With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“There’s a city in my mind, come along and take that ride” March 12, 2018

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 9:14 pm
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This is probably old news to many of you, but I have only just discovered it. Around ten years ago former Talking Heads head honcho David Byrne designed a range of bicycle racks that were installed across New York. Mr Byrne is a very keen cyclist, once in a lifetime he can be found cycling on the road to nowhere!

 

Hello Operator, Avalanche Party, Broken Skulls, Wildlife – Fibbers, York – Saturday 23rd May 2015 May 24, 2015


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I am back at Fibbers again just a few days after Julian couldn’t Cope. But there are no diva shenanigans tonight, Mike and Simon have created an excellent line up for what will sadly be Mike J’s final promotion. Kicking events off were the York and Leeds based Wildlife. I believe that this band would have easily fitted into New York’s late 70s post punk scene alongside a fledgling Talking Heads. But they are not revivalists of that era they are very 21st century too. They have great songs, great stage presence and a good rapport with the audience. They handled a little power outage problem with aplomb. Apparently all the songs are about the singers cock, well apart from “Like A Racehorse” anyway! Whether you like songs about cocks or not you should check them out.

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The second band to tread the boards tonight were the two piece Broken Skulls. Imagine if the Strokes had more power, more balls and only two members. Can you do that? If you can then you would probably be imagining Broken Skulls. I would imagine that the two piece format leads many to compare them with the excellent Royal Blood. However they are more than a facsimile of another band. They are incredibly powerful performers, gifted instrumentalists and they write some terrific songs. They dedicated an old song to Mike this evening which was also the name of a former band of theirs; “Toy Radar”. I would definitely go and see these boys again and so should you if you haven’t already.

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Second on the bill this evening is a band that hardly need any introduction to regular readers of this blog, the magnificent Avalanche Party. Up to now they have had excellent reviews from me. Is that about to change? Fuck no! These lads rocked their socks off on Saturday. They played a barnstorming set and the audience would have eaten out of the bands hands had they been asked. Well the majority would have at least. New song “Money” was stunning live and Joe and Jordan’s crowd invasions, or should that be incursions, raised the excitement levels for the punters. I would like to thank Jordan for dedicating the mountainous (sorry for the cliché) “Mountains” to me. ‘This one is for Big Billy at the front’; I love it! The band will be launching their new EP in their home town, Middlesbrough soon. Sadly I can’t make it, so please put a copy aside for me chaps! But if you can make it then you bloody well should. This band mean big and should be big. They get better every time I see them.

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I didn’t envy the brilliant Hello Operator having to follow such a great set from one of my favourite bands of the moment, but they did follow and they followed bloody well. Hello Operator are a different kind of band to Avalanche Party but they are equally as powerful. They appear schooled in a different vein of classic rock and they know how to win over and captivate an audience. I saw them earlier this year at the smaller City Screen venue and they metaphorically blew the roof off. Frankly they did the same at Fibbers. They are and incredibly tight, talented and well rehearsed band. The guitarist has the flourish of Bernard Butler at his peak and as far as vocals go they have a singer who has one of the finest rock voices around. If you have never seen them then get off your arse and do so!

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I would like to thank Mike and Simon for a great night and also Joe Bell off of Avalanche Party for the vino. This was a truly superb night for everyone who came along. Four great bands in one night it can’t get better than that can it?

The public service announcement for today is that all the pictures were taken with my Nokia and the videos are courtesy of YouTube

 

Reading Festival 2013 – Day 2 – Saturday 24th August August 25, 2013


We’ve made it to day 2 once again and so has the rain. But it wasn’t too bad when we arrived and we have never let the weather dampen our spirits before so we won’t this weekend either. We had earlier decided to spend most of the day in the NME/ Radio 1 tent; not because of the weather though. It was what looked like a great line up that drew us in. Was it a great line up in reality? Well you’re going to have to read on to find out aren’t you.

Sadly we missed Childhood (that’s the band and not our formative years). But we arrived in plenty of time to see the very fresh and very funky Theme Park. If you owned a giant blender that blended music you would need to add Talking Heads, Haircut 100, Fine Young Canibals and a dash of x factor to create this excellent band. I mean the true x factor, not the shit peddled by ITV in the disguise of a talent show. I can feel a Theme Park download or two coming on when I get home.

Then from New York we had the very original Darwin Deez. From their boy band/ Motown formation funky dancing routine interludes to their gutsy, funky, dirty rock sound they were tremendous. The crowd, including me and my good friend Nick loved them. If you have not heard them yet then you really should check them out because deez boyz are good. (Sorry I couldn’t resist that). Deaf Havana were the next band to arrive and oh boy did they arrive with a bang. Their lead singer told us at one point that they made honest music, i.e. without backing tracks. So for today these are my first  does what it says on the tin act. They have energy, funk (we have seen a lot of that this year so far), style, great songs and a really tight band. Their album comes out next month and I for one will be downloading it. Deaf Havana; not deaf, not from Havana, but for being such a great live band they deserve the finest cigars Cuba can offer.

Were Deaf Havana referring to Modestep when they talked about honest music and not using backing tracks? Possibly not but Modestep did use a lot of preprogrammed backing and samples. But let me clear this is not a band into lip synching. They had the deepest bass sound of the festival so far. It was so deep you could feel your internal organs start to melt. They were also incredibly loud. They really used the full power of smoke and pyrotechnic flame bursts too. For me they ought to be in the Guinness Book of Records for the most mentions of Reading in their interaction with the crowd. If I had to describe their sound I would say it suggest the kind of noise you might hear if the Prodigy had a bum sex orgy with Enter Shikari while being filmed by Lemmy Kilminster. Incidentally they seem to have a fanatically loyal following and the tent was packed very tight. Especially when the circle pits broke out. They were very good, but not the sort of band I would listen to outside the confines of a festival. But they probably had the most energetic crowd of the day too. Interestingly like many bands appearing in recent years they used to come to this festival as punters.

The Palma Violets were lively and punky and were clearly up for a good time and they gave us all a great time. Similar to Modestep these guys were festival goers who in fact met here four years ago at camp site Yellow 7. Is there anyone there this year who will be on stage in a few years? If they are this good then let’s hope so. You would n,t see this bunch as a blues band but I was interested to see that one of their vocalists was sporting a B B King t-shirt. You don’t get many of those at Reading do you? I would advise you to check out the Palma Violets, you won’t be disappointed. Can I ask who is Harry Violet please?

One of the acts I had been looking forward to this year was Johnny Marr, or according to a t-shirt I saw Johnny Fucking Marr. This was does what it says on the tin moment number 2 for me today. Although Johnny has a much bigger tin to draw from than many others. His new solo stuff sounds pretty fresh and vibrant. He also played a great cover of “I Fought The Law”. But of course this crowd was by far the most middle-aged of the day and there were mass outbreaks of Morrissey-like Dad dancing throughout the set especially when Johnny played a few songs from a band he once was in. You might have heard of them, they were called the Smiths! He played a number of Smiths songs including “Stop Me If You Heard This One Before”, “Big Mouth Strikes Again”, “How Soon Is Now”, “This Charming Man” and the set closer was a really heartfelt version of the delectable “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”. This had us all singing along at the top of our lungs. On the count of three now, ‘if a double-decker bus crashes into us…….’

How had the Imagine Dragons had passed me by up to now I do not know. But I am glad I have found them now. They could be the most percussive band on the planet right now. There are elements of Arcade Fire and the Killers in their sound. They are in fact from Las Vegas just like the Killers. Their songs are powerful, catchy and memorable. I may just have to download their album as well. I would definitely pay to see these guys again as you should! What can I say about Tame Impala? They certainly seemed to channel Pink Floyd with a blend of dance music. Their psychedelic screen shows were brilliant. Their lighting almost suggests that they don’t really want to be seen. Their sound is based around extended psychedelic wig-outs wer excellent but it does make you wonder how the hell they rehearse their stuff. A fab band though.

Someone else I was looking forward to seeing, having seen him in York earlier this year was Jake Bugg. He did not disappoint he played a great selection from his first album and a couple of new songs that will probably form a part of his second. His acoustic version of “Broken” was emotional and incredible. Was there anyone who was not singing along? I doubt it. He also played a storming cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My”. Which magnificently made up for Neil cancelling on me last weekend. I am looking forward even more to Jake’s second album even more now. If you have never heard Jake Bugg, then where the bloody hell have you been?

Just after Jake Nick and I were joined by a woman who we believe was very much under the influence of something; more likely substance than alcohol. Her name was Amy and she decided that Nick and I were her new best mates. Her 14-year-old daughter and her niece were also at the festival but she seemed to have no idea where and no idea as to how to contact them. Nick was going to stay to watch Alt-J (and incidentally he tells me they were fantastic, really energetic and the crowd loved them) and I was going to the main stage for Eminem. Amy wasn’t going anywhere on her own and I drew the short straw as she accompanied me to see Mr Mathers. In fact she stayed with us until we left the arena; we left her at the taxi rank. Amy we hope that you got home ok. Anyway back to the music. I missed the first part of Eminem’s set as it clashed with Mr Bugg. But what I did see was fantastic. When I saw him here in 2002 I was a little disappointed and I felt that he could have been better. He was so much better this year. All the hits were there; including a great version of “Stan” with an appearance from Dido to reprise her previously sampled vocal live. The pinnacle of Marshall’s performance though was the encore and closer “Lose Yourself”. How good is that song? So we’re now two-thirds of the way through the 2013 festival and it has been superb so far. Bring on day 3.

 

Jake Bugg – Barbican York Friday 29th March 2013 March 31, 2013


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As far as début albums go I believe that Jake Bugg‘s self titled long player is among the best ever and if you don’t have it yet then do something about it! Anyway a few months ago we bought tickets to see Jake play at the Barbican in York. That night finally arrived on Friday night. I am pleased to say it was a brilliant evening.

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Misty Miller was the support and she played a great 2o minute set. She has some really classy songs and a relaxed stage manner. Her drummer and bass player work well together too. I sensed a bit of Tina Weymouth from Talking Heads about her. Catwoman suggested a voice as strong as Deborah Harry‘s. Either way this young woman is pretty darned good. As well as supporting Mr Bugg she has also played a few support slots with Tom Odell; so she is getting some great exposure. I suggest that you check her out soon.

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As for Jake Bugg. It’s hard to believe that he has only been around for such a short while. I mean he is 35 years younger than me and he was born more than 20 years after I went to my first gig. He is a truly consummate rock performer. Great songs, great playing, the band were great and Jake’s singing was excellent. On top of that I was supremely impressed with his guitar soloing. Jake Bugg will go a long, long way and deservedly so. If his stated mission is to kill off all the X Factor shit then he has the talent, the drive and the weaponry to do it. If your child or anyone you know is a big X Factor fan lock them in a room and make them listen to Jake Bugg. I don’t think it will take them long to convert to real music like Jake Bugg’s. The only downer of the evening was the two drunk tosspots in front of us who spent most of the show talking loudly to each other and on their phones.

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As for the show Mr Bugg played most of his album. “Trouble Town” was superb and “Broken” certainly pulls on my heart-strings. Obviously the crowd went mental when he played “Lightning Bolt” including some people near us who danced to it while throwing some Usain Bolt shapes. I thought he might have used “Lightning Bolt” as his encore, but he had the balls to do it his way. He even played a couple of new songs and if they are a good sign of what musical direction he will take I think his next album might have a heavier sound.

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He did a couple of songs to encore; notably a song that he introduced as one of his favourites. It was a cover of Johnny Cash’sFolsom Prison Blues“. He did it proud. I get the impression that since his musical epiphany aged 12 while hearing Don McLean’s “Vincent” on an episode of the Simpsons he has been a sponge soaking up so many brilliant songs and influences. He is lauded by many people including Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller. But for me he is his own man, an original, definitely the one and only Jake Bugg. I also get the chance to see him again at the Reading Festival later this year and I can hardly wait! I should let you know that none of the pictures or videos in this post were taken by me at the gig.

 

“I’m just about at the end of my rope, but I can’t stop trying, I can’t give up hope” December 15, 2011


Smokey and the Miracles really tried their best to help out in the promotion of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar

Have you been good? Will Santa bring you lots of goodies (I mean as in presents as opposed to Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie of course)? I hope you are getting excited anyway as we’re now on day 15 of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar, yes folks it’s December 15th and it’s the letter O. the song is from one of my favourite Motown voices, Smokey Robinson. It comes from his days with the Miracles and it is “Ooo Baby Baby

The song was written by Smokey and Pete Moore of the Miracles. The strings were arranged by Pete Moore. As is usual with almost all Motown hits it was the supremely talented Funk Brothers who provided the backing. “Ooo Baby Baby” reached number 16 in the US chart in 1965. A cover version of the song by Linda Ronstadt hit number 7 in the US in 1979. sadly it never charted in the UK. It has been covered by many other artists in addition to Ronstadt; including Todd Rundgren, Ella Fitzgerald and Shalamar who covered it as part of their “Uptown Festival” hit from 1977. That recording was actually a medley of classic Motown hits.

Smokey’s real name is William Robinson Jnr. His Uncle Claude gave him the nickname ‘Smokey Joe’ when Smokey was a boy. Smokey initially thought of it as his cowboy name, but as he got older his Uncle explained that as young Master Robinson was quite light-skinned it was a name to remind him of his roots. He dropped the Joe part of the nickname when he was a teenager. A couple of Smokey’s children also have interesting names too. There is a son called Berry, named after Motown President Berry Gordy. Smokey was Vice President of the label from 1961 until 1988. He also has a daughter called Tamla named after a label from the Motown portfolio. Those Motown fans from the UK will be very familiar with the amalgamated name the label took in Europe where it was known as Tamla Motown.

He also gets a mention in a couple of hit songs too. Firstly there is the sublime “Genius Of Love” from Talking Heads offshoot the Tom Tom Club in 1981. Most notably though he was the main man in ABC’s 1987 hit “When Smokey Sings”

 

“And the future is certain, give us time to work it out” April 12, 2011


OK I know i's not actually Friday today, but that's not really the point is it?

Just a few morsels of news for you with this post, ok for a couple of these ‘news’ might be stretching it and ‘olds’ might be a more apt description. Especially this first one. Many of you will have no doubt heard of Rebecca Black. She is the young lady who recently released what many consider to be one of the worst songs and worst videos ever. There has been an awful lot of nasty, vicious, vitriolic comment about her song. So other than saying I really don’t think the song or video are very good I will try not to add to what has already been said. The key thing that concerns me about this sad affair is that the poor girl recorded the song for a vanity music label; the Ark Music Factory. So now everyone can be a singer, just pay a few grand, or indeed get your parents to stump up the cash and you will get a song, a guest rapper, a vocoder and a naff video. sounds great doesn’t it? But surely you need talent as well? But in these days of X Factor and Idol that probably isn’t the case. Now that in my opinion is a really sad state of affairs. the one saving grace for Rebecca (apart from the millions of YouTube hits) is that the proceeds from any sales of her song “Friday” will go towards the earthquake relief in Japan. judge for yourself, if you haven’t already, by watching the video below. I would also love to hear your opinions on vanity record labels.

Talking Heads - Digging for Crist!

The BBC reported today that David Byrne off of the Talking Heads has settled his case against former Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist after the politician used the Talking Heads song “Road To Nowhere” to attack his opponent in the race for the senate. personally I am really pleased that Byrne took Crist on. What do you think? Read the story on the Beeb by clicking here.

Bono wonders whether he should have put his $558m in the hotel safe rather than trousered it in the pocket of his Speedos

It has now been confirmed that U2 have achieved the highest grossing tour ever with their 360° tour which began back in 2009. They still have 20 dates to go too, but they have already grossed $558 million. That even allows for missing a few dates, including Glasto last year, due to Mr Hewson’s back problems. Are they really worth it?

Dunc with Dad, Dame Dave

Richard Rich and Max Tannone have put together a brilliant free EP based on mixing hip hop sounds with the soundtrack to Duncan Jones (son of David Robert Jones) excellent movie ‘Moon’. Click here to download all the tracks. It’s called the Selene Project and has nothing to do with song strangler Celine Dion, it’s spelled very differently people!

Finally I was honoured to accompany the delectable Catwoman (aka Catherine Lee, my fiancée) to the studios of Radio York on Saturday where live on air she reviewed the newspapers. Once again she did an excellent job, you can still hear the show for three more days by clicking on Radio York’s Julia Booth’s page here. You can also check out the website for her excellent Virtual Assistant company, Kaleidoscope Business Services by clicking here and she would also love you to comment on her rather spiffing series of blogs.

 

Wolf Gang – York City Screen Basement 16th November 2010 November 17, 2010


Having received the regular newsletter from Man Is Slapped recently I found that for the first time in ages I was able to attend one of his gigs. This would be the second time I have seen him at the York City Screen Basement, but more of him later. When I arrived I was greeted by the wonderful sound of Tom Waits playing over the house PA, including the fabulous “Hoist That Rag”. That just made me feel that this was set to be a good night and for once my instincts weren’t wrong, it was a great night.

First up were Detronik. Imagine a large serving of 80s Sheffield electro a la Human League and a couple of spoonfuls of the Stone Roses and Madchester at it’s 90s peak. Are you there? Well that’s how these guys made me feel. They were bloody good and if they were around in the 80s they would have cleaned up completely. I really loved their set, especially closing number “Death To The Disco”. Check out the band on MySpace and the original lineup on YouTube.

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Man Is Slapped was the second of three acts and this will be the third time I have seen him play. If you put down what he does on paper (or perhaps in a blog post) you would surely think that this shouldn’t work. But it does work and it works so very well. He played a few new songs from his new EP; Socially Inept which as a fan I obviously purchased. He also di his usual thing of sampling his own sound and vocals in order to provide backing for his songs. Is there anyone else about that can actually do this? Even if there are I doubt that they would be better than Mr Slapped. he even expanded his sound on a couple of songs by using a guitar. Perhaps the next EP will be ‘Man Is Slapped Goes Punk’? He also played a brief electro interlude advertising his web presence and CD for sale. He should be much, much bigger, make it so dear readers! Check him out on MySpace here and also on YouTube here.

Wolf Gang - but this is clearly not a lion and it's clearly not in a cage!

Finally it was the turn of the headliners, I must confess that until tonight I had never heard them and whilst Detronik and Man Is Slapped were excellent I think Wolf Gang surpassed them. They were truly stupendous and excellent band, especially the drummer. The vocalist was also very, very good. The blurb on the gig poster suggests that they go some way to mashing together Talking Heads and Empire Of The Sun. I wouldn’t disagree with this but I would also add that there was an element of early Simple Minds in there too, back in the days when Jim Kerr‘s boys were actually good. I would certainly pay to see this band again and if they’re playing near you it would be foolish and negligent of you to miss them. The next couple of weeks will see them play Glasgow, Sheffield, Brighton, Birmingham, Southampton, London, Bristol and Manchester. I hope they play at the Reading Festival next year. They finished their set with their new single “Lions In Cages” which is released on 22nd November, buy it and make them a happy band. Then they will then be just like me for I went home a happy man! Check them out on MySpace by clicking here and their own website by clicking here and then enjoy a couple more Wolf Gang videos below;

 

100th Post =100 songs December 1, 2009

Filed under: Observation,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:02 pm
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Well this is it then, my 100th post and as promised here are the 100 songs currently in my top 10 (ok I know that sounds stupid, but regular readers will understand!) If I were to do this again say for the 200th post there would be quite a few differences. This list is in no particular order, although Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” probably still remains my most favourite song ever! I would love to see your comments on the list; is there anything you really like or really don’t like on here, is there anything really embarrassing perhaps. What is your top 10 or top 100? Incidentally I can already think of many more that didn’t make the cut!

As usual you will find the usual trivia content or comment along with the songs

No Woman No Cry        Bob Marley – Obviously I love this song but it has to be the live version and then preferably the one from the 1975 London Lyceum concerts. That album was called simply ‘Live’ and I wore out my vinyl copy completely

Police And Thieves        Junior Murvin – A classic reggae song, well covered by the Clash. Sadly the song is still all too pertinent today

Licking Stick     Desmond Dekker – Fun reggae at it’s best from the late great Mr Dacres

Cottage In Negril           Tyrone Taylor – Don’t ask me why but this is probably one of my favourite reggae songs ever. It makes me want to go to Negril

Rebel, Rebel     David Bowie – The first single from the wonderful Diamond Dogs album. A glorious Rolling Stones pastiche on which, unusually, Mr Bowie plays lead guitar

Heroes  David Bowie – Inspirational and also a song that I will have played at my funeral in 50 years. You should check out the versions he recorded in both French and German

Strawberry Letter 23       Brothers Johnson – Regular readers will know just how much I love this song. ‘Nuff said

I Want You Back           Jackson 5 – That opening piano run still sends shivers down my spine and frankly how can you not want to dance to this

Superstition      Stevie Wonder – Stevie rocks out more than many on this one which was originally written for Jeff Beck. More than enough to forgive Mr Wonder for “I Just Called To Say I Love You”

White Man In The Hammersmith Palais    Clash – In my humble opinion the finest song by the finest band ever!

London Calling  Clash – If my memory serves me well this is the only Clash song ever to feature in a Bond movie

Complete Control          Clash – A venomous attack on CBS, far more venomous than the Sex Pistols “EMI” in my view

Don’t Let Me Down        Beatles – My favourite Fab Four song which in fact was only a B Side! Also a song that I sing very badly at full volume when I’m drunk

Revolution        Beatles – Another moptops classic that I also sing very badly whilst under the influence of alcohol

Instant Karma    John Lennon – Karma is a powerful thing and Instant Karma is a powerful song!

Do Anything You Wanna Do      Eddie And The Hot Rods – In my teens this was probably one of the most meaningful and uplifting songs I knew. Even at the old age of 50 it still does it for me

Gary Gilmore’s Eyes      Adverts – For subject matter alone this would be in the top 100. Mr Gilmore was executed in the US in the mid 70s and he donated his eyes to an anonymous someone. That someone is the subject of the song!

Theme From A Summer Place    Percy Faith Orchestra – You might say that this is one of my guilty pleasures, well maybe, but it is a beautiful piece of music. It was also used to great effect in the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s Rose Red

Wild Is The Wind           David Bowie – Not a Bowie original but one written for a 50s movie, perhaps more of a torch song and one of Bowie’s best ever cover versions. It certainly makes up for his bloody awful cover of the Beach Boys “God Only Knows” in the 80s

What’s Going On?         Marvin Gaye – Great song from a great album, such a shame that it still rings true after nearly 40 years

September        Earth, Wind And Fire – E, W & F at their best, probably my favourite Saturday night song

God Save The Queen    Sex Pistols – Fear and conspiracy kept this from the number one spot in the Queens Silver Jubilee week in 1977. For me this is a major contender for the UK’s new national anthem!

Public Image     Public Image Limited – So many people thought that Lydon would do nothing after the Pistols, how very wrong they were.

Suspicious Minds          Elvis Presley – Elvis gets his mojo back after all those years of shit movie songs

She’s Gone    Hall & Oates – Taken from the Abandoned Luncheonette album, one of the saddest songs I know. I always play this when I’m in a melancholy mood. I also believe that Daryl Hall has the finest white soul voice in history. And what the bloody hell is a luncheonette?

Mack The Knife   Bobby Darin – I love story songs and this is easily one of the best. You have to tap your feet and click your fingers to this don’t you?

Karma Police    Radiohead – Probably the best band in the world today

Bernadette        Four Tops – Levi Stubbs RIP, I believe Mr Stubbs was the finest soul singer there ever was and ever will be. is this the only song about a Bernadette too?

Still Water (Love)           Four Tops – Relaxing, powerful, beautiful, ethereal, there simply aren’t enough words to describe this gorgeous song

Into My Arms    Nick Cave – As love songs go this might be quite strange but it is undoubtedly beautiful too

Talk Show Host    Radiohead – My favourite song from the ‘Head by a long way. just a B Side and als on the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo And Juliet’ movie

Take Me Girl I’m Ready  Junior Walker – My favourite ever juke box record. In the late 70s this was number 77A on the jukebox in the Windmill pub in Ruislip

Woman To Woman        Shirley Brown – A real torch song, sets the hairs on the back of my neck on end

If Loving You Is Wrong   Millie Jackson – and the classic soul torch diva has to be Ms Jackson. I saw her live at the Victoria Apollo in the 70s

Ms Jackson      Outkast – Talking of Ms Jackson (although this is actually about Erykah Badu’s Mum) here is my favourite Outkast song. Don’t you think it sounds a little reminiscent of ‘Strawberry Letter 23’?

I Know What I like (In Your Wardrobe)     Genesis – Personally I think Genesis went downhill after Peter Gabriel left, what do you think? But this Gabriel era song is just sublime and what a fantastic title too

Metal Guru        T Rex – A song I used to mime to with my tennis racquet as a teenage wannabe rock star. So why did I go on to become a bloody accountant?

One Nation Under A Groove       Funkadelic – The ultimate dance song. I saw them live with companion band Parliament in 1978 at the Hammersmith Odeon. Still one of the best concerts I have ever seen

I Can See Clearly Now   Johnny Nash – This man has the voice of an angel, why are so few of his albums available on CD. Definitely one of my heroes, I reckon I would be lost for words if I met him

There Are More Questions Than Answers            Johnny Nash – A Texan singer that sings reggae? it shouldn’t work should it? But it does doesn’t it?

Solsbury Hill     Peter Gabriel – If I ever feel a bit down this is the song I play to pull myself back up. Written about his decision to leave Genesis just before they went towards mega stardom

I Was Watching You      Rosanne Cash – Regular readers will know that I have mentioned this song before. I do cry most times I listen to it and although it was released after his death it makes me think of my Dad

Hurt      Johnny Cash – Mr Cash covers a Trent Reznor off of the Nine Inch Nails song. You must be pretty hard if this doesn’t make you at least a tad emotional

The Man Who Sold The World    Lulu – One of the better covers of a Bowie song. If their respective labels had sanctioned it Mr Bowie was ready to record a whole album with Lulu. Sadly that didn’t happen

All The Young Dudes     Mott The Hoople – The greatest Bowie cover, in fact one of his greatest songs and he simply gave it to Mott!

Wishing Well     Free – Forget all the stuff he’s done with Queen, this was one of Paul Rodgers finest vocal performances

You Get What You Give        New Radicals – One of the most short-lived bands of the 90s, but what a legacy. Gregg Alexander also wrote (or co wrote) Ronan Keating’s ‘Life Is A Rollercoaster’ which I kind of like!

A Town Called Malice    Jam – Paul Weller. probably the greatest English rock star of his generation. I saw him live at the MEN in Manchester last year and he is even better in concert. Indeed he played this Jam classic too

The Look Of Love         ABC – For all my criticism of the 80s this song and the album it comes from (The Lexicon Of Love) is one of my favourites. Produced by the great Trevor Horn

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker          Ramones – 1, 2, 3, 4 and off da bruvvers go. Hey Ho Let’s Go is there really anything else to say?

Wuthering Heights         Kate Bush – Oh Kate my Lionheart, I love this woman and want to have her babies

The Man With The Child In His Eyes        Kate Bush – OK maybe I wouldn’t really do the male pregnancy thing with Kate, but she is definitely my favourite female singer

5.15      Who – My favourite song from the Who from my favourite of their albums, the classic ‘Quadraphenia’

Sugar Sugar      Archies – This was the first single I ever bought. I got it from Uxbridge market in 1969

Suedehead       Morrissey – For me Stephen can be a bit hit or miss but this is definitely on the hit side

William It Was Really Nothing     Smiths – How could I not include the Smiths in this list and yes I am being just a tad egotistical with this choice

New Years Day  U2 – The piano refrain is haunting in a rock kind of way. Also more ego coming out here too, my birthday is on new years day!

Justified And Ancient    KLF and Tammy Wynette – There will never be anyone like the KLF. Were they a band or just art terrorists? Who knows and frankly who cares when they left songs and collaborations like this behind!

You Got The Love         The Source Featuring Candi Staton – Another uplifting song, although personally I tend to ignore the religious aspects! Recently Florence And The Machine have recorded a great cover of this song

Gimme Shelter  Rolling Stones – For me this song, especially the riff, evokes the 60s

It’s Only Rock N Roll     Rolling Stones – Now this is another I used to mime to as a teenager, well ok I still do! It might not be a pretty sight but I love doing it!

Hurricane          Bob Dylan – Dylan at his best, when riled or when he gets political he is untouchable. This song was about the plight of wrongly imprisoned boxer Reuben Carter

You Wear It Well            Rod Stewart – Most people I know would opt for Maggie May from his early 70s hits, I always preferred this one. Possibly even worth forgiving him for the awful ‘Baby Jane’ for

Wish You Were Here        Pink Floyd – One of the Floyd’s greatest and another song that gets me just a little emotional

You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything        Rod Stewart And The Faces – I bet you can’t not dance to this. It’s one of the last songs the Faces recorded before Ron Wood and Rod the Mod left. It shows them going in a direction which I think would have been so good

Itchycoo Park    Small Faces – I actually remember hearing this on the radio as a kid. I didn’t have a clue what the lyrics were about then and I don’t think I’m much wiser now! Don’t go near the atrocious cover version by M People

Lowdown          Boz Scaggs – Taken from the excellent Silk Degrees album from 1976 and the track I use to soundcheck any new hi-fi equipment even now

I’m Your Puppet            James And Bobby Purify – This was actually a rerecording of their original 60s song. Guilty pleasure or great soul song? I’ll let you decide, but either way I love it!

Olympian          Gene – probably the best of the ‘Britpop’ bands, well in my opinion anyway. Sadly the band are no longer around, but I did manage to see them three times while they were. Another song that I will have played at my funeral in the very distant future too

Born To Run      Bruce Springsteen – I was always going to include something from the Boss and it was always going to be this song

Lose Yourself   Eminem – In my opinion Mr Mathers is the greatest rapper, although Jay Z does push him close

Too Late To Turn Back Now       Cornelius Brothers And Sister Rose – It took me more than 20 years to track down this song and now when I listen to it I reckon it is definitely a guilty pleasure

Stay Together   Suede – The most Bowie influenced of the 90s British bands. The combination of Brett Anderson’s lyrics and vocals along with Bernard Butler’s guitar is truly awesome

Skin Trade        Duran Duran – A Duran Duran song in my top 100? Yeah that surprised me too

1999     Prince – I love a lot of Prince’s stuff, but this remains a great party track

Susan’s House  Eels – Mark Everett is a superb songwriter and this for me is one of his best. His autobiography is bloody good too

Take A Look Around      Temptations – A terrific Norman Whitfield production and that intro still blows me away!

Let’s Get It On   Marvin Gaye – This great song has recently been sullied by it’s use to advertise pizzas on UK TV (I think it might have been Dominoes) But it still remains a great song for seduction and lurve 😉

The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage          Smokey Robinson And The Miracles – Bob Dylan once described Smokey as the worlds greatest living poet. Listen to this song and you can see why!

Gimme A Little Sign       Brenton Wood – A great example of 60s soul and the song I sing most in the shower (along with the Monkees ‘I’m A Believer’)

The Love You Save       Jackson 5 – Another classic written for the boys by the Motown house writers billed as the Corporation

Staggerlee        Lloyd Price – Another story song and I reckon the best version by far

Once In A Lifetime         Talking Heads – The ‘Heads finest moment for me. This song has everything and makes me happy everytime I hear it

Pyjamarama      Roxy Music – Roxy before they became bland and frankly shit!

Song 2    Blur – Funny isn’t how the songs with barely any lyrics often sound so good. Whoo Hoo indeed!

Double Barrel    Dave And Ansel Collins – Another slice of superb reggae. For years I thought these guys were brothers, they’re not. Actually it’s Ansel Collins and Dave Barker.

Sorted For E’s And Whizz          Pulp – Jarvis Cocker is a lyrical genius and this is Pulp’s best example of his way with words

Spinning Around           Kylie Minogue – OK so there is a certain appeal to the gold hot pants, but as modern disco goes this is brilliant. Gotta love Kylie!

Love Rollercoaster        Ohio Players – One of my favourite funk songs, expertly covered by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers but it wasn’t a patch on the original

Hey Hey My My        Neil Young – A great song and one which found a degree of infamy as it was quoted in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note

Grace     Jeff Buckley – How big a star would he have been had he lived? Probably one og=f the biggest I think

Satellite Of Love           Lou Reed – Taken from the Transformer album which was produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson. Listen carefully and you’ll hear Bowie on backing vocals

Hey Ya      Outkast – The ultimate party record of recent times, a great video too

Since I Left You            Avalanches – Aussie DJs/ dance act, I can’t believe that this wasn’t a bigger hit

Seven Nation Army        White Stripes – Jack White has recently been named man of the decade by some UK publications, perhaps with some justification. The riff alone on this is worth the top 100

White Horses      Jacky – OK clearly this theme from a 60s TV show (strangely enough it was called White Horses) is very much a guilty pleasure but I really love it. I think Jacky’s only other hit was ‘Rupert The Bear’

D’Yer Make ‘Er  Led Zeppelin – Taken from Houses Of The Holy and in many peoples opinion Zep’s worst song. But I like to be different and this piece of cod reggae is wonderfully irreverent

Wild Wood        Paul Weller – England’s finest living rock star perhaps? Well after Mr Bowie anyway

Stay With Me    Lorraine Ellison – How much emotion can you squeeze into a song, not much more than Lorraine Ellison does in fact. Ignore the David Essex cover of this song at all costs!

Young Americans    David Bowie – What he himself described as plastic soul and one of the songs I can recite the whole lyric of

 

“Eat your words but don’t go hungry, words have always nearly hung me” June 12, 2009


Hello once again dear readers. Did you read the news that according to an American company the one millionth English word is about to be born, well actually it is probably already filling nappies (or diapers if you wish) as we speak. Apparently a company called GLM based in Texas whose raison-daitre is to tell companies how many times they are mentioned on the Internet can also search for the appearance of any word. Their self created methodology in determining a new word says that it must have appeared 25,000 times on the Internet, there is no time period applied. This all seems somewhat like bollocks to me (I’m not swearing bollocks is an Anglo Saxon word, just ask the Sex Pistols and Virgin Records!). Many Lexicographers (now that’s a fantastic job title!) are unhappy with these colonial usurpers telling them how it’s done! I tend to agree, but only because most Americans don’t speak English ‘like what it is supposed to be spoken’ I mean come on, no ‘U’ in colour, pronouncing route incorrectly, then there’s schedule and tomato. Don’t even get me started on fanny OK! 😉 Seriously though please don’t take offence at this if you are American, feel free to take offense though 🙂 But if you’d like a slightly more serious view click here for the link to the BBC that carries the story. Then click here for the follow up, for indeed while I have been typing (admittedly it has taken nearly three days to complete this post!) the new word has been dumped kicking and screaming into a world that, frankly, neither wants it or needs it. Only a nerdy geek could have given birth to it. For I know the word and the word is……………… Web 2.0, I kid you not. The nearest rivals were Jai-Ho (from the Slumdog Millionaire movie) and nOOB (something to do with nerdy, geeky gamers I believe) All that hype and all we get is a couple of small turds plopping into the lexicon of life.

Anyway I was thinking that a word related post might be interesting so here goes. Let’s kick off with the rather stupendous Tom Tom Club with the rather jolly “Wordy Rappinghood” Now I think Rappinghood would have made an excellent millionth word contender, how about you? Tom Tom Club I suppose really began as on offshoot of Talking Heads, I think nowadays the correct term might be side project! The band consisted of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz off of Talking Heads and a cast of many other noted musicians; Adrian Belew, Wally Badarou and the Compass Point All Stars to name just a few. Their earliest success came with the divine “Genius Of Love”. But they really broke big when the 12 inch versions of Genius and Rappinghood were issued and got a lot of club play in 1982. Their songs have been sampled by many people including Grandmaster Flash and Mariah Carey. The band also appeared on the Talking Heads live concert movie ‘Stop Making Sense’

camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club

camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club

Next up it’s the Gibb Brothers (OK the Bee Gees then) with “Words” Which was once given a depressingly dull makeover by the band that put bland into everything the rather shite (in my opinion of course) Boyzone. Sadly it gave Ronan and the boys their first UK number one. But if you’d like to hear some better covers of the song there are plenty out there. Check out some good covers from Rita Coolidge and Georgie Fame. You can find a great Bee Gees reference in the strangest place, there is an excellent parody of them in Blink 182’s video for “First Date” Speaking of the Bee Gees , I was walking to the train station earlier this week lost in my iPod and on came “Stayin’ Alive”, how I longed to be carrying a pot of paint so that I could make like Travolta’s Tony Manero in ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Sadly a laptop bag just doesn’t cut it, does it?

The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys

The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys

Then we have the boys that put Cod Piece back in the dictionary, Cameo with “Word Up” Which bizarrely in my humble opinion was covered by Korn! Click here to here the Korn version. The song was a massive hit for Cameo in 1986, the promo rounds were probably made much more memorable by Larry Blackmon’s polished red cod piece. For me Larry was one of only two people who have ever been able to pull off a cod piece (ooooooooh Matron!) The other one being Edmund Blackadder. The song also gets played in an Episode of the Simpsons entitled, appropriately for this post, ‘Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words’ where Lisa performs in a crossword competition.

Mr Cod Piece 1986

Mr Cod Piece 1986

I haven’t mentioned the Beatles and Bowie for a while so how about the Beatles with “The Word” and Mr Bowie with the hardly ever played “Word On A Wing”. The Beatles song appeared on ‘Rubber Soul’ and in addition to the Fab Four also had George Martin playing the Harmonium. Bowie’s song appeared on the excellent ‘Station To Station’ album from 1976 and emanating from the Dame’s ‘Thin White Duke’ period. It was also a B side to the single version of “Stay” from the same album. It is a relatively religious song and written while Bowie was very much coke addled. It also coincided with the time Mr Jones began to wear a crucifix

John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn't a midget!

John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn’t a midget!

I shall finish this post with the wonderful “ABC” by the Jackson Five. OK I know it’s not strictly a word but if you didn’t know your ABC you wouldn’t be able to make words would you? The song was a US number one and like the earlier “I Want You Back” was written by the mysterious Corporation. Not that mysterious though it was a Motown writing team that consisted of Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonso Mizell and Deke Richards. The song was backed with a cover of a lesser known Diana Ross And The Supremes song; “The Young Folks”

Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport

Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport

OK that’s all for now, but tell me your word songs, I can think of a couple more but I’d like to hear from you my dear readers!

 

“Yeah, I’m the one infected, twisted animator” March 24, 2009


Hello again readers (well I am assuming that you’re not just looking at the pictures here obviously!). I’ve moved away from the usual birthday and ‘onthisday’ post once again today. This post could I suppose be called a fire sale! It was inspired by my second fire walk which I completed last night! Yes I walked barefoot over hot coals and I urge you to try it yourself if you ever get the chance. It’s not just a turn up and walk kind of thing there is a build up over a few hours including breaking an arrow on your throat. That too is an incredible experience. The lady who ran last nights session and indeed the first firewalk I did a few months back is ‘Lovely Lisa‘ click her name to get to her website. Lisa is truly an inspirational coach and those of you who know me well will be aware that this is strong praise indeed coming from such a cynical skeptic. Check out Lisa’s site and do everything you can, short of perhaps selling your mother, to do a firewalk.

This is me exposing my soles to hot coals!

This is me exposing my soles to hot coals!

Anyway to get back to the music I thought I would run through my top 5 fire related songs and maybe it could ‘spark’ you into shedding some ‘light’ one your own ‘burning hot’ songs. Here are mine;

1 “Firestarter” – The Prodigy

2 “Fire” – Ohio Players

3 “Burning Down The House” – Talking Heads

4 “Burnin’ And Lootin‘” – Bob Marley and the Wailers

5 “Light My Fire” – Jose Feliciano

OK now do your worst and tell me your favourite fire related songs, if I receive enough I’ll put my five and yours in a poll in a future post!

A post of mine wouldn’t be the same without a large degree of trivia so here it comes.

The Prodigy took their name from a Moog synthesiser which unsurprisingly was called the Moog Prodigy! The band rose to fame during the rave era of the early 90’s in the UK. They released their first single “Charly” in August 1991. It took a sample from a British public information film called ‘Charley Says’ and reached number 3 in the UK. Eventually things went mega for the band in 1997 with the release of the excellent ‘Fat Of The Land’ album which spawned two UK number ones in “Firestarter” and “Breathe”. My own favourite Prodigy song is their fourth single, released in 1992, “Out Of Space”. It sampled heavily from a Max Romeo song “I Chase The Devil” which had originally been produced by the stupendously talented Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. The “I’ll take your brain to another dimension” line is taken from the excellent “Critical Breakdown” by the Ultramagnetic MCs. What is your favourite Prodigy song?

keith knew he would have to grow his hair much more before he could acquire the perfect combover

Keith Prodigy knew he would have to grow his hair much more before he could acquire the perfect comb-over

I was a big fan of funk music in the 70s which is how I first got into the rather wonderful Ohio Players. There was a bonus for teenage boys who were fans of this band and in 1975 I was just 16. That bonus was that all their album covers had pictures of semi naked women doing things like pouring honey over themselves! Excuse me while I go and take a quick cold shower……………… ok that’s better, now where were we? Oh yes the Ohio Players. In their early days Walter ‘Junie’ Morrison was the lead vocalist, he later went on to sing lead for Funkadelic (probably my favourite funk band ever!). Those Red Hot Chili Pepper fans amongst you may already be familiar with the Ohio Players via the Chili’s rather good cover of “Love Rollercoaster”. The RHCP version featured in the movie ‘Beavis And Butthead Do America’ and when released as a single from the soundtrack the additional track was “Lesbian Seagull” by Englebert Humperdinck, I kid you not! Click the title to hear it! The original Ohio Players version of “Love Rollercoaster” features a couple of high pitched screams which have developed an urban myth about them over the years. One myth says they are the screams of a dying woman being murdered outside the studio, another says that it is the painful scream of a dying rabbit which was run down outside the studio. The truth would appear to be much more likely and indeed mundane. It is the sampled scream of a woman riding a roller coaster. Well come on it fits the song doesn’t it? Anyway click here to watch a brief video that explains the urban myth and then tell me what you think. Personally I think it is complete and utter crap!

For research only here are two pictures of Ohio Players album covers. I love the strategically placed picture of the band on the second one

The Fire Service budget cuts had resulted in almost a complete lack of protective clothing for firefighters

The Fire Service budget cuts had resulted in almost a complete lack of protective clothing for firefighters

Well they do say that honey is good for you;-)

Well they do say that honey is good for you;-)

Talking Heads originally formed in 1974 as the Artistics featuring David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz who were all attending the Rhode Island School Of Design. The name Talking Heads came after they read a TV Guide which explained that just a headshot of a presenter was known as a talking head and was basically ‘all content and no action’ They felt that the phrase was a perfect fit for the band. The first time they played under the new name was when they opened for the Ramones at CBGBs in 1975. Jerry Harrison joined the band from Jonathan Richman’s Modern Lovers in 1976. It was a cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River” that really helped them take off

After a power failure backstage the band had dressed in the dark again

After a power failure backstage the band had dressed in the dark again

Bob Marley is one of my all time favourite singers and has been for many years. I hadn’t heard of him when he released his first singles though. Largely because I was only three years old and the singles only came out in Jamaica! The songs were “Judge Not” and “One More Cup Of Coffee” production was handled by legendary Jamaican Producer Leslie Kong. Marley didn’t even use his own name on the singles, for both he was known as Bobby Martell. Earlier this year Marley’s family struck a deal with a Finance Company to licence Marley’s image under the ‘House Of Marley’ brand. So expect to see House Of Marley image and branding on everything from Snowboards (that sounds really authentic Jamaican), Luggage, Headphones and a Jamaican Beer!

This little fella auditioned for the 'Marley And Me' movie but clearly didn't know the story very well

This little fella auditioned for the 'Marley And Me' movie but clearly didn't know the story very well

OK I guess I should expect some kickback for this but I feel that the Doors are overrated! Although I love “Light My Fire” I much prefer Jose Feliciano’s version. Jose is Puerto Rican and was blind from birth. His full name is José Montserrate Feliciano García. Perhaps if he had called himself Jose Garcia he could have formed a Latin American version of the Grateful Dead! In 1967 Jose was denied entry into the UK. Why was that? Drugs? Murder? Something worse? No, the animal quarantine laws in the UK prevented Jose from bringing his Guide Dog. he was a massive star in Latin America when he moved to LA in the late 60’s (I presume that the US Government let him bring his Guide Dog). Shortly after this he recorded his version of “Light My Fire” which went to number three in the US charts in 1968. Most covers of the song nowadays tend to favour Feliciano’s arrangement, including the relatively recent version from Will Young.

Jose used his three heads and six hands to play guitar faster than anyone had ever done before

Jose used his three heads and six hands to play guitar faster than anyone had ever done before

 

 
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