Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Jim Morrison

American States # 37 Louisiana

The Walkmen, one of the best and most underrated bands of the last twenty years. At their best they capture the moment when the human heart is about to break. As here!

Thirty Days of C-86 # 24 The Railway Children

The Railway Children were pushed for a while in 1986 as some big new guitar hope. They never quite fulfilled the claims of those supporting them, but this, their first single, still sounds fine.

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 719 Buck Owens

Song of the Day 1,011 Goldfrapp

Goldfrapp are back. With this as the forerunner for their seventh album, Silver Eye, due out at the end of March. It's the cool, futurist disco thing they've done before, but hey, they do it very well!

Monday, January 23, 2017

1,100 Days, 1,100 Songs, 1,100 Artists

1,001 - Marching Church
1,002 - Dave Dudley
1,003 - PragVec
1,004 - Higher Authorities
1,005 - Cabbage
1,006 - Kikagu Moyo
1,007 - Agnes Obel
1,008 - Xylouris White
1,009 - Geneva
1,010 - Prefab Sprout
1,011 - Miracle Sweepstakes
1,012 Phyllis Dixon
1,013 - Lambchop
1,014 - Les Big Byrd
1,015 - Kim Yung Mi
1,016 - Alan Price
1,017 - Claude Nougaro
1,018 - Helado Negro
1,019 - Little Green Cars
1,020 - Sacred Paws
1,021 - Petite Meller
1,022 - Grass Widow
1,023 - Nelcy Sedibe
1,024 - Gold Class
1,025 - Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions
1,026 - Mutual Benefits
1,027 - Silver Apples
1,028 - Chicken Shack
1,029 - Tom Robinson Band
1,030 - Sufjan Stevens
1,031 - Five Man Electrical Band
1,032 - Nino Ferrer
1,033 - She Devils
1,034 John Moreland
1,035 StarBenders
1,036 -  Hinds
1,037 Hurling Piss
1,038 - Joanna Newsom
1,039 - Witch
1,040 - Frightened Rabbit
1,041 - Writing on the Wall
1,042 - Go Sailor
1,043 - Taraf de Haidouks
1,044 - Del Byzanteens
1,045 - Quintessence
1,046 - Juaneco y Su Combo
1,047 - Marmalade
1,048 - Catavento
1,049 - Night Manager
1,050 - The Four Vagabonds
1,051 - P.P. Arnold
1,052 Holly McVae
1,053 - Human Switchboard
1,054 Johnny Fritz
1,055 - Marlon Williams
1,056 - Antena
1,057 - Paul Simon
1,058 - Hoops
1,059 - Blind Willie Johnson
1,060 - Marvin Gardens
1,061 - Buffy Saint Marie
1,062 - The Nuns
1,063 - Nap Eyes
1,064 - James & Bobby Purify
1,065 - John D. Loudermilk
1,066 - Doug Tuttle
1,067 - Bent Shapes
1,068 - Peter doherty
1,069 - Street Chant
1,070 - Oh Pep!
1,071 - Johnny Ray
1,072 - Wham!
1,073 - The New Lines
1,074 - Billy Paul
1,075 - Los Dug Dugs
1,076 - Froth
1,077 - Debbie Reynolds
1,078 - The Real Numbers
1,079 - Faine Jade
1,080 - Deerful
1,081 - 39 Clocks
1,082 - Washboard Sam
1,083 - Marcos Valle
1,084 - The Vapors
1,085 - The Rings
1,086 - Dama Scout
1,087 - Burl Ives
1,088 - Happyness
1,089 - The Alessi Brothers
1,090 - Martin Stephenson & the Daintees
1,091 Carsick Cars
1,092 - The Flaming Lips
1,093 - The Molochs
1,094 - The Trashcan Sinatras
1,095 - Savoy Motel
1,096 - Adam Torres
1,097 Wells Fargo
1,098 - Vladimir Vysotsky
1,099 - Chunky
1,100 - Khadja Bonet

Jaki Liebezeit 1938 - 2017

          I listened to Tago Mago today on the day that the death of Jaki Liebezeit was announced. It's a remarkable document from a great band who were responsible for any number of them and Liebezeit was always their beating pulse and heart. A great loss to music!

Thirty Days of C-86 # 23 A.R.Kane

A.R.Kane went on to become a lot more experimental and leftfield with time. In 1986 they were clearly under the spell of the Jesus & Mary Chain and came up with this.

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 720 Buck Owens

Song(s) of the Day # 1,100 Kadhja Bonet

An album from last year that was full of that wonderful early seventies silky, space-age soul of Minnie Riperton and Marvin Gaye. Kadhja Bonet's The Visitor. Well worth a listen! 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

January 22nd 1931 Sam Cooke

Songs Heard on the Radio # 180 Belle Gonzalez

Came out as a single in 1972 on Columbia records. It's wonderful! I can tell you no more on this particular story however than I can about Chunky!

Vinyl Purchases Manfred Mann

And to make it three, another re-post of my review of their '65 record Mann-Made.

Vinyl Purchases # 21 Manfred Mann

Wednesday 24th June. £5.00. RPM Records, Newcastle

I didn't wake up this morning thinking I'd end the day with a Manfred Mann record. Well you don't, do you? The whole of my mouth numb from a dentist's filling I wandered down the hill to RPM at midday, one of four record shops in Newcastle and possibly the best. This was playing on one of the great antique players at the back of the shop. Sounded great, I exchanged a few words with the owner and now I have it.

Manfred Mann to me generally epitomise the slightly drippy, side of the beat band sixties scene but I can see I've slightly misjudged them. They're a tight band, quite thoughtful at points here and I imagine would have played a good set in a dark, sweaty night club. 

They play a number of covers here, Since I Don't Have YouThe Way You Do The Things You Do, Stormy Monday,You Don't Know Me some great instrumentals and some originals, spread across the band, particularly L.S.D. (pounds, shillings and pence, not hallucinogenics), from guitarist Tom McGuiness, the best thing on here, along with You're For Me where they really let rip. L.S.D. was the track playing as I came in and it persuaded me to buy the record. Worth having a copy with McGuiness's extensive sleeve notes explaining the making of the record.

It's a neat record. Perhaps that's a dated description but it seems to fit here. It's also tasteful. There's some poppy stuff, but no Doo Wah Diddy, or Pink Flamingo to spoil the mood. I like it! I like it! Oh no, not one of theirs.

Covers # 69 Manfred Mann

And while we're with the Manfreds and Dylan here's them doing Just Like a Woman which hit the British Top Ten and fell just shy of the American Top 100 in 1966.

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 721 Manfred Mann

Songs About People # 281 Bobby Fischer

Song for the  tragic chess genius. One of the most famous people in the world in the early seventies and an object lesson in the inherent perils of all consuming obsession. This, from Tik Tok, played over the closing credits of  2011 documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World.

Thirty Days of C-86 # 22 Bogshed

Bogshed were one of the more abrasive bands on the C-86. Hailing from Hebden Brige there was no discernible Byrds or Orange Juice influence in their sound whatsoever although it's reasonable to suggest they might have had their heads turned by a few Fall records.

Song(s) of the Day # 1,099 Chunky

Ridiculously infectious Glam, (blatant Spirit in the Sky, Son of My Father and Get It On steals and all) from 1973. I can tell you nothing about Chunky or Albatross Baby and Road Runner Girl except they didn't make the charts, when they clearly should have done. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Songs About People # 280 Edwyn Collins

            Edwyn Collins deserves a song on this list. And he actually has a rather fine one courtesy of Gentleman! a Polish band singing in one of the most emotive languages I know.

Thirty Days of C-86 # 21 The Wolfhounds

The Wolfhounds were a little tighter and more acerbic than most of the C-86 bands. Here is perhaps their most well known and best moment.

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 722 Stevie Wonder

Song(s) of the Day #1,098 Vladimir Vysotsky

Vladimir Vysotsky, an incredible figure in Russian musical and cultural history. Something akin to their Jaques Brel. Here's just one song from his recorded legacy.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thirty Days of C-86 # 20 The Servants

A band that spawned Luke Haines, named after the splendid Dirk Bogarde/ James Fox sixties film. This was their own wonderful C-86 moment!

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 723 Joe Tex

Song(s) of the Day #1,097 Wells Fargo

Band from Zimbabwe, (at that point officially Rhodesia) and the early seventies. I was actually there, though as I was five, was quite oblivious of course to the existence of Wells Fargo. Their message is clear, they're calling for change and it's little wonder they were victims of censorship from the white political regime of the time.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Song(s) About People # 279 Billy Chidish

What could be more 'modern' than Billy Childish?  With a group of his own, Thee Headcoats and a sister group called Thee Headcoatees for whom he writes many of their songs including one, (at least one), in tribute to himself. Here it is!

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 724 The Isley Brothers

January 19th 1935 Johnny O'Keefe

Thirty Days of C-86 # 19 Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes

One of my own particular favourites from this year. Perfect, in it's own small-formed way.

William Onyeabor 1945-2017

Song(s) of the Day #1,096 Adam Torres

I spent much of yesterday listening to Pearls to Swine the quite extraordinary record by Adam Torres from 2016. It's Torres's second album, ten years on from his debut Nostra Nova. In the meantime he's been out in the wide world working in nine to fives as most of the rest of us do, but also working on his art. And it's time very well spent because Pearls to Swine is the most beautiful new record I didn't get round to hearing last year.

It has that hard-earned stillness, sparseness and purity that only the very best singer-songwriters tap their way into. Think Townes Van Zandt. Think Leonard Cohen. Think Nick Drake. Think John Martyn. Think Tim Buckley. Yes, it's really that good! Torres, begins the album, with Juniper Arms with an incredibly high-pitched falsetto swoon but settles down from that moment on for the most part onto a spectral plateau of spiritual wonder. It's a thing of beauty!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Johnny Cash - Man in Black

One in an ongoing, occasional series. From the work of a Brazilian artist named Butcher Billy, one of the very finest working in this medium. More here.

Songs About People # 278 Ron Asheton

What this underplayed jazzy instrumental has to do with the Stooges legend is anyone's guess. But he deserves a song!

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 725 Rufus featuring Chaka Khan

January 18th 1941 David Ruffin

Thirty Days of C-86 # 18 The Pastels

To some extent father figures of this scene. A single they released in 1986.

Song(s) of the Day # 1,095 Savoy Motel

I've held back from posting Savoy Motel on here since they emerged a few months ago as there's a fairly distinct whiff of hype about them. Coming out of Nashville, Tennessee they have a resolutely retro element to their sound. They're utterly mired in the seventies in terms of their sound, the way they dress and the look of their videos. They might almost be torn out, lock stock and barrel, of an episode of The Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family.

But listening through to their self titled debut album from last year yesterday for the first time in its entirety I got a different impression. It made me recall Dazed & Confused, one of the very best Pop Culture movies ever made. Set on the last day of the school of a High School in Austin Texas it follows a group of disparate students and is soundtracked for the most part by a set of songs of the sort of heavy rock songs which Savoy Motel draw on strongly for their sound.

But there are two tracks on the OST which hint at a bigger picture. Dr. John's Right Place, Wrong Time and War's Low Rider. And Savoy Motel understand this aspect of Southern Rock. They have the funk. It bleeds consistently across the record. So, four months or so after my initial reservations, I give them the thumbs up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Songs About People # 277 Link Wray

Utterly ludicrous tribute to the late great Wray from Valencia's Way Y Los Arrrghs. This is completely typical of what they do, very much in the spirit of legendary sixties Peruvian garage pioneers Los Saicos.

January 17th 1948 Mick Taylor

Thirty Days of C-86 # 17 Felt

The C-86 had a few, 'stars in their own heads' and Lawrence from Felt was probably the greatest of them. This single from 1986 was probably his and their signature. An admission that perhaps everything he'd ever dreamed of was never destined to come to pass. A beautiful melody and lyric, all pulling out of one station and into another in just shy of three minutes.

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 726 The Easybeats

Song of the Day # 1,094 The Trashcan Sinatras

Pure early Aztec Camera but wonderful for all that. The debut single from Glasgow's Trashcan Sinatras which came out on Go! Discs records in 1990.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Things Found on my Local's Jukebox # 181 Donovan

I do try to provide continuity on this particular narrative but it's not always easy. Tonight for example, when I wanted to play a Donovan song to play after the previous post. But one of the latest additions to Rosie's community, a middle aged Chinese guy from Hong Kong was in the pub and chose to drown out this particular moment from Donovan's most hippie dippy period with his own very loud telephone conversation. Still, the conversation ended and he then proceeded to buy me a beer and  invited me to a family bash at Rosie's on Sunday so I guess it all came out in the wash.

Songs About People # 276 Donovan

From Pills 'n' Thrills & Bellyaches. No clear reference in the lyrics to the elfin troubadour!

Thirty Days of C-86 # 16 Jasmine Minks

Jasmine Minks were the most Mod and Soul influenced band on the early Creation roster. Here's their single from 1986.

January 16th 1970 Brendan O'Hare

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 727 The Bangles

My first girlfriend at university had the words of this song written on a poster on the wall of her room in different coloured crayons. She was truly lovely, and naturally, I fell for her.

Song(s) of the Day # 1,093 The Molochs

The Molochs have a great little record, neatly entitled America's Velvet Glory, to welcome in the new year. The album is drenched with the sounds and sensibility of sixties Garage punk but is sufficiently infused with love of the tradition they're drawing on and understanding of its poetic yet snotty sensibility and rebellious spirit to be much more than mere pastiche.

In the words of leader Lucas Fitzsimons, ' We love 60's music and certain aesthetics about it. But a lot of our favourite music from the '70s up to the present day is by bands that were also heavily influenced by music from the 60s - Nikki Sudden & the Jacobites, The Clean from New Zealand, the Go-Betweens from Australia, the Only Ones from England.'

The Molochs themselves take on the role of 'go-betweens' on America's Velvet Glory. We're familiar with this stuff but there's more than sufficient songcraft, energy and driven love here to earn themselves a place at the table. Taking their name from Allen Ginsberg's Howl, which he used as a metaphor against capitalism and its unrelenting grip on the human spirit. Fitzsimons again: 'It was only over time that I realised how the concept of Moloch as seen through Ginsberg's eyes and also the film Metropolis really represents my views on the world and human culture, modern society. I wanted a really basic name, but I guess now it carries more of philosophical value. It feels more timeless in a way.'

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Songs Heard on the Radio # 179 Clancy Eccles

John Cooper Clarke serving up his fine, eclectic selection while substituting for Jarvis Cocker on 6 Music this afternoon. Including this...

Songs About People # 275 Marilyn Monroe

I don't generally post this kind of thing here but Pharrell does this light pop thing pretty much better than anyone else.