Friday, 15 December 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

In response to SA's week of German themed posting this week, here is a bit of early Teutonic Trance from 1992, I say trance I would place it more in the progressive house camp. I love this track from the icy spoken word vocals, the throbbing beat and the swirling analogue keyboards. Don't know anything about the three producers of this track apart from that they are German and that this was released on the German off shoot of Rough Trade Records, Rough mix. I'm not sure that I really need to know anything else really.

Cruelly robbed of a deserved, memorable win over Raith Rovers by a stoppage time equaliser, Airdrie are away at the national stadium tomorrow for a tough game against bottom side Queen's Park who are in desperate need of some points. Let's hope that the Airdrie Young Team play like they did last Sunday but without conceding late on but with this league you never know which makes it so interesting if somewhat frustrating.

Have a good weekend people.

Fruits Of The Paradise - A Man Like You 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Tracks of My Year

Yip it's back, the most self-indulgent post of the year, the new tracks by which I mean the ones released over the past 12 months that I have been playing the most and are therefore my favourites of the year. This list does not include any of the garage/psych which I really got back into this year and if the truth be told became slightly obsessed with. It is about time that somebody wrote a trainspotter type book regarding this music but I digress.

Back to 2017 then, in the previous eight years that I have compiled this list only one person has featured on every one and it would be incredibly stupid of me if I missed him out this year.  In fact he has been so prolific that he could have filled half of this table easily but I limited Mr Weatherall's contributions to five, one original and four remixes which proved to be an extremely difficult task. Jamie xx/The xx only missed the first year and that was due to my late bandwagon jumping with them that didn't happen until early 2010 but a remix by Jamie xx of his band ensures their entry this year. As for the top spot, I honestly cannot decide between either of these instrumental Wedding Present tracks, one day Northern Ireland is the one, with its frantic tempo that eventually slows and then those wonderful horns, just about perfect and the next it's the almost mournful beginning of Scotland that grabs me and keeps me enthralled til the end and sends me home with that familiar feeling of almost glorious defeat that anybody that follows the national team can identify with, wonderful stuff. Even the Mick Head album hasn't spent as long on the turntable as this 12" single but that is due to the Home International ep coming out in April whereas Adios Senor Pussycat was the middle of October.

I would like to make special mention to Elizabeth Morris' new project Elva. Tailwind has such a beautiful laid back vibe but why is Morris not the lead voca

1.  The Wedding Present -  - Northern Ireland/Scotland
3.  Kamasi Washington - Truth
4.  Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band - What's The Difference (it could be any or all the tracks)
5.  The Jesus and Mary Chain - Always Sad
6.  Elva - Tail Wind
7.  The Regrettes - Seashore
8.  Phil Kieran Find Love (Weatherall mix)
9.  K.H. - ?
10. Mogwai - Crossing The Road Material
11. Hannah Peel - The Planet of Passed Souls
12. Mark Lanegan - Beehive (Andrew Weatherall mix)
13. Meursault - I Will Kill Again
14. Sister John - The Sweetest Moment
15. Go Home Productions - Girl Wants (To Say Goodbye To) Rock n Roll
16, Afghan Whigs - Arabian Heights
17. Nick & Brit - I Try
18, Siobhan Wilson - Whatever Helps
19. Bicep - Glue
20. Four Tet - SW9 9SL
21. Andrew Weatherall - Between Stations
22. The Charlatans - Different Days (Chris & Cosey mix)
23. The xx - On Hold (Jamie xx remix)
24. Luxembourg Signal - Laura Palmer
25. D_troit - Soul Sound System
26. Brian Jonestown Massacre - Groove Is In The Heart
27. Early Years - Fluxus (Xam remix)
28. Armando - 100% Dissin' You (Chabia + Jeff Solo edit)
29. Nomad - Devotion (Pangaea edit)
30. Jagwar Ma - Give Me A Reason (Michael Mayer Does The Amoeba mix)
31. The Just Joans - No Longer Young Enough
32. Best Picture - Isabelle
33. Night Beats - - Sunday Mourning (Jono Ma remix)
34. Goldie - Inner City Life (2017 rebuild)
35. Roger Waters - Deja Vu
36. Confidence Man - Bubblegum (Andrew Weatherall mix)
37. Burial - Pre Dawn
38. Warpaint - White Out
39. Curtis Harding On And On
40. The Sexual Objects - Sometimes


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

'Cos The Wine On Our Breath Puts The Love On Our Tongues

I dug out all of the Christmas records on Saturday and had a rare afternoon with the Phil Spector and Charlie Brown  Christmas albums amongst other assorted traditional fare. This is the first thing that I put on the turntable and it never fails to get the Christmas spirit bubbling.

Frightened Rabbit - It's Christmas So We'll Stop (Choir version)

oh, it's Christmas so here you go

Frightened Rabbit - It's Christmas So We'll Stop

Brains In My Feet

Time for some deep trippy psych today. Purple Canteen hailed from Jonesboro, Arkansas and recorded this absolute belter of a fuzzed up psych classic in a session in 1969 and that's about all I know about the band. There is a bit about the recording technique on Discogs but to be honest I couldn't be arsed copying it.

This one really should be played at extreme volume.

Purple Canteen - Brains In My Feet

Monday, 11 December 2017

We've Got Albums To Remember You By

Fifty years ago yesterday the world was robbed of possibly the finest most emotive male voice in soul music when the plane in which Otis Redding and the Bar-Keys were passengers in crashed on it's approach to Truax Field, Madison, Wisconsin. The only survivor from the crash was Ben Cauley the band's trumpet player, in total including the pilot and the band's valet 7 men perished.

During his short recording career Otis recorded 6 albums all of which are well worth purchasing. His best known song "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" was laid down three days prior to the singer's death and was released in January the year after his death and was Redding's only number one, although most people at Stax disliked the track and did not consider it R&B. Whether this track would have heralded a permanent change in direction for the singer nobody will ever know. However he also left another three albums worth of material that were released on ATCO from 1968 to 1970 and most of the material on these sound like SOUL to me. I've Got Dreams To Remember was included on the first of these "The Immortal Otis Redding" and was also released as a single in 1968.

Otis Redding - I've Got Dreams To Remember

Friday, 8 December 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Warning - this post contains Trance

I know, I know, I have been rather disparaging about trance in the past,  however, a few decent, in my opinion, tracks did appear out of this genre and one or two I actually purchased.

Jam & Spoon  are probably best known for Stella and their remix of Age Of Love. Subsequent to this they teamed up with Plavka and released some really rather iffy commercial dance tunes,  the a-side to the track posted, Find Me (Odyssey to Anyoona) falls into this catageroy. The extended instrumental on the other side is a different beast completely, an intro that seems to build forever but when the enevitable breakdown does come in it turns the track into a rather mellow blissed out affair perfect for the sort of weather we are having at the moment.

The not so might Diamonds were victorious against Forfar last week in in what was not the most entertaining game of football but a win is a win. This week I suspect it might be different when we take on Raith Rovers (JC) on Sunday, as we are the featured game on BBC Alba, not quite sure how that happened but still. For the second week in a row I may bump into an away supporter that I know as strangely last week I met a guy who used to lodge with us years ago, whose "wee team" is Forfar, he really supports the ugly sister who resides in the East End of Glasgow.

Have a good weekend people.

Jam & Spoon - Odyssey to Anyoona 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Albums of The Year

It has been a very good year for albums, so much so that I still have quite a few that I haven't got round to buying yet.It felt like every week there was at least another two to add to the list. So my top ten here are from the ones that I actually purchased and I realise that there will be ones that I will get round to listening to next year that will have been smaefully over looked here. Of those that didn't make the ten, notable  mentions have to be made for  The Black Angels - Death Song,  The Brian Jonestown Masssacre- Don't Get Lost, Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle and Eat Lights Become Lights - Nature Reserve and I suspect that You Might Be Smiling Now by The Just Joans may have made the list had it been released before last week.

The biggest disappointment of the year by far was New Facts Emerge by The (once mighty) Fall which I keep going back to hoping that it's just me and it will eventually just click and I will get it but I'm afraid that for me it is a very poor album. Take care MES and make a speedy recovery so you can getr into the studio and produce another album that will blow us away.

10. Meursault - I Will Kill Again.

One of the highlights of 2017 was the return of Meursault and the forth album from Neil Pennycook and friends did not disappoint. It may not be the most uplifting of albums but it contains a dark beauty and the use of bit samples from Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here" is rather lovely.

9. Curtis Harding - Face Your Fear

Harding's second album continues on from his debut Soul Power. His sound has been described as "retro-soul" and of course it does hark back to the late 60s/early 70s and the sounds of Curtis Mayfield and tinges of psychedelic soul. For a excellent review from a blogger who describes the album far better than me go here and get the full sp from Craig.

8. The Afghan Whigs - In Spades

More songs of sleaze and debauchery from the dark recesses of the mind of Greg Dulli. One of the very few rock bands who you know have genuinely got soul. As ever Dulli's vocal delivery is always on the verge of losing it but he always seems to pull it back from the brink just in time.

7. The Regrettes - Feel Your Feelings Fool

I never thought that my find of the year would be a bunch of teenagers from LA making an album full of Riot Girl sentiments to a hybrid sound of DooWop, Punk and Surf Rock. But it is a breath of fresh air, full of attitude and very good songs. I'm still not sure that a middle aged man is the demographic that the band are aiming at tho'. They are also responsible for the most sing along chorus of the decade in Seashore  that you really can't sing out loud.

6. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy

This album was in and out of my Piccadilly Records basket on more than one occasion. One minute I was thinking "it's not going to be a patch on anything that they've done before" and the next "it's a Mary Chain album, you need to buy it" But up until seeing them at the Barrowlands in March I wasn't expecting much from this, so to say that it exceeded my expectations doesn't mean much but it turned out to be 100 times better than I expected even if nearly half of the tracks had been aired before in one form or another Live they were absolutely brilliant both times I saw them this year.

5. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun

It's what you expect from Mogwai but never formulaic or boring, quite a feat for a band who have been together for over twenty years. It also contains Party In The Dark which if we lived in a sane world would have been a huge hit single.

4. Andrew Weatherall Qualia

It has been a very busy year for the Chairman and when I come to produce The Tracks of My Year in the next week or so I suspect that he may feature a few times in one form or another.  Qualia is an album to be listened to in it's entirety, sure you can listen to the tracks on their own and they are all excellent pieces of abstract techno but you only get the full force of the when listened in one sitting either at home or on a long drive.

3. Hannah Peel - Mary Casio - Journey To Cassiopeia

Another album that needs to be played in a single sitting and I guarantee that you will play it more than once. Hannah Peel's concept album about an elderly lady from Barnsley who dreams of travelling in space to the constellation of Cassiopeia where Peel marries the sounds of a traditional colliery brass band and analogue synths may have you arching an eyebrow or going "aye right Drew" but have a listen you won't regret it, it is an incredible piece of music. Oh, and the cover is absolutely beautiful.

2. Sister John - Returned From The Sea

This album is just so intimate and lush when I first heard it it took me back to the feeling that I had the first time I heard the Trinity Sessions by Cowboy Junkies it has the same sort of atmosphere but whereas at times there is a coldness to that album, there is a warmth about Returned From The Sea. One for putting on when a gale is blowing and the rain is lashing down outside and you will soon reap the benefits of this lovely album.

1, Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band - Adios Senor Pussycat

It's Mick Head, what else do you need to know.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Back On The Shelf

I'm still on a girl group and all things early to mid 60s at the moment. I have put Fuel Injected Dreams back on the book shelf half way up the stairs for another year or so but the sounds are still ringing in my head. Ever since I first heard Amy Winehouse's cover of Phil Spector's first hit has always been the song to accompany the last page of the book for me. There have been other covers of this 1958 classic, notably the version by Dee Dee Sharp and rather incongruous live version by Roger Waters and David Gilmour, seriously!  But this world weary version recorded for The Dermot O'Leary Show on Radio 2 is my absolute favourite and possibly even superior to the original.

Amy Winehouse - To Know Him Is To Love Him

Monday, 4 December 2017

I Never Dreamed

I Never Dreamed has graced these pages before but that was as an upload from a compilation CD of The Cookies, today's rip is courtesy of a vinyl copy of the 1964 Dimenson Records promo 7". This record has been very high on my wants list every since I first heard it but it has always been well out of my price range, however a copy came up on eBay a few weeks ago and for some reason only garnered the interest of one other bidder who I assume wasn't that serious about the record as I ended up getting it for a very good price, even when taking into account the customs charges, something that we in the UK will know a lot more about from 2019 onwards!.

I consider I Never Dreamed to be right up there with the very best of the Girl Group sounds and would go as far as to say it is in my top 5. The single was written  and produced by Russ Titelman and Gerry Goffin and arranged by Carole King and as I have written on these pages on numerous occasions failed to be a hit which to me is inexplicable as it is absolutely sublime.

The Cookies - I Never Dreamed

Friday, 1 December 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Back to the halcyon days of 1992 with a bit of moody breakbeat from the label that was best known for the Prodigy and SL2 at that time,  XL. Liquid had made the big time with their previous single, the Marshall Jefferson sampling Sweet Harmony which rightly made the UK top twenty earlier in the year. The Future Music ep followed a similar sort of blueprint,  some well known samples,  a piano line and a wellchosen breakbeat, it was all about the break. Although the ep didn't have anything quite as immediate as Sweet Harmony it does consist of four very good slices of what for me is early drum and bass. My favourite track is the Todd Terry sampling House Is A Feeling, with it's minimal bassline, moody synths and essential breakbeat.

Unfortunately last week the Diamonds took another mauling away from home at the hands of East fucking Fife, for christ's sake! After scoring in the first minute, it appears that it all went downhill rapidly eventually being scudded 6 (six) one. It would be a lie if I said that either Leo or I are looking forward to tomorrow's home game against Forfar who are one three points and one place below us in the league. We can but hope that some kind of miracle has taken place this week during training, we will see.

Have a good weekend people

Liquid - House Is A Feeling

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Genius of Michael Head Part 1

A few weeks ago when posting a track from what I think is Shack's best album, Waterpistol that I was considering revisiting main member Mick Head's back catalogue. So here we go, and predictably enough we will start at the beginning.

(There's Always) Something On My Mind was the first single by Mick Head's first band, The Pale Fountains. The line up of the band included his brother, John on guitar, Andy Diagram on trumpet, who would later go on to be a member of James, Chris McCaffery on bass and Thomas Whelan on drums. The single was released on the Independent  Belgian label Les Disques du Crepuscule and off shoot Operation Twilight back in 1982. Although the single failed to grab the attention of the record buying public, the sound, in which you could hear the influences of Love, Burt Bacharach and of course coming from Liverpool, the Beatles pricked the attention of the A&R men from the majors and before the band's next single they would move onto a major label.

The Pale Fountains - (There's Something) On My Mind

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Maximum R&B

Back in April Nick Waterhouse released L.A Turnaround on 7" single. This track was one of the highlights of his third Album, Never Twice. For some strange reason I never flipped the single over to find out what the b side was like until about a month ago, The track is a belter of a cove of an old unreleased R&B tune with some fabulous sax. In an interview for a magazine Waterhouse explained how he first came across the song.

"I Cry, was a long-lost unreleased tune written for Dean & Jean. I first heard courtesy of Dick Vivian's (Rooky's Records San Francisco) legendary 1980s mix tapes. It fit right in with the oeuvre of the "Never Twice" sessions so I cut it with my long-suffering and highly talented tour backup vocalist Brit Manor taking the lead and me trying my hand at the cool Everly style harmony. Ron Dziubla rips a tenor solo on this to rival the original"

For the past few weeks I haven't played the a-side once, I Cry is absolutely magic.

Nick & Brit - I Cry

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Hew's Misstra Know It All

I think it was Stevie over at Charity Chic Music that commented recently that us Bloggers tend to overlook classic, popular records by artists in favour of the more obscure tracks or singles that never really made it. I must confess and hold my hands up to this. Frequently I have heard something by some artist on 6Music or a track has been thrown up randomly on the Ipod and I have thought to myself "I will need to post something by them but not that, everybody knows that, I will need to find something a bit more, well less known"

So on Friday night when I had an urge to dig out the single of today's track I decided that even although it was a hit and everybody knows it I was going to post it. He's Misstra Know-It-All was released in 1974 for and reached number 10 in the UK charts, so it was pretty popular and was the final track on Stevie Wonder's wonderful Innervisions album that was released the previous year.

The track is basically a 5 minute description of a con-man, with a plan and an answer for everything which was aimed straightly at Richard Nixon, the then president of the United States and thoroughly dishonarable character but it could be equally aimed at many clowns in the public realm at the moment, take your pick it's not hard to find one it is apt for.

Stevie Wonder plays every instrument on this track and supplies every sound apart from Willie Weeks bass playing.

Stevie Wonder -  He's Misstra Know-It-All

Friday, 24 November 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

This Black Friday shit has been doing my head in all week even more so even than Spreadsheet Phil and his budget and the fact that the UK seems to be in terminal decline and it appears that everybody is okay with that as long as we take back control of our fucking borders. And don't get me started on the loss of the European Medicines Agency.

But it is Friday and I will put aside all of my anger and instead be transported back to the distant past and the dingy clubs of 1990 when Anthem by N-Joi was just that. I loved that record at the time and to me it still sounds really good if at least two minutes too short. Interesting fact about this record, that Saffron, who would later go on to front the band Republica does not sing any of the vocals which were actually samples from Gwen Guthrie, Darlene Davis and Caron Wheeler.

Aidrie are away to East Fife tomorrow and they will have to play a lot better than they did last Saturday when they were beaten by a Highland League team in the Scottish Cup. Off the park there seems to be a chink of light as the consortium, which includes the stadium owners, the main sponsor and the Airdrie Supporters Trust have been given preferred bidder status for the shares currently owned by the ex Chairman who had all the grand plans and then bottled it after a year.

L and I are off to Dundee on Sunday night for an over night with my mate and his wife for his birthday so nothing to see here until Tuesday.

Have a good weekend people.

N-Joi - Anthem

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Racing In The Street

I first read Fuel Injected Dreams when I was 19. The girl who put me on to the Pale Fountains also introduced me to the book. I was up visiting friends in Aberdeen after I had jacked it in and we were at a party where I bumped into Debbie. She came up to me and told me that she had been thinking about me and had something for me if I wanted to go back to her flat with her later. Well I thought that my luck was in, so a bit later on we left the party and headed for her flat. After making a pot of tea she went off to her room and returned with a book which she said she had picked up during the summer and as soon as she started reading it she thought of me and knew that I would love it. How right she was.

The story revolves around an LA graveyard shift DJ, who has a chance encounter with a reclusive, megalomaniac record producer who was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the early 60's with the bands he created and famed for his production techniques but by the end of that  decade had dissolved into a gun toting, drug induced psychotic who keeps his wife prisoner in his mansion, sound familiar to anyone? This chance encounter has the DJ revisit his teenage years and one summer in particular and try to solve a mystery which happened then with some very strange and extremely disturbing results.

The book is kind of trashy and a bit dated now,  as it is set in the mid eighties but I think that it is still worth reading. On discovering that Baker was a screenwriter it did not surprise me as the book reads like a movie and it is easy to picture it as such. I always had Dennis Hopper down for the drug crazed producer, although even by the late 80s he would have been too old to play the part.

I have read this book many times now and years ago I gave it to L when she was going overseas to visit her sister. I was rather hacked off when  L arrived home sans book, don't get me wrong very pleased to see her but slightly distraught about the missing novel. To this day she argues that she brought it back. I searched for this book but to no avail, this was pre or very early internet days and to make matters worse the book was then out of print, the author having committed suicide and subsequent major wrangles over his estate meaning that it was not available. Eventually after a few years searching and improvements on the web I tracked down a copy in a second hand book shop in southern California and payed quite a bit of money for it. It has, however been re-printed since and copies can be found on Amazon for as little as one pence, which may put you off, however it is worth the investment if you ask me.

Over the years I have bought copies of the book and given them to people that I have thought would appreciate this tale of music, lust, drugs and psychosis. Mostly the feedback has been positive but a couple of people have looked at me differently after reading.

I have never been that much of a car nut, I prefer being on two wheels, preferably 10" ones on a machine produced in Italy but I have always fancied "a gleaming blue '63 Corvette split-window coupe" on the back of this novel. Not sure that I could ever afford one or even the petrol for that matter and I would feel guilty about the environmental impact of the car but it would be cool.

Although Springsteen is not talking about a 63" Stingray but a '69 Chevy, not sure which model, I do think of this song when I think of the Stingray.

Racing In The Street