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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Neil Young - After the Gold Rush - Released this day in 1970.

Released on this day in 1970, Neil Young's third solo 'After the Gold Rush', on Reprise Records.

01.- Out on the Weekend.
02.- Old Man.
03.- Journey Through the Past.
04.- Heart of Gold.
05.- Don't Let It Bring You Down.
06.- A Man Needs a Maid.
07.- Love in Mind.
08.- Dance Dance Dance.

Earlier in 1970 (March 11th), Neil Young had released 'Deja Vu' alongside Crosby, Stills and Nash. This was the first studio album from the quartet who went under the monicker CSNY (their second studio one would not show up until 1998's 'American Dreams'. The follow up to to 'Deja Vu' was a live album released in 1971 entitled '4 Way Street' (listen to the album here).

The Penny Black Remedy - Inhale...Exhale...OK, Now You Can Panic! (2013)

A couple of nights ago I trundled along to Pivo Pivo in Glasgow to watch The Penny Black Remedy play their first ever show in Glasgow. One of the main reasons for going was actually to catch up with bassist Paul Slack (who in a previous life was the bassist for the UK Subs). 

It was actually a nice bonus to be able to sit down and chat with Keith Thomson (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Wilco van Eijk (Drums and Vocals), Marijana Hajdarhodzic (Vocals and Percussion), and of course Paul Slack (Bass). The band are hard to pin down musically and their own personal tastes come shining through (everything from Ska, Punk, Country, Rockabilly and Rock 'n' Roll). I had told Keith that I thought they reminded me a little bit of Willy DeVille/Mink DeVille after watching some stuff on You Tube and so getting to see them live in person was a great experience because they were that and so much more.

Passionate, fun, great humour, beautiful singing from Marijana, intense yet almost freeing performance by the band (especially Keith), music with a great vibe that you cannot help but clap or dance.

As for the album, well it has the added joy of a horn section. When I played it my wife thought that it sounded a bit like Madness, I can see that in places.  All the songs are written ny Keith and some have brilliant titles: 'Putting the Mental into Sentimentality', 'Up to my Neck in a Hex', 'Hypochondria is not an Illness' and the most excellent 'Nice Things Happen When You Stop Complaining'.

Definetely worth getting hold of, and nice to find something new that is pleasing to the ear and worth spending money on.

For more information about The Penny Black Remedy check out their Official Website, or their Facebook page.

Happy Birthday to Jerry Allison of The Crickets

Born on this day in 1939 Jerry Allison, Drummer of The Crickets. Click on the links to enjoy the music.

Happy Birthday Glenn Tilbrook

Born on this day in 1957 one half of the writing partnership of Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook.
One of my favourite songwriters ever and a band that was grossly underrated in my opinion.
Besides playing with Squeeze, and performing solo he is also a member of The Co-Operative with Dennis Greaves of Nine Below Zero.


Friday, 30 August 2013

In Honour of John Peel

In honour of what would have been the birthday of the late great John Peel it's time to remember a few of the great sessions that he had on his show down through the years. All dates are the broadcast date (where possible). Click on the links to enjoy the music.

1. Killing An Arab.
2. 10.15 Saturday Night.
3. Fire In Cairo. 
4. Boys Don't Cry. 

1. Another Song.
2. Full Moon In My Pocket / Blam!! / Full Moon etc.
3. Harmony In Your Bathroom.
4. International Rescue.
5. Read About Seymour. 

1. Dossier (Of Fallibility).
2. The Saints Are Coming.
3. Hope And Glory.

(One of my favs).
1. China Blue.
2. This Train.
3. Getting Beautiful Warm Gold Fast From Nowhere.

 1. In A Rut.
2. Secret Soldiers.
3. Staring At The Rude Boys.
4. Demolition Dancing.

1. Freak Show.
2. Total War.
3. I'm On Heat.
 4. Then I Kissed Her.
5. Be My Prisoner.

UK Subs 31/05/78.
1. I Couldn't Be You.
2. Tomorrow's Girls.
3. Disease.
4. C.I.D. 
5. Stranglehold.

1. Tears Of A Clown.
2. Mirror In The Bathroom.
3. Ranking Full Stop.
 4. Click Click.
 5. Big Shot.

 1. Gangsters 
2. Too Much Too Young 
3. Concrete Jungle 
4. Monkey Man 

1. Norman (He's No Rebel).
2. Dark Park Creeping.
 3. Kray Twins.
4. Bitter Truth.

1. Bow Hitchhiker.
2. Abba's Song.
3. Violence To Violence.

 1. Imitation Of Christ.
2. Fall.
3. Sister Europe.
4. We Love You.

 1. Chain Smoking.
2. Parallel Lines.
3. I Don't Split It.
4. Nobody's Scared.

 1. D'ye Ken Ted Moult?
2. Arthur's Farm.
3. All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit.
4. The Trumpton Riots.
5. Ol' Tige.

1. Read It In Books.
2. Stars Are Stars.
3. I Bagsy Yours.
4. Villiers Terrace.

 1. Boys Like Us.
2. Chairman Of The Board.
3. Working Girl.
4. Birmingham.

 1. She's Alive.
2. So Strong.
3. Author! Author!
4. Je T'Aime C'Est Le Mort.

1. (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures.
 2. No.
3. Fight Amongst Youselves (It Gets Me).
4. Top Of The Pops.

1. God Knows It's True.
2. So Far Gone.
3. Alcoholiday.
4. Long Hair.

 1. A New England.
2. Strange Things Happen.
3. This Guitar Says Sorry.
4. Love Gets Dangerous.
5. Fear Is A Man's Best Friend.
6. A13 - Trunk Road To The Sea.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Happy Birthday Allison Rae Robertson of The Donnas

Born this day in 1979 Guitarist for The Donnas Allison Rae Robertson.

No word on when the next album from The Donnas is set to appear. Last year it was reported they were in the studio recording but nothing has come to light about how those sessions have progressed.

Happy Birthday Jet Black

Born on this day in 1938! And still playing with The Stranglers. These days though Jet doesn't play the whole set due to his health issues but he's out with the band and is one of the oldest drummers still playing live.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Happy Birthday Elvis Costello

Happy Birthday to Elvis Costello (Born Declan McManus) who is 59 years old today.
Click on the links to enjoy the music from five full concert performances and a Documentary.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Joe Strummer - Gone But Never Forgotten

Today would have been the 61st birthday of the former frontman for The 101ers, The Clash and his band The Mescaleros.

It is interesting that whilst there will be many people remembering Joe today that over in New York they have just recently torn down a mural that celebrates the singer in the East Village to make way for a clothes store! Thankfully there are plans afoot to recreate the image elsewhere but no details have emerged as to exactly where or when that will be unveiled.

Click on the links to enjoy the music.

Cast a Long Shadow Joe Strummer Tribute Show, Los Angeles 2007. Includes performances from Love and Rockets, Hellride and Zander Schloss and the Wilderness Years and much more.

Joe Strummer Celebration 22nd December 2003, Filmore East at Irving Plaza New York. Includes performances from Ari Up and Jesse Malin and loads more.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Into The River We Dive - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Things have been a bit quiet for me the past few days as I've been away camping and have had the chance to catch up on some listening. Just picked up the above show from 2009 of Bruce and the E Street Band. This is a newer recording (I have a few others of the same show) and is way better quality than I could have imagined.

It's a shame that he hasn't repeated the playing of the album as he has done with 'Born to Run', 'Darkness at the Edge of Town' and 'Born in the U.S.A.' as it sounded quite amazing hearing all the songs placed in their proper context.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Travis - Where You Stand (2013)

Five years is a long time to have been away and Travis return with a brand new album. Back in 2008 when they released 'Ode to J Smith' (the album only stayed on the charts for three weeks before sinking without a trace!) they sounded like they were on their last legs and a million miles away from the band who gained such success with 'The Man Who' back in 1999. The follow up to that successful album, 'The Invisible Band', aside from a couple of songs ('Sing', 'Side', and 'Flowers in the Window') already was charting their demise from public conciousness (despite it reaching #1 in the UK). '12 Memories' was a more edgy sound but only 'Re-Offender' of the three singles released from the album broke the Top Ten. It would be another four years until 'The Boy With No Name' appeared, and personally I think it's a much better album than the ones that followed 'The Man Who'. NME gave the album a mere 2 out of 10 and labelled it "impotent aural gruel" with "all the soul of a platform announcement".

And so a new album appears after another extended break and having only listened to it a couple of times I'm not convinced that they have made that much headway. Q Magazine in it's review (they gave it four stars) said, "The break has clearly done them good, here they sound determined to regain lost ground...Where You Stand finds the quartet catching up with themselves and displaying real depth and maturity." That maybe so but without a bunch of memorable songs they are not ever likely to enjoy the kind of success that they experienced in the light of 'The Man Who'.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Otis Redding The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection 3CD Set (In Mono)

Otis Reddings' short but illustrious career included some of the most important singles to come out of R&B during the 60's. All of those singles have been collected on The Complete Stax/Vold Singles, out July 23 on Shout! Factory.
Every A and B side is included in this three-CD set, all in their original mono mixes.

Starting with 1962's These Arms of Mine / Hey Hey Baby and running through 1972's My Girl, the set includes all 17 of Redding's singles released prior to his 1967 death, the 14 released posthumously along with the four he recorded with Carla Thomas for a total of 35 singles and 70 sides.

Not all of the links are the mono versions but I'm sure you'll have great fun listening regardless. There are a couple of songs that there are no links for that is because they are not on You Tube.

One of the things that strikes you as you listen to this treasure trove of great music is the wide influence that the music of Otis Redding has had down through the years from The Queen of Soul Aretha through to The Black Crowes and even Public Enemy and Jay Z!

Track List:

Disc 1

Disc 2
Disc 3

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Rewind: 1993 Natalie Merchant Announces She is Leaving 10,000 Maniacs to pursue a Solo Career

August 5th 1993 Natalie Merchant told MTV that she was leaving She had been with the band since 1981, firstly as a vocalist alongside Rob Buck's ex-wife Terri Newhouse. Newhouse left the band in July that year and Merchant took over the lead vocals and songwriting duties at the tender age of 17.

Their first release was the March 1982 EP 'Human Conflict Number 5'.
In 1983 they released their debut album, 'Secrets of the I Ching'. The album was very well received among critics and even the legendary John Peel took a shine to the band. 'My Mother the War' (first UK TV performance) had some success on the Indie Chart as a result of airplay and touring in the UK.
The band got a real break in 1984 when they signed to Elektra Records and released 'The Wishing Chair'. The album included the most excellent 'Scorpio Rising'.

But it would be the follow-up, 'In My Tribe' that would gain for them the success they richly deserved.

The album, produced by Peter Asher, would contain many songs that would become fan favourites. My own choices from this album would be 'What's the Matter Here', 'Hey Jack Kerouac', 'Like the Weather', 'Don't Talk', 'City of Angels' and 'Verdi Cries'.

'Blind Man's Zoo' would follow in 1989 and became their most successful album chartwise reaching #13 in the USA and #18 in the UK. The album is loaded with so many great songs that it's hard to spotlight anyone of them. It's still one of my favourite albums of theirs.

The final studio album that Natalie Merchant appeared on with 10,000 Maniacs is the brilliant 'Our Time In Eden'.
'These Are Days', 'Candy Everybody Wants', and 'Few and Far Between' were the single releases. The other standout tracks for me are 'Stockton Gala Days', 'Jezebel', and 'Tolerance'.
One of the strange things about this album is that playing viola and providing backing vocals was Natalie's replacement Mary Ramsey. Merchant had already indicated to fellow band members in 1991 that she would be departing once she had completed recording on the 'Our Time in Eden' album, but it didn't become public knowledge until 1993.

One of the final acts to perform before leaving the band would the the MTV Unplugged show in April 1993 and the album would be released in October 1993 and it's a fine testament to just how good live they were.

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