Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Over 1800 posts in and the Pixies have never appeared on these pages.I'll say that again. The Pixies have never featured.
Frank Black and the Catholics appeared as part of my Burnt Offering series but never the Pixies.
I was sure that Kim Deal had appeared as part of The Breeders with the brilliant Cannonball but apparently not. Another shocking omission.
I saw them at Meadowbank alongside Idlewild and Teenage Fanclub and yet they still have never featured.
This monkey clearly ain't going to heaven.
Pixies - Monkey Gone to Heaven
The Breeders - Cannonball
Tuesday, 27 February 2018
When I featured Josh Rouse in my Burnt Offerings series (number 9 since you asked) Rol commented that while he never knocks me socks off, he always manage to deliver some decent tunes.
This was a view that was shared by other commentators including myself.
I've always had him down as Americana artist.
However it appears that I may not have got my genres or my views entirely correct if his fourth album 1972 (released in 2003 on Rykodisc) and a recent charity shop purchase (and a find) is anything to go by.
A re-listen to my burn of 2007's Country Mouse City House also confirms my initial misdiagnosis.
Sure there are Americana elements but I'm also hearing pop, some jazz noodling, a touch of gospel and some Shuggie Otis style psychedelia along with the occasional homage to 1970's bands.
Josh Rouse - Love Vibration
Josh Rouse - Sparrows Over Birmingham
Monday, 26 February 2018
Three birthdays to acknowledge today.
Johnny Cash was born on this day in 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. Had he been still with us he would have been 86.
You are probably fed up with me featuring him given that he has appeared pretty much every Saturday since mid October last year.So instead of featuring him today you are getting covers of a couple of his songs.
The other person pictured above is a non mulleted Michael Bolton who is 65 today. Sadly there are none of his songs or indeed covers of his songs on the shelves.
Finally our mutual friend George is 55 today so we extend best wishes all the way to Portugal.
Birthday greetings to you all.
Robbie Fulks - Cry Cry Cry
Jawbone - Get Rhythm
Sunday, 25 February 2018
This series seems to be currently stuck in the 80's - obviously the peak single purchasing period of Mrs CC and her sister.
From March 1984 People Are People was Depeche Mode's 10th single and their biggest hit peaking at number 4 during a 10 week residence in the UK singles charts. It is also the one that first brought them to the attention of our American friends.
Despite it's success its writer Martin Gore describes it as one of his least favourite songs and has not performed it live since 1988. Popstars can be quite obtuse.
The b-side In Your Memory written by Alan Wilder is pretty tasty.
Depeche Mode - People Are People
Depeche Mode - In Your Memory
Saturday, 24 February 2018
The week before last Johnny succeeded in stopping the rot but sadly for him and all his fans it appears to have been only temporary as there was a fairly comfortable win for Steve Earle with The Devil's Right Hand.
That takes the score to Cash 8 The Rest 9. So the Man in Black requires to win this week to take it to a final end.Plus it's his birthday on Monday. So no pressure then.
Given his life story Mr Cash is no stranger to redemption and this is certainly the case when it comes to his choice of cover.We have previously had Bob Marley's Redemption Song and this we you are getting his version of Sheryl Crow's Redemption Day from his final American Recordings album - American VI: Ain't No Grave
When the subject matter has a whiff of religion Johnny usually comes into his own and this week there is no exception
It's JC for me by a distance this week.
Others ,of cours,e may choose to disagree but I suspect we are going to the wire
Johnny Cash -Redemption Day
Sheryl Crow -Redemption Day
Friday, 23 February 2018
As promised/threatened I am revisiting the Uncut compilation Ooh -La -La! Rock'n' Roll in the Spirit of the Faces which I featured last week
This time around I am focusing on acts that I am familiar with and who have graced these pages before albeit somewhat briefly.
The Detroit based band The Deadstring Brothers are the ones who probably come closes to emulating the Faces. There is a touch of the Rolling Stones in there too. I saw them at the old Stereo bar in Glasgow's Kelvinhaugh street where they put on a stonking show.
This song is taken from their 2007 album Silver Mountain on the ever wonderful Bloodshot label.
Okkervil River are an Austin band and name from a short story by Russian author Tatanya Tolstaya on the river in St Petersburg but then you probably knew that already.
This is from their 2007 album The Stage Names on Jagjaguwar which is the one after their best known record 2005's Black Sheep Boy.
Deadstring Brothers - Queen of the Scene
Okkervil River - Unless It Kicks
Thursday, 22 February 2018
This is a bit of a strange one.
I know how a copy of Hello My Captor by The Amazing Pilots ended up on the shelves. It is a burn from my pal Gogs.
What I don't know is how he stumbled across it given it is somewhat different to what he normally listens to (Americana, The Fall and Teenage Fanclub) or quite why I got a copy.
From 2005 on Undertow Records it is a perfectly acceptable piece of indie rock from Northern Irish brothers Paul and Phil Wilkinson .
Other than that I know no more.
I don't recall ever having seen them live but I could well be wrong.
One I haven't played for years but quite enjoyed when I recently got round to giving it a listen.
The Amazing Pilots - All My Wasted Days
The Amazing Pilots -I Don't know Where Are You
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
One of the joys of frequenting charity shops is watching lovely old ladies trying to come to terms with computerised tills.
What do I do with Gift Aid? Do records come under media? I think I've pressed the wrong button.
The two ladies in the Red Cross shop in Lochgilphead were enjoying some banter with an elderly gentleman and the glitches with the till took a while to resolve.
I them handed over the two CD's featured earlier in the week and two LPs.
The first was the Soundtrack to Local Hero a particular favourite of Mrs CC .One of the ladies rang it up on the till and then came to the album above which had been hidden underneath it.
"Oh my goodness" she said to her friend before quickly turning it over then muttering "Oh it's the same on both sides"
A cover you probably wouldn't get away with today and my apologies to my new found friends although it did give them something to talk about!
Average White Band - Cut The Cake
Average White Band - You Got It
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
The acquisition of The Beginning Stages of The Polyphonic Spree in the Red Cross shop in Lochgilphead took me back to the early years of the century when my pal Gogs and I attended the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas on three consecutive occasions.
This was in the days before social media so it was word of mouth or local intel that led you to acts appearing on the Fringe of the festival. Thanks to an internet forum we found ourselves wandering the streets of an Austin suburb one year in search for some acts that were performing.
It was quite a bizarre experience to turn a corner and to come across 20 or so folk dressed in white robes singing on someone's front lawn (which was in better nick and the one on the album cover).
Tim de Laughter and his entourage quickly and briefly acquired a degree of cult status on both sides of the Atlantic although given their outfits I have always associated them with a different kind of cult along the lines of the Wickerman
The album contains 10 songs listed as sections which were originally intended as a demo until they quickly hit the big time and 4 alternative versions which are somewhat more polished.
I'm not yet convinced that it is a keeper although Mrs CC thinks it could find a home in her Zen Zone
And yes there is a volume 2.
The Polyphonic Spree - Light and Day
The Polyphonic Spree - It's The Sun
Monday, 19 February 2018
It was only last October when I picked up my first Turin Brakes record namely their debut The Optimist LP.
A band who had up until then pretty much passed me by but a record I quite enjoyed.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised and delighted to pick up their second album 2003's Ether Song for 50p in the Red Cross charity shop in Lochgilphead.
A slight change of direction in that it is more electronic than its acoustic predecessor . Still pretty good though.
Totally coincidentally I have opted for the two tracks which feature on a sticky on the front of the jewel case which I have just noticed.. Great minds and all that.
Turin Brakes - Long Distance
Turin Brakes - Pain Killer (Summer Rain)
Sunday, 18 February 2018
I am reliably informed that Mrs CC's sister was The Cure fan of the family, so presumably this is one of hers.
In Between Days was released in 1985 and was the first single from the album The Head on the Door.
It only reached number 15 in the charts but hung around for 10 weeks.
Interestingly although they released some great singles they only troubled the Top 10 on 2 occasions with The Love Cats peaking at number 7 and Lullaby at number 5.
I suspect all but the most ardent Cure fans if quizzed wouldn't come up with Lullaby being their biggest hit and would probably also be surprised that Boy's Don't Cry only reached 22.
There is debate as to the spacing and title of the song but In Between Days seems to be the one most quoted.
The Cure - In Between Days
The Cure - The Exploding Boy
Saturday, 17 February 2018
The Man in Black is back! After 5 straight defeats on the bounce Johnny finally gets another win this time over Gordon Lightfoot with If You Could Read My Mind.
That takes the scores back to Cash 8 The Rest 8. This one could go right to the wire.
I was struggling a bit for material and then my mind turned to the Unearthed compilation.I don't own it but fortunately I know a man who does so thank you George.
This week Johnny is up against Steve Earle with The Devil's Right Hand.
I've gone for the live version from Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator as opposed to the studio version on Copperhead Road. a) because I think it's better and b) it is less hassle to rip from the CD as opposed to vinyl.
It's another tough call this week as it is a song and subject matter that are right up Johnny's street.Two slightly different version and I am giving it to Steve as he gives it slightly more oomph.
Others, of course may chose to disagree
Johnny Cash - Devil's Right Hand
Steve Earle & the Dukes -The Devil's Right Hand
Friday, 16 February 2018
After leaving Oban on our way back from Ballachulish we stopped off in the small Argyll town of Lochgilphead which I hadn't been in for over 30 years.
The main street is pretty much the same albeit somewhat rundown. On the plus side for me that means more charity shops.
One was Mary's Meals - a Scottish charity set up to provide meals to school children in the world's poorer communities, originally primarily on Malawi which has historic links with Scotland.
Following a very quick visit I came away with the above Uncut compilation Ooh -La -La! Rock'n' Roll in the Spirit of the Faces.
I was familiar with half the artists which sealed the 50p deal .However equally excitingly I was looking forward to exploring those I was unfamiliar with. These two most caught my attention after an initial listen.
500 Miles to Memphis are a country punk band from Cincinnati who have produced four studio albums since 2005.This song is from their 2007 album on Deep Elm records the wonderfully named Sunshine in a Shot Glass.
The Wrinkle Neck Mules from Richmond,Virginia have 6 albums and an EP to their name.This is from their 2007 album The Wicks Have Met on the ever wonderful German label Blue Rose.
I shall shortly revisit this CD and feature two of the bands that I had heard before.
Thursday, 15 February 2018
A slice of Alt Country today from Kathleen Edwards with her album Voyageur .You will note that I have opted for Alt Country as opposed to Americana mainly because Ms Edwards is in fact Canadian.
It is her fourth album which was released in 2012 and co-produced with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame.
She's not the most prolific of artists as this was only her 4th album since her debut in 2003.
I've always been a bit ambivalent about her as although she is clearly talented I saw her early in her career where she made what I considered to be derogatory comments about the artist who had been on stage before her the great Ray Wylie Hubbard. I'll put it down to the immaturity of youth.
It seems that she has now left the music business opening a coffee shop in the Ottowa suburb of Stittsville.
Something which stumped me in one of Rol's excellent Saturday Snapshot conundrums.
My last Oban purchase - we are of to Lochgilphead next
Kathleen Edwards -Sidecar
Kathleen Edwards - For The Record
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
|Photos © Rhiannon Law|
Support was provided by an acoustic set from Jamie Sutherland who is a member of the band Broken Records. Some pleasant singer song writer stuff.
Then Siobhan came on with her guitarist Matt and a string quartet as as she would have it a Demi Octet.
Showing no nerves, despite the large (and impeccably well behaved crowd) she flitted from guitar to piano playing her album There Are No Saints (on Song by Toad records) in it's entirety and it order.
It was absolutely mesmerizing. What a voice she has whether singing in English or French. The only track which didn't really work for me was the"experimental" instrumental Dystopian Bach.
In the comments section on my previous post JC commented that he tends to avoid the Mackintosh church given its acoustics. I'm happy to report that from our position there was absolutely no issues. Both her voice and the music were crystal clear and you could here a pin drop.
When introducing her band she mentioned that she was at school with the guitarist Matt who mentioned that they were bullied for being different.I take a degree of pleasure in them living the dream and touring the world while the bully's remain in their little local bubble.
She then moved onto some older numbers and to a couple of encores including a version of Richard Thompson's Beeswing
She advised that she was entering the studio the next day to start the recording of her next album. I've already pledged for my copy via Kickstarter and suggest you do to as she is a true talent.
Siobhan Wilson - Dear God
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
|Photograph: Wattie Cheung for the Guardian|
Better late than never - I did say I would review this concert. Any later and we would be into next years's schedule.
The night started with a minor gripe. The tickets said first band on stage at 8pm (Celtic Connection gig times are usually pretty sharp). We got in at 7.40 to find that we had missed the first song of Teddy Thompson's set.
Where we were sat we were interrupted by others in the same situation which detracted slightly from Teddy's set. However he was excellent.Easily the best support act I've seen at Celtic Connections and worthy of a highlight show . And he played a few numbers from Bela my favourite album of his.
Shelby and Allison are both great singers in their own right. They freely acknowledged that they have had little experience of performing together as a duet and had little opportunity to rehearse. Consequently some songs worked better than others although they got better as the night went out with some standout songs.
An example as to the lack of rehearsal time was Lithium when they forgot the words to the second verse and had to borrow a phone from the wings.It was all quite naturally done and quite amusing as opposed to awkward.
Lithium is probably the one of their covers which doesn't really work although they gave it far more welly than on the album version.
The covers of I'm Looking for Blue Eyes, Into My Arms and Silver Wings were all excellent.
The finished with some of their old solo numbers some being about their home state Alabama and seemed more at ease then.
They are planning to get together to to a follow up album with more of their own songs and will only get better.
So all in all a pretty good night.
A shout out for Mrs CC who had excruciating toothache. It was touch and go as to whether we would make it but she rallied round like the trooper she is and enjoyed her night.
Here is a more professional review from the Gruniad
Teddy Thompson - The One I Can't Have
Shelby lynne & Allison Moorer - I'm Looking for Blue Eyes
Monday, 12 February 2018
You may be surprised to see Lush reappearing so quickly after their recent debut post. However I received a request from SWC from the ever wonderful The Sound of Being Ok asking whether I would post the other two songs from the single. Who am I to deny the great man?
Look out for one of their albums appearing on their countdown of The Best Britpop Albums in the World ... Ever with a beautifully written and highly amusing anecdote by one of the Triumvirate tenuously linked to the tracks on offer
Lush - Heavenly
Lush -Plums and Oranges
I hit the 500,000 page views stat last week. I would have been more excited had it not been for the bot invasion of the last month or so.
The 7500 plus comments is a much more significant statistic!
Sunday, 11 February 2018
Japan were a band that I always thought were ok but not one that I ever got round to purchasing anything by.They and their fans were maybe a wee bit to arty for me.
Not so Mrs CC who is the owner of their 1982 single Nightporter.
Not as well known as their bigger hits Ghosts and I Second That Emotion it was in the singles charts for 9 weeks but only reached as high as number 29.
It originally appeared as a track on on the 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids with the single being a remixed and edited version.
Japan - Nightporter
Japan - Ain't That Peculiar
Saturday, 10 February 2018
There are more twists and turns in this series than a twisty and turny thing.
Last week was the clash of the Titans - Johnny and Joe Strummer up against Bob Marley with Redemption Song.
A lot of love for JC and JS but in the end a narrow victory for Bob by 8 votes to 6 .
The score is therefore now Cash 7 The Rest 8 and it is the first time that Johnny has been behind since week 3.
That may well change as we feature something from American V - A Hundred Highways from 2006 but with songs recorded during the period September 2002 right up to 21st August 2003 shortly before his death on 12th September 2003.
Now the original of If You Could Read My Mind by Canadian singer- songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is a mighty fine song but I defy any of you to listen to Johnny's version and not have a lump in your throat or even a little bubble.
So it is Johnny for me all day long. The heartless among you may choose to disagree.
Johnny Cash -If You Could Read My Mind
Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
Friday, 9 February 2018
I'm happy to report that the muso room is no longer a Smog free zone thanks to the acquisition of Cold Blooded Old Times a 1999 CD single on the Domino label by Bill Callahan in his Smog guise.
I've been meaning to get some of his stuff for a while so it was a pleasant surprise to find this in an Oban charity shop.
I wasn't aware that this had appeared on the Hi Fidelity sound track although it did sound vaguely familiar.
Described by AV Music as almost too sad to listen to.
With lyrics like The type of memories that turn your bones to glass you can see why.
The second track featured takes a wee while to get going but it is well worth persevering with.
I think I need more Smog in my life.
Smog - Cold Blooded Old Times
Smog - I Break Horses
Thursday, 8 February 2018
The first of the Oban purchases is the Blondie-esque Ladykillers probably the best known single by Brit pop band Lush.
From 1996 on the 4AD label it reached number 22 in the UK charts and 18 in the US Modern Rock charts.
As was the way then there were two different versions of the CD single . Mine is disc 2 which in addition to the title track features Heavenly, Carmen and Plums & Oranges
It also appeared on the 1996 album Lovelife.
Another Oban purchase tomorrow.
Lush - Ladykillers
Lush - Carmen
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
On Sunday we drove up to Ballachullsh for an overnight a Christmas present from my brother and sister-in-law.
The weather was pretty stunning for this time of year and the views were pretty spectacular as you will see if you click on this link of us driving through Glencoe with Carly Simon
Apologies that my technical limitations don't allow a simple press play.
The weather on Monday was pretty reasonable and we drove home via Oban and Lochgilphead where there were some charity shop purchases.
Carly Simon - My One and Only Love
Carly Simon - You're So Vain
And for Brian
Carly Simon - In the Still of the Night
Tuesday, 6 February 2018
I read somewhere recently that a deluxe 20th Anniversary version of Through the Trees by The Handsome Family is shortly to be released.
20 year anniversary versions of American albums? Who would have thunk it? God, that makes me feel old
The Handsome Family are one of these American bands who are at least as popular, if not more so on this side of the Pond..
They are constantly visiting these shores and have a tour coming up in March
If you haven't seen them it is one to tick off your bucket list. I've seen them a couple of times and they don't disappoint. The music may be dark but Brett and Renee's patter is always highly entertaining
The Handsome Family - Weightless Again
The Handsome Family - Cathedrals
Monday, 5 February 2018
I'm currently reading and enjoying Memphis 68 by Stuart Cosgrove and I will probably write something about it upon completion.
It had me reaching for It Comes From Memphis - The Legendary Sounds of Memphis
A compilation including artists who featured at the Barbican It Came From Memphis Festival in 2005.
Curated by Robert Gordon who is the author of the book of the same name , one which should probably be added to the list.
The city which spawned Elvis, Sun and Stax it is a wonderful mixture of blues, soul, country, rock 'n' roll and more modern stuff such as The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the North Mississippi Allstars.
Given my current reading material I have decided to stick with soul on this occasion. Syl Johnson makes his debut on these pages whilst William Bell appears for only the second time..
Syl Johnson - Anyway The Wind Blows
William Bell - You Don't Miss Your Water
Sunday, 4 February 2018
The first of the job lot belonging to Mrs CC and one of the best of the bunch if not the best. Mrs CC claims it was one of hers.
The title track from Absolute Beginners the film by Julian Temple based on the book by Colin MacInnes.
As well as Bowie the film features fellow musicians Ray Davies, Sade and Patsy Kensit.
Both Steve Nieve and Rick Wakeman provide keyboards on the single.
The film pretty much bombed but the single was a resounding success reaching number 2 in the UK singles chart following its release on 3rd March 1986
You are only getting the A-side as the B-side Absolute Beginners (Dub Mix) kept sticking. Consider yourselves fortunate
David Bowie - Absolute Beginners
We are off to Ballachulish for an overnight so there is every chance we may hit the charity shops of Fort William and/or Oban. Stay tuned.
Saturday, 3 February 2018
Well I didn't see last week's result coming. Seems that I was the only one. A resounding victory for Neil Diamond and his single version of Solitary Man.
Which means that for the fourth successive week that the Man in Black has been defeated and that therefore the scores are now even at Cash 7 The Rest 7
Maybe this week's selection will stop the rot. But then again maybe not. Yet again Johnny calls for haunners and he is ably assisted by Joe Strummer when up against Bob Marley with their respective versions of Redemption Song.
Their version didn't make the American Recordings series ,which shows the depth and quality of the songs on offer, but made an appearance on the 2003 Unearthed box set.
I featured the two versions before last March but didn't put them to the vote on that occasion.
This time I'm making you choose and it is a really tough call. Three absolute legends all of who are sadly no longer with us.
For me this is probably the toughest yet but I am going for Bob but only just.
Others, of course, may choose to disagree.
Johnny Cash (with Joe Strummer) - Redemption Song
Bob Marley & the Wailers - Redemption Song
Friday, 2 February 2018
Whereas last week's Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer gig was pretty much a mutual decision this week's is down to me.
We are off tomorrow night to the Mackintosh Church in Maryhill to see Siobhan Wilson.
Her album There Are No Saints on the Song by Toad record label was one of the highlights of last year and I jumped at the chance to see her live.
Classically trained she comes form Elgin originally but has stayed in France for a few years meeting she is bilingual and able to produce great songs in both languages.
Today's song is a free download from her 2012 EP Glorified Demons which is available on Bandcamp.
Sadly I was not quick enough of the mark to buy a physical copy which came with a home made cover that is modelled above.
The match report from the concert will follow in due course
Siobhan Wilson - Laugh and Die
Thursday, 1 February 2018
I'm having a serious problem in getting my head round the fact that The Gilded Palace of Sin the debut album by The Flying Burrito Brothers has never appeared on these pages before. Quite frankly I remain to be totally convinced that this is indeed the case.
Released in 1969 it is one of the two landmark albums from this era featuring Gram Parsons (the other being The Byrds with Sweetheart of the Rodeo from the year before) which changed the face of country music.
Without them I seriously doubt whether I would ever have ended up with the vast majority of the 500 plus Americana albums that grace the shelves today. Indeed it is likely that many of the acts would probably not even have existed .
Featuring the classic line up of Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, Chris Ethridge and Sneaky Pete Kleinow..
Let's face it even if the music was rubbish, which of course it isn't, you would buy it for the cover alone with the band sporting some magnificent Nudie suits
Not a commercial hit at the time it's influence has since been universally acknowledged.
The Flying Burrito Brothers - Juanita
The Flying Burrito Brothers - Hot Burrito No. 1