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Monday 22 April 2024

Musical Mum Memories

 

Steve Earle?


I was in the car the other day with Mrs CC and her mum when Emma by Hot Chocolate  came on the USB player. I regaled them with the tale that I was once doing the dishes with Steve Earle on the cassette player. 

"Who's that?" asked my mum "Steve Earle" I replied. "Is that the bloke from Hot Chocolate?" she replied. " No mum that's Errol Brown". Close but no cigar.

Then there was the time when the Clash were on. "Is that Spanish Bums that they are singing?" Again close but no cigar.

Finally when Blue Monday by New Order was playing she thought there was something wrong with the plumbing!

Miss you mum.

Hot Chocolate - Emma

The Clash - Spanish Bombs

New Order - Blue Monday


Sunday 21 April 2024

Sunday Highway Songs 3

 


Again a nice quiet highway for a Sunday drive.

Could it be a Highway to Heaven? The sixties Detroit soul band The Dramatics certainly seem to think so. It was a single in 1964 from their album Dramatically Yours.

Alternatively could it be a Highway to Hell? These posts aren't just thrown together you know! You can rest easy,  you are not getting the Aussie upstarts as they are far to loud for a Sunday. Rather you are getting the Bloodshot stalwarts Red Star Belgrade.

Could that be a theme for another series I wonder- Red Star Belgrade, St Etienne, Kaiser Chiefs ...

No Heaven or Hell but rather Sundown for this week's final Highway trip from Scott Hirsch a founding member of Hiss Golden Messenger.

More Highway adventures next Sunday.


The Dramatics - Highway to Heaven

Red Star Belgrade -Highway to Hell

Scott Hirsch - Sundown Highway

Saturday 20 April 2024

Saturday Shuffle 50

 


A half century of shuffles! How did that happen? 150 songs and as far as I am aware no doublers.

The good or bad news depending on where you stand there are currently 2467 songs on the MP3 player with more no doubt to follow. This series could run and run which suits me (and hopefully you!) . It doesn't take much thought and covers one day of the week with minimum effort.

It is only fitting that we start this week's offerings with something by the Reverend. Reverend Al Green that is with the song What a Wonderful Thing Love Is.

Heaven 17 have featured on the shuffle before but not with Play to Win yet another excellent song from the brilliant Penthouse and Pavement album.

We conclude this week with The Walkmen and the stonking Lost in Boston.

More like this next Saturday.


Al Green - What a Wonderful Thing Love Is

Heaven 17 - Play to Win

The Walkmen - Lost in Boston

Friday 19 April 2024

The Home Nations 4

 


Looking at the meagre lists of songs I have by artists from Wales and Northern Ireland I don't think that I will get more than 6 weeks out of this series. In the meantime let's bash on.

England first (isn't it always?) I was going to post England's Glory by Max Wall until it dawned on me that I had a version by Ian Dury somewhere. Sure enough there is a live version as a bonus track on my CD copy of New Boots and Panties !!

Northern Ireland seems to have been well represented during the Punk era. In addition to the previously featured Undertones there was also Stiff Little Fingers. I couldn't not feature Alternative Ulster in this series.

As icons go there are few better than Alex Harvey the legendary Scottish lead singer from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Their Live album from 1975, recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon, remains one of me favourite live albums. Here is track 1 side 2 Give My Compliments to the Chef.

Welsh blue-eyed Soul singer Aimee Anne Duffy shone brightly for a couple of years with two great albums Rockferry (2008) and Endlessley (2010). She then disappeared as quickly as she has arrived and sadly seems to have had a somewhat troubled life since then. Here is Mercy , the second single from Rockferry, and a number one hit.

More next Friday hopefully.

Ian Dury - England's Glory (Live)

Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster

Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Give My Compliments to the Chef

Duffy - Mercy


Thursday 18 April 2024

Unknown Pleasures

 


Now before you get excited at the back it is not Unknown Pleasures the dirge from Joy Division but  rather Unknown Pleasures  a compilation by Uncut magazine of rare and classic tracks from the archives of Demon Records.

Just look at this tracklist It has been converted to a download with the intention of it going to charity as part of the Compilation Cull. However I have  just had a change of heart. As things stand I can't bear to part with it at this stage even although I have the vast majority of the songs elsewhere. I'm sure that it will go eventually but not just now.

God, this can be hard at times!

Three quarters of the 20 tracks are worthy of inclusion here today but with better will power than above I have restricted myself to three absolute belters.


Loudon Wainwright III - Your Mother And I

Edwyn Collins - You Poor Deluded Fool

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Tokyo Storm Warning

Wednesday 17 April 2024

A.M.

 


We were watching the latest series of the Norwegian crime drama  Wisting on BBC 4 on Saturday night.

In one scene the daughter of the main character was splitting up with her boyfriend. He was round collecting his stuff and bequeathed her a vinyl copy of A.M. by Wilco. She was so impressed that they both had  their clothes ripped off five minutes later.

I can't say that it has ever had that affect on me. From 1995 it is the debut album by the band set up by Jeff Tweedy following the break up of Uncle Tupelo.

I've only ever had a burn of it as I did not really get into the band  until the next two albums - Being There (1996) and Summerteeth (1999) when I really got into them big style.

I was having problems ripping the burned copy to MP3 so I downloaded  the Deluxe edition from 2017 which has remastered versions of the original 13 songs along with a further 7 plus one by Uncle Tupelo.

Here's three that were on the original number including the only single Box Full of Letters.

Wilco -Box Full of Letters

Wilco - Shouldn't Be Ashamed

Wilco -Passenger Side

Tuesday 16 April 2024

On the Buses - A Very Special Guest Post

 


Following incessant pressure from Ernie I am now including Buses as the next theme for Transport Tuesday.

I am totally humbled to say that we are starting proceedings with a very special guest post from our dear friend Brian of Linear Tracking Lives! fame. He still comments on blogs regularly but I think that this is the first time since he stepped down that he has offered up a guest post. And it is totally worth the wait.

Take it away Brian:

The above art is from a split 7" that came out in 1993 and is shared by German bands Die Fünf Freunde and Die Time Twisters, Verdammt!

The sleeve suggests otherwise, but none of the songs appearing on the 45 have anything to do with buses. The use of it today is merely a cheap plug for the wonderful song "Jetzt" by Die Fünf Freunde. Nearly a decade ago the song squeaked in at number 100 in my Top 100 Tracks from the 1990s

Now let's hop on some buses, and don't pull the cord too early because we are making stops in Australia, America, and the UK. No worries. Free transfers!

First up is late '80s Melbourne band Captain Cocoa, headed up by twin brothers Glenn and David O'Neil and a revolving door of musicians. The band's original recordings go for bags of cash these days. Fortunately, for those of us all about the jangle, trumpets and budgets, Firestation Records assembled a well-done compilation of their work in 2022. The lads make it clear the beautiful people are not welcome on their route with the splendid "Barbies Off the Bus."

Captain Cocoa - Barbies of the Bus

I picked up one boxed set in 2023, and it has given me hours of pleasure. The 1985 album 'Tim’ from The Replacements receives a  new mix from Ed Stasium, and the original album loses its cloudy sound with a crisp remaster. There is also an entire disc of rare and unreleased tracks and another disc containing a live show from my old stomping ground, Cabaret Metro in Chicago, circa 1986. Nearly as important is the lengthy booklet telling the jaw-dropping tale of the band's self sabotage in front of every major label only to have Seymour Stein save the day. We know CC has earned his bus pass, but Paul Westerberg sings of a different kind of pass with "Kiss Me on the Bus." Here is a decidedly louder and less melodic studio outtake.

The Replacements - Kiss Me on the Bus

One downside of retiring a blog is you tend to lose touch with your online pals. Even though we haven't conversed in a long while, I thought of our mutual friend, The Swede , the moment this bus idea popped up. We have a shared love of Robyn Hitchcock, and Hitchcock is a man who loves a good mode of transportation, particularly trains and buses. I envy the Swede for seeing Hitchcock perform at a venue as unique as the Ipswich Transport Museum, and our chum chose the same song to accompany his post about the show as I thought of for this post on buses." Raymond and the Wires" is Hitchcock's vivid recollection of a trolley-bus ride he took with his dad in 1964. This one tugs at the heartstrings. I dedicate this pick to the Swede. Let's catch up soon, friend.

Robyn Hitchcock - Raymond and the Wires


 Last stop takes us to Preston and a record shop that has been around for more than 40 years. Action Records has been a label as well, releasing music by the Fall, Boo Radleys and today's choice, indie popsters Big Red Bus. I didn't really know this band until the turn of the century when a song popped up on the first volume of 'The Sound of Leamington Spa' series. Big Red Bus released a scant two 12" singles and a mini album between 1989 and 1991, and that's it. One song appears on Cherry Red's 'C89' box, and Firestation released a band compilation on CD in 2017. I never imagined I would ever see any of their original releases in a shop. Inexplicably, I found the mini album while on vacation in Palm Springs a few years ago. It was a good day.

Thanks, CC. Looking forward to seeing more buses leaving the depot on these pages.

Big Red Bus - Cathedral Walls

CC writes

The thanks are all mine Brian. It is an honour and a privilege to host you on these pages.

Another guest post will feature next Tuesday

 

Monday 15 April 2024

U.S. Highball

 


In December 2021 I saw Dropkick for the first time at a sparsely populated Hug and Pint. The were supported by Hugh Sturgeon & the Infomaniacs and U.S Highball

U.S Highball were on first. Two quirky Glasgow lads (James Hindle and Calvin Halliday) pootering about on synths for about 20 minutes. It didn't do much for me at the time

A good while later out of curiosity I downloaded their 2023 album No Thievery, Just Cool. I then forgot all about it until fairly recently when I got round to giving it a listen.

Quirky yes and a bit twee but also surprisingly catchy and good fun. "Is that Teenage Fanclub?" Mrs CC asked. A good shout but I would have them more in the BMX Bandits camp. It seems that they have a bit of a cult following and the good folk in Monorail appear to be fans.

So too is our dear friend Brian who I know is also a fan and it is payback for something which will appear here tomorrow.


U.S Highball - Irresponsible Holiday

U.S. Highball - Paris 2019


Sunday 14 April 2024

Sunday Highway Songs 2

 



One good thing about Sunday's is that the highways are usually quieter than normal.

Kicking off the Highway songs for this week are The Doors with Queen of the Highway from their Morrison Hotel album. A song called Highway Queen is scheduled to appear later in this series .

Next up is Joe Pug with Highway Patrolman. If you are thinking " hang on, is that not a Springsteen song?" you are not wrong there. Joe's version is taken from a compilation/ tribute album Return to Nebraska acknowledging the Boss' greatest album.

Finally, for this week it is the turn of the great Lefty Frizzell. He often wore his heart on his sleeve but today it's on the highway.

We will be hitting the highway again next Sunday.

The Doors - Queen of the Highway

Joe Pug - Highway Patrolman

Lefty Frizzell - Heart's Highway

Saturday 13 April 2024

Saturday Shuffle 49

 


I had a major catastrophe when I was at the gym yesterday. The MP3 player had run out of gas and I was subjected to the dross which pumps out of the speakers. I must have left it on the last time I used it.

When I got home the first thing I did was charge it and I did a shuffle while this took place.

First out the hat was a bit of glam. From 1973 here is a song written by Ian Hunter and performed by Mott the Hoople. Roll Away the Stone entered the charts on 24th November 1973 and stayed there for 12 weeks peaking at number 8. I played my small part in this as I bought the single.

Something a lot more up to date for the second offering. From earlier on this this year in fact . Present Tense is taken from The Shakes the most recent album by Glasgow's Savage Mansion

Finally a song which I am much less familiar with. Along Comes Mary by The Association is taken from a compilation which has appeared here a few times before Jon Savage's 1966 - The Year the Decade Exploded. It was a top ten hit in the US but did not trouble the UK charts.

The half century Shuffle will be along next Saturday


Mott the Hoople - Roll Away the Stone

Savage Mansion - Present Tense

The Association - Along Comes Mary


NB - you very nearly got 53 Miles West of Venus by the B52's until I noticed that it had appeared on Saturday Shuffle 23

Friday 12 April 2024

The Home Nations - 3

 


I remembered this week!

As per the last two times  the nations will feature in alphabetical order to stop accusations of bias or favouritism.

Therefore we start with England - not because it is the biggest and thinks it is superior to the others - but because it is the first of the four alphabetically.

We will start this week with the wonderful PJ Harvey with the title track from her excellent 2011 album Let England  Shake. I kind of lost touch with her after this one, something I should probably try to rectify.

Next we are off to Downpatrick, County Down in Northern Ireland the hometown of the band Ash. Although they have had many great songs and albums they have never bettered Girl From Mars from their 1996 debut album 1977.

Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote was commissioned to produce a soundtrack to the documentary From Scotland with Love. Mrs CC and I were privileged to see him perform the album in its entirety at a eerie Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow in March 2020 a couple of days prior to lockdown. Here is his homage to the Ayrshire seaside town of Largs.

Finally we have the Super Furry Animals a Welsh band who are even better than The Stereophonics. Hard to believe I know but it's true.

More jingoistic nonsense next Friday.

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

Ash - Girl From Mars

King Creosote -Largs

Super Furry Animals - Hermann Loves Pauline

Thursday 11 April 2024

The Trouble Tree

 


The Missing Haul - Freedy Johnston - The Trouble Tree

I was stood at the till in Missing when the chap behind it advised that he couldn't find the CD by Willie Campbell of Astrid fame which I'd hoped to buy. This was a first for me although how they find anything given the quantity of CDs and albums they have is a mystery to me.

I therefore had to pick up something else as part of a 3 for £5 package and I opted for The Trouble Tree the 1990 debut album by Freedy Johnson on the Bar/None label.

I've had the 1992 follow up Can You Fly for years and it is a big favourite of mine. So much so that I chose it as one of the 50 Americana Albums to Hear Before you Die series.

After a first couple of listens I'm still unsure about The Trouble Tree .It's a bit raw. Reviews range from 4/5 by Allmusic to 1/5 by The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. I'm somewhere in the middle

Trouser Press write that  it captures Johnston’s wheedling and whiny voice in extreme close-up, forcing listeners to seek refuge in overextended wordplay and spare guitar-based arrangements whereas The Spin Alternative Record Guide called it raw-sounding, infatuated with dangerous sorts, and a bit unformed lyrically.

Hopefully it will be a grower.

It appears to have two different covers. The one pictured above is the one I have.

Freedy Johnston -Gina

Freedy Johnston - Little Red Haired Girl

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Mike Mills Presens ....

 


I'm cracking on with the cull of compilation CDs currently in boxes as there is no room for them on the shelves.

As things stand about 40 or so, mostly from Mojo and Uncut, have been downloaded on to the hard-drive and stuck on a memory stick prior to going to charity (hidden under clothing in case they are reluctant to take them!.)

The R.E.M Collection Disc 1 - Mike Mills Presents an Uncut compilation from July 2005 was on the pile and very nearly went before I had second thoughts. 

The reason? Just look at this tracklist. The vast majority of the 14 tracks are from bands that I have a great deal of time for. I probably already have about half the tracks  but I couldn't let it go.

It is appeared on these pages once before when Green on Red and Jason & the Scorchers featured. This time round it is the turn of The Dream Syndicate, The Replacements and the Long Ryders.

Mr Mills certainly has good taste

The Dream Syndicate - Medicine Show

The Replacements - I Will Dare

The Long Ryders - And She Rides


The Blasters are on the phone - they want a word!



Tuesday 9 April 2024

Caravan Club (Slight Return) - A Guest Post

 


I'm delighted to say that we are concluding this series with a guest post from Dubhead himself. And no doublers from Rol's contribution last week. Take it away Khayem


Yanked from the conveyor belt, metres away from the compactor, here’s half a dozen caravan

songs that nearly ended up as neat-but-heavy cubes of crushed metal.

I have a long relationship with caravans: many childhood holidays in Weymouth, Clan K excursions

to Dorset and Pembrokeshire in the late 2000s. Lots of happy memories.

In the 1990s, an ex-girlfriend bagged a relative’s caravan in Dorset and whisked me away for a

romantic weekend. I don’t know what was more odd:

that said caravan was reminiscent of the one featured in that Father Ted episode ;

that was my girlfriend’s idea of a romantic weekend (though we were pretty broke at the time); or

that;

after a quick obligatory stop en route, my grandad gifted us with a 4-pound bag of runner beans,

plucked from his back garden. I kid you not, by day 3, we had pizza topped with runner beans and

still had plenty to bring home.

None of which I think has ever been successfully captured in song. However, here are half a dozen

triers.

Karl Wallinger, who sadly passed on 10th March, may well have had a similar experience, his song

You're a Hurricane , I'm  a Caravan appearing on World Party’s 2000 album, Dumbing Up.

If that isn’t quite evoking a cinematic experience for you, how about Juliette Dans La Caravane by

French hipsters The Limiñanas and Laurent Garnier from their 2021 album De Película?

Speaking of films, the first time I heard Duke Ellington’s 1936 classic was a cover version by the

Arthur Lyman Group which featured in the Clooney & Pitt remake of Ocean’s Eleven. But I’m not

going to share either of those. Instead you get the John Buzon Trio’s 1959 cover version, remixed

in 1999 by Eat Static. The latter were possibly staying in a caravan with the windows closed and

the bong on the go when they recorded this version.

Possibly under the influence of other mind-altering substances, Jim Morrison took to addressing

his caravan in the first person, beseeching it to carry him away to Portugal and Spain and “fields

full of grain” (but presumably not the rain that falls mainly on the plain). The rest of The Doors

indulged Jim’s nonsense ramblings by providing some beautiful music.

Last but not least, a couple of plain Caravan songs from John Cale (2003) and Inspiral Carpets

(1991) before the conveyor belt is fired up again and the hollow husks of holiday homes are tossed

back on to meet their fate.


World Party - You're a Hurricane, I'm a Caravan

The Liminanas/Laurent Garnier - Juliette Dans La Caravane

John Buzon Trio - Caravan (Eat Static Mix)

The Doors -Spanish Caravan

John Cale - Caravan

Inspiral Carpets - Caravan


CC writes:

Many thanks Khayem for bringing this series to an end. Swiss Adam will be happy to see the Inspiral Carpets getting an airing.


Monday 8 April 2024

Ghost on Ghost

 


The Missing Haul - Iron and Wine - Ghost on Ghost 

I've got a couple of things by Iron and Wine the nom de plume of Sam Beam - a burn of Our Endless Numbered Days coupled with the EP Sea and the Rhythm, a charity shop copy of The Shepherds Dog here and Years to Burn the LP he recorded with Calexico. All of which I enjoy.

It therefore made sense to pick up a copy of the 5th studio album Ghost to Ghost from 2013 on the 4AD label.

Wiki writes - Ghost on Ghost exhibits jazz, pop, and R&B influences and contains a more relaxed style and approach in comparison to Beam's previous two albums, which he felt contained an "anxious tension" he wanted to move away from.

And therein lies the rub. I've no objection to artists experimenting and trying different things, But in this case it does not always work for me to the extent that it sounds dangerously like Jack Johnson in places.

The critics disagree with the Metacritic aggregator giving it a very credible 76/100. Maybe I'm being too harsh after a first listen and it will grow on me over time. I hope so. I'm clearly missing the anxious tension. Further listens are required.

Iron and Wine - Caught in the Briars

Iron and Wine - Sundown (Back in the Briars)

Sunday 7 April 2024

Sunday Highway Songs


 

While sorting out some Mojo and Uncut CDs to go to charity I stumbled across a version of Lost Highway by Billy Bob Thornton. This got me thinking as to how many versions of this song I have. Quite a lot is the answer.

There are probably enough for a Single Song Sunday but I don't want to tread on Ernie's toes. Therefore I looked at all songs I have with Highway in the title and there are a barrel load. Certainly enough to keep a series going for a good few weeks.

Let's start then with Billy Bob. Then we have a couple of Scottish acts to keep him company The blues rock band Stone the Crows , who included Alex Harvey's brother Les and Maggie Bell among their members, weigh in with On the Highway. Finally we have the Radio Sweethearts a band I saw at King Tuts countless times supporting Americana acts with their single Heading on Down the Highway.

We will be heading down some more highways next Sunday.


Billy Bob Thornton - Lost Highway

Stone the Crows - On the Highway

Radio Sweethearts - Heading On Down the Highway


Saturday 6 April 2024

Saturday Shuffle 48



Another week, another shuffle.

The Isley Brothers are getting a bit ahead of themselves with Summer Breeze. Given that the clocks have gone forward I know that it is technically Spring but I am not prepared to accept that until it actually stops raining. It's well seen that the kids are off school for the Easter holidays!

A bit of disco should cheer us all up and take our minds off the rain. Here is the great British disco diva Maxine Nightingale with the brilliant Right Back Where We Started From.

Who knew that The Clash were massive basketball fans? Certainly not me. The Washington Bullets were a basketball team from 1974 to 1995 when they were re-named the Washington Wizards because of the violent overtones of the word bullet. It's just a pity that the vast majority of their American brothers are not similarly sensitive.

More Shuffling next Saturday

The Isley Brothers -Summer Breeze

Maxine Nightingale -Right Back Where We Started From

The Clash - Washington Bullets


Friday 5 April 2024

The Home Nations - a Belated Follow Up

 


A couple of weeks ago I posted a piece about the Home Nations with a view to starting a new series. I then completely forgot all about it and it was only a brief trawl through previous posts which jolted my memory.

As per the last time the nations will feature in alphabetical order to stop accusations of bias or favouritism.

Therefore we will start with England and who better to feature than the late great Kirsty MacColl with her interpretation of Billy Bragg's New England. I'm sure that Billy would concede that her version is better than his.

Last week the Undertones represented Northern Ireland .This time round it is the grumpy Irishman himself Sir George Ivan Morrison. He is accompanied by the Chieftains on Carrickfergus from their collaborative album Irish Heartbeat.

Lest I be accused of bigging up my home country Scotland here are indie darlings Ballboy with I Hate Scotland.

Last but by no means  least it is time for Welsh royalty with none other that the legend that is Cerys Matthews. Here she is with Gyrru's Ychen which according to Wiki translates as driving oxen. It sounds much better in Welsh.

A further Home Nations round up next Friday - if I remember.

Kirsty MacColl - New England

Van Morrison & the Chieftains - Carrickfergus

Ballboy - I Hate Scotland

Cerys Matthews - Gyrru'r Ychen

Thursday 4 April 2024

Helplessness Blues

 


Like the world and his wife I got caught up in the hype in 2008 and bought the Fleet Foxes eponymous debut album.

I subsequently got a copy of the follow up 2011's Helplessness Blues on Sub Pop/Bella Union from the library. I burnt it, played it a couple of times, and then filed it away on the Folk/Singer-Songwriter shelves where it has subsequently gathered dust for a good few years

The other day I converted the burn to a download to save space and thought that I should give it a listen. I must confess to not recognising any of the tunes and none particularly jumped out.

I am maybe in a minority in  being pretty underwhelmed as it was lauded by the vast majority of the critics and has a very impressive score of 85/100 on the Metacritic Aggregator and featured in pretty much every list of the top 50 albums of the year.

I've no regrets about demoting it to a digital only format.

Fleet Foxes - Lorelai

Fleet Foxes - Blue Spotted Tail

It's better than Knocked Down Loaded!

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Knocked Out Loaded

 


The Missing Haul - Bob Dylan - Knocked Out Loaded

One of my long term projects is to acquire the entire catalogue of Bob Dylan's studio albums preferably cheaply.

I'm doing reasonably well. I think that I now have 25 out of the 40 of them. Missing is a good place to fill in some of the blanks at a reasonable price.

As you can see above my latest acquisition is Knocked Out Loaded his 24th from 1986 and as always on the Columbia label.

It got panned by the critics and probably rightly so as this was not one of the best periods in Bob's long and normally illustrious career, This was reflected in the sales only reaching number 53 in the US and  35 in the UK. Only Rolling Stone appears to give it more than 2 out of 5. Even they say  Less bad than pointless, Knocked Out Loaded will prove most satisfying to those content to expect the very least from it.

If it wasn't part of this project I suspect that it may have been going back .If this was your introduction to Dylan you wouldn't go any further.

It will be interesting to see if anyone leaps to its defence. I won't be holding my breath.


Bob Dylan - Driftin' Too Far From Shore

Bob Dylan - Maybe Someday

Tuesday 2 April 2024

The Caravan Club - A Guest Post

 


I was just about to give up on this mode of transport and move on to buses when just like buses two guest posts came along at once.

First off here's Rol a man who never shirks a challenge


I don’t really see the appeal of caravans. They seem to exist just to slow down the

traffic on narrow country lanes. Also, I used to write radio ads for a large caravan

company, and the guy who ran it was a bit of a knob. Put me off them for life.

I like caravan songs though, so I was disappointed when CC called time on his

Caravan Club after just a couple of weeks. Here’s an extension then… like one of

those big awnings people stick on the front of their caravans to make them feel extra

smug.


We’ll start with Luke Haines, who seems like exactly the sort of contrary curmudgeon

who would enjoy snarling up the traffic on a Bank Holiday Monday, though I’m sure

he restricts his holidays to the south of England as he doesn’t like going further than

Watford Gap.

Luke Haines - Caravan Man


Haines will probably bump into Essex lad Darren Hayman on many a south coast

caravan site. They probably have plots reserved, right next to each other, and just

across from the shower block. Hayman used to be the main man in Hefner, but I

guess he got sick of the rest of the band eating all his Pringles, so now he caravans

on his own.

Darren Hayman - Caravan Song


Folk star Mick Softley is another Essex lad, though sadly he won’t be joining Luke

and Darren on their holidays, as he went off to the great caravan park in the sky

back in 2017.

Mick Softley – Caravan

Mick Softly - Caravan


The Teens were Germany’s answer to the Bay City Rollers, apparently. I bet they got

up extra early to make sure they reserved the best plot on the site.

The Teens - Gypsy Caravan


Finally, a wonderful mash-up I came across many years ago somewhere on the

blogosphere, mixing Caravan of Love by The Housemartins (as previously featured

here) with This Charming Man by The Smiths. Children of the 80s: this is your

heaven!

10,000 Spoons - This Charming Caravan


CC writes:

Thanks Rol - that awning certainly did the job. Five songs that are new to me and all excellent in their own way (the last one being somewhat unique!)

Another guest will be joining the Caravan Club next Transport Tuesday

Monday 1 April 2024

Sometimes I Wish I Never Heard the Rolling Stones

 


I can't name names but someone very kindly forwarded me a copy of Glasgow Eyes by The Jesus and Mary Chain. I am not particularly a fan  of the band but like the curate's egg it is good in parts.

One particular song which appealed to me was The Eagles and The Beatles which seems to more about the Rolling Stones.

This got me thinking  of other songs where the Stones get a namecheck. The most obvious one is the song by Michael Hall and the Woodpeckers which lends its name to this post title 

Finally a couple where they feature briefly. From the album Halcyon Days I give you Jason & the Scorchers with Moonshine Guy/Releasing  Celtic Prisoners where they like the Stones and hate the Doors and think The Beatles sing for girls.

In 1977 The Clash are less than impressed with Elvis, Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

No doubt Rol could provide another  20 or 30 but that will do me for now.


The Jesus and Mary Chain - The Eagles and the Beatles

Michael Hall & the Woodpeckers - Sometimes I Wish I Never Heard the Rolling Stones

Jason & the Scorchers - Moonshine Guy/Releasing Celtic Prisoners

The Clash - 1977


Sunday 31 March 2024

The Past is Still Alive



There is so much music out there it is virtually impossible to keep up with it all and to weed out the wheat from the chaff.

Hurray for the Riff Raff is a name which periodically crosses my radar. That is the nom de plume of Alynda Segarra from the Bronx who formed the band in New Orleans way back in 2007. Since then they have  released an EP and 10 albums.

During that time I have come across the occasional song here and there and have briefly featured on these pages before here and here

 I recently downloaded a copy of their latest album The Past is Still Alive. I quite enjoyed it but not enough to rush out and buy it or to take the time and expense to see them perform live even although I suspect they would put on a good show. In the unlikely event that I ever found any of their albums in a charity shop I would certainly swoop.

Too little time and money, too many bands


Here is one from the new album and two older ones.

Hurray for the Riff Raff - Buffalo

Hurray for the Riff Raff - Look Out Mama

Hurray for the Riff Raff - Hungry Ghost







Saturday 30 March 2024

Saturday Shuffle 47

 


Week 47 of Saturday Shuffle and we move to a new dimension a trip into outer space . Like Teenage Fanclub with this song from their 1997 masterpiece Songs from Northern Britain I feel the Planets surround me

Indeed like Cake with their first single from their 1996 album Fashion Nugget you could say that we have gone The Distance with our trip into space.

Waxahatchee on her 2020 album Saint Cloud does not get as far as space. She does manage a trip to Arkansas though where she notes that West Memphis is on Fire

More songs celestial or otherwise, distant or near, on fire or not or something completely different on next Saturday's Shuffle


Teenage Fanclub - Planets

Cake - The Distance

Waxahatchee - Fire

Friday 29 March 2024

Sheffield Steel

 

The Sheffield Nativity



On Monday I had the enormous pleasure of meeting up with Spence from Sheffield our regular Friday night commentator.

Together with his family he had, for a birthday treat, enjoyed hospitality on his first visit to see his beloved Scottish team Stenhousemuir at Ochilview. Unfortunately for them it was a nil-nil draw with Peterhead but it seems that they had a great time no doubt comforted by the fact that Stennie are still a stick on for promotion.

Thereafter he and his wife Cathy spent a couple of days in Glasgow and I caught up with a him for a coffee. Unfortunately it was chucking it down. It is Raintown after all.

We spend a very pleasant hour or so gabbing away like old friends with the majority of the chat centring around football, blogging and music in general before venturing back out to the rain.

I said I would feature some songs today by bands from his home city. 

I hope you enjoy them Spence.

ABC - The Look of Love

Pulp - Do You Remember the First Time?

Human League - The Lebanon

Longpigs - On and On

Joe Cocker - Delta Lady


Thursday 28 March 2024

Townes

 


The Missing Haul - Steve Earle  - Townes

I used to be a fanatical fan of Steve Earle who I saw on multiple occasions and would buy his albums on vinyl and then on CD often on the day they were released.

He has released 21 studio albums and I have the first 10 on either vinyl or CD (with a couple on both) up to and including 2002's Jerusalem. Thereafter he slipped from near the top of my radar and I contented myself with burns/downloads of CDs more often than not from the library. I probably have about half a dozen or so including his 13th Townes from 2009 which was released on New West Records

It is well known that Steve was a friend and huge fan of Townes who he considered to be his mentor. There is of course his famous quote Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that"

It is also the first in a trilogy of artists who inspired him the others being Guy from 2019 paying tribute to Guy Clark and Jerry Jeff from 2022 referencing Jerry Jeff Walker .

I had this in my hand as part of the 3 for £5 deal. I thought I had put it back and replaced it with something else given I had a burn of it but no I hadn't. Still I am happy to have the upgrade  on CD and it will now replace the burn on the Americana shelves.







Wednesday 27 March 2024

Time (The Relevator)

 



The Missing Haul - Gillian Welsh - Time (The Relevator)

I’m not having much joy in terms of Charity Shop purchases of late.

Time then to adopt Plan B with a trip to Missing Records to take advantage of their 3 for £5 selections. Another benefit of this is that there is far more fairly decent Americana on offer than you average Charity shop.

On my latest trip I hit the jackpot at the start of my browsing when I stumbled across Time (The Relevator) by Gillian Welsh -  From 2001 and on the Alcony label it was her third studio album and up until now the only one of hers that I didn't have in some shape or form.

And what a record it is. Quite possible her best. The critics seem to agree giving it a whopping 86/100 on the Metacritic Aggregator. Paste go as far as to name it as number 7 in their top 50 albums of the decade. Not bad for £2 or £1.67 if you buy in bulk.

I'm not sure as to why it has taken me so long to get it but it was definitely worth the wait. The music is sparse but haunting. She truly is a unique talent.

My external CD drive is playing silly buggers so I have had to access these files via other sources.


Gillian Welch - Revelator

Gillian Welch - Elvis Presley Blues

Tuesday 26 March 2024

The End of the Road

 


I'm afraid it is the end of the road as far as Caravans are concerned.

it's knackers yard time but not before we salvage what we can.

An instrumental called  Caravan you say? Why not? Here is one by George Jenkins . I also have a copy of this by Sandy Nelson.

Another version of The Isley Brothers classic Caravan of Love you say? Why not? Here are the 4th Best Band in Hull with their cover version which was the UK Christmas number 1 in 1986.

A funky song by Burano and his Gypsy Caravan you say? Why not? Here is Good Time Girl

A cover of a Clash song by a Rockabilly band called The Caravans you say? I'm not sure that is actually a good idea but let's do it nevertheless.

That's Caravans done and dusted.

Lest I am accused of being unreasonable I am willing to bow to Ernie and have Buses as the next theme for Transport Tuesday on the proviso that he provides a guest post.

I may have another exciting guest post lined up and obviously if anyone else is willing to provide one they will be more than welcome.

Sandy Nelson - Caravan

The Housemartins - Caravan of Love

Burano and his Gypsy Caravan - Good Time Girl

The Caravans -Jail Guitar Doors


Monday 25 March 2024

The Hanging Stars at the Glad Cafe

 


John beat me to it and with a much better post and pictures to boot

On Friday at the sold out  Glad Cafe it was a privilege to see The Hanging Stats  promoting their new album  On a Golden Shore. Along with the likes of  the Rose City Band they are exponents of what I would describe as Cosmic Psychedelic Americana which is something which totally floats my boat.

I say them play at Stereo in October 2022 and they were pretty good although that set was a good bit short with no encore. This time round it was a longer and much better set with a terrific encore.

Support came from local band The Poachers. Their guitarist Seb cut my back hedge last year. He never came back to do the laurels; probably too busy rehearsing.

The band (Hanging Stars that is) were very tight and obviously were enjoying themselves. They had the audience eating out of the palm on their hand.  Richard Olson is a great front man and when Joe Harvey-Whyte lets loose on the pedal steel it is  truly something to behold.

My gig of 2024 so far by a country mile. It will take something very special to better it.

Ava is for John!

The Hanging Stars - Golden Shore

The Hanging Stars - Ava

Sunday 24 March 2024

Losing My Religion

 


Seeing as how today is Sunday I thought that I would share some religious bands with you.

Lets start then with the Baptist Generals an indie band from the town of Denton in Texas. They released a couple of albums in 1998 and 2002 with an EP in between them but it was not until 2013 that they released their third and final album to date. Pat the Rub is taken from the compilation album Awesome from Munich Records - or as the cover states - a compilation of American bands on a Dutch label named after a German town.

Frank Black surely need no introduction although you may know him better as Black Francis of Pixies fame. When I was working there was a sales rep called Frank Black who sold chairs for the elderly .I don't think he was the same one or part of the off shoot Frank Black & the Catholics

When the Silver Jews formed in 1989 they had two members of Pavement among their number  - Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovitch . By the time the band got to their fourth album Bright Flight in 2001, which is the only one I have, they were both long gone. The band was led by long time member David Berman with wife Carrie in tow.

I don't have any acts with Protestant in the title. I'm sure that there are many flute bands out there who sport that moniker but I will leave that to the knuckle draggers.

Finally with reference to the post title - all right then if you insist.

Baptist Generals - Pats the Rub

Frank Black and the Catholics - California Bound

Silver Jews - Tennessee

Nina Persson and Nathan Larsen - Losing My Religion

Saturday 23 March 2024

Saturday Shuffle 46

 


My MP3 player enjoyed its jaunt to Broughty Ferry. I got a lift up but it came in handy on the bus on the way back.

We are starting with today's cover star Willie DeVille from the CBGB's band Mink DeVille. I'm sure that you are all familiar with their song Spanish Stroll but perhaps less so with She's So Tough which also features on their 1977 debut album Cabretta.

Again if you are familiar with the band Hefner at all it may well be from their song The Day That Thatcher Dies which is taken from their 2000 album We Love The City. Today you are getting the title track off said album.

We conclude with Arizona alternative rock band (whatever that is) Gin Blossoms with the song Found Out About You the fourth and final single taken from their 1992 second album New Miserable Experience.

None of these three popped up on the bus.

More shuffling next Saturday.

Mink DeVille - She's So Tough

Hefner - We Love The City

Gin Blossoms -Found Out About You

Friday 22 March 2024

A Return to Choctaw Ridge

 


When I converted the great demo of Joanne by Mike Nesmith  which featured the other day at Martin's place from video to MP3 for inclusion in my 2024 memory stick the blurb said that it was taken from the above Ace compilation

Now I have the said album Choctaw Ridge (New Fables of the American South 1968-1973) and was pretty sure that it wasn't on it. It wasn't as this track list  confirms.

It doesn't really matter as it is still a great song. I'm a bit pleased  though that for once my memory hadn't let me down.

I have featured the album here once before when I featured 3 of the 24 tracks. Plenty more to chose from then.

I'm going to start with the ladies who contribute to about a quarter of the tunes. Most folk, including me, would be struggling to name a song by Jeannie C Riley other than Harper Valley PTA. This one, The Dark Side of Dallas is a tad more darker

Mr Walker, It's All Over by Billie Jo Spears on the other hand has more than a touch of Harper Valley about it.

As with the album there is only one way to finish and that is with the Silver Fox himself Charlie Rich with the epic Feel Like Going Home. You wont hear a better song today

Jeannie C Riley - The Dark Side of Dallas

Billie Jo Spears - Mr Walker, It's All Over

Charlie Rich - Feel Like Going Home