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Friday, 31 December 2010

Easy Dub


One more drop from Weatherall's cup to see the new year in? This is Ysaebud, from the S.O.P. vaults, a one sided 7" single with an etched B-side from some time in the 1990s. Top quality dub, with a echo-laden vocal sample- 'Ever since I was a youth, I've always been searching for the truth'. Easy does it.

Ysaebud.mp3

Bagging Area End Of Year Annual Review #1


Bagging Area started on January the 1st 2010 so this is my end of year round up.

Firstly, the top sixteen tracks as chosen by you the readers and the clickers, based on the numbers of downloads-

1. The Pharcyde 'Passing Me By'
2. A Tribe Called Quest 'Scenario'
3. Wayne Smith 'Under Me Sleng Teng'
4. DJ Shadow 'Def Is All Around Us'
5. DJ Shadow 'I've Been Trying'
6. Spiritualized 'Come Together' Two Lone Swordsmen Remix
7. Shannon 'Let The Music Play'
8. Pilooski 'AAA'
9. Steve Mason 'Boys Outside' Andrew Weatherall Dub 1
10. Go Home Productions Destinys Child v The Smiths 'How Soon Is Independence?'
11. NF Porter 'Keep On Keepin' On'
12. Half Man Half Biscuit 'With Goth On Our Side'
13. Bassheads 'Is There Anybody Out There?'
14. Le Corps De Mince Francoise 'Gandhi' Andrew Weatherall Mix 2
15. Warpaint 'Ashes To Ashes'
16. Honkeyfinger 'Running On Empty' Andrew Weatherall Vocal Remix

Which makes it look like this is mainly a dance music blog, with a side order of hip hop. Where are the guitars? I often think of myself as a fan of guitar music as much as anything but maybe that isn't the case. It also ignores the thirty odd posts of rockabilly we've had, which taken together would add up to quite a bit. I suppose there have been lots of guitar based tracks here, The Clash, Joy Division/New Order, The Cramps, Half Man Half Biscuit all being repeat offenders- they just don't hit the high figures. There's been northern soul, psyche, mod, ska, dub, reggae, mash ups, the continuing adventures of Johnny Marr, post punk and 80s indie. I guess I'll just carry on covering as many bases as I can.

I wasn't going to have an end of year list partly because I'm not sure I'm best placed to give a wide ranging and considered view of new music in 2010, especially when I read other bloggers end of year lists and think 'Not heard that, not heard that, not even heard of that' and I don't think I listen to enough new music, but Bagging Area's own 2010 favourites list would read something like this-

1. Steve Mason 'Boys Outside' Andrew Weatherall Dub 1
2. Le Corps De Mince Francoise 'Gandhi' Andrew Weatherall Mix 2
3. Pilooski 'AAA'
4. MIA 'Born Free'
5. Hippies 'Friendly Ghost'
6. The Xx 'VCR' Fourtet Remix
7. Trentemoller 'Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, Go!!!' Andrew Weatherall Prinz Mix
8. Woods 'Bloods Dries Darker'
9. Warpaint 'Undertow' (or their cover of 'Ashes To Ashes', I'll take either)
10. Massive Attack 'Paradise Circus' Gui Boratto Remix
11. Massive Attack 'Pray For Rain' Tim Goldsworthy Remix
12. Paul Weller 'Andromeda' Richard Hawley remix
13. Edwyn Collins 'What Is My Role?' (or 'Losing Sleep' or any one of four or five off the album)
14. Grinderman with Robert Fripp 'Super Heathen Child'
15. LCD Soundsystem 'I Can Change'
16. Wounded Lion 'Friendly'
17. Error Operator 'Follow'
18. Paul Weller 'No Tears To Cry'
19. The Xx 'Shelter' John Talbot remix
20. The Jim Jones Revue 'High Horse'
21. Gorillaz 'Stylo'

But there could well be records I've missed out or forgotten, and some of the placings are pretty arbitrary.

Pilooski's AAA is one of the best things I've heard this year. This is the minute and a bit dub/bonus beats that came on the 12". Thanks for reading, here's to 2011.

b1-pilooski-unknown.mp3

Thursday, 30 December 2010

History Lesson With Breakbeats


Steinski's Lesson 3 (History Of Hip Hop) is slide 'n' fade, cut 'n' paste, hip hop without rap (if that makes sense). Built from the now over-familiar samples and beats, it's funky, urgent party music from before rappers took over. Ideal if you're staying in with friends tomorrow night.

I found a copy of this (a 90's reisssue, but still...) in Sale Oxfam for £2.99 the other day. How does this stuff end up there? It's a reason I can't, no daren't, pass a charity shop without rummaging in their vinyl box.

Steinski_01_03_Lesson 3 (History Of Hip Hop).mp3

Your Face Is A Hammer In My Head


Whatever that means.

The House Of Love were the new Weather Prophets. In Dave Cavanagh's biography of Creation Records he describes The Weather Prophets slagging off Guy Chadwick's band as 'too psychedelic'. The House of Love's first album The House Of Love was 1988's indie heavyweight, chock full of great songs and two blistering singles- Christine and Destroy The Heart, all guitar effects and mystery. They signed to Fontana and came back with Never, which the press didn't like, and then this I Don't Know Why I Love You. Recorded with guitarist Terry Bickers but released after he'd been dumped at a motorway service station for unreasonable behaviour- drugs, ego, burning a tenner in the van, punched by the drummer etc etc. This is a great song, played to death on my stereo when it came out. Yes, it has iffy lyrics and lacks some of the 'ethereal' nature of the first album's songs but it's got a great drilling riff. After this it was all downhill, then scuppered by Madchester but briefly they were very good.

10 I Don't Know Why I Love You.wma

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I Struck A Match


The Weather Prophets 1986 debut single Almost Prayed is a gem of mid 80's indie- great guitar playing, lovely chiming riff, softly sung- it's close to indie perfection and a real Bagging Area favourite. There are two versions, one two and half minutes and one three and a half. I can't remember why there are two. I imagine it was re-recorded for the album or something. This is the longer one, for extra jangle.

Almost Prayed.mp3

Playing With Knives


From Hawkwind to Bizarre Inc., not much in common musically maybe but I think at some level they're related.
Playing With Knives was released in 1991, reaching number 4 in the UK. Part of it was nicked by Blue Pearl for Can You Feel The Passion?, which also charted. A re-release in 1999 got to number 30.

Playing With Knives (Quadrant Mix).mp3

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Just What I Need


After several days away, two family Christmas events, a few hundred miles on the road, way too much food and drink, and a soundtrack mainly consisting of Toy Story 3, the tunes a Wii plays, Phil Spector's Christmas album, a recent Weatherall homemade compilation cd and a Northern Soul best of (both in the car) it's a bit of a relief to get home and put this on. Someone mentioned this elsewhere the other day- Hawkwind's Motorhead, Lemmy's song for speedfreaks everywhere. It is highly unfestive and a total blast.

07 Motorhead.wma

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas


This is perhaps Billy Childish's finest moment, especially for you on Christmas day.

'Merry fucking Christmas to you all.'

Bagging Area wishes you all a merry Christmas, have a good time, and I'll be back in a few days.

Christmas 1979.mp3

Friday, 24 December 2010

It Was Christmas Eve


It was Christmas Eve- people were rushing around doing last minute shopping, scarves and hats and gloves worn, presents being wrapped and gift-tagged, a quick drink in the pub before heading home, lights on trees just visible through the misted up windows of public transport, stockings hung up over the fireplace by excited children, bottles of Bailey's being opened, San Franciscan space/kraut/drone rockers kicking seven noisy bells out of O Tannenbaum for eight and a half minutes.

OTannenbaum.mp3

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Who Is It?


It's Mantronix that's who. Electronic funk and old school hip-hop, tip top party music all the way from 1986 and still sounding fresh today. You might want to do those tops up though lads, you'll catch your death...

Who Is It.mp3

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

In The Key Of A


Eight years ago today Joe Strummer died.

On the 15th of November he'd played a benefit gig for striking firemen at Acton Town Hall. During the encore Mick Jones, watching in the audience, asked his companion to hold his coat and joined Joe and The Mescaleros for run throughs of The Clash's White Riot and London's Burning. It the first time Joe and Mick had shared a stage since 1983. Mick has since said it was totally unplanned and spontaneous. Although Joe went on to make two further live appearences (Liverpool and Bridgwater) legend has it that this reunion was the last before Joe's untimely death, and as Anthony H Wilson always said, if in doubt print the legend.

This is White Riot, live from Acton Town Hall on November 15th 2002 with Mick Jones on guitar, in the key of A. If you're having a glass or two of anything tonight raise one to Joe Strummer, 1952- 2002.

Strummer Jones White Riot.mp3

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Enjoy This Trip (And It Is A Trip)


Surely one of the greatest singles ever made, S Express (Mark Moore)'s Theme From S Express introduced acid house and sampling to a mass audience in 1988- it was number 1 in the UK for two weeks. Borrowing liberally from Rose Royce's Is it Love You're After?, it is dance music heaven.

Kind of ridiculously, I love the 'lyrics'

'Enjoy this trip
Enjoy this trip
And it is a trip
And it is a trip

(Countdown is progressing)
Uno, dos, tres, quatro

S Express
S Express

I got the hots for you

Chop me off, chop me off, chop me off (this bit always sounded more explicit to me)Jump on that ghetto blast off (or is it Drop that ghettoblaster? I can never quite make it out)Come on now slip it to the music, now scoot (Not wholly sure about this bit either)
Oh, that's bad
No, that's good'

If one of pop culture's sacred wordsmiths had written these, they'd be held up for all to see. As it is they're vocal samples that sum up the joy of the record, the scene, the dancing. But they sound pretty profound to me. I'm not joking.



Theme From S Express.mp3

Monday, 20 December 2010

You Move And Groove The Way You Should


Frankie Valli's 1966 floor shaker You're Ready Now, a northern soul stomper to liven up any party this Christmas.

Lyrically Frankie is admiring a girl who was too young to hang out with him but is ready now, 'ready to swing and dance all night long'-which in these more enlightened times would possibly get him on some sort of register.

12 You're Ready Now.wma

Thee Santa Clausettes



Holly Golightly and Thee Headcoatees rework their Davey Crockett garage rock tune for the festive period. Three Louie Louie style chords and their Christmas present list, including what every 60s influenced beat girl wants for in their stocking- 'a twangy guitar'.

Santa Claus.mp3

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Shut Up And Drive


Earlier today we had Low's Hatchet (Optimimi version). Low can be very quiet (see their three sides of vinyl Things We Lost In The Fire album), very lovely (the aforementioned Just Like Christmas) and very cool (see the also aforementioned Hatchet). Low can be also dark, noisy and menacing too. This is Monkey from their The Great Destroyer album. Bleak and dark and dark and bleak. I guess winter in Minnesota goes on for a while.

'Tonight the monkey dies'

monkey.mp3

I Know You Got A Thing For Ordinary Guys


I was going to post Low's Just Like Christmas, a wonderful, spine-tingling record but Davy H at the Ghost Of Electricity blog beat me to it (and if you haven't heard it get over there and get listening), but it led me back to this. In 2007 Minnesota's best slowcore trio released the bleak but brilliant Guns And Drums album. Initial quantities came with a free 7" single, a re-modelling of that album's song Hatchet. Hatchet is a tale of making up-

'You be my Charlie
And I will be your George
Let's bury the hatchet
Like The Beatles and The Stones'

and later on...


'So you'll be my Marianne
And I'll be your Yoko
Let's bury the hatchet
Like The Beatles
The Beatles and The Stones'

The version on the 7" is sung by Mimi and features some lovely 60's style pop organ and sounds like a lost gem. Which it is.

hatchet optimimiversion.mp3

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Same Old Boring Sunday Morning


And The Members' Sound Of The Suburbs makes it three in a row, although to be fair Nicky Tesco's lyrics skewer suburban life of young punks in the late 1970s poignantly and accurately, in a way The Vapours didn't. It reached number 12 in the charts pop pickers.

18 The Sound of the Suburbs.wma

I've Got Your Picture


If we, for the moment anyway, stay away from the more serious, more edgy, more boundary breaking end of the post-punk diaspora, we can have this song which reached number 3 in the UK chart, and was successful in the US, Australia and Japan as well. The Vapours' 1980 single Turning Japanese has more than a hint of novelty about it, may or may not be about the joys of masturbation, and may be slightly dubious in race relations terms but is still lots of new wave fun. I have played this when djing and seen men and women of a certain age go nuts to it, either pogoing or doing that jerky kicking-alternate-legs and waggling elbows dance. More bizarrely still The Vapours were discovered and managed by Paul Weller's dad John Weller. It's a little difficult to imagine the very serious young man Paul getting much enjoyment out of this.

14 Turning Japanese.wma

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Fly In The Ointment


One of my several brothers has spent the last, ooh, twenty five years listening to nothing but hip-hop. Occasionally he's bought records by say Bob Marley or Egyptian Lover or Funkadelic, but it's been pretty much a one course diet. So I was a little surprised by the phonecall I got the other day.

Him: Adam, you'll know this, what's that song that goes '1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is working overtime?
Me: It's 'senses' working overtime not 6. It's XTC.
Him: Who?
Me: The letter X, the letter T, the letter C
Him: Sounds like a rave band
Me: Yeah it does, post-punk/new wave band though.
Him: I just heard it somewhere. Love it. Ordered the 12" on ebay. What else they done? Hey, you could do me a mix cd of stuff like this couldn't you? For christmas?
Me: Yep.

Coincidentally, two days later in a second hand record shop I found a copy of the 7" of XTC's Senses Working Overtime for 99p.

So, hip hop obsessive brother wants a post-punk new wave mix cd. I think this song should go on it- Wire's I Am The Fly, catchy like flu, spikey like , erm, spikes and great in every way.


09 I Am the Fly.wma

Thursday, 16 December 2010

I'd Rather Watch Drying Paint


Yesterday's duo (Pet Shop Boys) meet another duo (Electronic) and record a stand out track from the first Electronic album, Patience Of A Saint. Neil Tennant had already worked with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr on the debut Electronic single, 1989's gorgeous Getting Away With It, and on this song Chris Lowe joined in on keys as well. Seeing as Marr had more or less refused to play the guitar on the album there must have been a lot of people standing around prodding drum machines, synths and samplers during the recording of this song. It's a fantastic track nonetheless, with Neil Tennant in withering sarcasm mode (the line that gave this post it's title for example and 'If I drove a faster car, I'd drive it bloody well').

The picture shows the foursome backstage at the Cities In The Park festival held in Heaton Park in the summer of 1991. Held in honour of Martin Hannett who'd died the previous April the Sunday was mainly Factory acts plus some other Manchester bands, and was a good line-up- New FADS, 808 State (very good), Durutti Column, A Certain Ratio, Revenge (they were pretty awful), De La Soul (lots of shouting. Live hip hop and festivals during daylight not mixing very well), Electronic and headlined by Happy Mondays. Security was fairly lax- fences going down left, right and centre followed by hordes pouring in, people working on the gates offering wristbands for a fiver- normal Factory/Hacienda sort of thing really. Electronic went on before the Mondays and at one point you stood looking at the stage with members of New Order, The Smiths and The Pet Shop Boys playing together and thought 'this is some kind of future we're looking at here'.
Factory was declared bankrupt just over a year later.

04 The Patience of a Saint.wma

I'm Indebted To A Contact Magazine


The last two posts have featured a duo and duo's always make me think of the Pet Shop Boys, who strode the mid-to-late 80s and 90s like a 4 legged literate,dance-pop, hit machine, unafraid to tackle the big issues and the little details. Also, Pet Shop Boys seem part of Christmas to me, all that poppiness, inspired and silly videos, Top Of The Pops Christmas Special, Christmas Number One and so on.

I could post any number of their songs- Left To My Own Devices is superb, and so are Rent, West End Girls, Being Boring, Domino Dancing, Can You Forgive Her?, Opportunites, It's A Sin.... In the end I've gone for So Hard with it's well observed lyrics about infidelity and very 1990 drums, synths and production. This is the extended dance mix, six and a half minutes of dry vocals and stabbing synths and crashing drums. And I love the photo on the sleeve.

Pet Shop Boys - So Hard (Extended Da.mp3 - 4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

San Diego Via East Kilbride


Crocodiles, named I assume after the Bunnymen album, are from San Diego and make scuzzy, fuzzy rock music influenced by The Jesus And Mary Chain. In fact they couldn't sound more like JAMC unless they were called Reid and came from East Kilbride. Still, pretty good. This is Neon Jesus from 2008.

Neon_Jesus.mp3

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Year Of The Remix (And A New Weatherall Remix)


I've been reading some of the end of 2010 round-ups and lists and when I started to think about it I realised that a lot of the new music I've enjoyed the most and played to death this year have been remixes. Massive Attack's underwhelming Heligoland album was followed by a remix package which included at least two stunners- Tim Goldsworthy's remix of Pray For Rain and Gui Boratto's piano and bass drum heavy Paradise Circus. The xx benefitted from John Talbot's housed up version of Shelter and Four Tet's folktronica'd remix of VCR, repeat plays both. Paul Weller's best solo album since, uh, the last one also came with a bundle of remixes (proof the old man must be moving forward eh?), the pick of them being Richard Hawley's brilliant reworking of Andromeda, but Future Sound Of London's alter ego Amorphous Androgynous hit the jackpot too. Error Operator and Wing Commander, both introduced to me by Acid Ted, remixed each other and others to good effect and repeatedly pop up on the mp3 player. There's probably others I've missed or forgotten but there's a decent mix cd shaping up already.

This being Bagging Area we're obviously moving into Andrew Weatherall country. Weatherall's recent productivity has led to superb remixes of Trentemoller (the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, Go!!! Prinz remix), both the dub versions of Steve Mason's Boys Outside single (Dub 2 still available within this site), the bass heavy remix of Grinderman's Heathen Child and most recently two remixes of Le Corps De Mince Francoise (pictured at the top), the first of which was available free through RCDLBL. Released two weeks ago, Remix 1 of their single Gandhi was in a similar vein to the Grinderman and Steve Mason ones, dubby and bass-led affairs with lots of strange noises. Remix 2 is something else entirely. It arrived via the postman on Saturday morning and I've been playing it as often as possible ever since.

Le Corps De Mince Francoise (LCDMF) are a Finnish duo who make dance-pop that wouldn't sound out of place on a 1990 compilation. Weatherall's Remix 2 also wouldn't sound out of place on an early 90s compilation, maybe one mainly featuring his own remixes from that time. It's over seven minutes of ecstatic and melodic noise, synths, electronic handclaps, and burbling noises. Then it really takes off after the breakdown near the five minute mark with the last couple of minutes sounding like either sunrise or sunset, depending on your disposition. It's a good 'un people and no mistake. Get it while it's hot.

Now, I need to find a cover for my Year Of The Remix cd- maybe that photo Charles and Camilla out for a drive last week will do.

Le Corps Mince De Francoise (LCMDF).mp3#1#1

Monday, 13 December 2010

Pretty Looks Isn't All


Outstanding Studio One vocal reggae from the Heptones with Pretty Looks Isn't All. I've posted far more reggae than I thought I would if you'd asked this time last year, so at the least doing this blog has got me listening to reggae and dub again. No-one does vocal reggae like those Heptones boys.

05 Pretty Looks Isn't All.wma

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Take Your Time And Take It Slow


Having had two of the second wave of Madchester bands here at Bagging Area in the last week I thought we'd go for a Mcr also-rans hat-trick. The High were made up of two former Stone Roses, guitarist Andy Couzens and drummer Chris Goodwin, with bassist Simon Davies and singer John Matthews. They released an album in 1990, Somewhere Soon, which is a footnote in that period but has a small army of devotees, including me. I've just listened to it in full for the first time in a few years. It's very of it's time, and the vocals and guitars do recall The Roses although they manage to avoid that funky backbeat that dates a lot of records from this point, but it's hard to argue with the quality of half the songs on it- Box Set Go, Somewhere Soon, PWA, the lovely Up And Down, and this one Take Your Time. They followed it with a catchy single, the equally good More..., but the band, the management or the record company were caught rigging the charts and things fell apart. A few years later they followed it with an ill advised second album (Hype), which saw them go rawk, and not in a good way. Listening to it tonight parts of Somewhere Soon transported me back, and I could vividly remember circumstances of playing this song or others on the album, and seeing them live- 'highly derivitive' was the summary of them by someone I went with, but they played these songs well. This is isn't nostalgia for a fresh faced twenty year old version of me, sat in a rented room, playing the 7" of this song bought from Woolworths, my whole life in front of me. This is just a good song by a long forgotten band.

The High - 02 - Take Your Time.mp3

Have Yourself A Scratchy Post Punk Reggae Little Christmas


Christmas, I suppose, means different things to different people- if your idea of Christmas is a scratchy, post punk, reggae, bass heavy kind of festival, produced by Martin Hannett, and involving people who played with PiL, the Blockheads and the Raincoats, then Basement 5's the Last White Christmas should be right up your yuletide alley.

14 The Last White Christmas.wma

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Christmas Bleeding Christmas


We're getting our Christmas tree today. Holly Golightly's Christmas tree caught fire, burning down the house. Festive fun for all the family.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Her Pretty Face Is Stained With Tears


Saint Etienne were mentioned in yesterday's Intastella post so I thought I'd put up one of my favourite songs of the last twenty years- Like A Motorway, from 1994. Set to a throbbing Kraftwerkian electro backing (programmed by Underworld's Rick Smith) and with a lyric about the death of love, it contains many well observed and well written lines including-


'She said 'Life was like a motorway
Dull, grey and long til he came along''.


The 12" came with a variety of remixes including a mental David Holmes one, but this song is what journalists at the time used to call 'perfect pop'. Which it was.
The above picture is number one in a google image search of the band- no idea why.




Thursday, 9 December 2010

Stella Stuff


A reader, Tom, was asking about long lost Madchester band Intastella the other day, so here we go. My 12" copy of debut single Dream Some Paradise, which memory tells me is quite good, is in pretty poor nick and won't rip well. At some point I had the album Intastella And The Family Of People, which had a good cover but the tunes didn't live up to the hype. Not sure where the album is but it's not under I for Intastella.

After being touted as Manchester's Saint Etienne and failing to deliver the hits they were dropped by MCA, but resurfaced in 1993 with a single with jungle runner up Shaun Ryder, and then again in 1995 with a cover of Frankie Valli's northern soul classic The Night. The B-side was this, The Right Experience, and listening to it now it's alright. It's 1995 so the Madchester dance pop has gone, replaced by riffier guitars, but Stella's vocals are good and the song's nicely laid back. The band originally evolved out of another Manchester band Laugh, and changed their name when Stella Grundy and dancer Little Anthony joined. Little Anthony (at the back in the picture) was a regular face in Manchester's bars and clubs fifteen to twenty years ago. I've got a feeling I may have shared a podium with him at some point. Bagging Area blushes slightly at the memory of this.

If any readers have got files of any of the earlier stuff like Dream Some Paradise or People, and they don't mind sharing, leave a comment and we'll get them up here. This appears to be my 500th post, which is surely close to insanity considering I only started this at the beginning of this year. I think Bagging Area actually passed this milestone a few days back as the DMCA removed four or five posts, but the counter down on the right says 500 so we'll believe it. Thanks for sticking with me people, and for the comments.

The Right Experience.mp3

Why Oh Why Oh Why?


The mash up artist Dunproofin' has pushed it too far- taken Andrew Weatherall's Feathers and mashed it up with- wait for it- Girls On Film by Duran Duran.

There are plenty of 80s pop bands you can say good things about. Duran Duran are not one of them. Duran Duran were always awful. Early stuff- awful. The rest- awful, vapid nonsense.

So, download it, listen to it once, then go and wash your ears out with soap. And delete it.


Dunproofin-DuranDuranDuranDuranDuran.mp3

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Box Set Go




The box set has got a bit more out of control this year (and somewhere there is a pedant waiting to point out it's boxed set). Box sets are nice, expensive, official product, beautifully put together, and designed to appeal to the obsessive collector. People like me I suppose.

David Bowie's Station To Station, released this year in a deluxe edition with five cds (full album, full live show, different mixes, versions etc), a lovely booklet, and with all kinds of memorabilia (facsimile back stage passes, tickets, badges and whatnot). Does anyone need five cds of Station To Station? Will anyone ever play the whole thing?

Neu! released a box this year with all three studio albums, some stuff they did in the 80s, a lovely booklet, and a Neu! stencil. For stencilling the Neu! logo wherever you might want to.

Screamadelica, soon to be released, with five cds (full album, all the remixes, live show, Dixie narco e.p., dvd of The Making Of..., T-shirt, and Screamadelica slipmat. For a penny under one hundred quid. Initial quantities signed by the band. Actually I quite fancy a Screamadelica slipmat. And the dvd will have interviews with Weatherall, with moving pictures and everything. But every remix has been released before, there's no new ones, and no new material. (While I'm here, I have a memory of being in a nightclub and hearing Moving On Up played but with Denise Johnson singing not Bobby. Does this version exist or was it my slightly addled 3am brain?)

Orange Juice's Coals To Newcastle- contains pretty much everything they did across five cds and dvd of tv shows. Lovely.

I'm sure there's loads of others I haven't mentioned. I'm sure they're all lovely too. I love the attention to detail. I like nice booklets and photos and interviews. I like the gimmicks- the slipmat, the stencil. I'm looking forward to the Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds action figures and New Order playmobil set. I like the having-everything-in-one-place feeling. But we are being suckered here. They know we want it. They know some people (middle aged men mainly) will part with increasing sums of money for this stuff, despite already owning most or all of the material, and having 'upgraded' before, lp to cd, single cd to 'legacy' edition. Are we being catered for or exploited? I suppose it depends how much you want the slipmat, the t-shirt, the booklet, the photos, the remastered album (and why wasn't the original album mastered very well then?).

This is Fuer Immer off Neu!2, the opening track, ten minutes of aural bliss that doesn't change very much but leaves you feeling better than when it started. I'm off to covet box sets on the internet.

Fuer Immer (forever).mp3

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Hot Milk


I've been trying to counteract this sub-zero, arctic weather we've been getting with songs of warmth. It's not working. It was minus five in the car at teatime yesterday. Lord only knows what it gets to in the middle of the night. It snows. It freezes. It goes foggy. It freezes. Repeat to fade.

This blast of funky, organ led reggae is from Jackie Mittoo, who could get sounds out of his keys like no-one else. If you're driving to work hunched up, shoulders up to your ears, with ice on the inside of the windscreen, and more layers and cold weatherwear than a Premiership footballer, and this song comes on, it might make you feel a little better if not actually any warmer.

Various Artists_13_Hot Milk.mp3

Monday, 6 December 2010

Out Of Our Minds On The Stage




World Of Twist came as part of the second wave of Madchester bands but didn't really share much with the rest of them except geography. A riot of northern soul, mod, psyche, homemade stage props (a giant shell, rotating newsagents signs) with a post-acid house groove, this was their finest moment- Sons of The Stage.

The song's a celebration of losing yourself dancing, being on stage and the euphoria of the crowd-

'The beat breaks so we pick it up
The floor shakes down but it's not enough
The beam is up and the kids are high
I've seen them move and it blows my mind
The floor's an ocean and this wave is breaking
Your head is gone but your body's shaking
There's nothing you can do 'cos there is no solution
You've got to get down to the noise and confusion'

The picture at the top is from Jeremy Deller's march through Manchester earlier this year, with a variety of unusual interest groups, We Miss The World Of Twist being one of them. Apparently King of the Dullards Liam Gallagher and his new band have recently covered Sons Of The Stage. Best to remember them this way.

02 Sons of the Stage.wma

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Missing Link


Link Wray- who invented the use feedback, the power chord, instrumental rock, and co-fathered punk and heavy metal- and is one of the real pioneers, was part Shawnee. In 1971, years after his Rumble heyday, released a tough edged country rock album, dressed as a Shawnee tribesman on the cover. This is the closing track Tail Dragger. In the above picture Link looks very ready to rumble.

11 Tail Dragger.mp3

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Record Company Compilation Album Blues


Apparently there's a new Jesus And Mary Chain compilation out. I haven't so far been bothered to look for it, not even on the internet. I read somewhere it contains the studio version of this song, All Things Must Pass, the only song they've released since reforming two years ago. Do I want to spend over a tenner on a compilation album containing, in all likelihood, 98% songs I already own on several formats?
This is All Things Must Pass (not a George Harrison cover) ripped from a perfomance on an American tv show a year or two back. What does it sound like? The Jesus And Mary Chain of course.

All_Things_Must_Pass.mp3

Friday, 3 December 2010

Very Cosmic


How about some krautrock? Oh don't groan you lot.

In 1974 Michael Rother (from Neu!) joined with Moebius and Roedelius (both from Cluster) to make the Musik Von Harmonia album. This track (song isn't really the right word) is Dino, lovely swathes of sound and melody with rhythm driving it on. The album also contains tracks called Sehr Kosmisch and Hausmusik- both of it's time and ahead of time. I've got a feeling the last time I played this in full the even numbered tracks were good and odd numbered tracks less interesting, but I could be imagining it.

There's something about all this snow and ice which seems quite teutonic. If you're interested BBC 4's excellent krautrock documentary is repeated tonight at 10.30. Worth staying up for.

04 Dino.wma

One Man Band


Dennis Hopper Choppers are a one man band from London. Ben Nicholls plays sitting down while singing, playing guitar, bass drum, hi-hat,vox organ and bass pedals. His album Chop-LP came out in 2007 with this song Little Johnny as the opening song, a mixture of shuffling 50s rhythms, rockabilly and country, Link Wray and Dick Dale, 60s rock (see the song Listening To The MC5), bassy surf guitar and a dash of menace. It's good stuff.

01 Little Johnny.wma

Thursday, 2 December 2010

No Pop, No Style


What could be less appropriate for this week's weather than a blast of summer from Jamaica? Althea and Donna were 17 and 18 respectively when legendary producer Joe Gibbs took the rhythm from Alton Ellis's I'm Still In Love and got them to sing over the top. Less than a year later, in 1978, this went to number one in the UK singles charts. Strictly roots, as the girls remind us repeatedly, strictly roots.

Uptown_Top_Ranking.mp3

Eno Collaboration 2


After yesterday's Brian Eno post I had to put this up, with it's middle section that goes thus...

'I know Bono and he knows Ono and she knows Eno's phone goes thus:
''Brian's not at home, he's at the North Pole
But if you'd like to leave a weird noise'' '

On the 7" single of this song, the B-side is Hair Like Brian May Blues. Worth it for the title alone.



03 Eno Collaboration [Remix].wma

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Eno Collaboration


There's something about Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno I struggle with. You can't argue with so many of his contributions to popular music- he played 'tapes and effects' in Roxy Music, recorded and produced some of David Bowie's best albums including the song Heroes, worked with Talking Heads on their four most brilliant and groundbreaking albums, invented ambient music with Music For Airports, recorded solo albums full of invention like Before And After Science, Another Green World, Taking Tiger Mountain and Here Come The Warm Jets, found time to invent sampling preachers and cut-up techniques on the still astonishing My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts with David Byrne, introduced his Oblique Strategies cards for increasing creativity and breaking deadlock in the studio, and inspired directly or indirectly a multitude of dance and electronic acts, art rockers and post-punk bands. Yet at no time in the last few years in the studio with either U2 or Coldplay did he manage to turn over the Oblique Strategy card that read 'Why don't you four boring mass-market, lighter-waving encouraging, badly dressed, yawn-inducing, chest-beating, non-entities leave here and go and do something else outside music?'.

The album Here Come The Warm Jets is a mixture of glam and art rock, with members of Hawkwind, King Crimson, Roxy Music and Pink Fairies contributing. He tried a variety of unusual methods in the studio to get results- dancing for the musicians and getting them to play accordingly, singing nonsense and then turning the nonsense into the words the nonsense suggested, treating the guitars so they sounded like 'warm jets'. His vocals can be an acquired taste, and his output is a bit all over the place but there's little he did in the 70s which isn't worth a listen. Still don't get the U2 or Coldplay collaborations though.

Here Come The Warm Jets.mp3