Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Songs About People # 1,117 Russell Crowe

Some poeple don't like Russell Crowe. They claim he's not very nice. I don't care about that. I like him. Particularly his acting. Here's a song for him. In Italian. Leaving an 'l' out of his surname oddly.

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation # 14 Flamin' Groovies

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 18 Allen Ginsberg - First Blues - Recommended by Peter Gordon

Song(s) of the Day # 2,289 Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett is not an artist that I was familiar with until a couple of days ago. Classically trained and known for his work with bands like Arcade Fire, Hidden Cameras and Beirut, he's also produced a number of solo albums. 2010's Heartland is probably as good a place to start as any.

It's a fascinating record and probably one that would reward further listens. Lush, orchestral and baroque, (and probably deeply indebted to Pet Sounds), it has a set of trembling, autumnal melodies that take the most interesting twistas and turns imaginable. I recommend it highly.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Songs Heard on the Radio # 364 Bikini Kill

Bikini Kill rock!

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation # 12 The Ramones

I didn't care for The Ramones when I was younger. I thought they were 'dumb'. How little I knew.

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 16 T.Rex - The Slider - Recommended by Johnny Marr

Song(s) of the Day # 2,287 Other Lives

I've taken my eyes off recent releases on here over the last couple of weeks on here. There hasn't been much new that's grabbed my attention of late, surely nothing to do with the lockdown scenario we find oureslves in I imagine. Merely that nothing has come out that has particulkarly grabbed my attention. Possibly with the exception of the new Strokes record, which I did write about when it came out a couple of weeks ago.

I almost gave up on For Their Love, the new album from Oklahama's Other Lives, which came out last Friday. The first couple of tracks did little for me. Reminded  me too much, and not in a good way, of The National and Radiohead without the accompanying inspiration, with a front vocal on top that brought to mind Alex Turner, not personally my favourite sound of recent years, good as that band, and that man, are.

On third track Cops though, the record begins to kick in and gather momentum. The reminders of others are there still and Arcade Fire also raise their heads at points, but the songs get better and the band begin to carve out an greater identity and space for themselves, which they maintain to the end of the album.

Fourth track, All Eyes - For Their Love, is better than that, and is probably one of the best things I've heard this year. Setting off with a rather beautiful orchestral sweep that reminded me of Tindersticks particular knack for these kind of things. Then when it changes direction as the vocals come in it goes to another plateau altogether. Baroque, melancholy and quite serene and really rather beautiful.

The record maintains this pace from this point on without really achieving similar peaks. It's by no means a classic. But it is worth a listen and there are probably a few tracks here which you'll want to take away and return to later.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Songs Heard on the Radio # 363 Public Enemy

Laid back Public Enemy, Sunday afternoon.

Covers # 128 Covers - The Mamas & the Papas

On hearing that the Mamas & the Papas did a cover of The Temptations My Girl, you'd probably think 'that's not particularly necessary'. But it's surprisingly good.

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation # 11 The Damned

First, important UK Punk single.

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 15 Royal Trux - Thank You - Recommended by Laurn Laverne

Some contrast to Bohannon.

Song of the Day # 2,286 Bohannon

Another post for Hamilton Bohannon who has passed. Any snobbishness about the merits of Disco, a genre where he was very prominent towards the end of the Seventies, should be utterly ignored. He was an important operator. As Tom Tom Club so eloquently put it:             
                                  'Bohannon,  Bohannon, Bohannon, Bohannon.'

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Hamilton Bohannon 1942 - 2020

Songs Heard on the Radio # 362 Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers

Jonathan Richman loves New England most of all. Fair play to him.

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation # 10 Talking Heads

Masterly debut single.

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 14 Fad Gadget - Fireside Favourites - Recommended by Daniel Miller

Song of the Day # 2,285 Rush

There are some things I never imagined myself doing. Posting a Rush song as a Song of the Day. But this blog is a journey like so many things in life so I'm doing so now without second thoughts. I think I decided at the age of about fourteen that certain kinds of music were not for me and this band is a representation of that kind of music. But the Facebook site Temporary Fandoms which I've mentioned a number of times on here has become an increasingly important part of my life and weekly routine. Basically the premise is simple. They post an album and people listen to it and share their thoughts on it.

Yesterday, one of the records focused on was Permanent Waves by Rush. I'll confess I approached it with a certain amount of dread. But it surprised me. Here's what I wrote:

' OK quite liked that to my surprise. I don't really go for the twiddly guitar moments but there's obviously some songwriting skill. The records I'd compare it to would be Modern Dance, Marquee Moon and Entertainment which are my own guitar favourites from that era. It certainly won't replace them in my affection. I'm too long in the tooth now, but I can see why some people would like this record so much. It reminded me a bit of Gabriel's Genesis which I do like a lot. Will give it another listen later in the day.'

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Songs Heard on the Radio # 361 Super Furry Animals

Sounded fine and apt given that the weather outside my window is pretty good at the moment. Shame we're not really supposed to go out in it.

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation - # 8 Little Bob Story

Rather odd end to Side One with this one. But it does give a nod to the important contribution to Punk from Pub Rock. Also to the importance of The Small Faces to many of the bands involved. This particular cover is pretty awful mind.

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 12 Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - Recommended by Anton Newcombe

Song(s) of the Day # 2,283 Honey Cutt

Rather lovely and immediate this one. Coasting, the debut album by Honey Cutt, (Hayley Honeycutt) came to my ears yesterday morning and I was pretty much instantly taken. Finding the softspot between Alvvays and The Sundays, it's not really an original record per se but it is a rather lovely one.

Honey Cutt are actually a band, rather than a moniker for Honeycutt alone. A trio based in Boston. Nevertheless, it's she who graces the album sleeve of Coasting and she's clearly the one powering this project forward. Altogether a lovely start and one recommended for fans of this jangly ethereal stuff.

This may make you feel eighteen again, even if these days are long gone. Music can do that.The songs here have the great twists of the artists above. If Honey Cutt perhaps need to carve out territory that's more obviously their own from here, this is more than enough of now and I'm really quite taken.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Songs Heard on the Radio # 360 Laura Nyro

Nice to hear this early evening.

Songs About People # 1,115 Paddy Considine

In gratitude to Paddy for pointing me in the direction of Bee Thousand, here's a heavy but not unlikeable song for him.

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation - # 7 Richard Hell & the Voidoids

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 11 Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand - Recommended by Paddy Considine

The wonderful Guided by Voices. Chosen by the wonderful Paddy Considine. A nice 'wake up' record this one. He's right about the value of the record. It's one I'll return to. Often. If you don't like one, you'll surely like the next. Plangent. Yearning. Fabulous record!

Song of the Day # 2,282 The Von Bondies

Von Bondies are probably best known for a spat between their lead singer, Jason Sollsteimer and Jack White in a Detroit bar. They also had some decent songs. Like this one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Songs Heard on the Radio # 359 Coldcut

Lockdown is doing funny things to my body clock. Up for an hour already listening to The Stranglers Black & White album for Temporary Fandoms, of which, more later i. In the meantime, here's what they're playing on Breakfast Radio.

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation - # 6 Skyhooks

Sounds slightly incongruous on this record. An almost forgotten track and band otherwise I'd imagine. Melbourne band with more than a touch of Suzie Quatro about them here.

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 10 - ABBA - ABBA Gold - Recommended by Chris Carter

Song of the Day # 2,281 Tim Burgess

Tim Burgess, (in addition to being subject to a long running series on here), seems to have upped his profile during this lockdown, with his Twitter listening parties which have deservedly grabbed plenty of attention. Here's his latest song, ahead of a new album, which is on heavy rotation at the minute on BBC 6 Music these days. It's also akltogether a rather lovely song.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Song of the Day # 2,280 John Sebastian

Really a song to end the day with rather than start it. John Sebastian's rather lovely version of this most enduring classic of all.

Songs Heard on the Radio # 357 Les Negresses Vertes

I saw this lot while at university with a good music friend of mine. The attendance was shocking but the band were just great. Something of a Gallic Dexys.

Songs About People # 1,114 John Lithgow

One for American national treasure John Lithgow.

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation - # 4 New York Dolls

The Dolls were gone by the time this came out. Their importance though was immediately apparent.

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 8 Big Youth - Dread Locks Dread - Recommended by Andrew Weatherall

Song(s) of the Day # 2,279 Hollow Ship

Rather groovy but distinctly Proggy new stuff from Gothernberg's Hollow Ship. Their new record Future Remains came out at the end of February. 'Reality is our game,' they sing on second track We Came Too Late. Not entirely sure about that, their reality seems entirely mired in 1973 but this is quite a diverting, if loopy record.

Had to skip some tracks when they got lost in instrumental noodling but here are three that caught my fancy. Investigate further if these take your fancy. Slightly ludicrous but worth a listen if time travelling is your thing.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Jamie Hewlett - Common People

Covers # 127 Love

The last day of the Temporary Fandoms immersion in to Love today and I came across this. A fabulous cover of an already fabulous song.

Songs Heard on the Radio # 356 Veruca Salt

I've posted this before. The note for note brazen larceny from The Breeders is shameless. Yet still somehow it works.

New Wave - Classic 1977 Compilation - # 2 Dead Boys

And to move from Hawkwind to Dead Boys. This was their best song. Not coincidentally I'm sure, partly because it was co-written by Pere Ubu's David Thomas.

Tim Burgess: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul to San Francisco: # 6 Hawkwind - In Search Of Space - Recommended by Stephen Morris

Nice to start my Friday in all of this madness with a bit of Hawkwind.

Song of the Day # 2,277 Les Baroques

Mid Sixties Dutch Beatsters.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Songs About People # 1,113 Richard Dreyfuss

Just watched Jaws. So here's a very odd song for Richard Dreyfuss.

Songs Heard on the Radio # 355 Mark Lanegan

Mark Lanegan, one of the men in black, is back. With this, ahead of a new album and autobiography. This bodes well for both.

New Wave- Classic 1977 Compilation - # 1 The Ramones

Time for another series, (short one this time), to help me get through lockdown. This is one of the great compilations for a number of reasons. Firstly, it came out in the relatively early stages of the full flowering of Punk bringing a lot of the great nbnads nad artists on here to the broader attention of an audience beyond the pioneering clubs of New York, London, Sydney and Melbourne.

Secondly, because it made a number of classic but rare tracks to greater notice. There are some odd choices on here but what is essential is absolutely essential. With a classic cover shot by Peter Kodick this is one all record collections should have.

It first came to my attention when I borrowed a copy from the university library. Record libraries. Remember those! I've since bpought a copy of my own. It starts as it intends to go on.