebody had scrawled in large letters across the wall "Trust in god, but take some care yourself." Always stuck with me, somehow. Anyway. With the New Year coming up, have you ever heard a strange or surprising piece of advice, or received it from an unusual source? Did you heed it?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

'Twas the night before Christmas...

...and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for Mrs Frod who was beginning to throw out some pretty hefty curses during the early stages of labour.

It feels like a long time since I introduced you all to Squiggle (as he was known) and now, at last, I would like you all to meet Barnaby William Denham Sandford:

(Sideburns model's own)

He pitched up at just after 6 pm on Christmas Eve, by rather necessary C-Section (he was, after all, 10lb 6oz...) and is now home, happy and fully awesome. It made it all a rather odd festive season, but it has been the best one ever. Mini Frod is unbelievably happy with him and has been a model big sister. So far.

So as a result I've rather missed out on most of the end of year stuff, and the mighty Festive 'Spill (New Year's resolution: be better at 'Spilling) but it has all meant that, by a country mile, my song of the year is this:

10 Keeping Warm.mp3">

Happy Christmas to you all and wishing you a less tired New Year than mine looks like being!

H2H - Forever lost Vs. I believe in the thing called love

Two well-known suburban floor-fillers in a proper face off for the end-of-decade New Year.

I'm actually grateful that songs like this exist, if only because Simon Cowell was not allowed to get his expensively manicured hands on either of them. They both contain precious elements of the (subtle-but-defining) nostalgia, humour, mishape and glory of real people - things which the X Factor would like to believe it trades in, but actually ends up cr-ping all over.

Remember though, friends, the crap-o-meter is only for fun and I sincerely mean that, I really do



Saturday, December 26, 2009

Avoiding a thread-jack - Steenbeck asked for a new topic!


As ejay said the other day; what Steenbeck wants, Steenbeck gets. A random word for a new topic seeing as the mothership seems to be undergoing her annual service. This photo of a certain "Padre Jony" brought the word "Vocation" to mind. So there it is folks. Songs about vocations. Shane's definition (see comments on Magicman's post below) will take some beating!

Collabo playlist available.

Update: Tin has opened a DB folder for the topic. Game on!

They've Only Gone And Closed Entries To Fresh Starts !


Shurely Shome Mishtake ?? We were promised a nice lazy ramble through to New Year's Eve, no rush, no names, no packdrill. No mandrill I wouldn't have thought. But no, Boxing Day after a weedy six hours of sleep (you're lucky - Ed) I rise and shine, take the beef from the fridge, sign on to the RR blog with an absolute CRACKER of a fresh start song, not only about fresh starts generally but introducing a band who were IN THEMSELVES a fresh start as I have already attempted to explain here regarding their first single "Virginia Plain." The first track off the eponymous first album is right on the money : an announcement of starting again.

"Next time is the best time we all know"

I talk, of course, of the great Roxy Music and their opening gambit : "Re-make Re-model"

They certainly remade and remodelled rock music into a sci-fi glam nightclub lounge art-rock act, and for that I and millions of others will be eternally grateful.

Will repost resquiggle if the blog goes live again.

Now where's that joint of beef...


Friday, December 25, 2009

He was here, too!



He's a busy fellow!

Happy Christmas!


Vrolijk Kerstfeest! Joyeux Noël! Frohe Weihnachten! Feliz Navidad!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's A White Christmas !!!!!


I thought I'd better respond more fully to you all, as Christmas arrives. I was going to post a thread called "HE'S BEEN, HE'S BEEN!!" as I've just taken the picture of the presents under the tree, but having uploaded the pics from my camera, they're rubbish, so I'll have to go and re-take them before I go to bed. Instead, here's one of Darcey and her mates playing out on Christmas Eve, for no other good reason than (i) I was reminded of an old photo of the then-toddler Darcey by barbryn's post; and (ii) I'm quite pleased with the ones I took today. Jess, by the way, was just out of shot, building a snowman bigger than she is! Bless!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE.

log on... the new fire place.. sizzle.




I would put some new music for Christmas on...

.. but the speed at the new house is slower than a snail on a euro tunnel train...........................


Merry Pranksterish Fun Filled Wrapping stuffing and nonsense to all of you lovely people... last years Spill Santa gets repeated.. just like real tele.

Two cans of Tinnie and a packet of Williamsbach

Fans of Two Pints of Lager will recognize this pub in Runcorn where Tin and Williamsbach met before Christmas during the Swiss Mister's visit home. It was a quick visit shoehorned into the Christmas schedule at the last minute, but Willie says he's looking forward to meeting more RRers when he comes Bach next time.

ooo ooo ooo, lookee what's waiting for me under the tree


Aye, and can ye tell what it is me laddies and lassies?

Another Christmas Song !?!??!?!?!?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Song



One of my favourites, from The Raveonettes

Frank Kelly - Christmas Countdown

I imagine that everyone knows this?

Another festive face-off

These ones feature child choruses. So is it;



Or;

Good Yule



When I was a kid I had a picture book about Father Christmas, and there was one double spread with no writing, but just a picture of FC with his reindeer and sleigh flying across the sky in front of the Northern Lights. I wish I still had that book...

I've been SO busy what with this and that (you know how it is) that I've only just finished reading all the 'Spill comments - and as for the Festive howevermanyitis, I haven't even listened to one whole set yet, so I'll have to comment later.

Just heard that the Milton Keynes contingent (that's the one that includes my grandsons) WILL be setting out tonight - I had left it up to them, saying we could always have Christmas next week if they wanted, because of the weather. We used to do this in the past when I didn't have a car, so we could go on the train to my parents'. But it's not the same, you know.

Here are two of my favourite Christmas songs...and I hope everyone has a splendid Christmas!

Christmas In Paradise - Mary Gauthier
Merry Christmas From The Family - Robert Earl Keen

EOTWQ's - Christmas Special!



Sorry that these are so hastily put together (Mrs J is pulling me towards the door for christmas shopping) and if anyone has any better ones, feel free to chuck extra questions into the comments box.


1. All families have some kind of quirky tradition that is practiced only by them. So, what's your quirky christmas family tradition?

2. What christmas tradition can't you stand that you would like to do away with?

2. I know we shouldn't mention music, but it's christmas so all indiscretions are surely forgiven! Personally, I love cheesy christmas songs. What's your bestest cheesy christmas song?

3. Which public figure would you most like to give a christmas present to? Who would it be and what is the gift?

5. New Year's Reolutions are made to be broken of course, but you've got to make 'em to break 'em. So, what are your resolutions for 2010?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Well, obviously this is not the time for this...



That is Not My Home. After Bruegel
Bones in the Grave
Idiots in the Rain
South PHiladelphia
Me and You Watson
When You've No Eyes
Dr. So and So
What Fun

I'm sorry, I'm just really taken with this album and I want somebody else to like it too.

Actually, I need to thank Lambretinha for alerting me to this album, cause I would not have know about it otherwise.

Wesołych Świąt!

It's often said that the Biblical meaning of Christmas is neglected these days. Who better to remind us than a Polish glamour model performing the music of Chris de Burgh in a bangin' Eurodance style?



Happy Christmas to all.

May your days be merry and bright




A very happy Christmas from family barbryn. Thanks for all the music this year.

Christmas TV
Listening to Otis Redding at Home during Christmas
Space Christmas

It may be winter outside ...


Just got home from my last day at work - ever! Well, at that work, anyway. So it's time to sit back and relax and enjoy the festive season with a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and a spring in my step. Or at least there would be a spring if wasn't for this stupid cold that I've had for over three weeks (featuring, a cough which has lasted for a fortnight and has gone down to my chest and every time I cough, my whole body aches from head to toe). Bless ...

Anyhoo,I know we've all got loads to do and lots of music to listen to already (courtesy of the extraordinary festive 'spill lists) but if you need a bit of inner warmth in your life, this playlist may just be the answer. I've been listening to nothing but Christmas music on my journeys to and from work over the past few days and this is just a small sample of the stuff I've particularly enjoyed. It's full of cheese (of course) but it's the sort of strong aromatic cheese that goes so well with a glass of red wine drunk in front of a roaring open fire - or, better still, some port. Or in my case ginger beer. Or in fact, since I don't eat cheese ...

This also allows me to wish every darned wonderful one of you a stress-free, fun-filled festive season. Enjoy every moment - I know I will.

Are You Coming Over For Christmas?
Driving Home For Christmas
Winter Wonderland
Stop The Cavalry
What Child Is This Anyway?
Süsser Die Glocken Nie Klingen
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It's Spring)

What can this sound like?



I really think that I don't want to hear this - an apparently female Father Christmas on vocals backed by four anonymous crew members from the original series of Star Trek, judging by their costumes.

So 'Spillers, what are your suggestions for a possible track listing?

sourpus would like to wish the other Spillers a very Merry Christmas



hip hop happy christmas



(I didn't post this last year, did I?)

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, 'Spillers everywhere!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Festive 'Spill , 2009


Garethi
BethNoir
GoneForeign
MrsMcFlah
TreeFrogDemon
Nilpferd
FrogPrincess
May1366
SaneShane
Mnemonic
Japanther
AliMunday
ElDerino
Abahachi
TinCanMan
ToffeeBoy
Ejaydee
Steenbeck
Makinavaja
Fuel
DebbyM
GlassHalfEmpty
Darcey'sDad
SatanKidneyPie
Shoegazer
ShivSidecar
Barbryn
GremlinFC
BlimpyMcFlah
Lambretinha

Gorillaz Vs Malcolm

To 'Spillers Everywhere: MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR

Another Christmas Face-Off

The proggy face-off

Is it Greg Lake;



Or Jethro Tull;

Winter Solstice Greetings


Wishing all on t' Spill a very merry Yule with peace, happiness and prosperity in the new year. Bring in the holly, ivy , pine cones and mistletoe and don't forget to wassail and dust your Yule log before setting it a smoulder - now must go and light the candles...

H2H - The Great Christmas Classic Face Off

Two Christmas classics going head to head..can you cope?

A vaguely military theme unites them, only three short years of actual time between them, but a million Christmas music albums later, they're both still around. Time to pick a winner.



Separated at birth - Are they related?



Paul MacInnes



Roddy McDowell

Chilblains


Well, here is the back garden in the snow. I feel sorry for the birds and other wildlife. It has been a trying week, with Mr Munday taken in to hospital and mini Munday sent home from school, poorly. But they're all home and feeling a bit better now and it's time to show my face at work, having been off since Tuesday. The only question now, is, how long will it take me to get to Leeds today? And will I actually get there in time to do any work before I have to try and get back again? And me chilblains are giving me gip ... here I am, waving goodbye:


Have a good day, people, and be safe, wherever you are.

Covered in snow, and under cover of darkness


Snow And Lights

The tree we have outside that's really outgrown its pot. Picked as a 12" sapling in Scotland some years ago, I now can't even reach the top with the stepladders! Sorry about the light quality of the photo; DarceysMam has taken the good camera to Granny's house. (The snow isn't really that orange! I might redo this in daylight.)

Anyhow, this is a notice, of sorts. Training/consultancy work has been so scarce in '09, I've had to get an additional, employed job, starting tonight, to avoid serious damage to the savings. As that's the midnight shift (so that I can at least try to keep my business going during the daytime), I won't be joining in the MFF any more on the mothership, and my weekday blogging is going to be restricted to sneaking the odd 20mins in a morning if it is my wife's turn to take the girls to school.

I haven't had to jump-on-command (other than to DsMam, natch) for a decade or so; this could turn sour very quickly!!! Wish me luck. Of course, if anyone knows a company in need of any Industrial H&S training, you could save me the ignominy ... distance no object, as Abahachi already knows.

More Snow


What Steenbeck wants, Steenbeck gets. I'm not in them, but I took the pictures.

Covered in snow!


Just this much snow is needed to bring a country to a halt, in Switzerland they would laugh about it......
Curious if I am able to get to work tomorrow, the National Railways already have announced that they will be running a very reduced schedule tomorrow....

Covered in snow, you say?






Here's a picture of me and of the picture I was taking. I'd like to link to a snow song, but I don't have the patience.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Covered in snow...



Naming no names here, lest the majors make me take this down...
Just to say, this here is the new one from the artist that made my fave album of 2008.

It's about snowy times too, which is both topical and festive..

An old, er, "friend?" topically revisited as RATM hit number one!




Apart from Danny Murphy inspiring Fulham to stuff the Mancs, this is the only bit of good news I've had all weekend.



A further bit of fun: is it just me, or if you take a black marker pen to the face, isn't it possible to make the resemblence uncanny?



;o)

Best video?



This would be my pick for best music video seen in 2009.. feel free to add your own. We'll take Blimpy's and the St. Vincent- Marrow as read.



Add Polly Harvey's Black Hearted Love. Let's make it a H2H.

The Scottish BAMS Awards 2009





The Scottish BaMS (Bloggers and Music Sites) network has announced the results of their poll for the best LP of 2009.

Bams is also a scots word for heidcase, numpty or radge - incase you're wondering, which is quite apt.

Lloyd from the excellent Peenko blog put this together, and hopefully this'll be the start of a network of blogs with a Scots bent supporting each other and providing a network to raise awareness of the amazing music that's rocking Scotland at any one time (they do already, but it could be bigger)

So, I got asked to vote (hopefully next year all 'Spillers can take part - i didn't want it to bogart our own "Overs" awards) as did:


There were 166 albums represented, which then boiled down to this top 20:

1. The Phantom Band - Checkmate Savage (61)
2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion (54)
3. De Rosa - Prevention (53)
4. King Creosote - Flick the V's (51)
5. Withered Hand - Good News (45)
6. The Twilight Sad - Forget The Night Ahead (43)
7. We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls (40)
8. Beerjacket - Animosity (38)
9. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More (32)
9. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (32)
11. My Latest Novel - Deaths and Entrances (28)
11. Malcolm Middleton - Waxing Gibbous (28)
13. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - s/t (25)
14. You Already Know - s/t (24)
14. Broken Records - Until the Earth Begins to Part (24)
16. The XX - s/t (23)
17. The Antlers - Hospice (21)
18. Sufjan Stevens - The BQE (19)
18. And So I Watch You From Afar (19)
20. Wilco - The Album (18)

Andy from The Phantom Band had this to say:

"This makes us feel very honoured because the opinion of people out there
giving opinions is what matters most, rather than the financially
influenced press.
It always amazes me that people would take it upon themselves to go out and
champion a band or an album or a band for no material gain, but it gives me
faith in human nature. Blogs and reviews have been the only advertising
we've ever had. Apart from all those people who got online and promoted us,
we'd like to thank those little almost-stale doughnuts you get in big tubs
from Sainsburys for keeping us fat during the recording. We obviously also
have our Producer Paul Savage and the wonderful people at Chemikal
Underground to thank for letting us do what we want. These guys are the
quiet heroes of Scottish music for sure."



It's a good list, and there's a couple of bands on there I don't know, and will now go and check out.

Here's to the Scottish BaMS 2010!

The Twelve Tasks Of ToffeeBoy - #12 Dean Friedman


And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friends I'll say it clear
I've stated my case of which I was occasionally certain
I've lived a year that's full (foolish?)
I've travelled each and every (pop-related) highway
And more, much more than this, I think you'll all agree, I did it my way

Exactly eleven months ago today (on 20 January 2009 to be precise) I embarked on a task (or rather a series of tasks) the stated aim of which was to "to convince those of you who need convincing ... that pop music needn’t be clichéd, sickly sweet, overly simplistic, or anodyne". Whether I've done so or not is difficult to say. The first few tasks certainly inspired some fascinating debate on the subject of what exactly pop music is. I don't think we ever reached consensus on this matter but the lively discussions helped me to focus on the task(s) in hand by giving me a better understanding of what people think they mean when they talk about pop music.

An unlooked for benefit in posting these monthly instalments has been to allow me to rationalise what it is that I personally find attractive in music. It may not necessarily be a good thing to analyse these matters too much but I think I can now say categorically that, for me, good music should have as many as possible of the following attributes/qualities:

1. A pleasing melody
2. A tune that sounds simple but isn't
3. Intelligent lyrics
4. An element of light and shade
5. A sense of sincerity

There may be more and some of them may be at best difficult to define and at worst, highly subjective, but for me those are the important ones and I can look at each of the acts that I've included in this herculean effort and without fear of contradiction state that each one of them ticks all of those boxes.

I have deliberately chosen acts which had generally speaking failed to trouble the Marconium so the list is hardly representative of my broader taste in music. I didn't consider bands such as 10,000 Maniacs, The Go-Betweens, Belle & Sebastian, Cocteau Twins, etc. etc. - all of which would appear on the list of my all time favourite bands - of all time - because they're all well represented on the A-List. Something I was trying to get to the bottom of was, why were the acts I had in mind being ignored. Was there a perceived lack of coolness? Did they not fit the typical Guardian reader's image of grown up music? Or were they simply not as well known? I really didn't know, and to be honest, I'm none the wiser now. It's a mystery to me, why certain groups or artists with an extensive body of work - groups who consistently produce songs with intelligent, thoughtful lyrics about real people, living real lives - should have failed to achieve even one A-Lister while Metallica (for example) have three RR hits. Go figure ...

Let's have a reminder of the acts I've chosen for your consideration - the figures in brackets represent the number of A-Lists achieved pre-task:

1 - Microdisney (0)
2 - Everything But The Girl (2)
3 - Coldplay (1)
4 - Steely Dan (2)
5 - Aztec Camera (0)
6 - Ben Folds (1)
7 - Crowded House (0)
8 - The Blue Nile (1)
9 - Prefab Sprout (1)
10 - Shack/The Pale Fountains (0)
11 - James Taylor (0)

Everything But The Girl and Steely Dan have each added one to their totals since I posted their particular task (and I would say that I'm not claiming any responsibility for these additions but of course the EBTG A-List was from my own nomination a couple of weeks ago so I have had an impact but not as a result of the tasks). However you look at it, a collective total of 10 A-Lists from those acts is simply not good enough.

All of this brings us very neatly on to the latest task in hand [Eventually! Ed.]. I'm not sure when I first considered Dean Friedman as the subject of the final Task of ToffeeBoy (almost certainly on one of the frequent occasions when I'd posted a Dean Friedman nomination on RR only to see it greeted by the inevitable dondless silence) but I think it would be fair to say that I've left the toughest task till last. At least that's what I thought until two weeks ago, when our current guru Mr MacInnes pulled the rug from under my feet by including my (very lighthearted and ever so slightly tangenital) nomination of The Deli Song (Corned Beef On Wry!) in his B-List for the Meat topic. Which rather undermined the point I was planning to make: namely, that Dean Friedman was almost certainly a lost cause as far as RR was concerned - maybe there is hope after all.



Despite this slight hiccup, I stand by my assertion that Dean Friedman is a tough task. Six albums in 33 years is almost Blue Nilean in its paucity so for a start there's not a huge amount to choose from. Most of you will know one or more of his hits (Ariel, Woman Of Mine, Lucky Stars and Lydia) and although I think there's much to admire in these four songs, they're by no means representative of Dean at the top of his game. Each of the albums (with the notable exception of the 'adult comedy' album Squirrels In The Attic which to be honest is best avoided) also contains a number of songs of rare beauty and depth, suggesting to me at least that there's an immensely talented songwriter struggling to get out. But what makes my task so hard is that there's another side to Dean Friedman - the man who was capable of writing the painfully (almost disturbingly) moving Song For My Mother and Shopping Bag Ladies has also perpetrated some intensely annoying novelty songs on his adoring public (the track Special Effects on his third album is frankly unlistenable). There's an unfortunate lack of quality control going on here.

On the surface, Dean Friedman doesn't have a lot going for him. He's not going to win any beauty contests and, I'm sorry mate, but your voice is at times a little too whiny (even to a fan like me). But when he gets it right, I really do believe that he's up there with the very best in the business. Real songs about real people living real lives with sincerity oozing out of every pore. Most of the songs sound like they're based on real incidents in his life (The Letter must surely be - I sincerely hope that Song For My Mother isn't) and you get the impression that he genuinely enjoys the process of making music and sharing it with his fans. Anyway, that's enough from me - listen to the music and judge for yourselves. Oh, and if you buy only one Dean Friedman album, let it be the eponymous debut.

The music
Ariel
The Letter
Song For My Mother
Rocking Chair
Shopping Bag Ladies
The Deli Song (Corned Beef On Wry!)
Are You Ready Yet?
The Lakelands
No One Knows
Don't Mourn, Don't Cry
The Wind Blows
One Autumn Afternoon
Fuck Buddies

The links
Official website
Wikipedia - checkout the Half Man Half Biscuit story!

Don't you hate it when people say....

Webcore had a mini-huff on RR the other day about people say ''it's too cold to snow.'' As he noted, they do have %$^$% snow in Norway.

Got any to share with the class?