Friday, 28 February 2014

DYLAN COVERS #138 Neil Diamond - Make You Feel My Love/Lay Lady Lay

I am I said!

NEIL DIAMOND - Make You feel My love (2008)

This is a fabulous take on what has become the X-Factor's  favourite song. I even think it is better than Adele's version, which is not too shabby either. I just hope that Cliff Richard does not jump on the band waggon and releases a cover for his 96th Christmas attempt for a number one.

It comes from Neil'Home Before Dark (deluxe Edition) (2008) album, where he attempts to do his Johnny Cash thing with Rick Rubin. It is not a bad album at all.

The Second cover is a pretty boring live take from the album set Stages (2003) Live recordings between 1970 and 2002.
NEIL DIAMOND - Lay Lady Lay (2003)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Cure - 'Boys Don't Cry'

Musical Medicine....a track that's like sitting in a bath of houmous and pitta for the soul!

Lock up your combs, The Cure are about!

The Cure - 'Boys Don't Cry' live on Jools Holland (2004)

It's a big deal being 4 3/4. You are almost 5 and that's when you become a big boy with all the perks that come with it, jumping higher, running faster and finally watching Star Wars. Sounds like a mini Bionic Man but all this is according to my son who I've just spent a week with for half term.

So one day, we're pottering around the house when The Cure classic comes on, 'Boys Don't Cry' and he asks me who it is. I show him a picture of Robert Smith and he's not impressed with his hair but loves the track as he's a big boy and that means big boys don't cry. True to his word, during the course of the week, he has been smacked in the face with a rugby ball, had his fingers jarred by a basketball, hurt is elbow when I 'accidentally' tripped him up and went to bed 'no messing' despite the possibility of Robert Smith's barnet hiding under his bed. But despite a couple of lip wobbles, he tells me it's OK because big boys don't cry just like the song.

'Boys Don't Cry' was The Cure's 2nd single which became their first hit and was taken from their 1980 compilation album, Boys Don't Cry.

More musical chicken soup? Check out our Musical Medicine posts here...

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

WEDNESDAY CLUB - The Real Mackenzies - Drink Some More


'different colours, different shades!


I had a great week-end with Rose and family, she had a house on the banks of the St Lawrence River and you could sit outside with your breakfast or beer and watch the ships pass. It was October and and fall was approaching. One day you were in shorts and t-shirt and contemplating a swim in the river. The next day it was freezing with sleet.

I went by train to Ottawa about a 2 hour journey if I can remember and first headed for the British Embassy. It was all very easy, I obtained a new temporary British Passport without any problems. I next headed for the Saudi Embassy and they said it was not that straightforward to just get an immediate Visa. The whole process had to be started from scratch and they confirmed that it could take up to 3 weeks or more. They asked me to return in a weeks time in person.

I had several hours to kill before there was a return train. Time to check out the bar culture in downtown Ottawa. Time to contemplate the fact I was trapped and stuck in Canada until I got a Saudi Visa. ( Banged up abroad)  but at least I could get plenty Brador (the strong one) and Molson Beer (the light one). I did not even have my trusty Walkman to ease the journey home it was stolen along with my case.

Saying that, the journey was fabulous it was nearing fall and the colours of all the trees was a joy to see. I have never seen such a variety of colours in all my life. A magnificent spectacle.

I had two other journeys up to Ottawa. I new every bar and barman in downtowm Ottawa and eventually got my passport after 3 weeks. I had a great time in Canada but wish it was under different circumstances. It was great to catch up and get to know Rose's family.

The choice of song is by Canadian Celtic Punk Band  'The Real Mackenzies'  which incidently is my family name. Well it had to be done!!

I Love Canada Pt 1

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Nick Mulvey - Fever To The Form


Do you like Singer/Songwriters, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Nick Mulvey - Fever To The Form (2013)
As someone who regrets some of the paths i've taken, I admit to being a little jealous of Nick Mulvey.  He started out playing Piano & Drums then moved onto the guitar.  At 19, he moved to Havana, Cuba to study music & art and spent the long days learning and the "evenings jamming and drinking rum".

He then returned to the UK and studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies to study Ethnomusicology (I had to google it to find out what it was) and then went on to form the Portico Quartet, who were nominated for a Mercury music prize in 2008 for their debut album, Knee-deep in the North Sea. 

He left them to go solo in 2011 and is about to release his debut album 'First Mind' on the wonderful fiction records.  

Why is it the older we get, the more we regret? I must remember Tom Rush's mantra

If you are a fan of Men with Beards, like the gentle stroking of a six-string, or just a miserable bugger, Subscribe to our Spotify playlist and read more Tuesday Blues here!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 23/02/2014 - Night Beds, Little Dragon, Angel Olsen, Foster The People, The Presidents Of The USA

Five tracks that swept us away this week....

London Scouser:-
The Presidents Of The United States Of America - 'Poor Little Me'

I've been a fan of PUSA as they are often abbreviated to since I first heard 'Lump' way back in 1995. They hail from Seattle, but are different to most of the other bands from there that I'm into (Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam to name just 2). They always sound like they're having a good time and don't appear to take themselves too seriously. 'Peaches' the follow up single being a good example of that. After 2000's 'Tiny Explosions' they seemed to have disappeared as far as I could tell so I was pleased to see they had a new album out 'Kudos To Me' this week. Poor Little Me sounds like a typical PUSA track with some Hillbilly thrown into the pot and I think it's great. They are currently in the middle of a tour of the UK, if I'd known I would have tried to get the time off work and go see 'em. Poor Little Me

Old Pa's Corner :-
Angel Olsen - Hi-Five (2014)

There is a bit of a buzz about this young American lass. There are names like Leonard Cohen (check out White Fire) and Black Francis (check out Forgiven/Forgotten) are being bounded about. There seems to be a sort of new category instantly made up to describe her music 'Grundge Folk',  which really is quite good if you listen to the rest of the album. It has been on my playlist all this week, You must check out  Burn your Fire for no Witness (2014) her second solo album. The tracks mentioned above feature on this album.

Little Dragon - 'Klapp Klapp' (2014)

Sweden's Little Dragon have been one of my favourite bands over the last few years. Maybe it's feisty singer, Yukimi Nagano's voice or their distinct quirky Electro sauce, either way, like meatballs and lingonberry jus, it's all very tasty. 'Klapp Klapp' is the new appetiser from the forthcoming album Nabuma Rubberband out May 12th. Cor...listen to that double bass too.!

Little Dragon's official website....

Night Beds - Head for the hills (2014)

Night Beds were one of my discoveries of last year. Their debut album, Country Sleep was compelling listening and a spellbinding debut and their track, Ramona, got into my top five tracks of the year. They have recently released Head for the Hills, I like it so much that I'd climb mountains to see them live.

Shell Hunter:-
Foster The People - 'Coming Of Age' (2014)

The 80's are back in town in this new single from Foster The People. Okay, so its no Pumped Up Kicks but I love that guitar. This song should feature in a 80's teen soundtrack (one of my specialist areas might I add), I can just see a young unpopular girl, making friends with the new girl who also happens to be a teen witch. Guess what?! A life changing make over transformation or 'Coming Of Age' if you will! Joking asides, some may feel this is a luke warm effort but I think it was meant to appeal for the very reason it does to me, to evoke nostalgia, feel familiar and safe. Well done lads, you can check them all off! You can also check off The Beach Boys-esque wooooooo too! The new album Supermodel will be out following this single in March!

Listen or even better, subscribe to our tracks of the week playlist here...

Saturday, 22 February 2014

P - 'Dancing Queen'


This is admittedly an odd track, but I love it and felt like it was time to share it. Do you have a favourite cover, if so please contact us and tell us why by clicking here

P - Dancing Queen (1995)

I'll admit that I bought the album that this was on purely on the basis that Johnny Depp was a member & at first I thought that he was the singer. I soon discovered that the lead singer was in fact Gibby Haynes who is better known for 'The Butthole Surfers' who are responsible for one of my favourite songs of the 90's in 'Pepper'. His deep deep vocals work really well on this bizarre cover of Abba's seminal classic from the disco days of the seventies. I wish I could find my copy of the album as it was a fun listen to, but it's probably been sent to Music Magpie for them to enjoy and resell on to Poundland or some such place !!!
Ah well, maybe someone is enjoying the album right now listening to the copy I spent my hard earned cash on.

Johhny and the band enjoying the royalties on my behalf (maybe)

ABBA - 'Dancing Queen' 1976

In case you didn't know the original !!!

NERD ALERT - P were playing a live set at 'The Viper Room' which was co-owned by Johnny Depp, at the same time that River Phoenix died on the pavement outside the famous venue

Unfortunately, P aren't on Spotify (yet??) but please check my Spotify playlist of other covers that I love

Thursday, 20 February 2014

DYLAN COVERS #137 America/Steve Earle - My Back Pages

Where's that Volkswagen?
AMERICA - My Back Pages (2011)

Remember America?, A Horse with no Name, Ventura Highway, The Tin Man, not bad stuff, but they kind of disappeared. Well I found this album Back Pages (2011) which contains quite a good cover of My Back Pages.

Also check out this take by Steve Earle from an album Sidetracks (2002)  not at all bad.

STEVE EARLE - My Back Pages (2002)

GUEST SPOT #66 - Julia Holter - 'Hello Stranger'

Back from a brief hiatus, our Guest Spots are back. Here we see previous contributor, Brendan with a track that ticked a musical box for him this year....welcome back sir! Have you got a song you just can't keep to yourself? A great concert story or just simply a musical memory you'd like to share? Do it! Click here to submit your Guest Spot now here!

Julia Holter - 'Hello Stranger' (2013)

‘Hello Stranger’ by Julia Holter is the one song that made my heart miss a beat this year. It reminded me of the force 12 breath of fresh air that ‘O Superman’ blew through the charts back in 1981.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Antony - If it be Your Will/Beth Orton - Sisters of Mercy


They used to laugh about dying!
ANTONY - If it be Your Will (2006)

I loved the film Bonnie and Clyde starring Warren Beattie and Faye Dunaway from 1969 and when I heard there was a new TV version over two episodes I was quite looking forward to it.

I am sad to say it was rather disappointing. I could not understand a word they were saying. The Texas drawl was over done and there was no subtitles.

I don't know why I persevered and watched the second episode. I am glad I did as the song over the credits was superb. I new the song but was not sure of the singer. I thought it may be Ray Lamontagne.

After a little internet browse I found it was by Antony from Antony and the Johnsons. It was from a tribute album of Leonard Cohen songs called I'm Your Man (2006). I remember the album but never got round to getting it.

It was most enjoyable especially the Antony cover. I have also added Beth Orton's magnificient live cover of the Sisters Of Mercy, which incidentally was the first LC song I heard and was on the fabulous CBS compilation album 'The Rock Machine Turns you On'

BETH ORTON - Sisters of Mercy (2006)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Ásgeir - On That Day


Do you like Singer/Songwriters, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Ásgeir - On That Day (2013)

I've been transfixed by Ásgeir's album In The Silence as of late.  A evocative, gorgeous record by Icelands 'hottest' export (The album last year became "the biggest- and fastest-selling record by a home grown Icelandic artist ever" - even outsold Bjork & Sigur Rós which must be a "big deal".

I'm a sucker for men with beards singing falsetto - and it makes no sense.  My wife says that listening to singer songwriters probably keeps me grumpy...

If you are a fan of Men with Beards, like the gentle stroking of a six-string, or just a miserable bugger, Subscribe to our Spotify playlist and read more Tuesday Blues here!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 16/02/2014 - Beck, Tinariwen, The Notwist, Bombay Bicycle Club, Boy and Bear

Five tracks that were full of 'Gust-o' for us this week

Old Pa's Corner :-
The Notwist - Kong

Here is a track from German Indie Band The Notwist from their new album Close to the Glass (2014). I can't believe they have been going since 1989 and this is their 9th album. I never even heard of them before.

This is a great driving commercial track with one of these catchy riffs that will burn itself into your sub- conscious.

Don't you think the video is very apt with all that rain you poor guys are having at the moment.

Sorry can't stay just putting my shorts and t-shirt on, must be 25 degrees to-day and a  bright blue sky.

Tinariwen - 'Imidiwan Ahi Sigdim' (2014)

With all that perpetual rain and gales we've been having, it makes a nice change to feel that desert wind in your face, albeit through the speakers. 'Imidiwan Ahi Sigdim' is an evocative piece of Saharan Soul taken from Tinariwen's 6th album, Emmaar, released last week. To avoid the conflict in Mali, they recorded the album in a completely different desert this time, the Mojave in the US. With Jack White's producer, Vance Powell, at the helm and with a host of guests including Chilli Peppers, guitarist Vince Klinghoffer, helping out, it still has that desolate feel but adds a touch of that psychedelic American Desert Rock feel to it. Still perfect escapism, as is the atmospheric video.

Tinariwen on the web...

Beck - "Love" ('2014')

I've had a hectic few weeks and have had very little "home" time.  So this one is for the missus. This version of the track, originally from John Lennon's 1970 debut album 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band', is taken from 'Sweetheart 2014', a forthcoming Starbucks compilation of artist performing covers of their favourite love songs.  It stands up against the original, but Lennon's version will always pip it as I had it playing when my wife walked down the aisle.

Shell Hunter:-
Boy & Bear - 'Southern Sun' (2014)

Track of the year alert! I don't know how but I just have that feeling, I can't get enough of this song at the moment. Boy & Bear are an Aussie folk-rock quintet with a couple of albums, both topping the ARIA Album Charts. Their album released last year called Harlequin Dream reached number 1 in its first week! Now you can't say fairer than that for a recommendation right? When I heard this, the chorus reminded me a bit of a song I loved by Everything But The Girl, 'I didn't know I was looking for love'. Boy and Bear have a sort of Lamb Chop, Grandaddy Americana thing going complete with mandolin and its just the sort of stuff I feel like hearing right now. Just have to imagine myself standing on the top of Ayers Rock and the feeling is complete!

London Scouser:-
Bombay Bicycle Club - 'Luna' (2014)

As soon as this started I thought it's the Knight Rider theme tune... Ok so it's not, but for a minute it almost kinda was sort of... To me anyway... But I digress, the BBC are back with another great song from their latest album 'So Long, See You Tomorrow' which this week became their first number one album. They are currently in the middle of a European tour and arrive back in the UK at the beginning of March before heading across the pond in April for a couple of months in North America. Not to worry though, they will be back in July where I will see them at Latitude 2014! The video features synchronised swimming which is always fun to watch too !!

Listen or even better, subscribe to our tracks of the week playlist here...

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Pierces - 'Kissing You Goodbye'

Musical a hot water bottle and a duvet for the soul!

The name is Pierce...

The Pierces - 'Kissing You Goodbye' (2011)

Ever thought a song was following you around to get your attention? Oddly enough, it happened with this song.. London Scouser and I were in town to get him an upgrade for his mobile and whilst I was hanging around the phone shop, this song was playing. I liked it straight away thinking it sounded very much like Mamas And The Papas, 'California Dreaming'. I quickly Shazammed it thinking it must be new. I was surprised that it was out in 2011 and I'd not heard it. Later that day, we went to a pub in the highstreet and as I sat down, a familiar song came on but I couldn't remember what it was so Shazammed it. It was the bloody same song! Twice in one day? That's spooky for a song I'd never heard before!

The Pierces are an American Psychedelic Folk Pop sister duo that have influences in the likes of Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkle. They've even toured with Coldplay and performed on Jools Holland. I must have missed that!

Even though I think it's mighty obvious the uncanny similarities, here's the cracker from Mamas and The Papas for your listening pleasure!

Friday, 14 February 2014

TuneDr's Valentine Disasters!!

Over sized fluffy toy? Check. Tacky padded Valentines card? Check. Silk Y-fronts? Check. Two cans of Strongbow Cider? Check. Yep it's Valentines day and us romantics can't always get it right!! Here are some of our Valentines you have any?

Har Mar Superstar...patron saint of love!
Prince - 'If I Was Your Girlfriend' (1987)

It's 1987, I'm 13 years old, it's Valentines night and it's all happening down at the roller disco. I fancy this girl, she's new in town and rumour has it she fancies me. She's supposedly 'experienced' too, so as not to look like an arse I ask one of the older 'cool' kids about kissing, do you really have to use tongues or is it optional? Prince had just released the incredible Sign 'O' the Times, the DJ plays the album, 'If I Was Your Girlfriend' blares through the speakers and we do circuits together hand in hand. She asks me to skate her's on!

We kiss...on the lips, no nonsense but she deviates, she moves over to my cheek, then my neck, then my ear where to my horror she sticks her tongue in! "Euughh!" I squeal, "what are you doing?"
She exhales in disgust and pushes me away and walks indoors. "Wait, I did something wrong?" I think to myself.

I never see her again. My friend tells me she tried a 'Wet Willy' on me and apparently it's all the rage with the 'cool' kids! Story of my life.

Old Pa's Corner :-

Hank Williams - Your Cheatin' Heart

I thought I would play an little trick on Old Ma. I bought a nice soppy Valentines card and put some romantic words and finishing with 'can't wait to see you again??? I had a mate from work who lived near Gatwick to post it. We lived next to Heathrow, so the post code would not be local. Well if you do a job you gotta do it right. Old Grand Pa told me that! I was hoping she would be embarrassed and squirm, or even try and hide it. I could not wait for her reaction. How well she must know me, she said it was me right away.

"I knew it was you, because it is just the kind of stupid tricks you would play!"

It really blew Valentines day. All the old scores were brought out of the closet! Looking back, I wish I did not buy those bloody chocolates and flowers, I could have bought a CD for myself. Another lesson learned!

London Scouser:-
Belle And Sebastian - 'Don't Leave The Light On Baby' (2000)

I had a Valentine's Day a few years back that I'll never forget but for all the wrong reasons. I'd finished a shift at work and was driving home about 1 o'clock in the afternoon on the M25 and the traffic was gridlocked. Luckily for me (or so I thought at the time) I was coming off to join the M3 and my lane was driving normally. I saw a car ahead of me sticking his nose out to come into my lane but I went past him. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw he had come out behind me and when I looked forward I saw that the van in front of me had slammed his brakes on for some reason. I did the same and came to a stop just behind him, the car behind me also came to a stop... unfortunately not from using his brakes, but using my car instead. The impact forced my car into the back of the van and I had been in my first accident, less than 6 months after passing my test. I remember the sound and the shock but mostly I remember my car stereo coming out of its fittings a bit like a spring loaded toaster !!! I'd been listening to 'Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant' at the time, I can't remember which track at the time but I chose this one because it seems an apt title. My poor wife, Shellhunter, had specially prepared and indoor picnic for us to celebrate this most joyous and romantic of card shop celebrations. I eventually got home about 7 o'clock. We had the picnic, but the occasion was a little bit like my airbag....deflated.

As a bonus, I've added a sneaky cover by B & S of an 80's favourite. They've slowed it down compared to 'The Primitives' original, but I kinda like their take on it

Shell Hunter:-
Pamela Starks and Ali Campbell - 'That Look In Your Eyes' (1995)

In secondary school, Valentine's Day was always exciting. The 6th formers used to sell  'Cupids' which were basically delivering love letters, presents and messages to all the students who had them bought by their secret admirers but during class time, in front of everyone. One year a friend of mine who was not one of the most popular of guys received his first ever one. The two 6th formers dressed in pink with cardboard bows and arrows said "Is John here? We have a love note from Sally for him." He went white with shock and a hush fell over the class. Who on earth was Sally and why would anyone want to send John a valentine could be heard murmured. He was beaming like a Cheshire cat! They went over and put the envelope in his hand. We all huddled around eagerly waiting to see what it was. He opened the envelope and out fell a very large sanitary towel. The whole class erupted when it said 'My name is Sally the sanitary towel and I love you John' written on it. A girlfriend of mine had played an evil prank on him which I doubt he has ever lived down. I'll never forget the look on his face.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

TuneDr's Playlists - Dylan's Valentines Special

Can You feel My Love!
This Old Heart of Mine!

Valentines can buy her

Are you dreading valentine's night
she does not like the master
he can not sing
she wails
i don't like protests songs
she screams
i don't like dirge
why do you always spoil it
with him

grab a bottle of champagne
or two
cava or prosecco
 is fine too
a red rose in hand
turn the playlist on

she will cuddle up close
she will swoon
she will see the romance in you
the evening will go
where you want it to go

in future
every time she will hear the master sing
she will knock on your bedroom door

Happy Valentines from TuneDr....subscribe to Bob Dylan's Valentines Special here....

Silver Bullet - '20 Seconds to Comply' / 'Never Authorise Apocalypse'

Hip Hop Classics...straight outta Surrey Heath y'all

Silver Bullet.....not compliant.

Silver Bullet - '20 Seconds to Comply' (1989)

There are some movie scenes that will be forever stuck in my consciousness. No more so than the horrific scene in 1987's gorefest, Robocop (the toxic waste scene another), where the experimental law enforcement robot, ED209, brutally turns to pulp a unsuspecting employee in a board meeting. 13 years old and scarred for life....cheers.

Classic Scene 1 from Talking Movies Podcast on Vimeo.

It's the recent reboot of the film that reminded me of the classic track, '20 Seconds to Comply' by British Rapper Silver Bullet, who immortalised the scene by sampling it. It was also the perfect soundtrack to a couple of fledgling rude boys one summer. I used to spend the long holidays up in Scotland every year visiting relatives and ting. But I also had a good friend there who used to be the only other 'Hip Hop head' I knew, it was our bread and butter in those days (to some extent still is) and this track was like an anthem.

But the extent of our rudeness went as far as jumping the fence to his house without the neighbour catching us (or else he'd tell my gran), sneaking off to buy cigarettes only for us to collapse on the way home with head rush and trying to ambush pedestrians by spraying 'shit in a can' on the pavement (bought from the local joke shop and which looked nothing like shit). We would absolutely nail the Running Man to this track too in his living room too!

ED...a bit naughty

Even though I loved American Hip Hop, I was proud that the UK had such talent and a unique style to be able to hold it's own. Silver Bullet hailed from London and released one album, Bring Down The Walls No Limit Squad Returns in 1991. Even though he's still making music now (now called Silvah Bullet), he was more well known in the late 80's/early 90's for his hardcore frenetic Rap style. Often sampling movies, the track below, 'Never Authorise Apocalypse', reminds me of something out of the film, The Omen, with it's choral incantation.

Silver Bullet - 'Never Authorise Apocalypse' (1991)

Ah to da beat ch'all...more TuneDr Hip Hop Classic posts or listen/subscribe to our playlist below...

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down the Crazy River


Rose! I Love You!

ROBBIE ROBERTSON - Somewhere Down the Crazy River(1987)

I was returning from a trip down in Houston Texas and decided to nip up to Canada before returning back to Jeddah. It would be nice to visit my sister Rose who I had not seen for some time.

Rose met me at the Montreal Airport, she lived in a small town about an hour or so away. I asked Rose to look after my bags which were on a trolley as I went to the loo.(Too many drinks on the plane).

We went to the car park and as I was putting my bags into her car boot, I realised that my briefcase was not there.

Panic stations!

Rose then said that there was a disturbance and she turned to see what it was and we assumed it was then that my brief-case was snatched.  I had all my documents, my trusty Walkman and worst of all my Passport which had my entry visa to get into Saudi Arabia.

I reported it to the Airport Police and they confirmed that there had been a spate of similar robberies.

It was the holiday week-end in Canada,. so I could do nothing until Tuesday. I phoned my bosses in Jeddah and they said this was very serious and it may take up to three weeks to get a new entry visa on a new passport.

I would have to go to Quebec on Tuesday and try and get a new Passport before going to the Saudi Embassy and start the process of getting an entry Visa to Saudi Arabia.

It was Friday evening and there was not too much I could do about it,  so to hell! I may as well relax and enjoy my time with Rose, Ian the twin girls and the two boys. Not forgetting their large Labrador, his name escapes me.

I loved every moment of my stolen time!

To be continued

The song comes from one of Canada's favourite sons,  Robbie Robertson, it's from his solo album Fallen Angel (1987). 'it was in that stolen Walkman'.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Swing Lo Magellan


Do you like Singer/Songwriters, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

"Swing Lo(w), sweet chariot...."

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Swing Lo Magellan 
Back in 2011, Flycasual featured How Can You Love Me by Unknown Mortal Orchestra from their self-titled debut album and they ended up blowing my (little) mind. They are the brainchild of Ruban Nielson, a New Zealand-bred singer, guitarist and songwriter who moved to Portland, Oregon. Mixing Indie Rock with a dollop of Psychedelia, they followed it up in 2013 with their critically acclaimed album II.  (You must check it out)

Then late last year they released a curveball in the form of an acoustic EP called Blue Record.  The EP also features unplugged versions of their own material plus a cover of Beck's "Putting it down" (from Stereopathetic Soulmanure) and Dirty Projectors' “Swing Lo Magellan”.

I think it is magnificent and is certainly worth a listen!

If you are a fan of Men with Beards, like the gentle stroking of a six-string, or just a miserable bugger, Subscribe to our Spotify playlist and read more Tuesday Blues here!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Neneh Cherry - 'Buffalo Stance' / 'Everything'

Musical Medicine.....a track that makes you forget your aches and pains

Neneh Cherry - 'Buffalo Stance' (1988)

Where had the time gone ??? Neneh Cherry's first album 'Raw Like Sushi' came out 25 years ago !!! I remember listening to it religiously and loving it. I lent it to a friend and he liked it so much he bought his own copy but was gutted... His copy came in the usual CD format with the browny-black inlay case, but mine had a white inlay which I'd swapped with some other CD I'd bought cos it looked good against the white background of the sleeve !!!
I loved the way Ms. Cherry's American accent occasionally becomes a but Mockney on this track. 'Dya know't I mean" 25 years later and it still gets my feet tapping and singing along.

...and now

I see that she has a new single called 'Everything' followed by an album coming out soon and she still looks pretty much like she did back in the day, maybe it's the sushi ?!?!
If this track is anything to go by, I will be enjoying the album.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 09/02/2014 - Broken Bells, Drowners, Young Fathers, American Authors, Vampire Weekend

Five rings that won us gold this week...

Young Fathers - 'War' (2014)

Last week, Scotland's finest released their 3rd album, Dead. It was a particularly exciting moment for me as being their biggest fan, Kathy Bates Misery style, I was looking forward to it. With a little but of trepidation mind, as previous two part albums (Tape One and Tape Two) were brilliant innovative records, could they replicate that form. I have to say after a few hearings I'm a little disappointed though but there are some very good moments. The excellent War for example reminds of 'Maid of Orleans' era OMD crossed with Massive Attack, one of the many reasons I love these guys and what makes them so unique.

Young Fathers website here....

Broken Bells - 'And I Love Her'

Flycasual introduced me to Broken Bells a few years back and I have to say it's made the world a better place.  James Mercer and Danger Mouse, who released their latest album 'After The Disco' last week, performed the classic Beatles song "And I Love Her" (with a video recording of drummer Starr playing in the background) on the David Letterman show, in tribute to the fab fours 50th Anniversary of their performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. A performance that would change the music world for ever. Class

Shell Hunter:-
American Authors - 'Best Day Of My Life' (2013)

I normally shun the catchy commercial summer tune but I can't help it his time! The weather has been absolutely awful and people keep telling me we are being spoilt with such a mild winter and that the worst is yet to come! Great, what have we to look forward to?! I heard this song on xfm weeks ago and thought, yeah that'll probably be popular as you can easily sing along and thought nothing more of it. Now every time I see the Centreparcs advert I can't control myself! It really does what is says on the tin, a happy song that makes me think of summer days. American Authors are an indie 4 piece based in Brooklyn. They've been getting a lot of exposure through TV adverts, FIFA 14, and also feature on The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty soundtrack.

London Scouser:-
Vampire Weekend - 'Worship You' (2013)

Do you ever hear a track that has you singing along to lyrics you can't quite make out ?? A bit like 'The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight' 'Chop Suey' or even 'Orinoco Flow' Well this is one of those for me, I first heard it whilst playing FIFA 14 on the Xbox and after a few hearings I was gibberish-ing with the best of them. The video that some kind soul made has helped me enormously, so much that now I feel confident that I could do this justice at karaoke (lyrically if not quite vocally)... It helps that no one would know if I got it wrong.
Once I Shazam'd the track and found out it was by Ezra and the boys off of last years album 'Modern Vampires Of The City' I could have kicked myself as his voice is quite memorable, maybe I just wasn't expecting to find them on a football game.

Old Pa's Corner :-
Drowners - 'Luv, Hold me Down'

This is a track from American band the Drowners. I thought with a name like that their sound would probably be all moody dirges (just down my alcove). I was wrong,  this is a nice slice of Indie pop with a great catchy chorus, another one of those that makes you just sing along. 

The Drowners have their heads well and truly above the waterline 

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Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Boo Radleys - 'Lazarus'

Musical Medicine.....a track that's like a hot and sunny deserted beach for the soul!

The Boo Radleys - 'Lazarus' (1992)

This was a total blast from the past which made me stop in my tracks the other day. We were listening to BBC2 radio for a change at work and I was very pleasantly surprised because haven't heard this song for years! I was a big fan of The Boo Radleys when I was a teenager and used to spend a couple of weeks every other summer with my cousin in Inverness, Scotland. Everyday he would drag me and 2 of his mates to a pristinely kept kept football pitch about 20 minutes away from the house. It was directly adjacent to a mental institution. I used to feel uneasy being there as you could hear the people in their cells wailing and singing along to Michael Jackson music. I'll always remember one time I was sitting on the sidelines whilst the lads were having their kick about, this song coming on with the lyrics 'I must be losing my mind, I keep on trying to find a way out'. I'd never really listened to them properly before, how apt I thought.

Friday, 7 February 2014

DYLAN COVERS #136 Roger Chapman/Mick Taylor - Blind Willie McTell

A Family man!

ROGER CHAPMAN - Blind Willie McTell (2002)

I was very happy to find this. I loved Roger Chapman ever since I heard  Family's Entertainment album way back in 1967. His voice just does it for me. It has been said his voice is just like a 'bleeting goat' if that is the case, you can call me Billy.

This is a fabulous rendition and if you like it there are several other great versions on Youtube from more recentlly. The video is taken from a concert in Newcastle in 2002.

The next one is by Ex Rolling Stones Guitarist Mick Taylor with another great version.  Is there life after the Stones?, well you bet there is!  This is good too!  and is from a video recorded at Rockpalast Germany in 2009.
gathers no moss!

MICK TAYLOR - Blind Willie McTell (2009)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Thee Oh Sees - 'Toe Cutter - Thumb Blaster' / Parquet Courts - 'Stoned and Starving'

Give Me a Guitar!!!

Ever have the urge to travel to the States and throw poo grenades at a kids beauty pageant? Prevent a diplomatic incident by listening to these two corkers instead.

I've just got to get these off of my chest...Here are a couple of tracks which have been keeping me perky over the last few weeks. Thankfully I found them after trawling through some best of 2013 lists and it's just as well really because they are far too good to miss.

Thee Oh of beans

Thee Oh Sees - 'Toe Cutter - Thumb Blaster' (2013) (beware, video is pretty rough, you'll never look a can of beans in the face again)

I came across their song 'Lupine Dominus' (see video here but again, be warned) retrospectively on a best of 2012 list and thought it was brilliant but soon after forgot about the prolific San Francisco band. 'Toe Cutter - Thumb Blaster' from last years 'Floating Coffin' (their 12th studio album), is another cracker which finally prompted me in getting hold of their current release, which happens to be an 'effing' good listen . A daunting task playing catch up with a very fruitful band but it looks like it'll be well worth the time.

Parquet Courts are off to Nando's

Parquet Courts - 'Stoned and Starving' (2013)

It didn't take much convincing, one listen to this stunning track from the Brooklyn quartet got me onto their much lauded 'proper' debut, 'Light Up Gold'. The album, released early last year made it on to many a best of list, which for me prompts the question, where was I? Better late than never. The track boasts the best bit of feedback I've heard in awhile, everyone needs a bit of feedback.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Band - 'The Weight' / Bob Dylan - 'The Ballad of a Thin Man'


The Never Ending Diet (Tour 1)
I lost a pound!


THE BAND - The Weight

I was about twenty when I went on my first diet. It was not that I was fat or anything, it was that I just wanted to be slimmer. In the late sixties it was all tight tapered shirts and skinny topped jeans. I went on the great rage of its day the Scarsdale Diet.

I stopped sugar in my tea and coffee and never went back to it. I lost weight and after about a month I was bang on my target goal.  It was easy in these days to loose weight.

Ever since that first diet I have gone up and down weight at regular intervals, I never really became over weight but was never really slim. It had became a way of life.

I have done them all the Scarsdale, The Soup Diet, the Atkins diet, The Beverley Hills diet. You name it I have probably done it at sometime.

I could tell you the calorie content of a peanut or even a witchity grub. Or even how much 30 minutes of cycling would be in calorie loss. Or even 30 seconds of shagging.

It was only when I came back from being abroad in the early nineties that I started to put weight on and over the past few years went up to my peak of  119kilos. At my lowest I would have been 77kilos. Quite a big difference. My height is 6 foot. I kept trying to loose weight during this period but it was really hopeless. My big catch phrase was 'Day one Monday'. There was always a day 1 Monday.

I have been called it all :

'you're fat', 'you will never lose weight', 'you have destroyed your looks'. I even asked people at work to insult me, just to get me going. 'Call me a fat bastard' I said.  'You fat bastard', 'You fat bastard!'

Soon I will tell you how to lose weigh without any pain, by doing my own diet devised after over 45 years of experience. I may even write a book about it, because it works and is currently working.

All you fat bastards out there check out The Never Ending Diet (Tour 2) coming soon.

It may change your life.

Two great selections here,  first is the fabulous The Weight by The Band and an incendiary live version Dylan's scary Ballad of a Thin Man.


BOB DYLAN - Ballad of a Thin Man

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Colin Macleod - California


Do you like Singer/Songwriters, or do you have a unhealthy affection to the sadness, if so you may have a case of the Tuesday Blues!

Colin Macleod - California

We all have our Californian Dreams. I've always loved the idea of living the Surf lifestyle in Northern California, so it is nice to see that I have something in common with Colin Macleod. 
Formally known as The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, he received some critical success in 2010 with the excellent Fireplace. (he even opened for Snow Patrol and the mighty boss!)  It's been a few years since I heard anything by Macleod (he's probably been on an endless summer-esq surf trip) So it was a pleasant surprise in hearing that he released The Anchor EP late last year, of which 'California' is the first track.
Like many surfers, combining Folk guitar and wishful lyrics about the perfect wave is a common dream. Fortunately he has managed to do it. The lucky bugger is living the dream!

If you are a fan of Men with Beards, like the gentle stroking of a six-string, or just a miserable bugger, Subscribe to our Spotify playlist and read more Tuesday Blues here!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 02/02/2014 - Agnes Obel, Embrace, Rotifer, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Amerigo Gazaway

Five tracks that made us all beliebers...

Agnes Obel - Dorian (2013)

Agnes Obel is a classically trained pianist/singer whose debut was and unexpected platinum-selling sensation in her home country of Denmark. This is from her second album, Aventine, and I cannot understand why I haven't given her my full attention earlier. This, and the album, is simply stunning and has the ability to capture you into a musical tractor-beam.  Catch her in Manchester, Bristol and London in April - you might see me there in a trance!

Shell Hunter:-
Embrace - 'Refugees' (2014)

I was very surprised to hear on the radio last week, that the Yorkshire Indie alternative to Oasis boys are back after 8 years of silence with a new album expected in April from label Cooking Vinyl. I had a real soft spot for them back in the day, they were a refreshing change from the constantly feuding Gallagher brothers. At first I wasn't sure of this single but after thinking about it, I realised it was a brave but necessary move to reemerge themselves in today's changing music industry. There's a new fresh electro intro which tickles my interest enough to give their new album simply entitled 'Embrace' a good listen. This could be the right time for them to return with a bit of indie swagger, they've got the world at their feet!

London Scouser:-
Rotifer - I Just Couldn't Eat As Much (As I'd Like To Throw Up)

I'll admit I love a gimmick and I love a catchy title. Last year when Old Pa featured a song called Cheap Beer I have to say I was a little disappointed. Great title , I thought but that's about it. That leads me to this song by Rotifer. The song came to my attention as a free download in Google Play and I'm pleased to say its not just a pretty face !!  After a bit of digging I have discovered that Robert Rotifer is from Vienna and has been releasing music since the 90's. To me this sounds like a mix of Ian McCulloch's vocals and Pulp's clever indie-pop lyrics. It was released last year and is from the album 'The Cavalry Never Showed Up' the video features drawings by Robert Rotifer with the songs lyrics. He's  a pretty talented guy, I should hate him !!! But I don't..

Old Pa's Corner :-
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Lariet (2014)


This is a track from Stephen Malkmus's (Pavement Fame) album Wig Out at Jagbags (2014). It jicks along very nicely and slowly catches you up. It has one of these little hooks that will stay with you and you will wake up the next day and be humming away to it. It is down right infectious.

'We grew up listening to the music from the best decade ever'

Amerigo Gazaway - 'Inner City travelling Man' (2014)

Soul on a pole, y'all! It looks like it's going to be another winner from Amerigo Gazaway, the DJ/producer responsible for the gems, Fela Soul (De La Soul & Fela Kuti) and Bizarre Tribe (The Pharcyde and ATCQ). You could say that Amerigo has a bit of a knack of producing albums of collaborations that never were, this time, with his new 'Soul Mates' project, it's Yasiin Gaye, featuring the sweet sounds of Marvin Gaye intertwined and reimagined with the vocal talents of Yasiin Baye (better known as Rapper Mos Def). The album is released on the 25th of February (Bandcamp) and if this single is anything to go by (Inner City Blues being one of my favourite Marvin Gaye tracks), then we are in for another aural treat. Let's get it, sorry.

Amerigo Gazaway website here....

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