Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guess the cover 2

Part 2 of "guess the cover", the first one to identify the original & the original artists gets a TonNL mix cd!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

an elephant with amnesia....

...walks into a bar

destroys it AGAIN.

"ouch, ouch, ouch" says the elephant.
"well, well, well" says the barman, a talking Loxodonta.
Splash, Splash, Splash went elle in all those wells...
"Pint of the usual...what ever that is...
and keep em coming 'til I'm completely TRUNK"

really quite tuff this subject - and even harder when your music collection (on computer) has gone for a game of hide'n'seek..
there's loads of songs that give me that feeling of forgetting or memory songs that you want to use as blanking music -
play this LOUD enough and I wont remember this songs about you/
make this intimate enough and the tears will dry up/
sit and wallow so long the words you tattoo'd under ya eyelids will fade away...
you know the kind of thing...(umm just me then)

(i'D explain these more, but I took my dad out to the football this afternoon and the Ms. says I'm not to stay up too long..)
the songs are great:
A list sorted again..enjoy.
I Know, And I Said Forget It

I Guess I'll Forget the Sound, I Guess, I Guess
The Slow Fade

Forget The Swan
The Shy Retirer
Superfreaky memories

Friday, January 29, 2010

The nepotism tango

Singer Gordon Waid does what he does best

and Matt tries out his new RT t shirt

I went four hundred, five hundred,
Seven hundred, nine hundred,
Eighteen hundred miles TO FORGET ABOUT YOU!

Sorry folks - couldn't resist.

700 Miles by the In and Outlaws

Forget Me Not

Soon To Forget Ya
Forget My Heart
Fade Away
This Is The Army Of Forgotten Souls

Forgive & Forget
How Did We Forget?
Memory Lame
Blind My Mind
Wine Destroys The Memory
Bound To Forget
How We Fade


Howard Zinn has died, he was THE American historian, a truly great American, if you're not familiar with him or his work read this piece, it's an address that he gave to the graduating class at a Southern College titled 'Against Discouragement'.

Against Discouragement
Spelman College Commencement Address, May 2005
By Howard Zinn

[In 1963, historian Howard Zinn was fired from Spelman College in Atlanta GA, where he was chair of the History Department, because of his civil rights activities. This year, he was invited back to give the commencement address. Here is the text of that speech, given on May 15, 2005.]

I am deeply honored to be invited back to Spelman after forty-two years. I would like to thank the faculty and trustees who voted to invite me, and especially your president, Dr. Beverly Tatum. And it is a special privilege to be here with Diahann Carroll and Virginia Davis Floyd.

But this is your day — the students graduating today. It's a happy day for you and your families. I know you have your own hopes for the future, so it may be a little presumptuous for me to tell you what hopes I have for you, but they are exactly the same ones that I have for my grandchildren.

My first hope is that you will not be too discouraged by the way the world looks at this moment. It is easy to be discouraged, because our nation is at war — still another war, war after war — and our government seems determined to expand its empire even if it costs the lives of tens of thousands of human beings. There is poverty in this country, and homelessness, and people without health care, and crowded classrooms, but our government, which has trillions of dollars to spend, is spending its wealth on war. There are a billion people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East who need clean water and medicine to deal with malaria and tuberculosis and AIDS, but our government, which has thousands of nuclear weapons, is experimenting with even more deadly nuclear weapons. Yes, it is easy to be discouraged by all that.

But let me tell you why, in spite of what I have just described, you must not be discouraged.

I want to remind you that, fifty years ago, racial segregation here in the South was entrenched as tightly as was apartheid in South Africa. The national government, even with liberal presidents like Kennedy and Johnson in office, was looking the other way while Black people were beaten and killed and denied the opportunity to vote. So Black people in the South decided they had to do something by themselves. They boycotted and sat in and picketed and demonstrated, and were beaten and jailed, and some were killed, but their cries for freedom were soon heard all over the nation and around the world, and the President and Congress finally did what they had previously failed to do — enforce the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. Many people had said: The South will never change. But it did change. It changed because ordinary people organized and took risks and challenged the system and would not give up. That's when democracy came alive.

I want to remind you also that when the war in Vietnam was going on, and young Americans were dying and coming home paralyzed, and our government was bombing the villages of Vietnam — bombing schools and hospitals and killing ordinary people in huge numbers — it looked hopeless to try to stop the war. But just as in the Southern movement, people began to protest and soon it caught on. It was a national movement. Soldiers were coming back and denouncing the war, and young people were refusing to join the military, and the war had to end.

The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. The government may try to deceive the people, and the newspapers and television may do the same, but the truth has a way of coming out. The truth has a power greater than a hundred lies. I know you have practical things to do — to get jobs and get married and have children. You may become prosperous and be considered a success in the way our society defines success, by wealth and standing and prestige. But that is not enough for a good life.

Remember Tolstoy's story, "The Death of Ivan Illych." A man on his deathbed reflects on his life, how he has done everything right, obeyed the rules, become a judge, married, had children, and is looked upon as a success. Yet, in his last hours, he wonders why he feels a failure. After becoming a famous novelist, Tolstoy himself had decided that this was not enough, that he must speak out against the treatment of the Russian peasants, that he must write against war and militarism.

My hope is that whatever you do to make a good life for yourself — whether you become a teacher, or social worker, or business person, or lawyer, or poet, or scientist — you will devote part of your life to making this a better world for your children, for all children. My hope is that your generation will demand an end to war, that your generation will do something that has not yet been done in history and wipe out the national boundaries that separate us from other human beings on this earth.

Recently I saw a photo on the front page of the New York Times which I cannot get out of my mind. It showed ordinary Americans sitting on chairs on the southern border of Arizona, facing Mexico. They were holding guns and they were looking for Mexicans who might be trying to cross the border into the United States. This was horrifying to me — the realization that, in this twenty-first century of what we call "civilization," we have carved up what we claim is one world into two hundred artificially created entities we call "nations" and are ready to kill anyone who crosses a boundary.

Is not nationalism — that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary, so fierce it leads to murder — one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? These ways of thinking, cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on, have been useful to those in power, deadly for those out of power.

Here in the United States, we are brought up to believe that our nation is different from others, an exception in the world, uniquely moral; that we expand into other lands in order to bring civilization, liberty, democracy. But if you know some history you know that's not true. If you know some history, you know we massacred Indians on this continent, invaded Mexico, sent armies into Cuba, and the Philippines. We killed huge numbers of people, and we did not bring them democracy or liberty. We did not go into Vietnam to bring democracy; we did not invade Panama to stop the drug trade; we did not invade Afghanistan and Iraq to stop terrorism. Our aims were the aims of all the other empires of world history — more profit for corporations, more power for politicians.

The poets and artists among us seem to have a clearer understanding of the disease of nationalism. Perhaps the Black poets especially are less enthralled with the virtues of American "liberty" and "democracy," their people having enjoyed so little of it. The great African-American poet Langston Hughes addressed his country as follows:

You really haven't been a virgin for so long.
It's ludicrous to keep up the pretext.
You've slept with all the big powers
In military uniforms,
And you've taken the sweet life
Of all the little brown fellows.

Being one of the world's big vampires,
Why don't you come on out and say so
Like Japan, and England, and France,
And all the other nymphomaniacs of power.

I am a veteran of the Second World War. That was considered a "good war," but I have come to the conclusion that war solves no fundamental problems and only leads to more wars. War poisons the minds of soldiers, leads them to kill and torture, and poisons the soul of the nation.

My hope is that your generation will demand that your children be brought up in a world without war. It we want a world in which the people of all countries are brothers and sisters, if the children all over the world are considered as our children, then war — in which children are always the greatest casualties — cannot be accepted as a way of solving problems.

I was on the faculty of Spelman College for seven years, from 1956 to 1963. It was a heartwarming time, because the friends we made in those years have remained our friends all these years. My wife Roslyn and I and our two children lived on campus. Sometimes when we went into town, white people would ask: How is it to be living in the Black community? It was hard to explain. But we knew this — that in downtown Atlanta, we felt as if we were in alien territory, and when we came back to the Spelman campus, we felt that we were at home.

Those years at Spelman were the most exciting of my life, the most educational certainly. I learned more from my students than they learned from me. Those were the years of the great movement in the South against racial segregation, and I became involved in that in Atlanta, in Albany, Georgia, in Selma, Alabama, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Greenwood and Itta Bena and Jackson.

I learned something about democracy: that it does not come from the government, from on high, it comes from people getting together and struggling for justice. I learned about race. I learned something that any intelligent person realizes at a certain point — that race is a manufactured thing, an artificial thing, and while race does matter (as Cornel West has written), it only matters because certain people want it to matter, just as nationalism is something artificial. I learned that what really matters is that all of us — of whatever so-called race and so-called nationality — are human beings and should cherish one another.

I was lucky to be at Spelman at a time when I could watch a marvelous transformation in my students, who were so polite, so quiet, and then suddenly they were leaving the campus and going into town, and sitting in, and being arrested, and then coming out of jail full of fire and rebellion. You can read all about that in Harry Lefever's book Undaunted By The Fight: Spelman College and the Civil Rights Movement, 1957-1967.

One day Marian Wright (now Marian Wright Edelman), who was my student at Spelman, and was one of the first arrested in the Atlanta sit-ins, came to our house on campus to show us a petition she was about to put on the bulletin board of her dormitory. The heading on the petition epitomized the transformation taking place at Spelman College. Marian had written on top of the petition: "Young Ladies Who Can Picket, Please Sign Below."

My hope is that you will not be content just to be successful in the way that our society measures success; that you will not obey the rules, when the rules are unjust; that you will act out the courage that I know is in you. There are wonderful people, Black and white, who are models. I don't mean African-Americans like Condoleezza Rice, or Colin Powell, or Clarence Thomas, who have become servants of the rich and powerful. I mean W.E.B. DuBois and Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and Marian Wright Edelman, and James Baldwin and Josephine Baker and good white folk, too, who defied the Establishment to work for peace and justice.

Another of my students at Spelman, Alice Walker, who, like Marian, has remained our friend all these years, came from a tenant farmer's family in Eatonton, Georgia, and became a famous writer. In one of her first published poems, she wrote:

It is true —
I've always loved
the daring
Like the Black young
Who tried
to crash
All barriers
at once,
wanted to swim
At a white
beach (in Alabama)
I am not suggesting you go that far, but you can help to break down barriers, of race certainly, but also of nationalism; that you do what you can — you don't have to do something heroic, just something, to join with millions of others who will just do something, because all of those somethings, at certain points in history, come together, and make the world better.

That marvelous African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston, who wouldn't do what white people wanted her to do, who wouldn't do what Black people wanted her to do, who insisted on being herself, said that her mother advised her: Leap for the sun — you may not reach it, but at least you will get off the ground.

By being here today, you are already standing on your toes, ready to leap My hope for you is a good life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The A list is up, and the new subject is forgetting. But no lists anybody! No lists!

Vancouver City

Some local folks just posted an amazing video with an original song about the fair city of Vancouver. Tincanman, as an ex-pat British Columbian may find this particularly interesting. Watch and enjoy!

New Joanna Newsom

The world just became a little more beautiful...

Have One On Me, a new TRIPLE ALBUM by Joanna Newsom, is out on Feb 23.

Here's a taster:

I love this, from the YouTube comments:

What the fuck was that?

What the fuck was that i just listened to?

It was like gravity stopped existing for a little bit. Everything just got a bit clearer.

26 days to go...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm looking for some sweet soul music

Who feels it knows it lord. I said, I feel it, and I know it...

I've been in the mood lately for sweet, soulful music. And it certainly doesn't need to be soul. Although that would be more than fine. Any genre welcome. What do you turn to when you're in the mood for something like this? What gives something a bit of soul for you? It's a word I've been thinking about a lot lately. It has so many possible meanings. But I think you know what I mean, right?

So, if this was an RR subject...songs with sweet soulfulness. ANyone?....

Funky 16 corners

And, on a side note...Funky 16 Corners has moved. I know May likes it; I don't check it very often, but I like what I hear when I do. I can actually imagine quite a few people would like this blog - it covers obscure crate-digging funk, soul, jazz, and every combination therein.

I shall wear my trousers rolled EOTWQ

Here are some end of the week questions for the middle of the week. In keeping with the history topic, these are sort of about our personal histories...

1. Do you have a proustian "madeleine"? Is there some food or song or smell that transports you back to a childhood memory?

2. We recently went ice skating. It was fun, but after a few times around, I was ready to go somewhere warm. It got me thinking about how my idea of funness has changed over the years. What did you used to find fun that you don't anymore. What do you find fun now that you never did when you were younger? Is there something childish you still find fun, even as an adult?

3. Where were you 10 years ago? 20? You can keep going back by decade if you like, but I know some of us aren't 30 yet.

4. There has been some talk on the mothership about applying lessons from history to our current actions. Have you ever done that in your own life? Is there something you keep doing despite what your experience tells you?

5. What's your earliest memory? Or, you know, an early memory, if you can't pinpoint your earliest? Is there some story people tell about you when you were little to the point that you can't tell if you actually remember it or you just know the story too well?

Did I already ask all these questions, I half feel like I did. Phew, my memory is going!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

S&M#2: Now known as EARWORMS OF THE WEEK

Sam Amidon - How Come That Blood
Sam Amidon's new record is due soon, and if this is any indication it should be a treat. I love the off-kiltar arrangements, and how they juxtapose with his voice (he has the sort of voice that sounds old, not in age, but like it's coming from another era) Anyway, this is what folk sounds like in 2010
- lambretinha

Trwbador - Little Lights
Nepotism alert - Owain Gwilym, the musical force behind this bilingual Welsh/English folktronica duo, is MrStepAbahachi - but, having listened to their new EP once out of duty, I've had it on steady rotation ever since. Lovely, fragile, not at all what I expected. More tracks available at
- Abahachi

Ken Parker - Groovin' In Style
I've always liked the Ken Parker tune on my Nice Up The Dance compilation, and recently I treated myself to a 25 song CD of just Ken Parker. Some of it is almost un-listenable, because of the production, but there are some real gems on there, and I think this is one. I like the opening chords; I like his voice, which even when singing a happy song like this has a wistful quality. I love the lyrics to this song. It's not just a don't-worry-be-happy song (though there's nothing wrong with that, I suppose.) To me it has a deeper, more soulful quality to the peaceful feeling that it describes...
- Steen

Willard Grant Conspiracy - The Work Song
Currently riding high in both the current playlist, and "Oh the irony" charts chez DsD (actually, en voiture de DsD would be more accurate) is this aural relaxant from my favourite baritone.
- DsD

Opal Fell From The Sun
This is from one of my favourite chill-out albums (“Early Recordings”), but I only own it on vinyl so don’t play often – was driven to dig it out again by a letter in the current “Record Collector”, which suggests it might be a cover of a Pale Saints song. The reverse is the case – the Saints (themselves a Great Lost Band) covered Opal. I think that this recording meets the dictionary definition of the word ravishing: “unusually pleasing or striking”. Psychedelic folk at its spaciest; David Roback’s filigree guitar is a thing of wonder. Opal (aka Clay Allison) were a dry-run for the better-known Mazzy Star; it’s a matter of pride to me that Guru Rob A-listed this obscure band’s “Harriet Brown” (...aka Greta Garbo) for RRSA Actors, way back in the Silver Age."
- Shiv

Thea Gilmore - Sol Invictus
More from Shiv: (Musing on the solar theme tin, why don't you nominate Thea Gilmore's "Sol Invictus"? - it would make a very compatible roommate to "Fell From The Sun", and this is exactly the right time of year to be looking to the Sun to rise, rise, rise...).
- Obedient Tin

Topo - Colores
Colores by Topo is from 1982 but has recently found its way back into my collection. It's about taking time to stop, look and notice the colours and other beautiful things that surround us. It's a very simple song with very simple lyrics - It's the colours that make me feel good". It's very simplicity and the "breath of fresh air" lyrics just make me feel happy. The thirty second fade out of repeating chorus is a tad annoying, I know, but this song always manages to cheer me up
- Makinavaja

This is the second in our new S(pill) & M(usic) weekly playlist feature. Next week (email by next Tuesday please) could we have earworms from May1366, CaroleB and Blimpy to get us started. That leaves 3-4 slots for anyone else (open to all) who's got a song to share but doesn't want to do a full post.

As for a name, we can stick with S&M or have another. Shiv came up with Ravin' Faves, the title of a proto-RR column in the old anglophile US fanzine "Trouser Press" back in the 70s/early 80. Then there's more predictable fare like Spill Weekly Playlist.

Sam Amidon - How Come That Blood
Trwbador - Little Lights
Ken Parker - Groovin' In Style (AKA Groovin out on Life
Willard Grant Conspiracy - The Work Song
Opal - Fell From The Sun
Thea Gilmore - Sol Invictus
Topo - Colores

Starting next week, this feature shall be known as the Spill's Earworms of the Week. Anyone with an earworm to contribute can email it with a couple lines of explanation to

happy Burns's Night, Scottish friends!

It is tonight, isn't it? Here's a picture of Isaac not even trying vegetarian haggis. For the record, it turned out very tasty (I cooked it in chard leaves instead of somebody's bladder). Now I'm looking forward to some Laphroaig once the boys are in bed.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Me And The Devil

New Gil Scott-Heron, singing!

The Nilpferd A-listers- The Vocalists

Abahachi kindly pointed out that the Nilpferd A-list tally just hit twenty and that I owe the 'Spill a commemorative post. As I've been pretty quiet recently it seems as good a way as any to poke the hippo snout back into the 'Spill trough, so here goes. Conveniently, the tracks in question sort themselves into fairly obvious categories, so here as the first of four 5-for posts is The Nilpferd A-listers- The Vocalists.

Esther Marrow - Baby, that's what I need (Walk Tall)
Betty Davis - If I'm in luck, I might get picked up
Carmen McRae - Spring can really hang you up the most
Dinah Washington - I used to love you, but it's all over now
Leon Thomas - The Creator has a master plan

Five highly individual singers are represented here, each with a very clear idea of where they stand. If you aren't pepped up by Esther Marrow's motivational efforts, you're probably needing an embalmer, while Betty Davis isn't leaving any doubt about what's motivating her at the moment.
Carmen McRae has had a gutsful of spring and Dinah Washington is washing her hands of her do-no-good lover, not before time.
Faced with the combined might of these four sisters, Leon Thomas borrows Pharaoh Sander's Creator to ensure things will work out in the end, even if we don't have much say in the matter. Just lay back, and let them do their thing...

Bends For 5904 Miles II - The Wilderness Years

(our trophy cabinet)
From the producer, writer and star of the successful 30 Minutes Over Tokyo series ... the award-winning team who brought you the hugely popular Bends For 5904 Miles ... and two-eighths of the epic 'Spillcast ...

They were 2 young men thrown together by an administrator's blunder (probably) and bonded over a shared love of Britpop, obscure indie and alcohol. But the fates that drew them together eventually pushed them apart. Now, see listen to them try to explain to each other what’s happened to their respective record collections in the time they’ve been apart.

You'll laugh*

You'll cry**

You'll frown at the esoteric indie references***

It's Bends For 5904 Miles II - The Wilderness Years!

In this podcast we pick up from where our first podcast ended and discuss our musical tastes during the time since we last went gigging together – the wilderness years.


Podcast II - part 1
Podcast II - part 2

* We laugh, you might not
** You won't cry
*** You will.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Parade - The Fabric


When Chris Johnson left Mostly Autumn at the beginning of 2008 he stated that he was to work on a solo album. In the coming months touring as Fish's second guitarist took up a lot of his time, but when I asked him about his solo project when I met him in York at the end of the year he told me it was still on track, and had some interesting collaborators.

The Fabric is that album. The collaborators turned out to be Panic Room and Mostly Autumn vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Anne-Marie Helder, Mostly Autumn, Panic Room and Fish's drummer Gavin Griffiths, and two of Chris' long-term associates, bassist Patrick Berry and guitarist Simon Snaize, The album also features guest appearances on a few tracks from Heather Findlay, Olivia Sparnenn and Bryan Josh.

This is certainly an album that took me a few listens for this one to click; on the surface it’s an indie-sounding album with it’s sparse chiming guitars and clattering drums; but listen more closely and there’s some real musical depth there. Chris Johnson sings the majority of the lead vocals with Anne-Marie taking a largely supporting role singing harmonies and middle eights, which may disappoint some fans of Anne-Marie's vocals, but this is basically Chris' album.

High spots are many, the menacing-sounding "The Dogs" ending with a lacerating solo from Simon Snaize, "The Diamond" where Anne-Marie makes my heart melt with the line "For a while.. you were mine", and the wonderfully atmospheric "High Life" again featuring some tremendous wordless vocals from Anne-Marie at the end. The album closes with the epic harmony-filled "Ending" perhaps the closest in sound to Chris' work with Mostly Autumn, a connection made stronger with a great solo from Bryan Josh.

Like many self-released prog albums, this was released as a pre-order some time ago, but has a full retail release on Monday 25th January. You can stream some of the music from the band's website,

Grace (Is My) Darling

Grace and her dad rescue another lot of shipwrecked seapersons

I see I've nominated 21 songs so far - but as quite a few have been nommed by me for previous topics I thought I'd give you some different ones this time.

Grace Darling - Norma Waterson
Jesus Christ (With Signs Following) - the Gourds
Little Moses - Joan Baez
Cam Ye O'er Frae France - Steeleye Span
The Ballad Of Davy Crockett - Doug Sahm
The Bonnie Earl o' Moray - Five Hand Reel
Hey Jack Kerouac - 10,000 Maniacs
Napoleon's Dream - Richard Thompson

Questioning Eyes

Breathing Space performing the song Questioning Eyes at Bilston Robin 2 in May last year.

This was the first time they'd performed it live, having laid down the song in the studio only days before. I was in the audience (you may or may not be able to make out the back of my head in the crowd), and I remember congratulating composer Iain Jennings immediately after the show telling him I thought it was as good as anything he's ever written.

Possibly because I know the story behind this song, I find it incredibly moving - it only takes the intro to bring a lump to my throat.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New at the Spill: The weekly S&M playlist

The S&M (Spill & Music) Playlist concept is based on the F&M (Film & Music) Playlist in Fwiday Gwardians, in which half a dozen of their music writers share an earworm.

Might be obscure, might be cool, might be any genre, might be something old, something new, something borrowed or blue.

Here's the first S&M Playlist, from a call for submissions here earlier today. If you've got one for next week, email it with a sentence or two of narrative to Ideas for the series name are welcome too.

Ewan MacColl - The Shoals of Herring
I first heard this years ago while watching a TV programme about trawler fishing. I was still at home with my parents, and I hadn't a clue who sang the song, so I guess I must have been quite young. I never forgot the song, the chorus stuck in my head - it's really evocative (although I have no connections with trawler fishermen, as far as I know). Years later I saw an Ewan MacColl CD in a shop and it had this track on it. I bought the CD on the strength of the track, and I still love it. It ain't trendy, it's not a love song - it's just a great tune, well sung and does what it says on the tin.
- Ali Munday

Neko Case - Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
I've been falling in love with Neko Case recently - even before I discovered what she looks like. This is her beautiful and poignant cover of Tom Waits' "Christmas Card from a H00ker in Minneapolis".
- barbryn

Everclear - Bad Connection
There's not much reason to buy later model Everclear records; as much as I love the band, after awhile even I had heard enough about Art Alexakis' childhood in a broken home. One of his bids to keep the band current despite lineup changes and the limited scope was an album of covers called The Vegas Years. Mostly unispired, there was however this Yaz/Yazoo gem.
- Tin

Salif Keita - Here
I thought of this, from an album I hadn't played for some time and then last week I started playing it again because the G. nominated it as one of the 10 best of the decade. It's Salif Keita's album Moffou and the song is 'Here', lovely gentle song with a great backup chorus.
- goneforeign

Paolo Nutini - Candy
I 'discovered' this last year via the radio as well as hearing a couple of other songs from the Sunny Side Up album. When I got some money in lieu of a Christmas present from my parents (Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm 46 and I'm still relying on money from my parents to go down the shops and treat myself). This is one of the better tracks on a great album.
- gordon immel

Sun Ra - 'Blackman/Love in Outer Space'
from the Space Is The Place (Original Soundtrack) inspired by steenbecks MLK post I re-visited 'Blackman...' insane and brilliant... just a fantastic drumming groove.. enjoy.
- Shane

Where Were You When I Needed You

In what could be a new series in which we blame other 'Spillers for not alerting us to good music, I point my fingers at Snadfrod and Shoey, and any other Band Of Horses enthusiasts for not exposing me to this song.

Detlef Schrempf

Of course I'm sure someone will point me to an earlier 'Spill post, one I possibly commented on, featuring this song...

Northern Social CD update - Webcore's Blues

As you may all have gathered, I don't get much free time. I am finally on my own in the house for more than one hour (oooo-err) and taking the opportunity to do all the 101 things I never get to do like slobbing out with some CDs. Top of the pile was Webcore's Blues from the Northern Social (yes, I know that was 3 months ago, but see above) - and I would just like to say it is superb. I can't find a single track I don't like. So this is just a very brief way to say thank you Webcore, for adding quality to my morning off. Oh, and to post a nice picture of trees.

Better Late Than ....Shoey's Album of the Month Nov & Dec 2009

Catching up with the usual listening backlog. Which of these should be declared Shoey's album of the month(s) for Nov & Dec?. Two winners this time due to my tardiness (T-Boi's Herculean pop series got done 1st - who'd have thunk it?). It's been fun (especially after opening this up for popular vote, rather than just hoisting my picks on you all), does anyone want to keep this thing going or take this "series" on for 2010?
Before Tomorrow
Four Dreams
Liars Ink
Big Brother
Leo Needs A New Pair Of Shoes
Strung Up From the Sky
I Hear Them All

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Red Hot & Riot

I just heard this song on the radio...

That's Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Jorge Ben and Bilal remixing Fela Kuti's Shuffering and Shmiling. Well, a little bit of research showed that it came from the album Red Hot and Riot, which features many many artists remixing and recreating Fela songs. Seems it's from 2002. Did I know about this? How did I not know about this? Seems it may also have been a documentary and a concert. I'm still seeking information. I can't find a lot of the other tracks to listen to, but I like this one a whole lot.

A. A fish

For a re-invigorating twist on Questions of the Week, lets try Answers of the Week. Instead of questions for you to answer, here are your answers. Now what were you asked?

1. Only if no one is watching.
2. That's the elephant in the room, really.
3. Like it? Pfft, I couldn't get past the first chapter.
4. But that's my second favorite organ.
5. I think they'll lose in the World Cup semi final.

Gremlinfc leaves unsettling trail

"A sickening bad-taste exercise". No not me , but one of me fillums which has continued to flummox audiences since it was released in.......(point)
What's its relevance to music? Well...
...theeee freaky song sung by theee Freak (can't say more but Point for the character) has been covered by Bauhaus, Devo, Norma Loy, WC3 (à trois dans les WC), Haus Arafna, Miranda Sex Garden, Annie Christian, John Hasbrouck, Pankow, Pixies, The Sherrysa-Whore, Desolation Yes, Bang Gang, Helios, Donny Who Loved Bowling, Forgotten Sunrise and Tuxedomoon. Indie rockers Modest Mouse borrowed lines from thee song for "Workin' on Leavin' the Livin'", as did the anarcho-punk band Rubella Ballet for their song "Slant and Slide. That's not a bad resumee for a song sung by a freak in a nightmare fillum.
I'll post the song itself when the SpillPoints have been dished out:
1. Fillum(easy)
2. Gremlinfc's character (easy)
3. Character who sings song
4. Who/what is the quote "Oh you ARE sick!" about?
5. What's unusual about the music for the fillum?
...everything is fine, everything is fine.
Of course some people think it's unwatchable , pretentious's mos def weird, whichever viewpoint you take.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

RIP Kate McGarrigle

I consider myself very fortunate to have seen the McGarrigles in concert - just the once - in the late 80's. A gentle performance of intimacy and simplicity. As is sometimes the way with these things, I probably didnt appreciate their performance at the time as much as I should have done. I grew to appreciate their fine music with time and I'm therefore very glad for my one chance to share in their musical company, whatever the circumstances.

The above is actually one of her sister Anna's songs, but it captures their essence (as I remember it) as a duo and as two voices blending into one sweet and timeless sound. Its also a very poignant song at this time which is so touching, I feel it is right to choose it. I'd also like to dedicate this song to RockingMitch and to wish him well once more from us all.

Fat Cat Sampler

Yet more free music! This time from Fatcat Records out of Brighton and featuring perennial Spill favourites such as Nina Nastasia, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Frightened Rabbit etc..

Just have to sign up for a newsletter to get it:

Joe Strummer

I posted the Tennors - Ride Your Donkey down the way, here. Mr. Steenbeck started singing along, and said, we have Joe strummer singing that. I think this is beautiful. (Big Joe Strummer fan...)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Congratulations to an RR contributor!

Another prog band have had to replace their singer in the new year, Also Eden. Their new singer is none other than Rich Harding, sometime contributor to Readers Recommend under pseudonym of AfraidOfSunlight, the other person apart from me who continually nominated Marillion songs only to find Dorian never A-listed them:

Rich Harding has been singing live since 1985, fronting bands as diverse as The Allnight Chemists (space rock), Sane (prog) and Twisted (heavy metal). For the last few years he has also been performing with a number of successful Marillion "tribute" bands, in the UK and on the continent (Misplaced Neighbourhood, Lords of the Backstage and Skyline Drifters). His voice is very different to Huw’s - but he has power, energy and enthusiasm and we know he’s going to make a huge impact on the band’s sound this year.
I'm sure everyone on The 'Spill will offer their congratulations!

Thank you, Mr. Jarmusch

Earl Bostic - Up There in Orbit

Irma Thomas - It's Raining

Screamin Jay Hawkins - I Put a Spell on You
TW - Jockey Full of Bourbon
TW - Tango Til They're Sore
Little Junior's Blue Flames - Mystery Train
Otis Redding - Pain in My Heart
Rufus Thomas - Memphis Train
The Bar-Kays - Soul FInger
TW - Back in the Good Old World
TW - Good Old World (Waltz)
TW - On the Other Side of the World
Willie Williams - Armagideon Time
RZA - Flying BIrds
RZA - Fast Shadow
RZA - Samurai Theme
The Tennors - Ride Your Donkey
Mulatu Astatke - Yekermo Sew
Tegelle Tezeta

Everybody knows I love the films of Jim Jarmusch. Well, a big part of that is the music that he picks. I've learned about a lot of music that's very important to me now through his films. So I wanted to share a few. I've probably posted a lot of these before, but I like them all together. I added a few videos for context and because I don't actually own Neil Young's Dead Man soundtrack. And I don't have anything from the new film, which seemed to be a lot of Sunn ((()))). Don't really know how to spell that.

Anybody else have music they first met in a good movie?


It's Martin Luther King day here in America. I can't post Nina Simone every year, and for some reason this song just stuck in my head today when I was thinking about what the day means. Probably mostly for the line "A lot of things have changed, A lot of things have not."

But it's not just that. It contains a healthy dose of conspiracy theory paranoia, which I think fits.

But mostly it's because I'm overwhelmed when I think MLK's courage in the face of known danger - his sense of a bigger purpose.

All over the world hearts pound with the rhythm
Fear not of men because men must die
Mind over matter and soul before flesh
Angels for the pain keep a record in time
which is passin and runnin like a caravan freighter
The world is overrun with the wealthy and the wicked
But God is sufficient in disposin of affairs
Gunmen and stockholders try to merit your fear
But God is sufficient over plans they prepared

Well, I'm sure it's not perfect for the occasion, but it's what I've been thinking about today.

Did Anybody Mention Boy Bands?

I often have great difficulty knowing what to post on here. I don't seem to own a single piece of music that isn't already known to everybody else, whilst the majority of music I listen to comes from local bands playing live - not exactly conducive to posting on t'Spill. But when it comes to boy bands...
Boys2Rock play very loud guitar, are friends of friends, thoroughly nice guys and - after all those shredding chicks - welcome eye candy for the 'Spill-ettes (sorry the pic is so very small, ladies). Their entire repertoire consists of motherfuckin' boyband songs!
There are a couple of videos on youtube, but the quality is appalling, so I'll just link you over to their myspace presence where you can listen to a medley; obviously it's not comparable to seeing them live (especially when there's good beer on tap).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

WARNING: may contain mild peril

I'd better try and sleep now - I've been fighting with my computer for hours trying to put this up - everyone grab a pillow to cuddle.. it's saneshanes not really that unsettling playlist.. all together now, squeeze my hand and press play:
1 Tunng :
We were playing in the lakes behind my folk place when I was eight years old. I was a good diver (but crap swimmer)
I went down deep and found a car.
Second dive I got to the windscreen and thought I saw something.
Third dive I picked out the wide eyed stares of the two occupants.
(the papers said they’d been having an affair and made a lovers pact to drive the car right in - they’d been missing three months according to my parents)
I could still draw their faces to this day 30 odd years later.
Pool Beneath The pond

2 Wild Beasts :
Dancing cock down by his knees – yikes indeed.
Two Dancers

3 De Rosa :
what do I quote – it all sounds sinister.. who have you got under the stairs? – enjoy!
Under The Stairs

4 Sister Suvi :
This reminds me of some great Goth tracks – don’t let them stumble through my bedroom door.. please.

5 Emiliana Torrini :
“a bottle of your blood inside me”
she purred I grrrrrrrrrrrreeeuuuuuuuuuurd.
(and inspired an entire blood playlist)
Beggar’s Prayer

6 The Organ:
I floated up to the ceiling and spied on the front house when I was a student.. when I came down I was laying in a bed of broken glass.. three days later the doctors had calmed my head with awful pills and I didn’t do any artwork for years.. I dislike those doctors to this day…
Oh What a Feeling
..and that takes us to:
7 Butcher Boy:
I couldn’t dream (or sleep) and bizarrely, not dreaming is my biggest nightmare.
When I'm Asleep

8 Buddy Wakefield :
(And really don’t like the word hate).
Healing Herman Hesse

9 Wolfgang Press:
I’ve got a thing about blood.. think it’s possibly quite useful, glad it’s about… but the smallest cut and I bleed like a fountain.. vampires love me.
Blood Satisfaction

it’s weird to start with, then gets a Board Of Canada Remix, if I was going for real unsettling I’d just play a Board Of Canada album… (I did used to go to sleep with them playing… but my dreams ended up too odd even for me)
Dead Dogs Two (Board Of Canada Remix)

11 Hector Zazou:
this is just lovely and stays just the right side of creepy atmospherics, if you get what I mean..
Symphony of Ghosts

12 The Accidental:
This is just stalkerish.. disguised as sweetness.
The lights on the stereo are darstardlies I’m sure.. their eyes glow.. they break your legs WHAT!
Knock Knock

13 Buddy Wakefield:
Nine generations back my grandmother was the first female Methodist preacher (or something – keep up.. it’s story time)
– this gives me flashbacks –
– why oh why did I do all the fire and brimstone
– all I wanted was the crack.
Fran Varian's Grandmother

14 David Shane Smith:
Wait for 3 odd minutes in, just brilliantly angled.. nervous systems getting nervous right on.. on the edge of my seat eventually.

15 Pixies:
Did I mention the blood thing.. oddly sexy.
(you might have to turn it up…. BLOODY WELL TURN IT UP)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Heather Leaves Mostly Autumn

Heather Findlay

Sometimes a bombshell comes completely out of the blue.

As everyone on The Spill knows, I'm a huge fan of York progressive rock band Mostly Autumn. I've even managed to persuade CaroleBristol to see them on their last tour.

Late on Thursday night came the news that Heather Findlay is leaving the band to concentrate of a solo career. I'm still trying to come to terms with it. I'm completely devastated in a way people for whom music is background wallpaper or a once-a-year trip to an enormodome will never be able to understand, but I'm sure plenty of 'Spill regulars who have been hardcore fans of any band will have been there.

I first saw Mostly Autumn live at Jillys in Manchester back in 2004, and have seem them 40-odd times since, 30 of those in the past three years. Their music has changed my life over the past few years in ways I could never have anticipated, and helped me through some difficult times in my life.

There's just something uniquely magical about Mostly Autumn's live shows; no other band is quite like it for me. Seeing another great band live is like visiting an exotic location on holiday, seeing Mostly Autumn feels like coming home. I've made so many great friends through Mostly Autumn fandom it feels like an extended family.

Although I've only met Heather a handful of times, she has always treated me like a personal friend.

Mostly Autumn are to continue, with their backing vocalist Olivia Sparnenn taking over on lead vocals. The knock on effect of that is that Olivia will be leaving her own band, Breathing Space, another great band I've seen almost as many times as Mostly Autumn, and who now face an uncertain future.

The absolutely electrifying live shows in 2009 meant Heather's time with Mostly Autumn ended on a high. She will be playing one last farewell show with the band, at The Assembly in Leamington Spa on Good Friday, April 2nd. I've already got my ticket.

ToffeeBoy In Da Hood

I'm sure you all remember the jazz post I did last year and that you've all bookmarked the page so that you can refer back to it as and when you need to.


Well, nevermind. Here I give you the second episode of this occassional series which revels in the excitingly snappy title Regular 'Spillers Post Music That You Wouldn't Really Expect From Them, Knowing Their Musical Tastes A Bit As You Do*.

This time, I'm posting a few of my favourite rap/hip-hop ... errr ... favourites. I'm sure they're all painfully mainstream for all the homeboys (and girls) who love this sort of stuff but what the hey. And for those who are unconvinced of the merits of rap/hip-hop (and if these are actually two different animals then I apologise) this could provide an easy way in. Or not. Who knows? Or, indeed, cares?

Say No Go
Fight The Power
Mr Wendal
Ms Jackson
Can I Kick It?
I Wish
Gravel Pit
Jump Around
Lose Yourself
Television, The Drug Of The Nation

* We came up with lots of ideas for similar themes last time out - none of which have materialised. Pull thy fingers out, please.


Puppet Life
The Unsleep Part 1
Don't Argue
Fly Me To New York
Porno Bass

Asbestos Lead Asbestos
Until the Morning Comes
Long Time Man
Marduk T-Shirt Men's Room Incident
Pleasantly Disturbed

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Whither The Space Age? aka Where's My Jetpack, Eh?

Now, I would never normally consider re-posting anything from Vice Magazine's Dos and Don'ts; it's just that the accompanying description of this photo concurred with my lament that the Space Age I was promised in 2010 hasn't really arrived. . .

"If there's one thing 2010 clears out, I hope it's all the fake nostalgia for "e'ers longe gone" and wearing ratty compilation outfits that make you look like a time-travelling street urchin. Let's make this the year humans finally start dressing our age."

New MIA & Stuff

Plus, there's new-ish Reflection Eternal mixtape here.

RIP Teddy Pendergrass

RIP Jay Reatard

Jay Reatard has died, age 29. There's a detailed story about him here.

The above video is one of his poppier moments, but he's probably best remembered for his uncompromising garage rock, prolific output, and dedication to the music he made. RIP.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anyone Been To "Norway"?

Hey 'Spillers,

Beach House have their new single Norway as a free download just now.

It's popstatistic, and you may like it if you like any of the following bands: Bat For Lashes, Fleetwood Mac, and um Beach House.

I always used to like it when Beach House came on my ipod.


'Spill Birthday Quiz

Desirable, but not so valuable, 'Spill points to name that two tune & who tuned it too.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chicks who, um, KEY!!!

Chicks Who Shred: The Final!!!

So, bringing to an end, the very very exciting series that has been Chick Who Shred, it's final time!

Facing off are The Breeders, who destroyed all who crossed them on the way through. A late underdog contender The Bangles, and not forgetting this year's last minute wild card entry from Elastica (who I had unfairly forgotton about until now).

Which one is the best? Who shreds the hardest? Who is the most badass?

Who is your winner?

Golden Shred

Here's my favorite (unsung) female shredder: Monica Queen

You Tube serves her very poorly at the moment. Perhaps a little more interest will change this. Some still remember her for lifting 'Lazy Line Painter Jane' (Belle and Sebastian) up to a higher level, but her band (Thrum) are now pretty much forgotten. Sad in my view.

She's still out there, bless her. Not so shreddie, but just as good. The campaign to resurrect the career of Monica Queen (and Thrum) starts here. I wish.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hey, Chris, what are the chords in this?

I've posted this before, so nobody has to bother listening unless they think they can tell me what the chords are. I want to try to play it on my guitar, and I'm no good at figuring that stuff out. I know Chris is, though, and I suspect some other 'Spillers are as well. Thank you.

Funked up

Hi Hats going Tss Tss Tss.

Wah Wah.


Brass stabs.

Bass guitar doing that bbboinggg thang.

Put on your Ejaydee frown, people- it's time to get funked up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Somebody to Love

Strangest thing. I have two obsessions at the moment...Tommy Johnson and Ken Parker. And they both have songs called Somebody to Love, or something close to that. I like how Johnson's song breaks into something close to a yodel. And I just love Ken Parker. I guess it's that falsetto thing connecting them as well.

I guess it's not that strange. Wanting someone to love is a fairly common human need that finds it's way into music fairly often.

CWS - Semi Final 2!! Nearly done!


For a chance to meet the frankly indestructable Breeders in the final of CWS, it's the unlikely face-off between the Bangles and Bikini Kill - there's some full on guitar action in both tunes; but which one is the best??

(and don't worry, 'spillers - this series is only one more post from being finished...)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

You've All Been Very Patient, And Finally...

I’ve been a bit wary of speaking at formal occasions ever since I disgraced myself by welcoming everyone to my wedding, something Mrs Abahachi still appears not to have forgiven me for twelve years later, but nevertheless it gives me great pleasure to introduce the much-coveted glittering prizes and career-wrecking notices of disapproval that are the Over Awards 2010. As voted for by a random selection of regular contributors to the ’Spill, and then fixed by yours truly in the absence of any clear winner...

Our first segment could be entitled ‘How was it for you?’, a look back at the people and events that marked 2009. It seems typical of the communal atmosphere of the ’Spill that many people were happy to admit that they saw this in very personal terms; so nominations for Villain of the Year include ToffeeBoy’s soon-to-be-ex-Head of Department (“yes, I mean you, you penny-pinching, soulless heap of crap!”) and Events of the Year included AliMunday’s half century, Abahachi winning a research grant, CaroleBristol escaping redundancy and the debut performance of THE BOX, featuring debbym’s TheBoyWonder. On the sporting front we have Tottenham Hotspur’s 9-1 defeat of Wigan (May 1366) and the first twenty-five seconds of the FA Cup Final (TB), while Thierry Henri only narrowly missed the top slot for Chief Villain. Inevitably, however, the winners come from the worlds of politics and economics that continue to shape our lives in largely but not entirely depressing ways...

Event of the Year: 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall: an unforgettable series of exhibitions , films , gigs etc., commemorating a historic event now alien to a generation of youngsters from all over the world - education please! (thanks to gremlinfc)

Villains of the Year: reckless, greedy bankers (i.e. most of them, with an honourable exception, as debbym pointed out, being the Sparkasse employee who started redistributing wealth to those in need...), and the politicians who sucked up to them.

Hero of the Year, for all you incurable optimists, and Norwegians: Barack Obama.

Secondly, we come to the section for miscellaneous non-musical culture. Very little consensus in the book category – several recommendations for Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, but since that’s now thirty years old I’m not sure I’m going to allow it – so I’m going to leave this as a list of recommended reading: Dakota by Martha Grimes; From Right-Wing to B-Wing : from Premier League to Prison by Mark Ward; The World According to Garp by John Irving; 2666 by Roberto Bolano; Heliopolis by James Scudamore; Tom Holt's popular history Millennium; If the Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr; Thanks For Nothing by Jack Dee and The Baader Meinhof Complex by Stefan Aust.

We have at least been watching some of the same films, so that we have a genuine competition:

4: Away We Go (2 votes, but since it’s Blimpy and Mrs Blimpy it gets beaten by...)
3. Synecdoche New York (2 votes)
2. Star Trek (3 votes, but since one of them is Mrs Abahachi our winner is...)
1. Let The Right One In (“A swedish vampire film for people who don't like a) swedish films or b) vampire films or indeed c) films. Actually people who c) don't like films will hate it. Oh, well.” (magicman))

Next up we have the People’s Choice section. Obviously that doesn’t mean that the People had anything to do with the choice; just like Birthday Honours for lollipop ladies and teachers, this is all about a shadowy elite making a few populist gestures...

The GremlinFC Hunk of the Year Award,for his renewed hunkiness in one of the year's low-level great fillums, goes to ....GEORGE CLOONEY!

Double-Act of the Year: even though one of them had clearly imprisoned the other in a dungeon and forced him to communicate his love of obscure indie through a speaking tube, it can only be JAPANTHER and SATANKIDNEYPIE!

The Way of the Hippo Lotus Flower on Pond for Peace and Harmony

The Godlike Genius Award for Services to the ’Spill: yet again, it’s BLIMPY McFLAH!

And that brings us at last to the music awards. I don’t know if Snadfrod had a similar problem last year, but we all seem to have been listening to completely different things, so there’s almost no overlap at all in our votes. Stand by, therefore, for some disorganised lists...

Rediscoveries: I’m tempted to suggest that I should win this one, for somehow managing to ignore Mogwai until this year. Other, rather less embarrassing rediscoveries, include: Corb Lund: Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!; Clifford Brown: The Ultimate Collection; Paul Butterfield Blues Band: East/West; Azure Ray: Azure Ray; Boy Hits Car: Boy Hits Car; Malcom Middleton: A Brighter Beat; Barry Adamson: Oedipus Schmoedipus; John Coltrane: A Love Supreme; Kip Hanrahan: Tenderness; The Beta Band: Best Of; Bellowhead: Burlesque.

The Overcooked Award, for ‘could try harder’: some controversial suggestions here... Bob Dylan (“I can't get beyond the voice and the downright misery of it all (yes, I know I'm a Smiths fan) - I'm sure there's a reason that so many 'Spillers are so keen on him but I can't see it myself - a touch of the Emperor's New Clothes as far as I'm concerned” – ToffeeBoy). Van Morrison (“He has been trading water for the last two decades. I am beginning to think that he is never going to release anything decent again.” – Carole.) Florence & the Machine, Animal Collective and Thea Gilmore all got nominated as well, but the winner – if only for the eloquence of the put-down – is Beyonce Knowles (“She's been responsible for four or five epoch-making records but currently doing half as much as ever before with twice as many 'personas'” – May1366).

Which brings us finally to Album of the Year, and the winner is...EVERYBODY! I’m going to take the optimistic view that it’s a good sign that no single album or artist got more than one vote, as clearly there was so much great music out there last year; we all listened to completely different things and yet we all still get along – how cool is that? Yes, I could have fiddled the results (how would you know that I was the only person who really adored Fever Ray?) or exercised a casting vote (but would I have supported Prefab Sprout for the quality of the record, or the back story, or the fact that Toffee was really helpful with some genealogical queries last year?), but no: here, my friends, in alphabetical order, are (some of) the Albums of the Year:

Doves: Kingdom of Rust
Fairport Convention: Live at Cropredy ‘08
Fever Ray: Fever Ray
The Horrors: Primary Colours
King Creosote: Flick The Vs
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba: I Speak Fula
La Brassbanda: Uebersee
Micachu & The Shapes: Jewellery
Prefab Sprout: Let’s Change the World with Music
Royskopp: Junior
Tom Russell - Blood & Candle Smoke
Oumou Sangare – Seya
White Denim: Fits
Withered Hand: Good News

Thank you and goodnight!