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Wednesday 31 May 2017

Burnt Offerings 21

There have been several bands known as the Stingrays or The Sting Rays over the years.
The one you are getting today are a new wave band originally from Bristol but who nowadays are largely based in Japan.
Countdown was their debut single released on the splendidly named Fried Egg Records in 1980.Sadly it was never used as the theme tune for the daily TV quiz show of the same name.
I shall make enquiries with my brother as to whether he has anything by the London based psychobilly band of the same name that I can share

The Stingrays - Countdown

From Bristol to Vermont the home of blues rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
They hit the big time with their self titled third album in 2010.
Ragged Company however is taken from their 2005 debut Nothing But The Water

We shall finish off this week's selection with The Magnetic Fields.
A band fronted by Stephen Merritt, they were the subject recently of a fantastic  ICA at JC's place submitted by Rol
This song didn't feature but it is further proof, as if proof was needed, that I should extract the digit and acquire some of their stuff. I'll probably go for 69 Love Songs in the first instance given that it features Papa was a Rodeo and Kelly Hogan's cover version is just about my favourite song of all time

More assorted nonsense next week

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Some Commotional Music

Slim pickings from our recent trawl of the charity shops of Stranraer.
One CD I did come away with was Lloyd Cole and the Commotions 1984 -1989..
14 tracks of which I already owned 9 having both Rattlesnakes ( on vinyl and CD) and Easy Pieces (on vinyl) on the shelves..
That left 5 I didn't have - 4 from the third album Mainstream and You Will Never Be So Good the b-side of Perfect Skin.
Given the quality on offer I think that  acquiring these five for £1.99 was a pretty good piece of business.
Here are two of the four from Mainstream.

Lloyd Cole & the Commotions - Mr Malcontent

Lloyd Cole & the Commotions - Jennifer She Said

Monday 29 May 2017

Gregg Allman RIP

A friend texted to advise as to the death of Gregg Allman. Another friend texted that he thought that he had died years ago.
Even having established that he was not confusing him with his brother Duane who died in 1971 aged 24 it was  a fairly easy mistake to make given his years of alcohol and drug addiction. Not many would have put money on him making it to 69.
A couple of years ago after having read his autobiography My Cross to Bear I sought out some Allman Brothers Band stuff by way of Midnight Rider: The Essential Collection.
Some excellent Southern Country rock on there.
He subsequently had a reasonably successful solo career culminating in 2011's Low Country Blues.

Rest easy Gregg

The Allman Brothers Band - Ramblin' Man

The Allman Brothers Band - Whipping Post

Sunday 28 May 2017

Some Sunday Disco Allegedly

A second visit today to the Disco Legends compilation which first graced these pages on Friday.
In addition to the two acts who featured then the CD contains a number of acts that you would pretty accurately describe as Disco - Heatwave, Tavares, A Taste of Honey and KC & The Sunshine Band to name but four.
Then there are some who I feel are more accurately described as soul hence this second post.
The Jacksons, Billy Ocean, George McCrae and the Three Degrees for instance plus the two featured below.

I'll file it away now

The Isley Brothers - Harvest For The World

Ashford & Simpson - Solid

Saturday 27 May 2017

Springsteen Covered - If I Should Fall Behind

Well that was a pretty convincing whooping handed out to the Boss last week by Ted Leo with his version of Dancing in the Dark. It would appear that if you wish Bruce to get a trouncing you only have to feature something from Born in the USA.
Given that the scores have now narrowed to The Boss 7 The Rest 4 I won't resort to such desperate tactics - just yet.
This week will be more interesting (for me at least) given that it features two versions of a song that I am not at all  familiar with - If I Should Fall Behind.
Taken from Lucky Town one of two albums along with Human Touch released simultaneously in 1992 when for me he was in a bid of a slump prior to a resurgence with The Ghost of Tom Joad and The Rising
Up against Bruce this week is indie favourite and former Go-Between the late great Grant McLennan. His version was the b-side of his 1993 single Lighting Fires

It's a win for the Aussies for me this week. Others of course may choose to disagree.

Bruce Springsteen - If I Should Fall Behind

Grant McLennan - If I Should Fall Behind

Friday 26 May 2017

Boogie Nights

On our recent visit to Galloway we popped into the newly opened Cat Protection League shop in Stranraer.
I came away empty handed but Mrs CC picked up Disco Legends.
A double CD featuring 40 tracks - some classics and some fillers and all for just £1.99
Here are a couple of the classics for you to shake your bootie to to get the weekend started

Drew - this is how to do Friday night dance music! Don't think you're quite ready for Baccara though

One, two, three shake your body down

Odyssey - Use It Up & Wear It Out

Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music

Thursday 25 May 2017

Weird Tales from Americana Royalty

We are ticking a good few boxes today by featuring Weird Tales the second album by Americana super group Golden Smog from 1998

The Jayhawks - Gary Louris , Marc Perlman, Kraig Johnson, Jessy Greene - check
Wilco - Jeff Tweedy - check
Soul Asylum - Dan Murphy - check
Big Star - Jody Stephens - check  BIG STAR!
Run Westy Run -  Kraig Johnson -check
Geraldine Fibbers - Jessy Greene - check

The lead vocals and indeed some of the instruments are shared around but as you would suspect if you are a regular to these pages I am opting for Messrs Louris and Tweedy.
I was convinced I had the Jayhawks singing Until You Came Along but apparently not. I've certainly heard them singing it live on more than one occasion

Your star crossed eyes. Your troubled mind, seems you were left just for me to find

Golden Smog - Until You Came Along

Golden Smog - Lost Love

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Burnt Offerings 20

This could well be the week that I finally manage to alienate the few hardy souls who have stuck with this series thus far as I serve up not only Lilly Allen but cover versions  of two stonewall classics.

Let's get Lily out the way first. I quite like Alfie a song she wrote criticizing the lazy behavious of  her little brother. Hey it includes a sample from Sandie Shaw's Puppet on a String so it can't be all bad

Lily Allen - Alfie

Watching the Detectives was the first song by Elvis Costello that I ever heard and the first one I ever purchased. To this day it remains one of my top five favourites by him
I've never heard of or heard anything else by Los Angeles band Phantom Planet although  I read that their song California became the theme song for the TV series The O.C.
This is a reasonably passable version which stays pretty close to the original

Phantom Planet - Watching the Detectives

The same can't really be said of the version of Love Will Tear Us Apart by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra.
This is the nom de plume of Norwegian singer Susanna Karolina Wallumrød and her keyboard player Morten Qvenild
A version which appeared on both Grey's Anatomy and Skins and one which may have Joy Division fans wringing their hands and quite possibly my throat

Susanna & the Magical Orchestra - Love Will Tear Us Apart

More assorted nonsense next Wednesday - if I last that long!

Tuesday 23 May 2017

File Under: Easy Listening

From 1994 File Under:Easy Listening was the third and final album by Bob Mould's Sugar if you count Beaster as an album as opposed to an EP and discount the subsequent Besides compilation and live album The Joke is Always on Us, Sometimes.
It is the only one of the three I have on vinyl.
It is obviously not as good as Copper Blue  (few albums are) nor as noisy as Beaster (a record you would never file under Easy Listening).
It does have a few tracks including these two which were released as singles which are worthy of another listen.

Sugar - Your Favorite Thing

Sugar - Believe What You're Saying

Monday 22 May 2017

Bang Bang

Back a little bit further in time today - between 1981 and 1990 to be precise with the Best of The Waterboys picked up recently in a three for a pound deal.
Possibly because of their Celtic folky sound many folk initially have them down as an Irish band.They are wrong there as they were founded in Edinburgh in the early 80's by Mike Scott who hails from the Scottish West Coast seaside town of Largs
A banging track from each of their two most famous albums Don't Bang the Drum from 1985's This is the Sea and A Bang on the Ear from 1988's Fisherman's Blues

Mike Scott claims that The Waterboys have had more members than any other band in rock history. That honour however must surely go to The Fall

The Waterboys - Don't Bang The Drum

The Waterboys - And a Bang on the Ear

Sunday 21 May 2017

Bunnyman Sunday

I don't think that Echo and the Bunnymen have ever featured on these pages.
Apologies for that. But hey, Nothing Lasts Forever.
From 1997 and picked up recently in the BRICC thriftshop in Ballantrae it was their first single from Evergreen the album from when the band reformed after a four year hiatus.
It reached the dizzy heights of number 8 in the UK charts.
As was the way back then the single and the 2 x CD singles all have different track listings For the collector the French and German CD versions have different track listings still.
Mine has Watchtower and the rather splendid Polly on it.

Echo & the Bunnymen - Nothing Lasts Forever

Echo & the Bonneymen - Watchtower

Echo & the Bunnymen - Polly

Saturday 20 May 2017

Springsteen Covered - Dancing in the Dark

Last week's contest of Bruce versus Patty Griffin with Stolen Car went one way and then the other.
In the end it was the first draw of the series so the score remains The Boss 7 The Rest 3 and which means you get another week's worth of Bruce.

This week we re-visit Born in the U.S.A with Dancing in the Dark one of the seventy three top ten singles from that album. It was his biggest selling single ever and the first one from the album..It originally reached number 28 in the UK singles chart upon release in May 1984 before re-entering the chart in January 1985 on the back of the success of the album this time reaching number 4 and winning him his first Grammy award.
Bruce is up against Ted Leo this week.I'm not sure if this is a solo performance or whether he is appearing with his band the Pharmacists.
Ted wins it for me given that he is the only one of the two ever to have written a song about drinking Buckfast in Govanhill..Also he has never been fortune enough to pluck out Courtney Cox at random from the audience of a Pharmacist gig for an impromptu boogie on stage

Others, of course may choose to disagree

Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark

Ted Leo - Dancing in the Dark

Friday 19 May 2017

Catie and Kelly


Following on from my recent featuring of Patty Griffin I though that for this week's obligatory Americana post that I would feature another two female artists that I don't have anything from other than the occasional song on a compilation.
These two are taken from the Beginners Guide to American Roots CD3 Modern Americana

First up is Catie Curtis who first made a splash on the Boston folk scene in the early 90's She has been releasing records regularly since 1989 with this song coming from her 2001 album My Shirt Looks Good on You


Kelly Willis was born on Oklahoma but now resides in Austin with her husband, fellow Americana artist Bruce Robison.
She has been on the go for pretty much the same amount of time as Catie . This song is taken from her 2002 album Easy.
In fact I have just noticed that I actually have one of her albums 1999's What I Deserve one I clearly have not gotten around to featuring here as yet.
She also does a great song with Robbie Fulks called Parallel Bars. 

Catie Curtis - Love Takes The Best Of You

Kelly Willis - Easy (As Falling Apart)

Thursday 18 May 2017

A Band Who Divide Opinion

Franz Ferdinand appear to be a band who divide opinions round these parts.
Some find them a bit too full of themselves and were wary of the hype surrounding them and their quick rise to fame.
Others enjoyed their arty style , jingly jangly guitars, literate pop tunes and their stated mission of making music for girls to dance to.
I for one liked their first two albums a lot.
Excellent disposable bouncy pop music which was sort of retro yet of its time.

Franz Ferdinand - The Dark of the Matinee

Franz Ferdinand - Michael

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Burnt Offerings 19

Suzi Quatro is now the proud owner of a bus pass. This was not the case in the early 70's when she was the only female standard bearer of the Glam Rock movement and also the focus of many a teenage crush.
She would have featured before had my album not been so badly scratched.
Daytona Demon was a top 20 single from 1973

Suzi Quatro - Daytona Demon

The Runaways were another band responsible for many a teenage crush albeit a few years later.
Featuring Joan Jett on guitar and vocals  they were produced by Kim Fowley
From 1976 Cherry Bomb was absolutely huge in Japan but didn't really do much in the UKor their native US.It also did very well in Scandinavia and the Ukraine clearly areas of good taste who like their music rocky and raunchy.

The Runaways - Cherry Bomb

From Claremount, California The Mountain Goats are one of those many bands that I've heard about but not really heard much of their music. Based on the couple of songs which pop up on the Burnt Offerings series further exploration is clearly required.
Sort of Americana meets Belle & Sebastian. No bad thing

The Mountain Goats - Woke Up New

More assorted nonsense next Wednesday

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Doing a Rod

I've told this story before.
A magnificent debut album - Exile on Coldharbour Lane - my copy being a promotional one purchased at Vinyl Exchange, Oldham St, Manchester.
A phenomenal  concert at King Tuts including Dr D Wayne Love marrying two members of the audience on stage.
Then  their song Woke Up This Morning was selected as the theme song for The Sopranos.
Thereafter in my opinion they became complacent and rested on their laurels - certainly on the La Peste album and when I saw them at Glasgow's Carling Academy.
Round these parts it is known as doing a Rod

Here's from when they were good. Some splendid Country electronica

Alabama 3 - U Don't Dans 2 Tekno Anymore

Alabama 3 - The Old Purple Tin (9% of Pure Heaven)

Monday 15 May 2017


In 1992 British hip hop/electronic dance group Stereo MCs scored massive hits with the single Connected and the album of  the same name.
However a follow up album did not appear for nearly  a decade.
I've no idea why not
Maybe they were too hip hop/dancey for the mainstream and too mainstream for the hip hop/dancey crew.
An album I played a lot at the time and very rarely since.
Perhaps that's the reason

There are also two schools of thought as to whether an apostrophe should feature. I'm doing without.

Stereo MCs - Connected

Stereo MCs - Step it Up

Sunday 14 May 2017

The Brief Return of Some Sunday Soul

As we sat sitting over tea and coffee in a hungover state in Mono's last Saturday morning JC and Drew started handing out gifts to our distinguished visitors.
Books, Postcard Record T-Shirts and Butcher Boy singles were handed out and then Drew kindly gifted us all with a soul single from his extensive selection.
I'm sure that the others are in the same boat but I am pretty chuffed with the one I ended up with.
It's on the Kent label so you know it is going to be good.
Charlene & the Soul Serenaders on the A side and Margie Joseph on the's a close call but I slightly prefer Margie.

Cheers mate

Charlene & the Soul Serenaders -Can You Win

Margie Joseph - One More Chance

Saturday 13 May 2017

Springsteen Covered - Stolen Car

The fightback starts here! Emmylou Harris administers a total thrashing to Bruce with her version of Mansion on the Hill meaning that the scores are now The Boss 7 The Rest 3

We will stick with the ladies this week given that the victors so far have been Emmylou, Thea Gilmore and Tracey Thorn (well technically EBTG)
This week it is the turn of another country star Patty Griffin with her version of Stolen Car the last rack on side 3 of The River.
Absolutely no contest for me this week - Patty by a country mile.She could even win by a bigger margin than Emmylou
Proof, as if proof was needed, that The River would have made a better single album than a double one and also a reminder that I really should get round to acquiring some of Patty's records.

Others, of course may choose to disagree (but you would be wrong there)

Bruce Springsteen - Stolen Car

Patty Griffin - Stolen Car

Friday 12 May 2017

Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight

When I haven't been participating in international blogging conventions over the last few days I have been mostly stuck up a Ryan Adams cul-de-sac
I blame KC myself for posting Gold. This in turn had me looking out his self titled album.

For those of you who enjoyed his early solo stuff before he became pretentious and prolific can I recommend that you look backwards rather than forwards and listen to a bit of Whiskeytown.
I've been listening to Faithless Street this week and what a magnificent album it is.
You should do like wise and while you are at it throw in Strangers Almanac and Pneumonia.
You can thank me later
Interestingly on Faithless Street he only writes some of the songs including some collaborations with other band members.
That would change fairly rapidly and the rest is history
Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary have talked on numerous occasions about reforming Whiskeytown at some stage and who knows it may well happen

Whiskeytown - Drank Like a River

Whiskeytown - Faithless Street

Thursday 11 May 2017

Your Favourite Danish Band

From 2003 Chain Gang of Love on Columbia was the first full length album by Danish due The Raveonettes.
I think it is alright but not a patch on it's predecessor the 20 minute 8 track EP Whip it On.
Like Whip it On the majority of the songs come in at under 3 minutes and it is recorded in B minor giving it a somewhat scuzzy sound.
The only time I ever saw them live blowing away the headliners Razorllight at King Tuts lives long in the memory.

I could be wrong but I think that Drew only uttered the words Sharin Foo once over the weekend

The Raveonettes - Heartbreak Stroll

The Raveonettes - Chain Gang of Love

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Burnt Offerings 18

Burnt Offerings 18 and this week we get religion ... of sorts

First up are Ministry with the mighty Jesus Built my Hotrod.
They are joined by guest vocalist Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers fame.Al Jougerson explains the collaborative process
Gibby came down completely drunk off his ass to the studio we're at in Chicago. He couldn't even sit on a stool, let alone sing. I mean, he was wasted. He fell off the stool about ten times during the recording of that vocal. He made no sense and it was just gibberish. So I spent two weeks editing tape of what he did - Rock'n'roll!
My abiding memory of this song is of me, George and another couple of pals jumping out a car at a French service station and doing air guitar as this was belting out at full volume.
It is the only thing I've ever heard from Ministry but I suspect it is all you need

Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod

From Jesus to the Devil. I think I must of stumbled across somewhere posting Stones covers as this is the second in as many weeks,
I've always been slightly worried in case the politics of Slovenian electro-industrial band Laibach may be slightly suspect. They have been describes as both far left and far right and as racially ambiguous.
It may  of course all be part of the act - let's hope so

Laibach - Sympathy For The Devil

After these two songs it is perhaps time to cleanse the palate somewhat  and who better to do that than The Blind Boys of Alabama a group who have been about in various iterations since Jesus was a lad.
This song is from 2001 - hopefully the picture is from round about then too. I went for one in colour

Blind Boys of Alabama - I Just Want to See His Face

Some more agnostic nonsense next Wednesday

Tuesday 9 May 2017

These Are For Brian

I'm sure that the stories from the weekend will feature writ large from various places either in a drip by drip format or the full buhna.
I'm going to kick off by paying tribute to the legend that is Brian (of Linear Tracking Lives fame)
I got a train into town that took about 15 minutes. Brian took a 13 hour plane trip from Seattle to Amsterdam and then another short hop from Amsterdam to Glasgow.
And what a guy - an encyclopedic knowledge of indie music and someone who knows more about Glasgow based music than I ever will.
Fitting then that he got to met and shake hands with Ken McCluskey outside a Glasgow pub ,meet David from Kid Canaveral in another Glasgow pub and then quite possibly the highlight of his life (after his wedding and the birth of his kids) finally getting to shake hands and talk to Stephen Pastel (in a record shop in a pub) after having been to speechless to do so on a previous visit.

Brian - we salute you

The Bluebells - Cath

The Bluebells -Young at Heart

Monday 8 May 2017

Coldplay Monday

To give you an idea as to how much alcohol was consumed on Friday as we nursed our hangovers over the first drink of the day on Saturday it was agreed that today be known as Coldplay Monday and that we should all feature something by them.
Believe it or not  there was a certain rationale to this and if you care to visit JC's place today all will be revealed.
It will be interesting to see if anyone bottles out.
Needless to say you are only getting the one song and it won't be up for long.

Nobody said it was easy

Coldplay - The Scientist

Sunday 7 May 2017

The Boy Wonder

Written from before my hangover kicks in.

KC the new rising star from  the WYCRA  stable fairly accurately points out that Ryan Adams has recorded about 700 albums. And that is not counting his Whiskeytown days.
This caused me to go to the shelves and check my Ryan section. I have five - the first four - Heartbreaker, Gold, Demolition and Rock'n'Roll plus 2014's Ryan Adams
Fourteen studio albums into his career and he finally decides to come up with a self titled album. What pretentious twaddle.
I gave it another listen and it is not a patch on his earlier stuff.
One or two good numbers though

Ryan Adams - Gimme Something Good

Ryan Adams - I Just Might

Saturday 6 May 2017

Springsteen Covered - Mansion on the Hill

Close but no cigar last week. The Mavericks gave Bruce a run for his money with All that Heaven Will Allow before finally succumbing.He wears you down does Bruce.
So Springsteen marches on - there is no stopping him. It's now The Boss 7 The Rest 2

Time then to field another big gun to challenge the theory that none of the originals on Nebraska can be bettered.
Here is  the great Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers  with Mansion on the Hill from the1992 live recording from the Grand Old Opry, Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to debunk that theory.
I won't let any of the bloggers leave Glasgow until they agree with me.

Those of you at a safe distance may choose to differ.

Bruce Springsteen -Mansion on the Hill

Emmylou Harris & the Nash Ramblers - Mansion on the Hill

Friday 5 May 2017

Let's Get This Party Started

Sorry - no time to hang around today.
Things to do
Dirk to pick up
Bloggers to meet
Drink to be drunk
Nonsense to be talked
Laughter to be had
Stories to be told
Excitement to be had
History to be made

Wanda Jackson - Let's Have a Party

The B52's - Party Out of Bounds

Thursday 4 May 2017

The Cast Are Gathering

The Glasgow Bloggers Gathering is nearly upon us
By the time some of you read this Brian and Walter will have touched down at Glasgow airport where they will be met by JC
Tomorrow morning I will do the honours and  meet Dirk (whose idea it was in the first place) and later on Friday we will be joined by Drew and Swiss Adam and hopefully a few others.
I'm guessing that it will be more than Alright and that a Finetime will be had by all

Cast - Alright

Cast - Finetime

Wednesday 3 May 2017

Burnt Offerings 17

Well it was always going to happen I suppose.I'm just a bit surprised that I got to  Burnt Offerings 17 before I came to a CD with less than 3 artists featured before.
Actually the Jolly Ranchers from Loredo, Texas are the only ones who have never featured before and after listening to this you can probably see why. Here is their version of Country Roads from their 2003 album  12 Gauge. I think it and Highway 99 can be downloaded free should you feel the urge

The Jolly Ranchers - Country Roads

Ryan Adams and Beth Orton have both appeared on these pages but never together. I never knew until now that they were an item at one stage
I now find that he has written at least three songs about her You Will Always be  the Same, For Beth and English Girls Approximately.
He didn't write this

Ryan Adams & Beth Orton - Brown Sugar

For my third choice I debated whether to feature someone who I have posted before or to pick someone from a previous Burnt Offering who hasn't graced these pages.
I chose the later and so her is Canadian alternative hip hop artist Richard Terfry better known as Buck 65 whom I first discovered via Andy Kershaw's radio shows

Buck 65 - Drawing Curtains

Three never before featured acts next Wednesday

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Have You Ever Been to Derby?

Have you ever been to the English midland town of Derby?
I've been three times.
The first time I was there for about an hour after going along for the ride with a pal who had an interview with Rolls Royce
The second and third times saw me visit the now sadly departed Reveal Records.
One of these trips saw me purchase the eponymous  2001 debut album by Denise James

Three reasons for purchasing it:
  • It was a staff choice with some blurb probably highlighting that she was a voice on the Detroit scene for a number of years providing background vocals for a number of groups
  • It was on Poptones (two days running!)
  • It was a fiver
Sadly despite many attempts it has never really gelled with me. Inoffensive but not one that grabs you and makes you want to play on repeat.
All Music describe her as being similar to Mazzy Star - but she is no Hope Standoval

Monday 1 May 2017

Your New Favourite Band

Happy May Day to you.
I've pretty much exhausted my Imelda May section in previous years so rather today a random selection from a band I don't think has featured before.
The Hives are from Sweden and their album Your New Favourite Band was released on Alan McGhee's Poptone label in 2001 to great hype
It features tracks from their first two LPs and the A.K.A I-D-I-O-T EP

All the songs were written by the not particularly Swedish sounding Randy Fitzsimmons..He may or may not be band member Nicholaus Arson (real name Niklas Almqvist)
As is the way of such hype they shone very brightly very briefly before very rapidly fading away.

The Hives - I Hate To Say I Told You So

The Hives - Main Offender