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Friday 31 July 2020


2020 Charity Shop Purchase 28   - Kirsty MacColl - Kite

The second time Kirsty has appeared via a charity shop this year following my gift of Don't Come the Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim! which coincidentally is a track from Kite.
Also the second time that Days has appeared here in as many weeks

From 1989 Kite is Kirsty's second album and her best.Her first album on Virgin and produced by her then husband Steve Lillywhite.
Up til now there wasn't a copy on the shelves but I found myself singing along to every song as I had a copy on cassette many moons ago.

While everyone remembers Kirsty as a great singer it is easy to forget that she was also a terrific songwriter.
Taken from us much too soon when she was hit by a powerboat when diving off the coast of Mexico. As the powerboat was owned by a multi millionaire money talked,  there was a cover up and it took a lengthy campaign to get some but not all the answers

Kirsty MacColl - Days

Kirsty MacColl - Fifteen Minutes

Kirsty MacColl - Dancing in Limbo

Has anyone else been switched to the new Blogger format?
It's very hard to navigate, work out how to schedule posts and put on pictures.
I've reverted back to the legacy version

Thursday 30 July 2020

The Music of Others - Glad Volume 1

2020 Charity Shop Purchase 27 The Music of Others - Glad Volume 1

From the same shop and probably handed in by the same person (Laurie!) who handed in The Jellyman's Daughter.
The Music of Others - Glad Volume 1 from 2019 is a fundraising album by the great and the good of Glasgow's music scene to help raise funds to repair the roof of Glasgow's Glad Cafe
They were successful in raising the £49K needed and then Covid kicks in.
It is the nearest venue to my house and one that I have frequented on a number of occasions so I hope it survuves.
The album on their own Glorious Traces Recording label.

It is a double album but as is the way in such things only the second disc was in the case. But still 11 interesting tracks to choose from.
The first is a cover of A. Wesley Chung's Neon Coast by Jill Lorean which is the stagename of Jill O'Sullivan who has previously appeared with Sparrow and the Workshop, BDY_PRTS and Broken Chanter. She has recently released Not Your First a 6 track EP avaiable here

The second artist Emma Pollock surely needs no introduction. Here the former Delgados guitarist and singer provides a cover of Holy Smoke a song by Robin Adams

Jill Lorean - Neon Coast

Emma Pollock - Holy Smoke

And as an added bonus here is the original of Neon Coast

A.Wesley Chung - Neon Coast

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Second Is Better Than First. Part 6.

George writes:

After playing today’s better-album-than-the-debut to death I suppose like many others who heard it for the first time, I went looking for the predecessor. And in those pre-internet days we either scoured record shops or ordered it from our local one. I can’t remember how I acquired it, but I was eagerly anticipating putting it on the turntable. I wasn’t sure how it could live up to the follow up, but was hoping it was more of the same. Christ almighty was I wrong, it’s absolutely pants. I’ve played it twice, and that second time was when I was writing this. Looks like I was wrong. Not for the first time. It’s not as dreadful as I thought. Side Beemis of Tweez is certainly a musical pointer to Spiderland  but there is no standout track. I’ve also noticed that taking out the record from its sleeve has also released a rather peculiar smell into my music room.  On side Gerber the track Darlene would not be out of the place on the follow-up:

I can easily live without hearing the remaining tracks on that side. So on reflection, Tweez is not one for the “what the hell was I thinking of???” pile (the Turin Brakes and Thomas Dolby),  it was no punt on a band or singer I’d never heard before or only heard one song or read a review. Nope, it was what I assumed would be a safe bet but left me underwhelmed.

Of course Spiderland is a fantastic record. 40 minutes of broody threatening vocal, of broody threatening music, of jaggedy guitar sounds, of the occasional explosion into a cacophony of guitars and shouting. Six lengthy-but-too-much tracks, and with the track 3 side 2 they saved the best ‘til last. A better song you will not hear today (although you’ll have to dig out your own copy, you’re not getting it here). What is not to like?

And that was it. No more from Slint, which was probably for the best. We can think of Tweez as a try-out, and Spiderland as the magnus opus, and anything after would not be able to live up to that album, or a radical change in musical direction would be required.

That track to be blasted out at “call-the-police” volumes.

So there we have it. It would take an exceptionally contrary individual to disagree with Spiderland being maybe the prime example of Second Is Better Than First.

Thank you kindly.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Dead Reckoning

2020 Charity Shop Purchase 26 The Jellyman's Daughter - Dead Reckoning

The  raison d'être of this blog is finally back! At the weekend I donned a mask and visited a couple of charity shops (those that were open) on  Glasgow's Victoria Rd my first such excursion since  pre lockdown March.

My first purchase was Dead Reckoning the 2018 second album by The Jellyman's Daughter on the Boat Duck label.
The are a folk duo from Edinburgh consisting of Emily Kelly on vocals, mandolin and acoustic guitar and Graham Cox on vocals,cello,mandolin, acoustic guitar, piano and e-bow acoustic guitar (no me neither).
The name rang a bell as one of my pals has seen them play a couple of times

I'm finding it easier to dip in and out of it rather than playing it in it's entirity. These two song in particular put me in mind of Tracey Thorn  from Everything But the Girl's Idlewild album in places

Penned in silver ink on the inner sleeve is a dedication thanking Laurie for fangirling. Not that much of a fan girl to hang onto the album though.

The Jellyman's Daughter - I Hope

The Jellyman's Daughter - The Worst of it All

Monday 27 July 2020

Heaven or Hell 14

Heaven lives to fight another week. I make it 7 votes for Robyn Hitchcock versus 3 for Drivin'n'Cryin' which takes the scores on the doors to Hell 9 Heaven 4.

Are we  on the road to redemption  or is the slippery slope inevitable?.
This week the ball is in the court of the Jayhawks to keep Hell at bay with Will I See You in Heaven (not if you don't win) of the excellent Rainy Day Music.
The unlikely ensemble looking to take is to the big bad fire are the Pistol Annies with Hell on Heels.
The Pistol Annies are a Nashvillve Country supergroup consisting of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley.

Who's it going to be
Heaven or Hell, the choice is yours.

The Jayhawks - Will I See You in Heaven

Pistol Annies - Hell on Heels

Sunday 26 July 2020

59 Today

59 today.
How did that happen?
On a positive note this time next year I will get my work pension and will be able to retire.
I also got some records.
Here are 3 as opposed to 59 songs for yout today.
Having Rol's Hot 100 Countdown to hand helps.

The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound (Acoustic)

1990s - 59

Blondie - 11:59

Saturday 25 July 2020

50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die - Barricades & Brickwalls

I'm not sure if anyone out there is still with me on this series but if there are they will be pleased to know that we are now 3/5ths of the way there.
Time then for our first, and only, visit to Australia for some Australiacana courtesy of Kasey Chambers.
I was swithering between her 1999 debut album The Captain and the 2001 follow up Barricades & Brickwalls and decided after some tooing and frowing to go for the latter. A potential candidate then for George's Second is Better than First series but like Laura Cantrell there is probably only a fag paper between them.

On this album she is joined by her dad Bill and the splendidly named Worm Werchon on song writing duties on a couple of tracks and the album is produced by her brother Nash.
Prior to going solo she was a member of the Dead Ringer Band alongside her father, her brother and her mother Diane
The album was on Warner Brothers but never became a hit in the States despite reaching number 1 in the Australian charts. The song Not Pretty Enough gave her her first Australian number 1 single
She obviously made a minor splash in the UK or else she would not have crossed my radar
I saw her play at Glasgow's 13th Note Club on Sunday 16th July 2000 (just over 20 years ago!) paying  £5.00 for the privilege

I picked up her third album 2004's Wayword Angel in a Glasgow shop a few years back so only another nine to go

Kasey Chambers - Barricades & Brickwalls

Kasey Chambers - Not Pretty Enough

Kasey Chambers - Runaway Train

Friday 24 July 2020

Here We Come, Walking Down the Street

Time for something by the original and best manufactured Boy Band The Monkees.
Mikey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davie Jones were chosen to star in a TV series from 1966 to 1971 about an imaginary band but quickly became the real thing and amazingly successful they were too outselling both the Beatles and the Stones at their peak in 1967.

Everyone's favourite bit of Monkees trivia is of course the fact that Mike Nesmith's mum invented Liquid Paper (aka Tipex) becoming a multi-millionaire in the process. Anyone under 30 has probably no idea what I'm talking about.

At first I thought that Can You Dig It was the same song as the one made famous by the Mock Turtles but they are similar but different

We're just tryin' to be friendly

Come and watch us sing and play
We're the young generation
And we've got something to say

Thursday 23 July 2020

Eat to the Beat

We had the family round for a curry on Saturday night when Union City Blue by Blondie popped up on the i-pod.
Someone thought that it was from Parallel Lines but I was able to correct them by saying it was from the 1979 follow up Eat to The Beat. The fact that I had played Parallel Lines a day or so ago helped.

When I featured Parallel lines a couple of years ago both Drew and Echorich commented that although it was a great album they both preferred the follow up.

I didn't pick up Eat to the Beat at the time and was only really familiar with the singles until I picked up a second hand copy from Cancer Research for £3(I know that as there is a sticker to that effect which will damage the sleeve if I try to remove it).
I've given it a couple of spins since the weekend and am quite taken by how raw and energetic some to the tracks are - almost harking back to the days of the Blondie and Plastic Letters albums.

Blondie - Union City Blue

Blondie - Eat to the Beat

Blondie - Living in the Real World

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Second is better than first. Part 5.

George writes:
When (if?) this is published I will be fast-approaching the half-way mark of my 58th year on the planet. An indication of my maturity and wisdom can be seen in, for example, my rejection of two albums I had briefly considered for this series. Both are pop albums from the early 1980s, and the second one contains an absolutely fabulous, vital, pop song. But it would be beyond thrawn to consider the relative merits of Kissing To Be Clever and Colour By Numbers, both albums are really pretty poor fare, and both contain more than a smattering of embarrassingly bad songs. With one notable exception (Church Of The Poison Mind, which was and still is a totally toptastic pop song).

(Today’s nonsense was mostly written before June 27th 2020. Why do I say that? Because on that day on this very blog, CC wrote an appreciation of a debut album. Quite rightly he praised the album as a must have. I just happen to think the follow-up is better.)

There’ll be no grumblings from Charity Chic himself regarding the albums featured, although he might disagree with my conclusion. It would be nice to write that today’s artiste BURST onto the British music scene courtesy of John Peel and a terrific first album, and subsequently released a string of big-selling albums that graced the  UK album charts. Nice but incorrect. Rather, Ms Cantrell was championed by Peel, and gathered a small band of fervent admirers, released two great albums, made a few more, and now seems to have stopped making records.

The debut Not The Tremblin’ Kind is a great, and simple, country album. It does not have a bad track on it. It’s an album like all great country albums, filled with songs of sadness, of woe, simple sing-along choruses, and well-played harmonious tunes. One of my favourite albums (and I suspect of CC). So here’s one of those plaintive sad songs delivered in Ms Cantrell’s rather delicate and at times slightly off key yet beguiling voice:

Hear that? Simple, and a great song.

So it was with some trepidation that I opened the casing of the second album. Would it slightly disappoint (as did Hillbilly Deluxe)? Would it pale almost into insignificance and never get played (Dragnet)? Of course the answer is a resounding NO, When The Roses Bloom Again somehow surpassed its predecessor. And is one of my favourite albums. The same musicians play again (with the exception of the drummer), it’s produced by the same person. Like the debut album this one features songs written by Ms Cantrell and some covers. It’s really more of the same. But better.

That is a cover of a “Mrs Wreckless Eric” (as Amy Rigby is never referred to) tune, which somehow escaped me until Mr. 27Leggies put me right. It’s faithful to the original, no great re-working done (or required), but it’s better. My neighbours tell me how much they enjoy hearing my voice “singing” along to the chorus (“que barrulho! Um som horrível!”)

And here’s a song with lyrics by Joe Cobb, music by Wilco

Billy Bragg and Wilco do the song, on vol 3 of Mermaid Avenue

Fine version, just not (nearly) as good as Ms Cantrell’s version. Ricky
 Skaggs and Bary Gibb have done this song (different music, same lyric).
 You can look that one out for yourselves.

So there we have it, When The Roses Bloom Again better than Not The
 Trembling Kind.

Thank you kindly.

CC writes:
As you can see from the link it was a close call as to which Laura Cantrell
album would feature in my 50 Americana albums.
When the Roses Bloom Again certainly would have been worthy of a feature.
I've never heard Mermaid Avenue 3.
Colour By Numbers is a better album than Kissing to be Clever

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Martha and Molly


Two artists for you today courtesy of Lost Map Records the label run by The Pictish Trail from the Isle of Eigg
We will start with Claire Martha Ffion McKay from Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland but based in Glasgow .
She has an album out shortly called Nights to Forget which is available on pre-order. I'm eagerly awaiting my copy
Here's the song After the Fact as a taster


Molly Linen is a  Shropshire born but Glasgow based singer songwriter and to quote the Lost Map speal her beguiling voice is both emotive yet serene recalling the dulcet whispered tones of Cat Power, layered upon melodic guitar lines which draw influence from artist such as Devon Sproule and Nick Drake.
Her 5 track 2019 debut EP Outside is also available on Bandcamp and is very good indeed.

Good to see new talent coming through

Martha Ffion - Record Sleeves

Monday 20 July 2020

Heaven or Hell 13

Despite a late rally it was another comprehensive victory for Hell with Sweet and Hell Raiser running out 10-3 winners over Fiction Factory and Feels Like Heaven
The score is therefore now Hell 9 Heaven 3.
So if Heaven does not win this week it's all over. No pressure.
The act taking on this responsibility are Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians with Heaven a song that I've taken from an excellent ICA by Pat Jennings The Swede. So one potential vote for Heaven then
The act charged with getting Hell over the line first time round are Atlanta Southern Rock band Drivin'n'Cryin' with Straight to Hell (no not THAT one)

Is it all over or are we back next week for more?
Who's it going to be
Heaven or Hell, the choice is yours

Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Heaven

Drivin'n'Cryin' - Straight to Hell

Sunday 19 July 2020

The Auld Triangle

The Auld Triangle is a well known Irish folk song usually attributed to Brendan Behan.
It is a song about someone being incarcerated in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin on the banks of the Royal Canal
It has been covered by the great and the good of the folk world including The Dubliners and The Pogues. I've seen the Dubliners perform it live at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall.
Bob Dylan, Jeff Tweedy and Cat Power have also recorded versions.

I was minded to feature it today after hearing an absolutely stunning acapela version by Americana artist Eileen Rose from her latest album Muscle Shoals.

The original jingly jangly music!

The Dubliners - The Auld Triangle

Eileen Rose - The Auld Triangle

Saturday 18 July 2020

50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die - Soul Journey

Gillian  Welch's music is a bit sparse and intense and is not for everyone. It is, however, right up my street.
She is hardly the most prolific of artists  releasing only 5 albums from 1996 to 2011 all in the company of trusted lieutenant Dave Rawlings. She has also peformed and recorded as part of Dave Rawlings Machine.
I saw the two of them perform together at a sold out Glasgow Barrowlands and you could have heard a pin drop.
It was a tough call as to which album to feature - Revival (1996), Hell Among the Yearlings (1998), Time (The Relevator)(2001) and The Harrow & the Harvest (2011) were all in contention.
In the end I went for Soul Journey from 2003.
As well as their traditional acoustic guitar and banjo , electric guitar, drums and organ also sneak in but this does not detract from her strong American roots influence. The album is on the Acony label and is produced by Dave Rawlings.

The good news is that  more recently in 2016 Boots No 1: The Official Revival Bootleg was released with All the Good Times Are Past & Gone  an album of acoustic covers recordedat home on a reel to reel is scheduled for release on or around now.
So hopefully she has her mojo back and we will see her back in the studio sometime soon.

Gillian Welch - Look at Miss Ohio

Gillian Welch - No One Knows My Name

Friday 17 July 2020

Kinky Friday

Whenever there is any retrospective of British popular music in the 60's the focus is almost inevitably on The Beatles and the songs of Lennon and McCartney.
Occasionally The Rolling Stones and Jagger and Richards may get a cursory menion.
Criminally the Kinks and the songs of Ray Davies are almost alway totally ignored

I've just been listening to Spotlight on the Kinks a 24 track double album. Every track on it is a stone cold pop classic and  equal to anything that the Fab Four ever produced and in many cases better.

Here are three examples.
Did Lennon and McCartney ever write anything as good as Waterloo Sunset?
I think not.

The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset

The Kinks - Lola

The Kinks - Days

Thursday 16 July 2020

Bop Till You Drop

Mrs CC randomly  picked out San Patricio a concept album by The Chieftains with Ry Cooder to play with dinner the other day.
"Tell me about Ry Cooder" she said. Ten minutes later, with her eyes glazed over you could tell that she was beginning to regret posing that question.
By this time I had dug out the only vinyl album I have by Ry which is his 8th album Bop Till You Drop from 1979 on Warner Brothers. It cost me £1.49 second hand in Glasgow's Missing Records.

The album mainly consists of covers of early rhythm & blues and rock'n'roll classics but its main claim to fame is that it was first digitally recorded  major label album in popular music. Sadly for me despite that it is not valuable and you can pick it upo from as little as £2.84 on discogs.

I've featured  the opening track Little Sister which was a monster hit for Elvis Presley and which was also covered by Dwight Yoakam. I was all set to follow that with a fairly faithful rendition of Arthur Alexander's Go Home Girl when I noticed that he was accompanied by the mighty Chaka Khan on Don't You Mess  Me Up  a Good Thing which led to a swift change of plan

Ry Cooder - Little Sister

Ry Cooder (with Chaka Khan) - Don't You Mess Me Up a Good Thing

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Second is better than first. Part 4.

George writes:

Some groups/singers make a series of albums that show an improvement on their predecessors, and reach a peak before tailing off, with the occasional damned fine album in amongst a load of nonsense. Dylan.

Some bands release a series of humdrum albums that fail to show there is any depth behind a series of brilliant singles and suddenly release an absolutely stunning album. The Rolling Stones.

And some bands make a second album that is far far superior to its predecessor  I’m wrong there, 604 is a splendid album, but it is really not better than Light and Magic. The second release is  a moodily magnificently majestic masterpiece of dark electronica. It is one of my most played albums. And it does not contain any tracks reminiscent of the theme tune to Are You Being Served (namely Paco!) that appear on the debut. Not that P.A.C.O.! Is a bad song. Oh no!!

In my music room (yes, MY music room), I used to have a strict No Other Humans No Cats policy, but our most recent house arrival (below) has a need to be very close to either of us at all times, and now that he has learned to behave himself (ie not play with the damned hifi cables) he will lie in a sunny spot and sleep, then move to the shade and sleep, oblivious to any racket coming from the speakers. But he does seem to be a bit disturbed by tracks CSKA Sofia and Now That I’ve Found You.  

Light And Magic has no effect on him whatsoever. But man alive it has an effect on me, in that it has to be played at idiotically antisocial volumes when next door is vacant (which is most of the time). As with 604 when the lead vocal is by Mira Aroyo the delivery is flat almost atonal. It certainly adds to the dark atmospheric of the album. For some tracks the vocal (not sure if it is Ms Aroyo or Helen Marnie) can be rather disturbingly “breathy” or an almost spoken delivery. Anyway, not a conventional sing-along to the music. Lyrically the tracks are not exactly heartwarming (such as Seventeen, maybe the best known track on the album). It just seems to build on the debut. After opening with two blistering tracks (True Mathematics and Seventeen) you might think it’ll tail off. Not a chance, as you will hear with track 3:

I think that’s a Ms. Aroyo vocal. And hear how well-constructed that track is with those slight variations throughout? 

And you’d think, well, three great songs, well, it’s downhill from now.. The best song on the album is track 6. And then there’s track 11 disabuses any notion of a drop in quality:

Thank christ the neighbours are out. And it just keeps on going, track after damned fine track, to The Reason Why, and the final “hidden” track on my cd (a 2 minute-ish instrumental).

But despite, or because of(?), the feel Light And Magic is a must-have album.  And even though there’s nothing light about the music, it certainly is magic. It’s a bloody brilliant album.  And it’s another example of Second Is Better Than First.

Thank you kindly.

CC writes - a band I'm not familiar with so interesting to hear. Pleasant enough but not really my cup of tea.
Any plans for the first two Roxy Music albums to feature in this series?

Tuesday 14 July 2020

The White Room of Confusion

I've just searched and re-searched the blog archives and apparently I have never featured anything by The KLF let alone their 1991 seminal album The White Room. I'm not having that.

The only explanation I can offer is that I've tried before but gave up as the track list on the CD seems to different to what is coming out the speakers. It is the KLF after all. I remember being somewhat confused at the time of purchase.
The internet was not around then to offer an explanation which is namely The UK CD release (JAMS CD006)'s sleeve lists it as a 9-track CD, however the disc only has 8 tracks. Track 4 "Church of the KLF" is on the end of the track 3, moving all other tracks up a number. The sleeve also states the album is 45:05 long but in fact it is only 43:43 long. Wish I'd known that back then.

I think I've got it sorted but if not please bear with me.
Mad as a box of frogs - but in a good way

The KLF - Last Train to Transcentral

The KLF - Justified and Ancient

Monday 13 July 2020

Heaven or Hell -12

It was The Netherlands 1 England 0 last week. A comprehensive victory by Bettie Seveet over the Kane Gang who were just too smooth for most of you.
That takes the running total to Hell 8 Heaven 3.
So Hell is nearly home and hosed. Can Fiction Factory with Feels Like Heaven bridge the gap?. I've just discovered that their album Throw the Warped Wheel Out is on the shelves together with a free 12" single. It's not one of mine so it is either Mrs CC's or her sister's.

A change of mood in the Hell Camp as Fiction Factory go toe to toe with The Sweet and Hell Raiser which reached number 2 in the UK singles charts in 1973 sandwiched between Blockbuster and The Ballroom Blitz

Who's it going to be
Heaven or Hell, the choice is yours

Fiction Factory - Feels Like Heaven

The Sweet - Hell Raiser

Sunday 12 July 2020

Nick Drake - A Treasury

Nick Drake only released three albums in his short and troubled live - Five Leaves Left (1969),Bryter Layter (1971) and Pink Moon (1972)
Of these only Five Leaves Left currently graces the shelves.
As is often the way there are a number of compilation albums cashing in and delving into his small canon of work. There are at least seven out there.
We have two of them Way to Blue - An Introduction to Nick Drake and the one above Nick Drake - A Treasury. At least one and possibly both are charity jobs.

Mrs CC was playing A Treasury the other night and these two tracks jumped out at me.
Coincidently they are tracks 8 and 9 from Bryter Layter which tells me that it really should be acquired

Nick Drake - Poor Boy

Nick Drake - Northern Sky