Search This Blog

Monday 30 November 2020

Boppin' in Badajoz

A few weeks ago we featured a compilation of splendid Spanish sounds from the 60s and 70s. Now here's another one. There appears to be a treasure trove of little known Iberian gems from that era.

This compilation is called "Atenshion! Refleshion!" and it claims - with a high degree of accuracy - to contain "Spanish Psychedelic Grooves 1967-76". Here are a just a couple of them - there are many more corkers where these two came from.

"Vuestro Mundo" - Juan Muro

"Conquistador de Carton" - Barbara

Sunday 29 November 2020

Dave Prowse RIP

A brief tribute to Dave Prowse, who died yesterday. While his most acclaimed role was as the original Darth Vader, for many of us of a certain generation he will always be the Green Cross Code Man. 

I met him once in that capacity. Back in the mid-1980s I was a security guard at an exhibition hall in London and Mr Prowse was booked to make a personal appearance as the Green Cross Code Man. He parked his van on a blind corner and I was dispatched to ask him to move it. 

In those days I was a young smartarse and made some remark about how he of all people ought to know it wasn't safe to park there. This rightly earned me a stern dressing down, during which he confirmed that I was indeed a young smartarse. Looking back, I got off more lightly than most people who cheek Darth Vader.

RIP Mr Prowse. I hope your crossing was a smooth one.

"Stop Look And Listen" - The Chiffons

"Crossing Over The Road" - Tom Robinson Band

"When I Cross Over" - Tift Merritt

Friday 27 November 2020

Multiple Moseses

 I say, I say, I say. How do we know that Moses wore a wig?

"I've Got To Find A Way (To Hide My Hurt) (Part 1)" - Moses Dillard & Tex-Town Display

"Revolutionary Dream" - Pablo Moses

"Amos Moses" - Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown

There are points available to the first person to deliver the punchline to the joke and the first person to explain the choice of video.

Wednesday 25 November 2020

My Man Mamman

I regularly rave about the magnificent Sahel Sounds label, and I'm about to do it again. They do a brilliant job of bringing artists from the Sahel region to the attention of the wider world.

One particularly fine example is Mamman Sani from Niger, who has been making eerie electronic and organ music for well over 40 years. Before Sahel Sounds got involved he had only ever released one album, but they have now released three compilations of recordings he made in the 1980s. All are worth a listen but my favourite is probably "Taaritt", from which today's selections come.

"Ya Bismillah" - Mamman Sani

"Zara Zarakoy" - Mamman Sani   

Monday 23 November 2020

Mink In Magenta

Here's a mellow start to your Monday morning - a couple of tunes from Willy DeVille back when he was still known as Mink. Both come from his 1978 album "Return To Magenta".

"'A' Train Lady" - Mink DeVille

"I Broke That Promise" - Mink DeVille

He's not the only musical Mink of course.

Friday 20 November 2020

Spend The Weekend With Warren

I've been on a bit of a Warren Zevon kick this week. Here are just a few of the many reasons why. Hard to believe that he's been gone 17 years already. 

"Excitable Boy" - Warren Zevon

"Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead" - Warren Zevon

"The French Inhaler" - Warren Zevon

Here's the last song he played on his last public performance. What a way to bow out.

Wednesday 18 November 2020

Martial Music

Martial arts are popular the world over as today's selection shows, with artists from Turkey, Trinidad and South Africa. But in truth they are only really here to give me an excuse to play the video. Its a classic.

"Tae-Kwon-Do" - Arşivplak & Disco Turco

"Jiu Jitsu Calypso" - King Timothy

"Kung Fu" - Prince Rhangani 

Monday 16 November 2020

Skankin' in Saitama

Last week, Spanish soul. This week, Japanese reggae, courtesy of Home Grown, the self-styled "No. 1 Reggae Band in Japan". As I am not in a position to disprove that statement I will take their word for it.

Both of today's tracks come from their eponymous 2002 album which features a plethora of guest artists including the great Jamaican sax player Dean Fraser. On today's first track, which Google translates as "Ask The Stars", we hear from H-Man and Neo."Oasis" features seven guests in total, including one called Moomin. I don't know which one he or she is.  

星にお願い" - Home Grown

"Oasis" - Home Grown

It turns out Neil Young is a big fan.

Friday 13 November 2020

Unlucky For Some

It's Friday the 13th, folks. Best to stay in bed all day and hope that the ceiling doesn't fall on you.

"Friday The 13th Child" - Bobby 'Blue' Bland

"Bad Luck" - Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

"Born Under A Bad Sign" - William Bell

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Groovin' in Galicia

We had a request last week for some Spanish soul. I am happy to oblige. Here are a few choice cuts from the excellent compilation "Sensacional Soul Vol. 2", which is appropriately subtitled "32 Groovy Spanish Soul & Funk Stompers 1965-72".

We kick things off with Barcelona's own Los Gatos Negros reworking a John Fred & The Playboys number. Next up is Ritmo Pilé, about whom even the compilérs of the CD seem to know nothing at all. Then we ride off into the sunset with Henry C Martin (known to his Mum and Dad as Enrique Carlos Martinez Ibanez), the latter day Sancho Panza.

 "Hey Hey Bunny" - Los Gatos Negros

"Pilé Beat" - Ritmo Pilé

"Donkey" - Henry C Martin

It is but one short step from Spanish soul to Spanish Stroll.

Monday 9 November 2020

First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

Admittedly the bar has been set pretty low, but I don't think anything has amused me as much this year as the Four Seasons Total Landscaping fiasco. The sight of a deranged Rudy Giuliani holding a press conference in a parking lot between a crematorium and an adult book store called Fantasy Island has perked me up considerably. Here is a small tribute to all involved.

"Philadelphia Lawyer" - Bonnie Owens

"Tell It To The Rain" - The Four Seasons

"Norman Bates" - Landscape

"Fanfare In The Garden (Centre)" - Essential Logic

Friday 6 November 2020

Nothing For The Few

On Wednesday I headed down to my local second-hand record shop to feed my addiction before they and other so-called "non-essential" shops shut for a month. It was worth the trip. As well as snapping up a double CD compilation of Spanish soul from the 60s and 70s - coming this way soon no doubt - there were rich pickings in the "10 CDs for £5" box.

One of them was a Will Oldham collaboration of which I was previously unaware, perhaps unsurprisingly seeing as he seems to do about one a week. It is an EP called "All Most Heaven" released in 2000 and credited to Rian Murphy & Will Oldham. Rian Murphy is apparently a drummer and was a medium-sized cheese at Drag City records at the time. He must have had a bit of clout because he also managed to rope in the likes of Jim O'Rourke and Steve Albini as well.  

"Song Of Most" - Rian Murphy & Will Oldham

"Song Of All" - Rian Murphy & Will Oldham

The video has nothing to do with anything except it now appears next to these two in my iTunes. Here's some 1980s Serbian rock to see you into the weekend. 

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Everything's Coming Up Roses

Here in  England we go back into lockdown tomorrow. Many of you are already there. At times like these we need someone to lift the spirits, someone who can sound chirpy when they are far from home or want to be left alone. I know just the woman - the great Calypso Rose.

Both today's tracks are from Rose's "Far From Home" album, which came out in 2016 when she was a mere stripling of  76. She's released a couple more records since and seems to be going from strength to strength. I was lucky enough to see her about 15 years ago on a double bill with the legendary Mighty Sparrow. She was, and still is, quite phenomenal.

"Far From Home" - Calypso Rose

"Leave Me Alone" - Calypso Rose (with Manu Chao)

Monday 2 November 2020

Adventures In The Inbox

New month, new music. It is time for one of our occasional forays into the inbox to see what the nice people of the Internet have been sending me. This latest batch confirms that, while in most respects 2020 has been utterly crap, there is still a lot of good music being made.

First up for you is Sam Burton, whose debut album "I Can Go With You" came out last week on the reliably excellent Tompkins Square label. The blurb hails him as the New Tim (Hardin or Buckley, take your pick) which is fairly accurate, although he's a little bit twangier than either of them. Maybe Roy Orbison's (probably non-existent) folk-rock period would be a closer comparison.

"Stagnant Pool" - Sam Burton

From stagnation, to going to seed (who says I don't know how to keep a theme going?). "Love Gone To Seed" is the lead single from J.E. Sunde's "9 Songs About Love". The album itself isn't out until 20 November but you can preorder it now on Bandcamp. It is good stuff with a slight hint of Hiss Golden Messenger at times.

"Love Gone To Seed" - J.E. Sunde

Rounding things off, here is top pop tune from Kalbells, also available on Bandcamp. Apparently the song "celebrates the Earth and how she catches us in our most challenging moments... and tells us what she needs, often through the channels of our own insight and ingenuity". To be honest I'm not sure that comes through in the video, but there is a pirate in a canoe.