ii last night an mp3 saved my wife

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Samuel Purdey - Lucky Radio.mp3

Looking back on the summer of '96 I don't remember much. Late nights and late (liquid) lunches. A few games of pool then on to the darts. Heady days indeed!

Then one day a small package dropped through the letter-box. Before my music journo flatmate (to whom it was addressed) could get to it I ripped it open to see what delight had been brought our way this time. The new Spacehog single perhaps, or Kula Shakers latest peace offering?
Or maybe, just maybe, something we'd never heard of, something unbelievable.

I slipped the CD out of the envelope, and yes, it was something new; a band yet to be discovered by the music bis masses. The words Samuel Purdey jumped off the cover in great swirly seventies type. It looked beautiful.

We opened the CD player and flung the first Bluetones album across the room, chucked in the Purdey CD and pressed play.
Wow! What the hell! It was perfect.

Instantly we were transported. Driving down the Malibu highway in a Mustang convertible, the wind ruffling through our beards. It was 1973 and we were on our way to see our favorite band Steely Dan play the Hollywood bowl. The chicks were giggling away on the back seat but we were transfixed by Silky Pete on S.O.F.T. fm.
"That was Lucky Radio by new boys Samuel Purdey. Next up, The Doobies."

Suddenly we were back in London.
"What happened?" I said.
"I don't know, but I've got a feeling it's gonna be a great summer."
"I think your right."
"Fancy a game of darts?"
"You bet."
(click here to buy from NetSoundsMusic)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Linda Perhacs - Chimacum Rain.mp3

"I'm spacing out, I'm seeing silences between leaves..."

I saw Antony And The Johnsons last night at the Academy 3 in Manchester. It was an intimate experience (admittedly shared with about 250 others). The way that Antony talked openly to the audience, sometimes mid song, made the show feel like a private audience with Antony at his home.
One particularly surreal moment was when he refused to play the next song unless we booed him. When the audience obliged, he coyly pretended to be horrified. Of course the boos and hisses quickly turned into double applause...

This morning i find myself looking for more intimate musical pleasures which leads me to Linda Perhacs. This is the opening track from Linda Perhacs great lost found album Parallelograms [1970].
After Parallelograms was released Linda disappeared for a couple of decades. The album was re-issued in her absence but the quality was poor since it was remastered from a vinyl pressing. Luckily though Linda re-appeared recently with the original studio master tapes and Parallelograms is now available in all it's glory replete with bonus tracks and demos.

Linda has been into the studio again this year to re-record the track Parallelograms...

"All these years I have known that we did not yet have the necessary equipment or the technology musically to do “Parallelograms” to it’s full extent. This spring, 2005, Ron Shore (www.musiccomposer.com) of LA helped me to realize this dream by using today’s equipment to re- do this title song. It is amazing!!! And, it is finally what I saw interiorly years ago when I created this piece. I do hope to release this cut very soon. Ron is a genius and this new “Parallelograms 2005” using today’s equipment and surround sound has sounds that are really both wild and wonderful! And, they are exactly the sounds I originally envisioned years before this equipment was available. The middle part of “Parallelograms 2005” really goes out into the universe and you go with it as the sound creates circles and semi circles and parallel sounds all around you- it is kind of a journey in the ethereal and the beautiful; sometimes a bit eerie, yes, but it has harmony and a soft ethereal quality that leads you out with a cadence of rhythmic guitars and voicings. It was always meant to be a composition of multi- dimensional sound, color and forms and light. (Earphones are a MUST!)
Soon, I hope to complete a Visual Journey to go with it via DVD---"
I was undecided about whether to post the title track, but i couldn't resist the Chimacum Rain, because of the multitracked "rains" that come pouring over each other in the chorus'... Exquisite!
(click here to buy Parallelograms from AmazonUK)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Billy Fury - Wondrous Place.mp3

The £44,000 bronze statue of Billy Fury, a project conceived by Peter and Lynda Keller, and achieved by six years of fund-raising by the Sound Of Fury fan club, was unveiled in the Museum of Liverpool Life on Easter Saturday, 19th April 2003. It was the magical, vulnerable quality that Billys voice projected which convinced impresario Larry Parnes to put the young Liverpudlian deckhand on stage the same night he gatecrashed a dressing room audition in 1958 and forced Marty Wilde (who's guitarist believe it or not was none other than Liverpool legend Jimmy Tarbuck) to listen to his song. So impressed was Parnes that he swiftly plucked Billy from his job on the Mersey tugboats, Billy (real name Ronald Wycherley) became a bequiffed figure in pink suits and silk shirts. It was something that austere post-war Britain had seen only in grainy images from America, where Fury went on to hobnob with the likes of Elvis. Buy this true rock 'n' rollers best tracks right here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Monty Python - Every Sperm Is Sacred.mp3

From the 1983 film 'The Meaning Of Life'. Available from all good tobacconists and also here.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Jackson C. Frank - blues run the game.mp3

For a brief moment in the mid 60’s some people thought, what with the current british rock'n'roll boom starring the beatles and the stones as joint headline acts, that the folk singer-songwriter scene was next in line for world domination.
Many of the leading folk scenestars looked up to Jackson C Frank as one of their best performers. He had recently arrived from New York, funded by an $100,500 insurance payout from a school fire that left his body covered with burns and scars when he was 11 years old (he was lucky! 18 of his classmates died).

He was introduced to Paul Simon who asked to record his debut album (pictured) which was a triumph. Things couldn’t get better, he was driving round town in his Aston Martin - without the bumper sticker that read “my other car is an Bently” (even though it was), but due to the sudden pressures of stardom he developed severe stage-fright (he had recorded all the songs on his debut album in three hours, hidden from view behind studio sound screens).
When the money eventually ran out in ’66 he had become seized with writers bloc and he left a half recorded follow up and headed back to Woodstock.

By ’67 Led Zeppelin and the Who were igniting audiences with the pleasures of electric rock music and the ambitions of the acoustic folk movement fell on deaf ears as even Dylan “sold out” by plugging in his Stratocaster!
However, more profound disasters followed JCF in Woodstock, including divorce, the death of an infant son, and alleged schizophrenia (which Jackson claimed was post traumatic stress).
Blues Run The Game seems to hint at what lay in store with the repeating refrain… “wherever I have gone, the blues have run the game”. At one point he sings “somewhere down the line, I’ll wake up older, and I’ll just stop all my trying”. He ended up homeless on the streets of New York.
He wrote this Blues Run The Game on the crossing from America before his glory days, but listening in retrospect to his wavering voice accompanied by only his gently picking style it sounds chilling.
Read his story in his own words
Read his story in his friends words
Read liner notes written by Jackson for the 1978 re-issue.
(click >here to buy Jackson C. Frank from amazon)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Mystery Jets - Zoo Time.mp3

Monday morning sees the release of the Mystery Jets second single, On My Feet, on Good & Evil (producer Paul Epworth's new label). If you haven't heard them yet, here's their glorious debut Zoo Time to get you up to speed.

It starts (like the gigs) with a chant of "zoo time, zoo time, zoo time, zoo time..." followed by a 3 minute "intro" comprising of several musical sections that include singer/percussionist Blaine playing homemade pots and pans percussion, more "zoo time, zoo time..." chants, some Jean Michel Jarre type Germanic synth wig outs, and a few bars of what sounds like Yes' "Heart of The Sunrise" (you know, the track that's playing when Gallo walks into the strip bar at the end of Buffalo 66)... When the vocal does eventually come in, after about 3 minutes.. it doesn't hang around for long, it disappears again at about 3 minutes 20 secs. Well, if you will spend your formative years listening to King Crimson and the Floyd.

But the best bit is that it's a riot of creative ideas throughout which is never pompous, and always fun. I mean, even the band can't scream "zoo time, zoo time..." too many times without bursting into hysterics. It's addictive stuff, it's enough to keep you permanently logged on to the forum until the band announce their next free party in their Bedouin Tent down Eel Pie Island way. See ya there...

You can grab a few other Mystery Jets mp3's here, (as well as reading an extensive interview with the band.)

ps. Could this be the first ever review not to mention that Blaine's dad Henry plays guitar?... Oh, fuck!
(click here to buy On My Feet from Amazon UK)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Keith West - Excerpt From A Teenage Opera.mp3

Curiouser and curiouser. You can't say we don't bring you a diverse assortment!

What's your first musical memory? This song is one of mine.
In the summer of '67, up my cobbled street - lodged between The Beatles, Tremeloes, curly white hair, short pants and grazed knees - came this oddity.

And, if ever there was an example of a multi-talented, versatile musician being known for just 1 song - then it must be Dagenham's Keith West. For a decade wef 1965, this guy had more fingers in more pies throughout music's grocery store than I have ... er, metaphors!

Perhaps to be best remembered for this song (better known as 'Grocer Jack') is a questionable badge of honour. Kids loved it's pop purity - and so must the many others who helped to make it reach No 2 in the then booming UK charts.

The song has a simple tale - but with many a salutory lesson! Old Grocer Jack, the door-to-door delivery man, hasn't missed a day's work for decades. But, when he doesn't show up one morning ... well ...

I know, I know ... most of you young bloggees were still swimming warm and safe within dad's scrotum back in the 60s. But I wonder, has anyone out there heard this song before? Or do you recall singing along to it? Was it a hit in the US?

Keith West deserved far more commercial success. His pedigree progressed through Mod Soul, R&B, pop/rock psychedelia and West Coast harmonies. He was lead vocalist and tunesmith with bands The In Crowd, Tomorrow (pictured), and Moonrider. You could do worse than seek out his Groups & Sessions Compilation album from here.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Tex Ritter - Rye Whiskey.mp3

The most well-versed western singer of any of Hollywood’s singing cowboys was Tex Ritter. Born Woodward Maurice Ritter in Panola County, Texas (the same county where Jim Reeves was born), Ritter was raised with a deep love of western music. When he entered the University of Texas at Austin in 1922 he met J. Frank Dobie, Oscar J. Fox, and John Lomax—three of the most noted authorities on cowboy songs, who added further to his knowledge of western music. While studying law in college Ritter had his own weekly radio program, singing cowboy songs. on KPRC in Houston.

In 1933 he released Rye Whiskey, I don't know why but it seems that from the begining of time that drinking whiskey and singing songs go hand in hand, when I try to drink whiskey and sing songs I just get pissed throw up and pass out. Ritter's' Rye Whiskey is a classic boozed up binge of a song that combines his unique dry humour and poignant wit. First he gets you laughing at the old drunk who seems to be getting along merrily with his life and enjoying his love hate relationship he has with the bottle, then you slowly realise that he has lost control of his life and starts slipping further and further in to the clutches of that damn whiskey and then song finishes with the lyrics: Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, you're no friend to me. You killed my poor daddy, God damn you, try me.
You can feel the bitterness and agonising pain that is trapped deep inside as he almost wills himself to suffer the same fate as he fails to break the chain. Try buying an introduction to Tex from here.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Ash Ra Tempel - Bring Me Up.mp3

Before creating his Balearic masterwork E2-E4 Manuel Gottsching was the leader of krautrock brain twisters Ash Ra Tempel. A group so far out they thought it would be a good idea to lock themselves in a studio with acid godhead Timothy Leary and a catering service that only served lemonade spiked with LSD.

The album 'Seven Up' proved it was not a good idea. A turned on, tuned out Leary dribbling nonsense into a mike over Ash Ra's fucked up backing sounds great on the first listen, but soon makes you want to run to mommy and cry yourself to sleep.

luckily Gottsching escaped the clutches of the Dr. and recruited the beautiful and little more down to earth Rosi, for the blissed out Ash Ra classic 'Starring Rosi'. A folk/funk delight that gave Manuel a chance to let his wah wah swing free.
It's the last track on the lp 'Bring Me Up', that really makes you wanna pack your bags and set sail to a forgotten isle and watch the sun go down whilst sipping a lemon ice special (Dr T's recipe). Enjoy!
(click here to buy Starring Rosi from AmazonUK)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Smiths - These Things Take Time.wma

"Oh, the alcoholic afternoons...."

Hard to know where to begin with this one...for me this song carries such weight, completely drenched as it is in hormone and memories; stale paperbacks and hair gel, fevery flus and tangerine peelings, teenage sex and cups of tea, that any further attempt to explain its personal significance would bore you all lachrymose.

We all have our (often polarised) opinions on The Smiths and their worth...obviously I'm rather partial to them...and as far as the lyrics are concerned, I think I'll always have a softer spot for the earlier 'Bedsit Romantic' period Morrissey, before the glands of self-parody and archness began to throb...and though Johnny just got better and better, soon to take the music into glorious saturated technicolour and beyond (before sailing off the edge of the world), there's something refreshingly energetic and on-the-nail about the first clutch of offerings.

Those familiar with the song will probably know what I'm talking about...but this version may well be new to you, plucked from the aborted Troy Tate sessions of the first album....notable for an intro that has just a little more attack than what finally surfaced on the indispensible Hatful of Hollow.

Those not yet 'sat in the room' are just a click away from enlightenment.

Drum roll, please...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Squeeze - Some Fantastic Place.mp3

Ah, good old reliable Squeeze. These boys were many things over the years, but I guess it was their unpretentious lyrics I was first drawn to. And the baton-carrying for those gritty 'kitchen sink' dramas that first emerged in the smog of late 50s Britain. Squeeze spoke of 'sunlight on the lino' and - after drinking too much - I could relate to that. Yet, they weren't so much young men looking back in anger, as witty, charming, bloke-round-the-corner songsmiths reflecting upon domestic realism. But then, I s'pose it can be hard to touch the stars from Deptford!

The pop and the pathos within tunes such as 'Up The Junction', 'Vanity Fair', 'Cool For Cats' and 'King George St' painted pictures as clear as Dickens's London to me. Perhaps the reason they never had a No1, was that they didn't have an 'image'. Well fuck that ... they had the songs.
Looking back, we shouldn't take Squeeze for granted just because we grew up with them. They had their share of personal battles - as we all do - but like a pair of old slippers, they felt comfortable, warm, inviting and intimate. Even when the old soles came off, they were glued back down and re-formed!

This track, 1993's 'Some Fantastic Place' speaks for itself - and we can find our own personal references within. Written following the tragic death of the lady who had brought Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford together in the first place, it has a fascinating arrangement - given the poignancy of the lyrics. As a loving tribute and a celebration of a life, it does a mighty fine job. Nowhere as well known as 'Tempted', 'Labelled With Love' or 'Black Coffee In Bed' this song (from the album of the same name) came no less than 15 years after the debut single 'Take Me I'm Yours'. Reaching a lowly No 73 in the UK charts, 'Some Fantastic Place' is a sophisticated hidden gem and proved that Tilbrook and Difford had not lost the all-important knack of placing pictures in our minds.

Re-acquaint yourself at the well-tendered www.squeezefan.com , or rekindle the warm feeling and click here to buy from AmazonUK. Have a listen and don't forget to comment before clicking to another blog and discarding us like a spent, used tissue.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Ken Stringfellow - The Lovers Hymn.mp3

Former posies frontman and an incredibly talented artist but hasn't quite made it through to the mainstream as a solo artist just yet, however he is no relation to Peter so that must be of some consolation for Ken. His voice is both entrancing and gallant, glistening when the song needs it and adding a raw edge when the song needs some grit to shake things up. From the mainly acoustic guitar and vocals of "One Morning" to the pensiveness dance of "Find Yourself Alone," through the spring of "Uniforms," Ken really captures the essence of pop and stamps his name all over it.

The more you listen to the album the more you feel it sinking through your skin before you become completely saturated by it and before you know it you have played it five or six times on the trott. Being an old romantic as I am I have chosen this song as the showpiece, it is beautifully written and makes you believe that true love is still outhere. After you get beyond the throwing up you find this is a great love love song that has a warming subtlety attached. Click here to purchase your copy of the album.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Guevara's Ghost - antitank.mp3

One of the pleasures of being an mp3 blogger are the unsolicited e-mails that appear in your in-box containing links to mp3's. They usually start with a paragraph of flattery about your "amazing" blog, but all too often the mp3's turn out to be a real let down. However, when The Raging Family sent us this link to their latest album, the "Black Hole Transmission", most of us at Last Night.. had downloaded and were listening on repeat by the end of the day.

The Raging Family have got a great attitude to sharing music, with hundreds of mp3's available on their site. Whole albums, mash up albums, DJ sets and collaborations... with the instructions "If you like what you hear, blog it, email it, blast it on the radio, burn copies for your friends, this is what the ott's is all about!".
In our usual sluggish way, we didn't get round to blogging the Black Holes before others put it out there first, but if you still haven't heard it yet then you should check it out here.

Today's track is a project called "Guevara's Ghost", and features The Raging Family's Cosmos Corbin producing "one of the west coast’s premier touring tango groups, Mood Area 52."
The mix of hip-hop beats and traditional tango music is unlike anything else in my music collection, and comes repleat with it's own brand new Genre ID3 tag "Ghetto Accordian".

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Michael Nesmith - Tengo Amore.mp3

Could you tell someone you like their hat without bringing your hand to your head? No! It would be like telling someone you like the Monkees without pointing to the Mike Nesmith statue in the corner of your room. Everyone knows it's there but no-one mentions it.
It may be considered weird to have an unhealthy obsession with Nesmith but sometimes it's just what the doctor ordered.

Having come through The Monkees acid faze with some brain cells left, Michael Nesmith decided to turn his hand to some good ol' country rock, (or should I say, help invent it). Okay, Grams' Burritos had got there first but Nesmith and his wonderfully titled First National Band weren't far behind.

As with most things Michael Nesmith got involved with it was a great success (although not commercially this time). The band made two great albums, Magnetic South, and Loose Salute (where this song comes from).

From Country rock he went on to be one of the pioneers of music TV (cheers for that Mike) and into film production and writing.
Without Mike Nesmith we wouldn't have had many things, and without this track we wouldn't have had a hit from a certain '80's bedsit fave (any guesses? - tune in Friday for the answer).
(click here to buy from AmazonUK)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Sparklehorse - Hundreds of Sparrows.mp3

Something odd happened the other week. Saturday, late afternoon, and Mrs Really's out somewhere in the sunlight, buying vegetables...blessed with an afternoon to myself I'm stretched out on the sofa, curtains drawn, music playing, enjoying the summer...

...and then there's the tiniest of scratchings from the fireplace...chips of gravel and grit rattle down the chimney...I'm on my knees to investigate, then all at once enveloped in a billowing cloud of brown dust...a battered starling flutters out, circles the room a few times and settles on a light-fitting. It's feet look scaley and bigger than they should, clicking on the brass. Fixing me with it's one good eye, the startled bird shrieks and defecates all over the coffee table. It makes a few more circles of the room, then returns to it's perch.

We spend a little while looking at each other until I come to my senses and open the curtains then all of the windows. The house is now filled with light, and after a heartbreaking near-miss, the starling finds the opening and flies out into the street, vanishing somewhere above the house...

...for me, it's a Sparklehorse moment, and something of an epiphany, though I'm still figuring it out...

I clean up, shower down, and rush to meet my wife in the market, surprising her with a bag of whatever the plural for 'avacado' is.

If your shelves are still missing 'Good Morning Spider', you could remedy the situation here.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Slade - Far Far Away.mp3

I can't avoid Oasis at the moment. And when I hear Oasis, I always think of Slade. This is unfair on Slade.
I consider that most of the monobrow Mancs finest moments were when they lifted Slade (not Beatles) sounds. 'Don't Look Back In Anger' was always Slade meets The Manfredds 'Pretty Flamingo' to these old lugs.

I realise that this may be an 'un-happy slap' to the many millions of Oasis die-hards out there. And, as the latest Oasis album is flying out the record shop doors en route to the top of the British charts, what do I know? Indeed, there are some sterling moments on the album; but the clanking, incessant foot-on-the-monitor dirge that is their latest No1 hit single 'Lyla' (neither a 'Layla' nor a 'Lola') has me fumbling for the mute. ( If you wanna use the hit record argument, may I point out that Slade have had nearly twice the number of hit singles as Oasis).

This track 'Far Far Away' finds a mellow, reflective Slade in late '74. By this time, they'd travelled the world, been the raucous Kings of Noize and were obviously shagged out and pining for the Black Country and a quiet pint of Marsdens. Noddy Holder says he wrote this in a Memphis hotel room during a US tour. Sitting on a hotel balcony (no doubt in his mirror hat), drink in hand, he saw a paddle steamer coming down the river. Perhaps he'd also just enjoyed "a red light off the wrist, without even getting kissed". When Noddy went to tell his producer (Chas Chandler) about those lyrics, Chandler made him complete the song whilst the idea was still fresh, lest he forget the moment with the next morning's hangover.

Amidst the hey-day screaming power fun of 'Mama Weer All Crazee-Cum On Feel The-Skweeze Me Pleeze Me' leviathans, Slade also did some crackin' ballads; particularly the similar-themed paean to life back home - 'Everyday'. You could do far worse than to recall Slade at their best. In that vein, try the album 'Old, New, Borrowed & Blue'. Also from '74, is the excellent (for a rock band) movie - 'Slade In Flame' which is now available on a well produced DVD. There are also enough 'Best Of' Compilation CDs to fill a Knebworth field.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Eric Burdon - San Franciscan Nights.mp3

Leaving the UK for the California coast, Burdon picks up a new band and also reinvents himself as a sorta peace & love cosmic older brother, instead of a boasting, boozing blues singer. From '67 and '68. Eric had become psychedelised and the evidence oozes out of every pore on Winds of Change. The album includes such hits as (San Francisan Nights, Monterey, and Sky Pilot) mixed up a lot of Eric Burdon's most interesting work. All originals except for a trippy reworking of the Stones' Paint It Black. In addition to the hits, some of Eric Burdon's most interesting work resides on these sides: Poem by the Sea, Hotel Hell, Good Times, Anything, Orange and Red Beams, We Love You Lil, and All is One are among the best songs Burdon ever had a hand in writing. The shout/spoken Man-Woman predates his later 70's work with War, the spoken work story The Black Plague is still chilling in an E.A. Poe meets EC Comics kinda way. San Franciscan Nights captures a moment or at least a bit of the mythology of a magical moment in a corny but sweet san franciscan style. You can check this album out here.