Thursday, 26 February 2015

Alessandro Cortini - 'Passatempo'

Feeling a bit unsettled? Have a bit of Musical Medicine, like a dose of Calpol for the soul!

Alessandro Cortini - 'Passatempo' (2014)

Bleak & atmospheric, perfect for cruising around the skyline of a Blade Runner-esque, dystopian cityscape in or, in my case, an evening drive home from work. Either way it's a sublime piece of futuristic electronica. Incidentally, I recently watched the, 'our generation's Fatal Attraction', Gone Girl, it's an excellent movie with an equally fine soundtrack from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The desolate and almost claustrophobic nature of the music adds to the tension throughout. I wanted to hear more but it maybe somewhat inappropriate to play the soundtrack at home considering the subject matter and the wife in the film is a nuttah! The reason it struck a chord is perhaps that Alessandro Cortini also happens to be part of Nine Inch Nails when they are together. He also fronts a Electro-Alt band called Sonoio. Passatempo is taken from the Italian's 3rd solo album, Sonno, out in 2014.

Have a listen/subscribe to our tummy rub of Musical Medicine below or visit some of our posts, here.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness of Dancers


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

Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness of Dancers (2014)

Absence makes the the heart grow fonder! Having spent a few weeks away from the blog I am itching to get back into it.  The last few weeks I have had the joy - if that is the right word - of parenthood. Time spent wiping bottoms, cleaning up and feeling exhausted makes me wonder how humanity has survived this long! Everyone tells you the same - say goodbye to sleep - and they are right! It's blinking exhausting!  (Un)fortunately now I'm back in work which does mean my 4 hour commute does at least give me time to savor some music and not listen to nursery rhymes!!!

Lateness of Dancers is the title track of Hiss Golden Messengers 2014 release.  Just listening to the intro will quickly take you to the MC Taylor's North Carolina porch. A perfect track to teleport you from this shi££y UK weather! Both album and live version here are cracking!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

TRACKS OF THE WEEK - 22/02/2015 - Led Zeppelin, Matthew E. White, Mysteries, Ibeyi

Old Pa's Corner :-
Led Zeppelin - Brandy and Coke (2015)


Nothing more to say!  Brilliant!  Track of the Year so far....ooooh! maybe not! Check out Dylan's New Album!!!

For Cliff,  he would hate this!  But I needed something hard!  Something violent, something to kick the shit out of Cancer!!

Ibeyi - 'Ghosts' (2014)

This track, from French/Cuban duo, Ibeyi has been following me around all week. Apart from some stunning vocals and tidy key playing, it's a haunting (pun not really intended, really) song. A reminder that we all have 'ghosts', some more difficult to exorcise than others, very annoying. Taken from their recent, self titled album out on XL recordings.

Shell Hunter:-
Matthew E White - 'Rock & Roll Is Cold' (2015)

You can't beat a bit of good ol' honky tonk piano. You can almost see yourself in the Double Deuce from the film Roadhouse. Patrick Swayze with his arms crossed is in the corner giving a knowing nod to the band who are providing good clean wholesome entertainment to the Southern revellers. The retro sounding Matthew E White was a big player in my 2012 as I was super impressed with the track Big Love. I enjoy his more up beat songs such as this new track from his second album due out on 9th March but if you prefer his more laid back approach, check out Tranquilly too which was a song he wrote for the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman of whom he was a big fan.

Mysteries - Authenticity Machine (2014)

Moody, doomy and the closet thing to Elbow since Elbow? Mysteries are..well a mystery. Although they are based in Los Angeles they 'supposidly' have not even revealed themselves to their LA record label, Felte. If true, they've taken the let the music do the talking to the next level. This appears on their debut album, New Age Music Is Here 

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

Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother/Free - My Brother Jake




My Brother Cliff was 11 years older than me

But although we grew up at a distance

He was always there

I thought Cliff would be there for ever

Although we did not see too much of each other

And lived apart sometimes at great distances

He was always there 

Always there and it was a kind of comfort

Just to know that

Although we were different

We still shared a sense of humour

We shared our heritage

I knew Cliff would always be there

In any time of my need

I remember Cliff taking me to see

Aberdeen V Rangers in the Cup

Before he married Mary in the sixties

And she gave me 2/6

Trying to impress me I thought

You think of Cliff and you immediately think of Mary

They say behind any Great Man is a Great Woman

Mary is that woman

Cliff worked hard and was successful

In no matter whatever he did

He was one of the last to do National Service

(Bring back National Service, I say)

And even there he became a Corporal

He seemed to get promotion

Throughout his life

And I was proud of Cliff for that

I always thought he could become

The Prime Minister

But as I got older I realized

He was too honest for that job

There was not a dishonest bone in his body

You know the saying ‘salt of the Earth’

Well that kind of sums him up

My brother Cliff

In his last few years he suffered tragedy

That no Dad or Mum should suffer

And they both handled it with Dignity

Cliff & Mary you did not deserve that

You will be a big loss Cliff

To all who knew you?

To all whom you have touched

Especially to your loving family

Your laughter would light up any room

I have always loved you Cliff

I always will     

Your  little Brother Brian

Thursday, 19 February 2015

DYLAN COVERS # 184 Nighthawks/Steve Hackett - Man in a Long Black Coat

STEVE HACKETT - Man in The Long Black Coat (2006)

Here are two versions of one of Dylan's most mysterious songs. There are quite a few good cover versions out there, but I quite like these two, especially Nighthawks. 

The first one is by Steve Hackett probably most famous for his spell with Genesis. You can find this on the album WILD ORCHIDS (2006).

Take two is by Nighthawks and is on their album 4 (2007). Really nice Jazzy feel to this.

Nighthawks are a German jazz Duo and not to be confused with 'The Nighthawks' the US Rock Blues Band.

NIGHTHAWKS - Man in The Long Black Coat (2007)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tommy Edwards - It's all in the Game



TOMMY EDWARDS - It's All in The Game

Who says I can't do Love ?  well check this Bad Boy out!


You smile at me
the flame in your pale green eyes
lights up your tanned fragile face
You reach out your hand to touch me
You are wearing only perfect silk and lace
I awake to the chorus of singing birds
as the Sun breaks through the misty dawn
I turn and tell you I love you
Until there is no sparkle left in the eyes of the night Sky
or the Sun melts the Heart of the Cold Cold Moon

 Oh! Lord Protect Our Love

You put your arms around me
You tell me that you love me
You untie your perfect silk and lace
We cling to each other like limpets
terrorised by the seas merciless face
The Wind turns her head and smiles
And provides a cool gentle breeze
Time himself lends his helping hand
And slows down his rigid pace
I will caress the locks of your golden hair
I will kiss the sweetness in your eyes
I will taste our burning passion 
I will cling to our embrace
And standing there above us
Is Aphrodite the Goddess of Love
She is holding hands with a Templar Knight
Sent down by the Lord above
They are here to help and guide us
They are here to protect our Love

JOHNNY CASH - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Sunday, 15 February 2015

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 15/02/2015 - Mark Ronson ft Kevin Parker, Josh Rouse, JD McPherson, Hot Chip

Four tracks that tickled our fancy..

Mark Ronson - 'Daffodils' ft Kevin Parker (2014)

'Uptown Funk' finally managed to wear me down, pretty hard when it's the number one requested track at home and the rest of the country for that matter. Despite it sounding a bit like James Brown's hideous, 'Living in America' and all the other awful funk the 80's had to offer (maybe that's the whole point). I can't help but love it. I do think Bruno Mars and his band are pretty tight too. I'm a fan of Mark Ronson (especially when he was predominately a Hip Hop DJ) and would have checked our his new album, Uptown Special, anyway. There are some very good moments but for me the space funk of Daffodils, featuring Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, stood out. It has spring connotations after all.....daffodils...trumpeting the arrival of spring.

Josh Rouse - Some days I'm Golden All Night (2015)

Josh Rouse has been one of my favourite singer/songwriters for a number of years.  However, unlike his peers such as Ryan Adams / Conor Oberst, he still hasn't had the commercial breakthrough and credit that his fans think he deserves.  Instead, he now lives near Valencia, Spain, enjoying the sun, sea and sangrias. It is a world away from his native Nebraska, but something he enjoys.  His new LP, The Embers of Time, is out April 7th and it contains some of his best work to date.  Give him a go and you'll be converted!

Old Pa's Corner:-
JD McPherson - Let The good times Roll (2015)

JD is new to me and this is a track from his new album of the same name as this track. This one 'chugs' along very nicely thank you and is enough to tell myself to check out the album and check out JD himself.

Shell Hunter:-
Hot Chip - 'Huarache Lights' (2015)

Boom! First Calexico, now Hot Chip! My two perennial faves have released singles in the build up to new albums coming out later this year. I saw this on the BBC6 playlist and got the sort of excitement that a kid experiences when they inadvertently come across their hidden Christmas presents. Maybe a bit excessive, but I just love these guys and what they do. Wondering what the hell the title meant, I found out Huarache Lights is actually the name of a new pair of Nike trainers out that bring back an old skool 90s style. I had a look and they're okay, not worth the price tag in my book! Luckily, I don't feel the same way about the track! It's toe tappingly catchy and more than definitely a grower, bring on the album Why Make Sense? which is out May 18th!

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

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Metallica - 'For Whom The Bell Tolls'

Have the sudden urge to run really fast into your neighbours fence? Save the embarrassment, just listen to Give Me a Guitar instead!

Rocking the salon!

Metallica - 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' (2014 live @ Rock Am Ring, Nuremburg)

I've never been happier than when I'm on my board, cruising at speed, wind in my hair and the noise of the wheels tearing up the curb. That is until my wheels hit a tiny pebble, the skater's nemesis, the board stops abruptly but I don't, the momentum carrying me forward as I make an unplanned landing on the concrete. I Pick out the gravel from my forehead/elbows/knees and nod in acknowledgment at the kids who are laughing uncontrollably at the large middle aged man taking his time getting up from the floor. That was last summer, it's happened before and it'll happen again but I'll keep skating. An old pal once told me that 'Old Skatedogs never die'....hmmm maybe so, they just get heavier and fall harder.

Sfw and I used to skate (still do-ish), ever since Marty Mcfly held on to the back of cars in Back to the Future in 1985, we've been hooked. It was the best fun, we made some great friends along the way, we were competing against ourselves as well as our peers. There was no time for booze and girls, we were out flirting with all the sweet skate spots but maybe that was the problem. You see, we followed the Bones Brigade, the superstar group of Cali kids we aspired to be. I bought a Tony Hawk deck, Sfw a Lance Mountain and with that dreams of being a chubby Hawk, sailing through the air. I realised that after watching the excellent Bones Brigade Autobiography, the Bones Brigade were just a bunch of boy scouts (Like I think Tony Alva says in the documentary) and that I've been rooting for the wrong guys all this time. Tony Hawk's rival Christian Hosoi should have been my skater of choice, he was Rock and Roll and had style in abundance. See Below:-

The soundtrack to this clip is immaculate, Metal doesn't get much better than this! 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' is taken from Metallica's second album, 1984's, Ride the Lightning. I wish I listened to that on my 'boom box' whilst skating instead of Milli Vanilli or Deacon Blue, I might have been a bit better than I was.

Anyway boy scouts or not, the Bones Brigade ripped! And the fabulous end credits show these guys, living legends to me, still tearing it up at skate competitions and such (my groin twitches at the thought!)....they are all in their late forties early 50's. Still an inspiration!

Bones Brigade, (L-R, Stacy Peralta, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Mike Mcgill, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero

Donovan - Josie/To Sing for You


DONOVAN - Josie(1965)

Antoinette Manly, now there is a name for you. She was my first love, I think.  I was about 10 or 11 and still in primary school. She arrived like some amazing beauty queen and from the south. She was tall with long blond hair and burning blue eyes. She came from Hampshire, a place from where slowworms came.  She was  not like the boring other girls. She was beautiful and exiting.

I was in love and it was my first time. I just knew something had happened.. I met her alone one day after school, after a session at the swimming baths. On the way home. I caught up with her in purpose (nowadays they call it stalking) and we found out together our love for animals. We both adored;  frogs, toads newts, dogs, goats everything, I was in love with Antioette Manly and I believed she was in love with me.

Older guys told me I should take her to the Old House and ask her to prove it. I did not know quite what they meant. But I agreed and sent her a note asking her to meet me and my mate Ian Motion, she could bring her friend Jean Totten .We could meet on Saturday where I catch newts and toads.

We went to the Old House but I did not really know what to do. We ended up playing, truth, dare, or got to. and when I was asked to kiss Antoinette, I really did not know what to do and I found it boring.

A few weeks later, she farted in class and I sent her a note saying she was dropped. Well!

It was much later I realised the importance of a fart in a relationship

Ah! was that you Old Ma!....auuuuh blooody ell! 

I tried to write a poem about it, but got a bit bored of it and could not be arsed finishing it. But here is what I did anyway, in its unfished form. You will note of course I lie about the true ending. But that is between you and me.

A tall godess was Antoinette
with long golden hair
brght blue sparkling eyes
and a smile which lit up any room

she was so different
from all these scottish girls

she came from the land of the slowworm

I fell in love with Antoinette
and she fell in love with me
It was our very first time in love
a strange feeling of thrilling wonder

she came from the land of the slowworm

I met my love Antoinette
on the way back from the swimming pool
we talked about newts, toads frogs and snakes
we held hands and were joined as one

she came from the land of the slowworm

The older boys they told me
to take her to the old house
thats where she should prove her love
we met there on the first Saturday

she came  from land of the slowworm

when there I was'n sure what to do
a game of truth dare or got too was played
the dare became a kiss
but i did not see any fun to this

she came  from the land of the slowworm

She later told me her dad had to go
she would be leaving  very soon
i was left holding a broken heart
and a love so new and true

she returned to the land of the slowworm 

DONOVAN - To Sing for You (1965)

Sunday, 8 February 2015

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 08-02-2015 - All We Are, Duke Garwood, Calexico

Three tracks that left us staring out to sea...

Old Pa's Corner:-
Duke Garwood - Heavy Love (2015)
Duke Garwood is another new name for me but when I heard this 'slow groover' I was soon into that groove. This is really good and it come from his new album of the same name Heavy Love (2015). I thought the sound was a bit familiar and with a bit of investigation I found it was co-produced by Mark Lanegan and that definitely comes through. Even the voice sounds a bit Markish.
Never the less great effort and makes me want to check out the rest of the album.       

Shell Hunter:-
Calexico - 'Cumbia De Donde' (2015)
I was getting a lot of notifications that Calexico were touring the UK over April and May this year. As well as huffing and puffing over not being able to go as I'm due to drop a mini Shell Scouser mid March, I suspected new things must be on the horizon. A new track had appeared on Spotify which my ears gobbled up greedily and enjoyed immensely! It's the best of Calexico for the modern age! Traditionalists may poopoo the use of electronica but I think it's a clever way to introduce a bit of a change. Their new album Edge Of The Sun is out in April and I'm seriously thinking about bundling little London Hunter into a back pack Master Yoda style and heading to Shepherd's Bush! Joey and co NEVER disappoint!

All We Are - Keep Me Alive (2015)
I am delighted to hear that the Liverpool 3-piece are back with the amazing Keep Me Alive which features on their self-titled album that was released last week. It's already dropped into my albums of the year list (albeit we are only in February) with their disco infused pop. Fans of Wild Beasts, The XX might want to give it a spin.

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

Friday, 6 February 2015

DYLAN COVERS # 182 Bettye LaVette - Everything is Broken/Unbelievable

'Kill that beast and feed that swine'

BETTYE LAVETTE - Everything is Broken (2012)

Here are two covers by Bettye LaVette who has been on the go since the sixties. It is a bit strange she has only recently found a bit of fame as she has a fantastic soul voice. Her new album and her previous album have both contained Dylan covers and both are definitely worth your time.

The first take is Everything is Broken and is from her album Thankful N' Thoughtful (2012).

The second one Unbelievable, not a common Dylan cover by any means. Do you know which album it comes from?. Of course you do!, or you would not be reading this. It is from the, shall we say 'patchy' Under The Red Sky (1992). You can find this on her excellent new album Worthy (2015).
BETTYE LAVETTE - Unbelivable (2015)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Samba Toure - 'Touri Idje Bibi' / Atri N'Assouf - 'Medan'


Samba Toure - 'Touri Idje Bibi' (2015)

I'm perhaps even more excited than when I looked out the window this morning to be welcomed by the season's first of the snow, 'darn sarf' anyway. The pathetic dusting will no doubt have caused panic as our news channels will inevitability be clogged up with reports of travel chaos in Surrey, unlikely given the amount of 4x4's. More excited because of the release of Samba Toure's latest album, Gandadiko (burning land), out last week. He's probably my favourite African artist, just from the brilliantly sombre Albala (2013), recorded in the back drop of the war in Mali. This album on first hearing is a lot more diverse than his last offering and a little more joyful, particularly on the single 'Touri Idje Bibi' (black fruit). It's still darker in places, losing none of his own brand of Desert Blues as the guitar playing is immaculate. I'm off the watch the news reports of the 'Surrey Snow Bomb' with the sound down.

Warning, I don't recommend the video if you are feeling woozy or a bit sea sick.

Listen to Samba Toure Gandadiko on Spotify here.

Atri N'Assouf - 'Medan' (2011)

Speaking of immaculate guitar playing, then you must check out Niger's Atri N'Assouf. 'Medan', is one of the standout tracks from their 2011 album, Akal, proving there's far more on offer on the Desert Blues circuit. Some members of Tinariwen helped out on the album but it doesn't detract from the fact that band member Rissa, is a talented guitarist with his own distinct sound. Hear for yourself below.

Atri N'assouf Akal on Spotify

Snow flurries making your nose run? Get some desert wind in your face with TuneDr's Desert Blues Vol.1. or
You could do a lot worse than having a listen to some more of our 'World Music' Corner.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Santana - Just in Time to See the Sun




I thought I would try a little experiment. I picked a number and then looked at the corresponding song on a file I have of  'All Time Greatest Songs' (my choices of course). The object was to see if I could write a post about the song.

After all, that is what our Site is really all about !.

I thought of something immediately and I then played the song for Old Ma and asked her if it reminded her of anything in particular. Spot on, it reminded her of exactly the same situation. 

I was staying in Boston Manor near Ealing in 1972 and shared a house with my sister Rose and her friend Morar. I had  room with quite an interesting guy (his name escapes me) who had quite a few Dylan Bootleg LPs, so he was alright with me. That I am afraid,  has not really anything to do with the story, but there are a few stories that come to mind whenj I stayed in that house, now I come to think about it..

It was winter and bloody freezing, there was no heating in my bedroom. Old Miss (in these days) and I were so cold in my 3 foot wide single bed with its nylon sheets, that we decided to go into the living room.  We gathered plenty of cushions and blankets on the floor.  We lay next to the old gas heater and played music.

I had just bought Caravansaria by Santana and this was a standout track. We played the whole damm album several times and then played the Temptation's Papa was a Rolling Stone, the long version, we had it on repeat. We were nice and warm and snuggly and were musically purrring.

Funny what you remember with a little'it!

Let us know your musical memories, I am sure they must be more exciting than that.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

TRACKS OF THE WEEK 01/02/15 - Maurice Louca, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Gaz Coombes Au.Ra, Gretchen Peters,

Five tracks we surrendered to this week...

Maurice Louca - 'Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan' (Salute the Parrot) (2014)

Tutankhamun's broken beard may have been hastily put back together by a pair of incompetents with Pritt Stick but there's nothing hastily put together here by Egypt's DJ Maurice Louca. I dismissed this track at first but it grew on me, particularly the gravely voice like some unearthly singer out of Jabba's Palace. But also the beat and strings which builds to a crescendo, wait for that drop! It's what all the Cairo cool cats listen to in the city's musical underground. I definitely salute the parrot!

Check Maurice at Bandcamp...or
at Nawa Recordings here.

Shell Hunter:-
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - 'Ballad Of The Mighty I' (2015)

I really don't know why I haven't featured Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds on here before. I think it's a combination of thinking the band name was a bit naff and a bit of me being a musical snob with the 'Oasis not being cool anymore' stigma. I recently read that the name is a nod to Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and also the track High Flying Bird by Jefferson Airplane. Fair enough! All the songs from the previous album have been at Noel's pretty high standard especially the fantastic 'AKA What A Life'. This track which is the second single from up coming new album Chasing Yesterday, stands out to me because I love the bass line. I heard an interview with Noel on the radio about the song and he mentioned his collaboration with the great Johnny Marr. He said the really good bits you hear are Johnny, the rubbish bits were him. Modest much!

London Scouser:-
Gaz Coombes - '20/20'

Having been a fan of Supergrass after hearing 'Caught By The Fuzz' in the Brit-Pop era of the mid 90's I was disappointed when they split. I never really got into Gaz's first solo album, but his latest offering 'Matador' is my album of the year... Okay so 2015 is only 1 month old, but I count this as my fave album of the past 12 months inclusive. Every track is a winner, and '20/20' is probably the standout. It's almost gospel like at the start and about 2 minutes in, the drumming and acoustic guitar remind me of a Radiohead track that escapes me. Is Gaz back on form ??? 'I Should Coco'

Au.Ra - Morning (2014)
2015 has been a momentous year for me. Both personally and musically things have been fantastic and I just don't want the bubble to burst. I have discovered so much great music over the last month that either I have been taking too many happy pills or it's just "one of those years". Take Sydney duo Au.Ra (a.k.a), Tim Jenkins and Tom Crandle. The duo’s latest album Jane’s Lament is released in March and as a teaser they have shared a number of tracks from the project. “Morning,” “Sun,” “Pyramid,” and “Spare The Thought”. Their Indie-fuzz style is a combination of The Charlatans (I had to keep on double checking that it wasn't Tim Burgess singing!) and My Bloody Valentine.  It is a real grower and their album is on the "must listen to" list!

Old Pa's Corner:-
Gretchen Peters - When All You Got Is A Hammer (2015)
Nice interesting lyrics if you listen closely, suitably dark for my taste. It is by Gretchen Peters from her new album Blackbirds (2015). It is all about Vet suicide, quite a topical subject in the USA right now and rightly so too.

Listen, how would you have coped in Vietnam or Afganastan?. I know I would have been on any local I could get my hands on, just to get me thru. Thats if I turned up in the first place of course.
This Gal has been around for some time and for some reason I have not heard about her.

She's my new girlfriend. 

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