Monday, January 28, 2013

A Side of Eternity

1. A Celebration-U2- Hating on U2, or more accurately Bono (aka the pompous one) is an obvious/easy thing to do and ultimately pointless, same thing goes for the Grateful Dead. Most people have U2 records in their past anyway. I like this single a lot, as well as their first couple of records, the non-ironic years. For a long long time I didn't want to hear any of this stuff but enough years have passed that its fun to revisit these songs, lots of good/weird b-sides from those early years.

I didn't realize there was a video for A Celebration, which was a stand alone single. I dig how they used to look- a little awkward, a little new wave. Speaking of awkward, Bono had a weird body, big ass and hips, and he moved/danced like a chick, but its cool, not hating, just having a little fun.  "Go! Go! Go!"

2. Flibberty Jib- Ken Nordine- A hater parable if you will, do people still use that expression, I mean hater, not parable, probably not, so let's abuse it!

Ken Nordine is a genius and I don't use that word casually or lightly.  I love his voice and especially the little inflections he gives certain sentences, the way he says "the questions always come later"  or "possibly it was his manner" very funny.

First video below is an early 70's Levis ad (Flairs with Dacron polyester, it was magic!) with Ken Nordine based on Flibberty Jib followed by the original Flibberty Jib.

Ken Nordine

3. Piss Factory- Patti Smith- Her first record, and her best and most BEAT record. Lots of choice lines in this one- "dicks droop like lilacs" "I take a swig of Romilar" "you got to find the rhythm within" "that forbidden acrid smell" etc. etc.  The way she says "but it's a paycheck jack!" reminds me of Bob Odenkirk's Manson impression/skit from the Ben Stiller show. He's another genius jack! Bob Odenkirk!

4. Breakaway- Toni Basil- I don't have a good quality mp3 of this one, apologies.

5. Clarietta Rag- Kevin Ayers- "Riding round on her Lambretta"- love the noisy little guitar solo on this one.

6. Lose This Skin- The Clash with Tymon Dogg- Tymon's voice takes some getting used to, great lyrics, a lot of Sandinista illustrates the subtle lines that connect punk and folk music or I suppose you could say all music.  It's a deep record, one that you can get really lost in.

7. Don't Stop the Carnival- Harry Belafonte- "A Creole bacchanal".  Version below from 1968 was taped for the Smothers Brothers show, but censored by CBS due to the background film.

8.  Bangkok- Alex Chilton- Alex casually mixing his Asians up in this one.

9. The Morning After The Night Before- Ora- Nice song, finger snaps. I don't know anything about these guys, but I think this was released in 1969.  Celebrating the joys of staying in bed, me I like to get up early eat breakfast drink some coffee and then go back to bed, that's about as decadent as I get these days.

10. The Orchids- Psychic TV- The first couple of PTV records are a pleasant sweet surprise, especially Dreams Less Sweet from whence this track came.  Start with that one.  

11. Love Song- Syd Barrett- As fractured as Syd became he always retained a certain pop sensibility.

12. Chanson D'o- Francoise Hardy- Breathy!  Ooh la la.

13. A Norman Soldier- Mark Fry- This album, Dreaming With Alice, is well worth picking up.

14. The Clouds Are Lies- Brian Jonestown Massacre- From their most recent record, Aufheben, which sounds pretty good to me.  Looks like lots of people have been putting together their own videos for this song on youtube, I've included two and a live performance in between.

15. A Singer Must Die- Leonard Cohen- Leonard keeping things light, as usual.

16. All My Trials- Nick and Gabrielle Drake- Nick harmonizes with his sister the lovely actress Gabrielle Drake. This is from the Family Tree collection of home demos, which is recommended, buy it.  

Gabrielle Drake- a nice pair

17. No Soy Hemingway- Claude Bessy- What a character!  I remember first being exposed to him in the Decline of the Western Civilization "I have excellent news for the world" see clips below.

Claude Bessy aka Kickboy Face

18. Ordinary Bummer- Iggy Pop-  Zombie Birdhouse from 1982 is the last Iggy record I find interesting, its a weird one, a definite grower, this is the best track, beautiful song.

19. Listen To These Chords I Play- Roger Rodier- Christian, French Canadian acid folk- can you get to that? Very pleasant stuff, the whole record is worthwhile, seek it out, it's called Upon Velveatur from 1972.

20. Bonny River- Sunforest- I'm gonna give this a try one day.

21. Blue Sky Grey- The Bridge Gang- I think this single is from 2005.  And this is the second song in the mix from this century, if this keeps up I'll have to change the name of the blog to the sound the present makes. Not certain but I think The Bridge Gang is no more, their website is not active and it doesn't look like they ever released a full length record or if so I can't find one online. So a good band breaks up and a thousand shitty ones trudge on, such is the way of the world. Blue Sky Grey is a great pop song that I stumbled upon a couple of years back, don't know much about the band, if anybody can show me where to buy some more, let me know.  There are some live clips on youtube, but not for this song, I've included one below.

The Bridge Gang

22. Tree Green- John Martyn- From the 1970 Road to Ruin album, which I believe you should get a copy of forthwith.

23. Sukiyaki-Kyu Sakamoto- Very nice, there's a little weirdness in my mp3 of this one, not quite a skip but like a weird edit, well maybe its a skip, not sure how that happened, but you'll have to live with it, just like I do.

24. You're Getting Better- Ken Nordine- Ken riffs on the vanity of paranoia, and the paranoia of vanity to hilarious effect.

25. It Is Obvious- Syd Barrett- I love this one, "it is obvious.. that it is found on another plane"

26. May the Circle Remain Unbroken- 13th Floor Elevators-  Bull of the Woods, the last studio record by the Elevators, is a sorely underrated record, please check it out.

That's All Folks!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Alone I Keep The Wolves At Bay" 1979

Friends I'm sitting here en mi casa sipping a Mexican Coke (unlike American Coke, it still has sugar in it, instead of corn syrup, and believe me it makes a difference, thank you Mexico) riding a sweet little sugar high whilst listening to a mix of The Clash, The Undertones, Joe Gibbs productions, The Damned, The Specials and Stiff Little Fingers and reading Route 19 Revisited a book about the making of London Calling. It's as nice a way as any to pass a Saturday afternoon in America. This particular combination of sounds, sights and tastes has set my mind alight thinking about the Undertones supporting the Clash on their Take the Fifth tour of America in 1979, with Barry Myers spinning reggae and rockabilly beforehand and in the case of the Detroit show (see flyer above) David Johansen thrown in for good measure. What a show that must have been!! Oh to have been old enough to have been in attendance.  In the words of aging song and dance man Iggy Pop "Oy vey".

I was also thinking about the pictures in Pennie Smith's Clash photo book Before and After, a book I used to pore over as a wee lad and which really fired my imagination especially with the enigmatic comments from Joe and Mick underneath certain photos, comments that would eventually lead to further discoveries, further passions- that's how things used to work back in the days before the internets, you got your information slow, in bits and pieces, but it meant all the more for it, it was more precious that way, hell I used to get so damn excited over just finding certain tiny little photos of bands I liked, and the connections you made they had time to simmer and develop, you didn't get everything "right" either which actually led to more interesting hybrids/accidents- not to mention all of these pursuits took time, energy and passion which had the added benefit of weeding out people who weren't really interested or just interested in being, ugh, cool. These days with most bands I can't even figure out why the hell they bother to write and record music, do they really have something to say, and I don't mean a "message", but what is driving them to make music, is it a passion? But I digress, albeit rather eloquently, but still let's get back on track.

That Pennie Smith book is probably the first place I heard of the Undertones, there's a picture of  Kosmo Vinyl with a toy gun with a comment underneath that it was a gift from the Undertones and another picture of one of the band members (or might be Micky Gallagher or Barry Myers, all these Englishmen start looking alike after a while) with the "ever open fridge, Undertones party in Toronto". Later, when I got a copy of the Undertones 2nd record Hypnotised the inner sleeve had lots of polaroid pictures of the band "in America" sporting Clash t-shirts and even one with Joe Strummer.

So as my mind drifted affectionately over these old connections (this is what old folks do) I remembered a clip I'd seen on youtube of said tour that features almost all of what I'm speaking on: the Clash, the irrepressible Kosmo Vinyl, the Undertones, Joe's girl Gabby (I think), and even the toy guns, and no one's more funny or charming than the Undertones, good Irish lads, God bless them! The Clash are kind of serious in typical passionate missionary style, but I love how the mood changes and everyone breaks up when the Undertones come on taking the piss out of their own troubled Derry background, refusing to be serious, keeping things light, having FUN!

So lets close with that clip, it's a good un and made all the more amusing by the square TV narration and the interviewer being John Roberts, late of CNN, he's rocking a mean leather vest too, check him in the mirror behind Joe. Oh as a bonus, cause I'm into bonuses, its followed by three clips, two from 1978 of The Clash, the Buzzcocks (back when Joe hopefully still approved btw he later recanted for being hard on the Buzzcocks, a fair man was Joe) and lastly The Mighty Undertones in 1979.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Beatle Bones 'n' Smokin' Stones- 1967 Singles

Jane Asher, unknown, and the "Magic" Alex 1967

This was supposed to serve as my Kringle mix, course now it's a bit past due, time keeps on slipping and all of that. Actually I've been woodshedding, what can I tell you sometimes you got to step away from the grid and take stock of things. But hey it's still in time for the Russian Orthodox Christmas - so without further ado here's The Beatles and The Rolling Stones respective 45 rpm singles Anno Domini 1967!  

A hearty belated Merry Christmas to all youse ingrates and the Happiest of New Years (this whole cyclical thing does get a bit repetitive, does it not) may it be full of fish and finger pies or whatever turns your crank within the limits of good taste and decorum.  

Here's a bit of the ol' Victorian psychedelia for your viewing pleasure.

Close eyes, click here and make wish!

1. Let's Spend The Night Together- The Rolling Stones
2. Penny Lane- The Beatles
3. Ruby Tuesday- The Rolling Stones
4. Strawberry Fields Forever- The Beatles
5. We Love You- The Rolling Stones
6. All You Need Is Love- The Beatles
7. Dandelion- The Rolling Stones
8. Baby You're A Rich Man- The Beatles
9. She's A Rainbow- The Rolling Stones
10. Hello Goodbye- The Beatles
11. 2000 Light Years From Home- The Rolling Stones
12. I Am The Walrus- The Beatles
13. In Another Land- The Rolling Stones featuring Bill Wyman!
14. Christmas Time-The Beatles (not a single, consider it a bonus)
15. The Lantern- The Rolling Stones

Amusingly all 5 found themselves contemplating feather boas at the exact same moment, such were the heady days of '67.