Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Swervedriver to The Clash

Son Of Mustang Ford - Swervedriver
You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face) - Mudhoney
Search And Destroy - Iggy And The Stooges
Radio - Teenage Fanclub
The Wagon - Dinosaur Jr
Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins
Prove It - Television
At Home He's A Tourist - Gang Of Four
Armalite Rifle - Gang Of Four
Where Were You - Mekons
Walk All Over You - AC/DC
In A Rut - Ruts
Holiday In Cambodia - Dead Kennedys
Seether - Veruca Salt
Suck - Wedding Present
Blue Eyes - Wedding Present
This Charming Man - Smiths
Reel Around The Fountain - Smiths
Cracked Actor - David Bowie
Safe European Home - Clash
Loose - Stooges
Rave Down - Swervedriver
Helter Skelter - Beatles
Summertime Blues - Who
I'm Not Down - Clash

There is an opinion that Walk All Over you is typical metal sexist shite, performed by trolls and bought by acrid armpitted adolescents who are “resting between girlfriends”. My opinion would be that it is a work of genius. It’s got a runaway train of a bass line and a slashing guitar sequence of 6 chords…..but relax, it’s only 2 chords in total. The best bit is the way Bon Scott’s voice goes up half through the “Wo….oagh “ bit of the “Wo….oagh baby I aint got much, resistance to your touch” (In itself a great metal lyric)

When Bon sings “Take off your high heels, Let down your hair, Paradise ain’t far from there” I’m a bit worried about his sense of direction. Is he heading north from the shoes or south from the hair? There’s a good Dave Lee Roth quote about his advice to contestants in a beauty contest, “lose the dress keep the shoes”. (I never really got the shoe thing. High heels don’t do much for me, they’re murder on my feet and anyway, I always preferred a woman to wear running shoes… to make certain that she’d catch me).

The guitar riff of In A Rut and Loose are both closely related (in an Deliverance/Appalachian way) but they’re both beautiful babies anyway. Lots of space between the guitar and rhythm. I love the sound of Cherub Rock as the guitar sound feels at once both monumentally loud, and unstoppable but also compressed. It’s one of those songs where I have never wondered what it means as any meaning cannot be greater than the power of the riff. Having said that though, for me personally, the song is most associated with ironing clothes on a night shift in a care home, which is when I first heard it. All songs cannot after all be linked with wide open spaces, primeval rage or skilful percy filth.

Indisputable fact number 1. The John Peel session version of This Charming Man (best found on either A Hatful Of Hollow or a muffled cassette) is better than the single version. It’s better because it’s bouncier. Reel Around The Fountain (again the session version is better, stripped down and rougher). At the time I loved it for it’s Taste Of Honey quotes and that great line “People said you were so easily lead, and they wee half right”. Soon after hearing it on Peel in the summer of 83 (with that session still in my head,) I went to see them at Blackburn, at a tiny upstairs club. Manchester to Blackburn on a Honda 70, in a yellow (maybe more of a honey colour) jumper and donkey jacket. They did play both This Charming Man and Reel Around The Fountain. The alternative people of Blackburn had turned out in with quiffs and loud shirts, but it was a restrained start to a career before the hysteria and devotion that later attached itself to the band and Morrissey. I saw them a few months later at the Hacienda at the height of the gladioli swinging season. They’d been on Top Of The Pops earlier, the gig was sold out, the audience keen. It felt like the confirmation of just how special this band were … and the rest of the world were just about to catch up. It was an accepted fact . Anyone you liked, liked the Smiths….and they’d only put out 2 singles. For a big swathe of NME reading, gig going Peel listeners they’d become instantly ubiquitous. I went to see loads of bands at the time and seemingly everyone I’d ever seen at any gig anywhere, was there. I remember the gig falling victim to the shocking acoustics of the majority of gigs at the Hacienda, Morrissey’s only words were “Hello you handsome devils”. The gig in the following year at the Free Trade Hall felt like a football match with the crowd chanting “Manchester”. Ironic really, because part of what Morrissey had sulked in his room about had now turned out to see him. What I remember most about that gig was the perversity because I’m sure they played Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now as the second song. At the time it was a new song…and it’s certainly no rabble rouser. I saw them twice in 85 at Stoke (How soon Is Now sounded particularly good) where Morrissey left the stage after someone threw a sausage at him and Birmingham Hippodrome at the end of last song Barbarism Begins At Home Marr threw his guitar across the stage and stormed off.

Summertime Blues is utterly preposterous. And utterly brilliant just for the way that the bass and guitars overhang each other on the Der Der Der der der der Der. By that I mean they’re overhanging each other like a particularly treacherous piece of rock. Just don’t stand under it and don’t try and climb it. Just give it a suitable name and walk on to the next ridge. And it’s a brontosaurus of a bass line.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Southern Soul

I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home - Ann Peebles
99 Lbs - Ann Peebles
Talk To Me - Al Green
He Made A Woman Out Of Me - Betty Lavette
It Hurts To Want It So Bad - Arthur Alexander
Anna (Go To Him) - Arthur Alexander
Piece Of My Heart - Betty Lavette
Mr. And Mrs. Untrue - Candi Staton
Evidence - Candi Staton
Divorce Decree - Doris Duke
Love Man - Otis Redding
Do Your Duty - Betty Lavette
Stealing Love - Eddie Floyd
She Don't Have To See You - Tommie Young
Pouring Water On A Drowning Man - James Carr
She'll Never Be Your Wife - Irma Thomas
To Love Somebody - James Carr
Sure As Sin - Laura Lee
Making The Best Of A Bad Situation - Millie Jackson
You Don't Miss Your Water - Otis Redding
It Tears Me Up - Percy Sledge
Look At The Girl - Otis Redding
Behind Closed Doors - Percy Sledge
You Brought It All On Yourself - Tommie Young
Down The Back Roads - Arthur Alexander

I always liked the cheatin’ lyin’ and slippin’ around style of Southern soul. You’ve got the great mixture of quality singers, natural sounding arrangements with those warm brass and keyboard sounds and then that country tradition wherethe song title is either a literary gem or a rancid pun. Either way it almost tells the story of the song all by itself. Look no further than Pouring Water On A Drowning Man, or She Don't Have To See You (to see through you).

The Ann Peebles songs not only show what she’s got planned in the home wrecking department but also how she’s going to do it. Would that be “99 pounds of “Pure Cane Sugar” then Madam? And does that work with 168 pounds of Guinness and crisps? In terms of the number of songs about it, Otis Redding was probably the undisputed King Of Love By Weight. He had not only Lovin’ By The Pound, A Ton Of Joy but also on Love Man he sang “Six foot 1, weigh 210, fine hair, pretty fair skin, long legged and outta sight, hey girl I’m gonna take you out”.
Solomon Burke’s quote takes the (packet of) biscuits. “There’s 375 pounds of me. You can have any 5 pounds you need, baby”

I saw Ann Peebles in about 1990 at Manchester International and Birmingham Hummingbird, the band were really good and kept an authentic soul sound. Her voice still sounded great and it was just impressive to hear someone who could really sing, without seeming to find it too hard. How can something that sounds so good look so easy?

The Candi Staton tracks have, Mr and Mrs Untrue booking into a motel and Evidence has her going through his pockets to find “There’s some other woman taking my place”

The Bee Gees still fill me with alarm, but they did write but To Love Somebody, which is just a supremely well-written song that hits that “nobody understands” spot perfectly. “There’s a light, a certain kind of light, that never shines on me”. It’s virtually a Morrissey lyric. My 2 favourite versions are the James Carr and The Flying Burrito Brothers. James Carr edges it though. His voice is just so full of resignation and utter misery and after the final line of each chorus “You don’t know what it’s like, You just don’t know what it’s like to love somebody, to love somebody, the way I love you”, there’s a 2 note keyboard whistle and the drums lead back in. And you know his pain is going to go on.

Look At That Girl is a bit of a throwaway Hang On Sloopy type song which sounds like nobody spent too long working on it, but there’s a great joyous feel to Otis’s vocal. And it’s good to look.

After all the heartache, adultery and lechery it’s a bit of a relief to get to Arthur Alexander’ s Down The Back Roads. It’s a beautiful Steve Cropper song, with a great guitar motif and warm electric piano. The song is a wistful getting away from it song, heading down the back roads, “Where the simple life is found, where I’ll lay my troubles down.” His vocals can sometimes sound a bit mannered and the arrangements and sound of his R and B hits (as covered by The Beatles and Stones) aren’t really to my taste, but he’s got one of my favourite male voices. His voice often carries the sound of real heartbreak. He had been early acid adopter, had mental health problems, and after being thoroughly skewered by the Music Industry he left it in disgust, only to die in 1993s (heart failure…how else should a Soul Man go?) on the brink of a comeback after the well received album Lonely Just Like Me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lou Reed to Mink Deville - Handcrafted 'Podlist

Romeo Had Juliet - Lou Reed
Bodies - Pistols
Personality Crisis - New York Dolls
Koka Kola - Clash
Commandment Of Drugs - Prince Far I
To Be A Lover - George Faith
From A Whisper To A Scream - Esther Phillips
I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself - Tommy Hunt
One Woman - Al Green
Shout Bamalama - Detroit Cobras
Fire - Jimi Hendrix
Manic Depression - Jimi Hendrix
Finders Keepers - Chairman Of The Board
Pay To The Piper - Chairman Of The Board
Ball Of Confusion - Temptations
You Keep Tightening Up On Me - Box Tops
If I Could Only Be Sure - Nolan Porter
London - Smiths
You Can’t Have Me - Big Star
Jigsaw Puzzle - Rolling Stones
Pat Trip Dispenser - Fall
It's All Over Now Baby Blue - Thirteenth Floor Elevators
Fire Engine - Television
American Girl - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hand Crafted 'Podlist

Raw Power - Iggy & The Stooges
New Rose - The Damned
Son Of Mustang Ford - Swervedriver
Bad Boy Boogie - AC/DC
She Bangs The Drum - The Stone Roses
Man On The Moon - Sugar
Goodbye Toulouse - Stranglers
Been Caught Stealing - Janes’s Addiction
Seven Days Too Long - Dexy’s Midnight Runners
It Looks Like You - Evan Dando
Older Guys - The Flying Burrito Brothers
No Feelings - Sex Pistols
In Between Tears - Irma Thomas
He made A Woman Out Of Me - Betty Lavette
If You Can Beat Me Rockin’ (you Can Have My Chair) - Laura Lee
Love Man - Otis Redding
Remedy - The Black Crowes
Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart
Suffragette City - David Bowie
Drive-In Saturday - David Bowie
Seen The Light - Supergrass
Golden Skin - Silversun
Big Boy - Minuteman
Winter - Teenage Fanclub
I've Got Dreams To Remember - Otis Redding

It’s an Iggy to Otis ‘Pod list. It was carefully hand crafted using my own skill and judgement rather than the Shuffle and the songs were chosen on the basis of their intros as well as their tip top quality. The Pistols and Irma Thomas intros both use a similar ascending chord sequence and that’s a good enough reason for me to squeeze them both into the same playlist. If I was ever kidnapped by fundamentalist list compilers, and forced to compile my top 10 favourite intros, then they would both be top 5.

Other things to love from the list….the one note piano on Raw Power (it worked on I Wanna Be Your Dog, so we’ll use it again ), the guitar break on She Bangs The Drum, where it just moves completely away from what went before it. Man In The Moon just sounds immense. Did the band leave the studio looking like cartoon characters flattened by steamrollers? Were they pinned to the studio wall by a rolling wall of sound? It’s a miracle they survived.

Goodbye Toulouse just sounds nasty. The bass is filthy, aggressive and then the guitar is scratchy and unpleasant. It’s a night in a hostel. It’s also one of my favourite tracks from one of my favourite lps by one the world’s least lovable bands. The SilverSun and Minuteman tracks use similar “great riff and Beach Boy vocal” tactics…as do TFC. There is something about the chords of Winter and the strained “Der der der der” backing vocals that just make’s me weep. The song aches of wistful nostalgia. A walking hand in hand lyric alone is not enough though (probably why my playlist is a bit light on the works of Manillow and Sedaka) but the song really does get to me and I’m not really sure why. I’d have it as a funeral song. Though there is a part of me that’s tempted by Banging The Door by Public Image…and that would be the part of me that can’t resist the bad gag.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Ash (and the ancient and noble art of the Yeah)

Watched Ash on Jools Holland (not literally on JH. It was footage of a great performance from last year rather than a pile on), which made me think how much fun it would be to be in that band. Tim can look out at an audience and think "All the girls love me and I write these great chunky pop songs and I 've got a Flying V. Charlotte can think "All the boys love me and I've got an SG." It must also be a comfot to her to know that I would. And indeed I would. Mark the bassist has got a Thunderbird and the Rick the Drummer no longer has a mohican. These are all good things.

Orpheus is a really good song with fine use of "Yeah Yeah Yeah". It is hard to go wrong with those 3 little words. The Yeah has been the English language's gift to pop with prime examples from the Beatles Group to Prince and Alphabet St. Obviously Mony Mony squeezes in more Yeahs and in fact I can't think of a more Yeahtastic song. (Theres about 12 of them between the lines "I said Yeah" and "You make me feel so". )

Ash though are skilled exponants of the Yeah and used it wisely in Oh Yeah (Oh yeah she was taking me over, Oh yeah it was the start of the summer) although if I build too much of a case for the line "Still in her school skirt and summer blouse" then I'm going to sound like a massive pervert....so I'll stick to the yeahs.

Friday, July 01, 2005

We hold these truths to be self evident

My 5 year old was in the bath examining the contents of his scrotum. After a thorough investigation he looked up and asked "Are these my brains?". Well the answer is really both yes and no isn't it. The 50 % of the population who are baggage carriers are often accused of thinking with our dicks. I disagree. Don't think with it, but always get it's opinion and listen carefully to it's advice. Mind you George Melly said he was quite thankful when he lost his libido because he felt like he had spent his whole adult life chained to an idiot.

When my 9 year old was about 3, he once sat in front of the tv reciting over and over again "Cartoon animals talk, real animals don't talk"

I one heard a quote from Al Jorgenson along the lines of "A man with a great car does not need to be justified". I wouldn't quite go that far (but thanks to a car capable brother I do have a great car now) but I watched School Of Rock the other night, (didn't enjoy it quite as much as I expected to) and the line that really spoke to me was when he consoled one self doubting child with the lines ".....but you're in a rockin' band." Now the self belief and sheer righteousness of knowing that you're in a great band is a fine feeling. And I had it twice.

Last quote of the day is from Bootsy Collins when he was talking about Stevie Wonder. The reason why I like it is that it's simple and because you immediately understand the Bootsy world view. There can obviously (of course it's obvious) only be 2 kinds of people, funky and not funky. There is a however a sliding scale of funkiness. "Stevie Wonder?....Most funky."

Friday, June 10, 2005

Slates - The Fall

My turntable didn’t survive the ravages of time and on off house moves. So once I’d finally accepted that I wasn’t going to fix it cheaply myself (and that took some time) I bought a Debut Project 3 in a funky shade of blue. After a lot of fiddling the previous evening, all right fine tuning for optimum sonic performance, it was ready to go.
I spent the next day at work mulling over which of all my too long since last heard vinyl would be the one to make the debut on the Debut. It was a beautiful afternoon, so I left work early, enjoying the ride back, the weather and the knowledge that I’d have the house to myself for an hour. Quality buffet time. It had to be Slates by The Fall. 10inch mini Lp with the guide price "£2 only u skinny rats" and the usual Fall mixture of murky photos and scrawled notes. In fact the sleeve looks like the record sounds. Leave The Capitol is warm and fuzzy sounding with the vocals mixed low and the guitars and bass weaving round each other. "Then you know in your brain, you must,leave the capitol, exit this Roman shell."
There a couple of lyrics on Fit and Working Again which I always listen out for. "I’m cranked up like a Wimpey crane" and "I feel like Alan Minter". Sometimes you just think you know what Mark E Smith means. Buffet Time ended before I could get through any more of my must play playlist. Still vinyl’s back on the menu…and it sounds bright blue.

Friday, February 25, 2005

'Pod list

Jennifer's Veil - The Birthday Party
Hold Me Back - AC/DC
Another Pearl - Badly Drawn Boy
AM 180 - Grandaddy
Simple Things - Belle & Sebastian
Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Almost Cut My Hair - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Dance, Dance, Dance (Alternate Take) - The Beach Boys
Julia - The Beatles
Good Day Sunshine - The Beatles
Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow) - The Birthday Party
You Can Only Do Wrong So Long - Tommie Young
Good To My Baby - The Beach Boys
No Hard Shoulder To Cry On - Julian Cope
More Alone With You - Alloy
I Know There's An Answer - The Beach Boys
Mod Lang - Big Star
Looking For A Friend - David Bowie
Blackbird - The Beatles
Live Wire - AC/DC
Blowing Up My Mind - The Exciters
Start Digging My Grave, Sugar - 1000 Violins
Nobody To Love - 13th Floor Elevators
409 - The Beach Boys
Frightened - The Fall

Ok so it's all random, (which is the only way the shocking Teach Your Children would ever show up on one of my playlists). Blowing Up My Mind is the killer track here. It's a northern soul classic wuith a sing song toytown keyboard sound, busy bass, and a great female vocalist who alternately rushes and then relaxes around the vocal line. Even though she's probably having to do it in an effort to squeeze all the words in, it's still a great performance and a great trick.

Frightened is one of my favourite Fall songs (from Live At The Witch Trials), it sounds claustrophobic but teenage defiant with lines like "I've got a fear of midnight when the films close" and "I've got shears pointing straight at my chest, I'm better than them and I think I'm the best".

Monday, January 31, 2005

Julian Cope Wulfrun Hall

I saw Julian Cope at Wolverhampton Wulfrun hall on 22nd Jan, with the unexpected bonus of it being a freebie with 2 hours notice. Anticipation is good but free and a lift is better. Even with only 2 hours anticipation I was really looking forward to it. I last saw him doing his Modern Antiquarian speaking tour at Birmingham Glee Club (1998?) and very entertaining he was too. I’d also seen him with the Teardrops on the Wilder tour at Manchester Apollo and solo tours at The Hacienda (with the Woodentops), Manchester Carousel (leathers and mike-stand era) and Moseley Dance Centre (Peggy Suicide). Fair to say then I’m a bit of a fan, read the books and seen him in various stages of Shamanic and shambolic.

He was introduced as Julian Cope and his Ear Splitting Psychedelic Band. Great start. JC hurtled round the stage like an Iggy Pop possessed in a leather Stetson, shades and a Madonna radio mike to Hanging Out And Hung Up On The Line from Peggy Suicide. Sounds good so far...except there were no vocals and neither he nor the crowd ever recovered. The technical problems lasted for a couple of songs, but, even when resolved he was still struggling to hit notes. I really don’t want to kick The Cope. I’d heard him on Mark Radcliffe late last year, playing Sitting In The Room Where They Found Saddam In” and I’d heard him on Radio 6, more recently. Both times he was witty, engaging and the songs mostly worked. At Wolves though the crowd seemed baffled and hostile to his between song chat. (“We need strong women.... so the wild men can be strong”). As he prepared to sing Promised Land from Peggy Suicide a voice from the crowd rang out “You’ll fuck it up.” He did. There was needless clapping along too, which prompted, “You know out of time clapping really fucks me off”. By now I think he knew he’d lost the night. There were attempts at crowd pleasing with World Shut Your Mouth (vocals suffered there), Bandy’s First Jump, Head hung low and an amazingly misjudged version of Spacehopper. As the last song of the night it was not only slower than the original but the drummer did the half time heavy metal drum trick making it sound even slower.

For all guitar fetishists and closet cock rockers (hands up) Copey played a Flying V, and I spotted a Les Paul bass. There was some great wiggy guitar playing throughout. Other highlights included the black lipstick wearing from the guitarist who swapped bass and guitar duties with Donald Ross Skinner. Subtle Energies Commission sounded good and looked even better as DRS was playing a double-necked guitar. The best new song was Give Me Head. I was at the bar then and missed out.

Copey had announced that “I’m entering my second psychedelic phase” and that his post gig plans involved some Mexican mushrooms. On the drive back I heard Boards Of Canada’s first lp and was staggered. I would normally run a mile from scary electronica but the analogue synth washes and jabbering filthy scratchy sounds that made up the rhythm just fitted in so well with the lights on the motorway. In fact it was more psychedelic than the gig.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Recent random 'Pod plays

Go Ahead --Wire
Bones --Radiohead
Luxury- Rolling Stones
My Back Pages (Alternate version) - Byrds
Melon Farmer -Ash
Let’s get back Together -The Honeybees
Brothers On The Slide -Cymande
Congoman ( 12” mix) - The Congos
I’m Missing You - Loretta Williams
The Slide - Flamin’ Groovies
This Is Not My Crime - Gene
The Charm - Cosmic Rough Riders
Miles End - Gomez
My Life In England (Part 1) - Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Christine’s Tune - Flying Burrito Brothers
Don’t Let Me Down - Kim Weston
Who Loves The Sun - Velvet Underground
Prologue - Scott Walker

The key track for me on this random mix was Radiohead’s Bones from The Bends. They crept up on me as a band…as I didn’t like Creep, but I do like an alienated vocal yelp under layers of guitar. It also has a shimmering echoed guitar intro and it has the same Status Quo der DER der DER der DER DER riff that Teenage Fanclub could never resist on Bandwagonesque.

Mick Jagger’s “Poor boy working for the man” schtick wouldn’t stand up to close scrutiny but the lazy chunky guitar riff does….so case dismissed.

On the Dexys’ track (one of the new songs from Let’s Make This Precious) there’s a great line about the boy Kev arriving in England and when children at school called him “Mate” he thought they said “Meat”. The song is bolted on top of a Grandmaster Flash White Lines bassline which doesn’t work that well. I’m not going to say that too loudly though, as I’m just glad Kevin Rowland’s still around.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Swervedriver/Kevin Rowland

Recently played on the ‘Pod …by accident , shuffle and design

The Letter Box Tops
Empty At The End Electric Soft parade
I Don’t Mind Buzzcocks
Amusement Parks USA Beach Boys
Halloween Ash
Within You Without You Beatles
Firesuite Doves
Rag Doll Kevin Rowland
Son Of Mustang Ford Swervedriver
Volcano Trash Swervedriver
Sandblasted Swervedriver
Ravedown Swervedriver

The first Swervedriver releases came out on Creation in 1990 as 3 four track cd singles in card sleeves, all with the same stencilled band logo and although there were a couple of duds, the 12 tracks just hung really well together. In fact it works better than their first album, Raise They were a really underrated band with lazy drawled vocals and a fantastic way of layering guitar sounds with (that old rockin’ standby) the Jews harp. They were produced by Angil Dutt. (who later produced Boo Radleys Giant Steps…another masterpiece of layering and invention)

They sported crusty, white dreads and found it easier to base their songs of restless travel around American badlands rather than their native Berkshire. “Been driving for days….but the radio still plays”. I found myself standing next to the singer once at the Camden Falcon (curiously at one of our own gigs, but I don’t think we were playing at the time….unless I was using a long lead and had mastered the art of walking, talking and playing at the same time. No chance of that then. It must have been a soundcheck.) and badgered him for details of what would be their first lp. He was less than forthcoming. I still thought they were great

I saw them twice, (Barrell organ Birmingham probably 1990 and Dudley JB’s ’93) and was a bit disappointed both times…but the sounds and possibilities of those first 3 releases are still hard to beat.

The Kevin Rowland track is from the cruelly and incorrectly derided album My Beauty. The album is his post therapy record and although some vocals are a bit karaoke, there are some fantastic moments. I love the vocal asides on this track. At one point the backing vocals are aah aaahing away and Kev says “You hear that beautiful choir…They’re singing for you….They’re singing the truth….It’s yours…Go on, take it”

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

'Podlist - Most Recently Played

The twenty most recently played songs from the Shuffle Menu of my part filled and partial I Pod.
The miracle of the shuffle meant I didn’t know what I’d hear next. The miracle of filing and loading my albums alphabetically means that it’s probably from artists A-E.

Everybody Needs Somebody James Carr
Winter Teenage Fanclub
Growin’Up David Bowie
Here There And Everywhere The Beatles
Never Learn Not To Love Beach Boys
Kung Fu Ash
Jocko Homo Devo
Girl From Mars Ash
Shes’s Alive Barracudas
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Beatles
Womens Realm Belle And Sebastian
Shake Your Money Black Grape
Detroit 442 (Live) Blondie
Soul Deep Box Tops
One Hundred Years Byrds
Sugar ‘n’ Spike Captain Beefheart
Andy Warhol David Bowie
To The Other Woman (I’m The Other Woman) Doris Duke
Self Service Eddie And Ernie
You Little Fool Elvis Costello

Growin’Up is Bowie’s previously unreleased cover of the Bruce Springsteen song from the 30th anniversary reissue of Diamond Dogs. It’s a winner, but doesn’t really count as surprise treat because I only bought it a couple of months ago and have been playing it regularly since.

One Hundred Years has most of the boxes ticked for being great. It scores highly for Gram Parson’s involvement alone.

The real pleasure of the shuffle though is the song that you haven’t heard or thought of for ages….and then it’s there for you. This time round that song was James Carr’s Everybody Needs Somebody. A song that starts with a simple guitar and horn riff that builds to majesty and ends in heartbreak. Southern Soul genius.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I Pod

There are few things that I’ve ever wanted (and most of them aren’t metal and plastic) quite as much as an I Pod. I’ve spent the last 2 years gradually removing the obstacles (cash and a pc in need of an upgrade) but it was my birthday that actually produced the goods. For the last 6 weeks I’ve been frantically loading tracks onto it. I’m up to 6500 now.

It’s also brought a Proud Dad moment. One night I was happily loading Lp’s and listening to the first track of each album. I’d said to my boys that they could each have their own playlist with any tracks that they had heard and liked.

“I like this one” said 5 year old Alex. And so this beautiful child with, his big trusting eyes and cheery nature took his first wobbly steps into the world of pop. And the track he chose for the start of this momentous journey? Obviously that would be Debaser by the Pixies.