Friday, February 29, 2008

Orange Juice-You Can't Hide Your Love Forever

For today, I would like to focus on what is my second favourite scottish album of all time, behind the Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy, and one of the best debut albums ever.
This album was released in 1982, and was Orange Juice's official debut, although many of the songs had been intended for a debut album on the seminal, legendary Postcard label that would not appear until 1992 as Ostrich Churchyard. With their influence noticeable on many Glasgow bands of now, such as Wake The President and Bricolage it would be great to hope that people would go and investigate and buy the album...if they could get their hands on it.

Unfortunately, this absolute classic of an album is not currently available on any format in the UK, neither CD nor vinyl, nor is it downloadable at iTunes or eMusic. In all seriousness, I think Polydor (or whichever soft drinks company it's part of now) should make this album available to buy again. It's like the insanity that prevents many seminal works being out of print be they music, film or the written word. Why? For the meantime, I will post it here for the next two weeks. To me this is a work of art, beautiful songs and something that lovers of 'indie' music (and I mean that in as many senses of the word as possible) should hear.

The influence of this album can be heard in The Pastels, The Shop Assistants, Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, The Delgados, Franz Ferdinand...and the Smiths.

Never heard it? Well, now's your chance, if you don't have the money to buy a hugely expensive import copy: I have used my USB turntable to transfer it into mp3 format. The vinyl's in pretty good nick, though there may be the odd crackle here and there. As John Peel used to say 'life's got surface noise.'

'Orange Juice - Falling And Laughing.' mp3

Orange Juice -'Untitled Melody.' mp3

Orange Juice -'Wan Light.' mp3

Orange Juice - Tender Object.' mp3

Orange Juice -'Dying Day.' mp3

Orange Juice -'L.O.V.E. Love.' mp3

Orange Juice -'Intuition Told Me (Part 1).' mp3

Orange Juice -'Upwards And Onwards.' mp3

Orange Juice -'Satellite City.' mp3

Orange Juice -'Three Cheers For Our Side.' mp3

Orange Juice -'Consolation Prize.' mp3

Orange Juice -'Felicity.' mp3

Orange Juice -'In A Nutshell.' mp3

DISCLAIMER: I freely state here and now that I do not own the copyright to this recording, so if you download this in a country WHERE YOU ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO BUY IT, THEN SHAME ON YOU. If you download this and like it, please buy the album if it becomes available again.

UPDATE: Since I did this post, JC over at the Vinyl Villain has put together a post which has the opportunity to acquire everything Orange Juice ever did, pretty much, with money going to charity. You have therefore, twenty four hours to get the mp3s off here without giving any money, but I'd rather you went to this post and found out how you can help.

Ed, March 2, 2008

Links now removed -get thee to the Vinyl Villain's blogspot!

Ed, March 3, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

(re)-presenting Bricolage

having done a post on one of Glasgow's finest up and coming bands a few days ago (the well-received Wake The President) I here re-present Bricolage as yet another fine example of scottish indie talent.

I have yet to see them live (they're playing Glasgow and London in the next wee while according to the blog, but not us folks here in Edinburgh) but after an excellent post by Matthew a few days ago over at Song, By Toad I relaised just how much I love them -and how anyone who hasn't heard them yet should not be allowed to miss out:

Bricolage -'Our Fires Electric.' mp3

Bricolage -'Temp It Up.' mp3

Bricolage -'The Waltzers.' mp3

There are two other tracks available to download over on their MySpace page, as well as downloading their three singles from iTunes or wherever else you can find them.

A big Orange Juice post is coming this way very, very soon BTW...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Presenting...The Rosie Taylor Project

Well, there is no-one in the band called Rosie Taylor, but the Rosie Taylor Project:
(drum roll, presenting...)

JONNY: vocals, acoustic guitar.
SOPHIE: trumpet, vocals, french horn.
SAMM: keyboard, electric guitar, glockenspiel.
NICK: bass.
JOEL: drums...

are from Leeds and sound mighty, mighty fine. They have released one single so far 'Black And White Films/Songs For Lost Lovers' on Bad Sneakers Records and mighty, mighty fine they are too. If you love Aberfeldy, My Latest Novel and Sons and Daughters then you should be checking these guys out. These are beautiful songs that reaffirm your faith in music and life at the end of a long day. Or put the seal on a pretty good one in my case. If these songs don't move you, make you smile and rejoice at life's beauty...I give up, frankly.

The Rosie Taylor Project - Maps For Lost Lovers.' mp3

The Rosie Taylor Project-'The Sun On My Right.' mp3

Hope you like these, then do as I did and go and buy them and make friends with them at MySpace.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A rifle through the vinyl-The Au Pairs

The Au Pairs were part of the late seventies and early eighties post-punk scene that has come to be known as...well, post-punk, though I get the feeling it wasn't really called so at the time. The band consisted of guitarist Paul Foad, guitarist and vocalist Lesley Woods, bassist Jane Munro and drummer Pete Hammond. Woods was one of the few 'out' lesbians in the music industry at the time, even within the left-wing politics of much of the music scene of the time, and the band were considered important on the riot grrl (sic) movement of the 1990s.

There are probably many better people out there to write critiques of the politics involved, but the music is what i want to focus on. If you have heard Gang of Four and Delta 5 (both of whom I have featured here before) then they were in a similar vein but very much an influential group in their own right.

This is there second single, from 1980 'Diet'/'It's Obvious.' I should warn people that the sound is a little crackly (and not available on emusic or iTunes, at least in the UK, I did try). But it's a great record that should be heard, as should the debut Playing With A Different Sex. 'Diet' is a sympathetic but frustrated look at the life of a housewife, who doesn't have political views and spends her time cleaning and washing.

Au Pairs -'Diet.' mp3

Au Pairs -'It's Obvious.' mp3

There is a good Au Pairs site here and their Wikipedia entry is here as well as an article here at Fact magazine.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Interview: Foxface

It's a briskly cold February morning when I meet Michael and John in Glasgow's West End for a coffee and to chat about Foxface, their album and that mask. We meet outside Tinderbox on Byres Road, the area you read about in Belle and Sebastian sleevenotes. What really chuffs me to start with is that they've come across from their respective parts of Glasgow just for this interview, and not like I assumed, that they'd be doing a whole day of press.

Foxface are: Michael Angus on vocals and guitar; John Ferguson on drums, accordian, banjo, and mandolin; and Jenny Bell on bass and vocals. [Jenny wasn't there at the time of the interview, it wasn't that she didn't get a chance to speak, or anything like that].

I begin by asking how the band came together.

John looks at Michael and grins: 'You can answer that one!'

Michael takes up the story: 'Originally it was just me doing stuff on my own, solo with an acoustic guitar. But I got kind of tired of that, so I asked John if he wanted to help me out, do some keyboards and bits of drums...and then Jenny started playing the bass, and she joined Foxface as well.

When you were performing beofre, did you do it under your name or under Foxface?

Michael: 'It started off under my name and then the three of us as Foxface.

I take this moment to come clean; that the only time I have seen them play live was three years previously, when they supported Idlewild and Sons & Daughters at a gig at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. (This is my fault, not theirs, and they don't offence). Do you all wear fox masks on stage?

Michael: No, we probably should. John's the only one ugly enough to wear a mask on stage!

So was that something you did to avoid being identified by your students? [N.B. before the interview started, it transpires that both John and I are teachers]. Or taking the mick out of Peter Gabriel circa '72...or?

John laughs. 'Jenny had made up some masks, and Michael who played guitar had made a video, and I just put it on...they were made out of aAll-Bran packets. After a while they got soggy from sweat and started to disintegrate so a friend called Shane Connolly who makes puppets and masks, and he volunteered to make a mask and that's what we've got now, which is a lot more durable.

Live it's just the three of them, though they used other friends on the record. I take this opportunity to ask about the track 'Can't Afford To Go Away' which reminds me of some of Nico's solo work, particularly on Desertshore. Much of this record and its' predecessor, The Marble Index are just voice and harmonium. Is this what they're aiming for here? John explains that it's a diatonic accordian played by a virtuoso friend called Andy Cutting.

The album This Is What Makes Us was released in November, through Gargleblast. Recorded in January and February last year, this is as sharp a debut as any to be released by any scottish band in the last few years. Gargleblast had a slight backlog of recordings to release, hence the slight wait in coming out. The band have a licensing deal rather than a record contract. Are they actively seeking a record contract? It would seem not: 'Not really,' they say in unison. 'We're trying to do most of it ourselves.' They don't like the idea of being tied to a label. At a time when EMI and others are shedding staff faster than a malting cat, this seems like a step towards genuine independence for a lot of bands. What do they make of Radiohead's choice to release In Rainbows as a downloadable album, which fans could make donations towards?' They chuckle about this. They acknowledge that its easier for Radiohead, as they're quite rich, and their idea men came up with it, but they quite like it. They're happy for me to post tracks on the blog, as I've asked. They had a bizarre experience recently when without being asked their music appeared on a skateboard video in America. They like the idea of more people hearing the music.

In Scotland they've received a lot from support from people like The List, The Skinny and Is This Music? but less support from further afield so far. In 2007, in addition to This Is What Makes Us, they also collaborated with Rody Gorman on the song Dreamcatcher on the Ballads Of the Book compilation. They were pleased to be involved with it, and it also represents a contiuation of a long link with its curator, Idlewild's Roddy Woomble. Do they see Idlewild an influence or contemporaries?

John says probably more as friends. On their last studio album, Make Another World, Idlewild released a rock record more in line with 100 Broken Windows than more recent efforts which saw more of an interest and awareness of traditional scottish roots music. Foxface did support Roddy Woomble on the tour for his solo album, My secret Is My Silence, which is far more folk than any of his work as Idlewild's front man, and indeed Michale played on the record and co-wrote several tracks.

So what are the major influences on Foxface's sound? Michael says that it owes less to particular bands than to melody. They also draw links with The Royal We and Sons & Daughters, though they all bring something different to it. I say that I love Foxface because they sound genuinely scottish, including the fact that they sing in their own accents. I mention that I think that this in contrast to a band like Big Country. John comments, not unreasonably that this may have been to do with the time that Big Country were around, and how the Proclaimers were mocked for doing so. This seems to be a recurring theme as Scotland gains its own confidence in the twenty-first century. Closer to now they mention Tattietoes, but they don't see there being a close-knit scene.

I mention that certain publications give the impression that there is this whole network and scene of scottish indie bands, which isn't really there. Certain bands, like Belle and Sebastian, have built their own mythology. John and Michael point out that there are a lot of bands and scenes in Glasgow, such as Hip-Hop or Metal in certain pockets that you would only be aware of if you go to certain clubs. They try to cross-over and avoid it to an extent. We compare notes on Glasgow indie legends, such as the Pastels and BMX Bandits, and also how so many bands are still based here.

'People are supportive,' they say, 'You feel supportive staying somewhere wehre other people are playing,' and suggest that it can be a lot harder getting as decent a crowd in Edinburgh or Aberdeen. They have found that this grows with more regular playing, though they still find Aberdeen quite hard-going. But it can also get boring playing the same shows. This year they are hoping to play in Spain or Iceland. At the moment, the album's currently available in Britain and Japan, though there is talk of the album being released in America. They're thrilled that it was a Spanish internet Radio station's album of the month, but this was due to them mailing the album off to them, rather than the radio station seeking them out. Another project this year is a soundtrack for an independent documentary, which is changing the approach of how they make music together. They've been given traditional Gaelic songs to base the music on and then finalise the music when the documentary. 'It's something we've never done before.' There are plans that they will be part of a live performance at the Glasgow International Festival, in April at the Govan Shipyard. The film is as yet untitled, but deals with an anti-motorway campaign in Glasgow.

When we speak, Glasgow has just hosted its annual Celtic connections festival. Given that they incorporate a lot of traditional music, do they think there is a revived level of confidence, in terms of Gaelic and scottish culture? Culturally and politically, they say, there has been increase in scottish nationalism, without the unpleasant jingoistic element, 'no tubthumping or flag-waving.' They dismiss Tartan week as pure PR, understandably blame Runrig as being responsible for the worst possible views of scottish music but feel that there is a lot more pride in what is coming out of Scotland. We laugh about Groundskeeper Willie in the Simpsons and Mike Myers' on-screen dad in So I Married An Axe Murderer, the totally ridiculous stereotype of Scots and Scotland approach, though as they finish in unison 'In every stereotype, there is a grain of truth!'

Are they planning on doing a second Foxface album? They are, but Foxface all have day jobs and manage themselves. Whilst some people would see this as a constraint on music making, it removes many of the pressures that affect some bands where they have to kertow to the orders of a manager and record company. John says he likes the balance while Michael likes not having to make a living out of it, pointing out that when aspects of the music industry go wrong, you can forget why you're in a band in the first place. They draw a link between artistic and creative satifaction of their jobs and their music. They look to do more events rather than just gigs, seeing it as being like organising a party.

Surprisingly, they have only played one gig this year and have no gigs line dup until April or May, but with no-one breathing down their necks, they can make their own conscious decisions. 'We're not consciously trying to change...but it will be interesting to see where it ends up.' Their next step is to release their album on vinyl, joking that they want an expensive gatefold sleeve and an LED light.

Whatever's next, keep us posted. Oh, and can I have a mask please?

This Is What Makes Us is out now on Gargleblast. Ballads Of The Book is out now on Chemikal Underground.

Michael and John as consumers:

John's Top Five records 'At the moment':

1. Steve Moore - The Hinge
2. Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
3. Tom Waits - Raindogs
4. new DeSalvo record
5. Vernon Elliott Ensemble -Ivor the Engine and Pogles Wood Themes

John's Top Five Films 'At the moment'
1. No Country For Old Men
2. Dune
3. The Third Man
4. M
5. Planet Earth

Michael's Top Five albums:

1. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See A Darkness
2. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
3. Deerhoof - Milk Man
4. Modest Mouse - Lonesome Crowded West
5. Folkways Records - Bothy Ballads

Michael's Top Five Films

1. Chinatown
2. I Know Where I'm Going
3. Spiderman 2
4. Chungking Express
5. Fargo

Foxface -'We Can Dance.' mp3

Foxface -'Can't Afford To Go Away.' mp3

Foxface's website is here

Foxface's mySpace is here

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Album Review: Antiqcool

Album Review: Antiqcool -'Songs Of Hope And Despair' (Sicknote Records)

This is Antiqcool's second release, the follow-up to 2007's Digging For Gold. Who Antiqcool are is a mystery, neither the sleeve nor their MySpace suggest as to whether it is a one-man project or a band, the sleeves mention Pete but that is all. It is hard to know where they are based, though I'm guessing the north of England.

And what of the music? The sticker on front of the CD reads 'THe Police arrest Fleetwood Mac defended by Crosby, Stills and Nash in Simon and Garfunkel's Crowded House.' This is quite an accurate description; there are no kriss-krossing guitars here, nor apocalyptic beats or howling demonic exhortions to burn in hell.

Still reading? Good. This thirteen track collection of songs is a gorgeous, initiallly slight but more and more enticing and addictive with each listen. This is truly independent music, not because it has guitars on it, or isn't on a major label, but is genuinely music that exists for its own sake, out of time, and all the better for it. I've played it several times since it arrived in the post several days ago, and not only do I enjoy it more with every listen, but Mrs. 17 Seconds is also enjoying it too.

If there is one thing that detracts from this album for me, it's that while the album is pretty sublime, the record appears to have been produced so carefully that you start to miss the absence of a few rough edges that might actually add even more to this record.

No matter. I've been enjoying listening to this, and I think come the summer it will be on the stereo even more frequently.

Antiqcool -'Just Another Groove On A Forty Five.' mp3

Antiqcool -'Pearl.' mp3

Antiqcool -'We're All Doing Time In A Minefield.' mp3


To hear more Anticqool music, go to their Myspace site here:

The album is also available on iTunes

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Presenting...Wake The President

Wake The President are a top notch band from Glasgow who released two fantastic 7"s in 2007. I saw them supporting Emma Pollock in December and was blown away. I spoke to them after the gig and they said they were happy for me to post their music on my blog so I hope that still stands!

They have released two excellent singles so far, which hint at Belle and Sebastian, but owe far more to the likes of Orange Juice, Arab Strap and Josef K.

See what you think:

7" #1:

Wake The President -'Mail Alice.' mp3

Wake The President -'Sorrows For Clothes.' mp3

7" #2:

Wake The President -'Remember Fun?' mp3

Wake the president -'I'm Sorry.' mp3

If you like the tracks - and i can't see why you wouldn't, please support the band in any way you can.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gig review: Sons and Daughters/Black Kids/Broken Records

Gig review: Sons and Daughters/Black Kids/Broken Records

Edinburgh Queens' Hall, February 16, 2008

My first gig of the year. Headlined by my favourite scottish act of the last few years, supported by one of my favourite bands to emerge on the web and opened by one of the best local bands. So good in theory as to be only possible to be let down in practice?

Well, fortunately for me, it was a fantastic night out with three great bands that I cannot wait to see again. Broken Records -soon to do a session for Radio 1's Huw Stephens -opened. this was the third time I had seen them, and was yet again blown away. I am mystified as to how they are not signed, as I spent most of January saying on here. They simply go from strength to strength and songs like 'if the news makes you sad, don;t watch it' just grab you more evry time you hear them. Sooner or later, they will headline this place.

Florida's Black Kids are due to release their first physical single 'I'm Not going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You' in April, (it made my Festive Fifty of 2007) and having been supporting Sons & Daughters are now off on tour supporting Kate Nash. How do they measure up to the hype? Pretty damn well, actually. I had heard much of their stuff on mp3s, but live they move to a whole new level. It's clear they've been listening to prime period prince and then run with the ideas they've had. They look cool as anything whihc helps too. Songs like 'Listen To Your Body Tonight' and 'IUnderestimated My Charm Again' are just even better live. Believe the hype, because they get even the traditionally staid edinburgh audience moving, and make me wonder how Sons & Daughters can top it.

This was the eighth time I had seen Sons and Daughters. Whilst my top performance of theirs had to be when they opened for Morrissey in Aberdeen in 2006, they still have it, and have just grown so much in confidence and stature since I saw them as third on the bill four and a half years ago. New album This Gift has seen them work with Bernard Butler and without compromising their sound or distinctiveness has helped take them to newer ground. As recent single 'Darling' illustrates, there is a 'glam' hint coming through previously only hinted at. Yet the crowd still call for old songs like Johnny Cash as well, but it's clear that the band are moving and progressing onward. Three bands I would pay a tenner for to see on their own, never mind altogether!

Sons and Daughters - 'Johnny Cash.' mp3

Sons and Daughters -'Dance Me In.' mp3

Sons and Daughters' MySpace is here

Black Kids' MySpace is here

Broken Records' Myspace is here

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The memory of John Peel Vs the Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph, that bastion of the sort of thinking that is abhorrent and makes a mockery of free speech, three days ago published this editorial that can only serve as a reminder of why John Peel was important and why conservatives are a threat to a decent way of life. Mike at Teenage Kicks ran this this morning, and I am still so incredulous I am doing the same.

This is by someone called Michael Henderson:

" There is something embarrassing, to be frank, unmanning, about the inscription on the memorial to John Peel, the broadcaster, who passed away four years ago. Freshly carved in a Suffolk graveyard, the stone reads: "Teenage dreams so hard to beat".

Strictly speaking, there should be a comma after "dreams", those phantoms that are, apparently, "so hard to beat". But, whatever else he did in his 65 years, before his unfortunate death on holiday in Peru, Mr Peel did not speak strictly. On this occasion, therefore, and making further allowance for the fact that the line is borrowed from a pop song, it is permissible to overlook that solecism.

All the same, it is embarrassing. The man lived 65 years, and in that time he must have had the kind of experiences that bring a few drops of wisdom; at the very least, a smattering of self-knowledge. Yet he chose to be remembered by the words of a song that, like the adolescent dreams they are supposed to evoke, are thoroughly wet.

One doesn't necessarily expect a Wordsworthian invocation to see into "the life of things" from a man who spent his working life among the sharpies and ne'er-do-wells of the most venal industry in the world. A man who taught me was at Shrewsbury with Peel (or Ravenscroft, as he was known in those days), and remembered him as "the dimmest boy in school".

People have been known to improve with the years, so, once more, we shouldn't be too hard on the chap for his lack of sparkle in the classroom. He seems to have been a harmless man, loved by those close to him. Yet, like so many young people who found their voice in the 1960s, and were indulged thereafter, he never really grew up.

A man who tells a television audience, as Peel did, "I wish I had the courage to be a terrorist", to milk the applause of the credulous, forfeits the right to be taken seriously on any matter under the Sun. Worse, he presents himself to the world in the colours of a buffoon.

There is going to be a lot more buffoonery in the next few months, as the BBC pulls out all manner of expensive stops to mark the 40th anniversary of les événements. They will all be wheeled out again, the well-heeled Trots from Trottington Hall, to tell us how we got things so badly wrong back then, and how, if only we had got the revolution groove, baby, life would now be much sweeter.

Again, it is that refusal to grow up, the reluctance to let go of those comforting illusions that seek to make simple what is, of necessity, complex. We all have illusions, of course. Life without them would be intolerable, even if that longed-for century at Lord's remains vivid only in our morning reverie.

But no sentient being who has absorbed the lessons of life would ever submit to the sovereignty of "teenage dreams". Child-like visions, by all means. Had Peel chosen to inscribe Winnie the Pooh on his memorial, or summoned the spirit of Ratty and Toad, that would have been all right. Innocence always trumps self-deception.

And self-deception is exactly what is wrong with that memorial. Its banal sentiment is not child-like, merely childish. Pop music speaks to teenagers because, green in judgment, they lack the emotional resources to respond to anything deeper. With helpful instruction, and a bit of curiosity, that should come with age, though in this case it didn't.

In fact, it often doesn't. We have now reached a strange, indeed a unique, stage in history, when the ageing process has been reversed, with predictably grim consequences. We read about it again this week, only this time "teenage kicks" meant something else altogether; something literal and devastating.

People in their fifties and even sixties are seen on our streets every day behaving like teenagers. In their eating and drinking habits, clothing, language, and leisure pursuits, they can be hard to distinguish from people young enough to be their grandchildren. No wonder those youngsters fail to grow up.

Funeral directors across the land have spoken with sadness in recent years of the lack of respect shown to the dead. The passing of loved ones used to release feelings of love, loss and reflection. Now they are just excuses to have a bit of a larf. Death: just one more reason to roll out the barrel.

Peel was, in effect, 65 going on 17, with a teenager's fear of disapproval. He made his name as a disc jockey playing any amount of bilge because, as he said, "people send me their tapes, so I play them". Scared of being considered out of touch, he jumped on any bandwagon that happened to be passing.

It is also worth noting that he was a keen fan of football, a game (or industry) that tends to pickle its most fervent followers in a jelly of arrested development. Should you doubt that, feel free to attend any fixture today and study the behaviour of spectators in even the most expensive seats. If you have never been to a football match, you are in for the kind of surprise that greeted the good woodsfolk who stumbled across the Teddy Bears' Picnic.

"Teenage dreams so hard to beat". Feeble stuff. What it really means is: "I never grew up"."

Several holes I would like to pick in this travesty of journalism.

Firstly, to make a very thinly veiled link with the muder of Garry Newlove and the song Teenage Kicks beggars belief. This is utterly crass.

Secondly, the rampant generalisation about football fans. John was at Heysel in 1985 when 39 Juventus fans died, and was deeply affected by it. Yes, there are unpleasant people at football games, there are unpleasant people everywhere.

Thirdly, he jumped on every bandwagon passing - tosh. Peel played punk, hiphip and reggae, amongst others, when other DJs wouldn't cover these genres, taking abuse from racist idiots, particularly for reggae.

But mostly, what I find spectacularly offensive is the way he makes people seem idealistic and naive for wanting to have changed things. Yes, the comment about terrorists seems misguided, but take any comment out of context and you can cause anyone to look stupid and misinformed, or worse.

As a teacher, I'm privileged to teach young people, and learn a lot from them, something Mr. Henderson seems to find impossible. Yes, I may be idealistic, but if I wasn't, I would have ended up cynical and given up long ago. I don't kid myself that I make a difference, but if I can help people to think for themselves, then I must be doing something. Is hanging on to your dreams and aspirations really refusing to grow up? As well as his long-running Radio 1 show, he also presented Home Truths for
many years on Radio Four, something Mr. Henderson omits.

I know next to nothing about Mr. Henderson, so I'm not going to make childish insults about him, but this article is insulting to so many people.

Elvis Costello -Tramp The Dirt Down.' mp3

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Festive Fifty delights

My 399th post, and I'm pleased that people are still reading.

So, ten more tracks for today and I'll do a special post this space...

First up, the first UK punk record.

Damned -'New Rose.' mp3 (Deep breath: 1978 Festive Fifty no.13, 1979 Festive Fifty no.10, 1980 Festive Fifty no.8, 1981 Festive fifty no.12, 1982 all-time Festive Fifty no.13)

Northern Ireland's top two bands of the punk-era (there seems to be quite a political tone to today's post BTW)

Stiff Little Fingers -'Alternative Ulster.' mp3 (Another deep breath: 1978 Festive Fifty no.11, 1979 Festive Fifty no.6, 1980 Festive Fifty no.9, 1981 Festive fifty no.16, 1982 all-time Festive Fifty no.16)

Undertones -' You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It?).' mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.29)

I know next to nothing about this band, again, info etc.. etc..

Red Guitars -'Good Technology.' mp3 (1983 Festive Fifty no.11)

With the emphasis on Red (very much the colour of their politics) things were not getting any better in 1984.

Redskins -'Keep On Keeping On.' mp3(1984 Festive Fifty no.10)

By 1986, Britain's 'special relationship' with the USA (ha, bloody ha) lead to commenting in two tracks that year about this being the 51st state of America. This was one of them, can you name the other? (Not in the Festive fifty, but by a band hat Peel did champion)

The The -'Heartland.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.32)

My all-time favourite song:

Joy Division -'Atmosphere.' mp3 (1980 Festive Fifty no.2, 1981 Festive Fifty no.1, 1982 All-time festive Fifty no.2, 2000 Millennium Chart no.1)

Mr. Peel's favourite band EVER. This wasn't political per se, though the Pharmacist in question may not have been dealing in over the counter medicine...

Fall -'Mr. Pharmacist.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.3)

Two Peel favoured artists I'm just discovering and loving:

Nina Nastasia -'You, Her and Me.' mp3 (2003 Festive Fifty no.13)

Laura Cantrell -'Queen Of The Coast.' mp3 (2000 Festive fifty no.42)

There will be more music tomorrow.

Friday, February 15, 2008

D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so grey?

John Peel in 1976

OK, slightly rubbish heading but I'm running out of funny original titles.

Anyway, it's been a few days since I did a post resting on John Peel's Festive Fifties, so here we go:

In recent years, it is increasingly being considered that John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten)'s post Sex Pistols band, Public Image Ltd (PiL) may, in fact, have been far more groundbreaking than the Sex Pistols. No kidding.

Public Image Ltd.- 'Public Image.' mp3 (1978 Festive Fifty no.9, 1979 Festive Fifty no.9, 1980 Festive Fifty no.11, 1981 Festive Fifty no.26, 1982 All-time Festive Fifty no.20)

Famously, John Peel's favourite ever song was this, the opening lines of which are now on his gravestone:

Undertones -'Teenage Kicks.' mp3 (1978 Festive Fifty no.10, 1979 Festive Fifty no.2, 1980 Festive Fifty no.7, 1981 Festive Fifty no.6, 1982 Alltime Festive fifty no.8, Millennium no.2)

There seems to be a bit of a link between teaching and rock'n'roll, despite the fact that the two might seem to be diametrically opposed. Step forward, in this case, Gordon MacIntyre and Katie Griffiths from Ballboy.

Ballboy -'All The Records On the Radio Are Shite.' mp3 (2002 Festive Fifty no.10)

There have been a number of cover versions making the Festive Fifty over the years, including this one (a fair bit of 'goth' made it onto the FF over the years):

Bauhaus -'Ziggy Stardust.' mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.14)

...and despite the accusations, it wasn't all white boys with guitars in the Festive fifty over the years either

Broadcast -'Echoes Answer.' mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.36)

Though some of those white boys with guitars did make some excellent records, though:

Pavement -'Range Life.' mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.14)

'At least once a week I drive a nail through my foot for not seeing them while I had the chance' said Peel of Big Black. Maybe I'm just afraid of pain. Main man Steve Albini went on to produce Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Low and the Wedding Present.

Big Black -'Colombian Necktie.' mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.18)

Finally, many thanks to Steve at Teenage Kicks for posting these, without whom I wouldn't be able to post these here:

Sabres Of Paradise -'Wilmot.' mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.

Ministry -'Jesus Built My Hot Rod.' mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty no.3)

Very Things -'The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes.' mp3 (1984 Festive fifty no.27)

Will be more music here over the weekend. Keep it tuned, so to speak. X

Thursday, February 14, 2008

'Scuse me, son...

But I heard it was valentine's day and even that couldn't get you to comment on Cat Power or Aberfeldy!

Tut tut...

In an attempt to let people get their hands on it again, I have reposted the final two tracks off the C86 cassette here:

The Shrubs -'Bullfighter's Bones.' mp3 THIS LINK NOW FIXED

Wedding Present -'This Boy Can Wait (A Bit Longer!).' mp3 THIS LINK NOW FIXED

and here's a view tracks that really should be heard:

Only Ones -'Another Girl, Another Planet.' mp3

Richard Thompson -'1952 Vincent Black Lightning.' mp3

Darling Buds -'Uptight.' mp3

Wherever you may be, hope you've had a good day. I'm still enjoying my new job and will be even happier when spring comes...

...Because sometimes it's better just to let the music do the talking

So, the blogosphere seems to be gearing up with just as many excellent anti-valentine's posts as valentine's posts.

Sometimes you just have to let Edinburgh's finest do the talking.

Do go and buy their albums, they're excellent.

Aberfeldy -'Love Is An Arrow.' mp3

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Album Review: Cat Power

Album review:

Cat Power -'Jukebox.' (Matador) which Chan Marshall releases her second covers album (mind you, how many did Bryan Ferry do) of this decade. There's an impressive cast list of both songwriters (Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and oh yes, Cat Power) as well as collaborators and guest appearances, too many to list here.

The voice sounds as fantastic as ever, and if anything has got even better. It's been noted that she has re-recorded her own song 'Metal Heart' which first appeared on Moon Pix ten years ago. Whilst I like her vocal on this take more, the piano and blues guitar are great (this is the first record she has made with her new band), it isn't anywhere near as good as the original. Her version of 'New York' as popularised by Frank Sinatra is a complete reworking that opens the record and sounds like a completely different song, and all the better for it.

If Bob Dylan is arguably the songwriter's songwriter, then it's almost inevitable that his presence is going to be here in some form, and it is twice: Power covers 'I Believe In You' with guitars that echo the Stones' 'Brown Sugar' and the only new song on the record called 'Song for Bobby' which she wrote about meeting him for the first time.

The versions of this record vary, I was sent a 12 track promo to review, but iTunes has versions with 13 and 17 songs on it. Whatever the song, what strikes me most is her voice, and just how great it is. Perhaps though, the best song on her is the aforementioned 'Song To Bobby' which showcases her at her best. Once you have heard Cat Power's voice, few singers will ever be able to touch you in the same way again.

***1/2 (for the record)
*****1/2 (for the voice)

Jukebox is out now.

Cat Power's MySpace is here

Matador have been really strict about the mp3s on this one, so here is a link to her official Matador webpage.

Meanwhile, just in case you haven't ever heard Cat Power before, here are two excellent tracks (linked to Insound. These are free, and legal but you really, really should own these albums. Don't let yourself down):

Cat Power -'The Greatest.' mp3

Cat Power -'He War.' mp3 .

The legendary C86 cassette

When you think of 'indie' what do you think of? Anything that involves guitars? Or, like me, do you think of it as short-hand for independent, an attitude as much as a sound, perhaps even more so.

The NME C86 cassette is so-called, because it came out in 1986, on cassette (too many tracks for flexi-discs and not many people in 1986 had CD players) and was compiled by the NME, who did many cassettes in those days, and was seen as a successor to C81. For some, indie is a term of abuse, but the twenty-two tracks are diverse in their approach, and by no means all twee, though C81 was definitely even more diverse.

For more on the C86 tape, I suggest you try the wikipedia entry and the always excellent indie-mp3website entry here, as well as this post on the tangents website by Alistair Fitchett.

Alas, I don't own the original cassette, but thanks to links managed to get the mp3s for it (cannot remember which blog/site so apologies, but thank you!)

The full tracklisting for the C86 compilation was:

Side one

Primal Scream - Velocity Girl
The Mighty Lemon Drops - Happy Head
The Soup Dragons - Pleasantly Surprised
The Wolfhounds - Feeling So Strange Again
The Bodines - Therese
Mighty Mighty - Law
Stump - Buffalo
Bogshed - Run To The Temple
A Witness - Sharpened Sticks
The Pastels - Breaking Lines
Age of Chance - From Now On, This Will Be Your God

Side two

The Shop Assistants - It's Up To You
Close Lobsters - Firestation Towers
Miaow - Sport Most Royal
Half Man Half Biscuit - I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)
The Servants - Transparent
The Mackenzies - Big Jim (There's no pubs in Heaven)
bIG fLAME - New Way (Quick Wash And Brush Up With Liberation Theology)
We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It - Console Me
McCarthy - Celestial City
The Shrubs - Bullfighter's Bones
The Wedding Present - This Boy Can Wait (A Bit Longer!)

In 2008, four of the bands are still together, and I'm proud (especially given that when this tape came out I was unaware of its existence, being only nine) that I have seen all four of: Primal Scream, the Pastels, the Wedding Present, and Half Man Half Biscuit. Some of the other ands disappeared not long after, some went on to commercial success for a time (the name-shortened Fuzzbox, The Soup Dragons) and of course McCarthy's Tim Gane formed Stereolab.

As far as I, and many other folk out there are concerned, this is a piece of essential rock history, recognising when many facets of the underground came together. Of course things have changed in twenty years, daytime radio is far more open to new sounds, and underground bands may be more likely to be written about on blogs than paper fanzines. But it's appalling that a document as important as this in rock history is not available, nor many of its songs (and the same can be said for the aforementioned C81), and that's why I'm posting this.

...And if anyone out there can help me do a post on the C81 tape (which I do own, but
haven't yet figured out how to digitise) then the email address is at the top.

For the Peel fans out there, many of the bands made appearances either before, during or after 1986, the following three songs from the C86 cassette made the 1986 Festive Fifty:

Primal Scream -'Velocity Girl.' (1986 Festive Fifty no.4)

Wedding Present -'This Boy Can wait.' (1986 Festive Fifty no.18)

Bodines -'Therese.' (1986 Festive Fifty no.19)

However, if you're really interested to see what made the 1986 Festive Fifty follow this link.

Hope you enjoy it! (Please, please leave feedback, this post has taken several hours!)


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sugarcubes re-post

I received feedback from an American reader today asking me if I could re-post the Sugarcubes tracks I had posted a few weeks ago, so here they are, bjork and her merry men (and woman):

Sugarcubes -'Birthday.' mp3 [the original version, 1987's Festive Fifty no.1)

The remixes from 1988, with the aid of Jim and William Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain:

Sugarcubes -'Birthday (Christmas Eve).' mp3

Sugarcubes -'Birthday (Christmas Day).' mp3

Sugarcubes -'Birthday (christmas present).' mp3

Sugarcubes -'Petrol (live).' mp3

And a few extras:

First up, the original Icelandic version of 'Birthday.'

Sugarcubes -'Birthday (Icelandic).' mp3

A track, originally the b-side to the UK single of Birthday:

Sugarcubes -'Cat.' mp3

And finally, as Jeremy had politely asked for it, the 1982 Festive Fifty no.5:

Tears For Fears -'Mad World.' mp3 (Mrs. 17 Seconds says she prefers this to the Gary Jules version, and I think she's right).

As for other people who've emailed asking for reposts, please hold on, I'll try and get there ASAP.

In other news, I interviewed Foxface today, so will try and post that here soon.

Peel Festive Fifty Favourites Volume ??

John Peel with Laura Cantrell, 2004

I've got to say, I've been very impressed with the amount of feedback I've been getting over the last few weeks since I started doing the Peel Festive Fifty posts. It's great, and I just wish that when I posted about new music I got the same response (did no-one like the Vampire Weekend tracks?)

Anyway, here are another ten;

Gregory Isaacs -'Nightnurse.' mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.52)

Butthole Surfers -'22 Going On 23.' mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.44)

Public Enemy -'Night Of the Living Baseheads.' mp3 (1988 Festive Fifty no.50)

Mighty Lemon Drops -'Like An Angel.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.34)

Helen Love -'Does Your Heart Go Boom.' mp3 (1997 Festive Fifty no.3)

White Town -'Your Woman.' mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.31)

Marine Research -'Parallel Horizontal.' mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.47)

Nina Nastasia -'Ugly Face.' mp3 (2002 Festive Fifty no.4)

Aztec Camera -'Oblivious.' mp3 (1983 Festive Fifty no.29)

Massive Attack -'Teardrop.' mp3 (1998 Festive Fifty no.21)

Hope you like them, and leave feedback!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Album Review: Vampire Weekend

{I know, it's been all over the blogs recently. But sometimes it's interesting to investigate what all the hype's about].

Album Review:

Vampire Weekend-'Vampire Weekend.' (XL Recordings)

By the time you read this, most of you who are regular blog readers will wonder why on earth I'm adding my twopence worth, to a record that has already been fawned over, raved about and sneered at in the matter of weeks since it's been out. Heck, I was even ready to hate them. According to their website: 'The name of this band is Vampire Weekend. We are specialists in the following styles: "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", "Upper West Side Soweto", "Campus", and "Oxford Comma Riddim." ' Oh good grief. So, an internet sensation band, who might be the next Arcade Fire or not, and who have the capacity to be as bloody annoying as Canada's Bare Naked Ladies.

Well, as I'm learning every day, you can't always go by what your senses tell you (empiricism will only take you so far with rock music). Yes, they graduated from Columbia University, yes there is a certain amount of cleverness...yet damn it, it feels so good. They may write songs about grammar ('oxford comma') or Architecture ('Mansard Roof'), but damn it, thye're good, no, great songs. So they may sing about life on US College campuses, but at least they're singing about what they know. And the music is just...great. Nice little pop songs, with orchestration that knows South African township jive and baroque as well.

Well, yeah there's a lot of press and coverage about them. Yes, some people will genuinely hate them. But I tried, and I've ended up starting to love this band. You might just do too...


Vampire Weekend is out now on XL Recordings, but you probably knew that already.

My two favourite songs from this record:

Vampire Weekend -'The kids Don't Stand A Chance.' mp3

Vampire Weekend -'M79.' mp3

Vampire Weekend's website is here

Vampire Weekend's MySpace is here

Ten more from John Peel's Festive Fifty

John Peel with Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley in 1999.

Yup, kids, just like it says, ten more tracks that made John Peel's Festive Fifty, and I've tried to go for even less predictable stuff this time...

Gang Of Four -'Damaged Goods.' mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.23, 1980 Festive Fifty no.50)

Bluetones -'Slight Return.' mp3 (1995 Festive Fifty no.21)

Detroit Cobras -'Shout Bama Lama.' mp3 (2001 Festive Fifty no.21)

Dead Kennedys -'California Uber Alles.' mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.33 , 1980 Festive Fifty no.31, 1981 Festive Fifty no. 42)

Soup Dragons -'Whole Wide world.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.25)

Camper Van Beethoven -'Take The Skinheads Bowling.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.47)

PJ Harvey -'Dress.'mp3 (1991 Festive Fifty no.2)

Melt Banana -'Stimulus for Revolting Virus.' mp3 (1998 Festive Fifty no.37)

Helen Love -'Long Live The UK Music Scene.' mp3 (1998 Festive Fifty no.10)

Broadcast -'Come On Let's Go.' mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.5)

As always, if you want to find out more about John Peel start here and for more music featured in his annual Festive Fifties, an excellent place to start is the Teenage Kicks blogspot, especially for music long since deleted.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Some Covers For Saturday Part V

Emma Pollock, of The Delgados

Hadn't posted many covers here for a while, so here's have a dozen for you.

First up, as I have said on many occasions before, The Delgados are my favourite scottish band of all time. So here's a cover of a Delgados song, and the Delgados covering the Dead Kennedys' California Uber Alles:

Comrade Down -'American Trilogy (Delgados' cover).' mp3

Delgados -'California Uber Alles (Dead Kennedys cover).' mp3

I will post my review of the Lightspeed Champion album here very soon. In the meantime, here is his cover of Olivia Newton-John and The Electric Light Orchestra's song 'Xanadu.' mp3

Lightspeed Champion -'Xanadu (Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra cover).' mp3

I've posted cover versions by Nirvana before, so why not other bands taking on Nirvana songs?

Patti Smith -'Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana cover).' mp3

Tori Amos -'Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana cover).' mp3

Kathryn Williams -'All Apologies (Nirvana cover).' mp3

There will be more music, including album reviews and more John Peel-related posts over the next few days, so keep checking back...

have a good weekend, Ed X

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Six By Seven

OK, a mixture of covers, rarities and Peel-stuff now.

Six By Seven formed in Nottingham in the nineties, and have released at least five albums, my favourite remaining The Things We Make, which lived in my walkman for about six months when it came out in 1998. I only saw them live once, in 1998, when they played a joint headliner at the Union Chapel in Islington, London, with my favourite ever scottish band, The Delgados.

John Peel was a fan, and the band did no fewer than five sessions including this one, a cover of a David Bowie song -in german (as you do), which was their only Festive Fifty entry, no.43 in 1999. If you don't speak German...well, you're just going to have to listen and find out which David Bowie song, aren't you?

Six By Seven -'Helden (David Bowie cover in German).' mp3

They made some great singles, and are still active, with the original lineup having come back together, as I understand it. One cover version from about six years ago saw them tackle The Soft boys' I Wanna Destroy You.'

Six By Seven -'I Wanna Destroy You (The Soft Boys cover).' mp3

I mentioned earlier that Six By Seven played with the Delgados. It must have rubbed off, in 1998 Six by Seven recorded a cover of 'Pull The Wires From The Wall,' the Delgados song that reached no.27 in the 1997 Festive Fifty (a session version) and no.1 in the 1998 Festive Fifty (the album version from Peloton). The Six By seven version was eventually released in 2001 on a Fierce Panda six track various artists double 7" EP called Cheffing and Blinding. I heard this on Peel, too...

Six By Seven -'Pull The Wires From The Wall.' mp3

(NB The last recording is a little scratchy in places, due to surface noise from the vinyl. Still, as the great man himself said: 'listen, mate, life has surface noise...')

More Peel, anyone?

John Peel engaging in one of his and my favourite activities

OK, some more from Peelie's Festive Fifty...

Mo-Dettes -'White Mice.' mp3
(1980 Festive Fifty no.56)

Shop Assistants -'Safety net. ' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty, no.8) (For AJ!)

Inspiral Carpets featuring Mark E. Smith -'I Want You.' mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.1)

Prince -'Sign O' The Times.' mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.32)

Sluts Of Trust -'Leave You Wanting More.' mp3 (2004 Festive Fifty no.5)

The Fall -'Don't Call Me Darling.' mp3 (1995 Festive Fifty no.24)

M/A/R/R/S/ -'Pump Up The Volume.' mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.46)

10,000 Maniacs -'Can't Ignore The Train. ' mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.59)

Ride -'Dreams Burn Down.' mp3 (1990 Festive Fifty no.3)

Aphex Twin -'Girl/Boy.' mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.29)

More vinyl goodness will be appearing here later this space...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Primal Scream- Velocity Girl and more!

Every record collector has a list of the records they are absolutely desperate to get above all others. Mine is just too long (and there are other factors like, y'know, eating, getting to work, clothes etc..) to reproduce here, but it includes the first four Orange Juice singles on Postcard, all The Cure stuff I still haven't got, and the first singles by both Primal Scream and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

However, one gap that was filled last year was the second Primal Scream single 'Crystal Crescent'/'Velocity Girl.' The latter opened the seminal c-86 tape (will have to post that here if anyone's interested...?), which made no.4 in the 1986 Festive Fifty, even though its' A-side wasn't included. The three tracks come to less than six minutes in total, but it is a peach of a single.

Primal Scream are still going strong over two decades later, with stylistic and personnel changes along the way, and these tracks are not possible to get, criminally IMHO. The third track here, Spirea-X, was the name of a later Primal Scream off-shoot.

Primal Scream -'Crystal Crescent.' mp3

Primal Scream -'Velocity Girl.' mp3

Primal Scream -'Spirea -X.' mp3

Anyway, hope you enjoy these...

The Shop Assistants

This is, quite possibly, going to be a new series on 17 Seconds. The aim is to post singles that have become legendary or mythical and are downright near-impossible to get hold of. If appropriate, I may also be including details of Peel Festive Fifty positions, so consider it a mixture of Festive Fifty and Great lost single posts.

This first single is the Shop Assistants' All Day Long EP. Released in 1985 before the band signed to Chrysalis, releasing the Will Anything Happen? LP and the Safety Net and I Don't Want To Be Friends With You singles, both of which made it into the 1986 Festive Fifty. (This sole LP and the two singles are on the Shop Assistants Anthology compilation, which I have never seen in a shop, but IS available on both eMusic and iTunes). the band split then, before reforming in the late eighties to issue two more singles.

The Shop Assistants -'All Day Long EP' (Subway Organisation)

1. All Day Long
2. Switzerland
3. All That Ever Mattered
4. It's Up To You

The line-up was on this single was:
Alex -vocals
David -guitar
Sarah- bass
Ann- drums
Laura -drums (yes, two drummers)

The line-up changed over the years, at one point the singer had been Aggi, would later join Bjork in The Sugarcubes, Margerita of Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes would drum and David eventually joined the Pastels. (Did you follow all that?)

As a couple of bonuses, here is the very first single, credited to Bubba and the Shop Assistants, released in 1984.

Bubba and the Shop Assistants -'Something To Do.' mp3

(If anyone has a copy of the b-sdie to this, please could they send it to me. Address above)

Finally, towards the end of the eighties, a limited version of one of the singles had this as an extra track, a cover of the Jesus and Mary Chain's You Trip Me Up:

Shop Assistants -'You Trip Me Up.' (Jesus and Mary Chain)

In the 1985 Festive Fifty, 'All Day Long' made no.50, while 'All That Ever Mattered' made no.17.

For an excellent Shop Assistants web page, try here.

Part two of this series will be Primal Scream's Crystal Crescent 12"...

Peel Festive Fifty Favourites

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days, there have been other, non-blog related matters to attend to.

Anyway, here are ten more tracks from John Peel's Festive Fifty. As my bandwith has been exceeded on two Fileden accounts (glad people are enjoying sampling the music which I hope they will buy, but it would be nice if a few more of you left comments) these are via Mediafire.

Eggs -'Government Administrator.' mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.10)

New Order -'Fine Time.' mp3 (1988 Festive Fifty no.44)

The Flatmates -'I Could Be In Heaven.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.42)

Cocteau Twins -'Pearly Dewdrops' Drops.' mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.2)

McCarthy -'Should the Bible Be Banned?' mp3 (1988 Festive Fifty no.38)

Sleeper -'Delicious.' mp3 (1994 Festive fifty no.20)

Camera Obscura -'Eighties Fan.' mp3 (2001 Festive Fifty no.8)

Pastels -'Truck Train Tractor.' mp3 (1986 Festive fifty no.23)

Billy Bragg -'Levi Stubbs' Tears.' mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.24)

Wedding Present -'Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft.' mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.3)

Whilst here, I should mention that Teenage Kicks, a John Peel-related blog that is so essential I check it every day has done a couple of excellent posts (as usual but even more essential) relating to the Men That Couldn't Hang and also folk music from 1977. Yes, 1977 the year of punk. Go check them out here.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Right Time, Right Place...Wrong Speed

Currently being driven mad by my file provider. Will be looking at changing over, to say nothing how how feed up I am with my broadband provider which is proving painfully slow.

Watch this space I WILL be back asap.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

More great stuff for 2008 - more new acts!

OK, maybe I should qualify that by saying that the acts concerned are new to me, but anyway, maybe some of you out there haven't heard these either!

Yeasayer -'2080.' mp3

Times New Viking -'Dropout.' mp3

Ready Aim Fire -'So Fine.' mp3

Ida -'Lovers Prayers.' mp3

Dub Trio -'Bay vs. Leonard.' mp3

Black Mountain -'Tyrants.' mp3

Hope you like what you hear, and if you do, please leave feedback!

Have a good weekend, Ed

Friday, February 01, 2008

Festive Fifty Stuff for a Friday

John Peel and his wife Sheila, affectionately known as The Pig

I’m glad that quite a few people have been enjoying these Peel posts. I won’t be doing these forever, or I may take a different approach to these, but for the time being, I will do a few more Festive Fifty posts (the only annoying thing about them is just how long they take to do!)

First up, a band who have evolved constantly over the last thirty years, even if they only released five studio albums and one compilation in that time. It’s hard to imagine it not being worth the wait, though. Green Gartside and his merry men:

Scritti Politti -‘Faithless.’ mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.13)

One of the most heartbreaking bands ever, with surprisingly their only festive fifty entry:

Trembling Blue Stars -’Abba On the Jukebox.’ mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.19)

Morrissey had many entries in the Festive Fifty with the Smiths and for the first few years of his solo career, quite a few too. This was the last of his:

Morrissey -’November Spawned A Monster.’ mp3 (1990 festive Fifty no.16)

Underworld only ever had two entries in the Festive Fifty, no surprise that this epic track was one of them.

Underworld -‘Born Slippy (NUXX).’ mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.5)

Another band I remember hearing on Peel and scrawling on my school bag…

Huggy Bear -‘Herjazz.’ mp3 (1993 Festive Fifty no.3)

Over the place of a decade, John Peel gave a lot of coverage to Cornershop. This was their final entry.

Cornershop featuring Bubbley Kaur -‘Topknot.’ mp3 (2004 Festive Fifty no.40)

An aching anthem about being an outsider…and this time, Morrissey wasn’t the singer

Bronski Beat -’Smalltown Boy.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.48) (N.B. This is from my vinyl copy of the Age Of Consent and is a bit crackly in places)

As mentioned previously, The Wedding Present were up there with The Smiths and The Fall in terms of entries. This is my favourite song of theirs to make the Festive Fifty

Wedding Present -’My Favourite Dress.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.6)

Rather like Blur, Radiohead actually seemed to do better on the Festive fifty further into their career than earlier on:

Radiohead -‘There, There.’ mp3 (20003 Festive Fifty no.37)

And finally, mad, and wonderful -Spizzenergi:

Spizzenergi -’Where’s Captain Kirk?’ mp3 (1980 Festive Fifty no.40)

Have a good Friday!