Gary Numan on OGWT Anniversary Show

It was nice to see Gary Newman on the Old Grey Whistle Test anniversary thing the other night. Still out there, still releasing new music. Here is the performance from what was, overall, a rather brilliant Tv experience, the BBC should bring it back, it was always the best music show on telly and there’s bugger all worth watching nowadays. MTV killed music television.

Bjork – The cube is full

I took rather a lot of time arranging my albums in alphabetical order and, in some cases, I’ve got it wrong or made contrary decisions based on band names, first letter? First letter of last word or surname? It’s near enough at the moment but I’ll have to attend to it at some point as it is a bit irritating. The one area that was particularly easy was the Bjork cube, it took up a section on its own with a bit of room left over for anything new. Something new arrived, it is now pretty much full, see for yourself:

IMG_7142

That doesn’t include The Sugarcubes, because they are S, but it could I suppose. This basically means that either Bjork is no longer allowed to release any more records or I will have to creep into the next cube along and do a bit of re-shuffling. Tough one, who knows how that will turn out.

The last thing to slip into the Bjork cube was last weeks release of the Blissing Me remixes.

r-11600988-1519649662-4371-jpeg

I haven’t had an opportunity to play it yet, but it is a lovely artefact, including printing inside the cover, where it won’t even be seen, nice attention to detail that and something that she has done before.

Apparently this is one of the tracks, received a lot of negatives on youtube but I really haven’t listened at all.

 

 

 

 

FKA Twigs

fka-twigs

I have been very remiss as I have been listening to FKA Twigs for 4 years now (I was just looking at LP1 and was shocked to realise it was so long since it was released) and haven’t talked about it at all really. She pops up in a couple of posts but that’s all. I need to correct this omission as I think she is absolutely marvellous and I’ve played that album to death.

I have just checked and I have all her releases to vinyl except one that was limited to 500 copies and self released, which I might see if I can pick up at some point.  Let’s begin at the beginning with her first release, EP1.

r-4088808-1460055543-8994-jpeg

Originally self released in 2012 (I have the re-release from 2017) with a white label in a white sleeve on black vinyl and containing 4 tracks:

Tracklist

Weak Spot
Ache
Breathe
Hide

I actually heard the tracks off this after I heard the next three releases and I rather liked the whispered vocals of opener Weak Spot and the instrumentation behind it. She has a 1188422rather odd way of putting tracks together that is both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. The pipe effect on the vocal is really interesting as is the distorted melody on the verses. All the tracks have an interesting quirkiness about them, though not in a cute way, there’s a power about them from somebody who seems to be in control and  knows exactly what they are doing. I wish I had heard this first, it would have been a hell of an introduction to an brand new artist.

Below are 3 of the 4 tracks from this first EP, the last track is missing for some reason.

The next release was EP2, which had a picture on the cover this time and was released by the Young Turks record label. Well, no beating about the bush, it’s just amazing. There is something strangely unsettling about her music and that is what makes it so interesting.

r-4889833-1403352933-1223-jpeg

The visuals are generally rather odd which aligns with the music which is very listenable despite a definite strangeness underlying most tracks.

Tracklist

How’s That
Papi Pacify
Water Me
Ultraviolet

Then came the LP, which stuck with the theme by being titled LP1. This and what proceeded it is the work of  26-year-old (at the time, she’s about to turn 30) Tahliah Barnett, a dancer from Cheltenham whose previous brush with fame involved appearing in the videos for Do It Like a Dude and Price Tag by Jessie J.  There’s a very touching MOBO acceptance speech where she talks about being a backing dancer for WRETCH 32 on a previous year at the event, and creating a dance routine for a Lethal Bizzle video which was cut from the final version.

You may know a couple of Tricky albums, Pre-Millennium Tension and Angels with Dirty Faces, they are dark and brilliant, and LP1 seems to draw from and update the mood of those albums opening with choral singing that normally precedes a revelation in a horror movie where a poltergeist makes itself know by moving a cup or something, rather than an album full of electronic R&B slowjams, which is not necessarily the best description but it’s all I have.  She seems to have the ability to go a bit over the top with vocal acrobatics in a Whitney on speed sort of way, but doesn’t go there, instead choosing to reach where she wants to reach without singing every note in-between. Both Lights On and Two Weeks (after the delightfully creepy Preface) are stunning openers to and album that should find it difficult to continue after them but does, however, and this sounds bloody obvious, you have to listen. There are a lot of interesting things going on beneath the vocals and concentrating on the tracks rather than letting them wash over you really does reap rewards. I first heard the album when I put it on the turntable, sat down for about 40 minutes, stopping only to turn it over. I did nothing else, just sat and listened which is something many don’t do anymore.
 

Tracklist

A1 Preface
A2 Lights On
A3 Two Weeks
A4 Hours
A5 Pendulum
B1 Video Girl
B2 Numbers
B3 Closer
B4 Give Up
B5 Kicks
After the album was released to much critical acclaim, there was one more record (some MP3’s have been released since) and it has veered wildly from the previous naming convention by calling itself M3LL155X. This is the video that accompanied it, and just to be clear from the start, so there is absolutely no ambiguity, it is fecking brilliant. It’s long, but do try and watch it all, I realy think you’ll be glad you did:

Tracklist

A1 Figure 8
A2 I’m Your Doll
A3 In Time
B1 Glass & Patron
B2 Mothercreep

r-7802600-1449085197-1974-jpeg

FKA Twigs is a rare British talent who has a wonderful uniqueness, so much so that her music seems to be in a genre of its own at times. She writes all of her own material, produces her music and also creates all her visuals for her videos as well as directing some of them, and she is an amazing choreographer and dancer. The hard work she has put it shines through. Here she is at the 2014 MOBO awards with a stunning performance. I fail to see how anybody could fail to appreciate how incredibly talented this woman is, even if the music isn’t their thing, the talent is surely undeniable:

At Glastonbury:

And finally, For New Year’s Eve 2013, Young Turks threw a special party in Tulum, Mexico. Here, FKA twigs performs Hide amidst Mayan ruins.

 

George Duke – A Brazilian Love Affair

Recommended by Dave, if I have this story straight then Pete, Dave’s ever so slightly older brother, there’s maybe a couple of months difference between them, he may even be his younger older brother, had a copy of this album, which Dave copied for art class. We were talking about Stanley Clarke the other night and the topic of George Duke understandably came up, I mentioned I had The Clarke / Duke Project album but wasn’t that keen on it on first listen, which is when Dave recommended this one, he was right to, it is entirely different to The Clarke / Duke Project, infused as it is with latin flavours.

It is one of George Duke’s most well-known albums, but I’d never heard of it. For this 1979 album he travelled to RioDe Janeiro to collaborate with several local musicians and vocalists, including Milton Nascimento, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira (I didn’t know who they were untilI looked them up).  Duke combines his jazz funk fusion styles with Brazilian influences, to create something truly memorable.

There is really only one thing that spoils it, and it is this:

IMG_7139

That bloody CBS Nice Price sticker specifically designed to fuse with the cover underneath if not removed within 24 hours of application. Why the hell do people do this? Price tags are just as bad, some people leave them on for years and it is really bloody annoying. This particular sticker has been in place since 1983, 35 bloody years, it is never coming off without ruining the sleeve. I bought it online and in fairness it did say sticker on the cover,I wasn’t expecting one that bloody big though. Ahhh well, no matter, ultimately it is the record itself that is important and this one play nicely, bit crackly in-between tracks, not too bad though, so I’m good with that.

Listening to it for the second time around right now and I’m rating it pretty highly: 8.8

Currently Listening to……

Milan W. – Intact

IMG_6510

I received this from my subscription to ‘That Special Record’, which no longer does that sort of thing, a shame as they introduced me to some really interesting and varied music. I wrote about it here.

Somebody uploaded the whole thing to youtube since I last mentioned this album, so if you are interested at all, have a listen. I love the bloody thing.

Glitterbug – Dust

I was sure I’d mentioned this album before but a search suggests I haven’t, other than to say I was listening to it. As I’ve had it on the turntable today I feel I should say something about it, but first, here is photographic evidence to corroborate this sentence:

IMG_1942.JPG

I’m on side C at the moment (which reveals early on that it is a double album) of this 10 track instrumental album. I saw it in the now defunct record store for £5 and it seemed worth a punt to me, and it was as it very much the sort of thing I like to just sit and listen to.

Glitterbug is a composer, producer, DJ, artist and curator; working mainly in the genres of deep techno, remix (if that is a genre), ambient works, writing music for films or audio-visual installations, everything I’ve heard resonates with a score-like, visual approach, so the latter make sense.

Tracklist

A1 Dust 5:30
A2 Silent Glory 6:12
A3 47th Floor 2:55
B1 Apparition 7:04
B2 Far Far Light 7:39
C1 When The City Was Bare 5:33
C2 The Stars Behind The Light 6:35
C3 Intermissions 4:40
D1 1st Of July 8:18
D2 Look Around 9:05

Till Rohmann is Glitterbug, a production alias referencing Derek Jarman’s final film, put together as a tribute by friends after the director’s death. The film is a wordless compilation of his home movies from 1970 to 1986, set to a Brian Eno score. Footage glitterbug_byronnishendar4_308f42454a_d4de357432ranges from casual snippets of home life to behind-the-scenes set footage, along with appearances from famous friends like William S. Burroughs and the Sex Pistols. As the years progress, the spread of AIDS begins to decimate Jarman’s social circle. What this tells us about Till Rohann I don’t know other than it is another cinematic reference.

The first track of the D-side, 1st of July (which i think is only available as a bonus track) is the most upbeat of all the tracks on the album with the others being more contemplative to varying degrees. It’s a welcome light breaking through the darker material to provide balance to this set of songs as a whole and is followed by Look Around, a spacey ambient piece that ends the album in a sombre mood.

 

Due to the telly being on an being told to turn that bloody music down I have been listening on headphones, good ones, and the album sounds great, really well produced, full and rich. I liked this from one review describing the album: Those same streets, at 3:32 am, not a person in sight. This is TRANS-personal music, the sound of shadows and dust and phosphorescence and debris, as told by etheric synthdrones and dusted drum machines. The reviewer in not wrong.

Also, it has a great cover. I enjoy a cover with absolutely no text.

Rating: 8.9

Death and Vanilla – From Above 45

IMG_3493

I have almost certainly mentioned my love for Death and Vanilla  so I won’t go on about it again now. I just wanted to quickly mention a 7″ single that arrived the other day. I really like the graphic design of their covers and I’m also a sucker for coloured vinyl, so I had to have this really, there it is on my record player, on the left there.

I have a renewed interest in 7″ singles of late and they can be found quite cheaply if your prepared to dig through them at used record stores, usually at the £0.50 each sort of level or a bit more if they are considered popular or rare, but most people still don’t bother that much with them. Before I go any further, here is the A Side from this single, give it a spin:

Back to 7″ singles, I was digging through a rack of them a couple of weeks ago and picked up the following:

Beats International – Burundi Beats
Carmel – It’s all in the game
The Style Council – Speak Like A Child, Walls Come Tumbling Down, Shout to the Top
Soul II Soul – Get a Life
Black Uhuru – The Great Train Robbery~
Public Image – Rise
Bomb The Bass – Say a Little Prayer

Nine singles, £5, bargain really and they aren’t just to go on a shelf and be forgotten about, every couple of weeks I have a little 45’s session, it’s a break from whole albums, like your own mix tape in vinyl form.

So don’t ignore those rows of used 45’s in the record store, have a flick through, you will probably find something interesting.

Here is the B-Side of the Death and Vanilla single, Lux:

 

 

 

SBTRKT – Wonder Where We Land

Let’s go all the way back to 2014, ahh it only seems like yesterday, or about 4 years, same difference. An album came out by SBTRKT (Subtract) and I streamed it a lot because i liked it very much A track had come up on Spotify when I was shuffling in a music discovery sort of way and I added it to a playlist and ended up listening to the whole album.

I saw the ‘Deluxe’ version of the album in the now closed record store ‘Head’ in town and resisted buying it every time, mostly because it was expensive, somewhere around the £25 mark, maybe a bit more although they had the non-deluxe version as well and my indecision resulted in me buying neither.

r-6127012-1411740395-4589-jpeg

I was at a record fair in Oxford with Dave a couple of weekends ago, this is Dave a few months ago in the late 1980’s:

2815973-glasses-hamster-pet-animals___animal-wallpapers

[Original image removed on request of Dave] Anyway, one of the stalls had the SBTRKT album, deluxe version, for £12, still in shrink wrap but opened. So, obviously I bought it. I’m listening to it now in a Starbucks, not the record obviously, I have the rare pleasure of sitting in the corner with my MacBook doing a bit of writing and listening to some favourite tunes. What a joy. Last time I remember doing this was about 6 years ago when I was out of work. I should do it more.

Anyway, the track that first got me interested in this album was Higher (ft. Raury), I’ve no idea who Raury is but it’s a fine track:

Tracklist

A1 Day 1
A2 Wonder Where We Land
A3 Lantern
A4 Higher
A5 Day 5
A6 Look Away
A7 Osea
A8 Temporary View
B1 New Dorp. New York.
B2 Everybody Knows
B3 Problem (Solved)
B4 If It Happens
B5 Gon Stay
B6 The Light
B7 Voices In My Head
C1 Forgotten
C2 Paper Cuts
C3 War Drums
C4 Spaced Out
C5 Maybe
C6 Decemberist
D1 Tamagochi

Apparently there’s a full interactive version of the above video at http://lookaway.sbtrkt.com which I am just about to go and check out. Ok, there isn’t, page not found, ah well. Instead, here is the album and what comes with it, which includes a Zoetrope that I haven’t made yet, and possibly won’t, neat idea though:

 

SBTRKT (aka Aaron Jerome) emerged onto the underground dance scene in 2009. His music was described as house/electro/dubstep fusion and he hid is identity behind a  collection of African tribal face masks. His 2011 debut album was enhanced by a series of  collaborations with the likes of Sampha and Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano. This, his second album brings more guest appearances from A$AP Ferg, Jessie Ware, Ezra Koenig and, again, Sampha (pre his own full debut release and Mercury Music Prize win).

There’s more, Koreless, Denai Moore, Caroline Polachek, Raury, and Warpaint.  Aaron clearly loves a guest spot and so do I actually as the different voices and styles give depth and interest to the tracks on the album while the whole retains the sense of it being from the same artist.

I have listened to this album maybe 20 times now and each time I seem to discover something new that I like, or something I just missed on the previous listens.

I shall be looking out for his other releases.

Rating: 9.0

Random Album Selector For Today

So I find myself with about an hour or so alone in the house and have already played several albums but am undecided as to what to play next. I mentioned previously the Random Album Selector function of the Discogs app, so let’s try that shall we?

Ok, here goes, wish me luck……..

and the winner is………

r-1159754-1484101153-4513-jpeg

Right then, let’s give it a spin.

Tracklist
Sueperman’s Big Sister
Pardon
Delusions Of Grandeur
Yes & No (Paula)
Dance Of The Crackpots
Over The Points
(Take Your Elbow Out Of The Soup You’re Sitting On The Chicken)
Uncoolohol
Hey, Hey, Take Me Away
Manic Depression (Jimi)
Oh Mr Peanut
Fucking Ada

The Retro Store – Parcel 3

Finishing of this three part series which ties up with the three month subscription I purchased I present you the final three records I received ( a while ago, just catching up).

r-5688132-1478877883-7581-jpeg

I have this already, now I have two copies. As a reminder these were the genres I stated I was interested in:

CULT FILM SOUNDTRACKS
AMBIENT
DRONE
ELECTRONICA
HOUSE
POST-ROCK
EXPERIMENTAL
MODERN CLASSICAL

I don’t have anything much to say about the next two, other than that I have no idea why I was sent them:

r-824565-1378576831-4467-jpeg

r-3974784-1409323486-7193-jpeg

And that’s it. I received 9 records in total and they were:

Hello this is Paul Evans – Paul Evans
MCGUINNESS FLINT ‎– MCGUINNESS FLINT
DAVID BOWIE – THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD
The Psychedelic Furs – Forever Now
Eric Clapton – Slowhand
The Story Of Star Wars – Original Cast With Narration By Roscoe Lee Browne

and the three above. So that was £50. I wanted only one of them. It wasn’t worth the money.

I do think that if you have very small record collection then it is probably a good way to discover new things, but I don’t, so it isn’t.

 

Joan Armatrading – Still Cheap

IMG_2024

Playing this, which I just picked up and continues my belief that this woman is cheap, undeservedly so. I talk about it here.  I now have ten albums (this one was £2) and a 12″ single, total cost £14, average cost per item is £1.27. Crazy for work of this quality, still, it means it doesn’t hit my pocket hard I guess.

The title track alone is worth the money:

I don’t know how many are left to get but I’ll keep buying them at those prices for sure.

We need to talk about Emmylou

I have never, ever, been interested in the music of Emmylou Harris, it is not my thing at all and I have been quite content without it in my life. And then I bought, on a whim, a used copy of Blue Kentucky Girl for a few £’s. I listened to it and, much to my surprise, I really rather liked it. Now I can tell you without hesitation that only a few short years ago I wouldn’t have given it the time of day, and I wouldn’t have like it, not one bit, but for some reason that is no longer true.

r-2388483-1328351462-jpeg

Now it could have ended there, but it didn’t. She has become one of the artists who I keep my eyes open for when digging through used records for bargains. Why? No idea. So I was going through the £2 section in the used record store and they had seemingly recently bought somebodies collection which had included some Emmylou in it.

It was all a bit odd. When I am digging through racks if I find something I want I put it to the front and, when I move to the next rack I put it and any others at the front of that one, and so on an so forth. I did 8 £2 racks and ended up with 5 Emmylou Harris albums at the front. I did ponder momentarily if I was overdoing it, but £10 for 5 albums is pretty damn reasonable so I decided to take them.

So far I’ve listened to two of them and godamnit I really like them. So the first I listened to was this:

r-7200202-1454239491-2874-jpeg

Elite Hotel from 1976. Her version of The Beatles – Here, There and Everywhere really is quite beautiful. The whole thing is really but I can’t help being slightly annoyed at myself for liking it. This goes back to the musical bunkers we were all entrenched in back in my teens, it’s ingrained and difficult to shake, but I persevere.

Tracklist

A1 Amarillo 3:05
A2 Together Again 3:56
A3 Feelin’ Single – Seein’ Double 2:34
A4 Sin City 3:57
A5 One Of These Days 3:03
A6 Till I Gain Control Again 5:40
B1 Here, There And Everywhere 3:59
B2 Ooh Las Vegas 3:47
B3 Sweet Dreams 4:03
B4 Jambalaya 3:05
B5 Satan’s Jewel Crown 3:13
B6 Wheels 3:13

The other one I’ve listened to so far is this:

r-2388489-1297096607-jpeg

Thirteen from 1986. Opener Mystery Train is a cracker.

Also, Emmylou looks gorgeous on the cover, where she was 39 at the time, or maybe 40. She is still a very attractive woman at 70. Anyway, I liked this album as well and am now considering getting a cowboy hat.

Tracklist

A1 Mystery Train
A2 You’re Free To Go
A3 Sweetheart Of The Pines
A4 Just Someone I Used To Know
A5 My Father’s House
B1 Lacassine Special
B2 Today I Started Loving You Again
B3 When I Was Yours
B4 I Had My Heart Set On You
B5 Your Long Journey

I haven’t had a chance to listen to the other three yet but I’ll report back when I have, hopefully I’ll hate them and all this will be over.

 

 

Osibisa – Heads

I saw an album cover in a Facebook group I’m a member of, and it must have stuck with me as the next time I saw an Osibisa album in the shop I bought it, and it wasn’t a cheap £1 job either. I have no problem with trying things that I have never listened to before, on recommendation, but also sometimes just because I feel like it. You win some you lose some.

In the case of Osibisa, I won. I saw the third album, Heads, in the used record shop and bought it. Got it home and gave it a spin. I absolutely love it.

r-1368918-1421501813-9173-jpeg

So, in case you didn’t know (and I didn’t) Osibisa are a British Afrobeat band, founded in London in 1969 by four expatriate African and three Caribbean musicians. Their music is a fusion of African, Caribbean, jazz, funk, rock, Latin, and R&B. Osibisa were one of the first African-heritage bands to become widely popular and linked with the establishment of world music as a marketable genre.

Somebody uploaded all the tracks to youtube so feel free to have a listen.

I played it loud as there was nobody else home at the time and it absolutely rocks (or whatever the equivalent is for this genre).

I do remember seeing them over the years particularly as the artwork for one of the albums was by Roger Dean, who did all those Yes covers: Dean agreed to work on the cover of Osibisa (1971) by afrobeat band Osibisa. The design is a result of a brief that Dean described as “credible African fairytale imagery” and features “flying elephants and not architecture”, which became an early representation of the style he later achieved fame with.[2] Dean considered the job a breakthrough for his career as the design was made into a poster by the Big ‘O’ poster company which sold a large number of copies.[2] He later said, “From that point on I could do what I wanted”

I can’t recall ever having listened to them though or where I first became aware of them, they were just a piece of limited knowledge that I’ve carried around in my head for years, until now. Maybe there was a single in the 80’s that I saw on TV. Hang on………………………….. OK, I just did a search, They performed The Warrior on Top of the Pops at some point in the late 70’s, which I could well have seen:

A further search reveals this from 1976, a song I definitely know even if I may not have seen this performance:

Heads Tracklist

A1 Kokorokoo 4:35
A2 Wango Wango 4:31
A3 So So Mi La So 3:13
A4 Sweet America 4:21
A5 Ye Tie Wo 4:17
B1 Che Che Kule 6:28
B2 Mentumi 3:47
B3 Sweet Sounds 5:12
B4 Do You Know 4:49

I really love that I have stumbled across this band and that they have an extensive back catalogue to explore. It gives me more to look out for when I am digging around record shops and fairs. Looking forward to learning and hearing more.

Oh, and the album gets a rating of (this could go up or down as I get to listen to it more in the future): 8.8

Jimi Hendrix (2)

In my last Hendrix post I mentioned that I used to have the War Heroes album. Well now I have it again, here it is:

IMG_2789

Just been listening to it again for the first time in forever, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tracklist

A1 Bleeding Heart
A2 Highway Chile
A3 Tax Free
A4 Peter Gunn Catastrophe
A5 Stepping Stone
B1 Midnight
B2 3 Little Bears
B3 Beginning
B4 Izabella

Radiohead

Because it’s funny

The Beatles – The White Album

I’ve said somewhere before that The White album is a brilliant single album, but not so great as a double and, though I’ve listened to the album many times, I’ve never actually owned a copy until this week. I picked up a German re-press from 1980, cover in OK condition but no pictures/posters. As long as it plays I’m not that bothered. It was £8, which is pretty cheap for this double album and, even though it sticks right at the end of Blackbird, I’m pretty pleased with it. 

Speaking of the 4 pictures that came with it, these are they:

r-2286095-1460372994-7968-jpeg

I used to have these when I was about 14, maybe 15. There was a record shop and the B’s were filed alphabetically near the door and the counter was at the other end of the shop with the Z’s. One day I went it in and was looking at The White Album and realised that the photographs were in there. Quite suddenly they weren’t and I left the shop. I had them up on my bedroom wall for quite a while but they were lost at some point. If you’re judging me, stop it, I was just a kid.

The problem I have with the album is that some of the tracks aren’t, in my opinion, very good. People will disagree of course, and they are quite welcome to, but the George Harrison track, Piggies for example, is just mean spirited and feels like a bad nursery rhyme put to music. It does have cultural significance having been adopted by the counterculture of 1968 as an anti establishment theme song and was, of course, one of the tracks Charles Manson used as part of his Helter-Skelter theory of an American race-related countercultural revolution. Cultural significance doesn’t necessarily translate to good though, and this isn’t.

While I’m being negative, I’d throw out Rocky Raccoon, Wild Honey Pie, probably Glass Onion, definitely Don’t Pass Me By, Why Don’t We Do It In The Road, Birthday, oh and loads of others.

So my single album would look something like this and, in my opinion, would be a much better proposition.

Back In The U.S.S.R.
Dear Prudence
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Martha My Dear
I’m So Tired
Blackbird
Julia
Mother Nature’s Son
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
Sexy Sadie
Helter Skelter


Revolution (Replacing Revolution 1)
Cry, Baby, Cry

And these are the tracks for the Beatles Anthology series released way after the fact, pretty much for enthusiasts only:

Glass Onion
Wild Honey Pie
Piggies
Rocky Raccoon
Don’t Pass Me By
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
I Will
Birthday
Yer Blues
Long, Long, Long
Honey Pie
Savoy Truffle
Revolution 9
Good Night

I know, sacrilege, but hey, I’m entitled to my opinion and it doesn’t have to match yours. I was watching some videos of a Beatles collector the other day and there seems to be no subjectivity at all, everything is brilliant and it wasn’t. A lot was of course but not all of it.

white

I don’t know if you’ve heard of a guy called Rutherford Chang, he collects The White Album and currently has 1,947 copies. That’s Piggies 1,947 times, good lord, that would be painful. His site is here.

On the other side of the coin, Happiness is a Warm Gun is a brilliant track, and was brilliantly covered by The Breeders:

As it says in the Lennon/Ono interview further up the page, it’s a collage, and it really works.

To be honest, I think Revolver is a much better album, and I’m not alone in that opinion. For the record I think Sgt Peppers is overrated as well. I own them both and have been listening to them for years, Sgt. Peppers certainly has its moments and it is undoubtedly a good album, but if I had these three records and only these three records, Revolver would be on the turntable more than the other two even though I really dislike Yellow Submarine, actually, any song that Ringo sings on I find to be generally lacking.

I’ve just read back what I’ve written, it sounds like I hate The White Album, I don’t, there are just some tracks I can do without having to listen to. I think it’s a great album that could have been brilliant.

As a side note, I was talking to my son about this very subject this evening and he thinks my opinion makes me an idiot, he usually has good judgement about these things.

 

 

Jimi Hendrix

I have only ever owned 4 Hendrix records, I’ve had some CD’s and some cassettes over the years, but only 4 actual records and I’ve lost all of them along the way so there is a void in the H section of my shelves that really needs something in it.

I saw a job lot online of 6 albums and, well, I bought it. They worked out at £5 each and in that job lot were 3 of the 4 albums I owned.

s-l1600

The ones I had were Isle Of White, Band of Gypsies and Cry Of Love or, if you are looking at the picture, top left, bottom left and bottom right. The missing one is War Heroes, which  I must now find to get back to where I was 25 years ago. I had Cry of Love/War Heroes as a double album in a gatefold sleeve, I may have given it to my brother, I forget.

I’m listening to Cry of Love now and it is much better than I remember it. I seem to recall always being a bit disappointed with it and War Heroes because it didn’t have any of the songs I knew on it, but now I know a lot more of them and Cry of Love is really very good indeed. I wish I could have enjoyed it more when I originally had it as I probably would have kept hold of it.

r-412775-1313097451-jpeg

Tracklist

A1 Freedom (Backing Vocals – The Ghetto Fighters) 3:24
A2 Drifting (Vibraphone – Buzzy Linhart) 3:46
A3 Ezy Ryder (Backing Vocals – Chris Wood, Steve Winwood, Drums – Buddy Miles) 4:09
A4 Night Bird Flying 3:50
A5 My Friend (Bass – Noel Redding, Harmonica – Gers) 4:40

B1 Straight Ahead 4:42
B2 Astro Man 3:37
B3 Angel 4:25
B4 In From The Storm (Backing Vocals – Emeretta Marks) 3:42
B5 Belly Button Window 3:34

I played Isle of White a lot in my teens, not least becasue it was a time when I could still enjoy a good drum solo, which is not the case so much anymore, anything over 2 minutes and I tend to get a bit bored.

It was from this album that I learned to play Foxy Lady (well, I say learned, I could play the main riff and that was about it) and All Along the Watchtower which I always played in a style more akin to Hendrix than Dylan.

r-779428-1451297960-6803-jpeg

Tracklist

A1 Midnight Lightning
A2 Foxey Lady
A3 Lover Man

B1 Freedom
B2 All Along The Watchtower (Written-By – Bob Dylan)
B3 In From The Storm

I’m looking forward to putting this one on the turntable and giving it a spin after all these years just to see if the drum solo is as long as I remember it to be and whether I can resist skipping it.

[Update: The record was filthy and I had to give it a good clean, it plays lovely now. Drum solo approaching, I’m drying the dishes so I will probabaly manage to get through it!)]

[Update 2: Drum solo wasn’t very long at all, guess I was thinking of something else]

Band Of Gypys I always really enjoyed, though I’m not entirely sure why,  I think it was because I’d read somewhere it was all new material with what was to be his new band, had he not died. And the article, if I’m remembering it right talked of a new direction, so I was open to that.

r-903269-1445005979-4661-jpeg

Tracklist

A1 Who Knows 9:34
A2 Machine Gun 12:38

B1 Changes 5:11
B2 Power To Love 6:55
B3 Message Of Love 5:24
B4 We Gotta Live Together 5:51

Here is an excerpt of Machine Gun

The other albums I know little about, they are:

Crash Landing (1975)

r-5387739-1392126092-5999-jpeg

Tracklist

A1 Message To Love (Voice – Buddy Miles) 3:14
A2 Somewhere Over The Rainbow 3:30
A3 Crash Landing (Voice – Barbara Massey, Linda November, Vivian Cherry) 4:14
A4 Come Down Hard On Me 3:16

B1 Peace In Mississippi 4:21
B2 With The Power (Voice – Buddy Miles, Jimi Hendrix) 3:28
B3 Stone Free Again 3:25
B4 Captain Coconut (Percussion [Slinky] – Jimmy Maeulen) 4:06

Midnight Lightning (1975)

r-517344-1129221479-jpeg

Tracklist

A1 Trash Man 3:16
A2 Midnight Lightning 3:52
A3 Hear My Train 5:18
A4 Gypsy Boy (New Rising Sun) 3:51

B1 Blue Suede Shoes 3:28
B2 Machine Gun 7:27
B3 Once I Had A Woman 5:44
B4 Beginnings 3:02

Nine to the Universe (1980)

r-2420019-1422529001-6531-jpeg

Tracklist

A1 Nine To The Universe 8:45
A2 Jimi/Jimmy Jam 8:04

B1 Young/Hendrix 10:32
B2 Easy Blues 4:30
B3 Drone Blues 6:16

I will not be going mad and trying to collect everything ever by Hendrix as there is so much out there that it probably couldn’t be completed in a lifetime, but I will be looking out for them a bit more now, particularly War Heroes and the official albums that were relapsed while he was still alive.

The Used Record Store

I popped into the used record store today, just for 20 minutes, and left with 12 albums. It was speed digging and I could have spent longer but I had other things to do and had to get a move on. They had 9 racks of £2 an album and I had 20 at one pint that I was going to buy, whittled it down and ended up with 12 albums for £30. At those sort of prices it allows me to pick up things that I perhaps normally wouldn’t or to try something I don’t know. This is what I got for my £30:

UB40 – Present Arms
I have said for a very long time that they only made one good album, and this isn’t it, but I like ‘One In Ten’ so will give it a go.

The Alan Parsons Project – I Robot

I’ve seen this pop up all over the place but I know nothing about it so it’s a shot in the dark. I just put it on, the opening 60 seconds sound good, I hope the rest is also.

Madness – Absolutely

I like Madness, everybody should.

Prefab Sprout – Swoon

I have Steve McQueen and like that but haven’t listened to this, so worth a go.

ABC – Beauty Stab

‘Lexicon of Love’ is a brilliant album, but I know nothing off this one so it is very much worth a go, an no great issue if it is crap.

Simon & Garfunkel – The Graduate Soundtrack

Because I don’t have it and it ticks lots of boxes, I like soundtracks, I have most of the other Simon & Garfunkel albums so, all good.


Harry Nilsson – A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night & Nilsson Schmilsson

Two Nilsson albums here, I know some of the tracks but have never really listened to much other than the obvious so I thought I’d give these a go.

KD Lang and the Reclines – Absolute Torch & Twang

I picked up a KD Lang album at a record fair for very little last weekend and quite liked it, so this for £2 seemed a reasonable selection.

Sade – Diamond Life

Because it really is very, very good, and I may still, possibly, maybe have a crush on her.

The Tubes – The Tubes

Because I like The Tubes, but have only ever had one 7″ single.

Joni Mitchell – Hejira

Not from the £2 section and the most expensive of all these, but in great condition and one I was missing.

All in all pretty pleased with that very quick trip. Here they are in video form:

 

 

 

 

Two Gallants – We Are Undone

r-6585858-1435857737-2778-jpeg

I bought this album entirely on a whim having heard nothing, nor even read about them. I just liked the look of it and it was a reasonable price, I think I paid £8. I believe this is their sixth album and they are described as a Folk rock duo from San Franciso, California, USA. The band name comes from the title of a story by James Joyce in his book Dubliners.

I’m not sure I’d go for folk rock myself, to me they are a cross between The White Stripes, Radiohead and Nirvana as, when I’ve listened to the album, bits and pieces that have cropped up have reminded me of those three bands more than any others.

It took me a few listens, 3 or 4, before I could decide if I liked the album or not and, having listened to it again today, I have fallen on the side of like.

We Are Undone, was released in February 2015 having been written and recorded at Panoramic House studio in rural Stinson Beach, California, a house converted into a studio where the band also stayed while recording. I believe they normally work on songs as they perform them live but these songs weren’t done that way for the most part and were born in the studio, I’ve no idea what if anything changed as a result from earlier albums but I like this one so something must have gone right.

r-6585858-1424519245-3375-jpeg

I liked this live performance of ‘Some Trouble’ quite lot.

This is from their website (which can be found here) about the release of this album:

Reached at home, Stephens and Vogel talked about finding inspiration in admitting you don’t have the answers. You recorded this with Karl Derfler in Panoramic Studio in Stinson Beach; what was working with Karl like? For this one, he just acted more as an engineer than a straight producer, correct?

Adam Stephens: The limitations of playing with essentially two instruments has probably been the most driving force for our sound over the years. It’s like this wall that we continually bump up against and every time it repels us in a new direction. Karl pulled off some incredible things within those restrictions. Karl’s been involved in some amazing records and with a lot of musicians we look up to: Tom Waits, Roky Erickson, The Flamin’ Groovies, just to name a few. The three of us pretty much saw eye-to-eye immediately on what we wanted to hear. I think he was able to capture our sound in a way that was very familiar and very real but somehow new to us as well.

So on the opening song and title track “We Are Undone,” You’re talking about the marketplace, you’re talking about the dry and barren field.  And you also say “you sing to the choir/and they know every line.” What was sort of on your mind as you were making the song?

AS: I guess that song is about the illusion of thinking that what you’re doing is of some significance simply because people come out to your shows or because you are told that you make something that moves people in a certain way. But the song is definitely not a statement. I don’t know. It was more of an exploration I guess.

Like, trying to find an answer through a song. It’s not like you have a definite answer. You’re sort of thinking about things out loud.

AS: Yeah. I don’t believe in writing songs with a plan in mind. That saps all the impulse out of it when it should be more like following a lead. The lead I was following with “We Are Undone” was, without being too blunt about it, trying to make sense of this unending pressure to acquire and consume, and usually as conspicuously  as possible, that has taken a hold of our culture. Consuming actual material items and consuming the belief system behind it: that our lives and our happiness are absolutely dependent upon those very items. Everyone is aware of the destructive nature of the way that we live, but nobody wants to do away with all of its comforts. And if you, for a second, start to tell someone that the only way we’re going to solve a problem is if we do away with a certain comfort that they’ve grown up with or grown so accustomed to, then people are up in arms and don’t want to do anything about it.

Were you thinking about anything in particular when you wrote this song? Because you’re from San Francisco. Was that something on your mind while you were writing?

AS: Not this song as much. Actually, the last song on the album, “There’s So Much I Don’t Know,” has a lot more to do with that.

How so?

AS: It’s a bit more about the feeling of becoming estranged from the city, from San Francisco. The place that has always been our home has become rather unwelcoming for the very people whose eccentricities had defined the city for so long; people who want to live simply and make art or music or just be weird somewhere. Every place that has housed or staged that oddity and diversity has basically become extremely exclusive or been shut down. The strangeness is gone. That’s kind of the centerpiece of the song I guess.

Tyson Vogel: If you listen to all of our records, we never have ever tried to portray anything that wouldn’t really be there if you were to go see us play live. And I think a lot of that is in the process of creating the songs, too. Also just having faith in that space, but also, giving the simplistic nature of only two members its full due. You have to commit to it fully.

So tell me about the cover? I hear you have something interesting planned.

AS: It’s a drawing by Kevin Earl Taylor of a 160,000 year old fossilized human skull. As far as the fossil record reveals, it’s basically considered to be from the last stage of evolution that preceded modern humans. The idea was to hint at humanity before it had fully developed its self­-awareness. When its consciousness was just budding. A stage, obviously, all of us go through in a lifetime when we first begin to realize that we’re actually individuals, separate from our parents and our surroundings.

You and Tyson have been working together for around 12 years, and you’ve known each other for much longer than that, right?

AS: Yeah, we’ve known each other since we were five.

So, as you and Tyson have been doing it for a long time, do you sort of have to push each other in order to keep it fresh? Do you guys have to guard each other and let yourselves fall back on old habits?

AS: Well, I would say the one thing that we try to remind one another of is to not overthink what we’re playing. A lot of times when we have a new song that feels pretty good, we’ll decide to not keep working on it because we don’t want to lose that initial feeling. It’s sort of inevitable that we will. But it’s really important to kind of keep that initial feeling, to be able to maintain that part of the song that was there before it could really be considered a song.

TV: I think there’s something especially raw about being in a band with only two people, there’s a certain set of chemistry or energy that happens. This sort of transferal. And I think that ever since the beginning, it’s been super intimate. Because it’s only us two. And so, with that there comes a lot of freedom. And then there comes a lot of spots where we both have to be able to acclimate to maybe a difference of approach or a creative idea that is new to our process. And there’s a volatile love that comes with that process. I think that with this album, in reference to the albums previous, I think it steps in line with this other sort of expansion of both our personal lives, and our relationships personally. We’re both growing together and in different ways, and learning how to find that balance.

Tracklist

A1 We Are Undone
A2 Incidental
A3 Fools Like Us
A4 Invitation To The Funeral
A5 Some Trouble
B1 My Man Go
B2 Katy Kruelly
B3 Heartbreakdown
B4 Murder The Season / The Age Nocturne
B5 The Strange Is Gone

Rating: 8.4

Although nothing to do with this album, the track below was on the previous album and I like it, so I may have a look for tht at some point:

Random Album Selector

Earlier today I knocked up a Random Album Selector in excel for when I can’t decide which album to listen to.  I posted it in a Facebook group and a couple of kind folks pointed out that the Discogs app already does it, and here’s me thinking I had an original idea! The app does it really well. On your phone just go into your collection, shake the phone and up comes a random album from your collection. Touch the screen and it disappears, shake again, there’s another one.

I recorded my phone screen as I was using it. There’s a slight delay on covers downloading sometimes but that isn’t important, you can still see which album it picked at random:

I shall be using this every now and again, just to mix things up and maybe play some of those albums I don’t get around to often enough.

%d bloggers like this: