Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 2)

Here we go again with another Your Fucking Sunny Day video compilation. It really needs some kind of strap line, but I can’t think of one, not a good one anyway.

Tracklist:

Fever Ray ‘If I Had A Heart’
Lamb – Butterfly Effect
Four Tet – Smile Around The Face (2005)
Morcheeba – Blood Like Lemonade (official)
MØ – XXX 88 ft. Diplo
UNKLE – The Runaway
Nightmares on Wax – Les Nuits
Bonobo – Eyesdown feat. Andreya Triana
Telepopmusik – Sound (feat Mark Gardener) – Official Video
Amon Tobin – ‘4 Ton Mantis’
DJ Shadow – Six Days
Burial & Four Tet – Nova
Prefuse 73 – Love You Bring
Portishead – Only You
Zero 7 – In The Waiting Line
Bjӧrk – Mutual Core – OFFICIAL – Art + Music – MOCAtv
Radiohead – No Surprises

Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 1)

Does anybody remember when Music Television would play one good video/song after another and had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with reality television? I certainly do, and to help combat this void I have put together the first episode of ‘Your Fucking Sunny Day’ named after the first artist on the first episode, Lambchop, although this isn’t the song included, I chose it because it’s a better title than ‘Gone Tomorrow’, and a great song. Each episode will be about 70 mins long, and I have no idea myself what will be in future episodes, whatever takes my fancy I suppose.

Based on my site statistics this, and future episodes, will be viewed by 0.75 people, which is fine, they are handy for me to chromecast on to my TV, so that’s reason enough. So here goes, I hope all 0.75 of you enjoy this video playlist.

TRACKLIST:

LAMBCHOP – GONE TOMORROW
BON IVER – HOLOCENE
IRON & WINE – BOY WITH THE COIN
MIDLAKE – YOUNG BRIDE
SONGS: OHIA – BACK ON TOP
PHOSPHORESCENT – RIDE ON/RIGHT ON
M83 – WAIT
ARCADE FIRE – AFTERLIFE
EFTERTKLANG = HOLLOW MOUNTAIN
BEIRUT – POSTCARD FROM ITALY
METRONOMY – I’M AQUARIUS
ROYKSOP AND ROBYN – MONUMENT
STINA NORDENSTAM – TRAINSURFING
TAKEN BY TREES – DREAMS

what’s in the bag? (49)

IMAG0827 I bought this today for £3.50 in Head Records in Leamington Spa, and it plays like new. I’ve always liked Grace Jones, who is another one who has had a bit of a bad response from many in the music press, perhaps since the time she hit Russell Harty on TV, although I thought all the guests on his chat show should probably have hit him. My favourite bit is when the audience applauds as she wades in (the guy who talks over it is a dick):

I took a crappy photo of it so here is the actual cover, in which my interest was re-ignited after I read an article on how it was created (by her then partner, Jean Paul Goude):

visual_trickery

As you can see, she didn’t actually perform the pose, it is a composite. Despite this, it is still a great cover image.

Here is the entire album in video, with an extra one at the end, of her 2012 performance for the Jubilee where, at the age of 64, she hula-hoops whilst performing ‘Slave to the rythm’, extraordinary woman.

The album itself is a greatest hits of sorts so there aren’t any bad tracks on it and it is a fabulous introduction to her work.

Now I shall probably grab some more Grace on vinyl, as I had ‘Nightclubbing’ at some point in the distant past and feel the need to get it again.

7/10

What’s in the bag? (40-48)

I am an incompletist, this is clear to me, this is very similar to a completist, but without the need to get absolutely everything. What I have is the need to get a lot, but not all. This is evidenced but my previous desire to get a couple of Gary Numan/Tubeway Army albums on vinyl, namely ‘The Pleasure Principle’ and ‘Replicas’. What happened next is a manifestation of my incompletism, which may very well be an ilness. I went a bit obsessive. It’s calmed down a bit now, but it isn’t over. So this is what I ended up getting, remember, I started out wanting two:

Now, I’ve spoken before about how Numan somehow never manages to be cool and there has been ridicule over the years, however, he has put out some great albums over the last few years that, sadly, have been mostly ignored. Take ‘Pure’ as an example, it really is some of the best music he’s ever done (mine is a double in red vinyl, lovely thing) which goes back as far as 2000. Have a listen, it’s really very good:

Ok, maybe this will work better:

Gary Numan – Guitar, Keyboards, Programming, vocals
Richard Beasley – drums
Steve Harris – Guitar
Rob Holliday – Guitar, Keyboards
Monti – Drums, Keyboards, Programming

The album received mixed reviews, from rather scathing to warm, which is a shame, but there seem to have been sections of the media that have never taken to Numan. Jumping back a little further, there is ‘Exile’, which is worth having just for the track ‘Dead Heaven’, one of my favourites, but the whole album is good.

Gary Numan – vocals, producer, keyboards, guitar, engineer, mixing
Mike Smith – keyboards
Rob Harris – guitar

Here is Numan the one time I’ve seen him live back in 2011, two of the musicians didn’t turn up but they carried on regardless, was a good gig.

Chances are I’ll pick up a few more, bound to happen really.

What’s in the bag? (28)

IMAG0682
There’s always been something I liked about Simon & Garfunkel, though I’ve never bothered to take the time to analyse quite what it is. A job lot of their albums were up for sale and I bought them, 10 albums, for £21. So, doing the complicated math, they were £2.10 each, which I though was well worth it. I’ll probably get around to posting about them all at some point but the first one I put on the turntable was ‘Wednesday Morning at 3am”. There was no logic to this other than the fact I liked the massive typeface on the cover, and possibly how impossibly young they both look.

I didn’t realise that this was their 1964 debut release, which does seem a ridiculously long time ago, and didn’t know until I just looked it up. Apparently it didn’t do very well at the time and was re-released after radio success for the track ‘The Sound of Silence’. Going back to why I liked them, it’s actually a combination of things, not least of which is the song writing, which is of a consistently high standard, but it was other things as well. I think I associated them with “The Graduate” and the whole style of that film, and I also liked that Garfunkel was seemingly rather weird.

Here’s the tracklist as released on the original vinyl:

Side one
1. “You Can Tell the World” (Bob Gibson/Bob Camp) – 2:47
2. “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” (Ed McCurdy) – 2:11
3. “Bleecker Street” (Simon) – 2:44
4. “Sparrow” (Simon) – 2:49
5. “Benedictus” (traditional, arranged and adapted by Simon and Garfunkel) – 2:38
6. “The Sound of Silence” (Simon) – 3:08
Side two
7. “He Was My Brother” (Paul Kane*) – 2:48
8. “Peggy-O” (traditional) – 2:26
9. “Go Tell It on the Mountain” (traditional) – 2:06
10. “The Sun Is Burning” (Ian Campbell) – 2:49
11. “The Times They Are a-Changin'” (Bob Dylan) – 2:52
12. “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” (Simon) – 2:13

Interesting I think that they only wrote half the songs on that debut, but I suppose, at the time, it was quite the norm to have others write for you or to do covers or traditional numbers, Dylan certainly did well with the latter.

Here’s the ‘Concert from Central Park’ recorded in 1981. And below that “Wednesday at 3AM” on Spotify.

What’s in the bag? (23)

Back with Rush again, and that gig I mentioned in my last post. Way back in 1981 (when I was fourteen) I bought a ticket for the ‘Exit Stage Left’ tour well in advance. I put the ticket, under a weight, on top of my wardrobe, the top being at about head height, and I saw it every day sitting there, waiting for the day I could use it. Naturally I was rather excited about this as it involved four or five of us travelling down to London from Didcot, on the train, and then on the tube to Wembley, and back again after the gig. Having sat on the wardrobe for several months, it went missing a couple of weeks before the gig. By went missing I mean that somebody took it, I didn’t misplace it, didn’t lose it, it was under a weight and it didn’t just blow away.

This didn’t stop me going. We all went down, four of us with tickets and me without. I did manage to get a ticket from a tout but I was some distance form the stage, whereas everybody else was pretty near the front, in the first twenty rows somewhere. It was still a decent view though. They told me afterwards that nobody took my place with my ticket, but they may well have known them and decided not to tell me. In many ways I would rather that somebody turned up rather than take the ticket and not use it, which feels rather more spiteful.

The internet is a wonderful thing as a quick search provided me with the set list from that gig, her’s a link to the site I found it on:

Setlist.fm

And here is the set list of the tracks they played that night:

2112 Part I: Overture
2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx
Freewill
Limelight
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part I: Prelude
Beneath, Between & Behind
Subdivisions (Early version)
The Camera Eye
YYZ
Drum Solo
Broon’s Bane
The Trees
Xanadu
The Spirit of Radio
Red Barchetta
Closer to the Heart
Tom Sawyer
Vital Signs
Working Man
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part IV: Armageddon
By-Tor & The Snow Dog
In the End
In the Mood
2112 Part VII: Grand Finale

Encore:
La Villa Strangiato

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It was a great set that leaned heavily on ‘Moving Pictures’, which had been their last studio album and is still a favourite of mine. The event was spoiled somewhat for me at the time by all the goings on but now, 34 years later, I can look back on it rather fondly because I still got to see them and it was a damn fine gig. I put together the set list as a Spotify playlist as best I could and it’s below, after that is ‘Exit Stage Left’ itself, it’s a twofor!

8.4/10

And then I found this, which is rather spiffy:

WHAT’S IN THE BAG? (20, 21, 22)

Rush have never been cool, and never will be, but they are a large section of the soundtrack to my adolescence and have, in one way or another, been with me for 35 years. This is a bloody long time, though we did part ways in 1985 with the last thing I bought by them being Power Windows, which I really liked but I was heading in a different direction taste wise and have never listened to the next 9 albums. That’s not to say I won’t, but I think things began to get a bit keyboard centric for me at the time.

The bag contained three Rush albums, the first three, Rush, Fly By Night and Caress of Steel. Their first reminds me in perhaps too many ways of Led Zeppelins first. The songs don’t necessarily sound the same, it’s the feel of the whole thing that makes it reminiscent for me, from the minimal colour on the sleeve to there being rather a lot of riffing going on (which is not necessarily a negative).

Original drummer, John Rutsey, does a fine job, but he isn’t Neil Peart, then again who is? The difference is immediately evident with ‘Fly By Night’ opener, Anthem where the addition of Peart adds a complexity that wasn’t previously there. Of these three albums the third, Caress of Steel, is probably my least favourite, ‘I think I’m going bald’ is, frankly, annoying and I could probably do without 19 minutes and 58 seconds of ‘The Fountain Of Lamneth’, and in the entire Rush canon, i could also do without all Tolkien references and Tolkienesque lyrics (Such as Rivendell on Fly By Night). I don’t dislike this aspect as such, but now it all seems somewhat twee.

I have seen Rush live once, which was, I’m pretty sure, the ‘Exit Stage Left’ tour, oddly a tour to promote a live album. It was at Wembley Arena, London, in 1981. I remember two things most vividly about this concert, the first was the opening notes of Tom Sawyer and the second was wishing they’d hurry up and get to the end of ‘By-Tor and the bloody Snow Dog’, although I think that was because it was getting a bit late by now and I had a two hour train journey home afterwards. I do actually rather like the track. Out of curiosity I looked up the following:

  • Rush’s road manager Howard Ungerleider came up with the title at a party. There were two dogs at the party, one a German shepherd and the other a tiny white nervous dog. Howard used to call the shepherd By-Tor because anyone that walked into the house was bitten. The other dog was a snow-dog (white). So from that night on Howard called the pair of dogs “By-Tor and the Snow Dog.” The dogs belonged to Rush’s manager.

    from – Songfacts

There will be more about this concert in a future post, but for now I would like to say just a couple more things, I would really love to be cool and only talk about really hip bands, but bollocks to that, I love a bit of Rush. Also, I will probably give those missing 9 albums a go at some point as there’s a very high possibility that I’m missing out on some good stuff. Here are the first three albums for your listening pleasure

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Rush 8.2/10
Caress Of Steel 8.3/10
Fly By Night 8.3/10

Yeah, mmhhmm, yeah

Quite laid back, a 74 minute mix.

What’s in the bag? (6)

IMAG0451Somebody had the day off, and that somebody may have nipped into town to the record shop, the same somebody may have spent a tiny bit more than they had intended to, can’t say any more than that.

What I can say though, is just how good ‘To Be Kind’ by ‘Swans’ is. It’s their 13th studio album, and the only one I own (as of today) and is a triple vinyl. I have heard it before on spotify and that’s part of the reason I bought it. Here is some stuff blatantly stolen from Wikipedia:

IMAG0486

Upon its release, To Be Kind was widely praised by music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 88, based on 35 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim”. Mark Deming of Allmusic gave the album a positive review, stating: “Michael Gira is a man unafraid to follow his muse wherever it may take him, and To Be Kind is another example of his singular vision writ large without compromise.” Anna Wilson of Clash praised the album, describing it as “Karlheinz Stockhausen’s jarring classicism, Captain Beefheart‘s twisted blues, and the industrialism ofEinstürzende Neubauten coalescing into a swirling musical miasma.” She also stated that the album is “near perfection.” Benjamin Bland of Drowned in Sound gave the album a 10/10 score and stated: “A two-hour odyssey of similar proportions to The Seer, this is an album that emphasises rather than establishes Swans’ reconfirmed position at the top of the experimental rock tree, but that doesn’t make it any less of a thrill.” He also further commented: “Now that this mission has been completed there is space for To Be Kind, and future Swans records to affirm, rather than prove, that Swans are, and perhaps always have been, the greatest rock group on the face of the planet.” Writing for Rolling Stone, Kory Grow also compared this album to The Seer as well as the 1996 effort Soundtracks for the Blind, noting how Swans’ sound has evolved so that they “don’t just crush—they hypnotize”. The Needle Drop gave the album a 10/10, making To Be Kind the second ever contemporary album to receive a perfect score from the site, after Death GripsThe Money Store.

Ross Horton of musicOMH gave the album a 5-star score, commenting: “Gira shows that the Swans resurgence isn’t a fluke.” Stuart Berman of Pitchfork Media praised Gira’s efforts on the album, stating: “He’s responded in the best way possible: by producing a record that, in structure and scale, is every bit The Seer ’​s equal, yet possessed by a peculiar energy and spirit that proves all the more alluring in its dark majesty.” Rory Gibb of The Quietus wrote: “By this point they’ve further coalesced into an inseparable entity: on To Be Kind we experience Swans as totality, all seething ebb and flow, crafting music that seems to breathe of its own volition.” He also stated that the album’s songs “feel more fluid and open-ended than before, expressive and rich in possibility.”  Colm McAuliffe of The Skinny also gave the album a positive review, stating: “Despite the two-hour plus running time, Swans appear to be – gasp! – enjoying themselves; they’re still staring into the abyss but the abyss is no longer staring back.” He also noted that the album “displays much more diversity than its immediate predecessors.” Louis Pattison of Uncut wrote: “Yet as the name suggests, To Be Kind does feature a quality hithertorare in Swans: that of tenderness.” He also further stated: “Michael Gira is not only still moving forward, but making some of the albums of his career.”

Nevertheless, Jon Dennis of The Guardian was mixed in his assessment of the album, describing the album as “uncompromising to the point of overindulgence.”[

—————————————————

It was a bit expensive, but worth it. Oddly enough it reminds me of P.I.L at times, and at others pick a post-rock outfit at random, and a bit of Slint. To be honest it doesn’t matter much though, I love it, that IS what matters.

8.4/10

Banga – Playlist

Made for a drive to work the other day.

What’s in the bag (3)

IMAG0451Sometime in the 80’s (I think it was 1987) I saw Bob Dylan at the NEC in Birmingham. It was a little odd as the support act, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, did a long set that lasted about an hour and a half and then Dylan came on with the Heartbreakers as his backing band and did about an hour. At the time I was a bit disappointed, but I have subsequently managed to get a bootleg recording of the gig and it is a much better gig than I remember it being. I think that one of the reasons is that I was listening to ‘Desire’ a lot at the time and they didn’t play a single track from it, so it was my own expectations that were at fault more than anything.

‘Desire’ is one of my favourite Dylan albums, and I have a copy on CD, but £4 for a decent vinyl copy was a must really.

IMAG0459

8.4/10

No Title (Except This One)

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The Long Fall From Grace (Part 2)

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Part 2 of 2.

The Long Fall From Grace (Part 1)

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Part 1 of a 2 part set.

PLAYLIST: Memory Bliss

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Now that the NOW’s are out of the way for a while, here is a 72 minute playlist that I often listen to while using excel, I have no idea why exactly, it just sort of happens.

 

http://open.spotify.com/user/1136278651/playlist/1AtisCGOApZSLhyG6vitTd