Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Above Audio, brighton, wed 27th july.
Suffering post traumatic clor disorder.
Body still jerking and juddering.
Shooting off at tangents.
They were all there:
And yes, even yes, jon anderson trilling and shrilling.
Swilled around like a fine wine.
Shot out sideways.
Got down to the we don’t want a hit single vibes.
Down on jollity farm.
Uneasy listening for the iOdd generation.
We are jazz rockist.
Fretting up and down.
Keyboardist working on checkout at lidl.
You got a nectar card?
He was scanning.
We were spazzing.
Shoes speak volumes.
Sneakers I espied.
But aye, there be a power pop chorus rearing it’s photogenic heed.
Short and suite.
Clor, clor, clor.
How do you like it?
How do you like it?
Clor, clor, clor.
Over and out.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
There's a non-specific genre of music, a kind of easy-listening that's seemingly become so bland and inoffensive it can slither it's way into high street boutiques, designer boozers and thirty-something dinner parties...bizarrely at odds with how 'urban,' sexual and edgy it once set out to be...
Reflect on Tricky and his darkest of materials, consider how he's unwittingly soundtracked a thousand dinner party conversations about birkenstocks and farmer's markets...accompanied by a robust Chilean Pinot Noir and a drizzle of truffle oil...and perhaps a 'naughty' spliff in the kitchen.
Or, dig (if you will) the picture of a 'hip' urban bar, an industrial themed place in a newly gentrified plot of town, all cocktails and banquettes, a cigar room and... Hark! Isn't that Goldfrapp's latest clot of crispy tissues?
Casting my mind back about a decade and there I was working in a bargain bookshop....the manager was off (having liposuction of the head) so I blissfully took control of the shop stereo...off goes 'We're Pan-piping Xmas' and on comes the first Portishead album. Hard to believe how 'out there' it once was...I'd just had a 'naughty' spliff in the stock room and was bumbling merrily around stacking shelves, feeling all Gen-X and subversive, as Ms Gibbons emoted like a sick harpy over those underwater beats...thinking "this'll freak the punters out, but care not I, for I am the pompous postgrad student in jobslum nirvana"...and up comes this old wifey of about 70 asking where she can get the 'canny' music that's playing? Curses, foiled again!
Could it be that the underground has become the mainstream? Or that the ascent of irony-boosted easy-listening has elevated the inoffensive to the hip? Or do bars, shops and restaurants simply need subdued but cool background music and there's nowt wrong with that? Or are all of the named artists just great 'cause they have the gift for melody and commercial suss that is the basic prerequisite of pop success? Or has Patrick Bateman morphed into Nathan Barley? So why do I still like it all? Is just that I'm getting old? And shouldn't I have written this crap about eight years ago when it may have still been relevant?
Affirmative to all of the above, gentle reader...and while I'm at it, may I commend to you the latest Thievery Corporation platter...off the wonderful 'The Cosmic Game' soundtrack to buying the missus a handbag. Can't help loving it...as international a blend of sounds as you're likely to get on one album...Cape Verdean singers and Indian percussionists ply their trade alongside big name guests like The Flaming Lips and David Byrne, all contributing to the multicultural din. That's Perry Farrell in there too...he's talking about a revolution, you know...
Mmmm....is this veal organic?
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
An undeniably important figure in the history of British popular music, the folk, jazz and blues singer "Long John" Baldry passed away last weekend (aged 64) in Vancouver General Hospital, Canada.
Born John William Baldry, 'Long John' ( he was 6' 7") inspired Eric Clapton to play the blues and famously spotted a young Rod Stewart busking outside a London tube station and took him under his wing. Baldry started his career playing folk and jazz in the 1950s and became one of London's most respected music figures. He went on to become one of the founding fathers of British Rock 'n' Roll in the 1960s and appeared at The Cavern in Liverpool, becoming friends with Paul MacCartney.
Baldry was invited to perform on the Beatles' internationally televised special "Around the Beatles" in 1964, along with P J Proby and Cilla Black. He performed with influential British bands Blues Incorporated, and Cyril Davies' R&B All Stars in the 60s. Later, he fronted the Hoochie Coochie Men - who included Rod Stewart - who later joined Baldry in Steam Packet, also featuring keyboardist Brian Auger and singer Julie Driscoll. He went solo after a brief period with Bluesology, which featured Elton John on keyboards. (Indeed a young Reg Dwight took the name 'John' along with Elton (Dean) to come up with stage name Elton John).
Long John's only Number 1 in the UK - 'Let The Heartaches Begin' - is featured here. Written by the all-conquering Macaulay and McLeod, it was a massive orchestrated balled that had fierce competition for the top spot back in 1967. Although looking back now (as an old cynic) it can easily be considered as gloopy and of it's time, it was amongst the first ever vinyl given to me as a young child. It quickly helped me realise the intense emotion that could be poured into a 3 minute pop record.
After emigrating to Canada in the early 1980s he recorded for EMI Music, and since 1991 recorded five albums for Stony Plain Records in Edmonton, Alberta. The label is set to re-release Baldry's Warner Bros. albums, It Ain't Easy and Everything Stops for Tea, in the autumn. Perhaps that might be brought forward now? Since the early '90s, he was also known in Canada for his extensive voice work in commercials. He received a Grammy nomination in '98 for his work with Disney and old pal Elton John. Just to prove there's life after pop stardom, he also narrated on Winnie The Pooh recordings for Disney and was the voice for Robotnik on the popular Sonic The Hedgehog computer game.
More tributes can be found at http://www.johnbaldry.com/
Monday, July 25, 2005
Following the vibe of Devilfish’s Disposable Heroes post this is another song that seems even more fitting today, in a world of reality TV shows where people-watching has moved on from the scripted soap to the horror of programmes such as Big Brother, where cable telly is a norm in most households and having only four channels seems cheap and laughable. From the very fine album It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back this catchy tune samples the crazed guitar lick from Slayer’s “Angel of Death” from their very fine album Reign in Blood
If the buzzing guitars and static aren’t enough to conjure up images of the minions of darkness beaming evil messages through the airwaves, then Chuck D and Flavor Flav’s lyrics hammer the point home. A nation of mindless zombies glued to their sets escaping the day to day reality into the glitz of TV land. Every day, every week, chewing their food to veg away hours of their lives watching the pap that drones on into the wee small hours, living the dream in their heads. “You’re blind, baby…”
(Click here to buy from AmazonUK)
Friday, July 22, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
It's nearly a year since i posted Luke Temple's Make Right With You. I first heard it at Pitchfork's mp3s page last year, and immediately tracked down the EP from which it came. And was glad i did. But of course my insatiable appetite demanded more and the album was still not out for months and months.
The advance mp3 of a forthcoming album track, Old New York, on Millpond Records site only made things worse, as it was the best track i had heard yet by Mr Temple.
Then at some point earlier this year another mp3 Someone, Somewhere showed up on Luke's Millpond page and i had yet another reason to want the album. I was growing more impatient all the while, especially as the charms of all the tracks i had heard to date were not fading, but were becoming constant companions who i would introduce to anybody who would listen.
I don't really know what's taken me so long to get around to posting a track of the album. Maybe hearing the tracks one at a time over a few months sort of ruined that first listening experience a little. Remember the old days when you used to have to go and buy the thing before you could hear any of it! That first virgin listen doesn't come around so much what with more and more labels (or blogs) offering a freebie or two to get you hooked...
Over the last couple of months the dust has settled and i would recommend the album to anybody, especially if you like that early Paul Simon voice that Luke does so well...
Now i am waiting to see if he will make his way across to the UK for a few shows at some point.
There are currently 4 tracks from the album up at Millpond...
Private Shipwreck (4.98 mb)
To All My Good Friends, Goodbye (7.69 mb)
Someone, Somewhere (3.2mb)
Make Right With You (4.47mb)
(click here to buy from Millpond)
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Woah!... If you are checking back to see if you're gonna get another installment of reckless poisernal information overload i regret to tell you that i ain't goin there, alls i'm sayin is that i was a late starter due to a youth spent in preposterous victorian segregated schooling, and when the moment eventually came my way, it was more of a Napalm Death - you suffer.mp3 "lets get this over with" type thing than a sensuous Marvin soundtracked marathon.
... so in an attempt to please those punters who just hoover up the mp3 goodies, and must be fairly fuckin' bemused by old Hazel and Roxytits (especially if they haven't been reading as the wife gradually morphs into the readers pages of Razzle), here's one of the greats.
Have any of you's seen Gil Scott-Heron live?
My mate who first introduced me to Gil has had tickets a couple of times to see him in the 90's. But apparently he didn't use to turn up that frequently. My mate didn't mind that much 'cos his band do their thing anyway and he tells me his fans accept that when you buy your ticket, you are only buying a possibility of seeing him and they were still good nights.
I ripped this track from 1990's Glory compilation which is fantastic for those looking for a way of getting to know Gil's recordings. Unfortunately it doesn't have any tracks from the early poetry and percussion album Small Talk At 125th & Lenox. I think the earliest track on there is probably the essential The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (the Pieces Of A Man version with the band, which is also where Lady Day... originally came from). You already know that version right? With a groove supplied by Ron Carter on bass and Bernard Purdie on drums.
When Bernard Purdie was playing on a session he would set up a couple of screens on either side of his kit in the studio. On one was written "you gone done it" and on the other "you hired the hitmaker!"
There are 26 tracks on there taking you right up to the early '80's and they have ALL got something to offer. Do yourself a favour and click here to buy it, you won't regret it.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Following from DVD yesterday I thought I would tell of sexual encounter of a dirty kind. One of my first girlfriends was one of those Tom Boy types infact she looked a bit like roxette only a bit meaner and she was a brunette too, I think I only started seeing her for protection as she used to be pretty good at kickboxing and most of the Boys were scared of her nevermind the girls.
We had been courting (dating for our american counterparts) for about 3 months when suddenly
the moment had come we were left alone in the house without any parents and guaranteed not to be disturbed for at least several hours. I remember thinking to myself go on son you can do it afterall this is what you have been waiting for the holy grail, the golden fleece, a chance to drink from the furry cup, it was the time for me to become a man.
I started planning my strategy, how should I make my move? should I play it cool.....then wham WHAT THE...bash I looked up to notice I had been pinned to the floor,I was being attacked by a wild beast all I can remember is seeing these huge breasts hurtling towards my face. Then before I could take a breath they were upon me like Mike Tysons fist pounding my mouth whilst I gasped and struggled for air, first I was struck by the left then the right, left, right, left, left, I was taking one hell of a beating.
After surviving the first round I was in a bit of daze however I didn't have much time to reflect as I was soon battling for survival a second time, before I could say Bob's your uncle and Fanny's your aunt my pants had long dissapeard and by now she had my full attention if you know what I mean "wink wink" anyway I knew if I was gonna survive I would have to take charge. I fought my way to the top just to find myself being pinned for the second time, by now I new I had lost and decided to give in and let her have her evil way it will all be over soon I kept telling myself and I was right I wont go in to anymore details but just to let you know that girl could of sucked a tennis ball through a hosepipe. The first thing I remember afterwards was the song playing on the radio and the first line I heard was It Must Have Been Love, but its over now, its all that I wanted now I lost it somehow.
Its funny how that sort of thing happens and the lyrics could not have been more meaningful to me at the time, it's like when you finish a relationship and every song on the radio seems to be about breakups and love. If it dosen't kill you it will make you stronger is what my old pa used to say to me when I was a kid, I never really knew what he meant until that time. Click to Buy.
Monday, July 18, 2005
As you know very well by now, here at 'Last Night ..' we fell off the rock snob pedestal a long long time ago. A song has to mean something to us; and it's a bonus if it's any good!
And so to the song I recall whilst enjoying my first ... blow-job!
I was fairly young and desperately naive recipient. (You know the one about thinking cunnilingus was an Irish airline, well to me, fellatio was a type of Italian pizza).
At the time, it didn't matter much to me that the slightly odd Hazel O'Connor couldn't sing very well. I did know however, that opportunity was knocking and I couldn't look a gift horse (or moose) in the mouth, or .. 'just politely .. say goodnight'.
The saxaphone solo in this is particularly apt. It's unfortunate that it lasted far longer than I did.
So, get your thinking caps on dear reader - I want you to play this at home. As music is the back-drop to our lives, tell us which song re-opens your Oh What A Night sluices? It could be your first (pardon the pun) full blown sexual experience, or drunken knee-trembler, or (if you're a little more shy, your first kiss. (On the bell-end or otherwise)).
Pulp, Bobby Goldsboro, The Sutherland Bros, and The Four Seasons all recall the first time - how about you? Go on, life's too short.
Let your mind wander back. Do you smile or wince at the memory? What was the soundtrack as you leapt from the wardrobe or fumbled in the shadows? Leave a deposit in the comments box.
Meanwhile, buy some Hazel O'Connor here
Friday, July 15, 2005
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Taken from the "with the invisible" mini album, from 2001. Dan Black has been writing great songs for years now, but the fame and fortune that many who knew him predicted would just fall into his lap, still hasn't materialised.The name of the band is taken from the classic british flick of the same name, and on this track it makes sense why. Whilst sat at his office desk, with phone on his ear, Dan fantasizes about smashing his bosses head in with a rock ("i shut that cock up, with a rock, non stop in his face"). It's funny, claustrophobic, and desperate all at once.(click here to buy from amazon UK)
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Take a good look at the gent in the picture...none other than John Tavares Silver, the 'Father' the song's dedicated to...check the hat, cigar, tie; conclude that if dictionaries had pictures you'd find him right there, under 'dapper.'
Old John Boy hails from the Cape Verde Islands, and had a bit of a pedigree himself, playing violin and guitar at the parties that must have exposed Junior to all kinds of music...helping to set him on his way to becoming one of the all time great jazz pianists. Find out more about Horace Silver here.
According to Horace, this tune has a flavour of these childhood days, which is why he dedicated it to his dad. It also has "...the authentic bossa nova beat. Not just the monotonous tick-tick-tick,tick-tick, the way it's usually done..."
Not knowing an authentic bossa nova beat from a casio-tone one, I'll have to take his word on that...but one thing I do know is that this track's just got something I keep going back too, as does the album which is a bona fide classic. Get it here, and really start enjoying the summer...
Oh, I almost forgot to mention Steely Dan...
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Devendra Banhart - At The Hop.mp3
From being homeless on the streets of San Fransico going from squat to squat and supporting himself through busking on the street corners to well on his way to mega stardom. Devendra has found himself the talk of the town with his sixties style pyschadelic folk and mesmorising song writing ability he is set for the top. With comparisons made to people like Cat Stevens and alike he truly deserves all the hype and accolades attributed to him. It's refeshing to hear a new sound and I for one is digging it, the new album cripple crow will be released in september and you can check out a few of the tracks here in the meantime you can gorge yourself on this his previous album Nino Rojo at young god records.
This album is a perfect accompaniment for chilling out on a summers evening in the garden with a few friends sipping the odd glass of pimms enjoying the social banter and winding down after a hard day at the office. Devendra is currently on tour are here are some of the venues you can catch him at, I already have my tickets I'll see you there.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
As we are UK-based, we feel that we must comment on the horrific atrocities carried out today in London. Our hearts reach out to the families (in particular the children) and friends of the innocent people killed and maimed as they simply went about their daily business. We have the strength to get through this.
Glenn Jones - One Jack Rose (That I Mean).mp3
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Here's a fellow I think you should know about. Musicians that have raved about Clifford T. Ward's unique talent include: Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney, Jeff Lynne, Tim Rice, and the like. And yet he remains largely under-rated. Well I'm no musician and I don't know much, but I knows what I like!
Born in Worcestershire, England, singer-songwriter Clifford T. Ward studied literature and this track - "Home Thoughts From Abroad" - re-interprets the Browning poem - substituting Browning’s gentle romanticism for monochrome 1970s British domesticity. As a boy, I found the song spellbinding - and still do today. His enduring storytelling is simple yet complex, aching yet jaunty, sad yet joyful. Much like his life.
In '62 Ward formed a beat band - Cliff Ward and The Cruisers. Popular in Birmingham they were also on demand at American Army bases in France and during a long spell abroad Ward wrote 'Home Thoughts ..'. He had married his childhood sweetheart and with 2 children, money was tight. As Ward recalls: ..'The other men were able to pocket their money and have nights out in Paris. I would mail my money to my wife to help pay the rent and feed the kids'.
The song is from the album of the same name released on the Charisma label in April 1973. One of the other tremendous tracks released from that album - ‘Gaye’ reached 8 in the UK singles chart. (The string arrangement tears you up). Sadly, he became an enigmatic one-hit hero, yet continued to write and record (with a certain peace and purity), but ironically reluctant to travel far from home, he made fewer and fewer performances. In 1984 he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and despite the frustration of his growing disability he continued to write and record at his home studio. He released his last album 'Julia and Other Stories' in 1994. "I'm like a bat" he said at the time, "I function best at night, but I had to make some of it on all fours!" Clifford T Ward died of pneumonia at Christmas 2001.
There are a quite a few albums to check out. The compilation 'Gaye And Other Stories' is highly rated and can be bought here. There are some cracking tribute sites on the net too.
So, all you thrusting indie/punky/hip-hoppin crazee mothers, if there's still room for carefully crafted lyrics and beautiful melody in your life then - homesick or not - find 3 minutes of complete peace and quiet ... and listen.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
This article in the LA Times the other day got me thinking a lot about the "unwritten rules of blogging".
For any mp3 blogger there are maybe one or two golden rules that can't be broken, like posting whole albums for instance.
There are obvious reasons for this that are more to do with self preservation rather than blogger ethics. If you posted the whole Bloc Party album then you are probably gonna get yourself one of those cease and desist orders. And i imagine that we would all think "Rightly so".
Another rule states that you can't blog what other people have already blogged. What? Even if it has been taken down from the original site? What's the logic behind that (other than blogger egotism)?
If you post a track by a particular artist, whether you heard it first from another blog or were the first to unearth a hidden gem, aren't you helping the artist to find a wider audience? Supposedly the reason that many claim that they do this every day.
I know for sure from the e-mails that i receive from artists submitting their music for consideration that i have never come across an e-mail stating "i was going to ask you to support me and my music, but IndieKid at MusicBlog already mentioned me, so please don't promote me in any way, thank you".
Although if you do re-blog it would be polite to credit the source with a link.
Another rule that i think i can safetly say all of us at "the wife" reject is that of only posting unheard of rarities.
Andre Wiesmayr of Bumrocks may take a cynical view of this populist approach, claiming that "There's no reason for half of these sites to exist.." but we say "NO!" to elitist blog snobbery of the "my records are rarer than your records" type. Don't get me wrong, i love erm.. Bumrocks (on a daily basis) but if you don't want to read someone spouting off about how much they love Nirvana then it's easy... don't click on them. There is plenty of room for everyone out here, and people sharing their listening habits (whatever they may be) has got to be a good thing, hasn't it?
An interesting point to add here is that it's the tracks that you would imagine everybody might already know that clock the biggest downloads from our server, which tells you something about what people choose to click on.
And anyway, in these times of faster and faster connections why can't we listen to tunes that we have loved but maybe haven't played for a while... like a radio show with a quality playlist rather than an obscuro music lesson.
Anyway, i always thought the best thing about mp3 blogs is that there are NO RULES, there's room for everybody to do it... however they want to.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Southern trees bare a strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze. Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.These poignant words were written in the late 30's by liberal, Jewish, New York educator Abel Meeropol (under the name of Lewis Allan) as a song to protest one of the worst examples of human behavior - the lynch mob. In 1939, singer Billy Holiday recorded these words in what would become her signature piece until the end of her all-too-brief life. With strange fruit it could be argued that billie holiday was the first protest singer of modern times, the song is a deep and powerful interpretation of these dark and tragic stains on humanity. Never has a song been sung with such passion and ease that makes even the most dim-witted hick able to grasp the meaning.
Tricky has managed somehow to add an extra darkness that excenuates the true horror of the bodies swinging in the trees in what surely must be one of the most brutal times in the history of mankind which is really saying something when you take everything into consideration. Everytime I listen to this track I get a cold shiver that shoots through my body as the lyrics combine with the coldness and honesty of Billie's voice that burns mental images in to your soul and makes you wear them like a scar. To buy this track please click along with many others then you can click here.