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Wednesday, 19 January 2022

In Defence of Whiteout

 


A few days ago SWC over at No Badger Required was less that complimentary about Greenock band Whiteout and in particular their song Detroit.calling it  the very epitome of landfill Indie.
When he posted this I had never heard the song. I then tracked it down and I have to agree that it is pretty awful.

However, I have to stick by my view that on the whole Whiteout were a great little band. Their 1995 debut album Bite It is well worth tracking down and in particular the track Jackie's Racing. The single Starrclub is also not bad at all.

So there you go! One of the great things about Blogging and Music is that it is all about opinions - even when there wrong!




Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Amy Amy Aimee

 

Aimee

The third instalment of Amys with alternative spellings permissable.

We start with Weegie favourite Bishopbriggs girl Amy MacDonald.She shot to fame in 2007 with her debut album Is This the Life and has since released another 4 albums. I'm not sure how big she is elsewhere in the UK but remains huge in Glasgow with her concerts being held in the Hydro, the city's largest venue. She also pops up in Glasgow charity shops pretty often 

I don't have much information about Amy Cook other than she is 42 (shortly about to become 43) and is a singer songwriter from Austin, Texas and has opened for Alejandro Escovedo and Lucinda Williams.

Aimee Mann surely needs no introduction. An artist who has been releasing albums since she was part of Til Tuesday in the 80's and  much admired by Rol and George among others. She used to get a bit sniffy when her songs popped up in blogs but given today's streaming climate I'm sure she has bigger fish to fry.

I thought that this was it but I've got another couple who I will sneak in next week




Monday, 17 January 2022

The Only Ones -Peel Sessions

 


It is an undisputated fact that Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones  is one of the best songs of all time. It would certainly feature as part of my Desert Island Discs selection.

I suspect that most people would struggle to name another song by them but they certainly weren't a one trick pony. Having said that AGAP was certainly a hard act to follow.

I already had their self-titled debut album but when The Peel Sessions album came out on Strange Fruit came out in 1989 I requested it for my Christmas. This led to my mum's one and only visit to the Virgin Megastore on Glasgow's Union Street.

The three that I have selected below are from sessions from 21/05/80, 05/04/78 and 13/09/77 respectively.

I only own one or two Peel Sessions records so sadly not enough for a series

In case you are wondering I visited my  charity shop of the year the other day but came away empty handed.

The Only Ones -Oh Lucinda (Peel Session)

The Only Ones -Language Problem (Peel Sssion)

The Only Ones - Lovers of Today (Peel Session)

Sunday, 16 January 2022

No Depression #47 - Lyle Lovett

 


No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country
#47 -   September - October  2003

The gentleman who looks like he has been out in the sun is none other than Lyle Lovett probably most famous for his big hair and the fact that he was briefly Mr Julia Roberts.

The article by Geoffrey Himes focuses on his returning to stay in the house which had belonged to his grandfather in Klein Texas (he has an uncle called Calvin Klein!) and the forthcoming release of his album My Baby Don't Tolerate on Curb/Lost Highway. It is not one I have as me and Lyle had parted company by then.

The article also gives a brief resume of his career. He was one of the so called Texas "Class of 86" alongside Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle and Randy Travis with Nanci Griffiths  snapping at their heels.Throw in couple of old timers in Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt and Belleville, Illinois' Uncle Tupelo and it was effectively the birth of alternative Country.

However after the release and success of his first two albums Lyle Lovett (1986) and Pontiac (1987) he took a different path  going down a  big band route playing swing, blues, jazz, gospel and honky tonk in a similar style to Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

I only have three of his albums  - the aforementioned Pontiac, the Grammy winning 1996 The Road to Ensenada which Himes claims is his best album  but one which does nothing for me and Step Inside this House from 1998 a double album of covers of songs by fellow Texans. One track from each I think.

For this week's One from the Top I've gone for Shelby Lynne




Saturday, 15 January 2022

Seen at King Tuts - Neal Casal

 


Neal Casal

Thursday 28th October 2004           £10.00                       Ticket No  GA0 12

I'd previously seen Americana singer/songwriter Neal Casal at Glasgow's 13th Note Club so King Tuts was very much a step up in terms of size and status

His 2000 album Anytime Tomorrow has long been a   favourite of mine and I had enjoyed the rockier 2003 album that he had released as part of the band Hazy Malaze alongside Dan Fadel and Jeff Hill.

He released a compilation Leaving Traces :Songs 1994- 2004 which may well have been promoted at the gig and almost certainly contributed to a major part of his set.I may even have picked it up at the show.
I kind of lost touch with him shortly after this although I have his 2006 album NoWish to Reminisce which I think George gave to me.

In addition to the above he played as part of numerous bands most notably with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and the Chris Robinson Brotherwood. I once saw him playing guitar as part of Lucinda Williams backing band in Austin.

Sadly he took his own life at the age of  50 in August 2019. 
Coincidentally I have just recently downloaded Highway Butterfly a tribute featuring 41 of his songs from artists including Hiss Golden Messenger, Steve Earle, J Mascis and Jonathan Wilson which I haven't had a chance to listen to yet. An artist who was clearly held in high regard.

A couple of his songs that would have almost certainly been part of the set and one by Hazy Malaze.






Friday, 14 January 2022

Ronnie Spector R.I.P.

 


It was sad to hear of the death of the great Ronnie Spector at the age of 76. The first great musical icon to pass in 2022 unless I've missed something.

She was of course the lead singer of the revolutionary all female early 60's band The Ronettes along side her sister Estelle Bennett and her cousin Nedra Tally. They smashed the glass ceiling and many other great all female bands followed.

She was a tough character. Let's face it you would have to be to survive a marriage to Phil Spector. The title of her memoir Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts and Madness,or, My Life as a Fabulous Ronette pretty much says it all.

Rest easy Ronnie

The Ronettes -Be My Baby

The Ronettes - Baby I Love You (Isolated Vocal)

Ronnie Spector -She Talks to Rainbows

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Feline

 


I was watching a video flick through of records for sale when I saw Feline by The Stranglers going for 9 quid.

I've got that I thought and the other day I dug it out for a listen. I couldn't remember how or where I had got it or whether I had ever listened to it before.

From 1993 on Epic it is their 7th album and is as far removed from Rattus Norvegicus and No More Heroes as you could possibly imagine.It is maybe of its time experimenting as it does with electronic drums and synthesizers

Released to a mixed reception with Trouser Press describing it as restained and dignified but also lackluster and boring which is probably fair. All Music wrote while not an instant classic, it does repay repeated listening ... Instead of the belligerent tunefulness of yesteryear, the Stranglers were trying to expand their sound and reach. Too often on this lackluster effort, however, it comes across as boring and unengaging

 The European Female, with vocals by Jean-Jacques Burnel, reached number 9 in the UK singles chart and just about passes muster. The rest is much of a muchness. It comes with a one -sided spoken single called Aural Sculpture Manifesto.

If anyone was daft enough to offer me 9 quid I would bite their hand off. An excellent cover though.

The Stranglers - The European Female

The Stranglers -All Roads Lead to Rome