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Sunday 30 September 2018

Four Karens

After the Roys, the Karens. No particular reason other than that Ms Matheson popped up on the old shuffle, I thought we could use her as the inspiration and starting point for today's post, and I don't have any other Mathesons in my collection.

"Puirt A Beal (Mouth Music)" - Karen Matheson

"You Just Gotta Know My Mind" - Karen Verros

"To Get You Back Again" - Karen Small

"Something On Your Mind" - Karen Dalton

Friday 28 September 2018

Two Roys

How to conjugate the verb "to Roy": I Roy, U Roy, He Roys etc

"Leggo Beast" - I Roy

"2 Proud To Beg" - U Roy

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Who Loves Me, Baby?

At the beginning of the year I finally got around to investing in one of those Flag Counter things to help me keep tabs on who was visiting here.

During an idle moment on Sunday evening I decided to work out where the blog's most ardent admirers were based. I went very methodically through the 95 countries on the list and divided the total population by the number of unique visitors from that country so far this year to work out where we were relatively most popular.

It turned out to be a home win. The UK topped the table, with one in every 28,000 residents having visited the site - that is very nearly everybody! The second and third placed countries are more surprising - New Zealand and Greenland - and the top ten is rounded off by Ireland, Australia, USA, South Africa, Botswana, Portugal and Canada.

My methodology may be flawed. There has only actually been one visitor from Greenland, but because there are just 56,000 of them in total they go straight in at number three. There has only been one visitor from Vietnam as well but, through no fault of their own, they find themselves being the sole representative of 96 million people. And as for Nigeria - nearly 200 million people and not one of them has popped in to say hello!

As a thank you to some of our most loyal supporters, here are some tunes from New Zealand, Greenland and Botswana (I am particularly thrilled to be able to feature one of the leading lights of Greenland's thriving hip hop scene). And to show there are no hard feelings, we've added some tracks from Vietnam and Nigeria too. Happy listening!

"She's A Mod" - Ray Columbus & The Invaders

"Inupiluaqqat" - Nuuk Posse

"Sengwenegwene" - Shumba Ratshege

"Mua Sai Gon, Mua Ha Noi" - Khanh Ly

"Boju Bari" - Orlando Julius

Saturday 22 September 2018

Big Kev

It's Kevin Coyne Saturday! That's a real thing! Both tracks from 1976's "Heartburn", an underrated minor gem.

"Shangri-La" - Kevin Coyne

"Big White Bird" - Kevin Coyne

More white birds and Shangri-Las below.

Thursday 20 September 2018

We All Love Laila

Earlier in the week, as part of our tribute to the recently deceased Rachid Taha, we featured his excellent version of "Rock the Casbah". Well, it seems that he was only one of many North African musicians with a fondness for the poppier variety of vintage British punk and new wave - as demonstrated here by Hamadth Kah.

Both tracks today are taken from "Laila Je T'Aime", a compilation of music from the Western Sahel region and one of the many excellent records released by Sahel Sounds. I can't praise them highly enough for giving us a gateway into a musical world we would never know about otherwise.

"Ce Weeti" - Hamadth Kah

"Etran, Association Des Jeunes" - Abba Gargando

For today's clip, I could have gone for "Layla" but I've also found it a bit dull. So I've opted for the second part of the album title instead.

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.