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Tom Waits – The Heart Of Saturday Night

I was just browsing in the record store while I had some time to kill, I browsed for just under an hour and picked up lots of things before putting them back having changed my mind, then I saw ‘The Heart Of Saturday Night’ by Tom Waits and it was the one. I had played the CD to death and a vinyl copy was a must really.

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This is the Rhino Re-Issue of the 1974 album, his second release, which they appear to have done a good job of. I played it as soon as I got home, it’s a brilliant album which I make no excuses or justifications for. I’ve read previously that it’s a late night album, the sort of thing you’d play at a poker night when he lights are low and the cigars are out. Not true. Play it whenever the hell you feel like it because the songwriting is damn near perfect.  Yes, the title itself suggests that it’s a night time album and the laid back feel of it makes me almost smell that cigar smoke, but it’s 2 pm on a Wednesday and I’m listening to it now , so don’t save it for the night. I do rather fancy a bourbon right now though.

Tracklist

A1 New Coat Of Paint
A2 San Diego Serenade
A3 Semi Suite
A4 Shiver Me Timbers
A5 Diamonds On My Windshield
A6 (Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night
B1 Fumblin’ With The Blues
B2 Please Call Me, Baby
B3 Depot, Depot
B4 Drunk On The Moon
B5 The Ghosts Of Saturday Night (After Hours At Napoleone’s Pizza House)

When I listen to this album it evokes a very real sense to me of what Charles Bukowski would have sounded like if he had been a singer/songwriter rather than a writer/poet/hell raiser. Perhaps also some Jack Kerouac in there as well, particularly around ‘Diamonds on My Windshield’:

Well these diamonds on my windshield
And these tears from heaven
Well I’m pulling into town on the Interstate
I got a steel train in the rain
And the wind bites my cheek through the wing
And it’s these late nights and this freeway flying
It always makes me sing

 

If you don’t have it I’d recommend getting it, vinyl, CD, Digital, it doesn’t matter, give it a listen.

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Departure Lounge – Jetlag Dreams

For Record Store Day 2016, the record label Bella Union released a clear vinyl version of the album ‘Jetlg Dreams’ by Departure lounge. The group have been together since early 1998 when singer – guitarist Tim Keegan, then a recovering singer – songwriter, asked his friends Jake Kyle (bass, double bass, trumpet), Chris Anderson (guitar, various keyboards, saxophone, oboe) and Lindsay Jamieson (drums, keyboards, flute) to join him on some new recordings.

It was originally released in 2001 I think and I wasn’t really looking for it but stumbled across it in the leftover RSD box  at Seismic records. The only reason I wasn’t looking of it was because I didn’t know it existed.

Sometime around the turn of this century, Simon Raymonde conceived and curated the Series Seven experiment on Bella Union.

He commissioned seven artists to each create an album comprising seven instrumental pieces, to be written and recorded, from conception to completion, in seven days.

Departure Lounge rose to the challenge and ‘Jetlag Dreams’ came very naturally into being under these terms, against the backdrop of emotional and geographical upheavals in the lives of its creators.

The process unfolded as if in a slow-motion dream over the last working days of a studio called Hum Depot, an old converted wooden house in Nashville, on the site of a Civil War burial ground, filled with dusty old pianos and reputedly haunted by the ghost of a Confederate soldier.

So there isn’t much information bout this Series 7, but I’ve found a couple of others that appear to be part of the series:

Pelican by Bonnevill
In The Pulse Of An Artery by Rothko
Gwei Lo
Variaciones Espectrales by Jack Dangers

and that’s 5, maybe, of the 7. Information is sketchy, though I’m sure it’s out there somewhere.

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Side 1

1. “Equestrian Skydiving” (5:33)
2. “Runway Doubts” (5:50)
3. “Too Late To Die Young” (5:45)
4. “A Strange Descent” (6:18)

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Side 2

1. “Purple Fluffy Haze” (3:10)
2. “Beyond The Beltway” (4:36)
3. “Charles De Gaulle To Belleville” (8:49)

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Rapture – Record Store- Witney, Oxfordshire.

There are 2 record stores within around 20 minutes drive of where I work. This is the first of them that I’ve visited, in Witney, Oxfordshire. It’s in a sort of shopping arcade and the vinyl is all upstairs, which is a bigger square footage than the downstairs. I spent about 30 minutes there but still managed to dig through a lot of albums.

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I am all for stores selling vinyl, which should be obvious by now, but was disappointed. I found 5 albums in all this lot that I thought about buying. One was a re-issue of Phallus Dei by Amon Düül for £8.00, but the cover was absolutely knackered. The other 4 were jazz albums, in a section marked ‘Un-priced Jazz – Ask at the counter for details’. I almost did, but based on the prices of some of the priced Jazz albums in another section I decided against it as I really didn’t think they were going to be at a price I was prepared to pay, which wasn’t much at all. Perhaps I should have inquired, but I didn’t want them enough to bother.

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The feeling I had as I rooted through the albums was that most of the stock was made up of the parts of peoples collections that they were quite prepared to sell as they weren’t very good, or that a load of job lots had been bought up and there was nothing in them of much interest. I don’t want to sound overly negative, because conceptually it’s a nice shop, with a coffee bar, a seating area and a stage for in store performances, which is in the picture above, but for me, they don’t have the stock as yet. There was some to be fair, but the prices were too high for my blood, I can’t spend £40 on an Aphex Twin 12″ single, even if I want it, nor can I spend £18 on a Radiohead 12″ single when I know it’s available on line at £10. At the weekend I was talking to the owner of Seismic Records in Leamington Spa, one of my two local stores, about my willingness to pay a couple of £’s more than an online price as, when you take in to account P & P, it works out about the same, you are supporting a local business, and digging through piles of albums is fun! But £8 more is just too big a gap.

There was a small new vinyl section, but most of it was just a couple of £’s more than I would normally have to pay at my local store near home, so I left it, I would have been buying something just for the sake of buying something.

I did have a quick look through the 7″ singles, and there I found a lot that I would definitely have bought if the prices were lower. £8 for a single that is selling for £2.99 on Discogs, even with P & P is, again, too much of a gap.

I left with nothing, but I do wish them the very best of luck with it and, to be fair, if I’d had a bit more time maybe I would have found something I was prepared to pay an bit more for.

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Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 21)

I missed one out, counting is hard. Listening to some reggae recently, so that’s what this is.

“The Harder They Come” Jimmy Cliff
Bob Marley – Stir it up
Toots & the Maytals – Pressure Drop – 11/15/1975 – Winterland (Official)
Gregory Isaacs ~ Night Nurse (Official Reggae Video)
Buju Banton Live On Jools Holland – Murderer
Althea & Donna–Upton Top Ranking
Damian Marley – Welcome To Jamrock
Dennis Brown – Here I Come [Live]
Burning Spear – Marcus garvey
Junior Murvin – Police and Thieves
Bob Marley & The Wailers Concrete Jungle The Grey Old Whistle Test 1973
Bob Marley – Natural Mystic Live In Dortmund, Germany;

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Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 22)

Boards of Canada – Reach for the Dead
Oval – Textuell
Future Sound Of London – Lifeforms (Single Version)
Jherek Bischoff – Automatism
Max Richter – Dream 13 (minus even)
Sigur Rós – Svefn-g-englar
Jonsi – Animal Arithmetic
Nosaj Thing – Eclipse/Blue
Explosions In The Sky – Be Comfortable, Creature
MONO – Dream Odyssey
Mew – Making Friends
Thom Yorke – Black Swan
Mogwai – Ether

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Replacing a CD with Vinyl

It was quite normal a few years ago to replace vinyl with CD’s and to sell off the vinyl, after all, who needed them anymore when you had a swanky indestructible CD instead. I did a lot of that, but last friday I was in Bristol at Rise, a record store I had never visited before (and found through the vinyl district app), when I saw a vinyl repress of a CD I bought in Newbury Comics, Boston, the American one. The album was by ‘Comets On Fire’ and called ‘Blue Cathedral’ which just happens to have beeb re-issued by Sub-Pop as a ‘Losers’ version on blue vinyl. Yes please, and thank you.

It may well be called ‘Rise’ because it’s above a cafe, as you can see here:

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They had a really good vinyl section, probably as large, if not larger than the CD section and I found a lot of things I could have bought, but didn’t, I was being sensible.

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Every album had a sticker on it with a little description, some pertinent information, that sort of thing, which was a nice touch. The albums section turns right at the bottom and spreads across another wall and there are some smaller areas all with vinyl. There are also crates underneath and a small used section to dig through, I spent about an hour in there before leaving with my spoils.

Back to ‘Comets on Fire’ though. I had been looking to replace the CD for a while and had seen copies on the internet, but there’s something a little more special about buying an album from a record shop than from the internet, even if it is a couple of pounds more. If there’s postage to be paid that’s covered anyway. So here is my copy of the brilliant ‘Blue Cathedral’ on my turntable.

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I remember when I first played the CD that I wasn’t really into it and it went on the shelf for several months before it was played again, and, as sometimes happens, I loved it. Andy, who was in Newbury Comics with me when I bought the CD, thought it a good album, he turned out to be right.

The pitchfork review opens with:

Sub Pop debut from these chaotic Santa Cruz psych-feeders beefs up their production values to touch down as their hardest-hitting record to date. Drawing influence from Zeppelin, Hendrix, and Hawkwind, Blue Cathedral scales back the wanton experimentation of their previous albums to fire off post-Vietnam rounds of knotted feedback, monolithic riffs and outer-space jams. And perhaps its most impressive feat? At 53 minutes, it almost feels short.

And gives it an 8.5. I can’t really disagree, although I may have pushed the mark up to nearer 9. I’m a generous marker usually though.

Here’s some music from it:

Track List 
“The Bee and the Cracking Egg” – 7:45
“Pussy Foot the Duke” – 5:07
“Whiskey River” – 7:54
“Organs” – 1:45
“The Antlers of the Midnight Sun” – 4:06
“Brotherhood of the Harvest” – 4:39
“Wild Whiskey” – 3:00
“Blue Tomb” – 10:06

After ‘Rise’ I met up with the family (who tend to abandon me as soon as I come within close proximity of a record shop) at Wahaca for a bit to eat, it’s a few doors down from Rise. I don’t normally write about food but the meal was great, really fresh and vibrant, the waitress was knowledgeable and helpful and it was very reasonably priced, I’d recommend it if ever you are in the vicinity. I didn’t realise at first that it was a Thomasina Miers restaurant, who I remember rooting for to win Masterchef back in the day.

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Post Scriptum – 01

Sometimes I like to take a chance on an album. To know absolutely nothing about it, to not know what it sounds like, what genre even, but to judge the book entirely by its cover, or the record in this case. My local store had a box of sale items at 25% off, which is an immediate draw for me, and in the box the album that stood out for me was £15.99, which would work out at £11.99 after the discount, and it looked like this:

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As a design I quite liked it and the title at the top left reminded my of stationary for some reason, and I love stationary. What really made me buy it were the track titles on the back:

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Just in case that’s a bit small, they are:

Tracklist

A1 Decades To Millenia
A2 Even The Nearest
B1 Interstellar Medium
B2 Gliese 581
C1 Decelerate At The Destination
C2 Proton To Proton Fusion
D1 The Extreme Distance
D2 Constant Acceleration Drive

A new double LP, for £11.99 with those track titles? Of course it had to be mine.

Label:  Infrastructure New York ‎– INF-CD001
Format: Double Vinyl Gatefold Sleeve
Released: 25 Jun 2015
Genre: Electronic
Style: Industrial, Techno

Post Scriptum 01 is the debut full-length album from anonymous producer Post Scriptum. That’s about as much as I know.

Gliese 581 is a star of spectral type M3V about 20 light years away from Earth in the constellation Libra. Its estimated mass is about a third of that of the Sun, and it is the 89th closest known star to the Sun.

The proton–proton chain reaction (Proton to Proton Fusion) is one of the two (known) sets of fusion reactions by which stars convert hydrogen to helium.

Constant acceleration (Constant Acceleration Drive) is a proposed aspect of most future forms of space travel. It entails that the propulsion system of whatever kind operates continuously with a steady acceleration, rather than the brief impulsive thrusts used by chemical rockets — for the first half of the journey it constantly pushes the spacecraft towards its destination, and for the last half of the journey it constantly uses back thrust, so that the spaceship arrives at the destination at a standstill. which also fits in with Decelerate At The Destination.

But is it any good. Well yes it is, I really like it rather a lot having listened to it 15 or 20 times.There are no official videos to accompany any of the tracks for the album but here is one where you can have a listen to get an idea of what sort of music it is:

As a completely blind purchase this couldn’t have worked out better for me (and it doesn’t always, I have bought some crap in the past) so I’m delighted.