Monday, July 31, 2006

Glenn Miller - In The Mood

ORIGINATION The Best Of Glenn Miller
LAST LISTENED TO not too sure
CHANCE OF WAKING TO IT quite good since i heard The Puppini Sisters' version yesterday

Smoooooth. Smooooooooooth. Such smoooooth, smooooth brass. It's all very wonderfully creamy and neat. Not one rasping note and everything played straight from charts. All the build ups, calls and response and the creamy, smooooth, smoooth brass. The final climax - steel fist in a velvet glove. This may not be my usual jazz cup of tea, but just once in a while nothing beats it. I'm floating off now…
Further Glenn Miller songs: Moonlight Serenade

Sunday, July 30, 2006


ORIGINATION Violent Femmes

I always feel cheated by two days of the same song in a row. It's just so unimaginitive.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Violent Femmes - Add It Up

ORIGINATION Violent Femmes
CHANCE OF WAKING TO IT as much as ever

For some reason, this album more than any other sends me straight back to when i was first listening to it some fifteen years ago. That was when i became a student, which is no coincidence as this record seems to be something of a freshers' discovery year on year. There's a good chance that this is all down to this song. And when it get's down to it, it's because this is the 'why can't i get just one f**k?' song. There is much more to the song than this, of course, but that is all anyone is ever going to remember.

Add It Up, clearly the Violent Femmes song, is spiky and awkward and was made by the (then) teenage trio in their classic guitar/bass/drums format. There is an anger and passion here, which is backed up by both strong and quite sophisticated playing and writing. The level of sophistication seems just a bit unlikely for teenages, but it is none the less apparent. Also strange is that the song (like the album) seems somewhat out of time, in that it's incredibly hard to place it in any given period. That it was recorded in '83 is either all the explanation you need or just further muddying.

It's a great song, much like its parent album. The Violent Femmes went on to record plenty other good great music but somehow they just never quite made the big time. Maybe they just happened at the wrong time.
Further Violent Femmes songs: Never Tell

Friday, July 28, 2006

Joe Loss & His Orchestra - Wheels (Cha Cha)

LAST LISTENED TO early last year

Joe Loss was an incomparible British band leader, who performed from the '30s through until the '80s. As you'd probably expect, Loss and his orchestra ran the full gamut of easy listening. Starting out in a kinda savoy jazzy way, they always moved with the times. In the early '60s all things latin were gaining popularity with both the easy listeners and the swingers and Loss, ever one for following fashion, jumped on that wagon.

Wheels had been originally been a bit of a hit for an instrumental rock'n'roll outfit from Texas called The String-A-Longs. Loss took their tune and easified it: he made it something that the older folks could dance to as well. It's got a lovely latin rhythm and a very proper-sounding brass section. A quite clean guitar. Really everything is just quite polite, but with the feeling that at the time it might've been just a wee bit racy. If you can imagine a fairly smooth WWII big band and the give it some tasty latin licks, you're pretty much there.

Loss' version was quite popular on the right side of the Altantic and there's a good chance that most folks from dear old blightly will know this tune, even though they'd never be able to tell you what it was. It's deep down in the British collective subconscious and we've no idea how it got there. In fact, to hear it even once it to never forget it and, most than likely, spend the best part of the following days humming it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

AC/DC - T.N.T.


This is just classic AC/DC. It starts with Bon Scott almost grunting 'oi oi's in between Angus' guitar licks, before the bass cuts in just exactly where it should. That's the thing about AC/DC: their music is very straightforward, almost to the point of predicability. Almost predictable, but not exactly predictable because everything happens (in classic bluesy hard rock) not only where you know it was going to but where you wanted it to and where it had to. Doing things so very straightforwardly can't be at all easy and AC/DC do it very, very well.

T.N.T. is about being generally just hard (and in fact, 'dirty, mean and medium clean'). That's really it. Apart from those great 'oi's and the riffs and that magnicificent rolling AC/DC bass. You just have to love it. It's on their first album which everyone who has ever enjoyed an amplified guitar should own.
Further AC/DC songs: Sin City

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Wonder Stuff - Don't Let Me Down, Gently

LAST LISTENED TO more than ten years ago
CHANCE OF WAKING TO IT none, usually

I seem to recall quite liking this one many moons ago. I can barely remember how it goes now, i've just got a vague thread of it on a loop inside my head this morning. And, since i've never owned a copy of it and i doubt i ever will, this is not going to be any kind of a review. Goodbye.
Further Wonder Stuff songs (and jeez there are lots for some reason):
Donation | Maybe | Welcome To The Cheap Seats
On The Ropes | Radio Asskiss | Inertia

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

(radio silence)

Not had one of these in a while. But along came one today. An empty head space with nothing in. Is that what most people have in the morning? I'm not sure i like it. I do hope normal service resumes tomorrow.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Iggy & Green Day - Supermarket


The power of the Ig: who can deny it? Here i am having spent a good deal of time being at best indifferent to Green Day and yet now, with this one tune, i'm beginning to wonder if maybe they're actually ok. I may even investigate further. Most odd.

In 2003 Mr. Pop put out this album that sees him playing with a total of 6 different bands. The results are fairly diverse and rather entertaining. It comes as little surprise that best of the bunch are the four tracks recorded with the re-formed Stooges (hurrah!). What is a surprise is that the young upstarts don't come out sounding too bad. Even Sum 41!

Supermarket to me sounds like a fairly standard new punk number. It may not have the meters-in-the-red craziness of The Stooges, but even so the guitars and bass all sound just right for their idiom and there are more than enough hooks for any one track. There's also a nice anti-corporate message, the irony of which does make one smirk some. Well meant, though, i guess.
Further Iggy & The Stooges songs: Search And Destroy

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Handsome Boy Modeling School - The World's Gone Mad (Feat. Del The Funky Homosapien, Barrington Levy & Alex Kapranos)

LAST LISTENED TO a few days ago

Wow. A fourth track from this album. That's practically unheard of. It's even more of a surprise given the full-on rawk action that's been shaking the walls in here for the past few days.

The World's Gone Mad has a bit of a reggae-ish vibe, which is not much of a surprise given that Jamaican star Barrington Levy is on here. He provides the focus of the song, but has two able assistants in tow. First up is Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, who takes care of the rapping that forms a good portion of the start of the tune. The rest of the vocal duties is taken up by Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, no less, who provides more of a supporting role (although he does get one short bridge).

As usual, the HMBS have pulled together a pretty random collection of perfomers and made it work well. Hopefully now that all the best tunes from this (their second) album have been used up, we don't need to see them again for a while. Back to rawk for me now!
Further Handsome By Modelling School songs: Are You Down With It | A Day In The Life | I've Been Thinking | Class System which is lost somewhere in April

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Beastie Boys - Car Thief

ORIGINATION Paul's Boutique

When the Beasties put out Paul's Boutique in '89, it was more or less universally ignored. The dense collage of samples employed, which mirror the three MCs rapping over each other, scared off many listeners expecting something closer to their first album. Time, however has been kind to the album and it now holds a privileged place in the history of hip hop. Basically, it was an album that was ahead of it's time. It's also an album that became more or less impossible to make just a few years later, when sample clearance law was tightened.

Car Thief contains large chunks of some laid back funk from the Funk Factory (Rien Ne Va Plus), plus an noitceable guitar break from Funkadelic's version of I Bet You. These are just the tip of the iceberg, with so many bits and pieces scattered about throughout the track, that it is hard to track them all down. Over this then, the Beasties rhymes fit into each other like hands in gloves. It's a mess of clever word play and pop culture references that was to become their stock in trade.

There is a really interesting site about Paul's Boutique, that has tried to list all the samples and references. It's also worth checking out Allmusic's review of the album which gives a good view of it's place in history.
Further Beastie Boys songs: Ricky's Theme

Friday, July 21, 2006

Not right

No, not the Stooges song, but MY HEAD this morning. It has made up it's own little morning song and it's not right. In fact is so very not right that there is not way at all that i am sharing it with anyone ever and the sooner it gets out of my head the better. It's obscene and degrading and i think it's all because of the shower gel. I can say no more. And don't ask either. Very shortly i will have erased it from my head forever. I didn't write this. You never read it. This never happened. Now go.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mudhoney - Suck You Dry

CHANCE OF WAKING TO IT lower than the average hair

This one is from Mudhoney's first major label album. When it came out in '92, it saw Mudhoney experimenting with their sound and moving away from a regular grunge sound. For a major label debut at the height of grunge's fifteen minutes, it was a typically willful act that was pretty much the opposite of what everyone had expected.

Suck You Dry
is about as heavy an assault as can be managed from the 'Honey battery, with big, beefy walls of riffage punishing the listener from the off. Other than that, it's business as usual with Mark Arm's sneering vocals and Steve Turner throwing in a typically fuzzed up solo. It's all over in two and a half minutes, althouth with the density of noise it at times seems longer.
Further Mudhoney songs: Inside Job | Shoot The Moon