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Tuesday 29 April 2014

On The Buses

I have lived in London for just short of thirty years - longer than many of you hipsters out there have been alive, I daresay - and given the choice have always travelled by bus rather than tube. More time but less stress.

Some of my speed-loving acquaintances have mocked me, implying that...

"You're Crazy For Taking The Bus" - Jonathan Richman

... but when the tube drivers go on strike, being a bus nerd who knows all the routes is a major advantage. Unlike many of my fellow citizens, it has taken me no longer to get around today than it normally does. So let's hear it for that Monarch of the Road, the London bus.

"A Transport Of Delight" - Flanders & Swann

"Number One Bus" - Nuru Kane

"Fourpenny Bus Ride" - Dantalion's Chariot

"Bus Conductor" - Poser

"Bus Stop" - The Hollies

And when you want the bus to stop, what do you do? Ring the bell, of course.

Sunday 27 April 2014

Big Time Operators

Evening All. We're back from South Africa with a bumper batch of Tsonga Disco goodies for you courtesy of Reliable Music in Joburg - some old friends like General Muzka and Mr Jambatini and some new names too. You'll get all of that over the next few weeks.

While I was over there, sitting in a remote fishing village picking up my emails on my tablet, I thought about how much technology has changed over the last forty or fifty years. Mostly for the better, but it has meant some things have got lost along the way. Like the long-distance telephone operator, the stalwart of so many old songs. Here are a couple of well-known examples covered by ladies, one successfully, the other less so.

"Sylvia's Mother" - Rita Marley & The Soulettes

"Memphis" - Mrs. Miller

Saturday 12 April 2014

Missing You Already

To keep you in tunes while I'm on my hols, here are ten tracks I featured way back when starting out that are worth another listen. Hopefully there is something for everyone here, including Ethiopian funk, 1970s Catalan pop and a 1980s Yugoslav new wave version of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore". See you in a couple of weeks.

"Tonight Is The Night" - Betty Wright

"Midas Touch" - Surreal Estate

"Still Water" - Jerry Jones

"Elz Falziots" - Joan Manuel Serrat

"Madame Rasta" - Lord Melody

"Doomsday Nowhere City" - Plato & The Philosophers

"Yedetnesh" - Mahmoud Ahmed

"Barleycorn" - Tim Van Eyken

"Market Place" - Hugh Masekela

"Sjaj U Tami" - Dorian Gray

Thursday 10 April 2014

Bedtime Beasties

South African readers will be familiar with the tokoloshe. The rest of you would do well to be aware of him. He is an evil little sod, most active at night. The only way you can be sure of sleeping safely is to put a brick under each leg of your bed so he can't reach you.

Here are a couple of songs about him. The first is by the late, great King of Tsonga Disco, Peta Teanet. The second is by the still living King of Thing, John Kongos.

"Thokoloshi" - Peta Teanet

"Tokoloshe Man" - John Kongos

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Single Song Tuesday

This was going to be a Single Song Sunday post but then the pesky uploading problems I mentioned in my last post started and I couldn't do it. They seem to have gone back from whence they came, but as I am off on my hols this Sunday I thought I would do this now rather than wait until I get back, by which time I will have forgotten all about it. So, with apologies to the purists, here we go.

After the "Who Knows Where The Time Goes" Single Song Sunday, I had a request for a selection of covers of Bob Dylan's completely original and not in any way nicked off the English folkies he hung about with in the early 1960s' "Girl Of/From The North Country".

I'm not posting either of Bob's official versions as he probably he has "people" who take umbrage at that sort of thing. But the "Nashville Skyline" version was a duet with Johnny Cash, and Johnny himself teamed up with Joni Mitchell to do the song on his television programme. It's an unlikely combination but it is really rather lovely, so we will kick off with that. As I created the mp3 from the clip at the end the sound quality isn't brilliant, but it's good enough. 

The rest of them are pretty good as well.

"Girl Of The North Country" - Johnny Cash & Joni Mitchell

"Girl Of The North Country" - Howard Tate

"Girl From The North Country" - Link Wray

"Girl From The North Country" - Jimmy LaFave

"North Country Girl" - Pete Townshend

"North Country" - Roy Harper

Monday 7 April 2014

Normal Service Not Resumed

Apologies for being even more irregular than usual, but for some reason Box seems reluctant to upload my mp3s. I have tried all their trouble-shooting tips but none seem to help - any bright ideas gratefully received. I will try to get it sorted before I go on my hols at the end of the week but, until then, here are some top Monday themed clips to tide you over.

Friday 4 April 2014

A Carol For All Seasons

You lot think of me as an international taste maker and surfer of the zeitgeist. Which is fair enough. But in what is laughably called "real life" I also double up as a dull office worker.

The lady who looks after me in that capacity is called Carol and, with the exception of dear old Mother Goggins, she is probably the nicest woman it has ever been my pleasure to know. Many is the time I have found myself saying, in the words of the Gladiators, "Hello Carol, I'm depending on you". This is for her.

"Hello Carol" - The Gladiators

"My Carol" - Mark Olson

"Oh Carol" - Las Hermanas Jimenez

"Sister Carol" - Barrington Levy