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Monday 29 July 2019

Shiny And New

I'm back from my travels. Japan. I dropped a few clues into the last post before I left but none of you seemed to spot them.

I had a great time discovering many new delights. Some of them were culinary - who knew eel bones would look and taste like Twiglets? - and some of them were musical. I've picked up some very promising looking stuff to share with you, including one CD that I am already convinced is my favourite compilation album of all time (and I haven't even listened to it yet).

I also managed to fit in a gig while I was in Tokyo, at the very hip O-Nest in Shibuya. You go up in a rickety lift to the 6th floor, walk through the bar and down the fire escape at the back to the venue on the 5th floor.

The gig was excellent value. There were five bands on the bill, it was technically free to get in but you had to pay 1200 yen (about £9) for two drinks vouchers. You would be hard pressed to buy two beers for that price in a normal bar in Tokyo.

I missed the first two bands. Of the three I saw, the best thing about The Freddie Mercurys was the name, but the other two were pretty good. Both Luminous 101 (the moody gent below) and Verandah (the fiery lady) had what I felt were some obvious 1980s influences, but nobody else in the audience would even have been born in the 1980s so maybe they felt differently.

Here is a track apiece from Luminous 101's self-titled album - out now on Spotify and possibly elsewhere - and Verandah's first album "Any Luck To You" which came out in 2017. They released a second album called "Anywhere You Like" last year. According to Google Translate, their song title means "Early Talk", but I would take that with a pinch of salt.

"Jigoku no Kodomo" - Luminous 101

"早い話" - Verandah

Saturday 13 July 2019

Sayonara For Now

This is the last you'll be hearing of me for a while. I'm off on my travels on a few hours - one week working followed by one week holiday.

I'm not going to tell you where I'm going because I don't want to sound like I'm showing off. Suffice to say it is somewhere I have long wanted to go to but never previously had the chance, and I am very excited.

To give you all something to listen to until I'm back, here is a random selection of completely unrelated songs.

"Chu Chu Chu" - The Carnabeats

"Fujiyama Mama" - Wanda Jackson

"Future Stepper" - Jumbo Maatch

"Hello Tosh" - Pato Banton

"Juso Station" - Ché-SHIZU 

"Japanese Gum" - Her Space Holiday

"Shimendoka" - Harry Hosono & The Yellow Magic Band

"Going Back To Okinawa" - Ry Cooder

"I Am A Japanese Cowboy" - Hank Sasaki

"Lost To A Geisha Girl" - Skeeter Davis

"Do What You're Doin'" - The Rising Sun

"Natsu Nandesu" - Happy End

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Overly Specific Series Spot

It's Wednesday evening where I am, which makes it the perfect time to launch our new series "Wednesday Evening Wednesday Evenings".

That's right. Every Wednesday evening we are going to be spinning songs about Wednesdays and evenings. Let's get this party started.

"Wednesday" -  This Is The Kit

"Shadow Of The Evening" - Evie Sands

Monday 8 July 2019

The Great Gilberto

Last night we had the great pleasure of seeing Gilberto Gil in concert. He had some health issues a little while ago but he's back and looking and sounding great for a mere lad of 77.

Gilberto is touring to promote his most recent album, "OK OK OK", which came out last year. Today's first selection comes from the album, and went down very well last night; the second dates from exactly fifty years earlier. And as for the clip from 1967 - Wow!

"Na Real" - Gilberto Gil

"Procissão" - Gilberto Gil

Sunday 7 July 2019

The Future King of Kampala

Watch out, Eddy Kenzo, there is a new kid in town coming to steal your crown. He still has some way to go, judging by the indifference of the general public in his video. But they will feel very foolish when Original Papyrus conquers us all.

P.S. Look out for some top quality sawing action about 90 seconds into the video.

"Ngamba (Ndeete)" - Original Papyrus

"Ogutateganya" - Original Papyrus

Thursday 4 July 2019

Conjunto Crazy

I know there are a few Tex-Mex fans that pop in here occasionally. Hopefully they will enjoy this. Hopefully the rest of you will too.

Until recently I had never heard of Los Texmaniacs, even though they have been going for over twenty years. I imagine there might well have been occasions when they wish they hadn't saddled themselves with such a naff name. I feel that way about 27 Leggies sometimes, but it is too late for either of us to change.

Don't let the name put you off, though. They are a cracking combo, and clearly highly regarded in Texas. Their 2015 album "Americano Groove" - from which today's tracks come - features guests like Joe Ely, Augie Meyers, Alejandro Escovedo and David Hidalgo from Los Lobos. Also the less well known but equally cool Rick Trevino (see below).

"Ya No Te Quiero Ver" - Los Texmaniacs

"Big Night In A Small Town" - Los Texmaniacs (with Rick Trevino)

Speaking of maniacs, as we were, it is a little known fact that Mr Acker Bilk - he of the waistcoats and smooth clarinet - was in Screaming Lord Sutch's band early in his career. Sutch always used to introduce him to audiences as Maniacker Bilk.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

From Malmo to Margate

It was a nice day on Sunday so I treated myself to a trip to the seaside - Margate, to be precise. I popped into the always excellent Old Bank Bookshop for a browse while I was there and found that they had a "three CDs for £1" offer going. Obviously I took advantage, and as two of the three I picked out were double albums it worked out at 20p per CD.

The sole single CD was "Blå Himlen Blues", the 1985 album by Sweden's very own Imperiet. I had never heard of them but I was attracted by the colour scheme on the sleeve. Musically it is very much of its time, as you will spot immediately. I doubt I will dig it out very often, to be honest, but I don't begrudge them the 20p.

First up for you today is a song articulating the frustration one feels when the printer runs out of toner, followed by a song that is either inspired by the Swedish word for peace or by somebody called Fred - possibly Freddie Mercury if the occasional burst of Brian May guitar is a musical clue.

"Tonårs Jesus" - Imperiet

"Fred" - Imperiet