Heard a very entertaining programme on the Archive Hour recently, presented by Steve Punt. “Broadcaster and comedian Steve Punt scours the archives to exhume the often pretentious and opinionated philosophical outpourings of pop stars through the ages. With the help of music journalists Paul Morley, Kate Mossman, DJ and record producer Ras Kwame and surprising soundbites from the archive, Steve explores the concept of the pop star as philosopher. From pop star hobbies, to politics and theories of aliens and the Illuminati, Steve explores the attempts of pop stars to make sense of a chaotic world.” It may be a repeat but if you haven’t yet heard it I really recommend it for passing an enjoyable hour. And of course it’s lovely to hear Kate Mossman who managed to namecheck the Word Magazine during it, in an anecdote.
When these two released their first album at the age of 17 or something – which I thought had a kind of millennial ISB vibe going for it – it got slayed here. But now they are back and after a month or two of plays i have say I’m All Ears is def a massive progression. Check this out, it’s worth your time.
What band have or artist has the biggest quality gap between their best and worst album?
It struck me today that The Beach Boys´ Pet Sounds is so far superior to Summer In Paradise it´s ridiculous.
Pet Sounds is pretty much a Brian Wilson solo album, Summer In Paradise is pretty much a Mike Love solo album. However, they were both released by The Beach Boys.
Can anyone else beat this? Mind you, Self Portrait and Landing On Water both sound like masterpieces next to Summer In Paradise.
I hereby officially dare you. 😉
So what is your best achievement this year?
I have both asked and answered that question over my career.
I hate appraisals at my age (52), but me in my 20/30s would have been biting at the bit for that one.
Any good come backs for us older types?
Mrs Japanese and I are currently in the process of moving out of our tiny, one-bedroomed flat into a much bigger multi-bedroomed house. With that comes the inevitable sorting of junk we have accumulated over the time spent living in our current residence.
Perversley, despite the apparent spacial opportunity for more, it was decided by Mrs Japanese that we owned too many CDs and needed to ship some off to the local Charity Shop. For a someone who has spent the last three months buying second-hand albums from Music Magpie as they make their way through the 1001 Albums book, this wasn’t entirely unexpected. After numerous discussions about the merits of still owning the Klaxons’ debut album, we decided to combine our CD collections and relegate my ‘lesser’ albums to a folder (more about that later). In the meantime, she removed any duplicates from her collection that I already owned and ceremoniously dumped the ones she no longer desired.
So now we have two towers of CDs ranging from Abba to the Zutons. She has agreed to accept my filing strategy of putting solo artists under their surnames, rather than their first names (like she chose to). We have both » Continue Reading.
On Saturday walking through town I saw a young woman wearing a Louis Theroux T-shirt. Not to knock Mr Theroux but it did seem an odd choice for a T-shirt. Any other odd choices spotted, advertising an allegiance to someone or something
Too much pressure to grow up these days.
Without trying to sound like my dad…it is harder being a yoof innit?
It’s a rainy Sunday and, searching for suitable musical accompaniment, my hand fell on a compilation I picked up cheap as chips in a sale, many years ago: Folk Heritage II. It’s been on repeat play ever since -I’d forgotten how brilliant it is.
There’s the obligatory Richard Thompson (the otherwise hard-to-get Time to Ring Some Changes) of course but the rest is a string of absorbing gems. For example, Dick Gaughan’s stirring rendition of English rebel song, World Turned Upside-Down, the fragile beauty of June Tabor’s solo vocal The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, Nic Jones’ Canadee-i-o and a marvellous folk version of Music for Found Harmonium. That’s a few examples – it’s *all* delightful. And available for 9p from an online emporium near you.
My favourite though – and the real point of this post – is the attached (if I’ve done this right) the Albion Band’s Rambleaway. I’m not really familiar with the Albion’s output but I do love this song. One of the reasons, I think, is that it uses a device that few songs do – it changes the perspective from which it is sung (I make it two first person perspectives and a third » Continue Reading.
Trump makes me very nearly physically sick. Separating those families, locking their kids in cages. The stupid, obnoxious way he looks and talks. His incoherence, his vile opinions, his brutal dismantling of everything that doesn’t have his name in gold on the front. And the following he encourages. When the Mueller team first got their feet under their desks I was following their every move. The sleazy characters they dragged in front of the camera with their cheap spiel seemed almost entertaining. People I never wanted to see or hear again were occupying the highest positions in American government, spouting lies, evading questions, stirring up the morons who’d follow Trump even if a tape of him screwing his daughter surfaced. Morons who think that Russia is on their side, more than the FBI. Insane times.
I don’t know exactly where the tipping point occurred for me. Certainly the ICE border lock-ups provided the first literally unwatchable footage from the Trump administration. And I got sick of Michael Avenatti, whose screen-hogging cliché-ridden rants quickly became as tiresome as his opponents’. Shep Smith at Fox News – of all places – provides an oasis of sharp and reasoned commentary. Rachel Maddow, Steven » Continue Reading.
The Ordinary Boys debut album (Over The Counter Culture) of 2004 was a fine, fine collection of late-Britpop meets The Jam meets The Smiths with a wallop of Two Tone chucked in for good measure. 12 songs and well worth 40 minutes of your time. The second album, Brassbound, is competent but not as great as the first – it does contain some great moments (the single Boys Will Be Boys for example) but doesn’t have “it”.
Granted, The Ordinary Boys weren’t the biggest band around at the time, or (if I’m honest) ever in danger of filling the O2, but I’m guessing they had a loyal fanbase and could pay the bills.
And then came the career killing actions of lead singer Sam Preston: 1. Going into Celebrity Big Brother in 2006 2. Marrying the fake-Celebrity who eventually won the competition 3. Walking off Never Mind The Buzzcocks in a huff probably now his most famous act. In defence, Simon Amstell was acting a bit “smug-bully-tw*t” which caused him to walk rather than fight back
He can’t be the only bod who has been given duff advice or knackered their career with one or more daft actions
Remember years ago you used to hear a lot of “when he/she grows up they want to be a…” Well when I was a kid I really wanted to play for Manchester United but being fairly average at kicking a ball round the opportunity never arose (insert joke here). If not a footballer then I really wanted to be a Beatle but having no musical talent that again was never gonna work!! So I took the easy option and a career of pen pushing at the local Electricity Board beckoned. And thats where I stayed for over thirty years and I did alright to be honest and was able to retire at 50! After a wonderful 9 months doin very little (apart from travelling to Australia and Moscow and doin a few days work as an extra in the Ken Loach film Looking For Eric) I thought I better keep myself busy so signed up for an agency and ended up working at Lloyds doing data entry. Sounds boring but there was a rule that you could wear your headphones so I got to listen to so much music it was great. Then two years ago I was 58 and » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
It’s many years since I last heard this album, so it was interesting to check out this reissue to confirm if my memory of it was correct. This was the debut album by this short-lived collaboration between those West Coast stalwarts JD Souther, Chris Hillman and Richie Furay, and is reissued as it was back in 1974, with no extra material on offer. On paper, it seemed a good idea, but the results were perhaps a tad disappointing overall. There are ten fairly radio friendly, pleasant but mostly unremarkable tunes in the country rock vein. There are glimmers of former glories from each member, with Furay’s contributions the strongest – see the Poco-ish opener Fallin’ In love and the beautiful Believe Me. In contrast, Souther and Hillman’s songs are fairly lightweight, perhaps with the exception of Border Town. Even Hillman’s Heavenly Fire, a tribute to the recently deceased Gram Parsons is rather a lacklustre effort in comparison to the Eagles My Man from the same year. Overall, although this is a perfectly ok sort of album in the West Coast vein of that period, it doesn’t live up to the high expectations the line » Continue Reading.
My best mate Keith is 60 today.
On Sunday, there is a “big” (60+ people) party at his house.
We have secured Keith Christmas to come over and play a 90 minute set, along with local musicians, poets and other contributors (wine, cheese, gin, etc.).
Having never done this kind of thing before, any thoughts/suggestions/dos and don’ts gratefully received.
(btw, I am a big, KC fan, but have already been informed that he will not/can not play some old)
Andy Partridge just casually announced on Twitter that Apple Venus and Wasp Star are to be re-issued on 200g vinyl in September. I am excite.
I love Be My Baby by The Ronettes. It’s a great, great record…. but the drumming from about 2:14 to the end has always grated on me. There’s just too much of it. Hal and Phil should have clearly checked with me before releasing it… Anyone else here love a song dearly “apart from that bit”?
I just started bingewatching NYPD Blue (Amazon Prime!), and a couple of thoughts occurred to me.
1. David Caruso can act. Forget CSI:Wherever, I’m putting out the idea that John Kelly goes down as one of the best cops on TV; Caruso’s portrayal gives out the complexity of the role wonderfully. 2. Dennis Franz may be a 1.5 trick pony, but he does that trick very very well, and the Sipowicz arc is terrific. 3. Milch and Bocho are up there with the best writing teams. See also Deadwood and John From Cincinatti. 4. NYPD Blue should be up there when we discuss “best shows ever”; Sopranos, Wire, H:LOTS, The West Wing – it’s up there. Sure, some shonky stuff, but did anyone watch Season 5 of TWW?
There’s been some great cops ‘n robber shows. This, Sweeney… Who else is up there?
30 days before Mrs Wells and I embark on our 4 week holiday.
What’s the go with phone /internet? Can I buy a SIM that will work in Spain, Portugal and Morocco? Is it easy to do and what can I expect to pay?
The nudge on the All These Years kindle bargain seems to have gone down well with some of you.
I think you ought to know that the recent autobiographies of Johnny Marr, ‘Set The Boy Free’, Chrissie Hynde ‘Reckless’ and Steve Jones ‘Lonely Boy’ are all currently retailing at £1.99 for the kindle versions.
They’re part of the current Kindle Monthly Deal, run every, er… month. About 200 or so titles are discounted massively for the period. Most of it you (well, I) wouldn’t touch with Bargepole but at least one or two items worth having slip remarkably through the net.
I watch the skies for us all.
Pretty obvious stuff, really. Just because a photographer has given permission for one site to publish a pic. doesn’t mean everyone else can then copy it from that site and re-publish without permission.
Let’s be careful out there.
New ‘best of’ set coming in October featuring 2 new pieces.
ACR:SET TRACKLISTING Do The Du (Casse) (1979) Wild Party – 12” version (1985) Flight – 12” version (1980) And Then Again – 12” version (1980) Forced Laugh (1981) Wonder Y (1992) Mickey Way (12” version, 1986) 27 Forever – 7” version (1991) Won’t Stop Loving You – Bernard Sumner mix (1990) Good Together – 12” version (1990) Be What You Wanna Be – 12” version (1990) Shack Up – 7” version (1980) The Fox – US 12” version (1980) Knife Slits Water – 7” version (1982) Si Firmir O Grido (1986) Dirty Boy Extended – featuring Barry Adamson (2018) Make It Happen (2018)
How long have the web goblins been waiting for us to pick up on that?
I heard this little gem on a commute yesterday afternoon and thought I’d share it here.
The Afterword is of course not a place to reminisce, but this will resonate closely with many of our teenage backgrounds, particularly the musos among us.
You may need to sign up to BBC iPlayer but it’s worth it to pass a charming 45 minutes.
And yes, Mud were shite.
Daily deal is Kenney Jones Let the good times roll as featured on Word in your Ear last time around. Only £1.49 today only
While painting one of the girls bedrooms over the weekend, I was listening to some podcasts. Along came this one, an old radio sci-fi drama, The Martian Death March. After a few minutes I copped that the indigenous Martians were called ‘Spiders’ by the Earth colonists. It was recorded in 1955, so it is unlikely that a young Master Jones heard the original, but perhaps DB stumbled across a repeat broadcast, or a transcript, on his ’71 visit to the states? I know there is another story about migrating spiders at a football match, but my theory seems just as plausible. Any other stories of (possible) inspirations for bands/names/albums?