Monday, 17 September 2018

Annie Day Now

I'm delighted to be able to announce the long-awaited return of an old friend of the blog.

Readers of long standing may remember our enthusiasm for Annie Dressner's records, "Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names" and "East Twenties", when they came out in 2011 and 2013 respectively. After a five year break from recording, during which she was doing important things like starting a family, Annie has got a new album coming out next month.

The record is called "Broken Into Pieces" and I'm pleased to report that Annie is sounding as good as ever - as you can tell from this track from the album. She's also doing some touring in the UK during October and November. I'm going to do my best to get along to one of the shows and I suggest you do too. And don't forget to buy the new album while you're there.

BONUS FEATURE: To celebrate Annie's return, here are a few songs by or about other, entirely unrelated, Annies.

"My Bonneville" - Annie & The Beekeepers

"Loving Kind Of Woman" - Annie Blue

"Annie's Got Hot Pants Power" - Syl Johnson

"Annie's Going To Sing Her Song" - Tom Paxton

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Rachid Taha RIP

I got back from my break this morning, and normal service will be resumed in the next few days. But first, a brief tribute to the mighty Rachid Taha, who sadly died while I was away. I was lucky enough to see him in concert once - what a showman!

"Fakir" - Rachid Taha

"Ida" - Rachid Taha

Friday, 7 September 2018

The End of the End of the World

I am calling time on the Apocalypse series. There are two reasons. The first is that I'm off travelling for ten days and I can't be sure there will be anything to come back to. The second, more mundane, reason is that I'm beginning to run out of material - I suspect, for example, that Bob Seger is not actually singing about the lake of fire that the Book of Revelations says will engulf us all - and I would rather go out with a bang than a whimper.

"Earthly War" - Ras Brando

"Four Horsemen" - The Clash

"Fire Lake" - Bob Seger

"Out Of Time" - Chris Farlowe

"Come Throw Youselves Under The Monstrous Wheels Of The Rock 'n Roll Bandwagon As It Approaches Destruction
- The Juggernauts

Today's clip is nothing to do with the Apocalyptic theme, unless you see the sad passing of Burt Reynolds as a harbinger of worse things to come. RIP Bandit.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Apocalypse Monday

I know, I know, its the wrong day for the Apocalypse Thursday series. But when The Mighty Wrath is unleashed, you won't get to choose the date either.

That statement makes no logical sense, I realise, but then neither do predictions of The Mighty Wrath.

"John The Revelator" - Son House

"Great Tribulation" - Hugh Mundell

"Waiting For The End Of The World" - Elvis Costello

Speaking of The Mighty Wrath, here he is a couple of years ago bashing out one of his old - and highly appropriate - hits.

Friday, 31 August 2018

From The House Of Klaus

It isn't always easy being an international taste-maker, living in the constant knowledge that one false move will leave you drowning in a sea of scorn rather than surfing the zeitgeist. But it can't be denied that there is a big upside as well.

That has rarely been more true than over the last couple of days. Last night I wangled myself onto the guest list for Erin Rae's show at the Slaughtered Lamb in London's trendy Clerkenwell. It was highly enjoyable and I would heartily recommend going to see her if you get the chance. I would equally heartily recommend her current album, "Putting On Airs", which I plugged here a couple of weeks back.

Then at lunchtime today I found myself sitting round a table in London's trendy Brick Lane listening to the legendary Klaus Voormann sharing a few anecdotes. The occasion was a combined promotion for his new book collecting some of his graphic art from the last 60 years called "It Started In Hamburg", and for the Reeperbahn Festival being held in Hamburg next month. I can't get over for it, unfortunately, but it sounds like it would be worth doing so if you can.

Klaus is a fascinating fellow and it was a real privilege to have the chance to listen to him. My favourite story was about being asked by John Lennon to design the cover of "Revolver". At that point he had hardly picked up a pencil for the previous two years, and he described his reaction as "Oh shit, now I have to start drawing again".

Like many of you I was familiar with some parts of his career - the friendship with the Beatles, his stints as bass player with Manfred Mann and the Plastic Ono Band and the graphic design etc. But what I had not previously appreciated was quite how successful he was as a session musician in the 1970s.

He played on any number of major hits, and not just Beatles related ones like "Imagine" and "My Sweet Lord". That's him on "Perfect Day", "You're So Vain" and "Without You", for example. And on these less heralded gems from his back catalogue.

"Tribute To Spree" - Van Dyke Parks

"Each And Every Day" - Manfred Mann

"Back Home In England" - Bobby Whitlock

"Fresh As Sunday Morning" - Bert Jansch

 And, perhaps most unexpectedly of all, Klaus also produced this:

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Apocalypse Tuesday

Yes, yes, I know the name of this series is "Apocalypse Thursday" not "Apocalypse Tuesday", but I'm going out on Thursday and won't have the time to do a post then. If we really are approaching the time of the Great Tribulation then waiting for the Thursday after may prove to be pointless. So with apologies to the orderly among you, here goes.

"The Great Judgement Morning" - George Jones

"Fire And Brimstone A Go Burn The Wicked" - Johnny Clarke

"End Of Time" - Robyn Hitchcock

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Syrian Saturday NIght

Some stomping Syrian sounds to get you in the mood for Saturday night, courtesy of the rightly acclaimed Omar Souleyman. Both are from an album called "To Syria, With Love" which came out last year.

"Khayen" - Omar Souleyman

"Ya Boul Habari" - Omar Souleyman

Today's video clip has absolutely nothing to do with Omar, but its magnificent.