Thursday, 19 January 2017

Soul Wars



I went to see Rogue One between Christmas and New Year and turned into an eight year old again. It was brilliant, if Star Wars wasn't the first then Rogue One would be my favourite out of the five so far that matter. I did find the Grand Moff Tarkin  appearance rather unsettling and do not wish to see much more of that kind of thing.

Anyway it jolted my memory banks back to the turn of the millennium when some joker had the idea of mashing up Eric B & Rakim with John Williams. It made me smile at the time but quickly became wearing.

See what you think

Soul Wars - Force 1

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Love Is All There Is



I seem to be stuck in a kraut/psych/garage groove at the moment. Today's track from The Cult of Free Love as you would expect from the title has a hippy dippy eastern feel to it. I bought the split 12" initially for the track on the other side European Orange by the Wrestler that featured on Weatherall's radio show early last year which SA at the Bagging Area alerted us to, which is very good all throbby bass and Teutonic. However recently I have been listening to Love Is All There Is more.

Although I'm pretty sure he would have hated this as his taste in music was very different to mine (in fact he sacked me from djing in the pub due to "musical differences") this is dedicated to big Gerry. Rest in peace big man.

The Cult Of Free Love - Love Is All There Is

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

She's Got You



Another slice of 1966 Garage rock for you today, although this track was not unearthed and released until a few years ago. The Zakary Thaks are well known in the world of garage and psych with seven singles to their name, no one no hit wonders, these guys. Most of their singles were released on the J Beck Records, a local label from Corpus Christi, Texas from where the band hailed. They were active from 1966 to 1969 and are probably best known for the single Bad Girl which I was going to post but I think that this is even better.

The Zakary Thaks - She's Got You 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Open Up Your Heart



Another Monday, another piece of soul that I know very little about. Today's track is a bit of a stomper of a girl group sound from 1968  released on the ABC label out of New York. Not a bad way to start the working week.

The Mamselles - Open Up Your Heart.


Friday, 13 January 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



Let's go back to simpler times today. Back in 1990 I was still an apprentice but by this time on not bad wages, supplemented by as many homers I could do during the week. The money would have needed to have been exceptional at the time for me to give up my weekends which were for dancing and getting off my face. Never Get Out Of The Boat was one of the tracks from that year that got lodged in my head. I loved everything about it, the atmosphere, the Martin Sheen sample and the wicked laid back groove. I used to have this on a compilation tape with the likes of  the Weatherall mix of O Je Suis Seul, Secchi's I Say Yeah and Hoomba Hoomba by Voices of Africa that I played constantly. I will have to try and remember all the tracks on that C90 and make up a playlist. Anyway, it this point I think that the Aloof were Dean Thatcher and  Jagz Kooner. The single was re-released the following year on FFRR with a Junior Boys Own remix by Farley and Heller however I much prefer the original Flying and especially the Gosh mix.

The Diamonds take on East Fife at home. We have slipped down to third in the league after only one win and four defeats in the last five games. I hope that we can stop the slide tomorrow but the only certainty is that it will be bloody freezing, the long-johns will have to make an appearance.

Have a good weekend people.

The Aloof - Never Get Out Of The Boat (Gosh mix)


Thursday, 12 January 2017

You Don't Fuck About With Perfection



I read last week that they are re- releasing The Trinity Session by the Cowboy Junkies on vinyl. Fair enough I thought, there will be a demand for such a classic album but is it really necessary to put it on red vinyl, if there was ever an album that needed the coloured vinyl treatment least I think it is the Trinity Session, it's not that kind of record, it's not flashy and I don't think that it will entice anybody to purchase it who wouldn't have anyway. Then I read further that the album has also been remastered! Why the fuck would you do that?  A big part of the charm of the original is the fact that it was recorded using just one microphone live in the church, it gives the record that intimate, confessional feel that gripped me in the first place. It was the sort of thing that you could have witnessed and recorded yourself.  There is also absolutely no need to put it on two pieces of vinyl either

When the fuck will record companies stop fucking about with perfect records.

Cowboy Junkies - 200 Miles

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Pfft



I had great intentions to start this year with loads of interesting stories and music for you but I just can't really get motivated. It hasn't helped that 2017 hasn't started that well around these parts. I won't bore you with the details. At present I really  just want to shut out the world.

This is for a friend I have never met and his wife.

The Style Council - You're The Best Thing 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

One Year On



Rock 'n' Roll With Me

Primitive



I suspect that I won't be alone in the fact that my introduction to this track came courtesy of a cover version by Lux and Ivy from the Cramps second LP Psychedelic Jungle. When I think about it those two introduced me to loads of music. The original version of Primitive was released, yes you've guessed it, in 1966 but was probably recorded the previous year as it came out in January by an uncompromising bunch from the Lower East Side of N.Y.C. This moody, smouldering piece of garage blues again failed to trouble the charts despite being released on  Atco records and probably due to the band's refusal to go along with the record companies attempts to market them and were subsequently dropped by the label and moved to greater obscurity in L.A. They did however leave us with this sleazy classic.

The Groupies -  Primitive

Monday, 9 January 2017

This Old Heart of Mine Needs A Fixin'



Today's piece of soul is another track that unfathomably failed to bother the charts in the US on it's release in 1967. It has all the ingredients for greatness, writing credits by Nick Ashford and Valarie Simpson, arrangement by HB Barnum, great brass and excellent female vocals from the three members of the group. It's not as if it was on some tiny obscure mid-west label. it was released on Warner Brothers! I just don't get it how could this record fail? As is the case with most of the soul found in this spot the tune found a home on the dance floors of the North of England in the 70s and has been in demand ever since. My copy of course is a pressing.

There is another version of this track out there by Candy and the Kisses but this is the definitive one.

The Apollas - Mr Creator

Sunday, 8 January 2017

This Blog Is 8



To paraphrase the Boy Wonder " Eight long years and you've still got me". Hard to believe that this nonsense has sustained for that long but there you go. As I said on the last post,  thanks to everybody who has stopped by here.

The Pale Fountains - . . .From Across The Kitchen Table (original  version)

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Out With The Old . . .



And in with the new.

I'm probably not the only one to think that 2016 was a c**t of a year. There have been more than a few dramas in the lives of people close to me, one of which had a  positive outcome but sadly not so on a couple of other occasions and just when we didn't think it could get much worse at the beginning of December one of Max's best pals was nearly killed in a freak accident and if it wasn't for another friend's bravery and  presence of mind to carry him the 500 yards to get help and the NHS staff who treated him and continue to do so he would not be with us now. He has a long road to recovery but he is a very lucky 14 year old to still be alive. So one positive to take into the start of 2017.

I would like to thank every one who stopped by here this past year and especially to the ones that left a comment, each and every one of which is appreciated, they are what make me and others continue.

Anyway,  I wish you all health and happiness for the coming year, I will leave you with a bit of Jimi Hendrix.

There will be nothing to see here until at least the 6th January as we are off to Amsterdam with my parents to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. They got married fifty years ago on the 23rd December.

Jimi Hendrix - Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Comfort Food For The Soul




The whole of the household has succumbed to the dreaded lurgy that is doing the rounds up here at the moment. I feel as if I have had a thoroughly good kicking and am feeling sorry for myself. At times like this you need something comforting and there isn't much more comforting than the dulcet tones of Dot Allison on one of my all time top 21 tracks.

This song immediately transports me back to the freezing hovel I shared with two others on Woodlands Road in Glasgow back in 1991. I used to come in at night put on an extra couple of layers,  retire to my bed and listen to this record over and over again, every now and again for a break changing it for Come Alive by the Orchestra JB. It got to the stage that in order to cut down on the getting in and out of bed I made up a c-90 one side filled with each. Fallen is the only record that I can think of that Andrew Weatherall's remix doesn't better the original.

It's strange the things you remember. This was the record I played just before finding out that Freddie Mercury died, after this had finished I turned on Radio 4 to get the news to learn of the singer's death and the first thing that came into my mind was that the radio would be full of Queen songs for the foreseeable future and most likely the Christmas number 1.

Dove - Fallen (Darkest Hour)

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Albums of The Year




There are not too many reasons for me to look back on 2016 fondly, it has been quite a shitty year for many reasons. One good thing about it was the resurgence of the long player. I noticed that the albums that I bought this year really hung together and flowed as an album should do. I'm not sure if this was deliberate on the part of the artists or just that I have rediscovered my love for the format but all of the albums in my top ten and in the many others that didn't make the cut felt more than just a collection of tracks compiled together under an album title.

Notable albums for me that didn't make the cut but which were excellent were the latest Brian Jonestown Massacre album, Third World Pyramid which reinforced my view that Anton Newcombe just gets better and better. He was also responsible for the best remix of the year with his reworking of Primal Scream's 100% or Nothing  and you should check out the Berlin ep he produced for The Vacant Lots. Another nearly but not quite was Atomic by Mogwai which is at times moving and at other times inducing a feeling of dread and fear matching the subject matter, I suspect that if I had a chance to listen to Let Them Eat Chaos more over the past couple of months it would have made the top ten but I just haven't got into it enough,

One major disappointment for me was One Day All of This Won't Matter Anymore by Slow Club, I think that this is mainly down to my expectations after Complete Surrender which I loved so much. I don't feel that there are as many standout songs on the latest album and also that Rebecca's voice isn't as prominent as it was on previous outing where at times it took your breath away. It is by no means a bad album and I am probably being a bit hard on them but I think that I will always reach for Complete Surrender over ODAOTWMA.

You will notice that Blackstar isn't in the list either. I have to admit that although it is a very good album which I think I will agree in time that it is a great album at the moment I can't listen to it without getting thoroughly depressed and for that reason it could not be considered.

10.  Beyond The Wizards Sleeve - The Soft Bounce

Some great pop moments such as Diagram Girl, space rock in the form of Iron Age and loads of psychedelic moments.



9. Death In Vegas - Transmission

Richard Fearless teams up with Sasha Grey to produce a deep, dark soundscape full of atmosphere. For some reason it had me reaching for The Fifth Mission by Two Lone Swordsmen after the first airing. If you buy the vinyl be wary as some of the first pressings were really poor on side one. I had three copies before getting a perfect one from Drone with a rather nice message of apology from Mr Fearless himself. Excellent customer service.



8. Teen Canteen - Say It With A Kiss

Lovely, sunny, pure Glasgow pop that always makes me smile. I felt very old at the album launch in Mono, that was until I saw Duglas T Stewart wandering about.



7. The Wedding Present - Going, Going . . .

The first time I put side 1 of this on, I thought that there had been a mistake at the pressing plant, the first four tracks were instrumental and very unWedding Presenty, then Two Bridges, first released as a 7" back in 2013, came on and the order of things was restored, songs of love, loss and longing followed. An album that takes a few listens to get really into. The best thing Gedge has done since Take Fountain, not as good as that album but very good indeed. I still don't get Secretary though.



6. Rancho Relaxo - White Light Fever

The influence of the Velvets is strong in this one, from the title of the album to the picture of Edie Sedgwick on the cover through the music, no bad thing in my book. An album to get lost in.



5. King Creosote - Astronaut Meets Appleman

When KC went epic. In the review on the Piccadilly Records website Barry says "All of these pieces feel like they could be the song at the end of a movie that we all end up Googling" which is about as succinct and perfect a review  as I've ever read. Every tune is great but Love Life and the bonus track on the 10" single The Long Fade are especially good.

Keep it up Kenny!




4. The Woodleigh Research Facility - The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories)

Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh get deep and dubby on this excellent double lp. It feels like a natural evolution from Sabres through Two Lone Swordsmen to this.



3. The Lucid Dream - Compulsion Songs

Third album from this older than their years combo from Carlisle. This is psych rock for the 21st Century that fuses dub and rock with all the attitude of punk. I saw them in Glasgow just prior to the release of this album and they made a beautiful noise, sadly witnessed by too few people.



2. Nick Waterhouse - Never Twice

Classy, Jazzy in bits, soul and R&B at other points. totally essential.

Still not happy that Mr Waterhouse is not venturing further north than Manchester, He did however explain that he couldn't afford it.



1. Ette - Homemade Lemonade

In a year as thoroughly depressing as 2016 turned out to be thank god for Carla J Easton responsible for the two albums that put a smile on my face more than any others. I thought that the Ette album was just going to be the taster to the full album from Carla's other group,  Teen Canteen. Both albums are shinning examples of what pop music should be but the Ette album just edges it. My only grumble being that as I have said before Attack Of The Glam Soul Cheerleaders should have been released as a 7" single.








I'm Higher Than I'm Down



That's it all over for another year and I must admit I've had a rare old three days. Compliments must go once again to Delia for her expert guidance on the cooking of the Christmas lunch. I am now, however beginning to feel the effects of the over indulgence and have designated today and tomorrow as "do bugger all" days.

As this is Tuesday, how about a bit of Garage Rock from that vintage year of 1966. The Aardvarks were from Grand Rapids, Michigan and released four singles in the two years in which they were in existence. I think that this was their debut single. Classic garage rock that was recorded in an old cinema which had been converted to a recording studio, in Sparta Michigan.

The Aardvarks - I'm Higher Than I'm Down

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas



No matter what you are up to this weekend have a good one and I hope Santa brings you everything you wanted, although I am not holding out much hope for that Bobby Kline 7" I put on my list.

The Housemartins - Caravan of Love