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Saturday 31 August 2019

Sazanami Saturday 4: Sweet Sounds

After a brief break last weekend, we are back with more tracks from our favourite Japanese all-girl garage bands compilation ever. I reckon we can get a couple of more editions out of it before the quality starts dropping off, so stand by for more super sounds next Saturday. In the meantime, here is some sugary sweetness for you.

"Sugoi Ninki Desu" - Deliciousweets

"Alright" - Chocomates

I was looking on YouTube for videos by either band, without much luck - there was one live clip of Chocomates but very poor quality - when I found this. I don't know who these women are, or who the gentleman in the red dress is, but they are magnificent.

Thursday 29 August 2019

Open Wide

Yesterday was not what you would call a fun day for me, as I spent a large chunk of the morning having root canal treatment. There was an up side, however, as I discovered a new band.

Chatting to the woman on reception while I was paying generously for having been tortured, I discovered that in real life she was the singer in a band called The Other Ones (who are not to be confused with other bands called the Other Ones).

They already have some stuff on Bandcamp, and will shortly be adding more as they have a new EP coming out on 5 September. There is a launch event that evening in London's trendy Hoxton - details can be found on their Facebook page.

As for me, I should have taken Jean's advice rather than falling for Dr Dwight's standard dentist lies.

"It Won't Hurt" - Dwight Yoakam

"Keep Your Mouth Shut And Your Eyes Open" - Jean Wells

Wednesday 28 August 2019

What's Your Sign?

Today, half the signs of the Zodiac. Don't panic, I have no intention of returning with the other half at a future date.

The idea for this post came to me while in Cape Town last week when I picked up a copy of an album by one Junior Taurus. However, having now listened to it, it doesn't really do it for me so it hasn't made the cut. We've gone for hippies and reggae instead.

"Saturn In Pisces" - Rokurokubi

"Dunce Cap" - Herman & The Aquarians

"Aries" - Fairfield Parlour

"Gemini On The Way" - Maplewood

"Mi Caan Sleep" - Romain Virgo

"Song For Sagittarians" - Shawn Phillips

The Portuguese subtitles there were provided for George's benefit. Also for George, here is a Junior Taurus video to save him having to look it up (as we all know he will).

Sunday 18 August 2019

Single Song Sunday

Two series in two days, I'm not sure I have ever been this organised. It won't last.

After yesterday's Japanese jamboree, today sees the return of our long-running but infrequent Single Song Sunday series. And it is a bit of a corker if I say so myself - Barry and Robin Gibb's mighty "To Love Somebody".

You may think of it as a song that it is impossible to mess up. You would be wrong, as my extensive research for this column has found. Roberta Flack's decision to slow it down and get rid of the tune didn't really work for me, the less said about Jimmy Somerville's cod reggae effort the better. Also,  both the Michaels (Bolton and Buble) have had a hack at it.

You'll find none of that stuff here. Instead we have pure pop from Gary Puckett and the Bee Gees themselves, soul from Nina Simone and James Carr, country from the Burritos and even a Mexican version! The Mandatory Reggae Version comes from Bunny "Rugs" Clarke, way back before he hit the big time with Third World.

"To Love Somebody" -  Bee Gees

"To Love Somebody" -  James Carr

"To Love Somebody" -  The Flying Burrito Brothers

"To Love Somebody" -  Nina Simone

"To Love Somebody" -  Eric Burdon & The Animals

"To Love Somebody" -  Gary Puckett & The Union Gap

"To Love Somebody" -  Slobberbone

"To Love Somebody" -  The Sweet Inspirations

"To Love Somebody" -  Grupo Tolerados

"To Love Somebody" -  Bunny Rugs & The Upsetters

That's it from me for a little while - I'm heading off on my travels in a few hours, back in ten days or so. Stay groovy in the meantime.


Saturday 17 August 2019

Sazanami Saturday 3: Drive Time

Two more tracks from the excellent "Girls Sazanami Beat! Volume 1" compilation that I picked up while visiting Japan last month. This week it's all about getting behind the wheel (or getting someone else behind the wheel).

"Driver's Licence To Love" - The Lady Spade

"I Wanna Weekend Driver" - Velvet Go! Go!

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Big Old Buster

A couple of old classics for you today from the great Buster Brown. And that is really all I have to say on the matter.

"Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" - Buster Brown

"Fannie Mae" - Buster Brown

Saturday 10 August 2019

Sazanami Saturday 2: Let's Go!

We're back with some more splendid sounds from "Girls Sazanami Beat! Volume 1". This week the emphasis is on getting going. Me from Me & Bye Bye☆Cats! - I am assuming Me is the lead singer - is primarily concerned with getting her own gang going. Tigerlily are much more inclusive.

"Let's Go! Me & Bye Bye☆Cats!" - Me & Bye Bye☆Cats!

"Let's Go! Shake" - Tigerlily

Thursday 8 August 2019

Death Of An Heir Of Sorrows

Very saddened to hear about the untimely death yesterday of David Berman (AKA Silver Jews), all the more so coming so soon after his long-awaited and thoroughly excellent reappearance in the guise of Purple Mountains. RIP Mr Berman.

"Death Of An Heir Of Sorrows" - Silver Jews

"Random Rules" - Silver Jews

"Darkness And Cold" - Purple Mountains

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Pookie & Moses

Some smooth soul sounds from two magnificently monickered men. Both tracks are from a compilation called "The Northern Side of Philly Soul".

When my Sister Kate was little we used to call her Pookie, hence the bonus track. Love you Pookie!

"This Gets To Me" - Pookie Hudson

"Try My Love" - Moses Smith

"I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" - The Olympics

Saturday 3 August 2019

Sazanami Saturday

Ladies and Gentlemen, we bring you the Greatest Story Ever Told.

Back in 2008, the cool cats at Tokyo's Sazanami record label decided to ring up all the female beat and punk bands they knew and get them to contribute to an album. The result was "Girl Sazanami Beat! Volume 1" (sub-title: "Japanese Girls Beat A Go Go!").

There are 21 tracks on the album and almost every one of them is a cracker. So for the next few Saturdays at least we'll be sharing the highlights in a new series called "Sazanami Saturday". And while we are doing that I'm going to see if I can find Volumes 2 to 5.

We'll kick things off with Kumamoto's own The Portugal Japan. You may find the lyrical complexity a little overwhelming at first but stick with it. And who wouldn't want to have a surfin' hootenanny with the groovy gals of That's A NO NO!? I know I would.

"Yeah Yeah" - The Portugal Japan

"Surfin' Hootenanny" - That's A NO NO! 

Thursday 1 August 2019

The Purple People Peter

Fifty years back Peter Daltrey was the main man in the legendary UK psych band Kaleidoscope. After they and his subsequent outfit Fairfield Parlour both went belly up, he disappeared from the scene - at least in terms of recordings - for the best part of a quarter of a century.

He reemerged in 1995 with a couple of albums that were released only in Japan. I managed to pick up a copy of one of them, "English Roses", when I was over there recently. While the passing of time had made his music a bit more mellow and mature, it was instantly recognisable as the great man.

Having rediscovered the urge to make music back in 1995, he hasn't stopped since. He has released something like twenty albums in one guise or another, many of which you can find on his Bandcamp page. I personally had the great privilege of seeing him live about five years ago backed by Trembling Bells - a fantastic show.

As a treat for you all, here is one track from Kaleidoscope's debut album, 1967's "Tangerine Dream", and one from "English Roses". You'll need to set aside the best part of twenty minutes to listen to them both - more if you add the groovy video.

"The Sky Children" - Kaleidoscope

"The Unicorn" - Peter Daltrey