Saturday, 31 January 2015
This weeks offering is an Uncut compilation from April 2013 entitled The New Music.
New then, put old hat now.
First up is the opening track from Low's fantastic album The Invisible Way and quite possibly the finest song ever written about peeing into a Plastic Cup.
Phosphorescent very nearly made the cut.
However, as is my want, they were pipped at the post by two Americana artists about whom I know absolutely nothing.
I couldn't choose between them so you are getting John Fullbright swiftly followed by the tremendously named Cody Canada and the Departed.
More random nonsense next Saturday
Low - Plastic Cup
John Fullbright - Jericho
Cody Canada and the Departed - Cold Hard Fact
Friday, 30 January 2015
Although born in Zimbabwe Zeke Manyika has spent the majority of his life in Britain some of it in Glasgow.
He was the drummer in Orange Juice from 1982 to 1984 playing on their massive hit Rip It Up.
He also played on Edwyn Collin's solo album Hope and Despair and he has played and toured with Paul Weller.
So, am impressive pedigree.
He has also recorded solo albums including 1989's Mastercrime which highlights the evils of the Apartheid system in South Africa and these two powerful songs are from that album.
I used to have a copy of a far cheerier number by him Walking in Kelvingrove about the fine Glasgow Park but I can't find it. I suspect it may have been on cassette and therefore now festering in a landfill somewhere.
Zeke Manyika - Mastercrime
Zeke Manyika - Bible Belt
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Darren Hayman of Hefner is fondly remembered by many as the person who wrote The Day That Thatcher Dies.
However, he has written and sung many a fine song as these two from the 2000 album We Love the City testify.
He writes in a similar vein to Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy - clever and witty songs which are often quite topical and which have something to say about modern life and the social condition
Hefner only lasted until 2002 with Darren Hayman having released about 10 or so solo albums since then.
I do not have any of them but have heard the occasional track all of which are of a consistently high standard
Hefner - We Love The City
Hefner -The Greedy Ugly People
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Not content with dueting with and allegedly dating Kylie Nick Cave also had a professional and personal relationship with the fantastic PJ Harvey.
They sang together on the traditional song Henry Lee on Cave's 1996 epic Murder Ballads.
On the CD single he also has a stab at another traditional murder ballad Knoxville Girl.
It is not bad but his, and indeed all other versions, pale into insignificance when compared to the mighty Louvin Brothers.
Nick Cave and PJ Harvey - Henry Lee
Nick Cave - Knoxville Girl
The Louvin Brothers - Knoxville Girl
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Dandy Livingstone's Rudy, A Message To You and , in particular, Suzanne Beware of The Devil have long been amongst my favourite reggae singles.
So when I saw a copy of his 1973 album Conscious on the Moonscrest label I jumped at the opportunity to snap it up.
It is slightly more mellow and soulful than the above singles and is none the worse for it.
It is very laid back and reggae lite and is just the thing to sit back and relax to with a glass of rum.
Dandy Livingstone - Black Connection
Dandy Livingstone - Black Star
Monday, 26 January 2015
It's CRR time on CCM today.
Recently I have been getting a fair bit of traffic at my previous Cosmic Rough Riders post.
So whoever you are this is for you.
It seems to be widely accepted that Castlemilk's finest were never as good following the departure of Daniel Wylie.
However on my holiday's in the Autumn in a charity shop in Nairn I bought 2006's The Stars Look Different from Down Here for 50p and I'm pleased to report that it is not bad at all.
Indeed to these ears it is better that Too Close To See Far the follow up to the brilliant Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine.
I could be wrong but I think that Stephen Fleming is on vocals duty on these tracks.
Does anyone have any idea as to the cafe featured on the cover with the state of the art radiator?
Cosmic Rough Riders - Don't Get Me Down
Cosmic Rough Riders - Love Won't Free Me
Sunday, 25 January 2015
For one week only Soul Sunday is having a well earned rest as we celebrate Burns Night as Robert Burns was born on this day in 1759.
Scots the world wide will be celebrating the life and work of the Bard with poetry, song and haggis, neeps and tatties all washed down with a few drams.
As well as being the most famous Scot of all time and a fantastic poet Robert Burns wrote many a fine song
Eddi Reader has resurrected her career re-interpreting Burns songs and here she features with Green Grow the Rashes, O
She is followed by Rob Paterson with one of Burns' finest pieces of work A Man's a Man for a' That sung by Sheena Wellington at the opening of the Scottish Parliament.
These two songs are taken from a free CD from the Scotsman newspaper.
We go from one extreme to another with Parcel of Rogues from The Delgados a Peel Session from 26th January 2003.
Finally we have a worthy successor in the Bard of Dundee the late great Michael Marra
For anyone interested in reading of listening to his poems can I point you in the direction of the BBC Burns Archive
Eddi Reader - Green Grow The Rashes, O
Rod Paterson - A Man's a Man for a'That
The Delgados - Parcel of Rogues
Saturday, 24 January 2015
On my latest Charity Shop excursion I came across Let the Good Times Roll - 16 Tracks of the Wildest New Orleans Soul and R'n'B. I'm having that I thought.
It wasn't until I got home that I discovered that it was in fact an Uncut compilation thus qualifying it for Saturday Lucky Dip selection.
And what a cracker it is too,
Many greats featured including Professor Longhair, Dr John, Smiley Lewis, Champion Jack Dupree and Lonnie Johnson and many more.
Some of these will feature/have featured on the Blues Collection so rather I have gone with Dave Bartholomew and the title track from Shirley & Lee
More random nonsense next Saturday
Dave Bartholomew -The Monkey
Shirley and Lee -Let The Good Times Roll
Friday, 23 January 2015
Many of you will be familiar with the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire the story of a young Indian lad from the slums of Mumbai who wins the jackpot in the Indian Version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
It won the Oscar for best film in 2009 with Danny Boyle picking up the award for Best Director.
A R Rahman was also a worthy winner for Best Original Score and Best 0riginal Song for Jai Ho.
It is a terrific soundtrack mixing traditional Indian music with house music and hip hop. It also features M.I.A ( or the atomic M.I.A as the blurb on the front cover would have it)
As I'm feeling generous you are getting two versions of Paper Planes.
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
M.I.A. -Paper Planes (DFA Remix)
A.R.Rahman featuring Alka Yagnik - Ringa Ringa
Thursday, 22 January 2015
It has been Baltic here over the last few days with the temperature rarely rising above freezing.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. So to cheer you all up what better than a quick blast of The Godchildren of Soul featuring General Johnson and Joey Ramone with Rockaway Beach (on The Beach) from 1994.
Acquired many moons ago for the grand total of 20 pence and it is apparently a Carolina beach music version of The Ramones classic
A particularly poor early example of Photoshop on the cover!
The Godchildren of Soul - Rockaway Beach (On The Beach)
The Godchildren of Soul - Flying On The Ground
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
I picked up Dizzy Up The Girl by the Goo Goo Dolls for a quid at the weekend.
Maybe it's just the way my mind works but I was expecting a wee bit more menace given the proximity of the band's name to the Cramps classic.
Pretty illogical I know but hey that's how my mind works.
Rather, it is fairly inoffensive mainstream rock which I must confess does not do a great deal for me although it seems that they had three songs on the Billboard Top 100 Pop Songs 1992 -2002.
Here are a couple of songs from the album, the second of which I suppose is reasonably topical.
I've posted Goo Goo Muck by The Cramps before but this seems too good an opportunity to pass up.
And as a bonus here is the original by Ronnie Cook and the Gaylads
The Goo Goo Dolls - Dizzy
The Goo Goo Dolls - January Friend
The Cramps - Goo Goo Muck
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
I kent yer Faither is an excellent Scottish put down often levelled at young whippersnappers who have gotten too big for their boots.
However in the case of Wilson Phillips this is not strictly true .It is more by association that I am familiar with the music of their fathers and indeed one of their mothers.
Carrie and Wendy Wilson are the daughters of Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame whilst Chynna Phillips is the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Pappas.
So children of pop royalty then and friends from a young age out in California.
Astonishingly their 1990 self titled debut album sold over 10 million copies which made them, at the time,the best selling female artists of all time for a single album.
These songs are taken from their 1992 follow up Shadows and Light acquired on my most recent charity shop excursion for a quid.
Pretty mainstream but pleasant enough pop music.
They lasted to 1993 before splitting only to have a series of inevitable reunions from 2004 onwards
They also have their own TV Reality show Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On which says it all really
Not to be confused with Wilson Pickett
Wilson Phillips - It's Only Life
Wilson Phillips - Give It Up
Monday, 19 January 2015
On Saturday as part of his on-going avian series George featured Michael Hall and the Woodpeckers.
I commented that I would look out their song Sometimes I Wish I Never Heard The Rolling Stones which I thought I had on a Loose compilation.
I was wrong there!
It is in fact on a Blue Rose compilation - Blue Rose Collection Volume 9 to be precise
Blue Rose is a terrific German label which along with fellow countrymen Glitterhouse has been producing terrific Americana records for more years than I care to remember.
Visit their websites for cheap CDs, downloads, etc
Volume 9 is up to their usual high standards featuring such CCM favourites as Jason Ringenberg, Bottle Rockets, Say Zuzu, Jolene and Jon Dee Graham to name but five
For the second track however I have opted for the great Chuck Prophet with Run Primo, Run from his album No Other Love
I feel a series coming on! (but then again maybe not given the dearth of hits this post has had!)
Michael Hall & the Woodpeckers - Sometimes I Wish I Never Heard The Rolling Stones
Chuck Prophet - Run Primo, Run
Sunday, 18 January 2015
It is a welcome return to Soul Sunday for Darcy's favourite Ms Candi Staton.
Her 1976 album Young Hearts Run Free was purchased in St Andrews alongside last week's Betty Wright offering.
Tempting though it is I will resist posting the disco classic that is the title track as a) you should all be familiar with it and have it in your collection and b) it has already previously featured on CCM.
So instead you are getting the first track on the album and another great disco number Run to Me written by Dave Crawford who also wrote Young Hearts and who produces the album.
This is followed by Candi's more soulful version of the Al Green number Living for You.
This is the third time that Candi has featured on CCM from three different eras with three different distinctive styles.
She can do no wrong
Candi Staton -Run to Me
Candi Staton - Living For You
Saturday, 17 January 2015
Kate Bush performed a series of live shows in August and September last year - her first for 30 years.
You may have missed it but there was the occasional reference in the media.
In short then an excellent excuse for Mojo to churn out a 30 page article and to accompany this with The Dreamers - 15 tracks of Kate Bush-inspired dream pop.
As you would imagine female voices are to the fore. Alas no mention of her heir apparent Alison Goldfrapp or indeed many bloggers latest favourite Jane Weaver.
There is still however some pretty good stuff on the CD and in particular the two tracks I have featured
Haley Bonar has been on the go for a number of years without a huge amount of success. Hopefully this will change if she continues to produce stuff as good as Last War the title track from her latest album
Poliça apparently are a synthpop and alternative rock band from Minneapolis. Channy Leaneagh is the owner of the gorgeous voice which features on You Don't Own Me from their 2014 EP Raw Exit.
More random nonsense next Saturday
Haley Bonar - Last War
Polica -You Don't Own Me
Friday, 16 January 2015
It's Friday night and after dancing around the room to the latest Rockabilly number at Swiss Adam's place it is time to relax with some stripped back Americana.
And who better to provide same than Paul Burch and the WPA Ballclub.
Pour yourself a large one, sit back and let the music of Blue Notes wash over you
His third album released in 2000 on Spit and Polish a division of Glasgow's very own Shoeshine Records run by Francis McDonald.
I was 95% sure that I had seen him live and sure enough a quick rummage through my ticket tin confirms that I saw him on Monday 7th May 2001 in the Tron Victorian Bar paying £5 for the pleasure
Paul Burch & the WPA Ballclub - Forever Yours
Paul Burch & the WPA Ballclub - Tonight, Tonight
Thursday, 15 January 2015
This rather pleasant EP The Ruby Sun popped into my in-box the other day.
It is by Ant Savage a singer songwriter from Bedford in the UK
He classes his music as 21st Century Folk as he tries to write honestly about the world around him and from his own experiences.
He has a number of tunes available on soundcloud to listen to with some available to download.
Other than that I know no more.
Ant Savage - Ruby Sun
Ant Savage - Autumn Song
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
It's the long awaited (by some) return of the Blues Collection with an absolute legend.
Huddie William Ledbetter is better known as Lead Belly or Leadbelly - I'm going for Leadbelly as that's how he is referred to on the Blues Collection CD.
Two tracks which are older than my mother and two absolute belters.
Recorded in New York on 15th June 1940.
First up is the traditional spiritual work song Pick a Bale of Cotton.Given that he was born in Jeter plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana you could imagine him singing this in the fields as a youngster.
Then we have Rock Island Line a song first recorded by John Lomax being sung by prisoners in Arkansas prison.
Perhaps he sung it himself when serving time at Imperial Farm, Sugartown, Texas for murder (he was subsequently pardoned) or indeed Louisiana State Penitentiary where he subsequently spent time for attempted murder.
Leadbelly - Pick a Bale of Cotton
Leadbelly - Rock Island Line
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
I never really got into Placebo.
The only record of theirs that I have is the 1997 single Nancy Boy.
The fourth single from their self titled debut album it reached the dizzy heights of number 4 in the UK singles charts.
Like many of their songs it centres around drugs,sex and bisexuality although this is the slightly watered down radio edit
I have part one of a two CD set and I am sure that their cover of Bigmouth Strikes Again will curl the toes of many a Smiths fan.
Whilst doing my "research" to this post I was amazed as to their longevity and to their success over the years. They slipped off my radar many moons ago.
Placebo - Nancy Boy (Radio Edit)
Placibo - Bigmouth Strikes Again
Monday, 12 January 2015
Under The Backlight was the last studio album recorded by Rilo Kiley.
Released in 2007 it was their only record to be released on a major label namely Warner Brothers.
To these ears it is more poppy than their previous albums and indeed than Jenny Lewis' future solo records and I feel that it probably suffers because of this.
Unsurprisingly given the access to the Warner Brothers publicity machine it was by far their most successful.
However I feel that it does not have the energy and passion of the likes of The Execution of All Things and More Adventurous. I certainly reach for them far more than for this.
It does however have one saving grace namely the songwriting skills and angelic voice of Ms Jenny Lewis
Rilo Kiley - The Moneymaker
Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight
And finally a song for Ernie Goggins the original surfer of the zeitgeist
Elton John - Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
Sunday, 11 January 2015
It is 1979 and the Disco Revolution is in full flow with interest in and sales of traditional soul music plummeting.
So what is a Soul diva to do? Become a Disco diva of course!
Travelin' in the Wright Direction by Betty Wright is far removed from the likes of her early hits Clean Up Woman and Baby Sitter.
There are a few mellow moments including the two tracks featured here and a nod or two to disco and the club sounds.
The album cover is definitely a nod to disco!
Bought in a St Andrews bargain book shop who seemed to have a job lot of similar records from this era.
It was only today that I noticed this was a promotional copy with a sticker saying Yorkshire Television Music Section which might go some way to explaining the job lot.
Betty Wright - You're Just What I Need
Betty Wright - Love Is
Saturday, 10 January 2015
The REM Collection Disc 1 an Uncut Compilation from August 2005 features this week.
Disc 1 features music chosen by Mike Mills - presumably there are Discs 2 and 3 out there featuring Messrs Stipe and Buck.
Presumably a ruse on the part of Uncut to unleash another 40 page article on REM.
However it turns out that Mr Mills appears to have exquisite musical taste. Billed on the CD cover as the "best of classic US underground rock" it includes such luminaries as Big Star,The Blasters,The Jayhawks, Dream Syndicate and The Replacements none of whom are strangers to CCM and to many of you I suspect.
It was a tough call but I have gone for The Drifter by Green on Red taken from the great Gas Food Lodging album and a scorching live version of Bob Dylan's Absolutely Sweet Marie by Jason and the Scorchers from an album called Midnight Roads and Stages Seen.
Toptastic, as George might say.
More random nonsense next Saturday
Green on Red - The Drifter
Jason & the Scorchers - Absolutely Sweet Marie
And as an added bonus here is the debut single from Floridian fuzzpunks The Modern Sixties which wouldn't be out of place on this album
The Modern Sixties - Buy Me a Drink
Friday, 9 January 2015
Unlike many of my esteemed colleagues featured on the right hand side bar I am not a huge fan of remixes.
However in the case of the Gang of Four I am prepared to make an exception.
2005's Dig the Gift contains re-recordings of 14 of their finest songs together with 12 remixes .
Here are Karen O and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's contributing to I Love a Man in a Uniform (don't we all dear, don't we all?)
Not bad at all but you can't improve on perfection so here are the boys themselves with their re-recorded version of this classic.
Is it just me or does Jon King come across a bit Welleresque in places in the vocals department here?
Gang of Four - I Love a Man in a Uniform (Yeah Yeah Yeah remix)
Gang of Four - I Love a Man in a Uniform
Thursday, 8 January 2015
I'm getting in quick before that surfer of the zeitgeist and the man with his finger on the pulse Scott gets in.
Over the holiday period the Sunday Herald produced an article on the top 50 Scottish albums of 2014.
At number 40 or thereabouts is Break Out by Chris Devotion and the Expectations.
I no longer have the article but from memory there was comparison to an imaginary Top of the Pops from the late 70s featuring Squeeze, Costello and Springsteen and also a reference to The Replacements.
So well worth checking out I'm sure you'll agree and given that it can be picked up ridiculously cheaply it became the first CD in 2015 to pop through my letterbox.
No bells, no whistles and no nods to any passing fads. Just good old fashion rock 'n'roll.
Buy this record.
I think I can get away with posting this track given that it on the sampler available to download for free on the website of Glasgow's very own Armellodie Records
Chris Devotion and the Expectations - When the Girl Comes to Town
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
You will be relieved to know that this is the last in this short series of albums acquired by Mrs CC for 50p a piece which survived the initial cull.
This time round we have Catherine Feeny with her 2006 album Hurricane Glass.
She is based in Portland, Oregon and this is her 2nd of 4 albums and is on Tallgrass Records.
She participated and was arrested during the Occupy Wall Street movement which makes her alright in my book.
There were actually 5 CDs in this series as the previously featured Rembrandts were also involved.
None of them are classics but most are pleasant enough and will be retained on the CCM shelves.
The jury is still out on The Spinto Band though!
It is a promo copy of the CD so the track listings that pop up may be slightly different to those named which are the correct ones. Confused? You will be!
Catherine Feeny - Hurricane Glass
Catherine Feeny - No Reply
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
I own very few vinyl 45s. However, somewhat inexplicably, one of the few that I own is 1990's Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants.
According to the usual on-line source The group is best known for an unconventional and experimental style of alternative music.
I would call it quirky verging on novelty.
I don't think I've ever listened to the b-side before but a quick listen confirms this theory.
I seem to remember comparisons being made to REM and Talking Heads at the time - how wrong they were.
The single was huge and could be said to be catchy if it gets you in the right mood or irritating in the wrong mood.
It's been in my head for a few days so I thought it best to get it out there.
They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul
They Might Be Giants - Hot Cha
Monday, 5 January 2015
|Not him ...|
|... or him ...|
On the other hand I would imagine that the Gospel according to Jimmy White the snooker player would be extremely entertaining.
Rather, you are getting the Gospel according to Jim White the gothic Americana musician and who is actually called Michael Davis Pratt.Quite why anyone called Pratt would want to change their name is beyond me.
All this nonsense is basically a preamble to featuring a couple of songs from his third album which I recently acquired ridiculously cheaply from the previously featured Greenhouse in Dingwall.
On Luka Bop from 2004 Drill a Hole in the Substrate and Tell Me What You See must have one of the longest titles of any album in my collection.
It's up there with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and if I could be bothered counting the letters I'd tell you which was the longest.
George probably has a formula for that sort of thing.
Jim White -Static on the Radio
Jim White - That Girl from Brownsville Texas
Sunday, 4 January 2015
Right, time for the first Sunday Soul selection of 2015.
I had vaguely heard the name Phoebe Snow so when I saw 1978's Against The Grain in a charity shop for a few quid it seemed foolish not to.
I must admit that when I first listened to it I was a tad disappointed. It has grown on me a little after a few listens but I still remain to be totally convinced.Would be interested to hear the views of others.
Here's Phoebe with her version of the Dan Penn and Chips Moman classic Do Right Woman, Do Right Man and one of her own song's You Have Not Won.
Apologies for the quality of the picture. It is a copy of the album cover which seems to be in soft focus - at least that's my excuse anyway!
Phoebe Snow - Do Right Woman. Do Right Man
Phoebe Snow -You Have Not Won
Saturday, 3 January 2015
One of the good things about blogging is that it encourages you to look out records or CDs which have been gathering dust for ages and you rediscover them and start exploring similar music.
So it is with There is a Light That Never Goes Out -Indie Classics 1982-1987 which came free with Mojo Magazine in October 2012.
This CD features some of the indie bands from that time who did not enjoy the same fame and fortune as The Smiths.
Now, this is a period and a genre that I am not too familiar with. However thanks to fellow bloggers, such as JC and Brian and others, I am probably more familiar with many of these bands now than I was at the time.
Here are two tracks from the CD which I particularly enjoy.
More random nonsense next Saturday
The Weather Prophets - Almost Prayed
The Flatmates - I Could be in Heaven
Friday, 2 January 2015
My recent post featuring a Richard Thompson album bought in Bordeaux had me looking out the other album bought on that self same day in that self same shop in that self same city.
Blue Blvd from Dave Alvin was a 1991 album on Hightone or in this case a 1992 album on the French label Dixie Frog to whom it was licensed.
Dave Alvin has featured before on CCM and will undoubtedly feature again.
If you like your music raw, rootsy and passionate this is for you.
If you don't or are not familiar with Dave's solo work or his work with The Blasters you should really make it one of your New Year's Resolutions to become better acquainted with this seriously under-estimated artist.
A true blue collar hero.
Dave Alvin - Haley's Comet
Dave Alvin - Gospel Night
Thursday, 1 January 2015
Happy New Year to you all dear friends.
New Year's Day can be a time for reflection particularly in respect of remembering those who are no longer with us.
In that vein, in what is now a CCM tradition (i.e. the second year running!) it is time to pay homage to two absolute musical giants who both died on New Years Day.
Hank Williams died on New Years Day 1953 at the tender age of 29. However, thankfully, the Hillbilly Shakespeare left a tremendous legacy of music for us to enjoy.
Lost Highway could have been almost autobiographical had he written it. Instead it is one of his very few hits that he didn't write -Leon Payne being the author in 1949
Townes Van Zandt, another colossus of 20th century music died on New Year's Day in 1997 at the age of 52.
Like Hank, he left an impressive canon of work. However unlike Hank he didn't enjoy the same fame and recognition during his lifetime or indeed since. Indeed, many of his songs were more successful when covered by other artists.
Nanci Griffith for instance recorded Tecumseh Valley but her version is not in the same league as Townes'
Hank Williams -Lost Highway
Townes Van Zandt -Tecumseh Valley