POTW 5 (12/12/19)

Apple Music – I hate you, but I love you, but I hate you

ituneslogo-400I have a subscription to Apple Music mostly because of my son, who wanted to switch from Spotify about 2 years ago. It had benefits as at the time the Spotify ‘Family’ bundle was for 1 extra user where as the Apple Family bundle was for 5 extra users, for about the same price.

The problem I have with Apple music is how it is periodically shit. I went through several iterations of all my downloads and all my playlists disappearing and syncing with ITunes on a MacBook did nothing to fix this. So I would dutifully add everything again, download everything again and then a couple of days later it would all disappear again. The problem is entirely fictitious and exists only in my own mind of course, I know this to be fact because Apple Support told me, in a very ‘First Name Use I’m Your Buddy Just Trying To Help Here My Friend’ kind of way that it was so. Then, it sort of stopped. I wasn’t losing the albums or playlists, they were just un-downloading themselves, and then. over 4 or 5 months there was just the odd one now and again that was un-downloading itself. So I loved Apple Music for a while as when I wanted to listen to something it was there, until this week.

This week, Apple Music refused to stay open. It would pop up with chirpy ‘Hi there friend, what shall we listen to today?’ and then just as quickly ‘Bye Bye’. The app would minimise, not close, minimise. Open it, same ‘Hi’, same ‘Bye Bye’. This went on for three day and I couldn’t find a fix online for it that worked for me. Then, hurrah, an Operating System update, ‘That will fix it’ I thought having learned nothing from experience.

It did, it bloody well did. I had everything I wanted at my finger tips, result! And then it was gone. All downloads, all playlists, everything in the library, gone, and there has been no way of getting it back.

Solution: My phone was due for an upgrade and rather than get a new phone I reduced the monthly subscription, got 4 times the data allowance and a 1 year subscription to Spotify for £43 less than I was paying. Fuck you Apple Music, Fuck you!

Also, fuck you James Corden.

I feel a bit better now, please accept my apologies for my behavior (Not you Corden).

LEAMINGTON RECORD FAIR 18/06/2016 – PART 2

I did a nice little video of my walking into the town hall, up the stairs and into the main hall, except it appears that after 3 seconds of filming I accidentally switched the recording off. I wasn’t about to go outside and do that again so I filmed a lap of the hall instead, and here it is:

Now on to other things I picked up. My music tastes are quite eclectic so there’s always a lot that I’m on the look out for and I was quite surprised to find ‘Slime and Reason’ by Roots Manuva.

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In my excitement at finding it, it’s not rare but I’d never seen it used before, I missed that the cover was a bit knackered at the back. No matter though, the vinyl plays fine and it wasn’t expensive, more importantly, it’s a great album.

I picked up a couple of Bob Dylan albums that I didn’t have on vinyl, these two:

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The vinyl needs a clean but I think they will be ok. They are both re-pressings, nothing original or rare, but I’m not bothered about that really.

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Next was Squeeze from 1978, just because it was there really and because I have a vague idea about getting more XTC and more Squeeze albums. I only really know ‘Take me I’m yours’ from this but I did have a listen to the whole album and it’s pretty good overall.

Back in the early eighties my very bestest friend in the whole wide world (he insists I call him that even though he’s really more of an acquaintance) Dave had his older brothers ( Pete) albums that we sometimes used to listen to, which is why I bought an album by ‘Greenslade’.

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I don’t remember much about them, I was more interested in ‘Gentle Giant’ but I thought they were worth a go. The album is ‘Spyglass Guest’ from 1974, it very much sits in the Prog Rock camp and on first listen I felt it started a little cheesy but it soon picked up and was much more interesting. I need to give it a few more listens to be honest.

I sold my copy of ‘Floodland’ by The Sisters of Mercy years ago and was pleased to be able to get a replacement copy for £3.75. I also had a load of 12″ singles that I sold off, but I can’t see myself replacing them any time soon.

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Finally, the last thing I bought I just spotted from afar and made a bee line for it. I’ve been listening to the Mood Mosaic albums for years but have never bought one on vinyl and there was the first one at the front of a clear plastic crate. I bought it. Of course. This does not bode well as there are 14 of them and I know I’m going to now want the rest. They are a 14 album series of lounge music, TV Themes, bits from films and other bits and pieces. It’s a bit like a mix tape that somebody with a huge record collection made for you, here’s the tracklist of Volume 1:

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01 BOB CREWE – Pygar’s Persecution/The Black Queen’s Beads
02 KLAUS DOLDINGER – Sitar Beat
03 SERGE GAINSBOURG – En Melody
04 MICHEL LEGRAND – Marins, Amis, Amant Ou Maris
05 NELSON RIDDLE – Lamento
06 GARY McFARLAND – Love For Sale
07 GABOR SZABO – Sophisticated Wheels
08 PHIL MOORE III – Batucada
09 LUIS ENRIQUEZ – Mas Que Nada
10 GEORGE GARVARENZ* – Hascisch Party
11 SHOCKING BLUE – Ackta Raga
12 CLAUDE DENJEAN – Kiss This
13 GEORGE SHEARING – Aquarius

Here’s an example of the sort of thing that’s on this first album, and it’s brilliant:

Well this should have ended here, but there may be a part 3 as I went to the record shop afterwards, my bad.

 

What’s In The Bag? (99)

I re-visited something that I wrote back on November 19th, 2002, I wasn’t looking for it, I just stumbled across it, and, with some additions and amendments, here it is for the 99th Album that has been found in a bag, beginning with a quite appropriate intro based on the previous ‘Uncut Top 200 Albums Ever‘ post:

November 19th, 2002

I am utterly incapable of compiling a list of what I believe to be the best albums of all time. The results would fluctuate wildly depending on so many factors over which I have no control that it would be pointless. Instead of doing that I would rather just point at something and say, “Yes, that is a great album and this is why…..”

So I will. Every now and again, when the urge takes me I’m going to point, nobody has to look in the direction I’m pointing if they don’t want to. So without further ado, I am now going to do my first bit of stiff index fingeredness by saying, this is a GREAT album:

58925The Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas

I waited for what seemed like forever for this album to be released. Blue Bell Knoll was being worn out by the needle on my record player and then suddenly there was a single called Iceblink Luck and it received radio play, which was a rare thing for the Cocteau Twins, then it actually entered the singles charts. After years of people saying, “So what music are you into?” I received something other than ‘Never heard of them.” When I said the Cocteau Twins. The only thing I can think of that made this particular song more accessible than their previous single releases was firstly that there were some intelligible words in there but also the success of artists such as Clannad and Enya. They were poles apart as artists but there was a vibe about them all that somehow resulted in them falling into the same rather loose category.

Heaven or Las Vegas seemed to take the Cocteau twins ‘Goth’ background and stand it on its head. Here were songs that you could mumble along to: amazing melodies that couldn’t possibly exists on any other record. Frasier’s voice had reached a new maturity and her outlook had changed with the birth of her first child. Robin Guthrie’s ‘cathedral of sound’ guitar still felt like an ocean swirling around in the inner ear but it was more focused than it had ever been. It was as though everything they had been working on for the previous ten years came together in one defining moment that lasted for 37 minutes and felt like the journey of a lifetime.

The sheer beauty of this record can only be experienced by listening to it and if you have not done so then I urge you to get it, play it and love it. It is an absolute joy.

Two tracks that didn’t make it to the album but are just as good appear on the single iceblink luck and are Watchlar’ and Mizake the Mizan.

A couple of my responses to Comments by my on this 2002 Post:

  1. I have a great deal of difficulty putting forward any particular Cocteau Twins album as being their best. The reason being that the first things of theirs I heard were the E.P’s Spangle Maker, Peppermint Pig and the like, and they were on the John Peel show as well with the songs from Garlands such as Wax and Wane, Blood Bitch and Blind Dumb Deaf. I followed them through Head over Heels, Treasure etc. right up to the end. At the time, each album was significant in its own way and I’d tear myself apart trying to say which is best. For somebody who hadn’t heard them before I would suggest Heaven Or Las Vegas or Milk and Kisses initially as they are certainly two of the most accessible albums.
  2. I was delighted to pick up the 10 cd box set of the Eps a little while back, even though it cost me an arm and a leg. I remember seeing it for sale when it was released but I thought, “What do I need that for, I have them all on vinyl already?” , I also remember deciding not to buy the Frosty The Snowman single as well, I saw it in the record shop and thought, “No, that’s silly”. Now they sell for a fortune on Ebay! Ah well, nevermind.

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January 4th, 2016

Well, I still agree with all that, and the album does make number 144 in the Uncut 200 Albums list, and it certainly should be in there. My vinyl copy still plays nicely, although I sold the Iceblink Luck 12″ and a few others, and the 10 CD box set has gone to a new home.

I do wish that Elizabeth Fraser had done more after the demise of the Cocteau Twins. There are odd bits here and there but nothing very solid, a track on a film soundtrack, a single (Moses) which was disappointing, the best of output has undoubtedly been with Massive Attack on Mezzanine.

There’s more about The Cocteau’s HERE where I was looking at Blue Bell Knoll.

9.45/10

MIX TAPE: VOLUME 1 – SIDE 2 – TRACK 15

Side 2, Track 15:

Total Run Time: 60:00 minutes

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The Stranglers: Strange Little Girl: 3 Minutes 34 Seconds: 1981

Well, I do love The Stranglers, and it was either this or ‘Golden Brown’ to finish off this mix tape, purely on the basis of length I had to go for ‘Strangle Little Girl’. I’m glad this one is done, it’s taken ages!

Audio:

Video:

1. The Smiths – This Charming Man

The first time I saw the Smiths was on regional TV, it was a feature on them but was somehow rather tongue in cheek, as in, ‘look at this bunch of weirdos’. With Morrisey and his NHS hearing aid and glasses, waving daffodils around, I can see why, but I liked them straight away. They were different, and I like different.

2. Primal Scream – Ivy Ivy Ivy

It’s only just the 80’s but so what. I saw Primal Scream at the Assembly in Leamington Spa a couple of years ago when they performed the whole of Screamadelica and it was amazing. So they are in, had to be really.

3.The Stone Roses – Sally Cinnamon

The band hated the video that accompanies this track, they thought it cheap and, I believe, trashed the record company offices having seen it. This was early on in the life of The Stone Roses, 1987, and it was they’re second single.

4. Orange Juice – Rip It Up

Perhaps quite inexplicably in the context of this mix tape, jump back five years and you have this track, which to my mind fits quite nicely, but perhaps not everybody would agree.

5. Talking Heads – Burning Down The House

and right away here’s another addition, again from 1983, which was in my head as I recently bought a couple of Talking Heads vinyl albums, the one that this track was taken from isn’t one of them, but it will be, one of these days.

6.Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood

Honestly, I’ve no idea, I just always liked this track even though there was something about it that suggested I shouldn’t, but I did anyway. I’m sure I saw an official video for this once, when it was released, but I can’t seem to find it (33 years later!).

7. Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now

So things are, perhaps, getting a bit random at this point, but when I listen to the tracks back all together they seem to work for me, although maybe because I was there when they were new. I have mentioned before that I saw the Thompson Twins live, as a support act, and they put on quite an upbeat and lively show, I enjoyed it, though back in 1983 I probably didn’t appreciate it. They put out a lot of good pop songs but weren’t a success with the critics, which is a shame as they clearly had the knack of writing a good hook. In 1991, long after they had faded from the scene, they released a single “Come Inside” under the name ‘Feedback Max’, it reached No. 7 in the US Dance Chart and No. 1 in the UK Dance Chart. However, once it was discovered that the Thompson Twins were behind the record, sales dropped and the album it was taken from never had a UK release. Just goes to show that it isn’t all about the music.

8. ABC – Poison Arrow

‘The Lexicon Of Love’ is an incredibly good album, good songwriting, great production, and this single from it is a highlight. I really wasn’t listening to this sort of thing back in 1982, but even then I just couldn’t help but like it.

9. OMD – Enola Gay

This track should most definitely be filed under the category “People Are Stupid” as, when released, it was banned by the BBC. It is, of course, a song about the Hiroshima bombing but listeners assumed it was some sort of gay anthem. The track was banned from being played on popular BBC1 program Swap Shop for fear that it would serve as a corrupting sexual influence on children.

Also, check out the dancing in the video, it’s godawfull bad!

10. Gary Numan – I Die You Die

Well I’ve been waiting for a place to fit Gary Numan in to this mix tape and I think this is probably the best place. I could have gone Side 1 after or before Kraftwerk, but it seemed too obvious. So here we are, from Numan’s second (or 4th depending on how you are counting) studio album and a number 6 single in the UK, back when you had to sell crap loads to get into the charts.

11. Visage – Fade To Grey

I hated the video for this, it was pompous and pretentious, but the song, well, it was either just good or I heard it so many times that it burrowed into my subconscious and decided to set up home there.

12. David Bowie/Giorgio Moroder – Cat People

There are a lot of Bowie singles that I could have chosen but this one has always resonated with me for some reason. It may well not be the best choice, actually, it probably isn’t, but I’ve chosen it now and that’s that.

13. Martha & The Muffins – Echo Beach

Loved this when it was released and still love it now. It is probably the only track of theirs that most people know, but the album it’s taken from is pretty good, and they’ve made a few albums since.

Wiki: Echo Beach, as mentioned in the song, does not refer to a real beach but is rather a symbolic notion of somewhere the narrator would rather be, somewhere ‘far away in time’. In reality, the song was created while Gane was working checking wallpaper for printing faults. He found the work rather dull and his mind drifted to times he would like to live over again. One such time was an evening spent at Sunnyside Beach on the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Toronto in summer. In 1977, Echo Beach was a reference made to a faded time and place gone in the lyrics of the song “Hiroshima Mon Amour” by the band Ultravox.

What’s in the bag? (50)

I like Nicolas Jaar, and I had never heard of Dave Harrington, though I was reasonably confident he wasn’t the Darts player from New Zealand. So I took a punt on double LP ‘Psychic’ by Darkside. I wasn’t disappointed. Everything I liked by Jaar is in there, and the collaboration with Harrington has produced a fuller sound, that allows it’s influences to show through without allowing them to dominate. The band name itself gives an idea of some of the textures that evolve on this record, and something by ‘Can’ was playing between takes in the studio, my guess is that ‘Tago Mago’ was on at some point. Not that this is an attempt at re-creating things that have gone before, it has a freshness, an inventiveness that invites you in and then messes with your head a bit.

The album was released on October 4, 2013 and recorded over the course of two years between Jaar’s home in New York City, Harrington’s family barn in Upstate New York and somewhere in Paris. As far as I know there will be no follow up as the collaboration was never intended to be a long running project, and, to be frank, they have a hell of a lot to live up to as ‘Psychic’ is an extraordinary piece of work, absolutely spoiled by the fact that it plays at 45RPM. Now I appreciate that this isn’t a problem for most people, especially those that aren’t listening on vinyl. But to play a 45 I have to take my turntable apart, move a belt and put it back together again, which is a pain. OK, it doesn’t ruin it, it just causes me a minor inconvenience which I’m sure wasn’t deliberate.

The opening track, ‘Golden Arrow’ was pre-released as a free download, and comes in at a hefty 11 minutes and 20 seconds. Spin gave the track a positive review, describing it as “11 minutes of instrumental excellence.” They were right, it is. Atmospheric, abstract and perhaps surprisingly, it has quite a groove going on as it evolves from noise, to down tempo disco to a Krautrock-ish finale.

I’ve listened to this album a dozen times now, and my appreciation of it grows at each listen. I doubt the album will be heard by as many people as it deserves to be heard by as the songs aren’t constructed in a way that hooks people like a pop chorus can, it is more of a slow burner, but it is worth the investment of time to get to know it, and get to love it. It is 45 minutes and 8 seconds of a little bit odd, but good odd, dark odd, and, occasionally, David Gilmour on guitar, surely using Dave Harrington as a pseudonym.

I think I shall start using a rating system, which will probably end up being a bit NUMBERWANG! And it will be out of 100, as 5 is too little, so is ten, and 59 makes it too difficult and unnecessary. So, for ‘Psychic’ by Darkside I am going for:

9.1/10

And here is a video of track 8: Metatron

What’s in the bag? (28)

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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? (24)

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I knew nothing about this album until about 10 years ago. It was released when I was 8 and isn’t the sort of thing an eight year old listens to really. When I did come across it during a Dylan phase where I listened to everything in the back catalogue I was rather hooked, it’s pretty obvious, to me at least, why this album is considered to be one of the best ever made, well it’s in most top 100 albums ever lists which I always disagree with, but I’m sure everybody does. The NME’s version, for example, has Suede’s ‘Dog Man Star’, and Kanye West higher in their top 500, nothing wrong with those albums I guess but neither are better than this.’Blood on the tracks’ is one of those rare albums that doesn’t have a single bad track on it, some are rather unpleasant, sure, but they’re still good and, as with many Dylan albums the lyrics have meaning, and complexity, there’s just no fluff. I’m not going to try to dissect the album, it’s been done to death (and there’s an interesting article here:  popmatters), I’m just going to say that it is a milestone piece of work and everybody should listen at least once.

9.3/10

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? (19)

IMAG0584I was in Head in Leamington, just flicking through the racks, and quite by accident I came across ‘Von’ by Sigur Rós. Though I wasn’t looking for it I wanted it, so I bought it. This was their first album, and opens with the track ‘Sigur Rós’, it’s dramatic, it’s moody, it’s like the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. The whole album is quite different to what was to come, it has a raw edge in places and a darkness, but these are interspersed with those moments of beauty for which Sigur Rós are known. It’s there throughout, but treading water beneath the surface before drifting up and out into the air before slipping slowly under again. It’s quite experimental and much of it neatly aligns with the Post-Rock genre, but not entirely, they always seem out of place to me in that category, but people like categories so I guess that’s where they must sit.

So ‘Von’, it means hope, and I consciously avoid any pun or play on words at this point, as it’s their first release it’s fairly obvious.This is undoubtedly the more difficult of their releases to listen to, but all the ingredients are there, the recipe is just a little different and I find that less is often more, even amongst noise that is unlistenable (which this isn’t)  brief moments of clarity can be quite beautiful.

Included below the spotify album is a version of the track, ‘Von’.

9.2/10

What’s in the Bag? (16)

Ok, so there are certain records that one might be a bit embarrassed about, well, once upon a time one might, but nowadays I have absolutely no problem to confessing to liking things that many might never admit to liking themselves even when they are alone, with no possibility of anybody ever finding out. One such band/artist is Adam and the Ants. Not that I was ever a massive Adam and the Ants fan or anything, I just didn’t dislike them. The album I bought for £2 was ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’, which was the reincarnation of the band after original members listened to Malcom McLaren and left to form Bow wow wow. There were three hit singles from this LP, “Dog Eat Dog” (reaching No.4 on the UK singles charts in October 1980), ‘Antmusic’ (No.2 in January 1981) and “Kings of the Wild Frontier” (No.2 in March 1981). The album was the UK number 1 selling album in 1981 (and the 48th best seller in 1980) and won Best British Album at the 1982 Brit Awards. They were pretty interesting in an early 80’s sort of way but the album itself is a different construct to many of the pop albums we have today, and it was pop, despite the roots of the band being in punk.

I get the sense nowadays that more emphasis is placed on album as product to push the one or two good tracks that are on it (there are exceptions to this of course), whereas taking this album as an example, there are what seem obvious singles (although that could be because they were) and obvious album tacks, but these album tracks are not just filler, they are well written tunes which could potentially have been singles in some cases, if the mood in the charts were more open to them at the time. ‘Killer In The Home’ sounds like a minor hit, maybe stumbling into the late 30’s and back out again, although it borrows heavily on ‘Rumble’ by Link Wary (for borrows read steals), to the point that if it had been written by Pharell Williams and the other guy who claims to not have written ‘Blurred Lines’ at all as soon as the case hit court, there would certainly be litigation afoot against Mr Ant and Mr Pirroni.

Apparently this album introduced the new Burundi Beat drum sound to popular music, which may well be true, I have no idea but what I do know is that it still sounds quite full and, mostly, not that dated even though it was 35 years ago. Take away the all the flouncing, costumes and posturing, and you are left with a really good set of songs.

Jumping all the way back to the beginning of this post, if I did feel the need to justify myself, then I could point out that Kings of the Wild Frontier is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, but I don’t need to do that, even though I just did.

I put a little video playlist at the bottom of this post as well.

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8.2/10

Yeah, mmhhmm, yeah

Quite laid back, a 74 minute mix.

What’s in the bag (8)

I love a bit of Mogwai. To some people it’s just noise, but I hear melodies that build and overlap, repeating themes and underlying rhythms that are often rather delicate. It feels to me that this is modern classical music, and that is a good thing. Classed as Post-Rock, wiki has this to say:

“Post-rock is a subgenre of rock music characterized by the influence and use of instruments commonly associated with rock, but using rhythms and “guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures” not traditionally found in rock. Post-rock bands are often without vocals.”

I like that bit in bold. I also like that the titles seem like an afterthought, or perhaps a joke, maybe the joke is that they have a list of awkward or dumb titles and pick them at random, for instance, ‘I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead’, ‘Danphe and the Brain’, or maybe they do mean something. As I write this I’m listening to ‘The Sun Smells Too loud’, great title and an unexpectedly upbeat track.

So I bought two Mogwai, the other one is for another day, feel free to guess which one though (yes, that means both of you that sometimes read this).

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8.8/10

What’s in the bag (7)

Anger is an energy, just in case anybody was wondering. I plan on getting more P.I.L on vinyl if I can. At the moment this is the only one I have and it was, for new vinyl, a decent price at £13. I have most of their stuff on cassette but cassettes are bloody awful. Popped a video at the bottom for ‘Rise’, just because Lydon is fascinating to watch.

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8.9/10

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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Whats In The Bag? (2)

IMAG0451It’s 1977, and I know absolutely nothing about this album or about who the band where. It wasn’t until 1979 (I was approaching 12 years old) when ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ appeared and I loved it immediately, and still do.  It initially came as a massive disappointment to me that it wasn’t on this album, and it isn’t on any album (unless you look at later collections or expanded editions, but back in the day, we didn’t have those) but the tracks here are fabulous, including what is probably the most well known, ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock And Roll’, which is, after all, all a brain and body needs.

IMAG0457_20150220155317899I went to see Ian Dury and the Music Students at the Oxford Apollo sometime in 1984IMAG0458 I think it was, but I never saw the Blockheads, which was a shame as the tracks from ‘4,000 weeks Holiday’, the only album Dury made with the Music Students, were pretty good but not as good as with the Blockheads. On a side note, I happen to think both the front and back cover images are brilliant.

9/10