Having been blessed with a giant ball of yellow fire shining directly on Manchester’s fat, smoky, head, I decided to get myself to Gigg Lane in Bury to take in the atmosphere of a game of association football. Specifically FC United of Manchester (Google it!) versus Matlock. The result was the right one and the game itself electrifying, but I’ll spare you the details, seeing as you don’t come here to read about that kind of thing.
I found myself in town beforehand with an hour to spare took the rare opportunity to rifle through the bargain bins outside the legendary Empire Exchange on Newton St.
This has been around for…ever? and sells records, thousands of old copies of magazines, football programmes, curios, memorabilia, VHSs, DVDs, CDs, MDs and YMCAs. And a massive load of porn in the back room.
I scurried through the little crate outside, the sun beating a tan into my pale, Saxon hide, only stopping to brush off the advances of two men trying to sell me a stolen phone. What I came out with, for my £1 spend was nothing short of a treasure trove.
#1 Tina Charles – Rendezvous b/w When You Got Love
Kind of generic poppy soul pre-disco from 1976. It’s not blowing me away. This one scores 4 sunny smiles out of 10.
#2 Lol Creme and Kevin Godley – 5 O’clock in the Morning b/w The Flood
A side is a real 10CC-esque piece about working life. If you don’t already know, Godley and Creme were the creative force behind 10CC. Lots of harmonic vocal blasts, haunting solo bits and key changes. Sometimes you get the feeling that they pull their production tricks out of the bag because they can, rather than because they should. The B is a weird instrumental featuring what sounds like a dripping tap but which I suspect is them playing with a synth and a sequencer. It goes round the houses before kicking into a rocking rhythm about 30 seconds before the run-out groove. There’s sample fodder in this for sure.
the version on the 7″ isn’t exactly like that; it’s a bit shorter.
#3 Pussycat – Mississippi b/w Do It
I was expecting (optimistically) some kind of chilled lounge, exotica, funk or something based on those names but I got pop country weirdness. Did not like.
#4 Steve Miller Band – Rock ‘n’ Me b/w The Window
I found it! I’ve been after this The Window forever but it doesn’t come up on eBay so often. The A side isn’t that great but the flip is *insane*. Ridiculously sample-able bassline intro, Zappa-esque bridgey thing (sounds just like part of Florentine Pogen) and a redonculous vocal performance by Steven himself.
All-in-all a very well-spent quid, I feel. Keep an eye-out for one, all or none of these in my upcoming “forty five 45s” mix (release scheduled January 2018).
I have the dubious fortune of having spent part of my life living in Germany. As a result I’ve been exposed to a fair bit of German music. This has never made much of an impact in the UK so I’m going to run down some of my favourite German tunes right here and right now.
#1: Die Ärzte – Westerland
This is a song by one of Germany’s best-loved and most famous groups. They just play fun rock with amusing lyrics instead of the cardboard sentiments found in anglophone rock and pop. This song is about ironically yearning for a popular North Sea holiday resort. Honestly.
#2; Wir Sind Helden – Nur ein Wort
This is a proper love song. Anyone who thinks the German language is brutal and ugly should listen to this. I first heard this in a German club and saw my flatmate dancing round like an idiot. It’s a little known fact that Germans cannot actually dance but they employ certain “movement techniques” to make up for this. These include pointing at each other in time to the music, spinning around very fast and jumping up and down very fast.
#3; Peter Fox – Haus am See
This is a kind of chilled out swing number. It sounds awful but it sounds like Michael Bublé could sing over this but he would murder it, whereas Peter Fox growls over it and makes it sexeh!
#4: Geier Sturzflug – Bruttosozialprodukt
This is from the “new German wave” of music in the early 80s. This song is about increasing gross domestic product and working hard.
Part 2 still to come!
I’ve recently had the pleasure of getting to know one R Checka – a long-time DJ and all round niceguy. He also came up with the ingenious “Periodic Table of Hip-Hop Elements” and runs a fantastic hip hop blog connected to it. Just recently he came out with his Modern Dylan mixtape; a high-concept Beck mix. Seeing as he’s got quite a way with words, I’ll let the man himself explain:
Beck has been one of my favorite indefinable artists since 94, my hazy college years. I’ve religiously bought every album and single I could get my hands on since that time. Anything that had his name on it really, his bluesy funky style always struck a chord with me. This is probably the third best of beck mixtape I have created (the first one I made was on cassette tape) and it may not be the last. I call it Modern Dylan, because like Bob, Beck is a story-teller, so in a lot of ways he’s my generation’s Dylan. Coincidentally Beck even toured with Dylan interestingly enough.
I used to be a club DJ for years, and I got very sick of Loser after playing it for countless years. It was at a point, the only Beck song I didn’t like. That was too bad, because it’s a good song, but I was sick of playing it every Saturday night. When I made this mix, I felt obligated to play it, but I knew I could spice it up a little bit without detracting from the original so I decided to remix it. Not to mention that made it easier to mix in the process. I didn’t have any a Capella to work with, so I called the remix what it is, “Rchecks Extended Overlap”. I overlapped on top of the original recording looping the first 2 guitar bars at times. I extended the intro and outro using that guitar loop. Hopefully I did the original justice, nothing worse than a bad remix of a track that people consider a one-hit-wonder song.
All songs on this mixed compilation are from my personal collection of Beck’s original CDs, LPs, EPs, 12”, and 7” recordings. This uploaded mix is the modside (modern). The second side dylside is his slower, more serious country and folk music, not nearly as palatable for a lot of people unfortunately. That side will remain on CD format only for friends and family. However, for serious Beck fans that contact me via email and live within the continental US, I’ll gladly send a hard copy of both discs at no cost. My email can be obtained here. Hope you can dig it. Most importantly, I hope this mix can help you appreciate Beck’s music more.
Spotify is good isn’t it? You can be listening to a track by, say, Todd Rundgren:
And you notice that said track is on a compilation called The Old Grey Whistle Test along with such pumping club bangers as Warren Zevon’s Kid Rock sample fodder Werewolves in London; Dumb and Dumber singalong special Mockingbird and Joe Walsh’s proggy, AOR, reggae-pop-rock THINGIE Life’s Been Good:
I think James Taylor might have been on something in that last video. Anyway, the compilation looked so good that I was almost tempted to do something I have only done twice before – pay for digital music. Unfortunately the download was £8.49 for some lossy files so I’m going to download them for free instead, which is illegal. I hope Amazon’s proud of themselves! I suppose I could always buy the CD for a bargainous £15, or get a used CD from Play for £6.99!
I’m catching up on the enlightening, educational and hilarious Proopcasts by wit and raconteur Mr. Greg Proops – better known to most as a regular on Who’s Line is It Anyway? during the 90s. In one of them he mentions a film (of which he can’t remember the name) featuring Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and The Band touring across Canada on a train. One Google later and I find out that he’s talking about Festival Express.
From an extremely thorough Wikipedia article (detailing, amongst other things, ticket prices per venue both in advance and POTD), this film was shot on the train that was chartered to ferry the entire touring party from venue to venue over the course of the two weeks. Due to a number of reasons, two cities – Montreal and Vancouver – were dropped leaving just three concerts in Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary. The tour was a financial flop and the footage, which was intended to be made into a film, was canned.
Fast forward 30 years and the footage is rediscovered after having spent some time in garages and being used as hockey goals. It’s released to a limited run in some cinemas before being bunged out on Region 1 DVD only. It also has what appears to be the worst poster/cover design ever.
“Er, hey, since we’ve really gone to town finding, editing and releasing this incredible footage, shall we put some effort into a poster design that reflects the status of the musicians involved and which gives a flavour of the unique and tumultuous era during which it was shot?”
“No. I’d rather have a model dressed like she’s from 2001, airbrushed to within an inch of her life and slung on a background that looks as if she’s about to be run over by a lorry.”
I’d never heard of this until yesterday, nevermind seen it. Has anyone else?
I’ve just found out about a guy called DJ Prince. He seems to be a big deal in his native Norway but this is the first I’ve heard of him – no surprises there then. His SoundCloud has some great reworks and mashups so I’ve helped myself. It’s pretty dancefloor friendly and some of it is straight out clubcheese so have a root around and see what takes your fancy.
Thanks Mr. Prince!