Home today and tomorrow with my 12 year old, who broke her leg Sunday playing soccer. While she napped, I was reading Mark Adams’ book Meet Me In Atlantis, while playing a trip hop music channel on the TV as background music. Heard a song where, amidst the instrumental piece, the voices of John and George stated “And how old are you?”, “32”. I recognized that bit of dialogue from one of the Beatles Christmas singles, but by the time I put on my glasses to see the name of the song, album, and artist, it was ending. The only thing that I thought I caught was the name of the artist, which appeared to say Octet/something or other. Figuring that in this world of the internet it should not be hard to track this song down, I went to You Tube, where I found nothing. I googled Octet, trip hop, and several other seemingly helpful search terms, but have come up empty. Any member of the Massive have any idea who the artist or name of this song might be?
Flying solo, Monday night, Milton Keynes. I am in my 44th year of gig-going. I am up to many hundreds of gigs. A half-full Stables, for a gig by a Nashville singer-songwriter (yes, I know he’s not from Nashville. Yes, I know he lives in Spain.) just went into my Top 10, All Time. Plus, having a quiet meal in the gig’s lovely restaurant beforehand, he sat, 10 feet away, poured his water, caught my eye, and said “Hi.” I cannot tell you what his music, what HE means to me. So, to tell you that his band were great, his setlist was almost perfect (mostly on the hoof which, with 2 Spanish players in the band, is no mean feat.) well, as the song says, “Well, you people all know what he’s talking about.” I shall post a review when I have stopped coming over all unnecessary.
This has been doing the rounds of Facebook, so apologies if everybody’s seen it…but it’s absolutely mesmerising. She starts off almost as if she’s singing to herself, then ramps it up…by the end I definitely had something in my eye. What a woman.
My dear friend up Yorkshire way has once again been good enough to send me the latest issue of his magazine, Barmcake, “Northern entertainment for the middle aged”. It is my window into the life of Northern England, which I have been unable to get back to since the late 90’s. This issue features lively articles on John Bramwell of I Am Kloot; The Record Cafe in Bradford; and a return to vinyl with the Glossop Record Club. If it is available where you are, you should most definitely pick one up. My last trip to York featured a tour of the city walls, a ghost walk, and an exhibit of Chinese dinosaur skeletons at the local museum. Glad to see that life goes on in a festive way there, even in my absence. Barmcake, get yer Barmcake!
There are few more abused phrases than ‘all killer no filler’. Too often it means four great singles, a couple of album tracks that aren’t too bad, and…well. So your nominations for albums without a single duff track. Not one. Here’s the rules: Post the album title and track listing. Post the weakest track on the album (so no posting Love Spreads from the Second Coming). Discuss. Here’s mine: Exodus by Bob Marley. Tracks: “Natural Mystic” 3:28 “So Much Things to Say” 3:08 “Guiltiness” “The Heathen” 2:32 “Exodus” 7:40 “Jamming” 3:31 “Waiting in Vain” 4:16 “Turn Your Lights Down Low” 3:39 “Three Little Birds” 3:00 “One Love/People Get Ready
Weakest track: hit single and ear-worm botherer Three Little Birds which only has a nice ska shuffle-groove and a fat organ hook. Hardly Territorial Pissings is it? The first four are all great rastafarian-themed tracks, and I’m guessing you know the listing from 5 onwards.
Got the earth hum sorted out on the t/t so gave this a proper spin SKIDS – Days in Europa No second album syndrome here, side 1 starts with Animation, side 2 (Working for the) Yankee Dollar the bits in-between are ace and to my ears haven’t aged. ‘Nuff said. Zappa/Mothers – Roxy and Elsewhere First Frank album bought in seriousness. I had purchased Hot Rats on a trip to Menorca back in the early, early 70s because my cousin had it, wouldn’t let me hear it and the cover and name excited me, I tried to like it but still can’t. Then I heard Penguin in Bondage (track 1, side 1, disc 1) on late night local radio and knew I had to own it. Thus, a long affair with Frank began. It ended with Tinseltown Rebellion. Blue Oyster Cult – Agents of Fortune Got this mainly for Reaper because the 12″ was dearer than the album! Previously owned Secret Treaties and thought it was garbage, luckily this one has quite a few good tunes, over Reaper, Morning Final being my own fave. The Yes – Going for the One Not a The Yes album I really rate, apart » Continue Reading.
It’s feckin’ snowin’ here in Glasgow!
What a pleasure it was to spend the weekend in the UK and hear people unselfconsciously speaking English all around me. Not to mention listening to my fellow curmudgeons grumbling and getting apoplectic about how the language is going to the dogs.
During one such tirade I learnt a wonderful new expression: the moronic interrogative. It was coined by Rory McGrath and refers to the habit of having a rising tone at the end of a sentence as though you are asking a question. This is rather popular among the yoof who have, it is believed, picked it from Aussie soap operas. Here are Stewie and Roger from Family Guy with a few examples.
Anyone else got any language pet hates?
It drives me crazy the way that my son peppers his conversation with Americanisms.
Incidentally, you will be very amused to hear that when I arrived at Heathrow, my epassport did not work. I had to go and talk to the immigration office. He informed me that the computer cold not process me as I bore to close a resemblance to John Peel A more common problem than you’d imagine!
In the miserable 1970s, when many people had to make do with cashing a giro, cold porridge and a single-bar electric fire, The Fine Art Department at Leeds University encouraged its students to indulge in fierce debate. Right in the centre of a working-class northern city, the “fookin’ stewdents” lounged around in the Fenton pub, discussing Marxist theory and spending their grants on copious amounts of alcohol. The spirited arguments were often settled with a fight.
It was this environment that spawned The Mekons, Gang of Four and Delta 5. They thrived on friction, their music was a product of their ‘theory’ and their purpose was to be ‘ideologically sound’. They knew they were out of step with the people around them but they didn’t care if they were provocative.
The Mekons were a shambolic, loose collective based on the theory that anyone could do it. People wandered on and off stage. One gig descended into complete chaos, as opposed to routine chaos, because each band member had been given a different set list. They should never have made a record but they did and the NME loved them.
Delta 5 included Mekon girlfriends. Their songs depicted sour relationships » Continue Reading.
Madness kick things off with Nightboat for Cairo. The band are equally split between fez, pith helmet or Arab headdress in costume choice – apart from someone who’s a sailor. Lots of nutty dancing. Repeat of Barbara Dickson singing January February. Dull dull dull. Which Dexys up next emphatically are not. Four-man horn section, De Niro caps and Kevin Rowland doing a 1000-year stare as if he can actually see the Wigan Casino in the far distance if he concentrates hard enough. Glossy new wave next from The Pretenders with Talk of the Town – in a cunning video that makes it almost appear that they are in the studio. Only the access to a better quality of video editing software gives it away. Or did they have to hand-colour each frame of the tape in those days. Behind the Kid this week is a new neon effect logo for the eighties. Legs and co work out to Leon Heywoods Don’t Push It – a slice of disco funk. One of those tracks I have absolutely no emory of hearing on 275 285 at the time, or at any time since. UB40 are back with Food for Thought – they » Continue Reading.
Back when I lived in Oxford, ooh, early ‘nineties my goodness how time flies, my then wife and I formed a party with a BBC radio broadcaster and his lovely illustrator partner. Yes, those were the agreeable circles we moved in back then. The occasion was the World Premiere of Sarah Miles’ play, which she wrote, directed and starred in, called Charlemagne, to debut at the prestigious Oxford Playhouse. Actually not, though – it was the annexe of the Oxford Playhouse, a converted fire station. A brave and intimate choice to launch an important dramatic work!
The audience was a small and select band of drama-enthusiasts like us who had blagged a free ticket. We were all aware of La Miles’ beverage of choice, something for which she was more famed than her thespian endeavours.
The play had everyone knotted in teeth-grating embarrassment from the first lines. You just know when you’re in the presence of a catastrophic disaster, and can do nothing about it. The play – tragically – must go on. Watching this hideous, hilarious, jaw-droppingly awful production stagger to its welcome close was an unforgettable experience, unfortunately. The few handclaps at the end – when the assembled » Continue Reading.
Weirdly Moose, Beany or Tiggerlion are not mentioned in this article at all. A massive oversight that I mentioned to Geoff over breakfast.
This seems like an interesting approach. Something that seems blindingly obvious to someone as musically and mechanically uninformed and incompetent as me, at least from the sorts of computer keyboards you’re seeing from tablets and laptops. I’m almost surprised it didn’t already exist – a synth keyboard based on an continuous sequence of spatially and pressurely sensitive keys, bend the notes up, down and around….and some bloke from Dream Theater. Article below… It’s like watching someone playing a Chapman stick, only made of rubber and sideways,
Jim Dickinson on growing up in Memphis and searching for the ghost music; the Blues. Telling it’s story – hard life, long work and fast pleasure. Set aside 2 hours and enjoy.
P’s great magazine.
Did anyone else see this on BBC4? It’s on iPlayer. Very entertaining but good grief, life in The Damned has taken its toll on Rat Scabies and Brian James. The first wave of rockers such as Marty Wilde look in much better shape although Rick Wakeman seemed to have swerved hair and makeup before going on camera. Nice to see Kim McAuliffe of Girlschool giving the female perspective.
I have just finished Pete Townshend’s Who I Am and I quite enjoyed it. His voice is quite like that of the comedian Bob Mills – but older. He seems to genuinely amuse himself at times, which is quite endearing. Although he is self-effacing, there was a great Spinal Tap-esque bit where he talks about a theatre run that didn’t go as long as he’d have hoped. He says, genuinely, “in the end, it didn’t get the audience it deserved…”
I listen to audible books via smartphone in the car and I have at least an hour and a half every working day. I have listened to Alan Partridge, Baker, Fry and Brand.
Are there other audible books that you have enjoyed? Any about pop music?
News of the reformation of Ride has somewhat overshadowed a rather lovely album ‘Universal Road’ released last month by Ride’s Mark Gardener & Cocteau Twins Robin Guthrie. Available on eMusic and all good record shops and I think worthy of your attention.
A couple of years ago, I was tipped off about an Oxford-based prog band called Sanguine Hum. I bought the two albums then available, and thought they were pretty good, though unable to resist the usual “not as good as those golden-age prog bands” caveat. However, Sanguine Hum have recently released their third album, and it’s a corker. Whether you’re a prog fan from those far off days of the early 70s, or a nu-prog youngster, I strongly urge you to check out their double-CD behemoth, “Now We Have Light”. Not just a prog album, but a prog CONCEPT album, by golly! I really didn’t think I’d ever hear another prog album as dazzlingly original as this one. Here’s a taster – if you like it, I assure you it’s all just as good as this.
….if you’re using MP3s opposed to AACs, this doesn’t seem to be possible any more. So I now have a stuttery gap betwixt “Billy Shears!” and With A Little Help From My Friends.
Please help me, or I shall simply die dahlings. Save me from the silence.
A member of the Massive recently described a type of music that they didn`t agree with as suffocating, this got me wondering whether any music brought about a similar reaction with you good people? Me? Religious music really turns me off. I`m a massive Dylan fan and yes I know there has been religious imagery present in his music since Bob started out but until the wife got me his Complete a Albums box set I didn`t own any of the `religious trilogy`. Still haven`t played them though. So what music makes you want a puff on your inhaler?
Excellent New Statesman article by Kate Mossman on this much underrated and neglected artist.
Just wanted to redress the balance after the ‘Is Mojo on its way out?’ post. This months issue landed on my mat yesterday. Good articles with Paul Weller, Todd Rundgren and what looks like a splendid 2015 update of Ian Hunters Diary of a rock and roll star where he has posted a diary of his current Japanese tour. Will read this later. Also a decent Paul Weller approved cd featuring a mix of new and old which includes some Neu, Mulatu Astatke, Charles Mingus and Sun Ra. Don’t sound the death knell just yet.
Today I learned that Andy Fraser wrote Robert Palmers hit ‘every kinda people’. Never knew that.
Hello there. I am looking for some help here. I have not listened to any maudlin music for a long long time, well at least several minutes. Could any of you please post me some songs that make you weep for my saturday listening? I would be very grateful if you could do this for me. Thanks you. Here’s the sorta stuff
Anzac Day is a timely date to post this speech by former Australian prime minister PJ Keating launching a book on Churchill and his relationship with Australia.. The book is written by Graham Freudenberg former master speech writer for Gough Whitlam and occasionally Keating too. As you’d expect from Keating it is a thorough and thoughtful speech. Seems like he actually read the book.