James Brown 1933-2006
well, hope everyone had a good Christmas (or whatever you choose to celebrate). I certainly did; amongst my presents were The Complete John Peel Sessions 1978-2004 by The Fall from my girlfriend (I shall be digesting it today; after hearing their take on 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing' from the 1994 Peel session, she asked me ever so nicely and politely, if firmly, if I could appreciate it on Boxing Day (she's working).
As I am sure most people are aware, James Brown died on Christmas Day aged 73. I'm proud to say that I got to see him once - he played at the Edinburgh Live8 gig in July 2005, and he was amazing, even for that brief appearance. I'm not an authority on James Brown, and there are many thousands of people out there far more qualified to talk about him than I, but for his huge contribution to music, I salute you. If you haven't got any of his music, then shame on you, but go here and start filling those gaps in your music collection. You really, really need tracks like 'I Feel Good' and 'Sex Machine' in your record collection. Given that this usually leads to stuff being issued posthumously, let's see if we can get the inevitable re-issue to No.1. Mind you, given that as of January 1, 2007 the singles chart effectively becomes a songs chart, perhaps we don't even need to wait for this, and can just go ahead and do the job ourselves...
The NME have been amzingly active and have put this tribute up to James Brown, including links to some YouTube appearances. Click here (BTW if anyone does come across any great tributes on the net, please leave a message for me and I will post the links).
Speaking of January charts, now is the time when bands, or rather their record labels, take advantage of the traditional post-Christmas dip in sales to launch new bands given that a) there is less competition from established acts (OK I know the Strokes put out their third album on January 2 in 2006, but that's fairly unusual). One of the acts who will be taking advantage of this are Good Shoes, who released their debut single on Christmas Day (are there many record shops (as opposed to download services) open in the UK on Christmas Day). This can be heard by following this link where you can hear three tracks streamed in their entirety and see the video.
The Cooper Temple Clause have also got a new single out, on January 8 on physical format, but available to download from iTunes now, and can be heard on their website.
I'm looking forward to 2007 - I will post a list of albums that are due out soon (not because I am a pawn of the music industry - though if people want me to review music/gigs for free I'm up for it) but because it's stuff I'm interested in too.
Finally, I recently mentioned the Jock 'n' Roll poll of best ever Scottish singles; they have produced a Top 150 for Christmas, and are still taking votes, so go and vote if you haven't done already and check it out here!