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Sunday 31 March 2019

Pacific Party Time

Today we are off to the Pacific coast of Colombia, more specifically to the town of Timbiqui, where this bunch of lively lads hail from. I know nothing about the place, but if it is half as much fun as it sounds I'll be booking my tickets tomorrow.

"Pacifico" - Herencia de Timbiqui

"Que De Malo" - Herencia de Timbiqui

It's Mothers Day today in this part of the world. So Happy Mothers Day to my dear old Mum and to all you happy mothers out there.

Thursday 28 March 2019

Serbo-Powered Sounds

While I was in Zagreb last week, I picked up a compilation with the snappy title of "PGP Pop-Rok 80-tih Arhiv". I had a pretty good idea what most of that meant, apart from the PGP bit.

It transpires that PGP-RTB was a state-owned record label and record shop chain in what was then still Yugoslavia. It is apparently still going, but now as the music production arm of the Serbian national radio and television service.

The compilation came out in 2001, obviously well after the break-up of Yugoslavia. I don't know whether all the bands on the album are Serbian, but the two featured today certainly are. They both hail from Belgrade, and Ekatarina Velika were one of the biggest bands of the era (as I'm sure you knew).

Enjoy having it socked to you in a state-sanctioned style.

"Leto" - Zana

"Ljubav" - Ekatarina Velika

Hanging out in Zagreb itself in the mid-1980s were an arty outfit called Dorian Gray. This is one of their big hits. If you recognise the tune, you will understand why I've chosen it for today's video.

Monday 25 March 2019

Bopping With Bridget

I'm still going through the laborious process of rebuilding my music library - see endless previous references - and still rediscovering gems I had forgotten all about.

This week, Bridget Kearney. It seems I was sent her debut album "Won't Let You Down" when it came out in 2017. I'm not sure I ever got round to listening to it at the time, which is my loss. It is a really good little pop record. Here's the evidence.

"Won't Let You Down" - Bridget Kearney

"What Happened Today" - Bridget Kearney

Sorry to hear that Scott Walker has gone. This may be considered sacrilege in some quarters, but personally I never really got his avant-garde stuff. Give him a tune, though, and by God he could hold it. RIP Mr Walker.

Friday 22 March 2019

Deer, Oh Deer

From a second-hand record shop the size of a broom cupboard in Zagreb to your homes around the world within 48 hours. That's the wonder of the Internet. And aeroplanes.

Here's a couple of tracks from Croatia's leading surf-rock combo, The Bambi Molesters. Both come from their 1999 album, "Intensity!".

"Bikini Machines" - The Bambi Molesters

"The Wedge" - The Bambi Molesters

Can I just make it clear that by featuring these tracks I am in no way endorsing the molestation of deer or other even more heinous crimes against them.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

The Seven Cs

I am off on one of my regular work trips to Croatia tomorrow. I thought about putting up some Croatian music but having already shared most of the CDs I've picked up on previous trips - the half-decent ones anyway - I don't have a great deal left to offer.

Instead here are songs from seven other countries beginning with the letter C. There are two from Africa and one apiece from Europe, Asia, North and South America and the Caribbean. Hopefully, something for everyone. 

In alphabetical order, here they come: Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Congo, Cuba and the Czech Republic. Please make them all feel welcome.

"Srolanh Srey Touch" - Sinn Sisamouth

"Couche-toi" - Edgar Yonkeu

"When I Was A Cowboy" - Ian & Sylvia

"Pescao Envenenao" - Choc Quib Town

"Shawuri Yako" - M'Bilia Bel

"Chirrín Chirrán" - Los Van Van

"Rozmaryn" - Hana & Petr Ulrych

Friday 15 March 2019

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

To ease us into the weekend, two top female reggae DJs from the 1980s. Over to you, Sisters.

"Bam Bam" - Sister Nancy

"No Way No Better Than Yard" - Sister Carol

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Miki's Mummy

From Niamey in Niger we head south to... well, I am not sure exactly. I have not been able to uncover anything on the Internet about today's featured act, Eboa Moukouri & His Super Dada Orchestra. An outfit with the unlikely name of Billy Records re-released quite a few of his records as downloads last year, but have not provided any information about the Great Man.

My guess is that Mr Moukouri is from either Nigeria or the English speaking region of Cameroon and that the records date from some time in the 1960s or 1970s. But the details aren't really all that important. What matters most is that he is a jolly soul with a nifty groove and a great line in song titles.

"Miki Miki Picken For Country" - Eboa Moukouri & His Super Dada Orchestra 

"My Mummy + Your Mummy Na De Same Mother" - Eboa Moukouri & His Super Dada Orchestra

Saturday 9 March 2019

Tuareg Time

As regular readers will know, we like a bit of the old Desert Blues round here. For those of you looking out for the new Tinariwen or Tamikrest or Terakaft, look no further. I'm delighted to report there's a new gang in town.

That gang is Timasniwen, they are from Niger, and they consist of members of an extended family who have been playing together since childhood. Their first album, Tikmawen, came out about six months ago. You can get it on Bandcamp for as little as €7. I did; you should.

Apparently Timasniwen means "the transhumance to the North" in the Tamasheq language (roughly, migrating to northern pastures with your livestock). To my English ears, like other Tuareg bands, it sounds like something you would get at the chemist with a prescription. Which has a logic of sorts to it, as if you need a bit of a pick-me-up they are just what the doctor ordered.

"Kal Timasniwen" - Timasniwen

"Akalwanla" - Timasniwen

Wednesday 6 March 2019

A Surfeit Of Johnnies

There are a lot of Johnnies out there. So many, in fact, that they have had to start teaming up together because they've run out of people with other names to partner. I wonder why poor John felt he had to shorten his name? Probably forced into it by some record company suit.

CC - apologies if I have inadvertantly complicated things for your Double J post next week. 

"Lonely Island Pearl" - Johnnie & Jack

"Over The Mountain, Across The Sea" - Johnnie & Joe

"Bumper To Bumper" - Johnny & John

Sunday 3 March 2019

Single Song Sunday

Back by popular demand, here is our first Single Song Sunday of the year. The song in question? "It's Growing".

Written by Smokey Robinson, "It's Growing" was originally recorded by The Temptations. Released in 1965 as the follow-up to their first Number one, "My Girl", it did reasonably well, creeping into the US Top 20. But someone at Motown must have really loved the song, as they released two further versions, by The Contours (1967) and Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers (1968). Bobby is no relation to the much mellower James, who released his own version in 2008.

Otis Redding was clearly a Temptations fan, as having covered "My Girl" in 1965 he had a crack at "It's Growing" the year after. Rounding off our soul selections is a version by Margie Joseph, which came out on Atlantic Records in 1972 - maybe my favourite after the original.

We finish with not one but two Mandatory Reggae Versions. The first, by Busty Brown, is a Lee 'Scratch' Perry production from 1969. Going by what I can glean from the internet our old pal Jimmy Riley may have released a version around the same time. If he did, this one isn't it, but a more recent recording with Sly & Robbie.

"It's Growing" - The Temptations     

"It's Growing" - The Contours    

"It's Growing" - Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers    

"It's Growing" - James Taylor

"It's Growing" - Otis Redding    

"It's Growing" - Margie Joseph    

"It's Growing" - Busty Brown   

"It's Growing" - Jimmy Riley

Saturday 2 March 2019

Birthday Boy

Today my dear old (very old) friend Mister F celebrates A Significant Birthday. We'll be celebrating in style with a Horlicks or two tonight. Until then here is a small but sincere tribute to the Great Man.

"Stagger Lee" topped the US charts on the day Mister F was born. He was born in the UK, where the No. 1 that day was "As I Love You" by Shirley Bassey. But I have gone for "Stagger Lee" instead because (a) it's a much better record; (b) I don't have a copy of "As I Love You"; and (c) I don't want him to get the wrong idea about the nature of our friendship.

Today's other selections are probably fairly self-explanatory.

"Stagger Lee" - Lloyd Price

"I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago" - Alvis Parsley

"Old Codger" - The Stranglers with George Melly

"Too Old To Rock 'n Roll, Too Young To Die" - Jethro Tull