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Friday, 30 November 2012

The everyone should hear mix cd

I am going to put this here rather than pollute everyone's timeline on Twitter. Just a quick one or two line summation of @PeskyRattigan's mix cd which I received during the week. So here goes.

U-Roy. Nice tune, reggae not really my thing but a toe tapper at least.

Scotty. I got a 1-2 regae shot to open the cd. I like this track though.

Serena Maneesh. Asian sounding name, the track sounds like 90's baggy/psych stuff. Charlatans crossed with Ride. Good guitar work tho.

FPI Project. As I said I love this. Bangin' the kids say.

Lambchop. The genius of..'nuff said.

Blind Boy Paxton. Never a real fan of the blues stuff. Nowt wrong with it just not my thing.

Love Is A Sacred Path. Never heard of this before.Broken records indeed. Irritating mostly.

Gal Costa. On the roooad to Agrabah!! I've never gotten the attraction to African music. Sounds like it should be in the Sega game of Aladdin.

Radiohead. Harry Patch. Gorgeous music. I don't think Thom quite nails it. May have been better as an instrumental piece.

The Rulers. More reggae/ska. It's probably fine with a few pints but not something I'd listen to during the course of a day.

Suede. Stay Together. Loved this band for 2/3 albums. Brilliant.

The The. Not heard this before, which says more about me than anything, but liked it a lot.

Oblivians. Great stuff. The Cramps/80s Matchbox/JSBX. Great stuff.

Aphrodite's Child. The group that spawned Vangelis I think. A right cult band and a deep cut. Kudos!

These New Puritans. Super album, great band. Good choice.

De Rosa. Never heard of them but I like this a lot. Kinda like a Scottish Teenage Sea Power Fanclub.

Wolf People. Brilliant. Flute led proggy rock. English too. I would have thought American.

Bonnie Dobson. Love this track. Perfect closer for a cd. Seemingly she had a song covered by Einsturzende Neubauten!

So there you have it. More hit than miss and a few decent discoveries which warrant further investigation.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

There are things that drift away like our endless, numbered days.

A friend on Facebook informed me that one of our digital gang, our message board posse, had died recently. This news has really kicked us all in the ass and the funny thing is that most of us hadn't even met him...or each other. Still, we all feel the sense of loss and the confusion that the people left behind experience when someone dies. Seeing the report on BBC just seems to be so cold and matter of fact. What made it worse was the fact that we had all dropped out of touch with him in recent times. Speaking for myself, various unanswered e-mails and board messages and texts..well, they all add up and after a while you kinda move on.

I had only met Ben once. Myself and my wife met up with him and another one of the message board gang, Mark, for a bunch of drinks one night when I was in London for an Arsenal game. Immediately you could see that Ben was a shy guy who was in the grip of an alcohol problem that was intensifying to staggering proportions. Lovely chap but a real mess. Looking back, with what I know now, I reckon we were lucky to get him back home that night and I am glad we went to the extra trouble we did.

Over the following years our initial white hot frenzy of message board activity died down to a part time drop in session. Some of us dropped in more than others. That's the way it goes. Thing is, you do get invested in people's lives and become 'friends',for the want of a better term, online. It sounds stupid I know. How can you be friendly with someone you've never met but there it is. Humanity's need to reach out and connect with like minded people I suppose.

We hooked up online from time to time and Ben seemed to me to be getting a handle on things. He was holding down a job and was in a relationship with a woman. He had weaned himself right off online activities for the most part too it seemed.

I had emailed him a few times and texted the last number I had for him but nothing doing. You tend to move on and I was always happy to see him drop in, on the very few times he did, to our conversations. So the news yesterday from Marius really knocked me back. It's such a tragic end for such an intelligent and fun guy.

Music, movies, tv, sport...especially boxing and football. The guy had a passion for it all and had taste too. Apart from the Chelsea thing obviously. Funny, sweet and gone too soon.

I am just rambling here as I don't really know what to say except Ben Hilton, I am glad I knew ya and glad I met ya. As for the rest of that gang...keep it close and keep'em lit.

Friday, 20 July 2012

John Peel Show- Punk Rock Special December 10th 1976

Click here to enlarge
Peel intro.
The Damned - So Messed Up (Peel Session)
The Seeds - Pushing Too Hard
Iggy and the Stooges - Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell
Eddie and the Hotrods - Horseplay (Wearier of the Schmaltz)
The Damned - Neat Neat Neat (Peel Session)
Richard Hell and the Voidoids - Blank Generation (E.P. version)
Television - Little Johnny Jewel Pt. 1
Tuff Darts - Slash
Pere Ubu - Final Solution
The Damned - New Rose (Peel Session)
Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the U.K.
The Fast - Boys Will Be Boys
New York Dolls - Personality Crisis
The Saints - I'm Stranded
The Damned - Stab Your Back (Peel Session)
Shadows of Knight - Light Bulb Blues
Ramones - California Sun
Ramones - I Don't Want to Walk Around With You
Peel outro

The now legendary Peel punk special. Radio history in the making. Peel refused the BBC mandarins who asked him not to play Anarchy as it may offend their listeners. He went ahead anyway. More power to the old codger. Enjoy. 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

You May Need A Murderer

Last night, July 11 2012, marked a particular musical high point for me. I had tickets to see Minnesota minimalists, Low. A band I had adored for over a decade but one which I had never gotten to see live for a myriad of different reasons. So I was especially delighted to finally break that duck last night.

A word or two about the support band. I believe they were called Saint Yorda. With the appalling PA they used you would never know what came out of those microphones. Maybe this was a good thing. I am normally very patient and forgiving of support bands because it's a pretty tough slot. This bunch, though, need serious reconsideration of their careers. It was a four piece band completely in thrall to Wild Beasts, Arcade Fire, Bitte Orca et al yet I reckon they must have heard those bands records at the wrong speed. This was just four people who seemed to all be in diferent bands at the same time. It was mayhem and completely irritating. With added cowbell. Back to the drawing board, chaps.

 Now, the crowd. This was easily the most packed I have seen Cyprus Avenue in Cork in many a long year. Josh Rouse was the only other act that I saw that jammed people in there like this. Mostly a cool crowd who were there for the tunes and that was great. As usual, there were pockets of idiots who could not possibly stop talking to their equally dull friends. Three guys in particular, with this hideous North Cork/South Limerick amalgam of an accent, were really pissing everyone off and eventually got flung out. Also, hipsters. Yes, you read that right. Hipsters. In Cork. I couldn't believe my Instagram. Full Iron & Wine beards, artfully distressed hair cut at oblique angles. Shiny jeans with elasticated cuffs on the bottom of the legs (OMG), manbags, beads...and that was just the women. Even Cork has now been infected by this zombie nation. Nowhere is safe. Get out. Get out now.

 The Main Monkey Business On with the show eh? Not a completely chatty bunch, our Minny Soda heroes take the stage and proceed to deliver a set filled with fantastic songs from all across their career. The first thing that strikes you with the opening song, Pissing, is the quiet way the song begins, builds and forces the crowd into stillness just by the weight of the tune's beauty. Then Alan and Mimi's voices soar and harmonise and it's completely wonderful. Like a winter wonderland Gram and Emmylou. Alan as a guitar player is hugely gifted. One minute so delicate and precise, the next making a noise that Crazy Horse would be proud of. Mimi brings so much to the mix rather than just being the minimalist drummer of course. Her vocal work is as good as any woman in music today. In fact, as I suspected, the biggest cheer of the night was for her turn from current album C'mon, Especially Me. It got huge applause and cheering which delighted her and I must say me too. They are coming to the end of a European jaunt and looked a tad frazzled but never let it impact on the performance. A fantastic night and one that just confirmed to me how special this band really are. Go see them if you can.

 Especially You
 Nothing But Heart
 I Remember
 Try To Sleep
 Dinosaur Act
 From Your Place On Sunset

 Waiting (new song)
 Last Snowstorm Of The Year

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Running to stand still

Let me be the first to say I don't like U2 at all but the song that provides the title for this entry is absolutely fantastic and quite apt.

My burgeoning late life surge into running and generally getting a bit fitter has hit a wall. A wall as big and insurmountable as the Immersion edition of Pink Floyd's Wall album, all 99 discs of it.
I have been carrying a bad soft tissue injury to my left ankle for quite some time now since I went over on it late last year. Nothing seems to be doing the trick with it. Visits to an osteopath have given me some relief but nothing permanent. A visit to a doctor left me with a referral to a physio which is a bit of a cop out I think. It seems nothing but staying off it completely for months will sort it out and even then that's just taking a punt on luck.

The thing is, it's hard to stay off it when you actually require an ankle to walk and stuff. Stupid biomechanics. I fear if I let the jogging go for any appreciable length of time then I will leave it behind me completely. Leave it behind like a babbling fool (cf The Jayhawks Break My Mind). This would not be a desirable situation at all as I fear a slide back into previous states would occur. Also, I am committed to a ten mile race around my home place in mid April which I do not want to back out of as it's for charity and I've already been sponsored by several people.

I can actually do the ten miles, that's not worrying me at all. It will be slow but it will get done. The only thing I can think of now is to stay off the foot, road-wise, and rest it as much as I can and then do the race as fresh as I can in April. So we shall see.

Another thing niggling at me is this blog itself. Now I understand why there are so many orphan blogs out there in the electronic miasma, the digital swamp. It takes dedication to write something every day or even weekly. My life is just not that interesting. Not to me and certainly not to others.

You begin with enthusiasm and good intentions but it can become a chore and something you purposely avoid after a while. I read quite a few sports blogs and music blogs and I completely admire the tenacity and talent of those authors who stick at it and keep pushing out material. Maybe I need a new job, something that would provide thrilling material. I must check the availability of international trouble shooter job openings or industrial espionage vacancies. Surely there's something out there.

I suppose not everything can be thrilling and exciting. I mean, look at The Walking Dead. That has zombies in it and yet it is the most dreary, mind numbing tripe ever committed to tape. They're still at the farm!! Nothing happens, nothing happens...nothing happens..ooh, exciting cliffhanger bit at the end to make you tune in again next week where...nothing happens.

I need a holiday. Take it easy...

Monday, 30 January 2012

Gentle (nothings) on my mind

Hello....been a while. Quite a while actually.

I started this blog with good intentions of posting fairly often and updating it but for the longest time now I've been drawing a blank and neglecting this little place like a puppy discarded after Christmas.

The diet and exercise thing is moving along nicely and I am aiming to complete a 10 mile road race around the island here in April. So, that is my immediate goal. Well, that and trying, once again, to kick smoking. Pain in the ass that one. Keeps dragging me back in.

Looking forward to seeing The Jayhawks again in March in Dublin and then hitting Kilkenny for the Roots festival in May for the weekend. No sign of who is playing when/where but I am hoping to see Willy Vlautin/Dan Eccles play and Richard Buckner too. There's a night with Andy Kershaw that looks quite interesting too. Reading from his autobiography and doing a Q&A.

Currently, I am trying to get into the third book of George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice and Fire series and looking forward very much to the tv premier of the new season of that in April.

Getting very pissed off with Arsenal's performances this season too. I am close to wanting Wenger to just pack up now and not totally tarnish what is a fine legacy. The way things are going now is very like Clough at Forest. We won't be relegated or anything like that but we could be left behind by the big spenders and end up a more glamourous Stoke or Fulham.

Anyway, that's about it for now. Mind is drawing a blank again....oh, do find yourself the new albums by Damien Jurado and Lambchop. Hugely enjoyable records.

Be cool...

Saturday, 10 December 2011

It's a hit!

This post holds just a few albums that have really been big favourites of mine this year.

The Jayhawks - Mockingbird Time
The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow
Dawes - Nothing Is Wrong
Richmond Fontaine - The High Country
Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Tom Waits - Bad As Me
The War On Drugs - Slave Ambient
White Denim - D and Last Day Of Summer
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
Wild Beasts - Smother
Josh T. Pearson - Last Of The Country Gentlemen
Gillian Welch - The Harrow and The Harvest
Joe Henry -Reverie
Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
Hayes Carll - KMAG YOYO
The Black Keys - El Camino
Opeth - Heritage
Mastodon - The Hunter
The Twilight Singers - Dynamite Steps

The Ultimate Rule ought to be: 'If it sounds GOOD to you, it's bitchin'; if it sounds BAD to YOU, it's shitty.